Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Electrics operating in full on the Seaford line hasn't been on the cards for 2013 for a very, very long time now. First service isn't expected until Feb 2014.
Jumbo2001

Well DPTI keep insisting that they could be in operation by the end of 2013 so tell that to them. Well anyway I'd estimate about 50% of the masts are now installed on the line with 3 months left before the line reopens. I suppose that isn't too bad but there is probably alot of other works related to the line electrification that needs to be done yet like earthworks, tree pruning/removal and signalling etc.

Don't electrification works resume on the Tonsley Line next month?

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Well DPTI keep insisting that they could be in operation by the end of 2013 so tell that to them. Well anyway I'd estimate about 50% of the masts are now installed on the line with 3 months left before the line reopens. I suppose that isn't too bad but there is probably alot of other works related to the line electrification that needs to be done yet like earthworks, tree pruning/removal and signalling etc.

Don't electrification works resume on the Tonsley Line next month?
Milkomeda
I expect that next month will see sporadic electrification work on all segments of the line, with the work continuing to progress according to the type of installation rather than being organised by location.

Of course, with the first EMUs due next week (source: Hansard) you would hope that greater priority is given to completing it through to the Ascot Park switching point so that some testing can get started before public services resume in September. Once one or two of the new units are ready to go, they could do a token  number of services before this year is out to claim the 2013 target was met, while the bulk of the fleet would still do test runs overnight and be introduced gradually until there are enough of them to fully cover a new accelerated timetable.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I expect that next month will see sporadic electrification work on all segments of the line, with the work continuing to progress according to the type of installation rather than being organised by location.

Of course, with the first EMUs due next week (source: Hansard) you would hope that greater priority is given to completing it through to the Ascot Park switching point so that some testing can get started before public services resume in September. Once one or two of the new units are ready to go, they could do a token  number of services before this year is out to claim the 2013 target was met, while the bulk of the fleet would still do test runs overnight and be introduced gradually until there are enough of them to fully cover a new accelerated timetable.
justapassenger

Justapax

See my earlier email about track sections.

As I read the electrification plan as published in DPTI standards the Ascot Park switching station only isolates the Tonsley line. You may have access to more up to date advice.

Getting the wire strung from Hallett Cove to Ascot Park will take some weeks based on present progress. The wire can't then be livened up until the ancillary work is done like earthing, bonding, fence isolations and over bridge protection. also all the signal access platforms will need screens.

Regards
Ian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Considering the amount of work still to be completed on the Seaford line before electric services can commence it is a good thing they were not trying to do the Gawler line as well.

One would like to think that money would some how appear to do Gawler once Seaford is commissioned.

The electrification works were hampered initially by lack of local expertise but once Seaford is finished that should have been gained, it be a shame to see is dissipated.

Ian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Considering the amount of work still to be completed on the Seaford line before electric services can commence it is a good thing they were not trying to do the Gawler line as well.

One would like to think that money would some how appear to do Gawler once Seaford is commissioned.

The electrification works were hampered initially by lack of local expertise but once Seaford is finished that should have been gained, it be a shame to see is dissipated.

Ian
steam4ian

Once we have the conservatives back in charge at all levels all infrastructure spending will cease (except road construction because the trucking industry is a big political donor).

We badly need a forward thinking visionary like Tom Playford at a state or federal level instead of the current crowd of rent-seekers looking after their own retirements.
  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

Well DPTI keep insisting that they could be in operation by the end of 2013 so tell that to them. Well anyway I'd estimate about 50% of the masts are now installed on the line with 3 months left before the line reopens. I suppose that isn't too bad but there is probably alot of other works related to the line electrification that needs to be done yet like earthworks, tree pruning/removal and signalling etc.

Don't electrification works resume on the Tonsley Line next month?
Milkomeda

Don't need to tell them anything, I work for the Rail Commissioner who will operate them, and they wont be in operation on the full line until at least February, but feel free to believe whatever you like.

The first railcar wont arrive until at least Mid/late June and will take til early/mid July before it is on track for testing. Railcars will start arriving every few weeks for 6 months, then deliveries slow off for a while.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Justapax

See my earlier email about track sections.

As I read the electrification plan as published in DPTI standards the Ascot Park switching station only isolates the Tonsley line. You may have access to more up to date advice.
steam4ian
Read this: http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/96152/Track_sectioning_cabin_fact_sheet.pdf

Most notably:

The equipment inside the TSC allows the overhead wires between the city and Ascot Park or Ascot Park and Seaford to be turned off and isolated. The TSC also allows the electrical feed to the Tonsley line to be switched on or off.
DPTI wrote
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Read this: http://www.infrastructure.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/96152/Track_sectioning_cabin_fact_sheet.pdf

Most notably:
justapassenger

That's the blurb to the public. The diagram in the electrification manual looks a little different.

Sectioning can use air break switches as isolators which are usually pole mounted.
Sections are provided so that booster transformers will work and are inherent due to OHCW tensioning. Booster transformers are pole mounted and I guess that is why there are double masts at certain locations.

I do hope you are wrong, nothing personal, because if you are right they will not be able to energise the system until the overhead is complete to Ascot Park. At the present rate of progress that appears months away.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Not to mention that when (or maybe if) Oaklands gets redone there will be no sparkage down from Ascott irrespective of the stabling/maintenance facilities at Seaford!
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Well DPTI keep insisting that they could be in operation by the end of 2013 so tell that to them. Well anyway I'd estimate about 50% of the masts are now installed on the line with 3 months left before the line reopens. I suppose that isn't too bad but there is probably alot of other works related to the line electrification that needs to be done yet like earthworks, tree pruning/removal and signalling etc.

Don't electrification works resume on the Tonsley Line next month?
Milkomeda
They might well be in service by the end of 2013 but not in full service to the public. They have to be fitted out and thoroughly tested before letting the public loose on them. So yes the first cars could well be in service on test running and driver training etc by the end of 2013. In service means to me that they are here and operable for test purpose's but not in full regular service. By February 2014 they might have enough cars to actually operate some kind of regular service with them. It is all in how you read a thing though!
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
It raises the question (yet again) of what rolling stock will be suited to resume operation while the wires are being installed and the 4000's tested.  Presumably only 3000 class because of the previously-discussed clearance issues with the cab on Jumbos.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

They might well be in service by the end of 2013 but not in full service to the public. They have to be fitted out and thoroughly tested before letting the public loose on them. So yes the first cars could well be in service on test running and driver training etc by the end of 2013. In service means to me that they are here and operable for test purpose's but not in full regular service. By February 2014 they might have enough cars to actually operate some kind of regular service with them. It is all in how you read a thing though!
David Peters
You must have done well on the Weasel Words section of English at school if you think pre-service testing could plausibly count as "in service." These EMUs are passenger rail vehicles, if they are not carrying passengers they are not in service!

The first batch have already been undergoing a lot of testing in Melbourne [source: Hansard] and will be arriving this week [source: Hansard] so that leaves six months for the first couple of EMUs to get out on the track and clock up enough mileage to be accepted for service and still get it done within 2013. Even one or two units is enough, they could just slot into the existing timetable and allow 3000/3100s to be cascaded and a three car Jumbo set pensioned off.

Unless of course DPTI is currently busy putting out a tender for supply of the world's biggest vice to slim down the EMUs just in case it does turn out they are too wide.
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
It raises the question (yet again) of what rolling stock will be suited to resume operation while the wires are being installed and the 4000's tested.  Presumably only 3000 class because of the previously-discussed clearance issues with the cab on Jumbos.
"don_dunstan"

Another question about resuming operations is how long each day the diesel trains will be able to run whilst completing installation of electrification?

The contractors still have a massive amount of installation work to do, even south of Oaklands where they have had abolute possession of the whole line for five months (no trains, no track relaying underway, relatively "easy" stretch of double track).   There is still 3 to 4 months before trains re-start (depending whether "September" means beginning or end of the month), but a lot of complex wiring and other complex work (earthing structures, signalling mods etc) is still needed.  This includes installation of all support masts between Edwardstown and Nairne Junction & Laing O'Rouke will need many, many hours of track access time to complete this which they cannot do with trains running.

And I wonder how easy it will be to electrify the Adelaide - Goodwood section when Belair trains resume?  I know it's a 4 track section for part of the way, but tricky with regular Belair trains running, Health & Safety being what it is.

My predictions are either:-

1) Diesel trains return to Noarlunga from September, running only in Monday - Friday peak hours, with no Tonsley trains.  Electification work continues in non-peak hours, including nights and all weekends, with substitute buses continuing outside M-F peak times well into 2014.

or:-
2) End of August, State and Federal governments announce new Oaklands flyover will go ahead as a priority.  But sorry guys, we'll need to keep the line closed for another 9 months while we build it.  Buses continue into city during the whole period this is done.  Seaford - Brighton electric service starts in March 2014 (just before State election) with bus connections Brighton to City, until June/July 2014 when full electric service starts.

I think the weakest link in sparking to Seaford is the slow progress with electrification infrastructure.  Not delivery of EMUs, track renewal or underpass at Goodwood, which all seem to be progressing as expected.

I'm sure DPTI has their contingencies worked out.  I wonder what they are?
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
If the Kiwis can electrify the Auckland system with trains running even through active work sites then I'm sure it can be done here.

Their work is being done mostly after hours but trains can still use the line by arrangement.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
...

or:-
2) End of August, State and Federal governments announce new Oaklands flyover will go ahead as a priority.  But sorry guys, we'll need to keep the line closed for another 9 months while we build it.  Buses continue into city during the whole period this is done.  Seaford - Brighton electric service starts in March 2014 (just before State election) with bus connections Brighton to City, until June/July 2014 when full electric service starts.

I think the weakest link in sparking to Seaford is the slow progress with electrification infrastructure.  Not delivery of EMUs, track renewal or underpass at Goodwood, which all seem to be progressing as expected.

I'm sure DPTI has their contingencies worked out.  I wonder what they are?
1S47

9 months is an inordinate amount of time for a project like that - they don't shut a railway line for that period of time to do a grade separation in Melbourne.

I think if the actual electrification work is delayed it's more likely that you'll see 3000 class only on Seaford services while Jumbos are restricted to Gawler/Outer Harbour.  It's not as if normal train services can't operate while they're putting the catenary up, they might have speed restrictions through works areas but otherwise I don't think it will be as hard as closing the whole line for an extra period of time.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

9 months is an inordinate amount of time for a project like that - they don't shut a railway line for that period of time to do a grade separation in Melbourne.

I think if the actual electrification work is delayed it's more likely that you'll see 3000 class only on Seaford services while Jumbos are restricted to Gawler/Outer Harbour.  It's not as if normal train services can't operate while they're putting the catenary up, they might have speed restrictions through works areas but otherwise I don't think it will be as hard as closing the whole line for an extra period of time.
don_dunstan

If the alignment can change at Oaklands then the overpass can be built along side it just like the tram overpass at Glandore. It would even be possible to run single track albeit with some restrictions. We will see the Tonsley "duplication" first which means extra train could be run to Tonsley with buses in lieu of trains to Oaklands/Brighton.

Unfortunately this is Adelaide where public transport is only for window dressing; "who uses it but we must have it". This means that the Oaklands project will involve another lengthy shut down of services. Then they will wonder why traffic doesn't grow following electrification like it has elsewhere. That will become a reason for indefinite deferment of the Gawler line."

Its late Sunday night and I am feeling more cynical than usual.

Sweet dreams to all. Dream of a viable Adelaide metro system disgorging 100s of thousands of passengers into the revitalised CBD every day following ACC drive to return employment to the city. (Nightmare, less employment in close CBD, more vehicle use, ever declining rail use, more buses and finally EMUs sold to Spain. Rail lines turned to bus-ways?)

Regards
Ian
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
You must have done well on the Weasel Words section of English at school if you think pre-service testing could plausibly count as "in service." These EMUs are passenger rail vehicles, if they are not carrying passengers they are not in service!

The first batch have already been undergoing a lot of testing in Melbourne [source: Hansard] and will be arriving this week [source: Hansard] so that leaves six months for the first couple of EMUs to get out on the track and clock up enough mileage to be accepted for service and still get it done within 2013. Even one or two units is enough, they could just slot into the existing timetable and allow 3000/3100s to be cascaded and a three car Jumbo set pensioned off.

