Chickens come home to roost

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

One substation is enough, they said.

Electric trains never break down and need crossovers, they said.

Well done champs!

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
What has happened ?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

What has happened ?
freightgate
Seaford line power out since about 7am this morning, still not restored and the parade of stuck trains is still not clear yet.

The cancelled second substation at Mile End they thought they'd never need would have to look pretty good right now.
  simont141 Chief Commissioner

Location: Adelaide
I didn't think Pt Augusta was shutting down for another week or so?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I didn't think Pt Augusta was shutting down for another week or so?
simont141
It would need to be operating at full capacity today, it's a calm day with heavy cloud cover Wink

There was apparently an explosion heard by residents living at the southern end of Hallett Cove just across the creek from the DPTI rail substation. Hopefully they have spare parts for it.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Seems these electrical issues have resulted in other services being affected. This is where the Jumbos would've been handy, I actually thought DPTI were keeping a couple of sets on standby in an instance like this?
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/delays-on-seaford-line-to-continue-into-the-night/7367698

Still no cause reported!

At least Adelaide Metro's disruption page says a "Power Outage at the Lonsdale Sub Station"
https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/Announcements/Unplanned-Disruptions/Important-information-for-Seaford-Tonsley-and-Grange-rail-passengers
  Smacks Station Master

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/delays-on-seaford-line-to-continue-into-the-night/7367698
"Pressman"


I found the "You look at the trains in Victoria, this never happens. Take a leaf out of their book" Quote very amusing. Although she's right, this type of thing really shouldn't happen.
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-28/delays-on-seaford-line-to-continue-into-the-night/7367698

Still no cause reported!

At least Adelaide Metro's disruption page says a "Power Outage at the Lonsdale Sub Station"
https://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/Announcements/Unplanned-Disruptions/Important-information-for-Seaford-Tonsley-and-Grange-rail-passengers
Pressman
The only thing they don't say is which Lonsdale Sub Station. There is the one that feeds the whole of Christies Beach, etc, including the Sub Station that feeds the Rail System. Then there are a multitude of things that could go wrong in the Sub Station itself. The explosion that was heard could be something as simple as the overload circuit breakers opening. But why they opened is the question. It could be an earth leakage, overloaded circuit, failing Static VAR Compensator, etc. The cause of which could be anything.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

There is only one Lonsdale Substation, that which is part of the rail network.

The other substations operated by SAPN are called the Pt Stanvac Substations.

If, as persons claim, there was an "explosion" the problem would be obvious, electrical things do go bang and they make no secret about it. I have seen cubic CT tanks turned into spheres before the side blew out. My point is, that if there was an explosion then the problem would be obvious. Arranging a solution might take more time, possibly weeks.

As a professional in the field my level of confidence in the electrical capability within DPTI has seen little to raise it above the floor level.

There is a need for a back up feed point. The cheapest option could be a gas turbine generator about 10MW, such a plant would fit on an ISO container base and because it is for emergency only burn dieseline supplied from a convenient tanker.

I like the heading to this thread.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Have this power issues been fixed ?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The latest update says the plan for today is:
  • Don't catch a train if you don't have to.
  • DEMU service for Brighton-Adelaide, bustitutes for Seaford-Brighton
  • Bustitutes for Grange-Woodville
  • Tonsley passengers have to fend for themselves
  • Shorter consists on other lines
  • Free travel
  • Police are seeking the assistance of the public to help locate missing person Stephen Mulligan who has not been heard from in over 24 hours. If anyone has any information that may assist police in locating the missing person, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.


There is only one Lonsdale Substation, that which is part of the rail network.

The other substations operated by SAPN are called the Pt Stanvac Substations.
steam4ian
To be fair, the location of Port Stanvac is Lonsdale.

DPTI initially said it was SAPN's problem (I sincerely hope this was just someone tweeting out of turn) but this was quickly corrected by SAPN:


Correct me if I'm wrong, but the rail substation is that triangular enclosure between the railway, Meyer Road and the wreckers' yard, right? And the wires actually connect in at a spot about 400m to the north?

If, as persons claim, there was an "explosion" the problem would be obvious, electrical things do go bang and they make no secret about it. I have seen cubic CT tanks turned into spheres before the side blew out. My point is, that if there was an explosion then the problem would be obvious. Arranging a solution might take more time, possibly weeks.

