Historic Albury-Wodonga rail bridge facing chop or major upgrade to allow for inland rail

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 09 Nov 2017 11:06
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
There is going to be a significant issue with rail capacity between Junee and Melbourne that DS will not help but actually hinder.
Curious to know how Double Stacking would reduce capacity?

They are slower because they are heavier. Dual track allows trains to maintain a higher average speed due to not having to stop in loops for oncoming traffic. Average speed is more important between Sydney and Melbourne because there is not just freight but also passenger trains from both nsw trainlink and vline along this corridor.

The menangle bridge was life expired and it was upgraded. As was the historic viaduct at shepherd street in Liverpool and across Cabramatta creek at warwick farm.
simstrain
For the cost of building a duplicated bridge over a single track bridge, go build yourself 10-20km of improve aligned track someone else and save even more time as due to the proximity of the bridge to the yard, all trains would already be starting to slow as they cross the bridge if they were at speeds exceeding 100km/hr.

Single track operation commences 2km north of Albury station if it was DT to Albury station which has crossing loop, finishing just south of the station headed south so duplicating the track from the Vic side of the river 2.5km to the station is for the benefit really just the V/line trains because north of here its same same for a few hundred km. If a cross is required for XPT or V/line, they will just wait it out at the station, total time about 1-2min, in the very rare occurrence this is. Not ideal but money could be used elsewhere to speed things up more. You would need cross overs anyway to bring V/line and XPT into their platform roads and/or by-pass the freighter around them.

You are not arguing to retain the current structure and allow twin track operation because the current bridge is F__ked and will need replacing anyway at some stage sooner rather than later and likely to have a great impediment on traffic speed than DS.

The Menagle bridge is a short non-timber structure.

The Albury bridge itself could probably be saved with lifting the cross beams to DS height, but there is an extensive lead up of timber structure either side and this needs to be removed and does not belong on a modern railway and is not the same as your quotes above. If the bridge girder and supports are still questionable, remove the structure and place it somewhere where it can be appreciated or donate to a H&T railway and not on the mainline railway.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I would even suggest that as soon as the corridor at least between Parkes and Melbourne is cleared for doublestacking operators would use that capability even ahead of the full Inland Rail Project completion.

Id say the same, but Illabo-Stockinbingal is at the end of the construction phase and so I think we will see DS north of Parkes before we see it south of Parkes.
james.au
if you enable double stack to Melbourne as part of Inland, then the cost to upgrade the corridor north of Coota to Sydney is very cheap and falls into the just do it catergory and this enables DS from Sydney to Adelaide/Perth/Darwin and Melbourne. The only corridors left is Syd-Brisbane via coast and Mel-Adel via coast.

EDIT:
Also, DS on the current corridors is likely to be underuterlised because the destinations are limited. So trains from Sydney to Perth for example can only DS west of Parkes, so only containers loaded from Parkes  to the west can be added to the top, which you would think is going to lead to more wagons not DS because the bulk of the traffic is to/from Sydney.

If DS was possible from Sydney to Perth and VV, then you would think more wagons would be DS'ed. I'm sure this is why some shorter lines in USA have heavy use of DS compared to even 3000km in Australia. Its not just local traffic, its through traffic thats also important and with less restricted height corridors, use of DS would likely increase overall.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The whole idea of being able to double stack a train is to reduce the cost of the freight being shipped.  After Inland rail, a truck will still be faster than a DS train, possibly even faster than a Single Stack capable of the full 115.  But the truck is more expensive.  

Rail freight fills the gap between shipping (boat) and trucking in terms of cost and time.
tazzer96
And that's the root cause of why Inland Rail will not actually win any new business for rail, as it will be slower (due to extra handling time) but probably only a tiny fraction cheaper. Double stacking only increases the amount of wasted time for sending a box by rail, as it will still be sitting in a Melbourne terminal while a truck could be crossing into NSW.

A line up and down the eastern states needs to have a selling point other than cost - and the answer is speed. Electrify and double track the whole way, use 21st century ETCS Level 2 train control to maximise capacity and allow for running overtakes between different class trains. Container trains would cruise at 140km/h (this is the modern standard in Europe) between new-build terminals optimised for rapid loading/unloading to cut down the time lost to double handling, and be hauled by electric locos with last-mile diesel power for the terminals. Run roll-on-roll-off TOFC trains at 140km/h (the same speed as Channel Tunnel truck shuttles) to allow trucking companies to use the train as a part of their business model rather than treating it as a competitor, as drivers could be more productive doing short-haul runs to/from a TOFC terminal than spending hours in the middle of nowhere on the Newell Highway.

To build Inland Rail as another slow single track line is to plan for failure.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There would be zero justification to build this new bridge over the Murray as double track !

Being only a 2 km section of single track, It would be one of the last sections to be duplicated between Junee and Wodonga.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I would even suggest that as soon as the corridor at least between Parkes and Melbourne is cleared for doublestacking operators would use that capability even ahead of the full Inland Rail Project completion.

Id say the same, but Illabo-Stockinbingal is at the end of the construction phase and so I think we will see DS north of Parkes before we see it south of Parkes.
if you enable double stack to Melbourne as part of Inland, then the cost to upgrade the corridor north of Coota to Sydney is very cheap and falls into the just do it catergory and this enables DS from Sydney to Adelaide/Perth/Darwin and Melbourne. The only corridors left is Syd-Brisbane via coast and Mel-Adel via coast.
RTT_Rules

Totally agree, and you could argue that you might not have to worry about the coast if you go for DS up the main north to Narrabri and link into the IR there.

What could the impact of DS be on MS/SM traffic?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Hold the bus or is that the train.  As much as I am well known for being very vocal about the lack of future proofing and poor performance of rail versus its potential, let me quickly come to the party and say that where sections of our interstate corridors permit it, keeping up with a fast intermodal freight train can almost be nigh on impossible.    

And that's the issue, building alignments or improving alignments to enable trains to run consistently faster at around 100km/hr to 115km/hr has to be part of the equation and BDA and others who drive these trains can tell you a lot more about those challenges particularly getting out of the capital cities and on the east coast the goat track alignments that exist.

The Inland Rail Project is about eliminating a lot of that so that the alignments especially new are designed not always for the highest maximum speed per se but to a standard that delivers a much more consistent overall average speed.

Whilst I've been through it and past it many times, I am not as familiar with the precise positioning and alignment of the current Murray Bridge.   My view a bit different to that of RTT's is that given the Wodonga Rail By Pass has alreasdy been built to a modern standard and alignment, then any new bridge across the Murray should complement that and be double tracked right through Albury yard and then up the hill to Table Top so that both the bridge and then the section through Albury Station does not impede the potential for trains.


This approach is often referred to as leveraging the benefits of recent investment and that really applies here.   A bypass has been built to latest design standards, a new bridge is required and both the by pass and the new bridge then provide the opportunity to fix the last piece of the puzzle to Table Top.

It enables freighters by taking the east main south of Wodonga to then have a clear run to Table Top leaving the second track for passenger services or to be used as yeat another long "passing lane of approximately 8 to 10 kilometres.

Whilst I agree you could also use the money to rehabilitate existing track it still from a Corridor and network perspective provide the long term benefit that a new bridge and loop extension north of Albury can deliver.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Id tend to agree - giving the trains a good, long, energy efficient run up from Barnawartha to Tabletop should really help with cost management for that section, and set them up for a decent run through to Wagga etc.  Similarly for southbound trains, a smooth run, theoretically from Tabletop all the way down to Seymour would be good for energy use.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The whole idea of being able to double stack a train is to reduce the cost of the freight being shipped.  After Inland rail, a truck will still be faster than a DS train, possibly even faster than a Single Stack capable of the full 115.  But the truck is more expensive.  

Rail freight fills the gap between shipping (boat) and trucking in terms of cost and time.
And that's the root cause of why Inland Rail will not actually win any new business for rail, as it will be slower (due to extra handling time) but probably only a tiny fraction cheaper. Double stacking only increases the amount of wasted time for sending a box by rail, as it will still be sitting in a Melbourne terminal while a truck could be crossing into NSW.

A line up and down the eastern states needs to have a selling point other than cost - and the answer is speed. Electrify and double track the whole way, use 21st century ETCS Level 2 train control to maximise capacity and allow for running overtakes between different class trains. Container trains would cruise at 140km/h (this is the modern standard in Europe) between new-build terminals optimised for rapid loading/unloading to cut down the time lost to double handling, and be hauled by electric locos with last-mile diesel power for the terminals. Run roll-on-roll-off TOFC trains at 140km/h (the same speed as Channel Tunnel truck shuttles) to allow trucking companies to use the train as a part of their business model rather than treating it as a competitor, as drivers could be more productive doing short-haul runs to/from a TOFC terminal than spending hours in the middle of nowhere on the Newell Highway.

