Barossa Wine Train route condition

 
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
It not necessarily able axle loadings champ, it's about safety and what happens to pax when a railcar rolls off the perway and into a ditch, such an event does not typically hurt a hopper full of rocks. Even before it gets to that, it's the concern of food and cups of tea and glasses of wine being sloshed onto ladies in their cocktail frocks...
"Aaron"


Yes, rocks don't go running to their lawyers screaming law suit when they get a bruise from a rough ride, they don't speak to all their friends telling them not to ride that train as it's too rough. Only people (the non-railfan ones ) do that!

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  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Heath

I haven't looked at the track for about 12 months but in essence I don't need to.

The track has endured almost no maintenance for 20 years but this is what you will find:


  1. The ballast is clogged with weed.

  2. The cesses are choked up or filled in so water has got into the base.

  3. The base has pumped up through the ballast further contaminating it.

  4. The sleepers are rotten or split.

  5. The dog spikes are no longer secured in the sleepers.

  6. Heat has buckled the track somewhat.

  7. There are dips where water has got into the base.

  8. There are dips at rail joints.



I am going to assume the rail is still OK. If any work has been done it is replacing about one sleeper in three. Overall speed about 20 kph much as for Pichi Richi whose track is now in much better shape. Interestingly PRR's track improved significantly when they sent a gang through clearing the cesses.

To be able to travel at any speed even half approaching passenger expectations the line would need a complete rebuilding.  

Hope that helps. Wish the report could be better but if track is not looked after it does not improve itself.

Another little surprise. I was told the BBs are actually quite heavy on track.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
well if the track is that bad how can the stone train even run on it with all that tonnage?

did the engine function as planned?
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Hi,
well if the track is that bad how can the stone train even run on it with all that tonnage?
Heath Loxton

Well at the risk of being pummelled for being hard on you Heath, I have to ask, are you really that thick Heath.
As Ian has stated, the track is in a very bad condition and I'll put it in a context that you may understand (do you even understand what 'context' means? look it up).
Let's assume that the railway line is actually a roadway:-
If it was a really good bitumen road, passenger buses and freight trucks - even a road train could travel on it at high speed very safely, and people would get from A to B quickly and be happy.
If it was a rough bitumen road the buses and trucks would have to travel slower to be safe but the journey would be longer, people would not be happy, if the bus tried to go too fast the passengers would have a rough uncomfortable ride and the bus may even have an accident, it doesn't matter about the freight trucks as the stone they are carrying doesn't get hurt, they just take a lot longer and slower so that the truck doesn't have an accident.
Can you imagine what the road would be like if nobody did anything to repair it for 20+ years (I actually think it would be far more than this), all the bitumen would be smashed up, there would be pot holes everywhere, when it rained the road would be all slushy and muddy, when the trucks went over it they would make it worse, and they would have to travel very slow so they didn't have an accident.
The buses couldn't go on it, even travelling very slow the passengers would have a very uncomfortable ride - if they tried to have a drink it would get spilled everywhere, they would have to travel so slow that nobody would want to ride on it, they would drive theie own car.
The other problem is a big boss somewhere that makes the rules about who can travel on the road will say it is OK for the big trucks to keep using the road because they only go really slow and that doesn't matter because nobody will get hurt, but they will say the road is too rough for a passenger bus because the chance that the bus will have an accident or run off the road is too great, he has to think of the safety of the people that travel on the bus as well.
Another big boss who owns the roadway isn't going to spend money on it to fix it up because he doesn't have to, the only people to use it is the truck people and it is fine for them because they can go slow, besides, that truck might not have job soon anyway. This big boss would have to spend a huge amount of money on the road for the bus to be able to drive safely on the road and be able to get the passengers to somewhere in a reasonable time, now the problem is that he has got a good memory and can remember that the buses tried to carry passengers on this road one time long ago, but the bus driver couldn't get enough people to travel on his bus, he couldn't make enough money so the big boss had to pay for some of his huge expenses to carry only a few people every now and then.
That Heath is how it is, do you understand now, if not, may I suggest that you take yourself somewhere else and seek the answer you desire.

Wayne
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Well at the risk of being pummelled for being hard on you Heath, I have to ask, are you really that thick Heath.
As Ian has stated, the track is in a very bad condition and I'll put it in a context that you may understand (do you even understand what 'context' means? look it up).
Let's assume that the railway line is actually a roadway:-
If it was a really good bitumen road, passenger buses and freight trucks - even a road train could travel on it at high speed very safely, and people would get from A to B quickly and be happy.
If it was a rough bitumen road the buses and trucks would have to travel slower to be safe but the journey would be longer, people would not be happy, if the bus tried to go too fast the passengers would have a rough uncomfortable ride and the bus may even have an accident, it doesn't matter about the freight trucks as the stone they are carrying doesn't get hurt, they just take a lot longer and slower so that the truck doesn't have an accident.
Can you imagine what the road would be like if nobody did anything to repair it for 20+ years (I actually think it would be far more than this), all the bitumen would be smashed up, there would be pot holes everywhere, when it rained the road would be all slushy and muddy, when the trucks went over it they would make it worse, and they would have to travel very slow so they didn't have an accident.
The buses couldn't go on it, even travelling very slow the passengers would have a very uncomfortable ride - if they tried to have a drink it would get spilled everywhere, they would have to travel so slow that nobody would want to ride on it, they would drive theie own car.
The other problem is a big boss somewhere that makes the rules about who can travel on the road will say it is OK for the big trucks to keep using the road because they only go really slow and that doesn't matter because nobody will get hurt, but they will say the road is too rough for a passenger bus because the chance that the bus will have an accident or run off the road is too great, he has to think of the safety of the people that travel on the bus as well.
Another big boss who owns the roadway isn't going to spend money on it to fix it up because he doesn't have to, the only people to use it is the truck people and it is fine for them because they can go slow, besides, that truck might not have job soon anyway. This big boss would have to spend a huge amount of money on the road for the bus to be able to drive safely on the road and be able to get the passengers to somewhere in a reasonable time, now the problem is that he has got a good memory and can remember that the buses tried to carry passengers on this road one time long ago, but the bus driver couldn't get enough people to travel on his bus, he couldn't make enough money so the big boss had to pay for some of his huge expenses to carry only a few people every now and then.
That Heath is how it is, do you understand now, if not, may I suggest that you take yourself somewhere else and seek the answer you desire.

Wayne
hosk1956

Clap! Clap! Clap!   Laughing
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Hi,
well if the track is that bad how can the stone train even run on it with all that tonnage?
"Heath Loxton"
Or to sum it up in three dot points rather than a huge wall of text:

1. It's an existing safety case rather than a new service. Think of it like it's a car with a couple of problems in that grey area where they aren't yet bad enough to take it off the road to get fixed, but also not good enough that you'd be able to sell it to somebody.

2. It's not about the tonnage, it's about risk management. Public passenger service quite rightly requires the track to be at a higher standard, while it's semi-acceptable for one freight driver to sustain minor injuries (one of the reasons they get paid so well) and some paid-off hoppers to take a little damage.

3. Even if it was about the tonnage, the axle load of a Bluebird would not be much lighter than the stone train.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Great post in general Wayne, but on this small tangent:
Can you imagine what the road would be like if nobody did anything to repair it for 20+ years (I actually think it would be far more than this), all the bitumen would be smashed up, there would be pot holes everywhere, when it rained the road would be all slushy and muddy, when the trucks went over it they would make it worse, and they would have to travel very slow so they didn't have an accident.
"hosk1956"
The time depends on the traffic level and other local conditions in a particular spot.

Mount Bold Road hasn't been redone since it was first sealed 40+ years ago, but it still has a great surface thanks to it being South Australia's most useless road for conventional transport purposes. It's a regular location for special stages in all the tarmac rallies held in SA (the number of residents impacted is counted on one hand, and one of them is a regular marshal) and also quite popular among a number of cycling groups -  it's such a great route that Targa contestants with semi-slick tyres and road cyclists happily tolerate a careful run along a couple of kilometres of graded gravel needed to arrive at the Dorset Vale end.

The opposite is true for parts of South Road particularly north of Bedford Park - the surface in the acceleration zone through/after intersections only lasts a few years thanks to the extra stresses.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Great post in general Wayne, but on this small tangent:
The time depends on the traffic level and other local conditions in a particular spot.

Mount Bold Road hasn't been redone since it was first sealed 40+ years ago, but it still has a great surface thanks to it being South Australia's most useless road for conventional transport purposes. It's a regular location for special stages in all the tarmac rallies held in SA (the number of residents impacted is counted on one hand, and one of them is a regular marshal) and also quite popular among a number of cycling groups - it's such a great route that Targa contestants with semi-slick tyres and road cyclists happily tolerate a careful run along a couple of kilometres of graded gravel needed to arrive at the Dorset Vale end.

The opposite is true for parts of South Road particularly north of Bedford Park - the surface in the acceleration zone through/after intersections only lasts a few years thanks to the extra stresses.
justapassenger

Well I did try to simplify the issue for young Heath's benefit.
But of topic now, it is true what you say, I live out north but venture to Aldgate on a fortnightly basis, I rarely use the left lane on the freeway as I always seem to be overtaking other traffic without speeding (another off topic subject?), recently I did use the left lane till just before the worm holes and was both surprised and shocked at the sad condition of the left lane, a victim of heavy traffic?

Wayne
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
I know a line like this in Adelaide.

its called the Grange line and it is still in service despite the track condition and the fact that I am nearly thrown out of my chair every time I travel on the line between Woodville and grange.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Hi,
I know a line like this in Adelaide.

its called the Grange line and it is still in service despite the track condition and the fact that I am nearly thrown out of my chair every time I travel on the line between Woodville and grange.
Heath Loxton

Okay, now imagine yourself to a gent or lady of some class on the way to a wine tasting, the person next you has a glass of red wine, you're now wearing it on your expensive suit or cocktail frock... How happy are you?
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Aaron,
well serve wine with a lid... its not that hard!
  SAR523 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Chicago, IL
Heath


  1. The cesses are choked up or filled in so water has got into the base.


....
Interestingly PRR's track improved significantly when they sent a gang through clearing the cesses.
steam4ian

OK, I'll bite - what is a cess?  My English and Australian dictionaries define it as an archaic form of British tax which is presumably not what you're talking about Smile.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Well I did try to simplify the issue for young Heath's benefit.
But of topic now, it is true what you say, I live out north but venture to Aldgate on a fortnightly basis, I rarely use the left lane on the freeway as I always seem to be overtaking other traffic without speeding (another off topic subject?), recently I did use the left lane till just before the worm holes and was both surprised and shocked at the sad condition of the left lane, a victim of heavy traffic?
"hosk1956"
I'd agree it is probably the heavy vehicles doing that, literally pulling the top surface down the hill in the same way as a heavy freight train does to the rails when going up a steep grade long enough to reach a balancing speed. I don't drive there that often, but when I did the Bupa Challenge this January there was a noticeable difference in rolling resistance even from the middle lane to the right lane (left lane was still open for trucks) and the rarely-touched RHS shoulder by the central barrier was even better. I've also found a similar deal with the climb up the SExy from Darlington on Amy's Ride, the middle lane there is the best thanks to both the others being the heavy lane for half of the time.

Overtaking without speeding there is not uncommon - automatic transmission cars before about 1998-2003 simply don't have the right gear ratios to hold a good cruising speed up there. An old '89 Camry auto I used to drive (bloody well built cars, from before the Victorian Government drove down the quality by subsidising local component manufacturers) was terrible on that hill, in the 3rd gear it ran out of power at ~93 km/h if the overdrive was off, but if the OD was on it suffered from 3rd+OD being so tall a ratio that it would start losing speed as soon as the OD kicked in.

OK, I'll bite - what is a cess?  My English and Australian dictionaries define it as an archaic form of British tax which is presumably not what you're talking about Smile.
"SAR523"
Railway jargonese - the space immediately to either side of the track/s. Presumably derived from cess pit which is what it would have been like before onboard toilets were invented.

Aaron,
well serve wine with a lid... its not that hard!
"Heath Loxton"
That would be appropriate if it was the Barossa Lager Train, but not for wine.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Hi,
I know a line like this in Adelaide.

its called the Grange line and it is still in service despite the track condition and the fact that I am nearly thrown out of my chair every time I travel on the line between Woodville and grange.
Heath Loxton

Heath

Have you ever wondered if the reason why you might be thrown out of your seat has nothing to do with the irregular movement of the train? Laughing

Previously you asked about the TSRs on the Grange line, now you know why. A clue, the ride according to you is rough and you imply the track has not been upgraded.

Now please transfer these reasons your mind to the Barossa line which has had no maintenance for years and is totally run down. GWA are extracting the last bit of life out of it much as CR did through the Pichi Richi Pass.

Ian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

OK, I'll bite - what is a cess? My English and Australian dictionaries define it as an archaic form of British tax which is presumably not what you're talking about Smile.
SAR523

A "cess" is any man made channel or ditch which takes water away from an area where it is not wanted, under the track bed is one of those places. A cess pit takes other unwanted water and contaminants.

Ian
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Ivan Venning is still plugging away as well.

http://www.barossaherald.com.au/story/2220620/barossa-back-on-track/

Best of luck to them, I can't see anything happening in our current climate, maybe just before the next election!

Wayne
  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

Hi,
I know a line like this in Adelaide.

its called the Grange line and it is still in service despite the track condition and the fact that I am nearly thrown out of my chair every time I travel on the line between Woodville and grange.
Heath Loxton


Nope. You don't know a line like that. The Grange line isn't that bad, so please stop exaggerating. It is perfectly fine for passenger operations, it could use upgrading like the rest of them we know, but in general it is fine as a suburban line. If you want to see terrible, go for a ride on the St Kilda tram line in Melbourne that goes down the old Railway perway to St Kilda. That thing is rough as guts, but operates daily and frequently.

I don't quite get the thrown out of your chair part. Driving it frequently, it isn't THAT bad.

Anyway, any part of the Grange line (like all other lines) if it has issues, has a TSR on it. Otherwise, I would be my bottom dollar that the Grange line is in MUCH better condition than the Penrice Line.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
To run any kind of passenger service anywhere on these lines would entail a complete rebuild of the lines from the ground up and as the South Australian Govt could not even afford to pay for Metro track upgrades, I think you would have a snowflakes chance in hell of getting any country lines rebuilt.

Also I have travelled on the Grange line and it is not as bad as you make out, sure it has a few problems but not as bad as the Penrice Line has. You have no idea at all really about condition of track and fit for purpose etc. That derailment on the level crossing a while back were it ripped up the entire crossing and put a couple of hoppers in the dirt was done at walking pace almost, as I know the driver that was driving that day. That say's a lot about the actual condition of the track it is only being maintained to a point, because the stone train running was all up in the air and could end tomorrow. So they did minimal maintenance on the line. Even more minimal than Adelaide Metro on the Grange line.

It is no good having good rails and rotten sleepers the rail's will turn over which they did in the derailment I described above. As for running trains anywhere else on BG in the country tell em they are dreaming!
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
[edit]

Grand reopening of the thread, actually a new one , split from the  test train thread -based on the wine train's use of a former line etc.


[/edit]

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