The Murray Basin Rail Project The Project That Keeps on Giving

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 13 Oct 2018 13:28
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I know this is a new thread but I think it should be for the reasons below.

1. States the train to Mangatang has been re-routed to Swan Hill due to track being in poor condition.

2. We know BG grain has slowed to a crawl on the BG coming to Geelong.  Could track condition be the reason?  Vline strikes again?

3.  Is Maryborough Yard so cut back a faulty wagon cannot be cut out and left in a road at that location?

The Murray Basin Rail Project  The Project That Keeps on Giving

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Further interesting disclosures

However, because they were to be converted to SG all maintenance stopped on these two lines and consequently,, the lines are no longer stable to be used for transporting the grain out of Manangatan and Sea Lake.

This is why R707 was rerouted to Swan Hill via Bendigo for the Manangatang Races and passengers then bused to the races.

The maintenance budget has been absorbed by the remediation work on the MBRP debacle, so there is no finance to remediate the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines to operational standards.
Somebody

So no grain trains at all to these locations now?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
More evidence backing the idea that these lines should never have been standardised
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
More evidence backing the idea that these lines should never have been standardised
Dangersdan707
they should have been standardized 20 years ago. The current Gov't has just f-ed it all up
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
More evidence backing the idea that these lines should never have been standardised
Dangersdan707

Staying with the theme of this thread which is specific, the line to Mildura and beyond has been standardised so there is no turning back. The issues with Maryborough Yard have been discussed previously.  Of the three points above can you shed any light and confirm the above to be correct?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
More evidence backing the idea that these lines should never have been standardised

Staying with the theme of this thread which is specific, the line to Mildura and beyond has been standardised so there is no turning back. The issues with Maryborough Yard have been discussed previously.  Of the three points above can you shed any light and confirm the above to be correct?
bevans
I know that according to Vlines Network operating data that the final Km's of the Manangatang line are limbited to 25kmph for all rolling stock and that Vline declared it 'unsafe for passenger trains'.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I know that according to Vlines Network operating data that the final Km's of the Manangatang line are limbited to 25kmph for all rolling stock and that Vline declared it 'unsafe for passenger trains'.
Dangersdan707

It is again another example of the disgraceful state of the network under V/Line.  Budgets to V/Line have been increasing and any budgets provided for the maintenance of the BG network to Sea Lake and Manangtang were for those purposes and should not have been provided to fix SG conversion issues which are clear a different budget and programme.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

More evidence backing the idea that these lines should never have been standardised

Staying with the theme of this thread which is specific, the line to Mildura and beyond has been standardised so there is no turning back. The issues with Maryborough Yard have been discussed previously.  Of the three points above can you shed any light and confirm the above to be correct?
bevans
Being fair to the Minister and Government it is not standardization that is the issue rather :

- the project was clearly inadequtely and  poorly scoped in the first place
- the Stage 2 works of standardizing Mildura - Dunolly and re-opening Maryborough - Ararat are still incomplete and have not delivered as yet a freight railway of 21t axle load operating to an 80kmh speed, with the same capacity operational flexibility of the bg railway it replaces.
-  Given the late completion of Stage 2 Government probably had no real choice but to defer standardizing the other two branches north of Dunolly as otherwise the 2018/19 grain harvest might have been trapped in the silos if Stage 3 ran over time too.
-  Given the late completion of Stage 2, low speeds on the Maryborough - Ararat leg and the direct connection to the sg mainline at Ararat still not completed as Minister I would be both frustrated and doubtful of and question seriously any commitments from any party to "finish by"  statements .
- Given the problems with Stage 2 and still not completed , the Minister is entirely justified in taking a deep breath and re-assessing Stage 4 works especially as it impacts bg passenger services through the Ballarat area.
- One doesnt just let things proceed to Stage 3 and 4 as things would almost certainly get worse if one doesnt get Stage 2 right working reliably first .

Finally there is no proof that private rail operation has generated any greater rate of rollingstock faults as suggested, and there is no restriction aware of in operating bg freight trains on the two lines north of Dunolly, sure there are SR's but not aware of lines being booked out .  In reality these lines should be fully available as in past years as bg for the 2018/19 grain harvest to come out on bg albeit that harvest will not be large .
As stated above if we had charged on with standardization of the other two bg lines North of Dunolly then on past experience , there would have been a high risk of project late delivery/over run on a degraded sg track .
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The Minister, as the person ultimately responsible, should resign but not before sacking her underlings responsible for the debacle that is freight rail in Victoria.

