Penrice stone train

 
  SA_Rail01 Station Staff

Location: Barossa Valley
Hi All,

Looks as though the Stonie may have made two runs to Penrice yesterday (14.1.14).

Someone I know heard it heading through Rowland Flat at around 6 am, which puts it on track to reach Penrice at what was the usual time of before 7:30. This train must have been reasonably short though, as I went looking for it to take some photos and found that it had left before the typical return time (around 10:30), even though I was earlier than this anyway.

I was disappointed that i had missed the train as this was potentially the last stone train according to rumours posted in this thread.
However, I was in Tanunda at around 10:30 pm last night when the Stonie passed through, heading back to Adelaide with 704, 844 and 21 loaded hoppers.

Has anyone heard more about what is happening with this train?

Cheers,
SA_Rail01

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  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Only one trip yesterday.

Return was postponed until approx 2300hrs due to heat restrictions.

Likely to run to similar schedule on Friday.
  SA_Rail01 Station Staff

Location: Barossa Valley
Thanks for info Bing.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia


Has anyone heard more about what is happening with this train?

SA_Rail01


Still running for the foreseable future I hear.

Can any explain why a new T.O.W board has been placed on the Roseworthy Line at the Gawler River Bridge?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

A naughty gunzel souveniered the old one?
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Still running for the foreseable future I hear.

Can any explain why a new T.O.W board has been placed on the Roseworthy Line at the Gawler River Bridge?
AN830

When the line was transferred back to the government, due to lack of use, it became the SA government's responsibility.
Officially closing the line to Roseworthy would create headaches when it's time to reopen it for the planned (but stalled) Roseworthy 'city' project. Hence the redtape to keep the line open is easier than the alternative, hence the need to install a few new signs.
  Top Cat Assistant Commissioner

Location: Under Hilton Bridge
Who said, and when did the Gawler to Roseworthy line get transferred by GWA back to the SA Govt?Shocked
  brianph Locomotive Driver

Location: Bethany
Another stalled train at the Bethany Road crossing today at 1200.  704 + 844(?) crossed the road at about 1km/hr.  Only half a train cleared the crossing before it came to a stop.  A quick visit to the 2nd loco to start it/restart it and before long the two together lifted the train up the grade from a standing start.  704 must be performing well to achieve that with 20 loaded wagons.
Brian
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Could very well be a problem
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
How likely is Penrice Soda to survive?

This comes on top of Holden and impending job losses at Osborne... although we've also had our share of problems here in Victoria with Philip Morris, Boeing and Alcoa amongst others.

A full-time, stable job is turning into a very rare commodity.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Don

Who knows?

I think they kept backing the wrong horse.

They dropped making Soda Ash because of the AUD rate choosing to import it instead. Now the AUD has dropped and they are importing soda ash to make Bicarb.

In spite of an antiquated plant their soda ash was competitive because of the relative low cost and quality of their raw materials. The salt was pumped in from the salt fields across the Port River and we know where the high quality limestone came from. Had they upgraded the soda ash plant they might still be competitive and therefore in business.

Ian
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The actual business is making money, but it is the debts and loans that are the killer. All profits by the looks were going into paying these off leaving nothing for improvements etc for the future. So if it closes it might be hard to find a buyer to purchase the company and pay off these debts and loans. It might be simpler to close the operation completely and then try to sell of it's parts although given the current situation in South Australia it might just close completely. I personally think it might just close now and fade into history. Best to get the camera out though to record the Stone train now while it still does run, if it does at all now!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Ever since the "Solvay" process was explained in my year 8 chemistry text book I have been fascinated by Penrice.

Their first engineer at the plant was Frank Harrison who left the railways to join the then ICI. Considering his first engine design was the 520 he would have to be one of Australia's better loco designers.

I have photos taken in the power house at Penrice. Steam turbine driven dc generators and a dc switchboard that could have been used in the film "Titanic".

SA used to be proud of its industries.
Unfortunately attitudes of that like David's now prevail.

Regards
Ian
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I have photos taken in the power house at Penrice. Steam turbine driven dc generators and a dc switchboard that could have been used in the film "Titanic".

SA used to be proud of its industries.
Unfortunately attitudes of that like David's now prevail.

Regards
Ian
"steam4ian"


I remember the ICI Powerhouse well Ian, quite educational for a the young tradesman I was at the time. (also seen many "blackened" apprentices as a result of carbon brush changes on the dc generators!)
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
SA used to be proud of its industries.
steam4ian

We're in a bold experiment to go completely free-market, almost no other country on earth has shown the sort of commitment and fervour that we have to that ideology. If that means we aren't allowed to have any manufacturing any more then that's just what Big Daddy Capitalism has decided for us.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Ever since the "Solvay" process was explained in my year 8 chemistry text book I have been fascinated by Penrice.

Their first engineer at the plant was Frank Harrison who left the railways to join the then ICI. Considering his first engine design was the 520 he would have to be one of Australia's better loco designers.

I have photos taken in the power house at Penrice. Steam turbine driven dc generators and a dc switchboard that could have been used in the film "Titanic".

SA used to be proud of its industries.
Unfortunately attitudes of that like David's now prevail.

Regards
Ian
steam4ian

Ian be realistic for once the company has huge debts and loans and most probably from banks etc that do not give a fig about anything other than money. I was just being realistic I don't think it will survive Not even the administrator will keep it going long enough to pay back the loans etc so that leaves the banks to move in and sell up what is left of the company and its plant etc to pay these loans off! It is a common way to do it these days. You seem to think everything is coming up roses when in actual fact look a bit deeper and you can see it is clearly not the case. The rot has set in in lots of industries in South Australia even big ones. Penrice Soda is just a sprat against some of the other closures that have happened here! Not being negative just being realistic here. Those that use the product will now simply import it and probably help close the business.

Any company that gets into this situation is skating on extremely thin ice at the best of times!

Make up a list of business's lost to the ether in SA and it is a long one over the years and unfortunately getting longer every year. The defence project could be next if the government cuts back on spending for the ships and subs. There is not much left now actually. Mining is only really small scale stuff In SA compared to WA, Queensland and NSW.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

So David

When are you packing up and going somewhere else where there is opportunity, challenge and employment?

I may be a cockeyed optimist but that optimism still has the phone ringing for my services beyond the age where I can draw the pension.

Without the attitude that some consider unrealistic there will never be the challenges seen, opportunities presented , risks taken and the challenges overcome.

The old adage, "if life gives you lemons, make lemonade."

Ian
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Who in their right mind is going to buy a company that is millions in debt to financial institutions before you do anything else. They will want these debts and loans paid off before you even think about reopening the plant if it closes completely. So to buy the place you have to buy using $x dollars for the name, goodwill and plant, plus the extra to pay off those loans etc. As it only employs about 200 people it is not exactly what some big company is really looking at is it. The plant itself is out of date and needs renewal more expense here. I can just see it closing as by now most companies would have teed up alternate supply's of whatever they get from Penrice, just in case it does close. It is called protecting ones backside!

So if they can get it say cheaper and quicker do you really think they would go back to Penrice if it did stay open. The answer is most probably no. It is only a small company though and it might close sooner or later as it was getting worse every day and would continue till the plant itself gave up the ghost completely, then what do they do. If you cannot afford new plant etc then you might as well close up shop really. Which is most probably what the problem is now. They were making money, but it was being plowed into paying back debts and loans, so no real money to spend on anything else. This sounds a lot like hand to mouth type trading and it cannot continue forever. Sure it will be a big loss to South Australia,but not as big as Holdens closing for instance!
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Yesterday's Stonie did not run at all, which is of course very unusual. Sad

Hope it hasn't ceased running already.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Penrice is in Administration not Receivership; that may yet come.

Administration means it can continue trading and that such trading is not further increasing debt.

I would suggest that unless the management and their backers were extremely incompetent they would have anticipated this so Administration may be a strategy to clear the operations debts. The problem may have been exacerbated by the AUD going back up and implied slower than expected quick lime sales.

Stone trains will only run as long as GWA get paid. Penrice has already found that road haulage is too expensive. Without stone the operation folds.

Ian
  MatthewH Locomotive Driver

Regarding the Stonie: Is it still running at the moment, and if so, on what Days and Times?

If its still running, I'm going to go and take some photos of it, before it disappears.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
It runs on Tuesdays and Fridays, it generally heads out to the barossa fairly between 5am and 6am. It will returns normally late morning/early afternoon.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
It runs on Tuesdays and Fridays, it generally heads out to the barossa fairly between 5am and 6am. It will returns normally late morning/early afternoon.
AN830

Was cancelled Tuesday just gone, then ran today (Thursday) in lieu of Good Friday.

Definitely on borrowed time though.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
I was told by a friend that the Stonie will definitely run the Tuesday coming up...

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