YM, I don't think anybody would disagree with you, your quite right, but trying to replace a railway system from last century with only a small piggy bank of money, is never going to set the world on fire.
I assume FMG is Fortescue Metals Group, and to compare the Victorian regional freight system to them, well, that's pushing it. How many trains a day and their probably running 30 TAL, I wonder how many Kilo's/Kilometer or how ever it is you measure railway line productivity, they carry and using the heavy sleepers to their max.
There has been heaps written on here and Trainplanner in particular has written numerous articles about the advantages of 23 TAL and ability to move to 25 and beyond, with a bit of planning and spending some serious coin, the advantages in economies of scale take big leaps and bounds for not only for the movement of freight but productive use of trains.
Now, what happens in Victoria, it must be 8 years or so, since the sleeper gang went through Horsham, replacing the timber sleepers with concrete but do we see freight trains travelling at 120KPH and 25 TAL, no way, same on the North East line, so are the big heavy duty sleepers used to their full potential, questionable, eh. The low profile ones with a max load of 23 tonne and carrying 21 tonne, are they being used to their maximum potential, fairly well.
So even with a 21 tonne load and 80k line speed running I reckon is a big step forward for the freight system of Victoria and hopefully you haven't go to sleep reading this, but in the September issue of Railway Digest, the Naradhan line in NSW, was reopened, a big tick there, 22 TAL, big tick there, 60 km of line, big tick there, line speed 35km/h,( molga bill on his malvern star, could drag them off ) hmmm, not such a big tick there.
I bet those Hill Billies in NSW would love some of our low profile sleepers as well as a big heap of CWR, don't you think, which deal would you prefer ?
And here endith the epistle.