Murray Basin standardisation

 
  Bonzel Locomotive Driver

BL32-26-G540 on 7901V roll into Dunolly at 07.52 on 25-01-20.


https://youtu.be/bd8-lDiOw1U

Sponsored advertisement

  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
In case you haven't seen Bonzel or Greensleeves videos from yesterday here they are.



https://youtu.be/g-JuqujeDKk



https://youtu.be/IxYPiXMPDPs
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

In case you haven't seen Bonzel or Greensleeves videos from yesterday here they are.



https://youtu.be/g-JuqujeDKk



https://youtu.be/IxYPiXMPDPs
Jack Le Lievre
That train (from a standing start going uphill) at Avoca picked up speed very quickly. Impressive! Nothing against the G Class, but the extra horsepower of the NR Class was really on display here.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Just going back to an earlier post on this thread. I think some urgent re railing is definitely in order for an effective 21 TAL here. I doubt the 100+ years vintage 41kg rail will be able to cope for very long. When I was at Avoca last year, I saw 47kg rail, circa 2017, at the level crossings. That is the way to go here. Portland needs this as well, although it may already have a lot of 47kg rail in use. Someone will need to advise as to how much. For what is expected of this line, 47 kg should be quite sufficient. Although the purist in me would like to see at least 50kg installed, but one has to be pragmatic and realistic about these things.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Just going back to an earlier post on this thread. I think some urgent re railing is definitely in order for an effective 21 TAL here. I doubt the 100+ years vintage 41kg rail will be able to cope for very long. When I was at Avoca last year, I saw 47kg rail, circa 2017, at the level crossings. That is the way to go here. Portland needs this as well, although it may already have a lot of 47kg rail in use. Someone will need to advise as to how much. For what is expected of this line, 47 kg should be quite sufficient. Although the purist in me would like to see at least 50kg installed, but one has to be pragmatic and realistic about these things.
Duncs
Can anyone close comment on the current rate of broken rails on the Ararat to to Maryborough section?

The 41kg argument rages on.  It comes down to the usual clarifications of 'well, it depeneds'.   So far as rail goes its not the worst one could have and 'it depends' on what you're trying to do with it.

If you want to run 21t at 100km/hr, its not going to be a good arguement.  How well is it welded?   The esperance line for example was predominently 80lb and 82lb.   It was carrying 15MGT at 50km/hr loaded (23t) and 70km/hr empty.  Those close to the operation knew it used to break 50 to 60 rails per year and expect a derailment at least once a year from it.   Yet the issue was at the weld with 90% of all breaks being legacy issues of fatigue due to poor welding (no so much the rail itself statistically).  It aslo was not happy being on 1in2 steel.   So it depends.

There are sections of the Alice line where it is still 80lb cascade rail off the original Trans.  For sure there is a 80km/hr speed restriction.   However its in an arid environment, good concrete, its in reasonable order and has been welded 'rerasonably'.   So when it comes to doing the numbers on rerailing it to remove the speed restriction on an operation that handles not a lot in the scheme of things, is just part of many 1000's of km making up the journey - it just does not stack up.   It will be there for many years to come.

My experience with getting funding for rerailing on marginal lines is more to do with the politics rather than a techical/commercial reality.   The Esperance line did eventually see most or it rerailed through true commercial terms.  The Kalgoorlie to Koolyanobbing rerailing got over the line through lobbying for Federal money.  

Where does the 80lb from Ararat to Maryborough sit in this, well, it depends.  (dont hold your breath).  The cooridor would beneift holistically from seeing it go to full CWR which would be a prerequisit to going to staged concrete.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
It depends, Skitz, on what happens to Maryborough to Ballarat/Geelong.
If/when that happens, then the line to Ararat becomes a backwater track again and probably not worth the money for the upgrade.
But, if they don't have the money to do Ballarat,  then they won't have any for Ararat.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
It depends, Skitz, on what happens to Maryborough to Ballarat/Geelong.
If/when that happens, then the line to Ararat becomes a backwater track again and probably not worth the money for the upgrade.
But, if they don't have the money to do Ballarat,  then they won't have any for Ararat.
Donald

There is still a lot of scope for the use of this segment to Portland Line.  The Portland line is being bought back into service for Mineral Sands Traffic and we are told in a different thread logs.

One also assumes given the large grain harvest grain flows to the port of Portland will commence from the Mildura line?
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Can anyone close comment on the current rate of broken rails on the Ararat to to Maryborough section?

The 41kg argument rages on.  It comes down to the usual clarifications of 'well, it depeneds'.   So far as rail goes its not the worst one could have and 'it depends' on what you're trying to do with it.

If you want to run 21t at 100km/hr, its not going to be a good arguement.  How well is it welded?   The esperance line for example was predominently 80lb and 82lb.   It was carrying 15MGT at 50km/hr loaded (23t) and 70km/hr empty.  Those close to the operation knew it used to break 50 to 60 rails per year and expect a derailment at least once a year from it.   Yet the issue was at the weld with 90% of all breaks being legacy issues of fatigue due to poor welding (no so much the rail itself statistically).  It aslo was not happy being on 1in2 steel.   So it depends.

There are sections of the Alice line where it is still 80lb cascade rail off the original Trans.  For sure there is a 80km/hr speed restriction.   However its in an arid environment, good concrete, its in reasonable order and has been welded 'rerasonably'.   So when it comes to doing the numbers on rerailing it to remove the speed restriction on an operation that handles not a lot in the scheme of things, is just part of many 1000's of km making up the journey - it just does not stack up.   It will be there for many years to come.

My experience with getting funding for rerailing on marginal lines is more to do with the politics rather than a techical/commercial reality.   The Esperance line did eventually see most or it rerailed through true commercial terms.  The Kalgoorlie to Koolyanobbing rerailing got over the line through lobbying for Federal money.  

Where does the 80lb from Ararat to Maryborough sit in this, well, it depends.  (dont hold your breath).  The cooridor would beneift holistically from seeing it go to full CWR which would be a prerequisit to going to staged concrete.
skitz
Very interesting piece skitz, thanks. It's strange how there is general hard and fast rules regarding construction but depending on the use, environment and application, sort of no rules.

As you've pointed out, if the line was rerailed just for the purpose of speed restriction, the 87k's of line is only small section out of the entire journey. Wonder how much of the line ( between A'rat & M'bgh ) you would be able to increase speed anyway and by how much.

Infact it would of interest to time trains both up and down Melbourne / Merbein for a month and get a handle on where the slow parts of the line are and what if anything could be done to improve this. Perhaps a couple of the drivers that frequent here will know ?

Then back to what Donald has said depends on if anything brilliant happens between Ballarat & Maryborough, and the fantom mineral sands job..Rolling Eyes

BigShunter.

15MGT ? anybody ??
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Perhaps the Avoca - Maryborough section could be sped up in places given that's a fairly straight section?  Also Ararat - Eversley isn't too bad.

Around Amphitheatre and topping the Pyrenees Range is slow due to blind corners, steep grades, and crossings anyway.  I doubt much could be done there.

19T axle load trains are allowed to do 65 km/h currently (and that includes EL locos!).  What would need to be done to push that to 80 km/h?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think wed want to wait and see how/when they will do the SG Marybourogh-Ballarat-Gheringhap section.

Because if this goes SG the need for Ararat-Maryborough will likely fall.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think wed want to wait and see how/when they will do the SG Marybourogh-Ballarat-Gheringhap section.

Because if this goes SG the need for Ararat-Maryborough will likely fall.
james.au

Meaning if it does there will no way to go from Yelta/Murrayville line to the west which makes no sense at all.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Where does the 80lb from Ararat to Maryborough sit in this, well, it depends.  (don't hold your breath).  The corridor would benefit holistically from seeing it go to full CWR which would be a prerequisite to going to staged concrete.
skitz
I'm curious about your claim that the Ararat-Maryborough line isn't already Continuously Welded Rail. There was a heck of a lot of welding going on when they rebuilt the line, a mixture of mobile flashbutt welding and aluminothermic/thermite welding. Long Welded Rail (up to 82m/270’ of welded rail between bolted joints) hasn't been a preferred technique for greenfields construction for ages. CWR is pretty common, to the extent that it's even used when building sidings!

I'd like to know if there's evidence that there are any bolted joints along the rebuilt Ararat-Maryborough line excluding turnouts and insulated rail joints.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Where does the 80lb from Ararat to Maryborough sit in this, well, it depends.  (don't hold your breath).  The corridor would benefit holistically from seeing it go to full CWR which would be a prerequisite to going to staged concrete.

I'd like to know if there's evidence that there are any bolted joints along the rebuilt Ararat-Maryborough line excluding turnouts and insulated rail joints.
LancedDendrite
Greensleeves or Bronzel will have the inside info on that, they have filmed along the line in a heap of locations.

And skitz mentioned above, prerequisite to staged concrete ? what sleepers.. it is all concrete sleepers the light weight ones.

BigShunter.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
It depends, Skitz, on what happens to Maryborough to Ballarat/Geelong.
If/when that happens, then the line to Ararat becomes a backwater track again and probably not worth the money for the upgrade.
But, if they don't have the money to do Ballarat,  then they won't have any for Ararat.
Donald
And therein may well lie the answer to why they didn't re-rail in the first place.

This section was only ever supposed to be used for the amount of traffic that it is currently seeing for a very short time - until the rest of the MBS project was completed.

After that it would have been used only for trains heading to Portland or at a stretch further West and they would have been mainly Mineral Sands or Grain both of which wouldn't be too bothered with a short section of lower speed running (not that I believe for a second that the TSRs were expected when the plan was drawn up but that is another matter)

So using the old rail for a section which was going to see limited traffic was not seen as much of an issue. The big problem came when the rest of the project fell over and all of a sudden you are using it for all traffic - daily Fruity both ways, all grain from Yelta and Murrayville lines and whatever else may have been planned or eventuated out of the blue.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

From my understanding of the original upgrade, CWR was going to happen. When I looked at some sections of the track in December I saw only CWR. No expansion joints.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Two problems I see

1 western access to and from the Mildura line is required and to the port of Portland.  Either make it easy via Avoca or via Murray ville to ADELAIDE line. Avoca sounds better and allows dormingerchange at Ararat. Passenger trains also possible.

2 a missing link between the western part of the state and the. Roth east lines without the need to enter MELBOURNE. These longer distances by. It being able to access x country line for Sg is appealed.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Two problems I see

1 western access to and from the Mildura line is required and to the port of Portland.  Either make it easy via Avoca or via Murray ville to ADELAIDE line. Avoca sounds better and allows dormingerchange at Ararat. Passenger trains also possible.

2 a missing link between the western part of the state and the. Roth east lines without the need to enter MELBOURNE. These longer distances by. It being able to access x country line for Sg is appealed.
freightgate
An English translation would be appreciated by some, please.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Two problems I see

1 western access to and from the Mildura line is required and to the port of Portland.  Either make it easy via Avoca or via Murray ville to ADELAIDE line. Avoca sounds better and allows dormingerchange at Ararat. Passenger trains also possible.

2 a missing link between the western part of the state and the. Roth east lines without the need to enter MELBOURNE. These longer distances by. It being able to access x country line for Sg is appealed.
freightgate

1. The only trains as yet that have gone west from the Avoca line are grain trains that then reverse at Murtoa/Dimboola and head eastwards after refuelling; and the grain trains that have come from the Mildura line to go to Portland have done the same- first to Murtoa/Dimboola, reverse, refuel and continue to Portland. Mineral Sands from Manangatang is ages off (if it ever gets up).

2. The cost would be astronomical to build a cross country SG route avoiding Melbourne, then there's the question of what route is used and what requirement it would fill? You could go Ararat-Maryborough-Castlemaine-Bendigo-Goornong-Murchison East-Violet Town, but that's a hell of a lot of land to acquire, new track to be built and old track rehabilitated, not to mention getting paths on the Bendigo RFR corridor between Castlemaine and Bendigo when it's running close to capacity as is. Going further south on the NE link towards Seymour brings the problem of the Great Dividing Range into play. And when you count all the grades and curves particularly on the Ararat-Maryborough leg, there's not going to be much of a benefit, if any.

Interstate grain trains aren't going to run forever (only until the drought up north breaks), and most of them take the opportunity to swap in/out locos and refuel in Melbourne as it is.
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

quite frankly the Portland Line in its current form is a LEMON, there is no traffic, nothing is generated from the Portland end of the line, and at best if may see a dozen odd grain trains during the year and the odd visit from the AK choochoo. The supposed Mineral Sands train is just that a GHOST TRAIn that may or may not happen.   As for woodchips or logs, nothing will happen.
  skitz Chief Commissioner



BigShunter.

15MGT ? anybody ??
BigShunter
Millions of Gross Tonnes (per annum) - laguage used to describe the usage of a line
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Where does the 80lb from Ararat to Maryborough sit in this, well, it depends.  (don't hold your breath).  The corridor would benefit holistically from seeing it go to full CWR which would be a prerequisite to going to staged concrete.

I'd like to know if there's evidence that there are any bolted joints along the rebuilt Ararat-Maryborough line excluding turnouts and insulated rail joints.
Greensleeves or Bronzel will have the inside info on that, they have filmed along the line in a heap of locations.

And skitz mentioned above, prerequisite to staged concrete ? what sleepers.. it is all concrete sleepers the light weight ones.

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Cooridor, to Mildura.   Still timber.   Concrete will not last five seconds under a mechanical joint.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Congratulations are in order for all by the way, 100 pages now, multiple spin off threads, and we’ve still only managed to do a third of the project and botch it completely.

My 2020 prediction is that the Railpage servers catch fire due to the load of this thread and the entire site is lost to time before a standard gauge train ever runs from Maryborough to Ballarat.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner



BigShunter.

15MGT ? anybody ??Millions of Gross Tonnes (per annum) - laguage used to describe the usage of a line
skitz
Months between Goods Trains would be more appropriate for some of the lines related to this project.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Department of Transport reviewing troubled rail upgrade
The State government will conduct a thorough review of the troubled $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project upgrade. A Department of Transport spokesman confirmed claims, by a leading rail freight operator, that the government was carrying out an investigation into the whole project.

https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6629490/state-government-undertakes-a-review-of-troubled-rail-upgrade/
Stock and Land
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Department of Transport reviewing troubled rail upgrade
The State government will conduct a thorough review of the troubled $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project upgrade. A Department of Transport spokesman confirmed claims, by a leading rail freight operator, that the government was carrying out an investigation into the whole project.

https://www.stockandland.com.au/story/6629490/state-government-undertakes-a-review-of-troubled-rail-upgrade/
james.au
The Auditor General's report next month will also be a fun read.  It might be a long time until we see SG to Sea Lake and Manang IMO.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: