Work begins on Toowoomba Intermodal Hub

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Inland Rail funding isn't the only big news in Toowoomba today...the project is looking at using conventional narrow gauge later this year while waiting for standard gauge to arrive.

https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/government-engages-private-sector-inland-rail/3175999/

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The Inland Rail funding isn't the only big news in Toowoomba today...the project is looking at using conventional narrow gauge later this year while waiting for standard gauge to arrive.

https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/government-engages-private-sector-inland-rail/3175999/
Sulla1
Good to see they are planning ahead and not using the NG corridor that is likely/will be closed through Toowoomba itself.

How much traffic are they likely ton get now?

Is there a bottle neck on the corridor that will limit traffic on rail?
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
There are several rail tunnels in the Toowoomba-Kagaru secton, some long. What is the gradient through these tunnels, and will they avoid fume (rathole) problems?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There are several rail tunnels in the Toowoomba-Kagaru secton, some long. What is the gradient through these tunnels, and will they avoid fume (rathole) problems?
awsgc24
I think you are referring to the Proposed Inland route?

Fro grades I'm not sure, from what I can work out there are three tunnels

1. Teviot Range Tunnel, 1.1km - between existing interstate and connection with Western line, grade???

2. Little Liverpool Range Tunnel, 1.1km - (I would suggest this tunnel is on the max proposed grade for the climb to Toowoomba

3. Toowoomba Range Tunnel, 6.4km - I'm guessing this tunnel is either flat or close too it. I think is probably the top of the range.

1.1km long tunnels no big deal, plenty of them of the Woy Woy to Cowan section alone on northern side of Sydney, although these are dual track tunnels but ventilation is either natural through the tunnel of has something in the middle to provide natural or forced.

For the Toowoomba tunnel you have other issues, especially in a on a grade as the rear loco(s) if working hard have the potential to over heat due to the length of the tunnel and being only single track. The kiwi's have this sorted with a door at one end on a 1:40 grade 7km long tunnel facing loaded coalies. 5 locos in a row pushing towards the end as far as the air in concerned pushes the air around the train as it moves forward at a faster velocity than the train is actually moving.

At a guess I suspect the designers want to avoid this level of hazard control for such a long tunnel and the tunnel is likely to be slightly graded at most. Also note as the trains are nearly 2km long, the grade will need to be eased for nearly 10km, including the tunnel. (As I said this is my guess).

On a side note, its only when I looked up the Toowoomba range project map that I noticed basically the entire coal train yards will be bypassed. file:///C:/Users/EM2248/Downloads/G2H_Map_Study_Area_170317.pdf. For sure QR/govt will close all the NG corridor across the range and south to Warwick and beyond as everything will be on the Inland corridor and hence does this mean also the existing yards will be relocated? I assume likely to be the case as rolling stock, gauge and train length can all be updated and expanded from the 1980's era gear they are using now and a new yard with plenty of room is probably required.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
It's a given that all track south from Toowoomba is at risk when the inland rail becomes operational. Grain from the south west is the only freight keeping it open and it can go straight on the inland once available.

But back in Toowoomba, might need that inter-modal if planners are relying on a ppp to fund the tunnelling. My concern is that applying commercial returns to the business case will make rail uncompetitive. Since the bypass is underway, what is to stop the cavalcade of trucks providing a cheaper solution?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
A video, dated 17 May, is available of the bird's-eye view of the moment the first Super T girder went into the 800m viaduct at the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing. Video includes teh rail line. Find it on Facebook; Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) and scroll down to the video https://www.facebook.com/TMRQld/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

It's a given that all track south from Toowoomba is at risk when the inland rail becomes operational. Grain from the south west is the only freight keeping it open and it can go straight on the inland once available.

But back in Toowoomba, might need that inter-modal if planners are relying on a ppp to fund the tunnelling. My concern is that applying commercial returns to the business case will make rail uncompetitive. Since the bypass is underway, what is to stop the cavalcade of trucks providing a cheaper solution?
locojoe67
Toowoomba second range crossing is a completely different project to inland rail and will have very different outcomes.   Trucks that run to melbourne and adelaide already bypass towoomba and take the more direct route via warwick.  

