Re Opening & Upgrading Maryborough - Avoca - Ararat

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Thanks all. The 'S and L' are obviously silent as in elephant. We have made massive efficiency gains in saving two keystrokes between 'cross' and 'SLX'.
I hope that no one uses acronyms like these in Train Orders?
YM-Mundrabilla

Train Orders are actually spelt out word for word between driver and Centrol so there is no confusion whatsoever.

Mike.

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  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

1. The re opening , upgrading & standardization of Marybourough - Ararat was justified on two grounds :

1.1  To cater for NEW mineral sands traffics on sg from Manangatang to  Hamilton (processing) and Geelong/Portland for export .
1.2  So that in stage 4 of the MB conversion (South of Maryborough to Gheringhap/ North Geelong ) the sg traffic ex the three lines North of Dunolly can reach Portland, Geelong & Melbourne via Ararat & Maroona  (whilst the Mbh - Bxt - Glg) section is being standardized) .

2. Government has still not announced any final outcome for what will happen between Maryborough & Ballarat  (sg only or  dg ) despite repeated representations from industry experts that installing dg just to suit VLP is a waste of scarce capital funds . Numerous bodies have put forward that the money would be better spent standardizing Ballarat - Ararat, and sg only between Ballarat & Marybough . Speed is not the issue, rather COMMON SENSE in that more of the country network will be sg after MB than bg. We should be moving to all sg NOW beyond Ballarat, rather than introducing more dg which just wastes scarce capex, and incurs on going higher maintenance costs to please VLP .

However signs are not good of a total sg outcome with Government hinting recently at possible extension of V/Locity services to Dunolly  (which says bg restoration Bxt - Mbh = dg )  crazy .  Badly advised Minister, not courageous enough to tell VLP you are going to have to get used to having two trains sets in future, a sg and bg sets that will eventually inevitably become all sg as the rest of the regional network progressively gets standardized .  No one it appears in the multiple transport bureaucracies with any forward vision, and no State Minister responsible for Rail freight this is what we get .

3. Mixed gauge diamonds are inevitably all different as they are all purpose built on different angles to suit the point where one line crosses another . So the existing mg diamond at Ararat will not be used in the new location several hundred metres in an Up direction from the existing site, or indeed elsewhere at Ballarat .
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Government has still not announced any final outcome for what will happen between Maryborough & Ballarat (sg only or dg ) despite repeated representations from industry experts that installing dg just to suit VLP is a waste of scarce capital funds .
kuldalai

Well, strictly speaking of course it's a waste of funds installing a second rail when only two are needed in theory. But it's really not hard to see the government's dilemma: converting the whole lot to standard gauge would be an astronomical expense. Gauge conversion of some VLos, ops base and maintenance for VLP at Ballarat, massive reorganisation of Ballarat trackwork...

I can really understand why there is some dithering, and as a taxpayer, I have to say I'm glad there is. This sure wasn't part of the original business case and in the absence of proper planning I think there's a strong case to be made for DG as an interim measure so this project is complete and the next one can be done properly.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
And considering there is a whole raft of soon to be redundant BG  track in the Geelong area that hasn't appeared in any planning there is a lot on the mind of VLine
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

SLX....I know what I mean, why don't you? Actually, there are many times I apparently don't quite know what I mean, but SWMBO does!

Train Orders require all words to be clearly stated, numbers to be called out individually (eg, 22 is said two two). Locations are spelt individually (eg, S-W-A-N H-I-L-L). Names are given in full and spelt.

Train Orders are such a precarious way of safely running trains that we are so paranoid about getting it right. And managers viewing the Train Order books and graphs and listening to Train Control tapes are just as concerned that we are getting it right, no shortcuts. Really, the strict adherence to protocol is the main defence with this system.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
1. The re opening , upgrading & standardization of Marybourough - Ararat was justified on two grounds :

1.1  To cater for NEW mineral sands traffics on sg from Manangatang to  Hamilton (processing) and Geelong/Portland for export .
1.2  So that in stage 4 of the MB conversion (South of Maryborough to Gheringhap/ North Geelong ) the sg traffic ex the three lines North of Dunolly can reach Portland, Geelong & Melbourne via Ararat & Maroona  (whilst the Mbh - Bxt - Glg) section is being standardized) .

