Call for Albury-Melbourne rail line to get VLocity trains

 

News article: Call for Albury-Melbourne rail line to get VLocity trains

[size=3][font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][b]The Victorian Government is being urged to upgrade trains on the Albury to Melbourne rail line.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The Victorian Government is being urged to upgrade trains on the Albury to Melbourne rail line.

It has invested $210 million in new VLocity railcars for the V/Line network including the Ballarat, Bendigo and Echuca lines.

However, the federal Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, says none are destined for north-eastern Victoria.

Ms McGowan says now that work on improving the rail track is almost complete, it is time for the State Government to invest in new VLocity trains.
Call for Albury-Melbourne rail line to get VLocity trains


View the full story

If they are after additional speed then why not speed up the current services?  What is preventing this from happening?

Sponsored advertisement

  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Well it's obvious that the shiney new member for Indi isn't quite up to scratch with rail matters yet, but sadly it appears her staffers aren't either. Sad

* The Albury line is chock-a-block with bumps, kinks, mudholes and any number of other problems, meaning that trains can't travel very fast on the line. ARTC has been working on this for the best part of a decade and realistically, there is no end in sight anytime soon. So it would be wasteful to spend a lot of money on new high speed rolling stock when most of the line has speed restrictions that will continue for years to come.

* The standard gauge track between Seymour and Melbourne is a single line. If you want to run lots more trains over it, you will come up against capacity constraints, especially at the sort of times that passengers want to travel.

* All velocity rail cars are broad gauge. To have a separate standard gauge fleet with spares (in case of breakdowns, vandalism, etc) would be wasteful and the money could be better spent on more broad gauge velocities as they could be utilised more intensively than a few orphaned stragglers on just one standard gauge line.

* Most obviously this is overwhelmingly a state issue and McGowan is a federal MP. The federal government may be involved with ARTC but they have almost nothing to do with either running passenger services or purchasing rolling stock.

In short, nice try Cathy. But the first rule of politics is check your information so you don't look like a dill. Rolling Eyes

However, McGwan is very savvy so she will learn from her mistake. If she's smart and sacks the staffer who wrote this rather uninformed media release, she won't be seen to make mistakes like this again.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
"Ms McGowan says now that work on improving the rail track is almost complete ...."


Who told her that? Is it

(a) official propaganda being put out by ARTC,
(b) deliberate misinformation by someone else,
(c) an uninformed attempt to look good and be seen to be doing something ??

She is either unaware of the gauge difference, or thinks it is unimportant or easily overcome.

Having said that, if V/Line can run N sets on both gauges, then it may be possible to do the same with Vlocities? Is it technically possible to run a Vlo on standard gauge bogies?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I think the ministers point is the current Vlocity setup is not suited to longer distance travel. I agree. You need food and snack bar and more comfortable seats and probably First class.  Something like the Canberra/Sydney/Canberra service offered by Countylink would be ideal in my view
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Velocity's are gauge convertible, but it's not wise to create an orphan group when older stuff remains.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well it's obvious that the shiney new member for Indi isn't quite up to scratch with rail matters yet, but sadly it appears her staffers aren't either. Sad


* Most obviously this is overwhelmingly a state issue and McGowan is a federal MP. The federal government may be involved with ARTC but they have almost nothing to do with either running passenger services or purchasing rolling stock.
Bogong


Could there be a message in this release? Could ARTC operate a passenger rail operator?

There needs to be more competition on the network and across the country.  If Vline cannot offer a better service than they currently do then offer a service to the likes of countrylink or GSR?  I personnally don't think track capacity should be the block to increasing services and also fast services.  The Single section between Seymour and Melbourne should not be a barrier for the introduction of better higher speed passenger services.  

Quuensland Rail appear to be able to get their rollingstock orders and deployment correct?
  JimYarin Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
why not consider tilt train style services? at least the member is making noises about improving the service.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Nice to see my local politician out and about and thinking of us all in Albury.

Victoria needs to starting thinking about a new set of locative hauled passenger services for longer distance and faster  travel.

Sure the member is federal but that to me is a good thing. Artc are federally funded.

Mulder has put his foot in it again admitting the he knows what we want up here. He does not. If he did the SG project would have been better managed.

A faster service would e good but the lingering track issues are the main problem.

The n class sets are also a little tiered.

Velocity sets are not what we need.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

ARTC has been and still is putting a great deal of effort into the line, I am going for a run on the line next week to see how they are progressing I will report on the usual thread.

The member for indi is quite correct in putting this forward (again). During the recent meetings with ARTC, VLIne and both state and federal govenements, the meeting made it _____VERY______ clear that better rolling stock was expected. I had the impression the state representative could not have cared less.

