North East Line to Standard Gauge

 
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

This sadly never seems to come in to it. At least we can aim to preserve former rights of way, through rail trails and what not, until they can be economically justified. Would be nice to see freight trains running once more to places such as Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra.
"thewanderer"
Or Alvie, or 16 1/2 miles past Millewa South, or Lette, or Stony Crossing, or Briagolong, or Woodside, or Whitfield, or Outtrim, or Morkalla, or Red Hill, or Wensleydale...  They're all be as useful as giving a university education to Paris Hilton.

The list of useless railway lines that never should have been built is massive.

Just because you like trains doesn't mean they were ever useful in all their applications.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


What are you saying about Outtrim ?
The line was built to hual coal to Melbourne, after coal traffic finnished the line was mostly abandon and quicky disposed of.
"Nightfire"
My point exactly.

The whole point asserted was that all railway alignments need to be retained - and Outtrim (built to serve a marginal industry and no longer required) or say Dunkeld-Penshurst (built to serve a marginal political interest) disprove it; saying that rail alignments are Always Very Important is a load of utter bollocks.

And if you get the occasional detour on a 279 page thread, you get a detour...

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  thewanderer Station Master


This sadly never seems to come in to it. At least we can aim to preserve former rights of way, through rail trails and what not, until they can be economically justified. Would be nice to see freight trains running once more to places such as Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra.
"thewanderer"
Or Alvie, or 16 1/2 miles past Millewa South, or Lette, or Stony Crossing, or Briagolong, or Woodside, or Whitfield, or Outtrim, or Morkalla, or Red Hill, or Wensleydale...  They're all be as useful as giving a university education to Paris Hilton.

The list of useless railway lines that never should have been built is massive.

Just because you like trains doesn't mean they were ever useful in all their applications.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


What are you saying about Outtrim ?
The line was built to hual coal to Melbourne, after coal traffic finnished the line was mostly abandon and quicky disposed of.
"Nightfire"
My point exactly.

The whole point asserted was that all railway alignments need to be retained - and Outtrim (built to serve a marginal industry and no longer required) or say Dunkeld-Penshurst (built to serve a marginal political interest) disprove it; saying that rail alignments are Always Very Important is a load of utter bollocks.

And if you get the occasional detour on a 279 page thread, you get a detour...
"Sir Thomas Bent"



Rather than far off, out of the way, localities with almost zero haulage on offer, the places I listed (Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra) are all significant population centers that generate large volumes of freight to and fro. Government owned railways were, long ago, too lazy, or too corrupt to make a go of this traffic and thus, sadly, the incoming private sector rail groups never had the opportunity, let alone the incentive, to run services here. Road became the only option. Keep on truckin'...
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Mind telling is what the large volume of freight that Canberra generates is , especially the fro type of freight.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned

This sadly never seems to come in to it. At least we can aim to preserve former rights of way, through rail trails and what not, until they can be economically justified. Would be nice to see freight trains running once more to places such as Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra.
"thewanderer"
Or Alvie, or 16 1/2 miles past Millewa South, or Lette, or Stony Crossing, or Briagolong, or Woodside, or Whitfield, or Outtrim, or Morkalla, or Red Hill, or Wensleydale...  They're all be as useful as giving a university education to Paris Hilton.

The list of useless railway lines that never should have been built is massive.

Just because you like trains doesn't mean they were ever useful in all their applications.
"Sir Thomas Bent"


What are you saying about Outtrim ?
The line was built to hual coal to Melbourne, after coal traffic finnished the line was mostly abandon and quicky disposed of.
"Nightfire"
My point exactly.

The whole point asserted was that all railway alignments need to be retained - and Outtrim (built to serve a marginal industry and no longer required) or say Dunkeld-Penshurst (built to serve a marginal political interest) disprove it; saying that rail alignments are Always Very Important is a load of utter bollocks.

