Hurstbridge Line Upgrade Stage 2

 
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Just been through Clifton Hill on the Down this morning, there is nowhere near enough clearance to run the Up South Morang line over the Down Hurstbridge due to both the road bridge and the distance from the junction to the station.

This is what I assume they mean by Untangling Clifton Hill, it is this single crossover that causes all the delays, Dn South Morang is fine, it is just a deviation from the Dn Hurstbridge after the station and Up Hurstbridge is also OK as the Up SM doesn't join it till after the junction (they run parallel for a short distance).

The East side station building and platform are a modern-ish rebuild and ripe for demolition and rebuilding as an island, the old canopy could be re-used as it is a stand alone structure by the looks of it.

I will watch developments here with interest as even though I won't be using Vic Park regularly after next month this has been my hood for the best part of 30 years.

BG
BrentonGolding

Have been through Clifton Hill many times and have often dreamed of how it can be sorted out...

What about reducing the width the two current platforms and putting an island in between? 4 tracks running directly into the station with the Mernda Up going over the Hurstbridge Down on the South side.  The actual location of the platforms could be moved North if there needed to be more space for the flyover to the South.

If they were super clever they could even remove the Ramsden St LX as part of the process.

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  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Why is Clifton hill the problem now with only two tracks south of that location trains have nowhere to do really.
Just too many trains passing through the junction.   Its fine if everything is like clockwork but when its not it can get hairy.   I'm not sure how many other stations in the country employ a system like park road in brisbane, where trains toward the cbd share two platforms.  Allows simultaneous arrivals on the island platform so the junction for trains heading south can be optimised better.
tazzer96
Exactly Tazzer, under that plan the trains could arrive pretty much simultaneously into a new island platform at Clifton Hill then the Hurstbridge service which runs express Clifton Hill > Jolimont could depart first with the all stopping South Morang departing as soon as it cleared the section (just before Vic Park I think).

Would make for much more efficient running and allow more trains to run in the congested 2 track section from CH to Jolimont.

A no brainer really, I hope that is what they are thinking.

BG
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.

Double track all the way is the only rational decision, EXCEPT.Where are you ending the double track.  Double track all the way to hurstbridge is a waste, its pretty much a country branch beyond greensborough.  Duplication to eltham i can understand, ideally with a 3rd terminating platform.
tazzer96
Sorry tazzer.

I meant to say "all the way per the initial media release" (ie Wattle Glen).

But then again, why not Hurstbridge. Only going to get one crack at this.

Easy to say that Hurstbridge is not that big.
They said the same about Mernda, and it took another 60 years to undo that stupid shut down.

cheers
John
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2

Double track all the way is the only rational decision, EXCEPT.Where are you ending the double track.  Double track all the way to hurstbridge is a waste, its pretty much a country branch beyond greensborough.  Duplication to eltham i can understand, ideally with a 3rd terminating platform.Sorry tazzer.

I meant to say "all the way per the initial media release" (ie Wattle Glen).

But then again, why not Hurstbridge. Only going to get one crack at this.

Easy to say that Hurstbridge is not that big.
They said the same about Mernda, and it took another 60 years to undo that stupid shut down.

cheers
John
justarider

Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen is basically straight, flat and open with suitable width either side - it's very easy to duplicate.

Wattle Glen to Hurstbridge has many more bends, much less room, lots more trees either side and several embankments/cuttings made to keep the railway level as the valley thins out. I'd hazard it's just cost really - if they can get a decent enough service without spending too much money then that's what they'll do.

Another factor is that the terrain between Eltham and Diamond Creek is similar to that between Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge - lots of trees, lots of bends, embankments, cuttings and the like. Running a 20 min service, a Down train leaving Eltham would cross an Up train from Hurstbridge between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen anyway, so unless they're going to duplicate the whole thing to run a 10min service (unnecessary in my opinion), the section they've chosen is all that's needed.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
LeroyW
Double track all the way is the only rational decision, EXCEPT

Where are you ending the double track.  Double track all the way to hurstbridge is a waste, its pretty much a country branch beyond greensborough.  Duplication to eltham i can understand, ideally with a 3rd terminating platform.

Sorry tazzer.
I meant to say "all the way per the initial media release" (ie Wattle Glen).

But then again, why not Hurstbridge. Only going to get one crack at this.

Easy to say that Hurstbridge is not that big.

They said the same about Mernda, and it took another 60 years to undo that stupid shut down.

cheers

John
justarider


Diamond Creek to Wattle Glen is basically straight, flat and open with suitable width either side - it's very easy to duplicate.
Wattle Glen to Hurstbridge has many more bends, much less room, lots more trees either side and several embankments/cuttings made to keep the railway level as the valley thins out. I'd hazard it's just cost really - if they can get a decent enough service without spending too much money then that's what they'll do.
Another factor is that the terrain between Eltham and Diamond Creek is similar to that between Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge - lots of trees, lots of bends, embankments, cuttings and the like. Running a 20 min service, a Down train leaving Eltham would cross an Up train from Hurstbridge between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen anyway, so unless they're going to duplicate the whole thing to run a 10min service (unnecessary in my opinion), the section they've chosen is all that's needed.

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 3:20 pm


Yes leroy, you are spot on with the problem of terrain.

The issue remains , "why are they doing this half baked".
The plan seems to still have Diamond Creek on a 20 minute service. No gain there from the existing peak.
The move across the whole network is towards a 10 minute minimum. DC and beyond deserve no less..

I doubt anything will really happen, in sympathy of my initial post about the Eltham trestle. It's a win for nimbys that don't want to lose trees.

As you have rightly pointed out, the further along the line you go, there are more trees and pretty sloping country side.
Can't spoil that.
BTW, the roads alongside have already buldozed most of the best bits, but that's just me being cynical.

cheers
John
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Is there really any worth to doing anything to the Junction at Clifton Hill? From my point of view it will all be useless in hopefully 15 years or so when Metro 2 opens (I won't be holding my breath), when this fancy junction will just serve 10 footy specials a week in winter and a few times in the summer. This is the conventional Railpage argument at the moment but just keep the money in the bank and use it to electrify to Melton and Wyndham Vale! Proceed with the Hurstbridge line upgrade without this in the scope (which really should be built with two new bridges beside the existing heritage bridge).
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Is there really any worth to doing anything to the Junction at Clifton Hill? From my point of view it will all be useless in hopefully 15 years or so when Metro 2 opens (I won't be holding my breath), when this fancy junction will just serve 10 footy specials a week in winter and a few times in the summer. This is the conventional Railpage argument at the moment but just keep the money in the bank and use it to electrify to Melton and Wyndham Vale! Proceed with the Hurstbridge line upgrade without this in the scope (which really should be built with two new bridges beside the existing heritage bridge).
reubstar6
Have you ever caught a morning peak hour train on the South Morang line? Sat waiting between Rushall and the junction for 5 minutes or more for one or two Hurstbridge line trains to clear the section into Clifton Hill station?

If you had you wouldn't have to ask.

This project won't be super expensive and will give good bang for buck if done right.

BG
  stooge spark Train Controller

Not sure why Labor wants to protect the trestle bridge, surely in this day and age a very old wooden trestle bridge has no place on a commuter train system?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Excellent that the Bridge Aint going Very Happy
Dangersdan707
What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?

The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.

Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Excellent that the Bridge Aint going Very Happy
What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?

The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.

Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.
Lockspike
I think you'll find that demolishing the Eltham Trestle would be illegal...
  tom9876543 Train Controller

What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?

The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.

Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.
Lockspike

Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.

How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.

I am dreaming ,but maybe one day in future, Yarra Valley railway will be extended to Coldstream, and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored / rebuilt.

The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
tom9876543
What is sacrosanct about the Eltham timber bridge? Is it to be retained as a monument to government dithering on all matters pertaining to railways?
The bridge is an anachronism, get rid of it, completely. If people want to be reminded what a timber bridge looks like, well 'Puff' has several of them.
Besides, the skills to maintain timber bridges are dying out rapidly, literally.
Lockspike
Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.
How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.
I am dreaming ,but maybe one day in future, Yarra Valley railway will be extended to Coldstream, and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored / rebuilt.
The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
Posted: Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:10 pm



MUST is a bit strong Tom

There is a world or engineering difference between maintaining an operational bridge up to modern heavy rail requirements, and preserving our heritage to a standard of safety for pedestrians and by-standers.
100 year old timbers are now past their use-by date, and need constant expensive inspection/maintenance.

Preserving  "at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges"
reminds me of an old mate 50 years ago that repaired type-writers.
VR were the only work-shop left in the state that did that work - did High Schools, Govt Departments, Private typing pools the lot.
Do you suggest that VR should still be doing that, so we can have a working type-writer at the Heritage Train office?  
Even then my old mate knew that those new fangled electric type-writers were the end for his workshop.

Heritage sometimes needs to move with the times, and work with what can be done, not get somebody else to pay for every reminiscence.

regards
John
  tom9876543 Train Controller

What will happen with the iconic curved bridge on the Puffing Billy railway line?

If we don't have the expertise to maintain timber bridges, it will have to be eventually replaced with a steel / concrete bridge.

Would anyone know what the Puffing Billy Preservation Society's official strategy is regarding the timber bridges?

Does the Preservation Society plan to maintain the timber bridges forever? If so, how will they ensure the engineering expertise is maintained?
Or does the Preservation Society expect to replace current timber bridges with modern bridges?

I would hope the Victorian Government accepts the responsibility of maintaining timber bridges, for the benefit of tourism and heritage preservation.
  drunkill Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Just saying, all the yarra valley bridge rebuilds have been steel. Cheap and easier to do, also they won't burn down when the next fire rolls through the area.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.
tom9876543
That's not what the heritage listing says, and that's all that the Government needs to obey. Turning it into a walking/biking bridge is perfectly fine.

How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.
tom9876543
The engineering expertise required to inspect and maintain large timber structures isn't rare, merely uncommon. There are many more than 3-4 people in Victoria alone that have 'the knowledge'.

I am dreaming, but maybe one day in future [the] Yarra Valley Railway will be extended to Coldstream and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored/rebuilt.
tom9876543
Keep dreaming.

Also, funnily enough Maldon (Victorian Goldfields Railway) has more timber trestle bridges than the Yarra Valley Railway, and most of theirs are also larger.

The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
tom9876543
VicTrack has an obligation to maintain heritage-listed assets that it owns, including listed timber trestle bridges. There is no desire by any party (VicTrack, the State Government or tourist railways) to maintain any more timber trestle bridges than they have to.

Just saying, all the yarra valley bridge rebuilds have been steel. Cheap and easier to do, also they won't burn down when the next fire rolls through the area.
Drunkill
More importantly, they contain very little termite food and as such are much less likely to rot in place like timber trestles do.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Eltham timber bridge MUST be retained as an operational bridge on the Victorian rail network.

How many people have the knowledge to maintain the timber bridges on Puffing Billy and Walhalla railways? We need the Victorian government to ensure there are at least 3-4 people with expert engineering knowledge of timber bridges.

I am dreaming ,but maybe one day in future, Yarra Valley railway will be extended to Coldstream, and the timber trestle bridges over the flood plain will be restored / rebuilt.

The Victorian Government should commit to maintaining the Eltham timber bridges and the timber bridges on tourist railways, to preserve the rail heritage and make the tourist lines more authentic.
tom9876543
I'm not saying that there isn't anyone who can maintain timber bridges anymore, but they are diminishing rapidly, somewhat analogous to the skills required to keep steam locomotives operating.

Timber bridge maintenance wasn't formally taught, but handed down from the older artisans to the younger. The engineers only knew what they learnt by observing the artisans. The Rough Carpenter was an appointed position in the bridge gangs and was a highly regarded person.

The transfer of arcane skills is not the sort of thing that excites politicians, so don't anticipate government doing this.

