Murray Basin standardisation

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
All

Ive uploaded the business case to the Railpage reports section.  

Download here (18MB file)

Enjoy!
james.au
Thanks James. The business case has, as I had suggested above, a large focus on port competition and mineral sands. The port competition is the reason that the final plan was chosen over the much simpler idea of running a line across from Lascelles line to Hopetoun or Litchfield and Minyip which would not have allowed port competition for grain particularly on the Manang and Sea Lake lines.

It only took me till page 11 to find the interesting part about oversight (the emphasis is mine)

"This project has been identified as a High Value High Risk Project (HVHR) so is subject to extra
scrutiny and ongoing involvement by the Treasurer and the Department of Treasury and Finance
(DTF) as it passes through the project lifecycle.

The project will be delivered by V/Line under the direction of Public Transport Victoria (PTV) as the
client and with advice from the Project Steering Committee, led by PTV, with input from DTF, the
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR), Department of
Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and V/Line."


So with prior acknowledgement of the risks and that many sets of eyes overseeing it how was it allowed to go so far wrong before someone stepped in. There should have (not saying there weren't just don't know) performance clauses in the contract allowing for running checks on quality of work and progress. Failure of the contractor to meet either one during the course of the works should have resulted in intervention from at least one of the listed parties.

The term asleep at the wheel comes to mind.

BG

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  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
I believe there were a couple of grain trains from Birhcip a few weeks ago that went to Portland
All of the PN hauled trains have run to the Port of Geelong. SSRs have run to the Port of Melbourne. QUBE haven't ventured up that way.
Jack Le Lievre

PN have run one from Woomelang to Portland a few weeks back with a pair of 81's, from memory 8116 and 8166.

EDIT: I had the locos wrong. It ran with G540, G523 and BL26 and arrived in Portland on the 8th of June.

EDIT 2: I got this train heading up to Woomelang as 7939V a the next day (June 9)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcCTSZ49N0
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I believe there were a couple of grain trains from Birhcip a few weeks ago that went to Portland
All of the PN hauled trains have run to the Port of Geelong. SSRs have run to the Port of Melbourne. QUBE haven't ventured up that way.

PN have run one from Woomelang to Portland a few weeks back with a pair of 81's, from memory 8116 and 8166.

EDIT: I had the locos wrong. It ran with G540, G523 and BL26 and arrived in Portland on the 8th of June.

EDIT 2: I got this train heading up to Woomelang as 7939V a the next day (June 9)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcCTSZ49N0
Greensleeves
Great to see this happening.  It adds impetus for completing this project, despite the stuff-ups and delays that have occurred...
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Love the video and noticed the "Walkfields" logo on the BL.  why?
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Yep, port competition was definitely on the cards originally. Unfortunately I don’t think the actual business case was ever released - the only document of the kind I’ve been able to unearth is Infrastructure Australia’s assessment of said business case, which was... less than glowing, shall we say. I’m on my phone at the moment so I’ll find a link later or someone else can but it is fairly prophetic.
The business case was public for a long time but has since been taken down.

If anyone wants a copy, PM me and ill get it to you.
All

Ive uploaded the business case to the Railpage reports section.  

Download here (18MB file)

Enjoy!
james.au

Great and thanks for sharing.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Love the video and noticed the "Walkfields" logo on the BL.  why?
x31

G540 and BL33 had smaller stickers applied when they ran the very first 7901V, and got bigger ones when up in Merbein, likely done for the media. Those two aren't very common on 7901V/7902V at the moment though...
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic

PN have run one from Woomelang to Portland a few weeks back with a pair of 81's, from memory 8116 and 8166.

EDIT: I had the locos wrong. It ran with G540, G523 and BL26 and arrived in Portland on the 8th of June.

EDIT 2: I got this train heading up to Woomelang as 7939V a the next day (June 9)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcCTSZ49N0
Greensleeves
Ah, the train that ran from Western Vic (Dimmy from memory) to Murtoa add a loco (G540) then ran to Portland unloaded, returned to Murtoa refuelled then ran to Woomelang to load, returned to Murtoa for the Queen's Birthday then headed to Geelong to unload, and refuelled at Gheringhap?
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.

PN have run one from Woomelang to Portland a few weeks back with a pair of 81's, from memory 8116 and 8166.

EDIT: I had the locos wrong. It ran with G540, G523 and BL26 and arrived in Portland on the 8th of June.

EDIT 2: I got this train heading up to Woomelang as 7939V a the next day (June 9)



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlcCTSZ49N0Ah, the train that ran from Western Vic (Dimmy from memory) to Murtoa add a loco (G540) then ran to Portland unloaded, returned to Murtoa refuelled then ran to Woomelang to load, returned to Murtoa for the Queen's Birthday then headed to Geelong to unload, and refuelled at Gheringhap?
Jack Le Lievre

It ran from Woomelang to Portland originally (I'm not sure why it went that far), but yes.
  potatoinmymouth Assistant Commissioner

As far as the oversight question is concerned I agree DTF was obviously asleep at the wheel until it was far too late from an investment point of view.

I suspect the “forward planning” part of the equation went missing during the transfer of planning responsibility from DEDJTR and PTV to TFV, and I suspect the contracting model contributed as the governments agencies each assumed either one of them or the contractor had the right contingencies in place.

Again, not trying to excuse any of the behaviour, but the factors that contributed from an organisational point of view are fairly clear.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think that there is mounting evidence that there are 2 key problems.

1. The contractor hasn't performed to expectations (be it because they messed up or were poorly led - probably both)
2. The Ballarat section was never planned properly at the outset.


Re 1, I wont go into much detail, but I suspect that cost pressures, perhaps inexperience on the part of both parties and lack of leadership may be an issue.  Also (as mentioned earlier in this thread or another somewhere) the fact that the project crept from being the standardisation of Mildura and construction of some new track from Lascelles to the fully fledged conversation of 1200km of track was a huge step for VLine and perhaps a step too far.

Re 2, the business case shows nothing about how Ballarat is going to be sorted, and on reflection, now I know how complex Ballarat is, it should have been a red flag to me the first time i picked it up.  That there was no detail on how they were going to manage the project through Ballarat and the resultant disruption is a huge omission from the risk management aspects of the business case.  And that others up the chain, including the HVHR team also didn't consider this is also an issue.  Note that at the time the Ballarat line project was nothing like it is now (which thankfully meant that Warrenheip-Gheringhap is SG only) so there has been significant change to that project, however even the first iteration of the Ballarat line plan was perhaps not incorporated into the Business case and Murray Basin Rail Project more generally.  For such a critical part of the project, it was massively ignored, perhaps explaining where we are at today.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
the business case shows nothing about how Ballarat is going to be sorted, and on reflection, now I know how complex Ballarat is, it should have been a red flag to me the first time i picked it up.  That there was no detail on how they were going to manage the project through Ballarat and the resultant disruption is a huge omission from the risk management aspects of the business case.  

And that others up the chain, including the HVHR team also didn't consider this is also an issue.  Note that at the time the Ballarat line project was nothing like it is now (which thankfully meant that Warrenheip-Gheringhap is SG only) so there has been significant change to that project, however even the first iteration of the Ballarat line plan was perhaps not incorporated into the Business case and Murray Basin Rail Project more generally.  For such a critical part of the project, it was massively ignored, perhaps explaining where we are at today.
james.au

Why should Ballarat be complex?  There is SG and BG at SCS and that works.

I myself think it is not complex (i may be wrong) but the certainly the way SG is deployed into the Ballarat area is important and needs to be designed correctly.  I also think there needs to be access to the workshops in the area and also the intermodal yard being built off the Ararat line.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
the business case shows nothing about how Ballarat is going to be sorted, and on reflection, now I know how complex Ballarat is, it should have been a red flag to me the first time i picked it up.  That there was no detail on how they were going to manage the project through Ballarat and the resultant disruption is a huge omission from the risk management aspects of the business case.  

And that others up the chain, including the HVHR team also didn't consider this is also an issue.  Note that at the time the Ballarat line project was nothing like it is now (which thankfully meant that Warrenheip-Gheringhap is SG only) so there has been significant change to that project, however even the first iteration of the Ballarat line plan was perhaps not incorporated into the Business case and Murray Basin Rail Project more generally.  For such a critical part of the project, it was massively ignored, perhaps explaining where we are at today.

Why should Ballarat be complex?  There is SG and BG at SCS and that works.

I myself think it is not complex (i may be wrong) but the certainly the way SG is deployed into the Ballarat area is important and needs to be designed correctly.  I also think there needs to be access to the workshops in the area and also the intermodal yard being built off the Ararat line.
bevans
Complex relative to the project, there are examples of far more complex issues elsewhere but relative to pushing in the track between Dunolly and Mildura, the risk of passenger and city disruption in Ballarat is a big one.

Im more saying that I think they never really built the Ballarat section solution into the plan from the get go - its feeling like they got started and then realised they had to change things around Ballarat, in an election year...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
the business case shows nothing about how Ballarat is going to be sorted, and on reflection, now I know how complex Ballarat is, it should have been a red flag to me the first time i picked it up.  That there was no detail on how they were going to manage the project through Ballarat and the resultant disruption is a huge omission from the risk management aspects of the business case.  

And that others up the chain, including the HVHR team also didn't consider this is also an issue.  Note that at the time the Ballarat line project was nothing like it is now (which thankfully meant that Warrenheip-Gheringhap is SG only) so there has been significant change to that project, however even the first iteration of the Ballarat line plan was perhaps not incorporated into the Business case and Murray Basin Rail Project more generally.  For such a critical part of the project, it was massively ignored, perhaps explaining where we are at today.

Why should Ballarat be complex?  There is SG and BG at SCS and that works.

I myself think it is not complex (i may be wrong) but the certainly the way SG is deployed into the Ballarat area is important and needs to be designed correctly.  I also think there needs to be access to the workshops in the area and also the intermodal yard being built off the Ararat line.
bevans
We will make it complex especially if it disadvantages the SG.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Complex relative to the project, there are examples of far more complex issues elsewhere but relative to pushing in the track between Dunolly and Mildura, the risk of passenger and city disruption in Ballarat is a big one.

Im more saying that I think they never really built the Ballarat section solution into the plan from the get go - its feeling like they got started and then realised they had to change things around Ballarat, in an election year...
james.au

Thinking more about it now one of the areas we have discussed at length here (amongst all the other issues) is the lack of details around Ballarat in terms of platform requirements and flexibility of both gauges.  It has been deficient.

Not having read all the business case, was the solution at Ballarat sufficiently outlined in the document?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I think that there is mounting evidence that there are 2 key problems.

1. The contractor hasn't performed to expectations (be it because they messed up or were poorly led - probably both)
2. The Ballarat section was never planned properly at the outset.
james.au
Can't agree with that summary, I think it becomes very clear when re-reading the Bus Case that the lack of oversight by those who were forewarned and should have been watching like hawks over it is a big part of the problem and should be in there at number 2 in bold underlined italics!

Take a project that was already flagged as HIGH RISK, appoint a contractor with seemingly not enough experience to pull it off and then go out for a long lunch instead of ensuring that the work was being completed on time and on spec?

We deserve better from our Public Service than this. If what Potato said is correct (no reason to doubt I just haven't looked into it yet) then it is the PS equivalent of saying "yours" instead of "mine" while playing footy. Everyone thinks it's someone else's ball and it falls to the ground between the players.

And if one of the parties crying "yours" was PTV / TFV then it should ring more alarm bells that the man at the head of PTV during this period has just been appointed Chair of V/Line.

Re Ballarat, the original plan would have seen DG from MBY through Ballarat to Gheringhap so the solution would have been different. Now Ballarat to Gheringhap is to be SG only it seems that a new solution needs to be found.

BG
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW

Not having read all the business case, was the solution at Ballarat sufficiently outlined in the document?
bevans`
That is exactly my point - the Ballarat solution is entirely absent from the business case.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think that there is mounting evidence that there are 2 key problems.

1. The contractor hasn't performed to expectations (be it because they messed up or were poorly led - probably both)
2. The Ballarat section was never planned properly at the outset.
Can't agree with that summary, I think it becomes very clear when re-reading the Bus Case that the lack of oversight by those who were forewarned and should have been watching like hawks over it is a big part of the problem and should be in there at number 2 in bold underlined italics!

Take a project that was already flagged as HIGH RISK, appoint a contractor with seemingly not enough experience to pull it off and then go out for a long lunch instead of ensuring that the work was being completed on time and on spec?

We deserve better from our Public Service than this. If what Potato said is correct (no reason to doubt I just haven't looked into it yet) then it is the PS equivalent of saying "yours" instead of "mine" while playing footy. Everyone thinks it's someone else's ball and it falls to the ground between the players.

And if one of the parties crying "yours" was PTV / TFV then it should ring more alarm bells that the man at the head of PTV during this period has just been appointed Chair of V/Line.

Re Ballarat, the original plan would have seen DG from MBY through Ballarat to Gheringhap so the solution would have been different. Now Ballarat to Gheringhap is to be SG only it seems that a new solution needs to be found.

BG
BrentonGolding
This might be semantic, but you could (and the way I see it ) is to consider that the oversight is the control that should be in place to manage these risks, not the problem in itself.  Ie the control failed to detect/manage the problem.

Thought I dont disagree at all with what you're saying BG, the master issue is the oversight, but the next level down issues are the two ive put forward are the ones that the project managers should have addressed and managed, which they didnt, and then those charged with oversight/governance failed do detect and manage.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ballarat should be the absolute minimum required to handle BG passenger trains to/from Melbourne. Everything else should be SG; arranged principally for freight traffic. Any setup to cater for SG freight should be able to handle SG passengers (Ararat/Maryborough) quite satisfactorily. Such an arrangement would standardise the north-western part of Victoria at minimal cost.

