Down Express Frankston Service

 
  bayside1 Station Master

I have a curiosity question about the down evening peak services to Frankston between Moorabbin and Highett on the outside express track.  A down express service running between Caulfield and Cheltenham always seems to slow between Moorabbin and Highett . The train always seems to approach down home at Moorabbin on a  Y/R and is very slow through to Highett.



The down automatic at Highett stays a red almost until the train reaches the down end of the platform  and then clears to green.


  • Is this deliberate strategy to slow the trains in this section?
  • Or is it something else?



If there is nothing in front I thought you would get green’s all the way.

Maybe a spark driver can explain this to me.

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  Polar Tiger Chief Commissioner

Location: FL390
I believe the problem at Highett is linked to the Vicroads traffic light cycle for the level crossing. The relevant authorities know about it and are working on a solution.
  Skipdaddyo Chief Train Controller

Location: Living the dream
It's a pain in the proverbial, that is all I know...

Is there anything you don't know Polar Tiger? Smile
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
If there is nothing in front I thought you would get green’s all the way.    
bayside1
The issue at Highett has already been discussed.

In the pm peak trains are timetabled at 3 - 4 minute intervals.  An express catches up with the stopper in front and is scheduled at almost the minimum permitted headway right behind it.  The chances of everything running exactly on time in the peak are remote meaning that it won't take more than the slightest delay to cause congestion.  It doesn't have to be the train right in front either - it could be reaction to something much farther down the line - even a late runner perhaps 15 - 20 minutes in front causing bunching behind.

I experienced the same when I commuted on the line.  If the express left right time (or within a minute of it) and managed to also depart Caulfield within a minute or two of right time it got greens to Moorabbin and ran through a stopper round about Bentleigh.  It then hit the brakes before Highett.  It often caught up the train ahead as well though there were not quite so many trains scheduled in my commuting days as run now.  If the express were more than a few minutes late the stopper would be allowed out from Moorabbin in front of it and the delay wold become compounded.  That's a factor of railway regulation where it is often considered better to delay one train a little more and keep the rest on time compared with delaying everything by a few minutes.   The total "delay minutes" is less though the customer frustration isn't but performance is measured in terms of punctuality not satisfaction.

For good measure we also frequently got delayed on the approach to Frankston (as did all trains) sometimes being held waiting a platform for up to 5 minutes and losing any time advantage the express might have had on paper.  That much hasn't changed.
  hot-axle-box Junior Train Controller

polar tiger is right! the crossing was upgraded with a whole heap of new stuff and the approach settings for trains were adjusted to try and improve things, It worked ok for a little but developed a bug somewhere when express mode is set from Moorabbin or Caulfield. so for a while every train has to leave Moorabbin on stopping mode, doesn't make much difference to expresses anyway becoming stoppers at cheltenham. the pain in the smeg is with the long island, Mordy has to switch in and give it express conditions from there or it delays the following train by 10 minutes.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

IIRC when the triplication was put in the VR Commissioners of the day intended for it to go all the way to Mordialloc but owing to shortage of funds it was cut short at Moorabbin . One really does need a decent length of triple track to get a following express on the tight headway past the preceding stopper on the local line.   This triplication would be far more productive and useful if it were extended to Mordialloc as originally planned .  Many of the rail over road bridges are already built ready for the third track to Mordialloc .

Just like many are already built for a fourth track between Burnley and Camberwell .  In those days the Commissioners had vision, and they did things in advance to maximize the plant and machinery on site with the initial track amplification .
  Bullucked Assistant Commissioner

polar tiger is right! the crossing was upgraded with a whole heap of new stuff and the approach settings for trains were adjusted to try and improve things, It worked ok for a little but developed a bug somewhere when express mode is set from Moorabbin or Caulfield. so for a while every train has to leave Moorabbin on stopping mode, doesn't make much difference to expresses anyway becoming stoppers at cheltenham. the pain in the smeg is with the long island, Mordy has to switch in and give it express conditions from there or it delays the following train by 10 minutes.
hot-axle-box

This would explain something I've noticed but only just realised recently:shock:. Approaching Moorabbin on the down, during off peak times on the centre line, you used to get a reduce with an illuminated 65. Lately it's been only the reduce aspect bringing you down to medium warning at the down end of platform 2. By the time station work is complete the signal improves to clear medium with an illuminated 65 (subject to the line ahead being clear). I wondered what had changed, thanks for the info hot-axle-box and Polar Tiger.
  hot-axle-box Junior Train Controller

They were supposed to fix it a couple of weeks ago but the occo was cancelled, I guess something else was pushed ahead of that job.

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