Push to develop Morven as a cattle railing hub

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The ABC is reporting the Murweh Shire Council, with the support of the Oakey Meatworks, is working to have QR's cattle sidings and handling facilities at Morven (687km westt of Brisbane) upgraded as a new cattle hub for the region. The local area produces more than 50,000 head per annum, all of which are trucked east for processing, plus additional cattle from Winton purchased by Oakey also pass through this area by road. The nearest cattle rail loading facility is at Quilpie, a further 311km to the west. The Oakey Meatworks (191km west of Brisbane) is currently processing 5000 head per week.

Sponsored advertisement

  neillfarmer Station Master

I'm pretty sure there have been no further cattle trains to Oakey since the first on Wednesday 30/11/16. One way to impress a reluctant Queensland Government would have been to send some more stock down the 2km of siding rebuilt with $2m of Gov't money.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I'm pretty sure there have been no further cattle trains to Oakey since the first on Wednesday 30/11/16. One way to impress a reluctant Queensland Government would have been to send some more stock down the 2km of siding rebuilt with $2m of Gov't money.
neillfarmer

Interesting information so why no trains down the siding since it was opened?  Any specific reason for this?
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
It was menrenioned at the onening with the first train that there was going to be a delay before regular running is to commence
One would assume there is a lot of logistics contracts etc to sign plus graziers to grow the surplus beef required
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Cattle numbers available for slaughter are in short supply with a lot of competition between processors for throughput.  Rebuilding of herds after a long period of drought may limit numbers coming out of the Channel Country and therefore therefore out of Quilpie.  The top end wet season and need to source cattle for the live trade to Indonesia has meant some animals normally expected to go to slaughter domestically have been diverted north.

Opening up of a hub at Morven with upgraded rail access will increase the draw of cattle available for rail transport from areas in a wide radius of Morven.  The proposal represents a fairly modest investment that will benefit cattleman, processors and I dare say it cattle with improved animal welfare with spelling on long hauls.

5915
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Yes I wouldn't be worried about there being a lag between the opening of the upgraded siding at Oakey and the subsequent ongoing flow of stock for the various seasonal and other factors outlined.   This proposal considerably strengthens and probably underpins a more consistent flow of livestock  by rail to the plant.   It can't be any worse than the people spending billions on a much needed Desal plant in Melbourne with the first supply of water only moving this week some for years or thereabouts after the project was needed.    The rail infrastructure has a life of many decades so a lull in activity is not the end of the world!!!
  neillfarmer Station Master

When the inaugural  train ran in late November 2016 Oakey said they would begin rail shipments in January 2017. Rail shipments of cattle off the GNR and Clermont lines started in January 2017 and on some days two stock trains have operated from these to Brisbane meat processors. So to my mind Oakey are dragging the chain somewhat. They used some heavy media pressure on the Qld Gov to get the siding rebuilt but really haven't come good with the traffic.
This just goes to illustrate the difficulties rail operators have with agricultural traffic. It is very variable, little or nothing for years and then the farmers expect the operators and Government to immediately turn on trains to move their produce.
Equally, on the other foot, rail operators are still living in the 1900s with their thinking on how to transport these various commodities and variable traffic flows. The recent introduction of containers for molasses and cattle are a step in the right direction.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways
  emerald-a Station Staff

The recent introduction of containers for molasses and cattle are a step in the right direction.
neillfarmer
The new cattle crates really shouldn't be in service given the problems that they are experiencing . They fall apart in running.
  neillfarmer Station Master

The recent introduction of containers for molasses and cattle are a step in the right direction.
The new cattle crates really shouldn't be in service given the problems that they are experiencing . They fall apart in running.
emerald-a
Gee, they were first used on the 22nd of February, they must have only done a half dozen or so trips. The train I photo'd last Thursday looked like new. Do you know what the problems are?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If Oakey are dragging the chain, QR might have been wise to ask Oakey to enter into a take or pay contract - much like rail operators ask their customers to do - to ensure that Oakey do actually use the service and have a disincentive not to.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I think 5915's post covers off what is most likely going on in QLD.   At the moment 87% of the state is drought declared as well.   So that would be having a major impact on supply chains.   My reference earlier about the Desal plant lying idle in Victoria for some years was not a criticism about the building of the desal plant.  I think a great thing that helps future proof a growing state.   The new concrete sleepered siding at Oakey should be regarded as a lonmg term investment in transport infrastructure that will get used.   In this case its about weather, timing and supply chains.   At $2.5 mill I don't think the Abbatoir should be being forced to contribute to it.  Remember they have committed AND SPENT around $50 million on a major upgrade and expansion of the plant.

There are a zillion other things where Government has spent millions on supporting which have lead to nothing!!!
  emerald-a Station Staff

The recent introduction of containers for molasses and cattle are a step in the right direction.
The new cattle crates really shouldn't be in service given the problems that they are experiencing . They fall apart in running.
Gee, they were first used on the 22nd of February, they must have only done a half dozen or so trips. The train I photo'd last Thursday looked like new. Do you know what the problems are?
neillfarmer
The pins holding the bottom door hinges in place snap as the train is moving making it unsafe to load the wagons and the top spring loaded bolts are snapping off the small piece of metal that keeps them from falling through the hole they sit in and off the train.

They moved from solid big slabs of metal for all of the catches and pins in the old wagons to smaller lighter more complicated arrangements in the new ones which aren't up to the job and are going to have to be replaced with something stronger.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I think 5915's post covers off what is most likely going on in QLD.   At the moment 87% of the state is drought declared as well.
Trainplanner
Just back from Cunnamulla, Eulo, Yowah and Thargomindah, it has been very dry with a few places having had some recent rain. I suspect the Quilpie area has been equally dry. Temperatures out that way are in the high 30s to low 40s at present.
  Exqr Locomotive Driver

Location: Gympie Q.
Has everyone lost sight of the fact that the abbatoirs need to be upgraded before any great increase in throughput can take effect. I think the amount quoted was $50mill by the Japanese owners.
  neillfarmer Station Master

The current processing rate of 5,000 head a week would need 6 trains a week if it all came into Oakey  by rail. I guess the capture area is pretty extensive right now. Be interesting to see what Debbie dumps on the west.
The question of Government provision of infrastructure for industry is a vexed one. If they were smart they would tie it to some conditions that at least gave the Government, through QR, some return, such as a guarantee on usage, or the conveyance of finished product to Port of Brisbane by rail.
The Toowoomba By Pass which is progressing at a rapid rate will just about kill off any hope of a return of freight other than coal to the West Moreton System.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, EMBaldwin, Exqr, james.au

Display from: