Watco Cattle

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Once the tunnel floor project is officially completed (I've not been able to find out if it is yet, although at least one test run has occurred), then only price, the committment of the gin operators/exporters and the determination of an available rail operator would stand in the way of railings to Brisbane.

Previously cotton was railed from Yamala (Emerald), Dalby, Goondiwindi and Thallon -  the Goondiwindi traffic the last to go to road.

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  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Another Watco cattle wagon transfer from Mackay to Warwick is currently in transit today, having left Mackay yesterday. WRA003 & WRA004 are in charge of 45 KOJX.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

After what became a very well documented journey to Warwick on social media, WRA004 and WRA003 are heading north again at the moment, having passed through Brisbane's northern suburbs around midday today.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Once the tunnel floor project is officially completed (I've not been able to find out if it is yet, although at least one test run has occurred), then only price, the committment of the gin operators/exporters and the determination of an available rail operator would stand in the way of railings to Brisbane.

Previously cotton was railed from Yamala (Emerald), Dalby, Goondiwindi and Thallon -  the Goondiwindi traffic the last to go to road.
Sulla1

What is a GIN?

You have an amazing understanding of the Queensland Rail Network and it's History.  

Above it also mentions cotton goes to Newcastle for Export.  Will the Inland Rail Network make this journey possible again on rail?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Once the tunnel floor project is officially completed (I've not been able to find out if it is yet, although at least one test run has occurred), then only price, the committment of the gin operators/exporters and the determination of an available rail operator would stand in the way of railings to Brisbane.

Previously cotton was railed from Yamala (Emerald), Dalby, Goondiwindi and Thallon -  the Goondiwindi traffic the last to go to road.
Sulla1

What is a GIN?

You have an amazing understanding of the Queensland Rail Network and it's History.  

Above it also mentions cotton goes to Newcastle for Export.  Will the Inland Rail Network make this journey possible again on rail?
"NSWGR8022"


A Cotton Gin is the processing machine that separates the cotton fibres from the cotton seeds. The fibres are then bailed and containerised for milling, usually overseas in Australia's case, the seeds mostly go to feedlots or graziers. Most large cotton growing regions will have one or two gins - for example Namoi Cotton owns twelve gins in New South Wales and Queensland, so they're a bit like the cotton industry's version of a sugar mill. The term "gin" is an abbreviation for "engine" - it became the standard terminology in the cotton growing states of North America after Eli Whitney patented his first machine in 1793. Cotton trains in Australia will originate from or near a cotton gin.

The Inland Rail will allow cotton to be moved by rail to either Newcastle and Brisbane - depending on shipping contracts, it might actually mean cotton moving by rail from New South Wales to Brisbane, rather than just Queensland cotton going to Newcastle.

Cheers, I try to stay on top of "the why" trains run. Understanding "the what" they're hauling creates a bigger picture of existing and future rail activity for me.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?
  emerald-a Locomotive Driver

The Gin at Yamala has a small spur line into it ,although it was last used a decade ago by a firm of removalists  to transfer  containers from train to truck.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?
"NSWGR8022"


Namoi Cotton has a siding four kilometres east of Goondiwindi. Tycanba is a cotton siding just west of Dalby for Queensland Cotton. Neither siding has loaded cotton for several years and both sidings are owned by their associated cotton companies.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?


Namoi Cotton has a siding four kilometres east of Goondiwindi. Tycanba is a cotton siding just west of Dalby for Queensland Cotton. Neither siding has loaded cotton for several years and both sidings are owned by their associated cotton companies.
Sulla1

With the infrastructure still in place it might be easier to run trains again to the port.  Watco is setting up in the area so could they be interested?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?


Namoi Cotton has a siding four kilometres east of Goondiwindi. Tycanba is a cotton siding just west of Dalby for Queensland Cotton. Neither siding has loaded cotton for several years and both sidings are owned by their associated cotton companies.
Sulla1

With the infrastructure still in place it might be easier to run trains again to the port.  Watco is setting up in the area so could they be interested?
"NSWGR8022"


I think it's very likely Watco will be interested in the cotton, providing it can access container wagons.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech


I think it's very likely Watco will be interested in the cotton, providing it can access container wagons.
Sulla1

Great news really when you consider the trucks being used now.  To what extent will the SG inland rail impact this or will some of these sidings be converted to SG?
  westernline Train Controller

Location: San Onofre California
watco locos hauling stock wagons passed Caboolture around noon Wednesday  so should be in Brisbane suburbs west around 130 pm today
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The Namoi Cotton siding near Goondiwindi is the only siding likely to be impacted by the Inland Rail project. Presuming Namoi Cotton wants to retain rail access I'm guessing it will be up to it to fund the gauge change to the siding it owns. As it's not using rail currently it's hard to say if Namoi Cotton would bother retaining rail access without some sort of narrow gauge haulage contract occurring between now and a time when the Inland Rail project is completed.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?


