An added advantage is the ability to run ballarat to Ararat and beyond services for Horsham at a later date.
I like your proposal Barrington
Yes. Also beyond Maryborough has been done.
The line to Korong Vale have certainly also been completed as you say. Adopting your proposal what would you do with the Cross country line Castlemaine if anything?I wouldn't bother with it, unless there is a viable use for it (freight).
SG into Bendigo an option?
Would you convert most of North Geelong Yard?
Castlemaine to maryborough if reactive could be an alternative freight route for Deniliquin and piagil freight if maryborough to Ballarat was dual gauged. Remember there are grain mills in melbourne that need the Bg access. However I think Deniliquin to Echuca could be Standard gauge as well via tolamba and seymour and if that's the case the entire vic grain lines will be Sg baring the Swan Hill and closed dookie line.Dual gauge is out of the question, as anything on broad gauge would be restricted to 80km/h or lower. At present, the passenger train is capable of 100km/h. I doubt very much that V/Line would want the speed of their train dropped, as what little patronage there is will start driving their car instead, as it will be quicker. The section of dual gauge between Maryborough and Dunolly is speed restricted to 50km/h, I believe. Better to forget dual gauge. It's not worth the hassles.
IIf Dookie were ever to re-open, it too would be standard gauge as it branches off at Shepparton. There are also no grain mills in Melbourne with rail access that I can think of. Kensington is no longer used, I have been told. It's just a simple matter of carting the grain to the ports for export, all of which have standard gauge access.
There was a train in Kensington earlier this week I was told.I stand corrected if that is the case. I know it's not long for the world.
Dookie will re-open, some work being done already to look at costs. Graincorp want and need it.
The simplest and cheapest thing to do is standardise and upgrade the existing infrastructure, that being North Geelong - Ballarat - Maryborough, and beyond. Building a new line from Llascelles to Hopetoun is a pointless exercise, and will only escalate the costs further. There is also no guarantee that the soil between the two points will be any better than the Litchfield area, plus you have the added costs of acquiring land, and building the new line. A loader at Tempy is a far more cost effective solution. Don't forget that there is a railway which already exists between Maryborough and Ararat. All that would be needed is a new junction or a triangle at Ararat for direct access to Maroona.The 'railway' between Ararat and Maryborough isn't exactly in the best condition and not having a Hopetoun Line-based shortcut to the Western SG disproportionately increases the mileage required to reach Portland (for grain) or Hamilton (for mineral sands). That's why it's being looked at quite closely in the Murray Basin Rail Project report - lots of track access fees for mineral sands freight compared to grain.
Spot on Barington. You would already know that Maryborough to Ballarat has almost every crossing dual gauged.Likewise all the level crossing that were upgraded in the Mildura area a few years ago had the third rail installed.
The only problems would be services terminating at Wendouree, and the Ballarat North workshops.That's no problem, the South track from Warrenheip down to Ballarat East could be dual gauged, dual gauge through Ballarat yard/Station through to Ballarat North.
But considering Mildura is closer to Adelaide why has no one thought about converting or making dual gauge the Mildura-Ouyen-Pinnaroo section or is that too much of a political hand grenade?You've probably described that well, there has never been much state to state co-operation**
But considering Mildura is closer to Adelaide why has no one thought about converting or making dual gauge the Mildura-Ouyen-Pinnaroo section or is that too much of a political hand grenade?There's been plenty of consideration. The following questions are pertinent:
That's no problem, the South track from Warrenheip down to Ballarat East could be dual gauged, dual gauge through Ballarat yard/Station through to Ballarat North.
At Ballarat North the disused South track towards Wendouree would be rebuilt to standard gauge with a second platform built at Wendouree (for the standard gauge) the broad gauge would end at the existing platform (or a train stabling yard built there)
Ballarat North Workshops gets both gauges.
The 'railway' between Ararat and Maryborough isn't exactly in the best condition and not having a Hopetoun Line-based shortcut to the Western SG disproportionately increases the mileage required to reach Portland (for grain) or Hamilton (for mineral sands). That's why it's being looked at quite closely in the Murray Basin Rail Project report - lots of track access fees for mineral sands freight compared to grain.One question: are you actually familiar with the areas you're talking about, beyond looking at a map or satellite image?
In the end, the best way to do it is to stage it:Again, you have the added costs of constructing a new railway. Remembering that the government is going with the easiest, and cheapest option available. That option is to simply standardise what is already there, and overhaul what has already been converted in the past. If there has to be a new line built, worry about it after the existing Mildura line has been converted. I think you'll find there would be very little, if any merit in constructing it - especially given the proposed loader at Tempy.
- SG from Yelta-Donald (with a possible Mildura Rail Bypass via Thurla) with a cross-country Litchfield-Minyip link
So what you are proposing is that an empty grain train has to run from North Geelong to Murtoa; then up the Minyip, and across to Donald (locos run around, and pump the brakes up); then back down to Dunolly (locos run around, and pump up brakes again), and up the branch to either Sea Lake or Manangatang, and return loaded that way? That's going to make it easier for road transport to compete, and you're effectively adding a lot more time with shunting, and 265km of un-needed kilometres (one way only), simply for a train to get from North Geelong to Korong Vale, compared with the existing route via Maryborough and Ballarat, where little to no shunting is required. I am sure PN would love you, as they won't be getting their payload to the port as quickly, and will have the added crew; fuel, and wear and tear costs added to what they're already doing successfully at a lower cost, in far less time. I don't think any operator would appreciate these added costs, and operational additions. If the train must go to Portland (which none of the grain trains radiating off of the Mildura line do), then it would be far simpler for it to go to Ararat from Maryborough, with a direct link added at Ararat for access to the line at Maroona. This would especially be the most viable option if the grain is coming off of the branch at Dunolly, as a lot of it does.
SG from Donald to Dunolly, Dunolly-Manangatang and Korong Vale-Sea Lake (converting all of the NW grain to SG, except for Swan Hill/Piangil)
The world wonders why dual gauge keeps coming up. Forget it. You will never get an audience if you're seriously considering dual gauge to be an option on the mainline, as it is too restrictive operationally, and rail operators (V/Line, ARTC et al) absolutely hate it. You might put it in as an interim measure in Ballarat yard, but only to facilitate standard gauge trains being able to access the Maryborough line.
Convert Geelong-Ballarat to dual gauge and either Ararat-Ballarat or Marybugger-Ballarat to SG. Not both at once, you want to enable through-running for Ballarat Vline services for at least one of them. There are pros and cons for each.
Ararat or Maryborought to SG? That is the question.That is a no brainer. Maryborough. It's on the Mildura line for a start, and that is where all of the freight is coming from. The only thorn in the side is Ballarat and the V/Line services to Melbourne, as these will stay broad gauge. This can easily be solved if/when the line through to Ararat is standardised, by moving all V/Line operations to the northern side of the station, and having anything heading north or west of Ballarat use the southern side of the station, and the centre road.
Maryborough-Ballarat would be better for intermodal services that stop by Donald and for Melbourne- or Geelong-bound grain services, but ARTC would like to use Ararat-Ballarat-Geelong as a second track for the Western SG. And of course, through-running to Horsham etc for Vline Ararat services.
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