I sometimes wonder if some of the concrete repairs are a cover for addressing electrical repairs.
The piers themselves are certainly not a cover for addressing any electrical repairs.
As myself, and others have said though, TransEd used the concrete in the river, delaying the construction of the bridge, as an excuse for far too long.
So, not withstanding the piers, the remaining work that is being addressed by TransEd and their contractors needs to be looked at as to how it would affect operations.
There are a few levels to this.
1. No interference with trains operations.
2. Overnight work when no trains are running, no effect on operations
3. Slow orders/ single tracking, no service reduction
4. Reduction in service to facilitate repairs
- could be to allow single tracking either all the time, or at off peak times
- could be ending service early and replacing with buses either in the evening, or all weekend, maintaining service M-F from start of service until after the PM peak.
5. Service outright stopped and fully replaced by buses.
An example of #1 would be coloured concrete repairs at Bonnie Doon right now.
An possible example of #3 could be concrete repairs in Strathern. Since the concrete being replaced goes right up to the edge of the northernmost rail, a slow order might be needed during the day, and when crews are working on the concrete, trains might need to single track.
It's entirely possible that some of the other work (wiring in Mill Woods) could be scheduled overnight when trains aren't running, or facilitated with single tracking.
On the other hand, it could also be that the work is significant enough the line wouldn't be able to run in Mill Woods. The problem is we don't really know what is happening up until the past few days. All we knew was that the wires leading out of Gerry Wright to the mainline seemed to be de-energized, given the presence of grounding cables.
Since then, Awstott has reported work on signals and today what I spotted makes things interesting.
Western Pacific Enterprises (WPE) as done all of the electrical work on the line, catenary and civilian.
WPE has a truck loaded with a spool or wire sitting on the northbound track south of 38 Ave.
WPE had 2 hi-rail pickup trucks on the tracks near Gerry Wright, one towing a trailer with a manlift strapped to it, one of the configurations they used to put up the catenary.
WPE had their uninsulated platform line truck parked along the right of way.
WPE had a truck at the Mill Woods Town Centre substation.
Both the manlift and platform line truck are not insulated, so cannot be used around energized wire. It makes me wonder how much of Mill Woods is even energized. Although I usually look for the grounding cables as a sign power is off, it's possible they are only installing them near worksites.
The grounding cables at Gerry Wright are on the mainline side, so, I guess power will could be on to the Gerry Wright yard tracks, although I haven't seen anything in the yard in the last month. Barricades were added recently however to the leads to the mainline. Before it was just the pair of grounding cables.
Although it is probably a happy coincidence for TransEd that they need to complete this other work, it's tough to say how much this electrical work could have affected potential LRT operations. The further delays for opening have probably made it more convenient by not having to rush the work, and, it can be done M-F, 9-5.
We'll see in the coming days what happens with the line truck/ manlifts and everything else.