Echuca line

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

And the reason why this speed cannot be achieved or taken advantage of now?
x31

If you bother to read literally one post above mine you will see the answer.

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  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
a Geelong to Bendigo SG passenger link would have access to a population of well over 450,000, greater than the populations of either Tasmania or Canberra.
inland sailor
Groan.  Is it that hard to comprehend that it is travellers, not population that matters?

I think I need to create a thread of common myths and misunderstandings, because this is a common one.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

And the reason why this speed cannot be achieved or taken advantage of now?
x31
V/Line regard it as Class - 4 which allows 65kmh for loco hauled and 80 kmh for DMU .

Now all the lx are protected if VLP were pro active they would do some test runs with a VL set to see how well it rides at say 90kmh and 100kmh .  The train is not going to come off it is just a question of the ride quality .  The laymans eye of the line and top of this track suggests that 90 kmh would probably be achievable .but that would probably be the max .

But VLP are not very good at pushing the envelope, rather the other way looking for a twig on a tree to restrict line of sight, imposing a lower speed for two years before finally removing an offending tree in the rail reserve. There seems to be no appreciation on the part of VLP track as to the impact of their plethora of SR are having on travel times, and worse still there is absolutely no urgency to do anything about removing SR 's .
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Now all the lx are protected
Kuldalai
This is often said, but not exactly entirely true. Still an open occo crossing without any protection, Ellicet Rd LX which has road gates installed but which appear to be left open more often than not, and also the Murray Valley Hwy still only has lights and no LX gates.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Now all the lx are protected
This is often said, but not exactly entirely true. Still an open occo crossing without any protection, Ellicet Rd LX which has road gates installed but which appear to be left open more often than not, and also the Murray Valley Hwy still only has lights and no LX gates.
jakar
There are two or three of those gated crossings between Bendigo & Echuca for stock and seasonal farm access , also one between  Wendouree & Ararat .

The instructions decree that the gates are normally locked to road access and that they are only to be opened after contacting train control . A convoluted set of instructions that Train Control will advise if any trains are about BUT that it is only indicative advice  !!!  Real CYNA stuff  !!!  After crossing line gates are supposed to be shut and locked .  IIRC there was nothing in the instructions saying that train drivers should report to Centrol instances where the gates are NOT locked across the roadway .

Murray Valley Highway at Echuca is flashing lights only at Echuca, will probably get upgraded to booms as part of the line upgrade .In the Up direction it is max 40 kmh  Echuca station to crossing account warning time and simplifies track circuitry .  There are couple of locations IIRC still with flashing lights only but these are close to stations where train speed is below 80kmh, so regarded as satisfactory for now .

Ditto Ballarat - Ararat still several crossing only with flashing lights but 130kmh allowed account visibility for both road traffic and trains good .
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

While everyone was standing around talking about Class 2 (ha) about 15km of line between Bendigo and Echuca has been placed under a 60km/h TSR due to sleeper condition Rolling Eyes
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

While everyone was standing around talking about Class 2 (ha) about 15km of line between Bendigo and Echuca has been placed under a 60km/h TSR due to sleeper condition Rolling Eyes
potatoinmymouth
Unbelievable; sheesh!
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

While everyone was standing around talking about Class 2 (ha) about 15km of line between Bendigo and Echuca has been placed under a 60km/h TSR due to sleeper condition Rolling Eyes
potatoinmymouth
Two sections of 5 kms each reduced to 60kmh account sleeper condition .

Again VLP Infrastructure failing to maintain the asset even to its existing condition . Worse still there is no URGENCY to get some low concrete sleepers out there and do a partial tie renewal , and be done with teh SR within a month .
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It doesn't seem to matter what V/Line is asked to maintain they have a serious problem doing it and also let's not forget the poor in time running of their services.  Perhaps it is now time to have the entire track maintenance plan removed from V/Line and handed to Rail Projects Victoria as an ongoing process?

The botched Murray Basin SG works would also add weight to that.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

While everyone was standing around talking about Class 2 (ha) about 15km of line between Bendigo and Echuca has been placed under a 60km/h TSR due to sleeper condition Rolling Eyes
Two sections of 5 kms each reduced to 60kmh account sleeper condition .