While at there current state the VLocity's are not suitable, Bombardier has stated the bogies are gauge convertable and all that really needs to produce a long distance version is some alterations to the interiors, and this should not be rocket science.

Does the current state government know they only have a single seat majority? They apparently do not care if the lose the election.

woodford
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
The member for indi is doing what she should do and that is to represent the local issues. Vline have not been listening. I believe they were keen to hand the line over to Artc so they had someone else to blame for their poor service.

Patronage on this line was quite high prior to SG from memory the 5th highest patronage on the vline network.

It is time for a new plan for long distance travel and add in Cobram.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Could there be a message in this release? Could ARTC operate a passenger rail operator?
bevans


No.  That's prohibited by legislation or the lease agreement itself in some jurisdictions.  This is a good thing - as I think your suggestion would be a seriously retrograde step.


There needs to be more competition on the network and across the country. If Vline cannot offer a better service than they currently do then offer a service to the likes of countrylink or GSR? I personnally don't think track capacity should be the block to increasing services and also fast services. The Single section between Seymour and Melbourne should not be a barrier for the introduction of better higher speed passenger services.

The relevant service is just passenger transport, not "passenger transport on rails".  There is plenty of competition - with private car, buses and planes.  

Given the level of subsidy required, a non-Victorian-government operator is only going to be interested in operating a service if you make it worth their while.  Sometimes this makes sense to do - if the incumbent government operator is suspected to be particularly inefficient and its too difficult for the government of the day to fix that.  This thinking that resulted in rail passenger transport in Melbourne being privatised.

The biggest barrier to better services is that people, on average, aren't willing to pay for them.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
is there any evidence that people are not prepared to pay?

People will always find value and good service. I do not believe that people will not pay.

Travellers have been paying high prices for airline services which have been offering less and less  

Good quality rail services efficiently run with good services can attract more people and a higher fare.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
The member for indi is doing what she should do and that is to represent the local issues. Vline have not been listening. I believe they were keen to hand the line over to Artc so they had someone else to blame for their poor service.

Patronage on this line was quite high prior to SG from memory the 5th highest patronage on the vline network.

It is time for a new plan for long distance travel and add in Cobram.
freightgate

V/Line are not listening? V/Line are doing they can with what they have I believe. It's the Government that aren't listening.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

is there any evidence that people are not prepared to pay?

freightgate

I'll give you some anecdotal evidence: *I'm* not prepared to pay what it costs to haul me by train!  And I like trains.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The member for indi is doing what she should do and that is to represent the local issues. Vline have not been listening. I believe they were keen to hand the line over to Artc so they had someone else to blame for their poor service.
freightgate


VLIne is listening, its the state governement thats deaf to the issue, this was made quite clear at the meetings ARTC and VLIne arranged. ARTC also made it quite clear they are resposnible for the track NOT the services running on it. They also made it quite clear the ballast rehabilatation program was a long term job and the service would improve over time. It was stated that there should be a good improvement in the train times towards the end of this month.

Another thing at the meetings  that was made VERY clear was that a lot of people only wanted to winge and were NOT prepared to listen to any expalanations at all. The amount of poor and just plain incorrect info these people came up with was breathtaking. This put ARTC and VLIne in a very difficult position.

As previously stated ARTC is working on the track consistently (the crews appear to work a 10 day fortnight, ie 10 days on and a 4 day break).

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just a point to consider...................

I was thinking just now and one the most serious problems with this issue is that the poor service starting at least 4 or 5 years prior to the suspension of the BG service has left a ____GREAT____deal of residual frustration in the rail travelling population of NE Victoria. Sadly for the issue this has caused a lot of people to lash out with out clearly getting the facts in order.

One would think listening to most people that no improvements at all are in place, this is simply not he case. Its rare now to see a train much more than 10 minutes late. The poorest ride in recent times was on the West line between Euroa and Avenel, and this section has been recently tackled. So things are improving inspite of all the smoke thats around.

Another point is that the N series cars do not ride as good as either the Spinters, VLocity's or the XPT, this is not helped greatly by the N class loco's being such poor riders at speed. All the same though on the last couple of trips down to Melbourne the train spent most of its time around 115kph. The XPT in the past has run at 120kph (on the dot), this speed appears to have been chosen due to a good number of unsignaled level crossings, the maximum speed through these being 120kph.

