Just wondering if all these loops will be reactivated, I thought Emu loop had been deactivated after a de-railment there, about 4 yrs ago.
They will be, given time. Emu was rebuilt shortly after the derailment was cleaned up. Ten of the Cargill hoppers sat in a nearby paddock, sans bogies, for a couple of years after. They have since been recovered, and are now back in service I believe.
Does anyone know how the point will be set, when the re-opening occurs, I think they where all set, so all down trains would precede through the loops and up trains had the right of way, which to me sounds a bit Irish, because it would mean the need to slow right down, especially when the speed restrictions are lifted, trains will blasting along at 80 kph, perhaps this might be a case like a lot of other things, wait and see what happens.
No idea on any of those, sorry. It is certainly a "wait and see" scenario.
I think, without checking the MB document, they reckom it's 140 k further, touring the Pleurisy Plans, I've asked this before, to no response, finding a path to grab, through Ballarat must becoming fairly tight, and it's a bit of a hike for a grainy, from Nth Ballarat down to Warrenheip, to be out of the V'los way and wonder just what the travel time difference, between the two routes would be ?
It's closer to 150km of extra travel. Also factor in that currently trains need to go out to Pyrenees Loop for the locos to runaround, and for access to and from the Maryborough line at Ararat. Until the direct link goes in, you can pretty much add an extra hour to the journey, sometimes more depending on what other traffic is about; crews, et cetera.
Finding a path through Ballarat isn't that difficult, although if V/Line further saturate access through Ballarat with the introduction of more passenger trains, that might become a problem and some sort of an alternative might need to be looked at. Most wheat traffic runs at night when there are no passenger trains, so it's only the Merbein train which needs a path. It might be a case of this train having to adhere to a timetable, rather than loosely running to a time as it did previously. That way it could fit in among the other traffic. If it runs late, it will have to wait for a path through like anything else would. Having a loop between Ballarat and Maryborough would certainly be of some benefit, as it could be given a run, and refuged if need be without fouling the mainline.
Once the 9101/02 stops running, the rollingstock will most likely be gauge converted, and used to and from Merbein. With the slower line speeds, and extra distance added by going via Ararat; it would make sense to run two sets to maintain the volume and have quicker turnaround times, which is done at the moment with the mid-week Manangatang train.
Has there always been enough rollingstock to run two trains or has it historically run with just one? How would this conversion leave other services like Warrnambool and Tocumwal fleets? Could there be other SG rollingstock that would be better utilised than this BG set?
I'm not sure to be honest. It was a nightly runner in the late '90's (except weekends), so there would have been two sets of rollingstock back then. I don't see how it would affect the Toc or Warrnambubble fleets, as it doesn't currently to my knowledge. I am open to correction on that, of course.
This would be fairly reliant on the Maryborough to Gheringhap section being gauge converted. Even with a direct link between the Maryborough and Pleurisy Plains lines at Ararat, there are a lot of unnecessary mileage and time added to the journey.
Agreed. SG will happen on MB-Gheringhap, but we are all eagerly awaiting the decision as to whether there is a third track on one side of it or not.
I don't care either way. As long as the standard gauge goes between the two points, that is all that matters. I do think that from a maintenance standpoint it would be better to fully convert the line. Gheringhap - Warrenheip is slated for full conversion (as per the tender documents), it's only the passenger service to Maryborough which will hold up proceedings on a decision being made for full conversion, or an extra rail. There is also the possibility that a decision has been made, but it is not yet public. Again, we'll have to wait and see.