Re Opening & Upgrading Maryborough - Avoca - Ararat

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The Rail Futures  Air Train proposal envisages as standard gauge initially Southern Cross to the Airport, with Stage 2 extending to join the Bendigo line at Clarkefield and the North East & Goulburn Valley lines at Wallan . So yes at that time  Bendigo, Swan  Hill & Echuca would swith over to sg; only leaving  South West, Ballarat & Gippsland as still bg .
kuldalai

Assuming that Vic Transport picks up the Rail Futures report.  At this stage, and from the outside, it looks like a gunzels wishlist, not government adopted transport network strategy.

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Most likely the network will be designed without options for the signalman and when something goes wrong it will cause a halt to traffic. Having only sg via the middle track so stupid and needs to be platform 2 and middle track.

Dual gauge south line to Warrenheip with junction.

Will SG be run into Ballarat East via the up entry ?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Sorry James.au.  The Rail Futures proposal involved extensive discussion with a very significant number of key playeres across Government at both the poltical level as well as agency level, together with other important players like Melbourne Airport etc.   The issue I think being very frank is that in Melbourne especially we have not seen this level of ultra long term planning and strategy for many, many decades with everything in the past thirty years being largely reactive or short term in focus.   Of course there will be very significant debates around it to come and one might be a touch cyncical and say its yet another "trumped" up scheme.    However the fact is Melbourne and Victoria are in a mahor growth cycle and that has been pretty much for all of this past decade and a half and the City and the state are moving very rapidly in terms of future growth.

This scheme will have its detractors byt it has some very strong supporters within the actual Government.   Both Sydney and Melbourne have been struggling for a long time now with growth and congestion.   Whilst there maybe changes to it and timing might wobble around it still must be regarded in my view as the first significant rail transport plan in decades.

In some ways I'm glad airport rail link was delayed in the past because at that time it was seen as just an incremental extension into a network that is under great stress.

It's now been developed as part of a much wider and more comprehensive system that separates regional from Metro, considers the context of the growth corridors and regions and the role of the airport serving all of Victoria as a domestic and international hub.

The same "rail buffs" remember reversed what would have been a disastrous Metro Tunnel solution developed by the previous administration to something that delivers a major cross city link.   I commend them for their tenacity on that issue and now for this one.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Sorry James.au.  The Rail Futures proposal involved extensive discussion with a very significant number of key playeres across Government at both the poltical level as well as agency level, together with other important players like Melbourne Airport etc.   The issue I think being very frank is that in Melbourne especially we have not seen this level of ultra long term planning and strategy for many, many decades with everything in the past thirty years being largely reactive or short term in focus.   Of course there will be very significant debates around it to come and one might be a touch cyncical and say its yet another "trumped" up scheme.    However the fact is Melbourne and Victoria are in a mahor growth cycle and that has been pretty much for all of this past decade and a half and the City and the state are moving very rapidly in terms of future growth.

This scheme will have its detractors byt it has some very strong supporters within the actual Government.   Both Sydney and Melbourne have been struggling for a long time now with growth and congestion.   Whilst there maybe changes to it and timing might wobble around it still must be regarded in my view as the first significant rail transport plan in decades.
Trainplanner
It is one thing to be talked about and another to be committed to by government, especially when there is no cost benefit analysis to be seen regarding the entire project.  Were Treasury (or any other funding sources) included in this discussion or was it only on the Transport side of Government that consultation occurred?  As Infra Australia and Infra Victoria are in some ways gatekeepers for funding approvals, were they consulted?

Im happy for you to elaborate more here as to how much support the plan has in Government.  This is something that interests me greatly.

We have seen that loosely costed projects without appropriate cost benefit analysis such as the NTR alternative proposal for Inland Rail have failed to become Government commitments.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
As the ballast trains start working from Maryborough north and south on stabdardbgayge where will they stable with no loops and Maryborough yard gone ?
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
As the ballast trains start working from Maryborough north and south on stabdardbgayge where will they stable with no loops and Maryborough yard gone ?
freightgate

There will not be a place to put away a train between North Geelong and Maryborough which is over 200 kms me thinks.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

As the ballast trains start working from Maryborough north and south on stabdardbgayge where will they stable with no loops and Maryborough yard gone ?

