Inland Railway - Construction Phase

 
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
With the tender closed (22/9/17) for the Parkes to Narromine (P2N) project, it seemed appropriate to start a new thread focusing on construction of the Inland Railway. This is the first of 13 projects to kick off.

The P2N EIS makes for some light reading Wink. Of particular interest is the junction to connect with the Broken Hill line.
https://inlandrail.artc.com.au/26628/documents/59416

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  barryc Chief Train Controller

Location: Waiting for a train to Canungra
This is hardly a great leap forward as the Parkes to Narromine line has been there since 1910 -1914.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
This is hardly a great leap forward as the Parkes to Narromine line has been there since 1910 -1914.
barryc
Has it been touched since?

Dare say it will take a bit of work to bring it up to DS 115kph standard. This project also covers three passing loops, culverts, some reworked curves and around 5km of track for the Broken Hill connection. Construction is outlined here
https://majorprojects.accelo.com/public/fa67db0d89051135167b8f23e6465f28/06%20P2N%20EIS%20Vol%201%20Part%20B%20Chapter%208_Construction.pdf

P.S. Who seriously expects great leaps forward in this country's rail infrastructure Razz
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
This is hardly a great leap forward as the Parkes to Narromine line has been there since 1910 -1914.
Has it been touched since?

Dare say it will take a bit of work to bring it up to DS 115kph standard. This project also covers three passing loops, culverts, some reworked curves and around 5km of track for the Broken Hill connection. Construction is outlined here
https://majorprojects.accelo.com/public/fa67db0d89051135167b8f23e6465f28/06%20P2N%20EIS%20Vol%201%20Part%20B%20Chapter%208_Construction.pdf

P.S. Who seriously expects great leaps forward in this country's rail infrastructure Razz
cootanee
Looks like alot of work reading the scope of works.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

I'll believe this thing is going to happen when they start laying track through the Toowoomba Range.
Neill Farmer
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Interesting , speed vs axle load of 80 km/h @ 30 TAL and 115 @ 21 TAL .
Also interesting allowances of trains of up to 3600m in length .
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

This is getting to be like QR at the turn of the 20th century when they constructed several major bridges to suit the then ubiquitous 4-6-0s  limiting TALs to this day to 8 tons on one bridge.
Why not move into the future and go for 30 TAL at 115kph. Gee, the US has had 37 TAL and 145 kph since 1930. This line is , after all, to be built with clearances for double stacking but incapable of accepting axle loads that make full use of double stacks?
The ARTC missed a great opportunity to move axle loads ahead when concrete sleepers began to be installed. Now they perpetuate the limitation.
Using 21 TAL at 115kph implies that there has been no progress in 60 years.
Neill Farmer
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
ARTC design standards for new bridges is 32.5TAL.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
To go all the way you need the bigger hump back concrete sleepers and 68kg/m rail . Expensive yes but pays off forever after .
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

To go all the way you need the bigger hump back concrete sleepers and 68kg/m rail . Expensive yes but pays off forever after .
BDA
And remember the Yanks use short tons (2000 LBS) whereas we use Tonnes which works to something like 2200 LBS or something like 10% more. So 32.5 TAL works out at 35.7 TAL US. Not so far away. I believe the loading gauge is more the problem. Just imagine if we could buy off the shelf US locos at much reduced costs than our she horned designs (and we aren't making them anymore).
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
It is what the guvmnt is prepared to allow ARTC to spend. At the same time it will still need to interface with the rest of the interstate and intrastate network (the lowest common denominator?).

We waited decades for the SSFL and whilst hardly a platinum plated WestConnect it does a job.

Back on point, it will be interesting to see who gets up to build P2N.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
If they are smart they will go with a taller wider loading gauge , start the ball rolling somewhere .
Its been done in Australia before just not on the national system . Cannot say never been done here .
Trouble is it takes political brownie points and they are often scarce .
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Re the US - you can't really compare.  

The US intermodal lines are carrying something in the same order of magnidute that the Australian Heavy haul lines are carrying, i.e. the Hunter, Pilbara and Qld Coal Network.  

Our total intermodal freight task for any given route (e.g. SYD-MEL) is considerably less than that and so doesnt warrant that axle load.  Im pretty sure if you built it, the traffic wouldnt come, i.e. the additional weight wouldnt be enough to lower the costs of rail to make it still competitive against road.  The cost to do so would be significant.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I believe if the line is built to DS standards, it is by default suitable for the US off-the-shelf locos in dimensions but not weight. Weight wise, the track mostly doesn't justify the expense although the bridges at 32.5TAL have some future proofing in them.

Overall the main section that is likely to uterlise the heavy weight in nearer future is the Qld section up the range to the coal fields, although the line from AR to the port will still need further investment to enable the heavier coal trains to uterlise the heavier weight.  This is a fair length a track, although only a small number of bridge structures involved.

Enabling 30TAL would mean the coal trains would be double the weight in axle load alone and 2-3 times again depending on the train length permitted. Assuming 1300m is allowed, this would cut the number of coal trains per day by 4 and reduce the number of movements per days dramatically. Probably enough to enable only 2 or 3 sets in operation.
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

Re the US - you can't really compare.  

The US intermodal lines are carrying something in the same order of magnidute that the Australian Heavy haul lines are carrying, i.e. the Hunter, Pilbara and Qld Coal Network.  

Our total intermodal freight task for any given route (e.g. SYD-MEL) is considerably less than that and so doesnt warrant that axle load.  Im pretty sure if you built it, the traffic wouldnt come, i.e. the additional weight wouldnt be enough to lower the costs of rail to make it still competitive against road.  The cost to do so would be significant.
james.au
Read the latest Trains magazine, October 2017. Intermodal in the USA nearly didn't happen when serious problems arose with early double stacks. There is massive market share to be had Melb-Bris if the economics of DS can be captured. My guess is that the market should be greater than Melb-Perth?
Neill Farmer
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

If there is going to be a requirement for greater than 21 TAL why couldn't this be achieved by three axle bogies on the heavier trains.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Re the US - you can't really compare.  

The US intermodal lines are carrying something in the same order of magnidute that the Australian Heavy haul lines are carrying, i.e. the Hunter, Pilbara and Qld Coal Network.  

Our total intermodal freight task for any given route (e.g. SYD-MEL) is considerably less than that and so doesnt warrant that axle load.  Im pretty sure if you built it, the traffic wouldnt come, i.e. the additional weight wouldnt be enough to lower the costs of rail to make it still competitive against road.  The cost to do so would be significant.
Read the latest Trains magazine, October 2017. Intermodal in the USA nearly didn't happen when serious problems arose with early double stacks. There is massive market share to be had Melb-Bris if the economics of DS can be captured. My guess is that the market should be greater than Melb-Perth?
Neill Farmer
neillfarmer

Im not talking about double stacks.

Im talking about pure weight of stuff to move.  In the US, I've seen information showing that the intermodal freight on not insigificant parts of the network can be 50-60 million tonnes per year (rail only).  Now, information relating to Australia shows that our total intercapital freight (road and rail) between Sydney and Melbourne is somewhere is a lot less than this.  20mtpa for Mel-Syd, 10 for SYD-BNE, 4.7 for Victoria-Queensland and then the numbers really drop off for the others.*

Intermodal freight on the Inland (Melbourne to Brisbane only) is forecast to be just under 14mt in 2069-70, which will be somewhere like 70% of the market*

So to expect a US style of operations here in Australia I think is a dream too far.

*all figures per Inland Rail business case.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I agree with Neil. I'll believe the project when standard gauge tracks being laid in Queensland
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
I agree with Neil. I'll believe the project when standard gauge tracks being laid in Queensland
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
It's refreshing to see a number of railpagers lead by BDA who share my view that future proofing the railway for higher axleloads and longer trains is critical to ensuring the long term potential for this corridor.   The incremental cost in design and infrastructure to support 30 TAL is tiny when we know based on historical experience that you don't get second, third or 4th chances to get this right.   Anyone who thinks that after spending 16 billion bucks for Inland Rail that there'll be money around 10 years or whatever later to give it another upgrade is totally ignorant of how things work in practice.   Government will consider the job done when it's complete and simply will not entertain additional funds.  That's how it is.  So whatever you lock in, will be locked in forever basically.

Building in the capability to start from the outset with 30TAL is in Australian rail industry terms the sort of leap that trucking had when it moved to B doubles and B triples.   We have grain haulers relatively recently now utilizing the upgraded coal route capability to just north of Gunnedah for haulage of longer, heavier more productive grain trains into Newcastle.   That exemplifies that if you build that capability, industry and train operating companies will take that up.

ARTC has already identified the locations on the corridor from Melbourne to Ilabo (Junee area) where works to permit doublestacking of containers.   So if you really want to get the productivity out of those trains and maintain a reasonably competitive transit time you need the higher axleload and speed.   We have the wagons right here today to do this but not the track.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
If there is going to be a requirement for greater than 21 TAL why couldn't this be achieved by three axle bogies on the heavier trains.
NOELWB
More expensive to buy, too expensive to maintain and you lose a fair amount of the axleload benefit in the heavier bogie.
Any track built now should be at least 25 tonne axleload capacity and probably more.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If there is going to be a requirement for greater than 21 TAL why couldn't this be achieved by three axle bogies on the heavier trains.
More expensive to buy, too expensive to maintain and you lose a fair amount of the axleload benefit in the heavier bogie.
Any track built now should be at least 25 tonne axleload capacity and probably more.
YM-Mundrabilla

I can't go through the document now, but the current interstate is 25TAL @80kph.  Id expect Inland to be the same.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Specifically what improvements have been included for the Melbourne area to ease freight in and out of the port?
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Specifically what improvements have been included for the Melbourne area to ease freight in and out of the port?
x31
Considering the project is about forming a spine between Melbourne and Brisbane, probably very little. Are you perhaps thinking of this project?

http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/port-rail-shuttle-to-ease-congestion-and-boost-productivity/
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Anyone who thinks that after spending 16 billion bucks for Inland Rail that there'll be money around 10 years or whatever later to give it another upgrade is totally ignorant of how things work in practice.   Government will consider the job done when it's complete and simply will not entertain additional funds.  That's how it is.  So whatever you lock in, will be locked in forever basically.
Trainplanner
Agreed.
One example is the Victorian North East Standard Gauge laid with 94lb rail. This was the Commonwealth's mainline rail and as the Commonwealth was paying that's what went in. As I understand it, 55 years later the East line still has a lot of the original rail.

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