A Series of Stupid Questions

 
  SouthAussie94 Station Staff


I've got quite a few questions relating to the Adelaide train network. Any help answering them would be greatly appreciated!!


Here we go..

1. Islington.  Why does Islington receive a 15 minute frequency during the day, with both Gawler and Gawler Central trains stopping? From what I can gather, it's virtually in the middle of nowhere with no housing close by and only a few industrial buildings close to it. If this is the case, why does it receive a 15 minute frequency when other nearby stations (Dudley Park, Ovingham) with housing much closer only receive a 30 minute frequency? Obviously not every station can or will have the 15 frequency as this would slow the line down considerably, I'm just curious of the reasoning behind Islington being chosen.




2. Adelaide Station Bins. Why aren't there any bins on the platforms? There are several signs directing people to put rubbish in Bins on North Terrace.


3. Belair Line Standardisation. Before the Belair line was partially standardised in the mind 90's, how did the freight and passenger trains interact? Was there an up and down line, with each line being unidirectional? How did passenger trains pass slow moving freight trains, or was the passenger timetable set in such a way that the passing of freight trains wasn't required?
Related, how did freight trains travel on the Gawler line? Did the line have 3 tracks as it does now?



Also related, how was freight travelling from Melbourne to Perth transported? Was it necessary for this freight to be taken off of the Broad Gauge wagons and then re-loaded onto Standard Gauge wagons and if so, where did this take place? Or was it possible to travel from the East to the West coast without changing track gauge?  

Sorry if these seem particularly stupid or if they've been answered elsewhere. I shall post more as they come to mind

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  AFULE Chief Train Controller

Location: South Australia

I've got quite a few questions relating to the Adelaide train network. Any help answering them would be greatly appreciated!!


Here we go..

1. Islington.  Why does Islington receive a 15 minute frequency during the day, with both Gawler and Gawler Central trains stopping? From what I can gather, it's virtually in the middle of nowhere with no housing close by and only a few industrial buildings close to it. If this is the case, why does it receive a 15 minute frequency when other nearby stations (Dudley Park, Ovingham) with housing much closer only receive a 30 minute frequency? Obviously not every station can or will have the 15 frequency as this would slow the line down considerably, I'm just curious of the reasoning behind Islington being chosen.



My understanding is that the bus goes along Regency Road and it was a connecting point, I also understand that the old rail yard was sold and a new high density housing block was going to be developed there, I heard that the development plan was pulled and understand that they may want to have 10 story high rise housing there in the future.

2. Adelaide Station Bins. Why aren't there any bins on the platforms? There are several signs directing people to put rubbish in Bins on North Terrace.

They were removed because of 9/11, fear that bombs may be put in them.

3. Belair Line Standardisation. Before the Belair line was partially standardised in the mind 90's, how did the freight and passenger trains interact? Was there an up and down line, with each line being unidirectional? How did passenger trains pass slow moving freight trains, or was the passenger timetable set in such a way that the passing of freight trains wasn't required?
Related, how did freight trains travel on the Gawler line? Did the line have 3 tracks as it does now?

The freight trains were slotted in between the normal Belair/Bridgewater services.

The current broad gauge line was the Down line and the standard gauge was the up line.

Only two tracks to Gawler and they operated the same way as the south line did, with out too many hassles.



Also related, how was freight travelling from Melbourne to Perth transported? Was it necessary for this freight to be taken off of the Broad Gauge wagons and then re-loaded onto Standard Gauge wagons and if so, where did this take place? Or was it possible to travel from the East to the West coast without changing track gauge?

Port Pirie was the location where the trans-shipping was undertaken by either bogie exchange or trans-shipping from wagon to wagon until the line from Pirie to Adelaide was standardised  which resulted in the function being relocated to Dry Creek South adjacent to the One Spot Shed and down from the MPC.

Sorry if these seem particularly stupid or if they've been answered elsewhere. I shall post more as they come to mind

SouthAussie94
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Answers 1 $ 2, don't know.

Answer 3
Freight movements dovetailed in with pax services. Freights were much shorter, about 500m max and there seemed to be less of them. Also the pax service was less intense. The tracks were separate up and down but in the last few years some bi directional working was possible but I only saw it used during track maintenance. (Once went bang road from Eden Hills tunnel to Blackwood on a Sunday morning Southern Encounter)

Freight movements on Gawler line fitted in. This is in spite of the up entry to Dry Creek yard being manual operation by the train crew.

