Port of Geelong - Underutilised?

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Taking the train to the Corio Model Railway Exhibition Saturday I noticed how underutilised the CIGL and the Corio/North Geelong sidings are.  Lots of logs i nthe Midway yard but the line is baulked. Not available for use.  Lots of log wagons around the area and in North Geelong yard.  

Why is rail not taking this log traffic to Midway?

The Geelong Port area looks most of the time I have seen it underutilised.  Has any thought be given to installing container handling at the Port?

Regards
Brian

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  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Corio Bay is fairly shallow and even with dredging it's not possible to get many larger ships in.

I forget the exact depths, but a reasonably modern Melways has the channel depths marked. Compare Geelong's channel with Webb Dock's channel for an idea of the differences.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
This post just reminded me to post that some track was recently pulled up in the port area. Noticed it a week or so ago as i passed the area for work. The track in question was track 4 as shown on this page http://www.railgeelong.com/lineguide/corio-independent-goods-line. need to go down that way and see whats going on.

not sure track 3 or 4 ever saw a train. long grass is all thats there at present. What track that is left i guess is under it all.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The reason why Midway no longer use rail either sg or bg to get logs into their plant is because  PN  charge "rip off" rates which are way and above the costs of road transport .

PN / ASCIANO  are totally disinterested in developing NEw Victorian intra state freight opportunities.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
You are dead right. Look at QUBE by comparison. Investing in new wagons and new and relatively new motive power. It is part of the reason there is merit in standardizing various parts of the standard gauge network so that companies like that can operate in markets that PN won't touch.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
You are dead right. Look at QUBE by comparison. Investing in new wagons and new and relatively new motive power. It is part of the reason there is merit in standardizing various parts of the standard gauge network so that companies like that can operate in markets that PN won't touch.
Trainplanner


I agree the BG issue is becoming more and more a problem however, Qube have recently ordered new BG wagons so it is still possible to operate trains in Victoria.

The question is really what new traffic is transferring from road to rail?
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
PN dont have a monopoly on rail freight in Victoria, on either BG or SG.
Any Rail Operator is free to run any freight trains they like.
The fact that no one has chosen to take over a market that PN has no interest in
would indicate that no one can do it any cheaper.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I have to disagree on the basis that set up cost for any new operator is very high on broad gauge if you have to buy or initially hire equipment and getting access to terminals and ports is also problematic.   QUBE (I have no vested interest) has reasonably deep profits and they have secured longer term contracts.  They have been able therefore to get into the regional freight market.  Standard gauge lowers that entry barrier very significantly.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
PN dont have a monopoly on rail freight in Victoria, on either BG or SG.
Any Rail Operator is free to run any freight trains they like.
The fact that no one has chosen to take over a market that PN has no interest in
would indicate that no one can do it any cheaper.
MD

In the case of the North East & Bairnsdale logs, PN has the wagons but is not interested.
If another operator was it would need to negotiate a lease or purchase from PN.
And thats where things stand. There is a pile of new plantation timber coming on stream in central Gippsland that would be ideally suited to rail haulage.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

PN dont have a monopoly on rail freight in Victoria, on either BG or SG.
Any Rail Operator is free to run any freight trains they like.
The fact that no one has chosen to take over a market that PN has no interest in
would indicate that no one can do it any cheaper.
MD

Well there was another operator in this state until last year that gave it a shot.  That all ended in tears unfortunately, with many creditors out-of-pocket...

It's another fact of life that railway infrastructure is very dependent on Government willingness to maintain/build it.  That's a problem when such willingness goes on a holiday.

It'll be interesting to see what happens as oil prices continue to increase.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Who owns all the old freight wagons stored at North Geelong? I understand that if PN owned them they would be reluctant to sell or lease them to other operators, but do they actually own them?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Who owns all the old freight wagons stored at North Geelong? I understand that if PN owned them they would be reluctant to sell or lease them to other operators, but do they actually own them?
Gman_86

PN own them and they don't want to lease or sell them at all.


PN said they would run on the Dookie line, but they want to government to book it back into service. They could instead book it back in and run it exclusively themselves, but that requires a little bit of initiative!!!


I also keep getting told there is not much money in BG, because of the capital required to get the extra 4 1/2 inches on the axles custom made, and to get rollingstock within the axle weight!
  Some rail man Junior Train Controller

Location: CIA Headquarters in Washington D.C
PN once did have a monopoly on BG freight in Victoria until Bracksy brought the network back from them
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

PN / Asciano  basically own the broad gauge train set .  They would rather scrap wagons than let a competitor use them to develop the bg freight business, whilst they do absolutely nothing to develop broad gauge freight opportunities.
  mattx31 Station Staff