As a professional in the field my level of confidence in the electrical capability within DPTI has seen little to raise it above the floor level.
steam4ian
Can you comment on their explanation of it below? Does a circuit breaker really take 2+ days to replace or are they just trying to buy time?

Power has been down since approximately 8am yesterday following an electrical failure within the Lonsdale rail sub-station.  Investigations to date have determined a circuit breaker had failed. Back up systems will not be activated until a thorough safety inspection and testing regime by contractors is undertaken.
The contractor has advised that comprehensive testing and preparatory works must be undertaken prior to re-energising the system.
Safety remains the key consideration in re-energising the system and understanding the cause of the damage. System testing will take several hours. At this stage we do not know what caused the failure of the circuit breaker.
Adelaide Metro apologises for the inconvenience and thanks passengers for their patience and understanding.


There is a need for a back up feed point.
steam4ian
The DPTI report to the House of Assembly Public Works Committee said just that…

The system however, is vulnerable to a loss of the SA Power Networks' supply (such as through major bushfire) or failure of a critical item of equipment. In this unlikely event, loss of traction power and an outage on the electrified rail network will result. Dependant on the nature of the failure, an outage may result in extended disruption or closure of rail services. This system vulnerability to failure will exist until such time as the City Feeder Substation is constructed.


The cheapest option could be a gas turbine generator about 10MW, such a plant would fit on an ISO container base and because it is for emergency only burn dieseline supplied from a convenient tanker.
steam4ian
Long term, real redundancy is needed instead of a bodged together backup which could well take the DPTI staff a few hours to get going - or to put it simply, buy nice or buy twice. The top knobs need to get around to realising that this sort of major disruption (which will span a minimum of four peak periods by the end of today, plus two major events if not fixed by the end of the weekend) causes people to permanently lose confidence in public transport.

Somewhere close to the city (as the PWC report recommends) is needed for the second substation, with a third one further north added when Salisbury-Gawler gets done. If we assume it will take a 66kV distribution line just like Lonsdale does, somewhere around Keswick would be ideal as it's close to both the railway and ElectraNet's new 275/66 substation serving the CBD. There are a few areas of disused railway land which could be options, a bare patch of land used for informal parking that is literally a stone's throw from the ElectraNet facility or even the possibility of putting it inside the ElectraNet facility if the laneway outside can shifted to accomodate an expansion of the perimeter fence.

I like the heading to this thread.
steam4ian
It's partly intended as a big juicy full toss for Heath Loxton to hit out of the park. Let's see if he makes the connection or lets it go through to the keeper…
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Just to make things worse, on the one day that Diagonal Road can be expected to flow reasonably smoothly courtesy of half the trains not running, there are delays due to a car crash!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax.

At least we now have some technical information from Adelaide Metro.

What the circuit breaker failure was we are not told.
The failure could range from a protection relay tripping to a flash-over within the circuit breaker cubicle. The latter event could take days to fix, the cause could be a simple as a mouse getting into the wrong place.
If a protection relay operation then the relay would be of the digital type and information relating to the fault event would be recorded by the relay. From this information it should be possible to determine the location of an overhead system fault with a few hundred metres.

As for a new substation at Mile End, by all means a good long term option but the cheap a cheerful gas turbine solution might be better value to the tax dollar and provide back-up against a major power transmission/distribution failure.

Considering the magnitude of the event that some people experience only 2 hours delay in getting to work shows that the emergency was quite well handled. Some recognition is due.

Ian.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Still no service, and the government is very cagey about how long it will take to restore. If any government PR types are reading this, the drip feed strategy of only announcing each day's cancellation late the previous night will blow up in your face, people will respect you if you're transparent and simply admit it is unknown!
Interesting that, even during today's off-peak period when the rolling stock was available, there have been no daylight trains any further south of Brighton but a few in the dark last night. I wonder if there's something they don't want people seeing further down south? I might go for a bit of an explore tomorrow.

EDIT: Out of the blue, an announcement it's all been restored.
  BillD Chief Train Controller

I called in at Brighton tonight to watch 3000 railcars terminating on the middle road where passengers would board or alight. There were seven buses standing by as I arrived.

Leaving just before 6:00, I was a pair of coupled 4000's pass through Hove at 6:03pm heading toward Brighton.

