More trouble on the Albury line

 
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
The rot continues tonight Wednesday  25/11  both Up and  Down  Albury are  V  Bus.  It would be easier for  V/Line to just run the entire Albury service as buses, and advise us by SMS the few odd times a week  they can manage to run a train !!!

I think this may very well be called a crisis.  Do we know what the issues are this evening?
bevans
Let me guess. One light globe blew in a corner of one carriage meaning that corner was not as brightly lit as the rest of the train. Since a fully qualified electrician was not on hand to unscrew that globe and replace it with a new one, the train could not run if the interior was not brightly and fully lit, so it was cancelled and bustituted?

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  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
The rot continues tonight Wednesday  25/11  both Up and  Down  Albury are  V  Bus.  It would be easier for  V/Line to just run the entire Albury service as buses, and advise us by SMS the few odd times a week  they can manage to run a train !!!

I think this may very well be called a crisis.  Do we know what the issues are this evening?
Let me guess. One light globe blew in a corner of one carriage meaning that corner was not as brightly lit as the rest of the train. Since a fully qualified electrician was not on hand to unscrew that globe and replace it with a new one, the train could not run if the interior was not brightly and fully lit, so it was cancelled and bustituted?
Bogong
Now that is just being silly - it is readily apparent that there was a loose thread in the carpet on one of the carriages, which created an unacceptable risk of a blind passenger catching their white cane on the thread and thus tripping over. Completely understandable that the service was cancelled.

Dave
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A comment on the previous two posts, these are not being fair. VLIne managament MAY be incompetent, but the crews are not. I have found they will try to run the train if at all possible. Look at N471 the other day, with a faulty radio, the crew was quite happy to continue but the ARTC controlers said they could not run without a radio. What I have found is unless there is a serious safety issue they will try to continue.
One service was run with a faulty door inhibit switch, which means this door HAD to be checked each stop that it was closed (btw that was not the only fault on this service).

Please DO NOT RUN the crews down they are trying there hardest under an impossible situation.

woodford
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
@woodford clearly has had an irony/sense-of-humour bypass.

Dave
  woodford Chief Commissioner

@woodford clearly has had an irony/sense-of-humour bypass.

Dave
thadocta
No I have not, I am just being fair. By all means treat the situation as ridiculous as it really is but take care who the humor is directed at as whenever mud is slung SOME will ALWAYS stick, and the crews ARE trying the best to make up for the poor management.

woodford
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
@woodford clearly has had an irony/sense-of-humour bypass.

Dave
No I have not, I am just being fair. By all means treat the situation as ridiculous as it really is but take care who the humor is directed at as whenever mud is slung SOME will ALWAYS stick, and the crews ARE trying the best to make up for the poor management.

woodford
woodford
Like I said, an irony/sense-of-humour bypass. NOTHING was posted about the actual staff working the services.

Dave
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC
This morning's Up service again as a 3 car set (station staff sait the other two cars in for repairs). Passengers not in first class going to Southern Cross have been given the option to go on an express coach, however unreserved or E carriage tickets do not get the choice and are asked to go on the coach.

The consist this morning for the train is as follows.

  • Led by N464
  • Guard van PCJ491
  • First class car ACN3
  • Car D BN2
  • Car E BN19 (EDIT: Most likely BN19 as it would fit into the set SN1, meaning BDN50 and BRN53 are off the rails).
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC
The rest of todays services have been bustituted due to an "emergency services request". Any idea what the incident was/is?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Neither of the first two posts had any criticism of V/Line crews or any inference that it is crew lack of flexibility that is preventing trains with minor issues from not running .

It is VLP and  ARTC and their  Nanny State  management mentality that imposes the  "got a train sniffle, then staff MUST  bustitute ".  In the old days our very competent operational staff  including drivers were given the authority to make decisions themselves. These days all Nanny State stuff set down in manuals to cover every eventuality known to man.

If VLP were as pro active in getting on top of identifying the problems, and addressing them as they are in developing yet more and more manuals of systems and procedures then the service could probably run quite reliably .  Over 2 years  VLP has proved absolutely hopeless on getting on top of the issue, and as such outside  railway expertise should be bought in by Dan the Man to get things back on the rails .
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I understand these practices also include preventing problematic carriages to be shunted off and also the adding of carriages which was for a very long time the bastion of passenger trains.  Why cancel an entire train over a single passenger car defect?

Vline's approach to much of the service delivery is anything other than a train to leave now complete will be replaced by a bus.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The rest of todays services have been bustituted due to an "emergency services request". Any idea what the incident was/is?
Contrillion
There was a fire near the line at Euroa this afternoon:
http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/#!/incident/1547847/warning/20257759
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
These days all Nanny State stuff set down in manuals to cover every eventuality known to man.

If VLP were as pro active in getting on top of identifying the problems, and addressing them as they are in developing yet more and more manuals of systems and procedures then the service could probably run quite reliably .
kuldalai
One only has to read a lot of the Pommie Accident/Incident Reports to find that as often as not the Manual did not cover the situation or was found inadequate because some i was not dotted or t was not crossed. There is now no opportunity for common sense or experience to come into anything.

It scares me to think of how nanny (Vline or Metro for that matter) would cope in the event of a major accident/incident, but thankfully Vline does not run in too many really isolated locations.

Imagine Vline trying to run a service of seven passenger trains each way a week across the Nullarbor (where there are no busses)!
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Reference to many posts previously reported.   GSR IP, Ghan and Overland passenger cars are (or in the case of "The Overland") were running far greater weekly kilometres with far less weekly maintenance hours available than the V/Line SG fleet.   Those cars are older than the v/Line cars.   They run across track that is far more variable in quality relative to the NE Standard gauge and to hear of a train cancellation due to a defective car is an absolute rarity.   If that doesn't send a message to even the most unimformed of us that there's something definitely wrong than nothing will.

Time to talk to other maintenance providers.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Reference to many posts previously reported.   GSR IP, Ghan and Overland passenger cars are (or in the case of "The Overland") were running far greater weekly kilometres with far less weekly maintenance hours available than the V/Line SG fleet.   Those cars are older than the v/Line cars.   They run across track that is far more variable in quality relative to the NE Standard gauge and to hear of a train cancellation due to a defective car is an absolute rarity.   If that doesn't send a message to even the most unimformed of us that there's something definitely wrong than nothing will.

Time to talk to other maintenance providers.
Trainplanner
Agree.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Train Controller

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Can you tell me who would be cancelling the trains at Vline i mean drivers or conductor or someone else?
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC
Can you tell me who would be cancelling the trains at Vline i mean drivers or conductor or someone else?
NSWGR8022
At V/Line it'd be the network controllers and management. As woodford has said the on-train crew strive to run the services unless there is a serious safety issue or its simply impossible to do so.

Thanks also to Carnot for the reply. The morning down service (as well as midday up which is formed from the former) for tomorrow are cancelled now due to the same.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Contrillion is correct.  Such reports are managed via V/Lines "CARS" office and they have direct contact with maintainers etc.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the mismatch between Vline's service reliability data (95.7% last month - YEAH RIGHT!) and the percentage of services that are bustituted.

I reckon we should monitor the Vline service for bustitutions and use that to determine real reliability.  I'm serious!
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I can assure you this is no laughing matter in Albury we are sick and tired of it. Many now drive to Seymour and train from there.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Of course if Vline was a real company, the manager(s) responsible for the endemic screw ups would be sacked as soon as the problems got severe.

But because it is a bureaucracy (unconvincingly pretending to be a company), nothing has happened for years since the endemic nature of the problems become apparent. Eventually (possibly in a few more years?) the bureaucrats responsible will be promoted out of the position, so they can stuff up elsewhere on an even higher salary.

Personally if I was an adviser to the transport minister, I would suggest she demands their heads on a plate. Sack them without compensation, do not promote them, do not pass go, do not collect $200,000 (or probably more).

*Rant ends. I feel better now.*
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The latest performance results for VLP show that the target 96 % of services to run as trains is usually achieved , except for Albury which would be more like 96 % run by V Bus.

