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Re: Electricity Strike Vic/SA
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- Subject: Re: Electricity Strike Vic/SA
- From: "John Browning" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Sat, 5 Feb 2000 07:36:00 +1100
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Open cut brown coal is railed from Yallourn to Morwell by a 900mm gauge
railway line, the ICR (interconnecting railway).
It used to be an overhead wire electric railway based on German technology
of the inter-war years when the coal was brought from the open cuts by
transportable electric railways. By the 1980s, only the ICR was left.
This is my understanding of subsequent events.
In the orgy of privatisation in Jeff's Victoria, the coal haulage became
the responsibility of a local contractor, Cooks Construction, who used four
ex-QG DH class locomotives regauged for the purpose. (They also had two for
spare parts.) This was reasonably successful using a pair of locomotives in
multiple after a lot of track rehabilitation.
Then in possibly mysterious circumstances, the rail coal haulage was taken
from Cooks by Energy Brix, the (privatised) company for whom the haulage
was being done. Cooks were not impressed and refused to sell Energy Brix
their locomotives, or at least not at a price EnergyBrix found attractive.
This may have been foreseen by Energy Brix, who purchased five 3ft 6ins
gauge Gemco 4wDH tunelling locomotives from Tasmania. These were regauged
and equipped for multi use, but unfortunately, even three of them could not
pull a train adequately.
Meanwhile Cooks had sold two of their going locos and the two wrecks to
sugar mills and enjoyed charging Energy Brix to the max to use their other
locos every tme the Gemcos were unavailable for use.
Energy Brix even tried to buy the locos back from sugar mills but without
success. Eventually they bowed to the inevitable and paid the price
required by Cooks for the remaining two.
This rail service is said to be due to be replaced by rubber wheel
transport on internal haul roads. The problem is that the open cut mine
keeps on severing the line. If you haven't seen this line in operation,
don't delay much longer.
What this has to do with electricity generation I'm not sure. I think the
brown coal is transported on this line for briquette manufacture, but I'm
not certain about that.
Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia
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