XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  Spirit of Queensland Beginner

I think it should also be up to Queensland and Victoria to come up with replacement proposals too. Whether it be a train based off an international design (such as the Hitachi 800) or a local adaptation, such as a Spirit Of Queensland designed train built to standard gauge or even a longer range Vlocity. But it would be a really stupid idea to simply cancel the interstate services when the XPT is eventually retired

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I don't think they will replace southern highlands, bomaderry and bathurst services with the new rolling stock.  I believe they will just convert the xplorers to these services.
tazzer96

That is also a possibility
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I think it should also be up to Queensland and Victoria to come up with replacement proposals too. Whether it be a train based off an international design (such as the Hitachi 800) or a local adaptation, such as a Spirit Of Queensland designed train built to standard gauge or even a longer range Vlocity. But it would be a really stupid idea to simply cancel the interstate services when the XPT is eventually retired
Spirit of Queensland
If Qld and Victoria put a decent amount of money in then maybe, but considering that neither really has the money then no they shouldn't have a say.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

No the primary target is XPT replacement with rail based vehicle that will be extended to the XPL services. Existing XPL sets then transferred to boost the END services. But as the NSw govt is so flush with money, if the XPT/XPL conversion proceeds without a major drama, they may go for a 2nd supply contract to retire the entire DMU fleet (ex Hunter's) around the mid 2020's and maybe a 3rd round a few years later to kill off the small Hunter fleet.

Imagine, NSW operating with only 1 type of non electric traction fleet for all passenger services.

Maybe by then Adelaide will be in the search for some more DMU's to replace the 3000 class on the Belair line, so the Hunters may come in use there.
RTT_Rules

Actually that isn't the case any more. The push for new rolling stock is coming from the western plains and they have an XPT which is why the replacement was generalised as a whole XPT replacement. However things have changed and politically the push is to replace the XPT and Xplorer on NSW regional services and not to worry about the interstate services. As Tazzer said the Xplorer will probably be moved onto the Goulburn and Bathurst services but in order to reduce costs the new regional fleet may just end up fully replacing these services as well as Canberra. Brisbane and Melbourne will have to make do with the XPT or buses since sleepers will not be a part of the new fleet.
  bowralcommuter Chief Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a Manly Ferry
5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
bowralcommuter
Who's timetable do we follow, Watson374 or that of the NSW govt who never said it would be replaced before 2020?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
Who's timetable do we follow, Watson374 or that of the NSW govt who never said it would be replaced before 2020?
RTT_Rules

I'm calling BS.

The NSW gvt's timetable is to do something after the "next" election.  Or perhaps more accurately, after the next change of government.  IIRC this was an issue flagged in the Parry Report 15 years ago.  

The economic life of the XPT fleet has already well and truly expired, which is part of the reason we are seeing costs continually grow faster than revenues.  And only *now* are we starting to seriously (I use the term loosely) think about an appropriate replacement.

At the current rate, it'll be 2020 before they are even in a position to commission a new fleet (that's if they get really are serious about it), much less decide to fund it.  

I'd suggest we are a cracked power car frame away from near full bustitution.  The longer it's put off, the greater the chances of PAX rail in NSW ending in this way.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
Who's timetable do we follow, Watson374 or that of the NSW govt who never said it would be replaced before 2020?

I'm calling BS.

The NSW gvt's timetable is to do something after the "next" election.  Or perhaps more accurately, after the next change of government.  IIRC this was an issue flagged in the Parry Report 15 years ago.  

The economic life of the XPT fleet has already well and truly expired, which is part of the reason we are seeing costs continually grow faster than revenues.  And only *now* are we starting to seriously (I use the term loosely) think about an appropriate replacement.

At the current rate, it'll be 2020 before they are even in a position to commission a new fleet (that's if they get really are serious about it), much less decide to fund it.  

I'd suggest we are a cracked power car frame away from near full bustitution.  The longer it's put off, the greater the chances of PAX rail in NSW ending in this way.
djf01
The latest thinking is a replacement will depend on private funding ie Privatisation.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
Who's timetable do we follow, Watson374 or that of the NSW govt who never said it would be replaced before 2020?

I'm calling BS.

The NSW gvt's timetable is to do something after the "next" election.  Or perhaps more accurately, after the next change of government.  IIRC this was an issue flagged in the Parry Report 15 years ago.  

The economic life of the XPT fleet has already well and truly expired, which is part of the reason we are seeing costs continually grow faster than revenues.  And only *now* are we starting to seriously (I use the term loosely) think about an appropriate replacement.

At the current rate, it'll be 2020 before they are even in a position to commission a new fleet (that's if they get really are serious about it), much less decide to fund it.  

