WOLO's or Extreme Heat operation

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Perhaps I should have titled this thread WOLO's or Extreme Over-reaction to Extreme Heat operation...

Today, notwithstanding that the Great Dividing Range has a huge bearing on temperature variations in the state of Victoria.

Nevertheless we currently have the ludicrous situation of the current temperature in Melbourne being 22c...anyone got a cardy Question  and the current temperature in Ballarat of 27c, though the temperature in Ballarat did reach 36c for 3 hours earlier today and certainly won't be getting back above 35c for at least another 4 days.

Mike.

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  62440 Chief Commissioner

I think this is regularly discussed so is worth searching.
The answer as always is "it depends".
On well maintained cwr with concrete sleepers, resilient fasteners and with a good ballast shoulder, there is no need for speed restrictions.
Air temperature is not the critical factor, rail temperature is. I have recorded rail temperature of 50 deg in Lancashire in a shallow cutting on a still sunny day.
Rails are laid at a neutral temperature where there is no compression or tension in the rail. This may be by track laying by day with the measured rail temperature within a defined range which will vary by geography. Where the rails are laid at a lower temperature, say at night, long lengths of rail are pulled to match the extension that would occur at neutral temperature. This is generally referred to as destressing.
There is no advantage with jointed track, gaps are set to close at the neutral temperature and they then go into compression. 90% of rail breaks occurred at joints so getting rid of then helps to create a safer track.
Lateral restraint is the technical term, the ability of the whole track structure and ballast to resist lateral movement.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

On well maintained cwr with concrete sleepers, resilient fasteners and with a good ballast shoulder,
62440
There's your problem. Track maintenance currently appears to be reactive rather than proactive, and only to the point of "that'll do to get the trains moving again".
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
On well maintained cwr with concrete sleepers, resilient fasteners and with a good ballast shoulder,
There's your problem. Track maintenance currently appears to be reactive rather than proactive, and only to the point of "that'll do to get the trains moving again".
Madjikthise
Before the NSW ARTC Lease, several heat related derailments in NSW put the spotlight on sleeper condition across the state. This report resulted.
http://www.otsi.nsw.gov.au/rail/IR-SteelSleeper-final.pdf

The NSW track authority then started painting the rails white! When ARTC took over they decided to go with concrete sleepers exclusively and WOLOs dropped substantially.
  a6et Minister for Railways

In the 80's a major track rehabilitation started on the Hunter Valley line in NSW, this included the complete removal of the old track and old ballast, in cuttings both big and small, the whole of the formation under the ballast was taken back and prior to new and cleaned ballast being replaced, large sheets of drainage cloth was placed under the new work.  Long sections were carried out, one line at a time, up then down lines but not always in that order.  Sleepers en mass were replaced totally with cement sleepers and 63Kg rail, it took a couple of years to get the whole lot as far as Muswellbrook completed, that is now 40 odd years in the past, and travelling over the line a few times and its starting to show signs of wear especially the sleepers.

Since that original work was carried out rail has been replaced but not so much the sleepers, I travelled to Wickham yesterday 17/01/19 and back from Victoria St near Maitland, and this area was the first to be replaced those years ago, with trains now running with a lot heavier loads the whole lot gets a pounding, once thing for sure is that the only short length rails, at even 106lb on timber sleepers would hardly have stood up to the traffic that is seen today.

On the trip I took notice of how the sleepers have stood up to the years of work, looking at them from the pax service both directions and the sleepers on the Coal roads, almost every one of them showed a lot of signs of wear, in the sense that the original clear and smooth concrete surfaces were very much gone with evidence of the finer blue metal also very evident on them.  What I also notice along the line within the boundary fences is quite a lot of stacks of old concrete sleepers, many very much cracked and broken I wonder how the detireating condition of those sleepers still in use can last as rail volumes are not going down.

On one of the News programs last night, and this shows that heat and the like still affects railway track, it showed a video of fire trucks in place at what looked like Mittagong, having been called out to hose down the rails in order to prevent the track from buckling, the water was being used predominately on the up track but also on the down line as well. During the video clip and news reader making the report a down predominately container train came through on the down hauled by 2x81cl, and they did not appear to be running at a reduced speed either.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

On one of the News programs last night, and this shows that heat and the like still affects railway track, it showed a video of fire trucks in place at what looked like Mittagong, having been called out to hose down the rails in order to prevent the track from buckling, the water was being used predominately on the up track but also on the down line as well. During the video clip and news reader making the report a down predominately container train came through on the down hauled by 2x81cl, and they did not appear to be running at a reduced speed either.
a6et
I remember in Sydney during the early 80s a number of times, garden hoses at stations being used to cool rails through the platform to keep trains moving during the evening peak, and the repairs done afterwards.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

That is still a common practice on many networks.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