Answer 4
There was a bogie exchange at Port Pirie which later moved to Dry Creek. See "Australian Railway  History" June, July issues for articles about containerisation, Flexivans and the like which eased transhipment.

Looking back, it becomes obvious that interstate freight traffic and tonnage has grown in the last 40 years.

Regarding answer 3 I once stopped a what could have been a difficult situation with a stalled freight just above Mitcham. The freight had stalled and every time it tried to move it ran back. A DMU had come up behind it and found the freight rolling back on to it. I drove to the front of the freight and alerted the crew there was a DMU "right up their date" and that they were likely to roll back on to it. Other here might know why the engine would rev but there was no traction. I can only guess that the field contactors were not setting up correctly so the ammeter would show current but the motors would have no torque.

Ian
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Regarding question 3:

One thing that can happen now with the Belair line is that a freight train can run parallel to a passenger train. If you've ever been on a train that does this in recent years you'll notice that the non-stop freight train wins easily most times. I was on a train in this situation on Sunday afternoon - the four stops in succession of Unley Park to Lynton was enough to take it from the lead locomotives being alongside through the Goodwood Underpass to hundreds of metres ahead (only just visible across the valley after Sleeps Hill tunnel) and never seen again.

Obviously older freight trains didn't have the buckets of power that the new ones do (it was two recently refurbished NR locos and one pre-refurb NR, and probably a fairly light train being containers returning empty to the east) but that was compensated for by them being much shorter trains, and the old Red Hen railcars being slower than the 3000/3100 class up the big hill. Not all trains charge up the hill like that though, sometimes things go wrong and they crawl up (like a SCT train I saw at the Coromandel Pde station last year) but the vast majority of the time they have no problem outrunning the local train over the whole Belair-Wayville stretch by a large margin - and in either direction too.

----

I've always been in favour of the suburban and interstate railways being reintegrated through the Adelaide Hills at some point in the future if/when the suburban network is finally standardised. I think the benefits to both freight and passenger traffic of having up/down lanes would outweigh the negatives, especially as technology advances make trains more reliable and if obsolete lineside colour light signals are replaced by ERTMS Level 2. There may be a fair amount of opposition to that at the current time, but those conditions are always subject to change and the grudge-bearing old hands with history from the feud between the state and national rail bodies will eventually bugger off to grumble about it from their nursing homes while the new generations get on with it.
  xdford Chief Train Controller

Also related, how was freight travelling from Melbourne to Perth transported? Was it necessary for this freight to be taken off of the Broad Gauge wagons and then re-loaded onto Standard Gauge wagons and if so, where did this take place? Or was it possible to travel from the East to the West coast without changing track gauge?  

There was a move starting in the mid 1970's where Melbourne/Perth  freight in increasing volumes started moving through Cootamundra  to Parkes to avoid the delays of the bogie exchange. The issue then became the speed across NSW because of the safeworking where every station was a stop for staff exchange whereas the Adelaide Melbourne route was CTC and much faster.

I cannot tell you the proportions of freight on either route but it was interesting that when National Rail started that it was intended to be a seaboard centric service circa 1996 but of course the Broken Hill - Parkes section is upgraded or being done for extra traffic.

Hope this helps!

Trevor
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I imagine over a period the use of bogie exchange crews made the job a lot easier.  did bogie exchanging make much of a difference in the end?  it is done in europe where raiul freight volumes are a lot higher in terms of proportion.

I seem to recall even van traffic was bogie exchanged for paper traffic between melbourne and also mount gambier.  I think this may have been completed in melbourne for the sg northbound traffic is this correct?

Regards
Brian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The removal of the bins always makes me laugh; no other city in Australia did it but for some reason the SA Government thought Adelaide station would be a prime target for Al Qaeda (what were they smoking?).
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I think the removal of the bins has actually made an overall improvement to the cleanliness of the station. These days they have cleaners who keep the place (including the trains) clean, while before they just assumed they didn't need them because people would all use the bins - which were usually overflowing so people still used the floor back then.

I think the risk with bombs or other strange deposits was not so much al Qaeda, but ferals out for a laugh with firecrackers - just because the security review was prompted by the 9/11 and Bali bombings doesn't mean the risks identified were actually the same. A bin over by the manual gates which are usually staffed would be a good compromise to give an option for people entering/leaving the platform area though.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I think the removal of the bins has actually made an overall improvement to the cleanliness of the station. These days they have cleaners who keep the place (including the trains) clean, while before they just assumed they didn't need them because people would all use the bins - which were usually overflowing so people still used the floor back then.

I think the risk with bombs or other strange deposits was not so much al Qaeda, but ferals out for a laugh with firecrackers - just because the security review was prompted by the 9/11 and Bali bombings doesn't mean the risks identified were actually the same. A bin over by the manual gates which are usually staffed would be a good compromise to give an option for people entering/leaving the platform area though.
justapassenger

Firecrackers in a rubbish bin - what so they have to remove them all as a precaution?  Stupid overreaction if true.  A more salient risk is bin fires from people improperly butting out but again, that's just something that needs to be managed instead of punishing everyone by removing all bins.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Firecrackers in a rubbish bin - what so they have to remove them all as a precaution?  Stupid overreaction if true.  
don_dunstan
You read it on the internet so now it must be true Razz
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

There was a move starting in the mid 1970's where Melbourne/Perth  freight in increasing volumes started moving through Cootamundra  to Parkes to avoid the delays of the bogie exchange. The issue then became the speed across NSW because of the safeworking where every station was a stop for staff exchange whereas the Adelaide Melbourne route was CTC and much faster.

xdfor

Also there were fewer long 1800m crossing loops, so crossing delays were much worse. More long loops now.

Also rails were lighter and timber sleepers fewer, so running speeds were lower.  In the last few years 100s of km of 60kg/m rail on concrete sleepers have been installed raising speeds, at a cost of $100ms.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The removal of the bins always makes me laugh; no other city in Australia did it but for some reason the SA Government thought Adelaide station would be a prime target for Al Qaeda (what were they smoking?).
don_dunstan

One better. There was once a locker room at Central Railway Station in Sydney which some pelican decided was a security risk.  They closed the locker room. most inconvenient.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
One better. There was once a locker room at Central Railway Station in Sydney which some pelican decided was a security risk.  They closed the locker room. most inconvenient.
"bevans"
Adelaide is no different in that regard, our lockers have gone too.

I firmly believe the bins were removed from Adelaide because they were originally placed such that they fouled the clearance specification.

A serious question is was this decision made by a rail or non rail person at DPTI? And do they still have their job? If so why? If not, did they move on to be the clown used to consult on enclosing the tree at Burnside Village?

No bins is ridiculous, if you think it's not, ask yourself this question, which (totally ignoring the fact that this is Adelaide) is a bigger target Adelaide Airport or Adelaide Railway Station? The former still manages to provide bins...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Firecrackers in a rubbish bin - what so they have to remove them all as a precaution?  Stupid overreaction if true.  A more salient risk is bin fires from people improperly butting out but again, that's just something that needs to be managed instead of punishing everyone by removing all bins.
"don_dunstan"
This is Adelaide, we're civilised and do not (can not) smoke in undercover PT shelters/areas.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Firecrackers in a rubbish bin - what so they have to remove them all as a precaution?  Stupid overreaction if true.  A more salient risk is bin fires from people improperly butting out but again, that's just something that needs to be managed instead of punishing everyone by removing all bins.
don_dunstan

Seriously.  If only some country that dealt with things a little more serious than firecrackers had worked out a way to continue providing bins and minimise the risk of things that go boom being placed in them...  Not sure if this is what the use in England but that's what you see (http://www.123rf.com/photo_14240693_trash-can-or-garbage-bin-made-of-transparency-plastic-used-in-city-or-crowded-area-for-safety-purpos.html)
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner


I've got quite a few questions relating to the Adelaide train network. Any help answering them would be greatly appreciated!!


Here we go..

1. Islington.  Why does Islington receive a 15 minute frequency during the day, with both Gawler and Gawler Central trains stopping? From what I can gather, it's virtually in the middle of nowhere with no housing close by and only a few industrial buildings close to it. If this is the case, why does it receive a 15 minute frequency when other nearby stations (Dudley Park, Ovingham) with housing much closer only receive a 30 minute frequency? Obviously not every station can or will have the 15 frequency as this would slow the line down considerably, I'm just curious of the reasoning behind Islington being chosen.

