Metro - suburban train timetables too complicated - The Age

 
  John_Proctor Train Controller

just checked - 14 different stopping patterns on the Frankston line inbound in the morning peak

1. Frankston SAS - Mordiallic - Cheltneham - Moorobain - Benteligh - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
2. Frankston SAS - Cheltenham - Bentleigh - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
3. Frankston SAS - Cheltenham - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
4. Frankston SAS - Cheltenham - Caulfield - Malvern - South Yarra - loop
5. Frankston SAS - Moorabin - Caulfield - Malvern - South Yarra - loop
6. Frankston SAS - Moorabin - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
7. Frankston SAS - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
8. Frankston SAS - Malvern - South Yarra - loop
9. Frankston SAS - loop
10. Carrum SAS - Malvern - South Yarra - direct
11. Carrum SAS - Direct
12. Carrum SAS - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop
13. Cheltenham SAS - loop
14. Moorabin SAS - loop

simplify by running:
- Cheltenham SAS - Direct
- Frankston SAS - Chelthenham - Moorabin - Caulfield - South Yarra - loop

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  gxh Junior Train Controller

Location: SE suburbs
A flyover at Caulfield would help!   This would be the first step towards triplification from Caulfield to Oakleigh.  But since this this seems to be a "no go" project, guess it's not going to happen any time soon!
  fast01 BUTTSCRATCHER!

Location: Somewhere your not.
So this 2 tier service, will it be for all lines? Or just the ones with highest patronage? The reason I ask is if it were for all lines, and Essendon was the inner terminus for the Craigieburn line, then wouldn't P1 be in need of an extension?
  Michaelje Chief Commissioner

Ric... I mean Michealje, it seems you're asking a lot of other people to post, and very few ideas of your own are posted.  

Let's see what you have to say.  How would you fix it?
"Sir Thomas Bent"


I'm not asking others to post, some people put up some cryptic or random comments, which make little-to-no sense, and I'd like to see them expand on where they are going.

Now, back to the real world. There is nothing to "fix". Things work fine. If you want them to work better, spend some cashola on new trains, new signalling where required, extra platforms and tracks, and removing single-line sections.

None of this ridiculousness about "tidying" up a timetable!
  The Met Chief Commissioner

Location: 37.55-S /145.01-E
There is nothing to "fix". Things work fine.
"Michaelje"


Ahahaha.

---

Anyway; I think 'tidy' used by the media is completely the wrong term. If I were to understand Metro's intentions, their original plans were to bring online new timetables which seeked to run more services with a similar amount of rollingstock - something the Connex had claimed to be extremely difficult.
  GORT-KLAATU Train Controller

A little off topic, but is Metro is still planning to introduce from what ive heard of as a new seating layout longitudinal (sideways window-lining) seating on trains?

I dont really know what the seating plan is, but I suppose longitudinal would allow more people to stand on short journey train lines perhaps.

Much appreciated.
  The Met Chief Commissioner

Location: 37.55-S /145.01-E
The seating layout featuring more standing room trialled by Connex will be rolled out progressively on Comeng rollingstock. To what extent I personally am unsure.

Newly delivered X'Trapolis trains will also have a layout with one column of seating removed making it 2x2 seating rather than the standard 2x3.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
It's easier to add more services when trains are in the yards; getting more drivers to do the extra runs required is another story. If one driver is coming into Heathmont on a down Belgrave, the same person can't be driving another train towards Glen Waverley at the same time.

----------

Nothing to "fix"? Tell us what magical line you're on Michaelje, is it the one with 5 minute expresses direct to Crack?

Try telling the people who have been sitting at Canterbury since 6:15pm that there's 'nothing to fix' after their peak hour SAS train (6:26 Ringwood) is cancelled and they have to wait until 6:40, whilst watching expresses fly past (or, crawl past at 40km/h as they sometimes do) in both directions on the other tracks.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

1.  Infrastructure wise for intermediate terminal stations (3 platform stations)  these lines should  allow direct Flinders St Inner termini direct SAS services:

Laverton (via Westona)
Sunshine
Essendon
Box Hill
Brighton Beach
Oakleigh or Westall
Moorabbin or Cheltenham

2. The Loop Ltd Inner Suburban stops would then be on the same lines :
Werribee (direct via Galvin)
Sydenham  
Craigieburn
Ringwood/Belgrave/Lilydale
Sandringham  (But as Flinders St directs account Loop capacity)
Dandenong/Pakenham/Cranbourne
Frankston

3.  Laverton as terminal station nearing completion, and Westall about to start construction. So for April 2011 tt change lets say its Westall not Oakleigh, and lets go for Cheltenham rather than Moorabbin .

