Anger as locals find out historic 'connection to the world' set to be demolished

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 14 Oct 2020 13:04
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Why are lines being removed around the region as this line https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawson_Valley_(Theodore)_railway_line feeds Mount Morgan with lots of mining leases having been setup around the area.

Anger as locals find out historic 'connection to the world' set to be demolished

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Australia never learns part of a plan to remove 100’s of kms of rail network. Why ?
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I believe the track being removed is long disused. The reason for removal would be given as in the interests of public safety and to allow the rail corridor to be returned to public use.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Oh please.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Oh please.
freightgate
Like usual, you're all opinion and no clue about actual on the ground issues.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Just sick of listening to excuse after excuse  on why our.m national assets are being destroyed. No other country approaches rail in the disrespectful and carefree way we do here in Australia.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

This bridge might be considered an historical object, but it would certainly need to be replaced in the unlikely event that little Theodore ever gets a railway line again.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

QR has previously responded to this story stating the bridge is not being demolished and rail recovery of the branch between Moura and Theodore is the oroject underway.

The line was badly damaged by flooding several years ago and since GrainCorp established Moura as the primary grain receival complex in the region the branch has not had any traffic for more than a decade.

It's likely the heavier rail used on this line could be used elsewhere on QR's regional network..
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is theodore the terminus?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Is theodore the terminus?
bevans
It was. Past tense. Wiki suggests the last few miles to Theodore was closed in 1993 - it's not impossible it is more 30 years since the last revenue train ran there.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Theodore has been the southern most point and terminus for the Dawson Valley branch since 1927.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just sick of listening to excuse after excuse  on why our.m national assets are being destroyed. No other country approaches rail in the disrespectful and carefree way we do here in Australia.
freightgate
Its a aging timber bridge on a light weight railway line that hasn't seen a train in +20 years and physically removed years back. Theodore's last train was nearly 30 years ago. The line itself was built for an irrigation project that never eventuated.

The locals only want the bridge to part of a bike track, not for rail. I'm sure a much more modern a suitable structure can be obtained at low cost. Maybe an old 60' container wagon?

I'm not sure but I think all the former Moura network has been removed, with only the Moura short line with its coal only traffic still in operation. Grain stopped years back to lack of tonnages.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Theodore has been the southern most point and terminus for the Dawson Valley branch since 1927.
"Sulla1"


Until the early 90's
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The grain silos at Goolara a few kilometres north of Theodore have been as far as trains have travelled since the branch lost regular freight services.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The grain silos at Goolara a few kilometres north of Theodore have been as far as trains have travelled since the branch lost regular freight services.
Sulla1

Are they in use?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Rail management in Australia is riddled with cancer.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I believe the track being removed is long disused. The reason for removal would be given as in the interests of public safety and to allow the rail corridor to be returned to public use.
Graham4405

As pretty a town as it is, I have been there...there hasn't been a train to Theodore in donkeys years and when there was, according to my QR 1962 timetable, there was a 'motor pass' once a week to Rocky the nearest big centre taking 6 hours for the 200Km, Tuesday morning departure and returning 6 days later on the following Monday.

Not such a PT friendly service if you lived in Theodore.

A 'streetview' of Theodore shows the station long abandoned in the bushes and a freight company working out of the former yard,

Mike.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The grain silos at Goolara a few kilometres north of Theodore have been as far as trains have travelled since the branch lost regular freight services.

Are they in use?
bevans
Going by the satellite and street view photos which are a few years old, the silo's look in partial use.

When I lived in Gladstone 1998 to 2009, every time I drove out that way I never saw any evidence that a grain train had been down that way and if they did it would have been very rare.

The railway full branch itself was remove I think +10 years back.

The line beyond to Theodore (town of less than 500) was closed in 1993 with a farewell DMU tour in 1991 (I believe).

Its hard to tell on the Sat photos, but I think the line from Moura mine to the Moura grain terminal has also been removed. In an older satellite photo, there was a train in the silo.


For those not familiar with the area, the whole grain thing in CQ, especially inland from Gladstone, the Biloela, Moura, Theodore  area has been a colossal failure. Spend some time on Google Satellite photos to check it out. When I arrived in Gladstone in 1998 I first thought the port was a major grain export terminal, large silos, 4 unloading tracks, all sparked. But the two grain trains used to sit there for weeks and not move.

