Gippsland Line Upgrade

 
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

At this stage the Gippsland Line upgrade is all about track duplications (Bunyip - Longwarry, at  Moe, at Morwell, and in an Up direction from Traralgon .  Second platforms at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell & Traralgon . Replacement of bridge over Avon river at Stratford . New train stabling at Mid Valley to replace Traralgon.)

No upgrading of North Track to Class - 1 at this time .  Given there are really no express or even Limited Stop VLocity  trains on this line, the 160kmh speed is rarely if ever achieved with the close station spacings .
So I'm assuming new duplicated track will be to Class- 1 standards to 160km/hr.
James974
My guess is it will be laid to Class - 1 standard but unless 160kmh is achievable then it will be restricted to 130 kmh initially.

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  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Morwell drop in session is 8th November.
Did anyone go to Moe or T'gon?

https://www.victrack.com.au/projects/key-projects/gippsland-rail-corridor-station-upgrade-program
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

What a waste to locate train stabling at Mid Valley, that like 10 km's of dead running to get too and from Traralgon.

Plenty of space around Traralgon for stabling.
Nightfire
I'd have to go over the media releases, but as I understood it, the stabling would be moved from the west side of the station (near the road underpass bridge behind the Shell servo) and over to the east (somewhere near the turntable).

Happy to be corrected, but that's what I recall.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Train stabling could also go on the old Maffra line formation on the East side of the Traralgon Creek.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

What a waste to locate train stabling at Mid Valley, that like 10 km's of dead running to get too and from Traralgon.

Plenty of space around Traralgon for stabling.
I'd have to go over the media releases, but as I understood it, the stabling would be moved from the west side of the station (near the road underpass bridge behind the Shell servo) and over to the east (somewhere near the turntable).

Happy to be corrected, but that's what I recall.
cabidass
train stabling to be be moved to Mid Valley with track dupliacted between Mid Valley and Traralgon. Second platform at Traralgon and ability to cross Up & Down passes at Traralgon .
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

train stabling to be be moved to Mid Valley with track dupliacted between Mid Valley and Traralgon. Second platform at Traralgon and ability to cross Up & Down passes at Traralgon .
kuldalai
Interesting.

I've just gone hunting and can find no reference as to where the stabling will move to. Everything states "moved from T'gon station".

Do you have a reference, or something where you got this info from?

The only thing I can find is this Bass Coast submission to the budget:

Page 6
"4. Further clarity around the location of train stabling moving from Traralgon. It is recommended that a small piece of work is undertaken to determine this detail, with further consideration given to a potential Morwell (Gippsland Logistics Precinct) stabling facility to free up capacity at Traralgon Station. "

http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/getattachment/Council/Council_Meetings/2017_Council_Meeting_Schedule/H2_one_600KB.pdf.aspx

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Turns out there is another Gippsland Line thread. Any chance they can be merged/linked?

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11386443-0-asc-s0.htm
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I was talking to a Coach driver the other day in Kyneton and he was talking about the Gippsland line 2 week shutdown coming up.

He said it coincides with the Comm Games and that the Coach operators had pleaded with V/Line to change the dates as every bus and his dog will be heading north for the games traffic.

I don't know how true this is but it might get messy with a lack of replacement busses.

BG
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
bevans
Does this involve replacing or upgrading the Avon river bridge?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Does this involve replacing or upgrading the Avon river bridge?
Dangersdan707
Yes. A major thorn in V/lines gippsland operations.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The key thing in the media release today (14/03/18) is that Government is bringing forward up grade of lx protection between Sale and Bairnsdale to allow early introduction of V/Locity trains on Bairnsdale services , even before the new bridge is completed .  Currently N are restricted to something like 15kmh over the existing bridge which is obviously on its last legs and virtually life expired .

This suggests that the bridge condition is approaching the point where 21t axle load operation would be entering a risk element, therefore the early need to be able to introduce VL sets with their  lighter axle loads ASAP . Nurse the existing bridge on with lighter axle loads till the new bridge is completed .   Interesting development, as tests  were run a few years ago and the VL sets just manage to fit within the existing bridge girders .
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
The key thing in the media release today (14/03/18) is that Government is bringing forward up grade of lx protection between Sale and Bairnsdale to allow early introduction of V/Locity trains on Bairnsdale services , even before the new bridge is completed .  Currently N are restricted to something like 15kmh over the existing bridge which is obviously on its last legs and virtually life expired .

This suggests that the bridge condition is approaching the point where 21t axle load operation would be entering a risk element, therefore the early need to be able to introduce VL sets with their  lighter axle loads ASAP . Nurse the existing bridge on with lighter axle loads till the new bridge is completed .   Interesting development, as tests  were run a few years ago and the VL sets just manage to fit within the existing bridge girders .
kuldalai
Sounds like an unsurprising Warrnambool-Bairnsdale run throughs for the new long distance sets?
  skitz Chief Commissioner

The key thing in the media release today (14/03/18) is that Government is bringing forward up grade of lx protection between Sale and Bairnsdale to allow early introduction of V/Locity trains on Bairnsdale services , even before the new bridge is completed .  Currently N are restricted to something like 15kmh over the existing bridge which is obviously on its last legs and virtually life expired .

This suggests that the bridge condition is approaching the point where 21t axle load operation would be entering a risk element, therefore the early need to be able to introduce VL sets with their  lighter axle loads ASAP . Nurse the existing bridge on with lighter axle loads till the new bridge is completed .   Interesting development, as tests  were run a few years ago and the VL sets just manage to fit within the existing bridge girders .
kuldalai
While there is no denying the bridge is life expired there are some aspects of the bridges features that are not readily understood and frequently mixed up to the issues they cause.

There is essentially three parts to the bridge:

1. The trestle causeway
2. The cantilevered section (on brick piers) - spanning the current river course
3. The straight steel section (on timber piers) - original spans over the river

Obviously the timber causeway is in poor condition but it has not really been a driver for speed restriction of vehicle restriction.  The item of interest is the middle section.   Its unusual as its a cantilevered design and also on a curve.   Examination of the structure shows that something significantly screwy had happened at construction.  I will try to explain:

Being on a curve, the outer spans that sit on the pier need to have a set of spans that are right and left handed to place the connections for the middle span in line with the curve.   Unbelievably, the two cantilever sections are of the same hand.  I kid you not.   What this means is the placement of the connection at one end is significantly out of line.  You can see the modifications to ensure the connections work with the components.   The result is there is a kink to the design alignment of a true curve and due to the trough nature of the construction significantly cuts into the dynamic envelope available for trains to fit through.   That is why there is a massive speed restriction and also limits on what kinds of vehicles that can traverse the bridge.  You have to go slow due to the unusual alignment, restricted envelope for dynamic response and loading into the bridge that is not entirely what it was designed for.

If you look at the track alignment, its not a true curve.  For sure you can put the track to a true curve, but it then impacts on the clearances possible.  

The speed restriction has never been a significant impact on operation due to proximity to the station

I have raised this issue before and the nae-sayers come out of the wood work.   I can only say that the evidence is there in plain sight on the bridge if one is prepared to take in what is in front of them.  You can even see the misalignment on Google maps (not entirely clearly) if you know what you're looking for.  I only realised this for myself while examining rail profiling undertaken a few years ago and a colleague and I were discussing what the issues were and the hand of the span and the stuff-up created a long time ago come to light (had never heard it discussed before).   I am sure those who actually know/manage the bridge will be well aware of this.  It has been in service all its life as a compromise to a construction/supply error.

So some significant history is there to why it is what it is.

None the less, a new bridge is a good thing.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Does anyone know Is a new bridge design has been released ?

Building a new bridge on the alignment of the existing bridge could be an option (old bridge would be fully demolished)
  drunkill Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The old bridge will remain as it is heritage listed afaik. Although it is pretty unsafe so who knows if it becomes a rail trail bridge or anything like that.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The old bridge will remain as it is heritage listed afaik. Although it is pretty unsafe so who knows if it becomes a rail trail bridge or anything like that.
drunkill
Heritage listing doesn't always mean It's protected from demolition.

The rail trail (Stratford Town connection) already has a well built off road path running alongside the highway
  tom9876543 Train Controller

The old Stratford bridge must not be demolished IMHO.

How many bridges on planet earth were required to have a significant rebuild because the path of the river moved below it?
And skitz has explained how there was a mistake building the "new" portion of the bridge, making it even more unusual.

This bridge is clearly one of a kind, and therefore should be preserved.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

The Avon River bridge has a very interesting history.

Originally the bridge consisted of 162 timber openings - each 15 foot - followed by six 30 foot iron girders. The timber section of the bridge started further towards Melbourne, in fact it must have started close to the current Princes Hwy underbridge. The curve in the bridge was entirely on the final section of timber openings, and the curve had a radius of 1320 feet (20 chains). The iron girder section was (and is) entirely straight, and the river ran under the centre two openings. The iron girders were erected on timber piers, each consisting of eight vertical piles which were originally (and still are today) closely covered with timber to prevent problems with debris.

This was all very rational, unfortunately, the river had other ideas. The river bed is shingle and it erodes easily. The river moved towards the Melbourne side, and by 1891 had eroded a new channel largely under the end of the timber viaduct, leaving the original iron girders over a shingle bank. The timber bents were braced, but flooding of the river caused major problems. The eroding river banks upstream would bring down whole trees, which got caught up in the 15 foot openings (which were never intended to pass the main channel). The opening would dam up and bring down the bents.