I'd suggest we are a cracked power car frame away from near full bustitution.  The longer it's put off, the greater the chances of PAX rail in NSW ending in this way.
djf01
Revenue of the XPT is hardly a driving factor when it generates around 30% of its revenue.

I believe they announced a $1B replacement funding a few years back, but the timing was close to 2020. 40 years, the typical target retirement age for rail rollingstock for the XPT is 2022.

I believe others have posted previously the govt was reviewing various models and concepts to be locally assembled.

It would make sense for the govt to announce the order in the next election build up.

A change of govt to ALP reduces the support for rural services, so don't pray on that.

Applies to anything doesn't it? One engine blows up and the world wide A380 fleet was grounded.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
5 years on from the first post by Watson374 and no confirmation of the replacement fleet yet, what a first class public transport our state has Laughing.
Who's timetable do we follow, Watson374 or that of the NSW govt who never said it would be replaced before 2020?

I'm calling BS.

The NSW gvt's timetable is to do something after the "next" election.  Or perhaps more accurately, after the next change of government.  IIRC this was an issue flagged in the Parry Report 15 years ago.  

The economic life of the XPT fleet has already well and truly expired, which is part of the reason we are seeing costs continually grow faster than revenues.  And only *now* are we starting to seriously (I use the term loosely) think about an appropriate replacement.

At the current rate, it'll be 2020 before they are even in a position to commission a new fleet (that's if they get really are serious about it), much less decide to fund it.  

I'd suggest we are a cracked power car frame away from near full bustitution.  The longer it's put off, the greater the chances of PAX rail in NSW ending in this way.
The latest thinking is a replacement will depend on private funding ie Privatisation.
nswtrains
I really doubt that. NSW govt is debt free and expected to remain in a healthy surplus well into the 2020's.

NSW's current limitation on spending is time in the govt to assess what it needs to spend money on and support services to monitor the spending.

Countrylink could be contracted out, but not privatised.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

It would make sense for the govt to announce the order in the next election build up.
RTT_Rules
I don't think this makes sense either. The NSW voting public are sceptical when it comes to election announcements. An announcement needs to be made well before with construction underway in the lead up to avoid voter apathy. The 2019 election for the NSW Government will not be about promises but about what they are actually building and that to complete the projects a Liberal government will need to be re elected.

All they have to do is remind people of labors failings during 16 years of inept government. So announcing the new regional train fleet later this year with immediate construction will show that the libs are serious about regional public transport.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

It would make sense for the govt to announce the order in the next election build up.
I don't think this makes sense either. The NSW voting public are sceptical when it comes to election announcements.
simstrain
From where I'm sitting, the current NSW gvt has really only announced an intention to fund study into the eventual replacement of the XPT (and by inference) the X'plorer fleet.  And this was done in the lead up to the Orange bye-election, in which the announcement went down like a lead balloon.  If anything it just highlighted how long the current gvt has been sitting on it's hands.

If they were serous about making an announcement for the 2019 election, they would be well into their assessment process by now.  But they haven't even started.  So you'll excuse me if I'm just a fraction cynical of any current NSW gvt "announcement".
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The orange bi-election was a good look into the NSW public seeing through a bribe. As for the XPT replacement and as I have said elsewhere it won't be an XPT replacement per see and is looking more like a complete replacement of the nsw regional fleet although as djf has said no real money has gone into it as of yet. Brisbane and Melbourne services are also looking like they are on the chopping block with more frequent Canberra, Albury and north coast services in their place.

I am of the understanding that with the result of that bi-election in Orange that made in Australia may be off the table and a foreign ready to go replacement such as the hitachi made units that are replacing hst's in Britain are back on the agenda. This could mean an announcement in late 2017 or 2018 about construction.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A few comments

- The Orange bi-election was about alot more than a new train and realistically how many people would give a crap anyway

- while there is a generalisation of govts always lie and don't do what they say. With time the average voter with half a brain can work out the difference a govt who does what it says it will do an one that doesn't.  Hence why the former ALP govt was sent packing.

- the one thing the average voter cannot hold against the current NSW goVT is sitting on their hands or failure to deliver on infrastructure especially rail based.

- I tend to support a small order of specialised trains to be delivered as turn key even if imported.  However suburban sets should be local assembled and part fabricated.

- what evidence is there that Brisbane and Melbourne services would be cut?
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

No concrete evidence. But discussions on this topic are happening.
  a6et Minister for Railways

It would make sense for the govt to announce the order in the next election build up.
I don't think this makes sense either. The NSW voting public are sceptical when it comes to election announcements. An announcement needs to be made well before with construction underway in the lead up to avoid voter apathy. The 2019 election for the NSW Government will not be about promises but about what they are actually building and that to complete the projects a Liberal government will need to be re elected.