Location: GEELONG
Geelong yard has been a dumping ground & PN graveyard for years. Wagons keep getting scrapped instead of leasing or selling them to another operator. PN are only interested in protecting what's best for them, not the industry. It was a shame to loose the logging contract to trucks after all that money was spent on the line into midway. Another wasted opportunity. There has being talk of coal coming to Geelong if Mining starts at Bacchus marsh which could be good for rail. Maybe Aurizion might might then take it up to PN in Vic!!
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Why do people have the strange mentality that a new rail operator in Victoria can only start by buying existing
rolling stock from an existing operator.
If I want to start my own trucking company or my own airline , I will have to buy or lease new trucks or airplanes.
I wont expect that an existing operator will sell me their old unused trucks or planes.
Everyone has been conditioned by the fact that private rail operators previously bought all their locos and rolling stock
from the Govt, and now somehow think that this is the only source.
The REAL cost of running freight trains must include the cost of new locos and rollingstock.
You cant simply assume that they will all be available on the 2nd hand market.
  mattx31 Station Staff

Location: GEELONG
Yep I hear what you say MD. I just hate seeing infrastructure in rail put in only to be under utilised. In the case of midway, who would of paid for the install of of the line into the plant? It was only used for a short period only to be mothballed. I know PN converted the wagons at their expense but you just wonder why it couldn't work. Such a shame to just see the wagons rusting to the rails. How could road be cheaper than rail? You just wonder sometimes why. I guess it comes down to what PN charged midway!
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Yep I hear what you say MD. I just hate seeing infrastructure in rail put in only to be under utilised. In the case of midway, who would of paid for the install of of the line into the plant? It was only used for a short period only to be mothballed. I know PN converted the wagons at their expense but you just wonder why it couldn't work. Such a shame to just see the wagons rusting to the rails. How could road be cheaper than rail? You just wonder sometimes why. I guess it comes down to what PN charged midway!
mattx31

Could also be that traffic flow was no longer economical, as there could of been no profit sending logs to Port of North Geelong (rail or road) so the logs go to other markets (paper mills, sawmills) or don't get harvested at all (waiting for markets to Improve)

Does anyone know where the logs at the port come from ? Otways, Central Highlands ?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Taking the train to the Corio Model Railway Exhibition Saturday I noticed how underutilised the CIGL and the Corio/North Geelong sidings are. Lots of logs i nthe Midway yard but the line is baulked. Not available for use. Lots of log wagons around the area and in North Geelong yard.

Why is rail not taking this log traffic to Midway?

The Geelong Port area looks most of the time I have seen it underutilised. Has any thought be given to installing container handling at the Port?

Regards
Brian
bevans

Getting back to the original question, the problem (I believe) with the port at Geelong is the depth of the channel into the port limits the size of ships (or correctly the depth they can be loaded to). It used to be 35 ft deep for comparison the channel into the port of Portland is 55 ft deep.
In the discussions for a new port at Hastings was an alternative to deepen the channel into Geelong. The Attraction of Hastings is the channel into the port is short and far easier (and therefore cheaper) to keep clear. As the channel is short it s also easier for vessels to access the port.

All this info is from memory from reading the proposal for the new port at Hastings.

woodford
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Ermm... I'm not sure what those depths translate to in plain English, but if you're using feet rather than metres then your information is likely to be over 40 years old.

Almost all channel depths have been increased quite a lot over the last 40 years. One instance that you may remember was the hippy protest against the deepening of South Channel that got quite a bit of media exposure a few years ago.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Could also be that traffic flow was no longer economical, as there could of been no profit sending logs to Port of North Geelong (rail or road) so the logs go to other markets (paper mills, sawmills) or don't get harvested at all (waiting for markets to Improve)

Does anyone know where the logs at the port come from ? Otways, Central Highlands ?
Nightfire

Both, however last time I checked there was a stronger emphasis of logs from the Otways. From the central highlands they originate at the Wombat forest between Ballan and Daylesford.

Mike.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
there was/is a log yard at colac could it be the logs come from this location or are they loaded on truck at the location and sent directly?

there was a daily rail service from wodonga which conveyed logs to i believe geelong.  there was also a service from bairnsdale.  both of these services were on bg at the time so why was the sg connection placed into the yard at midway?
  ozfreight Chief Train Controller

Location: hawthorn 3122
Midway receives logs from Ottways and Wombat Forrest and none of these areas are rail freight friendly. Traffic from Bairnsdale ceased because of EXORBITANT charges were put on PN to carry that freight overnight on the metropolitan network .V/LINE hates freight and the sooner we hand over the whole state network to an independent authority the better .Apart from that the siding at corio bay was made dual gauge as they expected logs from Wodonga and either Heywood or Portland.None of it eventuated .

Edward
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Midway receives logs from Ottways and Wombat Forrest and none of these areas are rail freight friendly. Traffic from Bairnsdale ceased because of EXORBITANT charges were put on PN to carry that freight overnight on the metropolitan network .V/LINE hates freight and the sooner we hand over the whole state network to an independent authority the better .Apart from that the siding at corio bay was made dual gauge as they expected logs from Wodonga and either Heywood or Portland.None of it eventuated .

Edward
ozfreight

Good to see some sense for a change, rather than PN bashing.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Ermm... I'm not sure what those depths translate to in plain English, but if you're using feet rather than metres then your information is likely to be over 40 years old.

Almost all channel depths have been increased quite a lot over the last 40 years. One instance that you may remember was the hippy protest against the deepening of South Channel that got quite a bit of media exposure a few years ago.
Bogong

Accurate information will always be welcome, One will ______NOT_______ be shot on Railpage for such information.

woodford

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