SWRL Construction Progress

 
  bernerd Junior Train Controller

@seb - actual opening to passenger, sorry, customer services is around Feb 2015. Flyovers commission 9 June 2014, line out to Leppington commissions Oct 26 2014.

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  Aurora8 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney
It's a set of nowhere points, similar to catchpoints, but I believe a friction buffer is to be installed.
"FullSeries"

What are nowhere points and what is their purpose?
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
@seb - actual opening to passenger, sorry, customer services is around Feb 2015. Flyovers commission 9 June 2014, line out to Leppington commissions Oct 26 2014.
"bernerd"

Thank you Sir, and to all who helped answer my question, much appreciated! I certainly was shocked to see a government project actually AHEAD of schedule for a change.
  TrainboyEH Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney
It truly is great to see a project ahead of schedule for once.
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

I certainly was shocked to see a government project actually AHEAD of schedule for a change.
"seb2351"


Expect that to be normal with this current Liberal government. They learnt to under promise after seeing the previous government always over promising and under delivering.
It was interesting to see Gladys slap down the manager of the tunneling company for the NWRL who hinted that they would finish early. He knew there was plenty of spare time in the contract. But Gladys would have not of that, and cut him off in mid sentence. She wants to be the one to announce that the whole project is on time and under budget.
  8603 Locomotive Driver

Location: Canberra
Hey Airvan99, when was this slap-down?
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

Hey Airvan99, when was this slap-down?
"8603"


A few months ago at the press conference when the successful tunneling contractor was announced.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Weekend trackwork visible:

Northern flyover has had some love from the track machines. Where it used to be just rail and sleeper buried under ballast, all the track to the last few metres near the merge point on the city end have been pulled up above the ballast and leveled. If the above info about a June date wasn't posted I would have thought they were getting ready to do the merge over the next couple of weekend shutdowns.

On the southern side, those oddball points have had further work done. Previously then ended right next to a OHW stanchion (rail literally touching it). That gantry has been removed and a heap of tamping and ballasting done, so now it is just random track going nowhere other than directly into the end of the platform (no buffer stop installed).

Southern flyover on the up side has only one small visible change in that the OHW wire holders on the poles that were previously chained up vertical to the poles have been unchained and hanging in position ready to take wire. I'm guessing that this next weekend shutdown they may run the OHW up the flyover to complete that portion.

Edit: Speling - tablets suck for posting from...
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Covers have come off the signals along the track section for p4. Lit up but with white cross on them. The other signals on current operational tracks are not yet uncovered.  Suggests that maybe one of these next two weekends they may be commissioning the new signalling.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

Northern flyover has had some love from the track machines. Where it used to be just rail and sleeper buried under ballast, all the track to the last few metres near the merge point on the city end have been pulled up above the ballast and leveled. If the above info about a June date wasn't posted I would have thought they were getting ready to do the merge over the next couple of weekend shutdowns.
jcouch

Thanks for the updates. It'll be very interesting to see what gets done.

Bernerd's comment about the flyover commissioning didn't mention which flyover! It may have only been referring to the southern flyover. Remember, the Glenfield interchange project (including northern flyover) was stage 1 and authorised first, the SWRL part came later.

Let us know what you see after this weekend, please.
  FullSeries Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
What are nowhere points and what is their purpose?
Aurora8

Same purpose as a derail frog or jacks. An additional form of protection for conflicting movements. If for some reason a train passes the signal at stop, the train will be diverted into a "safe" location instead of running side on, or head on into another train.
  hunslet1915 Chief Train Controller

The proposed February 2015 passenger commissioning date wouldn't happen to be just before the next State election, by any chance?!
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
The proposed February 2015 passenger commissioning date wouldn't happen to be just before the next State election, by any chance?!
hunslet1915

what a coincidence "Wink Wink nudge nudge"
  allambee Chief 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

Yes they are reasonable questions to ask.

1.Do big engineering firms make money? - yes, how much depends on how slack the claims people are on the client side. If the client claims people are good, engineering firms loose money.

