How complicated is changing gauge in Queensland and Western Australia?

 
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
There Has only been a handful of 3'6 lines converted to a bigger gauge in the country. Guess what (with the exceptions of Parts of the NAR and West of Kalgoorlie) gauge most of them were Razz

There is no need too guess when I mention this topic now is there?

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  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

There Has only been a handful of 3'6 lines converted to a bigger gauge in the country. Guess what (with the exceptions of Parts of the NAR and West of Kalgoorlie) gauge most of them were Razz

There is no need too guess when I mention this topic now is there?
Dangersdan707
They were 3'6" gauge
  allan Chief Commissioner

Some large blocks of the South Australian Railways were converted from Cape Gauge to Irish Gauge: the Western division in the 1920s (a little of this was narrowed to Stephenson's Gauge in the 1980s); and the South-East division in the 1950s.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

There Has only been a handful of 3'6 lines converted to a bigger gauge in the country. Guess what (with the exceptions of Parts of the NAR and West of Kalgoorlie) gauge most of them were Razz

There is no need too guess when I mention this topic now is there?
Dangersdan707


Just to note that the Midland to Kalgoorlie line (Eastern Goldfields Railway) was not gauge converted, but an entirely new alignment was built, and they both ran for a couple of years alongside each other (including multiple grade separated crossings of the two lines).

The dual gauging of the Narngulu to Tilley Junction line (via Mullewa) was partially new alignment (alongside the existing narrow gauge) south of Mullewa, and partially on original alignment (Narngulu to Mullewa). Only the narrow gauge rail has been laid, but all the sleepers are dual gauge.

Cheers,

Matt
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There Has only been a handful of 3'6 lines converted to a bigger gauge in the country. Guess what (with the exceptions of Parts of the NAR and West of Kalgoorlie) gauge most of them were Razz

There is no need too guess when I mention this topic now is there?
Dangersdan707
And guess what happened to most of them......?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The dual gauging of the Narngulu to Tilley Junction line (via Mullewa) was partially new alignment (alongside the existing narrow gauge) south of Mullewa, and partially on original alignment (Narngulu to Mullewa). Only the narrow gauge rail has been laid, but all the sleepers are dual gauge.
Bulbous

Am i correct then in understanding that from nearly Geraldton to Tilley could be gauge converted by moving the rail across, and that there is only about 50km of this line remaining down to Perenjori to convert to SG?

If yes, then that and the 94km of line from Iluka to Dongara is a small amount to do to avoid costly DG from Geraldton all the way down to Millendon (approx 450km).
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
There Has only been a handful of 3'6 lines converted to a bigger gauge in the country. Guess what (with the exceptions of Parts of the NAR and West of Kalgoorlie) gauge most of them were Razz

There is no need too guess when I mention this topic now is there?
And guess what happened to most of them......?
james.au
I will not say that word.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Am i correct then in understanding that from nearly Geraldton to Tilley could be gauge converted by moving the rail across, and that there is only about 50km of this line remaining down to Perenjori to convert to SG?

If yes, then that and the 94km of line from Iluka to Dongara is a small amount to do to avoid costly DG from Geraldton all the way down to Millendon (approx 450km).
james.au


The concrete sleepers just need the rail moved across (Geraldton Port to Tilley Junction, then out to Karara mine site), and the road crossings are already three railed through there. New sleepers/rail and partial alignment upgrades to Perenjori would take care of that line.

Eneabba (Iluka mineral sands plant) to Dongara hasn't had a train on it for nearly a decade now, with most of the sand being run up and down Brand Highway in compact triple road trains between Geraldton and Cataby or the south west mines.

There is a current push to open the DG/SG up from Millendon to Muchea, as most of the area just south of the Great Northern Highway/Northlink/Brand Highway interchange is to be opened up for logistics centres - including an intermodal yard for port shuttles.

Cheers,

Matt
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The concrete sleepers just need the rail moved across (Geraldton Port to Tilley Junction, then out to Karara mine site), and the road crossings are already three railed through there. New sleepers/rail and partial alignment upgrades to Perenjori would take care of that line.

Eneabba (Iluka mineral sands plant) to Dongara hasn't had a train on it for nearly a decade now, with most of the sand being run up and down Brand Highway in compact triple road trains between Geraldton and Cataby or the south west mines.

There is a current push to open the DG/SG up from Millendon to Muchea, as most of the area just south of the Great Northern Highway/Northlink/Brand Highway interchange is to be opened up for logistics centres - including an intermodal yard for port shuttles.
Bulbous
Awesome thanks for this info - we don't hear much from WA in these boards!!

Why is the Iluka freight carried by road?  The Cataby i can understand obviously (there is no rail) but what was the driver to road freight for Iluka??
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Awesome thanks for this info - we don't hear much from WA in these boards!!

Why is the Iluka freight carried by road?  The Cataby i can understand obviously (there is no rail) but what was the driver to road freight for Iluka??
james.au


Qube won the contract based on road transport, as well as road transporting the coal for the Narngulu Iluka plant from Collie (used to be railed). No lines south of Bunbury operational any more for loading the mineral sands from there, 16 tonne axle loading on the middle section of the Perth-Geraldton line limits locos and wagon weights available, PTA/Arc are telling everyone who will listen that adding even a single train to the southwest main will require dual tracking at the proponents cost, and Main Roads is telling everyone that their PBS 42m road trains are less damaging to road surfaces than other options available (mainly through fewer single-truck movements on the network, yet the axle groupings on a standard pocket road train are the most damaging there is on our road network).

The mighty WA freight network management shambles rolls along again.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
PTA/Arc are telling everyone who will listen that adding even a single train to the southwest main will require dual tracking at the proponents cost,
Bulbous
That is just a crazy commercial perspective.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Ummmmm...converting narrow gauge to standard gauge means replacing every sleeper, widening all formations, replacing most, if not all bridges and in the case of Queensland doing it under traffic with some lines carrying anywhere from 40 to 60 freight/coal trains per day. It is not simple, it is very expensive and with little chance of recouping costs through operational savings. You are looking at a minimum of $3-million per kilometre for conversion - in Queensland alone that would be a bill of about $30-billion.
Sulla1
But what about disruption, and my question concerns regauging large, interconnected networks and whether coverting from cape gauge to standard could be done section-by-section. As for sleeper replacement, widening foundation and replacing bridges, surely that would not all need to be done at once, and once done, dual gauge track is possible.

As far as converting from Irish gauge the works outlined above would not require any of the above works, just regauging as these tracks are built to the same axle loads and clearances as the standard gauge system.
br30453
But dual-gauge track between the Irish and English gauges is not always possible and three-rail dual gauge track between the two requires narrow-footed rails on the dual-gauge side, and this type of dual gauge track is limited to where the speed limit is not more than 80km/h. All of this may make it impossibly expensive to convert a large, interconnected network between these gauges.

Just a pipe dream of someone with some very strange substance in their pipe.
br30453
I'm not sure what this means, but I have had plenty of pipe dreams before, including one about tramway gauge.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Ummmmm...converting narrow gauge to standard gauge means replacing every sleeper, widening all formations, replacing most, if not all bridges and in the case of Queensland doing it under traffic with some lines carrying anywhere from 40 to 60 freight/coal trains per day. It is not simple, it is very expensive and with little chance of recouping costs through operational savings. You are looking at a minimum of $3-million per kilometre for conversion - in Queensland alone that would be a bill of about $30-billion.
But what about disruption, and my question concerns regauging large, interconnected networks and whether coverting from cape gauge to standard could be done section-by-section. As for sleeper replacement, widening foundation and replacing bridges, surely that would not all need to be done at once, and once done, dual gauge track is possible.

As far as converting from Irish gauge the works outlined above would not require any of the above works, just regauging as these tracks are built to the same axle loads and clearances as the standard gauge system.
But dual-gauge track between the Irish and English gauges is not always possible and three-rail dual gauge track between the two requires narrow-footed rails on the dual-gauge side, and this type of dual gauge track is limited to where the speed limit is not more than 80km/h. All of this may make it impossibly expensive to convert a large, interconnected network between these gauges.

Just a pipe dream of someone with some very strange substance in their pipe.
I'm not sure what this means, but I have had plenty of pipe dreams before, including one about tramway gauge.
Myrtone

In the end, no matter how overwhelming the economic advantages are for standard gauging, someone has to be convinced to pay for it. You will struggle to find any single state project in Australia where a state or the feds have stumped up $30-billion to improve transport integration. You will also find it hard to convince Aurizon, PN, BMA and Watco to pay for gauge converting 600 locomotives and 15,000-wagons. This is real money, not imagined "wouldn't it be great" money. The economic advantages of standardisation must meet and surpass the costs of doing so...and I don't think anyone in the industry, politics or bureaucracy will be convinced the improved movement of cross border freight flows is worth the effort and cost no matter who tries to spin the arguement.

And do I need to mention the handling of the Mildura project? What would happen to Queensland's economy if the failures and mishandling of Australia's most recent standardisation project manifested in the standardisation of the QR and Aurizon networks?  Several narrow gauge mainlines carry more tonnage in a week than what the Mildura line sees in a year.

There's 220-million tonnes of rail freight moved in Queensland each year that doesn't come anywhere near a border or standard gauge network and the industry won't be putting it at risk because someone doesn't like the tiny gauge that dozens of 13,000-tonne coal trains have to run on each day.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Just a pipe dream of someone with some very strange substance in their pipe.
I'm not sure what this means, but I have had plenty of pipe dreams before, including one about tramway gauge.
Myrtone
Myrtone, your said you were not sure what Br30453's very obvious remark meant. The 'very strange substance in their pipe' portion translates as a pipe dream thought up by someone whose brain is bonkers due to the influence of an illegal substance in that pipe. Google would have also told you that.

Put simply, as also noted very clearly by Sulla's follow up economic remarks, the gauge standardisation idea is economic stupidity. As noted, quite a bit of the heavy QLD rail freight on 1067mm gauge lines does not interact with the 1435mm gauge track to the southern states, so why put the country to the huge expense of converting that to 1435mm gauge as 1067mm gauge tracks copes with it.

By the way, the use of the term Cape gauge instead of 1067mm gauge marks the user very obviously as a non Queenslander as that term is not usually used by QLD based rail folk, thus identifying the user of that non QLD term as an outsider and often full of economic theory and lacking in local first hand practical knowledge of the real situation. That marks the user of cape gauge term as just one more southern 'know it all' trying to shove their non local theory down the throat of locals, and you know how that plays out in the hands of the local media and politicians!  

The use of the Narrow gauge term when referring to 1067mm gauge, is also telling Queenslanders you are an outsider and so get all the connotations of that outsider label. In QLD, narrow gauge refers to the 610mm sugar cane systems which also carry more tonnages than many 1435mm standard gauge lines. Google the sugar cane tonnages to check for your selves. Calling 1067mmm / 3ft6in gauge narrow once again plays out against you in the hand of the local media and politicians, especially if you want the locals to pay a substantial part of the gauge rebuilding costs!
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Ummmmm...converting narrow gauge to standard gauge means replacing every sleeper, widening all formations, replacing most, if not all bridges and in the case of Queensland doing it under traffic with some lines carrying anywhere from 40 to 60 freight/coal trains per day. It is not simple, it is very expensive and with little chance of recouping costs through operational savings. You are looking at a minimum of $3-million per kilometre for conversion - in Queensland alone that would be a bill of about $30-billion.
But what about disruption, and my question concerns regauging large, interconnected networks and whether coverting from cape gauge to standard could be done section-by-section. As for sleeper replacement, widening foundation and replacing bridges, surely that would not all need to be done at once, and once done, dual gauge track is possible.

As far as converting from Irish gauge the works outlined above would not require any of the above works, just regauging as these tracks are built to the same axle loads and clearances as the standard gauge system.
But dual-gauge track between the Irish and English gauges is not always possible and three-rail dual gauge track between the two requires narrow-footed rails on the dual-gauge side, and this type of dual gauge track is limited to where the speed limit is not more than 80km/h. All of this may make it impossibly expensive to convert a large, interconnected network between these gauges.

Myrtone
Yes, maybe Rural Victorian branch lines or similar in Qld for which there are very few that see a few trains a week with not RPT can be converted "a bit at a time", however lets talk reality.

The Qld NCL, has the busiest section of single track in Australia and overall the line is 1700km long. How do you propose to shut it down to complete a 100% sleeper change out and replacement of points without shutting down the line regularly for years. Only some of this traffic actual and potential would benefit from being converted to SG.

The MT Isa line, also very busy hauling mostly minerals to T'vile only. There is some traffic the originates from Brisbane, but unlikely any viable volumes from further south that would benefit or come anywhere near close enough to justify the disruption caused.

CQ coal +200mtpa, shares routes with other traffic including NCL at various locations. NONE of the coal heads anywhere but the port. The coal network quality of infrastructure is 2nd to maybe only the Pilbra and only maybe, Billions of $ in rolling stock, most of which is not suited to be converted.

Other traffic
CQ grain, only goes to CQ ports

Sugar, only goes to local ports

Cement and limestone trains, only go to the cement plant near by.

Sulfuric acid trains, only run on the Isa line.

Again most of the above rolling stock is not suited to conversion to SG or easy conversion.

Its just not worth it, CQ and FNQ traffic is mostly an island and what heads south is mostly to Brisbane. About 2 maybe 3 trains a day cross the border, maybe another train could be found if there was no break of gauge. You would be far better off to invest in more efficient change of gauge transfer at AR. Remember there was a time and I'm not sure if still teh case that PNQ NG operations operated out of a different terminal around 5km away from its PN SG operations.  

The Western line is the likely the only justification post Inland and this has been discussed in another thread.

While it would have been nice to see all states on the same gauge, its not going to happen.

SA is quickly loosing the last of its non SG trackage outside Adelaide apart from iron ore, so problem is solving itself.

Qld, Tas and WA operate mostly as islands on their NG tracks, so the benefit is limited and not worth the cost or disruption.

Vic is really the only state that should convert most its regional BG to SG and this is being done.


Others have stated other reasons why your proposal is dead, time to move on.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Okay, ignoring for the moment the South Western and Western lines, which may have a chance of standard gauging and have a chance of contributing to cross border agricultural trade, the only line in Queensland that contributes to exisiting cross border rail freight is the QR-owned North Coast Line. This line runs for 1680.9km between Brisbane's Roma Street and Cairns (with two sections owned by Aurizon - Parana to Rocklands and Durroburra to Kaili totalling around 110km) - it is around the same length as the $10-billion 1700km Inland Rail corridor.

It consists of 640km of electrified, ATP equipped, RCS controlled (CTC) mainline between Brisbane and Rockhampton, laid entirely on concrete sleepers using 50, 53 and 60kg rail, with operating speeds of 160km/h. There's 108 bridges between Nambour (northern end of the Brisbane Metropolitan Network) and Parana (south of Gladstone) and 45 crossing loops.

North of Rockhampton the line is ATP equipped, RCS controlled, laid on concrete sleepers using 50, 53 and 60kg rail, with operating speeds of 160km/h to Mackay, 140km/h between Mackay and Durroburra (Bowen), and 100km/h between Durroburra and Townsville. There's 246 bridges between Rockhampton and Townsville and 51 crossing loops.

North of Townsville the line is laid on concrete sleepers, 47kg and 53kg rail to Purono, and then steel sleepers, 41kg, 47kg, 50kg and 53kg rail north of there to Cairns. Top speed permitted is 80km/h, crossing 175 bridges, with a RCS to Purono and DTC (Direct Train Control - radio controlled blocks) from there to Cairns protecting 25 crossing loops.

Axle load on the QR owned sections is 20-tonnes and 26.5-tonnes on the Aurizon owned sections. With well over 100 crossing loops in place around half will need gauge conversion and extending - assuming train lengths double.

Intermodal tonnage is around 3-million tonnes per annum. The Aurizon owned sections carry 65-million tonnes (Rocklands to Parana) and 30-million tonnes (Durroburra to Kaili). Between Stuart and Townsville, the highest tonnage section of the QR-owned NCL, carries around 9-million tonnes.  

Now...what will it cost to standardise or dual gauge?

For starters a separate standard gauge corridor will be required to somehow traverse the Brisbane Metropolitan region and rail networks. Platforms and rail centre spacings will preclude using the existing multiple track corridors between the end of standard gauge at Roma Street to Beerburrum (65km) and advanced planning is underway for the duplication and additional platforms on the 39km section from Beerburrum to Nambour - without standard gauge spacings becoming an imperative immediately, this section will also be ruled out for dual gauge and a separate corridor will be required to Nambour. Use of the currently dual gauged Merivale Bridge crossing of the Brisbane River may also be precluded by suburban congestion. Overall, it is likely a new Brisbane River crossing, and a new corridor from that crossing to Nambour will be required - given that the 10.2km Cross River Rail project is priced at over $5-billion to go from one side of the river to the other, a 100km alternative rail freight corridor including a crossing of the Brisbane River and significant resumptions could escalate rapidly. $6-billion is a likely starting point, but could be much higher.

North of Nambour, and assuming the exisiting corridor is used to Parana, dual gauging and bridge replacements will be somewhere between $1.263-billion and $1.978-billion.

Between Parana and Rocklands, a separate 100km corridor will be required to avoid engineering impacts on the Aurizon corridor, costing around $500-million.

Rockhampton to Cairns will need somewhere between $3.12-billion and $4.888-billion. A separate 10km corridor between Durroburra and Kaili would be very likely too, at around $50-million.

Total cost - Somewhere between $10.883-billion (around the same as the Inland Rail) and $13.366-billion.

In addtition around 60 Aurizon and PN locomotives plus more than 1000 container, cattle and sugar wagons (all built since 1993) would need gauge conversion or replacement, most likely at a cost to the operator. QR would need to gauge convert or replace at least five tilt trains plus other interurban passenger rollingstock used north of Nambour - assuming that existing services are moved to standard gauge.
  Z VAN Locomotive Driver

Sulla 1, You have summed up the folly of a Queensland conversion.
Possible large parts of Western Australia maybe similar. I hope not.
I keep harping back to the Moura Short line when first proposed was to be Standard Gauge.
A missed opportunity as this was the start of the Modern Era of the Coal lines that would now make up at a guess forty percent of the non suburban system.
To change embedded infrastructure you only get a chance every one hundred years if you are lucky.
We missed that one so will there be another opportunity. Who knows?
Victoria I keep saying is easy.
If you engage Consultants to work it out because it is all to hard, what do you think their answer will be.
Yes you are right, it is very hard but for a large fee we can guide you.
A non rail story.
We could not gas free a vessel to allow welding. Much staring and more steaming until a phone call was made to Technical advice.
Fill the vessel with water and put a diver in.
Eventually steaming solved the problem however the part I liked was the thought process.
There is always an alternative and sometimes the alternative is simple.
Engineers always default to the hard complicated solutions. Ask a Kindergarten class, the answers will be many and simple and believe it some are practicle.
Back to Rail and let us see what Deloittes can come up with now to sort out the Murray Basin Project that has stalled.
I live in hope!
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
I may be easy to convert the rest of the standard gauge network to 1067mm gauge than to convert Qld.    


RAYMOND
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
I may be easy to convert the rest of the standard gauge network to 1067mm gauge than to convert Qld.    


RAYMOND
raymond
Over the last 25/30 years Queensland has been enlarging their structure gauge to be able to handle standard gauge rollingstock through bogie exchange, it has been an ongoing process with replacement bridges built to SG clearances and able to take heaver axle loads, the Townsville Mt Isa line is close to being a SG line in all but actual track gauge.  The main line north is seeing bridge replacements between Townsville and Cairns that are all being built to SG clerances.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
So why then isn't there dual gauge where the loading gauge has been enlarged, is it planned once the enlargement is complete?
  Mufreight Train Controller

Location: North Ipswich
So why then isn't there dual gauge where the loading gauge has been enlarged, is it planned once the enlargement is complete?
Myrtone
For the amount of interstate traffic bogie exchange would serve the foreseable future traffic and with the clerances sufficent for standard gauge rollingstock at progressively increased axle loads.
Intermodal traffic has made the need for gauge conversion less urgent, south western Queensland will be a whole new game once inland rail is commissioned.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

So why then isn't there dual gauge where the loading gauge has been enlarged, is it planned once the enlargement is complete?
Myrtone

Just in case you didn't read this yesterday - this is the answer - there is no State or Federal policy to standard gauge the Queensland Network, nor is there the money to do it. Without a Government policy there will be no planning to do it, and the statement below outlines why there is no policy...

Okay, ignoring for the moment the South Western and Western lines, which may have a chance of standard gauging and have a chance of contributing to cross border agricultural trade, the only line in Queensland that contributes to exisiting cross border rail freight is the QR-owned North Coast Line. This line runs for 1680.9km between Brisbane's Roma Street and Cairns (with two sections owned by Aurizon - Parana to Rocklands and Durroburra to Kaili totalling around 110km) - it is around the same length as the $10-billion 1700km Inland Rail corridor.

It consists of 640km of electrified, ATP equipped, RCS controlled (CTC) mainline between Brisbane and Rockhampton, laid entirely on concrete sleepers using 50, 53 and 60kg rail, with operating speeds of 160km/h. There's 108 bridges between Nambour (northern end of the Brisbane Metropolitan Network) and Parana (south of Gladstone) and 45 crossing loops.

North of Rockhampton the line is ATP equipped, RCS controlled, laid on concrete sleepers using 50, 53 and 60kg rail, with operating speeds of 160km/h to Mackay, 140km/h between Mackay and Durroburra (Bowen), and 100km/h between Durroburra and Townsville. There's 246 bridges between Rockhampton and Townsville and 51 crossing loops.

North of Townsville the line is laid on concrete sleepers, 47kg and 53kg rail to Purono, and then steel sleepers, 41kg, 47kg, 50kg and 53kg rail north of there to Cairns. Top speed permitted is 80km/h, crossing 175 bridges, with a RCS to Purono and DTC (Direct Train Control - radio controlled blocks) from there to Cairns protecting 25 crossing loops.

Axle load on the QR owned sections is 20-tonnes and 26.5-tonnes on the Aurizon owned sections. With well over 100 crossing loops in place around half will need gauge conversion and extending - assuming train lengths double.

Intermodal tonnage is around 3-million tonnes per annum. The Aurizon owned sections carry 65-million tonnes (Rocklands to Parana) and 30-million tonnes (Durroburra to Kaili). Between Stuart and Townsville, the highest tonnage section of the QR-owned NCL, carries around 9-million tonnes.  

Now...what will it cost to standardise or dual gauge?

For starters a separate standard gauge corridor will be required to somehow traverse the Brisbane Metropolitan region and rail networks. Platforms and rail centre spacings will preclude using the existing multiple track corridors between the end of standard gauge at Roma Street to Beerburrum (65km) and advanced planning is underway for the duplication and additional platforms on the 39km section from Beerburrum to Nambour - without standard gauge spacings becoming an imperative immediately, this section will also be ruled out for dual gauge and a separate corridor will be required to Nambour. Use of the currently dual gauged Merivale Bridge crossing of the Brisbane River may also be precluded by suburban congestion. Overall, it is likely a new Brisbane River crossing, and a new corridor from that crossing to Nambour will be required - given that the 10.2km Cross River Rail project is priced at over $5-billion to go from one side of the river to the other, a 100km alternative rail freight corridor including a crossing of the Brisbane River and significant resumptions could escalate rapidly. $6-billion is a likely starting point, but could be much higher.

North of Nambour, and assuming the exisiting corridor is used to Parana, dual gauging and bridge replacements will be somewhere between $1.263-billion and $1.978-billion.

Between Parana and Rocklands, a separate 100km corridor will be required to avoid engineering impacts on the Aurizon corridor, costing around $500-million.

Rockhampton to Cairns will need somewhere between $3.12-billion and $4.888-billion. A separate 10km corridor between Durroburra and Kaili would be very likely too, at around $50-million.

Total cost - Somewhere between $10.883-billion (around the same as the Inland Rail) and $13.366-billion.

In addtition around 60 Aurizon and PN locomotives plus more than 1000 container, cattle and sugar wagons (all built since 1993) would need gauge conversion or replacement, most likely at a cost to the operator. QR would need to gauge convert or replace at least five tilt trains plus other interurban passenger rollingstock used north of Nambour - assuming that existing services are moved to standard gauge.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
So why then isn't there dual gauge where the loading gauge has been enlarged, is it planned once the enlargement is complete?

Just in case you didn't read this yesterday - this is the answer - there is no State or Federal policy to standard gauge the Queensland Network, nor is there the money to do it. Without a Government policy there will be no planning to do it, and the statement below outlines why there is no policy...
....... is the QR-owned North Coast Line. This line runs for 1680.9km between Brisbane's Roma Street and Cairns (with two sections owned by Aurizon - Parana to Rocklands and Durroburra to Kaili totalling around 110km) - it is around the same length as the $10-billion 1700km Inland Rail corridor.
Sulla1
Myrtone, in particular look at the length of the North Coast line between Brisbane and Cairns and that is all within QLD and nicely handled by QR's 1067mm gauge line. Just in case you still haven't got Sulla's point that Brisbane Cairns is similar to the Inland Rail Corridor between Victoria and QLD, then consider this; Brisbane to Cairns by Boeing jetliner is about two hours for the 1394kms in a straight line and Brisbane to Melbourne in a Boeing is also about 2 hours for 1424kms in a straight line, remembering the distance to Melbourne has to cross over NSW as well, just to highlight the Brisbane Cairns route does not cross any state border. So Melbourne Railpage readers are the same distance from Brisbane as the people in Cairns are from Brisbane. That is why Sulla can rightly point out that Brisbane to Cairns is around the same length as the $10-billion 1700km Inland Rail corridor.

Brisbane to Sydney by airliner is 777km in a straight line, and Townsville to Mt Isa in a straight line is 780km, so same as Brisbane to Sydney, with that comparative distance noted just in case some pipe dreamer wants to spend a few billion $$ regauging Townsville Mt Isa. That same 780km heading north from Brisbane in a straight line only gets you to the Hay Point coal loader, just south of Mackey, with all the rest of the distance to Cairns still to go before you equal the Inland Rail Corridor. But Melbourne to Albury in a straight line is only 260km and Melbourne to Serviceton near the western border is 388km in a straight line measure by Google Earth.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
So why then isn't there dual gauge where the loading gauge has been enlarged, is it planned once the enlargement is complete?
Myrtone
Myrtone, it is starting to seem that you have this fixation / obsession that standard gauge is the only rail gauge worthy of usage and don't seem to understand that QLD quite successfully hauls huge tonnages, including coal traffic, over 1067mm gauge tracks. I know down in Victoria it was worth converting the Albury line to standard gauge in the early 1960s and the line to Adelaide in the 1990s, but that was to allow through traffic. On the other hand, the same notion of through interstate traffic is not needed here in QLD, as through traffic generally travels via containers which are relatively cheaply swapped between rail gauges as needed. Time to move on and understand real world economic and engineering factors.
  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Myrtone, come up and visit our state. Drive from Brisbane to Cairns. Look at the regional cities and ports and look at the freight flow.

Enjoy the freight flow that travel to all those ports.

That might answer, what you have ignored from Sulla, RTT and Petan.

Stop trying to ask why they don't simply put in gauge convertible sleepers or dual rail it. If they did those sleepers would changed out multiple times before they see a standard gauge train on it.

It won't happen. The only chance to see any new standard gauge is the linkage of the inland rail. It wont be over existing narrow gauge.

Even the Adani (yes the toxic topic for southerners) dropped standard gauge idea. Maybe GVHK invests in standard gauge we might see some new track, but it will operate independently of the Qld network, but I would be suprised if they would invest in duplicating infrastructure on a rail system.


The Qld system is not a toy system that is badly needing standard gauge. Like all systems in this country, money is better spent on realignment.

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