It's time to act on fast rail

 

News article: It's time to act on fast rail

Chief Minister Andrew Barr's statement that "the immediate focus should be on making the train faster and not on developing a high speed network" in reference to the future of the Canberra-Sydney rail link.

  viaprojects Train Controller



Spain and California are what will become of high speed rail in Australia. Spain is probably worse but the line cost a fortune and continues to drain the public purse.

simstrain


investment is the only drain ... at least California has started the project ...

https://www.railway-technology.com/features/spain-high-speed-railway/ ( 25 October 2018 )

Sponsored advertisement

  simstrain Chief Commissioner



Spain and California are what will become of high speed rail in Australia. Spain is probably worse but the line cost a fortune and continues to drain the public purse.


investment is the only drain ... at least California has started the project ...

https://www.railway-technology.com/features/spain-high-speed-railway/ ( 25 October 2018 )
viaprojects
investment isn't the only drain. High speed rail has to be maintained well beyond any level we currently build in this country. Lets face it we aren't capable of maintaining the level necessary and money will always have to be pumped in to keep this level and then to make the train viable you need to price the trip the same as a plane trip.

Doing some more research it seems that the california project has stalled.
https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2020/01/02/high-speed-rail-new-york-albany-cuomo.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_High-Speed_Rail
  viaprojects Train Controller



High speed rail has to be maintained well beyond any level we currently build in this country. Lets face it we aren't capable of maintaining the level necessary and money will always have to be pumped in to keep this level and then to make the train viable you need to price the trip the same as a plane trip.

simstrain



just give an overseas rail company one of Sydney's toll road contracts then all the issues will go away for the next +50 years ...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
You cannot apply a model from another country like China and Japan if you don't also apply the full input to the model and their population base is part of this. .
RTT_Rules


skip population in your models ...


We don't have the cash. A HSR network between Mel and Brisbane is around 1/5 of the Fed budget for one year and we only just achieved break even there.  What the govt spends on paperwork each year wouldn't pay the power bill for the HSR operation. .
RTT_Rules


what power bill... fed government does not have a policy for the subject .. hsr will have to build / fund power options ..


The cost of building infrastructure projects are not over priced because amateurs say they are..
RTT_Rules


too many disputed contracts that up the cost of the project ...  



, ie France, Germany and Spain are more closely related to Australia than Japan and China.
RTT_Rules


lol EU is not the same as AU.. just on size and number of large city stations that are closer together and only small number of hsr stations in each country  ... EU vs China maybe but still pushing it ...


However in Govt projects and even private sector the costs are usually rounded down in optimism by the study contractor to "keep the dream alive" and once they get into the detail the price usually rises as optimism gets replaced by realism. This is when projects either get cancelled or cist cut to meet the per-determined budget. Sydney tram being case in point. The Sydney NW Metro was easier to cost as less unknowns being a tunnel versus digging up 13km of inner city and CBD roads.
RTT_Rules



metro has investment options .. stage 1 and 3 the state government gets a returns via development along the line, stage 2 has a return via the tower blocks over the stations ...Sydney trams project is a contractor / awarded contract problem, with limited returns ...
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


Spain and California are what will become of high speed rail in Australia. Spain is probably worse but the line cost a fortune and continues to drain the public purse.


investment is the only drain ... at least California has started the project ...

https://www.railway-technology.com/features/spain-high-speed-railway/ ( 25 October 2018 )
viaprojects
..and how many people live along the California HSR corridor?

Phase 1 connecting SF and LA is same as Syd to Mel with the bulk of the 40m people that live in Cal.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

"let's face it we arn't capable of governing ourselves or believing we are a part of Earth. What will we do we just arn't capable of being a country let's go home to Mum.
C2

No what we do is forget about wasting such money and put some of it in to fixing the alignments with duplication between Sydney and Melbourne in full. Don't need to waste money on building something that will be nothing but a drain to the economy.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

Google is your friend? Not always.When is was working in London 2000 I heard on the news that the billions of pounds spent on the western line compared to bullding a brand new line capable of 300 plus running was better value. Syd melb is stuffed close turn into gunzul paradise tourist line. Build  VFT and bloody oaf they will come.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Google is your friend? Not always.When is was working in London 2000 I heard on the news that the billions of pounds spent on the western line compared to bullding a brand new line capable of 300 plus running was better value. Syd melb is stuffed close turn into gunzul paradise tourist line. Build  VFT and bloody oaf they will come.
C2

No they won't just come. Secondly our lines need improving for freight as well which is another reason the vft is an expensive waste of time as it doesn't fix the rail freight issue. Improving the alignment could easily drop an XPT / new regional train trip to 5 hours. Heck you could probably get an hour out of the journey time just by making the Victorian north east 160km/h and double track the whole length.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Google is your friend? Not always.When is was working in London 2000 I heard on the news that the billions of pounds spent on the western line compared to bullding a brand new line capable of 300 plus running was better value. Syd melb is stuffed close turn into gunzul paradise tourist line. Build  VFT and bloody oaf they will come.
C2
Thing is in this debate is the unknown as far as how many extra passengers a Faster train service will bring to the line/s.

The NSW state government is looking into a new alignment for the Short South, and then to Canberra.  The question is what is the anticipated cut in the timetable from Central to Moss Vale, Goulburn then Canberra, except for the leg that goes into the ACT its all at the NSW expense but what benefits will it bring?  The only thing that's going to help in a big way is to have it at a minimum build capable of consistent time table ability of running up to 200Km/h but with track and alignment capable of future faster running, freight will have to figure in the equation as that will be where the cream and butter will come from. Basically it needs to be as straight as a gun barrel for 99.5% of the run especially south of Liverpool.

The other area that could be more readily, faster and perhaps somewhat cheaper build would be duplicate and have a continual straight 200Km/h capable line from Melbourne through to at least Junee.  While that is going to be a bit easier in the NSW section, it would need to be duplicated to cater for both freight and passengers, meaning it should be part of the INL planning and implementation.  That way there is the ability for both modes of rail operations to make an impact.  The line south of Junee would/should actually be at a heightened agenda.

From those two areas, there is a big need to then work on curve and gradient reductions and progressive extensions along the middle section between Glbn and Junee, with the first section south of GLBN from there or at worst Snowy Jct to Breadalbane then straight to Gunning, and continue from there with similar stages.

Going from 160km/h as it is now in pockets to 200Km/h on longer sections and progressing towards a fully new track will bring both sides of the customer equation to the table, in saying all that, I am not sure that freight needs to be capable of running at 160 overall unless the track was 200 capable for pax and lighter type freight services rather than great heavyweight freight services that would do more damage to the track at the higher speeds.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
And if you ran it roughly parallel to the Hume access to it everywhere would be great .
Does it have to run through Junee ?
The Hume alignment is better than the southern rail line but still close to most major towns eg Goulburn and Wagga . Not so much for Harden and Coota , but places like those are a big part of why the southern line is not a very direct route to Albury and Melbourne . Going via Canberra is also too far off the string line between Sydney Albury and Melbourne .
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

And if you ran it roughly parallel to the Hume access to it everywhere would be great .
Does it have to run through Junee ?
The Hume alignment is better than the southern rail line but still close to most major towns eg Goulburn and Wagga . Not so much for Harden and Coota , but places like those are a big part of why the southern line is not a very direct route to Albury and Melbourne . Going via Canberra is also too far off the string line between Sydney Albury and Melbourne .
BDA

Grades would probably be your issue with that route along the highway.
  a6et Minister for Railways

And if you ran it roughly parallel to the Hume access to it everywhere would be great .
Does it have to run through Junee ?
The Hume alignment is better than the southern rail line but still close to most major towns eg Goulburn and Wagga . Not so much for Harden and Coota , but places like those are a big part of why the southern line is not a very direct route to Albury and Melbourne . Going via Canberra is also too far off the string line between Sydney Albury and Melbourne .
BDA
BDA, the only advantage of going through Junee is that it could save somewhat in costs as the line south of there is pretty much straight and little grades.  

The other aspect is that if the Hume was followed it would mean the generally larger towns will lose out and could very well throw a spanner into the income benefits for the project.  For me, the best alignment would be as I mentioned in my main post and an earlier on it. a straight rail MV - Glbn, then  Snowy Jct - south of Cullerin town;  Then straight line to Gunning straight through the range.

