NE line upgrade

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

https://www.artc.com.au/projects/northeast/

See section What work is happenning............

One thing they are doing is putting another set of double crossovers between Seymour and Benalla. EXCELLENT news.

woodford

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

What work is happenning.....

What work is happening?
  • Install two new sets of crossovers in the long section of track between Seymour and Benalla to improve track access for work crews, minimise disruption of the works program. Crossovers also allow greater flexibility with the way trains operate when running to a schedule, helping maintain their reliability.
  • Add, replace and compact new railway ballast (the rocks around the track). This provides a stable base for train operations by improving the track’s foundation and drainage.
  • Remove mud-holes where ballast has been contaminated by other materials so it no longer drains away water properly.
  • Resurfacing including packing and compacting more ballast in-between the rail and sleepers.
  • Upgrade the track machinery (turnouts) that enable trains to be guided from one track to another, such as at a railway junction or where a spur or siding branches off.
  • Relocate overhead signal wires to underground to decrease risk of signal failures due to trees falling on wires or line wire theft.
  • Install additional backup power supplies including solar in some locations to minimise signal outages due to power supply.
  • Drainage improvements by creating and reforming trackside drainage to ensure water flows away from tracks properly.
  • Grind rail tracks to remove flaws in the rail surface and reprofile the surface of the rail so there is an even interface between the rail and wheel of the train.
  • Convert timber bridges to concrete ballasted bridges.
  • Improve transition points between ballasted track and level crossings.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A couple of comments on the above..

"Convert timber bridges to concrete ballasted bridges"

There only a few of these left, most were done during the regauging


"Upgrade the track machinery (turnouts) that enable trains to be guided from one track to another, such as at a railway junction or where a spur or siding branches off."

This one puzzles me, all turnouts north of Seymour are nearly new 1000metre radius (80kph) turnouts, the only slower one is for the Oaklands line at Benalla and there's no room for higher speed turnouts.

woodford
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Truly good news.
  potatoinmymouth Deputy Commissioner

Yes, the scope looks very thorough, and interestingly the attached video shows quite a bit to be done in the metropolitan area, most interestingly, level crossing upgrades very close to SCS. Will be interesting to see what’s involved there.

Of course the 200 million dollar question is whether enough will be committed to ongoing maintenance to prevent us ever having to spend this much money at once again, and I think we know the answer.

For reference, the original SG construction cost £15 million; the equivalent of $440 million today.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

There's a 40 second video on the above ARTC page showing where what work is being done. The video needs to be downloaded and gone through with a freeze frame to be able to assimilate all the information. It does show the works are very extensive.

woodford
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

https://www.artc.com.au/projects/northeast/

See section What work is happenning............

One thing they are doing is putting another set of double crossovers between Seymour and Benalla. EXCELLENT news.

woodford
woodford
Detailed scope actually says two pairs of extra crossovers in the Seymour - Benalla scetion . one would think at either end of Euroa  and where else ?

Any vibes or intelligence on locations up your way Woodford .  Also all East line timber transom bridges to be rebuilt with ballasted decks .
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The question on EVERYBODY's lips is how long AFTER this work is finished will it take for the mudholes to reappear Exclamation

Mike.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
If they fix the drainage at the same time as they remove the mudholes and they stay on the ball keeping the drains free-flowing then theoretically they won't reappear.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

https://www.artc.com.au/projects/northeast/

See section What work is happenning............

One thing they are doing is putting another set of double crossovers between Seymour and Benalla. EXCELLENT news.

woodford
Detailed scope actually says two pairs of extra crossovers in the Seymour - Benalla scetion . one would think at either end of Euroa  and where else ?

Any vibes or intelligence on locations up your way Woodford .  Also all East line timber transom bridges to be rebuilt with ballasted decks .
kuldalai
I have not heard anything so far, but a good place for two sets of cross overs would be Locksley and Balmattum. THis breaks the Seymour Benalla section into 3 32 kilometre lengths. This evens out the sections in the whole line nicely.

There are two timber trestle bridges on the West line at Chiltern, these were examined in detail during the regauging and left as is, one assumes these will be replaced. There are two other timber deck ballast top bridges these are the ones over the Broken at Benalla and the Ovens at Wangaratta. The track on these still uses timber sleepers to reduce the vibration passed onto the original probably wrought iron (Note 1) girders. The video shows no bridge work in Benalla buy extensive bridge work in Wang so one would ASSUME these old bridges will be left as is.

They have been having a lot of trouble with embankments failing immediately adjacent to the East lines transom deck bridges, so this will be why these are being done.

Note 1: The Forth bridge completed in 1889 was the first ever bridge constructed using steel, all metal bridges prior to this used both wrought and cast iron in there construction.

Kuldalai, have you heard anything on what they are doing with the switching, the video apparently shows all switching along the whole line is a having work done on them, Most of the mainline points are nearly new 1000metre radius items of european origin and they are as smooth as silk.

woodford
  hbedriver Train Controller

We have seen at work plans for twin crossovers (facing and trailing) near Locksley (131.500km - 132.000km), also at Violet Town (around Mahers Road, 163.500 - 164.000km).

