Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
My earlier complaints about the electrification progress still stand.

Power lines I supervised the erection of were never so slow. I think they are making it up as they go along.
As you said a while ago, there's a lack of specific expertise in these things in South Australia (and probably in Australia in general) and now they have the added disadvantage of working around a functioning railway line underneath.  The point is that there's not far to go now... at least in theory.

Given yesterday's announcement things are looking really grim for the retention of any kind of engineering skills in this country.  I don't intend to derail this thread with a discussion about that but it really makes me fear for the future when we can't seem to make anything here at all any more, even the most basic things have to be imported from Asia now.

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The contractor doing the electrification is a multinational which does have the expertise though.

I suspect the problem is mainly bad management, by good engineers who unfortunately got promoted beyond their competence rather than good project managers being brought into the department from outside.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Yep. Happy Bustitutes everyone who foolishly wants to travel at a weekend!
witsend

Or in the evening

I heard that the original cut off for the last train in the evening to NC was 7:30pm but recently I heard they extended it to 8pm I haven't been travelling home late recently to find out if I am catching the bus or train home
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It always was 7:30pm, the earlier 7pm last train was just for the temporary weekend reopening for the Ashes Test. I haven't seen any notices amending it to 8pm.

The disappointing thing is that on weekdays the last train then returns to the city instead of stabling at Lonsdale or Seaford. An extra service out of the city could be run at that time, or the last service returning to the city substituted to allow an extra 90 minutes for working on the sections closer to the city which are further away from completion.
  rxclass Junior Train Controller

Location: On the manual turntable at Marino turning an exquisite Rx class steam locomotive.
.... Two trains moving briskly to their respective destinations.
2001
G'morning All,

As they have done for the best part of 2 centuries. Who knows how many million tons of freight and countless millions of passengers have been moved to "their respective destinations".


Regards,
  62440 Chief Commissioner

I presume that Jumbos are not running on the Seaford line as the entire available fleet appears to be out on the Gawler, Grange and OH lines, including off-peak.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I presume that Jumbos are not running on the Seaford line as the entire available fleet appears to be out on the Gawler, Grange and OH lines, including off-peak.
"62440"
Correct. They are not allowed to run under the wires for a number of safety reasons, which rules out using them south of the city.

I expect that the off-peak usage of the Jumbos is a necessity to moderate the wear and tear on the DEMU fleet inflicted by the intensive all-stop schedules.

Wear and tear on the Jumbos is surely less of a concern when they can start to be permanently retired if/when the EMUs enter service, something that 12 months ago everybody thought would happen this year when the Seaford Line opened with a fleet of shiny new EMUs.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
2001 said: Two trains moving briskly to their respective destinations.

Rx said: As they have done for the best part of 2 centuries. Who knows how many million tons of freight and countless millions of passengers have been moved to "their respective destinations".
rxclass
Rx, for as long as the Willunga line and its successors have existed, there have been possible conflicts between trains on that (former) branch and those on the lines to Mitcham and beyond.

For the first time in history it is possible for a mile long freight to pass 'briskly' to its destination without having to stop for a suburban train movement or vice versa.

It was about the fact that the new underpass allows a train on what is now the South Suburban Main line to pass on its way underneath a moving freight to which 2001 referred.

That said, your comment about the transport miracle of the railways over the years was worth saying. I wish that I could still take the air conditioned sleeper in which I used to travel to and from Melbourne so that next week I would not have to sit up all night in a bus (in an admittedly much more comfortable seat with much more leg room than airlines offer) at the risk of a sleepy B-Double driver killing all of the passengers on board, through absolutely no fault of one of the excellent bus drivers I have always encountered on both V-line and Firefly..
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

It always was 7:30pm, the earlier 7pm last train was just for the temporary weekend reopening for the Ashes Test. I haven't seen any notices amending it to 8pm.

The disappointing thing is that on weekdays the last train then returns to the city instead of stabling at Lonsdale or Seaford. An extra service out of the city could be run at that time, or the last service returning to the city substituted to allow an extra 90 minutes for working on the sections closer to the city which are further away from completion.
justapassenger

Im almost positive there was an 8pm service to NC last night (Someone else mentioned there was one)
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There may well have been one running, but it would be foolish to depend on a service which the timetable advises is to be bustituted.

It might also have been an empty positioning move to get DEMUs in place for the morning peak.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
So they have about nine hours a night to get things done on the overhead plus all weekend?  It's not insignificant.
  trainlover Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide.
Railcars 3008 and 3023 were in platform 7 Adelaide Station thursday night 9pm not in service

So have they been relaced by anther pair up at Seaford or not required anymore
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Railcars 3008 and 3023 were in platform 7 Adelaide Station thursday night 9pm not in service

So have they been relaced by anther pair up at Seaford or not required anymore
trainlover
See http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1874620.htm#1874620

Since then 3000s have been intermittently stabled at Seaford.  They are still required to shunt 4000s from the unelectrified unloading road into the shed.  Now that the Noarlunga service has resumed 3000s are less frequent visitors to Seaford.

Alex C
  torrens5022 Junior Train Controller

What ever happened to converting the 3000 class DEMU to EMU, was this to expensive for the benefits it provides?
The 3000 class are good trains and presumably be a lot quieter without the diesel engine, they are already electric trains right? they just use a diesel engine to power an electric generator/motor.
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
What ever happened to converting the 3000 class DEMU to EMU, was this to expensive for the benefits it provides?
The 3000 class are good trains and presumably be a lot quieter without the diesel engine, they are already electric trains right? they just use a diesel engine to power an electric generator/motor.
"torrens5022"

Converting most of the 3000 class into EMUs was proposed back when the plan was to electrify the Gawler line at much the same time as the Noarlunga line (imagine the contractors trying to manage two projects at once!).

