Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
This shows bad management by Government completely snowed by the department.

It has nothing to do with non-rail people doing the job rather it is engineers dictating the work not the passenger services people.

Non-rail people becoming involved in the running of rail can be very refreshing if it means needless red tape can be dispensed with; witness the integration of the bus and rail divisions of STA years ago.

The bus people made sure passengers got through breakdowns rather than trains coming to a halt.   I remember flagmen in Adelaide yard during a signal failure where with rail people in charge nothing would have moved, and, since the bus people have left, nothing does.

It is a passenger focused culture required not an engineering one, nor one involving playing trains.

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  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
Phower - you say that the work is being undertaken by 'non rail' people. As far as I understand it - Tracksure are actually Joint Venture (Coleman Rail, John Holland and York Civil) and when I checked out their websites, it looks as though they have significant rail experience across the country.

However, seeing that you are such an expert in these matters - how would've you proposed to have undertaken the works (considering that the work has entailed completely ripping up the track, base layers and the like, and re doing it).  It's very easy to sit here and be critical of what is happening - so maybe you should be offering your services to get this moving...

Yes, having the rail line out of action for 9 months is a pain in the a** (and I am talking from experience - as this is also my rail line, so I'm on the train replacement buses all the time), but considering the scope of the work, and probably the integration between the 3 contractors and possibly the political and feel good factors (i.e. consultation - which always takes up a fair amount of time, then maybe having the track out of commission and doing it properly the first time is the best way to do it.

I guess we should probably be lucky that it is being done - if the other mob was in power, there is no guarantee that they would've spent any money on the rail network.  And they never did spend any
jimmyj76au
When I was in that field (SAR and STA ) the line would not be closed for the length of time it has  , Also it would have run Bang line  on some parts (single line ) and it can be done with some planning .

The companies you mention are just people who are paper shufflers  and nothing more , the people in the field are the workers ,  they do the work and what they are told !! I dont blame them one bit , its the paper shufflers who are to blame , if you so like it  that way and  I did my bit  when I was working with the Govt  and yes ,  I have been contacted on some matters on a previous occasions   so sorry to burst your bubble ???? as they got rid of all the people who had the experience  and knowledge ........I could go on and on  but whats the use ,,,,?
  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
This shows bad management by Government completely snowed by the department. and splitting it up of rail , buses and road  repairs  to make jobs look more important

It has nothing to do with non-rail people doing the job rather it is engineers dictating the work not the passenger services people.

Non-rail people becoming involved in the running of rail can be very refreshing if it means needless red tape can be dispensed with; witness the integration of the bus and rail divisions of STA years ago.  yes sir (partly )

The bus people made sure passengers got through breakdowns rather than trains coming to a halt.   I remember flagmen in Adelaide yard during a signal failure where with rail people in charge nothing would have moved, and, since the bus people have left, nothing does.  100% correct
It is a passenger focused culture required not an engineering one, nor one involving playing trains.
kipioneer
plus maintenance carried out  not left for years  as it was told to be left  !!!!!!!! (next budget all the time )
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Ok keeping this on topic

The signal gantry at Oaklands Park has been removed and the last overhead portal beam was installed through the station today also saw a ballast vehicle which I presume was to compact the ballast near rail corridor gate 75
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Neil

You and I are normally on the same page however this time I can't agree with you about engineers being the problem.

The real problem is the lack of RAIL people coupled with today's risk averse culture.

As you know I have had much to say over the shutdowns. Marion station underpass is a case at point. I recall subways built in days of yore with the excavation and backfill done over a weekend with single track working using Pilot men. That is how RAILWAY people do it.

The Noarlunga line could have been upgraded progressively by shutting down alternately the up and down tracks and putting in temporary cross overs.

The Goodwood underpass presents more of a problem, however a bypass though what will become a cycle way could probably have got around it.

On the positive side, the recent Show Grounds Central arrangements show that at last there are some RAILWAY people in the department.

Ian
  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
Neil

You and I are normally on the same page however this time I can't agree with you about engineers being the problem.

