Gippsland Line to be cut again

 
  tom9876543 Train Controller


I have a cynical view, that no-one will ever be able to disprove, that there never was a geological barrier to constructing a second bridge and duplicating this section with the rest of the duplication/electrification project back in the 1950's.

My view is that the project ran out of money, and the excuse that "No suitble foundations could be found for the river crossing" is a crock. The replacement bridge over the Morwell River includes piles 36 metres deep(!) and even in the 1950's such an impediment would have been easy enough to deal with if a similar level of 'swampiness' was found there.



Perusal of VR records would indicate the duplication was terminated due to a lack of engineering capacity during the time of the construction of the north east standard gauge. There may also have been some redirection of already ordered materials. This was also the time it became obvious that the freight traffic foreseen, which was the driver for the duplication and electrification project, wasn't going to appear in the short term, and the necessity of duplication for capacity reasons was very low. That's not to say that the job was necessarily easy, just that it wasn't beyond the capabilities of the time.
pawanoro


Would DirtyBallast be able to quote some official government documentation, or a newspaper article, where they clearly claimed the duplication was cancelled due to "no suitable foundations could be found for the river crossing"??
Maybe DirtyBallast is simply repeating an old wives' tale that has no basis in reality.

Sponsored advertisement

  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Would DirtyBallast be able to quote some official government documentation, or a newspaper article, where they clearly claimed the duplication was cancelled due to "no suitable foundations could be found for the river crossing"??
Maybe DirtyBallast is simply repeating an old wives' tale that has no basis in reality.
tom9876543

As someone who lives in that exact area, and who has experience dealing with the mysterious subterranean content in the vicinity, it would not surprise me at all to find there were problems finding suitable foundations. Old timers in the area still talk about the problems building the rail bridge, and I can vouch for the fact that eight truckloads of ballast disappeared into one small section of soft ground on my property and I had to give up on running the road. The existing rail bridge is built on swamp ground and that swamp was primarily caused by the meandering of the Bunyip River.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
With a Government proposal to duplicate the Bunyip - Longwarry track.

Would the section between Pakenham and Warragul be straight railed North and South track (no cross overs)

Would Bunyip's station be developed Into an Island platform.

Longwarry would most likely have a second platform built opposite It's existing.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Existing junctions at Bunyip and Longwarry would be removed. As both existing tracks are signalled for bi directional running. So expect bi directional signalling on New North Line between Bunyip to Longwarry. New single platform opposite existing platform at Bunyip. At Longwarry there should still be two separate platforms on double track on Dn side existing lx ?
  tom9876543 Train Controller

As someone who lives in that exact area, and who has experience dealing with the mysterious subterranean content in the vicinity, it would not surprise me at all to find there were problems finding suitable foundations. Old timers in the area still talk about the problems building the rail bridge, and I can vouch for the fact that eight truckloads of ballast disappeared into one small section of soft ground on my property and I had to give up on running the road. The existing rail bridge is built on swamp ground and that swamp was primarily caused by the meandering of the Bunyip River.
TheBlacksmith

The area near Bunyip river is difficult - that is not the point.
I was asking about the OFFICIAL documentation of the reason for cancelling the second line.
pawanoro has quoted VR documentation that says the second line was cancelled because resources were redirected to the North East line.
This contradicts DirtyBallasts' unsubstantiated story, that VR claimed the reason for cancellation was the difficult geology.
Try and stay on topic....
Is there any OFFICIAL documentation that shows VR claimed they couldn't duplicate the line, due to the difficult geology?
It appears there isn't.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well the Premier announced today that if his crowd were relected they'd duplicate this section and put extra trains on to Sale and also to Bairnsdale.

Back when Gippsland was first settled, almost all communication with Melbourne was via steam packets from Port Albert as the impassible "Great Swamp" cut off almost all overland communication with the rest of Victoria. Drainage works took up vast amounts of money in the late 19th century and they are still visible from the South Gippsland Highway.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Existing junctions at Bunyip and Longwarry would be removed. As both existing tracks are signalled for bi directional running. So expect bi directional signalling on New North Line between Bunyip to Longwarry. New single platform opposite existing platform at Bunyip. At Longwarry there should still be two separate platforms on double track on Dn side existing lx ?
kuldalai

The platforms on the down side of the LX at Longwarry were never built. Preliminary works were completed for their construction, including the footbridge IIRC, but it went no further.
  pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

To be fair the source I am quoting is internal correspondence, not intended for public consumption. I've certainly heard the story regarding difficulties with foundations but I don't have a specific source. One would probably need to look through contemporary news sources to identify any public reasoning that may have been given.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Try and stay on topic....
tom9876543

It is on topic with relation to what you said: 'Maybe DirtyBallast is simply repeating an old wives' tale that has no basis in reality'

I therefore responded saying the geology of the area is difficult and there is a basis for the claim. If you had intended to imply that the VR reason given was possibly an old wives tale, then you should have been more specific.

And the story of the 'difficult geology' has been in existence for many years and is well known by the local people, so it is very likely that it had been given as an official reason at some stage.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

It is on topic with relation to what you said: 'Maybe DirtyBallast is simply repeating an old wives' tale that has no basis in reality'

I therefore responded saying the geology of the area is difficult and there is a basis for the claim. If you had intended to imply that the VR reason given was possibly an old wives tale, then you should have been more specific.

And the story of the 'difficult geology' has been in existence for many years and is well known by the local people, so it is very likely that it had been given as an official reason at some stage.
TheBlacksmith

The VLP  Operational Plan of 11/2011 available on the Greens website indicates that recent engineering investigations have indicated that there will be no great engineering difficulties in building a second bridge over the Bunyip River in the single track section .

It would be hard to accept that a new bridge alongside the existing bridge which would have been built in the 1950,s would present a whole new range of  construction challenges within such a small shift sideways .

So at Longwarry one could build a second platform opposite the existing or  build two new platforms on the Down side of the lx as originally planned in the 1950's . Budgetary  constraints will no doubt result in the first option being adopted .
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
So at Longwarry one could build a second platform opposite the existing or build two new platforms on the Down side of the lx as originally planned in the 1950's . Budgetary constraints will no doubt result in the first option being adopted .
kuldalai

Car parking at Longwarry station is woefully inadequate given the housing expansion in the area, and there is nothing particularly special about the existing platform. Building two new platforms or an island platform on the down side of the LX would give access to a large area for car parking in the space where the original yards were located. But, as you say, they will probably cheap out.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Existing junctions at Bunyip and Longwarry would be removed. As both existing tracks are signalled for bi directional running. So expect bi directional signalling on New North Line between Bunyip to Longwarry. New single platform opposite existing platform at Bunyip. At Longwarry there should still be two separate platforms on double track on Dn side existing lx ?
kuldalai

One would have to ask, when Bunyip-Longwarry becomes double track and what effectively Is a very long double crossover Is removed, there will be about 40 km's between the crossovers at Pakenham and Warragul.

In the early afternoon when the double line switches over from left hand running  to right hand running, will the 40 km's of straight railed track put a hole In the timetable ?

This could become an Issue If Warragul was to gain local shuttles trains to and from Dandenong/Pakenham between scheduled Traralgon/Sale/Bairnsdale services

One solution would be to upgrade the North track between Pakenham and Bunyip to Class 1 standard and return the Pakenham - Warragul track to full time left hand running (there Is minimal If any 130 Km/h + running between Longwarry* and Warragul due to the hilly country the line encounters)

* This would be assuming the new North track between Bunyip and Longwarry would be newly built to Class 1 standard .
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
One would have to ask, when Bunyip-Longwarry becomes double track and what effectively Is a very long double crossover Is removed, there will be about 40 km's between the crossovers at Pakenham and Warragul.

In the early afternoon when the double line switches over from left hand running to right hand running, will the 40 km's of straight railed track put a hole In the timetable ?

This could become an Issue If Warragul was to gain local shuttles trains to and from Dandenong/Pakenham between scheduled Traralgon/Sale/Bairnsdale services

One solution would be to upgrade the North track between Pakenham and Bunyip to Class 1 standard and return the Pakenham - Warragul track to full time left hand running (there Is minimal If any 130 Km/h + running between Longwarry* and Warragul due to the hilly country the line encounters)

* This would be assuming the new North track between Bunyip and Longwarry would be newly built to Class 1 standard .
Nightfire

I'd screw over any freight running along the line, and the crossover in tracks later in the day.
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
I've been on early afternoon services that have done what kuldalai suggested. That is - travel to Bunyip on one line, then after traveling on the single track line to Longwarry, continued on the other track. it seems from this that it would be wise to have crossover facilities at Longwarry after duplication.Very Happy
  waynes Junior Train Controller

Location: Victoria
With the bridge works completed. Has freight resumed to Morwell?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I've been on early afternoon services that have done what kuldalai suggested. That is - travel to Bunyip on one line, then after traveling on the single track line to Longwarry, continued on the other track. it seems from this that it would be wise to have crossover facilities at Longwarry after duplication.Very Happy
L1150

If there would be no crossovers between Warragul and Pakenham then that would be too long a section, so ideally one would put in a pair of 65 kmh crossovers at Bunyip and that would fix the issue , as mid way between Pakenham and Warragul. .

On both the Bendigo line and Moe line one track is  Class-1  allowing 160kmh and the other is Class 2 allowing 130kmh for DMU.

VLP ultimate plan is to have both tracks on Bendigo line and Moe line  upgraded to Class - 1. for operational simplicity .

BUT this comes at substantial capital cost and those funds if available at all would be better spent in upgrading in order  1.  Mangalore - Mooroopna to Class- 2 allowing 130kmh V/Locity to Shepparton, 2. Eaglehawk - Swan Hill to Class-2 allowing loco hauled 115kmh to Swan Hill  3. Traralgon - Sale to Class -2  allowing 115kmh for loco hauled and 130kmh for V/Locity .

With the Bendigo Line the stopping pattern does not allow for much 160kmh sustained running, and the grades and curvature in the Down mean 130kmh is not achieved for long . The loco hauled Swan Hill in this section 115kmh irrespective of track class.

With the Moe Line only the Bairnsdale loco hauleds are semi express and they are 115kmh irrespective of track class .  Traralgon VL stop all stations basically so rarely get over 130 kmh anyway .  

So better to spend scarce capital funds on the other 3 corridors where there is a significant benefit and reduction in travel time.

Whilst Class 1 track potentially would allow for 130kmh loco hauled operation the limiting factor is the bogies , springing and dampeners on the  N and Z cars , another capital cost and hard to justify for limited express running .
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
With the bridge works completed. Has freight resumed to Morwell?
"waynes"


Paper train is back in business, saw it at Maryvale yesterday.

Interesting to note that whilst the Libs have committed to extra passenger trains, the ALP has committed $10m to the Logistics Precinct at Morwell.  This project has had a long gestation but a major stumbling block was the very large infrastructure cost.
  Bethungra Train Controller

Paper train is back in business, saw it at Maryvale yesterday.

Interesting to note that whilst the Libs have committed to extra passenger trains, the ALP has committed $10m to the Logistics Precinct at Morwell.  This project has had a long gestation but a major stumbling block was the very large infrastructure cost.
gippslander

That has to be great news for the area.  Does this entail the full logistics area with sidings and warehousing like SCT?
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic


With the Moe Line only the Bairnsdale loco hauleds are semi express and they are 115kmh irrespective of track class .  Traralgon VL stop all stations basically so rarely get over 130 kmh anyway .  

.
"kuldalai"


Have often wondered why VLP stops all the Traralgon services at thinly populated settlements between Pakenham and Drouin where there is apparently minimal patronage. Even Garfield, (with a population of well under 1000) has every service on the line bar one including the Bairnsdale trains stopping there.  I suppose it sets the scene for being able to check out backyards between Dandenong and Caulfield at cycling speed.
  712M Chief Commissioner

I suppose the idea is to encourage more local travel between towns along the Gippsland corridor, something much less attractive if the train only stops all stations once every two hours.

