News & Discussion: Regional Transport

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rhino
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News & Discussion: Regional Transport

#1 Post by rhino » Mon May 14, 2007 3:21 pm

Great news for Eyre Peninsula after years of neglect in this quarter.

From today's Advertiser:

$30m rail link a win for farmers
MATT WILLIAMS
May 14, 2007 02:15am

THE $30 million upgrade of the Eyre Peninsula rail system "provides a future" for grain growers trying to recover from the drought.

Eyre Regional Development Board chief executive Mark Cant said upgrading the Port Lincoln-Wudinna and Port Lincoln-Kimba lines would "increase competition within the dual transport modes of road and rail, which should reduce costs".

"There is the safety factor in the fact more semi-trailers will be taken off the road and will help prevent highways deteriorating."

The lines are predicted to carry more than 1.3 million tonnes of grain each year.

The upgrade was funded by the Federal and State Governments, Genesee and Wyoming - which owns the line - and investors, through a grower levy.
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Rhino

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News & Discussion: Regional Rail Transport & Infrastructure

#2 Post by Wilfy 2007 » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:18 am

Is there anybody on this forum who would be interested in seeing Railcar services to Angaston.
I am interested in hearing from anyone who could give information on what chances there are of such a service starting up.

Any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated.

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Wilfy 2007

http://www.freewebs.com/saroeight/

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Survey for Barossa Rail Passeger service.

#3 Post by Wilfy 2007 » Sat Apr 12, 2008 11:27 am

Gidday,
My associates and I have created a survey form to give us a better idea of the numbers of Barossa Residents who catch the train at the Gawler Central and Gawler Railway Stations.
If you live in the gawler east or barossa areas and you are interested in filling in the form, go to the SAROEIGHT Website at,

http://www.freewebs.com/saroeight/

Regards,
Wilfy 2007.

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Re: Survey for Barossa Rail Passeger service.

#4 Post by Wilfy 2007 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:12 pm

Have been updating my SAR O Eight Website.

There is now a link for the Survey form at

http://www.freewebs.com/saroeight/baros ... ervice.htm

Will put this link on Railsa as well

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Wilfy 2007.

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Re: Survey for Barossa Rail Passeger service.

#5 Post by jk1237 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:51 pm

wilfy, I do hope you continue with your push to reinstate a Barossa Valley passenger train. The criticism on that railpage website makes me angry. The South Australian section of railpage is overun by 3-4 miserable, negative, know-alls, and Ive given up with it. The website is so slow and the SA section is the most boring load of nothing. Its an embarrasment. I know Norman and 409 contribute good stuff, but I reckon 3 or 4 members simply ruin it.

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Re: Survey for Barossa Rail Passeger service.

#6 Post by Wilfy 2007 » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:58 pm

jk1237 wrote:wilfy, I do hope you continue with your push to reinstate a Barossa Valley passenger train. The criticism on that railpage website makes me angry. The South Australian section of railpage is overun by 3-4 miserable, negative, know-alls, and Ive given up with it. The website is so slow and the SA section is the most boring load of nothing. Its an embarrasment. I know Norman and 409 contribute good stuff, but I reckon 3 or 4 members simply ruin it.
jk1237,
Thanks for your support.
I had a phone call from a Guy in Eudunda saying that he would like to see the Barossa Rail service operating.
He also mentioned that ICI have told GWA that they want another 250,000tonnes of stone, so the Stonie is going to be running for a while yet.
He did not say from when to when so we will have to wait and see.
Barossa Information centre told me today they are always getting asked about rail services and they have said they will organise flyers for the survey at their office.
The responses I have had and the group that are involved in this is amazing as I did not expect it to take off so quickly.

Regards,

Brian Leedham.

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Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#7 Post by Wayno » Mon May 19, 2008 8:32 am

any takers?
http://adelaide.yourguide.com.au/news/l ... 72261.aspx
Banks force sale of Adelaide-Darwin rail
19/05/2008 8:48:00 AM
Bank lenders have forced the sale of the $1.2-billion Adelaide to Darwin rail link.

