News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Threads relating to transport, water, etc. within the CBD and Metropolitan area.
rubberman
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by rubberman »

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:57 pm
SRW wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:21 pm
SBD wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:36 pm
For Kimberley-Clark to get the full benefit, the line needs to be reinstated from their factory all the way through to avoid double handling.

For the SA government, it has the problem that this proposal might increase economic activity for export from the Limestone Coast region, but if it does, it's increasing traffic through Victorian ports. There is no decent port in SA that can compete with Portland. The line used to extend to the port at Beachport on Rivoli Bay from 1878 until 1957 but that port cannot support modern shipping.
I don't see a problem with Victoria getting the freight traffic. There's no realistic alternative. The win is just getting it off roads for me. But it does mean that the funding should come primarily from the Commonwealth rather than SA.
I hope they include passenger trains from Mount Gambier to Melbourne.
Would it be feasible? The train from Warrnambool to Melbourne takes 3.5 hrs. Driving from Mt Gambier to Melbourne take 4.5 hrs. So, unless the train from Mt Gambier to Warrnambool takes more than say 1.5 hrs, it can't work. I don't think that line was ever fast at the best of times.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Spotto »

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:57 pm
SRW wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:21 pm
SBD wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 12:36 pm
For Kimberley-Clark to get the full benefit, the line needs to be reinstated from their factory all the way through to avoid double handling.

For the SA government, it has the problem that this proposal might increase economic activity for export from the Limestone Coast region, but if it does, it's increasing traffic through Victorian ports. There is no decent port in SA that can compete with Portland. The line used to extend to the port at Beachport on Rivoli Bay from 1878 until 1957 but that port cannot support modern shipping.
I don't see a problem with Victoria getting the freight traffic. There's no realistic alternative. The win is just getting it off roads for me. But it does mean that the funding should come primarily from the Commonwealth rather than SA.
I hope they include passenger trains from Mount Gambier to Melbourne.
I've highlighted the western V/Line services and The Overland on this map; Mount Gambier is so far removed from existing V/Line services that it's unlikely to happen. Following currently operational lines, a passenger train to Mount Gambier would have to run down to Heywood then run all the way up to Maroona to join the Western SG Line into Melbourne. At a distance of approx. 480 km, it easily beats the longest V/Line services to Albury (307 km, 3x daily each direction) and Swan Hill (345 km, 1x daily each direction, 4.5 hrs). Swan Hill also has a twice daily coach in each direction (similar journey time) that has more stops and changes to the train at Bendigo; I can't find a Albury train timetable, they're currently on coach-only.

Before the COVID border closure, Mount Gambier had a 1x daily coach service in each direction to Warrnambool and 1x daily to Ballarat; both then change to the train into Melbourne and both take about half a day. Mount Gambier (30k) is just over halfway between Swan Hill (11k) and Albury (49k) in terms of population size. If it were closer to the existing V/Line network it would likely warrant at least a 1x daily train service. Not to say that there will never be a train service, but the odds aren't in their favour.
Vline west.png
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by claybro »

Spotto wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 11:49 am
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 10:57 pm
SRW wrote:
Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:21 pm


I don't see a problem with Victoria getting the freight traffic. There's no realistic alternative. The win is just getting it off roads for me. But it does mean that the funding should come primarily from the Commonwealth rather than SA.
I hope they include passenger trains from Mount Gambier to Melbourne.
I've highlighted the western V/Line services and The Overland on this map; Mount Gambier is so far removed from existing V/Line services that it's unlikely to happen. Following currently operational lines, a passenger train to Mount Gambier would have to run down to Heywood then run all the way up to Maroona to join the Western SG Line into Melbourne. At a distance of approx. 480 km, it easily beats the longest V/Line services to Albury (307 km, 3x daily each direction) and Swan Hill (345 km, 1x daily each direction, 4.5 hrs). Swan Hill also has a twice daily coach in each direction (similar journey time) that has more stops and changes to the train at Bendigo; I can't find a Albury train timetable, they're currently on coach-only.

Before the COVID border closure, Mount Gambier had a 1x daily coach service in each direction to Warrnambool and 1x daily to Ballarat; both then change to the train into Melbourne and both take about half a day. Mount Gambier (30k) is just over halfway between Swan Hill (11k) and Albury (49k) in terms of population size. If it were closer to the existing V/Line network it would likely warrant at least a 1x daily train service. Not to say that there will never be a train service, but the odds aren't in their favour.

