XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
In addition to a detailed map, a long section would be nice.

Beats going via Armidale...
Watson374
If you have a read of the reports, particularily the one on the route standards, the new line will have a worst case ruling grade of
1 in 50 , which is a bit better than the current lines of 1 in 40 , but not much.
The 1 in 50 grades are at both ends , in Victoria and in Queensland.

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  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
If you have a read of the reports, particularily the one on the route standards, the new line will have a worst case ruling grade of
1 in 50 , which is a bit better than the current lines of 1 in 40 , but not much.
The 1 in 50 grades are at both ends , in Victoria and in Queensland.
MD
I'm sure 1:50 will please the operators muchly. Would love to know what this actually means for say an NR class over 1:40. For the Qld end which I assume is more the hill down to Brisbane, a banking loco or two is now practical to help push a train up the hill knowing that its can power itself for another 2000km without wasting fuel dragging the extra HP along for no reason.

Armidale, I think we get too hooked up on the current 19th century alignment when looking at this option, but agree it would take a few bucks to sort it out, however is there more traffic sourced from this route?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
In addition to a detailed map, a long section would be nice.
Watson374
They provide one.

goto different_thread;
  a6et Minister for Railways

You are confusing safety standards and infrastructure standards.

The level of risk tolerance today is lower.  A part consequence of that is there are less accidents and/or the accidents that happen are less severe.
donttellmywife

No! I am not confusing standards, or at least any more than others are.  Not sure about the less severe accidents these days either, the primary difference these days seems to be as there are fewer passenger trains there are not as many accidents, but gee try to compare some of the freight derailments & their severity & consequences these days compared those in the past, & all on the newer higher standard lines.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
...try to compare some of the freight derailments & their severity & consequences these days compared those in the past, & all on the newer higher standard lines.
a6et
That's true, a 1500m freightie coming off the tracks at 100kph will have more mass and energy and thus do more damage than a 500m one at 80kph. The track is less forgiving when it comes to a modern freightie (noting that many derailments are not related to track condition).
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I was under the impression that those old steamers didn't have speedos and it was up to the drivers to judge their speed by timing between mileage pegs and stations . Variations in "judgements" could cause variations in speeds and there wouldn't have been Haslers or data loggers to tell the real story .
A6 I was told that speed boards were altered to make the then new XPT running times look better than loco hauled pass train times and the loco hauled freighters copped the speed cut as a consequence . I could never fathom why Joe Average'd care about XPTs looking "super" compared to the loco hauled ones because it wasn't like he was voting to get XPTs .
Often these days the maximum speed of freighters is set by perceived stopping distances and it has absolutely nothing to do with the lines axle load , grade (or the lack of) , or alignments . A post and a piece of tin plate is MUCH cheaper to change than signalling arrangements . If you can have a look at the "totem pole" of speed boards these days and note at times the LARGE difference between the yellow white and blue boards posted speeds . Silly things like a 20 km/h speed reduction (60 vs 80) on the down main at West Ryde at the foot of a ruling (1:40) grade . There is no discrimination on what a "loco hauled" train is either , could be a 48 with a couple of pass cars or it could be a 4500T coal train . Very obviously Rail Corp/Sydney Trains doesn't care and can't be held accountable for private trains questionable average speeds under wires .    
I believe a while back Rail Corp woke up and realised that they didn't have loco hauled trains any more because their pas trains were all EMUs DMUs or XPTs . Loco hauled trains were privately owned ones so their timeliness and effectiveness was someone else's problem . Stiff smeg !
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Personally, I think any IRR is going to suffer from the same problems as the existing line: there won't be enough traffic to justify either construction of a low operating cost alignment nor adequate maintenance.

Any new line is going to need to deal with the Toowoomba ranges and the reports are fairly ambivalent or even evasive about how to deal with this.  But basically there will need to be a trade off between construction costs and operational efficiencies.  It's the same decision process which saw Queensland go with 3'6" in the first place.

To me the inland line fails the "what problem are we solving here?" test.  The main "problem" the new line solves is that the existing one runs through Sydney's shared perway.   If that's the main problem, then a shorter/cheaper/better route for the IRR would be Picton-St Mary's-Wiseman's Ferry-Maitland.