Again VLP Infrastructure failing to maintain the asset even to its existing condition . Worse still there is no URGENCY to get some low concrete sleepers out there and do a partial tie renewal , and be done with teh SR within a month .
kuldalai
As a Ganger*, as soon as you were aware that ties** were required you did it immediately. Had a speed restriction been required because of your dereliction of duty, you would have found yourself up before the Division Engineer, and it would not have gone well for you.
In the days when employees were held personally accountable for the condition of 'their' track this just would not have happened.

For those of you up the back not paying attention the following terms are explained:
* Ganger: Not all track workers were gangers, only the man in charge of the gang was the "Ganger".
** Tie(s): a minimum number of sleeper(s) inserted as a temporary means of securing gauge (i.e. preventing the rails from spreading under a train) - it is not a long term solution.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

It doesn't seem to matter what V/Line is asked to maintain they have a serious problem doing it and also let's not forget the poor in time running of their services.  Perhaps it is now time to have the entire track maintenance plan removed from V/Line and handed to Rail Projects Victoria as an ongoing process?

The botched Murray Basin SG works would also add weight to that.
bevans
I totally agree
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

It doesn't seem to matter what V/Line is asked to maintain they have a serious problem doing it and also let's not forget the poor in time running of their services. Perhaps it is now time to have the entire track maintenance plan removed from V/Line and handed to Rail Projects Victoria as an ongoing process? The botched Murray Basin SG works would also add weight to that.
bevans

Ultimately it does not matter which brand or type of agency is in charge. The fact is V/Line are expected to carry out their activities on a shoestring. On the other hand, the government throws as much money as is necessary at RPV's projects for political purposes. This is made easier by the fact it is more straightforward for governments to hide public service money. You want better maintenance? That will come with better ongoing funding. (And yes, cultural change as others here suggest, but that will not come with an army of temporary public service subcontractors.)
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

It doesn't seem to matter what V/Line is asked to maintain they have a serious problem doing it and also let's not forget the poor in time running of their services.  Perhaps it is now time to have the entire track maintenance plan removed from V/Line and handed to Rail Projects Victoria as an ongoing process?

The botched Murray Basin SG works would also add weight to that.
I totally agree
Duncs
This debacle with Echuca is just total rubbish and bs! V Line JUST DON'T CARE!!!
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Cue the Captain Picard facepalm....

V/line probably won't touch it until they do the upgrade to Class 2.  Whenever that'll be..... (was meant to start early 2019, but I wouldn't hold your breath).
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It doesn't seem to matter what V/Line is asked to maintain they have a serious problem doing it and also let's not forget the poor in time running of their services.  Perhaps it is now time to have the entire track maintenance plan removed from V/Line and handed to Rail Projects Victoria as an ongoing process?

The botched Murray Basin SG works would also add weight to that.
I totally agree
This debacle with Echuca is just total rubbish and bs! V Line JUST DON'T CARE!!!
Duncs

V/Line are mandated to 'care' as it's government policy to bring the track up to a standard for 130Km/h operation.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Cue the Captain Picard facepalm....

V/line probably won't touch it until they do the upgrade to Class 2.  Whenever that'll be..... (was meant to start early 2019, but I wouldn't hold your breath).
Carnot

Yet more weight for the argument to peel V/Line back to a rail operator and take the track and infrastructure management away from them and place into a department that does NOT report to the PTV.  We have for years been talking about the Echuca Line and upgrades and this is just ongoing with very little action.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Cue the Captain Picard facepalm....

V/line probably won't touch it until they do the upgrade to Class 2.  Whenever that'll be..... (was meant to start early 2019, but I wouldn't hold your breath).

Yet more weight for the argument to peel V/Line back to a rail operator and take the track and infrastructure management away from them and place into a department that does NOT report to the PTV.  We have for years been talking about the Echuca Line and upgrades and this is just ongoing with very little action.
bevans
A very good idea
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Where is the accountability in V/Line ? We suffered the same inaction for years on the north east line with train faults.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Where is the accountability in V/Line ? We suffered the same inaction for years on the north east line with train faults.
freightgate
Again - what I said above. This is what you get when you contract out maintenance, destroy organisational memory, and defund your railway to a skeleton staff. Both sides of politics are complicit.

Now, if we could keep this thread on track (ha) and leave the generic and circular V/Line bashing to somewhere else, that would be great.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
How do you fix this issue in that case as I have advocated as has @Duncs that the maintenance be taken away from V/Line and it is hard to argue they have been competent in the works.  Enough Said.