The line has been put up for sale by owner FreightLink, on orders from lenders following years of mounting debt and underperformance, The Australian Financial Review reported today.

The banks, led by the ANZ, have not been swayed in their decision despite a recent turnaround in performance due to a surge in mining cargo volumes out of South Australia and Darwin's increasing popularity as a port.

The link could prove attractive to several buyers, including Asciano Group, Queensland Rail and Babcock & Brown Infrastructure, which have significant rail interests.--AAP
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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#8 Post by Omicron » Tue May 20, 2008 1:38 am

Were I to travel from Adelaide to Darwin, an economy seat on the Ghan would cost me $450 if they accepted my outdated student ID, or $710 as a full fare. Such a journey would leave Adelaide at 12:20pm on Wednesday and arrive in Darwin at 6:30pm on Friday.

An economy seat with Virgin Blue leaving Adelaide at 3:45pm Wednesday, arriving in Canberra at 5:45pm, arriving in Brisbane at 8:10pm and arriving in Darwin at 12:55am Thursday would cost me $179.

That may explain part of the sale.

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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#9 Post by crawf » Tue May 20, 2008 1:45 am

Or a direct flight to Darwin from Adelaide can be as low as $149 for a adult flying Jetstar, though a train trip from Adelaide to Darwin would be one amazing journey. I'm thinking about doing it when I head up back to Darwin though I went on the Ghan ages ago but only when it used to go to Alice Springs only.

From the NT News
Railway up for sale

NICK CALACOURAS

20May08

THE owner of the Adelaide-to-Darwin railway has been forced to sell after failing to make a profit in more than four years.

Freightlink chief executive John Fullerton denied reports that bank lenders forced the sale.

"It was a board decision, supported by shareholders and lenders, and it's been in planning for six months,'' he said.

The $1.3billion project to build, own and operate the railway was awarded to Freightlink in 2001 -- and was completed by 2004.

The development was originally projected to be in the black within three years, but Freightlink has reported a loss every year.

Mr Fullerton said the company inherited a large amount of debt from the construction phase that the company was unable to manage.

"Once the operation starts, you learn more about the market. We've done everything possible to achieve the original business case. Over time, it likely will,'' he said.

Mr Fullerton said the business had succeeded "remarkably well'' over the last four years and a new long-term investor with a different debt structure could make a profit.

"They will be in a better position than we were, because they have four years of growth and cash flow to examine.''

Chief Minister Paul Henderson said he had advice "for some time'' the company was looking to sell the business.

He said Freightlink made $30million profit last year -- excluding the debt.

"If you take out the debt they are carrying, it is a profitable business,'' he said.

The Territory Government invested $190million into the railway when it was constructed.

Mr Henderson said that he had "every confidence'' in the railway, but ruled out investing money.

"We're not in the business of buying railways,'' he said.

"But I'm confident whoever will buy it will continue to drive that profit forward.''

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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#10 Post by skyliner » Tue May 20, 2008 7:56 pm

Would hate to see this mothballed/defunct - especially with Darwin/ADelaide growth and the mineral boom. What we lack in outback SA is a rail system linked to the Nth Sth line.

! am wary about the east coast line and it''s effects - will leave Tennant Ck, go to the Isa and across to Toowoomba and down NSW to Melbourne. Could divert traffic that way at our expense?
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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#11 Post by Will409 » Tue May 20, 2008 10:15 pm

There is no way that the line is going to be closed at all. Already, roughly 80% of all land freight traffic between Adelaide and Darwin goes by rail (if you don't believe me on that, the Adelaide - Perth line has been running with roughly 85% of all land freight traffic for a few years already). At the present time, there are 5 return transcontinental freights averaging around 1600m-1750m long and a 6th freight is due to start soon. In addition, mineral hauls in the NT from Frances Creek and Muckaty Creek are working on the northern section of the line to Darwin. There is also another mineral haul soon to start running from Wirrada siding in the far north to Darwin and back. I have heard of some estimated tonnages being around 8000t per train requiring around 4 3000hp locos per train. Once running, this will be one of the longest mineral hauls in the world with a 4000km return trip. These mineral hauls also have a side effect here in Adelaide in that the hopper wagons to transport the minerals are all being built at Islington Workshops (and a lot of hopper wagons are needed!)