There will not be a place to put away a train between North Geelong and Maryborough which is over 200 kms me thinks.
x31
Potentially Warrenheip and Meredith loops to the South of Ballarat.  Dunolly yard, Emu Loop, Donald and so on heading North.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
What about some SG sidings in Ballarat?  There will be nothing to park trains for a very long distance.  This looks like it has not been designed correctly.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

What about some SG sidings in Ballarat?  There will be nothing to park trains for a very long distance.  This looks like it has not been designed correctly.
x31
I don't believe the design is final.  Wait and see on this one...
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The Rail Futures  Air Train proposal envisages as standard gauge initially Southern Cross to the Airport, with Stage 2 extending to join the Bendigo line at Clarkefield and the North East & Goulburn Valley lines at Wallan . So yes at that time  Bendigo, Swan  Hill & Echuca would swith over to sg; only leaving  South West, Ballarat & Gippsland as still bg .

Assuming that Vic Transport picks up the Rail Futures report.  At this stage, and from the outside, it looks like a gunzels wishlist, not government adopted transport network strategy.
james.au
You are obviously not across Andrews speech the other day along lines Air Train is a goer and total segregation of VLP and Metro trains West of Southern Cross, with electrification also to Wyndham Vale & Melton. Will be well under way before completion Metro Tunnel Mark I.  More detailed info to be announced next year . So far from a Gunzel wish list .  The Rail Futures Institute is made up experienced Transport, Engineering &  Urban Planners / Professionals and their track record to date in respect of  producing very detailed strategic papers for improved Regional Passenger & Freight, and Tram/ Light rail improvements is sound . RF also produced an excellent strategic paper outling public transports key role in expanding melbournes population to 8 million plus . The RF Institute is generally well respected by both sides of politics and also by the various transport operators .
  Lockspike Chief Train Controller

My understanding Is there will not be a junction at Warrenheip on the Southern line to Geelong, nor will there be any dual gauge from Warrenheip to Ballarat Yard.

The Ballarat line upgrade calls for a 3 km loop East of Warrenheip !
Nightfire

The Ballarat Line Upgrade includes:
  • duplication of 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park West and Melton
  • upgrading Rockbank station and extending platforms, constructing a new pedestrian link between platforms and building a new car park
  • additional platforms at Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations with new pedestrian links between platforms
  • new stabling facilities at Maddingley, and the removal of stabling facilities at Bacchus Marsh
  • a five kilometre passing loop at Ballan
  • a four kilometre passing loop at Millbrook, making it possible to close the existing Bungaree loop and remove five level crossings
  • a duplication of three kilometres of track east of Warrenheip Junction
https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/projects/rail-projects/ballarat-line-upgrade/


Reading the above I interpreted the final dot point as double track East of Warrenheip. Note the use of the word "duplication" in the first dot point, then there is reference to two passing loops and in the final point we go back to using the word "duplication" again; this implies it is not a passing loop. Maybe I'm reading too much into the spin written by people immersed in ignorance.
In my mind I saw the 'duplication' as an extension of double track, currently two parallel single tracks, which apparently is to remain, I stand corrected.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Getting back on topic a bit:
The Avoca based ballast train has progressed its work as far East as Homebush Rd (5km East of Avoca).  Still another 26km until Maryborough....

Not sure how far the Ararat based Ballast train has progressed.  Elmhurst perhaps?
  BigShunter Chief Train Controller

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Ok troops, there has been lots of speculation regarding crossing loops and sidings to stage/park trains, so I slipped on the detective suit and went back to the horses mouth.
Thought there has to be some allocation or reference to this within the project somewhere, guess what !

Page 123 - 4 in the scope of works section;

Stage 2A – Yelta to Maryborough
Track Gauge Conversion 405.62 km
Secondary Track (Sidings etc.) Conversion 11.6 km
Total Number of Sleepers (TRS Concrete) 82,565
Underbridge / Culvert inspection 48
Removal of Turnouts and Rail Replacement 52
Level Crossing Upgrades 98
Total Cost (Real) @ P50 $86,895,686
Cost per km $214,230


Stage 2B – Maryborough to Ararat
Track Gauge Conversion 87.38 km
Secondary Track (Sidings etc.) Conversion 3.0 km
Total Number of Sleepers (TRS Concrete) 27,115
Formation Rectification 4.1 km
Under Bridge Inspections 48
Culvert Inspections & Cleaning 263
Level Crossing Upgrades 58
Link to ARTC Standard Gauge at Ararat $7,500,000
Maryborough Junction upgrade $1,500,000
Additional Signalling Upgrade Allowance $1,500,000
Total Cost (Real) @ P50 $64,146,936
Cost per km $734,089


