VL00-VL75 refurbishment

 
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner


We’ve got a few rolling stock related threads going, but not one specifically for this program.

It’s nothing spectacular, just a reupholster and addition of more grab points for standing commuters, but feel free to post observations, comments or updates on which units have the treatment, to keep it out of the other threads.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
No wifi or upgraded toilets?
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

No wifi or upgraded toilets?
bevans
Defintely a no on the first, not sure about the second.

Some more details here:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/regional-train-revamp-to-improve-services-and-support-jobs/

Most interesting detail is that the upgrade appears to include certification for 9-car operations.

Automatic announcements is also a good move. Hopefully they are reasonably reliable!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
No wifi or upgraded toilets?
Defintely a no on the first, not sure about the second.

Some more details here:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/regional-train-revamp-to-improve-services-and-support-jobs/

Most interesting detail is that the upgrade appears to include certification for 9-car operations.

Automatic announcements is also a good move. Hopefully they are reasonably reliable!
potatoinmymouth
Where on the VIC network would nine-car operation be possible?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

No wifi or upgraded toilets?
bevans
WiFi is totally pointless these days when you get huge mobile data plans for not much quid these days.  The 4G repeaters that they currently have are fine.

Besides, many employers ban public WiFi for their employees anyway due to security concerns.
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
No wifi or upgraded toilets?
WiFi is totally pointless these days when you get huge mobile data plans for not much quid these days.  The 4G repeaters that they currently have are fine.

Besides, many employers ban public WiFi for their employees anyway due to security concerns.
Carnot
With respect I disagree with your point on the repeaters being fine.

On peak services the repeater acts as a bottleneck and inhibits the network more than anything. Sure, it improves signal strength, but actually reduces performance, especially in the metro area where the repeaters interact with many towers in a high density environment. I've travelled alongside many commuters that similarly have issues with intermittent dropped calls all the way to Wyndham Vale on all carriers

On trains without repeaters, one can connect to a tower directly and thus allows the network to spread the load more effectively. I get good data speeds all the way from Geelong to Southern Cross in peak on the regular H set peak run, and the same on the evening return on the N set.

There was an infrastructure problem before, but I strongly believe that only one of the two 'fixes' should have been delivered upon; we needed only more towers or repeaters, but not both. I only really see a case for the repeaters on the long distance runs.

At least with WiFi you've got the choice not to use it (or find a free channel with your own hotspot), with repeaters you're forced to suffer in that environment that inhibits network performance.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

No wifi or upgraded toilets?
WiFi is totally pointless these days when you get huge mobile data plans for not much quid these days.  The 4G repeaters that they currently have are fine.

Besides, many employers ban public WiFi for their employees anyway due to security concerns.
With respect I disagree with your point on the repeaters being fine.

On peak services the repeater acts as a bottleneck and inhibits the network more than anything. Sure, it improves signal strength, but actually reduces performance, especially in the metro area where the repeaters interact with many towers in a high density environment. I've travelled alongside many commuters that similarly have issues with intermittent dropped calls all the way to Wyndham Vale on all carriers

On trains without repeaters, one can connect to a tower directly and thus allows the network to spread the load more effectively. I get good data speeds all the way from Geelong to Southern Cross in peak on the regular H set peak run, and the same on the evening return on the N set.

There was an infrastructure problem before, but I strongly believe that only one of the two 'fixes' should have been delivered upon; we needed only more towers or repeaters, but not both. I only really see a case for the repeaters on the long distance runs.

At least with WiFi you've got the choice not to use it (or find a free channel with your own hotspot), with repeaters you're forced to suffer in that environment that inhibits network performance.
Contrillion
At least the congested 4G close to the CBD means that I can have a good excuse to limit my screentime Wink

The cost of WiFi would've been a fair bit more than the 4G repeater setup.  I'd rather the savings go into track maintenance and rolling stock....
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
I haven't travelled on a Vlo for a while, but they were like riding in a Faraday cage - Only a powerful signal could punch through the metal box and metallic glazed windows. Huge amounts of data is no good if you can't get a signal...

Rick
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
The cost of WiFi would've been a fair bit more than the 4G repeater setup. I'd rather the savings go into track maintenance and rolling stock....
Carnot

Most likely, yes. I agree - out of scope for state-funded public transport. I think the VicFreeWiFi initiative (which has been my saving grace on some evenings at Southern Cross when mobile data isn't working) is a good middle ground for passengers needing data access.

At least in peak, just about everyone who needs WiFi will provide their own, or their employer will. Considering for most it's not an additional cost, it works quite well and I don't see any pressing need for a change.

My hotspot is often the only one using the 5 GHz band, so there's plenty of WiFi channel space left! Much more than there are seats Laughing

I haven't travelled on a Vlo for a while, but they were like riding in a Faraday cage - Only a powerful signal could punch through the metal box and metallic glazed windows. Huge amounts of data is no good if you can't get a signal...
RustyRick
You're right Rick, being not much better than the XPTs. In the suburbs (Geelong and Melbourne at least) they were still quite good, pre-repeaters. Carrier dependent of course. It was just out in the open country there would be large dropouts.

Since most of the government-funded mobile sites along the commuter corridors have come online, that situation has been rectified as well.

The other day, I was on a Vlo which did not have a functioning repeater (either out of order or simply switched off for that trip, I'm not sure) and all the major gaps were filled on the Geelong line. Still noticeable weak spots though due to the faraday effect.
  potatoinmymouth Chief Commissioner

Where on the VIC network would nine-car operation be possible?
don_dunstan
Nowhere at the moment, although the RRL was built for it including appropriate signalling, full-length platforms at Footscray and passive provision at the other rebuilt stations. If they are deployed at all it will be on the Geelong line only, which is capable of 7 as it stands and would require hopefully minor modifications and platform extensions to complete the rest. Will definitely be worth the money for a quick 50% capacity boost.
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
Where on the VIC network would nine-car operation be possible?
Nowhere at the moment, although the RRL was built for it including appropriate signalling, full-length platforms at Footscray and passive provision at the other rebuilt stations. If they are deployed at all it will be on the Geelong line only, which is capable of 7 as it stands and would require hopefully minor modifications and platform extensions to complete the rest. Will definitely be worth the money for a quick 50% capacity boost.
potatoinmymouth
It's been propounded somewhere on these forums recently that it would be the stabling/yard facilities that would need to be changed significantly to support 9 car sets. Stabling currently is set up for 3 or 2x3 so plonking 9 car sets in those roads (where it even is possible) would at the least halve the number of stabling slots.

So service frequency would have to take a cut (easily negating the increase in seats per service) at least during some parts of the day/week without expanding the stabling facilities or adding some new ones.

EDIT: Not saying it can't be done but to do it easily it will have to start off slow. I can envisage two peak runs per day in each direction on the Geelong line being 9 cars (stabled at Geelong Loco, then running between Geelong and Southern Cross, then v.v.) but any more than that and it will start taking away slots needed for other runs.
  jakar Assistant Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
It's been propounded somewhere on these forums recently that it would be the stabling/yard facilities that would need to be changed significantly to support 9 car sets. Stabling currently is set up for 3 or 2x3 so plonking 9 car sets in those roads (where it even is possible) would at the least halve the number of stabling slots.
Contrillion
Providing there is room to attach/detach a 9 car set is easy as it is just attaching another identical 3 car set. Its when you have a mix of set lengths (2,3,4 or 5 car sets) that issues arise as walking paths, platforms, signalling, siding lengths, de-watering and so on are setup for 3 car sets.
  @Capacity Station Staff

Location: On the Gippsland line, stuck behind a metro
"Automatic announcement technology that lets passengers know when their train is approaching the next station will also be installed."
Conducters jobs are about to get even easier.
  Crossover Train Controller

Location: St. Albans Victoria
"Automatic announcement technology that lets passengers know when their train is approaching the next station will also be installed."
Conducters jobs are about to get even easier.
@Capacity
Ever been on a train with the Auto announcements being out of sync ?
       Ala a recent Metro trip announcing we were pulling into Melbourne Central when I could swear that out the window the station sign said ""Älbion ""
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, VIC
It's been propounded somewhere on these forums recently that it would be the stabling/yard facilities that would need to be changed significantly to support 9 car sets. Stabling currently is set up for 3 or 2x3 so plonking 9 car sets in those roads (where it even is possible) would at the least halve the number of stabling slots.
Providing there is room to attach/detach a 9 car set is easy as it is just attaching another identical 3 car set. Its when you have a mix of set lengths (2,3,4 or 5 car sets) that issues arise as walking paths, platforms, signalling, siding lengths, de-watering and so on are setup for 3 car sets.
jakar
Are there any instances where stabling is at capacity?

In such cases when you form a 9 car train there will be another service dropped down to 3 cars - most likely at peak. I can't imagine this being a popular change. No net change in capacity but commuters hardly respond well at present when their service gets bumped down to a single set.

Worst case scenario is that single set is combined with another to create a 9 car service, so one less service for the same amount of seats.
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
It's not like the current 6 cars are coupled together for the whole day - often at Ballarat they are broken apart after services, e.g. a 6 car train gets back from a run to Wendouree, 3 stay in the platform to join the next run, 3 get sent back to the stabling. I can see two or three off peak afternoon services coming together at Southern Cross to form a 9 car down peak run.

With Wyndham Vale and Tarneit being 8 cars long already, V/Line would probably feel safe running 9 cars there with maybe 2 conductors onboard to ensure people move down safely (as the case has been with a single conductor at Clarkefield and other short platforms for years). Extending them a couple of extra metres to get the last door on probably wouldn't be a costly exercise given they were built with plenty of space around them for additional tracks and platforms in the case of WV.

The new stabling at WV might allow for 9 cars to be stabled as sets as well.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
No wifi or upgraded toilets?
bevans

What exactly is wrong with the toilets, apart from the disabled toilet being a repository of some scrotes graffiti & vandalism and the space being a mobile drug users room...

WiFi is hardly needed anyway. If you need to save your download by connecting to WiFi for an hour, you probably need to upgrade your phone package.

The at seat mains and USB ports in most GWR trains in Cornwall where I am atm is a great idea...but how long would that last with some of the vandals that pass for passengers on V/Lines network Question

BTW, 5 sleeping cars on the 21:45 'Night Riviera' overnight train from Penzance to London last night...who said sleeping cars were dead Question

(back to the thread)

Mike.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
No wifi or upgraded toilets?
WiFi is totally pointless these days when you get huge mobile data plans for not much quid these days.  The 4G repeaters that they currently have are fine.

Besides, many employers ban public WiFi for their employees anyway due to security concerns.
Carnot

Not all devices have a 4G wireless radio installed.  There are many devices like Laptops and IPads and other tablet varieties which do not include a cellular service,
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

No wifi or upgraded toilets?
WiFi is totally pointless these days when you get huge mobile data plans for not much quid these days.  The 4G repeaters that they currently have are fine.

Besides, many employers ban public WiFi for their employees anyway due to security concerns.

Not all devices have a 4G wireless radio installed.  There are many devices like Laptops and IPads and other tablet varieties which do not include a cellular service,
bevans
Easy fix - turn on WiFi Hotspot on your phone and link it to your iPad etc.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Easy fix - turn on WiFi Hotspot on your phone and link it to your iPad etc.
Carnot

Never confuse selling with implementation. Smile

We also need to remember there are tourists and other younger people using the trains which may not have large data plans on cellular networks.
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

Implement it out of the tourism budget. Wi-Fi is a matter for the mobile companies and their customers. Mobile 'free' Wi-Fi networks would not come cheap.

https://www.thelocal.ch/20180513/sbb-rules-out-free-wi-fi-for-swiss-trains
(SBB may have had a change of heart since this article.)

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