Indian Pacific 35 cars in Review

 
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

Wednesday, April 21, the Indian Pacific from Perth has been tabled for a consist of 35 cars.

The train will arrive Clyde at 1115 hours and proceed to Clyde Up Yards to divide to Form 1145 (26 cars) and 1211 hours (9 cars) to Sydney Terminal.
The return Service departs Sydney Terminal at 1335 (26 cars) and 1405 hours (9 cars) to Clyde Up Yards to attach to Form 1519 hours to Perth.

Sponsored advertisement

  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Do you possibly know a tonnage and length?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Can't be bothered looking it up but Indian Pacific cars are 78 feet long over couplers and average about 47 tons. So something around 3,042 feet plus locos and around 1,833 tons trailing.
Too lazy to convert to metric.
  8502 Train Controller

Wednesday, April 21, the Indian Pacific from Perth has been tabled for a consist of 35 cars.

The train will arrive Clyde at 1115 hours and proceed to Clyde Up Yards to divide to Form 1145 (26 cars) and 1211 hours (9 cars) to Sydney Terminal.
The return Service departs Sydney Terminal at 1335 (26 cars) and 1405 hours (9 cars) to Clyde Up Yards to attach to Form 1519 hours to Perth.
scott4570

These observations are always good to read.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Wednesday, April 21, the Indian Pacific from Perth has been tabled for a consist of 35 cars.

The train will arrive Clyde at 1115 hours and proceed to Clyde Up Yards to divide to Form 1145 (26 cars) and 1211 hours (9 cars) to Sydney Terminal.
The return Service departs Sydney Terminal at 1335 (26 cars) and 1405 hours (9 cars) to Clyde Up Yards to attach to Form 1519 hours to Perth.
scott4570
I understood that the process of splitting (and merging) the Indian Pacific in Clyde Yard was to avoid splitting the train in Sydney Yard and avoiding disruption to other services.

The longest platform at Central (no 1) will take 14 cars.

Clearly the 26 cars can be split into two trains in Sydney Yard but this involves splitting the two locomotives.
A third locomotive will be needed for the additional 9 cars anyway.

It would seem to be better to split the train into three separate sections (and merge the three) in Clyde yard.

That seems to work for trains to be split into two.

You would still need three locomotives between Clyde and Sydney....

Peter
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Imagine (if you dare) trying to do such a thing in Melbourne!
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
It would be a bit tricky in Melbourne.

At Southern Cross, only platforms 1 and 2 are Standard Gauge (well, dual gauge). How many carriages fit into 1 & 2 at Southern Cross for this sort of thing?
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Can't be bothered looking it up but Indian Pacific cars are 78 feet long over couplers and average about 47 tons. So something around 3,042 feet plus locos and around 1,833 tons trailing.
Too lazy to convert to metric.
YM-Mundrabilla
3,042 feet = 927m

Assuming 2x NR class locos at 22m each, that would = a total length of 971m
  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??
It would be a bit tricky in Melbourne.

At Southern Cross, only platforms 1 and 2 are Standard Gauge (well, dual gauge). How many carriages fit into 1 & 2 at Southern Cross for this sort of thing?
Gman_86
Platform 1 is about 200m. Platform 2a/2b is about 400m. Not enough length.

Could also convert 3a/3b to DG and get another 400m, and now we are talking.

Thing is, not all carriages are for passengers. A lot for services & crew. The split 26/9 sounds about right.
It isn't really necessary for the service cars to use a platform. They could terminate & replentish elsewhere.

Seems that if they considered a Melbourne visit for "The Great Southern", it was too hard. But maybe doable?.

cheers
John
  route14 Chief Commissioner

They can have people walking through gangways to the cars that are on the platform.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Imagine (if you dare) trying to do such a thing in Melbourne!
"YM-Mundrabilla"
Excuse me, sir. Would you like the idea filed under Too Hard, Much Too Hard, or Don't be so Bloody Stupid?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
They can have people walking through gangways to the cars that are on the platform.
route14
Not really practicable:
  • Many passengers are elderly/infirm etc
  • No access through powervans/brakevans etc
  • Corridors too narrow for realistic movement of large numbers of people and amounts of luggage
  • Such an arrangement would tie up half if not all the passenger yard
Even in the days of double consists on the Trans-Australian at Port Pirie Junction it was necessary to unload the leading consist and then pull forward to unload the second. This always seemed to take ages (at least half an hour or more IIRC).
Eastbound, the train was picked up from the two SG platforms at Kalgoorlie and assembled in the Yard on a similar basis to what, I assume, is done with normal double consists in Sydney.

