Work Starts To Get VLocity Trains For The North East Line

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 06 Aug 2018 10:40
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The chief executive of V/Line has acknowledged train services are not at the level passengers deserve, but revealed changes are being made to help in the short term.

...

Many delays on the North East line started when trains were leaving Southern Cross station in Melbourne, due to yards being congested or radio faults.

One of the short-term solutions for the North East was to fix these problems at the start of the journey.

...

V/Line has also been rotating its fleet of N-class trains between the North East and other Victorian lines, giving them a service and changing the bogies to suit the different track before they start taking passengers.

According to V/Line this improved reliability but the Border Rail Action Group has called the trains a "flood of 40-year old discarded stock".

BRAG maintains new VLocity trains should run on the North East line now, not wait until after the $235 million track upgrade.
Border Mail


As @woodford (I think) mentioned the Ns are now being rotated. Also some possible set changes -  I noticed 5+power van on the down midday service today, which I haven't seen since the ~2016 introduction of the fourth power van.

As to why the Ns are being rotated that fact has been lost somewhere in the journalistic process - whether it was a journalist who didn't grasp the quote or it was over simplified - who knows.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Or the RFR bogie is not suited for non-RFR - SG or BG
kitchgp
An interesting possibility.
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Or the RFR bogie is not suited for non-RFR - SG or BG
An interesting possibility.
YM-Mundrabilla
Has one not experienced the ride of a velocity on Metro track?

Dodgy track and some wear on the suspension components means for a bit of banging and crashing.   Its not pleasant.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why not buy a series of units already built for SG ?

We up here are not in favour of a bastardised velocity solution.

There are many trains on SG available
Now off the shelf which could be ordered and receipted in the next 18 months.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Why not buy a series of units already built for SG ?

We up here are not in favour of a bastardised velocity solution.

There are many trains on SG available
Now off the shelf which could be ordered and receipted in the next 18 months.
freightgate


I've never really understood the anti-VLo rhetoric from some quarters. They are a good train, proven reliable, and even if modified for SG/long-haul will give V/Line a common maintenance base to work off.

There is nothing so special about Albury as to order an entirely new fleet type for running its services.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Why not buy a series of units already built for SG ?

We up here are not in favour of a bastardised velocity solution.

There are many trains on SG available
Now off the shelf which could be ordered and receipted in the next 18 months.
freightgate
VLine would then have another different vehicle that needed support. Although current rolling stock onthe Albury line is SG (of course) there is still back up units on BG in case assistance is required. Any new design for the Albury line would need to stand alone. We would need enough rolling stock to cover all services with a DECENT number of spares (say 8 complete units for a 4 train timetable), A maintence arrangement would need to be set up, both train crews and maintence staff trained in the new gear. As usuall the financial people would kick up a stink about the cost and cut the orders back and we would end up with a pigs breakfast worse then now.

At least a VLocity solution the only differences will likely be the axles, wheels and interior layout, existing maintence setup would do for the new units, all one then needs is for both VLine and the Government to  get enough units to make sure we do not get ANY cancellations due to maintence.

How likely is this.......................................... I still have little faith that both VLine and the Government will acheive a good result on the Albury without SOMEONE (as is usual) putting there "oar" in and mucking the whole show up.

Hmmmmmmmmm, woodfords not to happy with this post, its not as clear as I would like, I am though currently to cold,tired and a little depressed to rewrite it, hope it will do.

woodford
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
' DECENT number of spares (say 8 complete units for a 4 train timetable)'

Double the fleet requirement to cover contingencies is just plain ridiculous.

I have little time for the bean counters but they would be perfectly correct in these circumstances to '.... kick up a stink ... '.
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

Why not buy a series of units already built for SG ?

We up here are not in favour of a bastardised velocity solution.

There are many trains on SG available
Now off the shelf which could be ordered and receipted in the next 18 months.
VLine would then have another different vehicle that needed support. Although current rolling stock onthe Albury line is SG (of course) there is still back up units on BG in case assistance is required. Any new design for the Albury line would need to stand alone. We would need enough rolling stock to cover all services with a DECENT number of spares (say 8 complete units for a 4 train timetable), A maintence arrangement would need to be set up, both train crews and maintence staff trained in the new gear. As usuall the financial people would kick up a stink about the cost and cut the orders back and we would end up with a pigs breakfast worse then now.

At least a VLocity solution the only differences will likely be the axles, wheels and interior layout, existing maintence setup would do for the new units, all one then needs is for both VLine and the Government to  get enough units to make sure we do not get ANY cancellations due to maintence.

How likely is this.......................................... I still have little faith that both VLine and the Government will acheive a good result on the Albury without SOMEONE (as is usual) putting there "oar" in and mucking the whole show up.

Hmmmmmmmmm, woodfords not to happy with this post, its not as clear as I would like, I am though currently to cold,tired and a little depressed to rewrite it, hope it will do.

woodford
woodford
Perhaps there is another alternative, though probably a bit left of field for Vline.
As we're talking SG sets, could not something thats on the NSW system [or QLD] thats suitable be used, and when necessary, be sent back there for maintenance.? Apart from the distance involved to say get them to Sydney or where ever, there would be already an established workshop and back up spares etc in place. Overall probably a much cheaper option!
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Where would these VLOCITY sets for the North East be maintained?  The maintenance centre would require SG access.  has this been considered by V/Line?
  Fatty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
As we're talking SG sets, could not something thats on the NSW system [or QLD]
Inland_Sailor

There's not a lot of standard gauge passenger rolling stock in Queensland.
  Fatty Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Where would these VLOCITY sets for the North East be maintained?  The maintenance centre would require SG access.  has this been considered by V/Line?
bevans
Maybe at South Dynon where the current standard gauge stuff is maintained?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It appears not to be about a SG bogie, but seems to be about designing a bogie suited for the high percentage of non-RFR track that the long-distance VLocity will operate on, either in SG or BG mode.
  Inland_Sailor Junior Train Controller

It appears not to be about a SG bogie, but seems to be about designing a bogie suited for the high percentage of non-RFR track that the long-distance VLocity will operate on, either in SG or BG mode.
kitchgp
That concept certainly has some logic to it!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

' DECENT number of spares (say 8 complete units for a 4 train timetable)'

Double the fleet requirement to cover contingencies is just plain ridiculous.

I have little time for the bean counters but they would be perfectly correct in these circumstances to '.... kick up a stink ... '.
YM-Mundrabilla
Hmmmmm.................. No need to be hostile, I am only trying to make a point Wink

A railway service IS SUPPOSED to be 100% reliable, the railway company is not supposed to be able to say "We cannot run any service today as our rolling stock has all broken down". Look at Victoria's VLocity fleet any of these break down can quickly be replaced because of the shear large number of sets around. The Albury service will be isolated, they can only call on the sets they have. A 4 train Albury time table will take 3 sets in reality, it will require to be able to cater for the situation where one set is in heavy maintence and 2 break down. If as there would be a reasonable chance when VLocity's get going on the Albury line that VLine runs a Wagga service, it would likely require another set.

Another thing I was factoring is IF VLine EVER manage to do a decent job on the Albury line patronage will almost certainly shoot up, this WILL require extra rolling stock.

woodford
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

This article from 2003 shows they were designed with gauge-convertible bogies from the start: http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&sw=w&u=slv&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA105642896&it=r&asid=cbc7d78c8e7b0c85fb795592f4b74f97

Although it doesn't go into detail about what that precisely meant (or if that feature ever made it into production), it disproves potatoinmymouth 's theory that SG wasn't a consideration at all.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Look at Victoria's VLocity fleet any of these break down can quickly be replaced because of the shear large number of sets around. The Albury service will be isolated, they can only call on the sets they have.

woodford
woodford

No...I'm afraid NOT.

