Would require coordination, cooperation and organisation.
How easy is it to lash hay bales to a flat car? And what additional risk procedures does rail require be addressed (that road probably does not...).I was thinking containerised as is done for export and hauled as backload as I understand a much higher volume of freight heads east > west than vice versa.
And rail crews can volunteer their time just as easily as truck drivers can, paths could be made avl foc by ARTC etc.
Reading the article it sounds like they raised $600K and that could have been used to pay the fuel bill
For what it's worth I think this sums up the mind set of this country. I need to move a few thousand bales of feed hay 3500km so I immediately think of using a whole bunch of trucks and using the more efficient method of Rail transport never even crosses my mind.
Not for a minute wanting to take anything away from this great cause (I am buying bales when I have a spare $20.00 or so https://www.buyabale.com.au/ ) just don't think it is a great use of resources and a missed opportunity for rail to put itself front and centre in the hearts and minds of many Australians
Privatisation destroyed all that.
I would also add where is the hay coming from?
Does the local railway line have any suitable hard stand locations to load?
Is the hay being moved in sufficient tonnages?
Would drivers volunteer their time? Can they? I remember a few years back in Tas on a heritage train, I was told that the Tasrail drivers cannot work for free for legal reasons, thus must be paid (open to correction). Now what they do with their pay is their choice.
If coming from Qld into NSW, then its more complex due to the rail network layout on each side of the border and Break of Gauge in Brisbane.
Much easier for a truck who is volunteering his time and rig to drive to a donation farm, load up and head direct to the farm being supported.
However I remember a few years back (another drought), Angry Anderson moved hay from southern Vic into NW NSW by train on one of those Channel 9 drought rescue missions. I believe the train and crew were donated by National Rail ???