Driverless trains a part of expanded airshuttle proposal

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 19 Jun 2017 11:27
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
(above entry is my 1st post but long time reader so hello everyone)
IrodetheSouthernAurora

Hi IrodetheSouthernAurora...

Welcome to the bearpit...Err..Forum.

Mike.

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  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
(above entry is my 1st post but long time reader so hello everyone)
IrodetheSouthernAurora

Welcome aboard!
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

If it is super fast then why not and would use different tracks to the metro system.  I would like to see more!

Driverless trains a part of expanded airshuttle proposal
It makes a lot of sense.  Nimbys and others won't like it though....
Carnot
I certainly do not. Just reuse the infrastructure we have.

Michael
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

If it is super fast then why not and would use different tracks to the metro system.  I would like to see more!

Driverless trains a part of expanded airshuttle proposal
It makes a lot of sense.  Nimbys and others won't like it though....
I certainly do not. Just reuse the infrastructure we have.

Michael
mejhammers1
What about a O'baun style busway built using the existing freeway median and using the existing skybus rolling stock.

And if they want to upgrade its capacity later, it can easily be converted to heavy rail since all the foundation and grade separation have been completed and all planned out.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
What about a O'baun style busway ...
James974

Does that mean it's Irish infrastructure Question

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
What about a O'baun style busway ...

Does that mean it's Irish infrastructure Question

Mike.
The Vinelander
Yes it is 5'3" gauge too.

The practicality/possibility/cost etc of turning an 'O'baun' into a proper railway has 'meself' wondering.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

What about a O'baun style busway built using the existing freeway median and using the existing skybus rolling stock.

And if they want to upgrade its capacity later, it can easily be converted to heavy rail since all the foundation and grade separation have been completed and all planned out.
James974

What freeway median?

There isn't one from the city until Wirraway Road beyond Essendon Airport. It's long since been built over for additional lanes of traffic.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Oh come on Valvegear, you are being selective with your responses to justify your poor technical understanding.
Not a bit of it - I was having a grumpy old man stir.
Valvegear

Yeah, but it makes you look as if you don't know what you are talking about.

Automated trains have been around for nearly 50 years. The safety systems underlying fully supervised manual control (GoA level 1), automatic operation (GoA level 2 or 3), and unattended operation (GoA level 4) are all the same, and are now all completely computerised. The CBTC system to be installed on the Sunbury/Cranbourne/Pakenham line will be fully computerised, and if the computer fails in an unsafe manner the trains are likely to crash irrespective of whether there is a driver at the front end or not.

The main technical difference between automatic operation and unattended operation is that an unattended system needs to be able to deal with a 'situation' without a qualified employee on the train. It's about people management, not about the movement of the trains. As GavinJ says, there are a lot of commonplace situations, without even starting to think about actual emergency situations. It's for this reason that many automated systems continue to have an operator on board.

Oh, and you may be interested to know that many modern airliners are fully computerised. On Airbuses, for example, the pilot has *no* direct control over the plane at all. The pilot instructs the computer what to do (by moving the joystick, for example), and the computer makes it happen. If the computer systems completely fail on these planes, the plane will fall out of the sky. You may prefer to fly an older Boeing.
  historian Deputy Commissioner

If the brief calls for a fast and reliable service between SC and airport, why does it need to be driverless, to meet the brief?

So why not install a fast and crewed transport service?
michaelgm

Because automated driving (GoA levels 2, 3, or 4) is more consistent than manual driving. Automated trains accelerate at precisely the same speed, stay precisely at the designated run speed, and brake at precisely the same point and at the same rate. Consistency is important to achieve minimum headway between trains.

Note, however, that we're probably reading too much into the announcement. The financiers and dreamers promoting this scheme probably have very little technical knowledge. When they say 'driverless' they probably just mean that it is not being manually controlled, not that it is not crewed.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If the brief calls for a fast and reliable service between SC and airport, why does it need to be driverless, to meet the brief?

So why not install a fast and crewed transport service?

Because automated driving (GoA levels 2, 3, or 4) is more consistent than manual driving. Automated trains accelerate at precisely the same speed, stay precisely at the designated run speed, and brake at precisely the same point and at the same rate. Consistency is important to achieve minimum headway between trains.

Note, however, that we're probably reading too much into the announcement. The financiers and dreamers promoting this scheme probably have very little technical knowledge. When they say 'driverless' they probably just mean that it is not being manually controlled, not that it is not crewed.
historian
Driverless trains are now the base case technology for whenever Greenfield lines are being built that are not part of legacy networks. Cheaper to build, cheaper to operate, more reliable and have a better safety record.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Over the years, the driverless train proposal keeps popping up, usually during strike activity.

As a Spark Driver for 23 years, I can tell you, the system can hardly run now with a single driver in charge, imagine what it would be like with no-one in charge.
These proposals seem to be dreamt up by what we used to call '9 to 5' ers, those who don't really live in the real railway world. ..  they think that everything runs perfectly and proper, all the time.

The quote..."If a train gets a fault that the computer deems unsafe, it can simply apply the emergency brake. Potentially, control can take over and move the train remotely to the nearest station. "
is a classic example of this attitude.

It sounds simple enough...

the train stops due to a computer fault
the Train Controller sees the train has stopped
he tries to reset the computer
the computer says "i'm not going"
(meanwhile trains are queing up behind)
so what does the train controller do now ?
try again...computer says "no, i'm not budging"
so, what now ?....we get the comptetent employee to attend ?
where does he come from ?
how is he going to get into the train, which is up on a skyrail thing ?
meanwhile the whole system has stopped !

We all know if the computer refuses to respond, you can't argue with it, it has fail safed itself to stop the train, how is train control going to budge it ?
press his remote button....how does this comminicate with the train 30 kms away ?
gps, internet, mobile network ???  none of which are reliable.

If I remember correctly the NR locos had similar computer system problems,you would be travelling along nicely, next thing the computer decides to fail the train and it stops...you cant argue with it, the train stops....

Siemans trains had similar problems, I'll tell you the story one day, about the Siemans train that took 3 hours to get from the Viaduct  to Flinders St platforms  . (ask Simon !!)

The trains got moving, not by Train Control pressing his magic button, but by the Driver manually resetting / coaxing the train to move.

Another problem is the "only in Melbourne" situation.

Maybe they have driverless trains in other cities, but their passengers might be better  behaved ?

1) A classic story from when the Xcrapper was being built, and the maintenance section asked Alstom how easy it was to replace a saloon window.
(This was at the time, when the hoons were kicking out 200-300 windows a day...yes you  read that correctly, they used to replace about 7000 windows every month.)
Alstom replied that the window glass would last the life of the train, > 20 years.
The maintenance boys stated that Alstom obviously  have not been to Melbourne , where the hoons kick out the windows....Alstom asked why did this occur ?

So when the Xcrap  started to run, within days windows were being kicked out, and it took the maintainers about 30 mins to replace a window, if it was missing, they had to remove the whole wall panel, to put in the window, then replace the wall panel.
If it was only cracked/shattered, they had to smash it out !! themselves, then remove the panelling.
In comparison, a Comeng window could be replaced in about 2 minutes.

Obviously in other cities, they don't kick out windows !

2) OUR passengers won't take NO for an answer...in other cities the doors might close  and they let the train go....not in Melbourne. !
Apart from hoons, peak hour pasengers will force the doors to get in, breaking the chains  on Comengs, failing the train. On Siemans and Xcrap, the doors will go limp after 3 attempts to close, on a Siemans the driver has to  go back to manually reset the door.
We could run trains more on time now if a computer opened the doors for only 20 seconds  each stop, if you miss getting in or out during that time, bad luck.

Maybe in more civilised cities, but not here, those doors would be reefed off their rollers so people could still get on off.

Also with each new function also comes train failures

When I started in 1990 with driver and guard, almost nothing failed a train

- a door that didnt close properly, no one knew, train ran
- missing window, reported and train ran
- stuck open door, ignored or reported, train ran
- PA and CCTV and PEI didn't exist
- air cond, only half fleet

then when SPOT started....

- door fails to close by 2cm, driver alerted, has to go back to check and try to fix it
- door stuck open, train not to run
- windows missing, train not to run
- PA and or CCTV / PEI  inoperative, train not to run

the reason why today several trains each day are usually terminated mid journey, usually due to door faults.

None of the above exist in the perfect driverless train scenario.

Are the platforms staffed on this railway ?

someone's suitcase/bag gets stuck in a door, or a hoon puts something in the door runner the door does not close...the train cannot move....
"If a train gets a fault that the computer deems unsafe, it can simply apply the emergency
brake. Potentially, control can take over and move the train remotely to the nearest  station. "

Ok what does Train Control do now, he's looking at his CCTV view, he sees the hoon, he  sees the object in the door, the train can't move.....the million dollar driverless train system is now at a standstill.

What happens now ??
Who fixes the door ?
does Train Control override the computer's  " door failure, I'm not moving" command, so the train runs with the door stuck open ?
that will be media magic on a skyrail....you can imagine the Herald  Sun article...."Shock Horror as passengers terrified, as train runs with door stuck open"

Debris on track, fatalities, air cond failures, doors refuse to open, totally disabled on the skyrail with no way to get into/out of the train from track level ?????
that one failed train now stops the whole line, all trains stopped, and you are relying on Train Control to flick his magic switch to fix everything and the train will move ?

it's like calling 000 and expecting the police to be there in seconds, it aint gonna happen.

I've retired now, I will never travel on a train again, and  I wish them all the best on their  driverless train system.
Gavin J
This is all a very interesting insight into the issues of the current systems used in I assume Vic and thanks for posting. I also assume you have not used or travelled to a city with a driverless Metro because if you had you would not have posted above. As you quoted me (out of context), I'll respond a bit more.

As I indicated (and others), driverless Metro's are fairly common. I've personally used Vancouver, Singapore, Dubai, a few in Germany. Dubai is obviously my current home and I used to live next to the Metro and could see it from my window and used it frequently. Its also the Longest Driverless Metro in the world. Red line is +50km and Green Line +25km and moves over 500,000 PER DAY combined at sub 3min intervals. Reliability exceeds 99%. Yes each station is staffed with both security and station, but rarely on platforms apart from security.

Can the Melbourne network be Automated and operated reliably?, No! For all the reasons you mentioned. Basically you have a legacy network with various stages of upgrades and complexity, with sections open to the public domain, ie LX. Ironically deaths on automated trains are very low and usually limited to known suicide events because everyone knows the computer doesn't give a F__K. So when you throw a rock, it won't blink and it won't jump on the brakes.

Driverless Metros' are usually limited to A-B lines only, rarely intersecting other lines (although Vancouver has a branch), there is rarely at grade running, usually elevated or tunnel, no LX and no mixing with freight and other services. As the whole thing is built to be driverless it is designed accordingly, unlike you average Melbourne spark.

I was told Vancouver at one stage at least had the driver up front for the first run of the day only.

In brief the technology is well known and it works. Some older Automated lines are now going for Gen 2 trains, so its hardly new and any new Greenfield line is usually driverless if it is separated from the existing network and no freight or other services, It also costs more to buy and build up front, so unless the pax numbers are there, its not worth it.

For Melbourne Airport, Driverless is very much a realistic option if the line is 100% Greenfield or separated from existing services physically. Is it worth while, well depends on the route, but likely it may pay but personally I doubt it. 1 train every 15min is not what you spend the extra for an automated service. Also from my experience the guards can add value to airport express services.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Automated trains (GoA 3/4) are fine. Once you have a 100% grade separated route, there's basically no reason not to do it. My reservations are about the rest of the proposal. Now, monorails as a transit technology aren't too bad - the problem is that they're often promoted by wide-eyed dreamers or shysters (and it's hard to tell them apart sometimes). Maglev and Hyperloop proposals have that problem too. But that's not the only issue.

The centrepiece of their proposal is a high-fare express link between Melbourne Airport and the CBD. International experience shows that this isn't a very good idea. Firstly, the high fares they propose ($25 one way, compared to $18 for SkyBus) are going to deter ridership, regardless of how fast they propose it will be. Secondly, pure express links are terrible at generating ridership. Public transport consultant Jarrett Walker puts it best:


Do you think that specialised airport express trains are the key to high transit mode share to an airport? Think again. What matters is not just the train to downtown, but the whole transit network and the airport’s position in it. Where can you get to on that network, and how soon? (A true assessment of this issue would have included bus services too, of course.) London’s Heathrow, for example, has a high-fare express train very much like Toronto’s, but it also has a slower train that makes more stops for a lower fare, and a subway line that makes even more stops and serves even more places. Those lines connect to more services, and are therefore more useful to far more people.

Basic math: 1000 airport employees using an airport service every day are more ridership than 100,000 air travellers using it, on average, maybe a couple of times a year.

This is the simple reason that airport transit politics are so frustrating. Everyone wants to believe in transit to the airport, because they might ride it a few times a year. But to create a great airport train (or bus) for air travellers, you have to make it useful to airport employees too.  That generally means a service that’s an integral part of the regional transit network, not a specialised airport train.

The Airshuttle Australia proposal is a monorail running down the Tullamarine Freeway for most of its route. It would have two stops (Essendon Airport/DFO and somewhere in Moonee Ponds), neither of which are likely to provide much inter-connectivity with existing public transport. If you're going to terminate at the airport, you have to have stations that generate ridership between the airport and the CBD.

At least the Albion East heavy rail proposals usually stop at Sunshine, a well-established public transport interchange and designated 'National Employment & Innovation Cluster'. Even if it's the only stop along the route, it's a really good interchange. Better still are heavy rail proposals that go through Melbourne Airport and link in to the existing V/Line rail network. V/Line service patterns are very similar to what is typically envisioned for airport rail/maglev/hyperloop links: inside the Melbourne suburban rail network they act as limited express services that only stop at large public transport interchanges. That makes it easy for both to share tracks and/or services.
LancedDendrite
Sorry, Jarrett Walkers reference to not using express is a pile of crap. No one in their right mind would build the airport line on the basis the staff were their major customer base.

Sydney gets 10,000 pax a day, how many are airport workers? Buggerall percentage wise.

Brisbane gets about 3000 pax a day, as above.

I've used both enough to know.

Most airport train users are CBD bound and they want to get from the airport to the city ASAP. A few intermediate stops at major junctions/stations are ok and for Melbourne a must considering the distance, but that's it.

Hyperloop/maglev/monorail, forget it. Stick to what works.

The V/line option for the Bendigo Line seems the most viable to me. 15min service in peak, some running through to Bendgio. Job done. Don't even have to spark it until later.

Regards
Shane
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

RTT_Rules, I agree 100%. Why the Bendigo line is not even considered to be a possible solution is beyond me, and shows the way in which infrastructure projects are chosen here (ie narrow minded, solutions first, problems later).
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Sydney gets 10,000 pax a day, how many are airport workers? Bugger-all percentage wise.
RTT_Rules
Sydney Airport has 800 associated companies & organisations on or near the site that have a total of 28,000 direct full-time employees, plus another 22,000 FTEs in the precinct around it. Each one of those workers has some sort of commute to the airport. Do the math.

Most airport train users are CBD bound and they want to get from the airport to the city ASAP. A few intermediate stops at major junctions/stations are ok and for Melbourne a must considering the distance, but that's it.
RTT_Rules
CBD-bound airport travellers might be a plurality, but they are not the majority of travellers. And once again, there's not enough of them to justify the investment in a rail link on their own. As I keep saying, an airport rail line has to do more than just be a CBD to Airport express link! Either you put in stops along the way (i.e making it a metro-style service) or make it 'along the way' (an express service that extends past the airport to somewhere else).


The V/line option for the Bendigo Line seems the most viable to me. 15min service in peak, some running through to Bendgio. Job done. Don't even have to spark it until later.
RTT_Rules
I agree, because a Bendigo line connection - with either a connection to Sunbury or a new station between Sunbury and the old Clarkefield station - serves many more potential customers than an airport-CBD express link on its own. A connection to Sunbury just on its own means that it could serve the significant number of airport workers who live there. Throw in the Bendigo line and it's a winner. If you go full AirTrain and add a connection to the North-East lines as well then you've got something that, whilst it would have a larger price-tag than a pure CBD-airport express link, might actually have the patronage to make it a positive benefit-cost ratio project overall.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Sydney Airport gets 100,000 pax a day. The airport line gets around 15% of airport users.

According to the stats in 2012 I believe peak hour over 50% of airport station users were city bound. 9% were swapping airport stations and 10% headed to/from the NSL. How many airport workers live on NSL?

Having used Brisbane Airport train alot. Most are CBD bound followed by Gold Coast tourists. Number of people who change at Eagle Junction you could count on one hand most of the time  Again with luggage.

During my extensive travels on other airport trains, again CBD bound is the majority. Very few without luggage. Yes the cabin crew and airline customer service workers standout, but not that many.

Most airport industries you refer too are how far in Street walking time from the airport stations.

How many of the 28000 workers are shift workers of which the train is useless or they may have safety issues on the home side Station?

As I said before. For an airport line that long to Tulla you'd have 1 or 2 transfer stations before reaching outside of CBD. Potentially 1 or 2 new stations in greenfield locations.

If an IU service can also use the infrastructure. Bonus points.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

re the Airport Link , can i suggest you read the proposals on the Rail Futures Institute website ( http://www.railfutures.org.au ) as this explains the logic of running via Sunshine and incorporating Albury , Shepparton and Bendigo Line trains,

Best wishes and regards, Radioman
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Sydney Airport gets 100,000 pax a day. The airport line gets around 15% of airport users.

According to the stats in 2012 I believe peak hour over 50% of airport station users were city bound. 9% were swapping airport stations and 10% headed to/from the NSL. How many airport workers live on NSL?

Having used Brisbane Airport train alot. Most are CBD bound followed by Gold Coast tourists. Number of people who change at Eagle Junction you could count on one hand most of the time  Again with luggage.

During my extensive travels on other airport trains, again CBD bound is the majority. Very few without luggage. Yes the cabin crew and airline customer service workers standout, but not that many.

Most airport industries you refer too are how far in Street walking time from the airport stations.

How many of the 28000 workers are shift workers of which the train is useless or they may have safety issues on the home side Station?

As I said before. For an airport line that long to Tulla you'd have 1 or 2 transfer stations before reaching outside of CBD. Potentially 1 or 2 new stations in greenfield locations.

If an IU service can also use the infrastructure. Bonus points.
RTT_Rules
NSL ?
We don't all speak whatever it is that you speak.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
NSL ?

We don't all speak whatever it is that you speak.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
NSL = Not Sensible Language.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
NSL ?

We don't all speak whatever it is that you speak.
NSL = Not Sensible Language.
Valvegear
Thank you Valvegear.
That's what I thought it meant too!
  Lockspike Deputy Commissioner

NSL ?
We don't all speak whatever it is that you speak.
YM-Mundrabilla
Educated guess - North Shore Line (Hornsby - Wynyard)
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Lockspike.
We should not have to guess, of course. Sad
The YMs can write shorthand; perhaps I will post my next entry in shorthand (if I knew how................... of course).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks Lockspike.
We should not have to guess, of course. Sad
The YMs can write shorthand; perhaps I will post my next entry in shorthand (if I knew how................... of course).
YM-Mundrabilla
Sigh

Yes, mistake on my part as this was Vic thread, but you could have just asked, ROLLS EYES!

NSL -> North Shore Line in Sydney, runs from city to Hornsby via Chatswood through the leafy, white collar North Shore.
  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

State and Federal governments should jointly fund it. It should be treated as a normal Metro line - no station access fees or anything. It should stop at Highpoint, Defence Site, then the airport. The Albion East line should be electrified in its entirety, and converted to Standard Gauge, as should be the rest of the Seymour/Tocumwell line. Duplication beside the Craigieburn line will provide a good service for new electrified trains to Seymour. Bendigo line trains should run via the airport, before meeting the Albion East line and heading in to the city that way.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks Lockspike.
We should not have to guess, of course. Sad
The YMs can write shorthand; perhaps I will post my next entry in shorthand (if I knew how................... of course).
Sigh

Yes, mistake on my part as this was Vic thread, but you could have just asked, ROLLS EYES!

NSL -> North Shore Line in Sydney, runs from city to Hornsby via Chatswood through the leafy, white collar North Shore.
RTT_Rules
Sorry RTT but you still miss the point.

Your 'mistake' has nothing to do with the title or main content/location of the thread. RP is an Australiawide and, to a lesser extent, a worldwide site where people from all over read and post in whatever forum they chose.

The fact that this forum is NSW, Victorian or anywhere else is irrelevant.

I often find your posts interesting and informative but, with due respect, one should not have to try and translate acronyms into meaningful dialogue.

Keep smiling.
  Boss Chief Commissioner

Location: Caulfield Line
The easiest way around this problem is to use the full name followed by the abbreviation in brackets, e.g.

North Shore Line (NSL) in Sydney, runs from city to Hornsby via Chatswood through the leafy, white collar North Shore.

From then on just use the abbreviation e.g. NSL

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