Bushfires, October 2013

 
  maestro Junior Train Controller

The Southern Highlands line was closed between Campbelltown and Moss Vale, but has now reopened.

The Blue Mountains line is closed (bustitution) between Lithgow and Mt Victoria, and will remain closed until the signalling equipment is repaired.

Here (http://www.sydneytrains.info/service_updates/service_interruptions/service_interruptions_detailed;jsessionid=1F2870DC39CECB0F478A2465C0469B6D.node01?lineId=bm) are some photos of burnt out signalling huts along the line.

A fire is also burning on the SWRL.

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  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
This is the first time I've heard about houses being burnt in Mount Victoria. Last October there was heavy snow.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
193 homes lost in and around Springwood alone with 109 more severely damaged.  That's only in one area and there are unknown but "expensive" losses in the Southern Highlands fires.

IP was to be diverted via the escarpment and Stockingbal.  Can anyone say if it actually did this?

From friends in the Blue Mountains currently dealing with fires literally in their backyards in some cases this isn't over yet by a long way.  The Great Western Highway is open intermittently as and when it's considered safe and Bells LOR has reopened this morning but those could close again at any time.

With the GWH closed no bus service was possible east of Lithgow but that is currently in operation though not serving Bell.

The ZZR which has sustained significant damage has its own topic.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

193 homes lost in and around Springwood alone with 109 more severely damaged.  That's only in one area and there are unknown but "expensive" losses in the Southern Highlands fires.

IP was to be diverted via the escarpment and Stockingbal.  Can anyone say if it actually did this?

From friends in the Blue Mountains currently dealing with fires literally in their backyards in some cases this isn't over yet by a long way.  The Great Western Highway is open intermittently as and when it's considered safe and Bells LOR has reopened this morning but those could close again at any time.

With the GWH closed no bus service was possible east of Lithgow but that is currently in operation though not serving Bell.

The ZZR which has sustained significant damage has its own topic.
Gwiwer
Friday AM peak a reasonably good service was maintained in spite of a 4 car V set laid up in the Lawson Up relief with a seized axle. Most of the trains were about an hour late but customers did not notice as the late trains came along reasonably close to timetable time. Good effort by all NSW Trains staff to maintain a service under difficult conditions.

Arrived to open Valley Heights station with the glow of the Springwood fires behind the car park and kept an eye on the progress of the fire just in case.
  4BJ Chief Commissioner

Location: Backside trackside at Hawthorn near Mitcham
The annual NSW bushfire crisis is beyond a joke.  When will the Powers That Be learn that prevention is better than the cure?  Cut down the trees before they get burnt.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Latest from Sydney Trains

Due to bushfires causing rail infrastructure damage, trains are not operating between Bathurst, Lithgow and Mount Victoria. Buses are replacing trains and stop at Bathurst, Lithgow and Mount Victoria only. Customers travelling to Bell Station are advised to speak to station staff at Lithgow or Mount Victoria. Please allow additional travel time.
Sydney Trains
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
The annual NSW bushfire crisis is beyond a joke.  When will the Powers That Be learn that prevention is better than the cure?  Cut down the trees before they get burnt.
4BJ
Mate, you are a peanut. There is NO "annual NSW bushfire crisis". In the Blue Mountains, this is the first emergency in approx. 11 years, far from being "annual".

We do aim to prevent bushfires by undertaking hazard reduction works throughout the autumn, winter and early spring months, if these hazard reduction works were not undertaken then the magnitude of the fire would be much MUCH greater.

(For background, the intensity of a fire increases by the square of the increase in the fuel. So if you double the fuel, the fire is four times more intense, if you treble the fuel it is nine times more intense, and so on. The inverse applies, you halve the fuel, you decrease the intensity by 75%).

Preventative works have been undertaken, I personally have been to a few of them, and this has helped keep the fires to their current level, which is far more manageable than if the hazard reductions had not been undertaken.

What people fail to understand is that fire is a natural part of the life cycle of the Australian bush, the bush needs fire to regenerate, and it is also natures way of exercising population control.

As for "cutting down the trees before they get burnt", you can't be serious, that must be some good stuff you are taking!

Dave

(The above opinions are my own and not that of the Rural Fire Service)
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Mate, you are a peanut. There is NO "annual NSW bushfire crisis". In the Blue Mountains, this is the first emergency in approx. 11 years, far from being "annual".

We do aim to prevent bushfires by undertaking hazard reduction works throughout the autumn, winter and early spring months, if these hazard reduction works were not undertaken then the magnitude of the fire would be much MUCH greater.

(For background, the intensity of a fire increases by the square of the increase in the fuel. So if you double the fuel, the fire is four times more intense, if you treble the fuel it is nine times more intense, and so on. The inverse applies, you halve the fuel, you decrease the intensity by 75%).

Preventative works have been undertaken, I personally have been to a few of them, and this has helped keep the fires to their current level, which is far more manageable than if the hazard reductions had not been undertaken.

What people fail to understand is that fire is a natural part of the life cycle of the Australian bush, the bush needs fire to regenerate, and it is also natures way of exercising population control.

As for "cutting down the trees before they get burnt", you can't be serious, that must be some good stuff you are taking!

Dave

(The above opinions are my own and not that of the Rural Fire Service)
thadocta
The western side of Valley Heights started smoking up really badly this morning to a point were you could not see the other side of the valley. I note a fire warning been issued once again for this area.
  wally-wowser1 Train Controller

Location: overlooking the Mt vic washaway on Soldiers Pinch
Full Moon time again combined with a few warm days, theres a few who come out of the wood work in times like this.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I did see the Indian Pacific at Central station on Saturday so it must have been diverted.

This is the first time I've ever hear of property damage in Mount Victoria because of bushfires.
  Fireman Dave Chief Commissioner

Location: Shh, I'm hiding
I did see the Indian Pacific at Central station on Saturday so it must have been diverted.

This is the first time I've ever hear of property damage in Mount Victoria because of bushfires.
"GeoffreyHansen"


The IP ran via the south. It was through Goulburn about 0900.
  MC3801 Train Controller

I think there was an XPT that travelled along the Illawarra Line last week due to the bushfires in the Southern Highlands.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me

IP was to be diverted via the escarpment and Stockingbal.  Can anyone say if it actually did this?
"Gwiwer"

I did see the Indian Pacific at Central station on Saturday so it must have been diverted.
"GeoffreyHansen"

The IP ran via the south. It was through Goulburn about 0900.
"Fireman Dave"


Following item has been posted on GSR's website as a "News Item"
Changes to Indian Pacific route - Oct 2013
Due to the ongoing bushfires across New South Wales, Great Southern Rail has made some necessary changes to the Indian Pacific route.
Access restrictions have been placed on the Indian Pacific’s usual western rail path via Lithgow, Mount Victoria and Katoomba.
Until further notice, the Indian Pacific will take an alternative southerly route through New South Wales. Please note this may result in some delays depending on the service.
Should your journey be cancelled or significantly delayed by these circumstances, Great Southern Rail will contact you at the earliest opportunity.
"GSR website"

http://www.greatsouthernrail.com.au/site/news.jsp
  FullSeries Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
3SA8 went via East Hills around 4 hours late yesterday. Then obviously via Coota and Parks thence to Broken Hill.
  RabidRabbit2 Station Master

Does anyone know if any coalies or other freights are getting diverted through the East Hills line? Or Penshurst station?

Cheers,
Boris
  MC3801 Train Controller

At the moment, the Blue Mountains Line is expected to be closed until November 2nd.
  gold4leaf Station Master

Location: Somewhere on the Short North
At the moment, the Blue Mountains Line is expected to be closed until November 2nd.
MC3801

Have seen photos of damaged/destroyed lineside infrastructure (especially section huts) which require complete replacement, possibly tens/hundreds of kms of signal cabling would be needed to be laid as well, would be very surprised if this is replaced in a week.

So I suppose, to get trains running, have to revert to using good out fashion technology like train order tickets or similar ...
  bernerd Junior Train Controller

2 November? Since when? Last I checked it was 0001 28 October for freight and diesels, 0001 30 October for electrics....
  MC3801 Train Controller

According to Sydney Trains, Trackwork on the Blue Mountains Line between Mount Victoria and Lithgow has now been extended to Monday 11th November.
  bernerd Junior Train Controller

Just checked, still planned to be started 28 and 30 October per my above post.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Just checked, still planned to be started 28 and 30 October per my above post.
bernerd
Can confirm, an Up goods train went through Katoomba this morning, sometime between 0100 and 0200 (didn't note the time, although I commented on it over our work radio).

Dave
  V-Setcommuter Locomotive Fireman

Location: Blue Mountains
Can confirm, an Up goods train went through Katoomba this morning, sometime between 0100 and 0200 (didn't note the time, although I commented on it over our work radio).

Dave
thadocta
V Sets are still starting / terminating at Mt Victoria with buses replacing trains to Bell, Zig Zag, Lithgow and Bathurst.
  brissim Chief Train Controller

From the previous posts I'm deducing they are actually repairing the overhead to allow electrics to run which is pleasing to see. I wouldn't have been surprised if the Government had used the damage to the overhead as an excuse to permanently terminate the electrics at Mt Victoria.

Tony
  bernerd Junior Train Controller

Electrics will not run from 0001 tonight as originally planned. Will be some weeks. SPA working was deemed too risky in terms of affecting operations to the east. Freight and diesels to continue as per current.

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