NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
The commissioning of the 7.3 kilometre long Passing Lane 1 was deferred at a late stage of the NE project because of budgetary constraints as a result of cost overruns for signalling projects in the Hunter Valley and because of the emerging mud hole problems that required costly rectification which has been discussed at length on Railpage.  The loss of what is effectively 7km of double track capacity on the outskirts of Melbourne places severe constraints on both scheduling and planning of services as well as severe loss of actual operating flexibility.  If you research v/line timetables you'll see at least one serviced has an additional 15 minutes added because of the absence of Passing Lane 1.  I have direct experience of being on the up XPT into Melbourne and even though we were on time being held at Somerton to cross northbound trains because of the absence of Passing Lane 1. Of course we were then late into Southern Cross.

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

I can't understand why the demo crew came In and decommissioned Tullamarine loop before passing lane #1 was up and running.

If Tullamarine loop was still In service, the mentioned traffic congestion wouldn't be !

The future opening of passing lane #1 would be an upgrade that would supersede the old loop.
Nightfire
The old Tullamarine loop was only 870 metres long, the only traffic that would fit in it would be pass's and grain trains. Normally the morniing up VLine pass cross's the north bound XPT at Passing Lane 2 or 3 so the presence of Tullamarine would very likely have little effect on the current situation.

On the morning VLine pass one normally ends up waiting at the signals at West Footscray Junction as there is no other place until Passing Lane 2 for normal freights to cross the pass. Passing lane 1 would allow the controlers to largely avoid this situation.
Note, it is possible to get from Broadmedows to North Melbourne via Albion in a round 23 minutes so Passing Lane 1 is vital.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, a point I have just thought of......

We are in this ridiculos situation with Passing lane 1 and the resulting congestion for the want of probably less than 1 million dollars for the signallling, the loop after all is in place.

Talk about "spoiling the ship for the want of  a half pennies worth of tar"

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm, a point I have just thought of......

We are in this ridiculos situation with Passing lane 1 and the resulting congestion for the want of probably less than 1 million dollars for the signallling, the loop after all is in place.

Talk about "spoiling the ship for the want of  a half pennies worth of tar"

woodford
woodford
How long is passing lane 1?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
7.3KM as per ARTC advice
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

7.3KM as per ARTC advice
Trainplanner
Thanks for that. It should be more than enough for what is required.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Woodford for clarification.

With the Nth Melb flyover there are to be 2 x dg tracks with left hand running.  At the Dynon end half way down the ramp the RRL tracks diverge as bg only and follow the alignment of the old Outer Goods Lines to junction at Spion Kop Jct (under City Link) with the bg track RRL track pair ex Sxs  plats 15/16.  The other tracks descend as now and split as dg into the car sheds and sg towards Sims St Jct.  

At the Dudley St end the dg tracks off the flyover will cross Dudley St on the new track spans (beside fistful hall) independent of the East Suburban lines.

The throat entering Southern Cross country terminal is altered to have 3 x bg lines , and 2 x dg lines . (Instead of 4 bg , 1 sg)

The Down dg line on the flyover is altered to continue as two way single track on the Up side of Dudley independent of the East Suburban lines giving VLP trains access to platforms 7 & 8 between the East Suburban lines and car sidings .

The spaghetti junction in front of the old No.1 signal box is simplified and re-arranged also .

The outcome is that VLP  South Western, Western, Northern and sg trains will have independent access to Southern Cross platforms 1 - 7 and 15/16 without interfacing with Metro trains at all.  Seymour & Goulburn Valley trains will leave the East Suburban Lines at Franklin St as now.  

On 22/12/13  Most Geelongs will use the new ground level RRL tracks between South Kensington & platforms 15/16 at Sthn Cross.
All Western, Northern, North East & sg trains are buses from late December to late January to allow the big track changes at Southern Cross and Franklin St.

Late next year or early 2015  Western & Northern bg trains should be able to use RRL as far as Sunshine.  Finally when the now Deer Park - West Werribee section is finished the Geelong trains will then be able to use RRL tracks also from South Ken to West Werribee.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Woodford for clarification.

With the Nth Melb flyover there are to be 2 x dg tracks with left hand running.  At the Dynon end half way down the ramp the RRL tracks diverge as bg only and follow the alignment of the old Outer Goods Lines to junction at Spion Kop Jct (under City Link) with the bg track RRL track pair ex Sxs  plats 15/16.  The other tracks descend as now and split as dg into the car sheds and sg towards Sims St Jct.  

At the Dudley St end the dg tracks off the flyover will cross Dudley St on the new track spans (beside fistful hall) independent of the East Suburban lines.

The throat entering Southern Cross country terminal is altered to have 3 x bg lines , and 2 x dg lines . (Instead of 4 bg , 1 sg)

The Down dg line on the flyover is altered to continue as two way single track on the Up side of Dudley independent of the East Suburban lines giving VLP trains access to platforms 7 & 8 between the East Suburban lines and car sidings .

The spaghetti junction in front of the old No.1 signal box is simplified and re-arranged also .

The outcome is that VLP  South Western, Western, Northern and sg trains will have independent access to Southern Cross platforms 1 - 7 and 15/16 without interfacing with Metro trains at all.  Seymour & Goulburn Valley trains will leave the East Suburban Lines at Franklin St as now.  

On 22/12/13  Most Geelongs will use the new ground level RRL tracks between South Kensington & platforms 15/16 at Sthn Cross.
All Western, Northern, North East & sg trains are buses from late December to late January to allow the big track changes at Southern Cross and Franklin St.

Late next year or early 2015 Western & Northern bg trains should be able to use RRL as far as Sunshine.  Finally when the now Deer Park - West Werribee section is finished the Geelong trains will then be able to use RRL tracks also from South Ken to West Werribee.
kuldalai
With so much infrastructure work being planned in the 4 weeks from late this month, it's difficult to see the RRL project extending into 2015 at ALL.

Consequently IMO the RRL project will be completed some time in the first half of 2014.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks for the clarifaction, although a good deal of the info can be worked out on observation of what is going on.

A point I will make is (as usual in the past) my reports are based on observations of what is being constructed and ______NOT_______ on any wish list of mine of what I would like to see or what should be being done.

Infortunately on the RRL project there has been very little detailed reporting on the track work specially around the _____VERY______ important North Melbourne flyover area so I have been traveling down on the VLine pass on a regular basis to see what is going on.

The Western entry to Southern Cross/Spencer st station has been a well known "pigs breakfast" for years with the Western  country lines having to cross ____ALL____ the suburban lines to gain access, thus holding up the suburban passes which in turn holds up everything else. It being quite normal for the Seymour pass to be held up at a signal near the Arden st bridge for 5 or more minutes due to no path being availible. Updating the flyover should have been done years ago, Say when they did the loop.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

With so much infrastructure work being planned in the 4 weeks from late this month, it's difficult to see the RRL project extending into 2015 at ALL.

Consequently IMO the RRL project will be completed some time in the first half of 2014.

Mike.
The Vinelander
It looks a bit that way, it appears the only major civil engineering work on the bypass is the grade separation at Sayers rd (just north of the Werribee river bridge). The October flyover shows they are only know just thing of starting to think this.

As the state election is due probably late in November 2014 I am sure the current government would love the publicity from opening the bypass to show what a good  "public transport" governent they are.......................
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It looks a bit that way, it appears the only major civil engineering work on the bypass is the grade separation at Sayers rd (just north of the Werribee river bridge). The October flyover shows they are only know just thing of starting to think this.

As the state election is due probably late in November 2014 I am sure the current government would love the publicity from opening the bypass to show what a good  "public transport" governent they are.......................
woodford
IMO it's unlikely any early opening of the RRL will save the Napthine government. All of the seats the RRL travels through are in Labor electorates anyway.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The ballast train is back in Benalla along with one of the big tampers and corresponding ballast plough.

woodford
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
The ballast train is back in Benalla along with one of the big tampers and corresponding ballast plough.
woodford


The ballast train this afternoon, led by GL103.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The ballast train usually has a loco both ends, I did not think to check this but I will have a look today, They normally have use a T class.

woodford
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
The ballast train usually has a loco both ends, I did not think to check this but I will have a look today, They normally have use a T class.
woodford
That is correct, I did see the other end but had no chance to get a photo of it. Couldn't remember the number of the other loco, but it wasn't a T.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The loco is a NSW 830 class number 852.

In the loop currently there is the new Loram edge ballast cleaner, the ballast train, one of the large tampers and a ballast plough.

I have noticed a number of high rail excavators so far mostly from "Howel Rail" being unloaded at various points along the line south of Wang.


Last year (I think, time flies these days) ARTC replaced something like 25,000 tons of ballast in around a fortnight south of Mangalore, looks as though they are going to try something similiar north of Benalla.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

The loco is a NSW 830 class number 852.

