More trouble on the Albury line

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

The are 2 advantages of variable guage trains on the Albury line:

Firstly, a smaller proportion of the fleet needs to be held in reserve as a back-up, because some of the in-service trains could be used on the broad guage services.  At present I believe there is a fleet of 4 N-sets when only 2 are required for the service, so at any time at least 50% are not in service.  If there were a fleet of say 5 Talgo sets, one or two could be allocated to broad guage services depending on the maintenance cycle, or held as hot spares for train faults on broad guage services.

Secondly, with a guage change track at Seymour, services could use the double track broad guage as far as Seymour, which would increase the number of slots, increase service reliability, and reduce ARTC track charges.
mm42
There are currently 3 N class locos and 3 cars sets on SG for the albury service, so if any are in for service there's no spares availible.

woodford

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  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

I don't often agree with M636C but the proposal for Tango style guage (? maybe gauge) conversion is, as M636C intimated, a flight of fancy. The infrastructure, maintenance support, training and rolling stock capital costs would be astronomical; hundreds of millions for a sensible fleet size.

Just some notes regarding the SG N Class. The HEP was "upgraded" independently of SG conversion. The Cummins engine is OK but the control system is an obsolete basket case. Why the Detroits were replaced is beyond me. N locos with D_7 series traction motors have no higher capacity than N locos with D 43 traction motors. Both have the same mechanical input. The D_7 series motors run 59:18 gear ratio which allows higher maximum speed appropriate for the original SG operation.

TW
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The are 2 advantages of variable guage trains on the Albury line:

Firstly, a smaller proportion of the fleet needs to be held in reserve as a back-up, because some of the in-service trains could be used on the broad guage services.  At present I believe there is a fleet of 4 N-sets when only 2 are required for the service, so at any time at least 50% are not in service.  If there were a fleet of say 5 Talgo sets, one or two could be allocated to broad guage services depending on the maintenance cycle, or held as hot spares for train faults on broad guage services.

Secondly, with a guage change track at Seymour, services could use the double track broad guage as far as Seymour, which would increase the number of slots, increase service reliability, and reduce ARTC track charges.
There are currently 3 N class locos and 3 cars sets on SG for the albury service, so if any are in for service there's no spares availible.

woodford
woodford
There are currently 3 x 5 car N sets on sg plus actually  4 N class locos .

It is understood VLP want to put an ACN and BN from bg over onto sg with sg PH powervan. Then reconfigure the sg Albury fleet to  4 x 4 car  sets and 1 loose car .  To run  3 return trips on Weekdays requires two sets, leaving spare/PPM 2 x 4 car sets and a loose car .  With 4 return services each Weekday requires 3 sets to traffic in the am and PM Peak, with 1 set and 1 loose car spare in peak and 2 sets spare and 1 loose car Off Peak .

Daniel Andrews was up at Wangaratta and Wodonga this week and promised to fix the un-reliable VLP service for once and for all  !!!  Wish him luck, so far after 2 years VLP have proven incapable of delivering a reliable service, and the current Minister has not shown the slightest interest in Albury in her 1 year tenure.
  richter170 Locomotive Driver

There are currently 3 x 5 car N sets on sg plus actually  4 N class locos

Not currently.

N458 has failed a number of times due to rough riding issues and has been placed back into the broad gauge fleet. This loco was the last to be placed onto the SG, hasn't seen a lot of use.

N471 is replacing it, after bogie repairs are complete to the bogies that were under N458 to try and resolve the rough riding issues that caused a lot of grief with N458.
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Yesterday's AM down service appeared to run as a 3 car set (SN1) only.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Both this morning's Down and Up services have been bustituted due to a 'Train Fault".

Everyone's patience is running out....
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


N471 is replacing it, after bogie repairs are complete to the bogies that were under N458 to try and resolve the rough riding issues that caused a lot of grief with N458.
richter170

N471 ran the 8625 last night from SCS to Albury.  First run.  More failures today does not look good.

Perhaps we need an enquiry as I can;t imagine ARTC are feeling good about it since they often bare the brunt of the ecuses when it is probably not their issue most of the time.
  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
Radio fault N 471. Two Vline drivers prepared to run it but told NO by Junee control.
Also N 471 failed test.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Radio fault N 471. Two Vline drivers prepared to run it but told no by Junee control.
gomer

Cheers.

Something interesting regarding the return journeys from Albury today.  The following came off the vline website and shows a big difference in journey times.



How so?
  gomer Train Controller

Location: Melbourne
1720 has at least three crosses between Seymour and Totty.
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
These troubles have become a vline joke as I am sure everyone in the company knows the service does not work but who is going to fix it? There is an ELT at the operator who are charged with the responsibility and accountability to get services right but they are sitting on their hands otherwise action would have already been undertaken to remedy the troubles.

Surely what is required is spare rollingstock on SG and quickly and before someone says there is none available what about asking EDI or whomever to build 5 more carriages?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
These troubles have become a vline joke as I am sure everyone in the company knows the service does not work but who is going to fix it? There is an ELT at the operator who are charged with the responsibility and accountability to get services right but they are sitting on their hands otherwise action would have already been undertaken to remedy the troubles.

Surely what is required is spare rollingstock on SG and quickly and before someone says there is none available what about asking EDI or whomever to build 5 more carriages?
NSWGR8022
Wot is an ELT, please?
Is he/she/it something like a DADFA?
  NSWGR8022 Chief Commissioner

Location: From the lands of Journalism and Free Speech
Wot is an ELT, please?
Is he/she/it something like a DADFA?
YM-Mundrabilla

Vline have setup a ELT = Executive Leadership Team which is a common name for the big bosses in an organisation.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
These troubles have become a vline joke as I am sure everyone in the company knows the service does not work but who is going to fix it? There is an ELT at the operator who are charged with the responsibility and accountability to get services right but they are sitting on their hands otherwise action would have already been undertaken to remedy the troubles.

Surely what is required is spare rollingstock on SG and quickly and before someone says there is none available what about asking EDI or whomever to build 5 more carriages?
NSWGR8022

Building 5 cars isn't going to be done quickly. You've got to go through the tender process and other administrative stuff before construction will actually commence, then there's testing and accreditation issues as well. So yourr 'quickly' would easily add up to 6+ months, more likely at least a year.

IMO I'd prefer to see the long distance runs being made by a DMU, maybe the Voyager type as used in the UK? They're good for 125mph (~200kph) operation so 160kph (~100mph)wouldn't be an issue. This one's only a four car set but there's nothing stopping more carriages being put in. Only problem might be V/Line's reluctance to let them get up to any reasonable speed where there's unprotected level crossings

[/url]220127 Reading-Newcastle by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/greensleeves94/]Brad White, on Flickr
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Wot is an ELT, please?
Is he/she/it something like a DADFA?

Vline have setup a ELT = Executive Leadership Team which is a common name for the big bosses in an organisation.
NSWGR8022
Thanks 8022 re ELT which was something that I didn't know.
In my day big bosses didn't need ridiculous titles to inflate their egos - they were Chief Traffic Manager, Chief Mechanical Engineer etc and were not only competent in their own right but confident in their own ability and authority!

(I was right about the relationship between ELT and DADFA, however. DADFA stands for Deputy Assistant Director of F All.)
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Spare/additional rollingstock is not the answer. The answer is a larger investment in more frequent preventative maintenance.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
There are currently 3 x 5 car N sets on sg plus actually  4 N class locos

Not currently.

N458 has failed a number of times due to rough riding issues and has been placed back into the broad gauge fleet. This loco was the last to be placed onto the SG, hasn't seen a lot of use.

N471 is replacing it, after bogie repairs are complete to the bogies that were under N458 to try and resolve the rough riding issues that caused a lot of grief with N458.
richter170
Am I missing something here?

N458 has rough riding problems with bogies.
Vline take N458 off SG and put it on BG.
N471 is taken off the BG and put on SG on the bogies off N458

How does this help except for disguising the defective bogies under a different loco number.

It's all in the mind you know, except for the smoke and mirrors which are real!
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
Posted this earlier in another thread without realising this one had more active discussion and is probably a more appropriate place:

"Just saw N473 running light engine through Benalla at about two minutes past 9 this morning heading down."
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Government, PTV and V/Line could make a significant impact on the improvement of V/Line NE services in a matter of days.   It is pretty widely known around the industry that a number of highly experienced people were pushed/shoved out the door across both PTV and V/Line who really know how to fix this stuff.   There is a clause in the agreement with V/Line (and other operating companies) that the head of PTV can "direct" V/Line to undertake certain activities that are in the best interests of the State.  So that lever is there.   Similarly and rarely done these days is the Minister has the powers to also "direct" its agency to undertake certain actions as well.  

So Direct PTV to engage two (most likely retired) folks who are respected leaders in train operations and train maintenance acting under Ministerial direction to review operations and maintenance activities of the NE.   Issue a direction to V/Line that these persons acting under Ministerial direction will be provided with full access to maintenance and operational records and proceedures including budget allocations etc.

Enable these people to engage reliability experts Interfleet or Worley Parsons to undertake the detailed audits and identify what systemic and other issues are causing this and then prepare an action plan with short term "quick win" type improvements and subsequently a fully costed and developed program that can ensure that the operation is on a sustainable footing in terms of resources, operations, maintenance and funding.  It's easy to say just fix it but you really must know the root causes of this in detail because to have such an ongoing problem like this says its systemic.

These experienced guys will know exactly what to be focussing on even before these detailed assessments are undertaken but you don't want is this being half baked where you get a short term improvement and then the operation degrades again.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

This afternoon's Up service dumped passengers off at Broady station:

Train disruption
12:45 Albury - Southern Cross service will terminate at Broadmeadows, customers to travel per Metro train Broadmeadows - SCS.

Nice to see they made it to Melbourne's Northern Suburbs.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Posted this earlier in another thread without realising this one had more active discussion and is probably a more appropriate place:

"Just saw N473 running light engine through Benalla at about two minutes past 9 this morning heading down."
Contrillion
Afternoon Mellbourne bound service double headed N473 in the lead N471 behind, 2 drivers were in N473, Sounds like City of Benalla (N471) failed.

Train was only 3 cars same as monday's mid days services, cars missing from consist were the BRN and the BDN, ie consist was an ACN and 2 BN's last car was BN19.

Surely they cannot keep this joke of a service going like this. A question, VLine management is normally not this stupid, some said the previous government cut 50 million off VLine's budget, has this cut pushed them over the edge where they simply no longer have the resources to keep everything running and they have decided to dump the SG service to keep every thing else running. IF this IS the case its no good blaming VLine.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm, A some more thoughts on the last part of the previous post, The Albury service is a VERY politcally sensitive service, its also an isolated service thus it would be the best candidate for managament to highlight a lack of resources.
I am not saying this is the issue, but one must tread carefully when a managment group appear to be completely incompetent. It usually being a great mistake believing any human being is completely stupid/incompentent.

woodford
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Government, PTV and V/Line could make a significant impact on the improvement of V/Line NE services in a matter of days.   It is pretty widely known around the industry that a number of highly experienced people were pushed/shoved out the door across both PTV and V/Line who really know how to fix this stuff.   There is a clause in the agreement with V/Line (and other operating companies) that the head of PTV can "direct" V/Line to undertake certain activities that are in the best interests of the State.  So that lever is there.   Similarly and rarely done these days is the Minister has the powers to also "direct" its agency to undertake certain actions as well.  

So Direct PTV to engage two (most likely retired) folks who are respected leaders in train operations and train maintenance acting under Ministerial direction to review operations and maintenance activities of the NE.   Issue a direction to V/Line that these persons acting under Ministerial direction will be provided with full access to maintenance and operational records and proceedures including budget allocations etc.

Enable these people to engage reliability experts Interfleet or Worley Parsons to undertake the detailed audits and identify what systemic and other issues are causing this and then prepare an action plan with short term "quick win" type improvements and subsequently a fully costed and developed program that can ensure that the operation is on a sustainable footing in terms of resources, operations, maintenance and funding.  It's easy to say just fix it but you really must know the root causes of this in detail because to have such an ongoing problem like this says its systemic.

These experienced guys will know exactly what to be focussing on even before these detailed assessments are undertaken but you don't want is this being half baked where you get a short term improvement and then the operation degrades again.
Trainplanner
Agree wholeheartedly.
The expertise and experience exist, especially at WorleyParsons and Interfleet, but perhaps just not in Vline at the moment.
If Vline is unable/unwilling to run a reliable service they should say so publicly, giving genuine reasons and leave PTV and the Minister to wear the flak.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Oops, one thing I forgot to mention, the afternoon up with the two loco's, was on time, in fact a little ahead of time, so what ever failed must have been, either not to serious or was spotted very quickly so the "cavalry" (N473) was called in good time.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Government, PTV and V/Line could make a significant impact on the improvement of V/Line NE services in a matter of days.   It is pretty widely known around the industry that a number of highly experienced people were pushed/shoved out the door across both PTV and V/Line who really know how to fix this stuff.   There is a clause in the agreement with V/Line (and other operating companies) that the head of PTV can "direct" V/Line to undertake certain activities that are in the best interests of the State.  So that lever is there.   Similarly and rarely done these days is the Minister has the powers to also "direct" its agency to undertake certain actions as well.  

So Direct PTV to engage two (most likely retired) folks who are respected leaders in train operations and train maintenance acting under Ministerial direction to review operations and maintenance activities of the NE.   Issue a direction to V/Line that these persons acting under Ministerial direction will be provided with full access to maintenance and operational records and proceedures including budget allocations etc.

Enable these people to engage reliability experts Interfleet or Worley Parsons to undertake the detailed audits and identify what systemic and other issues are causing this and then prepare an action plan with short term "quick win" type improvements and subsequently a fully costed and developed program that can ensure that the operation is on a sustainable footing in terms of resources, operations, maintenance and funding.  It's easy to say just fix it but you really must know the root causes of this in detail because to have such an ongoing problem like this says its systemic.

These experienced guys will know exactly what to be focussing on even before these detailed assessments are undertaken but you don't want is this being half baked where you get a short term improvement and then the operation degrades again.
Agree wholeheartedly.
The expertise and experience exist, especially at WorleyParsons and Interfleet, but perhaps just not in Vline at the moment.
If Vline is unable/unwilling to run a reliable service they should say so publicly, giving genuine reasons and leave PTV and the Minister to wear the flak.
YM-Mundrabilla
One of the problems here I believe is nearly all of the expertise is getting on a bit, most in the late 50's early sixties. There's going to be an awfull vacuum in the not to distant future. This was mentioned in an article in Australian Railway digest as a real serious problem.

woodford

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