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Freight and long distance passenger rail items of interest

Started by ozbob, October 17, 2009, 19:33:24 PM

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SurfRail

DTMR 17/18 annual report reveals the following for the financial year ending 30 June 2018:

1. The metropolitan passenger rail service contract price was $1,222,973,067.  Patronage was 52.73 million.

2. The regional passenger rail service contract price was $463,556,089.  Patronage was 0.34 million (rounded up from 0.337m).  The cost is for QR only, so it excludes the XPT and the Savannahlander, but it is not clear if the patronage from those 2 is included in the total (my guess is no for the XPT and that the patronage on the Savannahlander is trivial anyway).

That is staggering.  Consider also that regional long distance bus and air services carried about 0.22 million combined and it only cost the State just over $21m for that.  Those figures would also be an absolute minority of the amount of intrastate travel carried on long distance planes and buses, most of which are unsubsidised "full freight" commercial services.

In passenger terms, it works out to around $23.19 per passenger for the metroplitan network (which is still too high but not dramatically so), and $1,375.54 per passenger for the regional network.  Both are gross figures, not accounting for fare revenue and other inflows, but the regional figure is still very worrying - again compare it to the bus and air figures of a bit under $100 per passenger for regional services other than on the rails.

Every year I see these figures my heart is hardened even more strongly against any kind of regional rail system in QLD other than Cairns to Brisbane and the 3 tourist trains (the Savannahlander, the Gulflander and Kuranda).  The rest simply don't work, either cost effectively or even in general.  Why are we paying so much for the privilage of running trains into the interior that take nearly a day to get somewhere, which only run twice a week each way, and which carry virtually nobody, when there are subsidised and non-subsidised air and bus routes to virtually everywhere served? 

If that regional figure could even be cut down by as little as 1/3, that would free up over $150m EVERY YEAR.  That could go towards:
- running more planes and buses
- running urban and interurban town buses in regional locations where they don't currently exist
- funding better regional health and other services to minimise the number of long distance journeys people need to actually make
- putting on more services in SEQ or the larger regional cities where the expenditure is more valuable
- providing fare relief
- upgrading bus stops and other infrastructure to full DDA compliance
- running more useful timetables along the coastal route including more commuter level services to Hervey Bay

and who knows how many other worthwhile things.  Instead, we get to keep sentimental people happy about some golden era that never actually existed but even if it did is long since dead.

End rant.
Ride the G:

#Metro

So QR cost $1.2 billion to operate.

And the Queensland Government just gives it away to the current operator "just because".

Time to allow others to apply for the job of running trains in SEQ?

I'm not a TMR. Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

ozbob

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tazzer9

what makes that figure even worse is that the electric tilt train operates at roughly break even cost.  It's fairly fast, low maintenance, high patronage and electricity doesn't cost much.

At half a billion dollars a year subsidy, I would consider luxury coaches to replace the inlander and westlander.    Essentially business class on a bus.

SurfRail

^ Exactly.  QR needs to accept that it has no business running services like the Westlander and the Inlander. 

I think the future is basically going to be the following:

- Buy 2 more electric Tilts to be able to run a more useful service between Brisbane and Bundaberg / Rockhampton
- Buy 2 more diesel tilts to be able to run a daily or better service from Cairns to Brisbane
- In the longer run lengthen the diesel Tilt consists and add a few sleeper cars
- Find ways to get more people on the SOTO and get them to pay for the privilege.
- Keep the Gulflander, Savannahlander and Kuranda going.  They are basically living heritage / working museums and the outlay would be minuscule (and in Kuranda's case I expect the cost recover is probably good).
- Build up a properly branded road coach network like in NSW, Vic or WA with sleeper buses and regular comfort stops.
- Direct people to planes for longer distance trips where they should be flying, and create financial incentives for people not to be sitting on a bus for 18 hours.
Ride the G:

#Metro

I'm not a TMR. Negative people... have a problem for every solution. Posts are commentary and are not necessarily endorsed by RAIL Back on Track or its members.

ozbob

Quote from: #Metro on October 03, 2018, 00:17:32 AM

What will Bob Katter say?  :bna:

Spot on Metro.  The only reason they continue (the Westy and Inlander) is because of politics.

We did try to breathe some life into the Westy particularly by suggesting timetable and rollingstock improvements a few years back now.

They just stared at us with glazed eyes.  As much as I do enjoy long distance rail it is not possible to continue to support these services under the present arrangements.  That said, I doubt anything will happen as it is all politically too hard!
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red dragin


ozbob

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Queensland Times --> Rail services cancelled from Bundaberg to Mackay

QuoteRAIL services between Mackay and Bundaberg have been cancelled as dangerous fires threaten homes across Central Queensland.

Queensland Rail has confirmed the northbound tilt train service will terminate at Bundaberg, with reports many travellers were urged to consider getting off at Caboolture or Nambour.

The southbound Spirit of Queensland has also been impacted by today's unprecedented fires and will only operate from Townsville to Mackay.

A QR spokesman said it was unknown how long the natural disaster would affect services, and it was unknown whether travellers would be able to be taken by bus.

One traveller said the Caboolture train station, south of the Sunshine Coast, was earlier packed with affected customers no longer able to head north.

Those onboard the northbound train were told at this stage people affected could stay on the train overnight before the situation was reassessed tomorrow morning.

Anyone affected by the cancellations has been urged to visit the Queensland Rail Travel website for updates.

Multiple towns across Central Queensland have been ordered to evacuate and an emergency has been declared at Gracemere.

The Bruce Hwy has been closed near Mount Larcom as a fast-moving fire travels towards the town. 
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Rail Express --> Mt Isa line to re-open April 29

QuoteThe Mt Isa railway will reopen to freight on April 29, three months after it was badly damaged by flooding.

Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey on Wednesday praised the work of more than 400 Queensland Rail staff and contractors, who collectively have worked 160,000 hours over the past 10 weeks to repair infrastructure between Oorindi and Hughenden.

More than 200 sites across 300 kilometres of the rail line required repairs, including from Hughenden to Richmond, Maxwellton to Nonda, and Tibarri to Oorindi, where the network suffered significant flooding, washouts and erosion.

Over 47 kilometres of track and 38 bridge abutments were damaged, requiring more than 120,000 tonnes of ballast to repair.

Bailey said the Mt Isa line was one of the state's most important freight routes, playing a critical role connecting the region's industries and communities.

"When the line experienced this catastrophic event, the Palaszczuk Government made its repair a top priority," the minister said.

"Every resource has been made available to accelerate recovery works, and I'm pleased to announce Queensland Rail expects to reopen the full length of the 1000km Mount Isa line from Monday April 29. I'd like to extend my sincerest thanks to all involved in making sure the Mount Isa line could be repaired as quickly as possible."

Queensland Rail boss Nick Easy said final repair works are underway between Nonda and Quarrels.

"Final works to be completed over the next week include ballast train drops and resurfacing, while final inspections and test trains have run the line, prior to the track reopening," Easy said.

The rail line has been deviated at Nelia, while remediation works continue at the location where a minerals train was swamped by the floodwaters during the major weather event which shut the line.

"Staff and contractors have gone above and beyond for what was a momentous challenge to get freight moving again in the state's north west," Easy said. "There were many local contractors who travelled to site from Townsville, Ingham, Rockhampton, Cloncurry, Richmond, and Mount Isa to assist our crews with a range of works including earthworks, traffic control and crane hire.

"I thank and congratulate everyone involved for getting the job done on time and to a high standard."
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Couriermail --> Freight ready to roll on Mount Isa to Townsville rail line

QuoteA CRITICAL rail link between Townsville and Mount Isa is set to reopen just 11 weeks after a monster monsoon washed out track and bridges over a 300km section of line.

It comes as community leaders warn the Townsville economy is at significant risk if action is not taken to fix the State-owned line's complex operating and ageing infrastructure issues.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey announced yesterday the line would reopen slightly ahead of the schedule on April 29.

Mr Bailey said more than 400 Queensland Rail staff and contractors had worked 160,000 hours to repair a line critical to the region's industries and communities.

