New intercity commuter trains

 
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
That's a little bit short-sighted considering they will have a life of 30-40 years+. In that time the brown stuff might have hit the fan about oil and the Feds (not Abbott obviously) will be madly electrifying all the interstate freight lines - on AC. The DC obviously won't be extended, except (hopefully) to Nowra.
tonyp

If the magnitude of the brown stuff flying around is sufficient to make AC traction worthwhile for interstate freight (something which isn't even remotely on the radar because the economics are woeful), then any fleet planning that you did today would be wildly irrelevant.

"We are going to run out of oil - therefore we should use electric trains" isn't long sighted thinking, it is tunnel vision that ignores the wider implications of what running out of oil (to that extent) actually means.  The diesel consumption by the interstate rail fleet is hilariously inconsequential in the scheme of oil derived fuel in Australia - if you wanted to reduce oil dependence there would be so many better ways of going about it (and some of those ways might even result in a significant increase in diesel consumption by rail) than by stringing wires over long distance.

If there's going to be incremental extension of the electrified network, then something compatible with the existing DC system is probably the front runner.  One day perhaps the capital cost savings associated with the higher voltage system will outweigh the cost of complexity of requiring mixed voltage or split fleets and you'll see high voltage AC used on an extension, but I think that extension distance would have to be over a pretty serious distance for that to be the case.

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  tonyp Chief Commissioner

Location: Shoalhaven
The diesel consumption by the interstate rail fleet is hilariously inconsequential in the scheme of oil derived fuel in Australia - if you wanted to reduce oil dependence there would be so many better ways of going about it (and some of those ways might even result in a significant increase in diesel consumption by rail) than by stringing wires over long distance.
donttellmywife

I'm quite aware of the economics of it and the fact that you will get a lot out of transferring freight moved by road to even diesel-powered rail, well before you need to consider long distance electrification.

That's another subject, but what I'm addressing here is that regional growth around Sydney will make the existing limits of the wires increasingly artificial (i.e. ending "short"), yet we're looking at a regional train that depends on wires. To be "politically" realistic I couldn't imagine any further extension of the 1500v DC other than to Bomaderry. That leaves three significant extended corridors dependent on dmus - a changeover that, for a start, is unattractive to users (unless the dmus run from Central) - and, more significantly, a future lack of capacity on services that will eventually outgrow the capacity of a typical little dmu.

Under-projection of growth is a somewhat chronic syndrome in Australian planning.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
That's another subject, but what I'm addressing here is that regional growth around Sydney...
tonyp

So why even mention "electrifying the interstate freight lines"?  That has all-but-zip to do with regional growth around Sydney.

If demand in the periphery of the Sydney region rises to the extent that running the new trains (which aren't likely to have a minimum configuration capacity of a two car Endeavour or Hunter set) at any sort of practical frequency actually became worthwhile, then you are likely in the regime where electrifying the lines makes sense anyway.  If extensions to the current electrified region are made, there is a very good chance that they would be compatible with the existing system.  Given that... bewailing the absence of any explicit provision for dual voltage operation (if that occurs... it is early days in the procurement process) as some sort of chronic planning shortfall seems a bit chicken little to me.

(Not everyone travels from Central, particularly relevant for one of the diesel lines at the periphery.)
  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Hmm, why on earth does it include my 3 lines inside the original quote - i did place it below the box.
mikesyd

It's done it me to. It even puts a different size when I don't use any size tags.
(Edit: Possible solution to the quote problem, put a space just before the end quote tag.)

It also leaves large gaps between lines, like it's doing for this post. I wonder who designed this new forum look?

A staff update from Rob Mason came around today and there was mention of the new trains having 50% more capacity due to more cars per train. That makes me suspect that the contract will be for single deck trains
nswtrains

None of the images released in conjunction with the announcement show single deck trains. They are all clearly double deck commuter trains.
donttellmywife

I wonder whether off the shelf is just a political thought bubble or some investigation has been undertaken and the government has something firm in mind.
Going on the number of poorly thought out thought bubbles floated recently by all sorts of politicians I rather fear we might just be dealing with a thought bubble and nothing more.
nswtrains

That is almost what my certain source has stated, and has stated recently, that at the moment, their is no information, but that may have changed. My source has also stated that they are highly likely to be single deck trains, due to disabled or less mobile people having more difficulties with double deck designs if they need to get to the guard, for example, in say an emergency. That's not to say they won't be double decks (or should that be tri-level double decks in NSW?!)

. . . but I don't understand where this "suspicion" of single deck trains comes from.
donttellmywife

Then again, who is to say that "these trains" are to have any guard compartment at all? How do we know they are not trying to get rid of the guard altogether, and just rely on other methods, such as CCTV cameras, etc.

Or the cars are shorter.

I've suggested this on this site in the past, but IMHO they ought to be looking at an articulated DD design.
djf01

How do you know they are not looking at an articulated double deck, or even an articulated single deck for that matter?

They're called push-pull trains. These ones will run at nearly 200 km/h:

http://news.europawire.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/%C5%A0koda-Transportation-signed-EUR-110M-contract-with-Deutsche-Bahn-to-delivery-six-modern-train-sets-to-operate-on-Nurnberg-Ingolstadt-%E2%80%93-Munich-railway-track-580x420.jpg
tonyp

MY REPLY to Tonyp as for some reason, I can't get my reply out of the quote
(Edit: I may have found a solution, but will leave that notice there, just in case, it happens again.)

Aye, the things you can do with low platform heights, such as putting more passenger space over the doors!

Not sure what the interior is for those, but they look suitable, maybe even a slight resemblance to the V-Sets. Is their a high platform version of those types, and do you know what the official train name of those are called?

They should be looking at trailer cars that can be used in combination with an EMU, or loco-hauled so they can go beyond the electric area, if needed to.
END MY REPLY TO TONYP
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

How do you know they are not looking at an articulated double deck, or even an articulated single deck for that matter?
Newcastle Express

Like everyone, I don't *know* anything, other than the actual requirements.

All I can be deduced from the press announcement is a lot of it makes absolutely no sense at all, and the contents of which could only have been drafted by someone with a complete non-understanding of the issues involved.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I AM on an Oscar approaching strathfield going to Gosford. The radio announcement said alight here for services to Newcastle and Central coast. ??????. There is just no way a three abreast seating works for any trip other than metro. The legroom is lousy.
  ANR Assistant Commissioner

I caught the train from Parramatta, btw.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
I AM on an Oscar approaching strathfield going to Gosford. The radio announcement said alight here for services to Newcastle and Central coast. ??????. There is just no way a three abreast seating works for any trip other than metro. The legroom is lousy.
ANR

Yes, that is a standard interchange announcement for trains approaching Strathfield. It would also be faster to change at Strathfield anyway, even if you are on a direct service from Parramatta to Gosford.
  witsend Chief Commissioner

Location: Front RH Seat of a School Bus
Take Adelaide A-City Train, rerig to 1500V dc, fit out to Standard V'lo Regional Travel = Voila, your new InterCity Train.
Seriously, the V-set is very comfortable to travel, but with Disability Access is now an issue as well as its vintage. The lack of convenient toilets on H Sets is not really conducive when travelling 3hrs to Lithgow or Newcastle/Wickham. I had the opportunity to travel, on both sets whilst visiting, and I loved the V-set. On my trip from Katoomba, we had a gentleman in a wheelchair in our 4 car set, which made it very difficult for passengers to access through the doors, and had no way to get into the Saloon.

Your 8 car (A) set is only 10m longer than our 6 car (2 x 3) A-City/V'locity Railcars. It'd still give you the fleet flexibility between 3(4)& 6(8.) if you need it. As a single deck, as well you also don't have the crowded tiny stairs either. The reason I point out our A-City Trains is the space in our metro config. No double decking and a wide aisle. Even if you use slightly wider seats in 2 x 2, it'd be a comfy journey.

(Puts on safety hat and grabs crowd control shield).....

Have a look at the third picture - http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2014/02/20/3948509.htm
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
I have been informed by a Blue Mountains commuter that the shut down this weekend has station work being completed at some stations including Leura to make the track compliant with wide gauge trains. I can't find anything on NSW Transport to confirm this, but they are working at the moment on Leura station at the bridge end. If it is true, it could make the design of a new train different, or even the use of OSCars to west of Springwood. Has anyone heard on this happen?
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
I believe the only major restriction on OSCar trains is the ten tunnels. If they shave the platforms back, who's to say OSCar trains couldn't run out there for special events? I understand they wanted to extend the Springwood trains to Lawson when they built the turnback...
  vdan Train Controller

Your 8 car (A) set is only 10m longer than our 6 car (2 x 3) A-City/V'locity Railcars. It'd still give you the fleet flexibility between 3(4)& 6(8.) if you need it. As a single deck, as well you also don't have the crowded tiny stairs either. The reason I point out our A-City Trains is the space in our metro config. No double decking and a wide aisle. Even if you use slightly wider seats in 2 x 2, it'd be a comfy journey.
witsend


Per hundred metre length of train, the V set design seats 434 and the H set 530. Your concept reduces that to about 314.

Seated capacity is all-important in the context of Sydney peak commuting, so the V set will almost certainly be replaced by another double-deck design. That is in the absence of radical ideas such as terminating interurbans at the edges of the suburban network, which would make capacity less of a factor for interurban trains.
  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
I believe the only major restriction on OSCar trains is the ten tunnels. If they shave the platforms back, who's to say OSCar trains couldn't run out there for special events? I understand they wanted to extend the Springwood trains to Lawson when they built the turnback...
Raichase

A bit off track, but a bit of history of the Lawson Submerged Siding.

As being involved with the local community consultation and commuter group at the time... which was about from 1998 - 2004, there was and still no plan for the use of the Lawson "turn-back" as it seems to be known here.

The then 'Railcorp' offered by the 'RTA' to replace former sidings on the down at Lawson. (There were sidings on the down that could really only fit track maintenance machines). The option to Railcorp was to 'speak now as we are building the road once". Railcorp were not offered any other options than the 'submerged siding' as it is known in the RTA papers on the down main, or nothing.
Naturally, Railcorp took the siding option. Since it was opened I have seen a couple track machines parked there once, that is about it.

The commuter group were not consulted nor was it discussed of having terminating trains at Lawson, but then again, the commuter groups are rarely consulted unless there is a political advantage. In other meetings when the OSCars were being rolled out it was made clear from Cityrail to the group that OSCars "cant" go to Katoomba, let alone the Ten Tunnels.

I'm not aware of what work was done at the platforms on the last weekend, but there was platform work done at Leura and Bullaburra (as well as other Stations) that involved in track work.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Per hundred metre length of train, the V set design seats 434 and the H set 530. Your concept reduces that to about 314.

Seated capacity is all-important in the context of Sydney peak commuting, so the V set will almost certainly be replaced by another double-deck design. That is in the absence of radical ideas such as terminating interurbans at the edges of the suburban network, which would make capacity less of a factor for interurban trains.
vdan

Mostly the weekend station work involved new station canopies at a number of stations, including Leura and Blaxland, as per the announcement by the Transport Minister in last weeks Blue Mountains Gazette. The only evidence remotely involved with platform work is at Bullaburra where a number of those U shaped concrete castings were standing alongside the mountain of ballast deposited. However, it appears no work was done in regard to platform facings at that location. I must admit, that on sighting those concrete thingies, I immediately thought of re-working the platform to fit OSCARs etc.

However, it may be that the platforms are going to be lengthened in light of recent bad publicity re that blind gentleman at Leura. Notwithstanding these 2 possibilities, a hell of a lot of work was carried out over the weekend with only the late rain on Sunday interfering with the work.
  crypticone Chief Train Controller

Location: Blue Mtns
A couple of things stopping the Oscars to Mt Vic.

Woodford subway, Wentworth Falls bridge, Katoomba Up Refuge, Medlow bath Both Platforms and the points at the western end of Mt Vic platform, also a cut back at Mt Victoria.

They are all clearance issues.

Regards
  Jim K Train Controller

Location: Well west of the Great Divide in NSW but not as far as South Australia
A couple of things stopping the Oscars to Mt Vic.

Woodford subway,
crypticone

The Woodford what?

I did know the clearance issues up until 2009 was the Lawson (San Jose) bridge which was replaced, and the Leura (The Mall)over pass, which were both worked on.
  G20 Station Master

STN 1250-2014 has a V set running Mt Vic - Penrith and return for "Car Marker Measurement" on the morning of Saturday 7 June.

I guess we may see after that train runs whether any stopping markers for suburban-length trains have been painted on stations west of Springwood...
  Throughwestmail Train Controller

STN 1250-2014 has a V set running Mt Vic - Penrith and return for "Car Marker Measurement" on the morning of Saturday 7 June.

I guess we may see after that train runs whether any stopping markers for suburban-length trains have been painted on stations west of Springwood..
G20

This is to check the current 8 car marker signs are in the correct location and to allow any changes to be made. There is no way Medium Width electric stock can run west of Springwood with the current platform configurations, they are too wide to adequately clear all platform faces.
  micksheedy Station Staff

My wife travels Unanderra to Wolli Creek and return 3 days per week. Morning journey no problem always gets the same seat in carriage one. However, the return journey from Wolli Creek at around 4:30 is the problem. Why do they run 4 car sets at peak hour. This service has a lot of tradies from Sydney construction jobs with their tools and eskys, one 2 seater is used up. By the time the train arrives 6:01 and she gets off she says she is physically sick from the overcrowding of the train no matter what carriage she takes. Why can't they make these peak hour services longer trains to overcome overcrowding. Her friend who arrives Unanderra 7:01 has actually vomited several times when alighting carriage. I have forwarded same question to Sydney Trains.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I'm quite aware of the economics of it and the fact that you will get a lot out of transferring freight moved by road to even diesel-powered rail, well before you need to consider long distance electrification.

That's another subject, but what I'm addressing here is that regional growth around Sydney will make the existing limits of the wires increasingly artificial (i.e. ending "short"), yet we're looking at a regional train that depends on wires. To be "politically" realistic I couldn't imagine any further extension of the 1500v DC other than to Bomaderry. That leaves three significant extended corridors dependent on dmus - a changeover that, for a start, is unattractive to users (unless the dmus run from Central) - and, more significantly, a future lack of capacity on services that will eventually outgrow the capacity of a typical little dmu.

Under-projection of growth is a somewhat chronic syndrome in Australian planning.
tonyp

Agree with Bomaderry, but what is there left really?

South Main, won't happen for now due to lack of demand which is probably 20 years away from generating the numbers and complex issue of double stack clearances.

West of Lithgow, again lack of demand for many decades to come.

Hunter, again lack of demand.

All other new lines will be sparked.

To justify sparking, 2-4 car trains running 1hr frequencies isn't worth it. Look how long it took Adelaide. Start justifying 6-8 car sets on 30min basis off peak and you are talking real justification. Even Geelong keeps falling over.

There is also nothing wrong with running small trains to major hub and requiring a change to the city. It happens in PT Europe, even in peak where I noticed in Munich the single low volume lines only run DMU's to the junction station and from there you change to a spark. Qld run spark shuttles on West and Nth and Mel also runs spark shuttles on its smaller branches.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

My understanding is the M/H and A sets are convertable to 25kV AC should we ever go down that road.

Raichase


I understood that the Ts, Cs and about half the Vs also fall into this category, being powered by AC traction motors and using solid state electronics to convert the 1500V DC feed.  Practical planning for conversion to AC was in the wings during the 1980s.

The thing preventing a conversion project are the K sets.  Return of the H set fleet to suburban duties is no longer quite enough to retire all the pre-AC fleet.

AIUI, the advantage of AC is it required lighter overhead and thus cheaper extensions, but the potentially hundereds (?) of DC substations could be decommissioned and replaced with a handfull of AC ones.  The reduced maintenance on that alone would (probably) justy the project alone.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

... There is no way Medium Width electric stock can run west of Springwood with the current platform configurations, they are too wide to adequately clear all platform faces.
Throughwestmail


I think you will find this is completely untrue.  The shorter wheelbase of the Medium Gauge stock more than offsets their extra width on a 200m radius curve.
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
I have forwarded same question to Sydney Trains.
micksheedy

Your feedback would better be directed to Transport for NSW, your local member, The Transport Minister and/or the 131500 feedback line. Being a NSW TrainLink service, "Sydney Trains" wouldn't have much to do with it anymore. I recall seeing the 1530 and 1630 departures from Sydney are both 4-car OSCars iirc?
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I understood that the Ts, Cs and about half the Vs also fall into this category, being powered by AC traction motors and using solid state electronics to convert the 1500V DC feed. Practical planning for conversion to AC was in the wings during the 1980s.

The thing preventing a conversion project are the K sets. Return of the H set fleet to suburban duties is no longer quite enough to retire all the pre-AC fleet.

AIUI, the advantage of AC is it required lighter overhead and thus cheaper extensions, but the potentially hundereds (?) of DC substations could be decommissioned and replaced with a handfull of AC ones. The reduced maintenance on that alone would (probably) justy the project alone.
djf01

Unless they've been lugging a lot of additional weight and electricals/electronics around since their introduction, what's missing is the step down transformer and rectifier to convert the higher AC line voltage down to DC at a voltage suitable for use by the solid state electronics.  The transformer is not that small and not that light - to the extent that I suspect where it goes and how it is supported structurally probably need to have been considered during the design of the rolling stock, if rolling stock conversion is really to be done easily (then again, Sydney's rolling stock aren't exactly dainty fairies when it comes to weight - though they aren't endowed with lots of spare equipment space).  That the final drives are AC isn't relevant.

I can't think of any meaningful tree hugging, hippy style, "soft" economic benefits to conversion (alternatively you could perhaps argue the inevitable disruption associated with it would be a disadvantage), so it would simply come down to relative cost.  If your existing DC substations are costing you a lot in maintenance, then you'd probably be better off looking at options to directly address that (upgrade substation electricals/electronics) before considering conversion.  A modern DC traction substation shouldn't have any moving parts bar some fans - not much to maintain.

It is much easier to get a justification up that is supported by the financial side of things, rather than one supported only by economics.  Consequently, if it did make sense, it probably would have already happened.  It hasn't happened, and recent/proposed extensions (where the argument would even be stronger - because - yes - infrastructure construction cost is where you make the big savings) are all DC, so that's pretty telling.
  Myrtone Chief Commissioner

Location: North Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria
We are going to run out of oil - therefore we should use electric trains

Also, the more oil we use up in onboard generation suppying on board loads, such as with diesel trains, the more expensive steel will become, as cheap steel is itself a petroleum product.

Sounds like they will be single deckers. I am not aware off the shelf double deckers, not ones that meet our crash standards at least.


There may be some off-the-shelf double deckers, but single deckers are already going to be deployed on the North West Urban rail link, and being open to them on intercity services would allow for more vendor choices, and the possiblity of a simpler train design, with underfloor control equipment and no need for floor wells between bogies.

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