At the moment the sidings into the buildings that will be used still exist, but have been disconnected from the Jetty Branch. The track in the yard was owned by Aurizon, but with the sale to Honeycombs, the rail may now have a new owner, so technically rail deliveries would be possible, but, as Fatty noted, all steel moving into Townsville is on intermodal containers now, and would most likely continue being delivered by rail to the intermodal terminal at Partington and trucked to South Yard. Most "shunting" these days is done by trucks unfortunately and even if an all rail routing is possible, I can't see anyone but a shortline "terminal style" operator (as happens in Cairns) doing shunting around Townsville.
So no way of getting steel into the new area by rail?
Word is Wulguru Steel has leased the workshops after winning the GATX sulphuric acid tanker contract from UGL. The contract will involve the 200-ish acid tankers built by UGL Bohle for the Phosphate Hill acid traffic. QR will be reinstating the turnouts removed earlier this year to the former Aurizon yard shortly. So, it appears the South Yard workshops will be back in the rail business.As someone who has recently left Townsville, this is great news - even if it is only temporary.
Townsville Council now crying about the proposed line between Mount Isa and Darwin. My heart bleeds given they have trashed rail in the area. Sorry, a beautiful old station is unusable, the operators have been kicked out to a smaller yard limiting capacity and a major road built to the port at the request of the council.
I agree about the station. Selling off the rail corridor to developers and cutting of the old station was criminal. I'm sure that there was much dirty cash swimming around to secure that deal.
South yard was old and inefficient with most trains having to be broken up due to short road lengths. Aurizon received a substantial amount of money when they were "kicked out" of South Yard and had the opportunity to build a yard of whatever capacity they liked at the Stuart site. As is the norm these days with Aurizon the Stuart yard was designed by management with little operational experience and overseen by accountants. As a result they built an slightly more efficient but far from adequate yard that is definitely not big enough now that all they'll be using it for (I assume) is Mt Isa trains. It's not the council's fault that Aurizon is managed by idiots.
The Stuart yard really was a wasted opportunity. The "good yard design" book was thrown out so a committee could put together a camel that doesn't work properly for any of the invested business groups. Artificially restricting the length of the intermodal roads for the sake of a locomotive turning angle, building in the southern yard throat so it can't be expanded, missing the opportunity to add additional RE roads. The 1000m Dugald River trains will have to be broken in two to use a yard that is just one year old and was still being designed when the Dugald River contract was signed...unbelievable.
The only thing that will keep this yard funtional is the fact the number of trains originating, terminating or needing inspections will have dropped from around 36 per day in December 2016 when it opened to as few as 6 per day next year. During the same period PN and its 2005-built yard and nearby QR-owned Partington, will have gone from around 7 per day to as many as 34 per day next year.
An amazing turnaround for Townsville with the job creation and all the activity.
With coal running further south how will wagons get to Townsvile for servicing?