XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  M636C Minister for Railways

I had the detailed post, but its gone.

In US, they don't use DMU long haul because they are very focused on loco hauling traditional cars. They also don't run small trains and when they do its often along the east coast corridore where they also have volumes and even electrification. The RTT is a sports 6 car spark with a route distance of nearly 700km. EC seats are far from comfortable, but it has nothing to do with the train, its the seats as spec'ed by QR. Prospector has a similar distance to RTT, looks more comfortable, but I haven't used it.

The Overland's loco weighs almost as much as the train. The trains is then limited in speed by the loco designed for hauling freight trains. If teh Overland was replaced by the Prospector it would probably cut >90min off the timetable.  .
RTT_Rules

I have twice been logged out as inactive while posting.

Always save your post, even just Control C, before posting.

In the USA, end loading requirements increase weight to the extent that DMUs are not practical. The Acela trailer cars weigh more than twice as much as TGV trailers because of safety requirements.

The NR class weighs 134 tonnes. An Overland car weighs about 45 tonnes. The power car weighs about 50 tonnes. Overlands I've seen weigh about twice the weight of the loco or more.

The Overland is limited to 115km/h because that's the track speed limit.

The ARTC would have to agree to 160km/h running for a Prospector to be used.

Changing the gear ratio on an NR would also allow 160km/h running if the ARTC agreed to it. The EL class were designed for 140km/h running (lower weight, light motors) but I'm not sure any ever ran at that speed.

In Germany, 103 class locomotives were allowed 200 km/h and reached it quite often.

Locomotives can run as fast as EMUs and DMUs if they are designed for it.

M636C

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
What is RTT? For me the XPL's are barelly useable for short hauls such as Glbn & Canberra,  To BX on the West & perhaps OGE at a pinch. North Taree at best or likely Dungog & MBK. XPT beyond or new modern service

RTT is the Rockhampton Tilt Train, introduced in 1998. 2 sets, run Rocky - Brisbane - Bundy /Bundy - Brisbane to Rocky each day, a distance of about 1100km . Its an electric (25kVA) powered 6 car beast that would probably have the highest power to weight ratio of any train in Australia and can lean into the corners to boot just to speed things up a bit. Hence RTT_rules. It replaced the still relatively young QR ICE sets which were rated to 120km/hr. It doesn't have ISE like planes, but does have over head TV's with seat headsets for sound + comedy and radio channels.

Its a 6 car fixed set, so the train is very different to XPT/XPL/Vlocity etc as its designed to run as one unit and designed as such. My thinking for future NSW is diesel based mini trains built with similar concepts. Fixed sets sharing services etc for greater economies and efficiencies.

XPL is a 20 year old aging gutless train. My brother when doing his apprenticeship in NEwcastle hard numerous comments how underpowered they were. This doesn't mean DMU's are bad, just the person who signed off the design. If the XPL can get to Broken Hill it can do Canberra and I've done the Can- Syd trip and thought it was fine, just the trip was slow and train is starting to show its age. I'm not sure what an extra 200-300kW per car would do for the timetable, but I'm sure would help.

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I have twice been logged out as inactive while posting.

Always save your post, even just Control C, before posting.

In the USA, end loading requirements increase weight to the extent that DMUs are not practical. The Acela trailer cars weigh more than twice as much as TGV trailers because of safety requirements.

The NR class weighs 134 tonnes. An Overland car weighs about 45 tonnes. The power car weighs about 50 tonnes. Overlands I've seen weigh about twice the weight of the loco or more.

The Overland is limited to 115km/h because that's the track speed limit.

The ARTC would have to agree to 160km/h running for a Prospector to be used.

Changing the gear ratio on an NR would also allow 160km/h running if the ARTC agreed to it. The EL class were designed for 140km/h running (lower weight, light motors) but I'm not sure any ever ran at that speed.

In Germany, 103 class locomotives were allowed 200 km/h and reached it quite often.

Locomotives can run as fast as EMUs and DMUs if they are designed for it.

M636C
M636C
Hi
Correct, if they are designed for it, like XPT/CTT etc.

My point was more the existing loco fleets in Australia cannot because they are too hard on the track due to their weight and bogie design thus making ARTC highly unlikely to agree. However Bring over the Prospector and while 160 may not be possible, the train would more than likely be cleared for 10-20% above many of the speed boards because its track forces are much lower/more friendly.

Yes loco hauled is an option like the 103 class, but most of our trains are simply too short to justify this cost. NSW could have a single fleet of trains doing all the regional work. Use loco hauled and this means two locos on the NW service with one hauling 2 pax cars into Moree. Even the Dubbo XPT would be considered marginal. Then there is the shunting, XPT/DMU can be turned anywhere and XPL can spilt anywhere as we have seen on NW. Loco hauled more restricted, you need run around loops (which adds to the time. The Brisbane XPT, driver does 4hr from Grafton, pulls in, has smoke, a pee/poo, stretch , walks to far end and off he goes. No extra man power, time or extra locos required. We could follow the Germans have have trailing HP I suppose with last car fitted with a drivers cab for reverse running 900km back to Sydney? Other states, NSW and most developed countries have moved/moving away from loco hauled apart from certain types of services or simply because they have the stock for a reason.

As I have said before, the Yanks operate in a world of their own. High level of safety on train design, school buses etc yet they have a democratic right not to wear seat belts in many states.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Hi
Correct, if they are designed for it, like XPT/CTT etc.

My point was more the existing loco fleets in Australia cannot because they are too hard on the track due to their weight and bogie design thus making ARTC highly unlikely to agree. However Bring over the Prospector and while 160 may not be possible, the train would more than likely be cleared for 10-20% above many of the speed boards because its track forces are much lower/more friendly.

Yes loco hauled is an option like the 103 class, but most of our trains are simply too short to justify this cost. NSW could have a single fleet of trains doing all the regional work. Use loco hauled and this means two locos on the NW service with one hauling 2 pax cars into Moree. Even the Dubbo XPT would be considered marginal. Then there is the shunting, XPT/DMU can be turned anywhere and XPL can spilt anywhere as we have seen on NW. Loco hauled more restricted, you need run around loops (which adds to the time. The Brisbane XPT, driver does 4hr from Grafton, pulls in, has smoke, a pee/poo, stretch , walks to far end and off he goes. No extra man power, time or extra locos required. We could follow the Germans have have trailing HP I suppose with last car fitted with a drivers cab for reverse running 900km back to Sydney? Other states, NSW and most developed countries have moved/moving away from loco hauled apart from certain types of services or simply because they have the stock for a reason.

As I have said before, the Yanks operate in a world of their own. High level of safety on train design, school buses etc yet they have a democratic right not to wear seat belts in many states.
RTT_Rules
You make the Grafton drivers work seem like a picnic, just need a pee a poo a smoke, well not permitted on stations & staff meal rooms these days, then afer the shift from Grafton he has to have a minimum break before returning to Grafton to finish. No longer Brisbane crews so I found out.

The train works at the worst possible times for fatique elements, early am to Brisbane & then back again, most in the dark & working into the predawn & dawn rising, it is quite hard to understand how one has to concentrate especially when solo in the cab, doing the speed as well as the terrain nature, I saw men I knew that were much greyer since they went onto the XPT rosters.