Vline west.png
It surprises me how flippant many in SA are about joining the east of SA to the Vline and Vic freight networks. Its lazy by SA politicians, and it further diminishes the importance of Adelaide as the state capital and main port. If this were to happen, that's jobs, revenue, and bright young students going to Melbourne to study, and Portland for work etc. Track maintenance staff from Victoria, electricians, builders, all from Victoria. If the SA government announced it was relinquishing a 50km strip from the Eastern border over to Victoria, there would be a meltdown of epic proportions by the people of SA. This effectively does the same thing.
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Norman
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Norman »

Governments and businesses work on a model of economic rationalism, not nationalism. If it is cheaper to send the product to Melbourne than Adelaide then that's how it's going to work. If it was cheaper to send it to Adelaide then I'm sure they would. However, the cost to fix up the track to Bordertown will probably be higher than fix the track to Heywood. There are probably issues with gauge as well.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by SBD »

Norman wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:44 am
Governments and businesses work on a model of economic rationalism, not nationalism. If it is cheaper to send the product to Melbourne than Adelaide then that's how it's going to work. If it was cheaper to send it to Adelaide then I'm sure they would. However, the cost to fix up the track to Bordertown will probably be higher than fix the track to Heywood. There are probably issues with gauge as well.
The lines through Bordertown and Heywood have both been converted to Standard Gauge. Either way, the track would likely need to be rebuilt from scratch, so gauge would not make much difference.

I agree about business choosing the cheapest solution, but disagree that the SA government should be contributing money towards moving jobs to Victoria in the name of efficiency. If the business case stacks up, the government only has to permit it, not fund it, If anything, the SA government should be making sure that exporting from SA is the cheapest option.

A viable export port somewhere southeast of the Murray Mouth and/or a gentler railway corridor over the Mount Lofty Ranges would make it much easier to keep freight from the Southeast and Riverland on rail in South Australia.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Spotto »

SBD wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:25 pm
If anything, the SA government should be making sure that exporting from SA is the cheapest option.

A viable export port somewhere southeast of the Murray Mouth and/or a gentler railway corridor over the Mount Lofty Ranges would make it much easier to keep freight from the Southeast and Riverland on rail in South Australia.
THIS. But in a COVID recovery world where shorter projects with economic promise will be attractive, there's two viable options:

Running freight to Adelaide with a total distance of 487 km (with 183 km to be rebuilt from Mt Gambier to Wolseley) would be an unattractive sell for prospective customers wanting to use rail freight. Additionally, a study by the CSIRO on behalf of the Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast group found that "the reinstatement of the line between Mount Gambier and Wolseley was evaluated by CSIRO but was found to have a very low economic benefit to the region and incur a much greater cost to reinstate than the Heywood line." Freight to Adelaide is not an option.

The other SA option would be building a new southeastern port from scratch where no existing proposals are evident, where the Coorong National Park essentially restricts a southeastern port to Kingston SE and below. Kingston SE does have an abandoned rail corridor running to Naracoorte but the distance is still longer than going to Portland. The abandoned line to Millicent could be extended to Beachport or Southend for a port that's more centrally located in the South East.

Contrast that to rebuilding only 91 km of railway to connect Mount Gambier to an already-established port at Portland, the numbers unfortunately favour Portland.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by 1NEEDS2POST »

Why not just go by rail to Darwin and ship it out from there? That way it's closer to the export markets. Build the Adelaide Hills rail bypass and ship everything in and out via Darwin.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by PD2/20 »

1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:22 pm
Why not just go by rail to Darwin and ship it out from there? That way it's closer to the export markets. Build the Adelaide Hills rail bypass and ship everything in and out via Darwin.
How does this relate to Mt Gambier and the South-East? Nearest rail is at Bordertown or Woseley. See the recent discussion in this thread.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by SBD »

PD2/20 wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:45 pm
1NEEDS2POST wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:22 pm
Why not just go by rail to Darwin and ship it out from there? That way it's closer to the export markets. Build the Adelaide Hills rail bypass and ship everything in and out via Darwin.
How does this relate to Mt Gambier and the South-East? Nearest rail is at Bordertown or Woseley. See the recent discussion in this thread.
I'd say it relates through a proposal to rebuild the Mount Gambier-Wolseley line, and build the GlobeLink Monarto-Bowmans route to make an efficient rail route to an export port closer to the target market. Southern Australian ports have the problem that the Australian landmass is between them and most of the target market ports.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Bob »

John Gerber, the owner of Chateau Tanunda is attempting, once again, to re-launch a plan to bring back the Wine Train to run from Gawler to Tanunda with the ultimate aim of ARS to Tanunda in the longer term.