Bill.
  Lt. Commander Data Station Master

Location: Stobie Poll City (Adelaide).
I called in at Brighton tonight to watch 3000 railcars terminating on the middle road where passengers would board or alight. There were seven buses standing by as I arrived.

Leaving just before 6:00, I was a pair of coupled 4000's pass through Hove at 6:03pm heading toward Brighton.

Bill.
BillD
Conspiracy...!!? What are they hiding...?
  Lt. Commander Data Station Master

Location: Stobie Poll City (Adelaide).
According to AdelaideMetro, normal services have resumed, so disregard my previous post.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Now back on again, well done to the crews on the ground who sorted it out.

Now time for management to take stock of the lessons learned and make the necessary changes to contain the disruption next time around. Who knows how many passengers have permanently switched off using rail as a result of this incident, just when they were getting back to using it after a string of protracted shutdowns?

In other good news, police can confirm that the missing person Stephen Mullighan has been located safe and well. Police would like to thank the public for their assistance.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Lots of stories of AM workers using their skill and initiative to minimise what was a considerable inconvenience to all concerned. I have also heard of members of the public giving stranded passengers lifts in their private vehicles. Well done all round.

As for the fault and the time taken to rectify it I trust there will be a an ATSB investigation so that the matter could be in the public forum.

I fear some of the delay could simply have been persons being afraid the close the "big switch" and see what happens. It is times like that that operators need the confidence in the design and installation of the system to take, what to the uninitiated seems, a risk. On their feeders SAPN and ElectraNet do it as routine even automatically, it is called "reclosing".

From experience you do get some spectacular bangs the second time around but you do find the problem; electrical plant is designed to take it.

Ian
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
How much power does the little turbine at Coopers' output? That's a nice little piece of kit, doesn't take up too much room, privately owned, can't have cost an excessive amount.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Ah, quick search on the actual Coopers' says 4.4MW probably not enough for AdMet, but a 10MW must be pretty easy to come by.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Lots of stories of AM workers using their skill and initiative to minimise what was a considerable inconvenience to all concerned.
steam4ian
I did hear one allegation of passengers being evacuated onto the track while there were trains moving on the other lines around them which resulted in a near miss, I guess it was on the Goodwood-City section or the other train was a DEMU rescue set.

This is an extremely serious allegation, and if true should result in the responsible staffer being fired and prosecuted. Initiative is all well and good, but the staffers need to be confident in their training on how to ensure the other running lines are properly blocked if they are going to evacuate passengers.

As for the fault and the time taken to rectify it I trust there will be an ATSB investigation so that the matter could be in the public forum.
steam4ian
I concur - although maybe ONRSR might be more appropriate? The above mentioned allegation would be the ideal trigger for a wide-ranging investigation of Adelaide Metro rail practices which I believe has not happened in quite some time.

Being such a small system, it's an easy feat to ride your luck and go a considerable amount of time between serious incidents (accidents on the railways are extremely rare, almost all incidents are preventable) that focus the mind, so complacency can easily set in and a positive safety culture.

A state-level Royal Commission into the electrification project (is it even complete yet? I thought I heard AWS pings last time I rode an A-City service at the front) might also be a good option. Whatever course of action is taken, it needs to go ahead promptly so that none of the failures on the Seaford electrification project get unnecessarily repeated on the Adelaide-Salisbury project. If that means trading some of the length of electrification (maybe scaled back to electric services terminating at Dry Creek platform 3 or an additional platform at Mawson Lakes interchange) in order to spend more money on quality, then so be it.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
I did hear one allegation of passengers being evacuated onto the track while there were trains moving on the other lines around them which resulted in a near miss, I guess it was on the Goodwood-City section or the other train was a DEMU rescue set.

This is an extremely serious allegation, and if true should result in the responsible staffer being fired and prosecuted. Initiative is all well and good, but the staffers need to be confident in their training on how to ensure the other running lines are properly blocked if they are going to evacuate passengers.

justapassenger
And if the person making the allegation is found to be lying.........?
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I think most right minded people would prefer the idea of an investigated allegation found to be false than a legitimate allegation swept under carpet. We have penalties for false accusers too, but make no mistake, the actual event is almost always going to have the ability to be more dangerous than the allegation alone.

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