Nine-Carriage Sparks to Dandenong?

 
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I found this article in todays Herald-Sun and have been wondering what challenges would need to be addressed to achieve this.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-news/metro-plan-to-introduce-super-size-trains-in-melbourne/story-fn7x8me2-1226140356081

SUPER-sized trains could run on Melbourne's rails under a Metro plan to cope with booming patronage.

The idea, raised in private talks with the State Government, would involve having trains nine carriages long on the Dandenong line.

Platforms would be extended to accommodate trains about 70m longer than today's.

There would also be an impact on signals and overhead lines.

But not all stations would need platform extensions: longer trains could run express, bypassing stations with shorter platforms.

Cost estimates are yet to be completed; nor have matters such as parking been considered. But Metro engineers believe it can be done.

The proposal is revealed in minutes of private meetings in January and March, seen by the Herald Sun.

They also reveal that:

RISING patronage will "open the debate into removing seats and changing load standards".

A REPORT has been done on cracking in the City Loop.

ESCALATORS could be used for advertising space.

FEWER ticket inspectors are on the books than are needed, at a time when fare evasion is increasing.

METRO has handed over a list of the top 50 stations for armed-guard deployment.

AN independent passenger authority is being looked at.

Public Transport Minister Terry Mulder said squeezing in extra services by better signalling was an option.

"Nine-car suburban trains, or improved signalling, are among the options on the table for the Dandenong line in the medium term," he said.

"Both would be costly. Both require grade separations (removal of level crossings)."

Squeezing in extra trains means increased boom gate operation, leading to traffic disruption.

This would require earlier removal of level crossings, making it the more expensive option.

Metro's Geraldine Mitchell said it was analysing the network and finding ways to maximise infrastructure use.

"The option of nine-car trains, which is still under investigation, would enable us to increase capacity where it is needed the most," she said.

I'm assuming they won't run via the City Loop, and they'll use platform 10 at Flinders Street, but where would they be stabled, and what grade-seps would be required?

Sponsored advertisement

  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

First I've heard about it, Metro needs to be congratulated for thinking outside the box.

What's your opinion, may I ask? I think it has merit.
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
I like it and I'm wondering about the possibility of through routing it.

I think Sir Rod Eddington suggested running longer sparks through his proposed tunnel in his EWNA report. Hopefully those new platforms at Footscray can be extra long.

If they were through routed using platforms 10-13 at Flinders Street Sandringham trains could get sent through the loop and a flyover before Richmond, but what happens at North Melbourne?
  spottyrahr Chief Commissioner

I was originally told that the Sunbury extension platforms would all be 9 cars because Sydenham/Subury line would be diverted via the new city tunnel.

But I've never found any hard evidence of that.

If they want to do 9 car trains they need to buy more sets. At the moment it would cripple other services which would go from 6 to 3 cars. Either that or services get canned for it.
  Revenue Chief Commissioner

The planning for nine carriage trains is not a new thing. A couple of points:

- the Melbourne Metro line was always to be designed for nine carriage operation

- Nine carriage trains could also run via Flinders Street and Southern Cross

- It is not cost effective to extend the platforms at Loop stations to nine carriage operation

- Dandenong Line is the prime candidate for nine carriage trains as it has the most capacity issues.

- Most new stations are being designed to allow for nine carriage trains (either at construction or able to be extended in the future).

- Happy to be corrected, but I though that Sunbury and Diggers Rest were both going to be designed for nine carriage trains.

- This would probably occur with new rollingstock, not existing rollingstock.
  UQB709 Locomotive Fireman

I wouldn't get too excited about Metro "thinking outside the box", as this idea has been kicking about for some time, and not just in gunzel circles Smile

There has been some work already done in the last couple of years on the implications; sidings, movement of track work, signalling/track circuits etc, platform extension options and so on.

Interesting that Mulder is suggesting that 9 car trains will require grade separation.  Compared to running more services, I don't really see how 9 car trains will necessitate grade separations.
  Gauntlet Chief Commissioner

Location:
Cranbourne is going to need a lot of work.
I guess the stabling would be lengthened, High Street (aka South Gippsland Highway) would be raised and the station would go on the down side of the road.
Since its somewhere on the governments grade-sep list Murrumbeena would get done.
Is there room between the road overpasses for a longer platform at Armadale, and will the platforms need to be straight and level at Malvern and Caulfield?
  Speed Minister for Railways

A concern with nine car suburban trains is that they'd have problems like the signalling ones seen with seven car Vlocities.

