North East line improvements

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I was wondering as to the Z carriages. Any idea when they will be back in service?

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  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
I was wondering as to the Z carriages. Any idea when they will be back in service?
Duncs
Going by a reply to a comment on V/Line Facebook site there are 13 back in service already with the remainder to be back by the "middle of the year".
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
The government also announced extra Warrnambool & Shepparton service , which will further stretch the BG N set fleet.  
SN7

There are already 18 V/Locity cars (7 x 3 car V/Locity sets- VL60-VL66) on order from last year's budget which will eventually free up at least three N sets that are used on peak Geelong services.


The 2016/17 budget included an additional 27 V/Locity cars (9 x 3 car V/Locity sets) which will retire the H car sets and P class locos. It will also free up N class locos that haul H sets.

Unfortunately with passenger growth especially coming out of Tarneit and Wyndham Vale there will be a little more pain before we see any gain.
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

With GSR about to have a few sitting carriages free is it possible, indeed feasible, for V/Line to acquire enough of these to create a train for the NE line? It maybe a short term fix but at least it could be a cheaper exercise.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Would they be accredited to run on that line?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Would they be accredited to run on that line?
james.au
One would think so. As the GSR carriages run on ARTC  track to Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. So the NE SG should be no different.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script, the above is purely based on machine performance, there is no allowence for opposing traffic or build out time.

Note: 160kph running would have little effect due to the very many short sections between stops.

woodford
Thanks Woodford

So we now have a time of 3hours 20 minutes SCS to Albury. At present it can be as much as 3 hours 45 - 50 minutes. So a 25 -30 minute time saving. Impressive!

I agree with your reasons on why the 160kph top speed would be problematic, and that you would have calculated based on a 130 kph top speed. Having said that, is their any possibility of squeezing an extra 10 kph in a few places, so the top speed becomes 140kph?

Duncs
The original ARTC  track upgrade and standardization was supposed to achieve a track standard allowing loco hauled operation of the sg N sets at  130 kmh .  The carriage bogies were modified, and several N class locos regeared to allow 130 kmh running .
kuldalai

The N class loco's do not have enough power to do a good job at running the current Albury service at 130kph. The spare TE at 130kph is less than 4000lbs, with a total train weight of near 450 tons, the steepest grade the train can maintain 130kph on is around 1 in 250. Also the train would take something like 7.5 kilometres to get up to speed on LEVEL track. What this means is that there are not to many places on the Albury line that such a train could actually reach 130kph.

Running a pass at speed requires a GREAT deal of power, as I have said before they do not put a 800BHP engine in each VLocity car just to get there price higher.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Post Script.............

An N class pulling the current Albury consist can just maintain 100 to 105kph on a 1 in 100 grade.

A Vlocity (any length) can maintain around 105kph on a in 48 (as can a Sprinter), all three of the above are on full throttle and NOT increasing in speed.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thinking back over a number of threads its is clear most do not understand how much power is required to maintain speed on a grade, so I will give some idea so a better understanding can be had of the problem.

A 400ton train (say a 6 car Vlocity completely full) will take around 2000bhp just to maintain 130kph on a 1 in 100 grade, it would take around another 800BHP to over come rolling and air resistance. For a loco like an N this latter (rolling and air resistance) would take around 1200bhp. So a VLocity would take around 2800-3000bhp on a 1 in 100 and an N class and N set around 3200-3400bhp on the same grade.

The power required to ascend a grade is nearly directly proportional to velocity.

It is also worth while to understand if one wishs for the train to accelerate under these conditions even more power is required

Note 1: This is wheel rim HP, ie BHP at the wheel rims, for an N class this is around 2000bhp (Note 2), for the Vlocity's its between 450 to 600BHP per car depending on exactly how fast it is going.

Note 2: The actual traction power availible to a DE loco depends on what else is running in the loco, such as coolling fans. air compressors and the Auxilary altenator all these can take another 200 to 300BHP.

Is this clear?

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Thinking back over a number of threads its is clear most do not understand how much power is required to maintain speed on a grade, so I will give some idea so a better understanding can be had of the problem.

A 400ton train (say a 6 car Vlocity completely full) will take around 2000bhp just to maintain 130kph on a 1 in 100 grade, it would take around another 800BHP to over come rolling and air resistance. For a loco like an N this latter (rolling and air resistance) would take around 1200bhp. So a VLocity would take around 2800-3000bhp on a 1 in 100 and an N class and N set around 3200-3400bhp on the same grade.

The power required to ascend a grade is nearly directly proportional to velocity.

It is also worth while to understand if one wishs for the train to accelerate under these conditions even more power is required

Note 1: This is wheel rim HP, ie BHP at the wheel rims, for an N class this is around 2000bhp (Note 2), for the Vlocity's its between 450 to 600BHP per car depending on exactly how fast it is going.

Note 2: The actual traction power availible to a DE loco depends on what else is running in the loco, such as coolling fans. air compressors and the Auxilary altenator all these can take another 200 to 300BHP.

Is this clear?

woodford
woodford
Yes, very clear Woodford. Thank you for that.

It also explains more clearly the limitations for a train climbing over the ranges from SCS to Seymour. So realistically 1 hour and 12-15 minutes into Seymour is probably as good as it gets. Assuming the one pick up stop at Broadmeadows and a smooth run out of Melbourne.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@SN7 pretty sure the new service to Shepparton is an extension of an exiting Seymour service so this shouldn't really be a problem.
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
@SN& pretty sure the new service to Shepparton is an extension of an exiting Seymour service so this shouldn't really be a problem.
                                                                                                                                                                           
railblogger
And if it was introduced tomorrow would almost certainly be a H set.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Response to woodford.   Based on the funding that's been specifically allocated in the latest budget to undertake a fairly intensive makeover of the NE standard gauge passenger fleet, I would say that there has already been a lot of work undertaken since the change in V/Line CEO and other management to sorting out maintenance and this I know will feature very strong in the Government through PTV's review of V/Line operations.   I also know that a number of key "old guys" (I'm an oldie so happy to use that phrase), who have highly regarded reputations in both operations and maintenance have also had fairly significant involvement in providing advice on these matters which I believe is being heard and will be acted on.   Whether it extends to the type of scenario I outlined in my post for what I believe is the fix for the next few years of NE operations I'm not sure but all I can say is I've been communicating such through various contacts.

As I mentioned in my post, setting up a sustainable operations and maintenance regime for the existing operation is as critical if not more critical for the next generation of InterCity train.   The vehicles will be sophisticated vehicles.   Whilst the scale of the operations for the interurban/commuter operations for V/Lines V'Locity operations are significantly larger, they are supported by maintenance and servicing facilities at West Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo, with Waurn Ponds also to come on stream.   To expect that you could manage the NE Operation solely out of Dynon using a "flying gang" to service the NE sets is totally crazy when you have a well regarded rollingstock Maintainer in GEMCO sitting next door who could provide you with the focus and priority needed to get this operation back where it should be.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Talking of Shepparton, in the scale of the money that has been given to public transport, I think there is a very strong case to upgrade the level crossings on the Shepparton Line to enable Sprinters and V'Locities to operated unrestricted to from Seymour through to Shepparton.   I understand the level crossing protection upgrades are of the order of $35 million and another  resleepering cycle using gauge convertible concrete sleepers may enable line speeds of up to 130km/hr.

Overtime V/Line especially with this latest announced V'Locity order is going to have DMU's to enable say 6 to 8 Seymour services a day to be extended through to Shepparton with very little pressure on the overall fleet requirement, certainly for interpeak and evening and weekend service improvements.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Shepparton could be complicated, especially if there are longer term plans for its standardisation.  Though the new fleet would have SG and BG variants, so maybe not such a problem.  It would just have different stopping patterns between SCS and SEY.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Shepparton could be complicated, especially if there are longer term plans for its standardisation.  Though the new fleet would have SG and BG variants, so maybe not such a problem.  It would just have different stopping patterns between SCS and SEY.
james.au
Shepparton standardisation is likely far enough out to not worry about that. By the time it's occurred V/Line might decide to get an extra couple of XPT Replacement sets to run on it in addition to Albury services instead of worrying about splitting the Vlocity fleet.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Response to woodford.   Based on the funding that's been specifically allocated in the latest budget to undertake a fairly intensive makeover of the NE standard gauge passenger fleet, I would say that there has already been a lot of work undertaken since the change in V/Line CEO and other management to sorting out maintenance and this I know will feature very strong in the Government through PTV's review of V/Line operations.   I also know that a number of key "old guys" (I'm an oldie so happy to use that phrase), who have highly regarded reputations in both operations and maintenance have also had fairly significant involvement in providing advice on these matters which I believe is being heard and will be acted on.   Whether it extends to the type of scenario I outlined in my post for what I believe is the fix for the next few years of NE operations I'm not sure but all I can say is I've been communicating such through various contacts.

As I mentioned in my post, setting up a sustainable operations and maintenance regime for the existing operation is as critical if not more critical for the next generation of InterCity train.   The vehicles will be sophisticated vehicles.   Whilst the scale of the operations for the interurban/commuter operations for V/Lines V'Locity operations are significantly larger, they are supported by maintenance and servicing facilities at West Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo, with Waurn Ponds also to come on stream.   To expect that you could manage the NE Operation solely out of Dynon using a "flying gang" to service the NE sets is totally crazy when you have a well regarded rollingstock Maintainer in GEMCO sitting next door who could provide you with the focus and priority needed to get this operation back where it should be.
"Trainplanner"


Many thanks for the reply, I have no trouble with the "old guys" having been in that position in another enterprise, it is good they are being listened to. Interestingly almost exactly the same thing happened in track section some years ago, when after a period of very poor results the top management finally asked some of the "old guard" what they should be doing.

They (the management) DO need to tell some they ARE doing something, as I have previously mentioned I and quite a few others have had a go at senior VLine management during there meetings along the  Albury line last year and they NEVER said a thing and they were being put through the wringer in no uncertain terms.

woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just by way of information I have done now a number of runs from Broadmedows to seymour on my mathematical sim,  a couple of calibration runs using a N class pulling 5 cars and a power van produced exactly the same times as currently. Running a VLocity style 6 car train produced a 3 to 4 minutes time saving depending on how close one follows the speed limits (Note 1).

Note 1: I believe there is currently a speed limit on the goulburn river bridge if one ignores that one can save another minute, otherwise the time saved is only 3 minutes.
Reason why time saved is so small is north of Wallan the line is very undulating (apart from 3 100KPH curves), one can easily reach 130kph down hill but the upgrades slow the train down, a VLocity only having enough power to climb these  at 100kph, as a consequence the average speed between Wallan and Seymour is only around 115kph.

Note 2: I am genuinely surprised at how good the current N class sets handle this section, there average is just under 100kph, inpite of the fact the DMU has nearly double the BHP per ton there average is 107kph, Probably just as well all the grades are so short. For this though the speed limited curves are a real problem as all trains must slow for these, there are two things, the loco hauled set does not have to slow as much so the curves effect them less. The other point is the following grades prevent even the DMU from accelerating back up to 130kph untill one reachs the next down grade.

Its also worth remembering that from Craigeburn to Seymour is a relatively short distance, this does limit the amount of time one can actually save to only around 8 minutes, so the time saved by the DMU is no mean acomplishment.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Just by way of information I have done now a number of runs from Broadmedows to seymour on my mathematical sim,  a couple of calibration runs using a N class pulling 5 cars and a power van produced exactly the same times as currently. Running a VLocity style 6 car train produced a 3 to 4 minutes time saving depending on how close one follows the speed limits (Note 1).

Note 1: I believe there is currently a speed limit on the goulburn river bridge if one ignores that one can save another minute, otherwise the time saved is only 3 minutes.
Reason why time saved is so small is north of Wallan the line is very undulating (apart from 3 100KPH curves), one can easily reach 130kph down hill but the upgrades slow the train down, a VLocity only having enough power to climb these  at 100kph, as a consequence the average speed between Wallan and Seymour is only around 115kph.

Note 2: I am genuinely surprised at how good the current N class sets handle this section, there average is just under 100kph, inpite of the fact the DMU has nearly double the BHP per ton there average is 107kph, Probably just as well all the grades are so short. For this though the speed limited curves are a real problem as all trains must slow for these, there are two things, the loco hauled set does not have to slow as much so the curves effect them less. The other point is the following grades prevent even the DMU from accelerating back up to 130kph untill one reachs the next down grade.

Its also worth remembering that from Craigeburn to Seymour is a relatively short distance, this does limit the amount of time one can actually save to only around 8 minutes, so the time saved by the DMU is no mean acomplishment.

woodford
woodford
So allowing for this a DMU Vlocity with only the stop at Broadmeadows, can do SCS to Seymour in 1 hour 10 minutes. Does this sound accurate?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Just by way of information I have done now a number of runs from Broadmedows to seymour on my mathematical sim,  a couple of calibration runs using a N class pulling 5 cars and a power van produced exactly the same times as currently. Running a VLocity style 6 car train produced a 3 to 4 minutes time saving depending on how close one follows the speed limits (Note 1).

Note 1: I believe there is currently a speed limit on the goulburn river bridge if one ignores that one can save another minute, otherwise the time saved is only 3 minutes.
Reason why time saved is so small is north of Wallan the line is very undulating (apart from 3 100KPH curves), one can easily reach 130kph down hill but the upgrades slow the train down, a VLocity only having enough power to climb these  at 100kph, as a consequence the average speed between Wallan and Seymour is only around 115kph.

Note 2: I am genuinely surprised at how good the current N class sets handle this section, there average is just under 100kph, inpite of the fact the DMU has nearly double the BHP per ton there average is 107kph, Probably just as well all the grades are so short. For this though the speed limited curves are a real problem as all trains must slow for these, there are two things, the loco hauled set does not have to slow as much so the curves effect them less. The other point is the following grades prevent even the DMU from accelerating back up to 130kph untill one reachs the next down grade.

Its also worth remembering that from Craigeburn to Seymour is a relatively short distance, this does limit the amount of time one can actually save to only around 8 minutes, so the time saved by the DMU is no mean acomplishment.

woodford
So allowing for this a DMU Vlocity with only the stop at Broadmeadows, can do SCS to Seymour in 1 hour 10 minutes. Does this sound accurate?
Duncs
The 1205 does this in a time of 1:14, my feeling is that for a DMU 1:10 may just be "a bridge a little to far", 1:11 is likely to be OK,everything would have to go right though.

The Seymour line is a real challenge, a lot of people said not including it in the RFR project was political, my opinion at the time was (and still is) it simply could not be done. Straightening the line out would have absolutely cost the earth and 160kph would not help the local train at all because the stations are to close together, also the local services already could travel at 130kph. The only services that would have had any benefit would be the Albury VLine pass (and only if DMU stock was availible for it) and the still would have been limited to 115kph (now 130kph) north of Seymour.

What all this does show though is for fast running to be effective the trains MUST be able to stay at speed for a good  part of the time.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Woodford again thank you for the time and patience that you put into these posts in educating us all about the limitations and challenges surrounding reducing journey times especially with the N sets hauled by N class locos.   Three aspects you and the gang might find of interest.  The first is your observation about how remarkable given the relatively low tractive effort of N class locos as to how they are able to maintain the existing timetable with a relatively heavy train (450 tonnes).   Your experience mirrors mine in the very early days of RFR when I had opportunities to ride in the cab of several N class hauled services on the Geelong and Bendigo Lines.   The driver commented that his train was definitely accelerating more quickly and subsequently needed a lower throttle setting to maintain track speed and he put this down to reduced rolling resistance with higher quality track and probably a very good wheel/rail interface.   Another point I can confirm made by kuldalai is that the NE standard gauge track standard was set up to enable V/Line locomotive hauled trains to operate at 130km/hr in regard to track standard and signal sighting etc, so that option remains open if a more powerful unit was to be used.   The next point is CountryLink did submit a proposal for the XPT to be cleared for 160km/hr operation between the various interlockings/crossover locations on the basis that the number of intermediate stops (3) would permit them more sustained higher speed running and hence the potential to get some benefit.   (The also proposed a speed restriction regime similar to what is done in NSW to address level crossings).

Going forward I think serious consideration should be given to developing a 2 tiered service when V/Line increases frequency to introducing a faster express with intermediate stops At Seymour, Euroa, Benalla, Wang and Wodonga for say 2 round trips per day and the current stopping pattern with Springhurst removed at 2 round trips per day plus reinstatement of the V/Line-XPT codeshare arrangement for V/Line passengers to access the XPT.

I don't know on the basis of a limited stop-express and a 3,000HP unit running at up to 130km/hr if that brings any meaningful journey time improvement but often perception can be stronger than reality!!!!  Thanks again for your interesting posts
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If they wanted to run higher HP locos, there are a few around that could be used, no?  The DLs were said to be retired in another thread a while ago, and im sure there are other higher HP models out there that could do a job.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Speed is important to us but more important is reliability so we would take reliability over speed on the Albury service. Your postings are much appreciated @woodford

Thinking about speed only hyperthetically what would be the achievable and then maintainable speed with a Vlocity which is EMU not DMU ?  Would it be more efficient ?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Indeed freightgate.  In fact woodfords prime purpose in raising this post was how to make the NE reliable now.   Overwhelmingly people need reliability on public transport and the focus of my input is directed at that.  improving journey times is a nice to have secondary issue.   In this regard I do think based on much greater reliability of the track etc plus the commissioning of Passing Lane 1, combined with the actual in service running times achieved by the N sets as they are now, the section running times and associated running times should be thoroughly reviewed.   At the time the SG services were introduced the timetables were regarded as interim to compensate for track condition and the non-commissioning of Passing Lane 1.    It should be possible to develop a robust timetable based on all of this experience.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
It would be unlikely to see track speeds on the ARTC network within Victoria raised above 130 km/h

Victoria's nanny state rules would require the Installation of TPWS on all trains that whish to travel over 80 km/h, the likes of Aurizon, PN, etc would love this extra cost and red tape.

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