There are scores of transom bridges on the old SG line )mostly now the West line). Heaps around Balmattum, all those flood openings, but many more beside. We were bewildered a few years back when they repaired one bridge on the West line (old BG) between Winton and Glenrowan, when they replaced one span of ballasted deck with transom.

Those transom bridges create issues with track top. They don't move, but the ballasted track either side does, so holes are constantly forming. once upon a time they had people to maintain the track, and it was magnificent, but they disappeared a decade ago (or longer).

Dunno about the point renewals; most of them are those Vossloh Cogifer sets, good for 80km/h, and are still in excellent condition, good ride on diverge as well as the straights.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

We have seen at work plans for twin crossovers (facing and trailing) near Locksley (131.500km - 132.000km), also at Violet Town (around Mahers Road, 163.500 - 164.000km).

There are scores of transom bridges on the old SG line )mostly now the West line). Heaps around Balmattum, all those flood openings, but many more beside. We were bewildered a few years back when they repaired one bridge on the West line (old BG) between Winton and Glenrowan, when they replaced one span of ballasted deck with transom.

Those transom bridges create issues with track top. They don't move, but the ballasted track either side does, so holes are constantly forming. once upon a time they had people to maintain the track, and it was magnificent, but they disappeared a decade ago (or longer).

Dunno about the point renewals; most of them are those Vossloh Cogifer sets, good for 80km/h, and are still in excellent condition, good ride on diverge as well as the straights.
hbedriver
Many thanks for your information, my guess on the crossover positions was not to far out.

There are something like 36 or so bridges (there are a few more that I could not get close to) , single span or longer between Seymour and Wodonga, as previously mentioned over 30 of these on the West line have had there decks replaced. The damage done on the East lines transom bridges was quite serious, the embankment up against the concrete abutment was collapsing completely leaving a void often more than a metre wide, they drasticly reduced this effect by replacing concrete sleepers with timber sleepers for around 6 metres track side of the abbutments. A number of transom deck bridges south of Seymour have been replaced with ballast deck bridges.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Now I wonder if the upgrade work on the points and level crossings is changing these items power source. AT the time of the regauging all signals, level crossings and switchings primary power source is the 110volt AC feed from the two top wires on the poles beside the line. On the signals and level crossings the 110V ac feed a 12 Volt battery charger that in turn feeds a 12Volt 200AH battery, both signal and level crossing installations draw around 4.5A continously thus on battery alone (ie power failure) the signals/level crossing will have back up life of around 40 hours.

THe ARTC work list states this source of primary power will be removed and replaced with other power sources, including use of solar panels. This means all signal, level crossings and switching installations will need to have there power supplies upgraded.

woodford
  potatoinmymouth Deputy Commissioner

I'm not an engineer, far from it; but it doesn't strike me as a particularly good idea to force the interaction of very old and very new elements in a system, such as above with the transom decks and resleepered abutments. Another example which springs readily to mind is the station pit at Sunshine, which was extended for the RRL project but no alterations to drainage were made in the old part of the pit. Predictably, massive mud holes have developed in both tracks at the interface of old and new.

What is best practice for managing this type of scenario? Is is a case where, as with many maintenance activities, the best solution is to have local workers intimately familiar with the necessary solutions to local problems as they develop? Or is there a more modern asset management approach that can be taken?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' What is best practice for managing this type of scenario? Is is a case where, as with many maintenance activities, the best solution is to have local workers intimately familiar with the necessary solutions to local problems as they develop? Or is there a more modern asset management approach that can be taken?'

I can do no more than quote the late 'Dr Don Williams' General Manager of Australian National in its heyday:

' There is no management technique better than walking about '.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I'm not an engineer, far from it; but it doesn't strike me as a particularly good idea to force the interaction of very old and very new elements in a system, such as above with the transom decks and resleepered abutments. Another example which springs readily to mind is the station pit at Sunshine, which was extended for the RRL project but no alterations to drainage were made in the old part of the pit. Predictably, massive mud holes have developed in both tracks at the interface of old and new.

What is best practice for managing this type of scenario? Is is a case where, as with many maintenance activities, the best solution is to have local workers intimately familiar with the necessary solutions to local problems as they develop? Or is there a more modern asset management approach that can be taken?
potatoinmymouth
I think you will find in this case its the modern asset management approach that is being used. In the first instance track patrollers recognise an issue is present, in this case colapsing embankments at abbutments of transom bridges. This is reported to ARTC enginneering who come up with an interim solution to try and check the effect until a better solution can be found and funded. IN the case replace all transom deck bridges with ballast deck bridges.

woodford
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
This should have been done years ago though at least they plan to do something about it. Did the BG have the same issues back in the day?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
This should have been done years ago though at least they plan to do something about it. Did the BG have the same issues back in the day?
Dangersdan707
Two points:

  • 'they plan to do something'
  • Of course the BG did not have these issues - visualise the BG steam S class hauled SoP* running at 70 mph hauling 11 vehicles / 550 tons between Spencer Street and Albury in something a bit less than four hours.

* Spirit of Progress
  woodford Chief Commissioner

This should have been done years ago though at least they plan to do something about it. Did the BG have the same issues back in the day?
Dangersdan707
The BG in its heyday, was looked after by track gangs, each who had responsibilty for a particular stretch of track. These gangs had intimate knowledge of the track and knew exactly where the problem spots were as a result few problems arose.

woodford
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
The BG in its heyday, was looked after by track gangs, each who had responsibilty for a particular stretch of track. These gangs had intimate knowledge of the track and knew exactly where the problem spots were as a result few problems arose.
woodford
Exactly. When I was young, it was very rare to drive beside a railway for any distance without seeing a ganger's put-put trolley rolling along. One of the more bizarre sights was to watch the ganger crouch down and sight along the track to identify areas which needed some ballasting and/or drainage repair. Those blokes were good.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

The BG in its heyday, was looked after by track gangs, each who had responsibilty for a particular stretch of track. These gangs had intimate knowledge of the track and knew exactly where the problem spots were as a result few problems arose.
Exactly. When I was young, it was very rare to drive beside a railway for any distance without seeing a ganger's put-put trolley rolling along. One of the more bizarre sights was to watch the ganger crouch down and sight along the track to identify areas which needed some ballasting and/or drainage repair. Those blokes were good.
Valvegear
Place one knee on the middle of a sleeper, two hands on the rail to support the upper body, turn head sideways and lower until cheek is almost touching rail; now sight along the rail. This is the stance for checking 'Top'. To check for 'Line', stand legs astride the rail. In a curve you're looking for 'sharps' and 'flats' in the curve, some of which are desirable and there by design.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Those transom bridges create issues with track top. They don't move, but the ballasted track either side does, so holes are constantly forming. once upon a time they had people to maintain the track, and it was magnificent, but they disappeared a decade ago (or longer).
The damage done on the East lines transom bridges was quite serious, the embankment up against the concrete abutment was collapsing completely leaving a void often more than a metre wide, ...
woodford
It's a well known phenomenon for holes to develop wherever there is a change of track stiffness, and there are ways to address it.
Those of you who are paying attention may remember I have elaborated on this subject in the past.

As for bridge ends being allowed to deteriorate to such an extent, I am simply aghast. This is beyond 'emergency defect' level, this is openly courting a derailment, and I'm not talking about dragging a bogie....
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Those transom bridges create issues with track top. They don't move, but the ballasted track either side does, so holes are constantly forming. once upon a time they had people to maintain the track, and it was magnificent, but they disappeared a decade ago (or longer).
The damage done on the East lines transom bridges was quite serious, the embankment up against the concrete abutment was collapsing completely leaving a void often more than a metre wide, ...
It's a well known phenomenon for holes to develop wherever there is a change of track stiffness, and there are ways to address it.
Those of you who are paying attention may remember I have elaborated on this subject in the past.

As for bridge ends being allowed to deteriorate to such an extent, I am simply aghast. This is beyond 'emergency defect' level, this is openly courting a derailment, and I'm not talking about dragging a bogie....
Lockspike
I only saw one that was that bad so its quite possible this one was poorly done from the start, but it was not difficult to find the embankment in poor condition at an abbutment. If anything on the track grew rapidly worse though they were onto it quickly (only a few days), but if a fault was relatively stable they sometimes took quite a while to fix it.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have now been looking at the NE lines track and the work thats been done on it for a long time and I may say ARTC's work list and the short video has impressed me. Two particular items really stick out, the two double crossovers and extra ballast under the sleepers. The double crossovers is THE obvious enhancement, and at the VERY beginning John Holland warned ARTC that extra ballast was going to be needed under concrete sleepers, both of these though are BIG ticket items and were/are going to cost plenty  and i DO mean plenty.

woodford
  M636C Minister for Railways

This should have been done years ago though at least they plan to do something about it. Did the BG have the same issues back in the day?
Two points:

  • 'they plan to do something'
  • Of course the BG did not have these issues - visualise the BG steam S class hauled SoP* running at 70 mph hauling 11 vehicles / 550 tons between Spencer Street and Albury in something a bit less than four hours.

* Spirit of Progress
YM-Mundrabilla
Each Spirit of Progress had three axles loaded to around 22 tons, the locomotive driving wheels...

There were two trains,  the Spirit and Albury express in each direction per day.

There was H220 which ran a freight train at maybe 45 mph with four heavily loaded axles.

Today there are steel trains with four locomotives each with six axles loaded to 22 tons, and in the case of southbound trains, say sixty wagons each with four axles loaded to 22 tons, and these run daily.

Maybe four container trains in each direction each with two to four locomotives each with six axles loaded to 22 tons running at 100 to 110 km/h and up to 80 vehicles...

The track is being worked harder than it it was in 1937.

It needs to be stronger and it needs to be maintained in better condition.

Peter

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