Rowsley Crossing Loop Commissioning

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The lack of high speed turnouts at the Rowsley loop is not quite the MAJOR disaster its being painted as. The problem is on the Ballarrat side of Baccus Marsh there is a 600 metre long 80kph (DMU) curve followed by a 2000 metres of 1 in 48, then there is a 1 in 300 to just before the horse shoe curve. Now neither an up or down DMU will be going faster than 80kph at the top of the 1 in 48 at Kerrs rd.  A train from Baccus Marsh.will not have enough power to be going much past 70kph and a train to the station has to stop at the bottom of a 1 in 48, so cannnot be doing much above 80kph.. In a simulator one can reach 120kph at the start of the horseshoe only because there's a short 1 in 50 down grade.

So the amount of time saved by designing the Rowsley turnouts to 120kph will not be as great as one would at first believe.. I have not done a specfic simulation on this, but time saved with such turnouts  will likely be less than 30 seconds.

woodford.

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script: Much thanks for the above goes to "Mrdriver" Russel Beer, who quite some time back did an amazingly accurate version of the Footscray to Ballarrat line for MSTS , thus saving me a great deal, of effort. I have driven (in MSTS) this line in a Sprinter based DMU and an old Overland consist pulled by H220 many times and the Ingliston bank is a major challenge in both directions.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks woodford.   Whilst I don't doubt your assessment, for me its the lost opportunity to to create a long section of double track from te new second platform through to let me call it Rowsley Junction.   When the modelling was done to finally select the Rowsley location, it was in the basis of developing an unconstrained 30 minute frequency service in both directions and the ability in the peak direction to operate service approximately 15 minutes, without impacting the 30 minute counter peak direction.   Under those scenarios Rowsley was to become a very busy location because the long term strategy is to transfer all existing stabling to that area.  This will mean the section between the Marsh and Rowsley will be quite busy.  Notwithstanding that know that the ultimate timetable scenario sees numerous crossings there (every 30 minutes, the concept of this being double tracked from Bachus Marsh enables many services to cross on this new double track section.

Sorry that I didn't put all this background in my earlier posts which are already lengthy.  These tales  always have many elements to them and its a case of balancing how much detail do you include in the post.   So the new Rowsley Junction as I call it would have down trains leaving the new down platform at the Marsh which means there are real opportunities that there would be running crosses between "Rowsley Junction" and  the Marsh.   So whatever the speed is now that V'Locities reach as they approach the new junction shouldn't be reduced to negotiate a lower speed turnout when these trains are perfectly capable of maintaining quite a high speed as the climb the grade.  I'm sure Vinelander can tell us as a frequent traveller that V'Locities in particular maintain an impressive speed as they climb from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks woodford.   Whilst I don't doubt your assessment, for me its the lost opportunity to to create a long section of double track from te new second platform through to let me call it Rowsley Junction.   When the modelling was done to finally select the Rowsley location, it was in the basis of developing an unconstrained 30 minute frequency service in both directions and the ability in the peak direction to operate service approximately 15 minutes, without impacting the 30 minute counter peak direction.   Under those scenarios Rowsley was to become a very busy location because the long term strategy is to transfer all existing stabling to that area.  This will mean the section between the Marsh and Rowsley will be quite busy.  Notwithstanding that know that the ultimate timetable scenario sees numerous crossings there (every 30 minutes, the concept of this being double tracked from Bachus Marsh enables many services to cross on this new double track section.

Sorry that I didn't put all this background in my earlier posts which are already lengthy.  These tales  always have many elements to them and its a case of balancing how much detail do you include in the post.   So the new Rowsley Junction as I call it would have down trains leaving the new down platform at the Marsh which means there are real opportunities that there would be running crosses between "Rowsley Junction" and  the Marsh.   So whatever the speed is now that V'Locities reach as they approach the new junction shouldn't be reduced to negotiate a lower speed turnout when these trains are perfectly capable of maintaining quite a high speed as the climb the grade.  I'm sure Vinelander can tell us as a frequent traveller that V'Locities in particular maintain an impressive speed as they climb from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box
Trainplanner
Both the VLocity and the Sprinters maintain around 105kph climbing the 1 in 48 of ingliston bank, I have timed this on the Spinters twice and on VLocity's 4 times and timings were consistent. The times are also consistent with my mathematical modelling. So there is little point in spending vast sums on higher speeds.

For an extended passing lane to Rowsley to be effective it would be worth considering easing the grade out of Baccus Marsh by by some decent earth works. Given the machinery now availible this should not be  major issue. With the proposed stabling sidings at Rowsley a second track would be extremely usefull to say the least.