Since then, the full Gawler line electrification has been postponed to some unspecified time in the future and in the meantime there will be more than enough 4000 class units to work Seaford & Tonsley services.

I read somewhere that by the time the Gawler line does get fully electrified, the 3000s will be getting so old it may not be worth converting them, and another batch of purpose-built EMUs would be the only option.  Not sure of the truth or economics of this, but it is a consideration.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Converting most of the 3000 class into EMUs was proposed back when the plan was to electrify the Gawler line at much the same time as the Noarlunga line (imagine the contractors trying to manage two projects at once!).

Since then, the full Gawler line electrification has been postponed to some unspecified time in the future and in the meantime there will be more than enough 4000 class units to work Seaford & Tonsley services.

I read somewhere that by the time the Gawler line does get fully electrified, the 3000s will be getting so old it may not be worth converting them, and another batch of purpose-built EMUs would be the only option.  Not sure of the truth or economics of this, but it is a consideration.
1S47

According to wikipedia the Clyde-built 3000s were introduced between 1992 and 1996, of which the oldest would be ~21 years.  I'll defer to more knowledgable folk for speculation of their mechanical lifespan; suffice to say that the refurbished interior looks fit for service for at least another 10 years (IMHO).  

If they'd get another say, 10 years post-conversion, I'd say it'd be worth it for a few cars at least (assuming both cost of conversion and time-to-completion were both substantially less than ordering new units).
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
The first 3000's entered service in 87 not 92 making the earliest around their mid 20's
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Good stainless steel bodies will last for at least 50 years, probably more if USA experience is any indication.

They can be gutted and rebuilt many times over.

The engines can be replaced the power controls replaced and the wiring replaced.

As for conversion to EMUs they would be worth it but at present it is unnecessary.
Might even be worth building or converting some to middle trailers 4000 fashion to take the panto, HV switchgear and transformer with the outer units powered; I don't see much point in having a single 3000 EMU.

Ian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I don't see much point in having a single 3000 EMU.
steam4ian
Unless it's just for off-peak services on the lightly-travelled lines like Grange and Tonsley; a two-car EMU would make more sense.

But yeah, it would be better to continue to operate the 3000's as they are until they become uneconomical to run.  Or replace them with purpose-built EMU's and sell them to V/Line.  They'd be ideal on runs like Bacchus Marsh, Kyneton or Seymour.
  torrens5022 Junior Train Controller

3000 DEMU where first built by Comeng in 1987 - 1989 (wiki) and Clyde 1992 - 1996 (wiki) and they would be permanently two car sets with a pantograph on one carriage (wiki)
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

Noticed that there are have been contact wires strung in the ARS yard, looks like most of the cables have now been run through.
Crews currently working on contact wires under Morphett Street bridge.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Noticed that there are have been contact wires strung in the ARS yard, looks like most of the cables have now been run through.
Crews currently working on contact wires under Morphett Street bridge.
Interesting - thanks for that observation.

Just in relation to the 3000's I recall the Clyde-built ones were actually leased not owned so if they didn't need them any more they should be able to just hand the keys back?
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Noticed that there are have been contact wires strung in the ARS yard, looks like most of the cables have now been run through.
Crews currently working on contact wires under Morphett Street bridge.
SAR520SMBH
Also a number of insulators mounted to the top of 2 portal structures for 25kv isolation switching. No doubt so power to the points yard/platforms/area under the bridge can be made safe when needed.

Also a few cantilever arms up in Platform 2, I didn't see if any others installed. Portable lifting platforms stored between tracks so they can finish the job. So much for claims of needing a huge shutdown to install all the wires.
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
Also a number of insulators mounted to the top of 2 portal structures for 25kv isolation switching. No doubt so power to the points yard/platforms/area under the bridge can be made safe when needed.

Also a few cantilever arms up in Platform 2, I didn't see if any others installed. Portable lifting platforms stored between tracks so they can finish the job. So much for claims of needing a huge shutdown to install all the wires.
fabricator
They may be able to get much of the catenary wiring done without a shutdown, but what about the upgrade to the signalling to make it compatible with the 25kV traction supply?  
So far, the lines south from around Mile End (I think) have been resignalled with axle counters etc., but the Adelaide Station Yard still has the old track circuit system installed.  Presumably these signals are no more compatible with high voltage AC than anywhere else on the network.
Given the complexity (they would need to do all the Port & Gawler side too) and recent experience with signalling it's unlikely they could re-signal the whole yard without some period of closure.

Also, around the station throat (Morphett St bridge) and out to Nairne Junction, there are still points, crossings and track into platforms 1 - 5 which have not been renewed.  Some of the track is still on steel sleepers and looks distinctly "old school TransAdelaide".
Fair enough, any trains, diesel or electric, will be moving pretty slowly through this area, but it would be a shame if the only part of the Adelaide network which does not get a full track rebuild is Adelaide Station itself (and the Grange branch).
My opinion is they could possibly manage the wiring with overnight & weekend work, but some sort of shutdown is still on the cards for the signalling upgrade, and maybe the last bit of track renewal.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

1S47, the axle counter signalling could be installed any time, even now, without trains having to stop. One system can overlay the other; getting point detection could be a problem but is not insurmountable.
Equally the existing track circuit based system could have impedance bonds fitted; I always understood it was electrification compatible if impedance bonds were fitted. This was certainly the expectation earlier in the project, all the conduits at the Elizabeth turn-back were put in on that basis.

Track bonding for return currents will have to be installed.

Regarding axle counters, how do they detect broken rails?

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