At WCK we doubled the NT 24 to Maitlan & back, they wanted us to go to BMD & return, no problems but if both were even on time there was insufficient time for the 3 poses you mention a reason we were able to negotiate to Maitland instead, as it meant no worries about delays to the down service either, if we were late,  By the time back at the Creek, it was a pleasure to get off the train, especially winter as you faced the sunset all the way at the end.

Having a run for a single loco is no big deal at all, in fact it takes longer to get the passengers & luggage off than it is to run round an 8 car train, think back it only took 8 allowed minutes for loco changes in steam days, which generally included the run forward, engine crew change, run back to train, couple up, once air restored continuity tests were carried out, & then depart. No difference should happen these days. At worst to run round an 8 car train would take more time only based on how well the signalman operated the points.

A Swasa would be able to uncouple or an observer if employed run forward over trailing points & have the road set & signals for other end set to run past points then reverse & back.

The split up for the Moree service would have to be worked on, perhaps a train change with DMU at WCK or Moree to change to, happened in the 80's with a 900cl at WCK to change for the NW.  Not a hard role for XPL stock,


As I said before, & so have others, keep thinking away from how old loco hauled trains were, but then again many of the TT's were capably handed by steam & not much longer, if at all running times than we see with the modern stuff. If ARTC have problems, doesn't say much for their expertice at all, now time to duck.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi,
Yeah I believe the XPT Grafton driver does Grafton - Bris, 1hr break (less if train is late) then back to Grafton. Yes I agree the Brisbane XPT roster is not friendly. Another reason for my effort to move away from night runs.

No, wasn't indicating picnic, but I have watched them a few times and certainly less work than shunting. Hopefully they have only banned smoking not having a pee/poo at stations, last thing we want is "stuck up" drivers jammed in a DOO cab on their own. Smile

I think we will see XPL stock being removed from NSW trains regional services by 2025 and I doubt we will ever see stock running isolated on the network doing shuttles. The good think about the NW train is that is spilts to the required size for the branch legs of the journey. I know they used to do that for Wee Waa and Moree in loco hauled days.

I used to watch the EBR DOO drivers shunt their locos on their own at Roseberry and Hellyer in Tas, time taken from disconnect to reconnect and away in just a few minutes. However there have been others in RP that certain checks are required and if the job is done in only a few minutes then they are not doing these checks and safety is at risk. I have no idea who is right or why, hence my comments on loco hauled. If it was a DOO operation including shunt, I would have less objections.

In Germany last year my son and I watched a train arrive at a terminus station, all left including staff, then behind came a shunt engine (complete with side rods), guy hooked up and then with remote started to drive the train away checking it as it went then ran down the platform and hoped on. I believe there was no one else on the train from what could see.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
The recent contributions to this thread since the announcement about a $1 billion replacement program have been very interesting to read and the experiences of those who have operated various test and regular trains and the capabilities of those trains versus timetables etc have been a great read.


Rather than be specifically focused on what particular traction package or train type that should be used my view is that there are some base requirements that are needed for any new train rather than specifying that it must be a new XPT type or a DMU (Prospector/V’Locity/Explorer) or locomotive hauled option.


My first perspective based on Australian and a lot of international reality is that whatever the fleet, it has to be recognized that its going to last roundly 30 to 35 years.   That then leads to a view that we need to ensure that the “train” is designed and built from the outset with future proofing in mind.   In other words don’t rule out a particular capability or feature today just because we don’t have that available to us right now.


From that perspective consider firstly traction performance.   The development of fuel efficient, highly reliable and powerful high speed diesel engines for both DMU and locomotive applications has come a long way in the past 10-years and especially in the past 5-years.   Railpagers have quoted the difference in performance between say Explorer units versus the Prospector and even that with its brutish performance is now 10 years old.   So lets accept we need high power to weight ratio and similarly high performance electro –pneumatic braking systems so we can achieve the best performance over the twisty, windy and heavily graded NSW-Southern Queensland network.


Similarly we need tilt.   There has been enough said in the forum already about the benefits of tilt that enable trains to take curves at the maximum speed possible without adversely affecting passenger comfort.   That’s well evidenced in Queensland and of course Japan and Europe.   While tilt adds to the cost the reality is that we are not going to see rail alignments rebuilt substantially to run a few passenger trains at considerably higher speeds so we will have to fully exploit the potential of what is out there.


So what maximum speed should the vehicles be capable off given their long life.  Based on the Mid West USA experience of running higher speed passenger trains in a conventional railway environment the view seems to be that it is 176 km/hr (110 mph) as beyond that grade separation of road crossings is necessary (noting that UK and some other locations do have some level crossings in 200 km/hr territory.


This claim is likely to draw criticism from some rail pagers but the reality is that passenger vehicles like V’Locity, the Prospector, QR Tilt trains etc already have the capability of achieving those speeds even if the either the infrastructure or regulatory environment CURRENTLY precludes that.   If we look at track standards, they have in fact been improving with concrete sleepered mainlines and ARTC for example undertaking mainline rail renewals using 60kg/m rail.   It is therefore quite a reality that over 30 years, more rerailing will occur, level crossing warning protection equipment will be upgraded using train speed predictors that adjust LX protection operation based on the speed of the train (already utilized) and added safety/protection systems like ATP/TPWS and ATMS that will be available to ensure driver compliance with signals and speed restrictions for curves etc.


I have no doubt the reductions in journey time that were announced in association with the XPT fleet replacement piece were based on some form of computer modelling.   What I can say based on my direct experience of running train performance tests with new trains relative to the model output is that trains like the Prospector and V’Locity units ALWAYS BETTERED the modelled output.   (Happy to provide examples).  So it is my view that if you have a train with good power to weight ratio, high performance braking and tilt, running over progressively upgraded track even with alignments as they are you have the potential in that sense to deliver something considerably better than we do today.


The next thing is designing a train to suit the market and the types of service to be provided.   Based on a 30 year minimum life what you do need is flexibility.   The ability for the train configurations to be adjusted to meet particular loading and patronage requirements.   In Victoria the new fleet started out as 2 car V’Locity units.   It was envisaged that 2 x 2 car sets would suffice in peak periods but now we see 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 car configurations and trials are currently being held to run 9 cars.


We have also seen the re-emegence and expansion of train sets splitting and combining like the Moree/Armadale Explorer service as V’Locity trains now split/combine at Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon to serve feeder routes.


Whilst some routes like the North Coast lend themselves to a larger fixed formation, there are opportunities to split and divide at Orange for Dubbo and Parkes or similarly at Albury/Wagga Wagga for Melbourne and even north of Casino/Grafton for Brisbane.   This doesn’t preclude of course having two fleets but given in relative terms the small fleet it is, there is a lot to be gained at having a homogenous fleet that can be built up and broken down.


The other area we need to get smart with is more modular type interiors so that over the 30 plus year using internal rail and track systems it is possible to renew or reconfigure seating and other parts of the interior.


In terms of passenger amenity the announcement was fairly strong that there would be high standards of comfort and wifi etc.   There are plenty of examples of good quality seat designs that should be able to provide a step change in comfort without the vehicles having to be gold plated.  Similarly there are options around catering and refreshments instead of using the traditional buffet.

  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I agree in principle with most of what Trainplanner has said.

I have come back to announce that I need to defer my timetable release to after the election. So, err, I shall have to quote Education Minister Christopher Pyne and say that I want it to be a "surprise"; rest assured I've "fixed it".

So while we count down to the election, please allow me to leave behind some meaningless statement.

We will deliver a new timetable that will offer much more convenience for our regional customers. It will make you fall off your chair, because of how much better it is than the Labor timetable. Labor left behind a mess, a real mess, in the sticks, and we're going to fix the trains in the sticks, because it's election time and we need the Nats.

Also, we want tilting choo-choos. Because they're cool, and they'll tilt in your favour.

We're fixing the XPT.

Also, we're not Labor, and Mike is hot.
Watson374, Parliamentary Secretary for Choo-Choos In The Sticks
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I agree in principle with most of what Trainplanner has said.

I have come back to announce that I need to defer my timetable release to after the election. So, err, I shall have to quote Education Minister Christopher Pyne and say that I want it to be a "surprise"; rest assured I've "fixed it".

So while we count down to the election, please allow me to leave behind a slogan.
Watson374
Yeah I agree TP was a pretty good sum up.

From what I'm hearing we will see LNP still in power on Sunday so that variable will be gone and it will be interesting to see what they come up with. Note it was a LNP govt that was the last govt to invest in regional rail in NSW.
  s3_gunzel Not a gunzel developer

Location: Western Sydney, AU
My question is to Parliamentary Secretary for Choo-Choos In The Sticks; who came up with the idea that they weren't labor, and how is that going?

Also; is this all a part of the "Fixing the Trains" campaign spear-headed by the Minister for the Hunter, or a seperate thing?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Apologies to everyone; I've edited my sloganeering.

My question is to Parliamentary Secretary for Choo-Choos In The Sticks; who came up with the idea that they weren't labor, and how is that going?

Also; is this all a part of the "Fixing the Trains" campaign spear-headed by the Minister for the Hunter, or a seperate thing?
s3_gunzel
We're Fixing The XPT.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The recent contributions to this thread since the announcement about a $1 billion replacement program have been very interesting to read and the experiences of those who have operated various test and regular trains and the capabilities of those trains versus timetables etc have been a great read.


Rather than be specifically focused on what particular traction package or train type that should be used my view is that there are some base requirements that are needed for any new train rather than specifying that it must be a new XPT type or a DMU (Prospector/V’Locity/Explorer) or locomotive hauled option.


My first perspective based on Australian and a lot of international reality is that whatever the fleet, it has to be recognized that its going to last roundly 30 to 35 years.   That then leads to a view that we need to ensure that the “train” is designed and built from the outset with future proofing in mind.   In other words don’t rule out a particular capability or feature today just because we don’t have that available to us right now.


From that perspective consider firstly traction performance.   The development of fuel efficient, highly reliable and powerful high speed diesel engines for both DMU and locomotive applications has come a long way in the past 10-years and especially in the past 5-years.   Railpagers have quoted the difference in performance between say Explorer units versus the Prospector and even that with its brutish performance is now 10 years old.   So lets accept we need high power to weight ratio and similarly high performance electro –pneumatic braking systems so we can achieve the best performance over the twisty, windy and heavily graded NSW-Southern Queensland network.


Similarly we need tilt.   There has been enough said in the forum already about the benefits of tilt that enable trains to take curves at the maximum speed possible without adversely affecting passenger comfort.   That’s well evidenced in Queensland and of course Japan and Europe.   While tilt adds to the cost the reality is that we are not going to see rail alignments rebuilt substantially to run a few passenger trains at considerably higher speeds so we will have to fully exploit the potential of what is out there.


So what maximum speed should the vehicles be capable off given their long life.  Based on the Mid West USA experience of running higher speed passenger trains in a conventional railway environment the view seems to be that it is 176 km/hr (110 mph) as beyond that grade separation of road crossings is necessary (noting that UK and some other locations do have some level crossings in 200 km/hr territory.


This claim is likely to draw criticism from some rail pagers but the reality is that passenger vehicles like V’Locity, the Prospector, QR Tilt trains etc already have the capability of achieving those speeds even if the either the infrastructure or regulatory environment CURRENTLY precludes that.   If we look at track standards, they have in fact been improving with concrete sleepered mainlines and ARTC for example undertaking mainline rail renewals using 60kg/m rail.   It is therefore quite a reality that over 30 years, more rerailing will occur, level crossing warning protection equipment will be upgraded using train speed predictors that adjust LX protection operation based on the speed of the train (already utilized) and added safety/protection systems like ATP/TPWS and ATMS that will be available to ensure driver compliance with signals and speed restrictions for curves etc.


I have no doubt the reductions in journey time that were announced in association with the XPT fleet replacement piece were based on some form of computer modelling.   What I can say based on my direct experience of running train performance tests with new trains relative to the model output is that trains like the Prospector and V’Locity units ALWAYS BETTERED the modelled output.   (Happy to provide examples).  So it is my view that if you have a train with good power to weight ratio, high performance braking and tilt, running over progressively upgraded track even with alignments as they are you have the potential in that sense to deliver something considerably better than we do today.


The next thing is designing a train to suit the market and the types of service to be provided.   Based on a 30 year minimum life what you do need is flexibility.   The ability for the train configurations to be adjusted to meet particular loading and patronage requirements.   In Victoria the new fleet started out as 2 car V’Locity units.   It was envisaged that 2 x 2 car sets would suffice in peak periods but now we see 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 car configurations and trials are currently being held to run 9 cars.


We have also seen the re-emegence and expansion of train sets splitting and combining like the Moree/Armadale Explorer service as V’Locity trains now split/combine at Bendigo, Ballarat, Traralgon to serve feeder routes.


Whilst some routes like the North Coast lend themselves to a larger fixed formation, there are opportunities to split and divide at Orange for Dubbo and Parkes or similarly at Albury/Wagga Wagga for Melbourne and even north of Casino/Grafton for Brisbane.   This doesn’t preclude of course having two fleets but given in relative terms the small fleet it is, there is a lot to be gained at having a homogenous fleet that can be built up and broken down.


The other area we need to get smart with is more modular type interiors so that over the 30 plus year using internal rail and track systems it is possible to renew or reconfigure seating and other parts of the interior.


In terms of passenger amenity the announcement was fairly strong that there would be high standards of comfort and wifi etc.   There are plenty of examples of good quality seat designs that should be able to provide a step change in comfort without the vehicles having to be gold plated.  Similarly there are options around catering and refreshments instead of using the traditional buffet.

Trainplanner
Trainplanner  Thanks for your input & well thought out post, same as your post on the Bathurst Bullet thread.

In pretty well everything I have said in this debate, I have put the basis of the need for track upgrading that includes grade & curve replacements, without those two happening sadly we will perhaps be stuck with a repeat of the original XPT idea, that being the XPT was a leap forward for NSW rail but, again the sorrow was that it was at the same time, a disaster owing to the initial failures in planning that had not taken into account the difference in NSW compared to the HST & the lines it operated on.

It did not take long to reveal these deficiencies especially with the reduction in running times & associated reduction in the speed boards for general locomotive hauled trains, in other words the mail & other passenger trains operating over the major routes were speed downgraded especially on curves under 100Km/h with a general 5K reduction with several being reduced by 10k's. Not a lot indivdually but where the trains ran over heavy graded lines with low speed boards it was a substantial reduction to make the XPT look better with so called improved running times, however, in the main the XPT ended up running to the same speed boards as the old Loco hauled trains.  So much for the advancement of the NSW rail passenger fleet, which incidently in many instances the XPT today runs a slower TT than back then.

