XPT replacement thread 2019

 
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line

V'Locities are no more old technology than a non magnetic levitating train.

I think we all know the truth is we are getting CAFs because if we did something sensible and got SG V'locities they'd be built in Dandenong, not fitted out in Dubbo.
They are old technology. We have been there and done that with the Xplorer and the vlocity is just a slightly newer version of that concept. It would be nice to have these built in Newcastle but these new trains will be a significant advancement over the vlocity in economy, acceleration, comfort and usability. Top speed can be up to 200km/h in service as well but there is nowhere it would be allowed to hit that speed in Australia.
simstrain

V'Locity's have proven themselves as extremely reliable over the past almost 15 years...yes 15 years and it remains to be seen if the miniscule saving of diesel fuel and faster acceleration to the next curve saves the CAF's if reliability comes into the question...which at this point is completely unknown.

I think it's probably fair to say the XPT's were well over engineered and the many incarnations of the NSWGR would, on reflection be very satisfied with their operation over the past decades.
Hopefully the new rolling stock won't turn out to be turkeys like the Hitachi sets operating on the GWR to/from London...full of niggly faults and clearly too narrow for the loading gauge which presents its own problems.

As we know NSW has some of the worst permanent way due to the terrible number of curves and you'll possibly need that edge in acceleration and braking to keep up with the XPT.

200Km/h in Australia is clearly achievable quite easily and for a sustained time, one obvious example IF the NE track in Victoria were in good shape as it's very straight between Broadmeadows to Wodonga, except for the short stretch over the Great Divide with a few gentle curves that could be taken at speed.
The NE line is still pretty much a basket case...the Weekly Notice soon advises this, however it won't forever remain this way.

Mike.

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  simstrain Chief Commissioner

I would say it is the most curved and not the worst permanent way. The goat track that is the Vic NE would be the worst permanent way. The XPT is actually extremely slow in the curvy bits and is beaten by the Xplorer and Endeavour in this regard. When the Xplorer runs to Dubbo it is actually a faster service then the XPT. The new trains will be even better in this regard since they will be faster accelerating and better handling. The new trains will have a higher top service speed to boot of 200km/h, not that it would be possible to get to that speed anywhere in NSW.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I would say it is the most curved and not the worst permanent way. The goat track that is the Vic NE would be the worst permanent way. The XPT is actually extremely slow in the curvy bits and is beaten by the Xplorer and Endeavour in this regard. When the Xplorer runs to Dubbo it is actually a faster service then the XPT. The new trains will be even better in this regard since they will be faster accelerating and better handling. The new trains will have a higher top service speed to boot of 200km/h, not that it would be possible to get to that speed anywhere in NSW.
simstrain
When the XPT's were introduced, I was on the NSW Divisional Council at the time and the #4 regional councillor which still had the old Deb set in operation, compare the two, there is none even on the relatively poor track at the time.  The reports from those who were working on the first sets, and doing the tests made big inputs into their operations and that was in reference to their pick up in speed as against overall operating speed.  From standing start, it did not get going until 2nd notch was opened and the set, and power unit would act in very much a vibrating machine and rock from side to side until a bit of speed was gotten to and the train got into full throttle.  

In overall operation, when having to slow for curves and then pick up again, the same slow pick up was found in trying to get to track/timetable operating speed. This was especially so in the days before the overall Time tables were somewhat faster, on some lines the district councillors reported that they needed to brake and start throttling up with the brakes still on to hold the speed, and then to obtain the required exceleration when the brakes were released.  It was very much a no no but drivers were bunged if time lost.  The union put the case to arbitration and railways the conflict in exceleration verses overall speed and in the areas where there were a lot of curves there was a need for timetable variation and added time for operation.

In the cab of the XPT, you would feel every bump and problem in the track, bad sections had you bouncing up and down along with sideways movements, especially over lines where there were timber sleepers.  As the Hunter Valley big track replacement program came into being during the 80's where the whole track was pulled up and all the old sub soil and ballast was removed with the ballast going through size grading machines in the cleaning process, along with concrete sleepers and the heavier 63kg rail, on the completed track work, the whole ride in the cab was smooth and great.