The real problem is the lack of RAIL people coupled with today's risk averse culture.

As you know I have had much to say over the shutdowns. Marion station underpass is a case at point. I recall subways built in days of yore with the excavation and backfill done over a weekend with single track working using Pilot men. That is how RAILWAY people do it.

The Noarlunga line could have been upgraded progressively by shutting down alternately the up and down tracks and putting in temporary cross overs.

The Goodwood underpass presents more of a problem, however a bypass though what will become a cycle way could probably have got around it.

On the positive side, the recent Show Grounds Central arrangements show that at last there are some RAILWAY people in the department.

Ian
steam4ian
well said  this is what I have stated or similar  its also called BANG LINE  and thank you
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
I am not really saying anything different to Ian but expressing it differently: the problem seems to be a lack of customer service orientation among the managers of the projects so the engineering solution wins out over a customer service solution.    

It is, after all, within the engineer's comfort zone - but then a new road can be built without actually blocking traffic for more than a weekend: witness the northern end of the South Road Superway.

We can fix the customers, the project managers propose, by digging a few life-expired buses out of retirement for 9 or 10 months and that will keep the customers happy - of course it will satisfy those customers Sad.

Unfortunately some RAIL types have lacked this customer service orientation in the past and prefered to think their job was running trains rather than carrying passengers.   It took the introduction of bus people into management to change the view of those railway men.

For this reason I prefer not to criticise on the grounds of the managers being non-rail people for lack of a customer service orientation is not confined to non-railway people; indeed the right non-rail people would have handled the projects differently bearing the customers in mind rather than shunting them aside.

There has been expertise lost from the government railways by those who knew anything moving on to the ANR or simply leaving by retirement or taking packages.

This meant a couple of things: loss of corporate knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, a loss of pride in the rail system.

It really annoys me to see a completed but unused railway in the Seaford extention with no immediate prospect of it being used.   It has been completed for months.   It annoys me to see the electrification of the remainder of the line apparently taking precedence over the carrying of passengers, rather than it being done in weekend and evening closures.

They could do with some marketing advice, too!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Neil

I pick up your point on the electrification.

For some months Laing O'Rourke have had virtually unfettered access to the tracks from Hallett Cove to Goodwood and yet very little progress has been made. There are still masts and gantries missing and as I have observed elsewhere some of the masts will have to be taken out on account of signal sighting.

Even with some missing gantries there is no reason why the remaining masts & gantries can't be dressed.

Since "completion" of the NC to Seaford section in June all we have is a bit strung from Marino to Brighton and now possibly form Marino to Hallett Cove. Still 16 km to go, plus ARS.

I have supervised power line erection and I know if progress on my projects had been that spasmodic and works that chaotic I'd have had the Contractor over the table. It reads to me like a Contractor in trouble.

Let us not get started on the signalling or Marion underpass.

I would say DPTI are scrambling around for excuses to delay reopening the line.

One other question. Are we fully sure that a loaded 3000 set will get up the Goodwood underpass 1/33 on a wet slippery day?

Ian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Ok keeping this on topic

The signal gantry at Oaklands Park has been removed and the last overhead portal beam was installed through the station today also saw a ballast vehicle which I presume was to compact the ballast near rail corridor gate 75
Milkomeda
We were speculating on that gantry a few pages back; it did seem too low to be compatible with the new catenary.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I'm sorry to say I have to agree about "rail people" and a complete lack of customer orientation. The best help for customers during the closure period has come from the bus companies which have done an outstanding job given the rotten hand they got dealt by the government. Southlink especially have gone above and beyond in both getting the job done on the ground and fighting the government on the customers' behalf to get more resources for the substitute buses.

On that basis I would support the franchising of train operations (but not infrastructure maintenance) to Southlink, should they choose to put in a bid, in a couple of years time once electrification to Dry Creek is completed. If the department had to pay the train operating company thousands of dollars for every service cancelled due to infrastructure it might force them to think a little differently about massive shutdowns and switch to night works or single line operations. It works in the UK, where it's now a rare event for Network Rail or their contractors to run over the allocated time by even an hour.

