Murray Basin standardisation

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Does anyone think it odd that we are spending more money on https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/ararat-to-maryborough-line-upgrade-contract rather than doubling down and getting the line through Ballarat upgraded to DG?
bevans
"Works will enable 49 train paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths"

A day? A week? A month? A year? Seriously how the hell is anyone apart from a rail worker or enthusiast supposed to even understand what that means?!?!?!?

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  Lachlan's Train Channel Chief Train Controller

Location: probably taking a photo of 7901V
Does anyone think it odd that we are spending more money on https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/ararat-to-maryborough-line-upgrade-contract rather than doubling down and getting the line through Ballarat upgraded to DG?
"Works will enable 49 train paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths"

A day? A week? A month? A year? Seriously how the hell is anyone apart from a rail worker or enthusiast supposed to even understand what that means?!?!?!?
BrentonGolding
at a guess I'd say a week. But I agree it's just jargon to make them sound good.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Does anyone think it odd that we are spending more money on https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/ararat-to-maryborough-line-upgrade-contract rather than doubling down and getting the line through Ballarat upgraded to DG?
"Works will enable 49 train paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths"

A day? A week? A month? A year? Seriously how the hell is anyone apart from a rail worker or enthusiast supposed to even understand what that means?!?!?!?
BrentonGolding
I still dont know what the Maryborough Ararat loop is that was touted in the press release way back when....
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Sad, but not odd in the least for Victoria.
Typical one might say.

Smells of nothing going to happen via Ballarat.
Absolutely !!,

The big unanswered question for all the SG fans out there.

IF the line from Maryborough to Ballarat & Geelong were to be converted to SG, exactly what is the improvement??

The grain trains from Yelta.
NOPE, they're going to Portland - not via Ballarat.

The grains and straw on Wycheproof, Manangatang.
NOPE, they're already going through Ballarat,  with the added option of direct to Melbourne when needed.

The 3 trains per week fruit & general from Yelta.
WOW. Spend hundreds of $millions, for THREE TRAINS PER WEEK.

The MBRP always was an iffy project. Throwing more money at the nonsense parts is NOT happening.

cheers
John
justarider

I think the articles out there saying how much has been converted to road transport speak to the reasons why the SG project should be continued.  The point is the system now is worse than it was before because of the lack of direct route from Maryborough to Geelong.  The additional travel time is the problem which wouldn't exist if the original plan had been delivered.

If this happened we would probably be amazed at the amount of freight on rail to be honest.  And in the current loco/rollingstock situation, probably some of those old BG locos and grain sets might have even been converted to SG for a period.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

Does anyone think it odd that we are spending more money on https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/ararat-to-maryborough-line-upgrade-contract rather than doubling down and getting the line through Ballarat upgraded to DG?
"Works will enable 49 train paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths"

A day? A week? A month? A year? Seriously how the hell is anyone apart from a rail worker or enthusiast supposed to even understand what that means?!?!?!?
I still dont know what the Maryborough Ararat loop is that was touted in the press release way back when....
james.au
I heard it is going to be in the Elmshurst area.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Yes, the loop is planned to be located near Wiltshire's Lane, about 3km East of Elmhurst.

New rail might be dropped off this weekend along the line by an SSR rail train.
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Does anyone think it odd that we are spending more money on https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/ararat-to-maryborough-line-upgrade-contract rather than doubling down and getting the line through Ballarat upgraded to DG?
"Works will enable 49 train paths on the Murray Basin network, up from the current 28 paths"

A day? A week? A month? A year? Seriously how the hell is anyone apart from a rail worker or enthusiast supposed to even understand what that means?!?!?!?
BrentonGolding
You're not meant to. You are just supposed to think 'wow - that's a lot of trains', be impressed and vote for them.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
The Donald silos were loading out yesterday.

Trucks again.  

Still no train this season.
  Lachlan's Train Channel Chief Train Controller

Location: probably taking a photo of 7901V
The Donald silos were loading out yesterday.

Trucks again.  

Still no train this season.
Donald
nor were there any last season. Trains haven't loaded there in so long one wonders if the siding is booked out. It does have it's own level crossing too.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Sad, but not odd in the least for Victoria.
Typical one might say.

Smells of nothing going to happen via Ballarat.
Absolutely !!,

The big unanswered question for all the SG fans out there.

IF the line from Maryborough to Ballarat & Geelong were to be converted to SG, exactly what is the improvement??

    3 fairly subjective observations about the use of rail out west

The MBRP always was an iffy project. Throwing more money at the nonsense parts is NOT happening.

cheers
John
Yelta line grainys go to Geelong 3/4 of the time.
SSR's locos are too old, pi$$ weak and tired to cope with keeping a fully loaded train under control going down Islington bank safely.
There will be way more trains per week if it went through Ballarat. There's an intermodal terminal that is supposed to be built in Ouyen but rail useage depends on a 24hr turnaround which in turn depends on the route via Ballarat
Lachlan's Train Channel
Thanks for the insight Lachlan.

I keep hearing, "build it and they will come".

When IF the various freight companies give a firm commitment of MONEY, that an ugraded SG service will be used to the level commensurate with the cost involved then possibily it will happen.

However your post today about Donald grain going onto trucks seems to prove the point that there is minimal interest in using rail, no matter what
Sad for us gunzells, but we are not the ones counting the dollars.

cheers
John
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yelta line grainys go to Geelong 3/4 of the time.
SSR's locos are too old, pi$$ weak and tired to cope with keeping a fully loaded train under control going down Islington bank safely.
There will be way more trains per week if it went through Ballarat. There's an intermodal terminal that is supposed to be built in Ouyen but rail useage depends on a 24hr turnaround which in turn depends on the route via Ballarat
Thanks for the insight Lachlan.

I keep hearing, "build it and they will come".

When IF the various freight companies give a firm commitment of MONEY, that an ugraded SG service will be used to the level commensurate with the cost involved then possibily it will happen.

However your post today about Donald grain going onto trucks seems to prove the point that there is minimal interest in using rail, no matter what
Sad for us gunzells, but we are not the ones counting the dollars.

cheers
John
justarider
Its probably a simple financial decision i bet there.

By road, approx 260km.
By current rail, approx 410km (+57% distance)
By expected SG rail at project inception, approx 280km (+7% distance)

So, i think that if the original project was built, it would have come.  And with 81/BL/G class and higher productivity grain wagons.

The freight companies gave input into the original business case that they would not invest in BG rollingstock if the lines remained as BG.  And what has happened?  No investment (in any meaningful sense, a few VLs onto SG is minor in the scheme of things).

So no, we are left with a suboptimal solution that is forcing grain onto roads because VLine stuffed up the project (for whatever reasons but probably linked to the culture that had a CEO taking bribes in brown paper bags and talking via burner phones).  

Finally, if the rail unions really wanted to generate more rail freight, they'd be supportive of this project and make it happen, cos al theyre doing is making more work for truck drivers.  Perhaps that is the stronger union down there...
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
Yelta line grainys go to Geelong 3/4 of the time.
SSR's locos are too old, pi$$ weak and tired to cope with keeping a fully loaded train under control going down Islington bank safely.
There will be way more trains per week if it went through Ballarat. There's an intermodal terminal that is supposed to be built in Ouyen but rail useage depends on a 24hr turnaround which in turn depends on the route via Ballarat
Thanks for the insight Lachlan.

I keep hearing, "build it and they will come".

When IF the various freight companies give a firm commitment of MONEY, that an ugraded SG service will be used to the level commensurate with the cost involved then possibily it will happen.

However your post today about Donald grain going onto trucks seems to prove the point that there is minimal interest in using rail, no matter what
Sad for us gunzells, but we are not the ones counting the dollars.

cheers
John
Its probably a simple financial decision i bet there.

By road, approx 260km.
By current rail, approx 410km (+57% distance)
By expected SG rail at project inception, approx 280km (+7% distance)

So, i think that if the original project was built, it would have come.  And with 81/BL/G class and higher productivity grain wagons.

The freight companies gave input into the original business case that they would not invest in BG rollingstock if the lines remained as BG.  And what has happened?  No investment (in any meaningful sense, a few VLs onto SG is minor in the scheme of things).

So no, we are left with a suboptimal solution that is forcing grain onto roads because VLine stuffed up the project (for whatever reasons but probably linked to the culture that had a CEO taking bribes in brown paper bags and talking via burner phones).  

Finally, if the rail unions really wanted to generate more rail freight, they'd be supportive of this project and make it happen, cos al theyre doing is making more work for truck drivers.  Perhaps that is the stronger union down there...
james.au
And there is the rub.

I don't blame the companies' reticence to invest in BG.  Yet there was not, and still is not, any commitment to say
"we will run X trains per week, for Y years,  at Z price - once the SG project is done"

To be fair, the onus is also on VLine to pay penalty $A for being late, or $B for not delivering.

A  straight forward business deal that neither side will be honest about. VLine stuffing up hasn't helped build confidence either..

But really, what is that union bash about.  
They might have their push for fair pay etc. but not for the crap decisions made by the 'expert' managers & planners on all sides.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW

I don't blame the companies' reticence to invest in BG.  Yet there was not, and still is not, any commitment to say
"we will run X trains per week, for Y years,  at Z price - once the SG project is done"

To be fair, the onus is also on VLine to pay penalty $A for being late, or $B for not delivering.
justarider
Youre seeing this the wrong way.  What there was though was a commitment by business to not invest anymore in BG if the lines were not standardised/upgraded.  And that is exactly, exactly what has happened.  NO BG investment.

VLine should pay a penalty for sure.  What we are seeing here is a sovereign risk come to reality.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Here is a smarter idea - VLine invests in new BG freight locos and rolling-stock. And then leases it to PN, Qube, and SSR.

If they created the problem, then they have a responsibility to fix it and enable mode shift to benefit all and sundry.  Sounds a bit socialist, but what the heck...
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Here is a smarter idea - VLine invests in new BG freight locos and rolling-stock. And then leases it to PN, Qube, and SSR.

If they created the problem, then they have a responsibility to fix it and enable mode shift to benefit all and sundry.  Sounds a bit socialist, but what the heck...
Carnot
You jest Comrade I hope..............
Heaven forbid.
They would then convert Serviceton to Albury back to BG.
AaaaaaaaaRRRrGGGGgh
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Here is a smarter idea - VLine invests in new BG freight locos and rolling-stock. And then leases it to PN, Qube, and SSR.

If they created the problem, then they have a responsibility to fix it and enable mode shift to benefit all and sundry.  Sounds a bit socialist, but what the heck...
Carnot

Why would those companies do that for? They have rolling stock and so why not vline convert the whole thing to SG all the way in to southern cross. Ballarat, Bendigo, Swan Hill and NSW or the Feds can pay for the bits that go in to NSW and have it connected to the NSW rail lines at Narrandera and Griffith. It might even make opening the line all the way out to Hay viable again.
  YM-Mundrabilla The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Tail wags dog ....................
  Richard stroker Train Controller

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the idea of keeping the lines bg close to nsw border is to keep the trains going to Victorian ports
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Oaklands SG. $13 million (Benalla - Oaklands) invested by Victoria.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the idea of keeping the lines bg close to nsw border is to keep the trains going to Victorian ports
Richard stroker
Changing to SG isn't going to change that. In fact it might even make more traffic go via that path. In the nations interests it doesn't matter where it goes out as it all goes in to the federal pot.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Hmmmm, the Oaklands line... 30 km/h Benalla to Yarrawonga, 20 km/h Yarrawonga to South of Oaklands, and 10 km/h for the last bit.

Barely functional.  Although it does get a bit of traffic atm. Could be more if it was fixed.

Anyway, there are some rumblings in Gunzeldom of new BG locos for Vic. It ain't a dead gauge.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Hmmmm, the Oaklands line... 30 km/h Benalla to Yarrawonga, 20 km/h Yarrawonga to South of Oaklands, and 10 km/h for the last bit.

Barely functional.  Although it does get a bit of traffic atm. Could be more if it was fixed.

Anyway, there are some rumblings in Gunzeldom of new BG locos for Vic. It ain't a dead gauge.
Carnot
As to the oaklands line, it has been a bit crap for a while now. bit of a disgrace. needs to be at least 60 all the way. ideally 80. did see something somewhere that ARTC was going to do some work on the line this year to improve this, but no sign of any works yet. perhaps waiting for a suitable moment for an election announcement.

companies like SSR I suspect know they cant continue to run 60 year old locos forever. They did build themselves a couple of brand new locos a few years ago. no reason they couldn't do the same again, or buy something off the shelf. perhaps with current generation tech, AC traction, and as much HP you can put into our loading gauge. Just need to make them gauge convertible, and 20-21t axle load to run on our tracks. something comparable to a G class.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the idea of keeping the lines bg close to nsw border is to keep the trains going to Victorian ports
Richard stroker
In my view, standardising and upgrading Shepparton would actually make the PoM more attractive to NSW from Tocumwal, and would even support Narrandera-Tocumwal reopening* which would permanently shift a lot of traffic from NSW ports to Victorian ports (and domestic locations) because of simple geography - its flatter to Melbourne from the Riverina than to Sydney.

Also, SG means SG rolling stock which has a much longer and reliable life, as no-one is investing in BG stock.  This means that keeping it BG means that eventually there will be no BG rolling stock to run services as they'll be all too costly to maintain to compete against road.



* and no, this isnt wishful.  Ive seen the report and i think its been undercooked by NSW with many threads left unpulled.  Volume data is understated by quite a bit even
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Hmmmm, the Oaklands line... 30 km/h Benalla to Yarrawonga, 20 km/h Yarrawonga to South of Oaklands, and 10 km/h for the last bit.

Barely functional.  Although it does get a bit of traffic atm. Could be more if it was fixed.

Anyway, there are some rumblings in Gunzeldom of new BG locos for Vic. It ain't a dead gauge.
Carnot
N class locos from VLine probably....
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Hmmmm, the Oaklands line... 30 km/h Benalla to Yarrawonga, 20 km/h Yarrawonga to South of Oaklands, and 10 km/h for the last bit.

Barely functional.  Although it does get a bit of traffic atm. Could be more if it was fixed.

Anyway, there are some rumblings in Gunzeldom of new BG locos for Vic. It ain't a dead gauge.
N class locos from VLine probably....
james.au
PN Scrapped all but 1 of their A classes, which are, bar the frame, some bodywork, and a HEP generator, mostly the same as an N class, which are coming up to 40 years old now. I suspect SSR and Qube would love to get there hands on some Ns but thats probably a few years off yet. They likely would much rather something like a G, or a new equivalent.

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