Faster Freight: $43 million rail 'overtaking lanes'

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 17 Jun 2022 09:41
  catchpoint Assistant Commissioner

Location: At the end of a loop
I know not a loop but, finishing the missing link of quading between Penrith and St.Marys on the Main West not mentioned?

would not only help freight, but keep intercity services on time instead of getting stuck behind all station services.

Regards,

Catchpoint

passing siding at Penrith station for freight going west .. but any other upgrade is not going to happen .. two rail bridges will need to be replaced or upgraded which will shut down the line for a long period of time ...

also the changes for rail yards has not happened - new yards and station at emu plains ..
viaprojects

Am willing to stand corrected but the DOWN Loop on the UP side of Penrith Station is approximately 800.0m long (+/-) between catchpoints, what are you proposing to stow there?

If anything Down freight usually wants to get a clear run up the mountain, much like an UP freight wants a clear run at Kingswood Bank.

As for Emu Plains - Hasn't the land set aside for the proposed stabling facility recently gone under a "scomo memorial carpark"?

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  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

I know not a loop but, finishing the missing link of quading between Penrith and St.Marys on the Main West not mentioned?

would not only help freight, but keep intercity services on time instead of getting stuck behind all station services.

Regards,

Catchpoint
Talking about only 2 stations between st mary's and penrith and any intercity services can easily make up any time lost once they get on the express tracks. There is also the issue with the express tracks being on the inside that going back to only dual track helps with terminating trains or else there would be a real problem with conflicting moves.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the other way round, i.e. the express tracks are the outer track pair and the Suburban the inner tracks.  The outer track pair beyond Westmead, through platforms 3 & 4 at Parramatta, is designated the Western Main while the inner track pair is designated the Suburban.  The inner track pair allows terminating services at St Marys to turn back without conflicting with the outer express tracks.
Unless changed, the inner tracks are the main lines (Express. Penrith   then Blacktown stops)
a6et
And at Parramatta (due to the dive between Westmead & Parra) platforms 1&2 are the up and down mains whilst 3&4 accommodate the suburban lines.
  catchpoint Assistant Commissioner

Location: At the end of a loop
I know not a loop but, finishing the missing link of quading between Penrith and St.Marys on the Main West not mentioned?

would not only help freight, but keep intercity services on time instead of getting stuck behind all station services.

Regards,

Catchpoint
Talking about only 2 stations between st mary's and penrith and any intercity services can easily make up any time lost once they get on the express tracks. There is also the issue with the express tracks being on the inside that going back to only dual track helps with terminating trains or else there would be a real problem with conflicting moves.
simstrain
Do you use this line daily?

It only takes a UP mtns train to run a few minutes behind down the mountain (happens quite a bit at the moment for some reason) to get placed behind an all stations stopping service between Penrith and St Marys by Penrith Signal Box to maintain Sydney Trains gold standards for on-time-running (otr).

The mtns interurban may speed up past St Marys, but you still end up late into Central
  catchpoint Assistant Commissioner

Location: At the end of a loop
I know not a loop but, finishing the missing link of quading between Penrith and St.Marys on the Main West not mentioned?

would not only help freight, but keep intercity services on time instead of getting stuck behind all station services.

Regards,

Catchpoint

passing siding at Penrith station for freight going west .. but any other upgrade is not going to happen .. two rail bridges will need to be replaced or upgraded which will shut down the line for a long period of time ...

also the changes for rail yards has not happened - new yards and station at emu plains ..
No reason that the existing bridges cannot be duplicated without majorly disrupting traffic. A new one either side.
Presently, existing bridges are fit for purpose, why the need for an upgrade?
Is there a need for suburban services beyond Penrith?
michaelgm
Only one (1) bridge would need duplicating (a new Up and DOWN line either side of the existing bridge) between Penrith and St Marys - over South Creek and that could be done without interrupting the working corridor.

Some suburban services do currently run past Penrith to Emu Plains to terminate and turnback but this usually happens out of peak hour.
  viaprojects Assistant Commissioner


Presently, existing bridges are fit for purpose, why the need for an upgrade?
michaelgm


both bridges are over +50 years old .. considering whats been replaced over the years there way overdue with a few other bridges in the network ..


Is there a need for suburban services beyond Penrith?
michaelgm


dumb question ..all ready have services past Penrith .. just a few issues ..
  2LaGrange Chief Train Controller

ok then don't but then they should build the new bridge to handle 2 tracks.
Why does Wellington need double track over the Macquarie River ?  
I would say the same solution to what has happed at Bathurst would be planed here In Wellington sometime In the future when funding becomes available.

Because if your going to build a new bridge then why would you build a single track bridge instead of a double track and by doing so you can have an extra passing loop.
simstrain
The Whitton bridge at Wellington has had millions spent on it just to allow heavy freight trains to use it safely at 10km/hr it needs to be replaced as does the Macquarie River bridge at Dubbo on Narromine line with a low speed restiction of 15km/hr for freight trains. Both these bridges are over 100 years old.

There is no need for double track bridge at Wellington it makes no sense and costs much more. The new single track Bathurst bridge as others mentioned is the way to go. Also the new crossing loop at Maryvale is only 8kms form Wellington and 1800 meters long so why would you possibly need an extended crossing loop in Wellington.

As an interesting side story in 1989 a lowloader transporting an excavator struck part of the road bridge over the Macquarie River at Wellington that is adjacent to Rail bridge bringing the road bridge crashing down into the river with truck and escort ute both in river with collapsed bridge. This cut off a major Highway to western NSW to towns like Dubbo.

As a temporary measure until a new road bridge could be built which took nearly 2 years was for south bound traffic to use the railway bridge sharing the bridge with rail movements while north bound traffic used a pontoon bridge built by the army.
  CPH8 Junior Train Controller

As an interesting adjunct to the story about the 1989 bridge collapse....for several months CPH 6, one of the Macquarie Valley Railway Society's rail motors, provided a shuttle service between a temporary platform at Montefiores to Wellington for those people living north of the river to get to work.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner


Presently, existing bridges are fit for purpose, why the need for an upgrade?

both bridges are over +50 years old .. considering whats been replaced over the years there way overdue with a few other bridges in the network ..


Is there a need for suburban services beyond Penrith?

dumb question ..all ready have services past Penrith .. just a few issues ..
viaprojects
Statement then, no need for continuing suburban services to Emu plains.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
Using 2019 data, Emu Plains gets a similar daily patronage to Berowra, at around 3,300 people a day. That's higher than any of the stations on the Loftus - Waterfall section of the T4. It's pretty much Loftus, Heathcote and Waterfall combined. It's also higher than Oatley and Como combined. Emu Plains' patronage in 2019 was over 20x higher than Cowan, a station that several users on this forum have said should be reinstated as the terminus of the T1.

None of this is to say that Emu Plains should or shouldn't remain on the T1, or that Waterfall should or shouldn't be removed from the T4, rather it's just some interesting information that might put things more into perspective. I personally don't agree that Cowan should be reinstated as the T1 terminus, but I really don't feel either way about Emu Plains. I don't know enough about it
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the other way round, i.e. the express tracks are the outer track pair and the Suburban the inner tracks.  The outer track pair beyond Westmead, through platforms 3 & 4 at Parramatta, is designated the Western Main while the inner track pair is designated the Suburban.  The inner track pair allows terminating services at St Marys to turn back without conflicting with the outer express tracks.
Transtopic
I am correcting you because you are wrong. All the express trains run on the inner pair from Westmead until St Mary's. Trains don't generally terminate at St Mary's. There might be one late at night but it would be on Platform 1 or 4 and not 2 or 3. On the T8 it is the opposite but that is because there is only 2 platforms for all stations aside from Revesby.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the other way round, i.e. the express tracks are the outer track pair and the Suburban the inner tracks.  The outer track pair beyond Westmead, through platforms 3 & 4 at Parramatta, is designated the Western Main while the inner track pair is designated the Suburban.  The inner track pair allows terminating services at St Marys to turn back without conflicting with the outer express tracks.
I am correcting you because you are wrong. All the express trains run on the inner pair from Westmead until St Mary's. Trains don't generally terminate at St Mary's. There might be one late at night but it would be on Platform 1 or 4 and not 2 or 3. On the T8 it is the opposite but that is because there is only 2 platforms for all stations aside from Revesby.
simstrain
Other aspect also is, that Penrith has only 3 platforms as such, with Pl 1 being down services to the West, there is or was points at the Sydney end of #1 platform for turn backs and able to start back on the up main and continue from there back to the city.

The down stabling sidings was used for trains to go to Emu PLains and start from there back to the city, first morning service used to be the old fast Heron Service, that only had 6 stops from Emu Plains to the city/Redfern.

#3 platform was primarily used to clear the down suburbans that had longer stays before returning to the city, or the terminating sets would go to the sidings & stable there.  #3 platform also was in use to ensure up mountain trains, including freight & IP trains including the bullet to run & stay on the main lines.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Just for the record, when going West:-

The Main Lines (or Express Lines) change designation as follows:-
1/  Wells Street to Granville Platforms 1 & 2 deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.
2/  Granville Platforms 1 & 2 to Parramatta Platforms 1 & 2 deemed the Up and Down West Suburban Lines.
3/  Parramatta Platforms 1 & 2 to St Marys Platforms 2 & 3 deemed the Up and Down Suburban Lines.
4/  St Marys to the Blue Mountains and beyond deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.

The Suburban Lines change designation as follows:
1/  Central Platforms 16 & 18 to Granville Platforms 3 & 4 deemed the Up and Down Suburban Lines.
2/  Granville Platforms 3 & 4 to Parramatta Platforms 3 & 4 deemed the Up and Down West Main Lines.
3/  Parramatta Platforms 3 & 4 to St Marys Platforms 1 & 4 deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Just for the record, when going West:-

The Main Lines (or Express Lines) change designation as follows:-
1/  Wells Street to Granville Platforms 1 & 2 deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.
2/  Granville Platforms 1 & 2 to Parramatta Platforms 1 & 2 deemed the Up and Down West Suburban Lines.
3/  Parramatta Platforms 1 & 2 to St Marys Platforms 2 & 3 deemed the Up and Down Suburban Lines.
4/  St Marys to the Blue Mountains and beyond deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.

The Suburban Lines change designation as follows:
1/  Central Platforms 16 & 18 to Granville Platforms 3 & 4 deemed the Up and Down Suburban Lines.
2/  Granville Platforms 3 & 4 to Parramatta Platforms 3 & 4 deemed the Up and Down West Main Lines.
3/  Parramatta Platforms 3 & 4 to St Marys Platforms 1 & 4 deemed the Up and Down Main Lines.
scott4570
Thanks for confirming that as per the attached Drivers Route Knowledge Diagram.



I have always wondered why the track designations on the Main Western Line change after Granville Junction.  Perhaps it had something to do with longer term planning for future sextuplication from Homebush to Granville, where the Suburban tracks before Granville are separated from the Western Line and extend as part of the Old South Line to Liverpool as shown in the following schematic.  The current Western Main at Granville Junction would then slew to the redesignated Western Main after Granville Junction through platforms 3/4 at Parramatta and the new track pair which diverges from the Suburban to a tunnel prior to Lidcombe would connect in parallel to the redesignated Western Suburban through platforms 1/2.

  newts Junior Train Controller

Location: Tamworth
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was the other way round, i.e. the express tracks are the outer track pair and the Suburban the inner tracks.  The outer track pair beyond Westmead, through platforms 3 & 4 at Parramatta, is designated the Western Main while the inner track pair is designated the Suburban.  The inner track pair allows terminating services at St Marys to turn back without conflicting with the outer express tracks.
I am correcting you because you are wrong. All the express trains run on the inner pair from Westmead until St Mary's. Trains don't generally terminate at St Mary's. There might be one late at night but it would be on Platform 1 or 4 and not 2 or 3. On the T8 it is the opposite but that is because there is only 2 platforms for all stations aside from Revesby.
simstrain
Sorry Simstrain but you are the wrong one here.......I've travelled many times Penrith to Central on Intercity services (express) and they always use the outer tracks (up and down services).....the inner tracks are suburban services....the outer tracks are the Mains.....Express.......at St Marys the quads become 2 tracks only to continue onto penrith......
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No you are wrong , go and have a look at the reference diagrams on Railsafe and note the speed boards .
I've worked Vsets to Lithgow and virtually always ran on the suburbans or "inners" - if you like - from Westmead to St Marys .
Technically the West Suburbans end at St Marys so if you are running on the mains or "outers" prior to that you are going "from main to main" .

It's not rocket science working out that its slower going from "main to main" at St Marys in either direction over the X40 crossovers .  

The bit that many don't get is that the lines swap names outside the old Granville Box . Mains become suburbans and vise versa . So you effectively have parallel running (Up Main Up Sub Down Sub Down Main) west of Parramatta and Up Main Down Main Up Sub Down Sub east of Granville .
Also if you are on the Up Main at Westmead and don't turnout you take the dive down under the Up Suburban before Parramatta .
If you were on the Up Sub there , or cross to it , it takes you to round to Parramatta and it becomes the Up Main as I said from Granville Box .

All this aside it was always a faster trip West or East on Urbans/Indians/Superfreighters (when these last two ran at 115 through the metrop) via the West Suburbans . West of Parramatta that is .
If they turned you out from the Down Sub to Down main at Westmead , or over onto the Up Main at St Marys , some other higher priority train behind was getting the fast run .

If you were getting on Urbans at Penrith and they crossed to the Up Main at St Marys it was probably running late and following the on time Suburban service out of Penrith , generally flew past the plodding Suburban and crossed back to the Up Sub after Blacktown or Westmead .
This happens all the time as ST will not hold Suburbans for late Urbans .
  a6et Minister for Railways

No you are wrong , go and have a look at the reference diagrams on Railsafe and note the speed boards .
I've worked Vsets to Lithgow and virtually always ran on the suburbans or "inners" - if you like - from Westmead to St Marys .
Technically the West Suburbans end at St Marys so if you are running on the mains or "outers" prior to that you are going "from main to main" .

It's not rocket science working out that its slower going from "main to main" at St Marys in either direction over the X40 crossovers .  

The bit that many don't get is that the lines swap names outside the old Granville Box . Mains become suburbans and vise versa . So you effectively have parallel running (Up Main Up Sub Down Sub Down Main) west of Parramatta and Up Main Down Main Up Sub Down Sub east of Granville .
Also if you are on the Up Main at Westmead and don't turnout you take the dive down under the Up Suburban before Parramatta .
If you were on the Up Sub there , or cross to it , it takes you to round to Parramatta and it becomes the Up Main as I said from Granville Box .

All this aside it was always a faster trip West or East on Urbans/Indians/Superfreighters (when these last two ran at 115 through the metrop) via the West Suburbans . West of Parramatta that is .
If they turned you out from the Down Sub to Down main at Westmead , or over onto the Up Main at St Marys , some other higher priority train behind was getting the fast run .

If you were getting on Urbans at Penrith and they crossed to the Up Main at St Marys it was probably running late and following the on time Suburban service out of Penrith , generally flew past the plodding Suburban and crossed back to the Up Sub after Blacktown or Westmead .
This happens all the time as ST will not hold Suburbans for late Urbans .
BDA
Good and totally accurate reply BDA.

While its a while back now when I worked on the ETR, there was always the prospect of being turned over onto another line between Parramatta & St Mary's often no real reason was seen, while other times a slow all stations service was put out in front of you.

The norm as I found it was that slow/stopping trains from/to St Mary's - were held back to allow the Interurban to have the clear run, and only stop was at Blacktown, even here though I have seen Urbans arrive on Platforms 1 & 4 for unknown reasons, at least to the general public and even crews.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No you are wrong , go and have a look at the reference diagrams on Railsafe and note the speed boards .
I've worked Vsets to Lithgow and virtually always ran on the suburbans or "inners" - if you like - from Westmead to St Marys .
Technically the West Suburbans end at St Marys so if you are running on the mains or "outers" prior to that you are going "from main to main" .

It's not rocket science working out that its slower going from "main to main" at St Marys in either direction over the X40 crossovers .  

The bit that many don't get is that the lines swap names outside the old Granville Box . Mains become suburbans and vise versa . So you effectively have parallel running (Up Main Up Sub Down Sub Down Main) west of Parramatta and Up Main Down Main Up Sub Down Sub east of Granville .
Also if you are on the Up Main at Westmead and don't turnout you take the dive down under the Up Suburban before Parramatta .
If you were on the Up Sub there , or cross to it , it takes you to round to Parramatta and it becomes the Up Main as I said from Granville Box .

All this aside it was always a faster trip West or East on Urbans/Indians/Superfreighters (when these last two ran at 115 through the metrop) via the West Suburbans . West of Parramatta that is .
If they turned you out from the Down Sub to Down main at Westmead , or over onto the Up Main at St Marys , some other higher priority train behind was getting the fast run .

If you were getting on Urbans at Penrith and they crossed to the Up Main at St Marys it was probably running late and following the on time Suburban service out of Penrith , generally flew past the plodding Suburban and crossed back to the Up Sub after Blacktown or Westmead .
This happens all the time as ST will not hold Suburbans for late Urbans .
BDA
What was the reasoning for switching the track designations west of Granville junction?  

Conversely, on the Northern Line, the outer track pair from North Strathfield to Rhodes and West Ryde to Epping are designated the "Suburbans" or "Relief" and the inner track pair the "Main".  From my observation, Suburban Express, Intercity and Freight almost exclusively use the outer track pair, except for Up Suburban and Intercity services from Rhodes to North Strathfield, and the all stations Suburban use the inner track pair, which allows turnback at Epping.  

Notwithstanding the track designations on the Western Line, I would have thought that a similar pattern would operate, as it also does on the East Hills Line.  If the quad is extended from St Marys to Penrith, then it would make sense for the "outers" to be the express tracks and the "inners" the all stations services, which can be turned back at St Marys without conflicting with the express "outers".  Alternatively, the St Marys starters/terminators could be dispensed with and moved to Penrith, as it's only 2 more stations anyway.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The why I don't know.
For whatever reason they set it up for parallel running . Maybe the intention was for people to be able to easily change from express to all stations trains (at major stations) by walking across one platform .

Those West surburbans (Parramatta to St Marys) is actually on slightly better alignments in a few places and the track speed is slightly higher than the parallel Mains , it's not just the straight run through St Marys on the Subs . This is probably why extending the Mains past St Marys wouldn't make trains on them any better time wise .

Happy to be corrected but I think terminating Electrics can return to the City from all four platforms at St Marys .

Another odd one is the Illawarra between Redfern and Hurstville . You have Up and Down Illawarra or Up and Down Illawarra Locals . There is no designated Illawarra "Main" lines in that area .
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney


Another odd one is the Illawarra between Redfern and Hurstville . You have Up and Down Illawarra or Up and Down Illawarra Locals . There is no designated Illawarra "Main" lines in that area .
BDA
Isn't the Up and Down Illawarra the "Main", as it connects directly with the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal, as well as the Eastern Suburbs Line?  The Illawarra Local will effectively become the "Main" when the Hurstville and Erskineville crossovers come on line.  All stations Hurstville to Bondi Junction services will switch from the "Local" to the Illawarra (Main) and the current "Local" will become the express tracks for Cronulla/Waterfall, crossing over at Wolli Creek to Bondi Junction, South Coast Intercity to Sydney Terminal and Freight.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Happy to be corrected but I think terminating Electrics can return to the City from all four platforms at St Marys .
BDA
At St Marys, Platforms 3 & 4 will return a Service to the City, otherwise a Shunt is required to depart from Platforms 1 & 2.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
@Transtopic
Just to add onto that, I was looking at a Govt document that listed platform lengths and it's worth noting that it had the amount of NIF cars that can fit on the platforms at Hurstville, Sutherland etc but not Wolli Creek and not the ESR. So presumably it answers a question that was being asked a little while ago, the Govt doesn't plan to run NIF trains at Wolli Creek
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
@Transtopic
Just to add onto that, I was looking at a Govt document that listed platform lengths and it's worth noting that it had the amount of NIF cars that can fit on the platforms at Hurstville, Sutherland etc but not Wolli Creek and not the ESR. So presumably it answers a question that was being asked a little while ago, the Govt doesn't plan to run NIF trains at Wolli Creek
alleve
That's correct.  The NIF won't run to Bondi Junction.  It will instead run express on the current "Local", which has no platforms at Wolli Creek, and cross to the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal via the new crossovers at Erskineville.  The Illawarra (Main) will become the all stations line from Hurstville to Bondi Junction, merging with the express Cronulla/Waterfall services from the "Local" at Wolli Creek.  Waterfall platforms are also being lengthened for the NIF.  A 10 car NIF is nominally a similar length to an 8 car V set.
  alleve Train Controller

Location: T4 Illawarra Line
iirc the document included measurements for a 10 car NIF at Sydenham, so that may also answer that question

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