NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

It appears there is work being done on the East line between Wangarratta and Glenrowan, there was a flagman for north bound trains on this line just north of Benalla, this is the first time I have seen them there.

I assume work was started on the East line up north and the are proceeding south,as work has been going on northwards for nearly a month now.

There was one of the newer tampers stabled at Violet Town over the past week, so I assume some work is still going on down that way.

It appears most of the work is being done on the East line with the West line carrying the bulk of the traffic during the day.

woodford

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

Deliveries of large quantities of Ballast has recommenced at Benalla to feed the Ballast train. By the end of June they could easily put out another 24,000 tons.

It appears to be all going on the East line, the West line would easily have nearly a foot of ballast under the sleepers, the East line appears to have around 8 or so inches. More ballast under the sleepers is what all engineering staff I talked to said would help the situation no end.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Deliveries of large quantities of Ballast has recommenced at Benalla to feed the Ballast train. By the end of June they could easily put out another 24,000 tons.

It appears to be all going on the East line, the West line would easily have nearly a foot of ballast under the sleepers, the East line appears to have around 8 or so inches. More ballast under the sleepers is what all engineering staff I talked to said would help the situation no end.

woodford
woodford
Would that allow the XPT to run at 130kph, like it used to?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Would that allow the XPT to run at 130kph, like it used to?
Duncs

It currently is effectively limited to 120kph by around 6 level crossings without warning systems and that is the speed it usually sits on in areas without a speed limit. An increase to 130kph the intended line speed for class 2 track would make little difference.

I have been on the XPT twice in the past few years both times it sat dead on 120kph, 1000 metre timings being almost exactly 30 seconds.

woodford
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Just out of interest...

"ARTC has now entered the second year of its program of works to improve the track between Sydney and Melbourne.
Progress has been steady and we're satisfied with the results so far. While temporary speed restrictions remain in place on some sections of the line, we have been able to reduce a significant number of speed restrictions across the entire corridor with the works completed so far

...

March 2013 – Works Update:
We’ve nearly completed all of our work on the single track between Somerton and Seymour – our most recent focus of works, and customer may have noticed the reducing delays to train services as a result of the improvements.
The next stage of works will be predominantly between Seymour and Wodonga from Easter through to the end of June, in a concentrated area on both the east and west tracks.
The types of work include:
  • Ballast shoulder cleaning of the east track. Shoulder ballast cleaning removes fine material from the ballast shoulder allowing for improved drainage of the track;
  • As part of the process also lifting the track and installing fresh ballast;
  • Removing fouled ballast at key locations using track undercutting machinery and replacing it with new ballast;
  • Ballast sledding, where the entire rail and sleepers are lifted up and fouled ballast is pushed out to create a new drainage path underneath the sleepers and track. New ballast is then laid across sledded sections of the track and it is "resurfaced" back to the right alignment;
  • Track formation renewal works at a number of key locations to provide an engineered and strengthened track foundation; and,
  • Extensive drainage works to ensure drainage paths effectively drain the water away from the track structure. "

http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=252
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The current work being done is between Benalla and Wangaratta and that is new ballast being applied via the ballast train and lifting and lining. The tamper doing the work is the one that was stabled at Violet Town. I will be going down to Seymour next week so I will check out what is happening down that way, but there is no other action other than the above work between  Euroa and Barnawatha. Its possible there may be some work going on on the East line between Barnawatha and the Murray river as all traffic (both ways) was using the West line between these two sites.

The track on both lines is looking good though nothing like the goat track it had become and the West line particularly looks to be holding up well inspite of all the traffic it has been carrying. Looking from almost any level crossing its a pleasure to see both lines!

Considering now how it is holding up Victoria __REALLY__ should be ashamed of itself for letting the old BG get into the very poor shape it ended up in.
The Dookie line is in a better state than the Albury BG was when service was suspended, and its booked out as unsusable.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

It currently is effectively limited to 120kph by around 6 level crossings without warning systems and that is the speed it usually sits on in areas without a speed limit. An increase to 130kph the intended line speed for class 2 track would make little difference.

I have been on the XPT twice in the past few years both times it sat dead on 120kph, 1000 metre timings being almost exactly 30 seconds.

woodford
woodford
At 130kph it should be able to get to Albury in 3 hours. Unless there are other factors that delay it. Those last 6 unprotected crossings really should be fixed. The is a national main line!
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
In the scheme of things - one day but someone has to pay for those level crossing upgrades.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

In the scheme of things - one day but someone has to pay for those level crossing upgrades.
cootanee
I am happy to as a taxpayer. The sooner they get done the better.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
In that case it may take quite a few years to pay for them out of your tax contributions. Wink

Fact is there is plenty of things more important than saving a few minutes for a couple of passenger trains. Fixing 30 years of ambivalence is where my money is needed.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Out of curiosity once those level crossings have been "actioned" would the top speed be 130 or will the revitalised NESG support even higher X speeds ?
Would I be right thinking that the limit was set when the X went into Victoria based on 47 Kg rail size and well worn sleepers/fixings ?
Also is it known if signal standards and sighting support 160 km/h running and if so what would this do to running times ? It's possible that the N Sets will be replaced with DMUs and if the NESG was to Victorias Regional high speeds standards they could possibly do 160 if the stops are not too close together .
I can see oxygen in fixing those crossings but they need to have safety cams on them to bite the insurance co's of those silly enough to drive road vehicles through them regardless of their own safety .
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Below is the level crossings currently with no signalling......
All these have 120kph limit signs on both lines around 50 metres either side of the crossing

Paddock access, aprox 3 k's south of managalore

Angle rd, 3k's S of Euroa

Wilbrahms rd, 9k's N of Euroa

Mahers rd, 4k's S of Violet Town

Carroll  rd, 3k's N  Baddaginnie

the crossings below are around 12 and 14k's N of Benalla
Bowers Rd, Winton

Gould rd, Winton



IMPORTANT POINT.............

DO NOT get to tied up with absolute speed limits, particularly for the VLine service.

For a stopping all stations service such as the Albury train. power to weight ratio being far more important. The current consists of an N class loco, a power car and 5 a car N set. Does NOT have sufficient power to run a reasonably modern timetable even if the N class loco's rode well at high speeds.. A DMU set consisting of a driver car each end and 4 intermediate power cars, something like a long range VLocity, would easily shave off around 7 minutes between Seymour and Albury purely by improved acceleration and Hill climbing ability even IF it was limited to 115kph.

And we will almost certainly NEVER get 160kph running between Craigeburn and Seymour (Note 1), they will have to rebuild the route completely for this to occur, and in my opinion the railways in AUS have better things to spend there money on.

Note 1: Remember between Craigeburn and Seymour there is 7 intermediate stops in around 75 kilometres, barely enough distance to get a Sprinter or VLocity up to 130kph, considering the grades involved.

woodford
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Mr woodford the reason I'm asking those questions is to find out what barriers exist for higher maximum speeds . To have higher (160 km/h) standards the infrastructure is better for anything on the corridor even if it never exceeds 130 , I included signalling because sometimes it can be more of a limiting factor than the below wheel infrastructure itself - generalising here .

The best case scenerio would be 60+ Kg rail on 30 TAL concrete sleepers and a properly formed bed . With this and suitable alignment/super elevation can you see problems other than level crossing protection and signalling on this corridor ? Would probably be good for the pass trains to run open throttle until they need to stop or encounter restrictive signal aspects - basically legally run the wheels off them to shorten the times or make up lost time .
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
As soon as a car full of people fails to stop (for whatever reason) to be wiped out by a train what do you think the result will be.
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

As soon as a car full of people fails to stop (for whatever reason) to be wiped out by a train what do you think the result will be.
cootanee
Trains fault! (ducks for cover)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The safety cams flash and or the video footage shows driver and road vehicles occupants to be fully aware of the correctly functioning level crossing protection and a fast aproaching train in the undie obliterating seconds before impact . Vehicle is punched a long way off the road whilst train bounces along on the sleepers . Road and rail infrastructure providers leap to the monumental conclusion that grade separation is needed because fruit loops in control of road vehicles can't be relied upon to to act responsibly where the lives of 1) themselves 2) others in said road vehicle 3) on board trains are concerned .  
Road wins again because switched off road users refuse to be held accountable for their actions , always easier to blame someone else like the train driver who 1) was fit 2) was not fatigued 3) was qualified 4) was not speeding 5) had the road 6) can't stop quickly like road vehicles driven responsibly can .
The same would happen with an X Set a 120 / N Set at 115 / superfreighter at 100 / high axle load freighter at 80 / Highrail at 30 / empty coke tin in the wind at 4 .
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
While I agree that a 160 kmph limit between Broadmeadows and Seymour is not practical or useful, I think that north of Seymour is a different story.
Consider the flagship V'locity run from Warragul to Moe (express). The distance is 30 km and the few times I've ridden on that service, 160kmph is achieved and held for much of the distance. On one of the trips, we managed to do it in slightly less than the timetabled time, giving an average start to stop speed of 140 kmph.
On the run from Seymour to Woodonga, We have-
Seymour to Avenel 17 Km probably not long enough for much 160 running.
Avenel to Euroa 35Km, a good section for high average speed.
Euroa to Violet Town 18Km, too short.
Violet Town to Benalla 26Km, a fairly good candidate for some high speed running.
Benalla to Wangaratta 39Km. High average speed easily obtainable with lots of 160Kmph running.
Wang to Springhurst 23Km 160Kmph achievable but probably not long enough to give a high average.
Springhurst to Chiltern 14Km  no good.
Chiltern to Woodonga 30Km a good section for 160Kmph running with high average.
So, with a Vlocity style train, out of the 202 Km between Seymour and Woodonga, we have about 150Km where 160Kmph is achievable and should give a worthwhile reduction in running time:D
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Mr woodford the reason I'm asking those questions is to find out what barriers exist for higher maximum speeds . To have higher (160 km/h) standards the infrastructure is better for anything on the corridor even if it never exceeds 130 , I included signalling because sometimes it can be more of a limiting factor than the below wheel infrastructure itself - generalising here .

The best case scenerio would be 60+ Kg rail on 30 TAL concrete sleepers and a properly formed bed . With this and suitable alignment/super elevation can you see problems other than level crossing protection and signalling on this corridor ? Would probably be good for the pass trains to run open throttle until they need to stop or encounter restrictive signal aspects - basically legally run the wheels off them to shorten the times or make up lost time .
BDA
I believe the signalling is set out for 130kph, there is a number of curves that would need to be eased to allow 160ph running, particularly between Avenel and Euroa. Now I am not saying we should not have 160kph running, but for a stopping train like the VLine Albury service the difference between 130 and 160kph running is not as great as one would think, The amount of fuel used though more than doubles.

I do have a timetable I worked out from a simulation of the line from Seymour to Wagga, the simulation was done at 115kph, 130 and 160kph. I will see if I can find it. The difference between an existing loco hauled service and a DMU or a normal pass with a 3000bhp 100 ton loco at both ends for a speeds of 115 and 130kph was dramatic. So on "bang for ones buck" basis a 130kph high powered service could be done NOW for only the cost of the rolling stock and provide a real improvement in running times. The change from a 130 to 160kph would cost a very great deal more and provide a relatively small improvement for a what is in reality a local VLine stopping all stations pass.

Long distance services are a different issue but thats NOT VLine's concern at this stage.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

While I agree that a 160 kmph limit between Broadmeadows and Seymour is not practical or useful, I think that north of Seymour is a different story.
Consider the flagship V'locity run from Warragul to Moe (express). The distance is 30 km and the few times I've ridden on that service, 160kmph is achieved and held for much of the distance. On one of the trips, we managed to do it in slightly less than the timetabled time, giving an average start to stop speed of 140 kmph.
On the run from Seymour to Woodonga, We have-
Seymour to Avenel 17 Km probably not long enough for much 160 running.
Avenel to Euroa 35Km, a good section for high average speed.
Euroa to Violet Town 18Km, too short.
Violet Town to Benalla 26Km, a fairly good candidate for some high speed running.
Benalla to Wangaratta 39Km. High average speed easily obtainable with lots of 160Kmph running.
Wang to Springhurst 23Km 160Kmph achievable but probably not long enough to give a high average.
Springhurst to Chiltern 14Km  no good.
Chiltern to Woodonga 30Km a good section for 160Kmph running with high average.
So, with a Vlocity style train, out of the 202 Km between Seymour and Woodonga, we have about 150Km where 160Kmph is achievable and should give a worthwhile reduction in running time:D
L1150

Between Avenal and Euroa there are currently 3 120kph curves 2 of these are between Longwood and Euroa through the hills. The latter curves would be quite limiting as they are close together (4 k's apart)

Benalla to Wang has the Glenrowan hills, the curves through Glenrowan would currently be 120kph for DMU's, also such a DMU would have no hope of maintaining 160kph on the grades.

woodford
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
... The change from a 130 to 160kph would cost a very great deal more and provide a relatively small improvement for a what is in reality a local VLine stopping all stations pass.

Long distance services are a different issue but thats NOT VLine's concern at this stage.

woodford
woodford

That's it in a nut shell.

Nice to have but hardly essential. After all the driving reason behind the feds and ARTC picking this up was to benefit interstate freight traffic.
Obviously there is nothing stopping VLine/Victoria contributing to further upgrades to speed up pax but somehow don't see that happening any time soon.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
What exactly has to be upgraded to allow 160 kmh running ?
Is the 130 kmh limit set by ARTC or set by Victrack?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
What exactly has to be upgraded to allow 160 kmh running ?
Is the 130 kmh limit set by ARTC or set by Victrack?
MD
Unlikely to happen until TPWS (Train Protection Warning System) is installed, which will cost mega$.

On the RFR lines there are TPWS installed at each signal which trips the train should it go through a signal at over 7+KPH faster than the posted speed. The TPWS is one reason the RFR project went way over the original budget due to the extra layer of safety that system brought to the RFR tracks.

Mike.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
What exactly has to be upgraded to allow 160 kmh running ?
Is the 130 kmh limit set by ARTC or set by Victrack?
MD
Victrack or PTV???

When it comes to rail standards, so much for one country Rolling Eyes...

http://corp.ptv.vic.gov.au/engineering-standards/victorian-rail-industry-operators-group-standards-vriogs/
http://www.rissb.com.au/
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Victrack or PTV???

When it comes to rail standards, so much for one country Rolling Eyes...

http://corp.ptv.vic.gov.au/engineering-standards/victorian-rail-industry-operators-group-standards-vriogs/
http://www.rissb.com.au/
cootanee
My main issue which I mentioned earlier was getting the XPT, and any tilt train that succeeds it, up to 130kph. I looked at the XPT page and noticed that the timetable up to the year 2000 was for 3hours and 5 minutes from SCS to Albury. On timber sleepers and with less supporting infrastructure than we have today. At present the time is for 3 hours and 20 minutes on average. We should be able to run a train to Albury in no more than three hours. Simple as that.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

My main issue which I mentioned earlier was getting the XPT, and any tilt train that succeeds it, up to 130kph. I looked at the XPT page and noticed that the timetable up to the year 2000 was for 3hours and 5 minutes from SCS to Albury. On timber sleepers and with less supporting infrastructure than we have today. At present the time is for 3 hours and 20 minutes on average. We should be able to run a train to Albury in no more than three hours. Simple as that.
Duncs
From my experience from travelling on both the Albury train and the XPT there are two points to keep in mind. The first is the track has had speed limits on it now for quite a few years, specially between Seymour and Melbourne. The second point is Seymour to Melbourne is a single line and I have yet to be on a SG pass that has not been delayed for some time, anything between 5 and 25 minutes I might say. Pass's are usually given priority, but given that a two pass's must cross south of Seymour in the morning, there's little one can do about it. Its clear the controlers are communicating with the drivers to tell them where a cross is to take place and to drive accordingly.

In this "little black duck's" opinion ARTC and the operaters are doing the best they can under the circumstances.

woodford

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