High Capacity Metro Trains (HCMT) Order

 
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
- CBTC (Computer Based Train Control)
Lockie91
CBTC stands for Communications-based train control.

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  historian Deputy Commissioner

A few bombshells in this report. Ouch!

https://www.smh.com.au/national/melbourne-s-new-trains-being-built-in-china-by-blacklisted-belt-and-road-firm-20201002-p561hj.html

The Chinese company which won the $2.3 billion contract to build Melbourne's new train fleet is central to President Xi Jinping's controversial Belt and Road Initiative and was recently blacklisted by the US government due to the security risks posed by its ties to the Chinese government.

CRRC is the worlds largest railway car supplier valued at over $40B, they have made train sets for dozens of cities around the world including the US. The security concerns raised in this article relate to fully fitted trains, off the shelf ready to go.
Lockie91

US concern about the 'security' issues has also to be read in the context of a hot trade war between the US and China, and an administration that promised to revive US manufacturing.

I would suspect that the security issues are simply a cover for US domestic politics.


Seriously. Reporters should occasionally take a cold shower. When they breathlessly repeat every rumour that someone wants to plant, it doesn't seem that they ever ask themselves "How likely?", "Is the game worth the candle?"

Yes, the Chinese could put backdoors into the computerised systems on the train, but what would be the benefit? You *might* be able to cause a smash, but the only consequence would be to shut down the affected train line. The brutal reality is that a suburban rail line is not critical infrastructure - Melbourne won't stop if it's shut down.

It almost seems like their brains switch off as soon as someone says "security", let alone "terrorism".
  Op Kronos Station Master

Please put your criticisms of China and CRRC aside please as it is deviating from the main discussion point of this topic and talk about it elsewhere.

I have received unconfirmed information from a friend that last Tuesday night (06/10/20), set 21 was transferred from Newport Workshops to Pakenham East. This means that they at around 33.33% or 1/3 of the way in terms of completed sets (remember the contract is for 65 sets).

Also, at least sets 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 have been sighted by some people undergoing mainline testing among normal services (not sure about the others, I am only making this statement based on photos and videos that people have put up online). This has included running with power from the overhead from Pakenham East to Sunbury via Flinders Street as shown in a video by Marcus Wong which I posted about a while back as well as from Pakenham East to Werribee along with presumably the usual Pakenham East to Berwick, Newport to Werribee, Pakenham East to Flinders Street and others that I cannot quite think about right now. Also I have seen a video on Facebook that I unfortunately cannot share here as it is in a private group that showed one of the sets travelling through the loop from the Southern Cross direction towards Richmond.

My guess is that should the HCMTs be introduced in the rumoured December timetable change, I would expect a minimum of 3 (conservative and more reasonable guess) up to maybe a maximum of 10 (optimistic guess) HCMT sets to enter service based on again the various photos and videos posted by people online that indicated which sets have been doing the most testing. The video of the HCMT set going towards Richmond in the lop surprised me as according to the rumoured timetable has all Pakenham/Cranbourne trains heading anticlockwise (though I suppose the alleged signal placement alterations apply only at the platforms for the departure signals and since the HCMT did not stop, it does not matter).
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Any change to wheel-chair procedures?  Some official source (I think PTV's website) mentions there is a wheel-chair space beside every door.  Does that mean all doors will have automatic ramps?  If so, they'll need some reliable means of alighting request.  The wheel-chair request button on Citadis trams often get abused by able bodied naughty passengers and drivers have to ignore it until the terminus before deploying the ramp to cancel the indication.  I don't think it's practical to extend them at every station.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Please put your criticisms of China and CRRC aside please as it is deviating from the main discussion point of this topic and talk about it elsewhere.

I have received unconfirmed information from a friend that last Tuesday night (06/10/20), set 21 was transferred from Newport Workshops to Pakenham East. This means that they at around 33.33% or 1/3 of the way in terms of completed sets (remember the contract is for 65 sets).

Also, at least sets 2, 3, 4, 10 and 11 have been sighted by some people undergoing mainline testing among normal services (not sure about the others, I am only making this statement based on photos and videos that people have put up online). This has included running with power from the overhead from Pakenham East to Sunbury via Flinders Street as shown in a video by Marcus Wong which I posted about a while back as well as from Pakenham East to Werribee along with presumably the usual Pakenham East to Berwick, Newport to Werribee, Pakenham East to Flinders Street and others that I cannot quite think about right now. Also I have seen a video on Facebook that I unfortunately cannot share here as it is in a private group that showed one of the sets travelling through the loop from the Southern Cross direction towards Richmond.

My guess is that should the HCMTs be introduced in the rumoured December timetable change, I would expect a minimum of 3 (conservative and more reasonable guess) up to maybe a maximum of 10 (optimistic guess) HCMT sets to enter service based on again the various photos and videos posted by people online that indicated which sets have been doing the most testing. The video of the HCMT set going towards Richmond in the lop surprised me as according to the rumoured timetable has all Pakenham/Cranbourne trains heading anticlockwise (though I suppose the alleged signal placement alterations apply only at the platforms for the departure signals and since the HCMT did not stop, it does not matter).
Op Kronos
Set 10 or 11 ended up going to Camberwell, I think. They've got to test on every line is what I got told.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville


I have received unconfirmed information from a friend that last Tuesday night (06/10/20), set 21 was transferred from Newport Workshops to Pakenham East. This means that they at around 33.33% or 1/3 of the way in terms of completed sets (remember the contract is for 65 sets).
"Op Kronos"


As something to give a bit more confirmation to that, this website https://modelrail.otenko.com/melbourne-broad-gauge-freight-trains
shows P18 hauled something through Melbourne at 2246 on the run number used by these transfers. It's not official confirmation but does support your information

Neil
  Op Kronos Station Master

Thank you Neil for the linked site..


In other news, I have seen a video on a private Facebook group that shows set 8 travelling through Hughesdale on a test run using its own motors and power from the overhead. What stood out to me was that the video showed set 8 has had PTV livery, accessibility stickers (wheelchair symbols - placed on the side of some doors and the new "bike and pram zone" stickers - placed on the top of some doors) and yellow tape (around the edges of all passenger salon doors) applied.

It is unknown if other sets (besides the other two that are known to have livery which are sets 1 and 20) have had the same treatment applied. But the fact that at least one of the first few sets has received it means that the others (especially the ones that have done a great deal of testing and deemed more "ready" to enter service) might be receiving it soon as the rumoured date of entry of service (which is supposedly in December this year which also coincides with a rumoured timetable change) draws nearer (I do not think the government would want an unliveried train as part of their press announcement).
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Thank you Neil for the linked site..


In other news, I have seen a video on a private Facebook group that shows set 8 travelling through Hughesdale on a test run using its own motors and power from the overhead. What stood out to me was that the video showed set 8 has had PTV livery, accessibility stickers (wheelchair symbols - placed on the side of some doors and the new "bike and pram zone" stickers - placed on the top of some doors) and yellow tape (around the edges of all passenger salon doors) applied.

It is unknown if other sets (besides the other two that are known to have livery which are sets 1 and 20) have had the same treatment applied. But the fact that at least one of the first few sets has received it means that the others (especially the ones that have done a great deal of testing and deemed more "ready" to enter service) might be receiving it soon as the rumoured date of entry of service (which is supposedly in December this year which also coincides with a rumoured timetable change) draws nearer (I do not think the government would want an unliveried train as part of their press announcement).
Op Kronos
Sets 3 and 4 dont have a livery, and this is of Saturday night/Sunday morning
  Op Kronos Station Master

Thanks @speedmon08 for the information.

Update - I have found the video of set 8 at Hughesdale as the person who posted on the Facebook Group has uploaded it to YouTube with the video found at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rImg95-d3zs

Also, I have found a video of set 3 at Newmarket heading towards Flemington Racecourse:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YkdzUThoJs
  Carnot Minister for Railways

An interesting write up on the very necessary changes they had to make with the HCMTs:
https://www.bca.org.au/2018/09/28/closing-the-gap-on-melbournes-trains/
  footscrazy Station Master

Dec 13 TT pushed up till next year.
Not sure if that means the HCMT introduction is also delayed?
  steve195 Train Controller

Dec 13 TT pushed up till next year.
Not sure if that means the HCMT introduction is also delayed?
I would assume so considering they apparently can only go one way around the loop. Looks like we'll be waiting until 31/1 to see them in service
  Lockie91 Chief Train Controller

Dec 13 TT pushed up till next year.
Not sure if that means the HCMT introduction is also delayed?
I would assume so considering they apparently can only go one way around the loop. Looks like we'll be waiting until 31/1 to see them in service
steve195
Daniel Bowen reports in his latest blog that the December timetable has been pushed down due to issues with the Ballarat Line Upgrade, as the December TT is dependant on the BLU.

While Ballarat services are independent of the Metro network, the Bendigo services they interact with are not. These Bendigo services mix with Metro Sunbury services. These Sunbury services mix with the Northern Group. The Northern Group supplies a handful of Frankston Direct Services, these direct Frankston services interact with Dandenong services at Caulfield. So...

In order to provide the extra services as part of the BLU, timings would need to be changed for the RRL, which would throw out the Bendigo services metro paths through Sunbury. Alter Sunbury and you throw out the Northern Group, which throws out those direct Frankston Services.

Cant even introduce the HCMTs as this requires uni directional loop running, which would cause the reverse of the above.

This is why segregated lines are a good thing. It may require an extra change for the commuter, but it doesn't require a network wide TT when one or two lines require additional services.

Lockie
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Interesting (or maybe more telling) that there has not been a media release from Regional Rail Revival about the Ballarat Line Upgrade since 1 December 2019 when they announced Cobblebank station opening.

Possibly the've had to contend with Covid-related delays, but it would be nice to hear where they are actually up to. My understanding was the majority (if not all) the infrastructure was in place and they were just waiting for commissioning of signalling and then training drivers.

RE: The HCMT, I wonder if it would be possible to use them for only half the day to run them the correct way around the Loop only, or to introduce a couple of non-PSR runs direct to Flinders St just to get them out there, so they could say they were introduced into service, but without a major overhaul of the timetable.
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Specially running a non-PSR trip would need additional driver-hours which will likely be unfunded.  To run them when the loop operates in the upgraded direction, it would have to be a morning peak run as hardly any train is scheduled to run in around noon, so it's less than half a day.  They can run all day on weekends.
  steve195 Train Controller

Dec 13 TT pushed up till next year.
Not sure if that means the HCMT introduction is also delayed?
I would assume so considering they apparently can only go one way around the loop. Looks like we'll be waiting until 31/1 to see them in service
Daniel Bowen reports in his latest blog that the December timetable has been pushed down due to issues with the Ballarat Line Upgrade, as the December TT is dependant on the BLU.

While Ballarat services are independent of the Metro network, the Bendigo services they interact with are not. These Bendigo services mix with Metro Sunbury services. These Sunbury services mix with the Northern Group. The Northern Group supplies a handful of Frankston Direct Services, these direct Frankston services interact with Dandenong services at Caulfield. So...

In order to provide the extra services as part of the BLU, timings would need to be changed for the RRL, which would throw out the Bendigo services metro paths through Sunbury. Alter Sunbury and you throw out the Northern Group, which throws out those direct Frankston Services.

Cant even introduce the HCMTs as this requires uni directional loop running, which would cause the reverse of the above.

This is why segregated lines are a good thing. It may require an extra change for the commuter, but it doesn't require a network wide TT when one or two lines require additional services.

Lockie
Lockie91
Great post. Just to add a little bit more info - I had understood that this upcoming TT isn't so much a tinkering of Ballarat and Dandenong TTs due to BLU and HCMT (and cascading changes to other lines), but rather a complete re-write of many Metro and V/Line TTs from scratch. The department have been pushing for this for a long while, however the government haven't been brave enough to green light it until now when they have pretty much been forced into it by BLU and HCMT.
  bencdw2 Station Staff

Quick update about HCMT unit 1, on vicsig its listed as 'stored'
Got me thinking will they ever fix this unit (I know there are some issues specifically electrical from memory) or will it become a parts donor and ultimately scrapped.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Could be useful as a donation to Emergency Services for practicing drills on, depending on what the issues with it actually are.
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Discussed earlier in this thread. Once the other 64 are complete Downer will probably go back and fix up that one's problems - not my thoughts, I've forgotten who stated it but it makes sense.

Neil
  CraigieburnLineUser Locomotive Fireman

Discussed earlier in this thread. Once the other 64 are complete Downer will probably go back and fix up that one's problems - not my thoughts, I've forgotten who stated it but it makes sense.

Neil
ngarner
Previous discussion on this was pg18 and 19. Downer going back to fix it up is mentioned pg19
  Op Kronos Station Master

Set 17 has been stickered up with the Metro/PTV Livery but without the accessibility stickers that set 8 has at this stage.
This is shown in this video (not mine):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufE6xnbDrtM

Also, I have been told that starting from set 20 onwards, every set when they are transferred from Downer's Newport Workshops to Pakenham East, they will already be wearing Metro/PTV livery, though I am not sure if they will have the accessibility stickers as well (please note: this is unconfirmed).
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Also, I have been told that starting from set 20 onwards, every set when they are transferred from Downer's Newport Workshops to Pakenham East, they will already be wearing Metro/PTV livery, though I am not sure if they will have the accessibility stickers as well (please note: this is unconfirmed).
Op Kronos
Set 20 had PTV on delivery, as suggested. #21, supposed to be at East Pakenham, hasn't been captured on film so can't confirm if it has too

Neil
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Smooth sides like a Harris, Comeng doors, Hitachi windows (including the tiny one immediately behind the cab), Siemens air conditioner boxes on the roof, X'Trapolis cab doors (and triangular window), the front of a Vlocity and E class tram LED lights.
  Op Kronos Station Master

Set 21 does in fact have Metro/PTV livery and so does Set 9 as seen in this picture: https://i.redd.it/0a6t29diuex51.jpg (sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/melbourne/comments/johi7i/some_of_the_hcmts_currently_in_testing_stabled_at/_)

I also have unconfirmed information that set 11 also has Metro/PTV livery but I cannot confirm as I have not seen a picture for verification.

Also Marcus Wong has photos of set 3 at Kensington station on the night of 01/11/20 seen here: https://railgallery.wongm.com/hcmt-craigieburn-line-testing/
  ngarner Assistant Commissioner

Location: Seville
Set 21 does in fact have Metro/PTV livery and so does Set 9 as seen in this picture: https://i.redd.it/0a6t29diuex51.jpg (sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/melbourne/comments/johi7i/some_of_the_hcmts_currently_in_testing_stabled_at/_)

I also have unconfirmed information that set 11 also has Metro/PTV livery but I cannot confirm as I have not seen a picture for verification.

Also Marcus Wong has photos of set 3 at Kensington station on the night of 01/11/20 seen here: https://railgallery.wongm.com/hcmt-craigieburn-line-testing/
Op Kronos
Vicsig has #11 as being in PTV livery, which I assume would be reliable

Neil

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