December 2017 RD Blurb
Murray Basin gauge conversion progressing
Work commenced on stage two of the $440 million Murray Basin gauge standardisation project in Victoria last August, involving reconstructing the 87 kilometre Ararat to Maryborough standard gauge track and conversion from broad to standard gauge of the 406 kilometre Dunolly – Mildura – Yelta line and the 109 kilometre Ouyen to Murrayville branch line. John Hoyle reports on the current progress of this important rail project.
Let’s crash a train
CQUniversity’s Transport and Safety Sciences Faculty offers courses including Bachelor of Accident Forensics and Master of Safety Science. The Faculty also offers a more recently developed Certificate IV in Rail Safety Investigation. Each of these Courses provide students with the knowledge and nationally recognised qualifications to conduct rail safety investigations. David Campbell describes how at the Forensic Crash Lab, located at the University’s Bundaberg campus, is giving students some real ‘hands on’ rail safety experience.
Shorter South Coast Train Transit Times
The Draft Regional NSW Services & Infrastructure Plan to 2056 released in October 2017 notes both new fleet and long-term track upgrades to improve rail operations between Sydney and Newcastle, Canberra, Central Coast and Wollongong. Philip Laird and Max Michell examine various measures that could significantly reduce the current 90 minutes that most express trains take to move between Sydney Central and Wollongong.
8S: The Great Survivor
Rod Milne pays tribute to the Westlander; one of the great survivors of country passenger rail in Australia. Such a great survivor, it has even managed to outlast its better-patronised sister train, the Sunlander, now replaced by the QR’s diesel tilt train.
Adventures in the Murray Basin and western Victoria
Times are changing on Victoria’s railways. The Murray Basin Rail Project is standardising over 1100 kilometres of broad gauge railway in Victoria’s north and northwest. Trains are being diverted to unlikely lines and locations during the conversion. In September this year, three intrepid railfans described to Harold Winthrop their journey into the backblocks of Victoria to view and document this history in progress. To witness these train movements and gauge standardisation works, they clocked up over 2500 kilometres in three hectic days of travel, experiencing a range of climates, landscapes and weather conditions.