The line beyone Roseworthy, worthy to be a tourist railway ?

 
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

Does anyone else think the Tarlee-Burra section would make a fantastic heritage line? Travels through some spectacular countryside and the destination is one of the state's most interesting and well-preserved heritage towns.

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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
An old thread over 2 years is not going to spark interest, but  here's the link to the old thread for people's information:

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11372449-0-asc-s0.htm

Unless  someone finds hundreds of dedicated skilled people to start it up with a lot of money, I do not see it even getting near a start.

Would be nice to be proven wrong.

I recently went trhough that area, heading tot heRoseworthy miniature railway and noted the disused railway. 2 night we  travelled cross  some dirt roads to some silos and a pub for sinner. So you  helped me with answers !

Regards,
David Head
  SinickleBird Junior Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Connection to the rail trail to Clare might be interesting.

However, cost to reinstate would be very high, and its attraction likely to be only as a weekend round trip.

Must admit, I do like the country- my grandmother was born and raised in Saddleworth.
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

An old thread over 2 years is not going to spark interest, but  here's the link to the old thread for people's information:

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11372449-0-asc-s0.htm

Unless  someone finds hundreds of dedicated skilled people to start it up with a lot of money, I do not see it even getting near a start.

Would be nice to be proven wrong.

I recently went trhough that area, heading tot heRoseworthy miniature railway and noted the disused railway. 2 night we  travelled cross  some dirt roads to some silos and a pub for sinner. So you  helped me with answers !

Regards,
David Head
dthead
I travelled through there last weekend and visited several of the old stations on the route (Tarlee, Manoora, Merildin and Farrell Flat, which is now a private residence). While no doubt needing plenty of work the track didn't look to be in terrible condition where I saw it. Initial cleanup of the corridor would not require expense - just, as you say, many dedicated volunteers. In the age of social media, such a concept has the potential to pick up momentum more easily than previously. I agree there would be plenty of considerable cost to actually get heritage trains running on the line, you have to start somewhere!
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

Connection to the rail trail to Clare might be interesting.

However, cost to reinstate would be very high, and its attraction likely to be only as a weekend round trip.

Must admit, I do like the country- my grandmother was born and raised in Saddleworth.
SinickleBird
The Clare line has been completely pulled up and the Riesling Trail now runs through the old rail corridor. The Burra line is still intact, along with most of the stations.
  SinickleBird Junior Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Correct, Juzzy82, hence my suggestion to connect - enable people to take their bike on the train.

Probably could have expressed it a little more clearly.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
And The guage of this Line is?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

And The guage of this Line is?
Dangersdan707
What's a guage?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Maybe you're referring to a gulag? This would be familiar to those hailing from the convict colonies to the east, but SA was a free settlement.

Or perhaps you meant the track gauge? The track would certainly need to be rebuilt from scratch after so many years of being left to rot, so any group proposing to build it would be able to choose whichever track gauge and loading gauge they wanted. The determining factor would certainly be which rolling stock they could get their hands on.

(
  BigShunter Deputy Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
And The guage of this Line is?
What's a guage?
justapassenger
For measuring, rian !

BigShunter.
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Does anyone else think the Tarlee-Burra section would make a fantastic heritage line? Travels through some spectacular countryside and the destination is one of the state's most interesting and well-preserved heritage towns.
Juzzy82

Yes.

Rip it up and put a bike track down.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
Look, I understand the attraction. Burra is a pretty town and its importance to heritage preservation can't be overstated. Riverton and Saddleworth combined are the next reasonably large settlements along the line. However...

Tarlee to Burra would be ~75km by rail. That's a lot of track to maintain. The proven ideal track length for a heritage railway is 10-20km (making for a one-way trip time of 45-60 minutes). Steamranger is about the same length all-up, but they only run trains along that full length for a fraction of the year. You'd be looking at a lot of dough to rebuild 75km of track - and that's before you even start thinking about running an actual train on it! Unfortunately there's not much but long stretches of farmland between Burra and the next town of any note (Manoora or Saddleworth, depending on how charitable you're feeling). The only stretch that might be remotely viable would be Riverton to Saddleworth (~9km) - nowhere near Burra.


