Thousands of rail faults force Metro to find a new way to manage failures

 
  chomper Junior Train Controller

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/thousands-of-rail-faults-force-metro-to-find-a-new-way-to-manage-failures-20160522-gp0y7c.html

For those that work either as Metro employees or within PTV, is the infrastructure in as bad a state as claimed?

Sponsored advertisement

  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Billions spent on maintenance and what to show ? Where is all the money going ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Billions spent on maintenance and what to show ? Where is all the money going ?
freightgate

Hmm...shareholders back in Honkers perhaps Question
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Down the drain?
A fair slice will be going on overheads and profits for the multitude of contractors, sub-contractors, bureaucrats and consultants etc, (plus Metro itself, of course) few of which were necessary when maintenance and engineering were done in house prior to privatisation.
There are overheads on top of overheads
  chomper Junior Train Controller

So they've fine tuned the art of gold-plating anything rail related...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Nothing will be done until there is a Granville in Victoria.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

For starters they could upgrade an area where the track is actually a problem, rather than upgrading a section which had no issues. There appears to be no priority to what gets fixed first.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Billions spent on maintenance and what to show ? Where is all the money going ?
freightgate
It reminds me of 1999 and the so-called "Y2K Bug".  Millions spent on fixing legacy systems and making them date compliant, and then nothing happened?  Where did that money go?

For all Metro's faults, quite possibly there have been a few less incidents over the years than otherwise might have been?
  I'm Barely Online Locomotive Fireman

Nothing will be done until there is a Granville in Victoria.
YM-Mundrabilla

That'll be the case anywhere around Australia right now
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Just for the heck of it I counted the defective platform lights at 8 consecutive stations on the Craigieburn line tonight. These exclude the defective lights in station car parks.

On the UP platforms alone at the eight stations there were at least 30 defective platform lights. These must be a safety issue for drivers to see passengers before closing doors and moving the train.

I don't know if drivers report these defects but when I asked the PSOs on duty whether they reported the six or seven defective lights on one platform at their station they just laughed 'yes - waste of time'.
  Gavin J Junior Train Controller

Location: Stawell
Ahhh, bringing back memories of the 'good old days' when I was a Spark driver !

In regards to platform lights being out.....

Back about 2003, there were 2 lights out at the back of West Richmonds Up platform,
which like you said, did hinder the viewing of the train on the moniters.
I complied with required regulations and also reported the defective lights...
days later, I did the same thing....still not fixed.

On my 3rd attempt, Metrol got cranky and said he could not report them, unless
he had the pole  numbers !

Next trip, I stopped opposite the defective lights, and wrote down the numbers
and reported them again...still not fixed.

Days later, a Manager was travelling with me, and I pointed out the defective lights.
He checked next day, and Metrol had not bothered to report any of my reports to the Fault Centre.
3 nights in a row, he joked, "they haven't fixed your lights yet, Gavin"
until even he was jack of it, and told the head of Train Services, who got them fixed.

Another time, was when they were doing work at old Spencer St Plat 10, preparing it
to become 'Southern Cross'.

They forgot to turn on the lighting at the east end.....that also took about 2 weeks to be fixed.

Then, back in the early 90s when the Upfield line had mainly semaphore signals with kerosene lighting
half the lights didn't work in the signals, you would tell the signalman/gatekeeper, tell Metrol
put in report to your Manager, put a report in to the Union...all to no avail.

A trick the Train Controllers would play on me, was to not answer my radio call ! believe it or not.
The logic being, "if we don't answer him, we can't take his complaint"

One night running an Upfield, Metrol refused to answer my calls on the Down journey, trying to report
defective signal lights, and refused to answer them on the Up as well.
I 'cracked it' by Moreland, and went up to the signal box to talk to Metrol on the landline
to report the defective signal lights and also to report the radio system didn't seem to be working.