While it would be convenient to then straight rail to the formation of the Hume, or even to Coota, I would be more inclined to still go straight to Harden, then to Coota.  I still see the prospects of the Cowra line opening and the current main line between Harden and Coota could be retained for future wheat and grain traffic perhaps even as a single line. This drought will end & grain will still be a vital ingredient.

On top of that while Harden is not so much a real passenger benefit anymore, and probably has only a few passengers a day, it would still be considered worth keeping open for the two trains daily as each time I have travelled on the XPT each way, there are usually up to around 10 get on or off, not much different to some of the NCL stations, even Taree and the like.

Coota is the primary connection for buses and the like to Temora, but would a DMU be a better option?  

Going as straight and flat as possible from Harden to Coota - Junee - Wagga Wagga - Albury then its up to the Viccies to do something south of Albury.
  a6et Minister for Railways

And if you ran it roughly parallel to the Hume access to it everywhere would be great .
Does it have to run through Junee ?
The Hume alignment is better than the southern rail line but still close to most major towns eg Goulburn and Wagga . Not so much for Harden and Coota , but places like those are a big part of why the southern line is not a very direct route to Albury and Melbourne . Going via Canberra is also too far off the string line between Sydney Albury and Melbourne .

Grades would probably be your issue with that route along the highway.
simstrain
Sims, I agree re the Hume, I came back from down south of Albury last year and its really very much a roller coaster albeit a pretty good one really, and many of the trucks struggle up them both ways also caravaners.  I went down to Albury on the XPT and still find the trip south of Coota quite good, but a real drag and pain from Sydney to Coota though.

In many ways grades may not be all able to be eliminated but I would not like to see anything steeper than 1:75 for short sections especially once past Moss Vale. I would hope the Campbelltown - MV realignment could get a ruling grade to no more than 1:100 but that could be a big ask, although the Hume does not appear to be too steep once past Spaniards.

The likes of the Cullerin range, and some others may be a challenge but I would hope for tunnelling to go through them to keep the track straight and pretty much level.  There are challenges but as the two state capitals are vital then something needs to be done sooner rather than later.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
In many ways grades may not be all able to be eliminated but I would not like to see anything steeper than 1:75 for short sections especially once past Moss Vale. I would hope the Campbelltown - MV realignment could get a ruling grade to no more than 1:100 but that could be a big ask, although the Hume does not appear to be too steep once past Spaniards.

The likes of the Cullerin range, and some others may be a challenge but I would hope for tunnelling to go through them to keep the track straight and pretty much level.  There are challenges but as the two state capitals are vital then something needs to be done sooner rather than later.
a6ets
Grades are not such a big issue now other than for freight, particularly with electrification.  Track curvature is the defining parameter as far as speed goes.

With the new Regional train fleet having bi-mode diesel-electric power, most of all curvature easing would be required within a 200km radius of Sydney, which is within the proposed limits of the long term extension of electrification to Nowra, Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland.  I'd suggest that even grades of 1:60 with straighter alignments would be acceptable in the more challenging environments such as the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands amongst others.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Europe 96 caught TGV from Leiden to Paris , slow through holland to Brussels then quick to Paris. Since then the Dutch , small country built HSR over the years . London 2002 euro star to Paris, slow from Waterloo to France, since then HSR. Australia all I see is emus hiding from reality.
C2
I think you're the one with your head stuck in the sand.  In Australia, we have vast distances with sparse population outside of the major cities and there's no way a truly HSR project could be viable.  The fare structure alone to try and recover most of its operating costs, let alone capital costs, would make it uncompetitive with air travel.  I cannot visualise any government willing to subsidise fares to the extent necessary to make it a viable proposition, when you would have to question the need for it in the first place.  Comparisons with Europe are meaningless, with its far greater population density and relatively shorter distances.

We could still have a significantly improved rail service at a fraction of the cost by upgrading the existing major Interstate and Regional rail networks to a Medium Speed Rail standard, i.e. up to 200km/h, which could potentially halve existing travel times.  When our population reaches 50 million or more, then it might be worth revisiting the HSR concept or whatever is then in vogue, but we will still suffer the tyranny of distance between our major population centres.
  a6et Minister for Railways

In many ways grades may not be all able to be eliminated but I would not like to see anything steeper than 1:75 for short sections especially once past Moss Vale. I would hope the Campbelltown - MV realignment could get a ruling grade to no more than 1:100 but that could be a big ask, although the Hume does not appear to be too steep once past Spaniards.

The likes of the Cullerin range, and some others may be a challenge but I would hope for tunnelling to go through them to keep the track straight and pretty much level.  There are challenges but as the two state capitals are vital then something needs to be done sooner rather than later.
Grades are not such a big issue now other than for freight, particularly with electrification.  Track curvature is the defining parameter as far as speed goes.

With the new Regional train fleet having bi-mode diesel-electric power, most of all curvature easing would be required within a 200km radius of Sydney, which is within the proposed limits of the long term extension of electrification to Nowra, Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland.  I'd suggest that even grades of 1:60 with straighter alignments would be acceptable in the more challenging environments such as the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands amongst others.
Transtopic
The current ruling grade for the Short South is 1:75 although there are two shortish sections that are steeper, the steepest being 1:40 just past the Southern end of the platforms up to the old Hume HWY road bridge.  The next one was a 1:66 on Exeter bank around the reverse curves, that taxed most steamer but being short and once on the straight to Exeter was ok.

Modern diesels can basically not be an issue for freight services as things are now, yet the big issue for them is still the worm track over so much of the track especially North of Coota & Junee. I may be wrong but I have heard that modern intermodal type trains can run at 130Km/h which is good but how do they perform with long heavy loads around some of those tighter curves including Cullerin and other ones that are like a snake wriggling through the countryside?

Freight will benefit as much if not more than the Pax services with track realignment as well as grade reductions as a process during the newer
realignments
.  Having the initial phase of the Southern line done this way it should allow for up to 200Km/h for the pax services and perhaps up to 150k's for the intermodal freighters. Doing such work will benefit rail in more ways than just one area, and would help bring freight back onto rail for the Melbourne Sydney - Melbourne traffic also will help with passenger numbers in both directions.

While I see a lot of news about work being done in Victoria and Standard gauge conversions to improve the freight and pax services should they really bite the bullet and get the SG line to Albury fixed and upgraded, although that should be done under the ILR work but to what standard? Perhaps a rethink on keeping the BG between Melbourne and Albury might be a good advantage overall as well making it one standard of track for both systems.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Grades are not such a big issue now other than for freight, particularly with electrification.  Track curvature is the defining parameter as far as speed goes.

With the new Regional train fleet having bi-mode diesel-electric power, most of all curvature easing would be required within a 200km radius of Sydney, which is within the proposed limits of the long term extension of electrification to Nowra, Goulburn, Bathurst and Maitland.  I'd suggest that even grades of 1:60 with straighter alignments would be acceptable in the more challenging environments such as the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands amongst others.
Transtopic

Passenger trains will not have a problem with the grades but freight trains will and we can not afford to build a dedicated passenger line in this country outside of the cities. Money needs to be spent on the alignments it just needs to be for both passenger and freight use which means no vhst but it doesn't mean that we can't have a rail system that couldn't allow for up to 200km/h. That would drop the travel time down to about 4-5 hours.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Europe 96 caught TGV from Leiden to Paris , slow through holland to Brussels then quick to Paris. Since then the Dutch , small country built HSR over the years . London 2002 euro star to Paris, slow from Waterloo to France, since then HSR. Australia all I see is emus hiding from reality.
C2

The Dutch system runs off the French system and Holland has a population of 17 million in 5.4 million square kilometres. Sydney has a population of 5 million in 12.3 million kilometres.

Think again and it is not us emus hiding from reality. The distance between London, Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam could all fit in the state of Victoria in Australia but they have a population of over 60 million people. Economics make much sense for a vhst in that environment.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
And I was thinking finally some intelligent discussion ….

A6 , in practical terms the ruleing grades Sydney Melbourne are 1:40 on the down (all south of Goulburn) and 1:50something on the up (the climb from Wagga Viaduct to Bomen) .

