T4 and SCO post NIF and T3 Metro conversion

 
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
Which rail system has 1500 vdc trains running faster then 160km/h and more specifically which system with double deckers runs at 160km/h?


I haven't been able to find the answer this definitively, but I believe NJT can operate it's DD fleet at up to 100mph between Trenton and Newark.

1500VDC?  As electricity only travels at 150kph at this voltage, I guess it can't be done.
djf01
What did I miss? Pretty sure electricity travels at or a large fraction of the speed of light irrespective of the voltage.

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  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Which rail system has 1500 vdc trains running faster then 160km/h and more specifically which system with double deckers runs at 160km/h?


I haven't been able to find the answer this definitively, but I believe NJT can operate it's DD fleet at up to 100mph between Trenton and Newark.

1500VDC?  As electricity only travels at 150kph at this voltage, I guess it can't be done.
What did I miss? Pretty sure electricity travels at or a large fraction of the speed of light irrespective of the voltage.
arctic

Nup.  It can't be done.  Physically impossible.  Nothing can go faster than the speed boards as they are now, even electricity.
  scadam Station Master

"Sydney Terminal Area Reconfiguration Project"
https://yoursay.transport.nsw.gov.au/star

Questions:

(1) Although not specifically mentioned, is this perhaps a hint at a new set of crossovers from Illawarra Locals to Mains at Erskineville?

(2) If yes, does this imply that the 10-car NIF sets will run on the Locals to separate them from the ex Hurstville all-stoppers?

By my calculations, with 24tph signalling and removal of peak T8 via Sydenham services, this arrangement would provide up to 9 additional paths between Hurstville and Bondi Junction from 8am and 9am. I think only 3 of these could be ex Cronulla/Waterfall due to the existing constraints past Hurstville.

Currently 18tph arriving at BJ between 8am and 9am, 3 of these are ex SCO.

Construction is being estimated at "2 years" so won't be done until mid-2022. Bankstown timetable would only have to fit in around this for a couple more years until the metro conversion is complete.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
"Sydney Terminal Area Reconfiguration Project"
https://yoursay.transport.nsw.gov.au/star

Questions:

(1) Although not specifically mentioned, is this perhaps a hint at a new set of crossovers from Illawarra Locals to Mains at Erskineville?

(2) If yes, does this imply that the 10-car NIF sets will run on the Locals to separate them from the ex Hurstville all-stoppers?

By my calculations, with 24tph signalling and removal of peak T8 via Sydenham services, this arrangement would provide up to 9 additional paths between Hurstville and Bondi Junction from 8am and 9am. I think only 3 of these could be ex Cronulla/Waterfall due to the existing constraints past Hurstville.

Currently 18tph arriving at BJ between 8am and 9am, 3 of these are ex SCO.

Construction is being estimated at "2 years" so won't be done until mid-2022. Bankstown timetable would only have to fit in around this for a couple more years until the metro conversion is complete.
scadam
I'd say emphatically "Yes" to both your questions and it's what I've been expecting all along since the Hurstville Crossover project was approved, in spite of the denials of some.  They're complementary projects.  The proposed Works Area at Erskineville between the existing ESR Junction and the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal is in exactly the location where a new crossover from the Local to the Main would be built to allow access to the Dive from the Local, which currently isn't possible without crossing to the Main further down the line.

The Hurstville project is also due to start now and is expected to take a year to complete.  The Erskineville Crossovers and track reconfigurations are more complex on a busier part of the network and it's expected to take 2 years to complete.  

How soon the reconfigured track arrangements will allow a new operating pattern for T4 and SCO services, including ATO, to be introduced remains to be seen.  The NIF sets aren't expected to run on the SCO line until 2022, following their earlier rollout to the BM and CCN lines.  The full benefits are unlikely to be realised until 2024 when the T3 Bankstown Line is converted to metro operation, freeing up additional capacity on the Illawarra Local.

There could be a transitional period after completion of the crossover projects to allow the existing 3tph SCO services to be separated from the T4 services between Hurstville and the Illawarra Dive to Sydney Terminal by running all the way on the Local.  It may be possible to squeeze them in on the Local between Wolli Creek Junction and the Illawarra Dive sharing with the existing 10tph T3 services and 4tph T8 services in the peak via Sydenham, until the T3 is disconnected in 2024.  It would help if there is a consistent express pattern between Sydenham and the Illawarra Dive on the Local, with the all stops being shifted to T4 on the Main as I've previously suggested. That seems perfectly logical to me.

Once T3 is disconnected, it's a whole new ball game.  With ATO being progressively introduced, there could be as many as 26tph capacity available on the Local between Wolli Creek Junction and the Illawarra Dive in a non-stop express pattern from Sydenham.  That's a huge capacity increase which would be shared between T8, SCO and future direct SHL services, as well as long distance Regional services.  The Intercity and Regional services would be directed to Sydney Terminal via the Illawarra Dive, with T8 services continuing into the City Circle Inner and Outer branches via the Central flying junctions, similar to the current T3 operating pattern.  All T8 all stops and some express services would also continue to operate via the Airport Line to the City Circle Inner at an increased frequency.  It's a win/win all round.

I don't agree that T8 via Sydenham services in the peak will be eliminated.  In fact, I expect them to be substantially increased throughout the day.  It has no relevance to the potential increase in capacity on T4 to Bondi Junction on the Main.  It is proposed to increase the Airport Line frequency to 15tph, so in order to significantly increase T8 services, they will also have to run via Sydenham.  The only services using the Illawarra Local from Wolli Creek to the Illawarra Dive at Erskineville after the T3 metro conversion, will be T8, SCO, future SHL and Regional trains. There's more than enough capacity to accommodate all of them with increased frequencies in a single express operating pattern and with crossing conflicts substantially reduced.

SCO Intercity services could be doubled to at least 6tph or more and with 10 car NIF sets on some services, that would be a major increase in capacity.  They would run in tandem with the T4 express Cronulla and Waterfall services in a single pattern on the Local between Hurstville and Wolli Creek, with the T4 services crossing to the Main at Wolli Creek and continuing to Bondi Junction in an all stops pattern.  The T4 Hurstville to Bondi junction all stops services would operate exclusively on the Main with increased frequencies, without crossing over from the Local at Wolli Creek as they currently do.

How the level of increased services for each of the T4/SCO sectors will be apportioned will be constrained by the single track pair between Sutherland and Hurstville.  We will just have to wait and see how this pans out.

As much as the "More Trains, More Services" program is welcome, it doesn't go far enough, and this highlights the flawed strategy of the current LNP government in prioritising its metro strategy over a more immediate investment in upgrading the existing network to enable it to operate to its full potential much sooner.  By Transport for NSW own admission the existing Sydney Trains' network will continue to provide 80% of rail services in the metropolitan region for the foreseeable future, even after completion of the current metro projects, so it can't be ignored.

The future proposed quadruplication of the Illawarra Line between Hurstville and Sutherland is a case in point.  It will undoubtedly be an expensive project, with an additional crossing of the Georges River, through very challenging terrain. Nonetheless, it has to be done, as there is no alternative and sooner or later they're going to have to wake up to that fact. Metro alone can't resolve this problem.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I never said it wasn't going to be done. I said it hadn't been announced yet (you must have some inside info because this announcement came out only a day or 2 after our robust discussion) and that you aren't going to get the extra services you think you are going to get because south coast services still have to share with 8 x cronulla and waterfall services as well as conflicting moves at Wolli creek for those T4 services. A conflict with T8 services at Wolli creek and also conflicting with T1, T9, BM and CCN services between the dive and central terminal.

I said that for any of your proposals to work there needs to be a quad from Hurstville to Sutherland and a new path in to central terminal from the dive. I sent a letter to the minister for some clarity on the subject and I just received a reply from TNSW. Here is the letter aside from the greeting.

"Thank you for your correspondence to the Minister for Transport and Roads about the speed
of the New Intercity Fleet. As you may appreciate, the Minister receives thousands of items
of correspondence each year. Transport for NSW is therefore responding to you directly.

I note your comments and appreciate the reasons that have prompted you to write.
As you are aware, the NSW Government is delivering a new fleet of intercity trains. It will
replace those used on the Central Coast & Newcastle, Blue Mountains and South Coast
lines and offer customers greater comfort, reliability and convenience. The first trains have
arrived and are undergoing extensive testing on the network.

Regarding the speed of the trains, the New Intercity Fleet is capable of achieving speeds of
160km/h. However, as you are aware, the actual speed of trains is dependent on a range
of factors including the track, station and platform infrastructure and speed restrictions in
place on the network.

For up-to-date information on the New Intercity Fleet, I encourage you to visit
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/new-intercity-fleet.