It was decided around 1896 to replace the final 300 feet of the timber openings with three new steel openings, which would provide wider openings. The openings between piers of the new section were 93 feet, 105 feet, and 94 feet - note the wider opening in the middle over the then river channel. To reduce the length of the steel span over the wider centre opening, the centre girders were cantilevered from the outside spans. The end girders were 109 feet long, with the final 15 feet projecting beyond the pier. This supported the centre span - the girders of which were 76 feet 2 inches and 74 feet 9 inches long. This new section was entirely on a 1320 foot curve. To accommodate this the end girders were bent over the piers and the final 15 feet was offset by 7 1/2 inches at the end. The two centre girders were also of different length. (A discussion of the new section of the bridge can be read at
https://digitised-collections.unimelb.edu.au/bitstream/handle/11343/24249/305667_UDS2013255-27-0018.pdf)

The river continued to move towards Melbourne, and around 1900 the steel section was extended by a further 400 feet in four 100 foot spans. This time the design was more conventional. Each girder spanned the gap between a pair of piers, and in each span the outer girder was slightly longer than the inner girder. This gave a much better curve. One curious feature was the actual curve - the first three spans are on a curve of 1635 feet radius, and the last is the 1320 foot radius to match the 1900 section.

More work appears to have been done in 1920 (almost certainly related to strengthening the bridge for heavier axle loads). The timber piers under the original iron girders were strengthened with RSJs. In addition, lengthy sections of the original timber viaduct were filled in (spans 1 to 26, and 55 to 71). The final two openings on the Stratford side were filled in in 1923.

So the bridge today has four portions. From the Melbourne end they are:
* The remnants of the original timber approach viaduct over the flood plain, which is about half the curve
* The c1900 extension, consisting of four steel spans, each nominally 100 feet long
* The c1896 extension, consisting of three steel spans with a nominal total length of 300 feet. The centre span is longer than the other two, and the centre girders are suspended from the outer girders.
* The original iron girders, six spans each of 60 feet.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
The old Stratford bridge must not be demolished IMHO.

How many bridges on planet earth were required to have a significant rebuild because the path of the river moved below it?
And skitz has explained how there was a mistake building the "new" portion of the bridge, making it even more unusual.

This bridge is clearly one of a kind, and therefore should be preserved.
tom9876543
As somebody else pointed out, the rail trail from Maffra into Stratford has a new course where it deviates from the rail reserve and over the highway bridge into Stratford town. There will never be any connectivity from the former rail bridge as a walking trail as it would have to cross high speed highway traffic - VicRoads will not allow that.

So that leaves us with a 130+ years old, non heritage listed bridge that is disintegrating and with no obvious future purpose.
The regional Catchment Management Authority will want to see it gone because of the impact on riverflow, and even as a ruin, it will require public liability insurance and basic maintenance. Wellington Shire Council isn't interesting in taking it on.

If it is to be preserved, any future funds applied to it will be on the public purse and diverted away from other local bridges with important heritage significance that are actually used - like the Stoney Creek bridge near Nowa Nowa.

I think the best outcome is to have it properly photographed for the record, and let it go.
  thekingoffoxes Chief Train Controller

Current State of the Bairnsdale Station precinct and Bosworth Road siding previously used for logs.

Stratford and the Avon River bridge to come.



https://youtu.be/a9bQwiVy1H4
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Current State of the Bairnsdale Station precinct and Bosworth Road siding previously used for logs.

Stratford and the Avon River bridge to come.
thekingoffoxes
Very smooth and classy


Maybe I am missing something, but where is crossover from mainline  to station line (siding)?  Or are there some messy manoeuvres required beyond the station.
  thekingoffoxes Chief Train Controller

Current State of the Bairnsdale Station precinct and Bosworth Road siding previously used for logs.

Stratford and the Avon River bridge to come.
Very smooth and classy


Maybe I am missing something, but where is crossover from mainline  to station line (siding)?  Or are there some messy manoeuvres required beyond the station.
prwise
Yes the siding connects to the main line at both ends. Catch points at the Down end and a Derailer at the Up end.
  thekingoffoxes Chief Train Controller

Here is a record of the Avon River bridge and Stratford station while there is some remains of a yard.
As seen in the video the station is being extended to fit longer trains.

Works were also being undertaken on the trestle section on the UP side of the bridge while the line was shutdown for skyrail works.



https://youtu.be/qZ8K0UEeZbQ
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Sausage sizzle and cab tour to get the punters on board the Bairnsdale VLocity - they might be slightly less enthusiastic when they realise it's 4 hours sans first class or snack bar!
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Really like the video and shows the old yard where trains would have reversed to access the Maffra Yard and customers.  Not sure why this traffic ended as there is still plenty of containerised product coming out of that factory when last checked.

The bridge is longer than I realised.

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