V/Locity Trains ideling

 
  N463 Locomotive Driver

Whilst passing Bendigo Station yesterday, I noticed that the V/Locity sets stored behind the car sheds were idling away (and from the noise, probably the sets inside as well). The interior lights were also on, although no one appeared to be aboard.

It's not like they could go anywhere, there is orange mesh strung across the tracks not far in front of them, blocking them from getting out of the sidings (and in any event, the line currently closed).

Other times I have been past, the sets appeared to be switched off, I am wondering what the reason is for starting them up, given that they can't currently go anywhere...

N463

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The environmental issues are the worry with exhaust fumes and pollution.

Are many sets stored there during the day or overnight ?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Whilst passing Bendigo Station yesterday, I noticed that the V/Locity sets stored behind the car sheds were idling away (and from the noise, probably the sets inside as well). The interior lights were also on, although no one appeared to be aboard.

It's not like they could go anywhere, there is orange mesh strung across the tracks not far in front of them, blocking them from getting out of the sidings (and in any event, the line currently closed).

Other times I have been past, the sets appeared to be switched off, I am wondering what the reason is for starting them up, given that they can't currently go anywhere...

N463
N463

Agreed...IMO this is a real issue..

A waste of fuel and needless diesel air pollution.

In England as soon as a diesel train arrives at its terminus, the engines are shut down even before all the pax have alighted. It should be the same here.

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'In England as soon as a diesel train arrives at its terminus, the engines are shut down even before all the pax have alighted.'

The same applies to electrics in at least some European countries.

Agree about shutting things down whenever possible (noise, pollution, fuel consumption etc) but a couple of other aspects come to mind, some with special application in Victoria:

  1. You have to be able to start the damned thing again. Are/will the batteries be flat?
  2. How much extra startup/preparation time is required for a driver taking over a shut down consist when compared with a consist that is running?
  3. Passengers expect the airconditioning to be running and have had adequate time to regulate the internal temperature.


No doubt there will be excuses/reasons for the status quo.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

The V'Locity trains use two engines; one for traction power, the other (smaller) one for auxiliaries. The traction engines automatically shut down if a cab is not activated after 20 minutes; many drivers will shut them down much sooner if no movements required for a time. The auxiliaries will run indefinitely until shut down by driver or others, maintaining comfortable temperatures inside, lighting, toilets, PA etc, and assuring charge in batteries.

The Bendigo fleet are captive and idle for several weeks. Would not be surprised if they start them now and then to charge the batteries, also while maintainers are servicing them; I assume they have been well enough cleaned by now. They may also be moving them a short distance occasionally to ensure everything goes OK; apart from anything else, I understand roller bearings don't take kindly to being stationary for extended periods. That movement would only need a couple of wheel revs (others with expertise would know more).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
IIRC 200 days was the maximum limit for idle freight vehicles in NR after which box bearings were to be greased prior to the wagon returning to traffic. Package bearings were OK provided an inspection confirmed that there was/had been no grease leakage.

Don't know what the rules are these days or how well they are enforced. NR was very strict in regard to bearings on idle wagons.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

In response to a V/Line Facebook query about query about overcrowding, I asked why the Vlocity units from the Bendigo line could not be used on other lines. The answer was that they were needed for a maintenance regime, and that there was not sufficient space to store them on other lines. So the line we have been fed on V/line's Facebook page, that overcrowding of because of insufficient trains, is actually a lie, because V/line need both more trains AND more stabling tracks.

Nevertheless, I am surprised that there is absolutely nowhere that Bendigo trains could be stored other than Bendigo, with the added benefit of providing additional capacity on the other lines.  I would think that 12 cars could be stored at Ballarat station, one 6-car on each of the passenger platforms, and another 12 or 18 cars at Geelong station. How many cars are normally stored on these platforms at night ? Bacchus Marsh may also have additional overnight storage capacity, particularly if some loco-hauled trains were sent to Bendigo to allow more room to store higher-capacity Vlocities.

No doubt security would need to be beefed up for the few hours each night between when the PSO's finish until the first service starts.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I was thinking they might have at least swapped out a few H sets for Vlocities.

With regards to stabling, there are a few more Vlocities about than at the start of the year, as well as a couple of Z cars so there is less space for stabling. There's also the Vlocity and Sprinter set that would normally stable overnight at Kyneton and an N + N Set that would stable at Swan Hill which have to be kept somewhere else.

How is the stabling at Waurn Ponds going, if it is at all?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

VLP telling a pile of SMEG and spin as usual .

Whilst it would be practical to use the idle V/Locity sets from the Bendigo to beef up train sizes from 3 to 6 car consists on VL Peak services where 3 car sets are grossly overcrowded like on Ballarat, the REAL reason VLP will NOT do it is because when the Bendigo trains return then the Ballarat tarins involved would revert to 3 car operation and the long suffering Ballarat punters would scream like cut cats  !!!

Basically these days as extra rollingstock is ordered then as part of the funding additional stabling is provided somewhere on the Network.

No start on Waurn Ponds stabling yet, becoming another VLP  Blue Hills  saga, as usual with VLP no URGENCY .
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Googling, the last thing I can find on it was back in July this year, and it seems to be over a year since it was publicly announced.

It is a shame that PTV couldn't come to a better arrangement with the current land owner.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
VLP telling a pile of SMEG and spin as usual .

Whilst it would be practical to use the idle V/Locity sets from the Bendigo to beef up train sizes from 3 to 6 car consists on VL Peak services where 3 car sets are grossly overcrowded like on Ballarat, the REAL reason VLP will NOT do it is because when the Bendigo trains return then the Ballarat tarins involved would revert to 3 car operation and the long suffering Ballarat punters would scream like cut cats  !!!

Basically these days as extra rollingstock is ordered then as part of the funding additional stabling is provided somewhere on the Network.

No start on Waurn Ponds stabling yet, becoming another VLP  Blue Hills  saga, as usual with VLP no URGENCY .
kuldalai
The fact that Waurn Ponds stabling & maintenance facilities astounds me. Budgeted for now 2 years ago the land set aside has even been fenced off however the local road to the site is unsealed and not in the greatest of condition. This maybe a factor.

New V/Locities are being delivered and they need the roads to stable them. This project will need to start sooner rather than later.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There is plenty of space for stabling Vlocity sets at Geelong.  There is also Geelong Loco.
  N463 Locomotive Driver

Are many sets stored there during the day or overnight ?
freightgate
Currently there are 2x 3 car sets stored on the roads between the car sheds and Gladstone St
There a 4 more trains inside the car sheds (the cabs are visible from the Myrtle St bridge, which is as much as can be seen from any publicly accessible area). I'm guessing these are all 3 car sets. The sheds don't look long enough to fit a 6 car set on one track inside (and I'm assuming that there are no 2 car sets left???)...

2 More 3 car sets are visible at North Bendigo from the footpath alongside the line leading from the Nolan St crossing towards Lake Weroona

So, at least 6 sets stored at Bendigo Station, and 2 more at North Bendigo...

Speaking of the Nolan St crossing, there is currently electronic signage there advising motorists that the crossing will be closed this weekend. Looks like V/Line may be planning to do some work on that crossing...

There's also the Vlocity and Sprinter set that would normally stable overnight at Kyneton and an N + N Set that would stable at Swan Hill which have to be kept somewhere else.
TOQ-1
I don't think the N-Set is at Swan Hill. I remember seeing a notice on the last day that trains were running advising that that evenings service to Swan Hill was being bustituted...

Does anyone know if there is anything currently stabled at Kyneton? Or Echuca?

N463
  62440 Chief Commissioner

Come to Adelaide any time to see units idling at high revs for hours, when drivers come in to a switched-off unit, it takes seconds to start. When we had the power outage, I understand all trains were cancelled because the exhaust extractors were not working, which was given as a reason, though I suspect that unlit station platforms and no signals was a valid reason.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

though I suspect that unlit station platforms and no signals was a valid reason.
62440
No signals, really???!!!
I guess in the modern era railways are not considered vital anymore. Railway signalling always worked independently of mains power on batteries and then later on, generators.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The V'Locity trains use two engines; one for traction power, the other (smaller) one for auxiliaries. The traction engines automatically shut down if a cab is not activated after 20 minutes; many drivers will shut them down much sooner if no movements required for a time. The auxiliaries will run indefinitely until shut down by driver or others, maintaining comfortable temperatures inside, lighting, toilets, PA etc, and assuring charge in batteries.

The Bendigo fleet are captive and idle for several weeks. Would not be surprised if they start them now and then to charge the batteries, also while maintainers are servicing them; I assume they have been well enough cleaned by now. They may also be moving them a short distance occasionally to ensure everything goes OK; apart from anything else, I understand roller bearings don't take kindly to being stationary for extended periods. That movement would only need a couple of wheel revs (others with expertise would know more).
hbedriver
This would explain why a Vlo appears to start up when it appears to be running.
I have been on one several times at Southern Cross with lights on and then the engine starts up.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
There is plenty of space for stabling Vlocity sets at Geelong.  There is also Geelong Loco.
bevans
As far as I can tell, they do store a lot of Vlos at Geelong.
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Come to Adelaide any time to see units idling at high revs for hours, when drivers come in to a switched-off unit, it takes seconds to start. When we had the power outage, I understand all trains were cancelled because the exhaust extractors were not working, which was given as a reason, though I suspect that unlit station platforms and no signals was a valid reason.
62440
I was in Adelaide during the blackout, and was stopped at a level crossing on the Belair line when the warning lights lit up and a suburban diesel train went past.  Both the train signal system, and level crossing warning signals must have battery backup.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Come to Adelaide any time to see units idling at high revs for hours, when drivers come in to a switched-off unit, it takes seconds to start. When we had the power outage, I understand all trains were cancelled because the exhaust extractors were not working, which was given as a reason, though I suspect that unlit station platforms and no signals was a valid reason.
I was in Adelaide during the blackout, and was stopped at a level crossing on the Belair line when the warning lights lit up and a suburban diesel train went past.  Both the train signal system, and level crossing warning signals must have battery backup.
mm42
I think you will find all railway signals and level crossings have battery backup, on the Victorian Albury line each installation will have 12  volt batteries totalling around 200AH, as a single signal/level crossing draws around 4 amps, this is enough for around 50 hours. I do not know about point motors though, on the SG NE line from Seymour to Albury the switching has diesel altenator back up.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There is plenty of space for stabling Vlocity sets at Geelong.  There is also Geelong Loco.
As far as I can tell, they do store a lot of Vlos at Geelong.
Camster

They sure do.  There is also the option of North Geelong Yard in times when there are works.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
There is plenty of space for stabling Vlocity sets at Geelong.  There is also Geelong Loco.
As far as I can tell, they do store a lot of Vlos at Geelong.

They sure do.  There is also the option of North Geelong Yard in times when there are works.
bevans
From memory when the DMU stabling was upgraded at Geelong Loco there were enough roads built and with those that already exist at Geelong Station to stable ALL rolling stock for the current AM peak timetable.

My point with Waurn Ponds is that there are another 16 3 car V/Locities to be delivered which require stabling, cleaning and maintenance. Funds were budgeted for to build this facility at Waurn Ponds in the 2015 State Budget but V/Line was we know it love to sit on their hands and this project is yet to start however the delivery of V/Locities has commenced.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yet another example of projects which take years to complete.  The question in my mind why the need for a new facility when one exists at Geelong and Geelong Loco?
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Yet another example of projects which take years to complete.  The question in my mind why the need for a new facility when one exists at Geelong and Geelong Loco?
bevans
A number of factors from what I've read in the past-

- The value of the land at Geelong Station, Geelong Loco and North Geelong yard. Geelong Loco and North Geelong yard have been the subject of various "studies" for medium/high density housing over the years. The western side carpark of Geelong Station has been slated for commercial development.

- The logistics of getting rolling stock down a single line to it's originating station for its first service of the AM peak.

- Only so many of the 75 3-car V/Locity units can be serviced/maintained at Dandenong, Southern Cross, Ballarat and Bendigo. Waurn Ponds will spread that load.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Why not boost maintenance jobs at Ballarat where facilities already exist as this makes more sense.

Land being valuable?  So what?  All land is valuable and does not immediately meant millions should be spent on moving facilities which is more than the cost of retaining or development profit realisation.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Yet another example of projects which take years to complete.  The question in my mind why the need for a new facility when one exists at Geelong and Geelong Loco?
bevans
The ideal locations for stabling/maintenance facilities are at the end of the line, therefore the PTV intention to have additional stabling/servicing beyond Waurn Ponds  etc .  Saves a lot of of MT car placement to/from Geelong, and expanding stabling/servicing in inner city residential areas is problematical. With Waurn Ponds it is effectively a "green fields" site with adequate provision for a really big depot initially for DMU's and  ultimately allowing for  EMU 's .

Same logic land is already set aside on the Down side of Wyndam Vale on RRL to allow for stabling / servicing of Metro DMU sets when  RRL is electrified to Wyndam Vale in the medium term .

The property being acquired is apparently part of a very large farm property, and the formailities of the compulsory acquisition and access to the remaining portions of the property always take an eternity, albeit that is not done by VLP but rather by another part of the Government bureaucracy . The fact the farmer is no longer squealing like a cut pig in the Geelong media indicates that things are moving along, albeit at the usual Governemnt glacial speed .

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