Ballarat Line upgrades underway

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 20 Nov 2017 12:49
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
has anyone heard any info how the works are progressing, will the trains return as planned, next week, perhaps Gman might have the oil on this.
Big Shunter


I certainly don't claim to have any oil, just what I have seen as an observant local.


At Caroline Springs, there has been a lot of work being done around the clock, as is evident by the amount of work lights and working machinery visible as I drive past along the nearby freeway on my way to work at 4am every morning. I suspect this is trackwork but I will have time tomorrow to have a closer look and will report back.

Rockbank station will be closed until late August at the earliest. As with Caroline Springs, there is a lot of work happening around the clock there and I suspect that it will be mostly complete when re-opened.

The trackwork at Melton isn't finished although they finished the level crossing on Sunday, the new North track now extends from the end point of duplication just UP of the Weir Viaduct through Coburns Rd to an as yet unknown point. It looks as if the siding has been removed to make way for the rest of the new track, I suspect then a new siding will be built, I don't know this for sure (the siding had seen daily use before this current closure, so I am guessing that means it will be replaced). So I suspect this particular stretch of trackwork here to be completed by Monday.

On the UP side of Melton station nothing appears to have been done with regards to joining the new Northern track with the existing loop line for Melton platform 2. The bridge over the Toolern Creek was completed months ago (from a structure point of view) but the track hasn't been laid over the bridge, as of now, the track just ends on the UP side of the bridge and the easement has been built but still no track for that short stretch between the bridge and Exford Rd.

Furthermore, the level crossing on the UP side of Melton station (Exford Rd/ Station Rd) although double track will most likely need to be re-laid as the points are very close to the crossing even in the crossing a little bit. These points will be redundant once the new track is all finished (there are new points on the opposite side of the creek) so I suspect that to happen soon, probably over a weekend.

At Bacchus Marsh, the bridge span above the station has been hoisted into place and the stairway has been partially built on the northern side. While the bridge span is in place, it is a long way from finished, but I assume most of that work can proceed while the line underneath it is in use. Their also is a lot of work being done on the new 2nd platform.

I can't comment on whether or not the line will re-open on Monday as advertised.

I will see if I can get more info tomorrow.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Just bringing it back to the Ballarat line works...

Bus was at the station for my 6:23 and -1c start and I was on-board with around 10 mins to spare. However after on-boarding a wheel chair which took the space of 6 regular seats, the bus was full around 3 mins before time. We left around 10 pax behind for the following service.

Interesting that not so long ago the bus would be half full when these bustitutions occurred.

Fortunately, an RDO in the building sector had us rolling down the Western Hwy with nary a delay, right over Westgate, Bolte and in to the bus terminal by 7:25, around 5 mins slower than my semi-express train.

A very good start to the week, but the tradies will be back tomorrow as will the congestion.

Mike.
Shocked......Well, after a few lefts and rights, might move back on track or to the track....Wink

Mike, how's the Bustitution running, still running to a reasonably tight schedule and has anyone heard any info how the works are progressing, will the trains return as planned, next week, perhaps Gman might have the oil on this.

BigShunter.

The buses in the morning, bearing in mind my express bus is departing at 6:23, or earlier if full is making good time to the City. This week, due to congestion on Westgate the driver (same driver every morning on the same service) headed along the Ring Rd towards Calder Fwy and went to the City that way.

Amazingly, from Ballan 1 hour exactly which is the same as the train which makes 2 stops.

Coming home though in the 16:33 express bus, always less crowded than the morning, but not a great run, though last nights 85 mins was about the best run so far. The train on a good night is 46 mins.

The Windle St level crossing on the UP side of Ballan will be complete with two tracks now and the cladding is going on the new pedestrian bridge at Ballan...lifts are being installed as well.

Tonight and tomorrow morning is all from me as I'm off to Cornwall for a week of GWR travel and thence by train to Bodo in northern Norway..

I'll probably report a bit in here as I've got a lot of cruising time in Norway.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Have a great trip - especially the Norway bit.
Get to Flåm and Narvik - Kiruna if you get half a chance.
A beautiful country. Not too many bloody people!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I look forward to reports enroute. Although I rarely post here these days I still lurk occasionally on 'special occasions'.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Although I rarely post here these days I still lurk occasionally on 'special occasions'.
YM-Mundrabilla
Good to know you’re still around, Yardmaster. Feel free to dispense caustic cynicism liberally as needed Laughing (and boy is it needed)
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Although I rarely post here these days I still lurk occasionally on 'special occasions'.
Good to know you’re still around, Yardmaster. Feel free to dispense caustic cynicism liberally as needed Laughing (and boy is it needed)
potatoinmymouth
Thanks PIMM. Much appreciated.
Thanks also to those who supported your post. Good to know that there are still some competent, sensible people here.
(To be honest, I found a level of 'tranquility' in not responding to the many clearly 'ill-informed' and acronym ridden posts.)
Keep smiling.Smile
Regards
YM
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
has anyone heard any info how the works are progressing, will the trains return as planned, next week, perhaps Gman might have the oil on this.

I certainly don't claim to have any oil, just what I have seen as an observant local.

I can't comment on whether or not the line will re-open on Monday as advertised.

I will see if I can get more info tomorrow.
Gman_86
Thanks for the Very informative post, G-man, well looks like a fair bit of oil to me, you might be under selling your observation skills, though.

Certainly a power of work being carried out on the Ballarat line, must be quite a work force involved, which is very pleasing to see, hopefully tonnes of skills being acquired and creating plenty of work with the supplying of goods, products, equipment and in doing so, keeping the economy active.

Be interesting to get a figure on the work force numbers, on the Melton and Ballan sections.

BigShunter.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner


Certainly a power of work being carried out on the Ballarat line, must be quite a work force involved, which is very pleasing to see, hopefully tonnes of skills being acquired and creating plenty of work with the supplying of goods, products, equipment and in doing so, keeping the economy active.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Further to Shunter's comments,
I had cause to spend the middle part of today in Ballan (took lunch at Zest, recommended) and saw plenty of hi-vis spending money in the shops. Between the Ballarat Line Upgrade, some wind turbine projects, and a couple of small contractors doing road and footpath works, should be a boon for the local economy
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Further to Shunter's comments,
I had cause to spend the middle part of today in Ballan (took lunch at Zest, recommended) and saw plenty of hi-vis spending money in the shops. Between the Ballarat Line Upgrade, some wind turbine projects, and a couple of small contractors doing road and footpath works, should be a boon for the local economy
Lockspike

Top observation Lockspike, I had forgotten the local economy where tradies will be swarming to the cafe's, take away joints, even supermarket and dare I even say it......... the bottle O ......Razz

Which reminded me of Horsham over the past 6 - 8 months, rental properties are at a premium, lately with the construction of the Murra Warra wind farm north of Horsham, again tradies renting anything in any condition and paying the $$$ big bucks for it and again the spin off is for the local business', pubs are rockin' every night.

So all the construction around Victorian railways, a lot is to be gained not only for rail passengers in the future but in the mean time, the business' supplying everything that goes along with, are reaping the benefits.

BigShunter.

and if anyones interested;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murra_Warra_Wind_Farm

https://reneweconomy.com.au/first-production-delivered-from-murra-warra-wind-farm-in-victoria-24316/

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=murra+warra+wind+farm&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=NTzbaZ73fWYMxM%253A%252Clmdq72soupAsMM%252C%252Fg%252F11f8p2yq52&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTx-tTQGsQl6K4zOW90jUqJFqFXBA&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjc0b-u_ZnjAhXPdCsKHXbQBLEQ_B0wDHoECAoQAw#imgrc=_&vet=1  some fantastic pictures here.

https://wimmeramalleenews.com.au/2018/11/22/murra-warra-windfarm-tours-a-great-success/
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Just a further update to my previous comments;

In Melton, the new line on the Down side of Melton station looks all connected up, with some signals moved and others in the process of being moved. The siding is under construction on its altered alignment and the turnout for said siding has been partially installed.

I suspect this stretch of track to be complete and in use in time for the re-opening of the line on Monday, possibly even with out of service trains running on it this weekend for driver training purposes if that is necessary.

