V/Line Incidents/Disruptions #2

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Secondly why will current communicated service changes remain in place? The cancellations / disruptions announced run right through until the early afternoon. There is nothing on the tracks, a bunch of trains out of position, surely you would just start to move trains about on the line picking up and dropping off pax as you go starting with a clean sweep (SAS) each way and going from there.

If anyone can offer a rational explanation for this nonsense I would love to hear it. It is now 11.00 so I am over 90 minutes late and CME is still no where in sight and it is over 2 hours since the line re-opened according to the above tweet.

Yours impatiently,

BG
If you have drivers and conductors out of place (some of whom have been deployed onto other lines or sent home), it becomes much harder to get trains set up to be in position for their runs.

I think it is poor that they scheduled so many changes, but once you have a plan in place it is probably better to stick to it then try to mess things around again.
TOQ-1
Yes but

a), the plan was rubbish and should have been trains running between Sunbury (used before during Metro shutdowns) or Watergardens (not sure if turnbacks are suitable) and Bendigo

and

b) they didn't stick to the bloody plan that they made which was trains to and from Gisborne. Our bus went via Gisborne station, there was not a train in sight and we were not even offered the option of getting off the bus there and taking the train.

BG

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  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
Secondly why will current communicated service changes remain in place? The cancellations / disruptions announced run right through until the early afternoon. There is nothing on the tracks, a bunch of trains out of position, surely you would just start to move trains about on the line picking up and dropping off pax as you go starting with a clean sweep (SAS) each way and going from there.

If anyone can offer a rational explanation for this nonsense I would love to hear it. It is now 11.00 so I am over 90 minutes late and CME is still no where in sight and it is over 2 hours since the line re-opened according to the above tweet.

Yours impatiently,

BG
If you have drivers and conductors out of place (some of whom have been deployed onto other lines or sent home), it becomes much harder to get trains set up to be in position for their runs.

I think it is poor that they scheduled so many changes, but once you have a plan in place it is probably better to stick to it then try to mess things around again.
Yes but

a), the plan was rubbish and should have been trains running between Sunbury (used before during Metro shutdowns) or Watergardens (not sure if turnbacks are suitable) and Bendigo

and

b) they didn't stick to the bloody plan that they made which was trains to and from Gisborne. Our bus went via Gisborne station, there was not a train in sight and we were not even offered the option of getting off the bus there and taking the train.

BG
BrentonGolding
I'd also question why Sunbury wasn't in use, but it seems to be increasingly the case that V/Line don't use it for shut downs at all. Possibly it's just an example of Metro and V/Line not playing nice with each other.

V/Line have always been terrible at communicating with passengers. I would send them feedback that their advice was wrong. They won't learn to be better unless they are forced to be.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
I'd also question why Sunbury wasn't in use, but it seems to be increasingly the case that V/Line don't use it for shut downs at all. Possibly it's just an example of Metro and V/Line not playing nice with each other.

V/Line have always been terrible at communicating with passengers. I would send them feedback that their advice was wrong. They won't learn to be better unless they are forced to be.
TOQ-1
Agree with you on the not playing nice, that is one of the big problems I think. I am sure it has to do with Metro desiring to get it's claws into V/Line and therefore trying hard to make the latter look as bad as possible so that they can go to the Government and say "look how bad they are compared to us, we would do it much better".

Our Up train last night which was already 30 minutes late into Sunbury was routed over to P2 despite the fact that P1 was not occupied. We then waited around 5 minutes for the next Down service to arrive and cross over to P1 before we were given the green to depart, then having to cross over the Down line to get onto the Up. Had we been sent via P1 we would have easily been in and out at least 3 minutes before the arrival of the Metro service.

As for you second para, I have submitted a very lengthy complaint to PTV about my V/Line experiences on Thursday and am currently beside myself with excitement waiting for a response. No doubt this will be a form letter response from someone who hasn't even read my complaint but telling me that they are taking the matter "very seriously"

BG
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Secondly why will current communicated service changes remain in place? The cancellations / disruptions announced run right through until the early afternoon. There is nothing on the tracks, a bunch of trains out of position, surely you would just start to move trains about on the line picking up and dropping off pax as you go starting with a clean sweep (SAS) each way and going from there.
BrentonGolding

As has been mentioned already, with crews out of position who would you expect to be able to run a train? The Bendigo crews who run the first few morning UP trains, then run the mid to late morning DOWN trains back to Bendigo. The reverse happens for the Melbourne crews. I've not checked to see what time the first trains resumed but that would be the main reason trains did not start running for a while after the emergency services / Metro gave the all clear.

We don't have any bloody choice!I for one am not patient at all, nor are any of the others on this coach who are an hour plus late for work and other appointments.
BrentonGolding
Nor did V/Line. A person was struck and killed by a Metro train on Metro track. Perhaps your grievances should be with the deceased for causing the disruption or Metro for allowing it to happen?

We didn't move. Next thing the conductor comes over the PA "due to an unconfirmed grass fire on the line" we are not going anywhere. Really starting to ask why I put myself through this misery.
BrentonGolding
Sending a train load of passenger towards a potential fire is generally frowned upon! Wink

Well impressed, I didn't think that was possible, do any drivers or others out there know what the headway is for following services in that section? Pretty good work from Centrol trying to untangle the mess in the single line sections from Kyneton to Castlemaine. I didn't think that the next service would get the Green out of Kyneton until the proceeding service had cleared the loop, I wouldn't have imagined that this section was signalled for close following services
BrentonGolding

To help work it out you need to remember that the loop is not actually a loop at all (even though it is commonly called that) but two ATC single line sections referred to as the East and West lines. Once a DOWN train has cleared the home departure signal that protects the points at the UP end of the Taradale 'loop', the Kyneton to Taradale 'loop' single line section is now clear and a following train can be permitted into the section from Kyneton. In your scenario the second train was most likely waiting at the UP end points and once the first train you passed had exited the 'loop' and headed off towards Castlemaine the second train was then permitted to enter the 'loop' thus allowing your train to continue on its way into the now unoccupied Kyneton to Taradale single line section.

Our Up train last night which was already 30 minutes late into Sunbury was routed over to P2 despite the fact that P1 was not occupied. We then waited around 5 minutes for the next Down service to arrive and cross over to P1 before we were given the green to depart, then having to cross over the Down line to get onto the Up. Had we been sent via P1 we would have easily been in and out at least 3 minutes before the arrival of the Metro service.
BrentonGolding
This is unfortunately a common occurrence at all Vline/Metro boundaries. Metro are happy to leave you waiting whilst they do a shunt move or send empty cars out in front despite a vacant platform. Their signalers are more and more reluctant to do anything out of the ordinary and seemingly have to clear everything with Metrol who apparently say no to most requests.

I'd also question why Sunbury wasn't in use, but it seems to be increasingly the case that V/Line don't use it for shut downs at all. Possibly it's just an example of Metro and V/Line not playing nice with each other.
TOQ-1
Following on from the above, Sunbury is controlled by Metro, if they say no what choice does V/Line have?

Also in regards to the comments regarding the board at V/Line, i'm not convinced that at board level it really matters not having any traditional railway people there. They're making high level decisions and don't need to the know difference between a CCW and a WSA point lever and so on. As long as they can interpret the data and information and that the right information is passed up the chain from an operational level then it should be ok. Just for fun I looked up the board members of my local Health care group and hospital and only one director had any sort of Health care history and they operate just fine.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Thanks @jakar for your as always insightful comments.

Unfortunately much of it is cold comfort for those of us who have no choice but to subject ourselves to the vagaries of a railway system that seems to put far more store in operational expedience than the passenger experience.

BG
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Also in regards to the comments regarding the board at V/Line, i'm not convinced that at board level it really matters not having any traditional railway people there. They're making high level decisions and don't need to the know difference between a CCW and a WSA point lever and so on. As long as they can interpret the data and information and that the right information is passed up the chain from an operational level then it should be ok. Just for fun I looked up the board members of my local Health care group and hospital and only one director had any sort of Health care history and they operate just fine.
jakar

I think that’s an interesting take @jakar. I don’t necessarily believe the board needs “traditional railway experience” (and I apologise for any comments that might have seemed like I meant that) because in my view that leads to defensive insularity as seen in the respective death throes of the VR and PTC.

I don’t think it unreasonable to hope that the board would have some understanding of the transport sector, though; to me part of the problem seems to be that the board has a poor conception of how high-level KPIs actually relate to how effectively the company is doing its job.

Worth pointing out, too, that in the entire era of the Commissioners and the Board, there was an inherent expectation that the railways would ultimately be a profitable operation, much as that was divorced from reality in the later years. There is no expectation of V/Line to do the same: subsidies have been steadily increasing on a per-passenger basis over the last two decades to the point where 5/6 of its operating income is subsidy (and virtually all of its capital income is). Neither side of politics has said peep about this, both no doubt afraid to raise the spectre of Kennett. So appointing board members from the worlds of finance and law is even more bizzare given that the priority is not to run a successful business by any traditional measurement, but rather to run a successful railway.
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
Also in regards to the comments regarding the board at V/Line, i'm not convinced that at board level it really matters not having any traditional railway people there. They're making high level decisions and don't need to the know difference between a CCW and a WSA point lever and so on. As long as they can interpret the data and information and that the right information is passed up the chain from an operational level then it should be ok. Just for fun I looked up the board members of my local Health care group and hospital and only one director had any sort of Health care history and they operate just fine.
jakar
You have just highlighted the big difference - your Health Care group is doing just fine. V/Line isn't.
I don't think you can compare a local Health Care group; all conveniently located in a relatively small area, and basically stationary, with a State-wide transport operation.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The thing is though - our public health system is virtually 100% subsidized by taxpayers.  And people want good value for money which is largely what they get in Australia compared to the American health system...

It's about striking the balance between the extremes of a dysfunctional and rundown Socialist rail system (i.e USSR style), or a dysfunctional and rundown (and expensive to travel on) 'user pays' private rail system.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The thing is though - our public health system is virtually 100% subsidized by taxpayers.  And people want good value for money which is largely what they get in Australia compared to the American health system...

It's about striking the balance between the extremes of a dysfunctional and rundown Socialist rail system (i.e USSR style), or a dysfunctional and rundown (and expensive to travel on) 'user pays' private rail system.
Carnot
Not sure which side of the fence you are on this time @Carnot but for me the issue with V/Line is more complicated than simply running a railway.

The government claims to have it as one of it's aims to decentralise Victoria. To do this they have encouraged people to move to regional areas and one of the big requirements that those people have is a PT link to the capital. Just look at the price of housing in towns on the RFR lines compared to those that are not.

As I have posted before I am one of those who chose to make the move just over 5 years ago I think it was. I eventually settled on Castlemaine due to a number of factors but the most important to me was the rail line because I don't drive.

I expected (rightly or wrongly) a train service that would continue to improve over time and provide a reliable way for me to get to and from Melbourne for business meetings, to visit friends and family etc. What I (and the rest of the people trying to use V/Line to get to work, sporting matches etc) got instead is a service which has become less reliable over the time I have been using it to the point that I am now more and more trying to work my life around when i can get lifts up and back with friends and colleagues.

The Victorian rail system as it stands is unable to provide a reliable service and therefore is undermining the government's own stated objective of a decentralised Victoria. Yet as PIMM and others have pointed out it seems to be operating in a manner designed to meet artificial KPIs and if that means not running a service or not having any flexibility in times of disruptions then so be it and to hell with the customers, oh sorry, passengers.

BG
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I sit in the middle.  A public transport system that is competitive and attractive in comparison with road travel, has sufficient Government support to be operated reliably and safely, and where there are incentives for employees to take pride in their work and feel that they are making a positive difference.

Add to that - decent forward planning which includes training qualified people and ordering rolling stock before the system goes in to crisis mode, more rail freight and less road freight, along with less $$$ wasted on boondoggle road projects that suck the life out of PT.

I travel a lot from Provincial Vic to Melbourne for work (I moved from Melb to country).  I wouldn't do so if the only option was bus or car.  I'm fortunate to live within close walking distance to a train station.... (hint for urban and regional planners).
  Roco Beginner

Seymour/Shep/Albury lines were out of action tonight due to a fire at Wallan alongside the line. V/Line has a crew out now tripping over the track, sorry, inspecting the track, but apparently some sleepers were on fire, so there is the potential for this to stretch to tomorrow.
At least two trains, 6:28 Shep and 6:57 Seymour are cancelled due to being out of place.

Interestingly the 12:45 ALB to SCS was terminated at Wallan, so I guess either the loco ran around at the loop and headed up to Seymour to let everyone off or they used ladders. If anyone knows what actually happened,  I'd be interested.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Seymour/Shep/Albury lines were out of action tonight due to a fire at Wallan alongside the line. V/Line has a crew out now tripping over the track, sorry, inspecting the track, but apparently some sleepers were on fire, so there is the potential for this to stretch to tomorrow.
At least two trains, 6:28 Shep and 6:57 Seymour are cancelled due to being out of place.

