Hornsby Junction Remodelling

 
  Festivus Station Master

Location: Sydney, Australia
Has anyone seen any details on what alignments are being changed as part of this project?

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/hornsby-junction
The project website has no information about the actual railway changes though thats not surprising.

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  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Has anyone seen any details on what alignments are being changed as part of this project?

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/hornsby-junction
The project website has no information about the actual railway changes though thats not surprising.
Festivus

Six months ago, there was a table on the Concourse with a large plan of the railway tracks between Hornsby Platforms and Bridge St showing the proposed altered tracks.

Existing crossovers with their diamond slips connecting Platforms 1 & 2 to the Down and Up Mains would be replaced by ladder crossovers further north. The Down ladder would be 100m northwards, while the Up ladder, replacing the Up Refuge Loop and No. 1 Up Siding would stretch say 500m northwards.

Between the Up and Down Ladders there would be a turnback siding and footpath, located between the Up and Down Shores like Gordon, Lindfield, Kingsgrove, North Sydney, etc.

The single ladder with some diamond slips from P3 and P4 to the Inwards and Outwards Carsheds road would also be replaced by another ladder crossover.

By relocating the Down Shore to Down Main ladder say 100m from the platform, instead of 1m, the speed restrictive (8km/h) can be removed, allowing most if not all Down Trains to arrive at the speed of the 200m radius curve, namely 40km/h.

The new Shore turnback, allows most trains to arrive in P2 and return to the city in P1, providing more consistent platform usage. This is a bit like the E-C turnback at Chatswood (arrive P2 - siding & walkway - depart P3)

As described in another post, signals between Wahroonga and Hornsby are also being altered, for as yet unclear reasons. The fate of the very slow 8km/h scissors crossovers just south of P1 & P2 is unclear. See: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11382536.htm
  Transtopic Train Controller

Has any consideration been given to accommodating a future Northern Line Up Suburban/Relief track as part of quadruplication to Epping?  It's hard to see how this would fit in with the current proposal.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Has any consideration been given to accommodating a future Northern Line Up Suburban/Relief track as part of quadruplication to Epping?  It's hard to see how this would fit in with the current proposal.
Transtopic
The terrain between Epping and Hornsby is fairly difficult with large cuttings and embankments, and numerous bridges. The car park at Thornliegh is in the way of an extended Down Relief and would need to be part demolished.

At Epping, should the dive connecting the Main North with the Epping Chatswood be made redundant after opening of Epping-Chatswood Metro, then there would probably be room to build a fourth platform on the surface. The North Turnback siding may be in the way.

At Hornsby, an extended Down Relief would link up with Platform 5. Extension of this line through Asquith would be problematic as brand new car parking and bridges are in the way.

At Hornsby, any extra Up Relief would need to be underground, which would be expensive.
  AndyV Station Master

It looks like the major shutdown around Hornsby will be the first 2 weeks on January.

From Friday 29 December until Sunday 14 January:
  1. Buses replace T1 North Shore Line trains between Berowra and Gordon.
  2. During off-peak periods, buses replace:
    - T1 Northern Line trains between Hornsby and Epping.
    - Central Coast & Newcastle Line trains between Berowra, Epping and the City.
  gordon_s1942 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Something that may not be immediately noticeable unless you can compare the current layout with the proposed one is by moving the track or other structures may alter the view ability of any signals in the affected area.
It wouldnt do to have a signal hidden behind a pylon or one that appears to be for line but is actually on another?

I saw this happen one time in a regional Town where a new street light was installed and its light was now directly behind a lower quadrant and was strong enough to illuminate the shade not covered by the lamp so both colours were seen at once.
  Festivus Station Master

Location: Sydney, Australia
As described in another post, signals between Wahroonga and Hornsby are also being altered, for as yet unclear reasons. The fate of the very slow 8km/h scissors crossovers just south of P1 & P2 is unclear. See: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11382536.htm
awsgc24

I was speaking to the station attendant at Asquith the other week about this work. He said that the goal for the signalling changes between Wahroonga and Hornsby is to allow the maximum number of TPH to be achieved on the North Shore line. With the NWRL taking over the ECRL then this frees up more paths to the city from Hornsby down the shore. He was sceptical that the junction remodelling being done would deliver this.

I had a look at the scissors this week. They have been completely replaced. I think that the radii of the curves has also been softened though I could be wrong.

Ive overheard drivers at Hornsby bitching about the impact the work is having on operations and making things very tough for signallers and drivers. Hopefully when this work ends on Sunday things will be a lot better for staff and commuters.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I saw this happen one time in a regional Town where a new street light was installed and its light was now directly behind a lower quadrant and was strong enough to illuminate the shade not covered by the lamp so both colours were seen at once.
gordon_s1942

Something similar happened at Wentworth St Strathfield when the Road Authority wanted to install traffic lights near the overbridge.

These traffic lights would have caused confusion on the railway signals on the Main Suburban Line.

The Rail Authority insisted on the erection of a Screen to avoid such confusion.

This screen consists of slats angled so that wind can get through (and not blow the screen down) while not letting stray light getting through.

It is not clear what law exists to insist on such screens, but there are laws forbidding interference with railway signals.
  gordon_s1942 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Futher to the quote made by me shown in the previous posting, Yard Box in Lithgow had quite a large wooden screen (over 6 feet square) standing on two poles some 20 feet above the ground on the western side of the signal box.
This was done because a driver of a Down Train passed a colour light signal (Down Home) at stop and claimed that the lights in Main street behind the signal were so bright he couldnt clearly see the indication from the signal.
Back then the Railway didnt have to seek permission from any one (Councils, etc) for permission to do anything on Railway land in most situations.
From memory the side seen by the Driver was painted in a very neutral flat colour front and back primarily to protect the wood.
  AndyV Station Master

There were some good timelapse video and aerial shots of Hornsby changes on 7 news tonight. You can watch (low quality) here: https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/951351973437063168

And below the new view from the north end of platform 2 - not sure how trains from Gosford/Berowra will get to platform 1.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The above picture shows the two Down Departure Signals moved about 40m onto the signal bridge.

The Down Shore from P2 continues straight ahead onto what is now a centre road terminating siding, while the Down Shore itself takes to left hand crossovers (only on visible) to join the Down Main.

The Up Shore into P1 comes off a long straight which loops around the Shore Turnback, reusing part of the former Up Refuge to come off the Up Main, past the Bridge St overbridge.

The connections from P1 and P2 to the Up and Down mains are effectively double track, but the Up Main-P1  is considerably longer than the P2-Down Shore.

There is a long single track ladder from the DM-UP-X-Inwards-Outwards, where X is a plain diamond crossing the Short Turnback.

Except for the scissors crossovers (8kn/h), all slips are replaced with plain turnouts, probably at a slightly higher speed, perhaps 35km/h. The Up Main-Up Shore turnout may well be of an even higher speed.

Because of the extra distance between the end of P2 and the new departure signal, there appears to be a short overlap, that may eliminate the tediously slow (8km/h) timed intermediate train stops entering that platform.

The track diagram provided by CityRail is badly drawn, so that it barely makes any sense at all. This info is based on seeing a proper to-scale perway plan.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Are these the updates we had to have, old Hornsby worked great, I'm sure engineers are payed to redesign to spend budget.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Are these the updates we had to have, old Hornsby worked great, I'm sure engineers are payed to redesign to spend budget?
Junction box
The old Hornsby "featured", amongst other things, 8000m/h (8km/h) down arrivals into Platform 2. This has now been upgraded to 40km/h. Most other turnouts have also been improved in speed.

Overall, a great improvement.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Are these the updates we had to have, old Hornsby worked great, I'm sure engineers are payed to redesign to spend budget.
Junction box

The part of the old Hornsby which worked particularly well was the Old Up Refuge (Goods) loop, which was 400m long, and by the extraordinary skill of the signalman, was able to handle 750m and then 1500m long trains. Devices used were first double stacking for 750m trains, and then quadruple stacking for 1500m trains. Special OHW raised caternery to suit, while the low clearance Bridge Street overbridge was given an innovative lifting span. As a backup, the goods waggons on the 750m and 1500m were made to telescope to suit, doublefold for the 750m long trains and quadruplefold for the 1500m.

These arrangement were retained when Hornsby was resignalled, and later when Platform 5 was installed.

By about 2014 the tracks through the Old Up Refuge Goods loop were rusty, and its wooden sleepers moribund and rotting. Presumably the special innovations for multiple stacking and multiple telescoping were no longer needed, which made it possible to recycle the space used by the Goods Loop, and the adjacent No.1 Up siding, for something useful.

* The north half of the Up Goods Loop, and the No.1 Up Siding became the extended Up Shore.
* The south half of the Up Goods Loop became the new centre road Shore Turnback.

It beggars belief that useless Old Up Goods Refuge Loop, and No.1 Up Siding didn't become the new arrangement much early.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
There are also changes to Up automatic signals between Hornsby and Pymble
* Additional signals
* Relocated signals
* Deleted signal
* possible changes to speed boards which affect signal spacing and overlaps.
* possible additional or removal of medium aspects (green over yellow) although these are hard to tell.
  Piston Train Controller

The scissors crossover at the Sydney end of Platforms 1 and 2 on the Shore lines have had their speed upgraded from 8/kmr to 15/kmr. This allows trains to arrive and depart these platforms quicker.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The scissors crossover at the Sydney end of Platforms 1 and 2 on the Shore lines have had their speed upgraded from 8/km to 15/km. This allows trains to arrive and depart these platforms quicker.
Piston
Were the scissors crossovers altered in any way, or did perway just recalculate the applicable speed?
  Piston Train Controller

The scissors crossover at the Sydney end of Platforms 1 and 2 on the Shore lines have had their speed upgraded from 8/km to 15/km. This allows trains to arrive and depart these platforms quicker.
Were the scissors crossovers altered in any way, or did perway just recalculate the applicable speed?
awsgc24
Not sure, I saw what looked like new sleepers and rail in the scissors.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The scissors crossover at the Sydney end of Platforms 1 and 2 on the Shore lines have had their speed upgraded from 8/km to 15/km. This allows trains to arrive and depart these platforms quicker.
Were the scissors crossovers altered in any way, or did perway just recalculate the applicable speed?
Not sure, I saw what looked like new sleepers and rail in the scissors.
Piston
If you replace old switchblades with so-called "tangential" types, you normally expect to get a worthwhile increase in speeds.

However the Hornsby scissors crossover are in such a cramped position that tangential switches may not improve things by much.

Tangential turnouts can be recognised by differences in the plates on which the tangential switch rests, and the fact that the tangential switch rail is about 25mm less tall than the adjacent stock rails.
  gordon_s1942 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I must find out what a 'Tangential Turnout' is.
The last 'modern' one I saw had the foot of the switch blade pared back to allow it to 'flex' without a 'heel' and it sat into a groove on the head of the fixed (stock) rail.
Unlike older points, the toe of the switch blade was quite blunt and the whole assembly was referred to as 'Joggled Points'.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The scissors crossover at the Sydney end of Platforms 1 and 2 on the Shore lines have had their speed upgraded from 8/km. to 15/km. This allows trains to arrive and depart these platforms quicker.
Piston
As of today (Wed 24 Jan), the three speedboards over the scissors crossover, one down and two up, continue to display "X8", notwithstanding Piston's advice that these have been improved to 15km/h.

The switchblades continue to be the old style, and are not "tangential". They do have healless blades, where the toe of the swichblade is trimmed to made the blade more flexible. The timbers under the scissors are still timber, which suggests that these crossovers are essentially unchanged.

Perway are responsible for speed boards, and it is not unknown for Perway and Signalling not to be co-ordinated. At Riverstone, the Sydney end loop points (from Platform 1) seem to be of a higher speed than 25km/h, but I have the impression that the speedboards have not be updated to match.

On the Up Main through platform 3, the 8 car stopping points has been move about 2 car lengths south. This would centre up trains more centrally around the Lifts.

The down home signal on the Shore has been re-positioned close the the scissors crossovers, while original Down Home Shore is still there with the Top Yellow out of use, and the shunt aspects removed. Without access to the track plan and circuit books, it is difficult to say how the interlocking may have been altered. With the line speed about 50km/h, overlaps may have been reduced, allowing headways to be improved.
  br30453 Train Controller

I must find out what a 'Tangential Turnout' is.
The last 'modern' one I saw had the foot of the switch blade pared back to allow it to 'flex' without a 'heel' and it sat into a groove on the head of the fixed (stock) rail.
Unlike older points, the toe of the switch blade was quite blunt and the whole assembly was referred to as 'Joggled Points'.
gordon_s1942
A tangential turnout is one where the switch blades are curved and thus the turnout track is one continuous curve Tangential to the approach track.
The switch blades on older style turnouts were straight rail which met the stock rail at an angle thus making a "kink" which did not provide a smooth ride.
All high speed turnouts are tangential.
I don't know about NSW turnouts but in Queensland 40km/h is allowed through the diverging road on a tangential 1 in 12 turnout.
The speed on the diverging road on an old straight switch blade turnout is 25km/h.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
A tangential turnout is one where the switch blades are curved and thus the turnout track is one continuous curve Tangential to the approach track.
The switch blades on older style turnouts were straight rail which met the stock rail at an angle thus making a "kink" which did not provide a smooth ride.
All high speed turnouts are tangential.
I don't know about NSW turnouts but in Queensland 40km/h is allowed through the diverging road on a tangential 1 in 12 turnout.
The speed on the diverging road on an old straight switch blade turnout is 25km/h.
A tangential turnout, which goes from straight to a uniform curve, does not have any transition between straight and curve. Therefore a tangential turnout still has a slight "kick".

A tangential turnout uses a stubby squat rail to make the switch blades, which has the ability to lie underneath the stock rail which is of the traditional flat bottom rail. This gives the tangential blade greater strength.

80km/h tangential turnouts are found at
* Chatswood DShore-P3
* Chatswood P2-UShore
* Hornsby P4-Up Main
* Junee-Melbourne Passing Lanes???
* Glenfield ???
* Thornliegh ETTT - Down Main
  Piston Train Controller

The 8kmh/r to 15kmh/r for the scissors crossover is advertised in Weekly Notice 2/2018 as 15kmh/r. If the 8kmh/r boards are still there I assume they will get around to modifying them.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
The 8kmh/r to 15kmh/r for the scissors crossover is advertised in Weekly Notice 2/2018 as 15kmh/r. If the 8kmh/r boards are still there I assume they will get around to modifying them.
Piston
* In the fullness of time. . .
* With the going down of the sun . . .
* Perway may remember them . . .
* Then the work will be done.

There is also a round white-on-black 8km/h train stop speed sign(s), which would be no longer necessary if some/all intermediate train stops in P2 have been removed. Timed trains stops in P2 are possibly no longer needed as HY57 signal now has a reasonably lengthy overlap.

The renewed footbridge over George Street is now finished, including 2 lifts.

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