AusRAIL, Market Sectors

QR hesitates at cost of old coal wagons for Goonyella

<p>Reintroducing old wagons to the Queensland coal network would cut productivity in half and severely impede efficiency, acting QR chief Stephen Cantwell told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> this morning (Tuesday, May 29).</p> <p>A report in <em>The Australian</em> this morning suggested that QR had several hundred unused coal wagons that the company could bring into service to ease congestion at Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal.</p> <p>But Mr Cantwell said the report had incorrectly suggested that QR’s G-type tippler wagons, taken out of service in the late 90s, could be used to bolster its rolling stock.</p> <p>Many of the tipplers had now been converted for use hauling concentrate from Mt Isa.</p> <p>The report had also identified VAO-type wagons, which are more than 30 years old, as being able to be returned to coal haulage.</p> <p>Mr Cantwell said it would cost $50,000 to upgrade each wagon, and capacity would be 56 tonnes.</p> <p>&#8220QRNational Coal had looked at these wagons previously and instead of spending money on upgrading these, the money was put into purchasing new high productivity 106 tonne wagons,&#8221 Mr Cantwell said.&#8224</p> <p>Mr Cantwell said it would be a challenging operation to re-introduce the wagons into service &#8211 a fact QR had told Foxleigh, the company that was now calling for the re-introduction of the wagons.</p> <p>&#8220Re-introducing smaller wagons and locomotives that are in excess of 25 years old is problematic, not cost efficient and may have the opposite effect of clogging up the system,&#8221 Mr Cantwell said.</p> <p>&#8220Saying that more wagons is the simple solution fails to recognise the constraints such as loading at the port and track capacity.</p> <p>&#8220A significant study was undertaken with another customer about 18 months ago to mount such an operation, and it was decided at that time not to proceed given the significant costs involved.&#8221</p> <p>Foxleigh had been told that it would be too difficult and expensive to bring the wagons back into service.</p> <p>DBCT has seen its vessel queue inflate to more than 50 because of supply chain problems, particularly insufficient coal deliveries to the port.</p> <p>Queensland’s deputy premier Anna Bligh yesterday (Monday, May 28) indicated she would appoint an independent expert to look into criticism from coal producers about QR’s deliveries. </p> <br />