The Meeting Place

Australia's Infrastructure

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Image result for animation 'plane flight' gif

Image result for cartoons of Bridges  Image result for road trains cartoon

 How good and reliable is our own infrastructure in Oz?

From Rail, Road Trains, flight, heavy haul trucking companies and bridges.










Contractors have already begun repairing the tracks ahead of signalling works starting.

Investigators from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau will release a preliminary report after 30 days, ahead of a final report in 18 months.



a group of people riding on the back of a truck: The recovery of the derailed train in rural VIctoria is nearing completion. Investigators will release a preliminary report after 30 days.

The videos - released last year - show the train driver's rocking cabin as it sped along the main Sydney to Melbourne route.





Rail services (urban, interurban, intrastate & interstate) continue to deteriorate at an alarming & unsafe rate.  

Why is it so?

Three things have happened over the last decade that have hastened the demise of these commUNITY assets.  

Firstly, governments (state & federal) have come to believe these commUNITY assets are their play things to sell at their will, more often than not without reference to the owners of such assets.  

Secondly, governments are so anxious to offload OUR assets to their friends and backers (commonly referred to as the one percenters amongst us), they CONTINUALLY fail to set appropriate sevice levels for the buyers to achieve to continue to 'own' OUR assets - e.g., on time running of say 98%, where they will be penalised each time a service is late.  In Switzerland for instance the national train service has operated above 99% on time running (except for 'force majure' incidents) for 11 years now.  

Thirdly, when they sell or outsource one of OUR commUNITY assets, the government does not asciduously assure that fundamental things such as maintenance is undertaken to keep the service safe, e.g., the recent derailment in the Sydney to Melbourne service is just one of 100's of examples of failure to maintain at a safe level.  

I have no problem with our assets being run as outsourced services, but they should NEVER be SOLD.  They should ONLY be LEASED to operators for running but ONLY under a strict service level regime which must be met or penalties applied.  Ultimately they can forfeit their lease if they don't achieve their service levels.  

The outsourced Sydney Buses M20 service (now bus 320) to Transdev is a prime example of government failure.  On Tuesday the driver had to ask the passengers where to go to get through the city. Clearly 'training' is woefully inappropriate.

Public Transport must be PUBLIC because they are commUNITY assets we have paid for and own and are fundamental to a proper functioning commUNITY.   

Who was the 'intellectual giant' who sold off NSW Lotteries to Australia's 1%'ers?  



Hi Waiting to retire at 70!  You sound as if you are in the railway profession?  Husband retired from it aged 73.

I cannot comment anywhere as like he can regarding the topic, but I remember when he regauged the Vic Rail towards the West of the state I walked along the closed rail and had a pink fit!  Not only were some of the sleepers non existant but there was no dog spikes!

I always wanted to come home to Perth from Sydney on the train, his reply was it is safer to fly home!

I thought he was putting it on a bit at the time but it appears he wasn't. Due to lack of maintenance.

When we were in the US several years ago, we did an Amtrax trip and oh my goodness that was an education!

Passenger trains give way to goods trains, when we talked about this both in the UK and home people didn't believe us.

But the infrastructure of the areas we saw was sadly lacking, not only were they in desperate need of repair but even the cosmetic paintwork was not there and the bare metal was showing on most rail bridges.  

Boston was undergoing major road works at the time and the roads around Albany were fine, but not much traffic on them, they looked like the concrete variety though.




Sound pretty darn scary Celia and what would most ordinary folks know -- they just trust all is well --till it hits the fan


Yes Plan B.  It also happened in the UK, if you remember a few trains came off the rail there in 1999 & 2000?

Hubby was sent over with a Team to look for new ways to make new rail and expand on the problems, they  put him onto evaluation and audit of their East Coast Main Line.  That was an education too.  Apparently he was asked by the Managing Contractor how long ago did you use this type of equipment?

His reply was 20 years in Africa!   I think the guy was shocked, but of course the Taxpayers never got to hear about this, they probably would not have believed it either. The Brits think they run the state of the art everything!  'Think' being the operative word.

To keep a railway in good repair as I have been told numerous times by husband and collegues the rail profile needs to be kept in shape.  This means a piece of special equipment like a large rail engine with computers on board needs to check and surface the profile of the rail at night when the rail has little traffic.  Not only that but the rollingstock needs to have their wheels checked to match the same profile otherwise you have major issues, to put it mildly.  He found not many of the rolling stock had this done.

The problem with the private rail firms is they are run by 'bean counters' and there are hardly if ever any Directors that are Permanent Way Civil Engineers, because their priority seems to be profit. 

I made fun of one of the trains as we know most go clickety click! I asked Hubby what sounds do his trains make?   He indicated silence!  LOL  Apparently and do not quote me on this, they make this noise going over the points and the bad joins in the track, the joins where they have been welded at wrong temperatures.

Riding on an Amtrax train we sometimes literately were lifted off our very comfortable seat by a few inches!  LOL  The tracks in the US are not good.  How can they be when their goods trains take priority and wear their rail tracks out!


For those interested some photos of Rail Grinders working at night.

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Image result for photo of rail grinders working at night with sparks flying


Image result for photo of rail grinders working at night with sparks flying








Yes Plan B.

The heavy haul rail to the ports and mines are state of the art that carry the iron ore, they are around 3klm in length so they have to be in good working order.


  Rail gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) except where shown. BHP Billiton used to run iron ore trains of 336 car length, 44,500 tonnes of iron ore, over 3 km long, six to eight locomotives including intermediate remote unit.



We have the cavalier attitude governments have when it comes to spending our money.  As long as infrastructure spending is based on political gain and not value for money or fit for purpose principles our public infrastructure is going to deteriorate to extend of becoming equal to an under developed country.

Ministers should have final sign off on government funded projects, but letting them make decisions that are in conflict with the bodies constituted to make informed decisions without a clear and logical reason will almost always lead to corruption.

It's our money, we have a right to be assured that it is not wasted for purely political gain.

I spent many years in government procurement, we could all predict a dissaster on the way whenever we heard the phrase " The Minister has shown a special interest in this project."  It almost always meant that something dodgy was going to be attempted.

I can remember putting a project that was time sensitive and important to local industry on hold for three days simply because a liocal Minister wanted to create a fake facility opening before a State election.  It cost the taxpayer tens of thousands.  Not much on the face of things, but multiply the amount by the number of politicians seeking re elelection and it mounts up.  Of course quite apart from the monetry cost, there is the cost of loss of faith by the clients who were promised a service and were delayed for no good reason.


Yes ex PS, these politicians are a lot of robbing crooks and care NOTHING about honesty just about their next election and more chances to line their own pockets -- I would not trust one of them as far as I could kick them uphill with a lead boot.


I had to laugh when I said to a neighbor what I thought about Morrison BEFORE the election--- she said

" Oh he will be ok because he is a Christian ' 

WHAT A BLOODY JOKE --    must say I have not seen hide nor hair of her since.


Western Australia needs to decentralize, the state needs employment and creating new rail and towns is the way the US developed.  Why we could not have done this with our royalties is a crying shame.   Instead the money went to Queensland and NSW.    

WA is one third of the country with not many people working their backsides off keeping the roads in order, it is long time that Federal money was spent on this side of the country.

So we see NSW and Queensland developing and getting more and more crowded.

Well said Celia, when the main east - west highway across the Nullarbor was closed for days by bushfire with the only other way around a 10,000 km trip across the north, the great central road being mainly a dirt track, (only 160 million allocated this year for upgrade works,)we didn't hear a sound from the federal pollies, a Rail link from Kalgoorlie to Brisbane across the middle would be a massive asset, no to mention Tourism potential, as a grey nomad I have seen a lot of our country and most of it is dead flat, perfect for rail.:)

But I suppose a light rail to the airport at 5 billion dollars is more important, or has more votes? Oh this is  BBC site and the trains are not Australian but there are some good photos.

Did anyone hear on the ABC news that the people running the Sydney to Perth rail are investing $18m on new  trains?

As husband said that would only buy you a few carriages not an engine.


Did anyone watch the ABC's 7.30 Report tonight?

You should watch it if you can, it appears that ATLINTA is owned by a Chinese Singapore guy who has very aggresive sales pitches.   

This is an education, as hubby says no wonder the PM wants to get rid of the ABC he doesn't like Investigative journalism, brings back memories of the movie 'All the Presidents Men'


Key points:

The sale of Alinta Energy to Chinese company Chow Tai Fook was approved by then-treasurer Scott Morrison in 2017

An investigation has found Alinta Energy may not have proper systems in place to protect sensitive customer information


Alinta Energy may have failed to protect customers' Medicare and passport numbers, credit card details and, in some cases, health records


No, Celia, I have recorded it though --as you say the government wants to get rid of the ABC because it shows how bloody crooked this so-called   CHRISTIAN   is

Kerry Obrien had it right when he said this


Many of the so called Third World Countries have better infrastructure than we have.

People need to keep an eye on our Federal Government I don't feel safe with their management one bit, as hubby says he doesn't think Morrison read the document he signed about Atlinta closely enough.

As for better infrastructure it is probably because of the cheaper labour Suze.