While no doubt needing plenty of work the track didn't look to be in terrible condition where I saw it. Initial cleanup of the corridor would not require expense - just, as you say, many dedicated volunteers. In the age of social media, such a concept has the potential to pick up momentum more easily than previously. I agree there would be plenty of considerable cost to actually get heritage trains running on the line, you have to start somewhere!
Juzzy82
Track condition is like an iceberg - what lies beneath the surface is much more important.

The rails themselves might be in fair condition - but all of the joints will have been rusted 'frozen' by now. At a minimum you're looking at servicing every second or third joint just to keep your track from buckling. Then you look at the fasteners. Dogspikes can be deceptive as they can look affixed but are simply just rusted into the baseplates, with wallowed-out holes in the timber sleepers that they have been driven into. The sleepers themselves can look fine on the surface but are in reality eaten out by termites from underneath. I have seen this many, many times. I can also guarantee a ballast deficiency - and the leftover rock won't be much chop either.

Then comes the perway. Any timber bridges along the line will need wholesale replacement. Drainage is critical; cuttings along the line will be totally overgrown and all of the cess drains will be clogged. That's a lot of civil work that isn't going to be able to be done with volunteer labour alone. And don't get me started about recommissioning all of those level crossings.

To synthesise this: everything below the foot of the rail would need to be removed and replaced. 100% steel sleepers with resilient fastenings (aka Trak-Lok or Pandrol clips) on fresh ballast would be the most economical track structure to use. Tens of millions of dollars would need to be spent on materials alone, let alone contractor hire or plant and equipment for volunteers to use.

You want another heritage railway in SA? Look at the Barossa Valley.
  Captainchoochoo61 Station Master

Timber bridges ??? Where?

Termites do not eat treated pine and there are lots on that line.

How many active level crossings?

Not many would need to be activated when the line is used at low speed.
Could be a gradual rebuild.

Many cesses etc naturally empty because of the rolling countryside. Not completely clear, but not as bad as other tourist lines.

Yes the Barossa would be great, but all the experts here have already said not to do it.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Railpage - the gift that keeps on giving.

Experts..........or realists?

It's obvious that those that come up with these hare brained ideas have never done a days volunteer work in their lives. Certainly not in the railway preservation field, because if they had, they would know that all the existing tourist/heritage outfits in SA already struggle to find sufficient volunteers.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Apologies for that, What Gauge is this Railway line.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Apologies for that, What Gauge is this Railway line.
Dangersdan707
5' 3"
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Apologies for that, What Gauge is this Railway line.
5' 3"
Nightfire
Thankyou
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

And The guage of this Line is?
Dangersdan707
Broad Gauge
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

I'm not suggesting for a moment that it would be a straightforward process. Nor do I claim to be any sort of expert in the area. However I'm not sure the track would be in as bad a condition as suggested for it's entire length - one source suggested a train had traveled some section of the track as recently as 2007. No question it would need plenty of work, at least some of which would doubtless be beyond the capabilities of volunteers. Would the ballast really all be no good? I'm no expert but am not convinced.

I'm a little mystified by the 9km of viable track? The line is classified as dormant, not closed. This presumably means it has not been handed back to private landowners, but again, I don't know the situation. I'm not aware of any timber bridges d the track does not lie in terrain where drainage is really an issue. It's a very long section of track - 75-80km as suggested. This is much the same as the SteamRanger and whilst they don't run services the length of the line, the reality is year-round maintenance of the section would be required.

The point about volunteers is certainly true and would pose a challenge. That said, I suspect the majority of volunteers on the existing heritage railways live within reasonable proximity to the line. This line is nowhere near those and there is likely to be people in that part of the world who would embrace it. How many is the question, but there is certainly plenty of interest in reopening some of the regional lines (and yes, I realise that doesn't mean this is from people who would necessarily make wiling volunteers).