The ALP has been in power 18 years so with the Coalition 1 term.  How could it be both sides?

PIMM what are your thoughts on how this could be better managed?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I look forward to PIMM's reply
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

How do you fix this issue in that case as I have advocated as has @Duncs that the maintenance be taken away from V/Line and it is hard to argue they have been competent in the works. Enough Said.

The ALP has been in power 18 years so with the Coalition 1 term. How could it be both sides?

PIMM what are your thoughts on how this could be better managed?
bevans

Well, there’s a very simple reason that both sides are complicit, and that’s the manner in which Kennett went about privatisation. Note: not privatisation itself, the manner in which it occurred. Being persuaded by the American shortline operators that vertical integration was a better deal may have seemed like the right call at the time, but the effect was to completely displace rail knowledge from the public sector apart from a small skeleton staff deep within the DOI. As has been well-documented, this was a major factor in the bungling of the RFR scheme.

Do the Labor governments have a large part to play? Of course. The decision to force open access on FA in late 2001 made the integrated business unprofitable, motivating the PN takeover, subsequent value stripping of remaining assets, and eventual sale of a highly degraded network back to the unsuspecting taxpayer.

As I have previously posted, it is something of a mystery why the below-rail responsibility was given to V/Line - then a state-owned passenger operator beginning to feel the RFR pinch - in 2007 instead of to VicTrack as the drafters of the Rail Corporations Act had envisaged in 1999. I know that some posters on here are of the opinion that VicTrack were left alone because they were performing their role uncontroversially - as they continue to do - but it’s still unclear to me why V/Line ended up with a rather unusual set of responsibilities by world standards.

Some money was spent on trying to revive the freight network in the last two years of the Brumby government, but the North East standardisation became a massive time and money sink that derailed (ha) plans for further standardisation and upgrading (an earlier version of the MBRP).

So when the Coalition comes to power in 2010 they had a perfect opportunity to choose a number of possible options (many of which were canvassed within government): split up V/Line properly and refranchise the above-rail pass ops; spend big money on the non-pass network and subsidise mode shift; cut their losses and hand as much of the network over to ARTC as they wanted and close the rest. Infamously, as with every other issue, they chose option d), None Of The Above, and sat on their hands for four years, apart from sabotaging the RRL by descoping and not ordering more VLos, which is now playing out as a further drain on V/Line’s resources.

Which brings us to 2014 and the Andrews government. They inherited a late-game commitment to the MBRP, which was probably based on a dodgy business case from the start, and left it in V/Line’s “capable” hands while they figured out how to build things in Melbourne. I shall refrain from waffling too much more but suffice to say it is a disgrace there is no public rail freight strategy and no political will to complete one.

In short, I think the 14/18 statistic or whatever it was is disingenuous; both parties have had four years in the last eight to improve rail freight and have failed miserably.

What can be done? Very simple: a complete freight and passenger rail plan committed by the government, more autonomy and more funding for V/Line to maintain their existing infrastructure, LESS emphasis on RPV-led shiny new infrastructure, a mechanism for private operators to request capital works based on a positive return for the state (for example, say SSR decided they were prepared to pitch in for SG access to North Bendigo via Inglewood).

Whoever does this gets my vote.
  Richard stroker Junior Train Controller

This maybe a little side topic to pimms post , during the period pimm has mentioned most of the heavier bg horsepower locos went to PN , and now they are scrapping them .

How does rail frieght in Victoria grow on the bg with no new investment in more effienct locos or are the operators hoping the government everything gets changed to an efficient Sg network.

Thoughts anyone?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

There's no commercial imperative for any operator to invest in a BG fleet, whether that's buying locos or establishing maintenance contracts and so on. The margins on what little BG freight remains are so thin and propped up by subsidy anyway that it'd be madness to invest in shiny new locos.

The Ns will be sold off for freight service within the next few years and they have a good amount of life left.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

This maybe a little side topic to pimms post , during the period pimm has mentioned most of the heavier bg horsepower locos went to PN , and now they are scrapping them .

How does rail frieght in Victoria grow on the bg with no new investment in more effienct locos or are the operators hoping the government everything gets changed to an efficient Sg network.

Thoughts anyone?
Richard stroker
What freight growth on the BG. Any freight BG that is not profitable should be abandoned unless converting to SG makes it profitable through more efficient connections. Forget about BG.

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