Not this again! A few months ago we had a poster postulating that heritage railways should only use timber sleepers and dogspikes (for reasons of authenticity). Despite being asked the poster declined to tell us which heritage railway track they sweated over.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

I suspect that the Eltham railway trestle bridge is on a historic register, and having once lived in the area both the previous and current Council are very well aware just how hostile the locals are to removing the bridge.

The problem is the bridge is expensive to maintain as it has deteriorated despite constant maintenance. When a train goes over, the bridge gently sways ! So at some point radical surgery will be required. Despite appearances, the under deck is actually supported on steel girders inserted about 30 years ago ( Does someone here have a more precise date ? )

The ETRB actually does have a skilled crew who are able to repair and replace these timber trestles , and they have done work in the past for VicRoads. Some years back there was an article in PBPS' Narrow Gauge which illustrated the use of reinforced concrete foundation, upon which stirrups were embedded to hold the timber trestle bridge. This protected the timber from water rot and yet retained a genuine timber trestle bridge. The fact that timber trestle bridges in Australia generally lasted for 70 + years indicates that this was, and in some cases still is, a viable engineering alternative.

One solution that I have heard suggested is to transfer the wooden trestle bridge to the down side of Eltham and use it as an extension of the dual walking and bicycle track, which would allow for a concrete pylon double track railway bridge to be built on the alignment , and that way save the footy oval from being destroyed by the Liberal Party proposal to build a dual track concrete pylon bridge on the down side of the existing timber trestle bridge.

( I am surprised that Mathew Guy, as a local, does not recognise the Hornet's Nest destroying a heavily used footy oval will cause. The footy oval is well used 7 days a week, and the idea of cutting a large swathe of it away is political suicide. )

I agree with"justarider" that the line need not be duplicated beyond Wattle Glen, as a future increased frequency would meet current and future demand for quite some time. From a Passenger numbers perspective, terminating some services at either Eltham or Diamond Creek so that only every second train goes to Hurstbridge may be an option to consider.

The reference to the construction of an island platform in lieu of the existing Platform 1 , so that Up Epping and Up Eltham trains could arrive in parallel is actually quite sound, and the VR & Connex both did consider that when Clifton Hill underwent  the two upgrades , but funding was not available to do so. At the time the thinking was that passengers could do a train change during the morning peak , and after 730pm /1930 all trains would just use the island platform. I acknowledge that it is tight under the road overbridge, but as it is all railway land between the pylons, this was a possibility.

Looking at it in todays terms , I suspect any rethink of this arrangement would probably make allowance for longer trains and the removal of Ramsden St level crossing. Longer trains are an option, and unfortunately, Double Deck trains are not, partially because Victoria's Metropolitan Loading Gauge is lower than NSW , and both Metro and PTV ( or whatever it is called this week ) are not in favour of Double Deck trains full stop.

The other problem with longer trains are Collingwood / Victoria Park and West Richmond / North Richmond stations. In the case of Collingwood / Victoria Park the solution might be to extend Collingwood in the down direction , build a pedestrian bridge to cross Johnson St and close Victoria Park station. The distance between Collingwood and Victoria park stations is just over a six car train length.

In relation to West Richmond / North Richmond, the solution might be to extend North Richmond in the up direction, and build a pedestrian bridge towards West Richmond station and close West Richmond , which from a passenger ( ok , customer ) safety perspective , leaves a lot to be desired , and has been problematic from a safety perspective for. very long time.

Regards, Radioman.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some of ETRB bridge teams more recent jobs is repair of the pedestrian bridge at Williamstown and building two new trestle bridges for the Cudgewa railtrail. They have also done a bridge repair job on the Maldon line a couple of years ago.

Concrete foundations for the timber trestles were used on the Cockatoo creek bridge, Note this is far from a new idea, concrete bases for bridge piles being used on old Cudgewa line bridges in places. Previous normal practice being to splice a new pile onto the old pile in the ground, piles usually being in much better condition below ground level.

A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Returning to Clifton Hill for a moment, I was there myself the other day for the first time so had a look.

The Heidelberg Rd overpass appears to have been built, in the wisdom of our forebears, with provision for four tracks, despite the fact there were only two at the time of construction. This has already come in handy once with the 2008 project to duplicate towards Hurstbridge. Unfortunately some bright spark has sold off a tiny but crucial parcel of railway land between the overpass and the station (in the last 10 years, by the look of the buildings) so any fourth track would pass through six “townhouse” living rooms.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Some of ETRB bridge teams more recent jobs is repair of the pedestrian bridge at Williamstown and building two new trestle bridges for the Cudgewa railtrail. They have also done a bridge repair job on the Maldon line a couple of years ago.

Concrete foundations for the timber trestles were used on the Cockatoo creek bridge, Note this is far from a new idea, concrete bases for bridge piles being used on old Cudgewa line bridges in places. Previous normal practice being to splice a new pile onto the old pile in the ground, piles usually being in much better condition below ground level.

A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
woodford
Hi woodford,
Thank you for your detailed knowledge.
Please excuse my ignorance, could you tell me what ETRB stands for?

Possibly the Eltham timber trestle bridge does need expensive repairs. But this would be cheaper than building an entirely new bridge.
At Eltham, Vic Govt should build a new single rail bridge to south of existing trestle bridge (with 2-3 metres distance between them) as second track. Keep the timber trestle bridge fully operational as a rail bridge, to maintain rail heritage.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Please excuse my ignorance, could you tell me what ETRB stands for?
tom9876543

Emerald Tourist Railway Board, custodians of Puffing Billy.

As for repairs vs replacement, I really struggle to believe that a modern concrete structure wouldn’t work out cheaper. There are significant cost savings in just having the right plant and skills floating around.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some of ETRB bridge teams more recent jobs is repair of the pedestrian bridge at Williamstown and building two new trestle bridges for the Cudgewa railtrail. They have also done a bridge repair job on the Maldon line a couple of years ago.

Concrete foundations for the timber trestles were used on the Cockatoo creek bridge, Note this is far from a new idea, concrete bases for bridge piles being used on old Cudgewa line bridges in places. Previous normal practice being to splice a new pile onto the old pile in the ground, piles usually being in much better condition below ground level.

A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
Hi woodford,
Thank you for your detailed knowledge.
Please excuse my ignorance, could you tell me what ETRB stands for?

Possibly the Eltham timber trestle bridge does need expensive repairs. But this would be cheaper than building an entirely new bridge.
At Eltham, Vic Govt should build a new single rail bridge to south of existing trestle bridge (with 2-3 metres distance between them) as second track. Keep the timber trestle bridge fully operational as a rail bridge, to maintain rail heritage.
tom9876543
I believe its Emerald Tourist Railway Board, ie puffing billy.


You said  "Possibly the Eltham timber trestle bridge does need expensive repairs. But this would be cheaper than building an entirely new bridge."

Sadly this would not be the case, the bridge is a 49 or 50 12 ft span timber trestle bridge. Repairing the bridge WILL cost  a large fortune, the cost for the 19mm bolts for the trestles themselves alone will be in the order of 70 to 80 thousand dollars and good piles now are getting quite difficult to source and are expensive. The last ones puffing billy sourced being from northen NSW. (The piles for the 2 bridges for the Cudgewa rail trail being local timber, the rail trail people having obtained permission to harvest some trees ).

A replacement using either concrete or steel could very likely be built at a faction of the cost of the trestle bridges repair, hence the railways dilemma.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script: Repairing timber trestle bridges is labor intensive hence its high cost.

woodford
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
woodford
Is there any reason why 3/4 Inch bolts can not be custom made using 3/4 Inch round bar, with a stop welded on one end and the other end put through a threading machine, than heat treated ?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
A problem being is that timber trestle bridges are VERY expensive to build/repair, the 24inch long 3/4inch bolts for the Cockatoo crk bridge alone coming to something like $13,000 and thats not a particularly large bridge.

woodford
Is there any reason why 3/4 Inch bolts can not be custom made using 3/4 Inch round bar, with a stop welded on one end and the other end put through a threading machine, than heat treated ?
Nightfire
I think it might have more to do with the hot-dip galvanising required and the sheer quantity of bolts needed in the bridges.

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