XPT Replacement Discussion

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Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The C and D class trams are indeed articulated, but by means of suspended sections, not shared bogies.
 
xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
xxxxlbear, I'm inclined to think that Jajb94 has an important point about varying passenger numbers and thus varying train consists. Check out the bold bit.


It's partly why I'm so keen on individually-coupled DMU stock.
- Watson374

Ah, okay, point taken Smile



Bogong, point taken as well, photos dont lie!
I don't usually use trams, so my ignorance is showing. But someone might care to let Yarra Trams know, as they are stating on their web site that their C2s are articulated, and your photo clearly shows that they aren't! Laughing
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

I agree about a unified diesel fleet, cutting it from four types (X, E, N, J) to one, but I'm not so sure that the V set replacement should be tied into it; I don't think the DD option is really needed for country services.

EDIT: About articulated trains, the best example to point to would be the Eurostar sets (British Rail Class 373).
- Watson374

The whole point of the articulated design is about cutting costs, both building and operating.  A 3 segment 2 of 8 unit is not a whole lot more than a single rail car, indeed it's the basically same as as an M-T pair.  

The tram analogy is very apt as you'd be hard pushed to buy a tram *not* using an articulated design these days.  AFAIK there has been a great deal of standardisation in tram design in the past decade, with only the basic dimensions varying.  That's why they all look so similar now.

Stadler - among others - are using this basic design to make small (by European standards) regional trains using a similar design concept, just with longer segments (and hopefully more crash resistant materials).  Prior to this style of train, the Germans (and others) used electric loco hauled but short DD trains with rear end cabs for used while being propelled.  There is nothing particularly radical about this concept.  It's not being used in the UK (god knows why), not Nth America.  But in the American's case they are building substantially larger and longer bi-level vehicles that our loading gauge doesn't permit.

As for DDs on country routes, you're right in that DDs aren't really needed.  Much the same as the XPTs are too big.  However, what the DD design does is potentially replace a large XPT train with 1/4 of an OSCAR, with obvious implications for ongoing operating costs.  That isn't so much a plan as a selling point for the design: it dangles the carrot of even lower running costs down the track.

As for bringing the V Set issue into the mix, that's another selling point.  I think we've argued the case both ways and inside out that outright replacement of the CL fleet for it's own sake isn't going to justify the expense.  The V set fleet has aged for a similar reason: the sheer size and cost of ongoing replacement has been so high it's been pushed into the too hard basket.  But this solution addresses both X & V fleet issues, so it's harder to argue against the "need" for it when at least one is clearly necessary.

But the biggest selling point is the re-deploying the OSCARs to suburban use.  It means $20mil buys 2 new little NSW trains, and that delivers a near new $60mil 8 car DD behemoth to Sydney Trains.

So in summary, building a vehicle that is suitable (more or less) but ubiquitous for all of NSW Train's many and varied needs will cost ~$400mil, but *save* the equivalent of $1bil in future Sydney Suburban fleet replacement costs.  -$600mil sound like a pretty cheap way of replacing CL's fleet to me.
 
donttellmywife Deputy Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The cost savings, both purchase and operating, of shared bogies would be inconsequential.  The cost that would result from the loss of flexibility across a relatively small fleet would be rather material.

While the alignment of the NSW standard gauge network leaves much to be desired, it doesn't come close to the curvature required for typical tram operations, which is what drives the articulation that you see in tram applications.  The alignment of the NSW standard guage however does rule out operation at speeds much above what the current sets can do, hence there isn't a need to be particularly mindful about track forces and vehicle weight - which is what drives shared bogey use in high speed sets.

Three by two seating for a journey that's typically five hours or so in length?  And they whinge about Oscar seating today...

I suspect that you are better off building single deck trains until you get to some practical length (governed by things such as available platform length) and then going to two decks when the need for capacity dictates.
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE
DIF01,
Appreciate the effort you have gone. A couple of points

- The 2nd set of doors per car is a waste of space, if you put the toilet there and a rack for luggage you get another row of pax without them sitting in the the crush zone. For country services they are not needed and in the case of some stock like RTT and XPLR, you can only use one set of doors on end cars anyway. The end of the car is also a good spot for vending machines which I support. One for cold food and drinks, one for hot.

- There are two issues I will flag on the articulated design.
1) Reduced Flexibility of train sets. However if the fleet is big enough and standard, ie servicing both current XPT and XPLR services I see this less of an issue. My plan as posted a few pages back on like for like replace had a total of around 60 cars if all single car DMU's. More if you eliminate night services and run day only. A mix of 2, 3 and 4 car sets would do the job and provide alot of flexibiilty.

2) Axle loading? If the car weight is currently aroudn 50-60t, thats up to 12.5-15t/axle, which has far less negative impact on the track and hence the higher speed. Get rid of one bogie and you are pushing +20t/axle (even with the 2nd bogie weight removed) and this will see you cut back in speed to super freighter standards. You can reduce the weight with shorter cars coping what the trams are like and in reality you would have been shorter anyway (another reason to get rid of 2nd doors)

As far as practicaly of articulated, Tassie passenger trains were articulated (some) and now in Qld PNQ runs articulated container wagons as standard. I think they are three packs so the few heavy boxes are places on end slots of the wagons so they sit over their own bogie.

Trains should and will remain DOO.

Trains will have at least one on board attendent per 100 people at the highest, perhaps even lower, say 1 per 50-60 people. You need this to assist with luggage, especially elderly which CL carry alot of. You also need to have ticket inspection and someone to settle the unwashed when after a few hours sitting next to each other they start to get unruly. For such long services, you cannot avoid the need for an attendent.

I'd also still leave a space for checked baggage from major stations only. You can get far more efficent luggage storage this way and people should be able to bring surfboards and bikes (in limited numbers). Excess and oversized luggage should be charged for and you will probably find this this most profitable section of the train behind the service buffet which again is needed for supply of alcohol, hot food, icecreams etc. Vending machines are limited to cold drinks, tea/coffee, chips and lollies etc.

Long haul trains will be 2+2, 2+3 is not reasonable for long distances on the NSW loading guage. But fixed seating in my view is fine and the tables in the middle is also a good touch. First class maybe 1+2 to enable extra wide seats.

The same platform trains as above can be used to replace the V-sets on the mountains route with some modifications.

regards
Shane
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

DIF01,
Appreciate the effort you have gone. A couple of points
- RTT_Rules


Thanks Shane.


- The 2nd set of doors per car is a waste of space, if you put the toilet there and a rack for luggage you get another row of pax without them sitting in the the crush zone. For country services they are not needed and in the case of some stock like RTT and XPLR, you can only use one set of doors on end cars anyway. The end of the car is also a good spot for vending machines which I support. One for cold food and drinks, one for hot.
- RTT_Rules


I did consider these issues, and you are absolutely right for CL services, the extra door is redundant.  But I figured 1 door per segment isn't enough for commuter or local regional services, and the design goal is a universal vehicle.  Hence the retention of 4 doors per car.  Endorer doors don't meet modern accessibility standard (AFAIK, IMHO - having tried to get prams and bikes in and out of them).  Hence the centre segment - with the disabled toilet - only has wider access only doors in my design.  There may well be evacuation standard issues with reducing the number of doors but emergency doors behind removable seats could address this.

There are too many toilets in my design, but I think the "solution" is have 50% of the cab-trailers have luggage racks or bike lockers or something instead of a 3rd dunny.  1 (disabled) toilet between 250 PAXC on a regional local is plenty, and 2 per 210 PAX on a long distance train is enough as well.  The DD design could probably do with just a single toilet and some luggage space instead.  I didn't really want to have 2 classes of vehicle just because one doesn't have it's toilet installed so figured it was beyond the scope of a photoshop only project.


- There are two issues I will flag on the articulated design.
1) Reduced Flexibility of train sets. However if the fleet is big enough and standard, ie servicing both current XPT and XPLR services I see this less of an issue. My plan as posted a few pages back on like for like replace had a total of around 60 cars if all single car DMU's. More if you eliminate night services and run day only. A mix of 2, 3 and 4 car sets would do the job and provide alot of flexibiilty.
- RTT_Rules


I didn't set out with the intention of using an articulated design.  But for almost all of NSW Train's applications a 200-250 seat unit size was about right.  A classic M-T pair was a touch too small for anything other than the Xplorer routes, and required a larger number of vehicle types to cover all the required applications.  And a 4 car train is too big.  The closest in the design stylers used in Australia are the 3 car V'Locity sets (CM-T-CM), but even that has issues if it's to run in less than 3 car formations because you have to have multiple types of cab units (as well as the extra motors).

There are really only 2 routes in all of NSW Train's portfolio where a 200 seat DMU is overkill, and that's Moree and Griffith.  That's perhaps 2 or at most 3 superfluous segments vs the advantage of a universal fleet of in excess of 100 vehicles.
Edit: I'm also of the view that sub 100 loads really aren't viable for a train.  You only need a single high capacity bus to do the job of the Moree or Griffith train, and designing your fleet around these micro services.  These services - if they are to be retained by rail - really need a single rail car.  It's a question of whether or not the operating savings of a small vs tiny train justify building a custom vehicle specifically for them.


2) Axle loading? If the car weight is currently aroudn 50-60t, thats up to 12.5-15t/axle, which has far less negative impact on the track and hence the higher speed. Get rid of one bogie and you are pushing +20t/axle (even with the 2nd bogie weight removed) and this will see you cut back in speed to super freighter standards. You can reduce the weight with shorter cars coping what the trams are like and in reality you would have been shorter anyway (another reason to get rid of 2nd doors)
- RTT_Rules

This is something I completely overlooked, focusing more on Power:Mass and loading gauge issues.  Finally a good reason to question an articulated design!  
Reviewing the specs of current similar vehicles: the Endorers are 60t, the XPT coaches 40t and the XP Power Cars 75-80t (so 19t/axle for the XPs, 10t/a for XPT coaches & 15 for the Endorers).  
Only about 1/3rd (perhaps more, but substantially less than half) of the mass of the trailers rests on the shared centre trucks, which is 23t to go with the 55t (or so) of the cabless motor which puts it 19-20 tare.  Given it's 4 axles vs an XPT's 8 with similar loadings it shouldn't be an issue unless CL starts running trains to Lake Cargelligo.  The EMU version is probably fine too, as the centre segment of the EMU is going to weight 30t or less and the articulated design probably helps more than hinders.  

The issue is with the DMU DD version, not just because it's more massive but because the front truck has to be placed well forward to enable enough length in the lower deck's well, so more of the mass has to rest on the shared truck.  Axle weight could be as high as 25t in this format, and coping with de-sparking is a particular design objective.  Maybe this isn't really a show stopper, but probably back to the drawing board for me I think.


Trains should and will remain DOO.

Trains will have at least one on board attendant per 100 people at the highest, perhaps even lower, say 1 per 50-60 people. You need this to assist with luggage, especially elderly which CL carry alot of. You also need to have ticket inspection and someone to settle the unwashed when after a few hours sitting next to each other they start to get unruly. For such long services, you cannot avoid the need for an attendant.
- RTT_Rules

CityRail manages with effectively no attendants.  I've tried to organise things to operate to a budget rather than a specification, and that means 1:200 attendant ratio (ignoring trainees).  The concept I have for 2 man crew operation is each crew member is qualified to perform all duties on the train.  The 2 crew member's share the driving (fatigue management) but alternate doing attendant work and having complete breaks while not driving.  And at major stations, the crew member operating the trains secures it, locks the cab behind them then assists PAX who need it board/disembark (ie what coach drivers do).

For this to work the operation requirements of the cabin attendant need to be reduced, which IMHO is another reason to ditch checked baggage (so only PAX who really need help get it alowing most able bodied PAX to deal with their own luggage) and allocated seating.

I know a lot of drivers here won't like this, but that's the sort of flexibility expected of people in the hospitality industry these days.


... behind the service buffet which again is needed for supply of alcohol, hot food, icecreams etc. Vending machines are limited to cold drinks, tea/coffee, chips and lollies etc.
- RTT_Rules

Agreed.  But the way the way I've handled it here is with a galley.  Orders are taken as now (or through the smart phone/web app), payment made in advance (TA's mobile EFTPOS) but preferably as part of the ticket.  Meals are heated, then dispensed when ready (PAX come and collect from the galley over 30 min or so).  Hot food and alcohol is only available at meal time.


Long haul trains will be 2+2, 2+3 is not reasonable for long distances on the NSW loading guage. But fixed seating in my view is fine and the tables in the middle is also a good touch. First class maybe 1+2 to enable extra wide seats.
- RTT_Rules


Three by two seating for a journey that's typically five hours or so in length?  And they whinge about Oscar seating today...
- DontTellMyWide

This in unquestionably a compromise, but what I have in mind is this (from V-Line loco hauled coaches):



You have to appreciate that it's is highly unlikely that even on fully booked services anyone is going to spend 5 hours in the 5th seat.  Most (and in many cases all) of the time the 5th seat will remain unoccupied.  It's only necessary when loading exceeds 80%.  But this is only going to work in conjunction with no allocated seating.  PAX can sort it out among themselves where they sit in real time, rather than trying to let a computer guess the PAX preferences in advance before the final train loadings is known.

And I should also point out this is more space that PAX get on a road coach.

Again the reason behind this compromise is to have a universal vehicle for not just CL but also the NSW Trains commuter and regional routes.
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I get this feeling djf01 has one eye locked on the Mexicans Mr. Green
 
Duplex Beginner

Very interesting discussion guys. But it's all pointless waffle as Railcorp's Asset Management is seriously considering another refurb for the XPTs. I think they hope to get another 8-10 years out of the old girls. The state government will go for it, as it is by far the cheaper option then having to buy new trains. The thing that will kill the XPTs will be fatigue of the power car frames and at present they are still sound. The trailers will last forever, and as long as Railcorp/Sydney Trains/NSW Trainlink are happy to fork out $800,000 to MAN for each engine/alternator overhaul, then the old girls will just keep soldiering on.

The XPTs will carry on until they are well and truly knackered, then they will be taken out the back and garotted.  My feeling is that the future of country train travel will be in the hands of Oscars, Hunter style DMUs and connecting private bus services (though I hope to be proved wrong).
 
kg3000 Locomotive Driver

Very interesting discussion guys. But it's all pointless waffle as Railcorp's Asset Management is seriously considering another refurb for the XPTs. I think they hope to get another 8-10 years out of the old girls. The state government will go for it, as it is by far the cheaper option then having to buy new trains. The thing that will kill the XPTs will be fatigue of the power car frames and at present they are still sound. The trailers will last forever, and as long as Railcorp/Sydney Trains/NSW Trainlink are happy to fork out $800,000 to MAN for each engine/alternator overhaul, then the old girls will just keep soldiering on.

The XPTs will carry on until they are well and truly knackered, then they will be taken out the back and garotted.  My feeling is that the future of country train travel will be in the hands of Oscars, Hunter style DMUs and connecting private bus services (though I hope to be proved wrong).
- Duplex
V/locity trains are fine for an xpt replacement, if kitted out right.
Diesel engines are also a lot more efficient now and a dmu is plenty good enough for our track maximum speeds.
Maybe they could use endeavour/xplorers to extend the 'cityrail limits' of what will become nsw trainlink (a cheaply priced, slower, less comfortable budget option) and then have the xpt replacement/xpt as the 'first class/business class' of greater nsw/interstate train travel.
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Rest assured we are all well aware that this is pointless waffle. I created this thread last year to serve a foaming function.
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE
Duplex, the 8-10 yr time frame you mention is when I have always focused on when the XPT and not far behind the XPLR will be looked at for replacement. At which time the XPLR's while not fully aged would be used to operate the V-set services on the mountains and boost the other NSW commuter DMU services. This then  This then provides the clean slate for the current CL services. Hence why I think focusing only on XPT is not looking at the big picture.

DiFO1,
Ok I understand your proposal. DM-T-DM with bogies Powered-Trailer-Trailer-Powered. Yeah I think you can make this work and get the weight right. The DMU would have two engines each past mid point towards the drivers cab. All the other heavy bits such as traction motors or hydraulic hang over the non-shared bogie under drivers cab.

Seats wise, sorry long haul has to be 2+2. Hop on plane flight for 5-12hr and see what they offer. Arm rest is a must and the "middle seat is only used when really busy" doesn't work. If I travel with my family, I want four seats together so there will be three of us spread across + 1 on another seat. If we have the 5th seat used by another, then they will be sitting in between us or to side, my kids will smeg if they don't have a window or this person will be on the aisle seat with us talking and moving across them. Even for other passenger combinations I see this as being a complete mess. Again this is not a short haul up the mountains/coast for which the family would use this 5th seat. If this train platform is used on commuter services, like the ENVR, it can be fitted with 2+3, but they are not compatible. 2+3 also doesn't leave much room with wise, something that does come into play over long haul as people change the position of their bum and try and sleep.

Double decker, I'm not a structural engineer but I think the requirements for DD and SD trains in design are chalk and cheese so there is little point in trying to design for both. You will and have (your words) made a number of compromises to enable this and now you are making the worst of both worlds. DD, NSW has a design, it works and if they need more they can buy them and would be cheaper than a green field design. The only issue with DD is the V-set route over the mountains where the current design won't fit. Cost wise, grabbing the XPLR's and refitting them and/or digging up the Velocity or Hunter design will be cheaper. The issue is also the O/H.

Doors, the compromise is impacting on efficiency that you will wear for 30 years. The train should have doors for the driver and emergency exit for pax at leading end. 1 door on one side on the DM at non driver end and the other side is catered for by a door on the trailer can on opposite side.  So starting from front.

DM front - Drivers both sides used by driver and emergency exit for pax.
DM rear - Left side
trailer front - Right side
trailer rear - left side
DM car is now reversed and means the door is now right side
Drivers end as above.

With a modern articulated train the floor through the connection is smooth, very wide, no doors and suitable for prams, wheel chairs and luggage no issue. I'e seen plenty of examples even on articulated buses.

Exit doors are all Disabled width

Luggage racks would occupy the space directly opposite the door entrance where the other door is normally.

Toilets, pretty much opposite the exit doors next to luggage racks on the DM cars only, 2 both disabled rated.

As the DM's have less seats due to toilets and engine, they only need one luggage rack. Trailer has two sets and it has two doors, so fine.

Middle of trailer is the Buffet, being in middle it helps break the length of the car and noise levels by pax. Also central on the train. Vending machines are also placed next to luggage racks

Trains are DOO, 30 years of safe DOO operation by XPT and XPLR demonstrates no issue. But I see your point on a flexible workforce and maybe you have a train crew of 3 with at least 2 trained drivers to enable longer haul operation without having depo's as closely spaced. The idea of the driver securing the train to assist pax loading, no! I know what happens in Mel, but that's different. Once on train the pax need more services than a suburban service. You need to check tickets, seating, alert people for upcoming stops and assist with luggage, prams and less able bodies. In mean time they sell food and drinks. From safety aspect you will probably struggle to drop below 2-3 anyway. Suburban trains can operate DOO, but they are in suburbia where assistance is close by.

First class can be one DM and food is part of their ticket price as is now, but EC needs to be optional to keep costs down for them. Buying food as per now is no big deal. Attendants only come to seats of FC, rest of train it done as PA or light indication at seat.

Being 3 cars as I mentioned above, you will probably find seating is close to current 3 car Can explorer (158 people). Maybe slightly less if you have to reduce car length to keep axle loads within check. But I believe the result will be less dead weight per pax so cheaper to run. The "one" set approach is not as flexible as single cars, but should be a bit cheaper to build and operate, ie two engines and two Aux gensets compared to current three for similar number of bodies and overall less train.

As you said, the 3 car will suit Armidale, Can and Broken Hill for XPLR services. For XPT you just join 2 sets together with further option to join 3 sets. Still not as flexible as individual cars, but also very common in Europe to operate this way and again I assume cheaper. As fore Moree and Griffith, well political will would seem these towns gets a train so I don't want to argue the right or wrong on this now and what is likely in future, also Moree is actually not expensive to service as the train is a trailer to Werris Creek and providing capacity to there. Even if it wasn't to travel further and you put the bodies on a bus, it has to wait for the return Armidale service next day, so you are saving fuel and staff on a train and using it on a bus. Griffith is a bit different though. Perhaps a more attractive train with better mod cons, will attract more users, especially if between now and then time tables can be squeezed one way or another. If the new 3 car DMU has slightly less bodies then the gap between what's used now and proposed won't be much different.

I think a fixed set of 200-250 is probably getting too big and reduces the required flexibility for operational and maintenance purposes. The current XPT is 268 people in 6 car arrangement for day service. So a fixed train of 130-150 capacity is probably on the money to suit the 2 car services, 3 car and larger XPT services. Canberra going to 3 services a day would help provide both extra seats if the new 3 car is slightly smaller but also greater choice for additional users. For the likes of when say Armidale needs 4 car cars, you could simply provide a bus connection from the Moree service if the numbers didn't justify a extra set.
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Griffith isn't going to be a useful, attractive service if it remains a weekly service that's usually cancelled anyway.

Does anyone know how much it would cost to send the XPT fleet through a second rebuild?
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE


This 3 car articulated DMU is probably close to the mark in what we are talking about. I have ridden a 2car version in Sweden. They have the lower floors due to historic platforms in Europe. FC is in the high section. But I would propose to be all at one level. The doors would be placed closer to the suitable section for NSW which I think is near the bogies.
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Oh, the Bombardier Talent? I'm more inclined to a traditional approach, such as that of the British Rail Class 175 Coradia.
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

For those interested I managed to knock up a 1:50 scale prototype of what I have in mind: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5336/8953015671_293e9a4219_z.jpg
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE
For those interested I managed to knock up a 1:50 scale prototype of what I have in mind: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5336/8953015671_293e9a4219_z.jpg
- djf01
Nice, but this actually what some people want from the NSWGR


 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

Duplex, the 8-10 yr time frame you mention is when I have always focused on when the XPT and not far behind the XPLR will be looked at for replacement. At which time the XPLR's while not fully aged would be used to operate the V-set services on the mountains and boost the other NSW commuter DMU services. This then  This then provides the clean slate for the current CL services. Hence why I think focusing only on XPT is not looking at the big picture.
- RTT_Rules


The economic life of the XPTs is already over.  A modern like-for-like replacement would almost certainly save more in maintenance as the new capital would cost to service.  The only financial reason not to replace is to avoid committing to another 30 years (or even 10 years) of like-for-like operation.

Any sensible replacement is going to address some of the labour (and other) productivity issues as well, simply by virtue of the type of modern trains available.


DiFO1,
Ok I understand your proposal. DM-T-DM with bogies Powered-Trailer-Trailer-Powered. Yeah I think you can make this work and get the weight right. The DMU would have two engines each past mid point towards the drivers cab. All the other heavy bits such as traction motors or hydraulic hang over the non-shared bogie under drivers cab.
- RTT_Rules

Absolutely not !!!

My concept is DT-M-DT!  The result is basically an elongated single rail car, with the bulk of the cost, complexity and (to quote a former PM) specificity in the single unit, with the bulk of the ubiquitous seating in the simple trailers.  Articulation is about getting the cabin length up while reducing the total mass and components.  DM-T-DM rather negates that benefit.  

The DM-T-DM V'Locity style approach works, but (IMHO) adds to the expense.  A DM-T-T-DM type set would work in terms of seats/km cost, but that ends up being too big for anything other than the XPT routes.


Seats wise, sorry long haul has to be 2+2. Hop on plane flight for 5-12hr and see what they offer. Arm rest is a must and the "middle seat is only used when really busy" doesn't work. If I travel with my family, I want four seats together so there will be three of us spread across + 1 on another seat. If we have the 5th seat used by another, then they will be sitting in between us or to side, my kids will smeg if they don't have a window or this person will be on the aisle seat with us talking and moving across them. Even for other passenger combinations I see this as being a complete mess. Again this is not a short haul up the mountains/coast for which the family would use this 5th seat. If this train platform is used on commuter services, like the ENVR, it can be fitted with 2+3, but they are not compatible. 2+3 also doesn't leave much room with wise, something that does come into play over long haul as people change the position of their bum and try and sleep.
- RTT_Rules

Been there done that!  It won't work with allocated seating.  But if you take 2+2 (or "request" as swap) rather than the 3+1 the computer has allocated.  

Personally I've found CL's approach of allocating the seat at the time of booking cumbersome for that reason.  Where you'd chose to sit a family - or any other special needs PAX - can and does depend on loading.  Airlines deal with this by (to use an IT term) "late binding" seat allocations with boarding passes independent of ticketing.  Most rail and bus operators deal with this by simply not allocating seating and letting the PAX sort it out for themselves.

Don't get me started on those arm rests on long haul flights!  

I took my family to Europe when the youngest was 23 months old (still qualified for an infant fare).  The eldest was just 4yo and the 4 of us could manage in 3 adjacent seats ...  but ... because of the infant ticket we were constantly allocated bulkhead seats so the baby could be secured in the bassinet.  And the fitout of that airline that meant *fixed* bloody arm rests!  Man that was a nightmare, especially as my wife argued the point vigorously each boarding.  We'd request and get seat assignments through the web.  But at checkin they'd be re-assigned back to bulkhead.  So we'd get them changed prior to boarding.  For the return flight we ensured we got 2 sets of boarding passes for the first leg and the onward leg.  Get to the stopover (in Dubai BTW) and the seats have been re-allocated by the next flight's cabin crew.  By the 4th time this happened my wife went ballistic and tore them a new one!  We ended up boarding with hand written boarding passes.  But ... I'm in my seat and someone else turns up with a boarding for it.  The flight was delayed for over an hour while they sorted out because as a result of my wife's wobbly the flight was over-boarded!



DD, NSW has a design, it works and if they need more they can buy them and would be cheaper than a green field design.
- RTT_Rules

I think the Sydney Suburban DD form factor is completely unsuitable for any of NSW Train's applications, and by a long way.  The cars are too short, the decks are way too short and the doors are too big for distance applications.  All of the design compromises in the Sydney DD are there to give it fast (enough) boarding and standing capacity to be used through the short platforms of the underground railway, a requirement NSW Trains simply doesn't have.  The vehicles are too short (a compromise Bradfield made to support loco hauled wooden trailers that could form part of the EMU fleet as electrification progressed) , and only half the car length is devoted seating and as a result each vehicle has the same seating capacity as a standard XPT SD coach with OSCAR style 2+3 seating (ie ~100).  The result is all the expense and problems associated with a custom DD design and none of the advantage.

On the subject of DDs, AFAIK *all* commuter railways where the loading gauge permits are trending towards DDs, and this is purely a cost driven thing.  A typical Nth American Bi-Level car has 2+2 seating for ~150.


Middle of trailer is the Buffet, being in middle it helps break the length of the car and noise levels by pax. Also central on the train. Vending machines are also placed next to luggage racks
- RTT_Rules

Another reason I've got the power plant in the middle rather than the ends was noise.  It effects fewer PAX (and without no allocated seating iof they don;t like it they can move Smile).  The Stadler DMUs put their power plants in short dedicated segments (which would solve my axle weight issue) but I wanted to reduce the number and type of vehicles so went with a more traditional approach.

The idea of the driver securing the train to assist pax loading, no! ... Once on train the pax need more services than a suburban service. You need to check tickets, seating, alert people for upcoming stops and assist with luggage, prams and less able bodies.
- RTT_Rules
None of which is on the critical path, and can be done by the on board passenger attendant in their own sweet time.  But assisting the 60 ladies from Merimbula quilter's guild load their luggage most definitely is!


I think a fixed set of 200-250 is probably getting too big and reduces the required flexibility for operational and maintenance purposes. The current XPT is 268 people in 6 car arrangement for day service. So a fixed train of 130-150 capacity is probably on the money to suit the 2 car services, 3 car and larger XPT services.
- RTT_Rules

My concept would allow coupling of 2 sets for an XPT type run on the NCL.  But I expect it would work better as 4tpd (3 day, one redeye) vs the current 3tpd (2 day 1 red eye).
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I'm inclined to suspect that RTT_Rules is referring to the V set design, not the suburban one.
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

- djf01
One other thing, I have a name for this new train: The "Xperience",
which I think with 2+3 seating is rather appropriate Smile.
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm inclined to suspect that RTT_Rules is referring to the V set design, not the suburban one.
- Watson374
Yes Watson, exactly not sure where DIF01 was thinking of. I only ever mention and refer to replacement of the aging V-sets used currently on the mountains route where the newere stuff is too big. It has been speculated for some time what will the govt do as these V-set approach retirement and others have speculated about the O/H needing some major overhaul in not too distant future. Someone mentioned XPT pax cars will live forever, well the V-sets are not and I assume one day the XPT cars will be the same. Hence I refer to using the current XPLR cars to take over the V-sets thus enabling the V-sets to be retired and the O/H on the mountains past the termination point for the standard DD's to be also retired. Not supporting, but just speculating and providing an option.

Arguing about the other DD's is pointless for this thread and they are not going anywhere.

Replacement of the XPT timing. Well the govt has commited to an extra upgrade which will give it another 8-10 years hence they believe this is the best solution for the state (or deferement of a hard decision), so all my timing refers to replacing the XPT around 2020, which also ties in with the above timing as well.

Planes, as I too travel OS rountinely with my young family, moved to India with the youngest at 3mth I am all too familure with this. Rules are simple on major 4 star airlines. 0-2 is checked as infant, below 11kg (some are 12kg) he can use bassenet (ticket is a ALOT cheaper) as you don't get a seat for the child, he/she must ride on your lap during T/O, Landing and turblance and they give you a lap belt. Even at 10kg, Aaron was still a bit long for the bassenet when leaving India at 12mths on Sing Air and didn't sleep well.

Above 11-12kg they must have own seat and you don't get the bulk head as these spaces are limited and they reserve for the families needing bassnet. Being long legged I like the bulk head so try for it when possible. As a non-baby travelling passenger you cannot normally book these seats or request them until near the full boarding. When my young bloke moved to Dubai he was 18mths and 12-13kg, my wife just booked 4 seats even though you have to tick the 0-2 age group and we were placed in middle near back (usually with other like/noisey families). But most airlines won't let you pick seats online when booking children as they need to do visual checks. We have never had a problem using 4 star airlines. Go to India where they have no Fooking clue and they book you in emergency exit rows etc because they see you are "white or at least non Indian looking and speak fluent english" (sorry for those who think I offending, but its true) and that means you have at least half a clue at opening the door if asked and when asked and over look the baby, although the Hostess usually moves you. Even if you can get the family of four on the three seats, you cannot do it for long as the forth cannot wear a seatbelt. A lady once travelling next me booked her big infant as a bassenet (its alot cheaper than a seat), but she was way too big and cried unless removed and placed on floor, Hostesses after Singapore wouldn't allow and said in bassenet, you booked it you use it. floor is no go for sleeping anymore.

Fixed Arm rest are becoming standard on longhaul and you need to get used to it, also EC seats that don't recline (and if you sit infront of me you won't recline unless you enjoy knees in your back) because by keeping people in a defined space it stops arguments. Rather the cushion part of moves forward (usless if your knees are already at the seat infront of you, like mine). Also fixed arm rests gives a place to store remote for TV etc. On our train, I don't see the need to go that far, but an arm rest that can swing up and down is a must. If I am travelling by myself and I have some grossly fat tart next to me, I want my limited piece of universe to myself and not sharing with her/his smeg. What you have proposed for travel of 5-14hr is to me a nightmare with 3 across seating the same as a ENVR car. Too many fights and arguments. Airlines are usually experts at cramping people into a tiny seat and preventing arguments, learn from them, including the usually blue trim at both lounge and on the plane which is a carming effect. the B787 has blue hue lighting for this reason.

I think you have misunderstood my proposed DMU. An elongated single car is what an articulated vehicle is which I have proposed. However I think you will find you will max out on axle load if you intend to place the engines (2 + Aux) in the middle car. They will need to hang over the end bogies. Which is what the photo I attached in a later post has. One at each end where the floor height is higher. Noise wise, in the 21st century there is no excuse to hear the engine at significant levels or vibration. If I can walk past a 1MW genset in India made in India inside a container and barely even notice its running, then the train engine will be and should be near silent. Even the QR 4000 class standing along the tracks under full noise is really very low noise. More like an electric motor.

A 3 car ENDVR would have about 250-270 people and be over 75m long, but convert it to 3 car articulated, ie 4 bogies and it will loose a bit of length. Quick guess looking at CL photo, about 3-4 rows per end.


I think 4 across seating for about 150 will be about the right number, but maybe still too high for 3 car articulated. (I'll try and do a mock up on weekend (tomorrow here) in length and see what the actual numbers are using a 3 car XPLR set as basis.). I'd also have two engines for relibility. With a single engine able to maintain 50-60kmhr on steepest banks and 2 x Aux engines with 100% redundency with some load shedding.
 
Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
RTT_Rules, have you flown on the newer type of 'articulated' seat in Y? The seat back reclines, but the seat pan moves forward too. Experiments with fixed-back 'shell' seats have been disastrous, as CX's passengers found out at the back of the bus.

Now, how many services normally run less than three cars besides Griffith and Moree? If we cut these services (GASP) it'd allow for a different design optimised at a longer base set; after all, the Xplorer is optimum at three to four cars; two-car Xplorers are imbalanced. If we can set the minimum set length to three 78' cars, I have another idea up my sleeve (using sub-ideas collated from some here).
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner


I think 4 across seating for about 150 will be about the right number, but maybe still too high for 3 car articulated. (I'll try and do a mock up on weekend (tomorrow here) in length and see what the actual numbers are using a 3 car XPLR set as basis.). I'd also have two engines for relibility. With a single engine able to maintain 50-60kmhr on steepest banks and 2 x Aux engines with 100% redundency with some load shedding.
- RTT_Rules

There are a lot of ways I could take this, but just quickly:

- Watson was right, I thought you meant OSCARs when you meant Vs
- My design calls for a DMU/EMU type unit.  I didn't really spell this out - and I guess it not a truly *essential* design component - but I envisage that to mean the DMU is diesel electric, not a geared direct drive like the Vendoras.  The EMU has a multi-speced source rectifier (like most european EMUs have to have) capable of sucking up juice from 1500VDC and/or whatever the genpac spits out.  So it would have one genpack (which may have 2 engines for partial redundancy, or not)  with an appropriately rated MTBF and no AUX, all driving the same traction motor(s) as the EMU version.  Being a modern design probably a modest LiPo battery for electric braking, performance boost during acceleration and recharging the driver's phone.
- @RTT_Rules, be careful with using the X a template for seating layout.  
The V'Locities manage 20 seat rows (IIRC) in the space CL only managed 17.  Cl seat spacing is (probably, I don't know the exact cabin dimensions) is ~1150mm (EC, 1200 in FC Smile) vs an OSCARS 900mm, and I *think* the V'Locity's ~1000mm.  But that's more that the seats are really thick for some reason, in part at least to support rotation/reversal.  I *think* I've been working on 1000mm (but I did use the Endeavour as my photoshop template, but was deliberately a bit generous when considering the last seat row).  All I'm really trying to say is I think you can reasonably add another 2 rows of seats over the CL allocation just by using a thinner seat rather than sacrificing leg room.
 
RTT_Rules Minister for Railways

Location: Dubai UAE
RTT_Rules, have you flown on the newer type of 'articulated' seat in Y? The seat back reclines, but the seat pan moves forward too. Experiments with fixed-back 'shell' seats have been disastrous, as CX's passengers found out at the back of the bus.

Now, how many services normally run less than three cars besides Griffith and Moree? If we cut these services (GASP) it'd allow for a different design optimised at a longer base set; after all, the Xplorer is optimum at three to four cars; two-car Xplorers are imbalanced. If we can set the minimum set length to three 78' cars, I have another idea up my sleeve (using sub-ideas collated from some here).
- Watson374

I think Y is cattle class, so I have a lot of experience at the smeg end of the plane. Last year we flew back to Australia in cattle on Cathay Pacific. Trip over was short stop over at Hong kong and trip back was via Carins and a 2 days in HK. For 8hr it was tolerable for me. But I did appreciate the fact the seat in front couldn't recline. As I hate people to recline on to me, I usually don't replicate the same unless its empty behind me or a child.

