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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
SMH from The Dubbo Liberal (and it certainly is big L Liberal, with no concessions to small l liberal - the bias is often downright embarrassingly blatant.)

A bit of a cheek complaining by National Truss, as it's $300m more than the Coalition government ever promised.


Infrastructure funding comes under fire

23 Jun, 2012 04:00 AM


THE FEDERAL government has been accused of throwing peanuts at the $4.7 billion Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail that could “drive and re-energise” inland communities including Dubbo.
Opposition spokesman on infrastructure and transport Warren Truss told a symposium in Parkes yesterday that if elected to government it would “pick up the pieces and make decisions to get the project back on track and moving”.

“The corridor isn’t confirmed, let alone reserved, the alignment won’t be decided for another two to three years, and most of the funding will not flow until 2016-17, at the earliest,” he said.

“The $300 million on offer is peanuts. Clearly, the government’s commitment to build this nation-building project is shaky at best.”

But federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese defended the $300 million allocated to preparing the inland rail alignment for construction to the symposium participants.

The work would begin in 2014-15 with detailed planning and environmental assessments, land acquisition, corridor preservation and community consultation, he said.

“This investment... demonstrates the government’s pledge to progress work on this important nation-building project,” he said.

Mr Albanese also suggested that it was “important to be realistic” about the next steps in the project.

The estimated $4.7 billion cost of the inland rail did not include the complementary expense of terminals, signalling systems and further upgrades to existing track, he said.

Both politicians agreed on the importance of the project that drew more than 80 early registrations to the symposium hosted by Parkes Shire Council and the Local Government and Shires Association.

Parkes is on the inland rail route suggested in the final report of a study funded by the federal government and managed by the Australian Rail Track Corporation.

Minister Albanese said the study indicated a 20-hour transit between the capital cities, six hours faster than along the eastern seaboard,via Sydney.

He also highlighted an anticipated doubling of freight movements by 2030 and the government’s $7.3 billion and six-year commitment to 2013/2014 to rail and intermodal projects.

Mr Truss said the inland rail would create and expand regional freight hubs while delivering new options for processing and manufacturing away from capital cities.

“The project is an investment in local jobs in our regions, but it is also an investment in future regional and national growth and prosperity,” he said.

“If you will, a new golden corridor through which to drive and re-energise inland NSW, Queensland and Victoria.”
 
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A sleeper from Melbourne to Sydney and Sydney to Brisbane is not cheap. I hope it happens because Country Stink with it's mostly rude cabin crew who treat people like dirt at the stations and the dining car are crap. Not saying everyone is, but I have seen the way they yell at customers. The sleeper is wise to have to stay away from riff raff even though you cannot lock the doors to go to the dining car, you stand more of a chance of being safe paying the extra money. As for this inland rail - bring it on, though knowing all sides of politics it will be ohh too hard, we have no money, ohh let's discuss Craig Thomson over and over instead of REAL decisions being made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think, from somewhere in the depths of my unreliable brain, that the inland rail is initially? primarily? only? intended as a goods line.
Do not hold me to the validity of this niggling idea.
 

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WARREN
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Why do people keep thinking about passenger trains?

The existing rail corridors anywhere between Moss Vale and Seymour, or between Telarah and Acacia Ridge pretty much just exist to service freight trains. The passenger over those sections are both unimportant & infrequent.

There's no reason why a passenger train couldn't run on a new inland line but a train once a day that runs at a big loss wouldn't be any reason at all to justify building it.
 

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Cities future on track after $4.7b rail announcement

http://m.thechronicle.com.au/news/inland-rail-toowoomba-darling-downs-coalition/2001074/

TOOWOOMBA is set to become one of Australia's major freight hubs after a multi-billion-dollar rail infrastructure project was unveiled..

The $4.7 billion project will see private investors construct a new rail line between the Port of Brisbane and Port of Melbourne via Charlton to the north of Toowoomba.

The project will involve constructing a two kilometre long tunnel through the Toowoomba Range as well as a number of smaller tunnels through the Minden and Marburg ranges.

It forms part of an 1800 kilometre inland rail project from Brisbane to Melbourne and is earmarked to be completed by 2020.

Federal Nationals leader Warren Truss announced $300 million in funding over three years to finalise plans for the inland track which promises to revolutionise freight movement in the eastern states.


Federal Nationals Leader Warren Truss (centre) announcing the $4.7 billion inland rail project in Brisbane. The project will run from the Port of Brisbane to the Port of Melbourne via Toowoomba. Photo Contributed Contributed
"This project will help ensure that our transport network is ready to do the heavy lifting required to meet Australia's growing freight transport task of the next 50 years.