One can argue & several have done that previously that the existing carriages are generally sound & therefore can withstand internal rebuilding, but would that be a better option even though it maybe a cheaper option in the short term, I actually doubt that. In some ways, while its a minor issue a bad design feature in the XPT for long distance day travel is the wide windows, meaning 1 row of seats has good viewing while 2 are generally poor & the seats are aligned at the mid sill, to me modern design should incouporate narrow windows that allow each seat to be fully set with the window alingment no matter the direction of travel.

You do mention how dated trains are & the improved technologies which is very evident around the world, here we expect 30 odd years wear in the trains, but is that realistic in view of how they are basically thrashed to death by having the cheapest option winning contracts, as against looking at the overall quality of the design in it?  That really is something that whoever is involved in the decision making process, meaning how much will those in treasury or other areas who are no doubt against Rail services especially passenger fleets.

The concept of splitting trains does work well on the Northern line, & it was the XPT's introduction to the NT region that brought that to an end until the XPL's, a Robust modern splitting train would work on that service, & while the 4-3 combo is more than enough now, if new trains are built & allowed for this sort of work, then they should be robust enough to have them capable of 5-4 in future if not for capacity power.  

One great problem that is had these days is the real inability to plan for holiday times & increasing trains to cater for the seasons, thus its imperative to look for sufficient spares of both locomotive/power units as well as carriages.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Just to blow my own Gunzelling trumpet again, here is the new design for NSWTrains new long distance & interurban platform:

  djf01 Chief Commissioner


Southern Region

Set 1 (4 + 3 car):- Wagga 4am to Syd 9:30am -> Syd 2:00pm -> Mel 10pm -> Set 2

Set 2 (4 + 3 car):- Mel 7am to Syd 3pm -> Syd 6pm to Wagga 10:30pmc-> Set 1

Set 3 (4 + 3 car):- Syd 6am to Mel 2pm -> Mel 3pm to Syd 11pm –> Set 3


Nth Region (Brisbane is never easy and a overnight night trip is very hard to avoid)

Set 4 (4 + 3 car):- Grafton 6AM to Syd 3pm -> Syd 6:15pm to Bris 6:15am  -> Set 5

Set 5 (4 + 3 Car):- Bris 9AM to Syd 9pm -> Syd 6:30am to Bris 6:30pm -> Set 6

Set 6 (4 + 3 Car):- Bris 9PM to Syd 9AM >  Syd 2pm to Grafton 11pm -> Set 4


West and NW Region

Set 7 (3 + 2 Car):- Dubbo 6am to Syd 11am -> Syd 2pm to Arm 9pm/Moree 9:30pm

Set 8 (3 + 2 Car):- Arm 7Am/Moree 6:30Am to Syd 2pm -> Syd 3:30pm to Dubbo 8:30pm


Canberra

Set 9 (3 Car):- Can 7am to Syd 10:30am -> Syd 11:30am to Can 3pm -> Can 4:00pm to Syd 7:30pm

Set 10 (3 Car):- Syd 7am to Can 10:30am -> Can 11:30am to Syd 3pm -> Syd 6:30pm to Can 10pm


Broken Hill (2 days) / Griffith (2 days) / Parkes (day return)

Set 11 (3 Car):-


Trains wise

6 x 4 car sets

10 x 3 car sets

2 x 2 car sets

RTT_Rules

Oh, very courageous minister!

I think the times are just a touch too ambitious.  Syd - Mlb in 11 hrs would be a significant achievement.  3.5hrs Canberra to Sydney equally courageous too IMHO.  Sydney to Dubbo in 5 hours?  Tilting might help a bit, but IMHO these sorts of time savings would need a flux capacitor.

That said, I like the rest of the ideas.

I don't quite see the point of running 2 sets permanently coupled to form a larger train.  It means 2 buffets, 2 luggage areas and potentially twice the on-board cabin crew.  If these elements weren't needed then you could have more frequent but smaller services.

My view on the Sydney-Canberra is currently serviced by 2 x 3 car trains on a similar timetable to the one outlined above.  There is also a 2 car set (sort of) dedicated to Goulburn services (4 CityRail type trains a day - 2 on weekends).  My view is that route would be better served by 3 x 2 Car trains rather than 2 car car trains providing a 5 train per day service.  It'd work a treat with DOO, but even with a crew of 2 it's still less staff than the current Xplorer product.  With the current fleet that'd be three half explorer/endevour combos creating three 150 seat trains.  Vending machines instead of buffets, 2+3 "overflow" seating, self stowing luggage with the booking, payment, seat allocation and enforcement handled by OPAL.

The sort of train I'd like to see is a 2 to 4 car train, with 2+3 seating in (at most) half of it - no buffet - and extra space for PAX self stowed baggage.  Designed to run with a crew of 2, or at most 3 - and no station staff.

The configs would be 150, 210 & 300 seats.

An example of how this could work on the southern line with 3 small (ish) 210 seat sets:

Set A: Syd 7:00 - Mlb 19:00 - Syd 7:00
Set B: Mlb 7:00 - Syd 19:00 - Mlb 7:00
Set C: Wagga 7:00 - Syd 13:30 - Wagga 20:00

2 trains a day plus a red eye, vs the one daily and one overnight train.


Similarly with the Nth Coast:

Set A: Syd 8:00 - Grafton 18:00 - Bris 22:00
Set B: Bris 6:00 - Grafton 10:00 - Syd 20:00
Set C: Wauchope (Port Macquarie)  7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Wauchope 21:00  (With a feeder bus to/from Coffs)
Set D: Broadmeadow 8:00 - Grafton 15:30 - Broadmeadow  23:00
Set E: Grafton 7:00 - Broadmeadow 14:30 - Grafton 22:00

Dubbo needs:

Set A: Dubbo 7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Dubbo 21:00
Set B: Syd 7:00 - Dubbo 14:00 - Syd 21:00
Set C: Bathurst 6:00 - Syd 10:30/16:00 - Bathurst 20:30

None of these need to be any more than 150 seat sets.

NW:

Set A: Moree 7:30 - Broadmeadow 15:00 - Armidale 21:30
Set B: Armidale 6:30 - Broadmeadow 13:00 - Moree 20:30
Set C: Sydney 8:00 - Tamworth 24:30 - Sydney 21:00

This is 19 sets, 9x2 car and 5x3 car and 4x4 car.  ~50 vehicles @$300mil.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Just to blow my own Gunzelling trumpet again, here is the new design for NSWTrains new long distance & interurban platform:

djf01
You don't have the clearance for a DD nor width for comfortable 5 across for long distance.

Issue with shared bogies is weight. XPL is 14.5t/axle, V-set is 15t, OSCAR is 14t.

Even allowing for one less bogie and shorter car lengths you will still be 50% more weight per axle or ~22t which will cap your speed below 115km/hr. I think either 80 or 90km/hr its in here http://www.artc.com.au/Content.aspx?p=98

Note: if your train is above 23t/axle it won't leave the yard.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Oh, very courageous minister!

I think the times are just a touch too ambitious.  Syd - Mlb in 11 hrs would be a significant achievement.  3.5hrs Canberra to Sydney equally courageous too IMHO.  Sydney to Dubbo in 5 hours?  Tilting might help a bit, but IMHO these sorts of time savings would need a flux capacitor.

That said, I like the rest of the ideas.