"When the line experienced this catastrophic event, the Palaszczuk Government made its repair a top priority," Mr Bailey said.

"Every resource has been made available to accelerate recovery works."

More than 200 sites across 300km of the rail line required repairs, while over 47km of track and 38 bridge abutments were damaged, requiring over 120,000 tonnes of ballast.

Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said final repairs would be completed over the next week.

"At Nelia, the rail line has been rebuilt on a deviated route to allow trains to pass through the area while remediation works continue," Mr Easy said.

Mr Easy said the dedication of a taskforce and crews, despite difficult working conditions, ensured communities were connected as quickly as possible.

"Staff and contractors have gone above and beyond for what was a momentous challenge to get freight moving again in the state's north west," Mr Easy said.

Civic leaders, including Richmond Mayor John Wharton and Traeger MP Robbie Katter, have repeatedly criticised the complex pricing ­nature of the rail line, operated by Queensland Rail, as an ­impediment to industry with companies forced to truck ore to the port.

Townsville Enterprise is calling on the next federal ­government to bring their state counterparts and businesses to the table to figure out how to sustainably operate, fund and invest in the rail line.

Mr Katter has said there are threats looming for Townsville from the development of a Mount Isa to Tennant Creek rail line, providing a new link for mining producers to the port of Darwin and to Asian markets.
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ozbob

Some photographs that show some of the recovery works around Nelia on the Mt Isa railway.

These are fairly recent.























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Rail Express --> Mt Isa repairs to cut journey time by 50 minutes

QuoteAhead of the re-opening of the Mt Isa line to freight services on April 29, Queensland Rail has revealed a major silver lining to the 11-week flooding shutdown.

According to the State Government, the uninterrupted access granted to repair and maintenance teams following the major flooding event in February, has allowed for improvements to be fast-tracked along the Mt Isa line.

Those improvements, once the line is re-opened, could cut travel times between Mt Isa and Townsville by almost an hour, the state's transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey said.

"QR made the most of the line's closure to deliver large scale maintenance activities such as rerailing and reconditioning works ahead of schedule while crews had unlimited access," Bailey explained.

"This means QR can now remove previous speed and axle load restrictions on upgraded sections along the line, delivering a significant betterment for the critical North West supply chain connecting industry to the Port of Townsville, supporting the local economy and local jobs."

Bailey said the changes meant a saving of up to 50 minutes of travel time for trains moving between Mt Isa and Townsville.

"This is a great achievement by QR," the minister said, "and means that as services resume, industry will benefit from productivity enhancements made along the entire corridor."
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red dragin

Very smart idea. That kind of thinking it what deserves a bonus to be paid.

ozbob

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/4/26/mount-isa-line-flood-repairs-put-freight-on-the-fast-track

Media Statements
Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Friday, April 26, 2019

Mount Isa Line flood repairs put freight on the fast track

Emergency repairs to the Mount Isa Line will reduce rail freight travel times between Mount Isa and Townsville by up to 50 minutes.

The time savings have been achieved during an 11-week recovery operation to restore one of the state's major rail lines after multiple sections washed away in floodwaters during North Queensland's unprecedented monsoonal weather in February.

Speaking from the Port of Townsville, Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the restoration works performed by a dedicated 400-person Queensland Rail taskforce created to fast track the repairs had upgraded sections of the line that were previously under speed restrictions.

"QR made the most of the line's closure to deliver large scale maintenance activities such as rerailing and reconditioning works ahead of schedule while crews had unlimited access," Mr Bailey said.

"This means QR can now remove previous speed and axle load restrictions on upgraded sections along the line, delivering a significant betterment for this critical North West supply chain connecting industry to the Port of Townsville, supporting the local economy and local jobs.

"As a result, end-to-end run times between Townsville and Mount Isa will be reduced by up to 50 minutes.

"This is a great achievement by QR, and means that as services resume, industry will benefit from productivity enhancements made along the entire corridor."

Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said final track inspections and preparations were underway ahead of the line re-opening to freight on Monday 29 April.