You can tell that the department knows they've failed, as has happened every previous time one of their projects failed the usual stream of PR updates has vanished and the project website isn't getting any new edits. This is already looking like it could turn out to be one of the biggest failures yet (1-4 months of extra closures) so I can imagine it's taking them a fair while to work out how to spin it with lots of meetings and lots of coffee.

For some months Laing O'Rourke have had virtually unfettered access to the tracks from Hallett Cove to Goodwood and yet very little progress has been made. There are still masts and gantries missing and as I have observed elsewhere some of the masts will have to be taken out on account of signal sighting.

Even with some missing gantries there is no reason why the remaining masts & gantries can't be dressed.

Since "completion" of the NC to Seaford section in June all we have is a bit strung from Marino to Brighton and now possibly form Marino to Hallett Cove. Still 16 km to go, plus ARS.

I have supervised power line erection and I know if progress on my projects had been that spasmodic and works that chaotic I'd have had the Contractor over the table. It reads to me like a Contractor in trouble.
"steam4ian"
To me it sounds like the department selected the lowest bid for the electrification work, and that it has turned out that the bid was too low to afford enough workers and equipment to get the job done.

In any other country like Britain, closures for electrification (whether installation or renewal) would see an army of workers getting ready to move into the site the moment the last train went through. Preparatory works (e.g. footings, plain single masts, earthing) would have been done on nights and weekends before the major works began, with maybe a few of the late evening trains replaced by buses over the section being worked on to enable a full shift of eight hours to be worked instead of five hours from last night train to first morning train.

Electrification should never be an excuse for a closure any longer than a weekend. The track replacement is a different issue, but possibly even that could have been handled by doing one track at a time with one way services in each peak (plenty of space at the Seaford depot right now) and two shifts of track work, in the daytime off peak and overnight.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I saw a media scrum at the Adelaide Railway station today I saw abc, seven, nine and ten news crews there I hope it was regarding an announcement for the Noarlunga line
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
No announcement - the Opposition was stirring up about late trains, 15% apparently.

Pity Vickie Chapman wasn't stirring up about late projects.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

No announcement - the Opposition was stirring up about late trains, 15% apparently.

Pity Vickie Chapman wasn't stirring up about late projects.
kipioneer

LOL she did have a go about no date being set for the Noarlunga Line reopening.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwgHj7jC7io

The nine news reporter seems to believe worst case scenario is November for a line reopening date. Realistically I think it will be in the first half of October in which the line reopens

EDIT: I found out Southlink are apparently contracted to run subsititue bus services until October 15th
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Out of curio, given that no train was capable of entering Adelaide Yard for the month of January, and a large number of buses were used to complete the journey, which by no means quicker than the train, this would have significant impact to ontime running?
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Out of curio, given that no train was capable of entering Adelaide Yard for the month of January, and a large number of buses were used to complete the journey, which by no means quicker than the train, this would have significant impact to ontime running?
witsend
That depends if the temporary timetables used for January were already taken into consideration. The trains themselves were generally on time from what I seen I remember seeing a couple of times the train driver leaving the North Adelaide station despite the GA1 bus not showing up yet. IIRC the trains left regardless if the GA1 bus was there before the train or not
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Well if a line reopening delay wasn't bad enough here is some more bad news for Noarlunga Line commuters

Looks like we have some nice weekend closures to greet us upon the line reopening (Yeah I called it earlier in the year I just knew weekend closures were going to occur upon line reopening for electrification work) the closures are also required for the Wayville station works.

http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/Announcements/Service-updates/Rail-electrification-Night-and-weekend-works-on-the-Belair-line
  poxbox3030 Train Controller

Location: Train Control
Well if a line reopening delay wasn't bad enough here is some more bad news for Noarlunga Line commuters

Looks like we have some nice weekend closures to greet us upon the line reopening (Yeah I called it earlier in the year I just knew weekend closures were going to occur upon line reopening for electrification work) the closures are also required for the Wayville station works.

http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/Announcements/Service-updates/Rail-electrification-Night-and-weekend-works-on-the-Belair-line
"Milkomeda"


I don't know if its just me, but I read the entire article to which you linked to and not once was the Noarlunga line mentioned. It was for the Belair line. How is that bad news for Noarlunga commuters?
  Tonsley213 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Everywhere except South Kensington
It could be assumed that these closures will also be felt by the noarlunga line once it reopens. Assuming it opens before December.
  lcb Beginner

I don't know if its just me, but I read the entire article to which you linked to and not once was the Noarlunga line mentioned. It was for the Belair line. How is that bad news for Noarlunga commuters?
poxbox3030
Infrastructure Minister Tom Koutsantonis was on Radio 5aa this morning,and he conceeded that the reopening of the Noarlunga line this morning was highly unlikely.
He will meet with the Rail Commisioner Rod Hook later next week to receive a report on the line readiness.He believes there is still quite a lot of signalling work to be done,which is a safety issue.
He will support whatever decision Rod Hook recommends.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

That the Noarlunga line isn't being mentioned at all in the page about the night and weekend closures probably indicates that the whole Noarlunga line won't be open at that point so not worth mentioning when the article about the full time bustitutes already covers it.

He will meet with the Rail Commisioner Rod Hook later next week to receive a report on the line readiness.He believes there is still quite a lot of signalling work to be done,which is a safety issue.
He will support whatever decision Rod Hook recommends.
"lcb"
Good to know Rod Hook is filling that role at least temporarily.

He does know his way around electricity distribution, he previously held a top position at either ETSA Utilities or the regulator (can't remember which).
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I think it's just the government not wanting to make a bad situation even worse by announcing weekend closures upon line reopening. Once a reopening date is set I'm dead certain then they will reveal that those weekend closures will either partially or fully close the noarlunga line
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I think it's just the government not wanting to make a bad situation even worse by announcing weekend closures upon line reopening. Once a reopening date is set I'm dead certain then they will reveal that those weekend closures will either partially or fully close the noarlunga line
"Milkomeda"
I think the time is already too late to start using the drip feed strategy, although it could be interesting to see how spinning it as a "limited reopening" might be received instead of a reopening immediately followed by closures. I think they desperately need the services of an external public relations and marketing firm, nothing they try to do through their own channels will be able to spin this one well enough when people have been asking about the reopening date for over a month and just getting blanked each time.

Does anybody have any details on the "train protection system" the website says has been installed on the Seaford (formerly Noarlunga) line? Is it TPWS? PZB? KVB? ATC? ATP?
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
With still no re-opening date and all this (no doubt preplanned) night / weekend work coming up, I almost suspect they are trying to get the line electrified earlier than planned (sacrificing the reopening date), possible because of the state election in March.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
With still no re-opening date and all this (no doubt preplanned) night / weekend work coming up, I almost suspect they are trying to get the line electrified earlier than planned (sacrificing the reopening date), possible because of the state election in March.
nscaler69
Yeah that's a possibility; is there any chance that the Adelaide station/yards could be done before Xmas/New Year and the opportunity for a comprehensive shut down (again)?  Otherwise it seems very unlikely they would get the new trains in service before then.

It's a salient point that they'll be trying to extract maximum political value from the new trains though - I would be doing the same thing after (by then) twelve years in office.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

With still no re-opening date and all this (no doubt preplanned) night / weekend work coming up, I almost suspect they are trying to get the line electrified earlier than planned (sacrificing the reopening date), possible because of the state election in March.
"nscaler69"
That could be a possibility, but I would substitute the words "with lateness measures in weeks instead of months" where you've written "earlier than planned."

We know that not all of the upcoming night works affecting the Belair line (i.e. the Adelaide-Goodwood part of things) are pre-planned, the department has acknowledged that some of the gantries have been placed incorrectly and need an extra closure to be relocated.

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