It's as simple as that. Crying or Very sad
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is Maryborough yard inaccessible presently?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The Minister, as the person ultimately responsible, should resign but not before sacking her underlings responsible for the debacle that is freight rail in Victoria.

It's as simple as that. Crying or Very sad
YM-Mundrabilla
So the Minister resigns, and all the senior management lose their jobs.

The result is a power vacuum and even less corporate knowledge than we started with. It's emphatically not as simple as all that; change ultimately has to come from within. I'm not saying I have the answers, but "sack 'em all" is no good when there's no one to replace them with.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
We've been here before. but I'm going to do it again.
Here is the list of V Line Board and Executives.
Jennifer Dawson – Chair
Appointed 1 July 2015.
Jenny joined V/Line after 13 years working for the Victorian and Federal governments on regional development committees. She was the inaugural Chair of the Regional Development Australia committee for the Loddon Mallee region since it was formed in October 2009 by the Federal and State governments. Her role was complemented by her membership on the Victorian Government’s Regional Policy Advisory Committee until 2014.
Jenny holds a Bachelor of Accounting degree. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Craig Cook – Deputy Chair
Appointed 1 July 2015.

Craig currently is Chair of the Port of Hastings Development Authority and holds the position of director of VicSuper and VicSuper Ecosystem Services. He has expertise in governance and risk management and expertise in regional development issues.
Craig has 15 years of experience in both government and publicly-listed boards including the boards of Goulburn-Murray Water, Rural Finance Corporation and VicSuper. He holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from Monash University.
Gabrielle Bell – Director
Appointed 1 July 2015.

Gabrielle is a corporate lawyer with broad experience working in Australia and South East Asia. She is an experienced non-executive Director and is also currently serving on the boards of South East Water and InLife Independent Living Ltd.
Gabrielle specialises in general corporate advisory, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kay Macaulay – Director
Appointed 1 July 2015.

Kay worked for the Australian Industry Group for 28 years in various roles including Regional Manager. She was responsible for working with local businesses, educational institutions and government to ensure a collaborative approach to the delivery of projects.
Kay has extensive experience in community and stakeholder engagement and has developed strong networks with many organisations. Kay is a former member of the Central Highlands Area Consultative Committee and the University of Ballarat (Federation University) Council. She also sat on the inaugural Grampians Regional Development Australia committee. She has been a member of Rotary International through the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast for 16 years.
John Donovan – Director
Appointed 1 July 2015.

John is the Managing Director of AFM Investment Partners, a member of Trustee Australia’s managed funds compliance committee and a responsible manager of an Australian Financial Services Licence.
John is a former director of Gippsland Water and Adminpartners. He is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Senior Fellow of Finsia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Certified Practicing Marketer and Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute and an associate member of the Australasian Investor Relations Association. He holds a Master of Public Relations.
Rachel Thomson – Director
Appointed 1 July 2017.

Rachel has more than 20 years experience working in Australia and internationally in senior roles in risk management and insurance.
Rachel is currently a Non Executive Director of Central Highlands Water and her previous executive roles involved analysis of business strategy, financial performance, corporate governance processes and risk management of corporations in Australia and the United States.
Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Melbourne and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Executive Personnel

Jeroen Weimar - Chief Executive Officer

Albert Giorgini - Chief Financial Officer
Corporate and finance management, strategic and business planning.

Daniel Hoare - Executive General Manager Corporate Affairs
Responsible for Corporate Affairs functions including communications, media and stakeholder relations.

Rebecca Northeast - Company Secretary
Responsible for Board secretariat and governance.

Brendan Geary - Executive General Manager Enterprise Governance & Risk
Comprises contracts, legal, commercial, internal audit, corporate and compliance and franchise management groups.

Dean Matthews - Executive General Manager Health, Safety and Environment
Includes incident management, safe-working, risk and environment.

Elaine Seckold - Executive General Manager Human Resources
Includes recruitment, employee relations, learning and capability.

Carol-Anne Nelson - Chief Operating Officer
Responsible for the delivery of safe, reliable and punctual services to the people of regional Victoria.

The following roles report to the Chief Operating Officer:

Alex Panayi - Executive General Manager Asset Management
Responsible for managing assets across the network including infrastructure and rolling stock.

Paul D'Alessio - Executive General Manager Service Delivery
Incorporates the service delivery responsibilities of operations and network services.

Jonathan McKeown - Acting Executive General Manager Customer
Customer responsibilities including frontline staff and customer experience.

Colin Taylor - Executive General Manager Strategy and Program
Responsible for project management and delivery.



So the Minister resigns, and all the senior management lose their jobs.

The result is a power vacuum and even less corporate knowledge than we started with. It's emphatically not as simple as all that; change ultimately has to come from within. I'm not saying I have the answers, but "sack 'em all" is no good when there's no one to replace them with.
"potatoinmymouth"

Having read the list above, just who on that list knows one damn thing about running a railway system? Perhaps Weimar, but nobody else. It's not bloody corporate knowledge that we need; we've got heaps of it and the place is a fiasco. I cannot agree with the idea that we'd be worse off if the entire list was cleaned out and replaced with people who know how a railway works. Where on that list are the mechanical and civil engineering managers? Nowhere! Why? Because nobody knows nor cares whether it works or not. It would be nice to have a government with enough guts to clean V Line out and start with a fresh team, properly qualified in what a railway needs.
  Andrewdr Station Master

I know this is a new thread but I think it should be for the reasons below.

1. States the train to Mangatang has been re-routed to Swan Hill due to track being in poor condition.

2. We know BG grain has slowed to a crawl on the BG coming to Geelong.  Could track condition be the reason?  Vline strikes again?

3.  Is Maryborough Yard so cut back a faulty wagon cannot be cut out and left in a road at that location?

The Murray Basin Rail Project  The Project That Keeps on Giving
bevans
It was interesting to note an article on ABC News today that many eastern seaboard ports are having to re-invent themselves as IMPORTERS of grain. The prediction was that Geelong Port will be next. This is because grain is being shipped from WA and SA to meet the eastern states demand for stock feed, given the quarantine restrictions on importing grain with the potential to bring in diseases, etc. This may well have a marked impact on rail cartage patterns.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The Minister, as the person ultimately responsible, should resign but not before sacking her underlings responsible for the debacle that is freight rail in Victoria.

It's as simple as that. Crying or Very sad
So the Minister resigns, and all the senior management lose their jobs.

The result is a power vacuum and even less corporate knowledge than we started with. It's emphatically not as simple as all that; change ultimately has to come from within. I'm not saying I have the answers, but "sack 'em all" is no good when there's no one to replace them with.
potatoinmymouth
So there is no penalty upon anyone for incompetence and the monumental stuff up standardisation in particular and freight rail in general in Victoria faces.

Do we reward them with a promotion or a bonus or both?

Reminds me of my younger brother when something was broken at home:

'I didn't do it it just happened.'

Somebody, somewhere is responsible and that starts with the bloody Minister.

There are still competent people around within (ignored, no doubt) and without who have been 'Jeffed'.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Having read the list above, just who on that list knows one damn thing about running a railway system? Perhaps Weimar, but nobody else. It's not bloody corporate knowledge that we need; we've got heaps of it and the place is a fiasco. I cannot agree with the idea that we'd be worse off if the entire list was cleaned out and replaced with people who know how a railway works. Where on that list are the mechanical and civil engineering managers? Nowhere! Why? Because nobody knows nor cares whether it works or not. It would be nice to have a government with enough guts to clean V Line out and start with a fresh team, properly qualified in what a railway needs.
Valvegear
Agreed Valvegear. However, dismissing them doesn't provide us with competent people. I have no confidence that the minister (or a replacement) or anyone in PTV and V/Line knows what is required, and therefore qualified to select competent staff.
It seems that there isn't anyone with influence where it matters, that knows a brake handle from a dog spike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Having read the list above, just who on that list knows one damn thing about running a railway system? Perhaps Weimar, but nobody else. It's not bloody corporate knowledge that we need; we've got heaps of it and the place is a fiasco. I cannot agree with the idea that we'd be worse off if the entire list was cleaned out and replaced with people who know how a railway works. Where on that list are the mechanical and civil engineering managers? Nowhere! Why? Because nobody knows nor cares whether it works or not. It would be nice to have a government with enough guts to clean V Line out and start with a fresh team, properly qualified in what a railway needs.
Agreed Valvegear. However, dismissing them doesn't provide us with competent people. I have no confidence that the minister (or a replacement) or anyone in PTV and V/Line knows what is required, and therefore qualified to select competent staff.
It seems that there isn't anyone with influence where it matters, that knows a brake handle from a dog spike.
Lockspike
Well put Lockspike.

There are still competent and experienced rolling stock and track engineers around who do 'know a brake handle from a dog spike' but most are getting older, of course. Your post highlights, to me anyway, that there is now no one in government who recognises that we need people with the appropriate rail skills that politicians, bean counters, lawyers and MBAs don't have.

Basically, there are those who know that they don't know and there are those that don't know that they don't know. The latter are far more dangerous. Rolling Eyes

The trouble is we refuse to recognise that we need competent and experienced people probably because they would show up the geniuses who have been 'running' the show to date.

Another 100 Poms on 457 visas who have 2 months experience in each of their last 22 jobs should suffice ............aaarrrggghhhh. Sad

Don't get me wrong there are still good people in the rail industry but they seem to lack sufficient 'influence' with the egg heads.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I know this is a new thread but I think it should be for the reasons below.

1. States the train to Mangatang has been re-routed to Swan Hill due to track being in poor condition.

2. We know BG grain has slowed to a crawl on the BG coming to Geelong.  Could track condition be the reason?  Vline strikes again?

3.  Is Maryborough Yard so cut back a faulty wagon cannot be cut out and left in a road at that location?

The Murray Basin Rail Project  The Project That Keeps on Giving
bevans
And another RRA page of drivel masquerading as a Press release. The same people that posted a photo of an empty Grain Bunker at Charlton and complained that there is no rail siding beside it - yet there is an active (but of course it would not be active when there is no grain in the bunker to move out) siding beside the silos just out of their photo!!

Regarding point 2, has there been much grain on SG to Portland / Geelong / Appleton recently? I suspect not. Most grain of late does not seem to be going to Port, in fact it's headed up to NSW as feed due to the current drought.

How much grain is sitting in storage on the Manangatang and Sea Lake lines at present? It does not have to move to port immediately as the Ports have only so much storage in any case and if a ship doesn't take it they soon fill up. In fact grain only goes anywhere when the owners of the Storage facilities sell it to someone who wants to move it. That's not what the RRA is about of course.

By all means, have a go about the incomplete SG Maryborough yard (the only BG there now is the DG platform road), but that's been done over in the other threads anyway.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
If the yard now all SG is it accessible from the through DG road ?
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

I have not always been a fan of the works along that corridor, but it seems fair to make a few remarks.

The story starts with a defective wagon. Perhaps a pertinent question would be why the private operator allowed their wagon to fail? And would they provide some finance to Vline to build some sidings just in case one of their wagons was so defective that it had to be removed? I suspect that PN would have been quite relaxed about a wagon running at 25km/h for a distance; the extra costs they incurred due to their equipment failure are probably already calculated when they set their rates and contracts; the cost of doing business.

As a perspective, the Albury line is not blessed with spare sidings. A cripple road at Wallan (only good for one wagon), a few around Seymour (if available, they may be used by another operator). Violet Town is awkward, and only works if you are on the East line. Benalla might be available, but again if someone else is not already using it. Barnawartha is only for one operator. Then Albury yard. This is a track with around 12 freight and 10 passenger trains daily; the Mildura has only one.

Wouldn't everyone complain about gold-plating the job if they put in sidings everywhere just in case once in every few years a wagon failed and needed to be removed?

The Manangatang line is virtually out of use. Nothing to do with track conditions, simply that there have been no trains for months. The Mildura loading finished ages ago, and I doubt there has been any grain train up that way since (all the silos were cleaned out as the final Mildura trains ran). The grain crops up that way appear to have basically failed; the lucky farmers may get enough to have seeds for next year, most has been mowed down (too short even for hay), or sheep allowed in to get some benefit from the sorry grasses dying off from lack of water. Why should the government spend any money on the track, when there will be no revenue business for at least 12 months?

To run a passenger train along such a line, at woefully low speed, would not be pleasant for passengers or crew. Worse with the planned tender first running, Manangatang to Geelong. And the line would need money spent just on inspections (would the passengers pay a premium for that extra inspection?), never mind whatever other money needed to do spot repairs. You might run a risk of a grain train derailing at low speed, but you would not want a passenger train to, again extra cost for little return.

Yes, Maryborough yard remains a work in progress. That will eventually be returned to use, and life will be more convenient for the operators. Sadly, I expect that there won't be a lot of grain trains along this line either, as I expect their crops won't be much better than the Manangatang; will people then complain about how much was spent at Maryborough when they aren't running any grain trains?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Most grain isn't going for export this year.... that's why there haven't been any BG grain trains and very few SG grain trains that HAVENT gone to NSW.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Most grain isn't going for export this year.... that's why there haven't been any BG grain trains and very few SG grain trains that HAVENT gone to NSW.
speedemon08

I think the mods should delete this thread as it is obviously fake news.

If it were true then the resident RP curmudgeons would have nothing on which to vent their MOO upon.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Might as well throw my two bobs worth, in as well.

Dangersdan707
I know that according to Vlines Network operating data that the final Km's of the Manangatang line are limbited to 25kmph for all rolling stock and that Vline declared it 'unsafe for passenger trains'.


Wasn't this the case during the whole broad gauge fruity train, so nothing has changed.

And no wonder, if you look at a video by schony747, it shows a train traveling a more or less walking speed, also a couple of long shots of the line, there are more ripples in it, than a sheet of corrugated iron, but at the end of the day, it did the job, no de-railments.

bevans
It is again another example of the disgraceful state of the network under V/Line.  Budgets to V/Line have been increasing and any budgets provided for the maintenance of the BG network to Sea Lake and Manangtang were for those purposes and should not have been provided to fix SG conversion issues which are clear a different budget and programme.

What evidence is there, that this was the case ?

Valvegear, I understand where your coming from and I don't think the situation railway industry is in, is on it's own, but sadly this is just another case of how things operate these days, corporate NimbRods trying to run things they have zero knowledge of.

About 10 years ago the Mrs was one of the Big Controllers ( uni of ballarat ), running the nursing dept at the Horsham campes and the people who where her top dogs in Ballarat, would not know the difference between a Frontal lobotomy or Bottle in front of me, same went for lots of twits running hospitals, no industry experience at all, wouldn't know a cut throat from a pocket knife to a scalpel, but this is the system we are stuck with.  Rolling Eyes

YM-Mundrabilla
So there is no penalty upon anyone for incompetence and the monumental stuff up standardisation in particular and freight rail in general in Victoria faces.

Has there ever been any penalty's for politicians making monumental cock up of things, they either get the flick at the next election or just slide into another position to balls that up as well.

I'm not saying I reckon all the above is right or I agree with it, but it's just the system that we some how are stuck in and at the end of the day, a project is generally working how it was supposed too, that's about all you can hope for.

BigShunter.
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
It’s pretty disappointing that some of the posters don’t seem to be able to take an analytical eye to what they’re reading, and read behind the lines.

There are so many great quality posters in this forum — but, excessively partisan posts that ignore reality really drives down the quality of this forum, especially when it’s about a project with issues that’s been posted about ad nauseam.

It’s also silly that a new thread is started to complain about this project every two weeks. I’ve always loved reading these threads and found contributions from many people to be of an extremely high standard. This kind of drivel is just mind numbing though.

Can’t we just post the article in the original thread?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Re Maryborough, is the Moolort (Castlemaine) line available for defective BG wagons?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
freightgate - when I visited a month ago (Sept 17/18) there was no connection to the Maryborough yard at all at the Melbourne end and while points are in place at the Maryborough end all is not complete in the sidings, so I suspect that nothing apart from the DG main line is available. I doubt that things have changed since, but its always possible of course.

kitchgp - no, the Castlemaine line is severed (points removed) , and rails have been removed in a few places between there and Carisbrook.

See the link below.

https://flic.kr/s/aHsmrHn3Ap

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