KISS = keep it simple stupid ..............
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
This might be semantic, but you could (and the way I see it ) is to consider that the oversight is the control that should be in place to manage these risks, not the problem in itself.  Ie the control failed to detect/manage the problem.

Thought I dont disagree at all with what you're saying BG, the master issue is the oversight, but the next level down issues are the two ive put forward are the ones that the project managers should have addressed and managed, which they didnt, and then those charged with oversight/governance failed do detect and manage.
james.au
I don't see how the Project Manager could have addressed the Ballarat issue if it wasn't provided for in the original scope of works.

As I said a couple of posts back I think Ballarat has only become an issue since DG Ballarat to Gheringhap was changed to SG only.

I think this Ballarat new project and spending promise is the government laying out a card table of KoolAid for the Victorian voters to drink coming up to the election. "Oh, no, we can't finish the MB Rail project because we have to fix Ballarat first, it will take us until around late November to do the planning and design and after the election everything will be rosy"

BG
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I don't see how the Project Manager could have addressed the Ballarat issue if it wasn't provided for in the original scope of works.

As I said a couple of posts back I think Ballarat has only become an issue since DG Ballarat to Gheringhap was changed to SG only.

I think this Ballarat new project and spending promise is the government laying out a card table of KoolAid for the Victorian voters to drink coming up to the election. "Oh, no, we can't finish the MB Rail project because we have to fix Ballarat first, it will take us until around late November to do the planning and design and after the election everything will be rosy"

BG
BrentonGolding
My point is that the project manager (management within V/Line) failed first, they should have had a detailed plan, and changed it as the Ballarat line works changed.  They apparently have not.

The fact that the oversight committee failed is a second failing, not the primary one.

I think that W-G changing to SG is not the trigger, as this doesnt really change the works in the Ballarat area.  They are probably exactly the same as they are with W-G as DG.

But agreed on last point.  This 130m is a top up of cost to the MB project.  Perhaps some of it is to improve Ballarat workings like the signalling changes but there is a lot of it that probably was in the original Murray Basin project scope.

Perhaps rumours of $100m overrun had some truth?  And the FPSP is the shroud under which it has been covered up..
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I think that W-G changing to SG is not the trigger, as this doesnt really change the works in the Ballarat area.  They are probably exactly the same as they are with W-G as DG.
james.au
What we really need is someone like @kuldalai with a bit more of an understanding of what is involved than I have to tell us what operational and track layout differences there are between DG through Ballarat for the original proposal and SG only to Gheringhap as I think he proposed from the get-go.

BG
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I have heard that they are commissioning Donald in the coming days, as well as a number of the Loops.

Can Greensleeves confirm?
  Donald Deputy Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
I have heard that they are commissioning Donald in the coming days, as well as a number of the Loops.

Can Greensleeves confirm?
Jack Le Lievre
There was more activity in the Donald yard under the crane today.   Still waiting for the Rail Tractor to return.

The Fruity went north on the loop instead of the main this morning.

There was a cross at the Watchem loop last night.
  BigShunter Deputy Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
I have heard that they are commissioning Donald in the coming days, as well as a number of the Loops.

Can Greensleeves confirm?
There was more activity in the Donald yard under the crane today.   Still waiting for the Rail Tractor to return.

The Fruity went north on the loop instead of the main this morning.

There was a cross at the Watchem loop last night.
Donald

Good question, Jack and good info, from Donald, who is at Donald, which is duck country, probably not many ducks there, this season, though.

I would assume, given the current length of the Fruity, 60 wagons - 1200 meters ( ? ) that all passing loops are able to accommodate that length of train.

Some time ago, I asked the question, about whether the loops would be set up, to run Down trains, through them and Up trains, have straight through running and it appears that this is still the case. I find this a bit strange, it's wonder that there isn't some sort of remote control on board the loco, to control the points so if there aren't any approaching trains, you just keep straight through running at full speed, it seems a pointless exercise, as you're giving way to nothing or is that just too logical.

Below is a clip of a train running through the Emu loop and was captured by Graeme.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ILZDY2MFfCo&lc=z22rvlgjozfxu5ykracdp431rsm3zdkpmkrtztzc14pw03c010c.1531428468425295

Thanks Graeme for the clip.

BigShunter.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
I don't think any loop on the converted line could accommodate a 1200m train - the idea would be that two of them don't need to cross - other trains would have to be shorter than the loop of course.

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