Whilst I hate Metro's guts..., to be fair, working with The Met, Hillside or Connex  all were just as bad with their
attitude to not fixing things, although Metro was a bit worse.....one reason I got out.

Ahhh, so many stories to tell.....not enough time ?
Gavin in wet Stawell
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
That's Gold.

On their point,  it's probably a case of a) selection and maintenance of the illusion,  or b) if we ignore you then you're not really there.
If they were really good,  they'd have resorted to the Men in Black bling sticks to respond to customer / employee perceptions.
At the very worst, some poor bugger has tried his darndest to do what needed doing,  and probably your requests, but hasn't been given or has emptied the maintenance budget with which to comply??

Regards
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ahhh, bringing back memories of the 'good old days' when I was a Spark driver !

In regards to platform lights being out.....

Back about 2003, there were 2 lights out at the back of West Richmonds Up platform,
which like you said, did hinder the viewing of the train on the moniters.
I complied with required regulations and also reported the defective lights...
days later, I did the same thing....still not fixed.

On my 3rd attempt, Metrol got cranky and said he could not report them, unless
he had the pole  numbers !

Next trip, I stopped opposite the defective lights, and wrote down the numbers
and reported them again...still not fixed.

Days later, a Manager was travelling with me, and I pointed out the defective lights.
He checked next day, and Metrol had not bothered to report any of my reports to the Fault Centre.
3 nights in a row, he joked, "they haven't fixed your lights yet, Gavin"
until even he was jack of it, and told the head of Train Services, who got them fixed.

Another time, was when they were doing work at old Spencer St Plat 10, preparing it
to become 'Southern Cross'.

They forgot to turn on the lighting at the east end.....that also took about 2 weeks to be fixed.

Then, back in the early 90s when the Upfield line had mainly semaphore signals with kerosene lighting
half the lights didn't work in the signals, you would tell the signalman/gatekeeper, tell Metrol
put in report to your Manager, put a report in to the Union...all to no avail.

A trick the Train Controllers would play on me, was to not answer my radio call ! believe it or not.
The logic being, "if we don't answer him, we can't take his complaint"

One night running an Upfield, Metrol refused to answer my calls on the Down journey, trying to report
defective signal lights, and refused to answer them on the Up as well.
I 'cracked it' by Moreland, and went up to the signal box to talk to Metrol on the landline
to report the defective signal lights and also to report the radio system didn't seem to be working.

Whilst I hate Metro's guts..., to be fair, working with The Met, Hillside or Connex  all were just as bad with their
attitude to not fixing things, although Metro was a bit worse.....one reason I got out.

Ahhh, so many stories to tell.....not enough time ?
Gavin in wet Stawell
Gavin J
Time and time again we ask 'where is the Rail Safety Regulator' in all of this  ?????
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
There have been a number of threads on the state of the infrastructure of the Melbourne Network.   The reality is there has been under investment in what I would call deep renewal and rehabilitation for decades.   Certainly you can say 60 years.   Yes there have been projects like the Loop that have added capacity, and upgraded some parts of the network etc but the overall network has not been deeply rehabilitated.   Putting aside Metro or any other operator's current or previous "profit taking", the reality is there has been no sustained program developed and driven by the Government’s agencies in their own right.

I frequently cite the Sydney and wider interurban network as a benchmark of what deep renewal and rehabilitation is all about.   It is tragic that Granville was a huge catalyst but the point really is the renewals and rehabilitation program in Sydney has been unrelenting for well over 35 years.   When track is upgraded there, it is effectively rebuilt, deep drainage and formation rehabilitation, lots of ballast cleaning and new ballast, closely spaced, full depth concrete sleepers and new 60kg/m rail combined with ongoing, grinding etc.   The overhead wire structures etc are all heavy duty beams etc, signal cabling is all placed in well maintained trunking, the stations and footbridges etc are regularly maintained and upgraded with lifts and escalators.   The railway reserve is fenced and the reserve maintained for vegetation clearance, graffiti etc..   This is obviously done at enormous cost.

