Re Opening & Upgrading Maryborough - Avoca - Ararat

 
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The whole section Maryborough to Ararat is to be upgraded to new sg concrete sleepers throughout .  Don't know about rail, it would appear current rail is 80lb in reasonable condition . Anyway it will be fit for all locos on 21 tonne axle loads .

Think the staging is something like  :

1.  Sleeper replacement  Maryborough - Mildura and other preparatory works .  (Nearing completion) .

2.  Upgrade re - open  Maryborough - Ararat including new direct sg link at Ararat to the Maroona Line.

3.  Move rail over  Dunolly - Mildura ;  all Mildura trains via Maroona and  Gheringhap to Geelong and Melbourne on sg .

4.  Standardize other North Western branches radiating from Dunolly.

5. Standardize / dual  gauge South of Maryborough .

6.Remove  broad gauge rail between Maryborough and Dunolly .

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  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
I drove along the adjacent highway today. There seems to be lots of vegetation to be cleared, not to mention the 25 or so Grain hoppers (all green Freight Australia liveries) about 10km out of Ararat. In fact it's one rake of about 25 (I didn't count) plus a single hopper about 100m on the Ararat end, separated by a Level Crossing.
mikesyd
I thought those wagons had been cleared out some time ago as per another thread?
  mikesyd Chief Commissioner

Location: Lurking
Here is the other thread - last updated 18 months back.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11364140-0-asc-s100.htm

Last status reported was 31 + 1 on 26/01/2015 - that's probably what I saw today. Google Earth imagery dated 15/11/2015 actually shows them, just on the Ararat side for the former Warra-Yadin station.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Okay, thanks - they're also visible when you Street-View the nearby highway. I wonder if they still have any commercial value to anyone - presumably not.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
That is a really good question, and one I'm looking forward to finding out.  What is the impact on the SG and BG fleets of this project.  What will get converted, what will get scrapped, what will the fleet utilisations look like etc??
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Okay, thanks - they're also visible when you Street-View the nearby highway. I wonder if they still have any commercial value to anyone - presumably not.
don_dunstan
Some were built In the early 2000's by Alstom Ballarat North (100 Tonne gross)
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Been out along the line over the weekend for a look. Prety much all the crossings and rail near crossings have surveyors tape and numbering on the rail that mean nothing to me, but could be KM numbers. Cant recall exacts until i download from the camera later.

Dont know whats "next" on Vlines to-do list, after the current shutdown on the bendigo line, but there's no reason this section couldn't start any time. The thing to watch for will be when PN move the 100 tonners from the Aararat end, you can be action to get the track restored will be close at that point. Wouldn't be surprised if there's not someone inside PN with this knowledge already. Just a matter of squeezing it out of them

Where they are going to put them is another big question. Possibly no reason they cant use them still, and just make sure they don't load them full. Just need some 25t axle load track to run them properly.

I belive related to the whole project, a very large pile of balast and sleepers are stationed at Maroona at present. for the upgrades to the portland line at a guess rather than this one.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Distance  87.4kms  Maryborough - Avoca - Ararat
Maryborough - Avoca  originally opened 1876 and cost $ 74,000  ruling grade  1 in 43
Avoca - Ararat opened  1890 at a cost of  $ 260,550  Ruling grade  1 in 50

Along the whole line the major bridges are at Bet Bet Creek at Bung Bong, then just beyond Avoca at the Avoca River, over the Wimmera River at Elmshurst, and Mount Cole Creek at Ben Nevis .  

The last through rail motor service  Maryborough - Ararat operated in the early 1950's .

The line was closed between Ararat and  Avoca on  08/07/1959, but re-opened for Portland grain traffic in late 1966 at a cost of $  130,000 .including an intermediate crossing loop at Elmshurst .  

Maryborough - Ararat was standardized in 1995, but was little used and the track has been booked out for some years. The connection at Maryborough towards Avoca was actually removed recently albeit the line is to be re-opened !!!!  

The line is now to be re opened primarily for mineral sands traffic from Manangatang to Hamilton  with 21 tonne axle loads.  The project involves  clearing vegetation, clearing drainage, continuously welding the track allowing 21tonne axle loads with an 80kmh line speed , insertion of a minimum 27,100 concrete sleepers, ballast top up,  re-commissioning flashing light protection at 6 level crossings .  Restoration of the junction at Maryborough is to cost  $ 1.5m and a new direct connection is to be provided at Ararat from the Avoca line to the  Maroona line (across the bg line from Ballarat ) at a cost of $ 7.5m  involving a new track alignment and new track construction . Total project cost is $ 64m  !!!!

Materials are to be procured March 16 to April 17  and actual construction/conversion will be  March to June 2017 .


(Sources-    K.W.Turton ARHS  The  Avoca - Ararat  Railway  &  Murray Basin Upgrade  Business Case.)
kuldalai
I was hoping this thread is still active or is everything being posted in the Murray Basin Standardisation thread ?

We are well into the time frame mentioned above, the photo's and a report from someone residing in that area would be handy.

Mods, change this to the other thread if needed.

BigShunter.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Let's ensure this thread is used for just this section.  The other thread is  more general.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Yes I agree.  As works start to ramp up it would be nice to have a thread that essentially is focused on construction progress.    We all remember of course and are highly appreciative of the extraordinary efforts of Woodford who provided highly informative and focused reports on the NE Standard gauge works.    So any reporting on the ACTUAL Murray Basin works would be extremely informative AND appreciated.   As has been said we can leave other threads to have "discussions" about other aspects of the project.   In saying that I'm glad someone has stepped up (whilst I've been away) to explain why the Maryborough to Ararat section is being reactivated and upgraded primarily for mineral sands trains but also because Portland Port is now very proactive in wanting to attract more business including grain, noting as well that we now have several grain handlers in the market these days unlike the first round of gauge standardization.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Actually while the thread has been cracked open again, has there been any thought's about placing a camera along this section of the line ? It may be worth exploring the idea and do some ground work, as to the most suitable location.

Any one second the idea ?


BigShunter.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Actually while the thread has been cracked open again, has there been any thought's about placing a camera along this section of the line ? It may be worth exploring the idea and do some ground work, as to the most suitable location.

Any one second the idea ?


BigShunter.
BigShunter
Ararat, Avoca, or Southern end of Maryborough yard?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Maryborough would be best - you'd get all the to Ararat traffic plus all the to Geelong etc traffic
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It would be Interesting to see the plans for the new direct connection between the Maryborough line and the Maroona line (Ararat triangle)

I'm guessing the curving track will pass through the former Ararat Loco Depot between the water towers and the turntable.

The Maroona end turnout of the triangle looks like It would be tight location on a short section of straight track, where a mixed gauge diamond would be required to cross over the broad gauge track (the broad gauge will probably be slewed/bowed out the lessen the diamond cross angle.

Standardisation of the Wendouree - Ararat line would sure permit the simplification of the Ararat track layout.

What future does the remaining part of the former Ararat Loco Depot roundhouse hold ?
The place Is rundown and trashed by vandals.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The triangle plans will be interesting in they would have to address as you say some engineering challenges.  I question the need as now much cost would it require compared to a run around in Ararat Yard?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Earthworks occurring in the 'triangle' area between McLennan and Grano Streets between now and June 30:
https://www.vline.com.au/Service-Changes/Community-Notifications/Ararat-maintenance-works
  Carnot Minister for Railways

The triangle plans will be interesting in they would have to address as you say some engineering challenges.  I question the need as now much cost would it require compared to a run around in Ararat Yard?
x31
At least with a triangle you could run use it as a virtual turntable for steam train tours Wink

Regardless, it enables a much more efficient way to keep trains moving through without all the rigmarole of run-arounds etc.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
One would hope a Triangle does get established and the existing Avoca leg out of Ararat Yard doesn't get deleted !
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The business case has figures for the creation of a direct path from the Maryborough-Ararat line to the Western SG (i.e. the one to Maroona) to allow through train operation.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

The business case has figures for the creation of a direct path from the Maryborough-Ararat line to the Western SG (i.e. the one to Maroona) to allow through train operation.
james.au
But not a direct link to the Western SG heading west? That would mean no triangle.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
ARTC have lobbied very strongly for retention of direct access to their network from the Maryborough Line.   They need it for ballast trains themselves and projects like this need to as much focused on ENABLING system access not shutting it down.   We've seen too much of this occurring for small short term gain!!!
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
There is already a link heading westbound - that is how the line was designed originally.  The new one will head south south east.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The business case has figures for the creation of a direct path from the Maryborough-Ararat line to the Western SG (i.e. the one to Maroona) to allow through train operation.
But not a direct link to the Western SG heading west? That would mean no triangle.
duttonbay

Is the project removing the connection from Ararat to Maryborough which currently exists?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
The business case has figures for the creation of a direct path from the Maryborough-Ararat line to the Western SG (i.e. the one to Maroona) to allow through train operation.
But not a direct link to the Western SG heading west? That would mean no triangle.

Is the project removing the connection from Ararat to Maryborough which currently exists?
x31
There is nothing in the business case to suggest that.

Ill drill into the tender documents i downloaded a month or so ago later tonight and check.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
It was going to apparently but has for the moment been retained.

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