Lines which should never have closed (but let's just be a little realistic)

 
  ANR Chief Commissioner

In SA

Old Ghan railway from Marree to Oodnadatta. Should have kept going as an occasional tourist train, especially in cooler months or when Lake Eyre is in Flood. I last travelled out this way two years ago by 4wd and there were convoys of buses heading to William Creek. The WC airfield was busier than KSA or Tullamarine. Maybe it could have joined the New Ghan with a Marla extension?

Barossa Valley

In NSW:

Murwillumbah - I was lucky enough to have done this trip. (maybe extend to GC)

Bombala (tourist train to snowfields, and a new loop along far south coast e.g. Merimbula northwards to the Illawarra)

Tumut (tourist train)

Oberon (tourist train)

Mudgee (tourist train)

Dubbo -Nyngan -Bourke (extend the central west XPT service).

Sulphide Street - Silverton - SA border (Broken Hill tracks could be shared with existing roads until train can run on its original route past Picton Sale Yard)

I'm a dreamer...

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
From VicSig:

Wednesday, 13th January 2021
Photo: Adam Rudnicki
kitchgp
The other Tocumwal line.  The one with narrower track widths...
  Turbo Thomas Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
From VicSig:

Wednesday, 13th January 2021
Photo: Adam Rudnicki
The other Tocumwal line.  The one with narrower track widths...
james.au
What sought of condition is that track in. If they ever standardised the Victorian track to Tocumwal could there be possibilities to go further north. It was never a realistic option to convert S/G to B/G because it would require 100% sleeper replacement.
  Turbo Thomas Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
An obvious example is the Gold Coast Railway, it was such a big mistake that they ended up having to rebuild it. The rebuilt line might be a bit straighter and therefore quicker, but I reckon the Southport connection still would have been good. You would have been able to walk straight off the train and onto the beach.
Your assertion that you could walk straight off the steam era train and onto the beach, just gives you the normally still waters of the Southport Broadwater. The much desired surf and main popular tourist venues was quite a distance away over the long Jubilee Bridge and you can calculate the distance from Southport railway station in Nind Street to Main Beach or Surfers Paradise yourself, but a hint, there was a very good reason for the coordinated bus service that met the trains at Southport.
petan
I forgot about that, the nearest water to Southport station isn't exactly surfable.
Who know's, maybe Sea World (of I believe it was then called Marineland of Australia) might have encouraged them to put a small extension of line across the water to where their car park is now situated. The Southport spit might have become a very popular area.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In SA

Old Ghan railway from Marree to Oodnadatta. Should have kept going as an occasional tourist train, especially in cooler months or when Lake Eyre is in Flood. I last travelled out this way two years ago by 4wd and there were convoys of buses heading to William Creek. The WC airfield was busier than KSA or Tullamarine. Maybe it could have joined the New Ghan with a Marla extension?

Barossa Valley

In NSW:

Murwillumbah - I was lucky enough to have done this trip. (maybe extend to GC)

Bombala (tourist train to snowfields, and a new loop along far south coast e.g. Merimbula northwards to the Illawarra)

Tumut (tourist train)

Oberon (tourist train)

Mudgee (tourist train)

Dubbo -Nyngan -Bourke (extend the central west XPT service).

Sulphide Street - Silverton - SA border (Broken Hill tracks could be shared with existing roads until train can run on its original route past Picton Sale Yard)

I'm a dreamer...
ANR
Who, what or where is KSA?
Would I be correct in assuming that it is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Who, what or where is KSA?

Would I be correct in assuming that it is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
You would be correct. It's actually Kiss Someone's A**e
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Who, what or where is KSA?

Would I be correct in assuming that it is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
You would be correct. It's actually Kiss Someone's A**e
Valvegear
Ah yes. Why didn't I think of that? On the other hand the K could stand or Kick SA which one must never do as tomorrow one may have to Kiss SA .............
Perhaps it stands for Kingdom of South Australia?
Buggered if I know ?
  ANR Chief Commissioner

Lol, sorry to confuse.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Airport

Maybe I shoulda just said SYD airport...

FWIW, I see the Sydney Airport website is posturing itself as "Sydney's Airport" ahead of Badgery's being completed.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The WC airfield was busier than KSA or Tullamarine.  
Who, what or where is KSA?
Would I be correct in assuming that it is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
YM-Mundrabilla
The clue to KSA is the context as it was grouped with the word airfield KSA and Tullamarine which is is Melbourne's international main airport / airfield / aerodrome. Sydney's airport is sometimes termed Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA). The official pilots' manual, En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA), lists everything as aerodromes, including the big international ones such as KSA and Tullamarine, as well as the small grass airfields.

Official government pilots' document site if curious https://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It’s also arguable that converting St Kilda and Port Melbourne lines to LR provided a better service, hence the reason for congestion on the St Kilda LR. A victim of its own success, as it were.

Whilst the St Kilda train might have been quicker point to point, the LR (Route 96) offers a more convenient door to door service. At the St Kilda end, the train finished, obviously, at the station whereas Route 96 continues via Fitzroy Street round to the Acland Street shops and Luna Park.

Between St Kilda Station and Port Junction, there were 3 stations on the rail line. Route 96 has 6 stops. The train took 8 minutes, whereas Route 96 takes 10 minutes over the distance.

At the Flinders Street end, the St Kilda and Port Melbourne trains terminated at Platforms 10 & 11. At the time of conversion, the City Loop had only recently fully opened, a catalyst for development in the northern CBD, eg Melbourne Central and the Queen Victoria Hospital site. The only way to get to Parliament, Melbourne Central (Museum) or Flagstaff was via a City Circle from Platform 14 (formerly Platform 1 East), a four minute or so walk. (Sandringham passengers can interchange at Richmond.) Route 96 runs past Southern Cross (V/Line access) and the length of Bourke Street (apart from the Docklands bit) up into East Brunswick.

Port Melbourne seems to plod along just fine, with its 150-pass C-class. (Although through-routing to Box Hill appears to create some timetable adherence problems.)

As mentioned above, there have been significant cost savings over the last 30-plus years, for an outlay of less than $10 million (plus the cost of the B1 & B2-classes).

The demand on Route 96 might ease slightly with the opening of the Metro Tunnel. It’ll be quicker for some to catch a Route 16, or Route 3A on weekends, tram to or from Anzac, eg those to or from the Caulfield lines or some CBD destinations such as RMIT or Melbourne Uni. (Don’t mention the airport.)
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I hope they could maintain the bridges better.  The entire section around South Melbourne to the Albert Rd. bridge seems to be speed limited to 30 km/h.  Unless changing trains at SCS, I feel I'd prefer route 3A (when it's running) to get the A or B class.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The WC airfield was busier than KSA or Tullamarine.  
Who, what or where is KSA?
Would I be correct in assuming that it is not the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The clue to KSA is the context as it was grouped with the word airfield KSA and Tullamarine which is is Melbourne's international main airport / airfield / aerodrome. Sydney's airport is sometimes termed Kingsford Smith Airport (KSA). The official pilots' manual, En Route Supplement Australia (ERSA), lists everything as aerodromes, including the big international ones such as KSA and Tullamarine, as well as the small grass airfields.

Official government pilots' document site if curious https://www.airservicesaustralia.com/aip/aip.asp
petan
Not being a pilot I never imagined Sydney Airport as an 'airfield' or KSA. In the light of KSA being Sydney a subsequent quick Google search came up with only SYD and YSSY.

I certainly never perceived Sydney Airport as an 'airfield' (the likes of which Snoopy, the Red Baron and Biggles would be associated).

Anyway, I am now safely on the ground at FOS / YFRT. This is the closest airport to my home depot.

Just waiting for the Tea and Sugar for the short trip home.
  CPH8 Junior Train Controller

Ah the days of APFT before Garry Frost closed the Flight Service Unit there and came to work with me at ASDU - Dubbo to those of you of non-aviation orientation. Originally opened for the Adelaide - Perth run in 1929 as the overnight stop for Norman Brearley's airline. Passenger stayed in the guest house and ate silver service on white tablecloths. Somewhat quicker than the Transcontinental
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ah the days of APFT before Garry Frost closed the Flight Service Unit there and came to work with me at ASDU - Dubbo to those of you of non-aviation orientation. Originally opened for the Adelaide - Perth run in 1929 as the overnight stop for Norman Brearley's airline. Passenger stayed in the guest house and ate silver service on white tablecloths. Somewhat quicker than the Transcontinental
CPH8
APFT ???????????????
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
APFT ???????????????
YM-Mundrabilla
 It's another example of a special type of acronym. These special ones all mean, "Look how smart I am; I know something that you don't."
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

APFT ???????????????
 It's another one of those that means, "Look how smart I am; I know something that you don't."
Valvegear
An oldie but a goodie, FIGJAM
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
APFT ???????????????
 It's another one of those that means, "Look how smart I am; I know something that you don't."
An oldie but a goodie, FIGJAM
michaelgm
LITOM - legend in their own mind is another (yes I just made it up)Smile.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Airlines are full of acronyms so I'm not opposed to them.  They are needed to to speed up the conversation but more importantly eliminate risk of mistranslation between operations that cross languages.  So im of the view that we should be ok with airline abbreviations here in airline contexts.  SYD, MEL, WGA, FOR as airport codes, QF, VA, AA etc as airline codes and then the more specialist ones used behind the scenes like pax, Px, Mx, Wx, Ox, are all widespread.

