Cutana narrow gauge siding

 
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
I have some old diagrams of railway sidings on the former 3'6 Port Pirie to Cockburn line. However, there's one missing in the folder, and I was just wondering if anybody here would have a diagram of it at all? It's Cutana, between Macdonald Hill and Mingary.

I could try state records, but doing it by this method would be slower than what is desirable, and possibly take weeks assuming it can be located at all. It's a last resort, but I'm just wondering if there are any members here that might have a scanned copy of this particular siding at all please?

I might be able to make it out through the faint remnants visible in Google earth, but it still doesn't represent it that well.

Thanks

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  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The ARHS Bulletin has index entries under the heading "Track plan - SA - Cutana" in Nov 2006 (1961) and Apr 2007 (1967). There a photo of Cutana in each issue.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Thanks for the info. Is there any way at all to purchase these back issues digitally?
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Seems you can buy a DVD containing 10 years worth from http://www.railwaybookshop.com.au/ for $25.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Just curious, is the current tunnel just west of Ucolta on the same alignment as the original narrow gauge line? AusTracks.kml seems to show two different narrow gauge alignments, but according to a photo in the Lionel Noble collection, one of these alignments may have been short lived.

I assume the tunnel was reconstructed at some point during standardisation?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Just curious, is the current tunnel just west of Ucolta on the same alignment as the original narrow gauge line? AusTracks.kml seems to show two different narrow gauge alignments, but according to a photo in the Lionel Noble collection, one of these alignments may have been short lived.

I assume the tunnel was reconstructed at some point during standardisation?
ARG706
The SG line runs through a cutting just north of the NG tunnel. Type in Ucolta on Google Earth and you can clearly see the NG and SG alignments.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Just curious, is the current tunnel just west of Ucolta on the same alignment as the original narrow gauge line? AusTracks.kml seems to show two different narrow gauge alignments, but according to a photo in the Lionel Noble collection, one of these alignments may have been short lived.

I assume the tunnel was reconstructed at some point during standardisation?
The SG line runs through a cutting just north of the NG tunnel. Type in Ucolta on Google Earth and you can clearly see the NG and SG alignments.
Pressman
During construction of the SG, the narrow gauge line was diverted to the new SG formation (as Pressman says, just to the north of the tunnel) and the SG line operated, for construction purposes, through the Dowds Hill tunnel. This was the arrangement while ballast trains and the like were running on the SG. As the SG line was on the southern side of the NG these two temporary diversions avoided two SG/NG crossings. The photo below shows standard gauge 868 exiting Dowds Hill tunnel on an empty ore train on 2-Jan-70.
[img]http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u23/duttonbay/South%20Australian%20Railway/0633%20SG%20868%20at%20Dowds%20Hill%20Tunnel%20ety%20ore%20on%20the%20NG%20formation%2002Jan70_zpsynk6jol8.jpg[/img]
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Thanks for the info. So I gather that the tunnel was originally part of the NG alignment?

In this image, the purple line show two different narrow gauge alignments. Just curious, which of these would have been used in the 1950s?

  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Thanks for the info. So I gather that the tunnel was originally part of the NG alignment?

In this image, the purple line show two different narrow gauge alignments. Just curious, which of these would have been used in the 1950s?

ARG706
The left-most line did not go through the tunnel, and was the original alignment. If you look at google earth you can see the alignment doesn't go through the tunnel, but crosses to the other side of the current road.  This original alignment was deviated through the newly built tunnel as part of a regrading, and opened in 1899. This means that in the 1950s the right-most of those two alignments visible was in use.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
I think it makes sense to me now, after all this time looking at GE. Cheers.
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
The SG line runs through a cutting just north of the NG tunnel. Type in Ucolta on Google Earth and you can clearly see the NG and SG alignments.
Pressman
I did this with google maps (switching to satellite view) out of curiosity, and was bemused to see the picture caption that came up for Ucolta was labeled Aug 2016, but has an 800 with a Shrike on front crossing an embankment.  But the red-and-silver loco with a mustard pot trailing does look nice Smile
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Sorry, but I have another question.

One other thing with this line is that GE doesn't clearly indicate the original alignment. The curve and gradient chart indicates a straight section of around 1300 metres after the curve at approximately -32.961604 138.889436. However, the SG alignment has a long curve through what is supposedly straight track with the NG alignment.

Here's an image of the track in GE, regarding what I'm referring to.



The angle of the tunnel is consistent with the SG alignment, which makes things confusing. Where abouts was the 3'6 line in this section? There seems to be remnants of a formation closer to what seems to be a sideroad, but this bypasses the tunnel.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I'm not certain you are looking at the right place for the NG Dowds Hill tunnel. It is here, with the old NG alignment roughly drawn in either side:



This structure (below) is the road overpass over the SG line. I suspect that Whittle Road is the route the highway took in NG days, but cannot be certain of that.

  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Sort of makes sense now. I didn't even notice that until now. I assumed the tunnel was associated with the road visible in GE. Thanks for pointing out the proper location of the tunnel.

Anyhow, I'm still not certain which route the NG line took. The section of NG track which went through the tunnel shown in the GE image you posted above seems to spawn from the alignment of the SG overpass. As mentioned, it seems to be inconsistent with the curve and gradient chart. But then, these aren't necessarily 100% accurate.

I'm still confused as to which route the NG took in the 1950s between the sideroad at the far left of the image I posted, and the original narrow gauge tunnel, which fortunately has now been identified.

I assume the overpass was constructed around the beginning of the SG era? Was there a road deviation built around this time? If so, did the original NG line just run parallel to the road on the right?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Sort of makes sense now. I didn't even notice that until now. I assumed the tunnel was associated with the road visible in GE. Thanks for pointing out the proper location of the tunnel.

Anyhow, I'm still not certain which route the NG line took. The section of NG track which went through the tunnel shown in the GE image you posted above seems to spawn from the alignment of the SG overpass. As mentioned, it seems to be inconsistent with the curve and gradient chart. But then, these aren't necessarily 100% accurate.

I'm still confused as to which route the NG took in the 1950s between the sideroad at the far left of the image I posted, and the original narrow gauge tunnel, which fortunately has now been identified.

I assume the overpass was constructed around the beginning of the SG era? Was there a road deviation built around this time? If so, did the original NG line just run parallel to the road on the right?
ARG706
The bitumen "side road" could quite possibly be the path of the original NG, it does seem to line up with old NG alignment in the above photos and it does appear to pass over the tunnel. This side road has a gentle slope down as it heads back towards Peterborough.
This "side track" road was only ever a dirt track until about 10 to 15 years ago when ARTC "unearthed" and rebuild the SG 'Armco' tunnel to allow for double stacking clearances. The road was highway quality with a level crossing with flashing lights at the Peterborough end. As it turned out there were structural problems with the SG tunnel rebuild and the detour road was in use for a couple of years.
The Highway (B56) has a slightly steep approach from the west
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
The problem is though that the tunnel is supposedly part of the NG alignment circa 1950s, and the alignment you're referring to goes above the tunnel supposedly. I'm looking to pinpoint the exact route that was in use around the mid to late 1950s.

It could be part of the original, but what I'm trying to figure out where the line went after the curve in the current standard gauge alignment referred to in an earlier post. It's supposedly straight about as far as where it would theoretically cross the Barrier Hwy. However, GE doesn't give any hints of it.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

For much of the distance between Cockburn and Port Pirie the SG was built alongside the NG. It's quite likely that the reason the cutting at the western-end of the tunnel seems to align with the SG is because the NG was alongside it - on the southern side.

I know I read about the arrangements at Dowd's Hill somewhere, but it may have been in the news segments of the ARHS Bulletin, which don't appear to be indexed. I have been meaning to buy the ARHS CDs so I can perform text searches - perhaps now might be the right time...
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Incidentally, the original NG alignment took the line on the ridge (if you can call it a ridge, as it's pretty low and shallow) over the top of the tunnel. It is likely that the tunnel was built that way rather than a cutting in order to maintain service on the original line while the deviation through the tunnel was constructed.

So Pressman's comment 'The bitumen "side road" could quite possibly be the path of the original NG, it does seem to line up with old NG alignment in the above photos and it does appear to pass over the tunnel' seems to be on the money.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
What I've possibly overlooked is that the current Barrier Hwy route would not have been there for most of the NG era. So in some way, the line could have been straight, with that dirt track visible to the lower right of the overpass possible going parallel to the original alignment, with it crossing it metres to the right. The line drawn in Google Earth matches up with the beginning of the curve on the NG alignment to the right, and the point where it crosses the dirt track. It's consistent with the curve and gradient profile I have of the line.

I can't understand why there's no remnants of the alignment, but the end result may be speculative anyhow.

I've ordered that CD from ARHS NSW with the back issues, so accessing that ARH article shouldn't be a problem. Making sense of this is harder in a way...Wink
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
ARG706, that road(B56) is NOT the Barrier Highway (which is the A32)
B56 meets the Barrier Hwy about 8kms to the east.
B56 runs from the Barrier Hwy (at Ucolta) via Peterborough, Orroroo, and Wilmington to join the A1 near Winninowie.
It is part of the truck route from Broken Hill (and east of there) through to Port Augusta and beyond.

The actual tunnel location is (as Dutton bay stated) Dowd's Hill
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
Sorry, got the roads confused. Yes, the Barrier Hwy is further to the east. I was just referring to the road which looks to have replaced a dirt road at some point.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

I'm still confused as to which route the NG took in the 1950s between the side road at the far left of the image I posted, and the original narrow gauge tunnel, which fortunately has now been identified.


I reckon it simply ran beside the current-day SG line, on the northern side, for most of that distance. The SG took a route slightly to the north, through the big cutting, to bypass the tunnel.

I assume the overpass was constructed around the beginning of the SG era? Was there a road deviation built around this time? If so, did the original NG line just run parallel to the road on the right?


As Pressman said, the road crossed the SG line on an Armco "tunnel", later replaced by a higher overpass. The original line (pre-tunnel) was likely on the alignment of the now sealed road which runs to the south of the railway between the tunnel vicinity and the level crossing. That road was used as a road diversion during the construction of the new, double-stack clearance, overpass.

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