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The down empty grain freight train pulled out from the Murray Basin Rail Project restricted 65 KPH SG Maryborough to Ararat line and into Maryborough Station for the anticipated crew change.
The freight train consist was of former NSW Freight Corp wagons NGPF, XGAY and NGTY looking decidedly neglected of maintenance and this proved to be the case.
The third last wagon of the empty consist had faulty wheels and bogie and was causing drag on the movement of the train. The wagon had the potential to cause a derailment.
The crew inspected the wagon and because of the MBRP debacle there was no access to drop the wagon off in the Maryborough yard, so the train had to continue on to EMU to cross the Up grain freight.
The Down freight left Maryborough at a snail's pace of 25 KPH because of the faulty wagon and the crew change for the Up freight that was supposed to happen at Maryborough had to happen at EMU.
The Down freight had to continue at 25 KPH all the way to Donald, before it could shunt the faulty wagon from the consist into a siding before completing its journey to Mildura.
No wonder our trade competitors are ahead of Australia with their investment in rail infrastructure. The lack of maintenance by the private rail operators is disastrous for locomotives and rolling stock, which frustrates the rail employees who have to work with inefficient resources.
This situation could have been totally avoided had the Maryborough Yard been operational and we can thank the MBRP debacle for this situation.
The private rail operators also need to shoulder the responsibility for their negligence and culpability for the lack of maintenance of the rolling stock and the purchase of new rolling stock.
Photo: Jacintta Allan declaring conversion works completed when they are far from it.
The Tasmanian government were right in kicking out the private rail operators and resuming control of TASRAIL.
There is not a politician on the mainland worth their salt or even have the back bone to place the rail network and system back into the control of state governments.
To do so would be an admission of failure and the petulant egos of politicians and the political parties have not the capacity or integrity to admit they are wrong.
The Privatisation of the rail network and system has been a complete and unadulterated abysmal failure of gigantic proportions that has impacted on productivity, efficiency and the economy.
• The Y Junction linking the MBRP SG liner to the Melbourne SG line at Ararat construction was to start construction in October 2018 has now been put back to February 2019
• An Up loaded grain train from Ouyen could not be staged at Maryborough because of the lack of access to the freight yard because the freight yard is not operational and had to continue via Ararat to be stored at Murtoa before completing its scheduled run to Geelong.
• The Sea Lake and Manangatang Lines were supposed in the MBRP plan to also be converted to SG. Because of cost over runs with the MBRP with the remediation work the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines were left BG.
However, because they were to be converted to SG all maintenance stopped on these two lines and consequently,, the lines are no longer stable to be used for transporting the grain out of Manangatan and Sea Lake.
This is why R707 was rerouted to Swan Hill via Bendigo for the Manangatang Races and passengers then bused to the races.
The maintenance budget has been absorbed by the remediation work on the MBRP debacle, so there is no finance to remediate the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines to operational standards.
At some point, the evasive Minister for Public Transport and Major Projects Jacinta Allan must shoulder the responsibility for the MBRP debacle.
From past performances by the Minister in Parliament, indicate there is considerable doubt that the acceptance of the responsibility will be shouldered or even acknowledged.
Public Relations Manager
Rail Revival Alliance Victoria
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