Not that Vline would have anything to do with it I hope but under most of their rules they would be precluded from even attaching/detaching cars to Sprinter or Vlocity consists with passengers aboard let alone a proper passenger train.
'Albury/Serviceton - everyone out of bed and on the platform at midnight while we change engines' Rolling Eyes
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Imagine (if you dare) trying to do such a thing in Melbourne!
Excuse me, sir. Would you like the idea filed under Too Hard, Much Too Hard, or Don't be so Bloody Stupid?
Valvegear
Sadly, all of the above, please ............ Smile

As the Late Tom Murray was often heard to say "they can't do it anymore" ................
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Dear Old Tom Train - that was one of his favourites.
  21C123 Chief Train Controller

Location: In the inspection pit checking the "bicycle chains"
Wednesday, April 21, the Indian Pacific from Perth has been tabled for a consist of 35 cars.

The train will arrive Clyde at 1115 hours and proceed to Clyde Up Yards to divide to Form 1145 (26 cars) and 1211 hours (9 cars) to Sydney Terminal.
The return Service departs Sydney Terminal at 1335 (26 cars) and 1405 hours (9 cars) to Clyde Up Yards to attach to Form 1519 hours to Perth.
scott4570
Did this actually happen after all? It seems an absurd way to treat paying customers (and I fully understand the limitations of Sydney Yard in coping with such an absurdly long train):

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we do hope you have enjoyed your journey across Australia on our famous train. After 3 exciting days aboard, we will shortly arrive at Sydney Terminal, but before we do so, we have decided, for our own operational convenience, to treat you to a one hour detention in the scenic delights of Clyde Yard."

Even worse, for the journey west:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard our spectacular journey across Australia. As we depart Sydney, you can shortly look forward to the first scenic wonders to be seen from your windows as we climb the Blue Mountains. Before we enjoy that however, let's just sit in Clyde Yard for and hour and a half to savour its glorious natural and man-made beauty..."

It makes me glad to recall that I had the good fortune to travel on the IP in the 1970s, '80s and '90s before this kind of insanity prevailed. We nevertheless did manage, as part of a school party travelling to Broken Hill in 1975, to have the Down IP specially stopped to pick up our group at Granville. That was however at the station, not in Clyde yard, and only for 4 or 5 minutes!
  route14 Chief Commissioner

The IP regularly departed and arrived with different parts of the train on different platforms pre-COVID 19, but why does this one sit in the yard for so long?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The IP regularly departed and arrived with different parts of the train on different platforms pre-COVID 19, but why does this one sit in the yard for so long?
route14
Because 35 cars is longer than the normal double consist IP. The double consist, say 24 to 26 cars, can be handled by half in 2 road and half in 3 road at Central. That has been bog-standard for some time now. I guess that if they tried to do all the manoeuvring at Central with a 35 car consist, they would need to use either 1 road or 4 road with the result that 3 platforms are tied up for some time, plus heaven knows how many of the arrival/departure roads would be affected whilst the shunting was going on.
I also believe that they are ( or were) down a country platform or two with all of the work that's going there, so that would add to the congestion.
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

The 2 divisions of the Indian Pacific ran into Sydney Terminal, Wednesday April 21, some 30 to 40 minutes late.

The outbound trip, after shunting and attaching in Clyde Up Yards, departed some 50 minutes late towards the Blue Mountains.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat Line
Imagine (if you dare) trying to do such a thing in Melbourne!
Excuse me, sir. Would you like the idea filed under Too Hard, Much Too Hard, or Don't be so Bloody Stupid?
Sadly, all of the above, please ............ Smile

As the Late Tom Murray was often heard to say "they can't do it anymore" ................
YM-Mundrabilla

Actually...Tom Murray, 'HB' to his 'friends', used to say of V/Line and its many staffers who didn't work their way up the ranks like in the old VR days... 'They just can't do it any more'.

Yes I knew old HB himself as well. HB standing for His Belligerence. I think Tom realised the irony.

Mike.
  ANR Chief Commissioner

Why don't they split the train and reconnect in Lithgow? There is plenty of track and a PN loco depot there. Also, it would not disrupt any other operations in Sydney.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I guess that Lithgow could be an option, but ultimately the train has to end up in three pieces; set A in no 2 and set B in no 3 at Central, and set C at? ? ?
Could servicing of set C be done at Lithgow? It would ideal if it could be.  I presume crew cars would be part of set C and would need bed linen et al et al. If it can't be, and set C has to be closer to Sydney, we now need one path for a train of A and B, and another for a train with set C only, or use the Clyde option.

Somebody who knows more than I do about the operational constraints of these options could provide some useful commentary here. . . . Anyone?

Sponsored advertisement

Display from: