Grain Harvest 2020-21

 
  Carnot Minister for Railways

(Re)Installing a BG loop at Maryborough would shorten the incredibly long section between Korong Vale and Ballarat. Therefore allowing the train stuck at Korong Vale to proceed at least that far while the problem with the grainy at Ballarat was sorted out.
duttonbay
They are planning to reinstate the loop at Tourello as part of the Murray Basin Rail Project Mk2.

That's still a long hike from Korong Vale to Tourello (2.5 hrs each way).  No wonder PN, Qube and SSR are all lobbying to re-open Eaglehawk to Inglewood to create a 200 km long passing loop.

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  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The current situation with the poor scoping of the MB project which over rationalized the former bg network is that :
-  At Maryborough not enough holding raods to allow staging of trains towards the ports
-  Two standard gauge trains can cross, or a standard and a broad, BUT not two braod gauge trains -  BRILLIANT !!!!

Broad gauge wise currently the single track section is from Korong Vale to Warrenheip.
Standard gauge wise currently a single track section from Maryborough to Maroona.

the currently funded MB works will re-instate a lengthened loop at Tourello, and a new standard gauge loop at  Elmshurst midway between Maroona and Maryborough.

There are also some  enhancements to be made at both Maryborough & Dunolly.

Yes re-opening Inglewood Eaglehawk is a no-brainer but key decision makers are STILL  asleep at the wheel.  8 kms of 107lb rail and say 6,000 sleepers released from old North line at Millbrook available to replace flood damaged sections of track.  Much shorter route to and from Melbourne for the Ultima intermodal trains, plus captures 100 export containers a week from Bridgewater off road at marginal cost by attachment to the existing overnight Ultima Intermodal trains. Plus allows early extension of VLP Eaglehawk pax services to Marong. Then one runs Southbound  bg tarins via Eaglehawk and Northbound via Warrenheip and you have NO bg grain crosses between Inglewood and North Geelong. Plus frees ub bg train paths between Dunolly & Maryborough allowing more sg tarins to run from the Murrayville & Merbein lines.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
Some positive rainfall numbers are forecasted to fall over the next week across the entire eastern states and into northern SA too.

It's amazing to see the turnaround in rainfall, especially in NSW and they haven't stopped receiving it either. More promising signs in QLD too.

The potential is there for another great winter harvest with improved soil moisture.

http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/watl/rainfall/pme.jsp
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Just prowling around a few sites, looking at YouTube, clip by Graeme White up a Korong Vale and it's as wet as a shag, checked BOM and a heap of rain over East of the Wimmera, Korong 40mm, St Araund 24, M'borough 38 and even Kerang 24.
Great start for the cropping/hay production people over that direction.

http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/flood/wimmera_mallee.shtml

BigShunter.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It's a significant Autumn break for much of Northern Vic (but not the Mallee).  And another reason for the Govt to increase rail capacity.

Incidentally, the Bendigo line hasn't seen a grain train since 9th March which is a bit disappointing.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
BS,
1.5 mm in Donald.  Places north and west got even less!
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
It's a significant Autumn break for much of Northern Vic (but not the Mallee).  And another reason for the Govt to increase rail capacity.

Incidentally, the Bendigo line hasn't seen a grain train since 9th March which is a bit disappointing.
Carnot

And also possibly meaningless. As you are well aware, there are plenty of variables affecting grain movements, many of which are not rail related.

SSR will be heading through Bendigo tonight and again later in the week.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

No sign of said SSR grainy last night. Another win for the trucks?
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
No sign of said SSR grainy last night. Another win for the trucks?
Carnot

Cancelled at the last minute due to operational issues, not the least of which was major delays to the unloading of the previous train due to failures of the (privately owned) unload system at Appleton.

Trains get cancelled across all networks, all the time. If a coal train is cancelled in the Hunter Valley (which happens on a daily basis) is it automatically a win for trucks?
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
Well with only one PN BG rake out of five currently running of late, there must be plenty of trucks winning. There were multiple PN SG rakes unloading at Portland last week and one is unloading at Geelong today from Birchip. Maybe the exports have slowed for some Grain companies?

Maybe not for Emerald Grain though, here's their shipping schedule from Appleton Dock. Plenty more SG and BG SSR trains to come I would think. https://emeraldgrain.secure.force.com/bulkShipmentACCC?outputto=pdf&format=2
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well with only one PN BG rake out of five currently running of late, there must be plenty of trucks winning. There were multiple PN SG rakes unloading at Portland last week and one is unloading at Geelong today from Birchip. Maybe the exports have slowed for some Grain companies?

Maybe not for Emerald Grain though, here's their shipping schedule from Appleton Dock. Plenty more SG and BG SSR trains to come I would think. https://emeraldgrain.secure.force.com/bulkShipmentACCC?outputto=pdf&format=2
cbinyon
PN have had a lot of issues with locos lately (both BG and SG), and I'm not sure if crew shortages are also a factor.  It should be noted that there are arguably 2 PN BG rakes active since Tocumwal containers carry a lot of grain apparently (I could be wrong).
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Ok time for a field/observation report from the trip to Melbourne, trainbrain loves these.

Not usual for me to be being a report this time of year but the youngest daughter got married in Melbourne on the weekend. With 2/3rd's of the kids married, should I be feeling even more prehistoric Valvegear ?
Big week for her/them married last week, reception/pi$$up this weekend and turns 30 on Sunday......

Righto, from Bordertown plenty of green pick in the stubbles so they are off to a good start to the season, bit dryer by half way to Kaniva and between Kaniva & Nhill plenty of country already worked up also piles of gypsum in most paddocks.

Heap of grain still in bunkers at Nhill and a couple of hundered thousand tonne at Dimboola, so plenty still to be done there. The Wimmera has seen an explosion of windfarms over the last few years with towers on the horizon in all directions.

The Ararat line runs very close to the Western Highway in places and it seemed to be in very good shape, plenty of weed control on the sides of the track bed and appeared to be even slashed on both sides of the formation in plenty of places.

Arriving in Melbourne at around 3:00pm could not believe the bloody traffic, we stayed over in Mont Albert and she was bumper to bumper the whole way, not a lot of fun, fairly happy the amount of traffic to be dealt with here in dons city. Even Sunday on the way to Geelong, chockers till halfway there... other daughter was doing a half ironman thingy because that's what most people do the day after a wedding...Shocked

We barreled along the Hamilton Highway and to my surprise quite a few paddocks with Sunflowers in them, wonder what the theorem there is and between 50 & 70,000 tonne of grain at Berrybank.

Truck observations, I reckon there was more A-Doubles on the road than the last time I went to Melbourne 3.5 years ago and between Nhill & Kaniva I saw this big bad boy on the road. She's called a B-Quad and has a permit to run from Robinvale to Kaniva and to Francis.
Lamattina’s own the rig, they are from Robinvale and have a huge carrot farm, the 1 at Rob'vale is or was the largest in the southern hemisphere at some stage.

https://www.ownerdriver.com.au/industry-news/1808/behind-the-build-australias-first-b-quad-hits-the-road

And lastly I was just applying the throttle to the floor out of Keith and a very long grain train running along side the highway was doing the same and we where intending on stopping at Tintinarra to release the hounds so I thought I would get a great video of the train, got in postion all ready, train arrives, I hit the button, the wrong button as it turned out and got 393 pictures of the bloody train, not happy jan, with that.

Roger That, over and out.

BigShunter.

actually just 1 other thing, still a rake of grain wagons in the Hamilton yard.
  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Bit of a story I've been told is the vast majority of grain out of Lillimur at the moment is being transferred to Wolsley. Story has it that Viterra have purchased 250 000 tonnes off GrainCorp. Every couple of days at the moment, whatever the SA rail mob are called these days, toddle across to Dimboola and trundle back a few hours later.I don't know whether Grain Corp were buying at the Dimboola sight, so that might make the story a bit odd.  Interesting loco combinations. A modern job on each end of the combo, a CLF/P  and ALF in the middle. Sometimes the 2 in the middle can be different.

Nothing out of Nhill for a month or 2, as the Jumbo silo has had all the pipes removed. So road only.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
Sadly, another rescue was required today on Warrenheip Bank for PN BG grainy 9148. It's pot luck these days whether a PN grainy makes it the whole way. Another rake loaded at Ultima last Friday/ Saturday and still hasn't returned as of yet.

There were multiple rakes running to Portland this week however. SSR have been to Quambatook twice also this week with their full rake.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Sadly, another rescue was required today on Warrenheip Bank for PN BG grainy 9148. It's pot luck these days whether a PN grainy makes it the whole way. Another rake loaded at Ultima last Friday/ Saturday and still hasn't returned as of yet.
cbinyon
Maybe its time PN considered banking engines to haul the grainies up Warrenheip without incident.
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Sadly, another rescue was required today on Warrenheip Bank for PN BG grainy 9148. It's pot luck these days whether a PN grainy makes it the whole way. Another rake loaded at Ultima last Friday/ Saturday and still hasn't returned as of yet.
Maybe its time PN considered banking engines to haul the grainies up Warrenheip without incident.
Gman_86
Or even just allocating a few extra HP per train.  Surely there's a T/H/P class or two spare somewhere.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
There's only 1 T left and it's in the Geelong yard as a shunter. BL28 is still yet to run on a BG train.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
What's the story with BL28?

When was it converted to broad gauge?

Why was it converted if not to be used?

Where is BL28 hiding?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I think BL28 is at Geelong atm.

Incidentally, BL29 came down from Bendigo this evening on the SSR workshops valet, so we should see that in action any day.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
Apparently the first PN grainy to Deniliquin in over a  year is running on Tuesday
  Lachlan's Train Channel Locomotive Fireman

Location: probably taking a photo of 7901V
There's only 1 T left and it's in the Geelong yard as a shunter. BL28 is still yet to run on a BG train.
cbinyon
It ran a steel wagon transfer from Tottenhem at the end of November last year, and other than a light engine movement to Geelong from Dynon in February it has done almost nothing since being converted in early 2020. IIRC it was the North Geelong pilot for a while.
  Richard stroker Junior Train Controller

Those wacky China men are up to their old tricks . An article in the south China morning post saying Australian hay import licenses are not being reissued.

China takes a lot of Australian hay . I have heard they have being rejecting some shipments for the past year , now they are making it official.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Probably worth mentioning that PN are loading grain at Deniliquin today.  The first time a train has been on this line since late-April 2020, and the first time PN have been there since July 2018.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
The Mallee could do with a drink/ autumn break. Been very dry since December/ January. Nothing forecasted for the next week either.
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
Probably worth mentioning that PN are loading grain at Deniliquin today.  The first time a train has been on this line since late-April 2020, and the first time PN have been there since July 2018.
Carnot
Hopefully the first of many. Can't believe how quiet the Bendigo line has been this harvest/ summer. Any news on the Deni Rice restarting?

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