#59minuteballarat

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line

The point here is that Ballarat had a 65 minute journey 10 years ago, despite massive investment in the shape of RRL seperating V/Line and Metro services, Ballarat commuters have a slower journey than 10 years ago. It's clear that a better service is possible, yet not provided. In the eyes of some, this is not good enough.
Gman_86

Actually...as I wrote earlier the original 'flagship' service on the Ballarat line was 64 mins, however these days, the remnant flagship service on the DOWN, the 16:33 makes it to Ballarat in 65 mins...but with stops at Sunshine and Ballan, which is pretty good because at Ballan the train has to stop from 160KPH then accelerate again and it still manages to lose only 1 minute on the old EXPRESS timetable...AND it has the additional stop at Sunshine.

V/Line have an input into the operation of services and their frequency, however as with the original 2005 timetable, Bracks government Transport minister, Peter Batchelor insisted on the 'flagship' services...V/Line was required to comply.

Mike.

Edited to correct Peter Batchelors name incorrectly spelt.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

It is relevant because it shows that there is nothing to complain about. The Mandurah service is seen by some as a gold standard service and the Ballarat service still has a higher average speed even with a slower service.

Ballarat had the luxury of having a 62 minute service for a few years and now due to the popularity of services from Geelong, Bendigo and Ballarat, more rail services are needed and this comes at the cost of a slower service time with higher frequencies.

To get your 62 minute service back is going to require separating Geelong and Bendigo on their own RRL lines into southern cross.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

To get your 62 minute service back is going to require separating Geelong and Bendigo on their own RRL lines into southern cross.
simstrain
Not true. Assuming all trains run to the same running time Southern Cross - Sunshine at 3 minute headways (RRL signalling allows this in this section, hence the slower line speed), there is no reason why a Flagship could not be sceduled 3 minutes in front of a stopping train.

Example using the Geelong Line (I know it best)

Flagship Waurn Ponds Train (Av Line Speed 130km/hr Footscray - North Geelong)

Southern Cross 5pm
Footscray 5.07pm
Lara 5.36pm
North Geelong 5.42pm
Geelong 5.46pm

That's a saving of 14 minutes on the current schedules.

Assuming a Flagship to Ballarat left 3 minutes after so that no bunching occurs between Sunshine and Deer Park, let's assume the next train to Geelong left Southern Cross at 5.06pm

Southern Cross 5.06pm
Footscray 5.13pm
Sunshine 5.18pm
Deer Park 5.23pm
Tarneit 5.30pm
Wyndham Vale 5.37pm
Little River 5.42pm
Lara 5.48pm (At this point, it is running 12 minutes behind 5pm Geelong train)
North Shore 5.54pm
North Geelong 5.57pm (At this point, it is running 15 minutes behind the 5pm Geelong train, OR 5 minutes in front of a Flagship 5.20pm Geelong train)
Geelong 6.01pm

Note: Running trains to such precision is possible due to the two tracks between Geelong and Southern Cross. Scheduling this sort of service on Ballarat and Bendigo lines would be unreliable until two tracks are reinstated on both lines.
Note 2: You could run a Wyndham Vale Service on top of this, and not have the 5.06pm Geelong service stopping at Tarneit to save running time / pad a buffer between flagship and stopping services.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

I would also like to say that the timetable isn't always accurate to how long it will take. Not too long back, I was held at Deer Park for 40mins becuase someone had a heart attack! The trains do have many delays (horses on tracks, too much grass...) so a 59 minute Ballarat would be neccessary. One train today will take 82 minutes to get to Melbourne.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I would also like to say that the timetable isn't always accurate to how long it will take. Not too long back, I was held at Deer Park for 40mins becuase someone had a heart attack! The trains do have many delays (horses on tracks, too much grass...) so a 59 minute Ballarat would be neccessary. One train today will take 82 minutes to get to Melbourne.
Mr Gus Meister
You can hardly blame the timetable or V/Line for that matter if a passenger is ill or there is livestock on the track!

The biggest causes pf late running at the moment on my regular travels on the Bendigo line are to do with congestion.

On the Up this occurs almost exclusively from Footscray to SC (unless you are lucky enough to be slotted into 15 or 16) whilst on the Down it is caused by being stuck behind all stopping sparks between Sunshine and Sunbury.

Dwell time at stations is becoming a problem as well, I assume due to the sheer numbers of passengers using the services. My station at Castlemaine for instance sees many people getting on and off most services and trains seem to stop there for some minutes on occasion.

BG
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I would also like to say that the timetable isn't always accurate to how long it will take. Not too long back, I was held at Deer Park for 40mins becuase someone had a heart attack! The trains do have many delays (horses on tracks, too much grass...) so a 59 minute Ballarat would be neccessary. One train today will take 82 minutes to get to Melbourne.
Mr Gus Meister
Yeah well guess what? Sometimes smeg happens, and there aint nothing anybody can do about it.

If somebody has a heart attack, or a stroke, or any other kind of medical emergency, than the train running to timetable is not the highest priority. That is how it should be.

If livestock manage to get onto the track, then yeah, I doubt that is V/Line's fault. But the timetable will still take a hit.

As for other things, again, it happens, the idea is to mitigate against them happening too much.

The question you should be asking is what is more important? Running a reliable service, or having an overly optimistic timetable that gets met only about 75% of the time.

I know what I would prefer.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
Mr Gus Meister
The entire line from Caroline Springs to Melton will be duplicated within the next 2 years. Funding has been allocated, early work has begun.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

I would also like to say that the timetable isn't always accurate to how long it will take. Not too long back, I was held at Deer Park for 40mins becuase someone had a heart attack! The trains do have many delays (horses on tracks, too much grass...) so a 59 minute Ballarat would be neccessary. One train today will take 82 minutes to get to Melbourne.
Yeah well guess what? Sometimes smeg happens, and there aint nothing anybody can do about it.

If somebody has a heart attack, or a stroke, or any other kind of medical emergency, than the train running to timetable is not the highest priority. That is how it should be.

If livestock manage to get onto the track, then yeah, I doubt that is V/Line's fault. But the timetable will still take a hit.

As for other things, again, it happens, the idea is to mitigate against them happening too much.

The question you should be asking is what is more important? Running a reliable service, or having an overly optimistic timetable that gets met only about 75% of the time.

I know what I would prefer.
Gman_86
I completly understand, but I was just saying that this does hold the timetable back, and I know there is no way to fix it. I was saying that the timetable isn't always accurate.
  Mr Gus Meister Junior Train Controller

You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
The entire line from Caroline Springs to Melton will be duplicated within the next 2 years. Funding has been allocated, early work has begun.
Gman_86
I still do think that they should electrify to Bacchus Marsh. It will be good when it will be duplicated, but what about when Metro start operating to Melton? Will VLine have to slow down for them, or will Metro have to speed up?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
Mr Gus Meister


I think I've come to the conclusion that...
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.
Mr Gus Meister

...you may well be an idiot.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

You can sometimes get held up at Melton because it has 2 platforms but merges into one track immediately, which means lots of trains have to wait for another. All they really need to do is duplicate to Ferris Road and that would fix alot of problems. They could also duplicate between Rockbank and Caroline Springs, which would allow for more services, which means they could have one express from Ballan to Sunshine, and the second running stopping all.

...you may well be an idiot.
The Vinelander
Aren't we all just a little.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Geelong currently takes 1 hour to go 71 km's into southern cross so how exactly are you going to nearly double your average speed from 71km/h to 130km/h.

The only problem with your assertion of 3 minute stopping patterns between southern cross and sunshine is that the 2 timetable options you provided do not have the same stopping pattern. The express doesn't stop at sunshine which means it eats into the train 3 minutes ahead of it.

3 options arise, (a)the express has to slow down. (b)the train ahead doesn't exist to allow a 6 minute headway. (c) Run the train 5 minutes behind and 1 minute ahead to allow an expanded 5 minute headway for the express.

EDIT:

This assumes that there isn't any congestion which BG has gratefully reminded us of close to southern cross.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Geelong currently takes 1 hour to go 71 km's into southern cross so how exactly are you going to nearly double your average speed from 71km/h to 130km/h.

The only problem with your assertion of 3 minute stopping patterns between southern cross and sunshine is that the 2 timetable options you provided do not have the same stopping pattern. The express doesn't stop at sunshine which means it eats into the train 3 minutes ahead of it.

3 options arise, (a)the express has to slow down. (b)the train ahead doesn't exist to allow a 6 minute headway. (c) Run the train 5 minutes behind and 1 minute ahead to allow an expanded 5 minute headway for the express.

EDIT:

This assumes that there isn't any congestion which BG has gratefully reminded us of close to southern cross.
simstrain
80.658km straight from Vicsig.net. The RRL is a deviation. The increase in average speed comes from the train not stopping between Footscray and Lara, and Lara and North Geelong. Both sections which can sustain 160km/hr top speeds.

Agreed re: Sunshine, however Bendigo trains also do not stop at Sunshine, running a Bendigo train in front of a Flagship is beneficial to the timetable because 1. Neither stop at Sunshine and 2. Gives at least 6 minutes in front of a Flagship Ballarat/Geelong train on the Deer Park section. I think that is a reasonable 4th option.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Geelong currently takes 1 hour to go 71 km's into southern cross so how exactly are you going to nearly double your average speed from 71km/h to 130km/h.

The only problem with your assertion of 3 minute stopping patterns between southern cross and sunshine is that the 2 timetable options you provided do not have the same stopping pattern. The express doesn't stop at sunshine which means it eats into the train 3 minutes ahead of it.

3 options arise, (a)the express has to slow down. (b)the train ahead doesn't exist to allow a 6 minute headway. (c) Run the train 5 minutes behind and 1 minute ahead to allow an expanded 5 minute headway for the express.

