Ballarat Line upgrades underway

 
Topic moved from News by dthead on 20 Nov 2017 12:49
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Back during the Christmas New Year break I emailed Minister Allan's office ti see if she would like to officially reopen the Ballarat line at Ballan station, what with our garden and freshly varnished platform seats etc
Initially no, but ultimately was dependent on the pandemic.
Last Friday I was advised by Rail Projects Victoria that the Minister would indeed reopen the line at Ballan with a ribbon cutting ceremony etc. So I had to rally my volunteers for the event.
I had a good chat to her about grants for another conservation project at the station and she was very keen and informative.

Mike.

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  route14 Chief Commissioner

Re: Testing with N class: I don't know the exact reason, but I'll guess, as N class have the same signal sighting position as Sprinters, by passing the tests with N class, Sprinters will also be cleared to operate on the line.
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner

Given the way the timetable is set out I think the line needs a Stage 2 upgrade.
railblogger
It's called Melton Electrification, it's just a matter of time. Seeing how long everything takes and the governments unwillingness to commit to anything in the west that doesn't include the words "Geelong" or 'Fast", could be 10 years.

When it does happen we are likely to see a new 'express track' built from Sunshine to Melton, bypassing all the stations and the fat that has been added to the current timetable.
Sunshine - Deer Park Junction hasn't been touched in any current works as this will all need to be bulldozed and relaid to allow of the new track pair and a reconfigured Adeer Station.
Fitzgerald Road is about to be removed, along with Mt Derrimut Road and a new Deer Park Station. Robinsons Road to follow in the next year or so. This makes Sunshine to Deer Park Junction LX free.
All of the 'prerequisite' works for Melton have been done or are about to get underway.

If it's done correctly, you could have 160km/h running for Ballarat trains from Melton through to Sunshine and Geelong trains from Deer Park Junction. This would shave 10 - 15 minutes off the timetable for Ballarat and 5 or so for Geelong.

Maybe this years budget might have a few pennies for the long forgotten Western Rail Plan.

Lockie
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Back during the Christmas New Year break I emailed Minister Allan's office ti see if she would like to officially reopen the Ballarat line at Ballan station, what with our garden and freshly varnished platform seats etc
Initially no, but ultimately was dependent on the pandemic.
Last Friday I was advised by Rail Projects Victoria that the Minister would indeed reopen the line at Ballan with a ribbon cutting ceremony etc. So I had to rally my volunteers for the event.
I had a good chat to her about grants for another conservation project at the station and she was very keen and informative.

Mike.
The Vinelander
So we can blame you Mike when the cow in the shiny new crash hat and spotless train proof vest spins onto my otherwise unsullied TV soon.
Next thing they will be filming the woman's steel cap boots.
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Anyone back to commuting into the city from Ballarat.

How is the new service ?

Anyone get the 16:17 SCS - BAL train home.. how are the timings ?
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
BTW.. we would assume the 5 level crossings between Melton and Deer Park will be removed as part of the electrification of the rail line? Given the massive amount of new housing going up along the line and more frequency of trains the traffic congestion over the few years is going to be crazy. Just look at Station Rd, Hopkins Rd and Leakes Rd now...
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Timings are good as they should be as there"s heaps of slack in the timetable.
Two thirds full 15:59 ex SCS. Full and standing 3 car V' Locity ex Footscray..
Really needs 6 cars.

Mike.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Given the way the timetable is set out I think the line needs a Stage 2 upgrade.
It's called Melton Electrification, it's just a matter of time. Seeing how long everything takes and the governments unwillingness to commit to anything in the west that doesn't include the words "Geelong" or 'Fast", could be 10 years.

When it does happen we are likely to see a new 'express track' built from Sunshine to Melton, bypassing all the stations and the fat that has been added to the current timetable.
Sunshine - Deer Park Junction hasn't been touched in any current works as this will all need to be bulldozed and relaid to allow of the new track pair and a reconfigured Adeer Station.
Fitzgerald Road is about to be removed, along with Mt Derrimut Road and a new Deer Park Station. Robinsons Road to follow in the next year or so. This makes Sunshine to Deer Park Junction LX free.
All of the 'prerequisite' works for Melton have been done or are about to get underway.

If it's done correctly, you could have 160km/h running for Ballarat trains from Melton through to Sunshine and Geelong trains from Deer Park Junction. This would shave 10 - 15 minutes off the timetable for Ballarat and 5 or so for Geelong.

Maybe this years budget might have a few pennies for the long forgotten Western Rail Plan.

Lockie
Lockie91
Contracts let for grade separations at Fitzgerald Road  (road over rail0, and Robinsons road (Road under rail). Station Road Deer Park comes last, presumably with re-built Deer Park station only on the Melton "sparked" track pair.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Given the way the timetable is set out I think the line needs a Stage 2 upgrade.
It's called Melton Electrification, it's just a matter of time. Seeing how long everything takes and the governments unwillingness to commit to anything in the west that doesn't include the words "Geelong" or 'Fast", could be 10 years.

When it does happen we are likely to see a new 'express track' built from Sunshine to Melton, bypassing all the stations and the fat that has been added to the current timetable.
Sunshine - Deer Park Junction hasn't been touched in any current works as this will all need to be bulldozed and relaid to allow of the new track pair and a reconfigured Adeer Station.
Fitzgerald Road is about to be removed, along with Mt Derrimut Road and a new Deer Park Station. Robinsons Road to follow in the next year or so. This makes Sunshine to Deer Park Junction LX free.
All of the 'prerequisite' works for Melton have been done or are about to get underway.

If it's done correctly, you could have 160km/h running for Ballarat trains from Melton through to Sunshine and Geelong trains from Deer Park Junction. This would shave 10 - 15 minutes off the timetable for Ballarat and 5 or so for Geelong.

Maybe this years budget might have a few pennies for the long forgotten Western Rail Plan.

Lockie
Contracts let for grade separations at Fitzgerald Road  (road over rail0, and Robinsons road (Road under rail). Station Road Deer Park comes last, presumably with re-built Deer Park station only on the Melton "sparked" track pair.
kuldalai
Why would they do that when Derr Park will still be a junction station?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Timings are good as they should be as there"s heaps of slack in the timetable.
Two thirds full 15:59 ex SCS. Full and standing 3 car V' Locity ex Footscray..
Really needs 6 cars.

Mike.
The Vinelander
First Monday was a few issues.  Two Up Marsh locals trapped in Maddingley yard by a track fault - so amexed.  The 40 minute Off Peak crosses at Ballarat, Ballan and The Marsh seemed to work OK.
Nice high speed arrival on top greens now into the new Down platform at the Marsh .  But on the Up now Medium Speed aspects arriving into original platform at the Marsh so much slower.
Ballan crosses worked well .
Ballarat crosses observed three successive Up Wendourees arrive into Ballarat 1 min late and all 1 late depart on the Up.  Three successive Downs 1 min early into Ballarat.  4 mins Wendouree to Ballarat on the Up is too tight should be 5. (Why wasnt this timed properly at 80kmh line speed?)

On my down train 3 late at Marsh but did not delay the Up, 1 early at Ballan and 1 early into Ballarat.
Returning on the Up 1 late ex Ballarat, OT ex Ballan and The Marsh.

Ballarat platform usage up to 1400 ish  Downs via 1 and Ups via 2;  then reverses to Ups via 1  and Downs via 2.
First Up Ararat attached its second set at Wendouree not Ballarat.

When a Down Ararat runs basically a 3 car MT VL follows ex Ballarat East to form the next Up Wendouree.

Locals were grizzling liking wounded bears about the regular use of platform 2 and the dreaded footbridge and stairs.

Off Peak works much better now than the old crosses at Parwan and Bank Box with the hourly service.

VLP would have less impact on majority of paxat Ballarat station  if they altered to up to 1400 Ups via 1 and Downs via 2, and PM Downs via 1 and Ups via 2.

Overall increased frequency both peak and off peak has come at the price of extended travel times for Ballarat travellers.
Off Peak absolute stupidity to be stopping all Ballarats at Ardeer, when the Melton locals also stop there every 40 mins. The whole joint would be lucky to see 100 boards and alights on a Weekday if you were lucky over all services. Slovenly lazy metro type SAS timetabling, and ditto all South Geelong, Waurn Ponds and Ballarats stopping Deer Park just overkill. The Limited stop Waurn Pionds should now revert to non stop at Deer Park, still giving a train every 12 mins at Deer Park over Off Peak Ballarat, South Geelong & Melton services.

Finally VLP need to address with urgency the plethora of speed restrictions on the Ballarat line many longstanding at Rockbank, Melton, Ballan etc .  New track SR acccount trees restricting line of sight of signals !!!  Why wasnt that sorted out well in advance of opening, havent VLP heard of a chain saw ???  Typical VLP NO urgency.  Perhaps if VLP attended to the plethora of SR's on passenger lines their timekeeping might be better, and the repeated extension of schedules to protect the timekeeping would be avoided. Sorry I forgot its the wretched pax they take too long to get on and off trains !!!
  route14 Chief Commissioner

Oh yes, they enjoy every second on the train as if it was an international cruise which they saved up a lifetime for.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Given the way the timetable is set out I think the line needs a Stage 2 upgrade.
It's called Melton Electrification, it's just a matter of time. Seeing how long everything takes and the governments unwillingness to commit to anything in the west that doesn't include the words "Geelong" or 'Fast", could be 10 years.

When it does happen we are likely to see a new 'express track' built from Sunshine to Melton, bypassing all the stations and the fat that has been added to the current timetable.
Sunshine - Deer Park Junction hasn't been touched in any current works as this will all need to be bulldozed and relaid to allow of the new track pair and a reconfigured Adeer Station.
Fitzgerald Road is about to be removed, along with Mt Derrimut Road and a new Deer Park Station. Robinsons Road to follow in the next year or so. This makes Sunshine to Deer Park Junction LX free.
All of the 'prerequisite' works for Melton have been done or are about to get underway.

If it's done correctly, you could have 160km/h running for Ballarat trains from Melton through to Sunshine and Geelong trains from Deer Park Junction. This would shave 10 - 15 minutes off the timetable for Ballarat and 5 or so for Geelong.

Maybe this years budget might have a few pennies for the long forgotten Western Rail Plan.

Lockie
Contracts let for grade separations at Fitzgerald Road  (road over rail0, and Robinsons road (Road under rail). Station Road Deer Park comes last, presumably with re-built Deer Park station only on the Melton "sparked" track pair.
Why would they do that when Derr Park will still be a junction station?
railblogger

No plans have been released kuldalai is just speculating.

With time savings for express trains though, changing at Sunshine would be just as convenient for most journeys.

We are yet to see how any of the projects out west actually come together - Geelong fast rail, electrifcation to Melton and or Wyndham Vale, Airport Rail, western section of SRL. Whether Deer Park gets to be a junction or not, who knows!
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Next thing they will be filming the woman's steel cap boots.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
Gawd; you had me worried there for a second or two until I saw you were referring to boots.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Next thing they will be filming the woman's steel cap boots.
Gawd; you had me worried there for a second or two until I saw you were referring to boots.
Valvegear
I am not a fan in any way, shape or form including her boots ...........  Smile
Are you trying to get me banned? SmileRolling EyesConfused
No doubt there are others who love her .................. that is democracy, I suppose.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I am not a fan in any way, shape or form including her boots ...........  Smile
Are you trying to get me banned? SmileRolling EyesConfused
No doubt there are others who love her .................. that is democracy, I suppose.
YM-Mundrabilla

Jacinta Allan has a reputation for being foul mouthed and can apparently make a sailor blush with her colourful language. However as I was a volunteer at Ballan station that morning and so was my partner, she was nothing but polite and respectful to my Stationeers group and she showed genuine interest when she approached my partner who is an international student and clearly not from Australia.

I don't love her, but I respect her and nobody gets things done like the Andrews government is doing by being a wallflower.

Mike.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I am not a fan in any way, shape or form including her boots ...........  Smile
Are you trying to get me banned? SmileRolling EyesConfused
No doubt there are others who love her .................. that is democracy, I suppose.

Jacinta Allan has a reputation for being foul mouthed and can apparently make a sailor blush with her colourful language. However as I was a volunteer at Ballan station that morning and so was my partner, she was nothing but polite and respectful to my Stationeers group and she showed genuine interest when she approached my partner who is an international student and clearly not from Australia.

I don't love her, but I respect her and nobody gets things done like the Andrews government is doing by being a wallflower.

Mike.
The Vinelander
At the end of the day courtesy costs nothing.
Bad language (a form of bullying?) hasn't done much for the Mildura SG project.
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
The past 2 days (Friday and Today) the 6:55 from Wendouree to SCS has been a 3 carriage train.

No announcements about train issues.

It seems bonkers V/line have changed this peak service from 6 carriages to 3.

Today it was pretty much full when we hit Bacchus Marsh.

I have also noticed some of the peak trains in the evening have been 3 carriages (Fri) 16.58
again with no announcements. It was full.

Do we just assume its a COVID thing and will go back to 6 when more people return ?

V/Line social media probably still living the dream with not a lot of issues
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

I am not a fan in any way, shape or form including her boots ...........  Smile
Are you trying to get me banned? SmileRolling EyesConfused
No doubt there are others who love her .................. that is democracy, I suppose.

Jacinta Allan has a reputation for being foul mouthed and can apparently make a sailor blush with her colourful language. However as I was a volunteer at Ballan station that morning and so was my partner, she was nothing but polite and respectful to my Stationeers group and she showed genuine interest when she approached my partner who is an international student and clearly not from Australia.

I don't love her, but I respect her and nobody gets things done like the Andrews government is doing by being a wallflower.

Mike.
The Vinelander
Jacinta Allan can be tough, she does not suffer fools gladly. But there are far worse people in the Victorian Parliament than Ms Allan.


Michael
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The past 2 days (Friday and Today) the 6:55 from Wendouree to SCS has been a 3 carriage train.

No announcements about train issues.

It seems bonkers V/line have changed this peak service from 6 carriages to 3.

Today it was pretty much full when we hit Bacchus Marsh.

I have also noticed some of the peak trains in the evening have been 3 carriages (Fri) 16.58
again with no announcements. It was full.

Do we just assume its a COVID thing and will go back to 6 when more people return ?

V/Line social media probably still living the dream with not a lot of issues
whoistheg

Have you complained to the right people Question

Call your local MP, Michaela Settle and she is pretty good at taking these matters up. But I expect it's a case of maintenance slipping behind.

Mike.
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I have not really cared as currently running a 3 car Velocity is ok with the amount of people on them.

I was just wondering in the future if these are going to be 3 cars permanently or back to 6. They would be crazy
to keep on of the main peak AM as 3 Smile but you never know
  whoistheg Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I have not really cared as currently running a 3 car Velocity is ok with the amount of people on them.

I was just wondering in the future if these are going to be 3 cars permanently or back to 6. They would be crazy
to keep on of the main peak AM as 3 Smile but you never know
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Both of the services that you have noted as being 3VLs are scheduled to be 2x 3VLs according to the latest V/Line Service Plan schedule.

This suggests to me that they are running shorter trains to catch up on maintenance.

The V/Line passenger fleet is bigger than ever, it continues to be expanded and expanded, with very little of the old carriage stock retired.

Meanwhile, the timetable continues to see many new services added each timetable change. This leads me to ask the question: Are V/Line/Bombardier struggling with the demand of servicing such a rapidly growing fleet?

I'm sure they would prefer to have that proposed facility at Waurn Ponds up and running by now.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Both of the services that you have noted as being 3VLs are scheduled to be 2x 3VLs according to the latest V/Line Service Plan schedule.

This suggests to me that they are running shorter trains to catch up on maintenance.

The V/Line passenger fleet is bigger than ever, it continues to be expanded and expanded, with very little of the old carriage stock retired.

Meanwhile, the timetable continues to see many new services added each timetable change. This leads me to ask the question: Are V/Line/Bombardier struggling with the demand of servicing such a rapidly growing fleet?

I'm sure they would prefer to have that proposed facility at Waurn Ponds up and running by now.
Gman_86
The first stage of Waurn ponds is stabling funded and contract let completion early 2022.
Go to VLP corporate website go pass tt Ballarat and it shows you what each tarin set consist is supposed to be . Not all Ballarat peak services are 6 cars, extra peak trains some are 3 and some are 6 ditto on even Geelong line.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Both of the services that you have noted as being 3VLs are scheduled to be 2x 3VLs according to the latest V/Line Service Plan schedule.

This suggests to me that they are running shorter trains to catch up on maintenance.

The V/Line passenger fleet is bigger than ever, it continues to be expanded and expanded, with very little of the old carriage stock retired.

Meanwhile, the timetable continues to see many new services added each timetable change. This leads me to ask the question: Are V/Line/Bombardier struggling with the demand of servicing such a rapidly growing fleet?

I'm sure they would prefer to have that proposed facility at Waurn Ponds up and running by now.
Gman_86
They must be. The fleet has continued to expand yet maintenance capacity has not.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Yesterday, Tuesday 23 February I had a reason to travel from Ballan to Ardeer during the day. No problems, the three car V'Locity operates every 40 mins off peak from Ballarat. An excellent service despite the timetable being further slowed and now approaching the times of the former Sprinters on the old, pre-RFR track alignment but I digress.

After my visit concluded and knowing around 17:00 the trains are so frequent on the Ballarat line, I thought...I'll just catch any 'Marsh service and change there for a Ballarat...all of which stop at the 'Marsh these days.

So I caught the 17:01 H set with N class Melton bound service and thinking...hmm Ballarat peak trains don't stop at Melton these days, so Whilst I'm social distancing by standing by the door in the 30% of capacity rear car I'll check the V/Line journey planner whilst I was running express through Deer Park and Rockbank.

The V/Line journey planner told me to wait at Melton for the 18:47 which would get me home at 19:13. Over 2 hours from Ardeer Exclamation

So, I tried the PTV journey planner using Melton as the start point after the H set arrived there.

It says catch the 17:47 UP...and change at Rockbank ExclamationSmile

After arrival at Rockbank at 17:54, catch the 18:04, which arrived Ballan 18:34.

The UP left Melton 10" late which made for a very tight connection at Rockbank, however I could see during the dwell time at Rockbank on the UP, the long straight line that the DOWN Wendouree, out of view was at least 3" late, so I figured I had time to walk the ramps to the other platform.

By the time I walked the ramps the 18:04 Wendouree had arrived 3" late and at least 35 alighted and I was the only joining passenger.

Mike.

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