Murray Basin standardisation

 
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Don't know if I have missed something but what would be the purpose of SG from Warrenheip to Maryborough ?
Would this not be a SG branch line from Maryborough to Warrenheip ie almost the equivalent of from nowhere to nowhere so far as traffic is concerned?
Might as well do a DG section from Castlemaine to Macedon.
YM-Mundrabilla

For those who came in late....

At the moment they are talking DG from MB to Warrenheip to accomodate the MB pax services at the same time as allowing the SG freights to pass through to Geelong/Melbourne.  A view here is that it would be simpler to have it just SG and have a captive rolling stock on SG.  Contracts haven't yet been released yet.

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
OK, clarity required:

Original plan was for Gheringhap - Warrenheip to be dual gauge, with Standard Gauge services having the option to either operate from Maryborough to Melbourne via Ararat and Geelong, or via Ballarat and Geelong.

This plan has since been ammended. Now Gheringhap - Warrenheip will be Standard Gauge only, with Warrenheip to Maryborough to become Dual Gauge so as not to require SG V/Line rollingstock to service Maryborough.

This has not changed.

At no point has anybody in any position of authority seriously considered closing this section of railway.

Anybody paying attention to the comments section on Facebook needs to take any rumour like these with the grain of salt they deserve.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
There is still a big question regarding whether Maryborough to Ballarat should be dual gauged or if it and the Ballarat to Ararat be standard gauge and a a small fleet of standard gauge railcars (V'Locity style) should operate from a base at Ballarat to serve Maryborough/St Arnaud, Ararat to Horsham/Dimboola and Ararat to Hamilton.

This is part of the Western Victoria study which was co funded by Government.

It dramatically lowers capital cost for the conversion to dual gauge of the Maryborough-Ballarat section, removes the 80km/hr speed limit for broad gauge pax services and furture proofs the line for running higher axleload in the future.

The proposal is the SG railcars would connect with BG services from Melbourne, very do-able considering the layout of Ballarat Station and the fact that it has refreshment rooms etc.

The plan does envisage 1 or 2 SG pax services per day to Melbourne via Gheringhap and it also enables the Overland to service Ballarat as the regional city services centre.

It was a concept considered back in 2007 and scoffed at but is now inching towards being very seriously considered given the Murray Basin Project.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I personally do not see the sense in having any BG passed Ballarat and therefore any money spent on DG should be used to:

1. Convert the BG to SG for Ballarat to Ararat
2. Extra Vlocity cars for the Maryborough to Hamilton (via Ararat)
3. Extra Vlocity cars for a service between Horsham and Geelong via Ararat and Ballarat
4. Extra Vlocity cars with conversion for Marybrough to Geelong (pax transfer at Ballarat)
5. SG connections to North Ballarat workshops and Ballarat East workshops
6. DG between Warenheip and Gheringhap?

Summary

SG only west and south and east of Ballarat
Re-route Overland via Ballarat to Geelong North

Plan to have electrification between Ballarat and Melbourne and Ballarat and Geelong
Move Vlocity EMU and some new car maintenance to Ballarat North
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I guess for us it makes sense, but what is it in the minds of PTV/VLine etc that is preventing the decision from being made?  Is it concern about passenger disruption?  Cost of setting up an SG fleet (incl facility modifications)?  Something else?  

Ie, what is the blocker here?

On the Overland, would it be able to call at Ballarat?  I though that based on the plans revealed in the Western Vic study that the SG track would go through the middle of the station and not allow access to the platforms?

Also remember, the Overland is only funded to the end of 2018.  Id suspect that any announcement re Western Vic pax services will probably kill off the Overland subsidy paid by Victoria and redirect that funding into the VLine network.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I guess for us it makes sense, but what is it in the minds of PTV/VLine etc that is preventing the decision from being made?  Is it concern about passenger disruption?  Cost of setting up an SG fleet (incl facility modifications)?  Something else?  

Ie, what is the blocker here?

On the Overland, would it be able to call at Ballarat?  I though that based on the plans revealed in the Western Vic study that the SG track would go through the middle of the station and not allow access to the platforms?

Also remember, the Overland is only funded to the end of 2018.  Id suspect that any announcement re Western Vic pax services will probably kill off the Overland subsidy paid by Victoria and redirect that funding into the VLine network.
james.au
'I guess for us it makes sense, but what is it in the minds of PTV/VLine etc that is preventing the decision from being made?  

  1. Is it concern about passenger disruption?  
  2. Cost of setting up an SG fleet (incl facility modifications)?  
  3. Something else?  '


  1. Never bothered them before but if you run an efficient, reliable and punctual service should not be a problem
  2. Certainly a consideration from the maintenance facility aspect. A SG Vlocity should cost no more than a BG one ?
  3. SG in any form is anathema to Vline
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?
x31

We don't really know what they are doing right now.  We won't know till the contracts are released.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
3. SG in any form is anathema to Vline
YM-Mundrabilla
anathema
1. something or someone that one vehemently dislikes.


 2. a formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine.

I like that second definition Laughing
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?

We don't really know what they are doing right now.  We won't know till the contracts are released.
james.au

I have little confidence in the work being undertaken by @VicTrack when the task involves forward planning.  They just don't seem to get it.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?

We don't really know what they are doing right now.  We won't know till the contracts are released.

I have little confidence in the work being undertaken by @VicTrack when the task involves forward planning.  They just don't seem to get it.
x31

Hence why we need to wait for the tenders/contracts.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The VLocitys currently operating Ballarat - Maryborough and Ballarat - Ararat are designed to be converted to SG. The two Tulloch Diesel Rail Cars purchased from NSWGR in the 70s were converted from SG to BG (reliability is a separate issue).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
3. SG in any form is anathema to Vline
anathema
1. something or someone that one vehemently dislikes.

 2. a formal curse by a pope or a council of the Church, excommunicating a person or denouncing a doctrine.

I like that second definition Laughing
Pressman
How will I know under (2) above that I have been excommunicated. I have already been cursed by experts.
Am I to assume that someone here on RP will tell me or will I get en email from our currently acting pope Jacinta Allan?
If I am excommunicated will this alter my vote on the Marriage survey?
Laughing
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
How will I know under (2) above that I have been excommunicated. I have already been cursed by experts.
YM-Mundrabilla
One of these blokes will stop by to let you know

  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?
x31
Why would you not include platform 1, please?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
How will I know under (2) above that I have been excommunicated. I have already been cursed by experts.
One of these blokes will stop by to let you know

BrentonGolding
Thanks BG.
Now that I know what to expect I will keep a good lookout.
I will keep my pinch bar handy and also sleep in my train proof jacket, safety boots and crash hat just in case.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
How will I know under (2) above that I have been excommunicated. I have already been cursed by experts.
One of these blokes will stop by to let you know

Thanks BG.
Now that I know what to expect I will keep a good lookout.
I will keep my pinch bar handy and also sleep in my train proof jacket, safety boots and crash hat just in case.
YM-Mundrabilla
Don't forget the Hi-Viz and eye protection
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Oh dear. Forgot about the eye protection.
Now the OH&S Bimbos and Himbos will be after me as well.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Ideally for the Wimmera/Western/Maryborough Standard Gauge hub to work, the main platform with booking office, passenger facilities and refresh room would be the most ideal for a gauge to gauge transfer so that there is minimal standard/dual gauge works from the Ballarat East Depot and then a dedicated SG track to parallel the broad gauge out to Wendouree.   This keeps all dual gauge and standard gauge track confined to (A) SG only middle road for freight and the south side only for dual gauge.   At the junction onto the Maryborough Line, this would be a simple diamond of the standard gauge crossing the broad gauge which is far less expensive and much more simple than dual gauge points and signaling (very much how the broad gauge crosses the standard gauge at Ararat.

At Wendouree it is a little more complicated going forward as it is proposed to have stabling there, plus standard gauge access is planned for the intermodal depot there but there is more greenfield space to potentially have a Ballarat layout of a broad gauge platform, a dual gauge platform and a standard gauge main running through the middle.

Wendouree is already slated for a significant expansion going forward so designing it with standard and dual gauge in mind now is easier than having to re-engineer it all later.   West of Wendouree becomes very straight forward for gauge conversion and when converted to SG the current broad gauge dock helps facilitate transfers to Hamilton trains etc which are featured in the Wimmera/Western Vic plan.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
SG might be destined for the centre track at Ballarat but it also needs to go into Platform 2 as well.  

This would allow a Standard Gauge passenger train to use Ballarat.  Please tell me they are doing this?
Why would you not include platform 1, please?
YM-Mundrabilla

Ideally you would do platform 1 and 2
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

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...
  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...
Carnot

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.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

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.
james.au
I thought it hadn't been awarded, but yeah it looks like it was: https://www.railexpress.com.au/murray-basin-upgrades-begin/
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
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.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

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
Absolutely.  It also reduces the downtime on lines being converted and provides a good alternative pathing to going via Maryborough - Gheringhap, especially during the day when passenger traffic clogs it up.  Just a shame there are no long passing loops on the Avoca section (Bung Bong loop isn't part of the upgrade) and they're cutting back roads in the Maryborough yard.

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