This would probably occur with new rollingstock, not existing rollingstock.
"Revenue"
A plan like this would write off the idea of ordering new trains as six car sets.

In the years to come, I'd think that three car sets are only really going to be used on the shuttle services. Other lines will have sufficient passengers to warrant longer trains ie six car ones.
  heisdeadjim Chief Commissioner

I suppose the question needs to be asked:

The current rolling stock that runs to Dandenong, the Siemens and Comeng sets (purposely overlooking the Silvers), can they run as 9 car units?

As in, hypothetically assume the necessary tracks and platforms exist - could the trains do it now or do they need modification?

And to stretch it further, with the Government purchasing xtrapolis trains - what about them?
  Boss Chief Commissioner

Location: Caulfield Line
Whilst I agree with longer trains I can't see it working without large $'s spent lengthening Richmond, South Yarra, etc, platforms
  joffie Chief Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Sounds like another government/metro pipe dream.

I cant see them making the platforms longer, also can the trains currently run with 9 carrages without having some sort of power issue?

Cant see it happening, not under this government, or even next.
  Kerpal Deputy Commissioner

Are the stations currently under construction able to take 9 car trains?
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
First I've heard about it, Metro needs to be congratulated for thinking outside the box.
"heisdeadjim"


It was floated a while ago when Connex were in the seat.  How we know it was floated a while ago was that somebody spotted a document about extending City Loop platforms for Pakenham trains.  At the time, Pakenham loadings at Parliament were a horror. (Well, might still be so ...)

Search and you'll find that thread.
  712M Chief Commissioner

I like the idea. Right now in peak hour you have a train every 3-4 minutes. Which means Pakenham expresses and Traralgon V/Lines are timetabled to crawl behind Cranbourne stoppers which are just as full. As complicated as allowing 9 car trains to run, it is the only way to do it without full grade separation and quadruplication between Dandenong and Flinders Street as trains are only going to get fuller.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
I cant see them making the platforms longer, also can the trains currently run with 9 carrages without having some sort of power issue?
"joffie"


I suspect what we are going to end up doing is what CityRail did for operation of Millennium trains; duplicate the contact wire.

I also suspect, this is going to happen, here, soon.

When we have major delays and many, many trains in one of Electrol's sections, we have power drop-outs. Now, with Comeng trains with new or refurb aircon units, I suspect this may be a more frequent occurrence (supply drop out).

Ergo, duplication of contact wire at same voltage.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
I like the idea. Right now in peak hour you have a train every 3-4 minutes. Which means Pakenham expresses and Traralgon V/Lines are timetabled to crawl behind Cranbourne stoppers which are just as full. As complicated as allowing 9 car trains to run, it is the only way to do it without full grade separation and quadruplication between Dandenong and Flinders Street as trains are only going to get fuller.
"712M"


Given my experience last week of crawling on a Vlocity between Huntingdale and the city, I can only add my voice to that.  Moreover, now that I have had the experience, Eddington's cross-city tunnel makes sense.

Nonetheless, either we go back to bi-levels (the wires have already been raised on Frankston and Pakenham lines) or to 9 car trains stopping only at premium stations.
  Beaver Locomotive Driver

Why bother grade separating in most cases? We're talking small roads: just close them.
  tranzitjim Chief Commissioner

Location: Banned
So I guess they would only be doing some trips as 9 car trains.  Dandenong line would still see a large quantity of 6 car trains too.

Do not forget, they only want to do some stations for 9 car trains, and have the 9 car trains stop only at those locations. Therefore they will still require 6 car trains to service the other stations too.

Grade seperations would not be needed for 9 car trains, nor 12 car trains.



My idea would be.....
.....Extend only the platforms at: Dandenong, Oakliegh, and perhaps Caulfield stations for 12 carriage trains
.....Operate Cranbourne and Pakenham trains, joined as a mixed train between Dandenong and Flinders Street, and making only those two stops at maximum.
  jordo73 Beginner

Location: Melbourne
You would only upgrade a limited number of stations to be able to handle 9 carriage trains, that would operate express services from these key stations in the peak.

