V/Line trains pulled from tracks due to safety concerns

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 16 Jan 2016 13:06
  ShaneB Locomotive Driver

Another question or two, this time by a numpty, which I hope can be answered and thanks to Woodford et al who have explained more than anyone in Vline or Parliament to date.

  1. Why is it only metropolitan level crossings that appear to be affected by failure to trigger? Is there a technical reason why this cannot happen on rural tracks?
  2. Is this an issue with a train behind a vlocity ending up its clacker if the vlocity section signal is not triggered?
  3. Is it time that we concede defeat in Standard vs Broadgauge and look at one gauge to the North and west of the state so states can borrow rolling stock and local engineering facilities can longer runs of vehicle production?

Thank you,  I hope these make sense.

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Another question or two, this time by a numpty, which I hope can be answered and thanks to Woodford et al who have explained more than anyone in Vline or Parliament to date.

  1. Why is it only metropolitan level crossings that appear to be affected by failure to trigger? Is there a technical reason why this cannot happen on rural tracks?
  2. Is this an issue with a train behind a vlocity ending up its clacker if the vlocity section signal is not triggered?
  3. Is it time that we concede defeat in Standard vs Broadgauge and look at one gauge to the North and west of the state so states can borrow rolling stock and local engineering facilities can longer runs of vehicle production?

Thank you,  I hope these make sense.
ShaneB
1.   That question has been asked, but not answered to my knowledge. It has happened already on the Bairnsdale line where Vlocitys did not trip level crossings. This resulted in the line being closed for months while 'whatever' was done. There has also been a more recent incident of this nature on the Stony Point line so the problem is far from unknown in Victoria. Why the Bairnsdale and Stony Point lines were/are any different from any other rural line is not known to me.

2.   I assume that someone in authority has already asked that if the Vlocity did/does not trigger level crossings whether it may also not trigger signals in certain circumstances. As far as I know the asking of this question or an answer has not been made public.

3.  Apart from the suburban network and some other lines everything should be either standard or dual gauge but I have grave doubts that the States or Private Operators would ever take advantage of pooling rolling stock. This went out with the sale of Australian National, FreightCorp and the Victorian freight network (whatever it was called that day) ie the old government railways. Prior to this, rolling stock owned by NSW, Victoria, Australian National and Westrail was coordinated from a Centralised Wagon Control in Melbourne (CENWAG) to the mutual benefit of all systems.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Another question or two, this time by a numpty, which I hope can be answered and thanks to Woodford et al who have explained more than anyone in Vline or Parliament to date.

  1. Why is it only metropolitan level crossings that appear to be affected by failure to trigger? Is there a technical reason why this cannot happen on rural tracks?
  2. Is this an issue with a train behind a vlocity ending up its clacker if the vlocity section signal is not triggered?
  3. Is it time that we concede defeat in Standard vs Broadgauge and look at one gauge to the North and west of the state so states can borrow rolling stock and local engineering facilities can longer runs of vehicle production?

Thank you,  I hope these make sense.
1.   That question has been asked, but not answered to my knowledge. It has happened already on the Bairnsdale line where Vlocitys did not trip level crossings. This resulted in the line being closed for months while 'whatever' was done. There has also been a more recent incident of this nature on the Stony Point line so the problem is far from unknown in Victoria. Why the Bairnsdale and Stony Point lines were/are any different from any other rural line is not known to me.

It happened between Traralgon and Bairnsdale with  loco hauled trains .  It happened on the Stony Point line with Sprinters . In both cases axle counters have been fitted to activate the level crossings .

2.   I assume that someone in authority has already asked that if the Vlocity did/does not trigger level crossings whether it may also not trigger signals in certain circumstances. As far as I know the asking of this question or an answer has not been made public.

Yes in the past with Sprinters there have been issues with activating track circuits operating signals and lx protection .

YM-Mundrabilla
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@kuldalai why those lines and not the Bendigo/Ballarat/Geelong lines?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
@kuldalai why those lines and not the Bendigo/Ballarat/Geelong lines?
railblogger
Are there not problems of this nature on the Geelong line too near Werribee IIRC necessitating the diversion of railcars and light engines via the new line?
  hidden Chief Train Controller

Wasn't  there an issue some years ago with the Sprinters and level crossings?
Yes .  All Sprinters and most V/Locity sets are fitted with an electrical exciter field grid beneath the bogie to ensure that track circuits are activated .  As last known there were still a few early era V/Locity sets which are / were restricted to multiple consist operation .   See other thread on this issue for what VLP need to do urgently to minimize disruption by re organizing its fleet to operate effectively within the operational constraints imposed by the Metro restrictions and the shortage of VLocity sets .
kuldalai
If you call 2 units most.
  hidden Chief Train Controller

Any reports of vlocity sets being push pull with locos to or from Bendigo , Seymour or Traralgon will not be test trips as suggested. Rather a way around the Metro ban on vl trains operating over their tracks to get serviceable vl sets where vlp wants them . NB Sprinters and loco hauled  are still ok with Metro.
Ban would be on all Metro tracks as Metro no doubt suspect it is the wheelwear issue on the vl cars that is failing to trigger lx protectionso Metro feels not a line track or lx issue.  If VLP are smart they will be trying to maintain as close as possible to normal off peak tt as through trains on bgo, syr and tgn with loco hauled. , and Sprinters.  Gex and Bxt are ok.  for vl so are ok.
kuldalai
If you want to look smart and use station codes at least use the correct ones.
SER
TRN
GEL
BAT

How much of the other stuff is made up?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Free travel on rail replacement coaches only between Feb 8 - March 13.  Details here:
https://www.vline.com.au/News-Alerts/News-Articles/VLine_service_changes_2016
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

@kuldalai why those lines and not the Bendigo/Ballarat/Geelong lines?
railblogger
It has always been a mystery as to why loco hauled trains gave trouble between Traralgon and Sale, whereas the same loco hauled trains running between Geelong and Warrnambool did not . Same sort of rural verging on coastal atmosphere .

It would also appear that where a track has mixed passenger and freight tarffic, problems are unlikely to occur whereas lines with passenger traffic only some instances occur, and lines with disc braked DMU only seem to give the most problems .

With the  DMU and lx .  Remember that with the RFR upgrades IIRC the level crossings are track circuited on Geelong and Ballarat, but axle counters on Bendigo and Traralgon  because of differenet contractors .

Also the more cars you have in a consist the higher area of wheel  the contact with the rails.

So with axle counters now on Stony Point Metro allow single Sprinter operation, whereas VLP on all their lines single Sprinter operation is not allowed, albeit originally it was .  (Min VLP Sprinter consist allowed now is 2 cars.)
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

@kuldalai why those lines and not the Bendigo/Ballarat/Geelong lines?
Are there not problems of this nature on the Geelong line too near Werribee IIRC necessitating the diversion of railcars and light engines via the new line?
YM-Mundrabilla
The section between Werribee & Manor Junction which Metro seems to control  (illogically) does not allow DMU operation.  Probably Nanny State over reaction as there are several freight trains over this section daily, plus VLP runs loco hauled MT cars over this section deliberately to polish the rails .
  Malcolm M Beginner

Re track circuits on the Warrnambool line, the freight trains would keep it polished. If freight trains ceased, VLP would need to install axle counters at all of the many level crossings.  This is a good reason to keep the freight subsidy going.  Or perhaps VLP should re-examine the access charges for the freight trains and make an allowance for the track polishing services it provides.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Gary Liddell Vline interim chief executive was "interviewed" by Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne this morning. When I say interviewed what actually happened was that Faine ripped shreds off him for 5 or 10 minutes. His questions weren't great but it was interesting to hear the level of anger which I presume reflects that of his listeners. Faine also described the Minister as fighting for her political life.
Yesterday on the same station Jacinta Allen was on Raphael Epstein's show and during the usual pollie-not-answering-questions bit he asked her directly whether anybody was going to lose their job over the issues currently plaguing Vline. Then he asked her again. And again. The only sound was the Crickets chirping in the background.

BG
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Re track circuits on the Warrnambool line, the freight trains would keep it polished. If freight trains ceased, VLP would need to install axle counters at all of the many level crossings.  This is a good reason to keep the freight subsidy going.  Or perhaps VLP should re-examine the access charges for the freight trains and make an allowance for the track polishing services it provides.
Malcolm M
Not necessarily .  History has generally proven that as long as you have  tread braked loco hauled either passenger or freight or a mix of both, then track circuit activation is not generally an issue .  History also shows us that it is when you introduce lighter axle load DMU trains with disc braking that activation issues tend to emerge especially on lines that see little or no wheel tread braked trains .
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Gary Liddell Vline interim chief executive was "interviewed" by Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne this morning. When I say interviewed what actually happened was that Faine ripped shreds off him for 5 or 10 minutes. His questions weren't great but it was interesting to hear the level of anger which I presume reflects that of his listeners. Faine also described the Minister as fighting for her political life.


