Murray Basin standardisation

 
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Does  Victrack or V/Line even have a track inspection vehicle?
bevans
Bevans,
It depends by what you mean by "track inspection vehicle".
IEV100 is Victrack's track geometry vehicle. Track geometry vehicles are known by various names, track inspection, track measuring, track evaluation, etc, but are these all names for measuring the geometry of the track.

The three "AK" cars, which seem to intrigue gunzels, are a track geometry train with accomodation and (visual) inspection saloons on board. They were originally developed by State Rail, then they went into a partnership with ARTC. Not sure now if Sydney Trains still has an interest. The AK code has for a long time been the code of the NSW's Chief Civil Engineer's inspection car. The converted FAM sleeping cars retained their original number but acquired the AK code.

Rail Flaw Detection uses ultrasonic processes. In Australia it is carried out on a contract basis, of which there are several providers. It can also be known as rail testing.

These days track geometry is usually measured at track speed (I've read of geometry vehicles measuring at up to 200km/h, maybe some are now even faster). Rail flaw detection is slow, hence the use of hi-rail vehicles; they can be put on and off track quickly to take advantage of breaks between trains.

In the past rail flaw detection vehicle was universally known as the "Sperry" car. Sperry Rail Services held contracts in Australia using converted ex US(?) self propelled diesel railcars. They abandoned their railcars and left Australia in great haste after a derailment due to a broken rail just after they had tested that area, so the story goes.

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  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
I am starting to see more evidence against the idea of standardizing this line...
And ignoring the longer term fact that without it, the operators were going to slowly start pulling services because they didnt see any financial reason to invest in newer, more efficient locos and wagons, leaving that 'beautiful' BG to waste away to nothing....
james.au
This Is what's going to happen In Queensland on lines rated less than 20 tonne axle load, no one will want to make long term Investments In light duty motive power and rolling stock, existing aging equipment will be just squeezed (ran Into the ground) to the point they become unserviceable.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I am starting to see more evidence against the idea of standardizing this line...
And ignoring the longer term fact that without it, the operators were going to slowly start pulling services because they didnt see any financial reason to invest in newer, more efficient locos and wagons, leaving that 'beautiful' BG to waste away to nothing....
This Is what's going to happen In Queensland on lines rated less than 20 tonne axle load, no one will want to make long term Investments In light duty motive power and rolling stock, existing aging equipment will be just squeezed (ran Into the ground) to the point they become unserviceable.
Nightfire
Yeah - Im very interested to see what is going to happen to Watco (if that is who it is) and their ability to get a fleet in place...
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Is there a means of testing rails for flaws before/after/cropping/welding (whatever) before they are placed in the track?
Ultrasonic sensors, but this can be tedious.
TheMeddlingMonk
Magnetic Particle Inspection is another technique used. It's easier to do on an individual basis as it requires less equipment in the field, but it doesn't scale very well as it's quite labour-intensive.

This is what's going to happen In Queensland on lines rated less than 20 tonne axle load, no one will want to make long term investments in light duty motive power and rolling stock, existing aging equipment will be just squeezed (ran into the ground) to the point they become unserviceable.
Nightfire
Funny you should say that - CBH in WA have some pretty light, modern locos that they ordered from MotivePower Inc. back in 2012... and just happen to be operated (and maintained) by Watco. The MP27CN comes in at 96 tonnes, which is pretty close to the 15.75TAL limit that the QLD West Moreton system has.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Is there a means of testing rails for flaws before/after/cropping/welding (whatever) before they are placed in the track?
Ultrasonic sensors, but this can be tedious.
Magnetic Particle Inspection is another technique used. It's easier to do on an individual basis as it requires less equipment in the field, but it doesn't scale very well as it's quite labour-intensive.
LancedDendrite
Magnetic particle crack testing may well be OK for checking welds but it will not find internal flaws within the rail which we should also be looking for in 100 year old rails.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Magnetic particle crack testing may well be OK for checking welds but it will not find internal flaws within the rail which we should also be looking for in 100 year old rails.
YM-Mundrabilla
If you've got cracks in your welds as is rumoured above then internal defects are the least of your worries...
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland


Funny you should say that - CBH in WA have some pretty light, modern locos that they ordered from MotivePower Inc. back in 2012... and just happen to be operated (and maintained) by Watco. The MP27CN comes in at 96 tonnes, which is pretty close to the 15.75TAL limit that the QLD West Moreton system has.
LancedDendrite
Were these locomotives custom built or off the self North American motive power.

QR Western line system Is very loading gauge restrictive.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Were these locomotives custom built or off the self North American motive power.

QR Western line system Is very loading gauge restrictive.
Nightfire
More or less off the Shelf. There are dirrivities that WatCo uses the MP27CN which 2,700 hp, the MP33CN which 3,300 hp & the MP33C which is also 3,300 hp but runs on S/G. CFCLA's CM Class are also MP33C. TasRail's TR Class is known as a PR22L but is more or less an MP27CN.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Were these locomotives custom built or off the self North American motive power.

QR Western line system Is very loading gauge restrictive.
More or less off the Shelf. There are dirrivities that WatCo uses the MP27CN which 2,700 hp, the MP33CN which 3,300 hp & the MP33C which is also 3,300 hp but runs on S/G. CFCLA's CM Class are also MP33C. TasRail's TR Class is known as a PR22L but is more or less an MP27CN.
Jack Le Lievre
This Is In the wrong thread !

Needs transferring across to the correct thread.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Were these locomotives custom built or off the self North American motive power.

QR Western line system Is very loading gauge restrictive.
More or less off the Shelf. There are dirrivities that WatCo uses the MP27CN which 2,700 hp, the MP33CN which 3,300 hp & the MP33C which is also 3,300 hp but runs on S/G. CFCLA's CM Class are also MP33C. TasRail's TR Class is known as a PR22L but is more or less an MP27CN.
Jack Le Lievre
NG Version MP27CN    https://www.wabtec.com/products/5106/mp27-international-freight-locomotive
SG version MP33 https://www.wabtec.com/products/5107/mp33-series-international-freight-locomotive
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Magnetic particle crack testing may well be OK for checking welds but it will not find internal flaws within the rail which we should also be looking for in 100 year old rails.
If you've got cracks in your welds as is rumoured above then internal defects are the least of your worries...
LancedDendrite
A few minus temps should see welds breaking and rails pulling apart!
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Were these locomotives custom built or off the self North American motive power.

QR Western line system Is very loading gauge restrictive.
More or less off the Shelf. There are dirrivities that WatCo uses the MP27CN which 2,700 hp, the MP33CN which 3,300 hp & the MP33C which is also 3,300 hp but runs on S/G. CFCLA's CM Class are also MP33C. TasRail's TR Class is known as a PR22L but is more or less an MP27CN.
This Is In the wrong thread !

Needs transferring across to the correct thread.
Nightfire
Report it and the mods will move it...
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Is there a means of testing rails for flaws before/after/cropping/welding (whatever) before they are placed in the track?

In completely relaying the Ararat - Maryborough section there was the opportunity to produce a first class job with 'proper' concrete sleepers and heavier rail but that opportunity has now been lost.

From the jaws of success we seem able to seize failure every time, although from previous experience elsewhere good 80 lb rail, properly welded, should have been adequate for the task.
It is routine to inspect every weld within a few days of the weld being performed using a hand held ultrasonic detector, but to do that along the whole length of every rail would be very slow, and tedious as said by The Meddling Monk. Rail Flaw Detectors are usually machines mounted on bespoke hi-rail vehicles. Even so, when they detect a possible defect, it is confirmed (or dismissed) with a hand held unit.

Weld failure rates are usually part of the contract specifications. A failure rate of 2% is tolerable for alumnothermic welding, but I should think a lower failure rate would be expected for flashbutt welding.
Lockspike
There is a lot of assumption and misinformation regarding ultrasonic testing of rail on this thread.  Some bits are right, some wrong, so careful.

Ultrasonic testing with machine based systems are very good (no way would someone contemplate hand testing outside of defect sizing).  An aspect missing in the discussion is the rail was unused and rusty.  It would not have been possible to test it prior to the job.  Only with a few trains on it, would it be clean enough to test.

Then there is the issue of legacy.  Who knows how it was joined in the scheme of things.   There was nothing in the scope to address the integrity of the rail in any meaningful way.  The scope was to throw it aside it aside, put it back, weld it up as-is.  The have a wave of broken welds is not unusual in rail re-purposed and is likely fatigued.

I could go on all night about different failure modes of rail, however the two main aspects that condemn a rail is wear (easy to understand) and fatigue.   Fatigue can be in the parent rail (crack growth around inclusions) and the rail join.  It is however mainly in the join is most circumstances.  I wont go into jointed rail too much other than to say to flashbutt a rail without removing the bolt holes and crippled ends, is a fools game.  Fatigue at the weld is usually driven by the geometry at manufacture of the weld - hence I consistently advocate about weld quality obtaining the correct geometry.  There can be issues with metallurgy resulting in the wrong structure, but this is yet again another branch of the topic and not that common.

For those needing the simple explanation of fatigue, its the development of flaws in the rail due to the number of stress loadings and the magnitude of the stress loading.  Big stresses and big cycles equals short life.   In the case of a weld the magnitude of the stress is exacerbated by poor geometry of the weld.   To give you an idea, a 0.6mm dip in the weld can yield stresses in the rail 2.5 times that of the wheel rolling along a normal flat rail.  To add a further dimension, the relationships between rail life and the number of cycles it will take before failure is not linear, indeed the diagrams usually represent the number of cycles logarithmically.

One can draw a link to my criticism of historic Victorian practices, as it never been known for reliably producing quality welding - the result is the rail has a shortened life.  Unfortunately this realisation is many years after the responsible managers/engineers/failed quality processes have departed the scene.

I cant speculate too much on what is going on with Maryborough to Ararat, I have not seen it.  I do know that rail that has questionable fatigue does not like to be assigned to a new duty.  Different sleepers, new loading needs, new outcomes.  There ends up being a wave of failures in the first bit.  It will settle down I would think.

Another aspect of rail is the handling it would have seen while being relaid.  The stressing of the rail section sideways is on the weaker axis and its easy to damaged welds by poor handling.   The risk is defects and damage to the foot of the rail.  One aspect of a notch or crack in the foot is its not detectable to normal ultrasonics. It is however a sure broken rail.  Then there is the reality of this rail being left to sit in the grass for many years, a corroded foot will also add to the risk of a parent broken rail (and write the rail off)  

In this instance the first task is to scrutinise the ultrasonic results and quantify what is there.  With some trains on it and a clean head, this is now possible.  Examine the broken rails, how they broke.  What's causing it.  There is a bit of information to gather, but only with this information can decisions be made. Its not panic stations yet.

The rail is tied together well with new sleepers, it will hold a broken rail reasonably well.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
All of this talk is great and informative but does not detract from trnpoject being a mess. If this was the plan then it should have been left broad gauge.

So many issues and shortcuts. The line may now be mothballed as how can it really be used and Artc from the looks are not going to allow mainline parking anymore.

It’s a mess.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
All of this talk is great and informative but does not detract from trnpoject being a mess. If this was the plan then it should have been left broad gauge.

So many issues and shortcuts. The line may now be mothballed as how can it really be used and Artc from the looks are not going to allow mainline parking anymore.

It’s a mess.
freightgate
Agreed, a great and informative post from Skitz (and others)

I would love to see the modelling (presuming that any was done) of how the line was supposed to handle crosses and whether parking them up on the DIRN crossing loops was Victoria's solution to not having any loops.

Of course this situation could simply be down to the delays in building the direct connection due to signalling / arguments between ARTC and Victrack / change of scope due to (secretly) proposed SG conversion Ballarat to Ararat to allow pax services beyond etc etc etc.

BG
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
All of this talk is great and informative but does not detract from trnpoject being a mess. If this was the plan then it should have been left broad gauge.

So many issues and shortcuts. The line may now be mothballed as how can it really be used and Artc from the looks are not going to allow mainline parking anymore.

It’s a mess.
Agreed, a great and informative post from Skitz (and others)

I would love to see the modelling (presuming that any was done) of how the line was supposed to handle crosses and whether parking them up on the DIRN crossing loops was Victoria's solution to not having any loops.

Of course this situation could simply be down to the delays in building the direct connection due to signalling / arguments between ARTC and Victrack / change of scope due to (secretly) proposed SG conversion Ballarat to Ararat to allow pax services beyond etc etc etc.

BG
BrentonGolding
Doesn't help that the mob running the show for the conversion are basically useless.....
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
....

Of course this situation could simply be down to the delays in building the direct connection due to signalling / arguments between ARTC and Victrack / change of scope due to (secretly) proposed SG conversion Ballarat to Ararat to allow pax services beyond etc etc etc.

BG
BrentonGolding
You can live in hope; the system being left as it is will be difficult for both BG and SG - why not just make the decision to truncate all BG at Wendouree and SG everything else? It would mean a 'north' and 'south' route for ARTC traffic and passenger services beyond Ararat would be possible again without break-of-gauge.

It probably makes too much sense!
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I didn't want to believe this so I went looking for the records of the committee hearing itself.

The transcripts for Ms Allan's hearing are not available (I hope this is just a delay, I notice the Tuesday ones are up), but more frustratingly, the minister's presentation slides are either not available or they did not exist in the first place. This is quite impressive: every other minister who has appeared thus far has managed to provide a detailed explanation of budget expenditure in their portfolio, but Ms Allan has not.

Here is the link, and I sincerely hope I am proven wrong over the next couple of days.
I also did the same (great minds Wink).  Lets leave it till midweek next week.  I suspect JA's presentations etc might be a bit larger than others.
james.au
Still not there...
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

And Peter Crisp's Question Without Notice still unanswered.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

And on the next episode of Utopia...
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Many new photos being added to the Railpage Collection.  I have created a new Mildura SG Photo Collections Group.

https://www.railpage.com.au/photos/collection/mildura-line-sta
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The Network Service Plan has been updated on V/Line's website.

Line-speed of 80 km/h in place between Maryborough and St. Arnaud, then 60 km/h for most of the rest of the line to Yelta.

So much for a 80 km/h line-speed all the way through as was stated in the original business plan.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Project isnt finished yet Wink
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Well, the project has had its scope changed, and this is the point I was getting to, so if you can just bear with me. Because of the work that is being undertaken on the Ballarat line upgrade, and this is the area around Ballarat — and Evan may want to talk in a bit more detail on the technical aspects — there is an overlap between the passenger and freight movements in this area. The way the Murray Basin project was additionally scoped and in terms of its delivery, when stage 2 was coming to its conclusion, then you would move into stages 3 and 4, which were the branch lines on Sea Lake, Manangatang and then the work through on the Gheringhap bit of the project to Warrenheip. We needed to look at how we changed that progress, and we have done that on the basis of the feedback we have had from industry. We have been doing a lot of work with industry. We have got an advisory group, which Peter Tuohey has been chairing, that gives us direct feedback. What they are asking us for — the freight industry and stakeholders — is to go back and have another look at the staging and the delivery of those final parts of the work because of the work that is now also happening at Ballarat. It is all in the same geographic area, and we need to make sure from the freight industry’s point of view — they want to keep the lines open so they can get their goods to market, and we have been asked to look at how we stage the works in that framework.
Jacinta Allan

The answer I have given you repeatedly is that stage 3 will go ahead when we have concluded the negotiations with industry, because we want them to tell us what is the best time frame to deliver stage 3 that does not affect their economic viability and that does not affect their ability to get their product to market. I would have thought that that is a fairly fundamental point to address before we embark on stage 3 of the project.
Jacinta Allan
Transcript!
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Great pickup.  So what industry discussions are underway and what is the industry asking for?  The plot thickens if this is true.

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