Z Car update

 
  NR1 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Warrnambool
as there is an upcoming change for V/line, I was just wondering about the progress of the Z cars being returned to service. I was on my way back to Warrnambool from Melbourne in a group of 20 and after boarding the train we were informed that we had to get on a bus due to our train only having 3 carriages. Fair to say our group had our own dedicated bus and it ran express to Warrnambool arriving 20 minutes ahead of schedule. I also see that Shepparton has been getting H sets due to carriage shortage. How many are still out of Service? And how many have returned to service?
Thanks, NR1

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Great question but would also like to kow how many carriages are actually out of service?  This was been going on for some time.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
I recently visited Bombardier (who are doing the maintenance) and was told that of the Z carriages, only 9 are out of service now and all are expected to be back in service by the end of the year.

The delays in getting them back into operation were due to issues with replacing the bogies. The options were to either try a different bogie design (for which they would be required to do tests and models of how the carriage would behave with a different bogie design) or replace the bogies with the existing type. Unfortunately the drawings for the original bogies are incomplete and so a new set of drawings had to be created from the surviving bogies (which took a while). The advantage of this is that they can now get additional bogies manufactured in future if required. They will also be removing the Commonwealth bogies from 4 Z carriages and replacing them with the new bogies so that all the Z cars have the same bogie design.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I've been informed that several car sets are out of service due to 'broken springs'... this includes N Sets as well. This is a great reflection on acceptable standards by ARTC who Im led to believe run the Track Inspection car.

Shepparton is the first line to lose its N Set when cars are short...hence the H Set last Sunday week...and no doubt since then as well.

Mike.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
I've been informed that several car sets are out of service due to 'broken springs'... this includes N Sets as well. This is a great reflection on acceptable standards by ARTC who Im led to believe run the Track Inspection car.

Shepparton is the first line to lose its N Set when cars are short...hence the H Set last Sunday week...and no doubt since then as well.

Mike.
The Vinelander
My understanding was that the broken N car springs were broad gauge cars and that out of the V/Line network, ARTC only manages the standard gauge North East .
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Does anyone know if ALL the Z cars have returned to service after bogie replacement?
  richter170 Locomotive Driver

As of today. There are 11 Z cars still out on repairs.

During 2014 a number were returned to service. Now these cars are also due for rewheel.

Car sets which had Z cars are now back only as 3 N cars. N6 and N4 should have Z cars but these are at Newport.

From what I understand the frame crack issues have surfaced again.

Some of the Z cars still haven't turned a wheel since the original issue started with the complete withdrawal of the cars. They have sat in Newport in the same spot since 2012?

N cars on Broad Gauge are going through springs something odd. FN 10 had new springs on most bogies fitted recently.

In good news FN12 is back ex overhaul and the Z car 264? Had replacement bogies fitted at the same time.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I'm glad that Qantas doesn't have the same sort of appalling maintenance record as VLP.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
As of today. There are 11 Z cars still out on repairs.

During 2014 a number were returned to service. Now these cars are also due for rewheel.

Car sets which had Z cars are now back only as 3 N cars. N6 and N4 should have Z cars but these are at Newport.

From what I understand the frame crack issues have surfaced again.

Some of the Z cars still haven't turned a wheel since the original issue started with the complete withdrawal of the cars. They have sat in Newport in the same spot since 2012?

N cars on Broad Gauge are going through springs something odd. FN 10 had new springs on most bogies fitted recently.

In good news FN12 is back ex overhaul and the Z car 264? Had replacement bogies fitted at the same time.
richter170
Good post, thanks.

Replacing 4 wheelsets should take less than 24 hours out of service.

If the frame cracking is conformed, does not their replacement with identical ones meet one of the definitions of madness :

Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.... Rolling Eyes
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

As of today. There are 11 Z cars still out on repairs.

During 2014 a number were returned to service. Now these cars are also due for rewheel.

Car sets which had Z cars are now back only as 3 N cars. N6 and N4 should have Z cars but these are at Newport.

From what I understand the frame crack issues have surfaced again.

Some of the Z cars still haven't turned a wheel since the original issue started with the complete withdrawal of the cars. They have sat in Newport in the same spot since 2012?

N cars on Broad Gauge are going through springs something odd. FN 10 had new springs on most bogies fitted recently.

In good news FN12 is back ex overhaul and the Z car 264? Had replacement bogies fitted at the same time.
Good post, thanks.

Replacing 4 wheelsets should take less than 24 hours out of service.

If the frame cracking is conformed, does not their replacement with identical ones meet one of the definitions of madness :

Doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome.... Rolling Eyes
YM-Mundrabilla
The cracking is allegedly due to the quality control steel wise in the pouring of the original bogies, which has only surfaced as a potential issue in recent years .  The design is quite sound, so new bogie frames  ONLY  (there is nothing wrong with the wheels) cast to strict quality standards is quite  OK .

Broken springs everywhere is no doubt due to the large number of mud spots on the bg network many of which have been there for years just getting worse, and VLP do NOTHING to remove them despite being given extra $  for track maintenance in this years State Budget .  e:g:  Down side Mc Killop St lx South Geelong been there for years .  Caused a broken rail in June, 2015 ,   but still nothing done.  Track re laid through lx  late last year, but all VLP did was pour a tonne of ballast on the mud hole.  So of course not having addressed the underlying issue of the drainage, it has now re appeared better than ever this year. Up side St Georges Road  lx at North Shore on west L:ine bad mud hole very rough ride, again VLP does nothing .
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

The surprising part is that we continue to spend money on cars that would be best off given to the heritage railways.

For a reasonable sum of money, newer and very functional carriages can be bought overseas.  It should not be difficult to convert to broad gauge and, if it is, at least replace the standard gauge sets to free them up for use on the broad gauge.

The big problem, however, that I see with this idea is that European standard cars would be too good and show up how poor the amenity standards of our N cars are.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
They wouldn't even need to go overseas to get new carriages! Vlocity trailer cars would be perfectly adequate replacements - just take out the drivetrain and swap the Scharfenberg couplers for autos.

Pushing back the N car replacement program is only going to make this sort of thing worse. Ultimately though it's just a symptom of the management culture at V/Line and within the transport bureaucracy.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

Kuldalai,

Could you please elaborate on how the cracking is due to the quality control steel wise? The bogies are over fifty years old and I would be surprised if the specification required a fifty year fatigue life! BK are accomplished steel founders and locomotive bogies cast at the same time have not suffered cracking due to the quality control steel wise ........

Also could you please explain, perhaps by presenting a load case analysis on the coil springs, how mud holes lead to broken springs? What about spring steel quality, spring rate, free height, load/deflection and scragging tests?

TW
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

They wouldn't even need to go overseas to get new carriages! Vlocity trailer cars would be perfectly adequate replacements - just take out the drivetrain and swap the Scharfenberg couplers for autos.

Pushing back the N car replacement program is only going to make this sort of thing worse. Ultimately though it's just a symptom of the management culture at V/Line and within the transport bureaucracy.
LancedDendrite
I know they are expensive but I do not see why the V/Locity cannot be modified so that it can be used on long distance services. 300 Km is not that far.

Michael
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
Hell, they already go around 252 kilometers for the Echuca line.

I've done the journey. It's actually quite nice, if not quite frustrating for the Bendigo-Echuca segment.
Having cars overtake a train designed to sustain 160km/h for long distances is quite bizarre, honestly.

But I can understand why people would lament the lack of catering, or those deliciously comfortable N-Set seats.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
I know they are expensive but I do not see why the V/Locity cannot be modified so that it can be used on long distance services. 300 Km is not that far.
mejhammers1

The reason you want loco-hauled carriages is so that you can run higher speeds through unprotected level crossings.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

I know they are expensive but I do not see why the V/Locity cannot be modified so that it can be used on long distance services. 300 Km is not that far.

The reason you want loco-hauled carriages is so that you can run higher speeds through unprotected level crossings.
LancedDendrite
I forgot about that. Your idea of modified Vlocity trailer cars are a great idea. That coupled with a new build of locomotive. Can't one be bought of the shelf from overseas modified to Australian Conditions?

Michael
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I'm glad that Qantas doesn't have the same sort of appalling maintenance record as VLP.
Valvegear

QANTAS isn't trying to operate carriages in daily revenue service that date back to the FJ Holden car, now over 60 years of age.

The year I'm talking about is 1955, the year the first Z cars were put into service for our fellow scribes who have never heard of an FJ Holden before.

