NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

No need for offence Mr Woodford and I do enjoy your posts.

No bias here and I'll report this as it happened at that time...

Soon after the 2010 election that Ted Baillieu won, and the NE was at a very low point with the original mud-holes being repaired with tonnes of ballast to fill the holes, apparently not caused by a destroyed track bed or side insertion of the sleepers...but I digress.

Mike.
The Vinelander

I spent a great deal of time, money and effort looking at what was going on, I do NOT make up what I report. Nor do I have any "hidden agenda", or personal views on what I see. I DO NOT make reports up, I see what I have seen with my own eyes. Incedently my primary interest is engineering I am not a railway person, although I have done track work.

As stated there have been two causes of mudholes. on the old SG it was poor initial construction. This DID cause some base failures. ARTC has put MUCH effort in correcting this, this type of failure was largely confined to south of Seymour.

The mudholes post gauge conversion were almost all confined to the ballast immediately below the sleepers. I have directly inspected dozens of these holes during repair and none extended down to the base, remember I am talking about the West line here.

If I sound pissed off its because after putting in so much effort to observe and report accurately I strongly resent any even indirectly being called a liar. Mind you I started this reporting in order to get some accurate info out there on railway projects, even in the beginning I did not think I would succeed because its almost impossible to break down anyones prejudicious's, and in fact I still think i have largely wasted my time. I did the observing though to please my self, reporting my observations was never going to be a winner, in my eyes anyway.

woodford

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Might I suggest that posters read this page.  This is the ATSB report of what the causes for the western line problems are.

http://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2011/rair/ri-2011-015.aspx

I add the following quote

It is unlikely that selecting an alternative method of re-sleepering would have prevented deterioration in track condition or the development of mud-holes, unless ballast, drainage and formation issues were also addressed.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post script, on the base failures they did find, a proper repair was carried out, all the mud being removed and new base material being put in. To facilitate this the sleepers were not removed as in the West lines mudholes but there clips were partly release and the sleepers slipped out of the way. In some places like just north of Tallarook 100's of cubic metres of mud was removed.

The thing that REALLY pisses me off and the reason I am still here is the inference that posts like the above infer is that the guys doing the work are in any way slack. I have found them dedicated in doing a good job, there resourcing though is generally very poor..

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Dear woodford,

After reporting on these matters for well over 8 years your credibility and standard of coverage on many  issues particularly this one is highly regarded and sincerely appreciated by us all and I don't think you need to have your defend your position in any way.

Like all of us I know you share the frustration that a once in a century investment to thoroughly rehabilitate this corridor to a very high level of performance and reliability was lost in the project being adequately funded to ensure that a whole range of works like extensive drainage, formation and sub grade rehabilitation, renewal of ballast etc was undertaken as part of the concrete resleepering.    As it has transpired the subsequent ballast rehabilitation and other works performed have been costly and in that sense I wonder how much better the whole project would have been had this all been done in the way it should have been.  In particular to have had the improved performance of the corridor benefitting shippers and rail operators at the height of the boom may also have lead to rail market share either improving or at least holding its own as low as it is.

None of this of course addresses the reality that major deviations and improvements in alignment between Junee and southern Sydney, as proposed by Professor Baird and other for nigh on 20 years now are really the only way you are going to get serious mode shift and that in the current climate and the focus on Melbourne - Brisbane means Sydney - Melbourne is probably a lost cause, which is staggering when there is such a push in the USA and even Europe to compete in similar lengthy corridors.

Keep up the fight Woodford.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm saying no more than the track may have looked fantastic with the shiny new rails and sleepers...once the mud-holes were dealt with, however from the cab of an N Class locos as they had to be rotated to share the wear, the ride certainly did not match the appearance of the tracks.

Moreover, I'll state for the record I'm not implying anything you may have read into my post Mr Woodford and I'm fully aware that the budget for the project fell WAY short and I'm NOT implying in any way the ARTC workers were slack.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Dear woodford,

After reporting on these matters for well over 8 years your credibility and standard of coverage on many  issues particularly this one is highly regarded and sincerely appreciated by us all and I don't think you need to have your defend your position in any way.

Like all of us I know you share the frustration that a once in a century investment to thoroughly rehabilitate this corridor to a very high level of performance and reliability was lost in the project being adequately funded to ensure that a whole range of works like extensive drainage, formation and sub grade rehabilitation, renewal of ballast etc was undertaken as part of the concrete resleepering.    As it has transpired the subsequent ballast rehabilitation and other works performed have been costly and in that sense I wonder how much better the whole project would have been had this all been done in the way it should have been.  In particular to have had the improved performance of the corridor benefitting shippers and rail operators at the height of the boom may also have lead to rail market share either improving or at least holding its own as low as it is.

None of this of course addresses the reality that major deviations and improvements in alignment between Junee and southern Sydney, as proposed by Professor Baird and other for nigh on 20 years now are really the only way you are going to get serious mode shift and that in the current climate and the focus on Melbourne - Brisbane means Sydney - Melbourne is probably a lost cause, which is staggering when there is such a push in the USA and even Europe to compete in similar lengthy corridors.

Keep up the fight Woodford.
Trainplanner
A couple of unrelated points,

ARTC WAS well aware that it would be better to redo both lines from the ground up but they simply did not have the funds. Imagine the frustration that must have been for them. Every alteration from the original regauging caused them considerable grief as they had to find more funds.

The following is only my opinion but.............. It is possible the delay in the project was deliberately engineered by ARTC management to give them time to raise the extra funds required to do a better job.

Thirdly, I apologise for getting personel but I am 150% sure of my position and anyone basing an argument on poor data _______REALLY_______ annoys me. I am well aware of the riding problems of the N class, while the track is still not completely perfect, the loco rides WAY better now. You can get a good look it this aspect from car E on the north bound train. A decent VLine passenger/loco set is WWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY overdue. The XPT rides the lines considerably better.

Lastly, As previously mentioned I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress disorder, My counselors have told me in no uncertain terms if anyone causes my mental grief I HAVE to say something. This is not something I am at all comfortable with, but they have told me if I don't me mind will be further damaged.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Note: In case I have not made this clear, When ever any Ballast rehabilitation work has been done, the teams have ALWAYS removed all ballast down to the track base. They made sure the base sloped to the drain and the drain was clear. The teams are a MASTER at this work and its been a REAL pleasure to watch them do a job. The base appears to be a smooth clay layer and as already stated I have never ever seen even a rippple in this base.

They stated they can do around 200 metres of track a day.

woodford
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Speaking as a train driver who runs this line from time to time. The track has improved over recent years; still not a great ride, but credit where due, it has improved. Some places are still rough, but then again all other tracks also have rough spots. By and large, ARTC has (and I know this is subjective) improved the ride quality.

That said, there remain issues, and it would be nice to see them improved, however I assume Woodford is unfortunately correct and ARTC does not have a bottomless purse. If those issues are progressively improved, all is well. By and large, as Woodford says, the local gangs are doing their best within their constraints.

The corridor management is another matter. Tree growth is now hitting passing trains, and many signals are now obscured. This is worse when you have parallel signals, with "your" signal obscured, and the "other" signal showing a proceed, so can create a risk. Also strikes me that the foliage growth will not do any good for the corridor long-term, creating risks of trees falling onto tracks, also of fire risks.

Level crossing signals are strange, in that the Predictors are not set up for increasing speeds. Elsewhere in Victoria, including the parallel BG lines south of Seymour, where a "50" is included on the predictor symbol, drivers can accelerate if doing more than 50 km/h. The ARTC don't seem to recognise this standard, so we are not allowed to accelerate if we pass such a board. Several spots this makes life hard, especially for freight trains.

The Broadford pedestrian crossing is an anomaly; the BG lines have pedestrian gates, the SG do not; same crossing as far as the public is concerned, so same risks, but the lack of protection on the SG line where the adjacent BG line has full protection surely creates risks. Story we heard was that ARTC wouldn't co-operate with the project, so just wasn't done; this being at the time of the great VR - ARTC war on signals, so possible I guess.

Another crossover between east and west lines just south of Euroa would be wonderful; breaking up the long section, and allowing nearly all passenger trains to run on the West track at least that far. Even just one crossover, allowing southbound trains on the West Track to cross over to the East track would be great. The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Note: In case I have not made this clear, When ever any Ballast rehabilitation work has been done, the teams have ALWAYS removed all ballast down to the track base. They made sure the base sloped to the drain and the drain was clear. The teams are a MASTER at this work and its been a REAL pleasure to watch them do a job. The base appears to be a smooth clay layer and as already stated I have never ever seen even a rippple in this base.

They stated they can do around 200 metres of track a day.

woodford
woodford
Woodford

You have just said something very significant and important here.

Once the ballast was removed down to the track base, and the base sloped  to ensure it drained properly, the basis for a good quality track exists. When you include the new ballast, plus whatever old ballast that could be cleaned and re used, then add in the new rail. What do you have? A new track.

That adds up to a job well done by the ARTC.

It is also is a compliment to your astute observation and analysis.

Duncs
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The XPT rides the lines considerably better.


woodford.
woodford

The XPT will always ride better over any track than V/Line rolling stock as it has air-bag suspension..

Mike.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks HBE driver.   I agree with you about inserting crossovers around Euroa to break up this long section.   It is evident that a number of Network Controllers use the bi-directional capability of the corridor to better manage trains and enhancements such as this would increase the flexibility of the corridor to enable overtaking movements and provide improved access for maintenance.   Even so the total number of daily train movements is incredibly low as we know.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Speaking as a train driver who runs this line from time to time. The track has improved over recent years; still not a great ride, but credit where due, it has improved. Some places are still rough, but then again all other tracks also have rough spots. By and large, ARTC has (and I know this is subjective) improved the ride quality.

That said, there remain issues, and it would be nice to see them improved, however I assume Woodford is unfortunately correct and ARTC does not have a bottomless purse. If those issues are progressively improved, all is well. By and large, as Woodford says, the local gangs are doing their best within their constraints.

The corridor management is another matter. Tree growth is now hitting passing trains, and many signals are now obscured. This is worse when you have parallel signals, with "your" signal obscured, and the "other" signal showing a proceed, so can create a risk. Also strikes me that the foliage growth will not do any good for the corridor long-term, creating risks of trees falling onto tracks, also of fire risks.

Level crossing signals are strange, in that the Predictors are not set up for increasing speeds. Elsewhere in Victoria, including the parallel BG lines south of Seymour, where a "50" is included on the predictor symbol, drivers can accelerate if doing more than 50 km/h. The ARTC don't seem to recognise this standard, so we are not allowed to accelerate if we pass such a board. Several spots this makes life hard, especially for freight trains.

The Broadford pedestrian crossing is an anomaly; the BG lines have pedestrian gates, the SG do not; same crossing as far as the public is concerned, so same risks, but the lack of protection on the SG line where the adjacent BG line has full protection surely creates risks. Story we heard was that ARTC wouldn't co-operate with the project, so just wasn't done; this being at the time of the great VR - ARTC war on signals, so possible I guess.

Another crossover between east and west lines just south of Euroa would be wonderful; breaking up the long section, and allowing nearly all passenger trains to run on the West track at least that far. Even just one crossover, allowing southbound trains on the West Track to cross over to the East track would be great. The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride.
hbedriver

Many thanks for the comments from a driver, I do see them from time to time and its always interesting. A couple of comments......

"the great VR - ARTC war on signals"

What happened was the ARTC actually started installing NSW signalling starting just north of Seymour WITHOUT asking Victoria which did have the say so. Most people will have no idea on how pissed off this made the signalling establishment in Victoria, I mean these guys were REALLY pissed and dug in there heals and would not budge. ARTC appears at this stage to try to negotiate a compromise but Victoria stuck to to there guns and ARTC in the end had to give in.
Woodford has absolutely no idea why the ARTC management who are NOT idiots (I have talked to most of them) would do the above.

A crossover south of Euroa is so obvious, that I am sure ARTC had such a thing on there "A" list, unfortunately this was likely the first thing that was crossed off in order to save money (Sadly politicians are completely ignorant when it comes to the "real world"). Even a single crossover would require 6 separate signal installations on each line as well as the crossover. The cost could easily be well above 10 million dollars by the time installation and testing is taken into account. The cost of a double cross over would probably add only another million or so. Signalling is DREADFULLY expensive as both the manufaturers and the installers MUST prove that it meets ALL specs.

Note: I had a REAL good look at the new signalling gear (including level crossing) when it was being installed, hmmmmm some VERY nice gear there I may say. Beautiful terminal strips on the signals, try and get ANYTHING like that from Jaycar or Altronics, no hope.

woodford
  G Train Locomotive Driver

Hi all, I rode the Daylight XPT from Melbourne to Sydney yesterday travelling on the West Line north of Seymour and it was a much smoother ride than I have experienced previously. The NSW side was also quite good other than a couple of minor wobbles north of Table Top. It was a slight sideways movement on the straight rather than the up & down felt with mud holes. We were on time into Sydney too despite an over 15 minute wait at Wallan Loop after crawling through the length of it for the morning Albury pass (we travelled the section to Kilmore East from a stop in around 12 mins) and a sniffer dog and large Police presence doing a search of the platform & train at Wagga Wagga.

I think these trains normally cross around the Hansen Quarry north of Kilmore East on the passing lane. Still it didn't matter, there was enough recovery time in the current timetable for all this. With the better track conditions (hopefully maintained) I wonder whether we'll ever see higher speed running of the XPT in Victoria and Southern NSW?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hi all, I rode the Daylight XPT from Melbourne to Sydney yesterday travelling on the West Line north of Seymour and it was a much smoother ride than I have experienced previously. The NSW side was also quite good other than a couple of minor wobbles north of Table Top. It was a slight sideways movement on the straight rather than the up & down felt with mud holes. We were on time into Sydney too despite an over 15 minute wait at Wallan Loop after crawling through the length of it for the morning Albury pass (we travelled the section to Kilmore East from a stop in around 12 mins) and a sniffer dog and large Police presence doing a search of the platform & train at Wagga Wagga.

I think these trains normally cross around the Hansen Quarry north of Kilmore East on the passing lane. Still it didn't matter, there was enough recovery time in the current timetable for all this. With the better track conditions (hopefully maintained) I wonder whether we'll ever see higher speed running of the XPT in Victoria and Southern NSW?
G Train
Many thanks for the report,
In the morning where there is no conflicting pass, the controlers will often put the pass on the best line which currently is the West line. If a delay in a cross is known in advance, the controllers will often tell the drivers of the pass's concerned to slow down. Its not unknown for a pass on the way to Melbourne to be held up because something weird is going on in Dynon.

Yes, the cross in the morning between the XPT and the south bound VLine pass will normally be at Passing lane 2, I have had it at passing lane 4 once and passing lane 2 3 times. Its rare for the Vline pass to be held up for long, when it is its because something has gone wrong. The single line south of Seymour is a bit of a problem.

woodford
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
G Train I wonder whether we'll ever see higher speed running of the XPT in Victoria and Southern NSW?

Unfortunately not. In Victoria at least as is the case with the Regional Fast Rail tracks that permit 160kph operation, there is the fail safe Train Protection Warning System (TPWS) installed at signals on those tracks.

I don't believe TPWS was installed on the NE line, therefore until that eventually happens...130kph, except for speed restrictions it will remain.

Mike.
  M636C Minister for Railways

"The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride."
This is hardly surprising.....

Just looking at the tracks from the adjacent highway, the West line sits higher than the East line. Some of this is the earthworks, but it is clear that the East line was built on the cheap with lower embankments and less ballast and this was at least partly the choice of the VR. In Western Australia, a few years later, it appears that no expense was spared in earthworks but the track itself was not up to the standard required, particularly by the heavy Kwinana iron ore trains. It is more than likely that the Federal government of the time based their contribution on nothing more than 47kg/m rail being used, although the NSWGR used heavier rail on their main South by that time.

The North East standard gauge does not look like it was designed to eventually replace the broad gauge although even in 1962 this must have been seen as a possibility. In WA, both narrow and standard gauge lines were relocated to a new alignment and that still carries significant narrow gauge grain traffic, although most other freight is on standard gauge.

The light rail on the NESG has been replaced, but the legacy of it being designed to bypass all the existing yards and stations remains, even though most of the yards have vanished, along with many stations.

M636C
  woodford Chief Commissioner

"The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride."
This is hardly surprising.....

Just looking at the tracks from the adjacent highway, the West line sits higher than the East line. Some of this is the earthworks, but it is clear that the East line was built on the cheap with lower embankments and less ballast and this was at least partly the choice of the VR. In Western Australia, a few years later, it appears that no expense was spared in earthworks but the track itself was not up to the standard required, particularly by the heavy Kwinana iron ore trains. It is more than likely that the Federal government of the time based their contribution on nothing more than 47kg/m rail being used, although the NSWGR used heavier rail on their main South by that time.

The North East standard gauge does not look like it was designed to eventually replace the broad gauge although even in 1962 this must have been seen as a possibility. In WA, both narrow and standard gauge lines were relocated to a new alignment and that still carries significant narrow gauge grain traffic, although most other freight is on standard gauge.

The light rail on the NESG has been replaced, but the legacy of it being designed to bypass all the existing yards and stations remains, even though most of the yards have vanished, along with many stations.

M636C
M636C

The old SG NE (East) line  is known to have been built to a low standard, one of its main problems was poor drainage. ARTC has taken steps to try and correct this.

The West line (the old BG) has around 30cm of ballast under the sleepers and for the East line it appears to be around 25 cms in depth. even so I believe for the East line's track base is lower than for the West line, as the later track looks to be around 10 to 15 cms above the former.

The few times I have travelled on the XPT it sat exactly on 120kph, the lines have a 130kph speed limit EXCEPT for the 6 or so unsignaled level crossings where the speed limit is 120kph.

To ARTC the Vic NE line is a freight line that has a few pass's on it, they strongly resisted an 130kph speed rating for the line but it appears Victoria/VLine dug in and would not except any lower speed limit.

woodford
  skitz Chief Commissioner

"The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride."
This is hardly surprising.....

Just looking at the tracks from the adjacent highway, the West line sits higher than the East line. Some of this is the earthworks, but it is clear that the East line was built on the cheap with lower embankments and less ballast and this was at least partly the choice of the VR. In Western Australia, a few years later, it appears that no expense was spared in earthworks but the track itself was not up to the standard required, particularly by the heavy Kwinana iron ore trains. It is more than likely that the Federal government of the time based their contribution on nothing more than 47kg/m rail being used, although the NSWGR used heavier rail on their main South by that time.

The North East standard gauge does not look like it was designed to eventually replace the broad gauge although even in 1962 this must have been seen as a possibility. In WA, both narrow and standard gauge lines were relocated to a new alignment and that still carries significant narrow gauge grain traffic, although most other freight is on standard gauge.

The light rail on the NESG has been replaced, but the legacy of it being designed to bypass all the existing yards and stations remains, even though most of the yards have vanished, along with many stations.

M636C

The old SG NE (East) line  is known to have been built to a low standard, one of its main problems was poor drainage. ARTC has taken steps to try and correct this.

The West line (the old BG) has around 30cm of ballast under the sleepers and for the East line it appears to be around 25 cms in depth. even so I believe for the East line's track base is lower than for the West line, as the later track looks to be around 10 to 15 cms above the former.

The few times I have travelled on the XPT it sat exactly on 120kph, the lines have a 130kph speed limit EXCEPT for the 6 or so unsignaled level crossings where the speed limit is 120kph.

To ARTC the Vic NE line is a freight line that has a few pass's on it, they strongly resisted an 130kph speed rating for the line but it appears Victoria/VLine dug in and would not except any lower speed limit.

woodford
woodford
Word is the east line is to be put into mothballs to save on operating and maintenance costs.

No word on how long this will apply for or indeed if it is to be closed and the rail transferred to the rerail of the Trans Australia Railway.


It would appear a ridiculous move, but who knows what can happen in this day and age.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Word is the east line is to be put into mothballs to save on operating and maintenance costs.

No word on how long this will apply for or indeed if it is to be closed and the rail transferred to the rerail of the Trans Australia Railway.


It would appear a ridiculous move, but who knows what can happen in this day and age.
Going to need a source on this one......
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Word is the east line is to be put into mothballs to save on operating and maintenance costs.

No word on how long this will apply for or indeed if it is to be closed and the rail transferred to the rerail of the Trans Australia Railway.


It would appear a ridiculous move, but who knows what can happen in this day and age.
Going to need a source on this one......
james.au
You might want to check the date of the post first.......
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Oh wow - I totally stepped into that one!!!!!

Nice work @skitz !!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The ARTC track team was again working near Violet Town. The West line just north of Violet Town (between the level crossing and the creek) had some tendencies to think it was a roller coaster. They have got it really excellent, there still must be just some finishing touchs. Note the repair has not deteriorated, I have been looking for that.

Again I an quite surprised how they have got all the small ripples out of the West lines rails.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Time 1030,Both East and West lines closed at Violet Town going North, anyone know what has happened.

woodford
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

"The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride."
This is hardly surprising.....

Just looking at the tracks from the adjacent highway, the West line sits higher than the East line. Some of this is the earthworks, but it is clear that the East line was built on the cheap with lower embankments and less ballast and this was at least partly the choice of the VR. In Western Australia, a few years later, it appears that no expense was spared in earthworks but the track itself was not up to the standard required, particularly by the heavy Kwinana iron ore trains. It is more than likely that the Federal government of the time based their contribution on nothing more than 47kg/m rail being used, although the NSWGR used heavier rail on their main South by that time.

The North East standard gauge does not look like it was designed to eventually replace the broad gauge although even in 1962 this must have been seen as a possibility. In WA, both narrow and standard gauge lines were relocated to a new alignment and that still carries significant narrow gauge grain traffic, although most other freight is on standard gauge.

The light rail on the NESG has been replaced, but the legacy of it being designed to bypass all the existing yards and stations remains, even though most of the yards have vanished, along with many stations.

M636C

The old SG NE (East) line  is known to have been built to a low standard, one of its main problems was poor drainage. ARTC has taken steps to try and correct this.

The West line (the old BG) has around 30cm of ballast under the sleepers and for the East line it appears to be around 25 cms in depth. even so I believe for the East line's track base is lower than for the West line, as the later track looks to be around 10 to 15 cms above the former.

The few times I have travelled on the XPT it sat exactly on 120kph, the lines have a 130kph speed limit EXCEPT for the 6 or so unsignaled level crossings where the speed limit is 120kph.

To ARTC the Vic NE line is a freight line that has a few pass's on it, they strongly resisted an 130kph speed rating for the line but it appears Victoria/VLine dug in and would not except any lower speed limit.

woodford
Word is the east line is to be put into mothballs to save on operating and maintenance costs.

No word on how long this will apply for or indeed if it is to be closed and the rail transferred to the rerail of the Trans Australia Railway.


It would appear a ridiculous move, but who knows what can happen in this day and age.
skitz
Feds have just funded ARTC to order new 60kg rail from Whyalla to re rail  Eastern End of the TAR .
North East Line is  Victorian owned both tracks and leased to ARTC, so not a decision for ARTC to make.
Given the current un reliability of VLP on Albury the Victorian Government is not going to agree to any singling .
Further  Melbourne - Albury is first leg of Inland Railway that received further funding in Federal Budget, so again no singling of a line that is going to get more freight traffic with the completion of the Inland Route to Brisbane .
  skitz Chief Commissioner

"The West track (old BG) incidentally has the superior ride."
This is hardly surprising.....

Just looking at the tracks from the adjacent highway, the West line sits higher than the East line. Some of this is the earthworks, but it is clear that the East line was built on the cheap with lower embankments and less ballast and this was at least partly the choice of the VR. In Western Australia, a few years later, it appears that no expense was spared in earthworks but the track itself was not up to the standard required, particularly by the heavy Kwinana iron ore trains. It is more than likely that the Federal government of the time based their contribution on nothing more than 47kg/m rail being used, although the NSWGR used heavier rail on their main South by that time.

The North East standard gauge does not look like it was designed to eventually replace the broad gauge although even in 1962 this must have been seen as a possibility. In WA, both narrow and standard gauge lines were relocated to a new alignment and that still carries significant narrow gauge grain traffic, although most other freight is on standard gauge.

The light rail on the NESG has been replaced, but the legacy of it being designed to bypass all the existing yards and stations remains, even though most of the yards have vanished, along with many stations.

M636C

The old SG NE (East) line  is known to have been built to a low standard, one of its main problems was poor drainage. ARTC has taken steps to try and correct this.

The West line (the old BG) has around 30cm of ballast under the sleepers and for the East line it appears to be around 25 cms in depth. even so I believe for the East line's track base is lower than for the West line, as the later track looks to be around 10 to 15 cms above the former.

The few times I have travelled on the XPT it sat exactly on 120kph, the lines have a 130kph speed limit EXCEPT for the 6 or so unsignaled level crossings where the speed limit is 120kph.

To ARTC the Vic NE line is a freight line that has a few pass's on it, they strongly resisted an 130kph speed rating for the line but it appears Victoria/VLine dug in and would not except any lower speed limit.

woodford
Word is the east line is to be put into mothballs to save on operating and maintenance costs.

No word on how long this will apply for or indeed if it is to be closed and the rail transferred to the rerail of the Trans Australia Railway.


It would appear a ridiculous move, but who knows what can happen in this day and age.
Feds have just funded ARTC to order new 60kg rail from Whyalla to re rail  Eastern End of the TAR .
North East Line is  Victorian owned both tracks and leased to ARTC, so not a decision for ARTC to make.
Given the current un reliability of VLP on Albury the Victorian Government is not going to agree to any singling .
Further  Melbourne - Albury is first leg of Inland Railway that received further funding in Federal Budget, so again no singling of a line that is going to get more freight traffic with the completion of the Inland Route to Brisbane .
kuldalai
You may want to go check the date of the post of mine you quoted kuldalai Laughing

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