Nine-carriage V/Line trains possible, but no plans for Geelong line yet

 

News article: Nine-carriage V/Line trains possible, but no plans for Geelong line yet

THE boss of the regional rail network has admitted for the first time nine-carriage trains on the Geelong line are a possibility.

  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Can't we just solve this problem by increasing the frequency of trains between Geelong and Melbourne?  My God they make it hard.

Nine-carriage V/Line trains possible, but no plans for Geelong line yet

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  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Can't we just solve this problem by increasing the frequency of trains between Geelong and Melbourne?  My God they make it hard.

Nine-carriage V/Line trains possible, but no plans for Geelong line yet
x31
There is a point when the frequency of the train makes it viable for electric trains, Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification. After electrification the velocity cars could be transferred to other lines and the really old v-line fleet can be taken out of service.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
There is a point when the frequency of the train makes it viable for electric trains, Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification. After electrification the velocity cars could be transferred to other lines and the really old v-line fleet can be taken out of service.
James974

If we are needing to increase train lengths due to passenger numbers which seems to be the case, then the strategy of VLOCITY trains on the Geelong line replacing loco hauled coaches is not the answer. A 9 car train is not a vlocity based solution it is a new platform and EMU as you suggest.  More trains are obviously required.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
There is a point when the frequency of the train makes it viable for electric trains, Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification. After electrification the velocity cars could be transferred to other lines and the really old v-line fleet can be taken out of service.

If we are needing to increase train lengths due to passenger numbers which seems to be the case, then the strategy of VLOCITY trains on the Geelong line replacing loco hauled coaches is not the answer. A 9 car train is not a vlocity based solution it is a new platform and EMU as you suggest.  More trains are obviously required.
bevans

All platforms on the Ballarat line WILL be extended to accommodate 9 cars as part of the $500Million upgrade....so 9 cars will ultimately be the normal due to increasing patronage on all regional lines

Mike.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

There is a point when the frequency of the train makes it viable for electric trains, Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification. After electrification the velocity cars could be transferred to other lines and the really old v-line fleet can be taken out of service.

If we are needing to increase train lengths due to passenger numbers which seems to be the case, then the strategy of VLOCITY trains on the Geelong line replacing loco hauled coaches is not the answer. A 9 car train is not a vlocity based solution it is a new platform and EMU as you suggest.  More trains are obviously required.
bevans
Interesting the 1980s shown revival to the old set of v-line locomotives. How long do you think they can last? Some of the fleet has been in service for 50 years or so.

Electric trains on the Geelong line may happen sooner than you think. 15-20 years time perhaps. For now, adding more 6-car V-locities is what is currently happening, 9-car velocities later and in the future new 10-car HCMTS running on the Geelong line.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The costs of running a 9 car VLOCITY set would be high with all the engines in terms of maintenance and fuel.  9 car EMU's would be much cheaper to build and maintain and to operate.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

The costs of running a 9 car VLOCITY set would be high with all the engines in terms of maintenance and fuel.  9 car EMU's would be much cheaper to build and maintain and to operate.
bevans
Yes depends how long it will take for the Geelong line will take to electrify. Eventually when the line does get expensive to run diesel the benefit to convert to electric would be higher and line would be electrified. All depends on first how much V-locitys are built over time and the growth of patronage on each line. I suspect once the Melton line electrified it would put much less pressure on the Ballarat corridor, and if they are able to make Wyndham Vale and Tarneit Metro service, Geelong line would benefit greatly.
But in the long term, Geelong may become the first Intercity electric service in Victoria, running frequent services with 9-10 car EMU's on the line.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I would argue the line is already expensive to run with vlocity maintenance and fuel.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction

All platforms on the Ballarat line WILL be extended to accommodate 9 cars as part of the $500Million upgrade....so 9 cars will ultimately be the normal due to increasing patronage on all regional lines

Mike.
The Vinelander
Which makes good sense as (discussed before in other threads) the RRL is running out of paths real fast so the solution doesn't lie in more services it lies in the existing services being able to move more pax.

BG
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Which makes good sense as (discussed before in other threads) the RRL is running out of paths real fast so the solution doesn't lie in more services it lies in the existing services being able to move more pax.

BG
BrentonGolding

Not sure I agree for the reason that there are not enough services now and you only increase the size of trains when the services which are already at capacity cannot be added to.  We are a long way from that state.

In any case I agree the VLocity platform is not meant to be running 9 car sets, something like what NSW are ordering for intercity are more the idea or even the french designed metro trains with toilets etc are what is required.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
9 carriage VLocity trains may not be the best possible outcome, but they may be the simplest to implement quickly.

Fact is, all of the maintenence facilities have been designed to accomodate 3 car Vlocity sets, meaning creating 4 car sets would be difficult without a new maintenence facility, Its probably quicker and easier to just extend a few platforms and go straight for the 9 car sets.

As for electrification, that will cost a bomb, and will likely need to be done with other major projects to maximise the benefit. I mean if I were to go all out foamer here, I would probably come up with something like this:

Build it all as a part of the proposed Metro 2 project;

1. Start early planning for the Metro 2 in the next 5 years, detailed planning, secure funding, test drilling etc to be conducted in the next 4 years after that.

2. Build new tunnel from Newport, under the Yarra to the CBD via Fishermans Bend (with Eastern Portal at Clifton Hill). Construction proper to begin immediatly after Metro 1 is completed and opened.

3. Build new connection from Werribee West to Wyndham Vale South, completing the Manor Triangle.

4. Build new Doncaster Railway line from Clifton Hill (Metro 2 tunnel portal to Doncaster Hill. (I know, I know, just build the bloody thing and be done with it)

5. Electrify both RRL and Werribee to Waurn Ponds, replace all overhead involved with much higher Voltage/ Ampage (I will leave the details of this to the experts, of which I am certainly not)

6. Build new 8 car EMUs, run 2 services through Metro 2, 1 would be Doncaster - Waurn Ponds. The other would be Mernda - Deer Park (express Newport to Laverton, then stopping all stations to Deer Park via Werribee and the RRL. Deer Park would require a 3rd platform to connect with Melton sparks). New EMUs would be capable of at least 160km/h, faster if the line is up to it.

7. Continue to run Williamstown and Laverton (via Altona) through old line via Footscray.

8. If done with the sort of efficiency private enterprise could provide, all of this could realistically be achieved by about 2038

9. At a rough guess, all of that would probably cost at least $30 Billion

Now, I'm not saying any of that will happen, knowing the way politics works, I would be surprised if just half of it could be done, but as I said, this is the best possible outcome, and I did say I was going to foam a bit.

Until then, 9 car Vlos will probably have to do, unless of course V/Line, PTV and Bombardier can get off their respective bums and build a heap of new TM cars to create 4 car Vlos, along with the required maintence facility, Waurn Ponds would be a good spot, then that would give the flexibility that is really required on the network.



Please excuse the Foam.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification.
James974
During the Peak, Geelong trains run at 10 minute frequencies. Between the Peaks, Monday to Friday the Geelong line runs at 20 minute frequencies.

40 minutes is only on Weekends and late at night.

9 car Vlos for the Geelong line would likely only be needed for some peak hour trains, as well as Football trains on the weekends.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Geelong line is now at 40 minute frequencies. If it doubled the frequency it would be ready for electrification.
During the Peak, Geelong trains run at 10 minute frequencies. Between the Peaks, Monday to Friday the Geelong line runs at 20 minute frequencies.

40 minutes is only on Weekends and late at night.

9 car Vlos for the Geelong line would likely only be needed for some peak hour trains, as well as Football trains on the weekends.
Gman_86
So if the line was electrified would the Geelong line be cheaper to run. And would it able to reach faster speeds. And how much would it cost to get that running?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
If track congestion is really such a problem surely a simple interim fix would be longer Vlocity trains even if only on express services in the absence of longer platforms at roadside stations. These could then be followed by double deck trains. Both would save precious paths for the time being.

Did they not rearrange the signalling and lengthen platform 6 at North Melbourne to accommodate longer Vlocity consists and then never use it?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

If track congestion is really such a problem surely a simple interim fix would be longer Vlocity trains even if only on express services in the absence of longer platforms at roadside stations. These could then be followed by double deck trains. Both would save precious paths for the time being.

Did they not rearrange the signalling and lengthen platform 6 at North Melbourne to accommodate longer Vlocity consists and then never use it?
YM-Mundrabilla
Here: https://wongm.com/2017/08/vline-7-car-vlocity-trains-geelong-line/
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Designs for the new DMU maintenance facility at Waurn Ponds have been designed around train lengths of up to 9 cars as I understand it but what I have stated so many times is that there has been a fully engineered non-powered intermediate car accommodating 90 passengers since 2007 - 10years.   There has been constant pushback around this but I understand now more and more people in Transport Victoria and V/Line suddenly now "get it".   Acquiring around 45 to 48 non powered intermediate cars to convert about 50% of the V'
locity sets to 4 car sets provides an immediate passenger capacity increase of 41%.  I reiterate 41% very quickly.    

V'Line can then run 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 car V'locity sets to better match demand ON ALL CORRIDORS and most importantly eliminate running many 6 car consists in off peak periods with 4 car sets.   4 Car sets will also work well on peak period Seymour Line services as well.   A 6 car V'locity set currently costs $2,700 in fuel and direct maintenance costs for every Melbourne to Geelong round trip.

The non-powered intermediate car solution is simple, practical, quick to implement and can address loading problems quite significantly.

