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Author Topic: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade  (Read 5055 times)

Online ozbob

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Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« on: October 22, 2015, 02:51:59 AM »
The Chronicle --> Toowoomba Range rail upgrade coming 'before retirement'

Quote
QUEENSLAND'S Deputy Premier has given a vague timeline on when upgrades to rail tunnels on the Toowoomba Range will take place.

Answering questions from the floor at the Local Government Association of Queensland's 119th annual conference, Jackie Trad said her department was working through logistical issues.

She said the government would start the project before an aging councillor retired.

Balonne Shire Mayor Donna Stewart questioned the Deputy Premier on whether the government had funded a proposal to lower the floors of tunnels which take freight down the Toowoomba Range.

Cr Stewart said farmers in south-western Queensland wanted to export more food but needed better freight efficiencies.

 "In particular through the south western line... there is a big issue with regards to container heights," she said.

"They are (the containers) going to increase in height and they will not get down the Range with the current height of the tunnels.

"I was wondering... when we might see that work commence?" she asked.

International shipping companies are transitioning from using 8'6" containers to new 9'6" containers.

Cr Stewart was echoing comments by Interlink SQ chief executive officer Michelle Reynolds who last week called for the government to fund the tunnel upgrades.

Interlink SQ is in the process of building a $235 million rail transfer station in the Toowoomba Enterprise Hub.

Ms Trad confirmed the Queensland Government had allocated money in the budget for the upgrade project.

"It won't be long before we can engage with you seriously about the projected work plan."

She said the government was committed to increasing the food and fibre target in Queensland.

"We know that freight is a significant part of that," she said.

Ms Trad said the government had concessional arrangements in place which provided subsidies for freight and livestock rail transportation.

"You won't have to wait too long Donna, hopefully we can start engaging with you before you retire."

« Last Edit: October 22, 2015, 03:16:45 AM by ozbob »
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 02:52:44 AM »
" ... has given a vague timeline  ... "

 :fp:
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Offline Stillwater

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 06:21:05 AM »
lol ... maybe the government will promise a start on CRR before the current crop of retirees die.  It all seems very vague, doesn't it... thought bubbles, ideas, a bit of horse trading over funding, inquiries, fare review committees, the prospect of a 'pipeline of a projects' from an  organisation still arranging the desks and chairs.  Preparation of an integrated transport plan, no doubt is in the works, but the timing of its completion is likely to be just before the next election.  (You don't have to spend much beforehand.)  Thus, voters would be faced with the usual thimble and pea trick of being told 'vote for us and we will implement this plan'.  Haha, fooled again!

Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2015, 08:40:14 AM »
Sit down,  relax ... close your eyes .... zzzzz

Can you see them?  Double stacked containers sliding seemingly smoothly down the range - behind brute hybrid electric locos ....

Can't see them?  YOU HAVE NO FAITH!

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colinw

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2015, 12:08:31 PM »
I honestly don't give a damn.  Boring out the range tunnels while keeping the 1867 alignment is polishing a t%rd.

Even a single dollar spent upgrading the current range railway when the whole thing needs replacing with a dual gauge ARTC managed alignment is a gross waste of money.

We bore out those tunnels, get 2800s or bigger running up there, then we likely lock in a hideously inefficient and out of date alignment for decades to come.



Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2015, 12:14:11 PM »
I would be surprised if anything actually happened Col.

This joint cannot even sort out a bus network.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2015, 12:48:58 PM »
Well maybe things might be happening ? ?

From 16th May 2013

Sunshine Coast Daily --> $50m rail upgrade to take 25,000 trucks a year off roads

Quote
UPDATE: A $50 million upgrade of Toowoomba Range rail infrastructure will take 25,000 trucks a year off south-east Queensland's roads, according to the State Government.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Scott Emerson made the announcement in Toowoomba.

Mr Emerson said the investment in rail infrastructure was aimed at the agricultural sector in a bid to get crop transport off the roads and onto rail.

"The industry has told us this is what they wanted," Mr Emerson said.

"It is about getting the grain and cotton trucks off the roads.

"This is a great win for grain and cotton producers as it will provide the most significant increase in train paths in decades," he said.

Mr Emerson said the investment was made possible after re-negotiating existing contracts with Aurizon.

"Up to 20 additional train paths per week will be made available for farmers," he said.

"We particularly want to see the agricultural sector using rail instead of roads.

"This will result in about 100,000 less trucks using James St over the next four years."

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said this was a major win for grain and cotton producers across the region.

"We have been working on an agricultural strategy for more than six months," Mr McVeigh said.

"This is what the industry has told us they wanted.

"Toowoomba is already a freight gateway for western Queensland and this will allow us to get the balance right between road and rail," he said.

Member for Toowoomba North Trevor Watts said once the project was up-and-running residents would notice a difference on the city's roads.

"At grain and cotton harvesting times, this will take significant pressures off James St and the Toowoomba Range," he said.

Fast facts

     Two new rail passing loops to be built at Harlaxton and Ballard.
     Will cost about $50 million and will be up-and-running within two years.
     Each rail passing loop will be about one kilometre in length.

EARLIER: UP TO $50 million will be spent on Toowoomba Range rail infrastructure by the Queensland Government, funding extra passing loops for crop-hauling trains.

Transport Minister Scott Emerson and Agriculture Minister John McVeigh jointly announced the deal today to improve the way farmers moved their produce.

Mr Emerson said it was a win for grain and cotton farmers, who would benefit from the largest increase of rail paths "in decades".

It was part of the government's plan to improve rail support for agriculture, which included more cattle services between travelling from Winton or Cloncurry to Brisbane.

Mr McVeigh said the $50 million come from savings made from re-negotiating freight contracts.

It meant 20 extra train paths would be available for farmers wanting to move their crops by rail instead of by road.

"Toowoomba is already a freight gateway for western Queensland and this will allow us to get the balance right between road and rail," Mr McVeigh said.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2015, 12:53:21 PM »
Statement: Train transport package a win for rural Queensland

May 2013

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2013/5/16/train-transport-package-a-win-for-rural-queensland
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2015, 01:01:06 PM »
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2013/8/27/double-the-solutions-to-double-freight-capacity

Media Statements
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Scott Emerson

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Double the solutions to double freight capacity

The Newman Government will invest $17 million to make larger train tunnels through the Toowoomba Range and Lockyer Valley.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said lowering the floors of 11 tunnels – including nine heritage listed tunnels – would be a boost for the agricultural industry allowing larger hi cube containers to operate between the Darling Downs and Port of Brisbane.

“If we are going to meet our future growth in freight we need to make sensible decisions now to improve the capacity on our train network,” Mr Emerson said.

“This will be a challenging engineering task because the tunnels along the western and south western rail corridors must retain their historic qualities.

“We’ve already taken steps to build two additional passing loops on the range to allow more services for cotton and grain and this will now allow even more freight capacity.”

The use of the larger 9’6” hi cube containers had grown significantly in recent years, replacing the standard 8’6” containers.

Mr Emerson said geotechnical work is currently underway with work due to start in early 2014.

“The amount of grain and cotton through the Port of Brisbane increased by 50 per cent last year,” he said.

“By addressing the height constraints for agricultural freight we will be able to provide capacity improvements needed for future growth.

“These two projects will mean more farmers can get crops off the road and on to rail and start to address the transportation needs of farmers across south-west Queensland well into the future.”

[ENDS] 27 August 2013

============

 :o
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colinw

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2015, 01:02:16 PM »
Agriculture my a**.  He's pandering to the National Party types out that way.

This is about coal, coal, coal 'n' coal --- and the 2300s aren't getting any younger but nothing bigger can operate.

Some of this upgrade is actually routine maintenance as well, regardless of whether they increase the loading gauge.  A lot of the equipment installed back when colour light (RCS) signalling went through is going end of life now too, e.g. the axle counters.

Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2018, 07:19:54 AM »
Toowoomba Chronicle --> $48 million rail tunnel creates 100 jobs

Quote
EXCLUSIVE: Multi-million dollar works on 11 rail tunnels from the Toowoomba to Little Liverpool ranges have started, creating 100 jobs over the next 12 months.

State Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the $48 million project would lower the heritage listed tunnels and expand freight potential from the Darling Downs to the Port of Brisbane.

The works will include a scheduled track closure at the end of the month, and will see the tunnels, built in the 1860s, lowered to allow 2.9m high freight shipping containers direct access from the Darling Downs to the Port of Brisbane.

"The first tunnels will be lowered during a major track closure in April," Mr Bailey said.

 "This project has the potential to help reduce the quantity of heavy vehicles required to transport freight on the highway from South West Queensland to the port, improving safety and reducing the impact on our roads.

"This project is a huge vote of confidence in the future growth of agriculture in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland regions which currently produces around a third of Queensland's agricultural output and is a major area for cotton."

InterlinkSQ CEO Michelle Reynolds said the funding and works were catalysts towards a reinvention of the rail freight industry.

"The tunnel upgrade forms an important building block in the future of rail freight," she said.

Works are expected to take 12 months on the nine Toowoomba and two Laidley tunnels, with Queensland Rail to work with BMD Constructions.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2018, 10:55:43 AM »
Media Statements

Minister for Transport and Main Roads

The Honourable Mark Bailey

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Work underway on $48 million Toowoomba Range rail upgrade

The Palaszczuk Government has commenced work has on a major rail upgrade along the Toowoomba Range, which will support 100 construction jobs locally.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the $48 million Palaszczuk Government investment will involve increasing the height of 11 rail tunnels on the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool Ranges, enabling the transport of containerised freight by rail from the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Regions directly to the Port of Brisbane.

This vital project will not only help to support the growth and prosperity of Queensland’s agricultural sector, it will also provide a welcome boost to the local construction industry,” Mr Bailey said.

“Foundation and preparation works have commenced with further preparation works to be undertaken during a scheduled track closure of the western rail line at the end of February. The first tunnels will be lowered during a major track closure in April.

“The lowering of 11 rail tunnel floors on the Toowoomba and Little Liverpool Ranges will create the clearance necessary to transport 9’6” high cube freight shipping containers via rail, increasingly being used to export goods.

“This project is a huge vote of confidence in the future growth of agriculture in the Darling Downs and South West Queensland Regions, which currently produces around a third of Queensland’s agricultural output and is a major area for cotton.

“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to ensuring rail is a more attractive and viable option for those industries who wish to use larger containers to get their goods to the Port of Brisbane for export, and to helping improve the overall competitiveness of our agricultural sector in this region.

“We are committed to supporting economic and jobs growth in regional Queensland communities and this project will ensure farmers are supported, with the freight options in place to transport their goods to market now and into the future.

“This project has the potential to help reduce the quantity of heavy vehicles required to transport freight on the highway from South West Queensland to the Port, improving safety and reducing the impact on our roads.”

Michelle Reynolds, CEO of InterlinkSQ - a major intermodal freight hub being constructed West of Toowoomba – said that today’s funding announcement is the catalyst towards a reinvention of the rail freight industry in our region.

“The tunnel upgrade forms an important building block in the future of rail freight, and most importantly, demonstrates the State Government’s commitment to the creation and protection of jobs for our state,” Ms Reynolds said.

Mr Bailey said after working with BMD Constructions on the detailed design and investigation works for the project, Queensland Rail would continue to work with the locally based company to undertake the construction phase of the project.

