XPT replacement thread 2019

 
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The aspect of Australian conditions is more relevant than thought, primarily owing to the different temperature extremes along with the terrain here I Australia, and that applies very much to NSW.

Consider the summer temperatures in Australia all over, and especially NSW in this case, compare them to Europe and those countries that have temps anywhere near we do, likewise the terrain/grade and the like.  The classic examples of summer temps, extremes and the like especially in summer can be found especially in England where there are warnings issued for older people to be careful in going out when the temps reach 28degree, a further warning is issued with the recommendation that elderly and those not well should stay indoors when it reaches 30degrees.  I would love a summer where we did not get over 30 or better still 28.

We had issues on the XPT and their predecessors in the Deb sets especially on the Main North, from Wingen - Ardglen, and then from Limbri - Woolbrook in the summer owing to the need of being in high throttle range in the hot summer weather where it was a juggling issue in maintaining the T/Table with consideration of the motors and their heating.  On flatter terrain and even at higher speeds, not that we got to the max very often, you were not in full throttle for long periods.

The old Deb Sets and even the CPH that worked the Wollongong - Moss Vale link had to have extended radiators also to stop at Summit Tank to top the water up. Both are now gone but the Deb sets in particular were juggling acts and problematic in maintaining their timetables,  The Debs had problems on the same grades as the XPT but in addition they had them on the 1:40's north of Armidale.  There also was always extra oils placed at Glenn Innes and Tenterfield for the motors and transmission's just in case.

Its likely that motors these days are better but the aspect of climate considerations for this country is certainly something to be included in the specs.
a6et

CAF train's are made and operate in spain which has a similar temperature climate to Australia. So again there is no reason to consider what the UK is doing with their caf trains is applicable to what CAF will provide to Australia. CAF knows about the AC requirements for Australia because they have made trams for our light rail systems. We will have to see about reliability but these new trains are the way forward especially if it makes regional rail more affordable.

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  Upven Locomotive Driver

The aspect of Australian conditions is more relevant than thought, primarily owing to the different temperature extremes along with the terrain here I Australia, and that applies very much to NSW.

Consider the summer temperatures in Australia all over, and especially NSW in this case, compare them to Europe and those countries that have temps anywhere near we do, likewise the terrain/grade and the like.  The classic examples of summer temps, extremes and the like especially in summer can be found especially in England where there are warnings issued for older people to be careful in going out when the temps reach 28degree, a further warning is issued with the recommendation that elderly and those not well should stay indoors when it reaches 30degrees.  I would love a summer where we did not get over 30 or better still 28.

We had issues on the XPT and their predecessors in the Deb sets especially on the Main North, from Wingen - Ardglen, and then from Limbri - Woolbrook in the summer owing to the need of being in high throttle range in the hot summer weather where it was a juggling issue in maintaining the T/Table with consideration of the motors and their heating.  On flatter terrain and even at higher speeds, not that we got to the max very often, you were not in full throttle for long periods.

The old Deb Sets and even the CPH that worked the Wollongong - Moss Vale link had to have extended radiators also to stop at Summit Tank to top the water up. Both are now gone but the Deb sets in particular were juggling acts and problematic in maintaining their timetables,  The Debs had problems on the same grades as the XPT but in addition they had them on the 1:40's north of Armidale.  There also was always extra oils placed at Glenn Innes and Tenterfield for the motors and transmission's just in case.

Its likely that motors these days are better but the aspect of climate considerations for this country is certainly something to be included in the specs.

CAF train's are made and operate in spain which has a similar temperature climate to Australia. So again there is no reason to consider what the UK is doing with their caf trains is applicable to what CAF will provide to Australia. CAF knows about the AC requirements for Australia because they have made trams for our light rail systems. We will have to see about reliability but these new trains are the way forward especially if it makes regional rail more affordable.
simstrain
The UK often experiences temperature extremes and heatwaves with 40+ temps. The world is changing and so has train design... a lot since the XPTs.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The aspect of Australian conditions is more relevant than thought, primarily owing to the different temperature extremes along with the terrain here I Australia, and that applies very much to NSW.

Consider the summer temperatures in Australia all over, and especially NSW in this case, compare them to Europe and those countries that have temps anywhere near we do, likewise the terrain/grade and the like.  The classic examples of summer temps, extremes and the like especially in summer can be found especially in England where there are warnings issued for older people to be careful in going out when the temps reach 28degree, a further warning is issued with the recommendation that elderly and those not well should stay indoors when it reaches 30degrees.  I would love a summer where we did not get over 30 or better still 28.

