Murray Basin standardisation

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

By the way, the Minister's slides from her committee appearance have been uploaded. Of note is that the MBRP is not mentioned at all, not even on the slide that boasts "Work Under Way On Every Line" (because of course they're not real railway lines, are they). Also, slide 6 is a load of bunkum: for example, it implies Tottenham and Middle Footscray were upgraded during RRL. At a stretch, Totty got a new front door; absolutely nothing happened at Middle Footscray. And it's hardly something the Andrews government can take credit for.

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  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Observations of track welding between Maryborough & Ararat late November 2017 from  the highway adjacent to the re built line were observed to be as thermit welds . (Whereas earlier posts have suggested possibly flash butt welds.)
kuldalai
So the mobile flashbutt welding machine shown at the 34 second mark was just for show?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umWTLPCqk4E&t=34s

The vast majority of welds on the Maryborough-Ararat line have been flashbutt welds.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
By the way, the Minister's slides from her committee appearance have been uploaded. Of note is that the MBRP is not mentioned at all, not even on the slide that boasts "Work Under Way On Every Line" (because of course they're not real railway lines, are they). Also, slide 6 is a load of bunkum: for example, it implies Tottenham and Middle Footscray were upgraded during RRL. At a stretch, Totty got a new front door; absolutely nothing happened at Middle Footscray. And it's hardly something the Andrews government can take credit for.
potatoinmymouth

The slide has another error in that number 4 on slide is the Echuca line, whereas number 4 in the legend is the Gippsland line.

It may have been better to proofread this document before releasing in the public domain...young people...too fast in their PR work for their own good.

Mike.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Observations of track welding between Maryborough & Ararat late November 2017 from  the highway adjacent to the re built line were observed to be as thermit welds . (Whereas earlier posts have suggested possibly flash butt welds.)
The vast majority of welds on the Maryborough-Ararat line have been flashbutt welds.
LancedDendrite
Since the development of portable flashbutt welding machines and privatised track maintenance/construction the flashbutt depots of the former govt railways see little or no use.
In major upgrade or construction work it is now the norm for the flashbutt process to be used for the bulk of the welding, with alumnothermic welding used for the rail adjustment tensioning process. It is generally not economical to have the high productivity flashbutt machine come back to carry out the adjustment welds.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Observations of track welding between Maryborough & Ararat late November 2017 from  the highway adjacent to the re built line were observed to be as thermit welds . (Whereas earlier posts have suggested possibly flash butt welds.)
So the mobile flashbutt welding machine shown at the 34 second mark was just for show?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umWTLPCqk4E&t=34s

The vast majority of welds on the Maryborough-Ararat line have been flashbutt welds.
LancedDendrite
I stand corrected in that it would appear that away from level crossings it was mobile flash butt welding, and what I saw were the track panels at the level crossings being welded into the track later with thermit welds ?
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

I stand corrected in that it would appear that away from level crossings it was mobile flash butt welding, and what I saw were the track panels at the level crossings being welded into the track later with thermit welds ?
kuldalai
Very probably.

From what I know of you from your posts Kuldalai, you are not taken to wild suppositions. I wasn't trying to call you out, but adding further info.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
It looked to me that the crossing panels were bolted to the existing track and the rest of the line was welded using the thermit welds (using a single use mould that came in a box about 15 x15 x 15 inch box.)   They went through thousands of them!
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

It looked to me that the crossing panels were bolted to the existing track and the rest of the line was welded using the thermit welds (using a single use mould that came in a box about 15 x15 x 15 inch box.)   They went through thousands of them!
Donald
Aye, that would be correct. They would make joints on the end of the LX panels, then welded when convenient, (which may be immediately, or not).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

My question is to the Minister for Public Transport. I ask the minister for information on the progress of and contracting arrangements for the standardisation of the Ouyen to Murrayville railway line as part of the Murray Basin rail project. Constituents along the line are concerned at the lack of work on the line and rumours that the contractor who started the job is no longer working on the job. There is a significant amount of grain produced and stored on the Murrayville line that is best moved to port by rail. The main Mildura line is also now open. Minister, can you provide information on the current status of the works and when and how they will be completed?
Peter Crisp

Work on stage two of the Murray Basin Rail Project is largely complete, with trains running on the Mildura line and crews are working to finalise and bed in the track. Despite the misinformation spread by the National Party and its supporters, work has not stopped on this project. There have been some delays to the works on the Murrayville to Ouyen line due to V/Line assigning resources to complete the final level crossing works on the recently-reopened Ararat-Maryborough line. It is expected the Murray Basin Rail Project team will resume track works on the Murrayville to Ouyen line shortly and will provide an improved connection for trains from Murrayville, which was one of the project's main objectives.

Jacinta Allan
We have an answer folks.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
We have an answer folks.
potatoinmymouth
That's an answer? Spin, Spin, Spin!

BG
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Only answered that particular question though. No more info provided about the broader project.

Meanwhile:

https://www.facebook.com/WINNewsBendigo/videos/1910107789041330/

Significantly, a direct denial of both the contractor being fired and a budget blowout of $100m.  I seriously doubt a Minister would lie about this - that would be a direct resignation trigger if found out.

Again, RRA is making noise, but how much is fake noise?

EDIT: hopefully fixed - it works for me (and deleted my posts from last night)
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Only answered that particular question though. No more info provided about the broader project.
james.au
Hi James, link doesn't work for me.

BG
  skitz Chief Commissioner

On the issue of age of track and welds,  thermit v. flash butt  . Skitz gives an excellent overview earlier on page 46 in this thread .

Observations of track welding between Maryborough & Ararat late November 2017 from  the highway adjacent to the re built line were observed to be as thermit welds . (Whereas earlier posts have suggested possibly flash butt welds.)

Whilst there are such beasts as mobile flash butt welders, the normal practice in Victoria has been to use flash butt welding at Spotswood for new rail, and on site thermit welding for conversion of jointed track to CWR track . In the latter case the normal practice is to remove the fishplates and crop a foot or so off each end of the jointed rail . Basically the rails are then drawn together and welded under a defined weather temperature range . The finished weld is then ground flat at the join on the rail head and side faces .  The cropping of the rail ends means that a new piece of closure rail needs to be inserted in the track regularly to make up for all the end pieces with the holes that are cropped off . At most level crossings between Ararat and Maryborough late last year were big heaps of the cropped fishplate off cuts.

The 80lb rail involved although quite old showed visibly very little wear on either face prior to the upgrading project . Originally the line was laid with 60lb rail, and it is not clear when it was relaid with 80lb rail .  Typical VR practice was to cascade serviceable rail from mainlines to cross country and branchlines to upgrade the track quality . Skitz and others are better equipped to explain assess the issues involved in converting rails of considerable age to CWR track .
kuldalai
What you say is sound Kuldalai.

The reason fro cropping the rail at the joint is to weld a rail free from bolt holes, battered ends and associated crippled ends (the rail will be bent due to being exposed to the pounding joint).

The welding production practice can vary quite a bit due to 'what you have got', however the usual practice is to 'crop and drift'.  They move the rail up to the welder until its feasible to throw a length of rail in and this can be anywhere form 40' or a long welded length.  Some examples of what can happen, one can bring in a string of second hand rail or new rail.  Or, one may choose to rerail a curve with new rail and the rail released is in acceptable condition to cascade to the tangent.   Its horses for courses.

Kuldalai is correct in saying it was usual VR practice to cascade rail from the main line to secondary branches.  There was a dedicated 're-lay' gang for the job.

