Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Agreed steam4ian and 2001. A lot of passengers around Adelaide are too slow to move, impatient or disorganised. The wingnuts with their faces buried in their phone or tablet with ear phones in, completely oblivious to what's going on around them, are the worst.
SAR520SMBH
In fact, every city.  It's the age we live in.

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Buses are the same for every passenger that has his ticket or card ready to validate there must be at least 2 or more that have to fumble round to find it or some money to buy a ticket. Have it all ready before you set foot in the bus and see how it will speed it up a bit. I always have my Metro card in a certain pocket, so it takes me only a second or two to get it out and validate it and put it back into the same pocket on my jacket. Others stand for what seems like hours up the front searching for cards, tickets or money.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Also there is a rumour - a R-U-M-O-U-R  circulating that the there won't be a shutdown of the entire network in January to facilitate completion of electrification works in the Adelaide Yard. Same RUMOUR goes on to inform that the Government will use weekend closures and/or service reductions to get the wires up and sparking at Adelaide Central.

Getting close to polling time, they can't risk any more commuter angst ...
2001
I've seen nothing around Adelaide yard that would require a big shutdown. All the structural supports for the overhead appear to be in place, that includes brackets on the underside of Morphett Street bridge, and in the roof space of the platforms themselves. Would be cantilever arms that still need to be installed, but those aren't hard to put in place.

Catenary wire has been run on the up seaford line from the Adelaide signal box (there is a tensioning system out the front), out to gaol loop and around the corner, I didn't go see where the wire runs out. Same for the two conductors for the feed and return. Shouldn't take long to get the up line done, which then leaves just the platforms and some of the yard to wire. That would be the minimum to get Adelaide yard electrified, given they have till February next year, doing all 4 lines to keswick is do able.

There is no reason to do a full shutdown to put up a few wires, politics has nothing to do with it.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I can't help feeling that some on this list enjoy moaning for the sake of moaning. I have used the trains since they began again, and found the service to be the best it has ever been in my lifetime. In a trip from Warradale to Noarlunga Centre on Tuesday both the off-peak outward and return trains passed four trains going the other way. They travelled noticeably faster than they did before the shutdown. I now don't bother wasting time looking up the timetable – I could miss a train by so doing.

Those who want express trains forget that their convenience (and I too enjoyed rushing through stations in the past) means that people who have the inconvenience of having the line passing through their suburbs (and paying heavily for it in their rates and taxes) have to wait for an extra quarter hour for them to save a few minutes. Who said that anyone's time is worth more than someone else's? If you want to live in the outer suburbs, you need to factor in the fact that it will take you longer to get to the city. You have the same opportunity to buy closer in as anyone else. We oldies are falling off the perch often enough to make our properties available for two or three extra dwellings, making for big increases in the potential patronage and therefore the need for their stations.

As for the Oaklands crossing, the cheapest option is the only one with a slight chance of being built in the foreseeable future. That is my suggestion of separate roads across a virtual low concrete box rail tunnel built over the station. In the meantime I can see the Diagonal Road jam from my kitchen window and suffer from its inconvenience every time I go anywhere by bus, to my local shops, or wait (in sometimes very inclement weather) for unconscionable times waiting for the pedestrian lights to change while drivers who were a long distance away when I pressed the button swan past in their single occupant cars. If you want the convenience of the road space that you use, then you must be prepared to put up with the congestion you cause by your  presence on the roads of my local area to my inconvenience. Examples of this are the delays to busy bus routes and the lack of safe pedestrian access to my nearby and preferred Hove shopping centre caused by fast Brighton Road traffic with few breaks in the flow.

If you want to use your car for unnecessary journeys as well as those where you really need it, pay for the privilege with the inconvenience of delays, or pay tolls to build the infrastructure that has been amply demonstrated simply to lead to more congestion, air and noise pollution and inconvenience for everybody.

I'm not moaning. I am just grateful that I live in one of the world's best cities with the multitude of amenities which we all enjoy. Some of you need to remember that you too enjoy that privilege.
  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
"although at this stage it does feel suspiciously like another case of DPTI's 'optimistic' timetabling.  http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_lol.gifhttp://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_lol.gifhttp://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_eek.gif"

This would show very inexperienced people doing the time tables , all the people who did it previously have taken a package or moved on ....(sorry day)
People who control roadways and build bridges don't run Railways  or Tramways correctly a proven fact .... it will work but the people in the field make it......
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
If you want to live in the outer suburbs, you need to factor in the fact that it will take you longer to get to the city. You have the same opportunity to buy closer in as anyone else.
SAR526

As someone who's purchased in the last 6 months (and was looking for a year, all around the south), I have to disagree with this.  I wouldn't say everyone who lives in the outer suburbs 'wants' to live there.  

