Out of interest

 
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Like check rail Lee? I have no idea why either. I know Smith St at Wivenhoe is shocking too. I've always believed the crossings are rough due to the mass of weight at either end, pushing either end up and causing the asphalt to ripple up.

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  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Team,

After seeing the condition of some of our level crossings I have a question.

Years ago you would see level crossings with the double track to hold the bitumen in place. These days it simply keeps getting corrugated and wrecked. The one I have in mind is Penguin which is a real mess.
Is there a reason they stopped using that double track method?

LFD459
LFD459
Do you mean 1 rail next to another or 2 separate rail lines crossing the road. If you mean the former then it could be the use of concrete sleepers which would not have the facility to clip another rail close to the running rail, the same would go for steel if they were ever used at level crossings. Wooden sleepers no problem but finding suitable species old growth timber could be a problem.
  LFD459 Locomotive Fireman

Either way, the condition is terrible.

I suppose you're right about the concrete sleepers BP4417 but you'd think they would order specialized ones.

Anyway I thought I would ask the question to see if there was any logic.

LFD
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Either way, the condition is terrible.

I suppose you're right about the concrete sleepers BP4417 but you'd think they would order specialized ones.

Anyway I thought I would ask the question to see if there was any logic.

LFD
LFD459
I think I have seen used on the Melbourne tram system angle iron bolted or maybe welded to the side of the running rail to give flange clearance. It would do the same job for holding bitumen in place.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
Its rumoured that the points at Cold Water Creek Junction are to be removed so as to remove the speed restriction while passing through the Junction. I guess Tasrail see no viable future for the North East Line. I suggest this will soon see its complete removal and conversion to a bike track.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Its rumoured that the points at Cold Water Creek Junction are to be removed so as to remove the speed restriction while passing through the Junction. I guess Tasrail see no viable future for the North East Line. I suggest this will soon see its complete removal and conversion to a bike track.
BP4417

With all the timber resources in the North East, not to mention potential mineral reserves, lifting the N.E. Line would be madness. All that money wasted on the so-called North East Freight Roads, which will be just need to be spent all over again when the endless truck convoys smash the roads up, could have been spent for much longer term effect on the N.E. Line.

Seems the bureaucracy in this state have about as much sense of efficient transport infrastructure economics as the average possum has of algebra.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Seems the bureaucracy in this state have about as much sense of efficient transport infrastructure economics as the average possum has of algebra.
12CSVT

Tasmania is not alone there!
  theesp Train Controller

Got to keep the red neck truckers happy.
  i_know_nothing Train Controller

More to do with looking after the unions (Labor), looking after business (Liberal) and helping old school chums or mates from the club.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
More to do with looking after the unions (Labor), looking after business (Liberal) and helping old school chums or mates from the club.
i_know_nothing

Well the Tasmanian branch Rail Tram & Bus Union is getting no help! Meanwhile the Transport Workers Union (Vic Branch) - [Tas. branch folded - I took over their members at Boyer BTW] doesn't give a rats - so Labor isn't helping any of their supporters!
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
I note in todays Launceston Examiner that the Greens have announced a 2.5 million rail plan.
The most interesting part of the plan is the rail training centre where specialist skills would be passed on.
This commitment is very exciting as persons with practical knowledge regarding traditional maintenance of Heritage Rolling Stock are disappearing rapidly, most I know are over the hump of 65 y.o.
The RISSB Boiler Code of Practice was was a collaboration by people whom had practical experience in Steam Locomotive Boiler Maintenance, Repair and New built boilers.
http://www.athra.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/boilercode.pdf
  Electric C Junior Train Controller

Location: The Shed - land of junk, smoke and wonder
But they are all to rip up the NE line for bloody bikes!
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
The Greens also promised to support the Hobart Northern Suburbs Railway proposal, but when their leader got the ministerial portfolio that could have facilitated it, McKim actively sided with the proposals bitter opponents in DIER and Metro and did everything in his power to kill the proposal completely.

