Extend Lithgow line to Bowenfels Parkway

 
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

According to Wikipedia (I know) the SRA used to operate light engine movements to keep the wires operational. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowenfels_railway_station AFAIK the wires are still in place.
David10
the Wikipedia reference says that the testing was until 1987, nearly 30 years ago, i am sure that whilst the wires are still there, they may not be live, happy to be proved wrong.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
So, at risk of being burnt at the stake by electric train enthusiasts, why not de-electrify beyond Katoomba and run smaller diesel trains instead?
3l diesel
Agree a 2 car DMU would probably do the work just as well, how much cheaper????

But its not just about economics, its also politics and this would be seen as a derating of the services in that area. Remember Dubbo doesn't even like the idea of the XPT being replaced with a XPL.

Next issue, they don't have spare DMU's, they would need to be purchased and then you have spare V-sets, is there work for them? elsewhere in the timetable? probably not at this time.

I believe the govt has already made the decision and wires will remain with new trains purchased. On the South Coast they may operate the shuttle service quite well, but its because the wires have not yet been installed, there is no choice.
  David10 Station Master

As stated above: marginal electorates, running services beyond Katoomba has been uneconomical for decades, probably even when first electrified in the 1950s. If rolling stock availability is an issue, then some of the DCM/DCT carriages that were withdrawn a few years could have been held onto, or S sets reinstated ed to allow OSCARs to operate extra Intercity services. And its not as if there is a surplus of DMUs.

An alternative could be to dewire one line west of Mount Victoria and effectively have 2 single lines, one for freight trains, one for passenger services much like the Adelaide Hills line. But this would require the bi-directional signaling to be extended east from Tunnel 1, would reduce operational flexibility and ultimately not be cost effective.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
As stated above: marginal electorates, running services beyond Katoomba has been uneconomical for decades, probably even when first electrified in the 1950s. If rolling stock availability is an issue, then some of the DCM/DCT carriages that were withdrawn a few years could have been held onto, or S sets reinstated ed to allow OSCARs to operate extra Intercity services. And its not as if there is a surplus of DMUs.

An alternative could be to dewire one line west of Mount Victoria and effectively have 2 single lines, one for freight trains, one for passenger services much like the Adelaide Hills line. But this would require the bi-directional signaling to be extended east from Tunnel 1, would reduce operational flexibility and ultimately not be cost effective.
David10
With most freight traffic going via Forbes, this probably isn't the best solution. The traffic volumes west of Katoomba and especially Mt Vic are low. Single the line a with suitable spaced passing lanes (not loops) and use the entire ROW for curve easing on the single track to speed things up.
  David10 Station Master

Which probably strengthens the case of the status quo being maintained. Speed (or the lack thereof) isn't really an issue on the line. Increasing the radius of some curves might allow limits to be raised by 10 or 20 km/h, but we are probably talking about shaving a few minutes at best off journey times, certainly not enough to justify a large capital investment. And it has been often proven that singling a line can be a false economy.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Bowenfels was 'Straight Railed' with all points removed along with the Upper Quadrant signals used between Bowenfels and Wallerawang East.
New single colour lights were installed but not in the same location or numbers as the Upper Quadrants they replaced.
The UP platform was removed to 'Improve Track Drainage' in the late 80's long after Bowenfels had ceased to be a working station.
Sometime during WW2, at least one train a day was run from Katoomba with employees of the Small Arms Factory to terminate at Bowenfels after the passengers alighted at the now removed Cooerwull platform.
The locomotive would 'Run around' at Bowenfels before taking the empty cars back to stow at Lithgow until required for the return run that afternoon.
This 'Cooerwull Special' did not appear as a service in the Public Timetable and no tickets were sold for the journey to the employees as it was run and paid for by the Commonwealth Government who owned and operated the SAF.
This train was eventually cancelled in the very early 60's as it was by then running most times near empty and the carriages used were the oldest unheated platform set they could find I think.
After the introduction of the single deck Interurbans, one train (211) ran out to Bowenfels from Sydney at around 2pm weekdays and stayed there about 30 minutes before returning to Sydney.
The Overhead is still very much alive and what you see in the overhead behind the Theatre Royal is the result of several changes over the years when an emergency crossover was installed and later removed as well as 'Isolating' switches for the overhead which were also subsequently removed.
The 'Grand Plan was for the Overhead to continue out to Wallerawang at least partly due to the proposed shunting Yard and Loco depot that was planned to replace Lithgow.
The East end of Walleawang yard was remodeled in preperation and along with some earthworks and track laid from Cox's River interlocking to where today a Coal loader sits on the site, it quietly awaits the arrival of the electrification.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
Somebody
According to the Government Gazette, Bowenfels was closed on the 21 September 1974
August 1975: Goods and stock yards removed
1993: listed on the Heritage Register for SRA
1993: Lease to Lithgow City Council. (no end time stated)
2009: Listed as protected by heritage status set by OEH.
2012: Demolition of extension to SM residence completed and repairs made to original building.

Basically the current building can not be modified if it became a station again.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
aster
According to the Government Gazette, Bowenfels was closed on the 21 September 1974
August 1975: Goods and stock yards removed
1993: listed on the Heritage Register for SRA
1993: Lease to Lithgow City Council. (no end time stated)
2009: Listed as protected by heritage status set by OEH.
2012: Demolition of extension to SM residence completed and repairs made to original building.

Basically the current building can not be modified if it became a station again.
Jim K
The basic Station buidling would in itself require no modification to be run as a Station because it was built that way to begin with.
There would have been a Station Master's Office come Ticket window, a Public waiting room and maybe a Ladies or Mens Toilet on the west end of the building.
You have to remember Bowenfels was almost the major station for Lithgow after 'Eskbank (Old Station) long before the original Lithgow station which were only a set of platforms and Timber buildings was built and later replaced by the current 'New' Station.
The now demolished Signal cabin was only a very much later 'add-on' and it was in a poor state at the end.
The same applies to that demolished addition to the residence, another typical clapboard slap together structure seen all over the system and had long since passed its 'Use By date'.

The fact now that there is no UP platform would make it rather difficult to access a train and although the Gazette says the Goods and Stock yard were removed in 1975 (that long ago???)  isnt of course the crossovers on the East end of the Level crossing in front of the Substation used during Maintainence or if a derailment occurred.
  David10 Station Master

The bottom line is that it isn't required and with the benefit of hindsight, there was no need to electrify the line beyond Lithgow station in the first place. The Western line is a shadow of its former self in terms of the number of trains that operate, and the coaches cause no problems in a fairly quiet Lithgow.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
asterThe basic Station buidling would in itself require no modification to be run as a Station because it was built that way to begin with.
There would have been a Station Master's Office come Ticket window, a Public waiting room and maybe a Ladies or Mens Toilet on the west end of the building.
You have to remember Bowenfels was almost the major station for Lithgow after 'Eskbank (Old Station) long before the original Lithgow station which were only a set of platforms and Timber buildings was built and later replaced by the current 'New' Station.
The now demolished Signal cabin was only a very much later 'add-on' and it was in a poor state at the end.
The same applies to that demolished addition to the residence, another typical clapboard slap together structure seen all over the system and had long since passed its 'Use By date'.

The fact now that there is no UP platform would make it rather difficult to access a train and although the Gazette says the Goods and Stock yard were removed in 1975 (that long ago???)  isnt of course the crossovers on the East end of the Level crossing in front of the Substation used during Maintainence or if a derailment occurred.
gordon_s1942

Don't need an extra platform at Bowenfelss. The track layout at Lithgow allows a train from Sydney to run up to the station at Bowenfels on the west direction track, then run wrong road back to Lithgow and then cross over to the east running track to Sydney.

IF for what ever reason it was again to be used by trains from Sydney, ie sparks. The cheapest option is probably changing signals to allow bi-directional running as I highly doubt the traffic volumes out that way will be an issue for a few times a day train that has to run wrong road for 5-10min.

Regards
Shane
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Don't need an extra platform at Bowenfelss. The track layout at Lithgow allows a train from Sydney to run up to the station at Bowenfels on the west direction track, then run wrong road back to Lithgow and then cross over to the east running track to Sydney.

IF for what ever reason it was again to be used by trains from Sydney, ie sparks. The cheapest option is probably changing signals to allow bi-directional running as I highly doubt the traffic volumes out that way will be an issue for a few times a day train that has to run wrong road for 5-10min.

Regards
Shane
RTT_Rules
This is an entirely pointless discussion as there is zilch chance of sparks running to Bowenfels. Can we move onto something more useful.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Lithgow Yard Box along with the Coal Stage Box are sitting quietly waiting for the axe to fall and presently no date has been announced for this to happen or what if any changes will take place at both in regards to track layout, signaling or even Train Running.
Although monies have been spent recently on the New Station at Lithgow to refurbish it, nothing would surprise me to see the Bus' extended to either Mt Victoria or Katoomba and even to the extent of terminating all services at Katoomba and passengers to Mt Victoria going by Bus.
Again depending on the thinking of the Day, the IU could still run to Mt Victoria to stow but run as MT cars, after all they are running the Bathurst Bullet between Lithgow and Bathurst for stowing and thats 80ks each way compared to the 16 between Katoomba and Mt Victoria.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
A little off the original topic I know, but I think that the Great Western Highway improvement works between Lithgow and Mt Victoria need to be completed before the use of buses is contemplated. I drove that road on a weekday a month ago and the trip from Lithgow to Mt Victoria was horrendous, roadworks for almost the entire length.
  David10 Station Master

Rail replacement services operate via the Bells Line of Road and Darling Causeway in order to service Bell so not really an issue.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
Rail replacement services operate via the Bells Line of Road and Darling Causeway in order to service Bell so not really an issue.
David10
So what's your point?

Not all of the rail replacement buses (as in when there is trackwork) go via Bell, I have caught one that travelled via Hartley.

What has been discussed is not rail replacement buses for trackwork, but the complete replacement of the electric train service, in which case, ANYTHING could happen.