We had issues on the XPT and their predecessors in the Deb sets especially on the Main North, from Wingen - Ardglen, and then from Limbri - Woolbrook in the summer owing to the need of being in high throttle range in the hot summer weather where it was a juggling issue in maintaining the T/Table with consideration of the motors and their heating.  On flatter terrain and even at higher speeds, not that we got to the max very often, you were not in full throttle for long periods.

The old Deb Sets and even the CPH that worked the Wollongong - Moss Vale link had to have extended radiators also to stop at Summit Tank to top the water up. Both are now gone but the Deb sets in particular were juggling acts and problematic in maintaining their timetables,  The Debs had problems on the same grades as the XPT but in addition they had them on the 1:40's north of Armidale.  There also was always extra oils placed at Glenn Innes and Tenterfield for the motors and transmission's just in case.

Its likely that motors these days are better but the aspect of climate considerations for this country is certainly something to be included in the specs
CAF train's are made and operate in spain which has a similar temperature climate to Australia. So again there is no reason to consider what the UK is doing with their caf trains is applicable to what CAF will provide to Australia. CAF knows about the AC requirements for Australia because they have made trams for our light rail systems. We will have to see about reliability but these new trains are the way forward especially if it makes regional rail more affordable.
The UK often experiences temperature extremes and heatwaves with 40+ temps. The world is changing and so has train design... a lot since the XPTs.
Upven
How often do they get above 40 degree temps in England?  The other aspect that is intertwined with the issue is that its not just the heat/temperature that I referred to its the long & heavy grades across NSW and in some parts of other states. With the exception of the Southern line each of the other 4 lines have 1:40 grades out of the Sydney Basin, although the Illawarra line is not as badly affected these days as its under the wires for the primary grades. The modern diesels and the Emu's are not affected by them.

The combination of the heavy grades and long ones at that which I mentioned affects trains more where they are longer and heavier than what is found in England.  If I remember correctly the steepest grade in England in the older days was Shap  which Wiki provides this bit of detail on it
. Shap Fell used to be notorious for the difficult and dangerous stretch of A6 for drivers, and it includes a well-known section of the West Coast Main Line. It has a 1:75 gradient for trains heading north, and in the days of steam locomotives banking engines from Tebay were often used to assist trains. It has been popular with railway photographers and there have been many pictures published taken in the area, most notably at
which lies on the southern approach to the hill.
  BrianBS Locomotive Driver

Shap is quite easy to ascend with the powerful stock used today.

Extract from Wikipedia :
The Lickey Incline, south of Birmingham, is the steepest sustained main-line railway incline in Great Britain. The climb is a gradient of 1 in 37.7 (2.65% or 26.5‰ or 1.52°) for a continuous distance of two miles (3.2 km). It is located on the Cross Country Route between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove stations in Worcestershire.
Some trains still require the assistance of banking locomotives to ensure that the train reaches the top.

Extract from Wikipedia :
The Middleton Junction and Oldham Branch Railway (MJOBR) was opened on 31 March 1842 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway, whose chief engineer was George Stephenson. The MJOBR left the Manchester to Littleborough railway line (opened on 4 July 1839), at Middleton Junction (then Oldham Junction) went through the expanding town of Chadderton to a station in the lower part of Oldham named Werneth. It was part of the original route to Oldham. The Werneth Incline - 1 mile 1,383 yards (3 km) long - was the steepest passenger worked railway line in Britain, with a gradient of 1:27 for about a mile. The earliest trains to use this line required cable assistance to get to the top of the incline.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Shap is quite easy to ascend with the powerful stock used today.

Extract from Wikipedia :
The Lickey Incline, south of Birmingham, is the steepest sustained main-line railway incline in Great Britain. The climb is a gradient of 1 in 37.7 (2.65% or 26.5‰ or 1.52°) for a continuous distance of two miles (3.2 km). It is located on the Cross Country Route between Barnt Green and Bromsgrove stations in Worcestershire.
Some trains still require the assistance of banking locomotives to ensure that the train reaches the top.

Extract from Wikipedia :
The Middleton Junction and Oldham Branch Railway (MJOBR) was opened on 31 March 1842 by the Manchester and Leeds Railway, whose chief engineer was George Stephenson. The MJOBR left the Manchester to Littleborough railway line (opened on 4 July 1839), at Middleton Junction (then Oldham Junction) went through the expanding town of Chadderton to a station in the lower part of Oldham named Werneth. It was part of the original route to Oldham. The Werneth Incline - 1 mile 1,383 yards (3 km) long - was the steepest passenger worked railway line in Britain, with a gradient of 1:27 for about a mile. The earliest trains to use this line required cable assistance to get to the top of the incline.
BrianBS
Brian  agree with you regarding the aspect of powerful stock being used today, its pretty much the same everywhere, I was not aware of the other two references you posted and thanks for them, I had spoken to a few from England and a couple of them mentioned Shap, and the difficulty that many loco's had on it, when I looked up the location and the grade of Shap being 1:75, is the same as the ruling grade for the Short South Sydney - Goulburn.  Yet there were two short sections on that line of 1:40, Southern end of Picton Station to old Hume Highway overpass bridge, and the 1:66 on Exeter bank.

The introduction of the new trains should mean reduced travel times especially with the wired sections, the biggest issue though with the XPT is its slow acceleration from standing starts which really hindered them.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

The introduction of the new trains should mean reduced travel times especially with the wired sections, the biggest issue though with the XPT is its slow acceleration from standing starts which really hindered them.
a6et

That won't be a problem with the new trains. They will have the acceleration of an electric train, the nimbleness of the xplorer with the top end of an XPT.
  David10 Station Master

Sims, the UK experience has been that these CAF trains have not been delivered on time
ANR
CAF are not alone in this, trains from Bombardier, Hitachi and Stadler have also had lengthy delays in entering service in the UK.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Our XPTs, won't last long enough to see these CAF trains enter service.

What will happen in the interim? XPL substitutions and bustitutions?
  David10 Station Master

Structurally the XPTs will last, but reliability is becoming more of an issue as they age. Believe the power cars are overdue for overhauls, but TfNSW is trying to avoid.
  Transtopic Deputy Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Structurally the XPTs will last, but reliability is becoming more of an issue as they age. Believe the power cars are overdue for overhauls, but TfNSW is trying to avoid.
David10
They would wouldn't they.  Perhaps hoping they can last until the new regional trains come on line.
  viaprojects Chief Train Controller

Structurally the XPTs will last, but reliability is becoming more of an issue as they age. Believe the power cars are overdue for overhauls, but TfNSW is trying to avoid.
They would wouldn't they.  Perhaps hoping they can last until the new regional trains come on line.
Transtopic

all up to spare parts ... would assume the standard TfNSW policy is to reuse parts till there dead .. only problem the xpts need new parts for an overhaul ( past posts ) ...
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
The overhead helps because it reduces the amount of fuel used and the train is actually much simpler with electric traction motors then with the extremely unreliable transmissions used in the xplorer and vlocity. It is much better for when the train is sitting at Central station and not spewing out harmful diesel emissions.
You keep making the assertion without backing it up with evidence. The VLocity is one of the most reliable DMUs in the world: https://cummins.com.au/sites/au/files/file_attachments/Case%20Study-VLocity.pdf

Mechanical transmissions are compact and these days extremely reliable, which is why most purpose-built DMUs use them - as opposed to the EMU/DEMU platform that CAF's XPT replacement is based on.

As for whether CAF's foreign-designed, foreign-built offering will perform reliably in NSW's notorious rail environment - time will tell. I hope that they will heed the lessons of the original XPT...
That is nothing more then an ad. Where are the actual numbers to back this up? Or maybe if you look at this you will see that it isn't that reliable. https://www.thecourier.com.au/story/5806542/vline-has-a-reliability-shocker-with-levels-not-seen-since-2016/

NSW's main issue is the curves and climbs which the new DEMU will be much better suited to especially across the blue mountains and to Newcastle where it will be running on the overhead.
simstrain
Ah yes, that well known cause of mechanical transmission failure... animal strikes. Did you even bother to read your cited source thoroughly? You can't find an actual source to back up the assertion you made about the reliability of Vlocity and Xplorer mechanical transmissions. VLocity reliability is on par with V/Line's loco-hauled carriage fleet (the carriages themselves, not locos): https://wongm.com/2018/04/vline-trains-which-type-most-reliable/ so those transmissions mustn't be that big a deal for them.
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

It is great to have leading edge technology on the rails, but the Velocity/XPL fleet are the most utilitarian trains that already operate in the far flung reaches of our country and have proven their worth. How much faster will a CAF make the journey to Dubbo, or even Broken Hill?

I have nothing against the CAF, except, this train should have been the backbone of the interurban fleet. Extend beyond wires at Kiama, Campbelltown, Broadmeadow,  and Lithgow.
  a6et Minister for Railways

It is great to have leading edge technology on the rails, but the Velocity/XPL fleet are the most utilitarian trains that already operate in the far flung reaches of our country and have proven their worth. How much faster will a CAF make the journey to Dubbo, or even Broken Hill?