So forgive me, if I consider a Green promise to support something a joke. Now OPPOSING something is something they are world experts in!
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

So forgive me, if I consider a Green promise to support something a joke. Now OPPOSING something is something they are world experts in!
12CSVT

Steve there is a party who have been continually running down Tasmania and its economy for the past 4 years, people tend to believe what they are told whether its true or not, its similar to the Pavlov's dog theory.


Even if its a Greens proposal Tasmania's Heritage Rail sector should look at the positives in the proposal, build on the positives and lobby vigorously, continuously to whichever party is in power up to the 2018 election.

If you were privy with some of the correspondence and photos showing some of the repairs that have gone on in the Heritage Rail Sector over the past few years as I have you would shudder.
A friend of mine now calls the Industry"Mums and Dads Railways" because previously most railways had people who were in the rail industry during the steam era, they have died leaving the second and third generation people with little expertise, knowledge or skills but now managing and operating heritage railways.
I will give you an example " A Manager recently asked how a threaded reduced shank boiler stay can be screwed into a firebox, he could not understand how the stay which has no thread in the middle section could engage the threads in the inner and outer firebox plates.? Did not understand the potential problems "Stress Raisers" can cause and why they should be removed.

A simple question, how many in this forum know how to conduct a Vacuum brake orifice test, a vacuum brake leak test, How often should an air brake cylinder be dismantled and greased. What type of grease should be used? These are only maintenance procedures, not repair or rebuilds.
People with this knowledge are not going to be here forever that is why proposals like the Greens is important.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
People with this knowledge are not going to be here forever that is why proposals like the Greens is important.
BP4417

I've been saying this for a number of years now. The problem with political promises is that they sound good, (they need to to buy votes) but are rarely followed through on once those making the promises are elected, regardless of political persuasion.

A heritage railway is a living museum and needs to be treated as such.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
I've been saying this for a number of years now. The problem with political promises is that they sound good, (they need to to buy votes) but are rarely followed through on once those making the promises are elected, regardless of political persuasion.

A heritage railway is a living museum and needs to be treated as such.
Graham4405

Graham4405, your first point - couldn't agree more - from a now very disillusioned one time "True Believer".

Your second point - unfortunately with the increasingly strident demands of rail safety accreditation - that is no longer possible. To maintain pure heritage / museum principles nowadays, the collection will be forced to remain static.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Your second point - unfortunately with the increasingly strident demands of rail safety accreditation - that is no longer possible. To maintain pure heritage / museum principles nowadays, the collection will be forced to remain static.
12CSVT

Understood, but I was thinking more along the lines of funding being made available not only to maintain a collection, but to ensure skills are passed down to interested volunteers (or paid staff). Museums in general don't appear to suffer from this particular problem.

On a recent visit to the UK I was suitably impressed by the proliferation of apparently well organised and run heritage rail operations. For obvious reasons we can't support such proliferation here in Australia, however we should be able to support the doing it well bit! If heritage is worth doing, it is worth doing well, thus appropriate funding must be made available for both static and living exhibits (rail or otherwise).
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Understood, but I was thinking more along the lines of funding being made available not only to maintain a collection, but to ensure skills are passed down to interested volunteers (or paid staff). Museums in general don't appear to suffer from this particular problem.
Graham4405

Again, we have the issue of the Rail Regulators having no interest in recognising "passed down skills". The Regulators are now insisting on persons working on heritage rail rolling stock now have to possess professional mechanical, electrical or engineering qualifications that can really only be obtained via the professional workplace. Operational skills, which also were able to be "passed down" and acquired through operational experience, must now be "taught" via authorised Registered Training Organisations.

