Gippsland line closing again

 
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
Can't find a link anywhere, but a local news report this evening suggested that the Gippsland line beyond Traralgon will be closed for a month or so beginning in March for "improvements."

The spin cycle is well and truly continuing to function as it always has, since the works are merely of a remedial or maintenance nature.

Listed works included the replacement of the Latrobe River bridge near Kilmany, track (pit?) renewal at Rosedale, Sale and Bairnsdale, upgrades to various level crossings, and replacement of 27,000 wooden sleepers with the concrete variety.

Total cost was nominated as $10.5m; such a package of works would surely have been in planning for quite a while and will result in the eventual removal of speed restrictions but I'm wondering why it didn't go just a little bit further and include incremental conversion of the track to Class 2?

Sponsored advertisement

  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Can't find a link anywhere, but a local news report this evening suggested that the Gippsland line beyond Traralgon will be closed for a month or so beginning in March for "improvements."

The spin cycle is well and truly continuing to function as it always has, since the works are merely of a remedial or maintenance nature.

Listed works included the replacement of the Latrobe River bridge near Kilmany, track (pit?) renewal at Rosedale, Sale and Bairnsdale, upgrades to various level crossings, and replacement of 27,000 wooden sleepers with the concrete variety.

Total cost was nominated as $10.5m; such a package of works would surely have been in planning for quite a while and will result in the eventual removal of speed restrictions but I'm wondering why it didn't go just a little bit further and include incremental conversion of the track to Class 2?
DirtyBallast
The main work is the replacement of the bridge over the Latrobe River Overflow in the Rosedale - Sale section . The existing bridge is long overdue for replacement and consists of a long low approach wooden trestle and some very long older steel spans over the actual watercourse.
These spans have been weight restricted for many years .  The new bridge will totally replace a very long old structure.  Progressive replacement with concrete sleepers plus improved lx protection in this section should allow  Traralgon - Sale to eventually become Class-2 track allowing 115kmh for loco hauled and  130 kmh for V/Locity . The medium term plan is to extend a couple of Traralgon V/L trips to/from Sale to take Sale up to 5 return trips on Weekdays .
  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
27,000 sleepers to be replaced.  That is a big number. Over what sections?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I am puzzled by the exclusion of the bridge over the Avon at Stratford, I would have thought it needed almost as much attention as the one over the Latrobe? I shouldn't think it was able to be rated for Class 2 as it is.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

I am puzzled by the exclusion of the bridge over the Avon at Stratford, I would have thought it needed almost as much attention as the one over the Latrobe? I shouldn't think it was able to be rated for Class 2 as it is.
TheBlacksmith

$$$ I would imagine!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
27,000 sleepers to be replaced.  That is a big number. Over what sections?
JoppaJunction
27,000 sleepers would approximate 16 kilometres but over precisely what distance I don't know. I suspect, however, that the result may be less than spectacular, perhaps the usual 1 in 5 to hold the gauge but not much better. As has been said, it's all spin these days no one ever deals in detail or fact. Pleased to be proved wrong!
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
I am puzzled by the exclusion of the bridge over the Avon at Stratford, I would have thought it needed almost as much attention as the one over the Latrobe? I shouldn't think it was able to be rated for Class 2 as it is.
TheBlacksmith
Not only $$$, but since the bridge is in close proximity to Stratford station, all passenger trains would be travelling slowly across the river anyway. A new bridge with no speed restrictions would result in negligible timetable gains; there is no cost benefit at the moment. I'm not saying it's not worthy of an upgrade eventually though.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Not only $$$, but since the bridge is in close proximity to Stratford station, all passenger trains would be travelling slowly across the river anyway. A new bridge with no speed restrictions would result in negligible timetable gains; there is no cost benefit at the moment. I'm not saying it's not worthy of an upgrade eventually though.
DirtyBallast
Once the Latrobe River Overflow bridge is replaced plus some other ARMCO culvert bridges on the Bairnsdale line the focus will turn to the rail bridge over the Avon River at Stratford .  

Track Class- 3  100kmh loco hauled is quite adequate for Sale - Bairnsdale given the train frequency.  Sale - Traralgon may well move up to Class -2  115kmh for loco hauled and 130kmh for DMU when concrete sleepers are totally in track between Traralgon and Sale given planned increase in frequency of service .