Namoi Cotton has a siding four kilometres east of Goondiwindi. Tycanba is a cotton siding just west of Dalby for Queensland Cotton. Neither siding has loaded cotton for several years and both sidings are owned by their associated cotton companies.
Sulla1
The siding at Tycanba was for Dunavants (now LDC) not Queensland Cotton AFAIK.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Thx for such a great response Sulla.

Did the GIN's have sidings in Queensland for the trains to load?


Namoi Cotton has a siding four kilometres east of Goondiwindi. Tycanba is a cotton siding just west of Dalby for Queensland Cotton. Neither siding has loaded cotton for several years and both sidings are owned by their associated cotton companies.
Sulla1
The siding at Tycanba was for Dunavants (now LDC) not Queensland Cotton AFAIK.
"Graham4405"


Thanks Graham,

Finally had a chance to check out the siding on Google Maps - rather surprisingly the images show the turnouts to the Tycanba siding have been replaced and upgraded with new heavy duty concrete transoms at some point in the last few years. This seems to suggest the Louis Dreyfus Company (a name that should be familiar to Sienfeld fans) is keeping rail options open.
  Toddy Train Controller

Has anyone else noticed the current Aurizon livestock fact sheet shows them operating no south west cattle trains from Quilpie anymore?

https://www.aurizon.com.au/-/media/project/aurizon/files/what-we-do/services/bulk-freight/fact-sheets/aurizon-bulk-livestock-flyer-2020_final_v2.pdf

Last month’s Railway Digest reported that they have closed their Roma depot too which adds further evidence that they are now left with coal only on the western line.

Does this suggest that Watco may have won the Quilpie segment of the cattle haulage from Aurizon? And if so it provides a few questions?

1) Will Watco be obtaining some light axle locos to service this?
2) Will QR be upgrading the Quilpie for heavier axle loading?
3) Or is the Quilpie line dead?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco is currently in the process of opening a crew depot at Roma and ran a test cattle train to there last week.

Aurizon is still indicating it can haul cattle from Quilpie as required and it has the Queensland Transport contract to serve that line.

Apart from drought, cattle transport from this region has been impacted by South Australian and New South Wales abattoirs buying stock and moving them by road across the border.

The most likely scenario once Morven opens is that Watco will capture a reasonable percentage of the cattle currently moving by road from the North West, Central West and South West (Quilpie), which may mean a decreased need for the Quilpie line.

QR has been doing some resleepering on the Quilpie line, but there's no indication there will be axle load increases. The rebuilt Aurizon 1720s assigned to the line now weigh 66.3-tonnes with an axle load of 11.05-tonnes.

If Watco was to obtain the contract to serve the Quilpie line, its first option might be to lease or possibly purchase two or three 1720s from QR. During the last year Watco has leased 1720s for brief periods from QR, so this option would appear to be possible.

Another alternative would be to purchase Kiwirail DBRs, which are two tonnes heavier than the 1720s and are more or less A1A-A1A versions of the 1720s. Considering the costs involved with purchase, overhaul and import, Watco would have to be very keen to pursue this last option.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco is running its first loaded cattle train from Morven today. Social Media posts reporting Oakey as the destination.
  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Watco is running its first loaded cattle train from Morven today. Social Media posts reporting Oakey as the destination.
Sulla1
So, with the one and only Aurizon train to utilise the "new" siding on the alignment of the former Cecil Plains branch, they had a couple of locos from Toowoomba to haul the train into the siding. I don't imagine that Watco has this "luxury", so the train would have to be propelled into the siding, or run into Oakey yard for the locos to run around, pull the train into the siding and the empties be propelled out of the siding on to the main. Or perhaps they will operate the train with a loco at each end?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The turnaround at Oakey must have been pretty quick, the train was reported westbound back towards Morven yesterday.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Latest news on the operations at the new Morven hub...

https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/6948044/morven-freight-hub-delivery-begins-new-era-for-rail/63187804/
Sulla1
Interesting the article references a Railpage thread!

The products from the meatworks are they mainly consumed domestically or are they for export? If for export any plans for shipping via rail containers? Even if that is planned, I imagine the current loading gauge restricts the opportunity, until the tunnels are sorted.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Interesting the article references a Railpage thread!
Big J
Not just any thread, but the first post of this one.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
@Sulla1 in the press!

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