Forget about complications with Armadale or other such minor stations, only the major stations with the highest patronage should be upgrated and be serviced by the 9 carriage trains.

Although until you have quadruplication or even triplication from Caulfield to Dandenong there will still be limitations as the expresses will still get held up behind slower trains/

But this is not a bad idea that could be implemented reasonably cheaply, just needs some new trains and some platform extensions.  

Grade separations are ideal in the longer term, as is the quadding, but this could be a pretty simple short term fix to the capacity problems on the line!
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
would these 9 sets become effective orphans ? only usable in limited fashion. Just asking

Why does grade separation alter the running of trains ? I thought it was cars affected, not the rail ?
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Personally, I think they should have gone to 8 cars, with extra T cars between sets. The Hitachi was designed as M-T-T-M like the previous trains, however they went the other way by introducing 2 car D-M sets. Was a silver ever run/tested as 8 cars in the 1970s?

The only problem with an 8 car setup would be the City Loop, unless dedicated 6 car trains were run on these services.
  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Why bother grade separating in most cases? We're talking small roads: just close them.
"Beaver"



That is what is going to happen to non-RFR lines in order to get Vlocity services.

  574M White Guru

Location: Shepparton
Personally, I think they should have gone to 8 cars, with extra T cars between sets. The Hitachi was designed as M-T-T-M like the previous trains, however they went the other way by introducing 2 car D-M sets. Was a silver ever run/tested as 8 cars in the 1970s?

The only problem with an 8 car setup would be the City Loop, unless dedicated 6 car trains were run on these services.
"Heihachi_73"


Traction issues - principally wheelslip - and weaker traction motors (150HP) doomed MTTM hitachi trains.  However, I can see possibilities for MTTM for Siemens trains easily. I reckon delivery of hp to the rail by traction motors on the Siemens trains is strong enough to do MTTTTM trains (6 cars x 2motors), but I suspect the cabling may have issues.
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
9 car Siemens  or time for a new design ?
  John_Proctor Train Controller

would these 9 sets become effective orphans ? only usable in limited fashion. Just asking
"SPSD40T2"


The 9 car sets would be the existing rolling stock (or the currently on delivery x'traps) operating as 3 3-car sets rather than a pair or 3 car sets.  it wouldn't be brand new rolling stock so no issues with orphans.  

also no issue with reducing rolling stock provided to other lines as there are still about 14 of the 38 trains ordered by the previous government to be delivered.   so those 14x6 car trains could just as easily be 9 9 car trains with 1 3 car set spare to run teh 9 car sets.


Why does grade separation alter the running of trains ? I thought it was cars affected, not the rail ?
"SPSD40T2"


Level crossings on the Dandenong corridor are down for up to 40 minutes in the peak hour.   Government (becuase they want ot keep the community happy so they stay in power) are now in a position where they are choosing not to run any more trains on the Dandenong corridor so that this boom gate 'down time' doesn't increase to effectively close many level crossings.

Also worth remembering that level crossings aren't just about personal vehicle travel.  their are 11 level crossings between Caulfield and Dandenong and they provide for LOTS of bus routes, a state significant hospital (ambulance access), freight vehicles (both heavy and light commercial) etc.


There was a comment on the previous page that running the (say) 16 9 car trains should not increase the amount of boom gate down time as 16 6 car sets.  This is false.

9 car trains will requrie longer lengths between signals and will occupy a signal (and a level crossing) for longer than a 6 car set.   Signals in advance of the level crossing won't really be effected but signals downstream of the level crossing will take longer to clear and therefore the boom gates will have to stay down longer.  

For a 90m longer train that might seem insiginifcant but when you add 10 seconds of down time to 25 trains through the level crossing in the peak hour you might get an extra 4 minutes of boom gate downtime.  That is a pretty significant increase given the already very congested road conditions along those level crossings.

Not sure on what the current thinking is for 9 car platforms but you'd think it would be most likely to occur further out.  with trains then running express something like Oakleigh-Caulfield-Flinders Street.    I'm not sure how much room there is at South Yarra or Richmond to extend platforms to 9 car length without spending BIG dollars especially if ultimately 9 car trains would run thorugh the Eddingtunnel anyway.   at least the suburban stations would not be sunk costs as they'll still run into the Eddingtunnel.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.