Look at Wollongong-Moss Vale, when it was replaced with a coach service, the new service went via Dapto, Albion Park and Bowral, which the train never serviced. so anything is possible.

Dave
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
So what's your point?

Not all of the rail replacement buses (as in when there is trackwork) go via Bell, I have caught one that travelled via Hartley.

What has been discussed is not rail replacement buses for trackwork, but the complete replacement of the electric train service, in which case, ANYTHING could happen.

Look at Wollongong-Moss Vale, when it was replaced with a coach service, the new service went via Dapto, Albion Park and Bowral, which the train never serviced. so anything is possible.

Dave
thadocta
Exactly and why have Bell 'Open' but  Newnes Jct 'Closed' when both have about the same population over all and I hate to think how much it costs to stop and start at Bell (which most dont) compared to the revenue collected by ticket sales to and from Bell.

Again it depends on the 'Thinking of the Day' but to run from either Katoomba or Mt Victoria to Lithgow via the GWHy would be the fastest more cost effective route to follow.
I know from experience detraining at Mt Victoria and going by Car to Lithgow via the GWHy (with no roadworks) cuts around 25 minutes from the journey.
  David10 Station Master

So what's your point?

Not all of the rail replacement buses (as in when there is trackwork) go via Bell, I have caught one that travelled via Hartley.

What has been discussed is not rail replacement buses for trackwork, but the complete replacement of the electric train service, in which case, ANYTHING could happen.

Look at Wollongong-Moss Vale, when it was replaced with a coach service, the new service went via Dapto, Albion Park and Bowral, which the train never serviced. so anything is possible.
"thadocta"

Thought it was fairly obvious that I was responding to the post immediately above. While the Great Western Highway route is no doubt quicker, that work is being carried out on this road is not likely to impede any operation of road coach services, given there is an alternative route that is often, if not always, used.
  David10 Station Master

Exactly and why have Bell 'Open' but  Newnes Jct 'Closed' when both have about the same population over all and I hate to think how much it costs to stop and start at Bell (which most dont) compared to the revenue collected by ticket sales to and from Bell.
"gordon_s1942"

Same could be said of most of the stations beyond Maitland and Moss Vale, guess it comes down to not being worth the grief to close.
  Northern Flyer Train Controller

If they reopen Bowenfels, then we should restore stops at Cooerwull.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
If they reopen Bowenfels, then we should restore stops at Cooerwull.
Northern Flyer
Cooerwull has been completely and totaly demolished more than 25 years ago along with the overhead pedestrian bridge also being replaced with a new structure and it has no steps to access where the old timber decked station was.

When inspections of the old Cooerwull pedestrian bridge found it to be in a very bad and rotten state, there was quite some argument whether to just remove it only or to replace it with another structure.

One reason I think decided the Council/Railway to have it replaced with another bridge  is the limited access across the Line to the Towns Swimming Pool, Showground and sporting fields on the UP side using the Level Crossing to the west or Coates Avenue which passes under the line and has a very poor pedestrian walkway.

In a recent comment about running a Light engine under the overhead to keep it clean to my knowledge only ever happened after a prolonged strike or shutdown and a train or LE was run through any Electrified and Track circuited areas to ensure it was functioning satisfactorily.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Cooerwull has been completely and totaly demolished more than 25 years ago along with the overhead pedestrian bridge also being replaced with a new structure and it has no steps to access where the old timber decked station was.

When inspections of the old Cooerwull pedestrian bridge found it to be in a very bad and rotten state, there was quite some argument whether to just remove it only or to replace it with another structure.

One reason I think decided the Council/Railway to have it replaced with another bridge  is the limited access across the Line to the Towns Swimming Pool, Showground and sporting fields on the UP side using the Level Crossing to the west or Coates Avenue which passes under the line and has a very poor pedestrian walkway.

In a recent comment about running a Light engine under the overhead to keep it clean to my knowledge only ever happened after a prolonged strike or shutdown and a train or LE was run through any Electrified and Track circuited areas to ensure it was functioning satisfactorily.
gordon_s1942
What light engine? We don't have any electric engines left.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Not now perhaps but 'In My Day' we did and on one shift at Lgw Coalstage I convinced Sydney Train Control to run a Electric LE from there to Mt Victoria to check the O/Head was clear after snow and strong winds had whipped through the area.
My idea was it was better to have a LE stuck up somewhere than 4000 tonnes of Coal.
The other time was when a Diesel LE was run to 'derust' the rails in Track Circuited areas after the Loco strike over the removal of Brakevans from trains.
The Drivers went on strike and soon after the Guards began to be stood down but we Signalman remained and after about 2 weeks, I had just got my 'Stand Down Order' when the Strike was called off.
  blacktails1985 Station Master

To
To nswtrains : There are electrics in the vicinity near bowenfels. Two 86 class are located at Lithgow Roundhouse.Somebody
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

blacktails1985
It must be close to school holidays again!!!!
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Blacktails1985, Next time I go to Town I will take a run up to the Lookout on the Scenic if time permits and see whats in Loco and the Top Yard for you.

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