Vlocity to Stratford today

  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
A few photos of the "test train" which saw some Bairnsdale trains terminate at Sale today. A 3-car Vlocity did a series of test runs over the Avon River bridge at Stratford, which has been said to have clearance problems for these trains.

Checking clearances on the cantilever span, which has tighter clearances than the others.

Apparently, after the initial very slow run with frequent stops, there was more clearance than expected. Subsequent runs were made at higher speeds, although with the 10km/h limit, still quite slow.

1220 on the trestle at Stratford.

Sitting at Stratford station after testing.

Heading back to Traralgon at the site of Montgomery, between Stratford and Sale.

So, now that we know Vlocities CAN cross the bridge at Stratford, one must wonder how long until we see them on regular services to Bairnsdale.

Train arrived at the bridge at 10:10 and departed at 14:00. It did not run beyond Stratford.

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  Duncs Chief Commissioner

As Bairnsdale is a long haul route, I would expect loco hauled N Sets to contunue. But for a future second generation long haul
V Locity, we now know they can go to Bairnsdale.
  B 67 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland
I don't expect an end to N sets to Bairnsdale yet either. But extending some Traralgon services would be helpful out this way. Or some Traralgon - Bairnsdale shuttles. People have been asking for more services for years - especially for commuters - currently no services for them. But they've just announced that we'll be getting 4 extra services (meaning 2 each way), but they'll be road coaches - for the time being.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
They won't be testing just for fun......
  mm42 Chief Train Controller

Could this be related to providing additional services to Warrnambool ?  The current official plan is to upgrade level crossings on the Shepparton route to allow DMU's, so N-classes allocated to Shepparton could instead be used to Warrnambool.  However there are lots of cross roads on the Shepparton line.  However the Bairnsdale line has relatively few cross roads - I counted 18 cross roads Google Earth.  Many of these have recently been upgraded with axle counters. At say $100,000 per crossing to add booms it is only $1.8m, which would allow 2 N sets to be swapped for 2 x 3-car Vlo's.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Is this the first time any Vlocity has ventured past Sale? If so, why has it taken this long to do clearance testing?
  444Desiro Station Staff

Getting Vlocitys running to Bairnsdale would also remove the need to fit any N-class with High Capacity Signalling equipment, I wonder if that is in the thinking at all...
  712M Chief Commissioner

An advantage of running Vlocities out to Bairnsdale is that you can shave up to 15 minutes of running time by utilizing the RFR between Traralgon and Pakenham,  possibly more if you eliminate the Garfield and Drouin stops. However the same time could be saved by adding additional tracks between Dandenong and the City. No need to run - around at Bairnsdale will also quicker turnaround times and possibly additional services.
  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
The way i see it Vline needed to know if a Vlocity could fit, even if it was only 80mm at the closest point at 15 kph. If it didn't fit a new bridge would be required and as it has they only need to maintain it alas with a restriction. As far as running to Bairnsdale or any long distance i think that will only happen when they build purpose built Vlocity's or as a last resort as with all the unprotected crossings would limit the speed to 80kph.
  frezno Junior Train Controller

444Desiro, do you or anyone else thinks its absurd that Vline trains will be fitted with this high capacity Signaling capability crap, especially since this will not benefit Vline in any way? Let's hope this isn't why they are testing the bridge.
I have heard rumours, and that's all they are, that the HCS equipment on metro trains will be nothing more than a repeater for lineside infrastructure, meaning the Vline trains won't need to be fitted out. If not, they will be spending millions on Vlocities alone (plus locos and sprinters if need be) to add all this equipment to these trains, and for what benefit? Longer and slower running times for regional commuters. What a joke.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
It is interesting that V-Line have tested a Vlocity to Stratford, but there is absolutely no point in regularly running one to Bairnsdale.

The track beyond Traralgon is only Class 3.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It is interesting that V-Line have tested a Vlocity to Stratford, but there is absolutely no point in regularly running one to Bairnsdale.

The track beyond Traralgon is only Class 3.

Eventual phasing out N Class loco hauled trains and running Vlocities on every Intercity route as standard rolling stock ?

N Class and N Cars are getting old and are behind the eight ball when running on RFR lines.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Maybe also being looked at minimise loco runaround movements at SCS 15/16 especially during peak times.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Make no mistake everyone this is about Metro calling the shots in association with PTV in regard to what equipment and types of train sets will operate on the Dandenong Corridor following the implementation of THEIR version of high capacity signalling. There's a lot more to unfold yet on this. Instead of VLine rolling over they should have insisted that the project should fund a properly configured longer distance new generation version of the NSW Explorer/Prospector or equivalent train sets. Instead residents in iEast Gippsland will instead be thrown a few VLocities basically extended from Taralgon not taking into account that with connecting coaches at Bairnsdale many passengers endure 6 plus hour journeys not 2.5 hour commuter trips. This is a project worth billions and acquisition of a suitable fleet of say 5 long distance new train sets to replace N sets as a precursor to then replacing all N sets across the network is peanuts in the big scheme of things.

But as usual it's Latrobe Valley and Gippsland communities and somehow they are deserving of lower standards of service than elsewhere. Also note that at one point it was proposed to terminate all VLine services at Pakenham something strenuously denied publicly but internally was actively being pursued.

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