I originally posted about this in another thread but so as not to take that thread even further off course than I already have I'll continue it here.Dont hold your breath about a line speed increase on account of the remianing sleepers being changed to concrete.
Track work is taking place this week on the Bendigo line. A long string of new concrete sticks has been laid out next to the West track from around the 72km post heading in a down direction right up to the point where the 160 KM/H board marks the change in line speed
The placement of the new ties corresponds almost perfectly with spots where there are still timber sleepers remaining and it looks like this work will remove pretty much all timber from this section.
It remains to be seen whether the line speed will be increased from 130 > 160 in this section
Also of interest (well to me anyway) is whether V/Line will take advantage of Wednesdays industrial action to get some of the work done during daylight hours instead of doing the work at night.
That line has smaller rail, the sleepers are the 'plank' versions. Things like level crossing approaches need to be sorted before going to a higher speed. Goingto 160km/hr s a big jump.
130km/hr is one thing, howvere the Gippland line sees speed restrictions on account of the track not being designed for 19t at 130km/hr. (I havenot looked into the issue in detail but the speed resrictions suggest this and open to correction). It suggests that the original line speed increase for a Velocity (19t) to 130km/hr was done without due dilligence. Though in basic terms it appears to be a systems/organisation issue as the acual hardware on the ground is basically sound.
It should be noted that in WA the prospector rail car was able to run at 160km/hr on 47kg/m rail, though the concrete sleepers were full depth sleepers. I forget their spacing, its been a long time, though 1600 per km sounds familair (ie closer spaced).