V/Line trains pulled from tracks due to safety concerns

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 16 Jan 2016 13:06
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
And if we haven't noticed,  these TLAs belong on boarding passes,  not train stations. This persists unless it is shot down for the rubbish it is in the context of the discussion. It has no place here IMHO .

That side tracking aside,  fix the train issue.
How does this happen in 2016 anyway? ??


Regards

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  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Time and time again, the word goes out on these very pages - not all of us know these abbreviations.
The purpose of language is to communicate - please spell out what you're talking about so that those of us who do not have the superior model brain may understand WTF you're on about.
Valvegear

Except that 'WTF' is also an abbreviation that not everyone necessarily knows...
  historian Deputy Commissioner

A few decades ago some idiots in the then VicRail or VR after the first Board was appointed decided that it wasn't good enough to have people who started at the bottom in the railway business like Sir Harold Clapp did (but what would he know)...it was important to move the railway into an economic business model where economists and bean counters were the way of the future and first hand experience by railwaymen of many years was either considered redundant OR if the railwayman made a life career of his rail profession, he was considered to be quaint and narrow minded.
The Vinelander

Hmmm. Harold Clapp, who started his working life with an engineering apprenticeship at Austral Otis. Then went into management at the Brisbane Tramways - a company associated with his father. Then moved to become an engineer/manager at the massive electrical engineering company GEC in the US. Then moved, as a senior engineer/manager, into US rapid transit, and then into electrification of railroads. Finally he moved into senior management in US railroads and the VR, before becoming head of a munitions manufacturing organisation (specifically planes). Finally he was responsible for co-ordinating land transport during the war.

Clapp is actually a brilliant example of a successful senior manager from outside the rail industry.

The change in the VR after the board was appointed in the mid '70s was the result of a specific and conscious decision of the Bolte and Hammer governments to change the culture of the railways. The board was the result of specific recommendation of the Bland report for the top management NOT to be dominated by career railwaymen. The first real chairman had spent his career as an engineer/manager in GM/GMH. The board then proceeded to remake the railways. The subsequent changes were not the choice of the VR.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

A good summary Historian, but a couple of things to note; Clapp worked for GE (American industrial giant) not GEC (British company consumed by Alstom) and Clapp was out of his depth as General Manager, Aircraft Construction Branch which is why he was shunted to Land Transport. For an excellent and dispassionate overview of Clapp/Shea and the war effort I can recommend "Armed and Ready" by A.T. Ross.

TW
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Except that 'WTF' is also an abbreviation that not everyone necessarily knows...
The Vinelander
Yippee! . . . I hooked a live one. I was certain that somebody wouldn't be able to resist.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A woodford opinion piece, you have been warned....................


May I make a point, sharp curves, level crossing warning systems both track DC and AC track circuit, Vlocity's and Sprinters have been with us for some time, WHY HAS THIS NOW just become an issue.

The curve over the flyover measures as 140mete radius, the sharpest mainline curve is 120m radius just north of Clifton Hill on the South Morang line. This curve has been there for over 100 years apparently without causing any major concern.

The same goes for level crossings, Vlocity's have been with us since late December 2005, why is there an issue only become apparent recently.

The most likely answer to both of these is cuts in budgets, a good portion of the population including most polititicians think that maintence is just another way they can be "screwed" for money. This is simply NOT THE CASE. Any technicqal system HAS to be maintained. If this does not occur problems DEFINITELY will arise.

In recent years all governments in Australia have been some what hamstrung by the population's wish for low tax rates. I have said this before and I will say it again low tax rates and poor services IS THE WAY IT WORKS.

End woodford opinion piece, you have been warned....................

woodford
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Except that 'WTF' is also an abbreviation that not everyone necessarily knows...

Yippee! . . . I hooked a live one. I was certain that somebody wouldn't be able to resist.
Valvegear
" OMG " , Valvegear, don't stir the natives !   Laughing

BigShunter.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

A woodford opinion piece, you have been warned....................


May I make a point, sharp curves, level crossing warning systems both track DC and AC track circuit, Vlocity's and Sprinters have been with us for some time, WHY HAS THIS NOW just become an issue.

The curve over the flyover measures as 140mete radius, the sharpest mainline curve is 120m radius just north of Clifton Hill on the South Morang line. This curve has been there for over 100 years apparently without causing any major concern.

The same goes for level crossings, Vlocity's have been with us since late December 2005, why is there an issue only become apparent recently.

The most likely answer to both of these is cuts in budgets, a good portion of the population including most polititicians think that maintence is just another way they can be "screwed" for money. This is simply NOT THE CASE. Any technicqal system HAS to be maintained. If this does not occur problems DEFINITELY will arise.

In recent years all governments in Australia have been some what hamstrung by the population's wish for low tax rates. I have said this before and I will say it again low tax rates and poor services IS THE WAY IT WORKS.

