Alice Springs Observations

 
  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
I was in Alice the week before last so I thought I'd do a bit of train spotting in between other things.

I didn't have a car much of the time but I was within walking distance of the passenger terminal. The only train I saw was the southbound Ghan on Thursday but I did have a good inspection of the southern end of the yard.

I assume that the signalliing equipment at this end would all date from the construction of the line in 1980 and would follow then CR practice which is heavily North American influenced.

Some questions.

AS has a number of signals that would be called in NSW homes, as well as a number of signals we would call starters.  As well as this the points at the southern end of the yard are power worked.



    It certainly has become a quiet yard since the Darwin extension went through.

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      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    good day barry c
    very shortly all signals in alice are going to be removed when westinghouse get of there butts a/c termites etc eating cables and when being repaired very expensive as work is done by local contractor also signals work in conjunction with traffic lights on stuart hwy and larapinta dr  
    point 1
    singals came when new line was laid
    point 2
    all 4 signals are absolute signals 2 arrival/ 2 departure colour light  signals
    point 3
    signals are controlled from control board in pacific national office
    point 4
    derail is on auxiliary roads to middle of yard and over to intermodal yard where semi trailers are parked
    to protect G S R  main line  

    ike1in alice
      Shacks Ghanzel

    Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
    Ike, can you check for me, I have photo's from Anzac Hill of the sun setting behind the rail yards, does it run east west ? I thought the gap was south of the yards ?
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    will check tomorrow going to darwin monday
    then on thursday to adelaide till 7/1/06 holidays

    ike1
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    very shortly all signals in alice are going to be removed when westinghouse get of there butts a/c termites etc eating cables and when being repaired very expensive as work is done by local contractor


    I'll try & get photos of the signals this week before they disappear.

    The way the line runs is from the south through Heavitree Gap on the western side (the side that has the three radio towers atop West Gap). The line then runs in paralllel to Telegraph Terrace into the Alice yard. On the Western end of the yard where the line goes to Darwin, it goes over Lovegrove Drive & heads out of town croosing the Sturat Highway approx 13-15km north of town.
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    How many signals are there for Alice? I have located:

    2 at the yard side of the Larapinta drive intersection
    1 near Espie St (where the two lines become one prior to the level crossing)

    There also appears to be one by Bloomfield St.

    Are there any south of the Heavitree Gap?
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    The following signals have been "bagged" in Alice in the last few days:

    The 2 posts in the rail yard side of the Larapinta Drive crossing facing south
    The post on the Espie Street side of Larapinta Drive facing north.
    The post on the Larapinta Drive side of Espie Street facing south.
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    alice does not have any signals any more de comissioned last fri  all xing bells operate on track circuit

    ike1
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    With all the bells now on track circuits, does this mean that the days of some driving to the end of the yard to operate the level crossing are over?

    Another question for you , Ike1:

    At the Lovegrove Drive crossing ( the one at the Darwin end of the Alice yard) there is a sign that says "STOP proceed under hand signal". Is this still relevent now that ht e track circuits have been done for the level crossings?
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    sorry i was wrong
    bells only work on approach to alice from the  north  darwin end
    and south roe creek end  
    trains departing must stop and bells turned on to depart

    ike1
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    Anther one ike1:

    Does the freight from down south come in on the lines near the pax terminal, drop the rear portion of the train, run across Lovegrove drive & then reverse back into the yard (presuming another track is reversed into) on a common basis?
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    train arrs from south on middle road in yard
    couple of  roads over from where ghans arrival road is  
     loading is detached where ever it is marshalled on train from adelaide and what was attached at port augusta
    loading is detached into old intermodal yard over where all empty trailers are
    then any loading for north is attached shunted back to where rear portion of train was left air test done engines fueled up then f off to darwin
    easy

    ike1
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    So this is done on a nightly basis with all the running back & forth or is it dependant on loading for the train?
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    Since the removal from service of the signalling in Alice Springs, there has been a STOP sign & another sign underneath fitted on the railyards side of Larapinta Drive level crossing facing the rail line. Whats written on this sign? Is it something to do with the removal of the signalling?
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    yes  its is to do with removal of old signals
    i am in adelaide and suspect this board says stop proceed under hand signals a reminder to drivers not to depart until gongs are going
    will back next week will have a look for u

    ike 1 here and there
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    This afternoon, FQ03 & ALF20 were at the Larapinta Drive end of the yard at approx 1245 after running backwards into the yard to make the train up for the run south. It was still there at 1425. Why was the train preparing to leave at this time of the day for the run south? Normally, the south freight leaves before or at sunrise.
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    Todays southbound freight from Alice was still in the yard at 2.30pm with FQ01 & ALF23 taking on fuel from the Mobil tanker. Any ideas why this train was still in the yard at this time as the freights are usually night trains. It would of come in after the Ghan left from Alice this afternoon at 12.45pm.
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    6 hrs late x darwin a/c loading

    ike1
      Shacks Ghanzel

    Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
    I have heard from up here that part of the problem was one of the forklifts was broken and the other had a fuel problem, none.
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    got a diesel motor in that red terror shacks

    ike1
      Shacks Ghanzel

    Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
    I wish. I know of a decent supply of avtur.
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    Monday nights freight from Adelaide stopped near the old No. 3 signal for approx 90 minutes at about midnight due to people on the track who then climbed onto the trains carriages. This was in the Centralian Advocate newspaper for Friday 14 Jul 06. FQ02 & an ALF were the motive power for ths train. Hasn't been a good week for the AD/DA services...
      E1109 Minister for Railways

    Location: Bright sunny Darwin
    ALF22 looks to of failed on the Darwin-Alice freight on saturday morning. FQ03 left Alice Springs southbound at 0950. No idea what is wrong with ALF22, no accident damage evident from 30 metres away but the maintenence people wre looking closely at the front bogie closely. Don't know if it still in Alice yard. FQ104 was used to move it elsewhere as it was down the Larapinta Drive end of the yard when I saw it at 1030.

    EDITED: Left words out... Embarassed
      ike1 Assistant Commissioner

    at 0500 saty
    trailing bogie FQ?? leading bogie  ALF 22 split point in alice yard and derailed FQ rerailed and da2 sent on way to cross ad8 at roe creek
    alf22 rerailed at appox 1730 still in await inspection of wheels and undercarraige before attaching to next south bound train

    ike1

    i know because i was there
      Shacks Ghanzel

    Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
    This would have to be the first derailment since the line opened.
    The 22 of the end in Katherine was prior to the line opening.

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