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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 7

I The First 100 Years 1788-1888

II Railways
i Location of the Railway
ii Track
iii Bridging and Tunnelling
iv Dams for Engine Water
v Locomotives and Rolling Stock
vi Signalling and Telecommunications
vii 1900/1988-The New Century
viii The Garratt Locomotive
ix Steam Locomotive Practice
x Motor Railcars
xi Signalling
xii Electric Tramways
xiii Electric Railways - Direct Current
xiv Electric Railways - 25 kV ac
xv Diesel Traction
xvi Alignment and Track
xvii Operations

III Motorised Vehicles

IV Aviation

V Modern Shipping

VI Innovative Small Craft

VII Conclusion

VIII Acknowledgements

IX Contributors



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Electric Railways - 25 kV ac (continued)

The Brisbane suburban railway is now the most consistently modern in Australia, and matched by few others anywhere in the world. Despite its narrow 1067 mm gauge it is just as fast as Sydney and Melbourne in terms of scheduled speeds, and (perhaps surprisingly) it is also the busiest in terms of peak hour train movements per track. A timetabled rate of 30 trains/hour is routinely achieved in the high peak, and some of these are diesel trains.

The signalling centre at Mayne, worked by a computer driven train describer with an adjoining traction power control desk, is also the most geographically comprehensive and probably the most complex area signalling scheme in the country. However Melbourne and Sydney are not far behind. Complete area control of the inner Melbourne complex and underground loop (including all tunnel and station services and safety equipment) exists from the METROL centre at Batman Ave. The densest part of the Sydney area is controlled by two modern area boxes at Sydney and Strathfield for which extensions of signalling areas are planned. All these projects were locally engineered and substantially Australian made.

The latest electrification project in Queensland, which is still under construction in 1986, is the complete electrification of the major Bowen Basin coal routes at 25 kV ac. This very large ($Aust. 600,000,000) project, which covers the Blackwater/Gladstone, Goonyella/Hay Point, and Gregory (interlink) complex of lines involves a number of fundamental problems arising from the need to operate five locomotive 15 MW coal trains on isolated single track in areas where the electric power grid supply is both 'thin' and of relatively low capacity. The project involves the complete spectrum of railway disciplines -electrification, track, signalling, locomotives (146 are on order) control, and optimising of long train operations. Only some aspects of the locomotive and fibre optic signalling technologies are imported; all the rest is Australian. The Caboolture/Gladstone electrification will follow, resulting in full electric operation along the north coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton, 639 km plus several hundred km of expanding heavy haul coal railways inland.[10]

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Queensland Railways

People in Bright Sparcs - Macfarlane, Ian B.

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 478 - 479, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher