Qube Workings

 
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Heat speed restrictions and then complete closures as per V/Lines new approach to managing heat restrictions!!!

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
What is the cause of the Mildura issues?
X31
Heat restrictions which come into place above 33 degrees celsius and restrict trains on the affected lines to ridiculously low operating speeds. North of Maryborough 33 degrees would be considered a cool mild day in summer, so most days the heat restrictions are in place.

An example I've used recently to moniter how UP Mildura Freight trains have been affected, is to check the Wednesday and Friday times through Gheringhap, usually around 8AM, lately it hasn't been unusual for Mildura Freighters to be making the Up through Gheringhap at 3PM, meaning the total trip is closer to 24hrs which is a bloody joke.
  Clyde Goodwin Junior Train Controller

33c Air temp = 43c Rail temp or actualy higher due to the cumulative heat soak of the rails and ballast but lets no let facts get in the way of a good old fashioned complain session

The track owners do not put these on just to upset train fans but to save train operators the massive costs of clearing up a derailment
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Those points are well understood.   Rail Track Managers globally and across Australia manages these situations on a daily basis with many having network characteristics similar or identical to Victoria.    The latest Victorian position is almost unheard as it is only really exceptional standards that complete shutdowns are imposed.  It is rare and a last resort action.

In particular the main trunk line to Mildura has just had 143,000 new sleepers installed into the track with other works ongoing.   Continuously welded track is laid at the ambient temperature for the location and in the case of the Mildura Line that would factor in temperatures of 33 degrees and higher.

The fact that the situation has never been imposed before.   Yes safety is critical but playing the safety game at the drop of a hat is also not a good thing either especially when so much is known about how to manage events such as a warm Australian day!!!
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
33c Air temp = 43c Rail temp or actualy higher due to the cumulative heat soak of the rails and ballast but lets no let facts get in the way of a good old fashioned complain session

The track owners do not put these on just to upset train fans but to save train operators the massive costs of clearing up a derailment
Clyde Goodwin
What a complete load of carp.

First of all, I couldn't give a stuff what time a train comes through. The fact is though, if a truck can get from Mildura to Melbourne in 6 hours, and the train takes 24 hours, then that means the railway is uncompetitive when compared to road. This is not good enough.

There are plenty of places around the world where tracks run in more extreme temperature variances than what we experience in Victoria, yet they are managed a little bit more effectively.

It's Important to note, that the ARTC track in Victoria doesn't run to the same restrictions, maybe something to do with the standard of track, and the standard of maintenence. Funding helps too.

Another pointer to what may just be a complete lack of mangerial skills, the initial restriction put in place this Summer was the line (any line) was to be completely closed the moment the temperatures hit 33 degrees between the hours of 10AM and 5PM. This was later amended to what we have now where the moment the temperature hits 33 degrees between those hours, there is a Temporary Speed Limit. Now did this change because a) the condition of all freight lines in the state improved in just a few weeks, or b) mangement realised they had made a rash decision, and then revised this decision?
  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
33c Air temp = 43c Rail temp or actualy higher due to the cumulative heat soak of the rails and ballast but lets no let facts get in the way of a good old fashioned complain session

The track owners do not put these on just to upset train fans but to save train operators the massive costs of clearing up a derailment
Clyde Goodwin
How does it work in North Qld?  I might be a bit naive, but I am unaware of similar restrictions in NW Qld. Working there (not in Rail), it is not unheard of being 45. I am sure similar conditions occur in the NT, SA and WA.

I agree with other posters, seems to be more related to the quality of the track rather than the temperature.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

How does it work in North Qld?  I might be a bit naive, but I am unaware of similar restrictions in NW Qld. Working there (not in Rail), it is not unheard of being 45. I am sure similar conditions occur in the NT, SA and WA.
To say nothing of mineral lines in the Pilbara, Mauritania, and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the owners or bureaucrats there are not as risk averse. The electrified system in Morocco does not cease to function when the mercury hits 33C. Perhaps the Victorian apparatchiks could go to Mexico to see how it is done, but that may be a bad example as the tracks there are owned by capitalists
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

A better example might be closer to home; on the Nullabor Plain, they certainly get frosts overnight in winter, and out there a 33 degree day in summer would be regarded as cold. The temperature extremes are greater than the Mildura line (as cold in winter, hotter in summer), but they don't impose such restrictions on their trains.