To build Inland Rail as another slow single track line is to plan for failure.
justapassenger
If your theory was correct, rail operators wouldn't be pushing for and running longer trains, rather they would run shorter trains. Loading time is controlled by train length or DS, rather by number of cranes/ forklifts doing the loading.

When customers choose rail, they choose mostly for cost. If you want speed, use truck. Inland's business case is based on the fact that if they can achieve 24h B-M, the customer are saying more freight will use rail and last numbers I saw was double, ie 60% of contestable freight which is inline with +80% on S-P and +90% on A-D.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Arctic. 1700km's in the US is significantly different to 1700km's on Australia's east coast. What is rail freights share percentage where DS occurs? Is it anywhere near as low as the 7 to 15% we have on the east coast? The inland doesn't follow open country in QLD. It will have some significant gradients to overcome coming across the great divide.

I disagree that the inland will create any growth in freight rail patronage. The ARTC promised this as a reason to spend $1billion on the SSFL and all that it has done is allow trains to run during curfew hours into enfield. If somehow magically the inland creates all this extra growth in rail freight. There is going to be a significant issue with rail capacity between Junee and Melbourne that DS will not help but actually hinder.
simstrain
Have you considered that rail freights share on the east coast maybe in part due to the lack of lower cost transport for rail using DS?

Is it just a coincidence that in Australia where DS is allowed, rail's share is much higher than where its not?  Distance is obviously a factor, but not all.

DS is not the golden chalice for rail, what is important what works well for rail is continuity of service and flexibility. As soon as you need have to start thinking if that box needs its own wagon or get sit on a DS wagon, you are adding complexity.

The INLAND will and should be built to DS standards including this damn bridge.

Once the INLAND is built, the route connecting to the SSFL will be upgraded to DS standards which is relatively cheap post INLAND. The combined projects will offer alot for rails competitiveness and future.

Even if the DS trains are speed limited, so what, its not lack of 80-100km/h that's the issue on the current line, its the frequency below 80km/h that counts and not all SD freights can exceed 80km/h anyway due to their axle loads.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I agree , double line bridge and double lines through Albury and up the grade out of Albury .
Any time a single line is doubled you increase capacity and speed so win win . Any double single line junction is another excuse to slow down even with a clear road .
Think Junee in the down direction and the slow crossover at the south end of the platform . Of course this leads to the bottom of a reasonably steep grade which is NSW all over .
Its the slothing along for considerable train lengths that cost lots of time/fuel/agro .
Meanwhile the trucks sail past Albury Station at 100 km/h on a multi lane expressway .
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Ahh and double stacking . I would have thought it obvious that the allowable axle load is what sets the wagon loads so it matters zip if a single or double stacked wagon grosses 84T . The only difference from a speed viewpoint is the extra air drag from the top loaded containers .
The operators will decide their own horsepower/tonne ratios based on train performance and operating costs . In other words if they got lots of tonnes and want fast transit times they'll add more horsepower .
Double stacked wagons will only get heavier if the perway is improved to cater for it .
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks BDA.  As you know operators especially given today's restrictions on axleload etc, nonetheless exploit every single opportunity to maximise the potential of what they have to work with.   My friends at Bluebird Rail Engineering have worked on a number of wagon upgrade and strengthening programs to both reduce weight and increase payload for that very reason.

The last thing we want as the existing north-south corridor south from Illabo to Melbourne gets set up as part of Inland Rail is to either build in or retain pinchpoints that whilst me might live with today shouldn't be tolerated when your target is to more than double market share which translates to a lot of extra tonnes in a highly competitive environment.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
As I said before IR will only be as good as its weakest links .
The interstate expressways work because the governments progressively removed their weakest links . Correct me if I'm wrong but you can now drive trucks at 100 km/h from inside the Sydney metropolitan area to something similar in Melbourne .
Imagine a four track railway from Sefton Junction to virtually South Dynon with no speed less than 100 km/h .
And we'll throw in worlds best practise axle loads and loading gauge .
That's how far road is ahead of rail in Australia today .

Wonder what joe average motorist , let alone the road freight industry , would think of a single lane bridge on the Hume Hwy over the river at Albury . In road terms a double lane bridge would not be acceptable so why is a single line bridge totally adequate for rail ? Do you people seriously think rail deserves only a quarter of what road gets ?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Wonder what joe average motorist , let alone the road freight industry , would think of a single lane bridge on the Hume Hwy over the river at Albury . In road terms a double lane bridge would not be acceptable so why is a single line bridge totally adequate for rail ? Do you people seriously think rail deserves only a quarter of what road gets ?
BDA
That's the reality In Investment between highway and railway, over the last 50 odd years

The highway was once a single lane bridge, but over time traffic levels have grown and grown to what we  have now effectively 8 road traffic lanes over the Murray v 1 railway track.  


One thing that wins mass funding for highways Is "Safety Upgrades"

You could have a windy section of highway with 50 km/h limited curves, with all the yellow and red warning signs.

A lot of cars will totally Ignore this warning and try to sail through at 80 odd km/h, this Is all good until you get factors like Inclement weather, poorly maintained vehicles, careless drivers, etc and crashes occur on a regular basis.

Road crashes have a massive Impact on local communities, as they require multiple emergency departments to attend and help to do what's required, various costs rack up very quickly.

Government departments see these costs In their stats and look for ways to reduce the overall costs to everyone.

One could say the road authority could make the section of highway a permanent low speed section with speed camera's and loads of warning signs, but they rarely do this as It's deemed unpopular.    

On the railway front would a train driver put their job / carer on the line speeding through a low speed section of track ?

If the train leaves the track or causes damage as a result of over speed, they ain't going to be pointing the finger at the low speed section of track !

Back on the highway, a politician comes riding In as a knight In shining armor and declares to the community I'm going to fix that dangerous section of highway, and they receive high prize from just about everyone In the community.

While on the other hand the railway Is doing everything by the book and keeping an Incredible safety record, but gets overlooked and forgotten when It comes to upgrade funding.

The new upgraded section of highway than becomes faster, easier to use and more productive than ever before, this Is what has lead to the beading of traffic from rail to highway !

The Hume highway has gone through It's full upgrade (a few at grade Intersection still need separating)

The Pacific highway Is having massive amounts of coin spent on It to bring It up to motorway standards (the parallel railway gets close to nothing and staying with It's steam age alignment)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Be that as it may , but funding a double line double stack capable bridge for rail should not be seen as "overinvestment" .
And I strongly doubt that building it for 30 tonne axle loads would be that much more expensive than building it for 23-25 .
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Be that as it may , but funding a double line double stack capable bridge for rail should not be seen as "overinvestment" .
And I strongly doubt that building it for 30 tonne axle loads would be that much more expensive than building it for 23-25 .
BDA
Building to 30 tonne axle load and provision for a second span would be a wise move.

But only one track Is required at this given time (the budget allocation would be very limited, along with pressures to de-scope works as much as possible)

Bridges over the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers would probably be the last to be duplicated between Junee and Wodonga as they would be the most expensive section per metre, the rest Is rather easy picking.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

Think Junee in the down direction and the slow crossover at the south end of the platform . Of course this leads to the bottom of a reasonably steep grade which is NSW all over .


Junee and Cootamundra were completely resignalled only about 5 years ago, and (except for Cootamundra West) next to no track layout changes were. A wasted opportunity.

The Down Main at Junee ends in a 400m long catchpoint, the purpose of which is unknown. If this had been extended as an extension of the Down Main, to the top of the hill mentioned above, with a high speed turnout, then a useful 1500m/1800m/3600m refuge loop would have been formed.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney

Think Junee in the down direction and the slow crossover at the south end of the platform . Of course this leads to the bottom of a reasonably steep grade which is NSW all over .

Junee and Cootamundra were completely resignalled only about 5 years ago, and (except for Cootamundra West) next to no track layout changes were. A wasted opportunity.

The Down Main at Junee ends in a 200m long catchpoint, the purpose of which is unknown. If this had been extended as an extension of the Down Main, to the top of the hill mentioned above, with a high speed turnout, then a useful 1500m/1800m/3600m refuge loop would have been formed.

