Z Car update

 
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The beauty of using seperate locomotives and cars is that when one is life-expired you don't necessarily need to replace the other. The N class has plenty of life left in her.
alstom_888m
I tend to agree with this statement. We still have an A class running around yet there is talk of replacing the N's. As long as maintenance regimes are followed the N class locos will be around for a while yet.

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  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Hey, the As aren't that much older than the Ns (frames aside).

When the time comes (which could be 2037 at the rate V/Line is going), the N sets and locos will be replaced at the same time, regardless of the life left in either.
My prediction: watch the NSW XPT replacement procurement process very carefully, because there's a good chance that'll end up being what replaces the Ns (and the Zs and the locos etc).
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The beauty of using seperate locomotives and cars is that when one is life-expired you don't necessarily need to replace the other. The N class has plenty of life left in her.
I tend to agree with this statement. We still have an A class running around yet there is talk of replacing the N's. As long as maintenance regimes are followed the N class locos will be around for a while yet.
SamTheMan79
What? So while the Commuter lines get bespoke brand spanking new Vlocities at $6.5 Million per car, NSW have just signed a $2.3 Billion deal for 500 Double Decker Electric Carriages for Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Wollongong, the Albury Line has to make do with refurbished rollingstock from the 1950's and 1980's and old Loco's from the 1980's. What are we running here, a heritage railway?

Michael
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Hey, the As aren't that much older than the Ns (frames aside).

When the time comes (which could be 2037 at the rate V/Line is going), the N sets and locos will be replaced at the same time, regardless of the life left in either.
My prediction: watch the NSW XPT replacement procurement process very carefully, because there's a good chance that'll end up being what replaces the Ns (and the Zs and the locos etc).
LancedDendrite
Yes and then maybe I should have reworded to something like, "As long as maintenance regimes are followed and if rebuilds occur the N class locos will be around for a while yet".
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The beauty of using seperate locomotives and cars is that when one is life-expired you don't necessarily need to replace the other. The N class has plenty of life left in her.
I tend to agree with this statement. We still have an A class running around yet there is talk of replacing the N's. As long as maintenance regimes are followed the N class locos will be around for a while yet.
What? So while the Commuter lines get bespoke brand spanking new Vlocities at $6.5 Million per car, NSW have just signed a $2.3 Billion deal for 500 Double Decker Electric Carriages for Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Wollongong, the Albury Line has to make do with refurbished rollingstock from the 1950's and 1980's and old Loco's from the 1980's. What are we running here, a heritage railway?

Michael
mejhammers1
If the N class loco's are mechanically sound and they suit the task I certainly don't want my hard earned tax payer dollars spent on "spanking new" locos. The rollingstock on the other hand is a totally different story. Compared to offerings overseas and now interstate the N and Z cars are well beyond their year's.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

The beauty of using seperate locomotives and cars is that when one is life-expired you don't necessarily need to replace the other. The N class has plenty of life left in her.
I tend to agree with this statement. We still have an A class running around yet there is talk of replacing the N's. As long as maintenance regimes are followed the N class locos will be around for a while yet.
What? So while the Commuter lines get bespoke brand spanking new Vlocities at $6.5 Million per car, NSW have just signed a $2.3 Billion deal for 500 Double Decker Electric Carriages for Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Wollongong, the Albury Line has to make do with refurbished rollingstock from the 1950's and 1980's and old Loco's from the 1980's. What are we running here, a heritage railway?

Michael
If the N class loco's are mechanically sound and they suit the task I certainly don't want my hard earned tax payer dollars spent on "spanking new" locos. The rollingstock on the other hand is a totally different story. Compared to offerings overseas and now interstate the N and Z cars are well beyond their year's.
SamTheMan79
So you think that Albury passengers should make do with obsolete N Class Locos which are increasingly difficult to maintain, whilst the commuter network gets 3 car DMU's at $20 Million a pop !! Hardly fair is it?