I agree that Bairnsdale services should be running express Pakenham - Warragul - Moe, but they must be run in addition to the hourly Traralgon stoppers. Ideally Vlocities would be cleared to run past Sale to allow journey times to decrease by about 15 minutes with 160 km/h running between Pakenham and Traralgon.
  grime Locomotive Fireman




"VLP ultimate plan is to have both tracks on Bendigo line and Moe line upgraded to Class - 1. for operational simplicity ."

kuldalai

Would it be safe to assume that during cyclic maintenance/renewels now,only concrete sleepers are used replacing timber sleepers?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Have often wondered why VLP stops all the Traralgon services at thinly populated settlements between Pakenham and Drouin where there is apparently minimal patronage. Even Garfield, (with a population of well under 1000) has every service on the line bar one including the Bairnsdale trains stopping there. I suppose it sets the scene for being able to check out backyards between Dandenong and Caulfield at cycling speed.
gippslander

It is historical  suburban train type spacings on a country line .  Two solutions  rationalize the number of stations by closing half of them and accelerating services, or go back to Sprinter shuttles Weekdays between Warragul and Dandenong, and at same time Traralgons run express  Pakenham to Drouin. One aint going to happen as it is politically sensitive, two involves extra cost and extra resurces so not going to happen any time soon either .
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
Have often wondered why VLP stops all the Traralgon services at thinly populated settlements between Pakenham and Drouin where there is apparently minimal patronage. Even Garfield, (with a population of well under 1000) has every service on the line bar one including the Bairnsdale trains stopping there. I suppose it sets the scene for being able to check out backyards between Dandenong and Caulfield at cycling speed.
gippslander

Unfortunately it's not practical to have all trains run express from where we get on until where we want to get off the train. Oh how we wish that it were. Laughing Not everyone who boards at a major station wants to alight at another major station. And people who board at minor stations, don't necessarily need to only travel to another minor station.  

I seem to recall that having all trains stop at Garfield was originally done as a compromise to allow trains to run express Longwarry, Bunyip and Tynong, Nar Nar Goon, but with a connecting bus ferrying passengers for those stations to and from Garfield, therefore giving passengers at those stations access to the same services without having to stop the trains at them all. A quick look at the timetable suggests there's not many such connecting coach services now.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Would DirtyBallast be able to quote some official government documentation, or a newspaper article, where they clearly claimed the duplication was cancelled due to "no suitable foundations could be found for the river crossing"??
Maybe DirtyBallast is simply repeating an old wives' tale that has no basis in reality.
tom9876543

Maybe.

Who cares.

The easy option regarding the non-duplication of that section was obviously taken back then for whatever reason; I still maintain that it was due to budgetary constraints. It has been generally accepted by the public that geology was the reason - if you suggest that it is an old wive's tail, then it has certainly been perpetuated by people more expert than me, but in any case the rumour would not have been started by layfolk. If the duplication did not take place because specialist machinery was in use elsewhere, that obviously points to a lack of said machinery at the time (budget driven) or a premature end to the project (budget driven) or a smaller project scope than originally planned (budget driven).
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
I seem to recall that having all trains stop at Garfield was originally done as a compromise to allow trains to run express Longwarry, Bunyip and Tynong, Nar Nar Goon, but with a connecting bus ferrying passengers for those stations to and from Garfield, therefore giving passengers at those stations access to the same services without having to stop the trains at them all. A quick look at the timetable suggests there's not many such connecting coach services now.
B 67

Garfield is (was?) promoted as a Park and Ride station, I assume as a consequence of its mid-point location baetween Drouin and Pakenham, and its closer proximity to the Princes Hwy compared to the other villages.

It is disappointing that the current timetable sees the only Down 'flagship' service now stop at Bunyip and Longwarry as well, negating the need for a bus to ferry passengers to those locations from Garfield.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.