Like I say, I'm no expert in this area. It's clearly a pretty mad idea, but is it really one that's beyond the realms of possibility (without spending mega-millions)?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
^ Yes!
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The point about volunteers is certainly true and would pose a challenge. That said, I suspect the majority of volunteers on the existing heritage railways live within reasonable proximity to the line. This line is nowhere near those and there is likely to be people in that part of the world who would embrace it.
Juzzy82
You may be surprised at how far some people travel to volunteer on a Heritage railway. On the VGR even though we are in Maldon / Castlemaine many of our members travel from Melbourne and surprisingly quite of few of those from the Eastern suburbs which means crossing town and then driving / training 140+ km.

I would suspect that many of SteamRanger's volunteers travel out from Adelaide. Give them another option and you may start to dilute the volunteer pool. I am not saying you will just that you may. And yes, a few from the local area will join up. If you are around long enough people will even up stumps and move to be closer to the railway as many (including me) have done with the VGR.

A thorough business case would be required first to try to get some funding - you might be surprised how expensive some of this stuff is and how much some T&HRs rely on government help to stay alive. If it were not for governments being interested in promoting regional tourism some existing TRs would be off the rails. Complying with the regulatory stuff alone is an expensive nightmare but the hardest part is still maintaining the per way.

BG
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Agree, would be nice to see a steam train or even a diesel run, but look at heritage rail industry in Australia. Its not a booming industry. Oberon has spent over 10 years trying to reopen 11km of track and they are still not ready and they get alot of support from locals, the council etc etc. They plan to reopen the whole 30 odd km branch and based on the current rate would be a 40-50yr project.

The Burra line is better off being converted to a rail trial, the difference is within a few years you would have people enjoying the ROW.
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
I would honestly love to see this happen!
As pointed out though the track is always the stumbling block in these situations, if you think about how much manpower the SAR invested to keep the Burra line up to a mainline standard, any tourist railway would have to do the same.. unless you want trains running at 20km/h, which is gonna lose it's appeal pretty fast.
Bridges are generally the other things that shut tourist railways, and I can't imagine that the Hamley Bridge would be in tip top condition.
The biggest draw card is having steam hauled trains, and finding an operable broad gauge steam loco in SA is probably not going to be easy.
Like I said, I would love this to happen, but it's probably not going to unless someone with a soft spot for the Burra line wins the lottery...
Dyl
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

Agree, would be nice to see a steam train or even a diesel run, but look at heritage rail industry in Australia. Its not a booming industry. Oberon has spent over 10 years trying to reopen 11km of track and they are still not ready and they get alot of support from locals, the council etc etc. They plan to reopen the whole 30 odd km branch and based on the current rate would be a 40-50yr project.

The Burra line is better off being converted to a rail trial, the difference is within a few years you would have people enjoying the ROW.
RTT_Rules
Not sure Oberon is a great comparison. As far as I know, that track had been disused since the 70s whilst the Burra line has seen a train as recently as the mid 00s. The condition of the track is likely to be far worse at Oberon. No question that the work involved would be huge though.
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

I would honestly love to see this happen!
As pointed out though the track is always the stumbling block in these situations, if you think about how much manpower the SAR invested to keep the Burra line up to a mainline standard, any tourist railway would have to do the same.. unless you want trains running at 20km/h, which is gonna lose it's appeal pretty fast.
Bridges are generally the other things that shut tourist railways, and I can't imagine that the Hamley Bridge would be in tip top condition.
The biggest draw card is having steam hauled trains, and finding an operable broad gauge steam loco in SA is probably not going to be easy.
Like I said, I would love this to happen, but it's probably not going to unless someone with a soft spot for the Burra line wins the lottery...
Dyl
dylan
No question the state of the track and bridges are massive stumbling blocks. As I say though, it's not that long since the line has seen use. No doubt the cost would be significant, but such projects can gather momentum once underway (preliminary works sch as clearing the rail corridor are not necessarily costly) and could attract donations from those interested in such causes. I could of course be way off the mark here though and would be the first to admit that I may be in possession of a first class ticket to Looneyland Central. But is it that crazy? These projects have to start somewhere.

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