Working the XPT to Armidale it was a different story as the track was very much old style 106lb rail on timber sleepers with many poor ones, and speed limited to 120km/h in certain spots only, it was bouncy and ruff.  I rode with a Taree driver on the down daylight service from Gosford to Taree when there was one old section of track north of the tunnel at Gloucester the section was around 3k's in length and had old timber and the 106lb rail not welded, it had a speed limit of 80km/h on it and very rough.

With modern day track, concrete and heavy rail in constant welded in theory it should be better, as for the aspect of what is causing the cracking in the centric pins, I would have little doubt that a cause includes the stresses of the early days, along with the aspect of how many Km's they do on average a day. When one compares them to old loco hauled passenger trains and of old world loco's such as the 42, 421, 44, 442, 49 classes each which would let you know when you hit bad track and why as drivers we had to put track defect forms in at the first manned station/signal box on a carbon copy booklet supplied, I wonder if they still exist, which I would likely say not as I remember Shirley ordering their removal, but they came back after he left.

Each of those diesels had their own tell tale areas of telling you what the track condition is/was like, I know of a fireman who was thrown off his seat on a 44cl when hitting a bad spot as they would have a huge sideways swishing movement on bad holes or the like.

I wonder though as far as track conditions go in these days is a combination of not just the maintenance needed which to there would be little doubt of is the general lack of heavy maintenance overall along with heavier locomotives and trains, likewise the length of them and the higher speeds they operate at does not also have an impact on the tracks, especially where the alignments are still as they were in steam days.

Finally the area that I always found in my time as an engineman was the general lack of spare parts for the locomotive fleet, where even at big depots such as Delec, & BMD where there was large loco allocations where a part had to be despatched in the cab of a locomotive on the first available train heading to another depot needing a part. very often seen at Delec for parts to Lithgow and seen elsewhere.

I am therefore both surprised and not, as to the pins failures owing to age of the fleet and not having spares on hand at Meeks Road for the fleet.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE


With modern day track, concrete and heavy rail in constant welded in theory it should be better, as for the aspect of what is causing the cracking in the centric pins, I would have little doubt that a cause includes the stresses of the early days, along with the aspect of how many Km's they do on average a day. When one compares them to old loco hauled passenger trains and of old world loco's such as the 42, 421, 44, 442, 49 classes each which would let you know when you hit bad track and why as drivers we had to put track defect forms in at the first manned station/signal box on a carbon copy booklet supplied, I wonder if they still exist, which I would likely say not as I remember Shirley ordering their removal, but they came back after he left.

a6et
Interesting read, thanks.

I have no idea if the books are still used or not, I'd be surprised if there isn't something. However I would say you probably don't need it. Put a an accelerometer recording device in the cab and wireless link at each end to the station's WIFI or even intermediate stations if available and the track department can get near live updates. Go one step further and connect to the 4G network and you will get live updates of track condition and automatic highlights of the sections of track exceeding X/Y/Z.
  a6et Minister for Railways



With modern day track, concrete and heavy rail in constant welded in theory it should be better, as for the aspect of what is causing the cracking in the centric pins, I would have little doubt that a cause includes the stresses of the early days, along with the aspect of how many Km's they do on average a day. When one compares them to old loco hauled passenger trains and of old world loco's such as the 42, 421, 44, 442, 49 classes each which would let you know when you hit bad track and why as drivers we had to put track defect forms in at the first manned station/signal box on a carbon copy booklet supplied, I wonder if they still exist, which I would likely say not as I remember Shirley ordering their removal, but they came back after he left.
Interesting read, thanks.

I have no idea if the books are still used or not, I'd be surprised if there isn't something. However I would say you probably don't need it. Put a an accelerometer recording device in the cab and wireless link at each end to the station's WIFI or even intermediate stations if available and the track department can get near live updates. Go one step further and connect to the 4G network and you will get live updates of track condition and automatic highlights of the sections of track exceeding X/Y/Z.
RTT_Rules
Sounds fair RTT but please excuse the cynic in me regarding how it would be reported and acted on.  If the defect that is transmitted by whatever aspect is used, will it be acted on and that would depend on whose track the trains running on.

Going back to what I mentioned with the track defect books, they were filled out in duplicate, with the SM/Signalman at the first attended station/box had to sign it, with it having to be sent by tele to traffic control and to per way. When Shirley stopped their use it was primarily the result of his stopping so much of the rail maintenance hence Granville, and a derailment I was involved in at Meadlow Bath.  

In that time the general weekly speed restriction sheets issued to e/men which showed every line and details of the problem along with speed limits, were also withdrawn to the point where they were produced as a depot specific sheet, that being over the track that the crews were working over rather than the state, made sense but it did not help the tracks failing and falling to bits across the state.

When it got bad and there were no more defect books available the Union Head Office called on crews to purchase note books with triplicate pages and carbon paper with the driver writing details of any track issues in the book, and had the SM/signalmen still sign them, PTC tried to stop that happening and put orders out against the traffic/sigs branch employees to not sign them but the relevant Union for them, either ARU or Salaried Officers Union backed the AFULE.  Having a personal record, one copy to the railways and the Union asked the drivers to forward the 3rd copy to NSW HO.  The union used these defect papers against the coalition and gave to the Labor party whose leader at the time was Neville Wran, he used that and other issues plaquing the system as the primary Labor policy and he got in, but Granville happened not long after that and the old mob tried to use it against him.

Why I am saying all of this is that unless whatever means is used to report issues such as those you suggest, have some sort of way for the driver to hold a record of the problem, would it be ignored through the air waves not working and the signal strength may not be good enough or similar to get it through.  Somehow there needs to be some form of back up even a notation on the tape, or something that the driver can keep for his own need perhaps in defence of a problem not being reported.

Are the various rail operators and track owners better than the old ones in their overall concerns in this area especially in regard to maintenance and spares being available for the X and track repairs and the like? What of the private operators also?
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

It's neither for or against, however the top speed of a VLocity is 210 km/h. Any track permitting greater than 160 km/h would probably require no level crossings, apart from other considerations.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Hi
The paper system you described is a system that was suited to the time, not today. Today there are technical solutions that would eliminate driver bias on how bad a problem may be, would be precise to the metre of its location, the type and severity of the track deviation.

If monitoring devices fitted to many trains the track owner and even operators can monitor the track deviations growth and severity and problem near live feed back to drivers of following trains. Private operators could also use such information to use against the track owner if train damage is occurring or at risk of occurring.

The wifi connection to the www is using either 4G network and/or WIFI s fitted at stations and other locations. If the device is out of range the data is stored and then down loaded when next connected.

The AK cars track monitoring train has obviously sofisticated equipment for precision monitoring, but operated infrequently. But basic equipment fitted to most locos would give data updates as frequent as trains operating.

None of this is new, planes have live performances monitoring feedback to their engineering departments.

Also consider we now have both driverless freight and passenger rail services and more will follow. I'd be surprised those trains dont have track monitoring systems.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Hi
The paper system you described is a system that was suited to the time, not today. Today there are technical solutions that would eliminate driver bias on how bad a problem may be, would be precise to the metre of its location, the type and severity of the track deviation.

If monitoring devices fitted to many trains the track owner and even operators can monitor the track deviations growth and severity and problem near live feed back to drivers of following trains. Private operators could also use such information to use against the track owner if train damage is occurring or at risk of occurring.

The wifi connection to the www is using either 4G network and/or WIFI s fitted at stations and other locations. If the device is out of range the data is stored and then down loaded when next connected.

The AK cars track monitoring train has obviously sofisticated equipment for precision monitoring, but operated infrequently. But basic equipment fitted to most locos would give data updates as frequent as trains operating.

None of this is new, planes have live performances monitoring feedback to their engineering departments.

Also consider we now have both driverless freight and passenger rail services and more will follow. I'd be surprised those trains dont have track monitoring systems.
RTT_Rules
Fair reply RTT, I understand re the paper aspect being dated, and the way technology is in this day and age, it should be there for the benefit of all sides of the system, track, trains, drivers, control and per way works and maintenance, without doubt to me the critical two issues are getting the track sorted out, and by that I mean we have to look at the old chestnut need of realignment and grade easing for the track as a start.

There is absolutely nil point of ordering sparkling new uboot trains and not have spares needed as replacements as well as spare parts for the critical parts of the train.  The bogie pins are a crucial item and thankfully they have lasted this long without any problems such as them sheering off.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

It's neither for or against, however the top speed of a VLocity is 210 km/h. Any track permitting greater than 160 km/h would probably require no level crossings, apart from other considerations.
kitchgp
Big whoop and also since when does it have a 210km/h top speed. No train is going to go any faster then 160km/h in any case and so it doesn't matter and as mentioned the acceleration is where this new fleet will be better then the XPT and even the Xplorers and vlocities since they are electric trains with a diesel generator and will have access to the overhead.
  a6et Minister for Railways

It's neither for or against, however the top speed of a VLocity is 210 km/h. Any track permitting greater than 160 km/h would probably require no level crossings, apart from other considerations.
Big whoop and also since when does it have a 210km/h top speed. No train is going to go any faster then 160km/h in any case and so it doesn't matter and as mentioned the acceleration is where this new fleet will be better then the XPT and even the Xplorers and vlocities since they are electric trains with a diesel generator and will have access to the overhead.
simstrain
Sims, the aspect as far as acceleration is concerned when they are not on the overhead will be determined very much by the way the governor is set, or the type.  While I am not up to date with modern DE PM's the way the governors were set on the Mk2 44cl and to a slightly lesser extent on the jumbo's and 80cl they had poor acceleration and T/N response. The Mk1 44cl had electro magnetic governors and had almost instant power and throttle response.  The other problem with the others was that at primary transition speed of 22mph the power drop was incredible with the loco falling back onto the train, worse when two Mk2' 44cl were doubling and both transitioned at the same time.

The GM's did not have that problem though.

The area that it may not be as bad is the aspect of rather than 2 loco's at the front, on the new trains they will have the power at both ends and hopefully not the old transition problems.  As I said I have no idea about how the modern loco's go, I finished up with the 81cl being the most modern loco in the fleet, and again there was no transition issues with them.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

A6ET you need to think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator and not as a diesel loco.

The NSW premier has just shown a picture of the burnt remnants of the north coast rail line and so it is safe to say that Brisbane XPT is out of order for now.

https://www.facebook.com/AConstanceMP/photos/a.763870167085076/1419433221528764/?type=3&theater
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

WA Prospector – 200 km/h
Queensland Tilt (Diesel & Electric) – 210 km/h
Electric Tilt achieved Australian Record of 210 km/h during testing
What’s the big deal about NSW stock being capable of 200 km/h?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A6ET you need to think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator and not as a diesel loco.

simstrain
Which is ironically exactly what the vast majority of diesel locos actually are
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
It's neither for or against, however the top speed of a VLocity is 210 km/h. Any track permitting greater than 160 km/h would probably require no level crossings, apart from other considerations.
Big whoop and also since when does it have a 210km/h top speed. No train is going to go any faster then 160km/h in any case and so it doesn't matter and as mentioned the acceleration is where this new fleet will be better then the XPT and even the Xplorers and vlocities since they are electric trains with a diesel generator and will have access to the overhead.
simstrain
Well you raised the top speed reference point as a selling point?

200km/h would be nice but as the West Aussies have found out it wasn't worth the investment as for the cost to achieve 160-200km/h and actual time saved, you are far better off to invest in sections below 100km/h, especially sub 60km/h.

My biggest frustration with the RTT was that on a straight section of track (mostly south of Bundy) in some locations where the track speed was other wise 160km/h, was that it slowed to between 80 - 120km/h to pass through a passing loop despite being on the straight track, because they went cheap and didn't upgrade the points. I believe over time some may have been but the RTT timetable hasn't improved since its introduction, rather its been slowed.  Looking around the cabin, you can see others also get annoyed at the train slowing expecting the 160km/h train to actually do 160km/h for extended periods of time, not bursts. Remember the Qld NCL has passing loops every 20-25km.

Nth if Bundy the points speed was more aligned with track speed either side, so a number are at 160km/h.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

WA Prospector – 200 km/h
Queensland Tilt (Diesel & Electric) – 210 km/h
Electric Tilt achieved Australian Record of 210 km/h during testing
What’s the big deal about NSW stock being capable of 200 km/h?
kitchgp
There is no big deal because there isn't anywhere it or a vlocity could reach 200 km/h on the SG network. I was also comparing to the XPT and not other trains around the country.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

A6ET you need to think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator and not as a diesel loco.
Which is ironically exactly what the vast majority of diesel locos actually are
RTT_Rules

I never realised a loco could carry 50-100 passengers within itself?
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

A6ET you need to think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator and not as a diesel loco.
Which is ironically exactly what the vast majority of diesel locos actually are

I never realised a loco could carry 50-100 passengers within itself?
simstrain
Don't believe that was the context, but Shane can answer that.

You've never seen locos on the sub continent?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
A6ET you need to think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator and not as a diesel loco.
Which is ironically exactly what the vast majority of diesel locos actually are

I never realised a loco could carry 50-100 passengers within itself?
Don't believe that was the context, but Shane can answer that.

You've never seen locos on the sub continent?
michaelgm
thanks Mic, you said exactly what I would have




But yes Sim said, think of this new train as an electric train with a diesel generator

isn't this an electric train with a genset?



Ok Sim's yes I know what you mean, the new CAF is built as an electric train and they added genset's
  kitchgp Chief Commissioner

…………but these new trains will be a significant advancement over the vlocity in economy, acceleration, comfort and usability. Top speed can be up to 200km/h in service as well but there is nowhere it would be allowed to hit that speed in Australia.
simstrain

200 km/h capability in Australia is in the Utility of Ashtrays on Motorcycles and Hip Pockets on Singlets category.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Those diesel loco's can't run on the overhead like the new train can they now. Is there anywhere in Australia you would see with all those people on a loco RTT? Oh and that is on and not within the loco if you want to get technical.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Those diesel loco's can't run on the overhead like the new train can they now. Is there anywhere in Australia you would see with all those people on a loco RTT? Oh and that is on and not within the loco if you want to get technical.
simstrain
Sims, been some nice video in the last week of hoons on the roof of Melbourne area Electric trains, also on other types.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Sims, where is the evidence that the CAFs to serve in NSW will be using overhead wires if available? Has this been documented?

Even though we keep hearing about this latest tech I am not convinced:

a: the overhead wires will be used at all
b: if the overhead wires are used, it will probably be too complex and lead to frequent technical issues.

I have said it before, NSW is a large state and it is better to keep things simple so the trains can keep running.
  arctic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Zurich
For what its worth here is the documentation:

Bi-mode is a diesel-electric hybrid which will allow the fleet to run on overhead power when operating on the electrified section of the train network.
Transport NSW
https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/system/files/media/documents/2019/Fact%20sheet%20-%20Bi-mode%20technology%20-%20September%202019.pdf

and a nice video:



https://youtu.be/3Cqn10YE8ZU

cheers
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

"It will allow" ... But will it actually happen? Is the UK actually using this hybrid system on its CAFs?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

"It will allow" ... But will it actually happen? Is the UK actually using this hybrid system on its CAFs?
ANR
Yes! The Civity UK multiple units ordered by Transport for Wales will have bi-mode power and the operator will have to make penalty payments if they run them using diesel power in electrified sectors.

Outside of units being built by CAF, UK operations using bi-mode (electric, diesel) units are already underway using Hitachi AT300 units (TOPS class numbers 800, 802), Stadler FLIRT units (class 755) and Stadler UKDual (class 88) locomotives.

Soon to enter service will be the Flex bi-mode multiple units, Class 319 EMUs being rebuilt by Brush Traction with MAN gensets feeding into the existing power bus of the EMU. Those ordered by GWR will be capable of running on both AC and DC electrified lines for GWR services between London Gatwick Airport (on the 750V DC lines of the former Southern Region) and destinations such as Oxford.

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