Avon River bridge is an on going headache with wooden approach trestle spans,   and wrought iron steel spans on wooden piers .
In due course focus will come to either build a totally new bridge or alternatively to replace the wooden approach spans and old wrought iron spans on wooden piers at the Stratford end .
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
I am puzzled by the exclusion of the bridge over the Avon at Stratford, I would have thought it needed almost as much attention as the one over the Latrobe? I shouldn't think it was able to be rated for Class 2 as it is.
TheBlacksmith
Most rating here would refer to speed over bridge. Its not really an issue surely.

What has me curious is why the continued shutting of line.. No one thought to carry out multiple works under one shutdown ??

Idiots in charge obviously
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Not only $$$, but since the bridge is in close proximity to Stratford station, all passenger trains would be travelling slowly across the river anyway. A new bridge with no speed restrictions would result in negligible timetable gains; there is no cost benefit at the moment. I'm not saying it's not worthy of an upgrade eventually though.
DirtyBallast

The bridge at stratford was the reason ore trains could not be run from Bairnsdale to Geelong instead placing over 100 b double trucks per day on the princes highway which is what is about to happen.

I would have believed this bridge was in urgent need to replacement?
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
The bridge at stratford was the reason ore trains could not be run from Bairnsdale to Geelong instead placing over 100 b double trucks per day on the princes highway which is what is about to happen.

I would have believed this bridge was in urgent need to replacement?
bevans
The engineering to upgrade the bridge isnt rocket science. No train is really required to take it at speed. An issue is mainly clearance for Pax.

Currently its a ballasted through girder design. A lot of dead weight there really.Just happens to be an old VR preference for things ballasted.  Take away this ballast put new higher sleeper support sections upon original weight bearers and beef up approaches and you can run what you like effectively...at a modest speed, say up to 25kph across bridge.

It would take neither bucket loads of money nor excessive time to do.   If yo want to do this its quite straight forward.

Theres not a lot new in Railroad Bridge Engineering of this ilk.
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
The bridge at stratford was the reason ore trains could not be run from Bairnsdale to Geelong instead placing over 100 b double trucks per day on the princes highway which is what is about to happen.

I would have believed this bridge was in urgent need to replacement?
bevans
Bet you the real reason was Road lobby groups.. Wink

edit

or as Blacksmith now suggests not needed anyway !!
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
The bridge at stratford was the reason ore trains could not be run from Bairnsdale to Geelong instead placing over 100 b double trucks per day on the princes highway which is what is about to happen.

I would have believed this bridge was in urgent need to replacement?
bevans
If you are referring to the Eastern Iron Ltd. open cut proposal near Nowa Nowa, which is still in the proposal stage and has not begun mining, the company does not plan to use either road or rail to move the product to Geelong, their preferred method is to truck or build a slurry pipe to the nearest point on the coast and carry by modified oil tankers. See: http://www.easterniron.com.au/projects/nowa-nowa
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Before the most recent re-opening of the Sale - Bairnsdale line to restore passengers services to Bairnsdale  (Jeffed by Alan Brown in 1993) a most detailed engineering asessment of the Avon river rail bridge was done .  The bridge comprises three main sections  5 - 6 wrought iron straight spans on wooden trestles at the Down end, then a number of straight rivetted steel spans on brick and concrete piers arranged on a curve, then finally a large number of wooden and steel short spans on wooden piers on the flood plain at the Up end .

The wrought iron spans are near the end of their serviceable life and subject to both load and speed restrictions .  These old spans are supported on wooden piles that present an on going costly maintenance task in moist soil with much rapid deterioration of the wooden piles.  The  mild steel spans on the brick and concrete piers are adequate for task both load wise with speed restriction largely dictated by the deck being below and within the girders with restricted clearances within the girders on the curved structure .  The wooden approach spans are a high maintenance aspect again with decaying timbers and a mix of steel and timber spans restricting both axle load and speed .

In recent years a major project was undertaken where the wooden ballasted deck on the wrought iron and mild steel spans was removed and replaced with a corrugated galvanized steel deck with ballasted track on top .

As minimum improvements the old wrought iron spans and  supporting timebers need replacement with modern low maintenance spans, and the large number of timber piles and spans at the Up end need replacement with a a  much smaller number of modern low maintenance spans over the flood plain .  

Older bridges like this with  timber piles and spans the timber is not readily available in good red gum these days, and also the qualified tradesman to build and maintain such bridges are no longer around .      The State has plenty of good surplus steel spans ex rail bridges available to upgrade the Stratford approaches  like ex Sandy Creek bridge over Hume Weir  currently stored at  Bonegilla .
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Where are the bridge sections at Bonegilla? I had a bit of a look but could not see them.