Stage 3 – Dunolly to Manangatang and Korong Vale to Sea Lake
Track Gauge Conversion 389.9 km
Secondary Track (Sidings etc.) Conversion 7.6 km
Total Number of Sleepers (TRS Concrete) 119,280
Under Bridge Inspections 127
Removal of Turnouts and Rail Replacement 52
Level Crossing Upgrades 208
Total Cost (Real) @ P50 $102,090,757
Cost per km $256,832


Stage 4 – Gheringhap to Maryborough
Dual Gauge Conversion 142.1 km
Secondary Track (Sidings etc.) Conversion 5.2 km
Total Number of Sleepers (Timber) 47,875
Under Bridge Inspections 34
Removal of Turnouts and Rail Replacement 38
New Dual Gauge Turnouts 25
Level Crossing Upgrades 76
Total Cost (Real) @ P50 $114,377,626
Cost per km $776,494


So there you have the intended sidings, so where are they going to be sited, especially, seeing as were are now using this thread, the 3k siding going on this section of line.

BigShunter.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And to support @BigShunter's post above, this is the amount of siding track from the scope of works in the tender doc.

(BTW the tender doc was available for free download from tenders.vic.gov.au if anyone was wondering where i got it from)

Ararat-Maryborough - 0.2km
Maryborough-Dunolly - 3.2km
Dunolly-Yelta - 25.7km
Ouyen-Murrayville - 4.5km
Dunolly-Manangatang - 11.6km
Korong Vale-Sea Lake - 9.9km
Gherinhap-Warrenheip - 2.9km

In Part B, Section 2, Appendix A to Appendix L there is more detail.

Eg Donald, Speed and Ouyen sidings are to be converted (amongst 16 in total).  These have lengths 2km, 1.7km and 1.4km respectively.

For Gheringhap-Warrenheip, both Gheringhap and Warrenheip loop tracks (1.0 and 1.3km respectively) are to be converted (as well as Meredith at 150m - future proofing for pax services perhaps??

Where else do people want to know about?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The Rail Futures  Air Train proposal envisages as standard gauge initially Southern Cross to the Airport, with Stage 2 extending to join the Bendigo line at Clarkefield and the North East & Goulburn Valley lines at Wallan . So yes at that time  Bendigo, Swan  Hill & Echuca would swith over to sg; only leaving  South West, Ballarat & Gippsland as still bg .

Assuming that Vic Transport picks up the Rail Futures report.  At this stage, and from the outside, it looks like a gunzels wishlist, not government adopted transport network strategy.
You are obviously not across Andrews speech the other day along lines Air Train is a goer and total segregation of VLP and Metro trains West of Southern Cross, with electrification also to Wyndham Vale & Melton. Will be well under way before completion Metro Tunnel Mark I.  More detailed info to be announced next year . So far from a Gunzel wish list .  The Rail Futures Institute is made up experienced Transport, Engineering &  Urban Planners / Professionals and their track record to date in respect of  producing very detailed strategic papers for improved Regional Passenger & Freight, and Tram/ Light rail improvements is sound . RF also produced an excellent strategic paper outling public transports key role in expanding melbournes population to 8 million plus . The RF Institute is generally well respected by both sides of politics and also by the various transport operators .
kuldalai
Got a link to the speech @kuldalai?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

My understanding Is there will not be a junction at Warrenheip on the Southern line to Geelong, nor will there be any dual gauge from Warrenheip to Ballarat Yard.

The Ballarat line upgrade calls for a 3 km loop East of Warrenheip !

The Ballarat Line Upgrade includes:
  • duplication of 18 kilometres of track between Deer Park West and Melton
  • upgrading Rockbank station and extending platforms, constructing a new pedestrian link between platforms and building a new car park
  • additional platforms at Bacchus Marsh and Ballan stations with new pedestrian links between platforms
  • new stabling facilities at Maddingley, and the removal of stabling facilities at Bacchus Marsh
  • a five kilometre passing loop at Ballan
  • a four kilometre passing loop at Millbrook, making it possible to close the existing Bungaree loop and remove five level crossings
  • a duplication of three kilometres of track east of Warrenheip Junction
https://www.ptv.vic.gov.au/projects/rail-projects/ballarat-line-upgrade/


Reading the above I interpreted the final dot point as double track East of Warrenheip. Note the use of the word "duplication" in the first dot point, then there is reference to two passing loops and in the final point we go back to using the word "duplication" again; this implies it is not a passing loop. Maybe I'm reading too much into the spin written by people immersed in ignorance.
In my mind I saw the 'duplication' as an extension of double track, currently two parallel single tracks, which apparently is to remain, I stand corrected.
Lockspike
The words keep changing as the project still appears to be a bit of a moving target , with loop lengths altering . The spin doctors are hopeless initially they kept saying 3 kms of additional duplicated track West of Warrenheip, when of course they meant EAST of Warrenheip .  I pointed this error out no less than three (3) times to the Ministry  before it was corrected .  finally after 6 months .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The Rail Futures  Air Train proposal envisages as standard gauge initially Southern Cross to the Airport, with Stage 2 extending to join the Bendigo line at Clarkefield and the North East & Goulburn Valley lines at Wallan . So yes at that time  Bendigo, Swan  Hill & Echuca would swith over to sg; only leaving  South West, Ballarat & Gippsland as still bg .

Assuming that Vic Transport picks up the Rail Futures report.  At this stage, and from the outside, it looks like a gunzels wishlist, not government adopted transport network strategy.
You are obviously not across Andrews speech the other day along lines Air Train is a goer and total segregation of VLP and Metro trains West of Southern Cross, with electrification also to Wyndham Vale & Melton. Will be well under way before completion Metro Tunnel Mark I.  More detailed info to be announced next year . So far from a Gunzel wish list .  The Rail Futures Institute is made up experienced Transport, Engineering &  Urban Planners / Professionals and their track record to date in respect of  producing very detailed strategic papers for improved Regional Passenger & Freight, and Tram/ Light rail improvements is sound . RF also produced an excellent strategic paper outling public transports key role in expanding melbournes population to 8 million plus . The RF Institute is generally well respected by both sides of politics and also by the various transport operators .
Got a link to the speech @kuldalai?
james.au
Strangely removed from Premiers website already . Will try and find it elsewhere .
  Lockspike Chief Train Controller

Today I noted the three sidings in Maryborough yard had been flooded with ballast and there was evidence of recent rail welding. The sidings are not yet finished and only currently extend in the Up direction to just past the end of the platform. Adding to the interest at the time of my observation was two grain trains crossing.

I had a look at the gauge splitting turnout at the junction and was interested to note a panel of timber sleepered broad gauge track had been placed on the end of the curved (to Ararat) leg of this turnout??? Maybe there was a suitable panel conveniently to hand; it can be quickly and easily gauge converted...
Still no track laid from the junction up towards the Mariners Reef Road LXing.

Derby Rd (C287) LXing showed sleepers placed back towards Maryborough, but none towards Ararat. An item of mobile plant, possibly a roller was noted on the formation in the distance.

A large stockpile of ballast is being placed at the site of the former Bung Bong ballast loading ramp. No evidence was seen of recent workings at the former quarry. A truck and dog labelled Western Quarries was seen unloading at this busy site - lots of trucks, mobile plant and site vehicles in evidence, including a backhoe excavating to allow sleepers to be placed right up to the Bung Bong Rd Lxing.

The 'Avoca' ballast train was noted loaded and waiting between the Avoca platform and the Rowe St LXing. At Rowe St track was ballasted as far as could be seen towards Maryborough.

Track was ballasted from the Avoca platform towards Ararat, but at the newly relaid Sunraysia Hwy Lxing (not yet sealed and with a very slow speed rough road surface), no track or sleepers laid out were to be seen. Work was taking place at the Homebush Rd Lxing.
My final observation for the day was noting that the ballast top Avoca River bridge was cleared and ready for track laying.
  Galron Deputy Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
excuse me while i skim through the last 2 pages of comments, most of which need to be in the main mildura SG conversion thread.

i to was out and about last weekend looking at Maryborough- Ararat, with work and other commitments preventing me commenting until now.

i think the significant concern is the significant lack of time before the 1 jan opening, and the massive amount of work to be done on this section. The only thing complete, or vaguely complete is the formation rehabilitation and awaiting sleepers.

