Trip Report: Central-Albury Return

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
All

So, I took a trip on the XPT, out on Friday (9th), back on Monday (12th).

Friday's trip exceeded expectations.  The trip was on time, the crew were professional, the service was great, and aside from a slight amount of eccentricity from the buffet staff (though it could have been a slight lack of sleep on my part), the experience felt like a Sydney Perth flight (sans in flight entertainment).  There is often comment about ferals and undesirables on the XPT but on the Friday trip, there was nothing excessively bad, (though there were some interesting individuals but they didn't cause too many issues!). As noted, the train was on time which to me was the most surprising.  Given my experience on the XPT from about 10 years ago, which was often late bu up to 2 hours, I was very pleased.  We were 2 minutes early into Albury.  Key stations appeared to be Goulburn (where lots of people got off), Yass Junction and Cootamundra (key connection points) and Wagga, (which in itself had a very significant number of boardings, perhaps 3/4 of my carriage filled at WGA).  This is consistent with previous discussion about WGA which is said to feed a lot of southbound traffic.

Monday's trip was as for Friday's.  The train was 20mins late to Albury but had picked up the time by Junee.  I could tell some extra speed was being applied between ABX and WGA, possibly also to Junee.  We were on time into Sydney, though I think there could have been some slow running between Campbelltown and East Hills - perhaps we were ahead of time?

The biggest issue I had (outside of NSW Trains control) was that the time between Campbelltown and Cootamundra was painfully slow (except for the Bredalbane plains).  It is a shame that this section of track has not been addressed, as some adjustments here to increase speed could really increase the speed of the service and make it comparable to a car trip.  So many twists and turns just slow the whole process down, and heading north to Picton just seems illogical.

Some questions though from my trip.

1. What is the slip pattern for the crew that detrains in Albury?  Do they stay the day and do the overnight train back to Sydney, or do they overnight in Albury and do the next day train back?

2. What is the max allowable speed of the XPT between ABX and WGA (and Junee)?  The buffet crew said 160kph but I thought 130kph was max?

3. If you were to invest in the Main South, where would you do it to get best bang for your buck?  Would a straighter track in the Menagle region make more sense than say straightening through the Cullerin ranges etc?  Is the Bethungra spiral needed for the XPT or other modern trains?

4. Possibly something for another thread, but IMV, thinking about the Main South and NESG as one line (from a passenger perspective) could lead to some interesting results. Increased services between WGA and Melbourne, plus better services out of Sydney to Goulburn and Canberra I think could be an interesting test of the purported principles behind HSR, ie testing the ability of rail to deliver benefits to regional centres.  Again, possibly something for another thread.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
TBMUAs
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

1) The crew from Sydney will change over with the Albury crew to Melbourne, Sydney crew stays in Albury overnight and return to Sydney on the next available service departing Albury at 11:30am? Sorry, can't remember the train times now

If however, the train terminates at Albury the Sydney crew does get some rest before returning back to Sydney

2) The Curve & Gradient Diagrams indicate the maximum speed limit between Junee and Wagga is 160k/ph although it does change at various locations on curves 100k/ph up to 150k/ph then to 160k/ph in both directions

3) Why on earth do you want to invest? It's not a privately owned railway line... Bethungra loop? How old can you be! Haha joking mate, just saying the Bethungra loop has been removed since the line was duplicated that was like during WW1 or 2 and the Spirial was installed on the UP line, the deviation at Frampton is the original single track main line which is now the UP line if you needed to know that

As for the up, down refuge loops at Bethungra they have been removed since the station was closed in the 70's I believe same as the goods sidings

Have a look at it in Google Earth or maps

4) The government proposed a shuttle train to run between Wagga and Albury, never will happen

Other information you may find interesting, when the Melbourne XPT arrives in Sydney and goes back out to Sydenham XPT service centre, the same XPT becomes the Grafton XPT!
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
TBMUAs
"YM-Mundrabilla"
MBO
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Great read.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
TBMUAs
YM-Mundrabilla
No Idea what this one means..
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
1) The crew from Sydney will change over with the Albury crew to Melbourne, Sydney crew stays in Albury overnight and return to Sydney on the next available service departing Albury at 11:30am? Sorry, can't remember the train times now

If however, the train terminates at Albury the Sydney crew does get some rest before returning back to Sydney

2) The Curve & Gradient Diagrams indicate the maximum speed limit between Junee and Wagga is 160k/ph although it does change at various locations on curves 100k/ph up to 150k/ph then to 160k/ph in both directions

3) Why on earth do you want to invest? It's not a privately owned railway line... Bethungra loop? How old can you be! Haha joking mate, just saying the Bethungra loop has been removed since the line was duplicated that was like during WW1 or 2 and the Spirial was installed on the UP line, the deviation at Frampton is the original single track main line which is now the UP line if you needed to know that

As for the up, down refuge loops at Bethungra they have been removed since the station was closed in the 70's I believe same as the goods sidings

Have a look at it in Google Earth or maps

4) The government proposed a shuttle train to run between Wagga and Albury, never will happen

Other information you may find interesting, when the Melbourne XPT arrives in Sydney and goes back out to Sydenham XPT service centre, the same XPT becomes the Grafton XPT!
cityrail-rulez
Thanks for these.  Re 3, yes I did mean Bethungra spiral - loop was the wrong word choice.
  7334 Chief Commissioner

Location: In the workshop wondering why I started 7334 in the first place
3) ............. the deviation at Frampton is the original single track main line which is now the UP line if you needed to know that

cityrail-rulez

Dunno whether you have got it wrong or just mangled the words, BUT;

The deviation at Frampton is not the original single track main line, that eventually became the DOWN line.

The deviation was constructed in 1898 to ease gradients for UP trains.  

The original alignment was abandoned and left unused for 44 years.


In 1942 it was reused as part of the duplication of the line between Cootamundra and Junee.  It became the DOWN line with the 1898 deviation becoming the UP line.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
TBMUAs
No Idea what this one means..
james.au
TO BLOODY MANY UNEXPLAINED ACRONYMS.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
TBMUAs
MBO
Valvegear
OK I'll bite. Smile
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
You guys need to get out and learn a bit of aviation terminology....Wink
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
You guys need to get out and learn a bit of aviation terminology....Wink
james.au
Sorry James.

I am interested in many posts here on RP but some posts are degraded as I only speak English.

RSI* is old hat and keyboards do not wear out easily from the extra keystrokes so there is no reason to use esoteric or local unexplained acronyms or to speak in 'aviation' or even 'New South Welsh' .

Keep smiling anyway. It's only a game ...........Smile

* Repetitive strain injury (or something like that anyway).
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
OK I'll bite.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
My Bloody Oath.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
You guys need to get out and learn a bit of aviation terminology...
james.au
Why?  When did we get flying trains?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
OK I'll bite.
My Bloody Oath.
Valvegear
Thanks Comrade.
Couldn't even find it in Google and I didn't think that 'malignant bowel obstruction' fitted Rolling Eyes

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