Arrium, Mt Gibson iron ore losses remain large; Whyalla steelworks future in doubt

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 17 Feb 2016 17:54
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The closure of Wyhalla Steelworks would be a huge blow for the workers and the local economy.

The impact would cause heartburn for GWA and also Pacific National I would think?

Arrium, Mt Gibson iron ore losses remain large; Whyalla steelworks future in doubt

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Steel is looking very uncertain in these times which must hve an impact on the narrow gauge network in south Australia.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
This (long anticipated) news about Whyalla steelworks came on top of more job losses in SA this morning as a Hindmarsh industrial spring manufacturer closes, citing unfair 'free trade' agreements (ABC News).
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The stories of the poor quality of cheap Imported steel Is getting crazy.

Steel that says It's to the certain standard, but Is way to soft or has way to much carbon In It making It hard and brittle.

Is It going to be normal for near new buildings and been condemned, due to steel been Inferior.

(Like the problems that were encountered when the Brooklyn Bridge In New York was built)
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
But but but  Whyalla was saved, when we got rid of the carbon tax, Tony said so.
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
Great, and I thought the economy here in SA was looking bad already...
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Great, and I thought the economy here in SA was looking bad already...
Alco_Haulic
You can easily see why there Is a push to establish a Nuclear fuel rod waste storage facility In remote outback South Australia.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
A spent fuel repository would at least prop up the SA Government's finances for a bit... But it still wouldn't replace the hundreds of jobs that would go from Whyalla.

Perhaps the state governments could order some more rail from Arrium Whyalla... I hear the Victorians need some replacement rail for a certain brand-new railway line.
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Yep Victoria has some rail issues to deal with but still remains the best regional rail system in the country.

Thought it was sadly symbolic that after no posts in the SA forum of Railpage for a whole week we get news of another potential rail closure (Whyalla) to add to the recent closures of the Pinnaroo and Tookayerta lines and the soon to close Leigh Creek line.

Combine those with The Overland on very shaky ground and the fact that general passengers cant even buy an economy class ticket on The Ghan or Indian Pacific anymore, which also run at reduced frequencies.

We also see the withdrawal of so many older locos that once opened up this country and the 2000/2100 class railcars that will probably be scrapped as there's not much talk about preservation or virtually no opportunity of running tourist trains.

Heritage trains no longer operate on the state's main lines unless the occasional one comes from interstate, and the once mighty SAR has now become a rail graveyard (with the exceptions of the great work of Steamranger and PRR).

Thankfully rail lines from Victoria, NSW, WA and the territory currently keep the majority of freight trains moving through SA so maybe when we pour criticism on another state which generally has an exceptional rail system we should look at our own backyard first.

SA
  M636C Minister for Railways

Yep Victoria has some rail issues to deal with but still remains the best regional rail system in the country.

SA
Southern Aurora

Do Queensland, Western Australia and NSW have regional rail systems?

How are they less good than that in Victoria?

M636C
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
M636C
QLD & WA systems are less developed due to lower population density.

Victoria has the highest population density and a lot of flat easy railway building land surrounding Melbourne.

Add the Victorian Gold Rush and the rest Is history.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Victoria has population densities not matched by the other states; they're key to the success of interurban rail system - Melbourne has five major urban centres 100,000+ each within a 150km radius; there's no other state like it.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Victoria has population densities not matched by the other states; they're key to the success of interurban rail system - Melbourne has five major urban centres 100,000+ each within a 150km radius; there's no other state like it.
don_dunstan

Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat and ?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
If you count the Latrobe Valley as a single urban area - I'd also include the Mornington peninsula as a dense nearby conurbation with an interurban rail service (but you could argue that it's just an extension of greater Melbourne now-days).

If the steelworks closes then Whyalla (like Portland) is certainly going to feel the impact, there's not much else that can fill the employment gap in those towns.
  M636C Minister for Railways

M636C
QLD & WA systems are less developed due to lower population density.

Victoria has the highest population density and a lot of flat easy railway building land surrounding Melbourne.

Add the Victorian Gold Rush and the rest Is history.
Nightfire
So you are talking about passenger services?

That wasn't clear from your statement.

The Brisbane/Gold Coast/Sunshine Coast network provides frequent fast electric trains to a much larger area than Melbourne.

Equally, the Perth North south line provides frequent fast services.

These trains are generally more comfortable than the noisy Velocity trains, even if they are limted to 130 Km/h.

In Brisbane, the latest trains all include toilet facilities.

Are you saying that the population included by the V/Line network is larger than Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong, Bathurst and Goulburn and the intervening areas combined? (It might be, it just doesn't look like it)

The NSW Trainlink network, electric and diesel provides a lot of services and the the V sets and H sets provide a high standard of comfort. The Endeavours are worse than Velocities, but only just...

M636C
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
A spent fuel repository would at least prop up the SA Government's finances for a bit... But it still wouldn't replace the hundreds of jobs that would go from Whyalla.

Perhaps the state governments could order some more rail from Arrium Whyalla... I hear the Victorians need some replacement rail for a certain brand-new railway line.
LancedDendrite

Sure but maybe also stop metro from buying Chinese rail before it falls apart completely.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

QR's primary interurban services within 150km of Brisbane run to the Gold Coast (pop. 560,266) and the Sunshine Coast (pop. 335,874). Toowoomba with a population of 150,748 is also within 150km of Brisbane but only gets two passenger services a week. The 1681km North Coast Line serves a total population of 1,118,522 between Gympie and Cairns with five through weekly services and daily services to Bundaberg and Rockhampton.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Steel is looking very uncertain in these times which must hve an impact on the narrow gauge network in south Australia.
freightgate
The Whyalla steel works used Magnetite. The works were altered to use Magnetite in 2008. The Magnetite is pumped as a slurry from the mines.
Hematite ore is the ore transported via rail and is purely for export and not used in the steel making process at Whyalla.

