Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
SAR526: Thank-you for reposting those photos of the line around Hove/Warradale.  It's really interesting to see that completed overhead and I have to say it appears to be a lighter and less intrusive structure than the 1500v catenary over here.

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  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Noarlunga Line services off to a wonderful start with the very first service on the line delayed by almost 15 minutes due to track work.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

On the bright side, 3 months and 15 minutes late is a bit better than 15 months and 3 minutes.

The night/weekend closures page for the Belair line has been quietly amended to say today is the last day of full weekend closures, not the 15th as it said originally.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I regularly travel from Sheidow Park to Bolivar and join a long queue of drivers going to places on neither the train or tram lines....... PT is not efficient for this travel and due to the diverse location of the destinations never will be.
steam4ian
G'day ian,

I may meet you somewhere today as we celebrate the return of our trains.

I once used to drive for five days a week from my home in Warradale to work in places like Salisbury, Campbelltown and Birdwood. Like you, I found it a necessity for many journeys.
Nevertheless, I used public transport for most of my journeys to the first two when the car wasn't needed for other purposes en route. Of course for the third there was no option. For a couple of jobs closer to home I rode my bike, and for a third, walked to the station and caught a train.

Children in our youth walked or rode their bikes to school. Now their mums break the law to park as close as possible to the school gates and cause a large part of the rush hour congestion as they do so. One result, as Don has pointed out, is the increasing obesity of children and adults alike and its health consequences as they find themselves to be too time poor (or simply lazy) to walk with their child with the bonding that thereby ensues. Yes I know that some go to distant schools, but cheap subsidised public transport is usually available, and attending a nearer school would often have just as satisfactory educational and social outcomes.

The health costs of hospitalizing obesity caused illnesses are a huge hidden consequence to society of the overuse of the private car. I am presently catching a bus and walking to visit a friend fourteen years younger than I who is lying in a nursing home part paralysed with a stroke and heart trouble.

I now use my mobility scooter to do the shopping, although I lugged two or three shopping bags home by bus until I was 82, but even now, with or without my walker and with a dodgy knee, I walk distances of up to a couple of kilometres when necessary. At the same time I notice that disability parking spaces are often occupied by able bodied drivers.

I agree with you that the private car is here to stay and will always be necessary for many purposes, but do we need the petrol guzzling four wheel drive behemoths instead of smaller vehicles? Do we need the use of our streets as day and night parks, for example, of the four cars of the inhabitants of one of the infill houses that occupies the site of my deceased neighbour's home, and the almost constant parking across the footpath to the station by one or two of the five vehicles in another house further down the street?

Cheap – even free – frequent connecting renewable energy public transport as is found in most European cities, and strong financial disincentives to drive and further pollute our atmosphere, with its all too obvious present catastrophic consequences, are a necessity if we are to continue to inhabit this planet for very much longer. It may already be too late, but at least we may be able to delay the wilful desecration of this beautiful home of ours. I already dread the wild fires that will inevitably destroy the Adelaide Hills where I grew up (as well as hundreds of homes and lives) to the point that I make frequent day trips by bus to immerse myself in their loveliness for an hour or two. The private car has given us great advantages, but it also has its very dire effects on all of our lives.

If you see my red scooter today, say 'hello'. You, Don and I may have our political and other differences of outlook, but we have a very great deal in common.


Brian.
  ANDL36Y Train Controller

There is NOT space to build an elevated road junction to the Austroads safety standards in that area, while the rail corridor has plenty of room in either direction for the 3% ramp (or even a shallower ramp) to fit in before getting to anything else of significance.
justapassenger

Just to clarify, Austroads are design 'guidelines' (may) and not are not 'standards' (shall). And there is a caveat when there are physical and monetary restraints known as Extended Design Domain (EDD) where for example the normal Stopping Sight parameters are lowered in order to reduce the length of required crest or horizontal curves, etc.

And you can make anything work design-wise, it just takes political will and CASH.

