Resurrecting the Eaglehawk - Inglewood line New

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It's been pointed out before, what freight trains are going to want to run between Marong and Dunolly ?

Rail's never going to compete with road on a route between Marong and Melbourne, If rail Is forced to take a very roundabout journey via Gheringhap, the road journey Is just about as straight as the crow flies !
Nightfire
Another thing that I noticed while in the car from Inglewood to Marong was the giant hay business just off the highway. Similar to the setup in Goornong with overhead gantry cranes to load containers on and off of trucks, a train load of containers on the ground being loaded and thousands of bales stored in the sheds ready to go.

This product is exported to China, Japan and other countries and it ideal rail traffic as it is not time sensitive. Similar product is railed to port in SA and it has been mentioned in dispatches that Qube have been looking at doing the same for the Goornong business.

This one would be right on the rail line if it were to be re-instated. And I bet they aren't the only 2 buisness' doing feed hay in this part of Vic.

BG

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
If the Swan Hill/Pilangil line remains as BG, and a lower TAL than the neighbouring Murray Basin lines that have been converted and upgraded, might we see fewer grain deliveries to the SH/P line and therefore a lower need for it?  Perhaps also should any of the Barnes/Moulamein line be upgraded/converted/both, it may also attract grain from the SH/P line further reducing its need for conversion.  Hence perhaps one day it will be a passenger line serving SH and Echuca and thats it?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Here is another perspective on the Marong business park.  Council is pushing a functioning business out to make way for it (their sentiment not mine)

https://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5336781/decision-looms-for-marong-business-park-standoff/
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

If the Swan Hill/Pilangil line remains as BG, and a lower TAL than the neighbouring Murray Basin lines that have been converted and upgraded, might we see fewer grain deliveries to the SH/P line and therefore a lower need for it?  Perhaps also should any of the Barnes/Moulamein line be upgraded/converted/both, it may also attract grain from the SH/P line further reducing its need for conversion.  Hence perhaps one day it will be a passenger line serving SH and Echuca and thats it?
james.au

Should those circumstances prevail, the case for keeping the SH line open would be weakened significantly. This is Victoria, where coaches prevail remember!!!
  smalle2016 Beginner

Sighted this morning - a white contractor's van driving on the ballast of the dismantled Bridgewater - Marong line a couple of kilometres east of Bridgewater on the Marong side of Bul Bul Creek.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

An interesting agenda item at this week's Greater Bendigo Council meeting.  Refer Page 80 of the agenda: https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/About/Document-Library/ordinary-agenda-18-march-2020-pdf

"Support the further development of the Bendigo Metro Rail project and the future upgrade to the Eaglehawk to Inglewood to Dunolly line when passenger and freight demand warrants such an upgrade."
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Key words being "warrants such an upgrade."

Who decides that?
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Key words being "warrants such an upgrade."

Who decides that?
RustyRick
How many votes can a political party get from the electorate it's in? They do.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
An interesting agenda item at this week's Greater Bendigo Council meeting.  Refer Page 80 of the agenda: https://www.bendigo.vic.gov.au/About/Document-Library/ordinary-agenda-18-march-2020-pdf

"Support the further development of the Bendigo Metro Rail project and the future upgrade to the Eaglehawk to Inglewood to Dunolly line when passenger and freight demand warrants such an upgrade."
Carnot

Which IIRC included the re-establishment of a platform and station at Marong.
  Lachlan's Train Channel Station Master

Location: Mildura, Victoria
Won't happen for a few decades yet. But a cool thought.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It might happen sooner than we think, especially with rumors of the new MBRP business plan including the option of NOT gauge converting the remaining Mallee BG lines:
https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6777761/rail-lobby-group-calls-for-track-upgrade/?fbclid=IwAR0QYgWh3dV0oQ8cCP6GySsoIAB0iYMqsqykGOZGhbRK3KCGhX-NeNC7wXk
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
It might happen sooner than we think, especially with rumors of the new MBRP business plan including the option of NOT gauge converting the remaining Mallee BG lines:
https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6777761/rail-lobby-group-calls-for-track-upgrade/?fbclid=IwAR0QYgWh3dV0oQ8cCP6GySsoIAB0iYMqsqykGOZGhbRK3KCGhX-NeNC7wXk
Carnot
While having the option of not gauge converting the remain lines on the table is no surprise, I suspect most would agree such a decision would be a significant backwards move. Put the remaining work out to contract to an operator that knows what they are doing, with enforceable penalties for failure to meet milestones is all that's required. And probably another few hundred million in cash unfortunately. I hate to say it, but i think even ARTC could have done a better job of the project to date had they been given the task.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
It might happen sooner than we think, especially with rumors of the new MBRP business plan including the option of NOT gauge converting the remaining Mallee BG lines:
https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6777761/rail-lobby-group-calls-for-track-upgrade/?fbclid=IwAR0QYgWh3dV0oQ8cCP6GySsoIAB0iYMqsqykGOZGhbRK3KCGhX-NeNC7wXk
Carnot
We dont know what is in the business case. It is speculation that the 2 smaller branches are optioned out, not confirmed...
  cbinyon Chief Train Controller

Location: London, England
There is no way they would close those two branch lines. Far too many large grain sites on these branches. I hope the truth comes out soon regarding the business case.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is no way they would close those two branch lines. Far too many large grain sites on these branches. I hope the truth comes out soon regarding the business case.
cbinyon
Not converting them is not the same as closure though.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
There is no way they would close those two branch lines. Far too many large grain sites on these branches. I hope the truth comes out soon regarding the business case.
cbinyon

Not to forget the new intermodal terminal recently established and the showcase it has become for Freight Victoria.  The only project delivered thus far.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Just some anecdotal observations of the track in its current state around Marong:

- Around 20% of sleepers look fairly recent (mid-2000s?) and are in great condition.

- Around 20-30% of sleepers are marginal.  i.e. Still serviceable, but only just.

- And 50-60% are stuffed.  Often unspiked, broken, and only good for firewood.

The rail itself is 47 kg/m and is generally is very good condition.  Looks better than most of the WW1 vintage 80 lb rail that is on the Avoca line.

Some bridge re-decking (or even replacement) will be required at Marong.  It looks structurally OK, but the top needs a lot of work.

Between Bridgewater and Inglewood there is about a kilometre of track that was ripped up.  That was where the wash-away occurred in 2011 and a fair bit of earthworks and new culverts will also be needed here.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Between Bridgewater and Inglewood there is about a kilometre of track that was ripped up.  That was where the wash-away occurred in 2011 and a fair bit of earthworks and new culverts will also be needed here.
Carnot

IIRC this was why the line was booked out but understand the government has insurance across the network meaning Victrack failed to get this line fixed when the funding was provided.

I do believe this line is going to be needed for the MBRP sooner than later.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Between Bridgewater and Inglewood there is about a kilometre of track that was ripped up.  That was where the wash-away occurred in 2011 and a fair bit of earthworks and new culverts will also be needed here.

IIRC this was why the line was booked out but understand the government has insurance across the network meaning Victrack failed to get this line fixed when the funding was provided.

I do believe this line is going to be needed for the MBRP sooner than later.
bevans
Both  Weekly Times and Stock & Land have reported in recent weeks a proposal to re-open this line section for the forthcoming 2020 bumper grain harvest and Loddon Shire Council minutes of their most recent Council meeting record a motion supporting re-opening of the Inglewood - Eaglehawk line.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It should be mentioned that pathing of freight trains via Bendigo is very difficult in daytime hours.  But between 21:30 and 3:30 for Up trains, and 00:00 - 5:00 for Down trains it's manageable.  This is where V/line may be resistant to the line's reopening.

