Albury V/Line services after conversion?

 
  Jordy33 Locomotive Fireman

So I’ve thought about Albury SG and the new SG Vlocitys. I’ve got a counter argument to those opposing using 2x3VLs and not something like 5/6 car Vlocitys. To my understanding, Albury line currently uses 2 N Class (SG) sets for service, with 2 spare or in maintenance (so originally they had 3 SG locos for the line, but if a set had to be taken out of service while another was in maintenance, it was coaches).

Now we are moving to 6 3VLs (SG) running as 6car consists, which means 4 3VLs to run the service with 2 3VLs in the maintenance / spare. The point is that if something was to happen with a train, they could always run a 3 car service which isn’t ideal but better than coaches.


It also means they could run more frequent services, but as 3 cars.

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
i suppose they could always build an extra TM car or two into each set as required.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Spare cars for emergency use? This is Victoria; we don't do things like that down here.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
So I’ve thought about Albury SG and the new SG Vlocitys. I’ve got a counter argument to those opposing using 2x3VLs and not something like 5/6 car Vlocitys. To my understanding, Albury line currently uses 2 N Class (SG) sets for service, with 2 spare or in maintenance (so originally they had 3 SG locos for the line, but if a set had to be taken out of service while another was in maintenance, it was coaches).

Now we are moving to 6 3VLs (SG) running as 6car consists, which means 4 3VLs to run the service with 2 3VLs in the maintenance / spare. The point is that if something was to happen with a train, they could always run a 3 car service which isn’t ideal but better than coaches.


It also means they could run more frequent services, but as 3 cars.
Jordy33
Hi Jordy,
I think that the Albury service is really interesting.  When you book a seat you are told to sit in your own seat as train is fully booked. It leaves Albury less than half filled, most of the time. The booking are filled all along the line. if 12 people book ex Avenal, those seats are only available for short intermediate journeys, say Chiltern to Wangaratta, for example. The result is the train is fully booked, and almost half empty. A three car set configured the way it seems to be, would lead to serious overcrowding, because North East line passengers show their hatred for bus substitution every time. The fix would be to run the three cars, stopping to set down only and run the intermediate passengers by bus (shorter distance on bus) But would they do that?
But anyway, the idiots are again catering for the millions in the city and near city as always. I guess we really are a third world country pretending to be better, whilst hanging on to Uncle Sams shirt tails.  Rod.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga



"It also means they could run more frequent services, but as 3 cars."
Jordy33
The Albury service has always been well patronised. But since the 90's has been unsupported by the Railways.
They sell less tickets these days, because they want to do that!
S Class (DE) hauled blue sets in the 90's were added to on week ends to get University students home and back on Sundays. Can't remember the length of consists, however to fit on Wodonga station we had to stop the engine at High street, so much so, that we could not see the signals, on the down.
The N sets were originally doubled, and then an extra car was added to create a 4 car set, as they ran out of sets. That was the first squeeze. They simply turned people away. At the same time, they scrapped the wooden cars, and sold or leased  the 1937 steel cars to private companies, and we lost the extra (student) trains on Friday and Sunday. We also lost the specials to the wine festivals etc.
Up until recently we had 5 cars, they upped the service by one train a day by reducing the sets to 4 cars. I have yet to see the 4th set, its always run as a bus when I need to travel. Does it actually run as a train at all?
  Jordy33 Locomotive Fireman

Well there’s currently only 3 services each way each day, so with Vlocitys, the better reliability and the slightly faster speeds you might be able to get 4 services each way (assuming stopover times are shorter) with 2 trains (6car trains).

I guess another option is running extra 3car services that don’t go the whole way, it wouldn’t be very flash but just an option.
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

The fix would be to run the three cars, stopping to set down only and run the intermediate passengers by bus (shorter distance on bus) But would they do that?
comtrain
That would mean out of the box thinking, require a customer service mindset, and besides, it's far too difficult.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
There are no plans to introduce a broad-gauge 'long-distance' VLocity.
NimbleJack

Is that a statement or a question Question
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

The seating capacities of the 3-car Long-haul VLocity are:
DM(D) - 48 (includes 2 x 4-club seat arrangement)
TM - 30 (includes 4 x 4-club seat arrangement with shared tables)
DM - 66 (includes 4 x 4-club seat arrangement)

Total - 144
(Classic VLocity – 222)

DM(D) - Driver Motor with Disabled Toilet
TM - Trailer Motor, includes MCF.
DM - Driver Motor

In addition, the TM has 4 x side-facing fold-up seats in the buffet area (hereinafter referred to using its Dept of Transport brochure nomenclature of ‘MCF - modern catering facility’) and 4 x standard seats for wheel chair companions. There are 12 x side-facing fold-up seats in the 6 x wheel chair bays in the DM(D) and TM cars.

