Track Elevations

 
  I-like-trains Beginner

Gday, all
I've been trying to find information about track elevations throughout Australia.  But I just can't seem to find this information anywhere.
I'm interested in the total change in elevation from any given line, through to the end of that line.

Can anybody help me out?

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
You can get a rough idea from the curve & gradient diagrams, but they don't list absolute height above MSL. You'd really be better off going by the locality height data from Geoscience Australia or similar and plotting them against route distance yourself in Excel or similar. Minor variations in locality reference vs station reference are probably small enough to be ignored.

I've GPS-tracked a couple of routes I've driven and there is maybe 100'difference in the start-finish locations, but 2-3000' altitude changes enroute. Conversely another one starts at MSL and finishes 2500'.
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
I-like-trains Gday, all I've been trying to find information about track elevations throughout Australia.  But I just can't seem to find this information anywhere. I'm interested in the total change in elevation from any given line, through to the end of that line. Can anybody help me out?
If you mean total change in elevation for a train from town 'X' on the coast to town 'Y' on the nearby range, then Google Earth has elevations for a particular spot, including in street view.

Be careful as some mountain railway stations are beyond the top of the range so the highest railway line point is maybe a few kms before the station. As an example, the highest point on the rail route from Brisbane to Toowoomba is near where the main road north crosses the railway near Harlaxton, a north eastern suburb of Toowoomba. A train from Helidon (145 metres Google Earth) at the foot of the range to Toowoomba heading west, climbs from Helidon to near Harlaxton (615m) then downhill to Toowoomba platform (588m), depending on where you placed the computer cursor.

Just make sure you zoom in tight enough on Google Earth so you have the elevation at approx track level, not the elevation of the top of the cutting beside the track, or the ground level below the rail embankment. Harlaxton track was 615m but the top of the cutting to the north was 621m, depending on degree of screen zoom.

Old public timetables had the station heights eg 1958 QR Brisbane Toowoomba, Wallangarra on my Google Drive  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0ByB-ppGeDyvwTTdhSEdOUVN3b1k/view

The quick answer is Google earth and if you want old timetables with heights, try google as many historical ones are on rail enthusiast type website these days
  NSWRcars Chief Train Controller

I don’t know about current, on-line Curve & Gradient Diagrams, but the printed NSW ones had height above sea level for most stations and other significant points. Every page had a datum height shown, and horizontal and vertical scales were shown throughout the books. Some of the height information may have been removed when the diagrams were metricated.
  kitchgp Deputy Commissioner

The Victorian Railways.Net site has the Grades Book for the Victorian lines:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/grades/gradehome.html

Shelley (2562 ft) on the Wodonga – Cudgewa line was the highest station in Victoria.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Google earth is an excellent source of height information. I have plotted the profile of both the old cudgewa line and the Mansfield lines in Victoria to a distance resolution of 100 metres and found the results in most cases make perfect sense. One has to take care around treed areas as the height given is the average height of the tree canopy. On the Cudgewa line this was rarely more than a few metres. One has to take care though in areas like Mt Slide and Noojee, the tree canopy around these areas being in the 35 to 40 metres above the terrain. In Victoria the old (no longer sold) 1 in 25,000 maps are an excellent source of height information particularlfor long removed lines, like the Kilmore Lancefield line.

woodford

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