Echuca line

 
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
This maybe a little side topic to pimms post , during the period pimm has mentioned most of the heavier bg horsepower locos went to PN , and now they are scrapping them .

How does rail frieght in Victoria grow on the bg with no new investment in more effienct locos or are the operators hoping the government everything gets changed to an efficient Sg network.

Thoughts anyone?
Richard stroker
After Manangatang and Sea Lake are converted to SG, a lot of thought will have to go into the conversion {or not) of the remaining BG lines as they all have Passenger as well as Freight on them.

I think Locomotives will be the first problem as most are well aged, so the various Operators will have to buy some soon.

Deniliquin and Tocumwal (via Toolamba - keep Bendigo to Echuca as BG) would probably be the easiest to convert to SG, though that puts even more SG passenger trains into Southern Cross.

The rest all have very big challenges and I just can't see the Government (State or Fed) stumping up the money to convert them to SG. Just remember, most of those lines have just one Freight train per day, if that even.

And yes, my 2 bobs worth might get me shouted down too!!

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  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Some facts here :

When the State bought back the ownership of the country track network it was a basket case with a huge maintenance debt as Jeffs genius model in flogging it off had no provisions for maintaining the asset in as handed over condition, or any in Government oversight to see that the network was maintained properly . So what did the lessee do like any good private company do - minimal maintenance, scream to the Government for cash to fix it , then sell it back to the Government at a profit in a degraded state.  

One reason it wasnt given to Victrack to maintain and upgrade , Victrack is NOT an accredited Rail Operator.  So VLP got the job to maintain the asset albeit  Victrack is the owner .  Agree best arrangement would be for Victrack to become an accredited Operator, and Victrack be resposnsible for country network maintenance and upgrade .

It is not fair to be criticizing RPV for the scope or Rolls Royce gold plating of the major projects . RPV is the builder and a pretty good one and managed outfit in that regard . Just look at how fast thE Ballarat Line is coming along .

It is  Government who scopes the detailed projects from within the ever multiplying Transport Bureaucracies.

The larger part of the problems with the Murray Basin Standardization relate to the scoping of the project with an emphasis on minimizing costs, and poor planning / staging of the actual work .  VLP and Outside contractors were caught up sorting out many issues under conversion due to inadequate scoping in the first place .

The project is supposed to have the same functionality as the broad gauge railway it replaces .  Well just wait to the first decent grain harvest to come along  and the chickens will come home to roost in  lack of crossing facilities between Maryborough and Ararat, and between Maryborough and Ballarat,  lack of adequate length stabling roads at Maryborough to stage trains, lack of dual gauge roads at North Geelong etc .
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

2 x VLs have been converted to BG.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

2 x VLs have been converted to BG.
kitchgp
There are a total of 12 VLs of which 10 are currently in use (as per Vicsig) and 2 are in storage. I wonder if the two BG converted units were the two stored units? At 130 tons and 3300hp they would be able to work on most of the current BG network. They are only 10 - 12 years old so age is not an issue here.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Don’t think so; 360 is one of them and I can’t remember the other off the top of my head.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
Don’t think so; 360 is one of them and I can’t remember the other off the top of my head.
potatoinmymouth
the fact that Vicsig list the gauge for each, and has pictures of VL360 and VL356 (in March 2019) doing the Maryvale run might be a big hint !

VL362 (in storage) is also BG. Vicsig pics doing Maryvale in the past.

point being there are a few appropriate and modern(ish) BG freight locos around.

http://vicsig.net/index.php?page=locomotives&class=VL&orgstate=P&type=Diesel-Electric

PS: wierd: the PC version and Android version have different pics

cheers
John
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger

PS: wierd: the PC version and Android version have different pics

cheers
John
justarider
VicSig pulls three random photos from the category, you should get a different set each time you refresh the page.

To see all the photos you need to go to each loco's individual page.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

For a bit of fun I checked out the 1952 VR timetable for the Diesel Rail Car from Echuca.

Exactly the same trip time as today (1 hr 17 min), but the 1952 train also stopped at Strathallan, Avonmore, Goornong, Wellsford, Bagshot, Huntly, and Nth Bgo Junction (on Stockyard sales days)!

Progress.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Here is the list from our database,  let us know if there are any changes required.

https://www.railpage.com.au/locos/vl-class
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
For a bit of fun I checked out the 1952 VR timetable for the Diesel Rail Car from Echuca.

Exactly the same trip time as today (1 hr 17 min), but the 1952 train also stopped at Strathallan, Avonmore, Goornong, Wellsford, Bagshot, Huntly, and Nth Bgo Junction (on Stockyard sales days)!

Progress.
Carnot
LOL, Carnot. I remember my first rail trip to Echuca in the mid 1960's when I was in secondary school. It was "The Great Northern Limited" From Melbourne to Bendigo, then on a Walker railcar. (I think it would have been a 152hp). It was non engine leading and I was a bit disappointed that I missed out on the front seat, but sitting one row behind still gave a view of the track ahead. One curuous thing that I noticed was that the driver had a pile of what looked like rolled up newspapers or something similar in his little driving cubicle. He had left the door open and at many of the "farm gate" level crossings along the way, he would blow the whistle and toss one of the papers out the window. A bit of an unoffical delivery service perhaps?Very Happy
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Another 10km in the Epsom area has had a 50km/h TSR whacked on it due to track and sleeper condition. I sincerely hope that RPV have  scoped the upgrade properly so we don’t get Murray Basin round 2...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Pretty obvious the Echuca line is falling to pieces. The Epsom-Elmore section is more or less meant to be re-railed and re-sleepered (timber sleepers replaced with concrete) within 12 months apparently.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Perhaps they've learnt their lesson after the MBRP debacle?:

From the website: https://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/bendigoechuca


"Work is also underway on the track upgrade between Epsom and Echuca. We are conducting track condition assessments, inspections and site surveys and commencing ecological field surveys of local flora and fauna. This information will be used to inform the design and construction on the project."

With TSRs being slapped on the line as this is being done, it looks like they are finding it's in worse condition than they thought...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Interesting that V/Line is now not being provided with the opportunity to deliver this project and RP HQ hears RPV will be taking over the bulk of the work moving forward.  The Andrew's government perhaps can not longer trust V/Line to deliver projects after the MBRP and now the work goes to RPV.

The idea they RPV are finding the network worse than expected is probably accurate I could imagine all sorts of stuff buried and mismanaged where V/Line touches.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

RP HQ hears RPV will be taking over the bulk of the work moving forward.
bevans
RPV have been the delivery agency for the Regional Rail Revival works from the beginning. "RP HQ" is not exactly breaking news there.

I do agree with the comments above that it seems like the track condition is being "discovered" in the scoping process, and I'm reminded of what someone said a few pages back that this would have cost a ganger his job in the good old days.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Interesting that V/Line is now not being provided with the opportunity to deliver this project and RP HQ hears RPV will be taking over the bulk of the work moving forward.  The Andrew's government perhaps can not longer trust V/Line to deliver projects after the MBRP and now the work goes to RPV.

The idea they RPV are finding the network worse than expected is probably accurate I could imagine all sorts of stuff buried and mismanaged where V/Line touches.
bevans
Highly likely
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Rail projects Victoria now looking for contractors to undertake regular maintainence not related to capital programmes or rail revival. Story is vline not managing a lot of work correctly.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The plot thickens....

Anyway, the new TSR as mentioned above goes from Nth Bgo Workshops to Epsom Station, and from the old Huntly station site to the Midland Hwy.

Almost half the track from Nth Bgo to Elmore is TSRed.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Sauce?
"potatoinmymouth"
Worcestershire on a casserole, or tomato on a pie thanks.
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Sauce?
potatoinmymouth
Harry's Homemade Hot Chillie, from Harry's, Germein Bay, S.A., please.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Interesting that V/Line is now not being provided with the opportunity to deliver this project and RP HQ hears RPV will be taking over the bulk of the work moving forward.  The Andrew's government perhaps can not longer trust V/Line to deliver projects after the MBRP and now the work goes to RPV.

The idea they RPV are finding the network worse than expected is probably accurate I could imagine all sorts of stuff buried and mismanaged where V/Line touches.
bevans
Instead of posting rumors and speculation is it possible for someone from the lofty towers of RP HQ to get in touch with the minister and Pinder and RPV etc to establish some facts?


Rail projects Victoria now looking for contractors to undertake regular maintainence not related to capital programmes or rail revival.
Metrofemme
I too would like to see the sauce of this as nothing shows up on any of the numerous sites linked to RPV.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Sauce?
potatoinmymouth

Plum or medium chilli for me.

M.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Not applying any sauce to this.......but there seems to be a reoccurring theme on the Echuca Line, which consists of track upgrades, signaling upgrades and level crossing upgrades and still nothing has changed in a decade or more.

The middle daughter went to uni in Bendigo about 12 years ago and quite a few students from Echuca and region used the train very regularly, only a couple of bucks, but they said it was a pain in the ar$e because it was such a slow trip, could only imagine how any long time users are feeling or have they lost all faith in having a fast trip to Bendigo.

It would have to be some sort of record time for the planned upgrade of a track, very shabby indeed.

If the line ever becomes 130k running speed could only imagine an increase in patronage and very pleased commuters.

BigShunter
  HardWorkingMan Chief Commissioner

Location: Echuca
from observation there appears to be an increasing demand for the passenger train to Bendigo (and one to shep as well would be ideal). A lot of retailers have closed and other business put people off due to the drought and decreasing tourism spending in the area.  The result is a lot of people such as shop assistants, administrators and others are taking jobs in Bendigo.  If they drive the cost of running the vehicle takes up about 30 to 40% of their earnings not leaving much else to live on - particularly if on casual rates.

I do a lot of ad-hoc work fixing IT system breakages for large companies (think banks, supermarket chains etc) and if they won't pay me a travel allowance I won't go.  They normally only pay for the time worked so at $40 an hour by the time you pay fuel, parking etc there's not much left - particularly once the tax man takes his cut.  A lot of the people are travelling for 4 to 6 hour shifts and not at the rate I am earning but the travel costs are the same.

And if going to Melbourne we still have to get off the train at Bendigo while they couple the 2 sets together!

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