Assuming the diagrams are to scale, in a 2 x 3-car LH VLocity the two unused driving modules (12 each) and the extra MCF (30) take up space for about 54 seats. The extra MCF will presumably require an extra staff member.

Adding an additional car (TP?), similar in layout to the DM above, but without the driving module, to a 3-car LH VLocity would add 78 seats. Adding 2 x TP would roughly double the capacity, although, depending on the number of cars added, additional toilets and wheel chair bays would be a consideration. The additional cars could be designed to be added or subtracted subject to seasonal demands and allow splitting the train into 3-car units or less (with hostler controls if necessary) for maintenance. Obviously, the walk-through design obviates the need for the extra MCF.

The LH VLocitys probably only need to be capable of 130 km/h. Even on the BG RFR sections, such an express would be able to keep up with a Classic VLocity making extra stops. In a 5-car configuration, one of the additional TPs could be unpowered. In the event of an engine failure, there would still be 3 engines available.

The 2 x 3-car configuration seems a rather expensive way to minimise bustitution. One of the most recent major bustitution causes was the Wallan XPT derailment. A bigger fleet would provide extra redundancy. It should just be a matter of changing the wheelsets to switch from BG to SG or vice versa.

Still, one shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. The LH VLocitys could be re-configured at a later date, much the same as the first VLocitys were converted from 2-car to 3-car.

https://transport.vic.gov.au/-/media/ne-line-factsheet.pdf?la=en&hash=B93203FB732D925EFFCD5E1BC1A19A77
  Upven Junior Train Controller

I thought in the V/Line Annual Report from whenever (pre-fluplague) that they were working on the "next generation" long-distance V/Line train. V/Locity isn't exactly "next generation"
  BigShunter Chief Commissioner

Location: St Clair. S.A.
Thanks for the post kitchgp, very informative and a very smart looking unit, they seem to be very well equipped with features. It will be interesting to see how they preform in actual operation as well as how the public like them.

One thing I thought of is, I wonder if wheelchairs are able to fit through the isle's from one end of the train to the other, anyone have the good's on that ?

Not being a clever dick but Bill did you attend the workshop at Wang to air all of the problems you and your group have with V'Lo's or give any feedback by what ever means ?

If V/Line are not decided on what format or configuration to run these new rail cars, there's certainly plenty of option's on here..Razz

I say roll on with this style of passenger train for Swan Hill, Warrnambool even Shep, why not ! I better not start to foam too much but is Mildura getting just a bit closer, Horsham or Dimmy, Hamilton ?

BigShunter.

just 1 other thing, YM how did yo go with the TD(M), TM, DM, DM(D) and MCF ?...Razz last night when I first glanced at this I thought WTF but as I read through it and grasped the terminology, was thinking FFS YM is going to struggle with this one...........
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
The seating capacities of the 3-car Long-haul VLocity are:
DM(D) - 48 (includes 2 x 4-club seat arrangement)
TM - 30 (includes 4 x 4-club seat arrangement with shared tables)
DM - 66 (includes 4 x 4-club seat arrangement)

Total - 144
(Classic VLocity – 222)

DM(D) - Driver Motor with Disabled Toilet
TM - Trailer Motor, includes MCF.
DM - Driver Motor

In addition, the TM has 4 x side-facing fold-up seats in the buffet area (hereinafter referred to using its Dept of Transport brochure nomenclature of ‘MCF - modern catering facility’) and 4 x standard seats for wheel chair companions. There are 12 x side-facing fold-up seats in the 6 x wheel chair bays in the DM(D) and TM cars.

Assuming the diagrams are to scale, in a 2 x 3-car LH VLocity the two unused driving modules (12 each) and the extra MCF (30) take up space for about 54 seats. The extra MCF will presumably require an extra staff member.

Adding an additional car (TP?), similar in layout to the DM above, but without the driving module, to a 3-car LH VLocity would add 78 seats. Adding 2 x TP would roughly double the capacity, although, depending on the number of cars added, additional toilets and wheel chair bays would be a consideration. The additional cars could be designed to be added or subtracted subject to seasonal demands and allow splitting the train into 3-car units or less (with hostler controls if necessary) for maintenance. Obviously, the walk-through design obviates the need for the extra MCF.