EDIT:

This assumes that there isn't any congestion which BG has gratefully reminded us of close to southern cross.
80.658km straight from Vicsig.net. The RRL is a deviation. The increase in average speed comes from the train not stopping between Footscray and Lara, and Lara and North Geelong. Both sections which can sustain 160km/hr top speeds.

Agreed re: Sunshine, however Bendigo trains also do not stop at Sunshine, running a Bendigo train in front of a Flagship is beneficial to the timetable because 1. Neither stop at Sunshine and 2. Gives at least 6 minutes in front of a Flagship Ballarat/Geelong train on the Deer Park section. I think that is a reasonable 4th option.
John.Z

If a train runs at 160km/h on a section of track with other more frequent stopping services then your limited stops service is going to kill off any hope of a 3 minute or even 6 minute headway.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Most Geelong trains do the trip of actual 80km in an hour, stopping all stations. The average speed is 80km/h, although the practical average speed is 71. Not bad with 10 intermediate stops.

The section between Southern Cross and Footscray is hopeless, even without conflicting moves around Southern Cross (which will always be the nature of that beast). Use of the old loco flyover then the ghost of the outside goods lines imposed a heap of 30km/h curves. Best running time to Footscray is 8 minutes, or 9 minutes with a loco-hauled (WTT allows 7). The same trip but from 15/16 platforms takes only 5. if they only imp
  stooge spark Chief Train Controller

Location: My House
Ballarat can get sub-60 journey times once some of the outer Melbourne lines get sub-60 as well.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

Geelong currently takes 1 hour to go 71 km's into southern cross so how exactly are you going to nearly double your average speed from 71km/h to 130km/h.

The only problem with your assertion of 3 minute stopping patterns between southern cross and sunshine is that the 2 timetable options you provided do not have the same stopping pattern. The express doesn't stop at sunshine which means it eats into the train 3 minutes ahead of it.

3 options arise, (a)the express has to slow down. (b)the train ahead doesn't exist to allow a 6 minute headway. (c) Run the train 5 minutes behind and 1 minute ahead to allow an expanded 5 minute headway for the express.

EDIT:

This assumes that there isn't any congestion which BG has gratefully reminded us of close to southern cross.
80.658km straight from Vicsig.net. The RRL is a deviation. The increase in average speed comes from the train not stopping between Footscray and Lara, and Lara and North Geelong. Both sections which can sustain 160km/hr top speeds.

Agreed re: Sunshine, however Bendigo trains also do not stop at Sunshine, running a Bendigo train in front of a Flagship is beneficial to the timetable because 1. Neither stop at Sunshine and 2. Gives at least 6 minutes in front of a Flagship Ballarat/Geelong train on the Deer Park section. I think that is a reasonable 4th option.

If a train runs at 160km/h on a section of track with other more frequent stopping services then your limited stops service is going to kill off any hope of a 3 minute or even 6 minute headway.
simstrain
I will get back to you with a TT that is workable, but I have more pressing matters at the moment. Watch this space.

edit:

  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
I don't think the Bendigo Line is signaled for 3 min headways beyond Sunbury. Your stopper would probably have to be held there. It would also mean 2 V/Line trains in a row on the Sunbury Line which probably isn't ideal for Metro.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
I will get back to you with a TT that is workable, but I have more pressing matters at the moment. Watch this space.

edit:

lJohn.Z

Clarkefield has an extra 'e'.

Riddells Creek has an extra 'l'.

Malmsbury has an 's'.

Ardeer has an extra 'r'.
  John.Z Assistant Commissioner

I will get back to you with a TT that is workable, but I have more pressing matters at the moment. Watch this space.

edit:


Clarkefield has an extra 'e'.

Riddells Creek has an extra 'l'.

Malmsbury has an 's'.

Ardeer has an extra 'r'.
The Vinelander
It would be more beneficial to talk about the content rather than the semantics of the post, no?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
It would be more beneficial to talk about the content rather than the semantics of the post, no?
John.Z

I've always lived by the proverb...'If somethings worth doing...it's worth doing well'.

M.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!


I will get back to you with a TT that is workable, but I have more pressing matters at the moment. Watch this space.

edit:

John.Z
A couple of things, I have noticed that you have not included Corio and North Shore here, nor have you provided adequate time in your Geelong stopper train to stop at either or both of those stations. Do you suggest not stopping there?

Also, you only provide 1 train every 20 minutes for Ardeer, Deer Park, Tarneit and Wyndham Vale. Don't you think these suburban stations should get a better service than 1 in every 20 minutes? If not, than this would be a downgrade in the frequency these stations currently receive during the peak periods.

Lastly, do you really think a 20 minute frequency would work between Kyneton and Bendigo? Or from Bacchus Marsh to Ballarat for that matter? There is a lot of single track there to work with. Any delay along these single line sections would throw that entire timetable in the bin.

I get you put a lot of work into that, and thanks for that and it is pretty well done, but these are some pretty big flaws.

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