And if you get the occasional detour on a 279 page thread, you get a detour...
"Sir Thomas Bent"



Rather than far off, out of the way, localities with almost zero haulage on offer, the places I listed (Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra) are all significant population centers that generate large volumes of freight to and fro. Government owned railways were, long ago, too lazy, or too corrupt to make a go of this traffic and thus, sadly, the incoming private sector rail groups never had the opportunity, let alone the incentive, to run services here. Road became the only option. Keep on truckin'...
"thewanderer"
Oh look. It's the "You disagree with me, therefore you're an evil truck lover!" argument.
Usually, it's seen from people who just can't accept that a lot of railways were't the best way of moving things, and using Corowa (a small branch line serving a few silos) and Canberra (which is open for freight and pass traffic) shows we're yet again wading in foam.
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
On another yet unrelated, but discussed point: I don't/have anything on what the VR charged in relation to fares. Bear in mind that it was a point-to-point system, which would nominally be distance based.  This means that a direct comparison could well be done for a journey of near-similar distance.  

Annuello and Orbost are, oddly, close matches distance-wise.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

On another yet unrelated, but discussed point: I don't/have anything on what the VR charged in relation to fares. Bear in mind that it was a point-to-point system, which would nominally be distance based. This means that a direct comparison could well be done for a journey of near-similar distance.


It was exactly distance based. To calculate the appropriate fare, the booking clerk consulted the "Passenger Fares and Coaching Rates Book", obtained the mileages of the start and end stations, performed various additions and subtractions to get the distance between them, and looked up a table giving the fares for that distance.

My calculator gives 272 miles for 435 km (roughly). Table 27 of the Passenger Fares book, 1 December 1961, gives the following fares for that distance (where a second fare is shown, this is the intersystem fare - which you will note is a little bit more expensive showing that NSW fares were slightly higher than Victorian ones).

Single 1st 84/9 #4/9/7
Single 2nd 68/0 #3/9/0
Day Return 1st 101/9
Day Return 2nd 81/6
Ordinary Return 1st 127/3 #6/14/0
Ordinary Return 2nd 102/0 #5/4/0
Cheap Excursion 1st 113/0
Cheap Excursion 2nd 90/6
Monthly 1st #14/7/0
Monthly 2nd #10/15/0
Quarterly 1st #34/9/0
Quarterly 2nd #25/16/0
Half-Yearly 1st #62/0/0
Half-Yearly 2nd #46/9/0
Yearly 1st #111/12/0
Yearly 2nd #83/12/0

This being predecimal currency where # is Australian pounds, the second figure is shillings, and the third is pence. Where only two figures are given, the first is shillings and second is pence.

I'm not going to do the conversion for you, but a first class ordinary return (why stint yourself?) was the equivalent of $12.72. Just shows how much cheaper fares are today - relatively speaking.
  Xgentric Chief Commissioner

£ - here you go - an original 'pound' sign...
  M636C Minister for Railways

Mind telling is what the large volume of freight that Canberra generates is , especially the fro type of freight.
"MD"


The largest outbound freight loading from the ACT was the Freight Australia log traffic loaded in Hume ACT. Technically the train was always in NSW but the loaders loading the train were in the ACT. That stopped when the customers decided not to pay for the logs, (the ones they already had) I believe.

Canberra had a large inwards goods traffic which has been entirely lost to road. There were four 10 000 gallon tanks for aviation fuel alone in Queanbeyan where a lot of traffic was unloaded to avoid the intersystem charges incurred by using the Commonwealth Railways for the last eight kilometres.  But there were two large oil terminals in Fyshwick, the Shell being the last to close. There were other traffics including cement and occasionally milk when that still went by rail.

M636C
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
There is a very good site - I forget where - that converts X amount in a past year to the equivalent now using the CPI increases that historically occurred.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
This one?

1961 Type        1961    2011    
 2011 Type                   Fare    Change
Single 2nd       £3/9/0  $85.15   One-Way Off Peak Full Fare  $33.40  Drop 61%
Ord. Return 2nd  £5/4/0  $128.34 Return Off Peak Full Fare   $66.80  Drop 48%


Although it should be pointed out that the cost of providing the service has also dropped - in relative terms - since 1961: fewer staff members on the trains, and more automation in safeworking, signalling and probably train maintenance, as well as a smaller fleet with a higher percentage of the available rollingstock earning money at any given time.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Can we have an update from someone that drives trains on the NESG as to the current condition of the line please .
The last time I changed over with a Victorian crew at Junee they reckoned it was pretty pathetic speed/perway issue wise - lots of low speed cautions along the line .

One would hope that ARTC intend to do a little more than just re rail in 60 Kg/m rail on the east coast corridor .
Not related to the Victorian NESG but in NSW the Junee Goulburn section (486-225) now has a blanket 80 km/h with cautions as low as 20 and even 10 km/h .

In these conditions the X has no hope of running its path and these speeds will decimate the longer freighters running times .

Small wonder road transport is killing rail on the east coast and many would like to know whats going to be done about it .
  trainfreak Site Admin

The blanket 80 was, I believe, only a short term measure until defects where posted etc and should be lifted soon according to memo.

The XPT has been shot to pieces with it, losing about a half hour between Junee and Goulburn.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

In the past while or so a complete kit for a 1000 metre radius set of points has been delivered just north of the Beveridge rd level crossing.  On examination I did not think to check if they were left or right hand. What the set of points is for one is not sure but I assume its POSSIBLY to replace the points at the southern end of the Donnybrook loop although why they were delivered to Beveridge would be unknown considering the whole set up must weigh at least 40 to 50 tonnes.

Woodford
  richiebogie Chief Train Controller

Maybe they're building a passing lane from Beveridge to Wallan... or is it a broad gauge turnout?
  raymcd Locomotive Driver

Location: Artarmon NSW
Currently touring Victoria with caravan and spouse (limits railway diversions) however, noted following:
Along recently upgraded NE line many protected level crossing have lights only, no booms. In NSW (and other states I believe) double tracks always have booms on protected crossings.
However, between Bendigo and Elmore I noted several crossings with brand new boom gates, one on a gravel road! This line must see only a couple of trains a day.
Misplaced priorities?
wrt XPT platforms and timekeeping (recently discussed on this thread), on 20 March, south bound XPT arrived Wangaratta on time on platform 2 to pick up about 30 pax. Conductor said south bound usually, but not always, used #2. Double stop was required and XPT departed about 10 late.
Elsewhere, tracks at Cobram station recently ripped up for what  appears to be a car park (incomplete). Signals and level xing lights remain but there appears little chance of trains ever returning to Cobram
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
However, between Bendigo and Elmore I noted several crossings with brand new boom gates, one on a gravel road! This line must see only a couple of trains a day.
Misplaced priorities?
"raymcd"

That's a level crossing upgrade program along that line to lift passenger train maximum speeds form a lame speed of 75km/h to a more respectable speed of say around 100-110 km/h.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
In the past while or so a complete kit for a 1000 metre radius set of points has been delivered just north of the Beveridge rd level crossing.  On examination I did not think to check if they were left or right hand. What the set of points is for one is not sure but I assume its POSSIBLY to replace the points at the southern end of the Donnybrook loop although why they were delivered to Beveridge would be unknown considering the whole set up must weigh at least 40 to 50 tonnes.

Woodford
"woodford"

Your explanation makes sense: I believe the Melbourne end points are still the original set from 900m long loop, and are only suitable for low speed movements in the loop. The passing lanes all have higher speed points.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I did not check the gauge of the point kit but the sleeper pack appears to be EXACTLY the same as the 1000 metre radius points used at Benalla and Wangaratta so I did not bother to check.

It does look as though the points for the southern end of the loop are the original items and therefore as you say are not suitable for the higher speeds required. That is why I assumed the set is for use at Donnybrook , also all the points so far used on the passing lanes appear to be 1000 metre radius (80 kph).

Woodford
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC

Rather than far off, out of the way, localities with almost zero haulage on offer, the places I listed (Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra) are all significant population centers that generate large volumes of freight to and fro.
"thewanderer"

Corowa may have been better being served from the Victorian side rather than by a far-flung branch line of the NSWGR.  Although in that case it may have missed its brief fame around federation time...  Oh well.  Does 6000 or so people represent a significant population centre?
  thewanderer Station Master

Corowa may have been better being served from the Victorian side rather than by a far-flung branch line of the NSWGR.  Although in that case it may have missed its brief fame around federation time...  Oh well.  Does 6000 or so people represent a significant population centre?
"steamfreak"


My point was that a lot of tonnage comes in and out of these places. I wasn't suggesting running passenger trains, merely moving more freight from road to rail.
  steamfreak Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wodonga, VIC
Corowa may have been better being served from the Victorian side rather than by a far-flung branch line of the NSWGR.  Although in that case it may have missed its brief fame around federation time...  Oh well.  Does 6000 or so people represent a significant population centre?
"steamfreak"


My point was that a lot of tonnage comes in and out of these places. I wasn't suggesting running passenger trains, merely moving more freight from road to rail.
"thewanderer"

Ah.  Yes, some road to rail would be nice.  Trucks seem to eat the secondary roads hereabouts...
  Hairyman Chief Train Controller

Location: Corowa, NSW, Australia

Rather than far off, out of the way, localities with almost zero haulage on offer, the places I listed (Corowa, Mt Gambier and Canberra) are all significant population centers that generate large volumes of freight to and fro.
"thewanderer"

Corowa may have been better being served from the Victorian side rather than by a far-flung branch line of the NSWGR.  Although in that case it may have missed its brief fame around federation time...  Oh well.  Does 6000 or so people represent a significant population centre?
"steamfreak"


6000 probably not but we do have a significant amount of trucks enter or leave town and even more during harvest going into the feedmill. I think the scrap steel mob have a truck a day leave town as well as all the general freight from the 3 largish truck companies that call Corowa home
  UP9372 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Banned
Well general freight is best handled by trucks as it can be delivered direct to shops etc. How much grain comes into the feed mill? Probably better handled by truck considering the cost of re-opening the line. The one truck load of scrap is hardly a freight car full. So in total there is nowhere near enough to justify opening the line.  Most of these branch line where built when a goods train consisted of a steam engine, some 4 wheel trucks, mostly hauling general goods such as beer barrels & bagged wheat. As we no longer owe farmers a living they can work out how best to get their product to market. If they have to receive the benefit of subsidised freight rates to stay in business it is not in the taxpayers interest to continue funding their life style when grain etc can be grown in other areas at no cost to the tax payer.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

As we no longer owe farmers a living they can work out how best to get their product to market. If they have to receive the benefit of subsidised freight rates to stay in business it is not in the taxpayers interest to continue funding their life style when grain etc can be grown in other areas at no cost to the tax payer.
"UP9372"



Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm....................

Where do you think the majority of the 4000 tons of food comes from that Melbourne consumes per day (and with the supermarkets squeezing the farmers for all they can). As I said in a previous post the city and the country do NOT exist in isolation.

There would be plenty of people who would LOVE to know where one could grow grain without problems. It would be safe to say all areas that can grow grain currently are growing grain.

If the rural areas disappeared tomorrow Melbourne would be depopulated within a year.

Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Last week I did a tour of the project area from Seymour to Albury and I came to the conclusion during this tour I had completed the task in which I came to Railpage for so I have decided now to sign off. I have spent a great deal of time an effort over the past 2 years an 5 months keeping an eye on the project and it has been most interesting but it is now time to get on with my other interests.

As I have previously stated I have kept an eye on the project for my own interest but i have been reporting it so as at least one rail project would get some kind of quality description. Given the amount of good feedback I have been getting it is rare to do something that apparently turns out so sucsessfull so in the end Woodford is pleased, but it is time I got off this train.

I wish to thank all people who have said positive things about the posts it made a great deal of difference. I would also like to thank Railpage for providing a forum that has little (sadly not none) antisocial activity on the forums.

I did not know I was voted the most informative poster (I think) until someone pointed this out on the forums only a short while ago. The posting was done to try and get as good a description of the project as I could with no intention of recieving any reward apart from personal satisfaction.

A FINAL POINT I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THESE POSTS ARE JUST MY VIEW OF THE PROJECT AND SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED IN ANY AS WAY A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF ANYTHING.

When VLine recommences service (one must be optimistic) I will do trip from one end of the line to the other. This will likely be drive down to Seymour a Train to Melbourne then the Albury train. I would prefer to start in Albury but the only time of year it covers the line in both directions in daylight is the week or so before daylight savings start.

This is not an Aprils fools exerscise,
Wishing all well, Goodbye all,
Woodford

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