I don't believe the grades are an issue for pass or interstate freighters .
The power to weight ratio of dedicated pass trains makes it a non issue and I'm sure if you went to the freight operators and said we could can the curve/speed issue but not the gradients they would sit up and listen .
The AC diesel electrics laugh at the grades and make the DC ones look sick by comparison . Getting OT but when a 93 (x1) can drag 1700T up Como in the dry at 25 km/h and never even look like slipping they prove their worth . Also had two of them drag a 4600T steel train , with a dead NR on the front , up Jerrawa at 16 km/h .

Now for high speed perway , I have not researched it but I'm guessing reliable 200+ km/h perway is probably going to look a bit like the US standard stuff eg 30+ TAL rated rail/sleepers/sub base .
And this plays right into the hands of decent freight train equipment and performance .
To give you an idea of what North American AC traction diesels can do I've been there in WA with SD70s (x 2) pulling the best part of 6000T up 1:67 1:68 grades at 25 km/h . And these trains were not quite 3000 metres long .
I am not suggesting we could run these units over here but with full fuel loads and a bit of ballasting American style I think we could get the GT46ACes and AC44s up to around 150T . Three of these would make short work off pulling trains of similar weight up 1:40 grades .
Now before people start howling about hurting Mr Diesel by working him hard , or crawling up the ruleing grades at 25km/h , have a think about how fast the trucks aren't going up their ruleing grades . This is what the superfreighters are competing with .
The steepest grades won't be a big part of the total distance and you can run pretty fast down steep grades if the alignment is suitable . It's the average speed not the up hill slog speed that is important .

Where our rail ancestors let us down was building lines where minimum gradient took priority over curve speed . 90 years later we need to get over this and build lines that are straighter and faster even if it means some steep but acceptable gradients .
The pay off is shorter transit times between the Capitals .
And one more thing , I believe that if we continue to persist with the current dark ages type rail alignments that everything on them will eventually fall prey to alternate modes and die out completely.
  a6et Minister for Railways

And I was thinking finally some intelligent discussion ….

A6 , in practical terms the ruleing grades Sydney Melbourne are 1:40 on the down (all south of Goulburn) and 1:50something on the up (the climb from Wagga Viaduct to Bomen) .

I don't believe the grades are an issue for pass or interstate freighters .
The power to weight ratio of dedicated pass trains makes it a non issue and I'm sure if you went to the freight operators and said we could can the curve/speed issue but not the gradients they would sit up and listen .
The AC diesel electrics laugh at the grades and make the DC ones look sick by comparison . Getting OT but when a 93 (x1) can drag 1700T up Como in the dry at 25 km/h and never even look like slipping they prove their worth . Also had two of them drag a 4600T steel train , with a dead NR on the front , up Jerrawa at 16 km/h .

Now for high speed perway , I have not researched it but I'm guessing reliable 200+ km/h perway is probably going to look a bit like the US standard stuff eg 30+ TAL rated rail/sleepers/sub base .
And this plays right into the hands of decent freight train equipment and performance .
To give you an idea of what North American AC traction diesels can do I've been there in WA with SD70s (x 2) pulling the best part of 6000T up 1:67 1:68 grades at 25 km/h . And these trains were not quite 3000 metres long .
I am not suggesting we could run these units over here but with full fuel loads and a bit of ballasting American style I think we could get the GT46ACes and AC44s up to around 150T . Three of these would make short work off pulling trains of similar weight up 1:40 grades .
Now before people start howling about hurting Mr Diesel by working him hard , or crawling up the ruleing grades at 25km/h , have a think about how fast the trucks aren't going up their ruleing grades . This is what the superfreighters are competing with .
The steepest grades won't be a big part of the total distance and you can run pretty fast down steep grades if the alignment is suitable . It's the average speed not the up hill slog speed that is important .

Where our rail ancestors let us down was building lines where minimum gradient took priority over curve speed . 90 years later we need to get over this and build lines that are straighter and faster even if it means some steep but acceptable gradients .
The pay off is shorter transit times between the Capitals .
And one more thing , I believe that if we continue to persist with the current dark ages type rail alignments that everything on them will eventually fall prey to alternate modes and die out completely.
BDA
BDA, I don't disagree with anything you are saying, I realise and understand that things are ever so different today than in the past, yet when this discussion comes up, there is an expectation that it has to be done yesterday, yet, the aspect that comes into being is the desire/want/demand for the FVT is there for the Canberra services, part of the reason why I mentioned the ruling grade is that I put that as being for the section we called the short south Sydney - Glbn, (same term as the Short North that applied as far as the NCLE area including PTW.) the ruling grade for the Short South was 1:75 as I mentioned but certainly from GLBN South that would have been 1:40 at least as far as Coota  South of there was I believe different but there were bankers provided for the down trains ex Junee to Kapooka.

