North East Line to Standard Gauge

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

If you can find out how much 60 kg rail is being laid up and down the entire line that would be very interesting, As IIRC the old sg line is 47kg and the bg is 53 kg rail.

Duncs

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

If you can find out how much 60 kg rail is being laid up and down the entire line that would be very interesting, As IIRC the old sg line is 47kg and the bg is 53 kg rail.

Duncs
"Duncs"


It is likely they are currently preparing the line to recieve the new 60Kg rail. I would not die of shock if they held this off a few months till the track repair has managed to get rid of all the worst spots. I will of course be keeping an eye on the line.

Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some shots of the new station at Wodonga


[bigimg]http://images.fotopic.net/13zeem.jpg[/bigimg]

[bigimg]http://images.fotopic.net/13zeet.jpg[/bigimg]

[bigimg]http://images.fotopic.net/13zeel.jpg[/bigimg]


Now just in case any has forgotten VLine pass's to Albury I have put in these two.

Thursday November the 6th 2008, two days till services are suspended for the regauging, time 1321, the two services cross at the loop south of Violet Town.

[bigimg]http://images.fotopic.net/13zeep.jpg[/bigimg]

Time 0822, 8th November 2008 near the Goulburn river, possibly the last regular BG VLine service carrying passengers to originate from Albury heading south.

[bigimg]http://images.fotopic.net/13zeex.jpg[/bigimg]

Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Benalla,

The equipment cabin for the up end switching is now in place. 2 or 3 workers were pulling in cables to it this morning.

A large group of workers were pulling in cables around the down end switching. Looked to be two or three copper cables and one optical fibre.

Level crossings,
8122 was doing multiple passes over the three crossings at Violet Town this morning the crossings were manned, also I saw the loco heading north around mid day.

Woodford
  Coils Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
If you can find out how much 60 kg rail is being laid up and down the entire line that would be very interesting, As IIRC the old sg line is 47kg and the bg is 53 kg rail.




The former broad gauge line is laid with 47 kg rail with the exception of a fair portion of the distance between Benalla and Glenrowan which is 53kg.
  raymcd Locomotive Driver

Location: Artarmon NSW
If you can find out how much 60 kg rail is being laid up and down the entire line that would be very interesting, As IIRC the old sg line is 47kg and the bg is 53 kg rail.




The former broad gauge line is laid with 47 kg rail with the exception of a fair portion of the distance between Benalla and Glenrowan which is 53kg.
"Coils"


I believe I observed some pre WW2 90 lb/yd (=45 kg/m) rail near Benalla on the BG line
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I find it very difficult to understand why the media hasn't really picked up on the disasterous condition of the SG works and the speed restrictions which cover well over 60% of the entire distance from Melb to Wodonga.

For anyone who doesn't get up to the north east very often, go out to Middle Footscray where the mudhole extends the length of the SG track the full distance from Middle Footscray to West Footscray.
I see now, apparently grasping at any idea to patch up this fiasco,  ARTC is now resorting to replacing concrete with timber sleepers Exclamation

How the wheel has turned in going back to old infrastructure technology. Rolling Eyes

IMO forget about the return of SG Albury V/Line services until well AFTER the upcoming state election.



Mike, now back from OS.
  M636C Minister for Railways


I see now, apparently grasping at any idea to patch up this fiasco,  ARTC is now resorting to replacing concrete with timber sleepers Exclamation
"The Vinelander"


Are you certain about this?

Once the ballast is contaminated, changing the sleepers won't help...

The concrete sleepers themselves have nothing to do with the problem, it is simply the fact that the ballast and subgrade were not restored after the sleepers were changed.

M636C
  woodford Chief Commissioner

[quote="The Vinelander"][color=darkblue]I find it very difficult to understand why the media hasn't really picked up on the disasterous condition of the SG works and the speed restrictions which cover well over 60% of the entire distance from Melb to Wodonga.

[/quote]
My theory on this is that most goods and people are transported by road and to a large percentage of the population rail is an anachronism. The only people really looking at rail are people looking to the future and this as far as I am concerned eliminates more than 90 percent of the population and all of the media.

[quote]

For anyone who doesn't get up to the north east very often, go out to Middle Footscray where the mudhole extends the length of the SG track the full distance from Middle Footscray to West Footscray.

[/quote]
Have look around the BG yard of Southern Cross a few mudholes are appearing there even on timber sleepered track.

[quote]
I see now, apparently grasping at any idea to patch up this fiasco, ARTC is now resorting to replacing concrete with timber sleepers Exclamation

How the wheel has turned in going back to old infrastructure technology. Rolling Eyes

[/quote]
I am keeping an eye on this, at this stage they appear to be putting timber sleepers in off both ends of at least bridges that use timber sleepers on ballast filled decks far around 6 to 10 sleepers. ie the bridges on the West line using the original beams which would be around half of them. They only just started doing this so treat this as preliminary info. The number of timber sleeper packs put out is VERY small and at this stage always around the bridges.

[quote]
IMO forget about the return of SG Albury V/Line services until well [u]AFTER[/u] the upcoming state election.



Mike, now back from OS.[/color][/quote]

Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Signaling,

It looks as though that all equipment is in place now at both Violet Town loop and Benalla. Still plenty of cable terminting to do though.
As far as I can see no testing has been done at all as yet not even function testing of the individual signals.


A team was installing the concrete signal bases and the track cct terminating box stands at the site around 1.5 kilometres north of the Bowser lvl crossing. This will be for the up signals 2.5 to 3 kilometers north of the down crossover at Wang.

Level crossing works,
They must have run into a problem at bowser the other day as the new rail was not installed. The crossing is to be closed on the  20th (monday) for another go. There is two lengths around 30 metres long of 60Kg rail adjacent to the crossing.

Woodford
  dmgrail Junior Train Controller

Location: Wangaratta Vic. 3677
The following advice has been received regarding trains scheduled to operate on the West Line commencing Monday 20th September:

Monday 20th

2MB2 Depart Seymour 1726 Arrive Wodonga 1936 (at 80km/h = 1956)

2MB7 Depart Seymour 2005 Arrive Wodonga 2215 (at 80km/h = 2235)


Tuesday 21st


3MB2 Depart Seymour 1450 Arrive Wodonga 1700

2AB6 Depart Seymour 1710 Arrive Wodonga 1920

3MB7 Depart Seymour 2003 Arrive Wodonga 2213

2XW4 Depart Seymour 2217 Arrive Wodonga 0054


Wednesday 22nd


4MB2 Depart Seymour 1615 Arrive Wodonga 1825

3AB6 Depart Seymour 1830 Arrive Wodonga 2050

4MB7 Depart Seymour 2003 Arrive Wodonga 2213

3XW4 Depart Seymour 2217 Arrive Wodonga 0054


Thursday 23rd


5MS4 Depart Seymour 1430 Arrive Wodonga 1139

5MB7 Depart Seymour 2203 Arrive Wodonga 2213


Friday 24th


6MB2 Depart Seymour 1425 Arrive Wodonga 1635

3PW4 Depart Seymour 2340 Arrive Wodonga 0145


Saturday 25th


7MS4 Depart Seymour 1615 Arrive Wodonga 1825

7MB7 Depart Seymour 1823 Arrive Wodonga 2042


Sunday 26th


4PW4 Depart Seymour 2310 Arrive Wodonga 0115


DMG

Corrected dates for Saturday & Sunday
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
In the Shep News, Saturday 18 September, page 13

  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

I see now, apparently grasping at any idea to patch up this fiasco,  ARTC is now resorting to replacing concrete with timber sleepers Exclamation
"The Vinelander"


Are you certain about this?

Once the ballast is contaminated, changing the sleepers won't help...

The concrete sleepers themselves have nothing to do with the problem, it is simply the fact that the ballast and subgrade were not restored after the sleepers were changed.

M636C
"M636C"


Absolutely certain Exclamation

If I hadn't have seen it with my own eyes, AND had the confirmation from others in V/Line, I wouldn't have believed it.

Mike.

PS. read this story in Fridays Age, confirming my worst fears.


Rail upgrade bogged down Clay Lucas
September 18, 2010

THE dream might be a 350km/h high-speed train but the depressing reality of rail speeds between Australia's two biggest cities is currently as low as 25km/h. If the train runs at all.

A $612 million ''upgrade'' to rail lines between Melbourne and Sydney, begun in 2008, is under repair before it was even completed.

Freshly laid concrete sleepers sank in the wet, creating hundreds of mud holes that made running trains between Melbourne and Albury slow and dangerous. The mud holes resulted in so many speed restrictions that in August the Melbourne-Sydney XPT train's operator replaced it with a bus for five weeks; the train resumed on Monday after some speed restrictions were lifted.

Speed restrictions at their worst applied to 200 of 308 kilometres between the border and Melbourne. They still apply to 68 kilometres. Remaining restrictions vary from 80km/h down to 25km/h between Benalla and Glenrowan.

The state government and the Australian Rail Track Corporation jointly funded the works, which began in 2008 (Victoria gave $171 million).

Since late 2008 no V/Line trains have run between Seymour and Albury. Opposition transport spokesman Terry Mulder demanded the government say when the rail track would reopen. Public transport minister Martin Pakula could not say when trains would return. But V/Line trains will not resume in 2010.
  dkaarma Chief Train Controller

Regarding the SG rolling stock, Apart from the initial loco has anything else been converted yet?
  michinyon Chief Commissioner

PS. read this story in Fridays Age, confirming my worst fears.

Rail upgrade bogged down Clay Lucas
September 18, 2010

THE dream might be a 350km/h high-speed train but the depressing reality of rail speeds between Australia's two biggest cities is currently as low as 25km/h. If the train runs at all.


There's your problem right there.   Ballast contaminated with clay.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A large percentage of the "mudholes" north of Seymour is being caused by ballast failure. The ballast is being hammered into a very fine light grey to white powder which when combined with water goes VERY stiff (you need a pick to get through it as I have tried it). This has been caused because ARTC apparently did not worry about the quality of the ballast supplied. This situation has been rectified and the track works is being supplied with good quality ballast. From my observatiions the track is being inspected on a regular basis and the reason for the mudholes is being determined and the appropriate action taken. Mostly this is removing the old ballast entirely and replacing it. I have seen a good number of these being done now and I have yet to see any sign of the base of the track in trouble.

Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Benalla,

The last few days have seen O'Donnel and Grffin workers working around both crossovers. It appears the are at a minimum wiring them up to the remote control system.

Also over the last few days plenty of work has been going on in the equipment cabins for both crossovers.

It appears today that functional testing of the individual signals has commenced.

North of Wangarratta,
Foundation work for the signal equipment is being done between Bowser and Chiltern, no sign of work around Wang, mind you few of the sites are accessable.

Note: Wang and points north are somewhat outside my normal sphere of operation so reports up that way will be spasmodic.

Woodford
  craigfitz1 Train Controller

Mikelander said:
I find it very difficult to understand why the media hasn't really picked up on the disasterous condition of the SG works and the speed restrictions which cover well over 60% of the entire distance from Melb to Wodonga.


Mike, the Channel 7 news (Sydney) had an item on Saturday about the new high speed rail study. The reporter went on to say that long distance rail did not have a good history in Australia. He quoted problems with the upgraded North East line, and noted that passenger trains had been taken off the route for five weeks due to the botched upgrade job.

So, I guess it is becmoing more widely known, and I would assume that the pollies funding all this would be far from impressed. There should be some nervous people among ARTC management.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

A large percentage of the "mudholes" north of Seymour is being caused by ballast failure. The ballast is being hammered into a very fine light grey to white powder which when combined with water goes VERY stiff (you need a pick to get through it as I have tried it). This has been caused because ARTC apparently did not worry about the quality of the ballast supplied. This situation has been rectified and the track works is being supplied with good quality ballast. From my observatiions the track is being inspected on a regular basis and the reason for the mudholes is being determined and the appropriate action taken. Mostly this is removing the old ballast entirely and replacing it. I have seen a good number of these being done now and I have yet to see any sign of the base of the track in trouble.

Woodford
"woodford"


I find it simply incredible that ballast can turn into fine grain powder, and then into a form of cement after that. How can someone order "the wrong ballast?"

Duncs
  Carnot Minister for Railways

While waiting for R707 to pass through Heathcote Junction, I noticed some very deep mudholes at the pedestrian crossing over the SG line.  The asphalt for the crossing is breaking up due to ground movement, and when the freight train went thru I couldn't believe how far the rails deflected under each axle...  And I saw this from 20 metres away!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A large percentage of the "mudholes" north of Seymour is being caused by ballast failure. The ballast is being hammered into a very fine light grey to white powder which when combined with water goes VERY stiff (you need a pick to get through it as I have tried it). This has been caused because ARTC apparently did not worry about the quality of the ballast supplied. This situation has been rectified and the track works is being supplied with good quality ballast. From my observatiions the track is being inspected on a regular basis and the reason for the mudholes is being determined and the appropriate action taken. Mostly this is removing the old ballast entirely and replacing it. I have seen a good number of these being done now and I have yet to see any sign of the base of the track in trouble.

Woodford
"woodford"


I find it simply incredible that ballast can turn into fine grain powder, and then into a form of cement after that. How can someone order "the wrong ballast?"

Duncs
"Duncs"


One does not know the answer to that question but it is well known amongst the dyed in the wool railway people up this way that the ballast on the old SG was a problem.

Woodford
  skitz Chief Commissioner

A large percentage of the "mudholes" north of Seymour is being caused by ballast failure. The ballast is being hammered into a very fine light grey to white powder which when combined with water goes VERY stiff (you need a pick to get through it as I have tried it). This has been caused because ARTC apparently did not worry about the quality of the ballast supplied. This situation has been rectified and the track works is being supplied with good quality ballast. From my observatiions the track is being inspected on a regular basis and the reason for the mudholes is being determined and the appropriate action taken. Mostly this is removing the old ballast entirely and replacing it. I have seen a good number of these being done now and I have yet to see any sign of the base of the track in trouble.

Woodford
"woodford"


The Glenrowan ballast is much more friable than the Violet Town and Broadford ballasts and yes it is weaker.  I found that when the Glenrown ballast did break down it did tend toward coarse sand than fine dust (the ballast cleaner whould seperate it even when wet)

The ballast quality is one factor.  The other factor is the load/stress causing it to break down.  Usually when you see the grey powdering (or what ever the ballast colour is) is from impact damage.   Its rare to have ballast fail where th rail surface is smooth and only the rolling load. I have said it before and will say it again, there will be a root cause point and the mud hole will grow. Look for the dipped weld, look for the wheel burn.  

These mud holes will go off like concrete when dry and in some circumstance see spout points (in the industry called ar$eholes) where the water spirts through.

That said I would look more closely at your observations Woodford.  I suspect most the mumholes on the NE are purely from the drainage being upset.  I believe most the colour you see is previous ballast break down and sub grade coloured by the fines out of the new make up ballast.  It is surprising the volume of fines in new ballast (explains the extreme dust when handling it too).

Regardless of the cause the track is stuffed and will take a few $ to bring it back.
  richiebogie Chief Train Controller

The wikipedia article on "Track Ballast" states:

A good ballast should be strong, hard-wearing, stable, drainable, easy to clean, workable, resistant to deformation, easily available, and reasonably cheap to purchase. Early railway engineers did not understand the importance of quality track ballast; they would use cheap and easily-available materials such as ashes, chalk, clay, earth, and even cinders from locomotive fireboxes. It was soon clear that good-quality ballast made of rock was necessary if there was to be a good foundation and adequate drainage.

Good quality track ballast is made of crushed natural rock with particles between 28 mm and 50 mm in diameter; a high proportion of particles finer than this will reduce its drainage properties, and a high proportion of larger particles result in the load on the ties being distributed improperly. Angular stones are preferable to naturally rounded ones, as angular stones interlock with each other, inhibiting track movement. Soft materials such as limestone are not particularly suitable, as they tend to degrade under load when wet, causing deterioration of the line; granite, although expensive, is one of the best materials in this regard.
"wikipedia"


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_ballast

Now I'm sure the purchaser at the ARTC who signed the multi-million dollar ballast contract will have read this article...

Perhaps the limestone that was meant to go to Bomen to make concrete sleepers accidentally got mixed up with the ballast supply.

We will know for sure when we start seeing granite sleepers being laid on the DIRN Exclamation
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

It was probably sourced by a junior purchasing officer who had no clue about what they are really buying! Exclamation
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
For anyone who doesn't get up to the north east very often, go out to Middle Footscray where the mudhole extends the length of the SG track the full distance from Middle Footscray to West Footscray.
I see now, apparently grasping at any idea to patch up this fiasco,  ARTC is now resorting to replacing concrete with timber sleepers Exclamation
"The Vinelander"

The north track was resleepered in concrete a few years ago, the south track (beside the suburban track) was left as timber. The south track is currently getting the sleepers replaced, here it is at West Footscray:
[img]http://railgallery.wongm.com/melbourne-stations/image/595/E106_1440.jpg[/img]

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