"We understand how important this supply chain is, and an incredible 160,000 hours of labour went into restoring the line as quickly as possible," Mr Harper said.

"Part of being a Queenslander is banding together when times get tough, and that is what we witnessed here with engineers and track workers travelling from across the state to join local crews and deliver an ambitious schedule of work ahead of time.

"I would like to sincerely thank everyone involved in delivering this result for North and North West Queensland."

Mr Bailey said the $100 million pledged by Federal Labor to support further maintenance and upgrades on the line would go a long way to ensuring the corridor was better equipped to deal with severe weather.

"The Palaszczuk Government is already investing more than $380 million in the Mount Isa line over the next five years, and Bill Shorten's pledge will help to increase the line's efficiency and capacity, and make it more resilient when extreme weather events occur in the future," Mr Bailey said.

More than 200 sites across 300-kilometres of track required repair, including 38 bridge abutments, the replacement of 47-kilometres of rail and 120,000 tonnes of ballast.

Queensland Rail CEO Nick Easy said the focus had now shifted to liaising with freight partners to resume services on the line and facilitate extra runs to assist with moving additional product delayed by the extended closure.

"We anticipate the first freight train to depart Townsville and travel the entire length of the line Mount Isa will be a Pacific National service," Mr Easy said.

"The train will go to Mount Isa to be loaded with mineral concentrate from 5am Monday, with the North West supply chain gradually returning to schedule over the coming weeks.

"The first passenger service, an outbound Inlander service, is scheduled to depart Townsville on 11 May.

"This is a huge planning task, and a great example of the many pieces of the puzzle which have come together to allow the recovery of the Mount Isa line to be such a success.

"The reopening of the entire corridor will significantly reduce the number of truck movements on the Flinders Highway and increase the productivity and efficiency of the North West supply chain. 

"This truly has been a team effort involving Queensland Rail staff and contractors from across the state, in addition to TMR and the Department of Housing and Public Works who assisted Queensland Rail to establish temporary workers camps at Richmond and Julia Creek.

"I'd also like to extend my sincerest thanks to and congratulate all involved for reconnecting our state as quickly as they have, and to the standard that they have."

ENDS
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Queensland Parliament Hansard Ministerial Statements

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2019/2019_04_30_DAILY.pdf

Mount Isa, Rail Line

Hon. MC BAILEY (Miller—ALP) (Minister for Transport and Main Roads) (10.00 am): After more
than 160,000 hours of work to replace 120,000 tonnes of ballast, repair more than 200 sites and rebuild
38 bridge abutments, I am pleased to announce that the Mount Isa rail line is back on line. That
1,000-kilometre rail corridor, which connects our thriving mineral industries to the world and our regional
communities, is a critical link in our Queensland economy. When it was lashed earlier this year by an
unprecedented monsoonal event, with record rain and flooding earlier, the Palaszczuk Labor
government made the line's repair a top priority.

Over 11 weeks, more than 400 Queensland Rail staff and contractors worked around the clock
to rebuild the rail line from Hughenden to Richmond, from Maxwellton to Nonda, and from Tibarri to
Oorindi. This mammoth effort culminated yesterday in the first train travelling from Mount Isa to
Townsville, marking an important milestone between our rich minerals province and one of North
Queensland's largest ports.

Not only did the dedicated task force restore the line in the toughest of conditions—and I
inspected the line on a plus-40 degree day, and there were many of those, in full PPE gear—but also
they seized the opportunity to boost the productivity of the line while they repaired it, cutting travel times
and ensuring that our supply chain helps industry grow and support local jobs. After rerailing and
reconditioning key sections, end-to-end run times have been reduced by up to 50 minutes. That is good
news for Queensland' economy—a proven world-class minerals producer and exporter adding 7,000
Queensland resource jobs since 2015 and driving a renewable energy boom in our sunshine state.
I welcome federal Labor's announcement of $100 million to boost the Mount Isa to Townsville
rail corridor's productivity and resilience, adding to the Palaszczuk government's $380 million
commitment. Both are very substantial commitments to North Queensland, which means more jobs for
North Queenslanders and for Queenslanders generally.

On Friday, I visited Townsville to meet with some of the hardworking Queensland Rail staff who
were instrumental in bringing the rail line back on line. Their work not only restored the rail line but also
provided a much needed injection for communities and businesses in the North-West. By working
together with the Department of Housing and Public Works, bustling workers' camps were established
in Richmond and Julia Creek during the repairs, where local businesses were tapped on the shoulder
to provide food, cleaning services and supplies. I would like to acknowledge all those who worked with
Queensland Rail to restore the line, including engineers, contractors, Aurizon, local councils and
Transport and Main Roads staff. Queenslanders band together when times get tough. This House
should be proud of the workers and the work that was done over the past 11 weeks to restore the Mount
Isa to Townsville rail line.
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Brisbanetimes --> 'We've got a problem': Sims questions laws after rail go-ahead

QuoteAustralians will pay more for groceries and other products and the nation's takeovers regime needs to be reconsidered, competition tsar Rod Sims has warned, after a "stunning" Federal Court decision over a vital transport terminal sale.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) tried to block the sale of Auirzon's Acacia Ridge intermodal terminal near Brisbane to fellow freight operator Pacific National, arguing it would give Pacific National an effective monopoly on rail freight into north Queensland.

The terminal is a vital part of Australia's transport infrastructure as it is where rail freight can be transferred between NSW's standard rail gauge and Queensland's narrow gauge network, or moved off or onto trucks.

But Justice Jonathan Beach on Wednesday said the ACCC failed to convince him that the proposed deal breached competition law.

Justice Beach said he would have found in favour of the ACCC if it was not for undertakings Pacific National presented to court on the last day of the trial guaranteeing other operators access to the terminal and fair prices.

However the ACCC's Mr Sims said those undertakings - presented to him in 2017 - were "virtually unenforceable", and would not stop the company using its control of the terminal to frustrate other competitors and discourage them from entering the market.

We continue to believe that this acquisition is bad for competition in rail freight and therefore bad for Australia.

"We continue to believe that this acquisition is bad for competition in rail freight and therefore bad for Australia."

Mr Sims said that just as another landmark competition court case in 2014 approving AGL Energy's takeover of Macquarie Generation had resulted in higher electricity costs, this deal would result in higher freight costs that would flow through to goods like groceries.

The ACCC has another major case on its cards, after blocking a $15 billion merger between the telcos Vodafone and TPG last week. Mr Sims said Wednesday's decision called the effectiveness of current competition laws into question.

"Australians have just got to think through whether we want to have the concentrated economy we've got or we rethink how we do merger approvals," Mr Sims said.

"Because, for this decision to get through, I think we've got a problem."

Pacific National said it welcomed the court's decision and was pleased that the ACCC had withdrawn earlier claims relating to alleged collusion between individuals involved in the sale.

Since the ACCC first blocked the sale to Pacific National, Aurizon has sold its loss-making Queensland intermodal business, which was originally part of the deal, to the trucking giant Linfox rather than shut it down.

The ASX-listed Aurizon said it also welcomed the decision, which would allow it to complete the $205 million Acacia Ridge terminal sale. Aurizon's shares closed up 1 per cent on Wednesday at $5.

Through the course of the case, some of Australia's biggest companies including Coles, Woolworths and steelmaker Bluescope said they would not be able to use trucks to transport goods into northern Queensland if the Acacia Ridge sale hampered their access to rail.

Justice Beach's has not yet released his full reasons for his decision.

The Bligh Government has a lot to answer for hey? 
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The Australian --> ACCC slams Federal Court's Pacific national freight terminal ruling

QuoteThe Federal Court decision that clears the way for Pacific National to take control of a key Queensland freight terminal will "damage" the case for the federal government's $10 billion inland rail network, according to competition boss Rod Sims.

In a scathing assessment of the court's decision to reject the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's move to block Aurizon's $205 million sale of the Acacia Ridge intermodal terminal to its chief rival, Pacific National, Mr Sims said consumers would pay more for groceries as a result. "This is bad for competition and for Australia because we're basically left with a monopoly rail company, in Pacific National, hauling freight containers for Australian businesses," he said.

