Future of the Belair Line

 
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Fun fact, I was a bit early for a baseball game which I was going to play at Southern Districts late last year.

I took a walk up to Christie Downs station and walked about it photographing the syringes on the ground surrounding the platforms, it was only maybe a half hour look, I saw no trains on a Saturday so I couldn’t have been there too long, and counted over thirty of them.

Apparently a lot of diabetics frequent the station.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Well much of the station’s catchment is a national park; koalas not being generally known for the high dependence on PT.
Aaron
Sometimes


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwYP8UI7vas
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Not from the real world that's for sure. You seriously think the Commonwealth is going to stump up for some dreamy dream you have about a city of slightly over 1.3 million having an underground metro line?
(Agree with what you said except with above.)

...well there was this one city on the east coast in 1988 with 1.3M at the time who got Fed money to do just that, actually double the existing capacity. Bi-centennial hand outs are however few and far between, maybe wait for the Tri-centennial.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
mawsonboii and any reply to him have been removed - apolgies to those who replied to him and mentioned on topic stuff.

User is banned as well as that troll account - which will be checked.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Don, Southern is a really nice baseball club, and I always enjoy playing against them down there, actually, in comparison to say Northern Districts or Golden Grove, I enjoy playing Southern anywhere. They’re a good club and good people, it’s just the ‘rest’ of the Christie Downs, and perhaps especially those that use the station that form the problem...
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Anyways, back on topic, here are a list of infrastructure improvements that should be made to the Belair line, in my opinion:

1) Demolish and rebuild Mile End station to a suitable standard.
2) Demolish and relocate Keswick station back to its old location.
3) Restore four tracks on the southern lines almost as far as leader street.
3a) Close the Leader street level crossing.
4) Extend the Millswood passing loop down to just before Goodwood road.
4a) Grade seperate the Cross Road Intersection using the road under rail method.
5) Demolish the disused Hawthorn Station.
6) Demolish and rebuild Torrens Park station to a suitable standard.
6a) Demolish the disused Clapham Station.
7) Extend the Sleeps hill passing loop from just after Lynton station to just before the tunnel.
8) Remove the blackwood siding and simply the Blackwood loop track layout.
9) Demolish and rebuild Glenalta station to a suitable standard.
10) Demolish and rebuild Pinera station to a suitable standard.
11) Create a new passing loop in the spare land between the Pinera and Belair stations.
12) Close the pedestrian crossovers at Belair station and replace them with a subway.
13) Demolish all disused platforms on the ARTC standard gauge side of the line.

What do you think?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Anyways, back on topic, here are a list of infrastructure improvements that should be made to the Belair line, in my opinion:

1) Demolish and rebuild Mile End station to a suitable standard.
2) Demolish and relocate Keswick station back to its old location.
3) Restore four tracks on the southern lines almost as far as leader street.
3a) Close the Leader street level crossing.
4) Extend the Millswood passing loop down to just before Goodwood road.
4a) Grade seperate the Cross Road Intersection using the road under rail method.
5) Demolish the disused Hawthorn Station.
6) Demolish and rebuild Torrens Park station to a suitable standard.
6a) Demolish the disused Clapham Station.
7) Extend the Sleeps hill passing loop from just after Lynton station to just before the tunnel.
8) Remove the blackwood siding and simply the Blackwood loop track layout.
9) Demolish and rebuild Glenalta station to a suitable standard.
10) Demolish and rebuild Pinera station to a suitable standard.
11) Create a new passing loop in the spare land between the Pinera and Belair stations.
12) Close the pedestrian crossovers at Belair station and replace them with a subway.
13) Demolish all disused platforms on the ARTC standard gauge side of the line.

What do you think?
Gayspie
The point of 2) is?   Does it really matter which side of the Keswick Bridge it is?    As it is it gets a lot of traffic to the showgrounds and is very convenient to Greenhill Road.    From observation the traffic is far more than the old Keswick.
3) Is there room?   It is very tight through here, though perhaps not as tight as south of Leader Street.
3a) Leader Street is a bus route running down Winston Avenue; what would be gained by diverting it presumably to Anzac Highway from Goodwood Road?
4a)  lurking deep in DPTI's vaults are plans for a road over rail bridge proposed some decades ago along with an overpass at Ovingham.
8) Why?   The siding is to enable short workings to Blackwood and from memory was used as such for a couple of trains in peak when it was first opened.
11) Is there spare land to the north of the railway beyond Pinera that is either not in a cutting or on an embankment?

The loop at Sleeps Hill could be extended by quite a distance to the south along the old track bed to the southern group of quarries at Sleeps Hill to about where the old bridge into the quarries used to be, not far north of the old Sleeps Hill step-down.    It could be extended north to almost Lynton along the old track bed to the quarries now used by Mitcham Council as a depot.    While this is being done provide an island  platform near the old stone crusher and either a terminating track like Blackwood, or a third (and fourth) platform face like Glanville or Brighton to allow short workings to Sleeps Hill.  The loop would be about 950 metres long.

And 14) provide a station at Bellvue Heights at the Eden Hills loop south of the Shepherds Road tunnels.    The locals lobbied for it when the loop was established but it never eventuated.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

1 - no to demolition, station is already largely of a suitable standard. A nice low priority upgrade would be replacing the current subway and ramps with one that is wider and more open with a direct connection through to the Bakewell Underpass shared path, but otherwise retaining the present platforms.
2 - no, Adelaide Showground is a massive improvement on the old Keswick station and should have been done much earlier.
3 - no, too much expenditure (including additional platform at Adelaide Showgrounds) for too little gain.
3a - no, it’s an important local link which must be retained.
4 - why?
4a - the local hydrology would dictate an overpass, not an underpass. I'd go with rail over road, and ensure that it is built with passive provision for future widening of Cross Road to provide the link between North-South Motorway and the South Eastern Freeway.
5 - it's not harming anyone there, let those who want to get rid of it pay to do so.
6, 9 - no. Perform minor maintenance as needed, otherwise they are already of a suitable standard (platforms and shelters are provided) for their patronage.
7 - no problem with this one, but I struggle to see the benefit it would provide.
8 - no. It’s handy for providing a place where a broken down railcar or track machine can be stashed.
10 - no to demolition, station is already largely of a suitable standard. One minor refurbishment couldn't go astray - replacing the wooden planks on the ramp with the same modern non-slip plastic/aluminium planks used on modern footbridges.
11 - I agree with kipioneer, what land?
12 - no. There are many other crossings which would be far higher priorities for an upgrade. As a practical matter, an overpass would be better suited to the location than a subway.
13 - not strictly a Belair line matter, but if ARTC see the benefit in doing so then they can go ahead and do it.


My top short-term priorities would be:
1 - resignalling to allow simultaneous entry to passing loops, and automation to deal with the "congestion" (controllers queuing up at the coffee machine) that affects trains arriving at Adelaide.
2 - reactivate the shelved project to replace the Goodwood subway with a new overpass incorporating both station access and the Mike Turtur Bikeway.

Apart from that, any other capital expenditure on the Belair line should wait until its future is resolved.

Long-term:
1. electrify and resignal
2. reconfigure passing loops as needed to support operation by S-Bahn style EMUs optimised for rapid acceleration.
3. Bellevue Heights station
4. Upgrade of Mitcham pedestrian subway to also pass under ARTC line and meet modern standards for ramps.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
For less than the price of a day’s ‘strike’ for better conditions, each controller could be given a basic Nespresso machine for their own desk, such a cheap solution and no further need for queuing at all.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The point of 2) is?   Does it really matter which side of the Keswick Bridge it is?    As it is it gets a lot of traffic to the showgrounds and is very convenient to Greenhill Road.    From observation the traffic is far more than the old Keswick.
3) Is there room?   It is very tight through here, though perhaps not as tight as south of Leader Street.
3a) Leader Street is a bus route running down Winston Avenue; what would be gained by diverting it presumably to Anzac Highway from Goodwood Road?
4a)  lurking deep in DPTI's vaults are plans for a road over rail bridge proposed some decades ago along with an overpass at Ovingham.
8) Why?   The siding is to enable short workings to Blackwood and from memory was used as such for a couple of trains in peak when it was first opened.
11) Is there spare land to the north of the railway beyond Pinera that is either not in a cutting or on an embankment?

The loop at Sleeps Hill could be extended by quite a distance to the south along the old track bed to the southern group of quarries at Sleeps Hill to about where the old bridge into the quarries used to be, not far north of the old Sleeps Hill step-down.    It could be extended north to almost Lynton along the old track bed to the quarries now used by Mitcham Council as a depot.    While this is being done provide an island  platform near the old stone crusher and either a terminating track like Blackwood, or a third (and fourth) platform face like Glanville or Brighton to allow short workings to Sleeps Hill.  The loop would be about 950 metres long.

And 14) provide a station at Bellvue Heights at the Eden Hills loop south of the Shepherds Road tunnels.    The locals lobbied for it when the loop was established but it never eventuated.
kipioneer

For Belair line, tend to agree

By 2025
1) increase passing loops to Sleeps hill such that the line is mostly duplicated to Sleeps Hill avoiding high cost options. We are talking 6km of track, surely it cannot be that hard.

2) rebuild most stations to dual platform, 4 car length.

3) Construction Sleeps Hill Station as 2 platform station with terminating shunt necks behind.

4) Construct Bellvue Heights station

5) Operating frequency to Sleeps Hill, 15min, 10min in peak if needed.

6) Operating frequency to Belair remains at 30min, clock face around the clock using semi express stopping pattern to shave a few minuts.

No need to invest further money into the loops on the Belair section beyond Sleep's hill, apart from some loop upgrades to allow simultaneous arrivals if not capable of doing so now as the service has a major reliability boost to Sleeps Hill. Beyond that on time city bound trains get priority over late running out bound trains.


By 2030
1) Spark the line to Sleep's Hill when 3000/3100 class is due for retirement.

2) Belair trains continue to be DMU or some sort of DMU/EMU/Battery hybrid depending on available technology of the day.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The "reason" for not building Bellevue Heights was apparently that trains would be delayed stopping there (if only we didn't have to stop for passengers the service would run on time as one council in the UK observed Smile).

Given that if a cross is scheduled there then at least one train, if not both, would be obliged to stop, this sounds more like an excuse rather than a reason.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
The "reason" for not building Bellevue Heights was apparently that trains would be delayed stopping there (if only we didn't have to stop for passengers the service would run on time as one council in the UK observed Smile).

Given that if a cross is scheduled there then at least one train, if not both, would be obliged to stop, this sounds more like an excuse rather than a reason.
kipioneer
There was also major concerns about contamination leaking from the nearby old waste dump too.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The "reason" for not building Bellevue Heights was apparently that trains would be delayed stopping there (if only we didn't have to stop for passengers the service would run on time as one council in the UK observed Smile).

Given that if a cross is scheduled there then at least one train, if not both, would be obliged to stop, this sounds more like an excuse rather than a reason.
There was also major concerns about contamination leaking from the nearby old waste dump too.
Gayspie
jeese, they are walking to the state to catch a train, not grow their vegies.
  ARG706 Chief Commissioner

Location: SA
My calculations indicate that with the more recent crossing loop at Goodwood implemented, trains could just get by on the old 2000s timetable if they were to run exactly to schedule.

With the recent engine replacements, it should be possible for a train to depart Belair at 12/42 past the hour, and arrive the Eden Hills loop a minute or so before the down train passes. The schedule would possibly cause some late running issues if the ramp has to be deployed/driver exiting the cab for whatever reason, but crossing at Mitcham in the event of a delay would address this.

This is only a suggestion, but it should eliminates the 45 minute return trips to Adelaide in peak.

The other option is for Millswood and Unley Park and/or Torrens Park and Lynton to be served at an hourly frequency.

At Goodwood, the down train would wait in the loop, after departing Adelaide at 28/58 past the hour, with the up train set to arrive at 10/40 past.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
A truck rolled over on the South Eastern Fwy this morning at 3:30am and took until 9:30am to completely clear; it was the 'down' side that was blocked too so no public transport (buses) from the hills to the city on the South-Eastern until the road was cleared. I'm guessing motorists or buses might have been diverted via Upper Sturt - ?

This has led to lots of whinging on the news about "why is this the only route into the city blocked?" and "why don't we have a railway line from the hills into the city any longer"?

People will forget all about it by tomorrow though.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Anyways, back on topic, here are a list of infrastructure improvements that should be made to the Belair line, in my opinion:

1) Demolish and rebuild Mile End station to a suitable standard.
2) Demolish and relocate Keswick station back to its old location.
3) Restore four tracks on the southern lines almost as far as leader street.
3a) Close the Leader street level crossing.
4) Extend the Millswood passing loop down to just before Goodwood road.
4a) Grade seperate the Cross Road Intersection using the road over rail method.
5) Demolish the disused Hawthorn Station.
6) Demolish and rebuild Torrens Park station to a suitable standard.
6a) Demolish the disused Clapham Station.
7) Extend the Sleeps hill passing loop from just after Lynton station to just before the tunnel.
8) Remove the blackwood siding and simply the Blackwood loop track layout.
9) Demolish and rebuild Glenalta station to a suitable standard.
9a) Grade seperate the Main Road intersection using the road over rail method.
10) Demolish and rebuild Pinera station to a suitable standard.
11) Create a new passing loop in the spare land between the Pinera and Belair stations.
12) Close the pedestrian crossovers at Belair station and replace them with a subway.
13) Demolish all disused platforms on the ARTC standard gauge side of the line.

What do you think?
Gayspie
Here are the reasonings behind each dot point:

1) To provide modern facilities for waiting passengers regardless of the weather conditions.
2) To enable a dual track Belair line to continue for a few extra hundred metres.
3) To enable Belair trains to run both more often and be more punctual.
3a) To improve safety for all road users and train users.
4) To enable a dual track Belair line to continue for a few extra hundred metres.
4a) To improve safety for all road users and train users.
5) To reduce both criminal vandalism and OHSW maintenace costs.
6) To provide modern facilities for waiting passengers regardless of the weather conditions.
6a) To reduce both criminal vandalism and OHSW maintenace costs.
7) To enable a dual track Belair line to continue for a few extra hundred metres.
8) To reduce the risk of a disabled or elderly person becoming injured as a result of points mixing with a pedestrian crossing.
9) To enable three car trains to travel to Belair for special events without onboard staff members.
9a) To improve safety for all road users and train users.
10) To enable three car trains to travel to Belair for special events without onboard staff members.
11) To enable Belair trains to run both more often and be more punctual.
12) To improve pedestrian safety for local residents and train users alike.
13) To reduce both criminal vandalism and OHSW maintenace costs.

Thoughts ?
  Halo Chief Train Controller

New engines yes! But same single traction motor on a single bogie?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The powered bogie has traction motors on both axles, not just one.

I heard that the life extension project included them all being completely overhauled before being fitted to the replacement bogies.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
My calculations indicate that with the more recent crossing loop at Goodwood implemented, trains could just get by on the old 2000s timetable if they were to run exactly to schedule.
ARG706
Thats the problem though. You need to allow a few minutes here and there for a wheelchair, heavy pax loadings, etc otherwise delays will snowball throughout the day.
  Captainchoochoo61 Locomotive Fireman

For less than the price of a day’s ‘strike’ for better conditions, each controller could be given a basic Nespresso machine for their own desk, such a cheap solution and no further need for queuing at all.
Aaron
Why not reintroduce a beverage, dispersing agency, on a private contract ( YOU KNOW WHAT USED TO BE CALLED A TEA LADY!!!)  And for the after effects provide a 99cent bucket from the two dollar shop to support local shops who are affected by bike lanes reducing access for paying customers.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Fun fact, I was a bit early for a baseball game which I was going to play at Southern Districts late last year.

I took a walk up to Christie Downs station and walked about it photographing the syringes on the ground surrounding the platforms, it was only maybe a half hour look, I saw no trains on a Saturday so I couldn’t have been there too long, and counted over thirty of them.

Apparently a lot of diabetics frequent the station.
Aaron
You missed most of them.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
There was another accident on the South-Eastern yesterday morning at peak time, this time a five-car smash just outside the Heysen Tunnel down lanes affecting traffic yet again.

More calls for the reinstatement of the train service that'll be forgotten by this morning.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi All.

Due to the recent lockdowns, i have had more time on my hands so i have managed to create a new Belair train timetable. This new timetable provides for a reliable 15 minute clockface frequency from Adelaide to Belair National Park while minimizing the need for extra infrastructure.

Under the new timetable the following must happen:

- Sleeps Hill loop must be lengthened to begin just south of the Lynton Railway station and end just North of the Sleeps Hill tunnel.
- Both Glenalta and Pinera Railway Stations must be closed.

Rationale for both the changes:

- As the 'half way' mark on the line, trains need to engage in a 'running pass' here so the sleeps hill loop needs to be as long as possible in order for this to occur and it is the only loop where there is not a cutting or valley on the land where the additional track needs to be laid.
- Glenalta and Pinera would need an extra passing loop to be constructed as well as running the risk of extra delays if they were kept in service, not worth it considering they generate very low patronage (less than 10% of the entire lines ridership come from those 2 stations).

Unfortunatley i can not upload an image file as an attachment to this post so i can not show off my new Belair line timetable.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Hi All.

Due to the recent lockdowns, i have had more time on my hands so i have managed to create a new Belair train timetable. This new timetable provides for a reliable 15 minute clockface frequency from Adelaide to Belair National Park while minimizing the need for extra infrastructure.

Under the new timetable the following must happen:

- Sleeps Hill loop must be lengthened to begin just south of the Lynton Railway station and end just North of the Sleeps Hill tunnel.
- Both Glenalta and Pinera Railway Stations must be closed.

Rationale for both the changes:

- As the 'half way' mark on the line, trains need to engage in a 'running pass' here so the sleeps hill loop needs to be as long as possible in order for this to occur and it is the only loop where there is not a cutting or valley on the land where the additional track needs to be laid.
- Glenalta and Pinera would need an extra passing loop to be constructed as well as running the risk of extra delays if they were kept in service, not worth it considering they generate very low patronage (less than 10% of the entire lines ridership come from those 2 stations).

Unfortunatley i can not upload an image file as an attachment to this post so i can not show off my new Belair line timetable.
Gayspie
I don't want to burst your bubble; well not really.

A 15 minute "clock face" time table can already be maintained, see  Up trains at Coromandel between 0700 and 0815.
Services leave Belair at alternate 10 and 20 minute intervals* averaging two trains every 30 minutes. (*see my comments below)
All services call at Pinera and Glenalta.

Whilst I can't speak for Pinera I am aware of significant passenger numbers and I think it was these passengers who voiced complaints when they were denied a 15 minute service when such a service was instituted from Blackwood.

The complaints about there being no 15 minute service beyond Blackwood got the attention of a certain vocal politician who actually posted on this forum in order to get support for service improvements.
I responded to his input by proposing a means by which a quasi 15 minute service could be provide. It should be noted that Adelaide metro were anxious not to stable cars at Belair, probably due to the risk of vandalism.
It is not possible for a train to do a return trip Blackwood to Belair in under the 15 minutes need to run a 15 minute service.
The proposal I made was for trains to be held at Blackwood

The proposal I put to the politician was as follows:
Send first train to Belair and return to Blackwood.
In the meantime the next down train arrives at Blackwood.
Hold this train at Blackwood to cross the up movement from Belair.
Send this train to Belair to wait in siding.
Meanwhile the next down train arrives at Blackwood.
Despatch this train to Belair as a following movement.
This train turns round at Belair and returns to Blackwood
The train previously held at Belair then returns to Blackwood to form the next up movement.
The cost of this proposal is the alternating 10 and 20 minute departures from Belair.

The said politician must have presented this proposal to the Minister and there was a triumphal announcement that there would be a 15 minute service to Belair (and importantly Glenalta)

QED
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
There are few locations between Blackwood and Belair where a crossing loop could be constructed without extensive earthworks.

About the only one is from observation is just beyond the 20km post between Glenalta and Pinera where there is a lengthy flat area to the left of the track.

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