XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  a6et Minister for Railways

I think part of the problem with the carriages is the loading gauge.  The allowable width is specified to only a 17m wheel base, and that means the bogies on the XPT coaches are mounted closer to the centre of the car than in other parts of the world.  A longer wheel base with the same shaped frames would give a smoother ride and definitely less jostling between cars.

Maybe there are other engineering solutions to the ride quality issue, but for mine it's another selling point for an articulated design.
djf01
I am not sure its the jostling/hunting affect in the cars that provide the problem, I worked on steam as a fireman, so I am used to the jolting & bouncing action of them between engine & tender, even when the wedges were tight the movement between the two was conflicting so you needed good knee & leg balance, not just in the fireing but just walking around the cab at both mid & higher speeds.

Sit in an XPT carriage & you feel a gentle swaying at worst, sometimes the jolts would take place but, I believe that is more the factor of the push pull of a power car at each end, & why a lot of trains in EU, have dual cab Electrics, enough time at each end to run round for the return journey.  However, stand up to go to the dunny or take away its a dfiferent matter altogether, go through the carriages & you will notice the difference at floor level of the sway & then listen to to noise of the buffer/diaphragms & it tells me there is a wedge problem (using the steam loco equivelent) not great but it means the couplings are too slack.

The other aspect in this is that even when in perfect unison, as far as the mechanics & electricals are concerned there can be a lapse, for me, I believe the couplings, as I said above are a problem, & its all but the same on many of the Interurban fleets, one thing during exceleration but another at speed.

One thing is to listen in the carriages & you can instantly know when the cars are motoring up, owing to the draft sound of the air conditioners coming into the carriages, some easy areas to know when being qualified for them as a driver.

Sponsored advertisement

  a6et Minister for Railways

a6et,
Some good points. I read that and thought about some of the processing plans I have worked on. Operated like crap when knew and took a few years and hard work by the operations teams to get solid reliable performance, so not limited to the XPT.

Your proposal to basically rebuild the fleet I see has two limitations
1) There is probably not enough cars and locos to remove 7 cars at a time + two locos. There is I thing more EC cars than normally used so these would be ok, and while the rest have a single spare, this maybe an issue with regular workings. Certainly I think you would struggle with the locos. Perhaps finding something to replace the Dubbo XPT would work.

2) A full rebuild of a 35 year to 40 year old fleet is a stop gap and unrealistic you could expect another 15-20 years of life beyond this. QR rebuilt the 2300's with low noses, turbo's etc are now planned to be replaced after 15-20 years of service. I think the costs simply don't stack up which is why its rarely done. A little bit different, but Qantas sent its 747-400's to the scrap heap after 30 years of service, I would have thought there were potential buyers/airlines that would pay more? The govt has probably done the sums of buying new and subtracting what ever the resale value of the XPT is and said this is the best option. 40 years appears to be the magic number for which most railways in Australia are retiring pax and other stock.

The XPT was heavily re-engineered. Surely there is something modern that can be sourced for the Australian standards. Rebuilding 35 yr old stock, 5 across seating, no arm rests, double stacking, triple beds bunds, these are all sub-standard conditions that offer minimal savings if indeed any. NSW is a AAA rated developed economy, it can offer a higher class of travel than this.
RTT_Rules
RTT

I don't disagree with you completely, & I guess at all in the end.  The point regarding the removing of a full set is not really what I said, or I may have said it wrongly with the point being that prior to rushing into off the shelf trains, that dear old Glad had her eyes on when the talk of new trains were mooted & announced by her a while back. Now that she has her hands on the cash as treasurer it likely makes that option more concievable, but will they work as straight off the shelf for the conditions that they will be required to perform under? I am basing this on whether the new trains would be to continue operating over the same terrain & boundaries.

Some years back we all remember the experiment with the tilt train to Canberra that died a somewhat under whatever death when it went back to whereever the golden egg came from.  My point with the removal of a full set was only after a new full set was purchased, tested & placed in service. Such set would need to be an updated train providing the increased service levels I had spoken of. Once in service, one of the other full sets would then go in for the rebuilds, & so on until the lot were replaced.

Edit in.  At the same time of the new construction is taking place it would or should include extra carriages primarilly as spares but also to be intergrated into the current fleet of trains, meaning more carriages from the old fleet can be released for the upgrading program.  It is no worse a proposition than what takes place now when carriages are removide for major repair/overhauls or whateve else is the current terms used.

Taking that further it also meant a full extra train was available for use when delays meant more delays to the following roster service of the train.  That would equate in increased reliability for the whole network.

If the aspect of being heavily re-engineered for NSW standards is taken into consideration for the old stock, I believe those people did not do their jobs properly, if for no other reason than the early problems that were exposed on them.  Sure I read where the bogies were altered, but gee I have ridden in old wooden cowboy cars at over 60MPH, that rode better than the XPT, in fact as I think of comparisons, a good one is the way the Tangarra's ride & bounce on poor track compared to the old V sets & even the M & Oscars. The fact that the XPT as it came into service & still is today is not a train that was really suited to our conditions, more work should have been done, rather than provide a quick publicitiy based Nifty decision to fool, rather than woo the electorate.

