Current utilisation of the Werris Creek to Armidale Corridor

 
  aident Locomotive Fireman

Location: Somewhere in the Hunter
Gday all, I'm curious about current freight traffic on the Armidale line.
Are grain trains still semi regular?
What is the current status of the Tamworth freight centre?
And is the John Holland train master plan available to the public?

Cheers, Aiden.

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
John Holland timetables were on their website.
  ThyRiverina Station Master

Gday all, I'm curious about current freight traffic on the Armidale line.
Are grain trains still semi regular?
What is the current status of the Tamworth freight centre?
And is the John Holland train master plan available to the public?

Cheers, Aiden.
Aiden Teszke
No

Nil to very little use

Yes, John Holland SWTT is available on there sight, train numbering is included within the download.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

The Tamworth freight centre has long gone the way of the do do, as have the other freight centres in NSW, none survived the break up of the rail industry.
  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Build it and they will come.

Any committed users for the facility?
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Well, they built it before and they didn't come. just pollie kite flying.
Neill Farmer
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Here is the SWTT.  Only services are the daily XPLs up and down.  Pretty poor cost recovery for the line I would imagine with no freight on it...


http://www.jhrcrn.com.au/media/3616/swtt-effective-26th-nov-2017-final.pdf
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Todays news:

http://www.northerndailyleader.com.au/story/5078376/5000-local-jobs-to-be-created-after-freight-hub-gets-green-light/?cs=12
DesL
Sounds more like pork barrelling by the Nats still smarting over their election defeats in NSW.
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
Well, they built it before and they didn't come. just pollie kite flying.
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer

The original Tamworth Freight Centre was built to cater for inwards freight from Sydney.  This appears to be outwards freight of some sort to somewhere.

I notice that the Northern Daily Leader is keeping up with the journalistic tradition of reporting something approximating the news but not the exact news. The statements that the Barraba branch will be reinstated is, of course, inaccurate.  A 6km portion of the branch will be renovated.

The original branch was almost 99km long. A bit of a difference.
  2LaGrange Train Controller

The mentioning of this project being part of the “spoke and hub” for Inland Rail is also a big stretch. It’s a very long and indirect “spoke” that needs to go from Tamworth to Werris Creek run around then go up to Narrabri to reach a “hub” on the Inland Rail.

More realistic is a Train from Tamworth to Port Botany.
Most likely Freight would be export logs from state forests in the Nundle area in the mountains to the east of Tamworth currently being road hauled. Other possible commodities could be export meat, processed grains, pulses and hay. All easily containerised.

As for backloading from Botany to Tamworth possibly containerised bulk cement for local concrete plants and bulk chemicals in tanktainers is another possibility.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Pity the New England never got anything running up to Glenn Innes like they wanted, isn't there a stack of 600/900 stored around Armidale?
  Just The Tip Junior Train Controller

Location: Danger zone
Pity the New England never got anything running up to Glenn Innes like they wanted, isn't there a stack of 600/900 stored around Armidale?
Junction box
Yeh, running an empty rail motor once a day would make a huge difference!
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Sure, advertise some tourist runs or have a morning and afternoon commuter run, hey this used to be the main North.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Sure, advertise some tourist runs or have a morning and afternoon commuter run, hey this used to be the main North.
Junction box
A commuter run from where to where?
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Pity the New England never got anything running up to Glenn Innes like they wanted, isn't there a stack of 600/900 stored around Armidale?
Junction box
Google is our friend:
http://www.freewebs.com/neriau/infohistory.htm
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Was the line used for freight often when it was open?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Was the line used for freight often when it was open?
Junction box
Last traffic beyond Armidale was fertilizer traffic to Dumaresq.

Ended In the early 2000's
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There is no viable commuter traffic, towns of 5000 to 25,000 with no traffic issues will not see people use PT and many would need a car for work in some way anyway.

The line is too far rotten for those DMU's to ever see serious action on that line again and unfortunately demand will not ever justify spending money on the track.

Those section cars are however a smart move, allows for small groups, more flexible operating time and much much lower operating cost and the track needs mostly just weeding and dealing with wash outs. Even if the sleepers completely rotted I doubt they would spread the rails in most places.

The white DMU set looks a mess and will never turn an wheel again but the red looks like its savable. it should be removed and put somewhere it may be better loved and actually do something.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

In the steam era this was a reasonably busy line. with up to 3 return passenger trains a day, Northern Tablelands Express, Glen Innes Mail and Brisbane Express via Wallan-garra  I only saw three freighters on the line, one a 35 class on the up meat express, an up double TF from Tenterfield and double 59s about to leave Werris Creek. My old WWT shows 10 pages for this line (up & Down).
Neill Farmer
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
In the steam era this was a reasonably busy line. with up to 3 return passenger trains a day, Northern Tablelands Express, Glen Innes Mail and Brisbane Express via Wallan-garra  I only saw three freighters on the line, one a 35 class on the up meat express, an up double TF from Tenterfield and double 59s about to leave Werris Creek. My old WWT shows 10 pages for this line (up & Down).
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
Of all the abanded lines that currently exist in Australia, the Werris Creek to Toowoomba corridor is my most frustrating.

Its one of the most scenic and runs through an ongoing number of towns and 400-500km of agriculture. I don't know if the Break of gauge is what killed it or that there was never any modern traffic volumes suited to rail. All those in the know I've asked simply say the local agriculture is not rail friendly. There is no large bass load traffic that would keep the line open for smaller volumes to jump on the bandwagon.

The corridor south from Toowoomba to Warwick is on death row because as soon as the inland is open, this will be closed.

The corridor from WC to Armidale is on notice, as soon as the pax numbers drop off the daily pax train will be culled. There are some rumours around that the new NSW regional trains will see two services a day to at last Toowoomba or maybe even Armidale.

So as I cannot see any viable option to return the full corridor to traffic, I'm leaning towards a rail trail from Armidale to Warwick and potentially in future extension to Toowoomba if there is no viable option post Inland. I think it has everything you need to make a rail trail successful and self funding and more than likely would see the Armidale Explorer ridership improve noticeably especially if bikes are permitted on the train.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yeah the remnant of the Main North is one of those unfortunate cases IMO.  The killers in my view are no real contestable freight volumes and no real prospect of volumes (barring some invention of very cold climate grains or unknown mineral resource).  It served a previous era and is now redundant, particularly with the inland going to its west and the coast route to its east.  The only thing i could see getting a run might be livestock (ie cattle) to go north to Toowoomba, but that would require a lot of work to standardise and reinstate the track, which I doubt would ever be recovered (and would require the cattle network in Qld to be standardised too).  A rail trail might be the answer.

Pax to Armidale might make sense - if they can get more rolling stock and develop a timetable that is more suited to passenger needs, it might get some decent patronage.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Well, they built it before and they didn't come. just pollie kite flying.
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer
The people who run out of Sandgate,, believe its Crawfords, have been looking at opening in Tamworth for some time, there has been a blockage and the owner had told the Council and others if they do not allow them to use the old Freight centre then he will buy separate land for the traffic that has been contracted to the company.

The large Chicken processing plant is expanding into export as well as another industry along the line. The Westdale silo will serve two places for feed products.
  a6et Minister for Railways

In the steam era this was a reasonably busy line. with up to 3 return passenger trains a day, Northern Tablelands Express, Glen Innes Mail and Brisbane Express via Wallan-garra  I only saw three freighters on the line, one a 35 class on the up meat express, an up double TF from Tenterfield and double 59s about to leave Werris Creek. My old WWT shows 10 pages for this line (up & Down).
Neill Farmer
Of all the abanded lines that currently exist in Australia, the Werris Creek to Toowoomba corridor is my most frustrating.

Its one of the most scenic and runs through an ongoing number of towns and 400-500km of agriculture. I don't know if the Break of gauge is what killed it or that there was never any modern traffic volumes suited to rail. All those in the know I've asked simply say the local agriculture is not rail friendly. There is no large bass load traffic that would keep the line open for smaller volumes to jump on the bandwagon.

The corridor south from Toowoomba to Warwick is on death row because as soon as the inland is open, this will be closed.

The corridor from WC to Armidale is on notice, as soon as the pax numbers drop off the daily pax train will be culled. There are some rumours around that the new NSW regional trains will see two services a day to at last Toowoomba or maybe even Armidale.

So as I cannot see any viable option to return the full corridor to traffic, I'm leaning towards a rail trail from Armidale to Warwick and potentially in future extension to Toowoomba if there is no viable option post Inland. I think it has everything you need to make a rail trail successful and self funding and more than likely would see the Armidale Explorer ridership improve noticeably especially if bikes are permitted on the train.
RTT_Rules
RTT, the line used to have a lot of two way traffic even in the days post steam, as late as the 80's there was only one freight service past Armidale but it usually was a largish load, mainly stock for the Tenterfield abattoirs and meat on return, Fertilser was a big business in years prior to then, but one train a week went North as far as Guyra, but that was cut back to Dumaresg once the line was cut north of there, of course no such products run up there now.

Go back to prior to the Flemington Markets sidings were closed, Fruit and vegetables were railed out of the area, now it all goes by road, as no rail access into the markets as the point work has been removed.  Farm Machinery was also carried by rail as was some beer from Sydney, again none of that is now hauled, nor is petrol. Most of the Petrol now comes down from Brisbane by road.

On top of the meat ex Tenterfield, meat came out of Guyra and also trucked from Inverel and loaded at Guyra for rail. Super as I mentioned was carried to an unloading point near the Tenterfield Abatoirs, also to the larger towns such as Guyra, and Glenn Innes, not forgetting Dumaresq.  For a period in the mid 80's the meat from Guyra/Inverel was trucked to Wallangarra, then rail to Acacia Ridge and transferred to NSW rail to go down the NCL, all in the process reasoning to say there was no rail traffic available on the Line.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The only cattle railed in Australia is Qld and this is done with a large subsidy by the taxpayer and the distances are now typically 1000km or more with a few exceptions down SW.


I have my own fantasies of a steamer or diesels running from both Armidale and Toowoomba meeting up at the border for lunch served in the old station restaurant before returning to their respective points of destination stopping at stations along the way, but its not going to happen. such a project would need upwards of $30-50m with alot of volunteer labour to repair the line and bring it up to standard. The SG north of Tenterfield has been abandoned now for 30 years. There wouldn't be one decent sleeper left.  The passenger numbers would not be as high as people think and the fares beyond the average Joe's weekend pocket money.

Hence why I support it going to rail trail.

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