Another few things:
- it adds a path for Swan Hill and Echuca freight (and SSR workshop) if the Bendigo line is booked out for maintenance, although a loop would need reinstating at Inglewood for this unless a push-pull loco arrangement occurs.
- there is a new grain forwarder at Bridgewater that could use it, along with the containerized export hay facility nearby.
- And as an incidental benefit: some great possibilities for heritage tours in the region, especially with VGR running mainline daytrips out of Castlemaine.

Hopefully the Greater Bendigo Council support it.  I know several of the councillors would.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


Hopefully the Greater Bendigo Council support it.  I know several of the councillors would.
Carnot

They do

Both Weekly Times and Stock & Land have reported in recent weeks a proposal to re-open this line section for the forthcoming 2020 bumper grain harvest and Loddon Shire Council minutes of their most recent Council meeting record a motion supporting re-opening of the Inglewood - Eaglehawk line.
Kuldalai

I have also heard of the Bridgewater group wanting access and have been asking for trains for some time.  The points at the junction of the line to Piangil are manual from memory so are there plans to connect this into the panel at Bendigo?
  Carnot Minister for Railways



Hopefully the Greater Bendigo Council support it.  I know several of the councillors would.
They do

Both Weekly Times and Stock & Land have reported in recent weeks a proposal to re-open this line section for the forthcoming 2020 bumper grain harvest and Loddon Shire Council minutes of their most recent Council meeting record a motion supporting re-opening of the Inglewood - Eaglehawk line.

I have also heard of the Bridgewater group wanting access and have been asking for trains for some time.  The points at the junction of the line to Piangil are manual from memory so are there plans to connect this into the panel at Bendigo?
bevans
Interesting that you ask.  The Planning maps for the new signalling project include the first section of the line between the Junction and Marong.

Refer Page 15 within this public document: https://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/379264/Bendigo-Planning-Scheme-Amendment-C250-Project-Land.pdf
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Interesting that you ask.  The Planning maps for the new signalling project include the first section of the line between the Junction and Marong.

Refer Page 15 within this public document: https://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/379264/Bendigo-Planning-Scheme-Amendment-C250-Project-Land.pdf
Carnot

Good pickup.

The diagram seems to include an area of the west of the junction probably to permit a signal for an UP facing train from Marong to protect the junction.  Does this signal exist at this point?

I also recall a signal on the UP side of Marong when I was last there.
  david harvey Chief Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale
In a perfect world SG would bu useful into Bendigo ONLY if SG was laid to Heathcote Junction but that is a dream only.  Other than this maybe SG into NSW north from Bendigo?
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

The politics may see the line to Marong re-open. There are plenty of houses being built close to the railway and town, while the Maiden Gully area (about half way between Eaglehawk and Marong) is well built up.

Motorising the points at Eaglehawk (with a couple of up signals on the approach from Swan Hill) could allow trains to run more frequently to Eaglehawk, then off the main line to Marong, allowing Swan Hill line trains to be separated from local Eaglehawk/Marong line trains. The benefit is to allow more Eaglehawk locals, with a cheap extension to growth areas. The first part of that idea may be what's being suggested by the report.

Leaving aside the sleepers (probably close to 100% replacement needed), the track structure isn't too bad. Heavy enough rails for G diesel and R steam make it easy for railcars at the sort of speeds likely (say 65 - 80km/h). Bridges were OK, I seem to remember they were concrete piers, steel beams, with timber decks that likely need full replacement. Platforms non-existent.

Call it 18000 sleepers, plus the level crossings (3 passive ones to be booms, plus a couple of pre-existing ones reinstated). Chuck in the bridges, earthworks/drainage repairs, you should have change of $10 million. Maybe throw a couple of extra million in for some signals at Eaglehawk, new platform at Maiden Gully, and another at Marong, plus the usual consultants fees and signs advertising the improvements, you should have change of $20 million. Of course, that assumes you do it all in-house, heavens knows what it would cost for contractors and consultants.

Does that section justify the cost? Depends who you ask, I guess.

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