Prepare for XPT 2.0 + slight drop in regional patronage?

 
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
Hi,

Before I get on to my main question, just want to say, get ready for XPT 2.0! As stated in this article by the Daily Liberal:

"After going to the market in September, on Thursday it announced the three successful applicants are Regional Futures, led by Downer, Bombardier Consortium and Momentum Trains, led by CAF."

Those companies are known for a couple of good trains. Bombardier? They made the VLocity, of course! Fun fact - that was based off the Xplorer, which the new trains will take over from!

As for Downer? TILT TRAINS!! The diesel ones, to be exact. They also have, of course, made Sydney's metropolitan Waratahs. Therefore:

+
+
= New trains for NSW?

Well, it's been a good 33 years of XPTs riding the rails! More to come, too.

Also, you can see based on statistics that not only does NSW TrainLink regional train patronage arguably look somewhat low, it actually.... decreased, despite the service, reliability and travel times (if anything) improving slightly since the rebranding to NSW TrainLink. This wasn't between 2015 and 2016, where it remained the same, but between 2014 and 2015.

I know that track conditions commonly keep the XPT running at not-extremely-terribly-terrible but still below-potential average speeds of ~80-90 km/h, when they could be (and to an extent are) hitting 160 or more. But what could possibly make train patronage decrease?

Thanks

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Aside from the main south and vic north east the main problem is track alignment and not track quality. The speeds are low because the track tends to loop around instead of going to places in a direct line.

The answer is roads. Every year the major highways get new upgrades making the car journey much easier. Until new alignments are built then rail will always struggle to compete.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Aside from the main south and vic north east the main problem is track alignment and not track quality. The speeds are low because the track tends to loop around instead of going to places in a direct line.

The answer is roads. Every year the major highways get new upgrades making the car journey much easier. Until new alignments are built then rail will always struggle to compete.
simstrain
I would say the biggest decrease of XPT passengers would be found on the Brisbane services in both directions.  Also the Casino train with connections to the GC is down on numbers, both trains go down by at least one carriage outside of School Holidays as well.

In the same way, these trains also are routinely delayed on the up direction at Woodville Jct as it waits for Interurbans to go out in front of it from BMD, wonderfull having an all stations to Morriset - Wyong blocking the XPT.  How the new NCLE line TT's will affect things is another question as new trains that Stopp all stations to Gosford have been introduced with a limited stops following at various intervals behind the all stations.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

That Brisbane and casino patronage might be offset with the new trains and it might even see more Brisbane services with north coast services splitting at casino for a small 2-3 car train into roma street.

The Dubbo service like the Armidale/Moree service could be split at Orange to also service Parkes.

1 or 2 new services to Albury each day and a daily service to Griffith that could split at Junee.
  Radioman Train Controller

Hello All,

in this instance the Victorian V/Line service and line upgrades over the last 10 years has demonstrated what a good result line upgrades and new trains can achieve.

About 7 years ago i rode on the then new Virgin XrossCountry from Bristol TM to Derby, and whilst nice the seating was cramped, no better than a suburban bus, and they were hard. In contrast the V/Line Vlocity sets have good leg room, comfy seats and the train travels quickly, so from that perspective a modernized Vlocity for NSW will be embraced,

Best wishes and regards,

Radioman
  a6et Minister for Railways

That Brisbane and casino patronage might be offset with the new trains and it might even see more Brisbane services with north coast services splitting at casino for a small 2-3 car train into roma street.

The Dubbo service like the Armidale/Moree service could be split at Orange to also service Parkes.

1 or 2 new services to Albury each day and a daily service to Griffith that could split at Junee.
simstrain
Thing is that if some form of sanity happens and the new bridge crossing across the river eventuates, the new service could still become better utilised should the arrival and departure times be put back close to the old ones rather than the existing TT.  The people travelling on the Brisbane train has substantially dropped in both directions owing to the inconvenient timing to/from Brisbane.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Hello All,

in this instance the Victorian V/Line service and line upgrades over the last 10 years has demonstrated what a good result line upgrades and new trains can achieve.

About 7 years ago i rode on the then new Virgin XrossCountry from Bristol TM to Derby, and whilst nice the seating was cramped, no better than a suburban bus, and they were hard. In contrast the V/Line Vlocity sets have good leg room, comfy seats and the train travels quickly, so from that perspective a modernized Vlocity for NSW will be embraced,

Best wishes and regards,

Radioman
Radioman

The v/line service and upgrades are in no way comparable to what is happening in NSW. The vlocity is a mostly intercity train and it's equivalent in NSW would be an electric v set and not an xplorer or XPT. Most of the track in NSW (even the bad bits) are superior to anything south of the border when it comes to track quality.

A modernised xplorer will only be the case if the bombardier consortium wins the contract. The vlocity seats while suitable for 1 hour geelong services are in no way comfortable enough for 11 hour journeys between state capitals or to broken hill.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Thing is that if some form of sanity happens and the new bridge crossing across the river eventuates, the new service could still become better utilised should the arrival and departure times be put back close to the old ones rather than the existing TT.  The people travelling on the Brisbane train has substantially dropped in both directions owing to the inconvenient timing to/from Brisbane.
a6et

I agree and a smaller 2-3 car dmu would be much easier to slip into gaps on the QLD network into roma street then a 5-7 car xpt. Cross river rail would also help in removing gold coast traffic from the path the XPT currently takes as well.

I have not heard about a new bridge crossing. Is there any info on it?
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Thing is that if some form of sanity happens and the new bridge crossing across the river eventuates, the new service could still become better utilised should the arrival and departure times be put back close to the old ones rather than the existing TT.  The people travelling on the Brisbane train has substantially dropped in both directions owing to the inconvenient timing to/from Brisbane.

I agree and a smaller 2-3 car dmu would be much easier to slip into gaps on the QLD network into roma street then a 5-7 car xpt. Cross river rail would also help in removing gold coast traffic from the path the XPT currently takes as well.

I have not heard about a new river crossing. Is there any info on it?
simstrain
The CRR for Brisbane is a tunnel and at least 5 years away from when ever it is approved to proceed, it currently has not been approved. Its been in Qld govt stagnation for over 8 years due to Qld being basically broke, the closet it came was actually under Newman, but he was voted out and Anna P and the rest of the unexpected govt that replaced Newman had no idea how to fund it and stick to their election promise.  However, time has moved on and I expect Anna P to announce the CRR in the next 18mths.

there is no way a 2 car DMU will be running to Brisbane, but even if 3 or 4 cars the time frame required for the full track occupation for safe working purposes is bugger all considering the issue is the train runs wrong way against peak for 12km!

We should not be waiting for the CRR to save the Brisbane XPT as the previous timetable was hardly inspiring either. The only common sense approach for the Brisbane XPT replacement is a long layover and keep the train on a mostly daylight timetable. Achieve this and your 2-3 car train will quickly expand to 6-7 cars. Long layovers are used at most NSW Country-link termini, so why not Brisbane?

Re: use of V/locity, the seating quality on the V/locity is not a road block for using the V/locity on NSW Trains. Its about what platform suits NSW best, seats are not even considered in the early stage of the tender and construction, as we all saw in Qld when the CTT's were ordered without seats but Newman govt made a song and dance about it and said "we ordered the seats".
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The CRR has been approved and is under construction RTT. It just doesn't have any federal funds.

https://www.crossriverrail.qld.gov.au/early-works/
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Why not brisbane is because roma street is not a terminal station and NSW trainlink can't afford to have the XPT stay in Brisbane for any sort of time.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Thing is that if some form of sanity happens and the new bridge crossing across the river eventuates, the new service could still become better utilised should the arrival and departure times be put back close to the old ones rather than the existing TT.  The people travelling on the Brisbane train has substantially dropped in both directions owing to the inconvenient timing to/from Brisbane.

I agree and a smaller 2-3 car dmu would be much easier to slip into gaps on the QLD network into roma street then a 5-7 car xpt. Cross river rail would also help in removing gold coast traffic from the path the XPT currently takes as well.

I have not heard about a new river crossing. Is there any info on it?
The CRR for Brisbane is a tunnel and at least 5 years away from when ever it is approved to proceed, it currently has not been approved. Its been in Qld govt stagnation for over 8 years due to Qld being basically broke, the closet it came was actually under Newman, but he was voted out and Anna P and the rest of the unexpected govt that replaced Newman had no idea how to fund it and stick to their election promise.  However, time has moved on and I expect Anna P to announce the CRR in the next 18mths.

there is no way a 2 car DMU will be running to Brisbane, but even if 3 or 4 cars the time frame required for the full track occupation for safe working purposes is bugger all considering the issue is the train runs wrong way against peak for 12km!

We should not be waiting for the CRR to save the Brisbane XPT as the previous timetable was hardly inspiring either. The only common sense approach for the Brisbane XPT replacement is a long layover and keep the train on a mostly daylight timetable. Achieve this and your 2-3 car train will quickly expand to 6-7 cars. Long layovers are used at most NSW Country-link termini, so why not Brisbane?

Re: use of V/locity, the seating quality on the V/locity is not a road block for using the V/locity on NSW Trains. Its about what platform suits NSW best, seats are not even considered in the early stage of the tender and construction, as we all saw in Qld when the CTT's were ordered without seats but Newman govt made a song and dance about it and said "we ordered the seats".
RTT_Rules
As Sims has said the CRR is underway, if that project takes the suburban traffic that is causing the issue now, then no reason why the current bridge and route should be removed, therefore allowing a better path into Brisbane.

I do not disagree with you on the other bits you have said and we have both put this sort of proposal up in the past. Thing is for a lay over service it means that NSW would be the one that provides the coin for this to happen, as far as the train is concerned.  QLD so it seems is not too interested in having interstate connections even if shown it has a potential for tourism or the like. The ideal aspect would be to once again have a decent connecting service for the North QLD trains as it used to have with the old train to Cairns, on other days a connection was available to other services as well IIRC.

The alternative is perhaps to terminate at Sth Brisbane, and return from there. For the lay over to work it would mean a basically valuable train is sidelined from service for a fair percentage of the day, of course a two train service would allow returns but my concern is the times of departures and arrivals at both ends.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
Ok Sim's/ ae6et, my bad,
I mis-understand something I read recently and appreciate the polite correction.

I see they call it "early works" to identify that the project is not fully funded at this stage and hence at (very very unlikely) risk of being suspended. Qld is addicted to fed funding for anything suburban rail so like the NSW Metro, its about time they actually paid for something fully themselves and Qld can afford the $1Bpa construction costs without borrowing.

Anyway, about time and good to see and looking forward to a ride in the future.

Back to layover
Qld currently funds the Brisbane XPT to some degree for which Sim's and I have been down this path before so if anyone disagree's do some searching in RP for the links provided previously. So the financial commitment is there.

Lets look at the Countrylink termini
Canberra - Layover
Armidale - layover
Moree - Layover
Grafton - Layover
Broken Hill - Layover
Griffith - Layover

Current non-layovers
Dubbo - Expect this to change
Brisbane - Mmmm
Casino
Melbourne

So the drama with a layover is????

Due to the 14hr travel time and need to avoid the peak in both Sydney and Brisbane (note: Not 1 Countrylink train runs in peak direction in Sydney and they quickly get sidelined if they are late), there is no practical timetable that involves a 1hr stop over.

Terminating at a new platform 4 at Sth Brisbane does not solve the problem the XPT causes, Roma Street is the least of their concerns. It would save maybe 7-8min in return travel time and cost about as much as building another XPT replacement set if not more. The CRR does not fully solve the problem the XPT causes so do not expect anything to change just because they have started. The DG in AM peak is a one way street with GC trains city bound, there is no scope for reverse running.

If the Brisbane XPT is to be a success and actually have a decent load capacity, then it needs to be a daylight service up,
Syd : 6:30 - 7am; Brisbane 8:30 - 9pm
Brisbane 6:30 - 7am; Sydney 8:30 - 9pm

Layover extended from 1hr to 10hr.

You could do a night train with a shorter 6hr layover during the day, but it would be more popular as a day train I'm sure.

Overall I think the NSW govt needs to invest a bit more in rolling stock and get the interstate passenger trains off the rails by 11pm to 5am and this includes the Mel XPT, one leaves at 7am, the 2nd one around lunch time. An extra train to Wagga would be the current evening train south and early morning train into Sydney.

Replace night with day/evening trains and the passenger numbers will increase and times are more friendly, trains are more visual and eliminate the arguments and costs of retaining sleepers carriages or even business class style beds.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Ok Sim's/ ae6et, my bad,
I mis-understand something I read recently and appreciate the polite correction.

I see they call it "early works" to identify that the project is not fully funded at this stage and hence at (very very unlikely) risk of being suspended. Qld is addicted to fed funding for anything suburban rail so like the NSW Metro, its about time they actually paid for something fully themselves and Qld can afford the $1Bpa construction costs without borrowing.

Anyway, about time and good to see and looking forward to a ride in the future.

Back to layover
Qld currently funds the Brisbane XPT to some degree for which Sim's and I have been down this path before so if anyone disagree's do some searching in RP for the links provided previously. So the financial commitment is there.

Lets look at the Countrylink termini
Canberra - Layover
Armidale - layover
Moree - Layover
Grafton - Layover
Broken Hill - Layover
Griffith - Layover

Current non-layovers
Dubbo - Expect this to change
Brisbane - Mmmm
Casino
Melbourne

So the drama with a layover is????

Due to the 14hr travel time and need to avoid the peak in both Sydney and Brisbane (note: Not 1 Countrylink train runs in peak direction in Sydney and they quickly get sidelined if they are late), there is no practical timetable that involves a 1hr stop over.

Terminating at a new platform 4 at Sth Brisbane does not solve the problem the XPT causes, Roma Street is the least of their concerns. It would save maybe 7-8min in return travel time and cost about as much as building another XPT replacement set if not more. The CRR does not fully solve the problem the XPT causes so do not expect anything to change just because they have started. The DG in AM peak is a one way street with GC trains city bound, there is no scope for reverse running.

If the Brisbane XPT is to be a success and actually have a decent load capacity, then it needs to be a daylight service up,
Syd : 6:30 - 7am; Brisbane 8:30 - 9pm
Brisbane 6:30 - 7am; Sydney 8:30 - 9pm

Layover extended from 1hr to 10hr.

You could do a night train with a shorter 6hr layover during the day, but it would be more popular as a day train I'm sure.

Overall I think the NSW govt needs to invest a bit more in rolling stock and get the interstate passenger trains off the rails by 11pm to 5am and this includes the Mel XPT, one leaves at 7am, the 2nd one around lunch time. An extra train to Wagga would be the current evening train south and early morning train into Sydney.

Replace night with day/evening trains and the passenger numbers will increase and times are more friendly, trains are more visual and eliminate the arguments and costs of retaining sleepers carriages or even business class style beds.
RTT_Rules
RTT, I should have been clearer in my reference to the layover.  Yes I know of the other layovers and they are relatively extensive as well, the basis though of what I was inferring is that there is not enough sets to allow for the layover, its the same with the Melbourne services, as being turned around in short time.

Without knowing the full extent of what the new crossing will provide, the question to me is will the new crossing take any of the trains off the South side rather than going over the existing bridge?

Thing is that passengers on these trains who endure them for 14hours, need a bit more comfort but also some shorter times in the running, getting to destinations early in the morning or late at night is very much a deterent, as what connections are there at the destinations.  Problem though is how much time can be taken off the overall TT now?   I doubt a lot can be owing to the track conditions and restrictions of the NCL, also at this time of the year extended WOLO's.

The intercapital trains really should not be running as old mail train replacements that stop at so many ultra small locations where there is next to no patronage to or from it.  More especially the overnight trains, to which I do believe there is a case for them.  My wife and I travel on the NCL at least twice a year, and its a long drag especially with the routes the buses take that extends the overall time quite a bit especially with the time waiting at Casino in both directions.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
The bridge isn't the problem and never was. The track from St Brisbane to Bowen Hills is all just dual track with quad platforms at Roma St and Central only. Its triple track south of South Brisbane.

The congested part in Brisbane is from Park Road (junction of the Cleveland line) to Bowen Hills (junction of the Ferny Grove Line).

The tunnel provides an effective pair of tracks from just before (south) Park Road (Dutton Park) to just past (North) Bowen Hills.

I'm guessing the intent is to run all GC trains and most Beenleigh line trains via the tunnel.

Cleveland and some Beenleigh trains (I'm guessing the truncated starters from Kuraby) will cross the bridge which with the extra capacity will see about 14 to 16 trains per hour cross the bridge with a similar number in the tunnel. When the Greenbank line is built in the following 10 years, add another 8 trains an hour to fill most of the spare capacity.

The problem for the XPT is that it uses the DG track from the junction of the interstate at Salisbury to Sth Brisbane in the anti-peak direction. This track is used by the Gold Coast Express services heading north in morning peak. This distance is around 7-8km from Salisbury to the tunnel. The Triple track south of Sth Brisbane to Salibury is the worst designed triple track in Australia. The track is often way off to the side and makes it less friendly for south bound expresses, but ok for north bound. But trains cannot simply jump on or off as there is I think only a few options to do this.

Once the tunnel is complete, potentially hopefully there will be expansion of this track to 4 tracks between Dutton Park and Salisbury (start of the expanded triple track south to Kurby and built in such a way a 4th track is easy to add when the time is required, but unless 2 x are dual guage it will be limited value to the XPT.

As I said before, no Countrylink service runs in peak flow in Sydney and Brisbane has no Queensland Travel trains in peak either for the same reason so planning to put the XPT or its replacement back on the DG in peak is a pathway to certain failure.


Regarding long layover
Yes, the XPT fleet is insufficient for a long layover in Brisbane, however what is the fleet size for the XPT replacement?

Part of the current problem for NSW Trains is that its two incompatible fleets of trains servicing the Countrylink services is that it wastes time in Sydney. ie a Xplorer service may arrive back and could be turned around for next service, but the next service maybe an XPT service and VV. Hence is the govt procures a single platform to replace the entire fleet and does so in one go over say two years, there is likely to be greater timetable flexibility to deal with the issues of Brisbane without extra sets.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state needs a standard fleet made up of 3 and 4 car sets that can be joined to create 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 car sets. Potentially the north coast services, made of two of these sets, could have 1 set be truncated in the lower part of the NCL, ie Kempsey, thus improving uterlisation and loading efficiency. Sim's has previously stated some "rumours" that there will be additional services in some areas, such as Wagga. If true this would support a larger fleet purchase. Additionally by avoiding through the night running the fleet can now be universal.

I'm not sure the XPT stops too often, many stops are as required and if there is someone there or someone to get off, so why avoid servicing your customer? Perhaps 1 or 2 stops could be merged but unlikely more than that. The 14hr trip is not because of the a dozen stations, its the track. I could be wrong but I don't see the inter-capital trains as competing with inter-capital traffic, rather more local and to/from the big smoke.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The Brisbane service is unique because it has 2 sets of curfews to deal with and daylight saving for 6 months of the year. It is also a 14 hour journey and so comparing it to other NSW trainlink services is not appropriate. The XPT does not have a significant lay over at any of it's destinations. It gets in and out in 60-90 minutes.

The Xplorer is the only regional train that has an overnight layover and the new XPT fleet will obviously be of MU design to allow more flexibility to timetabling and reduced maintenance costs. The current Xplorers will go into service alongside endeavours on shorter intercity routes such as Goulburn, Moss Vale and Bathurst.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The bridge isn't the problem and never was. The track from St Brisbane to Bowen Hills is all just dual track with quad platforms at Roma St and Central only. Its triple track south of South Brisbane.

The congested part in Brisbane is from Park Road (junction of the Cleveland line) to Bowen Hills (junction of the Ferny Grove Line).

The tunnel provides an effective pair of tracks from just before (south) Park Road (Dutton Park) to just past (North) Bowen Hills.

I'm guessing the intent is to run all GC trains and most Beenleigh line trains via the tunnel.

Cleveland and some Beenleigh trains (I'm guessing the truncated starters from Kuraby) will cross the bridge which with the extra capacity will see about 14 to 16 trains per hour cross the bridge with a similar number in the tunnel. When the Greenbank line is built in the following 10 years, add another 8 trains an hour to fill most of the spare capacity.

The problem for the XPT is that it uses the DG track from the junction of the interstate at Salisbury to Sth Brisbane in the anti-peak direction. This track is used by the Gold Coast Express services heading north in morning peak. This distance is around 7-8km from Salisbury to the tunnel. The Triple track south of Sth Brisbane to Salibury is the worst designed triple track in Australia. The track is often way off to the side and makes it less friendly for south bound expresses, but ok for north bound. But trains cannot simply jump on or off as there is I think only a few options to do this.

Once the tunnel is complete, potentially hopefully there will be expansion of this track to 4 tracks between Dutton Park and Salisbury (start of the expanded triple track south to Kurby and built in such a way a 4th track is easy to add when the time is required, but unless 2 x are dual guage it will be limited value to the XPT.

As I said before, no Countrylink service runs in peak flow in Sydney and Brisbane has no Queensland Travel trains in peak either for the same reason so planning to put the XPT or its replacement back on the DG in peak is a pathway to certain failure.


Regarding long layover
Yes, the XPT fleet is insufficient for a long layover in Brisbane, however what is the fleet size for the XPT replacement?

Part of the current problem for NSW Trains is that its two incompatible fleets of trains servicing the Countrylink services is that it wastes time in Sydney. ie a Xplorer service may arrive back and could be turned around for next service, but the next service maybe an XPT service and VV. Hence is the govt procures a single platform to replace the entire fleet and does so in one go over say two years, there is likely to be greater timetable flexibility to deal with the issues of Brisbane without extra sets.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the state needs a standard fleet made up of 3 and 4 car sets that can be joined to create 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 car sets. Potentially the north coast services, made of two of these sets, could have 1 set be truncated in the lower part of the NCL, ie Kempsey, thus improving uterlisation and loading efficiency. Sim's has previously stated some "rumours" that there will be additional services in some areas, such as Wagga. If true this would support a larger fleet purchase. Additionally by avoiding through the night running the fleet can now be universal.

I'm not sure the XPT stops too often, many stops are as required and if there is someone there or someone to get off, so why avoid servicing your customer? Perhaps 1 or 2 stops could be merged but unlikely more than that. The 14hr trip is not because of the a dozen stations, its the track. I could be wrong but I don't see the inter-capital trains as competing with inter-capital traffic, rather more local and to/from the big smoke.
RTT_Rules
RTT, thanks for that.

I personally am not fussed with the concept of the DMU's on the long distance services, they may provide the options you mention but my experiences on the XPL's in both first and economy are not pleasant owing to the ground noise over the long sections of grades through to Tamworth, was glad I did not have to endure it to Armidale.  The interesting thing is that as we have moved to the Maitland area the local suburbans seem much quieter, although they are not getting on to the longer and heavier grades that the XPL's are on.

I see no reason why a XPT type design with centre driving consoles could not work, that allows for trains such as the NW/NT to split at WCK and couple up on the return, same with serving Dubbo and Parkes with the split at Oge.

From what I have experienced with both the XPT and XPL's and mostly with the XPT as I was driving them, was there is little overall difference in speed especially in acceleration, the initial acceleration on the XPT, may be marginally less but once you are able to get into full throttle, its pick up is excellent.  Given the age of it and advances in the designs, (same goes with DMU technologies) also help in overall improvements, the biggest thing for me though is that having the 2 primary head end power allows a bit better reliability aspects than the DMU option.  One unit goes down there is still the other one to keep it going, albeit with a lose in time.  From what I have seen of the XPL and seen on several occasions is the train splitting when one end goes down, and the dead end having to be pushed/pulled out by a Loco hauled train, saw this at Minimbah not long ago with a coal train pushing a 3 car set XPL at slow speed, no sign of the other half of it though.  I am assuming that that the XPL does not have enough grunt to continue as the 6/7 car consist with one end down.

The aspect in regards to the length of time will never be resolved completely but certainly there is a case which has been debated here that many times in many similar and same blogs as this one, while ever the track conditions that exist now remain.  What does not help, at least to me is how the overall speed of the XPT has actually slowed since its introduction along with the absorbing of several areas of low speed track and its running times into the overall timetable.

A case in point on the NCL past Gloucestor was a long section of track that had low speed owing to the old shorter length rail and weight on timber sleepers where it was restricted to 80Km/h, the running times allowed for that, but when upgraded to heavy rail and concrete sleepers, there was no change to the running times, as it was absorbed into the catch up allowance for running late, which also was just extended in time.

What does not help on the Brisbane service with the GC connections is also the Daylight saving issue which sims points out, something I do not see ever changing at least in my lifetime.

I may be wrong but in my trips to both Sydney and Brisbane, trains arriving before 0700 rarely are that heavy with workers, its not until after 0715 that it starts to pick up in ever increasing numbers, a train arriving before 0700 is not an issue but one that arrives hours earlier are not what is deemed user friendly.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

NSW trainlink doesn't have long layovers at termini at all.  The only ones with a long layover time is in sydney for most.  
Even places like broken hill and grafton don't actually have very long layovers.  In grafton the train is in the siding for only around 5 hours.  

I expect most of the service improvements will occur on the areas currently served by Xplorers, not the XPT's.  The armidale/tamworth corridor is the easiest for upgrades.   But i expect a return to daily parkes services, probably with a split from dubbo services, and a 2nd dubbo train.  Probably also a daily albury service.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
The Brisbane service is unique because it has 2 sets of curfews to deal with and daylight saving for 6 months of the year. It is also a 14 hour journey and so comparing it to other NSW trainlink services is not appropriate. The XPT does not have a significant lay over at any of it's destinations. It gets in and out in 60-90 minutes.

The Xplorer is the only regional train that has an overnight layover and the new XPT fleet will obviously be of MU design to allow more flexibility to timetabling and reduced maintenance costs. The current Xplorers will go into service alongside endeavours on shorter intercity routes such as Goulburn, Moss Vale and Bathurst.
simstrain
Umm Grafton for what around 6-7hr? I'd call that significant.

and regardless XPL or XPT, what does it matter if there is a lay over, its still a layover.

Who cares were the current fleet end up, the question at hand is about Brisbane.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
NSW trainlink doesn't have long layovers at termini at all.  The only ones with a long layover time is in sydney for most.  
Even places like broken hill and grafton don't actually have very long layovers.  In grafton the train is in the siding for only around 5 hours.  

I expect most of the service improvements will occur on the areas currently served by Xplorers, not the XPT's.  The armidale/tamworth corridor is the easiest for upgrades.   But i expect a return to daily parkes services, probably with a split from dubbo services, and a 2nd dubbo train.  Probably also a daily albury service.
tazzer96
Yes, but they need to resolve Brisbane, leaving it the way it is is a waste of money and good train. They know that and we know that. If no one uses it, surely it won't be long before Qld pulls the funding.

So I think the answer is, they will change the Brisbane timetable with the new trains somehow which assume have been ordered for a proposed timetable that has yet to be published and the likely outcome is a long layover.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
If a train arrives in Brisbane between the hours of 5:30am and 9:30pm you can catch a train almost anywhere apart from Doomben and not sure maybe Sunshine coast.

XPL is known to be gutless, I was told that by a driver when they were new, its kW to weight ratio is very low, its off-spring the V/locity has about 50% more kW from memory. I think its 375kW vs 500+kW as does the Hunter cars. The Prospector is even more so and it has better redundancy having two traction engines per car, not one . The more cars you have, if you loose one, the lessor the impact as the weight is distributed more. I think its safe to say the new trains will be at least 500kW per car and expect them to be a lot quieter than the 30 year old design in the XPL's. Both engine and sound insulation and vibration elimination.

The XPT has a reasonable power to weight ratio, but only applies it through 8 axles, so traction adhesion I think is more an issue.

I'm not sure why today you also can not use battery technology to boost the acceleration and hill climbing capacity as needed. This would also help when they have a engine down.
  RTT_Rules The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: Dubai UAE
If a train arrives in Brisbane between the hours of 5:30am and 9:30pm you can catch a train almost anywhere apart from Doomben and not sure maybe Sunshine coast.

XPL is known to be gutless, I was told that by a driver when they were new, its kW to weight ratio is very low, its off-spring the V/locity has about 50% more kW from memory. I think its 375kW vs 500+kW as does the Hunter cars. The Prospector is even more so and it has better redundancy having two traction engines per car, not one . The more cars you have, if you loose one, the lessor the impact as the weight is distributed more. I think its safe to say the new trains will be at least 500kW per car and expect them to be a lot quieter than the 30 year old design in the XPL's. Both engine and sound insulation and vibration elimination.

The XPT has a reasonable power to weight ratio, but only applies it through 8 axles, so traction adhesion I think is more an issue.

I'm not sure why today you also can not use battery technology to boost the acceleration and hill climbing capacity as needed. This would also help when they have a engine down.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

The problem with brisbane services is the maitland-wauchope section.  Its a shocking section and if realigned could save nearly 2 hours.  Brisbane deserves 2 trains per day, a day and a night service.  However, in brisbane having a long layover would be a bit logistically difficult.  Taking up platform 2 or 3 at roma street is unacceptable, and would hamper QR's operations too much but sending it back to a holding area at somewhere like south brisbane (the SG road), clapham yard or acacia ridge is a bit annoying and costly.

The way the staffing works on the brisbane service is almost perfect.   Grafton-brisbane-grafton is roughly 10 hours so from a rostering perspective is good.  sydney-grafton is also roughly 10 hours.  Having a long layover does stuff that around and may cost alot of money.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

XPL is known to be gutless, I was told that by a driver when they were new, its kW to weight ratio is very low, its off-spring the V/locity has about 50% more kW from memory. I think its 375kW vs 500+kW as does the Hunter cars. The Prospector is even more so and it has better redundancy having two traction engines per car, not one . The more cars you have, if you loose one, the lessor the impact as the weight is distributed more. I think its safe to say the new trains will be at least 500kW per car and expect them to be a lot quieter than the 30 year old design in the XPL's. Both engine and sound insulation and vibration elimination.

The XPT has a reasonable power to weight ratio, but only applies it through 8 axles, so traction adhesion I think is more an issue.
RTT_Rules
Can confirm that the XPL is gutless compared to XPT.   Have caught the END between kiama and nowra and it can barely get past 100km/h between the stops.   Also caught the armidale XPL and climbing up the argdlen bank is pretty fun.  I know its a very very steep hill but it can barely make it up.  Compared to the velocity, it is very slow.   Officially the XPT (6 cars) and XPL have rather similar power/weight ratios on paper, but the XPT feels faster.  
The newer DMU's do have much larger engines but also weigh more, and have higher electrical requirements, so its not a case of 50% more power, a 50% improvement in acceleration.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

I'm not sure why today you also can not use battery technology to boost the acceleration and hill climbing capacity as needed. This would also help when they have a engine down.
RTT_Rules
The XPL, velocity, and prospector have hydraulic drives.   So can't use battery power to use boost.   Most hills here in aus are too long for battery boost to be worth it.  Also have to take into account the extra weight of the batteries.   Blue mountains is roughly 50km of climbing on both sides.   Probably better off having a pantograph and an electrical drive to help it out on the blue mountains and cowan bank.

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