Re-opening the Cobram line to Passenger Traffic

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Nats member for Murray Valley, one Ken Jasper, has got behind a petition to restore services to Numurkah, Strathmerton and Cobram. (Mind you , the little town of Katunga misses out) ...


Mr Jasper claims some success in getting rail services reinstated.

This was not raised at the perfect time, the Victoria State Election 2018.
bevans
Mr Jasper retired from politics at the 2010 Victorian election.

This thread should have been retired on the same day.

Why on earth would you say that this is the perfect time to raise this topic from the dead?

As @jakar says we need to get what we have working first before we even start thinking about re-opening closed lines. Do you actually travel on V/Line @bevans? Maybe if you did you would be focused on fixing some of the problems like late running, massive overcrowding, reliability of rollingstock, signal failures, track faults etc etc not fantasising about trains to Cobram.

BG

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The Nats member for Murray Valley, one Ken Jasper, has got behind a petition to restore services to Numurkah, Strathmerton and Cobram. (Mind you , the little town of Katunga misses out) ...


Mr Jasper claims some success in getting rail services reinstated.

This was not raised at the perfect time, the Victoria State Election 2018.
Mr Jasper retired from politics at the 2010 Victorian election.

This thread should have been retired on the same day.

Why on earth would you say that this is the perfect time to raise this topic from the dead?

As @jakar says we need to get what we have working first before we even start thinking about re-opening closed lines. Do you actually travel on V/Line @bevans? Maybe if you did you would be focused on fixing some of the problems like late running, massive overcrowding, reliability of rollingstock, signal failures, track faults etc etc not fantasising about trains to Cobram.

BG
BrentonGolding
I do agree with this BG (also, the end of my reply has been lost, where I said something about not bothering, but that's by the by).

But I think there's something of a philosophical problem with the "fix what we've got before you try to expand it" approach.

Find me one major rail network in the world that hasn't been accused of needing to be "fixed" some time in the last 5 years. I don't think you can. Perfection is not possible on systems of this scale and complexity. If we continue to defer expansion simply because what we've got isn't performing adequately, we'll never get there.

For the purposes of political expediency and sensible use of resources, the best approach appears to me to be to examine opportunities for expansion whenever major upgrades of the existing network are being carried out. In this case, given the capacity of the Shepparton line was the major focus, investigating the potential of extending services to Cobram at the same time - and releasing the findings publicly - would have been brilliant for all involved. Had the report been favourable, the job could have been completed for the minimum cost as its scope would be incorporated into the main project.

Cobram is probably a bad example, since the imperative doesn't really exist to extend the service. But it's easy to see this model working elsewhere, e.g.: we're upgrading the Ararat line, is now the time to extend to Horsham? We're duplicating to Cranbourne, is it time to reopen Leongatha?

Anyway, it's a bit of a thought bubble in keeping with my integrated transport planning proposal, and thus totally irrelvant to the real world.Laughing
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Perfection is not possible on systems of this scale and complexity. If we continue to defer expansion simply because what we've got isn't performing adequately, we'll never get there.
potatoinmymouth

On the flip side if you try and add more services into a system that is already not performing adequately you're just going to expose those existing issues further and potentially making them harder to fix.

I don't think anyone expects perfection, but when there are so many TSR's awaiting funding allocation and other 'small' things that could be done to increase the speed and resilience of the existing system my preference would be to concentrate on getting the basics right first before pouring millions into resurrecting long disused services.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I don't think anyone expects perfection, but when there are so many TSR's awaiting funding allocation and other 'small' things that could be done to increase the speed and resilience of the existing system my preference would be to concentrate on getting the basics right first before pouring millions into resurrecting long disused services.
jakar

I fundamentally agree that the politicians are addicted to transport “announceables” and so recurrent funding has been drastically reduced in favour of drip-fed capital works programs. That is the root cause, after all, of the high TSR rate and the inability of the authorities to carry out other “small” works (like the low speed signal at Geelong pointed out by @kuldalai as low-hanging fruit for the tunnel pathing problem, as just one example).

But I think you’re misreading my intention: sometimes, capital works are in order. The Shepparton project is a case in point - there is a need/demand for extra services, “big” infrastructure upgrades are necessary to achieve that, and that’s not the kind of thing that can be funded out of operational budgets. So, whoever does the planning ought to investigate whether the benefits of the project can be maximised by providing for, or at the very least future-proofing for, a service expansion.

I don’t think that’s a particularly radical idea.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

The Cobram rail line has been completely dismantled, all that remains is the trackbed and ballast, it was all lifted during September, I witnessed it on my trip to Qld, ten days later is was ll but GONE.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Not exactly on topic, but out of curiosity how much slower would an Echuca service be via Toolamba, assuming it stops at Kyabram and all other existing stations until Seymour, then express to Southern Cross?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Not exactly on topic, but out of curiosity how much slower would an Echuca service be via Toolamba, assuming it stops at Kyabram and all other existing stations until Seymour, then express to Southern Cross?
reubstar6

I expect, particularly when the Echuca via Bendigo line gets up to its proper line speed soon, that the route via Toolamba would be much slower with a max for V'Locity's of 80Km/h.

Below link to Mark Bau's site, VR 1967 t/t for comparison:

https://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tt1967/tt1967_034.html

5 hours, stops almost all stations with 50 min connexion at Bendigo with the DERM.

https://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tt1967/tt1967_066_067.html

4:45 via Toolamba with a more seamless connexion at Toolamba.

Mike.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Not exactly on topic, but out of curiosity how much slower would an Echuca service be via Toolamba, assuming it stops at Kyabram and all other existing stations until Seymour, then express to Southern Cross?

I expect, particularly when the Echuca via Bendigo line gets up to its proper line speed soon, that the route via Toolamba would be much slower with a max for V'Locity's of 80Km/h.

Below link to Mark Bau's site, VR 1967 t/t for comparison:

https://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tt1967/tt1967_034.html

5 hours, stops almost all stations with 50 min connexion at Bendigo with the DERM.

https://www.victorianrailways.net/timetables/tt1967/tt1967_066_067.html

4:45 via Toolamba with a more seamless connexion at Toolamba.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yep, not to mention as discussed before on RP that many pax travel to Bendigo and not all the way through to Melbourne.

BG
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Not exactly on topic, but out of curiosity how much slower would an Echuca service be via Toolamba, assuming it stops at Kyabram and all other existing stations until Seymour, then express to Southern Cross?
reubstar6
Melbourne to Echuca Is 250 km's via Castlemaine (halfway point) but only 233 km's via Seymour, though the Toolamba - Echuca line has always been a lightly built railway with a low speed limit.

If passenger services were ever to be restored to the Toolamba - Echuca line, It may be more beneficial to build a new connection between Tartura and Mooroopna, so the service could become a Shepparton - Echuca train.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Not exactly on topic, but out of curiosity how much slower would an Echuca service be via Toolamba, assuming it stops at Kyabram and all other existing stations until Seymour, then express to Southern Cross?
Melbourne to Echuca Is 250 km's via Castlemaine (halfway point) but only 233 km's via Seymour, though the Toolamba - Echuca line has always been a lightly built railway with a low speed limit.

If passenger services were ever to be restored to the Toolamba - Echuca line, It may be more beneficial to build a new connection between Tartura and Mooroopna, so the service could become a Shepparton - Echuca train.
Nightfire
Won t happen as Bendigo is the major regional service centre for Echuca and existing tt carries considerable student and TAFE traffic from Echuca to Bendigo and return each day .
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
The Cobram rail line has been completely dismantled, all that remains is the trackbed and ballast, it was all lifted during September, I witnessed it on my trip to Qld, ten days later is was ll but GONE.
trainbrain

It's a work in progress - these two, just out of Strathmerton:



and looking the other way ...



here, we see the rails have been cut and dragged to a collection point at another private driveway off the Murray Valley Highway before Yarroweyah



and here are the only rails left in Cobram (except at the silos)



looking down from Murray Valley Hwy, Cobram.



these are at a private driveway, not far out of Cobram:




looking the other way:





At the Benalla Road turnoff, nearby the Tocumwal turnoff:
this is looking towards Cobram...



the Benalla Road turnoff has been asphalted over



Looking towards Yarroweyah; Murray Valley Hwy is on the right.



a bit of zoom showing the workmanship (or whatever)



The next set are on the approach curve to Yarroweyah,
(the approach that runs about the rear of the residences)



looking towards the curve behind the residences



a bit of zoom to show the workmanship ...



a fading speed board



lifting and dragging rail pulls the fishplates and dogspikes
right out. Mind you, most of the dogspikes ... rusted to
smithereens. Lifting really tears the roadbed apart in
places ...



another speed board bites the dust:



a closer view of said speed board which will not see
another train pass...



and the story of regional and rural Victoria:













thank you, gentlemen.














  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
An excellent photographic essay by 574M - very well done indeed.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
A lot of effort has obviously gone into dismantling the line.  For what purpose?  Will the rails be re-used somewhere, assuming they are still OK?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
BigShunter
When last relaid for the restored loco hauled operation to Cobram in the late 1980's it was cascaded second hand 94lb rail which was CWR and the section of track initially from Strathmerton to Cobram was Class - 2 allowing 115kmh for loco hauled pass.

The rail is still in good condition so that is why it is being recalimed for use elsewhere, one would suspect given all the track issues between Ararat and Maryborough that it may well be headed for use there replacing 80lb rail which is very long in the tooth .  Be interesting to learn where the rail goes too .
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
When last relaid for the restored loco hauled operation to Cobram in the late 1980's it was cascaded second hand 94lb rail which was CWR and the section of track initially from Strathmerton to Cobram was Class - 2 allowing 115kmh for loco hauled pass.

The rail is still in good condition so that is why it is being recalimed for use elsewhere, one would suspect given all the track issues between Ararat and Maryborough that it may well be headed for use there replacing 80lb rail which is very long in the tooth .  Be interesting to learn where the rail goes too .
kuldalai
Wasn't the Strathmerton to Cobram section the first CWR In Victoria ?
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Wasn't looking for date stamps, explicitly. I thought I saw 1947 somewhere but not sure. Some ends had yellow scribbling, date and time of weld cut, I suspect.

It is rail in quite good condition as others say, and also, CWR as well. All of it was cut hither and thither as you can see.

I am surprised it is being done in this fashion, instead of being recovered by a rail train, for example.
It's in very long segments; how do you transport that?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
[i]'[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]It's in very long segments; how do you transport that?'[/font][/size][/color][/i][color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]By rail but to do so there has to be:[/size][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][/font][/color]
[ul][li]The will/wish to do so.[/li][li]The rolling stock to do so.[/li][li]The money to do so.[/li][li]A use for the redundant rail.[/li][/ul]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, Segoe UI, Segoe, Segoe WP, Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]The days of 'make and mend' seem to have gone to be replaced by 'slash, trash and burn'.[/size][/font][/color][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]
[center][color=#0066cc][/color][/center]
[/size]
[/font][/size][/color]
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Don't ask me what RP did to my post which is repeated be;ow:[/font][/size][/color]

[i][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]'[size=2][font=Arial]It's in very long segments; how do you transport that?'[/font][/size][/font][/size][/color][/i]

[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][font=Arial][size=2]By rail but to do so there has to be:[/size][/font][/font][/size][/color]

[ul][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][li]The will/wish to do so.[/li][li]The rolling stock to do so.[/li][li]The money to do so.[/li][li]A use for the redundant rail.[/li][/font][/size][/color][/ul]
[color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2][font=Arial]The days of 'make and mend' seem to have gone to be replaced by 'slash, trash and burn'.[/font][/size][/font][/size][/color][color=#000000][size=2][font=Roboto, wf_SegoeUI, "Segoe UI", Segoe, "Segoe WP", Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif][size=2]
[center][color=#0066cc][/color][/center]
[/size]
[/font][/size][/color]
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I give up!
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
When last relaid for the restored loco hauled operation to Cobram in the late 1980's it was cascaded second hand 94lb rail which was CWR and the section of track initially from Strathmerton to Cobram was Class - 2 allowing 115kmh for loco hauled pass.

The rail is still in good condition so that is why it is being recalimed for use elsewhere, one would suspect given all the track issues between Ararat and Maryborough that it may well be headed for use there replacing 80lb rail which is very long in the tooth .  Be interesting to learn where the rail goes too .
Wasn't the Strathmerton to Cobram section the first CWR In Victoria ?
Nightfire
Definitely not .  Leo Harrigans definitive History of the VR to 1962 , records the first application of continuously welded rail in Victoria was in the 1930's through the Geelong tunnel .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Agree with Valvegear, 574M did you see the weight or age of the rail, stamped on it, anywhere ?

BigShunter.
When last relaid for the restored loco hauled operation to Cobram in the late 1980's it was cascaded second hand 94lb rail which was CWR and the section of track initially from Strathmerton to Cobram was Class - 2 allowing 115kmh for loco hauled pass.

The rail is still in good condition so that is why it is being recalimed for use elsewhere, one would suspect given all the track issues between Ararat and Maryborough that it may well be headed for use there replacing 80lb rail which is very long in the tooth .  Be interesting to learn where the rail goes too .
Wasn't the Strathmerton to Cobram section the first CWR In Victoria ?
Definitely not .  Leo Harrigans definitive History of the VR to 1962 , records the first application of continuously welded rail in Victoria was in the 1930's through the Geelong tunnel .
kuldalai
What they have done is cut out the existing welds leving lots of cropped door stops for gunzels, and the longer portions will be transported by road to their new usage . Rail is actually quite flexible in longer lengths .
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Yes, that's where they were cut, right on the old welds.
That's where I saw the yellow scribbling.
well spotted, kuldalai.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Definitely not .  Leo Harrigans definitive History of the VR to 1962 , records the first application of continuously welded rail in Victoria was in the 1930's through the Geelong tunnel .
kuldalai
I remember reading somewhere the Strathmerton - Cobram lines was one of the first lines to be CWR (May of been the first branch line ?)
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I give up!
YM-Mundrabilla
What were you trying to do?

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