Standard Gauge VLocity

 
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
How about a 6 car train made up of 2 terminal units and 4 intermediate units? The 6 car train would be the correct length to suit platforms and servicing facilities, which is the sticking point with the 4 car trains so often put forward by Kuldalai.  
Lockspike
Some maintenance tasks require the vehicle to be lifted, and as they're permanently coupled, they lift the entire 3 car set with jacks at the same time. The current maintenance facilities physically only have room to lift a 3 car set, so adding any additional cars creates a problem. Its not insurmountable but would be a large and expensive operation to fix.

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  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
By ordering the bare minimium of rolling stock for SG there is no scope at all to increase services unless they keep the current rolling stock on hand.  I would like to see that older rollings tock made avaikable to a private firm who could bid to run services in the western part of the state.  If v/line is unable or unwilling then do a Kennett and offer the services up for tender.
The Western standard gauge line Is not set up for diesel railcars, substantial amount of coin would need to be spent on level crossing upgrades, so It ain't on the cards.
Nightfire
WOT?

@NSW said "older rolling stock". Of course it's set up, been running The Overland for decades
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

SG ordered are 6 x 3 car sg inter Citys sets with buffet. On Albury they WILL run as 6 car sets so the initial sets will support a frequency of three trains each way daily plus 1 consist rotating PPM/spare.  Each 3 car set only sits 150 , whereas a 4 car set would seat around 240.  For Albury, Swan Hill, Warrnambool and Bairnsdale 4 car sets are a much better fit for patronage.  The reason continually given is we have no choice -  the existing maintenance facilities are all set up for 3 cars. A fourth consist of 2 x 3 car sets will be required ultimately to allow operation of a fourth and fifth daily return service as promised to Albury.

Seems a very lazy way to run a railway in that the maintenance pits at CMD , and Ballarat East are easily modified to lift 4 car sets. Plus potential new maintenance facilities at Ballarat West, Waurn Ponds etc can easily and should be be built to handle up to 4 car sets.

Effectively by failing to introduce a  mix of 2, 3 and 4 car VL sets we are just blowing $ tens of millions dollars in wasted opex and maintenance costs over each year.  Currently we can only run 3, 6 or 9v cars.    With say  12 x 2 car,  44 x 4 car, and 50 x 3 car sets we could actually carry more pax at peak times and better match train sizes to patronage for each return trip pair . Viz: Off Peak trains of 2, 3, or 4 cars   And at Peaks of 4, 6, 7, or 8  cars.

Take like Ballarat - Ararat, Ballarat - Maryborough, and Bendigo - Echuca we only need two cars, but we currently operate 3. So potentially we can cut train opex/maintenance costs by 1/3 rd !!!!  Adds up to a lot of $ over a year which in the case of both Maryborough and Echuca could be used to increase service frequency each weekday by an extra return trip.

Plus 6 VL cars gives 444 seats , but 4+3 gives   310    or 2 x 4 gives 620  compared to 9 for 666.  Why spend scarce capex buying extra drivers cabs that are rarely used, instead of maximizing peak seating for the paying punters ?   Ironic given on-going failure to introduce a mix of 3 and 4 car sets going back over a decade through lack of foresight is now being blamed as the reason for not re-configuring the fleet  when it is acknowledged that would be better today and going forward.
  NimbleJack Station Master

Calm down.

There will be no broad-gauge four-car VLocity sets, because the infrastructure simply isn't set up for them. You would need to change signals, points, maintenance facilities, fuel bays and a hundred other little things to accommodate any rolling-stock arrangement that isn't a multiple of three.

It's not going to happen. It's never going to happen. Save your fretting and flapping for the next generation after VLocitys - if you're still around to see it.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

How about a walk-through six-car (with one buffet) with two auxiliary driver's cabs beside the gangway in the middle for driving while uncoupled for maintenance?  That's what Hong Kong's unidirectional trams have at their trailing end for using the "turning Y".  I believe that's also the case with S class locomotives.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
I wonder if they'll ever be used for the Main West now that COVID19 has pretty much blown Chairman Dan's future budgets out of the water? As pointed out earlier, the line isn't set up for DMU operation and would need some significant money spent on it before it could see standard gauge V/locity trains.

