Infrastructure Australia knocks back North East Rail line upgrade

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 Jan 2020 09:02
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Transtopic, you know I was being sarcastic. I might have considered a career in politics, but I don't like whiteboards and political parties only pander to city dwellers.

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  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Transtopic, you know I was being sarcastic. I might have considered a career in politics, but I don't like whiteboards and political parties only pander to city dwellers.
ANR
Fair enough!  Sorry, that went over my head.  Cheers.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The main train line between SYDNEY and MELBOURNE should be of a much higher standard, electrified (like the proposed in the 1980’s) and double track.

We should have 200 km/h running on the line for freight and passenger.

This is the single biggest rail project the government needs to do and they need to start soon.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Why not?  It seems to me to be a pretty pathetic attitude to only build a main interstate rail route to a sub-standard level just to accommodate freight.  Is the Inland Rail project being built to these same standards because it won't be catering for passenger services?  I would have thought that freight warranted a higher standard because of the heavier loads and the ability to run at higher speeds.  ARTC must have a different attitude with the Hunter Valley coal lines.
Transtopic
As per https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/program the Inland is being built to a standard which will allow freight trains to run at 115km/h with 21 TLA. I am not sure what this will translate to for pax services if applicable but possible 130km/h. This is the standard that the NE line is currently at (130 allowed for "super premium" freight the last time I checked)

This project is budgeted* to cost $9.3 Billion *remember this is a government funded project so who knows where the budget will actually end up

Any move to increase the standard to 160km/h or beyond for higher speed pax services would result in large cost increases to the project. Remember it is not just track standards but signalling etc etc. Running higher speed pax services on the Inland would also result in conflicts between train movements which would inevitably delay freights - the exact problem that the Inland seeks to solve.

The Melbourne to Albury section is the exception as it already has passenger services running on it. Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point. The ARTC was not interested in fixing the line for a small number of passenger services, the line was and is (almost) fine for it's freight customers. The NE line upgrade for higher speed pax running is a political project, no more, no less. If governments want to throw a whack of taxpayer $$$ at it to appease an electorate or two then so be it but don't expect everyone else including IA to stand aside and form a cheer squad.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Why not?  It seems to me to be a pretty pathetic attitude to only build a main interstate rail route to a sub-standard level just to accommodate freight.  Is the Inland Rail project being built to these same standards because it won't be catering for passenger services?  I would have thought that freight warranted a higher standard because of the heavier loads and the ability to run at higher speeds.  ARTC must have a different attitude with the Hunter Valley coal lines.
As per https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/program the Inland is being built to a standard which will allow freight trains to run at 115km/h with 21 TLA. I am not sure what this will translate to for pax services if applicable but possible 130km/h. This is the standard that the NE line is currently at (130 allowed for "super premium" freight the last time I checked)

This project is budgeted* to cost $9.3 Billion *remember this is a government funded project so who knows where the budget will actually end up

Any move to increase the standard to 160km/h or beyond for higher speed pax services would result in large cost increases to the project. Remember it is not just track standards but signalling etc etc. Running higher speed pax services on the Inland would also result in conflicts between train movements which would inevitably delay freights - the exact problem that the Inland seeks to solve.

The Melbourne to Albury section is the exception as it already has passenger services running on it. Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point. The ARTC was not interested in fixing the line for a small number of passenger services, the line was and is (almost) fine for it's freight customers. The NE line upgrade for higher speed pax running is a political project, no more, no less. If governments want to throw a whack of taxpayer $$$ at it to appease an electorate or two then so be it but don't expect everyone else including IA to stand aside and form a cheer squad.
BrentonGolding
What a joke 21 TAL. Should be 30 TAL and built to full US standards.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What a joke 21 TAL. Should be 30 TAL and built to full US standards.
nswtrains
The line is financially marginal at 21 TAL, 30 TAL would likely kill the project for very little benefit or the off chance you want to put four fully loaded containers double stacked on one wagon.

The cost of the inland shouldn't be too hard to estimate as mostly open country, few surprises.

ARTC only fix what they are told and paid to fix.

The inland nth of Coota has no serious passenger service options outside a few GSR trains a year and the odd heritage with the exception of BNE to Toowoomba.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Why not?  It seems to me to be a pretty pathetic attitude to only build a main interstate rail route to a sub-standard level just to accommodate freight.  Is the Inland Rail project being built to these same standards because it won't be catering for passenger services?  I would have thought that freight warranted a higher standard because of the heavier loads and the ability to run at higher speeds.  ARTC must have a different attitude with the Hunter Valley coal lines.
As per https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/program the Inland is being built to a standard which will allow freight trains to run at 115km/h with 21 TLA. I am not sure what this will translate to for pax services if applicable but possible 130km/h. This is the standard that the NE line is currently at (130 allowed for "super premium" freight the last time I checked)

This project is budgeted* to cost $9.3 Billion *remember this is a government funded project so who knows where the budget will actually end up

Any move to increase the standard to 160km/h or beyond for higher speed pax services would result in large cost increases to the project. Remember it is not just track standards but signalling etc etc. Running higher speed pax services on the Inland would also result in conflicts between train movements which would inevitably delay freights - the exact problem that the Inland seeks to solve.

The Melbourne to Albury section is the exception as it already has passenger services running on it. Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point. The ARTC was not interested in fixing the line for a small number of passenger services, the line was and is (almost) fine for it's freight customers. The NE line upgrade for higher speed pax running is a political project, no more, no less. If governments want to throw a whack of taxpayer $$$ at it to appease an electorate or two then so be it but don't expect everyone else including IA to stand aside and form a cheer squad.
What a joke 21 TAL. Should be 30 TAL and built to full US standards.
nswtrains
What speeds for 23 and 25 tonne axleloads, please?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner



The Inland on the other hand is IMO a project of national significance and should be built even if the cost-benefit doesn't stack up as it will (hopefully) end up having many more benefits that first thought especially environmental.Is not the NE line part of the Inland Rail project?Yes but does it need the upgrade for freight?
BrentonGolding
Depends on what the upgrade provides. Higher speed is not necessary for freight, but a stronger track is cheaper and easier to maintain. ARTC would/((should?) look to use the funding to build as strong a track as the budget allows.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner


Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point.
BrentonGolding
The NE std gauge has never been a high quality track, even from day one. It was not wanted by the Victorian government but imposed in a political deal. IIRC, I've read that the Commonwealth's budget was £5m which Victoria would not supplement. The result (built by the VR) was a formation constructed with dubious material, shallow ballast, short light rails, and absolutely minimal maintenance (with no upgrades at all) the whole time it was in the care of the VR. All the work that has been done since it was fobbed off to ARTC has been catchup work for a track that was just about a basket case. There is still a lot of work required to bring it up to a standard that'll cope with only a 'reasonable' amount of maintenance, work that is beyond ARTC's ability to fund internally.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction


The Inland on the other hand is IMO a project of national significance and should be built even if the cost-benefit doesn't stack up as it will (hopefully) end up having many more benefits that first thought especially environmental.Is not the NE line part of the Inland Rail project?Yes but does it need the upgrade for freight?Depends on what the upgrade provides. Higher speed is not necessary for freight, but a stronger track is cheaper and easier to maintain. ARTC would/((should?) look to use the funding to build as strong a track as the budget allows.
Lockspike
Couldn't agree more however I think the problem lies in the last 2 words.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!

Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point.All the work that has been done since it was fobbed off to ARTC has been catchup work for a track that was just about a basket case. There is still a lot of work required to bring it up to a standard that'll cope with only a 'reasonable' amount of maintenance, work that is beyond ARTC's ability to fund internally.
Lockspike
Which has been the case from day 1 in both NSW and Victoria. Decades of deferred maintenance can't be addressed with drip funding, a point I've made in many posts over the years.
  david harvey Junior Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale

Decades of poor management and lack of maintenance got it to it's current point.The NE std gauge has never been a high quality track, even from day one. It was not wanted by the Victorian government but imposed in a political deal. IIRC, I've read that the Commonwealth's budget was £5m which Victoria would not supplement. The result (built by the VR) was a formation constructed with dubious material, shallow ballast, short light rails, and absolutely minimal maintenance (with no upgrades at all) the whole time it was in the care of the VR. All the work that has been done since it was fobbed off to ARTC has been catchup work for a track that was just about a basket case. There is still a lot of work required to bring it up to a standard that'll cope with only a 'reasonable' amount of maintenance, work that is beyond ARTC's ability to fund internally.
Lockspike
Every  5 or 6 years in this wonderful county of ours we all get a letter  hand delivered from the Bureau of Statistics (BS) requesting that we bear our sole so we can plan ahead for the future of this country. Well if this was the case it appears that the Public Transport Corporation must have missed the E mail that told of the population explosion that was to happen and how the public transport usage would double. Yep missed that one!!  Also that that car usage would go up by 50 % in the Melbourne area choking freeways that 10 years earlier, one could get a reasonable run. YEP, YEP didn’t see that one coming either. Now what about the proposed railway to Tullamarine Airport, as sure as my smeg points to the ground it won’t be built. It should have been built in 1970 when the airport was opened but the Liberal Government of the day with Hammer were supposed to be in cahoot’s with Ventura Bus lines   I suppose the next best thing is a dedicated bus lane to the airport ,with a 10 minute bus service ,why build a railway . YEP, YEP YEP we have missed the chance!!!!!             .It would be absolutely amazing to think that this country could actually build a railway project AND WITH IT MEET ALL THE QUAILTY ASSURENCES AT EACH STEP OF THE PROJECT AND IF THE WORK FAILS WITH IN THE GUARANTEE PERIOD,IT SHALL BE REMENIATED OR HEAVY PENITIES SHALL APPLY OR NO NEW WORK AWARED TO THE COMPANY . To think that Infrastructure Australia did not place a high enough priority on this project is really a reactive maintenance approach. Let’s wait and see what happens?.How many times does this section of track need to be remediated by the same company only to fix up the same problems that should have been fixed last time. IF the Albury to Melbourne section is not of national importance then the inland railway should have been built via Shepparton,Tocumwal .                                                                                                                                                                           Even Dennis Donuoto the solicitor from the film “The Castle “has more of an idea .
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
What a joke 21 TAL. Should be 30 TAL and built to full US standards.
nswtrains
The freight operators won't invest in US standard rollingstock though for such a limited route, they will just want to use the same trains that they use on the trans con and other routes.  So building that would be 9TAL of white elephant.

Im sure it will get to 25TAL at lower speeds as alluded to above.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

75 years ago we had 23 ton axle load at 115kph, now on a new railway we are designing for less. Some progress.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

Flying Scotsman was doing 135 140 kmh back in 88 between Seymour and Euroa , maybe other sections , was that because it had gangers keeping an eye on it. Now with Capitalism one or two deaths every now and then is acceptable and Politicians can point finger's at IA or other government advisers with their useless lobbiests.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
By Australian standards a 100 tonne loaded wagon isn't exactly rare , this is a loaded coal wagon in NSW and not exactly fantasy land . This is 2020 not 1863 and to expect to be able to run a 100 tonne wagon at 100-115 km/h isn't unreasonable .
The yanks don't muck around and to them a 100 tonne general freight car is modest at best .
Best practise in Australia is 168 tonnes loaded and they run to 80 km/h in virtually any weather .
For the life of me I cannot understand why some people here preach that running up near worlds best practise is "gold plating" .
Where were these people when the Hume Hwy was being built and built to handle big axle loads for trucks ? That kind of infrastructure was clearly not needed for cars to run on but nobody B8tched about the countless yards of concrete needed to carry heavy trucks . And yes building it to these standards would have cost a lot more than building it to carry mainly cars .
If you call this gold plating fine , but don't knock the need to do it for rail infrastructure if you agree or ignore what was done for road infrastructure .  
Road is killing rail for this very reason - gold plated road infrastructure vs ancient inadequate rail infrastructure .
  420renegade Beginner



The Inland on the other hand is IMO a project of national significance and should be built even if the cost-benefit doesn't stack up as it will (hopefully) end up having many more benefits that first thought especially environmental.Is not the NE line part of the Inland Rail project?Yes but does it need the upgrade for freight?Depends on what the upgrade provides. Higher speed is not necessary for freight, but a stronger track is cheaper and easier to maintain. ARTC would/((should?) look to use the funding to build as strong a track as the budget allows.
Lockspike
It Is not ARTCs decision on what standard the track is built too, its the federal governments decision and for them to fund.
Artc hands nearly all its profits back and then asks for handouts/permission for upgrades or major repairs.

removing the XPTs from the equation the current track is no where near capacity apart from a few junction points where some investment would allow quicker movements through with less conflict. ie moss vale junee SSFL
even including the XPTs the network is only congested at times from mccarthur to Mossvale.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It Is not ARTCs decision on what standard the track is built too, its the federal governments decision and for them to fund.
Artc hands nearly all its profits back and then asks for handouts/permission for upgrades or major repairs.

removing the XPTs from the equation the current track is no where near capacity apart from a few junction points where some investment would allow quicker movements through with less conflict. ie moss vale junee SSFL
even including the XPTs the network is only congested at times from mccarthur to Mossvale.
420renegade

One of the big issues with the way ARTC works is that profits are not used to upgrade and maintain track and infrastructure they instead are handed back to the Government.  This is not unlike ASIC where large profits on fees to access documents of the like which is free in other countries and charged for here. Instead of ASIC chasing corporate criminals the money is paid back to the government.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What speeds for 23 and 25 tonne axleloads, please?
YM-Mundrabilla
80 km/h

Anything above 115 km/h (for freight) Is just burning money for little gain.

Over In Europe the fastest light axle load electric freight trains max out at around 160 km/h (La Shuttle freight trains running under the English Channel max out at 140 km/h, where as the Euro Star maxes out at 160 km/h In the tunnel)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The point should be that the infrastructure needs to be good enough for 23 and preferably 25TAL at 115 km/h .
That way lighter axle load trains ie pass can run at higher speeds .
Both the alignment and the load carrying capacity needs to be better , just like the Hume etc interstate highways is for road freight and passenger vehicles .
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Imagine the outrage if they built a major highway/motorway these days and they made trucks slow down at every bridge because they couldn't be arsed designed a bridge to take a b double at 110 km/h.

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