By observing the rails on Shanghai metro I got an understanding of rail joints on CWR.  It looks like a catch point blade, which means the groove cuts across the rail head diagonally.  So when the train wheel runs over it, it is in consistent contact with both sections of rail, thus minimizing noise and ware & tare, improving passenger comfort.  I don't remember seeing such style of joint in Australia.  It is certainly something our network should adopt if they haven't done so.
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

By observing the rails on Shanghai metro I got an understanding of rail joints on CWR.  It looks like a catch point blade, which means the groove cuts across the rail head diagonally.  So when the train wheel runs over it, it is in consistent contact with both sections of rail, thus minimizing noise and ware & tare, improving passenger comfort.  I don't remember seeing such style of joint in Australia.  It is certainly something our network should adopt if they haven't done so.
route14
There are a few what are colloquially called expansion joints here, for example in NSW the Hawkesbury River Bridge, there is/was a requirement that a wrong direction movement had to be at limited speed, due to the blades not being tightly secured against the rail, in order to allow for expansion and contractions.

There was a slightly different set on the bridge over the Georges River on the East Hills line extension to Glenfield, but I am not sure if they still exist.

In SA the Rail Commissioner has them on the   1.2 kilometre elevated rail bridge over the [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]Onkaparinga River[/font][/size][/color], 3-4 years ago they managed to derail a hirail on them,
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

There are a few what are colloquially called expansion joints here, for example in NSW the Hawkesbury River Bridge, there is/was a requirement that a wrong direction movement had to be at limited speed, due to the blades not being tightly secured against the rail, in order to allow for expansion and contractions.

There was a slightly different set on the bridge over the Georges River on the East Hills line extension to Glenfield, but I am not sure if they still exist.

In SA the Rail Commissioner has them on the   1.2 kilometre elevated rail bridge over the [color=#0b0080][size=2][font=sans-serif]Onkaparinga River[/font][/size][/color], 3-4 years ago they managed to derail a hirail on them,
theanimal
The Sydney Harbour Bridge has them also. They are expansion joints and have nothing to do with CWR, if fact they predate CWR. They are to accommodate the varying rates of expansion and contraction of the bridge and the rails. Not found on shorter steel bridges, only those two long ones (in NSW anyway). Google Maps doesn't appear to show them on the Georges River (East) Bridge, but does show a series of something that could well be expansion joints on the Onkaparinga River viaduct. I don't know why they would be required on a ballast top bridge as the rails and bridge are free to move independently, both longitudinally and laterally (to a degree).

CWR does not need expansion joints, nor the additional mechanical complexity (read as additional cost).
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Google Maps doesn't appear to show them on the Georges River (East) Bridge, but does show a series of something that could well be expansion joints on the Onkaparinga River viaduct. I don't know why they would be required on a ballast top bridge as the rails and bridge are free to move independently, both longitudinally and laterally (to a degree).

CWR does not need expansion joints, nor the additional mechanical complexity (read as additional cost).
Lockspike
The Onkaparinga Bridge was designed to be structurally like the Medway bridges on the Eurostar line. There are sections of bridge deck which cover multiple spans and are around 220m long each. A worst case scenario had a cold bridge with rails being warmed by the morning sun to provide different rates of expansion of deck and track so conventional expansion joints were required. The design process was protracted and complex and there is a design report. Have a look at the bridge and you will see short sections between joints interspersing with the continuous lengths. This reduced the loading, which was important looking at where it sits. It was able to be launched from both ends removing the need to crane in the beams from the valley floor which can be under water. It is a unique structure and I doubt I will see another like it. Search the RTSA conference site if you want full engineering details. See CORE2014 on track-deck interaction but you have to pay for the full paper.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

CWR does not need expansion joints, nor the additional mechanical complexity (read as additional cost).
Lockspike

Yep, but I rather think the original poster might have seen the equivalent of a UK 'CWR adjustment switch'.

This had two triangular tongues that spanned the gap between two adjacent sleepers. The tongues were supported by two special baseplates with clamp brackets to hold the tongues in position whilst allowing longitudinal movement.

UK RSSB Standard GC/RT5021 says a CWR adjustment switch is "A scarf joint installed at the junction of continuous welded rail and jointed track to accommodate expansion of the continuous welded rail track. Adjustment switches are also used to protect track features such as S&C [switches and crossings, i.e. a turnout] not designed for use in CWR and at the ends of some types of bridges."

In this case, protection means that adjustment switch isolates the turnout so that the longitudinal forces in the CWR don't pull the turnout apart.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

CWR does not need expansion joints, nor the additional mechanical complexity (read as additional cost).

Yep, but I rather think the original poster might have seen the equivalent of a UK 'CWR adjustment switch'.

This had two triangular tongues that spanned the gap between two adjacent sleepers. The tongues were supported by two special baseplates with clamp brackets to hold the tongues in position whilst allowing longitudinal movement.

UK RSSB Standard GC/RT5021 says a CWR adjustment switch is "A scarf joint installed at the junction of continuous welded rail and jointed track to accommodate expansion of the continuous welded rail track. Adjustment switches are also used to protect track features such as S&C [switches and crossings, i.e. a turnout] not designed for use in CWR and at the ends of some types of bridges."

