The latest performance results for VLP show that the target 96 % of services to run as trains is usually achieved , except for Albury which would be more like 96 % run by V Bus. Do they only count the arrival time at final destination or is it time through each station en route? The 17.31 Down Epsom which I catch a couple of times a week is invariably 10 mins + late through Sunbury due to congestion and then tries to make up time from there. By the time I alight at Castlemaine it is normally pretty close to timetable but Gisborne, Woodend and Kyneton are all arrived at with varying degrees of lateness.
With timekeeping 92 % Inter urban to arrive within 6 minutes, and Intercity within 11 minutes virtually all corridors failed to achieve target in October. VLP blames verything including the phase of the moon, but not its failure to manage the railway operation on a day to day basis. Things are just left to happen, they are not pro actively managed .
The schedule of the 1731 Dn Epsom will be drawn up on the basis of achievable sectional running times between stations, plus dwell time at station stops, plus allowance for pathing * within the Metro area, plus a recovery margin into Bendigo # , plus any pathing requirements involved in crossing opposing trains at crossing loops beyond Kyneton . Also a ridiculous 5 minutes is required at Bendigo on the Down to obtain a train order . (when Bendigo - Eaglehawk & Bendigo / Epsom should be within the territory controlled by Bendigo Line CTC.)
* Allowance for pathing based on if the running time say Diggers Rest to Sunbury is 5 minutes, but the VLP train will be checked by a preceding Metro train then the VLP schedule will have several minutes added in to allow for the imperfect VLP path . # Margin on Inter urban services is typically 3 - 5 minutes to allow for wheelchair pax, temporary speed restrictions etc . The OT performance for Inter urban services is measured at the terminal station in that if the train arrives within 5 minutes and 59 seconds the train is claimed to be ON TIME !!!!
Notes: 1. VLP incorrectly report this as arriving within 5 minutes of schedule, when it is really within 6 minutes of schedule.
2. No European railway would allow more than 2 - 3 minutes recovery margin, in the schedule; and ON TIME there is
reported as compared to schedule, and there is none of this within 5 - 6 minutes nonsense as practised here.
Victorian practices do not encourage on time running as a priority, and in fact make it more diffuclt to achieve
good timekeeping .
3. VLP attach low priority to addressing track faults that cause speed rsetrictions, often taking six months plus to fix.
Like most things with VLP there is no urgency (e;g: new bogie frames for Z cars - "Blues Hills #2" by Gwyn
4. Padding schedules with excessive recovery margins especially on single lines, will inevitably make services more
5. VLP is not pro active enough in identifying potential track faults as they develop, and just let them develop into
major track faults that then require the imposition of Speed Restrictions .