These days it requires a good 80k income per household to be able to afford to buy anywhere much closer than Christies / Morphett Vale if you're intending to buy, and even then it's hard to come across livable (enough room for a family, doesn't require immediate and extensive repair) properties in that range.  You say that older people are selling their houses to make room for 2/3 dwellings on a lot, yet from all the ones I've seen in the areas of Warradale/Oaklands, each newly built dwelling goes for almost as much as one of the established houses in the area - even if you may only be getting a third of the land size!

Considering the median earnings is roughly 50k, and that decent properities these days get offers over the asking price on the first inspection (especially with so many people wanting investment properties), I would say not everyone has the same opportunity to buy closer at all.  

Leaving that point aside though, for the moment.  

While the train is no longer my most direct way of getting to work in the morning, I decided to catch the 721 to NC in time for the 6.54 train yesterday.  I have to say I was very impressed with the ride smoothness and the speeds it reached before hitting Marion.  While we arrived 5 minutes late in ARS, the speed restrictions approaching Marion and Waywick would've had a fair bit to do with it.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Adelaide's median house price has been hovering just under $400,000 for the last five years.  When you take inflation into account it means that it's actually shrunk a bit - still the most affordable mainland capital by far, even Darwin and Canberra are more expensive now-days.  I take the point about needing to have a large income to afford to buy there but it's still statistically the easiest place to buy a house with the exception of Hobart.

I can't help feeling that some on this list enjoy moaning for the sake of moaning.
SAR 526
It's interesting that (apparently) the most ardent critics of Adelaide are the people who actually live there.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Adelaide's median house price has been hovering just under $400,000 for the last five years.  When you take inflation into account it means that it's actually shrunk a bit - still the most affordable mainland capital by far, even Darwin and Canberra are more expensive now-days.  I take the point about needing to have a large income to afford to buy there but it's still statistically the easiest place to buy a house with the exception of Hobart.

It's interesting that (apparently) the most ardent critics of Adelaide are the people who actually live there.
don_dunstan

Yeah, I was mainly just trying to point out that the idea that everyone is able to buy closer to the city is no longer true (if it ever was).  Affordability is better in the outer suburbs.  My wife and I rented at Warradale before buying at Morphett Vale, initially we looked to buy there but even a combined income of 90k wasn't going to cut it when factoring in pets, kids to come etc.  I think I need a few more promotions before that's possible!

While passing Marion I noticed that the old school Marion station signpost has gone - I used to think it looked like an old school one from years ago? (as it was the only station on the line that had one of that style, I think). If so, even with a shiny new station it's a shame it couldn't be kept for posterity!
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
I've seen nothing around Adelaide yard that would require a big shutdown................


..........There is no reason to do a full shutdown to put up a few wires, politics has nothing to do with it.
fabricator

I'm not sure whether electrifying the trackwork in Adelaide yard (platforms 1 - 4) counts as "putting up a few wires", but take your point.
But what about the signalling?   Isn't the signalling in the Adelaide yard still operating by track circuits, which will need replacing with axle counters before the wires are energized?  I'd imagine this will need some sort of shutdown to do this, especially with recent track-record of new signalling works on Belair & Noarlunga lines.


Also, with upcoming electrification to Dry Creek / Salisbury, will there need to be some sort of future shutdown on the Gawler line for the 25 kV-compatible signalling modifications over that section, even if the overhead wiring can be put up at night (as was mentioned during one of the govt. announcements).
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Just took another return trip today.

Morning train arrived in ARS on time, 1 minute down actually; all speed restrictions were complied with.
The Semi-express this evening did not fare quite so well, I am guessing about 4 mins were lost by HCB. It should have done better because many of the signals normally held at stop were cleared reducing the 40 kph crawl.

As for wiring, no contact wire or catenary wires are installed from about Clarence Park to ARS.
Axle counters have not been installed in ARS, as has been said track circuits are still in use.
The APT Balises are only installed in a few sites and certainly not uniformly.