Another growing traffic stream on the line is, of all things, from the Australian Army who are now transporting a number of military vehicles and other equipment either on special movements or attached to regular AD1/DA2 services. A total of 32 flat wagons have been built at Islington Workshops for this traffic and are capable of carrying M1 A1 Abrams tanks. Freightlink have been hiring a number of locomotives from GWA and more recently CFCLA to help shift the traffic on the line.
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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#12 Post by jk1237 » Tue May 20, 2008 10:23 pm

no need to worry Skyliner. As 409 pointed out, there is a lot of freight using the line and the line is now making a profit, if you exclude the current company's debts.

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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#13 Post by rhino » Wed May 21, 2008 1:59 pm

Here's an article from the ABC News:

Top End miner expresses interest in Freightlink purchase

The owner of a Territory iron ore mine says it is interested in buying part of Freightlink's Adelaide to Darwin rail operation.
Iron ore miner Territory Resources says it wants to acquire the railway carriages that take its iron ore from the Frances Creek mine to the port.
Territory Resources chairman Michael Kiernan says the company does not want to own the railway line itself, but will look at operating the rail link in a consortium with other users.
"I don't mind being part of a syndicate that will acquire the operation and we'll financially support that providing the syndicate operate it and we just want to operate our little subset in from Frances Creek to Darwin."
Freightlink announced it was selling the Adelaide to Darwin railway yesterday because of difficulties meeting its debt obligations.
Mr Kiernan says he will be declaring his interest to the bank managing the sale in the next few days.
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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#14 Post by Bulldozer » Sun May 25, 2008 2:03 pm

Yeah, there's no way the line will be closed as it's of extreme strategic importance. Plus freight volumes are continuing to grow so it will soon be profitable. It's just a piece of infrastructure that can't pay for itself immediately, but has major long-term spin-offs that will more than pay for it - just look at the mines using it now and the ones that are going to use it (E.g. Prominent Hill)

Traveling via rail is more expensive and slower than flying, but for a trip like that you're not taking the train as a means to get from A to B, you're going because it's a train and one of the world's great train journeys.

Also, if oil keeps going up at the rate that is has been recently then rail is going to take even more of the freight. I found it surprising to recently read that the head of the national trucking association says that Australia needs to get more freight onto rail for the long-haul trips. That's not just because of rising fuel prices, but also because they can't get enough drivers now to keep up with the growth in freight volumes.

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Re: Adelaide/Darwin Railway up for sale!

#15 Post by skyliner » Sun May 25, 2008 3:57 pm

Will409 wrote:There is no way that the line is going to be closed at all. Already, roughly 80% of all land freight traffic between Adelaide and Darwin goes by rail (if you don't believe me on that, the Adelaide - Perth line has been running with roughly 85% of all land freight traffic for a few years already). At the present time, there are 5 return transcontinental freights averaging around 1600m-1750m long and a 6th freight is due to start soon. In addition, mineral hauls in the NT from Frances Creek and Muckaty Creek are working on the northern section of the line to Darwin. There is also another mineral haul soon to start running from Wirrada siding in the far north to Darwin and back. I have heard of some estimated tonnages being around 8000t per train requiring around 4 3000hp locos per train. Once running, this will be one of the longest mineral hauls in the world with a 4000km return trip. These mineral hauls also have a side effect here in Adelaide in that the hopper wagons to transport the minerals are all being built at Islington Workshops (and a lot of hopper wagons are needed!)

Another growing traffic stream on the line is, of all things, from the Australian Army who are now transporting a number of military vehicles and other equipment either on special movements or attached to regular AD1/DA2 services. A total of 32 flat wagons have been built at Islington Workshops for this traffic and are capable of carrying M1 A1 Abrams tanks. Freightlink have been hiring a number of locomotives from GWA and more recently CFCLA to help shift the traffic on the line.
Thanks mate - I have to confess I was rather out of touch concerning this line so your input much apprecated.

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