BG
BrentonGolding
While I do occasionally listen to jon faine, he himself over the long term has proven he knows NOTHING about railways and also does little or no pre broadcast research and relies far to much on listeners for his info on this subject. This ends up being something of a mine field as few of his listeners know much about the railway system. Because of this he has made some grevious blunders on some techincal subjects and NOT only with railways.

I am personally greatly disturbed by the ABC's almost total lack of ability to give a fair an accurate report on most technical subjects. How can anyone make a decent judgement on any technical project when one of the countries main broadcasters has not got a clue.

woodford
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
Gary Liddell Vline interim chief executive was "interviewed" by Jon Faine on 774 ABC Melbourne this morning. When I say interviewed what actually happened was that Faine ripped shreds off him for 5 or 10 minutes. His questions weren't great but it was interesting to hear the level of anger which I presume reflects that of his listeners. Faine also described the Minister as fighting for her political life.
Yesterday on the same station Jacinta Allen was on Raphael Epstein's show and during the usual pollie-not-answering-questions bit he asked her directly whether anybody was going to lose their job over the issues currently plaguing Vline. Then he asked her again. And again. The only sound was the Crickets chirping in the background.

BG
BrentonGolding
Bah.  Communist radio.

For a better interview, listen here.
http://www.3aw.com.au/news/tom-elliott-grills-vline-ceo-over-wheels-on-defective-trains-20160205-gmmw80.html
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
While I do occasionally listen to jon faine, he himself over the long term has proven he knows NOTHING about railways and also does little or no pre broadcast research and relies far to much on listeners for his info on this subject. This ends up being something of a mine field as few of his listeners know much about the railway system. Because of this he has made some grevious blunders on some techincal subjects and NOT only with railways.

I am personally greatly disturbed by the ABC's almost total lack of ability to give a fair an accurate report on most technical subjects. How can anyone make a decent judgement on any technical project when one of the countries main broadcasters has not got a clue.

woodford
woodford
Agreed, like I said not great questions, my point was more about his demeanour which possibly reflects the volume and tone of the listener feedback they are getting on the topic.

Unfortunately I am a rusted on ABC listener, it was omnipresent while I was growing up and I have never been able to make the switch to the commercials - can't deal with the ads for starters. But Jon Faine regularly makes my blood boil and it is everything I can do to not throw objects at the radio at times!

And yes, the standards on 774 have been consistently dropping for at least the last 10 years. Some of the presenters they have now wouldn't get a gig on community radio.

BG
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Bah.  Communist radio.
For a better interview, listen here.
[url=http://www.3aw.com.au/news/tom-elliott-grills-vline-ceo-over-wheels-on-defective-trains-20160205-gmmw80.html
QSB6.7
http://www.3aw.com.au/news/tom-elliott-grills-vline-ceo-over-wheels-on-defective-trains-20160205-gmmw80.html/quote/url

Yep; a little bit of right wing radio for a change. ( although  I have to admit that I love the ABC but Faine drives me mad.)
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

With all the doom and gloom with the velocities and Railway crossing saga and with these trains being withdrawn from service, I pose the question . Have any of the withdrawn vehicles started being repaired and when will they actually return to the rails?  It has now been several weeks now, and I am led to belive that the first shipment of replacement wheels have been recieved. Any on got answers?
  randomnarwhal Locomotive Driver

With all the doom and gloom with the velocities and Railway crossing saga and with these trains being withdrawn from service, I pose the question . Have any of the withdrawn vehicles started being repaired and when will they actually return to the rails?  It has now been several weeks now, and I am led to belive that the first shipment of replacement wheels have been recieved. Any on got answers?
trainbrain
On the way through Spencer St yard yesterday I noticed a couple of Vlos with the old livery, and significantly shinier looking bogies. While most wheels have the silver flanges, these had black (although this may have been the light). Happy to be corrected, but it looked like a couple had been done.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
With all the doom and gloom with the velocities and Railway crossing saga and with these trains being withdrawn from service, I pose the question . Have any of the withdrawn vehicles started being repaired and when will they actually return to the rails?  It has now been several weeks now, and I am led to belive that the first shipment of replacement wheels have been recieved. Any on got answers?
trainbrain

Slowly on the Ballarat line at least, the replacement bus services are being replaced by trains. The messages of bus replacements I receive each day from V/Line is slowly getting less.

Mike.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Other day I saw a loco hauled VLocity transfer from Bombardier, and noticed the VL was powered up (but apparently just idling), which made me wonder:

  • Why is the VL powered? brakes/tail lighting? Does that really need on board power for that? How are defective ones towed?
  • What is the specifics of the ban? Is it just that they can't be driven, or that they can't consist solely of VL units?


I wonder if any other combinations would be allowed?

  • (As above) loco hauling powered-up VL in service - doesn't seem materially different to the current situation, I guess the reason is V/Line's locos are busy running to Bombardier already.
  • VL driven, towing a shut down loco? VL can take pax, no extra drivers needed, loco activates track circuits
  • Similarly, VL driven, towing some random collection of approved vehicles to activate track circuits (vline guard van? grain wagon?)
  • VL driven, pushing a flat wagon in front. Means track circuits would activate as soon as the front of the train approaches, rather than the end. Flat means driver can still see Smile


Can a VL ever control air brakes if it were pulling a train of other wagons?

Ridiculous hypothetical I know. But these were desperate times...
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Other day I saw a loco hauled VLocity transfer from Bombardier, and noticed the VL was powered up (but apparently just idling), which made me wonder:

  • Why is the VL powered? brakes/tail lighting? Does that really need on board power for that? How are defective ones towed?
  • What is the specifics of the ban? Is it just that they can't be driven, or that they can't consist solely of VL units?


I wonder if any other combinations would be allowed?

  • (As above) loco hauling powered-up VL in service - doesn't seem materially different to the current situation, I guess the reason is V/Line's locos are busy running to Bombardier already.
  • VL driven, towing a shut down loco? VL can take pax, no extra drivers needed, loco activates track circuits
  • Similarly, VL driven, towing some random collection of approved vehicles to activate track circuits (vline guard van? grain wagon?)
  • VL driven, pushing a flat wagon in front. Means track circuits would activate as soon as the front of the train approaches, rather than the end. Flat means driver can still see Smile


Can a VL ever control air brakes if it were pulling a train of other wagons?

Ridiculous hypothetical I know. But these were desperate times...
bramt
I have previously asked re the braking arrangements on Vlocitys hauled by/hauling Westinghouse braked vehicles but there has been no answer as far as I am aware.
  ShaneB Locomotive Driver

Rumour File on 3AW suggested this morning that the issue has been traced to a more rounded rail head which was purchased from another supplier. This particular rail head does not match the wheel profile.

As mentioned it's a rumour but the bloke sounded knowledgeable.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Other day I saw a loco hauled VLocity transfer from Bombardier, and noticed the VL was powered up (but apparently just idling), which made me wonder:

  • Why is the VL powered? brakes/tail lighting? Does that really need on board power for that? How are defective ones towed?
  • What is the specifics of the ban? Is it just that they can't be driven, or that they can't consist solely of VL units?


I wonder if any other combinations would be allowed?

  • (As above) loco hauling powered-up VL in service - doesn't seem materially different to the current situation, I guess the reason is V/Line's locos are busy running to Bombardier already.
  • VL driven, towing a shut down loco? VL can take pax, no extra drivers needed, loco activates track circuits
  • Similarly, VL driven, towing some random collection of approved vehicles to activate track circuits (vline guard van? grain wagon?)
  • VL driven, pushing a flat wagon in front. Means track circuits would activate as soon as the front of the train approaches, rather than the end. Flat means driver can still see Smile


Can a VL ever control air brakes if it were pulling a train of other wagons?

Ridiculous hypothetical I know. But these were desperate times...
bramt

There is not enough technical information on the VLocity's to answer a lot of these questions but...............

"What is the specifics of the ban?"

For a full explanation see the transcript from the Economy and Infrastructure commitee enquirey. Basicly though VLocity's have a history of not triggering level crossing gates (the actual problem was the gates lifting prematurely). The metro mob did go ahead with some measures they thought would cure the issue. The recent incident though put a cloud over these mearures. As an interim measure metro is hurriedly modifing the track circuits to get around the immediate problem. The long term solution being is to use axle counters, these magneticly count the axles approaching then leaving the level crossing. Metro trains being electric driven treat the track circuits differently. The VLocty's are banned due to safety reasons until the track circuit mods are complete, believed to take some weeks.

"What about loco's hauling a VL set?"

Not enough loco's would be at least one point, loco would also not have enough power to maintain the timetable.

"What about hauling a dead loco?"

To heavy, also see previous answer.

woodford
  712M Chief Commissioner

V/Line have annouced that from Monday 21st March, 43 weekday and all weekend coach replacements will once again run as trains as VLocities are returned to service as well as the addition of a handful of new carriages. This will include most Traralgon runs as VLocities return to the line for the first time in over two months. Presumably many trains will be running with short consists meaning that hopefully back up coaches will be available where required.

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