Victorian Gauge Standardisation
To follow from the discussion in the sightings thread, I thought I would separate it here. I'm sure there is a thread somewhere about it, but what's the fun in reviving a dead thread  :devil

I do like the idea of greater flexibility, using the freight lines to divert suburban (presumably diesel) services when required. Potentially it would be a good excuse to standardise the height of overhead wire to allow container stacking, and 24kV AC overheads. Pantographs would have to be taller, but that's not an insurmountable issue.

X'TRAPOLIS and Siemens rollingstock would be easy to gauge convert, and are already equipped to handle the high voltage AC power with a few modifications.

In terms of key areas that require straightening, and enlarging (in terms of loading gauge), what would we say the list would be? The City Loop isn't an issue, the Jolimont tunnels, and the tunnel at Heidelberg would need to be rebuilt. I would replace the manual signalling between Greensborough and Hurstbridge with 3-position ATC control, and would likely dual-track through to Eltham.

Additions to this list?
Ideally, suburban passenger trains would run frequently up and down their own lines, and would require separate trackage from freight & longer distance passenger services to separate them.

Hence there would not be many advantages in gauge converting the suburban network if all it carries is it's own electric sets plying up and down the same lines each day, which is the ideal situation. Ideally you need turn-up-and-go frequencies for passenger services, and it is difficult to run freight trains between an intensive passenger service.

The only benefit I could see would be economies of scale in buying rollingstock, for example buying stuff off-the-line rather than needing it to be customised to an unusual gauge and overhead voltage.
Main cost would be rebuilding junctions, and in bustitutions during the rebuilds. ATC from Greensborough is already happening, so no issues there, give it another 18 months.

Heidelberg Tunnel is under national trust, and yes the West Richmond Tunnels would need a rebuild. If the Doncaster line is done, then really a third track would be good here too.

You wouldn't need to make taller pantos, you could use the current ones, but put a frame under them to raise the height. By the time all tracks were done though, the current rolling stock would be at replacement age.
Most places wouldn't be too much of an issue, but the biggest problem will be Flinders Street. Thanks to Fed Square and Princes Bridge, there isn't much room to move.

The point is, trying to convince all the parties involved that it is something that should be done. It would take more than a term of Government, with no obvious advantage to the layman. Think about the Herald Scum headline "Government to pay $5bn to move rail 6 inches."
"How long will the next train be? Six cars would be my guess."
(03-Nov-2008, 06:12 PM)Trampanto link Wrote:If the Doncaster line is done,
If an event of this scale would be done, then one would be mad not to include extensions such as Doncaster, Melton and Sunbury.

If the entire state was to be upgraded, The section of Track Between Maddingley (Bacchus Marsh) and Werribee Gorge could be better alligned? I am not familiar with geography in the area at all.. Not sure if this work could even be done, but if it could, surely there would be some time savings involved on RFR runs, and any express service.

Could Comeng units be gauge converted?

(03-Nov-2008, 06:12 PM)Trampanto link Wrote:Heidelberg Tunnel is under national trust
Is it? Bugger - could easily eliminate it by daylighting it, assuming a couple of houses above were demolished.
(06-Nov-2008, 09:01 PM)Somebody link Wrote:[quote author=Trampanto link=topic=3562.msg59578#msg59578 date=1225699960]
Heidelberg Tunnel is under national trust
Is it? Bugger - could easily eliminate it by daylighting it, assuming a couple of houses above were demolished.

Wink Easy, just fill the tunnel with dets... then let 'er rip! KABOOM! No more tunnel!

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