Tunnelling starts on North-West Rail Link

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 16 Mar 2015 22:01
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The decision to build metro-style rail in Sydney seems to have been regarded as a fantasy before the 2012 change of plan for the North West rail link.

Again, note that legacy metros are largely confined to older cities, which have them for historic reasons, have never had the option of having (regional) mainline railways serving the town centre, which instead only served the edge of town, metro was seen as a way to get people between the town centre and the outlying railway station.
Here is a map of London's underground, and note that the tube is largely north of the Thames. And most of it dates from before the first world war.
The north part of the largest city in the country that gave the world heavy rail was ironically already heavily developed when the railways came, and trains simply could not run at grade (be it in cuttings or on embankments) within north London. The solution was to run underground and there was a short tunnel, with steam trains, which allowed trains to run through the town centre. But the trains needed to be fitted with condensors and I imagine this tunnel would have needed much more ventilation than a road tunnel. But more tunnels were needed to serve more of the old part of London by trains, often needing deeper tunnels. Steam trains turned out to be inadequate for extensive underground running, so it had to be electric. As surface rail was still unelectrified, with surface trains still steam hauled, the new deep tube lines had to be physically separate from surface rail.
Other old heavily developed cities, on mainland Europe soon followed suit.

But all Australian state captials, being developed later, could have mainline railways serving the town centres (now CBDs) and therefore had no need for rail tunnels below city streets in the days of steam. Furthermore, both in Sydney and especially Melbourne, surface railways used by suburban services were electrifed before underground railways were needed, making it practical to simply extend the existing network through tunnels in the CBDs, and in the eastern Sydney suburbs.

Heavily developed cities like London, Paris and Berlin all had established metro networks by the time that suburban services began on mainline railways, let alone by the time these were electrified, and these metro lines, with their classic metro legacies, simply could not be intergrated into the suburban railway networks. In addition to small bore tunnels (probably predating tunnel boring machines) and close station spacing, the Paris metro, for example, has tighter curves than found on mainline railways.

All 13 of the classic metro lines in Paris were originaly interoperable, later some of them were converted to rubber tyred metro, partly because of the tight curves, while orgininally, the whole network was planned to be converted, that plan was abandoned. That's the real reason why Paris has some lines incompadible with others, even line 14 trains could run on other lines under manual control.

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  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Hi guys,
Metro route 1 has I call it us NWRL to Banks town later extended to junction of Reagents Park and Marsden Industrial estate at other end.

Metro route 2 will be my guess Nth Beaches to Ashfield and maybe later extended to Staithfield and or Olypmic park. This will be announced in mI'd 2020s. This line will use harbour crossing two with Metro 1.

Above stations removed west of Mcdonald town up to but not including Ashfield.

Why do this over running western express DD or metro simple it's cost and better natural outcome.

You have a tunnel half the distance and Metro is doing what it's best suited for. The stations are not cheap but cost around 1km of tunnel each for a basic station.

Also you now have an extra 12 paths for more west and SW trains.

Also by 2030 the 2nd airport will be growing. So you have option for loop airport to airport to CBD  and Para CBD semi express also forming the city to Paramatta express service.

The East Hills line will need full Quad as well to get the express route there and for Sth Highlands services.

And 6 tracks to Lidcombe.

Metro line 3 will I think be Ashfield to Top Ryde and Epping and maybe to Paramatta via Carlingford line. It may also be extended to form a short line south west of Paramatta to name escapes me. It's about 6km.

Hurtsville,  the issue for that line is south of Hurtsville and I doubt anything between Hurtsville and city will change. The 6 track project to William Creek will be completed but will not get platforms on extra tracks as these wI'll be for express services.

This plan not only opens up new corridors but also improves track efficency and capacity and cross country connections. Something that isn't achieved but stuffing around with signalling on existing city tunnels in a half arsed attempt to accomdation the NWRL.

