Value of the 'food-bowl' rail route (letter)by Kevin O'NeillNews Weekly
, July 7, 2007
Congratulations to the Shepparton City Council for proposing the "food-bowl route" on the flat plains for the Brisbane-Melbourne rail route.
The proposed Cootamundra route to Melbourne is in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range and has to contend with the Bethungra spiral and tunnel and road bridges across the line between Mangalore and Albury, which significantly diminish the relevance of double-stacked containers to the overall transport task.
In addition, there is the ever-present threat of rail curfews in urban areas. A trunk rail-route is only as strong as its weakest link, and all stakeholders between Brisbane and Melbourne will be equally affected by a weak link at the southern end.
Shepparton's proposed food-bowl route is much needed, in that this highly productive food-producing region does not have an efficient trunk rail connection to the big city populations.Kevin O'Neill,
Progressive Rail Association,