Michael
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Like it or not, long distance gets a whole lot less patronage for V/Line compared to the RFR commuter lines. At least two of those lines are slated for Vlo running in the near future (Echuca and Shepparton). V/Line lives and dies by that commuter traffic and I daresay that they'd give up some of those long-distance routes if they could.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Like it or not, long distance gets a whole lot less patronage for V/Line compared to the RFR commuter lines. At least two of those lines are slated for Vlo running in the near future (Echuca and Shepparton). V/Line lives and dies by that commuter traffic and I daresay that they'd give up some of those long-distance routes if they could.
LancedDendrite

Namely Question
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
It seems obvious, from their performance over such a long time, that Vline has little or no interest in the Albury SG services.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

It seems obvious, from their performance over such a long time, that Vline has little or no interest in the Albury SG services.
YM-Mundrabilla
Now considering what I have said on this topic, this may surprise a few but I disagree with this, I do believe they have a real interest in the Albury service, this is what makes the handling of the service SO odd, they genuinely appear NOT to know what to do about a SG service.

woodford
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
It seems obvious, from their performance over such a long time, that Vline has little or no interest in the Albury SG services.
Now considering what I have said on this topic, this may surprise a few but I disagree with this, I do believe they have a real interest in the Albury service, this is what makes the handling of the service SO odd, they genuinely appear NOT to know what to do about a SG service.

woodford
SG has always been foreign to Victoria and always will be.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Like it or not, long distance gets a whole lot less patronage for V/Line compared to the RFR commuter lines. At least two of those lines are slated for Vlo running in the near future (Echuca and Shepparton). V/Line lives and dies by that commuter traffic and I daresay that they'd give up some of those long-distance routes if they could.
LancedDendrite
I have discussed this with two people both having very senior positions in railway companies and this is NOT correct. I will not go in to great detail as I have writen this before. The cost of running a passenger train does NOT vary that much with distance as most of the trains cost comes from items like, share of infrastucture, both track and maintence, statutary, OC health and safety cost, etc etc, BUT the cost of fares varies aprox with distance so long distance services recovers a GREATER percentage of its total running cost than short distance services. This is why there are NO branch line services any more. Services such as Echuca and Maryborough are essentially extensions of existing services.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

It seems obvious, from their performance over such a long time, that Vline has little or no interest in the Albury SG services.
Now considering what I have said on this topic, this may surprise a few but I disagree with this, I do believe they have a real interest in the Albury service, this is what makes the handling of the service SO odd, they genuinely appear NOT to know what to do about a SG service.

woodford
SG has always been foreign to Victoria and always will be.
YM-Mundrabilla
Hmmmmmmmmm, just a comment...................

Australia has mutilple gauges, now it would be REAL nice if that was not the case, but we simply MUST live in the real world. Funds for rail projects are tight and given the stance of the political parties at the moment this situation will be around for sometime. Its no good anyone getting upset because the current situation does not live up the there ideals, what we need to do is work much smarter and get the best "bang for our buck" as possible, what this means is choosing  exactly what is to be done with great care, wishfull thinking here will only get us in to deep trouble.

woodford
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

It seems obvious, from their performance over such a long time, that Vline has little or no interest in the Albury SG services.
Now considering what I have said on this topic, this may surprise a few but I disagree with this, I do believe they have a real interest in the Albury service, this is what makes the handling of the service SO odd, they genuinely appear NOT to know what to do about a SG service.

woodford
SG has always been foreign to Victoria and always will be.
Hmmmmmmmmm, just a comment...................

Australia has mutilple gauges, now it would be REAL nice if that was not the case, but we simply MUST live in the real world. Funds for rail projects are tight and given the stance of the political parties at the moment this situation will be around for sometime. Its no good anyone getting upset because the current situation does not live up the there ideals, what we need to do is work much smarter and get the best "bang for our buck" as possible, what this means is choosing  exactly what is to be done with great care, wishfull thinking here will only get us in to deep trouble.

woodford
woodford
To a fairly casual observer, it does seem strange. Everything above the bogies [and probably most of them as well] is more or less the same as the rest of the Vline fleet. What can't they get their heads around?

G.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
To a fairly casual observer, it does seem strange. Everything above the bogies [and probably most of them as well] is more or less the same as the rest of the Vline fleet. What can't they get their heads around?

G.
Inland_Sailor

It appears the limited flexibility of the rolling stock combined with a limited number of N Class loco's on the SG has in part contributed to the perception, real or otherwise about the unreliability of the NE service. It has been quite ordinary over the past few years...is it still equally as bad Question

The addition of an extra service, possibly from January 2017 timetable change, combined with another loco being converted to operate on the SG and the announcement in this years budget of a refurb of the cars and seating shows that V/Line and the government want to see the service maintained and improved.

In about 18 months time we will also be hearing and reading a lot more about the replacement of the N cars with the next generation of carriages and locomotion which was advised in this years state budget. This may well take the form of a long distance version of VLocity DMU's, but this is unknown at this early stage. I just know it is going to occur, so I predict exciting times for the NE and the rolling stock improvements over the next few years.

