Murray Basin standardisation

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

When was that advice? There was lots of talk on here some time ago about the westbound connection being wanted by ARTC.
james.au

I just don't understand why rail authorities insist on making it so hard for themselves. Can you imagine VicRoads signing off on a new freeway where all the exits only connected to one side of the road in question? With a 10km concrete barrier preventing you from even chucking a U?

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  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Isnt that already what we thought was going to be the case?

Refer drawing at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d4bHE69edQiNDjlt47FNV9xgFXwb124q/view

Or have things changed?

The last advice was that the bit in red will be abandoned after the direct connection is completed, ie it won’t be a wye or triangle, no western connection.

That might have changed since if that section of track has been upgraded to 21 TAL and is being used, whereas originally the direct connection was to be part of the Ararat – Maryborough upgrade.
When was that advice?  There was lots of talk on here some time ago about the westbound connection being wanted by ARTC.
james.au
but the ARTC wasn't prepared to pay for it (RP talk of course).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Back in the days of standardisation of the WA Kalgoorlie - Perth, VR NE and SAR Peterborough division the actual work was done by the WAGR, VR and SAR but the Commonwealth Railways had a 'supervisory' role of some sort on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.

Not sure what the precise level of supervision was or ultimately how successful it was especially in the case of the NE in Victoria but even allowing that the line was fit for purpose at the time.

The troubles as I see them these days are:

  • Politicians
  • Bean counters
  • Refusal to address reality
  • Dishonesty
  • Artificial KPIs set by incompetents
  • Almost total lack of future vision by just about everyone concerned
  • Lack of competent/experienced RAILWAY engineers
  • Inexperienced 'Rent a Crowd' contractors
  • Tunnel vision
  • Spin, lies, deceit

Mildura standarisation should have been quick and simple had:

  • The condition of the BG railway been addressed and honestly factored into the cost of the project
  • The traffic patterns/requirements been taken into account


Basically, Mildura SG would be seen in some circles as a howling success even allowing that it is to all reasonable intents and purposes not connected to anything at Ararat.

Remember: Freight rail in Victoria is not meant to be successful.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Isnt that already what we thought was going to be the case?

Refer drawing at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d4bHE69edQiNDjlt47FNV9xgFXwb124q/view

Or have things changed?

The last advice was that the bit in red will be abandoned after the direct connection is completed, ie it won’t be a wye or triangle, no western connection.

That might have changed since if that section of track has been upgraded to 21 TAL and is being used, whereas originally the direct connection was to be part of the Ararat – Maryborough upgrade.
When was that advice?  There was lots of talk on here some time ago about the westbound connection being wanted by ARTC.
but the ARTC wasn't prepared to pay for it (RP talk of course).
kitchgp
Well, we got a westbound connection. What we now need is an eastbound connection.

Perhaps if PN/SSR (whoever) started running grain/containers to/from Adelaide via the westbound connection that would set light to Jacinta Allan's tail feathers! !!!!!!!!! Rolling Eyes
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Out of interest, what was the sleeper spacing for the Ararat to Maryborough rebuild?

As a side note, I looked at a role for the project June last year.  Upon interview I did not like what I was seeing/hearing (already cautious of V/Line).  Upon finding out what chicken feed they were prepared to pay and also having to find your own accommodation in up-country Victoria, it was a pretty easy decision not to be involved.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Out of interest, what was the sleeper spacing for the Ararat to Maryborough rebuild?
skitz
Try your ruler over this. It's on the East side of Burn Street Ararat, September 27 last year.

https://flic.kr/p/YRLPc7
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria

I just don't understand why rail authorities insist on making it so hard for themselves. Can you imagine VicRoads signing off on a new freeway where all the exits only connected to one side of the road in question? With a 10km concrete barrier preventing you from even chucking a U?
potatoinmymouth

Believe it or not there are actually examples of this. Check out the relatively new interchange at Peacocks Road in Buangor on the new Western Highway bypass.



Ross
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Isnt that already what we thought was going to be the case?

Refer drawing at this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d4bHE69edQiNDjlt47FNV9xgFXwb124q/view

Or have things changed?

The last advice was that the bit in red will be abandoned after the direct connection is completed, ie it won’t be a wye or triangle, no western connection.

That might have changed since, if that section of track has been upgraded to 21 TAL and is being used, whereas originally the direct connection was to be part of the Ararat – Maryborough upgrade.
kitchgp
With the current Western connection, what does it look like?  Does it join the SG line at 274400 or does it go into the yard at 274500 and then back out again the other end?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Something else that has been on my mind is the governance of this.  This is a 50/50 state/federal project.  Why did the Federal Government not insist that ARTC oversight be brought to bear on this?  Now, i deliberately used the term oversight and not expertise, given ARTC is a controversial organisation, but surely they would have some contribution to this project.  And the Feds should be wanting to see that their money is well spent...
james.au
AFAIK, ARTC is only concerned with it's own train set, it is not the Fed Govt's Railway Dept, having oversight of all the Fed's railway 'interests'.
Perhaps the Fed Gov needs just such an entity.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' AFAIK, ARTC is only concerned with it's own train set, it is not the Fed Govt's Railway Dept, having oversight of all the Fed's railway 'interests'.
Perhaps the Fed Gov needs just such an entity.'

Like the Commonwealth Railways used to be, perhaps? Rolling Eyes
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

' AFAIK, ARTC is only concerned with it's own train set, it is not the Fed Govt's Railway Dept, having oversight of all the Fed's railway 'interests'.
Perhaps the Fed Gov needs just such an entity.'

Like the Commonwealth Railways used to be, perhaps? Rolling Eyes
YM-Mundrabilla
YM, I actually did include words very similar to yours but deleted them before submitting.
Did the CR actually have oversight away from their own system?
As an example, I cannot recall reading about CR being involved in the NE Std Gauge project.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Out of interest, what was the sleeper spacing for the Ararat to Maryborough rebuild?
Try your ruler over this. It's on the East side of Burn Street Ararat, September 27 last year.

https://flic.kr/p/YRLPc7
mikesyd
Sorry, that's not that helpful.  Amusing, but not making the grade.

I was interested as the sleeper spacing being deliberately reduced (say 1800/km from 1450/km) makes a world of difference to the expectation of the 80lb rail and also the resulting required ballast depth and ultimate pressure on the formation.  Its a balancing game ultimately, no one solution is necessarily better than the other.  I say this as a discussion point to how the scope was deemed in the face of low profile concrete and using the existing rail.

I get the feeling that the specification would be standards based predomiently, not a considered practical design to suit the restraints of the project and the resulting product and consequential life-cycle liability it leaves behind.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I get the feeling that the specification would be standards based predomiently, not a considered practical design to suit the restraints of the project and the resulting product and consequential life-cycle liability it leaves behind.
skitz

It's interesting to read this from you skitz, as I've often wondered how the transition from "approved design" to "standard compliant" in public engineering works will affect the quality of the product in as-yet-unseen ways. These risks seem most significant when considering the model used for the MBRP - that is, a contractor completes the works for an agreed price and hands the infrastructure back to the authority with no ongoing accountability for it.

I think the present trend towards BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) PPPs (public-private partnerships)* is based partly on the need to address this. Of course it doesn't necessarily prevent the problems from arising in the first place but rather leaves the private operator with responsibility for the problems when they do occur.

Over the last couple of years the government has spent money improving systems and infrastructure in the City Loop. This is easy because the state retains control over the infrastructure and can easily dictate how its private custodians deal with it. What the hell happens in 15 years when some issue arises with the Metro Tunnel because it was built to today's minimum standards and has no provision for, say, heavier rolling stock (ignore the specifics of the example and think more conceptually)?  A big bloody mess, that's what, and the state will wear the costs in the end.

Sorry for dragging this to an off-topic example but I think the MBRP could be the steam that foretells an impending eruption in the way infrastructure contracting is performed. The rot has well and truly set in.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
When was that advice? There was lots of talk on here some time ago about the westbound connection being wanted by ARTC.

I just don't understand why rail authorities insist on making it so hard for themselves. Can you imagine VicRoads signing off on a new freeway where all the exits only connected to one side of the road in question? With a 10km concrete barrier preventing you from even chucking a U?
potatoinmymouth

I again believe this highlights the poor design and management practices at V/Line.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Out of interest, what was the sleeper spacing for the Ararat to Maryborough rebuild?
Try your ruler over this. It's on the East side of Burn Street Ararat, September 27 last year.
Sorry, that's not that helpful.  Amusing, but not making the grade.

I was interested as the sleeper spacing being deliberately reduced (say 1800/km from 1450/km) makes a world of difference to the expectation of the 80lb rail and also the resulting required ballast depth and ultimate pressure on the formation.  Its a balancing game ultimately, no one solution is necessarily better than the other.  I say this as a discussion point to how the scope was deemed in the face of low profile concrete and using the existing rail.

I get the feeling that the specification would be standards based predomiently, not a considered practical design to suit the restraints of the project and the resulting product and consequential life-cycle liability it leaves behind.
skitz
Good, then I suggest that you do some research rather than ask and judge an attempt to help as amusing.

I wont try to help again.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Out of interest, what was the sleeper spacing for the Ararat to Maryborough rebuild?
Try your ruler over this. It's on the East side of Burn Street Ararat, September 27 last year.

https://flic.kr/p/YRLPc7
Sorry, that's not that helpful.  Amusing, but not making the grade.

I was interested as the sleeper spacing being deliberately reduced (say 1800/km from 1450/km) makes a world of difference to the expectation of the 80lb rail and also the resulting required ballast depth and ultimate pressure on the formation.  Its a balancing game ultimately, no one solution is necessarily better than the other.  I say this as a discussion point to how the scope was deemed in the face of low profile concrete and using the existing rail.

I get the feeling that the specification would be standards based predomiently, not a considered practical design to suit the restraints of the project and the resulting product and consequential life-cycle liability it leaves behind.
skitz
Given the cheapskate sleepers and the secondhand 80 lb rail I will be surprised if the sleeper spacing (ie fewer sleepers/km) has not been increased beyond that desirable/necessary for a modern so called railway.

We have standardised a steam era railway.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne

Believe it or not there are actually examples of this. Check out the relatively new interchange at Peacocks Road in Buangor on the new Western Highway bypass.
Rossco T

Poor example.  They didn't add ramps to the southern side there because the old highway provides both those within a kilometre or so.  
No-one needs to do a long detour and U turn to go anywhere there.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm far from being an engineer of any description, however the sleeper distances look to be closer to each other than on the NE.

Also...just checking the '1913' by the Pandrol clip, would that be the year of manufacture of the rail Question

Mike.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

I get the feeling that the specification would be standards based predomiently, not a considered practical design to suit the restraints of the project and the resulting product and consequential life-cycle liability it leaves behind.

It's interesting to read this from you skitz, as I've often wondered how the transition from "approved design" to "standard compliant" in public engineering works will affect the quality of the product in as-yet-unseen ways. These risks seem most significant when considering the model used for the MBRP - that is, a contractor completes the works for an agreed price and hands the infrastructure back to the authority with no ongoing accountability for it.

I think the present trend towards BOOT (build-own-operate-transfer) PPPs (public-private partnerships)* is based partly on the need to address this. Of course it doesn't necessarily prevent the problems from arising in the first place but rather leaves the private operator with responsibility for the problems when they do occur.

Over the last couple of years the government has spent money improving systems and infrastructure in the City Loop. This is easy because the state retains control over the infrastructure and can easily dictate how its private custodians deal with it. What the hell happens in 15 years when some issue arises with the Metro Tunnel because it was built to today's minimum standards and has no provision for, say, heavier rolling stock (ignore the specifics of the example and think more conceptually)?  A big bloody mess, that's what, and the state will wear the costs in the end.

Sorry for dragging this to an off-topic example but I think the MBRP could be the steam that foretells an impending eruption in the way infrastructure contracting is performed. The rot has well and truly set in.
potatoinmymouth
Unfortunately it is the same thinking that sees brand new concrete barer turnouts, sleepers and brand new rail installed in new train maintenance facilities (like Pakenham).   The design fits 'the standard' and someone else is paying.  At the same time there is a falling apart items of rubbish on the adjacent main line.

One only has to look at the loops in AN territory to show what good decisions can look like.  The loop track is made up of second hand 80lb rail, derailment damaged concrete sleepers and ballasted with 555 fines.  Fit for purpose and will last one hundred years.

Its disappointing that practical and cost effective ideas and solutions would have little hope of surfacing in the mire of what makes up railways in Victoria today.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

I'm far from being an engineer of any description, however the sleeper distances look to be closer to each other than on the NE.

Also...just checking the '1913' by the Pandrol clip, would that be the year of manufacture of the rail Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
It could be its manufacture date, however it could also be the date of the standard or pattern it was made to as well.  I could not make out any of the detail to say exactly what it refers to.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The standard used for that rail is Victorian Railways 80 lb/yd 'O' as stamped on the rail on the left-hand side of the picture. The stamping date is 1913, which is well before any Australian Standards for steel rail were developed.

The manufacturer is "B V & Coy" - I believe that this is the Bessemer Steel Company, which would make it an imported English rail.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Seems certain to be English rail as the only alternatives around that time were American companies or Hoskins from Lithgow (I think) but they were only setting up around that time and their early production apparently went to CR for the TAR.

I believe that B V & Coy is (was) Bolckow Vaughan & Company a major British iron and steel making company between 1841 and 1929 when it was taken over by Dorman Long of Sydney Harbour Bridge fame.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Re above trackwork photo.
If the height of the rail is 126mm, then the distance between a common point on the sleepers, say eastern edge to eastern edge, is about 567 mm. This gives about 1760 sleepers per km. All the above calculations are approximate.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

I'm far from being an engineer of any description, however the sleeper distances look to be closer to each other than on the NE.

Also...just checking the '1913' by the Pandrol clip, would that be the year of manufacture of the rail Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
Hello All,

80lb rail of 1916 sitting on a concrete sleeper of 2013 ! At a guess I suspect the railway line is out of warranty and the manufacture most probably disappeared a long time ago. ( Does the photographer know who the rail manufacturer is ? )

I am reliably told that railway workers with many years of seniority did highlight the on going problems with the Project, but got "resigned" with packages for being trouble makers.

That seems to be what happens in private industry*  when people who do know things are not right get shafted for being trouble makers instead of being listened to, and some follow up investigation made as to what has gone wrong. Problem solving is hard, scapegoating someone else is a lot easier.

( *V/Line is run as a private company with an independent board , most of whom excel in "transparency issues", and by extension have little knowledge of what a railway actually is. )

Regards, Radioman.

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