Also, just a correction from my earlier post, the bridge over the Toolern Creek on the Up side of Melton Station has got track laid over it, but it ends just past the bridge, there is still no track between the bridge and Exford Rd. I don't see this being addressed by re-opening time.

As it stands now, there are 3 points that would need to be addressed to get trains running the full length of the duplication. They are Caroline Springs (I'm not sure what works have been done here, I haven't been able to get close enough to it yet, maybe tomorrow), the Hopkins Rd level crossing and the short stretch at Melton between Toolern Creek and Exford Rd.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
An update from Caroline Springs, the new duplicated track appears to have finally been connected to the existing track.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Another 4 day Occo coming up on Ballarat line in August suggests after that  Caroline Springs - Melton Weir  duplication will be commissioned but fine tuned to run existing timetable .   Grapevine says next major  Metro & VLP  timetable change will be mid  2020 .
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

That’s disappointing in some regards, but at least we’ll get a definitive look at whether reliability improves or if V/Line can’t run a double track railway much better than they can run a single track one.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
That’s disappointing in some regards, but at least we’ll get a definitive look at whether reliability improves or if V/Line can’t run a double track railway much better than they can run a single track one.
potatoinmymouth

From afar...may I suggest that the duplication of the line to Melton will allow some creativity on behalf of the train controllers when the timetable goes a bit pear shaped as it does occasionally.

Mike (in Cornwall).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

That’s disappointing in some regards, but at least we’ll get a definitive look at whether reliability improves or if V/Line can’t run a double track railway much better than they can run a single track one.

From afar...may I suggest that the duplication of the line to Melton will allow some creativity on behalf of the train controllers when the timetable goes a bit pear shaped as it does occasionally.

Mike (in Cornwall).
The Vinelander
Do we know for certain the line will be bidirectional? I'm so sorry if this has been answered here or somewhere else before, but without a search feature...
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
That’s disappointing in some regards, but at least we’ll get a definitive look at whether reliability improves or if V/Line can’t run a double track railway much better than they can run a single track one.

From afar...may I suggest that the duplication of the line to Melton will allow some creativity on behalf of the train controllers when the timetable goes a bit pear shaped as it does occasionally.

Mike (in Cornwall).
Do we know for certain the line will be bidirectional? I'm so sorry if this has been answered here or somewhere else before, but without a search feature...
potatoinmymouth
AFAIK Double line with ABS will be extended from Caroline Springs to Melton.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
The installation of new single signal masts along the length of the line suggests single direction (traditional up and down line) running for the majority of the line.

Melton Weir Junction to Melton (Up end) may be a different story though.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Did anyone hear the line was down with buses replacing trains on the first day it was taken back into service?  Operational Issues?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Did anyone hear the line was down with buses replacing trains on the first day it was taken back into service?  Operational Issues?
bevans
A couple of Bacchus Marsh shorts didn't run - either an issue getting trains out of the new stabling, or they were never sent back there before they reopened the line.
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
Did anyone hear the line was down with buses replacing trains on the first day it was taken back into service?  Operational Issues?
bevans
Yes, early that morning the V/Line line status was advising that works ran late and the line was closed, but it was quickly rectified with only a few services cancelled (as mentioned above my post)
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiM7EpwtQ0E
True Believers
Obviously made by the same team that produced Utopia for the ABC.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiM7EpwtQ0E
Obviously made by the same team that produced Utopia for the ABC.
nswtrains
Particularly this episode, where the Government advisor confuses an inland freight route with a very fast train.  

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6ldbxi
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
The first section of the overpass is up at Wendouree. Smile


https://flic.kr/p/2gTW6FD
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Thanks Gauntlet. Your updates are always appreciated, especially as RRR don't do much of it anymore

Neil
  @Capacity Station Staff

Location: On the Gippsland line, stuck behind a metro
Rockbank to Re-open Monday 26th of August. If your keen to check it out, there's an open day the Sunday before.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Rockbank to Re-open Monday 26th of August. If your keen to check it out, there's an open day the Sunday before.
@Capacity
a significant improvement on what was there. the regulars wont know what hit them. area growing rapidly will also benifit

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