Murray Basin standardisation

 
  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
Moot point to why the overland probably does badly as well......
speedemon08

Why does that make a difference?  What if the goods were going to Darwin or Perth?

What does a little extra time for 50 containers in one session make the route unviable?

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  Barrington Womble Photo Nazi

Location: Banned
Why does that make a difference?  What if the goods were going to Darwin or Perth?

What does a little extra time for 50 containers in one session make the route unviable?
JoppaJunction
The Overland is the passenger train which GSR operate between Melbourne and Adelaide. I think speedemon08 means that by going via Ballarat again, there is potential to pick up more patronage as the train would be travelling through a more densely populated area. His post has nothing to do with container trains, or trains to Darwin or Perth.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Business plan released today - warning 17 MB: http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1191428/Murray-Basin-Rail-Project-Business-Case.pdf

Short Summary here: http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1191429/Murray-Basin-Rail-Project-Summary-Brochure.pdf

Basically the Vic Govt wants Option 4 (Dual Gauge Dunolly to Geelong via Ballarat) with Maryborough- Ararat also reopened for traffic to Portland.

I suppose it now comes down to the demand of 'Show Me the Money!"
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
There's a very long section of track to become dual gauge (Dunolly - Geelong); isn't broad gauge speed-restricted on dual gauge tracks because of the risk of a brake block obstructing the gap? Why not just bite the bullet and convert the whole section to standard gauge if that's the case.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Business plan released today - warning 17 MB: http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1191428/Murray-Basin-Rail-Project-Business-Case.pdf

Short Summary here: http://economicdevelopment.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/1191429/Murray-Basin-Rail-Project-Summary-Brochure.pdf

Basically the Vic Govt wants Option 4 (Dual Gauge Dunolly to Geelong via Ballarat) with Maryborough- Ararat also reopened for traffic to Portland.

I suppose it now comes down to the demand of 'Show Me the Money!"
Carnot

This seems the best outcome as it keeps all options open.  BG passenger and freight traffic between Geelong and Maryborough.  SG via Ballarat which is what "@barrington womble" (how to do @ address a person with a space in their handle?) also suggested would be a good option.

Allows for trains from Mildura to go to Portland and also Melbourne via Ballarat and sets the network up for a change of gauge to SG between ballarat and Ararat which would be great for Ballarat businesses and also for the Overland and other vline serviuces to travel west of Ararat with a change of trains in Ballarat.

Also it protects the resumption of passenger services between Ballarat and Maryborough and Castlemaine.

Maryborough Yard will probably have to go over to SG with some BG and SG in the yard?

I hope the money includes some SG at Tottenham yard and also the building out of SG yard space at Mildura and Redcliffs to allow operation by more than PN into the region.

May also need some additional yard space at Ararat for wagon interchange between Melbourne Adelaide and Adelaide and the North West.

Does the plan include the SG of Ouyen to Pinaroo?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Does the plan include the SG of Ouyen to Pinnaroo?
x31


Ouyen to Murrayville...
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

There's a very long section of track to become dual gauge (Dunolly - Geelong); isn't broad gauge speed-restricted on dual gauge tracks because of the risk of a brake block obstructing the gap? Why not just bite the bullet and convert the whole section to standard gauge if that's the case.
don_dunstan
For Ballarat to Maryborough the issue is the need to keep BG access for passenger services. Although it would probably mean a reduction in spped from 100 km/h to 80 km/h.

DG all the way to Gheringhap has me scratching my head - perhaps to allow some overlap as the project proceeds between 2016-2018, and for a future Castlemaine - Maryborough - Geelong path for BG passenger and freight?

Edit: Reading the fine print it seems that having Ballarat to Geelong DG is: "V/Line periodically uses this section of track for the movement of Velocity trains and cars from Melbourne via Gheringhap to the Ballarat workshops for servicing, there is a dis-benefit associated with standardising this track. PTV considers that retention of broad gauge access is an essential component to ongoing maintenance requirements for V/Line.  These train movements can be slow and there are limited options available to facilitate these movements directly via Sunshine – Ballarat. While these dis-benefits are still to be quantified, it is felt that standardising this section may also limit future passenger rail options between Geelong and Ballarat."  p.86
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech

Does the plan include the SG of Ouyen to Pinnaroo?

Ouyen to Murrayville...
The Vinelander

"The main line needs to be upgraded from Geelong to Mildura, but also the branch lines, Manangatang and Sea Lake as well as Murrayville.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
For Ballarat to Maryborough the issue is the need to keep BG access for passenger services. Although it would probably mean a reduction in spped from 100 km/h to 80 km/h.