I am surprised that, given that successive governments have been itching to close the Sale - Bairnsdale line, that they would consider the expensive bridge repairs mentioned here.
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
Another way out as far as the approaches go is to just bury them as they did in the good ol' days... build a reinforced embankment lower ( but high enough ) to contain and keep dumping soil...make the approaches simply a fill.  replace ballast sections of through bridge with elevated lifters upon existing bearers.

The only thing stopping a solution is the will to do so.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Before the most recent re-opening of the Sale - Bairnsdale line to restore passengers services to Bairnsdale  (Jeffed by Alan Brown in 1993) a most detailed engineering asessment of the Avon river rail bridge was done .  The bridge comprises three main sections  5 - 6 wrought iron straight spans on wooden trestles at the Down end, then a number of straight rivetted steel spans on brick and concrete piers arranged on a curve, then finally a large number of wooden and steel short spans on wooden piers on the flood plain at the Up end .

The wrought iron spans are near the end of their serviceable life and subject to both load and speed restrictions .  These old spans are supported on wooden piles that present an on going costly maintenance task in mosit soil with much rapid deterioration of the wooden piles.  The  mild steel spans on the brick and concrete piers are adequate for task both load wise with speed restriction largely dictated by the deck being below and within the girders with restricted clearances within the girders on the curved structure .  The wooden approach spans are a high maintenance aspect again with decaying timbers and a mix of steel and timber spans restricting both axle load and speed .

In recent years a major project was undertaken where the wooden ballasted deck on the wrought iron and mild steel spans was removed and replaced with a corrugated galvanized steel deck with ballasted track on top .

As minimum improvements the old wrought iron spans and  supporting timebers need replacement with modern low maintenance spans, and the large number of timeber piles and spans at the Up end need replacement with a a  uch smaller number of modern low maintenance spans over the flood plain .  

Older bridges like this with  timber piles and spans the timber is not reaily available in good red gum these days, and also the qualified tardesman to build and maintain such bridges are no longer around .      The State has plenty of good surplus steel spans ex rail bridges available to upgrade the Stratford approaches  like ex Sandy Creek bridge over Hume Weir  stored at  Bonegilla .
kuldalai
Examining the bridge also shows a massive error in its construction that is not often discussed.  It may be a bit difficult to describe but I will give it a go.

The main span of the bridge is a canter lever design and there is a span supported at each end by the over hanging spans each side.  To complicate issues the canter lever section is also curved.  The bridge would ordinarily required a 'left' canter lever span and a 'right' canter lever span.  The two items being essentially identical but a actually mirror of each other to accommodate the curve.   What has happened is that the two canter lever spans are of the same hand!   So hen installed adjustments were made for the bridge to fit together but also resulted in an unusual kink in the alignment.  This results in an infringement to the possible loading gauge which sees the current restrictions for long/wide vehicles on the structure.

One can only imagine the contract warfare that took place when the error was identified.  History has shown compromises were made due to the construction progressing too far and there is a legacy that is all for all to see today.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Where are the bridge sections at Bonegilla? I had a bit of a look but could not see them.

I am surprised that, given that successive governments have been itching to close the Sale - Bairnsdale line, that they would consider the expensive bridge repairs mentioned here.
TheBlacksmith
The bridge spans were stored there  as is  a year or so ago . At one stage it was planned to use some of these surplus spans over the soon to be replaced Latrobe river Overflow between Rosedale and Sale .
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Another way out as far as the approaches go is to just bury them as they did in the good ol' days... build a reinforced embankment lower ( but high enough ) to contain and keep dumping soil...make the approaches simply a fill.  replace ballast sections of through bridge with elevated lifters upon existing bearers.
SPSD40T2
The area is a wide flood plain, subject to periodic heavy floods, so piers would be more practical than am embankment.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Examining the bridge also shows a massive error in its construction that is not often discussed.  It may be a bit difficult to describe but I will give it a go.

The main span of the bridge is a canter lever design and there is a span supported at each end by the over hanging spans each side.  To complicate issues the canter lever section is also curved.  The bridge would ordinarily required a 'left' canter lever span and a 'right' canter lever span.  The two items being essentially identical but a actually mirror of each other to accommodate the curve.   What has happened is that the two canter lever spans are of the same hand!   So hen installed adjustments were made for the bridge to fit together but also resulted in an unusual kink in the alignment.  This results in an infringement to the possible loading gauge which sees the current restrictions for long/wide vehicles on the structure.

One can only imagine the contract warfare that took place when the error was identified.  History has shown compromises were made due to the construction progressing too far and there is a legacy that is all for all to see today.
skitz
I doubt it . There is an excellent  history of the Avon River bridge in the ARHS Bulletin somewhere .  It is quite normal for the cantilever joins in such bridges to be mid span rather than on top of a pier .

Originally the main stream of the Avon River flowed under the wrough iron spans at the Down end and the supporting piers had elaborate baffles to deflect  debris in the river flow .  Today the main stream is beneath the mild steel spans .

Originally the bridge was the  wrought iron spans and the rest was just wooden trestles .  Then in the early 1920 era over two stages the mild steel spans on the brick and then concrete pillars were installed .

When this river floods it really floods and as recently as the late 1980's a portion of the approach trestles were washed away .  This was replaced with a two span steel and concrete bridge towards the Up end .

It is not practical to fill in the trestle area with an embankment and  culverts as the daming effect under flood is too great, and that is why the long approach trestles remain .  BUT the large number of small spans could and should be replaced by a number of much longer spans supported on a much smaller number of piers which would improve the water flow through under flood .  Any bridge alterations or new structure has to be approved by Avon Catchment Management Authority .
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
The area is a wide flood plain, subject to periodic heavy floods, so piers would be more practical than am embankment.
TheBlacksmith
Id argue for the times this happens versus a decent dam style retaining structure to encase the embankment that thered be more than sufficient  opening for water to course. Most of the hydro pressure is to the southern bank. I wouldnt envisage a problem. far cheaper than building new piers and such.

As insurance possibly...throw some larger corri culverts between existing piers before filling.
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
I doubt it . There is an excellent  history of the Avon River bridge in the ARHS Bulletin somewhere .  It is quite normal for the cantilever joins in such bridges to be mid span rather than on top of a pier .

Originally the main stream of the Avon River flowed under the wrough iron spans at the Down end and the supporting piers had elaborate baffles to deflect  debris in the river flow .  Today the main stream is beneath the mild steel spans .

Originally the bridge was the  wrought iron spans and the rest was just wooden trestles .  Then in the early 1920 era over two stages the mild steel spans on the brick and then concrete pillars were installed .

When this river floods it really floods and as recently as the late 1980's a portion of the approach trestles were washed away .  This was replaced with a two span steel and concrete bridge towards the Up end .

It is not practical to fill in the trestle area with an embankment and  culverts as the daming effect under flood is too great, and that is why the long approach trestles remain .  BUT the large number of small spans could and should be replaced by a number of much longer spans supported on a much smaller number of piers which would improve the water flow through under flood .  Any bridge alterations or new structure has to be approved by Avon Catchment Management Authority .
kuldalai
very interesting..

Cantilevers cant join at a pier , that would make them simple spans, so its not just 'quite normal' its illogical otherwise.  The cantilever IS the part joining mid span .
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
If you are referring to the Eastern Iron Ltd. open cut proposal near Nowa Nowa, which is still in the proposal stage and has not begun mining, the company does not plan to use either road or rail to move the product to Geelong, their preferred method is to truck or build a slurry pipe to the nearest point on the coast and carry by modified oil tankers. See: http://www.easterniron.com.au/projects/nowa-nowa
TheBlacksmith


I don't really see how a high cost miro miner will manage to break Into the Iron ore export market ?

The World's top 3 Iron ore miners would just send them broke, with low prices (buy them out at fire sale prices and than shut them down)
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: Standing at the limit of an endless ocean
Sale - Traralgon may well move up to Class -2  115kmh for loco hauled and 130kmh for DMU when concrete sleepers are totally in track between Traralgon and Sale given planned increase in frequency of service .
kuldalai
To clarify - an upgrade from Class 3 to Class 2 requires re-railing with heavier rail, yes?

I hope that the re-railing at the three stations about to happen as part of the upcoming project would include this heavier rail. Not that any speed improvements would be gained at the stations themselves, of course, but any eventual improvement must start somewhere.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Id argue for the times this happens versus a decent dam style retaining structure to encase the embankment that thered be more than sufficient  opening for water to course. Most of the hydro pressure is to the southern bank. I wouldnt envisage a problem. far cheaper than building new piers and such.

As insurance possibly...throw some larger corri culverts between existing piers before filling.
SPSD40T2

Nearly all bridges and causeways crossing rivers are built to accommodate a 100 year flood event. If this is not done there is a ___REAL____ possibility that such an event will wash away the whole structure. Major bridge building has been going on for at least 2500 years engineers over that period of time have built up an ___________GREAT_____________ deal of experience of what may happen.

woodford

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.