Threat to deisel fuel

 
  alfclp Train Controller

With Australia having only a few weeks supply of fuel on shore at any given time we are vulnerable to shipping interruptions.

Therefore should we as a nation consider a strategic fleet of coal powered steam locomotives?

What are the thoughts of forum readers?

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  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

On what services do you envisage this strategic fleet (number unknown) to be deployed on?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Great Northern Limited (Swan Hill line service) for starters would be ideal for the R-class fleet Razz

Nope, won't happen. Unless we live in Mad Max's dystopia...
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Great Northern Limited (Swan Hill line service) for starters would be ideal for the R-class fleet Razz

Nope, won't happen. Unless we live in Mad Max's dystopia...
Carnot
If It got to the point where coal fueled trains were needed, the country would of entered a nasty case of civil war, with looting and sabotage crippling railways.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
With Australia having only a few weeks supply of fuel on shore at any given time we are vulnerable to shipping interruptions.

Therefore should we as a nation consider a strategic fleet of coal powered steam locomotives?

What are the thoughts of forum readers?
alfclp
If it got that bad, what onshore refining capacity we have left would be required to produce fuel from oil reserves within our own borders, such as bass straight for the purposes of supplying essential infrastructure. Military, emergency services, aviation, rail, last mile trucking. We have enough capacity to keep that going for a while.

if we have to what draft coal trains we have into mainline service, we are looking at ww3. Have a look at the movie On the Beach for what the looks like. Not good. There's some nice shots of a K class if memory serves running around some place as part of that movie https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0219224/
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I think it's a great idea and other RPers may be missing the point here suggesting silly things like re-activating R classes and other heritage locos, what nonsense!

The Federal Government needs to act on this without haste as we hurtle towards an increasingly uncertain future. With globalisation receding at a rate of knots we need to make use of the resource that we have in abundance - Coal!

What we really need is a fleet of, let's say 100 for starters, new built coal-fired steamers ready to be deployed across the ARTC and other networks at the drop of a hat.

In order to get this project up and running as fast as possible I suggest that the LNER's Peppercorn A1 class be used as one has been built in fairly recent times to mainline standards and this will cut development costs and lead times considerably - not forgetting of course that there will need to be a 5'3" version developed for Victoria and other recalcitrant states clinging to their Irish gauge for dear life

This is a no brainer IMHO, a truly Shovel-ready project that we could get going on right now (although it should probably be called Stoker-ready as union rules would probably prevent coal being shovelled the whole time VR S class style over those long trips)

Crews should be hired now with training to begin ASAP as you would need a lot of crew - by their very nature these emergency ready locos would need to be kept in steam at all times ready for action at a moments notice should the diesel (or urea, remember that?) supply suddenly fail.

I commend this forward thinking idea to you all and I will of course vote for whichever party endorses this project in the lead up the the next Local Government Election in Mt Alexander. Hussar!!!
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I think it's a great idea and other RPers may be missing the point here suggesting silly things like re-activating R classes and other heritage locos, what nonsense!

The Federal Government needs to act on this without haste as we hurtle towards an increasingly uncertain future. With globalisation receding at a rate of knots we need to make use of the resource that we have in abundance - Coal!

What we really need is a fleet of, let's say 100 for starters, new built coal-fired steamers ready to be deployed across the ARTC and other networks at the drop of a hat.

In order to get this project up and running as fast as possible I suggest that the LNER's Peppercorn A1 class be used as one has been built in fairly recent times to mainline standards and this will cut development costs and lead times considerably - not forgetting of course that there will need to be a 5'3" version developed for Victoria and other recalcitrant states clinging to their Irish gauge for dear life

This is a no brainer IMHO, a truly Shovel-ready project that we could get going on right now (although it should probably be called Stoker-ready as union rules would probably prevent coal being shovelled the whole time VR S class style over those long trips)

Crews should be hired now with training to begin ASAP as you would need a lot of crew - by their very nature these emergency ready locos would need to be kept in steam at all times ready for action at a moments notice should the diesel (or urea, remember that?) supply suddenly fail.

