Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
The line should have been electrified last century and it should have been standard gauge since the 1800's but we lag behind the eastern states.

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  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The line should have been electrified last century and it should have been standard gauge since the 1800's but we lag behind the eastern states.
mclaren2007
Errr no the track should be broad gauge actually, it would have been if NSW had not changed their mind on what gauge to use. Check your history here. Also old electrification systems are not upgradable to high voltages without a lottttttttttttttt of work. Look at Sydney and Melbourne for instance stuck with an old fashioned system voltage wise. The newer higher voltage systems are far better.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Considering the finances of SA through the last 150 years it would be better if we had built to Cape Gauge. We still could have had big Webb locos. Until Webb came the largest locos in Australia were BHP's 2-8-2s at Whyalla.

Note how the Adelaide Melbourne route was broad gauge for through running but so many other lines in SA were 3'6" because of cost pressures.

The Trans line should have been built to Cape Gauge but Eastern state interests did not want to see SA or WA benefit.

QLD and WA electric trains function quite well on narrow gauge. There we are, back on topic, well almost.

Ian
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The newer higher voltage systems are far better.
"David Peters"
That is a matter of quite some dispute.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
For my two cents the British should have insisted that being all on one continent all the colonies should have stuck with Stephenson's (4' 8.5") gauge - although the story as David Peters tells it is also correct I think, in that they all initially agreed on the Irish (5' 3") gauge but then NSW changed their minds at the last moment and went with Stephenson's gauge.  Either way the whole thing was a cock-up that should have been fixed in the fifties when Menzies promised to give money to the states to fix it all... at least all the key interstate lines are standard gauge now.

The advantage with Adelaide going to electric trains now is that they are not stuck with an antiquated voltage like Sydney and Melbourne's 1500vdc; the newer 25000vac doesn't require the heavier catenary and transmission systems and substations can be much further apart.  And at least Adelaide has been re-laid with gauge convertible sleepers over the last ten years so that in the future if they ever get around to it they can go to standard gauge at smaller expense than a complete rebuild.  Unfortunately they didn't have the sense to do that when they re-built all the regional lines here in Victoria under Regional Fast Rail ten years ago.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Errr no the track should be broad gauge actually, it would have been if NSW had not changed their mind on what gauge to use. Check your history here.
"David Peters"
Errr, no #oops #fail #selectivehistory

Try again, the first gauge chosen in Australia was Standard gauge in South Australia which was then followed by NSW. Four years after that NSW was conned into switching to Irish gauge, and they dragged SA and the newly separated colony of Victoria with it. There would have been no problem if SA and Victoria had also followed the senior colony in switching back to Standard again.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
DC better for high train density (like London Underground)

AC better for higher speed less train frequency (like Deutsche Bahn Regio Trains/Zugs)
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Errr, no #oops #fail #selectivehistory

Try again, the first gauge chosen in Australia was Standard gauge in South Australia which was then followed by NSW. Four years after that NSW was conned into switching to Irish gauge, and they dragged SA and the newly separated colony of Victoria with it. There would have been no problem if SA and Victoria had also followed the senior colony in switching back to Standard again.
justapassenger
Well we can still blame NSW for our woes then. Laughing

There would have been one big problem with Victoria and SA switching back by that time orders had already been placed overseas by both states for rollingstock etc so it was too late to change even if they wanted too.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Errr, no #oops #fail #selectivehistory

Try again, the first gauge chosen in Australia was Standard gauge in South Australia which was then followed by NSW. Four years after that NSW was conned into switching to Irish gauge, and they dragged SA and the newly separated colony of Victoria with it. There would have been no problem if SA and Victoria had also followed the senior colony in switching back to Standard again.
justapassenger
Absolutely correct! And what's more, here's the proof from 1847 no less!

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/71609590

NB: 'Narrow gauge' in 1847 was 4' 8 1/2", used in reference to Brunnel's gauge. None the less, just in case there's any doubt:

His Excellency said the narrow gauge was in use all over England except on the Great Western Railway, and a Committee of the House of Commons had reported that the narrow gauge was the best, as being least expensive and most convenient. He thought it would be better to determine the point now, that companies at home may know what gauge of carriage they ought to send out. His own opinion was in favour of the narrow gauge, as, although there was less speed, the expense was much less.

On the motion of the Colonial Secretary, seconded by the Registrar General, the narrow gauge of 4ft. 8½in. was adopted as the gauge of the colony.

The report was brought up, and the Council resumed.

His Excellency then adjourned the Council sine die.
SA Legislative Council Proceedings 08/10/1847
It should also be noted, that Stephenson himself was quite aware that 'his gauge' was not ideal, and later in his life declared that if he had the opportunity again, he'd like to have added 'a few inches' to it. - I don't have a direct source for that, but it is/was widely reported.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

DC better for high train density (like London Underground)

AC better for higher speed less train frequency (like Deutsche Bahn Regio Trains/Zugs)
"Nightfire"
The difference is more along the lines of light/metro rail vs mainline rail.

The DC mainline routes radiating out from London to the south have had major problems as the number of trains and length of trains have both risen over the last 15 years, to the point that Network Rail has had to install extra feed-in points and intends on upgrading the Brighton Main Line to 25kV AC rather than continuing to renew and boost the DC system. AC handles peak loads far better, which was what prompted British Rail to swap from DC to 25kV 50Hz AC as their standard, including swapping the whole Great Eastern Main Line (including rolling stock) over just one weekend of closure by pre-building all the new kit and swapping the connections over.

The new Crossrail east-west route through London will be 25kV AC only, with metro-style close headways.
It should also be noted, that Stephenson himself was quite aware that 'his gauge' was not ideal, and later in his life declared that if he had the opportunity again, he'd like to have added 'a few inches' to it. - I don't have a direct source for that, but it is/was widely reported.
"Aaron"
Brunel also thought the same thing, that his 7 foot gauge didn't succeed because it needed to be even wider! Just goes to show that sanity is not necessary for brilliance.

Interestingly, a couple of lines to the east of London were originally built at exactly five feet.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Just goes to show, five and one half inches makes a lot of difference. Smile

I still say we should have gone Cape Gauge.

As for dc, just be thankful we are not stuck in the days of rotary convertors or even the mercury arc rectifiers. Look at the size of the old tramway convertor stations around Adelaide compared with the little box substations now on the Glenelg tram line. I cut my engineering teeth on big old rotary equipment. Ah! the sound of a screaming commutator; the fireworks when one flashed over!.

From memory lane
Ian
  mynameismike Deputy Commissioner

Location: /dev/adelaide/magill
Brunel also thought the same thing, that his 7 foot gauge didn't succeed because it needed to be even wider! Just goes to show that sanity is not necessary for brilliance.

Interestingly, a couple of lines to the east of London were originally built at exactly five feet.
justapassenger
Given the vast size that the largest of the US locomotives achieved on standard gauge, what they could have done with a 7 foot railway would have been colossal.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
As for dc, just be thankful we are not stuck in the days of rotary convertors or even the mercury arc rectifiers. Look at the size of the old tramway convertor stations around Adelaide compared with the little box substations now on the Glenelg tram line. I cut my engineering teeth on big old rotary equipment. Ah! the sound of a screaming commutator; the fireworks when one flashed over!.

From memory lane
Ian
"steam4ian"
Hey, some of us wish we had that tech back!
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
That story of the colonies and the different gauges is even more complicated than I remembered it.  What a stuff up... oh well.

So getting back to topic, I wonder if they will wait until the Xmas holidays before completing Adelaide yard/station electrification?  You'd also think that if the wires extend to Dry Creek (as discussed) then the 2000's won't be able to run at all any more because the catenary will cover most of the yards.  I know this was discussed on another thread but it appears likely that their retirement is immanent in that case - perhaps I'd better go for a ride on one next time I'm over because it will probably be the last time.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

That story of the colonies and the different gauges is even more complicated than I remembered it.  What a stuff up... oh well.

So getting back to topic, I wonder if they will wait until the Xmas holidays before completing Adelaide yard/station electrification?  You'd also think that if the wires extend to Dry Creek (as discussed) then the 2000's won't be able to run at all any more because the catenary will cover most of the yards.  I know this was discussed on another thread but it appears likely that their retirement is immanent in that case - perhaps I'd better go for a ride on one next time I'm over because it will probably be the last time.
"don_dunstan"
It will be a fair while before the knitting gets to Dry Creek, even if it isn't cancelled by the incoming federal government.

More important to the scrapping of the 2000 class is the number of EMUs required to replace them on the Seaford line. Once thirteen have entered service then Operation Tuna Can can begin and the northern suburbs will breathe a great sigh of relief as the massive clouds of carcinogenic particulates vanish from their skies.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
It will be a fair while before the knitting gets to Dry Creek, even if it isn't cancelled by the incoming federal government.

More important to the scrapping of the 2000 class is the number of EMUs required to replace them on the Seaford line. Once thirteen have entered service then Operation Tuna Can can begin and the northern suburbs will breathe a great sigh of relief as the massive clouds of carcinogenic particulates vanish from their skies.
justapassenger
But that was one of the things that I loved about them the most - that huge plume of diesel exhaust on take-off!

More importantly I'll look forward to the day when you can walk into Adelaide station and most of the trains are electric so you don't choke on diesel fumes.  The fact that you can't smoke in there is ridiculous- not that I'm a smoker anyway but the diesel fumes are often overpowering, a little waft of cigarette smoke will hardly make any difference; those fans certainly don't extract the fumes as well as they should.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Just goes to show, five and one half inches makes a lot of difference. Smile
"steam4ian"

I've got six and one half inches. Wink

Keith Turton thought so too when he wrote his book on the Melbourne-Albury line.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Signalling works seem to be going ok on the line earlier this week I saw they put a signal box up near Oaklands station its still touch and go if the line can still be reopened in September signalling works should be done within the next 7 days or so I guess it depends on the progress of the Marion Station at the moment. DPTI are still refusing to set an announcement date for the line to reopen but the DPTI are still insisting the line can be reopened in September.
  The abdominal Gunzel Beginner

Location: Banned
Well its about time that they reopen the line as it has been closed for months and the tonsley line has been closed for almost 2 years IIRC!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Signalling works seem to be going ok on the line earlier this week I saw they put a signal box up near Oaklands station its still touch and go if the line can still be reopened in September signalling works should be done within the next 7 days or so I guess it depends on the progress of the Marion Station at the moment. DPTI are still refusing to set an announcement date for the line to reopen but the DPTI are still insisting the line can be reopened in September.
"Milkomeda"
It took over a week and a half for test runs to be done and signalling sorted out for the Belair line reopening in July. If you apply that margin again, even if all the work was declared finished this Monday that would still put the reopening date around the weekend of 28/29 September.

I would say we're probably looking at some time in October. That may not be an entirely bad thing for the completion of the overall project because it looks like the electrification project needs all the time it can get at this point. It could well be that the initial reopening is just for the weekday peaks with substitute buses for the off-peak, evenings and weekends.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I'm more concerned about the Marion station a ramp needs to be laid then track needs to be relaid again over the ramp for the underpass. Signalling works are probably going to be finished before the critical underpass works are complete so the line can be reopened.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I'm more concerned about the Marion station a ramp needs to be laid then track needs to be relaid again over the ramp for the underpass. Signalling works are probably going to be finished before the critical underpass works are complete so the line can be reopened.
Milkomeda
In this day and age whole buildings seem to go up overnight almost at times so if everything is virtually premade it can all be put in to get the trains running and the ramps etc can then be done at a more leisurely pace after. They only have to get the actual under track sections done to carry the track over the top of it. This only means removing a section of track on both sides just long enough to accommodate the works needed to dig the earth out and replace with prefabricated sections to make the under walkway part of it and part of the walkway into the platform. The rest can be done afterwards to finish it right off. It should not take too long to do this though.
  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
Only in Sth Australia can this be allowed to happen , with Non rail people running the show  and non rail people laying it down  just relying on what was laid down in the species  from previous , but with a bit of paper  in ones hand  and he fits the bill !  it is a shambles  BIG TIME .... no other word for it .
and they say this is progress  what a laugh ??????
  The abdominal Gunzel Beginner

Location: Banned
I totally agree phower,
and also in Perth people are outraged over 2 5 day closures for the city link project while in Adelaide we let the main south suburban line be closed for AT LEAST 9 months, completely unacceptable.
  jimmyj76au Beginner

Phower - you say that the work is being undertaken by 'non rail' people. As far as I understand it - Tracksure are actually Joint Venture (Coleman Rail, John Holland and York Civil) and when I checked out their websites, it looks as though they have significant rail experience across the country.

However, seeing that you are such an expert in these matters - how would've you proposed to have undertaken the works (considering that the work has entailed completely ripping up the track, base layers and the like, and re doing it).  It's very easy to sit here and be critical of what is happening - so maybe you should be offering your services to get this moving...

Yes, having the rail line out of action for 9 months is a pain in the a** (and I am talking from experience - as this is also my rail line, so I'm on the train replacement buses all the time), but considering the scope of the work, and probably the integration between the 3 contractors and possibly the political and feel good factors (i.e. consultation - which always takes up a fair amount of time, then maybe having the track out of commission and doing it properly the first time is the best way to do it.

I guess we should probably be lucky that it is being done - if the other mob was in power, there is no guarantee that they would've spent any money on the rail network.

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