Cheers Smile

PS Oh and excellently put SAR526. My sentiments precisely... and I'm just a 'youngster'.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Hello Brian -

At the risk of becoming a mutual admiration society I must say I do enjoy the intelligent conversations I usually have with you two gentleman with regards to these issues.  It's good to be able to chat to people with reasoned arguments despite the differences in political opinions; perhaps it's the more genteel nature South Australians usually possess.

You raised a couple of interesting points there in your last post I wanted to respond to (without taking the thread too far off track).  One point is that you are so very right about the nature of vehicles now-days; Paul Keating said a few years ago that if he was PM now he would try and tax these mini-trucks we call 4WD's off the road and I agree with him.  Particularly in my part of Melbourne these damn things are a must-have status symbol of the bourgeoisie; they are much heavier than conventional vehicles, harder for other traffic to see past at intersections and they are much more likely to maim or kill the occupants of any other vehicle they collide with.  I think if State governments wanted to look at ways of raising revenue they should consider differential car rego for heavier vehicles - they already do this in Victoria with cars that have bigger engines - why not higher rego for these mini-trucks?  Country people could be exempt but I think it's time we started to tax these things out of our metropolitan areas, they just aren't necessary.

The second point you made about traffic destroying the amenity of our cities is very pertinent; I'm getting heartily sick of trying to battle the roads here in Melbourne and 'peak' hours now stretch out until 6:30 or 7pm - it's shocking.  We are the only mainland state here not investing in expanding or improving our rail network to any significant extent and believe me it really needs it; although we can't be sure yet of the impact of a new/improved Seaford line there's no doubt that it was a really brave political decision to do this and I'm really hoping that it helps alleviate congestion there in the south so that the way is paved for future improvements/expansion throughout Adelaide as an example to show slack Victorians how it needs to be done!

Don.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Got my ride on train 1, 0635 out of NC, actually Milko it was 12 minutes late departing and was not able to make more than 2 mins; only a handful on board, three "normal pax" and gentleman about my age who was a history buff. A few joined the train along the way. Free of foam.

I missed the 0730 return trip from ARS so had to wait until 0800.

The TSRs are a pain, at every point where they have filled to rail level for Roadrailer access. Worse are the 40 kph restrictions after a yellow aspects; something will have to be done about this. This rule should only be applied where the next red is protecting a conflicting movement say Goodwood/Wayville, Tonsley Junction, Oaklands turnback. Other approach signals should carry a mark indicating they can be pass yellow at track speed (a bit like the old grade markers on distant signals).

The 0800 left on time but was 6 mins down when we got back to NC.

20kph past Marion, only the TSR commence sign is very poorly sighted on the down direction and the driver is only about a mast away before it becomes visible.

Expect problems tomorrow morning when dwell times are longer on account of pax or mobility assistance is required.

Happy day

Ian
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
SAR526: Thank-you for reposting those photos of the line around Hove/Warradale.  It's really interesting to see that completed overhead and I have to say it appears to be a lighter and less intrusive structure than the 1500v catenary over here.
don_dunstan
Its to be expected as with 16.7 times higher voltage means 16.7 times lower current. It's the current which mostly determines the required thickness of the cables themselves. Less cable weight means less materials in both cables and support structures.

It is interesting they are using concrete weights in the line tensioners rather than steel weights as I saw around Victoria.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

"Less cable weight means less materials in both cables and support structures."

Please take this as a comment only. In Europe the 16kV wiring appears even lighter still, appears to be just a contact wire like an overgrown tram system only 16kV and that is on main lines.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Trains are now moving at speed through the Goodwood underpass. the gloves are off.

Ian
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Its to be expected as with 16.7 times higher voltage means 16.7 times lower current.
"fabricator"
I agree with Ian, that's a crude comment which assumes that the power is the same (which it might not be, our EMUs are significantly heavier than Melbourne EMUs) and that the characteristics of AC and DC are the same (they are not).

It is interesting they are using concrete weights in the line tensioners rather than steel weights as I saw around Victoria.
"fabricator"
Do we know whether they are just concrete, or concrete casings surrounding heavier weights inside as a deterrent to metal thieves?

At least some of the weights on the Glenelg Tram power lines are steel - I only know from those I've seen alongside the short section of the Mike Turtur Bikeway that I use.

Trains are now moving at speed through the Goodwood underpass. the gloves are off.

Ian
"steam4ian"
I assume that means they survived the wet weather through the middle of the day today without sliding to a halt?
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I did 3 round trips on the Noarlunga line today I really enjoyed the ride through the underpass and I believe I saw some Railpage members on the 6:05pm train to the city
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

"I assume that means they survived the wet weather through the middle of the day today without sliding to a halt?"

Laughing
  62440 Chief Commissioner

It is interesting they are using concrete weights in the line tensioners rather than steel weights as I saw around Victoria.
fabricator
The metal weights you see are a mix of 20kg and 10 kg and are lifted in one by one. There are rules about weights and they must be liftable by anyone, including pregnant women, so I was told. To get over the OHS issues, it was decided to go for a solid lump of concrete which has to be craned in.
They are obviously cheaper to make than a load of special castings and savings in production and handling can offset the crane cost.
  mynameismike Deputy Commissioner

Location: /dev/adelaide/magill

The TSRs are a pain, at every point where they have filled to rail level for Roadrailer access. Worse are the 40 kph restrictions after a yellow aspects; something will have to be done about this. This rule should only be applied where the next red is protecting a conflicting movement say Goodwood/Wayville, Tonsley Junction, Oaklands turnback. Other approach signals should carry a mark indicating they can be pass yellow at track speed (a bit like the old grade markers on distant signals).

steam4ian

Dumping the speed signaling system was such a wonderful idea....
  Scooter_Guy Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA. Suburb: Redwood Park
Only a few more days until I take advantage of the train to Noarlunga with a brand new style!
  Dingo2013 Station Staff

Location: Banned
I saw a test train at around noon through the Oakland's railway station last Saturday, it consisted of a single 3000 class railcar, couldn't get the number as I was too far away.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Its to be expected as with 16.7 times higher voltage means 16.7 times lower current. It's the current which mostly determines the required thickness of the cables themselves. Less cable weight means less materials in both cables and support structures.

It is interesting they are using concrete weights in the line tensioners rather than steel weights as I saw around Victoria.
fabricator
Mechanical considerations may determine cable thickness.  To maintain vertical rigidity in the contact wire against the pantograph requires tension in the contact wire and there will be a minimum diameter that will sustain that tension, so the cross section of tram, 1500V dc and 25kV ac conductors may not differ so much in practice.  The greater benefit of ac is probably in the feeder arrangements. The Glenelg tram has six feeder stations plus feeder cables for its total length.  In NSW there are fairly frequent feeder stations along the lines, whereas the Seaford line has a single feeder point at Lonsdale and relies totally on the contact/catenary wires for power distribution.

There is one section overlap that has steel weights, at Columbia Crescent.

Alex C
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
G'evening All,

Regarding the use of the single occupant commuter car verses public transport debate.

It must be mentioned that from a government perspective public transport costs the government money through subsidies whereas the taxes (petrol excise, GST on fuel and more frequent car service, parking fees and charges etc) give them substantial revenue. Governments prefer you to drive to work.

From the very beginning when I started work at the age of 14, with the exception of 3 years working at a business where there was no public transport available, until my retirement at 65, I have used public transport. What amaze me was the fact that my express bus was in the main keeping up with the commuter cars. I still believe to this day that if the majority of commuters got out of their cars and used public transport (even if it was less convenient) the retail price of fuel would drop dramatically. However, as the majority of humans are basically lazy, I do not see this happening any time soon, unless some form of stick is introduced.

I am a great supporter of congestion taxes as in London etc. however most if not all politicians in this country are hooked on their comfortable leather seats (and all that goes with it) and are in the main gutless to make changes for the good even if it is at the expense.