In the loop currently there is the new Loram edge ballast cleaner, the ballast train, one of the large tampers and a ballast plough.

I have noticed a number of high rail excavators so far mostly from "Howel Rail" being unloaded at various points along the line south of Wang.


Last year (I think, time flies these days) ARTC replaced something like 25,000 tons of ballast in around a fortnight south of Mangalore, looks as though they are going to try something similiar north of Benalla.

woodford
woodford
Will that fix the last of the ballast problems?
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
Last year (I think, time flies these days) ARTC replaced something like 25,000 tons of ballast in around a fortnight south of Mangalore, looks as though they are going to try something similiar north of Benalla.
woodford
They seem to be, and that part of the line is quite deserving. Thanks for the informative post.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
The loco is a NSW 830 class number 852.
woodford
Just a quick point of order, if numbered 852 then it is an ex-SAR/ANR 830 class loco, almost identical to the NSWGR 48 class, both being ALCo DL531 models.

Dave
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just a quick point of order, if numbered 852 then it is an ex-SAR/ANR 830 class loco, almost identical to the NSWGR 48 class, both being ALCo DL531 models.

Dave
thadocta
Oops, you are correct, see very few SAR loco's around this way mostly VR, VLine, NSW and PN loco's.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Will that fix the last of the ballast problems?
Duncs

Will get most of it, one does see some sections still with holes in the ballast but these are getting rare, both lines now seem to be holding up very well.
Busy lines (and roads) will _____ALWAYS_____ require regular maintence this is something apparently all politicians and a lot of management do not seem to understand.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

They seem to be, and that part of the line is quite deserving. Thanks for the informative post.
Contrillion

I recently travelled over the whole line from Albury to Melbourne, the poorest section on both lines was between around Winton way to north of Glenrowan, there was also some roughness between Avenel and Euroa way on the West line, this at the moment is not effecting line speed though.

I see more equipment has been delivered to Benalla, excavators and those large 4 wheel loaders all over the place.

Last year over the works period they cleaned out all quarries of high quality ballast for over 200 kilometres radius, I assume they will do the same thing this year.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I recently travelled over the whole line from Albury to Melbourne, the poorest section on both lines was between around Winton way to north of Glenrowan, there was also some roughness between Avenel and Euroa way on the West line, this at the moment is not effecting line speed though.

I see more equipment has been delivered to Benalla, excavators and those large 4 wheel loaders all over the place.

Last year over the works period they cleaned out all quarries of high quality ballast for over 200 kilometres radius, I assume they will do the same thing this year.

woodford
woodford
Will that be enough to finally finish the job?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Will that be enough to finally finish the job?
Duncs
This is asking for an opinion which is not what I am on here for, but since you asked............

I do not think the job of upgrading the line would ever be finished to the standards a lot of the community expect. The Albury line is in effect a freight line with passenger traffic on it as well. ARTC has stated that the work over summer should fix most of the problems. I believe the ride on the line for most part has been satisfactory over a good portion of the line for a good while now, if VLine were given the funds for decent modern rolling stock say a long distance version of the VLocity (say 6 6 car SG sets, Note 1) the ride would be very good.
The line now has maintence teams based at Seymour and at Wang, I assume these work as far up as junee so the line should keep improving in the future IF ARTC is given the funds

The most serious problem is that the community is by far and away to short sited to allow either the state of federal governments to spend the money that the railways require to operate correctly. We will in the end pay dearly for this short sitedness.
As far as I am concerend one cannot blame the governements for this short sitedness, both state and federal bodies show no vision for the future, this is due totally to the populations lack of vision.
As has been said "the people get the government they deserve".

Note 1, Have a set permanently (securely) stationed at Albury/Wagga, this is daily swapped with a set comming from Melbourne, this arrangement would largely get around the current major reliablity issues.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I managed to site the ballast train in action yesterday. it was putting down "spots" of ballast around the area of the old Winton station. It appears to be doing 2 loads a day, the train is 21 cars so that puts around 1100 tons of ballast each trip.

I have not sited the tamper, Its NOT working between Benalla and Wang and its gone first thing every morning. I assume its working down Longwood Euroa area.

At least 4 level crossings on the West line  are getting new new track panels, these are Taminick gap road and the next two crossings towards Wang the other is Erreys rd north of Violet Town. Taminick gap was done yesterday. Its possible another is to be done.

woodford

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