What is needed, rather than some "rail training centre", is a source of funding to cover the costs of T&HR railways engaging an appropriate RTO geared to their needs. That could be simply achieved, rather than having to re-invent the wheel and set up some Mickey Mouse "rail training center" - that would have to become an RTO anyway to be worthwhile. The other option is to provide an appropriate RTO, whether a state owned one like TAFE of a private one like "Go-Train" with funding to provide ongoing training support to the eligible T&HRs at minimal or no cost.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Again, we have the issue of the Rail Regulators having no interest in recognising "passed down skills". The Regulators are now insisting on persons working on heritage rail rolling stock now have to possess professional mechanical, electrical or engineering qualifications that can really only be obtained via the professional workplace. Operational skills, which also were able to be "passed down" and acquired through operational experience, must now be "taught" via authorised Registered Training Organisations.

What is needed, rather than some "rail training centre", is a source of funding to cover the costs of T&HR railways engaging an appropriate RTO geared to their needs. That could be simply achieved, rather than having to re-invent the wheel and set up some Mickey Mouse "rail training center" - that would have to become an RTO anyway to be worthwhile. The other option is to provide an appropriate RTO, whether a state owned one like TAFE of a private one like "Go-Train" with funding to provide ongoing training support to the eligible T&HRs at minimal or no cost.
12CSVT

Training is passing on skills isn't it? Anywho, what you said is approximately what I was getting at anyway!
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Training is passing on skills isn't it? Anywho, what you said is approximately what I was getting at anyway!
Graham4405

The point I was trying to make, is that the old way of doing things, i.e. a volunteer off the street rocking up at their local T&HR and learning the essential restoration and operational skills by following the example of senior volunteers (with railway or engineering backgrounds), doesnt cut the mustard with the Regulators anymore (regardless of mine, my equivalents in kindred organisations or ATHRA's arguments to the contrary) despite having worked perfectly okay for years. My impression of the proposed "rail training centre" was of some sort of establishment, over and above the existing T&HR's where experienced restorers passed on their skills - in duplicating what already occurs in the T&HR's anyway and not helping or achieving anything unless, as I mentioned, it became a formalised RTO - of which their are already quite a few in existence as it is.

Thanks to the Govt bureaucracy, now persons in charge of restorations need to have advanced mechanical or engineering certifications to demonstrate their "competence" at doing restorations in a safe manner (thus excluding many experienced and capable volunteers from leading or managing restoration projects, regardless of their successful past endeavours - because they don't have a "piece of paper"). Even then, despite that, the Regulators are still not likely to approve a restored item of rolling stock out on the line until an independent railway engineer signs off on it (likely at great cost to the T&HR involved).

Operationally, unless your railway is 2 foot or less, the Regulators continue to insist (despite ATHRA's continuing lobbying efforts), on the need to employ professional RTO's to sign off on everything from preparing a locomotive to laying a sleeper. Again, that comes at a substantial cost to T&HR's that aren't flush with funds to start with.

So getting back to my original reaction to the article that started this discussion, I am of the opinion, that any proposal to develop a "rail training centre", whilst it does have some merit - is not likely to assist the T&HR's in the short term in that by concentrating on a new "bricks & mortar"  establishment, is putting the cart before the horse. If the proposal instead, considered the provision of a training fund for T&HR's to access RTOs, or subsidised an RTO to provide T&HR's with the necessary training, THAT proposal would be far more workable and attract my full support.

But, here we have the usual problem with political campaigns. Politicians recognise an issue but never take the time to understand it. So they propose "solutions" that look and sound good, but do nothing to actually help - and in many circumstances, actually hinder the resolution of the issue.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
The point I was trying to make, is that the old way of doing things, i.e. a volunteer off the street rocking up at their local T&HR and learning the essential restoration and operational skills by following the example of senior volunteers (with railway or engineering backgrounds), doesnt cut the mustard with the Regulators anymore (regardless of mine, my equivalents in kindred organisations or ATHRA's arguments to the contrary) despite having worked perfectly okay for years. My impression of the proposed "rail training centre" was of some sort of establishment, over and above the existing T&HR's where experienced restorers passed on their skills - in duplicating what already occurs in the T&HR's anyway and not helping or achieving anything unless, as I mentioned, it became a formalised RTO - of which their are already quite a few in existence as it is.