I commend this forward thinking idea to you all and I will of course vote for whichever party endorses this project in the lead up the the next Local Government Election in Mt Alexander. Hussar!!!
BrentonGolding
There was a weird comment from a Defense point of view that electric cars wouldnt be effected by our fuel supply so maybe we should move towards them in the last few days.
  Griffinrails Official Junior Train Controller

Location: Dunno. (help i'm lost)
this thread i swear to god...
also, "deiesel"...
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Victoria more than New South Wales depends on diesel for their train operation given the lack of electrification in the state. How will V/Line faire on the diesel piece rises which if you believe the press and some in economics could be here for years ?
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Instead of ridiculous band-aid solutions, we should seriously address the problem of our miniscule oil stocks and ever reducing refinery capacity. Indeed our stocks of just about everything and anything.

Just taking an SCT train with 60 x ABFX type vans @ 80 tonnes each for around 4,800 tonnes as an example would require 13 x R class to get it over Heathcote Junction.

One K class would haul around FOUR SCT vans or ONE 5-unit well set wagon at little more than walking pace on a 1 in 50 grade.

I agree that we have a serious problem in this country with fuel reserves about which the government does nothing and cares even less but steam locos are not the answer. Proper fuel stocks, sources and refining capacity are.

Many years ago during a major oil crisis CR had a tank farm with thousands of tons of diesel at Port Pirie Junction. Does any railway hold substantial stocks these days to last for weeks or months?

Some months ago Morrison proposed buying oil in the USA as our back-up supply. He intended to store this oil IN THE USA. With undue respect I ask what the bloody hell use is this to us in a here and now situation?

All China has to do is sit back and wait.

Thinking back to Britain in WW2 ...................
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

Reminiscent of the $80 million water purchase, a reserve needs to be on hand a physical and visible asset.
NBG in the US.
https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/australia-buys-two-days-of-cheap-fuel-20200422-p54m6h

And further, what is the real situation?

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/mar/17/morrison-government-yet-to-release-2019-report-on-vulnerability-of-australias-fuel-supplies
  8502 Assistant Commissioner

Victoria more than New South Wales depends on diesel for their train operation given the lack of electrification in the state. How will V/Line faire on the diesel piece rises which if you believe the press and some in economics could be here for years ?
freightgate

Missed opportunity to get it right and prepare for the future when for 10 years people have been saying oil is going to be a future issue.  The RFR should have included electrification when it was built to take the Geelong line off diesel trains.

Some say in the media diesel could go to $7.00 per litre.  

If we are paying $4.00 a litre what will that mean for V/Line fares?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Instead of ridiculous band-aid solutions, we should seriously address the problem of our miniscule oil stocks and ever reducing refinery capacity. Indeed our stocks of just about everything and anything.

Just taking an SCT train with 60 x ABFX type vans @ 80 tonnes each for around 4,800 tonnes as an example would require 13 x R class to get it over Heathcote Junction.

One K class would haul around FOUR SCT vans or ONE 5-unit well set wagon at little more than walking pace on a 1 in 50 grade.

I agree that we have a serious problem in this country with fuel reserves about which the government does nothing and cares even less but steam locos are not the answer. Proper fuel stocks, sources and refining capacity are.

Many years ago during a major oil crisis CR had a tank farm with thousands of tons of diesel at Port Pirie Junction. Does any railway hold substantial stocks these days to last for weeks or months?

Some months ago Morrison proposed buying oil in the USA as our back-up supply. He intended to store this oil IN THE USA. With undue respect I ask what the bloody hell use is this to us in a here and now situation?

All China has to do is sit back and wait.

Thinking back to Britain in WW2 ...................
YM-Mundrabilla
The reason it was bought and stored in USA is due to available capacity to do so. Also it can be bought and sold quickly. The need to physically transport to Australia isn't required. Should Australia want to go down the path of indepdent Strategic Oil Reserve then billions needs to be spent on oil tank farms.

While I agree Australia needs to retain some refining capacity, it doesn't need to be 100%. Issue also is our oil refineries are tuned to refine blended crude. Most of Australia's Bass Strait production, light sweet crude is actually exported as it does not meet our needs on its own. So even with refining capacity we are still heavily dependent on import crude. The issue is how to find alternatives. The Gladstone shale oil project was orginally seen as an alternative that could supply 10% of Australia's requirement, but thank the Greenies and others for killing that off supplying more heavy crude than Bass Strait with advantage of zero sulphur, although the project was never fully closed and there has been ongoing work and R&D.  

