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Offline ozbob

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Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« on: March 11, 2016, 12:24:12 PM »
Media Statements
JOINT STATEMENT

Treasurer, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Minister for Disability Services, Minister for Seniors and Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland
The Honourable Coralee O'Rourke

Friday, March 11, 2016

$25M to Improve Townsville-Mount Isa Line Reliability and Boost Jobs

The Queensland Government has announced a $25 million investment to improve the reliability of the Mount Isa line.

Transport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the investment would support 75 regional jobs and deliver a more stable and reliable track structure for freight services by replacing steel sleepers with concrete.

“The Townsville-Mount Isa rail line is a critical piece of infrastructure which links the North West Queensland minerals province from Mount Isa to the port of Townsville,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said he was happy to sign off on the funding for this critical local infrastructure upgrade.

“The Palaszczuk Government will stand beside Townsville to ensure this economic hub stays on track during these uncertain times, which is why I was more than willing to expedite approval for this project,” Mr Pitt said.

“Just as we have fast-tracked $210 million of projects to drive 480 full-time equivalent jobs in the Townsville through the State Government's Accelerated Works Program.

“This program is part of the Palaszczuk Government's $10.1 billion capital works program to support 27,500 jobs across the State in 2015-16.

“What we need to see now is the Federal Government step up to its responsibility and finally show some leadership in the North. The time for talk ended back in October when Clive Palmer first approached the Government, now we need action.”

Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O'Rourke said while the investment would boost productivity of the rail line particularly for metal and agriculture producers, it would also support 75 full-time equivalent roles during the life of the project.

“A further 41 kilometres of sleeper replacement works is planned to commence in May at a number of high priority locations between Richmond and Julia Creek and be completed by 2017.

“The use of concrete sleepers improves the overall track condition, stability of the track structure and greatly reduces the future maintenance need of the track.

“This project is an example of our commitment to improving efficiency and productivity to the mining sector by investing in the future of vital infrastructure.”

Mr Hinchliffe said safety was Queensland Rail’s highest priority and it invested heavily in a comprehensive maintenance program to ensure the Mount Isa line was safe and reliable. 

“Last financial year, almost $50 million was spent maintaining the Townsville-Mount Isa line, including track renewal work, ballast undercutting, rail restressing and resurfacing at priority locations along the line,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Investment in the Townsville-Mount Isa line has resulted in a significant reduction in speed restrictions since 2013, with lost time due to speed restrictions decreasing by almost 50 percent, over the past two years.”
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 02:10:56 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2017, 07:32:16 AM »
Sunday Mail 20th August 2017 page 66 Traps Peter Cameron

Katter signals move on rail

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Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 02:07:25 AM »
North Queensland Register --> Mount Isa to Townsville rail call

Quote
A SPATE of truck and heavy vehicle crashes in North-West Queensland has prompted calls for improved rail access in the region.

Regional development group MITEZ said there had been more serious accidents on the Flinders and Barkly Highways in the last 12 months which had resulted in in fatalities, significant road closures and environmental clean-ups.

MITEZ President David Glasson said there had been a fundamental change in transport logistics across the region as a lot of bulk product has been shifted from rail to road.

In part, this was to avoid the high cost of rail.

“Until recently, much of this product had been transported over these large distances by rail,” Mr Glasson said.

“The main impediment to getting more product off the road and onto the rail is the high cost or rail, which must be addressed.”

Mr Glasson said Queensland Government terms and conditions were structured for customers on the rail line, inclusive of price.

“Is it to be an enabler of growth and support the region’s economy and communities or is it simply a cash cow?” he queried.

Mr Glasson said an incentive would be to offer rail access arrangements that would make it more attractive to entice customers to use the rail system and this would in turn take some of the pressure off the road network and improve overall safety for all road users.

It comes as the State and Federal Government’s remain at a funding impasse over the Townsville Eastern Access Rail Corridor (TEARC).

Townsville City Council’s MITEZ representative Margie Ryder stated that in addition to supply-chain efficiency gains, the TEARC would alleviate traffic congestion and improve urban amenity for Townsville.

“Currently rail access goes through our city, causing traffic delays and noise issues,” Cr Ryder said.

