Murray Basin standardisation

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
That's a stupid comment when an image is taken on maximum zoom. Even RFR tracks look dodgy when an image is taken like that.

Moreover if this image was taken without using a zoom, what hope is there that train would ever climb that steep bank.

Mike

A blind man Mike can see the track is very uneven.
Bevans, I have to agree with you. Please keep in mind that last year I visited the area at Avoca on this line and mentioned at the time that some of the rail I saw dated back as far as 1919! It was all 41 kg rail. Therefore it comes as no surprise to see this type of problem.

So the first thing that must happen is that the Ararat to Maryborourgh section must be re railed at 47 kg rail. This rail already is installed at the level crossings along this line and is clearly stamped: One Steel 2017 47 KG.

That gets you an axle loading of 22 tons at 80 kph. Job done.
Duncs

I'd best take a ride to have a look at this old rail before the replacement program commences...soon.

Mike.

Sponsored advertisement

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Mike what is your view on the section described previously by @Duncs?
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
As most on here will know, I don't mind watching the odd train video on YouTube. I don't stare at it like a stunned mullet, there are a few things I like to observe.

Loco types, count wagons, container types, speed also the scenery in the back ground, Dorks in cars running the red lights and bells before the train hits the crossing and also of interest is reading the comments. Plenty of Dorks there as well but also good info. I stumbled across this the other day.

This 7903V passed Gheringhap at 0550 hours this morning, so that's five hours 46 minutes for a good median speed of around 67.5kmh (about 389km). When one considers that between Ararat East and Maryborough, trains trundle along, plus stop at M, even better:
Edmund Carew.


Recently the Avoca line speed was increased to 40kph for the whole length which is good to see: Lachlan’s Train Channel.

An increase from 25kmh to 40kmh is positive but negligible: Edmund Carew.


From another video.

Both the down and the up took around six hours from Gheringhap to Maryborough or vice versa, while the down took six hours 45 minutes from Maryborough to Mildura.

Median speed was was therefore about 45kmh Gheringhap-Maryborough, and about 66kmh from the latter to Millie.  The latter is probably better than just after the line was converted as IIRC quite a few of the 'lack of sighting distance at level crossings' speed restrictions of 40-60kmh (mostly 50 or 60) have been fixed: Edmund Carew.

Quite interesting info, make of it what you will, I'm perhaps a little surprised at the speed, thought it may have been even slower.

I'm not sure who Edmund is but I like his attention to/for detail.

This may make more sense if you look at the actual video, so hit up YouTube, Greensleeves and the 2 videos are, G540 on 7903V down Donald containers at Avoca- 3/10/20 and XR559, BL31 and BL32 on a very late 7901V Merbein Fruit Flyer & G540 on 7904V Donald boxes- 1/10/20.

Thanks to Edmund, Lachlan and Greensleeves for the input.

BigShunter.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
As most on here will know, I don't mind watching the odd train video on YouTube. I don't stare at it like a stunned mullet, there are a few things I like to observe.

Loco types, count wagons, container types, speed also the scenery in the back ground, Dorks in cars running the red lights and bells before the train hits the crossing and also of interest is reading the comments. Plenty of Dorks there as well but also good info. I stumbled across this the other day.

This 7903V passed Gheringhap at 0550 hours this morning, so that's five hours 46 minutes for a good median speed of around 67.5kmh (about 389km). When one considers that between Ararat East and Maryborough, trains trundle along, plus stop at M, even better:
Edmund Carew.


Recently the Avoca line speed was increased to 40kph for the whole length which is good to see: Lachlan’s Train Channel.

An increase from 25kmh to 40kmh is positive but negligible: Edmund Carew.


From another video.

Both the down and the up took around six hours from Gheringhap to Maryborough or vice versa, while the down took six hours 45 minutes from Maryborough to Mildura.

Median speed was was therefore about 45kmh Gheringhap-Maryborough, and about 66kmh from the latter to Millie.  The latter is probably better than just after the line was converted as IIRC quite a few of the 'lack of sighting distance at level crossings' speed restrictions of 40-60kmh (mostly 50 or 60) have been fixed: Edmund Carew.

Quite interesting info, make of it what you will, I'm perhaps a little surprised at the speed, thought it may have been even slower.

I'm not sure who Edmund is but I like his attention to/for detail.

This may make more sense if you look at the actual video, so hit up YouTube, Greensleeves and the 2 videos are, G540 on 7903V down Donald containers at Avoca- 3/10/20 and XR559, BL31 and BL32 on a very late 7901V Merbein Fruit Flyer & G540 on 7904V Donald boxes- 1/10/20.

Thanks to Edmund, Lachlan and Greensleeves for the input.

BigShunter.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I am not defending the use of secondhand 80 pound rail on the Maryborough - Ararat section but there are other, perhaps more important, factors that need to be taken into account than the rail itself.

This section was, supposedly, completely relaid with the conversion to SG. Perhaps 'relaid' means different things to different people but to me it means 'renewal' including:
  • Attention to the formation where necessary
  • New sleepers of proper standard ie full profile
  • Sleeper spacing commensurate with intended axleloads and speeds
  • Sufficient quality ballast beneath and between the sleepers and on the shoulders
Is it fair to say that this section was a lost opportunity to actually improve things at virtually no cost over what was paid to get a third rate cross country line? Did 'they' blow it?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I get the feeling that the work on Ararat-Maryborough was probably never intended to bring it into use as the primary path, that was perhaps conceived to always be the Maryborough-Ballarat-Warrenheip-Gherinhap corridor.

But when that didnt happen, the lower standards of the A-M corridor have come to bite.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I get the feeling that the work on Ararat-Maryborough was probably never intended to bring it into use as the primary path, that was perhaps conceived to always be the Maryborough-Ballarat-Warrenheip-Gherinhap corridor.

But when that didnt happen, the lower standards of the A-M corridor have come to bite.
james.au

James, I think the project end to end was a design mess with the implementation even worse leading to more cost cutting and design flaws.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I get the feeling that the work on Ararat-Maryborough was probably never intended to bring it into use as the primary path, that was perhaps conceived to always be the Maryborough-Ballarat-Warrenheip-Gherinhap corridor.

But when that didnt happen, the lower standards of the A-M corridor have come to bite.

James, I think the project end to end was a design mess with the implementation even worse leading to more cost cutting and design flaws.
bevans
Dont disagree there.  It has become evident that there was not a lot of detail underpinning the business case at all.  I recently reread over it again and its clear that there was no detailed rail design at all.  If that was there the BCR would no doubt be different.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

That's a stupid comment when an image is taken on maximum zoom. Even RFR tracks look dodgy when an image is taken like that.

Moreover if this image was taken without using a zoom, what hope is there that train would ever climb that steep bank.

Mike

A blind man Mike can see the track is very uneven.
Bevans, I have to agree with you. Please keep in mind that last year I visited the area at Avoca on this line and mentioned at the time that some of the rail I saw dated back as far as 1919! It was all 41 kg rail. Therefore it comes as no surprise to see this type of problem.

So the first thing that must happen is that the Ararat to Maryborourgh section must be re railed at 47 kg rail. This rail already is installed at the level crossings along this line and is clearly stamped: One Steel 2017 47 KG.

That gets you an axle loading of 22 tons at 80 kph. Job done.

I'd best take a ride to have a look at this old rail before the replacement program commences...soon.

Mike.
The Vinelander

Please do and let us know what you see. I recommend the level crossings near the town of Avoca. At the crossing you will see the recent 47 kg rail. Walk around 50 - 100 meters down the track and you will the old 41kg rail I am referring to.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I get the feeling that the work on Ararat-Maryborough was probably never intended to bring it into use as the primary path, that was perhaps conceived to always be the Maryborough-Ballarat-Warrenheip-Gherinhap corridor.

