North Coast Line closed by fires

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The ARTC North Coast Line has been closed around Rappville due to fire damage, with at least one rail bridge burnt out.

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  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The ARTC North Coast Line has been closed around Rappville due to fire damage, with at least one rail bridge burnt out.
Sulla1

Not surprising considering news reports that most of the buildings in the town have been destroyed.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/watch-and-act-fire-danger-rises-with-temperatures/3848836/



Bridge is damaged.




BUSES will replace passenger trains on the North Coast line after fires caused substantial damage to track infrastructure between Grafton and Casino.

Lengthy repairs will have to be carried out on parts of the line with Transport Minister Andrew Constance revealing some of the damage on Wednesday. "Some of the aftermath of the devastating bushfires currently burning in Northern NSW," Mr Constance said, alongside a photo of damaged line posted to social media.

"Stretches of the North Coast rail line have crippled by fire, with the Rappville Rail Bridge destroyed.
Somebody


Various other areas of track damaged.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

How devastating for people to lose their homes in this catastrophe.

Is there any indication of how quickly the line will be restored?

Not that it will see any further intercapital pax rail traffic with the XPT powecars in trouble.
  303gunner Station Master

These fires started over 3 weeks ago in Tenterfield and have spotted ahead, well over 100Km now from their initial source, and a very high likelihood of reaching the coast. https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11400294.htm
Go to the RFS website (https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/) and zoom in to the area between T'field and the coast to see the amount of country burnt out. Then scroll the map down to see the amount burnt out between Armidale and Dorrigo.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The fire is most unfortunate and need radio says it was deliberately lit.

Line could take weeks to fix ?
  Piston Train Controller

Lets hope when they rebuild the bridge they use concrete sleepers so when the next fire comes it won't be a problem with wooden sleepers burning out. Too easy
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
Too easy
Piston
Not too easy. Unless the bridge is to be entirely replaced, “concrete sleepers” are unlikely to be an option.
  a6et Minister for Railways

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
a6et
Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.
nswtrains

How would armco and concrete facing be a quick fix? I'm not sure what type of structure you mean and maybe you could ellaborate a little more on your idea.

A quick fix sounds exactly like what the ARTC would go for but what is needed is a brand new bridge since in flood times the river this bridge crosses would probably wash away armco and an earth bank.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.

How would armco and concrete facing be a quick fix? I'm not sure what type of structure you mean and maybe you could ellaborate a little more on your idea.

A quick fix sounds exactly like what the ARTC would go for but what is needed is a brand new bridge since in flood times the river this bridge crosses would probably wash away armco and an earth bank.
simstrain
Armco pipes on those low level bridges like can be seen in the photo's are worse than the old low stub wooden bridges of the past. Whenever they were used with the belief that put enough of them in and fill the surrounds with dirt and even piers in a couple of areas I saw, when heavy ran came and washed trees and other debri down to them they never got through the pipes and built up as much as the old ones did, & while the pipes or some of them may have survived all the in fill between them was washed away.

There is a photo of a cement short flood plain fix on the WCK - Binnaway line that I had but if you go to Google Earth and look up Caroona, around half way between Caroona and Springridge, as the road and rail lines come close there is a bit of a creek flow, go to street view and have a look at that concrete construction, that used to be a timber piered flood spot that was washed away, the road was a floodway at that spot, the rail trestle was replaced by Armco pipes that ended up some K's down the creek bed and finally the grand specimen you see in the street view works, you will also not the steel sections that are buried upright in the ground on the Caroona side of the bridge to stop it from washing away.  Further along the line in a couple of locations there are several other variations on that concrete theme, and unlike the old timber and Armco set up they work.

The NCL low relief type bridge needs to be much stronger though owing to the size and weight of the trains. To fix it, they need to do it properly.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
1. 30-50m to one side of the line bulldoze a flat base with use of external fill to raise, throw a pipe in the gully for the remote chance in might rain.

2. Lay sleepers and rail

3. Slew the existing NCL onto the diversion, speed board it at 5-10km/h

4. Re-open the line

5. Demolish the existing structure and remove completely

6. Build a new bridge with a 50 year life, fire and flood proof, alignment for 160km/h running.

7. Slew the track back to the new line

EDIT: Just heard 5 days to re-open the line
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
a6et
The ambient temperature would have had the rails in compression before the fire hit, add the heat from the fire (note the heat induced discolouring on the foot of the right hand rail, will probably need to be replaced) and the rails would have have considerable compressive force in them. Rails will normally move toward the outside of a curve when released from their bonds under compression. Maybe the heat in the right hand rail was sufficiently intense to cripple the rail before the burnt transoms let go
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
The ambient temperature would have had the rails in compression before the fire hit, add the heat from the fire (note the heat induced discolouring on the foot of the right hand rail, will probably need to be replaced) and the rails would have have considerable compressive force in them. Rails will normally move toward the outside of a curve when released from their bonds under compression. Maybe the heat in the right hand rail was sufficiently intense to cripple the rail before the burnt transoms let go

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