Water trains from Richmond?

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The mayor of the Richmond Regional Council had offered up to four megalitres of water per day to the drought effected Stanthorpe region. He's proposing rail as the best solution, with around two forty wagon trains per day needed to move those quantities of water.

However with a 2000km rail haul using QR's Mt Isa, North Coast, Western and Southern lines to reach Stanthorpe, cost will be a major issue requiring State or Federal funding assistance. Aurizon most likely retains sufficient container wagon and crew capacity to actually make this proposal logistically possible, as unlikely as the offer seems.

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
At a 15.5 tonne axle load, that'd work out to 95 tankers a day, based on a 20-tonne tare weight. Do QR have that much capacity in terms of motive power and route-qualified crews for that corridor?
  5915 Chief Commissioner

Probably better off to shuttle 1 meg a day in 2 sets (12 x 48,000L) from Toowoomba.  Toowoomba supply is augmented by the Wivenhoe pipeline.  Number of sets required to deliver same from Richmond would be quadrupled at least.
Just need mains supply accessible at Willowburn or alternatively Harristown.

5915
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Queensland Government would be best fund this for the communities it is actually in power to support.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

At a 15.5 tonne axle load, that'd work out to 95 tankers a day, based on a 20-tonne tare weight. Do QR have that much capacity in terms of motive power and route-qualified crews for that corridor?
KRviator

Aurizon has spare crew and locomotive capacity at Willowburn (Toowoomba) due to falling coal demand on the West Moreton system to handle an upswing in the south, while the Mt Isa Line and North Coast Line should have crew and locomotive capacity as the cattle season winds down and GrainCorp contract ends. Aurizon has several sets of container wagons stored between Ayr and Gympie at the moment that could be used, plus the cattle sets could have their crates removed and used to carry tanktainers as well. Using two-TEU wagons, 47-wagon sets could be run throughout between Richmond and Stanthorpe. It is almost certainly doable, just a matter of someone funding it.

As stated earlier, running trains out of Toowoomaba would be a more sensible solution.

Currently advanced planning is underway to move 1.6-megalitres in 45 semi-trailer loads of water per day from Warwick to Stanthorpe (pop,5,400) at a cost of $2-milliion per month, however Warwick's Leslie Dam is already down to 5% capacity.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Currently advanced planning is underway to move 1.6-megalitres in 45 semi-trailer loads of water per day from Warwick to Stanthorpe (pop,5,400) at a cost of $2-milliion per month, however Warwick's Leslie Dam is already down to 5% capacity.
Sulla1

Could this go on rail?
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
“Could this go by rail?”

In theory, yes. Unfortunately, the default solution to logistics problems is trucks.

Not sure how you get planners and decision-makers to think “trains”. QR/Aurizon don’t seem very excited about job-lot business or community service, so not exactly lobbying for the business.

And it’s narrow gauge, so the likes of SSR (who are quite opportunistic) would not be equipped to do it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
“Could this go by rail?”

In theory, yes. Unfortunately, the default solution to logistics problems is trucks.

Not sure how you get planners and decision-makers to think “trains”. QR/Aurizon don’t seem very excited about job-lot business or community service, so not exactly lobbying for the business.

And it’s narrow gauge, so the likes of SSR (who are quite opportunistic) would not be equipped to do it.
SinickleBird

This is a long standing cultural problem in the Australian view of how to best manage logistics.  For the country to be successful in reducing carbon emissions this needs to change.

Having said that there are great examples of rail companies taking up the challenge.  One example is the movement of feed stck grain by rail drought related.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'Having said that there are great examples of rail companies taking up the challenge.  One example is the movement of feed stck grain by rail drought related.'

Only as a result of standardisation of formerly BG lines in Victoria which that state was reluctant and/or incompetent to undertake.

Some may say in despite standardisation ....!
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
While I agree it should be on rail, the reality is that water will still need to be trucked to the final destination? There will be a road hauled element to this.

What is happening in NSW at that coal mine shows that rail haulage of water is very practical, however in this case the water will need to get off the train to a point prior to the water treatment plant.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Depending on distance from the line not the rail yard hoses may be able to do the job rather than distributing by truck.

Carrying heavy water by truck cannot be economically viable.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Carrying heavy water by truck cannot be economically viable.
freightgate
We're not talking about "heavy water" (deuterium oxide, 2H2O, D2O) here, just plain old drinking water (H2O)! Wink

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