Shutting down the network

 
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

The network is like a wooden house. It used to get painted and weather protected every year, keeping it in good condition. But then the paint became more expensive, and every time you wanted to buy the paint, you had to argue with a bunch of jackasses about why you should apply the paint to your house. And even if you did win that argument, or just barge through them, you often didn't have enough money to pay for the paint. Then if you could get the paint, you barely got started before your rent ran out and the same jackasses at the paint store threw away your paint, and got a diffrent color. Then you went to the paint store and tried to stop them from getting the paint. Once they were able to get it, you would go back and rent the house out again. Rarely you agreed, and somthing actully got done. This went on for decades.

Finally, from the decades of disagree,ment, the house had began to crack, and holes began to appear in the floor. Fixing up the house would be even harder than getting the paint, so instead to decide to buy lots of fancy looking couches to put in the house, to mask up the holes and the decay.

The couches will still fall through the holes, no matter how expensive and fancy they are. You must fix the rest of the house to get any real value from it.

This is like the network today. Therefore, there are several way to fix the problems. Some of them are insane, some are good.

1. Shut down the entire network for 6 months. Replace all the track and all the signals with high capacity signalling. Add a 3rd track to every single line. Fix all the broken layouts.
2. Close the whole network. Rip up all the tracks, and turn them into roads. Give the new paved roads right of way everywhere, and have a toll charging exactly the same as the train ticket. Build huge underground parking areas at every station, to hold the capacity of the line. 125,000 spaces at Flinders St.
3. Pave the whole line. Replace trains with trams. Have constant trams running every 30 seconds through every station. Have buses running along the line as well. No private cars of parking lots.
4. Replace entire track with super-advanced travelators. Multiple widths, with muliple speeds. Faster than the train network. Allows you to not wait for a train and to get off whereever you want.


Thoughts?

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  kapow Junior Train Controller

The network is like a wooden house. It used to get painted and weather protected every year, keeping it in good condition. But then the paint became more expensive, and every time you wanted to buy the paint, you had to argue with a bunch of jackasses about why you should apply the paint to your house. And even if you did win that argument, or just barge through them, you often didn't have enough money to pay for the paint. Then if you could get the paint, you barely got started before your rent ran out and the same jackasses at the paint store threw away your paint, and got a diffrent color. Then you went to the paint store and tried to stop them from getting the paint. Once they were able to get it, you would go back and rent the house out again. Rarely you agreed, and somthing actully got done. This went on for decades.

Finally, from the decades of disagree,ment, the house had began to crack, and holes began to appear in the floor. Fixing up the house would be even harder than getting the paint, so instead to decide to buy lots of fancy looking couches to put in the house, to mask up the holes and the decay.

The couches will still fall through the holes, no matter how expensive and fancy they are. You must fix the rest of the house to get any real value from it.

This is like the network today. Therefore, there are several way to fix the problems. All of them are insane, None are good.

1. Shut down the entire network for 6 months. Replace all the track and all the signals with high capacity signalling. Add a 3rd track to every single line. Fix all the broken layouts.
2. Close the whole network. Rip up all the tracks, and turn them into roads. Give the new paved roads right of way everywhere, and have a toll charging exactly the same as the train ticket. Build huge underground parking areas at every station, to hold the capacity of the line. 125,000 spaces at Flinders St.
3. Pave the whole line. Replace trains with trams. Have constant trams running every 30 seconds through every station. Have buses running along the line as well. No private cars of parking lots.
4. Replace entire track with super-advanced travelators. Multiple widths, with muliple speeds. Faster than the train network. Allows you to not wait for a train and to get off whereever you want.


Thoughts?
bomberswarm2

There we go, I fixed that for you
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

There we go, I fixed that for you
kapow

So you don 't think making it a high speed tollway with masses of free parking at stations in which the traffic has right of way everywhere is a good idea?
Or increasing the having 1000% more frequent tram and bus services?
Or having a 6 month shutdown of the network to make it the best in the world?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The network is like a wooden house. It used to get painted and weather protected every year, keeping it in good condition. But then the paint became more expensive, and every time you wanted to buy the paint, you had to argue with a bunch of jackasses about why you should apply the paint to your house. And even if you did win that argument, or just barge through them, you often didn't have enough money to pay for the paint. Then if you could get the paint, you barely got started before your rent ran out and the same jackasses at the paint store threw away your paint, and got a diffrent color. Then you went to the paint store and tried to stop them from getting the paint. Once they were able to get it, you would go back and rent the house out again. Rarely you agreed, and somthing actully got done. This went on for decades.