Interestingly the 12:45 ALB to SCS was terminated at Wallan, so I guess either the loco ran around at the loop and headed up to Seymour to let everyone off or they used ladders. If anyone knows what actually happened,  I'd be interested.
Roco
I heard the announcements over the PA at North Melbourne about this last evening at around 6.40. They were telling pax to head back out of the station for a bus. Personally if it were me I would have got a Metro train to Craigieburn or wherever the last interchange station with V/Line is and waited for a coach there or phoned a friend to pick me up from there knowing how long it takes to scramble coaches.

BG
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

It looks like heaps of Melton and other Ballarat line services got sacrificed for the Avalon Airshow yesterday:

  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

On top of already running the Heat Timetable.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
On top of already running the Heat Timetable.
potatoinmymouth
And last night with the Heat Timetable in operation on the Bendigo line the full impact of the singling between Bendigo and Kyneton was there to see in all it's glory for those of us who took the 20.02 Up service. This train runs outside the heat restriction times and arrived pretty much bang on time into CME at around 20.25. After spending a few hours with mates sipping $5 Happy Hour Schooners of Furphy at The Cri I boarded for the sleepy ride to the big smoke expecting an on time arrival into Footscray at around 9.45 PM.

From CME to Kyneton we lost 20 minutes as we slowed to cross late running / heat timetabled services (2 on the loop again) and at one stage the connie told us we would be held on the Up side of Taradale for 20 minutes to cross a third service although thankfully this did not eventuate.

A frustrating journey indeed, I had planned it to miss the Heat TT but instead got caught up in it and of course the later arrival into Footscray meant far fewer connections avl to get me to my final destination, ended up walking 15 minutes from North Melbourne which at least sobered me up a bit before the Red Wine course.

BG
  vlocity27 Junior Train Controller

Location: Pakenham
Traralgon line closed to bushfires around Bunyip / Garfield area. Huge fire.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Traralgon line closed to bushfires around Bunyip / Garfield area. Huge fire.
vlocity27
NQR.

The line is/was closed between Pakenham and Warragul. Shuttles have still been operating with the trapped sets between Traralgon and Warragul.

I just eye witnessed an Up Maryvale paper train sitting alongside Alexanders Road waiting for a path, as it usually does, but it is about 4 hours late compared to its usual timetable.

I can't actually tell from the V-Line website whether normal passenger services have resumed or not. With the fire downgraded in status and no longer endangering the villages along the line (but still very much active), and the Maryvale train apparently being allowed to run through, I'm finding the info on the live line status page contradictory.
  DirtyBallast Chief Commissioner

Location: I was here first. You're only visiting.
Update: Normal services resume tomorrow, apparently.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Multiple cancellations on the Bendigo line this afternoon with the Down Echuca canned, the 17.26 Up Bendigo also given the chop (formed off the Echuca which splits at the Go?) and the Down flagship running but with (surprise surprise) a reduced capacity of 3 cars.

I'm sure I just saw someone post on RP about the spare V/Locities V/Line has at their disposal.......

BG
  Valvegear Dr Beeching

Location: Norda Fittazroy
It's called Wallow and is caused by the sudden onset of cooler weather.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
On the Down Swan Hill this morning behind a VERY sick N Class. Just stopped between Riddells and Gisborne for a while, got going again only to stop once more a KM or so later. Train slows for a while then comes to quite a sudden stop resulting in doors flapping all over the place.

Might be a long trip methinks. At least it's on the double track allowing Up services to get to SC without delay.

BG
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

On the Down Swan Hill this morning behind a VERY sick N Class. Just stopped between Riddells and Gisborne for a while, got going again only to stop once more a KM or so later. Train slows for a while then comes to quite a sudden stop resulting in doors flapping all over the place.

Might be a long trip methinks. At least it's on the double track allowing Up services to get to SC without delay.

BG
BrentonGolding
Not going any further than Gisborne.  I wonder if it'll get moved into the siding?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Yep, N456 declared a fail at Gizzy. Will be interesting to see what happens next.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Yep, N456 declared a fail at Gizzy. Will be interesting to see what happens next.
BrentonGolding
Send A66 from Bendigo to rescue it......

The next Down Pass might arrive quicker than the coaches too!
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Send A66 from Bendigo to rescue it......
Carnot

If only @Dangersdan707 had been able to purchase a PN A; BG might have been sent on his merry way behind the Broad Gauge King himself.

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