Regional Rail Revival - Geelong / Warrnambool Line Projects

 
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Saturdays "Warrnambool Standard" (18/01/20) reports a contract has been awarded to Downer EDI to :

- build a new 2.2 km long remote controlled crossing loop at Boorcan to replace the manual crossing arrangements at Camperdown
- new signalling system to replace Train Orders between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool
- second platform, track and overhead footbridge at Waurn Ponds
- seal 120 existing and provide 90 additional car parks at Waurn Ponds

The above to be completed by late 2021  Both projects packaged as one now to get more market interest and size.

When complete this will allow for the provision of a fifth Weekday return trip to be operated with existing loco hauled stock.

VLP separately will install boom barriers at a further 12 level crossings between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool by late 2021.

The long promised introduction of V/Locity trains "can" has been kicked down the road yet again, owing to Class 2 track not up to standard . Now yet another  business case will examine the track in detail to determine what has to be done to bring it up to a standard to allow V/Locity operation. No doubt not helped by the latest vehicles being heavier than expected . The "Warrnambool Standard" also  reports that it is now 900 days since VL trains were announced for the Warrnmabool line after all the lx are fixed . Local Opposition member Roma Britnell pointed out "paving the way for V/Locity trains" is meaningless as it neither syas that they will or will not be running, as no date has still been set.

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"kuldali"
Or as Manuel would put it, " I am from Barcelona; I know nothing."
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Could we possibly lock this and put it in the existing thread?

https://Railpage.com.au/f-t11398578.htm
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Not much traffic on the other site for some months.

Referring back to Kuldalai's post, there was some issue with "class 2 / 2M tracks", whereby speeds for Velocity trains were reduced from 130km/h down to 115 (Seymour, Bendigo line (old up track) and Traralgon (old down track). Unsure just what the concerns are, but helps us lose plenty of time in running. If so, there won't be any worthwhile savings from running V'locity trains against loco-hauled.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Not much traffic on the other site for some months.

Referring back to Kuldalai's post, there was some issue with "class 2 / 2M tracks", whereby speeds for Velocity trains were reduced from 130km/h down to 115 (Seymour, Bendigo line (old up track) and Traralgon (old down track). Unsure just what the concerns are, but helps us lose plenty of time in running. If so, there won't be any worthwhile savings from running V'locity trains against loco-hauled.
hbedriver
Suspect the issue of track class on Warrnambool to allow V/locity to run at 130kmh is tied up with the V/Locity latest at least  76 upwards being a slighly heavier axle load because of the cab strengthening on both ends . Early 2019 76, 77,  77, 78 , 79 sat in the recently decommissioned yard at Melbourne reportedly for months as VLP found they were heavier with the strengthened cabs. Eventually they were cleared to run un-restricted at 130 kmh on Class - 2 tracks.  Then in recent months all VL cars have been restricted to 115kmh on Class 2 tracks on sections of the Bendigo, Seymour and Traralgon lines. So it will be an issue that the heavier V/Locities VLP will be pushing for the Class 2M track on the Warrnambool line to allow 130kmh. Class 2M is in between Class 1 & 2 and there are sections of it on the Ballarat line allowing IIRC 140kmh for DMU.

As train speeds increase all the track forces go up totally disproportinately to the speed increase. Like increase the speed of the same type of train from 115 to 130kmh  is a 13 % increase in speed, but the forces on the track go up by over 33 %.

The approach that is likely to be taken in reality is to only upgrade the Warrnambool line to Class-2M where the grade and alignment curvature will allow the 130kmh to be achieved . So most curves approaches to stations etc are left as Class-2 etc. The line speed goes up to 130kmh for DMU, but the curve speed boards and the fact that all trains stop all stations between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool would probably only require  around 60 % of the line justifying upgrading to Class- 2M.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Lets just bite the bullet and do the job properly! Install either medium or heavy concrete sleepers and 60kg rail for the entire track. Except the sections from Geelong to Warun Ponds, which dont justify it. Then set up the signalling and TPWS to run the trains as fast as safely possible. So a top speed of 160kph where possible, and 130kph - 150kph elsewhere.

I should add that there is currently some 60kg rail used on the new track at Burnley station in inner eastern Melbourne, circa 2015.  So if we can use it in the suburbs, we can use it in the country.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Might as well upgrade it to class 1 since it's going to require shut down windows anyway.  The station intervals are quite large justifying for higher running speed.  It will be more attractive to commuting and tourism traffic.  With the existing timetable one can make a same day return trip to Portland with a coach connection, with a couple of hours at Portland to ride the cable tram, which I did last year, but with faster trains visitors will be able to see more in the region.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Does V/Line actually operate any Class 1 track?
  route14 Chief Commissioner

I mean, the class that allows operation above 130 km/h.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Does V/Line actually operate any Class 1 track?
bevans
All the RFR tracks are class 1.

