Work Starts To Get VLocity Trains For The North East Line

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Aug 2018 10:40
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Where would these VLOCITY sets for the North East be maintained?  The maintenance centre would require SG access.  has this been considered by V/Line?
bevans
I was thinking about this as I was catching up on this and other threads. I think that may be Barnawatha near the Logic Centre could be a good place or take back the former Caltex Site at South Kingsville (Spotswood) if they want a place closer to Melbourne, as the Developer has been having problems cleaning up the site from what I have heard.

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  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Somebody should have thought about the maintenance facilities required for the ever increasing fleet of Vlocitys before now.
YM-Mundrabilla
They had, but the current Government hadn't expected the opposition from the Mt. Duneed property owner, that they have encountered. It was said to be O.K. when the Opposition was in power, but shortly after the change of Government that all changed.
  justarider Assistant Commissioner

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
Jack, think closer to town for maintenance

How about the Bombardier depot at Dudley St, right next to the SG mainline. If they need more room, I hear the Festval Hall is waiting for bulldozers.

NB: no need to build vLo there, just attaching the SG bits

cheers
John
  Groundrelay Chief Commissioner

Location: Surrounded by Trolls!
If the XPT replacement is a DMU might be an opportunity to run cross border to Wagga Wagga and theirs into Victoria offering a similar standard of travel?
Or maybe not!
  Frank Jones Station Staff

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Where would these VLOCITY sets for the North East be maintained?  The maintenance centre would require SG access.  has this been considered by V/Line?
bevans
If the 'powers that be' saw the sense in converting Ballarat to Ararat and Maryborough to SG, Ballarat would make an ideal SG V/Locity maintenance hub. Much of the infrastructure is already in place, and it would also create more regional employment.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
If the XPT replacement is a DMU might be an opportunity to run cross border to Wagga Wagga and theirs into Victoria offering a similar standard of travel?
Or maybe not!
Groundrelay
Would be interesting, would extend competition between V/Line and Trainlink for pax Wagga > Albury. As @TheVinelander has pointed out before there is already competition on the Albury > Southern Cross route between V/Line services and the XPT.

BG
  woodford Chief Commissioner

If the XPT replacement is a DMU might be an opportunity to run cross border to Wagga Wagga and theirs into Victoria offering a similar standard of travel?
Or maybe not!
Would be interesting, would extend competition between V/Line and Trainlink for pax Wagga > Albury. As @TheVinelander has pointed out before there is already competition on the Albury > Southern Cross route between V/Line services and the XPT.

BG
BrentonGolding
I did a simulation on a Wagga to Melbourne service some time back. A VLocity type DMU using a cruise speed of 130kph would only take 30 minutes longer to get from Wagga to Melbourne as the current service does from Albury to Melbourne.
One could have a day return service from Wagga leaving at 0600 and getting into SC at 1030. Return service would leave at 1802 and arrive in Wagga at 2230. THe current 1405 XPT from Wagga gets around 40 to 50 passengers a day heading to Melbourne.  A day return service would surely increase that figure.

Note: Most of the time saved by the DMU comes from its vastly better acceleration and hill climbing ability.

woodford
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The significance of this number is borne out by the V/Line annual report, where the 157,805km MDBF of the VLos compares with 162,895km for coaching stock - and 22,957km for locos. In other words, the average VLo is as nearly as reliable as a box on wheels.

Availability statistics tell a similar story. VLos operate at 91.7% availability compared to 74.3% and 70.2% for carriages and locos respectively..
potatoinmymouth
Are figures given for Sprinters as well PIMM? I happen to be off to Seymour this morning and have used the opportunity to take my first ever ride on one of these little beauties. Had a choice between the Albury SG or the BG Sprinter, different route obviously, thought I would go with the BG in case the N Class let me down! Touch wood!

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

42,533km / 85%.

They note the availability was impacted because of the 7012 fire affecting the number for the small fleet size, but that's still a surprisingly low figure for MDBF given their much-vaunted reliability.

It'll be interesting next month when we get this year's report to see if there's been any substantive changes in any of the numbers.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
Time to plan for a SG Sprinter for the Donald train? Laughing
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Time to plan for a SG Sprinter for the Donald train?
Donald

I think Mr Guy is probably searching the web for SG DERM bogies as we speak.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Ballarat would seem the ideal place for SG velocity maintenance being a potential gauge changing point.

What now happens at Ballarat north workshops ?
  skitz Chief Commissioner

I do find the whispers about VLo reliability interesting. Cummins (engine manufacturer) advertises them as "the most reliable diesel railcar in the world", which is a pretty serious claim given that DMUs make up a very large percentage of the current rollingstock market. They base this on a Mean Distance Between Failures of 150,000km+, some 50% higher than the design spec. (I wish my car went that long without carking out!)

https://cummins.com.au/sites/au/files/file_attachments/Case%20Study-VLocity.pdf

The significance of this number is borne out by the V/Line annual report, where the 157,805km MDBF of the VLos compares with 162,895km for coaching stock - and 22,957km for locos. In other words, the average VLo is as nearly as reliable as a box on wheels.

Availability statistics tell a similar story. VLos operate at 91.7% availability compared to 74.3% and 70.2% for carriages and locos respectively.

So, if the stories are true, and I have no reason to believe they are not, then it must be costing Bombardier a small fortune to keep their reputation intact.
potatoinmymouth
Surprisingly there has been little discussion about reliability and what may contribute to holding a reliability figure.  Also the difference between maintainability cost and reliability cost.

The key aspect of the Velocity reliability is its in built redundancy.  Focusing on the usual three car set, it has three engines and it takes a fair amount to kill one and become disabled.  The usual traveller would have almost certainly had a trip on a Velocity with a failed prime mover.  They get along quite well on two engines with no significant impact on run time on most routes.  I might also add they become lovely and quiet, a testament to how noisy they actually are.  Even with one engine they will likely limp home.

In terms of the comparison of the velocity reliability performance compared to the locomotive performance as a direct measure of the maintenance success, one must be careful as it is not comparing apples and apples.   I understand that service delivery is an important measure but the important aspects to deliver the performance requirements are a bit more complex than that.  

Considering the Velocity, to have three engines is fine, but it does cost.  The complexity, the duplication (triplication) of systems all costs money in terms of capital and running costs.  From an efficiency perspective and a maintainability aspect (cost of maintenance) the reduction of numbers is always attractive - ie what a locomotive is.   Of course its a balancing act between the impact of a failure (the total cost of a failure, reputation etc) and the cost of providing the redundancy.  As a side issue, if a Sprinter was not required to operate as a single car in normal operation, it would never have had the level of redundancy built into it like they have.

Now to the more sinister side of the discussion, having redundancy is like the forbidden fruit in a maintenance sense (not just in rail, all industries).  It can hide poor performance of the maintenance function of the organisation.  You will never see an organisation willingly give up redundancy.  V/Line is obviously addicted to it, someone else (we are!) is paying, so its no surprise to see what we are seeing.

I am merely highlighting that the drive toward a rail car fleet to bring up reliability is a false economy as a huge generalisation of the total issues, that we (as tax payers) are subsidising.  It would be fair to say that the N class platform is pretty bullet proof from a world wide perspective.  Maintained properly, one would imagine that there would be no way a multi engine platform could keep up with it from an operational cost perspective.  The issue with their performance is almost certainly and organisational issue from what I can gather.  The nature of the Velocity platform hides such issues, but it costs more.

The opportunities are there to be smarter with locomotive hauled fleets.  Yet observing issues with V/Line across the board, one is left not holding their breath.  I don't see anyone on the V/Line board with a background to take on the issues in the face of the political pressure.  Bombardier for the time being are a sure thing.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Well, that answers a lot of questions I didn’t even know I had, so thanks @skitz !

That discussion basically puts into words an idea I’ve had floating around for a long time, that the obvious advantage of a loco-carriage arrangement is that you can just swap out the failed bits in the yard.

Looking at YouTube a while ago I saw an Albury pass from 2007 double headed by a pair of Ns. The video uploaded noted that this was a regular roster at the time.

With the almost-complete saturation of short haul services by VLo sets, and the Ns heading towards early retirement, does the opportunity exist to try out a similar sort of arrangement to Horsham, or, God forbid, Mildura?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I've been in 2 situations over the past 18 months where a V/locity only made it part of the way to or from Melbourne.  Do the sums and it's 1 failure per 11250 km.  And that's not counting the 3-4 times it never left the platform....
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I've been in 2 situations over the past 18 months where a V/locity only made it part of the way to or from Melbourne.  Do the sums and it's 1 failure per 11250 km.  And that's not counting the 3-4 times it never left the platform....
Carnot
Which just means there is someone out there who didn't experience a VLocity failure all year.

A small sample size does nothing to disprove the mean. No doubt there is some statistical massaging going on at V/Line's end, but at the end of the day they just divide the kilometres travelled by the number of faults and stick the answer in the annual report.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I've been in 2 situations over the past 18 months where a V/locity only made it part of the way to or from Melbourne.  Do the sums and it's 1 failure per 11250 km.  And that's not counting the 3-4 times it never left the platform....
Which just means there is someone out there who didn't experience a VLocity failure all year.

A small sample size does nothing to disprove the mean. No doubt there is some statistical massaging going on at V/Line's end, but at the end of the day they just divide the kilometres travelled by the number of faults and stick the answer in the annual report.
potatoinmymouth
The steep grades between Bendigo and Melbourne sometimes make them pull the pin before they tackle Sunbury Bank etc in peak hour as happened in one case.  On other lines (i.e. Geelong) they could probably get away with it.

Luck of the draw I suppose.
  justarider Assistant Commissioner

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
It's not "luck of the draw".

VLO have now been equipped  with a 'Carnot' detector, and automatically throw a spanner in the spokes.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Well, that answers a lot of questions I didn’t even know I had, so thanks @skitz !

That discussion basically puts into words an idea I’ve had floating around for a long time, that the obvious advantage of a loco-carriage arrangement is that you can just swap out the failed bits in the yard.

Looking at YouTube a while ago I saw an Albury pass from 2007 double headed by a pair of Ns. The video uploaded noted that this was a regular roster at the time.

With the almost-complete saturation of short haul services by VLo sets, and the Ns heading towards early retirement, does the opportunity exist to try out a similar sort of arrangement to Horsham, or, God forbid, Mildura?
potatoinmymouth

Long-distance trains are routinely double headed N Class loco's on the day return journey on Christmas day, and Southern Cross station would be a sight to behold on Christmas morning. This is insurance in the event a loco fails and with a double consist, keeps the train on-time.

One Christmas day, around 6 years go my late mate and I were bringing the afternoon double headed UP Swan Hill to Melbourne on Christmas day with one failed loco. All was ok with a few mins lost, till we hit the bank up Tunnel Hill, the Chewton bank and the climb to the Elphinstone tunnel where the front N was flat chat dragging the failed N class and 10 cars. We felt we could get out and walk faster, however once we were on flat ground again, the single N class was able to almost hit 110Km/h in between stops.


Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I've been in 2 situations over the past 18 months where a V/locity only made it part of the way to or from Melbourne.  Do the sums and it's 1 failure per 11250 km.  And that's not counting the 3-4 times it never left the platform....
Carnot
A small sample size will give miss leading results, I have been travelling on country train services now for over 50 years. There would be 200 or so trips behind B class, 100 odd behind N's. 80 to 100 on Spinters and around 10 on VLocity's. Over period only 3 vehicles have had problems, An N failed at Broadmedows a long time ago, and 2 Sprinters had problems, the first a Seymour bound 2 car Sprinter lost an engine at Kilmore East, service was only 3 minutes late getting to Seymour. The 2nd ran out of fuel around Broadford area, this service was delayed an hour when the next service came along and coupled up an pushed us into Seymour. This latter is not actually a fault, just poor organisation. Even thi sample size is to small. the loco figures would be aprox 1 failure in 60,000 kilometres (the Sprinter figures would be aprox 1 failure in 20,000 K's)

woodford
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Which just means there is someone out there who didn't experience a VLocity failure all year.
potatoinmymouth
I didn't.

Very Happy
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5633705/extra-vline-bus-services-criticised/
Hopefully @bevans can replace this with a full text link shortly.

But the long and short of it is that two return coaches daily will be added to each of Seymour-Wang/Benalla and Seymour-Albury/Wodonga, connecting with trains at Seymour.

Looks like they have realised the line needs favours right now and they will not be able to hold out until 2022 politically.

Bill Traill is upset it’s not a train shuttle. I guess the idea makes a lot of sense but it does require more effort than a couple of extra buses.

Interestingly Bill Tilley (the Liberal MLA) was basically positive. He did say however that

"The real issue here is the train service to Melbourne that Labor is trying to patch up and only the Liberal Nationals have committed to new trains, safer and more reliable trains, 96 locos and carriages delivered across the long haul lines from 2021.”


I am sincerely frightened by this quote because there are only two possibilities: a) the Coalition is going to order new coaching stock (!) or b) the Albury member doesn’t know which end of a train the steam comes out of (!!)

Ms Symes said though the Coalition has nominated a June order date for trains, Labor's position was similar.

"We've committed to new trains for the track and started the process," she said.

"Are they going to come in and start from scratch with a differently designed VLocity train?

"I don't understand why they think their commitment is any different to ours."


And does this mean 6-car long-haul sets from Labor? Heaven only knows. I suspect it’s another case of option b).
  Bethungra Train Controller

https://www.bordermail.com.au/story/5633705/extra-vline-bus-services-criticised/
Hopefully @bevans can replace this with a full text link shortly.

But the long and short of it is that two return coaches daily will be added to each of Seymour-Wang/Benalla and Seymour-Albury/Wodonga, connecting with trains at Seymour.

Looks like they have realised the line needs favours right now and they will not be able to hold out until 2022 politically.

Bill Traill is upset it’s not a train shuttle. I guess the idea makes a lot of sense but it does require more effort than a couple of extra buses.

Interestingly Bill Tilley (the Liberal MLA) was basically positive. He did say however that

"The real issue here is the train service to Melbourne that Labor is trying to patch up and only the Liberal Nationals have committed to new trains, safer and more reliable trains, 96 locos and carriages delivered across the long haul lines from 2021.”
potatoinmymouth

Why are the coaches needed is it to supplement already full trains (remembering a coach has been removed from all trains on the north east line) or is it to provide additional services outside of the trains?

Time to consider running rail passenger shuttles between Wangaratta and Wagga?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Why are the coaches needed is it to supplement already full trains (remembering a coach has been removed from all trains on the north east line) or is it to provide additional services outside of the trains?
Time to consider running rail passenger shuttles between Wangaratta and Wagga?
Bethungra

Bit of both I'd say. I was blown away by how packed the afternoon up train was when I caught it a few weeks ago. Most appeared to go all the way to Melbourne but I can see how a morning up and down service might encourage shorter distance travel as well. It certainly beats driving over the long distance, but I'm not sure if a bus provides the same incentive over a shorter distance (or a bus and Sprinter, say.)

As to the 4-carriage situation, someone might be able to provide more detail on this, but I have spotted a few Albury pass services of late with five cars plus power van. Usually the midday down. I wonder if V/Line have converted another N car or two after recent VLocity deliveries.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Might be surplus from Bairnsdale?

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