The Hill Street overbridge south of Junee station goes over at least 5 tracks, and may or may not have spare spans for the suggested DM extension. It probably needs a rebuild to cater for Inland Rail double stacking.

See: http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/ARTC/AR259.pdf This plan is not to scale, nor does it has dimensions marked thereon.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The Hill Street overbridge south of Junee station goes over at least 5 tracks, and may or may not have spare spans for the suggested DM extension. It probably needs a rebuild to cater for Inland Rail double stacking.

I thought the down main already passed under the Hill St bridge...

The bridge also spans a storm water channel east of the down main and a road further east of that.

I don't think it is a problem regarding width. It will need to be raised for double stack operation, and there are already steep road approaches on each side.

Peter
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The road layout through Junee May need a bit of a rework, as the Olympic Highway level crossing at the station can get closed for extended periods of time as trains shunt In the yard.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The road layout through Junee May need a bit of a rework, as the Olympic Highway level crossing at the station can get closed for extended periods of time as trains shunt In the yard.
Looking at the maps, the road and rail layout needs revising - the Olympic Hwy has 2 crosses, I'm wondering if it could be done any differently.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Re the bridge at Albury .
Nightfire do you actually drive trains of any length or are you just using the Force ?
Just curious to know if you've have any first hand experience of working trains through areas where single lines were doubled through notable choke points like major stations with adjacent yards .
History should have shown you that if you build for the future and with expansion in mind it tends to eventually happen .
When you don't you have situations like at Bathurst where the morons went to a lot of trouble and expense to build a dedicated single line bridge .
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
I thought the down main already passed under the Hill St bridge...
M636C

Kindly look at the diagram linked in the previous post. The Down Main finishes north of the Hill Street overbridge, and the DM and UP effectively combine with an X25 crossover into a Single Track Main Line.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Re the bridge at Albury .
Nightfire do you actually drive trains of any length or are you just using the Force ?
Just curious to know if you've have any first hand experience of working trains through areas where single lines were doubled through notable choke points like major stations with adjacent yards .
History should have shown you that if you build for the future and with expansion in mind it tends to eventually happen .
When you don't you have situations like at Bathurst where the morons went to a lot of trouble and expense to build a dedicated single line bridge .
BDA
No I don't drive trains.

I'm going off the historical trend that Infrastructure planers / managers go off.

What Is going to be gained by extending the double track (from Seymour North) to the North end of Albury yard (3.5-4 km's) At a relevantly high cost per km ?

When the same money could extend the Georgery passing lane a fair distance South, to ether consume Table Top loop or even all the way to the North of Albury Yard.

Yes It would be great to have seamless double track go all the way from Junee to Wodonga, but the financial resources are not available, nor are the train traffic volumes (few months ago I traveled from Junee to Chiltern, following the railway as much as possible and did not see a single train !)

The single track over the Murray Is effectively economical switching neck for a 6 way junction (East & West line towards Melbourne, Albury dock, Albury main platform, Mainline to Sydney and Albury loop)

I have looked at the Macquarie River bridge at Bathurst and It's the same thing It's effectively economical switching neck for access from Kelso yard to Bathurst yard without needing crossovers.
A double track bridge would of been a total waste of scarce funds !
  M636C Minister for Railways

I thought the down main already passed under the Hill St bridge...

Kindly look at the diagram linked in the previous post. The Down Main finishes north of the Hill Street overbridge, and the DM and UP effectively combine with an X25 crossover into a Single Track Main Line.
awsgc24
I've done a bit of research.

The name of the street on the bridge is Kemp street, not Hill St. Thus there is no "Hill St Bridge".

Hill St is the next east-west street to the north and joins at right angles Edgar Street which passes under the bridge.

I'm looking at a photo I took from the bridge of ST23 XPT with XP 2002 trailing at 1329 on 2 January 2017.

The train is passing signal JE69.

On the left of the train as viewed, so east of the main line is a track. Looking at the photos I took of the XPT approaching, this is an extension of the down main, and it extends south past the Kemp street bridge and past signal JE69.

So as I said, the down main already passes under the bridge. The diagram is wrong, both in where the down main finishes and in the name of the street on the bridge.

But that should clarify your enquiry as to whether the bridge will allow the down main to pass under the bridge.
It already does pass under the bridge.

And by the way, I checked the diagram before answering the first time.
I knew it was wrong and ignored it, and I suggest you do the same.




Peter

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