Re re opening Inglewood Eaglehawk now that Managatang & Sea Lake are going to stay bg for the forseeable future :
- 100 export containers a week ex Bridgewater are not hypothetical its a certainty as they go by road now at high cost and the three forwarders involved all want to use rail, so Ultima trains run overnight each way via Bridgewater and attach/detach these export containers to an existing train at marginal cost, so all three customers benefit from much lower costs compared to road.
- Gives two routes South for broad gauge grain trains, increasing number of grain trains able to be run off both bg branches.
(More grain trains run, less grain by road and lower freight costs to grain growers )
- Gives Ultima inter modal trains a much shorter and faster route to Melbourne than via Dunolly.
- Most trains would run overnight or late eveings via Bendigo where there are curerntly available paths.
- Take a radical approach like all Southbund trains off both branches run via Bendigo and and all Northbound trains run via Warrenheip, and you have a circular bg operation avoiding most existing broad gauge crosses on the sole existing route via Dunolly, & Warrenheip making for faster smoother operation and train turnaround, fleet utilization. .
- Allows for early extension of VLP Eaglehawk pass services to Marong which is booming residential wise. (Far smarter than wasting capex on a station at Raywood with a population of just 300 !!!!)
- People forget before the 2007 flood this line saw regular daily freight trains happily operating on the existing singled Bendigo line with a passenger timetable virtually the same as todays hourly off peak services, so if re opened now things will work fine.
- Medium term for Bendigo to get its promised 40 minute Off Peak frequency at least two sections of several kms will have be restored as double track. This not only will benefit pax services but also increase freight paths especially with the the existing bi-di signalling and installation of a few more crossovers at selected locations between Clarkefield and Ravenswood.
- Inglewood - Eaglehawk is already 47kg track in long welded lengths, sleepers, line and top is in reasonable repair and easily re-activated for around $ 30m for 50 kmh "fit for purpose" speed. Main cost element will be re-decking one bridge at Marong and replacing a few kms of flood damaged track at Bridgewater.
- Thousands of serviceable wooden sleepers and all the required rail (107lb) readily available for nothing from the now closed North Line at Bungaree, along with five (5) sets of boom barriers.
- So on all counts its an absolute NO BRAINER not to re-activate this line and restore a valuable cross country link, and get more freight on rail and off roads, plus extend passenger services to Marong.
- talk about decison makers - ASLEEP at THE WHEEL !!!!