I don't quite see the point of running 2 sets permanently coupled to form a larger train.  It means 2 buffets, 2 luggage areas and potentially twice the on-board cabin crew.  If these elements weren't needed then you could have more frequent but smaller services.

My view on the Sydney-Canberra is currently serviced by 2 x 3 car trains on a similar timetable to the one outlined above.  There is also a 2 car set (sort of) dedicated to Goulburn services (4 CityRail type trains a day - 2 on weekends).  My view is that route would be better served by 3 x 2 Car trains rather than 2 car car trains providing a 5 train per day service.  It'd work a treat with DOO, but even with a crew of 2 it's still less staff than the current Xplorer product.  With the current fleet that'd be three half explorer/endevour combos creating three 150 seat trains.  Vending machines instead of buffets, 2+3 "overflow" seating, self stowing luggage with the booking, payment, seat allocation and enforcement handled by OPAL.

The sort of train I'd like to see is a 2 to 4 car train, with 2+3 seating in (at most) half of it - no buffet - and extra space for PAX self stowed baggage.  Designed to run with a crew of 2, or at most 3 - and no station staff.

The configs would be 150, 210 & 300 seats.

An example of how this could work on the southern line with 3 small (ish) 210 seat sets:

Set A: Syd 7:00 - Mlb 19:00 - Syd 7:00
Set B: Mlb 7:00 - Syd 19:00 - Mlb 7:00
Set C: Wagga 7:00 - Syd 13:30 - Wagga 20:00

2 trains a day plus a red eye, vs the one daily and one overnight train.


Similarly with the Nth Coast:

Set A: Syd 8:00 - Grafton 18:00 - Bris 22:00
Set B: Bris 6:00 - Grafton 10:00 - Syd 20:00
Set C: Wauchope (Port Macquarie)  7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Wauchope 21:00  (With a feeder bus to/from Coffs)
Set D: Broadmeadow 8:00 - Grafton 15:30 - Broadmeadow  23:00
Set E: Grafton 7:00 - Broadmeadow 14:30 - Grafton 22:00

Dubbo needs:

Set A: Dubbo 7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Dubbo 21:00
Set B: Syd 7:00 - Dubbo 14:00 - Syd 21:00
Set C: Bathurst 6:00 - Syd 10:30/16:00 - Bathurst 20:30

None of these need to be any more than 150 seat sets.

NW:

Set A: Moree 7:30 - Broadmeadow 15:00 - Armidale 21:30
Set B: Armidale 6:30 - Broadmeadow 13:00 - Moree 20:30
Set C: Sydney 8:00 - Tamworth 24:30 - Sydney 21:00

This is 19 sets, 9x2 car and 5x3 car and 4x4 car.  ~50 vehicles @$300mil.
djf01
My reasoning was additional track upgrades including completing the NCL curve easing would be completed with 5 years. The single track on the Main west would be also be realigned within the two track corridor. Basic things that support improvements to all.

The issue with above is the terminating of NW trains at Newcastle, is there sufficient evidence to support such a change? Changing trains to Sydney is not attractive. QR was able to pull back quite significant route times with reasonable track work. The current NSW timetables are based on track conditions prior to ARTC.

I like the T'worth service.

NCL, I would run to Coffs, it would be worth the extra time. Port Macquarie is not worthy.

Why run 1+1 sets?
- Each sets are permanently coupled. Like someone else said more like a tram or RTT arrangement. The idea of limiting sets to 3 different sizes provides a lot of flexibility to manage loadings.
- One cabin crew per set was my thinking to assist with loading/unloading and serve in between stations. Luggage space for single 8 car train is same as 4 + 4cars. Also allows a lot of flexibility in future timetable options. Maybe the trains bigger than 3+3 or more would have a 3rd train crew member to assist.

ie you might find a train to say Brisbane needs 8 cars from Sydney, but 4 cars from Coffs, the other 4 cars may terminate at Coffs and return with the opposite running service timed to arrived shortly after.

Buffet, as per trains I used in Europe. I think most items like cold drinks, sweets, chips etc can be dispensed from built in vending machines. Staff would only serve alcohol and hot foods on a less regular basis. People are and expect more self service these days. I think the RTT has two small buffets as well, car 2 and 5 to prevent people walking long distances through trains with food and drinks.

You need space for checked luggage. I agree focus on self stored in the cabin and entrances, but some items like surf boards, bikes, large bags, some prams etc are just not suited for cabins. If cars only have one set of doors per car (excluding drivers cab) like the Qld tilt trains you have more space for bag storage and other facilities.

5 across is too uncomfortable for the distances involved. 2+2 is max. Train is 2.9m across. Allow 10cm for walls either side with aisle leaves 50-60cm per seat including arm rest.



-
  thadocta Chief Commissioner

Location: Katoomba
I had a look at what we could do trying to avoid after mid-night running and improve on the current timetable in services.

Nth Region (Brisbane is never easy and a overnight night trip is very hard to avoid)

Set 4 (4 + 3 car):- Grafton 6AM to Syd 3pm -> Syd 6:15pm to Bris 6:15am  -> Set 5

Set 5 (4 + 3 Car):- Bris 9AM to Syd 9pm -> Syd 6:30am to Bris 6:30pm -> Set 6

Set 6 (4 + 3 Car):- Bris 9PM to Syd 9AM >  Syd 2pm to Grafton 11pm -> Set 4
RTT_Rules
This wouldn't work, an 1830 arrival into BNE would clash with the evening outbound peak on the DG, too many GC trains heading out whilst the service from SYD is trying to head in.

Dave
  a6et Minister for Railways

Oh, very courageous minister!

I think the times are just a touch too ambitious.  Syd - Mlb in 11 hrs would be a significant achievement.  3.5hrs Canberra to Sydney equally courageous too IMHO.  Sydney to Dubbo in 5 hours?  Tilting might help a bit, but IMHO these sorts of time savings would need a flux capacitor.

That said, I like the rest of the ideas.

I don't quite see the point of running 2 sets permanently coupled to form a larger train.  It means 2 buffets, 2 luggage areas and potentially twice the on-board cabin crew.  If these elements weren't needed then you could have more frequent but smaller services.

My view on the Sydney-Canberra is currently serviced by 2 x 3 car trains on a similar timetable to the one outlined above.  There is also a 2 car set (sort of) dedicated to Goulburn services (4 CityRail type trains a day - 2 on weekends).  My view is that route would be better served by 3 x 2 Car trains rather than 2 car car trains providing a 5 train per day service.  It'd work a treat with DOO, but even with a crew of 2 it's still less staff than the current Xplorer product.  With the current fleet that'd be three half explorer/endevour combos creating three 150 seat trains.  Vending machines instead of buffets, 2+3 "overflow" seating, self stowing luggage with the booking, payment, seat allocation and enforcement handled by OPAL.

The sort of train I'd like to see is a 2 to 4 car train, with 2+3 seating in (at most) half of it - no buffet - and extra space for PAX self stowed baggage.  Designed to run with a crew of 2, or at most 3 - and no station staff.

The configs would be 150, 210 & 300 seats.

An example of how this could work on the southern line with 3 small (ish) 210 seat sets:

Set A: Syd 7:00 - Mlb 19:00 - Syd 7:00
Set B: Mlb 7:00 - Syd 19:00 - Mlb 7:00
Set C: Wagga 7:00 - Syd 13:30 - Wagga 20:00

2 trains a day plus a red eye, vs the one daily and one overnight train.


Similarly with the Nth Coast:

Set A: Syd 8:00 - Grafton 18:00 - Bris 22:00
Set B: Bris 6:00 - Grafton 10:00 - Syd 20:00
Set C: Wauchope (Port Macquarie)  7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Wauchope 21:00  (With a feeder bus to/from Coffs)
Set D: Broadmeadow 8:00 - Grafton 15:30 - Broadmeadow  23:00
Set E: Grafton 7:00 - Broadmeadow 14:30 - Grafton 22:00

Dubbo needs:

Set A: Dubbo 7:00 - Syd 14:00 - Dubbo 21:00
Set B: Syd 7:00 - Dubbo 14:00 - Syd 21:00
Set C: Bathurst 6:00 - Syd 10:30/16:00 - Bathurst 20:30

None of these need to be any more than 150 seat sets.

NW:

Set A: Moree 7:30 - Broadmeadow 15:00 - Armidale 21:30
Set B: Armidale 6:30 - Broadmeadow 13:00 - Moree 20:30
Set C: Sydney 8:00 - Tamworth 24:30 - Sydney 21:00

This is 19 sets, 9x2 car and 5x3 car and 4x4 car.  ~50 vehicles @$300mil.
djf01
Where abouts are the turn round times at some of the stations?  You show departure times in several areas eg Dubbo - Sydney -   Dubbo showing a 7 hour spacing between the 2 outer times for Dubbo & Sydney, as 1400 hrs Sydney, is that arrival or departure or both?  

Also in the NW line you make Set C: Sydney 8:00 - Tamworth 24:30 - Sydney 21:00, I think we are missing something here when you leave Sydney at 800, I am assuming that's 0800, yet Tamworth is reached at a wonderful pace of time at 2430, then back in Sydney a princely 2100 3 1/2 hours before it leaves Tamworth.  OK! I assume you mean 1430 at Tamworth, but I am not seeing an real advantage over this whole TT over what is had now, in fact its worse with the BMD change of trains.

You show basically the same set up in several others as well, each set would need at least 30 minutes at the turn round location for carriage cleaning & train restocking as well, & that would be the bare minimum especially with luggage being unloaded & loaded, or is it all carry on, something even airlines are now reducing in size.

If anyone thinks cutting back the services on the NCL to Wauchope & bus the people to & from areas North of there, also that Pt Macquarie will provide adequate patronage, they need to think again, as often more people get on & off at Kempsey than Wauchope. Pt Macquarie has more people in cars & reliant only on them then you think.

Likewise, to think that people would use a service from Moree & other outer areas, & get off at BMD to change to a suburban to Sydney, will get passengers then you are sadly mistaken, as it will drive people away. It would be something the boffins in treasury & other corridors of parliment would be rubbing their hands with glee on.  Wow, a RP person is advocating the means to the end of rural passenger services.

The ambitius timings RTT mentions includes his rider of the need to have better track conditions, & that is essential for the services along with the shared use of freight to be more efficient in all ways.

All you are propossing is what the governments etc want to hear, certainly not what those who use these services on a frequent basis. The worst part of all of these plans & TT arrangements especially for the NCL & more especially the Brisbane services can be found in the QR governments lack of interest in having an interstate train run in to their capital transport terminal by the same reasonings as found in Sydney, the voting commuters, but also the QLD government would likely have to contribute to such a trains costs as per the event when South Brisbane was terminated in favor of Roma St, despite the benefits & connections available at Roma St.

To get the services out of Roma St by 0630 is the essential & requires reliable running trains, the same in the afternoon at the outer end of the commuter train TT's.  IF a train could run a service in reasonable meaning a huge increase in comfort levels on new trains under 12 hours Sydney - Brisbane - Sydney, then good service TT's can be had, the same issue with the Connecting trains from Sydney to the regions & Melbourne as well as in Brisbane as well.

Nothing I have seen in your propossal indicates a passenger needs focus rather than train TT & a way to get some new fancy DMU or the like onto the tracks.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I think some of these proposed timetables don't offer particularly attractive times for travellers - particularly in terms of people who want to get to Sydney in time for the working day and leave Sydney at the end of the working day, which is a very significant market.  I also don't think they provide many possibilities for convenient connections between services - certainly not to the extent that the current morning inbound then outbound wave does.  I'm repeating myself - but crossing freight at night is not that material an issue - noting that for some routes the majority of the freight services run in the day anyway.

I think an approach that requires a change at Broadmeadow to and from interurban stock very substandard.  I think a better option would be to explore the regional trains supplanting some of the current interurban shoulder services, and permitting use of the regional trains for trips such as Central - Morriset, at an appropriate premium fare.  Those interurban supplanting regional services would not be those that then run to the far extremity of the network - but that's ok - the further you travel then the less sensitive your journey typically is to the timing of the travel.  If passenger loadings are too concentrated towards the capital then dividing services at Broadmeadow should be considered.

I think 3+2 seating on sets to service a market where the typical journey is very much two hours or more, also very substandard.  NSW Trains already has a fleet to service the shorter distance markets where that sort of seating could be considered.  

There is no future in regional rail in the position of provider of last resort.  You have to provide a service that people value over other forms of transportation, and hence that people are willing to pay for.  For the market situation (limited scale - which would otherwise play to a strength of rail) and geography of NSW (direct alignments mindbogglingly expensive), rail is always going to struggle to compete on cost and perhaps on time.  Its remaining strengths lie in comfort and convenience - it needs to be able to use those strengths to increase the revenue it can earn over its competitors and hence overcome any cost disadvantage that it might face.

I don't see the ability to make large variations in consist size for peak periods as a compelling argument for loco hauled trains.  If you want to add short term capacity then DMU's and other relatively fixed configurations, such as the XPT, can be flexed to a certain extent anyway, plus you can sometimes flex things like major maintenance scheduling to free up and additional set at peak times, and run additional services.  But given the appalling revenue to cost situation of NSW Trains a far better response to peaks in demand is likely to be to vary pricing - for example eliminate all concession fare over the period - and get travel that has some discretion around its timing to shift to a quieter period (which may only be a change of a week or so in timing).  That exactly the sort of pricing response that happens with other forms of transport.

I think from a cost, operational flexibility and safety point of view, it is very, very unlikely that conventional freight locos will be used to haul regular regional passenger trains.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Hi
Correct, if they are designed for it, like XPT/CTT etc.

My point was more the existing loco fleets in Australia cannot because they are too hard on the track due to their weight and bogie design thus making ARTC highly unlikely to agree. However Bring over the Prospector and while 160 may not be possible, the train would more than likely be cleared for 10-20% above many of the speed boards because its track forces are much lower/more friendly.

Yes loco hauled is an option like the 103 class, but most of our trains are simply too short to justify this cost. NSW could have a single fleet of trains doing all the regional work. Use loco hauled and this means two locos on the NW service with one hauling 2 pax cars into Moree. Even the Dubbo XPT would be considered marginal. Then there is the shunting, XPT/DMU can be turned anywhere and XPL can spilt anywhere as we have seen on NW. Loco hauled more restricted, you need run around loops (which adds to the time. The Brisbane XPT, driver does 4hr from Grafton, pulls in, has smoke, a pee/poo, stretch , walks to far end and off he goes. No extra man power, time or extra locos required. We could follow the Germans have have trailing HP I suppose with last car fitted with a drivers cab for reverse running 900km back to Sydney? Other states, NSW and most developed countries have moved/moving away from loco hauled apart from certain types of services or simply because they have the stock for a reason.