"We had 16 company witnesses — Woolworths, Coles, Metcash, BlueScope, Orica — giving evidence pointing out the problems if this transaction went ahead. They all wanted a competitive market in rail freight, and we believe this decision denies them that."

The court struck out the ACCC's attempt to block the deal, with judge Jonathan Beach saying undertakings given by Pacific National, guaranteeing third-party access to the terminal, were the key factor in his decision.

Handing down his decision in Melbourne on Wednesday, Justice Beach said he would have accepted the ACCC's argument that Pacific National's ownership of the terminal could reduce competition in Queensland's freight industry had it not been for new guarantees around access and pricing given by the rail hauler on the last day of hearings in the case.

The $200m deal involved Aurizon selling its terminal at Acacia Ridge in Brisbane, which transfers freight from road to rail and vice versa, to Pacific National. Acacia Ridge is a key asset in the east coast rail network as it sits at the point where two train gauges meet — NSW is standard gauge, while Queensland is a narrow gauge network — as well as being a terminal for the transfer of shipping containers from trucks to rail.

Justice Beach will not hand down his reasons for the decision until after he has heard arguments about what, if any, information should be withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality.

Mr Sims said the ACCC could not say whether it would file an appeal until those reasons were made public, but said the competition regular would scrutinise the decision "very, very closely".

Pacific National and Aurizon both welcomed the decision.

A Pacific National spokesman said the company would operate Acacia Ridge on an open access basis, saying the company welcomed the Federal Court ruling its acquisition will "not substantially lessen competition".

Aurizon welcomed the decision in a statement to the ASX, noting the deal still needed Foreign Investment Review Board approval to proceed.

But Mr Sims told The Australian the ruling would cast a shadow over the federal government's massive $10bn Melbourne-to-Brisbane inland rail project.

Australia's biggest rail infrastructure project, it has been billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make it easier, quicker and cheaper for Victorian, Queensland and NSW farmers to get produce to market, and goods in return. But Mr Sims said the ruling meant Pacific National would have its foot on the network from the outset.

"This will reinforce the problems. The inland rail network ends at Acacia Ridge, as I understand it, and Pacific National is going to sit there on top of it, controlling it," Mr Sims said. "So it's bad for rail freight now, and I believe it will damage what the inland rail was meant to achieve."

Aurizon shares closed up 5c at $5 yesterday.
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http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/6/9/mount-isa-line-plan-puts-north-west-minerals-freight-on-fast-track

Media Statements
JOINT STATEMENT

Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad

Minister for Transport and Main Roads
The Honourable Mark Bailey

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Mount Isa Line plan puts North West minerals freight on fast track

The Palaszczuk Government has unveiled a half a billion dollar plan to boost mineral freight exports on the Mount Isa Line.

Freight charges will be discounted, and a new container terminal built at the Port of Townsville to support an already beefed up five-year line maintenance budget to support North Queensland's resource industry.

Announcing the plan at the Port of Townsville today ahead of Tuesday's State Budget, Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the investment would promote mining and exploration in the state's north west.

"Our state's economy is stronger when we have a reliable supply of minerals for export," Ms Trad said.

"This investment underlines our commitment to backing regional communities and regional jobs.

"We can improve reliability with better transport infrastructure and that's what this plan will do.

"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.

"The Port of Townsville is Australia's largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertiliser.

"A number of mines are trucking minerals from the north west to the port, and the trains that are carrying minerals in shipping containers have to be unloaded at Stuart and then trucked 12km to the port.

"Building a new common user rail freight terminal at the port will make the Mount Isa Line more attractive for exporters and take trucks off the Flinders Highway and Townsville's roads."

The Palaszczuk Government will contribute $30 million towards the freight terminal's construction, with the Port of Townsville providing the remaining $18 million.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government would also provide $80 million over four years to reduce rail access charges on the Mount Isa Line, to drive the shift from road to rail.