But when that didnt happen, the lower standards of the A-M corridor have come to bite.

James, I think the project end to end was a design mess with the implementation even worse leading to more cost cutting and design flaws.
bevans

When I looked over the track, I saw the following:

  • Concrete sleepers that were clearly bigger than the low profile sleepers used on suburban lines and some country lines.
  • These sleepers appeared to be "medium sized" but not the super sized heavy duty inter-modal mainline sleepers, as far as I could tell.
  • There was a lot of fresh ballast, without measuring it exactly I would reasonably estimate 300mm with 400mm shoulder (so class 3 track - according to the Vicsig website) which should be quite sufficient for the task.
  • I don't recall the sleeper spacing precisely, but it did not appear excessive.

So I believe that the simple application of 47 rail and probably a few other modifications, can fix the problem. Especially as the line speed seems to top out at 65 - 70kph, less than the 80 kph I referred to in an earlier post.

Duncs
  Bonzel Junior Train Controller

Has anyone checked the Grades and Curves book or checked it out on the ground from Ararat to Maryborough and explain how to get 80kph running with out major earthworks.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Has anyone checked the Grades and Curves book or checked it out on the ground from Ararat to Maryborough and explain how to get 80kph running with out major earthworks.
Bonzel
https://victorianrailways.net/grades/araratmary.html
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Has anyone checked the Grades and Curves book or checked it out on the ground from Ararat to Maryborough and explain how to get 80kph running with out major earthworks.
https://victorianrailways.net/grades/araratmary.html
Nightfire
If I'm readying this right, best speed on this is 40 mph or approx 65, which is still 20-25kph better than they are getting at present. I dont know enough to say with the curves there if they are to sharp for anything more, or the speeds given are a product of loco speed of the day, braking ability in the hilly country, track construction technology of the day, or a combination.

Should defiantly be able to get 60. with more modern technology in the track build (would concrete sleepers be enough?) a bit more than that.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Mike what is your view on the section described previously by @Duncs?
bevans

Those antique rails should never have been reinstated nor welded. Amazed it didn't make the headlines in Murdoch's rag.

Depending on the state government of the day, Edmund may have found himself in a senior transport advisory role.

Mike.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Avoca to Maryborough could easily be 80 km/h if the track was up to it. It's 65 km/h for lighter locos at present.  Incidentally, they had quite a few broken rails on frosty mornings this winter.

Here is 872 zipping along at line speed near Bung Bong:


https://youtu.be/lHww0gVLtpE
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'.... Incidentally, they had quite a few broken rails on frosty mornings this winter.... '

Prompts yet more questions:
  • Were the broken rails at welds or elsewhere?
  • Were all the rails ultrasonically tested before being considered for mainline use?
  • Were all the welds tested afterwards?
  • Were the rails laid at an appropriate temperature?
  • Have the AK cars tested the section at all recently and, if so, what did they find?
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

'.... Incidentally, they had quite a few broken rails on frosty mornings this winter.... '

Prompts yet more questions:
  • Were the broken rails at welds or elsewhere?
  • Were all the rails ultrasonically tested before being considered for mainline use?
  • Were all the welds tested afterwards?
  • Were the rails laid at an appropriate temperature?
  • Have the AK cars tested the section at all recently and, if so, what did they find?
YM-Mundrabilla
All valid points YM, except the last one. The AK cars only measure the geometry of the track; they do not examine rails internally. That's a job for the rail flaw detector, which is available in a few different platforms and technologies these days.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Re the question of Maryborough  Ararat  achievable line speed etc/ running time. On 47kg/94lb CWR rail on this section significantly higher running speeds should be achievable than the current 40kmh over 88 kms taking 3 hours running time for an average speed of 33 kmh (on century old 80lb CWR rail) .

Caveats: We either rationalize the existing grouped occupational crossings where the usual nanny state speed restrictions apply or rationalize and install protection.

First up we come to curvature over the 88kms there are 51 curves , but curves are generally of wide radius. Based on applying standard conservative Victorian applied cant with a max line speed of 80kmh only 4 curves would be speed restricted, and at a line speed of 100kmh then 10 curves would be speed restricted.

Gradient wise from the Maryborough end in order first up 15 kms with a max grade of 1 in 40, then 25kms gently undulating country , followed by 48 kms up to 1 in 50 into Ararat. (Maryborough elevation 240m Ararat 315m, so slightly up hill Mbh to Axt)

So with CWR 47kg/94lb rail if the railway were dead flat the existing curvature at 80kmh line speed should realize an ave speed of something like   79kmh  over  88kms for a running time of 66 mins   ;  and at a line speed of 100 kmh an average around 98  kmh for a running time of   55 mins.       .

Then one applies the gradients and that is a simulator job, given that in an ideal situation you can attain faster average speed simply by throwing more hp at the task. But in the case of say 3 x G class on a 900m train that is still a simulator job,

In summary the line does have 51 curves but generally curvature is fairly gentle, the line has many Ups and Downs generally 1 in 40 or 1 in 50 grades abound with only 15 kms of undulating easy going distance.

Now the higher the line speed generally the higher speed the train achieves approaching grades with more momentum etc .  So would suggest broad brush with a line speed of 80kmh and existing hp to tonnage at 80 kmh line speed save 30 - 40 minutes, at 100 kmh line speed save 45 to 60 mins on the existing 40kmh line speed and  3 hours running time. (Viz: existing line speed 40kmh 3 hours  at 80kmh line speed around 2 hrs 50 to 3 hours, and at 100kmh around 2 hrs 45 to 2 hrs 30 mins.

Who is an expert in this area. ?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'.... Incidentally, they had quite a few broken rails on frosty mornings this winter.... '

Prompts yet more questions:
  • Were the broken rails at welds or elsewhere?
  • Were all the rails ultrasonically tested before being considered for mainline use?
  • Were all the welds tested afterwards?
  • Were the rails laid at an appropriate temperature?
  • Have the AK cars tested the section at all recently and, if so, what did they find?
All valid points YM, except the last one. The AK cars only measure the geometry of the track; they do not examine rails internally. That's a job for the rail flaw detector, which is available in a few different platforms and technologies these days.
Lockspike
Thanks Lockspike.

Something else that I have learned for today. I had assumed (wrongly, of course) that the AK cars did 'everything for everybody'. Smile

Assuming that points 2 and 3 above were properly carried out I wonder how often whoever is responsible would run a rail flaw detector over these 'supposedly dodgy' old 80 pound rails. Nothing, again I assume (?), can test rail tension in situ short of a break???

These much maligned 80 pound rails were also used on the Port Augusta - Whyalla Railway (albeit 48 years ago last Tuesday) when it was said in the Commemorative Booklet at the time:

'The main line consists of 47 miles of single track laid with secondhand 80 lb rails recovered from the Trans-Australian Railway. Although in service for fifty years these rails are still relatively unworn and will adequately carry the initial traffic on the new railway. The forty feet rails, cropped by 18 inches at each end to remove the fishbolt hole sections were then welded into 370 feet lengths.'

The Commonwealth Railways undertook all tracklaying on the line. I don't know when/if these rails were replaced.

Useless information I know but these same rails when only 20 odd years old withstood the C class locos and their 120 ton tenders at 60 mph just before WW 2. Similarly the GMs at almost 19 ton axleloads at 60 mph well into the 1960s.

Does age alone induce/enhance flaws in rails as distinct from traffic loadings?

Regards and thanks again.
YM
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Re the question of Maryborough  Ararat  achievable line speed etc/ running time. On 47kg/94lb CWR rail on this section significantly higher running speeds should be achievable than the current 40kmh over 88 kms taking 3 hours running time for an average speed of 33 kmh (on century old 80lb CWR rail) .

Caveats: We either rationalize the existing grouped occupational crossings where the usual nanny state speed restrictions apply or rationalize and install protection.

First up we come to curvature over the 88kms there are 51 curves , but curves are generally of wide radius. Based on applying standard conservative Victorian applied cant with a max line speed of 80kmh only 4 curves would be speed restricted, and at a line speed of 100kmh then 10 curves would be speed restricted.

Gradient wise from the Maryborough end in order first up 15 kms with a max grade of 1 in 40, then 25kms gently undulating country , followed by 48 kms up to 1 in 50 into Ararat. (Maryborough elevation 240m Ararat 315m, so slightly up hill Mbh to Axt)

So with CWR 47kg/94lb rail if the railway were dead flat the existing curvature at 80kmh line speed should realize an ave speed of something like   79kmh  over  88kms for a running time of 66 mins   ;  and at a line speed of 100 kmh an average around 98  kmh for a running time of   55 mins.       .

Then one applies the gradients and that is a simulator job, given that in an ideal situation you can attain faster average speed simply by throwing more hp at the task. But in the case of say 3 x G class on a 900m train that is still a simulator job,

In summary the line does have 51 curves but generally curvature is fairly gentle, the line has many Ups and Downs generally 1 in 40 or 1 in 50 grades abound with only 15 kms of undulating easy going distance.

Now the higher the line speed generally the higher speed the train achieves approaching grades with more momentum etc .  So would suggest broad brush with a line speed of 80kmh and existing hp to tonnage at 80 kmh line speed save 30 - 40 minutes, at 100 kmh line speed save 45 to 60 mins on the existing 40kmh line speed and  3 hours running time. (Viz: existing line speed 40kmh 3 hours  at 80kmh line speed around 2 hrs 50 to 3 hours, and at 100kmh around 2 hrs 45 to 2 hrs 30 mins.

Who is an expert in this area. ?
kuldalai
Not me.
I am from the less scientific era when, all the 'engineering limitations and parameters etc', having been undertaken one assembled some test trains and 'away we go'.
Using a simulator will it give an optimum theoretical output for the section based entirely upon 'physics (whatever)' without all the nanny state dargs, limitations, artificial impediments etc that seem to plague any remote success that freight rail could achieve. This would make an interesting comparison with what is ultimately allowed.

How can we achieve xxxx ?
v
How can we not achieve xxxx?

We need a responsibly positive approach not a positively negative one.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Thanks Lockspike.

The Commonwealth Railways undertook all tracklaying on the line. I don't know when/if these rails were replaced.

Regards and thanks again.
YM
YM-Mundrabilla
All Mainline rail was replaced with 60kg/m rail, between Whyalla-Broken Hill and Goobang Jct.-Cootamundra West, the sleeper spacing was also tightened between Broken Hill-Goobang Jct.. This was completed in 2013 and was part of the Nation Building program which helped Australia as part of the GFC recovery. It also helped with axle weights between Whyalla-Newcastle.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

It's worth noting that the 80lb steel rail was produced in the Bessemer process which can have issues with embrittlement.  That might be relevant.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner


Does age alone induce/enhance flaws in rails as distinct from traffic loadings?
YM-Mundrabilla
This was discussed at length back when RPers discovered that Ararat - Maryborough was to be reopened using the existing rail.

Yes, rails can get brittle with age. However, there are so many variables in this.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Meanwhile, Ballarat to Ararat won't be going SG anytime soon with 10000s of sleepers now of the BG concrete variety.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/ararat-sleeper-replacement-marks-major-milestone
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Meanwhile, Ballarat to Ararat won't be going SG anytime soon with 10000s of sleepers now of the BG concrete variety.
https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/ararat-sleeper-replacement-marks-major-milestone
Carnot

It's important to realise that dual guage sleepers would have reduced the speed of trains to 100Km/h or worst case, 80Km/h.

Mike.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: