Long Haul VLocities

 
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
Mr Gus Meister
Speed.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
Speed.
railblogger
And also the toilets/change rooms. Are the VLocities more comfortable than a locomotive?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
Mr Gus Meister
If you'll care to use the search box, you'll find out that V/Line is already doing just that.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
If you'll care to use the search box, you'll find out that V/Line is already doing just that.
LancedDendrite
I did see this. I wanted to know what you Railpagers thought.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
Speed.
And also the toilets/change rooms. Are the VLocities more comfortable than a locomotive?
Mr Gus Meister
No.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Could we replace the locomotives on the long haul lines (Warrnambool, Echuca, Swan Hill, Shepparton, Albury, Ararat, Maryborough and Bairnsdale) with VLocities? Ararat and Maryborough I know always operate as VLocities but what about the other lines? Are there any advantages of taking a VLocity (with a cafe and first class) over a locomotive?
Speed.
And also the toilets/change rooms. Are the VLocities more comfortable than a locomotive?
No.
railblogger
I reckon a VLocity is much more comfortable than a locomotive. Especially once you get more than a couple of people in the cab, as then you have to stand.

If the question was really "Are the VLocities more comfortable than a locomotive hauled train" then I would still answer yes, if the cars involved are N sets. These cars were designed for interurban distances, not long distance, and the 2+3 seating in economy is a real downer.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Echuca is operated by vlocities. Has been for years.

There are several issues with the longer railway lines that have seen Loco hauled car sets remain in use. Current policy has Sprinters and Vlocitys restricted to 80km/h over any lines with unprotected level crossings (no boom gates). The further from Melbourne you get, the more of these crossings there are. This restriction is due to their lighter weight providing less crash protection in the event of a high speed collision with a heavy vehicle.

This dates back a few years after a collision between a Vlocity and a truck carrying a large block of granite on the Ararat line at Trawalla. Several passengers in the Vlocity died that day. Findings of the coronial inquest included that had they been in a loco hauled train, they likely would have survived due to the superior protection provided by having the 115 tonne locomotive leading the train. It also found that if the crossing had of had boom gates, it is unlikely the truck would have been on the crossing when the train came through.

All level crossings between Ballarat and Ararat, as well as between Ballarat and Maryborough now have protected level crossings.

A project has been underway on the Echuca line for the last few years to upgrade all of their crossings, when completed (some would argue it already is) the line speed for railcars on that line is supposed to increase.

So for Vlocities to be introduced on other long haul journeys like Warrnambool, all crossings need to be upgraded. The Government have already announced that Warrnambool and Albury are next in line for this upgrade. Work has not yet started.

When work is complete on the Warrnambool and Albury lines upgrade, it is expected a modified variant of the Vlocity will be built for long haul trips, this is likely to be either a 4 or 5 car set, with similar amenities as the N sets have.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

Echuca is operated by vlocities. Has been for years.

There are several issues with the longer railway lines that have seen Loco hauled car sets remain in use. Current policy has Sprinters and Vlocitys restricted to 80km/h over any lines with unprotected level crossings (no boom gates). The further from Melbourne you get, the more of these crossings there are. This restriction is due to their lighter weight providing less crash protection in the event of a high speed collision with a heavy vehicle.

This dates back a few years after a collision between a Vlocity and a truck carrying a large block of granite on the Ararat line at Trawalla. Several passengers in the Vlocity died that day. Findings of the coronial inquest included that had they been in a loco hauled train, they likely would have survived due to the superior protection provided by having the 115 tonne locomotive leading the train. It also found that if the crossing had of had boom gates, it is unlikely the truck would have been on the crossing when the train came through.

All level crossings between Ballarat and Ararat, as well as between Ballarat and Maryborough now have protected level crossings.

A project has been underway on the Echuca line for the last few years to upgrade all of their crossings, when completed (some would argue it already is) the line speed for railcars on that line is supposed to increase.

So for Vlocities to be introduced on other long haul journeys like Warrnambool, all crossings need to be upgraded. The Government have already announced that Warrnambool and Albury are next in line for this upgrade. Work has not yet started.

When work is complete on the Warrnambool and Albury lines upgrade, it is expected a modified variant of the Vlocity will be built for long haul trips, this is likely to be either a 4 or 5 car set, with similar amenities as the N sets have.
I didn't know that Echuca was operated by VLocities. I understand the 80km/h restrictions, and th