The second range crossing won't provide a massive reduction in time or cost to trucks.   Its just to ease severe congestion in toowomba caused by the trucks.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
On a side note, its only when I looked up the Toowoomba range project map that I noticed basically the entire coal train yards will be bypassed. file:///C:/Users/EM2248/Downloads/G2H_Map_Study_Area_170317.pdf. For sure QR/govt will close all the NG corridor across the range and south to Warwick and beyond as everything will be on the Inland corridor and hence does this mean also the existing yards will be relocated? I assume likely to be the case as rolling stock, gauge and train length can all be updated and expanded from the 1980's era gear they are using now and a new yard with plenty of room is probably required.
RTT_Rules

the Inland through SWQ is looking more and more like a replacement of at least the SWQ line.  They'd only need to SG the silos at Milmerran and Brookstead, and the line out to Thallon, and the infrastructure from Inglewood to Twba via Warwick is impaired.

Now, how about DG out to Miles (or at a pinch Roma), SG the Glenmorgan Branch and others as demand sees fit and be done with NG altogether.  The DG would be there just for the Oakey cattle trains which it probably wouldn't make economic to go full SG given the low traffic volumes?

Then with SG, you could remove the NG yards at Toowoomba and use existing SG space (elsewhere on the SG network) or make some new yards in a more out of the way place.

As with Geelong in the aftermath of the Murray Basin project, i don't think we have seen the end of the railway works in the SWQ area.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

QR's Western Line is QR's second biggest income generator behind the Mt Isa Line. There will be no motivation for gauge standardisation for a state government who will then lose treasury revenue to the ARTC. The narrow gauge Western Line will be remaining in place as is for some time yet.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
On a side note, its only when I looked up the Toowoomba range project map that I noticed basically the entire coal train yards will be bypassed. file:///C:/Users/EM2248/Downloads/G2H_Map_Study_Area_170317.pdf. For sure QR/govt will close all the NG corridor across the range and south to Warwick and beyond as everything will be on the Inland corridor and hence does this mean also the existing yards will be relocated? I assume likely to be the case as rolling stock, gauge and train length can all be updated and expanded from the 1980's era gear they are using now and a new yard with plenty of room is probably required.

the Inland through SWQ is looking more and more like a replacement of at least the SWQ line.  They'd only need to SG the silos at Milmerran and Brookstead, and the line out to Thallon, and the infrastructure from Inglewood to Twba via Warwick is impaired.

Now, how about DG out to Miles (or at a pinch Roma), SG the Glenmorgan Branch and others as demand sees fit and be done with NG altogether.  The DG would be there just for the Oakey cattle trains which it probably wouldn't make economic to go full SG given the low traffic volumes?

Then with SG, you could remove the DG yards at Townsville and use existing SG space (elsewhere on the SG network) or make some new yards in a more out of the way place.

As with Geelong in the aftermath of the Murray Basin project, i don't think we have seen the end of the railway works in the SWQ area.
james.au
Yep, I think we discussed this once before and I said the NG will be closed as it won't be able to compete and it won't.

Depending on the final route, but yes I think they will run past major grain silos for a source of income even if a few minutes are added here and there provided 24hr is not compromised.

The project mentioned on DG to Gowrie, then the SG heads south so take it from that anything south will be SG only, either converted to SG or closed.

The western line will most likely remain NG, but I'm sure SG will find its way to the coal mines sooner or later but realistically the new corridor solves most of the NG issues anyway.

SG to Townsville???? Unlikely
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
QR's Western Line is QR's second biggest income generator behind the Mt Isa Line. There will be no motivation for gauge standardisation for a state government who will then lose treasury revenue to the ARTC. The narrow gauge Western Line will be remaining in place as is for some time yet.
Sulla1
Assuming the Inland is complete by 2025, the NG line over the range has entered its last decade of operation. As soon as a NG train can run from Gowrie to AR, the existing NG line as we know it is finished and likely cease full operation almost immediately. The Qld govt knows it, so we may as well join them.

There is no way the old line will compete when the Inland is sitting there allowing 35% more axle loads and 150% longer trains in about 50% of the travel time with about 20-25% less route km, less wear and tear and using larger far more modern more fuel efficient, cheaper locomotives.

