VLocity trains the ‘glimmer of hope’ for rail North East rail line

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 11 Oct 2017 13:19
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
MejHammers, I appreciate that Tube lines can run such tight headways between trains because they are electrified AND because they run at relatively modest speeds. Thus the "moving blocks" of empty track between trains can be fairly short.

Put simply, if two trains are running in the same direction on the same line, they constantly report their position by GPS and trackside beacons to a central computer which determines the distance there should be between them based on things like speed and stopping distances. Thus a train running at 160 kmh has to have a bigger block in front of it than a train moving at 40 kmh as it takes a lot longer to brake.

Since a train travelling at 160 kmh can smoothly brake to a stop in well under 5 minutes, in theory, a system could be implemented for DMUs on the Geelong line to operate at such close headways. Of course there isn't that sort of demand and there's no way that  trains arriving at a Vline terminus could be turned around that quickly, But it is possible to run fast DMUs that close together using moving block signalling.

Sponsored advertisement

  N463 Locomotive Driver

It would be a very costly exercise to convert literally hundreds of VLocity cars to overhead traction.
The Vinelander

As we have/are purchasing a large fleet of DMU's we are committed to diesel traction for the remaining life of the V/Locities. If we are ever to electrify the regional lines, then the appropriate time to do so would be when the current V/Locity fleet becomes life expired.


Bogong there is no way that a network using Diesel Multiple units can run at 80 second headways, no matter what signalling is being used. It would be touch and go at every 5 minutes. That is why virtually all metro and high capacity commuter networks run on electric traction.
mejhammers1
No part of the V/Line network (aside from the approach to Spencer St) is ever going to run at 5 minute headways, let alone 80 seconds. 20 minutes would be the best you could hope for (and then only for Geelong). If the Melton or Wyndem Vale lines ever need more than that, then they will get electrified and folded into the metropolitan network.


The geelong, bendigo and ballarat services should really have an electric intercity version of the vlocity. The overhead would easily allow more frequent services to these cities.
simstrain
The single track on the  Bendigo and Ballarat lines is a far bigger bottleneck than the lack of electric traction. The superior acceleration of electrics isn't  going to be enable you to run any more trains when they would just end up stuck in loops waiting for the oncoming train ahead to clear the single track section.
If money were to be spent on these lines, then duplication would be the first thing needed.


...and back onto the topic V/Locities for the North East....



Velocitys are already a fairly old design and they are based on even older models.
Bogong
Why change something that's working so well to something else, entirely different that may not
The Vinelander
When the time comes to purchase new rolling stock, we should consider what else is available, but that doesn't mean we should go with something different just because it is newer. An old design isn't necessarily a bad one, especially if it does the job well. You would have to consider what advantages the newer designs offer, and if they were worth it or not...


There is no reason why the new vlocity couldn't just have an updated drivers cabin that is elongated like the br800 to accommodate better front on crash protection.
simstrain
One of the major obstacles to using DMU's on long distance services in Victoria is the crash worthiness of the cabs, if this one could be solved, then the use of DMU's as opposed to Loco hauled services starts to become feasible...


Rode to Bendigo earlier this week return for a meeting and thoughts are the velocity units are far too noisy for my liking. The train does a lot of speeding up and slowing down and actually the seats were not that comfortable in the end. I would not consider velocity for longer journeys other than 2 hours maximum.
MetroFemme
I agree here, however I don't thing the powers that be care about the passengers enough to worry about it. Double glazed windows, and better insulation would go a long way towards reducing the noise (but not the vibration, which is also annoying in a V/Locity).

Of course, a reinforced, crash worthy front end and the extra insulation are all adding weight, which would have an impact on the performance of the train. It would be interesting to see if the engineers at Bombardier could manage to solve these issues...

The seats, (and curtains, buffet, "van" space, and First class) all relate to the internal fit out of the train, rather than the technical aspects of the design. V/Line could easily specify an interior with the appropriate facilities for a long distance service when ordering a train


N463
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I agree here, however I don't thing the powers that be care about the passengers enough to worry about it. Double glazed windows, and better insulation would go a long way towards reducing the noise (but not the vibration, which is also annoying in a V/Locity).

N463
N463

There we go with the Good Vibrations again.
With apologies to the Beach Boys...Smile

Amazing isn't it...that I travel hundreds of Km every week in VLocity's but am yet to experience these Vibrations.

Better insulation isn't required however if one sits next to the return air in the centre of the car it's a bit noisy...but I prefer the return air white noise because it drowns out nearby pax speak. If the centre of the car is noisy...simple...MOVE.

Some of the new seats are firmer than others but NONE are as hard as spending 2 hours cooped with numbum on a flight to Brisbane.

The windows are double glazed however the gap between the panes is very narrow. I always take an aisle seat due to the cold that comes off the glass in the dead of Winter.

Mike.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Woodford, the B52 might have more availability then the new hi tech bombers but it can't do first strike stealth missions that the B1B or B2 can do. The B52 can only be used these days once total air superiority is achieved.
simstrain

That is correct, the US armed forces though is working on the principle that in the world today there is very few groups capable of a building AND running an in depth defence warning system that requires some kind of stealth technology to overcome so in most cases in problem areas today something like an upgraded B52 was VERY exceptable. The performance of the B52's in these kind of missions has been very good.

The point is if something can be upgraded for a particular task far cheaper than one can build a new item, why not go down that path and save the funds.

woodford
  MetroFemme Chief Train Controller

Speaking to an engineering guy at work yesterday we talked about electrification and he advised this was recommended for the Geelong line at RRL design and knocked back without valid reason. He is of the view the PTV have not to the faintest clue about what is really required get capacity on the Geelong and Ballarat lines and even metro had stated electrification should have been completed for Geelong and stony point.

We both agreed by the end of the discussion the works could be easily achieved and over 30 years would be some of the best investment the state could make. Duplicating track and overhead for Ballarat and Colac was discussed.

Continue to run the velocities in DMU for now and begin the project ordering a new style of EMU with longer distance configuration or explore why NSW is doing as they seem to have more of a clue.

Back on the northeast line issues I hope they do not choose a cheap and cheerful velocity train as they are in my view just that.
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

What is the concern about spending 2 hours on a V'Locity? Most trips, even on long-distance trains, will be within this "constraint". If The Vinelander can put up with them for an hour each way daily (and he is hardly the only passenger using the trains for that or more distance), then surely others can as well. IS anybody here claiming that these seats are less comfortable than a bus, plane, or taxi?

Crash-worthiness concerns for drivers cab are an issue, however by the time they have boom gates at all level crossings the risk identified has been managed. The consequences of course are the same, however the likelihood has been sufficiently reduced to allow that concern to be no longer a concern. Not that I will necessarily appreciate that my imminent death as I round a curve and sight a truck stalled on a crossing was deemed to be an acceptable risk, and I assume my next of kin will take matters further! Not-withstanding that, the concern of crash-worthiness would be fixed by booms, and then really everyone gets a safer trip. Including road users.

As to being an old design platform; don't forget that locos use an even older design platform. Those old EMD FT units in the USA are remarkably similar to the latest designs, despite their tweaks. Going back a generation, you have the same concept of an engine with a fixed coupling at one end to a compressor, and a generator at the other end; the system controlled through a Woodward Governor. Driver controls based around 8 power notches, each increasing engine speed proportionally. Some sort of traction motor on each axle. All controls based around a 27-pin jumper cable. If the locos can use that sort of good design for 80 years, why cannot V'Locity trains?
  woodford Chief Commissioner

While I do not particuarly like the VLocity seats, I also do not find them really uncomfortable.I also have no issues with engine noise and vibration. In fact when comparing the whole ride experience (seating, car movement, vibration and noise), the VLocity's are way superior to VLines BN's, those are truly horrible.

woodford
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

If you guys want to know what uncomfortable is then you should try the seats in our endeavours and Oscars in NSW. If you want to know what back pain is like just sit in one of those seats for 15 minutes.

The seats in the vlocity are not like the loungeroom couches that you get on your loco hauled stuff but they are most definitely not uncomfortable for intercity routes. They are entirely inappropriate for long distance but for intercity work they are fine. Fixing the wobbly track in Victoria might help raise your comfort levels.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
An article worthy of reading https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/production-of-nextgeneration-acela-express-fleet-underway should we be looking at this type of car set for long term journeys and even something like Ballarat which is bring discussed?
  davesvline Chief Commissioner

Location: 1983-1998
Maybe we need some boffin to get designed a test coupler (if not already around) and hook an N class loco with a test weight loaded 6 car Vlocity set, and take it for a spin up the damn track for performance??

Can intermediate Vlo cars be used as the new carriage type? We're already building them here, so can't we just do the test and see the results??

Must be too hard Rolling Eyes Enough with excuses, NIKE - just do it!! Surely is resolves some level crossing issues with the bulldozer up front??

Regards
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

An article worthy of reading https://www.railpage.com.au/news/s/production-of-nextgeneration-acela-express-fleet-underway should we be looking at this type of car set for long term journeys and even something like Ballarat which is bring discussed?
x31

If there was overhead to ballarat then sure.
  cabidass Chief Train Controller

Let me try another perspective to explain the point I was making. Starting with a 1977 Holden with a live axle and cast iron ladder chassis....
Bogong


Oh, Myyyyyy
What did I just read???

Analogies. Analogies. *Reminisces about the NBN discussions in 2011...


As others have stated, Cars/TVs/Paddle-Pops all make terrible analogies. Rail is infrastructure. Ergo, it has a much longer shelf life.

Secondly, if we were going to compare Boeing 747s to trains, then the early 747s in Vlocity form, would be the Xplorer and Endeavor.. And that is if we were arguing 30 year design time.

But as others have stated, while there are indeed some similarities across the three variants of DMUs, overall the train is brand new. The current ones have been upgraded within. And the old ones are being improved with better seating.

The long-haul ones will be upgraded again.

I had issue with the old seats as well, but the new angle makes all the difference.

As for the vibration, I have experienced it. But it is subtle. I'd love the carriages to be a tad quieter. But overall it's a healthy all-rounder. A good compromise for a unique part of the world with a low population base to (pay for and) service the rolling stock and infrastructure. And the vibration is nothing compared to an N class with a wonky compressor or bogie!

If people (especially designers) insist on comparing to the like of TVs, remember you could buy TVs in wooden boxes from the 1940s, all the way through to the 1980s... that's 40 years. And the channel dial lasted for most of that time until buttons came out on the flash expensive models around the same time.

So if the basic design of a TV can last for 40 years, having the basic design and layout of a DMU last for upto 80 years, I don't really see much of a problem.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Speaking to an engineering guy at work yesterday we talked about electrification and he advised this was recommended for the Geelong line at RRL design and knocked back without valid reason. He is of the view the PTV have not to the faintest clue about what is really required get capacity on the Geelong and Ballarat lines and even metro had stated electrification should have been completed for Geelong and stony point.

We both agreed by the end of the discussion the works could be easily achieved and over 30 years would be some of the best investment the state could make. Duplicating track and overhead for Ballarat and Colac was discussed.

Continue to run the velocities in DMU for now and begin the project ordering a new style of EMU with longer distance configuration or explore why NSW is doing as they seem to have more of a clue.

Back on the northeast line issues I hope they do not choose a cheap and cheerful velocity train as they are in my view just that.
MetroFemme
Geelong electrification knocked back repeatedly because the business case for it still does not stack up .
  John.Z Chief Train Controller

Speaking to an engineering guy at work yesterday we talked about electrification and he advised this was recommended for the Geelong line at RRL design and knocked back without valid reason. He is of the view the PTV have not to the faintest clue about what is really required get capacity on the Geelong and Ballarat lines and even metro had stated electrification should have been completed for Geelong and stony point.

We both agreed by the end of the discussion the works could be easily achieved and over 30 years would be some of the best investment the state could make. Duplicating track and overhead for Ballarat and Colac was discussed.

Continue to run the velocities in DMU for now and begin the project ordering a new style of EMU with longer distance configuration or explore why NSW is doing as they seem to have more of a clue.

Back on the northeast line issues I hope they do not choose a cheap and cheerful velocity train as they are in my view just that.
Geelong electrification knocked back repeatedly because the business case for it still does not stack up .
kuldalai
Running a service at least every 20mins on Weekdays would surely be close to the tipping point where electric becomes cheaper than diesel? Obviously the activation cost (Infrastructure and Rollingstock replacement) keeps it on the diesel side for now.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
After my visit to Albury yesterday, there's no way VLocity's will be operating on the NE till the track is finally, nearly 10 years after re-opening... to use ARTC's terminology...'fit for purpose'.
Because at present if ARTC claims the NE is fit for purpose, they are telling porky's and may well find themselves liable for a big VLocity repair bill Exclamation

Mike.

PS...let's go back to where this fiasco all started.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/500-million-rail-link-upgrade-for-victorias-northeast-20080530-2jqo.html

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: bevans, davesvline, james.au

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.