2.Public servants at work? - yes, usually when they get job offers later on from the same big engineering (or consulting) firms they have been working with (on the client side). There should be a clause in public service management positions preventing these people working for private engineering contractors which they have been dealing with for a set period of time after they leave their taxpayer funded position. Go on Linkedin and you can see example of what I say, 5yrs at on EPC, then 2 yrs with the Government in a highly paid management position, then back to the EPC. Being careful not to award major project work to new entrants to the major project industry - especially the 3 Korean "giants", the Chinese, and over major overseas EPCs.

3.How many years have these public servants been allocating an extra $100 million dollars on a project like a 15 mile rail line extension? - AH! that's the little trick played in the industry, go high in your estimates, markup and and more mark up, ignore all potential cost opportuntiy, the project will never go over budget if that's the case. It's much harder to do this when a privately owned company is setting its own capex budgets, but people still try. From a politicians and senior public servants viewpoint is it not better to budget more money on a project than is actually required? then politicians and public servants can then never be accused of mismanagement and running projects over budget.


4.Who have they allocated contracts to in the past? - The usual suspects - the Leighton Group, LoR, Downer, Abi (Lend Lease) etc. To be honest I was REALLY surprised that the NWRL 4km viaduct was awarded to an overseas based company with no established base or ties to the "established" EPC industry here - especially as the local contractors named above all wanted it. The price and or delivery program the Italians offered must have been extremely good that the government couldn't pass up the offer. Typically the NSW major project procurement process leaves (discourages) large overseas EPC companies out. That can be done by leaving them out of the information loop (the message is soon got), or asking them to tender very late in the day.
  ivahri Train Controller

So what is your point?

If you are suggesting that the contracts were somehow "fixed" then the ICAC would love to hear from you.

Large project management firms now tend to be so wary of project risk, for good reason given some that have failed in years past, that they do load cost & time... they would be mad not to... given the consequences of quoting low & not allowing appropriate time.

Given that this project is coming in under contract price & well ahead of time no matter how you try to create a bad news story there isn't one. Less treasury funds than budgeted will be needed and the residents of SW Sydney will have a great new way to commute 12 months earlier than first advised. Contrast that with the previous ALP government... announced, re-announced, "deferred", and then along came an election. Labor supporters love to spread cr@p about the Coalition being anti-infrastructure... well this blows that myth to bits. So if it opens before the anniversary of their election- so what? They deserve total credit for delivering the SWRL and if the electorate is reminded of it then Labor supporters can go & kick the bungling representatives they burdened us with previously.

Cheers


Richard
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

So what is your point?

If you are suggesting that the contracts were somehow "fixed" then the ICAC would love to hear from you.

Large project management firms now tend to be so wary of project risk, for good reason given some that have failed in years past, that they do load cost & time... they would be mad not to... given the consequences of quoting low & not allowing appropriate time.

Given that this project is coming in under contract price & well ahead of time no matter how you try to create a bad news story there isn't one. Less treasury funds than budgeted will be needed and the residents of SW Sydney will have a great new way to commute 12 months earlier than first advised. Contrast that with the previous ALP government... announced, re-announced, "deferred", and then along came an election. Labor supporters love to spread cr@p about the Coalition being anti-infrastructure... well this blows that myth to bits. So if it opens before the anniversary of their election- so what? They deserve total credit for delivering the SWRL and if the electorate is reminded of it then Labor supporters can go & kick the bungling representatives they burdened us with previously.

Cheers


Richard
ivahri

Sorry but wasn't SWRL started by Labor and the Libs thought it was a bad idea. Other than starting NWRL (we shall see what transpires) what have the Libs actually done? I thought I was reading an Andrew Bolt contribution which never lets the truth get in the way of a good story.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Weekend progress from the left side of the train. Will check out the other side on the way home.

- More new signals installed down the line towards MacFields. All covered up.
- OHW installed on southern flyover connecting up new track to old. Could only see the up track, but probably both done.
- 3 signs installed at the country end of p1 next to the track, facing the city. Couldn't read what was on them but guessing they're warning signs of some sort like "wrong way , go back".

Nothing visibly changed on the northern flyover, but there is a lot of activity there. Several track trolleys and about a dozen cars parked at the end of the track. Couple of guys walking it and around 20 guys having a powwow at the end of the track.

From the look of the work around p1 it seems like it is being set up to continue terminating trains on it,rather than using p2 when the northern flyover comes online.  Ie when onlined, there will be conflicts as the up train from p2 crosses over on the city end of p1 to get onto the flyover track. Similarly, trains coming from the swrl would favour using p1 over p2 as that's where those safety points are. Anyway, from this uninformed perspective, it seems rather odd the way they are setting it up to run and not at all efficient.

Edit: Down track on southern flyover does not have OHW
On the old office site for the junction alliance portable buildings a more permanent set of footings are being constructed for a building.
Nothing else immediatly visible has changed on the p4 side of the tracks through Glenfield.
  ivahri Train Controller

I'm sorry NSWTRAINS but am I missing something? When the Libs came in the project was on hold... hello? Let's not forget the blonde female Premier... bugger, I've forgotten her name because she did stuff all while she was drawing the salary except spending millions drilling holes through the inner west for a rail line that never got built, that few actually wanted and ended up with NSW taxpayers paying out the contracts... yep, they did wonders for public transport in NSW- probably why they got obliterated at the election because only a few dimwitted true believers still believed them.

The adults are running the state now... and we are seeing real projects getting built. Not just talk and drilling holes for lines that no-one wanted...

In the mean time I noted ODG staff working on the northern flyover in past days... the signal on the exit ramp is displaying green over green. It seems that signalling testing is well underway.

Cheers


Richard
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Having previously worked in both the private and Government sectors I can tell you heaps of contingency and risk allocation is made to rail projects because the history on delivery of rail projects relative to road is poor and the Government doesn't want to get beaten up about cost blow outs. On the negative side the requirement to include these at a much higher level frequently results in a project cost so high that Government won't entertain funding it.  It's a damned if you do damned if you don't situation. Melbournes multi billion dollar regional rail link is running months early and well under budget. That's great. However the downside is virtually no other projects are likely to be funded because they cost too much which is actually not the case.
  grog Train Controller

I'm sorry NSWTRAINS but am I missing something? When the Libs came in the project was on hold... hello? Let's not forget the blonde female Premier... bugger, I've forgotten her name because she did stuff all while she was drawing the salary except spending millions drilling holes through the inner west for a rail line that never got built, that few actually wanted and ended up with NSW taxpayers paying out the contracts... yep, they did wonders for public transport in NSW- probably why they got obliterated at the election because only a few dimwitted true believers still believed them.

The adults are running the state now... and we are seeing real projects getting built. Not just talk and drilling holes for lines that no-one wanted...

In the mean time I noted ODG staff working on the northern flyover in past days... the signal on the exit ramp is displaying green over green. It seems that signalling testing is well underway.

Cheers


Richard
ivahri

Yes you are missing something, Stage 2 of the SWRL (the non-Glenfield parts, i.e. the actual train line) was announced as proceeding in November 2009 and had contracts awarded in December 2010. It was certainly not on hold when the Libs came to power.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/axed-13b-southwest-rail-link-revived-20091113-iept.html
http://www.sydneytrains.info/news/2009/091203-southwest
http://www.streetcorner.com.au/news/showPost.cfm?bid=20109&mycomm=SW
  normw Junior Train Controller

Back at the SWRL Construction Progress...

Jan 11/12.

The Jan 11/12 weekend saw the OHW for the 'Up' Leppingtion junction (southern end, Glenfield,
P1/P2) 'visually' completed, from P1/P2 up to the existing OHW at the Leppington-end of the
southern flyover (both catenary and double contact wires).

The only 'visible' OHW now still to complete at Glenfield appears to be :

* The 'Down' Leppingtion junction (southern end, Glenfield, P3/P4),
* The 'Up/Down Main' trailing crossover (TCO), Sydney end of P2/P3,
* The northern flyover link to the East Hills 'Up' line.

It seems likely the 'Down' junction OHW will be 'visually' complete by the end of the Jan
18/19 weekend, as all masts and some of the cantilever arms are already in place.


Once the new signalling system is brought into use, the northern flyover should then get some
attention, as its use would benefit current services and timetables. Before the northern
flyover comes into 'general' use, it will need that final 'link' (and temporary points) so that
test trains(?) can be put on the structure (moving and stationery) to confirm stresses are
within design limits, and perhaps operational tests of likely trains being able to stop and
start again, at various places over the 'hump'.

The purpose of the northern flyover is to eliminate the conflict (and the associated delays)
crossing 'Down' trains from Liverpool and 'Up' trains from Campbelltown heading for the East
Hills line.

The three signs in the 6-foot at the southern end of P1 read:

'
SAFETY RUNOFF AREA

NO ROLLING STOCK,
MATERIALS OR EQUIPMENT
TO BE STORED HERE.
'

Why there needs to be three identical signs so close together is unknown.

Jan 18/19

The Jan 18/19 weekend saw the OHW for the 'Down' Leppingtion junction (southern end,
Glenfield P3/P4) 'visually' completed, from P3/P4 up to the existing OHW at the Leppington-end of the southern flyover (both catenary and double contact wires). Also, at least the 3 new 'starting'signals at the northern end of P1/P2/P3 were temporarily uncovered for testing.

The only 'visible' OHW now still to complete at Glenfield appears to be :

* The 'Up/Down Main' trailing crossover (TCO), Sydney end of P2/P3,
* The northern flyover link to the East Hills 'Up' line.

With the designated January trackwork periods for Glenfield now used up, it is necessary to
wait release of construction updates for February '14 for further progress opportunuties.

Anyone heard any rumour for an anticipated cut-in date for the new signalling? Once ready
to use, the old signals will need to be removed at the same time as they are mostly situated
directly in front of the new, and hence would restrict sighting. With the Leppington Junction
now fully wired, both the G.T.I. and S.W.R.L. Projects attend its completion.

Other Bits.

The previously referred-to 'NOWHERE POINTS' (more correctly called 'trap points') can, if the
signal system deems it appropriate, put an ex-Leppington train into this runoff area rather
than have a (possible) collision with another train in or approaching P1 or P2 (there being
no time to phone the signal box!).

A friction buffer-stop is yet to be installed on the RUNOFF siding.

Turnback Trains.

Operationally, trains need a track and a signal to authorise it to proceed.

* A train arriving from Leppington on P1 or P2 CANNOT directly return to Leppington as there
are no signals at the southern end of P1 or P2 to 'start' it.

* A train arriving from Leppington on P3 or P4 CAN directly return to Leppington as there are
signals at the southern end of P3 and P4 to 'start' it. (A facing crossover may exist just
beyond the Leppington end of the southern flyover - not yet confirmed.)

* A train arriving on P3 from Liverpool or East Hills CAN terminate and return via East Hills
or Liverpool, as there is a signal at the northern end of P3 and crossovers to allow access
to the 'Up' Main and the northern flyover to East Hills.

* A train arriving on P4 from Liverpool or East Hills CANNOT terminate and return, as there is
no signal at the northern end of P4 to 'start' it.

* A train arriving from Liverpool or East Hills CAN also terminate on P1 or P2 and return, as
there are signals at the northern end of those platforms to 'start' it.

There is a high degree of flexibility built into the new track arrangement if fully supported!

Another Use?

What chance the (proposed) 'abandoned' East Hills 'Up' track between the Down Main and next
to the northern flyover might get re-used as a storage siding? The segment is already OHW-d,
the points are already in place; it only needs a release signal and catchpoints to get out of the
siding and a buffer stop at the end... plus there's no houses close by.

