Problems with the 4000-class

 
  normangerman Junior Train Controller

So I've been riding the new 4000-class daily to work over the last few months and while I'm surprised how few of the windows and seats have been turned into "artwork", I am concerned about the rough ride. There are one or two sets that ride the track nicely, but the rest are shocking, almost dangerous, especially on the fast stretch between Goodwood and Port Road.

So my question is, are these suspension issues? Bogie issues? Or is the track just not smooth enough because (from memory) they cut the original rail up into small pieces and welded them back together.

After all the hundreds of millions that have been spent on the track and on the cars, the ride is very unsatisfactory. Sure, it's faster (especially when the ATP system is turned on god-knows-when), but it is far from where it could be. I remember a re-sleepered Geelong Line trip in one of the older railcars and the ride was impeccably smooth.

Can anyone shed any light on these issues and when ATP will finally be turned on? It's getting silly now having to slow down at so many yellow lights...

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  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
An interesting question is whether the head honchos at DPTI acknowledge there is still an unacceptable problem with the EMUs' ride quality?  

There was a rail milling machine used on the Seaford line back in March to "fix" the poor ride.  I wonder if they would now say "we've done everything we can, sorry, that's all you're getting."


And then there's the thundering roar from the airconditioners, which seems to vary from car to car and already sounds a bit sick in some of them.
  Peter Station Staff

Yes, the Railways Commissioner said back in March this year that the Seaford Line was not up to standard - see http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-13/sa-rail-chief-says-adelaide-train-services-faulty/6316406  

It might require a bit more searching around to find out (a) what has been done since then and (b) whether the Commissioner is now happy. From what you say, normangerman, maybe they have yet to do remedial work (where I think "remedial" is a generous term!)
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
See the thread on Seaford Line track work https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11381069.htm

Interesting the rail milling machine was going to be here for two weeks in March/April but was kept on for longer and is still stabled at Seaford Depot.  

Alex C
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There's also some ride quality issues through the Hallet Cove area, down runs out of Noarlunga get a bit scary lurching onto the bridge, interestingly, despite thinking these are trackage issues I didn't notice quite the same oscillations when I caught a pox on the line.

A week or so ago one of the Sparks I rode had the most unbelievable shudder/vibration under braking, almost like a flat spotted wheel, but it was only under braking, acceleration and normal cruise did not have the problem.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There was one I rode a couple of weeks ago where it had a violent lateral shaking whenever power was applied at any speed above ~25 km/h, but would glide along when coasting or braking. Never had I been more glad to have made a habit of securing my bike to the grab rail with a couple of elastic straps, this was a generously loaded train with a few standees who could have been injured if the bike flew across the saloon.

This was exactly the same as it was before the sooper dooper track machine came, and on at least one of those sections of track I can verify that DEMUs do not have the same issues.

Are there plans to put yaw dampers on the list of aftermarket upgrades yet to be added? When you consider this is in addition to the other issues of the unstable floors, roaring air conditioning, rattling grab rails, ETCS fitting and horn changes, it would seem that Bombardier has done a great job of designing these units to provide them with lots of extra work over the years to come.
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
.......... When you consider this is in addition to the other issues of the unstable floors, roaring air conditioning, rattling grab rails, ETCS fitting and horn changes, it would seem that Bombardier has done a great job of designing these units to provide them with lots of extra work over the years to come.
justapassenger
Let's hope when DPTI purchased these EMUs, they took out the Extended Warranty option.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

I question the gauge of the new track.

Looking at the pedestrian crossing at Millswood the flange ways cut into the tarmac foot path by the flanges are very wide. each some 75mm. The width is much wider that that of turnout check rails and frogs. this coupled with the flange noise on up trains on the curve in the underpass suggests to me that the bogies are not tracking properly.

When the then CR upgraded the Trans line many years ago they tightened the gauge by 6mm.

Unfortunately the "lay and forget" mantra for concrete sleepered track prevails and the track geometry has not been rectified after it was put into service. I have referred previously to the cobbled together lengths of rail.

By contrast the SG track past Millswood sounds really good now that it has been ground at least twice.

Regards
Ian
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
There's also some ride quality issues through the Hallet Cove area, down runs out of Noarlunga get a bit scary lurching onto the bridge, interestingly, despite thinking these are trackage issues I didn't notice quite the same oscillations when I caught a pox on the line.

A week or so ago one of the Sparks I rode had the most unbelievable shudder/vibration under braking, almost like a flat spotted wheel, but it was only under braking, acceleration and normal cruise did not have the problem.
Aaron
Resonance and vibration under braking also turned out to be a problem requiring ongoing management with Perth A-series.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There's also some ride quality issues through the Hallet Cove area, down runs out of Noarlunga get a bit scary lurching onto the bridge, interestingly, despite thinking these are trackage issues I didn't notice quite the same oscillations when I caught a pox on the line.