Why does it take 10-years to "get it"!!!!!
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'V'Line can then run 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9 car V'locity sets to better match demand ON ALL CORRIDORS'
Yes, but will they?
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

All platforms on the Ballarat line WILL be extended to accommodate 9 cars as part of the $500Million upgrade....so 9 cars will ultimately be the normal due to increasing patronage on all regional lines

Mike.Which makes good sense as (discussed before in other threads) the RRL is running out of paths real fast so the solution doesn't lie in more services it lies in the existing services being able to move more pax.

BG
BrentonGolding

I couldn't agree more.

As the RRL between Footscray and Sunshine is already saturated during the peaks, longer trains with more capacity in the medium term...of say the next 10 years are really the only easy answer.

The frequency of trains on all regional lines is now sensational to say the least and it's hoped by others to increase the frequency even more
IE. the planned 40 min off peak frequency on the Ballarat line after the new works are complete.

Mike.
  RedEyeExpress Junior Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
James974, noted but would Geelong really become the first Intercity electric service in Victoria? I recall Latrobe Valley electrification for example (I think they ran Tait passenger trains out there?)
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
As each $24 million 3 car V'Locity set enters services, electrification of the Geelong Line gets pushed out even further.   We now have hundreds of V'Locities all with a lot of life (read decades) remaining in them.   I've read of estrimates of over $1 billion and higher to electrify the Geelong Line.  

The options coming forward now are to electrify to WyndhamVale/Tarneit either slightly ahead of or at the same time as Melton and add those to locations to the Metro system and leave V'Locities on the Geelong Line which will have ample capacity with WyndhamVale/Tarneit passengers on Metro.

All this grief and nonsense would have been avoided had the original as designed plan to extend the existing electrification from Werribee round the corner so to speak to WyndhamVale/Tarneit been constructed with V/Line making 1 stop for regional passengers to do a cross platform transfer.

Instead we've spent hundreds of millions on diesel railcars and the ongoing high operating cost only to defer the inevitable and destroyed the intent of what RRL was meant to do on the way through.

It's a story almost as good as the NBN one on Four Corners this week.   Some might even describe it as a train wreck!!!!
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
The RRL seems to have been designed with the intention that no one would use it.

Acquisition of a lot of Vlocities is not necessarily a waste once/if Geelong is electrified. A 30/40 minute Ballarat frequency, more short haul trips to Kyneton or a better frequency to Bendigo, 5 return trips to each day to Ararat, Maryborough and Echuca, Vlocity services to Shepparton would all help use up the extra stock.
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
The RRL seems to have been designed with the intention that no one would use it.

Acquisition of a lot of Vlocities is not necessarily a waste once/if Geelong is electrified. A 30/40 minute Ballarat frequency, more short haul trips to Kyneton or a better frequency to Bendigo, 5 return trips to each day to Ararat, Maryborough and Echuca, Vlocity services to Shepparton would all help use up the extra stock.
TOQ-1
I think it's been a victim of its own success as a suburban operation tacked onto a regional service; not sure if they should have just done the RRL/Geelong legs as a completely separate exercise to the Tarneit suburban operation?

I guess at the time of the inception they had to sell it to Rudd as an intra-state line rather than just a new suburban line in order to get money from the post-GFC slush fund - so it ended up being a hybrid of both but doing neither particularly well, especially as the numbers have expanded rapidly both from Geelong and from the new suburban stations.
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Looks like it's happening now! They are currently now testing 9 carriage V/line trains on the Geelong line.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKehX8wbfmg
  Upven Locomotive Driver

Sorry if I've missed the explanation (I probably have), but why is it a set of 3 sets of three carriages? Is there a design problem or operational procedure hindering it being a consistent 4,5,6,7,8 or 9 car set? It just seems like another unnecessary over-complication of our transport system. Can they not be designed/built to be continuous 4/5/6/ etc car sets?
  True Believers Chief Commissioner

Sorry if I've missed the explanation (I probably have), but why is it a set of 3 sets of three carriages? Is there a design problem or operational procedure hindering it being a consistent 4,5,6,7,8 or 9 car set? It just seems like another unnecessary over-complication of our transport system. Can they not be designed/built to be continuous 4/5/6/ etc car sets?
Upven
The original Velocity fleet used to be 2-carriages in each set. So I believe used to run as one set (2 carriages length) or 2 sets (4 carriages long).

At one point they decided to change the delivery of the Velocity train with 3-carriages per set probably to increase the capacity of the train (it was probably designed with this modification in mind).

At this point of time there were many configurations by mixing the two types of sets. The longest variation was the known 7 carriage length made up of 2 sets with 2-carriage each and 1 set with 3-carriages.

Slowly over time they eventually converted all the 2-carriage sets to 3-carriage sets. This limits to one set (3-carriages) or a two set (6-carriages). Also decided against using 9 carriages sets when RRL opened (which had stations already configured for 9-carrige sets), due to the limited amount of Velocity sets they had in operation. I think now they have enough Velocity sets to run a 9-carriage set during the peak time on the busy Geelong corridor.

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