My crude estimate is $30B after city Metro link funding over 20 years.
RTT_Rules
In your dreams mate.  I don't think you have a clue.  You are too focussed on fanciful idealistic and biased concepts rather than acknowledging the reality of what is possible with improvements to the existing Sydney Trains network.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Mmm, hardly a high value comment yourself,  just a statement with no foundation.

My comment is just my opinion,  feel free to ignore.

Also noting my references to the current network was actually small and enhancemens I did mention are at well known bottle necks.
  Transtopic Assistant Commissioner

Mmm, hardly a high value comment yourself,  just a statement with no foundation.

My comment is just my opinion,  feel free to ignore.

Also noting my references to the current network was actually small and enhancemens I did mention are at well known bottle necks.
RTT_Rules
You are still obviously influenced by your ideological prejudice against anything relating to past or present Railcorp/CityRail/Sydney Trains strategies.  When you are prepared to come up with some viable alternatives, then I'm prepared to listen to you.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Mmm, hardly a high value comment yourself,  just a statement with no foundation.

My comment is just my opinion,  feel free to ignore.

Also noting my references to the current network was actually small and enhancemens I did mention are at well known bottle necks.
You are still obviously influenced by your ideological prejudice against anything relating to past or present Railcorp/CityRail/Sydney Trains strategies.  When you are prepared to come up with some viable alternatives, then I'm prepared to listen to you.
Transtopic
Nope, not at all. Experience, travel, basic research and group discussion here and elsewhere determine my views, which I think is probably the same for most here. But we are all individuals and hence differ in our views.

If you are not listening, then why are you reading my posts and then responding with statements highly critical of mine, but have no substance or alternatives.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Note my post right above, I wrote it after a discussion off site, with someone else, who also has a lot of experience with railfanning in Europe. It explains the inspiration for metro, and the historic reasons for the metro-suburban divide. As far as I know, these cities did not yet have suburban rail services of any kind when metro began, and mainline railways serving them were certaintly not electrified.

Let's make it clear, Île-de-France had it's regional rail well before 1969, but it was then that two of the major railway stations were connected. Other railway stations were also interconnected over time, and they always built to the Bern gauge, or maybe bigger.

When Paris added metro line 14 (also the only deep tube metro line in Paris), they built to the same loading gauge as other metro lines, no smaller.

Similarly, when underground railways were built in Sydney, they were built to the loading gauge that Dr. Bradfield specified, and when we added the city loop here in Melbourne, we built to the existing loading gauge, or maybe slightly bigger, since the 4D train could use it.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Similarly, when underground railways were built in Sydney, they were built to the loading gauge that Dr. Bradfield specified, and when we added the city loop here in Melbourne, we built to the existing loading gauge, or maybe slightly bigger, since the 4D train could use it.
Myrtone

I believe that DDs were possible because Bradfield insisted on overhead power as a safety measure.  He argued the extra cost wasn't that much -  as most of the network was above ground - and it was worth it to preserve human life.  At the time, this meant a good 2 feet clearance for the pantographs, half of which subsequently was made use of for DDs.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
And I suppose he didn't want the tunnels to be any smaller than the existing loading gauge anyway. Did the extra clearence have something to do with the use of diamond pantographs?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
My dad (69) has always said the ESR was built to a slightly smaller loading gauge (in which dimension(s) I do not know) because at the time that was the cheapest TBM they could get. Hence when the ESR opened certain rolling stock were not permitted to use it. Note my dad was not in the railways and I'm not saying he is right.

As the ESR opened late 70's/early 80's I'm guessing the rolling stock that was banned (if true) was the red rattlers and /or the Tulloch DD cars that were added and/or maybe some of the earliest DD rolling-stock.

Confirmation on any of the above would be appreciated.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

My dad (69) has always said the ESR was built to a slightly smaller loading gauge (in which dimension(s) I do not know) because at the time that was the cheapest TBM they could get. Hence when the ESR opened certain rolling stock were not permitted to use it. Note my dad was not in the railways and I'm not saying he is right.

As the ESR opened late 70's/early 80's I'm guessing the rolling stock that was banned (if true) was the red rattlers and /or the Tulloch DD cars that were added and/or maybe some of the earliest DD rolling-stock.

