New rail hub for Wodonga as Victorian rail freight expansion gets $39m investment

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 18 Dec 2015 09:59
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
While we motorcaded the C class  trip back ont he 21st November, we took a look at the coal sidings and Wodonga.
The coal sidings are abandoned, no rail, all gone, just weeds, and old ballast remain. no sign of any new work at all.

Regards,
David Head

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  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Well local gov will be sticking their nose in, to see if they can hinder any development, for the chance of basically stealing several million dollars. And justifying the existence of their bloated bureaucracy. The State Gov bureaucracy will do the same, so I'd say in six or seven years we might see something.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well local gov will be sticking their nose in, to see if they can hinder any development, for the chance of basically stealing several million dollars. And justifying the existence of their bloated bureaucracy. The State Gov bureaucracy will do the same, so I'd say in six or seven years we might see something.
wobert

Using the link to the original news item here I contacted the minister office requesting information on the status of the funding and the project.  I was asked to put my request in writing which I immediately did.

Let's see what turns up.
  steamfreak711 Locomotive Driver

While we motorcaded the C class  trip back ont he 21st November, we took a look at the coal sidings and Wodonga.
The coal sidings are abandoned, no rail, all gone, just weeds, and old ballast remain. no sign of any new work at all.

Regards,
David Head
dthead
David I couldn't imagine Coal Sidings ever being reinstated.  The line to the north has been cut by the new Bandiana Link/Hume Freeway road interchange and the line to the south through Wodonga has been built over by numerous roads now, and the new Mann Central development is well progressed into building a shopping centre over the old alignment, not to mention the old station precinct being developed into a public space.  Not sure why Coal Sidings would even be mentioned if the new interchange at Barnawartha North is being developed, as that would be a much better location...
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
While we motorcaded the C class  trip back ont he 21st November, we took a look at the coal sidings and Wodonga.
The coal sidings are abandoned, no rail, all gone, just weeds, and old ballast remain. no sign of any new work at all.

Regards,
David Head
David I couldn't imagine Coal Sidings ever being reinstated.  The line to the north has been cut by the new Bandiana Link/Hume Freeway road interchange and the line to the south through Wodonga has been built over by numerous roads now, and the new Mann Central development is well progressed into building a shopping centre over the old alignment, not to mention the old station precinct being developed into a public space.  Not sure why Coal Sidings would even be mentioned if the new interchange at Barnawartha North is being developed, as that would be a much better location...
steamfreak711

Hi @steamfreak711 have you noticed any development at the new SCT terminal?
  steamfreak711 Locomotive Driver

Hi @steamfreak711 have you noticed any development at the new SCT terminal?
x31
Not as yet.  I might take a drive past this afternoon and have a look...   On a different but related note, I see that work on the Mann Central shopping centre development between the old station and Coal Sidings has ground to a halt.  I am informed that the issue is due to an insufficient number of shops in the complex being pre-leased at this point.  Will be interesting to see how long this takes to progress.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
A report just in the new terminal is really taking shape and is quite large by all accounts.  There are large factory style buildings under construction and completed.There is much room for the many sidings which are planned.

Sidings works are now underway with track being laid presently.  No points to the mainline as yet but they will come in the next few months.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Appreciate the update.  Another positive for Rail Freight
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ill be down there this weekend - might see if i can do a drive by too.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
It is a large site and expect to unite a bit of track in and around the warehouses. The buildings are quite large and spacious. Might take a look at the works tomorrow.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I went passed there some weeks ago there was a lot of activity around the southern end of Bilston Drv, I assumed at the time they had FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYYY got around to doing the rail centre. A long time track worker said the road frieght companies have been trying to get this built for at least the last 15 years, but the state governments of either major party were not interested.

I wonder who held the gun to the head of the government to get them to build it now............................... Wink

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script, A thought just crossed my mind............... this DOES actually show how completely out of touch with reality BOTH major parties really are Sad.

woodford
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Id say its about funding.  The state govt does a lot of this funding, so it takes them a while to come up with the $$ and the political backing to get it across the line.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
ALP I tbink are now worse than the lineral nationals.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

ALP I tbink are now worse than the lineral nationals.
freightgate
It often depends on whether the local MP is engaged with the issue.  Or has vested/connected interests in trucking industry or union....
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

On Google maps - satellite view, stacks of rail and old turnouts recovered from Wodonga yard can be seen on a hard stand area off Bilston Drive
  ElliotProvis Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
It often depends on whether the local MP is engaged with the issue. Or has vested/connected interests in trucking industry or union....
Carnot

This is absolutely 100% true. Nowadays it is about getting things within the public conscience, and then people will move to support it. Without widespread awareness, and public interest, projects are held back.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
ALP I tbink are now worse than the lineral nationals.
It often depends on whether the local MP is engaged with the issue.  Or has vested/connected interests in trucking industry or union....
Carnot

Completely agree.  There are always ways to ensure things don't happen.  Victoria is a great example.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Logic website is http://www.logicwodonga.com.au/index.asp

It seems to be part of Wodonga Council with the main tenant at present being Woolworths, but as is known, SCT seem to be starting construction on their part.

And within that there is a map - which shows the proposed rail siding and container terminal. The Logic land extends almost back to Barnawatha.

http://www.logicwodonga.com.au/land/images/LOGIC_map_vinyl_map_Feb_2014_A3.pdf - should be visible from the Overpass once they start construction.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

ALP I tbink are now worse than the lineral nationals.
freightgate
It often depends on whether the local MP is engaged with the issue.  Or has vested/connected interests in trucking industry or union....
"Carnot"


It is a long time (at least 5 years) since I spoke on this subject with my informant, but from memory he said everyone (Wodonga council, road freight companies and the railways) was for the siding, the hold up being the state government. I remember he was quite pissed off about the hold up.
He said the reason the logisticts centre was put there was easy access for a railway freight yard, this should have been done yeasr ago.

woodford
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
@woodford - sounds like you're a cop running a sting when you've got an informant on the boards!

I reiterate, it would be the funding decision required by the state government that would be the hold up.  There are lots of demands on their Treasury and given that these projects in many cases become subsidies for freight operators, it takes a bit of time to get the ducks in the row.  It would happen faster if the market worked for infrastructure such that the beneficiaries paid for it...
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Certainly agree that this has taken a long time to get underway.   Because the project in the first instance was initiated by the Wodonga City Council, Government going way back wanted to see a business case submitted that evidenced where would the freight come from/to, tonneages, etc, etc.   At that time, there were no tenants at the site and what rail business there was, was going to the Ettamogah Hub.    There have been many examples of local governments championing similar projects but you do have to be able to demonstrate that the business will be there bearing in mind this was at that time a totally greenfield project.

Then Woolworths enter the scene.   That took place quite sometime after the construction of the first stage, BUT AT THAT TIME, Woolworths strategy was almost 100% road based so again when the case was resubmitted the story goes, yes you have a major client but they are exclusively on road AND AT THAT TIME Woolworths maintained very firmly it would serve all the southern part of the east coast right through to Adelaide by truck.

Even so, Government funds as part of the NE Upgrade , future proofing works included sighting and placement of signals etc in 2010 to enable rail access to the mainline.

Then SCT enters the scene in developing a very successful model with Woolworths on the East - West corridor that was so successful to the extent that SCT developed its HI QUBE box cars for handling Woolies loading out of Adelaide.   This traffic and partnership with Woolworths gets expanded further with the construction of the SCT Depot in Parkes of which Woolies traffic forms a large part of the business going through there and Woolworths begins to use SCT for all its E-W business.

It is to SCT’s credit and hard work that Woolworths returned to rail.

In tandem with this Heinz a large client of SCT enters negotiations to have SCT start serving it into/out of Brisbane and as Railpagers know there are on average 11 to 12 SCT vans on Aurizon Brisbane services.   In addition SCT identifies that a large volume of Wolworths supply into the Wodonga Facilty is coming from the north and SCT based on the excellent partnership with Woolworths develops a proposal for servicing the Wondonga Facility as part of a longer term strategy to at some point enter the north south corridor.

So with rail traffic guaranteed and with the support of SCT, Council etc the connection was subsequently funded.  Yes it’s a long story.   We might say it should have happened much sooner but the key was changing Woolworths from road to rail.

It certainly more than justifies as I’ve stated previously that the recommendation of the Fischer Report into regional rail freight in Victoria strongly advocated a Rail Freight Facilitation Unit within the Department of Transport that works with rail operators and major clients and stakeholders like Councils to get schemes like this off the ground.   This model has been used very, very successfully in the UK.  In addition CSX, Norfolk Southern and BNSF for sure and likely the others have similar units that do this in consultation with various State Transport Departments.   This includes states then releasing funds to facilitate a shift of freight to rail.

Anyway it’s going ahead and we watch with interest what this will mean for the actual rail operations.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Certainly agree that this has taken a long time to get underway.   Because the project in the first instance was initiated by the Wodonga City Council, Government going way back wanted to see a business case submitted that evidenced where would the freight come from/to, tonneages, etc, etc.   At that time, there were no tenants at the site and what rail business there was, was going to the Ettamogah Hub.    There have been many examples of local governments championing similar projects but you do have to be able to demonstrate that the business will be there bearing in mind this was at that time a totally greenfield project.

Then Woolworths enter the scene.   That took place quite sometime after the construction of the first stage, BUT AT THAT TIME, Woolworths strategy was almost 100% road based so again when the case was resubmitted the story goes, yes you have a major client but they are exclusively on road AND AT THAT TIME Woolworths maintained very firmly it would serve all the southern part of the east coast right through to Adelaide by truck.

Even so, Government funds as part of the NE Upgrade , future proofing works included sighting and placement of signals etc in 2010 to enable rail access to the mainline.

Then SCT enters the scene in developing a very successful model with Woolworths on the East - West corridor that was so successful to the extent that SCT developed its HI QUBE box cars for handling Woolies loading out of Adelaide.   This traffic and partnership with Woolworths gets expanded further with the construction of the SCT Depot in Parkes of which Woolies traffic forms a large part of the business going through there and Woolworths begins to use SCT for all its E-W business.

It is to SCT’s credit and hard work that Woolworths returned to rail.

In tandem with this Heinz a large client of SCT enters negotiations to have SCT start serving it into/out of Brisbane and as Railpagers know there are on average 11 to 12 SCT vans on Aurizon Brisbane services.   In addition SCT identifies that a large volume of Wolworths supply into the Wodonga Facilty is coming from the north and SCT based on the excellent partnership with Woolworths develops a proposal for servicing the Wondonga Facility as part of a longer term strategy to at some point enter the north south corridor.

So with rail traffic guaranteed and with the support of SCT, Council etc the connection was subsequently funded.  Yes it’s a long story.   We might say it should have happened much sooner but the key was changing Woolworths from road to rail.

It certainly more than justifies as I’ve stated previously that the recommendation of the Fischer Report into regional rail freight in Victoria strongly advocated a Rail Freight Facilitation Unit within the Department of Transport that works with rail operators and major clients and stakeholders like Councils to get schemes like this off the ground.   This model has been used very, very successfully in the UK.  In addition CSX, Norfolk Southern and BNSF for sure and likely the others have similar units that do this in consultation with various State Transport Departments.   This includes states then releasing funds to facilitate a shift of freight to rail.

Anyway it’s going ahead and we watch with interest what this will mean for the actual rail operations.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Great analysis @Trainplanner

Whats happening on the Coles front re rail?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Coles signed a major rail haulage contract with Aurizon in late 2013.

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