State government could sell regional freight network to feds

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 21 Jun 2019 09:23
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Hard to imagine it could get any worse than it is under V/Line and Victrack management.  The network is actually a mess right now for freight.

Assuming the network would go to ARTC?

State government could sell regional freight network to feds

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  SinickleBird Assistant Commissioner

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Can’t see why ARTC would be interested in an isolated BG set-up.

ARTC’s business is SG, interstate, high volume trackage.

You could probably buy it using your MasterCard, bevans. Laughing
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Can’t see why ARTC would be interested in an isolated BG set-up.

ARTC’s business is SG, interstate, high volume trackage.

You could probably buy it using your MasterCard, bevans. Laughing
SinickleBird

It is interesting but hopefully the deal would include the SG conversions and management of the network post that.  That is how I would do it which is similar to what happened with the Portland Line.

The network is really a mess.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think that the story is that Vic is looking to bundle the other SG track in Victoria into the interstate lease contract that ARTC has.  Currently the other SG branches are in it (ie Oaklands-Benalla and Maroona-Portland) so its an extension of the same model.

In all reality however I suspect ARTC would want to go the other way - dumping the branches that probably don't make the money.

Dont forget, ARTC has to at least break even, given that if it doesn't it becomes a budgetary expense, and suddenly the Inland will blow the budget surplus by billions.....  So of course they focus on the intercity network (lets not dream that it is an interstate network for a second) and the Hunter as this is where the moola is made.  Regional branches lose money (the CRN I have heard currently has a cost recovery around 5%) which would only cause problems for ARTC.

Dont forget, the Qld government had a similar discussion with ARTC a few years back which ended in nothing.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The only substantive claim in the report is that the Victorian bureaucrats valued the network and “considered” bringing it to the ARTC discussion. I’d have been more surprised if they didn’t. Seriously, go back and read it, everything else is shonky speculation and Opposition talking points.

I don’t necessarily think it would be a bad thing to do - V/Line’s insistence on sticking with BG for the sake of their passenger services, for example, shows that the current institutional setup is incapable of integrating freight and passenger rail management.

But why the hell would ARTC want it? Their Victorian assets are liabilities already, and adding the Mildura branch would hardly help that.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
More on the state of the network on the North East https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/v-line-stops-hot-drinks-sales-between-albury-and-wangaratta-because-of-staff-safety-dangers-posed-by-poor-railway-track would we expect to see the same on the Swan Hill Line with ARTC?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I'm not so certain the feds are actually interested and Victoria & Queensland in general and the failed PacificNational experiment are/were dismal failures.

Mike.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I'm not so certain the feds are actually interested and Victoria & Queensland in general and the failed PacificNational experiment are/were dismal failures.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Just because PN is closing down it's BG fleet doesn't mean PN is a failure. If some of the network is sold to the feds such as in the murray basin then for sure all of those lines will be converted to SG and that would allow a better outcome for regional freight in Victoria.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Can’t see why ARTC would be interested in an isolated BG set-up.

ARTC’s business is SG, interstate, high volume trackage.

You could probably buy it using your MasterCard, bevans. Laughing
SinickleBird
The track would be immediately converted to SG. The ARTC are not interested in BG or NG.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Can’t see why ARTC would be interested in an isolated BG set-up.

ARTC’s business is SG, interstate, high volume trackage.

You could probably buy it using your MasterCard, bevans. Laughing
The track would be immediately converted to SG. The ARTC are not interested in BG or NG.
simstrain
I would not say that entirely.  Given half a chance they would have the former WAGR.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

There's no suggestion in the article that the BG lines are involved.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I would not say that entirely.  Given half a change they would have the former WAGR.
skitz

And they would convert it to SG immediately. The ARTC is a rail body to run a national SG network. Any track that isn't SG will be converted to SG by them once they get there hands on it. If the track is leased to the ARTC they will convert it to SG.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Sea Lake & Manangatang would probably go the way of Loxton (vicinity of) & Pinnaroo, SA. Mildura & Murrayville continue via Ararat.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I would not say that entirely.  Given half a change they would have the former WAGR.
skitz
ARTC want and had control of the DIRN in W.A. until it was sold off, along with the rest of the trackage in W.A.. Which was when they were forced to hand the DIRN back to the W.A. Government. ARC Infrastructure are the current owners of all the non-Mining trackage in W.A.. ARTC want control of the DIRN so that they don't have to deal with the delays which are numerous when ARC decide they don't like how locos are marshalled or they don't like the littlest/slightest thing in the consist of a train. Ask any Train Crew or ARTC Train Controler about how much of a headache ARC can be. Brookfield Rail/Infrastructure wasn't any better.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
What's being proposed is likely not a traditional asset sale/lease. The Murray Basin lines are not a profitable asset and have massive underlying liabilities thanks to decades of underinvestment. What the Victorian Government is actually looking for is a Commonwealth bailout to complete the Murray Basin Rail Project. An ARTC lease of the Murray Basin lines is probably the best solution to the problems that beset the project - if the Feds agree to it, and that's a big if.

Mechanically, the Victorian State Government would lease the lines to ARTC, the Commonwealth throws in the money Rail Projects Victoria estimates it will take to complete the project either as an equity injection to ARTC or as some sort of additional grant and RPV would undertake the completion works on behalf of ARTC.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

ARC Infrastructure are the current owners of all the non-Mining trackage in W.A.. ARTC want control of the DIRN so that they don't have to deal with the delays which are numerous when ARC decide they don't like how locos are marshalled or they don't like the littlest/slightest thing in the consist of a train. Ask any Train Crew or ARTC Train Controler about how much of a headache ARC can be. Brookfield Rail/Infrastructure wasn't any better.
Jack Le Lievre
Brookfield Rail and Arc Infrastructure are the same company, just rebranded with no other changes.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

LD or anyone else - why would that approach be more likely to bear fruit compared to a typical tied grant like the original funding? Is it solely because ARTC equity injections are off-budget?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
LD or anyone else - why would that approach be more likely to bear fruit compared to a typical tied grant like the original funding? Is it solely because ARTC equity injections are off-budget?
potatoinmymouth
Put simply, yes. Using an ARTC equity injection (or even mixing it in with a grant) with a gradual write-down to finish the project is a *ahem* creative accounting practice but a good way of saving face for all sides. It looks good on the Federal books in the short term and it bamboozles the dullard-infested political reporter class we have in this country.

Look at what's being happening with NBN Co. A write-down is inevitable after the Multi Technology Mix cock-up. All the Feds have to do is find the right glass of milk to hide that bit of broccoli in.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

LD or anyone else - why would that approach be more likely to bear fruit compared to a typical tied grant like the original funding? Is it solely because ARTC equity injections are off-budget?
Put simply, yes. Using an ARTC equity injection (or even mixing it in with a grant) with a gradual write-down to finish the project is a *ahem* creative accounting practice but a good way of saving face for all sides. It looks good on the Federal books in the short term and it bamboozles the dullard-infested political reporter class we have in this country.

Look at what's being happening with NBN Co. A write-down is inevitable after the Multi Technology Mix cock-up. All the Feds have to do is find the right glass of milk to hide that bit of broccoli in.
LancedDendrite

The NBN was a screw up before the coalitions MTM version. If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The NBN was a screw up before the coalitions MTM version. If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
simstrain
Something that can never be proved. All we have is the LNP's word. MTM as an alternative is an indication of the LNP's (in)competency.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

The NBN was a screw up before the coalitions MTM version. If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
simstrain

Not sure I agree 100% with that position unless you are referring solely to the cost or investment.  The change to multi-technology has caused more problems and Malcolm did that.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
simstrain
Going on my dealings with Telstra, I'm glad that Gillard did not take the risk of giving it to them.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
LD or anyone else - why would that approach be more likely to bear fruit compared to a typical tied grant like the original funding? Is it solely because ARTC equity injections are off-budget?
Put simply, yes. Using an ARTC equity injection (or even mixing it in with a grant) with a gradual write-down to finish the project is a *ahem* creative accounting practice but a good way of saving face for all sides. It looks good on the Federal books in the short term and it bamboozles the dullard-infested political reporter class we have in this country.

Look at what's being happening with NBN Co. A write-down is inevitable after the Multi Technology Mix cock-up. All the Feds have to do is find the right glass of milk to hide that bit of broccoli in.

The NBN was a screw up before the coalitions MTM version. If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
simstrain
Telstra certainly had the people and the wherewithal to build the original (pre-NBNCo) NBN. But the Three Amigos up in the C-Suite were only interested in taking the Government for a ride. They literally submitted a tender bid document that was 12 pages long, non-compliant and asked for an 18% guaranteed Return On Investment. For comparison, Optus submitted a 1000 page bid document. In the end, the Minister (Conroy) was presented with evidence that the Government should just go it alone instead of relying on the telcos. He was proven right.

The Coalition stuffed up the NBN by moving to Fibre-To-The-Node (at great expense thanks to Telstra extracting its pound of flesh) based on assumptions about the Telstra ADSL/PSTN copper network's existing condition that were idiotically optimistic. At the same time, improvements to Fibre-To-The-Premises technology such as 'skinny fibre' and micro-trenching were delivering significant cost reductions. Effectively, by going back to relying on Telstra for a significant part of the NBN rollout we have made it slower to implement, much more expensive and delivered a poorer-quality network.

And here's the kicker: by using FTTN instead of FTTP, NBNCo is now saddled with an already outdated network that can't take advantage of the opportunity to provide the massive amount of highly-spread-out backhaul required for the coming 5G mobile phone network rollouts.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

...................................................

And here's the kicker: by using FTTN instead of FTTP, NBNCo is now saddled with an already outdated network that can't take advantage of the opportunity to provide the massive amount of highly-spread-out backhaul required for the coming 5G mobile phone network rollouts.
LancedDendrite
It has taken at least 2 years, including the 12+ month hiatus, to get Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) working in this area. During that time a fibre-optic cable, as backbone for a tower down the road, was installed by one of the mobile phone companies, right past our front door. The Ditch Witch horizontal drill was parked on our property overnight. Took them about two weeks.

Probably getting off topic, but not a discussion worth continuing elsewhere. Thanks to Tony Abbott we get what we get.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The NBN was a screw up before the coalitions MTM version. If Labor had given the job to Telstra it would have been done easily in 2 terms.
Something that can never be proved. All we have is the LNP's word. MTM as an alternative is an indication of the LNP's (in)competency.
kitchgp

That is nothing to do with the LNP. An incumbant company with the technology, capability and ownership of existing lines that had significant fibre optic already throughout it's network and an active and already employed workforce. Are you telling me that Telstra couldn't have just finished off the last fibre mile to every home in 6 years.

It took labor 6 years to create a company with inferior knowledge and lacking technical expertise all before even negotiating with Telstra and Optus. The libs have made it worse there is no doubt but the NBN was a farce to begin with and another reason why a federal government run vhst is a really bad idea. It will go wrong because anything that any federal government does with building infrastrucuture always goes bad.

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