Dookie Line

 
  Toddy Train Controller

GRAIN companies are facing a shortage of trains to transport a record wheat harvest to overseas markets.

Farmers, the Nationals and grain marketers fear that mining companies' long-term train leases, as well as "run down" rail lines, could see a delay in getting wheat to the nation's ports, to capitalise on high grain prices overseas.

Nationals leader Warren Truss expressed concern over the competition for trains. "It was always going to be the case that if we had a bumper grain harvest, there was going to be difficulties getting the grain to port," a spokesman for Mr Truss said.

The spokesman also said many rail lines had been neglected during the drought. "The NSW main-lines have basically been allowed to become run-down," he said.

Graincorp, the biggest player in the Australian wheat market, spent up to $35 million a year on the leasing trains and wagons from ARG and Pacific National during the drought, even though crops were insufficient to make full use of the rolling stock.

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Graincorp spokesman David Ginns said the leased wagons could hold 3.5 million tonnes of grain at any one time.

Mr Ginns said he was aware of other companies that thought it was too risky to lease trains without knowing how large crops would be. "There's a few people lamenting the lack of rolling stock now," Mr Ginns said, but declined to name those companies.

"There's obviously not as much rail capacity as there has been. We've got our own rail capacity, which is principally for our own purposes."

Peter McBride, a spokesman for former grain giant AWB Limited, said his company was optimistic that it would have enough. "At this stage, we don't foresee any problems," Mr McBride said, adding that AWB had leased some of its trains to other exporters in recent years.

National Farmers Federation president David Crombie said miners offered more stability to train-owners than grain exporters. "Agriculture depends on seasons," Mr Crombie said.

"When the demand for trains is there, it's major and that's the challenge for grain companies."

Mr Ginns said Graincorp and mining companies had had to compete for trains for several years, which cost his company millions of dollars during the drought.

"The big problem is that you've got to sign up to multi-year leases," Mr Ginns said.

"We've got to pay for that lease, no matter what the harvest is."

But Mr Ginns said the biggest problem facing grain exporters was the number of train lines in need of repair -- particularly those off the main tracks.

He said a train-line through the Victorian town of Dookie, about 220km north of Melbourne, was one in need of urgent attention.

"That's forcing more and more trucks on to the road," he said.

"There has to be some serious investment into fixing these lines."



With this does anybody know whether Vline are going to repair the Dookie line for grain trains this season? And will the other closed lines such as Moulemein be reopened?

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  T359 Junior Train Controller

Location: South Albury
Thanks for that Toddy. Don't know if they will open the lines but a great argument why some services should be retained by the government
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Uh, the Dookie line has a significant problem at Lemnos



Apparently its up to VicTrack to fix this. Whenever.

Caused by very heavy trucks using a Class C or D road as a bypass, methinks.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Uh, the missing rail is not far away:

  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
Hmmmm lets see.
Either they use REALLY strong roundup there, or thats pretty good looking ballast. The rail however would be a bit of a problem. Technically, do you need both rails to call it a rail line??
U know, rail line - as in rail, as in singular??
If the rail was missing, it'd be interesting to know what the sleepers are like?? Thats got to be your true indication of potential service anytime soon?? Or not??

Regards
  pberrett Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne, West Island
Its been gauge converted to a monorail Smile

cheers Peter
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Any Idea why one rail has been pulled out ?

Was It bulging out of the road ?

Is the level crossing earmarked for renewal ?

Or Is V/Line up to their destructive tricks, (re Colac)
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Graincorp wanted to run a Murchison East/Dookie train around mid year but were white anted. Sleepers at the Murch. East grain siding and on the Dookie line have been attacked by white ants.
Grain from the bunker at Murch East went by road.
After the last harvest there were 2 bunkers at Dookie plus whatever was in the silos, presumably this has gone or will go by road.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Its been gauge converted to a monorail Smile

cheers Peter
"pberrett"


Like the rest of the Victorian Network?  It is quite clear from this thread there are rail customers in Victoria who do wish to use the network for the transportation of goods including grain, and due to the mismanagement and under-investment of the network this is not possible or access is illegitimately being denied.

Graincorp must shake their heads and only wish they were only operating in NSW.

--Bill
  crusty Train Controller

freightgate.........Graincorp must shake their heads and only wish they were only operating in NSW.


With GrainCorp's port side elevators 'booked' to shift nearly 1 million tonnes from Geelong & 400k ex Portland in the next 8 months no doubt the transport logistics to handle (or at least attempt to  Wink ) are in place....http://www.graincorp.com.au/prodserv/Ports/Available%20Elevation%20Capacity/CAPACITY%20101111.pdf

..a lot of money to be made through the whole GrainCorp supply chain

I won't repeat my post from last night...see http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11356348-s60.htm

Only to confirm that  in the "Media Release
Tuesday 18th May 2010
RELEASE OF GRAINCORP 2010 / 11 HARVEST FREIGHT RATES
GrainCorp today released a comprehensive list of rail and road freight rates that will be used by the company when bidding for grain at GrainCorp sites during the 2010 / 11 harvest. "

Dookie was listed as a 'costed' site

DOOKIE ST..(Sub Terminal) ... Geelong...(Port Elevator Zone)...$ 27.65 per tonne (Wheat)

as mentioned over in the "Portland thread" the GRAINCORP 2010 / 11 HARVEST FREIGHT RATES pdf file was changed on August 23, 2010
(when GrainCorp could see they needed Portland to move grain)

format changed a bit...

