RAA calls for urgent Eyre Peninsula roads fix, amid rail line closure

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 28 May 2019 13:24
  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
Why not send a bill to Viterra for the costs of the road trauma and the road damage and why can't the council prevent these trucks from using the roads.  The cost of road upgrades will be higher than the cost of rail use but maybe just maybe it is not about the rail use but more about the rail operator?

South Australia is sooo rustbelt they always get stuff backwards.  The government should be mandating the use of rail.

RAA calls for urgent Eyre Peninsula roads fix, amid rail line closure

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Councils would have veto over load limits on roads they maintain meaning large trucks would be banned from using the roads.  if the plan is to use a standard semi and single trailer then how could it be financially viable with those tonnages.  It also takes longer to unload 40 trucks than it would 40 wagons i would suggest?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

They are using triples to move the grain - three trailers.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
They are using triples to move the grain - three trailers.
duttonbay

And the council has agreed?
  Noelwb123 Station Staff

They are using triples to move the grain - three trailers.

And the council has agreed?
bevans
They have been using B Doubles and Triples for years. The trucks coming from the north use Liverpool Street
  Noelwb123 Station Staff

Most of my message went astray so I will try again.
Liverpool Street is the main retail street. B doubles and triples carrying grain use this all year. It is already a significant safety issue but the closure of the railway can only dramatically increase the danger. It is only a matter of time before someone backs out from Woolworths into the path of a B triple.
There will also be significant traffic congestion issues within the retail area. It is only a small area close to the silos. It won't take long to fill up with trucks.
Given that there has been virtually no local government or state government response to the closure it is unlikely that any significant road works will occur to alleviate the problem.
There will also be major traffic delays on roads throughout the peninsula. These are narrow roads without passing lanes. When people get frustrated driving they do stupid things and quite often innocent people get hurt or killed.
I know this sounds like the whines of a Gunzle but these are real issues and I would be saying the same if I didn't give a toss about trains.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Councils would have veto over load limits on roads they maintain meaning large trucks would be banned from using the roads.  if the plan is to use a standard semi and single trailer then how could it be financially viable with those tonnages.  It also takes longer to unload 40 trucks than it would 40 wagons i would suggest?
bevans
The roads from the Wudinna, Cummins and Rudall sites are State government maintained roads, not council roads.  Not so much from Kimba if they head straight south to Cleve first.   The road down to Cleve is most likely a council road, and the responsibility of the Kimba and Cleve councils.

Sealed roads are very expensive to maintain.   There have been examples where a sealed road has been torn up by a council because an unsealed road just needs a grader every so often, and a sealed road much more, particularly if the seal is just that, a layer of bitumen covered with fine gravel and rolled in.

In either case heavy vehicles do a lot of damage.

The money the government is finding to upgrade the roads would go a long way to upgrading rail, at least as far as Cummins.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Rail upgrades would have been a lot cheaper in the longer term and a lot better for the environment.  We are in this position because of GWA and their network management.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Rail upgrades would have been a lot cheaper in the longer term and a lot better for the environment.  We are in this position because of GWA and their network management.
bevans
No, Its because these assets were privatised this was bound to happen
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Rail upgrades would have been a lot cheaper in the longer term and a lot better for the environment.  We are in this position because of GWA and their network management.
No, Its because these assets were privatised this was bound to happen
Dangersdan707
Indeed. Had GWA spent lots of money on upgrades they would have needed to raise their rates, Viterra (or whoever was the owner of the silos, etc) would have gone looking for something cheaper, and this closure would have happened sooner.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Rail upgrades would have been a lot cheaper in the longer term and a lot better for the environment.  We are in this position because of GWA and their network management.
No, Its because these assets were privatised this was bound to happen
Indeed. Had GWA spent lots of money on upgrades they would have needed to raise their rates, Viterra (or whoever was the owner of the silos, etc) would have gone looking for something cheaper, and this closure would have happened sooner.
duttonbay
At the end of the day the customer calls the shots, of what they want to do (that's set out by the State Government's regulations)

Note 70% of grain was trucked to port (rail had a 30 % share)
  NG Sulzers Deputy Commissioner

Location: Quorn
The EP lines weren't in the best of condition when privatised, hence why privatisation occurred.
To make any public asset attractive for privatisation, maintenance is severely cut back, which actually misrepresents the true state of the asset. Can hardly blame GWA, they have been, and are doing track maintenance, with rate of deterioration outstripping efforts.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

G&W has owned the Eyre Peninsula network for 22-years, to suggest they haven't made a go of it is pretty harsh - Australian National owned it for only 19-years. With the exception of the gypsum traffic at the western end of the network, this has been a single commodity, single customer network for that entire period, and for an extended time before the G&W takeover.

Road trains and B-triples have been impacting the economics of moving bulk commodities in regional Australia for the best part of those two decades, and the death of the Eyre Peninsula network is just further evidence that in a static volume market, increasingly larger road vehicles will eventually erode the cost benefits for rail. If rail is to survive in these markets, it has to either find more volumes, or find more commodities and customers - something that is probably very difficult to do in many regions.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
My 2cents worth...

This quote from the Minister...my emphasis.

Transport Minister Stephan Knoll said the work could include overtaking lanes, road widening, shoulder sealing and other road safety improvements.

It looks bad for you guys over there. Sadly it's just the current downturn in the transport cycle...and in time, the errors of these decisions will be realised, the current players will have moved on and the rail resurrected to carry the bulk of the load again...sadly though, in the interim, there's likely to be serious casualties.

Mike.
  Noelwb123 Station Staff

There has [b]not been one[/b] detailed proposal tabled by either state or local government!
There has been a loose suggestion to convert the last 4km of the track into Port Lincoln into a truck lane[s] but GWA hold the lease on the track/land and appear to be in no hurry to relinquish it. Why would they without some sort of compensation?
In any event this would only alleviate the truck issues from the west for Port Lincoln. There is no obvious alternative route solution to the trucks coming from the north and there are plenty of other potential problems throughout the peninsula.
My belief is that there won't be a grain of sand turned on any proposal between here and the next harvest. If there is not a revolt and given that it's in one of the safest Liberal seats in the state that's unlikely, then nothing will be done and the state government will have saved a lot of money!
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
https://www.portlincolntimes.com.au/story/6210779/rail-crossing-signs-80-zone-to-remain/
Apparently signs are already going missing (souvenirs?)
Interesting that occasional loco movements are still expected. Is the upgraded maintenance facility not ready at the western end yet?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
This article, also from the Port Lincoln Times, highlights the difficulties arising on the Peninsula.

New grain plan needed for Eyre Peninsula.

(Fixed link)
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Rail upgrades would have been a lot cheaper in the longer term and a lot better for the environment.  We are in this position because of GWA and their network management.
bevans
Env wise, I'm not so sure. The trucks have modern clean engines, the same could not be said about the train engines.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The Eyre network has been a rust bucket railway for decades. Their aging fleet of locos's are what ever hand me downs they were given, rollingstock not much better and track maintenance just enough to keep the trains upright in some locations.  For the grain railway to survive it needs a major govt incentive and it didn't get it under ANR or SA ownership for a long long time. As others have posted it was down to transporting 30% of the grain harvested, so the trucking numbers will increase by 50%. I don't think we can blame GWA, they likely did the best they had with what they could.

Grain has been a struggle for other operations, with lines closing, some reopening, govt subsidises, hand me down rolling stock. One year the trains don't stop, the next year they are being parked up for months at a time due to drought, but the difference was the runs are longer and mostly using tracks funded by other operations. I hope in the future it can be revived, but not holding my breath and hope the Gypsum traffic has a longterm future.
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
This is one of the two projects that are currently underway that will likely result in fewer trucks on the Lincoln Hwy.

https://tports.com/lucky-bay/

The other is the Iron Road Project, Cape Hardy(South of Port Niell). While Iron Road's primary commodity will be Iron Ore there are also plans to export Grain out of there.

https://www.ironroadlimited.com.au/

Lucky Bay will solely be served by road, Cape Hardy will be able to see both rail(S/G) and road transport access it for Grain. Iron Road are said to be in discussions with both GWA and Liberty One Steel regarding their two Projects.

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