Leigh Creek Coal Train - The End Is Nigh

 
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I thought it might make sense for them to dig as much coal out of the mine before it closes down. I guess not if they already have a lot stockpiled.
Nobody would want it anyway. Half of it is dirt and the other half doesn't burn....
nm39
Too true.

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  ANR Chief Commissioner

Rather than dismantle this stretch of railway, the Fed Govt or SA Govt should perhaps look into extending it back to Marree, and on to William Ck and Oodnadatta. Idea

In all seriousness, they should not be in a hurry to rip it up because we do not know what the future brings. Who knows, if the price of coal goes through the roof again?

A functioning line from Pt Augusta to the inland could potentially help to establish larger purpose built communities and centres for a growing population.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Rather than dismantle this stretch of railway, the Fed Govt or SA Govt should perhaps look into extending it back to Marree, and on to William Ck and Oodnadatta. Idea

In all seriousness, they should not be in a hurry to rip it up because we do not know what the future brings. Who knows, if the price of coal goes through the roof again?

A functioning line from Pt Augusta to the inland could potentially help to establish larger purpose built communities and centres for a growing population.
ANR
The sky Is raining pies !

Line will be closed, as It's need has become depleted !
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Rather than dismantle this stretch of railway, the Fed Govt or SA Govt should perhaps look into extending it back to Marree, and on to William Ck and Oodnadatta. Idea

In all seriousness, they should not be in a hurry to rip it up because we do not know what the future brings. Who knows, if the price of coal goes through the roof again?

A functioning line from Pt Augusta to the inland could potentially help to establish larger purpose built communities and centres for a growing population.
ANR
For starters the line is leased to Alinta Energy (who also own the Leigh Creek Mine and the Power stations).

The closure of the Mine and therefore the railway has come about because Alinta have chosen to close the Power stations rather than upgrading them.
Leigh Creek coal has never been exported, (it's low grade brown coal!) the mine was solely to supply the Power Stations at Port Augusta, so any price rise is meaningless.

Years ago a new line to the Alice was built to replace the flood prone line via Marree. The line was cut back to Leigh Creek once the new line opened.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

A functioning line from Pt Augusta to the inland could potentially help to establish larger purpose built communities and centres for a growing population.
ANR
Volunteering to shift up there?

How do you plan on filling your days once you're up there?
  Guard Class 2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Elizabeth,South Australia
Lets build lines further out past Goyders line. The people will come and the rains will follow the plough and everyone will make their fortunes in the middle of nowhere.
Wink
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Rather than dismantle this stretch of railway
ANR
Has this been suggested?  Id imagine it would be just left there.  Who knows where coal prices are in 10 years time?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
For the last time: Leigh Creek coal has never been and never will be an export proposition. There is no coal price high enough to convince an Asian power station owner to burn that semi-combustible mud.

When the mine closes, the line closes. If there's no other mineral resources near the line then it should be ripped up.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
When the mine closes, the line closes. If there's no other mineral resources near the line then it should be ripped up.
LancedDendrite
I was under the impression that there were mineral resources in that region, and the line could easily remain mothballed should those minerals be dug up.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

For the last time: Leigh Creek coal has never been and never will be an export proposition. There is no coal price high enough to convince an Asian power station owner to burn that semi-combustible mud.
LancedDendrite
+1

If the rail links with NSW were as good as they are now, it would have been a better business case - although electorally disastrous for Playford - to locate the power stations nearer to Port Pirie and import cleaner burning coal from NSW.

The only thing - literally the only thing - in favour of Leigh Creek coal at any time ever has been its close proximity to Port Augusta.
  ssaunders Chief Train Controller

For the last time: Leigh Creek coal has never been and never will be an export proposition. There is no coal price high enough to convince an Asian power station owner to burn that semi-combustible mud.

When the mine closes, the line closes. If there's no other mineral resources near the line then it should be ripped up.
LancedDendrite

There are other non coal minerals potentially to mined in the area which is under consideration, it will be a competition against road especially if the line falls into disrepair.

ss
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
The Government has said they will keep the town going until 2018.
I will put my conspiracy hat on here, I reckon the Government has a potential other use for the area, probably more so for the town over the train line. As has been said there is an apparently good source of mineral sands near by. Next year there is going to be one big hole inn the ground.

Would the ex coal mine make a good rubbish dump and knowing the Government desperation for $$$ a nuclear rubbish dump?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
For the last time: Leigh Creek coal has never been and never will be an export proposition. There is no coal price high enough to convince an Asian power station owner to burn that semi-combustible mud.

When the mine closes, the line closes. If there's no other mineral resources near the line then it should be ripped up.
LancedDendrite
1. We can never say what will happen on commodity markets in the future
2. Why spend $$ to remove a line and lose the option value it has?  Exploration is continuously evolving and we don't know what is under the ground!  Or what other resources may be there in the future.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

A functioning line from Pt Augusta to the inland could potentially help to establish larger purpose built communities and centres for a growing population.
Volunteering to shift up there?

How do you plan on filling your days once you're up there?
justapassenger
Good question!!! I dunno Rolling Eyes, ummm ... maybe go prospecting for some Uranium Twisted Evil, or copper or some other goodies.

Actually, I would be happy to sit on my back verandah looking at the Flinders Ranges sunsets.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The line will not find another use and will ultimately be ripped up, there is going to be no further use and most of the suggested proposals above wouldn't justify the line being kept in operation. Nuclear waste is very concentrated and would only need a few trucks a day depending on how much of the market Australia was able to get.

While this line is concrete sleepered it will not deteriorate like a timber sleepered line and both the axle loading and alignment are relatively modern, however in 5 to 10 years time there will be a significant amount of money required to return it to service. The Line deserves a final send off and the govt and track owner should combine some funds to charter GSR or other to run a service to the end and back. Ticket sales would probably cover the bulk of the cost.

Leaving disused railways line abandoned to rot across the country side is akin to Industrial Littering and the owner should be fined accordingly.

I have often thought that should Lake Eyre be connected to the coast, even by pipe it could remain permanently semi-full/full and would spawn an inland city of retirees and tourism. Lake Torrens is however more complicated as its 30m above sea level and hence water needs to be pumped there, maybe its easier as the concentrated brine stream would flow back to the coast by gravity?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I don't equate it with industrial littering at all.  Its not doing any damage where it is and the possible future use of it is not known.  its not like leaving drums of waste products lying around.

Regarding Lake Eyre, why ruin the environment that is Lake Eyre as it is today?  Now that is an environmentally unhelpful suggestion im afraid!!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I don't equate it with industrial littering at all.  Its not doing any damage where it is and the possible future use of it is not known.  its not like leaving drums of waste products lying around.

Regarding Lake Eyre, why ruin the environment that is Lake Eyre as it is today?  Now that is an environmentally unhelpful suggestion im afraid!!
jamesbushell.au

You don't, but others don't feel the same and I why I enjoy a bit of nostalgia when driving around the country side. For the average public, rotting railway infrastructure is often a mixture of eye-sore, safety hazard and derelict rubbish at times attracting other waste.   A well kept, tiny railway yard is history preserved, unfortunately much isn't like this. In NSW there is at least one bridge in state of collapse into a river. A joining land owners often have to deal with weeds from over grown corridors etc. No other industry is allowed to do this. These days its return to Greenfield when finished so someone else may make use of the land without having to clean up another mess and this needs to apply to rail a well.

Lake Eyre, its a idea that will never go anywhere. Agree will will harm some of the existing biology, but it will be replaced with so much more, especially if it leads to increased rainfall.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

A permanently filled Lake Eyre would significantly increase rainfall to the regions east of it...and increase snowfalls in NSW. But it'll never past the environment and cost tests.
  CPH8 Junior Train Controller

A permanently filled Lake Eyre would significantly increase rainfall to the regions east of it...and increase snowfalls in NSW. But it'll never past the environment and cost tests.
Sulla1
Regarding the quality of Leigh Creek coal. It is not brown coal but low grade black coal. And it was fine for heating homes in winter - yes, Leigh Creek can get down to zero in winter. In the old town, ETSA used to deliver free truck loads of coal to homes in winter, which we used in our lounge room heater. Great when you have nappies to dry. I lived there from 1969 to 1974 and enjoyed every minute. Experiments were done with T class locomotives but they have a long narrow firebox and notoriously difficult to fire, which is why many of them were converted to oil firing. Just think how fussy the 38's are for good coal!
  Smacks Station Master

Nuclear waste is very concentrated and would only need a few trucks a day depending on how much of the market Australia was able to get.
RTT_Rules
Could you do it with trucks though? Rail is a much more stable platform to carry something like nuclear waste on. Also you have to factor in how much the casks that it would be carried in weigh etc.

Obviously that depends on the suitability of Leigh creek for a nuclear waste depository.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Regarding the quality of Leigh Creek coal. It is not brown coal but low grade black coal. And it was fine for heating homes in winter - yes, Leigh Creek can get down to zero in winter. In the old town, ETSA used to deliver free truck loads of coal to homes in winter, which we used in our lounge room heater. Great when you have nappies to dry. I lived there from 1969 to 1974 and enjoyed every minute. Experiments were done with T class locomotives but they have a long narrow firebox and notoriously difficult to fire, which is why many of them were converted to oil firing. Just think how fussy the 38's are for good coal!
CPH8

The grade is sub-bituminous. Not quite black, not quite brown (aka lignite). Too much moisture and too much ash to be proper export-grade stuff.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A permanently filled Lake Eyre would significantly increase rainfall to the regions east of it...and increase snowfalls in NSW.
Sulla1
That would be amazing
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I don't equate it with industrial littering at all.  Its not doing any damage where it is and the possible future use of it is not known.  its not like leaving drums of waste products lying around.

Regarding Lake Eyre, why ruin the environment that is Lake Eyre as it is today?  Now that is an environmentally unhelpful suggestion im afraid!!

You don't, but others don't feel the same and I why I enjoy a bit of nostalgia when driving around the country side. For the average public, rotting railway infrastructure is often a mixture of eye-sore, safety hazard and derelict rubbish at times attracting other waste.   A well kept, tiny railway yard is history preserved, unfortunately much isn't like this. In NSW there is at least one bridge in state of collapse into a river. A joining land owners often have to deal with weeds from over grown corridors etc. No other industry is allowed to do this. These days its return to Greenfield when finished so someone else may make use of the land without having to clean up another mess and this needs to apply to rail a well.

Lake Eyre, its a idea that will never go anywhere. Agree will will harm some of the existing biology, but it will be replaced with so much more, especially if it leads to increased rainfall.
RTT_Rules
RTT I have found that we have pretty similar views on most things over time (and that your views are quite reasonable), but on these topics Im surprised at how divergent we appear!.  I am quite centrist in my views, sustainability includes financial as well as environmental elements, and I'm in no way a proponent of projects that provide no net benefit.  But lifting track isn't the same as rehabilitating a mine or industrial factory, and the contradiction in your views between this and permanently flooding Lake Eyre and the significant environmental destruction that will ensue are quite unusual.  Like i said, i find the vast majority what you say as being sensible, but on these, not so much.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The future if any of Leigh Creek and the rail line will depend on what Alinta actually do with the generating assets at Port Augusta. If they are immediately disposed of ond/or demolished then, as others have explained, there is virtually no need for what some call coal to be mined and railed from Leigh Creek.

LC coal could be a fuel source for gasification and the plant could be converted to combined cycle burning the resultant gas, gas turbines and HRSG would replace the boilers.

If Alinta mothball all of some of the assets then LC could have a future.

Ian
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Likely Alinta will put everything associated with the coal mining and power generating operation up for sale, and let the market decide what becomes of the assets ?

Probably just scrap metal merchants will put their hand up ?

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