Can anyone confirm or deny this rumor?
If it does turn out to be true, people better get their cameras out as the semaphore signals at Berry and Bomaderry will most likely be removed, and I'm assuming Berry signal box will close as a result as well.
I think it is better to electrify the line & double track it.
Absolutely. And while we are at it, make sure that ALL level crossings are eliminated, with either an overpass or an underpass, making sure that there is provision for the line to be quadrupled, maybe even sextupled, at some stage in the not too distant future. And eliminate some of those curves, making the line suitable for 160km/h running.
Oh, and while we are at it, ensure that all stations are fully staffed 24/7, with full travel centres able to sell all manner of travel product, such as airline tickets, hotel accommodation, etc.
And we need to open some stations, like Omega and Jaspers Brush, that never should have been closed in the first place. These would have full 24/7 staffing levels, as well as the aforementioned travel centre.
And all of these stations would have food courts, and..... (Should I stop now?)
Under the new arrangements the existing Up Starting semaphore signal at Bomaderry becomes the Up Home, so maybe the extension to Bega isn’t too far off?
And the reference in WN 22 to removal of A signals at Valley Heights etc is probably prep work for the eventual closure of Springwood Box and full control from Blacktown.
Probably just formalising what has been since the box was built ie: even though closing switches are there for Springwood and Lawson, they have never been used. The system would probably go into meltdown if the keys were turned, they have not been tested in living memory.
Lawson closed many years ago, but the blue lever saw occasional use, as did Springwood, Valley Heights was always in, but Springwood was mostly switched out
Thanks for the replys and the link to the weekly notice.
Basically the summury is Berry Frame A (the signal box) will be out of use, all semaphore signals will be removed (although the down landmark distant signal will be retained), and the loop will not be rebuilt. Berry will have facilitys to have either local control, or control from Wollongong signal box.
At Bomaderry the semaphores will be retained (including the down distant landmark), the current up starting signal will become the up home and a new colour light signal BY5 will be brought into use as the up starting signal. This will be controlled by bringing the current spare lever (lever 5) on Frame A (the station frame) into use.
Whats suprising to me about this upgrade is the semaphores at Bomaderry will be retained and there doesn't appear to be any way that Bomaderry can be remotly controlled from Wollongong.
My thoughts about the upgrade of Kiama to Bomaderry safeworking were that all semaphore signals would be taken down, electric point motors would be installed on all mainline points and colour light signals would be used exclusivly, all remotely controlled from Wollongong.
What doesn't suprise me is that the loop at Berry won't be rebulit. When I used to catch the train to school (2003-2006) the loop was very rarely (if ever) used. The only time I ever saw any rail traffic in there was when trackwork machines were being stored. When the railway crossing at Wharf Road was upgraded with Boom gates, the boom gate and flashing light were placed right in the middle of where the loop track used to be. There is a photo of 5910 in the loop at Berry dated 1997 at Gerringong station in the waiting room and thats the most recent photo I can find of a Train using the loop for its designed purpose.
Another observation about the loop at Berry (when it was still a crossing loop) was that the points to the former goods siding were not connected to anything (the track still led to the goods siding although there was a piece of rail missing there as well), all rodding to operate the points had been removed, and the points did not appear to be clipped. In around the 2005-2006 era, a red marker appeared in the loop, and this is later where it was cut back to when the mainline points, goods siding points and all the other redundant track was removed.
The likelihood of the Berry Loop last real working would have ceased when the milk traffic finished. When I was at PTK, 1978 - 82, the loop was used pretty well frequently for some of the passengers to cross, also the down pick up 9725 (IIRC) went in there to detach & cross a passenger.
The return being the mill 9728, went away to both pick up loaded milk & cross a down pax.