X’Trapolis 2.0 announcement

 
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
But the xtrap is not one of those excellent models. It is a very cheap off the shelf bog standard train for third world jurisdictions of which Victoria bought because we are too frigging cheap to buy decent trains.

As I said, I hope the XTrap 2.0 is more like the others than its direct predecessor.
potatoinmymouth
This may be the final chance for Alstom to stay in Victoria, of course the state gov will try to keep Alstom in Victoria, but if the general public isn't happy with X'Trap 2.0, then I reckon people will want to boot Alstom out.

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  sthyer Deputy Commissioner

Ah yes, Xcrap circuit breakers. I had a wiper switch fail during an afternoon prep, a pity I was trying to turn it off from high at the time. No breaker to trip, so left the entire train for the fitters. An entire PM peak train lost for the sake of an accessible circuit breaker.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

But the xtrap is not one of those excellent models. It is a very cheap off the shelf bog standard train for third world jurisdictions of which Victoria bought because we are too frigging cheap to buy decent trains.

As I said, I hope the XTrap 2.0 is more like the others than its direct predecessor.
This may be the final chance for Alstom to stay in Victoria, of course the state gov will try to keep Alstom in Victoria, but if the general public isn't happy with X'Trap 2.0, then I reckon people will want to boot Alstom out.
penguin2233
Great example of why privatised railway workshops are such a difficult issue. The state has no capacity to efficiently allocate resources and in fact has a disincentive to do so.
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
But the xtrap is not one of those excellent models. It is a very cheap off the shelf bog standard train for third world jurisdictions of which Victoria bought because we are too frigging cheap to buy decent trains.

As I said, I hope the XTrap 2.0 is more like the others than its direct predecessor.
This may be the final chance for Alstom to stay in Victoria, of course the state gov will try to keep Alstom in Victoria, but if the general public isn't happy with X'Trap 2.0, then I reckon people will want to boot Alstom out.
penguin2233
I disagree for 2 reasons ; !/ Joe public would`t know what an Alstom is ;.and 2/ they have set up a sustained manufacturing base in Victoria in an area that was depressed economically and are training apprentices . This is investing in the state`s future when other manufacturing enterprises where shutting up shop and moving away .
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
But the xtrap is not one of those excellent models. It is a very cheap off the shelf bog standard train for third world jurisdictions of which Victoria bought because we are too frigging cheap to buy decent trains.

As I said, I hope the XTrap 2.0 is more like the others than its direct predecessor.
This may be the final chance for Alstom to stay in Victoria, of course the state gov will try to keep Alstom in Victoria, but if the general public isn't happy with X'Trap 2.0, then I reckon people will want to boot Alstom out.
I disagree for 2 reasons ; !/ Joe public would`t know what an Alstom is ;.and 2/ they have set up a sustained manufacturing base in Victoria in an area that was depressed economically and are training apprentices . This is investing in the state`s future when other manufacturing enterprises where shutting up shop and moving away .
Crossover
Good points raised. I fully agree with you, however I do think if X'Trap 2.0 is bad then maybe a general bad image will be put on Alstom because of the press and media.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
I'll stick my neck out here and declare that as an occasional rider of X'Traps, I can't see anything wrong with them. Maybe I only take a dozen trips a year or so, but I much prefer them to a Comeng train that is well past its use by date with aforementioned aircon squealing like a banshee. Siemens trains do seem a bit smoother but it's not a game changer for me. I've never been thrown out of my seat or lost my balance when standing, even at maximum line speed.

Are some of you that precious that you see it as a hanging offence if your twain wide isn't as smooth as a 737-800 at 11000m? Do you actually realise how silly it sounds to incessantly whinge about relatively new and clean hardware provided for you that departs every 10 minutes or so from your station all day long? If you don't like them, drive your car and leave Railpage.

I'm sympathetic for the X'Trap drivers who have real issues with the design and quality of construction, but for the 99.99% rest of us who just want to get from A to B they are perfectly acceptable.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Can’t see anything wrong .....
As a user who stands on public transport you really need to hold on firmly so that you don’t fall over
Train bumps up and down as it has no suspension like a roller coaster
Those who don’t hold on have to use their body and knees to keep balanced, it’s a workout
  Braddo Deputy Commissioner

Location: Narre Warren
Thanks for that fascinating post Gavin J. Would be very interested for you (or someone else) to do a similar post outlining the problems with Hitachis, Comengs and Siemens trains.
  ptvcommuter Train Controller

Thanks to Gavin J for this, here are the good and bad things about Melbourne’s fleet. Seems like the Xtraps are utter garbage

Siemans

Good Points::

was very comfortable to drive

plenty space in cab

controls very good

ride was as smooth as silk

visibility good (except side view)

Bad Points::

powering seemed rather slow to get going

braking problems
air conditioning was bad

summer was a bit better but heating in winter was abysmal

as it would blow warm air out the side vents, but blow cold air

up the windscreen, on on your face..not pleasant

fault lights themselves were colored plastic

with a globe behind them, so they were hard to read

also they told you very little.....

"minor fault second unit"

ummmmm, but what is the fault ???

doors ? air cond ? mechanical ??

dash lights were dimmed by a single dimmer.....


the speedo was an analog needle display and had a dimmer globe

at night you had 2 choices....all other gauges were nicely dimmed, but you couldnt read speedo

or you can read speedo but other lights are far too bright.

it had 4 pantographs but only 2 air compressors per 6 car train( xcrap and comeng have 4 compressors)

if an air comp failed, usually the other one had trouble keeping the pressure up, and if it failed you were totally

disabled and had to be rescued....quite common)

door problems were nuisence to fix

(saloon door would attempt to close 3 times)

if it could not close, it would go 'limp'

and disconnect itself.

the driver had to go back, manually isolate the door

pull the door inward/outward until it 'clicked'

then it would be in sync.....then you had to

open /close door from cabin, and it should reset itself.

all this took about 10 minutes, in a crowded train, you had no hope,)

door locks, you could not slam lock the side doors, you had to lock with a key requiring an idiotic 3 full turns
wipers...because of curved windscreen the wipers did not do a very good job at high speed, lifting off the windscreen,

they also had very little 'pressure' on them, the smallest bug on the windscreen would smear.....the washer jets were



hopeless

the drivers dislay unit for setting up the (radio)  Train describer number, headboard was very confusing to operate
headlights were bad
hi beam button/indicator would stick or not lock in

some were wired up improperly, you thought they were on dim, until another train flashed their headlights at you or

gave you the finger for blinding them.

Comeng
Good Points::

very comfortable ride and seating

dashboard/controls/circuit breakers/gauges all positioned perfectly

air brake !

heating excellent

air cond ok when it worked

had 4 pantographs....if one was defective you could lower it and the train could keep in service

Bad Points::

air cond problems (see my separate thread on cab air conds)

also the return air cond from saloon came thru the drivers cabin

anything smelly in saloon would come straight into the drivers cab

perfume, vomit, food smells, germs.....you would have a passenger coughing and spluttering

behind the drivers cabin, next day the driver also had a 'cold'.....thanks to the air cond.


clapped out motors.....usually not fixed.....it wasn't uncommon

to have motors isolated, many trains ran on 75% to 50% power all day/week/month/year long

nothing better than trying to start from uphill platforms like Oak Park in evening peak

with 50% power....took forever to get train going, then lucky to be doing 20kph up hill to Glenroy.

In my final years, you were lucky to get a Comeng with an actual 100% of motors working.

My test track was in the old days from Aircraft to Hoppers Crossing (before Williams Landing put in)

leaving Aircraft in weak fields (full power) you got to full speed crossing Skeleton Ck bridge

most were lucky to get to 115kph....some only got to 80kph with motors isolated.

Disc set units were a more uncomfortable ride, and the disc brakes were not as reliable, with weaker braking.

In the wet, the wheels would lock/up skid .....although they actually did something to fix this problem

by the mid 90s.

With brake block bogies, you can actually see the brake blox and the piston travel, so you can visually

see if the brake is applied.

On a disc set, you have no indication the brake is applied, apart from unofficial methods to test it, not taught in

class.

You could kick the calliper and it should be tight/solid, and you could feel the outside rim, to see if it was hot

(brakes working) or cold (brakes not working)

You could just see the brake pad, better to see it at night with the torch.


Xcrapper

Good Points::

excellent acceleration and braking (in the dry)

Bad Points:: apart from my previous write up
awful acceleration and braking in the wet conditions....
excessive wheelslip in wet weather, spinning wheels...

as an example how sensitive they were to wet rails....on a summers day, sitting at a platform, you could put on the

windscreen washers, the water would fall on the railhead, when you departed, the wheels would spin, just picking up

that tiny few droplets of water...

so on a wet day, you gingerly applied brakes and hoped the wheels would not lock up and skid

abysmal ride/suspension
only 2 pantograhs per 6 car train......very bad cost cutting

if you had a defective panto, you had to lower it, meaning the train could now not take passengers as you lost the air

cond on that half, also affected braking, lighting

computer/software problems......fault lights would come up and train would stop.

when this first happened, they told you to drop the pantographs to fix the problem, to reset the computer, meaning the

train was sitting on the mainline with no lighting whatsoever....no tail lights on rear.....if a train came up behind

you, you had no tail lights...highly dangerous

once they figured this out, they put a battery backup in for the tail lights.
pantographs raised by battery power (in comeng its pneumatic)

flat battery, meant no panto up, meaning train is not moving anywhere

there was no battery backup for the battery from the other 3 cars....


i once got to glen waverley to dock morning peak train...front 3 cars lit up and alive, back 3 cars dead....as it had

a flat battery.....despite front being lit, there is no power thru couplers to put pantos up in rear,

train cancelled, fitters had to come out with battery pack to charge battery up

saloon dooors....if they failed to close 3 times they went 'limp' like a siemans, you had to manually isolate them

then pull them closed, then unisolate then open/close from cabin several times to reset them.

fault lights told you nothing

'major fault' ??   'minor fault' ??

cab doors were always locked on outside, if you got out of cab for anything (wheelchairs) make sure you had your keys

as soon as you closed the door.....the only way in was with a key. Many drivers got locked out doing wheelchairs by doing this


  Upven Beginner

X’Trapolis Train are garbage and a piece of crap
The Siemens Trains, despite the braking scenario are better, more comfortable, smoother and cleaner to travel in after their refurbishment. Why are we persisting with buying these rubbish trains

Why not an upgraded Siemens Train with 3 Doors per side. Built locally to satisfy those who want trains Australian made. Alston are a joke
Because they are cheap.

Michael
mejhammers1
I think this is a misconception. Unless broad-gauge trains are just generally much much much much more expensive than standard gauge.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

That is the ugliest damn train I’ve ever seen!
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
That is the ugliest damn train I’ve ever seen!
potatoinmymouth
Modern safety requirements mean the coupler needs to be hidden when not in use so people can't ride on it, which I think is the driver of the design. But yes, it's ugly.
  @Capacity Station Staff

Location: On the Gippsland line, stuck behind a metro
I think it would look nicer if the drivers side window was bigger.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I must admit it would be kind of ironic if Dan Andrews does a Baillieu/Napthine circa 2011-14 and forgets to order new trains to replace old ones...

Will XTrap 2.0 be accredited to do 115 km/h like the Comengs, since they can't really be a drop-in replacement on all lines?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I must admit it would be kind of ironic if Dan Andrews does a Baillieu/Napthine circa 2011-14 and forgets to order new trains to replace old ones...

Will XTrap 2.0 be accredited to do 115 km/h like the Comengs, since they can't really be a drop-in replacement on all lines?
Carnot
In his first term he ordered (by my count) just under 700 carriages in total, compared to Bailleu/Napthine who ordered about 130. They do seem to have some handle on the volumes required.
  Goose13 Beginner

Is this just Alstrom putting pressure on the government, or is the X'trapolis 2.0 "tender" in trouble?
  themetptc Junior Train Controller

Location: Ballarat
Seems like a threat from Alstom to me - "buy our trains or we will close".
The 2.0 upgrade does however sound good, although about 150 3 car sets too late, problems/inadequatness was known in the 1.0 very early on. Replacing the Comeng is needed, but as a former suburban traveller, as far as the newer trains were concerned the Siemens was miles ahead in both quality and comfort over the Xtrapolis.
It is interesting that the likes of SSR and EDI seem to have no poblem with work for both BG and SG but Alstom only have the Xtrapolis. Then again, the former two are known for providing quality service/ products, whereas Alstom are known for their inferior quality /products.
Sim
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Its seems very much like Alstom holding assets to ransom and attempting to force it down our governments throat.
Man those things are ugly, makes the RL's Look like a playboy supermodel in comparison.
  Lockspike Assistant Commissioner

Throw 'em a contract to build broad gauge TGVs...Laughing
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Throw 'em a contract to build broad gauge TGVs...Laughing
Lockspike
that would be too good to be true. If Geelong High speed ever happens...
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
They could maybe get Alstom Ballarat to have a go building a few of these for use in Melbourne:
https://www.alstom.com/our-solutions/rolling-stock/aptis-new-experience-electro-mobility
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
Is this just Alstrom putting pressure on the government, or is the X'trapolis 2.0 "tender" in trouble?
Goose13
Alstom have a contract to refurbish the existing X'trap fleet which should keep people employed for some time to come. Marcus Wong posted photos of two sets being transferred to Ballarat in last week or so and then there are still another 10 new build (version 1) still to come.
It does seem to me like they're trying to pressure the government into locking in another contract

Neil
  Madjikthise Assistant Commissioner

"plans to improve the train’s suspension to make the ride less bumpy" is just putting on another band aid masking the root cause of the problem.

Also the cabin looks really deep, are they thinking of bringing back a parcel service to rail?
  ARodH Chief Train Controller

Location: East Oakleigh, Vic
Well, they did go for the cheapest option for suspension, possibly on the chance of making bank on upgrading it with better later.

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