QR may want to push on (unlikely), and if they do PN and others will just come in and blow them out of the water contract wise. Hence the Qld govt will close the corridor as soon as the Inland is clear for operation, maintain it for about 6mths and then approve the removal and decommissioning within a year after all the final farewell rail tours are complete and the fan fare has wound down.

As for the SW line from Toowoomba to Goondiwindi, the Qld govt has already started the process or at least discussion of off-loading this to the feds as they know it also has zero future beyond the Inland and this enables the Inland project to more easily take on the interconnection with the existing NG loading points, access to the corridor for construction of the Inland and conversion of the loading points to the Inland to SG where viable.

EDIT:
for the record I would like to see the corridor from Toowoomba station to Spings Bluff, Menzies Creek or even west of Heildon such as a station servicing both the Inland and old corridor where they meet heading east retained for a heritage operator. Potentially southern Downs could be encouraged from their current location in Warwick to Toowoomba Station (the line will be closed anyway or they will have to lease a section if they want too keep running).
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

As of the moment, these are the facts of the situation as best as I know -

1. Neither QR or the Queensland government have made a statement regarding the closure or replacement of any part of the Western Line.

2. The ARTC has told Lockyer Valley communities that a standard gauge freight-only line is being built beside the existing double track narrow gauge line - the latter continuing to carry its existing traffic.

3. Aurizon owns the Willowburn yards and locomotive servicing complex, the latter used to service all rollingstock based in Southern Queensland. The company has not yet made any comments or suggested this yard will become a stranded asset. Aurizon is also QR's only current freight customer on the corridor.

4. Coal tonnages and revenues are set to increase by at least fifty percent and perhaps more by 2020, with tonnages set to exceed 10-million tonnes if the Acland expansion happens.

5. The single track ARTC ascent with a long single track tunnel will be capacity constrained. Depending on how quickly the tunnel can be exhausted will determine how many trains a day will be able to use the new crossing.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
A video, dated 17 May, is available of the bird's-eye view of the moment the first Super T girder went into the 800m viaduct at the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing. Video includes teh rail line. Find it on Facebook; Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) and scroll down to the video https://www.facebook.com/TMRQld/?hc_ref=SEARCH&fref=nf
petan
Thanks for posting the video Peter. This is the direct link to the video:
https://www.facebook.com/TMRQld/videos/1419108394798706/
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Information provided by the ARTC is the "mountainous" sections of the corridor to be built with a maximum 1 in 50 (compensated) grade and 400m minimum radius curves (the existing QR line is 1 in 50 with 100m minimum radius curves). 60kg rail to be used on new sections with maximum axle loads of 25-tonnes initially. The current line has been mostly relaid with 50kg rail on concrete sleepers and remains at a 16-tonne axle load.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
QR's Western Line is QR's second biggest income generator behind the Mt Isa Line. There will be no motivation for gauge standardisation for a state government who will then lose treasury revenue to the ARTC. The narrow gauge Western Line will be remaining in place as is for some time yet.
Sulla1

QR looked to hand the whole network over to ARTC a couple of years back, maybe they look at that again, but just the line/s from Brisbane to the West (i.e. leave the metro area, the NCL, Mt Isa Line and other odd spots in QR).
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
SG to Townsville???? Unlikely
RTT_Rules

Whoops, meant Toowoomba.  Edited and fixed!
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yep, I think we discussed this once before and I said the NG will be closed as it won't be able to compete and it won't.

Depending on the final route, but yes I think they will run past major grain silos for a source of income even if a few minutes are added here and there provided 24hr is not compromised.

The project mentioned on DG to Gowrie, then the SG heads south so take it from that anything south will be SG only, either converted to SG or closed.

The western line will most likely remain NG, but I'm sure SG will find its way to the coal mines sooner or later but realistically the new corridor solves most of the NG issues anyway.

SG to Townsville???? Unlikely
RTT_Rules

The business case specified DG from Gowrie all the way down to Yelarbon.  This could be axed and the cost savings put back into standardisation to Thallon and gauge conversion of the very short tracks into Brookstead and Millmeran silos.

