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

 
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Anything is possble with enough money, but bare in mind the Burra line has been through a few washaways and a bushfire.
With that said, even with the minimal maintenance work done in later years, I'd imagine there'd be quite a few sections where all that is needed would be a few new sleepers and some re-dogspiking.
The one major advantage of that line would be the weight of the rail, I'm guessing 80lb but may even be 94lb (it was a mainline once!), in all honesty I'm surprised it hasn't been recovered for use elsewhere.

Being candid, I would volunteer on this heritage railway if it ever happened. I imagine quite a few would, at least until the novelty wears off...

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  Juzzy82 Station Staff

Have there been washaways between Tarlee and Burra? I know there have been some south of that. Ash Wednesday basically wiped out the Clare line but again I’m not aware of the Burra line being hit by one (I’m no authority on this and I know there was a bushfire up that way somewhere a few years ago).

The point about volunteers is right I reckon. There’s plenty of work that would need doing for very minimal expense by an army of keen volunteers before the seriously expensive jobs really arose, in which time plenty of interest could be generated, especially in the age of the internet. There are of course hurdles before even that could happen though.
  narf120 Locomotive Fireman

To date discussions have focused on track maintenance and getting the track back to an operational standard (both very important issues), the question of avaliable and operation (or near operational) rollingstock hasn't been addressed. There is not a lot of operational broad gauge rollingstock floating around to support a new heritage operation, while restoring non-operational rollingstock involves a lot volunteer time and dollars.

My personal view, anyone that wants that is not already involved with a heritage rail group, should get out and become involved in an existing group, each group is always short of volunteers (i speak from experience with one group) to a full range of activities (updating websites/social media, safety management paperwork and sleeper replacement, ect).
  dylan Train Controller

Location: South Australia
Quite right, there is a lot of work involved behind the scenes running a heritage railway that most people wouldn't realise!
Anyone even thinking about getting the Burra line going again would do well to spend time at Steamranger or PRR just to see what they're going to be up against.
Dyl.
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

Very valid points. I’ve done Mt Barker-Victor on the SteamRanger and from everything I’ve heard (and read) the amount of work put in by volunteers is incredible. I guess the attraction for me is the idea of bringing back to life what was once a major line through a fantastic part of the state’s countryside. Its something of a romantic view no doubt, but there has been plenty of calls recently to get regional lines up that way up and running again. For sure it would be a massive task, the exact magnitude certainly being difficult to comprehend without any background. Not convinced it’s beyond the realms of possibility though. Doesn’t have to start big.
  BB 260 Locomotive Fireman

Anything is possble with enough money, but bare in mind the Burra line has been through a few washaways and a bushfire.
With that said, even with the minimal maintenance work done in later years, I'd imagine there'd be quite a few sections where all that is needed would be a few new sleepers and some re-dogspiking.
The one major advantage of that line would be the weight of the rail, I'm guessing 80lb but may even be 94lb (it was a mainline once!), in all honesty I'm surprised it hasn't been recovered for use elsewhere.

Being candid, I would volunteer on this heritage railway if it ever happened. I imagine quite a few would, at least until the novelty wears off...
dylan
Gents. Before you all get over excited. Someone mentioned the rail regulator. To the best of my reading, no one has add to this part. A very large amount of paper work need to be in place before any work commence, providing you even get approval from the government to re instate the line or part of. If anyone thinks the unseen paper work is going to bee easy. Go and talk to SteamRanger's rail safety manager or go and have a chat to ONRSR. ( rail Regulator)

On paper it sounds good, but reality, forget it and volunteer for SteamRanger Heritage Railway and see yourself how hard it is to run a viable heritage railway.

Pipe dreams are just that. A PIPE DREAM
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

As now a resident of Clare I can speak as a country dweller.

The Riesling trail does bring a lot of tourists to the area with far less work than a heritage railway.

Somebody asked what gauge? My answer is "variable" because although the last train might have used it about 15 years ago it has not seen any significant maintenance for about 40 years. It is quite worrying if you are active in a preserved railway how quickly the track deteriorates just due to the influence of weather.

My suggestion is to fill between the rails, spraying tar on them first to preserve them, and make the route a cycle way. This way the route and rails, at least, are preserved if someday a "Heritage Lottery" is established in Australia and dreams can become realities.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The Riesling trail does bring a lot of tourists to the area with far less work than a heritage railway.
steam4ian
The Rattler Rail Trail (Riverton to Auburn) and Riesling Trail (Auburn to Barinia) could do with getting a link south from Riverton and then a refurbishment of the original 1990s sections of the path before touching anything north of Riverton in the Peterborough direction.

If it could be joined all the way to Roseworthy (eventually to be met by a 3000 class Gawler-Roseworthy shuttle?) you would have quite an attractive multi-day touring option.

One more complete route would be better than two one-buttock solutions, no?

My suggestion is to fill between the rails, spraying tar on them first to preserve them, and make the route a cycle way. This way the route and rails, at least, are preserved if someday a "Heritage Lottery" is established in Australia and dreams can become realities.
steam4ian
Covering over rails with tar might work in some countries with colder climates, but not in South Australia. I know of a cycling group in the south which runs a sweep on when the old rails on the Coast to Vines bikeway at the Pedlar Road crossing will get exposed after each time the council sprays over the top.

You need a greater width than just filling in between the rails too, as 1.6m is not wide enough. Austroads standards dictate that a shared path where high speeds (i.e. over 20km/h) are expected has a minimum width of 3.0m, and a recreational path where you're likely to see people walking/riding in groups has a minimum width of 3.5m.

Rather than the expensive effort of building out a wider deck at rail height to incorporate the 3.5m path and shoulders or barriers on each side, better to remove the track and build the path at a lower level. In addition to allowing the recovery and reuse of the rails, this would preserve a cleaner corridor for the event that there is one day a realistic proposal for a new railway using the same route.
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

It would be an immensely difficult task, that's for sure. In terms of paperwork, of course it would be huge I know from my own job that there are increasing amounts of red tape standing in the way of almost everything these days. I'm not even sure who currently has rights to it - Genesee & Wyoming used to and according to one map from a couple of years ago they still do.

I think the point is it would be an iconic project and, if successful, should become an iconic tourist attraction (not the case with a bike path). Yes I am not experienced in the area, but am aware (thanks in part to some really good points made by people here) that it would be an immense task. Funding is obviously an issue, but as I have said, there is plenty of work required before most of the really expensive stuff really begins and such a project would be capable of generating considerable interest in my opinion. I agree it's a pretty mad idea, but pipe dream is a bit of a stretch.

To paraphrase a former US president: 'We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard'.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

This is what the track leading into Farrell Flat looked like a couple of years ago.

https://flic.kr/p/2b4yaJK
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

This is what the track leading into Farrell Flat looked like a couple of years ago.

https://flic.kr/p/2b4yaJK
duttonbay
Yes I was up there recently. There are a couple of other sections of track like that. They're not extensive sections as far as I know though. Haven't looked at a lot of the track.
  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.
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
Agree, but how long do you think it will take to get this up and running?

After 20 years in out back SA, I'd dare most of the lines sleepers would be mostly stuffed. You might get 20-25% recovery at best.

I'd like for it to happen, but sadly most heritage operators have started with a line in reasonable running or near running condition and many struggle to keep it open. Those like Oberon or Burra face an incredibly tough task as who wants to join a group or support a group that won't see a train running within a decade or worse? Remember most volunteers are retired, I'm sure most would like to see their efforts rewarded with a running train before they depart the world.

It could be argued that Australia is struggling to support the heritage operators we have now, potentially adding more isn't going to be good for business. Didn't SA loose Limestone Railway a few years back?
  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.
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.
Agree, but how long do you think it will take to get this up and running?

After 20 years in out back SA, I'd dare most of the lines sleepers would be mostly stuffed. You might get 20-25% recovery at best.

I'd like for it to happen, but sadly most heritage operators have started with a line in reasonable running or near running condition and many struggle to keep it open. Those like Oberon or Burra face an incredibly tough task as who wants to join a group or support a group that won't see a train running within a decade or worse? Remember most volunteers are retired, I'm sure most would like to see their efforts rewarded with a running train before they depart the world.

It could be argued that Australia is struggling to support the heritage operators we have now, potentially adding more isn't going to be good for business. Didn't SA loose Limestone Railway a few years back?
RTT_Rules
Yes the track is the first big hurdle. It is probably much like restoring an old house - it's impossible to know exactly how much will be involved until you start getting into it. The fact that this was once a major rail route may well mean it was better built than some of the others around and may therefore have stood the test of time better than it may otherwise have done. It would be interesting to go for a walk along some sections of it and see just what sort of state it is in (not that I have an expert eye in this department). The other issue as mentioned previously is that of rolling stock as I'm sure it's far from readily available. These are not things that prevent it from happening though, they just determine the degree of difficulty.

The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
Juzzy82
I'm sure the hard working volunteers who tried to make a go of it at Limestone Coast would really appreciate you trash talking their efforts like that.

How about you post your resume as it pertains to volunteering, what organisations, roles etc that you have undertaken in the T&HR sector so we can all judge your efforts by the same standards that you judge theirs.

BG
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
Juzzy82

Please just go away Evil or Very Mad
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
I'm sure the hard working volunteers who tried to make a go of it at Limestone Coast would really appreciate you trash talking their efforts like that.

How about you post your resume as it pertains to volunteering, what organisations, roles etc that you have undertaken in the T&HR sector so we can all judge your efforts by the same standards that you judge theirs.

BG
BrentonGolding
And remember the target market is not railway enthusiasts, it's the general public visiting the museum.

If the Burra Station people could offer a trip down to Farrell Flat for lunch at the pub the attraction is the ride in the train and lunch, then great.    The train doesn't need to be "historic".

If the group can afford the restoration of the line and a couple of railcars and it hits the market then that is all that is required.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
And remember the target market is not railway enthusiasts, it's the general public visiting the museum.
kipioneer
Yes, this surprised the life out of me when I first began to volunteer but now I have lost count of the number of T&HR board / committee members who have expressed that view either to me privately or in public. (and in case anyone is wondering I am not just talking about the VGR here by any stretch of the imagination).

BG
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
I'm sure the hard working volunteers who tried to make a go of it at Limestone Coast would really appreciate you trash talking their efforts like that.

How about you post your resume as it pertains to volunteering, what organisations, roles etc that you have undertaken in the T&HR sector so we can all judge your efforts by the same standards that you judge theirs.

BG
BrentonGolding
What can I say except I surprised myself with the stupidity of that comment. It was one of the more ham-fisted efforts to get a point across that you will ever see. I have a huge amount of respect for anyone who gives their time to such ventures and I apologise unreservedly for this crass comment.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
The Limestone Coast Railway was good, what killed it for them was the lack of volunteers and the local council weren't real supportive of it either.
  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.
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.
Agree, but how long do you think it will take to get this up and running?

After 20 years in out back SA, I'd dare most of the lines sleepers would be mostly stuffed. You might get 20-25% recovery at best.

I'd like for it to happen, but sadly most heritage operators have started with a line in reasonable running or near running condition and many struggle to keep it open. Those like Oberon or Burra face an incredibly tough task as who wants to join a group or support a group that won't see a train running within a decade or worse? Remember most volunteers are retired, I'm sure most would like to see their efforts rewarded with a running train before they depart the world.

It could be argued that Australia is struggling to support the heritage operators we have now, potentially adding more isn't going to be good for business. Didn't SA loose Limestone Railway a few years back?
Yes the track is the first big hurdle. It is probably much like restoring an old house - it's impossible to know exactly how much will be involved until you start getting into it. The fact that this was once a major rail route may well mean it was better built than some of the others around and may therefore have stood the test of time better than it may otherwise have done. It would be interesting to go for a walk along some sections of it and see just what sort of state it is in (not that I have an expert eye in this department). The other issue as mentioned previously is that of rolling stock as I'm sure it's far from readily available. These are not things that prevent it from happening though, they just determine the degree of difficulty.

The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
Juzzy82
Oberon claimed in the mid 2000's that the track had stood the test of time well and sleepers in generally better than expected condition. However once they started, I'd be surprised if they don't hit 90% replacement before the first train runs. And remember that the first sleepers they replaced are now 10 years old without seeing one train.

I agree that because it was a mainline some things will be better than a branch line, but this won't change the overall picture the much after 20 years of lack of use and realistically another decade of reduced minimal / maintenance on top of that.

What you defined Limestone to be is exactly what every Heritage Railway is, a group of people working together to operate a piece of fixed infrastructure after it was usually run down through declining usage and rolling stock that is pretty much the same. Very few pieces were ever handed over in pristine condition. The continued deterioration is dependent of available labour, funds and interest by others.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The Limestone Coast Railway was good, what killed it for them was the lack of volunteers and the local council weren't real supportive of it either.
AN830

Nail. Head.

And with the largest pool of potential volunteers in SA outside Adelaide.

Sooner or later the penny has to drop Smile
  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.
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.
Agree, but how long do you think it will take to get this up and running?

After 20 years in out back SA, I'd dare most of the lines sleepers would be mostly stuffed. You might get 20-25% recovery at best.

I'd like for it to happen, but sadly most heritage operators have started with a line in reasonable running or near running condition and many struggle to keep it open. Those like Oberon or Burra face an incredibly tough task as who wants to join a group or support a group that won't see a train running within a decade or worse? Remember most volunteers are retired, I'm sure most would like to see their efforts rewarded with a running train before they depart the world.

