North Coast Line closed by fires

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The ARTC North Coast Line has been closed around Rappville due to fire damage, with at least one rail bridge burnt out.

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  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The ARTC North Coast Line has been closed around Rappville due to fire damage, with at least one rail bridge burnt out.
Sulla1

Not surprising considering news reports that most of the buildings in the town have been destroyed.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/watch-and-act-fire-danger-rises-with-temperatures/3848836/



Bridge is damaged.




BUSES will replace passenger trains on the North Coast line after fires caused substantial damage to track infrastructure between Grafton and Casino.

Lengthy repairs will have to be carried out on parts of the line with Transport Minister Andrew Constance revealing some of the damage on Wednesday. "Some of the aftermath of the devastating bushfires currently burning in Northern NSW," Mr Constance said, alongside a photo of damaged line posted to social media.

"Stretches of the North Coast rail line have crippled by fire, with the Rappville Rail Bridge destroyed.
Somebody


Various other areas of track damaged.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

How devastating for people to lose their homes in this catastrophe.

Is there any indication of how quickly the line will be restored?

Not that it will see any further intercapital pax rail traffic with the XPT powecars in trouble.
  303gunner Station Master

These fires started over 3 weeks ago in Tenterfield and have spotted ahead, well over 100Km now from their initial source, and a very high likelihood of reaching the coast. https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11400294.htm
Go to the RFS website (https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/) and zoom in to the area between T'field and the coast to see the amount of country burnt out. Then scroll the map down to see the amount burnt out between Armidale and Dorrigo.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The fire is most unfortunate and need radio says it was deliberately lit.

Line could take weeks to fix ?
  Piston Train Controller

Lets hope when they rebuild the bridge they use concrete sleepers so when the next fire comes it won't be a problem with wooden sleepers burning out. Too easy
  UpperQuad Locomotive Fireman

Location: 184.8 miles to Sydney
Too easy
Piston
Not too easy. Unless the bridge is to be entirely replaced, “concrete sleepers” are unlikely to be an option.
  a6et Minister for Railways

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
a6et
Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.
nswtrains

How would armco and concrete facing be a quick fix? I'm not sure what type of structure you mean and maybe you could ellaborate a little more on your idea.

A quick fix sounds exactly like what the ARTC would go for but what is needed is a brand new bridge since in flood times the river this bridge crosses would probably wash away armco and an earth bank.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Appears to be a low level bridge. Perhaps some Armco and concrete facing might be a quick fix.

How would armco and concrete facing be a quick fix? I'm not sure what type of structure you mean and maybe you could ellaborate a little more on your idea.

A quick fix sounds exactly like what the ARTC would go for but what is needed is a brand new bridge since in flood times the river this bridge crosses would probably wash away armco and an earth bank.
simstrain
Armco pipes on those low level bridges like can be seen in the photo's are worse than the old low stub wooden bridges of the past. Whenever they were used with the belief that put enough of them in and fill the surrounds with dirt and even piers in a couple of areas I saw, when heavy ran came and washed trees and other debri down to them they never got through the pipes and built up as much as the old ones did, & while the pipes or some of them may have survived all the in fill between them was washed away.

There is a photo of a cement short flood plain fix on the WCK - Binnaway line that I had but if you go to Google Earth and look up Caroona, around half way between Caroona and Springridge, as the road and rail lines come close there is a bit of a creek flow, go to street view and have a look at that concrete construction, that used to be a timber piered flood spot that was washed away, the road was a floodway at that spot, the rail trestle was replaced by Armco pipes that ended up some K's down the creek bed and finally the grand specimen you see in the street view works, you will also not the steel sections that are buried upright in the ground on the Caroona side of the bridge to stop it from washing away.  Further along the line in a couple of locations there are several other variations on that concrete theme, and unlike the old timber and Armco set up they work.

The NCL low relief type bridge needs to be much stronger though owing to the size and weight of the trains. To fix it, they need to do it properly.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
1. 30-50m to one side of the line bulldoze a flat base with use of external fill to raise, throw a pipe in the gully for the remote chance in might rain.

2. Lay sleepers and rail

3. Slew the existing NCL onto the diversion, speed board it at 5-10km/h

4. Re-open the line

5. Demolish the existing structure and remove completely

6. Build a new bridge with a 50 year life, fire and flood proof, alignment for 160km/h running.

7. Slew the track back to the new line

EDIT: Just heard 5 days to re-open the line
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

When one looks at the outward buckled rails one can well imagine the heat that was generated in the fires, not just with the burning sleepers but more so the heat in the air around the line, that would have expanded the rail until it buckled at the points of least resistance, possibly the sleepers at those two points were the first to go up in flames.