That's the real challenge that confronts the Government in Victoria.   Trying to manage rapid patronage growth on a legacy railway that hasn't had the attention given to it like Sydney and what programs have been undertaken like concrete resleepering have been appalling done because there is such a maintenance deficit that the programs are stretched thin.

To be fair where major new works have been undertaken they have been done so to a much higher standard.   That's why even with the quite aggressive campaign the present Government is undertaking it still can't fully address a multitude of deficiencies in just three or 4 years.

It also is not clear if the agency charged to oversee asset renewals is resourced to provide the strong direction and develop the business cases needed to seek significant funding to initiate a rolling program of major rehabilitation.   Regrettably at a political level you don’t get the “wow” factor of a major maintenance and renewal program in the same way as you do a new station or fleet of new trains.    Major projects like Melbourne Metro are still going to have very significant interfaces with the existing legacy infrastructure.   Not thoroughly rehabilitating it will in a number of respects compromise the performance of both the new Metro and the new generation train fleets that will operate over it.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ridiculous, I know, but:

Give the PSOs a bag full of light globes and a ladder and they can fix platform lights in between rescuing the passengers from thugs.

Sorry - there would need to be a 4 years electrical apprenticeship, working at height training, a mobile cherry picker, sixteen witches hats, three traffic controllers with lollipop signs, total occupation of the section and a mile of plastic 'keep out' tape.

Gone are the days when the Station Assistant took the office stool and a few light globes and set off down the platform. This, I admit, was less than safe but there has to be a happy medium somewhere in between then and now.  Twisted Evil

There is no substitute for the safety of those fixing the lights but the safety of passengers boarding trains in dark sections of platform is also an important consideration. Two blokes, a bag of light globes (of the multitude of non-standard types required) and a ladder should be able to do an entire line in a night or three.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Time and time again we ask 'where is the Rail Safety Regulator' in all of this  ?????
YM-Mundrabilla
Is there really such a person or Office?????

Edit: Question without notice - why is it that, every time I quote, as above, and type a reply, the font size automatically reduces?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Time and time again we ask 'where is the Rail Safety Regulator' in all of this  ?????
Is there really such a person or Office?????

Edit: Question without notice - why is it that, every time I quote, as above, and type a reply, the font size automatically reduces?
Valvegear
I believe that there is/was such an office known as 'Chief Investigator, Transport Safety, Victoria' but I defy you to find out who it is!

Apparently the National Regulator now has considerable powers over rail safety in Victoria but what he does or how he functions in relation to Victoria is unclear to me.
  1771D Junior Train Controller

He?! He?!  YM, you'll be shot by the PC police for being sexist!!!!! Laughing
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
He?! He?!  YM, you'll be shot by the PC police for being sexist!!!!! Laughing
1771D
How was I to know that it might be a 'nuclear lesbian lawyer bean counting whale'?
I don't even know it exists!!!Smile
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
What pronoun are you supposed to use, when referring to an official of unknown gender?  "They" or "them", although gender neutral, are in the plural and not correct for one person.  It's a deficiency of the language, there is no gender neutral singular pronoun.  The old VR General Regulations settled the problem thus:  "The terms "he", "his" and "him" shall be deemed to refer to either a male or a female."
  northbritish Chief Train Controller

Billions spent on maintenance and what to show ? Where is all the money going ?
It reminds me of 1999 and the so-called "Y2K Bug".  Millions spent on fixing legacy systems and making them date compliant, and then nothing happened?  Where did that money go?
Lad_Porter
That is because many thousands of people (including me) did lots of long and boring work to make sure the Y2K bug did not happen, that is where all the money went. Having said that I know of one glich that did happen.
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Ridiculous, I know, but:

Give the PSOs a bag full of light globes and a ladder and they can fix platform lights in between rescuing the passengers from thugs.

Sorry - there would need to be a 4 years electrical apprenticeship, working at height training, a mobile cherry picker, sixteen witches hats, three traffic controllers with lollipop signs, total occupation of the section and a mile of plastic 'keep out' tape.

Gone are the days when the Station Assistant took the office stool and a few light globes and set off down the platform. This, I admit, was less than safe but there has to be a happy medium somewhere in between then and now.  Twisted Evil

There is no substitute for the safety of those fixing the lights but the safety of passengers boarding trains in dark sections of platform is also an important consideration. Two blokes, a bag of light globes (of the multitude of non-standard types required) and a ladder should be able to do an entire line in a night or three.
YM-Mundrabilla
That won't help where the electrical work was never designed properly in the first place. Mitcham platform 1 lights were out AGAIN this week. This is a new installation and they were having problems from day one. Gardiner, also a new design, has had lights out as well. (A whole platform, not just one or two lights.)
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Billions spent on maintenance and what to show ? Where is all the money going ?
It reminds me of 1999 and the so-called "Y2K Bug".  Millions spent on fixing legacy systems and making them date compliant, and then nothing happened?  Where did that money go?
That is because many thousands of people (including me) did lots of long and boring work to make sure the Y2K bug did not happen, that is where all the money went. Having said that I know of one glich that did happen.
northbritish
I was being ironic.  I worked on that stuff too, for more than a year, and in a team, and believe it or not, one of our managers confronted us after the new year and said exactly that - "nothing happened, so we have wasted all that money".  He wasn't joking, he meant it.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Ridiculous, I know, but:

Give the PSOs a bag full of light globes and a ladder and they can fix platform lights in between rescuing the passengers from thugs.

Sorry - there would need to be a 4 years electrical apprenticeship, working at height training, a mobile cherry picker, sixteen witches hats, three traffic controllers with lollipop signs, total occupation of the section and a mile of plastic 'keep out' tape.

Gone are the days when the Station Assistant took the office stool and a few light globes and set off down the platform. This, I admit, was less than safe but there has to be a happy medium somewhere in between then and now.  Twisted Evil

There is no substitute for the safety of those fixing the lights but the safety of passengers boarding trains in dark sections of platform is also an important consideration. Two blokes, a bag of light globes (of the multitude of non-standard types required) and a ladder should be able to do an entire line in a night or three.
That won't help where the electrical work was never designed properly in the first place. Mitcham platform 1 lights were out AGAIN this week. This is a new installation and they were having problems from day one. Gardiner, also a new design, has had lights out as well. (A whole platform, not just one or two lights.)
Madjikthise
No, but I bet the contractors got paid regardless.Sad
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

Ridiculous, I know, but:

Give the PSOs a bag full of light globes and a ladder and they can fix platform lights in between rescuing the passengers from thugs.

Sorry - there would need to be a 4 years electrical apprenticeship, working at height training, a mobile cherry picker, sixteen witches hats, three traffic controllers with lollipop signs, total occupation of the section and a mile of plastic 'keep out' tape.

Gone are the days when the Station Assistant took the office stool and a few light globes and set off down the platform. This, I admit, was less than safe but there has to be a happy medium somewhere in between then and now.  Twisted Evil

There is no substitute for the safety of those fixing the lights but the safety of passengers boarding trains in dark sections of platform is also an important consideration. Two blokes, a bag of light globes (of the multitude of non-standard types required) and a ladder should be able to do an entire line in a night or three.
That won't help where the electrical work was never designed properly in the first place. Mitcham platform 1 lights were out AGAIN this week. This is a new installation and they were having problems from day one. Gardiner, also a new design, has had lights out as well. (A whole platform, not just one or two lights.)
No, but I bet the contractors got paid regardless.Sad
YM-Mundrabilla
Oh I'm sure they did, and they will be called back to fix the problem and get paid again because that's how government contracts seem to work.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Edith, TheMeddlingMonk

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.