Gulgong to Sandy Hallow

 
  clayton4115 Locomotive Driver

hi all

can someone enlighten me to when this line was open or constructed,  i found an old NSW railmap on the internet, it is old because it also shows the line from Armidale to Wallangarra but there is no line from Gulgong to Sandy Hallow so i assume it was build after this map was done.

Also what traffic goes through Gulgong these days? I know further east there are a few coal mines and the line is serviced by these but what about Gulgong?

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  ivahri Train Controller
  clayton4115 Locomotive Driver

Try Google...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Hollow%E2%80%93Gulgong_railway_line
ivahri
good info there any idea what movements are on that line?
  2LaGrange Train Controller

Traffic through Gulgong to points further West is Cobar Ore Traffic to Newcastle for export, export grain to Newcastle in a good harvest year(not now) diverted traffic when there are possessions on other lines. Occasional infrastructure trains and that’s about it. Very busy easy of Ulan with lots of coal trains.
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
Opened in 1985 with several electric staff sections but now mostly ctc, Gulgong would be lucky to see a train a day but the rest of the line is full on coal with crews staying in Mudgee.
  LesS Train Controller

Location: Behind the Camera
The original plan was to construct from Sandy Hollow on the Merriwa line to MaryVale near Wellington transiting Gulgong on the way. This was planned to provide employment relief during the 1930's. Much of the earthworks were completed as were some bridge abutments. Cost became an issue and WW2 intervened. The project was never revived.

During the 1970s coal mining was planned at Ulan and the line from Sandy Hollow to the mine sites was built. It was extended a short distance to Gulgong to provide an easier route for coal and ore traffic to Newcastle from further west.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

The original plan was to construct from Sandy Hollow on the Merriwa line to MaryVale near Wellington transiting Gulgong on the way. This was planned to provide employment relief during the 1930's. Much of the earthworks were completed as were some bridge abutments. Cost became an issue and WW2 intervened. The project was never revived.

During the 1970s coal mining was planned at Ulan and the line from Sandy Hollow to the mine sites was built. It was extended a short distance to Gulgong to provide an easier route for coal and ore traffic to Newcastle from further west.
LesS
Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
  clayton4115 Locomotive Driver

so the wheat trains go via Gulgong to N Castle always thought they go via Premer then Werris Creek. I happen to get this one heading to Dubbo at Mendooran, thought it came from W Creek, but perhaps empty from N Castle?



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKGhjqlKSwg
  michaelgm Assistant Commissioner

The original plan was to construct from Sandy Hollow on the Merriwa line to MaryVale near Wellington transiting Gulgong on the way. This was planned to provide employment relief during the 1930's. Much of the earthworks were completed as were some bridge abutments. Cost became an issue and WW2 intervened. The project was never revived.

During the 1970s coal mining was planned at Ulan and the line from Sandy Hollow to the mine sites was built. It was extended a short distance to Gulgong to provide an easier route for coal and ore traffic to Newcastle from further west.
Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
nswtrains
Is there really a need for double stacking on the Ulan line?
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
The original plan was to construct from Sandy Hollow on the Merriwa line to MaryVale near Wellington transiting Gulgong on the way. This was planned to provide employment relief during the 1930's. Much of the earthworks were completed as were some bridge abutments. Cost became an issue and WW2 intervened. The project was never revived.

During the 1970s coal mining was planned at Ulan and the line from Sandy Hollow to the mine sites was built. It was extended a short distance to Gulgong to provide an easier route for coal and ore traffic to Newcastle from further west.
Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
Is there really a need for double stacking on the Ulan line?
michaelgm
Probably not at this time but the carriage of Goods by containers seems to be increasing every day and obviously if you can move 2 at once, then all the better.
Who ever thought of going via the South and then to the West via Junee/Parkes to Perth would be the preferred route and maybe in time, the Freight Only line with no electric traction will run all the way from Sydney to allow double stacking over the whole route.
Just think, 60 bogies with a 120 containers instead of 60 has to be worth considering.
  michaelgm Assistant Commissioner

Going west via Cootamundra west and Parkes, appears the long way. Unsure of the distances, but certainly longer. And has been used for sometime.
Now, with the SSFL curfews are avoided, as is congestion through the western suburbs and over the mountains. Fuel usage, etc. Did happen to see an National Rail intermodal train, shortly after the formation of NRC, early 90's at Lapstone, dragged along by SEVEN 80 class, fuel bill.......
Double stacking on the Ulan line, would cost a bomb. Bylong tunnels? And for what purpose?
Intermodal terminal at Newcastle? Reverse at Maitland and use NCL, go via Werris creek and then connect to the inland rail proposal? None of which are possible without huge capital expenditure, to achieve SFA. And disrupt the rail conveyor belt that is coals to Newcastle.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
A small note on dual stacking - its not the be all and end all for containers.  In fact a lot of agricultural produce is quite dense and DS would probably break the wagons it was travelling on.  Wheat in boxes actually hits the weight limit before the volume limit, same with meat and wine (tho exceptions exist, eg cotton).  So a container on top, in a lot of cases, would do nothing except reduce available payloads cartable by the container underneath....
  michaelgm Assistant Commissioner

James, interesting. Surely not all boxes are filled to capacity, in particular for back loading. There must be empty boxes riding the rails or shipping. But if they go one way and are transported in relation to weight and axle loads, they must return. Double stacking full loads of returning empty sea cans would result in empty train movements.
DS is certainly not be all and end all.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The other thing to note that for regional, long distance port shuttles (which is what Crawfords/Fletchers and the Linx/PN Riverina train are), they run a block train out. This means that they will send out wagons to bring in the loaded containers, which usually balances the containers they take out, so it doesn't matter really fi there is DS or not from that perspective either.
  clayton4115 Locomotive Driver

i thought they go via Coota due to the total train tonnage and they can't climb the Blue Mountains?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: no longer in Sydney
A small note on dual stacking - its not the be all and end all for containers.  In fact a lot of agricultural produce is quite dense and DS would probably break the wagons it was travelling on.  Wheat in boxes actually hits the weight limit before the volume limit, same with meat and wine (tho exceptions exist, eg cotton).  So a container on top, in a lot of cases, would do nothing except reduce available payloads cartable by the container underneath....
james.au
Not to mention that most Containers have a Gross Load limit of around 30 tonnes.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
nswtrains
Yes, a serious lack of forethought. Anyone would have known that double stacking clearance would be useful from 80+ years after construction...