DOOKIE ST..... Rail.....(Method to applicable port elevator)...$ 27.65 per tonne

Soooo GrainCorp have either been promised that Dookie will be available for rail (or they have been pressuring VicTrack to open it ?) since May 2010.  Shocked
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
A report prepared for the Alliance of Councils for Rail Freight Development calls for the Dookie line to be reopened. According to the report there is 80,000 tonnes of wheat at Dookie. The report was presented to Mr. Mulder on Feb 28.   (Shepparton News  March 2, 2011)

I recently enquired at the office of Jeanette Powell, Member for Shepparton, about the future of the line. The answer was not promising.
The Dookie line is a Bronze line so is unfunded.
The office also contacted Graincorp at Dookie and were told they were quite happy with present transport arrangement of using trucks.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Sounds like typical "can't be bothered" shortsightedness to me.  Some are just are content to maintain further decay imo.  BTW, 80000 tonne by truck equals about 2000 truck loads...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Sounds like typical "can't be bothered" shortsightedness to me.  Some are just are content to maintain further decay imo.  BTW, 80000 tonne by truck equals about 2000 truck loads...
"Carnot"


What does this translate to in wagon movements?

Is much work required to re-open the line?

--Bill
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Sounds like typical "can't be bothered" shortsightedness to me.  Some are just are content to maintain further decay imo.  BTW, 80000 tonne by truck equals about 2000 truck loads...
"Carnot"


What does this translate to in wagon movements?

Is much work required to re-open the line?

--Bill
"freightgate"


about 1300ish, or 32 40 wagon trains
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
[quote="Galron"][quote="freightgate"][quote="Carnot"]Sounds like typical "can't be bothered" shortsightedness to me. Some are just are content to maintain further decay imo. BTW, 80000 tonne by truck equals about 2000 truck loads...[/quote]

about 1300ish, or 32 40 wagon trains[/quote]

1300 wagons is a lot of trucks off the highway and the removal of road damage. Would the rail line require much work?

--Bill
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Replacing the rail at Lemnos would be a start.
Replacing a large number of sleepers that have been eaten by white ants.
When the level crossing at Grahamvale was upgraded to booms last year no provision was made for the crossing to be operated by Dookie line trains. (Tocumwal trains only).
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Went for a drive in the sunshine today, for I decided to share with you just how much grain I perchanced to see yesterday at Dookie.

First stop was at Lemnos to see if anything had been done about that lifted rail nearby Campbells Soup ...



Hmmm, no such activity in sight. The rail, she breaks ....



Well, the missing rail kinda looks well, with mud, etcetera



Seen at Cosgrove:



Looking back towards Shepparton at Cosgrove



This is the entrance to the GrainCorp Yard at Dookie - note the row of silos is just about hidden from the road:



Here is a view of the GrainCorp Yard at Dookie - look at all that grain:



And the rail terminal, you ask? Well, nothing is happening there:



Looking towards Dookie:



and another snap of just how much grain in that yard:



Drove a bit further, see here in Railway Archaeology.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What is the length of the Dookie Branch?

--Bill
  S303 Beginner

From Shepp Station to dookie grain yard is 26.5 Km.
have a look at link.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=
205820253835719396517.0004add23aac151d48fcbepparton Station to the end of the line at Dookie is 27 Km
  S303 Beginner

I'll try again.

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=
205820253835719396517.0004add23aac151d48fcb
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
This is less than 1/2 the distance of the Rainbow grain receival area.  Why has graincorp not addressed the dookie issues?

Could the tonnage per KM be higher?

--Bill
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This is less than 1/2 the distance of the Rainbow grain receival area.  Why has graincorp not addressed the dookie issues?

Could the tonnage per KM be higher?

--Bill
"freightgate"

I think the Govt was reasonably leg roped, with this case, there is no way the roads up there could handle 10's of  1000's of tons of grain that would have to be shifted by road. It was probably end of march or april before the water had receeded from the road, up to Jeparit from Dimmy. Even after the road was opened, it was like jelly in a lot of spots, either side of Jeparit. There was talk of trucking grain down to our site at Dimmy, to train it from there, but there was no way the roads would hold a loaded truck.
So it looks like they had no other option, make the big move back onto rail.
Big Shunter.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Is the reopening of Dookie possible?

--Bill
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
I was in Dookie on Saturday afternoon; rails look awfully rusty on the way up and back. There is a lot more grain on the ground adjacent the Dookie Silos. There's noticeably a few more holes in Dookie Road account the grain moving by road.  

At this point in time, I'd be looking to where Dookie and Murchison East fit in with the maintenance regime, as I understand that both Dookie and Murchy East are not used account white ants in sleepers.  Don't know what further maintenance the Dookie line needs apart from rail crossing replacement at Lemnos; track looks to be in better condition than Echuca - Toolamba.
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Taken from an article in the Shepparton News (4/11)

"Friends of the Dookie Rail Trail are now working with Greater Shepparton City Council and the Victorian and federal governments on the second stage of the trail, which will extend 6 km from Dookie to Cosgrove."

"..... the committee was aiming for the trail to extend all the way to Shepparton in the future."

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