NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  Snoghort Beginner

Woodford,

Thanks for your well thought out information that makes great technical sense. Top speed is not the only thing that effects total travel time. More often a lower top speed with less stop start and congestion though good planning and management allows for a significant reduction in total travel time.

What would be the effect of having South of Seymour double line bi-directional running for both over time and reliability due to not having crosses?

Also the effect on having a clear run though Melb. e.g. no delays at Dynon etc?

As always find your input quite interesting from a technical point.

Cheers

Dave
This is somewhat outside my area of expertise, but since I was asked.............................

Currently the VLine's service can be delayed by anything up to 20 minutes due to both cross's at various points and shunting activity in Dynon. The morning VLine service to Melbourne can get from Craigeburn to Southern Cross yard in 26 minutes, but this is quite rare from my experience. I do not know about current practice as I have not been down to Melbourne for some time (like WHO would travel by train with the current past performance of the Albury train) but in the past the controlers were definitely giving the pass's priority., but one does get a situation like the morning Melbourne bound service where it has to cross the north bound XPT, (usually at Passing Lane 2) so a pass then has to be delayed.

I cannot see this changing any time soon though, neither the state or federal mobs appear to have any real time for rail

Its quite instructive to look at ARTC's timetables of the NE liine, the time taken for VLine services between Southern Cross and Seymour vary quite widely depending on apparently how many cross's there are. The evening service to Melbourne taking a good deal of time due I assume to the number of night freights going north.

woodford
woodford
Good Evening All,

I've been a long time lurker on this thread being a North East resident but I thought you might appreciate this. On the evening up service I now have a beaut routine. At Avenel I ring the Railway Hotel at Seymour and order a Parmi. I get off at Seymour wonder over to the pub, eat, wonder back, get on the velocity BG service and usually beat the Albury train into Southern Cross. Technically I think the ticket states no break of journey but no one has pulled me up on this yet. It's a nightmare of trip on that single standard gauge line but a decent feed makes the trip quite enjoyable.

Cheers,
Matho

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have regularly traveled down to Southern Cross on the morning train and IF its on time got of at Seymour (should arrive 0902) and transfered to the 0914 BG (Note 1). It is posssible for the Albury train to beat the local, in fact thats what the timetable says, and I have been on it when it has done so, but it is relatively rare. The major problem for this VLine service is the XPT , it is rarely on time which usually means waiting in one of the passing lanes for a cross, usually passing lane 2. sometimes 3.

Note 1: A major reason for this is I find the seating in the BN's VERY VERY uncomfortable (Note 2), where as the Sprinters are excellent and the VLocity's quite reasonable. The first time a did this I was stunned by how much better the ride was on the DMU's, The N sets REALLY are a "blast from the past".

Note 2: If the train is packed, a usual occurance, I have been known to stand all the to seymour, otherwise my legs get serious cramps.

woodford
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I have regularly traveled down to Southern Cross on the morning train and IF its on time got of at Seymour (should arrive 0902) and transfered to the 0914 BG (Note 1). It is posssible for the Albury train to beat the local, in fact thats what the timetable says, and I have been on it when it has done so, but it is relatively rare. The major problem for this VLine service is the XPT , it is rarely on time which usually means waiting in one of the passing lanes for a cross, usually passing lane 2. sometimes 3.

Note 1: A major reason for this is I find the seating in the BN's VERY VERY uncomfortable (Note 2), where as the Sprinters are excellent and the VLocity's quite reasonable. The first time a did this I was stunned by how much better the ride was on the DMU's, The N sets REALLY are a "blast from the past".

Note 2: If the train is packed, a usual occurance, I have been known to stand all the to seymour, otherwise my legs get serious cramps.

woodford
woodford
Standard gauge duplication between Broadmeadows Station and Wallan loop would have to help this situation ?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I have regularly traveled down to Southern Cross on the morning train and IF its on time got of at Seymour (should arrive 0902) and transfered to the 0914 BG (Note 1). It is posssible for the Albury train to beat the local, in fact thats what the timetable says, and I have been on it when it has done so, but it is relatively rare. The major problem for this VLine service is the XPT , it is rarely on time which usually means waiting in one of the passing lanes for a cross, usually passing lane 2. sometimes 3.

Note 1: A major reason for this is I find the seating in the BN's VERY VERY uncomfortable (Note 2), where as the Sprinters are excellent and the VLocity's quite reasonable. The first time a did this I was stunned by how much better the ride was on the DMU's, The N sets REALLY are a "blast from the past".

Note 2: If the train is packed, a usual occurance, I have been known to stand all the to seymour, otherwise my legs get serious cramps.

woodford
Standard gauge duplication between Broadmeadows Station and Wallan loop would have to help this situation ?
Nightfire

Agreed - or a number of places along the Seymour-Tottenham section.  Id say increased inland rail traffic would help here.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
http://minister.infrastructure.gov.au/chester/interviews/2017/dci060_2017.aspx

In this interview, Chester seems to be indicating 160kph running on the NESG.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
160 km/h won't happen without TWPS (or  a more advanced system) Installed on all trains that run on the North East Railway.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
160 km/h won't happen without TWPS (or  a more advanced system) Installed on all trains that run on the North East Railway.
Nightfire

True but it also won't happen if the track can't handle it.  With one the other would come i would imagine given TWPS etc is probably cheaper than track upgrades.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have regularly traveled down to Southern Cross on the morning train and IF its on time got of at Seymour (should arrive 0902) and transfered to the 0914 BG (Note 1). It is posssible for the Albury train to beat the local, in fact thats what the timetable says, and I have been on it when it has done so, but it is relatively rare. The major problem for this VLine service is the XPT , it is rarely on time which usually means waiting in one of the passing lanes for a cross, usually passing lane 2. sometimes 3.

Note 1: A major reason for this is I find the seating in the BN's VERY VERY uncomfortable (Note 2), where as the Sprinters are excellent and the VLocity's quite reasonable. The first time a did this I was stunned by how much better the ride was on the DMU's, The N sets REALLY are a "blast from the past".

Note 2: If the train is packed, a usual occurance, I have been known to stand all the to seymour, otherwise my legs get serious cramps.

woodford
Standard gauge duplication between Broadmeadows Station and Wallan loop would have to help this situation ?
Nightfire
From passing lane 1 to Wallan would be the way. It would not be to difficult to set up an overall time table, with all cross's south of Wallan or north of Seymour.

I personally think we can forget about 160kph running for quite sometime, at this stage, it requires way to much overall upgrades. Note, THE greatest amount of time could be saved by improving the run in between Albion and Southern Cross.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script, Whats the point of trying for 160kph running when its taking 20 minutes to get to Southern Cross from Totenham yard.

woodford
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Post Script, Whats the point of trying for 160kph running when its taking 20 minutes to get to Southern Cross from Totenham yard.

woodford
woodford

Just because one part of the line is poor doesnt mean you abandon improving the rest of it!

Or, why not do both?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Post Script, Whats the point of trying for 160kph running when its taking 20 minutes to get to Southern Cross from Totenham yard.

woodford

Just because one part of the line is poor doesnt mean you abandon improving the rest of it!

Or, why not do both?
james.au
You are correct of course James but I asked elsewhere if there was any prospect of improvements at SC and the RRL junction but it must be even worse on the SG. They already take the long way around and with the congestion being experienced coming off the flyover on the Up it must be a hell trip - there is nothing worse than getting to Footscray / Sunshine on time and then watching the timetable slip away as you stop start your way into Southern Cross.

BG
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Post Script, Whats the point of trying for 160kph running when its taking 20 minutes to get to Southern Cross from Totenham yard.

woodford

Just because one part of the line is poor doesnt mean you abandon improving the rest of it!

Or, why not do both?
You are correct of course James but I asked elsewhere if there was any prospect of improvements at SC and the RRL junction but it must be even worse on the SG. They already take the long way around and with the congestion being experienced coming off the flyover on the Up it must be a hell trip - there is nothing worse than getting to Footscray / Sunshine on time and then watching the timetable slip away as you stop start your way into Southern Cross.

BG
BrentonGolding

Are you saying you could get better time improvements in these sections?  If you are, id agree that you'd do them first if the bang for buck was better.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script, Whats the point of trying for 160kph running when its taking 20 minutes to get to Southern Cross from Totenham yard.

woodford

Just because one part of the line is poor doesnt mean you abandon improving the rest of it!

Or, why not do both?
You are correct of course James but I asked elsewhere if there was any prospect of improvements at SC and the RRL junction but it must be even worse on the SG. They already take the long way around and with the congestion being experienced coming off the flyover on the Up it must be a hell trip - there is nothing worse than getting to Footscray / Sunshine on time and then watching the timetable slip away as you stop start your way into Southern Cross.

BG
BrentonGolding
To get 160kph running will be a VERY expensive undertaking and because of the number of stops the VLine services make will not produce much of an improvement over 130kph running as one would think. The cost of improving the PASS lines from Totenham to Southern Cross would likley be a far cheaper, exercise.

