New freight flow/traffic to/from Hamilton

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There are now rumours of a new freight service/flow from Hamilton to the Port of Melbourne.  Also on the subject of the Portland line potential for Portland goods.

Placeholder but can anyone add to this please?

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have more information about this new traffic.

It appears the new traffic will be logs from Hamilton to Corio (Midway) for export woodchips.  The service is being planned and will be operated by Qube.  2x44 class are rumoured to be the power for the train.  Daily service return to/from Hamilton to Corio.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

The investor has put a lot of money into preparing a thick base of gravel in the rail yard, plus some sleeper renewal on the yard tracks. The thick gravel base is no doubt to ensure all-weather storage and loading of logs. The gravelled area is about 350 m long, 30 m wide at perhaps 30 cm thick.

There was an article in the Hamilton Spectator several weeks ago where the investor was believed to be someone who had been in the trucking industry, but they couldn't get anyone to comment on the record. They were expecting an official announcement in a few days, but we're still waiting.

There are lots of log trucks on the road between Hamilton and Geelong. Many of the travel at night, perhaps so they can get 2 shifts out of the same truck. The Hamilton Highway has a lot of foundation damage on the Geelong-bound lane. There is one section where the speed limit has been reduced to 80 km/hr because the foundation of the Geelong-bound land is in such poor condition.

The timber harvest is about to step up, which is expected to require even more trucks and even more drivers. The night driving shifts must be difficult to get drivers for. Little wonder that a road + rail supply chain would be an attractive investment.

Nevertheless, this log traffic is likely to be short-lived. The timber plantations were established under the Managed Investment Schemes (MIS), which offered deferred tax obligations for investors. Tax accountant clients with tax problems could "postpone" their tax obligations by borrowing money to invest in a plantation.  If the trees grew at rates shown in the prospectus, the tax obligation would be deferred for 12-15 years, by which time the client may have retired.  However the prospectus growth rates were optimistic, and when the MIS companies folded the investors were left with no title to their share of the plantations. The investments were all tax driven.  After harvest, nearly all the bluegum plantations are being returned to pasture. So as the bluegum harvest comes to an end in perhaps 3-5 years time, so will the log traffic.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There is also talk of logs coming out of Penola with a guage converted line to Mount Gambier.  There is also the possibility of traffic from Penola to Adelaide in Milk products.

Do you know @mm42 the tonnages we are looking at?  I hear it is quite large and there is an option for Portland.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Qube have several 44 class including 4461 and 4483 according to the database here.

https://www.railpage.com.au/locos/44-class

Now wondering what they will do for wagons.  Any ideas?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Re Mt Gambier, can someone tell me if the works done in the Mt Gambier yards removed all rail lines??

If so, then this rumour may come to naught, as the cost to put the line back in or a bypass line may be quite significant.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Re Mt Gambier, can someone tell me if the works done in the Mt Gambier yards removed all rail lines??

If so, then this rumour may come to naught, as the cost to put the line back in or a bypass line may be quite significant.
james.au

No through lines are still there.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Re Mt Gambier, can someone tell me if the works done in the Mt Gambier yards removed all rail lines??

If so, then this rumour may come to naught, as the cost to put the line back in or a bypass line may be quite significant.

No through lines are still there.
bevans
Sorry guys everything between Bay Rd and Wehl St is gone. Removal was started in Feb 2014 with the redeveloped park opened in Nov 2015
Refer to Johnny's Pages web site >> http://www.johnnyspages.com/mt_gambier_2003.htm  scroll to bottom for the pictures of the park area.

Local Gov was, and remains insistent any reinstated rail line would need to be built to the North of the city and bypass the city area totally.

There was a proposal to reopen and gauge convert the line from Wolseley to Penola only (Not Mt. Gambier) for wood pulp shipment to Outer Harbor but the plans for the proposed pulp mill fell over due lack of financial interest.
Also out of interest sake the line has been cut at Penola by the new Penola South Bypass road.

Bevans, I've never heard of any sufficient "milk" traffic from that area to warrant a train.
  brownhillboy Train Controller

From the Midfield Group website dated October 5th:

"Since partnering with global giant Louis Dreyfus Company to complete Midfield’s new dairy plant at Penola, local dairy farmers are entering discussions with Midfield to deliver milk supply. This is a huge step in completing the project, which will specialise in producing premium milk powder for the global marketplace. The plant is expected to process up to 220 million litres of milk each year, producing up to 28 thousand tonne of skim milk and whole milk powder. For more details please contact your usual sales representative."

If a rail operator wanted to tap into this market, the best road and rail option would be to truck containers to Hamilton for delivery to the Port of Melbourne. The one way road trip is about 125km. There would be minimal start up costs for rail if the new hardstand at Hamilton was to be used.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Do you know @mm42 the tonnages we are looking at?  I hear it is quite large and there is an option for Portland.
bevans
Sorry I don't know about tonnages.  Meanwhile the development continues, and the focus has shifted to preparing new foundations for the eastern entrance to the yard where the trucks will come in.

The last time the Hamilton freight yard had much use was in 2003, when steel pipes were unloaded for the Port Campbell to Adelaide gas pipeline.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I have more information about this new traffic.

It appears the new traffic will be logs from Hamilton to Corio (Midway) for export woodchips.  The service is being planned and will be operated by Qube.  2x44 class are rumoured to be the power for the train.  Daily service return to/from Hamilton to Corio.
bevans
Interesting.....definitely logs between Hamilton and Geelong, but as of six weeks ago the operator was supposed to be Transvolution using the container flats they imported a couple of years ago. The company had invested in special cradles for the logs.

Locos is another matter.....and this may be why QUBE have been mentioned.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Interesting.....definitely logs between Hamilton and Geelong, but as of six weeks ago the operator was supposed to be Transvolution using the container flats they imported a couple of years ago. The company had invested in special cradles for the logs.

Locos is another matter.....and this may be why QUBE have been mentioned.
bingley hall

Well now this is starting to make sense.  I now know who is behind it.  Interesting.

The locos are rumoured to be 44 class.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
QUBE currently own several 44 class about 9 in total.

----

Information from the latest issue of Motive Power magazine (sept/oct 2016, pg20):

4458 and 4497 where transferred on the 28th of August from Goulburn to Junee for re-activation.

4458 and 4497 are currently in silver Independent Rail livery.

----

There are currently a few rumours going around about QUBE's intentions for these 44 class. One rumour sees them running this log service in Western Victoria, another sees them replacing 14 class on shuttle services in country NSW (Between Harefield and Yennora I think from memory). The 14 class they would be replacing here are in need of overhaul. 14 class locomotives are not permitted to run in Victoria, 44 class are.

I would think use of the 44 class on this new Hamilton log service would likely only be a short term solution, I doubt QUBE would be planning to leave a new contract to rely solely on the reliabilty of 50 year old locomotives. That said, QUBE are not frightened off by the prospect of hiring locos, nor do they seem to hesitate in spot hiring locomotives from heritage groups. Just in the last few days C501 was spot hired to assist on QUBE grain services after GML10 had a failure. So nothing would surprise me as far as QUBE and motive power are concerned.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

No sign of any activity at Midway North Shore, or North Shore Yard of any  activity in preparation for the resumption of log traffic .
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Does Qube have any 48's?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Does Qube have any 48's?
bevans
VICSIG says QUBE has 864 and 872 "in Service"  http://vicsig.net/index.php?page=locomotives&class=830&orgstate=S&type=Diesel-Electric

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