Griffith XPLR is a stand alone train. So cutting or keeping doesn't impact other. However it does run within 30min of Wagga Wagga and I'd be interested to see how many nth of Junee to Goulburn use the train, but being 1 day per week its hardly in their face and only a few stops.

Moree is different, if you cut the service from Werris Creek but assume they still use the train to WC, you still need the extra cars to get them there. You saved very little.

But lets look at another issue first, train length for an articulated train. If we assume the bogie centres for the XPLR cars are maximum spaced, then when you make it articulated then the cars get reduced by around 1.9m at each of the joined ends. This comes from seats and on the 3 car XPLR totals around 62 seats, reducing the 3 car XPLR from 156 to 84 seats. You can pull back two rows of seats, maybe three by removing some doors and basically reducing from 4 to 2 doors for pax use on either side and doing something with drivers doors. So lets say 3 rows pull back 12 seats for total of 96 seats. So this probably makes each set a driver + attendant operation.

So this new 3 car articulated train is now the same size as a 2 car XPLR set. Fine for the Moree and Griffith trains, probably too small for Canberra, Armidale and BH trains? For the XPT you would need 3 of these so I think in summary it won't work. You need 140-150 seaters.

I did look up the articulated DMU's used by Duetsch Bahn and they seem to buy different sizes, 100 to 200 seaters. So perhaps having a few 100 seat sets wouldn't be a bad idea especially when the order is pushing 30 cars. The 150 seat train is madeup using a 4 car articulated DMU. It takes about 26 sets to replace what we have now including a few spares and I figure of those sets, 5-6 need to be 100 seaters, the rest 150 seaters.
 
djf01 Chief Commissioner

But lets look at another issue first, train length for an articulated train. If we assume the bogie centres for the XPLR cars are maximum spaced, then when you make it articulated then the cars get reduced by around 1.9m at each of the joined ends. This comes from seats and on the 3 car XPLR totals around 62 seats, reducing the 3 car XPLR from 156 to 84 seats. You can pull back two rows of seats, maybe three by removing some doors and basically reducing from 4 to 2 doors for pax use on either side and doing something with drivers doors. So lets say 3 rows pull back 12 seats for total of 96 seats. So this probably makes each set a driver + attendant operation.
- RTT_Rules
I don't think that analysis is quite right, because in an articulated design the lead car sticks out further over the lead bogie for weight distribution reasons.

A 2 car explorer offers 50m of cabin length, comprised roughly of:
Cabs: 4m
Doors: 4m
Toilets and cabin luggage: 4m
Buffet+Galley: 7m
Checked luggage: 3m

This leaves 28m of cabin space available in which there are 24 rows of seats.

The Xperience concept has cabin lengths of (roughly):
25+17+25 = 67m (a modern design would be longer with bigger crumple-zones/vote-winning-pointy-thingi on the nose of each cab).

The layout I chose has:
Cabs: 4m (actually a touch less)
Doors: 7m
Toilets and cabin luggage: 5m
Galley+Oversize luggage: 4m

Leaving 47m of cabin length for seats in which I've shoe-horned 48 rows of seats. (My centre section in my drawings is 1m/seat row too long I think).

Being a bit less agressive with the fitout still should leave 40-45m of cabin length with ~40 rows of seats and a capacity of 150-160 (and thus ~200 seats 2+3).
 
donttellmywife Deputy Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
But, but, but, why shared bogie? Is total set weight really that much of a concern? Is it realistic to expect operation on track that is of a lower standard than what the units currently operate on? Is the cost "saving" associated with a reduction in the number of bogies (once offset by the increased complexity of the resulting attachement, and I suspect the latter swamps the former) really that significant in the scheme of things?

With shared bogies, you've lost the ability to swap defective units out at short notice. Pick a fight with a motor vehicle or some other obstruction on the track, which sadly does happen all too often, and the whole set is out of action for the duration. Same applies for significant mechanical issues that might be discovered when a set is away from home. On the more mundane side - want to do an upgrade or refurb - again the whole set needs to be removed from service, rather than being able to take a single car out at a time.

Without shared bogies - you buy perhaps an extra cab unit and maybe an extra trailing unit, but with shared bogies you need to buy an extra entire set to achieve the same effective availability. I suspect that obliterates whatever upfront cost savings there might be with the shared bogie design.

(If you were running a decent number of sets, then this isn't an issue, but the regional fleet isn't all that large.)

This is before we get to consist make-up flexibility, which for me "wins" the argument on its own.

[Another benefit of having the diesel motivator in a separate unit is [consequence of] fire protection. Might be a bit trickier to provide equivalent protection in your design - you'd probably need to move your exits to be between the engine and the seating area, or have some sort of similar compensation. Or you could put the engine[s] underneath - one reason for the Stadler layout is because they are providing a low floor solution, which you don't need for regional rail in this country (I wonder whether the low floor requirement is also another reason for them using shared bogies?).]

[And those couplers in your 1:50 mock-up are notoriously prone to failure! I have about ten in fragments in front of me that I'm trying to glue back together after a recent fatigue and overstress cracking events associated with violent ejection of select units over the balcony handrail by an operator with malicious intent. So if that's your chosen design, I'd be looking for at least 1:1 coverage of spare sets to in service sets, plus procurement of a bulk supply of araldite.]
 

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