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Govt commits to eastern inland railway
June 15, 2007 - 10:40AM

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Govt-commits-to-eastern-inland-railway/2007/06/15/1181414505442.html

The federal government has announced a $15 million scoping study for the much-touted east coast inland railway.

Transport Minister Mark Vaile will make the announcement shortly at Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley.

A study by Ernst and Young last year identified far west NSW as the best route for the railway which will link Brisbane and Melbourne without the need to pass through the choked railways of Sydney.

"The government will now commission a $15 million engineering and scoping study to determine the best alignment for the railway within this broad route," Mr Vaile said in a statement.

"The study will prove up the alignment so it can be taken through the statutory planning and approval process and then into detailed engineering design and construction."

Mr Vaile's announcement will be welcomed by many towns expected to be along the route including the central western NSW town of Parkes which has long been touted as a major freight hub.

The study, the deputy prime minister said, would deliver a capital cost to within 20 per cent along with a development and delivery timetable.

"In general terms, it is possible that land acquisition will begin as early as 2010, with construction starting in 2014.

"The line will be completed by 2019," Mr Vaile said.

It is expected the railway will be funded at least partially by private investors.

"It will provide the government with a basis for evaluating private sector financing for the project because it cannot go ahead without private sector funding."

With Australia's freight task expected to double by 2020, Mr Vaile said the railway would play an important role in moving the nation's freight.

"The inland railway will increase rail's share of the freight between Melbourne and Brisbane from 30 per cent to about 73 per cent.

"It will also reduce the growth in the number of trucks on our roads, because every double-stacked container train is equivalent to 276 semitrailers."
 

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sounds great
finally intrest in rail transport for goods again
 

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Govt commits to eastern inland railway
June 15, 2007 - 10:40AM

http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Govt-commits-to-eastern-inland-railway/2007/06/15/1181414505442.html

The federal government has announced a $15 million scoping study for the much-touted east coast inland railway.

Transport Minister Mark Vaile will make the announcement shortly at Singleton in the NSW Hunter Valley.

A study by Ernst and Young last year identified far west NSW as the best route for the railway which will link Brisbane and Melbourne without the need to pass through the choked railways of Sydney.

"The government will now commission a $15 million engineering and scoping study to determine the best alignment for the railway within this broad route," Mr Vaile said in a statement.

"The study will prove up the alignment so it can be taken through the statutory planning and approval process and then into detailed engineering design and construction."

Mr Vaile's announcement will be welcomed by many towns expected to be along the route including the central western NSW town of Parkes which has long been touted as a major freight hub.

The study, the deputy prime minister said, would deliver a capital cost to within 20 per cent along with a development and delivery timetable.

"In general terms, it is possible that land acquisition will begin as early as 2010, with construction starting in 2014.

"The line will be completed by 2019," Mr Vaile said.

It is expected the railway will be funded at least partially by private investors.

"It will provide the government with a basis for evaluating private sector financing for the project because it cannot go ahead without private sector funding."

With Australia's freight task expected to double by 2020, Mr Vaile said the railway would play an important role in moving the nation's freight.

"The inland railway will increase rail's share of the freight between Melbourne and Brisbane from 30 per cent to about 73 per cent.

"It will also reduce the growth in the number of trucks on our roads, because every double-stacked container train is equivalent to 276 semitrailers."
Good to see we can manage this (with private funding of course) by 2019.

How long did they take to build the line across the Nullabor? Or from Melbourne to Sydney, or Melbourne to Adelaide?

Maybe we should each donate a pick and a shovel.
 

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Can someone show a route map of the proposal and is there consideration of extending it to Darwin?
 

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I was sure someone had already done "studies" on this before.
 

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^^ Yeah, it's nice to see some interest, and it being looked into, but a study does little for actual action.
 

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Can someone show a route map of the proposal and is there consideration of extending it to Darwin?
I saw a vague idea in a paper the other day. It showed only what we know, and stipulated the preferred route would run through Parkes (which I think was already a given too). I think the study being commissioned is going to determine where the preferred route would be.

I'm really looking forward to some smaller western towns getting a major piece of infrastructure running through them, and this possibly being a major catylist for amazing growth out west.
 

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This proposal has been talked about for close to a decade: I certainly remember John Anderson beating the drum on it: and Tim Fisher probably did it before him.

There is a back-route from Melbourne to Brisbane: some of which is now apparently defunct: but the current proposal talks about "land acquisition", which presumably means a better route travelling west of the New England Tableland, and avoiding what is I think the highest altitude on any Australian railway (excepting skitube).

