Murray Basin standardisation

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Where exactly are the SG capacity constraints in Melbourne? Are they in the Albion-Jacana section, the single track around Sunshine, or closer to the city (or all of the above)?

By the time Shepp goes SG, we'll probably have SG Vlocities, and if the issue is no more available paths, then there's the option of splitting services at Seymour.
TOQ-1
There are two issues.

The first is the single track between Seymour and Tottenham. There are passing lanes at Tallarook, Kilmore East, Donnybrook and Tullamarine, and additional loops at Wallan and Somerton. However, in my understanding, this corridor is operating near capacity and adding five to nine Shepp services each way per day (plus freight) would certainly not be feasible without a major capacity increase. 40 minute frequency Seymour locals are out of the question entirely. Realistically this SG section will need to be fully duplicated in the post-Inland Rail future but it'll cost a bomb to work out what to do with the BG.

The second is getting access through South Dynon into Southern Cross. The Dynon precinct was not intended to serve regular passenger trains and it is messy enough getting the Overland, XPT and V/Line Albury services through the area. There's no alternative route either unless we somehow link up to Mr Golding's tunnel. In my view Dynon is the biggest headache as the Port ain't going anywhere and North Dynon will consquently be around in some form for a long time, even if some of its facilities are relocated to the Western Interstate Freight Terminal or the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal.

edit: whoops, wrong Dynon

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  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Would expansion of the Tottenham Yard for SG help with being able to stage trains for the Port and marshalling?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Where exactly are the SG capacity constraints in Melbourne? Are they in the Albion-Jacana section, the single track around Sunshine, or closer to the city (or all of the above)?

By the time Shepp goes SG, we'll probably have SG Vlocities, and if the issue is no more available paths, then there's the option of splitting services at Seymour.
There are two issues.

The first is the single track between Seymour and Tottenham. There are passing lanes at Tallarook, Kilmore East, Donnybrook and Tullamarine, and additional loops at Wallan and Somerton. However, in my understanding, this corridor is operating near capacity and adding five to nine Shepp services each way per day (plus freight) would certainly not be feasible without a major capacity increase. 40 minute frequency Seymour locals are out of the question entirely. Realistically this SG section will need to be fully duplicated in the post-Inland Rail future but it'll cost a bomb to work out what to do with the BG.

The second is getting access through South Dynon into Southern Cross. The Dynon precinct was not intended to serve regular passenger trains and it is messy enough getting the Overland, XPT and V/Line Albury services through the area. There's no alternative route either unless we somehow link up to Mr Golding's tunnel. In my view Dynon is the biggest headache as the Port ain't going anywhere and North Dynon will consquently be around in some form for a long time, even if some of its facilities are relocated to the Western Interstate Freight Terminal or the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal.

edit: whoops, wrong Dynon
potatoinmymouth
I see the first of these as being the easier solve, particularly as there can be some quick wins through say linking Donnybrook and Wallan loops together, as well as others, and these benefits will also increase line capacity for freight.  The second is perhaps less easy.  I wonder if we could quantify which of these would have bigger impact and how much this impact could be?
  GD Train Controller

Location: Geelong Vic
Where exactly are the SG capacity constraints in Melbourne? Are they in the Albion-Jacana section, the single track around Sunshine, or closer to the city (or all of the above)?

By the time Shepp goes SG, we'll probably have SG Vlocities, and if the issue is no more available paths, then there's the option of splitting services at Seymour.
There are two issues.

The first is the single track between Seymour and Tottenham. There are passing lanes at Tallarook, Kilmore East, Donnybrook and Tullamarine, and additional loops at Wallan and Somerton. However, in my understanding, this corridor is operating near capacity and adding five to nine Shepp services each way per day (plus freight) would certainly not be feasible without a major capacity increase. 40 minute frequency Seymour locals are out of the question entirely. Realistically this SG section will need to be fully duplicated in the post-Inland Rail future but it'll cost a bomb to work out what to do with the BG.

The second is getting access through South Dynon into Southern Cross. The Dynon precinct was not intended to serve regular passenger trains and it is messy enough getting the Overland, XPT and V/Line Albury services through the area. There's no alternative route either unless we somehow link up to Mr Golding's tunnel. In my view Dynon is the biggest headache as the Port ain't going anywhere and North Dynon will consquently be around in some form for a long time, even if some of its facilities are relocated to the Western Interstate Freight Terminal or the Beveridge Interstate Freight Terminal.

edit: whoops, wrong Dynon
I see the first of these as being the easier solve, particularly as there can be some quick wins through say linking Donnybrook and Wallan loops together, as well as others, and these benefits will also increase line capacity for freight.  The second is perhaps less easy.  I wonder if we could quantify which of these would have bigger impact and how much this impact could be?
james.au
Could they not do a fly over just after the SG triangle between Sunshine and Footscray Drop down between RRL Tracks and then DG into Southern Cross.
It shouldn't cause speed limit issues as that section off RRL is only 80 anyway.

I Know DG isn't Ideal, but then You'd skip South Dynon Altogether.
Plus it makes future SG passenger slightly easier. as You'll have SG access near Sunshine.
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Further to @PIMMs post, there is a third constraint, namely the platform capacity at Southern Cross. There are only two platforms currently served by SG to my knowledge. A very short (209m) P1 and the roughly 450m long P2.

Neil
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Further to @PIMMs post, there is a third constraint, namely the platform capacity at Southern Cross. There are only two platforms currently served by SG to my knowledge. A very short (209m) P1 and the roughly 450m long P2.

Neil
ngarner
Wouldn't be too hard to convert another 1 or 2 to DG I wouldn't have thought looking at the (old) track diagram on SA track and signal.

IMHO Southern Cross needs a rebuild anyway, as others have posted elsewhere many delays causing late running on V/Line services are due to congestion at SC.

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Could they not do a fly over just after the SG triangle between Sunshine and Footscray Drop down between RRL Tracks and then DG into Southern Cross. It shouldn't cause speed limit issues as that section off RRL is only 80 anyway. I Know DG isn't Ideal, but then You'd skip South Dynon Altogether. Plus it makes future SG passenger slightly easier. as You'll have SG access near Sunshine.
GD

I could see that working but only if Craigieburn - Seymour is left BG. I very much doubt the powers that be would want an extra 4tph in peak (1 Shepp, 3 Seymour) to thread through what will already be a rather phenomenal junction at Sunshine.

In fact, if any sensible way of accomodating Shepp services on the SG is found, like James' Wallan/Donnybrook solution, standardising Seymour-Shepp alone with a redesigned junction at Seymour may the most straightforward solution.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Could they not do a fly over just after the SG triangle between Sunshine and Footscray Drop down between RRL Tracks and then DG into Southern Cross. It shouldn't cause speed limit issues as that section off RRL is only 80 anyway. I Know DG isn't Ideal, but then You'd skip South Dynon Altogether. Plus it makes future SG passenger slightly easier. as You'll have SG access near Sunshine.

I could see that working but only if Craigieburn - Seymour is left BG. I very much doubt the powers that be would want an extra 4tph in peak (1 Shepp, 3 Seymour) to thread through what will already be a rather phenomenal junction at Sunshine.

In fact, if any sensible way of accomodating Shepp services on the SG is found, like James' Wallan/Donnybrook solution, standardising Seymour-Shepp alone with a redesigned junction at Seymour may the most straightforward solution.
potatoinmymouth
In my view leaving Seymour as BG would be a logical solution and the commuter Vlos can run there.  Though take the east  of the BG tracks from say Wallan or thereabouts and standardise it (with a loop perhaps somewhere in the middle) so you don't suddenly have 2 lengths of BG that are under-utilised and costing too much to run.

And @PIMM I can't take credit for that, that is a RP idea which I think I read once in the writings of @woodford.

BTW, what is the mess around Somerton about?  Looking at it yesterday it could easily have a 3+km loop built there too with some short pieces of new track and relocation of points.
  PE2010 Station Master

Location: Newcastle
Does anyone know when Mannangatang and Sea Lake line works starting? Will there be any loops put in between Emu and Ararat now that trains are taking the longer route ?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Well the end result at Maryborough is supposed to include a loop, time will tell whether it will be of a useful length.