As for the aspect of modern diesels and their abilities I completely agree with you again, when the 81's arrived they were given the tag of Depot Destroyers/killers owing to their abilities, over what we worked on prior to them.

The aspect that I have brought in is no more than the concept of gradient easing and realignments, I am pretty sure that if the Short South new line is done properly it would be no steeper than 1:100 as the ruling grade, that aspect is to satisfy the first stage of the overall main south and meet the purposes of the Canberra services.

South from GLB is the issue of not just the grades but the actual overall alignment of it, which I believe plays a bigger part of the problem facing rail into the future. The ILR has a huge advantage as much of it will be new line and the old lines built up but I still wonder to what amount either especially over some the terrain that its proposed to be constructed on, and how strong they build it especially with the sub soils in certain areas.

The overall Main south incorporating the Short South needs to be a term project and complete sections at a time with a concentrated work force.   I have an old fold out diagram of the line from Sydney - Albury, and when its laid flat and in the 4 sections the line looks like the trail of a drunken snail or ant, so much is the wriggling of the line.  A reason also why debate has come up in the past about going back to the old alignment, which had steep grades but straighter alignments, a fair idea up to a point but all that would do is replace one old incapable line with another one around perhaps 5% better and at what cost benefit?

I would also add that the need to do the Southern line up has an equal competitor for that money and that is the NCL with its multiple needs.

Rather than looking at a VFT, HST or the like terms and wants, I would prefer to look at and promote the concept of a RFT that being Reliable Faster Trains.

Looking back on when the XPT came out to which I was qualified for, I know of no area where the track speeds were not reduced for normal passenger services and the TT's also extended so the XPT could maintain the speeds that were required of it. In general all boards below 100KM/h were reduced anywhere from 5 -15 KM/h for loco hauled trains and after a while even the X's had their speeds cut in many areas especially those areas that had 110 -115Km/h speeds.

Certainly the A/C loco's and even what I find with the modern ETR sets is their abilities in acceleration, something the X dragged at but won out owing to overall speed.

There are quite a few hills on the hume that tax the truckies, but yes, as the newer trucks keep coming out, they have great power and can get moving quick, especially when they are on the super highways that give them every chance to win the freight battle against rail. In that sense the interstate rail freight industry is on the losing side ATM even when the ILR comes into being owing to the competition from road.  Rail cannot go to the factories and pick up the loads in rail vehicles, and by the time any potential freight is ready, a truck can be already 1/4 of the way to its destination.

Where we live now I travel on the Hunter line quite a bit and have noticed how much larger the ballast is that's being used these days, it has slowly increased over the past few years to a size that is quite large, a couple of sections of note is around Metford. But, its possibly the result of the heavy coalies but I do see a benefit for other freight services though.  Not sure if the big rocks are used past Maitland though.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The short south from my memory has ruleing grades off 1:66 on the down (Exeter Bank) and 1:66 on the up (Wingello Bank).
Personally I wouldn't bother with most the original alignments on the southern line north or south of Junee .

In the past I got to drive the southern line as far as Junee and had plenty of road trips in between on the Hume Hwy.
Had plenty of road trips over grades on the Hwy such as the one at the south end of Bredalbin Plains , to run trains over a similar alignment and grade is worth the pain to go sailing over the top of the range and on past Gunning . Imagine not having to snake down the range into places like Fish River and Gunning , imagine a line speed for loco hauled of 115 virtually everywhere .
That "Main Southern Line " is dark ages crap virtually everywhere . You must remember even going up the southern highlands to Mittagong on the Hume . Yes there are several very tall and expensive concrete bridges over significant gorges  , it's the lack of things like these that chain rail alignments to the garbage they are today - by todays standards .
Aside from Catherin Hill I can't think of one significant grade on the "down Hume" in this area that would be an issue for pass and freight trains with adequate power .
Spaniards isn't so bad on the road and doesn't force you through Mauldon bends or the "balloon loop" after Picton .
I could go on but you get the point .
I believe the goal for rail freight in the future is to get there sooner and to offer an attractive price .
Blind Freddy knows the only reason road can do this is because its infrastructure is so so much better than rails .
Its been said many times before , and by me as well , imagine how poor road freight performance would be if it had to run over the Hume as it was in 1970 . AFAIK there has been little or no improvements alignment wise to the main southern line since something like 1932 ? And this is the exact reason why rail fails dismally compared to road .
And to the XPT experience , I have never worked on them but had plenty of cab rides down there , in a few various seats …
From what I'm told they didn't make serious inroads into running times compared to the loco hauled expresses . It would have been remarkably obvious to the people operating them that the section times weren't often that much better . It's not rocket science . Put higher performance trains on a twisty windy track and expect good running times ? Lunacy .
The X may have increased Nev's electile capacity , and cost the state of NSW a bomb , but it was still way cheaper than paying for major rail realignments .
  a6et Minister for Railways

The short south from my memory has ruleing grades off 1:66 on the down (Exeter Bank) and 1:66 on the up (Wingello Bank).
Personally I wouldn't bother with most the original alignments on the southern line north or south of Junee .

In the past I got to drive the southern line as far as Junee and had plenty of road trips in between on the Hume Hwy.
Had plenty of road trips over grades on the Hwy such as the one at the south end of Bredalbin Plains , to run trains over a similar alignment and grade is worth the pain to go sailing over the top of the range and on past Gunning . Imagine not having to snake down the range into places like Fish River and Gunning , imagine a line speed for loco hauled of 115 virtually everywhere .
That "Main Southern Line " is dark ages crap virtually everywhere . You must remember even going up the southern highlands to Mittagong on the Hume . Yes there are several very tall and expensive concrete bridges over significant gorges  , it's the lack of things like these that chain rail alignments to the garbage they are today - by todays standards .
Aside from Catherin Hill I can't think of one significant grade on the "down Hume" in this area that would be an issue for pass and freight trains with adequate power .
Spaniards isn't so bad on the road and doesn't force you through Mauldon bends or the "balloon loop" after Picton .
I could go on but you get the point .
I believe the goal for rail freight in the future is to get there sooner and to offer an attractive price .
Blind Freddy knows the only reason road can do this is because its infrastructure is so so much better than rails .
Its been said many times before , and by me as well , imagine how poor road freight performance would be if it had to run over the Hume as it was in 1970 . AFAIK there has been little or no improvements alignment wise to the main southern line since something like 1932 ? And this is the exact reason why rail fails dismally compared to road .
And to the XPT experience , I have never worked on them but had plenty of cab rides down there , in a few various seats …
From what I'm told they didn't make serious inroads into running times compared to the loco hauled expresses . It would have been remarkably obvious to the people operating them that the section times weren't often that much better . It's not rocket science . Put higher performance trains on a twisty windy track and expect good running times ? Lunacy .
The X may have increased Nev's electile capacity , and cost the state of NSW a bomb , but it was still way cheaper than paying for major rail realignments .
BDA
The 1:66 Exeter bank on the down was around the S bends mid point, it taxed the 36cl more than others for that distance, the short south on the down was the only line that the pigs ran on that they hauled the same load tonnage wise as the standard goods, 59's when they started to run to Glbn and 38cl, only difference was in the train length the pigs had 50 while the others had 55 in length.  Wingello was on the up and here the Pigs did not haul the same load as the others as they did on the down, primarily owing to the shortness of the Exeters 1:66.  Same with the short 1:40 at Picton, it was a tough start but the pigs did it pretty well at ease and in many ways better than the 59's as they would slip very easily and worse than the pigs.

In my time as fireman/driver the term of ruling grade was deemed to be what applied between the primary depot/yard points, that applied to both down and up services, which each had a different grade ruling. On the Short North, Light type Garratts, hauled 575 Tons West Ryde to Hornsby, from there to BMD were able to take 615tons. Heavy Garratts took 605 & 650 tons respectively. Pre electrification of Cowan that grade was the ruling one for the whole Short North, but the steam bankers allowed for a through load of 915 tons. Post electrification those loads still applied however an increase was provided for the heavy types, and would be assisted by 46cl up Cowan. Loads were lifted for the heavy garratts to 1130 tons late in the steam days. That provided for a double 46cl load ex Gosford on the up, but very often taxed the garratt through Kotara when the train departed from BMD yard.

The XPT when it was part of the Divisional conference discussions both before and after introduction had the big aspect of not the starting speeds but the overall speed between points.  Using the down on Ardglen as an example and then the Moonbi's in summer the DEB's had to be nursed up the hills, even though they were able to run the TT's as easily as the X's the big problem though was they would readily overheat, wise drivers nursed them up the hills by juggling the throttles and only at full notch for short periods, they lost some time going up the hills but picked them up on the other sections. That was the only way they would run on time.  The X's had basically too much power as you had to do the same with the throttle, by juggling it up and down as you would easily go over the speed up hill (all grades I'm talking of were 1:40) and that meant dropping the throttle back to go under the speed and then up again.

We had around 2 spots between WCK and BMD where we could get close to the 160Km/h but only once CTC came into operation, and they were at Braefield & Parkville the distance from Scone to Togar was not sufficient to get much over 140K's.  In fact many of the old Steam salaried drivers say they could run a similar passenger train with a nanny or pig at the lower speeds but at around the same TT running.

As I have said, the primary objective for my posts and reasoning is not for some great new shiny HST train that needs the track all to itself is to have lines that are rebuilt for the 2000's and not running primarily on 1900's alignments. I have a feeling that we both agree in principle on that but its how it can be achieved is the problem.

As for the XPT I watched a show a couple of nights back on its introduction in England and how the cab was set up, very very different to our version, and the X's successors were also very much responsible for reinvigorating the British rail passenger system and bringing people back to rail. That was Nifties and the NSW railways desires that ran slightly above the desire to eliminate rural services, but it did not really bring the goodies to the state that were advertised/promoted owing to its basic inefficiencies and not really suited to the NSW rail lines, then and still.

As a driver, I found them good to work on, especially as the diagram at WCK had us primarily on step on/off working on the running, where we were round tripping WCK - Maitland - WCK, with a good break at Maitland, the railways wanted us to run to BMD and return but there was not enough time between the arrival and departure times for us to work the round trip as it would inevitably mean the down service would be delayed by a late running up service which was often the case.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

The land between Sydney and Melbourne will be a inner suburb distance from those city's with HSR. Two hour journeys from  Junee , Cootamundra and sorounding areas. Population pain for some here. So Scotland has 3 million people England 50 Million odd , why  so many trains to Edinburgh , Glasgow  and between Edinburgh to Glasgow. Do we  need so trains in to Scotlands 3 million. The infustructure spend around the city's needed for a population of 50 million is crazy when we have lots of land. Why the obsessed cult of bigger, heavier, slower waste of money. , Population needed for world's heaviest and slowest  trains and trucks no?  What is the future of the Bush , no work , no environment , no water, no tourists , no man's land. So is this the English language you can follow or will that missing comma make you a gonna. full stop
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
UK is not comparable to Aust, UK. has around 80m people. Many Scots head south for work. Many English head north for holidays and the country is barely 1400km nth to south, but most live within 1000km. The Brits generally do not own big cars like Aussies and many don't own a car at all.

Syd and Mel are 900km apart with only a few large towns in the middle.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

RTT have you lived in the UK . Melbourne Sydney are big city's with a very busy flight schedule one of biggest in the world. Now  England 55 million Scotland  3 million did you get that 3 million . Edinburgh 1 million we focus on one  line  From Euston to Edinburgh. .The stops at Euston  Doncaster York Newcastle Edinburgh these are  not big towns exept London.Now how many trains a day on the line 8-10 harvest of 5 to 6 million People  Why aren't we discussing planes  RTT ? Looks like trains have made them redundent.. .Melbournes 5; million Sydney 5 million and Canberra 1 million. Now until  we  build castles in the sky , those  planes don't. give money to country Victorua  or  NSW. Its the private  .airports, private  uber and .the Dirty Money Crown. England has many Cross country lines and some handsome  ones like  Marlybone to Birmingham a little like  the  Bendigo Line .if one was to Compare.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: