In June 2011 a 10km speed restriction was placed on the Sutherland line between TAFE and Army Crossings due to the condition of the track. In December 2011 the restriction was broadened to ‘works trams at low speed only’. Due to limited volunteer resources, rectification work on this line was not able to be undertaken at the time, so passenger services have been terminating just past the TAFE crossing since that time.
Now that the Railway Square points are complete, more (volunteer) resources are available to work on the Sutherland line.
The current work program is simply remediation – replacing enough sleepers that the line can be re-opened. However in the longer term it’s hoped that the entire section can be lifted and heavier rail (which the museum has on hand) installed. But installing the heavier rail will mean the replacement of pretty well ALL the sleepers. A long hard job for volunteers.
Track gang that include’s some CSO workers, working near Army crossing.
By early November, the track crew with the help of a couple of CSO workers had worked from Army Crossing back towards TAFE Crossing and replaced many defective sleepers. (The guys have lost count, but over 60!) Attention has now turned to ‘Army Hill’. An engineering inspection has yet to see if the TAFE to Army section is now good enough for passenger use. The Boys may be back to replace even more sleepers.
The trackwork team, still assisted by CSO workers get a start on replacing sleepers in the ‘Army Hill’ section.
CSO workers assist with dismantling Army Hill
Partial re-opening of Sutherland Line – a traffic notice has been issued opening the line from 4pm on the 24/11/2012 to Army Crossing. Trams now terminate on the south side of Army Crossing. There is currently a 10km speed restriction on the reopened section while the disturbed track beds in.
The section north of Army Crossing is still closed to traffic and will be for some time. There is major work to be undertaken on this section that includes removing all the track,regrading the slope and building new track and installation of a right hand set of points that will form the southern end of Waratah Loop. With so many sleepers needing replacement and the new points, the section is getting to total rebuild.
Army Hill has always been interesting to operate, particularly with the hand braked Brisbane 180 as half way down the grade gets steeper before returning to the ‘ruling’ grade near the Army Crossing tram stop. It was always necessary to apply a little more brake when you crossed the ‘hump’ and hit the steeper grade.