The LH VLocitys probably only need to be capable of 130 km/h. Even on the BG RFR sections, such an express would be able to keep up with a Classic VLocity making extra stops. In a 5-car configuration, one of the additional TPs could be unpowered. In the event of an engine failure, there would still be 3 engines available.

The 2 x 3-car configuration seems a rather expensive way to minimise bustitution. One of the most recent major bustitution causes was the Wallan XPT derailment. A bigger fleet would provide extra redundancy. It should just be a matter of changing the wheelsets to switch from BG to SG or vice versa.

Still, one shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. The LH VLocitys could be re-configured at a later date, much the same as the first VLocitys were converted from 2-car to 3-car.

https://transport.vic.gov.au/-/media/ne-line-factsheet.pdf?la=en&hash=B93203FB732D925EFFCD5E1BC1A19A77
kitchgp
Thanks for that!
Who would suspect that the 6 car velocity would equal the 4 car N set in capacity with space to spare for an extra buffet and 16 wheel chair and companion spaces!! But it still steals the 80 seats lost in the 5th carriage.
Removing the duplication of course could add another 54 seats according to Kitchaps calculations.
And of course the poor suffering tax payer is paying a hell of a lot more for two 3 car units, than he would be asked for a purpose built 6 car unit.
Cheers
Rod
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Thanks for the post kitchgp, very informative and a very smart looking unit, they seem to be very well equipped with features. It will be interesting to see how they preform in actual operation as well as how the public like them.

One thing I thought of is, I wonder if wheelchairs are able to fit through the isle's from one end of the train to the other, anyone have the good's on that ?

Not being a clever dick but Bill did you attend the workshop at Wang to air all of the problems you and your group have with V'Lo's or give any feedback by what ever means ?

If V/Line are not decided on what format or configuration to run these new rail cars, there's certainly plenty of option's on here..Razz

I say roll on with this style of passenger train for Swan Hill, Warrnambool even Shep, why not ! I better not start to foam too much but is Mildura getting just a bit closer, Horsham or Dimmy, Hamilton ?

BigShunter.

just 1 other thing, YM how did yo go with the TD(M), TM, DM, DM(D) and MCF ?...Razz last night when I first glanced at this I thought WTF but as I read through it and grasped the terminology, was thinking FFS YM is going to struggle with this one...........
BigShunter
Thanks for thinking of me BS.
Thankfully, the terms became clear(er) further down the post for which I also thank Kitchgp. Although a 'trailer motor' seems a contradiction in terms to me.
Actually, with the demise of 'big wheel' passenger operations few things in passenger rail interest me less than RAIL MOTORS in whatever form they take (especially Vlocities). DERMs are, of course, not included in the uninteresting category. Smile
Stay safe Comrade.
YM
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

..................................

One thing I thought of is, I wonder if wheelchairs are able to fit through the isle's from one end of the train to the other, anyone have the good's on that?

........................................................
BigShunter

The Accessible toilet in the DM(D) is back to back with the Wheelchair spaces and Companion seats in the TM. Presumably there'll be large automatic doors between the 2 carriages.

https://transport.vic.gov.au/-/media/ne-line-factsheet.pdf?la=en&hash=B93203FB732D925EFFCD5E1BC1A19A77
  duttonbay Minister for Railways


Who would suspect that the 6 car velocity would equal the 4 car N set in capacity with space to spare for an extra buffet and 16 wheel chair and companion spaces!! But it still steals the 80 seats lost in the 5th carriage.
comtrain

The five across seating in the N cars certainly add capacity, but at the expense of comfort.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Word on the street is that only 1 out 4 SG N-Sets are operational at present....  So many cancellations this week (and Seniors Week at that!).  

Embarrassing.
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Word on the street is that only 1 out 4 SG N-Sets are operational at present....  So many cancellations this week (and Seniors Week at that!).  

Embarrassing.
Carnot
Yes and I was looking forward to a trip down to visit Mum. However they can ram their busstitutions.  I will instead pollute the Hume Highway with my one person occupied Diesel 4x4. Stuff the greenies too Smile
  NimbleJack Locomotive Fireman

There are no plans to introduce a broad-gauge 'long-distance' VLocity.

Is that a statement or a question Question
The Vinelander

It's an informed statement.

The fleet is stretched to breaking point with the new timetable. There simply isn't enough rolling stock. Once the SG VLocitys are out of the way, all further production will go to augmenting what V/Line currently has.

With Warrnambool and Shepparton upgraded, the only broad-gauge lines with journeys over three hours will be Bairnsdale and Swan Hill. Folks out in Bairnsdale seem to do just fine with regular six-car (and often three-car) VLocity sets; no one is starving to death or getting buried mid-journey by luggage avalanches. Swan Hill will make do with N-sets for at least another decade, by which time some sort of long-distance follow-on to the VLocity may be on the drawing board.

I know a lot of posters here spend their lonely nights imagining themselves cocooned aboard a gently swaying sleeper train bound for Portland or Orbost, attended to by starched flunkeys serving poached eggs with silverware - and all on a $25 pensioner ticket.  But that's simply not going to happen. The only plausible case for premium-level broad-gauge services, perhaps with the next-generation train, is a type of business class on express trains between Melbourne and Bendigo or Ballarat.

Still, I wouldn't hold my breath. And if you happen to run into David Davis, you might want to ask him to kindly hold his.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

What was the plausible case for a premium-level standard-gauge service? Why do the good folks of Benalla, Wangaratta, Wodonga and Albury get to spend part of their journey to Portland or Orbost cocooned aboard a gently swaying sleeper, attended to by starched flunkeys serving poached eggs with silverware - and all on a $25 pensioner ticket, whereas those in Bairnsdale, Sale, Camperdown, Warrnambool (& Portland), Kerang and Swan Hill (& Mildura) lose what they’ve currently got or have to put up with unreliable rolling stock, well past its use-by date?

The rationale behind the current Bairnsdale VLocitys was to reduce the load on the old Avon River bridge. Bairnsdale still has a buffet service on the AM Up and the Evening Down.

It is hard to fathom why you would develop a separate long-haul VLocity for BG services. Converting the SG long-haul VLocity from one gauge to another and back again can’t be that hard. It’s not required in Victoria’s case, but there are plenty of examples of on-the-fly gauge convertibility.

Warrnambool is the same distance as Bairnsdale, 275km. Although the Bairnsdale line is more congested, it is still hard to see Warrnambool being done in under 3 hours. It would require an average speed of 90+km/h and need to shave more than 30 mins of the existing timetable. On the Bairnsdale line timetable-wise, the VLocity stops all stations and does the trip in 4 hours. The N + N-set does it in about the same time running express through 7 stations.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
There are no plans to introduce a broad-gauge 'long-distance' VLocity.

Is that a statement or a question Question

It's an informed statement.

Swan Hill will make do with N-sets for at least another decade, by which time some sort of long-distance follow-on to the VLocity may be on the drawing board.
NimbleJack

I disagree, the N sets operating at 115Km/h maximum are going to be a real pain once Bendigo goes to 40 min frequencies.

Moreover, orphan N sets are going to be problematic to keep in operation by a mob that doesn't like them now and will like them even less as the SG V'Locity's are introduced.

Also, the N sets are virtually life expired, almost 40 years old and they weren't made to the high standards of the Z, S or the Spirit cars.

In part because of the Mildura bus connection, always popular Swan Hill has good loadings, Easter bookings are high to Swan Hill. First class is already booked out of the travel planner.

The Minister for Transport Infrastructure wants old diesel hauled trains rolling through her electorate for the next 10 years once all the other long distance lines are upgraded...
unlikely Exclamation

Mike.
  NimbleJack Locomotive Fireman

It's an informed statement.

Swan Hill will make do with N-sets for at least another decade, by which time some sort of long-distance follow-on to the VLocity may be on the drawing board.

I disagree, the N sets operating at 115Km/h maximum are going to be a real pain once Bendigo goes to 40 min frequencies.

Moreover, orphan N sets are going to be problematic to keep in operation by a mob that doesn't like them now and will like them even less as the SG V'Locity's are introduced.

Also, the N sets are virtually life expired, almost 40 years old and they weren't made to the high standards of the Z, S or the Spirit cars.

In part because of the Mildura bus connection, always popular Swan Hill has good loadings, Easter bookings are high to Swan Hill. First class is already booked out of the travel planner.

The Minister for Transport Infrastructure wants old diesel hauled trains rolling through her electorate for the next 10 years once all the other long distance lines are upgraded...
unlikely Exclamation

Mike.
The Vinelander

The Minister's ability to tolerate the whine of a dynamic brake outside her office window thankfully has no bearing on rolling stock selection.

The new timetable is absolutely flogging the fleet. Its central pillar is the operational availability of 80 VLocity units. As soon as numbers dip below 80, there are service reductions and cancellations. The classic fleet, despite significant investment (eg new static inverters for Sprinters), is itself too clapped-out and unreliable out to fill any gaps.

