Labor to spend big on South Coast rail line by axing the F6 extension

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 09 Nov 2018 15:10
  Matthew Train Controller

Nothing is impossible to overcome, just inordinately expensive.

The challenging geology was why one of the previous proposals had the line moved inland and 'touch down' into the Wollongong suburbs much further south.

But that then cuts off all the suburbs north of there who currently have a direct if a somewhat windy connection to Sydney and keeping the old line to serve Helensburgh to Austimer stations rather degrades the case for the new route, but if you don't the political uproar is also unacceptable.

I also read somewhere once that the long tunnel proposed to get down from the top of the escarpment would preclude the use of diesel on the coal trains - the only real revenue earner on the route and already at the time of the diversion tunnel proposal the coal operation was talking down the electrics and talking up diesel power. They were not really interested in any proposal that limited traction to electric.

Really they need to drop a TBM down a pit near Helensburgh and keep boring till they pop out of the escarpment near Thirroul, with a nice long and even graded tunnel. Can't see it ever happening. The moment you suggest any existing station be abandoned 'for the greater good', there will be howls of protest and the politicians will freeze up and no decision will be made. Status Quo.
The freight side will also protest loudly against any proposal that limits their traction choice too.

So a long tunnel is out. This leaves spending increasingly large amounts of money propping up a challenging route.

I can't see the Helensburgh - Stanwell park tunnel ever being reactivated. It's single track for a start. It's been damaged (at one point deliberately, the southern portal was blown up in WWII in case the Japanese used it to attack Sydney!)
. The route on either side is now occupied by housing, all manner of sometimes endangered wildlife has moved into the bits of the formation not occupied by housing.

Stranger things have happened of course, but I doubt it.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner
  tom9876543 Train Controller

The rail line between Waterfall and Clifton can be upgraded, but obviously this will require $billions.

As we know there is a road Sea Cliff Bridge.

The best way to fix this route is to build a RAIL Sea Cliff Bridge.
Plus 2 more large bridges to go from Clifton to Waterfall.

Rail Sea Cliff Bridge
Southern end of Clifton tunnel to Otford Lookout.
Distance: 6200m
Altitude: 70m - 145m

Otford Lookout - Helensborough bridge
Distance: 3200m

Helensborough - Cawley's Saddle bridge
Distance: 2300m
Altitude at Cawley's Saddle: 240m

This route will have max gradient of 1/80 and min radius of 2000m. Suitable for 160km/h trains and freight trains.

The old route must remain active to service the existing train stations.

It avoids the geologically difficult escarpment. No tunnelling required. and it is a future proof rail line investment.
Bureaucrats are too stupid to develop this plan, it seems reasonably obvious to me.

Nimbys in Stanwell Park may complain about a train sea bridge that is approx 630m from their beach.
Considering its very high altitude (100m+), it would have very minimal noise impact and the visual impact is not too significant.
Government has to stand up to Nimbys and basically give them the middle finger.


  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Nimbys in Stanwell Park may complain
tom9876543

But at least the glow worms will be happy Smile.

BTW, this effectively outs @tom9876543 as Lee Evans, State MP  for Heathcote. (https://www.illawarramercury.com.au/story/5719258/forget-a-rail-tunnel-build-another-sea-cliff-bridge-says-mp/  Smile )
  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Hmmm - 100m high, 600m offshore.

I wonder how deep the piling would need to be on that little structure?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I once heard an apocryphal tale that at one point subsidence was so bad that, despite the Coalcliff tunnel being notionally straight, you could not see one portal from the other.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
But that then cuts off all the suburbs north of there who currently have a direct if a somewhat windy connection to Sydney and keeping the old line to serve Helensburgh to Austimer stations rather degrades the case for the new route, but if you don't the political uproar is also unacceptable.
Matthew
The coastal strip is very narrow between Stanwell Park and Thirroul and so the number of houses is probably very small as well.

Phrase "Greatest Good for Greatest Many" comes to mind.

Remember the the tiny community at Cowan lost its through suburban service when the centre turnback siding was built at the more heavily populated Berowra. Cowan still has fast interurban trains.

The phrase is not "Some good for not very many".

It would be useful to have a copy of Cityrail's passenger count book.

Maps:
* Cowan: http://www.street-directory.com.au/?x=151.1707971558912&y=-33.588864557900635&l=12
* Berowra: http://www.street-directory.com.au/?x=151.1536796955498&y=-33.623912176997266&l=12

Cowan is about 300m x 300m in area (90,000m^2)
Berowra and Berowra Heights is about 10 times the area of Cowan.

* Coal Cliff: http://www.street-directory.com.au/?x=150.97894953657533&y=-34.242401066750986&l=12

* Coal Cliff is lightly populated like Cowan.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Hmmm - 100m high, 600m offshore. I wonder how deep the piling would need to be on that little structure?
Sinicklebird

Apparently the Millau Viaduct in France is 270m above the valley below.
So I think the Rail Sea Bridge that is approx 145m high at one end is far from impossible.

If this is built, I think it would be a tourist destination in its' own right. People will visit Stanwell Park just to see the Rail Sea Bridge.
Also if it is built, I believe it would easily claim world record for highest bridge over sea.

I read the newspaper article. Sorry I'm not Heathcote MP Lee Evans Smile
I would guess he doesn't even know what a ruling gradient is.

NSW government should build this. Only question is how many $billions will it require?
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

Tom
Very clever lets spend billions to build a completly impracticable white elephant yeah.

You do realise that the subsidence does not only happen on the dry land area but also the sea bed.

Yes im sure billions of tourists will come to see it and that will pay it off.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Tom
Very clever lets spend billions to build a completly impracticable white elephant yeah.

You do realise that the subsidence does not only happen on the dry land area but also the sea bed.

Yes im sure billions of tourists will come to see it and that will pay it off.
42101 A end

Calling it a white elephant is stupid, if it is built then we have an express route for the South Coast line.

Chinese have built a 55km road sea bridge. They have obviously dealt with geological challenges.
I admit you could be right about subsidence. If the geologist says it is impossible then the bridge can't be built.

I never said the bridge would be economically viable, I always stated it requires $billions from NSW government.

Your "can't do" attitude is disappointing.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

My attitude beats hands down pie in the sky stupidity from yet another pollie with a thought bubble.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I never said the bridge would be economically viable, I always stated it requires $billions from NSW government.
"tom9876543"
End of story.

Your "can't do" attitude is disappointing.
"tom9876543"
It's not his "can't do" attitude. It's his "economically responsible" attitude.

Anyone can draw lines on a piece of paper, or dream up an idea in the bath, whilst ignoring practicalities. An opposing view is, of course, then instantly labelled as "negative attitude", when it should correctly be labelled as "positive attitude", because it points out a few unfortunate home truths. The "Pie in the Sky" groups then weep and wail a little more, and so it goes on.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

Valvegear.
Spot on...they do love spending other peoples money with abandon on these types of studies and projects.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

The can do attitude is, we can pay a consultancy firm to conduct a feasibility study to determine that the project is not feasible, in it's present form, make some adjustments and we'll take another look. Mega $$$ for SFA.
Sir Humphrey would be impressed.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

The road Sea Bridge cost $50million back in 2005 for a lousy 455 metres of length and already has corrosion issues from Salt water/Wave action.

Yep im wrong for knocking the Sea Rail Bridge i must join in the pie in sky brigade as they have all the answers....NOT.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

the sea cliff bridge is actually based on land with a span over an inlet. The proposal for a bridge out in the pacific ocean / Tasman sea is much more impractical and financially stupid.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Guys,
What ever the solution its needs to be reasonably priced for the population concerned and freight carried.

A bridge over the sea may or may not be practical, but the cost is likely to exceed the value worthy to support a commuter line for 300,000 people.

A new line down the escarpment from say Waterfall to Thirroul, about 18-20km and likely to cost more than a few billion.

The existing line runs over the bulk of the mining area, if there is any subsidence in the area, then its clearly manageable for the railway.

Does anyone recall the line being closed due to subsidence repairs outside the embankment collapse back in I think 80's?

Does anyone know if any of the disused tunnels have internally collapsed because of subsidence. Remember they were lined with brick and nearly 100 years since used with zero maintenance. It would not be unreasonable for there to be some natural deterioration of brick work and this doesn't mean due to a mine.  

This is not the only railway in the world to run over a active underground coal mining area. Other parts of the world they run tunnels through active fault lines.

Maybe the existing but disused tunnels cannot be reused, but nothing stopping new ones being bored.

Also, lets be realistic, this proposal is being flagged by an opposition trying to get into govt facing a tough election. How much thought/technical detail have they actually put into this?


Sim's, you often bring some good stuff to the table, but your previous comments on this don't carry alot of technical weight, more just an opinion, bar talk what ever. Hence why I and one or two others have challenged your comments/opinion.

42101 A end, like Sim's everyone is entitled to an opinion and everyone is entitled to challenge it. Your cheer squad approach isn't doing either.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I have no problems with new ones but I don't see it being viable either. My humble opinion is that if you work in Sydney then don't live in Wollongong, central coast, southern highlands, blue mountains, gosford or newcastle. Find a job in the local area and stay there.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

Rtt
Nor is your expert opinion on this area making you look like a winner either with your constant unbelievable belief that despite all you have been told over the years that your ideas are workable....but as i have said before you know so much better than the REAL experts that have studied this problem for years now.

Awaiting your usual tirade about how the Railway has no comptent Engineering or Geological staff any longer.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I have no problems with new ones but I don't see it being viable either. My humble opinion is that if you work in Sydney then don't live in Wollongong, central coast, southern highlands, blue mountains, gosford or newcastle. Find a job in the local area and stay there.
simstrain
Yes, Probably better for all!
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Rtt
Nor is your expert opinion on this area making you look like a winner either with your constant unbelievable belief that despite all you have been told over the years that your ideas are workable....but as i have said before you know so much better than the REAL experts that have studied this problem for years now.

Awaiting your usual tirade about how the Railway has no comptent Engineering or Geological staff any longer.
42101 A end
42101
Again your endless misquoting and make believe doesn't hide the fact you have added NOTHING to this topic what so ever. You sat at the end of the bar and cheered on Sim's and then added nothing, your subsequent comments added nothing and you are still adding nothing! You are like "Buck" in "Runaway Train", talks all movie and adds almost nothing of substance.


Again lets go fact to the beginning so you can catch up

Has anyone shown anything from any geologists or anything else?

Another posted stated, why would NSW Railways be funding any research when its never been a project?

Answer this question, in nearly 100 years, what realignment improvements have been funded by NSW govt? So why would this one be in plan?

Have I at any point stated I don't believe a geologists findings? No, I've stated I don't believe on face value a comment by one person who is not a Geologist who simply stated it cannot be done due to mine subsidence with no reference.  Is it therefore not reasonable to ask how the existing tunnels have been affected?

Have I ever stated I don't believe the railway has any competent Geologists? No


So I believe for now that potentially a new line can be built on original alignment. Its my choice, build a bridge and get over it!

And finally please criticise me all you want, but don't accuse me a stuff I didn't say and keep your fantasies to yourself.

Regards
Shane
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

Rtt
Yawn i cannot be bothered but then again you will of course do yet another one of your famous edit post tricks as you do constantly....care to show where i have quoted or as you say misquoted you?

Funny how after having a quick look at your profile there are just in the 1st 3 pages of your activitity  a totaly constant rtt edited this post log.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I have no problems with new ones but I don't see it being viable either. My humble opinion is that if you work in Sydney then don't live in Wollongong, central coast, southern highlands, blue mountains, gosford or newcastle. Find a job in the local area and stay there.
simstrain
Righto, rev up those bulldozers and start rolling them through the bougie 'burbs of Sydney to make way for flats and apartment towers then. Start at Mosman and head north until you hit Mona Vale. Crush the bungalows, mangle the McMansions and laugh at the lamentations of the NIMBYs.

If you can't stomach that kind of humanitarian intervention to relieve pressure on housing prices within Sydney then you should accept the fact that improved intercity rail connections are sorely needed in their place. Wollongong, the Central Coast, Newcastle, the Blue Mountains and even the Southern Highlands are merely orbiting satellites caught within the deep economic gravity well of Greater Sydney. And building extra tollways & freeways doesn't work any more, they're well past the point of diminishing returns in all of Australia's state capitals.
As for what forms the new rail connections should take, I would've thought building the Maldon-Dombarton line and integrating it into a future NSW High/Medium Speed Rail network would be a fair bit cheaper than having to dance around and through the cliffs between Sydney and the 'Gong.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I think there are more pressing priorities than the F6.

The F6 has been on the drawing board for decades. An extra few decades on the shelf isn't going to hurt anyone. If no one has ever seen it, they won't miss it.

I don't see a benefit of sinking cash into a line that is already in place, even if it takes an extra 30 mins plus to snake through the Royal National Park. For those that don't have the time, they can drive.

All political parties want to be seen announcing new transport proposals, and projects. Yawn.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

The road Sea Bridge cost $50million back in 2005 for a lousy 455 metres of length and already has corrosion issues from Salt water/Wave action.

Yep im wrong for knocking the Sea Rail Bridge i must join in the pie in sky brigade as they have all the answers....NOT.
42101 A end

42101 your claims about "corrosion" appear to be exaggerated.

The only web reference I could find is: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/about/news-events/news/roads-and-maritime/2018/180522-maintenance-work-on-sea-cliff-bridge.html
This clearly states they are "installing the rocks around the piers at the northern end of Sea Cliff Bridge".

So it is only one end of Sea Cliff Bridge that has a problem.
And I would suggest it was work that should have been done when bridge was originally constructed, but they mistakenly thought it wasn't required.

This is NOT a systematic "corrosion" problem. It does NOT affect the whole bridge. Apparently it will NOT require constant ongoing maintenance.

Therefore its obvious your views are misinformed, and your comments are not reliable.

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