Echuca Line Crossing Upgrades

 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Would there be any benefit for extending services across the river to Moama?
Thanks
Moama station has long been demolished.
Nightfire

Was this station ever owned or managed by NSW?

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Would there be any benefit for extending services across the river to Moama?
Thanks
Moama station has long been demolished.

Was this station ever owned or managed by NSW?
bevans
VR, though built by a private company.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deniliquin_and_Moama_Railway_Company
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
VR, though built by a private company.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deniliquin_and_Moama_Railway_Company
Nightfire

Would there be any merit in considering another station on the original site should it be available?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
VR, though built by a private company.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deniliquin_and_Moama_Railway_Company

Would there be any merit in considering another station on the original site should it be available?
bevans
You would have to ask the buffoons at Macquarie Street !
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Cobram may want there service back first possibly even tocumwal.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Cobram may want there service back first possibly even tocumwal.
freightgate
There will NOT be any return of VLP passenger rail services beyond Shepparton .  A detailed previous Study into restoring rail passenger services found the costs t far exceed any likely patronage.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
Carnot
When the project was originally announced way back in 2011 a very niave VLP CEO announced that after 15 lx were upgraded to boom barriers that on Class 4 track 100kmh would be allowed for DMU.  

VLP now claim no knowledge of this announcement by then CEO  Barnett or  then Transport Minister  Mulder .

So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).  A solar boom barrier installation at  Huntly believed still not to have been commissioned after 2 years.  

10 bridges have been re decked in steel,  thousands of  new concrete sleepers put in the track . With  94lb CWR rail throughout one would think the track is nearer to Class 3 now which should allow 100kmh for DMU .  This would save 15 minutes on an Echuca trip.  Again another VLP  Blue Hills saga that drags on year after year, because no one at the top of VLP drives anything, whether it is the Echuca line speed or return of the Z cars .

If the current works involve more tie renewals and ballasting hopefully we are getting nearer to Class 3 track and the 100kmh speed.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
When the project was originally announced way back in 2011 a very niave VLP CEO announced that after 15 lx were upgraded to boom barriers that on Class 4 track 100kmh would be allowed for DMU.  

VLP now claim no knowledge of this announcement by then CEO  Barnett or  then Transport Minister  Mulder .

So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).  A solar boom barrier installation at  Huntly believed still not to have been commissioned after 2 years.  

10 bridges have been re decked in steel,  thousands of  new concrete sleepers put in the track . With  94lb CWR rail throughout one would think the track is nearer to Class 3 now which should allow 100kmh for DMU .  This would save 15 minutes on an Echuca trip.  Again another VLP  Blue Hills saga that drags on year after year, because no one at the top of VLP drives anything, whether it is the Echuca line speed or return of the Z cars .

If the current works involve more tie renewals and ballasting hopefully we are getting nearer to Class 3 track and the 100kmh speed.
kuldalai
Kuldalai


IIRC You mentioned that the timing sensors for the level crossings were set for 115 kph running, with that speed as the desired goal. Is that still the case?
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Interesting exchange on V/line;s Facebook page following an article about the Bendigo/Echuca/Swan Hill shutdown:

Christian Lewis: does this mean the possibility of higher line speeds after these upgrades, in particular on the Echuca Line?



Clim Pacheco : I hope this happens. I had reopened the Echuca line during my time as Group Manager V/Line Infrastructure and due to budget issues had to restrict speeds- but it was the only way to reopen closed down lines.



V/Line : Hi Christian, I'm not sure about this. You may have to wait until after the works when they have assessed everything to see if higher speeds are possible. - Carly.



So while the V/Line CEO may have promised higher speeds to Echuca several years ago, the funds allocated were probably insufficient to correct a track that was probably in need of substantial catch-up maintenance.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

V/Line : Hi Christian, I'm not sure about this. You may have to wait until after the works when they have assessed everything to see if higher speeds are possible. - Carly.



So while the V/Line CEO may have promised higher speeds to Echuca several years ago, the funds allocated were probably insufficient to correct a track that was probably in need of substantial catch-up maintenance.
mm42
We can only hope.  Hopefully any line speed increase also extends to freight and heritage locomotives too (currently limited to a patently ridiculous 65 km/h)...
  Carnot Minister for Railways


So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).  A solar boom barrier installation at  Huntly believed still not to have been commissioned after 2 years.  
kuldalai
Good news! Boom-gates and lights fitted and active at the Wakeman's Rd crossing:
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Previously posted :

"Clim Pacheco : I hope this happens. I had reopened the Echuca line during my time as Group Manager V/Line Infrastructure and due to budget issues had to restrict speeds- but it was the only way to reopen closed down lines."

Pacheco does not know what he is talking about .  North - Bendigo to Echuca was  NEVER a  Closed Line.  Always in recent years been Class - 4  Track with  94lb CWR .  With potential  Loco hauled Pass speed 65kmh and 80 kmh for DMU , as Class - 4 track .

With major tie renewal  largely done, bridges redecked in steel, major ballasting  and lx protection upgraded should be Class 3 after current works allowing  85 kmh loco hauled and 100 kmh for DMU .


  woodford Chief Commissioner

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
Carnot
When the project was originally announced way back in 2011 a very niave VLP CEO announced that after 15 lx were upgraded to boom barriers that on Class 4 track 100kmh would be allowed for DMU.  

VLP now claim no knowledge of this announcement by then CEO  Barnett or  then Transport Minister  Mulder .

So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).
"kuldalai"



A point on this is these are mostly little used level crossings, unfortunately one does get used to going through these without thinking particularly on lines with only a small amount of traffic, boom gates do give an extra level of protection.

I find drivers will usually give you a special whistle if one is approaching such a crossing at the same time as a train, this can scare the day lights out of one if one is as in a lot of these cases with these crossings are travelling on a road parrallel to the line in the same direction as the train. I am these days always carefull around these crossings, having had a grain train come up behind me when travelling down such a road.

woodford
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
When the project was originally announced way back in 2011 a very niave VLP CEO announced that after 15 lx were upgraded to boom barriers that on Class 4 track 100kmh would be allowed for DMU.  

VLP now claim no knowledge of this announcement by then CEO  Barnett or  then Transport Minister  Mulder .

So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).  A solar boom barrier installation at  Huntly believed still not to have been commissioned after 2 years.  

10 bridges have been re decked in steel,  thousands of  new concrete sleepers put in the track . With  94lb CWR rail throughout one would think the track is nearer to Class 3 now which should allow 100kmh for DMU .  This would save 15 minutes on an Echuca trip.  Again another VLP  Blue Hills saga that drags on year after year, because no one at the top of VLP drives anything, whether it is the Echuca line speed or return of the Z cars .

If the current works involve more tie renewals and ballasting hopefully we are getting nearer to Class 3 track and the 100kmh speed.
Kuldalai


IIRC You mentioned that the timing sensors for the level crossings were set for 115 kph running, with that speed as the desired goal. Is that still the case?
Duncs
The then Executive General Manager responsible told me all Bendigo - Echuca  lx are set up for eventual 130 kmh DMU operation when and if it is upgraded to Class 2 track . In the first instance VLP were working towards Class 3 to allow 100kmh on Class 3 track with the existing 94lb CWR .  That was around 2.5 years ago .
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Well it's late 2016 and you would hope there's a desire by VLP to speed up Echuca services. Not hopeful though.

From what I've seen much of the work at present involves ballast renewal and replacing shot sleepers. Will have a closer look in coming days and report back...
When the project was originally announced way back in 2011 a very niave VLP CEO announced that after 15 lx were upgraded to boom barriers that on Class 4 track 100kmh would be allowed for DMU.  

VLP now claim no knowledge of this announcement by then CEO  Barnett or  then Transport Minister  Mulder .

So we have upgarded 15 crossings plus to boom barriers, including ones either side of stations where train speed is 65kmh and the pre existing flashing lights would have been adequate  (VLP gold plating everything again).  A solar boom barrier installation at  Huntly believed still not to have been commissioned after 2 years.  

10 bridges have been re decked in steel,  thousands of  new concrete sleepers put in the track . With  94lb CWR rail throughout one would think the track is nearer to Class 3 now which should allow 100kmh for DMU .  This would save 15 minutes on an Echuca trip.  Again another VLP  Blue Hills saga that drags on year after year, because no one at the top of VLP drives anything, whether it is the Echuca line speed or return of the Z cars .

If the current works involve more tie renewals and ballasting hopefully we are getting nearer to Class 3 track and the 100kmh speed.
Kuldalai


IIRC You mentioned that the timing sensors for the level crossings were set for 115 kph running, with that speed as the desired goal. Is that still the case?
The then Executive General Manager responsible told me all Bendigo - Echuca  lx are set up for eventual 130 kmh DMU operation when and if it is upgraded to Class 2 track . In the first instance VLP were working towards Class 3 to allow 100kmh on Class 3 track with the existing 94lb CWR .  That was around 2.5 years ago .
kuldalai
Do you know if they are using Harmon or similiar predictive controllers, I assume they are. I have seen them installing some items around 2 kilometres from the MIdland Hwy crossing, but I did not stop to see if it was the loop filters that the Harmon's use. Note: On the NE SG line these are placed 6000ft from the required crossing, there in small aluminum box's on posts, usually with the filter frequency writen on the out side.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Do you know if they are using Harmon or similiar predictive controllers, I assume they are. I have seen them installing some items around 2 kilometres from the MIdland Hwy crossing, but I did not stop to see if it was the loop filters that the Harmon's use. Note: On the NE SG line these are placed 6000ft from the required crossing, there in small aluminum box's on posts, usually with the filter frequency writen on the out side.
woodford

According to the network operating data, a mixture of conventional track circuits, predictive controllers, and axle counters. Most of the recent work was axle counters.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I wrote to the minister asking about what upgrades were actually being done on the Echuca line, this is the response:

Upon receipt of your complaint, I liaised with V/Line and it advised me that there are no short term plans to increase the speed limit on the Echuca line.

Whilst it had been reported in the media that level crossing upgrades played a part in increasing the speed of rail services, the scope of the level crossing upgrade was to improve safety, not increase speed. For the speed of trains between Echuca and Bendigo to increase to 100km per hour, further assessment against engineering and safety standards would be required. This involves infrastructure aspects not included in the level crossing upgrades such as track condition, signalling and operational restrictions. At this stage, there is no funding available for this additional work. For this reason, V/Line has imposed speed restrictions at locations between Bendigo and Echuca.

The completion of the level crossing upgrades allows for V/Line to undertake the necessary assessments in the future, but PTV does not have confirmation of when V/Line intends to investigate the feasibility of this project or when funding will become available.  


The current shutdown of Echuca, Bendigo, and Swan Hill train services is for the purpose of replacing thousands of sleepers, tonnes of ballast, and renew rail bridges along 380km of track, and to ensure services remain comfortable and safe for customers. Further details about the project and its impact on customers is available at [color=#1155cc][size=2][font=arial, sans-serif][color=blue][size=2][font=Arial][u]vline.com.au.[/u][/font][/size][/color][/font][/size][/color]

The Minister's Office thanks you for your patience during this time and for your feedback.

Kind regards,



Beata Kroft
Customer Advocate Officer
PTV Customer Experience
Somebody
So basically, no upgrades until signalling is done, any past claims about increasing speed were actually incorrect. V/Line are sitting on their hands about when they are actually going to look into doing any of that though.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Seriously, I think it's mix of laziness and buck passing. No one is willing to take responsibility to improve the service for customers.

As long as we keep pestering the powers that be, we may see some concrete action at some point in time. What a saga. A soap opera. Maybe an FOI enquiry might help?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Seriously, I think it's mix of laziness and buck passing. No one is willing to take responsibility to improve the service for customers.

As long as we keep pestering the powers that be, we may see some concrete action at some point in time. What a saga. A soap opera. Maybe an FOI enquiry might help?
Carnot
What is clear is that then VLP CEO Barnett and then Minister Mulder both announced November , 2011 that after15 lx had been fitted with boom barriers that the speed of Echuca trains would be increased to 100kmh .  Clearly 5 years on that has NOT happened, and now current VLP Management give the Colonel Klink defence - "I know nussing !", and both Ministers Mulder and  Jacinta Allen were/are  not interested in seeing that VLP deliver, or investigating what person in VLP made the 100kmh speed promise  ?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Seriously, I think it's mix of laziness and buck passing. No one is willing to take responsibility to improve the service for customers.

As long as we keep pestering the powers that be, we may see some concrete action at some point in time. What a saga. A soap opera. Maybe an FOI enquiry might help?
Carnot
What is clear is that then VLP CEO Barnett and then Minister Mulder both announced November , 2011 that after15 lx had been fitted with boom barriers that the speed of Echuca trains would be increased to 100kmh .  Clearly 5 years on that has NOT happened, and now current VLP Management give the Colonel Klink defence - "I know nussing !", and both Ministers Mulder and  Jacinta Allen were/are  not interested in seeing that VLP deliver, or investigating what person in VLP made the 100kmh speed promise  ?
"kuldalai"


Errrrrrrrrrr, May I point out that Mulder was a Liberal politician and we currently have a Labor government and in Victoria promises of another pollical party are essentially treated as works of the devil! Wink

I assume all the electrates up that way are solidly National Party and are considered unwinable so its not worth doing anything.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

I assume someone has a copy of a Northern And Midlands Working Time Table, dating back to the 1970's when DERMs were all the rage. They should have taken a bit longer to do the trip if limited to 75km/h than now, as they had the extra stop at Goornong, also exchanging Electric Staves at North Bendigo, Goornong, Elmore and Rochester. Somewhere down the back you will see the line speeds. Those poor old DERMs also had to drag a C van along, discharging van goods especially at Elmore (connection to Cohuna). Would be interesting to see just how much slower things were in those days compared to the present, with high powered trains with all cars powering, no staff working, no van goods.

Given that the track alignment hasn't changed, that the rail weights are at least as good (possibly better), the comparison may be interesting. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of that old WTT, maybe someone here has?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Seriously, I think it's mix of laziness and buck passing. No one is willing to take responsibility to improve the service for customers.

As long as we keep pestering the powers that be, we may see some concrete action at some point in time. What a saga. A soap opera. Maybe an FOI enquiry might help?
What is clear is that then VLP CEO Barnett and then Minister Mulder both announced November , 2011 that after15 lx had been fitted with boom barriers that the speed of Echuca trains would be increased to 100kmh .  Clearly 5 years on that has NOT happened, and now current VLP Management give the Colonel Klink defence - "I know nussing !", and both Ministers Mulder and  Jacinta Allen were/are  not interested in seeing that VLP deliver, or investigating what person in VLP made the 100kmh speed promise  ?


Errrrrrrrrrr, May I point out that Mulder was a Liberal politician and we currently have a Labor government and in Victoria promises of another pollical party are essentially treated as works of the devil! Wink

I assume all the electrates up that way are solidly National Party and are considered unwinable so its not worth doing anything.
woodford
Half of the Echuca line is in the Minister's own electorate, Bendigo East, the other half is in the National held Murray Plains District. You would think that the minister for Public Transport would be interested in improving a train line in her own electorate.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I assume someone has a copy of a Northern And Midlands Working Time Table, dating back to the 1970's when DERMs were all the rage. They should have taken a bit longer to do the trip if limited to 75km/h than now, as they had the extra stop at Goornong, also exchanging Electric Staves at North Bendigo, Goornong, Elmore and Rochester. Somewhere down the back you will see the line speeds. Those poor old DERMs also had to drag a C van along, discharging van goods especially at Elmore (connection to Cohuna). Would be interesting to see just how much slower things were in those days compared to the present, with high powered trains with all cars powering, no staff working, no van goods.

Given that the track alignment hasn't changed, that the rail weights are at least as good (possibly better), the comparison may be interesting. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of that old WTT, maybe someone here has?
hbedriver

Well that took about 90 seconds to research, courtesy of Mark Bau's invaluable site...Wink

http://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tt1967/tt1967_034.html

compared to todays...

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3f064c32-7c9e-4da3-88b1-21f69d35633d/Echuca-Melbourne

11 minutes quicker today than in 1967...

Mike.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

But look at 1954 timetable. 6 minutes slower than today and that's with a couple of extra stops! Progress?

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