Nsw Trains Hunter Line - Newcastle To Scone / Dungog + Hunter Valley Coal Chain

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Hiro Protagonist, Sep 4, 2021.

  1. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    110
    I'll preface this by saying that the full extents of this route are quite beyond the size of anything in TSW2, but the scope is quite scalable. This is also a tale of two routes, common track yet thematically completely separate from each other, one freight and one passenger. I have also decided to lock it to the late 2010s as almost all of the passenger rolling stock is due for replacement in the next ~5 years (plus the current range has more "character" than the incoming generic multi-purpose fleet.

    Route summary:
    Newcastle is the second largest city in the state of NSW (after Sydney) and one of the largest non-capital cities in Australia. Situated at the mouth of the Hunter River, the greater metropolitan area and the Lower Hunter region encompasses more than half a million residents and houses the world-famous Hunter Valley wine region. Running right up the middle of the valley is the Main North Line, the former main inland route between Sydney and Brisbane before it was terminated in the late 1980s and the North Coast Line (which brances off the MNR at Maitland) took over the interstate mantle. Congruent to the MNL and NCL in the valley is NSW Train's Hunter Line, the only commuter passenger service in the region. Running on the same track is NSW Train's North Coast interstate and Northwestern regional services providing links from Sydney to outback NSW and Queensland.

    In addition, the MNL forms the backbone for the Hunter Valley Coal Chain, a sprawling network of balloon loops, loaders/unloaders and crossovers servicing the litany of Lower Hunter coal mines, the Bayswater and Liddell coal-fired power stations, and the port of Newcastle.

    All pictures from Wikipedia unless noted otherwise
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    110
    Pt 1: Passenger
    The Hunter line is the only commuter rail service running through the Hunter Valley. With the overhead caternies on the MNR ending at the Hamilton interchange, services are exclusively by DMU railcars and diesel-electric locomotives. 29 stations make up the Y-shaped line, the main line from Newcastle branches after Maitland with one fork running to Scone along the MNR and the other fork following the North Coast line to Dungog. Services on the main portion of the line from Newcastle to Maitland/Telarah are 2TPH, alternating Express and all-stops, with extensions every few hours on each fork through to Scone and Dungog.

    By adding the tail end of the Central Coast & Newcastle intercity line from Adamstown thru to the Newcastle Interchange, this allows the running of XPT express services from Broadmeadow to Dungog (on the North Coast line to Brisbane) and XPlorer regional services from Broadmeadow to Scone (on the Main North Line to Moree), as well as a short section of AI traffic H-set/OSCAR, V-set (and their replacement D-set/Mariyungs currently under testing) intercity electrics from Sydney. This will also add in the heritage-listed Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot and the current NSW Trains Maintenance Centre and marshalling yard


    [​IMG]
    Hunter Line - Newcastle to Dungog via Maitland

    [​IMG]
    Hunter Line - Newcastle to Scone via Maitland

    Passenger rolling stock

    [​IMG]
    Hunter DMU railcar
    Exclusively 2-car sets but multiple sets can be coupled together for peak/special events

    [​IMG]
    Endeavour DMU railcar
    Exclusively 2-car sets but multiple sets can be coupled together for peak/special events

    [​IMG]
    XPT regional service (North Coast route to Brisbane on the North Coast Line)
    A derivative of the British Intercity 125 High Speed Train, de-rated and shortened to accomodate Australia's sub-optimal regional track and hot/dusty conditions. Unlike the HST, they run a Budd-style corrugated-stainless passenger car rather than the British Mk3.

    [​IMG]
    XPlorer regional service (Northwestern route to Moree on the MNR)
    Intercity/regional version of the Endeavour railcar. Unlike the Endeavour however they can be extended with non-driving cars to form 3- or 4-car sets (and sometimes split-sets created such as the 3/2 or 4/3 sets run on the Northern Tablelands Express

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Intercity electrics (V-Set/OSCAR AI traffic, Broadmeadow to Newcastle Interchange only)

    [​IMG]
    Newcastle Light Rail (CAF Urbos 100 AI traffic/static, Newcastle Interchange only)

    Key Stations:

    [​IMG]
    Broadmeadow (Central Coast & Newcastle line, interchange for diesel intercity services)

    [​IMG]
    Heritage-listed Broadmeadow Locomotive Depot and NSW Trains maintenance centre (image courtesy of Newcastle Herald)

    [​IMG]
    Newcastle Interchange (line used to go all the way in to the city but was terminated and replaced by light rail several years ago)

    [​IMG]
    Maitland
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2021
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    110
    Pt 2: Freight
    I give you Australia's Clinchfield on steroids - the Hunter Valley Coal Chain. 450km of track, 20,000 trips per annum servicing the world's largest coal export terminal. More than two-dozen coal loaders on branch lines and balloon loops, six unloaders (two multi-point port terminals, four power stations) and one ginormous mountain of coal.

    [​IMG]
    Image courtesy of Port Waratah Coal Services

    Haulers
    Pacific National
    Formed from the ashes of the state-run FreightCorp and National Freight, Pacific National is the dominant third-party (not owned by the mines themselves) coal hauler in the Hunter Valley
    [​IMG]
    Pacific National Maintenance Yard - Greta
    Image courtesy of ABC

    Aurizon
    Another privatised government asset, this time the former Queensland Rail/QR National
    [​IMG]
    Aurizon Maintenance Yard - Hexham

    Loaders/Unloaders
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Images courtesy of PWCS, Newcastle Herald and ABC
    Port Waratah Coal Services - Kooragang Island and Carrington terminals


    Kooragang Island, a large reclaimed island in the middle of the Hunter River estuary, features 2 double-track coal unloaders on balloon loops feeding 9 stockyards through stackers and bucket-wheel reclaimers. The giant yellow reclaimers are an iconic part of the Newcastle skyline and instantly recognisable to any homesick Novocastrian. Carrington terminal, situated in the heart of the city on the southern bank of the river, has a single double-track unloader on a triple-track balloon loop feeding 4 stockyards, as well as featuring the Pacific National railway workshop, coal- and freight-marshalling yards. The Carrington terminal also acts as the main container and grain terminal for the city

    Locomotives
    [​IMG]
    Usually in double- or triple-header configuration hauling up to 1.5km long consists, the 90-Class is the backbone of the Pacific National Hunter Valley coal fleet. Designed for FreightCorp and built by EMD and EDi, they feature the distinctive reverse-angled cab inherited from the double-ended 82 Class, and run a 4000HP EMD 16-710. They can only operate on the Hunter Valley coal lines due to their heavy weight.

    [​IMG]
    Run by Pacific National as the TT Class, the Downer EDI GT46ACe was designed as a local all-purpose locomotive that could handle intermodal freight or coal haulage with minimal modification. They run a 4300HP EMD 16-710 similar to the SD70MAC.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The main competitor to the GT46ACe, the UGL C44aci is run by Pacific National as the 92 Class and by Aurizon as the 6000 class. Based off the previous National Rail NR Class (UGL Cv40-91). In contrast to the EDI locos, it runs the same 4300HP GE 7FDL-16 as the AC4400CW
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2021
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    110
    And then finally, for when TSW2 introduces steam, this is the perfect place to debut it. Every year (traditionally in April), Maitland hosts Hunter Valley Steamfest, a celebration of all things steam. Multiple heritage steam locomotives and railcars run tourist trips up and down the line, there is a staged Great Race between multiple steam locos and Tiger Moths, and alongside the track near the fork a showground of traction engines, tractors, stationary engines and other classic machinery is on display

    [​IMG]
    The Great Race

    [​IMG]
    The Rally Ground
    Image courtesy of the Maitland Mercury

    [​IMG]
    A CPH "Tin Hare" Railmotor running through Maitland Station during Steamfest

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Image courtesy of Newcastle Live
    A favourite visitor and honorary local (it hauled the Flyer express between Sydney and Newcastle for 30 years) is 3801, the first of the 38-Class 4-6-2 Pacific steam locos.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2021
    Messages:
    2,763
    Likes Received:
    1,653
  6. JellyScrub

    JellyScrub Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2021
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    117
    Great suggestion! (Shout out to 3801 lol)
     
  7. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2020
    Messages:
    270
    Likes Received:
    221
    Sounds good to me.
     
  8. jamesbaby286

    jamesbaby286 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    419
    Excellently detailed proposal! There certainly is a huge variety of things to do trains to see. I could certainly see this region being featured as the first NSW route to be developed to help build up the assets and rolling stock for layering before developing a Sydney route.

    Where in this area do you think a route would be most suitable?
    I will just say there is no length or scale reference mentioned other than the 450km total length of the coal chain network, so for people unfamiliar with NSW it is probably hard to get a grasp of the length of a reasonable route or size of the area that could be developed to be put into TSW.

    I've added it to the list of Australian proposals found here:
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/australian-proposal-suggestion-master-list.41526/
     
  9. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2021
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    110
    First bit to cut would probably be the Dungog fork of the North Coast line (I'd keep Telarah though as that is where the regular trains end) as it doesn't have anywhere near the coal traffic that the MNL does. Unfortunately that would mean losing the XPT which I am loath to do (both because I like it and because it gives more diversity to the locos, as the Xplorer is just a re-skinned Endeavour).

    As far as length is concerned, keeping the full length of the Scone fork is probably worthwhile, you'd want it to go to at least Muswellbrook so you could capture both the Ravensworth and Antienne coal unloaders for Liddell and Bayswater, and the majority of the large coal loaders around Drayton/Mt Thorley/Camberwell, and if you do that then Scone is only a short distance further. The Ulan branch can be cut completely as it is a long way out and really only services 3 mines (Ulan West, Moolarben, Wilpinjong) despite the spectacular scenery running through the Goulburn River National Park.

    Don't have an exact figure at hand but the full length main line services from Newcastle to Scone take just under 2 hours and ~150km (road length but the highway fairly closely follows the track), but most of the timetable is Newcastle to Telarah only which is ~45 minutes.
     
    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page