Noarlunga Line Shutdown

 
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Don, Aaron

Two phrases associated with what I have heard about delivery delays from Bombardier are "management change" and "quality issues".

I am not saying more because I don't know much beyond that on which I can be definitive.

Don, you're in Melbourne, how about a trip out to Dandenong to find out for us poor information starved Crow Eaters.

Ian

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  62430 Chief Train Controller

Location: Metro Adelaide
I've read of two cars of 4003 having been confirmed as here, the third might be here but nobody has confirmed it.

Missing car = missing unit with these ones though, the only work which can be done with two cars is assembling the permanent coupling between the first two
justapassenger
As I reported, two cars of 4003 were sitting in the south yard of the depot last Thursday.  On Wednesday this week the the unit was not visible.  However on 891 ABC Breakfast yesterday morning before a ABC crew went on 4001 from the depot to Seaford, Brighton and back, David Bevan referred to there being two new electric trains in the the shed.  Whether it can be inferred from that that 4003 is now complete I will leave as a matter of debate.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2013/11/28/3901093.htm?site=adelaide has a video report of the run, but doesn't resolve the the 4003 question.

Alex C
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
Friday morning, 29th November and A/Metro seem to be doing a full dry run of the new Noarlunga timetable.

Railcars are arriving & departing Adelaide Station at their timetabled 15 minute intervals, and are all listed on the Passenger Info screens, together with their "all stations" stops.  (I was hoping to jump on an imminent departure for my trip from ARS to Goodwood, but was told it was test train only, so I had a 20-odd minute wait for the next Belair.)

A few observations:
1) All "Platform Closed" signs and temporary fencing in Adelaide Station have been removed & all 9 platforms seem available for use.

2) With the dry run underway on Noarlunga line, they seem to have fired up the Jumbos again for the Grange/OH and Gawler trains.  I saw three different 2000 sets arriving & departing on the Port & Gawler lines within 20 minutes between 10.35 and 10.55.  In the past, most Jumbos would be having their midday siesta by this time.  All the Noarlunga & Belair trains were 3000/3100 class, of course.

3) Today's test runs involve trains stopping at all the stations, which I guess has not been the case over past few weeks.  No-one gets on or off, but obviously this is needed to properly simulate the timetable.

4)  Out on the line, the old practice of holding the signal before a level crossing at red seems to have been at least partly eliminated.  For example, the signal at the down end of Emerson station (protecting Cross Road LC) now shows green to an approaching stopping train.  In the past, this was held at red until the train had stopped at Emerson & barriers had lowered, meaning the train previously needed to trundle along at 40 kph from passing the yellow signal just after departing Clarence Park.  But in the Up direction, the signal at Clarence Park (East Avenue LC) is still being held at red until the train has stopped at Clarence Park station, meaning Adelaide-bound trains still need to run at 40 kph most of the way from Emerson to C/Park.   It'll be interesting to see how this operates along the rest of the section from Goodwood to Seacliff, where most of the level crossings are located.   Hopefully not too many locations remain where the EMUs will need to run at 40 kph just because of overly cautious signalling rules!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

"EMUs will need to run at 40 kph just because of overly cautious signalling rules!"

ATP should take care of that.


Here hoping anyway.
  DrJames Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hopefully not too many locations remain where the EMUs will need to run at 40 kph just because of overly cautious signalling rules!
1S47

What was the reason for red before a level crossing anyhow?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

What was the reason for red before a level crossing anyhow?
"DrJames"
Interlocking. By not releasing the train until the level crossing is safely closed, road users are protected from being hit by a train speeding through a crossing which is still open.

I expect that this protection will now be provided against stopping trains by the braking curve on ERTMS (the ATP system on the EMU fleet), and against express trains by an earlier closing of the level crossing and a yellow aspect which clears to green once it is safely closed - these yellow aspects should still have mandatory maximum speeds until the train has cleared the crossing.

2) With the dry run underway on Noarlunga line, they seem to have fired up the Jumbos again for the Grange/OH and Gawler trains.  I saw three different 2000 sets arriving & departing on the Port & Gawler lines within 20 minutes between 10.35 and 10.55.  In the past, most Jumbos would be having their midday siesta by this time.  All the Noarlunga & Belair trains were 3000/3100 class, of course.

3) Today's test runs involve trains stopping at all the stations, which I guess has not been the case over past few weeks.  No-one gets on or off, but obviously this is needed to properly simulate the timetable.
"1S47"
Are the dress rehearsal trains stopping for an adequate amount of time to properly simulate real passengers using the trains this time around? I was told by a driver that one of the reasons the first Belair timetable a few months ago was unable to be run properly was that the rehearsal trains only stopped for long enough to release the brakes and get going again instead of enough time for real passenger use.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Don, you're in Melbourne, how about a trip out to Dandenong to find out for us poor information starved Crow Eaters.
steam4ian
Ewww... Dandy.  No thanks.

However on 891 ABC Breakfast yesterday morning before a ABC crew went on 4001 from the depot to Seaford, Brighton and back, David Bevan referred to there being two new electric trains in the the shed. Whether it can be inferred from that that 4003 is now complete I will leave as a matter of debate.
62430
It's really disappointing that we're less than a month until Xmas and there's only three units delivered; it makes the few months of delays for the actual infrastructure pale into insignificance.  You can infer from the slow delivery timetable that a March start for full electric services will be impossible; perhaps they'll have to operate side-by-side with the 3000's for quite some time?
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Live test runs of the peak hour timetable took place today and as a result Morphett Road was banked up with a huge amount of traffic with bus drivers complaining like crazy.

Bring on next week
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
If only they'd grade separated Oaklands, there'd be none of it Rolling EyesRolling EyesRolling Eyes
  1S47 Assistant Commissioner

Location: On the Down Fast
.......... with bus drivers complaining like crazy.
"Milkomeda"


Were these Rail Replacement bus drivers, by any chance?
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I too have heard 'rumours' of quality issues with the new trains, and this it is alleged is why 4002 made the journey to DC, when it is in fact 4001 that is in need of (due for) warranty service. Trouble is, if they send it for this they'll have no sparks available for testing and commissioning. That suggests to me that 4003 is not completed yet.
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I watched the test trains, in one, two and three car sets running to what seemed to be the new temporary timetable for a quarter hour or so about 17.15 on Friday at Warradale, and then went to Hove and back alongside the line.

The overhead looked to be complete except for the removal of the pulleys which drew the wires into position and some minor finishing touches like removing sundry bits of rope and checking the catenary for installation errors.

Some pictures:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42315705@N00/11121387173/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42315705@N00/11121197695/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42315705@N00/11121237296/
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
In view of the huge expense of the pedestrian tunnel at Marion instead of the much cheaper alternative of locking gates (preferably with my suggestion that the so-called 'escape' gate also be locked to prevent late running fools from using the refuge area to gain access to the crossing over the tracks), I noticed yesterday that the passive pedestrian maze on the up end of Hove platform allows almost no view of an approaching train. This is due to the curve of the line around the platform looking towards Brighton.

Many school children (eg. Brighton Secondary School) use this station, and there is a nasty fatality waiting to happen here. A policy of providing gated pedestrian crossings at places where vision is restricted would be effective and relatively affordable, leaving the existing mazes at places where there is clear visibility.

This applies also to the unnecessary and very expensive proposed overhead station at Oaklands when separate bridges over the existing station just high enough to clear the overhead should be provided for Morphett and Diagonal Roads. It would be much cheaper and therefore have some slight chance of being built and relieving the traffic jams which occurred yesterday due to the resumption of timetabled trains. The two roads could combine much more conveniently on the southern side of the tracks using some of their former courses, and with some of the sorting out of traffic done without drivers having to jockey to get into the correct lane as they do now.

It is all very well for planners to draw pretty pictures and for some rail fans to salivate over a magnificent overhead structure 'bringing Adelaide into the BIG LEAGUE', but I am interested in getting useful structures built before the 22nd century and saving the actual users of the station from having to climb high into the sky to catch a train when they could walk off the street as they do now.

I am a lot healthier than a very high proportion of much younger people, but the way things are going (particularly with Mr. Abbott's pre-election refusal to fund rail initiatives) I expect to be a handful of ashes before anything is done about what I have proposed here. For more than one reason, I'd like to be wrong about that!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

There is NOT space to build an elevated road junction to the Austroads safety standards in that area, while the rail corridor has plenty of room in either direction for the 3% ramp (or even a shallower ramp) to fit in before getting to anything else of significance.

The most economical solution would be to lower the road a metre or two compared to ground level through there (it currently rises up nearly a metre to meet the rail height) to reduce the height above ground level which must be gained by the rail overpass. A lower overpass with a simpler station construction would be cheaper for construction (would definitely be cheaper than an Austroads-compliant road bridge solution) and would have a reduces "climb" to/from the station for all those who wouldn't be getting to it along graceful ramps co-located with the rail corridor ramps in the east-west directions.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Regarding Oaklands and Brighton Road LXs we are in for stormy times.

On a Facebook site somebody posted the approximate times trains will go through the Hove LX. There were 16 trains in the hour some with 2 minutes between them meaning the gates will stay down for up to four minutes which is 32 minutes in the hour. In the end it may be LX congestion which scuttles the 7.5 min time table

As for Hove, it has to have controlled access gates as 526 says. I am aware of at least two fatalities at Hove. The first was graphically described to me by school mates waiting to catch the train to town; I was waiting a Warradale for a train which didn't come.

Justapax, there would be room at Oaklands to take the roads over the top if the demolished a few houses and some redundant shops. Lowering the roads could prove a problem due to local drains built as part of the South West Drainage Scheme. The drain actually crosses the railway line at Hove LX.

Planning on being on the first train ex NC tomorrow, if I can get up in time.

Ian
  yoyoman Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
I'm sure the drivers are looking forward to the 'Charge of the Gunzel Brigade' tomorrow morning Laughing
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
In view of the huge expense of the pedestrian tunnel at Marion instead of the much cheaper alternative of locking gates (preferably with my suggestion that the so-called 'escape' gate also be locked to prevent late running fools from using the refuge area to gain access to the crossing over the tracks)...
SAR526
As you allude, 526, there have been lots of accidents here in Victoria where pedestrians simply skip through the emergency exit and walk across.  There was a quite infamous accident on the Frankston line several years ago where a school-girl wearing headphones did exactly this and was killed by an express train - as a result the coroner ruled that ANY kind of maze crossing (gated or ungated) is apparently dangerous and should be 'phased out'.  

Only the other day I was at Prahran station where the gates were closed and several people did the 'suicide gate' option because they thought it was safe... you just can't stop 'em.  Even if the emergency gate locked as well (as per your suggestion) people would still jump over or force the gate so I just don't see this is something that can actually be fixed unless you have police on the spot to actually fine them for doing it.  As my late grand-dad used to say, you'll never stop silly people from doing stupid things.

The other problem you allude to is a festering sore here in Melbourne - we probably have at least a dozen crossings just as bad as Oaklands.  The problem is that we also have a State government systematically stripping money from every other problem to fund an unwarranted multi-billion dollar toll-way so the program of level crossing removals is painfully slow; I read a report the other day that said people in the outer surburbs in Australia are among the fattest in the world and it's because they drive everywhere - they just aren't providing options for incidental walking any longer because we don't spend money on P/T or providing cycling options.  We have governments in power now that are all convinced it's the 1950's again so if anything this problem is going to get worse, not better.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

"I'm sure the drivers are looking forward to the 'Charge of the Gunzel Brigade' tomorrow morning http://www.railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif"

Seeing other foamers at close quarters may cure me for good. Sad
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
There is NOT space to build an elevated road junction to the Austroads safety standards in that area, while the rail corridor has plenty of room in either direction for the 3% ramp (or even a shallower ramp) to fit in before getting to anything else of significance.
justapassenger
I beg to differ. I did not say that the road junction should be over the railway. A bridge for through traffic on Morphett Road could start at Prunus Street or before and along Diagonal Way to finish near the SA Aquatics building. The former Warradale shopping centre has blocks of redundant shops used for other easily re-locatable services and Diagonal Road could continue over the crossing to a light controlled interchange near the swimming centre. High bridges like that at Emerson aren't necessary as they would only have to clear the equivalent of an underground metro railway tunnel, with the concrete 'roof' over the platforms forming part of the ramp, and being at its highest only where the contact beam ran. There are few houses in the way (some foolishly built recently) and I think that it is probable that they could still remain given the very large amount of open space in their vicinity.

In either case, a substantial proportion of traffic on each road would simply continue straight ahead or go to their junctions with Sturt Road, connecting via that route. Buses would certainly find that much easier to negotiate.  Even if only Morphett Road went over the line at the Adelaide end of the station and the Diagonal Road crossing remained as it is, most of the present problems would disappear.

It's not the function of authorities to subvert everything to the needs of road traffic, but to get the best compromise solution for the majority. That means bus and tram priority in particular. As cities around the world have discovered, fast and frequent co-ordinated public transport is the only viable way to overcome congestion. The easier it is to travel in the driver-only car, the more the position will exacerbate. That sort of travel will always be necessary, but it shouldn't be the norm.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Brian

I regularly travel from Sheidow Park to Bolivar and join a long queue of drivers going to places on neither the train or tram lines. Many are contractors or otherwise self employed journey men whilst others are doing deliveries. PT is not efficient for this travel and due to the diverse location of the destinations never will be.

The unfortunate fact is that private vehicles are necessary, here to stay and without them business would choke to the death of the city.

To a rail enthusiast like me with a long memory this is distressing but it is none the less a fact that is going to be little influenced by fuel costs or fancy electric trains and trams. For many driving to the CBD their private vehicle use is dictated by factors like multiple destination return journeys, dropping children at school, child care (the pool?) or attending an appointment, shopping or visiting a relative on the way home.

See my posts elsewhere about the dying CBD.

Regards
Ian
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

The Lonsdale depot is full of 3000s waiting for Day 1.

Ian
  BillD Chief Train Controller

Familiarisation runs continue, Saturday the 30th.
Here's railcar 3028 heading for town.

[img]http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s264/billd_photo/Railcar_3028_Goodwood_2035_zps9f844b42.jpg[/img]
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

The Lonsdale depot is full of 3000s waiting for Day 1.

Ian
steam4ian

Hard to believe they need all those trains for Sundays timetable maybe they are there till Monday?
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
332 days of closure
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The unfortunate fact is that private vehicles are necessary, here to stay and without them business would choke to the death of the city.
steam4ian
Ian:

For my two cents, I agree with you that PT can't ever replace the majority of journeys, it just isn't possible.  But the point is that in places like Adelaide and Melbourne, many people make journeys by car that could just as easily be done by PT (or walking/cycling) but choose not to either because the car is too easy or they're simply too lazy.  It's this lack of 'incidental' exercise that's blamed for our obesity rates being second only to the USA (our life expectancy is actually predicted to drop for the first time in 150 years), so there are compelling public health reasons to try and swing the pendulum back the other way.

How do we do that?  In my opinion, we need to work on changing our car-orientated culture - in particular we need to discourage the idea that cars should be used always and for everything.

Now while I agree with you about the majority of people like sales reps, tradies, etc need their cars I also worked in a job several years ago (at a charity) where the work car came 'free' with a 'free' (and notionally unlimited) fuel card as part of your package.  To get the best value from your package there was a perverse incentive that you had to drive more than 20,000 km a year - so you ended up never ever using PT or walking/cycling because you had a car in the driveway that had to be used.  Stuff like this is just bad policy and it needs to go, no question in my mind.

Enhancing PT so that it's fast, usable and goes where people want it to is only part of the equation but it will help.  As you and I have discussed previously, the new Seaford line will be an interesting experiment for Adelaide.  If you build it, will they come?  We'll soon find out.

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