For reference, Graincorp silos in the area include:
- SW Line: Thallon, Talwood, Bungunya, Tobeah Goondi West, Goondi East, Boggabilla (not on rail), Yelarbon, Milmerran (not on rail) Brookstead, and Clifton
- Western Line: Malu, Natcha, Mcalister, Dalby West, Warrah, Miles, Wallumbilla, Roma
- Glenmorgan Branch: Meandarra, The Gums, Kapun
- Jandowae Branch: Jandowae (not on rail)

Note that Graincorp are planning a new site at Dalby North (probably to consolidate the smaller ones in the region) and upgrades at Goondiwindi.

Have a look at this map - its easier to visualise.
Operations Map - GrainCorp

New sites link too.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n73bl3xx47fni2n/AACOsjzhY3E7AhhR8HaUl7H5a?dl=0&preview=Fact+Sheet+-+Queensland.pdf

So grain could be a winner for conversion.  Also, GrainCorp has a history in NSW and Vic with co-funding of rail upgrades.  They may wish to come to the party if asked the right questions.

Re coal, if its got an SG corridor so close, may as well go the rest of the way.  Let the likes of SSR, GWA, PN and others get into the action and lower the cost of freight further.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
As of the moment, these are the facts of the situation as best as I know -

1. Neither QR or the Queensland government have made a statement regarding the closure or replacement of any part of the Western Line.

2. The ARTC has told Lockyer Valley communities that a standard gauge freight-only line is being built beside the existing double track narrow gauge line - the latter continuing to carry its existing traffic.

3. Aurizon owns the Willowburn yards and locomotive servicing complex, the latter used to service all rollingstock based in Southern Queensland. The company has not yet made any comments or suggested this yard will become a stranded asset. Aurizon is also QR's only current freight customer on the corridor.

4. Coal tonnages and revenues are set to increase by at least fifty percent and perhaps more by 2020, with tonnages set to exceed 10-million tonnes if the Acland expansion happens.

5. The single track ARTC ascent with a long single track tunnel will be capacity constrained. Depending on how quickly the tunnel can be exhausted will determine how many trains a day will be able to use the new crossing.
Sulla1

Agreed, though im thinking there is a secondary, follow up project that could be pursued for the greater good and improved efficiency of the whole network.  Don't forget that additional work for the SG fleet lowers the cost to the existing SG operations to a degree, and therefore improves rail's competitiveness just that little bit more.  

All of what you say can change with time and consultation....
  br30453 Chief Train Controller

QR's Western Line is QR's second biggest income generator behind the Mt Isa Line. There will be no motivation for gauge standardisation for a state government who will then lose treasury revenue to the ARTC. The narrow gauge Western Line will be remaining in place as is for some time yet.

QR looked to hand the whole network over to ARTC a couple of years back, maybe they look at that again, but just the line/s from Brisbane to the West (i.e. leave the metro area, the NCL, Mt Isa Line and other odd spots in QR).
james.au
It was not QR but the then government who looked at handing over the network to ARTC.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
QR's Western Line is QR's second biggest income generator behind the Mt Isa Line. There will be no motivation for gauge standardisation for a state government who will then lose treasury revenue to the ARTC. The narrow gauge Western Line will be remaining in place as is for some time yet.

QR looked to hand the whole network over to ARTC a couple of years back, maybe they look at that again, but just the line/s from Brisbane to the West (i.e. leave the metro area, the NCL, Mt Isa Line and other odd spots in QR).
It was not QR but the then government who looked at handing over the network to ARTC.
br30453

Appreciate the factual correction.  Though the point is still valid.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

The reason the western line is such a huge income generator is because of its shortcomings.    By having a low axle load, short length of trains, then aurizon must run a lot more trains along it to fill the coal demand.   Upgrading it to 30TAL, 1.5km length trains would mean around 1/4 of the trains.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

It's also that low axle load that allows Aurizon to maintain an unchallenged monopoly of Surat Basin coal. Standard gauge will bring competition, something that might well cost Aurizon more money than running short trains. The new line will also have a 25-tonne axle load too, which will obstruct Hunter Valley style rollingstock achieving maximum efficiency.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
"Toowoomba second range crossing is a completely different project to inland rail and will have very different outcomes"

Understood. I was making the point about synergy between the projects, intended or otherwise. The Gowrie-Acacia Ridge section of inland rail is conditional on public private partnership funding. The business case is unlikely to be attractive on purely commercial terms, even less so than the rest of the project. As such it will need considerable incentives in order to attract interest.

