Melbourne Suburban Disruptions (Since Metro Introduction)

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Cause has been identified as an overnight software upgrade. All daily timetable data was corrupted causing train control and passenger information problems.

Ouch.

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  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Cause has been identified as an overnight software upgrade. All daily timetable data was corrupted causing train control and passenger information problems.
"potatoinmymouth"
Correct me if I'm wrong, but computers have been in general usage for decades. If an up-grade turns out to be an up-stuff (as the army would call it), the imbeciles concerned need their spines kicked upwards through their hats.
  TheMeddlingMonk Deputy Commissioner

Location: The Time Vortex near Melbourne, Australia
Cause has been identified as an overnight software upgrade. All daily timetable data was corrupted causing train control and passenger information problems.

Ouch.
potatoinmymouth
Sounds like somebody didn't do a test of the upgrade process first (and if they did, then their test system does not properly reflect the production system).
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
Metro website now has multiple lines all under one cause: "Congestion. Up to 10 minute delays"
I've never heard of 8pm congestion. Correct me if I'm wrong.
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

Software upgrade is done by the system supplier, who do the necessary tests within their own testing unit. Therefore when it is uploaded to the actual system, it supposedly will work as intended.

However, if there is a problem, and that problem is detected early enough , then the just superseded software can be reloaded.

In the event that the problem is not detected early ( the problem may only exist well into the 24 hour cycle ) then you have the problem.

Regards, Radioman.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Hello All,

Software upgrade is done by the system supplier, who do the necessary tests within their own testing unit. Therefore when it is uploaded to the actual system, it supposedly will work as intended.

However, if there is a problem, and that problem is detected early enough , then the just superseded software can be reloaded.

In the event that the problem is not detected early ( the problem may only exist well into the 24 hour cycle ) then you have the problem.

Regards, Radioman.
Radioman
Interesting.
Saw a beautifully typed (as Humphrey Appleby would have said) consultant report years ago with a wonderful computer generated train graph. The graph was OK until one looked as far ahead as Thursday in the week when everything went pear shaped. Obviously no one looked or was supposed to look that far ahead. Always preferred pencil and paper myself. Rolling Eyes
  Radioman Chief Train Controller

Hello All,

in my view Electronic Train Graphs / ETG are a double edged sword , and I think this is partially due to primarily , though not exclusively , management's view that Electronic Train Graphs because they are normally designed to directly interface with the Electronic Working Time Table database , this means that they reduce the likelihood of errors, and therefore are more efficient , and therefore will reduce the overall level of staff required.

From a forward planning perspective, an ETG will allow for a number of alternatives to be evaluated before the Train Controller decides which alternative to use . Clearly , this functionality is also useful for the Time Table Compilers , and it also allows for Train Working Diagrams to be automatically generated , all good things, especially so if the system is designed to work both ways. There is also the option to have other accessible modules that electronically display all sorts of additional information to assist the Train Controller , though this comes at considerable expense , and in practice may not be used as extensively as first assumed. ( The more data you can easily access does not translate to being the more data you will actually access. )

Now for the downside. The expectation that an ETG is superior to a Paper Train Graph is not always realised for a number of reasons. The size and format of the display screen being a case in point.

For example , if the screen is almost square , then the vertical data display may be great , but at the expense of the horizontal data , conversely , a rectangular screen may display the horizontal data well, but this may be at the expense of the vertical data , so the graph reader is stuck with a format that tends to be , intentionally or otherwise , optimised for one data display over another.

The density of the trains displayed on the ETG is another , for example a Peak Hour service out of Sydney Central is going to be a lot denser to display than the NSW Southern Highlands , and the preferred display format for two examples may be entirely different .

Another issue is the ability to easily scroll the ETG from end to end , there being a limit to how fast one can skim read a scrolled diagram compared to how one can read a Paper Train Graph, which being very long and folded , can be flipped through much faster than an electronic scroll purely because the eye hand co ordination of flipping a paper train graph is easier to comprehend. ( The reason being that a folded Paper Train Graph may be in set blocks of 2 , 3 ,  or 4 hours , whereas a scrolled screen has no set block to comprehend. )

Over the years I have been fortunate to visit a number of different Train Controls that utilize  both paper and electronic Train Graphs and from my observation , Train Controllers who have access to both an electronic and a paper Train Graph have a tendency to swap between either the paper or electronic Train Graph depending on what function they are actually doing at the time. However, this option is entirely dependent on the required method of data entry. If all data entry must utilize the ETG , then use of the paper Train Graph declines , alternatively , if the Paper Train Graph is the primary data recording medium , then the ETG is more useful for forward planning of options.

Like any alternative technologies , there are pluses and minuses in what the newer versions can do , and the designers of these systems try to optimise their design to meet the most common needs , but as these needs can be quite variable , and as different work groups have different work practices , the optimal format will likely involve some compromises .

For example , even a seemingly good idea such as a continually updated and moving Train Graph ( which feeds of the train display ) can be problematic if train delays are both excessive and with significant out of course running , whilst admittedly a rare occurrence ( at least one would hope so ! ) , it is exactly these sort of situations where ETG displays can be problematic , and may lead to less than optimal decisions being made due to the ETG engendering a potentially false comprehension of the actual situation. Paper Train Graphs are also not ideal in this situation either, but at least the Train Controller can mark their graph in an ad hoc manner that is helpful to them on the day , a facility not always available on an ETG.

I am not opposed to ETGs as such , but I do think that sometimes people have expectations , probably encouraged by the manufacturer , that ETGs have all of these wonderful features that "simplifies" the task of the Train Controller , without realising the compromises that are inherent in any electronic display , and subsequently are mystified as to why things are not "more efficient" than the end result has delivered.

Regards, Radioman.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Website showing no trains on Clifton hill line. Major issues what has happened ?
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
More lines now down across the eastern suburbs.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Suspended
24 Oct 17:19
Buses to replace trains between Parliament and Clifton Hill due to track faults at Flinders Street.
Buses have been ordered but may take 1 hour to arrive.
Passengers are advised to board the 86 tram route from Parliament for stations between Jolimont and Clifton Hill.
We are assessing the situation and will advise when trains will resume.
Please listen for announcements or speak to station staff for more information.

[cleaned up by staff]






  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
I'll clear it up for y'all

Basically the whole of Metro Trains website says that there have been major track faults at FSSSome lines show status as congestion, track works, track faults and so on.
Major Delays • 1 hour ago - Mernda & Hurstbridge LinesTrains service have resumed between Parliament and Clifton Hill. There are delays up to 30 minutes while we recover from the earlier track faults at Flinders Street.

Minor Delays • 14 minutes ago - Craigieburn, Sunbury & Upfield LinesDelays up to 15 minutes due to congestion. Please listen for announcements as services may change at short notice.

Minor Delays • 30 minutes ago - Alamein, Belgrave, Lillydale & Glen Waverley Lines Delays up to 15 minutes due to earlier track faults at Flinders Street. Please listen for announcements as services may change at short notice.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Track fault at Flinders Street caused by major failure at D Box.

Richmond also had a track fault.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Daniel Bowen has observed that despite spillover into the Burnley group caused by Clifton Hill trains using 2/3 at Flinders St, the disruption remained relatively isolated from the Northern, Caulfield and Cross-City lines. Sectorisation is having some impacts and they are good.
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
Daniel Bowen has observed that despite spillover into the Burnley group caused by Clifton Hill trains using 2/3 at Flinders St, the disruption remained relatively isolated from the Northern, Caulfield and Cross-City lines. Sectorisation is having some impacts and they are good.
potatoinmymouth
A clear example of our bad network. Track faults that caused problem for other groups because of the flow of trains being 0 per hour
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Is 'Track Faults' really spin (lies) for what are really 'Signal Faults'?

I don't know how the general public interpret these two problems but all would know the difference between the track and the signals.

The track has been there for donkeys years whilst the signalling that fails is often/usually a relatively recent so called 'improvement'. How often does the 'classic' signalling fail?

As we don't worry about missing dogspikes, broken sleepers, mud holes, track line and top etc what actually does constitute a 'track fault' in Victoria?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Is 'Track Faults' really spin (lies) for what are really 'Signal Faults'?

I don't know how the general public interpret these two problems but all would know the difference between the track and the signals.

The track has been there for donkeys years whilst the signalling that fails is often/usually a relatively recent so called 'improvement'. How often does the 'classic' signalling fail?

As we don't worry about missing dogspikes, broken sleepers, mud holes, track line and top etc what actually does constitute a 'track fault' in Victoria?
YM-Mundrabilla
Thing is they often use "signal fault" too so a distinction is being made somewhere. Point machine failure perhaps?
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Look on the bright side - Metro's making lovely lots of money, so at least some people are happy. You wouldn't want to upset them by making them spend it on maintenance, would you?
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
Look on the bright side - Metro's making lovely lots of money, so at least some people are happy. You wouldn't want to upset them by making them spend it on maintenance, would you?
Valvegear
That ain't bright I don't think
  skitz Chief Commissioner

Look on the bright side - Metro's making lovely lots of money, so at least some people are happy. You wouldn't want to upset them by making them spend it on maintenance, would you?
Valvegear
The way the Metro contracts are set up is based on meeting the intervention levels set by safety standards (sighting track).   A safe standard is the minimum to keep trains on tracks (mostly I might add, they are not perfect and never will be) and is also high cost.  The 'least cost' standard of infrastructure is an entirely different thing all together.  At the moment we have the ludicrous situation where Metro are rewarded for providing the maintenance to the standard that is the highest cost to provide (both in repair, quality and life expectancy).   You can sight Metro for their profiteering all you like, however they are reacting to the environment that they are allowed to operate in.  The responsibility remains with the client - the state of Victoria.

The state must control the Asset Management, it is a responsibility that cannot be farmed out (unless one is happy to be bent over the barrel).  It would be better to have the arms of infrastructure separately privatised to avoid conflicts of interest and have the provision of the services measured against the standards that provide the best performance.  The high level performance targets there is now are too far away to drive excellence at the detail that is needed in what is a very complex service overall to deliver.   There are reasons the Victorian infrastructure looks third world compared to other states and they are cultural.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Metro have recently been providing much more frequent updates along the lines of "Minor Delays - 8 minutes at Flinders St due to congestion". This is interesting; much more detailed than in the past. A Good Thing in my opinion - the delays have always been there, it's nice to hear about them.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
You can sight Metro for their profiteering all you like, however they are reacting to the environment that they are allowed to operate in.  The responsibility remains with the client - the state of Victoria.
"skitz"
We know - that's what is so annoying about the whole deal.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Someone being naughty in the loop?

  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
Today is a bad day for Metro.

Minor Delays • 29 minutes ago - belgrave, lillydaleDelays up to 8 minutes due to a faulty train at Box Hill. Listen for announcements as some services may be altered at short notice.


Minor Delays • 32 minutes ago - belgraveThe 8:27am Blackburn to Flinders Street service will terminate at Box Hill today due to a faulty train.

Minor Delays • 1 hour ago - craigieburnDelays up to 10 minutes due to an unruly passenger at Moonee Ponds. Listen for announcements as some services may be altered at short notice.

Minor Delays • 37 minutes ago - cranbourne, pakneham
Delays up to 10 minutes due to an earlier ill driver at Westall and a faulty train at Berwick. Listen for announcements as some services may be altered at short notice

Minor Delays • 24 minutes ago - frankstonThe 8:43am Flinders Street to Frankston service has been cancelled.

Major Delays • 14 minutes ago - sunbury, wribeeDelays up to 30 minutes after an earlier trespasser in the Sth Kensington – Footscray area. Listen for announcements as some services may be altered at short notice.
  ngarner Train Controller

Location: Seville
And the sad thing is two of those are due to idjits who have little respect for anyone but themselves. Faulty trains is another matter though

Neil
  penguin2233 Locomotive Driver

Location: Craigieburn, Melbourne VIC
today = bad day

Minor Delays • 54 minutes ago - frankstonDelays up to 10 minutes after Police attended to an earlier unruly passenger at Moorabbin. Please listen for announcements and check platform displays as services may be altered at short notice.

Major Delays • 1 hour ago - paknehamDelays up to 20 minutes due to an equipment fault between Dandenong and Hallam. Please listen for announcements and check platform displays as services may be held/changed at short notice.

Also heard a multi car crash with diesal spill

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