The grain silo's had been partially leased out to other users and some unused. A grain train arrived a dozen or more times  a year, mostly from the Central Line, in a good year. I lived in Gladstone for 12 years, I probably saw the AK cars there more often than a grain train.

The grain terminals in the Moura district are mostly old, small and rarely used. The few hundred thousand tonnes of grain harvested each year is either used locally or trucked to port. Having lived near the highway for some years on outskirts of Gladstone I barely recall seeing a grain truck. I would need to check, but I think much of the CQ grain now goes via Mackay. QR cut the north parts of the old Moura valley lines in early 2000's, maybe earlier, leaving the tracks to Moura, Goolara, Jambin and Biloela, but very limited traffic. We stopped at the Jambin silo's in 2003 and the line was clearly kept open, but very rusty rails and silo's built for another era of train size.

Moura silo used to get I thought a good load and deemed the most viable for rail being almost 200km from port on mostly modern alignment designed for 26t/ale 80km/h coal trains, but going by the Sat photos,  I don't think its rail connection has survived. Certainly the track was never shinny when ever I went past although it was clearly maintained. The whole Moura yard was amazing, tracks everywhere, 3 way junction, but all a legacy and left for the Qlink days when they used trains not trucks?

Biloela's final freight was actually beef, 3 x a week a non full length container train used to run past our house up to Bilo, its only about 6-10km from main into Bilo, but eventually QR pulled the plug in late 2000's and said not viable, its cheaper to truck to Rocky 100km north and rail to Brisbane or Townsville from there for export which I believe may still occur.

While the likes of Freightgate are awash with shock and all and claim cancer etc, unfortunately in this part of the world, the loss of rail is hardly unexpected and realistically did well to last as long as it did. My only disappointment would be if Moura grain silo has indeed gone 100% truck. Being so close to the Moura coal mine the track MTCE is SFA and the corridor into Gladstone or at least the mainline for transport to Mackay terminal is as good as it gets for regional freight being modern alignment built for 80km/h 26t/axle coal operations.

Qmag in Rocky was/is leasing some of the older grain silo's in Gladstone and when I worked there doing ship loading, I spoke with a few old timers at the port and asked what was this all for? They basically said on the back of good weather and again another proposal to increase irrigation, the Sir Joe through money at increase grain infrastructure, but then it didn't rain and the irrigation scheme was axed, again.

Freightgate should also read what others have said about the services to Theodore and that for almost the entire lines life it was nothing more than a 1-2 weekly small mixed with an average speed of 20-25km/h just to get to Rocky. The line was actually extended a further ~20km, but never used as the whole thing including the track to Theodore was built on the back of the Nathan Dam irrigation scheme that never happened. So is the line closure a cancer or was the lines construction and operation for 70 years the actually cancer?

Ironically the Nathan Dam is back on the agenda, but the project has been stated to not be for local use, only retaining existing demand and not intended for irrigation, but rather for the real money earner, coal in Surat basin!
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A very good and detailed synopsis Shane.

Apart from the coal...which according to latest announcements itself looks precarious, the branch lines in this part of Qld will probably in general make great bike tracks due to improved highways and freight networks having long moved on from the branch line services.

Interesting report in today's Age...after I wrote this.

https://www.theage.com.au/environment/climate-change/old-king-coal-has-surrendered-to-solar-says-global-power-report-20201013-p564q4.html

Mike.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

The line doesnt even reach Moura township anymore. Back in 2011, when I was part of a railway clean up crew to go out to Theodore to help clean up the town, after the floods, there were large trees, at a guess at least 8 to 10 inch diameter, growing up through the track on the corridor, a few km north of Theodore itself.

Right now, there is a spur about 200 metres long, with trailable facing points, off the new Baralaba balloon loop, or should I say, the loop is off the spur. The Baralaba branch follows the old alignment from Moura Mine turnout down to the new Baralaba Balloon, a trip of around 10km. The spur continues towards Moura township, but is, as I said, only about 200 metres long, and is red boarded. Normal for the trailables is into the balloon. In 13 years, I know of no trains that have gone to Moura township. I can ask for clarification, as I know blokes who have worked down there. No grain travels on the Moura short line, its 100% coal, except for infrastructure and associated trains.

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