The reopening of rail lines

To the Editor,
Nanjing Night Net

I refer to recent articles re the reopening local rail lines.

I’m the former Track Manager for that area.My role was to manage the asset, cost, budget and program work.I see figures of $20m and $40m mooted for the re-opening in disbelief.

Blayney to Cowra could be recommissioned for under $100k, same with Demondrille Bendick Murrell.

There is a real opportunity for the local community to seize back ownership from the bureaucracy.

My plan would be to establish a company structure, employing former rail staff on a contract basis with their own ABN’s, former signalling, bridge and track specialists, former track supervisors and examiners, locally based, owned and operated as opposed to some multinational, contracted to the fivecouncils sharing the cost with government grants. Councils already carry out vegetation control and fire hazard reduction.

All of the lines could be reopened for a relatively low cost including Galong to Boorowa,Koorawatha Grenfell, Cowra Eugowra.

First Blayney Cowra and Demondrille Bendick Murrell –reconstruct the earthworks at Scenic Road Crossing Crowther and Pipe Clay road Koorawatha.

The only reason these sections washed away in the floods to the extent they did, is because they were originally constructed using reclaimed ash from steam trains. Ash has good water absorption properties but is a non cohesive material highly susceptible to erosion.

Rather than the gold plated big bang approach engaging a multinational to reopen the lines as proposed by the politicians, it could all be done for a relatively small cost, with low risk, reinvesting as momentum of utilization built.

For under $200k we could see trains operating between Cowra and Blayney, and Demondrille and Bendick Murrel servicing Cowra and Young. Then build from their reinvesting track access fees obtained from train operators.

Triangles and bi-directional running reinstated at Demondrille and Blayney providing maximum, efficient utilization from all directions crossing over from the main West to the main south bypassing the Sydney metro to coincide with the inland rail project revitalizing inland and Country NSW.

Brian Fisher

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.