New 'slowed' V/Line timetable on RRL

 
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
The current government have failed to improve public transport and must be tossed from office. Instead of a world leading system we have second and third rate services with little improvement in travelling times in over 100 years.

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  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Don't be surprised when all these excessive times are all shortened once all testing has been done, just before the next election.
Ar'nt the Libs great.
I have been told new timetables for late October/early November.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
Don't be surprised when all these excessive times are all shortened once all testing has been done, just before the next election.
Ar'nt the Libs great.
I have been told new timetables for late October/early November.
gomer

We all hope that will be the case. Something needs to be done about overcrowding on the Ballarat line.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

With RRL finished a year early and Mulders tardiness in placing the order for the extra VL cars (He sat on his hands for the better part of 2011, so Adelaide got in front of us with their EMU order) there will be real capacity issues when RRL opens in early 2015 as only a handful of the 43 new VL cars will have been delivered .  Chronic overcrowd situations on existing services will only be compounded by adding thousands of extra travellers each day at Wyndamvale and Tarneit  .  Terrible transport planning by the Bureaucracy and a dis-interested Minister .  The   s--t  will really hit the fan around March/April 2015 .
  Rossco T Chief Train Controller

Location: Camberwell, Victoria
With RRL finished a year early and Mulders tardiness in placing the order for the extra VL cars (He sat on his hands for the better part of 2011, so Adelaide got in front of us with their EMU order) there will be real capacity issues when RRL opens in early 2015 as only a handful of the 43 new VL cars will have been delivered . Chronic overcrowd situations on existing services will only be compounded by adding thousands of extra travellers each day at Wyndamvale and Tarneit . Terrible transport planning by the Bureaucracy and a dis-interested Minister . The s--t will really hit the fan around March/April 2015 .
kuldalai


Maybe they should re-route the Geelong trains via Sunshine as soon as the RRL is completed, but delay opening the new Wyndham Vale and Tarneit stations until the new VL cars are available to avoid this problem.

This would be a similar approach to what happened when Cardinia Road station opened a couple of years ago.  Although the station was complete, initially a number of peak trains did not stop there because there was not sufficient capacity in the electrical system and an extra substation was needed.

Ross
  MelbourneCity Chief Commissioner

Maybe they should re-route the Geelong trains via Sunshine as soon as the RRL is completed, but delay opening the new Wyndham Vale and Tarneit stations until the new VL cars are available to avoid this problem.

This would be a similar approach to what happened when Cardinia Road station opened a couple of years ago.  Although the station was complete, initially a number of peak trains did not stop there because there was not sufficient capacity in the electrical system and an extra substation was needed.

Ross
"Rossco T"


That would be even worse PR as it would be an admission of failure.

If trains are overcrowded post opening, th govt could try to claim its a victim of its own success. While many would see through it, a big chunk would probably fall for it.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

There's no doubting there will be plenty of brown stuff flying around next year.  A monumental planning stuff-up by the Govt which put fiscal restraint ahead of forward thinking back in 2011/12.

I personally have friends and relatives in Tarneit who are awaiting the opening of their new train station with eager anticipation.  And just like the citizens of South Morang/Mernda they will soon discover that they've been short-changed.
  frezno Junior Train Controller

Ah, ZH836301, you make me laugh. You keep harping on about how V/line gets a much better service in regards to time traveling vs car, this just makes me LOL.

If V/line travel times are so superior, why is it then that I can drive from Traralgon to Flinders Street in 1 hour and 50 minutes, but it takes me 2 hours 20+ minutes to complete the same journey on "Regional Fast Rail"? (For however many millions of dollars was spent on RFR, you would think you would see something for it.) Currently, most trains I catch the journey takes 2 hours 20 mins. Some trains have blown out to 2hrs 34 in the new timetable. Some people have a choice and in an ever increasing time poor world - why would some schmuck sit on a train for 30+ minutes longer to do what they need to do than the comfort, ease and speed of their own car?

It takes 60 minutes just to get from Pakenham to the City on V/line, a journey that takes 40 minutes in the car. (And by the way, arent we supposed to be discouraging people from taking their cars?) Yeah it takes a Pakenham train more like 70-80 minutes, but they are stopping all stations via the loop. A V/line stops at 5 stations and takes nearly as long. If that doesn't seem absolutely absurd to you, I want some of what you're having. Clearly you live in a world where unicorns fart rainbows
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Ah, ZH836301, you make me laugh. You keep harping on about how V/line gets a much better service in regards to time traveling vs car, this just makes me LOL.

If V/line travel times are so superior, why is it then that I can drive from Traralgon to Flinders Street in 1 hour and 50 minutes, but it takes me 2 hours 20+ minutes to complete the same journey on "Regional Fast Rail"? (For however many millions of dollars was spent on RFR, you would think you would see something for it.) Currently, most trains I catch the journey takes 2 hours 20 mins. Some trains have blown out to 2hrs 34 in the new timetable. Some people have a choice and in an ever increasing time poor world - why would some schmuck sit on a train for 30+ minutes longer to do what they need to do than the comfort, ease and speed of their own car?

It takes 60 minutes just to get from Pakenham to the City on V/line, a journey that takes 40 minutes in the car. (And by the way, arent we supposed to be discouraging people from taking their cars?) Yeah it takes a Pakenham train more like 70-80 minutes, but they are stopping all stations via the loop. A V/line stops at 5 stations and takes nearly as long. If that doesn't seem absolutely absurd to you, I want some of what you're having. Clearly you live in a world where unicorns fart rainbows
frezno

That's a classic example of lack of Investment In the suburban railway network (little has been done since the 50's other than the closure of yards and refuge sidings) where road has gained a dedicated full road speed limit freeway (for most of the way)

Though sometimes you don't get any change out of 2 hours driving from Melbourne CBD to Pakenham.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
That's a classic example of lack of Investment In the suburban railway network (little has been done since the 50's other than the closure of yards and refuge sidings) where road has gained a dedicated full road speed limit freeway (for most of the way)

Though sometimes you don't get any change out of 2 hours driving from Melbourne CBD to Pakenham.
Nightfire

Our train services should be much faster than what we have. However, in some cases the train will arrive much quicker than a car particularly when the roads are busy and when I arrive in Melbourne from Ballarat I do not have the problem of finding somewhere to park the train.

  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
It's fairly easy (and quite understandable) to complain about the speed of Gippsland services, but far harder to come up with a realistic solution.

So what could be done to improve the line capacity to allow both Vline's Traralgon / Sale services AND Metro's Pakenham services to run at faster speeds?
BTW you only have 6 years to do it and a limited budget, so you can't just p1ss money away on fully quadrupling the line between Caulfield and Pakenham.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
...Currently, most trains I catch the journey takes 2 hours 20 mins. Some trains have blown out to 2hrs 34 in the new timetable. Some people have a choice and in an ever increasing time poor world - why would some schmuck sit on a train for 30+ minutes longer to do what they need to do than the comfort, ease and speed of their own car?
frezno

Because the 'schmucks' travelling on the train can work as they are travelling as many do on my line, unlike the wood-ducks travelling along in their car in their own dead-time.

...and when the said schmucks arrive in Melbourne they don't have to be concerned about the traffic and parking problems either.

Mike.
  frezno Junior Train Controller

It's fairly easy (and quite understandable) to complain about the speed of Gippsland services, but far harder to come up with a realistic solution.

So what could be done to improve the line capacity to allow both Vline's Traralgon / Sale services AND Metro's Pakenham services to run at faster speeds?
BTW you only have 6 years to do it and a limited budget, so you can't just p1ss money away on fully quadrupling the line between Caulfield and Pakenham.
Bogong

In the short term, things that should have been considered for the new timetable - express Pakenham trains should never have been removed from peak hour services as these provided somewhat of a path for V/Lines to follow. In fact, expressing them more and having local Dandenong/Westall services follow would have been better than removing them totally. If PTV insisted on having a 20 minute service to Pakenham throughout the day, when the total amount on the train to Dandenong wouldn't fill 2 carriages, they should have timetabled the V/Line to follow a Pakenham service by 4 minutes rather than be timetabled to be in front of it by 4 minutes. That means the V/Line has an opportunity to run 16 mins late before it will affect the next service. Yes, it's a slower trip, but for the immediate period, they're screwed either way. Ask anyone heading to work or the airport and I'm sure they'd rather the reliability to arrive at scheduled time over a slower trip. I do not believe there is a way to make the V/Lines faster with the current timetable, and we're just going backwards with the new timetable. Serious investment is needed - they need to get real about the Latrobe Valley especially if they keep cramming people in down here.
Long term, we absolutely need to consider minimum 3 tracks, ideally 4. It doesn't have to be all the way from Caulfield to Pakenham, that'd be great - but anything is better than what we currently have. Caulfield - Springvale, Springvale - Dandenong, Dandenong - Pakenham... any of these sections of 3/4 track would be better than nothing. And 'nothing' includes High Capacity Signalling because really, that's just pissing in the wind.

Because the 'schmucks' travelling on the train can work as they are travelling as many do on my line, unlike the wood-ducks travelling along in their car in their own dead-time.

...and when the said schmucks arrive in Melbourne they don't have to be concerned about the traffic and parking problems either.

Mike.
The Vinelander

I am a schmuck, because I too take the train. If I valued my time, I wouldn't travel on the Gippsland line. That's my point.
Unfortunately some people do value their time and they have no choice but to catch the train
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Long term, we absolutely need to consider minimum 3 tracks, ideally 4. It doesn't have to be all the way from Caulfield to Pakenham, that'd be great - but anything is better than what we currently have. Caulfield - Springvale, Springvale - Dandenong, Dandenong - Pakenham... any of these sections of 3/4 track would be better than nothing.
frezno

I believe that this is on the agenda through the SERL, which from memory is an RRL-style project.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
If V/line travel times are so superior, why is it then that I can drive from Traralgon to Flinders Street in 1 hour and 50 minutes, but it takes me 2 hours 20+ minutes to complete the same journey on "Regional Fast Rail"? (For however many millions of dollars was spent on RFR, you would think you would see something for it.) Currently, most trains I catch the journey takes 2 hours 20 mins. Some trains have blown out to 2hrs 34 in the new timetable. Some people have a choice and in an ever increasing time poor world - why would some schmuck sit on a train for 30+ minutes longer to do what they need to do than the comfort, ease and speed of their own car?
frezno


Traralgon to Flinders St - car 1h46min, rail 2h4min: ratio 85%


Pakenham to Flinders St - car 45min, rail 1hr10min: ratio 64%


Berwick to Flinders St - car 35min, rail 56min: ratio 63%


The off peak Pakenham to city Vline travel time is 51 minutes, which is 73% of the Metro travel time.


Clearly Pakenham has the inferior service - how can you ignore the facts?  Yet you want to make it even worse?
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Only 4 tracks to Dandenong will provide for all day express to Pakenham/Cranbourne and Vline.

Anything beyond Dandenong is fanciful, and 3 tracks is useless.
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

If PTV insisted on having a 20 minute service to Pakenham throughout the day, when the total amount on the train to Dandenong wouldn't fill 2 carriages, they should have timetabled the V/Line to follow a Pakenham service by 4 minutes rather than be timetabled to be in front of it by 4 minutes.
frezno

If the train is 1/3 full they should run every 60 minutes! Would you be happy then?
  Mr. Lane Chief Commissioner

It's fairly easy (and quite understandable) to complain about the speed of Gippsland services, but far harder to come up with a realistic solution.

So what could be done to improve the line capacity to allow both Vline's Traralgon / Sale services AND Metro's Pakenham services to run at faster speeds?
BTW you only have 6 years to do it and a limited budget, so you can't just p1ss money away on fully quadrupling the line between Caulfield and Pakenham.
Bogong

It isn't hard, you just proposed (part of) the solution. Everyone knows what needs to be done. It can also be done in 6 years and the state can borrow the money cheaply to do it. That is why governments/companies/private citizens borrow money you know: to build things for the benefit of future generations that they can pay off over time. It is so unfortunate that we have become a nation of "cant do" people because of this false economic belief that debt is bad.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Lane, I wrote that post trying to channel the minds of policy writers for the two main political parties. They have to cater to the dreams of 6 million Victorians, all of whom have different priorities. So there is limited money because it has to be spread so widely.

Just today the government started construction of a new mental hospital in Werribee, they are also building other hospitals (a brand new one at bendigo, expanding Monash Childrens, Echuca, etc.) Mary Wooldridge has made child support and community services her main priority and has convinced the state government to give her hundreds of millions to improve things. Then there's the new Airport train line, the northern city bypass road / second river crossing to divert traffic away from the already over capacity Westgate bridge, the new Domain train tunnel, new schools, new bike paths, 20 level crossing eliminations.... and 100 other projects designed to appeal to all sections of the community.

That's just the initiatives I can think of, there are plenty more too. And just so this isn't seen as politically partisan, I'm sure that the Labour Party has an equally big and expensive list of things they would like to do.

No matter which party is in government, there just isn't the money available to spend billions on quading a line that "sort of works" at the moment, so any money spent on the Dandenong line has to deliver maximum "bang for bucks".
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
...

No matter which party is in government, there just isn't the money available to spend billions on quading a line that "sort of works" at the moment, so any money spent on the Dandenong line has to deliver maximum "bang for bucks".
Bogong

ON this point, it's hard to argue against triplication or quadding of the Dandenong line though - simply because of the extreme numbers using it and the big distances involved compared to other parts of the network.

Labor squibbed at its own plan to triplicate about 8 years ago and went for RRL instead; I guess it's good that we at least got something done but there's plenty of pinch points across the network that still need addressing.  I understand the arguments about money being tight but we've had a million extra residents in the last 12 years; we can't keep squeezing extra people in to this place without some big commensurate spending on supporting infrastructure.

Now they're saying 5 million plus in the metro area next decade? Great... I'm really looking forward to that.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Yesterday (Friday) the 6:29 ex Ballan arrived at Footscray with a 7 minute connection with the up loop METRO spark.

Due to the proximity of the Footscray market I was able to cross the road to the Market, purchase a leg of lamb and at another vendor purchase some fruit and still get back to Platform 1 in time to catch the spark.

In future I'll stay on the VLocity and travel through to SCS rather than wait the long connection time (if I have no shopping to do first)...Smile

Mike.
  dean65 Locomotive Driver

Location: Ballarat
And when you need a loop train everything is so confusing. Some trains go around in one direction and some in the other and in the middle of the day they change direction. The Sunbury line seems to be the worst.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Under normal circumstances the Clifton Hill Loop operates in a clockwise direction all day, which is fine for am commuters wanting to  interchange at Southern Cross to Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament .

What is needed is for one of the other three loops to operate at all times in a counter clockwise direction so that PM commuters can get from Parliament, Melbourne Central and Flagstaff to Southern Cross to connect with Down VLP departures.  Not rocket science, should be none now by directive from  DOT to Metro .
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Under normal circumstances the Clifton Hill Loop operates in a clockwise direction all day, which is fine for am commuters wanting to interchange at Southern Cross to Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament .

What is needed is for one of the other three loops to operate at all times in a counter clockwise direction so that PM commuters can get from Parliament, Melbourne Central and Flagstaff to Southern Cross to connect with Down VLP departures. Not rocket science, should be none now by directive from DOT to Metro .
kuldalai

Why all 3? Why not just one (at least for the time being)?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
After changing from V/Line Ballarat trains on the up at Footscray all this and last week, then pick up a METRO for the City Loop...sometimes with enough time in between connections to 'pop' over to the Footscray Market to do some quick shopping, this morning with a clear 10 minute connection at Footscray, I decided to travel right through to SCS on the VLocity.

Departed Footscray, 07:11, arrived SCS 07:29...18 minutes from Footscray to SCS.

A few things come to mind, though fortunately it's early days and hopefully things will improve.

This RRL project cost over $4 Billion, yet the trains runs slower from Footscray to SCS.
Instead of waiting at what the V/Line drivers call the 'car port' under LaTrobe Street, we now have a new wait area on the flyover adjacent to North Melbourne station where we waited 5 mins without explanation.
When the train started to move towards the platforms, it crawled along until it reached Platform 8 central.
This is the second time in 2 trips where I stayed on the train instead of changing at Footscray that the train stopped at this signal.

If V/Line can't get this light traffic in order over this bridge and straight to the platforms, what's it going to be like when there are several more Geelong services, and an increased frequency Bendigo and Ballarat services added to the mix from next year...

Perhaps the introduction of a platform on the North Melbourne flyover so pax can make their way to the METRO platforms would go part way to solving this concern...then we have the new timetable next week to consider...

Mike.

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