Thanks DW.These and other problems have been pointed out to Metro in the past. Metro chooses to either ignore the problems or take months if not years to fix them. It is a sad fact that under the current management nothing happens, even if public safety is at risk, unless there is an actual incident, such as the above situation in the loop.
I cannot help but think that the media (apart from anyone else) is hankering for strike action by someone/anyone following the change of government to help sales in the holiday period. Apart from the poor bastards in Paris what has been of major news recently. Even the Essendon hooha has gone quiet. Industrial action should not be necessary on safety issues anyway.
I cannot understand how some of these recent radio mods that have interfered with the Comeng PA system have been approved and implemented and that it took the failure in the underground to bring these 'unintended consequences' to light. The Comeng PA is frequently bad enough (unintelligible for whatever reason) to start with. How does a driver test it anyway as he cannot be at both ends of the train at the same time to listen to himself.
I really wonder sometimes how familiar with reality on the everyday network some of the experts really are and perhaps we should all be grateful for the dose of reality that the drivers have provided in this instance as no one else seems to be either aware or care.
Again and again and again one asks the role of the Rail Safety Regulator(s) in all of this.Having a major conflict of interest.
The key is in the original specification (which the Comengs got wrong so far as the aircon was concerned) but they were specced by Australian Railway people rather than beancounters.Correct.
Having a major conflict of interest.Incestuous rather than independent!
As far as I understand it, the ONRSR operates in Victoria as a service provider working on behalf of Transport Safety Victoria, an agency of the Victorian state government.
The rail operator involved is MTM, the holder of a contract awarded by the Victorian state government. See the problem?
Makes you wonder why we buy overseas when we can produce the long term quality of Comeng units ?You're using the wrong tense in that sentence, I'm afraid.
A more suitable specification would have seen Siemens offer a variant of the Desiro UK family (EMU versions have the UK class numbers 350, 460, 450 and 444) which is far more suitable for mainline service than the cheaper Modular Metro family used instead.And here we have the problem - both National Express and Connex bought the cheapest possible EMUs at the time. The X'trap model that Alstom marketed had airbag suspension - Connex actually asked them to go for cheaper springs instead. And the Siemens MoMo? Well, we've seen all of the problems they've had - they've got brakes designed for subways, the Static Inverters blow up, they're not as 'passenger abuse' resistant as other EMUs on the Melbourne network and they always seem to be filthier than Comengs running on the same lines.
I assume that the Xtraps are AC so are French capacitors better than German capacitors or are they just newer or are some of them inferior in some other way, perhaps?X'traps have AC motors, pretty much everything but the really cheap stuff (as in the ones they sell to Africa & South-East Asia) does these days. For the most part, modern EMUs use AC induction motors as modern power electronics to control them are more efficient and definitely more reliable than using DC motors. As for the power electronics themselves, well you can build things with cheap parts or good parts. Same thing goes for spares. And I doubt that either EMU has capacitors built in their 'homeland'.
X'traps have AC motors, pretty much everything but the really cheap stuff (as in the ones they sell to Africa & South-East Asia) does these days.You mean that there is actually something cheaper than what we already have.
As for the Comeng trains, the old PA system (and the tail lights) were connected to a battery so that when an overhead power failure occured, the driver could put the tail lights on for safety and also could communicate to the pasengers. This communication is vital, especially as the power to the doors is not there so people need to be warned of whether other trains are running nearby, etc. Also, any evacuation procedure needs to be done via the PA.
The new digital radio system had a major flaw. The PA runs off this radio system (no doubt so that one day Metrol can speak directly to passengers) and has no battery back up. It was all brought to a head by a Comeng breakdown in the City Loop a few weeks ago where the driver was unable to guide passengers at all.