ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Regional Rail Revival

Forum held in Blayney- Friday May 10 2013

 Introduction

Bill West, Major of CowraGovernments often adopt policies aimed at reducing the proportion of freight on roads and increasing the proportion on rail. The policies rarely succeed, and many lines remain under-utilised or not used at all. Often the road share just keeps growing and the road transport industry strains to meet the demand. Such is the case in eastern Australia, despite appeals from coastal and inland towns and cities suffering from congestion, environmental, health and safety issues and growing road capital and maintenance costs. Regional areas suffer from high freight costs, constraining economic development. Councils are expected to take up the burden of increased road maintenance.

Ed ZsomborThe 'Regional Rail Revival' seminar aimed to provide information and promote discussion about what freight railways can offer regional areas and how railways interstate and overseas have been revived for national as well as local benefit.

Following an initiative taken by five local government councils, the railway line south from Blayney to Demondrille and a small branch line, known as 'The Cowra Lines', are being considered by the New South Wales Government for revival.

2015 For updates on the Blayney-Demondrille railway see The Lachlan Regional Transport Committee http://www.lrtc.org.au/projects/blayney-demondrille-line.

Presentations

Frank Lander, Ed Zsombor, Blayney Shire Councillor David SomervailleMr Ed Zsombor, Director of Rail Services, Province of Saskatchewan, Canada Presentation PDF Listen to his presentation Audio MP3

Mr Bryan Nye, CEO Australasian Railway Association Presentation PDF Listen to his presentation Audio MP3

Mr Frank Lander, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Transport Victoria Presentation PDF Listen to his presentation Audio MP3

Dom FigliomeniAssociate Professor Ian Gray, ILWS
Background : Discussion Paper PDF Workshop summary PDF

Cr Bill West, Mayor of Cowra Shire – update on Blayney-Demondrille revival process Listen to his presentation Audio MP3

Mr Dom Figliomeni CEO Port Kembla Port Corporation. Listen to his presentation Audio MP3

Mr Lawrance Ryan Presentation on the history of the Blayney-Demondrille line Presentation PDF

Experience gained from this initiative, in the light of knowledge about regionaMr Bryan Nye CEO Australiasian Railways Associationl railways and their potential as revealed elsewhere, is illuminating ways towards more efficient regional transport. The cooperative process undertaken with respect to 'The Cowra Lines', involving State and local government, has revealed a potentially viable railway worthy of revival. It has also demonstrated the potential of regional railways and laid the ground for partnerships between industry and all levels of government. The seminar offered an update on this process and discussed how the Blayney-Demondrille model can be applied in different situations.

Participants included industry representatives, local, state and federal government representatives, researchers and interested community members. 105 people attended the seminar. Some people travelled from Victoria and Queensland to attend.

Audience at the Regional Rail Revival Seminar Blayney May 10

Seminar speakers included Mr Ed Zsombor, Director Rail Services, Saskatchewan, Canada; Mr Dom Figliomeni CEO Port Kembla Port Corporation; Mr Bryan Nye, CEO Australasian Railway Association; Mr Frank Lander, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Transport Victoria; the mayors of Cowra and Blayney Shires; ILWS Adjunct Associate Professor Ian Gray and Cowra-based railway journalist and historian Mr Lawrance Ryan. The seminar was chaired by Mr Maurice Simpson, President of the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee.

The program
0930       LRTC President Mo Simpson introduction and housekeeping including workshop etc
0935       Cr Scott Ferguson, Mayor of Blayney Shire – welcome to Blayney and acknowledgement of country
0940       Assoc Prof Ian Gray, welcome from CSU and introduction to the background paper
0955       Questions for Ian
1000       Cr Bill West, Mayor of Cowra Shire – update on the Cowra Lines revival process
1010       Ed Zsombor, Director Rail Services, Saskatchewan, Canada
1035       Questions for Ed
1045       Break
1100       Mo Simpson announces MoU with Wollongong and nearby councils
1110       Dom Figliomeni CEO Port Kembla Port Corporation
1125       Questions for Dom
1130       Bryan Nye, CEO Australasian Railway Association
1155       Questions for Bryan
1200       Frank Lander, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Transport Victoria
1225       Questions for Frank
1230       Close seminar – Mo Simpson
Working group moves to the Community Centre meeting room adjacent

1330    Presentation on the history of the Blayney-Demondrille line by Lawrance Ryan
1430    Briefing in Community Centre Hall
1500   Close

ILWS would like to thank the Lachlan Regional Transport Committee, Blayney Shire, and the Shires of Cowra, Weddin, Young and Harden for working with us to make the seminar and workshop a success

Mr Mo Simpson