2. Government has still not announced any final outcome for what will happen between Maryborough & Ballarat  (sg only or  dg ) despite repeated representations from industry experts that installing dg just to suit VLP is a waste of scarce capital funds . Numerous bodies have put forward that the money would be better spent standardizing Ballarat - Ararat, and sg only between Ballarat & Marybough . Speed is not the issue, rather COMMON SENSE in that more of the country network will be sg after MB than bg. We should be moving to all sg NOW beyond Ballarat, rather than introducing more dg which just wastes scarce capex, and incurs on going higher maintenance costs to please VLP .

However signs are not good of a total sg outcome with Government hinting recently at possible extension of V/Locity services to Dunolly  (which says bg restoration Bxt - Mbh = dg )  crazy .  Badly advised Minister, not courageous enough to tell VLP you are going to have to get used to having two trains sets in future, a sg and bg sets that will eventually inevitably become all sg as the rest of the regional network progressively gets standardized .  No one it appears in the multiple transport bureaucracies with any forward vision, and no State Minister responsible for Rail freight this is what we get .

3. Mixed gauge diamonds are inevitably all different as they are all purpose built on different angles to suit the point where one line crosses another . So the existing mg diamond at Ararat will not be used in the new location several hundred metres in an Up direction from the existing site, or indeed elsewhere at Ballarat .
kuldalai


2. The Government, I reckon as things have panned out, since the MBS program was first thrown together, as far as south of Mbh has changed, probably significantly ( drrrr Stevie Wonder could have seen this, coming ) with the announcement of long distance V'lo's to be introduced. So I would have thought and I said this probably 6 months ago, they should have suspended stage 4 conversion, to be reviewed, pending the forth coming long distance V'lo.

1.1 To cater for NEW mineral sands traffics on sg from Manangatang to  Hamilton (processing) and Geelong/Portland for export .

Announce that all traffic from the North will be running via Ararat, make use of the new line, end of story for the time being.
With all traffic running via Ararat, you may have missed the boat on the mineral sands but with the extra traffic, the dollars spent on the new track is still being put too good use.

As we have discussed the cost save from dual gauging Mbh south will pay for the conversion to Ararat, simple.

The only other scenario is, think james may have suggested, that the gvt does have a plan up their sleeve but won't play their hand, prior the election.

Other than that, didn't the Opposition say they would introduce a passenger service to Donald, so Donald can go shopping in Ballarat and surely that was going to be standard gauge or would they consider installing a third rail from Dunolly ! AAAHH

BigShunter.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Here is some useful info

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electoral_district_of_Ripon

Ararat and Maryborough feature heavily in this marginal electorate.....
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Appears we are going to waste money dual gauging Mbh - Ballarat instead of standardizing Ballarat - Ararat too
Speculation or do you have some more concrete foundation on this one?

I have heard from unrevealable sources that third rail from Maryborough to Ballarat as is/was currently the plan last time I checked will not impair the speeds of trains as it's proposed to increase the blanket 80Km/h speed restriction of the track to 100Km/h.

Moreover, upon travelling this track over the past few weeks, it's obvious due to its winding route through the hills and valleys and lack of straight sections that 100Km/h is about all a V'Locity would hope to achieve in normal service.

Mike.
The Vinelander
A good point you make here. So at best 100 kph for passenger and possibly 60 - 80 kph for freight. Depending on the load.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia






  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I have created a Railpage collection group for Photos taken of trains on the newly re-opened line between Ararat and Maryborough.

https://www.railpage.com.au/photos/collection/ararat-to-marybo
  DALEK Locomotive Fireman

Vline have recently placed a tender on their website asking for a company to install an electronic train order system. Will these also replace the staff & ticket used on the Bairnsdale and Ararat lines?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Vline have recently placed a tender on their website asking for a company to install an electronic train order system. Will these also replace the staff & ticket used on the Bairnsdale and Ararat lines?
DALEK

So Ararat to Maryborough is staff and ticket?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Vline have recently placed a tender on their website asking for a company to install an electronic train order system. Will these also replace the staff & ticket used on the Bairnsdale and Ararat lines?

So Ararat to Maryborough is staff and ticket?
bevans
Staff with NO Tickets I believe. There was extensive discussion in another thread some time go.

I doubt that the method of Safeworking has changed since it was re-opened.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
So Ararat to Maryborough is staff and ticket?
Staff with NO Tickets I believe. There was extensive discussion in another thread some time go.

