Northern Australia infrastructure growth soaring

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Dec 2019 14:04
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Billions for roads and no rail investment seems shortsighted.

Northern Australia infrastructure growth soaring

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Billions for roads and no rail investment seems shortsighted.

Northern Australia infrastructure growth soaring
freightgate

Not sure if you're aware... there's not a lot of people in northern Australia.

Just where would you like your 'rail investment' to go Question

Mike.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Does anyone have any rail projects ready to go and waiting to be funded?
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Adani
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Billions for roads and no rail investment seems shortsighted.

Northern Australia infrastructure growth soaring

Not sure if you're aware... there's not a lot of people in northern Australia.

Just where would you like your 'rail investment' to go Question

Mike.
The Vinelander

Mike I would start to move some of the haul road traffic on 20+ years of ore to rail branches.  I would look to connecting the ord river system into the rail network and possibly connecting some of northern WA into the NT network.  Just for starters.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Billions for roads and no rail investment seems shortsighted.

Northern Australia infrastructure growth soaring

Not sure if you're aware... there's not a lot of people in northern Australia.

Just where would you like your 'rail investment' to go Question

Mike.
Advanced Search
Mike I would start to move some of the haul road traffic on 20+ years of ore to rail branches.  I would look to connecting the ord river system into the rail network and possibly connecting some of northern WA into the NT network.  Just for starters.
bevans
How much freight would actually come from the Ord system? I think it has less farmable land than King island. Its 500km from the NT line, yes cheap construction but is it worth it? I cannot find the current tonnages of crops.

I think the Ord scheme has been left to wallow too much by govt. In other countries govts would build it to commercial scale with visions of what size it needs to be and go open tender to get an operator in and make the land available for lease or sale quickly.  But perhaps a more focused govt could make it happen faster and develop the area into commercially viable quantities for sugar and other.  If after all this you can generate a 1km long train 6 days a week from the area on average, then rail would be viable.

There is nothing else in nth WA worth connecting to NT rail.

If the road haul of mineral traffic is not on the major public roads then its up to the miner and rail infrastructure owner to decide. However mining is a risky business and today's gold mine is tomorrow's hole in the pocket, if rail is cheaper over the projected mine life they will fund it, but some of the NT mines are price opportunistic miners and are hence very sensitive to commodity price changes as we have seen some come and go and come again.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

The driver of a 3 or 4 pack road train (each with a 40' container) could have breakfast at home in the Ord River area, drive to Katherine, drop his loaded containers and pick up some empties from the railway yard, and return home for tea. Those containers would be loaded on that afternoon's DA2 train to Adelaide, from where the supermarket chains distribute them around south-east Australia. Rail in this instance is moving freight from one centralised point to another, minimising costs and making the most of the inherent efficiencies gained from using rail. I saw this in action a few months ago while on holiday in that area.

A couple of trucks doing this daily pretty much covers the freight on offer. The same work if covered by rail would need all sorts of extra rail staff; gangers, drivers, shunters, loco fitters; these jobs are needed whether there is one container or two hundred being carried. I just cannot see how rail could compete against road over that sort of distance with that sort of loading.

And let's not forget, the rail route would pass through areas known for tropical cyclones, forcing them to build really heavy infrastructure to cope with that sort of weather (not that railways even then can; think Edith River on Christmas Day a few years back). At least the Darwin line tends to follow rivers, rather than cross them for hundreds of km, reducing the inherent risk. Road traffic can always deal with that sort of damage more readily, with detours available and capacity to run through damaged areas more so than rail.

Even if they could find a billionaire benefactor, I doubt rail could compete with road with the relatively low traffic volumes and high fixed costs. Mind you, 3801 would look wonderful running through that area.

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