Thanks to the Govt bureaucracy, now persons in charge of restorations need to have advanced mechanical or engineering certifications to demonstrate their "competence" at doing restorations in a safe manner (thus excluding many experienced and capable volunteers from leading or managing restoration projects, regardless of their successful past endeavours - because they don't have a "piece of paper"). Even then, despite that, the Regulators are still not likely to approve a restored item of rolling stock out on the line until an independent railway engineer signs off on it (likely at great cost to the T&HR involved).

Operationally, unless your railway is 2 foot or less, the Regulators continue to insist (despite ATHRA's continuing lobbying efforts), on the need to employ professional RTO's to sign off on everything from preparing a locomotive to laying a sleeper. Again, that comes at a substantial cost to T&HR's that aren't flush with funds to start with.

So getting back to my original reaction to the article that started this discussion, I am of the opinion, that any proposal to develop a "rail training centre", whilst it does have some merit - is not likely to assist the T&HR's in the short term in that by concentrating on a new "bricks & mortar" establishment, is putting the cart before the horse. If the proposal instead, considered the provision of a training fund for T&HR's to access RTOs, or subsidised an RTO to provide T&HR's with the necessary training, THAT proposal would be far more workable and attract my full support.
12CSVT

That is not my understanding of the Act or Regulations, I believe it says people have to be Competent and Competency can be gained by several means including RPL.
Its up to the Organisation to assess competencies.
Where there is no R.T.O. which covers a particular training aspect the Organisation can develop training packages following the guidelines set out by the Australian Quality Training Framework with assessment to be done by a level 4 assessor.
What RTO is going to develop packages for valve setting, tyre turning or driving the heads of screwed stays. Scraping of white metal bearings is no longer taught by trade training centres (RTO's) they won't because there is no money in it to develop and deliver the courses. Then there is the term "Whats Reasonably Practical.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
That is not my understanding of the Act or Regulations, I believe it says people have to be Competent and Competency can be gained by several means including RPL.
Its up to the Organisation to assess competencies.
Where there is no R.T.O. which covers a particular training aspect the Organisation can develop training packages following the guidelines set out by the Australian Quality Training Framework with assessment to be done by a level 4 assessor.
What RTO is going to develop packages for valve setting, tyre turning or driving the heads of screwed stays. Scraping of white metal bearings is no longer taught by trade training centres (RTO's) they won't because there is no money in it to develop and deliver the courses. Then there is the term "Whats Reasonably Practical.
BP4417

It was also previously my understanding that there was value in RPLs and that the organisation could assess competencies utilising its own Level IV assessor under ATQF guidelines. Thats what my own organisation was doing. Apparently, following discussions with the Regulator at our last audit, whilst that is acceptable for yard work, it is not good enough for main line access (and for DVR that includes the DV Line even if we get our own lease), so I have no choice but look towards engaging an RTO to qualify our people for everything from trackwork upwards. Yes there are a number of obscure mechanical skills that no RTO will ever cover and the Regulator will concede on those, but normal operational skill sets within the Civil side (track) and Operational side (shunting, driving, etc.) must now be covered by an RTO.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
The world has gone mad...
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
The world has gone mad...
Graham4405

No...just the senior public service bureaucracy (and judiciary) which are an unelected, unaccountable and (morally) corrupt law unto themselves, that because they have all these university degrees (yet no real world business experience), feel they have the right to lecture and bully politicians and the great unwashed ignorant (in their view) populace, on what is good for them....and they get away with it, because most politicians are too weak and scared to stand up to them.

Hence my amusement at all the grand promises made by political parties in election mode, because regardless of all the political candidates great intentions, if a politician's grand plan doesn't suit the senior public service - it doesn't happen.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

Hence my amusement at all the grand promises made by political parties in election mode, because regardless of all the political candidates great intentions, if a politician's grand plan doesn't suit the senior public service - it doesn't happen.
12CSVT

I agree its all Yes Minister stuff to politicians however I have seen on at least 2 occasions were the bureaucrats have been rolled by Public Pressure.

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