As I have said before, the Yanks operate in a world of their own. High level of safety on train design, school buses etc yet they have a democratic right not to wear seat belts in many states.
RTT_Rules

At the time the Explorers were introduced, the break even point for cost (I believe purchase cost) for XPT versus DMU was five (passenger) cars. I think maintenance costs for DMUs are also higher than Locomotive hauled or XPT like consists.

Taking the Armidale and Moree Explorers for example, on the days they run as six cars both the initial capital cost and operating cost would be higher than an XPT, at least as far as Werris Creek.

How important is a one seat ride to Moree?

Does it justify running a more expensive train all the way from Sydney to Armidale as well as to Moree.

Remember that each Explorer (or Velocity) has two engines, one for power and one for lighting and air conditioning. Each XPT power car has one engine (admittedly larger and more expensive), but only one...

Prospectors have two engines, both for power but lighting is taken off one of these and converted statically to 50Hz. That feature delayed regular operation for several months since the on board computers didn't like the static converter.

For two or three cars, like the Canberra, Broken Hill and Griffith runs, DMUs are cheaper to buy and might be cheaper to run.

For five cars or more, XPTs or equivalents are cheaper to buy and definitely cheaper to run. So unless someone expects the Melbourne and North Coast services to need only four or fewer cars in the future, DMUs will cost more.

Of course, leaving the decision to politicians means we will get whatever suits their short term interests.

M636C
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Taking the Armidale and Moree Explorers for example, on the days they run as six cars both the initial capital cost and operating cost would be higher than an XPT, at least as far as Werris Creek.

How important is a one seat ride to Moree?

Does it justify running a more expensive train all the way from Sydney to Armidale as well as to Moree.
M636C
I follow your point, but that might not the best example - the current arrangement is likely the cheapest from a capital cost point of view and at least competitive on operating cost, for the same level of service.

I suspect the break even point between the distributed versus dedicated power car is probably still about the five passenger car mark.  Aspects other than direct costs come into the decision though - distribution of tractive effort and equipment redundancy for example.  I've completed one a trip on a Hunter set (and countless similar trips on the 620's) where both the traction and auxilliary engines in one car decided to take the rest of the day off.  It wasn't a fast trip (and it was very eerily quiet without the background noise of the engines and aircon), but at least we got there.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
At the time the Explorers were introduced, the break even point for cost (I believe purchase cost) for XPT versus DMU was five (passenger) cars. I think maintenance costs for DMUs are also higher than Locomotive hauled or XPT like consists.

Taking the Armidale and Moree Explorers for example, on the days they run as six cars both the initial capital cost and operating cost would be higher than an XPT, at least as far as Werris Creek.

How important is a one seat ride to Moree?

Does it justify running a more expensive train all the way from Sydney to Armidale as well as to Moree.

Remember that each Explorer (or Velocity) has two engines, one for power and one for lighting and air conditioning. Each XPT power car has one engine (admittedly larger and more expensive), but only one...

Prospectors have two engines, both for power but lighting is taken off one of these and converted statically to 50Hz. That feature delayed regular operation for several months since the on board computers didn't like the static converter.

For two or three cars, like the Canberra, Broken Hill and Griffith runs, DMUs are cheaper to buy and might be cheaper to run.

For five cars or more, XPTs or equivalents are cheaper to buy and definitely cheaper to run. So unless someone expects the Melbourne and North Coast services to need only four or fewer cars in the future, DMUs will cost more.

Of course, leaving the decision to politicians means we will get whatever suits their short term interests.

M636C
M636C

The issue with Moree costs is this;
- You need 5 cars to WCK, 3 continue for 150km or so in one direction and the other 2 for 150km or so in another direction (what ever the distance is, feel free to correct).
- If you have an isolated shuttle, what is the costs of maintaining that shuttle, is that capital cost as uterlised as it is now? Then what of dragging 2 unused cars up the hill to Armidale and back every day? Even if you disconnect and leave them at Werris Creek to save on fuel, well why not use those cars to go to Moree?

While I agree 5 a car XPT to WCK is probably cheaper or just marginally cheaper, the trip beyond means the logistics of the DMU "may" actually be more viable cost wise.

Another example, prior to 2004 we had two XPT's venture past Casino, one went to Brisbane and another to Muwull'bah with buses connecting with the Brisbane XPT to the Gold Coast following the Muwullibah XPT route. Splitting the XPT at Casino was logistically difficult, even if the triangle was re-installed. The buses connecting with the Brisbane XPT basically meant 1/3 the train got off at Casino and a 1/3 empty train ran to Brisbane empty.

But had this been a DMU NW XPL style. Both daily trains could have picked up a 2nd driver at Grafton/Casino and split at Casino providing two fully uterlised services and two daily services to each direct each day probably for minimal extra cost over running the buses. Maybe?

Back to DMU for XPT.
I don't really propose DMU Prospector style. Yes a 7 car train of traditional DMU's is 7 traction motors and generators and agree you have to question the viability over XPT/loco hauled.

But for a second think about the US loco provider than supplied Tasrail with new locos, TR class. I'm not sure if the models Tas got are the same, but Progress Rail supply locos with 2 and 3 diesel engines. The reason being the number of engines in operation at any one time is based on the power of the loco actually needed. Diesel engines are more fuel efficient and higher loads. I think there in future we will multi headed trains run more efficiently with the lead loco doing the bulk of the work and others only coming on line as needed. They already do this manually by turning banking locos off.

We see this approach now with Audi and other car suppliers where the engine turns off at the traffic lights, or Prius going down hill or at lights. Probably doesn't work so well with large multi 1000kW diesel engines due to other factors such as warm-up cool down affects on engine life. But smaller scale the technology is there now and works.

Back to our DMU, again!
I'm not thinking XPL/Prospector/Vlocity style traditional DMU's. I'm thinking 3-4 car sets permanently coupled together. Each train would have 2-3 larger prime movers powering gensets powering electric traction motors. I think someone previously posted many European DMU's are actually a stock EMU with a diesel genset fitted. This sort of approach. The diesel engines would cycle on/off based on load requirements to save engine hours and fuel consumption.

If we assume a 4 car weighing at 220t or a 3 car at 170t with a min of 8kW/t traction.

For the 4 car set you could fit 3 x traction diesels of 650-700kW each
For the 3 car set you could fit 2 x traction diesels of same
For the 2 car set you could fit 1 x traction diesel of same (yes only one engine, in this day and age 1 engine is ok, the IP and Overland have 1 engine apart from Blue Mountains for IP. Ghan is rated for 1 engine to AS)

Under the car without a traction engine, you fit two larger gensets to supply the aux load for the whole train. One can do the job, but two are fitted as a train without Aux power in the height of summer is dangerous for those on board. You need about 80-100kW per car for Aux power looking at XPL/Velocity etc. But again if its linked as one train, perhaps the average is actually lower. You may also be able to cycle some loads such that the whole trains peak is lower.

Door configuration wise a permanently coupled train can again use better planning. Only one door per side per car, leaves space for luggage and toilets etc to occupy the former space taken by the door, more room for seats. Looking at XPL design you'd probably get another row in the centre car at least. More stow-able luggage space here means a smaller checked lugagge area. RTT and CTT only have one door each side per car.