Confirmation on any of the above would be appreciated.
RTT_Rules
AFAIK, the ESR was built for the S sets, which have a smaller lateral loading gauge than the Bradfield cars, which were wider (to implement 2+3 seating), but only above platform height.  Tulloch's operated through the ESR for many years, as my haemorrhoids can attest.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
And the Eastern Suburbs railway was also the first underground railway outside the CBD. Before then, underground railways only existed in the CBD, there were plenty of surface options elsewhere, mostly in cuttings and on embankments. Sydney was able to bring surface rail into the city, and the suburban railways were electrified before underground railways were needed.
I only know of two other underground railways in the Sydney suburban area, between Epping and Chatswood, originally to be part of a rail link to Paramatta, and the Airport line.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
And the Eastern Suburbs railway was also the first underground railway outside the CBD
...
I only know of one other underground railway in the Sydney suburban area, between Epping and Chatswood, originally to be part of a rail link to Paramatta.
Myrtone
You forget the airport line which would have been much better as an elevated line Very Happy

edit: myrtone edited his post but keeping this here because why not.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
And the Eastern Suburbs railway was also the first underground railway outside the CBD. Before then, underground railways only existed in the CBD, there were plenty of surface options elsewhere, mostly in cuttings and on embankments. Sydney was able to bring surface rail into the city, and the suburban railways were electrified before underground railways were needed.
I only know of two other underground railways in the Sydney suburban area, between Epping and Chatswood, originally to be part of a rail link to Paramatta, and the Airport line.
Myrtone
Yes,
In Sydney the ESR project (I'm referring to the original planned full size project to demonstrate what was supposed to happen all UG) was the first use of UG railways rather than just in the CBD.

Then Sydney Airport Line,
Then Epping to Chatwood and originally to Paramatta, nearly all Underground.

Why Underground?
Because there is no more surface alignments left in the developed Sydney basin and land resumption is simply too expensive and politically unfavorable!

What do all have in common?
Expensive! ESR was a Grossly Mismanaged project and hence truncated to BJ and hence never achieving its full potential and Epping to Chatswood was better project but far from perfect and also truncated all due to costs hence denying the city the option to remove the high Operating cost Carlingford Line and provide a cross country route from West to mid Nth as an alternative to the main west and probably better serve the people between Epping and Paramatta.

What have we learned?
NSW struggles to deliver complex large scale underground railway projects on time and on budget and are still costly regardless and some of the recent rollingstock projects are not much better.

and Sydney trains is not just one of the more complex networks in the world, but also higher cost as well.

So what has the govt done to protect the taxpayer and also expand the railway?
Gone external using off the shelf technology with less risk and lower capital and operating costs per passenger km, yet still retains similar maximum haulage capacity.

Win Win Win
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
Reasons for underground
Yes, the Eastern suburbs are not only heavily developed, but also (as I recall from my trips to Sydney) quite hilly, much like the North Shore. So any surface alignment would need to alternate between cuttings and embankments, and even mean tunnels through the biggest hills.

Even in a flatter area, if there is room on the surface to build a railway, a ground level surface alignment may well be crossed by many roads, also at ground level, and it might not be feasible to raise the roads, nor is an embankment always be an option, and level crossings are also politically unfavourable these days. Sure, you could put the railway in a cutting, but in case of electric railways dedicated to electric rolling stock, one might think that the cuttings may as well be covered.

Cost of rail infrastructureApparently, the Southwest rail link actually cost more although much shorter than the Airport line. And even the Northwest rail link is costing more in reation to distance than the Airport line.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Cost of rail infrastructure Apparently, the Southwest rail link actually cost more although much shorter than the Airport line. And even the Northwest rail link is costing more in reation to distance than the Airport line.
Myrtone
Hyper inflation is the reason it costs more and Bob Carr (he started it I believe (the hyper inflation)).
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Australia has not suffered hyper inflation in the last 50 years, if ever!

The SWRL project was costly because of other factors such as a complete rebuild of the 4 way junction. I haven't read or seem that the project wasn't managed poorly.

The NWRL project is more costly than the Airport line due to the larger number of stations, includes the costs of buying trains and a maintenance depo and storage yard being built west of the final station and conversion of the ECRL, although this would not be huge. There is also about 15 years of inflation to consider.

The ECRL had the extra cost incurred due to the late change to not go above the Lane Cove River, I think this added some extra distance as well to get the grade. Not sure what was saved by not building the station.

The ESR project was a govt cluster project. Stopped and started over 30 years with numerous changes in scope and cut back in the end just to end . The actual project should have cost in today's money similar to that of the NWRL due to the similar distance and number of stations. The original project scope was more than double what they actually built. I'm sure if you built it efficiently the whole original thing could have been done for a similar amount they finally spent.

Ironically all these years later the railway will reach the Kingsford 9 ways, but it will be LR, a journey that will take alot longer than the less direct proposed HR.
  fixitguy Chief Train Controller

Location: In Carriage 4 on a Tangara
Australia has not suffered hyper inflation in the last 50 years, if ever!
RTT_Rules
The country hasn't.

Bob Carrs meddling with rail building in NSW has increased the price building railways in NSW (so hyper inflation in the industry). I think it was either an actual news article or the transportsydney blog that mentioned it some while ago. It said Bob Carrs govt increased the price of rail building by 4x (i think that was the number) in an attempt to justify not building any railways at all. Michael Costa (then treasurer) also played a role as I believed from what I read, he hated rail or at the very least thought the huge price tag did not justify the passengers traveling.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
I'm refering to a cost increase above the rate of inflation.

The SWRL project was costly because of other factors such as a complete rebuild of the 4 way junction. I haven't read or seem that the project wasn't managed poorly.
RTT_Rules

And yet it cost almost as much as Perth's Mandurah line, which is seven times the length, and not that much less than the Alice springs to Darwin railway.

The NWRL project is more costly than the Airport line due to the larger number of stations, includes the costs of buying trains and a maintenance depo and storage yard being built west of the final station and conversion of the ECRL, although this would not be huge. There is also about 15 years of inflation to consider.
RTT_Rules

Had it been an extension of the existing suburban network, like originally planned, then no new trains nor a separate maintaincenec depot nor strorage yard would have been needed.

It is actually costing as much as the Gotthard rail tunnel in Switzerland, which is a few times longer than the whole Northwest rail link, and it is built to the typical mainline loading gauge on mainland Europe, and may well be able to fit double decker trains.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I'm refering to a cost increase above the rate of inflation.

The SWRL project was costly because of other factors such as a complete rebuild of the 4 way junction. I haven't read or seem that the project wasn't managed poorly.

And yet it cost almost as much as Perth's Mandurah line, which is seven times the length, and not that much less than the Alice springs to Darwin railway.

The NWRL project is more costly than the Airport line due to the larger number of stations, includes the costs of buying trains and a maintenance depo and storage yard being built west of the final station and conversion of the ECRL, although this would not be huge. There is also about 15 years of inflation to consider.

Had it been an extension of the existing suburban network, like originally planned, then no new trains nor a separate maintaincenec depot nor strorage yard would have been needed.

It is actually costing as much as the Gotthard rail tunnel in Switzerland, which is a few times longer than the whole Northwest rail link, and it is built to the typical mainline loading gauge on mainland Europe, and may well be able to fit double decker trains.
Myrtone
Stabling Facility - There was most definitely a stabling facility with 12 new trains in it. In anticipation of cancellation by the Labor govt of the original NWRL (the double deck one) I saved the web pages and associated reports from that time.  

By the way the Metro is also faster than the original NWRL.

Gotthard: NSW costs are high and a DD NWRL would cost even more. However comparing a straight shot tunnel like Gotthard with no stations and no curves costed at values from 5 years ago with an urban metro is no real comparison. The Swiss do know how to get things done though. They study, announce and do without the navel gazing, cancellations, changes in direction so much a part of my (former) NSW life.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm refering to a cost increase above the rate of inflation.

The SWRL project was costly because of other factors such as a complete rebuild of the 4 way junction. I haven't read or seem that the project wasn't managed poorly.

And yet it cost almost as much as Perth's Mandurah line, which is seven times the length, and not that much less than the Alice springs to Darwin railway.

The NWRL project is more costly than the Airport line due to the larger number of stations, includes the costs of buying trains and a maintenance depo and storage yard being built west of the final station and conversion of the ECRL, although this would not be huge. There is also about 15 years of inflation to consider.

Had it been an extension of the existing suburban network, like originally planned, then no new trains nor a separate maintaincenec depot nor strorage yard would have been needed.

It is actually costing as much as the Gotthard rail tunnel in Switzerland, which is a few times longer than the whole Northwest rail link, and it is built to the typical mainline loading gauge on mainland Europe, and may well be able to fit double decker trains.
Myrtone
The Perth line was built prior to the Mining Boom and had a number of allowances for its construction already in place. As I said the Junction rebuild was a significant part of the cost.

As Railway again built 15 years ago through land un occupied and most of ROW still available in the built up areas. They even used some of the previous lines bridges.

There is no way you can add a large piece of infrastructure like the NWRL in DD format and not need to buy extra trains and build facilities to store them and maintain them. Potentially there is capacity at the existing depos for servicing, but unlikely storage.

Gotthard tunnel is a completely different ball game and yes its being built in a country by a country that has experience in these matters.
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I'm refering to a cost increase above the rate of inflation.

The SWRL project was costly because of other factors such as a complete rebuild of the 4 way junction. I haven't read or seem that the project wasn't managed poorly.

And yet it cost almost as much as Perth's Mandurah line, which is seven times the length, and not that much less than the Alice springs to Darwin railway.

The NWRL project is more costly than the Airport line due to the larger number of stations, includes the costs of buying trains and a maintenance depo and storage yard being built west of the final station and conversion of the ECRL, although this would not be huge. There is also about 15 years of inflation to consider.

Had it been an extension of the existing suburban network, like originally planned, then no new trains nor a separate maintaincenec depot nor strorage yard would have been needed.

It is actually costing as much as the Gotthard rail tunnel in Switzerland, which is a few times longer than the whole Northwest rail link, and it is built to the typical mainline loading gauge on mainland Europe, and may well be able to fit double decker trains.
The Perth line was built prior to the Mining Boom and had a number of allowances for its construction already in place. As I said the Junction rebuild was a significant part of the cost.

As Railway again built 15 years ago through land un occupied and most of ROW still available in the built up areas. They even used some of the previous lines bridges.

There is no way you can add a large piece of infrastructure like the NWRL in DD format and not need to buy extra trains and build facilities to store them and maintain them. Potentially there is capacity at the existing depos for servicing, but unlikely storage.

Gotthard tunnel is a completely different ball game and yes its being built in a country by a country that has experience in these matters.
RTT_Rules

Just ignore Myrtone, only interested in arguing for the sake of arguing, despite all of the evidence that has been produced to show that they are wrong. Arguing for the sake of arguing, without actually producing any valid arguments (which Myrtone is doing) is only chewing up bandwidth.

Dave
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The Perth line was built prior to the Mining Boom and had a number of allowances for its construction already in place. As I said the Junction rebuild was a significant part of the cost.
RTT_Rules


Actually I've heard it was built at the start, and did the mining boom really increased labour costs seven times? And part of it was underground.

There is no way you can add a large piece of infrastructure like the NWRL in DD format and not need to buy extra trains and build facilities to store them and maintain them. Potentially there is capacity at the existing depos for servicing, but unlikely storage.
RTT_Rules


My point is that extra storage is going to be necessary if this line is separate from all others.

Gotthard tunnel is a completely different ball game and yes its being built in a country by a country that has experience in these matters.
RTT_Rules


What's experience got to do with cost?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The project started before the mining boom. Wage and contracts are often set in place up to 12th before digging the first dirt and took I think 2.5 years to build. When finished the initial minine boom cash flows were entering the states piggy bank but wages and suppliers had yet to be effected to a great deal.

