Melbourne Metro Rail Project Revived

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 16 Feb 2015 17:54
  John.Z Junior Train Controller

Dear James 974 and others ,

with respect multiple unit trains are by definition modular . The existing Xtrapolis and Networker sets could expanded by additional T or MT cars if desired , the Vlocity and the Tait trains has demonstrated this in the past,

Best wishes and regards,

Radioman
No I think the existing Comeng, Xtrapolis and Seimens fleet of trains, only can run as 3 or 6 carriages. Does anyone think I am wrong? Yes Vlocity trains used to run 2 cars then this got extended to 3 cars, but I think that was only because they changed the design. Not sure about the Tait trains.

Also Wtf is the Network train??
James974
Pretty sure the Siemens trains are the "network" trains referred to. Also pretty sure what Radioman is saying is that if needed, like with the V/locities, Victoria can order 3 or 4 non cab cars (be it M or T) from alstom/siemens for each xtrap and networker respectively to make them 6 to 7 car trains with little problem

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  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Dear James 974 and others ,

with respect multiple unit trains are by definition modular . The existing Xtrapolis and Networker sets could expanded by additional T or MT cars if desired , the Vlocity and the Tait trains has demonstrated this in the past,

Best wishes and regards,

Radioman
No I think the existing Comeng, Xtrapolis and Seimens fleet of trains, only can run as 3 or 6 carriages. Does anyone think I am wrong? Yes Vlocity trains used to run 2 cars then this got extended to 3 cars, but I think that was only because they changed the design. Not sure about the Tait trains.

Also Wtf is the Network train??
Pretty sure the Siemens trains are the "network" trains referred to. Also pretty sure what Radioman is saying is that if needed, like with the V/locities, Victoria can order 3 or 4 non cab cars (be it M or T) from alstom/siemens for each xtrap and networker respectively to make them 6 to 7 car trains with little problem
John.Z
Alright that makes bit more sense, but it only be for the Xtrapolis since I think they decided not to continue building Semens trains. Was the Siemen fleet called Networker trains? I don't recall Networker used to determine the Siemen fleet.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I thought the Siemens trains were called NEXAS or MOMO/Modular Metro... Either way they are the Hitachi of the fleet, destined to be run to the ground with minimal modifications and then scrapped when they fail. Not a chance in hell that they will be receiving new trailers, unless they start getting completely different ones that stick out like a sore thumb. *Imagines a Siemens with 1186T shoved in the middle*

Also, so much for the term "network" when they are the only trains that don't actually run network wide, having been restricted to their original M>Train group of lines ever since they were brand new. I don't think it will be too long until X'Traps fill out the rest of the Northern group.
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear James and others ,

the Siemens trains are called Networkers by Siemens .

The Vlocity trailers are power cars . Just because the current make up of Comeng , Xtrapolis and Siemens are M T M sets , as each vehicle is MU equipped therefore an additional compatible MU equipped T or MT vehicle could be added if desired , the current make up does not prevent the strengthening of 3 car sets if that is desired.

To some extent that is the whole point of MUed formations , compatible vehicles can be added as strengtheners , or an additional 3 car unit could be attached to a 6 car set to form a 9 car set if so desired.

Whether that option is done is partially dependent on current infrastructure , and the cost of modifying it , and whether the additional strengthening vehicle or 3 car unit is a viable way of increasing capacity.

for your consideration ,

best wishes and regards,

Radioman.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Taits and swing door electrics could and did run in almost every imaginable combination of cars unlike the modern stuff where nothing talks to anything other than itself.
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear YM Mundrabilla and others ,

valid point YM . When i worked in Flinders St there was a M+DT,M+DT,M+DT set that used to do the AM Peak Ashburton trips. It would shunt out around 0930 and be divided by the shunters in the Yard, usually E sidings , and then the next three docks from that siding would form Ashburton locals , M+DT.

I have also recently seen a photo of a heterogeneous Swing Door formation consisting of M+DT+T+M+T+T+M down at Port Melbourne.  Also between the wars and into the 1950s , the G ( for pinch gas lighting ) cars were split from the 3 car unit ( Block M+T+T+M , Unit G+T+M or T+T+M, Block + Unit = Set ) and formed into train sets for weekend excursions to Geelong .

Even allowing for the fact that the current 3 car units are all coupled by bar couplings within the set, this does not preclude a reformation with additional T or MT as may be desired . The bar couplings are cheaper than an auto coupling , and prevents the splitting of trains away from a maintenance location , it does not preclude set reformation if desired.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / Dear YM , a recent notice on a tram warns to look out for 12 x rhinos on skate boards in formation. Your rhinos should apply for a formation allowance, regards, Radioman.
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear YM Mundrabilla and others ,

valid point YM . When i worked in Flinders St there was a M+DT,M+DT,M+DT set that used to do the AM Peak Ashburton trips. It would shunt out around 0930 and be divided by the shunters in the Yard, usually E sidings , and then the next three docks from that siding would form Ashburton locals , M+DT.

I have also recently seen a photo of a heterogeneous Swing Door formation consisting of M+DT+T+M+T+T+M down at Port Melbourne.  Also between the wars and into the 1950s , the G ( for pinch gas lighting ) cars were split from the 3 car unit ( Block M+T+T+M , Unit G+T+M or T+T+M, Block + Unit = Set ) and formed into train sets for weekend excursions to Geelong .

Even allowing for the fact that the current 3 car units are all coupled by bar couplings within the set, this does not preclude a reformation with additional T or MT as may be desired . The bar couplings are cheaper than an auto coupling , and prevents the splitting of trains away from a maintenance location , it does not preclude set reformation if desired.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / Dear YM , a recent notice on a tram warns to look out for 12 x rhinos on skate boards in formation. Your rhinos should apply for a formation allowance, regards, Radioman.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

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

I am still struggling to work out the axleload of a rhino on a skateboard. Yarra Trams does not seem to trifle with details like net and gross weights for rhinos on skateboards. My problem is that if we continue to weigh rolling stock and trains in rhinos and or/elephants (which is dependent upon rail gauge I believe) how all this will relate to the Maryvale goods on the Dandenong Skyrail especially when hauled by two dog box electric motors, a parcel van and a C class. I expect similar problems in establishing engine loads and I am still to find the measure for running times over the measured 1,341 rhino skateboard wheel revolutions. Do they have 'big wheel' rhinos?

Gawd there are some idiots around aren't there? Rolling EyesRolling Eyes

I well remember that in the 1960s there was one swing door set that ran an up Brighton Beach in the morning and a down in the evening. It sat in the Western Car sidings near A Box all day. In my days of night school at RMIT, parts of which were done at Melbourne High, I used to make a point of using this service from Flinders Street to South Yarra.

There are members here on RP who regard wagons, sparks and Vlocitys as 'permanently'coupled. Apart from articulated wagons virtually nothing is 'permanently' coupled but this does not seem to be well understood.

Regards
YM
  jdekorte Assistant Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Looks like the first major piece of preparatory construction will be happening in early July with the re-routing of the Route 58 Tram through Toorak Rd West.  As well as putting in traffic changes that will be in place for a number of years while Domain Station is constructed.

http://metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/construction/domain/traffic-changes-in-domain
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear YM and others,

re Western Car Sidings outside of Flinders St A Box , they were removed prior to the new Thru Viaduct being built , as the track bed was required for the new lines and for the new relay Room to accommodate the BR style geographic relays preparatory to Metrol.

When i worked FSS A Box the twin mechanical frames had been abolished a replaced by a temporary IFS / Unilever Panel of VR design and manufacture.

The Western Car sidings had retained their run around points from pre electrification days , i am told until the late 1960s. In steam days the area was used to hold suburban steam locomotives awaiting their next call .

Re the Siemens trains, as Siemens hold the maintenance contract for these sets , their lifespan is presumably dependent on the level of maintenance and the availability of spares . That being so , a life extension beyond a nominal 30 years would depend on the condition of the carriage structure ( which is welded mild steel ), as electrical components are replaceable and traction motors are rewindable , therefore carriage structure is really the limiting factor.

As many readers here well know , the Comeng Fleet is in two series , the earlier with heavy cast steel bogies , and the later series with lighter welded bogies , which are currently being replaced with new welded bogies of a similar design being made by Alstom . As i understand it ,  the Comeng are built to the Budd , later Rail America Patent by being all welded stainless steel , in which case body structure , based on US experience , should have a lifespan exceeding 50 years , so upgrading all of the Comeng fleet should be engineeringly possible , though whether it is financially viable is another issue.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Dear Radioman, you noted that automation will not solve our problems efficiently since it costs a lot but does little. What is your alternative to run the trains closer together? They're are only two ways* I could think of; semi-automated operations or fully automated operations (driverless trains). Melbourne is picking the semi automatic operations route. Sydney is picking the full automated approach. In fact many cities already run automated rail systems, (eg. London wants to convert to full automation) Even the car industry wants to head into automating the car vehicle. What are your thoughts on this?

*Of course there are more ways like running more lines into a section (e.g.  Quadding)

James
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear James947 and others,

i personally do not think that full automation is necessarily always a solution to a problem . I am not saying that we should not have automation , but i think that expectations around full automation are not always realized as intended.

In the case of the Pakenham Line , bearing in mind that it still needs to accommodate non Metro traffic , this means that conventional signalling will have to work in parallel with train based signalling.

The cost of converting a non computer based motive unit to a computer based unit can cost eye watering amounts of money which , unless the motive unit is designed to be retrofitted , and even then , the cost of retrofitting may be quite uneconomic.

For example , which Freight Rail operator will spend upwards of $1/2 to $1m to convert a 20 year old locomotive to a computer based signalling system unique to Melbourne metro ? ( It was reported in Railway Magazine years ago that the cost of converting one twin cab Cl 37 for the ERTMS trial , equal to a VR B class , close to GBP1m . Obviously , it was neither expected , or intended , to cost that much , but that ended up being the final cost . If they had realized that initially it would have been cheaper to buy a new locomotive factory fitted than convert a 1960s built Cl 37.

Automation on multi use lines will cost significantly more than it would for a stand alone line with one type of train set pre built to suit , eg LT's Victoria Line. And it will be less efficient because whatever system is installed has to work with non compatible equipment of varying age and sophistication . The interfaces to achieve this become complex , expensive and prone to a higher level of failure compared to a stand alone system . In addition to which it also has to cope with traction and braking envelopes that are widely different from the primary train sets the system was designed to work with.

Therefore the question needs to be asked if the cost of adapting an existing and continuing multi use line to accommodate a train based automation system is really worth the increased expense , increased risk of failure ( and at some point there will be a failure irrespective of assurances to the contrary ), and increased complexity to achieve a marginal improvement in service and frequency .

Despite claims to the contrary , closer headways are contingent on the slowest moving and longest distance braking distance of trains operating on the effected corridor . Computer based Moving Block Signalling Systems only has a marginal improvement in capacity compared to fixed signalling with the same headways, it does not have a significantly greater capacity compared to conventional close headway fixed signalling .

In this scenario trains will still require a Train Driver because circumstances will arise where a qualified Train Drivers are required to keep the trains moving . it would also be preferable that the Train Driver actually drives the train at some point during each shift , because if something does go wrong that requires the Train Driver to actually drive the train you would expect that person to have the experience to know what to do when those circumstances arise.

It is interesting that a number of large passenger plane crashes involving highly automated systems resulted in the pilots making the wrong diagnosis , or not having enough time to go through the procedures to fault find and react before the plane crashed. This i would argue is also a serious concern regarding automated road vehicles where the "driver" is assumed to be able to take control and prevent an accident . The time to actually do so may be measured in fractions of one minute. The expectation that the right decision will be made in that time is being optimistic . I suspect that in this scenario the end result will be someone dying because the expectation that a driver of an automated road vehicle can react , make the right decision , and prevent a serious accident within 60 seconds is wildly optimistic. it needs to be realized that any automated system can fail , no matter how good the technology , at some point a failure is a mathematical certainty , the question is what will the result be ?

For your consideration,

Best wishes and Regards, Radioman.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Failing to connect with existing lines is going to be looked back on as a mistake.

Why call it a metro if they can't even get the basic tenets right?
  Radioman Train Controller

1 / Failing to connect with existing lines is going to be looked back on as a mistake.

2 / Why call it a metro if they can't even get the basic tenets right?
ZH836301
Dear ZH836301 and others ,

1 / Agree

2 / I would argue that Melbourne and Sydney do NOT run Metros , which i would define as passenger only stand alone lines with interchanges , Australia has Suburban railways with mixed traffic capability and line interconnectability , thereby allowing trains to run over multiple routes due to junctions and compatible loading gauge and infrastructure.

For that reason i think Sydney's New metro Line which is deliberately and totally incompatible with existing suburban trains  is a serious mistake, and one based on the false premise that double deck trains load and unload slower than single deck trains ( which i have commented on previously ).

3 / i aslo think that consideration should be given to certain locations being rebuilt to accomodate two island platforms to accomodate 4 tracks to allow for interchange at these locations.

In my view that would allow for a mixture of local and express running , allow for limited stop trains to overtake stopping trains , and without immediately requiring quadrupling of track. This would allow for a more flexible service delivery , and as demand increases , duplication could be then staged as required , and still retain service flexibility.

best wishes and regards, Radioman
  ParkesHub Chief Commissioner

Dear YM Mundrabilla and others ,

valid point YM . When i worked in Flinders St there was a M+DT,M+DT,M+DT set that used to do the AM Peak Ashburton trips. It would shunt out around 0930 and be divided by the shunters in the Yard, usually E sidings , and then the next three docks from that siding would form Ashburton locals , M+DT.

I have also recently seen a photo of a heterogeneous Swing Door formation consisting of M+DT+T+M+T+T+M down at Port Melbourne.  Also between the wars and into the 1950s , the G ( for pinch gas lighting ) cars were split from the 3 car unit ( Block M+T+T+M , Unit G+T+M or T+T+M, Block + Unit = Set ) and formed into train sets for weekend excursions to Geelong .

Even allowing for the fact that the current 3 car units are all coupled by bar couplings within the set, this does not preclude a reformation with additional T or MT as may be desired . The bar couplings are cheaper than an auto coupling , and prevents the splitting of trains away from a maintenance location , it does not preclude set reformation if desired.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / Dear YM , a recent notice on a tram warns to look out for 12 x rhinos on skate boards in formation. Your rhinos should apply for a formation allowance, regards, Radioman.
Radioman
I am sure that, in my youth, we caught 8 car Taits on the Broadmeadows line in the late 1960s when the platforms were extended. Or did I just dream that?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Dear YM Mundrabilla and others ,

valid point YM . When i worked in Flinders St there was a M+DT,M+DT,M+DT set that used to do the AM Peak Ashburton trips. It would shunt out around 0930 and be divided by the shunters in the Yard, usually E sidings , and then the next three docks from that siding would form Ashburton locals , M+DT.

I have also recently seen a photo of a heterogeneous Swing Door formation consisting of M+DT+T+M+T+T+M down at Port Melbourne.  Also between the wars and into the 1950s , the G ( for pinch gas lighting ) cars were split from the 3 car unit ( Block M+T+T+M , Unit G+T+M or T+T+M, Block + Unit = Set ) and formed into train sets for weekend excursions to Geelong .

Even allowing for the fact that the current 3 car units are all coupled by bar couplings within the set, this does not preclude a reformation with additional T or MT as may be desired . The bar couplings are cheaper than an auto coupling , and prevents the splitting of trains away from a maintenance location , it does not preclude set reformation if desired.

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.

PS / Dear YM , a recent notice on a tram warns to look out for 12 x rhinos on skate boards in formation. Your rhinos should apply for a formation allowance, regards, Radioman.
Radioman
I well remember the removal of the G cars from the 3 car units at holiday periods although I never had any real knowledge where they ran to whilst away from the suburban network.

Here is a pic of a couple of them on another site as I cannot post photos on RP. Crying or Very sad

The 1719 Werribee way back when..........:

http://railbastard.freeforums.org/download/file.php?id=2518&mode=view

No rhinos on skateboards in those days................
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
The beauty of copyrights and patents. One train cannot run with another because it is different and it would cost several billion to make them talk to one another and/or the original manufacturer may sue you if you did! Siemens trains have their wonderful Dellner couplers instead of the standard Scharfenbergs that every single other modern EMU and DMU has in Victoria. A Comeng can be coupled to an X'Trapolis but it won't be doing anything else, except probably spinning the wheels while the X'Trap sits in the platform with its doors unlocked and brakes still on going "duuuuhhhh". Then again, even if they were made "compatible" the acceleration and braking capabilities of all three current train types are probably worlds apart - one half would probably be dragging or being pushed by the other while also riding on 50 cent pieces because the brakes lock up while the other set has barely even got a grip on the discs (or wheels, if a tread brake car).

Fun fact: The initials of our three current electric train types form the name of a major American railroad company, CSX. Found on a perspex temporary door window near you.
  Radioman Train Controller

Dear Heihachi 73 and others,

the ability for trains of different manufacturers to run in multiple is not a function of copyrights and patents per se , but a result of contract specification.

If the buyer specifies that the supplied units must run in multiple with existing sets , then the supplier is required to meet that specification. For example , many BR EMUs and DMUs , though supplied by different builders , and using different power packs were able to be operated in multiple, BR Blue Square compatible being the most common , BR diesels that were equipped for MUing , Blue Star being the most common , primarily , but not restricted to , English Electric. In North America , Australia and elsewhere  EMD , Alco and GE diesels are quite capable of working in multiple because all use EMD compliant MU equipment. It is also my understanding that various manufacturers of Sydney Double Deck sets are quite capable of working in multiple with each other.

Regarding Comeng , Xtrapolis , Siemens , Sprinter and Velocity sets , in cases of train rescue , and irrespective of whether it is a Sharfenberg or Dellner coupling , they are quite capable of being coupled together ( and were specified to do so ) if needed to push or pull a defective unit clear of the running line . There are current instructions out that clearly state this. ( It is correct though that they are not intended to work in multiple in normal service. )

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Dear Heihachi 73 and others,

the ability for trains of different manufacturers to run in multiple is not a function of copyrights and patents per se , but a result of contract specification.

If the buyer specifies that the supplied units must run in multiple with existing sets , then the supplier is required to meet that specification. For example , many BR EMUs and DMUs , though supplied by different builders , and using different power packs were able to be operated in multiple, BR Blue Square compatible being the most common , BR diesels that were equipped for MUing , Blue Star being the most common , primarily , but not restricted to , English Electric. In North America , Australia and elsewhere  EMD , Alco and GE diesels are quite capable of working in multiple because all use EMD compliant MU equipment. It is also my understanding that various manufacturers of Sydney Double Deck sets are quite capable of working in multiple with each other.

Regarding Comeng , Xtrapolis , Siemens , Sprinter and Velocity sets , in cases of train rescue , and irrespective of whether it is a Sharfenberg or Dellner coupling , they are quite capable of being coupled together ( and were specified to do so ) if needed to push or pull a defective unit clear of the running line . There are current instructions out that clearly state this. ( It is correct though that they are not intended to work in multiple in normal service. )

Best wishes and regards, Radioman.
Radioman
The thing about sydney is all the trains were based on each other.   Oscars and waratahs were based on the M-sets.   C and K sets were based on the S set which is based off the tulloch trailer.   Only thing stopping some trains running with others is coupler type.   Silver sets have janney's while tangara's on wards have schwarfenberg.  

Most systems have requirements that trains of different types be able to couple and work in multiple unit under emergency settings.  Such as hauling defective trains out of running lines.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Towing a train isn't quite running in MU. On VicSig you will find a photo of a Hitachi pushing or dragging the 4D. The latter most likely had no brakes or anything during that process - it was however compatible with Comeng sets as that was specified in the design, although they overlooked the door mechanisms, thus a guard had to be in the trailing set at all times to open and close the doors. We got rid of guards, so the 4D had to go it alone, and that was a bad idea, just like running a 3 car chopper Comeng set.
  James974 Deputy Commissioner

Metro tunnel tunnelling and station packages have been tendered now. Edit: The group of companies to build Metro tunnels and stations have been selected now.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BzRP4PE6ug
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

How does the cost of this compare with the cost of triplification of the entire network? Triplification with extra platforms added run correctly would double the capacity of the network.
  drunkill Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Triplification for the city loop would cost just as much, which is what would be required if you wanted to triplicate the rest of the system otherwise you have the same bottleneck as today.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Metro tunnel Tunnelling and Station packages have been tendered now.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BzRP4PE6ug
James974
There is always great confusion as to the tender process.  
1.  A detailed spec is developed and interested/competent Companies are invited to tender for the works package.
2.  That resulted in 3 - 4 consortia submitting bids for the main Metro works package.
3. Those Consortia were announced by government some 6 months ago .
4.  What has been announced this week is the successful Consortium as a result of the tender process.
5. Over the next six months the successful tenderer and the Government will finalize a detailed contract, which will then be signed by both parties .

The process is tenders called, successful tenderer announced, contarct finalization .

It is often quoted that a tender has been won or awarded, which is incorrect as the tender process is inviting detailed submissions from parties able to perform a package of work as specified including often suggested enhancements (from the tenderers) and indicative pricing .  

It is a contarct that is awarded to a successful tenderer .
  bomberswarm2 Locomotive Driver

Triplification for the city loop would cost just as much, which is what would be required if you wanted to triplicate the rest of the system otherwise you have the same bottleneck as today.
drunkill

Not if it was run more efficiently, all trains are through trains, and everyone must change for the loop. One train every minute from SC/Flinders Street.

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