SWRL - Near yet so far.

If the S.W.R.L. doesn't open until 2015 they will need a LOT of cotton wool to wrap it until
then. Expect trains for driver training and MAYBE(?) a limited (2 car?) service before that.

Edit: Tweak formatting. Edit2: More format, typo fixes. (Blush)

Norm
  fullboost Chief Train Controller

I heard they will be posting up an EOI for train crew interested in Leppington depot in a matter of weeks ...
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Yes you are missing something, Stage 2 of the SWRL (the non-Glenfield parts, i.e. the actual train line) was announced as proceeding in November 2009 and had contracts awarded in December 2010. It was certainly not on hold when the Libs came to power.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/axed-13b-southwest-rail-link-revived-20091113-iept.html
http://www.sydneytrains.info/news/2009/091203-southwest
http://www.streetcorner.com.au/news/showPost.cfm?bid=20109&mycomm=SW
grog

Ivahri really sounds like some Liberal Party hack who never lets the truth get in the way of his BS. As for the adults running the state they might be a one term wonder the way they are going. Even the Tele seems to dislike them.
  maestro Junior Train Controller

The only 'visible' OHW now still to complete at Glenfield appears to be :

* The 'Up/Down Main' trailing crossover (TCO), Sydney end of P2/P3,
* The northern flyover link to the East Hills 'Up' line.
normw

So their priority must have been to enable access to the SWRL for training / testing (rather than bring the northern flyover into use)


With the designated January trackwork periods for Glenfield now used up, it is necessary to
wait release of construction updates for February '14 for further progress opportunuties.
normw

The next trackwork opportunity is the June long weekend (7th to 9th June). There isn't another one on the trackwork planner (which goes up to the end of August) that will allow the northern flyover to be cut in.


What chance the (proposed) 'abandoned' East Hills 'Up' track between the Down Main and next
to the northern flyover might get re-used as a storage siding? The segment is already OHW-d,
the points are already in place; it only needs a release signal and catchpoints to get out of the
siding and a buffer stop at the end... plus there's no houses close by.
normw

My guess is zero chance. With the SWRL in service, there aren't likely to be any services starting / terminating at Glenfield any more. Besides, there are a heap of projects recently completed that are getting rid of conflicting movements on turnbacks - I can't see them tacking something like that onto the well-planned Glenfield interchange (why build two flyovers and then put in a storage siding like that).
It is possible, I guess, that it could become a perway siding.


If the S.W.R.L. doesn't open until 2015 they will need a LOT of cotton wool to wrap it until
then. Expect trains for driver training and MAYBE(?) a limited (2 car?) service before that.
normw

Yes, it does seem well advanced considering the opening date. It isn't unknown for things to start running prior to the "official" opening date (I would imagine that they would keep the official date reasonably close to the election, so that we all still remember!). Also, there's not really much out that way at the moment (the new stations are pretty much surrounded by commercial farming) and therefore not many passengers to use it (although I do think it's a good idea to build this sort of infrastructure before the houses come, as it gives people a chance to set the neighbourhood up for rail commuting - possibly new home buyers can give up one of their cars in order to help with the mortgage).

With the southern flyover apparently ready, I am wondering whether they will use the start of the SWRL to turn trains around (terminate on platform 3 or 4, turn around on the SWRL tracks, new service commences on platform 1 or 2). Maybe in a couple of months, when the signalling has been commissioned. This would also make sense as there is no track from P2 to the northern flyover, so they would need to move all EH line trains to P1 before bringing the northern flyover online.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
Actuall Maestro, there is access to the northern flyover from p2. Although the plans didn't include it, there are a set of leading points from p2 over to p1 on the city end allowing access to the flyover.

As for the terminating and swapping ends somewhere in the southern flyover, I've been contemplating the same thing. It woudl avoid the conflicting moves in the current timetable quite nicely without having to terminate liverpool trains on p3 or completely rejig the timetables to avoid the obvious conflicts.

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