Rowsley Crossing Loop Commissioning

 
  Campaspe 2 Junior Train Controller

It is indicated in the latest Weekly Operational Notice (No.21 /2016) that Rowsley crossing loop will be commissioned this weekend (28 / 29 May) and will be available for use from the morning of Monday, 30 May. The new boom barriers at Rowsley Station Road (located on the Bacchus Marsh side of the loop) will also be commissioned. I think that this level crossing was upgraded to flashing lights as recently as late 2005 as part of the Regional Fast Rail project.

I have been told that the points for the new loop were assembled beside the mainline and will be inserted over the commissioning weekend. The notice in the WON indicates that these are 65 km/h turnouts (Can anyone confirm that the points have not yet been inserted?).

Also, does anyone have a photo or plan of the original Rowsley railway station that was located on the site of the loop between 1889 and 1956?

Regards

Campaspe

Sponsored advertisement

  woodford Chief Commissioner

It is indicated in the latest Weekly Operational Notice (No.21 /2016) that Rowsley crossing loop will be commissioned this weekend (28 / 29 May) and will be available for use from the morning of Monday, 30 May. The new boom barriers at Rowsley Station Road (located on the Bacchus Marsh side of the loop) will also be commissioned. I think that this level crossing was upgraded to flashing lights as recently as late 2005 as part of the Regional Fast Rail project.

I have been told that the points for the new loop were assembled beside the mainline and will be inserted over the commissioning weekend. The notice in the WON indicates that these are 65 km/h turnouts (Can anyone confirm that the points have not yet been inserted?).

Also, does anyone have a photo or plan of the original Rowsley railway station that was located on the site of the loop between 1889 and 1956?

Regards

Campaspe
Campaspe 2
Try this............

http://www.victorianrailways.net/grades/melball.html

The mile mark for Rowsley would put the platform around 200 metres the Ballan side of the road on the south side of the line.

woodford
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Points not yet inserted as of today (Friday), the day before the Occupation of the line.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

It is indicated in the latest Weekly Operational Notice (No.21 /2016) that Rowsley crossing loop will be commissioned this weekend (28 / 29 May) and will be available for use from the morning of Monday, 30 May. The new boom barriers at Rowsley Station Road (located on the Bacchus Marsh side of the loop) will also be commissioned. I think that this level crossing was upgraded to flashing lights as recently as late 2005 as part of the Regional Fast Rail project.

I have been told that the points for the new loop were assembled beside the mainline and will be inserted over the commissioning weekend. The notice in the WON indicates that these are 65 km/h turnouts (Can anyone confirm that the points have not yet been inserted?).

Also, does anyone have a photo or plan of the original Rowsley railway station that was located on the site of the loop between 1889 and 1956?

Regards

Campaspe
Campaspe 2
Yet again through failure of anyone with some  spine in either VLP, PTV or Department of Everything we end up with a near useless addition to the rail infrastructure after spending $ 10m .   Rowsley Loop would be better re named as  Claytons  Loop  (the crossing loop you have when your'e not really having a crossing loop  !)

The overwhelming majority of the cost in any crossing loop is in the interlocking, signalling and  65kmh turnouts, so whether the loop is a useless  1km long or  useful 3kms long is inconsequential in the overall cost .  The cost of the aforementioned items is basically the same if the loop is 1km long or 3 kms long .  So which clown signed off on a useless 1km long crossing loop that virtually makes a running cross impossible, instaed of a 3km loop at marginal extra cost that would have allowed running crosses.  Which clown signed off on a useless 1km loop when all the other loops on the Ballarat line are considerably longer and allow running crosses  ?  In Victoria we continue to excel in spoiling the ship for a halfpence of tar .
So now with all passenger crosses at Rowsley, one train will inevitably be bought to a stand because of the inadequate length provided.

In the case of Rowsley the loop should have either run for 3kms in the down direction from the lx (if that is possible before the embankment curve up to the rail overbridge, ) or alternatively have been 3kms long on the Up side of the level crossing.

Incidentally the signalling alterations over next weekend also involve  ;  removing the speed proving for Up trains arriving into N0.1 Road at Bacchus Marsh, and also abolition of the signal control functions at Ballarat and their transfer to Centrol in Melbourne. Be interesting to see what happens when the motorized gates at Lydiard  Street, Ballarat play up .
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We seem unable to think beyond 65 km/h turnouts too.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
We seem unable to think beyond 65 km/h turnouts too.
YM-Mundrabilla

Positively frightening!
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

We seem unable to think beyond 65 km/h turnouts too.

