FEDS & STATE JOINTLY FINANCE FURTHER VICTORIAN REGIONAL RAIL WORKS

 
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner


The Echuca line was found to be in much worse shape than they originally thought (it's only just had 20km of 50 km/h TSRs lifted!).  Thus the delay and need for extra $$$ apparently....
It sounds like a maintenance circus in V/Line.The issues here are three fold it seems:

1. Sufficient $ funds are not being given to maintain adequate standards to maintain pax network to existing track classes and max train speeds, and ditto on the freight only lines which get the crumbs and therefore caught up in a perpetual cycle of on going claimed track upgrades to make them fit for traffic. In reality NOT upgrades at all just catch up maintenance.
(e;g: Toolamba - Echuca out of service yet again - facing its third "upgrade" within 10 years to the same low speed standard !!!)

2. Should VLP be maintaining tracks at all ?  Is VLP a value for money maintenance provider ?  If not outsource to get best bang for buck.

3. VLP as operator has now decreed that as newer V/Locity sets have a slightly heavier axle loads that Class-2M track requiring 53kg/107lb rail is now required for V/Locity operation at 130kmh. One would think that DOT would be setting these standards (NOT the rail operators)  based on external expert advice using world standards found elsewhere on railways both Australian and International.

Thus the current VLP driven requirement for Warrnambool line to be upgraded to Class-2Mtrack to allow V/Locity 130kmh.
Shepparton track rail is quite aged and well in need of renewal. So put in new 53kg CWR rail NOW and spend $ 30m on actual new rail rather than on a totally unnecessary business case to tell you the existing rail has limited life remaining.
Echuca rail is not that bad on good quality sleepers and adequate ballast as Class- 3 traclk should well be OK for V/Locity at 100kmh minimum, or upgarde to Class-2 allowing V/Locity at 115kmh.I would have though 50 kg rail sufficient. It is stronger than 47 kg, and probably as good as the older design 53kg in any case. Sounds like some backside covering at V Line.
Duncs
Yes standard 50kg rail shoud be fine continuously welded for even 160kmh with TPWS and adequate lx protection. Trouble is these days teh standard available rail weights available in Australia are either 50kg or 60kg. So VLP for some strange reason wants 53kg which has to specially rolled. Probably because its the closest to the old 107lb rail. Another reason the rail operators should not be dictating the track standards, which should be the task of DOT. Rail operators should be just that running the railway with the key focuses being 1. that there is a train provided when it is scheduled 2. that such train runs to OT within the defined criteria at least 95 % of occasions.

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  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Yes standard 50kg rail shoud be fine continuously welded for even 160kmh with TPWS and adequate lx protection. Trouble is these days teh standard available rail weights available in Australia are either 50kg or 60kg. So VLP for some strange reason wants 53kg which has to specially rolled. Probably because its the closest to the old 107lb rail. Another reason the rail operators should not be dictating the track standards, which should be the task of DOT. Rail operators should be just that running the railway with the key focuses being 1. that there is a train provided when it is scheduled 2. that such train runs to OT within the defined criteria at least 95 % of occasions.
kuldalai
I'm a little surprised 53kg is still available; it became redundant when 50 and 60 kg rail became available (circa 1980?). Soon after, 53kg was only available to special order in small quantities for maintenance replacements. I'm guessing 53kg availability is consumer lead.

As for 47kg (94lb), that's a really redundant rail. We should have jumped straight from 80lb (in it's many variants) to 107lb (53kg). It was perpetuated by the Commonwealth when the Commonwealth Railways (post WW2) adopted it as their standard rail, (that is why it went into the Nth East Std Gauge; It was even at that stage being considered as a secondary rail by certain sectors of the industry, but the Feds weren't going to pay any more, and VIC wasn't going to put their hand in their pocket for any reason.

So 50kg for secondary track and 60kg for mainlines. If a bigger rail is a bridge too far for the budget, increase capacity by closing up the sleeper spacing to say, 580mm.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

As for 47kg (94lb), that's a really redundant rail.
Lockspike
Funny how band new 47kg rail was used on level crossing renewals on the Ararat - Maryborough line rebuild.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Full list here (includes items since 2013/4):
https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/infrastructure-investment-laying-foundations-australias-economic-recovery

A few numbers seem very different to original ones from memory. And a big chunk hasn't been spent at all, just 'promised'....
Carnot
Handy link, thanks.

There's been much blah blah blah about upgrading the Warrnambool and Shepparton lines to allow Vlocities to run at 130 km/h, yet total silence about them still being limited to 100 km/h in the foreseeable future on the existing Class 3 track beyond Traralgon to Sale and Bairnsdale where they already run to, and nothing in the budget to address this issue.

Interesting from the detailed list in the link that $447m is proposed for 'Gippsland Line Rail Upgrade' but the location is not Gippsland at all, but S.E. Melbourne. WTF does that mean?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger

Interesting from the detailed list in the link that $447m is proposed for 'Gippsland Line Rail Upgrade' but the location is not Gippsland at all, but S.E. Melbourne. WTF does that mean?
DirtyBallast
Probably that the junior staffer in the Federal Minister's office who does the website messed up the location (or possibly, offices for this part of the project are based in Suburban Melbourne?)  

Other items as part of the Gippsland Line Rail Upgrade are listed separately with correct locations.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Full list here (includes items since 2013/4):
https://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/mccormack/media-release/infrastructure-investment-laying-foundations-australias-economic-recovery

A few numbers seem very different to original ones from memory. And a big chunk hasn't been spent at all, just 'promised'....
Handy link, thanks.

There's been much blah blah blah about upgrading the Warrnambool and Shepparton lines to allow Vlocities to run at 130 km/h, yet total silence about them still being limited to 100 km/h in the foreseeable future on the existing Class 3 track beyond Traralgon to Sale and Bairnsdale where they already run to, and nothing in the budget to address this issue.

Interesting from the detailed list in the link that $447m is proposed for 'Gippsland Line Rail Upgrade' but the location is not Gippsland at all, but S.E. Melbourne. WTF does that mean?
DirtyBallast
Simply there are no plans to rise the speed limit between Traralgon and Bairnsdale, nor are their any plans to extend some Traralgon trains to Sale.
(but hey trains would be able to travel at up to 90 km/h over the new Avon River Bridge, when approaching or departing Stratford Railway Station)

All politics, The Echuca line Is In the same boat.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner


As for 47kg (94lb), that's a really redundant rail. Funny how band new 47kg rail was used on level crossing renewals on the Ararat - Maryborough line rebuild.
Nightfire
I didn't even imply that one couldn't still purchase it.
However, IMO, it is only suitable as siding rail or fence posts.

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