SWRL Construction Progress

 
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Has anyone seen anything around where the extension may go? I'm thinking possibly north through Badgery's creek (new airport station?) and then either an interchange with the Western line between St Mary's and Werrington, or just join onto the end of the quad at St Mary's and run a loop back into the CBD. This whole area (north and south of St Mary's) is a near-term growth area.
maestro

I've seen two options somewhere. First one is to keep heading straight west to Luddenham, the other to Bringelly.  Both are obviously way out in the sticks in the middle of cattle farming territory right now, so unlikely much will happen there for many years. There's Oran Park development happening putting 20K houses in that area over the next 10 years, so there's a possibility of that being a destination too, though the plans that they display everywhere don't show any sign of rail.

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  G20 Station Master

I've seen two options somewhere. First one is to keep heading straight west to Luddenham, the other to Bringelly.  Both are obviously way out in the sticks in the middle of cattle farming territory right now, so unlikely much will happen there for many years. There's Oran Park development happening putting 20K houses in that area over the next 10 years, so there's a possibility of that being a destination too, though the plans that they display everywhere don't show any sign of rail.
jcouch
Bringelly was the original plan when the current line was proposed (with a long-term vision to eventually connect up to the western line via Badgery's Creek).

Its worth noting that the OHW structure id code for the line is GB (Glenfield - Bringelly), so the electrical branch at least thinks it will happen eventually.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I'm all in favour of good turnaround times (far better that a train is waiting for 20 minutes longer, compared to all the passengers having to wait due to follow-on delays), but there is the entire Rossmore yard for this. If this were the sole reason, then a single island platform (two tracks) would be sufficient (such as at Bondi Junction).
I suspect that they have four tracks here because they either intend to branch the line (north and south) or they plan a significant bus interchange, or both.


maestro

Quite right !  

The Rossmore sidings could be used as turnback, however the extra traffic may conflict with safety issues of stabling sidings, albeit these sidings are well designed with straight track and wide track centres, etc., all the better to see moving trains with.

It is interesting to compare Chatswood which has a turnback siding past the platforms which is used for "short" ERCL shuttles,

against Revesby which has no turnback siding past the platforms for the "short" Local shuttles.

Chatswood can have same platform interchange between ECRL shuttles and Shore trains in BOTH directions at the same time.

Revesby has same direction interchange between Local and Main trains in ONE OR OTHER direction, but NOT BOTH directions at the same time.

There is also the issue that if you are a pax terminated on P2, you may not have time to go over the stairs/lifts to P4 by the time that the next Macarthur train arrives and departs. With the high speed turnouts and slow-down transit road at Revesby, the arrival of the next Macarthur train is very efficient.

Were Chatswood and Revesby designed by the same organisation ?
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Quick update from what I could see on the train after the weekend closedown:

- Points that were sitting near Mac Fields station are now installed on the up mains just before P2. They are located next to the first of the two sets of points installed on the southern flyover up track where it merges into P1. They aren't connected to the flyover track - the usual couple of metre section missing on both sides.

- No additional OHW run through on the up side track that will run into P1 (What's the designation? Relief or new main? or ???). There was a heap of high voltage wiring that goes up and over there on the southern side of the flyover. I didn't get to see if that had been connected up or not. Will try to check on the way home tonight.

- No visible work on the northern flyover.  There's no timetabled weekend shutdowns between now and the new timetable start of Oct 20, so looks like it will be sitting unused for several more years. Sad

Didn't get to see what was happening on the down tracks as I was sitting on the left of the train today.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Well I was obviously quite asleep during the first few minutes of the journey - all the interesting stuff is happening at Lumeah and Minto! Lumeah is made whole again - all the old blocked off area from the SSFL work is opened - fresh fence and concrete laid for the platform.  Minto is on it's way there - some of the old boarding replaced by newer stuff much closer to the track (barely enough room for one person between it and the yellow line) and obvious construction equipment around the back of the fence. Shouldn't be far away, depending on when they can get the concrete in there. Anyone know if the SSFL has a shutdown during the day to allow them to work on it?

Edit (25th): Concrete poured at Minto early this morning. Also the footbridge being constructed north of Lumeah over the tracks from the carpark through to Wests Leagues Club has had the bridge section installed too. Just some steps remaining.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

- No visible work on the northern flyover.  There's no timetabled weekend shutdowns between now and the new timetable start of Oct 20, so looks like it will be sitting unused for several more years. Sad
jcouch
Thanks for the update, Jcouch.

My new theory is that the current timetable must have had some limitations that prevented them from cutting in the northern flyover. The new timetable will fix these, so the flyover can be commissioned in the first shutdown after the new timetable comes in.

That's my theory, anyway... But I can't see why they would let it sit unused for longer than necessary.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
For the northern flyover to be effective, they would also need the southern section leading into P1 to be wired up too. Perhaps the limitation is on that end rather than the northern end?
  maestro Junior Train Controller

October construction update was released today...

Leppington station will have pre-cast side panels installed, along with the bus canopy roof and glazing. Furniture and internal fitout to continue. Lift installation is complete.

EP station - same as Leppington, lift to be installed in Oct. Station car park light poles to be installed.

EP & Leppington substations are largely complete, with the transformers installed in mid August. Internal electrical installations started in Sep and are continuing. The second page of the update is dedicated to the substations with a photo of a transformer being lifted in by crane.

Skeleton track construction complete late Sep. Tamping, adjusting and grinding are continuing.

Overhead wiring installation will commence from the Hume. All signalling bungalows will be in by end of Oct. Communications backbone was installed in late Sep.

Dickson rd overbridge to have approach slabs poured and backfilled in Oct. Wing walls and traffic barriers also to be poured in Oct.

The closed section of Croatia ave is due to reopen at the end of Oct. The closed intersection near Leppington station is due to reopen mid-Oct.

The Glenfield interchange update talks about finishing and landscaping works, as well as installation of OHW, signals and track turnouts (it does mention that there are no closedowns in October, and it doesn't show any night works, so I am guessing that the turnouts are to go between the southern flyover and the tracks through platforms 1 & 4)
  bambul Station Master

Location: Sydney
Barry O'Farrell says the SWRL is now a year ahead of schedule. I think that means first half of 2015, or right around the next state election.

  8603 Locomotive Driver

Location: Canberra
Channel 9 ran an exclusive on it last night on their 6pm news.
  abesty1 Chief Commissioner

Location: The CityRail Network
Video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV8VD6FWxnI
  62440 Chief Commissioner

From another website by blooreeler

"SW rail link.
Sydney NSW
$100 million UNDER budget.
WHO was it that made that budget.
Who have they allocated contracts to in the past
How do you miss the target by $100 million
Do big enginerring firms make money?????
Public servants at work???
Makes the pollies wedding trips PALE into invisible insignifisence.
How many years have these public servants been allocating an extra $100 million dollars on a project like a 15 mile rail line extension.
How many other projects under their control
THE MIND BOGGLES
POOR buggers my taxpayers"


Seem like reasonable questions from a non-rail viewpoint
  maestro Junior Train Controller

From another website by blooreeler

"SW rail link.
Sydney NSW
$100 million UNDER budget.
WHO was it that made that budget.
Who have they allocated contracts to in the past
How do you miss the target by $100 million
Do big enginerring firms make money?????
Public servants at work???
Makes the pollies wedding trips PALE into invisible insignifisence.
How many years have these public servants been allocating an extra $100 million dollars on a project like a 15 mile rail line extension.
How many other projects under their control
THE MIND BOGGLES
POOR buggers my taxpayers"


Seem like reasonable questions from a non-rail viewpoint
62440
Seems like utter garbage from my viewpoint! This guy's a below average internet troll who can't be bothered to even consider the realities of a project of this magnitude before pointing the finger at people who, as far as I can tell, have done a superb job in getting things done under time and budget and with appropriate oversight to ensure that the unspent money is returned to the Government.

Have you ever put a pool in? Standard pool contracts specifically say that if they hit rock while excavating then the owner has to pay to remove the rock (this can double the value of a pool contract). - Now try and estimate labour and market rates over a multi-year project where they are excavating, tunnelling and building bridges for a dozen kilometres of railway line. How predictable are the markets over that length of time? How accurately can you predict what problems that councils and community groups will demand to be rectified? How stable are labour rates when other building sectors may ramp up and down? What sort of old water, gas, electricity, sewage, etc systems will they find when they start digging? I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg, but they'll have considered these and a lot more and made a serious attempt at estimating their costs and, luckily for us, they were able to do the project without as many issues as they estimated.

I'm a project manager (although my projects are about 1% of the value of this one)... Last year one of my projects made $750k (about 10% of the payment value) on favourable exchange rate variations from a rate estimated only two years prior!

They're only talking about being 5% under budget here, that's well within the normal variation of estimating this type of project. The troll seems to be trying to link it to claims of corruption.
  Oldfart Chief Commissioner

Location: Right base for BK 11R
Bringelly was the original plan when the current line was proposed (with a long-term vision to eventually connect up to the western line via Badgery's Creek).

Its worth noting that the OHW structure id code for the line is GB (Glenfield - Bringelly), so the electrical branch at least thinks it will happen eventually.
G20
If Badgery's Creek gets the go-ahead as an airport (and if logic and rational economics has anything to do with it, it will) then it would be a nice connection with the existing airport. The proposed runway orientation would allow a run in parallel to a terminal while it was a single runway or up the middle of them if a parallel runway was installed. (Similar layout to Brisbane's proposed parallel runway with the railway running in between them.)
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Sitting on the wrong side of the train to see clearly, but it looked like the signals to p4 at Glenfied are active. The black covers were off and I didn't see any white cross on them as we whizzed past. Anyone able to check on that?
  maestro Junior Train Controller

According to the RFS map There is currently a "scrub/grass fire" (32 hectares) around the intersection of Cowpasture Rd and Camden Valley Way. It appears to be along the SWRL alignment.

Hopefully the new railway helps to act as a fire break!

  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Weekend rail shutdown saw some significant work around Glenfield. Didn't catch all of it during the trip through this morning, will update with what I see on the way home.

- Shiny new copper OHW along P1 and further down the track from it's old termination point. Suspect that they've now put it up all the way down the new track to the junction from the current up mains - too busy looking down at tracks rather than up at wires coming into the platform Smile . Will confirm tonight.

- That second turnout from the track going into P1 on the country end has been extended with more sleepers and track about 10-15m. It now goes past one of the OHW stanchions but still just ends in the middle of the gravel about 20m from the end of the platform. Still completely baffled as to why it is even there. There's no obvious way for it to connect to the current up track in to P2 and there's already a crossover about 50m back from that anyway. Doesn't look anything like a set of catchpoints to protect a possibly terminated train on P1 (train would run off tracks and slam straight into the end of P1/P2 island).

- No change to the northern flyover, though much more scaffolding where they're doing some sort of work on the road bridge going over all that area.

Edit: Confirmed OHW on the up line coming into P1 is complete all the way through to where the turnout before the southern flyover. Couldn't see if there was any wiring up and over the flyover.
  FullSeries Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW

- That second turnout from the track going into P1 on the country end has been extended with more sleepers and track about 10-15m. It now goes past one of the OHW stanchions but still just ends in the middle of the gravel about 20m from the end of the platform. Still completely baffled as to why it is even there. There's no obvious way for it to connect to the current up track in to P2 and there's already a crossover about 50m back from that anyway. Doesn't look anything like a set of catchpoints to protect a possibly terminated train on P1 (train would run off tracks and slam straight into the end of P1/P2 island).
jcouch
From what I have read of the weekly notices. It's a set of nowhere points, similar to catchpoints, but I believe a friction buffer is to be installed.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Interesting, I guess. Certainly anything coming down the flyover won't be going that fast, but something coming from the south might have a reasonable head of steam still going.

Any indication on what their operating mode would be. I originally though (based on the planned track diagrams) that they would swap P1 and P2 in their current roles. P1 would be the through platform while P2 would be where stuff terminated (at least for now until the SWRL is opened). However, seeing this change (why protect P1 and not P2 with the same sort of setup?) it suggests to me that they'll still terminate on P1 and allow the P2 access to the northern flyover. Doesn't help, or makes even worse, the conflicting moves problem that has existed there for a long time.  Any light you could shed on that FullSeries?
  maestro Junior Train Controller

January construction update is out, with photos of some of the road bridges.

Leppington and EP stations - car park and access road construction continuing. Internal fit out and paving.
Two smaller substations - building completed in Nov, switchgear and cabling installation continuing.
Transmission substation, 60MVA transformer due to be delivered & installed at and Jan.
Dickson Rd bridge - complete and open as of 20 Dec
Eastwood Rd bridge - re-closing during January for "traffic barrier works"
Rossmore yard - Cabling, landscaping, signalling and light pole installation.
Croatia ave was reopened 29th Nov.
Rickard Rd is expected to reopen in March 2014 (Leppington station is basically next to this road)

Project wide - OHW, signalling and communications backbone installation. Endeavour energy is laying fibre optic cabling.

At Glenfield there are major track closedowns up until the 19th Jan to install cables, OHW and lineside equipment. Work includes track welding, tamping and grinding. A closedown this long would be an ideal time to bring the northern flyover into service, although the report doesn't mention anything about this.

The closedown should also see the new platform at Liverpool come into service.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
January construction update is out, with photos of some of the road bridges.

Leppington and EP stations - car park and access road construction continuing. Internal fit out and paving.
Two smaller substations - building completed in Nov, switchgear and cabling installation continuing.
Transmission substation, 60MVA transformer due to be delivered & installed at and Jan.
Dickson Rd bridge - complete and open as of 20 Dec
Eastwood Rd bridge - re-closing during January for "traffic barrier works"
Rossmore yard - Cabling, landscaping, signalling and light pole installation.
Croatia ave was reopened 29th Nov.
Rickard Rd is expected to reopen in March 2014 (Leppington station is basically next to this road)

Project wide - OHW, signalling and communications backbone installation. Endeavour energy is laying fibre optic cabling.

At Glenfield there are major track closedowns up until the 19th Jan to install cables, OHW and lineside equipment. Work includes track welding, tamping and grinding. A closedown this long would be an ideal time to bring the northern flyover into service, although the report doesn't mention anything about this.

The closedown should also see the new platform at Liverpool come into service.
"maestro"

When is the SWRL expected to open?
  sydnytrains Chief Commissioner

Location: McDonalds Front counter serving customers
When is the SWRL expected to open?
"seb2351"


Isn't it meant to open in 2016? That could be incorrect however.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
2017 was the original date, but they've publically stated they're 6 months ahead of schedule, and given visible progress, probably even more than that.

In January, the shutdowns are just weekends. They could bring the flyover in after they've got all the new signalling online as the OHW is all in place except for the merging point on the east hills end. Looks to be ready to go from what I can see from the train. Some time in the last few days they've put up a lot of fine netting on the hand rails over the northern flyover and there's quite a few things that look like plastic garbage bins there too. Not sure what the netting is for unless to prevent smaller particles from flying over the edge. Not fine enough to hold back sparks or fine dust from tamping and grinding though.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

2017 was the original date, but they've publically stated they're 6 months ahead of schedule, and given visible progress, probably even more than that.
jcouch
Yes, it looks very close to being ready, and I think someone mentioned previously the likelihood that it will be opened prior to the next state election (28 March 2015).

The project website states "works are 12 months ahead of schedule, with revenue services now commencing in 2015"


In January, the shutdowns are just weekends. They could bring the flyover in after they've got all the new signalling online as the OHW is all in place except for the merging point on the east hills end. Looks to be ready to go from what I can see from the train. Some time in the last few days they've put up a lot of fine netting on the hand rails over the northern flyover and there's quite a few things that look like plastic garbage bins there too. Not sure what the netting is for unless to prevent smaller particles from flying over the edge. Not fine enough to hold back sparks or fine dust from tamping and grinding though.
jcouch

Shutdowns (according to the project construction update) are as follows...

Thursday 2 to Friday 3 January - South Line only
Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 January - South Line, Airport & East Hills Line
Monday 6 to Friday 10 January - South Line only
Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January - South Line, Airport & East Hills Line
Monday 13 to Friday 17 January - South Line only
Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 January - South Line, Airport & East Hills Line
Thursday 2 to Sunday 12 January - Inner West, Bankstown and Cumberland Lines

The work to bring the new platform at Liverpool into use will also use this shutdown up until the 12th Jan (the new platform opens on the 13th)

Also, the SSFL will not be shut down and "audible track warning signals" (which I presume are detonators) will be used.

That netting is a mystery... It's not to protect the South Line, as it will be closed the entire time. Maybe it's to reduce the wind?

As far as an outage for cutting over to the new flyover and reconfiguring the tracks to use all four platforms... You don't get many opportunities this big.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Noticed this morning that the signals on the southern flyover were uncovered and functional. The down signals were showing double reds. The new signals on the current tracks still covered. Bet they'll be coming online over the next few weeks.

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