Toilets etc can share water storage and brown/grey water storage which may mean less overall weight/space needed as each car is no longer designed as an island.

Just my conceptual design.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I think some of these proposed timetables don't offer particularly attractive times for travellers - particularly in terms of people who want to get to Sydney in time for the working day and leave Sydney at the end of the working day, which is a very significant market.  I also don't think they provide many possibilities for convenient connections between services - certainly not to the extent that the current morning inbound then outbound wave does.  I'm repeating myself - but crossing freight at night is not that material an issue - noting that for some routes the majority of the freight services run in the day anyway.
donttellmywife

There are two big problems providing for workers/commuters.  The first one is the route length.  If places are close enough to reasonably commute, then they have commuter trains.  The other is the curfew.



There is no future in regional rail in the position of provider of last resort.  You have to provide a service that people value over other forms of transportation, and hence that people are willing to pay for.  For the market situation (limited scale - which would otherwise play to a strength of rail) and geography of NSW (direct alignments mindbogglingly expensive), rail is always going to struggle to compete on cost and perhaps on time.  Its remaining strengths lie in comfort and convenience - it needs to be able to use those strengths to increase the revenue it can earn over its competitors and hence overcome any cost disadvantage that it might face.

donttellmywife

This is where we really disagree.  I see rail's main competitor as buses, and their main market to provide CSO PT services.  The main reason we have trains is people like them.  They prefer them to buses and this is reflected in the way people vote.

This is why I advocate things like (some) 2+3 seating and a more basic service.  No arm rest?  Shock horror!!  Do you get one on a road coach?  

Trains shouldn't try to compete with the airlines, they already cherry pick those willing to pay more for a faster/better service.  For rail to have a future I think it needs to do two things:
- offer a cost base at least comparable with road coaches
- off a service that is better than buses.

On the latter point, it only needs to be a bit better, not substantially better.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Back to our DMU, again!

If we assume a 4 car weighing at 220t or a 3 car at 170t with a min of 8kW/t traction.

For the 4 car set you could fit 3 x traction diesels of 650-700kW each
For the 3 car set you could fit 2 x traction diesels of same
For the 2 car set you could fit 1 x traction diesel of same (yes only one engine, in this day and age 1 engine is ok, the IP and Overland have 1 engine apart from Blue Mountains for IP. Ghan is rated for 1 engine to AS)

Under the car without a traction engine, you fit two larger gensets to supply the aux load for the whole train. One can do the job, but two are fitted as a train without Aux power in the height of summer is dangerous for those on board. You need about 80-100kW per car for Aux power looking at XPL/Velocity etc. But again if its linked as one train, perhaps the average is actually lower. You may also be able to cycle some loads such that the whole trains peak is lower.
RTT_Rules

I think the power ratings are about right.  As I see it with this sort of approach it's better to go with a grunty cab unit that can drive a trailer (or perhaps even 1.5).  That means you have a 3 or 4 (or even 5) car DMU with roughly the same op costs as a 2 car set, like the 3 car V'Locities.  To make 2 car trains a "naked" version of the cab unit is needed: control cab but no motors or generation - it's just a trailer.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There are two big problems providing for workers/commuters.  The first one is the route length.  If places are close enough to reasonably commute, then they have commuter trains.  The other is the curfew.



This is where we really disagree.  I see rail's main competitor as buses, and their main market to provide CSO PT services.  The main reason we have trains is people like them.  They prefer them to buses and this is reflected in the way people vote.

This is why I advocate things like (some) 2+3 seating and a more basic service.  No arm rest?  Shock horror!!  Do you get one on a road coach?  

Trains shouldn't try to compete with the airlines, they already cherry pick those willing to pay more for a faster/better service.  For rail to have a future I think it needs to do two things:
- offer a cost base at least comparable with road coaches
- off a service that is better than buses.

On the latter point, it only needs to be a bit better, not substantially better.
djf01

A 2.9m wide platform is not wide enough to comfortably sit 2 + 3 for short haul commuter, forget long haul. You are talking less width than a discount airline seat but without the arm rests to allow for the shoulder spacing (which is why there is an arm rest). There are other options to get more seats in the existing rolling stock profile, such as making better use of the end sections.

QR RTT EC is 4 seats across and this is just ok.

People don't use buses because they don't like them, copying a bus fit out into a train won't do you any favours in attracting bodies.

Having said that, but on the longer trains I have often wondered if there is scope for a true cattle class single carriage only. Seats can only be purchased with 24hr travel and only for say max of 4hr of travel. Not the whole train though.
  M636C Minister for Railways

While I agree 5 a car XPT to WCK is probably cheaper or just marginally cheaper, the trip beyond means the logistics of the DMU "may" actually be more viable cost wise.

But for a second think about the US loco provider than supplied Tasrail with new locos, TR class. I'm not sure if the models Tas got are the same, but Progress Rail supply locos with 2 and 3 diesel engines. The reason being the number of engines in operation at any one time is based on the power of the loco actually needed. Diesel engines are more fuel efficient and higher loads. I think there in future we will multi headed trains run more efficiently with the lead loco doing the bulk of the work and others only coming on line as needed. They already do this manually by turning banking locos off.
RTT_Rules

What if the DMU is substantially more expensive? Maintaining a six cylinder engine will not be much cheaper, if at all, than a twelve cylinder engine. The first cost will be lower but changing oil, and changing an oil filter will incur much the same cost. The higher speed six cylinder engine will wear faster and require overhauls more often, and require replacement more often. And there are ten engines on a five car Explorer or a five car Velocity, and two on a five car XPT.

The original XPT design included driving control trailers (see John Dunne's history of Comeng) This was because it was being offered instead of DMUs, on the basis that it was cheaper in the long run. If the driving control trailers were designed to have a through corridor connection when coupled (there are many such designs in the UK), a five car XPT fitted with Scharfenberg or Dellner couplers could split into two and three car sets at Werris Creek, just as the Explorer does now.

Diesel engines last longer when operating at near full loads but their fuel consumption is much more consistent through the power range than petrol engines. Manufacturers issue complex diagrams of diesel fuel consumption but the variation in specific fuel consumption (in grams per kW) due to load is relatively small.

The Tasrail locomotives have a single V-12 Caterpillar 3512 engine, generally similar to the XPT Paxman VP185 (the Cat has a 175mm bore). Another company, NREC supplied multi engine locomotives in Australia. Two 1200 class demonstrators that have seen almost no work, even after a move to SA, and seven PB class at Port Kembla. BHP at newcastle used twin engine locomotives from GE from the mid 1950s until the plant closed, so using them at Port Kembla is no surprise.

Incidentally, the not generally liked 1200 class have three engines of the type fitted to Velocity DMUs for propulsion (Cummins QSK19), except that they sit upright rather than on their side under a DMU.

Even in the USA, multi engine locomotives are disliked. I visited Roseville, west of Sacramento where there Union Pacific has a big hump yard with two humps. A pair of single engined GP38-2s was working one hump and a pair of GP39-2s was working the other. One multi engine locomotive, purchased for the humps with government money, was sitting shut down beside the workshops. The multi engine units had lower exhaust emissions and might have used less fuel, but they were more expensive to keep working and were not regarded as reliable. Locomotives with locomotive engines are cheaper to run.

M636C

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