North East line improvements

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Indeed freightgate.  In fact woodfords prime purpose in raising this post was how to make the NE reliable now.   Overwhelmingly people need reliability on public transport and the focus of my input is directed at that.  improving journey times is a nice to have secondary issue.   In this regard I do think based on much greater reliability of the track etc plus the commissioning of Passing Lane 1, combined with the actual in service running times achieved by the N sets as they are now, the section running times and associated running times should be thoroughly reviewed.   At the time the SG services were introduced the timetables were regarded as interim to compensate for track condition and the non-commissioning of Passing Lane 1.    It should be possible to develop a robust timetable based on all of this experience.
Trainplanner
Trainplanner

I would agree with your analysis. Plus I also agree with Woodford's comment in the timing from SCS to Seymour. I think 1:15 is probably a more realistic schedule, allowing for maintaining the punctuality and reliability of the service. Then pick up the speed to 130 kph from Seymour to Albury. The benefits of this have been throughly covered by Woodford in a earlier post in this thread. A time saving of up to 30 minutes. But the reliability issue must be addressed.  

Duncs

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Victoria's nanny state rules would require the Installation of TPWS on all trains that whish to travel over 80 km/h, the likes of Aurizon, PN, etc would love this extra cost and red tape.
Nightfire
What makes a train that currently travels at 115km now different to a train that travels at 115km in the future under a scenario where other trains have a higher maximum possible speed??
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Woodford again thank you for the time and patience that you put into these posts in educating us all about the limitations and challenges surrounding reducing journey times especially with the N sets hauled by N class locos.   Three aspects you and the gang might find of interest.  The first is your observation about how remarkable given the relatively low tractive effort of N class locos as to how they are able to maintain the existing timetable with a relatively heavy train (450 tonnes).   Your experience mirrors mine in the very early days of RFR when I had opportunities to ride in the cab of several N class hauled services on the Geelong and Bendigo Lines.   The driver commented that his train was definitely accelerating more quickly and subsequently needed a lower throttle setting to maintain track speed and he put this down to reduced rolling resistance with higher quality track and probably a very good wheel/rail interface.   Another point I can confirm made by kuldalai is that the NE standard gauge track standard was set up to enable V/Line locomotive hauled trains to operate at 130km/hr in regard to track standard and signal sighting etc, so that option remains open if a more powerful unit was to be used.   The next point is CountryLink did submit a proposal for the XPT to be cleared for 160km/hr operation between the various interlockings/crossover locations on the basis that the number of intermediate stops (3) would permit them more sustained higher speed running and hence the potential to get some benefit.   (The also proposed a speed restriction regime similar to what is done in NSW to address level crossings).

Going forward I think serious consideration should be given to developing a 2 tiered service when V/Line increases frequency to introducing a faster express with intermediate stops At Seymour, Euroa, Benalla, Wang and Wodonga for say 2 round trips per day and the current stopping pattern with Springhurst removed at 2 round trips per day plus reinstatement of the V/Line-XPT codeshare arrangement for V/Line passengers to access the XPT.

I don't know on the basis of a limited stop-express and a 3,000HP unit running at up to 130km/hr if that brings any meaningful journey time improvement but often perception can be stronger than reality!!!!  Thanks again for your interesting posts
A number of points............

First thank you for your kind remarks, I have always taken great care to try and provide good clear information, because in the final analysis the only thing the matters in trying to bring about a better world is the. best possible understanding of the problems.

I myself have no direct experience with the loco's although I have driven both a steamer and a diesel hydralic loco. The analysis provided is mathematical in nature based on the well known "Davis" equations, although in this case the parameters have been adjusted to reflect the real performance of the VLocity 's and the N loco and N cars sets. I having done detailed timings of both of these and reverse enginneered these timing figures to produce the correct parrameters fro the equations. The better performance of the loco's you mentioned is probably the result of the much smoother track, the undulations of the older track require energy to over come and the only source of this is the loco it self, Note:These undulations take far more energy than you would think.
This side of it is beyond mathematics, as it requires a massively detailed model of the track and at least the suspension of the loco and one would require a render farm for the commputations.

My main source of information on the regauging project came from a Seymour driver (since retired) that I had a length conversation with before I joined Railpage (ie well before the project got under way). He was as it turned out almost completely accurate. One thing he did say that was the ARTC was NOT interested at all in any speeds above 115kph and Victoria (VLine) had to fight hard for 130kph. Even then from my own observations the original signal install was for 115kph to NSW standards, Victoria was VERY pissed off over this and well an truly dug in there heels until ARTC came up with the correct goods.

AS far as I am concerned every one can completely forget about 160kph running, the line simply NOT being straight enough (the Creighton hills and the Glenrowan pass at least for example) to allow extensive 160kph running even IF someone could talk ARTC into such running.

From my work I believe for any kind of 130kph service one would need at LEAST 5000bhp on a 6 car train, for really effective 160kph running on lines like there are in Australia one would require 8000 to 10000 bhp. To be able to climb hills and accelarte above 130kph requires massive amounts of power.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post script, When I say beyond mathematics, what I mean is beyond a REAL TIME mathematical simulation, my math train sim being a real time effort.

woodford
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
From my work I believe for any kind of 130kph service one would need at LEAST 5000bhp on a 6 car train, for really effective 160kph running on lines like there are in Australia one would require 8000 to 10000 bhp. To be able to climb hills and accelarte above 130kph requires massive amounts of power.

woodford
woodford
The extra power requirements also equal much higher operating costs.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The reason for my spending so much effort on the speeding up aspect is that there has been a lot of discussion on Railpage on this topic and it was clear to me that there was not to much understanding out there of real world physics on this problem.

As has been correctly said the relaibilty of the service is everything, the frustration and anger up this way about the train service has to be seen to be believed, a lot of people are EXTREMELY pissed off.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

From my work I believe for any kind of 130kph service one would need at LEAST 5000bhp on a 6 car train, for really effective 160kph running on lines like there are in Australia one would require 8000 to 10000 bhp. To be able to climb hills and accelarte above 130kph requires massive amounts of power.

woodford
The extra power requirements also equal much higher operating costs.
Nightfire
To some extent, I have been told by a board member and a senior manager (neither from VLine but railway related) that the direct train operating costs are not to much of a problem. The high cost stems from, certifcation of the vehicles and other things, ocupational health and safety costs, the service it self's share of the cost of the company, for instance the buildings. track etc, the cost of the whole mainence setup for the vehicles, track, signalling etc.

Because most of these costs are fixed (ie do not change with distance) but the fares go up with the distance traveled long distance services are very much more preffered. This is why one at this time does NOT see any branch line services. Services like Echuca and Maryborough being extension of existing long distance services.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Well said.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
It would be unlikely to see track speeds on the ARTC network within Victoria raised above 130 km/h

Victoria's nanny state rules would require the Installation of TPWS on all trains that whish to travel over 80 km/h, the likes of Aurizon, PN, etc would love this extra cost and red tape.
Nightfire
ARTC has proposed the Advanced Train Management System which from what I gather is essentially moving block signalling so maybe this would suffice?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
ATMS would I suggest meet the requirement of the regulator in that it provides the additional measures necessary to avoid over running signals etc. AFAIK it can also respond to any over speed situations for curves etc.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
ATMS would I suggest meet the requirement of the regulator in that it provides the additional measures necessary to avoid over running signals etc. AFAIK it can also respond to any over speed situations for curves etc.
Trainplanner
What signals are there to overrun in moving-block signalling?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
As the thread is now north east improvements Should we consider themselves Oaklands branch and Shepparton ?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
ATMS would I suggest meet the requirement of the regulator in that it provides the additional measures necessary to avoid over running signals etc. AFAIK it can also respond to any over speed situations for curves etc.
What signals are there to overrun in moving-block signalling?
railblogger
Not signals, sectional authorities.
In fixed-block systems, an authority is granted through the use of a signal. In a moving-block system, sectional authorities are tailored for each train and follow the train instead of referring to fixed sections of actual track - kind of like a train order.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

As the thread is now north east improvements Should we consider themselves Oaklands branch and Shepparton ?
freightgate

I believe the inclusion of the Tocumal and Oaklands line in the discusion to be reasonable. The problem though with the SG conversion of the Tocumwal line is that I believe the SG access to Southern Cross will have trouble handling all the traffic from Shep, Albury and Sydney, partularly if Shep gets 4 or more services in a day. Even now the Albury train regularly gets held up at the exit of Tottenham yard because of traffic in Dynon.

What is likely to be required is pass only lines at least through Dynon and probably even from tottenham, the Albury service currently takes 15 to 20 minutes for the 7.5 kilometres from Tottenham to Southern Cross, this is completely unaccepatble in this day and age. What is the point of high speed running most legs and 20kph for the last leg. Unfortunately pass lines will NOT come cheap.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Another aspect to the problem created by a Tocumwal SG lin is how is the single track from Seymour to Melbourne going to cope with all the pass and freight traffic, and its no good taking the current BG Up line and converting it to SG. What is the point of moaning about traffic problems on Ballarat and Bendigo lines caused by large lengths of single track AND THEN doing exactly the same thing to Seymour, whose service frequency is at least as high, thats just stupid!!!!

woodford
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The methods to get additional capacity on the SG once the Tocumwal line is converted have been outlined before:
  • Convert of Albion-Jacana freight line to 2x SG instead of BG + SG with DG passing loops on the BG line
  • Retain duplicated BG to Wallan, convert eastern (Up) line Wallan-Syemour to SG with dual gauge passing loops at platforms
  • Cut some BG Seymour services, replace them with SG Shepparton ones. Look into speeding up the Shepparton service by removing stops.
  • Once Wallan electrification occurs, remove Donnybrook as a stop for Seymour/Shepparton services.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
As far as the SG line is concerned, back in 2008 ARTC was talking about it being potentially duplicated all the way in to Tottenham as part of their Interstate and Hunter Valley Rail Infrastructure Strategy.  I think they're on the way to doing this (sort of by stealth) with the construction of passing lanes.  A few more passing lanes and they'll have it!.  

If this was the case, would you need to have a BG line from Albion to Jacana?  Ie would the Craigieburn/Seymour line need the western BG access anymore?
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
If this was the case, would you need to have a BG line from Albion to Jacana?  Ie would the Craigieburn/Seymour line need the western BG access anymore?
james.au
The only freight that would be on BG would be the Hansen quarry train out of Kilmore East. Slotting that onto Craigieburn line services might be a hassle, but then again you'd also be removing express paths from it (due to the Shepparton pass running via Albion) so there's probably room for it. Getting it to Brooklyn might be a hassle unless it's turned around at Westall though.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Ah yep, I did forget about the Hansen train.  

Regarding turning trains (and going off topic), why do we not see push pull trains operating in freight scenarios, particularly for those that operate with more than one engine?  I know there are savings to be made by only using one engine and having two on the Hansen train would probably add to the cost.  But if it was running two, and it was in push pull, this wouldn't be a problem.
  Snoghort Beginner

Regarding the change to the 4 x 4 car sets, somewhere in the media I heard that there would be no change to the number of services but reliability will be improved by having an additional spare set stabled in Albury. Has anyone got any reliable info on how the extra set will be used?

Matho
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
If this was the case, would you need to have a BG line from Albion to Jacana?  Ie would the Craigieburn/Seymour line need the western BG access anymore?
The only freight that would be on BG would be the Hansen quarry train out of Kilmore East. Slotting that onto Craigieburn line services might be a hassle, but then again you'd also be removing express paths from it (due to the Shepparton pass running via Albion) so there's probably room for it. Getting it to Brooklyn might be a hassle unless it's turned around at Westall though.
LancedDendrite
Shepparton pass via Albion?
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

If you want to see the sg pass times improved, there are some things that can be done whether or not they duplicate or spend a billion or so or whatever.
1. Improve track alignments/speeds from Southern Cross to Sims Street. Nothing more now than 40km/h, lots well below that. Better signals, higher speed points, fix the (now infamous) flyover. At least from Bunbury Street you can do a km/minute!
2. Extend Passing Lane 1 to Up side McIntyre; enter via an 80km/h crossover, also another 80km/h at Jacana. That would overcome the delays with SLX between VLP and XPT.
3. Extend Donnybrook Passing Lane to Wallan Loop (with 80km/h points at the Down end). Avoids another delay crossing XPT's.
4. Build another sg platform at Seymour (on the site of the original sg one), with the double track extended from Seymour loop towards Goulburn River bridge. Now at least the Up VLP can wait at a platform for the SLX with MB7 or whatever freight is more important.

None of these would be horribly expensive, but combined would substantially improve VLP times (and make it more robust for XPT).
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
@hbedriver - I'm still learning acronyms, what is SLX??
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Sorry, mate. Single Line Cross. (VLP refers to V/Line Pass; XPT refers to a worm from NSW). Hope that covers it all.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

If you want to see the sg pass times improved, there are some things that can be done whether or not they duplicate or spend a billion or so or whatever.
1. Improve track alignments/speeds from Southern Cross to Sims Street. Nothing more now than 40km/h, lots well below that. Better signals, higher speed points, fix the (now infamous) flyover. At least from Bunbury Street you can do a km/minute!
2. Extend Passing Lane 1 to Up side McIntyre; enter via an 80km/h crossover, also another 80km/h at Jacana. That would overcome the delays with SLX between VLP and XPT.
3. Extend Donnybrook Passing Lane to Wallan Loop (with 80km/h points at the Down end). Avoids another delay crossing XPT's.
4. Build another sg platform at Seymour (on the site of the original sg one), with the double track extended from Seymour loop towards Goulburn River bridge. Now at least the Up VLP can wait at a platform for the SLX with MB7 or whatever freight is more important.

None of these would be horribly expensive, but combined would substantially improve VLP times (and make it more robust for XPT).
"hbedriver"


Hmmmmmmmmmmmm......... One has wondered, particularly about items 3 and 2..................

Mcintyre to passing lane 1 is just over 2 kilometres , from passing lane 2 to Wallan loop is around 7 kilometres, that leaves a 12 kilometre gap between passing lane 1 and 2 and a 13 kilometre gap between passing lanes 2 and 3. When one looks at this it may be a distinct possiblilty ARTC is double tracking the Seymour section "salami" style, ie one slice at a time.

woodford

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