Murray Basin standardisation

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The problem with converting Maryborough passenger to SG is that any time gains with faster running (instead of glacial 80 km/h) would be negated by the 'all-change' at Ballarat for onward passengers.

As for gauge converting Ararat, some of those trains which collect passengers at Wendouree would need passengers to all-change at Ballarat too.  Then again these trains could just run express though Wendouree.

Until I see contract tenders for standardizing Ballarat to Gheringhap (Stage 4) released soon, I think there's a real risk it might get canned.  It's meant to get started in less than 6 months time...  (Stage 2 tenders had a 7 month lead)

Apologies for being a Negative Nelly...

What are you concerned might get canned?

Ballarat to Gheringhap was included in the previous contract that is now being executed.  Their shutdown hasn't happened yet though, that will happen in 2018 with the Sea Lake and Manangngngngntang lines.
I thought it hadn't been awarded, but yeah it looks like it was: https://www.railexpress.com.au/murray-basin-upgrades-begin/
Carnot

BTW I downloaded all the tender documents.  If anyone wants a copy, let me know via PM.  Might have to be via dropbox or something.

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Notwithstanding the award of contracts, the situation is that very wisely standard gauge trains will be running via Maryborough-Avoca-Ararat to both Portland and Geelong/Melbourne, which means more time is available in which to make a final decision re SG or DG for Maryborough to Ballarat.   Dual gauge doesn't come cheap and 1 report I saw was that on the original scope over $100 million could be saved by simplifying Maryborough through to Gheringhap.   So that still remains on the cards given Warrenheip to Gheringhap is now committed to being SG only.
Trainplanner

$100m would go a long way......
  x42 Junior Train Controller

Location: NSW
DO the tender documents have a final yard layout for maryborough ?
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
$100m would complete electrification to Stony Point, Geelong and also WyndhamVale?
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
$100m would complete electrification to Stony Point, Geelong and also WyndhamVale?
x31

$270m was the cost for the electrification of the Sunbury line from Watergardens back in 2012. A total of 14km.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
$100 million could go al long way to gauge convert the Ballarat to Ararat Line and upgrade/re-eastablish facilities for stations west and south of Ararat including dual gauging part of the Ballarat East  Depot for SG railcars!!!
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
$100m would complete electrification to Stony Point, Geelong and also WyndhamVale?

$270m was the cost for the electrification of the Sunbury line from Watergardens back in 2012. A total of 14km.
SamTheMan79

Clearly someone is getting a massive kickback and pocketing of the cash.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
DO the tender documents have a final yard layout for maryborough ?
x42

They do.  I hadn't looked for it till you asked though.

There will be 3 SG roads on 3, 5 and 7 road.

3 road will be approx 1.05km in length total.  5 road about 0.9km and 7 road much shorter at maybe 300m.

Roads 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 will be decommissioned.

Send emails via PM if you want a copy.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

$100m would complete electrification to Stony Point, Geelong and also WyndhamVale?

$270m was the cost for the electrification of the Sunbury line from Watergardens back in 2012. A total of 14km.

Clearly someone is getting a massive kickback and pocketing of the cash.
x31
Watch Utopia, the one about the Airport Rail Link.  Its a cracker.  Should answer all your questions at the same time.  Only problem is you don't know whether to laugh because its funny  or cry because its too close to the truth.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
DO the tender documents have a final yard layout for maryborough ?

They do.  I hadn't looked for it till you asked though.

There will be 3 SG roads on 3, 5 and 7 road.

3 road will be approx 1.05km in length total.  5 road about 0.9km and 7 road much shorter at maybe 300m.

Roads 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 will be decommissioned.

Send emails via PM if you want a copy.
james.au

With 3 operators and maybe a 4th about to start operating on the line and via Maryborough that will hardly be enough as the yard was almost full 3 weeks ago.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

DO the tender documents have a final yard layout for maryborough ?

They do.  I hadn't looked for it till you asked though.

There will be 3 SG roads on 3, 5 and 7 road.

3 road will be approx 1.05km in length total.  5 road about 0.9km and 7 road much shorter at maybe 300m.

Roads 2, 4, 6, 8 and 9 will be decommissioned.

Send emails via PM if you want a copy.

With 3 operators and maybe a 4th about to start operating on the line and via Maryborough that will hardly be enough as the yard was almost full 3 weeks ago.
x31
I suspect Dunolly might end being a popular location for passing or even staging trains.  From the horse's mouth on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/maryboroughnews/posts/1374502525902192:0

Q: What is planned for rail infrastructure at Dunolly?
A: Works at Dunolly include the retention of Roads 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. No 4 road on the down side of the weigh bridge will not be retained as it is not required. Its current use indicates that operationally the line is not required as a crippled grain wagon has been sitting on this road for some years. The crossing loop at Dunolly will accommodate existing train lengths. The existing SG track [Siding 8] is not planned to be refurbished as GrainCorp have indicated that grain loading will not occur on this track.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The ghist

After a lengthy wait, the Victorian Government have responded to questions raised by the Rail Revival Alliance regarding the Murray Basin project's impact on Maryborough's rail infrastructure.
-----
Q: What consultation has been undertaken regarding plans for the Maryborough rail yards?
A: The scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP) Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. The Department, PTV and V/Line are continuing consultation with key stakeholders in the freight, supply and logistics industry, associated local councils and advocacy groups as the MBRP is delivered.


Q: As part of the MBRP what rail infrastructure will be retained at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Road No's 1, 3 (extended by utilising part of road No 2), 5 and 7 will be retained. No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations The Maryborough yard will have a crossing loop and the ability to stage a train consist of two locomotives and forty grain wagons at the same time.


Q:Will the reconfiguration of rail infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards impact rail freight operations?
A: As mentioned above, the scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. V/Line will continue to work with freight operators to ensure rail freight continues to be efficiently railed across the MBRP network.


Q: Will the dual gauge platform access remain?
A: No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations

Q: Will the project remove the passing loops at Maryborough Station?
A: No, the crossing loop at Maryborough rail yards will be retained.

Q: What is planned for the Castlemaine (via Moolort) rail turn out?
A: The Castlemaine – Moorlort junction will not be retained as it is not part of the Murray Basin Rail Project scope. Any future use of this line would need to be independently assessed as there are no current plans to reopen this line. Future works to reopen this line is not being constrained by the MBRP works. Any future connections to the disused Maryborough–Castlemaine broad-gauge line would require the line to be upgraded to conform with existing standards.

Q: Will signalling infrastructure be altered at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Rail signalling infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards will accommodate the existing broad gauge and the new standard gauge operations.

Q: What is planned for rail infrastructure at Dunolly?
A: Works at Dunolly include the retention of Roads 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. No 4 road on the down side of the weigh bridge will not be retained as it is not required. Its current use indicates that operationally the line is not required as a crippled grain wagon has been sitting on this road for some years. The crossing loop at Dunolly will accommodate existing train lengths. The existing SG track [Siding 8] is not planned to be refurbished as GrainCorp have indicated that grain loading will not occur on this track.

Q: When will works be tendered?
A: The tender for the design and construction of stages two and three of the Murray Basin Rail Project has been released to market and is open until Friday 3 February at tenders.vic.gov.au.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

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Q: What consultation has been undertaken regarding plans for the Maryborough rail yards?
A: The scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP) Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. The Department, PTV and V/Line are continuing consultation with key stakeholders in the freight, supply and logistics industry, associated local councils and advocacy groups as the MBRP is delivered.


Q: As part of the MBRP what rail infrastructure will be retained at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Road No's 1, 3 (extended by utilising part of road No 2), 5 and 7 will be retained. No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations The Maryborough yard will have a crossing loop and the ability to stage a train consist of two locomotives and forty grain wagons at the same time.


Q:Will the reconfiguration of rail infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards impact rail freight operations?
A: As mentioned above, the scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. V/Line will continue to work with freight operators to ensure rail freight continues to be efficiently railed across the MBRP network.