“BMD Constructions, which has local offices in Toowoomba, and design partners WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff, have completed the detailed design for the project, and Queensland Rail will continue to work with BMD Constructions during the construction phase,” Mr Bailey said.

“Now that construction has started, we anticipate the work will take approximately 12 months to complete.

“This project will lower 11 heritage listed railway tunnel floors, including two tunnels on the Little Liverpool range at Laidley and nine tunnels on the Toowoomba Range.

“The tunnels are stone and brick lined and were constructed in the 1860s on Australia’s first main rail line through the Great Dividing Range. This project will strike a balance between maintaining the heritage status of the tunnels, while providing the modern day upgrade that is required.”

ENDS
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Offline aldonius

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2018, 01:00:58 PM »
Excellent. The alignment... well, it is what it is, but being able to take the containers will be a big improvement.

Online verbatim9

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2018, 12:17:21 AM »
Wonder if there will be extra room after lowering the tunnel floor for future electrification?

Offline dancingmongoose

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2018, 02:37:59 PM »
Wonder if there will be extra room after lowering the tunnel floor for future electrification?
Any electrification west of Grandchester should only be along the Inland Rail route. No point electrifying an alignment that takes 2 hours longer than a car to travel

Offline SurfRail

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 04:04:28 PM »
Wonder if there will be extra room after lowering the tunnel floor for future electrification?

Without electrification further along than Toowoomba what is the point?  Aurizon isn't going to buy a fleet of electric locomotives for the trip from Gowrie to the Port of Brisbane, nor would any intermodal or other operator.  It isn't cost effective for them, and they can't be forced to do something uncommercial.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2018, 11:35:53 AM »
https://twitter.com/MarkBaileyMP/status/1044406422828605440
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2019, 01:42:38 PM »
Queensland Times --> First modern container trains to roll down the range in 2020


Workers dredging gravel and sand to lower and widen an old train tunnel along the range to make them large enough to handle modern contain freight. TMR

Quote
MODERN containerised grain, cotton coal and other commodity freight will, for the first time, run down the Great Dividing Range when a $77 million upgrade to Toowoomba rail line is complete next year.

The Queensland Government spent the past year lowering and widening 11 heritage tunnels along the range, to allow larger, 9'6" containerised freight train to run from the Darling Downs to the Port of Brisbane.

A further $37 million was spent stabilise sections of the rail line, near Spring Bluff.

The project is expected to be complete in time for the 2020 cotton harvest.

The two projects generated an estimated 230 jobs.

While the rail line had been use to cart coal and other agricultural products in the past, with tunnels dating back to the 1800s, the tunnels were too narrow for modern container carriages to pass through.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the widened tunnels would benefit communities from Toowoomba to Western Queensland.

"The Darling Downs and Southwest produces almost a third of our state's agricultural output, and it is vital we continue to support the jobs, businesses and industry it creates," he said.

"The Palaszczuk Government is backing our producers and world-class exports with a more competitive freight system."

Existing tracks along the tunnels have been replaced with pre-cast concrete slabs, which require less maintenance, and final enabling works are now being completed, with expected completion in early 2020.

The Toowoomba range is a geographically challenging section of the state rail network, with the upgrades designed to make the range more resilient to wet weather and unplanned disruptions.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2019, 01:44:20 PM »
Queensland Times 18th September 2019 page 7

New freight set to roll down range

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Offline Fares_Fair

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2019, 01:56:59 PM »
Great news.
I congratulate the Qld Govt for getting these works done.
I also note the works to the North Coast Line from Townsville to improve freight.
Great proje ts that improve transport and alleviate roads.
Regards,
Fares_Fair


Online ozbob

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2020, 04:13:55 PM »
https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1230775272628113408
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Offline aldonius

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Re: Toowoomba Range rail upgrade
« Reply #21 on: February 24, 2020, 05:25:09 PM »
So, uh, what exactly was the planning done 150 years ago that has been implemented recently?

 

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