They're Back - Adelaide Hills Railway Diversion

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

On the issue of concrete sleepers and welded rails, I also think this is a very real possibility that it is a contributing factor (alongside shoddy rolling stock maintenance). On the broad gauge line, the wheel noise from the DEMUs at a number of spots (my least favourite is the ear-splitting squeal/scrape noise off the southern end of Blackwood station adjacent to the bus stops) got noticeably worse after the track rebuild was completed.

As well as the company based north of NSW, I would also like to point the finger at the company with a line of asbestos-ridden locomotives visible from a freeway bridge north of Adelaide.

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  jm1941 Chief Commissioner

Location: Mount Gambier
PLANS to have freight trains diverted from the hills must be put back on the table, Mitcham Council says. In its submission to the State Government's 30-year transport plan, Mitcham Council said diverting freight trains from the hills was imperative. As part of the government's transport vision, released in October, the Belair rail freight line would be retained and expanded.
"(It) is opposite to council's current position that this line should be diverted and not run through Mitcham," the council's submission said. Residents, who have long called for freight trains to be diverted, have backed Mitcham's stance.
AdelaideNow/Messenger Press

When stardardisation was first being built where it was originally going to build and started planning a bi-pass SG track somewhere about Two Wells across to Murray Bridge, but of course the grandiose wisdom of the Govt of the day, Ha Ha it got shelved to.... GET  IT.... to keep the extra cash for other weird government grand things at the time. Now this just might bite them on the bum and cost billions more.  The saved so called cash, now cost way more to do it. Sounds familiar and nothing new under the sun.

Personally that bi-pass should have been done WAY back then. For starters, no underpass would have been needed at Goodwood, etc etc etc.  Anyway, the voters voted in this fed government who now the first thing in power was instantly given themselves (Fed Govt) a no limit open checkbook for borrowing, so they may as well go for it, as they then can to do usual blame it all on previous governments. So go do the bi-pass the private operators then can use less engines (less diesel and noise pollution) as not climbing and whining going through the hills, then keep the Suburban line suburban. Perhaps then widen that SG hills rail out to BG and then make Murray Bridge the end of the Suburban line and let the NRM and Steamrail out of jail to do some real tourist country runs to Murray Bridge.

Please no lectures on cost as any dill can see it would cost a packet as this was bought up before and beaten to death.  Either it gets done, or not.

Regards.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
When stardardisation was first being built where it was originally going to build and started planning a bi-pass SG track somewhere about Two Wells across to Murray Bridge...
jm1941
Was this original scheme similar or the same to the one being proposed at the moment?  Do you happen to know/recall what the cost was?

I'm not completely against the by-pass scheme I'm just not convinced there isn't another way around it or a cheaper way than spending two billion.  The existing alignment is a 19th century goat track, let's face it, but the schemes being proposed to replace it are priced into the stratosphere.

Please no lectures on cost as any dill can see it would cost a packet as this was bought up before and beaten to death.
jm1941
That's the issue in a nut-shell.  The Mt Lofty ranges are a really significant barrier to any reasonably-costed by pass UNLESS you take the line a long way north where the ranges peter out north of the Barossa.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Not every train does it.
David
Does this imply that every train ought to make noise, or if some trains can be 'silenced' can they all?
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
Does this imply that every train ought to make noise, or if some trains can be 'silenced' can they all?
Aaron
The unbearable squeal should be eliminated with good maintenance of bogie bearings and tyres.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I maintain that it's not so much due to bearings and tyre wear, the worst of the noise comes from the interactions between the tyre surface and the rail. The rigidity of the rails held at 1000s of PSI against the concrete sleepers sets the scene for high frequency resonance. The noise has been measured by colleagues in acoustic fields and roughly analysed against a variety of factors. The magnitude of high pitched noise was most closely correlated to approximations of average axle loading, not speed, and not against maintenance schedule.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Does this imply that every train ought to make noise, or if some trains can be 'silenced' can they all?
Aaron
It is simply a statement of fact not every train does it. You can have a train slip by with hardly a noise at all except from the locomotives and a bit of a rumble most times. However the next train through can generated that high pitched squeal so it cannot be the track, it must be something on the train. Something about this second train sets the squeal going, no one has yet really figured it all out why it does this though, if it squeals in this spot then all trains should squeal in the same place but they don't, the squeal can happen anywhere. It often does this and putting in noise detectors in one place is useless if the train does not squeal there but well before or well after it.

It could be varying thing's including lack of maintenance on bearings etc, track maintenance itself, the actual track and concrete sleepers interacting, the time of day, and also the temperature might come into it as well. There are a lot of other factors as well including speed and braking etc as well that have to be taken into account.

One thing I would like to find out is some information on whether the trains are going up doing it, or just the trains coming down are doing it. I have heard it on several occasion's but all these were trains going down towards Goodwood! This might also have something to do with it as well.
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

And who or what was there first?

