V/Line: Victoria rail’s red gum woes

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 01 Jan 2017 15:15
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
We really shouldn't be using wooden sleepers in the 21st century. Speaking of such, there is a broken sleeper at Surrey Hills station on the platform 3 side (down end). I'm sure it will stay there for another 20 years while Metro's in charge though, the last sleeper "replacement" they did on the down local line on the Lilydale/Belgrave lines was about 1 in 5 sleepers and mostly avoiding the station areas and any pointwork.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
1 sleeper in 5 will hold the gauge (more or less anyway) and she'll be right for the other odd broken/rotten sleeper.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

We really shouldn't be using wooden sleepers in the 21st century. Speaking of such, there is a broken sleeper at Surrey Hills station on the platform 3 side (down end). I'm sure it will stay there for another 20 years while Metro's in charge though, the last sleeper "replacement" they did on the down local line on the Lilydale/Belgrave lines was about 1 in 5 sleepers and mostly avoiding the station areas and any pointwork.
"Heihachi_73"



I think you will find changing of sleepers within stations on the Melbourne network is treated as a special case as for most of them the sleeper cannot be pulled out side ways as the platform is in the way. I assume one removes them by digging out the ballast, pull out the spikes over  a length of track and move the sleepers sideways until one has enough space to turn them around and remove them from between the rails.

Point timbers also are a special case,, these are heavier than normal sleepers and they are screwed or sometime bolted inplace making them more difficult to remove, also one needs a special tamper to pack them.

Note: Usually the same team does these as do the main line, but it does take more time, also working between the hours of 2400 and 0500 in the morning  lot is a complete pain in  the  rear end, i may say.

woodford
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
In NSW at least, a sleeper was to be removed completely so it could be replaced but back in the late 70's this was found not to be the case at a number of Blue Mountains stations.
Where the track lay between the platform and the sides of the sandstone cutting, the old sleeper had been dug down and a new one laid on top of it.
The Down Main at both Hazelbrook and Medlow Bath are 2 stations where this had been done but how long ago nobody had any idea.
This completely stopped the Ballast cleaner as it could not rip out the old sleeper, the teeth just skidded against the timber.
This wasnt just one or 2 dug down but more than 30 were eventually removed and to do this, the track had to be completely removed along the whole platform which delayed the upgrading program considerably.

As far as I am aware, so long as the train traveled slowly and wasnt a major load, as long as there was one sleeper in four, properly bedded and secured to the rails, it was safe to run a Train over.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

I think you will find changing of sleepers within stations on the Melbourne network is treated as a special case as for most of them the sleeper cannot be pulled out side ways as the platform is in the way. I assume one removes them by digging out the ballast, pull out the spikes over  a length of track and move the sleepers sideways until one has enough space to turn them around and remove them from between the rails.
woodford
These days sleepers through platforms in double track are often replaced by reconditioning the whole track through the platforms, i.e. remove rail, sleepers, the muck that passes for ballast - right down to the capping layer, rebuild the drainage system and build a new track.

In the manual maintenance days, sleepers in double track through platforms were 'boodled'. The crib next to the sleeper to be replaced was dug out down to just below the bottom of a (new) sleeper. The dogs were pulled and the sleeper knocked sideways with sledge hammer into the excavated crib. The sleeper would then be pulled using sleeper tongs out over the adjacent track. The sleeper bed was then dug a little deeper to accommodate the new sleeper and the new sleeper retraced the route of the old one. In later manual days, sometimes one or both rails would be jacked up to save the extra work of 'boodling', however this was frowned upon by the old hands due to the difficulty of maintaining a good top in an area where rail height was critical.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

1 sleeper in 5 will hold the gauge (more or less anyway) and she'll be right for the other odd broken/rotten sleeper.
YM-Mundrabilla
Track tied 1 in 4 was (is) the minimum acceptable for Class 1 track at track speed. If the ganger was found to have track with fewer sound sleepers (and fastenings) than this he was likely to find himself on a charge of "... you did fail to maintain track in a safe condition". I say this was the minimum acceptable position, but not sustainable, so tied 1 in 4 was only considered to be a short term solution pending further resleepering.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
1 sleeper in 5 will hold the gauge (more or less anyway) and she'll be right for the other odd broken/rotten sleeper.
Track tied 1 in 4 was (is) the minimum acceptable for Class 1 track at track speed. If the ganger was found to have track with fewer sound sleepers (and fastenings) than this he was likely to find himself on a charge of "... you did fail to maintain track in a safe condition". I say this was the minimum acceptable position, but not sustainable, so tied 1 in 4 was only considered to be a short term solution pending further resleepering.
Lockspike
Agree. I certainly did not mean to imply that the track was safe at line speed in any way. All that the 1 in 4 or 5 will (hopefully) do is stop the rails from wandering off in isolation. There is nothing in rail as great as a length of beautifully maintained track.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Absolute ripper thread. Thanks to all contributes.   Have learnt more in the last hour or so reading this than I learnt for all of last year I think.

Great that those that have had dirt under the fingernails take time to share their experiences.

Threads with a high technical/experience content always more enjoyable than a political one. Can read about politics in the papers. Can't get good factual info like this in the news though.

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