I have nothing against the CAF, except, this train should have been the backbone of the interurban fleet. Extend beyond wires at Kiama, Campbelltown, Broadmeadow,  and Lithgow.
ANR
Have suggested similar extensions, although to make the best use of them and to be under wires there needs to be some decent forward thinking and planning.  No point in going past Lithgow with wires over the same terrain and alignment, same to an extent to Glbn.  That way you increase its viability with reduced times especially with better alingments.

Past BMD is an easy one and as the vast majority of the local runs are made to Telerah with only Dungog, Scone and Singleton have more than one service each way a day, the current DMU's can handle that.  It would not be hard putting the wires up, although there are a couple of areas where there are low bridges, so the track needs to be lowered or bridges raised, The Tarro bridge will be the biggest problem with the Victoria St East Maitland road in the same position as Tarro.

Going south of Kiama has the advantage of a single fleet of trains to serve the line, no change of trains times and again some serious realingments will be huge down there.
  safeworking Station Master

Location: Bungendore
I searched for bimodal and electrification in this thread but found nothing.  Bimodal units raise the possibility, where traffic frequency makes it economic, of putting in sections of electrification where track conditions result in relatively high fuel usage and/or the possibility of regenerative braking.  The economics of balancing fuel cost savings, braking cost savings against increased infrastructure costs makes the decision making complex.  The isolated sections of electrification would need to be long enough to accrue savings, and I have no idea what this would be.  Only John Holland administered track need to be considered as electrification and ARTC is a bun fight best reserved for electrification beyond Macarthur. Are there any overseas examples of this? Is this best a concept to be killed before it mutates?
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Somebody may have asked already and I couldn't find it in this thread, but is NSW Trains or whatever it calls itself buying CAF Civity with the tilting function? If not why?

When you see what the X2000 has done for Sweden, we would be nuts not to get it. It can cut travel times significantly.

On the topic of the X2000, even though the platform has been around since the early 1990s, it is getting extensive upgrades to remain in service.

It was a mistake for the NSW government not to go with the X2000 with a diesel engine.
  Matthew Train Controller

Somebody may have asked already and I couldn't find it in this thread, but is NSW Trains or whatever it calls itself buying CAF Civity with the tilting function? If not why?

When you see what the X2000 has done for Sweden, we would be nuts not to get it. It can cut travel times significantly.

ANR

Tilt trains are 'complicated', not the tilt itself, that's a well-understood bit of technology these days, it's the tilting body vs the loading gauge / kinematic envelope.
Just because a train set can tilt, doesn't mean it always should. The track centres may be too close, or structures too close.

The UK even went to the extreme of putting beacons in that enabled/disabled the tilt function on the 'Super Voyager' trains as there were many routes these trains ran where if the body tilted it would be 'out of gauge'. Eventually, I believe they have up and disabled / removed the tilting function from those trains. It wasn't worth the hassle for the limited territory they could actually tilt. The electric 'Pendolino' trains still tilt, but they are restricted to the electrified mainline spine and have active electronic actuated tilt that uses 'route knowledge and localisation' to know when and how far to tilt.

I've seen another railway that had a fleet of Talgo Pendular train sets they couldn't use as the trains were out-of-gauge on many curves that had track centres too close. (Talgo Pendular trains are mechanical passive tilt, so they couldn't simply disable the tilt function and use the trains anyway). Someone didn't check this before accepting delivery of (and paying for) a dozen of these train sets. They spent the best part of 10 years sitting in a siding while the railway rustled up the cash to do the track upgrades to support them.

Give that there is no funding or even ability (ARTC mainlines) to get upgrades done that only benefit passenger trains, it's quite possible that spending more to get tilting trains would be waste as there would be very few locations it could actually allowed to be activated and upgrading other locations locked in red-tape.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Somebody may have asked already and I couldn't find it in this thread, but is NSW Trains or whatever it calls itself buying CAF Civity with the tilting function? If not why?

When you see what the X2000 has done for Sweden, we would be nuts not to get it. It can cut travel times significantly.

On the topic of the X2000, even though the platform has been around since the early 1990s, it is getting extensive upgrades to remain in service.

It was a mistake for the NSW government not to go with the X2000 with a diesel engine.
ANR
The organisation is known as NSW Trains but trades as NSW Trainlink (intercity operations) or NSW Trainlink Regional (regional operations). Both groups are getting CAF railcar sets.

The X2000 wasn't that good. I travelled on it from Canberra to Moss Vale and returned on the then new Explorer set.

