What's going on with the Stony Point Line?

 
  712M Chief Commissioner

Metro website has been advising that there are planned works taking place between 1/12/15 and 31/1/15 with a temporary timetable in place. Note that they didn't even bother to advertise where the replacement bus stops are or how long journey times are expected to extend.

A modified timetable is temporarily in place on the Stony Point line, with buses replacing trains on the following weekday services:
5:41am Stony Point to Frankston
11:04am Stony Point to Frankston
6:35pm Frankston to Stony Point



What works are going on that prevents these three trains running on weekdays? I understand that there was previously a problem with running single Sprinters on the line due to millipedes. Has this restriction been put back into place?

On the topic on bus replacements, I believe that it is really time to introduce a bus running along the line full-time to compliment trains to provide a more frequent service. The current single line situation prevents more than one train running along the entire line at one time. Even if a passing loop was provided, there is currently no spare V/Line rollingstock to allocate to Stony Point.

Running both buses and trains means you could provide a 45 minute service during peak hour and hourly off-peak and on the weekends. The line also needs a full-time service from 6am to midnight instead of the last train (currently a bus) leaving Frankston at 6:35pm. Perhaps a handful of off-peak services could extend to Southern Cross seeing as they need to travel there anyway to swap over the Sprinters.

While the patronage on the line is currently not high, a major factor in this is the abysmal service frequency. Looking at the RFR lines, if you provide a decent amount of services then people might actually use it.

Your thoughts?

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  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
The RFR experience proves just that. If you offer a decent and frequent service you will attract passengers.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Does the suspension of services also include the bhp steel trains ?
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

My thoughts, it is widely publicised that there are issues with a running services with a single Sprinter on this line, due to problems  when just a single unit approaches level crossings. (activating the bells and barriers too late) This has been the case for several month. As for the date of 31./1 to 1/2/15 this has also been widely published as  general maintenance on the line is has got nothing to do with frequecy or patronaage.

As for the running of the Steelie, business as usual, during the shutdown, who knows..................
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
As for the running of the Steelie, business as usual, during the shutdown, who knows..................
trainbrain
Given that it is once a day in each direction, it would be fairly straightforward to work around it. A lot of trackwork goes on in NSW with through running of trains, it is only frequent passenger trains suspended.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
The Stony Point line already has a frequent bus service running at least hourly. This takes about twice as long as the train as it loops about the towns a bit and stops in the countryside as well.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Is that a coach or a route bus? Because for the former it's frequent, but for the latter it's pretty poor.
  Westernport Assistant Commissioner

Location: Not In Service
The temporary timetable kicked in on the Stony Point line about a day or two after the collision between a VLocity and a Metro train at Galvin.

V/Line is short two 2VL sets, and the two-car Sprinter that would usually run the Stony Point shuttle has been reallocated to V/Line services.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
While the patronage on the line is currently not high, a major factor in this is the abysmal service frequency. Looking at the RFR lines, if you provide a decent amount of services then people might actually use it.
712M
That's true, but the Stony Point line is hardly an RFR destination.  Reasonable usage depends on two things:  a suitable population base, and a willingness to use the service.  Case in point:  a friend of mine lives in Somerville and works in the City.  "Do you use the train?", I asked once, and the reply was "No, because it takes too long and is inconvenient.  It's much quicker, and more convenient and comfortable, to drive to work."  Increasing the service frequency to Frankston would probably not change that kind of attitude - and then you would have the spark service to contend with anyway.

Why does Metro persist with this line?  Are they under some kind of obligation?  Surely it would be better all round if the passenger "service" was replaced by an efficient, frequent and reliable bus service operating to/from Frankston?
  X'Trapolis-904M Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I am surprised that MTM has not used B80 etc to use services
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
That's a loco for infrastructure trains, mate. What would they drag behind it?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
That's a loco for infrastructure trains, mate. What would they drag behind it?
LancedDendrite
The MTH cars?
  X'Trapolis-904M Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
The MTH cars?
railblogger
Yea, maybe some BTN too
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
VLP is starved of rollingstock, to the extent that they're relocating the Sprinters used for the Stony Point service. What makes you think that they'd release either of the two MTHs they have left, or indeed the BTNs?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
B80 is over 60 years old, it's usefull as a works and infrastrucutre loco, running the odd ballast/ spoil trains, but its days running regular passenger services are well and truley over.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
The Stony Point service continues to be operated by two Sprinter units.  The bus replacement is, as I understand it, in use because of "restrictions" regarding the splitting and re-coupling of the units.  I have also heard unconfirmed versions from some passengers that a single car becomes so overcrowded that passengers are left behind which then requires a bus to be brought in .....

The regular 782 / 783 bus is pedestrian.  Rail replacement buses take the authorised route calling only at station bus stops (the blue Rail Replacement flags) and while they don't match the train times they do beat the 782 by some margin.

The Long Island steel trains continue to run as normal.

The only other significant interruption of late has been due to the major grass fire in Hastings which closed the line for many hours.
  X'Trapolis-904M Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
VLP is starved of rollingstock, to the extent that they're relocating the Sprinters used for the Stony Point service. What makes you think that they'd release either of the two MTHs they have left, or indeed the BTNs?
LancedDendrite
Well they can just order some more X'tramps or Vlo's
  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
The Stony Point line already has a frequent bus service running at least hourly. This takes about twice as long as the train as it loops about the towns a bit and stops in the countryside as well.
Rodo

Would it make sense to add further services on rail rather than rely on the bus?
  Henry Herby

Location: Victoria
Well they can just order some more X'tramps or Vlo's
X'Trapolis-904M


Because that won't take several months and millions of dollars............. Not that easy just 'ordering more'.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Well they can just order some more X'tramps or Vlo's
X'Trapolis-904M
X'traps (and other EMUs) are irrelevant.

Would it make sense to add further services on rail rather than rely on the bus?
8077
The problem seems to be train reliability, not bus reliability. Better to electrify to Baxter and replace the Stony Point train with a quality frequent bus service like a SmartBus route. It's not like the Stony Point service is run from the city, either - it's a shuttle!

I'm not seeing a good reason to continue the service - MTM would probably drop it in a heartbeat if they didn't have it written into the franchise contract.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
X'traps (and other EMUs) are irrelevant.

The problem seems to be train reliability, not bus reliability. Better to electrify to Baxter and replace the Stony Point train with a quality frequent bus service like a SmartBus route. It's not like the Stony Point service is run from the city, either - it's a shuttle!

I'm not seeing a good reason to continue the service - MTM would probably drop it in a heartbeat if they didn't have it written into the franchise contract.
LancedDendrite
Errrrr - no.

That would be like terminating trains at Wickham and asking passengers to use buses to get to Newcastle.  Sore point?  So it is with Stony Point rail users.

The majority of all users travel to and from Frankston.  A minority changes and goes on to or towards the City and a smaller minority makes purely local rail journeys.  Introducing a change of mode will lengthen journey times and make the service less attractive.  Local residents (of whom I am one) want a direct train service to and from Frankston.

If the spark stabling facility at Baxter goes ahead then a second running line will be needed south from Frankston or some very creative timetabling on the single track.  

In order to provide more train services a crossing loop will be needed as well as a second train set.  That is not available.  A loop and signalling alterations will cost substantial suns of money but I believe would be a sound investment for the future as Westernport continues to grow.  A 2-hourly headway (or thereabouts) will not suffice for much longer.

Longer trains cannot be used at present.  No rolling stock is available.  Platforms at Leawarra, Baxter, Tyabb and Morradoo would require lengthening.  There arrangements at Frankston only permit a 2-car train within the signalling.  An independent third platform could be provided but again at very significant cost.  Currently Stony Point trains share the 8-car long platform 2 with City sparks.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
VLP is starved of rollingstock, to the extent that they're relocating the Sprinters used for the Stony Point service. What makes you think that they'd release either of the two MTHs they have left, or indeed the BTNs?
LancedDendrite
MTH cars are owned by Metro if I'm not mistaken, not V/Line, and are currently in storage.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The idea of diesel rollingstock on the stony line is 20 years out of date.

Electrify the line and let metro use existing rollingstock.

Forget vline diesel rail cars.
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

The Stony Point Line is actually a V/Line service even though it appears in the Metro MTP, from what I believe the drivers are V/Line qualified railmotor drivers, patronage is quite often at above capaciity, and the running of single sprinter is bannned until further notice.   nothing more nothing less................
  Henry Herby

Location: Victoria
The Stony Point Line is actually a V/Line service even though it appears in the Metro MTP, from what I believe the drivers are V/Line qualified railmotor drivers, patronage is quite often at above capaciity, and the running of single sprinter is bannned until further notice.   nothing more nothing less................
trainbrain


It's an MTM (Metro Trains Melbourne) service using a hired V/line Sprinter although now it has to be 2 because of the ban. Generally the 2nd one is locked off as its empty most of the time. Some services both are used (generally peak).

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