I wonder how the road freight industry would have reacted if Australia's interstate road links had all been limited to 70-80 km/h with any worthwhile road axle load .
The Darwin railway is a very good example of what happens when the infrastructure is short changed financially .
The rail weight is too light and the sleeper spacing too wide , or so I'm told . And the result - they botched it totally .
I doubt anyone cares how much money was saved building it - but the legacy of pathetic train performance is realised every day and it may never improve . Can you all image the cost to fix it properly compared to just doing it properly in the first place ?
Think of an Inland Railway where you could run locos up to 30TAL , and full tank of fuel doesn't put you over ...
Wouldn't it be great to run wagons of the same axle load at 80 km/h .
And how good to do this willy nilly at temperatures over 40C .
It isn't a fantasy and it goes on in this country 24/7/365 .
You will have your own opinions on the proposed Adani Coal rail project in QLD .
If it goes ahead I sincerely hope they build that railway to US domestic loading gauge and perway standards .
Once the powers that be see it done on this side of the country there well be a glaring example of what happens when someone gets serious about it .
I don't expect to see the US loading gauge used in the national standard gauge system but locos like the 5000/5020s would make everything else look very sick on an appropriately build Inland Railway .
The land freight business is out there , but it won't come looking for a starved weakling underperforming mode of transport .