There are sometimes a VERY SMALL number of sets for emergencies, however for the most part if a three car set fails in a 6 car train, the three car set operates very CROWDED and occasionally with reduced stops.

A few times a week I get messages from V/Line that a certain service is operating at reduced capacity and to travel on an alternative service.

This can be because of animal strikes, frequent jumpers which throws the system into chaos for hours with out of place trains, or just simple required maintenance and refurbishment.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The chief executive of V/Line has acknowledged train services are not at the level passengers deserve, but revealed changes are being made to help in the short term.

...

Many delays on the North East line started when trains were leaving Southern Cross station in Melbourne, due to yards being congested or radio faults.

One of the short-term solutions for the North East was to fix these problems at the start of the journey.

...

V/Line has also been rotating its fleet of N-class trains between the North East and other Victorian lines, giving them a service and changing the bogies to suit the different track before they start taking passengers.

According to V/Line this improved reliability but the Border Rail Action Group has called the trains a "flood of 40-year old discarded stock".

BRAG maintains new VLocity trains should run on the North East line now, not wait until after the $235 million track upgrade.


As @woodford (I think) mentioned the Ns are now being rotated. Also some possible set changes -  I noticed 5+power van on the down midday service today, which I haven't seen since the ~2016 introduction of the fourth power van.

As to why the Ns are being rotated that fact has been lost somewhere in the journalistic process - whether it was a journalist who didn't grasp the quote or it was over simplified - who knows.
potatoinmymouth
A couple of points brought up from the above post..............

I believe the reason the N class are being rotated through the 4 SG machines is maintence. I think what VLine is doing is the when any of SG N's require any serious maintenence, ie is going to spend many days in the shops, they are swapping it over for an upgraded BG N (ie has D77 traction motors) and simply swapping the bogies over. This means none of the SG N's are spending much time offline due to faults and therefor the availibilty is higher.

Border Mail said.........

"Many delays on the North East line started when trains were leaving Southern Cross station in Melbourne, due to yards being congested or radio faults.

One of the short-term solutions for the North East was to fix these problems at the start of the journey."

This is in my opinion the BIGGEST problem with the current service. The time taken to get in from Broadmedows can vary from 27 minutes (excellent) to well over an hour (pathetic). The problem invariably being from the Bunbury st tunnel to SC. I have yet to be on a SC bound Albury train that has not been caught by a red signal at the down end of Totenham yard.

What can be done I do not not know as it appears the problem is that the South Kensington yard is to limited for what it is being used for.

woodford
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Although it doesn't go into detail about what that precisely meant (or if that feature ever made it into production), it disproves potatoinmymouth 's theory that SG wasn't a consideration at all.
bramt


Yes, it certainly shows that “gauge-convertibility” was part of the original spec. But as you say, what that means is extraordinarily nebulous, and my contention is that it never went any further than a thought bubble on Bombardier’s whiteboard.
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I suspect someone will make a bit on this SG bogie issue.  I bet there are plans sitting in a dusty cabinet ( or in a  computer folder)  already to go. Someone  is smiling.

And they are entitled to be if it is the case of being prepared.

Regards,
David Head
dthead
I know for a fact that there are already plans for S/G Bogies for the V/Locities and that they have existed prior to 2013. I have been told that a brand new set of S/G Bogies could be under an existing V/Locity within Six Months and testing/evaluation completed within Six Months after that.
  justarider Chief Train Controller

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
I suspect someone will make a bit on this SG bogie issue.  I bet there are plans sitting in a dusty cabinet ( or in a  computer folder)  already to go. Someone  is smiling.
And they are entitled to be if it is the case of being prepared.
Regards,
David Head
I know for a fact that there are already plans for S/G Bogies for the V/Locities and that they have existed prior to 2013. I have been told that a brand new set of S/G Bogies could be under an existing V/Locity within Six Months and testing/evaluation completed within Six Months after that.
Jack Le Lievre
thanks Jack,
and now we are back to the very first post in this thread. It's going to take 12 months! No surprise.

storm, tea-cup, goodnight.

cheers
John
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I believe that the shape for the SG wheel will be ready for testing in October 2019. Rolling Eyes
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Look at Victoria's VLocity fleet any of these break down can quickly be replaced because of the shear large number of sets around. The Albury service will be isolated, they can only call on the sets they have.

woodford
A few times a week I get messages from V/Line that a certain service is operating at reduced capacity and to travel on an alternative service.

This can be because of animal strikes, frequent jumpers which throws the system into chaos for hours with out of place trains, or just simple required maintenance and refurbishment.
The Vinelander
Or not run at all. All you have to do is look over at the V/Line incidents and disruptions thread, the Bendigo line has seen many cancellations of V/Locity services over the last month, even the flagship late afternoon Down Bendigo (6 car packed to the luggage racks most days) has been cancelled quite a few times recently and replaced by road coaches.

I don't know if it due to crewing problems or reliability of the units but I have been on a couple of services recently running on 2/3 motors and reports from other posters have suggested that reliability is becoming a bit of an issue with some of the ageing units.

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I do find the whispers about VLo reliability interesting. Cummins (engine manufacturer) advertises them as "the most reliable diesel railcar in the world", which is a pretty serious claim given that DMUs make up a very large percentage of the current rollingstock market. They base this on a Mean Distance Between Failures of 150,000km+, some 50% higher than the design spec. (I wish my car went that long without carking out!)

https://cummins.com.au/sites/au/files/file_attachments/Case%20Study-VLocity.pdf

The significance of this number is borne out by the V/Line annual report, where the 157,805km MDBF of the VLos compares with 162,895km for coaching stock - and 22,957km for locos. In other words, the average VLo is as nearly as reliable as a box on wheels.

Availability statistics tell a similar story. VLos operate at 91.7% availability compared to 74.3% and 70.2% for carriages and locos respectively.

So, if the stories are true, and I have no reason to believe they are not, then it must be costing Bombardier a small fortune to keep their reputation intact.
  Jack Le Lievre Chief Train Controller

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
I do find the whispers about VLo reliability interesting. Cummins (engine manufacturer) advertises them as "the most reliable diesel railcar in the world", which is a pretty serious claim given that DMUs make up a very large percentage of the current rollingstock market. They base this on a Mean Distance Between Failures of 150,000km+, some 50% higher than the design spec. (I wish my car went that long without carking out!)

Availability statistics tell a similar story. VLos operate at 91.7% availability compared to 74.3% and 70.2% for carriages and locos respectively.

So, if the stories are true, and I have no reason to believe they are not, then it must be costing Bombardier a small fortune to keep their reputation intact.
potatoinmymouth
I would put it down to, in part, the fact that Bombardier doesn't have the capacity to maintain the Fleet, within their current Maintenance Area. V/Locities are Bombardier's Number One Priority, followed by Cars, then the Ns.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I do find the whispers about VLo reliability interesting. Cummins (engine manufacturer) advertises them as "the most reliable diesel railcar in the world", which is a pretty serious claim given that DMUs make up a very large percentage of the current rollingstock market. They base this on a Mean Distance Between Failures of 150,000km+, some 50% higher than the design spec. (I wish my car went that long without carking out!)

Availability statistics tell a similar story. VLos operate at 91.7% availability compared to 74.3% and 70.2% for carriages and locos respectively.

So, if the stories are true, and I have no reason to believe they are not, then it must be costing Bombardier a small fortune to keep their reputation intact.
I would put it down to, in part, the fact that Bombardier doesn't have the capacity to maintain the Fleet, within their current Maintenance Area. V/Locities are Bombardier's Number One Priority, followed by Cars, then the Ns.
Jack Le Lievre
Somebody should have thought about the maintenance facilities required for the ever increasing fleet of Vlocitys before now.

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