That is Caroline Springs to Ballarat East, Deer Park Jn to Corio, Watergardens to Bendigo on one track only and Pakenham to Traralgon.

Mike.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
So it will be an issue that the heavier V/Locities VLP will be pushing for the Class 2M track on the Warrnambool line to allow 130kmh. Class 2M is in between Class 1 & 2 and there are sections of it on the Ballarat line allowing IIRC 140kmh for DMU.

As train speeds increase all the track forces go up totally disproportinately to the speed increase. Like increase the speed of the same type of train from 115 to 130kmh  is a 13 % increase in speed, but the forces on the track go up by over 33 %.

The approach that is likely to be taken in reality is to only upgrade the Warrnambool line to Class-2M where the grade and alignment curvature will allow the 130kmh to be achieved . So most curves approaches to stations etc are left as Class-2 etc. The line speed goes up to 130kmh for DMU, but the curve speed boards and the fact that all trains stop all stations between Waurn Ponds and Warrnambool would probably only require  around 60 % of the line justifying upgrading to Class- 2M.
kuldalai

Thanks kuldalai, informative post, just wondering what needs to be done to a class 2 track to bring it up a class 2M or in this case a half ordinary track ?

I had mentioned a class 2M track on a number of occasions for the Swan Hill & Warrnambool line, seems they may well do this, all be it for a different reason and do wonder just how long this will take to be achieved.

BigShunter.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Thanks kuldalai, informative post, just wondering what needs to be done to a class 2 track to bring it up a class 2M or in this case a half ordinary track ?
BigShunter
  • Consistent 300mm ballast depth with good drainage
  • At the very least, timbers with resilient fasteners, preferably concretes
  • Continuous welded rail
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Thanks kuldalai, informative post, just wondering what needs to be done to a class 2 track to bring it up a class 2M or in this case a half ordinary track ?
  • Consistent 300mm ballast depth with good drainage
  • At the very least, timbers with resilient fasteners, preferably concretes
  • Continuous welded rail
potatoinmymouth
Talking of which, a heap of new concrete culvert mouldings and drainage pipes were recently offloaded in the V/line Bendigo maintenance yard.  Perhaps to get Echuca line up to Class 2 standard?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Thanks kuldalai, informative post, just wondering what needs to be done to a class 2 track to bring it up a class 2M or in this case a half ordinary track ?
  • Consistent 300mm ballast depth with good drainage
  • At the very least, timbers with resilient fasteners, preferably concretes
  • Continuous welded rail
Talking of which, a heap of new concrete culvert mouldings and drainage pipes were recently offloaded in the V/line Bendigo maintenance yard.  Perhaps to get Echuca line up to Class 2 standard?
Carnot
Wouldnt think so a lot of the bridges on the Echuca line had their wooden decks replaced with corrugated gal steel 2 years ago "paving the way for faster Echuca trains" which VLP and Terry Mulder first promised over 7 years ago  !!!
The existing track with CWR should be capable of VL at 100kmh, and VLP should just be doing it, sweating the existing asset.
Then upgrade to Class - 2 track which will allow VL at minimum 115kmh . Class 2 more ballast, CWR rail 47kg/94lb on wooden/concrete sleepers with good fastenings as a second stage. Cascaded 94lb rail from Bendigo or Traralgon lines still with years of life left quite adequate for this line. No need for VLP 'gold plating" with new 60kg rail totally unnecessary . One puts the new 60 kg rail into replacing the remaining 94lb rail in sections of the Bendigo & Traralgon lines. This then cascades out 94lb rail in reasonable condition to relay sections like Bendigo - Echuca,  Kerang - Swan Hill, and Maryborough - Ararat.
(Kerang - Swan Hill &  Maryborough - Ararat is all 80lb of various age. The rail ex Kerang - Swan Hill would be fit for sidings, and ex Maryborough - Ararat only fit for telephone poles and fencing etc .)
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
This then cascades out 94lb rail in reasonable condition to relay sections like Bendigo - Echuca,  Kerang - Swan Hill, and Maryborough - Ararat.
(Kerang - Swan Hill &  Maryborough - Ararat is all 80lb of various age. The rail ex Kerang - Swan Hill would be fit for sidings, and ex Maryborough - Ararat only fit for telephone poles and fencing etc .)
kuldalai
Of interest kuldalai, with some peoples response to 80lb rail being re-used on the Ararat - M'borough line, I assumed it was the only rail of such type in the universe, appears to be in very regular use on the Swan Hill line, nobody was going to get lynched over that..........

BigShunter.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Re Echuca, the package of works currently out to tender includes upgrade to 2M. But given the tender hasn’t been awarded yet I’d be surprised if that’s behind the delivery.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

This then cascades out 94lb rail in reasonable condition to relay sections like Bendigo - Echuca,  Kerang - Swan Hill, and Maryborough - Ararat.
(Kerang - Swan Hill &  Maryborough - Ararat is all 80lb of various age. The rail ex Kerang - Swan Hill would be fit for sidings, and ex Maryborough - Ararat only fit for telephone poles and fencing etc .)
Of interest kuldalai, with some peoples response to 80lb rail being re-used on the Ararat - M'borough line, I assumed it was the only rail of such type in the universe, appears to be in very regular use on the Swan Hill line, nobody was going to get lynched over that..........

BigShunter.
BigShunter
The thing is that there is 80lb rail and 80lb rail. That on the Kerang - Swan Hill section, and on the Goulburn Valley line is considerably younger than the 80lb rail on the Maryborough - Ararat section which is well over 100 years old and from the USA. As such it is was a very courageous decision by Sir Humphrey Whoeever specced the job to assume that 80lb jointed rail of this age simply welded into CWR would have any real life left when expected to run 21t axle loads at 80 kmh.
This is why very quickly it was found that 40kmh with 21 t axle loads was all that was reliably achievable and 65 kmh with 19t axle loads. So the Maryborough - Ararat section with the aged 80lb rail has become the weak link in the whole corridor.

What needs to happen ASAP is for that section to be  re-laid with cascaded 47kg/94lb rail ex the Bendigo or Traralgon lines.
It would not be wise to rush in and instal new 60kg rail here until whatever further standardization of the Murray Basin takes place as the Ararat - Maryborough section is currently the main line to Portland, Geelong and Melbourne but that may well not be the case medium term . And the Maryborough - Ararat section would revert to a secondary cross country freight corridor.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Re Echuca, the package of works currently out to tender includes upgrade to 2M. But given the tender hasn’t been awarded yet I’d be surprised if that’s behind the delivery.
potatoinmymouth
The word was that the Bendigo / Echuca job has been split into two packages .

1.  Three position signalling to replace Train Orders between Bendigo and  Eaglehawk / Epsom.
Not clear if the contract has been awarded for this job yet ?

2. Track upgrade Bendigo North - Echica to allow V/Locity to run at 130 kmh .
Dont know where this is at.

All these Regional Rail Revival jobs appear to be dragging the chain in terms of tendering, awarding contracts and actually getting on with the work .  It is 90 % funded by Feds as bonus incentive from State government selling port of Melbourne.

So far only aware of contracts being awarded for new Stratford bridge , completion early 2021
Waurn Ponds station - second platform , overhead bridge, car parking seal existing mud holes and 90 extra
Warrnambool  line :  New 2.2 km loop at Boorcan, remote signalling between Waurn ponds and Warrnambool to replace Train Orders and remote control of new loop at Warncoort. Both these jobs completion announced as late 2021/

Sheer market forces of too  much rail work offering for limited construction resources to achieve are said to be incurring actual costs higher than planned, and thus all jobs but the most urgent would appear to stretched out over a longer time frame.
  C2 Junior Train Controller

2M Ararat to Maryborough trickle down the drain Victoria
  Silvermoth Beginner

Location: Australia
I wonder when they’re going to set up myki? That would really boost tourism out to Warrnambool I reckon
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

I wonder when they’re going to set up myki? That would really boost tourism out to Warrnambool I reckon
Silvermoth
The Myki equipment has been installed at all Inter City stations for years . They only need to put the heads on the stainless steel card readers and switch Myki on at Inter City stations . Again asleep at the wheel on all fronts  DOT, Ministry, VLP.
Switch it on and Stage 1.  Say 12 month period accept MYKI or paper tickets on Inter City services  Stage 2. After 12 months all travel on trains must use MYKI, only pax trips involving coach/train travel use paper tickets.  Not rocket science  !!!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@kuldalai You say that, but for every new user more server bandwidth and storage capacity is required, so if you put too much load on the system without upgrading it, well, let's just say it won't go down too well.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

@kuldalai You say that, but for every new user more server bandwidth and storage capacity is required, so if you put too much load on the system without upgrading it, well, let's just say it won't go down too well.
railblogger
I another waste of capex we installed MYKI equipment at all Inter City stations at Coach operators depots and even on coaches used on V/Livery vehicles.  The equipment has been removed from the actual coaches.

The extra bandwith would add marginal cost to the daily operating cost of the system . The extra daily touch ons & off at all Inter City stations would add little load on the overall volume of Metro , Yarra Trams and VLP Commuter touch ons /offs.
So just get on and do it, given the equipment is already installed at all inter City stations .
  stooge spark Chief Train Controller

Location: My House
The equipment has been removed from the actual coaches.
kuldalai
Only exceptions are the Mckenzies Coach to Eildon (which is listed as route 684) and the McHarry's coaches to Apollo Bay, where Myki can only be used between Geelong and Jan Juc for some reason. As Silvermoth says this could be used to boost tourism along the Surf Coast a little bit, and I can't imagine a reason why the Mykis can't be used past Jan Juc.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

myki would require some modification to deal with reservations, as it would with any touch-on-and-off system.

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