When I was visiting the tunnel mouths in the 90s I could see remnants of the 30s construction activities, especially at no. 3 which were away from roads.

Edited to correct error in number of tunnel from 4 to 3.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
Yes, a serious lack of forethought. Anyone would have known that double stacking clearance would be useful from 80+ years after construction...

When I was visiting the tunnel mouths in the 90s I could see remnants of the 30s construction activities, especially at no. 4 which were away from roads.
GrahamH
With decent sized tunnels we could use full USA outline locomotives on the coal trains instead of the ones used now where a USA power unit is shoe horned into a small car body at great expense. You know there were visionaries around in the early 20th Century that wanted NSW to adapt full USA outline loading gauge but as usual they were ignored. See the article in the latest Roundhouse magazine on the 58 Class were mention was made of a push to adopt 10ft 6 inch wide loading gauge for new steam locos. Nothing to do with double stack.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Built with stupid under sized tunnels.
Yes, a serious lack of forethought. Anyone would have known that double stacking clearance would be useful from 80+ years after construction...

When I was visiting the tunnel mouths in the 90s I could see remnants of the 30s construction activities, especially at no. 4 which were away from roads.
GrahamH
There certainly wasn't any thought of double stacking. The line as far as Ulan was opened for one purpose and one purpose only.
  UpperQuad Station Master

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
With decent sized tunnels we could use full USA outline locomotives on the coal trains instead of the ones used now where a USA power unit is shoe horned into a small car body at great expense. You know there were visionaries around in the early 20th Century that wanted NSW to adapt full USA outline loading gauge but as usual they were ignored.
nswtrains
Today’s USA outline diesel locomotives and power units did not exist when the Ulan line tunnels were designed. The tunnels were built to the largest profile of the day (1930s), and were the widest clearance single line tunnels in NSW. Were the “visionaries” of the early 20th Century “ignored”? Perhaps it was they who ignored the budgetary constraints that others clearly understood.
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
With decent sized tunnels we could use full USA outline locomotives on the coal trains instead of the ones used now where a USA power unit is shoe horned into a small car body at great expense. You know there were visionaries around in the early 20th Century that wanted NSW to adapt full USA outline loading gauge but as usual they were ignored.
Today’s USA outline diesel locomotives and power units did not exist when the Ulan line tunnels were designed. The tunnels were built to the largest profile of the day (1930s), and were the widest clearance single line tunnels in NSW. Were the “visionaries” of the early 20th Century “ignored”? Perhaps it was they who ignored the budgetary constraints that others clearly understood.
UpperQuad
Continuing OT, I thought they were more spacious when I did the walk-through inspection of the radiating co-ax installation in those 4 tunnels compared with the Capertee and Carlos Gap ones which I did first.

Back then in the mid 90s the shop in Sandy Hollow had a postcard for sale of the loco used in the construction to Ulan in the No.3 tunnel at the location of the unlined roof.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Maybe someone can do a costing per cubic metre on excavating a Tunnel of say 500 metres long with a diametre to allow a single stacked Goods or Passenger Train to pass through.
Then do the costing to further remove a cut of 500mm at a time to expand it so it would allow a double stacked wagon to pass through.
Presume the material of the Tunnel is such that it able to remain unlined for strength.

Do another calculation then on each size to include lining as well.

Then see how much is in Consolidated Revenue and future earnings thay may be generated by the construction of that Tunnel to pay for it.

And NO crystal ball forecasting of Hyperspeed trains ever being built to run through.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
With decent sized tunnels we could use full USA outline locomotives on the coal trains instead of the ones used now where a USA power unit is shoe horned into a small car body at great expense. You know there were visionaries around in the early 20th Century that wanted NSW to adapt full USA outline loading gauge but as usual they were ignored.
Today’s USA outline diesel locomotives and power units did not exist when the Ulan line tunnels were designed. The tunnels were built to the largest profile of the day (1930s), and were the widest clearance single line tunnels in NSW. Were the “visionaries” of the early 20th Century “ignored”? Perhaps it was they who ignored the budgetary constraints that others clearly understood.
UpperQuad
Apparently the tunnels on the line were designed with the required clearance for future electrification.

As for some saying the tunnels should of been designed for double stack container trains, get real ! (just where are double stack container trains going to travel to and from ?
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
At this time we seem to be going through a period of a resurgence in the use of Rail.
Its not that long ago that the NSW State Government was throwing out the Bath water, Bath and Baby in what seemed to be a 'Cant wait to be Rid of it Attitude' to now seeing dedicated freight lines being built and a serious attempt at get the Inland Rail Route from Melbourne to Brisbane commenced.
Bluntly, 10 years ago I felt that beyond keeping the Merto passenger areas running because the Governments have no choice, Road transport of general freight was preferred for all but bulk transport Coal and Grains and even that was only because Rail is the only way to do it without spending Zillions on road improvements.

Give it 10 years and who know what the transport patterns will be across Australia and the World for that matter.

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