I am realistic enough to not expect the situation to change in the foreseeable future.

Regards,
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I am a great supporter of congestion taxes as in London etc. however most if not all politicians in this country are hooked on their comfortable leather seats (and all that goes with it) and are in the main gutless to make changes for the good even if it is at the expense.
rxclass
The exception is Malcolm Turnbull.  That multi-millionaire teapot is so egalitarian that he often insists on taking Sydney buses or trains where-ever possible; I didn't believe it when I first heard it but apparently it's true.  He's also a foaming gunzel and has been heard on many occasions praising the construction of new tram and train lines in our capital cities.

Thanks for your interesting post, rxclass.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Its to be expected as with 16.7 times higher voltage means 16.7 times lower current. It's the current which mostly determines the required thickness of the cables themselves. Less cable weight means less materials in both cables and support structures.

It is interesting they are using concrete weights in the line tensioners rather than steel weights as I saw around Victoria.
fabricator
That is not strictly true, in fact, it's only true in one special case. When the expected VA requirements of the systems are equal.

If the VA is not consistent in the systems then it is effectively meaningless to suggest that increased volts leads to smaller currents and copper weight.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Does anyone know or wish to comment on how the first peak hour on the renewed Noarlunga line went?
  C4AZ57B Station Master

On my first train back into the city after rail works, and I'm stuck on a train in the Adelaide yard due to the signaling software shuting down. 10m wait for reboot.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Does anyone know or wish to comment on how the first peak hour on the renewed Noarlunga line went?
don_dunstan
Elsewhere commuters are stating about 5 mins late getting to ARS.

Others who are not enthusiasts are noticing the slow running due to the yellow signal rule. There are a number of 50 kph TSRs on the up journey due to the track having ballast up to rail level to allow access for roadrail vehicles associated with the electrification, also two 20 kph TSRs, one at Marion and one at Waywick.

By my observation of the first train yesterday morning there is little opportunity to make up time, we only gained about 1 minute and that was with minimal dwell time at stations. The down trip lost 6 mins even when the driver missed the TSR through Marion because the sign was obscured by masts. Note to powers that be, it is no good taping TSR signs on the electrification masts.

Only saw one train in detail this morning, it stopped at Lonsdale at 0749, still plenty of room for passengers further on.

Ian
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
This is for once a pure uncritical rail fan's posting. Joy! My trains are back!

Due to another commitment and writing the posting above I made only three trips amounting to a return journey over the entire line yesterday, most of it in the front 'wrong side driver's' seat of the leading car with my scooter riding in its appointed space just behind me. For the whole distance from Noarlunga Centre to just before Clarence Park it was easy to imagine that I was riding in a 4000 electric rather than a 3000 diesel electric train. The view along the track enabled a close examination of the structures along the line, and I hardly took my eyes off the overhead catenary. As I've said before, the 3000's have interiors as modern, comfortable and attractive as any I have seen around the world and I am quite happy to continue travelling on them for as long as they will be required.

A note for Don and for those who are so critical of Adelaide as a city. I agree with him and his comments about Melbourne, in which I lived for nearly 30 years and for which I have an abiding affection after moving from the small and conservative Adelaide of the early 1950s. That city, then not much larger than Adelaide is now, has been submerged in a sea of sprawling non-suburbs which require private cars and open-space-destructive freeway tunnels between noise barriers.  Gracious shopping strips are now continuous traffic jams, and I wouldn't live there again for anything. What Melbourne had then, Adelaide has now. Once with one of the world's best rail and tram networks without which today's Melbourne would grind to a screeching halt, the relative failure to improve on and extend them by successive governments and the cancer of rapidly increasing population has meant that if I haven't the time or need to visit friends living in the inner suburbs I now alight from my interstate train or bus and walk straight to the Frankston train to connect with the Portsea bus to visit my family on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.

Let's hope that Adelaide will avoid what has happened to Melbourne and still more to Sydney which I also know very well. It's a human failure that we all share, but many Adelaideans don't know when they are well off.

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