"The Australian Rail Track Corporation will be tasked to work with interested parties to establish a staged, 10-year approach to the construction of the inland rail, with construction to start within three years," he said.

Liberal National Party Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane said yesterday the project would be one of the largest infrastructure project undertaken in the city.

"This project is a massive, massive boost for Toowoomba as well as the Darling and Western Downs," Mr Macfarlane said.

"This project has long been a priority for our region.

"It is a massive announcement for the region on the back of our commitment to build the Toowoomba Range bypass," he said.

Mr Macfarlane said the $300 million commitment from the Coalition was to secure parcels of land and to identify the preferred rail corridor from Moree in New South Wales to the Port of Brisbane.

"We have been working on this project with private investors for the past three years," he said.

"Those private investors include the Port of Brisbane Corporation, Theiss Australia and Aurizon.

"This is well and truly the icing on the cake for our region and the final piece of the infrastructure jigsaw.

"This project is not a pie-in-the-sky election promise. Private enterprise are the proponents behind this project, the Coalition is just assisting them.

"Toowoomba is set to become the inland port of Australia."

INLAND RAIL FAST FACTS

 Links the Port of Melbourne to the Port of Brisbane via Toowoomba.
 About 1800 kilometres in length.
 Due for completion by 2020 with first tracks scheduled to be laid within three years.
 Will see the existing rail network through the CBD removed.
 Construction of a two kilometre tunnel through the Toowoomba Range.
 Tunnel will be able to accommodate a double-stacked container train.
 One double-stacked contained train is equivalent to about 150 B-doubles.
 Toowoomba will become the largest inland port in Australia once the project is completed.
 

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Ah the amusing effects of announcements 2 months apart together in a thread.

So basically the coalition have decided to keep the $300 million already allocted in the budget forward estimates for the inland rail, but have announced it as a new policy initiative.

F*cking lol.
 

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All I can say is "wot?"

From what I've read over the past few years, it will require substantially more than 2km of tunnelling: still, it sounds like a vote-winner on the Darling Downs, even if it's someone else's money (at this stage).
 

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Yeah, all the plans i've seen involve a tunnel about 5km long under the Toowoomba range, popping out just southeast of Gowrie Junction.
 

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Yeah, all the plans i've seen involve a tunnel about 5km long under the Toowoomba range, popping out just southeast of Gowrie Junction.
Also remains to be seen whether they are going to realign the Little Liverpool Range tunnels (Grandchester to Laidley) or just go ahead with the sinking of the existing tunnel floors that was announced today.

The main issue is the GDR approach to Toowoomba, even though it would be nice to do them both properly.

Combine with Ebenezer to Bromelton, the Acacia Ridge to Port line the LNP announced today, a connection from that to the NCL under the river from Murrarie to Virginia/Northgate and dedicated freight track from here to Caboolture, and relocation of Pacific National out of Moolabin. Do these and say goodbye to virtually all freight impacts on the suburban network.

Probably cost more than the "cheap" version of Cross River Rail which omitted the surface works, but definitely worth pursuing.
 

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How is this line going to feed in to the Port of Melbourne. Existing tracks?

And if the bulk of PoM relocates to Hastings, how's freight going to get there? No political party has those answers.
 

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How is this line going to feed in to the Port of Melbourne. Existing tracks?

And if the bulk of PoM relocates to Hastings, how's freight going to get there? No political party has those answers.
Very good questions.

As I understand it, Melbourne is Australia's main intermodal port because it suits shipping to do it that way: make Australia a one-stop shot.

Hooking up an inland route fromMelbourne to Brisbane has been talked about for decades ... relocating to Hastings is another issue ... especially with double-stacked containers.
 

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^ As i understand it, wouldn't Port of Melbourne and Port of Hastings coexist to boost capacity and allow for future growth. Or is that not correct?
 

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Their would be a significantly expanded port of Melbourne for the next 30 years. Maybe, maybe after that they'd be looking to close ports of Melbourne and just leave Hastings.
 

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The 2010 Melbourne-Brisbane Inland Rail Alignment Study concluded this would have negative NPV if it was constructed before 2030, or before tonnage reached 25 Mt/year.
Reasonable, sober, cautious...self fulfilling. Start to build it now at a massively lower cost than what will surely prevail in 30 yrs...it will enable passenger and local/regional freight and passenger expansion...it will have its own gravitational pull and lead to accelerated demand. So, they are being too cautious.
 
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