Monaro Rail Trail turns railway corridor from Queanbeyan to Bombala into bike ride

 

News article: Monaro Rail Trail turns railway corridor from Queanbeyan to Bombala into bike ride

Earlier this week, while leading a ghost tour through the Monaro, I guided my troupe of intrepid paranormal purveyors into the Bombala Heritage Restaurant for a candle-lit dinner.

  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

And on parallel trial. Coma line is well suited as much is flat on or near natural ground.
In terms of gradients for cycling, all adhesion railways are flat. The steepest railway ascents in Australia would never see any colour other than green (0-3%) if you prepared a TDF-style gradient profile, and even the legendary routes in Switzerland and Austria would only see occasional stretches of the blue (3-6%) for a couple of kilometres at a time.

That's why rail alignments make such great cycling routes for commuting (e.g. the Coast to Vines Bikeway in SA, a far greater success than the railway to Willunga that it replaced) and touring (the market for a Queanbeyan-Bombala route), but they are not so great for sport cycling where the interest is in seeking out the tough climbs.
You mis understood my statement or I wasn't clear.

If you want to operate a rail trial and a working railway, even an irregular used one like HR, you need to have a path about 2-3m wide alongside or near by the railway ROW but with a safe buffer. Which means the combined ROW is quite large and basically a twin track with one line missing like the cycleway built in Hobart. However this line to Cooma is single track, but the surrounding terrain is also relatively flat compared to many other lines where the railway is an embankment or in a cutting of which the older cuttings are rarely wide enough for a bikeway to built along side complying to modern safety requirements. Thus for the majority of the parallel route if the existing Cooma Heritage Railway operation, it wouldn't be a huge cost to build an adjacent trail.  

I appreciate the rest of the detail provided though.
RTT_Rules
I didn't misunderstand anything.

My point is that, in general, the occasional small dip or hump that results from following the terrain away from a cutting/embankment is not significant for cyclists.

Keep the height difference within about 4-5 metres and keep the gradients to a medium level (5% max) suitable for touring cyclists and it's not a problem.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I said that they want to extend to certain places and nothing about taking over the line or preventing a rail trail / bike path to run. In fact the rail museum might be in the best position to not only operate the rail but also the bike path. Utilising the money from both could make things like rebuilding the bridges to the north more affordable.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I didn't misunderstand anything.

My point is that, in general, the occasional small dip or hump that results from following the terrain away from a cutting/embankment is not significant for cyclists.

Keep the height difference within about 4-5 metres and keep the gradients to a medium level (5% max) suitable for touring cyclists and it's not a problem.
justapassenger
Ok got it now.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
I said that they want to extend to certain places and nothing about taking over the line or preventing a rail trail / bike path to run. In fact the rail museum might be in the best position to not only operate the rail but also the bike path. Utilising the money from both could make things like rebuilding the bridges to the north more affordable.
simstrain
Its a belief in that they can afford to replace major bridge structures because they say so, but I was also have a general smeg as well at the mind set that wants to preserve these rusting relics as rusting relics in the mid guided belief one day someone will run a train.

No, I don't think they are the best organisation to operate a bike path, something that generates no direct revenue because its damn near impossible to enforce it. This needs to be managed by the local councils or a joint organisation sponsored by the councils it runs through. If they are not interested, hand the unwanted ROW back to adjacent land owners.  Sooner or later somewhere in NSW (reasonable location) will convert their unloved old railway corridor into a rail trail and then the others will come knocking chasing similar benefits.

If enough old lines (or significant Rail Trail value) were ever fully converted and ideally ones that are connected to existing CountryLink Operations in some way, then NSW may get on the map of travellers who can explore the state by rail to access the areas rail used to run.

A few key corridors that come to mind are
- Muwulluibah line
- New England Line
- Bomballa Line
- Crockwell Line

All these run in locations of some secenic value, have reasonable length and existing small or larger towns along the way at reasonable intervals.

Tumut - Batlow is also worthy, but short and isolated, more a day trip, you need the whole Tumut line as well to make it a goer.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

If enough old lines (or significant Rail Trail value) were ever fully converted and ideally ones that are connected to existing CountryLink Operations in some way, then NSW may get on the map of travellers who can explore the state by rail to access the areas rail used to run.
RTT_Rules
It's a good time for that, manufacturers are finally making big steps forward with quality electric-assisted bikes.

I wouldn't use one for everyday use, but I would consider using one for a big touring holiday.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Its a belief in that they can afford to replace major bridge structures because they say so, but I was also have a general smeg as well at the mind set that wants to preserve these rusting relics as rusting relics in the mid guided belief one day someone will run a train.

No, I don't think they are the best organisation to operate a bike path, something that generates no direct revenue because its damn near impossible to enforce it. This needs to be managed by the local councils or a joint organisation sponsored by the councils it runs through. If they are not interested, hand the unwanted ROW back to adjacent land owners.  Sooner or later somewhere in NSW (reasonable location) will convert their unloved old railway corridor into a rail trail and then the others will come knocking chasing similar benefits.

If enough old lines (or significant Rail Trail value) were ever fully converted and ideally ones that are connected to existing CountryLink Operations in some way, then NSW may get on the map of travellers who can explore the state by rail to access the areas rail used to run.

A few key corridors that come to mind are
- Muwulluibah line
- New England Line
- Bomballa Line
- Crockwell Line

All these run in locations of some secenic value, have reasonable length and existing small or larger towns along the way at reasonable intervals.

