Report backs community’s rail concerns

 

News article: Report backs community’s rail concerns

A local state MP says the Victorian Government has no excuse to not replace ageing rolling stock on north-east regional rail lines.

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
What is stopping the government from ordering replacement rolling stock now for Shepparton with services continuing north to Cobram who have a burgeoning community?

Longer distance vlocity trains might work but I would expect at some point we need to look at a more comfortable and more efficient platform for long distance services.

Report backs community’s rail concerns

Sponsored advertisement

  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
What is stopping the government from ordering replacement rolling stock now for Shepparton[?]
bevans
The only BG trains that are likely to be ordered by V/Line for the foreseeable future are more Vlocity sets or the slated Long Distance derivative. Track quality and level crossing upgrades are required before Vlocitys or any other DMUs could be utilised properly on the Shepparton service. In the mean time rolling out more refurbished N sets will have to do.

[What is stopping] services continuing north to Cobram who have a burgeoning community?
bevans
Common sense. Resurrecting dead branchlines purely for passenger service is a money pit.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The only BG trains that are likely to be ordered by V/Line for the foreseeable future are more Vlocity sets or the slated Long Distance derivative. Track quality and level crossing upgrades are required before Vlocitys or any other DMUs could be utilised properly on the Shepparton service. In the mean time rolling out more Lrefurbished N sets will have to do.
LancedDendrite
LD with the obvious caveat of the up front cost would Vlocities be a good option for replacing N sets from a running cost point of view? I understand that the Vlos are gauge convertible (or more correctly designed for SG running) so there is no impediment to ordering more of them and converting some to SG later if and when lines are converted, is the design OK running at reduced speeds or are they most efficient running at higher speeds?

What are fuel costs like running with the N class vs Velocity? There would be savings to me made in other areas such as not requiring shunters, I know it would not be enough to cover the cost of the rolling stock but surely it is worthy of consideration?

BG
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The only BG trains that are likely to be ordered by V/Line for the foreseeable future are more Vlocity sets or the slated Long Distance derivative. Track quality and level crossing upgrades are required before Vlocitys or any other DMUs could be utilised properly on the Shepparton service. In the mean time rolling out more Lrefurbished N sets will have to do.
LD with the obvious caveat of the up front cost would Vlocities be a good option for replacing N sets from a running cost point of view? I understand that the Vlos are gauge convertible (or more correctly designed for SG running) so there is no impediment to ordering more of them and converting some to SG later if and when lines are converted, is the design OK running at reduced speeds or are they most efficient running at higher speeds?

What are fuel costs like running with the N class vs Velocity? There would be savings to me made in other areas such as not requiring shunters, I know it would not be enough to cover the cost of the rolling stock but surely it is worthy of consideration?

BG
BrentonGolding
An class set has to move about another 120t of steel so it should need more fuel.

What is that prevents a DMU from running to Sheperaton that an N class doesn't have an issue for same speed? Surely LX and track quality isn't an issue here.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
LD with the obvious caveat of the up front cost would Vlocities be a good option for replacing N sets from a running cost point of view? I understand that the Vlos are gauge convertible (or more correctly designed for SG running) so there is no impediment to ordering more of them and converting some to SG later if and when lines are converted, is the design OK running at reduced speeds or are they most efficient running at higher speeds?
BrentonGolding
The real cost of using Vlocities right now is the time penalty due to DMU speed restrictions across all of the unprotected and non-boom barrier level crossings along the Shepparton line. If those were fixed then you'd at least be able to keep up with the N set timetable and possibly improve it a little bit by taking into account the greater acceleration that VL sets have. Improving the line speed to 130kph in a few sections to take advantage of the higher speeds that VL sets can reach would be the next step after that.

The other thing I'd note is that Vlocities are only marshalled as 3 carriage 3VL sets currently. I note that the Shepparton pass currently uses 4/5 carriage N sets, so there might be passenger loading issues there. Running 2x3VLs on the Shepparton pass would be a bit of a waste IMO. But that's all probably easily fixed by the slated Long Distance VLocity - or by running more (3VL) services each day to spread out the passenger loading a bit.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Ah yes, thank you,  I had forgotten about the lower line speed for dmu vs Loco haul over unprotected lx.

BG
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
LD with the obvious caveat of the up front cost would Vlocities be a good option for replacing N sets from a running cost point of view? I understand that the Vlos are gauge convertible (or more correctly designed for SG running) so there is no impediment to ordering more of them and converting some to SG later if and when lines are converted, is the design OK running at reduced speeds or are they most efficient running at higher speeds?
The real cost of using Vlocities right now is the time penalty due to DMU speed restrictions across all of the unprotected and non-boom barrier level crossings along the Shepparton line. If those were fixed then you'd at least be able to keep up with the N set timetable and possibly improve it a little bit by taking into account the greater acceleration that VL sets have. Improving the line speed to 130kph in a few sections to take advantage of the higher speeds that VL sets can reach would be the next step after that.

The other thing I'd note is that Vlocities are only marshalled as 3 carriage 3VL sets currently. I note that the Shepparton pass currently uses 4/5 carriage N sets, so there might be passenger loading issues there. Running 2x3VLs on the Shepparton pass would be a bit of a waste IMO. But that's all probably easily fixed by the slated Long Distance VLocity - or by running more (3VL) services each day to spread out the passenger loading a bit.
LancedDendrite
Currently the numbers are roughly the same for a 3 car V/locity and 3 car N class, but otherwise just install an extra trailer car to boost the train to DM-TM-TM-DM V/locity, or even a 3rd TM to make 5 cars.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
What is stopping the government from ordering replacement rolling stock now for Shepparton[?]
The only BG trains that are likely to be ordered by V/Line for the foreseeable future are more Vlocity sets or the slated Long Distance derivative. Track quality and level crossing upgrades are required before Vlocitys or any other DMUs could be utilised properly on the Shepparton service. In the mean time rolling out more refurbished N sets will have to do.

[What is stopping] services continuing north to Cobram who have a burgeoning community?
Common sense. Resurrecting dead branchlines purely for passenger service is a money pit.
LancedDendrite

I accept your reason in the top piece Lanced, common sense, but the above point, a bit questionable it's only 16 k's of track, to be reactivated, the Toc goods is already wearing a well worn path on the rest. Ararat, Warrnambool, Gippsland, reckon they might be dead end lines.

Opening up Cobram to passengers, again, no where have I seen that ?  Laughing

BigShunter.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Cobram would need a new station given the old one has been reused for something else.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Cobram would need a new station given the old one has been reused for something else.
james.au

The platform and building and track is in place I assume?
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Cobram would need a new station given the old one has been reused for something else.
james.au
And we all know what an incredibly vast amount that would cost. https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

Look at the new Talbot station. A short platform with a bus shelter was all that was required for the couple of passengers a day that use it. If they were given a little leeway in design details, most building contractors would quote around $100,000 to build it. But, no. the new Talbot station had to be built to precise specifications for numbers of passengers that it will never see, with no flexibility allowed for the contractor building it. Therefore, the new Talbot station cost millions.

Now Cobram is a decent sized town which would generate real traffic, so in bureaucratic eyes, the new station will need to be made of solid gold rather than just gold plated. It wouldn't surprise me if they decided that rather than build a cheap ramp to get one wheelchair a month up 120 cm to platform level, an hugely expensive indoor lift is required.

Despite all this money being spent, inevitably the car park will be too small (it always is on government projects) and the overflow will park on gravel and grassy verges near the new station. Now any other person or company would fix this by paying a local road contractor to extend the car park by sealing over some of that gravel or grassy area to provide a dozen extra car spaces. But this is a government job, so bureaucrats will come up from Melbourne to precisely define the exact measurements of the car park, followed by another Melbourne based surveyor to ensure the specification are correct to the nearest millimetre. But as this is Crown land, ecological consultants will need to be employed to ensure that there are no rare species of bugs or moss on that 10 metre by 10 metre bit of roadside wasteland.

After that there will be a community consultation process, followed by appeals from city based activists that the local population of a species of earwig classified as "abundant" might be slightly affected.

So while a company or individual could have extended the car park by 12 spaces in a month at a cost of under $10,000, it's a government job, so it will take years and the combined cost of the planning process, surveyors, environment effects surveys, community consultation, the appeals process and the very difficult conditions all this imposes on the small contractor that eventually takes the job, means that it will cost millions.

If that applies to the cost of a small extension to a car park (and deep down, you all know that it does), imagine the nightmare of rebuilding 16 km of track, installing level crossings, building a gold plated station at Cobram, and a car park. The whole thing will become so insanely expensive that the cost can't be justified. https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

* Rant ends. *
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Apparently much of the rail on the Cobram branch line will end up on the Murray Basin Rail Project...
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Cobram would need a new station given the old one has been reused for something else.
And we all know what an incredibly vast amount that would cost. https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

Look at the new Talbot station. A short platform with a bus shelter was all that was required for the couple of passengers a day that use it. If they were given a little leeway in design details, most building contractors would quote around $100,000 to build it. But, no. the new Talbot station had to be built to precise specifications for numbers of passengers that it will never see, with no flexibility allowed for the contractor building it. Therefore, the new Talbot station cost millions.

Now Cobram is a decent sized town which would generate real traffic, so in bureaucratic eyes, the new station will need to be made of solid gold rather than just gold plated. It wouldn't surprise me if they decided that rather than build a cheap ramp to get one wheelchair a month up 120 cm to platform level, an hugely expensive indoor lift is required.

Despite all this money being spent, inevitably the car park will be too small (it always is on government projects) and the overflow will park on gravel and grassy verges near the new station. Now any other person or company would fix this by paying a local road contractor to extend the car park by sealing over some of that gravel or grassy area to provide a dozen extra car spaces. But this is a government job, so bureaucrats will come up from Melbourne to precisely define the exact measurements of the car park, followed by another Melbourne based surveyor to ensure the specification are correct to the nearest millimetre. But as this is Crown land, ecological consultants will need to be employed to ensure that there are no rare species of bugs or moss on that 10 metre by 10 metre bit of roadside wasteland.

After that there will be a community consultation process, followed by appeals from city based activists that the local population of a species of earwig classified as "abundant" might be slightly affected.

So while a company or individual could have extended the car park by 12 spaces in a month at a cost of under $10,000, it's a government job, so it will take years and the combined cost of the planning process, surveyors, environment effects surveys, community consultation, the appeals process and the very difficult conditions all this imposes on the small contractor that eventually takes the job, means that it will cost millions.

If that applies to the cost of a small extension to a car park (and deep down, you all know that it does), imagine the nightmare of rebuilding 16 km of track, installing level crossings, building a gold plated station at Cobram, and a car park. The whole thing will become so insanely expensive that the cost can't be justified. https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

* Rant ends. *
Bogong

Yeah you might be right, but other than that, it would be quite a simple job !

Have you missed anything ? Baaahaa

BigShunter.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
I accept your reason in the top piece Lanced, common sense, but the above point, a bit questionable it's only 16 k's of track, to be reactivated, the Toc goods is already wearing a well worn path on the rest. Ararat, Warrnambool, Gippsland, reckon they might be dead end lines.
BigShunter

16km of rebuilt track on the Cobram branch, sure. But the line between Shepparton and Strathmerton is only up to freight standard and as you may have seen with the North East SG debacle, just because a line is fit for freight traffic doesn't mean it's appropriate for passenger services at line speed - and that's not even taking into account the need to upgrade the Tocumwap track to 115kph or better standard to make the service actually faster than the coach.

And then you start talking about a new passing loop north of Shepparton, and rebuilding some stations along the line (Numurkah etc), resignalling...

And as for Ararat, Warrnambool & Gippsland:
Ararat was the main line to Adelaide until 1995 and it was reactivated in 2004. Cobram hasn't seen a passenger train since 1993 and was completely shut down in 2002 IIRC.
Warrnambool has a regular freight service on it.
Bairnsdale was never abandoned - it still had freights running on it when passenger services were bought back. That freight service has now ceased but the political reality is that once you give people something like a passenger train these days it's very hard to take it away from them.

Cobram has been closed for too long and is unlikely to get a freight service running along out when the far better Tocumwal service is nearby. Just give it a rest, we've collectively wasted enough brain cells entertaining the possibility already.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Ok LancedDendrite, I guess your right, the line from Shep to Toc, is only a rough track at best and I have taken the dead end line in the wrong context.

I will pull the flag.

BigShunter.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Still think Cobram is one to watch and extend a service towards.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: james.au, RTT_Rules

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.