The slimline concrete sleepers extend primarily in the track from Geelong to Marshall. From there onwards basically 1 in 4 sleepers has been replaced by slimline concrete through to Warrnambool . Based on past practice the remaining wooden sleepers will be replaced by slimline concrete progressively over the next 3 tie cycles over 15 years or so . (the same process is being adopted progressively on all passenger lines beyond the Inter-urban area.)
Within the Inter-urban area in recent years since the RFR project virtually all wooden sleepers on Class-2 tarck have been replaced by concrete.
There is no plan or intention to increase line speed to 130kmh beyond Waurn Ponds as that would rqeuire a significant upgrade of lx protection on existing crossings, plus installation of booms at many more lx. In addition whilst some of the N class locos have been regeared for 130kmh operation, the N & Z cars are not suitable for higher speed than 115kmh without bogie modifications as were undertaken on the three (3) sg N sets which has not eventuated on the North East as yet owing to the poor condition of the ARTC maintained track . There are no plans to operate V/Locity trains beyond the Inter-urban area other than to the current Echuca & Maryborough .
If the N, Z and H Cars are not suitable for higher speed than 115kmh why were some of the N class locos regeared for 130kmh operation?Two issues here.
Two issues here.
1. As originally purchased the N class locos were used for both passenger & freight duties and as such the gearing chosen was a compromise of 115kmh to suit passenger , and grunt at low speed for freight . Now they are used exclusively on VLP passenger services as there is a need to fit new traction motors the decision was taken to fit those motors with gearing suitable for 130kmh operation, if and when that became possible on Class-1 track . Class 1 track only exists in selected sections of the RFR lines so far .
2. The intention with the Nth East standardization was to achieve Class 1 track standard on the East Line at least . As such and in anticipation of that track standard being achieved by ARTC three N class locos already regeared for 130kmh, and the 3 x 6 car sg N sets all were said to have had bogie modifications (brake rigging,, springing and dampener improvements) to allow 130kmh running for the sg N sets only .
The botched tie renewal by ARTC the on going track stability issues on both the East & West lines have not as yet achieved a Class-1 track , so current speeds are restricted to loco hauled 115kmh and lower in many places, plus a plethora of semi permanent speed restrictions on the West line especially.
X 42 and X 43 on today’s freight. Nice to see Double X, s on the train.
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