End woodford opinion piece, you have been warned....................

woodford
woodford
The curve on the Clifton hill (which is lubricated) would not likely ever see a vehicle akin to a Velocity.   The rolling stock for the two curves highlighted are set up very different.   The yaw stiffness on the high speed Vlocity would not take to a curve as well as the relatively undamped set up on a suburban car.  None the less I would be surprise if one bad-acting curve would cause such wide spread issues on the Vline network.    The step change in where, if true however, is interesting but none the less may be coincidental with the RFR line opening too. Potential changes could be just as much in the wheel materials (change of supplier), bogie set up, wheel profile(rail profile compatibility) alignment of wheel change outs timing, etc.  We will no doubt find out in time.

I agree with what you say about being screwed for money.  The trade off is performance and risk.  We are consistently seeing the results of the risk issues coming to the top, issues such as:

- Morwell River Culvert failures - twice!
- The NE performance and level of train replacements
- Bogie cracking and time taken for replacements

I'm sure the contributors to this page could expand the list.  What else is out there ready to bite.  Or are we waiting for the next Longford disaster?

The $20 question is where is the money going to?  I feel as a Victorian tax payer we have a high cost and low performing asset and have every right to express dissatisfaction.  Throwing more money at it is no necessarily the solution as it may do nothing but condone bad behaviours too.
  Carnot Minister for Railways


I agree with what you say about being screwed for money.  The trade off is performance and risk.  We are consistently seeing the results of the risk issues coming to the top, issues such as:

- Morwell River Culvert failures - twice!
- The NE performance and level of train replacements
- Bogie cracking and time taken for replacements

I'm sure the contributors to this page could expand the list.  What else is out there ready to bite.  Or are we waiting for the next Longford disaster?

The $20 question is where is the money going to?  I feel as a Victorian tax payer we have a high cost and low performing asset and have every right to express dissatisfaction.  Throwing more money at it is no necessarily the solution as it may do nothing but condone bad behaviours too.
skitz
Yep.  Here's another one - the derailment at Pyramid Hill in 2013.  By pure luck a PN grainy instead of the morning Up train from Swan Hill went off the rails.....
https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications/investigation_reports/2013/rair/ro-2013-010.aspx

  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Woodford's point is well made ( as it usually is). Rail has to be paid for.
But, and yes, I have said it before, we have millions of taxpayer dollars available for the Tennis Centre, Grand Prix, Fireworks at every available occasion, overseas jaunts for MP's, subsidies to private operators, and the list goes on.
Rail is the low man on the totem pole.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia

Rail is the low man on the totem pole.
Valvegear

I tend to agree however @Valvegear we are now at a public tipping point over rail.  What we now have doesn't work to the public's satisfaction, there are no tested plans to fix the issues on a timely basis and there is no real network planning or confidence in what is planned by the public.

There is also an issue with accountability at the head of Vline and also DOT.  The problems are not going away they are becoming worse.

This can and will become a nightmare for Andrews I can assure you.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

woodford replies to a couple of points.............

skitz said............

"The $20 question is where is the money going to?  I feel as a Victorian tax payer we have a high cost and low performing asset and have every right to express dissatisfaction.  Throwing more money at it is no necessarily the solution as it may do nothing but condone bad behaviours too."

The problem here is the data for the funding is being presented in a fashion thats open to serious miss interpretation this makes
it difficult to actually no what is going on and one cannot rely on replies from any opposition being political or journalist as sadly both
are open to seriously not telling the truth.


Bevans said...............

"There is also an issue with accountability at the head of Vline and also DOT.  The problems are not going away they are becoming worse.

This can and will become a nightmare for Andrews I can assure you."



Andrews is going to have make some heads roll, the fact that there is no sign of this is not good news for anyone, particularly rail users.

Politicians wonder why most of the electorate think they are stupid, I mean are the REALLY that far out of touch. Does not the Labor party see the damage all this is causing.

A woodford opiinion piece, you have been warned.

woodford
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some additional insight.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/the-vline-wheel-disaster-an-insiders-view
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some additional insight.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/the-vline-wheel-disaster-an-insiders-view
bevans
One needs to see the original article, the links is at the bottom.


My what some interesting photos, this surely reinforces the point they spending little on maintence. The flange wear is way excessive, the photos showing two flanges with only around 15% of the meet left. If there all like that thats absolutely asking for trouble. 160kph on a vehicle with almost no flange.......... YOU MUST BE KIDDING............ words fail me.....................

Its very likely we are lucky not to have had a serious accident.

Such major penny pinching is nothing new, check out the DC2 Kyeema accident, a completely avoidable crash because the government of the day would not pay to hire a suitable aircraft to test some newly installed but no commisoned navigation aids.

Note: some good may come of this, its clearly shaken up both VLine and the governement.

Who the hell would want to be in a position of power?

woodford
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Some additional insight.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/the-vline-wheel-disaster-an-insiders-view
bevans

Interesting article...

Whilst travelling over the suspect section of track on the downside of the North Melbourne flyover last night at reduced speed, it's obvious by the low vibration through the cars as the train traverses to 40KPH curves that something is amiss.

I feel the wheels are rubbing so hard on the clearly and plain to see polished, inside of the rails that they are beyond the screeching sound that comes from a flanged wheel traversing a curve aka, the squeal of trams turning at the top of Bourke St etc.