Even in Victoria they didn't have WOLO's until the 1990's. Back in those days we had lighter rail on jointed track, all timber sleepers. Dunno how we ever got by. Heat buckles were not unknown, but the local gangers had a good idea where they would occur.

When I worked in the W & W in the 1980's, the road foremen would measure rail creep, using a string line between posts either side of the track at the KM posts; they had a dimple in each rail head (field side), and could then measure the movement of the rails. This would be done on milder days in autumn and spring, and the gangs where required would adjust the rails the get back into "neutral" (partly lift the dogspikes, remove the rail anchors, bump or pull longitudinally with a backhoe, re-fasten it all).

It's possible that the recent re-railing/re-sleepering/upgrading works have left the formation weak, and the restrictions are for this season only while everything "beds in". If so, would have been nice of them to just say so; the consensus would have been understanding that this was a temporary expedient and next year would be better.

Perhaps the issue is that in this privatised/corporatised industry, there is a lot of job knowledge that has been lost.
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Qube really struggling for loco's. Buncam has T395,T56 on today's down Tocumwal. Heard it get away from Mooroopna at 03 40 so at least it's on time.
Reports elsewhere that yesterday's Denni rice had T386,X31 through Toolamba at 14 15 on the down. Further reports that loco's were seen stabled LE at Echuca this morning
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Qube really struggling for loco's. Buncam has T395,T56 on today's down Tocumwal. Heard it get away from Mooroopna at 03 40 so at least it's on time.
Reports elsewhere that yesterday's Denni rice had T386,X31 through Toolamba at 14 15 on the down. Further reports that loco's were seen stabled LE at Echuca this morning
emmastreet

We should pull the video for Albion  Smile

The train via Albion Camera #2

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/32167385834
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Qube really struggling for loco's. Buncam has T395,T56 on today's down Tocumwal. Heard it get away from Mooroopna at 03 40 so at least it's on time.
Reports elsewhere that yesterday's Denni rice had T386,X31 through Toolamba at 14 15 on the down. Further reports that loco's were seen stabled LE at Echuca this morning

We should pull the video for Albion  Smile

The train via Albion Camera #2

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/32167385834
bevans
At this rate it won't be long before we see some R and K class steam locos hauling the Qube trains!  (Must wait for fire season to end of course) Shocked
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
At this rate it won't be long before we see some R and K class steam locos hauling the Qube trains!  (Must wait for fire season to end of course) Shocked
Carnot
If only we had J549 certified for the Main Line at the VGR - they have even installed a points lever for the main line crossover from the VGR line at Castlemaine so no more crowbarring the points over!

BG
  steven_h Train Controller

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Qube has raised the bar again this morning.
T+T+T+X31+S303 on the down Deniliquin.

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/32652637490

Can only see the 3 Ts, but sightings elsewhere indicate the X and S also attached.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
At this rate it won't be long before we see some R and K class steam locos hauling the Qube trains! (Must wait for fire season to end of course)
Carnot
Now that sure would be sweet. Every gunzel in Victoria would be chucking a sickie to see that. (at least I would Razz )

Yesterday I saw either G521 or G532 (one of the ones in old SCT livery) running point on the Hansen Quarry train, spotted running parallel with Pascoe Vale Rd from Roxburgh Park towards Broadmeadows on the way to Brooklyn at about 1345.

Today I spotted either G521 or G532 (probably whichever one wasn't on yesterday's Quarry train, again I couldn't see the number) leading VL356 on the Maryvale Paper train on the up through Caulfield at about 1410

So I take this to mean the current issue is with the 2 CFCLA G class (G515 and G512). Does anybody know how much longer they are supposed to be out of action for?

So far locomotives used to cover for the shortage have included the following:
X31     SRHC
S303   SRHC
B75     SSR
T386   SSR
B80     CFCLA (via Metro Trains Melbourne)
S313   Steamrail Victoria

Please feel free to add to the above list, it is getting interesting.
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Qube has raised the bar again this morning.
T+T+T+X31+S303 on the down Deniliquin.