"The Mount Isa Line is critical for North Queensland's economy, and making it more efficient and cost competitive is vital to support and grow resources exports in the region," Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said almost 75 per cent of the freight on the Mount Isa Line was made up of wagons carrying minerals, fertiliser and acid.

"Commercial operators pay access charges to Queensland Rail to use the Mount Isa line and industry has called on the Palaszczuk Government to make rail freight more competitive.

"We've listened and will provide Queensland Rail with $20 million each year starting, from 1 July this year, to reduce rail access charges and will work with industry on implementation arrangements.

"The major repairs Queensland Rail carried out on more than 200 sites across 300-kilometres of track following the monsoonal weather event earlier this year have resulted in cutting almost an hour off the travel time between Mount Isa and Townsville, significantly improving efficiency and increasing capacity.

"The Palaszczuk Government is investing $380 million over five years to maintain and improve the line, making the freight journey faster and more reliable."

Mr Bailey said the Palaszczuk Government's investment would give greater certainty to companies that relied on the Mount Isa Line and would generate regional jobs, including construction jobs for the new Townsville Port Rail Freight Terminal.
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verbatim9

$305 million is about to be spent upgrading rail lines across Queensland. The projects are expected to create more than 1,100 jobs. #7NEWS https://t.co/TsE92u7Py5


https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1173153255179710466

red dragin

So already happening projects and timber bridge replacement (ie general maintenance).

ozbob

Rail Express --> Bailey spruiks $305m in ongoing regional rail projects

QuoteWork will soon be complete on the $21 million project to modernise Bundaberg's rail signalling system and upgrade seven level crossings – part of $305 million in regional rail work going on across Queensland.

Queensland transport and main roads minister Mark Bailey noted on September 15 there was a wide range of rail work driving regional rail jobs across the state.

In addition to the Bundaberg project, there's the $100 million North Coast line upgrade between Townsville and Rockhampton, which started in July and will support 300 construction jobs.

Another $28 million is being spent to replace 18 ageing timber rail bridges between Rosewood and Chinchilla.

Then there's a $77 million project to lower 11 historic rail tunnels on the Toowoomba Range to allow for larger container trains, with work expected to finish in early 2020.

And between Gympie and Cairns, an $86 million project is replacing 20 timber bridges and supporting 280 jobs.

"Our rail network is an essential part of the freight supply chain, supporting regional growth and trade through our ports, which in turn means jobs," Minister Bailey said. "We need to keep investing in our rail network so it's safe and efficient for freight and passengers."

Bailey also noted the $50 million invested to restore the Mt Isa Line after hundreds of sections of the line were washed out by the flooding event in February.

"Thanks to their skill and hard work, Queensland Rail's emergency repair team got the line open again in 12 weeks."
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Stillwater

So all those timber bridges are on a perfect alignment?  The replacement bridges will be in place for next 80-100 years, thereby fixing the alignment to where those bridges are located now.

ozbob

Queensland Times 18th September 2019 page 7

New freight set to roll down range

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Queensland Parliament Hansard

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2019/2019_09_19_DAILY.PDF

Ministerial Statements

Queensland Rail, Regional Projects

Hon. MC BAILEY (Miller—ALP) (Minister for Transport and Main Roads) (10.03 am): Under the
Palaszczuk Labor government, major rail projects are driving a regional rail jobs boom in Queensland.
Queensland Rail projects underway now from Toowoomba to Townsville are supporting more than
1,150 jobs. The largest investment, the $100 million north coast line upgrade between Townsville and
Rockhampton, started in July and will support more than 300 construction jobs. The replacement of 20
timber bridges between Gympie and Cairns is an $86 million project that will support a further 280 jobs.
Later this month, work wraps up on a $21 million project to modernise Bundaberg's rail signalling
system and upgrade seven level crossings. A $28 million project to replace 18 ageing timber rail bridges
between Rosewood and Chinchilla will have supported 200 jobs once that project ends next month.
Work to lower 11 historic rail tunnels on the Toowoomba range to allow for larger container trains is
expected to finish in early 2020, having supported 130 Darling Downs construction jobs and boosting
productivity on that rail line.