A lot of focus will be on the steel decks as well as what damage the piers could have sustained, it could actually mean that the whole section could be replaced with modern concrete piers and decks, in the end could well be the cheapest and possible fastest options.
a6et
The ambient temperature would have had the rails in compression before the fire hit, add the heat from the fire (note the heat induced discolouring on the foot of the right hand rail, will probably need to be replaced) and the rails would have have considerable compressive force in them. Rails will normally move toward the outside of a curve when released from their bonds under compression. Maybe the heat in the right hand rail was sufficiently intense to cripple the rail before the burnt transoms let go
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Line reopened this morning, with appropriate speed and safeworking restrictions in place.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Line reopened this morning, with appropriate speed and safeworking restrictions in place.
bingley hall

I have no idea where you heard this and the nsw trainlink website still has alerts to rail services up in that direction due to bushfires.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Further information can be found here https://www.railpage.com.au/news/article-49057/
  theanimal Chief Commissioner


I have no idea where you heard this and the nsw trainlink website still has alerts to rail services up in that direction due to bushfires.
simstrain
I am fairly sure this has been mentioned to you before, but here it is again, I am typing this slowly so please read it and try to understand.

http://www.google.com


here is a little something 20  seconds turned up for me:

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6437278/north-coast-rail-line-reopens-after-repairs-to-bushfire-damages/?cs=12

The North Coast rail line has reopened after a week of around-the-clock repairs to fix infrastructure damaged in ravaging bushfires.
The Australian Rail Track Corporation, which manages the line, completed the repairs needed to reopen the line at 9am on Monday.Fire had last Monday, forcing NSW TrainLink to replace all passenger train services north of Grafton with buses.damaged track infrastructure between Grafton and Casino"ARTC staff and contractors were engaged from right across the country to ensure the network was back up and running as soon as possible," ARTC group executive Peter Winder said.




"It was a an enormous effort from the 71 workers who put in a total of 3850 hours contributing to the safe return of the network."

Mr Winder said it was "incredible" to have the work completed in such a short amount of time.

"The materials to complete the temporary repairs came from all over Australia including Melbourne, Sydney and Grafton," he said.

"The materials were ordered on Wednesday and started arriving on site Thursday morning which is an incredible effort considering the distance travelled."

Further repairs will be required along parts of the damaged line in the next few weeks.

"Trains are currently running at reduced speeds through the Rappville area," Mr Winder said.

"While ARTC's focus was to re-open the track safely, there will be further works required in coming days and weeks to ensure a return to normal operations."

NSW TrainLink is yet to confirm when normal North Coast passenger train services will resume.

The [color=#78777a]XPT fleet used on the route is already depleted after "cracks" were found
in a key locomotive component.


not to difficult was it?





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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Line reopened this morning, with appropriate speed and safeworking restrictions in place.

I have no idea where you heard this and the nsw trainlink website still has alerts to rail services up in that direction due to bushfires.
simstrain
I'd put more trust in bingley's information than NSW Train's website that only caters to their services...
  simstrain Chief Commissioner


I have no idea where you heard this and the nsw trainlink website still has alerts to rail services up in that direction due to bushfires.I am fairly sure this has been mentioned to you before, but here it is again, I am typing this slowly so please read it and try to understand.

http://www.google.com


here is a little something 20  seconds turned up for me:

https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/6437278/north-coast-rail-line-reopens-after-repairs-to-bushfire-damages/?cs=12
theanimal

Before you shout your mouth off any more animal. That Newcastle herald article was posted at 3pm on October the 14th. I posted my comment at 2.55pm on October the 14th and so that article would not have been on google when I was looking.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
A nice pic in the Canberra Times et al (courtesy ARTC), of the bridge in question under repair. Looks like the timbers were replaced rail (new?) installed.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

arctic
Gunna' be a low speed on this bridge. It looks like they have only put in every other transom. Prepared transoms are not the sort of thing one tends to have laying about. I'm surprised they were able to access so many so quickly. Good job ARTC (that was hard to write!)
  a6et Minister for Railways

Gunna' be a low speed on this bridge. It looks like they have only put in every other transom. Prepared transoms are not the sort of thing one tends to have laying about. I'm surprised they were able to access so many so quickly. Good job ARTC (that was hard to write!)
Lockspike
I would suggest the key would be to get the line open as soon as possible, when considering how many freight services have been cancelled and loads likely sitting around the state along with loco's ready to move as soon as they can. Depending on other damaged areas of track, they would be getting each section up to minimum standards as starters, then work on permanent fixes to the most damaged sections, it will also give the perway mobs a chance to see any damage that is not initially visible following the fires and with trains finally back in operation.

Personally I think they have done well on this job to get it to the stage its at now.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'Good job ARTC (that was hard to write!)'
'Personally I think they have done well on this job to get it to the stage its at now.'

Imagine at least one other organisation in the same situation!
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

I would suggest the key would be to get the line open as soon as possible, when considering how many freight services have been cancelled and loads likely sitting around the state along with loco's ready to move as soon as they can. Depending on other damaged areas of track, they would be getting each section up to minimum standards as starters, then work on permanent fixes to the most damaged sections, it will also give the perway mobs a chance to see any damage that is not initially visible following the fires and with trains finally back in operation.

Personally I think they have done well on this job to get it to the stage its at now.
a6et
Absolutely agree. Getting traffic moving is the imperative

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