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
They wouldn't even need to go overseas to get new carriages! Vlocity trailer cars would be perfectly adequate replacements - just take out the drivetrain and swap the Scharfenberg couplers for autos.

Pushing back the N car replacement program is only going to make this sort of thing worse. Ultimately though it's just a symptom of the management culture at V/Line and within the transport bureaucracy.
LancedDendrite
Would you then get drawgear restrictions?
  M636C Minister for Railways

They wouldn't even need to go overseas to get new carriages! Vlocity trailer cars would be perfectly adequate replacements - just take out the drivetrain and swap the Scharfenberg couplers for autos.

Pushing back the N car replacement program is only going to make this sort of thing worse. Ultimately though it's just a symptom of the management culture at V/Line and within the transport bureaucracy.
Would you then get drawgear restrictions?
YM-Mundrabilla
It shouldn't be difficult to modify the structure to allow for locomotive haulage.

After all, the Americans developed the "Amfleet" vehicles from the Metroliner EMU.

The body itself would be stong enough due to the end loading requirements but it might be neccessary to redesign the frame around the coupler pockets.

You'd need to redesign the suspension for a much lighter vehicle, since all Velocities are power cars.

You would need a power car for HEP (although you could retain the existing HEP set under the floor, but this idea went out of favour with the N sets and was removed from the SG cars).

You could have two cars with bigger generators under the floor, maybe one under a buffet car and forget about a separate power car. These might end up weighing as much as a Velocity and could use the same bogies.

But please fit them with power operated end doors each end of the saloon and at the car ends. The noise level in Velocity cars is ridiculously high.

M636C
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
But please fit them with power operated end doors each end of the saloon and at the car ends. The noise level in Velocity cars is ridiculously high.

M636C
M636C

Are you serious Question

Maybe its because I travel on the Ballarat line, but I find any noise coming from the ends of VLocity cars to be minimal.

Occasionally the train will hit a bump and a 'CLAP' sound will be heard from the ends of the cars...but it really, on the Ballarat line at least the end car noise is absolutely minimal.

Mike.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
You would need a power car for HEP (although you could retain the existing HEP set under the floor, but this idea went out of favour with the N sets and was removed from the SG cars).
M636C
I thought they got rid of the underfloor gensets on the gauge-converted N cars because the gensets themselves were unreliable and underpowered, not because of any inherent flaw in using underfloor generators.

If loco-hauled Vlo trailer cars were to be built, you'd want to re-use as much of the DMU design as possible to maximise the savings in procuring 'off-the-shelf'. That means keeping the underfloor HEP generators. Of course, modify the suspension to deal with the lower tare weight (the suspension might need mods anyway based on what the Vlocity wheel wear report is saying). If you want backwards-compatibility with the rest of V/Line's loco-hauled carriage fleet then you'd need Janney couplers, so a redesign of the coupler pocket sections of the frame on the cab ends might be necessary anyway.

As for buffet cars and refreshment requirements: put a couple of vending machines in one of the end-cab areas. I don't like the idea of removing dubiously-warm meat pies from long-distance services, but it's certainly an easy area to make a cost saving.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Underfloor diesel generators are a maintenance, servicing and reliability problem in addition to an onboard pain to passenger comfort due to their noise and vibration.
They are a brilliant way of reducing overall carriage availability thereby adding to train cancellations. They are just something else to go wrong.
Leave them off and just plumb for true head end power which, of course, brings its own problems if one is to rely on the N class head end power.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Underfloor diesel generators are a maintenance, servicing and reliability problem in addition to an onboard pain to passenger comfort due to their noise and vibration.
They are a brilliant way of reducing overall carriage availability thereby adding to train cancellations. They are just something else to go wrong.
Leave them off and just plumb for true head end power which, of course, brings its own problems if one is to rely on the N class head end power.
YM-Mundrabilla
In previous threads I referred to the Vossloh Eurolight Type 68 locomotive (with HEP built in) as a good place to start for a replacement for the N Class. Or else something equally suitable. Finding a locomotive design that can be adapted to BG and deliver HEP should not be difficult at all. You need something that can haul six cars at 115kph on class 2 track and 130kph on class 1 track. Anywhere on the V Line network.
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
The beauty of using seperate locomotives and cars is that when one is life-expired you don't necessarily need to replace the other. The N class has plenty of life left in her.

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