DG all the way to Gheringhap has me scratching my head - perhaps to allow some overlap as the project proceeds between 2016-2018, and for a future Castlemaine - Maryborough - Geelong path for BG passenger and freight?

Edit: Reading the fine print it seems that having Ballarat to Geelong DG is: "V/Line periodically uses this section of track for the movement of Velocity trains and cars from Melbourne via Gheringhap to the Ballarat workshops for servicing, there is a dis-benefit associated with standardising this track. PTV considers that retention of broad gauge access is an essential component to ongoing maintenance requirements for V/Line.  These train movements can be slow and there are limited options available to facilitate these movements directly via Sunshine – Ballarat. While these dis-benefits are still to be quantified, it is felt that standardising this section may also limit future passenger rail options between Geelong and Ballarat."  p.86
Carnot
I understand the argument that it leaves some built-in redundancy in the network but being restricted to 80km/h is going to be a really significant drag on the (already slow-ish) Maryborough trains.

A better option (but much more expensive) would be to reinstate the second track as a standard gauge link - at least from Gheringhap through to Ballarat. Anyway, it's a good thing that Ballarat will be linked to the standard gauge network - it might also mean that the Ballarat workshops could take on standard gauge work if that was viable.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
don_dunstan
A better option (but much more expensive) would be to reinstate the second track as a standard gauge link - at least from Gheringhap through to Ballarat. Anyway, it's a good thing that Ballarat will be linked to the standard gauge network - it might also mean that the Ballarat workshops could take on standard gauge work if that was viable.

@don_dunstan this is a better idea.  At least if the second track was returned eventually there could be dual SG capacity.

Do you think this would have been considered?

It will also be fun to see what signalling upgrades are done to enable better control of trains in the section.

For me the biggest benefits are SG into Ballarat and the new ability to convert SG from Ballarat to Ararat and integrating Ballarat with Western Victoria as well as allowing better operators onto the Mildura line.

I think this could be the end for PN to Mildura?

And of course we have the following useless statement from the Opposition.

The Opposition's Peter Walsh said the move was "just Labor re-announcing a Coalition project with a new logo".
  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
There were several different models proposed for this including re-routing those Murray/Mallee lines from Maryborough to Ararat and two other possible connections from the Mildura line to points along the Warracknabeal/Hopetoun line. There's no information yet about which route will be chosen, I'm guessing that will be done later this year when the business case is released?

Interesting to see the standard gauge network in Victoria expanding again anyway -
don_dunstan

The route appears to have been chosen and it is not via Hopetoun.  The "proper" job is now being approved which also looks to have included the branch lines well at least to Sealake and also to Manangatang.  I think both of the lines should be extended to the border. Do it once and do it now.

Also allows for SG access into Bendigo as SG will now go via Inglewood.
  loco958 Station Master

There were several different models proposed for this including re-routing those Murray/Mallee lines from Maryborough to Ararat and two other possible connections from the Mildura line to points along the Warracknabeal/Hopetoun line. There's no information yet about which route will be chosen, I'm guessing that will be done later this year when the business case is released?

Interesting to see the standard gauge network in Victoria expanding again anyway -

The route appears to have been chosen and it is not via Hopetoun.  The "proper" job is now being approved which also looks to have included the branch lines well at least to Sealake and also to Manangatang.  I think both of the lines should be extended to the border. Do it once and do it now.

Also allows for SG access into Bendigo as SG will now go via Inglewood.
JoppaJunction
Congratulations to Victoria.!

Here in South Australia the Government and private operators believe road transport is the way to go.

We have just recently, said goodbye to our already converted SG line in the Mallee region.

Plus Mt Gambier line just left rotting across the border from Heywood/Portland.

We love our rail here/not.!

Anyway congratulations to Victoria's Government.!
  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
This map best shows the scope of the changes.

  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
@don_dunstan this is a better idea.  At least if the second track was returned eventually there could be dual SG capacity.
x31
As far as I'm aware much of the right-of-way still exists including a spare bluestone platform facing at Bannockburn. Wikipedia (that source of all things reliable) mentions that it was originally built as double-track and operated as such until the 1890's when the 'direct' route via Bacchus Marsh was opened. The second track was abandoned but not fully removed until 1934... I'm sure there's lots of railway archaeologists out there who can tell us all about traces of where the second track remain, such as bridge abutments and extra-wide culverts.

Realistically all that would do would be to slightly lower some of the costs of putting the second (standard gauge) track back in; I'm glad you also think it's a good idea but I don't think that's the path they will ultimately go down.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
In regard to the 80km/hr speed on dual gauge track for broad gauge trains, it is my understanding that this was adopted many many years ago and there appears to be no technical reason why the 80km/hr speed could not be increased.  There was a view and it is a view that it had something to do with potential derailment of a train if some object was to become lodged in the gap between the standard gauge rail and the broad gauge rail.

However a counter argument to that is that miliions of rail vehicles traverse countless thousands of points and turnouts every day that have check rails and crossings of a similar narrow gap to that applying to dual gauge track and yet those vehicles traverse those sections at very high speeds etc.   In addition increasing use of concrete and/or steel sleepers that have superior gauge holding capabilities minimise the potential for derailment.  More importantly we have enough data available today combined with track and wheel rail data to really objectively test what the risk is if any for not increasing the speed of broad gauge trains on dual gauge track.

What I would like to see most of all if this option is going to proceed is that the development of a low profile dual gauge concrete sleeper which v/Line was tasked to do some years ago and never did goes ahead so that this investment enables the rehabilitated lines to be future proofed for high axle loads going into the future.  The current 18 and 21 tonne axleload operations are severely limiting rails ability to be competitive.   Even moving to 23 tonne axle load may represent an improvement and would be a great start, knowing that you've funded low profile concrete sleepers capable of carrying 25 tonne axle load in the longer term especially on the mainline to Mildura provides you with the opportunity to really improve productivity and lower capital and operating costs.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
I'm quite impressed with the new scope of the project. Much more forward-thinking than I expected given the initial study.

It will also be fun to see what signalling upgrades are done to enable better control of trains in the section.

For me the biggest benefits are SG into Ballarat and the new ability to convert SG from Ballarat to Ararat and integrating Ballarat with Western Victoria as well as allowing better operators onto the Mildura line.

I think this could be the end for PN to Mildura?
x31
  • No signalling upgrades are costed for, aside from ARTC signalling interface works at Ararat
  • Ballarat-Ararat conversion is a long way off, it's essentially an extension of the Ballarat line passenger service and has very little freight potential
  • Remember that PN has the existing intermodal contract to work with and once standardisation is completed, the ability to use their own substantial fleet of modern, efficient SG locos and wagons. They're still going to be competitive.

What I would like to see most of all if this option is going to proceed is that the development of a low profile dual gauge concrete sleeper which V/Line was tasked to do some years ago
Trainplanner
Unlikely, given that the business case indicates that timber sleepers will be used for the Maryborough-Ballarat-Geelong dual gauge sections.
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
I'm quite impressed with the new scope of the project. Much more forward-thinking than I expected given the initial study.
LancedDendrite

I agree, good on the Government for including the Ouyen to Murrayville gauge conversion as part of the project rather than the recommendation of the initial study which was to close the line.

Ross
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
@don_dunstan this is a better idea.  At least if the second track was returned eventually there could be dual SG capacity.
As far as I'm aware much of the right-of-way still exists including a spare bluestone platform facing at Bannockburn. Wikipedia (that source of all things reliable) mentions that it was originally built as double-track and operated as such until the 1890's when the 'direct' route via Bacchus Marsh was opened. The second track was abandoned but not fully removed until 1934... I'm sure there's lots of railway archaeologists out there who can tell us all about traces of where the second track remain, such as bridge abutments and extra-wide culverts.

Realistically all that would do would be to slightly lower some of the costs of putting the second (standard gauge) track back in; I'm glad you also think it's a good idea but I don't think that's the path they will ultimately go down.
don_dunstan
The first problem I can see is road overbridges, eg Navigators, where the trackbed has been slewed to pass under the centre of the bridge. The trackbed's must have been re-graded over time and even at the highest point the clearance isn't that great.
  Chidda Bang Locomotive Driver

Location: Banned
The dog smegheads are closing 3 lines

Murrayville pinneroo

Sea lake mittyack

Manangertong robinvale

So sad mittyack kulwin gone in 2005 RIP MITTYACK KULWIN TRAIN TRACK UR NOT FORGOTTEN Crying or Very sad
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The dog smegheads are closing 3 lines

Murrayville pinneroo

Sea lake mittyack

Manangertong robinvale

So sad mittyack kulwin gone in 2005 RIP MITTYACK KULWIN TRAIN TRACK UR NOT FORGOTTEN Crying or Very sad
Chidda Bang
Such colourful language! As long as the alignment remains in VicTrack hands then they can always be re-instated at a later date. The important thing is to get some decent track down and increase the traffic on each line. That and that alone will give the impetus to extend / re-instate lines.

For instance I can see Ouyen to Tailem Bend being re-opened and used in the medium term if all else goes well. If they stuff it up then it will be the end for all rail in the area.

BG
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The dog smegheads are closing 3 lines

Murrayville pinneroo

Sea lake mittyack

Manangertong robinvale

So sad mittyack kulwin gone in 2005 RIP MITTYACK KULWIN TRAIN TRACK UR NOT FORGOTTEN Crying or Very sad
Chidda Bang

I was disappointed to also read the above lines would not be completed in their entirety

Are Mittyack and Kulwin no longer used as grain silos?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I'm quite impressed with the new scope of the project. Much more forward-thinking than I expected given the initial study.

I agree, good on the Government for including the Ouyen to Murrayville gauge conversion as part of the project rather than the recommendation of the initial study which was to close the line.

Ross
Rossco T

And the recommendation to close the line came from where?  The Government?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
The dog smegheads are closing 3 lines

Murrayville pinneroo

Sea lake mittyack

Manangertong robinvale

So sad mittyack kulwin gone in 2005 RIP MITTYACK KULWIN TRAIN TRACK UR NOT FORGOTTEN Crying or Very sad
Chidda Bang
Crocodile tears.

There's been no real change - an unusable line is as good as closed.

And the recommendation to close the line came from where? The Government?
bevans
I'll quote the 2014 study:

The Ouyen to Murrayville (Pinnaroo) line carries very low tonnages at the present time. The five year rail average on this line is approximately 30,000 tonnes per annum and the road mode share is 66% of the freight task. A business case to justify gauge standardisation would need to be developed by the Grain Industry since it is considered that the capital expenditure and ongoing maintenance costs cannot be justified at this time.
...
Industry support and investment would be required in a similar way that industry invested in the Yaapeet Line and other Victorian lines.
Murray Basin Region Freight Demand & Infrastructure Study Project Report

Since then, GrainCorp has pulled its finger out:
It is noted that the preferred project shown at Figure 2 includes standardisation of the line from Ouyen to Murrayville. Standardisation of this line was not initially included in the scope of the Murray Basin Rail Project as, at the time the project was first considered, the line was found to be carrying too little grain to warrant significant investment. However, GrainCorp, the key user of the line, has subsequently indicated strong interest in investing in the rail capacity of the terminal at Murrayville and increasing use of the line. A separate business case assessment of standardisation of the Murrayville line was subsequently prepared to support addition of this line to the core Murray Basin Rail Project. As a result of this, whilst the line to Murrayville is now part of the preferred project scope of the Murray Basin Rail Project, the assessment of the costs and economic benefits of standardising this line are not included in this business case having been considered in a separate business case.
Murray Basin Rail Project Final Business Case
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The dog smegheads are closing 3 lines

Murrayville pinneroo

Sea lake mittyack

Manangertong robinvale

So sad mittyack kulwin gone in 2005 RIP MITTYACK KULWIN TRAIN TRACK UR NOT FORGOTTEN Crying or Very sad
Chidda Bang

Have you ever been to Mittyack or Kulwin Question wheat silo's and buffers at Kulwin

You've obviously never been to Manangatang.

Have you ever travelled outside of Melbourne Zone 2...
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

Since then, GrainCorp has pulled its finger out:
It is noted that the preferred project shown at Figure 2 includes standardisation of the line from Ouyen to Murrayville. Standardisation of this line was not initially included in the scope of the Murray Basin Rail Project as, at the time the project was first considered, the line was found to be carrying too little grain to warrant significant investment. However, GrainCorp, the key user of the line, has subsequently indicated strong interest in investing in the rail capacity of the terminal at Murrayville and increasing use of the line. A separate business case assessment of standardisation of the Murrayville line was subsequently prepared to support addition of this line to the core Murray Basin Rail Project. As a result of this, whilst the line to Murrayville is now part of the preferred project scope of the Murray Basin Rail Project, the assessment of the costs and economic benefits of standardising this line are not included in this business case having been considered in a separate business case.
LancedDendrite
I wonder if the closure of the Pinaroo (SA) line and therefore the possibility of GrainCorp pinching some business from the Viterra side of the border had any bearing on the pulling out of the proverbial finger?

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