Finally, from the decades of disagree,ment, the house had began to crack, and holes began to appear in the floor. Fixing up the house would be even harder than getting the paint, so instead to decide to buy lots of fancy looking couches to put in the house, to mask up the holes and the decay.

The couches will still fall through the holes, no matter how expensive and fancy they are. You must fix the rest of the house to get any real value from it.


Thoughts?
bomberswarm2

That is the most brilliant description of infrastructure managed by contract operators I have ever read. Read the same for sewerage and sewage treatment, water supply, power supply and you see the mess we are heading for.

Hardly a good example but Adelaide and Perth shut the system down and rebuilt it. Both were starting from a low user base. I don't think much of Melbourne's system could have a significant outage without clogging up the city. Most tracks are double so single line working could be used over short sections with temporary turnouts. If Adelaide is any indication the track will need rebuilding from the sub base up.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The network is like a wooden house. It used to get painted and weather protected every year, keeping it in good condition. But then the paint became more expensive, and every time you wanted to buy the paint, you had to argue with a bunch of jackasses about why you should apply the paint to your house. And even if you did win that argument, or just barge through them, you often didn't have enough money to pay for the paint. Then if you could get the paint, you barely got started before your rent ran out and the same jackasses at the paint store threw away your paint, and got a diffrent color. Then you went to the paint store and tried to stop them from getting the paint. Once they were able to get it, you would go back and rent the house out again. Rarely you agreed, and somthing actully got done. This went on for decades.

Finally, from the decades of disagree,ment, the house had began to crack, and holes began to appear in the floor. Fixing up the house would be even harder than getting the paint, so instead to decide to buy lots of fancy looking couches to put in the house, to mask up the holes and the decay.

The couches will still fall through the holes, no matter how expensive and fancy they are. You must fix the rest of the house to get any real value from it.

This is like the network today. Therefore, there are several way to fix the problems. Some of them are insane, some are good.

1. Shut down the entire network for 6 months. Replace all the track and all the signals with high capacity signalling. Add a 3rd track to every single line. Fix all the broken layouts.
2. Close the whole network. Rip up all the tracks, and turn them into roads. Give the new paved roads right of way everywhere, and have a toll charging exactly the same as the train ticket. Build huge underground parking areas at every station, to hold the capacity of the line. 125,000 spaces at Flinders St.
3. Pave the whole line. Replace trains with trams. Have constant trams running every 30 seconds through every station. Have buses running along the line as well. No private cars of parking lots.
4. Replace entire track with super-advanced travelators. Multiple widths, with muliple speeds. Faster than the train network. Allows you to not wait for a train and to get off whereever you want.


Thoughts?
bomberswarm2

I'd be prepared to go for number 1 if it meant we were able to fix everything that doesn't work. All others are fantasy and/or would not be able to cope with patronage.
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

That is the most brilliant description of infrastructure managed by contract operators I have ever read. Read the same for sewerage and sewage treatment, water supply, power supply and you see the mess we are heading for.

Hardly a good example but Adelaide and Perth shut the system down and rebuilt it. Both were starting from a low user base. I don't think much of Melbourne's system could have a significant outage without clogging up the city. Most tracks are double so single line working could be used over short sections with temporary turnouts. If Adelaide is any indication the track will need rebuilding from the sub base up.
steam4ian


If the network was going to be shut down for 6 months they would have train replacement buses, every single route along its entire length would have a lane become a 24/7 bus lane for the period of the works, including one lane roads (making them bus only) in order to severely speed up buses and minimize delays.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Older people may recall that this DID happen to one line in Melbourne in the late 1990's.

The Coburg / Upfield line hadn't been properly maintained since it was built on the cheap over a century earlier. It featured mud holes, dodgy ballast, ancient and inefficient signalling, light track, rotten sleepers - literally and manually operated level crossings that cost a fortune to staff. Incremental improvements would have caused disruption and wouldn't have improved the service very much.

So the state government of the time bit the bullet and despite loud howls of protest and politically motivated yowls that this was the end of the world, they shut the line - completely.

Then they tore it up - completely, right back to below surface level and rebuilt it from scratch to a high standard that means it has had fewer maintenance issues than other lines for the past 16 years.

Yes, this cost a heck of a lot, yes it caused widespread disruption, yes, it was politically damaging to that government. BUT the politicians of the time had the guts to do it and the improvements in the service and the reduction in maintenance costs mean it was worthwhile.

However the world has changed since then and these days I doubt that any political party would have the audacity to do something similar on other lines. Sad
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

All they have to do is wait two years.  By that time the Ebola virus would have spread across the world wreaking havoc on populations and economies.  The whole of civilisation will have collapsed in a heap and trains will be obsolete! Wink
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Posting in a troll thread yeeeeeeeAaaaaah
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

The Glen Waverley line was shut for a while just to replace sleepers. Look how well that turned out.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Older people may recall that this DID happen to one line in Melbourne in the late 1990's.

The Coburg / Upfield line hadn't been properly maintained since it was built on the cheap over a century earlier. It featured mud holes, dodgy ballast, ancient and inefficient signalling, light track, rotten sleepers - literally and manually operated level crossings that cost a fortune to staff. Incremental improvements would have caused disruption and wouldn't have improved the service very much.

So the state government of the time bit the bullet and despite loud howls of protest and politically motivated yowls that this was the end of the world, they shut the line - completely.

Then they tore it up - completely, right back to below surface level and rebuilt it from scratch to a high standard that means it has had fewer maintenance issues than other lines for the past 16 years.
Bogong


The Upfield line was shut completely during the late 1990's for a complete rebuild? Really?

The only shutdowns on the line were related to freeway projects. One was a closure between Gowrie and Upfield to build the bridge over the Western Ring Road. The second was the closure between North Melbourne and Flemington Bridge between May 1997 to February 1998 when the Citylink viaduct was rebuilt. In both cases trains trains ran on the unaffected portions of the line.

And the train service was maintained during the resignalling in 1998.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Hardly a good example but Adelaide and Perth shut the system down and rebuilt it...
steam4ian


When was Perth shut down?

The electrification and rebuild of the Perth suburban system was described in detail in the contemporary book 'Perth Electric'. It goes into quite a bit of detail about how they rebuilt the line and strung the overhead with minimal disruption to the existing diesel powered suburban service. They certainly did not shut the system down.
  GvhftrKijl Locomotive Driver

Location: ERD
When was Perth shut down?

The electrification and rebuild of the Perth suburban system was described in detail in the contemporary book 'Perth Electric'. It goes into quite a bit of detail about how they rebuilt the line and strung the overhead with minimal disruption to the existing diesel powered suburban service. They certainly did not shut the system down.
"historian"


Indeed they did not.

I read the original comment and took it to refer to the *partial* shutdown of the suburban network in 2007 to allow the Mandurah line to be connected to the rest of the network. If I remember correctly, it was only the Fremantle Line and part of the Clarkson line that was shut down to enable the work to be carried out.

And to keep this on-topic, I can't see any substantial changes happening anytime soon. Why? No funds, and no political will (beyond buying votes in an election year).
  Chidda Bang Locomotive Driver

Location: Banned
If they put on the timetable which trains are comengs people would be happier and use the trains more but it means they need more comengs on the clifton hill lines
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
If they put on the timetable which trains are comengs people would be happier and use the trains more but it means they need more comengs on the clifton hill lines
"Chidda Bang"

Bollocks!!!!!!!
99.9% of rail commuters wouldn't know one brand from the other and don't care. They go to the station in the morning, get on the 'train' and go to work!
Like a comment a woman commuter made in Adelaide recently "Why don't we ever get those nice new red ones on this line? I've heard they are nicer than the yellow ones."
She was referring to the new 4000 class EMU trains whilst standing on the platform at Woodville as 3000 class DMU arrived.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
"Operation Double Fault" was a proposal several years ago to sink the Glen Waverley line between Burnley and Darling stations and sell the lucrative land off to property developers.

There were multiple problems with it and it eventually got dumped; one of the issues was that the line would have been closed for over a year while it was sunk and rebuilt; the other issue was that the government was expected to fund the ongoing expense of subterranean track operation including drainage and the support structure's integrity.
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
Only real temporary shutdown of specific branches of the network that comes to mind that I would actually support would be a rolling standardization and/or rebuild (slab track and whatnot) programme of existing lines.

No real reason to shut anything down bar maintenance/politically motivated level crossing removal, otherwise.
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

4. Replace entire track with super-advanced travelators. Multiple widths, with muliple speeds. Faster than the train network. Allows you to not wait for a train and to get off whereever you want.


1 Vote for Travelators!


At the platform, step on the the low speed travelator in the direction of travel.  Parallel to that is the high speed track.  Cut ins every 100m or so to switch between the two.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
You put Aluminum (Aluminium) siding on the house. Don't need to paint anymore.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
1 Vote for Travelators!


At the platform, step on the the low speed travelator in the direction of travel. Parallel to that is the high speed track. Cut ins every 100m or so to switch between the two.
g00r

+2 for travelators. I demand a Royal Commission into why this is not being considered while some worthless high speed train project is.

Talk about mixed up government priorities!
  Plan B Junior Train Controller

Travelators: Why stop at railways. We can make all roads travellators as well. Let us use that East-West link as a test case. Smile
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The Upfield line was shut completely during the late 1990's for a complete rebuild? Really?

The only shutdowns on the line were related to freeway projects. One was a closure between Gowrie and Upfield to build the bridge over the Western Ring Road. The second was the closure between North Melbourne and Flemington Bridge between May 1997 to February 1998 when the Citylink viaduct was rebuilt. In both cases trains trains ran on the unaffected portions of the line.

And the train service was maintained during the resignalling in 1998.
historian

I think you'll find that the line was closed (?for about 6 months?) in the mid to late 1990's while they ran dozers along most of it and rebuilt it from scratch. I lived nearby at the time and while I didn't use the line, people who did were very upset that they had to use the parallel tram line instead.

It doesn't matter which political outfit was in government at the time, the total rebuild was desperately needed and they had the guts to do it. Admittedly there were no marginal seats nearby which probably helped with the courage to bite the bullet. Sadly 20 years later, I doubt any government of any persuasion would have the guts to do something similar on any line today!
  historian Deputy Commissioner

I think you'll find that the line was closed (?for about 6 months?) in the mid to late 1990's while they ran dozers along most of it and rebuilt it from scratch. I lived nearby at the time and while I didn't use the line, people who did were very upset that they had to use the parallel tram line instead.
Bogong

No, this did not happen. The line was not closed for any lengthy period in the mid to late 1990s. No, they have never run dozers along most of it and rebuilt it from scratch.

I suspect what you are (mis)remembering was the Citylink construction between May 1997 and February 1998. This involved the construction of the twin viaducts over the railway line between North Melbourne and Flemington Bridge.

In order to construct these viaducts the Upfield line was shut between North Melbourne and Flemington Bridge. However, the train service continued to run between Flemington Bridge and Upfield.

Passengers from the line were detrained at the Down platform at Flemington Bridge and crossed a pedestrian to a temporary bus stop in the housing commission estate. They then boarded a shuttle bus which took them to Newmarket. They then changed again to a shuttle train service that ran from Newmarket, round the loop, back to Newmarket. To compensate passengers for this gross inconvenience travel on the line was made free - you got a special ticket that allowed you to journey into the city (but not any further). Somewhere I should still have a few.

Naturally, however, passengers that had any form of time constraint mostly preferred to use the Sydney Road tram.

A facing crossover, associated signalling, and automatic termination facilities were provided at Flemington Bridge. These were subsequently completely removed. A stabling compound was provided at Upfield, and the Upfield - Somerton line was rehabilitated to allow transfer movements.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Okay, I have a fairly reliable memory and have written history articles that have had over 350,000 views.

However railway history is not my speciality and you seem so confident of your facts that I'll have to yield. I suspect I was misinformed at the time.
  pandafalcon Station Staff

Love the idea - totally impractical to replace the capacity during rail replacement with buses but, WHY NOT???? Razz

If we were serious about doing proper maintenance and renewal of the rail network, there should be major rail works on a section of rail line where a total renewal is done.

Not necessarily upgrading the signalling, because unfortunately that's very very complicated (and requires rolling stock to be upgraded simultaneously, and that never goes well with legacy equipment. I'd read about the complexities of the Cambrian Line in the UK and the challenges they faced upgrading 30-40 year old locomotives and trainsets to run a high capacity signalling system (European Railway Traffic Management System).

But, some serious earthworks, drainage and foundation works would make wonders for ride quality, not to mention a side effect of reducing wear and tear on rolling stock.  Easiest example I can think of is Camberwell Junction, which has had drainage issues for years now.

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