Unless of course DPTI is currently busy putting out a tender for supply of the world's biggest vice to slim down the EMUs just in case it does turn out they are too wide.
justapassenger
Ah they are not still being built are they, or being fitted out in the Seaford Depot and even in service cars are still deemed to be in service if running a special train, just standing in the yard waiting they are still in service. So the date for the first one in service or commissioned could well be the date that the first one is run out of Seaford Depot. The Redhens were like this run as test runs to try them out before actually entering public service. The dates for most Red Hens and other cars is the date they were completed and released from the workshops for driver training and testing, before actually entering full service. This was how they found that the first set would not clear a lot of platforms, Bowden being one, so it was back to the workshop's for a bit of body modification to them.

They will have to train drivers on them, test the overhead installations thoroughly and they are not in service are they then we will all have very active imaginations when it happens though, I doubt you would want passengers on board just in case something did go wrong and strand the train. One could imagine the out cry by the media about that.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

If the department would issue a press release or fact sheet explaining honestly why it will take 7+ months to test an EMU (especially one they claim has already been tested in Melbourne) then people wouldn't need to join the dots themselves and assume the worst (delays, cost blowouts, compromised quality and a cover-up for good measure). It's not the delays that are the problem (although that they are afflicting every current DPTI-led project bigger than the Torrens footbridge would point to an entrenched pattern of bad project management which they can't pin on the contractors) but the silence - the department seems to think it's acceptable to insult the public's intelligence and the elected government doesn't have the balls to be seen doing anything about it despite having all the power to do so

I wonder how this would compare to the length of the commissioning/pre-service phase for a new passenger stock order in places around the world where multiple suppliers compete to supply each new order.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I can totally understand why they would appear to be dragging their feet on getting the 4000 class commissioned.  We live in a really lawyer-dominated world, they need to prove total compliance with OH&S DDA and all that stuff before a member of the public can even set foot in one, not to mention the fact that staff have to be completely familiar with operational procedures and requirements.  They also need to press the 4000's to the maximum limits before acceptance because once they are accepted by AdMet it becomes difficult to do rectifications or to blame Bombardier for subsequent issues.

In response specifically to Ian, I can understand the pessimism because Adelaide has such a long history of public transport being a last resort only for pensioners, school-children and the unemployed (or anyone stupid enough to not have a car) but I honestly think that the new trains will be a huge boon for Adelaide CBD as well as the greater city.  If you had said to someone in Perth thirty years ago that one day they would have a hugely popular electric train network they would have laughed at you - now it's a reality.  Perth trains were in a much more dilapidated state than Adelaide and yet now days it's an integral part of the city's transport network; I think given the opportunity we should see a resurgence in Adelaide's train use so long as there are substantially improved frequencies making it a more viable alternative to car travel.
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

If the Kiwis can electrify the Auckland system with trains running even through active work sites then I'm sure it can be done here.

Their work is being done mostly after hours but trains can still use the line by arrangement.
"kipioneer"


Perth was also electrified without massive closures for an extended period. Even now there is to be two five day closures to realign tracks underground, interesting to see the concern by the public being raised for closing for 5 days. I do not think in Perth they would tolerate an extended closure like Adelaide hence them doing works around rail works.
  djukinX1016 Deputy Commissioner

I can totally understand why they would appear to be dragging their feet on getting the 4000 class commissioned.  We live in a really lawyer-dominated world, they need to prove total compliance with OH&S DDA and all that stuff before a member of the public can even set foot in one, not to mention the fact that staff have to be completely familiar with operational procedures and requirements.  They also need to press the 4000's to the maximum limits before acceptance because once they are accepted by AdMet it becomes difficult to do rectifications or to blame Bombardier for subsequent issues.

In response specifically to Ian, I can understand the pessimism because Adelaide has such a long history of public transport being a last resort only for pensioners, school-children and the unemployed (or anyone stupid enough to not have a car) but I honestly think that the new trains will be a huge boon for Adelaide CBD as well as the greater city.  If you had said to someone in Perth thirty years ago that one day they would have a hugely popular electric train network they would have laughed at you - now it's a reality.  Perth trains were in a much more dilapidated state than Adelaide and yet now days it's an integral part of the city's transport network; I think given the opportunity we should see a resurgence in Adelaide's train use so long as there are substantially improved frequencies making it a more viable alternative to car travel.
"don_dunstan"


Agreed Perth had even seen the Perth to Fremantle line closed, try to do that today! The problem in Perth now is getting enough EMU's to cater for the growth/ extensions even with another 15 3 car sets being added to the 31 3 car B series and 48 2 car A series fleet. So hopefully Adelaide sees a similar resurgence.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Agreed Perth had even seen the Perth to Fremantle line closed, try to do that today! The problem in Perth now is getting enough EMU's to cater for the growth/ extensions even with another 15 3 car sets being added to the 31 3 car B series and 48 2 car A series fleet. So hopefully Adelaide sees a similar resurgence.
djukinX1016

A market for Adelaide's redundant EMU's ?

Positively I look forward to a viable evening timetable, better than 30 minute frequency, the wife and I will use it to go to functions in Festival Centre and day/night cricket. Waiting 55 minutes in ARS is not enthralling.

I noted in Perth that since the electrification businesses there have moved back to George Street and the CBD.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
A market for Adelaide's redundant EMU's ?

Positively I look forward to a viable evening timetable, better than 30 minute frequency, the wife and I will use it to go to functions in Festival Centre and day/night cricket. Waiting 55 minutes in ARS is not enthralling.

I noted in Perth that since the electrification businesses there have moved back to George Street and the CBD.
steam4ian
At a guess I'd say the 4000's will be too wide for Perth but I haven't seen the engineering specs so I don't know.

You've hit the nail on the head there, Ian.  Many a time visiting Adelaide I've tried using trains after hours or weekends only to be bitterly disappointed by waits of up to an hour - it's simply too long.  It has to be 30 minute frequency up to midnight or it's not worth bothering with.  Hopefully this is one of the problems electrification will fix; cost savings leading to an improved service.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

At a guess I'd say the 4000's will be too wide for Perth but I haven't seen the engineering specs so I don't know.

You've hit the nail on the head there, Ian.  Many a time visiting Adelaide I've tried using trains after hours or weekends only to be bitterly disappointed by waits of up to an hour - it's simply too long.  It has to be 30 minute frequency up to midnight or it's not worth bothering with.  Hopefully this is one of the problems electrification will fix; cost savings leading to an improved service.
don_dunstan

Don

Justapax is suggesting the 4000s are too wide for Adelaide!

I do wish he would put up, not the alternative I enjoy discussions with him.

He has suggested calling in the Vice Squad to fix what he reports to be a problem.

Ian
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
If the department would issue a press release or fact sheet explaining honestly why it will take 7+ months to test an EMU (especially one they claim has already been tested in Melbourne) then people wouldn't need to join the dots themselves and assume the worst (delays, cost blowouts, compromised quality and a cover-up for good measure). It's not the delays that are the problem (although that they are afflicting every current DPTI-led project bigger than the Torrens footbridge would point to an entrenched pattern of bad project management which they can't pin on the contractors) but the silence - the department seems to think it's acceptable to insult the public's intelligence and the elected government doesn't have the balls to be seen doing anything about it despite having all the power to do so

I wonder how this would compare to the length of the commissioning/pre-service phase for a new passenger stock order in places around the world where multiple suppliers compete to supply each new order.
justapassenger
Thank you for proving that you are in fact a Liberal party lapdog, saves me the trouble of guessing.

Oh look I found a tender document https://www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tenders/tender/display/tender-details.do?id=19134&action=display-tender-details

For those who actually have an interest, its not just testing a new train.
1. All the drivers/PSAs/maintenance staff need to be trained to work safely around 25kv.
2. The drivers all need experience driving the new trains and route knowledge of the Seaford extension/depot.
3. Finally all the new signalling needs to be commissioned/tested. Given the gremlins/delays they had with the signalling in the Dry Creek depot, not delaying passengers by 15 mins due to this stuff is a good idea.

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