The X2000 was out of gauge below floor level due to links from the body to the bogie.
This required expensive cutting back of platforms in Goulburn, Queanbeyan and Canberra (that I know of) and possibly elsewhere.

The ride in the X2000 was both rougher and noisier than in the Explorer when new. The actual time saving as far as Goulburn was negligible and was obtained by manning all crossing stations to reduce stopping time. On the return the Explorer was fifteen minutes ahead of schedule in Queanbeyan.

The tilting was good for sitting passengers but for people standing (in the buffet for example) it wasn't that good, like a Manly Ferry crossing the heads.

There has never been an X2000 with diesel power.

The whole X2000 operation was an election stunt. There were no new trains purchased following the demonstration, conventional or otherwise.

Peter
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

Peter, it probably ended up being a very expensive election stunt. If there was more thought put into it, things could have been different. QLD has done well with their tilt trains.

When you see the x2000 at speed in its native country (on YouTube), the train streaks without any lateral movement. The Swedes are fitting out this train with new high tech gear, and refreshing the interior.. Interesting that they are not junking it, even though it is approaching 30 years in service.

When you see an XPL or XPT at speed (also on YouTube), the lateral movement from each carriage underscores the difference in track conditions between the two countries. The effect of intense heat on our tracks is telling and it has taken its toll.

I can't see the CAF doing anything like what the XPT has done for regional passenger services (longevity), and this is why I think that the XPL is probably the only platform fit for long range journeys. Looks like a bus on rails, but certainly up to the task.

One thing that the Swedes do well are train interiors and seats. The interior of the XPL is dated (looks like an emergency department at a hospital) and they could borrow some ideas from the Swedes.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

you complaign about the Nif being too wide well the X2000 is even wider. There is no need for tilt and we will have to wait and see how the CAF trains handle the terrain. The new regional fleet are definitely not viable for intercity services as they do not have the capacity.
  David10 Station Master

XPT power car XP2003, which has been out of use for a few years, has been returned to service after an overhaul including a repaint in CountryLink livery. Does this confirm XP2018, damaged in the Wallan accident, is a write-off?

While repainting a whole set is probably out of the question, would be nice if a powercar could be repainted back into the original State Rail livery before they are withdrawn much like happened in the United Kingdom with a few HST powercars (and even a whole set) returned to British Rail livery in their twilight years.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

XPT power car XP2003, which has been out of use for a few years, has been returned to service after an overhaul including a repaint in CountryLink livery. Does this confirm XP2018, damaged in the Wallan accident, is a write-off?

While repainting a whole set is probably out of the question, would be nice if a powercar could be repainted back into the original State Rail livery before they are withdrawn much like happened in the United Kingdom with a few HST powercars (and even a whole set) returned to British Rail livery in their twilight years.
David10
In normal circumstances probably would be repaired. However, seeing that XP2003 was available and that 2 crew died in XP2018, combined with the fleets imminent replacement, I guess it was an easy decision to place XP2003 back in service. Also, XP2018 might be a handy spare parts source.
  QSK19 Beginner

XPT power car XP2003, which has been out of use for a few years, has been returned to service after an overhaul including a repaint in CountryLink livery. Does this confirm XP2018, damaged in the Wallan accident, is a write-off?

While repainting a whole set is probably out of the question, would be nice if a powercar could be repainted back into the original State Rail livery before they are withdrawn much like happened in the United Kingdom with a few HST powercars (and even a whole set) returned to British Rail livery in their twilight years.
In normal circumstances probably would be repaired. However, seeing that XP2003 was available and that 2 crew died in XP2018, combined with the fleets imminent replacement, I guess it was an easy decision to place XP2003 back in service. Also, XP2018 might be a handy spare parts source.
nswtrains
The plans to return XP2003 to service were well advanced long before the Wallan incident
  ANR Deputy Commissioner

How is the replacement of the XPT fleet, "imminent"? Is it going to be replaced by buses?

Given Covid 19,000,000 and the toll on the Spanish people and economy, I can't see the substandard replacement being imminent.

Hook and pull is the go, or in the very least, bustitutions.
  Totoro Locomotive Fireman

@ANR,
I believe the XPT replacements are meant to be up and running in 2023, which is certainly “imminent” compared to most rail projects on the horizon.

It’s hard to predict what the impact of COVID will be on projects like this. We may see renewed investment/uplift in rail networks across Australia to meet the demands of a (post?) COVID world. Also these types are projects provide desperately needed jobs needed to keep GDP (what’s left of it) afloat.

You are probably right about the bus substitutions, but who would want to ride on a bus right now anyway?

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