From my experience the time delay comming in from Broadmedows is mostly in South Dynon, its NOT unusualy to sit at the signals near Victoria st just at the exit of Tottenham yard for 5 to 15 minutes or more, apparently because there's a freight shunting in Dynon using the pass lines. Surely it would not take billions of dollars to fix this...................................

woodford
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Would It be practical to dual gauge the RRL from the North Melbourne flyover (where SG exits towards Dynon) to South Kensington than down the double dual gauge down the goods line to Sims Street junction.

Or Is Sims Street junction the chock point ?
  richter170 Locomotive Driver

It's probably too late now but if there was a magic pit of $$$ to throw at the Albury SG this is what I'd do. It's a well known fact all the time is lost between Sunshine and Southern Cross.

Just after leaving Sunshine on the SG towards Melbourne a high speed set of points could be installed and the train go up and over on a flyover cross the freight lines and Metro Sunbury line to join the broad gauge RRL. It has to do it quick to drop the grade before the bridge that carries SG to Newport. There is a lot of room in that area for a bridge like the skyrail project.

The negative side is that a 3rd rail would have to be installed on virtually brand new concrete sleepers. The other option is a gauntlet track so that the rail gap is wide enough.

In regards from North Melbourne into Southern Cross, whoever designed spion kop into platforms 1 to 8 must only have thomas the tank engine train sets at home. The curves around the car wash are something out of a model train set and as such so are the flyover curves that were designed for light engine moves only as well as standard gauge.

Is there a way that a flyover skyrail type designcould commence at spion kop with higher speed points to 15/16 platform and the line take a lesser curve than the current setup to rejoin the grade coming off the flyover into SC. This would make the original flyover redundant but the new one would follow a better alignment.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Would It be practical to dual gauge the RRL from the North Melbourne flyover (where SG exits towards Dynon) to South Kensington than down the double dual gauge down the goods line to Sims Street junction.

Or Is Sims Street junction the chock point ?
Nightfire

I do not know, when the pass is delayed around that area, it always sits at the signals on the bunbury st tunnel side of Tottenham yard. The problem appears to be South Dynon yard has either insufficent flexibilty for its major use or is being used incorrectly. Almost all other freight yards have receiving and departure tracks so that incoming and out going trains do not block the main line. South Dynon does not APPEAR to have such. So incoming and outgoing freights are blocking the main line. Its almost certainly ANOTHER example of inadequate investment in transport infrastructure.

I have heard the Melbourne city council would dearly like a lot of the facilities at South Dynon to be shifted somewhere else, to enable better use of the land, such a move would likely get rid of all the problems,as it would just leave a couple of access tracks and storage sidings for SG passes and loco's.

From my experience getting from North Melbourne to Southern Cross is not a real issue for the SG passes CURRENTLY(Note 1) as the SG entrance to SC is relatively straight forward and there is only 2 platforms that can be used.

Note 1: If the number of SG passes increase greatly, say if Shepparton is regauged we will probably end up with a real pigs breakfast.

woodford
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It's probably too late now but if there was a magic pit of $$$ to throw at the Albury SG this is what I'd do. It's a well known fact all the time is lost between Sunshine and Southern Cross.

Just after leaving Sunshine on the SG towards Melbourne a high speed set of points could be installed and the train go up and over on a flyover cross the freight lines and Metro Sunbury line to join the broad gauge RRL. It has to do it quick to drop the grade before the bridge that carries SG to Newport. There is a lot of room in that area for a bridge like the skyrail project.

The negative side is that a 3rd rail would have to be installed on virtually brand new concrete sleepers. The other option is a gauntlet track so that the rail gap is wide enough.

In regards from North Melbourne into Southern Cross, whoever designed spion kop into platforms 1 to 8 must only have thomas the tank engine train sets at home. The curves around the car wash are something out of a model train set and as such so are the flyover curves that were designed for light engine moves only as well as standard gauge.

Is there a way that a flyover skyrail type designcould commence at spion kop with higher speed points to 15/16 platform and the line take a lesser curve than the current setup to rejoin the grade coming off the flyover into SC. This would make the original flyover redundant but the new one would follow a better alignment.
richter170
Remember that the flyover was not built to the original design, it was one of the cost cutting "improvements" made by the incomin coalition government (as well as not building the flyover for the Bendigo line near Sunshine and simplification at Deer Park I think). It is not (IMHO of course) fit for purpose but it is pretty much too late now - it would require many more months of closures and bustifications to rip it down and re-do it after the travelling public put up with many months of that to build the RRL in the first place.

3rd rail from Sunshine would cut the line speed to 80km/h which would lose time for most services. With a good driver you can make up a fair bit of time from the curve at the Up side of Sunshine to West Footscray if the line is clear, I am not sure if it is 130 line speed but I have had some pretty quick trips through that section.

Having said that there is a section through Albion where the SG runs parallel to the BG track used by both Metro and Vline services before the regionals spud off onto the RRL so you could cross over there. I just think it would add too much time to the trip for the BG services to justify it.

On this topic has anyone got a copy of what the original flyover design was supposed to look like?

BG
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A team of 4 ARTC track workers spent a good portion of yesterday doing (at least) 3 welded rail joints on the West line opposite the old Violet Town signal box. They also leveled the track for around another 30 metres or so through the platform.

Why they did the joints I do not know, apparently no rail was replaced as no old rail segment was around the area, or on the truck. The only possible explanation I can come up with Is they were slightly retentioning the track (Note 1), they having done this along the line before.

Note: Getting the rail tensioning correct at first is done by a specialist time using a special tensioning rig that uses two large hydralic jacks per rail. Some time back they retensioned the track through platform 1 at Benalla, engineering staff had marked the track at a number of places for it to b cut and then welded.

woodford
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

It's probably too late now but if there was a magic pit of $$$ to throw at the Albury SG this is what I'd do. It's a well known fact all the time is lost between Sunshine and Southern Cross.

Just after leaving Sunshine on the SG towards Melbourne a high speed set of points could be installed and the train go up and over on a flyover cross the freight lines and Metro Sunbury line to join the broad gauge RRL. It has to do it quick to drop the grade before the bridge that carries SG to Newport. There is a lot of room in that area for a bridge like the skyrail project.

The negative side is that a 3rd rail would have to be installed on virtually brand new concrete sleepers. The other option is a gauntlet track so that the rail gap is wide enough.

In regards from North Melbourne into Southern Cross, whoever designed spion kop into platforms 1 to 8 must only have thomas the tank engine train sets at home. The curves around the car wash are something out of a model train set and as such so are the flyover curves that were designed for light engine moves only as well as standard gauge.

Is there a way that a flyover skyrail type designcould commence at spion kop with higher speed points to 15/16 platform and the line take a lesser curve than the current setup to rejoin the grade coming off the flyover into SC. This would make the original flyover redundant but the new one would follow a better alignment.
Remember that the flyover was not built to the original design, it was one of the cost cutting "improvements" made by the incomin coalition government (as well as not building the flyover for the Bendigo line near Sunshine and simplification at Deer Park I think). It is not (IMHO of course) fit for purpose but it is pretty much too late now - it would require many more months of closures and bustifications to rip it down and re-do it after the travelling public put up with many months of that to build the RRL in the first place.

3rd rail from Sunshine would cut the line speed to 80km/h which would lose time for most services. With a good driver you can make up a fair bit of time from the curve at the Up side of Sunshine to West Footscray if the line is clear, I am not sure if it is 130 line speed but I have had some pretty quick trips through that section.

Having said that there is a section through Albion where the SG runs parallel to the BG track used by both Metro and Vline services before the regionals spud off onto the RRL so you could cross over there. I just think it would add too much time to the trip for the BG services to justify it.

On this topic has anyone got a copy of what the original flyover design was supposed to look like?

BG
BrentonGolding
There is no spare capacity on RRL tracks at peak time, so no room for any sg trains, they are best where they are now on separate sg track from Flyover Junction via Bunbury St tunnel and Tottenham to Sunshine .
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Because I can, myself and a few friends travelled from Ballan to Albury yesterday for lunch via the XPT in both directions.

The down train seemed to have more pax in First class than Economy as Car B (First saloon sitter)was quite full. Car A First class compartments were also fully occupied. The up train could have fitted into 1 bus

The train kept good time until we had a few late running crosses then we were 15" late into Albury, but that was fine. I clocked the train at 135KPH on one better stretch of track near Barnawartha.

The real issues on the down were beyond Seymour and in some parts of the WEST line before Seymour where the condition of the track can only be described as fair.
Cars bottoming out at speed in apparent mud-holes, loud thump sounds as the cars jerked to the right or left at speed which resembled being in the agitator of a washing machine.

The up journey on the EAST line was actually worse Exclamation

Even more thumping sounds as the cars jerked to the right or left at speed and cars bottoming out regularly along many stretches of track...and the only thing that made the ride in the cars acceptable, which compared to the rest of Victoria's network, the NE line definitely is NOT is that the XPT cars have always had very good riding air bag bogies. The ride in the N cars at the slower 115 KPH operating speed with their renowned poor riding qualities must be dreadful.

