4BM4 derailed north of Coffs Harbour

 
  Andrewdr Locomotive Fireman

Wonder how many years since the last culvert inspections?

Even if it was working as designed, culverts are designed on the best available data, as indicated before for a twenty year flood or similar where that data is available.

There have been relatively frequent occasions where track has washed away shortly after being installed.

The Tarcoola Alice Springs line was washed out before the line was completed.

Hamersley Iron lost its main line to Mt Tom Price fairly soon after opening, certainly in time for Mt Newman to replace a number of planned pipe culverts with small steel bridges giving much more flow area.

With the changes in weather recently, it is not surprising that some minor culverts have got into trouble.

Peter
M636C
WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad

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  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad
Andrewdr
The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad
The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
Lockspike
They didn't even get the gauge right Alice - Darwin but then neither did the Victorians with at least some of their Regional Rail.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad
The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
Lockspike
50kg rail is a new one to me. I was only aware of 41kg, 47 kg and 60 kg in metric times. Seems like 50kg might originally have been a NZ section? Apparently rails are no longer rolled at Port Kembla, but only at Wyalla now.

I live on the North Coast of NSW and I often see the steel train to Brisbane go by in the afternoon. It invariably has rails on it destined for QR, and I presumed they had come from Port Kembla, along with the rest of the steel on the train. So does some of the other steel also originate from Wyalla? If so that will all be going by the inland route pretty soon.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad
The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
50kg rail is a new one to me. I was only aware of 41kg, 47 kg and 60 kg in metric times. Seems like 50kg might originally have been a NZ section? Apparently rails are no longer rolled at Port Kembla, but only at Wyalla now.

I live on the North Coast of NSW and I often see the steel train to Brisbane go by in the afternoon. It invariably has rails on it destined for QR, and I presumed they had come from Port Kembla, along with the rest of the steel on the train. So does some of the other steel also originate from Wyalla? If so that will all be going by the inland route pretty soon.
hairylegs2
Open to correction but I was under the impression that all rails were rolled in Whyalla these days and that 50 kg was something special that Vline wanted for some reason. Perhaps as a more or less equivalent to the old 107/110 lb rail. Somebody will know.
  a6et Minister for Railways

WRT the Tarcoola/Alice line, the Highways Dept was planning, designing and constructing the new Pt Augusta/Alice Hwy around the same time. My colleague was the Planning Engineer in charge and I recall him shaking his head in disbelief at the lack of culverts under the adjacent sections railway line cf the provision made for the road. This was particularly apparent across flood plains where there was a lack of distinct watercourses but local knowledge indicated the need for regular culverts. A sort of "if it isn't obvious, it doesn't exist!" approach. Even after he gently offered his observations, nothing was done. After the flooding, the road suffered no damage: the railway - another story Sad
The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
50kg rail is a new one to me. I was only aware of 41kg, 47 kg and 60 kg in metric times. Seems like 50kg might originally have been a NZ section? Apparently rails are no longer rolled at Port Kembla, but only at Wyalla now.

I live on the North Coast of NSW and I often see the steel train to Brisbane go by in the afternoon. It invariably has rails on it destined for QR, and I presumed they had come from Port Kembla, along with the rest of the steel on the train. So does some of the other steel also originate from Wyalla? If so that will all be going by the inland route pretty soon.
Open to correction but I was under the impression that all rails were rolled in Whyalla these days and that 50 kg was something special that Vline wanted for some reason. Perhaps as a more or less equivalent to the old 107/110 lb rail. Somebody will know.
YM-Mundrabilla
50Kg, is pretty much what the old 106lb rail was in NSW, it was main line and where the line was straight was rated at 70mph for passenger services.  The short North was laid with that rail standard and the first to have 70mph rating for the mails and flier.  Some sections on the main south were upgraded and as the old 95lb 80mph rail was replaced it was replaced with the 106 standard.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

The Alice Springs - Darwin railway was built on a shoestring budget. They cleared the right of way, laid the track, and didn't do much else.
They used light rails (50kg), wide sleeper spacing and shallow ballast. Such sidings as necessary were put in, and no more. No allowance was made for future growth.

The usual practice in railway building is to clear and grub, install culverts in all depressions in the landscape, and then build the earthworks. On this railway they did the earthworks first, and then dug up the roadbed and earthworks to put in culverts. I'm not surprised they skimped on culverts, it fits with the ethos of the project.