Once the SG VLocitys are out of the way, every unit in the outstanding VLocity order will be consecrated to supporting existing services. And once the order is complete in four years' time and services are running as they're supposed to, the goalposts will doubtless be moved again - ministers promising, for instance, more trains for Bendigo and Shepparton. V/Line is for ever condemned to a treadmill of trying to match operational and budgetary realities to windy (and cheap) political rhetoric.

By 2025, with locomotives retired from Shepparton, Albury and likely Warrnambool, there should be more than enough N-sets to keep Swan Hill going for another half decade till the VLocity's replacement can start production. Indeed, there may well be a surplus of locomotives; will Horsham finally see a flash of purple and yellow?
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last

The Minister's ability to tolerate the whine of a dynamic brake outside her office window thankfully has no bearing on rolling stock selection.

The new timetable is absolutely flogging the fleet. Its central pillar is the operational availability of 80 VLocity units. As soon as numbers dip below 80, there are service reductions and cancellations. The classic fleet, despite significant investment (eg new static inverters for Sprinters), is itself too clapped-out and unreliable out to fill any gaps.

Once the SG VLocitys are out of the way, every unit in the outstanding VLocity order will be consecrated to supporting existing services. And once the order is complete in four years' time and services are running as they're supposed to, the goalposts will doubtless be moved again - ministers promising, for instance, more trains for Bendigo and Shepparton. V/Line is for ever condemned to a treadmill of trying to match operational and budgetary realities to windy (and cheap) political rhetoric.

By 2025, with locomotives retired from Shepparton, Albury and likely Warrnambool, there should be more than enough N-sets to keep Swan Hill going for another half decade till the VLocity's replacement can start production. Indeed, there may well be a surplus of locomotives; will Horsham finally see a flash of purple and yellow?
NimbleJack
Is your glass half full @nimble. ?

There are 88 Vlo in service, so 80 operational at any one time sounds about right.
But you seem to forget the other 12 BG units on order. Some of them should be under construct now.

Now that the NE upgrade is complete, wonder how long it takes to roll out the SG fleet, that was promised to "follow".
Shouldn't be too long, given that the presser 6 months ago showed them being fitted out at Bombardier.

cheers
John
  NimbleJack Locomotive Fireman

every unit in the outstanding VLocity order will be consecrated to supporting existing services
Is your glass half full @nimble. ?

There are 88 Vlo in service, so 80 operational at any one time sounds about right.
But you seem to forget the other 12 BG units on order. Some of them should be under construct now.

Now that the NE upgrade is complete, wonder how long it takes to roll out the SG fleet, that was promised to "follow".
Shouldn't be too long, given that the presser 6 months ago showed them being fitted out at Bombardier.

cheers
John
justarider

I suspect that the issue is more with the quality of your optometrist than the fullness of my glass.

The completed VLocity order will allow services to run in accordance with the current timetable while allowing for 10% of the VLocity fleet to be undergoing service or refurbishment at any given moment.

The first SG VLocity unit is due to begin trials in a few months' time. If all goes well, we could conceivably ring in 2023 without an N-set within cooee of Albury.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

Once the SG VLocitys are out of the way, every unit in the outstanding VLocity order will be consecrated to supporting existing services.
NimbleJack

All hail to the almighty V'Locity.

https://www.google.com/search?q=consecrated+meaning&oq=consecrated&aqs=chrome.1.69i57j0l9.7595j1j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Mike.
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Free at last, free at last
every unit in the outstanding VLocity order will be consecrated to supporting existing services
Is your glass half full @nimble. ?

There are 88 Vlo in service, so 80 operational at any one time sounds about right.
But you seem to forget the other 12 BG units on order. Some of them should be under construct now.

Now that the NE upgrade is complete, wonder how long it takes to roll out the SG fleet, that was promised to "follow".
Shouldn't be too long, given that the presser 6 months ago showed them being fitted out at Bombardier.

cheers
John

I suspect that the issue is more with the quality of your optometrist than the fullness of my glass.

The completed VLocity order will allow services to run in accordance with the current timetable while allowing for 10% of the VLocity fleet to be undergoing service or refurbishment at any given moment.

The first SG VLocity unit is due to begin trials in a few months' time. If all goes well, we could conceivably ring in 2023 without an N-set within cooee of Albury.
NimbleJack
Fair enough, in big bold print, I now see what you mean. Not "just" the SG order.

Not being able to support the TT with a fleet of 100. That is a worry, please sir can we have some more.

PS don't worry about Mike's pedant dig, I know what you meant. Mike is still on a high from his state tour. Where's that emoji for envy.

cheers
John

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