If the IRR goes ahead, it'll leave the NCL with little traffic other than CountryLink - who will no doubt be expected to shoulder more of the costs of operating that line - which I don;t think is going to do much for CL's long term prospects.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I was under the impression that those old steamers didn't have speedos and it was up to the drivers to judge their speed by timing between mileage pegs and stations . Variations in "judgements" could cause variations in speeds and there wouldn't have been Haslers or data loggers to tell the real story .
A6 I was told that speed boards were altered to make the then new XPT running times look better than loco hauled pass train times and the loco hauled freighters copped the speed cut as a consequence . I could never fathom why Joe Average'd care about XPTs looking "super" compared to the loco hauled ones because it wasn't like he was voting to get XPTs .
Often these days the maximum speed of freighters is set by perceived stopping distances and it has absolutely nothing to do with the lines axle load , grade (or the lack of) , or alignments . A post and a piece of tin plate is MUCH cheaper to change than signalling arrangements . If you can have a look at the "totem pole" of speed boards these days and note at times the LARGE difference between the yellow white and blue boards posted speeds . Silly things like a 20 km/h speed reduction (60 vs 80) on the down main at West Ryde at the foot of a ruling (1:40) grade . There is no discrimination on what a "loco hauled" train is either , could be a 48 with a couple of pass cars or it could be a 4500T coal train . Very obviously Rail Corp/Sydney Trains doesn't care and can't be held accountable for private trains questionable average speeds under wires .    
I believe a while back Rail Corp woke up and realised that they didn't have loco hauled trains any more because their pas trains were all EMUs DMUs or XPTs . Loco hauled trains were privately owned ones so their timeliness and effectiveness was someone else's problem . Stiff smeg !
BDA
BDA  just a couple of points.

Yes the working & speed of steam was based on the running times in the sections, a reason behind the absolute need to know the road & to obtain every advantage if the running of the train, especially with Pax trains, the old WTT had instructions for drivers to accelerate their trains when running late in order to get back to the TT times, however there was the condition of being mindful of the track/speed boards & passenger comfort & ride.

The other aspect of it was also in the knowing of the road, one could accelerate without problems on good track & sections, but on bad sections even when the boards allowed for faster times they were not run at that, especially on 36cl, they told you where the bad track was.

When the XPT's first came out, the old yellow boards without adjustments were not touched for loco hauled trains, that included passenger as well as goods, the white XPT boards came out all with a minimum of 5K's more than the black below 80, then 10 from 80-95, 20 90 - 100 & those above 100 usually were increased to 140-160 for the X. It was only when the actual times of the XPT were shown up to be no better than many of the mails, especially on the grade & curved lines, also the amount of brake wear was discovered on the X's due to the amount of Power Braking being used to run the original TT's that the yellow speed boards were then reduced, also there was more build up time put into the timetables for the X's with the loco hauled trains being reduced in speed & longer travel times put in.

Not forgetting also that when the Aurora & SOP were introduced into the running,  owing to the new longer brake travel set up, which meant a lot more braking effort was needed even to bring the trains under control, a new speed board was introduced in the mid 60's of a Round Yellow board with a circled speed on it which was lower than the normal track speed, they were placed at various distances from the distant signals to indicate to the driver that if the distant was at caution he had to have his train under control & be doing no faster than that shown on the round board at the distant signal in order to be able to stop at the home signal if it was at stop.
  cootanee Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting for the sky to fall, the seas to rise... and seeing a train on the SSFL!
Personally, I think any IRR is going to suffer from the same problems as the existing line: there won't be enough traffic to justify either construction of a low operating cost alignment nor adequate maintenance.

Any new line is going to need to deal with the Toowoomba ranges and the reports are fairly ambivalent or even evasive about how to deal with this.  But basically there will need to be a trade off between construction costs and operational efficiencies.  It's the same decision process which saw Queensland go with 3'6" in the first place.

To me the inland line fails the "what problem are we solving here?" test.  The main "problem" the new line solves is that the existing one runs through Sydney's shared perway.   If that's the main problem, then a shorter/cheaper/better route for the IRR would be Picton-St Mary's-Wiseman's Ferry-Maitland.

If the IRR goes ahead, it'll leave the NCL with little traffic other than CountryLink - who will no doubt be expected to shoulder more of the costs of operating that line - which I don;t think is going to do much for CL's long term prospects.
djf01

http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1858914.htm#1858914
  awsgc24 Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney


On the NCL there are really only 2 1:40 grades: the Cowan Bank and Fassifern (and that's only 1km with a flat approach).    Red Hill @ Coffs is 1:70, Border Loop is 1:75.  There is a new 2-3km 1:50 grade at Lawrence Rd (between Grafton and Casino) that from the looks of things was relatively recently installed I presume as part of a curve easing program.  
"djf01


Corrections if you please:

The North Coast is mainly 1:80 ruling grades.

From Casino to Brisbane it is 1:66 Compenstated.

Rappville and Lawrence road had 12 chain (240m) curves and probably 1 in 40/50 grades.

When both were finally streamlined things were straightened out, but the extent of the improvements are poorly documented.

For through trains, the line can be regraded to match the 1 in 40 between Strathfield and Waratah, except for the section to about Craven where heavy coal trains run.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The issue with the NCR isn't grades it's the deliberate avoidance of building bridges and tunnels - low cost approach .
Also btw if the grades got straighter steeper the coal trains would be powered to suit , don't think you're going to be seeing a pair of 82s dry retching their way from Tahmoor to Moss Vale for much longer .
IRR will not turn the NCR into a grave yard because the east coast has a Sydney on it and Sydney , ok Newcastle Sydney Wollongong , has the largest consumer market on the island called Australia . Same broken record , NOT economic to shuttle Sydney traffic from Brisbane or Melbourne back and forth to Parkes .
And again , how many trains a day/week/year only convey traffic between Melbourne and Brisbane exclusively ? Bugger all . Most Aurison and PN MB/BM trains interchange at Glenlee or Chullora . A more accurate handle would often be MSB/BSM .

IRR . If it were an exclusive speedway how many superfreighters are going to be able to run flat out for a dozen hours at a time ? Are we going to have passing lanes you scoot through doing 115 points and all ? This is going to be a single line isn't it and people want to run slow grain trains etc along it to bulk up the number of trains paying access fees to use it yes ? Then I suppose some government body will want to put short light higher speed pass trains on very likely with pass priority yes ? And I gather these will have to have station stops so country voting citizens get some tax bang for buck ?  Fast hmm , short transit times hmm - doesn't necessarily work in other places hosting flattish straightish rail corridors .
Lets look at some examples like say Blacktown to Kingswood  , fast you think ? Nope , try again because there are too many stations with things called EMUs clogging the system up . Same Islington Jct to Maitland (DMUs) same Glenfield to Campbelltown same Ourimbah (sp?) to Morisset . These really aren't so different to Murrays Flat or Bredalbin Plains alignment wise , the major advantage is very few MU trains and no stations to stop at .
So , build an IRR and run trains of varying performance capabilities over it and you get pretty much what you have now on any single line . Straight and flat is not fast when following other trains or looking at red lights in a loop . Straight and flat can be fast and timely when you don't get blocked for any reason anywhere but a small handful of trains per day isn't gonna pay for lots of hundreds of km of brand new high standard railway are they ? Take to the grave , XPTs were made to be fast-ER because there was the political will , read mileage , in making them so . Funnily enough this was the same with the birth of the "superfreighter" trains like the old TNT Contrans 3177 and 3196 , and 3175/3194 to from Trackfast . Drivers were told to whip these overpowered short light trains and no one gave a rats about fuel provided it didn't run out . These trains driven with gusto easily outgunned and consistently outran the "crack" interstate pass trains of the day - no doubt by an embarrassing margin . The control boards were told to part the waters for them and go hard and fast they did .
The major change is the culture and the lost will to make the fast freighters - fast . If it still existed the freighters would be faster than they are but so much has changed .
Roll forward to now . A big superfreighter is 1500 + metres long not 670 and weights 4000T not 2000 . It isn't run by the state government it's run by a private mob who cops whatever pass priority crap the government track provider and controller hands out .
Really at the end of the day the way to make a rail corridor work is to have it so the slowest trains can run more often at their maximum speeds . And , if the slowest trains are stopping pass services then NOTHING behind will get a run - including the X .
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I echo BDA's stance. I seem to recall someone writing sometime in the last year, "It's not about having more sections where you're running 115 kmh-1; it's about getting rid of the sections where you're doing less than 80 kmh-1."
  richiebogie Chief Train Controller

The UK Intercity 125's are older than our XPT's but still going strong:

From http://glostransporthistory.visit-gloucestershire.co.uk/HST.htm

"The Railway Magazine of January 2007 reported the delivery of the first HST power car re-engined with MTU equipment to GNER:
GNER has taken delivery of the first power car fitted with a replacement MTU4000R41 diesel engine. The ceremony at Brush Traction, Loughborough, on 22 November 2006 marks the start of a £15 million project involving Brush, GNER, MTU, Angel Trains and Porterbrook Leasing. GNER is having 25 power cars re-engined and the project will take until November 2008 to complete, with one power car per month the delivery target. The power cars are being renumbered as they pass through works, 43100 emerging as 43300. All others will have the middle number changed too.

Although First Great Western Class 43s are also being fitted with MTU 4000 engines at Loughborough, the level of re-engineering for GNER is far more extensive. The East Coast operator's power cars will receive an additional number of modifications, taking advantage of advances in engineering design and technological evolution in an HST power car for the first time.

Each power car is gutted to its shell and rewired as part of the process, and undergoes a G examination too. One of the key changes made by GNER is the decision to replace the Voith Cooler groups with Brush units. With last summer being very warm and GNER running HSTs in a 2+9 formation, overheating was an issue. With the MTU engine, the Brush unit runs up to 15% cooler. Another change, involving the engine management system, will see the MTU engine"ramp down" to cool rather than shut off like the old Valenta power unit. Advances in solid state circuitry have allowed the ageing 1970s control equipment to be replaced with new electronics designed by Brush, which are fitted in a new sealed and air-managed control cubicle. This involves the use of positive and negative air flows to cool the circuits. Many of the changes are to improve the reliability of the power cars and as part of this, the bogies are being completely rebuilt by Bombardier. This work includes new drive gear casings, which were prone to leak, a new Westinghouse wheel-slip protection mechanism, new wheelsets, full brake overhaul, new dampers and rewiring of the traction motors. New fuel tanks and a new type of air compressor have also been fitted following a trial with modified valves. GNER has also made the decision to work to tighter bogie tolerances to improve the ride of the power car. There are also a number of changes in the driving cab, where the desk layout has been upgraded with a new facia and redesigned gauges. Externally, the power cars are getting new halogen marker lamps, which take the total number of modifications to around 40."

A lot of rail fans in the UK are disappointed how quiet these renovated power cars now are!
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
They also don't get sent out on 14-hour runs across the countryside.
  richiebogie Chief Train Controller

Well Great Britain is cooler and less dusty than Oz, and their tracks are straighter and better maintained, but their HST's probably do 14 hours a day too. As they have top speeds of 200km/hr they might cover twice the distances!

Regardless, a total overhaul and upgrade effectively delivers a brand new machine.
  Rodo Chief Commissioner

Location: Southern Riverina
The British HST duty cycle is a lot less intensive than the XPT one. The British are rather proud of the mount of time in service even though it is less than the Australian.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The thing is that four hours or fourteen , what's the difference other than shorter overall service intervals . They don't continue getting hotter after the fourth hour unless engine load and ambient temps increase markedly .
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
build moar steel bodied CPHs painted in original livery.
With real radiators and huge headlights.
Replace the XPTs with DMU CPHs.
Let the tracks degrade so they are more fun to ride in them.
I remember the Tocumwal CPH would bounce up and down on 4 metre rails whist rocking side to side, and making a rail noise bobbity-bup-bobbity-bup (bounce-bounce-bounce)
/foam dribble
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
build moar steel bodied CPHs painted in original livery.
With real radiators and huge headlights.
Replace the XPTs with DMU CPHs.
Let the tracks degrade so they are more fun to ride in them.
I remember the Tocumwal CPH would bounce up and down on 4 metre rails whist rocking side to side, and making a rail noise bobbity-bup-bobbity-bup (bounce-bounce-bounce)
/foam dribble
"Daryl"
ahahahahahha gold
  Silver S Set Junior Train Controller

ahahahahahha gold
Watson374
oh, i just wish it was true!
  Daryl Junior Train Controller

Location: Carrum Downs
oh, i just wish it was true!
"Silver S Set"


In 1983 I recall detraining from the Dubbo XPT at Blayney and after the XPT had departed, there was the Cowra CPH in No. 2 Road.
It was a radical change in technology. Later that year it became a bus.

I stayed overnight in Cowra and the next day I rode to Harden in (I dimly remember) HCP 38, I was told it was the only one of that type and it was called the 38 Special.
  Fred Scuttle Junior Train Controller

Location: Point Clare, NSW
In 1983 I recall detraining from the Dubbo XPT at Blayney and after the XPT had departed, there was the Cowra CPH in No. 2 Road.
It was a radical change in technology. Later that year it became a bus.

I stayed overnight in Cowra and the next day I rode to Harden in (I dimly remember) HCP 38, I was told it was the only one of that type and it was called the 38 Special.
"Daryl"

I don't recall that name for HPC 38 - as far as I am aware, it was known for most, if not all, of its career, as "Creamy Kate". I rode it from Cowra to Harden c. 1980. It was built after the CPH's, and was a prototype for the 400 class rail motors. It's now at Dorrigo, so I think we can reasonably assume it'll never run again. Also, I recall riding a CPH from Narranderra to Tocumwal at about the same time - my neck was (seemingly) permanently twisted to the left, from sitting in the left-hand front seat adjacent to the driver (it had straightened out by the time we got to Melbourne).
  TG5424 Beginner

Lovely *cough* Gladys has royally stuffed up the Brisbane XPT. Why they didn't make the brisbane XPT leave Sydney at 7:11am and do the overnight run on the way back is beyond me! It would have solved the Gold Coast line off peak problem whilst arriving in brisbane at a decent hour!
  petey3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: On the rails
Problems with pathing south of Acacia Ridge during the evening/night, by what I have heard.
  bjwh86 Chief Train Controller

If the 7:11am service was extended to Brisbane, it would mean an arrival of around 10:50pm and departure at 11:40-50pm.

Would that really be better?

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