Merlynston action for more trains on the Upfield Line

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 15 Jul 2019 15:15
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Not a line we often talk about here.  Can Metro improve these services?  Should they?

Merlynston action for more trains on the Upfield Line

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  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Not a line we often talk about here.  Can Metro improve these services?  Should they?

Merlynston action for more trains on the Upfield Line
bevans
Metro are powerless here. Theoretically the line could actually handle 10 minute off-peak service to Coburg, but that would be silly, because it would drop back to 20 minutes in peak - or you'd have to take paths off Craigieburn or Sunbury services.

I can't remember if was on here or somewhere else someone figured out a way of squeezing in one extra peak service, but that would be clutching at straws

So that pushes any frequency boost back to the opening of the Metro Tunnel. As for what goes on beyond that, duplication to Upfield is frankly unjustifiable unless it's part of the Somerton link project.
  Adogs Chief Train Controller

Can pretty much guarantee there won't be duplication through to Upfield until (if) the line gets extended through to Somerton/Wallan.  Which won't be within the next 10 years.

In the meantime, Upfield line works will basically just be the Skyrail section.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Metro are powerless here. Theoretically the line could actually handle 10 minute off-peak service to Coburg, but that would be silly, because it would drop back to 20 minutes in peak - or you'd have to take paths off Craigieburn or Sunbury services.

I can't remember if was on here or somewhere else someone figured out a way of squeezing in one extra peak service, but that would be clutching at straws

So that pushes any frequency boost back to the opening of the Metro Tunnel. As for what goes on beyond that, duplication to Upfield is frankly unjustifiable unless it's part of the Somerton link project.
potatoinmymouth
Can run services from the west and terminate at Spencer St platforms 8A/8B/8S just like they do for showgrounds/racecourse services.

Can run Upfield trains via City Loop (every 20min) and a Coburg train from Spencer St (every 20min)
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

@John.z

This will still use capacity a North Melbourne and reduce Platforms for V/line services at Southern Cross which have long dwell times.

The Upfield line itself can handle a 10 minute service to Coburg and then 20 out to Upfield. This is no issue to off peak, services could still run via the loop. Even with 10 minute services on all Northern lines is within the Loops capacity 18/24 TPH.

Peak is were it starts to hurt Sunbury and Craigieburn. You can pull Upfield out of the Loop but it is still using Platform 1 at North Melbourne which reduces TPH for Craigieburn. You can’t run Craigieburn via 5 & 6 like Showgrounds specials as this uses Werribee TPH and has no Loop access.

The major beneficiary will be Sunbury as it has independent tracks to North Melbourne before converging in the Loop.

Track access to Platform 8S needs to be improved for Metro use, which would allow V/Line continued use of Platform 8. V/line then needs better turn around and to stop using Platforms at Southern Cross as Interpeak stabling.

This is all major investment to boost services on the least patronised Northern Group Line. Nothing will happen until MM1 when Craigieburn can have dedicated use of Platform 3 & 4 and Upfield 1 & 2 at North Melbourne.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Further to reducing V/Line platform faces, Platform 7/8 at Southern Cross would probably need escalators installed, and having them at both ends (Collins and Burke) would be the most useful. You also then run into the question of whether the other lines going through Southern Cross can absorb an Upfield train load of pax every 10 minutes.

Some peak Sunbury trains already use the Cross-City group. Taking Upfield out would probably just mean these trains go back to being in the Loop. Prior to the last timetable change, it was the Craigieburn Line that did this.

Once Melton duplication happens it will be easier for V/Line to run counterpeak services. I think the current use of Southern Cross as stabling is mostly due to them needing to keep down traffic out of the way of their up shoulder peak services.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

@John.z

This will still use capacity a North Melbourne and reduce Platforms for V/line services at Southern Cross which have long dwell times.

The Upfield line itself can handle a 10 minute service to Coburg and then 20 out to Upfield. This is no issue to off peak, services could still run via the loop. Even with 10 minute services on all Northern lines is within the Loops capacity 18/24 TPH.

Peak is were it starts to hurt Sunbury and Craigieburn. You can pull Upfield out of the Loop but it is still using Platform 1 at North Melbourne which reduces TPH for Craigieburn. You can’t run Craigieburn via 5 & 6 like Showgrounds specials as this uses Werribee TPH and has no Loop access.

The major beneficiary will be Sunbury as it has independent tracks to North Melbourne before converging in the Loop.

Track access to Platform 8S needs to be improved for Metro use, which would allow V/Line continued use of Platform 8. V/line then needs better turn around and to stop using Platforms at Southern Cross as Interpeak stabling.