Thank you for taking the time to write.
Yours sincerely
03/06/2020
Terry McSweeney
Principal Manager
Ministerial Correspondence"
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I never said it wasn't going to be done. I said it hadn't been announced yet (you must have some inside info because this announcement came out only a day or 2 after our robust discussion) and that you aren't going to get the extra services you think you are going to get because south coast services still have to share with 8 x cronulla and waterfall services as well as conflicting moves at Wolli creek for those T4 services. A conflict with T8 services at Wolli creek and also conflicting with T1, T9, BM and CCN services between the dive and central terminal.

I said that for any of your proposals to work there needs to be a quad from Hurstville to Sutherland and a new path in to central terminal from the dive. I sent a letter to the minister for some clarity on the subject and I just received a reply from TNSW. Here is the letter aside from the greeting.

"Thank you for your correspondence to the Minister for Transport and Roads about the speed
of the New Intercity Fleet. As you may appreciate, the Minister receives thousands of items
of correspondence each year. Transport for NSW is therefore responding to you directly.

I note your comments and appreciate the reasons that have prompted you to write.
As you are aware, the NSW Government is delivering a new fleet of intercity trains. It will
replace those used on the Central Coast & Newcastle, Blue Mountains and South Coast
lines and offer customers greater comfort, reliability and convenience. The first trains have
arrived and are undergoing extensive testing on the network.

Regarding the speed of the trains, the New Intercity Fleet is capable of achieving speeds of
160km/h. However, as you are aware, the actual speed of trains is dependent on a range
of factors including the track, station and platform infrastructure and speed restrictions in
place on the network.

For up-to-date information on the New Intercity Fleet, I encourage you to visit
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/new-intercity-fleet.

Thank you for taking the time to write.
Yours sincerely
03/06/2020
Terry McSweeney
Principal Manager
Ministerial Correspondence"
simstrain
I don't have any inside information and I don't have any connection, either directly or indirectly, with any government agency or political party.  I deduced that the Erskineville Crossover was a logical progression for the reasoning behind the Hurstville Crossover project to increase T4 and SCO services, which is its stated objective.  That's now been foreshadowed, although it hasn't been explicitly stated.  Without the new Erskineville Crossover, the plan just can't work.

With regard to any potential conflicting movements in the Central Terminal yard throat between SCO, BM, CCN and the limited number of peak T9 services (I don't think there are any T1 services involved), I'm expecting further announcements to address this under the program.  It is after all called the "Sydney Terminal Area Reconfiguration Project", so there must be more to come.  If the project is purely related to the new Erskineville Crossover, then it would have been called just that.  Watch this space.

The future quad from Hurstville to Sutherland isn't a necessary prerequisite to allow more immediate improvements to T4 and SCO services, but the full potential of the current proposals won't be realised until it is completed.  In the meantime, significant improvements in frequencies for all services will still be possible, notwithstanding your scepticism.  TfNSW seems to think so, even taking into account conflicting movements at the flat junctions at Wolli Creek.

TfNSW communications with the public are abysmal.  Instead of drip feeding us information, often very vague, it would be helpful if they spelt out in detail the exact design criteria and how a project fits in with a broader long term plan.

On the matter of the maximum speed of the NIFs in the letter you received, all they have done is state the obvious.  The actual speed of the trains is dependent on a range of factors. That doesn't mean that they won't utilise their maximum speed of 160km/h where track and infrastructure conditions allow it.  Otherwise, why would they bother specifying that capability?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The way I read the letter was that while technically capable of 160km/h it won't be hitting that speed anywhere in Sydney. Both the Waratah and Oscar are capable of 160km/h but are rated to 130km/h and I expect the D set to also be rated to this number. 160km/h is just a thing that Andrew Constance wants for PR but there is nowhere in Sydney these trains can run at that speed especially when it is full.

The D set is just an Oscar with more comfortable seats and up to 10 carriages manufactured in south korea. Same width, same overhead, similar AC motors in similar motor and trailer design, same track with a max of 125km/h in Sydney and still 50 tonnes per carriage.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The way I read the letter was that while technically capable of 160km/h it won't be hitting that speed anywhere in Sydney. Both the Waratah and Oscar are capable of 160km/h but are rated to 130km/h and I expect the D set to also be rated to this number. 160km/h is just a thing that Andrew Constance wants for PR but there is nowhere in Sydney these trains can run at that speed especially when it is full.

The D set is just an Oscar with more comfortable seats and up to 10 carriages manufactured in south korea. Same width, same overhead, similar AC motors in similar motor and trailer design, same track with a max of 125km/h in Sydney and still 50 tonnes per carriage.
simstrain
Still in denial sims.  The maximum design speed of the NIF/D-sets is 160km/h and would have the capability to travel even faster, not that it would be utilised above 160km/h in service.  As is customary, it will be tested up to 176km/h during the trials, which is 10% above its service speed.  Similarly, the Millenniums, Oscars and Waratahs have a maximum design speed of 130km/h and they would have been tested up to 143km/h, which I understand was performed on the Western Line.  Just because the current speed boards in the Sydney metropolitan area don't allow for that higher speed, it doesn't mean that it won't be in selected locations in the future once ATO with in-cab digital signalling is rolled out.  I think you're reading too much into that response.

The D-sets are more than just an Oscar.  About the only thing they have in common is the body shell.  For starters, the traction motors would be more powerful and with modified gearing to allow them to attain the higher speed compared with the Oscars.  I'm sure it won't be too long before we start seeing videos of the high speed test runs.
  scadam Station Master

...the Millenniums, Oscars and Waratahs have a maximum design speed of 130km/h and they would have been tested up to 143km/h, which I understand was performed on the Western Line.
Transtopic
This is pure speculation on my part, but if the NIF fleet is to be rated at a service speed of 160km/h, then I suspect that the speed trials would take place on the Down between Wyong and Warnervale. Only place on the electrified network (that I'm aware of) with white boards at 160 and it's also conveniently located very close to Kangy Angy.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
...the Millenniums, Oscars and Waratahs have a maximum design speed of 130km/h and they would have been tested up to 143km/h, which I understand was performed on the Western Line.
This is pure speculation on my part, but if the NIF fleet is to be rated at a service speed of 160km/h, then I suspect that the speed trials would take place on the Down between Wyong and Warnervale. Only place on the electrified network (that I'm aware of) with white boards at 160 and it's also conveniently located very close to Kangy Angy.
scadam
You could be right, although I don't think that it necessarily needs to be in a location where 160km/h is permitted, as it will be under controlled conditions.  The speed trials will need to exceed that limit anyway.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

As if those trains or any trains will be doing 160km/h in regular running.

What a joke. Probably more for marketing purposes. The average traveller is not taken in by this useless information.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I agree with ANR this 160km/h is just a marketing thing. The D sets will not be doing that speed as they are not dynamic enough to handle the speed on the Sydney network with all it's curves. The new regional fleet I can definitely see getting to the white board speeds as they are single deck and have a much lower centre of gravity but the D sets have no chance.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I agree with ANR this 160km/h is just a marketing thing. The D sets will not be doing that speed as they are not dynamic enough to handle the speed on the Sydney network with all it's curves. The new regional fleet I can definitely see getting to the white board speeds as they are single deck and have a much lower centre of gravity but the D sets have no chance.
simstrain

I had a thought on this.  I suspect it would have cost a great deal more and required a custom order to built motors for the D sets *not* capable of 160kph.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I agree with ANR this 160km/h is just a marketing thing. The D sets will not be doing that speed as they are not dynamic enough to handle the speed on the Sydney network with all it's curves. The new regional fleet I can definitely see getting to the white board speeds as they are single deck and have a much lower centre of gravity but the D sets have no chance.

I had a thought on this.  I suspect it would have cost a great deal more and required a custom order to built motors for the D sets *not* capable of 160kph.
djf01

Regardless of whatever the motors are capable of the trains are not capable of it on the Sydney system. The motors are similar to what is in the mbug, oscar and waratah's so what makes the D set so special to make it capable of this speed and the others not?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I agree with ANR this 160km/h is just a marketing thing. The D sets will not be doing that speed as they are not dynamic enough to handle the speed on the Sydney network with all it's curves. The new regional fleet I can definitely see getting to the white board speeds as they are single deck and have a much lower centre of gravity but the D sets have no chance.

I had a thought on this.  I suspect it would have cost a great deal more and required a custom order to built motors for the D sets *not* capable of 160kph.

Regardless of whatever the motors are capable of the trains are not capable of it on the Sydney system. The motors are similar to what is in the mbug, oscar and waratah's so what makes the D set so special to make it capable of this speed and the others not?
simstrain

My point is we would have to go to a lot of trouble to find off-the-shelf equipment from anywhere in the world *not* capable of 160hph.  160kph is not special.  *Less* than 160kph is (very) "unusual" (ie a custom order, because f**k knows why anyone would want to spec a train slower than that).  But then, this is NSW, so 160kph can't be done.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney

Regardless of whatever the motors are capable of the trains are not capable of it on the Sydney system. The motors are similar to what is in the mbug, oscar and waratah's so what makes the D set so special to make it capable of this speed and the others not?
simstrain
It's not a question of capability for either of the Millenniums, Oscars, Waratahs or D sets in reaching their maximum service speeds, but the restrictions imposed by the current signalling technology and hence the speed boards now in place.  The rollout of the new digital signalling to ATO standard over the next decade will change all that, enabling higher speeds and closer headways.  It's also not just about the "Sydney" system, but the broader Intercity network.  Both djf and I have previously enumerated how sections of the Sydney Trains' network have the capability of being upgraded for 160kph running with track amplifications and new signalling.  It obviously won't be everywhere, but there's enough potential to significantly reduce journey times, particularly for express running which will advantage the D sets with their higher maximum service speed.

How do you know that the specifications for the traction motors for the D sets are similar to that for the Millenniums, Oscars and Waratahs?  I can't find a reference to it anywhere.  If you have any factual information, then please enlighten us.  However, it's a perfectly logical conclusion to come to that the D sets would have upgraded traction motors to enable its superior performance compared with the suburban stock.

You ask, what makes the D set so special?  Well for starters, it's an express Intercity train for limited stops, which will enable it to reach its maximum speed between stops where track conditions allow it, significantly reducing overall journey times.  On the other hand, the suburban stock (including the Oscars) are designed for suburban all stops and some limited stops express services on the Sydney Trains' network and a maximum speed of 160kph isn't warranted for suburban services.  130kph is all that's needed.  The metro trains only have a maximum speed of 100kph for all stops services.  It's horses for courses.  Although the D sets may look similar to the Oscars, in essence, it's a completely different train.

Although the old school Railcorp and Sydney Trains' legacy rail  planners are often maligned for being behind the times, they should be given credit for taking a long term view in proposing upgraded specifications for new rolling stock, taking into account future upgrades to the rail network.  After all, the rolling stock is likely to have a life-span with upgrades of 40 to 50 years.
  PeeJay Junior Train Controller

Location: Riverstone NSW
It's only recently that the white speed boards have been limited to 115km/h in the metro region. I've been on an Endevour from Moss Vale that went flat stick from Campbelltown to Central at (or perhaps even above) 145 km/h in around 2000. (That was a bit of a wild ride on the old track past east hills!). It used to be 160 most of the way between Parramatta and Penrith. It's not the track that's the problem, it's the safety requirements on signal sighting times and braking distances. With a more modern ATP system the risks can be properly managed and higher speeds allowed again. It's the same thing with freight trains being limited to 80 km/h. The current signaling wasn't designed for modern safety standards and higher traffic densities.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Does anybody have any actual proof of trains travelling on the Sydney network at the speeds mentioned on the east hills and western lines or are we just going to allow hearsay to be proof? Does anybody have some old track diagrams showing that these speeds were allowed?
  PeeJay Junior Train Controller

Location: Riverstone NSW
Just google it.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p738855.htm
  clockman Station Master

Extract from RailSafe Weekly Notice 51 -14 December 2020

SYDNEY AREA (ERSKINEVILLE) - STAGE 1 – INSTALLATION
OF NEW 681A/B, 682A/B, 683A/B, AND 684A/B
CROSSOVERS.
Commencing at 0200 hours on Saturday, 26 December 2020, and
continuing until 1800 hours on Thursday, 31 December 2020, the
following works will be carried out:
• New 681 crossover will be installed on the Down Illawarra and Up
Illawarra between 2.422km and 2.508km. The new crossover will
be spiked, clipped, XL locked and detected normal.
• New 682 crossover will be installed on the Up Illawarra and Down
Illawarra Local between 2.405km and 2.493km. The new crossover
will be spiked, clipped and XL locked normal.
• New 683 crossover will be installed on the Up Illawarra and Down
Illawarra Local between 2.546km and 2.614km. The new crossover
will be spiked, clipped and XL locked normal.
• New 684 crossover will be installed on the Down Illawarra Local
and Up Illawarra Local between 2.536km and 2.603km. The new
crossover will be spiked, clipped, XL locked and detected normal.
• New EP A-Valve units with in-bearer spherolock will be fitted to
681A, 681B, 684A and 684B points ends.
• New in-bearer spherolock arrangements will be fitted to 682A,
682B, 683A and 683B point ends.

Drivers diagram on RailSafe website

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