Murray Basin standardisation

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Another extra train to Donald today for loading at PeaCo.
Good to see the loading from Mildura and Donald exceeds the 1200 m track length limit.
Donald

Donald this is fantastic news.  Where is the loading going export or domestic?

See what is possible with sidings in place.  The Ouyen based freight forwarder has been asking for their siding to be placed back after it was pulled up in the SG works when it was supposed to be converted.

Regarding the 7901/7902 trains according to GHAPLOOP the train did not run yesterday and was not seen this morning.

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  Lachlan's Train Channel Station Master

Location: Mildura, Victoria
Another extra train to Donald today for loading at PeaCo.
Good to see the loading from Mildura and Donald exceeds the 1200 m track length limit.

Donald this is fantastic news.  Where is the loading going export or domestic?

See what is possible with sidings in place.  The Ouyen based freight forwarder has been asking for their siding to be placed back after it was pulled up in the SG works when it was supposed to be converted.

Regarding the 7901/7902 trains according to GHAPLOOP the train did not run yesterday and was not seen this morning.
bevans
Both 7901V and 7902V ran yesterday. I saw them both. G523, XR559, BL31 on 7901, G523, BL31, XR559 on 7902.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Both 7901V and 7902V ran yesterday. I saw them both. G523, XR559, BL31 on 7901, G523, BL31, XR559 on 7902.
Lachlan's Train Channel

Thanks Lachlan.  I will let @GheringhapLoop know.

So the PeaCo trains was additional loading which  could not make the fruity?
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Both 7901V and 7902V ran yesterday. I saw them both. G523, XR559, BL31 on 7901, G523, BL31, XR559 on 7902.

Thanks Lachlan.  I will let @GheringhapLoop know.

So the PeaCo trains was additional loading which  could not make the fruity?
bevans
G540 did the run again.   Probably about 20 flats.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
17 yesterday
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

Both 7901V and 7902V ran yesterday. I saw them both. G523, XR559, BL31 on 7901, G523, BL31, XR559 on 7902.

Thanks Lachlan.  I will let @GheringhapLoop know.

So the PeaCo trains was additional loading which  could not make the fruity?
bevans
Fruitee is at or that close to its max permissible length of 1200 mtr , some Donald loading is being attached to 7902V and off 7901V. And the overflow from Donald run as a separate train to and from Appleton Dock as required.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Fruitee is at or that close to its max permissible length of 1200 mtr , some Donald loading is being attached to 7902V and off 7901V. And the overflow from Donald run as a separate train to and from Appleton Dock as required.
Bonzel

Great info thanks.

I recall 7903 and 7904 was running until recently why has this service been discontinued?
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

Fruitee is at or that close to its max permissible length of 1200 mtr , some Donald loading is being attached to 7902V and off 7901V. And the overflow from Donald run as a separate train to and from Appleton Dock as required.

Great info thanks.

I recall 7903 and 7904 was running until recently why has this service been discontinued?
bevans
Merbein loading is being accommodated on 7901/02V at this stage.
  Lachlan's Train Channel Station Master

Location: Mildura, Victoria
Both 7901V and 7902V ran yesterday. I saw them both. G523, XR559, BL31 on 7901, G523, BL31, XR559 on 7902.

Thanks Lachlan.  I will let @GheringhapLoop know.

So the PeaCo trains was additional loading which  could not make the fruity?
bevans
Yes the PeaCo trains are extras due to the normal Mildura trains currently being at capacity. (1200m Maxmium). Which has already been dicussed.
  Lachlan's Train Channel Station Master

Location: Mildura, Victoria
Fruitee is at or that close to its max permissible length of 1200 mtr , some Donald loading is being attached to 7902V and off 7901V. And the overflow from Donald run as a separate train to and from Appleton Dock as required.

Great info thanks.

I recall 7903 and 7904 was running until recently why has this service been discontinued?
bevans
They haven't run yet this year. They may or may not start soon.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
From the Weekly Times  

Game over.

Unclear where the Ballarat FPSP fits in this.

Anyone find the business case yet?

THE total cost of meeting Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ 2015 promise to deliver “the full Murray Basin Rail Project” has blown out to $1 billion. The startling cost is outlined in the Andrews Government business case, which has just been lodged with federal Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack.

Victorian Transport Infrastructure Minister Jacinta Allan lodged the business case last week, more than 12 months after the half-completed project, which was meant to have cost $416 million, ran out of funds. But while Ms Allan has re-costed the full upgrade and standardisation of more than 1133km of rail line at $1 billion, it is understood she is seeking much less in a bid to deliver a cut-down version of the project.