However, the forum airliners.net used to have some sort of bot that used to parse the posts and look for these and have a small hover window that would allow people to scroll over them and easily know what it is.

We dont need that here, and for rail the acronym system is far less comprehensively accepted/adopted, but they do have their place.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
From VicSig:

Wednesday, 13th January 2021
Photo: Adam Rudnicki
The other Tocumwal line.  The one with narrower track widths...
What sought of condition is that track in. If they ever standardised the Victorian track to Tocumwal could there be possibilities to go further north. It was never a realistic option to convert S/G to B/G because it would require 100% sleeper replacement.
Turbo Thomas
Well, all new sleepers would be needed as would the bridges and almost all culverts (some are concrete already).

The track from Tocumwal to Jerilderie wasn't built to high standard and would need a fair bit of work around the formation.  Id like to think that the track itself could be reused without too much hassle for a few years?

From Jerilderie to Narrandera the formation is much better and so reslepering and tamping might be all that is needed?

The biggest issue is how to cross the floodplain at Narrandera.  The bridge is ok but the viaduct leading to it was dead years ago.

If a plan to do this at 21TAL 80kph was properly done, and the Victorians came to the party with standardisation of the Victorian side, this would see at least daily container freight service, possibly more (maybe 10 per week) across perhaps two operators. There might be a canola train going to Numurkah on a pretty regular basis, and it would probably pull a bunch of export wheat from the Riverina away from Port Kembla and towards Melbourne.  Given the Inland it might also be a backup for if there are closures on the Albury route.  There would also be a decent chance of a train (perhaps 3pw) to Brisbane originating out of Shepparton and picking up out of the Riverina as there is a decent amount of road freight going up that way that would quickly flip if it was connected to the national network.  

The victorians are excessively focussed on having passenger services increased to Shepparton as the seat flipped independent and Labor wants to keep it that way and havent realised the longer term economic benefits of the freight connection.  NSW just outright refuses to think of investing anything in infrastructure that might see benefits go to Victoria.  And the feds are focussed on the Inland.  So the region will miss out on an economic boost unfortunately.
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

In WA, there are a few lines which should be back in business:

- Narrogin to Kulin (NG) - Grain traffic from the big bins at Kulin and Norman's Lake (to Kwinana), and upcoming kaolin traffic from Wedin Siding (to Kwinana - possible 400k tonnes per annum) - currently under review by the government.

- Tambellup to Gnowangerup, then reinstate the extension out to Borden (NG) - Picks up the big grain bins at Borden and Gnowangerup, and start encouraging trans-shipping at Borden rather than continually 'improving' Chester Pass Road for bigger and bigger road trains to Albany.

- Merredin to Kondinin (rebuild to SG) - Picks up the bins at Kondinin (move the main loadout to the new bins north of town), Narembeen and Muntadgin, and removing the trans-shipping charges at Merredin will substantially improve the cost of transport from this line. Currently under review by the government.

- Picton to Capel (NG) - puts the Iluka mineral sands plant back on the network, links back to the Narngulu plant as well, and encourage trans-shipping at Gingin for the Cataby area traffic. Gets the ridiculous setup of short trailer triple road trains out of the city area, and off Brand and Forrest Highways outside of the city.

- Picton to Greenbushes, including Kemerton spur (NG) - Lithium traffic is likely to push outside two million tonnes per annum for this haul (to either Kemerton or Kwinana), and allows for the loading of woodchip traffic again - currently under review by the government. Better if extended south for the woodchip and timber industry, but not likely to gather much steam. All mining south of Bridgetown (coal, bauxite, etc) is unlikely to be approved in this area, but the tonnage available from the bauxite south of Manjimup would have been over three million tonnes per annum for one mine site.

Cheers,

Matt.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
In WA, there are a few lines which should be back in business:

- Narrogin to Kulin (NG) - Grain traffic from the big bins at Kulin and Norman's Lake (to Kwinana), and upcoming kaolin traffic from Wedin Siding (to Kwinana - possible 400k tonnes per annum) - currently under review by the government.

- Tambellup to Gnowangerup, then reinstate the extension out to Borden (NG) - Picks up the big grain bins at Borden and Gnowangerup, and start encouraging trans-shipping at Borden rather than continually 'improving' Chester Pass Road for bigger and bigger road trains to Albany.

- Merredin to Kondinin (rebuild to SG) - Picks up the bins at Kondinin (move the main loadout to the new bins north of town), Narembeen and Muntadgin, and removing the trans-shipping charges at Merredin will substantially improve the cost of transport from this line. Currently under review by the government.

- Picton to Capel (NG) - puts the Iluka mineral sands plant back on the network, links back to the Narngulu plant as well, and encourage trans-shipping at Gingin for the Cataby area traffic. Gets the ridiculous setup of short trailer triple road trains out of the city area, and off Brand and Forrest Highways outside of the city.

- Picton to Greenbushes, including Kemerton spur (NG) - Lithium traffic is likely to push outside two million tonnes per annum for this haul (to either Kemerton or Kwinana), and allows for the loading of woodchip traffic again - currently under review by the government. Better if extended south for the woodchip and timber industry, but not likely to gather much steam. All mining south of Bridgetown (coal, bauxite, etc) is unlikely to be approved in this area, but the tonnage available from the bauxite south of Manjimup would have been over three million tonnes per annum for one mine site.

Cheers,

Matt.
Bulbous
Thanks for the WA perspective bulbous.

Whats the view on NG vs SG in the areas with NG lines?  Does CBH/Watco have a preference?
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
Those curious about APFT, then the answer is Forrest airport as it was mentioned by YM-Mundrabilla in his earlier post with the codes FOS / YFRT. and he stated it was the closest airport to his home depot. Thus his reference  to just waiting for the Tea and Sugar for the short trip home.

Also why CPH8 mentioned Forrest originally opened for the Adelaide - Perth run in 1929 as the overnight stop for Norman Brearley's airline. Passenger stayed in the guest house and ate silver service on white tablecloths. Somewhat quicker than the Transcontinental.

Back onto the topic of closed lines, that little matter of passengers picking airlines instead of rail is one reason for some of those either closed lines or service reductions. Time was money for the business community and they picked airlines instead of what they perceived as a nebulous loyalty to a government railway instrumentality. To the business community, governments represent red tape and taxes, so businesses look after their own company profits rather than government railway coffers.

The fastest 1960’s Sydney Melbourne express passenger trains left Sydney at 7:45 AM to arrive in Melbourne at 8:30 PM. At the same time Boeing 727 jets carried the business traveller between Sydney and Melbourne with travel times of about an hour, allowed return travel that same day.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
My thoughts are more rail based port access for South Australia and reopening the lines to the riverland where there is much produce.  Trains might be able to use the Victorian side for traffic to Melbourne and SA for Adelaide export.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Those curious about APFT, then the answer is Forrest airport as it was mentioned by YM-Mundrabilla in his earlier post with the codes FOS / YFRT. and he stated it was the closest airport to his home depot. Thus his reference  to just waiting for the Tea and Sugar for the short trip home.

Also why CPH8 mentioned Forrest originally opened for the Adelaide - Perth run in 1929 as the overnight stop for Norman Brearley's airline. Passenger stayed in the guest house and ate silver service on white tablecloths. Somewhat quicker than the Transcontinental.

Back onto the topic of closed lines, that little matter of passengers picking airlines instead of rail is one reason for some of those either closed lines or service reductions. Time was money for the business community and they picked airlines instead of what they perceived as a nebulous loyalty to a government railway instrumentality. To the business community, governments represent red tape and taxes, so businesses look after their own company profits rather than government railway coffers.

The fastest 1960’s Sydney Melbourne express passenger trains left Sydney at 7:45 AM to arrive in Melbourne at 8:30 PM. At the same time Boeing 727 jets carried the business traveller between Sydney and Melbourne with travel times of about an hour, allowed return travel that same day.

petan
Thanks Petan.
Just to confirm in my old mind! Am I correct in understanding that APFT is a 'former/archaic' code for Forrest which is now known as FOS / YFRT?
I was offered a flight from Forrest to Adelaide 20 odd years ago, (no doubt in a light plane of some sort), but declined preferring to travel on the much slower train.
Regards
YM
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Acronyms are fine when correctly used in their place, which is within the trade/organisation concerned and not in public. Given the fact that the purpose of language is to communicate, the use of acronyms should be pitched accordingly. If the writer is addressing the general public the best plan for the first reference is Little Organ Mate (LOM), then LOM thereafter.
As my son tells his staff, "If your instructions can be understood by my mother, they're OK. If not, go and rewrite them and remember you're instructing people outside your own field of expertise."

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