Old Ghan Heritage Trail, will Finke race practice be an issue?

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 23, 2023 at 22:34
ThreadID: 145564 Views:2026 Replies:4 FollowUps:17
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Planning on driving down the Old Ghan Railway Heritage Trail in a couple of weeks (about a month before the Fink Races). I'll do the loop via Old Andado and Binns Track.
Race practice has already started and I don't want to find myself getting in the way of a speeding car or bike.
Does anyone know if the railway track and race track are shared in any way? if so how much and can this be avoided? I know they are at least very close.
Any other advice/comments about the track?
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Apr 23, 2023 at 22:44

Sunday, Apr 23, 2023 at 22:44
The rail track and the road coincide in some places.

Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 09:46

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 09:46
How big a deal are these old railway spikes in practice? Are there still a lot of them on that track? I hope to be in the region in a couple of months and, having seen that photo before, was a bit wary of doing that track because of the risk of spiking a tye.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 10:05

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 10:05
That pic was taken at a randomly chosen spot in 2007, but I doubt it has changed much since then.
I have not had any tyre damage because of them and I don't know anyone who has.
Cheers,
Peter
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Follow Up By: Rob A1 (SA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 13:50

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 13:50
The spikes seem to breed. Nothing has changed over the last 15 years or so of driving that track at least once a year. They tend to look a lot like small bits of tree branch at times sunk into the track which can be quite sandy in the S sections. The deeper sand making them even harder to spot

Rob
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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 18:39

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 18:39
And no tyre damage Rob, like Peter?
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Follow Up By: Rob A1 (SA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 20:50

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 20:50
We’ve been lucky but I’ve seen some damage done as spikes get moved around on the less sandy sections.
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Follow Up By: Member - DOZER - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 10:47

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 10:47
Did the old Ghan track then simo in 2017 (the week you did the axle Pete and Margeret) came across a poor fella changing a tyre in a 105, may have just been a coincidence, many fond memories of that track....tyre, then tube, then rim.... within a few kms of each other in that order....or....muffler, then exhaust system...things just fell off cars it was so rough. When i traversed, late may, they were also practicing, the race track is besides the old ghan most of the way,
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Follow Up By: Briste - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 21:11

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 21:11
This image posted on a Finke Race FB page today:

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Follow Up By: Member - peter_mcc - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 08:12

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 08:12
Back in 2018 we didn't catch any spikes but did hit a lump of concrete whcih ripped a sidewall out. The road had been recently graded and it must have got dug up. It was a sandy section and despite seeing it the sand ruts meant we couldn't do anything to get out of its way.

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Follow Up By: Member - Kenny M - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 14:06

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 14:06
Thanks, im less bothered about the spikes as I am a practice car running up my arse. Although i drive a fully laden 6.5T 4x4 canter so I'm unlikely to come off worse.
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 14:38

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 14:38
Bristie

Was that meant to be a joke? As that is not even a railway line Dog Spike, let alone from the old Ghan line.

How do I know, well you only have to look at the photo. What ever that metal thing is, the ends have been chiseled down and that steel looks not old.

You must remember that any spikes still on the old line have to be a minimum of at least 40 years old, very rusty and not like in that fake photo.
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Follow Up By: Briste - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 15:23

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 15:23
Not meant as a joke. I saw it yesterday on a Finke FP page so took it at face value, but the points you raise are valid. I went back to check the comments and see that you've called out the fake. Call me gullibe. Sorry.
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Follow Up By: Stephen L (Clare) SA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 19:23

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 19:23
All good Briste.

Yes to the untrained eye, you would believe what was posted.

It you see the photo I posted of what a true dog spike should look like.

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 20:25

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 20:25
.
It's a spike alright..... but not a rail spike.
a) It is too long.
b) It has a chisel point, not a four-sided point.
c) It has the wrong head shape.
d) The hole in the mag rim has no burr. Looks as though it has been drilled.

Hoax pic for sure. Can't fool Stephen on photos! lol
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Follow Up By: Member - Kenny M - Saturday, Apr 29, 2023 at 18:12

Saturday, Apr 29, 2023 at 18:12


Yup found plenty but different to posted.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Saturday, Apr 29, 2023 at 20:56

Saturday, Apr 29, 2023 at 20:56
There is more than one type of Ghan rail spike.
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Peter
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Reply By: Rob A1 (SA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 09:29

Monday, Apr 24, 2023 at 09:29
The competition course crosses the Finke Track in several places and the refuelling points are not that far off the FT as well. These crossover points have, in the past at least, been reasonably well marked and those pre-running are supposed to slow down at those points. Never seen that happen unless they actually see you. We drive with our headlights on low beam to help us and them.

Probably worth checking with the race HQ in Alice as the pre-running days used to be allocated by day to the various groups.

I'm surprised you say they are already pre-running this far ahead of the race proper, but that timing always depends on the number of competitors

BTW best to check the outback road conditions reports as right now there are closures/restrictions on some after the rain from TC Isla

Rob
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Reply By: Member - nickb aka"boab" - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 13:04

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2023 at 13:04
I'm not certain of the Finke Desert Race Track route these days but some of it will for sure still be on the old railway line but not necessarily any access roads , either way the service vehicles will be using the roads and tracks associated with the race..pre running the course is down to Finke in the morning 12 noon back in the afternoon ..they are not supposed to use race vehicles and bikes but you can be sure they will be ''hooking along'' and you will no doubt come into contact with them a month out from the race for sure .
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Reply By: Member - Mark C - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 12:14

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2023 at 12:14
The pre running vehicles are supposed to be road registered (most are) and the pro front-runners don’t take their race machines down the track, but a few just ignore that requirement.
But, they go as fast as possible along the track, not the actual public road. Even the sedate buggies really fly along the track
I witnessed 6 big crashes by bike riders last year in one day pre race
There are often safety issues where the track crosses the road so be careful. you will hear them coming a fair way out
The organises have tape barriers to keep spectators out but very few comply.
There are marshalls located along the track to keep spectators safe but last year I saw hundreds of people just ignoring the rules and standing within a metre of the track.
Its only a matter of time until the event is cancelled when another fatality occurs due to spectators ignoring the barriers.
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Follow Up By: Member - nickb aka"boab" - Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 08:36

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023 at 08:36
Mark I thought it might of been the end of thee fimke race few years ago when the spectator was hit by a vehicle and killed course this was of the spectators making !! Alice Springs would certainly not ever want to see this event closed as it is such a big event and money maker for the town as you would probably know the days prior to the event the town is gridlocked with tourists from all over the country
Cheers Nick b

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