Under any funding agreement Victoria would be required to match the federal contribution, which has resulted in Ms Allan winding back the Premier’s original promise, by abandoning the full upgrade and standardisation of the Manangatang and Sea Lake grain lines.

Ms Allan did not respond to The Weekly Times questions on how much was being sought from the commonwealth, what the Victorian Government would contribute and what aspects of the project’s original goals have been cut back. Mr McCormack’s office said: “The Federal Government is considering a recently revised business case produced by the Victorian Government.”

But Victorian Nationals Leader Peter Walsh said Mr McCormack had told a Zoom meeting of rail and grain industry stakeholders last week he had written to Ms Allan requesting more information before making a budget allocation. Stakeholders asked Mr McCormack if there was enough information in the business case to complete the project, as was originally promised by the Premier in 2015, but he declined to comment.

Mr Walsh said it was clear there was nothing for Sea Lake and Manangatang lines. But he said funding was being sought to redo the Maryborough to Ararat line, which the Andrews Government had attempted to upgrade using second-hand track from the Castlemaine line. “It’s 80-years-old steel that didn’t weld (properly) and cracked,” Mr Walsh said.

In March the Victorian Auditor General’s Office found the project had “not met scope, time, cost or quality expectations”. The report said the project was late and would require a considerable injection of new funds.
TWT
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
From the Weekly Times  

Game over.

Unclear where the Ballarat FPSP fits in this.

Anyone find the business case yet?

james.au
And as we drop into the economic doldrums for the next 10 years, we'll have this half-assed reminder of what could have been.

Hopefully they come up with a few bucks to get SG between Maryborough and Geelong at some stage so we can recover something out of this.  Surely that should be a higher priority than redoing the Ararat bit again.
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

Where did the second hand rail from Castlemaine line get used Walsh wouldn`t have a clue. The project is a basket case and needs to be fixed ASAP  eg Ararat Junction , full use of whats left of Maryborough yard and the heavily speed restricted Dunolly before the coming harvest.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well they better reopen Inglewood-Eaglehawk asap.  And re-rail Ararat to Maryborough with new rail.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Where did the second hand rail from Castlemaine line get used Walsh wouldn`t have a clue. The project is a basket case and needs to be fixed ASAP  eg Ararat Junction , full use of whats left of Maryborough yard and the heavily speed restricted Dunolly before the coming harvest.
Bonzel

I believe from Brenton's info those rails went to the Castlemaine-Maldon railway for a rail replacement program.

Mike.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Where did the second hand rail from Castlemaine line get used Walsh wouldn`t have a clue. The project is a basket case and needs to be fixed ASAP  eg Ararat Junction , full use of whats left of Maryborough yard and the heavily speed restricted Dunolly before the coming harvest.

I believe from Brenton's info those rails went to the Castlemaine-Maldon railway for a rail replacement program.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Much of the rail around Moolort to Maryborough ended up on MBRP.  VGR is using Guildford to Castlemaine rail.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
get SG between Maryborough and Geelong
lkernan
This should be the absolute minimum.  Forget fixing Ararat-Maryborough, thats throwing good money after bad.  Just get the journey time to Melbourne back down to where it was as BG.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Maybe time to re-open Sulky Loop. Which they would likely build as SG, but it’s a good start!
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Maybe time to re-open Sulky Loop. Which they would likely build as SG, but it’s a good start!
hbedriver
I said that somewhere at some stage and make it a decent length.. 15 1800 metres or more !

BigShunter.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Where did the second hand rail from Castlemaine line get used Walsh wouldn`t have a clue. The project is a basket case and needs to be fixed ASAP  eg Ararat Junction , full use of whats left of Maryborough yard and the heavily speed restricted Dunolly before the coming harvest.

I believe from Brenton's info those rails went to the Castlemaine-Maldon railway for a rail replacement program.

Mike.
The Vinelander
I think Bonzel might be referring to the section that was ripped up at the MBY end somewhere out towards Mooloort. IIRC this was only used for patch ups, most of the MBY > Ararat line is still the old stuff which was pulled up and then put back onto new sticks
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

That`s the part i was referring to think it went up near Ouyen to repair a section of the line after a big derailment in the BG days .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

That`s the part i was referring to think it went up near Ouyen to repair a section of the line after a big derailment in the BG days .
Bonzel
The rail in the Ararat - Maryborough line did NOT come from Castlemiane - Maryborough. The missing rail from Castlemaine - Maryborough has either been stockpiled on site, removed from lx or a lot given to the maldon railway people. With Ararat - Maryborough it was originally 60lb rail and the line was closed late 1950's as bg. Then re-opened as bg in 1960,s to give access on bg to Portland. At some time during the 1970's old VR relaid it with the old cascaded 80lb rail with plated joints. Then converted to sg in 1995 and Maryborough - Dunolly was dual gauged at same time.  In recent years fell into disuse between Ararat and Maryborough and used to store all sorts of freight wagons.  Under this re-birth in early 2018 same old 80lb rail placed on all new concrete sleepers, rail cropped and continuously welded.