Its not really necesary for an apology for lack detail this writer understands there are complex issues at play on things like this.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just to make a point clear I think an extended passing lane to Rowsley with a second platform at Baccus Marsh would be a great idea but 1 in 48 grades are not something one can dismiss to easily in mainline railways, particularly as in this case one has a major station at the foot of the grade.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks woodford.   Even with your more precise assessment supported by technical analysis we still as of today being presented with a sub optimal facility in Rowsley Loop at a time when the corridor is about to have $450 million dollars of additional investment to improve both its capacity and reliability.   As stated in my original post my principle gripe is that no one is connecting the dots with the Rowsley Project and saying hey we need to properly integrate this with the major project to get a solution that is properly integrated and future proofed.  Its sub optimal and likely to remain sub-optimal forever basically.
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

The curve on the down side of Bacchus Marsh is 100kp and a V/Locity will generally get to 115kph in the vicinity of Rowsley and can maintain 115kph up Ingliston Bank.

Read through the lines, Rowsley loop was the quick fix instead of building a 2nd platform at Bacchus Marsh. Now that funding had been announced for that 2nd platform it will make Rowsley loop a bit of a dud. If you look at the current timetable you will notice that the first two down Ballarat services are non stop at Bacchus Marsh due to conflicts with up Ballarats and a single platform (and for stopping trains in both directions a single line section Parwan - Bank Box.

A side note, higher speed points would have been a waste. We arent talking passing lanes and 1000+ m trains. Running crosses are very rare (for V/line trains) and going into a loop to cross (unless the stars align) you will only ever get a medium speed (40kph) signal. The 65kph points are an advantage as on departing from a cross the train can have the advantage of a medium speed 65kph aspect.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm sure Vinelander can tell us as a frequent traveller that V'Locities in particular maintain an impressive speed as they climb from Bacchus Marsh to Bank Box
Trainplanner

Quite often the trains have to brake whilst travelling UP the escarpment (uphill) as they negotiate the 115KPH curves as the cuttings commence.

Mike.
  randomnarwhal Locomotive Driver

Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?
randomnarwhal

Enter Mike with the latest bad news...Shocked

With the extremely low water level at Melton weir fully exposing the metal piers of the viaduct, a thorough examination has revealed crack/s, not sure how many, on the structural supports of the viaduct.

From Monday just past till further notice, the speed restriction on the viaduct has been reduced from 150 KPH to 15 KPH...so we'll have to get used to late running and poor crosses for an indeterminate length of time.

Mike.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Thank you Woodford for the detailed information.
I am not an expert, but it seems they should build a second platform and Bacchus Marsh, and then double track all the way from Bacchus Marsh to the bottom of the horse shoe curve, with 80km/h turnouts. Instead we are getting a half-assed waste of money.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?

Enter Mike with the latest bad news...Shocked

With the extremely low water level at Melton weir fully exposing the metal piers of the viaduct, a thorough examination has revealed crack/s, not sure how many, on the structural supports of the viaduct.

From Monday just past till further notice, the speed restriction on the viaduct has been reduced from 150 KPH to 15 KPH...so we'll have to get used to late running and poor crosses for an indeterminate length of time.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Our very own Tay Bridge.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?

Enter Mike with the latest bad news...Shocked

With the extremely low water level at Melton weir fully exposing the metal piers of the viaduct, a thorough examination has revealed crack/s, not sure how many, on the structural supports of the viaduct.

From Monday just past till further notice, the speed restriction on the viaduct has been reduced from 150 KPH to 15 KPH...so we'll have to get used to late running and poor crosses for an indeterminate length of time.

Mike.
Our very own Tay Bridge.
YM-Mundrabilla


Thanks Exclamation

...and I have to cross our very own Tay bridge twice a day...Crying or Very sad
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I'm not going to add at this point anything further regarding the proposition regarding Rowsley.  It's too late anyway.  But if you take AB123's point regarding the signalling system not permitting higher speed operation it is again because that's the way Victoria applies its standards and has its way of doing things.  A case in point is how with ARTC it is possible to enter passing lanes at 80km/hr but in Victoria you have to slow to 65km/hr and then accelerate back up to 80 km/hr.

I have had these debates before and its always the same.   Such and such is not possible because we have such and such something else that won't allow you to do this.   The PAIN and the ANGST will come again with the new program of $450 million dollars to be spent.  We'll go and replicate all the same constraints etc as we've done before on RFR and RRL so we can compromise the outcome of what should be another wonderful project.