Once the road bypass is functional, the business case for the rail down the range is even less attractive and that is my concern. That we have an inland rail line ending at Charleston (Gowrie,or wherever), with goods for the port transhipped to road.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yep, I think we discussed this once before and I said the NG will be closed as it won't be able to compete and it won't.

Depending on the final route, but yes I think they will run past major grain silos for a source of income even if a few minutes are added here and there provided 24hr is not compromised.

The project mentioned on DG to Gowrie, then the SG heads south so take it from that anything south will be SG only, either converted to SG or closed.

The western line will most likely remain NG, but I'm sure SG will find its way to the coal mines sooner or later but realistically the new corridor solves most of the NG issues anyway.

SG to Townsville???? Unlikely

The business case specified DG from Gowrie all the way down to Yelarbon.  This could be axed and the cost savings put back into standardisation to Thallon and gauge conversion of the very short tracks into Brookstead and Millmeran silos.

For reference, Graincorp silos in the area include:
- SW Line: Thallon, Talwood, Bungunya, Tobeah Goondi West, Goondi East, Boggabilla (not on rail), Yelarbon, Milmerran (not on rail) Brookstead, and Clifton
- Western Line: Malu, Natcha, Mcalister, Dalby West, Warrah, Miles, Wallumbilla, Roma
- Glenmorgan Branch: Meandarra, The Gums, Kapun
- Jandowae Branch: Jandowae (not on rail)

Note that Graincorp are planning a new site at Dalby North (probably to consolidate the smaller ones in the region) and upgrades at Goondiwindi.

Have a look at this map - its easier to visualise.
Operations Map - GrainCorp

New sites link too.
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/n73bl3xx47fni2n/AACOsjzhY3E7AhhR8HaUl7H5a?dl=0&preview=Fact+Sheet+-+Queensland.pdf

So grain could be a winner for conversion.  Also, GrainCorp has a history in NSW and Vic with co-funding of rail upgrades.  They may wish to come to the party if asked the right questions.

Re coal, if its got an SG corridor so close, may as well go the rest of the way.  Let the likes of SSR, GWA, PN and others get into the action and lower the cost of freight further.
Agree, there is no need to run a 3rd rail 400km for medium flow of traffic that the operators and customers would much rather put on the wider gauge.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
As of the moment, these are the facts of the situation as best as I know -

1. Neither QR or the Queensland government have made a statement regarding the closure or replacement of any part of the Western Line.

2. The ARTC has told Lockyer Valley communities that a standard gauge freight-only line is being built beside the existing double track narrow gauge line - the latter continuing to carry its existing traffic.

3. Aurizon owns the Willowburn yards and locomotive servicing complex, the latter used to service all rollingstock based in Southern Queensland. The company has not yet made any comments or suggested this yard will become a stranded asset. Aurizon is also QR's only current freight customer on the corridor.

4. Coal tonnages and revenues are set to increase by at least fifty percent and perhaps more by 2020, with tonnages set to exceed 10-million tonnes if the Acland expansion happens.

5. The single track ARTC ascent with a long single track tunnel will be capacity constrained. Depending on how quickly the tunnel can be exhausted will determine how many trains a day will be able to use the new crossing.
Sulla1
1. still early days, give it time. why would you until the Inland project is secure.

2. whats the bet the final outcome is the shared corridor is converted to DG

3. See No.1

4. Yep, exactly, what do we think it will use, a goat track or a highway as a railway to get out?

5. The current coal trains carry about 1/2 the potential capacity they could do even if it was using CQ NG rolling stock and train length. Most of the problems with this 160km rail line, is its excessive route distance, ultra slow speed (average 40km/hr for pax services), light axle loads and Thomas the Tank engine train lengths. Fix that and watch the congestion vapourise. The extensive Dual track sections could be retained and DG where they fall on the proposed alignment.

Remember, the Modern Moura Line, which is basically a copy and paste of the Inland project over the range is single track for a similar distance. how many tonnes a year does it move?

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