NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The growing pile of ballast at Benalla this morning.
Contrillion



To be correct its no longer growing and has not for the past week or two as they are pulling 2200 ton a day out of the stock pile (two train loads). As the pile appears to be remaining roughly the same volume, that means theres something like 60 truck loads of ballast a day being brought in. I assume its the same as last year with ballast comming from all quarries within 200 kilometres that can supply the right material.

woodford

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  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
To be correct its no longer growing and has not for the past week or two as they are pulling 2200 ton a day out of the stock pile (two train loads). As the pile appears to be remaining roughly the same volume, that means theres something like 60 truck loads of ballast a day being brought in. I assume its the same as last year with ballast comming from all quarries within 200 kilometres that can supply the right material.

woodford
woodford
I believe so, there were multiple trucks from several companies coming in yesterday morning, though most belonged to a local company, James Excavations.
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
I believe so, there were multiple trucks from several companies coming in yesterday morning, though most belonged to a local company, James Excavations.
Contrillion

could double handling not have been avoided?  what ballast quarries are available on SG?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
could double handling not have been avoided?  what ballast quarries are available on SG?
JimYarin
None In Victoria

Glenrowan had one, but the siding has long closed.

Bung Bong has a SG quarry siding, but the Ararat - Maryborough line Is booked out of service.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

could double handling not have been avoided?  what ballast quarries are available on SG?
JimYarin
The crushers at the quarries can only crush so much rock a day, The amount of ballast ARTC is going through, 2200 tons a day, exceeds the capacity of the crushers from at least 5 quarries so multiple sources are a must. The controler of the stockpile used last year at Locksley told me all quarries that could supply the required standard for around a 200 kilometre radius were being used. These included sites well into southern NSW, around Bendigo and a number around Melbourne way.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

The crushers at the quarries can only crush so much rock a day, The amount of ballast ARTC is going through, 2200 tons a day, exceeds the capacity of the crushers from at least 5 quarries so multiple sources are a must. The controler of the stockpile used last year at Locksley told me all quarries that could supply the required standard for around a 200 kilometre radius were being used. These included sites well into southern NSW, around Bendigo and a number around Melbourne way.

woodford
woodford
I dont mean to appear flippant...but I hope they don't run out of ballast!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I dont mean to appear flippant...but I hope they don't run out of ballast!
Duncs

The engineering staff at ARTC are no fools, The size of the stockpile will have been set so as the total amount of ballast availible is what is required. They  completely cleaned out all quarries of ballast last year but the total amount used was in the order of 25 to 30,000 tons, enough to completely reballast around 15 kilometres of track, which is aproximately what they did.

woodford
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
The engineering staff at ARTC are no fools, The size of the stockpile will have been set so as the total amount of ballast availible is what is required. They  completely cleaned out all quarries of ballast last year but the total amount used was in the order of 25 to 30,000 tons, enough to completely reballast around 15 kilometres of track, which is aproximately what they did.

woodford
woodford
Brings home just how expensive in material alone this exercise is. Extrapolate that across much of the eastern network where ballast hasn't been replaced for decades and drainage systems are past their use by date. At least the sleepers won't be devoured by termites Wink
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

The engineering staff at ARTC are no fools, The size of the stockpile will have been set so as the total amount of ballast availible is what is required. They  completely cleaned out all quarries of ballast last year but the total amount used was in the order of 25 to 30,000 tons, enough to completely reballast around 15 kilometres of track, which is aproximately what they did.

woodford
woodford
Thanks Woodford

Just goes to show what can be achieved with the right people and some consistent effort. In the new year once all this is done, I will take a trip on the train to Albury. Probably via the XPT.

Duncs
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line


Just goes to show what can be achieved with the right people and some consistent effort. In the new year once all this is done, I will take a trip on the train to Albury. Probably via the XPT.

Duncs
Duncs
Travel on the first down service from SCS on New Years day, travel is free... just pay for the return part of your trip. I'll definitely be taking an Inter-city journey on New Years day.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

Just goes to show what can be achieved with the right people and some consistent effort. In the new year once all this is done, I will take a trip on the train to Albury. Probably via the XPT.

Duncs
Duncs
The XPT appears to ride better than the N class and N sets, the train having more modern bogies. I have only been on the XPT twice during the regauging/BRP. When going to Melbourne I usually drive down to Seymour and take a local pass as the service is better and I am not the only one that does that to.

woodford
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I was out just at the right time today to see these, the ballast tamper and regulator the ARTC have been using in Benalla for the past few weeks, going up out of Benalla this afternoon. Anyone know when these (and their crews) will be finishing up work in Benalla again?



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf8f2GZdvLM
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The current works appears to be more of the same, there at least one group doing ballast repair (i believe there are two doing this work though). This consists of removing the sleepers over the faulty section, removing all ballast down to the track bed, checking the bed to make sure it drains correctly and filling with new ballast. The exavators doing a temporary tamping job. This followed up the regular tamper and ballast regulator within the next week or so.

The ballast train is active, its been adding extra ballast from at least somewhere north of Wang to south of Euroa on BOTH lines. An enormose amount of ballast is being shifted.

There is some concerntration on bridges and level crossings mainly on the interface between the track and the object concerned. The bridges have been something of a problem as track on the new decks is higher, this has led to something of a hump in the line. This is being fixed by putting additional ballast either end of the bridge for around 30 to 50 metres making for a much gentler approach.

woodford
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Thanks Woodford

Just goes to show what can be achieved with the right people and some consistent effort. In the new year once all this is done, I will take a trip on the train to Albury. Probably via the XPT.

Duncs
Duncs

I have first hand reports of a former mud hole near Tallarook having resurfaced after being repaired THREE times since the line's reopening and as we speak, the mudhole is there in all its glory awaiting repair once again.

Clearly the NE will never be sorted out properly until the line is ripped up, and the whole project re-done from the base drainage upwards.

I'm not holding my breath though....

Mike.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I have first hand reports of a former mud hole near Tallarook having resurfaced after being repaired THREE times since the line's reopening and as we speak, the mudhole is there in all its glory awaiting repair once again.

Clearly the NE will never be sorted out properly until the line is ripped up, and the whole project re-done from the base drainage upwards.

I'm not holding my breath though....

Mike.
The Vinelander

Mike

I am amazed this mud hole still exists, if only because of the hot dry weather north of the divide. With regard to ripping up the track, I would only do so over the specific "bad areas", As the rest of the line appears yo be fine. I am sure Woodford can clarify this.

Duncs
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I have first hand reports of a former mud hole near Tallarook having resurfaced after being repaired THREE times since the line's reopening and as we speak, the mudhole is there in all its glory awaiting repair once again.

Clearly the NE will never be sorted out properly until the line is ripped up, and the whole project re-done from the base drainage upwards.

I'm not holding my breath though....

Mike.
The Vinelander


The only mudhole that could be that bad is just north of Tallarook, when the BG services to Albury was suspended this hole could have swallowed an NR no problems. The repair crew removed hundreds of cubic metres of faulty base material This was one of the first holes to be tackled and I have as yet never seen any more work done on it. There has been a number of areas ___SOUTH___ of Seymour that have had multiple repairs. According to both old track workers and drivers I have talked to these are all in areas that have been known to be a problem for a long time. It _____WOULD____ be worth remembering that the SG to Albury is known to have been built on the cheap. We are of course now paying dearly for this poor work.

I will have a look on my next trip down, but from recent past trips the total length of the line between Seymour and Totenham that would need major work would be fairly small (not no existent but small). The ride currently on the SG line south of Seymour on the VLine pass being mostly quite good. Note, Its easier to inspect the SG the line from the Seymour local BG pass, so one travels south on the BG and then comes back on the midday Albury train, you get then both to see and experience the line.

A final point I will put in is that _____ALL________ heavy used transport infrastructure requires regular maintence, only people like journalists, politicians and others out of touch with reailty would believe otherwise.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just a couple of points for anyone planning a trip to see how the line is going..................

First, from my experience the XPT rides better than the N sets, the XPT probably giving a more realistic ride given the age of the N sets.

Second, ARTC is in the ___second___ year of a FIVE year plan to rehabilitate the line so one should not expect everything all at once. Remember the SG line to Albury is a freight line with some pass's on it NOT a pass line with a few slow freights.

woodford
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
[img]http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb462/Chappy63/IMG_1345.jpg[/img]

A long northbound SG freight passing through Seymour on Wednesday at about 3.15pm.Very Happy
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
[img]http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb462/Chappy63/IMG_1345.jpg[/img]

A long northbound SG freight passing through Seymour on Wednesday at about 3.15pm.Very Happy
L1150

Saw it at Benalla just before 5 pm Wednesday! It's been a while since I've seen Black Caviar too.