The modelling undertaken into 2007 that foreshadowed all the elements of what is in the new project, scheduled all trains to cross at Bacchus Marsh.   That meant that UNLESS THERE WAS LATE RUNNING, the Up train to Melbourne will be clear of "Rowsley Junction".   So the departing down train for the vast majority of the time if you had double track and a higher speed turnout the down train would be able to power out of Bacchus Marsh and as woodford has calculated and validated it would be travelling at around 105km/hr as it negotiated what I call Rowsley Junction so hence EVERY DOWN train would use that junction at that speed.   Placing the "junction" as far as you can in the down direction means that up trains can be around 3 to 4 minutes late and they won't impact on the down train being able to travel unimpeded.   Look I got it wrong, when I said the turnout speed should be 120km/hr.    The converge speed for the turnout should be around 105 to 110 km/hr , so I'm out by 10km/hr but its a damn site more in line with what should happen than installing 65km/hr turnouts in a increasingly more busy medium to highish speed Interurban passenger railway.   My last point.  I referred to the "one off" high speed (100km/hr) turnout that was installed at Beckenham in Perth on the Armadale Line to enable Thornlie Line trains to better merge with the Armadale Line.  The original Design Engineer long since retired is an old friend with a photographic memory.  The cost was estimated in 1992 to put this revolutionary piece of kit in place at $650,000.   You can do the math for 2016 dollars but its a mere pittance in railway infrastructure terms for an asset with a design life of 50 years.   What I liked about Jock was that he saw the design engineers role as developing the engineering solution to fit the business need not as we have now with engineers telling the planner/operator what you can have.  He also like me thinks about what this piece of infrastructure has to be doing in 20 or 30 years after its been installed.   So enjoy your nice powered runs up the bank while you can because they won't last too long when Rowsley goes as you sit and wait in a loop that you crawled into and will then crawl out of.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
In an amazingly fast feat of party frocks, blokes scratching their heads and much tapping and scraping of the metal piers...the 15 KPH speed restriction on the Melton viaduct has been lifted and all is back to normal.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

It was originally 130km/hr but I believe was reduced because formation instability of the embankment. Having as close as possible a 120km/hr turnout at the foot of the bank ensures that the signalling system enables trains to be speed proven on their approach to the junction without degrading line speed too significantly.
Thanks Trainplanner,
It's a nominal 700m radius curve so 120-130km/h sounds about right. I like innovative per-way design so I find the idea of a 120km/h turnout very interesting, but it ain't gunna' happen 'cos it's far too radical for the bean counters.
Speed of the curve is 115 k, that's fact. Rowsley loop now booked out.
"gomer"


How farcical,  truly now  CLAYTONS  LOOP .  We need to move to Trainplanners  solution double track from the Down end of Bacchus Marsh to a highspeed  junction at foot of Ingliston Bank .  NOT  Rocket science .  Rowsley Loop,  another  monument to a departed VLP  CEO along with the wheelwear debacle  ?
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
Rowsley Loop appears to be an interim step towards a double line section of track continuing to Bacchus Marsh.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks Kuldalai and you will know better than me that similar "compromises" have been made right across the network for years and years, the cumulative effect of which is to compromise the current and future potential of the system!!!!

Similarly as is being played out on another thread under the new timetable that has been released and which goes in this month.   It would appear no one has taken the opportunity with the delayed implementation of the new timetable to go through and sort out the mess of the section running times and proper fleeting and sequencing of trains between Footscray and SX platform 15/16 and the Melbourne Flyover which now has heavy speed restrictions.

There will be an expectation and quite rightly so that after the huge impact of the V'Locity wheel wear problem and the subsequent delayed new timetable, the world will be a beautiful place on Day 1 and the problems of the past will be behind us all.

Having not rigorously recaliberated the section running times for the 2 different approaches into SX and set up a proper sequencing and fleeting of trains, trains will be stacked and delayed.  There will have been thousands of lines of operating data, and incident reports etc that should have been analysed to improve the timetabling.  But I could be wrong.  I hope I'm wrong.

Lets see what happens!!!
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks Kuldalai and you will know better than me that similar "compromises" have been made right across the network for years and years, the cumulative effect of which is to compromise the current and future potential of the system!!!!

Similarly as is being played out on another thread under the new timetable that has been released and which goes in this month.   It would appear no one has taken the opportunity with the delayed implementation of the new timetable to go through and sort out the mess of the section running times and proper fleeting and sequencing of trains between Footscray and SX platform 15/16 and the Melbourne Flyover which now has heavy speed restrictions.

There will be an expectation and quite rightly so that after the huge impact of the V'Locity wheel wear problem and the subsequent delayed new timetable, the world will be a beautiful place on Day 1 and the problems of the past will be behind us all.

Having not rigorously recaliberated the section running times for the 2 different approaches into SX and set up a proper sequencing and fleeting of trains, trains will be stacked and delayed.  There will have been thousands of lines of operating data, and incident reports etc that should have been analysed to improve the timetabling.  But I could be wrong.  I hope I'm wrong.

Lets see what happens!!!
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?
randomnarwhal

Interestingly the 9101 and 9102 have been diverted via Gheringhap all week.  Connection?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?
randomnarwhal

Interestingly the 9101 and 9102 have been diverted via Gheringhap all week.  Connection?
"bevans"


Unbelievable .  We waste $ 10m on a crossing loop that is not even rqeuired with the January 2017 tt, a loop that is there to cope without of course running , and pretty useless with only 400m real length, and located at the foot of a 1 in 48 grade - brilliant .

We commission it at the weekend, now it is booked out till further notice  !!!  A true  CLAYTONS  LOOP .

Who did the cost benefit analysis on this project,  it should have never got up  ?

PS:  Warrnambool track is a mess  appears there is now a SR  100kmh  Waurn Ponds through to  Warrnambool will knock the timekeeping around.  One wonders who is monitoring the track condition that it gets to a stage that the whole line degrades to 100kmh standard, tracks  do not deteriorate over that length to that extent overnight .  One just despairs at the management capability overall at VLP in so many areas.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Just got off the train at Ballarat. We were delayed "due to temporary speed restrictions" between Melton and Bacchus Marsh, and tomorrow "due to unscheduled track works there will be delays and cancellations". So what's broken now?
randomnarwhal

Interestingly the 9101 and 9102 have been diverted via Gheringhap all week.  Connection?
"bevans"


Unbelievable .  We waste $ 10m on a crossing loop that is not even required with the January 2017 tt, a loop that is there to cope without of course running , and  then pretty useless with only 400m real length, and located at the foot of a 1 in 48 grade - brilliant .

We commission it at the weekend, now it is booked out till further notice  !!!  A true  CLAYTONS  LOOP .

Who did the cost benefit analysis on this project,  it should have never got up  ?

Best thing now to salvage something from this shambles would be  to  transfer all the equipment from Rowsley  (interlocking, signals, points etc ) up to the proposed optimal crossing location on the new straight direct line at Millbrook and create the proposed new 3 - 5 km crossing lane at that location ahead of $ 500m new project . Then one can abandon the old route via Wallace and reclaim 5 sets of boom barriers for re use elsewhere on VLP single track passenger lines.  WIN / WIN. If VLP pulled their finger out  Millbrook passing lane could be commissioned and the old alignment abandonded in time for the  Jan 2017 tt change .

Then as Trainplanner points out you fix the issue on the Down side of the Marsh properly by extending duplication from Bacchus Marsh to a high speed junction just before the  Horseshoe Bend.

PS:  Warrnambool track is a mess  appears there is now a SR  100kmh  Waurn Ponds through to  Warrnambool will knock the timekeeping around.  One wonders who is monitoring the track condition that it gets to a stage that the whole line degrades to 100kmh standard, tracks  do not deteriorate over that length to that extent overnight .  One just despairs at the management capability overall at VLP in so many areas.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

I thought I'd let Google be my friend and dig back into history.  And I found this little gem (dated Sept 2014): http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/2580637/rail-passing-loop-construction-to-begin-in-2015/

"Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said the loop would help to improve punctuality and reliability.

“Preliminary design work is well under way on the Ballan station car park upgrade and Rowsley crossing loop,” he said.

“The project is now in the final stages of planning.
“Public Transport Victoria is also completing additional environmental assessment surveys for the Rowsley crossing loop’s alignment.”

Mr Mulder did not respond to questions asking if the loop would help to increase the capacity for the line to add extra services in the future."

  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I know I am wandering away from the subject of this thread but the revelation that there is now a blanket 100 km/hr speed restriction been placed on the Warrnambool is further testimony that there are major problems in the infrastructure and fleet maintenance areas of V/Line which under the current organizational structure come under the one Executive Director.   I was very critical that the inspection regimes for both rollingstock maintenance and track maintenance between them did not either separately or together identify much earlier that there was apparent accelerating wheel and/or rail wear happening on the RRL and V'Locity fleet such that it required the very extreme disruption and cost impact it did.   In the case of the Warrnambool Line this corridor has had several maintenance cycles in the past 10 to 12 years with a very major rehabilitation undertaken as best as I can recall around 2010.   This program involved extensive rehabilitation works including drainage, reballasting and extensive resleepering with low profile concrete sleepers especially through well known "trouble spots" like marsh and low land areas.

The traffic task on the Warrnambool Line has been very stable in terms of train numbers and tonneage and as a consequence good asset management systems and practices along with a disciplined inspection regime should have been able to accurately forecast any deterioration sufficiently well enough to apply corrective maintenance.   To reach a point even where there has been a reduction in V/Line's budget previously where an entire corridor has been speed restricted is a very serious matter.   Since the change in Government V/Line has received additional funds not just at State Budget time, so if there had been essential maintenance needed it should have been included.

Now it is most likely the line will remain restricted for well over a year whilst submissions are developed and the busget process gone through and then works progrms arranged.

In the meantime the Government will again get beaten up and so on and all the goodwill being built up to genuinely upgrade the system will be lost.
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney
Does the Rowsley loop allow for:
* Simultaneous arrivals?
* Running crosses?
What about other loops on the line?

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