A New Wagon Fleet on Order

 
  2002 Locomotive Fireman


Tasrail has a new wagon fleet on order, with the first of the total of 191 new wagons to arrive mid 2013. The media release reads as follows:



MEDIA RELEASE



24 October 2012

 

A safer, modern and more efficient freight rail service moved closer to fruition today, with TasRail entering into a new contract for the supply and delivery of a new wagon fleet. 

 

TasRail Chief Executive, Damien White revealed that the contract with CNR Australia Pty Ltd, provides for the supply and delivery of 36 new ore wagons, 17 new coal wagons, 18 new cement wagons and 120 new intermodal wagons (for containerised freight).  Chinese-owned CNR- Australia Pty Ltd is a well established supplier of wagons to the Australian Rail Industry.  It was awarded the contract following an exhaustive tender process that began six months ago.  

 

While the actual value of the contract value remains a matter of commercial-in-confidence, Mr. White revealed that it was substantially less than $20 million.The first of the new wagons are expected to arrive from mid 2013.  

 


 “This is a great outcome for TasRail’s customers and further evidence of the resurgence of freight rail in Tasmania”, Mr White said. 


 


 “With the first of our 17 new locomotives expected to start arriving late next year, combined with the significant and steady improvement in the safety and reliability of operations, TasRail can now start to shift its primary focus away from the Rail Recovery phase to pursue its strategy to grow the business”.   “More freight on rail means less trucks on Tasmanian roads and less greenhouse gas emissions”, he said. 


 

Although delighted that TasRail has been able to achieve the replacement of its current life expired wagon fleet within its budget, Mr White said the Company is disappointed that it had not been possible to achieve a competitive, local supply option.

 


 “Early in the procurement process and prior to the Tender being issued in April this year, TasRail worked with the Department of Economic Development and the Industry Capability Network, to ensure that potentially interested local suppliers were well briefed”, Mr White said. “TasRail worked to ensure that local companies had maximum opportunity to prepare a tender submission, and this early engagement included TasRail hosting site visits to its operations, one-on-one briefings and inspections of the current wagon fleet”. 


 


 Mr White confirmed that two Tasmanian Companies had initially submitted wagon tender submissions, with one being shortlisted.  However, that offering had proven to be more expensive across all four wagon types.  “As much as possible, TasRail endeavours to utilise local resources, but balanced against its obligation to prudently invest the finite capital funds available to it for the replacement of Above Rail assets”, he said. 


 


 “The reality is that TasRail has been given a once-in-a-generation opportunity to replace its aged rollingstock fleet.  Accepting the higher priced proposal would have compromised the Company’s ability to purchase the required number of wagons to meet customer needs”, Mr White said.  


TasRail inherited a fleet of 378 wagons when it was established in December 2009.  The 40 year old fleet is of seven different classes and three different capacities.  Its life expired condition and limited interoperability creates customer service issues, increased track wear and increasingly higher maintenance costs. 

 

TasRail is confident that the new wagon fleet will be substantially more efficient, resulting in improved operating performance, increased capacity, service reliability and quality.

 

“With a new locomotive and wagon fleet, and a vastly improved track condition, TasRail will be well placed to provide Tasmanian business and industry a vibrant, customer-responsive and sustainable freight transport alternative”, Mr White said.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Cheers Daniel - *note: the above ^ is  from the pdf file which can be found here.


 

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  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

I understand there are no rail wagon builders in Australia, we are fast becoming a Nation capable of building nothing, I also believe that Bradken no longer builds bogies in Australia.

I just hope Tasrail has a robust quality control and inspection regime for these newbuild wagons.

  Graham4405 The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dalby Qld
Let me correct that statement...

we are fast becoming a Nation capable of building nothing
"BP4417"
  Amraks Junior Train Controller

Let me correct that statement...

we are fast becoming a Nation capable of building nothing
"BP4417"
"Graham4405"


would be nice to stop all these greenies shutting down everything.



  sam6778 Junior Train Controller

Location: Rockingham, WA
What current classes of container wagons would be withdrawn from service first when the new wagons start to come online?
Cheers
  Floody Locomotive Driver

Let me correct that statement...

we are fast becoming a Nation capable of building nothing
"BP4417"
"Graham4405"


would be nice to stop all these greenies shutting down everything.


"Amraks"



Seriously, are you bleeping kidding? 

I was actually coming in to post about how some drama queen would blame the Greens. How on earth do you make that connection? Particularly with the Green attitude being quite pro-rail.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Let me correct that statement...

we are fast becoming a Nation capable of building nothing
"BP4417"
"Graham4405"


would be nice to stop all these greenies shutting down everything.


"Amraks"



Seriously, are you bleeping kidding?

I was actually coming in to post about how some drama queen would blame the Greens. How on earth do you make that connection? Particularly with the Green attitude being quite pro-rail.
"Floody"


Pro-rail maybe, anti-manufacturing, definitely.
  Floody Locomotive Driver

Right, but do you seriously think this happened because the Greens torpedoed local production? Can't remember the last anti-rail manufacturing demonstration...

I reckon you'd be hard pressed to link it to anything but Australian labour and materials being too costly. Its no longer the 1950s. TAFE cert'd factory workers want pay that you needed a professional degree for only a decade or so ago and union mandated red tape makes business expensive and complex.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.

Right, but do you seriously think this happened because the Greens torpedoed local production? Can't remember the last anti-rail manufacturing demonstration...

I reckon you'd be hard pressed to link it to anything but Australian labour and materials being too costly. Its no longer the 1950s. TAFE cert'd factory workers want pay that you needed a professional degree for only a decade or so ago and union mandated red tape makes business expensive and complex.

"Floody"

The Greens may not have driven manufacturing to China but they have not exactly helped.


I have to agree that the cost to make something here, being a wagon, car, shirt or even a computer is far higher than anywhere in Asia.
You are correct in that materials and labour are far too costly.  It is also other overheads like power, water, taxes and transportation.

Being one of the TAFE certificated, (although not working in a factory) earning as much as current professionals do, I can comment in that now most trades are becoming a specialist field with qualified and competent (competent being the key) people becoming hard to find.
Combined with suitable apprentices being almost scarce, a good wage has to be paid to keep good tradespeople.  

As much as Unions are a necessary evil, (Union member myself) they can make it hard to get work done.  Combined with some of our over the top OH&S rules, it saps production and makes costs intenable.

Anyway, back to the new wagons....

  Floody Locomotive Driver

Fair call. Just a bit sick of everyone in Tassie scapegoating 'the greens' for everything and avoiding responsibility for anything.


Regarding new wagons...

So CNR are well established, what other networks are using their stock? What is their record like?
Will it be somewhat standardised equipment (e.g. maybe opening up viability of acquiring ex-mainland stock in times of need)?

Are there any potential heritage uses for some stock that is now pending the chopping block? (probably not if there is no heritage operations!)

It is an encouraging move anyway.


  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Right, but do you seriously think this happened because the Greens torpedoed local production? Can't remember the last anti-rail manufacturing demonstration...

I reckon you'd be hard pressed to link it to anything but Australian labour and materials being too costly. Its no longer the 1950s. TAFE cert'd factory workers want pay that you needed a professional degree for only a decade or so ago and union mandated red tape makes business expensive and complex.
"Floody"

The Greens may not have driven manufacturing to China but they have not exactly helped.


I have to agree that the cost to make something here, being a wagon, car, shirt or even a computer is far higher than anywhere in Asia.
You are correct in that materials and labour are far too costly.  It is also other overheads like power, water, taxes and transportation.

Being one of the TAFE certificated, (although not working in a factory) earning as much as current professionals do, I can comment in that now most trades are becoming a specialist field with qualified and competent (competent being the key) people becoming hard to find.
Combined with suitable apprentices being almost scarce, a good wage has to be paid to keep good tradespeople.  

As much as Unions are a necessary evil, (Union member myself) they can make it hard to get work done.  Combined with some of our over the top OH&S rules, it saps production and makes costs intenable.

Anyway, back to the new wagons....
"QSB6.7"


Issue is more that if you at it from a world scale $USD point of view, is that most tradies in heavy industry earn over the top salaries for the task they do, esepcially basic stuff. Hence making something fairly straight forward such as a railwagon is far cheaper OS and not just China. Its gone past the point that you are better off doing a 4 yr trade than a 4 year degree, better job security, better options long term, 50 year old fitters get jobs easier than 50 year old Engineers and less accountability and risk. You could probably had had them made in UK, USA, NZ, Ireland or Canada cheaper than Australia.

However the tide is turning and I suspect in 5 years times, in USD terms our salaries will be considerably lower than equivalent today. Other issue for Tas manufactures is that they don't have a ready production line, in China you do. So no or little design and tooling up costs.

As for making things, we do and its until you leave Australia you actually see how much, but its dying. China has done very well over last 10 years ripping industry out of western countries, but the issue for them now is that many a western country's buying power is dropping to rising unemployment, hence they are selling less and this will impact Australia. European countries are holding out better than they should because of branding and the Made in Italy or Germany tag carries alot of weight. Made in Australia doesn't to most outside Australia.

The Greens don't help the situation because they have repeatitly proven to be anti-industry with their far left happy to see the Tasmanian island de-populated. When I lived in Tassie in 90's the Greens were quite happy to not just let the "dinosaur" industries close, but force them to close so Tasmania could enjoy the new wave of "smart" and "tourism" industry. By and large the experiement has been a failure with Tasmania more now than ever surviving off the taxpayers and overall wealth of the big island.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Fair call. Just a bit sick of everyone in Tassie scapegoating 'the greens' for everything and avoiding responsibility for anything.