Tumut - Batlow is also worthy, but short and isolated, more a day trip, you need the whole Tumut line as well to make it a goer.
RTT_Rules

You know my thoughts are the same for these old rail lines as well. In this case however there is an actual operational heritage railway and the tracks are maintained by this organisation to branch line standards. Maybe they will never extend north due to the state of the bridges we have talked about but this organisation can't be dismissed as a quackpot group like others.

CMR have got funding to do an assessment of the line south to rock flat and so this will will be vital to any extension of rail undertaken and maybe even to a rail trail south of rock flat.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi Sim's,
Last night I was reading through the OTHR website seeing how they were going because they are one of relatively few modern start-ups for HR and one that has some serious backing, so I try and monitor their progress and I've walked the Oberon yard in Aug 2009.

Anyway, there is a reference to repairing the Snake Valley Creek Bridge (or what ever its name), they quote $1.5M !!!! $100k just for the timber. Emu Valley Bridge which I believe is their other major timber bridge, looks in very similar and in similar condition (maybe slightly better). Both bridges I think are in their proposed their stage extension, which is listed as part of their 15 year plan, phase 1 being in their 5 year plan, so we can assume b the time they get to Phase 2, both these bridges will not be structurally better than today and likely only good for termites and firewood. A recycled girder span from another abandoned line, ie Captains Flat Line is probably going to prove cheaper.

Anyway, this is something to consider for Cooma should they wish to repair those old bridges. $1.5M is alot of cash for a small heritage operator and the bridge is not that big. I think Cooma would be better to focus on heading south and forget the northern extension, despite there being a nice town to get to and little on south side. Normally these major works are done under a govt grant, but this is a big grant.

Graham Priddle has also done some planning work on replacement of the timber trestle bridge at Snake valley Creek. At the current prices the hard wood that would be required is almost $100K and it is expected that there would be little change out of $1.5 million to have the job done. This information is vital in planning for the future.

Snake Valley



Emu Valley

  simstrain Chief Commissioner

You may be right RTT. All that I am saying is that there is currently an active operational railway and that any rail trail would have to take this into account. The bridges in these pictures are clearly not viable for bike traffic at the moment either and so if the bridges have to be replaced they may as well do a proper job and make the new bridge for rail and bike.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Graham Priddle has also done some planning work on replacement of the timber trestle bridge at Snake Valley Creek. At the current prices the hard wood that would be required is almost $100K and it is expected that there would be little change out of $1.5 million to have the job done. This information is vital in planning for the future.
RTT_Rules
If those trestle bridges aren't heritage-listed then full superstructure replacement would be way cheaper. The Snake Valley Creek trestle bridge already has concrete foundations too (ref) so a 'bolt-on' slimline steel design would be appropriate, even considering the bridge's height.
  Lockspike Chief Train Controller

If those trestle bridges aren't heritage-listed then full superstructure replacement would be way cheaper. The Snake Valley Creek trestle bridge already has concrete foundations too (ref) so a 'bolt-on' slimline steel design would be appropriate, even considering the bridge's height.
LancedDendrite
For a low structure such as the Snake Valley Ck bridge, corrugated multi-plate steel pipe culverts (often referred to as Armco pipes) would be an even better way, quite simple, fast and doesn't need a highly skilled workforce.

For a rail trail just take the path down to near creek level, throw in a couple of small pipes, pour some concrete around them; Simples.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks for comments guys.

Yes these old timber structures were the technology of the day and if the structure is fairly run down then replacement with some thing much more modern, cheaper to build and cheaper to maintain is the go.

No point heritage listing a structure no one will ever see )the ate pn private property by looks of sat photos and impossible to uterluse due to cost.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Concrete precast is the way to go. Steel will rust and a concrete precast can have a rail and trail section built at the same cost.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
If those trestle bridges aren't heritage-listed then full superstructure replacement would be way cheaper. The Snake Valley Creek trestle bridge already has concrete foundations too (ref) so a 'bolt-on' slimline steel design would be appropriate, even considering the bridge's height.
For a low structure such as the Snake Valley Ck bridge, corrugated multi-plate steel pipe culverts (often referred to as Armco pipes) would be an even better way, quite simple, fast and doesn't need a highly skilled workforce.

For a rail trail just take the path down to near creek level, throw in a couple of small pipes, pour some concrete around them; Simples.
Lockspike
The Yarra Valley Railway considered different culvert designs (including 'Armco'-type) to replace their timber trestle bridges and ended up using a 'steel trestle' bridge design instead - it was cheaper to build, more flexible and used less machinery (and skilled labour in general). They also look a lot less hideous than your average culvert.

Concrete precast is the way to go. Steel will rust and a concrete precast can have a rail and trail section built at the same cost.
simstrain
Precast concrete structures have plenty of steel reinforcement inside them that rusts (causing concrete cancer). Hot-dip galvanised structural steel lasts just as long as precast concrete, if not longer depending on the QA regime at the precast concrete yard.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
The Yarra Valley Railway considered different culvert designs (including 'Armco'-type) to replace their timber trestle bridges and ended up using a 'steel trestle' bridge design instead - it was cheaper to build, more flexible and used less machinery (and skilled labour in general). They also look a lot less hideous than your average culvert.

LancedDendrite
Do you have a photo?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

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