As to the rest, well there would appear to be no hurry, lack of wheat this season has left the Merbein Freight almost the sole user of the line.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Dunolly will probably get It's crossing loop back, after the broad gauge track through the yard gets gauge converted.

When was the last time trains loaded at the Dunolly grain sub terminal ?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I had another look at Maryborough today.

No red flags or baulks on any of the 4 roads available to SG, though interestingly the 3-4 road points at the North end have no mechanism to move them. All other points are power operated - not a lever in sight.

There is another set of points being built in the grass on the East side of the Ararat line Junction points, but it was too far away to see just what it is. I guess it could be either of two things - DG Junction points so that they can get rid of the slow speed splitter and Common Rail transfer that follows, or perhaps even in readiness for when it all becomes SG only. I suspect the former.

That Common Rail transfer is now in its 3rd location - it used to be midway between the Inkerman Street Level Crossing and the platform, then just south of the Level Crossing and has moved again when the 2 Road points went in.

Three photos.

3-4 Road North End Points

https://flic.kr/p/2eAM1Hy

Ararat Junction and 2 Road Points

https://flic.kr/p/2dzovBC

New Junction points being constructed

https://flic.kr/p/2dzovGh
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ive never seen a photo of a gauge splitter - and it looks quite aggressive.  It literally forces the train across onto the SG....  No wonder the speed limit is 15.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Just to ask the question, is anyone willing to speculate when the next announcements might be made?  With the low harvest volumes id be doubting there would be much to haul from MN and SL lines so they could start sooner than they expected though if the season has a good start this year and indicates a high volume of grain to move they may not want to risk overreach.

The Ballarat line upgrade (BLU) is set to finish around 'late 2019' meaning that the works (if carried out by the same teams) could start after then.  Though I'm not sure what phasing this is following - might the track teams be available earlier to start standardisation works?  Has anyone got a schematic showing the works order for the BLU?  Any other logical thoughts?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
I suspect that they are still trying to decide whether BG will continue beyond the Ballarat area.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I suspect that they are still trying to decide whether BG will continue beyond the Ballarat area.
mikesyd

We haven’t heard boo since early in the election campaign about the Dunolly passenger rail promise, which is interesting to say the least.

I will put my money now on things remaining quiet until during the federal campaign or after the election of a Shorten government. Here’s why I think that’s the case:

SG beyond Ballarat to the north, west and south is the kind of project that Andrews loves. It’s full of photo ops and milestones for “getting things done”.

However, it’ll never be funded by the state because he also knows it’s not a part of the world ever likely to turn red, and with the budget tightening, it’s a high-risk/low-reward scenario.

So, in the still-probable (though admittedly less likely than 3 months ago) event that we have two Labor governments some time this year, this is the kind of thing Andrews will be looking for federal funds for, along with the Waurn Ponds duplication, initial SRL stages and other similar projects.

Whether Shorten bites is another question altogether. If he does - the standardisation of all Ballarat lines bar the Marsh line is completed, and passenger services return to Dimboola and Mildura. If he doesn’t, or if the Liberals are re-elected, my guess is Andrews will cut the losses and standardise Sea Lake, close Manangatang, DG Maryborough-Ballarat and convert Gheringhap-Ballarat to SG at absolute bare minimum cost. That means no passenger services, and minimum signalling works near Ballarat.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I suspect that they are still trying to decide whether BG will continue beyond the Ballarat area.

We haven’t heard boo since early in the election campaign about the Dunolly passenger rail promise, which is interesting to say the least.

I will put my money now on things remaining quiet until during the federal campaign or after the election of a Shorten government. Here’s why I think that’s the case:

SG beyond Ballarat to the north, west and south is the kind of project that Andrews loves. It’s full of photo ops and milestones for “getting things done”.

However, it’ll never be funded by the state because he also knows it’s not a part of the world ever likely to turn red, and with the budget tightening, it’s a high-risk/low-reward scenario.

So, in the still-probable (though admittedly less likely than 3 months ago) event that we have two Labor governments some time this year, this is the kind of thing Andrews will be looking for federal funds for, along with the Waurn Ponds duplication, initial SRL stages and other similar projects.