Should the railway have a large tank farm as to last months, if we were in a national crisis then this would simply be taken under control by the govt under a State of Emergency so pretty much useless for the railways.

As for China's energy security
- The country is heavily dependent on gas imports
- The country is heavily dependent on oil imports
- The country is heavily dependent on coal imports
- The country is heavily dependent on uranium imports
- The country is heavily dependent on food imports
Hence if Australia gets into trouble, what do we think will happen to a country of over 1 billion people?

In response to Freightgate, while NSW has sparked interurban rail, there isn't much benefit over Vic.
Ironically Qld coal exports are protected being electric haul to export terminal supplied by coal fired power stations.


In response to OP, it is illogical to think an alternative to our diesel loco's involves coal fired steam engines. There is a reason they are history and the rail infrastruture required to support them is gone and as no viable design exists for a modern replacement how long do you think it would take to design and build and what do you do with 100's modern steam engines that are not required?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

Missed opportunity to get it right and prepare for the future when for 10 years people have been saying oil is going to be a future issue.  The RFR should have included electrification when it was built to take the Geelong line off diesel trains.

Some say in the media diesel could go to $7.00 per litre.  

If we are paying $4.00 a litre what will that mean for V/Line fares?
8502
Probably nothing, they are over 60% subsidised now.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner


Missed opportunity to get it right and prepare for the future when for 10 years people have been saying oil is going to be a future issue.  The RFR should have included electrification when it was built to take the Geelong line off diesel trains.

Some say in the media diesel could go to $7.00 per litre.  

If we are paying $4.00 a litre what will that mean for V/Line fares?Probably nothing, they are over 60% subsidised now.
RTT_Rules
Ultimately, someone pays.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
@8502 is right when they state electrification should have been completed. Yes NSW has more but V/line runs shorter intercity routes than NSW although newcastle thankfully is electrified.

The government of Victoria has miss managed the clone network especially Geelong and Ballarat. These lines needed to be electrified 10 years ago. Remember green power is coming from the regional areas so it is a short link to a powered rail network in Ballarat for example.

The poor planning and just stupid management by Victoria over electrification in the 2000’s actually ignoring it is working against the people now with fuel prices always going to rise.

People should have demanded it when SCS was built
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Electrification in Victoria, with a couple of 'unavoidable' exceptions (Sunbury and Craigieburn), is anathema along with standard gauge.

They even cut down the Gippsland electrification in an act of bastardry, stupidity or lack of planning only to replace part of it later.

Not hard to see a use for sparks to Warragul at least had the overhead not been scrapped.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Electrification in Victoria, with a couple of 'unavoidable' exceptions (Sunbury and Craigieburn), is anathema along with standard gauge.

They even cut down the Gippsland electrification in an act of bastardry, stupidity or lack of planning only to replace part of it later.

Not hard to see a use for sparks to Warragul at least had the overhead not been scrapped.
YM-Mundrabilla

I took a comeng to Warragul and back and it was a fast and comfortable journey.  I would have run HCMT to Warragul (as a major collection point) with options for Bairnsdale and the occasional interlaced V/Line service.  Would have been a much better option and provide better service.

Who has the link to v/Line boarding numbers for each station?  Would be interested to see what passenger numbers are like at Warragul.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Electrification in Victoria, with a couple of 'unavoidable' exceptions (Sunbury and Craigieburn), is anathema along with standard gauge.

They even cut down the Gippsland electrification in an act of bastardry, stupidity or lack of planning only to replace part of it later.

Not hard to see a use for sparks to Warragul at least had the overhead not been scrapped.
YM-Mundrabilla
As has been mentioned many times over and over, the overhead electrification between Pakenham and Traralgon was life expired and regarded as a safety hazard to rail traffic.

The whole electrification between South Yarra and Pakenham has now been replaced.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
And could also have e. Even replaced between pakenham and Warragul. The above point is still valid Victoria has wasted so many infrastructure opportunities and the state will pay a heavy price.

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