Belair line new timetable

 
  Mark Parnell MLC Station Staff

Mr Parnell

As you observed the old time table had about 4 trains per hour. The 13 minute time interval could only occur if a movement started from Belair rather than be formed from a return movement.

This can be achieved if trains are stabled at Belair AND can also be achieved if a down train consists of enough cars to make up two return up movements.
For this to work a down train from Adelaide comprises tow trains which split on arrival at Belair. The first portion departs as the first up train
The second train leaves 13 minutes after the previous train which allows the next down train 17 minutes to come from Blackwood, split if necessary and form the next up movement or movements.
Likewise in the evening, two down movements could combine at Belair to form a single up movement to return the cars to Adelaide and Dry Creek RC Depot. No additional cars or crews are required over the number required for the services starting/terminating at Blackwood

With cars for the Belair service having to make the empty runs to Dry Creek to fuel up, overnight storage at Belair may no longer be practical. Formerly the cars which stabled at Belair could be serviced and fuelled at the Adelaide RC Depot during the day, now it requires a run out to Dry Creek with has to be slotted into the Gawler line timetable.

The 15 minute intervals is consistent with the proposed services to Seaford and Tonsley, also 15 minute intervals. Keeping the Belair line trains in synchronism with this allows better use of the infrastructure. The 13 minute interval for departures from Belair would work if these trains waited at Blackwood for 2 minutes such that from Blackwood they followed the previous train by 15 minutes. The 13 minute interval may in practice have to be 12 minutes with a 3 minute hold at Blackwood.

The problem with your survey is that people will almost always want more than they have. I suggest you should also conduct the survey at Blackwood to see how many people, if any, drive from Belair.

Regards
Ian
steam4ian
Thanks for your reply Ian,

I'm on a steep learning curve in relation to the intricacies of timetabling, but what you've said makes sense.  I approach this exercise from a consumer's perspective and then leave it to the technical people to work out what is possible.  I want more public transport, not less. There's often a big difference between what is possible technically and what they are prepared to do politically.
It seems to me that the heart of the problem is the closure of Belair depot and their reluctance to stable or fuel trains there.  Thinking ahead to when the whole network is electrified except Belair, it seems that there will need to be dedicated infrastructure including a dedicated platform at Adelaide, so I think a case could be made for re-opening Belair.  I'll be raising this with the Dept.

One of the questions I asked people from Belair / Pinera / Glenalta is whether they are likely to drive to Blackwood.  I know some will, but the test will be in the carparks.  Also, plenty of people raised the spectre of the last 3 stations closing - perhaps that's another good reason to agitate for the depot to re-open?

Regards,
Mark

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  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
Mark

I have wondered whether closing the depot was to save money which I can't see it doing.    It must be costing more for the dead running, albeit advertised in the timetable, rather than having drivers book on and off at Belair.

Another reason may be OHSW - is it considered too risky to refuel trains there?  

I can't see what it might be for there are not a great many neighbours: a school and I believe you know the residents of the closest house, the old railway cottage, with another couple of houses across the road.   All are well above the rail yard.

Or is it thought to be too hard to refuel trains from a road truck (which would be rubbish since GSR does it at Keswick)?

Or is it simply a loss of corporate knowledge in the public transport section of DPTI?
  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

As a Driver, I'll just add my 2 cents worth. The issue of refuelling at Belair is a non issue. Belair Depot worked with Dry Creek in operation, it just meant movements to/from Dry Creek. No big deal whatsoever, it has been done before so there is no reason to not do it now. It was how it worked up until the day the line closed. Same issue applies to Pt Stanvac Depot (now is closed) and for Gawler Depot.

So don't let that be an issue, because it isn't really one. Its minor kilometres running trains to/from Dry Creek, as opposed to running up and down the hill and paying drivers to be on those trains, it makes more economic sense to have Belair Depot opened, because it saves the costs of this, and also saves these issues.

The feeling appears to be an arbitrary one made by someone in the planning department rather than one based on cost benefits.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

As a Driver, I'll just add my 2 cents worth. The issue of refuelling at Belair is a non issue. Belair Depot worked with Dry Creek in operation, it just meant movements to/from Dry Creek. No big deal whatsoever, it has been done before so there is no reason to not do it now. It was how it worked up until the day the line closed. Same issue applies to Pt Stanvac Depot (now is closed) and for Gawler Depot.

So don't let that be an issue, because it isn't really one. Its minor kilometres running trains to/from Dry Creek, as opposed to running up and down the hill and paying drivers to be on those trains, it makes more economic sense to have Belair Depot opened, because it saves the costs of this, and also saves these issues.

The feeling appears to be an arbitrary one made by someone in the planning department rather than one based on cost benefits.
Jumbo2001
I agree. All that needs to be done to make Belair stabling without refuelling a viable option is good rostering of units, something that is bread and butter stuff for a diesel-based system.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the Port Stanvac sidings are to be electrified and used for stabling EMUs that the Seaford Meadows depot can't fit in?
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Wow, that's pretty amazing that an actual MP is on Railpage.  Whatever next!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Pt Stanvac sidings already have the masts, no wires or hardware yet. From what I have heard they will need to be retained at least until the wires get to DCRCD.

As for Belair, as I have explained above, a more frequent service can be organised without requiring stabling at Belair and no more units or crews that the present service.

There may be or may not be good reasons for not retaining Belair stabling yard  but politically my split train solution would be hard for the "powers that be" to argue against.

Only down side it that Belair does not get a "clock-face" timetable and every second train needs to wait 2-3 minutes at Blackwood to catch up with the clock face.

Ian
  Tallboy-Lemond Station Master

Pt Stanvac sidings already have the masts, no wires or hardware yet. From what I have heard they will need to be retained at least until the wires get to DCRCD.

As for Belair, as I have explained above, a more frequent service can be organised without requiring stabling at Belair and no more units or crews that the present service.

There may be or may not be good reasons for not retaining Belair stabling yard  but politically my split train solution would be hard for the "powers that be" to argue against.

Only down side it that Belair does not get a "clock-face" timetable and every second train needs to wait 2-3 minutes at Blackwood to catch up with the clock face.

Ian
"steam4ian"





The only issue with a split service is we should be running all four car trains, not just a glorified novelty bus (yes I am stirring the pot). The split service would only allow a four car to be split to two 2 car trains.

Is a single carriage vehicle technically a train or just a rail vehilce ( sorry couldn't resist).
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The only issue with a split service is we should be running all four car trains, not just a glorified novelty bus (yes I am stirring the pot). The split service would only allow a four car to be split to two 2 car trains.

Is a single carriage vehicle technically a train or just a rail vehilce ( sorry couldn't resist).
"Tallboy-Lemond"
Whatever it is, a single car is about all the Belair line requires over much of the day.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Does the lack of participation on this forum mean that services are now operating smoothly to the new timetable?

Ian
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Maybe it isn't, and everyone is on a train stuck in the mobile black spot near Sleeps Hill Tunnel and Watiparinga Reserve!
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Does anyone know if that train the other morning was really delayed due to slipping because of dew? (A good question to ask in Parliament Mr Parnell) I am thinking it was something else. Anyone caught a train with two drivers so that if one of them SPADded at Waywick they could just swap spots and continue without holding up the line? - Oh that's right, it never actually happened, but it nearly did...
  Mark Parnell MLC Station Staff

Wow, that's pretty amazing that an actual MP is on Railpage.  Whatever next!
don_dunstan
Last time I looked in the mirror, I was.  On the other hand, I could be wannabe MP who is really a train driver?  Actually, I'm a former conservation campaigner who's now in State Parliament representing the Greens.  In my previous life, I'm the author of that well known (?) short book from 1994 - "Greening Adelaide with Public Transport".  It's now out of print, but the Transport Minister at the time, Diana Laidlaw, bought 10 copies at $7.50 each for her Dept officers.  Clearly none of them read it Sad.
  Mark Parnell MLC Station Staff

Does the lack of participation on this forum mean that services are now operating smoothly to the new timetable?

Ian
steam4ian
I've now had over 70 replies to my on-line survey aimed at passengers using Belair / Pinera & Glenalta stations.  Amongst other questions, I ask whether people are happy with the new timetable. I'll post the results here in the next few days.  http://bit.ly/belairtrain
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Last time I looked in the mirror, I was.  On the other hand, I could be wannabe MP who is really a train driver?  Actually, I'm a former conservation campaigner who's now in State Parliament representing the Greens.  In my previous life, I'm the author of that well known (?) short book from 1994 - "Greening Adelaide with Public Transport".  It's now out of print, but the Transport Minister at the time, Diana Laidlaw, bought 10 copies at $7.50 each for her Dept officers.  Clearly none of them read it Sad.
Mark Parnell MLC

Mark, it is always fantastic to hear about people who give a damn about something and get out there to change things. I prefer a quiet life myself but I really respect people who are politically active and it's even more compelling when someone gets off their bum and runs for parliament.

Things are changing for the better in Adelaide thanks in part to people like you who get out there and try and raise public awareness - Adelaide is probably the best city in Australia to cycle around in my opinion and at least Rann did something about electrification (even if it is happening very slowly).  Now that petrol is starting to spike again perhaps people everywhere will start to think about the future and how a low-carbon society could be better for us all.

Keep up the good work mate.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia

It seems to me that the heart of the problem is the closure of Belair depot and their reluctance to stable or fuel trains there. Thinking ahead to when the whole network is electrified except Belair, it seems that there will need to be dedicated infrastructure including a dedicated platform at Adelaide, so I think a case could be made for re-opening Belair.  I'll be raising this with the Dept.

Regards,
Mark
Mark Parnell MLC

Belair trains won't need a dedicated a platform at Adelaide Station once the whole network is electified (apart from Belair). The 3000/3100 class railcars can run under wires without any problems. The 2000/2100 class railcars can't run under the wires due the drivers cab being raised, and the shells of the drivers cabs are made out of fibre glass. The plan is the 2000/2100 railcars will retired from service once the electric trains enter service.
  Mark Parnell MLC Station Staff

Belair trains won't need a dedicated a platform at Adelaide Station once the whole network is electified (apart from Belair). The 3000/3100 class railcars can run under wires without any problems. The 2000/2100 class railcars can't run under the wires due the drivers cab being raised, and the shells of the drivers cabs are made out of fibre glass. The plan is the 2000/2100 railcars will retired from service once the electric trains enter service.
AN830
Fair enough.  I understand about wires and clearance, but I must admit that I've been working on the assumption that the new electric trains would all be Standard guage, hence the use of guage-convertible sleepers.  I thought the Belair trains would stay broad guage, which would have meant a dedicated broad guage platform at Adelaide Station.  I also recall a briefing I received a year or two ago when we were told that the Standard guage tram would be running on the Outer Harbor line which would be standardised.  Perhaps I got this wrong?

In any event, if they were to standardise the Belair suburban line, that would solve the problem of overtaking loops, provided they could negotiate access with ARTC to use some bits of their track a few times a day.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
When the Belair line was partially standardised for the interstate line back in 1994 or whenever it was suggested at the time that both tracks be standardised and services continue as they were at the time (ie with freight and local services intermingled).

The suggestion then was for a dedicated (couple of) standard guage platforms at Adelaide (probably 1 and 2) for the Belair service.     This never happened.

The other lines will be standardised in the fullness of time.   The "Coast to Coast tramway" proposal now lanquishing in the "at some future time basket" would more or less have forced standardisation of at least the Outer Harbor line if not the other lines.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Mark

We have been told many things.

The electric vehicles are definitely broad gauge; one would hope that they are at least gauge convertible against some future standardisation.

Standardisation only offers limited benefits as follows
  • Stops people rabbiting on about standard gauge being better.
  • Trams could share the same tracks, e.g Outer Harbour
  • Marginally easier to purchase rolling stock, note only marginally
  • The Belair route could use both tracks as you have suggested.
  • The Belair route could extend to Aldgate, Mt Barker
Most of these benefits are dubious.
  • There is some argument about the viability of trams which will run from the 25 kV rail electrification.
  • ARTC and freight operators may not want to be slotted into a 15 minute suburban timetable
  • There are consider time problems trying to get to Aldgate or Mt Barker in times that compete with road based public transport.

Even if the Adelaide Metro system were converted to standard gauge its traffic would still be kept clear of freight movements.

Conversion to Standard Gauge has an emotive appeal which would be good for publicity either to benefit an incumbent government or the stocks of Adelaide Metro. The cost benefits are negligible.

regards
Ian
  don_dunstan The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Adelaide proud
Ian: There was talk when I was living in Adelaide of making a deep-water container/bulk port at Port Stanvac so that larger ships could dock in Adelaide.  A standard gauge network would make this easier; I'm not sure if it would be worth the money but I suppose there's also the advantage of inter-operation with the tram network (provided the vehicles are dual voltage).  I think that was the original idea with the 'Coast to Coast' tram extension, different vehicles sharing the same track; Mark alludes to this in his post above.

The whole idea was predicated on the gauge conversion of the whole network and that's not going to happen now; in fact Outer Harbour isn't scheduled for electric trains for many years.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
Ian: There was talk when I was living in Adelaide of making a deep-water container/bulk port at Port Stanvac so that larger ships could dock in Adelaide.  A standard gauge network would make this easier; I'm not sure if it would be worth the money but I suppose there's also the advantage of inter-operation with the tram network (provided the vehicles are dual voltage).  I think that was the original idea with the 'Coast to Coast' tram extension, different vehicles sharing the same track; Mark alludes to this in his post above.

The whole idea was predicated on the gauge conversion of the whole network and that's not going to happen now; in fact Outer Harbour isn't scheduled for electric trains for many years.
"don_dunstan"


Don, the idea of making Pt Stanvac a Grain port was suggested as a use for the Oil Refinery wharf and land. However the ones that suggested this use has absolutely NO idea what they were talking about. It is one of the worst possible locations for a "Port", The wharf affords no protection whatsoever for a vessel in rough weather. If fact very few vessels actually used the wharf at all. Oil was unloaded via underwater pipes from a pontoon anchored off-shore. (I would often have to travel out to ships at the unloading pontoon on the refinery work boats to perform onboard repairs)
The suggestion for alternate uses came when PRA (Mobil) decided to abandon the refinery, which was long before anyone considered ANY tram extensions in Adelaide, let alone any rail electrification.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Why couldn't we have just all agreed on the distance between the rails back in the 1800's? Rolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling Eyes

There would be none of this stuff we have today.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Why couldn't we have just all agreed on the distance between the rails back in the 1800's? Rolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling EyesRolling Eyes

There would be none of this stuff we have today.
"mclaren2007"
We nearly did! But you can blame NSW, they changed the rules... Also, you need to remember the first rail services were .... in .... SA, we were first, the rest should have copied us!

As Ian suggested THE ONLY benefit of going standard gauge to me will be that it will shut the 'we should be on standard gauge' crowd up. That is until they find some other idiotic cause to parrot about. The distance between the wheels in no way causes any significant difference in price of rollingstock. SG for Belair line extended to Aldgate etc is (literally) a waste of time.
  defman Station Master

It would appear they are going to be stabling rail cars up at Belair as of next week.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
And the depot reopening?
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
The Belair Timetable may probably only be an interim timetable till the whole network is once again operating at full capacity. Then things can be sorted out line for line so to speak and tweaks made as necessary to certain timetables. Once the Electric trains start running in full on the Seaford line then these timetables will more than likely be tweaked again to reflect connections etc. All the timetables have to work into one another a bit to allow connections to be made at Adelaide if you so wish. Not sure if I am right on this but it seem's that way to me.

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