Queensland's rail network is an essential part of our state's freight supply chain, supporting
regional economies and trade through our publicly owned ports. The Palaszczuk Labor government will
keep investing in Queensland's rail network to improve its efficiency and safety for passengers and
freight. Rail has been part of Queensland's history for more than 150 years. There is a massive
opportunity to support regional jobs through upgrades and maintenance of our vast rail network.

The February floods in North Queensland and North-West Queensland that washed out
hundreds of sections of the Mount Isa Line showed how much our economy, particularly the North West
Minerals Province, relies on our rail network. An amount of $50 million was invested in restoring the
line, with more than $30 million going back into regional economies through the employment of
contractors and the purchase of materials. Economic resilience and regional opportunities in North
Queensland will also be supported by the Palaszczuk Labor government's $380 million commitment
over five years to maintain and upgrade the Mount Isa line, which we kept in public hands. This state
was built on the back of our roads and rail lines and we will continue to invest in them to support our
growing population and the communities that rely on them, and we will not cut them like those opposite
do.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Rail Express --> Queensland subsidising rail travel to drive outback tourism

QuoteQueensland's government is encouraging coastal residents to visit the state's drought-stricken west with a two-for-one offer on train tickets for regional services.

As part of the Year of Outback Tourism initiative, Queensland Rail is offering the sale on all of its western train services.

From December 1 until the end of February, the offer will be available for economy seats on The Inlander and The Westlander, as well as economy seats and first-class sleepers on the Spirit of the Outback.

"It's been a tough year for Queensland's red heart, with natural disasters devastating many rural communities," premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"Outback tourism is already worth more than $350 million and supports 3700 jobs, and we're continuing to work closely with local governments and businesses, community organisations and festival promoters to ensure these numbers continue to grow."

Transport minister Mark Bailey said previous two-for-one sales drove a 30 per cent increase in off-peak travel in western Queensland.

"I want to encourage mums, dads, couples and carers thinking of a summer holiday to consider this great deal and to visit western Queensland," Bailey said.

"By visiting our outback towns, people are helping keep local business doors open much longer than they normally would be during summer months."
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verbatim9

Pacific National train heading west reaches a dead-end at Prairie, where floodwater has destroyed the track. Credit: Jodie Hunter. Report on 7NEWS at 6pm. #qldweather #7NEWS https://t.co/FbLx8AC9oM

https://twitter.com/7NewsBrisbane/status/1221688280325844993

ozbob

Couriermail --> Three crew members escape injury after ballast train derails on Darling Downs


A Queensland Rail team are on the scene of a train derailment near Toowoomba.

QuoteA BALLAST train has come off its tracks while travelling between Cambooya and Greenmount.

The accident, which occurred near Watts Siding Rd at 1.35pm yesterday, has caused the closure South Western rail line between Cambooya and Greenmount.

"There were three crew members on board the train, thankfully all three were uninjured," Queensland Rail Head of Regional Jim Benstead said.

"There have been no impacts to freight operations, however Queensland Rail will continue to liaise with its freight partners should freight services be impacted."

Mr Benstead said the train, which consists of two locomotives, 15 loaded ballast wagons and one ballast plough, is reported to be on its side.

"We understand 10 of the wagons have derailed, with a number reported to be on their side," he said.

A Cambooya resident, driving along Watts Siding Rd, snapped a photo of the incident this morning, describing the scene as "a mess".

The resident said no roads appeared to be blocked.

A Queensland Rail team is on the scene performing an initial assessment.
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Westy consist spotted at Morven today ...  :-t

https://twitter.com/ozbob13/status/1270542459685093377

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Queensland Country Life --> Better market access hailed at Morven Rail Hub opening

QuoteThe importance of the new rail hub at Morven to the economy of the small south west Queensland community belted by years of drought was emphasised at its official opening on Thursday.

Murweh Shire Council Mayor Shaun Radnedge said the multi-million dollar rail freight hub and the investment by federal and state governments had already paid dividends. ...
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Cazza

New Transport for Brisbane Network: https://bit.ly/35BerRD
New State Transit Network: https://bit.ly/2F386Ui

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