Bayside Rail Project

 
  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
Is it gonna be the same with the werribee line? One service a day kind of thing?

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  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
Is it gonna be the same with the werribee line? One service a day kind of thing?
  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
Is it gonna be the same with the werribee line? One service a day kind of thing?
  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
Is it gonna be the same with the werribee line? One service a day kind of thing?
  MtBeenak Train Controller

I'm of the belief that they are using this X'Trapolis to train Frankston drivers for when they are in more regular use on the line.
Is this correct?
shaun001
'Frankston' drivers, along with most other Metro drivers, run on every line and drive every type of train (Comeng, Siemens and Xtrapolis).  

However, Metro is trying to introduce a lower grade of driver, who will not be qualified on all groups or on all trains.  There are a couple of intakes of drivers who were hired recently under the pretext of a new training scheme, who believed they would be trained on all groups and reach pay parity with current drivers.  Metro has trained them on Comeng and Siemens and qualified them on the Northern and Caulfield groups, so they are now driving solo on those lines.  These drivers are paid 20% less than other current drivers.  The most recent Metro advertisements for drivers actually states that the minimum wage was $73,000 pa. This is the same rate that these lesser qualified drivers are receiving and exposes Metro's true intentions.

There are also rumours that they want to create five separate groups and will eventually limit drivers to only one group, through the use of labour hire companies.  There are numerous reasons why this is a bad idea and should not go ahead.  The only reason for it to proceed is to ensure that more Victorian tax-payer money goes back to China as profit.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
There could potentially be a lot of savings for Metro by using labour-hire companies; in my experience it can be a way of displacing some of the costs of training from the company to the employee by asking them to pay for their own basic training before they'll be considered for a casual position. If there's five depots and they only want to train the drivers up in one or two types of train, that's also a definite cost saver but it does remove some of the redundancy from the system if there's a lot of drivers from one depot off sick etc.
  mrmoopt Chief Commissioner

Location: _
'Frankston' drivers, along with most other Metro drivers, run on every line and drive every type of train (Comeng, Siemens and Xtrapolis).  

However, Metro is trying to introduce a lower grade of driver, who will not be qualified on all groups or on all trains.  There are a couple of intakes of drivers who were hired recently under the pretext of a new training scheme, who believed they would be trained on all groups and reach pay parity with current drivers.  Metro has trained them on Comeng and Siemens and qualified them on the Northern and Caulfield groups, so they are now driving solo on those lines.  These drivers are paid 20% less than other current drivers.  The most recent Metro advertisements for drivers actually states that the minimum wage was $73,000 pa. This is the same rate that these lesser qualified drivers are receiving and exposes Metro's true intentions.

There are also rumours that they want to create five separate groups and will eventually limit drivers to only one group, through the use of labour hire companies.  There are numerous reasons why this is a bad idea and should not go ahead.  The only reason for it to proceed is to ensure that more Victorian tax-payer money goes back to China as profit.
MtBeenak
I would support the break up of rosters into 5 distinct groups. Faster training = more drivers available = more trains that can run.

Who cares where the profit goes, as long as MTM lobbies the govt for better train services.

I regularly use cross town services, I don't want my entire journey to be crippled just because unions do not agree with a management decision. Having multiple groups of drivers reduces this risk to me as a commuter.

As for pay, 73k min is definitely way above average pay, no matter which way you dice it.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

If you don't care where profits go then you don't get a say what happens. I'd rather see the system go back into government control and all the money Metro got be diverted toward improving the network.

It was an utter balls-up when the network was split in two, so five should make it all better, right?
  mrmoopt Chief Commissioner

Location: _
If you don't care where profits go then you don't get a say what happens. I'd rather see the system go back into government control and all the money Metro got be diverted toward improving the network.

It was an utter balls-up when the network was split in two, so five should make it all better, right?
Madjikthise
When it was split in 2, the companies that managed it did not leverage local experience in running their franchises.

Metro has done a much better job compared to Connex or National Express when it comes to that.
Their consortium has members which have been part of the Australian rail industry for a long time.

Splitting it into 5 distinct business groups makes more sense. Each group can also then internally drive to reduce sick leave, on time maintenance, etc and compare stats. There are plenty of things that you can do to increase productivity whilst maintaining a team environment. The sky is the limit.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
As for pay, 73k min is definitely way above average pay, no matter which way you dice it.
calt
Actually it's bang on average for an Aussie adult worker - latest ABS stats here.
  mrmoopt Chief Commissioner

Location: _
And average salary doesn't mean anything. You have millionaires that skew the data.

What you should be using is wages for entry level positions that require similar experience to what selection data is used to hire drivers.

If entry level is no experience but year 12 required, a train drivers salary is definitely more than your other entry level jobs. Yes there's added responsibilities, but 70k is nothing to sneeze at.

There are plenty of people who are willing to earn a lot less than you doing the same thing, so I wouldn't be saying it is just an 'average salary' as an 'average job'.
  mrmoopt Chief Commissioner

Location: _
From what has always been the norm, existing rail staff will always say no to full time work to labour hire companies- and I'd prob say no too if I was in that situation.