A week or so ago one of the Sparks I rode had the most unbelievable shudder/vibration under braking, almost like a flat spotted wheel, but it was only under braking, acceleration and normal cruise did not have the problem.
Resonance and vibration under braking also turned out to be a problem requiring ongoing management with Perth A-series.
don_dunstan
Oh so this is a 'feature' to guarantee employment then?
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
There's also some ride quality issues through the Hallet Cove area, down runs out of Noarlunga get a bit scary lurching onto the bridge, interestingly, despite thinking these are trackage issues I didn't notice quite the same oscillations when I caught a pox on the line.

A week or so ago one of the Sparks I rode had the most unbelievable shudder/vibration under braking, almost like a flat spotted wheel, but it was only under braking, acceleration and normal cruise did not have the problem.
Resonance and vibration under braking also turned out to be a problem requiring ongoing management with Perth A-series.
Oh so this is a 'feature' to guarantee employment then?
Aaron
I dunno about you but I've never bought something that's perfectly engineered, I guess they just need to figure out how to dampen it without affecting performance. And I believe the ride quality probably has more to do with the cheap way in which the track was reconstructed rather than issues with the trains themselves. If you want to witness a train suspension that's not fit for purpose then come to Melbourne and ride on an express Alstom X'trapolis train to Box Hill - they bounce all over the shop at speed.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I dunno about you but I've never bought something that's perfectly engineered, I guess they just need to figure out how to dampen it without affecting performance. And I believe the ride quality probably has more to do with the cheap way in which the track was reconstructed rather than issues with the trains themselves.
don_dunstan
Perhaps they should just do the same thing which was done when the DEMU fleet was designed 30 years ago, because they have no trouble handling all but the worst bits of the exact same cheaply reconstructed track.

This is not about expecting stuff to be 'perfectly engineered' but about demanding the new trains be no worse than the previous ones.

If you want to witness a train suspension that's not fit for purpose then come to Melbourne and ride on an express Alstom X'trapolis train to Box Hill - they bounce all over the shop at speed.
don_dunstan
Very true, next time more rolling stock is ordered for Melbourne they should consider buying trains designed for commuter runs, not those designed for inner-city metro systems where speed is not considered.

You can't blame Alstom or Siemens for the detriments of the stock they delivered, given both companies do make other more appropriate trains which they would have been happy to supply to Melbourne if requested.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Perhaps they should just do the same thing which was done when the DEMU fleet was designed 30 years ago, because they have no trouble handling all but the worst bits of the exact same cheaply reconstructed track.

This is not about expecting stuff to be 'perfectly engineered' but about demanding the new trains be no worse than the previous ones.
justapassenger
Those Comeng/Clyde air-bag suspensions were the benchmark in how a suburban train suspension should operate - handled the terrible sections of the Melbourne and Adelaide systems with ease. I'm not sure what went wrong that we've gone backwards in that area!

You can't blame Alstom or Siemens for the detriments of the stock they delivered, given both companies do make other more appropriate trains which they would have been happy to supply to Melbourne if requested.
justapassenger
The Alstom X'trapolis fleet wasn't designed with the higher speed runs of Werribee/Sunbury/Pakenham in mind, the whole thing was a hangover from the botched Kennett privatisation model with two operators; it still inhibits the intra-network operation of the train fleet to this day. SA's DoT is not alone in cutting corners only to find out that they have to spend more money later on...
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Are there plans to put yaw dampers on the list of aftermarket upgrades yet to be added? When you consider this is in addition to the other issues of the unstable floors, roaring air conditioning, rattling grab rails, ETCS fitting and horn changes, it would seem that Bombardier has done a great job of designing these units to provide them with lots of extra work over the years to come.
justapassenger
I worked in Werribee some years ago and commuted by train from the inner-city. If you sat right at the back of the last carriage in a six-car set you would experience that unusual sway (not yaw) on the straights at speed between Aircraft and Hoppers Crossing and then again from Hoppers to Werribee. I'm not sure what causes that sway at the end of the train - one of our resident engineers can probably answer why this happens. It's an unusual sensation being rocked back and forth like you're in a cradle - Comengs seemed to suffer from this more than the Siemens trains - but possibly also because the Siemens were almost brand new back then. I'm not sure if it still happens or if they've fixed it now?

It was more annoying rather than a safety issue.

Anyway , speaking of Bombardier I noticed today in the news that they are trying to get a bail-out from the Canadian government for one of their Quebec-based aircraft factories.

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