This is all major investment to boost services on the least patronised Northern Group Line. Nothing will happen until MM1 when Craigieburn can have dedicated use of Platform 3 & 4 and Upfield 1 & 2 at North Melbourne.
Lockie91
Craigieburn can use Platforms 3/4. Seeing as they would both be going into the Loop, this would not reduce any capacity there (if it were to use 1/2, Upfield/Coburg trains could slot where Sunbury trains run anyhow so I don't see how any capacity would be reduced)

As for V/Line ops, if they can handle a showgrounds train, they can handle an upfield train every 20mins.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

@John.z

This will still use capacity a North Melbourne and reduce Platforms for V/line services at Southern Cross which have long dwell times.

The Upfield line itself can handle a 10 minute service to Coburg and then 20 out to Upfield. This is no issue to off peak, services could still run via the loop. Even with 10 minute services on all Northern lines is within the Loops capacity 18/24 TPH.

Peak is were it starts to hurt Sunbury and Craigieburn. You can pull Upfield out of the Loop but it is still using Platform 1 at North Melbourne which reduces TPH for Craigieburn. You can’t run Craigieburn via 5 & 6 like Showgrounds specials as this uses Werribee TPH and has no Loop access.

The major beneficiary will be Sunbury as it has independent tracks to North Melbourne before converging in the Loop.

Track access to Platform 8S needs to be improved for Metro use, which would allow V/Line continued use of Platform 8. V/line then needs better turn around and to stop using Platforms at Southern Cross as Interpeak stabling.

This is all major investment to boost services on the least patronised Northern Group Line. Nothing will happen until MM1 when Craigieburn can have dedicated use of Platform 3 & 4 and Upfield 1 & 2 at North Melbourne.
Craigieburn can use Platforms 3/4. Seeing as they would both be going into the Loop, this would not reduce any capacity there (if it were to use 1/2, Upfield/Coburg trains could slot where Sunbury trains run anyhow so I don't see how any capacity would be reduced)

As for V/Line ops, if they can handle a showgrounds train, they can handle an upfield train every 20mins.
John.Z
Merging the frequent Sunbury and Craigieburn services before the platforms would be a step down in service. Consider, for example, an on-time up Sunbury held for a slightly late up Craigieburn. At the moment, the Sunbury can wait in the platform, leaving a path clear into platform 2 for any down services; if you hold the Sunbury further back, either it or a down service or both gets delayed further.

There's no urgency for Upfield. Services aren't crush loaded even in peak; yes, more frequency means more patronage, but that can wait until 2025 with the rest of us.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Merging the frequent Sunbury and Craigieburn services before the platforms would be a step down in service. Consider, for example, an on-time up Sunbury held for a slightly late up Craigieburn. At the moment, the Sunbury can wait in the platform, leaving a path clear into platform 2 for any down services; if you hold the Sunbury further back, either it or a down service or both gets delayed further.

There's no urgency for Upfield. Services aren't crush loaded even in peak; yes, more frequency means more patronage, but that can wait until 2025 with the rest of us.
potatoinmymouth
Craigieburn trains can continue to use platforms 1/2 and wait for a path into the loop. If Craigieburn/Sunbury are running to 6min intervals (3min combined), then the Upfield trains would need to arrive at the same time as Sunbury to avoid conflict with Craigieburn services at North Melbourne. Can be easily timetabled.

8.00 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.03 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.06 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.09 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.12 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.15 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.18 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury

Can be done. Upfield: 5tph, Sunbury/Craigieburn: 10tph
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Connecting to craigieburn via the upfield line should be a priority to introduce secondary routing to Manage delays and provide more options for services.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
There was talk of V/Line services to/from Seymour and Shepparton also eventually going that way?
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Merging the frequent Sunbury and Craigieburn services before the platforms would be a step down in service. Consider, for example, an on-time up Sunbury held for a slightly late up Craigieburn. At the moment, the Sunbury can wait in the platform, leaving a path clear into platform 2 for any down services; if you hold the Sunbury further back, either it or a down service or both gets delayed further.

There's no urgency for Upfield. Services aren't crush loaded even in peak; yes, more frequency means more patronage, but that can wait until 2025 with the rest of us.
Craigieburn trains can continue to use platforms 1/2 and wait for a path into the loop. If Craigieburn/Sunbury are running to 6min intervals (3min combined), then the Upfield trains would need to arrive at the same time as Sunbury to avoid conflict with Craigieburn services at North Melbourne. Can be easily timetabled.

8.00 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.03 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.06 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.09 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.12 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.15 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.18 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury

Can be done. Upfield: 5tph, Sunbury/Craigieburn: 10tph
John.Z
In a perfect world if everything ran on time and there were no delays maybe.