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/albion2/photo/32652637490

Can only see the 3 Ts, but sightings elsewhere indicate the X and S also attached.
steven_h
They just running the old bangers because they keep breaking their G's?? or are they getting more work?

Question on this service to ask is how's the Rice harvest gone this year?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
QUBE's regular pool of BG locomotives are the following:

Owned by QUBE:
G521
G532

Long Term Hire from CFCLA:
G512
G515
VL356

QUBE's current BG traffic includes the following:

Maryvale - requires 2 engines, not uncommon for a 3rd to be placed on this train when loading is higher.

Deniliquin/ Tocumwal - normally runs on alternate days. Requires 2 locomotives normally.

Quarry train - normally only requires a single G class locomotive.

This leaves little time for regular maintenence. No surprise they are relying on extra hired power.
  501M Train Controller

Location: The Borough
Looks like QUBE has entered the broad gauge grain hauling business. VL-G when through the Albion railcam at 2255 last night.  I have read reports that it is going to Nullawill.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Sounds like Emerald Grain are contracting Qube to haul from their Nullawil silo, and I can imagine they'll probably be Qube grainies to Woorinen too.

Must be ages since a VL has visited NW Vic.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
This is very encouraging especially for the Murray Basin Gauge Standardization Project in that other operators could well also be interested in Victorian regional freight business in addition to QUBE
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Would be a roundabout way to get to Nullawil; the usual way is via Ballarat/Maryborough/Dunolly/Inglewood/Korong Vale. The other way (via Bendigo, the one the DERM's used to traverse back when combinations of B/S/X/T classes on grain were normal) is out of use. And I would be mighty surprised if QUBE chased any BG grain work without more serious locos and without a fleet of grain wagons. Wonder if what was seen was a sg transfer to NSW of the fleet which received the bogies off those orange hoppers ex Whyalla?

I suspect QUBE's loco problems stem from the fact that they are trying to run a fairly intense program using old locos (the G class are around 30yo, and the VL are of a design dating back that far) on an unusual track gauge. There is little in the way of spare locos available for short term hire, so they are stuck with whatever locos the heritage mobs can provide. Things would be different if they were all standard gauge; there is an abundance of spare locos around for hire, many quite modern and more powerful than a G.

Adding to the list of hired locos, there are:-

B 76 (CFCLA / Metro) (was used last time a G failed on the APEX).
T 356 (Steamrail, used currently)
T 395 (Steamrail, used currently)

I saw the two B class (75 and 80) depart Seymour about a week ago. Not a heavy load, but that sound of that 567 engine brought memories. Am told that 75 had its air compressor fail and requires replacement (cannot be repaired), and 80 was having constant ground relays (some sort of electrical fault in the HV equipment).

Lucky that Seymour still has a few T class and a B that are around; several of those have been used in the last year on passenger workings, so might be available to hire.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I dont see any mention of a VL on BG, though the conversion could have been done only recently.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I dont see any mention of a VL on BG, though the conversion could have been done only recently.
james.au
VL356 was converted to BG about a year ago.  It's a regular on the Maryvale paper train although it has been seen on the Tocumwal freight.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I dont see any mention of a VL on BG, though the conversion could have been done only recently.
VL356 was converted to BG about a year ago.  It's a regular on the Maryvale paper train although it has been seen on the Tocumwal freight.
Carnot
And VL362 was done about 3 years before that and swapped out for VL356.

VL362's first run

https://www.flickr.com/photos/speedemon08/9713637031/in/album-72157634733520246/

VL356's first run

https://www.flickr.com/photos/speedemon08/27957224654/in/album-72157634733520246/
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
I'm amazed Qube haven't decided to buy new locos for their broad gauge operations, or can't they afford to?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
I'm amazed Qube haven't decided to buy new locos for their broad gauge operations, or can't they afford to?
greasyrhys
Now, ages ago with the whole Qube SDA1 discussion it was announced 12 QBX's had been on order. ONLY 6 have been delivered.

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