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Tenders closed for new Queensland cattle and freight transport contracts

Started by ozflier, November 22, 2016, 15:59:46 PM

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I read recently in the Nov 2016 Railway Digest a story titled "Tenders called for new Queensland cattle and freight transport contracts.

I have tried to summarize important issues that I could see and added my minimal general knowledge in this area.

I look forward to your input.

The Regional Rail Freight Transport Service Contract tender has closed and a QR link
does not allow downloading any documents unless logged in. So no more info found.

I would scan in the article for you to read but am not sure of the copyright legalities. ( I have asked the  RD Editor for permission)
The new contracts start 2018.

There is separate reference to cattle and freight services.

QR will provide some 300 odd detachable cattle wagons free to the winner of the tender.

Re freight, I am not certain how Aurizon is involved in this process although I had assumed in the past that they had the opportunity to carry cattle but were fairly "choosy" what and when they carried.
eg I read that Aurizon would only carry cattle if the train was full - ie no empty wagons.

There seemed to be  some ill will from the bush as to the attitude of Aurizon and their "take it or leave it" attitude to the west of the state. Certainly regional Mayors have not said much in praise of Aurizon's non coal , non grain haulage service.

Their big money earner seems to be CQ coal.

Maybe now that coal transport has dropped , they will get back to non mineral haulage.

Late last year, the government extended and enhanced  the current regional freight contract until the end of 2017. (https://www.fullyloaded.com.au/logistics-news/1601/queensland-renews-rail-freight-contracts-with-aurizon)

Pacific National also has an involvement when it comes to these services particularly on the north coast line.
It looks like significant subsidies will be needed  to make a success of general freight services. West to Mt Isa is not included ( ? because Aurizon /PN currently run those without subsidy)

The article also notes that services from Rocky to the  west would have to be railed by Aurizon ( ?PN)  to that point ie the winning tenderer could not rail transport freight from Brisbane to Rockhampton  ( unless of course the winner was the current incumbent on the north coast line).

The government already subsidizes a weekly train to Longreach / Winton run by Aurizon.

There are multiple proposed destinations out of Brisbane to the west incl Goondiwindi, Inglewood , Quilpie and others.

I am wondering if this is just the usual Queensland government temporarizing behavior  - ie plenty of platitudes and reviews and investigations but when it comes to put its hand into the public purse , only moths fly out.

It is interesting last week to hear a spokesman from the Local Government Assoc of Qld complaining about the expense involved in maintaining and repairing rural and non metro roads from damage caused by heavy trucks and B doubles.

I suspect many old loading facilities and potential intermodal transfer hubs have long disappeared so there will need to be a big subsidy on offer to have a good chance of getting containers off the roads .

I would be interested in finding out what the situation is with Aurizon and its non mineral haulage obligations , where PN fits in, and whether anyone is aware that the government is fair dinkum in supporting greater use of rail for western freight or are we just facing more of the same  obfuscation and delays as in duplicating  the north coast line to Nambour.

Apologies for asking more questions than answers.

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