4. Pathing wise one is shot out to Sunshine in peaks with VLP in the mix, so assume Sydenham/Sunbury stays as one set of SAS trains for now. (in any case total stops to Sunbury is only 13 from Southern Cross.)

5. Patronage wise what would justify two sets of trains all day :
Laverton / Werribee
Essendon / Craigieburn
Box Hill /  Ringwood Beyond
Westall / Dandenong Beyond
Cheltenham/ Frankston

6. Peak periods only as two sets of trains , patronage justifies :
Brighton Beach / Sandringham . (All as Flinders St directs.)

7. The question then shakes down to :
- are there enough trains
- are there enough drivers
- are there sufficient paths
- are any further track amplification works required
- are any short term track connections / signalling required
- does such a two tiered tt offer an improved service overall
- would such tt operate more reliably than the existing timetable
  712M Chief Commissioner

I don't know why you would want to terminate at Brighton Beach, a terminating train would have to crossover the Up track from the down to access the dock platform. Sandringham is only 2 stations away so it would make more sense to build a second platform there.
  Michaelje Chief Commissioner

It's easier to add more services when trains are in the yards; getting more drivers to do the extra runs required is another story. If one driver is coming into Heathmont on a down Belgrave, the same person can't be driving another train towards Glen Waverley at the same time.

----------

Nothing to "fix"? Tell us what magical line you're on Michaelje, is it the one with 5 minute expresses direct to Crack?

Try telling the people who have been sitting at Canterbury since 6:15pm that there's 'nothing to fix' after their peak hour SAS train (6:26 Ringwood) is cancelled and they have to wait until 6:40, whilst watching expresses fly past (or, crawl past at 40km/h as they sometimes do) in both directions on the other tracks.
"Heihachi_73"


I'm on the Sydenham line, and thanks for asking.

The difference is that I'm not a dillusional passenger. I understand you can't run a service every 2 minutes from every station.

There is not much to "fix". Things are working to design based on the inherent design of that infrastructure.

To do any "better" we need to change the design of the infrastructure- ie. add more trains, add more track, add more drivers, have better signalling.

Your example was pointless too.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around

To do any "better" we need to change the design of the infrastructure- ie. add more trains, add more track, add more drivers, have better signalling.

Your example was pointless too.
"Michaelje"


While I obviously do not agree that we can't fix what we have, I agree that we need to spend money. Melbourne has 38 X'Traps arriving, and plans to order a new type of train once delivery is complete. RRL is being built to take V/Lines off suburban tracks giving plenty more space for trains at peak hour, and driver training is being expanded do to the new increased driver number targets.

So it's not like none of this is happening, rather, you just haven't put two and two together to see that what Metro are talking about involves taking these factors into account, and to me it doesn't seem they're just talking about re-jigging what we have now.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

I would have thought that Craigieburn is a sufficiently short trip (time wise) to not require an intermmediate stopper.  More through trains stopping all stations would be good enough.  That is, until the wire heads further north.

Interesting that you suggest Cheltenham for the Frankston line intermmediate terminal yet bring the Ringwood line intermmediate back from Blackburn to Box Hill.  Any particular reason?  

I have wondered why we have wasted the third track to Moorabbin for so long.  Cheltenham should have been an intermmediate terminal ages ago with all Frankston and Dandenong trains running express from South Yarra to Caulfield.

One more in the  -are there enoughs.....

Will our overhead cope with more trains?  38 new trains is a fair percentage increase of power draw.
  tomohawk Chief Commissioner

Location: Getting The Met to get around

Will our overhead cope with more trains?  38 new trains is a fair percentage increase of power draw.
"DalyWaters"


I've noticed at least one new substation being build (Fairfield, on the old APM siding alignment). Something is eating at the back of my mind thinking that I read somewhere that more substations were part of the budget for these new X'Traps. I have absolutely no proof of this though, so don't take this as fact.
  Natronomonas Chief Train Controller

I think by clockface the intention is exactly evenly spaced and at easy to remember intervals, ie every 15 mins, every 10, every 5. Not every 17 mins or 13 mins, or trains at :03, :17, :33 and :52.
"Natronomonas"


But at Lilydale the trains are basically every 30 minutes on a weekday and every 20 mins on a weekend. Making them :20, :40, :00 on a weekend instead of :19, :39, :59 might make Lilydale departures neater but doesn't do anything for all the other stations.
"Ballast_Plough"


I wasn't saying change them to :20, :40, etc, I was saying the spacing should be even - the last numbers I listed are just random times apart (ie I found them on the timetable for my station during shoulder peak...)

Evenly spaced doesn't equal departure times on the :05 or whatever, just that wherever your station is you can expect trains spaced every 15 mins - then you just have to remember the first one (eg :04) then you can figure out the rest. As soon as you got to something other than an 'easy' number like 17 mins apart, no matter which hour it is the exact departure time is going to get all over the place (each hour will be different to the previous and following hour... you need to check a timetable to figure out when the heck your train is coming.)
  Metlink Chief Commissioner

Location: Camberwell Station or on Tram 109 or bus 302
Another thing that might work well, which is what we use here in Paris on the RER (which is the suburban rail network) is naming the trains for their stopping patterns and destination. So on RER line C, to get home I need to board "VICK". To go to my friends house I need to board "MONA". All RER lines have a 4 letter code which people read and know where that train goes. I don't need to look at the screen to see the stopping patterns, I just see the name on the front of the train. Something that might be confusing at the first but it does make life a whole lot easier as you don't need to be staring at screens looking at stopping patterns.
  BMTA511 Chief Train Controller

Location: Mahachai City
The only routes that can support two tier services with current infrastructure are:

Frankston, Ringwood, Werribee

On the Frankston Line:

Tier 1: This would be Limited Stop via city loop eg South Yarra - Caulfield - Moorabbin then all stops.

Tier 2: Stopping all stations Direct from Flinders street to Moorabbin.

On the Ringwood line:

Tier 1: Limited Stop via city loop eg Richmond - camberwell - box hill then all stations to Ringwood. Every second train to Belgrave or lilydale.

Tier 2: Stopping all stations Direct from flinders street to box hill.

On the werribee line:

Tier 1: Limited stop via city loop eg North Melb - Footscray then all stops newport then Newport - laverton express then all stops werribee.

Tier 2: Stopping all stations to Laverton via altona Direct from flinders street.

Willamstown (Change Newport), Alamain (Change Camberwell) Cranbourne (Change Dandenong) would operate as full time shuttle services even during peak hours using 3 car sets.

All other lines would operate full time as stopping all stations.

All Gippsland vline would terminate at Dandenong and return to Gippsland expect Bairnsdale trains. All passenger would have to changed onto a metro train at Dandenong untill a 4 track line is completed.

All Bendigo, Ballarat Vline trains would terminate at sunshine with passengers transferring to metro trains at sunshine. The vline trains would terminate on temporary timber platforms north of the station and passengers connect via covered walkways to the metro trains untill the new regional fast rail tracks are completed.

Geelong trains would follow the werribee limited stop trains into Melbourne on the same timetable if need be due to limited passing locations between north melb and werribee. A faster geelong timetable would return upon the new line to sunshine being completed.

All the existing metro trains would have the seating changed to longitudinal seating for maximum capacity.

During peak periods the headways should be close to or better than every 5 mins and off peak/weekend no less than every 10 mins through out the metro system.

This is what would be needed to be done to get the maximum out of the current infrastructure that melbournes metro system has and probably makes use of every train at peak times (100% train utilization at peak)

Do the train servicing overnight/weekend so the maximum amount of trains are running at peak times.

Regarding faults on trains a peaks if the train can still move and stop it can remain in service with the faults untill the end of peak just to keep the system moving.  After peak the train goes for urgent servicing. If passengers feel unhappy with the faulty train take the next one.

All cargo trains would be limited to Weekends and between 9pm and 5am Monday to Friday. To keep the system free for metro trains.


This is what needs to be done to handle any short term future growth on the system in melbourne. Longer term 3rd and 4th tracks need to build on any route with express trains and vline services to allow fast trips to return.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
All Bendigo, Ballarat Vline trains would terminate at sunshine with passengers transferring to metro trains at sunshine. The vline trains would terminate on temporary timber platforms north of the station and passengers connect via covered walkways to the metro trains untill the new regional fast rail tracks are completed.

"BMTA511"


You've been in Thailand too long Exclamation

Temporary timber platforms Question  I don't think so. Laughing

Come back to Oz and see how many pax are on peak Ballarat and Bendigo trains. Then try to shoehorn them into already full sparks heading to/from the city, remembering this is a first world country...no offence intended.

BTW the present plan is for the RRL tracks to join the Ballarat line somewhere just to the west of Deer Park station, which will mean 4 tracks from Deer Park to Sunshine.
  richiebogie Chief Train Controller

Bmta511 has done a good analysis of maximizing the system with current infrastructure.

In Sydney the 2 tier services have 4 tracks to the terminus of the inner tier.

I would change

On the Ringwood line:

Tier 1: Limited Stop via city loop eg Richmond - camberwell - box hill then all stations to Ringwood. Every second train to Belgrave or lilydale.

Tier 2: Stopping all stations Direct from flinders street to box hill
...alternating with Glen Waverley, but with only 3 tracks, the 2 tiers are interdependent, so you might want

Belgrave, Glen Waverley, Box Hill, Lilydale, Glen Waverley, Box Hill which gives more services to the inner stations as far as Ringwood.

He may as well have all v/line services terminate at the metro termini until express tracks are completed.

However, temporary platforms cost money which could be put toward extra tracks. Change that brings winners and losers is politically expensive too, even if winners outweigh losers.
  AzN_dj Chief Commissioner

Location: Along route 69
How come everyone here wants to revert the Ringwood short terminus to Box Hill, when it's been fine with Blackburn for ages?
If the tracks were too much of a problem, then they built the middleborough road bridge with enough space for a third track. I guess this could be fast-tracked to Blackburn (excuse the pun)

You cant run a train in passenger service with faults BMTA511. What if the fault is with the brakes? Think it's safe to run the train in that instance? Or a train catches fire. Still safe to run the train in service "just to keep the system moving"?

Making Cranbourne a shuttle would be extremely unpopular as well, on that note.
Frankston doesn't need more capacity yet, so it would be safe to keep it as it is. But currently limited stops run express from Caulfield to Cheltenham - its better to keep it that way. However, Cheltenham probably needs a reconstruction to cater for a short-stopper. OR, if they ever build a station at Southland, Spanish solution would work with the third track.

Problem is efficiency at Caulfield. Any fly-overs aren't going to go down well with the locals, and you can't close Queens Avenue, which passes underneath if you were going to create a fly-under. I would personally prefer an up-up-down-down arrangement, but to do so would require a large amount of reconstruction at Caulfield. It depends if it is justifiable or not.
  michinyon Chief Commissioner

I absolutely agree with the last posting.   Timetables are "complicated" for a reason.   Unless you can start with a completely clean slate and start again,  infrastructure-wise,   thats the way it is.

Just because they do it a different way in ,  so what ?   Lots of other things are different there also.
  scottydl Train Controller

Amongst all this endless discussion, including that espoused by the new head of Metro Trains, is one important oversight - The Suburban timetables are complex by necessity. A "clockface" timetable from what location given there are hundreds around the network? How is this going to improve things? Simplification of stopping patterns - really? And why? They have been tailored to try to spread peak-hour loads as far as possible across the existing fleet to maximize potential capacity. That is what timetable planning is all about.

One thing our new transport operators will learn very quick - Melbourne has its own set of unique, challenging issues which will test even the most switched-on service provider and transport planner. Nothing than can be transplanted readily from any overseas transport system. I hope the main focus will be on Melbournes hopelessly unreliable rollingstock and infrastructure rather than trying to re-invent the timetable, especially at peak times.

The limitations of infrastructure dictate the timetable - always have and always will. There has been much tinkering over the years and all individual factors have been tailored in to meet the demands of requirements unique to each individual corridor. And it has always had the interests of customers added first.

The reason the trains inbound go Via The City Loop in the morning peak (and outwards in the PM peak) from all groups (bar the recent Clifton Hill changes) is that the overwhelming majority of customers interests are placed first. And that is the way it should be. That is why the loop changes direction at 1.00pm weekdays. Same as adding in additional stops at Glenferrie many years ago to cater for the huge rise in student traffic there, plus the some of the expresses stopping Surrey Hills and so on. There are millions of other examples over the years. Everything is customer-focused. That is why when you make changes to untangle infrastructure limitations, such as removing Werribees from the City Loop at peak times, reversing the flow of Clifton Hill group trains to remove the opposing-move conflict at Jolimont and so on, then you do encounter adverse reaction. On the other hand, if you make the tough decisions and spend the big dollars on MAJOR infrastructure upgrades then you reap the long-term benefits. Something the state of Victoria has never been much good at in the area of transport planning. I am sorry, but we are still paying the penalty for the TOTAL lack of foresight displayed by our 1960s and 1970s transport planners. And there is only one person we can thank for that - the government of the day. They chose a path of neglect rather than upgrade and modernise. An opportunity lost. Makes it so much more difficult now.

In the area of timetabling - it has all been done where possible so far - and whilst the RRL project will untangle some of the mess between Sunshine, Newport & the city by separating VLP and Met Trains, so much more needs to be done to untangle the rest of the network. I agree with the concept of 10-minute off-peak frequencies for sure given the patronage growth across the network, but if you are serious about any PEAK-hour improvements on the Eastern side of town then if I was the head of Metro Trains I would be pleading with the Government to fund urgently -

3rd track Box Hill to Ringwood.
3rd & 4th tracks Caulfield to Dandenong.

Why these improvements are STILL not on the agenda I am yet to know? How many more decades need to pass before people take their heads out of the sand?

I know well the problems associated with land acquisition, level crossings and so forth in the Caulfield to Dandenong corridor, but doing nothing is not the solution. All that is offered is band-aid solutions such as a longer passing loop at Westall and little else. How is that going to help long-term given the projected patronage and population growth?

Why try to re-invent the wheel when it does not need re-inventing. By all means come up with all these clever little new service patterns but please also start showing evidence that your proposals will assist lessening the pressure of peak hour loading. Then you are talking sense. Better still, start talking about removing all these infrastructure limitations with the investment of billions of dollars (and that is now much it will take in all reality) and then you can start re-inventing the wheel.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

There were/are plans for a second platform at Sandringham but it never seems to get built.

The intention when Westall is complete is to run short starters from Westall, so by default that would become the terminal station for Flinders St direct SAS trains .

Fourteen stopping patterns on the Frankston Line is just ridiculous, it may be applying band aids but in reality it makes the railway very hard to run reliably .

Any decent interested pro-active Transport Minister would have seen to it that the third track was extended from Box Hill eastwards in conjunction with Middleborough Rd when it probably could have been done for a bargain $ 10 - 15m . For full benefit the third track on the Frankston line needs to be extended to Mordialloc .  

As for Caulfield - Dandenong the much hyped plan basically  puts it in the too hard basket .  So in the medium term to shoe horn in more suburban peak services (or two sets of suburban trains) the VLP trains get slowed down . Hardly an ideal situation .

The Frankston Ring Road is being funded and payments made to builders under a radical new financial arrangement . these sort of new financing solutions are what is required to get a lot of these fixed rail improvements off the ground now .
  Sir Thomas Bent Minister for Railways

Location: Banned
So, with this whole two-tiered thing.  Sort of back to the future - it's exactly how things were done in the 1950's.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

So, with this whole two-tiered thing. Sort of back to the future - it's exactly how things were done in the 1950's.


If it worked then ,bring it on.

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