EDIT: I saw it yesterday (I think) too...
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
First, from my experience the XPT rides better than the N sets, the XPT probably giving a more realistic ride given the age of the N sets.
woodford

Whilst I agree with you that the ride of the XPT is better than the N sets, how can this be attributed to an age difference?

The first of the XPT carriages came off the line towards the end of 1981 and were introduced into revenue service in 1982, just like the N sets were.

Sure, *some* of the XPT carriages were built in the early 90's, but the majority of XPT carriages are of exactly the same vintage as the N sets.

Dave
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Whilst I agree with you that the ride of the XPT is better than the N sets, how can this be attributed to an age difference?

The first of the XPT carriages came off the line towards the end of 1981 and were introduced into revenue service in 1982, just like the N sets were.

Sure, *some* of the XPT carriages were built in the early 90's, but the majority of XPT carriages are of exactly the same vintage as the N sets.

Dave
thadocta


The bogies of the XPT carriages are of a much latter design than the items fitted to the N sets, the design of these effectively going back to at least the 1950's.
For the latter bogies as fitted to the XPT cars, the sprinters and the VLocity's great effort has been made to reduce the unsprung weight. This allows the wheels to follow the track undulations easier and this transmits far less energy to the cars frame so the ride is better.

woodford
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

Woodford,

Errrr ... not quite. The N Car Vickers-Ruwolt bogies have primary and secondary suspension. That is the weight of the car is borne on the bolster, the bolster springs (secondary suspension) the bogie frame, the (primary) springs above the axle boxes so the only unsprung mass is that of the wheelsets and axleboxes. The XPT unsprung mass, if anything, is higher than that of the N Car because of the added weight of the disc brake discs. The N Car bogies were designed in the 1970s based on predecessor 1950/60 designs.

The problem with the ride of the N CArs has nothing to do with unsprung mass and much more to do with the undamped primary suspension. When built, the axleboxes and pedestals were fitted with manganese steel wear liners which provided a good measure of Coulumb (friction) damping. In later years Nylatron or equivalent plastic pedestal liners were introduced which have good wear characteristics but provide much, much lower friction damping. Consequently the N cars bounce on their primary suspension. It is a mystery why equipping the primary suspension with hydraulic dampers has not been progressed on the N Cars.

TW
  overlander Station Master

Hi
I think you will find that the n cars, at least the SG ones, are fitted with metal liners. They have always been poor riding in comparison to the "commonwealth" and "mainline" bogies fitted to the S and Z cars
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Hi
I think you will find that the n cars, at least the SG ones, are fitted with metal liners. They have always been poor riding in comparison to the "commonwealth" and "mainline" bogies fitted to the S and Z cars
"overlander"

There is a fix to improving the ride quality of the N cars which entailed providing additional dampening. It was identified as a requirement for increasing the train speed to 130km/hr on the NE. Both a combination of a lack of will to progress the 130km/hr running and the track quality issues on The NE have got in the way of progressing this.

It is something that should be pursued. Whilst it has been mentioned previously that a N class loco may struggle to always reach 130 the reality is there are many sections where an N set will still reach speeds higher than 115 which is the current limit.

I was fortunate to have several cab rides at 130 km/hr on the Geelong and other corridors shortly after these lines were rebuilt for RFR. The locos including an A class rode superbly.

What was commented upon several drivers was how effortlessly the locos accelerated to those speeds because of the improved wheel to rail interface and this holds true on the NE as well. As frustrating as it has been to wait for so long to get the track up to standard it will get there and N sets re dampened to enable the faster running and provide a softer ride should be part of the deal.  Sadly there does not appear to be the culture to want to do this.
  overlander Station Master


What was commented upon several drivers was how effortlessly the locos accelerated to those speeds because of the improved wheel to rail interface and this holds true on the NE as well. As frustrating as it has been to wait for so long to get the track up to standard it will get there and N sets re dampened to enable the faster running and provide a softer ride should be part of the deal. Sadly there does not appear to be the culture to want to do this.
Trainplanner

Hi
What is the improved wheel to rail interface? Is this the new rails that have been used on the NE?

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