150 Years of Railways in Tasmania

 
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
In less than five years it will be 150 years since Tasmania's first railway began operations between Launceston's Inveresk Railyards and Deloraine, the Launceston and Western Railway.
What sort of Celebrations should Tasmania expect?
What sort of Celebrations would you like?
What are your suggestions?
Now is probably the time to start planning?
Are there enough talented people out there to get the ball rolling?

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Would be nice to see a series of excursions of the open network, which is basically limited to
- Bell Bay branch through to Western Junction to Conara Junction to Brighton to the Paper Mill
- Roseberry to Burnie to Western Junction
- Conara Junction to Fingal

However as the Tasrail network is still off-limits to Heritage traffic and I believe DRR no longer have a track connection and various locos are currently our of service, the heritage group in Hobart is now an island with the Hobart branch closed and DVR likely struggling on cash to fund any major projects/activities and no serviceable steam loco and without track access, no easy revenue options. Overall unless something changes soon, I doubt there will be much celebration on the rails at all unfortunately.

It would probably take something like $250k or probably alot more and alot of free labour to bring the various fleets up to scratch for a serious series mainline tours and fix track connections for DVR and DRR.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I would like to see some tour trains on the main line like what happens in celebrations in the other states.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I would like to see some tour trains on the main line like what happens in celebrations in the other states.
GeoffreyHansen
Every other state in the country has a commuter rail network and along with the two territories has some form of regular regional rail service. Tasmania has only freight trains (and lucky to still have them), this completely changes the ball game.

In my mind the govt is dragging its feet on allowing the heritage rail operators back on the rails. They need to make a decision and make it now. Will Heritage rail be allowed back, Yes or No, if Yes, give them a date and conditions.

Once we have that date, now what is potentially viable for some form or regular operation? ie DRR maybe doing a once a month Don to Devonport shuttle as well as longer haul.  

Big question for the Derwent Valley Line, I believe Steve has stated they have been blocked access since PN days. The govt has no interest in the line, so fine, hand it over to DV with conditions. If they fail to maintain the upkeep, close it and rip it up!

Maintaining such a long branch successfully long-term would be fairly unique in Australia and I think DVR should seriously consider walking away from the branch and focus on mainline operations and only have to maintain the 4km or so New Norfolk to Boyer. (Yes I did a trip).
  Peter-Hem Locomotive Driver

Location: Tassie
What would I like to see? I want to see some steam!
I want to see a steam excursion from Hobart to Launceston - Launceston to Burnie - Return.
I want to see H2 in steam. I want to see a CCS-Class in steam. I want to see the A-Class in steam. I want to see E.B.R no.8 in steam. Damn the expense.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Damn the expense.
Peter-Hem
So you are personally offering to bank roll these projects? Wink
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What would I like to see? I want to see some steam!
I want to see a steam excursion from Hobart to Launceston - Launceston to Burnie - Return.
I want to see H2 in steam. I want to see a CCS-Class in steam. I want to see the A-Class in steam. I want to see E.B.R no.8 in steam. Damn the expense.
"Peter-Hem"



Would be nice, but I suspect H2 and Dubs 8 will be out of action for another 20 years unless something changes.
  Peter-Hem Locomotive Driver

Location: Tassie
Damn the expense.
So you are personally offering to bank roll these projects? Wink
Graham4405

I'll rephrase that:

Oh Damn: The expense!
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
Maintaining such a long branch successfully long-term would be fairly unique in Australia and I think DVR should seriously consider walking away from the branch and focus on mainline operations and only have to maintain the 4km or so New Norfolk to Boyer. (Yes I did a trip).
RTT_Rules
No, not particularly unique. New Norfolk to National Park is 37km. This is less than Pichi Richi (Quorn to Port Augusta -39km) - or the same if measured from Boyer - and less than Mary Valley Railway (Gympie to Imbil - 40km) and much less than Steamranger's Victor Harbour Railway (Mt. Barker Jctn. to Victor Harbour - 82km.).

DVR have a fairly solid and very conservative business case for the D.V. Line, based on a gradual re-opening of the line in 5 stages over 10 years (with options to speed up the process to 4 years with additional capital).

Mainline is getting increasingly impractical for heritage groups in Tas, with the increasing shift away from technical compatibility of heritage stock with the Tasrail main network. Now, not only is coupling and braking compatibility an issue (screw & vacuum vs. knuckle & air), now the new ANCS train control system is incompatible as well. The only real option for mainline is starting fresh with imported air-braked, knuckled carriages and air-braked locos with portable ANCS GPS modules.

Of course, one could always specially kit out one of the Tas. steam locos like "Clan Line" (aka ex B.R. Bullied Pacific 35028 - converted to air, etc.) but that would only ever likely be one loco to ever be so treated and trying to get agreement across the state on which one would be impossible (H2, of course IMHO!!).

If DVR walked away from the D.V. Line, that would be the end of D.V.R. (maybe a static museum in New Norfolk could survive?)
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
less than Mary Valley Railway (Gympie to Imbil - 40km)
12CSVT

Which has been out of operation now for years due (at least in part) to the difficulties in maintaining such a long stretch of track.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
less than Mary Valley Railway (Gympie to Imbil - 40km)

Which has been out of operation now for years due (at least in part) to the difficulties in maintaining such a long stretch of track.
Graham4405

The South Gippsland Railway in Victoria (36km) has also recently closed up.
Maintaining the operation with an aging (and shrinking) volunteer base again being the reported issues.
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania

Mainline is getting increasingly impractical for heritage groups in Tas, with the increasing shift away from technical compatibility of heritage stock with the Tasrail main network. Now, not only is coupling and braking compatibility an issue (screw & vacuum vs. knuckle & air), now the new ANCS train control system is incompatible as well. The only real option for mainline is starting fresh with imported air-braked, knuckled carriages and air-braked locos with portable ANCS GPS modules.
12CVT
The only things that have changed since the end of vacuum braked trains, hook and link couplings and P.N. are ANCS GPS modules and an Operator whose intention is to keep other accredited operators accessing the Tasmanian Network.
To my knowledge the three major States operate hook and link rolling stock with knuckle coupled locos and sometimes vice versa on more heavily trafficked networks than the couple of trains a day that runs here in Tasmania with no problems.
The requirement to have air braked rolling stock is another one of those suspect claims. Risk asses, the result might be that any heritage vacuum braked train be accompanied by a spare loco whose power rating is capable of hauling the complete train weight over all grades in case of failure of the train loco. You see this type of operation in U.K. Victoria, N.S.W. and I think Queensland.
ANCS GPS. What do Contractors use particularly those acquired at short notice?
Some of these claims are a bit like one originally trotted out "Our tracks are not up to Passenger Standard" I understand this Standard could not be produced when requested at a "Parliamentary Estimates Committee" simply because there isn't one.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
less than Mary Valley Railway (Gympie to Imbil - 40km)

Which has been out of operation now for years due (at least in part) to the difficulties in maintaining such a long stretch of track.

The South Gippsland Railway in Victoria (36km) has also recently closed up.
Maintaining the operation with an aging (and shrinking) volunteer base again being the reported issues.
lkernan
Of course, Mary Valley is remote from a major population centre (may have done better if closer to Brisbane) yet is still (from what I've heard) working to get back up on its feet again, whilst South Gippsland was overwhelmed by many similar close-by operations (Mornington Peninsula, Victorian Goldfields (Castlemaine & Maldon), Central Highlands (Daylesford), Yarra Valley, etc.)
  abtrail Station Master

Location: west coast wilderness railway
would nice to see pass trains but if tasrail painted some trs in old colours that would at lest be something
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
would nice to see pass trains but if tasrail painted some trs in old colours that would at lest be something
abtrail

I've been thinking a TR in TGR colours would look cool for a long time.
Replace the TGR logo with a red Tasrail logo.

Biggest problem with that is the rounded cab corners, which makes it hard to get a clean line for the stripes.
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
I did these two liveries a while ago. There issues on the colours, stripe widths, bogie colours etc, but you can get a rough idea on a side view.

[img]https://c3.staticflickr.com/9/8576/16398478602_496aeb04b1_k.jpg[/img]
[img]https://c5.staticflickr.com/8/7315/16400110532_e2522c258f_k.jpg[/img]
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Maintaining such a long branch successfully long-term would be fairly unique in Australia and I think DVR should seriously consider walking away from the branch and focus on mainline operations and only have to maintain the 4km or so New Norfolk to Boyer. (Yes I did a trip).
No, not particularly unique. New Norfolk to National Park is 37km. This is less than Pichi Richi (Quorn to Port Augusta -39km) - or the same if measured from Boyer - and less than Mary Valley Railway (Gympie to Imbil - 40km) and much less than Steamranger's Victor Harbour Railway (Mt. Barker Jctn. to Victor Harbour - 82km.).

DVR have a fairly solid and very conservative business case for the D.V. Line, based on a gradual re-opening of the line in 5 stages over 10 years (with options to speed up the process to 4 years with additional capital).

Mainline is getting increasingly impractical for heritage groups in Tas, with the increasing shift away from technical compatibility of heritage stock with the Tasrail main network. Now, not only is coupling and braking compatibility an issue (screw & vacuum vs. knuckle & air), now the new ANCS train control system is incompatible as well. The only real option for mainline is starting fresh with imported air-braked, knuckled carriages and air-braked locos with portable ANCS GPS modules.

Of course, one could always specially kit out one of the Tas. steam locos like "Clan Line" (aka ex B.R. Bullied Pacific 35028 - converted to air, etc.) but that would only ever likely be one loco to ever be so treated and trying to get agreement across the state on which one would be impossible (H2, of course IMHO!!).

If DVR walked away from the D.V. Line, that would be the end of D.V.R. (maybe a static museum in New Norfolk could survive?)
12CSVT
Mary Valley is struggling to survive and to date has been fed repeated govt hand outs to last this long, probably not a good example. The others have a larger population to support and the drier climate may help as well?

The assumption there is that there is a need to connect the heritage stock with freight stock, potentially for recovery if required.

Not sure how the ANCS safe working operates, but Tasrail does not operate Sunday's apart from Cement as far as I'm aware and I'm sure it can be worked around. I cannot imagine steam engines running around Brisbane are compatible with either the safe working system or the local sparks for recovery.
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

Very nice work with TGR red/cream & tiger stripe liveries, Z1. I'd like to think that TasRail would repaint some locos for 2021 celebrations.

I'd think also a loco in EBR colours would be appropriate given the significance of that line in the heritage of the contemporary network.

Although on the one hand it is worth celebrating the fact that we have a functioning state rail network given that we were fortunate to a degree to make it to 140 years, it is also disappointing to think that we will almost certainly have passed 40 years without a regularly operating modern passenger service.

There is also the grave doubt over the future protection of out-of-service corridors, and even if the Hobart suburban route is given some form of protection, it is likely without the guarantee of ongoing connection across the Derwent to the rest of the State network.

Cheers,
DPJ

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