Long Island steel

 
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Nothing short of the track missing would stop the 4 trains or day.

PTV got caught out again. Lack of maintenance.

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  ossie_66 Station Staff

Thanks, I thought as much.  With the combination of potentially faulty crossings & this article, let's hope no one driving down there takes "closure" too literally then.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I can confirm that the Long Island steel trains have continued to run normally.

The "closure" is not being flagged as such locally.  The passenger trains are being replaced with buses until further notice - currently said to be late June - wit the words "closure" or "closed" not being used at all.

Opinions vary according to whom you speak but it seems that the sprinters have failed to reliably activate level crossing predictors whereas the length and weight of the steel trains has not caused a problem.  

It is very obvious from loadings that this medium-term interruption to passenger trains has done significant damage to the loadings and use made of the service.  Connections to the City and to the ferries at Stony Point are missed and while most passengers are making purely local trips - mostly to or from Frankston - those who relied on the connections at either end have had to make other arrangements.  Extended journey times are mentioned in PTV messages but nowhere is there any reference to the lack of connections nor to the actual running times of the buses.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
It is very obvious from loadings that this medium-term interruption to passenger trains has done significant damage to the loadings and use made of the service.  Connections to the City and to the ferries at Stony Point are missed and while most passengers are making purely local trips - mostly to or from Frankston - those who relied on the connections at either end have had to make other arrangements.  Extended journey times are mentioned in PTV messages but nowhere is there any reference to the lack of connections nor to the actual running times of the buses.
Gwiwer

It is not surprising in the least people are voting with their feet.  Why has this line not been upgraded and electrified?  Metro obviously regard the people of the peninsula as second class the way the line has been allowed fail into crossing despair.
  ossie_66 Station Staff

The "closure" is not being flagged as such locally.  The passenger trains are being replaced with buses until further notice - currently said to be late June - wit the words "closure" or "closed" not being used at all.
Gwiwer
Thanks, that's good to know.

From what you say, it sounds as though it's going to be a difficult couple of months for anyone that regularly uses the Stony Point service, but then, life for Victorian commuters isn't meant to be easy. Rolling Eyes
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Nothing short of the track missing would stop the 4 trains or day.

PTV got caught out again. Lack of maintenance.
freightgate

Maintenance of the rail network in Victoria being the metro and regional networks (with the exception of ARTC controlled and maintained track) should be the responsibility of Victrack or the PTV. Victrack should be managing the contracts and maintenance cycles for all lines and ensuring track and infrastructure is up to standard.

The management of Victrack should be examined to ensure the right mindset and resource skills are installed in this group.

This I believe would fix a lot of the problems.  Also get the line to Stony Point electrified and re-deploy the sprinters to other parts of the network.

How simple this should be.  Andrews has already allocated $257m for the Geelong line and more vline cars and maintenance centre (looks like Geelong Yard has some space after being down there on Friday)

How much would it cost to electrifiy and upgrade the stations and track to Stony Point?

The answer of course is a small amount over 25 years of operation and provided convenience.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Stony Point is one of the most-discussed lines in our forum for one reason or another.

In some ways its survival is an anachronism, in others a fortuitous opportunity to develop the Westernport region.  

I believe it should be electrified but how best to do it?  It is not the responsibility of Metro (MTM) but of PTV to scope such projects.  It isn't even on most people's radars let alone a high priority project.  In terms of "bang for buck" it won't even register a quiet squeak for cents.  Other projects more urgently need scarce funding if the entire rail network is not to come to a grinding and overloaded halt within the next few years.

Stony Point must be electrified and upgraded as a whole-route project not piecemeal with a connection at Baxter rather than Frankston if the berthing facility at the former goes ahead.  What is needed is an independent third platform at Frankston which can be provided for a three-car train as things stand; for a six car train it would require much more major works probably involving loss of some sidings.  Three car trains should be more than adequate for many years to come if a more frequent service were to be offered as well.

All platforms require lengthening and raising to three-car EMU standards; some require more work than others.  Improved lighting, waiting and information facilities are required and Hastings should be serviced as a premium (i.e. staffed) station.  Somerville could benefit from morning peak staffing though I understand PTV is moving away from the host station model.