Its difficult to see though if there are iron filings in a similar vein the the pic in this story, though no doubt the 'experts' have already determined if this is the case.
To the layperson, rail greasers seem to be the logical solution, however the article says rail greasers are not welcome in Victoria, though there are plenty of them about the system.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

ARA (American Railroad Asoc) for flange thickness, states the minumum depth of the flange from tthe top of the radius from the tread to the back of theflange should NOT be less than 1/2 an inch (12.7mm). This is roughly half the depth of the original flange. These VLocity flanges are worn way past that,are VLine playing with our lives?

woodford
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some additional insight.

https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/the-vline-wheel-disaster-an-insiders-view

Interesting article...

The Vinelander

One wonders if Mike the comment on Vline not wanting rail greasing equipment might be right?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A woodford opiinion piece, you have been warned.

woodford
woodford
Keep up the good work Woodford, lovin' it as usual!

BG
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A woodford opiinion piece, you have been warned.

woodford
Keep up the good work Woodford, lovin' it as usual!

BG
BrentonGolding
I think I am being a bit excessive on the flange thickness issue, doubtlessly they picked the worst worn flanges for the images. But letting any parts wear that much past the limits MUST be unacceptable.
It does show though there are some people out there willing to take on the management and hold them accountable.

I like to give everyone a fair hearing and do not wish to sling off at people that cannot answer back but this is well past reasonable bahaviour. Doubtlessy the financial people in the defense ministry on the Kyeema DC2 crash did not think they were killing anyone, but in the end there decisions did result in 18 deaths.

woodford
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
More pics here
https://mtmmemes.wordpress.com
A very serious situation allowed to develop.
  doyle Assistant Commissioner

Looking at those pictures is quite frightening no trains for me or my family back in the car for now....

Go Woodford go

Doyle
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Some more info on the political machinations behind the level crossing drama:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/boom-gate-safety-issues-with-victorian-trains-existed-for-years/7100160
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Some more info on the political machinations behind the level crossing drama:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/boom-gate-safety-issues-with-victorian-trains-existed-for-years/7100160
Carnot
But what has the level crossing issue to do with the flange and rail wear problem? What is causing the rail and flange wear problem? Excessive bogie hunting, wheels pressed onto the axle out of gauge or rail out of gauge or a combo of all 3. That is what you get using a weird gauge no one uses any more.
  Carnot Minister for Railways
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Some more info on the political machinations behind the level crossing drama:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-01-20/boom-gate-safety-issues-with-victorian-trains-existed-for-years/7100160
But what has the level crossing issue to do with the flange and rail wear problem? What is causing the rail and flange wear problem? Excessive bogie hunting, wheels pressed onto the axle out of gauge or rail out of gauge or a combo of all 3. That is what you get using a weird gauge no one uses any more.
nswtrains
Thinking about it and discussing with a few colleagues, it would be a number of things that have combined to catch them out.

The root cause is lubrication, or lack of, to have such wear. The bit to figure out is what happened to the lubrication. The hot topic of attention is the tight curves on the North Melbourne fly over. The curves there are tight and are not lubricated when they need to be. However, the opening of the new Regional Fast Rail (RFR) metro bypass for the Geelong traffic is also a step change. This is important.

The trains originally going via Newport would have seen the wheels sets of the Geelong traffic pick up lubrication on the Metro system through places such as Newport. This would also apply to Ballarat and Bendigo trains operating through Footscray, Sunshine, Albion etc. There would be some carry of lubrication. Enough to do the job on curves a long distance away with the flanges maintaining a cover of grease. The distribution of grease on the Metro system must also be understood that most their lubrication is on the eastern side of the city. The grease is distributed across the system via the electric trains and that in turn is picked up by the VLine trains.

The opening of the RFR would have seen a large % of V/line traffic removed from Metro tracks and with that the lubrication they would be getting would effectively cease for all trains servicing the west of Victoria.

I will also throw in a potentially contributing issue at the North Melbourne fly over where trains frequently have potential to travel under the equilibrium speed of the curves due to signals. This is a bit complicated to explain here but the result is high flange pressures due to the loss of steering characteristics. These high pressures are high enough to exceed the film capacity of the grease – ie remove what grease is present. The wear at that location is horrendous. It can also set up wear/damage for areas seemingly not related. Taking off what grease was present would mean the damage will be contributed at any tight radius curve on the system. For example I would expect wear on the curves at Geelong too that otherwise have behaved up until the change in traffic.

The solution in simple terms is to re-establish the opportunity to have the curves lubricated. I would also study the track set up at North Melbourne to determine exactly what is going on with the train speeds and adjust the superelevation accordingly.
Also, don’t discount issues with the wheel materials and maintenance practices. The change is traffic may also have changed the throughput for the workshops and wheel maintenance. They could also be caught out with the frequency and volume of servicing exceeding their capacity and having to deal with a back log. They could have change wheel suppliers and they are not lasting as long.

Also flange worn wheels are usually thrown in the bin as they wont take a wheel turn.  Soon quickly eats into available stock.

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