Commissioning of the cross connection at Ararat is now an ARTC job, another "Blue Hills" saga no one in Victoria is getting a rocket under.  Grapevine says commissioning February - but they didn't say what year !!!

This season grain harvest is predicted to be 16 % above the average harvest of the last ten years, and the partly completed MB network actually has less capacity than before conversion . Like 169 km single line section for broad gauge trains from Korongvale to Warrenheip - 3 hours running time, and standard gauge another 3 hour section single line section rom Maryborough to Maroona.

Without Inglewood - Eaglehawk re-opened the whole thing will be a disaster as one can only run a maximum of one train a day on each of the Managatang and Sea Lake lines with the current state of MB completion. Each grain train that cannot be run because of the incomplete MB project puts another 90 heavy road trucks on local roads all the way to the ports. Now  this sort of bumper harvest requires something like 9 grain trains a day for 250 days from harvest to clear to the ports one can see the sort of debacle we are facing with the current  MB  incomplete standrdization.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Incidentally, Warrenheip loop is now (temporarily) booked out-of-service due to a fault in the turnouts...
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bored at home

This season grain harvest is predicted to be 16 % above the average harvest of the last ten years, and the partly completed MB network actually has less capacity than before conversion . Like 169 km single line section for broad gauge trains from Korongvale to Warrenheip - 3 hours running time, and standard gauge another 3 hour section single line section rom Maryborough to Maroona.

Without Inglewood - Eaglehawk re-opened the whole thing will be a disaster as one can only run a maximum of one train a day on each of the Managatang and Sea Lake lines with the current state of MB completion. Each grain train that cannot be run because of the incomplete MB project puts another 90 heavy road trucks on local roads all the way to the ports. Now  this sort of bumper harvest requires something like 9 grain trains a day for 250 days from harvest to clear to the ports one can see the sort of debacle we are facing with the current  MB  incomplete standrdization.
kuldalai
Agreed @kuldalai that something urgently needs to be done.

Not convinced that re-opening Inglewood is the way to go. The big lesson from the MBRP is that re-using old clapped out lines, and expecting them to perform at standards way above their original design just does not work. From the foundation up need complete re-build.

For the BG capacity squeeze,  there is ample room at any or all of Dunnolly, Maryborough, Talbot, Clunes, Sulky to build/re-instate passing tracks.
These would be short pieces of new build, not interfering with operation of the mainline until the time of putting in the points.
Not only a cheaper alternative, but you can be assured that the track built is up to the task.

The big elephant in the room that nobody seems to mention, is the ridiculous single DG track between Dunolly and Maryborough. The original MBRP(original/dead version) had no hope of managing the expected volume.
Surely it is time for a second SG track to share the work.
Again a new line with guaranteed performance,  with no interference to the existing mainline during construction.

If it comes to a choice between 20-30km of new track, or re-open/re-furbish 40km of broken down line - experience has already shown which is the more likely to fail.

cheers
John
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Not entirely unsurprising developments really. One f-up after another. We can all throw about our ideas on what they should be doing, but reality is none of us likely has the ear of those that could even influence any decisions, never mind those actually making them. Yes, there's probably people that are lurking here, but they are never going to put their hand up and say as much.

For what it's worth, If, as suspected, the conversion of the remaining lines is taken out of the project, yes, the Inglewood-Bendigo section needs to be re opened, or if not, some more crossing loops installed. A duel gauge loop between Bet Bet and Maryborough of 1200m at least, as well as a SG loop of similar length back into the Marybrough-Ararat section. Whats in Marybough it's self is only SG, and not very efficient, but could help with staging of SG trains. There's space also where one was at Bung Bong, or probably more ideally, on the flats around Avoca or Elmhurst. It goes without saying the speed on the Marybrough-Ararat section needs to be brought up, and if that means a re-railing and culvert replacement that should have been done on the first go-around then so be it.

Hopefully the libs will see fit to fix the situation after the next election, but i doubt there will be any much coin to do anything. Given how much these level crossing removals cost each, if they picked a couple and simply didn't do them, they would have their $1b to finish what was started. Governments are still afraid of raising taxes, which given the mess everyone is in, needs to happen once we start getting back to normal, or the feds need to crank up the presses and print enough money to buy out of it that way.

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