As at last weekend there would be lucky to be verging on 20km done, with rail down, and track ballasted. Would be lucky for there to be another 10 with rail down and clipped awaiting ballasting, and a little more with sleepers down awaiting rail. There's no signaling (save the light protecting the junction at the maryborough end), no bells and booms on any of the crossings, with several main road and highway crossing still needing to be upgraded, along with most of the dirt crossings. At least half of the approx 90 km of the line still needs sleepers putting in place, never mind getting rail sat on top and welded.

As has been done to death, the southern turnout at the Ararat end is nothing more than surveyors pegs at present.

i'm no expert, just a layperson like a lot of us here, but if this is the progress they have made in 5 months, its going to take them another 2-3 to finish this section at least. Dont be at all surprised to see a February opening.

The turnout connection that went back in at Maryborough also last weekend was just that, the turnout. Probably 20-50m of track to lay for inner rail, to connect the DG back into the branch turnout. Sidings at Maryborough also are in need to work to finish.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I had a look at the gauge splitting turnout at the junction and was interested to note a panel of timber sleepered broad gauge track had been placed on the end of the curved (to Ararat) leg of this turnout??? Maybe there was a suitable panel conveniently to hand; it can be quickly and easily gauge converted...
Lockspike
I was wondering If that broad gauge track panel was the mainline track removed to Install the new gauge splitter ?

I'm thinking they will eventually use a diamond crossing at this junction to get standard gauge Into the yard without having to negotiate one of those 15 km/h gauge transfers (where the SG rail changes from one side to the other)
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I had a look at the gauge splitting turnout at the junction and was interested to note a panel of timber sleepered broad gauge track had been placed on the end of the curved (to Ararat) leg of this turnout??? Maybe there was a suitable panel conveniently to hand; it can be quickly and easily gauge converted...
I was wondering If that broad gauge track panel was the mainline track removed to Install the new gauge splitter ?

I'm thinking they will eventually use a diamond crossing at this junction to get standard gauge Into the yard without having to negotiate one of those 15 km/h gauge transfers (where the SG rail changes from one side to the other)
Nightfire
Given the stupidity of having dual gauge between Maryborough & Ballarat just because VLP likes playing with its broad gauge train set; as others have suggested this might be being seriously reviewed given it is totally unnecessary and the project is reported to be running late and over budget now after stages 1 & 2 . So Government will be looking for savings .
At this stage the Ararat connection at Up end of Maryborough is simply a gauge splitter, low cost and simple from the platform road.  When the Stage 4 is finalized then that connection can stay as a gauge splitter or become a dual gauge turnout if the Government is silly enough to be conned by V/Line.
  Lockspike Chief Train Controller

I had a look at the gauge splitting turnout at the junction and was interested to note a panel of timber sleepered broad gauge track had been placed on the end of the curved (to Ararat) leg of this turnout??? Maybe there was a suitable panel conveniently to hand; it can be quickly and easily gauge converted...
I was wondering If that broad gauge track panel was the mainline track removed to Install the new gauge splitter ?

I'm thinking they will eventually use a diamond crossing at this junction to get standard gauge Into the yard without having to negotiate one of those 15 km/h gauge transfers (where the SG rail changes from one side to the other)
Nightfire
Quite probably Nightfire.

Maybe, 'though I'd be surprised. Diamonds aren't used as much as they used to be due to their inherent extra maintenance costs. There is also the issue of the small distance in the centre where the wheels are 'unchecked', leading to derailments. Rare since the demise of four wheel rollingstock, but can still happen.

I was speculating in my mind today over the 'change of common rail' just before the Melbourne end of the Maryborough platform. It has the effect of moving sg vehicles away from the platform. I wondered why, it's not as if sg vehicles are wider. A conference of the Australian railway commissioners many decades ago agreed that both sg and bg vehicles would have the same maximum dimensions. The maximum outline was known as "the conventional car".
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
the project is reported to be running late and over budget now after stages 1 & 2 . So Government will be looking for savings .
kuldalai
I dont want to be that guy around here but where is it 'reported'.  All ive seen so far is rumours on Railpage.  I wouldnt be surprised if it is, but lets not create a fact where there isnt yet one.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks for all the regular updates.   Cheers TP
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks for all the regular updates.   Cheers TP

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