Ian
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Travel times should improve once the services are all electric, because of the more rapid accelleration of electric trains.  When the Ipswich line in Brisbane was electrified, there was a saving of about 10 minutes over services hauled by diesel locos.  Similar time savings are anticipated in Auckland when DMU and loco-hauled services are replaced by EMU's.  The current limited stop services Noarlunga services may get close to the former all-express times once replaced by EMU's.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Yeah, I was mainly just trying to point out that the idea that everyone is able to buy closer to the city is no longer true (if it ever was).  Affordability is better in the outer suburbs.  My wife and I rented at Warradale before buying at Morphett Vale, initially we looked to buy there but even a combined income of 90k wasn't going to cut it when factoring in pets, kids to come etc.  I think I need a few more promotions before that's possible!
DrJames
If you're a single person on an average wage it's just about impossible really isn't it, regardless of where you live.  It's sad to think even with a combined income of $90,000 you couldn't afford to be in the inner south but oh well, there you go.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

If you're a single person on an average wage it's just about impossible really isn't it, regardless of where you live.  It's sad to think even with a combined income of $90,000 you couldn't afford to be in the inner south but oh well, there you go.
don_dunstan
Don

I am not entirely sure what you are trying to say here.

We could ask the same question of Melbourne. Why are not people living at "Melton Far West" living in Footscray or those as Pakenham living in South Melbourne?

The question for me is why am I living at Sheidow Park and not Colonel Light Gardens where perhaps my gross income could indicate that I ought to be able to afford to live. Putting four children through median priced private schooling and university might give some indication.  

I respect you enough to presume you were not making a judgement call.

When 526 moved to near Warradale/Oaklands that was a "cheap" area, I know, I grew up there.

Regards

Ian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Travel times should improve once the services are all electric, because of the more rapid accelleration of electric trains.
mm42
They won't be able to do precise timings on this until the line opens to electric trains in its entirety but I'm inclined to agree that there should be several minutes of savings especially on stopping services.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Ian: As I was commenting to Dr James, its a strange to me that with a combined income of nearly six figures buying a house is difficult - he indicated that his preferred area was the inner south but that was unaffordable even with that kind of income.  That certainly wasn't the situation when I last lived in Adelaide.  In fact I had a chance to buy a house around Goodwood for $150K at one stage and I passed on it because I thought it was too expensive at that price.  I'm kicking myself now!

It's just a general comment on how expensive everything is now-days.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Travel times should improve once the services are all electric, because of the more rapid accelleration of electric trains.  When the Ipswich line in Brisbane was electrified, there was a saving of about 10 minutes over services hauled by diesel locos.  Similar time savings are anticipated in Auckland when DMU and loco-hauled services are replaced by EMU's.  The current limited stop services Noarlunga services may get close to the former all-express times once replaced by EMU's.
"mm42"
The effect here will be nowhere near as significant, because the 3000/3100 DEMUs here are of such a high standard (their acceleration is equivalent to a low-voltage EMU, faster than an InterCity 225 set and nothing like a traditional DMU) that replacement with EMUs will be an incremental improvement rather than a revolution. It won't help that the new A-City EMUs will be hobbled by having to haul around an extra 25% of weight compared to the previous B-Series/160/260 design from which they were developed.

Of course, if the projects of this year hadn't failed to meet their schedules then they could have gone straight from Jumbos to A-City EMUs without the intermediate step of an all-DEMU service to the south.

Outside of the areas with new 110 km/h line speeds, my guess is that the advantage for the A-City EMU over a DEMU consist from any one stop to the next is likely to be measured in seconds rather than minutes, and on an all-stations or skip-stop so-called service this would translate to a minute gained every five or six station calls.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax.

The EMUs have a higher power/weight ratio than the DEMUs so we can expect higher acceleration rates. The DEMUs are not bad but the engine power is limited both by cost and sizing necessary to suit both acceleration and running conditions, diesel engines must run for a certain percentage of time at high load.

The biggest improvements will come when the signalling is completed and the APT is in operation then they can get rid of the 40 kph past yellow practice.

Interesting point regarding expresses is that discussion of Facebook is now coming to accept that limited stops services are a good alternative to the old HC express.

Train to catch!

Ian
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
As someone who's purchased in the last 6 months (and was looking for a year, all around the south), I have to disagree with this.  I wouldn't say everyone who lives in the outer suburbs 'wants' to live there.  
DrJames
I am sorry that I created a red herring by including the one word 'want' in an otherwise still valid comment – that people who travel to the city from outer suburbs cause inconvenience to those of us who live further in, and that they have no right to expect that their needs should take priority over ours.

Nevertheless, I wonder if you really think that older people found buying a home any easier than you? Maybe factors such as the 'first home buyer's grant' which went straight into developers' pockets by the simple increase that happened to selling prices, the negative gearing scandal that favours speculators and absentee landlords over young couples trying to buy a home, foreigners who are outbidding them, the demand for macmansions with four bedrooms and two bathrooms instead of the basic two or three bedroom dwellings that once were the norm, and the neglect of a once first grade education system in this state (in which the great majority of children were educated by choice) in favour of the massively wasteful duplication and triplication of facilities which result from a choice to pay private school fees for four children rather than putting that money towards buying a house, play some little part in your difficulties.

By removing committed and educated people such as yourself from the parents' bodies of the state system your collective choices have had the inevitable result of allowing the state's public schools to deteriorate without (according to research into outcomes) having a very noticeable improvement in the education offered by private schools over the public ones.

We in our time found it very hard to pay for our houses. Their monetary cost might have been lower, but in man hours worked and inconveniences such as no sewerage and un-made roads as close to the city as Oaklands (though I'm talking here of parts of Melbourne where I bought my first house rather than Adelaide) we also paid dearly.

You will disagree no doubt and justify your choices. That is understandable, but they are choices and don't give you any right to expect me and other inner suburban dwellers to pay for them.

As it happens, I hope that full electrification and the re-opening of Tonsley services will result in the re-introduction of some limited stop services on the Seaford line such as formerly existed. So long as the less patronized stations are adequately served by a following Tonsley local, I will be happy that your journeys at peak periods will be shorter.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi SAR526,

I fully agree that the needs of one group shouldn't take precedence over another.  I probably should've made my position clear in my first post, I wasn't actually advocating express services at the expense of stations closer to the CBD.  My post was mainly to explain that 'want' is not always a factor in people living in the far South/North, and as you've said that created a bit of a red herring that I latched on to!

Anyway, to get back on track...

6:54 from NC departed 3 mins late today, and seemed to adhere to all TSRs, so I was expecting not to arrive until 7:50 in ARS...however in the end it was only 5 minutes late (7:40) so we must've made time somewhere.  We took the Goodwood underpass at a very good speed (must've been at least 60) and didn't stop at Mile End so we were able to travel at 70+ until reaching Adelaide yard.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Justapax.

The EMUs have a higher power/weight ratio than the DEMUs so we can expect higher acceleration rates. The DEMUs are not bad but the engine power is limited both by cost and sizing necessary to suit both acceleration and running conditions, diesel engines must run for a certain percentage of time at high load.

The biggest improvements will come when the signalling is completed and the APT is in operation then they can get rid of the 40 kph past yellow practice.

Interesting point regarding expresses is that discussion of Facebook is now coming to accept that limited stops services are a good alternative to the old HC express.

Train to catch!

Ian
"steam4ian"
The thing with the DEMUs is that they are too good, the switch to EMUs will be seen as a minor improvement by many when the EMUs will have exactly the same seats and be only a few seconds faster on each station departure. I've gone on the record before as saying that without EMU conversion of the 3000/3100 class we may as well shelve further electrification for a few more years to get the most usage out of that great DEMU fleet rather than casting aside quality trains.

Does anybody know if there any plans to retro-fit the equipment for ERTMS (the ATP system chosen, interesting you erroneously mention APT as that program was a complete failure!) to some or all of the DEMUs? This could be a good move as it is starting to look like a full electric service won't happen until some time in 2015-16 with the delivery rate dropping after hitting a peak of one every two months.

As for limited stop services, I fully agree that it would be great if some of these could be brought in to replace the skip-stop timetable where the stops are anything but limited! Having every second train Seaford train in peak hour stop at just Showgrounds, Woodlands Park, Oaklands, Brighton, both Hallett Coves, Noarlunga and both Seafords would be a great improvement.

The overtaking of stopping trains would be a lot more viable if action had been taken on my suggestion (sent to the department and receipt acknowledged in early 2012) of a bidirectional centre track from Morphett Road to Brighton Road with a new station (2 DDA-compliant flat-pack side platforms) 250m east of the current dangerous Hove station, replacing both Hove and Warradale. Overtaking is far better done with a centre bypass track through a station where only all-stop trains wait than at a major station where both trains would be stopping.


It will be interesting tomorrow to see how the Noarlunga line copes with the last service departing at 7:00pm, only an hour after the cricket finishes on the biggest day of the match with lots of families attending. I hope it's four cars with an extra consist on standby to follow ten minutes after if the load is unexpectedly high.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Nevertheless, I wonder if you really think that older people found buying a home any easier than you? Maybe factors such as the 'first home buyer's grant' which went straight into developers' pockets by the simple increase that happened to selling prices, the negative gearing scandal that favours speculators and absentee landlords over young couples trying to buy a home, foreigners who are outbidding them, the demand for macmansions with four bedrooms and two bathrooms instead of the basic two or three bedroom dwellings that once were the norm, and the neglect of a once first grade education system in this state (in which the great majority of children were educated by choice) in favour of the massively wasteful duplication and triplication of facilities which result from a choice to pay private school fees for four children rather than putting that money towards buying a house, play some little part in your difficulties.
SAR526
I agree with this explanation of house prices and my own experience clearly pinpoints the timeline that the house prices suddenly jumped.
In the year 2000 I purchased the SAHT house and land I had been living in for 12 years at Seacombe Gardens for $88.5k (the then current market value). Within two years the value had risen to over $300k then peaked at $550k a few years later. This has now fallen back to around $400k at present. This was a huge benefit to me as my circumstances changed at this time and I lived off my mortgage which blew out from $20k to over $200k while I went back to school (TAFE).
Personally I can't really see how the property was/is worth so much even though it benefitted me greatly. But it leaves me wondering how young people could afford to buy such a super-inflated priced property to simply live in.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Personally I can't really see how the property was/is worth so much even though it benefitted me greatly. But it leaves me wondering how young people could afford to buy such a super-inflated priced property to simply live in.
nm39
Investment properties are much more popular nowadays and as SAR526 pointed out, negative gearing taxation laws benefit investors rather than home buyers.  I think also, since nowadays the norm is for households to have two income earners, banks were willing to offer more which would've helped buyers put in higher and higher offers.  

If enough new houses were being built closer in to meet demand, this would have cushioned the raise somewhat.  Unfortunately aside from old lots being sold and subdivided there is precious little available land south of the city.  These days many new houses in the south are being built at Seaford.  I wonder how long it'll be before that extends as far south as Aldinga and possibly Sellicks Beach.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I wonder how long it'll be before that extends as far south as Aldinga and possibly Sellicks Beach.
DrJames
There's already preliminary plans to extend the railway line further south isn't there?

A friend of mine's retired dad lives at Aldinga and he's been complaining about the advent of the McMansion estates proliferating around the area so I'm guessing the process of Adelaide spreading its tentacles there is already under way.  Perth is spreading further north and south along it's coastline so it makes sense that Adelaide would be doing the same thing.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
There's already preliminary plans to extend the railway line further south isn't there?

A friend of mine's retired dad lives at Aldinga and he's been complaining about the advent of the McMansion estates proliferating around the area so I'm guessing the process of Adelaide spreading its tentacles there is already under way.  Perth is spreading further north and south along it's coastline so it makes sense that Adelaide would be doing the same thing.
don_dunstan
I'm no authority but I think there's a plan to have a plan.  I seem to even recall that some/all of the corridor may have been reserved but someone else might be able to confirm.  From memory there was also an article about one of planned location of one of the stations caused some consternation with the locals.

EDIT - here is the relevant RP thread http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1737815.htm

I've never taken much notice of the area, does anyone know what the terrain is like from Seaford through to Aldinga? according to maps it doesn't look like there's any rivermouth to overcome unlike Seaford.

If it goes ahead, once again Willunga residents should have some kind of rail access to the CBD - 8 mins drive to Aldinga Beach according to Google, I've driven further than that from Woodcroft to Hallett Cove to catch a train to town!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The northern end of the corridor (i.e. leading south from the new Seaford station as far as Pedler Creek) is already owned by the department of transport, the end of the line at Seaford was built ready to be extended in the future (similar to the former configuration of Goldsmith Drive south of Noarlunga) and there are two options for the corridor between Seaford Heights and Bowering Hill which were supposed to go to public consultation in mid-2013 but this has been put off until early 2014.

The terrain to be traversed is rolling, with a couple of steep valleys down to creeks. Short-medium length bridges and some cuttings would be needed do the job, but no tunnels would be needed. I know from first-hand experience cycling the Old Coach Road on Amy's Ride and with TDU spectator groups that it is constantly going up and down - and I would very much appreciate it if Seaford was opened in time for the Willunga circuit TDU stage on Saturday 25 January to reduce that!

The concerns about the plans were from the City of Onkaparinga, they objected to the early study having no station at Seaford Heights (2km south of the central Seaford station) and they were also concerned that the rail line would not penetrate into the Aldinga Beach area, terminating at a park-and-ride station close to the junction of Aldinga Beach Road and How Road. I think the issue of the terminus would be easy to solve (devolve organisation and franchising of bus services south of Noarlunga to the City of Onkaparinga instead of the suits in their CBD ivory tower who have to look up Aldinga on Wikipedia) plus it carries the benefit of allowing for further extension south for when the oil runs out.

Residents in the centre of Willunga would be no better served at Aldinga than they would be by the Seaford station. Seaford gets them a 5km longer drive/bus on faster and safer roads (every junction grade-separated or signalled) and 10km shorter train trip than would be offered by Aldinga.

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