A third point which is of major signicance is that Passing Lane 1 should be being commisioned shortly, ie the next few weeks, this will remove one of the current really serious bottle necks in the SG system.

woodford
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

If Vlocities are indeed designed for short haul services, then why is it that the transmissions in them are on their way out already.  They're designed to run at 160km/h for long distances, not stop/start S.A.S. services.  Which is why I'm told drivers are reluctant to stop V/Locities for a running pax after moving off, compared to loco/Sprinters
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
There needs to be more competition on the network and across the country. If Vline cannot offer a better service than they currently do then offer a service to the likes of countrylink or GSR?
bevans

Don't forget that V/Lines fares are severely subsidised which may not be the same offer for GSR or any other private operator. And before you say that they should be offered the same subsidies, it sets a dangerous precedent for the government to start offering money to private businesses just so they can protect their bottom line.

Many in this thread seem to give V/Line a bake but like I said in another thread, it wasn't their decision to have the line gauge converted. They then had to go and create rollingstock at their own expense and put up with an appalling standard of track. I actually see them being stiffed by government just as much as the passengers.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Given the level of subsidy required, a non-Victorian-government operator is only going to be interested in operating a service if you make it worth their while. Sometimes this makes sense to do - if the incumbent government operator is suspected to be particularly inefficient and its too difficult for the government of the day to fix that. This thinking that resulted in rail passenger transport in Melbourne being privatised.

donttellmywife

There may be some truth in that, but really Melbourne passenger rail was privatised (read "sold") for the same reason as were the M&MTB, SEC, G&FC, M&MBW ..... Colloquially, the term is "Jeffed".
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Yeah, nice partisan political point (albeit from 20 years ago). But when the Warrnambool line was "Jeffed" as you put it and the WCR took over, the service was greatly improved. In the mid to late 90's I used to commute from North Carlton to Geelong each day and the WCR services were always cleaner, comfier and had conductors who didn't let the bogans play up. Thus I always prefered WCR trains over V-line if I was travelling at times when I had a choice.

I'm instinctively against monopolies (whether they are state or private), and I think having one or two lines run by a different operator (with the same subsidy) would put pressure on V-line. That's the way our economy works, competition creates efficiencies and service improvements. Smile
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

* Most obviously this is overwhelmingly a state issue and McGowan is a federal MP. The federal government may be involved with ARTC but they have almost nothing to do with either running passenger services or purchasing rolling stock.
Bogong

I floated the idea in a similar thread a few months ago that there *may* be some merit it a joint NSW/Vic/ACT/Fed body to run rail/land public transport in the Aussie SE corner.  It seems to me the awkward location on the various state and territory borders is contributing to these issues.  None of the existing agencies are really that well suited to servicing the SG line footprint, and all of the routes have similar issues and requirements that - IMHO - aren't really adequately addressed.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I floated the idea in a similar thread a few months ago that there *may* be some merit it a joint NSW/Vic/ACT/Fed body to run rail/land public transport in the Aussie SE corner. It seems to me the awkward location on the various state and territory borders is contributing to these issues. None of the existing agencies are really that well suited to servicing the SG line footprint, and all of the routes have similar issues and requirements that - IMHO - aren't really adequately addressed.
djf01


Has the Federal Government ever been in the rail passenger business?  Having a national passenger rail body similair in idea to Amtrak which is currently experiencing record ridership is not an idea which should be easily dismissed.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Has the Federal Government ever been in the rail passenger business? Having a national passenger rail body similair in idea to Amtrak which is currently experiencing record ridership is not an idea which should be easily dismissed.
bevans

Yes It has through Australian National

A national passenger train system won't work In Australia, due to the population demographics.

The only area of Australia that could benefit from a Federal Government operator Is the Northern Rivers Region of NSW and the Gold Coast of QLD.

Just about all regional Inter city passenger train services are costly to operate and to justify their ongoing funding, they are used a political candy by Governments to woo the voters of witch the train service serves.
When a passenger service running to a safe Government seat, the Government of the day Is very lacklustre to do anything about Improving the service or even retaining the service.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Yes It has through Australian National

A national passenger train system won't work In Australia, due to the population demographics.

Nightfire


I would like to understand more about why this is the case?  A national passenger service between state capitals for example Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

I guess services between Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne are part of the HSR plan.

Are long distance rail passenger services nationalised in other countries?
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

ARTC has been and still is putting a great deal of effort into the line, I am going for a run on the line next week to see how they are progressing I will report on the usual thread.

woodford
woodford


Indeed there putting massive efforts into a line that should have been completed properly by the Alliance who was awarded the works approximately 5 years ago?
It's a shame that alot of work is sub-standard these days.

I've heard it going to take at least another 2-4 years to get the track to a level they are happy with but it will need constant maintenance throughout the years..

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.