The project was still less complex than NWRL and things like real estate are far more expensive.

Look up the cost of the WA deal plant and then brisbane version built only a few years later. Basically the same project one before mining boom and one after.

The yard and facilities for the trains for the NWRL were mostly required regardless of what type of train and nor a huge coat factor but yes it may be slightly cheaper had it been DD.

Experience is everything. Think about you comments before posting.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
The project started before the mining boom. Wage and contracts are often set in place up to 12th before digging the first dirt and took I think 2.5 years to build. When finished the initial minine boom cash flows were entering the states piggy bank but wages and suppliers had yet to be effected to a great deal.
RTT_Rules


First of all, can anyone tell me what "up to 12th?" means? Also, the mining boom began during the course of the construction, and the price of steel did increase quite significantly, but they still came in on budget.

Look up the cost of the WA deal plant and then brisbane version built only a few years later. Basically the same project one before mining boom and one after.
RTT_Rules


And did the Brisbane plant cost seven times as much?

Remember that the South West rail link crosses no mountain ranges or broad rivers, and resumptions is also very cheap.
So why should a 10km undergroud line with only 5 stations cost so much more than a surface railway of the same length with only two stations and a stabling yard?
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The project started before the mining boom. Wage and contracts are often set in place up to 12th before digging the first dirt and took I think 2.5 years to build. When finished the initial minine boom cash flows were entering the states piggy bank but wages and suppliers had yet to be effected to a great deal.


First of all, can anyone tell me what "up to 12th?" means? Also, the mining boom began during the course of the construction, and the price of steel did increase quite significantly, but they still came in on budget.

Look up the cost of the WA deal plant and then brisbane version built only a few years later. Basically the same project one before mining boom and one after.


And did the Brisbane plant cost seven times as much?

Remember that the South West rail link crosses no mountain ranges or broad rivers, and resumptions is also very cheap.
So why should a 10km undergroud line with only 5 stations cost so much more than a surface railway of the same length with only two stations and a stabling yard?
Myrtone
My typo on phone. I meant up to 12mth before digging starts. When you do a major infrastructure project like this, one of the first things put in place as part of the feasibility study is the project man hours and unit costs per role. Once the project signed, union agreements are signed off as are contracts for professional and other roles. There is often limited options for increasing wages for white or blue collar outside the contract and balloon/bonus payments at the end help retain staff until their contract is up. So as the project started in 2003 some time, this is when the salaries were set, which is prior to the mining boom.

Likewise steel and other major consumable and supplier prices were set in 2003. Remember the project signs contracts with suppliers for the entire duration of the project to protect the bottom line of the project.

The tunnel in WA is barely 1km long from Perth station, maybe longer and the line is built mostly within the median strip of a freeway and over flat ground in what I assume is mostly sand. Back then the Redcliffe railway in Brisbane was estiated at $150m and currently being built for $1.2B. The Brisbane Airport line cost $220m and ECRL $1-2B.

Times have changed, wages are alot more material costs are more. Aluminium which is in a slump is still 25% more expensive than 2003, Oil was also $US25/br. In 2003 everyone in Aluminium and oil was happy and profitable, now at 25% higher unit prices, down 25% from 1 year ago, everyone is losing money and many were struggling a year ago. The oil industry is nearly double the price of 2003 and the industry is bleeding.

Brisbane (Tugan) desal plant costs I think nearly double due to the growth in desal plants just after Perth was finished.

So why should a 10km undergroud line with only 5 stations cost so much more than a surface railway of the same length with only two stations and a stabling yard?

I think before anyone answers the above you need to do more research on the project as the tunnels are 15km long, there is a major bridge and additional length on the surface that is only slightly shorter to the SWRL length.

I had a quick look at Phase 1 of the SWRL project was new interchange flyovers to EH Line, carparks and station works, nearly half the cost.

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