Vline savaged on Radio 3AW

 
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Vline was savaged/rubbished on Radio 3AW this morning 8/11/19 concerning an Albury service in the last day or two.

Apparently, despite a 1205 departure from Melbourne the 'catering' (whatever that consists of) did not open until Benalla three hours later at around 1500.

By Benalla the train was around 30 minutes late and when a member of staff was asked the reason the response was 'we rarely run on time on this line'.

The words 'incompetent management' and 'third world' were liberally thrown around.

No doubt it will all be 'ARTC's fault'.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
They haven't seen third world yet on that service.  Wait until they fer dumb vlocity sets running with barebones seats and service. LOL.

It does make you wonder really what is going on in that organisation.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Is it any wonder VLine are short of staff on Albury line when half of them are on compo due to injuries from rough riding trains....
  skitz Chief Commissioner

They haven't seen third world yet on that service.  Wait until they fer dumb vlocity sets running with barebones seats and service. LOL.

It does make you wonder really what is going on in that organisation.
bevans
It is amazing.  Yet one sees how the distribution of responsibility is so seriously complicated in the transport industry from minister through to worker, it is no surprise.

Yet I cant see anything but a grand disaster that will provide the shift required to foster excellence in knoweldge and culture.  Ive said it before and will say it again, its a Victorian thing.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Lots of talk this morning about the perception Daniel Andrews has abandoned the regional areas especially around Hamilton and west.  Caller advised Neil of the line of trucks even at 5.30am on the Portland Road.  A road now which is full of potholes.

So what is the rail line doing about getting grain onto rail?
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Andrews has definitely abandoned Western Vic. Goes back to Kennett and co.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
"so what is the rail line doing about grain..."

a long way off track today @bevans, for lots of reasons.

1. the complaints are said to be vline, but of course it's private freight companies that have shown lack of interest
2. 89km to Portland is a very short distance for setting up a train, even if there were marshaling tracks on that line.
3. grain harvest hasn't started yet, so why suppose those trucks are grain
4. keeps on being ignored, so I must say it again. The business is WOOD CHIPS/LOGS that do not and can not have a rail head.

The issue is a crap road getting worse, which the tree companies are not contributing to fix their mess. clear?

cheers
John
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The complaints may have been about V/Line yesterday but there is a new set of complaints about regional spending this morning.

I did assume this was grain on the portland highway.  You are right in that it could be wood chips.
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Lots of talk this morning about the perception Daniel Andrews has abandoned the regional areas especially around Hamilton and west.  Caller advised Neil of the line of trucks even at 5.30am on the Portland Road.  A road now which is full of potholes.

So what is the rail line doing about getting grain onto rail?
bevans
For about the 50th time the Port of Portland are NOT interested in shipping grain. It Is the WOODCHIPS that are their line of business.

As for grain and 50th time for repeating this...Rolling Eyes.. the unloading procedure is outdated and belongs in the 1950's, I think the train has to be broken into about 3 lengths and of course re-marshaled, time consuming $$$ ridiculous.

The logs themselves are sourced from a very large area of the South West, there are several chipping plants in S.A. and one at Myamyn just North of Portland and trucked in their chip form to the Port.

BigShunter.
  justarider Deputy Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
somewhat on same page now @bevans

it does get my goat that there seems to be a bigger sense of entitlement the smaller the regional town.
What do they think the $1.75B Regional Rail stuff is for?

Hamilton  in particular seem to have gone out of their way to run rail out of town.  Freight intermodal no thanks! Sands, too bad so sad!
Yet at the same time dream of a high frequency/speed passenger rail service. Go figure.

And much as I hate to admit it, regional roads are for ALL users including big freight that bring in the big bucks to the economy. They are not the personal freeway for low occupant cars.

end rant
John
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
No doubt it will all be 'ARTC's fault'.
YM-Mundrabilla
Seeing as you've brought it up, apart from a 5 minute delay at SCS for a defective signal and the odd extended dwell time at some platforms, the late running over the last few days for the 1205 departure has all been attributed to TSR's and other LX & signalling issues outside of Southern Cross. V/Line has zero control of what ARTC do and don't do with their track and infrastructure so who should the blame be apportioned too?

Also Bevans not sure why you find workers being injured funny?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Seeing as you've brought it up, apart from a 5 minute delay at SCS for a defective signal and the odd extended dwell time at some platforms, the late running over the last few days for the 1205 departure has all been attributed to TSR's and other LX & signalling issues outside of Southern Cross. V/Line has zero control of what ARTC do and don't do with their track and infrastructure so who should the blame be apportioned too?
jakar
OK, I'll bite and at the risk of offending someone whose contributions to these boards I genuinely respect and admire.

I don't travel on ARTC lines. I travel on the Bendigo line. My Up train this evening was more than 5 (probably closer to 10, I stopped counting) minutes late into Castlemaine from Bendigo. This was almost certainly due to a late running Down Echuca service delaying it in Harcourt Loop.

We got a great run through to Kyneton with the next Down service held at Elphi for us however we never made up enough time into Sunbury to get our path. We then limped along finally arriving into Footscray too late for me to make by connection.

This is not a one off, this sort of thing happens all the time. V/Line may have some great staff but it is not in this passengers opinion the epitome of a well run organisation. And the more flack they cop in the media the more chance we have that those who pull on the purse strings will do something about it.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Seeing as you've brought it up, apart from a 5 minute delay at SCS for a defective signal and the odd extended dwell time at some platforms, the late running over the last few days for the 1205 departure has all been attributed to TSR's and other LX & signalling issues outside of Southern Cross. V/Line has zero control of what ARTC do and don't do with their track and infrastructure so who should the blame be apportioned too?
OK, I'll bite and at the risk of offending someone whose contributions to these boards I genuinely respect and admire.

I don't travel on ARTC lines. I travel on the Bendigo line. My Up train this evening was more than 5 (probably closer to 10, I stopped counting) minutes late into Castlemaine from Bendigo. This was almost certainly due to a late running Down Echuca service delaying it in Harcourt Loop.

We got a great run through to Kyneton with the next Down service held at Elphi for us however we never made up enough time into Sunbury to get our path. We then limped along finally arriving into Footscray too late for me to make by connection.
BrentonGolding

Hey Brenton, as you're the regular traveller on the Bendigo line, specifically on the UP...how late does an UP Bendigo have to be at Sunbury before the pin gets pulled and the spark which is scheduled to follow the UP express, gets the top green and the Bendigo has to follow...AND is there any scope at Watergardens if the train controller is imaginative and signals a 'run-through' that spark at Watergardens so the UP Bendigo can gain a few mins Question

Mike. (back on the buses for three weeks... Sad )
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I don't travel on ARTC lines. I travel on the Bendigo line. My Up train this evening was more than 5 (probably closer to 10, I stopped counting) minutes late into Castlemaine from Bendigo. This was almost certainly due to a late running Down Echuca service delaying it in Harcourt Loop.
"BrentonGolding"
Nah, Brenton; couldn't possibly be the reason. Don't you remember that the line was singled "to provide better service"?Rolling Eyes
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Seeing as you've brought it up, apart from a 5 minute delay at SCS for a defective signal and the odd extended dwell time at some platforms, the late running over the last few days for the 1205 departure has all been attributed to TSR's and other LX & signalling issues outside of Southern Cross. V/Line has zero control of what ARTC do and don't do with their track and infrastructure so who should the blame be apportioned too?
OK, I'll bite and at the risk of offending someone whose contributions to these boards I genuinely respect and admire.

I don't travel on ARTC lines. I travel on the Bendigo line. My Up train this evening was more than 5 (probably closer to 10, I stopped counting) minutes late into Castlemaine from Bendigo. This was almost certainly due to a late running Down Echuca service delaying it in Harcourt Loop.

We got a great run through to Kyneton with the next Down service held at Elphi for us however we never made up enough time into Sunbury to get our path. We then limped along finally arriving into Footscray too late for me to make by connection.

This is not a one off, this sort of thing happens all the time. V/Line may have some great staff but it is not in this passengers opinion the epitome of a well run organisation. And the more flack they cop in the media the more chance we have that those who pull on the purse strings will do something about it.
BrentonGolding
No worries at all Brenton, the down Echuca lost 5 minutes in Metro territory between Watergardens and Sunbury and was further delayed at Castlemaine after a 'customer' damaged a door which required time to fix/isolate before the train could depart. Of course due to the wonderful single line sections this then has flow on effects for any opposing trains such as yours.

I realize the go to position of most on Railpage is that if the train is late it must be bad management and so on, but in reality when you can separate all the different factors such as government, ARTC, Metro, and even passengers, there is a lot V/Line don't have control over. I'm by no means trying to defend V/Line (they're just like any other organization with mix a good and bad people & decisions) but rather point out some of the complexities in running their services that often get over looked. You could have a complete management clean out and a return of outdated positions but that is not going to have any bearing on what a Metro signaller is going to do at Sunbury or how ARTC manages their track in the North East.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Hey Brenton, as you're the regular traveller on the Bendigo line, specifically on the UP...how late does an UP Bendigo have to be at Sunbury before the pin gets pulled and the spark which is scheduled to follow the UP express, gets the top green and the Bendigo has to follow...AND is there any scope at Watergardens if the train controller is imaginative and signals a 'run-through' that spark at Watergardens so the UP Bendigo can gain a few mins Question

Mike. (back on the buses for three weeks... Sad )
The Vinelander
G'day Mike, sorry to hear about yet more busses.

The first thing to remember is that there is basically no such thing as a clear path for Bendigo trains in the Metro area, the frequency of sparks just doesn't allow it. Some services such as the 09.14 Down are even timetabled to follow SAS sparks. Pretty much every service is going to run up the back of the proceeding service at some point.

The window for my Up PM service is pretty wide at Sunbury, there is a Metro departure at 5.40pm according to the TT and the next is 6.20. We normally get in at around 6.05. The problem is that there are SAS services departing Watergardens at 6.11 and 6.20.

So normally we fly out of Sunbury hitting close to 160 after Diggers but the fun really starts at Calder Park. You know you are in for a slow ride if the service starts to slow before Holden Rd (where the big Servo is on the Calder) and it is not unusual to crawl through the Calder Park Drive crossing on a Medium Speed Caution with cars queued up for hundreds of metres back towards the Calder. If you get a really good run you might get through to Ginifer before you hit a reduced aspect. I change at Footscray sometimes for the Up Sunbury spark to North Melbourne and pretty much the only time in the last 6 months that we have had a line speed run on V/Line was when that service was cancelled!

The controllers have been much better in the last year or so (I wonder if Mr Weimar being on the V/Line board for a year or so had anything to do with that), the AM Down Swanners gets a really good path most days now with Sparks clearly being held at Sunshine. And I have had at least 2 "wrong road" runs through Watergardens on my PM Up recently either to overtake or just because a Down Metro was in the platform, I don't know which. The configuration at WG is not a problem now.

But as I said it is nigh on impossible to get a clear run. Last night I suspect we were late enough that they let the WG service which is normally held for us go and we got stuck behind that. We were pretty much brought to a stand at Calder and then again at Keilor Plains and in the StA / Ginifer stretch. I missed my bus from Footscray and had to beg a lift or wait in the hail at Footscray.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Nah, Brenton; couldn't possibly be the reason. Don't you remember that the line was singled "to provide better service"?Rolling Eyes
Valvegear
Oh yes, sorry, I always forget that one! And what a better service it is!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Is it any wonder VLine are short of staff on Albury line when half of them are on compo due to injuries from rough riding trains....
Carnot
If it is the case (and I don't doubt that there are instances) where staff is being injured by rough riding why:

  • Are there no prosecutions for a dangerous workplace?
  • Where is Worksafe - err sacred cow - another government department.
  • Why is the situation not recognised and timetables/speeds not honestly adjusted as necessary? Unpleasant politically, no doubt.
  • Where is the Rail Safety Regulator in all this? (Hiding as far from reality as possible, perhaps).


Generally speaking, is far too much emphasis placed on the 'politically and media pleasant' concept of high (breakneck?) speed to the detriment of all else?

It seems possible, even likely, that the majority of passengers would prefer an absolutely reliable, comfortable and punctual journey albeit at an increase of 5 minutes running time.

Given the current hoo-haa about increased Metro running times I would be happy (well not too unhappy) to sacrifice an extra few minutes of my time if I could be assured of a reliable, comfortable and punctual trip as a result. The big problem with increased running times is that neither a more reliable, comfortable or punctual trip ever seems to result - all that happens is that the current levels of complacency and late running continue - just spread over a longer running time.

The whole culture of Public Transport in Victoria needs to change. Near enough is not good enough.

No doubt someone will come out with 'not enough money' to which I would say get value for what money we have. The amount of money wasted is legendary.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Recall when 3 years ago the PTV was going to delivery wifi on the network or was it longer?  https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/heathrow-express-awarded-friendly-wifi-certification has done it.

Just pointing out a lot does not get done in V/Line Management.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Recall when 3 years ago the PTV was going to delivery wifi on the network or was it longer?  https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/heathrow-express-awarded-friendly-wifi-certification has done it.

Just pointing out a lot does not get done in V/Line Management.
bevans
Concentrate on fixing the tracks, maintaining and cleaning the rolling stock, customer service and on time running rather than, nice to have, expensive gimmicks.
Might even clean the windows so one could see the sights rather than staring at some wifi thingy.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Recall when 3 years ago the PTV was going to delivery wifi on the network or was it longer?  https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/heathrow-express-awarded-friendly-wifi-certification has done it.

Just pointing out a lot does not get done in V/Line Management.
bevans
A perfect example of V/Line 'management' incorrectly getting blamed for something that had nothing to do with them. First up PTV is not V/Line, secondly it was a Napthine government project which was subsequently dumped by the Andrews Labor government.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Recall when 3 years ago the PTV was going to delivery wifi on the network or was it longer?  https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/heathrow-express-awarded-friendly-wifi-certification has done it.

Just pointing out a lot does not get done in V/Line Management.
A perfect example of V/Line 'management' incorrectly getting blamed for something that had nothing to do with them. First up PTV is not V/Line, secondly it was a Napthine government project which was subsequently dumped by the Andrews Labor government.
jakar

Thanks for your assistance.  I guess at times VLine can get blamed for issues caused by the government.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger

The controllers have been much better in the last year or so (I wonder if Mr Weimar being on the V/Line board for a year or so had anything to do with that), the AM Down Swanners gets a really good path most days now with Sparks clearly being held at Sunshine. And I have had at least 2 "wrong road" runs through Watergardens on my PM Up recently either to overtake or just because a Down Metro was in the platform, I don't know which. The configuration at WG is not a problem now.
BrentonGolding
The latest version of the Metro contract has a section on making sure that V/Line trains are given their path and suburbans are held to let them.

Of course, as you've also stated, it doesn't help when the V/Line path is immediately following a train that stops all stations.

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