Work Starts To Get VLocity Trains For The North East Line

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Aug 2018 10:40
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
re-read the spec. @bevans
4 Shared tables in the middle car, and fold-down tables for the rest of seats.
WOT ? you expected fine dining car like on the Orient express ?

cheers
John

The layout of the buffet car on the Spirit of Queensland was perfect.  You could grab some food and drink and sit at a table to break up the journey.  You guys are going to complain but I don't think this is too much to ask.
bevans

The Spirit of Queensland is around a 30 hour journey...obviously a good reason to get up, stretch legs and sit on the hard seats in the cafe car of that train for around 15 mins, until numbum sets in...very early I might add so one cannot tarry there for too long.

On a good day and at 130Km/h Albury should be reached in around 3 hours or so...hardly enough time to get restless and need to wander the train looking for distractions.

Mike.

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  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Overall I like the design, but I really lament V/Line's over commitment to an entire system built on 3 car V'locity sets.

With only 164 seats per single 3 car set, I can't see them ever running in single unit configuration (except when maintenence failures force the matter) on Albury line services, which means always running them in pairs which means 2 buffet's to staff on each service. If they were purpose built as 5 car sets, with full walk-through capability and only 2 drivers cabs (instead of 4), then it would be a more like for like replacement of the current train. Hell, with 5 cars there would have even been space to keep a first class option.

That said, I do like the design.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Yes,  two buffets for a six-car train is excessive.
    18 cars will only form 3 six-car trains.  Will that be enough for the Albury line?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
There are currently 4 train sets working the Albury line.

The current Albury trains are pretty old and knackered, meaning their reliability isn't the best, so I would guess that the powers that be are banking on the new trains to be much more reliable.

My bet is that at first these new trains will be very reliable, but it won't take long for them to get run into the ground (which isn't hard to imagine with the poor quality of the line) and then V/Line will regularly chop services to only 3 cars (as they regularly do on the commuter lines) the second there is a minor fault on one set, and another is in for a service.

I suppose that once the first 18 cars have been built and are running in service, it won't be too hard to knock on the door over at Bombardier with a bag of cash and ask them to knock up a few more.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bored at home
Yes,  two buffets for a six-car train is excessive.
    18 cars will only form 3 six-car trains.  Will that be enough for the Albury line?
route14
remains to be seen whether Albury always runs as 3+3 of the new design.

Since the new SG bogies are now designed and will be part of the new sets, then bogie swap to an existing BG set would not be a big deal.

So sets of 3 new + 3 old , is not out of the question to get added capacity without giving up much.

cheers
John
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Yes,  two buffets for a six-car train is excessive.
    18 cars will only form 3 six-car trains.  Will that be enough for the Albury line?
remains to be seen whether Albury always runs as 3+3 of the new design.

Since the new SG bogies are now designed and will be part of the new sets, then bogie swap to an existing BG set would not be a big deal.

So sets of 3 new + 3 old , is not out of the question to get added capacity without giving up much.

cheers
John
justarider
Though no access between the two sets (unless you make a change at station stops)

Better to go two driving cars and four Intermediate cars (all powered)
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Where do we get 18 cars from ? Don t see any mention of number of 3 car sets in the propaganda.

To run three return trips to Albury as now takes two sets to traffic and one set spare, so if they all run as DC as they will have to with such low pax capacity in 3 car set then we will need 6 sets.

To run a fourth or fifth return trip to Albury add another two sets running as DC.

So to run 5 return daily Albury trips as in the RNDP will take 3 trains running as DC = 6 sets plus 1 train spare as DC =  2 sets spare/PPM =  8 sets in all.

Fool of a concept should be minimum 4 cars seating around 230 , and avoid the DC and wasting capex on buying driving compartments not required.  4 cars vs. 6 saves 1/3 on train running and maintenance cost too.

On Swan Hill , Warrnambool & Bairnsdale  4 cars is base train & attach 3 car Commuter VL gives you 7 cars between Southern Cross & Waurn Ponds & between Southern Cross and Bendigo & between Southern Cross and Traralgon.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The regulations aren't really dynamic-consist-friendly.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Where do we get 18 cars from ? Don t see any mention of number of 3 car sets in the propaganda.

To run three return trips to Albury as now takes two sets to traffic and one set spare, so if they all run as DC as they will have to with such low pax capacity in 3 car set then we will need 6 sets.

To run a fourth or fifth return trip to Albury add another two sets running as DC.

So to run 5 return daily Albury trips as in the RNDP will take 3 trains running as DC = 6 sets plus 1 train spare as DC =  2 sets spare/PPM =  8 sets in all.

Fool of a concept should be minimum 4 cars seating around 230 , and avoid the DC and wasting capex on buying driving compartments not required.  4 cars vs. 6 saves 1/3 on train running and maintenance cost too.

On Swan Hill , Warrnambool & Bairnsdale  4 cars is base train & attach 3 car Commuter VL gives you 7 cars between Southern Cross & Waurn Ponds & between Southern Cross and Bendigo & between Southern Cross and Traralgon.
kuldalai
Umm, you've used the term DC five or six times, but I have no idea what it might mean. Can somebody advise...
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Where do we get 18 cars from ? Don t see any mention of number of 3 car sets in the propaganda.