“Providing access through the State Development area will remove freight trains from the centre of our city.”
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2019, 10:59:18 AM »
Rail Express --> Mt Isa Line incentive scheme launched

Quote
Queensland has launched an $80 million fund to subsidise rail freight on the Mt Isa Line over the next four years.

Announced in June’s state budget, the four-year, $20 million per annum funding programme is expected to support the growth of the mining industry in Queensland’s north west.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, visiting the rail line on November 18, said the government understands the importance of the North Weest Minerals Province to the resources sector.

“In the year to September 2019, Queensland’s exports topped $87.6 billion,” she said.

“Investing in this region, where 75 per cent of the state’s base metal and mineral deposits are, is crucial to growing this figure and supporting local jobs.”

Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said the Mount Isa Line Incentive Scheme – as it is known – puts Queensland on track “to have the best rail freight pricing policy in the country”.

“Rather than sitting on the sideline and continuing to let rail freight languish in the steam age with high rail access charges, the Queensland Government has positioned itself firmly in the policy driver’s seat,” Dalla Valle said.

“High government access charges put rail freight at a competitive disadvantage to road freight.

“By creating a scheme to incentivise rail freight, the Queensland Government will successfully help shift volumes of bulk minerals from trucks to trains, and create more regional jobs across the transport supply chain.”

Palaszczuk said the government has worked with Queensland Rail and the industry on how best to approach the subsidy plan since it was announced in June.

“After holding two consultation workshops in Townsville in September and Brisbane in October and receiving industry feedback, the implementation arrangements have been finalised,” she said.

“Today the government will be releasing the scheme guidelines and the application form to allow eligible users on the Mount Isa Line to apply for the incentive.”

Deputy premier and state treasurer Jackie Trad said the scheme will make rail freight more competitive and incentivise a shift from road to rail.

“The Mount Isa Line is critical for servicing the mining industry and this investment will help existing mining operators get their resources to the Port of Townsville for export as well as encourage new investment in the state’s north west,” Trad said.

“We have made significant repairs on the 300 kilometres of track on the Mount Isa Line damaged during February’s unprecedented flood event, to ensure that north west Queensland has reliable transport infrastructure.

“The scheme will be administered by Transport and Main Roads, with the first quarterly payment commencing at the end of this year, backdated from 1 July 2019.”

Industry members are encouraged to make formal submissions on proposals for government’s further consideration. Applications are to be emailed to MILscheme@tmr.qld.gov.au. More information on how to apply for the scheme is on the Transport and Main Road’s website at www.tmr.qld.gov.au
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2020, 11:51:57 AM »
https://twitter.com/MarkBaileyMP/status/1227042824257859584
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2020, 01:08:15 PM »
https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1227056106117070848
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 01:46:01 PM »
http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2020/7/29/rail-boost-to-put-nwq-ontrack-for-covid19-economic-recovery

Media Statements

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Rail boost to put NWQ on-track for COVID-19 economic recovery

The Palaszczuk Government has started works on a $6 million upgrade of the Mount Isa Rail line, bolstering flood resilience on the critical freight route and supporting 30 jobs as the region bounces back from COVID-19.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey joined Mt Isa Mayor Danielle Slade today to make the announcement and also announce that $20 million had been accessed from the Palaszczuk Government’s $80 million, four-year incentive scheme, encouraging freight operators and the resource industry to use the rail line, which connects the mineral-rich province to the Townsville Port.

Mr Bailey said economies around the world had been hit hard by COVID-19, and that Queensland wasn’t immune to the harsh economic headwinds seen over the past six months.

“But because of our strong health response so far, we’ve been able to start delivering our plan for economic recovery, which for the north west means bolstering our freight lines, encouraging investment and creating more jobs,” Mr Bailey said.

The $6 million upgrade will take place along roughly 320km of the line, starting just west of Hughenden and continuing right through to near Cloncurry.

The works include bridge abutment and scour repairs in nearby drains and creeks, stonework including gabion flood protection to embankments, and further drainage and cleaning works as required.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said about 10 workers from each of three regional Queensland businesses – Morton’s Earthmoving, Townsville Earthmoving and Schwartz Excavations – will be involved in the project.

“About two thirds of the workers will stay in Julia Creek, while the rest will be accommodated in Richmond, and all the materials for the project will be sourced locally – providing a much needed injection for the community,” Mr Stewart said.

“The rail line provides a critical connection for resources companies to the Port of Townsville which is a major economic driver for the city.”

Work is expected to take place along the line until October, and follows major repairs last year to the line, which saw a 400-strong Queensland Rail taskforce rebuild the line following unprecedented monsoonal weather.

Mr Bailey said in addition to investing in more resilient rail infrastructure, the Palaszczuk Government was also encouraging more freight line usage through its incentive scheme.

“Queensland’s North West Mineral Province contains about 75 per cent of the state’s base metal and minerals, including copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold and phosphate deposits.

“Since we introduced the scheme, more than four billion gross tonne kilometres of eligible freight has moved along line to the Port of Townsville.

“This is an increase of more than one million in tonnage from the year prior to the scheme being introduced.”

Glencore’s Queensland Metals chief operating officer Matt O’Neill said their North Queensland operations had a long history of moving product and commodities via the Mount Isa Line, from Mount Isa and Cloncurry to their Townsville Copper Refinery, and through the Townsville Port to overseas markets.

“As a true mine-to-market business, we are active at every stage of the commodity supply chain and we welcome initiatives from the Queensland Government that address cost and improve reliability on the Mount Isa Line,” Mr O'Neill said.

“The distance to transport products in North Queensland is significant and transportation makes up a large portion of the cost of delivery to our customers, both in the domestic and export markets.

“We are pleased to see this scheme encouraging a shift towards rail as a real alternative to road transport along the Mount Isa rail corridor.”

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the incentive scheme would help exports at a time when the State needed them the most.

“QRC’s own recovery strategy pointed to the Mount Isa rail line as a key economic corridor for regional jobs and contributor to the billions of dollars in royalty taxes paid to Government from our resource exports,” Mr Macfarlane said.

MMG Dugald River welcomed the investment from the Queensland Government to help make rail a more competitive option in North Queensland.

“At Dugald River, we remain open to exploring opportunities for optimising our supply chain, and commitments like this from the Queensland Government will be of benefit to us and our local communities,” an MMG spokesperson said.

ENDS
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2020, 11:25:05 AM »
https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/90406

Delivering better freight on the Townsville - Mount Isa Line

12th August 2020

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled projects to be delivered as part of a $50 million investment for the Mount Isa rail line, bolstering freight movement between North Queensland’s largest port and the state’s minerals province.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced in parliament today that three more projects on the rail line had been approved supporting jobs in the region and continue Queensland’s economic recovery.

As part of the investment Queensland Rail will look at enabling double-stacked trains to run from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville, with a business case being finalised this year.

The business case will finalise the cost of the initiative and ensure there will be sufficient demand for double stacking.

“Supporting our industries and this crucial supply chain is part of our economic plan for recovery and jobs,” Mr Bailey said.

“Across the globe, economies including Queensland’s have felt the brunt of COVID-19. But because we’re managing those health impacts, we’re able to continue rolling out a record $23 billion pipeline of transport and road upgrades to create jobs throughout the state.

“Today’s announcement is part of the more than half-a-billion dollars already being invested in the north-west supply chain over the next five years, and $1 billion in new roads funding announced by our government since April.”

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said the multi-million dollar investment will also see major investment in improving flood resilience on the line and replacement of ageing rail equipment like sleepers and ballast.

“As part of driving better flood resilience, Queensland Rail will start geotechnical and survey work this month, to pave the way for the installation of new bridges and the replacement of culverts with spans and new piers,” Mr Stewart said.

“Those works will significantly increase capacity on waterway openings and provide protection to embankments to better withstand flood events.

“This $50 million vote of confidence in the region is about supporting jobs and the industry’s recovery from COVID-19 by strengthening supply chains for domestic and overseas markets."

Mr Bailey visited Mount Isa earlier this month to announce $6 million in works already underway to bolster flood resilience between Cloncurry and Hughenden, plus that $20 million of the Palaszczuk Government’s $80 million, four-year plan to encourage freight operators to use the rail line had been accessed.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby welcomed the investment announcement which underpins the importance ensuring the supply chain remains competitive.

“Townsville Port is Australia’s largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertiliser, with significant growth opportunities from the North West Minerals Province, one of the world’s richest mineral-producing regions,” she said.

“These investments into the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line, such as enabling double-stacking of containers on rail, will offer customers greater flexibility in transporting freight to the Port, improving efficiency and helping drive down supply chain costs.”

Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the latest investments were further proof of the organisation’s commitment to the Mount Isa line.

“The Mount Isa line is a critical connector for communities in North West Queensland and one of the state’s key freight paths, and Queensland Rail is committed to ensuring it meets the needs of communities and freight operators,” he said.

“These investments will help existing mining operators export their resources and encourage new investment in the state’s north west.

“Queensland Rail prides itself as a major employer in the region, directly supporting more than 80 jobs on the Mount Isa line and the local communities in which they are based.”

ENDS
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2020, 03:00:48 PM »
https://twitter.com/RailExpressNews/status/1293411776017526784
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2020, 03:56:19 PM »
The North West Star --> Government invests in three Mount Isa Rail Line projects

Quote
The state government says new projects on the Mount Isa Rail Line would bolster freight movement between the North West Mineral Province and Townsville.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced in parliament Wednesday three projects had been approved as part of a $50 million investment for the Mount Isa rail line including double-stacked trains, flood resilience and replacing aging sleepers.

Mr Bailey said Queensland Rail would look at enabling double-stacked trains to run from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville, with a business case finalised this year to work out the cost and demand for double stacking, where trains can carry two layers of freight.

"Today's announcement is part of the more than half-a-billion dollars already being invested in the north-west supply chain over the next five years, and $1 billion in new roads funding announced by our government since April," Mr Bailey said.

There will be a major investment in improving flood resilience on the line and replacement of ageing rail equipment like sleepers and ballast.

QR will start geotechnical and survey work this month, to pave the way for the installation of new bridges and the replacement of culverts with spans and new piers, work which will increase capacity on waterway openings and provide protection to embankments to better withstand flood events.

Mr Bailey visited Mount Isa earlier this month to announce $6 million in works already underway to bolster flood resilience between Cloncurry and Hughenden, plus that $20 million of the Palaszczuk Government's $80 million, four-year plan to encourage freight operators to use the rail line had been accessed.

Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said the investment would ensure the supply chain remains competitive.

"Townsville Port is Australia's largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertiliser, with significant growth opportunities from the North West Minerals Province, one of the world's richest mineral-producing regions," Ms Crosby said.

"These investments into the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Line, such as enabling double-stacking of containers on rail, will offer customers greater flexibility in transporting freight to the Port, improving efficiency and helping drive down supply chain costs."

QR CEO Nick Easy said the latest investments were further proof of the organisation's commitment to the Mount Isa line.

"The Mount Isa line is a critical connector for communities in North West Queensland and one of the state's key freight paths, and Queensland Rail is committed to ensuring it meets the needs of communities and freight operators," he said.

"These investments will help existing mining operators export their resources and encourage new investment in the state's north west.

"Queensland Rail prides itself as a major employer in the region, directly supporting more than 80 jobs on the Mount Isa line and the local communities in which they are based."
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2020, 11:15:35 AM »
^

Anyone know of any double-stacking on 3' 6" (1067mm) gauge?
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2020, 01:33:36 AM »
Sent to all outlets:

14th August 2020

Double stacked trains to Mount Isa?  No, it is not April 1st.

Good Morning,

We note and welcome the Palaszczuk Government's planned ongoing $50 million investment (on behalf of Queenslanders) for continuing improvements on the Townsville - Mount Isa railway. ( Delivering better freight on the Townsville - Mount Isa Line https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/90406 ).

Of particular interest is this extract from the statement:

" ... As part of the investment Queensland Rail will look at enabling double-stacked trains to run from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville, with a business case being finalised this year.

The business case will finalise the cost of the initiative and ensure there will be sufficient demand for double stacking. ... "


The Townsville - Mount Isa railway is 1067 mm ( 3' 6" gauge ).  As far as we can determine there is no railway system in the world of 1067 mm gauge that runs double stacked trains.  The 1067 mm gauge is too narrow for stability, and the rail weight limits on the line are presently 20 tonne axle load (tal) and this will not allow for heavy double stacked trains in any case, of mineral concentrates, refined metals and so forth.

We also note the maximum train length is constrained by the length of passing loops.  Of the 46 passing loops the shortest loop is at Marathon at 1009 metres, but there are many others in the region of 1020-1030 metres or so.

We are not confident that double stacked trains could be introduced on the Mount Isa to Stuart railway unless the gauge was converted from the present 1067 mm to 1435 mm (standard gauge) and the rail weight increased to allow trains with at least 25-30 tal.  Is this planned? Otherwise the business case for double stacked trains is just a waste of Queensland Citizens' money.

Money is better spent on lengthening passing loops and replacing the existing lighter sections of rail, and improving the track stability so that the lower speed restrictions can be removed.

Best wishes,

Robert

Robert Dow
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RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

Reference:

1. Mount Isa system information pack - Issue 3.1 - February 2017
https://www.queenslandrail.com.au/business/acccess/Documents/Mt%20Isa%20System%20Information%20Pack%20-%20Issue%203.1%20-%20February%202017.pdf

on the url https://www.queenslandrail.com.au/forbusiness/the-regional-network/mount-isa-line-system
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2020, 01:41:24 AM »
https://twitter.com/railbotforum/status/1293935426353291264
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2020, 01:45:32 AM »
Facebook ...

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2020, 01:52:02 AM »
https://twitter.com/railbotforum/status/1293938251523186688
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2020, 05:54:36 AM »
Mt Isa Line June 17th, 2019

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2020, 12:26:36 PM »
Here is a short video following a train in outback SA. Shows well double stacking.
The gauge is 1435 mm (standard gauge)..

Pacific National Freight Train crosses the Australian Outback

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2020, 11:00:49 AM »
Interesting article from 2017

Townsville Bulletin --> Townsville mayor calls for upgrade of Mount Isa rail line

Quote
AN upgrade of the Mount Isa rail line to standard gauge should be considered to improve the handling of North Queensland’s billion-dollar resources trade, Mayor Jenny Hill says.

Cr Hill raised the issue yesterday as Adani and Aurizon vie for funding to develop coal rail lines and the Northern Territory seeks to provide a more efficient rail service into Queensland to ship Mount Isa’s mineral wealth from the port of Darwin.

The Townsville to Mount Isa line, like all of Queensland’s track, is narrow gauge.

While trains on the line are meant to travel at speeds of 80km/h, the poor condition of the track, which is subject to extreme temperature changes, means speeds have to be restricted to 40km/h and less in many areas.

Even so, the line carries product worth billions of dollars a year and it is understood support freight charges to the State Government that are the highest in the State, raise hundreds of millions a dollars a year.

One of the major users, Mount Isa miner Glencore, is reluctant to raise the issue for fear that any improvements will mean that freight rates are increased further.

Glencore has already warned its North Queensland copper processing assets are at risk if energy costs increase further.

Cr Hill said Queensland Rail, Aurizon or “whoever” should consider building a standard gauge rail line.

“The concern I have with the Mount Isa rail line is that, as it stands, we are seeing a lot of freight being moved by truck,” Cr Hill said.

“I think they should consider that (building a standard gauge rail line) if we are going to see more and more mines open up. I’d prefer to see that freight transported by rail rather than by road.”

She said coal freight supply chains such as that in NSW's Hunter Valley used standard gauge.

The Federal Government is funding a feasibility study to develop a standard gauge line between Mount Isa and Tenant Creek to open the port of Darwin to Queensland’s mineral trade.

There are suggestions all of the Mount Isa minerals trade would be needed to make the alternative rail line stack up.

“If we want to compete, we need a similar standard of infrastructure,” Cr Hill said.

She said development body the Mount Isa to Townsville Economic Zone could take up the issue.

“There’s no doubt money has been made from that (Mount Isa) line over the past 90 years,” Cr Hill said. “Why not start thinking or discussing why it can’t be upgraded?”

2017 was a low point for the Mount Isa railway.
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2020, 11:05:38 AM »
^

Anyone know of any double-stacking on 3' 6" (1067mm) gauge?

None.  All double stacking is on standard gauge or broad gauge https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-stack_rail_transport
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2020, 09:59:20 AM »
There was a clarification by Mr Nick Easy CEO of Queensland Rail on Townsville ABC Radio this morning.

The " double stacking " is actually using the containers for mine materials in a form of a full and empty half on top.  There are some road over rail bridge clearance issues (6) which have to be sorted but otherwise achievable.

This is a lot different from double stacking containers as was first thought.
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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2020, 10:06:47 AM »
Sent to all outlets:

17th August 2020

Re: Double stacked trains to Mount Isa? No, it is not April 1st.

Greetings,

There was a clarification by Mr Nick Easy CEO of Queensland Rail on ABC Radio Townsville this morning.

The " double stacking " is actually using the containers for mine materials in a form of a full and empty half on top.  There are some road over rail bridge clearance issues (6) which have to be sorted but otherwise achievable.

This is a lot different from double stacking full height standard containers as was first thought.

Thanks for the clarification.  This would make the transport of the mine materials more efficient and take stress off the roads.

Best wishes,
Robert

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

Sent to all outlets:

14th August 2020

Double stacked trains to Mount Isa?  No, it is not April 1st.

Good Morning,

We note and welcome the Palaszczuk Government's planned ongoing $50 million investment (on behalf of Queenslanders) for continuing improvements on the Townsville - Mount Isa railway. ( Delivering better freight on the Townsville - Mount Isa Line https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/90406 ).

Of particular interest is this extract from the statement:

" ... As part of the investment Queensland Rail will look at enabling double-stacked trains to run from Mount Isa to Stuart and potentially to the Port of Townsville, with a business case being finalised this year.

The business case will finalise the cost of the initiative and ensure there will be sufficient demand for double stacking. ... "


The Townsville - Mount Isa railway is 1067 mm ( 3' 6" gauge ).  As far as we can determine there is no railway system in the world of 1067 mm gauge that runs double stacked trains.  The 1067 mm gauge is too narrow for stability, and the rail weight limits on the line are presently 20 tonne axle load (tal) and this will not allow for heavy double stacked trains in any case, of mineral concentrates, refined metals and so forth.

We also note the maximum train length is constrained by the length of passing loops.  Of the 46 passing loops the shortest loop is at Marathon at 1009 metres, but there are many others in the region of 1020-1030 metres or so.

We are not confident that double stacked trains could be introduced on the Mount Isa to Stuart railway unless the gauge was converted from the present 1067 mm to 1435 mm (standard gauge) and the rail weight increased to allow trains with at least 25-30 tal.  Is this planned? Otherwise the business case for double stacked trains is just a waste of Queensland Citizens' money.

Money is better spent on lengthening passing loops and replacing the existing lighter sections of rail, and improving the track stability so that the lower speed restrictions can be removed.

Best wishes,

Robert

Robert Dow
Administration
admin@backontrack.org
RAIL Back On Track https://backontrack.org

Reference:

1. Mount Isa system information pack - Issue 3.1 - February 2017
https://www.queenslandrail.com.au/business/acccess/Documents/Mt%20Isa%20System%20Information%20Pack%20-%20Issue%203.1%20-%20February%202017.pdf

on the url https://www.queenslandrail.com.au/forbusiness/the-regional-network/mount-isa-line-system
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Offline red dragin

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2020, 10:12:20 AM »

.....form of a full and empty half on top.

I can't envisage what this means? Is it a full size container, with a half size container on top?

Or a full wagon with an empty container on top (rather than running a train of empty containers back)?

Offline ozbob

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #22 on: August 17, 2020, 10:13:47 AM »

.....form of a full and empty half on top.

I can't envisage what this means? Is it a full size container, with a half size container on top?

Or a full wagon with an empty container on top (rather than running a train of empty containers back)?

" ... Or a full wagon with an empty container on top (rather than running a train of empty containers back)? ... "

Yes.  They are not what we think of as normal containers apparently.  I will try to chase up some photographs.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #23 on: August 17, 2020, 10:19:48 AM »
I clipped this from the video above.  I think these are the sort of things they have in mind.





These are the two types of containers I think.

The half when empty might be on top of other full mineral containers going the other way.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2020, 10:37:54 AM »
Queensland Parliament

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2020/710-2020.pdf

Question on Notice

No. 710

Asked on 14 July 2020

MR R KATTER ASKED MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT AND MAIN ROADS (HON M BAILEY)

QUESTION:

Will the Minister confirm that no Queensland Rail jobs on the Townsville to Mount Isa (Great
Northern) Rail Line are sought to be repositioned to Townsville from western towns like Cloncurry
in the near future?

ANSWER:

I thank the Member for Traeger for the question.

The Palaszczuk Government knows the vital role the Mount Isa line continues to play in
supporting mineral freight exports and regional jobs in North West Queensland.
The line spans more than 1000km from Stuart, near Townsville, to Mount Isa, with a branch line
from Flynn to Phosphate Hill, and supports a number of communities along the line through
passenger transport on the Inlander service, and movement of general freight.

Queensland Rail currently supports more than 80 direct jobs along the Mount Isa line through its
capital and maintenance works programs. These Queensland Rail employees are strategically
located in Townsville, Charters Towers, Hughenden, Richmond, Cloncurry and Mount Isa,
supporting not only Queensland Rail’s operations, but also the local economies in which they are
based.

A major capital sleeper replacement project to be delivered in 2020–2021 will bring approximately
50 additional staff to the region for six months of the year.
The Mount Isa line also supports jobs across regional Queensland including: mining, traincrew,
construction and maintenance workers, contractors, hospitality, local quarries, fuel stations and
local businesses while staff are working away from home.

In 2019, the Government announced a $500 million plan to boost mineral freight exports on the
Mount Isa line. This includes:
• a $380 million investment over five years to maintain and improve the Mount Isa line
• $30 million for a new common user freight terminal in Townsville, with the Port of
Townsville providing the remaining $18 million
• a further drive the shift of freight from road to rail, an $80 million commitment over four
years in the 2018–19 Budget to subsidise rail access charges on the Mount Isa line.

These investments are delivering greater certainty for industries that rely on the Mount Isa line
and continue to generate regional jobs.
Queensland Rail acknowledges there are challenges in recruiting and retaining local employees
in small communities across the Mount Isa line. This is also the case in Charters Towers, where
many Queensland Rail employees recruited to roles in the town live in Townsville.

Following consultation with employees, four employees in the Charters Towers team, who were
commuting at their own expense to Charters Towers from Townsville to fulfil roles, are now joining
the track team in Townsville. This will enable greater flexibility and ensure their skills are retained.
It does not change the level or type of work along the corridor.

These four positions will continue to be deployed across all areas on the Mount Isa line and 26
Queensland Rail employees remain in the Charters Towers team.

There are currently two vacant positions in Cloncurry and Queensland Rail is working closely
with the local mayor and the council to assist in the recruitment of these positions locally. There
is also one recent vacancy each in Mount Isa and Hughenden, which Queensland Rail will also
be recruiting locally.

Queensland Rail continues to recruit local jobs in the smaller towns and this will remain a key
priority.
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Offline mufreight

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #25 on: August 17, 2020, 06:27:25 PM »
The resleepering program on the line should see any replacement sleepers should be dual gauge concrete and all the culvert and bridge replacements should be to a standard that would allow standard gauge with a 30 TAL.  Such a program would allow for the eventual conversion of the line to standard gauge to meet future needs for the future minerals transport from the west to the coast.
In the past 1950's upgrade of the line the bridges that were replaced were to have the capability for future conversion to standard gauge. rerailing with 60kgm rail this would allow higher speeds and heavier axle loads.
Freight to and from Mt Isa and Brisbane could be catered for by using containers and or bogie exchange. 

Offline ozbob

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #26 on: August 19, 2020, 05:01:46 PM »
Interview on ABC Radio North West Queensland 18th August 2020 with Mr Nick Easy CEO Queensland Rail discussing the ' double stacking '.

Click > here
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Offline mufreight

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Re: Townsville-Mount Isa Line
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2020, 07:04:52 PM »
The upgrading of the Mt Isa line should see all the bridgeworks and culvert replacements to standard gauge standards that can cater with 30 TAL.  and all sleeper replacements should be full height concrete dual gauge sleepers and rail replacements should be 60kgm rail.
With the line resleepered in dual gauge from Townsville to Mt Isa the conversion to standard gauge moving the one rail over could probably be done by closing the line for a month or less.
The increased axle load and wider gauge would allow the operation of faster and heavier trains lowering the cost per tonne for freight to and from Mt Isa it would also be a first stage for the proposed line from Mt Isa to Tennant Creek on the Alice Springs to Darwin line allowing freight from Mt Isa to be exported from the port of Darwin.
The existing 3 ft 6in concrete sleepers recovered from the Mt Isa line can then be used to progressively resleeper the western line from Roma to Charleville.

 

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