As most already know, Tanunda is now end of the line since the recent severing of it on the northern outskirts of town so the new roundabout could be built.

Here is the campaign link FYI:

https://www.barossawinetraincampaign.com/
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Spotto »

Bob wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 11:26 am
John Gerber, the owner of Chateau Tanunda is attempting, once again, to re-launch a plan to bring back the Wine Train to run from Gawler to Tanunda with the ultimate aim of ARS to Tanunda in the longer term.

As most already know, Tanunda is now end of the line since the recent severing of it on the northern outskirts of town so the new roundabout could be built.

Here is the campaign link FYI:

https://www.barossawinetraincampaign.com/
What a dreadful looking website. Surely such an internationally renowned company could've thrown a few more dollars into designing it?

But it's nice to see that they're now looking to a more realistic rolling stock solution. Restoring the Bluebirds would be nice, but insanely expensive given their deteriorated condition; maybe a project for sometime in the future when the line is bringing in money? I hope they have some success in getting this going. I can't see a full route that runs express from Gawler to Adelaide happening though, except for occasional special trips like SteamRanger used to do, if at all.

It'll certainly be interesting if the government can or can't make 1Rail foot the bill to restore the tracks to operational condition under the terms of their lease.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Nort »

Once lines are lost they are much more expensive or outright impossible to bring back (see the example given above of the old line being cut for road works). It should be a given that a state which has wine and produce as so much of our national and international identity has an active train line running to the Barossa.
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by SBD »

Nort wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:49 am
Once lines are lost they are much more expensive or outright impossible to bring back (see the example given above of the old line being cut for road works). It should be a given that a state which has wine and produce as so much of our national and international identity has an active train line running to the Barossa.
I wonder how many passengers per week a tourist attraction like this would attract. How would it compare to the number of people per week who walk or cycle on the trail from Nuriootpa to Angaston (on the alignment of the last part of the line).

I have trouble seeing a viable market for riding from Gawler to Tanunda (or Nuriootpa) on a diesel railcar at 25km/h. There might be a market if it is a dining car layout (like the dining car trams in Melbourne), but I don't see it if the only purpose is to view the scenery and get on a bus at the destination. I don't think the Bluebird wine train was particularly successful before it closed.

Clare Valley, McLaren Vale and Adelaide Hills wine regions all have walking/cycling trails on their former railway lines. Barossa has one on the line from Nuriootpa to Angaston, and (mostly) next to the railway line from Gawler to Nuriootpa, but with hills and sharp turns because it's not on the rail grade.

The railway line still exists, unused, through the Coonawarra wine region. The region is only part of a much longer track (Wolseley near Bordertown to Mount Gambier) and so far the only significant loss of right of way may be the bit in Mount Gambier itself, but that includes the historic station precinct.

The Barossa is too close to Adelaide to return to a viable country/regional passenger rail service, especially if it is the only one in the state, but too far from Adelaide want to establish metro commuter rail (which would completely destroy its regional identity).
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Re: News & Discussion: Regional Transport

Post by Bob »

Above all the rail corridor should be preserved as a rail corridor, even if this proposal doesn’t get up, it may have another future use we are not aware of today.

That aside, let private enterprise put forward their business proposal in this particular case and let market forces do the rest.

One thing that the State Government should be doing regardless is reserving the rail corridor from Gawler Central to the intersection of Barossa Valley Highway and Concordia Road as a future potential (one day will be needed) Adelaide Metro service extension.

There is one large parcel of land (farm holding) on one title in the NW corner of this intersection – a slice of this land could also be acquired & reserved for a future transport hub for a railway station, car parking, bus/coach transfer interchange – to serve the suburban expansion of Gawler East, relieve congestion at Gawler Central and be the hub to the Barossa.

In the same way the State Government are ensuring a reserved corridor for the Aldinga extension, the same should apply for the Gawler East extension.

If in the future heritage trains, dining trains or commuter trains want/need to run to the Valley proper, it could be done from this new Adelaide Metro station/hub. There are potential opportunities in this scenario.

BTW Adelaide Metro would need to introduce proper three tier scheduling on the expanded line to make it all work – Express, Limited and Stopping between ARS and the various Gawler stations.
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