We are fortunate at this time to have a PT friendly state government that's also aware there's a lot more work to do and is prepared to invest accordingly bearing in mind that Dan hasn't even been in office for 2 years yet Exclamation

I'm off to Sydney on the XPT in a few weeks so it will be interesting to see how the track rides...albeit on top of air-bag bogies of the XPT.

Mike.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

I had to travel to Albury last week for business on Wednesday. I caught the 18:05 Albury Tuesday night and travelled First Class. The service left on time and arrived in Albury on time. The standard of driving (station starts and stops) was excellent. The ride of the car was quite OK and I did not notice any unduly rough sections of track.

I caught the 06:35 train from Albury on Thursday morning and travelled Economy. The service left on time and arrived two minutes early. Again, I thought the car ride was acceptable and train handling was excellent.

The service provided by staff on both journeys was fine.

I am puzzled as to how the N Class are increasingly difficult to maintain. Please provide detail.

TW
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
They're growing old.

Just because it's still possible to get parts for your old VCR, doesn't necessarily mean they're cheap, and easy to come by. The expertise for repairing that old VCR would also be more expensive, and more difficult to find, than it was in the 80s or the 90s.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I had to travel to Albury last week for business on Wednesday. I caught the 18:05 Albury Tuesday night and travelled First Class. The service left on time and arrived in Albury on time. The standard of driving (station starts and stops) was excellent. The ride of the car was quite OK and I did not notice any unduly rough sections of track.

I caught the 06:35 train from Albury on Thursday morning and travelled Economy. The service left on time and arrived two minutes early. Again, I thought the car ride was acceptable and train handling was excellent.

The service provided by staff on both journeys was fine.

I am puzzled as to how the N Class are increasingly difficult to maintain. Please provide detail.

TW
t_woodroffe
Neither the ride or the time keeping has been an issue for some time, the XPT rides particularly well, the problem has been the number of services cancelled. As most people using the service are likely to be heading for appointments this is no where near satisfactory. There has been a good number of very upset people up here and VLine has simply NOT had ANY kind of answer.. They appear not even to have said anything about an improvement in the current pathetic maintence set up. Pardon me for being VERY sceptical..........................................

woodford
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

I had to travel to Albury last week for business on Wednesday. I caught the 18:05 Albury Tuesday night and travelled First Class. The service left on time and arrived in Albury on time. The standard of driving (station starts and stops) was excellent. The ride of the car was quite OK and I did not notice any unduly rough sections of track.

I caught the 06:35 train from Albury on Thursday morning and travelled Economy. The service left on time and arrived two minutes early. Again, I thought the car ride was acceptable and train handling was excellent.

The service provided by staff on both journeys was fine.

I am puzzled as to how the N Class are increasingly difficult to maintain. Please provide detail.

TW
t_woodroffe
A 1980's loco will have 1980's components which will be very hard to source when the loco needs repairing.

Michael
  woodford Chief Commissioner

There are several issues for long term continued use of the N class loco's for passenger use.

1: The ride at speed is quite poor and a lot of drivers (ie not all) do not like them.

2: They do not have enough power and also are to heavy for a passenger loco

Note: the XP class weight 74 tons and are 2200BHP, two are used per set, the british 68 class are 85 tons and are 3800bhp. Both of these the main engine provides the Head end power.

woodford
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

There are several issues for long term continued use of the N class loco's for passenger use.

1: The ride at speed is quite poor and a lot of drivers (ie not all) do not like them.

2: They do not have enough power and also are to heavy for a passenger loco

Note: the XP class weight 74 tons and are 2200BHP, two are used per set, the british 68 class are 85 tons and are 3800bhp. Both of these the main engine provides the Head end power.

woodford
woodford
A minor point for information not criticism; as built (may have been changed over the years), the rear XPT unit supplies the power for onboard services. Apparently, in distributed mu operation with power units of equal power, they tend to shuttle the trailer cars back and forth between them. Giving the rear unit less power for traction was an attempt to reduce the shuttling. I've never heard of, (or felt) shuttling being a problem with the XPTs, so maybe it was successful.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There are several issues for long term continued use of the N class loco's for passenger use.

1: The ride at speed is quite poor and a lot of drivers (ie not all) do not like them.

2: They do not have enough power and also are to heavy for a passenger loco

Note: the XP class weight 74 tons and are 2200BHP, two are used per set, the british 68 class are 85 tons and are 3800bhp. Both of these the main engine provides the Head end power.

woodford
woodford
' The ride at speed is quite poor' :
Has the ride improved as the track has improved?

' A lot of drivers (ie not all) do not like them.'
Oh dear, what a shame, never mind.  Crying or Very sad

I didn't like my company car and would much have preferred a Rolls Royce or a BMW at the very least. Rolling Eyes
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Speaking as a regular driver of the N class. They certainly aren't the best riding loco, but that really isn't so relevant.

Reliability/maintenance; they are a fairly standard EMD design, with most components being readily available internationally, whether used or new. Given that older locos such as B, S and X made 50 years, no reason why the N cannot. Don't forget, when the B class were 30 years old, they were being re-painted as the premium passenger loco (tea-cup; later tangerine). In many ways they are enjoying a more leisurely life than the poor old B/S/X locos, as the N's usually rest overnight somewhere, when years ago they ran freight trains overnight, gaining more utilisation out of the loco and in harder service.

The sheer mass of the loco is important in the Victorian context. These locos have now on several occasions protected the following train from severe impacts (e.g. Larpent a few weeks back). There will be hundreds of passive level crossings for years to come beyond the main regional centres, so protection of train occupants remains important. Any smaller/lighter loco would be expected to perform as well at least (note that at Kerang, the truck basically hit the second carriage, not the loco; in a crash it is anticipated that the point of collision will be with the front of train).
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Speaking as a regular driver of the N class. They certainly aren't the best riding loco, but that really isn't so relevant.

Reliability/maintenance; they are a fairly standard EMD design, with most components being readily available internationally, whether used or new. Given that older locos such as B, S and X made 50 years, no reason why the N cannot. Don't forget, when the B class were 30 years old, they were being re-painted as the premium passenger loco (tea-cup; later tangerine). In many ways they are enjoying a more leisurely life than the poor old B/S/X locos, as the N's usually rest overnight somewhere, when years ago they ran freight trains overnight, gaining more utilisation out of the loco and in harder service.

The sheer mass of the loco is important in the Victorian context. These locos have now on several occasions protected the following train from severe impacts (e.g. Larpent a few weeks back). There will be hundreds of passive level crossings for years to come beyond the main regional centres, so protection of train occupants remains important. Any smaller/lighter loco would be expected to perform as well at least (note that at Kerang, the truck basically hit the second carriage, not the loco; in a crash it is anticipated that the point of collision will be with the front of train).
hbedriver
Thanks.
A well balanced and thought out post.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Speaking as a regular driver of the N class. They certainly aren't the best riding loco, but that really isn't so relevant.

Reliability/maintenance; they are a fairly standard EMD design, with most components being readily available internationally, whether used or new. Given that older locos such as B, S and X made 50 years, no reason why the N cannot. Don't forget, when the B class were 30 years old, they were being re-painted as the premium passenger loco (tea-cup; later tangerine). In many ways they are enjoying a more leisurely life than the poor old B/S/X locos, as the N's usually rest overnight somewhere, when years ago they ran freight trains overnight, gaining more utilisation out of the loco and in harder service.

The sheer mass of the loco is important in the Victorian context. These locos have now on several occasions protected the following train from severe impacts (e.g. Larpent a few weeks back). There will be hundreds of passive level crossings for years to come beyond the main regional centres, so protection of train occupants remains important. Any smaller/lighter loco would be expected to perform as well at least (note that at Kerang, the truck basically hit the second carriage, not the loco; in a crash it is anticipated that the point of collision will be with the front of train).
hbedriver
Many thanks for your reply, its REAL nice to get a communication from someone that actually drives the machines. The reason for bring up the ride issue is that in talks with 5 different drivers, in 4 cases there first comment was the poor ride and in this day and age you simply cannot let some peoples health to deteriorate just so the rest of us can have a good time.

On Reliability/maintenance; you bring up a good point I was well aware of, this is what makes VLines maintence issues with the SG N's strange, these are not some martian machines no one has ever seen before.

The mass issue I also understand, the problem though is in order to run a service at 130kph we will need 2 loco's preferably in a push pull configuration, with 2 N's and a 6 car N set we have a train  weight of around 540 tons as against as against say 400 tons for a 2 loco and 6 car XPT set, this means one needs a 35% increase in power to get the same performance. This means a traction power of around 2700bhp instead of 2000bhp. This in turns suggests a pair of 4000bhp machines instead 3000bhp machines. Note: Electro Motive Diesel can build a locomotive to almost any weight class one likes so if a 4000bhp machine weights 100 or 120 tons is a non issue. I myself do not have any issue with a 120 ton 4000bhp pass loco. If it ends up being on the whole safer system why not go down that path.

A question to drivers is it a serious issue running light weight trains at speed, say for the XPT on the NE line the limits is 120kph and there are still 5 at least level crossing protected only by signs.

woodford

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