New long-distance V/Line rolling stock

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

I really like the look of these units which would be fantastic on the Geelong and Ballarat Lines.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_397
I would have put this post in the Geelong electrification thread. Having said that, it is a nice looking train. Incidentally there is an article in The Age today where Infrastructure Australia is recommending electrification to Geelong. A similar editorial appeared yesterday in the AFR but that focussed more on regional rail upgrades.
Duncs
First off, it is a nice looking train, but not at all what we should be looking at for the Geelong and Ballarat lines. The Class 397 has a seated capacity of 286 in 5 carriages, compared to the VLocity with ~450 in 6. It's not a high-capacity commuter train. We need more capacity, not less.

Second, I wouldn't put too much stock in what IA has to say. I've been distinctly less impressed with their commentary of late, most notably when they rejected the Waurn Ponds duplication. It is beyond me how they think that is a poor use of funds but stringing up wires along the route is worthwhile. At least they recommended the Melton/Wyndham Vale quad which opens the door to federal cash for that.

The first priority is bringing the fixed infrastructure up to scratch on the up and down sides of Geelong. We can and should look for better diesel stock now rather than waiting 5-10 years for sparking.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Back on the train my thoughts were a lot more trains adding overall capacity and speed.

An increase in the amount Geelong capacity could be achieved by adding more services of this type and also allowing metro to access the RRL which should not in any way constitute a V/Line service.  V/Line were thrown these passengers who are suburban passengers not regional.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Back on the train my thoughts were a lot more trains adding overall capacity and speed.

An increase in the amount Geelong capacity could be achieved by adding more services of this type and also allowing metro to access the RRL which should not in any way constitute a V/Line service.  V/Line were thrown these passengers who are suburban passengers not regional.
bevans
As has been discussed ad infinitum on various threads, the RRL is at capacity on the Up side of Sunshine. Consequently any plan to extend suburban services to Wyndham Vale must be accompanied by capacity upgrades.

But that will take at least 5 years. More suitable rollingstock can be introduced well before then.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
As has been discussed ad infinitum on various threads, the RRL is at capacity on the Up side of Sunshine. Consequently any plan to extend suburban services to Wyndham Vale must be accompanied by capacity upgrades.

But that will take at least 5 years. More suitable rollingstock can be introduced well before then.
potatoinmymouth

Seems we are now heading into territory where the metro network is well and truly congested.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Hi @Duncs and thanks for the feedback.

The train itself would be brilliant for the Ballarat Line with electrification also but the comfort and interior look very good.  This train would encourage people back to rail between the 3 cities and running at 160 km.h would offer an excellent service.
bevans

There's absolutely NO NEED to encourage people back to rail as the Ballarat line is a victim of its own success Exclamation

My 6 car V'Locity, the 6:33 from Ballan on some week mornings leaves Ballan almost full, around 480 pax. This is the second train of the day at 6:30 in the morning and patronage is only going to keep growing.

Moreover, the Ballarat line is well served by V'Locity's... Carlisle where the train in the footage was travelling to is around 3.5 hours and over 450 Km from London and is definitely not in daily commuter territory.

Mike.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Hi @Duncs and thanks for the feedback.

The train itself would be brilliant for the Ballarat Line with electrification also but the comfort and interior look very good.  This train would encourage people back to rail between the 3 cities and running at 160 km.h would offer an excellent service.

There's absolutely NO NEED to encourage people back to rail as the Ballarat line is a victim of its own success Exclamation

My 6 car V'Locity, the 6:33 from Ballan on some week mornings leaves Ballan almost full, around 480 pax. This is the second train of the day at 6:30 in the morning and patronage is only going to keep growing.

Moreover, the Ballarat line is well served by V'Locity's... Carlisle where the train in the footage was travelling to is around 3.5 hours and over 450 Km from London and is definitely not in daily commuter territory.

Mike.
The Vinelander
TransPennine Express do not operate to and from London, its hub is Manchester.

That said I do concur. The Class 397 is overkill for the Ballarat Line, with a top speed of 200km/h. More orders of Velocity should and will suffice.

Michael
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Dan, Jacinta and Melissa will be smiling this week to read that the first XPT replacements are not due until 2023.

Meaning despite their tardiness on the NE line upgrade and insistence that trackwork must be complete before running new build VLos to Albury, they will have 2-3 years of operating the superior stock on the route.

The “optics” will be very good and we can safely expect a song and dance about it in 2022. I would not be surprised if the political decision is also made to add a fourth Albury return running express north of Seymour to capitalise on the improved running times.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
TransPennine Express do not operate to and from London, its hub is Manchester.

That said I do concur. The Class 397 is overkill for the Ballarat Line, with a top speed of 200km/h. More orders of Velocity should and will suffice.

Michael
mejhammers1

Hi.  Just wondering why you think it is overkill for a service from Melbourne to Ballarat and Return?  To my mind it is an excellent example on how intercity rail services should be delivered in terms of a platform.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@bevans because the Ballarat line is primarily a commuter service.  The speed limit of our network is 160k and we have a proven platform in the Vlocity.

Michael
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

A TECHNICAL blunder has meant the Andrews Government’s prized fleet of new regional trains have been built too heavy for the tracks they run on.

In the 2017-18 state Budget, the government allocated more than $300 million towards a run of 39 VLocity ­carriages, but staff receiving the order from Bombardier discovered the first services to arrive were overweight.

The front of the train was made heavier for crash protection, included for the hundreds of kangaroos passenger services hit every year, and extra seats were also included.

But engineers weight-testing the trains have been forced to try stripping back parts of the carriages in a bid to bring them within strict guidelines for regional tracks.

The government’s head of rolling stock development at the time the trains were ­delivered has since left the ­department as part of a major overhaul of the transport ­bureaucracy. She began a new job this month as managing ­director of Bombardier Transportation Australia — the company that builds the VLocity carriages. It is expected ­Bomardier will be responsible for fixing the carriages, which are not currently used on the network, and covering any ­additional costs.

A government spokeswoman said the new trains had better passenger features and safety improvements.

“The Department of Transport, V/Line and Bombardier Transportation are working closely to complete final testing of the new trains before they start taking passengers.” Opposition transport spokesman David Davis said it was up to the Andrews Government to check the basic details on projects.

“They can’t be trusted to run a public transport system and they can’t even be trusted to get their train orders right,” he said. “Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and say how much has been squandered in this process.

“V/Line under is a shambles, with performance in free fall.” This month the company also permanently lowered VLocity speeds from 160kmh to 115kmh between Sunshine and Deer Park Junction because of congestion on the line.
Herald Sun

Now this smells like a beat up but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Did notice that the rolling stock description in the network service plan was updated to a heavier 140t for all units, which is not surprising given the extra crash protection added to 76–79 and the extra extra protection currently being mocked up for 80–88.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
A TECHNICAL blunder has meant the Andrews Government’s prized fleet of new regional trains have been built too heavy for the tracks they run on.

In the 2017-18 state Budget, the government allocated more than $300 million towards a run of 39 VLocity ­carriages, but staff receiving the order from Bombardier discovered the first services to arrive were overweight.

The front of the train was made heavier for crash protection, included for the hundreds of kangaroos passenger services hit every year, and extra seats were also included.

But engineers weight-testing the trains have been forced to try stripping back parts of the carriages in a bid to bring them within strict guidelines for regional tracks.

The government’s head of rolling stock development at the time the trains were ­delivered has since left the ­department as part of a major overhaul of the transport ­bureaucracy. She began a new job this month as managing ­director of Bombardier Transportation Australia — the company that builds the VLocity carriages. It is expected ­Bomardier will be responsible for fixing the carriages, which are not currently used on the network, and covering any ­additional costs.

A government spokeswoman said the new trains had better passenger features and safety improvements.

“The Department of Transport, V/Line and Bombardier Transportation are working closely to complete final testing of the new trains before they start taking passengers.” Opposition transport spokesman David Davis said it was up to the Andrews Government to check the basic details on projects.

“They can’t be trusted to run a public transport system and they can’t even be trusted to get their train orders right,” he said. “Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and say how much has been squandered in this process.

“V/Line under is a shambles, with performance in free fall.” This month the company also permanently lowered VLocity speeds from 160kmh to 115kmh between Sunshine and Deer Park Junction because of congestion on the line.

Now this smells like a beat up but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Did notice that the rolling stock description in the network service plan was updated to a heavier 140t for all units, which is not surprising given the extra crash protection added to 76–79 and the extra extra protection currently being mocked up for 80–88.
potatoinmymouth

I was wondering when the Opposition would re-emerge from the rock they've been hiding under since the election...
  justarider Assistant Commissioner

Location: Stuck on VR and hoping for better.
A TECHNICAL blunder has meant the Andrews Government’s prized fleet of new regional trains have been built too heavy for the tracks they run on.

In the 2017-18 state Budget, the government allocated more than $300 million towards a run of 39 VLocity ­carriages, but staff receiving the order from Bombardier discovered the first services to arrive were overweight.

The front of the train was made heavier for crash protection, included for the hundreds of kangaroos passenger services hit every year, and extra seats were also included.

But engineers weight-testing the trains have been forced to try stripping back parts of the carriages in a bid to bring them within strict guidelines for regional tracks.

The government’s head of rolling stock development at the time the trains were ­delivered has since left the ­department as part of a major overhaul of the transport ­bureaucracy. She began a new job this month as managing ­director of Bombardier Transportation Australia — the company that builds the VLocity carriages. It is expected ­Bomardier will be responsible for fixing the carriages, which are not currently used on the network, and covering any ­additional costs.

A government spokeswoman said the new trains had better passenger features and safety improvements.

“The Department of Transport, V/Line and Bombardier Transportation are working closely to complete final testing of the new trains before they start taking passengers.” Opposition transport spokesman David Davis said it was up to the Andrews Government to check the basic details on projects.

“They can’t be trusted to run a public transport system and they can’t even be trusted to get their train orders right,” he said. “Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and say how much has been squandered in this process.

“V/Line under is a shambles, with performance in free fall.” This month the company also permanently lowered VLocity speeds from 160kmh to 115kmh between Sunshine and Deer Park Junction because of congestion on the line.

Now this smells like a beat up but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

Did notice that the rolling stock description in the network service plan was updated to a heavier 140t for all units, which is not surprising given the extra crash protection added to 76–79 and the extra extra protection currently being mocked up for 80–88.
potatoinmymouth

a real crock
Opposition transport spokesman David Davis said it was up to the Andrews Government to check the basic details on projects.
David Davis
Is not the testing upon delivery, a check that the product actually conforms with the specifications given to the builder. Rectification of a builder error is borne by the builder.
Hence the government has done exactly what they are accused of failing to do.

Does he really expect the Minister to walk around the factory with a set of scales?

cheers
John
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

……………………………………………………………..  This month the company also permanently lowered VLocity speeds from 160kmh to 115kmh between Sunshine and Deer Park Junction because of congestion on the line.
Herald Sun
Isn’t this the result of the LNP’s contribution to the RRL, ie scrapping the Deer Park West flyover.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vline-crisis-began-with-regional-rail-link-cutbacks-five-years-ago-20160202-gmjsen.html
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
……………………………………………………………..  This month the company also permanently lowered VLocity speeds from 160kmh to 115kmh between Sunshine and Deer Park Junction because of congestion on the line.
Isn’t this the result of the LNP’s contribution to the RRL, ie scrapping the Deer Park West flyover.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vline-crisis-began-with-regional-rail-link-cutbacks-five-years-ago-20160202-gmjsen.html
kitchgp

Don't let facts get in the way of a good smear campaign
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It does raise some interesting questions about engineering development of the Vlos though.  But definitely a bit rich for Davis to try to make political mileage from it, especially considering the neglect of V/line and project shortcuts between 2010-2014...

They really need to sort out the Deer Park Junction before too long, perhaps with future quadding and electrification?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
How many trains would actually get to 160 in that section anyway? In peak Deer Park and Ardeer are generally not served by the same services (i.e. a train will stop at one but not the other) so you'd be running into the train in front no matter what. And in the off peak, when they are both served by the same train, the distance between the two wouldn't be far enough to get to 160.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It does raise some interesting questions about engineering development of the Vlos though.  But definitely a bit rich for Davis to try to make political mileage from it, especially considering the neglect of V/line and project shortcuts between 2010-2014...

They really need to sort out the Deer Park Junction before too long, perhaps with future quadding and electrification?
Carnot
If the junction Is so bad to efficient train operations, why hasn't anything been done about It In the last 4 or so years, or even as part of the current Ballarat Line upgrade ?
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Deer Park station is to be rebuilt by LXRA. Mt Derrimut Rd is set to go elevated Rail over, and Robinsons Road is set to be 'road under' so a flying junction will be possible as part of that.

https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/projects/mt-derrimut-road-deer-park
  ab123 Chief Train Controller

The changes in line speed are really only an issue on the up. Deer Park Junc. To Sunshine now 115 vs 130 (up) Really only an issue if you are running express but in reality the time lost would be minimal. Sunshine to Ardeer (down) is now also 115 but it makes very little difference. Still 160 Ardeer and beyond.

Deer Park Junc. Being a flat junction isn’t as much of an issues as it’s made out to be. The only conflict is a down Ballarat and an up Geelong and the timetabling generally sees this work ok. A flyover isn’t going to make much difference as a up Ballarat would still be following an up geelong and so on.
  Lockie91 Train Controller

I suspect it will be part of the Melton sparking. A new track pair from Subshine to Deer Park would be required to keep segregation. A fly would then be justified. But that’s a whole other thread.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi @Duncs and thanks for the feedback.

The train itself would be brilliant for the Ballarat Line with electrification also but the comfort and interior look very good.  This train would encourage people back to rail between the 3 cities and running at 160 km.h would offer an excellent service.

There's absolutely NO NEED to encourage people back to rail as the Ballarat line is a victim of its own success Exclamation

My 6 car V'Locity, the 6:33 from Ballan on some week mornings leaves Ballan almost full, around 480 pax. This is the second train of the day at 6:30 in the morning and patronage is only going to keep growing.

Moreover, the Ballarat line is well served by V'Locity's... Carlisle where the train in the footage was travelling to is around 3.5 hours and over 450 Km from London and is definitely not in daily commuter territory.

Mike.
The Vinelander
For purely personal interest, I'm chasing the growth data for the Ballarat lines and if possible all V/line lines over last 20 years or so. Any idea where can find as google is not being this friendly to me?

Thanks
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Well this thread is getting a bit 'off-track'...

The V/line website has annual reports going back to 2003/4 when Ballarat line patronage was approx 1.44 million P/A.  Today it's 4.65 million P/A.

Back to the V/Locities - with all the added weight, I can imagine there could be weight reductions which could potentially reduce passenger comfort - i.e. Fewer toilets, thinner seat padding, reduced sound-proofing etc.  How on earth are they going to make the long-distance version bearable?

It'll need some seriously clever or expensive engineering solutions....
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

The V/line website has annual reports going back to 2003/4 when Ballarat line patronage was approx 1.44 million P/A. Today it's 4.65 million P/A.
Carnot

Yes, and some good soul has collated the data in this Wikipedia graph.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:V-Line_annual_rail_patronage_by_line.png

A lot of very interesting trends are visible: the post-RFR growth for Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon; the drop for Bendigo post-Sunbury sparking; the enormous jump when Tarneit and Wyndham Vale come online; and the more organic growth for Ballarat.

Also, this blogger has recently obtained station patronage data going back a few years which may be of interest:

https://philipmallis.com/blog/2019/02/14/station-patronage-in-victoria-2013-2018/
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Well this thread is getting a bit 'off-track'...

The V/line website has annual reports going back to 2003/4 when Ballarat line patronage was approx 1.44 million P/A.  Today it's 4.65 million P/A.

Back to the V/Locities - with all the added weight, I can imagine there could be weight reductions which could potentially reduce passenger comfort - i.e. Fewer toilets, thinner seat padding, reduced sound-proofing etc.  How on earth are they going to make the long-distance version bearable?

It'll need some seriously clever or expensive engineering solutions....
Carnot

Smile

I have been advocating for some time the VLocity model approach to longer distance trains is NOT the solution. We need a long distance platform.

Stripping sound-proofing out of the current platform would make an uncomfortable ride on the platform even more so.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

How many trains would actually get to 160 in that section anyway? In peak Deer Park and Ardeer are generally not served by the same services (i.e. a train will stop at one but not the other) so you'd be running into the train in front no matter what. And in the off peak, when they are both served by the same train, the distance between the two wouldn't be far enough to get to 160.
TOQ-1
Good point you raise here.

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