On my observation, having a railway like this doesn't automatically lead to region development along the line. Look at the standardized line from Melbourne to Adelaide: can't see much benefit for the region along it's tracks, except for two freight handling depots at Laverton/North Altona.
 

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The towns along it of the correct size could be used for their own demand for on/off frieght ? Guess that just going to take away from the roads though
 

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[
A study by Ernst and Young last year identified far west NSW as the best route for the railway which will link Brisbane and Melbourne without the need to pass through the choked railways of Sydney.
"


Use this federal project to help unchoke Sydney and Newcastles freight rail.
The feds help fund the F3, M7 and Hume hwy upgrades through Sydney. Why not the railway?
 

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On my observation, having a railway like this doesn't automatically lead to region development along the line. Look at the standardized line from Melbourne to Adelaide: can't see much benefit for the region along it's tracks, except for two freight handling depots at Laverton/North Altona.
Isnt that country desert. No amount of rail tracks will spur development in the desert. Inland NSW is a different proposition. Decent sized towns already established, good farm land. This will be good for these places.
 

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This proposal, in one form or another, has existed since at least WWII, (1940s) and if it follows earlier proposals it combines new track with existing track -assuming the various state govts haven't ripped up the track already - and goes through Parkes because it crosses the line from Sydney-Orange-Parkes-Broken Hill-Adelaide. I think it will go north (more or less) through Dubbo-Gwabegar-Tamworth-Tenterfield, to Toowoomba to link up to the line east to Brisbane. Does the Cobar line from Dubbo figure in this?
Dream Time: I have a vague memory of seeing a map way back in the Pleisticene era showing that somewhere to the north of there is a line that exists (in part)/could be extended to run through to Darwin. Is it via Mt Isa?

What the new plan will be is anyone's guess.
 

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This proposal, in one form or another, has existed since at least WWII, (1940s) and if it follows earlier proposals it combines new track with existing track -assuming the various state govts haven't ripped up the track already - and goes through Parkes because it crosses the line from Sydney-Orange-Parkes-Broken Hill-Adelaide. I think it will go north (more or less) through Dubbo-Gwabegar-Tamworth-Tenterfield, to Toowoomba to link up to the line east to Brisbane. Does the Cobar line from Dubbo figure in this?
Dream Time: I have a vague memory of seeing a map way back in the Pleisticene era showing that somewhere to the north of there is a line that exists (in part)/could be extended to run through to Darwin. Is it via Mt Isa?

What the new plan will be is anyone's guess.
Dubbo-Gwabegar-Tamworth? I don't think so - that's rather indirect! Check out this map: http://www.nswrail.net/maps/images/nsw-network1933-ne.jpg. They're thinking of building a new line from Narrabri to Coonamble (which looks like it would pass close to Gwabegar), then using the existing line from there to Dubbo. This will reduce the distance between Dubbo and Narrabri by at least 100km compared to the existing route via Werris Creek, and AFAIK will be a lot flatter too.

As for Tamworth-Tenterfield-Toowoomba, I think there are some pretty steep grades along there as well, especially the climb up onto the New England plateau north of Tamworth. If it gets built, I think they'll avoid this area and go for the route further west via Moree, as it's much flatter out there.

I think the Cobar line would be used just between Dubbo and Narromine. See this map: http://www.nswrail.net/maps/images/nsw-network1933-nw.jpg.
 

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At last a map! Thank you very much for that. I was trying to work out from memory where the lines linked and what the proposals were that I had read one hell of a long time ago. I wasn't sure whether the Dubbo-Gwabegar link was still extant after all the closures of the 1960s and 1970s and where there were lines and where there weren't. Thanks again as now I can stop 'worrying'.
Looking at the map, my memory may have confused the location of Gwabegar and Werris Creek, neither of which are exactly teeming metropoli - metropolises? - not even when my dad used to drive trains out in that area.
 

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Sounds good to me (although i still think 2011 is a very generous completion date).

Where's the proposed Victorian border crossing ? Tocumwal?
 

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Yes AFAIK, in Victoria the plan was to divert at Mangalore and head north through the Tocumwal region.
 

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Hopefully they build all new track & not use existing track, unless it gets upgraded to the same standard as new. Speaking from a Victorian point of view, most of the tracks byond the reach of the farce rail project are in an abysmal state & would be useless if used as part of a wider rail project.
 
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