Mildura Standard Gauge conversion

 
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
$200m does not get you much these days ?

How sad a state we have become.

That money should convert half the state.
freightgate

$200 million should buy you 800,000 concrete sleepers in the track and at 1,600 sleepers/km that equates to around 500 km of track.

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  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Broken Hill is a Lead Zinc mine, Port Pirie is a Lead/Zinc smelter, mostly lead. Zinc concentrate is shipped to Hobart mostly Zinic smelter, the same company owns a lead/zinc mine in western Tas and I think you can join dots on this one and hence you can see the connection why its railed to Adelaide, has nothing to do with being close.
"RTT_Rules"

As an interesting aside until 1969 the rail link Broken Hill-Port Pirie was part of the SAR narrow gauge network - there was no connection to Adelaide. The mid-north in SA consisted of three different operational gauges for a long time; it's really cool to see the National Railway Museum in Port Adelaide and SA represented in all three gauges.
"don_dunstan"

Off topic, but a very interesting part of Australian History......
The SAR NG line only ever reached the state border with NSW. The NSW state government would NOT allow SAR to build the line through to Broken Hill, they wanted the ore to go east. So a Private company was set up and built a NG line via Silverton to the SAR railhead at Cockburn on the state border. The Silverton Tramway Company (STC) operated this 'tramway' and hence the ore went west to Port Pirie, thus circumnavigating the NSW govs attempts to stop cross border traffic.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Off topic, but a very interesting part of Australian History......
The SAR NG line only ever reached the state border with NSW. The NSW state government would NOT allow SAR to build the line through to Broken Hill, they wanted the ore to go east. So a Private company was set up and built a NG line via Silverton to the SAR railhead at Cockburn on the state border. The Silverton Tramway Company (STC) operated this 'tramway' and hence the ore went west to Port Pirie, thus circumnavigating the NSW govs attempts to stop cross border traffic.
Pressman


This is how I understand it also from easing the history books.  What has always been a mystery to me is was the line from Cockburn to Port Pirie NG all the way?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
This is how I understand it also from easing the history books.  What has always been a mystery to me is was the line from Cockburn to Port Pirie NG all the way?
"bevans"


Yes, the line was NG Port Pirie to Cockburn with Peterborough as the main railway town. From Peterborough, NG lines ran south to Terowie (interface with the southern BG system) and North to Quorn with CR NG lines to Hawker and eventually Alice Springs (via Finke) and west from Quorn to Port Augusta. (CR = Commonwealth Railways)
maybe best to split into a separate thread as it's nothing to do with Mildura line
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Because Railfans think all rail projects have merit,
No matter how costly they are or what they achieve.
Most rail fans would cheer if any new rail line was built , regardless of where they went too.
Most people in society have a pet interest in something, and want more Govt spending on their pet interest
but no one cares about where the money comes from , least of all railfans.
"MD"


Unfortunately many railfans see the words "Reality check" as a criticism.
  gy Junior Train Controller

Unfortunately many railfans see the words "Reality check" as a criticism.
Pressman

I do not know about all Rail Proposals but standardising the Mildura line has a lot of Merit as it will join a vast area of Australia into the National Common Gauge. That alone cannot be a bad thing. I do not look into Road Projects but I would be interested to know if there are so many detractors from "Road Fans" as there are Rail Fans who seem to be against Rail Projects?
Simply what is wrong with Standardization?
PTE
  wyche123 Locomotive Fireman

Which route is the Mildura passenger train now supposed to take? Via Ararat or Maryborough?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I do not know about all Rail Proposals but standardising the Mildura line has a lot of Merit as it will join a vast area of Australia into the National Common Gauge. That alone cannot be a bad thing. I do not look into Road Projects but I would be interested to know if there are so many detractors from "Road Fans" as there are Rail Fans who seem to be against Rail Projects?
Simply what is wrong with Standardization?
PTE
gy

Standardisation is a dirty word in some circles in Victoria. In the past (and maybe still) the BG is/has been used as a means of keeping competition out.

Apart from that NSW uses standard gauge.............
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Why doesnt guage converting the Swan Hill line or the Warnambool line have any Merit, whatever Merit is.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Which route is the Mildura passenger train now supposed to take? Via Ararat or Maryborough?
wyche123

At this stage of the planning - trains.


Either a break of gauge change if via Ballarat & Maryborough or change at Ararat.   Or separate coaches on The Overland that detach at Ararat for onward movement to Mildura and vice versa for the return trip.

Both are pie in the sky plans at the moment.   More importantly to get the freight network up and running to a better standard and then they can think about passengers.   Freight = money, passengers = drain on resources.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Why doesnt guage converting the Swan Hill line or the Warnambool line have any Merit, whatever Merit is.
MD

In the case of Swan Hill - impractical and won't happen.  It would mean the gauge conversion of the Bendigo line which would mean replacing all concrete sleepers which have been installed since 2005 and kicking it off the Regional Rail Link in Melbourne.  And dual gauging the Sunbury metro line from Albion to Sunbury would mean a 80km/h speed limit on BG tracks.  

One work-around could be an "all-change" SG shuttle train between Bendigo and Swan Hill using gauge converted N-Sets with freight trains sent South via Eaglehawk-Inglewood-Dunolly.

Warrnambool might have some merit, but again 80km/h limit would apply for BG trains between Grovedale and North Geelong, and no access to RRL.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Peter Bachelor left us with many gifts to remember him by: In addition to Myki and compulsory "Smart" meters we also have this ridiculous situation where the Ballarat and Bendigo lines were extensively re-laid in concrete sleepers nearly a decade ago WITHOUT the option of gauge conversion.

At the time businesses in Bendigo (in particular) were spitting chips about it because it meant stymied access to the national rail network for decades to come. By comparison, South Australia (for example) decided to use gauge convertible sleepers on the recent metro network upgrade despite the fact that they're not intending to change to standard gauge any time soon.

Truly, Peter Bachelor was one of those amazing politicians who deserves to be venerated for his wisdom and foresight for years to come.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Are we not still using non gauge convertible concrete sleepers today?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Are we not still using non gauge convertible concrete sleepers today?
YM-Mundrabilla

I think the Victorian Budget has specified gauge convertible concrete if they procure any for the Mildura line; I believe that they might use them on level crossings etc but in general the line will remain majority timber sleepers for the time being? As for other projects like the suburban network; they're non-convertible but it's the one place likely to remain broad gauge for a long time to come.

As for Regional Fast Rail; Labor could argue that they didn't foresee that standard gauge spreading across the state but the reality is their own policy documents in 2000-01 called for the entire country network to be progressively standardised so again - the decision not to use convertible sleepers in 2003-05 was completely stupid. I know there were a lot of businesses in the regions (potential freight customers) unhappy with the lost opportunity for easy conversion in the future.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I think the Victorian Budget has specified gauge convertible concrete if they procure any for the Mildura line; I believe that they might use them on level crossings etc but in general the line will remain majority timber sleepers for the time being? As for other projects like the suburban network; they're non-convertible but it's the one place likely to remain broad gauge for a long time to come.

As for Regional Fast Rail; Labor could argue that they didn't foresee that standard gauge spreading across the state but the reality is their own policy documents in 2000-01 called for the entire country network to be progressively standardised so again - the decision not to use convertible sleepers in 2003-05 was completely stupid. I know there were a lot of businesses in the regions (potential freight customers) unhappy with the lost opportunity for easy conversion in the future.
"don_dunstan"


Only sensible thing I've seen done with the last Mildura Line work was the addition of the third rail on the level crossings that were remade.
  gy Junior Train Controller

From memory and I will be happy to be corrected a couple of years ago the South Geelong Tunnel was relaid with non convertible concrete sleepers.
I have mentioned on earlier posts when we convert the track to Mildura how does the Waun Ponds Cement hoppers get there?
South Australia as mentioned above has laid gauge convertible sleepers in the Suburban Area. It is of no consequence if the track is converted or not but at least the possibility is there. It is called forward planning and making provision for possible outcomes.
PTE
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
From memory and I will be happy to be corrected a couple of years ago the South Geelong Tunnel was relaid with non convertible concrete sleepers.
I have mentioned on earlier posts when we convert the track to Mildura how does the Waun Ponds Cement hoppers get there?
South Australia as mentioned above has laid gauge convertible sleepers in the Suburban Area. It is of no consequence if the track is converted or not but at least the possibility is there. It is called forward planning and making provision for possible outcomes.
PTE
gy

Peter Bachelor's very weak argument against using them in RFR was (at the time) that the extra expense of $6-7 million couldn't be justified.
  wyche123 Locomotive Fireman

Actually, the shortest route to Mildura is via Bendigo, with a 20 km connection between Wycheproof and Birchip.
  blowfish Junior Train Controller

Interesting announcement from GrainCorp today, I wonder what impact it'll have on this project. In particular the Murrayville branch.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Interesting announcement from GrainCorp today, I wonder what impact it'll have on this project. In particular the Murrayville branch.
"blowfish"

What was the announcement?
  trawny Train Controller

Location: Victoria
What was the announcement?
Pressman

http://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/graincorp-jobs-go-in-200-million-roadtorail-restructure

Looks like they are planning on closing Litchfield and Cope Cope - too close to Donald and Goroke too close to Carpolac.

They have some maps on their website of 2014/2015 and the future. It shows 3 less sites in Vic, 5 less in NSW and 3 in QLD.

http://www.graincorp.com.au/regeneration
  wyche123 Locomotive Fireman

Tried to get some info out of Mildura local representative Peter Crisps office. There is none. All smoke.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Tried to get some info out of Mildura local representative Peter Crisps office. There is none. All smoke.
wyche123

Is he your local member - I'm guessing 'yes'.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
At the risk of sounding like a cracked record... Dan has hit the ground running and the way things are progressing his new government will have committed to more infrastructure projects in his first 4 months than the former Baillieu/Napthine administration did in their 4 years.

Mike.

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