I doubt that the method of Safeworking has changed since it was re-opened.
mikesyd
So that would be "Train Staff and Ticket (no ticket)" then?

One of my favourite safe working terms and one which I still fail to get to grips with!

BG
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Staff and Ticket - simple and safe.
All that is needed in a lot of cases.
Bit of a believer myself!
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Staff and Ticket - simple and safe.
All that is needed in a lot of cases.
Bit of a believer myself!
YM-Mundrabilla
Sorry YM, you miss-understand me. We use Train Staff and Ticket on the VGR, I am more than familiar with it and it works really well, especially now that we have a magic box for the staffs.

It is the (no ticket) part that intrigues me. I asked a couple of years ago on a forum far, far away for someone to explain it to me - does it simply mean that no tickets are to be issued at all so that the system is Staff only (but they don't call it Train Staff only so people are not confused and start writing tickets on bits of paper) or does it mean that the tickets are verbal or does it mean something else?!?!

BG
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Staff and Ticket - simple and safe.
All that is needed in a lot of cases.
Bit of a believer myself!
Sorry YM, you miss-understand me. We use Train Staff and Ticket on the VGR, I am more than familiar with it and it works really well, especially now that we have a magic box for the staffs.

It is the (no ticket) part that intrigues me. I asked a couple of years ago on a forum far, far away for someone to explain it to me - does it simply mean that no tickets are to be issued at all so that the system is Staff only (but they don't call it Train Staff only so people are not confused and start writing tickets on bits of paper) or does it mean that the tickets are verbal or does it mean something else?!?!

BG
BrentonGolding
Fair enough BG.
I see now that I should have read it as 'let loose with' ..........SmileSmile
To me, the No Tickets bit eludes me as it seems that it becomes little better than 'one engine in steam' ie 'there and back' (as with a branch line with no other train involved).
Why the No Tickets bit in the instruction eludes me too as it seems an artificial restriction on flexibility but then we are good at that in Victoria. Tickets are written on proper forms and handed to the driver(s) of train(s) whilst showing him/them the staff for the section involved. The staff then travels with the last train heading in that direction.
All open to correction, please.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All , with particular reference to Messrs YM-Mundrabilla and BG ,

It is Train Staff Only as the traffic has to go through area affected by the Upgrade Works. Bear in mind that the Site Controller of the Track Works has a lot to do, so Train Staff Only lessens the likelihood of an error being made.

In addition , the intended traffic is actually only one train in each direction , so the need for "and Ticket" is not there . Presumably, once all of the Murray basin work is completed , it will convert to Train Order , and I suspect it is most likely to be controlled by ARTC.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / I personally think that Automatic Electric Train Staff or Staff and Ticket are safer and preferable to Train Orders, but Train Orders has been around for nearly 30 years now , so it is unlikely to revert back.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

Staff and Ticket - simple and safe.
All that is needed in a lot of cases.
Bit of a believer myself!
Sorry YM, you miss-understand me. We use Train Staff and Ticket on the VGR, I am more than familiar with it and it works really well, especially now that we have a magic box for the staffs.

It is the (no ticket) part that intrigues me. I asked a couple of years ago on a forum far, far away for someone to explain it to me - does it simply mean that no tickets are to be issued at all so that the system is Staff only (but they don't call it Train Staff only so people are not confused and start writing tickets on bits of paper) or does it mean that the tickets are verbal or does it mean something else?!?!

BG
Fair enough BG.
I see now that I should have read it as 'let loose with' ..........SmileSmile
To me, the No Tickets bit eludes me as it seems that it becomes little better than 'one engine in steam' ie 'there and back' (as with a branch line with no other train involved).
Why the No Tickets bit in the instruction eludes me too as it seems an artificial restriction on flexibility but then we are good at that in Victoria. Tickets are written on proper forms and handed to the driver(s) of train(s) whilst showing him/them the staff for the section involved. The staff then travels with the last train heading in that direction.
All open to correction, please.
YM-Mundrabilla
Train Staff and Ticket (No Tickets) sound to me like the system I know of as Ordinary Train Staff (OTS).
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Staff and Ticket - simple and safe.
All that is needed in a lot of cases.
Bit of a believer myself!
Sorry YM, you miss-understand me. We use Train Staff and Ticket on the VGR, I am more than familiar with it and it works really well, especially now that we have a magic box for the staffs.

It is the (no ticket) part that intrigues me. I asked a couple of years ago on a forum far, far away for someone to explain it to me - does it simply mean that no tickets are to be issued at all so that the system is Staff only (but they don't call it Train Staff only so people are not confused and start writing tickets on bits of paper) or does it mean that the tickets are verbal or does it mean something else?!?!

BG
Fair enough BG.
I see now that I should have read it as 'let loose with' ..........SmileSmile
To me, the No Tickets bit eludes me as it seems that it becomes little better than 'one engine in steam' ie 'there and back' (as with a branch line with no other train involved).
Why the No Tickets bit in the instruction eludes me too as it seems an artificial restriction on flexibility but then we are good at that in Victoria. Tickets are written on proper forms and handed to the driver(s) of train(s) whilst showing him/them the staff for the section involved. The staff then travels with the last train heading in that direction.
All open to correction, please.
Train Staff and Ticket (No Tickets) sound to me like the system I know of as Ordinary Train Staff (OTS).
Lockspike
It is probably too much trouble (imagine the paperwork these days) to revert back from OTS&T to OTS - so they keep the former and simply take the ticket box and lock it away (after destroying the supply of tickets!!). The current status of the line would have some bearing too, and something will probably change once all is completed.
  LowndesJ515 #TeamRog

Location: Not in Victoria
Hello All , with particular reference to Messrs YM-Mundrabilla and BG ,

It is Train Staff Only as the traffic has to go through area affected by the Upgrade Works. Bear in mind that the Site Controller of the Track Works has a lot to do, so Train Staff Only lessens the likelihood of an error being made.

In addition , the intended traffic is actually only one train in each direction , so the need for "and Ticket" is not there . Presumably, once all of the Murray basin work is completed , it will convert to Train Order , and I suspect it is most likely to be controlled by ARTC.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / I personally think that Automatic Electric Train Staff or Staff and Ticket are safer and preferable to Train Orders, but Train Orders has been around for nearly 30 years now , so it is unlikely to revert back.
Radioman
Last I heard, the section Ararat - Maryborough was still being run under Absolute Occupation. When the all the works are finished, it was going to be Track Block safeworking system?

V/Line's Network Service Plan still has it under Absolute Occupation and it was updated 5 days ago.

As for Electronic Train Orders, good system if they can get it right. If only ARTC could go the same way as John Holland in NSW, makes life so much easier.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Hello All , with particular reference to Messrs YM-Mundrabilla and BG ,

It is Train Staff Only as the traffic has to go through area affected by the Upgrade Works. Bear in mind that the Site Controller of the Track Works has a lot to do, so Train Staff Only lessens the likelihood of an error being made.

In addition , the intended traffic is actually only one train in each direction , so the need for "and Ticket" is not there . Presumably, once all of the Murray basin work is completed , it will convert to Train Order , and I suspect it is most likely to be controlled by ARTC.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / I personally think that Automatic Electric Train Staff or Staff and Ticket are safer and preferable to Train Orders, but Train Orders has been around for nearly 30 years now , so it is unlikely to revert back.
Last I heard, the section Ararat - Maryborough was still being run under Absolute Occupation. When the all the works are finished, it was going to be Track Block safeworking system?

V/Line's Network Service Plan still has it under Absolute Occupation and it was updated 5 days ago.

As for Electronic Train Orders, good system if they can get it right. If only ARTC could go the same way as John Holland in NSW, makes life so much easier.
LowndesJ515
Some interesting dot points on the NSP -

Track Patrols Required During Absolute Occupation Where Road / Rail inspections are required, these should be planned immediately behind revenue services.
• Road / Rail inspection required after every loaded service.
• Road / Rail inspection required if the corridor has had no services for 48 hours, this must take place prior to the next revenue service.
• No Road / Rail inspection required after each light locomotive.
• No Road / Road inspection required to inspect after an empty service, unless a driver reports a specific track issue. This should be reported to the Track Force Protection Coordinator or their Competent Delegate and passed onto the Train Controller, at Centrol.

I wonder if any more info will be revealed with Dan Tehan's visit today?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Dan Tehans visit??
  Carnot Chief Commissioner
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Dan Tehans visit??
james.au
Dan Tehan is apparently heading to Maryborough today. Something to do with his portfolio I guess, but he might talk about his constituents of Wannon. Who knows, although it is an Election Year in the State of Victoria, and might have a jab at Jacinta Allan while he is there.

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