Inland railway Melbourne - Brisbane

 
  5814 Chief Train Controller

Sorry in advance if I've missed it -  but there doesn't seem to be a current thread on this to go with the news item on release of Stage 1 of ARTC's study of the Melbourne-Brisbane inland route study.

There's lots there beyond the press release level stuff, follow the links from the main artc.com.au page to the working papers at http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=192

Quite thorough analysis leading to conclusion that it's not viable as a standalone proposition and won't deliver anything that currently planned upgrades to the coastal route will deliver.

If only every road project had to go through this sort of scrutiny!

Sponsored advertisement

  62440 Deputy Commissioner

Not quite what I read. I understand they are looking at the design in more detail especially the Werris Creek avoid and the critical Toowoomba to the southern freight link. It only says that running times will be comparable. Though that may be debateable, the proposed line is slightly shorter but wil be vastly straighter with major sections of sustained 120 k/h running. The main issue, as we all know, is the capacity of the track through Sydney and the Central Coast. I have been involved in previous studies and predicted growth stretched the new dedicated line with additional loops needed within 5 years, North Sydney freight is already at capacity with a shortage of paths for freight and passenger. The modal share of rail is currently pathetic and is capable of doubling but note that total traffic is also predicted to double.
Then remember that this is not just about Mel-Bris, it also serves Perth-Bris and Adel-Bris which will see a huge increase in capacity with double stack 1800m trains on well aligned tracks.
The map has some discrepancies, North Star-Boggabilla is shown as open and the QR NG track is included in some sections.
WW
  Rails Chief Commissioner

http://www.smh.com.au/national/rail-sums-do-not-add-up-says-study-20090506-avej.html

Rail sums do not add up, says study

Mark Davis
Political Correspondent
May 7, 2009


A LONG-mooted 1900-kilometre inland railway connecting Brisbane and Melbourne and running though western NSW would not be financially viable, according to an analysis prepared for the Federal Government.

Preliminary findings from the analysis by the Australian Rail Track Corporation shows that the cheapest version of the inland railway, which would run through such towns as Parkes, Dubbo and Moree, would cost $2.8 billion to build.

But the venture would never make enough money to justify that investment. The analysis found that when future revenues and operating costs of the inland railway were taken into account its net present value would be minus $1.1 billion if it started operating in 2020.

Even when wider benefits - such as environmental gains from getting more trucks off the road and faster transit times for freight - were taken into account the economic costs would outweigh the benefits to the tune of $860 million.

The inland railway has been a pet project for the Nationals, who believe it would revitalise towns in western NSW.

The Howard government took steps to start spending money improving regional tracks to be used for the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane inland freight link.

But after Labor came to power it shelved the initial spending planned by the Coalition and asked the corporation to conduct a detailed scoping study, including financial and engineering analysis of the proposal. The corporation released the preliminary results yesterday.

It identified a route following existing lines from Melbourne via Albury to Cootamundra, Parkes, Narromine, Dubbo, Werris Creek and Moree to North Star near Goondiwindi in Queensland. New track would then have to be laid from North Star to Toowoomba and on to Brisbane. This would cost $2.8 billion to build and would allow freight to be moved from Melbourne to Brisbane in just over 27 hours.

That would be only be marginally faster than the 28 hours it will takeon the existing coastal route through Sydney when the $2.7 billion in planned upgrades to that route are completed by 2019.

In the current economic climate the Government is more likely to continue directing rail investment towards upgrading the existing coastal freight line between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
  62440 Deputy Commissioner

OK, commentary noted, but the present line even with SSFL and NSFL has a limit to volume and expansion is finite. I see little evidence that the route will be significantly speeded up by 2019 and it will certainly never see double stack with tunnels and overheads to contend with.
Rail traffic will hit a ceiling (concrete not glass) and road traffic, along with modal share, will continue to grow. $1Bn won't go far in required road upgrades.
A pity, says me, preaching to the converted, that the bean counters win again.
WW
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Pity, we could have built half of it with the money wasted on MYKI.

We seem able to waste vast sums on c r a p but not a penny is to be found for a really valuable long term benefit project.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It identified a route following existing lines from Melbourne via Albury to Cootamundra, Parkes, Narromine, Dubbo, Werris Creek and Moree to North Star near Goondiwindi in Queensland. New track would then have to be laid from North Star to Toowoomba and on to Brisbane. This would cost $2.8 billion to build and would allow freight to be moved from Melbourne to Brisbane in just over 27 hours.

Why would the line need to go via Toowoomba ? (The elevation Is too high there)
When all It needs to do Is link North Star to the Syd - Bris line near Bromelton

This would open up rail transport opportunities for North West NSW goods and produce to be sent to the Port of Brisbane (It's done by road anyway)

NSW Government Bureaucrats would not be very Impressed
  62440 Deputy Commissioner

There are threads on the gazetted route from Warwick to the Bromelton area and this would be much better for Mel-Bris. The SG route is planned to continue via Toowoomba eg via Wandoan-Banana to Gladstone with a branch to Tennant Creek. But not this year.
WW
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
All It needs to do Is link North Star to the Sydney - Brisbane line near Bromelton

This Is all that Is needed to start with, all the tracks from Melbourne to North Star are In place and serviceable today.

(Though a triangle or two between Dubbo and Moree would help a lot)
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

It appears funding is imminent

From today's The Age:-

"More than $25 billion will be invested in key rail, road and port projects as part of next week's federal budget.

The spending will include a major heavy rail freight corridor linking Melbourne and Brisbane, The Australian newspaper reports.

The projects will be the biggest overhaul of infrastructure since World War II and aim to pull the nation out of recession.

The existing $8.4 billion Building Australia Fund will be emptied to pay for the program while the remainder is expected to be funded through borrowings, state government contributions and partnerships with the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

The budget is expected to encourage private involvement in delivering new infrastructure and to offer incentives to superannuation funds to invest.

The newspaper says the budget will include funding for up to 12 projects of national importance compiled by Rod Eddington's advisory body, Infrastructure Australia.

Projects to receive funding include a $7.2 billion north-south inland rail freight corridor from Brisbane to Melbourne, a $1.2 billion extension of Sydney's F3 Freeway to Branxton.

It also includes an estimated $6.6 billion completion of the long-awaited upgrade to the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane and a $3.5 billion east-west metro rail tunnel in Melbourne designed to relieve pressure on the city loop.

The Queensland government could also receive funding for its urban rail project aimed at upgrading inner-city capacity."

The article in The Australian is http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25451295-601,00.html
  arctic Assistant Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Parkeshub, I read that article too. It seems a bit odd in its reporting and seems inconsistent with other recent reports in that there is no mention of the previously announced North South upgrades like the North Sydney Freight access, the reported cost of the inland route is about double the one in the ARTC report and that report seems to pour cold water on the project in the short to medium term at least.

We will see but I am thinking the Austrlians reported got their notes mixed up....
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

Parkeshub, I read that article too. It seems a bit odd in its reporting and seems inconsistent with other recent reports in that there is no mention of the previously announced North South upgrades like the North Sydney Freight access, the reported cost of the inland route is about double the one in the ARTC report and that report seems to pour cold water on the project in the short to medium term at least.

We will see but I am thinking the Austrlians reported got their notes mixed up....
"arctic"


I do agree that it sounds a bit odd. Only a couple of days ago, The Australian was saying that it didn't stack up economically. I guess we'll see.
  4001firstdiesel Chief Commissioner

Location: GONE!!!! TIRED OF THE ABUSE AND PERSONAL ATTACKS
http://www.smh.com.au/national/rail-sums-do-not-add-up-says-study-20090506-avej.html

Rail sums do not add up, says study

Mark Davis
Political Correspondent
May 7, 2009


A LONG-mooted 1900-kilometre inland railway connecting Brisbane and Melbourne and running though western NSW would not be financially viable, according to an analysis prepared for the Federal Government.

Preliminary findings from the analysis by the Australian Rail Track Corporation shows that the cheapest version of the inland railway, which would run through such towns as Parkes, Dubbo and Moree, would cost $2.8 billion to build.

But the venture would never make enough money to justify that investment. The analysis found that when future revenues and operating costs of the inland railway were taken into account its net present value would be minus $1.1 billion if it started operating in 2020.

Even when wider benefits - such as environmental gains from getting more trucks off the road and faster transit times for freight - were taken into account the economic costs would outweigh the benefits to the tune of $860 million.

The inland railway has been a pet project for the Nationals, who believe it would revitalise towns in western NSW.

The Howard government took steps to start spending money improving regional tracks to be used for the proposed Melbourne to Brisbane inland freight link.

But after Labor came to power it shelved the initial spending planned by the Coalition and asked the corporation to conduct a detailed scoping study, including financial and engineering analysis of the proposal. The corporation released the preliminary results yesterday.

It identified a route following existing lines from Melbourne via Albury to Cootamundra, Parkes, Narromine, Dubbo, Werris Creek and Moree to North Star near Goondiwindi in Queensland. New track would then have to be laid from North Star to Toowoomba and on to Brisbane. This would cost $2.8 billion to build and would allow freight to be moved from Melbourne to Brisbane in just over 27 hours.

That would be only be marginally faster than the 28 hours it will takeon the existing coastal route through Sydney when the $2.7 billion in planned upgrades to that route are completed by 2019.

In the current economic climate the Government is more likely to continue directing rail investment towards upgrading the existing coastal freight line between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
"Rails"


'Funny' that this should be published, because according to another thread that was started by yours truly, the Melbourne-Brisbane link will be receiving slightly more then $7 billion in next weeks budget.

I for one will be watching budget night with interest to find out what other projects are to be funded. More rail, perhaps Very Happy

Cheers,
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The Government talk about Melbourne to Brisbane line could also be referring to the existing Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane line
  42101 Banned

Location: Banned
CH7 news break just said that at 6pm tonight they will have a story on the money being allocated to the building of this line.
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

The Government talk about Melbourne to Brisbane line could also be referring to the existing Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane line
"Nightfire"


No, it's definitely the inland route, Nf.
  5814 Chief Train Controller

we will all have to wait and see of course but I would be astonished and appalled if the Australian's story is accurate. For one thing, Infrastructure Australa has not yet recommended any such thing and I do not expect that they would do so since they can count at least as well as ARTC can.

A long list of things to do before and instead of an inland railway, some of which diminish the need for it. Many of these are Sydney Melbourne which let's remember has far more traffic than Melbourne - Brisbane, as pointed out by ARTC preliminary studies  on the inland route:

- full duplication Sydney -Melbourne  
- doubte stacking Melbourne to outer Sydney
- deviations to remove the worst bits Junee- Campbelltown
- better frieght path Sydney to the Hunter

Can't see all of the above costing 7 billion though.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Three weird things re report in "The Australian" :

* Projects listed as now funded did not appear on the final list for culling late last year ?

* Inland Railway was not on the list late last year with IA ?  In any case ARTC say under their most optomistic tonnage projections it would not be justified for 15 - 20 years .

* Report claims Domain Tunnel funded, but RRL in Victoria requires further scoping work .  This is inconsistent with Victoria that indicated RRL was No.1 priority and that Domain tunnel would take some years to scope and design, whereas RRL was already largely scoped and pre design work done.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

* Inland Railway was not on the list late last year with IA ?  In any case ARTC say under their most optomistic tonnage projections it would not be justified for 15 - 20 years .
"kuldalai"


The planning for this project should already be underway.  Committment by the Federal Government is a good thing.  The Project is now on the agenda. It would be interesting to see a response from the road transport industry.

A truck driving friend of mine does a Brisbane run from Regional Victoria and even he is saying the number of trucks on the Newell highway is a major problem. Perhaps we are finally moving australia into the 21st century?

Regards
Brian
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Looking at the long gestation period of the SSFL project and how its cost has almost doubled I’m not getting too excited.

If earth is moved for something more than a tree planting, it will be many years before that happens. Plenty of time to curtail, modify or even abandon it.  Rolling Eyes

I was a fan of the inland rail idea but the cost will probably reach $10+ billion - perhaps that's just too much. Objectively it may indeed be better invested elsewhere including Sydney and Brisbane access, building some of the major deviations, improved access from/via the West (Parkes), and on intermodal centres such as Eastern Creek being provided with 24/7 rail links.

P.S. you need to see the funding model which may kill it anyway.  Shocked
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
The Inland route cant go anywhere until the State Govts actually agree on a route, and that route has to be  surveyed.
Only State Govts have the power to compulsorily acquire the land that will be needed, and so far I havnt heard a peep from the States as to whether they even approve of the project.
Who will own the line after its built anyway.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The Inland route cant go anywhere until the State Govts actually agree on a route, and that route has to be  surveyed.
Only State Govts have the power to compulsorily acquire the land that will be needed, and so far I havnt heard a peep from the States as to whether they even approve of the project.
Who will own the line after its built anyway.
"MD"


You are making It sound like a completely new railway from Melbourne to Brisbane, when the only critical new section of railway will be from
Moree to Brisbane Southern outskirts.

There are other new section that are planed, like  

A line from Coonamble to Edgero (Narrabri)
A bypass of Dubbo
A bypass of Bethungra

But these projects are not critical
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

The Inland route cant go anywhere until the State Govts actually agree on a route, and that route has to be  surveyed.
Only State Govts have the power to compulsorily acquire the land that will be needed, and so far I havnt heard a peep from the States as to whether they even approve of the project.
Who will own the line after its built anyway.
"MD"


AIUI, the states agreed to it several years ago.

I guess the people who pay for it will own it (Federal Gov't) and administer it through their agency, the ARTC.
  colinw_mk2 Station Master, Kippa-Ring

The new range crossings at Toowoomba and between Grandchester & Laidley were resumed by the QLD Government some years ago.

The original study is here :-
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/Projects_and_initiatives/Projects/Gowrie_to_grandchester_rail_corridor_study/

The actual land resumptions were funded over a couple of budgets in the mid 2000s.

There is also a study identifying a corridor for a Southern Ipswich freight bypass, joining the interstate line near Kagaru to the western corridor at about Rosewood.
http://www.transport.qld.gov.au/Home/Projects_and_initiatives/Projects/Gowrie_to_grandchester_rail_corridor_study/

From Toowoomba (Gowrie Junction) to the junction of the Millmerran branch at Wyreema, there is an existing disused corridor, as the original QLD Southern Line bypassed Toowoomba to the west.  The current route through Toowoomba & Drayton was a deviation built in 1915, the original line west of Toowoomba closed in 1959.

From Wyreema to Millmerran it is proposed to use the existing line, with some deviations to ease curves & grades.  This section of line may have potential to develop coal traffic, as there are coal deposits in the Millmerran area.

Beyond Millmerran to Inglewood there have been no studies released to the public.

cheers,
Colin
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Beyond Millmerran to Inglewood there have been no studies released to the public.
 
"colinw_mk2"


It might not go to Inglewood due to the narrow guage line from there to Goondiwindi and beyond.

Speculating, it might go directly to Goondiwindi along the current wide road reservation from Millmerran to Inglewood which is quite flat, and not have any problems intersecting the narrow guage until crossed at or near Goondiwndi.

Mike.

PS thanks for the links.
  5814 Chief Train Controller

What do Queenslanders in the group think about this? If the Toowooomba range improvements made sense for primarily Queensland purposes,  that would change the picture fairly substantially I think since that is where most of the extra expense is as far as I can see

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.