Double track is required to Hastings though single will suffice beyond.  If a loop were provided at Crib Point a 20-minute peak headway would become possible if traffic developed to the extent that was warranted.  At a minimum a loop at Tyabb on the single line will permit an hourly headway but why do things by halves?

Most traffic is local to the route so the provision of through City services is not a priority.  This eases carriage working and eliminates the need for 6-car trains beyond Frankston and the wasteful provision of longer platforms where they are unlikely to ever be needed.  An hourly service would be adequate off-peak and half-hourly in the peaks.  If traffic really exploded then a 20-minute peak service could operate if trains crossed at Crib Point or if two of three in each hour terminated at Hastings.  

Double track to Hastings also permits continued operation of the Long Island steel trains and offers limited scope for more freight to the region.  That scope is limited by capacity on the Frankston line as a whole and more critically by the capacity constraints between Caulfield and the Melbourne yards.  It is also possible that in future years that traffic will benefit from conversion to standard gauge in which case the route via Frankston will no longer be viable as it cannot be dual-gauged without seriously impacting on passenger train timings.

The parallel bus services are not generally well supported.  They are used for local trips to and from Hastings and Frankston and at peak times can be busy.  The extensions to Flinders are almost unused but survived a proposed withdrawal recently.  They would have been replaced with a demand-responsive option provided by a shared large-capacity taxi.

Western port is growing and will grow faster in coming years as the urban growth boundary is shifted outwards.  I can see the time coming when there will be no gap in the houses from Cranbourne to Hastings and possibly from Frankston also.  In that respect there is a need to provide good public transport on the Westernport Highway corridor but possibly not by rail as there is no obvious connectivity to either Cranbourne or Frankston lines.  If the proposed freight link to Hastings via that corridor eventuates it should be standard gauge which might preclude a passenger service sharing it.

I can understand the Government wishing to ensure its front garden and lawns are beautiful of the world to admire and Melburnians to enjoy.  But it would do well not to ignore its backyard and to start putting money into Westernport before it becomes an outer suburban ghetto with poor access to jobs, education, healthcare and large retailers and finds itself with a public perception of being a dark and dangerous area to be.  The neighbours in Mornington wouldn't care much for that either!
  ossie_66 Station Staff

BL34, G541 & 34 wagons (24 x coils, 10 x butter boxes) through Patterson at 11:50am.

  thekingoffoxes Chief Train Controller

Y164 spotted at the terminal, maybe they are getting ready to swap it back?
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
No doubt this is a dumb question, and I should know the answer - why is Y164 in the old ( good old? ) blue and gold VR livery?
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
According to VicSig Y164 is Preserved Operational by Steamrail Victoria, no doubt hence it's colour scheme.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Thanks nscaler - as I said, I should have known.Embarassed
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
According to VicSig Y164 is Preserved Operational by Steamrail Victoria, no doubt hence it's colour scheme.
nscaler69
FYI we have a whole section on locomotives here Smile

https://www.railpage.com.au/locos/y-class/y164
  hot-axle-box Junior Train Controller

Nothing short of the track missing would stop the 4 trains or day.

PTV got caught out again. Lack of maintenance.
freightgate
How do you assume there is a lack of maintenance on this line when you come from NSW ? Crews have been out there 3 times a week cleaning the rails on the approach to all crossings on the line with a rail scrubber (don't ask me what it looks like but it's attached to a hi-rail) this has been going on for months to try and keep the crossings working properly. And the normal maintenance crews are regularly out there doing something or other. and by the way Metro are in charge of the maintenance not PTV.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Indeed.  The problem is electro-mechanical and related to the installed hardware not a lack of maintenance.

However there were those among us who were unsure about the reliable operation of axle-counters and level-crossing predictors when sprinters replaced the A+MTH cars train. I don't wish to suggest we know better than the technical staff concerned but it seems there is some substance behind those concerns.
  hot-axle-box Junior Train Controller

It's kinda more on the mechanical side, the Sprinters have been suffering from bad rail and wheel contamination, sand being one of the causes. And with the sprinters not having tread brakes to scrape off the muck the cause is a weak shunt of the track circuits.
The long Island has no problems because of its weight and having lovely shiny wheels every time the brakes are applied.
The locals are whinging saying "why don't we have a passenger train but the steel train is still running".
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
I know of a fair number of locals who have made changes to their travel habits which may not be reversed once trains return.

Most now have lifts or use their own cars to reach Frankston.  The 10.15 down replacement bus from Frankston departed with just four passengers aboard.  While not the busiest trip of the day the train would typically have had more like 20 - 30 on.

The afternoon up steelie came through Frankston over an hour late today behind BL34+29.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's kinda more on the mechanical side, the Sprinters have been suffering from bad rail and wheel contamination, sand being one of the causes. And with the sprinters not having tread brakes to scrape off the muck the cause is a weak shunt of the track circuits.
The long Island has no problems because of its weight and having lovely shiny wheels every time the brakes are applied.
The locals are whinging saying "why don't we have a passenger train but the steel train is still running".
hot-axle-box
And this problem is related to just sprinters. The new spark over running the terminal platform at Cleveland Qld into the toilet was put down to a similar cause.
  Gwiwer Rt Hon Gentleman and Ghost of Oliver Bulleid

Location: Loitering in darkest Somewhere
Anyone travelling south of Moorabbin is in for a treat next weekend.  Multiple works sites and the ongoing situation on the Stony Point line  means buses will run Moorabbin - Frankston - Stony Point!  Expect journey times to blow out by well over an hour and don't expect anything in like connections to be maintained.

PTV website has the times of the buses as far as Frankston but has never (that I've been able to find) offered bus times for the now lengthy interruption to Stony Point passenger services.  The buses leave Frankston at the advertised train times plus a few minutes to ensure they are seen off by platform staff but journey times "may be extended by 15 minutes".  Up services leave Stony Point roughly at train times and experience has shown they arrive at Frankston 20 - 30 minutes later than the train times.

It's mid-winter and very quiet times on the ferries but you wonder how much business they have also lost through missed connections and unreliability.  There are no guarantees of buses waiting for boats or vice versa meaning waits at Stony Point of 2 hours or more.
  hot-axle-box Junior Train Controller

And this problem is related to just sprinters. The new spark over running the terminal platform at Cleveland Qld into the toilet was put down to a similar cause.
RTT_Rules
The sprinters aren't having overruns ! they are failing to activate predictor type level crossings because of wheel contamination. What you are talking about sounds more related to what was happening with the Siemens trains.
  JoppaJunction Chief Train Controller

Location: Banned
The sprinters aren't having overruns ! they are failing to activate predictor type level crossings because of wheel contamination. What you are talking about sounds more related to what was happening with the Siemens trains.
hot-axle-box

Hi.  What is wheel contamination?
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
Hi.  What is wheel contamination?
JoppaJunction
The train detectors require an electrical circuit to be made by the train's wheels, but if there is any accumulated rubbish on the treads of the wheels, the operation of the detectors is intermittent and unreliable. Older style rail vehicles used brake pads which pressed against the tread of the wheel, thus cleaning the wheel, and the contacting surface, every time the brakes were applied.

Modern trains use disk brakes, inboard of the wheels, so there is nothing cleaning the wheel tread any longer. Add to that the fact that vehicles like the Sprinter and Vlocity only have 4 axles per car, and it can make for unreliable train passage detection.

A further issue, particularly in rural areas, is that in Autumn, leaves fall from some of the trees lineside and lie on the tracks. These further contribute to the problem by making the contact unreliable.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Add to that the fact that vehicles like the Sprinter and Vlocity only have 4 wheels per car, . . .
"TheBlacksmith"
Eh? I thought they had eight - or is that only four which pass over the detector? ( i.e. the detector is on one rail only )
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
The train detectors require an electrical circuit to be made by the train's wheels, but if there is any accumulated rubbish on the treads of the wheels, the operation of the detectors is intermittent and unreliable. Older style rail vehicles used brake pads which pressed against the tread of the wheel, thus cleaning the wheel, and the contacting surface, every time the brakes were applied.
TheBlacksmith

Great summary.

Sprinters are deployed on other lines across the network. Is this problem also manifesting on other lines where Sprinters are used?
  M636C Minister for Railways

Great summary.

Sprinters are deployed on other lines across the network. Is this problem also manifesting on other lines where Sprinters are used?
"x31"


In a word - Yes...

It has been a problem with Sprinters since their introduction.

Two car Velocities aren't much better.

The more cars you have the better, of course...

On busier lines, the rails are cleaner too, which helps...

M636C

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