Seaford Line

 
  yoyoman Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, SA
With today , Sunday 23 February 2014, being the official opening of the Seaford line for revenue service it seems appropriate to open a new discussion about the Seaford Line.

Impressions of the new extension, services, station facilities and access etc.

Seaford Line information on Adelaide Metro

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  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
A mate and I did the rail tourist 'thing' today, went down to Seaford and back from Adelaide, plus I would say many others were doing it as well. I would say we hooned down there by train but a trot would be a more accurate speed with all the TSRs, the yellow signal speed rule and stopping all stops, got to Oaklands and it was like are we there yet. Passenger Info at Adelaide Railway station only advised half of the services running, the :15 & :45 not the :00 or :30 past the hour services. As we departed Adelaide the driver started telling us something about safety when the auto voice lady kicked in to tell us what train we were on and what the next stop was.

Had a 3000 set down there and a 4000 set back, talk about chalk and cheese. I reckon 4 new sets were out running today. The 4000's are nice, naturally clean on the inside without all the Adelaide Metro graffiti (signage) applied, but that won't take long before they plaster them with unreadable network station signage maps like what our Seaford bound 3000 had. When the only noise comment was about the slight air-conditioner rattle you know they are quiet, even more quiet (dead quiet) when the air con stopped working for a couple of minutes as we descended down the Lonsdale bank (Adelaide side of Lonsdale station).

Saw a few freeloaders, no surprise there, plus a bunch of seniors (Salisbury Ramblers) who seemed more interested in where they would sit over actually attempting to validate their seniors card, I would say half touched on.

The track ride was not as smooth in some parts as it could have been. I have never seen the trackside so clean and tide and with all the new fencing erected I wish I had shares in the fencing contractor.

I would say well done to the Government for doing this and buying made in Australia railcars, it's a pity instead of paying IMB for several more years of State Government bought employment (you know the sort, when one state stops paying the company to keep the jobs here it moves to one that will) they didn't finance a SA assembly plant for the local construction of the new railcars. Now if only the other lines could be electrified as well, oh well one day but, not for several years yet.
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

I was on the same train as you I saw those old ladies board at Brighton.

Also the air con will always go off near the Lonsdale sub station area the train drivers and the tech savy people will know thats normal as there is an area near the sub station where there is no electric current running through (For isolation purposes)

I do find it a bit annoying that the other passengers are completely clueless about it but I noticed a couple of passengers pointed out to the others the air con always goes out in that specific area for that reason.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

I would say well done to the Government for doing this and buying made in Australia railcars, it's a pity instead of paying IMB for several more years of State Government bought employment (you know the sort, when one state stops paying the company to keep the jobs here it moves to one that will) they didn't finance a SA assembly plant for the local construction of the new railcars. Now if only the other lines could be electrified as well, oh well one day but, not for several years yet.
"nscaler69"
Only low-value assembly work was done in Melbourne, all the high-value manufacturing would have been to the benefit of the local economies in places like Sweden and Austria. These EMUs are about as Australian as our Winter Olympics team.

For an order of just 22 units, a plant  in Adelaide wouldn't have been worth it. The same benefit to the economy could have been achieved by simplay handing out $50 notes in the middle of Rundle Mall, without the need for spending many millions of dollars on training and on supervisors from Bombardier flying back and forth from Melbourne or wherever to check on how the SA workers were going.
  2001 Moderator The Snow Lord

Location: The road jump at Charlotte Pass. Paxman Valenta on two planks.
Hopefully this does eventuate :


_____________________________

"Transport Services Minister Chloe Fox says express services will start running on the Seaford line from April, after the Tonsley line reopens. The express trains will pick up passengers at Seaford, Noarlunga and Brighton, and then head to the city without stopping, which will cut about 20 minutes from travel times from Seaford."

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/frustration-on-board-as-train-crawls-from-seaford-to-city/story-fni6uo1m-1226836724879

_______________________________


Return to fast services. *Insert stupendously happy emoticon here*
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Chloë seems to have forgotten to mention the Hallett Cove stops - busy stations inside her own marginal electorate which it would appear she is already conceding, judging by this complete lack of effort.  Even a power-thirsty union fat cat like Don Farrell would have done better here, his instinct for self-preservation would have kicked in.

I would definitely prefer Labor stay in power as neither party is fit to govern but they are slightly less bad than the Liberals, but when their cabinet ministers are this incompetent and out of touch with the electorate I wouldn't blame people for voting against them. A term or two in opposition might be exactly what Labor needs to spend the time getting their house in order and finding some candidates worth voting for in 2018.
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Only low-value assembly work was done in Melbourne, all the high-value manufacturing would have been to the benefit of the local economies in places like Sweden and Austria. These EMUs are about as Australian as our Winter Olympics team.
justapassenger

Naturally the expensive bits are imported (same with the car and bus industry) but when compared to the NSW "Waratahs", Victorian "Seimens & X-Traps" at least the low value assemble was done is in Aust.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Cutting 20 minutes off the time from Seaford is unlikely, that makes a 32 minute trip to be dovetailed into everything else. Chloe isn't Chlue.

I trust they are not so dumb as to go back to the 40 mins between peak hour trains to some stations

People have to work out just how fast is fast enough when the whole journey is considered? We have been down this track before.

Regarding the press report. People always crowd into the first train even when you can see the following train and the front train is overcrowded.
They must leave their brains somewhere else, either at home or in the office drawer.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Cutting 20 minutes off the time from Seaford is unlikely, that makes a 32 minute trip to be dovetailed into everything else. Chloe isn't Chlue.
"steam4ian"
Cutting 20 minutes off the actual time taken by real trains (i.e. on rails, not on spreadsheets) might be possible if the track is fixed and stoppers are overtaken at Brighton.

Have the timetable planners ever actually taken a cab ride with a driver or sat down for a coffee with control room staff to understand the real world implications of their work? Are they even Adelaide people with local expertise, or is it some outsourced bloke sitting in Mumbai knocking out spreadsheets?

Longer trains (notice no reference to Oaklands on that rushed damage control presser from Chloë) and intervals of 20 minutes on both service patterns to run 6x Seaford and 2x Tonsley per hour instead of the unrealistic 8x Seaford in the peaks may help the peak timetables become a little less ambitious and more realistic. We have the long platforms on all but a few stations and we have the selective door opening equipment on board the EMUs - let's use them!

Regarding the press report. People always crowd into the first train even when you can see the following train and the front train is overcrowded.
They must leave their brains somewhere else, either at home or in the office drawer.
"steam4ian"
I can't blame people for getting on the first train, not when the system is as unreliable as it is currently with signalling failures all over the shop and trains not even being in position to start a service on time. After you've waited for a later train only for the later train to fail and arrive 45 minutes late for the first time, to voluntarily let it happen again is a case of fool me twice, shame on me.

Not everyone gets to be a self-employed consultant. Waiting for a later train is not an option for a retail worker whose contingency in her schedule has already been burned on a non-running feeder bus and risks losing her shift, or a father coming home in the afternoon who'll have to fork out late pickup fees to pay for childcare workers' overtime. A pithy non-apology from Adelaide Metro on Facebook blaming poor vehicle maintenance or unreliable signalling as if they were Acts of God is cold comfort - we need proper passengers' rights, starting with upgrading the MetroCard system to allow full refunds to be automatically added to each card which was used on any train service running 10+ minutes late and additional compensation offered for a 20+ minute delay.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justaspax.

In you attempt to personally attack me you missed the point about frequency versus speed.

An express to ARS is only OK if it lands you at your workplace just before starting time. It is no point having an express if it lands you there 15 minutes before. Again more time can be lost by arriving early at a station to ensure you catch the express; as you rightly say, delays smeg happens. Frequent services can lessen the impact of delays at the beginning end of the journey.

Starting times differ, 8:00, 8:10, 8:12; peoples journey times from ARS also differ so a trimed for 9:00 starters will not suit people at South Terrace with the same starting time. Same with finishing times.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Using a train that gets you to work only 15 minutes ahead of start time might be appropriate in Tokyo, but on Adelaide Metro that's cutting it too fine for the rank and file plebs not lucky enough to be tenured public servants or fat cat consultants.

In Adelaide at the moment where there are no overtaking trains and not a day goes by without hollow apologies for avoidable delays from Adelaide Metro, you're also insane to let a train go and wait for the next one just because it has a healthy number of passengers and you might end up with a stranger located within arm's length.

More important than frequency is capacity. Were the Seaford peak timetable to be be changed from eight trains per hour to six but with two electric units on each consist instead of one, the total capacity of the line in one direction would be a far more comfortable 6,480 people per hour instead of 4,320 (assuming the EMU capacity of 540/unit is for real people instead of children or skinny supermodels) and the reliability of the service would improve with greater tolerances for minor lateness that can be absorbed without starting a chain reaction of delays.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Justapax

AS you know the only points available for over taking are ARS to Showgrounds (duplicated mains), Brighton (3rd platform both directions) and NC to Seaford (bi directional)

The sections at either end really only allow for reduced or a slightly negative headway. Brighton allows trains to overtake but would require very tight time tabling to avoid long delays with the stopped train. No doubt, like me you have "done the sums" and can show that it does work. I am not sure it achieves much. Consider, a stopper from Seaford enters the centre line at Brighton, 2 minutes later the express from Seaford pulls in, pax to ARS from the stopper who don't want any more delay attempt to join an already full express, the express leaves after 1 min dwell, 2 mins later the stopper continues on its much delayed way. Those passenger travelling Hallett Cove to Emerson or Clarence Park have had 5 mins added to an already slow journey.

I consider you a thinking person so why the personal references? play the ball, not the man.

Ian
  Milkomeda Chief Train Controller

Most of the morning peak period at NC were people coming from Seaford or further down south so Im wondering just how much peak services at NC are affected now that the Seaford extension is public and if this express service really needs to stop at NC anymore. Id be in favour of the express service skipping NC and servicing both HC stations and Oaklands if thats the case.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Noarlunga is a station with a major bus interchange, a large secure parking facility and still a massive catchment even if you subtract all the areas south of the Onkaparinga now presumably using Seaford. There might even be some people south of the Onkaparinga who would still prefer Noarlunga, for example if it allows dropping off kids at school on the way, or if the secure parking is a drawcard.

For the express services I would like to see Brighton skipped (to allow the train to run through while overtaking the stopper), and stops added at Seaford Meadows (to spread the park-and-ride load between both Seaford area stations), both Hallett Cove stations (high patronage stations) and Showgrounds for at least an initial trial period. Six intermediate stops along the way shouldn't be too onerous for people travelling end to end.
  torrens5022 Junior Train Controller

So the two Hallett Cove stations don't get an express service, it's very obvious that these stations are very busy - what will no stops between Noarlunga Centre and Brighton really achieve, it shaves what 2 minutes off an express service while leaving two highly used stations without a service.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
NC to SEA is Bi-Directional? I didn't know that. I noticed the signal on Platform 3 at Noarlunga and assumed it was a Stop signal to allow trains to terminate.
  Jumbo2001 Junior Train Controller

NC to SEA is Bi-Directional? I didn't know that. I noticed the signal on Platform 3 at Noarlunga and assumed it was a Stop signal to allow trains to terminate.
mclaren2007


Yes, fully bi-directional in this section.
  trainznbuses Train Controller

Location: Seacliff Park, SA
NC to SEA is Bi-Directional? I didn't know that. I noticed the signal on Platform 3 at Noarlunga and assumed it was a Stop signal to allow trains to terminate.
mclaren2007


http://www.sa-trackandsignal.net/Pdf%20files/Adelaide/AD016.pdf
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Success at last - sensible semi-fast trains are coming!

The catch is they are only on the Footy Express services which will run interleaved between the normal stopping trains on the timetable, public transport to/from Adelaide Oval is pre-paid as part of all match and season tickets and (sensibly) valid both on regular and Footy Express services. Let's hope the stopping pattern is very successful and gets adopted for regular peak service as well.

  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Having Seaford-footy trains stopping at Showgrounds is nonsensical, no one intending for the footy would be alighting, and the intending to ARS can board an all stopping Belair. Ex Seaford trains should probably do all stops to Woodlands Park, then express to ARS, and v.v. with all stopping ex Tonsley trains doing the all stops to Clarence Park and possibly express to ARS from there. - Or Tonsley can all stop and Belair trains run express to/from Unley Park.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Aaron

I agree about the Showgrounds stop unless people will be encouraged to park at/in the Showgrounds. Plenty of car parks off Rose Terrace.

Ian
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Aaron

I agree about the Showgrounds stop unless people will be encouraged to park at/in the Showgrounds. Plenty of car parks off Rose Terrace.

Ian
"steam4ian"
Yes, but still only sufficient traffic for one stopping train, most likely that from Belair. Not many residents from the hills would go to the footy, too scared their house will be burnt to a crisp in the peak of winter by a passing freight.

I'd also expect such a park and ride to be a flop, the car park charge will probably be $7 (it is for just about everything else for the venue), better to park for free near some other station.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Aaron

"One stopping train" is not the point. The issue in terms of the public's perception of convenience is frequency. Also the trains have no control over exactly when a game finishes and when people can get to the ARS. It is not positive if a fan has to miss the last 10 mins of an exciting game just to catch a train so they don't have to wait and hour (now 50) mins for the next. Having used the "bridge over troubled waters" after a cricket match I know how long it can take to cross when choked with a crowd.

$7.00 parking at Wayville is cheaper than $15.00 in the North Parklands or even more in the city.

What our planners are attempting to do is make using public transport transparent to the user and attractive to the non user. Apart from catching planes people are out of the habit of ordering their lives by the train timetable. frequent "clock face" services don't need a time table. When I catch a tram, as I have when the rail was shut down, I didn't bother to check the times, I just rocked up; if I missed one there was another in 15 minutes and I have ordered my travel accordingly.
I know a few persons at Noarlunga Centre and now Seaford are such that they miss the express services by which they previously regulated their lives. I am not that costive.

As for the expresses I am not so sure about the time saved being important but rather the sense of importance given to the poor souls from the deep south as they whizzed past people from the more prosperous inner city stations. In the evening the expresses were reduced to a slow block by block crawl from Hallet Cove to NC as the express caught up with the stopper which left before it.

Ian
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Stopping the FX trains at Showgrounds is an excellent move, it would be a great park-and-ride option if it has a good enough number of services stopping there to make it convenient and reliable. It's likely to get an AdMet park-and-ride facility anyway (existing showgrounds and basketball parking operating on the same basis as the Entertainment Centre $2 per day park-and-ride) so it would make sense to give that a properly good service well and reduce the number of buses choking the city.

I don't think talking about the effects of Tonsley reopening will really have an impact on FX services, the only time FX and Tonsley trains would ever have to intermesh would be in the late afternoon peak before the three Thursday/Friday matches this season. It does present an opportunity though, to run FX trains Adelaide-Showgrounds-Tonsley with the buses for Flagstaff/Aberfoyle (a very large postcode with the highest per-capita Adelaide supporter base in the state), Woodcroft and Morphett Vale connecting at Sturt Road rather than running all the way on choked roads to/from the city.

I'm sure that there will be some revisions to both the bus and train components of FX after the first few matches when some usage patterns have emerged and the effects on traffic management can be more easily predicted.
  mclaren2007 Assistant Commissioner

Location: recharging my myki
Showgrounds Station is the equivalent of Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse line, except we have it on the main line! Should have just kept the temporary stop.

The money should have been better spend upgrading stations that people use, like Torrens Park. Or upgrading track infrastructure.

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