Is it time to stop complaining about Albury services?

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Why are people making anecdotal claims on punctuality and reliability?

The figures are all listed on Vline's website and in annual reports.
ZH836301

Because if a bus replaces a train the figures are misleading.

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  woodford Chief Commissioner

Why are people making anecdotal claims on punctuality and reliability?

The figures are all listed on Vline's website and in annual reports.
ZH836301
A couple of points................

Figures give no indication of how much a pain in the neck it is for a lot of people.

The people of NE Vic have had a poor or non existent train service now for well over 10 years, trains either cancelled or seriously late (more than 30 minutes) and we have YET to have ANYTHING at all done about getting a RELIABLE service. So far its all talk and no action, and not even much talk.

Also look at the current solution cutting the trains down to 4 cars, a good percentage of the services now are near full, what's it going to be like with 95 fewer seats. They (the government) is STILL penny pinching, they could not careless! Sad.

woodford
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
The 5 car plus powervan configuration and the seating capacity that was arrived at was undertaken by extensive review of V/Line patronage statistics plus growth forecasts in population etc for the entire corridor.   Woodford is absolutely correct that the new consists will not have sufficient capacity.   Indeed it is very likely that with the refurbishment of the sets and greater attention to maintenance and operations as promised are delivered there will be a flood of passengers who walked away from the service that will return, and when they return they'll get chucked on a bus and away we'll go again.   Keep the sets as they are.   Soirce a spare powervan, and 1 or 2 other cars.   Then when you have a serious defect, use the standby set that you ensure is always full serviced and then be prepared to replace individual cars if required on the the defective set when you put it in the maintenance shed.   Oh that's right we wastefully gauged converted a P class for the pilot shunter instead of getting a Y class.   The SG P class has been uitilzed on only rare occasions.  It should be on Broad gauge now in push pull service releasing pressure on other N classes!!!
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Figures give no indication of how much a pain in the neck it is for a lot of people. blahblahblah
woodford
There is no need to speculate on reliability or punctuality - the figures are readily available.

(I know, research is a dirty word here.)


Also look at the current solution cutting the trains down to 4 cars, a good percentage of the services now are near full, what's it going to be like with 95 fewer seats. They (the government) is STILL penny pinching, they could not careless! https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif.
woodford

Why shouldn't they penny pinch, the service already requires massive taxpayer subsidies.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Why shouldn't they penny pinch, the service already requires massive taxpayer subsidies.
"ZH836301"
That's why it's called Public Transport - governments all over the world provide it and pay for it. Recovery of costs varies all over the place.
  emmastreet Train Controller

Location: Goulburn Valley
Today's morning Down and the lunchtime Up replaced by buses. Train fault.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

  Keep the sets as they are.   Source a spare powervan, and 1 or 2 other cars.   Then when you have a serious defect, use the standby set that you ensure is always full serviced and then be prepared.
Trainplanner
I don't know if they are still there but Lower Hutt Workshops of New Zealand Railways had a heap of British Mark 2 cars that they were in the process of converting to narrow gauge commuter cars.  I believe they had many more than they needed.  the conversion jobs they did with the cars were superb.

As a quick fix, why not buy a few cars from them  and get NZ to refurb them for long distance running.  They would easily comply with loading gauge and, if not already scrapped, there should be ample high speed standard gauge bogies to come with them.

The only problem I would forsee is that they would show up the long distance cars that run services to the rest of the state.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
  Keep the sets as they are.   Source a spare powervan, and 1 or 2 other cars.   Then when you have a serious defect, use the standby set that you ensure is always full serviced and then be prepared.
I don't know if they are still there but Lower Hutt Workshops of New Zealand Railways had a heap of British Mark 2 cars that they were in the process of converting to narrow gauge commuter cars.  I believe they had many more than they needed.  the conversion jobs they did with the cars were superb.

As a quick fix, why not buy a few cars from them  and get NZ to refurb them for long distance running.  They would easily comply with loading gauge and, if not already scrapped, there should be ample high speed standard gauge bogies to come with them.

The only problem I would forsee is that they would show up the long distance cars that run services to the rest of the state.
DalyWaters
An immediate opportunity to get SG bogies for Z cars even allowing for some mods being necessary ????
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
An immediate opportunity to get SG bogies for Z cars even allowing for some mods being necessary ????
YM-Mundrabilla.


Z cars will be back in service in the second half of this year.

Mike.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
I too think going to 4 cars will detract the service and cause more angst amongst us all  from all reports it mis already overloaded and as the forums up here have heard people have walked away from the service.

I don't understand the rationale of the 4 cars other than to try and force people onto a 4 daily return service.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Are the 4 sets going to be used to offer more frequency?
  vinelander Junior Train Controller

I've mentioned it before...Is there now an opportunity for a set of sitting cars from GSR to be "parked" in Melbourne ready for the infernal breakdowns of rolling stock? I would imagine that GSR would appreciate the revenue.
Am I being too simplistic?
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Certainly not in the first instance.   I think they would want to settle the service down with the change and the cars are going to all be refurbished etc.   With the commitment to have all the Z cars back in service noting they are some 2 years overdue or close to that, the opportunity should be being taken to see if two cars can be released to make up the spares plus even hiring a power van from GSR until a third power van is made up.   This then has the 3 x 6 car sets running plus the three spares to cover serious defects.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Why have the z cara taken so long to return them to service ? Maybe the minister made the eifht call to sack the CEO of Vline when thinking about what has not been resolved and what has allowed to transpire.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
Why have the z cara taken so long to return them to service ? Maybe the minister made the eifht call to sack the CEO of Vline when thinking about what has not been resolved and what has allowed to transpire.
freightgate
I mentioned this in another thread, but a while back I had the opportunity to visit Bombardier and asked them about the Z carriages. The situation was that a number of cars required bogie replacement. There was no available drop-in replacement and so they had two options: either use a different bogie and go through a lot of testing to ensure it was suitable, or get new bogies (to suit the original design) made from scratch. They went with the latter, except that they found the drawings were incomplete and had to get a new set made up from the surviving bogies. New bogies were then manufactured to these new drawings. The few cars with Commonwealth bogies (courtesy of WCR) will be have the bogies replaced with these new ones as well so that the entire Z car fleet is standardised. Obviously all this has taken some time and they said the cars should be back in service by the end of the year.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
I notice that someone disagrees with TheMeddlingMonk. I wonder if that person would be kind enough to tell us just what he disagrees with. Is that person insinuating that TheMeddlingMonk is telling porkies?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Over the years I have read plenty on these pages about the unreliability of Albury passenger services since the line was converted to standard gauge. I have no doubt that the concerns are real for some people and I am not questioning their expertise. I have learnt that issues still exist as far as track quality and train hardware are concerned, coupled with government disinterest to improve the situation.
DirtyBallast
I wonder, was it a Railpager who was rudely cutoff by 774s Jan Faine while trying to raise the issue of NE Rail Services this morning?!?!

BG
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I notice that someone disagrees with TheMeddlingMonk. I wonder if that person would be kind enough to tell us just what he disagrees with. Is that person insinuating that TheMeddlingMonk is telling porkies?
Valvegear
It wasn't me!

In fact, it seems to me that what TheMeddlingMonk says is, sadly, true in that it has taken the best part of three years to replace the bogies under the Z cars with what is 50+ years old technology.

Could not something better have been obtained (even allowing for some inconvenience)? Just asking!

Given that these cars have been out of traffic for years, has the opportunity been taken to completely refurbish and upgrade their interiors whilst the cars were inactive awaiting bogies or will this start when they are available to return to traffic incurring further delay?
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
In fact, it seems to me that what TheMeddlingMonk says is, sadly, true in that it has taken the best part of three years to replace the bogies under the Z cars with what is 50+ years old technology.

Could not something better have been obtained (even allowing for some inconvenience)? Just asking!

Given that these cars have been out of traffic for years, has the opportunity been taken to completely refurbish and upgrade their interiors whilst the cars were inactive awaiting bogies or will this start when they are available to return to traffic incurring further delay?
YM-Mundrabilla
Unfortunately I can't really answer your questions. The focus of the conversation I had was on the bogies, so I don't know if the interiors have already been refurbished or not.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In fact, it seems to me that what TheMeddlingMonk says is, sadly, true in that it has taken the best part of three years to replace the bogies under the Z cars with what is 50+ years old technology.

Could not something better have been obtained (even allowing for some inconvenience)? Just asking!

Given that these cars have been out of traffic for years, has the opportunity been taken to completely refurbish and upgrade their interiors whilst the cars were inactive awaiting bogies or will this start when they are available to return to traffic incurring further delay?
Unfortunately I can't really answer your questions. The focus of the conversation I had was on the bogies, so I don't know if the interiors have already been refurbished or not.
TheMeddlingMonk
Thanks TMM.
Be surprised if the interiors have been touched. That's not the way Vline does things ??
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I notice that someone disagrees with TheMeddlingMonk. I wonder if that person would be kind enough to tell us just what he disagrees with. Is that person insinuating that TheMeddlingMonk is telling porkies?
It wasn't me!

In fact, it seems to me that what TheMeddlingMonk says is, sadly, true in that it has taken the best part of three years to replace the bogies under the Z cars with what is 50+ years old technology.

Could not something better have been obtained (even allowing for some inconvenience)? Just asking!

Given that these cars have been out of traffic for years, has the opportunity been taken to completely refurbish and upgrade their interiors whilst the cars were inactive awaiting bogies or will this start when they are available to return to traffic incurring further delay?
YM-Mundrabilla

IMO, due to the number of Z cars in question, it would have taken a specific budget allocation to enable the restoration of the cars.

This specific budget allocation was announced in this years state budget.

Mike.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
There were several options open to V/Line at the time (roundly 3 years ago) for manufacture of new bogies for the Z cars.   Twoof thos options are mentioned above but the third option which could have been done speedily and is a proven option involved engaging a New Zealand foundry company THAT SPECIALIZES IN CASTING BOGIE FRAMES using an existing sample bogie.   This company very successfully cast bogies frames for several locomotives in Victoria based on an existing loco bogie being supplied to them.   In the case the option open to V/Line was to source a Commonwealth bogie from under an ex WCR car from which the company would have quoted both a price and timeframe for delivery.    V/Line chose not to go that way.   Had it done so my understanding is the new bogies would have commenced coming on line within 6 to 7 months.   The cars would have been in service 2 years ago.

V/Line hates having to deal with the classic loco fleet and tries to find every opportunity it can to have in its mind a perfect world of 3 car V'Locity sets.  Go read the various threads of how much it has cost in both capital and operating costs, lack of flexibility and so on.   The V'Locity is a fine product but it is not a 1 size fits all solution.   It refuses to embrace the 4th non-powered intermediate car option as a means to increasing capacity at much lower capital cost and ongoing fuel and maintenance costs.   I'm hoping it will be dragged kicking and screaming into reality that around 50 per cent of the V'Locity fleet should be so equipped.

In the meantime the classic fleet of loco hauled cars is with them and it is there role and responsibility to manage them and maintain them to a high standard.   VIA Rail has a huge fleet of 61 year old loco hauled cars running The Canadian and Intercity Corridor services at up to 90 mph.   Its 125 mph LRC cars are now 30 years old or close to it as well.   The 61 year old cars are maintained in immaculate condition.   I recently undertook a 13000 km 6 week rail tour across Canada, NOT 1 Car or loco defect!!!!

GSR are running 42 car Ghan consists with cars aged between 37 and 42 years old.

Yes we want nice new InterCity N class replacement sets and the funding is now committed to start that process but it is no excuse for not keeping the current fleet in tip top condition until they arrive.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
This does not surprise me at all hence why V/Line must have a large and painful broom sent through the management.  How many Z Cars are out of service requiring new bogies?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Why do I wonder that having spent all the time and money and worn the pain, delay and cancellations for 2+ years that a pile of money will be spent on the Z cars for bogies and upgrade only to find that the extra Vlocitys and the Vline mindset will see the Z cars do virtually nothing after their upgrade having been replaced by Vlocitys of one sort or another or a shortage of N class locos fit to haul them.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Some thoughts on a 4 car all powered Vlocity to a 4 car with one unpowerd car.............

4car Vlocity all powered

Time to 160kph 200 sec aprox, availible TE at 160kph 29kN


4car Vlocity, 3 powered, a single trailler

Time to 160kph 300secs aprox , availible TE at 160kph 16kN


A 4 car VLocity all power has enough TE in reserve to maintain 160kph on a 1 in 150 grade
With an unpowered trailer this decreases to 160kph on around a 1 in 280 grade.
Given the grade profiles on the Seymour, Bendigo and Ballarat lines this lack of availible TE in top gear will LIKELY for most of the distance prevent the Vlocity's transmision from reaching  3 rd gear, effectvely limiting them to 130kph.

These are figures from my own mathematical rail simulator, I would be happy to be proved wrong but I am reasonably confident the figures are reasonable.

Note: its likely a 130kph limit will not be as much of a tragedy is mots people will think it is.

woodford

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