Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

SAR526, yes, I hear what you are saying.  It's a terrible shame that even in the USA, the home of suburbia, they are going the other way now with the provision of quality public transport options and yet in this country there are still people like Tony Abbott and Martin Hamilton-Smith who still believe that the private car is the best option for everyone and in every situation.

Here in Melbourne we have some extreme problems with traffic congestion and yet our esteemed premier Denis Napthine's answer is to fast-track a VERY EXPENSIVE and not-needed tunnel to connect the Eastern Freeway to City Link.  It's not really wanted by anyone except maybe the trucking industry and it actually won't solve the problems that the Eastern Fwy causes to Hoddle Street because there won't be any additional exits to the city.  In the meantime our trains get so crowded at peak times they are often impossible to physically board; this has happened to me often at my local station at the peak.  

The problem is that we have a plutocracy in this country; very rich people make decisions that favor themselves and their friends and politicians of all persuasions just do as they're told.  Tollways present lovely fat opportunities for merchant banks to gouge the public on tolls and consultancy fees whereas there's not much graft to be had in building public transport options; which do you think pollies are going to choose?  Martin Hamilton-Smith is just doing as he's told by his political and economic backers -

In the meantime you have a rare situation in Adelaide where big money got spent on a decrepit and ancient rail system in an attempt to bring it in to the 21st century.  With any luck the sheer popularity of the enhanced services will be evidence enough for the Liberals to keep on track with completing the project; as you would be aware from my posts I'm a former resident who can't believe they actually got around to spending the money either so with any luck a change of state government won't result in a wholesale abandonment of the improvement program.  

Thanks also to you for your contributions to this board, the whole reason why I come here is because I'm interested in the opinions of other people even though you may not always agree with them; it's the quality of their argument that I'm interested in.  It was also interesting to hear that you were in a counter-anti tram protest, I always admire people who actually get out there and wave a placard for things they want; pollies actually get scared of people who do that.  The times that I've caught the new expanded tram service up King William street it's always been packed with tourists and locals - do you think Martin Hamilton-Smith would change his mind on account of that?
don_dunstan
Maybe that is one reason why MH-S is no longer leader of the Liberal Party.

Having just returned from Melbourne improving pax transport will not deal with the huge volumes of commercial  traffic moving east/west across Melbourne.

Same applies to Adelaide. Rail electrification will not improve conditions on South Road at Edwardstown and Croydon; these sites are major chokes to commercial transport movement.

The only problems changing governments will face is significant budget deficits in economic conditions which many suggest will get more difficult. Infrastructure spending is something which can be deferred and unfortunately it often has to be.

I fear that it may take a generation for the true value of electrification to be realised due the cultural and demographic changes needed for it to be people's mode of choice.

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  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Electrification works must be behind schedule?

At 2200 Sat night two men were working on the contact/catenary wire where the track crossed Lonsdale Highway using what appeared to be a rail mounted EPV. The work was conspicuous from the light spill from the advertising hoardings on the side of the bridge and the blokes (assumed) were wearing visivests.

Why?
  • At night
  • On a Saturday
  • In the rain

Possible explanations:
  • The work is so far behind (To work OT)
  • They were stealing copper (I could think of less conspicuous places)
  • It was a training exercise (Sod's Law says most repairs will be an a wet night)

Enjoy your Sunday. Go to Mt Barker.
Ian
steam4ian

I saw them again today coming home from Noarlunga Centre on the N4 maybe they identified a problem with the wiring in that area?
  Tonsley213 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Everywhere except South Kensington
The overhead work is only scheduled to happen at night.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The overhead work is only scheduled to happen at night.
Tonsley213

Thanks Tonsley, I won't ask why at night but I guess it does have some merit when services are restored and that is the only time available.

Whilst others are enthusiastically reporting various stages of completion there still seemed to be a lot of detail work to do around Lonsdale.

I have been told by one in the know that there are a lot of mistakes with hardware; this person is making a living out of the rectification work.

Ian
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Thanks Tonsley, I won't ask why at night but I guess it does have some merit when services are restored and that is the only time available.

Whilst others are enthusiastically reporting various stages of completion there still seemed to be a lot of detail work to do around Lonsdale.

I have been told by one in the know that there are a lot of mistakes with hardware; this person is making a living out of the rectification work.

Ian
steam4ian

Is shutting down the Noarlunga Line on weekends until all electrification work is completed on the line out of the question?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Thanks Tonsley, I won't ask why at night but I guess it does have some merit when services are restored and that is the only time available.
"steam4ian"

Or they could just work on the sparking now nearly 24/7, day and night, thus having the task all but completed by the time the scheduled services are restored. - Nah, too obvious.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Or they could just work on the sparking now nearly 24/7, day and night, thus having the task all but completed by the time the scheduled services are restored. - Nah, too obvious.
That kind of sensible stuff (or the alternative of having multiple crews working in different locations instead of at different times) is reserved for important stuff, such as duplicating a perfectly functional peak flow expressway to relieve non-existent congestion on non-peak flows on South Road.

If there had been a push to get the southern end electrified in the first couple of months (when the days were longer, the nights shorter and the rain rarer) and the will to keep suppliers accountable for promised delivery dates (the EMU contract should have included a free extra unit for every three months' delay) then we could be riding EMUs between Seaford and Oaklands by now. Some trivial part of the project (refurbishing a couple of seats at one of the stations maybe?) could have been kept delayed deliberately so the government could still have a big campaign event announcing the completion of the work just before the election.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Is shutting down the Noarlunga Line on weekends until all electrification work is completed on the line out of the question?
Milkomeda

With DPTI nothing is out of the question.

I would suggest that the political flack caused by shutting the line down after September would not be favourable; how to loose brownie points with the public. Look at the stir over the Belair line shutdown and the race to get it open for July.

Remember there is a Federal Election coming up in September and the southern seats are not that safe for the present government.

Considering the work still to be done the crews need all the practice they can get for working after hours.

Ian
  Tonsley213 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Everywhere except South Kensington
For those not believing me

http://bit.ly/12c3ynn
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
My understanding is that most the maintenance on Melbourne's overhead happens in the dead of night (1am-5am) because that's the only time available to the crews.

I'm not sure if this has any relationship to the apparent 24/7 work on the Noarlunga/Seaford electrification but I'd imagine that they would have to have a similar maintenance schedule once the system is operational?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
That kind of sensible stuff (or the alternative of having multiple crews working in different locations instead of at different times) is reserved for important stuff, such as duplicating a perfectly functional peak flow expressway to relieve non-existent congestion on non-peak flows on South Road.
justapassenger
I wouldn't say that the Southern Expressway was a project running flawlessly either, it might be progressing a little better (when you can source steel beams from your QLD contractor) than the Seaford rail project, but improvement could still be made.

If there had been a push to get the southern end electrified in the first couple of months (when the days were longer, the nights shorter and the rain rarer) and the will to keep suppliers accountable for promised delivery dates (the EMU contract should have included a free extra unit for every three months' delay) then we could be riding EMUs between Seaford and Oaklands by now. Some trivial part of the project (refurbishing a couple of seats at one of the stations maybe?) could have been kept delayed deliberately so the government could still have a big campaign event announcing the completion of the work just before the election.
justapassenger
A free extra unit for every three months late? I like the idea, but we are going to have an excess as it is, still I guess we could have sold some of the 'freebies' to Perth and recouped against some of our costs.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
With DPTI nothing is out of the question.

I would suggest that the political flack caused by shutting the line down after September would not be favourable; how to loose brownie points with the public. Look at the stir over the Belair line shutdown and the race to get it open for July.

Remember there is a Federal Election coming up in September and the southern seats are not that safe for the present government.

Considering the work still to be done the crews need all the practice they can get for working after hours.

Ian
steam4ian
Yeah, that Rishworth better be on borrowed time...
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
My understanding is that most the maintenance on Melbourne's overhead happens in the dead of night (1am-5am) because that's the only time available to the crews.

I'm not sure if this has any relationship to the apparent 24/7 work on the Noarlunga/Seaford electrification but I'd imagine that they would have to have a similar maintenance schedule once the system is operational?
don_dunstan
1am - 5am is only sensible when services are running, just wait, Adelaide will pull their maintenance works into the 0700-1200, with smoko between 1200-1400, and afternoon shift 1400-1900 slots. Presently there does not outwardly seem to be a 100% timetabling of work during the daylight hours, that despite there being no services scheduled lately. Yet there seems to be (presumably OT, or at the very least, penalty paid) night works going on. No explanation from DPTI or our state government, but that just makes it normal.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

For those not believing me

http://bit.ly/12c3ynn
Tonsley213

Nothing like the facts!

Gives new meaning to the term "Moon lighting".
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I wouldn't say that the Southern Expressway was a project running flawlessly either, it might be progressing a little better (when you can source steel beams from your QLD contractor) than the Seaford rail project, but improvement could still be made.
Aaron
At least there was a whole lot of work happening on the other parts of the expressway during that time.

A free extra unit for every three months late? I like the idea, but we are going to have an excess as it is, still I guess we could have sold some of the 'freebies' to Perth and recouped against some of our costs.If
Aaron

If DB can get that kind of deal with Siemens (who have to compete with other companies under EU legislation) for an EMU as expensive as the Velaro D, it should have been a piece of cake for us given we keep on going back to Bombardier and they could just jack up the price on the next stuff they sell us.

Our trains are deliberately too wide for the Perth loading gauge - and rumours that nobody seems willing to address with anything more than an "I'm not aware" would suggest possibly too wide for ours too. With no options for selling them on they could become useful as carrots for finishing the job and electrifying Gawler, along with that Federal money which will turn into a pumpkin some time around midnight on September 14.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
1am - 5am is only sensible when services are running, just wait, Adelaide will pull their maintenance works into the 0700-1200, with smoko between 1200-1400, and afternoon shift 1400-1900 slots. Presently there does not outwardly seem to be a 100% timetabling of work during the daylight hours, that despite there being no services scheduled lately. Yet there seems to be (presumably OT, or at the very least, penalty paid) night works going on. No explanation from DPTI or our state government, but that just makes it normal.
Aaron

A lot of work on our train networks happens after hours; I recall living opposite the Noarlunga line in the 1990's and you would often hear the track inspection vehicles starting at about 1:20am after the last trains, sometimes they would come back and do spot repairs.  Very occasionally the large ballast-cleaning machine came around after hours - incredibly noisy that thing.
  dvdplaza Chief Train Controller

with the appearance of a real electric railway across the Field River embankment a great thrill
SAR526

I share your excitement mate!  For some reason I have always enjoyed driving along that section of the Lonsdale Highway and looking across at the track - the track high up on its hill, the vantage point from the road that ranges from above to below track level, and sometimes the bonus of a train heading along it at the same time.

But seeing sparks on it now, damn it's a gorgeous sight!
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

So underpass work appears to be on schedule
Track work appears to be a little ahead of schedule
Electrification work appears to be a bit behind schedule.

Well line reopening for early September is looking good but having the electric trains in full operation by the end of 2013 is starting to look unlikely.
  Tonsley213 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Everywhere except South Kensington
So underpass work appears to be on schedule
Track work appears to be a little ahead of schedule
Electrification work appears to be a bit behind schedule.

Well line reopening for early September is looking good but having the electric trains in full operation by the end of 2013 is starting to look unlikely.
Milkomeda
How would you know what is on schedule or not.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

How would you know what is on schedule or not.
Tonsley213

Tonsley.
I have to agree with Milko here based on my outside observation from a professional engineering aspect.
I can get a close look at the Goodwood works about once a week and they appear to be progressing well.

The only gaps in the track are from Goodwood to Clarence Park and that is contingent on the under pass.

Signalling upgrades are harder to judge because a lot happens outside the public eye, you have to be there to see cables pulled in.

Electrification appears to be picking up and the works more systematic than describe in one of my previous reports. There will still be a lot of work with return earth bonding and fencing upgrades even after we see the wires strung.

Weather will be the big issue from now to September with the worst outcome the flooding of the underpass site.

Ian
  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

So underpass work appears to be on schedule
Track work appears to be a little ahead of schedule
Electrification work appears to be a bit behind schedule.

Well line reopening for early September is looking good but having the electric trains in full operation by the end of 2013 is starting to look unlikely.
Milkomeda

Electrics operating in full on the Seaford line hasn't been on the cards for 2013 for a very, very long time now. First service isn't expected until Feb 2014.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Very correct Jumbo, unless it has been spirited into Seaford the first A set still hasn't arrived and testing therefore hasn't even commenced, media releases sometime back said all testing would be between Noarlunga Centre and the new Seaford terminal, so this will be the first section energised and should be far closer to completion. I very much doubt we will see any regular 4000 operation before February next year and thats assuming the first cars arrive soon.
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Probably find that Seaford to Port Stanvac will be energized first, not just to Noarlunga.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Quite pssible Wit, would enable test sets to be put away at Lonsdale yard if testing amongst regular service
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Probably find that Seaford to Port Stanvac will be energized first, not just to Noarlunga.
witsend

Since the system is powered from Pt Stanvac through Lonsdale that is essential.

Remember you need a dead section between live sections and work areas which means the line has to be strung to at least the next section switch to the Adelaide side of Lonsdale.

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