So it's yet to be seen if the export side can survive.


Question for all .............. How did this thread so quickly become an argument on which state has the best regional passenger trains????? Rolling Eyes
  Southern Aurora Locomotive Driver

Not sure that anyone comes close to Victoria's passenger rail system.

Not only do fast and frequent rail services serve the major regional centres all through the day between 6am and midnight, what other state can boast three long distance trains each weekday to regional cities such as Albury, Bairnsdale, Ararat and Warrnambool, with 2 weekday return services to Swan Hill and one to Echuca?

Victoria's freight rail network is also about to be revitalized with many broad gauge lines being converted to standard gauge. It's sad that one state can have a vision for their railways with things like the Regional Fast Rail, Regional Rail Link and the Standard Gauge conversion program, while it's neighboring state's railway system is rapidly being reduced to just a through highway route with so many line closures (oops forgot to mention Penrice earlier).

South Australia has so much to offer in so many areas and I guess we can only hope that one day someone will lead the state with a vision to invest in whatever portion of the extensively severed country rail network remains.

SA
  M636C Minister for Railways

Steel is looking very uncertain in these times which must hve an impact on the narrow gauge network in south Australia.
The Whyalla steel works used Magnetite. The works were altered to use Magnetite in 2008. The Magnetite is pumped as a slurry from the mines.
Hematite ore is the ore transported via rail and is purely for export and not used in the steel making process at Whyalla.

So it's yet to be seen if the export side can survive.


Question for all .............. How did this thread so quickly become an argument on which state has the best regional passenger trains????? Rolling Eyes
Pressman

I'm at least partly to blame...

It didn't occur to me that the poster was talking about passenger trains.

Following that, the presented claims seemed so extraordinary I continued to ask questions which sadly were met by similar general statements that did not appear to be correct or justified. I'll stop now.

I for one was not aware that Whyalla now used Magnetite exclusively and that the trains only transported ore for export.

Clearly there is an advantage in using magnetite for slurry transport being easier to separate at the steelworks end.

But closure of Whyalla steelworks would imply the closure of Newcastle rolling mills wouldn't it, since all the feedstock fror Newcastle comes from Whyalla... In turn, this would imply the cessation of Pacific National's steel trains, or at least a reduction assuming Port Kembla continued to produce steel and flat products.

M636C
  Lake View Beginner

The narrow guage ore trains are not purely for export, the bulk of the feedstock for the blast furnace is pelletised magnetite pumped from the Iron Duke operations, also there are two ore benification plants, rock washers, which is partly used to balance the feed stock at the blast furnace and as coolant in the Basic Oxygen Steel making plant, the bulk of which is sold as high quality lump hematite.
surplus filter cake is added to the lower quality ores prior to export from the train unloader at the newer harbour complex to value add.

depending on contractural requirements as to what is actually being railed into Whyalla, fines, lump and or all in ( basically every bit of rock and dust)

yes the billets to supply Newcastle will cease aswell as all rail production in Australia and all head hardened rail in the southern hemisphere.

this will also leave Trakloc without a raw supply of steel and hence the sleeper plant in Whyalla will also close.

I cant see the gas loading continuing in Whyalla which is trucked from Point Lowley SANTOS plant to Whyalla to be pumped into rail tankers as being the only train to continue to Whyalla in the not too distant future.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The narrow guage ore trains are not purely for export...,
Lake View
.......but about 90-95% of it is.
  Alco_Haulic Chief Commissioner

Location: Eating out...
The narrow guage ore trains are not purely for export, the bulk of the feedstock for the blast furnace is pelletised magnetite pumped from the Iron Duke operations, also there are two ore benification plants, rock washers, which is partly used to balance the feed stock at the blast furnace and as coolant in the Basic Oxygen Steel making plant, the bulk of which is sold as high quality lump hematite.
surplus filter cake is added to the lower quality ores prior to export from the train unloader at the newer harbour complex to value add.

depending on contractural requirements as to what is actually being railed into Whyalla, fines, lump and or all in ( basically every bit of rock and dust)

yes the billets to supply Newcastle will cease aswell as all rail production in Australia and all head hardened rail in the southern hemisphere.

this will also leave Trakloc without a raw supply of steel and hence the sleeper plant in Whyalla will also close.

I cant see the gas loading continuing in Whyalla which is trucked from Point Lowley SANTOS plant to Whyalla to be pumped into rail tankers as being the only train to continue to Whyalla in the not too distant future.
Lake View
With the increase in access for AB Triple combinations (edited), it'll be cheaper an easier to truck it to Pt. Augusta if they choose to continue with rail haulage.

Thinking of the flow on effects, there'll be a reduction in containers moved from Adelaide to Whyalla (flux, and other chemicals), not to mention the empties that the company I work for moves. The dolomite mine at Ardrossan will also be hit hard, as most of it's supply goes to Whyalla, with a lesser amount to Pt. Kembla. It also makes you wonder if the salt production will continue on the site.

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