Ballarat Line upgrades underway

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 20 Nov 2017 12:49
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Some questions:

1. How does the North Ballarat workshop access the line atm?  Does it access via the Ararat line or does it access via the Maryborough?  I.e., if Ballarat-Wendouree was left as BG with a new south track as SG (continuing to Ararat - assuming i), leaving the status quo except for a diamond crossover of the Ballarat Line.  Is there a decent line diagram available?

2. Assuming a SG Horsham-Ballarat service, would it make any sense to do SG-BG passenger transfers at Wendouree at all? Ballarat i suspect would be preferred as it would be a destination in its own right but trains do continue out to Wendouree and it might be trickier to coordinate. I note that it seems that all Ballarat services originate/terminate at Wendouree

3. Does the Armstrong St bridge have enough room under it for 2 tracks (say SG on the south, BG on the north)

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Some questions:

1. How does the North Ballarat workshop access the line atm?  Does it access via the Ararat line or does it access via the Maryborough?  I.e., if Ballarat-Wendouree was left as BG with a new south track as SG (continuing to Ararat - assuming i), leaving the status quo except for a diamond crossover of the Ballarat Line.  Is there a decent line diagram available?

2. Assuming a SG Horsham-Ballarat service, would it make any sense to do SG-BG passenger transfers at Wendouree at all? Ballarat i suspect would be preferred as it would be a destination in its own right but trains do continue out to Wendouree and it might be trickier to coordinate. I note that it seems that all Ballarat services originate/terminate at Wendouree

3. Does the Armstrong St bridge have enough room under it for 2 tracks (say SG on the south, BG on the north)
james.au
  1. From the Maryborough line.
  2. Cross-platform transfers would be best done at Ballarat as that would allow for transfers to the Maryborough line, the large V/Line coach network and local Ballarat bus network.
  3. Yes, it used to have a pair of tracks underneath it. It'd be a tight fit though and it's quite possible that the existing single track was realigned to improve clearances when they rationalised the track through Ballarat Station.

SG access through Ballarat has a number of constraints that need to be accommodated:
  • Maintaining BG access to the Ballarat East 'shops, Ballarat station car sidings
  • Minimising the number of mixed-gauge crossings and the amount of DG pointwork (and track, to a lesser extent)
  • Maintaining BG access to both platforms at Ballarat, possibly DG access to one of them as well for future-proofing

Based on these constraints, I think the easiest way to get SG through Ballarat is to:
  • Convert the South line (existing Geelong-Ballarat line) to SG up to Peel St
  • The SG crossing over near Peel St to No. 2 road through Ballarat Station, with DG track through Platform 2
  • The BG mainline continues through Ballarat Platform 1, retaining conflict-free access to Platform 1 from the car sidings and the Ballarat East 'shops
  • A realignment of track around the Armstrong St overbridge to create a southern BG track continuing through to Wendouree and a northern SG-only track that continues into a DG track to Maryborough opposite the Flour Mill siding near Doveton St.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Geelong - Ballarat was dual track.
Double line, actually, until it was 'upgraded' to single track in favour of the goat track via the Marsh.
Part of the well engineered Bendigo double line was, of course, similarly upgraded to single line years later.
What's the next improvement? Convert the rest of Victoria to 2'6" gauge?

With respect to Geelong - Ballarat, that line was singled around 1965 and as 1965 was not a time when VR was looking confidently to the 21st Century and what pax services we enjoy today. Singling was a was a prudent move to save on maintenance.

50+ years ago, when the car was king and every regional city wanted a freeway, who would have thought that railways would have the renaissance they now enjoy.

Regards the singling of the Bendigo line, although in retrospect it was a short sighted decision...but remember this decision was taken when V'Locity's were two car trains and there was no thought at that time of 'centre' cars, let alone 6 car or even 9 car V'Locity's making up services due to the exponential increase in pax numbers.

Personally I'm happier at age 63 travelling on PT than I ever was when I used to travel on the Friday 17:40 down Bendigo at age 16 with a B Class and up to 10 cars for the sometimes nearly 3 hour journey to Castlemaine.

Mike.
The Vinelander
The track between North Geelong "C" and Warrenheip was singled much earlier in fact in the depression as rail were in short supply
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Think outside the square. For sg only operation beyond Ballarat:

- Two lines to Wendouree  -  South as bg only, North as dg . Wendouree 2 plats South bg only, North dg .

Passenger transfer at Ballarat between bg Melb & sg  Maryborough/Ararat is same platform with both platforms at Ballarat dg . Much simpler and convenient than using both platforms.

Down bg arrives, sets down Ballarat pax & pax for Mbh or Ararat . Bg departs to Wendouree on South line.
Down sg follows ex Ballarat East Yard into same platform, pick up pax for beyond Ballarat and departs .

Reverse procedure in Up direction.  Transfer time 8 - 12 mins all on same platform, nice and simple .
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Think outside the square. For sg only operation beyond Ballarat:

- Two lines to Wendouree  -  South as bg only, North as dg . Wendouree 2 plats South bg only, North dg .

Passenger transfer at Ballarat between bg Melb & sg  Maryborough/Ararat is same platform with both platforms at Ballarat dg . Much simpler and convenient than using both platforms.

Down bg arrives, sets down Ballarat pax & pax for Mbh or Ararat . Bg departs to Wendouree on South line.
Down sg follows ex Ballarat East Yard into same platform, pick up pax for beyond Ballarat and departs .

Reverse procedure in Up direction.  Transfer time 8 - 12 mins all on same platform, nice and simple .
kuldalai
Does your 8-12 mins timing allow for two SG trains, an Ararat and a Maryborough?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Passenger transfer at Ballarat between bg Melb & sg  Maryborough/Ararat is same platform with both platforms at Ballarat dg . Much simpler and convenient than using both platforms.

Down bg arrives, sets down Ballarat pax & pax for Mbh or Ararat . Bg departs to Wendouree on South line.
Down sg follows ex Ballarat East Yard into same platform, pick up pax for beyond Ballarat and departs .

Reverse procedure in Up direction.  Transfer time 8 - 12 mins all on same platform, nice and simple .
kuldalai
Ballarat Station Is well set up to perform this passenger transfer.

With major redevelopment being undertaken at the Northern side of the station precinct, the opportunity exists for businesses to set up with In the station buildings on platform 2, businesses like food outlets, gift shops, etc  could tap Into the Increasing flow of passengers, along with keeping passengers transferring trains entertained for the 8 - 12 minutes (within one of Victoria's grandest railway stations)
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I was commenting on the timeframe here Mike. Mount Victoria is in the Blue Mountains.
Duncs

...and that's why I wrote about Mt Victoria,...the descent into the Parwan Valley and a bit of a cutting is nothing compared to the engineering works of stringing overhead from Penrith over the Blue Mountains to Mt Victoria.

BTW, yesterday on travelling through Melton in daylight as opposed to the dark of mid-winter, it appears another siding may be constructed on the downside of Coburns Rd level crossing at Melton, between the back of those cheaply constructed new houses and the main line...it's a very tight space though.

Mike.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Can someone tell me what the different maintenance/storage facilities are used for now?  Ie:
- Ballarat North
- the facility north of Ballarat station
- the facility south of Ballarat station (I assume VLo stabling)
- the facility east of Humffray St (i think this is the Bombardier heavy maintenance facility)
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

At Ballan I see the demarcation fence has been erected to allow the crossing loop works to go ahead clear of rail traffic, and that clearing and grubbing has commenced either side of the Geelong - Ballan Rd LXing.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Geelong - Ballarat was dual track.
Double line, actually, until it was 'upgraded' to single track in favour of the goat track via the Marsh.
Part of the well engineered Bendigo double line was, of course, similarly upgraded to single line years later.
What's the next improvement? Convert the rest of Victoria to 2'6" gauge?

With respect to Geelong - Ballarat, that line was singled around 1965 and as 1965 was not a time when VR was looking confidently to the 21st Century and what pax services we enjoy today. Singling was a was a prudent move to save on maintenance.

50+ years ago, when the car was king and every regional city wanted a freeway, who would have thought that railways would have the renaissance they now enjoy.

Regards the singling of the Bendigo line, although in retrospect it was a short sighted decision...but remember this decision was taken when V'Locity's were two car trains and there was no thought at that time of 'centre' cars, let alone 6 car or even 9 car V'Locity's making up services due to the exponential increase in pax numbers.

Personally I'm happier at age 63 travelling on PT than I ever was when I used to travel on the Friday 17:40 down Bendigo at age 16 with a B Class and up to 10 cars for the sometimes nearly 3 hour journey to Castlemaine.

Mike.
The Vinelander
I agree with the above, the service is MUCH better now than it was even 40 years ago. There's almost no comparison wtth the Seymour timetable now and back then, now we have trains every hour from 0500 to after midnight. !975 4 trains each way and thats that.

I well remember the 1645 Friday Albury train leaving from Platform 1 10 or 11 cars absolutely packed to the rafters, pulled by a poor old B class. the ONLY way one could get a seat was to be standing on the platform where a door stopped . There were still people standing when the train got to Benalla. My station actuallly was Baddaginnie but one often could not get off there as only the rear cars were in the platform and the corridors were still to packed with people.

Timings then and now friday Albury train 3 hours 15 minutes to Benalla, now 2 hours 23 minutes AND its now has to go via Albion. While the reliabilty is not what it was they WILL eventually figure that out.
1954 timings, Albury train steam hauled 3 hours 13 minutes to Benalla.
Note: The trains now to Benalla stop at 3 less stations than back in 1975/1954 (Locksley Longwood and Baddaginnie were open then)
Also in 1954 the local Albury service, ie stopping ALL stations (Monea, Creighton, Ballmattum) took 3h 25m to reach Benalla.

woodford
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

At Ballan I see the demarcation fence has been erected to allow the crossing loop works to go ahead clear of rail traffic, and that clearing and grubbing has commenced either side of the Geelong - Ballan Rd LXing.
Lockspike
Further to the above, I had more of a look today. The fence is a chain wire fence 2-2.5m high. It extends 5km, from the Ingliston Rd crossing to a private crossing on a farm about 3.5km on the Dn side of Ballan. The exception opposite the Ballan platform where blue and white parawebbing is erected. Even though it can be seen where clearing has been taking place, no mobile plant was to be seen, perhaps the clearing thus far was just for the fence works.
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I took this video of the new stabling at Kerrs Road Maddingley from a vlocity today.
Hopefully the link works.
[img]https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1821/43211466171_a8b4d17ba5_o.jpg[/img]20180705 Maddingley Yard
by Gauntlet, on Flickr

edit - It looks like the video's not visible here. It should work at Flickr.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Can someone tell me what the different maintenance/storage facilities are used for now? Ie:
- Ballarat North
- the facility north of Ballarat station
- the facility south of Ballarat station (I assume VLo stabling)
- the facility east of Humffray St (i think this is the Bombardier heavy maintenance facility)
james.au
I will do my best;

- Ballarat North: This is the site of the Alstom factory, where the Xtrapolis suburban trains are built. They also receive some heavy maintenance here. The rail entrance for this site is located on the Maryborough line immediately after its junction with the line to Ararat.

- the facility north of Ballarat station: By this I assume you are referring to the old Ballarat goods yard. These roads have been disused since the days of Freight Australia (maybe even earlier) and are to be removed. This area is to be redeveloped for non rail use. The old Goods Shed will be revamped as a part of this redevelopment, but not for rail use.

- the facility south of Ballarat station (I assume VLo stabling): Yes, this is one of 2 Ballarat stabling yards for Vlocities, it includes the heritage listed car sheds (which are still used for stabling Vlocities to this day).

- the facility east of Humffray St (i think this is the Bombardier heavy maintenance facility): This site (known as Ballarat East)
is as you correctly guessed one of Bombardier's heavy maintenence facilities. It is also used to stable the Vlocities that don't fit in the main Ballarat stabling yards. Also this is home to Steamrail Victoria's Ballarat Depot (and the home of operational Steam loco Y112)
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
BTW, yesterday on travelling through Melton in daylight as opposed to the dark of mid-winter, it appears another siding may be constructed on the downside of Coburns Rd level crossing at Melton, between the back of those cheaply constructed new houses and the main line...it's a very tight space though.
The Vinelander
I saw this today, I didn't know there was any scope in the project for any work at Melton apart from the duplication from Caroline Springs. Is this another addition to the project?

Also I do agree those houses do appear fairly light on the quality side, but I do believe there is enough space for at least 1 proper stabling road, hopefully with scrote proof fences. It would be good if V/Line didn't have to run empty cars through to Bacchus Marsh, or back to Melbourne to stable their trains every evening.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Also I do agree those houses do appear fairly light on the quality side, but I do believe there is enough space for at least 1 proper stabling road, hopefully with scrote proof fences. It would be good if V/Line didn't have to run empty cars through to Bacchus Marsh, or back to Melbourne to stable their trains every evening.
Gman_86

There also are two empty car movements every week night that pass through Ballan on the UP around 19:55 and for the insomniacs 01:05.

Mike.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
There is also a daily empty movement from Bendigo every week night (departing Bendigo at 11:10PM)

As with the late night empty Ballarat movements, neither seem to be matched with return empty movements in the mornings, suggesting that they are more for balancing requirements rather than a lack of stabling space.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
There is also a daily empty movement from Bendigo every week night (departing Bendigo at 11:10PM)
Gman_86

Now that's something I'd like to see... Cool

That empty car set travelling through Castlemaine on the RFR upgraded 140Km/h curve on the UP end of the platform.

Given an unimpeded run, I wonder what time that set gets to Melbourne Question

Mike.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Stables 12.58am at SCS platform 6.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There is also a daily empty movement from Bendigo every week night (departing Bendigo at 11:10PM)

Now that's something I'd like to see... Cool

That empty car set travelling through Castlemaine on the RFR upgraded 140Km/h curve on the UP end of the platform.

Given an unimpeded run, I wonder what time that set gets to Melbourne Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
There Is probably no reason for an empty car moment to push maximum line speed, Instead be scheduled to run at a more relaxed pace to conserve fuel and brake pads.

108 mins for 162 km's
Sprinters were running this journey time pre RFR
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Stables 12.58am at SCS platform 6.
Potatoinmymout

Yes it is scheduled into Southern Cross Platform 6 at 12:58AM but it doesn't stable, it forms the 1:15AM service to Geelong.


From what I can gather following the V/Line network service plan:
train 8806 is a 6VL departing South Geelong at 6:51PM arriving at Southern Cross Platform 3 at 8:01PM, one 3VL is detatched, the remaining 3VL departs, operating the following services:

train 8059 departs Southern Cross platform 3 at 8:22PM and arrives into Epsom at 10:16PM
train 7060 departs Epsom empty at 10:32PM then arrives at Bendigo at 10:40PM
train 8062 departs Bendigo empty at 11:10PM then arrives Southern Cross platform 6 at 12:58AM (next day)
train 8821 departs Southern Cross platform 6 at 1:15AM, arrives into Geelong Platform 1 at 2:18AM.
train 7822 then departs Geelong platform 1 at 2:23AM and runs into Geelong Loco to stable for the night.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

88 mins for 162 km's
Sprinters were running this journey time pre RFR
Nightfire

I find that VERY hard to believe as the line speed for Sprinters was/is 130 km/h.

Moreover drivers are human and are well known to have FUN especially when driving empty cars. Brake pad wear would NOT be first and foremost in their minds.

Mike.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger

88 mins for 162 km's
Sprinters were running this journey time pre RFR
I find that VERY hard to believe as the line speed for Sprinters was/is 130 km/h.

Moreover drivers are human and are well known to have FUN especially when driving empty cars. Brake pad wear would NOT be first and foremost in their minds.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Signals probably are (or should be!) and this train would have to cross two down services somewhere between Sunbury and Bendigo (and a third somewhere around Footscray).
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland

88 mins for 162 km's
Sprinters were running this journey time pre RFR
I find that VERY hard to believe as the line speed for Sprinters was/is 130 km/h.

Moreover drivers are human and are well known to have FUN especially when driving empty cars. Brake pad wear would NOT be first and foremost in their minds.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Sorry my bad, a calculation error 108 minutes

The sprinters used to do the journey In about 110 Mins (1 Hr 50 Mins)
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

88 mins for 162 km's
Sprinters were running this journey time pre RFR
I find that VERY hard to believe as the line speed for Sprinters was/is 130 km/h.

Moreover drivers are human and are well known to have FUN especially when driving empty cars. Brake pad wear would NOT be first and foremost in their minds.

Mike.Signals probably are (or should be!) and this train would have to cross two down services somewhere between Sunbury and Bendigo (and a third somewhere around Footscray).
TOQ-1

Drivers can still have fun and drive responsibly, I know my mate used to...TPWS ensures nothing really bad can occur.

Mike.

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