SouthAussie94
The answer to this is that it's part of the current skip-stop daytime timetable. A skip-stop timetable divides a route into principle stations where all trains call and the other stations between the principle stations (one or two in each segment) which get served by only alternate trains. The aim is to compromise on everything - stopping pattern, journey time, clockface convenience and journeys to/from the major destinations - by making the 'A' trains lose time on the first segment (Adelaide to Ovingham, Dudley Park and Islington) when they are stopping, but then running express through the second segment (Islington to Mawson) which is served by the 'B' trains instead so that the overall Adelaide-Gawler time is close to equal.

Islington gets that high frequency service simply because it's the right stop along the line, it has two of the lower frequency stops before it and two stops after it before the next high frequency station (Mawson). The buses on Regency Road wouldn't be a factor, they only go every half hour!

I think skip stop timetables are silly too. A better way for the midday hours would be a more traditional railway timetable with two local stopping trains each hour doing all stops to Elizabeth, and two full-distance trains per hour doing Mawson, Salisbury, Elizabeth and then all stops to Gawler Central.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax.

We've discussed this before. Express services interspersed with stoppers sounds all very well until you plot it out on a train graph.

The starting headway for a following express must be the difference between the stopper journey time and the express journey time plus the headway required close to the terminus, typically 2 to 4 minutes depending on signal spacing.

The gov't are offering 35 minute express services for Seaford. When you consider that a stopping train will take 55 minutes then the starting headway will have to be about 25 minutes. I don't think this frequency is acceptable.

The skip stop scheme works on Sydney North Shore line, that line also has some intermediate terminating places..

At least on the Seaford line there is Brighton where trains can overtake. with their not progressing with the Elizabeth turnback there is no place for overtaking movements.

Ian
  redadare Junior Train Controller

Location: Flagstaff Hill
Also there were fewer long 1800m crossing loops, so crossing delays were much worse. More long loops now.

Also rails were lighter and timber sleepers fewer, so running speeds were lower.  In the last few years 100s of km of 60kg/m rail on concrete sleepers have been installed raising speeds, at a cost of $100ms.
awsgc24
SA appears to have 9 1800m loops on the way to the border with Vic. A lot more than I first thought.
That line is 47kg rail whereas standard for metro Adelaide is 50kg with 60 kg for turnouts.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Aaron: I read about the tree at Burnside Village, very sad.  Adelaide always seems to have their fare share of engineering things that go wrong or aren't fit for purpose.  Also we have that law about not smoking in public transport shelters here - I think they actually bought it in here before Adelaide because I had to tell a visiting friend about it while we were waiting for a train (he was very cranky because it was raining!).  I don't support it simply because it's another one of those laws which for all practical purposes is unenforceable - my local tram stop is loaded with cigarette butts.  Your chances of being caught/fined are probably as good as being hit by a meteorite.

SAR523: We had bins like that at Melbourne stations for a while but I think they've given up on them now because they were easily broken.  Anyway, we've won the war on terror, didn't you hear?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aaron: I read about the tree at Burnside Village, very sad.  Adelaide always seems to have their fare share of engineering things that go wrong or aren't fit for purpose.
"don_dunstan"
I don't think it was so much an engineering issue that consigned the 100 year old red gum to death, I think it was more politics. I am sure the Burnside Council trolled through several architectural/environmental type experts who probably all roundly canned the concept. Until Burnside finally found a set that would say 'Yes, keeping the feet of a few shoppers dry on the occasional rainy day was more important and practical that allowing a tree outside space'. Hence we have what we have.

Sadly the several letters written by myself and numerous people I know suggesting the removal of the roof, including one from a colleague saying "If river red gum trees were meant to be indoor plants we'd all live in houses with 200' glass ceilings" sadly landed on the desks of those with blind eyes.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I don't think it was so much an engineering issue that consigned the 100 year old red gum to death, I think it was more politics.
"Aaron"

Of course it was. The development needed to go ahead, and it was decided the most politically acceptable way to get rid of the tree was to "let it die" rather than chop it down and face a protest from all the nimbys.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

This topic has gone out on a limb.

It just shows that we do not know much about River Red Gums. Trying to keep a tree that size alive with some artificial lights is like trying to drain the ocean with a bucket. You need enough lighting to give people sun burn. Plant lighting for indoors has to have specific energy bands, see grow light fluorescent tubes, and a few metal halide lamps do not make the grade. A token effort and like all tokens, except those giving access to a single  track*, it failed. (* had to get the rail theme in somewhere.)

Pity the trunk isn't being cut up to make sleepers.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The sleepers could be used on a branch line.

I should have twigged, I shall leaf the topic alone (for now)

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