VLine to Wagga?

 
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
On 6 - The XPT would become more like an intercity service, if you eliminate a few that would add up a bit.  Plus less cars in the XPT to cater for slightly less demand (now being carried by VLine) reduces costs.

The concept I had was adding extra and better timed services ex WGA to Melbourne/Nth Victoria.  I think that at least a morning departure and evening arrival would be very attractive to not just a few people.  

How do we get a study funded into this to answer the question?!  And does anyone have a copy of the IntercIty Passenger Services study mentioned by Trainplanner up thread?
jamesbushell.au
You are not saving any cost.  Any reduction in utilisation of XPT cars is at least matched (and probably well exceeded) by an increase in utilisation of cars "V/Line" is now running.

You could fund a study with your own money easily enough.

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  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
 And does anyone have a copy of the IntercIty Passenger Services study mentioned by Trainplanner up thread?
jamesbushell.au
I'm not exactly a tech nerd so I couldn't find a way to convert it to a link, just google "cityrail compendium" and near the bottom of the document there is station exit and entry data for 2011 I think for each station in the former Cityrail network.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
You are not saving any cost.  Any reduction in utilisation of XPT cars is at least matched (and probably well exceeded) by an increase in utilisation of cars "V/Line" is now running.

You could fund a study with your own money easily enough.
donttellmywife

The removal of cars lowers the overall network cost and with the better WGA timings, hopefully improves the overall network performance.

I'm not exactly a tech nerd so I couldn't find a way to convert it to a link, just google "cityrail compendium" and near the bottom of the document there is station exit and entry data for 2011 I think for each station in the former Cityrail network.
bowralcommuter
That one doesn't seem to have an entry for Wagga?
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
That one doesn't seem to have an entry for Wagga?
jamesbushell.au
Its Intercity data, not Countrylink/Regional. There is no public data that has stats for Wagga etc to my knowledge.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Railpage logged me out yet again during the construction of this post so sadly its construction has been rushed a bit. This problem is getting really old Sad, some people never suffer it, I get all the time.


The posibilty of a VLine service to Wagga was looked at some time back due to NSW railways doing a study on passengers on the Melbourne to Sydney XPT. This showed there was almost no pass traffic past Wagga in either direction, ie the XPT service was being uesd as a Sydney Wagga, or Melbourne Wagga local service. NSW railways then floated the qusetion if they suspended the XPT service beyond Wagga would VLine be interested in running a Melbourne Wagga service. It was belived at the time VLine was very interested.

The problems though really come down to no suitable rolling stock in Victoria. Ina conversation I had with station staff at Wagga at the time, they said Wagga can get between 40 to 50 passengers a day for Melbourne. An extension of the VLine service to Wagga could not handle this kind of pass numbers on top of the number already  travelling on the VLine Albury train. The N class locos not having the power to draw more than 5 cars and a power van and still maintain 115kph. A modern long distance DMU though is an entirely different story. A simulation of the line I did at the time (Note 1) showed a 130kph max speed service from Wagga to Melbourne would only take around 45 minutes longer than the existing time of the train from Albury to Melbourne. This would put Wagga only something like 4 and half hours from Melbourne, such a service would likely do very well.

Note 1: This was a mathematical simulation of the line using various rolling stock. The simulation still exists its however done in station stop sections as it made it easier to drive, ie the mathematical simulation has to be driven like a real train.

If VLines Albury service EVER gets decent rolling stock I would not die of shock of this option was taken up.

woodford
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The removal of cars lowers the overall network cost and with the better WGA timings, hopefully improves the overall network performance.

That one doesn't seem to have an entry for Wagga?
jamesbushell.au
No, the removal of cars from XPT drives up operating costs as the cost of running the train with 5, 6 or 7 cars varies little.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Railpage logged me out yet again during the construction of this post so sadly its construction has been rushed a bit. This problem is getting really old Sad, some people never suffer it, I get all the time.


The posibilty of a VLine service to Wagga was looked at some time back due to NSW railways doing a study on passengers on the Melbourne to Sydney XPT. This showed there was almost no pass traffic past Wagga in either direction, ie the XPT service was being uesd as a Sydney Wagga, or Melbourne Wagga local service. NSW railways then floated the qusetion if they suspended the XPT service beyond Wagga would VLine be interested in running a Melbourne Wagga service. It was belived at the time VLine was very interested.

The problems though really come down to no suitable rolling stock in Victoria. Ina conversation I had with station staff at Wagga at the time, they said Wagga can get between 40 to 50 passengers a day for Melbourne. An extension of the VLine service to Wagga could not handle this kind of pass numbers on top of the number already  travelling on the VLine Albury train. The N class locos not having the power to draw more than 5 cars and a power van and still maintain 115kph. A modern long distance DMU though is an entirely different story. A simulation of the line I did at the time (Note 1) showed a 130kph max speed service from Wagga to Melbourne would only take around 45 minutes longer than the existing time of the train from Albury to Melbourne. This would put Wagga only something like 4 and half hours from Melbourne, such a service would likely do very well.

Note 1: This was a mathematical simulation of the line using various rolling stock. The simulation still exists its however done in station stop sections as it made it easier to drive, ie the mathematical simulation has to be driven like a real train.

If VLines Albury service EVER gets decent rolling stock I would not die of shock of this option was taken up.

woodford
woodford

I wouldn't say theres almost no through traffic past Wagga but yes I think we all agree that exceeding S or M to WW in distance rail very much takes the back seat as options of flying to Albury or Mel from Sydney and back tracking take over.

However this doesn't mean the train should be axed beyond WW and switched to two separate services to WW This is pointless and achieves little. Vic and NSW both fund the XPT for which there are two through services per day that provide the option for travel for capital to regional services from both cities along the S-M corridor.

Ideally I think there should be two through XPT's a day and one departing WW around 6am for Sydney and return each day. Likewise a similar services to Melborune from WW each day departing 30min later. Both trains stable overnight in WW. If there was a larger pool of XPT's I'd say use XPT's and they could be rotated through service centre in Sydney. What trains are used is moot point really.

If train sets were available you could probably run a 6mth trial for minimal cost. An N class could probably take care of the southern leg, but Country Link has nothing. Perhaps a few of the spare XPT cars and hired loco.

Brisbane needs same as Mel with two full services a day, however the catchment pool for a  mid route service to Brisbane is lower and longer as the railway misses alot of the population that far nth.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
The removal of cars lowers the overall network cost and with the better WGA timings, hopefully improves the overall network performance.
jamesbushell.au
Lets assume that train costs are proportional to car hours (which is a bit too simple - as RTT_Rules suggests, there are significant car-independent costs associated with running a train, but this simplification will do for this).  It takes a bit under five hours for the XPT to go from Wagga Wagga to Melbourne, so if you remove one car, you save a bit under ten car hours, considering the return trip.

But in return, you've had to extend the running of an entire train from Albury to Wagga Wagga.  This trip takes a bit over an hour - so if your train is five cars (because it has to be sized for the demand closer in to Melbourne) you have incurred a bit over ten car hours.

There's no saving there.

As RTT_Rules implies, there are significant car-independent costs associated with running a train - for example a a train driver is required regardless of how may cars in the consist, and a path is consumed regardless of how long the train is.  With your proposal, you are actually running more train hours or train kilometres (the XPT's timing is practically the same, but you have the hour and a bit each way extension of the "V/Line" service from the south), hence you will have more cost.

I don't have a feel for how demand would vary with retiming of a service, but I doubt very much that any additional revenue from a retiming would cover the costs associated with a proposal like this.

As others have suggested, the proposal only makes sense from a cost point of view if you actually terminate the XPT at some intermediate point and force a service change for through passengers.  Assuming you don't want to completely kill through patronage, this still ties the timing of the two services together, the timing of the XPT service is relatively constrained by considerations of convenience for passengers from elsewhere, connections with other regional trains in Sydney and the informal existence of the Sydney curfew, so you are not necessarily going to make things more convenient for Wagga Wagga customers by doing this (in fact, given the proximity of the state boundary, if you did decide to force a service change it would likely be at Albury, like in gauge change times of old, so Wagga Wagga would miss out anyway), but you will undoubtedly annoy a lot of through customers.

Also, the XPT only has eight more stops after Wagga Wagga before Melbourne, several of which are "as required".  I doubt the stopping pattern of the XPT would change even if you did extend a "V/Line" service further north from Albury.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

I wouldn't say theres almost no through traffic past Wagga but yes I think we all agree that exceeding S or M to WW in distance rail very much takes the back seat as options of flying to Albury or Mel from Sydney and back tracking take over.


I have been up to Wagga twice when the day time south bound service stops at Wagga to check this out, while its hard to be certain the entire train empties out. I tackled my source of this info on this topic and he would not budge and I have known him to be very reliable


However this doesn't mean the train should be axed beyond WW and switched to two separate services to WW This is pointless and achieves little. Vic and NSW both fund the XPT for which there are two through services per day that provide the option for travel for capital to regional services from both cities along the S-M corridor.

Ideally I think there should be two through XPT's a day and one departing WW around 6am for Sydney and return each day. Likewise a similar services to Melborune from WW each day departing 30min later. Both trains stable overnight in WW. If there was a larger pool of XPT's I'd say use XPT's and they could be rotated through service centre in Sydney. What trains are used is moot point really.

If train sets were available you could probably run a 6mth trial for minimal cost. An N class could probably take care of the southern leg, but Country Link has nothing. Perhaps a few of the spare XPT cars and hired loco.

Brisbane needs same as Mel with two full services a day, however the catchment pool for a  mid route service to Brisbane is lower and longer as the railway misses alot of the population that far nth.
RTT_Rules

The N class simply do NOT have ANYTHING LIKE enough power to truly run at 130kph, They have not got an 800bhp deisel engine per VLocity car just to make it more expensive, trains running much over 100 kph require a great deal of power to enable them to acelerate and climb decent hills at these high speeds. The MINIMUM HP for a 6 car train at 130 kph would be in the 4000bhp catagory. The wheel rim BHP of a 6 car VLocity set is in the region of 3600bhp.

woodford
  2LaGrange Train Controller

Yes N class do not have enough Horse Power and also they will never be allowed to run in NSW anyway as they are too noisy and do not comply with current NSW regulations.

Older locos that were either built in NSW or ran in NSW in the Government railways days such as C class, B class, T class are permitted to operate in NSW under the "Grandfather clause" which means they are exempt from current noise restrictions.

N class and A class have never run beyond Albury into NSW proper and never will unless VLine is willing to carry out very expensive exhaust mods and then test locos to prove they comply with current NSW EPA regulations.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes N class do not have enough Horse Power and also they will never be allowed to run in NSW anyway as they are too noisy and do not comply with current NSW regulations.

Older locos that were either built in NSW or ran in NSW in the Government railways days such as C class, B class, T class are permitted to operate in NSW under the "Grandfather clause" which means they are exempt from current noise restrictions.

N class and A class have never run beyond Albury into NSW proper and never will unless VLine is willing to carry out very expensive exhaust mods and then test locos to prove they comply with current NSW EPA regulations.
2LaGrange
Thanks for info.

So find another loco to do the job!
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Today is the third birthday of my immortal XPT thread; it's also the day I saunter back onto Railpage at bowralcommuter's request to discover the asylum has started another regional rail thread.

If Victoria wants to do it, by all means do so: NSW would operate SYD-ABX, VIC would operate MEL-WGA; add in some swift connections and good timings and NSW doesn't need to run all the way into MEL.

It's workable, at least at a high level.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Here is my timetable concept for a "Southern Zone" service :


It's designed to be run by 10 DMUs: 6/8 medium haul and 2/4 long haul.

3 DMUs from 5 trains a day every 3 hrs between Sydney and Canberra
3 DMUs provide 5 trains a day between Albury and Melbourne on a similar timetable
2 DMUs run Sydney-Mlb then return overnight as red eyes
2 DMUs are based at Wagga (as discussed in this thread), one goes to Melbourne return, the other Sydney return.

Each of them are equipped with Opal/Miki/MyWay readers.
  cityrail-rulez Chief Train Controller

Here is my timetable concept for a "Southern Zone" service :


It's designed to be run by 10 DMUs: 6/8 medium haul and 2/4 long haul.

3 DMUs from 5 trains a day every 3 hrs between Sydney and Canberra
3 DMUs provide 5 trains a day between Albury and Melbourne on a similar timetable
2 DMUs run Sydney-Mlb then return overnight as red eyes
2 DMUs are based at Wagga (as discussed in this thread), one goes to Melbourne return, the other Sydney return.

Each of them are equipped with Opal/Miki/MyWay readers.
djf01
Well, that's going to be really hard mate

1) The ARTC has cut-off some points here in Wagga Wagga last year
2) Only the Northern Dock still exsists, however it has been cut off with a fence and trees
3) The Southern Dock has been removed for a very long time now and cannot be resotred, transformed into a railway
workers carpark

In my opinion, VLine should just get out of NSW and the XPT removed completely from VIC and just simply meet up at Albury
lets face it, the Syd-Melb XPT arrives at Albury and then the VLine still departures Albury so passengers should change there and let the XPT return back to Sydney giving more services into the southern region of NSW... That's just my 2 cents worth
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
In my opinion, VLine should just get out of NSW and the XPT removed completely from VIC and just simply meet up at Albury
lets face it, the Syd-Melb XPT arrives at Albury and then the VLine still departures Albury so passengers should change there and let the XPT return back to Sydney giving more services into the southern region of NSW... That's just my 2 cents worth
cityrail-rulez
Good idea, set back railway travel by 50 years or so: 'Albury, All Change'.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Unlike djf01, I don't see a need to rewrite the whole timetable.

Although I'm always warm to the idea of DMUs (which should have become apparent over the last three years), I disagree with this notion that accepting that people are only going as far as Wagga should involve wholesale timetable re-engineering.

There is a much simpler solution before us.

If you can't be bothered to read this, skip to the tl;dr part that summarises my idea.

Before we dive in, it requires a modicum of light background reading to deepen our situational understanding before diving into the argument. From this background reading, we can extract the key information: there are three trains a day, every day.

"So what?", I hear you ask, resentful that I've introduced to the railway enthusiast community the idea of pre-argument 'background reading'.

Bear in mind the Albury service is the only V/Line service run on standard gauge.

Look at the daily morning up and evening down Albury 'pass' trains. Obviously, the train that forms the evening down service stables overnight in Albury to form the morning up service. This gives us an opportunity.

To understand why it's an opportunity, let's go ride a branchline. There was quite a bit of noise during the NSW election in March about the need for regional trains taking people to the city in the morning and home in the evening. It was about the Central West, but I think we can safely assume that the Riverina has similar sentiments.

So how is this linked to the 'opportunity'?

All you need to do is extend the 18:02 evening Albury pass to Wagga Wagga, where it would arrive around 23:10; it would then stable until around 05:25 the following morning, getting into Albury at 06:35 and continuing onto Melbourne to arrive at 10:30, as per the current timetable.

Voila! A conveniently-timed Melbourne to Wagga Wagga service, requiring no additional trains.

tl;dr

New Wagga train — MEL 1802, ABX 2200, WGA 2310 — stable overnight — WGA 0525, ABX 0635, MEL 1030 — no extra trains needed.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

... there are three trains a day, every day.
Watson374

Five, counting the XPTs.

But I like the idea.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
Five, counting the XPTs.

But I like the idea.
djf01
Quite.

But the idea was to focus on a V/Line-operated service with as few changes as possible; the NSW trains are, in that context, an afterthought.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Some more info on this.  I had the time so wrote to the NSW and Vic ministers, and the responses were as follows.

Vic - Wagga is over the border, Vic won't pay to subsidise NSW pax.  No work has been performed to understand how commercial it might be.
NSW - Timetabling would not allow it
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some more info on this.  I had the time so wrote to the NSW and Vic ministers, and the responses were as follows.

Vic - Wagga is over the border, Vic won't pay to subsidise NSW pax.  No work has been performed to understand how commercial it might be.
NSW - Timetabling would not allow it
jamesbushell.au

Interesting the comment from NSW about timetabling.  What do you put that comment down to and what is it they actually mean?
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
My suggestion was around a 4am departure, arriving SYD mid/late morning, and then an afternoon departure around 5pm to arrive WGA a bit before midnight.  This perhaps would clash with the freight services which if my basic understanding of the route, would run more at night?  They do mention that sections of the line are single track which could be a factor.  This might change with Inland Rail if the corridor Melbourne-Junee is duplicated as is said in the route study of 2010.  The letter does mention connections with the coach services too but most of these could flex to match the train

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