To summarise...the NE line, particularly the EAST line remains a BASKET CASE Exclamation

Mike.
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

Because I can, myself and a few friends travelled from Ballan to Albury yesterday for lunch via the XPT in both directions.

The down train seemed to have more pax in First class than Economy as Car B (First saloon sitter)was quite full. Car A First class compartments were also fully occupied. The up train could have fitted into 1 bus

The train kept good time until we had a few late running crosses then we were 15" late into Albury, but that was fine. I clocked the train at 135KPH on one better stretch of track near Barnawartha.

The real issues on the down were beyond Seymour and in some parts of the WEST line before Seymour where the condition of the track can only be described as fair.
Cars bottoming out at speed in apparent mud-holes, loud thump sounds as the cars jerked to the right or left at speed which resembled being in the agitator of a washing machine.

The up journey on the EAST line was actually worse Exclamation

Even more thumping sounds as the cars jerked to the right or left at speed and cars bottoming out regularly along many stretches of track...and the only thing that made the ride in the cars acceptable, which compared to the rest of Victoria's network, the NE line definitely is NOT is that the XPT cars have always had very good riding air bag bogies. The ride in the N cars at the slower 115 KPH operating speed with their renowned poor riding qualities must be dreadful.

To summarise...the NE line, particularly the EAST line remains a BASKET CASE Exclamation

Mike.
The Vinelander
How,in your opinion, considering both tracks, is the condition of the section between Benalla and Albury?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
How,in your opinion, considering both tracks, is the condition of the section between Benalla and Albury?
Inland_Sailor

On the DOWN, there was a reasonably smooth section of a few Km between Barnawartha and Wodonga where the train was doing 130+ KPH, however on the UP, there were no sections that could be called good riding track. Bumps, jerks to the right or left that felt like getting mild whiplash and when the cars jerked right or left or bottomed out it was interesting to see the concertinas between the cars as they coped with the exaggerated movements at the end of each car.

We were booked at the DOWN end of Car B, right over the wheels, but that's no excuse for the poor riding qualities of the track.

Idea...Question...

How do you, as an over 60's, get from Melbourne to Broken Hill for $5.00, yes $5.00 Exclamation

Mike.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The real issues on the down were beyond Seymour and in some parts of the WEST line before Seymour where the condition of the track can only be described as fair.

Last time I was in Seymour the West line started at a turnout at the north end of the yard.

Has standard gauge gained a second track south of Seymour? I know about the "passing lane" at Tallarook but that hardly counts as a "west line".

Peter
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The real issues on the down were beyond Seymour and in some parts of the WEST line before Seymour where the condition of the track can only be described as fair.

Last time I was in Seymour the West line started at a turnout at the north end of the yard.

Has standard gauge gained a second track south of Seymour? I know about the "passing lane" at Tallarook but that hardly counts as a "west line".

Peter
M636C

Now it gets complicated...I hadn't mentioned this due to not wanting to make a long post...

The UP XPT was delayed at Seymour due to a freight derailment on the UP at Wallan. We waited at Seymour for around 40 mins then gave up...as others (overseas tourists, Sydneysiders etc) did who had no idea what a Myki is and we caught the 15:09 UP Sprinter ex Seymour.

The Sprinter was the rough riding train south of Seymour.

When we passed Wallan, we could see the derailed wagon in the loop with a few other freight wagons.

When we eventually arrived at Essendon we were way ahead of the XPT as it had to wait...somewhere...for the down Albury to cross and another freight as well.
Meanwhile the spark ahead of us at Essendon broke down or something curtailed its progress as we waited in the platform and nearby signalling for around 40 mins in total.

After waiting 30 mins at Essendon platform, I was ready to bail out and get the nearby tram which is what I suggested to a few overseas tourists and a Sydneysider who joined us in the Sprinter at Seymour...and that's exactly what they did.

By the time we arrived at SCS we were 35" late and the XPT had already arrived on platform 1.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A point worth remembering is the East line north of Seymour and the SG south of Seymour is the original SG line from Melbourne to Albury AND it was built VERY cheaply, particularly the drainage of it being VERY poor. ARTC has put a massive effort in trying to improve the line south of Seymour where the rainfall is highest, but the line really needs rebuilding from the ground up.
The problem is not the ARTC's fault, it is the government being tight fisted is the basic cause, in a democracy by definition then the blame falls back on us for not wanting to pay enough funds to run Australia's transport system (rail , roads, air and sea) in a truly long term sustainable fashion.

I do not hold high hopes for the Melbourne, Brisbane rail project, it will be built in the same tight fisted manner and end up in the same fashion.

It may surprise some people, but the world WILL still exist next year and it would best to look after it!!!!

woodford

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