Aurizon selling intermodal business to PN/Linfox

 
  michaelgm Chief Train Controller

Maybe cynical but was the reduction in on time running a ruse, to justify offloading of intermodal?

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  fzr560 Train Controller

Maybe cynical but was the reduction in on time running a ruse, to justify offloading of intermodal?
michaelgm
Anything is possible but given the choice I'd choose stuff-up over conspiracy. There are lots of people that think they know how to do something but haven't got a clue. Just because the trains keep running between the mine and the port, doesn't mean they'll keep running between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: On a freight train to crazy town
If Australia stopped burning coal completely tomorrow, the impact on rail operations would be minimal and replaced by coal exports within 12mths based on current growth figures.
Agree, as most don't understand that the majority of export coal is coking coal, a necessary input to steel making.
br30453

Bollocks.

Thermal 200mtpa

Metallurgical 180mtpa

Now, about this 'understanding' thing Razz
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: On a freight train to crazy town
No assursions made, just comments about the way Aurizon and many other companies play the LGBTI card, spending money on non company needs.   Then having to sell off bits of the company to stay afloat.
Donald

Your homophobia is showing through.......Razz

No mention of Aurizon's sponsorship of the Newcastle Knights  - cos kicking pig skin around is the blokey thing to do.

Here's the list of the 'non company needs' that for some strange reason were not mentioned

http://http://www.aurizon.com.au/community/partnerships
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
If Australia stopped burning coal completely tomorrow, the impact on rail operations would be minimal and replaced by coal exports within 12mths based on current growth figures.
Agree, as most don't understand that the majority of export coal is coking coal, a necessary input to steel making.

Bollocks.

Thermal 200mtpa

Metallurgical 180mtpa

Now, about this 'understanding' thing Razz
bingley hall
Bingley,
Yes, Met coke production isn't going anywhere.

Thermal coal isn't also going anywhere but up due to the still expanding world coal fired power industry. So as a share holding in Aurizon, I am comfortable in their focus on bulk commodities for the foreseeable future.
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Maybe cynical but was the reduction in on time running a ruse, to justify offloading of intermodal?
Anything is possible but given the choice I'd choose stuff-up over conspiracy. There are lots of people that think they know how to do something but haven't got a clue. Just because the trains keep running between the mine and the port, doesn't mean they'll keep running between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

From where I was in Queensland it appeared to be gross incompetence rather than a conspiracy. It doesn't help that management are openly hostile towards the workforce.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Maybe cynical but was the reduction in on time running a ruse, to justify offloading of intermodal?
Anything is possible but given the choice I'd choose stuff-up over conspiracy. There are lots of people that think they know how to do something but haven't got a clue. Just because the trains keep running between the mine and the port, doesn't mean they'll keep running between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

From where I was in Queensland it appeared to be gross incompetence rather than a conspiracy. It doesn't help that management are openly hostile towards the workforce.
Fatty
and if you look at the issues in QR Citytrain, its vice versa openly hostile.
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Not true and not relevant to the situation at Aurizon.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Not true and not relevant to the situation at Aurizon.
Fatty
Yes its true, union repeatedly opposes external employment.

Have to wonder how much of QR's legacy is still in Aurizon?
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Not true and not relevant to the situation at Aurizon.
Yes its true, union repeatedly opposes external employment.

Have to wonder how much of QR's legacy is still in Aurizon?
RTT_Rules

Just because you claim something is true doesn't mean it is.

The situation at QR is due to management incompetence not because of the union. The union is simply enforcing the EA that management agreed to. Management, knowing that that they needed 200 new drivers and that EA dictated that they need to train internally, dismantled the training department and stopped nearly all driver training. The EA wasn't a secret and had been in  place for years. The opening of the new line and increased service levels weren't a secret either. Claiming this is the unions fault suggests that your only source of information about the debacle is the Courier Mail.

The incompetence continues at Aurizon but with a new breed of manager that have been parachuted in to replace the people who knew what they were doing so were made redundant.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Not true and not relevant to the situation at Aurizon.
Yes its true, union repeatedly opposes external employment.

Have to wonder how much of QR's legacy is still in Aurizon?

Just because you claim something is true doesn't mean it is.

The situation at QR is due to management incompetence not because of the union. The union is simply enforcing the EA that management agreed to. Management, knowing that that they needed 200 new drivers and that EA dictated that they need to train internally, dismantled the training department and stopped nearly all driver training. The EA wasn't a secret and had been in  place for years. The opening of the new line and increased service levels weren't a secret either. Claiming this is the unions fault suggests that your only source of information about the debacle is the Courier Mail.

The incompetence continues at Aurizon but with a new breed of manager that have been parachuted in to replace the people who knew what they were doing so were made redundant.
Fatty
Answer me this

What was the last Capital City Commuter Railway system to be hit with a lightning strike, ie no notice?

Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!
RTT_Rules

The unions (drivers are represented by two unions in Queensland) are supporting their members in upholding the EA agreed to and signed by management and approved by Fairwork Australia. The company was aware of the EA as they negotiated it. The EA doesn't allow for drivers to be recruited externally. The mistakes the "only human" managers made was not training the 200 drivers they needed and dismantling the training department. The employees have agreed to limited recruiting of ex-QR qualified drivers to assist with alleviating the driver shortage. The real problem is that QR no longer has the ability to train their current employees (mainly guards) who are suitably qualified to become trainee drivers. There's absolutely no way the blame for this can be shifted to the employees without some serious ignoring of facts.
  neillfarmer Junior Train Controller

The situation in Queensland is somewhat different than in other states (what's new). The Beattie and Bligh Labor Governments, the QR and the unions had a cosy arrangement that suited everybody. Internal recruitment to preserve union membership, a restriction on numbers to provide overtime, and a workforce that was reasonable compliant given the benefits they were enjoying.
Along came the Newman Liberal Government that set about resolving a spiralling state debt in the first two years. The Libs made several 'commercial' decisions some of which effected the future operation of QR. Signalling on the Redcliffe extension, 'upgraded' specs for the overseas contracted NGR, and a few other things. All had severe deficiencies with future repercussions that nobody wanted to know about.
After getting rid of 14,000 public servants the Newman Government got tossed out and along came the next Labor Government to the inherit the mess.
Initially both QR and the Labor Government didn't want to know about the problems. In true Labor style they expected to just 'press the button' on day one and it would work. It didn't.
Nothing worked, there were not enough drivers and the new trains were not compatible with the current methods of operation.
Resolving the issues has been at a snails pace. The Redcliffe extension has now settled down well, drivers are being trained albeit very, very slowly, but the new NGR trains still aren't in operation and the Government has now put on more that the 14,000 lost workers.
Like all political messes the blame can be passed around to whom ever your politics suits, but both Parties share it equally, Labor for feather bedding, not doing it's homework and failing to manage, The Libs for a steamroller approach to something that require much more care and finesse. The unions, as they are wont to do, made the most of the situations for their own ends, and resisted any attempt to change the sweetheart deals in the EBAs which would have made things easier for the present Government.
The saga blunders on.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!

The unions (drivers are represented by two unions in Queensland) are supporting their members in upholding the EA agreed to and signed by management and approved by Fairwork Australia. The company was aware of the EA as they negotiated it. The EA doesn't allow for drivers to be recruited externally. The mistakes the "only human" managers made was not training the 200 drivers they needed and dismantling the training department. The employees have agreed to limited recruiting of ex-QR qualified drivers to assist with alleviating the driver shortage. The real problem is that QR no longer has the ability to train their current employees (mainly guards) who are suitably qualified to become trainee drivers. There's absolutely no way the blame for this can be shifted to the employees without some serious ignoring of facts.
Fatty
So what you are saying is that QR Management were stupid enough to have recruitment restrictions placed on the business by the unions, something the unions should not even be focused on in the first place.

then because the stupid management had their backs to the wall and the public transport system of Brisbane was suffering as were the users and ultimately the customer of the drivers, the union still failed to reconginise or accept that the stupid management needed to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible and refused to allow trainee's to be brought in from other railways or even off the street.

end of the day it appears that QR management are not incontrol of the business and allowing union control into areas they don't belong. This is part of the reason the train drivers in Melbourne are no longer govt employees because the govt got fed up with the union trying to dedicate how the railway would be run.
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!

The unions (drivers are represented by two unions in Queensland) are supporting their members in upholding the EA agreed to and signed by management and approved by Fairwork Australia. The company was aware of the EA as they negotiated it. The EA doesn't allow for drivers to be recruited externally. The mistakes the "only human" managers made was not training the 200 drivers they needed and dismantling the training department. The employees have agreed to limited recruiting of ex-QR qualified drivers to assist with alleviating the driver shortage. The real problem is that QR no longer has the ability to train their current employees (mainly guards) who are suitably qualified to become trainee drivers. There's absolutely no way the blame for this can be shifted to the employees without some serious ignoring of facts.
So what you are saying is that QR Management were stupid enough to have recruitment restrictions placed on the business by the unions, something the unions should not even be focused on in the first place.

then because the stupid management had their backs to the wall and the public transport system of Brisbane was suffering as were the users and ultimately the customer of the drivers, the union still failed to reconginise or accept that the stupid management needed to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible and refused to allow trainee's to be brought in from other railways or even off the street.

end of the day it appears that QR management are not incontrol of the business and allowing union control into areas they don't belong. This is part of the reason the train drivers in Melbourne are no longer govt employees because the govt got fed up with the union trying to dedicate how the railway would be run.
Management failed to operate the business taking into consideration the conditions they agreed to in contracts with their suppliers. It's as simple as that. If those conditions should have been in the contracts and the politics around the results is irrelevant.

edit: Recruiting external drivers and taking trainees off the street will make little difference to the driver shortage as the real problem is that QR have removed their ability to train drivers. They don't have the resources to train people any more.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!

The unions (drivers are represented by two unions in Queensland) are supporting their members in upholding the EA agreed to and signed by management and approved by Fairwork Australia. The company was aware of the EA as they negotiated it. The EA doesn't allow for drivers to be recruited externally. The mistakes the "only human" managers made was not training the 200 drivers they needed and dismantling the training department. The employees have agreed to limited recruiting of ex-QR qualified drivers to assist with alleviating the driver shortage. The real problem is that QR no longer has the ability to train their current employees (mainly guards) who are suitably qualified to become trainee drivers. There's absolutely no way the blame for this can be shifted to the employees without some serious ignoring of facts.
So what you are saying is that QR Management were stupid enough to have recruitment restrictions placed on the business by the unions, something the unions should not even be focused on in the first place.

then because the stupid management had their backs to the wall and the public transport system of Brisbane was suffering as were the users and ultimately the customer of the drivers, the union still failed to reconginise or accept that the stupid management needed to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible and refused to allow trainee's to be brought in from other railways or even off the street.

end of the day it appears that QR management are not incontrol of the business and allowing union control into areas they don't belong. This is part of the reason the train drivers in Melbourne are no longer govt employees because the govt got fed up with the union trying to dedicate how the railway would be run.
Management failed to operate the business taking into consideration the conditions they agreed to in contracts with their suppliers. It's as simple as that. If those conditions should have been in the contracts and the politics around the results is irrelevant.

edit: Recruiting external drivers and taking trainees off the street will make little difference to the driver shortage as the real problem is that QR have removed their ability to train drivers. They don't have the resources to train people any more.
Fatty

That's all good and what ever.

Anyway answer me this

Has the union objected, disrupted, inhibited or tried to control in anyway the hiring of new drivers since QR realised it had a driver short fall?

Recommending is fine and this is can be to the benefit of all.

Who cares about bloody contacts or agreements (that are 30 years behind the times anyway) when you have a manning issues impacting on the people movement of the city. Fix the problem immediate problem ASAP and if that means dragging a dozen guys up from Melbourne to drive trains then so be it.
  Fatty Chief Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Did in the past and does the union in Brisbane oppose the employment of new drivers through external recruitment, whether it be off the street or using interstate experienced and qualified drivers?

Has the union in the recent past opposed the use of part-time drivers?

I have no doubt mistakes were made by Management, after all they are only human and it cost a few senior jobs as a result. But Qld just seems to have more issues in this regard to further south!

The unions (drivers are represented by two unions in Queensland) are supporting their members in upholding the EA agreed to and signed by management and approved by Fairwork Australia. The company was aware of the EA as they negotiated it. The EA doesn't allow for drivers to be recruited externally. The mistakes the "only human" managers made was not training the 200 drivers they needed and dismantling the training department. The employees have agreed to limited recruiting of ex-QR qualified drivers to assist with alleviating the driver shortage. The real problem is that QR no longer has the ability to train their current employees (mainly guards) who are suitably qualified to become trainee drivers. There's absolutely no way the blame for this can be shifted to the employees without some serious ignoring of facts.
So what you are saying is that QR Management were stupid enough to have recruitment restrictions placed on the business by the unions, something the unions should not even be focused on in the first place.

then because the stupid management had their backs to the wall and the public transport system of Brisbane was suffering as were the users and ultimately the customer of the drivers, the union still failed to reconginise or accept that the stupid management needed to help resolve the situation as quickly as possible and refused to allow trainee's to be brought in from other railways or even off the street.

end of the day it appears that QR management are not incontrol of the business and allowing union control into areas they don't belong. This is part of the reason the train drivers in Melbourne are no longer govt employees because the govt got fed up with the union trying to dedicate how the railway would be run.
Management failed to operate the business taking into consideration the conditions they agreed to in contracts with their suppliers. It's as simple as that. If those conditions should have been in the contracts and the politics around the results is irrelevant.

edit: Recruiting external drivers and taking trainees off the street will make little difference to the driver shortage as the real problem is that QR have removed their ability to train drivers. They don't have the resources to train people any more.

That's all good and what ever.

Anyway answer me this

Has the union objected, disrupted, inhibited or tried to control in anyway the hiring of new drivers since QR realised it had a driver short fall?

Recommending is fine and this is can be to the benefit of all.

Who cares about bloody contacts or agreements (that are 30 years behind the times anyway) when you have a manning issues impacting on the people movement of the city. Fix the problem immediate problem ASAP and if that means dragging a dozen guys up from Melbourne to drive trains then so be it.
RTT_Rules
Not sure which bit of "QR dismantled their training department" you don't understand. Even if you get drivers from outside of QR they'll still need to be trained. They can't be trained without training resources.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
It's pretty obvious a lot of things have contributed to Aurizon exiting the intermodal business and many are already well covered here.   This is my few cents worth after having skimmed through this lengthy thread and combined it with reading through other threads such as the Mt Isa Line decay in rail traffic and Aurizon either exiting or losing other business some of which is bulk and others intermodal.

Aurizon definitely has lost its way I believe for the medium to longer term in focusing solely on large bulk traffic.   Yes its healthy business now but Aurizon and others have already seen the impacts that can happen overnight with drops in commodity prices (iron ore/coal) and what that did and still could do if the Chinese economy retracts and to me that seems quite possible.

As the largest train operating company in the country with an increasingly less diverse portfolio I'd say Aurizon's short term focus is high risk.  (I hope I'm wrong).

Certainly the company has to make money and so it should, but rarely, given the cost of capital, the logistics and other issues involved means it is rare that railways are able to be agile enough to be able to come in make a quick buck and then move on.

The fact that Aurizon only very recently made a very substantial investment in a lot of new intermodal equipment, entered into a very recent new regional intermodal haul in NSW and then suddenly overnight decides to exit the intermodal business really smacks of a chaotic and/or short term reactionary culture compared to what I see as a much longer term strategic perspective being taken by the likes of SSR, SCT and even PN.

For example no one goes out and acquires a substantial chunk of brand new intermodal fleet, spends big dollars setting up major terminals in Forrestfield and Dynon etc without some major investigation and market analysis!!!   Why would you be chasing new intermodal business in NSW in very recent times but be walking away from very significant business on a number of hauls in Queensland.   That smacks of poor decision making, no medium/long term strategy etc.

If we take SCT.   It has invested in new terminals, equipment etc to establish the Brisbane to Melbourne operation based on its tried and proven business model operating out of Parkes, Melbourne and Adelaide to WA.   We understand it’s not been easy in making that leap with reports of locomotive reliability/availability posing a headache, but the business has grown and finally SCT has been able to introduce other classes of locomotives (hopefully) to ease one of its key headaches.  Obviously SCT is likely to gain from Aurizon’s exit and so of course is PN but to me that’s secondary for this discussion and good on them

SSR has rapidly expanded now, even operating out of NSW and into Victoria in grain and acquiring significant additional resources to do it and of course QUBE has done the same, all using their own well developed business model.   QUBE has also moved into broad gauge haulage of grain in Victoria but the business fits their business model and will be even better so after the gauge conversion in Victoria.

But I see Aurizon as still having legacy issues running through it from its old QR days.   In another post I quoted the example of train operation comparisons between Sydney and Melbourne centred on Junee.   Both PN and QUBE have a substantial amount of activity in Junee.   It is not only a crew change point for Sydney-Melbourne services but for both companies trains are originated there and hence additional operating support such as an area ops co-ordinator, cars to move crews around etc is what you would expect to see.

But what for Aurizon in Junee???   It is for them simply a crew change point.   Crews simply book/book off and stay at the Crossing Motel which is across the road from the yard.   So why does Aurizon have an office in town, two very swish SUV vehicles for what???   To generate business and facilitate operations???   Hardly.    Small detail I know but replicate that type of approach all around Aurizon’s operations (and not just intermodal either) and you start to really add costs well beyond what yr competitors are doing.

A colleague told me as well that management appears in the way it works to be very remote from the day to day operations which surprises me given that at 1 point North American expertise that was brought in.   Those guys are known to immerse themselves in minute detail to look for inefficiency and to make improvements.   It was said and I’M NOT UNION bashing, that resourcing at intermodal terminals appears higher than its competitors so again a real loss of attention to detail about what’s happening on the ground.   That message certainly seems to be coming thru from other posters in this thread.

What I still cannot understand and I know it’s not easy, is how little market share rail still has between Brisbane and Melbourne and hence why hasn’t Aurizon been able to grow that market especially given that you think purely from a historical perspective that it should know the market very well especially.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Not sure which bit of "QR dismantled their training department" you don't understand. Even if you get drivers from outside of QR they'll still need to be trained. They can't be trained without training resources.
Fatty
Then tell me why the union is so opposed to bringing in outsiders?

What does the union care about the closed training department, that's QR's problem to explain to govt and would only aid the union if this was what gt out to the public, not their opposition.

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