Gee whiz, YOUR the idiots that moved near infrastructure - knowing full well it was there.

If you can't stand the noise, then pack ye up & M.O.V.E.

But, their needs to be a shorter way that will cut out the bendy section of Adelaide Hills.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Newcastle whatsit

They could argue that when they moved there the trains were not as noisy. Certainly before standardisation trains were much shorter, about 2 alco's loading and about 500 metres long.

Wheel squeal was not or seldom an issue. The noise of two 930s or two 900s (even better music) was to no extent a penetrating as the wheel noise, think of ongoing finger nail on blackboard sound.

Train operation have changed not the people.

The other night we had to stop a SASMEE meeting whilst a train passed with bad wheel noise; this site is not even on a significant bend, just a slight deviation over the new underpass.

Unfortunately your response is unhelpful.

The situation can be dealt with, see my following post.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Not every train makes a noise, not every wheel set makes a noise.

The noise frequency coincides with that of a wheel when it is struck, remember the wheel tappers at major stations.

The wheel is a large belled disc which will resonate much as a wine glass. Contact with the flange excites the resonance much as rubbing a finger around the perimeter of a wine glass. the axle bearing have minimal part in the noise generation. If the wheel is rolling with normal rail tread-face contact then there is little noise, the flat contact face damps any vibration. However of the rail is making point contact with the only flange and causing friction then the wheel disc can be excited to resonance without corresponding damping from the rail/tread-face contact.

The critical issues are:
> Wheel tread profile
> Rail, face profile
> Angle of attack, wheel flange to rail edge

Factors which influence the angle of attack are:
> curvature
> bogie axle alignment
> car alignment
> car loading
> position of the car in the train

It is not beyond economic engineering to make up a test rig to study the wheel rail interface and reproduce the noise making conditions.

All it takes is someone to say "Yes we have a problem and we are going to fix it."
The fix will be significantly cheaper than building a new railway line.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Where's that "like" button, Ian?   Your final comment is spot on.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Yes Ian even I would agree with that post, it sounds just like a gong being struck while you are standing alongside it with no ear protection, it causes pain to you!
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
YOUR the idiots
"Newcastle etc"
Ironically, 99% of the residents near the line are smarter than that...
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Something that too many 'supporters' of rail around don't get is that AT ALL TIMES rail has to be a good neighbor. It's not about who was there first, or who moved in later, and only fools would think that it is.

If we want more rail, more people on rail and more freight on rail then we are going to need rail going to where the action is. If the existing rail is not a good neighbor in the hills then the case for moving the problem to be someone else's problem is a problem.

If rail in the hills is a good neighbor then the case for moving the line to a new route for expedience and economy is much easier to make.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Very well said Aaron.
The railway has been around a long time, as have some residents.
However the wheel squeal problem has not.

As a teen I spent many nights "sleeping over" at my sisters house just off Sussex Tc at Westbourne Park. I can vividly remember laying in bed on a warm summers night listening to the beat of the 900's, 930's and 700's making their way from Goodwood up to the hills.
Yes Listening to the engine .......... never heard a wheel squeal ever!
Before the line was converted to SG I would once or twice a week stand on platform 1 at Belair. I could hear the engines battling up the grade as they approached, the engine note feathering just before passing under the Upper Sturt Rd Bridge, then off into the dark, the note picking up as the engines cleared the loop and rounded Fosters until the sudden silence as they entered the national park tunnel.  Heaven!!!!!!!
But it was heaven because there was little if any wheel squeal at all.
Today ..... we'd probably go deaf!

The problem is real, and it is relatively recent.

as Aaron said "AT ALL TIMES rail has to be a good neighbour"
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
if it squeals in this spot then all trains should squeal in the same place but they don't, the squeal can happen anywhere.
"David Peters"
You could only expect all trains to squeal in the same place if all factors concerning the oscillations in the wheels were constant for all trains. The loadings and behaviours of all trains are dynamic, as such it's far more accurate to say 'all trains should not squeal in the same place'.

The stick-slip type ringing which is commonly hated on the south line could benefit most from a detailed study into how tread taper, railhead profile, track cant, speed and axle loading interact. We know harmonic oscillation is the cause of the noise, we know that damping both of the wheels (difficult to achieve safely) and rails (difficult to achieve in general but especially difficult to do cheaply) are solutions. However, there would be (could be or should be perhaps) solutions involving the careful adjustment of the five variables I listed earlier. I don't know what the relative abilities in multivariate calculus are around here, but eventually someone will throw enough money at some research and experimentation which will enable a minimum resonant noise solution to be found. Then it will just require track owners and train operators/loaders to decide how much money they are willing to spend to implement the practical adjustments at their ends.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
You are right there Aaron I could have worded it better but it amounts to the same thing almost. But yes you are right a very detailed study wants to be done to find out why it happens and point out things that might set it off as well. Although it could well be the how long is a piece of string sort of situation. It needs to be an ongoing study though not just one for 3 months say but over an extended period of time so that all factors can be taken into account, Hot and cold weather etc and all the rest. Be a good job for someone, with possibly ARTC and all the rail operators all providing access to any data required. That way all parties would benefit from it not just some.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
The Blackwood whingers are back, this time worrying about trains blocking crossings. This really is starting to get on my nerves.

Rather than posting the whole thing in quotes, I will let you read it in stunned silence, like I did.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/hills-residents-too-scared-to-leave-home-in-high-fire-danger-for-fear-of-escape-routes-being-blocked-by-trains/story-fni9lkyu-1226803082847
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
The Blackwood whingers are back, this time worrying about trains blocking crossings. This really is starting to get on my nerves.

Rather than posting the whole thing in quotes, I will let you read it in stunned silence, like I did.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/hills-residents-too-scared-to-leave-home-in-high-fire-danger-for-fear-of-escape-routes-being-blocked-by-trains/story-fni9lkyu-1226803082847
"mclaren2007"


Interesting how most all the comments attached to the article are negative about the story
Love the one that comments about if they are worried about being blocked by a train then their bush fire evacuation plan is flawed!

But, why not let them stop the trains, then they can b tch and complain because their local supermarket have run out of cornflakes again!
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
I read the story before seeing it posted on here and I loved how one persons reply of about 5 lines shoots down the credibility of the 30 or so line whinge story.
When there is a bush fire in that area it will probably be the railcars that cause the level crossing blockages not the freight trains.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Pathetic!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It looks to me as if the story is more about the loud squeal coming from the hills in the Mitcham LGA (i.e. the noisy minority of residents, not train wheels) and wasn't advocating their ridiculous demands be met, give the paper credit for including quotes from the ARTC and CFS indicating they are well aware of the risk.

The emergency services have the power to declare any level crossing closed to rail traffic at any time they deem necessary for whatever reason, and I'm sure that power was granted so it could be used in actual emergency circumstances, not just for the planned exercise of that power we'll see three times next week when a number of crossings get closed to trains for the passage of Tour Down Under race convoy. The threat of being arrested for obstructing emergency services and achieving a level of public contempt usually reserved for terrorist masterminds would generally be a good motive for a train controller at ARTC, GWA or Adelaide Metro to comply with an order to stop trains during a bushfire emergency.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
It looks to me as if the story is more about the loud squeal coming from the hills in the Mitcham LGA (i.e. the noisy minority of residents, not train wheels) and wasn't advocating their ridiculous demands be met, give the paper credit for including quotes from the ARTC and CFS indicating they are well aware of the risk.

The emergency services have the power to declare any level crossing closed to rail traffic at any time they deem necessary for whatever reason, and I'm sure that power was granted so it could be used in actual emergency circumstances, not just for the planned exercise of that power we'll see three times next week when a number of crossings get closed to trains for the passage of Tour Down Under race convoy. The threat of being arrested for obstructing emergency services and achieving a level of public contempt usually reserved for terrorist masterminds would generally be a good motive for a train controller at ARTC, GWA or Adelaide Metro to comply with an order to stop trains during a bushfire emergency.
"justapassenger"
The emergency services ought not need to force an LX closed to rail traffic. In the event of a bushfire, as the article correctly stated, train control have a duty of care not to send one of their staff (drivers) into danger, that ought to be enough.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I particularly liked the last one on there that points out about the bridge over the railway line and Shepherds Hill Road, like most people that drive a car they are not willing for some reason to use another way to get out of some where. Any one with enough grey matter would take the least line of resistance here in the event of a bushfire and try to avoid any level crossings at all if possible. Also like the one that said you should also have more than one escape plan to cover all eventualities.

I also have to agree with most about the overgrowth as well, far too many homes are in what is called a death trap situation up there with long grass and overhanging trees etc. Yes it looks nice but could be the end of you in summer. I have been up in the hills in general in a lot of places when I was working and was appalled at some places that have a lack of understanding about a fire with trees and stuff right on house walls almost. I was up at Birralee Road, Greenhill, a day or two after the fire went through there and destroyed all those homes, one home was a friend of mines and it is still standing because he followed the CFS recommendations to the letter almost and also installed a petrol driven pump, piping and water tanks that can be cut in and used it was these tanks, pipes and water pump that actually saved his house. No one else up there did anything like this and treated the place as  the middle of suburbia almost. He proved a point though and I am told they nearly all did something similar those that rebuilt.

But if you move into what is termed the bush you have to abide by the bush's law not by what you want. Mother Nature can be a cruel mother at the best of times!
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I have to disagree David, in a situation involving an emergency evacuation most people will take the path of most familiarity. For many that might be the path of least resistance from habitual travel, but it may not always be.

In the event that I had to evacuate a circumstance I'd take familiarity every time. I know the route, nothing worse than second guessing an easier route that results in an unfamiliar setting, wrong turn and entrapment.

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