To run three return trips to Albury as now takes two sets to traffic and one set spare, so if they all run as DC as they will have to with such low pax capacity in 3 car set then we will need 6 sets.

To run a fourth or fifth return trip to Albury add another two sets running as DC.

So to run 5 return daily Albury trips as in the RNDP will take 3 trains running as DC = 6 sets plus 1 train spare as DC =  2 sets spare/PPM =  8 sets in all.

Fool of a concept should be minimum 4 cars seating around 230 , and avoid the DC and wasting capex on buying driving compartments not required.  4 cars vs. 6 saves 1/3 on train running and maintenance cost too.

On Swan Hill , Warrnambool & Bairnsdale  4 cars is base train & attach 3 car Commuter VL gives you 7 cars between Southern Cross & Waurn Ponds & between Southern Cross and Bendigo & between Southern Cross and Traralgon.
Umm, you've used the term DC five or six times, but I have no idea what it might mean. Can somebody advise...
duttonbay
DC  =  Double consist  viz:  2 x 3 car V/locity sets
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
Overall I like the design, but I really lament V/Line's over commitment to an entire system built on 3 car V'locity sets.

With only 164 seats per single 3 car set, I can't see them ever running in single unit configuration (except when maintenence failures force the matter) on Albury line services, which means always running them in pairs which means 2 buffet's to staff on each service. If they were purpose built as 5 car sets, with full walk-through capability and only 2 drivers cabs (instead of 4), then it would be a more like for like replacement of the current train. Hell, with 5 cars there would have even been space to keep a first class option.

That said, I do like the design.
Gman_86

On the flip side, having them as 3-car sets means they only need to take out one set of a pair with the option of hot-swapping in the reserve if only one is faulty whereas if a 6-car was failed then the whole lot is out.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

On the flip side, having them as 3-car sets means they only need to take out one set of a pair with the option of hot-swapping in the reserve if only one is faulty whereas if a 6-car was failed then the whole lot is out.
Greensleeves
V/line seems to be reluctant to couple and uncouple their Velocity sets in traffic. Is it such a difficult process that it should be done in a maintenance centre with expert personnel on hand to assist (like giving birth!)? Or, is it that their managers can't think and make decisions on their feet; a quality needed to maximise TRAIN services when things are in disarray.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Bored at home
On the flip side, having them as 3-car sets means they only need to take out one set of a pair with the option of hot-swapping in the reserve if only one is faulty whereas if a 6-car was failed then the whole lot is out.
V/line seems to be reluctant to couple and uncouple their Velocity sets in traffic. Is it such a difficult process that it should be done in a maintenance centre with expert personnel on hand to assist (like giving birth!)? Or, is it that their managers can't think and make decisions on their feet; a quality needed to maximise TRAIN services when things are in disarray.
Lockspike
Such a negative slant there.

Maryborough train does couple/decouple at Ballarat twice a day each way. V/line aren't that reluctant.
And I don't think the Ballarat platform counts as a maintenance centre.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Thats what you have DMU sets for to split them like at Ballarat half for Maryborough and half for Ararat, or on a Seymour drop off one set at Wallan which then hot paces it back to Southern Cross to do the same on a second peak Down Seymour later in the peak .

VLP attach and detach VL sets at Ballarat with pax in the trains, but everyone gets turfed out at Bendigo when Echucas  detach / attach not very logical.

Also pax are held to ransom by the VLP Safety Nazis in that pax are not allowed to join a single VL set until a second has attached at Southern Cross.  Other railways in Aus and worldwide manage to do so, but NOT  V/Line . If we can attach and detach at Ballarat then ditto we can also do it at Southern Cross. Quite safe second set pulls up on low speed aspect 2 metres from the sationary set. Then eases forward and couples up, not rocket science, quite safe in every other railway in the world but not at Southern Cross or Bendigo . Typical VLP customer focus and service.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Even rough ease ups are nothing compared to the SG track quality.

Personally I doubt the V'locity trains will survive long on that goat track. Even the places recently re-ballasted are nothing special, and places given major repairs recently deteriorate quickly, so I remain unconfident (just look at the Kilmore East grade crossing, where BG trains access the APEX siding).

And then there is the container problem. N474 struck a few at Barnawartha earlier this year; other VLP trains have struck freight loading along this line after they fall off the trains (but there is nothing wrong with the track, apparently!) Bad enough with 120 tonnes of loco hauling the train, the driver's life is threatened, but generally survivable, while the passengers would usually be safe; I cannot accept that a plastic railcar will provide much safety for the passengers (the driver will either be a good sprinter with excellent reflexes, or dead).

Pre-COVID-19 time, the trains along this line were usually busy, with plenty of luggage. Bikes in particular going to/from the many rail trails along this route (Cudgewa, Beechworth, Bright, etc), a dozen bikes being common. The new design doesn't seem to have much space for them.