But for bang for buck for our tax money, and for management, it would make perfect sense.

Pilots who require more training and have more SOPs to remember are already going down this path. There is nothing to suggest that outsourcing is a safety risk.

Would you prefer to have a job that pays less or no job?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
And average salary doesn't mean anything. You have millionaires that skew the data.
calt
You sound like someone who doesn't have a rudimentary understanding of statistics. Average wage means just that - it's the average that a full-time worker pulls down before tax. Seventy-something grand isn't that impressive in 2015.

Yes there's added responsibilities, but 70k is nothing to sneeze at.
Calt
There's a reason why there's a steady turnover - it's a very difficult job.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
If you don't care where profits go then you don't get a say what happens. I'd rather see the system go back into government control and all the money Metro got be diverted toward improving the network.

It was an utter balls-up when the network was split in two, so five should make it all better, right?
"Madjikthise"


Agreed
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
If you don't care where profits go then you don't get a say what happens. I'd rather see the system go back into government control and all the money Metro got be diverted toward improving the network.

It was an utter balls-up when the network was split in two, so five should make it all better, right?
"Madjikthise"


Agreed
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

From what has always been the norm, existing rail staff will always say no to full time work to labour hire companies- and I'd prob say no too if I was in that situation.

But for bang for buck for our tax money, and for management, it would make perfect sense.

Pilots who require more training and have more SOPs to remember are already going down this path. There is nothing to suggest that outsourcing is a safety risk.

Would you prefer to have a job that pays less or no job?
calt
So once again it's all about the drivers and how much they get paid.
So pay the drivers $2 an hour, and have 100 of them on each platform in case anything goes pear shaped. The train still won't be moving due to that red signal in front of the train.
Why? Because the signalling system can't cope with the current timetable.
Why? Because no money is being spent on it.
Why? Because money that may have been allocated to improving the system is instead being handed over to Metro, and is being sent overseas as profit instead of getting spent here.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Back on topic.

There is a full weekend shutdown of the Frankston line starting later tonight and continuing until end-of-service on Monday from Mordialloc to Frankston in order to install new overhead infrastructure.  I've been observing the works in my travels up and down the line and seen new footings and stanchions between Frankston - Carrum and from Parkdale to Mentone.  Still quite a lot of work to do but it is progressing.

On the stations many of the new platform shelters have been completed but not opened.  I also observed new platform fencing being installed at Seaford on the city platform.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Splitting it into 5 distinct business groups makes more sense. Each group can also then internally drive to reduce sick leave, on time maintenance, etc and compare stats. There are plenty of things that you can do to increase productivity whilst maintaining a team environment. The sky is the limit.
calt

Once drivers are restricted to certain lines or a specific line, they start to zone out...'familiarity breeding contempt'.

Little or no sensory challenges to keep the driver alert due to the sameness. It DOES happen and I wont countenance any argument to the contrary.

A mate of mine used to drive for VR on the sparks and realised one day after zoning out on a journey that he had just arrived at Belgrave but he didn't remember most of that journey from Ringwood in particular.

He reckons that with little or no variability on a roster it's exceptionally easy to zone out. Talk in the drivers meal room...extremely confidentially of course, with other blokes who had been VR drivers for a long time...this happens/ed when the roster is repeated day in day out.

METRO will learn this at their peril if they introduce restricted driver training on certain tracks only, in an attempt to lower wages.

Mike.
  Flygon Train Controller

Location: Australia
Neverminding this also happens when driving, say, a car. Day in, day out, on the same route. It's quite dangerous! But nobody notices they have it happen to them til it is brought up.
  MtBeenak Train Controller

"When it was split in 2, the companies that managed it did not leverage local experience in running their franchises.

Metro has done a much better job compared to Connex or National Express when it comes to that."

From this comment I can only assume that you work for Metro.  They have systematically removed from the network anyone who had anything to do with managing VR, V/Line, Connex, Bayside, Hillside or etc.  They have brought in managers from overseas and interstate.  This is reflected in some of their ridiculous decisions.  They have also chosen people who can be pressured or manipulated and will not question their hare-brained ideas.  As a result the only people who know what has been tried and failed are the older drivers/signallers/fitters etc, and they do not listen to them.  They are therefore making mistakes which have already been made.  What is the quote? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it...

Not only are they looking to set up five groups, they are removing the physical connections between the groups.  Soon Caulfield will resemble South Yarra or Footscray; most of the points are to be removed.  They removed most of the points between the platforms at Spencer St and the Viaduct.  They claim that this is to limit the impact of delays on one group affecting the other groups, when in fact it limits the opportunity to run around the problem and guarantees that the delays will remain.  The true reasons are reducing maintenance costs and limiting the chance for drivers to be allowed to run on other lines, for which they will need to be trained.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
From this comment I can only assume that you work for Metro.  They have systematically removed from the network anyone who had anything to do with managing VR, V/Line, Connex, Bayside, Hillside or etc.  They have brought in managers from overseas and interstate.  This is reflected in some of their ridiculous decisions.  They have also chosen people who can be pressured or manipulated and will not question their hare-brained ideas.  As a result the only people who know what has been tried and failed are the older drivers/signallers/fitters etc, and they do not listen to them.  They are therefore making mistakes which have already been made.  What is the quote? Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it...
MtBeenak
Having the franchise in place is almost certainly much more expensive but it serves the purpose of putting some distance between the State Government and the running of the railways; it doesn't really matter how knowledgeable or competent they actually are.

In the old days of VicRail, negotiations over pay deals were prolonged and dragged out into the media because train drivers were essentially public servants with a strong and militant union. Now-days the private companies employing and managing those same staff manage to keep those issues away from the government (and the media) and keep the union in check and at arm's length away from the government; a process that began under Cain/Kirner with the merging of public transport agencies into a corporate identity known as 'The Met'.

The second and possibly more important reason for having the franchise system in place is to give politicians the appearance of caring. When Connex were failing miserably in the summer of 2008/9 Brumby and his ministers kept coming out in public and saying how it wasn't good enough and that they were profusely sorry because Connex weren't up to the task of running their network -nobody ever took responsibility for the fact that it was actually the government's ageing, antiquated network. The train system completely collapsed a few times in January '09 - I recall vividly being at Flinders Street one boiling hot weekday afternoon trying to get home from work and there were no trains running and no staff to be found anywhere either, it was very eerie walking around in the heat with other hapless passengers looking at the blank screens and trying to work out what the hell was going on.

As it turns out the only thing Brumby did was (predictably) sack Connex six months later and replace them with Metro. It gave the appearance of the government trying to improve the system by sacking the franchise operator while simultaneously trying to sheet home all the responsibility away from the people who actually own and maintain the system (DoT and the Brumby government).

Our 'new' operator, Metro, are actually much better at playing the 'franchise' game than Connex were - one of the first things they got through when they starting running the train network was a means to recalculate what constituted an 'on-time' train so that the definition became much more liberal; they also got the network timetables slowed down a bit which helped them reach their targets with less effort (apparently this has also worked wonders for on-time running in NSW!).

Love them or loathe them, these corporate rent-seekers are adored by our politicians and are here to stay.
  MtBeenak Train Controller

Don, I concur with everything you say, but I do not think it is 'right' for a number of reasons.  If there must be a private operator it should only be offered to Australians to tender.  Gina or Kerry or Lindsay should be invited to tender.  Managers should only be from Oz.  That way the profits stay here as well as the salaries.  Nothing gets sent to the Peoples Republic of China, or to manager's families in the UK or Canada or wherever.

I accept that there will be some union bashing, but who among us would accept a reduction in wages and conditions of Australian workers (drivers/signallers/fitters/station staff/etc), just so more tax payer dollars can be sent to the franchise holders in China.
  Madjikthise Deputy Commissioner

A basic google search of the past performance of the CEOs offering a tender might be a good start.
  jdekorte Deputy Commissioner

Location: Near Caulfield Station
Bit of an update. Most of the work on stations appears to be complete. The new shelters are all finished and opened and I think the building work at Carrum to provide a new PSO box inside the Down station building is nearing completion.

Much of the work now appears to be overhead related.  The work sections appear to be expanding.  There is work between Mentone - Parkdale, now Mordialloc (especially just down from the Mordialloc Ck bridge) - Aspendale, some work around Chelsea, and the extensive work taking place between Carrum - Frankston.  Not all stanchions are being replaced, but quite and amount are, and the new ones especially on curves are being installed at a closer spacing.  Also, there is construction work taking place at the old Seaford substation although I'm not clear as to what this is.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

'Frankston' drivers, along with most other Metro drivers, run on every line and drive every type of train (Comeng, Siemens and Xtrapolis).  

However, Metro is trying to introduce a lower grade of driver, who will not be qualified on all groups or on all trains.  There are a couple of intakes of drivers who were hired recently under the pretext of a new training scheme, who believed they would be trained on all groups and reach pay parity with current drivers.  Metro has trained them on Comeng and Siemens and qualified them on the Northern and Caulfield groups, so they are now driving solo on those lines.  These drivers are paid 20% less than other current drivers.  The most recent Metro advertisements for drivers actually states that the minimum wage was $73,000 pa. This is the same rate that these lesser qualified drivers are receiving and exposes Metro's true intentions.

There are also rumours that they want to create five separate groups and will eventually limit drivers to only one group, through the use of labour hire companies.  There are numerous reasons why this is a bad idea and should not go ahead.  The only reason for it to proceed is to ensure that more Victorian tax-payer money goes back to China as profit.
MtBeenak
It is not a rumour at all .  Metro Train plan released two years ago envisages 5  separate operating groups, so that delays on one group do not affect operations on other groups .  As a first step the operating groups are  Caulfield Group, Burnley Group, Northern Group, Clifton Hill Group, ann Newport  Group .

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