Just looked at the Journey Beyond website and they say that the Overland will start again on the 2nd of November.
  NimbleJack Station Master

VLocity design is set in stone. Nine three-car broad-gauge sets of the 2018 model will enter service over the next few months. Then will come six standard-gauge sets in 2022. Finally, there will be a further sixteen broad-gauge sets.

And that's it. Our VLo load will have been shot , gentlemen. Only at that point will we finally enjoy the luxury of frothing over the next generation.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
SG ordered are 6 x 3 car sg inter Citys sets with buffet. On Albury they WILL run as 6 car sets so the initial sets will support a frequency of three trains each way daily plus 1 consist rotating PPM/spare.  Each 3 car set only sits 150 , whereas a 4 car set would seat around 240.  For Albury, Swan Hill, Warrnambool and Bairnsdale 4 car sets are a much better fit for patronage.  The reason continually given is we have no choice -  the existing maintenance facilities are all set up for 3 cars. A fourth consist of 2 x 3 car sets will be required ultimately to allow operation of a fourth and fifth daily return service as promised to Albury.

Seems a very lazy way to run a railway in that the maintenance pits at CMD , and Ballarat East are easily modified to lift 4 car sets. Plus potential new maintenance facilities at Ballarat West, Waurn Ponds etc can easily and should be be built to handle up to 4 car sets.n it is acknowledged that would be better today and going forward.
kuldalai

I have wondered why they do not mix and match the Velocity sets that way to best address the passenger need and to avoid additional operating costs.  2 x 3 car sets seems expensive to operate when the service only needs 4 cars.  I do really like your view of the situation. Could a5 set consist work with the way velocity works?

The maintenance and fuel bill at V/Line must surely be higher than it needs to be.  Swapping to electrification for some of the lines would also lower the cost of maintenance for those sets but most importantly it would remove the dependencies on diesel fuel, make SCS cleaner and be better for the environment.
  NimbleJack Station Master

Things do seem wonderfully simple and straightforward when you're dealing with Hornby HO, don't they?

Real life, alas, is somewhat more complicated.
  NSWGR8022 Deputy Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Things do seem wonderfully simple and straightforward when you're dealing with Hornby HO, don't they?

Real life, alas, is somewhat more complicated.
NimbleJack

Does it need to be complicated?  It seems to work in other networks but not Victoria?

Do NSW change the number of intermediate cars for XPT and Endeavour sets?
  david harvey Chief Train Controller

Location: Bairnsdale Wharf Line
The new Velocity units for the standard gauge is certainly good news , no matter what configuration that internals come. Its good it see robust comments flowings about these 'N ' set carriage replacements. Sure they may need refining but when bureaucrats say to the public " We need your input"dont fall for that slight of hand trick cuz the department will build what ever they want.Apart from Mike from Ballan and myself ,I just wonder how many people are regular travelers on  the VR network and ride Velocity units as I find them far better than the alternative which would be a fleet of buses sorry coaches for our valued clients a 8 wheeled bus would be far less a problem running up and down the Hume.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Could they move the n classes and cars to the western lines and open new services up on the Horsham line?
Can I let this 1 off the chain, again..........Mildura.....Wink

BigShunter.
BigShunter
Well, the Ns can run where VLos cant right given the LX protections needed?

Would Mildrua and/or Horsham kick up a stink about old rollingstock though?

Though note, Mildura wont make any sense until there is SG to at least Ballarat.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Could they move the n classes and cars to the western lines and open new services up on the Horsham line?
Can I let this 1 off the chain, again..........Mildura.....Wink

BigShunter.
Well, the Ns can run where VLos cant right given the LX protections needed?

Would Mildrua and/or Horsham kick up a stink about old rollingstock though?

Though note, Mildura wont make any sense until there is SG to at least Ballarat.
james.au

I think in the first instance, let's allow our Mildura correspondent 'Lachlan's train Channel' to get back to us after contacting his local MP as he said he was going to. The second instance is the track needs heaps of work to bring it up to 100Km/h for loco-hauled as well as the third rail...at least between Maryborough and Ballarat.

Some of the stations have low-level platforms and facilities that haven't seen a passenger service for nearly 30 years and are in a somewhat dilapidated state.

As has been mentioned, the Wimmera line is in reasonable shape for passenger train operations as the stations re already DDA compliant.

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Could they move the n classes and cars to the western lines and open new services up on the Horsham line?
Can I let this 1 off the chain, again..........Mildura.....Wink

BigShunter.
Well, the Ns can run where VLos cant right given the LX protections needed?

Would Mildrua and/or Horsham kick up a stink about old rollingstock though?

Though note, Mildura wont make any sense until there is SG to at least Ballarat.
james.au

Running an N set to Horsham and back via the Geelong route would not be any worse than the overland service delivery?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Running an N set to Horsham and back via the Geelong route would not be any worse than the overland service delivery?
WAY too slow, by around 90 minutes...best to operate a service from the BG at Ararat to SG and viceversa. The only reason to operate through Geelong would be for essential servicing at SCS.

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3efaa93c-7229-41ef-8ad2-ffc462665ae2/210-Nhill-Melbourne-(via-Horsham)-(1)

Having said that, the toilet pumping facilities of the train need implementing at Ararat or Horsham and probable introduction of refresh on the train.

Also having said that....this discussion is almost fit for the Armchair forum at this stage... Smile

Mike.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
Could they move the n classes and cars to the western lines and open new services up on the Horsham line?
Can I let this 1 off the chain, again..........Mildura.....Wink

BigShunter.
Well, the Ns can run where VLos cant right given the LX protections needed?

Would Mildrua and/or Horsham kick up a stink about old rollingstock though?

Though note, Mildura wont make any sense until there is SG to at least Ballarat.

Running an N set to Horsham and back via the Geelong route would not be any worse than the overland service delivery?
bevans
Not any different than The Overland, apart from the obvious better time table plus intergation with TO times.

A better result would just shuttle to a waiting Vlo at Ararat. Saves an hour each way. Personally I'd push the service much further west.

ADDENDUM  Mike beat me to it.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Running an N set to Horsham and back via the Geelong route would not be any worse than the overland service delivery?
WAY too slow, by around 90 minutes...best to operate a service from the BG at Ararat to SG and viceversa. The only reason to operate through Geelong would be for essential servicing at SCS.

https://www.vline.com.au/getattachment/3efaa93c-7229-41ef-8ad2-ffc462665ae2/210-Nhill-Melbourne-(via-Horsham)-(1)

Having said that, the toilet pumping facilities of the train need implementing at Ararat or Horsham and probable introduction of refresh on the train.

Also having said that....this discussion is almost fit for the Armchair forum at this stage... Smile

Mike.
The Vinelander

The SG out west (and NE) equation is the never-ending accumulation of issues.



SG Gheringhap to Ballarat, great idea!  Straight forward.



Then,



SG to Ararat, great idea! (BG to Wendouree and workshops)  Again, straight forward.



Then,



SG to Maryborough, great idea!  And again, straight forward.



But wait, the SG access into Southern Cross from Geelong is congested, slow, mixed up with freight = rubbish and no obvious solution.   The great ideas soon run out when unknotting this great mess to have effective access to the actual destination.   Going via the plains or Ballarat is one thing for the western passenger services, is all undone with no practical solution to get into town that is timely AND reliable. All big $ and for what, a bunch of far reaching country passenger trains, never going to fly.



Anyone care to provide suggestions of how one would practically deliver SG from Newport to Southern Cross?    Change trains at Ararat or Ballarat is the only solution remotely practicable and even that is a dream.



The only practical solution that could get up is the Airport project be standard gauge and include scope to be also the funnel for said country trains to the west and north.   Not holding ones breath there, it is an opportunity though for the truly strategic.  
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
That is a great post.  Seems SG into Balalrat and all points west with servicing and storage at Ballarat for SG trains.  BG then you chnage.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I would start the SG trains at Ararat. Then they could cover both Horsham and also potentially Portland. Also the Ararat platform is an island platform. So you just step out of a BG train and across the platform into the SG train.

Ararat is the natural SG hub in Western Victoria.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW

Also having said that....this discussion is almost fit for the Armchair forum at this stage... Smile

Mike.
The Vinelander
Is not this entire website the armchair forum?!
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I would start the SG trains at Ararat. Then they could cover both Horsham and also potentially Portland. Also the Ararat platform is an island platform. So you just step out of a BG train and across the platform into the SG train.

Ararat is the natural SG hub in Western Victoria.
Duncs
how long are platforms in Ballarat?  could a tandem transfer work?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Calm down.

There will be no broad-gauge four-car VLocity sets, because the infrastructure simply isn't set up for them. You would need to change signals, points, maintenance facilities, fuel bays and a hundred other little things to accommodate any rolling-stock arrangement that isn't a multiple of three.

It's not going to happen. It's never going to happen. Save your fretting and flapping for the next generation after VLocitys - if you're still around to see it.
NimbleJack
No need to change signals as a 5 N and N loco are longer than a 4 car VL. We have previously run 4, 5 and even 7 car VL sets up to 2015 when we had both 2 and 3 car VL sets.  Fuelling is not an issue you just move the train progressively past the fuel point which is what happens now.

We can run 4 car VL anywhere, we can run 7 to Geelong already, and 8s with platform extensions. We can run 7,s to Ballarat with platform extensions. We can only run 9,s to Wyndham Vale currently, and with platform extensions to possibly the Marsh.

We only need to extend pit roads at Bombardier, CMD and Ballaarat East from 3 to 4 cars currently for lifting sets, and build new maintenance facilities at Waurn Ponds and Ballarat West suitable for 4 car sets.

The cost of modifying the three existing maintenance facilities now would be much lower than locking in the current situation where the capex cost per seat is higher, and the on-going maintenance and opex costs of running uneeded capacity around amount to tens of millions of dollars per annum .
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

How about a walk-through six-car (with one buffet) with two auxiliary driver's cabs beside the gangway in the middle for driving while uncoupled for maintenance?  That's what Hong Kong's unidirectional trams have at their trailing end for using the "turning Y".  I believe that's also the case with S class locomotives.
route14
Yes a 5 car or 6 car walk through set would be possible but the issue is the three existing heavy maintenance facilities at Bombardier, CMD and Ballarat are only set up to lift a maximum of 3 cars at any one time. As such 5 and 6 car sets would be permanently coupled that option is not practical.

Thus the urgent need to modify the three existing pit bays to lift 4 cars at a time. then one can have a mix of 2, 3 and 4 car sets allowing tarin sizes from 2 to 9 cars to be run whereas now one must run 3, 6 or 9.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I would start the SG trains at Ararat. Then they could cover both Horsham and also potentially Portland. Also the Ararat platform is an island platform. So you just step out of a BG train and across the platform into the SG train.

Ararat is the natural SG hub in Western Victoria.
Duncs

Agreed Exclamation

Also the Horsham and Dimmy locals are accustomed to bailing out of the bus at Ararat or Ballarat to connect with the train so it's a no-brainer really.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

VLocity design is set in stone. Nine three-car broad-gauge sets of the 2018 model will enter service over the next few months. Then will come six standard-gauge sets in 2022. Finally, there will be a further sixteen broad-gauge sets.

And that's it. Our VLo load will have been shot , gentlemen. Only at that point will we finally enjoy the luxury of frothing over the next generation.
NimbleJack
Incorrect, read the Media Releases this week . Up to 11/2018 election up to set 80 as 3 car bg had been ordered and these have now all been delivered albeit the latest numbers sit un-used at Wve stabling.  At 11/18 election Government announced iintention to purchase a further 54 cars.

Finally some 22 months later , this week firm order placed with Bombardier for 6 x 3 car sg sets (18 cars) of an Inter City fitout, and 12 x 3 (36 cars) car bg Commuter version taking the fleet up to a total 106 x 3 car sets of which 6 are sg and 100 bg.

To run the promised 5 return Albury services a day will require another 2 x 3 car sg Inter City sets, plus probably 1 x 3 sg to make a full 6 car sg consist available spare / PPM.

There has been no annoucement at this stage as to planned acquisition of any additional V/locity cars either as individaul cars or sets above the now firmly ordered and committed sets 89  106.

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