The attitude regarding sidings was put them in as traffic demanded. I reckon the same applied to culverts -
put them in when and where they prove necessary.
50kg rail is a new one to me. I was only aware of 41kg, 47 kg and 60 kg in metric times. Seems like 50kg might originally have been a NZ section? Apparently rails are no longer rolled at Port Kembla, but only at Wyalla now.

I live on the North Coast of NSW and I often see the steel train to Brisbane go by in the afternoon. It invariably has rails on it destined for QR, and I presumed they had come from Port Kembla, along with the rest of the steel on the train. So does some of the other steel also originate from Wyalla? If so that will all be going by the inland route pretty soon.
Open to correction but I was under the impression that all rails were rolled in Whyalla these days and that 50 kg was something special that Vline wanted for some reason. Perhaps as a more or less equivalent to the old 107/110 lb rail. Somebody will know.
YM-Mundrabilla
I have done some digging and there are two 50kg sections; 50kg AS & 50kg NZ. The major difference is that the AS section has a foot of 127mm (5") and the NZ section has a foot of 132mm. The old 100, 103, 105, 107 lb NSW sections all had a foot of 5-3/4" (146mm). I have not heard of 110 lb rail in NSW; it appears to be a US section and has a foot of 5-1/2 inches, along with several similar sections.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
I must clarify that I wholeheartedly agree that track standards are higher now than they were in the past. I was referring to rolling stock in that instance and altered maintenance and inspection procedures which are resulting in higher rates of downtime and failure.
I don't know about the "Standards" as I am not privy to the current ARTC documantation. I do however travel around and look at the track, and I have seen some horrible track. My take is that on the North Coast at least, the current track condition is is generally worse than pre ARTC.
ARTC track standards documentation can be seen by anyone here: https://extranet.artc.com.au/eng_all.html

I find it interesting in another post you speculate a situation that ARTC don`t communicate with their customers ("Neither aware of the others in house standards or conflicting approaches"). I don`t see how this could be possible.
I didn't say that. I think the writer was referring to the head-hardened rail/ hardened wheel scenario. He also referred to an ARTC practice of only running empty coal trains through loops to minimise switch wear.

Thanks for the link to the Standards.
hairylegs2
My Apologies for the misquote. On checking it was lowtensionearth that mentioned this originally, I guess some problems with the quote system here it ended up under your name in a later quote. I should have been more careful.

I still dont see how such a scenario could be possible, considering the standards are public domain and there are contracts between the parties.
  lowtensionearth Station Master

Arctic, thank you for taking the time to respond. I am aware of the ARTC standards as well as the link you posted and as per the first line of the link, ‘the documents that are published in the above sub-sections are process procedures which outline the methods used to undertake work activities and may apply to all disciplines.’

The link is largely process forms, either request forms to guide operators or notification of how ARTC processes their own work. They unfortunately do not cover all aspects. ARTC does provide further information in the items such as the RAS Manuals also publicly accessible. Again, these are reflect current ARTC policy which can be summarised as concerned with wheel / rail interface, loading gauge and below rail only.

Each rail operator maintains a Safety Management System. It is what covers how they operate as well as the standards they operate their rail operations to. Each operators SMS is different and is firstly governed by obvious items such as minimum standards at the interface and the AQF. I won't delve deeply into explaining the purpose of an SMS here as it is quite involved. But I will quickly add that it covers all internal training, equipment maintenance and initial engineering processes and is influenced by risk profiles. The SMS process is monitored by the ONSSR. Operators may be members of the RISSB and adhere or submit alterations to their guidelines also.

ARTC has an obligation to meet the minimum end of their standard and the rail operators are also obligated to meet theirs at the interface.  There is nothing to prevent either from introducing new engineering provided they have done their own due-diligence, conformed to their own processes and SMS systems. A rail operator is not obligated to inform ARTC that they are using a wheel made of harder steel that is of the correct wheel profile and doesn’t deviate from the sizing originally submitted for approval.

Bringing my point back, with ARTC being concerned largely with below interface or rail only and the rail operators working to their own SMS and risk profiles above you can start to see how situations like I referenced occur. I acknowledge that conflicting may have been a poor choice of wording and non-complimentary better. At the end of the day non-complimentary decisions do have the ability to conflict and often do result in conflicting approaches.