But then again, post-COVID-19, there may be few passengers for some years.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The other part of this project that everyone seems to be forgetting is the Victorian Government has already committed to upgrading the North East Line for better quality running..

https://regionalrailrevival.vic.gov.au/northeast

While I think there is room to debate whether they are actually providing enough money to make a difference, I think we at least need to see what works get completed before claiming the Vlocioties are going to be destroyed before they actually start running.
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

V/line seems to be reluctant to couple and uncouple their Velocity sets in traffic. Is it such a difficult process that it should be done in a maintenance centre with expert personnel on hand to assist (like giving birth!)? Or, is it that their managers can't think and make decisions on their feet; a quality needed to maximise TRAIN services when things are in disarray.
Such a negative slant there.

Maryborough train does couple/decouple at Ballarat twice a day each way. V/line aren't that reluctant.
And I don't think the Ballarat platform counts as a maintenance centre.
justarider
Yes, it is negative.
Now V/Line, show us that you can react in real time, to keep TRAINS moving when things get out of order, and I'll change from a cynic to being a supporter.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Even rough ease ups are nothing compared to the SG track quality.

Personally I doubt the V'locity trains will survive long on that goat track. Even the places recently re-ballasted are nothing special, and places given major repairs recently deteriorate quickly, so I remain unconfident (just look at the Kilmore East grade crossing, where BG trains access the APEX siding).

And then there is the container problem. N474 struck a few at Barnawartha earlier this year; other VLP trains have struck freight loading along this line after they fall off the trains (but there is nothing wrong with the track, apparently!) Bad enough with 120 tonnes of loco hauling the train, the driver's life is threatened, but generally survivable, while the passengers would usually be safe; I cannot accept that a plastic railcar will provide much safety for the passengers (the driver will either be a good sprinter with excellent reflexes, or dead).

Pre-COVID-19 time, the trains along this line were usually busy, with plenty of luggage. Bikes in particular going to/from the many rail trails along this route (Cudgewa, Beechworth, Bright, etc), a dozen bikes being common. The new design doesn't seem to have much space for them.

But then again, post-COVID-19, there may be few passengers for some years.
hbedriver

Always great to get the perspective from an actual driver...not speculation from an armchair 'expert' of which, since the demise of my mate TK a few years ago, unfortunately I have also become.

I know this, the Andrews government had been holding off on this SG order ...hoping the latest in the series of SG 'upgrade' works would be the ticket to a re-launch of the Albury pax service...apparently, from your observations hbedriver, this is not going to be the case.

I hope Bombardier are also well advised that these sets had best be constructed as tough as the old 'Spirit cars, because to have these new trains falling apart on the seemingly never ending undulating and rough track and reports of pax walking to/from the buffet being thrown off their feet not long after their launch, isn't going to be a good look.

As for the odd shipping container falling off and being struck by an opposing V'Locity service...well let's wait and see about this seemingly inevitable time bomb.

Mike.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The latest from the disaster that's ARTC's NE SG.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/it-s-a-savage-line-v-line-driver-s-pain-sparks-quest-to-protect-other-women-20200427-p54nm7.html

Mike.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Saw this video overnight that was taken by a fireman at Benalla:
https://www.facebook.com/jet204/videos/10157989410035792/
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Saw this video overnight that was taken by a fireman at Benalla:
https://www.facebook.com/jet204/videos/10157989410035792/
Carnot
That's a rough riding loco or that's and older video. I did it at 110 km/hr last week and it wasn't nearly that rough.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Saw this video overnight that was taken by a fireman at Benalla:
https://www.facebook.com/jet204/videos/10157989410035792/
That's a rough riding loco or that's and older video. I did it at 110 km/hr last week and it wasn't nearly that rough.
Fatty

Where are the roughest locations on the NE in your opinion as the video mentions this is not the worst of it?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Saw this video overnight that was taken by a fireman at Benalla:
https://www.facebook.com/jet204/videos/10157989410035792/
That's a rough riding loco or that's and older video. I did it at 110 km/hr last week and it wasn't nearly that rough.

Where are the roughest locations on the NE in your opinion as the video mentions this is not the worst of it?
bevans
There's masses of work being done at the moment so things are changing but but Seymour to Benalla on the West is the worst in my opinion, especially around Avenel. The East from Wangaratta to Albury is probably the best.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There's masses of work being done at the moment so things are changing but but Seymour to Benalla on the West is the worst in my opinion, especially around Avenel. The East from Wangaratta to Albury is probably the best.
Fatty

Much appreciate the feedback.

I notice the video showed the east line heading south from Wodonga as i could see the SCT vans to the right.  What is causing the rough riding or has this now been addressed?

Do ARTC have enough crews working the line?
  Fatty Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
There's masses of work being done at the moment so things are changing but but Seymour to Benalla on the West is the worst in my opinion, especially around Avenel. The East from Wangaratta to Albury is probably the best.

Much appreciate the feedback.

I notice the video showed the east line heading south from Wodonga as i could see the SCT vans to the right.  What is causing the rough riding or has this now been addressed?

Do ARTC have enough crews working the line?
bevans

The East from Wodonga to Wangaratta has been reballasted, bridges replaced and had track machines running over it for the last couple of weeks. The work is being done by John Holland.

In my opinion ARTC do not have enough crews working the line.

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