Glenelg Mayor Anita Rank elected deputy chair of the Rail Freight Alliance

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 26 Feb 2019 16:15
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
More pressure being applied to the Andrew's Government over rail freight, this time in the shire of Glenelg.  Could this be the beginning of a push to reopen the line to Mount Gambier and a start to move millions of tonnes of freight from road to rail?  Let's hope so.

Intermodal terminal at Portland North, this has gone quiet.

Glenelg Mayor Anita Rank elected deputy chair of the Rail Freight Alliance

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  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Clearly a smart woman, I assume she has some sort of inside knowledge on what the Port or Portland is planning to do to expand it's facilities in order to rival the Port of Geelong should this get up?

We have heard from a few RP posters about the capacity constraints within the Port itself and how hard they would be to remedy due to terrain and other issues.

Al power to them though, hope they get it happening and then I hope that someone actually makes use of the line!

BG
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Agree BG, Anita has her fingers in a few pies in the Portland area and has been the Mayor for 2 years, she has been spot on with her figures, as in axle loading, so yes she is either in the know or has some spot on advisers, great start, well done.

I don't want to pour cold water on anything, here, although she is right, on increasing the axle load to 23 tonne, but for what ? The first half of last year was very handy in the grain dept, but otherwise F/A goes by train to the Port. Having said that, if a train of grain does head off there, it might as well be a decent one.

As for the Port it's self, perhaps a major overhaul of the whole joint, would be the order of the day and the stinking wood chips that are trucked in, if this could be captured on the rail sector, well BOOM, but same as a grain loop, it's ( the port it's self ) is in a Prick of a spot, to be able to do anything.

Then, I suppose, there is the Phantom Mineral Sands job ( still got a days boozing on BG up my sleeve ) if that comes into fruition, big plus.

So plenty of scope for improvement, best of luck to Anita, the Port and for Portland, have a Red Hot crack.

BigShunter.
  Bethungra Train Controller

I hope she can make waves in the government for better freight into and out of the area.
  ADB Junior Train Controller

As for the Port it's self, perhaps a major overhaul of the whole joint, would be the order of the day and the stinking wood chips that are trucked in, if this could be captured on the rail sector, well BOOM....

BigShunter
I'm sure I've read while cruising the RP archives that the woodchip trucks to Port are are so constant they are severely deteriorating the Glenelg(?) Hwy, and making driving on it a nightmare for other motorists, so getting that traffic on rail would be a big win all 'round.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bored at home
@BigShunter @ADB - woodchips, woodchips, and still more woodchips.

Like it or not (and many locals are not), they are the lifeblood of the port.

Chips and logs on a train will never (which i do not say lightly) be a substantial proposition.

Its pretty simple, wood is cut down and trucked out from the middle of the forest. The loading point is constantly moving.
Trains are a fixed position somewhere many km away, Never the twain can meet.

cheers
John
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
As for the Port it's self, perhaps a major overhaul of the whole joint, would be the order of the day and the stinking wood chips that are trucked in, if this could be captured on the rail sector, well BOOM....
I'm sure I've read while cruising the RP archives that the woodchip trucks to Port are are so constant they are severely deteriorating the Glenelg(?) Hwy, and making driving on it a nightmare for other motorists, so getting that traffic on rail would be a big win all 'round.
ADB

The Princes Hwy between Mt Gambier and Heywood in long lengths is a chronic goat track, constantly under repair and often reduced in part to one lane.

Mike.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
As for the Port it's self, perhaps a major overhaul of the whole joint, would be the order of the day and the stinking wood chips that are trucked in, if this could be captured on the rail sector, well BOOM....
I'm sure I've read while cruising the RP archives that the woodchip trucks to Port are are so constant they are severely deteriorating the Glenelg(?) Hwy, and making driving on it a nightmare for other motorists, so getting that traffic on rail would be a big win all 'round.
ADB
Correct, you would nearly say, all roads leading to Portland are fairly ordinary and have been for close to 15 years, mineral sands from Hopetoun ( not any more ), logs from everywhere, a couple of years ago we stayed in the caravan park, at Heywood and conga line of trucks would be the description, but as justarider says, thats the life blood of the Port and the bit of grain that comes through, christmas party cash.

The whole South West is prone to having log trucks, careering along roads, a while back there was a stream of them from SA  through Cavendish to Geetroit.

I guess that is just another part of living in a particular location, probably closer to Warrnambool, you would have tonnes of Milk Tankers from all the dairies.

BigShunter.
  ADB Junior Train Controller

@BigShunter @ADB - woodchips, woodchips, and still more woodchips.

The loading point is constantly moving.
Trains are a fixed position somewhere many km away, Never the twain can meet.

cheers
John
justarider

But couldn't you say the same for grain? I.e. trucks take the grain from farms to silo, for loading on a train. Why would "double-handling" be a problem for woodchips, but not grain?
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
One reason could be that the grain is hauled by the farmers to the silo/bunkers owned by a grain company, usually a short distance.  It then becomes cheaper for the grain companies to use rail for the longer distances to port.
Grain has to be double handled, but woodchips go from the forest the shorter distance to port in one move.
Some farmers do truck their harvest to port, but they have to employ someone to drive the truck and might get 2 loads a day done.   Compared to short trips to the silos to get the harvest done quickly.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Woodchip traffic is normally double handled when it goes entirely by truck to the port.
Logs are carted to a central chipping point.
(Often located on an unused railway)
Then the chips are carted to the port.
This longer distance is highly suited to rail.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The management team behind the woodchip plantations in SA and I meet several years ago.  They at the meeting agreed that rail was their preferred option for the task of getting the massive volumes to the Port of Portland.  They did not have a positive view of the transport minister and as such really did not have a lot of support on the rail option.

The rail option included loading on the line from Mount Gambier to Bordertown.  The loading was to be fixed location with sidings to be built.

Rail was preferred and stymied.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Woodchip traffic is normally double handled when it goes entirely by truck to the port.
Logs are carted to a central chipping point.
(Often located on an unused railway)

Then the chips are carted to the port.
This longer distance is highly suited to rail.
Rodo
Interesting points, Rodo, as it turns out, the chipping plant that supplies the chips to Portland, is located within spitting distance of the line to Portland, but with a tail wind and a 2 wood, you could hit a golf ball to Portland and so I guess that's why it's trucked to the Port.



There must be several chipping plants over in the South East of S.A.

BigShunter.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
There are chipping plants located north of Mount Gambiae. Kalangado springs to mind.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bored at home
Woodchip traffic is normally double handled when it goes entirely by truck to the port.
Logs are carted to a central chipping point.
(Often located on an unused railway)

Then the chips are carted to the port.
This longer distance is highly suited to rail.
Interesting points, Rodo, as it turns out, the chipping plant that supplies the chips to Portland, is located within spitting distance of the line to Portland, but with a tail wind and a 2 wood, you could hit a golf ball to Portland and so I guess that's why it's trucked to the Port.

There must be several chipping plants over in the South East of S.A.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Yep chippers all over the countryside.

The one at Myamyn is clearly the biggest and the reasons why not using the rail is hidden behind a pay wall. Others may know the full story
https://www.spec.com.au/2016/04/rail-no-good-woodchips/

SWF also have planning permission to upgrade the siding for loading logs. The "plan" is to send them to Geelong for more chips.  https://fridayoffcuts.com/dsp_article.cfm?id=342&aid=3118
Apparently no progress on this.

The others chippers have no hope of rail unless the Heywood line miraculously re-opens.

Logs are another story. Those that don't end up in chippers are trucked direct from the saw to storage yard at the Port.
Ironically the biggest log storage is a re-purposed part of the rail yards.

cheers
John
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Woodchip traffic is normally double handled when it goes entirely by truck to the port.
Logs are carted to a central chipping point.
Rodo
Not always. There's a fleet of mobile chippers that visit the hardwood plantations.

Rick
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

At the port end. Gives an idea of the volume.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncf_8eMHyIY
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In terms of the rail freight alliance, what actual rail projects have they been able to influence and make happen?
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
In terms of the rail freight alliance, what actual rail projects have they been able to influence and make happen?
bevans
None.

Rick

Ps.Cr Rank’s main focus seems to be getting preselected for a State or Federal seat. I don’t think she cares what party. Most of the conservative ones have overlooked her. Clive may give her a go.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Woodchip traffic is normally double handled when it goes entirely by truck to the port.
Logs are carted to a central chipping point.
Not always. There's a fleet of mobile chippers that visit the hardwood plantations.

Rick
RustyRick
There are a lot of semi trailers around Portland that are ether and old box trailer or a 40' container, they have a hole cut In the upper part of one of the rear doors where a mobile chipper pocks It's blower snout In to fill the trailer up with chips.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
In terms of the rail freight alliance, what actual rail projects have they been able to influence and make happen?
None.

Rick

Ps.Cr Rank’s main focus seems to be getting preselected for a State or Federal seat. I don’t think she cares what party. Most of the conservative ones have overlooked her. Clive may give her a go.
RustyRick

So effective really is the group or should be start to question the motives of the DOI who obviously do not like investing in freight rail.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
So effective really is the group or should be start to question the motives of the DOI who obviously do not like investing in freight rail.
bevans
Re post in English please

BG
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks BG, was multitasking.

Is this really the fault of the group or is it more squarely at the feet of the DOI who are not known for supporting rail freight projects?
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Thanks BG, was multitasking.

Is this really the fault of the group or is it more squarely at the feet of the DOI who are not known for supporting rail freight projects?
bevans
It's a worthwhile goal, but whether it has any impact is another thing.

The Council did a campaign to embarrass the State Government into increasing road maintenance funding to the SW. It worked to a degree, but I don't think rail will be successful without businesses putting up their hands for better rail access. Passenger rail to Portland - forget it.

Rick
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Re logs and Portland, i suspect one of the issues is basic economics, which is the same regardless of whether it is logs or grain.

The majority of these plantations are less than 150km from the port, if I have my geography right, which is well within the generally accepted road efficient distance to port.  Looking at grain catchments in SA, you see the same thing - its cheaper to road it for short distances.

Yes there are examples of shorter distance trains, but these are usually port shuttles (dealing with congestion) or bulk single point commodities (eg the Kilmore quarry train) and so I can see why trucks are the preferred for the area.

IMO road user charging would perhaps be a good thing in terms of ensuring those who use the roads pay for them but even in this area I don't think it would impact the mode choice to any degree.

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