On a side issue, lamenting the closed Mansfield line driving home yesterday and the demise of the branch line system in Victoria at that time.  One aspect of the closed lines was to prolific use of 60lb rail that was jointed.   The maintenance associated with jointed track is horrific.   Considering the branch lines and the timing of the introduction diesel hauled trains, traction motors (large unsprung masses) was a death knell to a lightly constructed jointed track.  More damage would be happening due to the locomotive than the actual train.  For what were lightly trafficked branches, they fell apart very quickly.  (understanding there were other issues too) The humble D3, K or J, compared to a T or Y, is very track friendly due to low unsprung mass.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Only answered that particular question though. No more info provided about the broader project.

Meanwhile:

https://www.facebook.com/WINNewsBendigo/videos/1910107789041330/

Significantly, a direct denial of both the contractor being fired and a budget blowout of $100m.  I seriously doubt a Minister would lie about this - that would be a direct resignation trigger if found out.

Again, RRA is making noise, but how much is fake noise?
james.au
Jacinta mightn't be lying.

The contractor indeed may not have been fired - yet.
The budget 'blowout' might not exist 'on paper' if Stage 2 & Stage 3 aren't separate budget line items and the extra costs of Stage 2 simply eats into the Stage 3 budget - for now.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Only answered that particular question though. No more info provided about the broader project.

Meanwhile:

https://www.facebook.com/WINNewsBendigo/videos/1910107789041330/

Significantly, a direct denial of both the contractor being fired and a budget blowout of $100m.  I seriously doubt a Minister would lie about this - that would be a direct resignation trigger if found out.

Again, RRA is making noise, but how much is fake noise?
Jacinta mightn't be lying.

The contractor indeed may not have been fired - yet.
The budget 'blowout' might not exist 'on paper' if Stage 2 & Stage 3 aren't separate budget line items and the extra costs of Stage 2 simply eats into the Stage 3 budget - for now.
LancedDendrite
Agreed - there are many ways to squirm out of a situation...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Agreed - there are many ways to squirm out of a situation...
james.au
Sir Humphrey, can we delay firing the contractor for a little while longer? Say, till after the election? We could tell them that there is an issue with the final sign off of the paperwork, send them on holidays, tell them there is more work to come for them on Stage 3?

Yes Minister.......

BG
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Agreed - there are many ways to squirm out of a situation...
Sir Humphrey, can we delay firing the contractor for a little while longer? Say, till after the election? We could tell them that there is an issue with the final sign off of the paperwork, send them on holidays, tell them there is more work to come for them on Stage 3?

Yes Minister.......

BG
BrentonGolding
Im sure there is an episode of this series that could be applicable here.
  garethsh Junior Train Controller

Agreed - there are many ways to squirm out of a situation...
Sir Humphrey, can we delay firing the contractor for a little while longer? Say, till after the election? We could tell them that there is an issue with the final sign off of the paperwork, send them on holidays, tell them there is more work to come for them on Stage 3?

Yes Minister.......

BG
Im sure there is an episode of this series that could be applicable here.
james.au
What about Jim or Rhonda from Utopia having something to say? Not sure if it is art imitating life or life imitating art.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Where did the savings from SG only, not DG, between Gheringhap and Warrenheip go?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
@LancedDendrite will be able to tell us.  He is trapped in a room with them and can ask.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We need to remember three things here:

  1. All politicians are liars. Jacinta Allan is a politician .........
  2. Yes Minister is not a comedy. Yes Minister is a documentary.
  3. Never believe anything until it is officially denied.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Where did the savings from SG only, not DG, between Gheringhap and Warrenheip go?
kitchgp
Realistically the reality is probably that the original dg betwwen Warrenheip and Gheringhap was under costed, so in reality there is probably no actual saving to be had .
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
@LancedDendrite will be able to tell us.  He is trapped in a room with them and can ask.
james.au
Rhonda's got Karsten burning the midnight oil (and our entire marketing budget) on computer animations for a high speed train to Horsham. I've got 5 missed calls from Jim... I think I'll wait until call number 9 before I pick up.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The Weekly Times has started covering the debacle:


Reports of the job quality done on MBRP so far are consistent with what I've been hearing.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The North East SG all over again.Rolling Eyes
I said on day one and several times since that we would make a balls of the project!

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