It could be argued that Australia is struggling to support the heritage operators we have now, potentially adding more isn't going to be good for business. Didn't SA loose Limestone Railway a few years back?
Yes the track is the first big hurdle. It is probably much like restoring an old house - it's impossible to know exactly how much will be involved until you start getting into it. The fact that this was once a major rail route may well mean it was better built than some of the others around and may therefore have stood the test of time better than it may otherwise have done. It would be interesting to go for a walk along some sections of it and see just what sort of state it is in (not that I have an expert eye in this department). The other issue as mentioned previously is that of rolling stock as I'm sure it's far from readily available. These are not things that prevent it from happening though, they just determine the degree of difficulty.

The Limestone Coast Railway could barely be defined as a heritage railway in my opinion. They operated a few Red Hens only just after they had been decommissioned from use. Not surprising it failed really.
Oberon claimed in the mid 2000's that the track had stood the test of time well and sleepers in generally better than expected condition. However once they started, I'd be surprised if they don't hit 90% replacement before the first train runs. And remember that the first sleepers they replaced are now 10 years old without seeing one train.

I agree that because it was a mainline some things will be better than a branch line, but this won't change the overall picture the much after 20 years of lack of use and realistically another decade of reduced minimal / maintenance on top of that.

What you defined Limestone to be is exactly what every Heritage Railway is, a group of people working together to operate a piece of fixed infrastructure after it was usually run down through declining usage and rolling stock that is pretty much the same. Very few pieces were ever handed over in pristine condition. The continued deterioration is dependent of available labour, funds and interest by others.
RTT_Rules
Absolutely the number of dedicated volunteers is the biggest stumbling block, bigger even than cost.

Yes of course the Limestone Railway was a very worthy heritage railway and its very unfortunate that it was unable to continue service. I cannot apologise enough for previous comments about it.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I think the point is it would be an iconic project and, if successful, should become an iconic tourist attraction (not the case with a bike path).
Juzzy82
An interesting assertion. Got any numbers to back it up?

There's space for both though - develop the ex-railway from Riverton south to Roseworthy into an iconic world class cycling route which would augment the existing Rattler Rail Trail and Riesling Trail (which already attract visitors from overseas) to provide a single route all the way from Roseworthy through to north of Clare, and permit an organisation develop a short section of the route somewhere between Riverton and Peterborough as a heritage railway.

Something for everyone is a win-win scenario by any definition.

South of Roseworthy, the further development of the cycle route south to Gawler would best be deferred until the future of the railway is determined. Once the future of the railway is decided, it could then be built along the formation (if the railway is removed) or alongside it (if the railway has a future).


The Limestone Coast Railway was good, what killed it for them was the lack of volunteers and the local council weren't real supportive of it either.

Nail. Head.

And with the largest pool of potential volunteers in SA outside Adelaide.

Sooner or later the penny has to drop Smile
bingley hall
This leads on to another issue with heritage railways - they are sitting on a demographic time bomb.

Governments at any level will be very hesitant to provide support to existing heritage railway operations which do not have a history of demonstrating success with engaging new volunteers.
  Juzzy82 Station Staff

I think the point is it would be an iconic project and, if successful, should become an iconic tourist attraction (not the case with a bike path).
An interesting assertion. Got any numbers to back it up?

There's space for both though - develop the ex-railway from Riverton south to Roseworthy into an iconic world class cycling route which would augment the existing Rattler Rail Trail and Riesling Trail (which already attract visitors from overseas) to provide a single route all the way from Roseworthy through to north of Clare, and permit an organisation develop a short section of the route somewhere between Riverton and Peterborough as a heritage railway.

Something for everyone is a win-win scenario by any definition.

South of Roseworthy, the further development of the cycle route south to Gawler would best be deferred until the future of the railway is determined. Once the future of the railway is decided, it could then be built along the formation (if the railway is removed) or alongside it (if the railway has a future).


The Limestone Coast Railway was good, what killed it for them was the lack of volunteers and the local council weren't real supportive of it either.

Nail. Head.

And with the largest pool of potential volunteers in SA outside Adelaide.

Sooner or later the penny has to drop Smile
This leads on to another issue with heritage railways - they are sitting on a demographic time bomb.

Governments at any level will be very hesitant to provide support to existing heritage railway operations which do not have a history of demonstrating success with engaging new volunteers.
justapassenger
For sure they could co-exist. A team of volunteers including a good share of young people would be almost a requirement. And that would most certainly be easier said than done.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
For sure they could co-exist. A team of volunteers including a good share of young people would be almost a requirement. And that would most certainly be easier said than done.
Juzzy82
Which is why nothing will happen.

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