XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

What has all this endless stuff about guards and drivers got to do with the XPT or it's replacement?
PClark

It explains why the current regime - as inefficient as it is - was such an improvement over what we had 25 years ago.  

The main problem IMHO is little has been done on the productivity front since, and there has got to be a lot of low hanging fruit.  What I fear is the current inefficiencies are both a reason and justification to can the whole thing completely.  

But more to the point of this thread, unless these productivity issues can be addressed in a meaningful way, no government in it's right mind is going to pump capital into CountryLink.

IMHO fleet renewal could be a catalyst for this sort of productivity reform, and might add to the justification for fleet renewal rather than be a disincentive.

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  a6et Minister for Railways

What has all this endless stuff about guards and drivers got to do with the XPT or it's replacement?
PClark
Simple!!!! read the garbage previously put out, by experts who know nothing about what really happened & decided to raise it in this thread.  In fact its what happens in every thread that is put up on this sort of topic.
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
What has all this endless stuff about guards and drivers got to do with the XPT or it's replacement?
PClark
Cost.
You replace a train, what type of train means how many crew, which is a big cost that could bare down on the type of train is purchased.
If the current government was going to replace the XPT, labour cost will have a big bearing on what they buy,
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
....But more to the point of this thread, unless these productivity issues can be addressed in a meaningful way, no government in it's right mind is going to pump capital into CountryLink....
djf01
....certainly not CountryLink alone. But as part of NSW Trains? Perhaps, perhaps not.

I have heard some scuttlebutt in recent times that bringing CountryLink under the same umbrella as the InterCity portion of CityRail will give CountryLink the opportunity to sink or swim. Tom Waterhouse probably would say the horse is off Twisted Evil
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
....certainly not CountryLink alone. But as part of NSW Trains? Perhaps, perhaps not.

I have heard some scuttlebutt in recent times that bringing CountryLink under the same umbrella as the InterCity portion of CityRail will give CountryLink the opportunity to sink or swim. Tom Waterhouse probably would say the horse is off Twisted Evil
wurx

I see no reason why the NSW govt wouldn't replace most if not all the CL services with new stock when the time comes. There will most likely be w review to look at different options as well as support and voter backlash/support as there is with most govt investments. The capital isn't huge in % terms of the NSW budget, actually quite small and less than what the former NSW govt wasted on the failed Metro. ie
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
It explains why the current regime - as inefficient as it is - was such an improvement over what we had 25 years ago.  

The main problem IMHO is little has been done on the productivity front since, and there has got to be a lot of low hanging fruit.  What I fear is the current inefficiencies are both a reason and justification to can the whole thing completely.  

But more to the point of this thread, unless these productivity issues can be addressed in a meaningful way, no government in it's right mind is going to pump capital into CountryLink.

IMHO fleet renewal could be a catalyst for this sort of productivity reform, and might add to the justification for fleet renewal rather than be a disincentive.
djf01
Have a little patience Peter...despite the thread heading off-track a bit, it explains the story of why we endured the industrial disputation through the 1980's etc.

Good work chaps and thanks for your insights. Smile
  a6et Minister for Railways

I see no reason why the NSW govt wouldn't replace most if not all the CL services with new stock when the time comes. There will most likely be w review to look at different options as well as support and voter backlash/support as there is with most govt investments. The capital isn't huge in % terms of the NSW budget, actually quite small and less than what the former NSW govt wasted on the failed Metro. ie
RTT_Rules
What failed Metro???

Dillema was pushing for a metro for the NWL, the then opposition was totally against it, but now in power what is being built???
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

What has all this endless stuff about guards and drivers got to do with the XPT or it's replacement?
PClark
I totally agree with you Peter. This thread has "gone off the rails" and no one seems to have noticed my earlier post asking how much faster a modern tilt train could travel the line when compared with the XPT!

Duncan
  ar157 Beginner

What failed Metro???

Dillema was pushing for a metro for the NWL, the then opposition was totally against it, but now in power what is being built???
a6et

Perhaps the CBD metro?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Perhaps the CBD metro?
ar157
What relevance does this have to the XPT?
  PClark Chief Commissioner

The problem with the unions is that they seem to take the attitude that the trains exist for the prime purpose of providing cushy jobs for their members and that the passengers are just an incidental nuisance.

