Mildura Line Upgrade Starts

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

As I came into Ballarat this evening I noticed track laying machines and a lot of fresh timber sleepers trackside, it was where the Geelong line runs parallel to the Ballarat line coming into Ballarat.

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  Duncs Chief Commissioner

As I came into Ballarat this evening I noticed track laying machines and a lot of fresh timber sleepers trackside, it was where the Geelong line runs parallel to the Ballarat line coming into Ballarat.
"Duncs"


I forgot yo mention that as I came into Ballarat, I saw some rail stockpliled by the side if the track. The ends of the rail looked as if the rail had only recently been cut into sections. Is it new rail or recovered rail?

Given that the level crossings are to be dual gauge, will the entire section from Geelong to Ballarat now become dual gauge as well?
  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria
   I forgot yo mention that as I came into Ballarat, I saw some rail stockpliled by the side if the track. The ends of the rail looked as if the rail had only recently been cut into sections. Is it new rail or recovered rail?

Given that the level crossings are to be dual gauge, will the entire section from Geelong to Ballarat now become dual gauge as well?
"Duncs"


Dual gauge all the way is highly unlikely.
The intent of the crossing dual gauging is to minimise work required for future gauge conversion and extension (in this case) of the Mildura line to meet the Broken Hill SG line. The best answer would be to convert to standard gauge as part of the track upgrade, and get rid of the Mildura broad gauge line completely, but there does not seem to be the political (Leave me alone Kosky and others) to actually make a decision which is both forward thinking and sensible.

With respect to the rest of the state, there are potentially some surprising gauge conversions on the horizon, so the blanket dual gauging of all level crossing alterations or repairs makes sense. The only reason for leaving out metro ones are in general the metro will stay broad gauge, likely with selected dual gauge access for freights and some V/Line services to access SSS and travel through Melbourne.

BTW, I'd hate to see duelling rails - could be rather messy if a train came along!
  Riccardo Minister for Railways

Location: Gone. Don't bother PMing here.
Steam Kiwi, you provide a useful explanation of converting all level crossings to dual gauge.

But it does not explain how a standard gauge rail will be able to kill a broad gauge rail in a duel, without ceasing to be a standard gauge rail. This is what I assume A no 1 was suggesting when he said to "duel gauge crossings".

It's like saying "their going home now", except much funnier.
"cassowary"


Cassowary - I found your post amusing and a good example of irony at the poor spelling on this board.

Unfortunately, this board is of such a poor standard these days, your humour went right past the other posters, who are probably generation Y or Z or whatever and get what passes for laughter from watching sight gags on youtube.

And they probably don't know their history (as it is poorly taught and not learnt) so don't know what 'duelling' is.
  Burkey Station Master

With respect to the rest of the state, there are potentially some surprising gauge conversions on the horizon


Have you any info as to what will happen in this regard Steamkiwi??
  railpixel Station Master

Location: Ballarat, VIC
As Duncs posted above, sleeper relaying is now at Warrenheip loop and about to head into Ballarat with plenty of sleepers already placed trackside. Work was still being carried out late this arvo on the two dual gauge Lal Lal crossings (the loop crosses the road intersection, hence two crossings) with the Yendon crossing scheduled for replacement this weekend.

A few pics from this afternoon at Warrenheip at the bottom of the page below.

http://railpixel.fotopic.net/c1472508.html
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

From those photos, and judging by the number of sleepers trackside, it looks more like a 100% re -sleepering in progress. I wonder if that is the case up and down the entire line? IIRC The original plan was to replace roughly 1/2 of all the sleepers. But I think that was way optimistic!
  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria
From those photos, and judging by the number of sleepers trackside, it looks more like a 100% re -sleepering in progress. I wonder if that is the case up and down the entire line? IIRC The original plan was to replace roughly 1/2 of all the sleepers. But I think that was way optimistic!
"Duncs"



IIRC the replacement was supposed to be 1 in 4. Had a look at the stretch from Warrenheip to Ballarat this afternoon on the way home, with speeds at 80 km/hr due to heats, got a good look out of the VLocity. Two things struck me:

• The sleepers laid out most of the way looked to be more like 1 in 2 average.
• They are pretty excremental quality sleepers in general. About what would be expected with the redgum resource pretty well depleted.

Now if only the treated pine sleeper program was a bit more advanced! Sleeper life of 40 years plus instead of 15.
  A no 1 Chief Commissioner

Location: I see a Seagoon
IIRC the replacement was supposed to be 1 in 4. Had a look at the stretch from Warrenheip to Ballarat this afternoon on the way home, with speeds at 80 km/hr due to heats, got a good look out of the VLocity. Two things struck me:

• The sleepers laid out most of the way looked to be more like 1 in 2 average.
• They are pretty excremental quality sleepers in general. About what would be expected with the redgum resource pretty well depleted.

Now if only the treated pine sleeper program was a bit more advanced! Sleeper life of 40 years plus instead of 15.
[/quote]Interesting this months Australian Railway History has an article about the production of sleepers from hardwood in NSW but would be relevant for VIC
They quote a sleeper of first class quality lasting no more than 20 years
Interesting ammo for Steamingkiwi's use of pine treated sleepers
  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria
Have you any info as to what will happen in this regard Steamkiwi??
"Burkey"



I can't go in to details on all of this - questions of professional confidences - but some of them should be pretty obvious.

• Mildura with extension northwards is a no-brainer.
• The north east from Seymour to Albury likewise.
• Seymour to Tocumwal to form the first stage of the Inland to Brisbane.
• The SA government are already working on Penola to Wolseley for pulp mill traffic.
• Mt Gambier to Heywood is another no-brainer with chip traffic. Portland exports for hardwood chips go from stuff all to 3.5 million TPA in the next 2 years. Will the roads stand that sort of traffic around Portland? If anyone thinks they will, a strong reality pill is required. Figures of a truck in to the port every 95 seconds are the reality, not some fantasy, or as has been said, scaremongering. The real answer is a mix of road and rail, likely with some short haul rail from say Heywood. Albany in WA is an object lesson in to doing this with a haul distance of some 25 km from mill to the port.

However, that's another story.

A switched on operator would get major tonnages out of each of these conversions, and the rest follows from there. The "unlikely" ones just need a bit of lateral thinking with the industries located on them.
  409 Minister for Railways

They quote a sleeper of first class quality lasting no more than 20 years.
"A no 1"


Common sense hasn't stopped TransAdelaide, we still have timber sleepers with date nails from 1969 around the system.

The SA government are already working on Penola to Wolseley for pulp mill traffic.
"steamkiwi"


I should point out that the money has been allocated for the conversion work but no 'on the ground work' has actually started yet.
  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria

Common sense hasn't stopped TransAdelaide, we still have timber sleepers with date nails from 1969 around the system.
"409"



The quality of wood in those sleepers from 35 years ago is very different to that from current milling - all of the good quality is gone, and what is now coming out of the dwindling forests is not lasting anywhere near as well.

In many cases even 20 years is being way too optimistic, the Melbourne suburban network is looking at 10 years out of the current supplies.
  409 Minister for Railways


Common sense hasn't stopped TransAdelaide, we still have timber sleepers with date nails from 1969 around the system.
"409"



The quality of wood in those sleepers from 35 years ago is very different to that from current milling - all of the good quality is gone, and what is now coming out of the dwindling forests is not lasting anywhere near as well.
"steamkiwi"


You sure about that?


  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria

You sure about that?

"409"



Your point is?
Photos of a couple of random sleepers don't mean much.
When were the sleepers put in?
What is their history?
  409 Minister for Railways

Both sleepers are at Greenfields railway station. The one in the first photo was inserted in 1969 and was only replaced during December last year (the photo was taken in January 2007). The second sleeper doesn't have a date nail on it (possibly inserted in the 1980s) and the photo was taken in January this year. Other then being used on the TransAdelaide suburban line to Gawler Central, I really can't say much more on the sleepers.
  steamkiwi Train Controller

Location: Western Victoria
Both sleepers are at Greenfields railway station. The one in the first photo was inserted in 1969 and was only replaced during December last year (the photo was taken in January 2007). The second sleeper doesn't have a date nail on it (possibly inserted in the 1980s) and the photo was taken in January this year. Other then being used on the TransAdelaide suburban line to Gawler Central, I really can't say much more on the sleepers.
"409"



Thanks for that info, 409.
What you have said pretty much confirms my thoughts and comments. The first sleeper from 1969 looks to be in reasonable condition apart from the broken end, and this break would appear to be from a flaw in the wood - probably a large knot. It probably should not have been used as a sleeper anyway.
The second one, some 15 or so years later, has suffered from a general deterioration typical of the lower quality wood after a relatively short time in the ground.

I would say that it shows just how much the sleeper quality had dropped in those 15 years.
Roll out the treated pine! Or wait for another 10-15 years and use treated bluegum.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
I think the figure of 1 in 4 is the minimum needed to hold gauge.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
A switched on operator would get major tonnages out of each of these conversions, and the rest follows from there. The "unlikely" ones just need a bit of lateral thinking with the industries located on them. [/color]
"steamkiwi"


++The great unanswered question is how new business can be supported and actively implemented. At the Morwell hearing of the Fischer Committee, a number of the presenters from industry commented there is presently no agency that has carriage of freight business development.
That issue was contained in Fischer's final report, but more as an  observation than as a something to be actioned and appropriately resourced. It's fair to assume that PN is not actively developing a business case for reopening the Heywood-Mt Gambier line in partnership  with the forestry industry and Vic/SA governments. There are numerous examples around the State where major developments have been implemented and rail wasn't properly consideded. A good example is Murray-Goulburn (largest food exporter in the State), who built a State distribution centre several years ago at Altona that is off-rail. How much of that traffic could have been captured for rail if Murray-Goulburn had been given a logistics package centred around rail?  
Until Government starts the process for developing the business, the rail freight sector will continue the slide into quicksand.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I read from the press releases that the re sleepering of the line would be  2 in 5. Which roughly matches what we have seen at Ballarat.

BTW When was the last serious maintainance done on the line? Late 80's perhaps?
  railpixel Station Master

Location: Ballarat, VIC
T356 was leading a ballast drop towards Warrenheip from Ballarat this morning. T342-T377 followed up the rear

[img]http://thumbs.fotopic.net/832049000763.jpg[/img]

[img]http://thumbs.fotopic.net/835049000763.jpg[/img]

[img]http://thumbs.fotopic.net/833049000763.jpg[/img]

cheers
  Brian 2009 Chief Commissioner

Location: N.S.W.
Gidday,
This question may be a bit premature, but will there be a regular V'locity Passenger service after the upgrade has been completed.

And if so what sort of effect will it have on the Swan hill service.

Anybody got any info on this.

Regards,
Wilfy 2007.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Gidday,
This question may be a bit premature, but will there be a regular V'locity Passenger service after the upgrade has been completed.

And if so what sort of effect will it have on the Swan hill service.

Anybody got any info on this.

Regards,
Wilfy 2007.
"Wilfy2007"


 Search is your friend Exclamation

This topic, including your comments has been discussed ad nauseum (second time today) in several threads over the past few years.

Mike.    
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
The lastest news (as of yesterday) is that the ballast train returns to Melbourne this Tuesday behind T395, 342 and 356. Ballasting has been tipped to occur past Ballarat towards Maryborough in the next few weeks. Motive power unknown at this stage, but expect T's of some variety.

A mailout from John Holland (the contractor doing the upgrade) was recieved last week with news of two level crossing closures. These being: Midland Highway at Sulky and Victoria Street in Creswick. This is to place dual gauge concrete sleepers into the road crossings.

The pre-made track panels are on site at both locations presently. Victoria St, Creswick works start at 0600 on the 6th of May and concludes at 1800 on 7th May. Midland HWY works start at 0600 on the 10th of May and concludes at 1800 on the 11th of May.

I suspect ballast trains will commence in earnest after the crossing upgrades.
  ashbeer Assistant Commissioner

The lastest news (as of yesterday) is that the ballast train returns to Melbourne this Tuesday behind T395, 342 and 356.
"TheRev"
The train made a brief appearanceon the up into Gheringhap Loop earlier this morning and after 18 minutes went back on the down. Don't know what that was all about?
  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
No idea. Possibly finishing something up.

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