My concern is that the same thing will happen in any XPT replacement now dear old is in the treasurers chair & will be puppet stringed by treasury.

Maybe, a full new replacement contract for the XPT may be the best option, & likely what we get, but I also am not sure if the old ones cannot be still used on other services, especially those that are not set to be divided at mid points.  They could replace the XPL's on such services as Canberra, do up another set for the BH & Riverina services, allowing the Interstate trains to run as higher speed less stops exp services.  Put the XPL's into outer commuter commuter services not under the wires, unless they run into Sydney, such as the Southern Highlands. Upgrade a couple of them for the NW, & NT services for better comfort levels, & ensure there is decent underfloor sound proofing as well.

The other aspect of the replacement XPT's need is to have higher HP in them, as I said 3000 hp each is the ideal, others such as M636c would know better also, if rather than the BO BO power what impact on weights would there be if the power cars were lengthened to have CO CO power under a 3000hp motor.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I see your point the and I think on the surface doing something that could reuse the old cars even would seem an option, what this does is immediately mean any new technology being looked at must be backwards compatible for the old stock and/or significant funds must be spent to upgrade the old stock to match.

If you look at much of what the EU is making today for long haul medium speed, trains are typically integrated. Perhaps think of the trams now in use in Australia. Multi segment permanently joined with each bit having a piece of the bigger picture. Some of the DMU's I have riden in the EU feel and look more like over sized trams. Yet they travel at 160km/hr on routes a few hours long.

The XPT engineering is basically 40 year old engineering and design. Despite its early flaws and issues its has clocked up millions of km's in reasonably reliable service. I suspect the power cars will be retired with around 10m km on their clocks if not more. If I recall the GM class didn't reach this in 50 years of service.

If the XPT cars bogie spacings were narrowed to enable clearances at stations etc then not surprising that the Syd EMU stock will ride better. We discussed the power to weight ratio a number of posts ago and agreed the XPT and XPL are under powered compared to newer stuff with the XPT donl needing to push 2000HP, however appling that 2000HP to only 4 axles will always have limited benefit compared to spreading the traction over more axles. CTT is a case in point of plenty of power not enough drive.

While only time will tell I suspect they will be more successful in sourcing something that works quite well over NSW tracks this time round. The CTT is running on much more agricultural track and heat in Nth Qld and doing well, although slower than its sparked cousin.

I'll place some money on what we eventually see is fixed self contained sets added together to make train size as required with the aim the same platform is also the replacement for the XPL.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Especially a6et, but for anyone else interested, I posted my back of the envelope business plan for operating CL using loco hauled trains down in Armchair operators: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1972603.htm#1972603
  a6et Minister for Railways

Especially a6et, but for anyone else interested, I posted my back of the envelope business plan for operating CL using loco hauled trains down in Armchair operators: https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1972603.htm#1972603
djf01
Using that propossal, does it allow for other services beyond Grafton?  Also is that only one train daily to Melbourne?

There is still need for an Brisbane service, as well as to the GC even by bus from Casino, or Lismore preferably.

Likewise Melbourne, if you are operating a loco hauled service to Melbourne, & an XPT replacement on the daylight, then I think the loco hauled services would be best at night in each direction, & run as express services rather than the amount of intermediate stops that is currently in the tables..

I have no issues with loco hauled trains even using upgraded XPT carriages, but I also see the need for both a sleeper/sitting train with two class sleeping berths, be they DMU Types or loco hauled.  The daylight needs to be faster than the night service to reduce the sitting time, whilst the night service has the benefit of sleeping.

12 Hour timetables is even a bit much from my perspective as its really no better than the old SA & SOP trains, 1 hour shorter is better than nothing for the exp but its not taking advantage of improved track/alingments as well as better Motive power, likewise less needs to stop for crew & Engine changes.
  billybaxter Chief Commissioner

