Reopening the Mt Gambier Line, and consequences for the Hills

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Split from the SA election thread: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11397119.htm



Nothing about regauging the Mount Gambier line for freight.
bevans

Any merit in this noting the funny comments?

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  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Nothing about regauging the Mount Gambier line for freight.

Any merit in this noting the funny comments?
bevans
unlikely, that line is dead. I hear there is talk of rail trailing it soon..... Bloody Standardisation
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Nothing about regauging the Mount Gambier line for freight.

Any merit in this noting the funny comments?
bevans
The Mt Gambier > Wolseley line is dead, buried and cremated.

180+ KM of rail line would need to be completely rebuilt at huge expense by a state government that is pretty much broke.

The yard at Mt Gambier is gone and there would need to be a new yard built out of town for the line.

After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

Re-instating MG to Heywood (around 90kms) makes way more sense as much of the freight out of the Green Triangle goes to Portland anyway but there doesn't seem to be any political will in either Vic or SA to do this

*** edit MG to Portland via Heywood is around 120km, MG to the Port of Geelong via Heywood and Maroona would be just over 400km and MG to PoM would be less than 500km, all of these options would only require a 90km line to be rebuilt as opposed to a 180km rebuild to Wolsely***

BG
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

BG
BrentonGolding

The railway through the Hills is not congested. It is running nowhere near to capacity.

Mitcham is the only council complaining.

There is a noise issue from wheel squeal that can be bad at times. The wheel squeal could probably be solved with $100m or so. Other than that trains are a lot quieter than they were in broad gauge days, two to three decades ago.

A new route has been costed at upwards of $2 billion.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

BG

The railway through the Hills is not congested. It is running nowhere near to capacity.

Mitcham is the only council complaining.

There is a noise issue from wheel squeal that can be bad at times. The wheel squeal could probably be solved with $100m or so. Other than that trains are a lot quieter than they were in broad gauge days, two to three decades ago.

A new route has been costed at upwards of $2 billion.
bingley hall
It is congested if you are a motorist stuck and the road crossing near the Belair pub a couple of times a day while a super freighter crawls up grade towards Pinera. Or better still when one breaks down blocking the crossing!

Unley councillors have been heard to whinge about the rail noise and speed as well as Mitcham hence the "on the flat" reference

I don't care what the new route has been costed at, it is a stupid idea which I don't support, i was merely responding to Bevan's suggestion that the SA Government should be funding re-opening MG to Wolesley. Which it shouldn't. And can't afford to.

BG
  allan Chief Commissioner

After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

BG

The railway through the Hills is not congested. It is running nowhere near to capacity.

Mitcham is the only council complaining.

There is a noise issue from wheel squeal that can be bad at times. The wheel squeal could probably be solved with $100m or so. Other than that trains are a lot quieter than they were in broad gauge days, two to three decades ago.

A new route has been costed at upwards of $2 billion.
bingley hall
And all that a new route does is move the problem to another council area.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

And all that a new route does is move the problem to another council area.
allan
And increase road freight to/from Adelaide, since trains going as far north as Truro will keep going towards Perth without a further diversion south to Adelaide.

The superior option is to make further incremental upgrades to the present corridor, and reserve the land necessary for the portals of a Mt Lofty Ranges base tunnel in the long-term future.
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

You do have to wonder though how those people that complain about the present railway will then complain about how dear their new washing machine or fridge is if it comes to Adelaide by truck say. They do not seem to grasp that everyday things like this are transported in bulk by rail, and a lot of other stuff comes into Adelaide as well in containers, so God only knows how much food or other stuff comes in in containers on rail. If you increase the distance travelled in transporting it then the company selling the stuff has to increase it's prices to cover the extra cost so that it simply comes back to the consumer in the end as a price increase on whatever it is, watch them howl when that happens though.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
And increase road freight to/from Adelaide, since trains going as far north as Truro will keep going towards Perth without a further diversion south to Adelaide.
justapassenger
Whilst I agree with you that it would probably lead to more road traffic don't SCT already run a shuttle service from Adelaide up to meet the Perth bound services now? Nothing saying the same thing couldn't happen if the Hills were bypassed. Which would in turn mean the line to Belair could be duplicated again for passenger services.

Who knows they could even gauge convert back to Bridgewater and run heritage services with Red Hens! Laughing

And speaking of pipe dreams, this NXT / SA Best idea of running faster trains to Mt Barker is there any possible alignment that could work for that kind of service, I know they went the long way around originally due to the grades but would that be any different with modern electric rolling stock?

BG
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Nothing about regauging the Mount Gambier line for freight.

Any merit in this noting the funny comments?
The Mt Gambier > Wolseley line is dead, buried and cremated.

180+ KM of rail line would need to be completely rebuilt at huge expense by a state government that is pretty much broke.

The yard at Mt Gambier is gone and there would need to be a new yard built out of town for the line.

After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

Re-instating MG to Heywood (around 90kms) makes way more sense as much of the freight out of the Green Triangle goes to Portland anyway but there doesn't seem to be any political will in either Vic or SA to do this

*** edit MG to Portland via Heywood is around 120km, MG to the Port of Geelong via Heywood and Maroona would be just over 400km and MG to PoM would be less than 500km, all of these options would only require a 90km line to be rebuilt as opposed to a 180km rebuild to Wolsely***

BG
BrentonGolding
Simple question

Knowing what we know now about the direction of rail freight in general since the line closed, would the like have actually survived anyway? For example, is the local traffic transhipped at the mainline onto rail and if not is the extra distance making such an impact on the likely hood of using rail in first place?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is a noise issue from wheel squeal that can be bad at times. The wheel squeal could probably be solved with $100m or so. Other than that trains are a lot quieter than they were in broad gauge days, two to three decades ago.
It is congested if you are a motorist stuck and the road crossing near the Belair pub a couple of times a day while a super freighter crawls up grade towards Pinera. Or better still when one breaks down blocking the crossing!
BrentonGolding
So there are 2 issues with the route, that $100m for some de-noise works and probably less than $100m for a LX removal would solve.  Far less than the $2bn....


Re MG it is a pity yes.  I doubt they'd have the volumes to maintain a rail service either, the lack of a bulk like grain is somewhat limiting.  And the 90km to Portland is exactly why the rail isnt in place there - thats well within the economic distance for trucks over trains.


One thing I was hoping to see was consideration of funding for the standardisation of Pinnaroo to Murrayville.  Removing that ~20km of BG would remove 2 breaks of gauge and give a potential new traffic route for the NW of Victoria and Pinnaroo regions.  This would also help port competition....
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Mt Gambier > Wolseley line is dead, buried and cremated.

180+ KM of rail line would need to be completely rebuilt at huge expense by a state government that is pretty much broke.

The yard at Mt Gambier is gone and there would need to be a new yard built out of town for the line.

After doing all of that you would end up with a round about indirect 500km or thereabouts rail connection to Adelaide via the already congested Hills route which already sees councils in Mitcham and on "the flat" complaining constantly about train noise. By road it is 434km to Adelaide.

Re-instating MG to Heywood (around 90kms) makes way more sense as much of the freight out of the Green Triangle goes to Portland anyway but there doesn't seem to be any political will in either Vic or SA to do this

*** edit MG to Portland via Heywood is around 120km, MG to the Port of Geelong via Heywood and Maroona would be just over 400km and MG to PoM would be less than 500km, all of these options would only require a 90km line to be rebuilt as opposed to a 180km rebuild to Wolsely***

BG
Simple question

Knowing what we know now about the direction of rail freight in general since the line closed, would the like have actually survived anyway? For example, is the local traffic transhipped at the mainline onto rail and if not is the extra distance making such an impact on the likely hood of using rail in first place?
RTT_Rules
Not a simple question at all! The Mount Gambier > Wolesley Line carried a lot of traffic in it's day with freights running right through to Adelaide a couple of time a day at some stages plus passenger trains as well but clearly come the 1990s ARTC didn't want it and the SA Government couldn't afford to standardise it themselves OR didn't think it was worth the cost so I would say that it would have died a slow death even without the SG coming to town (or not as is the case for The Mount).

The Mt Gambier to Heywood line however is a very different proposition. There is a tremendous amount of traffic to be had out of the Green Triangle and IMO if the government of Victoria had been more pro-active around rail in the 1990s and 2000s then it may have been re-opened or gauge converted when Portland was which would have seen much more traffic on the SG system as a result.

There is bound to be a lot of politics between the ARTC and Victrack but with more resources being poured into the Maroona > Portland line and with the Port of Portland seemingly becoming interested in rail again it might be time to revisit it. But they won't. They'll just play the blame game.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Some great information on the old Mt Gambier yard can be found at Johnny's pages http://www.johnnyspages.com/mt_gambier.htm

BG
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
There is a noise issue from wheel squeal that can be bad at times. The wheel squeal could probably be solved with $100m or so. Other than that trains are a lot quieter than they were in broad gauge days, two to three decades ago.
It is congested if you are a motorist stuck and the road crossing near the Belair pub a couple of times a day while a super freighter crawls up grade towards Pinera. Or better still when one breaks down blocking the crossing!
So there are 2 issues with the route, that $100m for some de-noise works and probably less than $100m for a LX removal would solve.  Far less than the $2bn....
james.au
Grade separation of Main Road and the railway at Glenalta, by the pub, shouldn't be vastly expensive for the road dips down to the railway in both directions.

The road may need to be closed for a few months while the work is done, though I expect DPTI will find a way to keep it open.
  allan Chief Commissioner

By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.

The time of the country passenger train ended a little later, victim to private cars, road coaches, falling airfares and a depopulated countryside.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Gotta hate trucks, at least rail can carry a much larger load in one operation (like grain & intermodal loading)
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.

The time of the country passenger train ended a little later, victim to private cars, road coaches, falling airfares and a depopulated countryside.
allan

Sad, but true.

The days of railways as a general carrier are long gone.... Sad
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Grade separation of Main Road and the railway at Glenalta, by the pub, shouldn't be vastly expensive for the road dips down to the railway in both directions.

The road may need to be closed for a few months while the work is done, though I expect DPTI will find a way to keep it open.
kipioneer
Yes but would they want to? Presuming that Jay gets back in at the election are they really going to do something which makes it look like they support freight trains on the line in the face of opposition from people and councils in Mitcham and Unley, Unley in particular I would think would be their core constituancy.

BG
  allan Chief Commissioner

None of the promises, so far, go beyond making it easier for road transport. The car is king, and most voters are drivers, too. The real question is where the money comes from.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Grade separation of Main Road and the railway at Glenalta, by the pub, shouldn't be vastly expensive for the road dips down to the railway in both directions.

The road may need to be closed for a few months while the work is done, though I expect DPTI will find a way to keep it open.
Yes but would they want to? Presuming that Jay gets back in at the election are they really going to do something which makes it look like they support freight trains on the line in the face of opposition from people and councils in Mitcham and Unley, Unley in particular I would think would be their core constituancy.

BG
BrentonGolding
I have always found it quite a bit odd that the dozen at the most freight trains a day are felt to be a hindrance in the case of a fire but the 4 times an hour railcar is not.

The government has been throwing largess towards Blackwood in order to support one of its outsider ministers.

Unley has been held by the Liberal Party's David Pisoni for many years, prior to which it changed hands a couple of times, and the Mitcham area, apart from an interregnum with the Democrat Robin Millhouse,  has been a safe Liberal seat for ever.

It is a very long time since Unley was a safe ALP seat in the hands of the late Gil Langley.

The Liberals in particular want the freight line moved.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.......
allan

Bowmans Rails says 'No'  Razz
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The Liberals in particular want the freight line moved.
kipioneer
They want to talk about it (they need to take back Waite) but whether they actually want to do it is a completely separate question.
  allan Chief Commissioner

By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.......

Bowmans Rails says 'No'  Razz
bingley hall
All that I know of Bowmans is the Balco train (containerised hay), and their site at (surprisingly) Bowmans, SA. I suspect that most folk here have never heard of Bowmans Rail.

Please tell me more.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.......

Bowmans Rails says 'No'  Razz
bingley hall
A railway company that sees itself as a transport company not just a mob that plays trains!

SCT is much the same by offering an end to end service.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
By the time a potential railway customer has packed a shipping container and delivered it to a goods yard to be shipped to Adelaide on a one-train-a-day line for a short trip to Adelaide, then received the container at Adelaide, unpacked it and delivered the goods, a semi could have made two round trips, customer to customer, at lesser cost.

The time of the goods train ended in the early 1980s. Since then the railways have been repurposed to replace coastal shipping, or to shift some bulk commodities.......

Bowmans Rails says 'No'  Razz
All that I know of Bowmans is the Balco train (containerised hay), and their site at (surprisingly) Bowmans, SA. I suspect that most folk here have never heard of Bowmans Rail.

Please tell me more.
allan
http://www.bowmansrail.com.au/about-us/

Balco's Hay transport side was joined by Toll Holdings and AGT foods in 2013 forming Bowmans Intermodal and changed it's name to Bowmans Rail in 2016

Bowmans Rail business overviewBowmans Rail provides regional agriculture, mining and other enterprises with an integrated transport service from place of production to world markets via Australia’s largest inland regional port, Bowmans Intermodal, 100km north of Adelaide.
We operate short-haul rail services between Bowmans, Broken Hill’s mines and processing Port Pirie’s processors.  These services connect to the inner and outer terminals at the Port of Adelaide and provide interconnections to the Port of Melbourne.
  • 20,000 containers p.a. of processed minerals from Broken Hill to Port Adelaide
  • 30,000 TEUs p.a. on the shuttle route between Port Pirie, Bowmans and Port Adelaide
  • Agriculture: hay, grain and specialty pulses
  • Mining: containerised import/export service plus huge, secure storage capacity
  • Road and rail container transfers
  • Container fumigation, washing, inspection and repair
  • Reefer capacity

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