Murray Basin standardisation

 
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Maryborough-Gheringhap to DG/SG done next at least gives more pathing options for Mildura and a quicker run South regardless of whether Sea Lake and Manangatang are converted.

Anyway, on the topic of mineral sands - weren't Iluka about to start mining near Balranald?  A shame the Robinvale line has been left to rot.

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Robinvale has a collection of trucking yards which could benefit from rail access serving a lot of food and produce export in the area.

This line conversion has not been thought through.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And in other developments.......


A SELL-OFF of Victoria’s regional freight rail network to a federal agency has been floated amid preparations for long-term lease negotiations.

The Australian Rail Track Corporation currently operates the interstate freight railway lines that run through Victoria, and is negotiating with the state government for a new 99-year lease. The Herald Sun understands Victorian bureaucrats have considered putting control of the state’s other standard gauge freight lines — including the problem-plagued Murray Basin rail corridor — on the table in discussions with the ARTC.

The Mildura line, the Maryborough to Ararat line and the Rainbow-Dimboola line were also considered. While there are no immediate plans to sell off the lines, it is believed some work has been done internally to determine their value and condition.

It was revealed last week that the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project had run out of funding, and that work to upgrade the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines would be delayed because urgent repairs were needed first.

Negotiations for a new long-term lease of Victoria’s interstate freight lines — from Melbourne to Albury and Melbourne to Adelaide — are expected to take up to 18 months as part of the Commonwealth’s Inland Rail project.

“The government has agreed with the Commonwealth to undertake these negotiations, which are in the very early stages,” a state government spokeswoman said. Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis said the government had “comprehensively botched the management of our country freight lines” in recent years.

“Through all that time it failed to maintain or neglected Victoria’s regional freight lines, including our standard gauge lines. They have run them into the ground,” he said. “If these are flogged or surrendered, we won’t see Victorian public control of these assets again in our lifetime.”

Asked whether the ARTC would consider leasing other Victorian freight lines, corporate affairs manager Bas Bolyn said: “There are no formal discussions on this matter and no proposals are currently being considered.

“ARTC has a strong track record of effectively managing and operating rail networks across Australia. “We have an interest in ensuring that we grow rail’s market share in Australia and regularly have conversations with industry, government and other interested parties around how that might be achieved.”
Herald Sun
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis said the government had “comprehensively botched the management of our country freight lines” in recent years.

“Through all that time it failed to maintain or neglected Victoria’s regional freight lines, including our standard gauge lines. They have run them into the ground,” he said. “If these are flogged or surrendered, we won’t see Victorian public control of these assets again in our lifetime.”

A bit rich from David Davis, as usual. The LNP was in government for 4 of the last 10 years and was in government up to just 2 years before the MBRP started.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
Opposition transport infrastructure spokesman David Davis said the government had “comprehensively botched the management of our country freight lines” in recent years.

“Through all that time it failed to maintain or neglected Victoria’s regional freight lines, including our standard gauge lines. They have run them into the ground,” he said. “If these are flogged or surrendered, we won’t see Victorian public control of these assets again in our lifetime.”

A bit rich from David Davis, as usual. The LNP was in government for 4 of the last 10 years and was in government up to just 2 years before the MBRP started.
kitchgp
From the statements of his that I have read or heard, I don't consider him to have any credibility.
  richter170 Locomotive Driver

One good thing about the MBRP is that the order of implementation was well thought out. The project, once started, has to be finished and in the planned order, ie Sea Lake & Manangatang gauge-converted and at the same time or later Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap SG.

The longer Sea Lake & Manangatang remain BG the more it will delay SG Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, meaning Mildura & Murrayville continue via Ararat. When Sea Lake & Manangatang are converted, all traffic will be via Ararat, until Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap is converted.

In order to keep Sea Lake & Manangatang BG and provide a SG path Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, you would have to DG Maryborough – Ballarat (see below). If it was acceptable for Sea Lake & Manangatang freights to share the Ballarat RFR via Ballan, then Ballarat – Gheringhap could be SG only. BG freights to Geelong would incur an extra 80 km or so over the more direct Gheringhap route. If it is not acceptable, then Ballarat – Gheringhap would have to be DG. The DG, and its associated extra cost, would become redundant (apart from a few BG fan trips and service movements) once Sea Lake & Manangatang go SG.

Gauge-converting Manangatang and leaving Sea Lake BG would require DG Korong Vale – Inglewood, then
For BG, either:
DG at least as far as Ballarat (some existing); then some sort of BG path as discussed above;
or
reactivating Inglewood – Eaglehawk, which, apart from the cost, would mean additional freight trains on the Bendigo RFR.
For SG:
If Inglewood – Eaglehawk not activated, DG Inglewood – Dunolly, otherwise SG; then follow whatever Mildura & Murrayville are doing.

Long-term DG Ballarat – Maryborough is a separate issue and is for BG VLocity passenger services, although it could be part of the short-term solutions discussed above. Whether the cost is justified or a SG shuttle service used instead is open to debate. (A SG shuttle fits in with the proposed return of passenger services to Horsham and Hamilton.) Also, at the moment there is an 80 km/h limit on BG when using DG, which doesn’t affect freight but would mean a reduction for the 100 km/h passenger service.

Using Maryborough – Ballarat – Nth Geelong SG as the primary route keeps freight separated from passenger, apart from the up to 4 x daily Ballarat – Maryborough (Clunes Booktown Festival notwithstanding) and 4 x weekly GSR Melbourne – Adelaide passenger movements. Future Ballarat – Geelong and extension of Ballarat - Maryborough passenger services could easily be accommodated.

Ballarat to Geelong is no longer in use to do the North Geelong C box upgrade to ARTC/Centrol.

If a broad gauge train is to use North Geelong 'C' a flagman must be in attendance to hand signal each train movement. STOP boards are located at North Shore so trains are not put on the Ballarat line track by mistake.

This is why most SSR grain trains have been using Bacchus Marsh at night. The first and only train this year was the steam to Ballarat a few weeks ago.

It would be in Pacific Nationals best interest to gauge convert this and Balllarat - Marybourgh next. This would save the extra KM's required going via Ararat.

Richter170.
kitchgp
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Maryborough-Gheringhap to DG/SG done next at least gives more pathing options for Mildura and a quicker run South regardless of whether Sea Lake and Manangatang are converted.

………………………………
Carnot

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

It would be in Pacific Nationals best interest to gauge convert this and Ballarat - Marybourgh next. This would save the extra KM's required going via Ararat.
Richter170

……………………………………………………………………..

In order to keep Sea Lake & Manangatang BG and provide a SG path Maryborough – Ballarat – Gheringhap, you would have to DG Maryborough – Ballarat (see below). If it was acceptable for Sea Lake & Manangatang freights to share the Ballarat RFR via Ballan, then Ballarat – Gheringhap could be SG only. BG freights to Geelong would incur an extra 80 km or so over the more direct Gheringhap route. If it is not acceptable, then Ballarat – Gheringhap would have to be DG. The DG, and its associated extra cost, would become redundant (apart from a few BG fan trips and service movements) once Sea Lake & Manangatang go SG.

…………………………………………………………….
kitchgp

PS: Also, not gauge-converting Sea lake & Manangatang denies them access to the wider SG network, which was one of the goals of the project.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

In what I would describe as a fairly bewildering development, a further 22 metres (yes, I wrote the correct unit) of track at Murrayville will be converted and booked back into service. I would assume an operator has requested additional headshunt length for run around – the question is who, and for what traffic?
  ed31880 Train Controller

In what I would describe as a fairly bewildering development, a further 22 metres (yes, I wrote the correct unit) of track at Murrayville will be converted and booked back into service. I would assume an operator has requested additional headshunt length for run around – the question is who, and for what traffic?
potatoinmymouth
well there goes another million dollars
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Interesting juxtaposition of photos at Corio on VicSig’s latest photos:

BG P17-P18 hauling a 6-car Xtrapolis to Ballarat (short way).
SG G519-XR558-X48 with 7902V up Mildura freight at Corio from Ararat (long way).

https://vicsig.net/photos/latestphotos
(17th July 2019, may be page 2 or 3 by the time this link is clicked.)
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
Interesting juxtaposition of photos at Corio on VicSig’s latest photos:

BG P17-P18 hauling a 6-car Xtrapolis to Ballarat (short way).
SG G519-XR558-X48 with 7902V up Mildura freight at Corio from Ararat (long way).

https://vicsig.net/photos/latestphotos
(17th July 2019, may be page 2 or 3 by the time this link is clicked.)
kitchgp
Permanent links:
https://vicsig.net/photo/23412
https://vicsig.net/photo/23411

Off topic for this thread, but P17-P18 have been quite busy over the last week transferring Xtraps. That would be the third 6-car set in a fortnight or so that I know of.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Maryborough-Gheringhap to DG/SG done next at least gives more pathing options for Mildura and a quicker run South regardless of whether Sea Lake and Manangatang are converted.

Anyway, on the topic of mineral sands - weren't Iluka about to start mining near Balranald?  A shame the Robinvale line has been left to rot.
Carnot

There is a lot of export containers at Robinvale and one such company who operates there with a lot of containers is Pickerings whose loading is being sent on the new ultima trains.  Pickerings could be loading at Robinvale. Smile
  cbinyon Train Controller

Location: London, England
Maryborough-Gheringhap to DG/SG done next at least gives more pathing options for Mildura and a quicker run South regardless of whether Sea Lake and Manangatang are converted.

Anyway, on the topic of mineral sands - weren't Iluka about to start mining near Balranald?  A shame the Robinvale line has been left to rot.

There is a lot of export containers at Robinvale and one such company who operates there with a lot of containers is Pickerings whose loading is being sent on the new ultima trains.  Pickerings could be loading at Robinvale. Smile
bevans
With the prospect of a better than average harvest in Vic & 20% increase nationally compared to last year from latest ABRES report, can we expect PN to do another short term BG agreement? Or will SSR fill the void and maybe start an export (40 wagon rake) train? QUBE could possibly jump back into BG as they still have their BG rake stored. Manangatang line has just recieved crucial maintenance & Sea Lake was serviced by SSR just the other day. I hope something comes of it come harvest time.
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I am hearing that they are planning on installing some Monuments to the Murray Basin Project next Monday 29th of July 2019. They will be placed trackside between the Western Hwy and East Ararat Jct..
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If true, what a joke.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

May I suggest they mount the cabin of a recently scrapped PN BG loco on a pole as the said monument.
  Bonzel Locomotive Fireman

May I suggest they mount the cabin of a recently scrapped PN BG loco on a pole as the said monument.
Carnot
They are to do with track monitoring , you see them all over the place.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Another first as a result of the MBRP today...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX4_xQvxD5o&feature=youtu.be
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Lovely video.  Would this be a first for the 800 class on the line?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Lovely video.  Would this be a first for the 800 class on the line?
bevans
830's traveled via Ouyen when the Mainline was being converted to Sg in the 90s and there were a few on the Ballast trains during works on the Ararat to Maryborough.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
As DD commented, 830's ran from Tailem Bend to Ouyen in 1995, though 852 also appeared on the Avoca line ballast when it first ran off the Avoca line and up as far as Emu Loop to allow PN's 8110 through to Yelta.

8044 was involved that day too...



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3U3K0us1yc&feature=youtu.be
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
First QUBE on the line too?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
First QUBE on the line too?
james.au

Was it Qube or SSR who worked the plant trains?
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
QUBE were the first with the works trains on the Avoca line, PN were the first for revenue freight followed by SSR and now QUBE.

Each operators' first revenue train on the SG Mildura line:

PN on the 17/2/18-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPoimuooRPQ&feature=youtu.be

SSR on the 24/6/18-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXae_fhEz00&feature=youtu.be

QUBE on the 27/5/19-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9C6XdidUWqc&feature=youtu.be

Funnily enough, each operator's first was a grain to Birchip AWB...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Have SSR run much at all on the new SG line?

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