Location: Bosnia Park, Fairfield
I was just fiddling around with the Eurolines (European coaches) site and noticed that overnight fares were consistently higher than the day service fares (e.g. London-Paris £29 o/n, £19 day), and were often full whereas seats were available on the day coach, so it seems these services are more popular. I reckon that's the market though; young backpackers who are happy to try and sleep  sitting up in a coach if it means not paying for a hotel and having an extra day at their destination. Older country folk coming to Sydney for a medical visit might not see things the same way. But, something re timetabling not mentioned yet is people coming to the bigger regional centres (Wagga, Dubbo, Tamworth) for medical services and so on available there. At the moment day returns like Finley-Albury, Hay-Griffith, Coonamble-Dubbo and Barraba-Tamworth are possible. The red-eye train timetables mentioned above would lead to inconvenient timetabling for these connecting services. Rigging timetables with 'a day in Sydney' as the main priority could kill services in the bigger regional centres.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I was just fiddling around with the Eurolines (European coaches) site and noticed that overnight fares were consistently higher than the day service fares (e.g. London-Paris £29 o/n, £19 day), and were often full whereas seats were available on the day coach, so it seems these services are more popular. I reckon that's the market though; young backpackers who are happy to try and sleep  sitting up in a coach if it means not paying for a hotel and having an extra day at their destination. Older country folk coming to Sydney for a medical visit might not see things the same way. But, something re timetabling not mentioned yet is people coming to the bigger regional centres (Wagga, Dubbo, Tamworth) for medical services and so on available there. At the moment day returns like Finley-Albury, Hay-Griffith, Coonamble-Dubbo and Barraba-Tamworth are possible. The red-eye train timetables mentioned above would lead to inconvenient timetabling for these connecting services. Rigging timetables with 'a day in Sydney' as the main priority could kill services in the bigger regional centres.
billybaxter
Night services from longer distances that have comfort seating designed for such travel have a lot of support, it was the same as in the days of the night mails, along with the interstate services.  One thing that was added benefit for train travellers was the Motorail services provided on the SA, as well as the Gold Coast Motorail, in peak tourist times of North South travel, the cost of sleeping berth & car accomodation meant revenue that generally paid more for themselves as there was no extras with the added single or often 2 car carriers.

The prime thing that keeps coming to mind is the need for higher comfort levels in the trains than exist now, more especially in 1st class, economy would also benefit by at least the same amount of comfort/leg room in particular as found now. On O/night services larger type seats that meant 3 per row as found in ther refurbished Hub/RUB cars used on the Broken Hill & Riverina service should be implimented in all 1st class carriages.  Similar seats were found in 2nd class but it was often a squeeze for many in the barelly adegquate aisles.

I am also not sure, at least in my propossals that there is any intent to reduce services to any of the locations you mention. The Barraba service is provided by a bus from Inverel that travels through Warialda, & then down through Bingarra & on to Tamworth for the Up XPL service, what this means is people from the towns such as Bingarra that never had government services now get them for convenient time connections to the Sydney trains in both directions but in the daylight.

The thing with that service also is if they need to go for specialist treatments, then they would be up for the bus plus taxi fares from Tamworth station each way to the likely specialist centres at the base hospital or private one, which would likely make car travel much a muchness regarding cost but better for convenience though.  Different if appointments are in town though which is not much of a walk.

My big concern though is the way old mail train services that stopped in many locations along the various routes, are now shoved onto the interstate trains, the North Coast & Southern lines are classic examples where passengers going the full distance from capital to capital have longer travel time owing to the extra stops, which often have one or two passengers getting on or off, something I have witnessed on many occassions when travelling in both directions.  Something I believe is needed to be considered is the stops at these locations, as much as I hate saying it.

A typical example is Harden the current Melbourne bound XPT stops there & rarelly is there many if any passengers getting on just a couple getting off. This stop & all of them usually means at least 5 minutes is allowed for in the TT, but for Harden for passengers heading to stations south from there at least in the daylight there is a bus that goes to Cootamundra stopping at Harden town, Wallanbeen then Coota & connecting with the down XPT, also passengers for Young have connections, so even the old Harden-Young connections no longer exist. To me that is a stop that need not apply, it is an A stop so is timetabled in the running.

The sorrow of all of this is that the interstate travellers are being inconvenienced by having to have longer journey times due to the cut back in speed of the trains, as well as the additional stops that did not exist pre EXP days on those services. The other aspect is that for those who sit up at night, those extra stops mean passengers alighting & joining the train are interupting those in the carriages around them as they jostle in the overhead luggage & stand on the air doors to get baggage from the end racks.

What is wrong with having a swing door, or sliding door at those spots with pressure closers like found on sliding screen house doors?

At the end of the day, I really do not believe the XPT's or a similar set up as such are really condusive to long distance travel especially in travel that is carried out overnight or a large proportion of the travel is during the night hours.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I am not sure its the jostling/hunting affect in the cars that provide the problem, I worked on steam as a fireman, so I am used to the jolting & bouncing action of them between engine & tender, even when the wedges were tight the movement between the two was conflicting so you needed good knee & leg balance, not just in the fireing but just walking around the cab at both mid & higher speeds.

Sit in an XPT carriage & you feel a gentle swaying at worst, sometimes the jolts would take place but, I believe that is more the factor of the push pull of a power car at each end, & why a lot of trains in EU, have dual cab Electrics, enough time at each end to run round for the return journey.  However, stand up to go to the dunny or take away its a dfiferent matter altogether, go through the carriages & you will notice the difference at floor level of the sway & then listen to to noise of the buffer/diaphragms & it tells me there is a wedge problem (using the steam loco equivelent) not great but it means the couplings are too slack.

The other aspect in this is that even when in perfect unison, as far as the mechanics & electricals are concerned there can be a lapse, for me, I believe the couplings, as I said above are a problem, & its all but the same on many of the Interurban fleets, one thing during exceleration but another at speed.

One thing is to listen in the carriages & you can instantly know when the cars are motoring up, owing to the draft sound of the air conditioners coming into the carriages, some easy areas to know when being qualified for them as a driver.
a6et
They have dual cab to save turning which is time consuming and requires complex turning track infrastructure everywhere, but the Germans/Luxembourg/Swiss/Austrian trains at least from what I saw don't shunt and run power trailing if the train is short enough to have only one loco with drivers cab in last car for reverse running. Or if two locos, one each end if the train is longer.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I think part of the problem with the carriages is the loading gauge.  The allowable width is specified to only a 17m wheel base, and that means the bogies on the XPT coaches are mounted closer to the centre of the car than in other parts of the world.  A longer wheel base with the same shaped frames would give a smoother ride and definitely less jostling between cars.

Maybe there are other engineering solutions to the ride quality issue, but for mine it's another selling point for an articulated design.
I think you maybe right regarding articulated and the benefits of articulated although there are plenty of issues as well.


I think any modern design will most likely have walk through cabins and hence we will see something like this although with more modules like the 2nd link. Main issue with articulated is keeping the weight down to something around 19t/axle or what ever is allowed for 130-160km/hr running. But I suppose this is solved by simply limiting module length and perhaps more use of light weight materials.

I suspect we will see something like this

  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Night services from longer distances that have comfort seating designed for such travel have a lot of support, it was the same as in the days of the night mails, along with the interstate services.  One thing that was added benefit for train travellers was the Motorail services provided on the SA, as well as the Gold Coast Motorail, in peak tourist times of North South travel, the cost of sleeping berth & car accomodation meant revenue that generally paid more for themselves as there was no extras with the added single or often 2 car carriers.

The prime thing that keeps coming to mind is the need for higher comfort levels in the trains than exist now, more especially in 1st class, economy would also benefit by at least the same amount of comfort/leg room in particular as found now. On O/night services larger type seats that meant 3 per row as found in ther refurbished Hub/RUB cars used on the Broken Hill & Riverina service should be implimented in all 1st class carriages.  Similar seats were found in 2nd class but it was often a squeeze for many in the barelly adegquate aisles.

I am also not sure, at least in my propossals that there is any intent to reduce services to any of the locations you mention. The Barraba service is provided by a bus from Inverel that travels through Warialda, & then down through Bingarra & on to Tamworth for the Up XPL service, what this means is people from the towns such as Bingarra that never had government services now get them for convenient time connections to the Sydney trains in both directions but in the daylight.

The thing with that service also is if they need to go for specialist treatments, then they would be up for the bus plus taxi fares from Tamworth station each way to the likely specialist centres at the base hospital or private one, which would likely make car travel much a muchness regarding cost but better for convenience though.  Different if appointments are in town though which is not much of a walk.

My big concern though is the way old mail train services that stopped in many locations along the various routes, are now shoved onto the interstate trains, the North Coast & Southern lines are classic examples where passengers going the full distance from capital to capital have longer travel time owing to the extra stops, which often have one or two passengers getting on or off, something I have witnessed on many occassions when travelling in both directions.  Something I believe is needed to be considered is the stops at these locations, as much as I hate saying it.

A typical example is Harden the current Melbourne bound XPT stops there & rarelly is there many if any passengers getting on just a couple getting off. This stop & all of them usually means at least 5 minutes is allowed for in the TT, but for Harden for passengers heading to stations south from there at least in the daylight there is a bus that goes to Cootamundra stopping at Harden town, Wallanbeen then Coota & connecting with the down XPT, also passengers for Young have connections, so even the old Harden-Young connections no longer exist. To me that is a stop that need not apply, it is an A stop so is timetabled in the running.

The sorrow of all of this is that the interstate travellers are being inconvenienced by having to have longer journey times due to the cut back in speed of the trains, as well as the additional stops that did not exist pre EXP days on those services. The other aspect is that for those who sit up at night, those extra stops mean passengers alighting & joining the train are interupting those in the carriages around them as they jostle in the overhead luggage & stand on the air doors to get baggage from the end racks.

What is wrong with having a swing door, or sliding door at those spots with pressure closers like found on sliding screen house doors?

At the end of the day, I really do not believe the XPT's or a similar set up as such are really condusive to long distance travel especially in travel that is carried out overnight or a large proportion of the travel is during the night hours.
a6et

There are 15 stops between Broadmeadow and Brisbane, most are no closer than 45min apart. Maybe 1 or 2 could be deleted, but if people are using it then the train is providing a service. Stops for a few people should last more than 2-3min off the timetable. If they are rarely used then don't factor them into the timetable.

Its very questionable if Motorrail services and 1st class sleepers ever paid for themselves. Qld kept the motorrails until recently, but the cost is fairly high. Usage has died along with pax numbers.

One of advantages of having checked racks and baggage racks in the car door area. Still people getting on/off the train will always cause some disruption to people next to them. People tend to stir at stations anyway, well I do as the lack of movement and station lights with talking on the platform tends to wake me up some of the time. My most solid sleep was however in india, 7hr and didn't stir. But they have very large beds.

I think while we won't see sleepers we will see the rail bed, similar to BC on planes. I used Emirates older B777 BC to/from India recently and felt this would be fine for long haul in a train. Cheaper seating on the train could be more akin to EC, but with more leg room and wider seats.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I think you maybe right regarding articulated and the benefits of articulated although there are plenty of issues as well.

...
I suspect we will see something like this

RTT_Rules

Interesting you picked that because - and I grant you my Swedish is a bit rough - variants of this train have 2+3 seating !!!

But this is the clear trend in European regional trains.  Small articulated MUs.  

Part of the goal here is to support low height platforms, and most trains have split levels to achieve this.

@a6et & 12 Hrs Syd - Mlb.  I think I made a mistake on the back of my envelope.  I'm sure 12 hrs is achievable, but with a max speed of 115 I really should have planned for 13hrs.  That adds $1mil a year to operating costs, and may generate other operating cost issues if it means a run can't be staffed by a single 12hr shift.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
My big concern though is the way old mail train services that stopped in many locations along the various routes, are now shoved onto the interstate trains, the North Coast & Southern lines are classic examples where passengers going the full distance from capital to capital have longer travel time owing to the extra stops, which often have one or two passengers getting on or off, something I have witnessed on many occassions when travelling in both directions...
a6et
While I'm not going to the extent of advocating that trains have to stop at every little rural settlement...

The reason that governments subsidise regional rail is to connect regional areas with their nearest major centre.  State governments do not subsidise regional rail to provide cheap long distance, capital to capital-like, interstate travel.  Delete too many stops from the services, and you fundamentally defeat the reason that the service is run in the first place.

It would be a very different story if enough long distance passengers were prepared to pay their own way.  But that is not the case.

Similar comments apply to the discussion about providing sleepers, etc, for long distance travel.  You need to remember what the services, given their funding arrangements, are for.

If you want a comfortable inter-capital trip trip, then buy a business class airfare with your own money.
  a6et Minister for Railways

There are 15 stops between Broadmeadow and Brisbane, most are no closer than 45min apart. Maybe 1 or 2 could be deleted, but if people are using it then the train is providing a service. Stops for a few people should last more than 2-3min off the timetable. If they are rarely used then don't factor them into the timetable.

Its very questionable if Motorrail services and 1st class sleepers ever paid for themselves. Qld kept the motorrails until recently, but the cost is fairly high. Usage has died along with pax numbers.

One of advantages of having checked racks and baggage racks in the car door area. Still people getting on/off the train will always cause some disruption to people next to them. People tend to stir at stations anyway, well I do as the lack of movement and station lights with talking on the platform tends to wake me up some of the time. My most solid sleep was however in india, 7hr and didn't stir. But they have very large beds.

I think while we won't see sleepers we will see the rail bed, similar to BC on planes. I used Emirates older B777 BC to/from India recently and felt this would be fine for long haul in a train. Cheaper seating on the train could be more akin to EC, but with more leg room and wider seats.
RTT_Rules
The stations that I have referred to, & are for me primarilly aimed at the longer Interstate trains rather than others, also the other train from Casino which is a long haul for those that have hacked themselves on buses from the Gold Coast & other destinations between there & Casino, the time at Casino is not enhanced either with having to sit for over an hour before the Down service arrives without any sort of real facilities other than sometimes working drink, & snack vending machines.

The primary stations in this list, & I am in many ways reluctant to reduce stops for passengers but the way many operators work these days, along with the aspect that suitable close stations are available within reasonable driving distances needs to be considered especially when these stops are not patronised that much. Figures for those stations for these trains only would assist in evaluating them.  

Wingham is under 10 minutes drive from Taree.  Stations such as Macksville & Urunga are likewise quite close to Nambucca, Repton is also relatively close to Nambucca also, although Sawtell which surprisingly tends to have more passengers than Coffs Harbour has, is closer still.  Both Urunga & Repton are short platforms & passengers to & from there only have access through one door on the train these days, which is sensible but, means they lug their belongings through the train to their seats.

I would see these stations being served by other trains at their respective stations but not on the longer overnight trains.

The motorail services cost $110.00 per vehicle IIRC between destinations, that is from Melbourne - Sydney - Brisbane/Murwillimbah. On top of that was the sleeping ticket which had the 1st class & sleeper components added to them.  In NSWGR/PTC annual reports, the Motorail services were deemed cost neutral, owing to the higher prices paid for the sleeper accomodation which usually was for two passengers.  They also were more heavilly used for Victorians who were travelled to North Qld for the winter & returned for the summer, likewise school holidays as well. The cost for the Sunlander I understand was much more & not as popular as the other services owing to the costs.

I would also think that the way things are today, that with more & more 4x4 vehicles on the road their larger size would make them unsuitable for other than standard flat single deck wagons, making the cost a fair degree more.

The issue with the doors & end luggage racks is the air release noises of both the foot treddle operation as well as the air release of the door for it to close, when passengers are getting their luggage out & then new ones put theirs in, along with them standing on & off the floor treddle its an almost constant on off sound lasting for some time. I do not see why these are really part of the need of services in this day & age, especially the noise component.

The EC type seats I think would also be an issue with our trains, & would they actually save more & provide more for the service users?  As it stands now, there is often an arguement between passengers when the backrest is dropped back without notice to the person behind, lack of courtessy in letting them know, but then again there are some & they are frequent travellers who complain about the backrest restricting them.  They also have theirs back but thats of no consequence either, if they don't get their way, then they ensure they kick the back rest at timely intervals.  

These bogon types will never be dissuaded from their attitudes & are frequent travellers son any chance of catering for them will not work either.  In saying that, I do believe that a form of reasonable cost economy day night cars could be included in the long distance services of over 10 hours duration at night, even if it meant dedicated carriages for them
  a6et Minister for Railways

Interesting you picked that because - and I grant you my Swedish is a bit rough - variants of this train have 2+3 seating !!!

But this is the clear trend in European regional trains.  Small articulated MUs.  

Part of the goal here is to support low height platforms, and most trains have split levels to achieve this.

@a6et & 12 Hrs Syd - Mlb.  I think I made a mistake on the back of my envelope.  I'm sure 12 hrs is achievable, but with a max speed of 115 I really should have planned for 13hrs.  That adds $1mil a year to operating costs, and may generate other operating cost issues if it means a run can't be staffed by a single 12hr shift.
djf01
The old Aurora was a 13hour trip, with crew changes at Glbn & Junee, along with loco changes at Albury, those stops & times took app 30minutes at worst, thus you are 12 1/2 in running times. The SOP had a few more stops, & that included at least Moss Vale in each direction, as well as others, & it was around 45 minutes longer.

Both trains were 2xmain line loco's based on 44cl or similar. The introduction of the 422cl improved reliability & they could have reduced the running times without a lot of trouble.  Had the whole fleet been converted to superseries such as 42220 which was allowed to run at 130Km/h for the XPT running time tests on the Northern Tablelands then the likes of the SA, could easily have been reduced to under 12 hours & closer to perhaps 11hours, therefore the associated costs would have likely come down with them.
  a6et Minister for Railways

While I'm not going to the extent of advocating that trains have to stop at every little rural settlement...

The reason that governments subsidise regional rail is to connect regional areas with their nearest major centre.  State governments do not subsidise regional rail to provide cheap long distance, capital to capital-like, interstate travel.  Delete too many stops from the services, and you fundamentally defeat the reason that the service is run in the first place.

It would be a very different story if enough long distance passengers were prepared to pay their own way.  But that is not the case.

Similar comments apply to the discussion about providing sleepers, etc, for long distance travel.  You need to remember what the services, given their funding arrangements, are for.

If you want a comfortable inter-capital trip trip, then buy a business class airfare with your own money.
donttellmywife
Interestingly how you are able to say one thing then turn it to another.

However, in all of that, the reason that many people no long use rail is not always the aspect with the actuall cost, but they prefer to use rail, & even against the option of flying especially when they have rail that basically passes their location, meaning also the 2 or more hours to get an airport, each end of the journey becomes a large consideration in their choices.  

The biggest detriment though is the lack of genuine comfort in the trains especially in this day & age, even the second class seats match the same in aircraft for comfort, plus if you can handle the bounce in the XPT's you can at least get up & walk around when compared to air.

Older services were reduced & removed, not through lack of patronage, but for purelly political reasons, that were very much based on the end justifies the means, which means, the means justifies the end.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
For all the suggestions regarding the use of High Speed trains and better riding trains miss one area that although it has improved markedly over the years is the Track itself.
Starting back when there was basically no welded rail, timber sleepers with the rails spiked directly to them and hand packed ballast supporting the lot very erratically and to watch a steam engine rock and roll from side to side as it approached at speed on a section of track I am very familiar with, to go today and see a train like the XPT virtually glide along that same section shows just how much improvement has been needed to the track let along the train for this to happen.

Heavy welded rail, steel or concrete sleepers, rail head profiling along with mechanised ballast tamping is just part of whats needed for speeding up the trains but straightening curves to reduce friction along with leveling the grades are still some way off to get the maximum smooth and fast running desired by all.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Interestingly how you are able to say one thing then turn it to another.

However, in all of that, the reason that many people no long use rail is not always the aspect with the actuall cost, but they prefer to use rail, & even against the option of flying especially when they have rail that basically passes their location, meaning also the 2 or more hours to get an airport, each end of the journey becomes a large consideration in their choices.  

The biggest detriment though is the lack of genuine comfort in the trains especially in this day & age, even the second class seats match the same in aircraft for comfort, plus if you can handle the bounce in the XPT's you can at least get up & walk around when compared to air.

Older services were reduced & removed, not through lack of patronage, but for purelly political reasons, that were very much based on the end justifies the means, which means, the means justifies the end.
a6et
You can have your additional comfort targeted at long trips, but if you want to catch the train between Sydney and Brisbane, say in a twin share cabin, it will cost you $400 per person, with no concessions.

With the benefit of hindsight, the decision to reduce and remove the "older services" has turned out to be the right one.

Preference and patronage means nothing if revenue isn't covering costs.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

The issue with the doors & end luggage racks is the air release noises of both the foot treddle operation as well as the air release of the door for it to close, when passengers are getting their luggage out & then new ones put theirs in, along with them standing on & off the floor treddle its an almost constant on off sound lasting for some time. I do not see why these are really part of the need of services in this day & age, especially the noise component.

The EC type seats I think would also be an issue with our trains, & would they actually save more & provide more for the service users?  As it stands now, there is often an arguement between passengers when the backrest is dropped back without notice to the person behind, lack of courtessy in letting them know, but then again there are some & they are frequent travellers who complain about the backrest restricting them.  They also have theirs back but thats of no consequence either, if they don't get their way, then they ensure they kick the back rest at timely intervals.  

These bogon types will never be dissuaded from their attitudes & are frequent travellers son any chance of catering for them will not work either.  In saying that, I do believe that a form of reasonable cost economy day night cars could be included in the long distance services of over 10 hours duration at night, even if it meant dedicated carriages for them
a6et
The issue for seating tilting back on planes and I'll state right here anyone does this to me they are in for a very uncomfortable flight, is that the seat spacing on planes has become incredibly tight. Taller people (like me) are now travelling with their knees pressed into the seat. I have to remove all the books etc from the seat pocket and take my shoes off just to get that little bit more space. However even shorter people are complaining because you cannot even watch the TV properly when the seat is back, its angled down and too close. I am typing and reading this with no problems on my PC and likewise the papers on my desk without glasses, but when I get on a plane I have to watch TV with reading glasses.

So moral of the story, reclining seats are fine, but you need a civilised pitch between the seats and this starts from 35 inches, upwards. On trains seat spacing is less critical than planes.

Issue with Bogon's is tolerance by staff for their behavior and their proportion of travelling public on trains. As NSW trains has become the carrier for the great unwashed, it is deterring others from using and hence increased exposure to DHead behavior. Poor seating probably doesn't help as people get tied and cranky and hence why 5 across crammed seating without arm rests or ISE is asking for trouble over long distances.  Keep them spaced apart, entertained and comfortable and there are less issues and where there are, being detrained in middle of no-where at 2am in the morning will resolve this issue.  

As for the internal doors, yes it shouldn't be a scene out of Flying High 2 with the "sweesh" sound every time someone walks through. Regardless people getting on/off will always cause some disturbance.

Qld car carriers are single deck so this potentially adds to the cost. At around $300 per car last time I looked. Hard to imagine a wagon being dragged 1700km charging less than $1000 (assuming full with 3 cars) is making money. To drive them there under their own power there wouldn't be much change left after $1000. The NSW sleepers were known for many years to be loosing money.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Interesting you picked that because - and I grant you my Swedish is a bit rough - variants of this train have 2+3 seating !!!

But this is the clear trend in European regional trains.  Small articulated MUs.  

Part of the goal here is to support low height platforms, and most trains have split levels to achieve this.

@a6et & 12 Hrs Syd - Mlb.  I think I made a mistake on the back of my envelope.  I'm sure 12 hrs is achievable, but with a max speed of 115 I really should have planned for 13hrs.  That adds $1mil a year to operating costs, and may generate other operating cost issues if it means a run can't be staffed by a single 12hr shift.
djf01
I tried to post another type but the attachment wasn't playing the game.

Maybe try this one, the Bombardier link is the 2 car version but there are others and maybe just an option to add more modules to build up train length.

- Used in Toronto so this will probably apease the Nth american safety standard group.
- 2.93m across, so fits in our loading gauge. Not sure on other dimensions.
- A bit slow at 120km/hr, but probably can be boosted to 130-140km/hr without much pain.
- The 3 car version has the centre module at about 14-15m in length so the weight should be low enough for the desired axle load.

5 across seating is not fit for purpose in a car body less than 3.2m across for long haul of more than 3hr. If you are going to do that you may as well have Mike Tyson walk through every hour and randomly punch people in the head so they feel less discomfort from the seating arrangements.

http://www.bombardier.com/en/transportation/projects/project.talent-germany.html?f-region=all&show-by-page=50&page=1&f-country=fr&f-segment=all&f-type=Diesel-multiple-unit-DMU&f-name=all

  a6et Minister for Railways

For all the suggestions regarding the use of High Speed trains and better riding trains miss one area that although it has improved markedly over the years is the Track itself.
Starting back when there was basically no welded rail, timber sleepers with the rails spiked directly to them and hand packed ballast supporting the lot very erratically and to watch a steam engine rock and roll from side to side as it approached at speed on a section of track I am very familiar with, to go today and see a train like the XPT virtually glide along that same section shows just how much improvement has been needed to the track let along the train for this to happen.

Heavy welded rail, steel or concrete sleepers, rail head profiling along with mechanised ballast tamping is just part of whats needed for speeding up the trains but straightening curves to reduce friction along with leveling the grades are still some way off to get the maximum smooth and fast running desired by all.
gordon_s1942
If you read what I have been saying, you would pick up that I worked on steam & the old track network, & while its also true to say looking at a steam engine say 38cl or more so a 36cl at speed & seeing how they rocked & kicked, the same thing was found on the 46cl, as well as some of the diesels, but here it was worse in the cab than watching from the ground level, exception was a 42cl at speed with their rolling motion.

Today, the track is better with heavier rail & concrete sleepers, many areas have had grade & curve seperation but, & this is also something I have pointed out, the current XPT timetables have not really kept pace with that, in fact slower than when first introduced. To look at how the XPT seems to glide over the tracks from viewing outside also defies the difference on how they ride when walking through the train as against sitting in the seat.  I would suggest that they are no better in riding than was found in any of the older 6 wheel bogie passenger cars, at the same speeds.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
If you read what I have been saying, you would pick up that I worked on steam & the old track network, & while its also true to say looking at a steam engine say 38cl or more so a 36cl at speed & seeing how they rocked & kicked, the same thing was found on the 46cl, as well as some of the diesels, but here it was worse in the cab than watching from the ground level, exception was a 42cl at speed with their rolling motion.

Today, the track is better with heavier rail & concrete sleepers, many areas have had grade & curve seperation but, & this is also something I have pointed out, the current XPT timetables have not really kept pace with that, in fact slower than when first introduced. To look at how the XPT seems to glide over the tracks from viewing outside also defies the difference on how they ride when walking through the train as against sitting in the seat.  I would suggest that they are no better in riding than was found in any of the older 6 wheel bogie passenger cars, at the same speeds.
a6et
The slow down of the XPT timetable is not because its an XPT, rather its outcome of other factors. The same has occurred in the suburban areas. Automatic doors and "Stand-Clear, doors closing" have all taken their toll and the enforcement of speed limits that were impractical on older timetables.

Personally I felt the XPT was fine, I haven't ridden for 9 years with the only exception being the trip on QR tracks where every 3/4th sleeper was concrete and you had that corrugation effect travelling at speed.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner


5 across seating is not fit for purpose in a car body less than 3.2m across for long haul of more than 3hr. If you are going to do that you may as well have Mike Tyson walk through every hour and randomly punch people in the head so they feel less discomfort from the seating arrangements.
RTT_Rules

It's still more width per seat than you get on a road coach.

The idea is with unallocated seating, you don't need to sit next to Mike Tyson if you don't want to Smile.

BTW Thanks for the pic - I was unaware of that system.  It's in Ottowa, so I guess it's not surprising.  And to get around the safety issues, it's classified as light rail.  The same line is used for heavy rail trains out of usual operating hours, or "temporal separation".
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's still more width per seat than you get on a road coach.

The idea is with unallocated seating, you don't need to sit next to Mike Tyson if you don't want to Smile.

BTW Thanks for the pic - I was unaware of that system.  It's in Ottowa, so I guess it's not surprising.  And to get around the safety issues, it's classified as light rail.  The same line is used for heavy rail trains out of usual operating hours, or "temporal separation".
djf01
Hi
A coach is around 2.6m wide, NSW trains are 2.9m wide. I've used plenty of coach with arm rests. Buses/coaches are not designed or intended for the pax to be walking around the cabin and hence the smeg tight aisle is acceptable. I would not have thought that extra 30-40cm is worthy to be used for jamming an extra seat with the loss of further space for the other four. Trains also have thicker walls than buses.

My point is, if I'm going to get coach style accommodation I may as well catch one and probably be there faster.

That actual train may not be suitable for NSW for various reasons (centre doors for a starter probably won't work), but he concept is what I was mostly focused on. Reading the comments about movement between cars on the XPT I have warmed up to Articulated fixed car sets over fixed independent cars sets (AKA Velocity/XPL etc).

I have riden something in Sweden that looked like the attachment, 3 modules with low floor access, DMU, centre doors with First and Second class seating and vending machines in an open area that was also used to store bikes and I think had a dunny.

Mike was there to push you out when you complained about sore backs, necks and not being able to sleep. He doesn't have to be seated next to you.

EDIT: Was just reading an old news article about a fatty having to buy two seats on Jetstar. I think considering the direction the Australian population is headed, you need arm rests because too many may not fit in the seat and just make it even harder for the person next to them. At least if they don't fit in the seat with arm rests down they should be forced to pay for the spare seat or get off.

I'm not against non-fixed seating for EC, but see little benefit in doing so. Modern booking system does this automatically so its not a cost saver. Jetstar abandoned it for good reason!
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Hi
A coach is around 2.6m wide, NSW trains are 2.9m wide. I've used plenty of coach with arm rests. Buses/coaches are not designed or intended for the pax to be walking around the cabin and hence the smeg tight aisle is acceptable.
RTT_Rules

Try 2.5m & 3.0m.  The last bus I was on - and indeed the CL road coaches - have less lateral space than an Endeavour.  The seats are more comfortable of course - but that's not the point.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The bus I got by just google bus size, no paticularly bus.The train size from wiki.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.