What Rail Level Change was made to the Ten Tunnels for Electrification?

 
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
Hello all,

A question for those in the know, please.

The Ten Tunnel (Zig Zag) Deviation was opened in 1910.  Initially it was steam operated.  In 1956-60 Electrification was installed.  
Did the electrification cause the rail level in the tunnels to be altered (lowered)?

In 1970 the V Sets were introduced.  Was the rail level altered to provide clearance for these double deck carriages?  I know some of the soffit bricks were removed to provide clearance at the roofline.

Some time after this the tunnel floors were excavated and replaced with concrete slabs.  Was the rail level altered when the slabs were constructed?

I would greatly appreciate advice pertaining to these issues.

Happy tunnelling,

John

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  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

According to the book Blue Mountains Railways by William Bayley, the tracks were lowered 600 mm (24 inches) when they were concreted.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I know the Tunnel at Glenbrook and Marrangaroo were  skinned as you can clearly where they cut them back .
I think you will also find the 'floor in all the Tunnels has been reduced more than once beginning with the electrification in the early 50's.
After the electrification, the roadbed was lowered again where required when the line was opened to Perth.

I never actually worked on the road bed project but I saw where they removed an appreciable amount of the road bed prior to laying the concrete.
To me using the top of the rail on the 'Live Road' in use as the level, it was dug down the best part of three feet.
One big problem they faced then and still do today is water running through the roadbed as they have to go back and pump a 'Grout' into various sections through the Tunnels.
I did hear rumblings from within Perway that if they ever needed an excuse to close the Western line, the continuing water erosion and the cost of maintaining the concrete slab would be it.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

In 1970 the V Sets were introduced.  Was the rail level altered to provide clearance for these double deck carriages?  I know some of the soffit bricks were removed to provide clearance at the roofline.
c3526blue

I've been wondering about this, and why the lining might need to be adjusted when the tracks are lowered.  

I just had a look through this video:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LYM4Cb5D1Es

And it appears from the video evidence the masonary changes were made from at roughly 1m above the current rail height to the tunnel floor, presumable to provide the appropriate below (vehicle) floor lateral clearance.


  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
In at least 2 of the Tunnels you will see they are illuminated and oddly enough the lighting was the responsibilty of Per Way, partly because I think they paid for them to be installed to enable works to be done in the Tunnels.
I have no idea if any lighting was in the Tunnels prior to the laying of the concrete road bed but whats there today was installed during that time.
I am sure several of the lights had to be replaced more than once after they were hit by vehicles on Interstate Trains as there is very little clearance between the walls and the vehicles.
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
Thankyou djf01 for the video.  It clearly shows that at this location (with the concrete slab track) that the tunnel was substantially lowered and widened at the haunch instead of the soffit.  There appears to be no change at all to the tunnel profile above about 1m above rail level.

Regards and happy tunnelling,

John
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Thankyou djf01 for the video.  It clearly shows that at this location (with the concrete slab track) that the tunnel was substantially lowered and widened at the haunch instead of the soffit.  There appears to be no change at all to the tunnel profile above about 1m above rail level.

Regards and happy tunnelling,

John
c3526blue
Besides the 10 tunnels getting built in the years up to 1910, the standard interstate track centres were adopted.


The new track centres are 12" (3.66m)

The old track centres CMIIAW were perahap 11".

A key question is therefore what track centres were the 10 tunnels built to? 12' or 11'?

This devil is in the details, and you need a perway engineer to say for sure.

As for terminating Sydney-Blue mountains trains, an 8 car train from Sydney, could connect with a 2 car electric shuttle past Mt Victoria, which would make for better capacity management. A bit like having connecting trams at Wickham, or diesel trains at Kiama.

The facilities at Mt Victoria would need to be altered so that interchange between 8-car and 2-car trains is cross-platform.

An extra trailing crossover would be required at the Sydney end of Platform 2, so that Sydney bound trains can start from that platform 2, which is where the main station buildings are located.

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