Whether Shorten bites is another question altogether. If he does - the standardisation of all Ballarat lines bar the Marsh line is completed, and passenger services return to Dimboola and Mildura. If he doesn’t, or if the Liberals are re-elected, my guess is Andrews will cut the losses and standardise Sea Lake, close Manangatang, DG Maryborough-Ballarat and convert Gheringhap-Ballarat to SG at absolute bare minimum cost. That means no passenger services, and minimum signalling works near Ballarat.
potatoinmymouth
Or if they bite the bullet and recognise that it was wrong to standardise the Mildura line and convert if back (I wish)
I Reality I suspect the Sea lake and Manangatang lines standardisation will be thrown under the rug and so will the DG/SG conversion of Ballarat to Geelong. I find it unlikely that the Ararat line will be more 4 inches in and SG Vline services will return to Horsham/Hamilton/Dimboola though the RRA would rather otherwise.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW

However, it’ll never be funded by the state because he also knows it’s not a part of the world ever likely to turn red, and with the budget tightening, it’s a high-risk/low-reward scenario.
potatoinmymouth
Interesting analysis PIMM.  Ill need to go look at some electoral maps...

Re the area turning red - the creation of more jobs in the Ballarat area through creating a hub system for transport may create a few more jobs here and in doing so turn the tide a little bit more towards the red.  A longer term investment in red votes perhaps?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Word is that Manangatang and Sea Lake will be converted in late-2020 for a 2021 reopening.  A big impetus will be mineral sands traffic (i.e. Balranald sites, with transfer at Manang to rail and off to Hamilton/Portland?).

Graincorp and others will be rightfully screaming at the Govt if there's a bumper harvest and they can't get it railed out on SG, especially now that it seems only SSR is hauling BG grain (with just one consist at the present time).

A big percentage of grain out of the Wimmera this year has gone to NSW because of the poor harvest there.  Lucky it's all SG.  This can't happen economically from BG sites...
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Word is that Manangatang and Sea Lake will be converted in late-2020 for a 2021 reopening.  A big impetus will be mineral sands traffic (i.e. Balranald sites, with transfer at Manang to rail and off to Hamilton/Portland?).

Graincorp and others will be rightfully screaming at the Govt if there's a bumper harvest and they can't get it railed out on SG, especially now that it seems only SSR is hauling BG grain (with just one consist at the present time).

A big percentage of grain out of the Wimmera this year has gone to NSW because of the poor harvest there.  Lucky it's all SG.  This can't happen economically from BG sites...
Carnot
Id be thinking mid 2020 for a late 2020 opening should be the plan - otherwise it sounds like they'll have the lines closed for harvest?

Re transshipment - is Graincorp Dunolly able to handle inbound trains on BG, ie unload the branch lines into the complex and reload into SG to go t port etc?  I know it adds cost, but is it doable?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
The SG grain siding at Dunolly was disconnected at both ends during SG conversion works for the Mildura line. Not sure if the old BG (now SG) grain siding is available, or when it was even last used.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
The SG grain siding at Dunolly was disconnected at both ends during SG conversion works for the Mildura line. Not sure if the old BG (now SG) grain siding is available, or when it was even last used.
mikesyd

Hasn't been used as SG yet and the only BG track at Dunolly is the platform road.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yeah i can see on google maps the connections are all over the place.  

But, if they were in place, could this be done?  Is it like the NSW sub terminals (eg Junee/Temora/Moree etc) in that it has rail in and outlaid capability?
  Bonzel Locomotive Fireman

Yeah i can see on google maps the connections are all over the place.  

But, if they were in place, could this be done?  Is it like the NSW sub terminals (eg Junee/Temora/Moree etc) in that it has rail in and outlaid capability?
james.au
Yes it has both capabilities , but load in hasn`t been used in a long time.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Yeah i can see on google maps the connections are all over the place.  

But, if they were in place, could this be done?  Is it like the NSW sub terminals (eg Junee/Temora/Moree etc) in that it has rail in and outlaid capability?
Yes it has both capabilities , but load in hasn`t been used in a long time.
Bonzel
No ive not seen reference to any of the sub terminals having any load in for a very long time.  I suspect that experiment was proven far too costly.

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