All they have to do is remind people of labors failings during 16 years of inept government. So announcing the new regional train fleet later this year with immediate construction will show that the libs are serious about regional public transport.
simstrain
I have little doubt that the announcement and contract signing will happen at least 6 months, or around the last budget prior to the next election, that way Glad, if she's still there will be able to boast about delivering upgraded rail services to the people of NSW. It may help them keep government thing is that it would be seen as a political play/ploy to draw out the opposition to put their proposals up.

Its pure politics, and was the same when the XPT was announced, this time round Glad can promote the Sydney Metro area being fast tracked with the new motorways, the NW tram line, along with other Sydney base services, no doubt they will also throw in something with Newcastle as well.

I predict that the contract for the longer distance services will be modern types of XPT's or similar. Its also possible that the current BX bullet service could well be extended further west, perhaps as far as Dubbo to introduce a twice daily service each way and that would be an XPT replacement set.

The XPL's will be displaced of the regional services such as the Southern and Western services, but a possible ring in could be to run the daily each way Grafton service and the main Northern services, with being locked into the current type of train.

I would not be surprised that in the meantime they are going to do a real stock take on the NCL regarding the 3 services a day especially with the Brisbane train as its lost a lot of customers with the changed early timetable, and very inconvenient travel times in and out of Brisbane. Unless that is resolved with access close to the old TT's or an alternative spot, on the SG, such as at old South Brisbane with connection by rail into the City, its likely to be cut back to Casino as well.
  a6et Minister for Railways

A few comments

- The Orange bi-election was about alot more than a new train and realistically how many people would give a crap anyway

- while there is a generalisation of govts always lie and don't do what they say. With time the average voter with half a brain can work out the difference a govt who does what it says it will do an one that doesn't.  Hence why the former ALP govt was sent packing.

- the one thing the average voter cannot hold against the current NSW goVT is sitting on their hands or failure to deliver on infrastructure especially rail based.

- I tend to support a small order of specialised trains to be delivered as turn key even if imported.  However suburban sets should be local assembled and part fabricated.

- what evidence is there that Brisbane and Melbourne services would be cut?
RTT_Rules
Not sure about the patronage levels on the Melbourne services but the NCL especially the Brisbane services have had a huge reduction in patronage, the timetabling into and out of Brisbane is the killer. It is also a detriment for people catching buses to and from Casino off the Brisbane services, as the buses arrive at the gold coast very early, and depart very early also.

We just had a lady friend who comes from the Gold Coast and the buses are terrible timings for her, and mentions the same for the few who now travel.

Our last trip a couple of months back was indicative of the passenger numbers, on the Casino service on the up with a reduced number of cars and it was half empty most of the way, from Taree it got some extra's but not many.  In both directions were had no worries in sleeping on the 2 seats as most were empty and the attendents simply swaped out seats.

Reason I think that the government would be looking very much into the service and unless a better Timing in and out of Brisbane can be gotten, or an alternative station with city connections then there may well be serious questions asked as to the whole NCL services.  IF the government has sense, and that's an oxymoron, they will do surveys and public meetings up there, as a couple of the seats often swing from election to election.
  Carnot Minister for Railways
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Strange thing about the brisbane XPT service is sometimes, they will book out a 6 car train, and will be full for most of the journey.   But some other services could be run with a 2 car xplorer.  (at the time of writing, there is a story about an XPT crash at kyogle, and there is only 33 passengers on board)
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
I'd heard the change in timing for the Brisbane XPT at request of Qld govt has had a very negative impact on numbers. However I'll also state the previous timetabling during DST was only marginally better.

With the stretched fleet, options are very limited and tge 1hr run makes a clash at either end.

It really needs to leave Sydney at 7pm arrive Brisbane at 9am then stable until 7pm and come back.

Or daylight run which would likely be more attractive.
Leave 630 am Syd arive 8pm Brisbane
Leave 630 am Brisbane arrive 8pm Sydney

The Casino service could depart after AM peak and arrive back after AM peak and Grafton depart around lunch and return next day as current.
  craigfitz1 Train Controller

I am starting to think that the replacment date has to be brought forward.

The recent spate of TrainLink cancellations (including today's cancellation yet again of the Moree train, and mechanical issues also with today's Melbourne XPT) will only get worse.

I shudder to think of the money it now costs to keep the current clapped-out show on the road. Surely spare parts must be getting thin on the ground.

Eventually the patch-ups will fail, and they will have to cancel services permanently, unless a new fleet is up and running ASAP.

I am bemused by those who seem to think that the XPT fleet has another decade of life in it. Furthermore, the Xplorer fleet is not that far behind the XPTs in terms of reliability. On some days NSW Trainlink make the much-maligned V/Line Albury services look good, and that's not easy to do.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

The problem with the XPT's isn't reliability.   In fact, for what they do, they are incredibly reliable, and most delays are caused by things outside of their control (hitting tree's on track).  The problem with the xpt's is the fact they should have gotten another set because of the extremely high usage rates, and lack of any time when turning around at the terminus.   So any delay to one service will have a knock on effect to another.  (the evening sydney-melbourne xpt is the main victim).   They do have another 10 years of life in them if we wanted to give it to them, they could spend another 10 years doing the canberra run easily.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I'd heard the change in timing for the Brisbane XPT at request of Qld govt has had a very negative impact on numbers. However I'll also state the previous timetabling during DST was only marginally better.

With the stretched fleet, options are very limited and tge 1hr run makes a clash at either end.

It really needs to leave Sydney at 7pm arrive Brisbane at 9am then stable until 7pm and come back.

Or daylight run which would likely be more attractive.
Leave 630 am Syd arive 8pm Brisbane
Leave 630 am Brisbane arrive 8pm Sydney

The Casino service could depart after AM peak and arrive back after AM peak and Grafton depart around lunch and return next day as current.
RTT_Rules
RTT, I would agree with you on this as the times at both ends would work well, it would mean however and extra set is required but I see no reason why it could not stable in the Transit Centre SG platform, also have it fully re-fueled there which would also save time at Grafton each way..

I would also look at having the Grafton XPT start from there earlier and allow the Brisbane XPT to be more of a through train service rather than having to be almost a mail train stopper at almost every station left on the line, as such the stops for the Brisbane service would only be Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour Kempsy, Wauchope, Taree Maitland BMD Wyong, Gosford. Hornsby, Strathfield, Central that being both ways.  The stations I includ are ones where there are usually most passengers booked too and/or from. Taking out stations in between which often are only slowed down for, or maybe a single passenger hardly need to increase the times on the longest running train in the system, time wise, when they could be adequately met by the daylight and the night trains to/from Casino
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

RTT, I would agree with you on this as the times at both ends would work well, it would mean however and extra set is required but I see no reason why it could not stable in the Transit Centre SG platform, also have it fully re-fueled there which would also save time at Grafton each way..

I would also look at having the Grafton XPT start from there earlier and allow the Brisbane XPT to be more of a through train service rather than having to be almost a mail train stopper at almost every station left on the line, as such the stops for the Brisbane service would only be Casino, Grafton, Coffs Harbour Kempsy, Wauchope, Taree Maitland BMD Wyong, Gosford. Hornsby, Strathfield, Central that being both ways.  The stations I includ are ones where there are usually most passengers booked too and/or from. Taking out stations in between which often are only slowed down for, or maybe a single passenger hardly need to increase the times on the longest running train in the system, time wise, when they could be adequately met by the daylight and the night trains to/from Casino
a6et
You forgot kyogle.   That does still need to be serviced, even if it remains a conditional stop.  While It is currently a conditional stop, I haven't run express through it yet.  Always at least 1 passenger.  (even at 2am).    

Stabling at roma st brings out other issues.   None of these are deal breakers on their own, they do stack up to make it unlikely.  
1.   NSW trainlink staff have to get paid to sit in brisbane.   Or you get rid of the cleaners and have OBS do all that work in the hours they have to spare.  
2.  Roma St doesn't have any refueling capacity.   All of that is done in mayne, White Island or Acacia ridge.  
3. The normal SG platform backs onto the busway platform, so you have have to send some security to make sure kids don't get up to mischief.
4.  The SG platform gets regular use in the morning peak.  So QR would have to change some of their operational timetabling.   (you would still be able to terminate the 2 trains that usually use it, but they couldn't continue their journey south or west)
5.   The SG platform does get use in times of disruption.  

6.   Having special SG trains such as tours, and the AK cars would be really annoying for controllers.

If they were going to keep a set in brisbane for some time, I think they would built a SG track at somewhere like clapham so they refuel there, or send it all the way to acacia ridge to stable.

EDIT:  The grafton train already starts pretty early.  Do you really want to make it start earlier
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The Brisbane train will most likely just be turned into another Casino (maybe an extension to Lismore) service with bustitution to Brisbane. This solves the issue of Roma Street and allows 3 evenly spaced timetables.

The New train will be of a DMU design to allow Armidale/Moree, Dubbo/Parkes and Albury/Griffith services. It will be nothing at all like the QR tilt train.

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