Upgrades to deliver more train services for Gippsland

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 18 Mar 2021 07:35
  Djebel Junior Train Controller

Maybe they should straighten and widen the reservation now, before land values in the soon-to-be future eastern suburb of Sale get too high.
Where are you looking
Nightfire
I was being flippant, but forgot to include an emoji.  I blame beer Laughing.

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  justarider Chief Commissioner

Location: Released again, maybe for the last time??

I really don't know where you are going to find the time savings ?

Flagship Express Train's have largely failed to get the publics approval on the VLine network (due to stations been skipped leaving big holes In the timetable)

Flogging the guts out of the Velocity engine / drivetrain's Is going to surge their fuel and maintenance costs.

Modern line electrification (not the 1950's technology that was removed In 1994 and 2004) and high tech electric trains could save a bit on Inter station running, but who's going to pay for that ?

As for curve realignment, land values and availability of vacant land around Drouin and Warragul would be a significant Issue.
The alignment through the Haunted Hills Isn't great, but Is hampered by difficult ground conditions and a worked out open cut coal mine.  

Traralgon to Bairnsdale has the opportunity for faster running (on the straight sections) If the track was upgraded and maintained to a higher standard.
Nightfire
Maybe we are looking at this all wrong.

Bairnsdale to Pakenham, 200km in 2hrs:45
Traralgon to Pakenham, 100km in 1hr.
Making that better, for who and at what price? It is not THAT bad.
Saving a loony toons one hour is just that, Fantasy.

Maybe a reality check for those that enjoy living so far away from their daily CBD destination.
That's twice the speed, that 100 times the Metro pax accept.
If you want a 1hr commute, then MOVE TO MELBOURNE.

Tin tacks,
Haunted Hills. Moe to Morewell DOWN, varies between 10 and 14 minutes. UP is 9 minutes. For 15km.
This being the fabled difficult section, SO WHAT
Seems to me that the passing loop and signalling is the big slow down.
In the scheme of things an easy fix. But that is a saved 5 minutes at best.

Even thru towns Warragul, Drouin is only 6 minutes. Realign the route ? What time saving to demolish the towns?

The rest of the line is straightish track, low hills, and few tight bends. Class 1 or 2 track all the way will save some time. Maybe 20 minutes. SO WHAT?

The only real savers are "flagship express". They can work, as long as backed up by a trailng SAS for the significant number of pax that need them.
And by express, I mean Traralgon/Warragul/Dandenong/FSS. Any more stops and why bother? But would that fill a 3 car?

I do understand the frustration of Vline drivers that much prefer tootling along at 160kph instead of 80. You're not racing drivers, you're PT.
I would love to drive down the Monash @ 110 instead of 50. Get over it, the PT job is delivering the max pax as efficiently ( and cheap) as possible.

cheers
John
  Lockie91 Assistant Commissioner




I was waiting for someone to come along and crunch my back of the envelope maths a little harder than I did at 4am.

It can easily translate with the right investment, gradients and curves and be relaid to bring them to modern standards.

The Velocity is plenty powerful, it has been tuned down for Victoria with its stated Max speed of 210KM/h.

Anyway the point of my post was to highlight that more can and should be done between Pakenham and Bairnsdale to upgrade the line and therefore reduce running time and increase reliability.

Less money can be spent for the same time savings if not more by investing beyond Pakenham. This also isn't political suicide, its a vote winner for Labor in the regions.
Lockie
I really don't know where you are going to find the time savings ?

Flagship Express Train's have largely failed to get the publics approval on the VLine network (due to stations been skipped leaving big holes In the timetable)

Flogging the guts out of the Velocity engine / drivetrain's Is going to surge their fuel and maintenance costs.

Modern line electrification (not the 1950's technology that was removed In 1994 and 2004) and high tech electric trains could save a bit on Inter station running, but who's going to pay for that ?

As for curve realignment, land values and availability of vacant land around Drouin and Warragul would be a significant Issue.
The alignment through the Haunted Hills Isn't great, but Is hampered by difficult ground conditions and a worked out open cut coal mine.  

Traralgon to Bairnsdale has the opportunity for faster running (on the straight sections) If the track was upgraded and maintained to a higher standard.
Nightfire
As I said in my original post, average speed is under 100km/h. This is with some sections of Class 1 and Class 2U.

There is opportunity to ease Longwarry - Drouin and the dog leg through Haunted Hills, along with upgrading as much track to Class 1 where practical. The line was constructed in the late 1870's, with no intention of speed. What was difficult terrain to build through then, is not the case now. If the average speed can be pushed from 100km/h to 130km/h this will reduce the overall running time by 15 minutes, more so with higher speed running through Pakenham.

Land is cheaper and more readily available beyond Pakenham. Acquiring some paddocks or farmland is a lot easier then bulldozing inner city appartments.

Once Pakenham to Bairnsdale has been upgraded and demand dictates, then the government might start to think about inner city upgrades.

Lockie
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
There is no reason to spend a fortune upgrading the line beyond Traralgon for the modest numbers travelling beyond.
Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul and Drouin have by far the largest numbers on the line but have to put up with a stopping all stations mentality which seems to make very little sense. As things stand, rail travel from the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne is not competitive with the car - why should long distance travellers have to put up stopping at micro stations between Drouin and Pakenham where the passenger numbers are minimal - just have a look out the window and see the empty platforms! Surely there has to be a case for a lot more express trains, with the tiny stations 5km apart supported by peak local trains originating from Warragul?
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
As for curve realignment, land values and availability of vacant land around Drouin and Warragul would be a significant Issue.
The alignment through the Haunted Hills Isn't great, but Is hampered by difficult ground conditions and a worked out open cut coal mine.  

Traralgon to Bairnsdale has the opportunity for faster running (on the straight sections) If the track was upgraded and maintained to a higher standard.

To my pet peeve. What on earth is going on with the track just Down from Morwell, around the bend and through the cutting and past the old Maryvale exchange behind Mid Valley shopping centre? Trains have been speed restricted in that section for years, with no sign whatsoever of any planned remedial work to restore track condition.

DirtyBallast
The points near the Maryvale exchange are wearing and they probably should replace them.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
As I said in my original post, average speed is under 100km/h. This is with some sections of Class 1 and Class 2U.

There is opportunity to ease Longwarry - Drouin and the dog leg through Haunted Hills, along with upgrading as much track to Class 1 where practical. The line was constructed in the late 1870's, with no intention of speed. What was difficult terrain to build through then, is not the case now. If the average speed can be pushed from 100km/h to 130km/h this will reduce the overall running time by 15 minutes, more so with higher speed running through Pakenham.

Land is cheaper and more readily available beyond Pakenham. Acquiring some paddocks or farmland is a lot easier then bulldozing inner city appartments.

Once Pakenham to Bairnsdale has been upgraded and demand dictates, then the government might start to think about inner city upgrades.

Lockie
Lockie91
The Is an opportunity to ease the curves mid way between Longwarry and Drouin, but for the capital outlay of probably 100's of millions, you will probably only drop ONE minute form the Inter station timetable !

As I have said there are very difficult ground conditions between Moe and Morwell (they have had a lot of problems around the Morwell River In resent years.

Looking at the curve and grades charts, the line was ordinally built with a sharpest curve generally of 40 Chains radius (In modern day standards that gives a speed limit of 100 km/h)

The charts also show a post duplication layout of grades and curves, some 40 chain curves were eased out to 41 chains (that gives a curve speed of 115km/h today)

The Is pretty no way you could possibly lift the average speed by 30%
A 2% lift would be a pretty Impressive achievement, but the more you want the cost scale would shoot up through the roof.
Like would you shell out 1/2 Billion to save ONE minute ?
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
There is no reason to spend a fortune upgrading the line beyond Traralgon for the modest numbers travelling beyond.
Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul and Drouin have by far the largest numbers on the line but have to put up with a stopping all stations mentality which seems to make very little sense. As things stand, rail travel from the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne is not competitive with the car - why should long distance travellers have to put up stopping at micro stations between Drouin and Pakenham where the passenger numbers are minimal - just have a look out the window and see the empty platforms! Surely there has to be a case for a lot more express trains, with the tiny stations 5km apart supported by peak local trains originating from Warragul?
gippslander
You know very well there won't be any station skipping, sounds like Yarragon and Trafalgar have picked up 4 extra services recently.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
As for curve realignment, land values and availability of vacant land around Drouin and Warragul would be a significant Issue.
The alignment through the Haunted Hills Isn't great, but Is hampered by difficult ground conditions and a worked out open cut coal mine.  

Traralgon to Bairnsdale has the opportunity for faster running (on the straight sections) If the track was upgraded and maintained to a higher standard.
Having said what I did in my previous post, some time savings could still be easily made with relatively minor projects outside of the Metro area, however. But again, it's only skirting around the issue of slow running times within the Metro boundary.

The 115 km/h curve at Nilma could be eased by digging a bit closer to the highway. This would allow V-locities to continually accelerate on the Down from Warragul and reach max speed far earlier, and would mean Up trains wouldn't have to brake hard still 3km from Warragul. Some train drivers seem happy to coast from there too, which doesn't help.

The speed restrictive S-bend just Up of Morwell River, which forms the original deviation around Yallourn mine, could also easily be straightened. There is absolutely no reason why V-Locity trains should not run unimpeded between Morwell and Herne's Oak, but as it is now they barely keep up with the adjacent highway traffic.
DirtyBallast
The curve at Nilma Is 41 chains In radius, to ease this curve to achieve 160 km/h you would need to ease the curve out to at least 60 chains radius (the long curve West of Traralgon Is a 59 chain curve and has a speed limit of 150 km/h)
To do this you would need to move at least the East bound carriageway of the freeway across, to make room.

The S curve West of the Morwell River Is an 80 chain curve and a 41 chain curve, again the 41 chain curve could be eased to a 60+ chain curve (to achieve full line speed) but this would require a whole new causeway / bridge / viaduct over the Morwell River Flood Plain $$, Big $$ have recently been ploughed Into this River causeway to repair failures (That closed the line at one stage)
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
As for curve realignment, land values and availability of vacant land around Drouin and Warragul would be a significant Issue.
The alignment through the Haunted Hills Isn't great, but Is hampered by difficult ground conditions and a worked out open cut coal mine.  

Traralgon to Bairnsdale has the opportunity for faster running (on the straight sections) If the track was upgraded and maintained to a higher standard.

To my pet peeve. What on earth is going on with the track just Down from Morwell, around the bend and through the cutting and past the old Maryvale exchange behind Mid Valley shopping centre? Trains have been speed restricted in that section for years, with no sign whatsoever of any planned remedial work to restore track condition.
The points near the Maryvale exchange are wearing and they probably should replace them.
speedemon08
If your assumption is true, how do you explain the speed restricted section currently extending for another 2km on the Up side of the actual points???
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
There is no reason to spend a fortune upgrading the line beyond Traralgon for the modest numbers travelling beyond.
Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul and Drouin have by far the largest numbers on the line but have to put up with a stopping all stations mentality which seems to make very little sense. As things stand, rail travel from the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne is not competitive with the car - why should long distance travellers have to put up stopping at micro stations between Drouin and Pakenham where the passenger numbers are minimal - just have a look out the window and see the empty platforms! Surely there has to be a case for a lot more express trains, with the tiny stations 5km apart supported by peak local trains originating from Warragul?
You know very well there won't be any station skipping, sounds like Yarragon and Trafalgar have picked up 4 extra services recently.
Nightfire
The extra services are provided by Bairnsdale trains that used to run express through those towns. Same as most of the villages between Drouin and Pakenham. As I said previously, I assume the decision for those trains to make all these extra stops is to standardise V-Locity running times between Traralgon and Pakenham during off peak times. The mentality seems to be that passengers from Bairnsdale and Stratford have already saved some time thanks to the new bridge across the Avon, so they won't mind a longer running time once they get beyond Moe on the Up - but overall, they lose out.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
The curve at Nilma Is 41 chains In radius, to ease this curve to achieve 160 km/h you would need to ease the curve out to at least 60 chains radius (the long curve West of Traralgon Is a 59 chain curve and has a speed limit of 150 km/h)
To do this you would need to move at least the East bound carriageway of the freeway across, to make room.

The S curve West of the Morwell River Is an 80 chain curve and a 41 chain curve, again the 41 chain curve could be eased to a 60+ chain curve (to achieve full line speed) but this would require a whole new causeway / bridge / viaduct over the Morwell River Flood Plain $$, Big $$ have recently been ploughed Into this River causeway to repair failures (That closed the line at one stage)
Nightfire
Good info, ta, but Nilma doesn't have to go to 160 km/h. Down trains accelerating from Warragul would never achieve that speed by there. It's not my expertise, but maybe easing to 45 chains and introducing a bit more cant would at least remove the perception of slowing down for a 'traffic calming' device, especially on the Up?

I accept that Morwell River would be more difficult. Personally I am disappointed that the current package of works did not include duplication between an upgraded Morwell loop to an upgraded Hernes Oak loop, with the new track on a better alignment, to provide what would have become a 7km loop where trains could pass at speed, instead of dicking around with an extra platform at Morwell.
  gippslander Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Gippsland, Vic
There is no reason to spend a fortune upgrading the line beyond Traralgon for the modest numbers travelling beyond.
Traralgon, Morwell, Moe, Warragul and Drouin have by far the largest numbers on the line but have to put up with a stopping all stations mentality which seems to make very little sense. As things stand, rail travel from the Latrobe Valley to Melbourne is not competitive with the car - why should long distance travellers have to put up stopping at micro stations between Drouin and Pakenham where the passenger numbers are minimal - just have a look out the window and see the empty platforms! Surely there has to be a case for a lot more express trains, with the tiny stations 5km apart supported by peak local trains originating from Warragul?
You know very well there won't be any station skipping, sounds like Yarragon and Trafalgar have picked up 4 extra services recently.
the additional 'services' are of course just more stops which will benefit travellers at stations with Mansfield line patronage!
Trafalgar is only heavily used for one or two peak services which cater for secondary students.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
the additional 'services' are of course just more stops which will benefit travellers at stations with Mansfield line patronage!
Trafalgar is only heavily used for one or two peak services which cater for secondary students.
gippslander
Your forgetting that VLine provides Public Transport not Commercial Transport.

Victoria Is not like Germany where they run effectively up to 5 tiers of rail transport through some parts of the Country (Where the top tier Is mostly out of reach to the general population, on affordability grounds)
  jakar Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
There is opportunity to ease Longwarry - Drouin and the dog leg through Haunted Hills, along with upgrading as much track to Class 1 where practical. The line was constructed in the late 1870's, with no intention of speed. What was difficult terrain to build through then, is not the case now. If the average speed can be pushed from 100km/h to 130km/h this will reduce the overall running time by 15 minutes, more so with higher speed running through Pakenham.
Lockie91
I thought i'd do a comparison to show how hard (impossible?) it is to get an average speed anywhere near 130km/h.

Tarneit to Lara is probably as good as it gets with no restricted curves and only slight undulations with a line speed of 160km/h. Skipping Little River it takes 19 minutes to do the 36.21km's at an average of 114km/h. Stopping at Little River adds two minutes and drops it to 103km/h.

The other factor with you plan is environment impacts. Longwarry to Drouin is listed as a registered biosite of national significance for several reasons but mostly due to the existence of the Southern Brown Bandicoot in the section. The Haunted Hills and area around the Morwell River are also biosites with strict controls on removal of vegetation and disturbance of waterways etc. In other words, it is highly doubtful that any major earthworks would get approved for these areas to ease curves or gradients.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  Upven Junior Train Controller

There is opportunity to ease Longwarry - Drouin and the dog leg through Haunted Hills, along with upgrading as much track to Class 1 where practical. The line was constructed in the late 1870's, with no intention of speed. What was difficult terrain to build through then, is not the case now. If the average speed can be pushed from 100km/h to 130km/h this will reduce the overall running time by 15 minutes, more so with higher speed running through Pakenham.
I thought i'd do a comparison to show how hard (impossible?) it is to get an average speed anywhere near 130km/h.

Tarneit to Lara is probably as good as it gets with no restricted curves and only slight undulations with a line speed of 160km/h. Skipping Little River it takes 19 minutes to do the 36.21km's at an average of 114km/h. Stopping at Little River adds two minutes and drops it to 103km/h.

The other factor with you plan is environment impacts. Longwarry to Drouin is listed as a registered biosite of national significance for several reasons but mostly due to the existence of the Southern Brown Bandicoot in the section. The Haunted Hills and area around the Morwell River are also biosites with strict controls on removal of vegetation and disturbance of waterways etc. In other words, it is highly doubtful that any major earthworks would get approved for these areas to ease curves or gradients.
jakar
If they really wanted they could establish an easement through the acquisition of farmland to the south or just north where there isn't such restrictions.
  tom9876543 Train Controller

Multiple people here are proposing major earthworks to speed up the journey from Traralgon to Melbourne.

I am no expert but it seems you have the wrong priority.
Looking at the timetable, Flinders St to Pakenham is 1 hour.
1 hour for 57 kilometres.
If Victorian Government is going to spend big dollars, best value for money would be build a separate Vline / freight railway line between Pakenham and Flinders St.
Change the timetable so it is express Flinders St to Pakeham, average speed 115kmh = 30 minute saving.

We are talking about $gazillions that Victorian Government will never spend ..... so here is radical proposal:
- build railway line down middle of Monash Freeway.
- it branches off Glen Waverley Line where it crosses over Monash Fwy and Yarra River, and rejoins Gippsland Line at Pakenham East station.
- Gippsland Trains go direct from Flinders St to Pakenham East in 31 minutes, a saving of 30 minutes over current timetable.
- There will be suitable Metro Train timetabled so people can easily change to Metro if they need station between Pakenham East - Flinders St.
- Some sections of Monay Fwy maybe too steep; extra earthworks / bridges etc will have to be built for the rail line.

It will never happen obviously!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
Multiple people here are proposing major earthworks to speed up the journey from Traralgon to Melbourne.

I am no expert but it seems you have the wrong priority.
Looking at the timetable, Flinders St to Pakenham is 1 hour.
1 hour for 57 kilometres.
If Victorian Government is going to spend big dollars, best value for money would be build a separate Vline / freight railway line between Pakenham and Flinders St.
Change the timetable so it is express Flinders St to Pakeham, average speed 115kmh = 30 minute saving.

We are talking about $gazillions that Victorian Government will never spend ..... so here is radical proposal:
- build railway line down middle of Monash Freeway.
- it branches off Glen Waverley Line where it crosses over Monash Fwy and Yarra River, and rejoins Gippsland Line at Pakenham East station.
- Gippsland Trains go direct from Flinders St to Pakenham East in 31 minutes, a saving of 30 minutes over current timetable.
- There will be suitable Metro Train timetabled so people can easily change to Metro if they need station between Pakenham East - Flinders St.
- Some sections of Monay Fwy maybe too steep; extra earthworks / bridges etc will have to be built for the rail line.

It will never happen obviously!
tom9876543
I would build along the existing corridor between Caulfield and Pakenham (obviously would require property acquisition) and extend the Metro Tunnel to Caulfield to free up a track pair towards Flinders Street.
  Donald Chief Commissioner

Location: Donald. Duck country.
You can't build a rail line in the middle of the Monash Fwy.   Any spare land will be required to build more lanes for cars & trucks.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
All the land up the middle of the Monash freeway has already consumed.

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