The worst example I ever struck (apart from last minute cancellations) was on a journey from Sydney to Perth on the IP during the latter days of government operation.

On this trip the number of sleeper passengers out of Sydney was only about 45.

At 5.45pm we were all herded into the dining car for dinner which was rushed through in about 40 minutes.  The crew then went off to the dorm, changed and came into the lounge car where they commandeered the TV to play footy videos at maximum volume and sat about drinking and barracking.

Naturally, the paying passengers were not amused but who cared?

Getting back to the XPT.  These were originally designed to be operated by a crew of no more than 5 but the unions forced this up to about 10 which, of course, had a major effect on the economics of services that were increasingly being run for the benefit of the “Three Ps” (pensioners, passholders and paupers).
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Duncs in all seriousness it isn't just the curvature of the lines that works against tilting trains its the condition of the lines themselves . No doubt current bogie technology is better than it was thirty years ago but there would be limits to how much they can absorb and still give an acceptable ride . I had thought that the Melbourne Sydney line , in ARTC territory , was going to be relaid with 60 kg rail to improve the ride and possibly increase the axle loads for freighters . I don't know for sure but heavy rail is probably better for light axle load high speed service as well .
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I totally agree with you Peter. This thread has "gone off the rails" and no one seems to have noticed my earlier post asking how much faster a modern tilt train could travel the line when compared with the XPT!

Duncan
Duncs
You could probably estimate it yourself.  There has been plenty of discussion of the historical trial of a tilting set in this thread.

I suspect on its own the saving would be nominal, as a picked-out-of-the-air notional figure something like half an hour for the Sydney - Melbourne leg.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but the mere crossing of a state border is enough to knock 20 km/h off the top speed of the current set.  Tilting, on its own, doesn't change aspects like that.

Even that might be optimistic.  It obviously depends on the curvature of the line that you are travelling on and delays that are not related to the type of train itself, but if we use South East Queensland services as a template, the Rockhamptom Tilt Train takes 95 minutes from Roma Street to Nambour.  Along the way it stops two times.  The normal "interurban" service takes 112 minutes, stopping 20 or so times. If you assume one minute of additional time associated with slowing down, stopping at the station, speeding up again, the tilt train has bought you... negative one minute!

The standard diesel loco hauled service takes 130 minutes, stopping once.  The diesel tilt takes 101 minutes, stopping once.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The problem with the unions is that they seem to take the attitude that the trains exist for the prime purpose of providing cushy jobs for their members and that the passengers are just an incidental nuisance.

The worst example I ever struck (apart from last minute cancellations) was on a journey from Sydney to Perth on the IP during the latter days of government operation.

On this trip the number of sleeper passengers out of Sydney was only about 45.

At 5.45pm we were all herded into the dining car for dinner which was rushed through in about 40 minutes.  The crew then went off to the dorm, changed and came into the lounge car where they commandeered the TV to play footy videos at maximum volume and sat about drinking and barracking.

Naturally, the paying passengers were not amused but who cared?

Getting back to the XPT.  These were originally designed to be operated by a crew of no more than 5 but the unions forced this up to about 10 which, of course, had a major effect on the economics of services that were increasingly being run for the benefit of the “Three Ps” (pensioners, passholders and paupers).
PClark
That's the classic of all statements especially the example given.  Suddenly the unions are the blame for individuals actions.  The question re the crew were they off duty at the time? as I understand the one on board crew worked in broken shifts.

However, its was the same thing when I was in the main York st tower in the early 70's with the so called engineers in their wonderful working conditions, how long did they get for morning tea, & lunch times, also knock off times, & all with the endorsement of the superiors.

When was the 5 man crewing of the XPT brought out, certainly not in the initial stages of Nifties bold plans as he promoted the British HST experience coming to NSW, which included 2 fully qualified drivers in the cab, when doing over 160k's as per the British working at the time.  One thing for certain was that the amount of staff in the on board crewing was high & I point back to the cosy arrangements the ARU had with senior management, & a reason why they did not strike.  Check out the history of ARU strikes especially with Traffic branch employees, & you will see what I am referring to.  Different Kettle of fish with ARU members who worked in other branches though as the employees rarely ever received union support for their grievances, & ordered back to work as soon as they went out, a reason why the NUR ended up with so many members that they at least represented their members even though they had a no strike policy.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
That's the classic of all statements especially the example given.  Suddenly the unions are the blame for individuals actions.  The question re the crew were they off duty at the time? as I understand the one on board crew worked in broken shifts.
"a6et"
I rather think that there is really no excuse for crew to be loudly intoxicated on board the train in full view of passengers, regardless of whether or not they were on shift. Working at the time or not, it is appalling behaviour.

If the XPT programme had been carefully thought out with cooperation between the involved governments, railway management and the unions then long-distance rail travel, faced with increasing competition from a deregulated airline industry, might have been able to stage a strategic retreat to a position of strength - smaller, faster, better fitted-out trains with decent catering running to convenient schedules with good cross-platform connections at Central.

Instead the result was a rout to the extent that many potential customers do not even know that there is still a rail service between our capitals.

But all this would need to have been done thirty years ago when rail still had a measurable market share.  I doubt whether it can be done today.

It is one thing to nurse a sick patient back to health but quite another to resurrect a corpse!
"PClark"
Exactly! - in particular, with regard to convenient schedules with cross-platform connections at Sydney Central. Even if the hard product is rubbish, schedule and network are very important strengths on their own - strengths that CountryLink doesn't have.

Take the Brisbane run as an example of appalling scheduling. It departs at 1612 - too late for a day service, but also too early (before the working day is out!). It also arrives at the very pleasant time of 0630+1 (0530 during DST), resulting in some delightful far North Coast arrivals. I'm sure Coffs Harbour is most beautiful at 0057 in the morning; doubtless Grafton Bridge is stunning at 0215. The return leg arrives back in Sydney after even the Asian takeaways have closed.

So borrowing some existing ideas (hats off to thadocta and djf01) I ran it the other way around - Brisbane daylight (return overnight) and Casino overnight (return daylight). The much better result can be viewed here (down) and here (up). (The entire project had connections at Sydney Terminal as a central theme.)

But that's not all. The overall 'product' is a whole greater than the sum of its parts. The hard product - the rolling stock, seats, etc. - are important (and currently, er, unimpressive), and the point of this thread at its creation a year ago. The soft product - the "dining", the "service", the "schedule", etc. - are equally important.

I'm inclined to think that PClark has hit the nail on the head with regards to what would have constituted an ideal product when the XPT was introduced - and, with some updating, a possibly viable, competitive product today. More efficient than the trains of yesteryear, with a better overall product on board and forming a useful network to travel with; I dare take a leap and suggest even a loyalty program. Things like booked seating and booked luggage ought to be retained; seating and dining could be enhanced. More modern management practices - such as yield management formulae brought up by DTMW - could help improve revenue.

But is it too late? Perhaps, perhaps not. Rail can be made competitive once again - but it will not be easy; to borrow from cootanee, it boils down to the barrier of, "show me the money".

I agree it was a potential turning point; alas, the Xpensive Phail Train ended up being a rake of wheelie bins and bathubs, top-and-tailed by camels.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: North of the border!
Rail can be made competitive once again - but it will not be easy; to borrow from cootanee, it boils down to the barrier of, "show me the money".
...
Watson374
I'm thinking more like "Tell 'em they're dreaming".

Nothing I've seen from guvmnts amounts to any more than threading water - at best. It's almost 20 years since the feds got $$$ interested in rail freight (NOT so much passengers). NSW hasn't exactly been overly generous outside the Cityrail network for decades - don't see that changing either.

Budgets are going to get tighter and more people are getting older and living longer - there goes the $$$.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I rather think that there is really no excuse for crew to be loudly intoxicated on board the train in full view of passengers, regardless of whether or not they were on shift. Working at the time or not, it is appalling behaviour.

Snip
Watson374
I have to admit to not noticing the bit that Peter said about them drinking, which I totally agree is not acceptable & certainly is against the rules & regulations that apply to their employment conditions. The aspect of drinking on the job is something that I do not agree with & know for a fact that rail unions will not represent any employee that has been found drinking on the job, & as I missed it a reason I only hinted at the green house York st employees who would spend their lunch break in nearby hotels drinking & returning to work, well after they were supposed to.  While they were not in sight of the public, it was still wrong & they also took double their lunch breaks.

I understand that there are provisions available these days or were that made it mandatory for drug & intoxicated employees who turn up for work are to be refused sign on & are sent home & required to undergo counselling in order to go back to work.  

The point is that these individuals are just that, & even if they belong to a union, its not the fault or blame on the union.  I also agree that there are those union officials who are in it for their own purposes & not for the members. None more so than a former NSW State Rail union Chairman who was a one term wonder & let it be well known that he was using the position as a stepping stone to politics.  Thankfully there are not that many of them but even if it was one that is one too many.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Point taken, a6et. We cannot blame the unions for what the workers do, and we cannot blame the workers for what the unions do.

I'm thinking more like "Tell 'em they're dreaming".
"cootanee"
That works as well!

Nothing I've seen from guvmnts amounts to any more than threading water - at best. It's almost 20 years since the feds got $$$ interested in rail freight (NOT so much passengers). NSW hasn't exactly been overly generous outside the Cityrail network for decades - don't see that changing either.
"cootanee"
CityRail is an unavoidable issue. How do you get from Pennant Hills to William St? CityRail, Hillsbus and/or STA. How do you get from Cootamundra to Kempsey? Who gives a toss? /wink

That said, every project for the benefit of freight needs to be milked for what it's worth, lest we end up with not merely a corpse, but a decayed one at that!
  PClark Chief Commissioner

Any discussion of a replacement for the XPT (if any!) requires a decision as to what routes these trains will take and what categories of passengers are being aimed at.

There are those on these forums who claim that Intercapital services should be discontinued because, on these routes, rail patronage has been annihilated by the airlines.

This ignores the facts that, for decades, the railways failed to provide appropriate on-board accommodations and services for such journeys and failed to provide schedules convenient to passengers.  It also ignores the huge total number of journeys on these routes.  Certainly, rail can only hope to attract a minority of this total but a small slice of a huge cake is still are considerable number spread over only two trains in each direction.

As I stated in an earlier post, it may now be too late after thirty years of neglect and negativity but this is what I think , in an ideal world, might have been:-

Let us assume that, in the early 80s the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and Fedaral governments had been able agree on a common policy (a rare occurrence!) to establish a jointly-funded (say roughly 60% NSW/20% Vic/10% Qld/Federal 10%) interstate passenger train corporation (i.e a sort of mini Amtrak) to supervise the design, purchase and operation of sufficient stock to enable twelve “Intercapital XPTs” to operate between the four capitals.

These would have comprised four overnight and eight day consists although the total number of different trailer car types would not exceed seven.

The overnighters would have had one sleeper with luggage and staff space, two full sleepers, a full-length catering car and three economy sitters.

Sleepers would have provided both single and twin cabins with, perhaps, one deluxe suite.  Economy sitters would have had 2+2 reclining and rotating seats with sufficient pitch to allow passengers to stretch out and (hopefully) sleep.  The catering car would have had a central galley with a “bistro-lounge” seating about 24 at tables for two or four providing at-seat food and beverage service for the sleeper passengers at one end and a “buffet” area at the other end providing coach passengers with the choice of stools at a counter or takeaway.

The four day trains for the Brisbane and Melbourne would have had one first class sitter with luggage and staff space, one first class sitter with galley, one catering car and four economy sitters.



First class sitters would have had luxurious 2+1 seating and passengers would have enjoyed food and beverage service at their seats.  The catering car would be identical to those on the night trains but the bistro-lounge area would have been available to coach passengers desiring a more formal meal service than that available in the buffet area.  The economy sitters would, of course, have been identical to those on the night trains.

The four day trains for the Canberra service (which could provide up to six daily services) would have each had five intermediate cars (instead of seven): One first class sitter with luggage and staff space, one first class sitter with galley, one composite buffet/economy and two economy sitters.

Timetabling of the “Intercapital XPT” fleet would have been designed around passenger convenience, aiming to retain worthwhile “niche markets” of paying passengers (other than the “Three Ps” mentioned in my earlier posting)

For example, the overnight Brisbane train would have, for the first time, enabled passengers to complete the entire journey outside of normal working hours and the Melbourne service (leaving each capital at about 2200) would have appealed to those who had to attend some after-hours function but who still had to be at work in the other capital by 0900 the next day.

Overnight and day trains would have made cross-platform connections of about thirty minutes at Central.

Intrastate services to places like Dubbo, Armidale, Moree, Grafton or Wagga would have been also operated by the same body but these would have been shorter trains similar to the Xplorers rather than XPTs.

As I indicated in an earlier posting, this might have worked if it had been done a generation ago.  Whether it would work today is doubtful.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
Any discussion of a replacement for the XPT (if any!) requires a decision as to what routes these trains will take and what categories of passengers are being aimed at.

There are those on these forums who claim that Intercapital services should be discontinued because, on these routes, rail patronage has been annihilated by the airlines.

This ignores the facts that, for decades, the railways failed to provide appropriate on-board accommodations and services for such journeys and failed to provide schedules convenient to passengers.  It also ignores the huge total number of journeys on these routes.  Certainly, rail can only hope to attract a minority of this total but a small slice of a huge cake is still are considerable number spread over only two trains in each direction.

...
PClark
While I have some sympathy for elements of what you are suggesting, what you are "ignoring the fact" of is... cost.

What has annihilated inter-capital rail in Australia is that it fundamentally costs more to provide a typical "equivalent to the passenger" service over that distance via rail than it does via air (rail might be more a comfortable service, which passengers value, but it takes much longer, which has considerable negative value for most passengers).  This was the case thirty years ago.  It has particularly been the case as of the 30 October 1990, when much silliness in the inter-capital aviation market began to disappear.

The cost of providing an inter-capital sleeper service is extravagant.  There are a large number of journeys being made between the capitals, but the number of travellers willing to pay the premium price necessary to cover that extravagant cost is inconsequential, below the number necessary to achieve any semblance of an economy of scale, or to support a service of meaningful frequency.

Thirty years ago, and especially today, conventional rail's market is not inter-capital.

That said, there may still be reason to run inter-capital services, simply from the point of view of net operational convenience (I suspect it is better for CountryLink to run an XPT through to Melbourne, rather than run it to the border and have it meet an additional VLine service).  But you don't design your services for the inter-capital market.  Not thirty years ago, not now.

This is before we start dealing with some of the practical issues around consist utilisation and capital network congestion issues.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I'm inclined to think that the intercapital services that PClark envisions would need to be combined expresses to be viable, rather than outright intercapital limited expresses, at least by the late eighties. I'm not at all sure about the idea of having separate day and night trains; surely one of the benefits of using the XPT concept is that you can run sets back and forth; ironing out some minor niggles here and there can allow reasonably efficient running - I demonstrated this in another armchair thread, which saw the double-daily Melbourne service only need two sets, rather than four; the triple-daily North Coast only needed three.

While cost is certainly an issue, we're doing this particular section as an exercise in romantic historical armchair operation (RHAO). I'm inclined to think this exercise is more about not bleeding passengers to air, rather than winning them back. It's 1980, not even 1990. This is important.

I agree the implementation of the XPT "sleepers" was a half-baked exercise in committee camel design, but I dispute the notion that the concept of a premium day/night-er cabin is unworkable. One need only look to premium cabins on the world's leading airlines for a bit of inspiration about twenty years after it was actually required. Nevertheless, this is for now an exercise in historical armchair, so we'll borrow something like the Singapore Airlines Suites class for a base seat/bed thing to shove into my hypothetical XAN sleeper.

Yes. I've decided that we're actually better off with an AN type sleeper - for those who don't know your ANs and AMs, it's the roomette-type sleeper - because for starters you don't stare at a wall, which is always a plus. I came up with a concept sleeper some time back, which basically involves ripping off the roomette concept, ripping off the idea of shoving a top bunk on top of it (where else would it go?) and then deciding that it'd be a lot fancier with some nice service wrapped in a baju kebaya. Okay, maybe we'll skip the kebayas.

So basically, the idea goes like this. You have a suite, er, "box" in the form of a British trapezium with a right-angled side. Like basically any other roomette in Australia, really. You have a seat at each end, though, and at the wider end you have the random accessories like the wardrobe. At night, the two seats fold down to form the lower bunk, and the top bunk magically folds down from the wall. This surely can't be a new invention.

I did some calculations. I figured out that you could probably shove twenty suites into one car - less if you wanted toilets and showers in the same car. So I decided to go with eighteen. The trick here is that each suite has two bunks, so you could pack in thirty-six sleeping passengers! (For the record, this has to go with the long-running suggestion to sell suites as suites and not individual bunks, so nobody shares. It's really no different to booking a twin/double for one at a hotel.)

I'm inclined to think this a much more efficient arrangement. By day, you have two very comfortable facing armchairs, which can recline and whatnot. By night, you have up to two reasonably comfortable bunks. It's a suite which is sold as a unit, so nobody has to be forced to share. Showers and bathrooms at one end, and possibly a lounge area at the other.

That's the First product for long-haul; obviously day trains would use the obvious 2+1 seating product. Economy, or 'Standard', can be bog-standard 2+2. It should recline, but maybe not rotate. Not by the nineties. Catering should be centralised unless we upgrade to a three-class layout; assuming we're sticking to a two-class layout for now, we'll put the galley/buffet between the two classes.

So:
Power - First Shower - First Lounge - Economy Buffet - Economy - Economy- Economy - Economy Hold - Power
Power - First Day - First Buffet - Economy - Economy - Economy Hold - Power

Now, if we import the day premium product and shove it into the day/night trains, things get interesting...
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

I'm inclined to think that the intercapital services that PClark envisions would need to be combined expresses to be viable, rather than outright intercapital limited expresses, at least by the late eighties. I'm not at all sure about the idea of having separate day and night trains; surely one of the benefits of using the XPT concept is that you can run sets back and forth; ironing out some minor niggles here and there can allow reasonably efficient running - I demonstrated this in another armchair thread, which saw the double-daily Melbourne service only need two sets, rather than four; the triple-daily North Coast only needed three.
Watson374

What I think you need to so is divest yourself of the notion that CL operates a commercial business.  ATM increasing patronage increases cost to the taxpayer, and moreso with the sleepers.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
What I think you need to so is divest yourself of the notion that CL operates a commercial business.  ATM increasing patronage increases cost to the taxpayer, and moreso with the sleepers.
"djf01"
That was an exercise in historical armchair, which is quite distinct from contemporary armchair; that said, anything to increase revenue is still good, which is why I support the idea of yield management.
  Lou Mullen Beginner

Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
The song remains the same here on the forum for argument/discussion over the replacement of the light rail XPT fleet... What ever point of view you take on with replacing out dated rolling stock regardless who? runs the rail system the issue is: time to go.

XPT is jerassic tech for 2013, even in their hey day they didn't manage to lift the ball game for passenger numbers, truth is they didn't achieve the expected target on NSWGR system due to poor condition of lines they ran. Simple fact is at the time the railways replaced older slower rolling stock with XPT the point was indeed lost when you consider how they operated with british rail.

For my money I say good riddens and if light rail is going to be a future feature on main line operations then lets get serious and replace with light 2 car units that can better negate off main line operations more efficently suiting the conditions.
X heavy rail operator...
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
A little more sugar to round off the DOO component of this thread .

Black Hoppers wrote -
PS when a XP class unit is running light engine it is considered a loco and must be 2 man crewed this happened whilst the tilt was at Parkes and one XP failed at Lithgow and had to come out later L/E.

I wrote -
Jump back , an XP power car "reverts" to a locomotive whenst uncoupled from its worm ? AND requires a second crew member ? How could this possibly be when legislation was ramed through over "single man crewing on XPTs" ? Hmm , maybe XPTs are driver only but not single man crewed trains . Hmm - interesting . Not safe on its own yet quite safe with a train load of people and their lives resting in the hands of one human . DOO ? Yeah right .
I wonder what happens in Victoria if an N fails on the Albury flyer and they had to sent another SG N out to rescue/replace it ? Would it have a single driver on it for the light engine transport movement - or revert to a two person crew .

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