Q: Will the dual gauge platform access remain?
A: No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations

Q: What is planned for the Castlemaine (via Moolort) rail turn out?
A: The Castlemaine – Moorlort junction will not be retained as it is not part of the Murray Basin Rail Project scope. Any future use of this line would need to be independently assessed as there are no current plans to reopen this line. Future works to reopen this line is not being constrained by the MBRP works. Any future connections to the disused Maryborough–Castlemaine broad-gauge line would require the line to be upgraded to conform with existing standards.
bevans

It does seem clear there will not be enough capacity at Maryborough as mentioned and was foreshadowed by the RRA. Holding one 40 wagon train will not be sufficient.  How would a steam trip to Maryborough now be possible?  Any run around tracks for the BG?

Dunnolly does not make sense to me as the crews and depot for PN is at Maryborough.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out

-----
Q: What consultation has been undertaken regarding plans for the Maryborough rail yards?
A: The scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP) Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. The Department, PTV and V/Line are continuing consultation with key stakeholders in the freight, supply and logistics industry, associated local councils and advocacy groups as the MBRP is delivered.


Q: As part of the MBRP what rail infrastructure will be retained at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Road No's 1, 3 (extended by utilising part of road No 2), 5 and 7 will be retained. No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations. Maryborough yard will have a crossing loop and the ability to stage a train consist of two locomotives and forty grain wagons at the same time.


Q:Will the reconfiguration of rail infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards impact rail freight operations?
A: As mentioned above, the scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. V/Line will continue to work with freight operators to ensure rail freight continues to be efficiently railed across the MBRP network.


Q: Will the dual gauge platform access remain?
A: No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations

Q: What is planned for the Castlemaine (via Moolort) rail turn out?
A: The Castlemaine – Moorlort junction will not be retained as it is not part of the Murray Basin Rail Project scope. Any future use of this line would need to be independently assessed as there are no current plans to reopen this line. Future works to reopen this line is not being constrained by the MBRP works. Any future connections to the disused Maryborough–Castlemaine broad-gauge line would require the line to be upgraded to conform with existing standards.
It does seem clear there will not be enough capacity at Maryborough as mentioned and was foreshadowed by the RRA. Holding one 40 wagon train will not be sufficient.  How would a steam trip to Maryborough now be possible?  Any run around tracks for the BG?

Dunnolly does not make sense to me as the crews and depot for PN is at Maryborough.
bevans
I suspect that's poor wording. Each road should hold a 40 block train if they are retaining them.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Appears Bl30 has dropped a load of new rail at Ararat yard and is now returning west.

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/stawellstationcam/photo/37089404920
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik

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I suspect that's poor wording. Each road should hold a 4 block train if they are retaining them.
speedemon08
What is a '4 block train', please?
  A4000Bear Junior Train Controller

Location: Taradale, Vic
$100m would complete electrification to Stony Point, Geelong and also WyndhamVale?

$270m was the cost for the electrification of the Sunbury line from Watergardens back in 2012. A total of 14km.

Clearly someone is getting a massive kickback and pocketing of the cash.
x31
The Sunbury electrification also included replacing timber sleepers with concrete on the 50% of track that was not previously upgraded when the RFR work was done.
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
The ghist

After a lengthy wait, the Victorian Government have responded to questions raised by the Rail Revival Alliance regarding the Murray Basin project's impact on Maryborough's rail infrastructure.
-----
Q: What consultation has been undertaken regarding plans for the Maryborough rail yards?
A: The scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Murray Basin Rail Project (MBRP) Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. The Department, PTV and V/Line are continuing consultation with key stakeholders in the freight, supply and logistics industry, associated local councils and advocacy groups as the MBRP is delivered.


Q: As part of the MBRP what rail infrastructure will be retained at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Road No's 1, 3 (extended by utilising part of road No 2), 5 and 7 will be retained. No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations The Maryborough yard will have a crossing loop and the ability to stage a train consist of two locomotives and forty grain wagons at the same time.


Q:Will the reconfiguration of rail infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards impact rail freight operations?
A: As mentioned above, the scope of the project for the Mildura and Maryborough–Ararat lines has been developed by V/Line to reflect the requirements of the Business Case and in consultation with key freight and logistics stakeholders including Pacific National and GrainCorp. V/Line will continue to work with freight operators to ensure rail freight continues to be efficiently railed across the MBRP network.


Q: Will the dual gauge platform access remain?
A: No 1 road will be retained for dual gauge operations

Q: Will the project remove the passing loops at Maryborough Station?
A: No, the crossing loop at Maryborough rail yards will be retained.

Q: What is planned for the Castlemaine (via Moolort) rail turn out?
A: The Castlemaine – Moorlort junction will not be retained as it is not part of the Murray Basin Rail Project scope. Any future use of this line would need to be independently assessed as there are no current plans to reopen this line. Future works to reopen this line is not being constrained by the MBRP works. Any future connections to the disused Maryborough–Castlemaine broad-gauge line would require the line to be upgraded to conform with existing standards.

Q: Will signalling infrastructure be altered at Maryborough rail yards?
A: Rail signalling infrastructure at Maryborough rail yards will accommodate the existing broad gauge and the new standard gauge operations.

Q: What is planned for rail infrastructure at Dunolly?
A: Works at Dunolly include the retention of Roads 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. No 4 road on the down side of the weigh bridge will not be retained as it is not required. Its current use indicates that operationally the line is not required as a crippled grain wagon has been sitting on this road for some years. The crossing loop at Dunolly will accommodate existing train lengths. The existing SG track [Siding 8] is not planned to be refurbished as GrainCorp have indicated that grain loading will not occur on this track.

Q: When will works be tendered?
A: The tender for the design and construction of stages two and three of the Murray Basin Rail Project has been released to market and is open until Friday 3 February at tenders.vic.gov.au.
bevans
Note that the Farcebook post is dated 6 January - over 9 months old. Lots could have changed since.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I think one thing revealing about the Facebook post is that stakeholders were consulted.  However, were all stakeholders consulted?  It lists PN and GrainCorp as stakeholders, but I wonder if conversations with Emerald, QUBE, SCT, SSR may have revealed other facts that may need to be considered.  Im sure that the bulk of the factors that need to be considered would be covered by PN and GC views, but there might have been some small nuances that could have been missed.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I've mentioned this before, but not sure which thread.   The projects people NOT the planners have literally no understanding of the strategic location that Maryborough plays in the new standard gauge network (more so than in current times).  

As the junction for the upgraded Maryborough to Ararat link for Portland as well as for the freight and passenger link via Ballarat to Geelong whether its dual or standard gauge, Maryborough will be the only location capable of staging freight trains waiting on port availability, train paths or whatever.   In addition as we sit today there are no intermediate crossing locations between Maryborough and Ballarat or between Maryborough and Maroona (south of Ararat).   Similarly holding capacity at both Geelong and to an extent Portland is also limited.

If the intention, which clearly it is of Government to substantially increase freight on rail and with potentially 4 operators able to access the new standard gauge network then the capacity/network capability at Maryborough will critical for the efficient movement of MORE trains.

And typical of Victoria isn't it.   The reduced holding capacity of the number of roads and restricting their length to just trains of 40 grain hoppers combined with a paltry axeload of 23 tonnes (in the future) places a whole host of restrictions in rail being able to achieve its full potential out of this project!!!

Hello Victoria and hello Mr/Ms Project Manager person.   Grain trains in Australia including on the ARTC network in your own state are getting longer and operating to a higher axleload.  

You don't have to be a transport operator or planner of 50 years experience to GET IT!!!

You'd almost describe it as sabotage!!!

This is what is needed in Maryborough even if some of the functionally needs to be immediately north of the city.

Crossing loop, at least 2 holding roads to stage trains, a refuge siding for setting out defective wagons
dual gauge passenger/platform road (but ideally not dual gauge at all refer to my earlier post)

At least 60 car length loop and holding roads so trains are 50% longer than today and made even more productive if we have 23.5 tonne axleload.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I've mentioned this before, but not sure which thread.   The projects people NOT the planners have literally no understanding of the strategic location that Maryborough plays in the new standard gauge network (more so than in current times).  

As the junction for the upgraded Maryborough to Ararat link for Portland as well as for the freight and passenger link via Ballarat to Geelong whether its dual or standard gauge, Maryborough will be the only location capable of staging freight trains waiting on port availability, train paths or whatever.   In addition as we sit today there are no intermediate crossing locations between Maryborough and Ballarat or between Maryborough and Maroona (south of Ararat).   Similarly holding capacity at both Geelong and to an extent Portland is also limited.

If the intention, which clearly it is of Government to substantially increase freight on rail and with potentially 4 operators able to access the new standard gauge network then the capacity/network capability at Maryborough will critical for the efficient movement of MORE trains.

And typical of Victoria isn't it.   The reduced holding capacity of the number of roads and restricting their length to just trains of 40 grain hoppers combined with a paltry axeload of 23 tonnes (in the future) places a whole host of restrictions in rail being able to achieve its full potential out of this project!!!

Hello Victoria and hello Mr/Ms Project Manager person.   Grain trains in Australia including on the ARTC network in your own state are getting longer and operating to a higher axleload.  

You don't have to be a transport operator or planner of 50 years experience to GET IT!!!

You'd almost describe it as sabotage!!!

This is what is needed in Maryborough even if some of the functionally needs to be immediately north of the city.

Crossing loop, at least 2 holding roads to stage trains, a refuge siding for setting out defective wagons
dual gauge passenger/platform road (but ideally not dual gauge at all refer to my earlier post)

At least 60 car length loop and holding roads so trains are 50% longer than today and made even more productive if we have 23.5 tonne axleload.
Trainplanner


Re the TAL.

Somewhere I have read that track at Graincorp Geelong cannot handle any more than 23TAL, and id imagine that would be at low speed so track quality might be a bit lower.  So Id think that if the MB lines were built to 23TAL that it may not actually be used and trains would be limited to whatever 23TAL at low speed translates to at higher speed. Thoughts?

Same for lengths.  Can the ports handle trains of the lengths that youre describing?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Understand the point but future proofing to the extent I refer to above is just good common sense.   When Portman Mining first started iron ore haulage out of Koolyanobbing to Esperance they were confronted with a similar issue at Esperance Port but all new construction and upgrades elsewhere were undertaken,   within a relatively short period the tippler road was lengthened.   Here we are building in constraint and reducing network capability and functionality.   That's really the point.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Understand the point but future proofing to the extent I refer to above is just good common sense.   When Portman Mining first started iron ore haulage out of Koolyanobbing to Esperance they were confronted with a similar issue at Esperance Port but all new construction and upgrades elsewhere were undertaken,   within a relatively short period the tippler road was lengthened.   Here we are building in constraint and reducing network capability and functionality.   That's really the point.
Trainplanner

Oh absolutely agree re future proofing, and where that should happen it should (e.g. corridor widths for passing loops/lanes/extensions, bridgework for 23+ TAL etc.  One thing I'm concerned about all of these projects for infrastructure about putting too much into them such that the provable and probable economic benefits don't stack up which means that government goes cold on funding them.  Its a balancing effort, and if it goes to far either way we are just left with a mess!
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Out having a look along the works area today. Coming up from Ararat they have the surveyors out marking the new south bound part at that end of the Maryborough line. Seems like it will join with the mainline close to Alfred st. Based on the angles I would be thinking 60kph speed coming off the branch.

Flash but welder working not far from the town. Doubt they would have 2km of track relaid. Still to be ballasted of corse.

With about 2 months to go before they are suposed to open, unless they are planing to throw a lot more at it, I can’t see how the Ararat Maryborough section will be even close to ready. They still have not touched any of the highway crossings, and are still a long way from finishing ripping all the old track up.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Same for lengths.  Can the ports handle trains of the lengths that youre describing?
james.au

james, we have done the Port of Portland, to death and you know that is a bit of circus and Geelong has a balloon loop doesn't it, so it shouldn't matter how many grain wagon's are in tow.
Not sure about Appleton or Swanston, which ever one it is, someone else will have the oil on that, one.

BigShunter.

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