Positively frightening!
bevans
With such a pathetically short 1 km long crossing loop at Rowsley they may as just of well really stuffed it up properly and put in 40kmh turnouts.  In reality with a short 1km loop 80kmh turnouts would have yielded no real benefit over 65kmh ones as the loop is short, the signalling aspects so restrictive and running crosses nigh impossible .
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Millipedes; fairy grass; drizzle on the rails; be interesting too see who wears the blame when a train cannot stop. Signals, TPWS and all that aren't much help when adverse rail conditions apply. They say that the Down train (going up hill) will get put away; that may be interesting when the previous Up train has blocked him at say Parwan, and now they want the next Up train to take the loop. If I was on the Down train, I don't think I would want to even depart Bacchus Marsh against an Up train coming down the hill for the cross at Rowsley. Currently they run Down goods up to Bank Box for the cross, where they have a chance at getting going again; be nice to watch (and listen) to them if they get put away at Rowsley! I still think they couldn't have designed a worse place for a loop; next thing they will be building a station miles from any housing....Oh hang on, Caroline Springs! So many other things they could have done to improve this corridor.  Surely extending the double track from Deer Park West would have seen them nearly at Rockback for the same money?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Also, does anyone have a photo or plan of the original Rowsley railway station that was located on the site of the loop between 1889 and 1956?
Campaspe 2

http://vrhistory.com/Locations/A034-Rowsley.pdf
  richter170 Junior Train Controller

The new loop isn't actually 1km in length. It's only just over 480 meters cleared apparently.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
I'm with Kuldalai again on this.   Railpagers may recall an extensive post I wrote regarding rail projects in Victoria generally and in particular RRL.   In summary that was how rail projects in Victoria after they have been conceived and developed by the planners (read client) are when they are subsequently funded virtually taken out of the clients hands and then the Project deliverer then starts their work trying to "optimise"   (read cut cost) and after amending the scope refuses point blank to entertain any change to that scope.

If you track the history of the Rowsley loop project it was originally to be a loop at Ballan with a second platform.  This was going to be hugely expensive compared to the budget announced and it was questionable at the time whether a stand alone loop at Ballan would deliver any true increase in capacity and/or improved reliability unless it was part of a much wider series of works that I will come to shortly.  

Rowsley on the other hand was (and is) the right decision in that timetables starting with RRL in 2005/2006 and subsequently, would operate far more smoothly and reliably if trains could cross on the down side of Bacchus Marsh.   Hence why Rowsley was selected, but as we know there has been something like a three going onto four year time lapse.  

In the meantime AND THIS IS MY BEEF, we have a superb piece of work that has gone on for around a year or close to it to undertake a vastly expanded scheme to improve capacity and reliability for the Ballarat Line.  I foreshadowed this some months before the budget and it includes duplication to Melton, second platform at Bacchus Marsh and the new loops and reduplication etc further west.

Accordingly as soon as the planning work came on stream why wasn't the configuration of the Rowsley Loop revisited especially in view of the second platform at Bacchus Marsh and the track effectively duplicated from the second platform location round the corner past Rowsley and further towards the bank and now wait for it oh shock oh horror, installation of a 120km/hr turnout on tangent track approaching the Ingliston Bank (pardon the spelling) so that there is no degration in speed for either up or down trains.   This would have provided a true passing lane section of double track rather than a loop and slow speed turnouts at Bacchus Marsh and both ends of Rowsley.

Look I know high speed turnouts in the Australian environment are harder to implement than putting  man on mars but there just happen to be thousnds and thouusands globally that we just might be able to import 1 into the country and heaven for bid accredit and type test them on the basis of being in high speed intensive service globally.   This type of infrastructure is not revolutionary or leading edge.   It will have a service life of decades and be used dozens of times per day.

Kuldalai has summed it up perfectly.  I need not say anymore except to say this will compromise the rest of the $450 million to be spent on the corridor FOREVER!!!
  historian Deputy Commissioner

In the case of Rowsley the loop should have either run for 3kms in the down direction from the lx (if that is possible before the embankment curve up to the rail overbridge, ) or alternatively have been 3kms long on the Up side of the level crossing.
kuldalai

Not possible if in the Down direction if I've done my sums correctly.

Toe to toe the new loop is 1.022 km. The points at the Down end of the new loop are at 55.891 km and the Up Arrival Homes are at 56.040 km. The start of the 1 in 54 is about 56.050 km and the start of the curve about 56.100 km. Furthermore, the bit around 56.050 is on an embankment over a creek.

It's clear they've pushed the loop as far in the Down direction as possible without requiring significant earthworks.

Putting it on the Up side of Rowsley Station Rd doesn't help you as there is only 1.173 km to the next level crossing at Kerrs Rd. The start of the 1 in 48 grade down into Bacchus starts at Kerrs Rd, and in any case there is only a gap of 1.123 km to the next level crossing at Osborne St.

So pushing the loop in the Up direction would have meant no change in the length of the loop. Alternatively, you could have had a 2 km loop, but with a level crossing in the middle at Rowsley Station Rd. A 3 km loop would have had two level crossings in the loop (Rowsley Station Rd and Kerrs Rd), and the first third would be on a 1 in 48 gradient.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

The low speed turnouts are a major limiting factor here.

What is the track speed on the horseshoe curve at the bottom of the bank, in both Up and Dn directions?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
It was originally 130km/hr but I believe was reduced because formation instability of the embankment. Having as close as possible a 120km/hr turnout at the foot of the bank ensures that the signalling system enables trains to be speed proven on their approach to the junction without degrading line speed too significantly.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

In the case of Rowsley the loop should have either run for 3kms in the down direction from the lx (if that is possible before the embankment curve up to the rail overbridge, ) or alternatively have been 3kms long on the Up side of the level crossing.

Not possible if in the Down direction if I've done my sums correctly.

Toe to toe the new loop is 1.022 km. The points at the Down end of the new loop are at 55.891 km and the Up Arrival Homes are at 56.040 km. The start of the 1 in 54 is about 56.050 km and the start of the curve about 56.100 km. Furthermore, the bit around 56.050 is on an embankment over a creek.

It's clear they've pushed the loop as far in the Down direction as possible without requiring significant earthworks.

Putting it on the Up side of Rowsley Station Rd doesn't help you as there is only 1.173 km to the next level crossing at Kerrs Rd. The start of the 1 in 48 grade down into Bacchus starts at Kerrs Rd, and in any case there is only a gap of 1.123 km to the next level crossing at Osborne St.

So pushing the loop in the Up direction would have meant no change in the length of the loop. Alternatively, you could have had a 2 km loop, but with a level crossing in the middle at Rowsley Station Rd. A 3 km loop would have had two level crossings in the loop (Rowsley Station Rd and Kerrs Rd), and the first third would be on a 1 in 48 gradient.
historian
Well a 2km loop on the Down side of Kerrs Rd would have been the better solution, but as others point out ; not very smart having a crossing loop at foot of Ingliston Bank in any case. At some future time a down freight is going to get into trouble speed wise coming down the bank .   Should have been re thought through as one would question the need  for a loop at this location with a second mainline platform at Bacchus Marsh and the ability to do  full normal crosses at Bmh finally .    Too many authorities involved  (DOT,PTV,VLP) trying to fit a questionable project within a budget with no grand poo bah with any railway knowledge or clout prepared to can it as a waste of money .  So we end up with a near useless, piece of infrastructure that is nobbled with operational restrictions right from the outset.  So we have just wasted $ 10m of scarce capital funds that would have been better spent elsewhere on the Ballarat line.

Should be something like duplicated track from Down end of Bacchus Marsh to a point half way between Kerrs Rd & Rowsley Station Road with 100kmh points to single line.  All Up trains to straight track, all Down trains via 100kmh diverge.  That would be both more useful and potentially better for trains safety wise coming down the Ingliston Bank .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Millipedes; fairy grass; drizzle on the rails; be interesting too see who wears the blame when a train cannot stop. Signals, TPWS and all that aren't much help when adverse rail conditions apply. They say that the Down train (going up hill) will get put away; that may be interesting when the previous Up train has blocked him at say Parwan, and now they want the next Up train to take the loop. If I was on the Down train, I don't think I would want to even depart Bacchus Marsh against an Up train coming down the hill for the cross at Rowsley. Currently they run Down goods up to Bank Box for the cross, where they have a chance at getting going again; be nice to watch (and listen) to them if they get put away at Rowsley! I still think they couldn't have designed a worse place for a loop; next thing they will be building a station miles from any housing....Oh hang on, Caroline Springs! So many other things they could have done to improve this corridor.  Surely extending the double track from Deer Park West would have seen them nearly at Rockback for the same money?
hbedriver
With the actual available length for crossing of 400m would have though the loop would have been pretty useless for freight crosses anyway .
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
There's no state election due for a while, but three months before the next election expect to see a bunch of politicians who have never visited their "rural cousins" before, head out there wearing hard hats and high-vis vests. They will ceremonially turn over a shovel of dirt to mark the start of the project where major work will begin "early in the new year". Strangely, nothing else will happen for another four years when a new bunch of pollies will turn up.

This process will repeat every four years indefinitely, regardless of which "team" is in government.
That's a very cynical outlook, Bogong - I'm proud of you !
valvegear
That's from the previous thread on the Rowsley Loop.

Well, I'm big enough to admit that I was crashingly wrong. I'm not sure if I should make some sort of a show of penance, but I suspect building this thing in less than a decade after it was announced is more of a freak occurrence than an indication of a trend for politicians to actually stick to their promises.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The 9102 Up Mildura Goods was diverted to run via Gheringhap this morning.  This may have been due to the commissioning of the LOOP?
  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
The low speed turnouts are a major limiting factor here.

What is the track speed on the horseshoe curve at the bottom of the bank, in both Up and Dn directions?
Lockspike
Pre RRL 95 K, now 115 k. Timetables will not change for now, loop will only be used for late running until early next year.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
There's no state election due for a while, but three months before the next election expect to see a bunch of politicians who have never visited their "rural cousins" before, head out there wearing hard hats and high-vis vests. They will ceremonially turn over a shovel of dirt to mark the start of the project where major work will begin "early in the new year". Strangely, nothing else will happen for another four years when a new bunch of pollies will turn up.

This process will repeat every four years indefinitely, regardless of which "team" is in government.
That's a very cynical outlook, Bogong - I'm proud of you !
That's from the previous thread on the Rowsley Loop.

Well, I'm big enough to admit that I was crashingly wrong. I'm not sure if I should make some sort of a show of penance, but I suspect building this thing in less than a decade after it was announced is more of a freak occurrence than an indication of a trend for politicians to actually stick to their promises.
Bogong

It wasn't exactly rocket science, so don't beat yourself up too much...

The loop was budgeted by the Napthine government and because it wasn't a complicated design it wasn't too difficult to get the wheels rolling to build it.

Mike.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Kuldalai, we are in agreement.   My proposal based on the second platform at Bacchus Marsh now going in is that you extend from the new platform a second track round the corner and through to somewhere that its best placed beyond Rowsley that gives you the opportunity to merge at a reasonable speed.  I believe that's 120km/hr.  It really then is no longer a loop.   It's technically a junction of a new extended down main merging at that point to become single track.  An upgraded version of Deer Park in effect.   The Murray Basin Gauge Standardization will signal the end of freight operations on this section of line within a fairly short window and if a freight was to lose control it wouldn't be being directed onto this main anyway.

As far as a location point needed to bring trains to a stand that really would be at any point along the "new" down main that is best placed to be.  And being an all passenger corridor it could be where you have say 500 metres to accommodate any configuration of passenger train whether it be V'Locity or loco hauled specials.

So really we need to think of this as no longer being a crossing loop, but instead a new junction from double to single track.   Getting back to my beef about speed of turnouts, Westrail specified a 100km/hr diverging speed turnout for where the Thornlie Line diverges onto the Up Main towards Perth of the Armadale Line in 1992, years before construction commenced.  It was justified on the basis of ensuring that there would be "smooth" blending of Thornlie trains with Perth bound Armadale Line trains in a section where the line speed is 100km/hr.   The turnout was located at a point where the Thornlie Line train would have reached line speed after exiting a curved tunnel under Albany Highway.   There was a debate because this standard of turnout didn't exist but the planners and schedulers demonstrated its benefits and it was subsequently design tested and approved and has worked superbly ever since.   IT WAS UNDERTAKEN LAST CENTURY and guess what.  The world didn't cave in.   There are in excess of 150 combined movements every day across it and its no big deal.   At that time in Perth there were a number of turnout locations where the design speed of the turnout was edesigned around what speed either accelerating and/or braking a train would be travelling at.  Certainly in WA it is always best practice to use standard designs and configurations where you can, but it should be that the infrastructure determines what happens it should be what the operation needs.   I am sure this is the case in Sydney for example where there are obviously standard approved designs but then there are many locations where there exceptions.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
The low speed turnouts are a major limiting factor here.

What is the track speed on the horseshoe curve at the bottom of the bank, in both Up and Dn directions?
Pre RRL 95 K, now 115 k. Timetables will not change for now, loop will only be used for late running until early next year.
gomer
Freight trains are limited to 65 Km/h all the way between Ballan and Bacchus Marsh
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

It was originally 130km/hr but I believe was reduced because formation instability of the embankment. Having as close as possible a 120km/hr turnout at the foot of the bank ensures that the signalling system enables trains to be speed proven on their approach to the junction without degrading line speed too significantly.
Trainplanner
Thanks Trainplanner,
It's a nominal 700m radius curve so 120-130km/h sounds about right. I like innovative per-way design so I find the idea of a 120km/h turnout very interesting, but it ain't gunna' happen 'cos it's far too radical for the bean counters.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

Thanks Nightfire
  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
It was originally 130km/hr but I believe was reduced because formation instability of the embankment. Having as close as possible a 120km/hr turnout at the foot of the bank ensures that the signalling system enables trains to be speed proven on their approach to the junction without degrading line speed too significantly.
Thanks Trainplanner,
It's a nominal 700m radius curve so 120-130km/h sounds about right. I like innovative per-way design so I find the idea of a 120km/h turnout very interesting, but it ain't gunna' happen 'cos it's far too radical for the bean counters.
Speed of the curve is 115 k, that's fact. Rowsley loop now booked out.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.