High Speed Signalling.. Cranbourne-Pakenham rail corridor

 
  mickamious Junior Train Controller

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doubters-fear-signal-upgrade-wont-work-on-melbournes-old-and-complex-rail-network-20140913-10gdrf.html
I made the comments earlier in the year about the costs etc
Here's the story to prove it...
Cost blowout is coming!

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  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/doubters-fear-signal-upgrade-wont-work-on-melbournes-old-and-complex-rail-network-20140913-10gdrf.html
I made the comments earlier in the year about the costs etc
Here's the story to prove it...
Cost blowout is coming!
Grosso

There'll be a reduction in scope for the HCS implementation, mark my words. Probably Dandenong-Cranbourne only, as there's no V/Line or freight services to deal with that way. There was a reason they wanted to do a HCS trial on the Sandringham line first.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Similarly Imade the same point earlier this year.
The issue is not about implementing a new high capacity signaling system.  There is no doubt such a system is neededthat can offer a capacity and efficiency network right across the network).  The prime issue and the oneconcerning highly experienced people in the Department of Transport and elsewhere is the type of system being proposed.   In simple terms the system being proposed byMetro Trains and their consortia is only used on dedicated “Metro” systems that use one type of train.   To the best ofmany peoples knowledge, this system has NOT been used on a mixed traffic railway of multiple train types and configurations.


The systemthat others would like to see is the European ECTMS (the techno guys will correct me on the right acronym).  
Basically it is a PROVEN European wide system used for mixed trafficnetworks that have all the same characteristics as the Dandenong Corridor, (junctions, level crossings, freight trains, regional passenger trains, metropolitan passenger trains etc).   The system isalso used in other locations as well.


In asimplistic sense the comparison with Myki is very relevant where there was enormous customization undertaken and considerable impacts on the customer.   The proposed system will dramatically impactfreight and passenger operations.  Only asmall fleet of V/Line V’Locity trains will be fitted so that impacts fleet utilization and hence the recent clearance tests of V”locity sets on the Avon River Bride.  I haven’t been updated onhow it affects freight but I’m told there will be both technical and operating restrictions involved.

In contrastthe system preferred by others is scaleable so it can be progressively installed across the network driving long term benefits for everyone.

(Sad to sayit seems to be a Victorian mindset here yet again like singling the Bendigo Line, not spending just 1% more on gauge convertible sleepers for RFR, maintenance and other projects for future proofing, Myki, etc)
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Norda Fittazroy
If this ever works, and we get 30 trains an hour, we might as well close all the roads that have level crossings. A warning time of 20 or 25 seconds, plus time for the train to pass, plus time for the warning system to stop means that no cars will have a cat in hell's chance of getting across.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

If this ever works, and we get 30 trains an hour, we might as well close all the roads that have level crossings. A warning time of 20 or 25 seconds, plus time for the train to pass, plus time for the warning system to stop means that no cars will have a cat in hell's chance of getting across.
Valvegear


Managment of the metro system already know and understand this problem, I think you will find the installation of the system will be on condition the level crossings are all to be grade separated.

The source of this is an interview with senior metro managment on ABC local Melbourne 774khz sometime ago. He stated the level crossings was one of the most serious restrictions on increasing the rail traffic, due to grig lock being caused on the roads by closed level crossing barriers. He also stated the Melbourne network had over 200 level crossings where as the Sydney network only had 4.

woodford
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Managment of the metro system already know and understand this problem, I think you will find the installation of the system will be on condition the level crossings are all to be grade separated.

The source of this is an interview with senior metro managment on ABC local Melbourne 774khz sometime ago. He stated the level crossings was one of the most serious restrictions on increasing the rail traffic, due to grig lock being caused on the roads by closed level crossing barriers. He also stated the Melbourne network had over 200 level crossings where as the Sydney network only had 4.
woodford

Sydney had a progressive program from the 1960's through to the 70's to remove nearly all the metro level crossings - it worked really well. No such program here.

Reading the original Age article, there seems to be some doubts about the ability of the new signalling system to actually deliver what it is supposed to. V/line and express trains will still have to crawl.  Wouldn't a better option have been to proceed with the tri- or quad- tracking of those pinch points? Or would that make too much sense?
  historian Deputy Commissioner

Similarly Imade the same point earlier this year.
The issue is not about implementing a new high capacity signaling system. There is no doubt such a system is neededthat can offer a capacity and efficiency network right across the network). The prime issue and the oneconcerning highly experienced people in the Department of Transport and elsewhere is the type of system being proposed. In simple terms the system being proposed byMetro Trains and their consortia is only used on dedicated “Metro” systems that use one type of train. To the best ofmany peoples knowledge, this system has NOT been used on a mixed traffic railway of multiple train types and configurations.


The systemthat others would like to see is the European ECTMS (the techno guys will correct me on the right acronym).
Basically it is a PROVEN European wide system used for mixed trafficnetworks that have all the same characteristics as the Dandenong Corridor, (junctions, level crossings, freight trains, regional passenger trains, metropolitan passenger trains etc). The system isalso used in other locations as well.
Trainplanner


Problem is that the systems that exist at the moment don't do what is wanted in Melbourne.

What we want is ETCS Level 3. The problem is that this doesn't exist as proven product yet - indeed last time I looked it didn't even exist as a proposed standard yet. This leaves a choice of ETCS Level 1 or 2, or a proprietary CBTC system. The first two won't deliver the capacity improvement. The third has a high risk of vendor lock-in.

ETCS (European Train Control System) is an international standard, vendor kit will interoperate, and it has been applied to all sorts of trains. Three big ticks. Problem is that it won't deliver any capacity improvements at the moment. ETCS comes in three levels. Level 1 is a bolt on to the existing signalling system, which makes it 'cheap'. However, this also means that there is no increase in capacity - really the only benefit is a reduction in SPADs. Indeed, unless additional kit is added, ETCS Level 1 is likely to cause a reduction in capacity. ETCS Level 2 uses mobile telephones (GSM-R) to communicate instructions to the trains, but still uses the existing track circuits. This, at least, means no reduction in capacity, but doesn't mean an increase in capacity as the existing track circuits are used. It also requires significant additional kit - probably replacement of much of the remaining relay based signalling with modern computer based interlockings. And it requires significant mobile telephone bandwidth as each train essentially has a continuous phone call open to the central computer. For both levels, it would be possible to resignal the lines with new short track circuits to get additional capacity, but this would be expensive...

CBTC (Communications Based Train Control) uses radio to communicate both the position of the train to the central control and the instructions to the train. It does increase line capacity (proven). ETCS Level 3 will be a CBTC, but it doesn't exist yet as proven product. This leaves a slew of proprietary products. The fundamental problem with all of these is that if we choose one of them, we will be locked into the product and the vendor forevermore (or at least until we spend another squillion dollars to replace it). And when ETCS Level 3 comes down the path, the proprietary systems will be dead products. Most of the current products are designed specifically for metro style systems and adapting it for a mix of trains would be a financial risk. (Incidentally, the ARTC system (ATMS) is a CBTC, but is not designed for metro systems.) To give you an idea of the risks, one of the leading CBTC systems was chosen by London Underground a couple of years ago for installation on the District and Circle lines. After a year or so of development, LU and the vendor jointly decided to can the project as the product wasn't a good fit.

ETCS, at the moment, is really about interoperability (particularly in Europe) and improving safety (particularly on high speed/high
density lines). Most existing CBTC products are about increasing capacity on metros. Your choice. Choose wisely.
  g00r Locomotive Fireman

2 questions.

i. In relation to a signaling system, what is the difference between one type of train and another?
My understanding is the signaling is moved from trackside to in the cab. (Possibly an oversimplification) wouldn't it be a case of handing out boxes to every metro/freight train that comes to town?

ii. Can't remember where I saw it, but freight train heading to WA being signalled in the cab with authorities given well in advance.
Is this an Australian system, is it HCS and (depending on the answer to q1)  could it be adapted to other networks.
I.e. if was specifically built here for one condition, modify it to suit another.
(So we're at least locked in to and Aus bssed product)
  gmanning1 Junior Train Controller

Location: Sydney
Sydney had a progressive program from the 1960's through to the 70's to remove nearly all the metro level crossings - it worked really well.
don_dunstan


The difference is fairly noticeable. I can't ever recall seeing any level crossings whilst driving or training around Sydney. Does anyone know where these 4 crossings are?



When I was briefly in Clayton, the traffic queues around the level crossings were horrendous at certain times of the day.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

IN the interview I have already refered to the metro management stated more services on the Dandenong line could by used currently, but to do so would mean the level crossings would be closed for too much time resulting in road