Regarding new wagons...

So CNR are well established, what other networks are using their stock? What is their record like?
Will it be somewhat standardised equipment (e.g. maybe opening up viability of acquiring ex-mainland stock in times of need)?

Are there any potential heritage uses for some stock that is now pending the chopping block? (probably not if there is no heritage operations!)

It is an encouraging move anyway.

"Floody"


Will any of the current stock be retained?

How does the current stock contribute to rail wear?
  DRR_Fireman Deputy Commissioner

Location: -
Some intermodal wagons will have to be retained, there is no way you could run the network with only 120 wagons, same goes for the ore and coal wagons.
  new_guy Station Master

What current classes of container wagons would be withdrawn from service first when the new wagons start to come online?
Cheers
"sam6778"


The plan is for 35 QM class wagons to be upgraded and remain (QMs are similar to new wagon design (ie. low deck height).  Between the 120 new IM wagons & the retained QM class this will provide sufficient capacity for current IM/paper business levels + some substantial growth.  Some of the other classes to be retained to facilitate further business opportunities, remainder to be scrapped.

Damien
  new_guy Station Master

Some intermodal wagons will have to be retained, there is no way you could run the network with only 120 wagons, same goes for the ore and coal wagons.
"DRR_Fireman"


Our new train plan (post Brighton, new locos, new wagons, improved transit times) will mean significantly better asset utilisation, hence can easily run the existing IM/paper business with 155 new/QM wagons, with still much capacity for growth.  New IM wagons will also facilitate much improved turnaround in terminals as we will not have all the complexities associated with differing deck height, carrying capacity, brake equipment, etc, etc, etc.  New train plans and improved load/unload arrangements will mean we can run the current coal and ore business with the new wagon nos.  Existing ore wagons will be retained for any new business on the Melba line, and coal wagons retained to facilitate start-up for HardRock (prior to new wagons for that business).

Re. rail/wheel wear of existing fleet - 50+ year design has no steering capability - a significant wear and derailment risk issue for a network such as our with so many very tight curves.  Bogie design has come a long way of the past 20 years or so.  New wagons will have some level of steering/primary suspension to deliver improved improved wheel (wheels being highest maint cost item) and rail wear and also fuel saving.

Re. some other questions, CNR alone have delivered 5,500+ wagons into Australia + we have a very experienced team who have managed wagon construction projects in China + commissioned Chinese-built wagons into Australia.

I'm happy to run another "informal" info session with Tas rail enthusists re. TasRail's plans and where we're up to.


Damien
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

   and coal wagons retained to facilitate start-up for HardRock prior to new wagons for that business.

I'm happy to run another "informal" info session with Tas rail enthusists re. TasRail's plans and where we're up to.Damien
"new_guy"


If the Hardrock coal mining venture of mining 1,000,000 million tonnes of export coal comes to fruition that equates to ( my figures ) 1.36 - 2000 tonne trains per day out of Fingal to Bell Bay.

Damien considering the Tasmanian Government Railways were the Australian Leaders in aluminium rail wagon construction I hope at least one of the coal and cement wagon classes will be set aside for preservation when the time comes.

An "informal" session with Tasmanian Rail enthusiasts would be great especially for those of us who have spent time lobbying for the retention and expansion of rail services in this State and above all for there to be a level playing field between land transport modes.

  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

The new wagon procurement is yet another exciting stage of the rail resurrection in Tas - must be very encouraging for those Railpage posters who have done their bit to support this regenerative process.

I was annoyed with The Mercury's lack of decent coverage of this significant news event - how typical that all it included was a delayed coverage about the disgruntled local firm which missed out on the contract.

It would certainly be a welcome event if Damien W could facilitate another info session for the wider rail supporting community.

Cheers,

DPJ
  siroch Locomotive Driver

What current classes of container wagons would be withdrawn from service first when the new wagons start to come online?
Cheers
"sam6778"
The plan is for 35 QM class wagons to be upgraded and remain (QMs are similar to new wagon design (ie. low deck height). Between the 120 new IM wagons & the retained QM class this will provide sufficient capacity for current IM/paper business levels + some substantial growth. Some of the other classes to be retained to facilitate further business opportunities, remainder to be scrapped.Damien
"new_guy"



There are only 15 QM wagons in the fleet.  Granted they have low deck heights but that comes at the cost of higher tare mass.  Also, these wagons were meant to be uprated to 72t gross but they are all still running under their old gross mass of 64t even though they have the 18t axle load BK bogies. What is the problem?

Of the remainder of the fleet, QL/QLE/QX are the better options for retention and premature scrapping of any of these would be an unwise decision.  IB/QS need to be banished to the history books or in the case of the former, sent back over the Tasman.  The QNHs will disappear through natural attrition due to design flaws. (There is only so far you can push a 40 year old log wagon!)
  siroch Locomotive Driver


Damien considering the Tasmanian Government Railways were the Australian Leaders in aluminium rail wagon construction I hope at least one of the coal and cement wagon classes will be set aside for preservation when the time comes.
"BP4417"


HE1 and HF1 should definitely be preserved.  May I suggest approaching Cement Australia for some sponsorship to convert them back to vacuum brake and in the case of HE1(QE1) diamond frame bogies and some nice white-walled tyres.

Other candidates on the list should be HC1 for its uniqueness, FE1 or FE201 (whichever was the prototype), QS1 if it exists or another one purely from a novelty/bad experiment factor, one of the ZH wagons, ZP1 or 2, and at least one of the FZ(KKC) wagons.

As with locomotives, this is very much up to individual preferences.

  new_guy Station Master

What current classes of container wagons would be withdrawn from service first when the new wagons start to come online?
Cheers
"sam6778"
The plan is for 35 QM class wagons to be upgraded and remain (QMs are similar to new wagon design (ie. low deck height). Between the 120 new IM wagons & the retained QM class this will provide sufficient capacity for current IM/paper business levels + some substantial growth. Some of the other classes to be retained to facilitate further business opportunities, remainder to be scrapped.Damien
"new_guy"



There are only 15 QM wagons in the fleet.  Granted they have low deck heights but that comes at the cost of higher tare mass.  Also, these wagons were meant to be uprated to 72t gross but they are all still running under their old gross mass of 64t even though they have the 18t axle load BK bogies. What is the problem?

Of the remainder of the fleet, QL/QLE/QX are the better options for retention and premature scrapping of any of these would be an unwise decision.  IB/QS need to be banished to the history books or in the case of the former, sent back over the Tasman.  The QNHs will disappear through natural attrition due to design flaws. (There is only so far you can push a 40 year old log wagon!)
"siroch"



Sorry, you're right - the 35 existing wagons to be retained and upgraded are a combination of QM & IB.  Current loading restriction on QMs relates to brake gear.


Damien
  tasstockau Station Staff

Sorry, you're right - the 35 existing wagons to be retained and upgraded are a combination of QM & IB.  Current loading restriction on QMs relates to brake gear.Damien[/quote]

Hi

interesting and somewhat surprising update re the IM wagons to be retained.

I find it very interesting that the QL/QLE fleet is perhaps not featured in the future. These wagons have been considered the heavy duty backbone of the fleet in recent times. Being purpose built, largely unaltered and none scrapped over the last 20 years, perhaps there is a case to retain these as a strategic reserve as the cost to replace them later if traffic levels warrant would far outweigh the scrap income.

Anyway, I look forward to a forum in the not to distant future. Doesnt seem that long since the last one! Great that there is enough happening to justify another forum.

Phil Lange
  stopblock Junior Train Controller

Location: Planet Earth
Fabulous news!!

Damien, Thank you for your frank and informative update.

regards
Stopblock
  chriswoo Junior Train Controller

Location: HOBART, TASMANIA
I think it would be a great time to congratulate Mr. White on his and the boards efforts so far with TasRail, Could anyone have seen PN investing in wagons or Motive power...not likely!

Or even having a Tasmanian Manager who would share information so freely on a fourm such as this.

Well done to all at Tasrail.
  siroch Locomotive Driver

I think it would be a great time to congratulate Mr. White on his and the boards efforts so far with TasRail, Could anyone have seen PN investing in wagons or Motive power...not likely!

.
"chriswoo"


I can't let this comment go without a response.  Let's not forget that PN was a private company who had to raise its own capital for investment with sufficient returns for the shareholders.  TasRail has the benefit of both state and federal taxpayer funds and does not require the same level of return.

TasRail should not be judged on how much money it spends but how wisely it does so. Let's wait and see the benefits such as reduced road maintenance and deferred capital investment through modal transfer, reduced operating costs for the above and below rail components and holistic business sustainability in the long term.

I will eagerly await the release of the 2011/2012 annual report to see what has actually been achieved.
  DQ2004 Chief Commissioner

Location: Hobart -where the rain has lumps in it

Re the above, in particular with regard to PN's investment strategy, I would like to point out that at the same time that they were threatening the State & Federal Governments with a complete cessation of rail services in this state, Pacific National were investing over $500 million in Queensland, purchasing new locomotives, intermodal and coal wagons.

So whilst these were obviously more likely to generate a large return in QLD, that is pretty poor form, IMHO.   The evidence is that they did more damage to rail in this state than anyone has ever managed before (and lets face it, a lot of people have tried hard to do that over the years).

 

Regards
Toby

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