Your perfect timetabling at North Melbourne doesnt include V/Line services from Seymour interacting with city bound trains from Craigieburn or provide them with a platform face at North Melbourne. Nor does it factor in conflict with Sunbury service between Sunbury and Sunshine. Also, having Upfield trains cross over to platform 3 conflicts with UP Upfield, UP and DOWN Craigieburn and UP and DOWN Sunbury locals. This intern reduces the track capacity for counter peak services which in turn form peak services in the suburbs. It also worth remembering that the majority of services run via the loop then back out.

If an Upfield service arriving on Platform 3 is late, this firstly delays both UP and DOWN Craigieburn services, UP and DOWN Sunbury services, then on its way back out if it forms an UP Craigieburn service this delays any DOWN upfield service as this would need to cross over the Craigieburn locals to reach Platform 3.

The delays then cascade then services end up getting bypassed or cancelled all together to allow the timetable to recover. This is why nothing will happen until MM1 when additional tracks become available at North Melbourne and we have a segregated network. Upfield gets dedicated use of Platforms 1 & 2, Craigieburn 3 & 4. By 2025 you could even run Upfield into 8 or 8S and have complete segregation of all Northern Group Lines.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Craigieburn trains can continue to use platforms 1/2 and wait for a path into the loop. If Craigieburn/Sunbury are running to 6min intervals (3min combined), then the Upfield trains would need to arrive at the same time as Sunbury to avoid conflict with Craigieburn services at North Melbourne. Can be easily timetabled.

8.00 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.03 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.06 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.09 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.12 Plat 1: Upfield, Plat 3: Sunbury
8.15 Plat 1: Craigieburn, Plat 3: -
8.18 Plat 1: -, Plat 3: Sunbury

Can be done. Upfield: 5tph, Sunbury/Craigieburn: 10tph
John.Z
In a perfect world if everything ran on time and there were no delays maybe.

Your perfect timetabling at North Melbourne doesnt include V/Line services from Seymour interacting with city bound trains from Craigieburn or provide them with a platform face at North Melbourne. Nor does it factor in conflict with Sunbury service between Sunbury and Sunshine. Also, having Upfield trains cross over to platform 3 conflicts with UP Upfield, UP and DOWN Craigieburn and UP and DOWN Sunbury locals. This intern reduces the track capacity for counter peak services which in turn form peak services in the suburbs. It also worth remembering that the majority of services run via the loop then back out.
Lockie91

It may be the way the text looks, but I don't think John.Z was advocating for Upfield to use platform 3 only platform 1.  Lockie is right however: the cascading delays and interactions with Seymour vlines are complicated but not impossible I think.

Currently into North Melbourne around 8:30am you have this mess. I don't think I've ever seen all these services run on time and the number of people changing platforms combined with those tiny escalators mean dwell times can be more than a full minute.
8.25 Craigieburn (Pl 1)
8.28 Sunbury (Pl 3)
8.29 Seymour (Pl 1), Werribee (Pl 5)
8.31 Upfield (Pl 1)
8.32 Sunbry to Flinders St (Pl 3)
8.33 Craigieburn (Pl 1)
8.34 Werribee (Pl 5)

John.Z's timetable would neatly clean a lot of that up, but as said, one thing wrong and it's curtains for reliability.

The real question is though, if you told Upfield passengers they could get a 12min peak service instead of 18min service but that it only went to Southern Cross instead of via the loop or even on to Flinders St, would they want it?
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Trains that share tracks are going to have conflicts. It's unavoidable. Clock face operation is always more reliable than what we currently have (trying to shove new services ontop of an already optimised timetable, making it less optimised).
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The real question is though, if you told Upfield passengers they could get a 12min peak service instead of 18min service but that it only went to Southern Cross instead of via the loop or even on to Flinders St, would they want it?
LeroyW

To put it mildly, I'm not a fan of asking these questions, because they inevitably lead to terrible railway outcomes. We could have a ~30% increase in peak Frankston and Dandenong services tomorrow, but we don't, because governments are afraid of a backlash from sandbelt NIMBYs who would lose their direct Loop train - and then complain that tHe TrAiNs ArE tOo CrOwDeD.

Getting 2 extra peak trains from Upfield would be an unambiguously good thing, and given the frequency of trains through North Melbourne and Southern Cross, it would add, what, 3 minutes at most to any given journey.

I'm still not convinced by John's solution though, partly because, as he points out, getting more out of the current timetable is not easy. Don't forget you also have to make sure the 4 up Bendigos in that hour aren't delayed getting to Sunshine...

It won't kill anyone to wait a few more years. Then Upfield can have a decent clockface 6tph and we can all go home happy.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
People don't like their trains coming out of the loop because they are worried their connection times will be bad. This is not the case anymore, at least in peak, but people don't realise it. If you are taking Upfield trains out of the loop you need to immediately show the benefit to both it and other lines, as well as ease of connecting between them at Southern Cross.

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