In this case, protection means that adjustment switch isolates the turnout so that the longitudinal forces in the CWR don't pull the turnout apart.
historian
Hi Historian,
I had Australian practice in mind, and after posting thought, "there are CWR expansion switches elsewhere, Surely, someone will pick me up on it." Yes, expansion switches/joints are found (routinely even) where greater temperature variations are experienced, (and correct me if I'm wrong), generally in colder climates.
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
Track creep is a problem, trains braking downhill in both directions stretch the CWR and on a hot day goes pop at the bottom of the grade. Around Vic there are two rails planted in the ground painted white and a centre post with a mark which corresponds with a punch mark on the rail.
These measure the progress of creep.
One way to limit creep is to use anchors which clip around the rail between the sleepers.
Not sure what happens with concrete sleepers.
A former senior V/Line official explained this to me.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

One way to limit creep is to use anchors which clip around the rail between the sleepers.
Not sure what happens with concrete sleepers.
Daryl

The Pandrol clips hold the rails tightly enough that separate anchors aren't necessary. One of the many advantages of Pandrol clips.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

One way to limit creep is to use anchors which clip around the rail between the sleepers.
Not sure what happens with concrete sleepers.

The Pandrol clips hold the rails tightly enough that separate anchors aren't necessary. One of the many advantages of Pandrol clips.
historian
The all-Pandrol RRL lines have regular creep markers. Is this standard?
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
did you mean the 3 white posts?
Seems to be standard, how can you tell if creep is a problem unless you have a baseline?
This was late ‘80s stuff, before then, creep was probably not measured.
Perhaps a local ganger might know but they got rid of them.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

did you mean the 3 white posts?
Seems to be standard, how can you tell if creep is a problem unless you have a baseline?
This was late ‘80s stuff, before then, creep was probably not measured.
Perhaps a local ganger might know but they got rid of them.
Daryl
What happened was as the rails moved down the hill, the gaps would close up at the bottom of the slope and open out at the top. I was never told any marks were required. The solution to this was a special 2 cylinder hydraulic puller was used starting at the top of the grade the fish plates are removed the puller fitted and the rails pulled up until the correct gaps were obtained and one proceeded down the grade untill all gaps were correct. While the fish plate were off it these were relubricated with graphited oil. It was quite important NOT to over tighten the fish plate bolts.

Note: this was quite a rare task.

woodford
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I guess that the WOLO's will be widespread in Victoria over the next few days given the hot air coming across. SA is copping it today, 43 at 10am in Port Augusta.
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
Not sure about now but V/Line’s trigger response to a WOLO was bustitution.
But V/Line swapped buses for almost any reason.

ON ERROR GOTO BUS.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to the BOM the temperature in Melbourne has hit 41 degress.

These recent announcements from V/Line

Service change14:46 Maryborough - Southern Cross will originate from Ballarat. Customers travelling between Maryborough and Ballarat are advised to board coach replacements. [12:17 24/01]

Service change12:26 Ararat - Southern Cross will terminate at Ballarat. Customers travelling from Ararat are requested to board the train to Ballarat then advised to board road coaches from Ballarat to complete their journey. Customers at Wendouree are advised to board the coach replacement to complete their journey. [10:57 24/01]

Service change24/01/19 12:05 Southern Cross - Albury will not run due to extreme heat. Customers are advised to board coach replacements.[08:06 24/01]
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I guess that the WOLO's will be widespread in Victoria over the next few days given the hot air coming across. SA is copping it today, 43 at 10am in Port Augusta.
mikesyd
47 in Addles CBD according to one of my customers.

Does Adelaide Metro have WOLO or similar in place?

BG
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
I guess that the WOLO's will be widespread in Victoria over the next few days given the hot air coming across. SA is copping it today, 43 at 10am in Port Augusta.
47 in Addles CBD according to one of my customers.

Does Adelaide Metro have WOLO or similar in place?

BG
BrentonGolding
Evening BG, yes rather warm over here, reasonably Beastly here, but it is summertime, yep, on the news tonight, they said the trams speeds were reduced, because Rolling Eyes they Feared, the rails may buckle. Don't think they said, anything about, the trains, although, you may assume it would be across, the net work.

Back to my Malt Sandwich .........Razz

BigShunter.

https://www.willyweather.com.au/sa/adelaide/cheltenham.html
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Service change24/01/19 12:05 Southern Cross - Albury will not run due to extreme heat. Customers are advised to board coach replacements.[08:06 24/01]
bevans
So have ARTC implemented restrictions on their tracks?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I guess that the WOLO's will be widespread in Victoria over the next few days given the hot air coming across. SA is copping it today, 43 at 10am in Port Augusta.
47 in Addles CBD according to one of my customers.

Does Adelaide Metro have WOLO or similar in place?

BG
BrentonGolding
There have been cancellations this afternoon, but due to electrical equipment suffering rather than the rails.

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