NSW traditionally used different rail standards to the rest of Australia taking into account the curvature of much of the track. The 2CM or YM bogie was partly developed taking this into account. The NSW PTC of the time developed a bogie with improved ride and wear characterised alongside its own rail standards as part of a wholesale approach to reduce wear and maximise life at both ends of the engineering spectrum. My point is that there are still minimum standards which must be met to access the network. Such combined, mutually beneficial views are from my recent experiences not part of the Australian railway landscape at this time.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The line is now open with a 20 km./h speed limit so freight is moving again.
  lowtensionearth Station Master

So far as rolling stock is concerned one needs to remember:
  • Much rolling stock still in use on interstate trains is around 50 years old (the Whitlam wagons) ABFX, NQOY, NODY, VQCX, AOOX, AQMX etc and their heirs and successors/derivations. With proper maintenance age alone is not necessarily a problem with a well designed and built wagon.
  • Since the National Rail era everything works harder and runs much higher mileages than hitherto.
YM-Mundrabilla

My fullest respect intended, one of my final projects in the United States for the Class 1 railroad I spent 11 years with was as part of a work group implementing a life extension program for 1500, 1960s and 70s built PS-2 hopper cars for pellet traffic prior to wholesale replacement within the next 5 to 10 years.  The mileages run by North American cars in interchange service can be staggering.

Bodywork and paint is not a true reflection of the mechanical components or structure of a car and things are not as bad as the timber MLV vans and sticking triples of my early career. On returning to Australia I noted that we had not advanced our air brake maintenance in particular since I left. I was also able to observe Periodic Maintenance regimes in action. Overall, I was left with the impression that the General or GX Examination and PM maintenance regime was doing a disservice to the equipment. This despite having investigated it prior to its implementation for my then employer years earlier. I was also disappointed in the way and the conditions that much of the maintenance was being carried out. Having spent the past 20 years in an environment where wayside equipment is being continually improved and rolled out at a rapid pace I was more than a little bemused to find the same detectors with only marginal upgrades still in action with little else of substance introduced since.

Unrelated by I must say the European rollingstock I was able to witness was sublime. One particular set of Channel Tunnel approved vehicles I was fortunate to be involved with were as good if not better than any passenger rollingstock I have witnessed anywhere.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The line is now open with a 20 km./h speed limit so freight is moving again.
bevans

Further update

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/update-nana-glen-incident

Video of the works

http://dams.omni.com.au:8080/razuna/assets/2/76F0E07E9F864DCFB7A9A9B57DB71365/vid/6BCDEFF0BAD847868016DA18D9CD9489/ARTC_NanaGlenVNR1_Trackwork1.mp4
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some great photos of NR39 on its way to Broadmeadow.







Looks like only slight handrail damage.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

Some great photos of NR39 on its way to Broadmeadow.







Looks like only slight handrail damage.
bevans
Where is this? I wonder why they reversed 39 and the other two?
  bevans Site Admin
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Brilliant bevans thx
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
NR39 looks twisted on the bogies I think it is more than just handrail needing repair.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Speaking with others the area is the derailment had been suffiering from poor track quality. It is also quite windy through there which probably kept the speed down saving the locos.
  hairylegs2 Station Master

Speaking with others the area is the derailment had been suffiering from poor track quality. It is also quite windy through there which probably kept the speed down saving the locos.
freightgate
My observation is that the track in at least some places around there is visibly poor in terms of top and alignment. However from the photos that have been posted, there is no doubt that the derailment was caused by a washaway. The violent derailment considerably disturbed the track so no reliable track geometry measurements could be made afterwards.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

I have done some digging and there are two 50kg sections; 50kg AS & 50kg NZ. The major difference is that the AS section has a foot of 127mm (5") and the NZ section has a foot of 132mm. The old 100, 103, 105, 107 lb NSW sections all had a foot of 5-3/4" (146mm). I have not heard of 110 lb rail in NSW; it appears to be a US section and has a foot of 5-1/2 inches, along with several similar sections.
hairylegs2
40, 50 & 60kg are the Australian Standard rail sections.
40kg takes the place of the plethora of 80lb sections.
50kg has the same foot as 94lb
60kg has the same foot as 107lb.

94lb/47kg and 107lb/53kg are only available in small quantities by special order, and you'll wait until it suits Onesteel.

Rail production moved from Port Kembla to Whyalla while it was all still BHP.

I knew that NZ had their own 50kg section but didn't know what the difference was, thank you.

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