With timekeeping  92 %  Inter urban to arrive within 6 minutes, and  Intercity within 11 minutes virtually all corridors failed to achieve target in October.  VLP blames verything including the phase of the moon, but not its failure to manage the railway operation on a day to day basis.  Things are just left to happen, they are not pro actively managed .
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Benalla, VIC
Today's service disruptions (at least those on midday services and later) were due to a person hit by today's midday Up Pass at Benalla.

  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The latest performance results for VLP show that the target 96 % of services to run as trains is usually achieved , except for Albury which would be more like 96 % run by V Bus.

With timekeeping  92 %  Inter urban to arrive within 6 minutes, and  Intercity within 11 minutes virtually all corridors failed to achieve target in October.  VLP blames verything including the phase of the moon, but not its failure to manage the railway operation on a day to day basis.  Things are just left to happen, they are not pro actively managed .
kuldalai
Do they only count the arrival time at final destination or is it time through each station en route? The 17.31 Down Epsom which I catch a couple of times a week is invariably 10 mins + late through Sunbury due to congestion and then tries to make up time from there. By the time I alight at Castlemaine it is normally pretty close to timetable but Gisborne, Woodend and Kyneton are all arrived at with varying degrees of lateness.

BG
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The latest performance results for VLP show that the target 96 % of services to run as trains is usually achieved , except for Albury which would be more like 96 % run by V Bus.

With timekeeping  92 %  Inter urban to arrive within 6 minutes, and  Intercity within 11 minutes virtually all corridors failed to achieve target in October.  VLP blames verything including the phase of the moon, but not its failure to manage the railway operation on a day to day basis.  Things are just left to happen, they are not pro actively managed .
Do they only count the arrival time at final destination or is it time through each station en route? The 17.31 Down Epsom which I catch a couple of times a week is invariably 10 mins + late through Sunbury due to congestion and then tries to make up time from there. By the time I alight at Castlemaine it is normally pretty close to timetable but Gisborne, Woodend and Kyneton are all arrived at with varying degrees of lateness.

BG
BrentonGolding
The schedule of the 1731 Dn Epsom will be drawn up on the basis of achievable sectional running times between stations, plus dwell time at station stops, plus allowance for pathing * within the Metro area, plus a recovery margin into Bendigo # , plus any pathing requirements involved in crossing opposing trains at crossing loops beyond Kyneton . Also a ridiculous 5 minutes is required at Bendigo on the Down to obtain a train order . (when Bendigo - Eaglehawk  & Bendigo / Epsom should be within the territory controlled by Bendigo Line CTC.)

*  Allowance for pathing based on if the running time say  Diggers Rest to Sunbury is 5 minutes, but the VLP train will be checked by a preceding Metro train then the VLP schedule will have several minutes added in to allow for the imperfect VLP path .  #  Margin on Inter urban services is typically 3 - 5 minutes to allow for wheelchair pax, temporary speed restrictions etc .  The  OT performance for Inter urban services is measured at the terminal station in that if the train arrives within 5 minutes and 59 seconds the train is claimed to be ON TIME  !!!!

Notes:  1.  VLP incorrectly report this as arriving within 5 minutes of schedule, when it is really within 6 minutes of schedule.
          2.  No European railway would allow more than 2 - 3 minutes recovery margin, in the schedule; and ON TIME there is
               reported as compared to schedule, and there is none of this within 5 - 6 minutes nonsense as practised here.
               Victorian practices do not encourage on time running as a priority, and in fact make it more diffuclt to achieve
               good timekeeping .
          3. VLP attach low priority to addressing track faults that cause speed rsetrictions, often taking six months plus to fix.
              Like most things with VLP there is no urgency  (e;g: new bogie frames for Z cars -  "Blues Hills #2" by Gwyn
              Meredith .  
          4. Padding schedules with excessive recovery margins especially on single lines, will inevitably make services more
              un reliable.
          5. VLP is not pro active enough in identifying potential track faults as they develop, and just let them develop into
              major track faults that then require the imposition of Speed Restrictions .
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There are also problems in the V/line literacy area or are things so bad they intend buying their own buses?



From the V/Line website today.

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