Gippsland Line Upgrade

 
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
Couldn't find an existing thread for my question so started this one. On a trip to Bairnsdale last week I noticed that the wooden sleepers on the Northern line between Pakenham and Moe (the "slow" line- 130 Kmph max) are being replaced with concrete ones. However the concrete sleepers being used don't appear to be RFR ones, but just the low profile compatible sleepers. My question is- when complete, will the speed limit be increased to 160 Kmph? It would be a shame if the limit remained at 130, but I'm not sure that the low profile sleepers can support higher speeds. Can anyone with track engineering knowledge give me an answer? Thanks L1150

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Couldn't find an existing thread for my question so started this one. On a trip to Bairnsdale last week I noticed that the wooden sleepers on the Northern line between Pakenham and Moe (the "slow" line- 130 Kmph max) are being replaced with concrete ones. However the concrete sleepers being used don't appear to be RFR ones, but just the low profile compatible sleepers. My question is- when complete, will the speed limit be increased to 160 Kmph? It would be a shame if the limit remained at 130, but I'm not sure that the low profile sleepers can support higher speeds. Can anyone with track engineering knowledge give me an answer? Thanks L1150
L1150

Probably not.

When the track was upgraded for RFRR, the line in question may have had a cosmetic upgrade however the signalling is likely still set up for 130KPH operation and it may not even have TPWS.

Mike.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I don't think the difference between the Gippsland line North line and South line is limited to only the material the sleepers are constructed of.

For instance - and just using my very rudimentary knowledge - when the Geelong line was upgraded for RFR, both lines were done. Everything was removed, the foundations were rebuilt, new sleepers, new rail and new ballast were put down. On top of that all signalling was replaced.

Now for the Bendigo and Gippsland lines, it was considered too costly to upgrade both tracks, so they opted to upgrade 1 track of each (along with the mutilation of much of the Bendigo line North of Kyneton, but I digress). This means the un-upgraded track would need to see similar levels of investment before 160km/h running would be allowed.

So in short, no, simply swapping Timber sleepers for concrete ones won't cut it.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Couldn't find an existing thread for my question so started this one. On a trip to Bairnsdale last week I noticed that the wooden sleepers on the Northern line between Pakenham and Moe (the "slow" line- 130 Kmph max) are being replaced with concrete ones. However the concrete sleepers being used don't appear to be RFR ones, but just the low profile compatible sleepers. My question is- when complete, will the speed limit be increased to 160 Kmph? It would be a shame if the limit remained at 130, but I'm not sure that the low profile sleepers can support higher speeds. Can anyone with track engineering knowledge give me an answer? Thanks L1150
L1150
Class 1 track required for DMU operation at 160kmh requires 60kg CWR rail, plus TPWS overlaid with the visible three position colour light signals , plus full concrete sleepers.

The sections of the Gippsland, Ballarat & Bendigo lines that do not meet Class 1 standards do not allow 160kmh operation .

No doubt in due course the sections of double track on the bendigo and Eastern lines that are Class-2 will be upgraded to Class - 1 .

Generally all tie renewals on passenger lines are now low profile concrete sleepers which can be mixed with wooden sleepers that still have some years in them .
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Couldn't find an existing thread for my question so started this one. On a trip to Bairnsdale last week I noticed that the wooden sleepers on the Northern line between Pakenham and Moe (the "slow" line- 130 Kmph max) are being replaced with concrete ones. However the concrete sleepers being used don't appear to be RFR ones, but just the low profile compatible sleepers. My question is- when complete, will the speed limit be increased to 160 Kmph? It would be a shame if the limit remained at 130, but I'm not sure that the low profile sleepers can support higher speeds. Can anyone with track engineering knowledge give me an answer? Thanks L1150
L1150
L1150,
Concrete sleepers, Continuous Welded 60kg Rail and deep ballast are not necessary for 160km/h running. What is necessary is good 'Top' (smooth cross level) and 'Line' (horizontal smoothness). As speed and/or weight of trains increases, maintenance requirements also increase (read as cost of maintenance increases). Concretes, CWR, etc which provide a stronger track are means to mitigate those costs. Railway engineering tends to be conservative as the consequences can be horrific if you get it wrong; this can be a reason for wanting a stronger track before allowing 160 km/h.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

The prospector rail car in WA used to run at 160km/hr on 47kg rail.  

The discussion of 160km/hr on the Gippsland line is academic given that nearly all services stop at all stations with many 4km to 5km apart.  The time spent at that high speed is very little.   One only has to compare the timetable difference between a sprinter and velocity to realise its a lot of effort for a few minutes.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The prospector rail car in WA used to run at 160km/hr on 47kg rail.  

The discussion of 160km/hr on the Gippsland line is academic given that nearly all services stop at all stations with many 4km to 5km apart.  The time spent at that high speed is very little.   One only has to compare the timetable difference between a sprinter and velocity to realise its a lot of effort for a few minutes.
skitz

The other comparison that can be made was last Christmas day when I travelled from Ballan to Traralgon for Christmas lunch...but I digress.

We had WOLO's on the UP train at 16:30 but the train only lost 13 mins over the whole journey to SCS because it stops frequently.

I expect an express timetabled service would lose considerably more time than 13 mins though.

Mike.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic

The other comparison that can be made was last Christmas day when I travelled from Ballan to Traralgon for Christmas lunch...but I digress.

We had WOLO's on the UP train at 16:30 but the train only lost 13 mins over the whole journey to SCS because it stops frequently.

I expect an express timetabled service would lose considerably more time than 13 mins though.

Mike.
"The Vinelander"


The reason nearly all Traralgon services stop at the extremely thinly used stations between Pakenham and Drouin is one of life's great mysteries. It slows down the trains and benefits pretty well nobody - Garfield (pop 1400) has every service on the Gippsland line stop there. The carpark is nearly always 50% empty!

If I go to Ballarat, only one stop after Bacchus Marsh.  Why can't half the Traralgon locals run express?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

If I go to Ballarat, only one stop after Bacchus Marsh.  Why can't half the Traralgon locals run express?
gippslander

After Bacchus Marsh, there's no population till Ballan, 3,500 people and 17 mins running time, then virtually no population along the main line, excluding the Wallace and Bungaree which are on the old line (deviation) that will soon be diverted anyway, another 17 mins from Ballan to Ballarat.

Mike.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out

The other comparison that can be made was last Christmas day when I travelled from Ballan to Traralgon for Christmas lunch...but I digress.

We had WOLO's on the UP train at 16:30 but the train only lost 13 mins over the whole journey to SCS because it stops frequently.

I expect an express timetabled service would lose considerably more time than 13 mins though.

Mike.

The reason nearly all Traralgon services stop at the extremely thinly used stations between Pakenham and Drouin is one of life's great mysteries. It slows down the trains and benefits pretty well nobody - Garfield (pop 1400) has every service on the Gippsland line stop there. The carpark is nearly always 50% empty!

If I go to Ballarat, only one stop after Bacchus Marsh.  Why can't half the Traralgon locals run express?
gippslander
Yarragon is definitely another candidate for canning half the services to it, potentially Trafalgar down to roughly 70% of the stops (mainly because of the school runs from Latrobe Valley).
  skitz Chief Commissioner


The other comparison that can be made was last Christmas day when I travelled from Ballan to Traralgon for Christmas lunch...but I digress.

We had WOLO's on the UP train at 16:30 but the train only lost 13 mins over the whole journey to SCS because it stops frequently.

I expect an express timetabled service would lose considerably more time than 13 mins though.

Mike.

The reason nearly all Traralgon services stop at the extremely thinly used stations between Pakenham and Drouin is one of life's great mysteries. It slows down the trains and benefits pretty well nobody - Garfield (pop 1400) has every service on the Gippsland line stop there. The carpark is nearly always 50% empty!

If I go to Ballarat, only one stop after Bacchus Marsh.  Why can't half the Traralgon locals run express?Yarragon is definitely another candidate for canning half the services to it, potentially Trafalgar down to roughly 70% of the stops (mainly because of the school runs from Latrobe Valley).
speedemon08
You forget that taking Trafalgar is bigger than Bunyip and Garfield combined.   Also that taking Trafalgar out makes it a 20km trip to the nearest station (or a 10km back trip to Moe).   Cutting services to Trafalgar for the service and potential is way down the list compared to Nar Nar Goon, Tynong, Longwarry, Bunyip.

I would suggest a new station at Garfield, one with appropriate parking and platform lengths to service properly the commuter base.   One also must remember that there is a direct and quiet quality road between these station and they are all between 4km to 5km apart.
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

....Garfield (pop 1400) has every service on the Gippsland line stop there. The carpark is nearly always 50% empty!
gippslander


Interesting. That is an anomaly. And one I'd never given any previous thought. Does anyone know why this is the case? Were Garfield residents extremely adept in campaigning historically for the stop's (and timetable) retention? Are they a bunch of educated scholars and politicians settled in their farmland that no-one dare ever upset?

Anyone know?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
....Garfield (pop 1400) has every service on the Gippsland line stop there. The carpark is nearly always 50% empty!


Interesting. That is an anomaly. And one I'd never given any previous thought. Does anyone know why this is the case? Were Garfield residents extremely adept in campaigning historically for the stop's (and timetable) retention? Are they a bunch of educated scholars and politicians settled in their farmland that no-one dare ever upset?

Anyone know?
cabidass
Garfield became a stop for all passenger trains after V/Line established a "Parkway" there.

Parkway's are also at Drouin, Warragul, Wallan, Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh, Ballan, Lara, Waurn Ponds, to name a few.
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Interesting. I don't want to digress too much, but why not ditch it then and and focus on Longworry? I suppose one or the other makes no difference.  But would make more sense on one hand focusing on the town with the larger population.

Tynong, Garfield, and Bunyip can drive the 11 minutes to Longwarry.

And Nar Nar Goon can drive the 9 minutes to Pakenham...

Tynong can drive the 12 minutes to Pakenham if they're really keen. And make Pakenham a super stop.

Alas.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Faster lines also need:
* gentler transition curves horizontally
* gentler ramps vertically

It is possible that older tracks, say pre-1890, have inadequate transitions and ramps, if they have any.

The straight and transitions between reverse curves may also be inadequate.

Improving transitions and ramps for improved speeds may be problematic and costly.

Is is noted that Curve and Gradient diagrams are often of too coarse a scale to show clearly, though perway engineers would have to have such details. The devil is in the detail.

Curves and Gradients are available online for NSW; cannot speak for other states. The NSW G&C redrawn by ARTC make T&R clearer, but ARTC didn't redraw everything.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Faster lines also need:
* gentler transition curves horizontally
* gentler ramps vertically

It is possible that older tracks, say pre-1890, have inadequate transitions and ramps, if they have any.

The straight and transitions between reverse curves may also be inadequate.

Improving transitions and ramps for improved speeds may be problematic and costly.

Is is noted that Curve and Gradient diagrams are often of too coarse a scale to show clearly, though perway engineers would have to have such details. The devil is in the detail.

Curves and Gradients are available online for NSW; cannot speak for other states. The NSW G&C redrawn by ARTC make T&R clearer, but ARTC didn't redraw everything.

See: https://extranet.artc.com.au/eng_network-config_cd.html
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

At this stage the Gippsland Line upgrade is all about track duplications (Bunyip - Longwarry, at  Moe, at Morwell, and in an Up direction from Traralgon .  Second platforms at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell & Traralgon . Replacement of bridge over Avon river at Stratford . New train stabling at Mid Valley to replace Traralgon.)

No upgrading of North Track to Class - 1 at this time .  Given there are really no express or even Limited Stop VLocity  trains on this line, the 160kmh speed is rarely if ever achieved with the close station spacings .
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

At this stage the Gippsland Line upgrade is all about track duplications (Bunyip - Longwarry, at  Moe, at Morwell, and in an Up direction from Traralgon .  Second platforms at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell & Traralgon . Replacement of bridge over Avon river at Stratford . New train stabling at Mid Valley to replace Traralgon.)

No upgrading of North Track to Class - 1 at this time .  Given there are really no express or even Limited Stop VLocity  trains on this line, the 160kmh speed is rarely if ever achieved with the close station spacings .
kuldalai
So I'm assuming new duplicated track will be to Class- 1 standards to 160km/hr.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
So I'm assuming new duplicated track will be to Class- 1 standards to 160km/hr.
James974
Why would you assume that with Victoria's recent "track" record? The line will be closed for months to build it to Class 2 then opened for a few years until they realize that they need to upgrade it to Class 1 to run express services due to overcrowding and then it will close for another 3 months or so while they rip it up again and re do it:lol:

BG
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

The amount of work it would take to bring the south line up to 160km/h standard, you should just quad pakenham - dandenong so you spend less time sitting behind an all stopper metro service.  Or have twice the trains but have some of them run express past the smaller stations.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

@BrentonGolding So it will be built like this? Wink
  vlocity27 Junior Train Controller

Location: Pakenham
At this stage the Gippsland Line upgrade is all about track duplications (Bunyip - Longwarry, at  Moe, at Morwell, and in an Up direction from Traralgon .  Second platforms at Bunyip, Longwarry, Morwell & Traralgon . Replacement of bridge over Avon river at Stratford . New train stabling at Mid Valley to replace Traralgon.)

No upgrading of North Track to Class - 1 at this time .  Given there are really no express or even Limited Stop VLocity  trains on this line, the 160kmh speed is rarely if ever achieved with the close station spacings .
kuldalai
Stabling at Mid Valley?? Surely not.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
What a waste to locate train stabling at Mid Valley, that like 10 km's of dead running to get too and from Traralgon.

Plenty of space around Traralgon for stabling.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood

The reason nearly all Traralgon services stop at the extremely thinly used stations between Pakenham and Drouin is one of life's great mysteries.
"gippslander"

It's a Victoria thing. The suburban (electric) network isn't much better, with way too many services stopping all stations with either zero, one or two people getting on or off the vast majority of closely packed stations (case in point, very second station between Richmond and Box Hill, or between Jolimont and Keon Park/Heidelberg, or the Upfield line all the way to Coburg). If only I owned Metro and could override the government, Victrack and NIMBYs, and had a few bulldozers...
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Which NSW get around with  'Sweeper' services. Vic has none to my knowledge

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