Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Matthew.

For what it is worth the G Vincent track diagrams see http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/Adelaide/AD004.pdf show the electrification on the Belair line ending just past the down end of Platform 3 at Goodwood. This is part of the proposed turn-back arrangements for serving the showgrounds.

How much of an authority G Vincent is I do not know but others seem to cite him as reliable. I am not sure all the signals shown at the down end of Wayville will be (need be) installed.

Ian
steam4ian
He is or was an electrical engineer I was told, who's hobby is railways and signalling in general. Until the whole lot is placed into service though only Adelaide Metro know the real set up there, so I would be cautious of taking his diagram as being what is going to be done as gospel. It might be near to it though but not exactly it though. There is already one track fault in the diagram to start with a single slip were a double was put in, there might be other errors too. So treat these diagrams at the moment with caution he should upgrade them when all is finished though.

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  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I see long steel poles for portal structures near the Oaklands station heading towards the city and a notice at the station saying some car park spots would be unavailable as workers install portal structures for the wires directly through the station.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

SA Track and Signal diagrams shows the "Belair" line overhead finishes at the southern end of the Goodwood station platform 3.
Whilst it seems strange to install the overhead that far, it does mean that platform 3 at Goodwood can be used as a turnback (possibly so that the EMU's can run the Showground special)
http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/Adelaide/AD004.pdf
Pressman
I don't think we'll see a return of the quarter hour Royal Show shuttle trains.

Now that the Showgrounds are to be accessed from a standard station and not a temporary platform, using the capacity of the regular lines should be more than enough for most of the day. With 4 trains per hour on the Tonsley line (all of them 3 car EMUs which would have plenty of space for Royal Show patrons) and the 2-4 trains per hour on the Belair line through the day (strengthened to 3-4 cars at the event entry/exit peak times) there is tons of capacity - even before adding extra stops on Seaford services are considered. It's convenient for crowd control too, with all Adelaide-bound trains leaving from either side of the same island platform and space available for crowd controllers to organise queues by destination and restrict platform crowding to such manageable numbers of people that nobody is obstructed from leaving an arriving service.

A number of dedicated shuttle runs might be useful in the evening once events are over and there is a large flow of people all requiring the shuttle at the same time, with the regular routes having timetables too sparse to handle the load at that time of night. There is a significant advantage there in that the regular routes should be able to use just one pair of tracks at that point. Surely the signalling at Wayville would provide the capability to terminate and reverse without carrying on to Goodwood though?

I suspect that the main purpose for the wires beyond the last crossovers would be to provide an overrun in case of an electric train being wrong routed or some technical fault sending it down the wrong line. This is standard practice when electrifying a route all around the world, because the extra cost is minimal and when it inevitably happens it's good to have a last line of protection in case the driver doesn't pull it up before the points - to stop an expensive pantograph being ruined and a unit being stranded on unwired tracks.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Electrification progress report.

I drove along the line from Brighton to Hallett Cove Beach and I am concerned at progress with the electrification.

Contract management experience has shown me that when work does not proceed in a linear manner but is scattered and piecemeal cost and time overruns result.

No wires are installed north of Hallett Cove.

Poles and gantries are missing in parts between HCB and Marino; no cantilevers are installed.

Poles and gantries are erected Marino to Brighton (appears complete) with many cantilevers installed.

HCB and HC station awnings do not have any hardware installed.

Thee are significant quantities of conduit both electrical (orange) and signals (white) being installed so there must be a lot of cables still to pull, terminations to be made and equipment to be commissioned.

Unfortunately my concerns about signalling for the Belair line at the Goodwood underpass proved well founded; let's hope "they" can do better this time.

Ian
steam4ian
Ian: Not that I'm making excuses on their behalf but they could be waiting for:
  • Removal of overhead obstructions such as trees, other power lines, street lights, etc.
  • Relocation of underground services such as drains, cable conduits.
Supposedly September is the time for testing to begin so there's still plenty of time for them to get the wires strung all the way; I'd imagine Seaford-Noarlunga will see the first test services before they try to run a set along the entire length of the line.
don_dunstan
Someone I know who is very close to the project (recall previous discussions about infrastructure fouling clearances at Nairne Junction) is of the opinion that Ian is right on the money. I have heard from them several times of 'timetabling issues' (and no he wasn't referring to the 15min services on the Belair line) the current predictions I have heard stated are October at the earliest, probably moving into November.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Of Note in Ian's report is all the issues are North of Hallett Cove, to the best of my knowledge there is NO plan to open NC - Seaford before February 2014, as such this also suggests that there will be NO public electric services prior to this time, only testing on the NC - Seaford section as has been stated by DPTI virtually since A cars ordered, those with slightly longer memories will recall how long the 3000/3100 class type testing took.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

AlcoWS.

That point is understood by me; the EMUs will not venture north of NC when undergoing testing and commissioning.
They should be easier than the 3000/3100s because they have established traction technology.

My concern is what appears to be the sporadic nature of the work north of HCB. We could say it is still early days but there are only 6 weeks before trains to NC have been promised and it will be harder and more costly to do the work once trains are running.
Contractor running late are Contractors losing money,
Contractors losing money are contractors letting work slip,
Contractors losing money are Contractors making excessive variation claims.

Guess who pays?

Ian
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
AlcoWS.

That point is understood by me; the EMUs will not venture north of NC when undergoing testing and commissioning.
They should be easier than the 3000/3100s because they have established traction technology.

My concern is what appears to be the sporadic nature of the work north of HCB. We could say it is still early days but there are only 6 weeks before trains to NC have been promised and it will be harder and more costly to do the work once trains are running.
Contractor running late are Contractors losing money,
Contractors losing money are contractors letting work slip,
Contractors losing money are Contractors making excessive variation claims.

Guess who pays?

Ian
steam4ian

Calm down Ian, its not as big a disaster as all that, this is a big project, you have to expect over-runs and delays with something as big as this.  There's plenty of other projects in Australia that have gone more ridiculously over budget and over time.

Look at our much-hated Myki, three years late and more than triple the original cost.  And it still doesn't work how its supposed to.

Anyway, I seem to recall some half a dozen people stamping their feet and going crook on Today Tonight about an aspect of the project that was completely destroying their lives - ruining them forever.  Things like that do have an impact on the overall budget/time-frames. As I recall the minister responsible had to go out and hold their poor quivering hands in person to try and settle them down.  Delays like that would have happened multiple times during the project.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Who pays depends on structure and content of the work contract........hopefully its "fixed price" like many commercial contracts these days.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Calm down Ian, its not as big a disaster as all that, this is a big project, you have to expect over-runs and delays with something as big as this.  There's plenty of other projects in Australia that have gone more ridiculously over budget and over time.
don_dunstan
I am sorry, as a professional I for one do not accept that 'everyone else does the same thing' as an excuse. We should not have to EXPECT over-runs and budget blow outs, we should get back to expecting accurate assessments of time and budget. We expect our PT to run to timetable, and there are few reasonable excuses for projects not running to time and budget too.

Anyway, I seem to recall some half a dozen people stamping their feet and going crook on Today Tonight about an aspect of the project that was completely destroying their lives - ruining them forever.  Things like that do have an impact on the overall budget/time-frames. As I recall the minister responsible had to go out and hold their poor quivering hands in person to try and settle them down.  Delays like that would have happened multiple times during the project.
don_dunstan
Those people had a LEGITIMATE complaint against the planning of the project, as I have posted many times before, if the design included local knowledge (hell even a local design survey) that issue would never have occured. Instead the government let the catenary design contract to a firm based in Brisbane surveying from Google Earth and never making a local site visit. Sorry Don, that delay (if it even caused one) is squarely on the desk of the person(s) drawing the plan, and it could have been avoided (if the delay even occurred) had they done the planning properly.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Who pays depends on structure and content of the work contract........hopefully its "fixed price" like many commercial contracts these days.
alcoworldseries
Here's hoping so, bet it wasn't though.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Who pays depends on structure and content of the work contract........hopefully its "fixed price" like many commercial contracts these days.
"alcoworldseries"


Even on "fixed price" contracts, the variations pad always gets a work out!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
I am sorry, as a professional I for one ...
Aaron

A professional what exactly Aaron?  You always allude to this superior professional knowledge that you have over everyone else but then you never qualify exactly what experience you have or field you operate in.

If you aren't prepared to tell us all what it is then that's fine - but then don't keep telling us that you know better.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I am sorry, as a professional I for one do not accept that 'everyone else does the same thing' as an excuse. We should not have to EXPECT over-runs and budget blow outs, we should get back to expecting accurate assessments of time and budget. We expect our PT to run to timetable, and there are few reasonable excuses for projects not running to time and budget too.

Those people had a LEGITIMATE complaint against the planning of the project, as I have posted many times before, if the design included local knowledge (hell even a local design survey) that issue would never have occured. Instead the government let the catenary design contract to a firm based in Brisbane surveying from Google Earth and never making a local site visit. Sorry Don, that delay (if it even caused one) is squarely on the desk of the person(s) drawing the plan, and it could have been avoided (if the delay even occurred) had they done the planning properly.
Aaron
Agree on both counts.


Part of the problem I see with the date overruns is that the two components of the overrun holding things up are feeding each other. Electrification gets delayed so the EMU guys don't feel they have to meet deadline, then the electrification guys look at the lack of EMUs in the yard at Seaford Meadows and take that as permission to keep plodding along with a crane and its man doing bits and pieces here and there.

Can you imagine this kind of nonsense being looked upon kindly if it happened to the upcoming electrification of the Great Western Main Line in Britain? NO - in the UK heads roll when engineering possessions run over by hours! To let a temporary closure of even a secondary commuter line run over by months (with many more evening/weekend closures still to come) would be unthinkable and the contractors responsible (or managers if being run in-house by Network Rail) would be permanently frozen out of working in the UK rail industry and possibly even facing criminal charges.

The major overruns (existing for the EMU delivery, probable for the electrification) are not acceptable from companies who the government selected because they were able to get the job done. It's not like the EMUs are a year delayed because it was some blokes in a shed giving it a go for the first time, Bombardier Transportation is a very experienced corporation when it comes to building new EMUs using largely off the shelf components, I wonder if it's actually the lack of competition that has allowed them to get so slack on this project?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Don et al

Firstly, I agree there are still 6 months until the Electric Trains have been promised, but only 6 weeks until the RoW is handed over to traffic.

My experience tells me that Contractors have difficulty fighting fires on too many fronts and work processes most efficiently when it is completed in an orderly fashion. Justapax is right about the attitude which rumbles its way down to the bloke digging the ditch; time becomes elastic, or worse a joke.
The old adage is that goals need to be identifiable and measurable; at present the electrification works are not measurable.
I compare the underpass for which, even as an outside observer the progress, of work was always (nearly) logical and progressive; my assessment is that baring calamity it will finish on time. Then there was the associated signalling and we all know the outcome of that.

When it comes to signalling I would have walked away from this topic (done enough damage) until I saw something yesterday.
At Warradale, as everywhere else new conduit is being installed, I saw that the conduits were going to an existing signal mast. This means that in the next 6 weeks, cables have to be pulled, ends terminated, point to point checks done and signed off, equipment energised and tested and then the whole shebang commissioned. This is not 5 km as for Goodwood/Millswood  but 30 km. Do I have to spell it out?

The only hope is that traffic will recommence with the old signalling system operational and then progressively cut over to the new system.

Why a new system? Probably because an axle counter based system is cheaper than having to install impedance bonds at all the IRJs. I would appreciate feedback on this.

As for Aaron, there was a research gentleman named Aaron interviewed on TV last night who worked at Adelaide Uni.

Regards
Ian
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Firstly, I agree there are still 6 months until the Electric Trains have been promised, but only 6 weeks until the RoW is handed over to traffic.
steam4ian
Just to add some accuracy, it is worth noting that is already a blown out schedule.

EMUs were to be delivered in 2012 and running Adelaide-Seaford passenger services in 2013. See page 7, as hosted on the department's website - oops!
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

On the way to Noarlunga Shopping Centre today I saw workers putting wiring up between Seacliff and Marino stations. Electrification work between Hove and Marino seem to be near the final stages now
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
As for Aaron, there was a research gentleman named Aaron interviewed on TV last night who worked at Adelaide Uni.

Regards
Ian
"steam4ian"
Very Happy
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
When is actual 25kv testing supposed to begin?  I know we've had this conversation on other threads/earlier but now that there's a 3-carriage set at Seaford I'm interested to know if there's any updates on that; I'd imagine the section between Noarlunga and Seaford is probably ready (or almost ready) to be switched on as per the DoT timetable for tests?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Gentle persons, it is my melancholy duty to advise you that the report by a certain Milkomedia can most tactfully be described as optimistic.

In the section from the down side of Marino to South Brighton the masts and gantries are dressed and some back stays are installed. NO wiring is in place.

For Milko's benefit wires are those almost horizontal things that extend from mast to mast. They will comprise a feeder conductor, return conductor, a carrier conductor (Catenary) and a contact wire (the almost horizontal ones).

At South Brighton signal 1636 has disappeared. Gantries are still missing over Brighton station.

Lot of earth works for new conduits, here's hoping they don't foul up the drainage works.

Ian
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I most definitely did see wiring down that way next time im down that way ill take a picture I was on the N4 passing the area I saw a worker putting wiring onto the cantilever arms and the boom gates were also down in that area to allow the machinery through at the time
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Good to see you back again Poxy

How sad that the Tonsley line has to be closed for "duplication".

Funny, they never closed the Willunga line when that was duplicated. How do I know? I was there.
Sundays were such fun, A 700 on work trains with little boys, including me, clambering all over it.
Not a Visi Vest in sight. But the trains kept running and nobody got hurt.

Ian
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Gentle persons, it is my melancholy duty to advise you that the report by a certain Milkomedia can most tactfully be described as optimistic.

In the section from the down side of Marino to South Brighton the masts and gantries are dressed and some back stays are installed. NO wiring is in place.

For Milko's benefit wires are those almost horizontal things that extend from mast to mast. They will comprise a feeder conductor, return conductor, a carrier conductor (Catenary) and a contact wire (the almost horizontal ones).

At South Brighton signal 1636 has disappeared. Gantries are still missing over Brighton station.

Lot of earth works for new conduits, here's hoping they don't foul up the drainage works.

Ian
steam4ian
I did a run-by of this section today - south of Brighton to Marino Rocks is fairly close to stringing the wires but not yet.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Good to see you back again Poxy

How sad that the Tonsley line has to be closed for "duplication".

Funny, they never closed the Willunga line when that was duplicated. How do I know? I was there.
Sundays were such fun, A 700 on work trains with little boys, including me, clambering all over it.
Not a Visi Vest in sight. But the trains kept running and nobody got hurt.

Ian
"steam4ian"


Have a Snickers Ian, your a grumpy old man when you are hungry!   Wink
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Have a Snickers Ian, your a grumpy old man when you are hungry!   Wink
hosk1956

Laughing

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