Mildura Standard Gauge conversion

 
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

The obvious problem Is the sections of track not planed for conversation, haven’t been used for yonks and haven’t got any businesses that are Interested In using the lines.

So abandoning them Is an easy option, as they are already abandoned.

Anyone who wants to reopen the abandoned lines, well that’s their choice to do so.
Nightfire
I can't see that it makes a great deal of sense to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars on standardising lines for an ever decreasing number of grain trains. With a deregulated grain market farmers are already storing on farm and then using their own B Doubles to transport the grain to a port when the price dictates. This will only increase. Unless rail contests other product markets it is likely there will be no trains on these lines and you cannot contest these markets if there is no line.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Probably more of a case that fresh fruit and vegetables are not contestable by rail !

Where Is the other end of the journey ? Epping Fruit & Vegetable market ?

A truck probably does the trip In 1/4 to a 1/3 of the time a train could do It (under the current situation)
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Probably more of a case that fresh fruit and vegetables are not contestable by rail !

Where Is the other end of the journey ? Epping F&F market ?

A truck probably does the trip In 1/4 to a 1/3 of the time a train could do It (under the current situation)
Nightfire
Most of the big fruit and vegie growers around Robinvale have their own trucks.  You see them all the time on the Calder Hwy.

The Robinvale line pretty much got abandoned when Graincorp rationalized silos and shut Annuello and Bannerton.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Probably more of a case that fresh fruit and vegetables are not contestable by rail !

Where Is the other end of the journey ? Epping F&F market ?

A truck probably does the trip In 1/4 to a 1/3 of the time a train could do It (under the current situation)
Most of the big fruit and vegie growers around Robinvale have their own trucks.  You see them all the time on the Calder Hwy.

The Robinvale line pretty much got abandoned when Graincorp rationalized silos and shut Annuello and Bannerton.
Carnot
Don't forget that the "Other End" of the journey may be the Adelaide or the Sydney fresh fruit markets. Trucks are by far faster to those two markets than a train could ever be.
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

Well if fruit and vegies is not contestable why does the Mildura fruit train run regularly all year. Apart from derailments and standardisation that is. The point you make about fruit growers and their trucks is exactly the point I was making about the grain growers. The grain growers nowadays take their grain, when it suits them to whichever receival point pays the most for their type and quality of grain. That can be in the harvest season or months or even years later and can be hundreds of kilometers away. They no longer just take it to the local silo on the railway line.
Unless other product can be attracted to rail these newly standardised lines will close within a few years.
A standardised line into Robinvale [55km] to a new intermodal depot may seem a waste of money based on present transport arrangements but I thought the  whole idea of standardisation was to lower costs, to attract new products to rail. If we continue to think purely like economic rationalists then neither the Mildura line nor any other should be standardised. Under that thinking they are all a waste of taxpayers money and we should just bring in the trucks!
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Well if fruit and vegies is not contestable why does the Mildura fruit train run regularly all year.
NOELWB
Produce going to export via ship.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I have the time to look over this thread to see if this has already been answered but what is happening to the line beyond Sea Lake and Manangatang? From what I have heard the new standardised line only goes there.
Simply forgotten, abandon for the time being !
If Governments really wanted to make a success of Victorian standardisation then the line to Robinvale would be reinstated and standardised. There is a hell of a lot of fruit and vegetables come out of the Robinvale and Boundary Bend area and I am sure it could be won by rail. Its not a lot shorter in distance than Mildura to Melbourne.
NOELWB
On this, a key event will be whether the presence of the temporary Wakefields intermodal terminal in Managatang attracts any new business from that area.  If it does, then maybe there is a case for it.  Depending on cost, a short line train could run down the Robinvale line and join up to the Mildura train for the trip into Melbourne.

But unless the demand is really there, its not going to happen.  And for Adelaide/Sydney freight (and Melbourne for that matter), rail is probably out of contention for fresh fruit and veg..
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Well if fruit and vegies is not contestable why does the Mildura fruit train run regularly all year.
Produce going to export via ship.
Nightfire

The same can be said about produce from Robinvale, so what is the difference ?
It's more than 5 hours drive to Melbourne, even if unloading can be achieved and back on the road for within an hour, you can call it a 12 hour turn around time and are they driving back unlaiden.
Produce for export from Mildura still has to meet shipping times, so weather the product has come from Robinvale or Mildura is irreverent.

Check these fellow's out.

http://albyfarm.com.au/marketing

A few years ago we had a couple of days, relaxing at Robinvale and checked the farms, absolutely huge, and at that stage, the biggest carrot farm in the southern hemisphere, not far out of town.

I would have know doubt, the export market would be there, but there's a fair chance, when the train stopped, producers just found other alternatives.

And as james, said the Managatang intermodal is just down the road, but unless there is a concerted drive to attract the produce, they will keep on with the devil they know.

BigShunter.
  Donald Chief Commissioner
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If the tampers are out it must not be long before the line is ready no?
  georges Train Controller

Photos of sleeper replacement at the Sunraysia Hwy crossing at Cope Cope.


http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/157974469@N03/37759821066/in/dateposted-public/

http://https://www.flickr.com/photos/157974469@N03/37759791996/in/dateposted-public/
Photographs display OK in my Reply Preview BUT only their URLs appear on my thread page. Omit "http://" at beginning of each URL when clicking on a link?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
They appear fine for me.
  fc110 Station Master

If the tampers are out it must not be long before the line is ready no?
james.au
Still the hardest work still to do, the crossings they "fixed" several years ago with dual guage, they ran out of dual guage concrete sleepers, so used broad only versions. Then there is the repairs to all the signal and crossing wiring that has been ripped out. I don't know if they're going to do anything about the mudholes near here. Then there is all the rubbish to clean up, most of the sleepers that came out are just broken bits.

There are at least 2 tampers out, one from Bealiba, I think headed towards St Arnaud, and the one from St Arnaud headed towards Donald. The crossings they have converted and bitumised still have to have the tamper over them, so presumably the bitumen is only temporary.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Don t get excited the critical  Maryborough -  Ararat  section makeover with all new concrete sleepers and using existing 80lb rail welded into CWR is proceeding with all the speed of a crippled snail .  At current rate of progress it will struggle to be ready by early January , 2018 for traffic.  They are really going to have to get a rocket under this section .  Without Ararat - Maryborough ready for sg traffic then anything North of Dunolly on sg will not be able to get any further South than Maryborough .
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Don t get excited the critical  Maryborough -  Ararat  section makeover with all new concrete sleepers and using existing 80lb rail welded into CWR is proceeding with all the speed of a crippled snail .  At current rate of progress it will struggle to be ready by early January , 2018 for traffic.  They are really going to have to get a rocket under this section .  Without Ararat - Maryborough ready for sg traffic then anything North of Dunolly on sg will not be able to get any further South than Maryborough .
kuldalai
Yep, I noticed that too.  There really needs to be huge progress made in the next month.  Otherwise I can imagine the media will have a field day come New Years Day....
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Don t get excited the critical  Maryborough -  Ararat  section makeover with all new concrete sleepers and using existing 80lb rail welded into CWR is proceeding with all the speed of a crippled snail .  At current rate of progress it will struggle to be ready by early January , 2018 for traffic.  They are really going to have to get a rocket under this section .  Without Ararat - Maryborough ready for sg traffic then anything North of Dunolly on sg will not be able to get any further South than Maryborough .
kuldalai
Will the track to the north be ready earlier and allow work teams to be relocated there?  Ie could this be how it is planned to be proceeding?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Don t get excited the critical  Maryborough -  Ararat  section makeover with all new concrete sleepers and using existing 80lb rail welded into CWR is proceeding with all the speed of a crippled snail .  At current rate of progress it will struggle to be ready by early January , 2018 for traffic.  They are really going to have to get a rocket under this section .  Without Ararat - Maryborough ready for sg traffic then anything North of Dunolly on sg will not be able to get any further South than Maryborough .
Will the track to the north be ready earlier and allow work teams to be relocated there?  Ie could this be how it is planned to be proceeding?
james.au
Work Teams have been located north of Dunolly from the day that the track was given over for conversion - the evidence of their work has been documented with various photos earlier in this thread.

Or did you happen to mean Work Trains ? Not without a large Bogie Exchange exercise being undertaken at Dunolly, which I cannot imagine happening.

Those track machines would have arrived on the back of a low loader.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
What I'm getting at is perhaps the teams, which may or may not include trains, that are working on the conversion works to the north might finish their allocated tasks soon, and then be repositioned to the M-A section to finish that section.  This could just be a matter of staging of work.  

IDK.  Just not jumping to conclusions when I don't know what is going on and adding other options into the conversation.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Don t get excited the critical  Maryborough -  Ararat  section makeover with all new concrete sleepers and using existing 80lb rail welded into CWR is proceeding with all the speed of a crippled snail .  At current rate of progress it will struggle to be ready by early January , 2018 for traffic.  They are really going to have to get a rocket under this section .  Without Ararat - Maryborough ready for sg traffic then anything North of Dunolly on sg will not be able to get any further South than Maryborough .
Yep, I noticed that too.  There really needs to be huge progress made in the next month.  Otherwise I can imagine the media will have a field day come New Years Day....
Carnot
I wonder what has slowed things down then.

They seemed to be going at quite a pace given that work between Maryborough - Ararat seems to have only started in ernest in August, and now from what I read it seems to have progressed little in the past month.

There seemed to be plenty of workers and machinery about when I had my 'safari' a month back.

Does anyone know how far north the rail moving in has reached?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A couple of comments,

If work has ceased, very likely its because something has gone wrong, either with the contractor, or some unseen design flaw in the project. The later occured twice (note 1) on the NE regauge and that was in reality quite well planned.

Note 1: The switching at the Melbourne end of Benalla was delayed 6 months, because a crossver made from the standard 80kph points used by ARTC would not fit between the Broken River bridge and the Nunn st level crossing. The problem occured as the bridge is higher by a couple of metres than the level crossing and one cannot fit switching on a vertical curve in the track.
The second delay was because they tried to install NSW signalling in Victoria to keep the entire lines signalling consistent WITHOUT Victoria's OK, the problem here was at the time railway standards were controled by the states, and Victoria blew a major fuse over this. This caused a 12 month delay while the signalling system was redesigned and the correct equipment ordered

ON the NE regauge the old sleepers were sorted into three categories, 1st, good sleepers that could still be used, these were returned to Victoria, 2nd intact but poor sleepers to be sold for use in gardens etc, 3rd bits and pieces, which were gathered up and burned.

woodford
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Saw some photos on FB today. Looks like a lot of concrete sleepers have been put in place near Avoca. Hopefully things move along quickly now. It better since it's only two months until planned completion of Stage 2...
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mod Note off topic posts removed, for now to be found int he infrastructure forums.

I will delete without warning off topic.
  Bonzel Locomotive Fireman

Went over that way early last week and noticed at few spots between Eversley and near Ararat various heavy earth moving machinery from this company link below working on sections the formation ,  and a B double pneumatic discharge tanker unloading into what looked similar to what lays hot mix asphalt on roads.    

http://www.stabilco.com.au/stabilisation-process-machinery/
  Bulbous Assistant Commissioner

Went over that way early last week and noticed at few spots between Eversley and near Ararat various heavy earth moving machinery from this company link below working on sections the formation ,  and a B double pneumatic discharge tanker unloading into what looked similar to what lays hot mix asphalt on roads.    

http://www.stabilco.com.au/stabilisation-process-machinery/
Bonzel

You most likely saw a cement tanker unloading powder into a spreader truck for cement stabilising the subgrade to a depth of (probably) 200mm or so. Likely to be around 2.5% cement going into the ground (spread on ground surface then churned into the ground using the stabilisers). If it was foam bitumen it would come out of normal liquid bitumen tankers.

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