Why not a tourist steam train for defunct rail line?

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 23 Feb 2016 15:41
  Trainguy01 Station Master

Location: Casino
I think the lack of an A and an H in Mullinbimby pretty safe from confusion?

Sorry, ill switch of my pedanticms and narckiness now.
Doesn't matter, in another 13 years long after the wooden sleepers have turned to worm poo and even the steel sleepers will be wafer then in this moist climate, most bridges collapsed or removed and half the line washed away there will be still calls to run trains again just because the rails are still there.
RTT_Rules
Just a correction - The steel sleepers are in great condition the length of the line and the wooden sleepers from Lismore to Casino are also in great condition. The wooden sleepers at Mulumbimby are also in good condition (especially those over the Brunswick River - they could've been laid yesterday). There is only 1 small washout and 2 landslips which have covered part of the track near St. Helena and only 4 wooden bridges removed due to age... The line at Byron is in especially great condition as it will be re-opened by April.

Sponsored advertisement

  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
So long as the Track drainage is good those Timber sleepers should be good for at least 25 Plus Years and steel should last double that or more.
Pack under where the rail meets the sleeper, wood or steel and you only need the  merest suggestion of a connection to maintain the gauge, that along with a steady low speed with something like a Rail Motor designed for 'Pioneer Track', the line should last for many years.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi guys,
Thanks for those comments, but I indicated in "Another" 13 years with no track maintenance. Yes I've previously seen sleepers in the old section Melba Flats to Zeehan in the Tassie west coast closed for 30 years mostly in condition except where water has pooled where they are 100% pulp. However is that timber more favorable than that used in NSW North Coast?

Remember it was due for a 8000 sleeper program just prior to closure. My estimate the 100km long line has about 140,000 sleepers excluding loops and sidings and this is 5% of the population that were going to be replaced. After 13 years, we are probably talking 25 to 45% replacement. Oberon Rail Society under estimated their sleeper requirements and the failed Beaudesert Rail Society also same and failing sleeper condition was probably a main contributor to Mary Valley's issues (certainly from what I saw and posted a few years earlier the signs were there).

If you are just going to run a rail motor, then you are talking a short section of tourist track only. It won't be attractive to many and won't bring in the revenues to keep a large section open.

From purely tourist perspective the line probably has more pulling power as a well organised Rail Trail. Perhaps in some areas you could keep open as a push trolley, or bike trolley on rails as well or with the trial off to the side.
  Trainguy01 Station Master

Location: Casino
Read this - It is very disappointing to see how wasteful the government was in the closure of the line...
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/0430636eb8f221a3ca256ec80017fba8/$FILE/sub%20215.pdf
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Read this - It is very disappointing to see how wasteful the government was in the closure of the line...
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/0430636eb8f221a3ca256ec80017fba8/$FILE/sub%20215.pdf
Trainguy01
thanks and yes clearly some questionable actions by the Carr govt and this was limited to this branch.

For the record,
I didn't agree with closing the line then or now, but you need to question the viability of a 150km long branch line for 1 train a day and something and to change. Problem is once closed it was unlikely to return as the line was indeed questionable to remain open. The loss of both freight and Ritz Rail didn't help and the line was approaching some major upgrades over coming years with many old timber trestle bridges needing to be modernised.

I have no issue with the use of XPT technology in NSW, however the North Coast services are one area where this does fall over as both Brisbane and Mur'bah would have benefited from a double daily split, with half a train continuing to each terminus. I'm sure this would only boost numbers, even if small and reduce busitution or needs for it to purely Mur'bah to Surfers Paradise.

This would also provide a daily return option for users from North of Grafton to Brisbane and Mur'bah/GC. To do this the XPT would have needed to be replaced with DMU : DMU operation like NW service. Or the train and Casino track layout changed in some way that spiting the XPT at Casino was practical. I think this could have been done if the XPT sets were captive to the North Coast.

I still think the Casino XPT should terminate at Lismore.

The steam train option is but a pipe dream, a rail trial would be better and more practical.
  jayrail Assistant Commissioner

Location: te Anau Southern Alps NZ
Here in Otago NZ,.Dunedin railways .a council owned rail group is operating in part on the Taieri  Gorge railway to Pukerangi near Middlemarch. Steam trains  run here with full loads, and the massive international tourist boats  are flocklng to the local wharf at the Port Chalmers. Big industry for South Island.Steam is popular.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, but I don't see this being replicated here as terrain is less exciting and no rail trail beyond and line is lower mtce cost and started as a going concern, not 13 yr after  closure.

We also have a list of failures and NZ Kingston flyer also bombed.
  Mad Panda Station Master

Location: NSW Australia
Read this - It is very disappointing to see how wasteful the government was in the closure of the line...
http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/committee.nsf/0/0430636eb8f221a3ca256ec80017fba8/$FILE/sub%20215.pdf
"....with half a train continuing to each terminus. I'm sure this would only boost numbers, even if small and reduce busitution or needs for it to purely Mur'bah to Surfers Paradise.

This would also provide a daily return option for users from North of Grafton to Brisbane and Mur'bah/GC. To do this the XPT would have needed to be replaced with DMU : DMU operation like NW service. Or the train and Casino track layout changed in some way that spiting the XPT at Casino was practical. I think this could have been done if the XPT sets were captive to the North Coast.

I still think the Casino XPT should terminate at Lismore....
."

Back in the day, I used the buses. The trains had a bad rep for damaging surf boards.  Aaah those were the days. Exams done, two weeks off, a quiver stashed and the north coast beckoning like a sultry whore....

RTT_Rules
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Here in Otago NZ,.Dunedin railways .a council owned rail group is operating in part on the  to Pukerangi near Middlemarch. Steam trains  run here with full loads, and the massive international tourist boats  are flocklng to the local wharf at the Port Chalmers. Big industry for South Island.Steam is popular.
jayrail
Yes its popular there, because its part of a much bigger picture there with amazing scenery. Meanwhile Kingston Flyer feel over and yet its on the edge of tourism based Queenstown.

Steam has also progressively fallen over in many parts of Oz due to one or a combination of a lack of users, poor management and rising costs. The Otage trains also use diesel heavily to control costs. Steam is for specials.

I think Oberon maybe successful operation and actually get to Tarana (one day) simply because the length of the line will be a natural cap on their operation and potentially they can replicate the Taieri Gorge Railway concept mixing modes of transport to/from Tarana. ie perhaps hire bikes for people to ride down the hill, lunch at the Tarana pub or local park for a picnic and then train it back. I nice families day out that isn't costly. However I doubt we will see a steamer on Oberon for many a decade if ever. Could potentially promote it with a day trip on XPT from Sydney.
  Brianr Assistant Commissioner

Location: Dunedin, New Zealand
Dunedin Railway does not run steam engines. The occasional steam hauled run (about once each year) is from the North Island. I do not know the details.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just a correction - The steel sleepers are in great condition the length of the line and the wooden sleepers from Lismore to Casino are also in great condition. The wooden sleepers at Mulumbimby are also in good condition (especially those over the Brunswick River - they could've been laid yesterday). There is only 1 small washout and 2 landslips which have covered part of the track near St. Helena and only 4 wooden bridges removed due to age... The line at Byron is in especially great condition as it will be re-opened by April.
Trainguy01
Yes obviously the steel sleepers will be ok. But after 13yrs, roughly the half life for sleepers timbers.

There are about 160,000 sleepers on that line and 8000 were due to be replaced in 2004, but cancelled at last minute. I'm sure that number would be at least 25% of the timber sleepers on the ground by now. Unless you want light infrequent trains at slow speeds. Remember one of the things that closed Bueadesert Rail was despite the large number of sleepers replaced by QR, there was still many more to replace in near future.
  Gaz170 Junior Train Controller

Location: Gold Coast
The issue with timber sleepers is termites as well.  I know this has been mentioned before but it is important to realise the vibration of the trains going over helps keep the termites away.  After 6 months without trains, termites will start to move in to the sleepers.  After 13 years I doubt there would be many not affected now.

As I have said before, unless you can get a billionaire who wants to re-open a line as his own personal life sized train set, it's a lost cause in almost every case.
  tezza Chief Commissioner

Might be a good time for Oberon to do some fundraising, it is quite likely within the next decade that Glenreagh Mountain Railway will call it a day due to an aging and dwindling workforce and a noticable lack of local interest.

Under the rules of Incorporated Associations for winding up, the group must sell all assets with the proceeds distributed amongst the members. Unfortunately the assets can't just be donated or given away at bargain prices. Still, Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway might just be the position to acquire loco 1919 in the future
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Might be a good time for Oberon to do some fundraising, it is quite likely within the next decade that Glenreagh Mountain Railway will call it a day due to an aging and dwindling workforce and a noticable lack of local interest.

Under the rules of Incorporated Associations for winding up, the group must sell all assets with the proceeds distributed amongst the members. Unfortunately the assets can't just be donated or given away at bargain prices. Still, Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway might just be the position to acquire loco 1919 in the future
tezza
Considering Oberon are a number of years behind their vision, I'd say they are doing their best at fund raising.

At the moment the number of heritage groups is probably contracting not expanding and hence the assets will most likely end up in who ever has the funds to pay the highest price and considering the cost of transport for rollingstock, "give away" prices is probably a real potential. Then of course there is storage. I'm sure Oberon Council doesn't want the station area turned into a mass storage yard for rolling stock in various states of repair or dis-repair.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

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