Clifton Hill group musings

 
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Time to bump this again and add another "musing". Feels like we haven't had one for a while!

Train this morning right in the middle of morning peak on the Mernda line, trains departing Mernda every 6-7 minutes.
- Seats all gone by South Morang.
- Crush load after Thornbury (people scooting up and down the platform to find space).
- People left behind from Clifton Hill all the way to the city (possibly even at Rushall as well).

I know this kind of thing happens all over the city, but for many relief is coming in a few years: MM1 will bring bigger trains and lots of capacity for Sunbury and Dandenong; the extra loop paths freed up will help Upfield and Craigieburn in the North and Frankston and Sandringham (maybe) in the South.  Newport group has plenty of spare capacity already and while Burnley group needs some love, some duplication and timetable rationalisation could go a long way.

That leaves Mernda and Hurstbridge. Can't really run more than the 20tph from Clifton Hill - Flinders Platform 1 - City Loop than they do already in peak as they already never keep to timetable in the morning.  Any periphery improvements seem minimal at best: they might add one extra train.  Beyond that there is... no plan? MM2 if it ever happens is over a decade away, so in the meantime I guess we just jam in tighter? Surprised

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  reubstar6 Chief Train Controller

Time to bump this again and add another "musing". Feels like we haven't had one for a while! Train this morning right in the middle of morning peak on the Mernda line, trains departing Mernda every 6-7 minutes. - Seats all gone by South Morang. - Crush load after Thornbury (people scooting up and down the platform to find space). - People left behind from Clifton Hill all the way to the city (possibly even at Rushall as well). I know this kind of thing happens all over the city, but for many relief is coming in a few years: MM1 will bring bigger trains and lots of capacity for Sunbury and Dandenong; the extra loop paths freed up will help Upfield and Craigieburn in the North and Frankston and Sandringham (maybe) in the South. Newport group has plenty of spare capacity already and while Burnley group needs some love, some duplication and timetable rationalisation could go a long way. That leaves Mernda and Hurstbridge. Can't really run more than the 20tph from Clifton Hill - Flinders Platform 1 - City Loop than they do already in peak as they already never keep to timetable in the morning. Any periphery improvements seem minimal at best: they might add one extra train. Beyond that there is... no plan? MM2 if it ever happens is over a decade away, so in the meantime I guess we just jam in tighter? Surprised
LeroyW
Would high capacity signalling be an option? I guess they could also roll out some high capacity trains in peak.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
That leaves Mernda and Hurstbridge. Can't really run more than the 20tph from Clifton Hill - Flinders Platform 1 - City Loop than they do already in peak as they already never keep to timetable in the morning.  Any periphery improvements seem minimal at best: they might add one extra train.  Beyond that there is... no plan? MM2 if it ever happens is over a decade away, so in the meantime I guess we just jam in tighter? Surprised
LeroyW
SO glad that the Ms moved to the other side of town so I don't have to deal with Victoria Park Station in the AM peak anymore. Missing trains was becoming more and more common and people like me who were trying to get to a connecting V/Line service or a meeting or whatever would be pacing up and down the platform, checking the App, PIDS etc etc as there were always delays with stoppers held near Rushall for late running express services etc. It was pretty bad then and i actually missed a couple of my V/Line trains towards the end, I hate to think what it is like now a year and a half on.......
  Upven Locomotive Driver

Time to bump this again and add another "musing". Feels like we haven't had one for a while! Train this morning right in the middle of morning peak on the Mernda line, trains departing Mernda every 6-7 minutes. - Seats all gone by South Morang. - Crush load after Thornbury (people scooting up and down the platform to find space). - People left behind from Clifton Hill all the way to the city (possibly even at Rushall as well). I know this kind of thing happens all over the city, but for many relief is coming in a few years: MM1 will bring bigger trains and lots of capacity for Sunbury and Dandenong; the extra loop paths freed up will help Upfield and Craigieburn in the North and Frankston and Sandringham (maybe) in the South. Newport group has plenty of spare capacity already and while Burnley group needs some love, some duplication and timetable rationalisation could go a long way. That leaves Mernda and Hurstbridge. Can't really run more than the 20tph from Clifton Hill - Flinders Platform 1 - City Loop than they do already in peak as they already never keep to timetable in the morning. Any periphery improvements seem minimal at best: they might add one extra train. Beyond that there is... no plan? MM2 if it ever happens is over a decade away, so in the meantime I guess we just jam in tighter? Surprised
Would high capacity signalling be an option? I guess they could also roll out some high capacity trains in peak.
reubstar6
Yeah wouldn't high capacity signalling and quality* modern infrastructure at least boost capacity to 30TPH?
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
That leaves Mernda and Hurstbridge. Can't really run more than the 20tph from Clifton Hill - Flinders Platform 1 - City Loop than they do already in peak as they already never keep to timetable in the morning.  Any periphery improvements seem minimal at best: they might add one extra train.  Beyond that there is... no plan? MM2 if it ever happens is over a decade away, so in the meantime I guess we just jam in tighter? Surprised
SO glad that the Ms moved to the other side of town so I don't have to deal with Victoria Park Station in the AM peak anymore. Missing trains was becoming more and more common and people like me who were trying to get to a connecting V/Line service or a meeting or whatever would be pacing up and down the platform, checking the App, PIDS etc etc as there were always delays with stoppers held near Rushall for late running express services etc. It was pretty bad then and i actually missed a couple of my V/Line trains towards the end, I hate to think what it is like now a year and a half on.......
BrentonGolding
They've done all they can to make it better within the current constraints. The Hurstbridge express are now timetabled to take the same amount of time as the stoppers and there's no baked in timetable delay from Rushall - first in to Clifton Hill just goes.

Still get problems due to the at-grade crossing; and people still miss trains at VP; but some of the issues are thankfully sorted.
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Would high capacity signalling be an option? I guess they could also roll out some high capacity trains in peak.
reubstar6
Yeah wouldn't high capacity signalling and quality* modern infrastructure at least boost capacity to 30TPH?
Upven
Don't the HCMTs require longer platforms? That's a pretty significant project. If they can run shorter that could be great. Put in the order Dan!

The problem with high capacity signalling is that you could run 30 trains into the city and then watch them stack up trying to get through Flinders St Platform 1. With all the departing passengers (lots) and all the passengers transferring to a loop service (lots) I've seen dwell times beyond a minute. Not much chance of having the next train ready to leave in only 40s more!

Would require a reconfiguration of signals/points etc. and reinstatement of Platform 14 to allow the trains to pass and interleave to get the throughout, and even then would be pretty messy.
  Upven Locomotive Driver

Would high capacity signalling be an option? I guess they could also roll out some high capacity trains in peak.
Yeah wouldn't high capacity signalling and quality* modern infrastructure at least boost capacity to 30TPH?
Don't the HCMTs require longer platforms? That's a pretty significant project. If they can run shorter that could be great. Put in the order Dan!

The problem with high capacity signalling is that you could run 30 trains into the city and then watch them stack up trying to get through Flinders St Platform 1. With all the departing passengers (lots) and all the passengers transferring to a loop service (lots) I've seen dwell times beyond a minute. Not much chance of having the next train ready to leave in only 40s more!

Would require a reconfiguration of signals/points etc. and reinstatement of Platform 14 to allow the trains to pass and interleave to get the throughout, and even then would be pretty messy.
LeroyW
Currently the HCMTs are 7 carriages and fit on existing platforms IIRC, but with the opening of the tunnel in 2025 the contract is for the HCMTs to be extended to 10 carriages in total and I think by 2025 we will see platform extensions on the Sunbury-Pakenham corridor.

The existing dwell times and issue regarding lots of transfers could probably be directly attributed to the current frequency. I'm sure they'd be able to run the numbers/equations on this if frequency increased.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I'm sure they could take out a trailer just like the old days, but the main issue is that the carriage would sit around uselessly by itself in a maintenance facility because they can't be dumped at sidings or Newport/Jolimont like 40 years ago. In ye olde days the red rattlers had carriages swapped and changed all the time but with those it was easier due to the basic couplings (hook up together, connect hoses/MU cables, done). Swapping out a trailer which has semi-permanent couplings (drawbars) is significantly more difficult. When a Harris was split to four carriages it left the other three in the yard sitting around uselessly since the remainder obviously couldn't run with a BT up front (no idea if an M-T-BT-BT-T-M set was ever formed, but that would have been the most gutless POS on the planet).
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The problem with high capacity signalling is that you could run 30 trains into the city and then watch them stack up trying to get through Flinders St Platform 1. With all the departing passengers (lots) and all the passengers transferring to a loop service (lots) I've seen dwell times beyond a minute. Not much chance of having the next train ready to leave in only 40s more!

Would require a reconfiguration of signals/points etc. and reinstatement of Platform 14 to allow the trains to pass and interleave to get the throughout, and even then would be pretty messy.
LeroyW
Plus ATM in the peaks most / all Hurstbridge line services are express Clifton Hill > Jolimont with the Mernda services picking up the poor unfortunates from Vic Park > West Richmond. Thus more headway is required for these express services (although in reality most of them crawl through the section behind the previous late running all stopper anyway so it is all a bit of a moot point).
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
This may have been discussed ?

But how would a future Metro 2 line tie Into Clifton Hill Station / Junction ?

As the realestate around Clifton Hill Railway Station Is very limited.

Would the tunnel largely bypass Clifton Hill and line up with the Merri Creek Bridge, eliminating the tight Rushall curve ?
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
This may have been discussed ?

But how would a future Metro 2 line tie Into Clifton Hill Station / Junction ?

As the realestate around Clifton Hill Railway Station Is very limited.

Would the tunnel largely bypass Clifton Hill and line up with the Merri Creek Bridge, eliminating the tight Rushall curve ?
Nightfire
Take a look at the Metro 2 thread... loads of opinions in there.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11386086.htm
  Goose13 Station Master

Location: Having a sook about Southern cross's western wall
https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/publications/hurstbridge-line-upgrade-stage-2-community-update-january-2020

Upgrades to the junction at clifton hill have survived scoping it seems, will be intresting to see what this ends up entailing.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
https://levelcrossings.vic.gov.au/media/publications/hurstbridge-line-upgrade-stage-2-community-update-january-2020

Upgrades to the junction at clifton hill have survived scoping it seems, will be intresting to see what this ends up entailing.
Goose13
Yeah, will be very interesting to see the design that they go with
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Does that mean the nonsensical situation of Diamond Creek having the platforms on the wrong side will no longer exist?
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Diamond Creek originally had only one platform, but there was an adjacent passing loop.  At peak times, trains going in the "wrong" direction would shunt into the loop to allow the peak train to pass.  It made more sense to build a second platform at the passing loop, rather than convert the existing platform into an island.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Some rain overnight and we have more chaos again on the Clifton Hill Group.

Trains between Clifton Hill and Heidelberg have been suspended since early morning but announced on the website line updates at 7.30am. The reason given was flooding of the rail track between these two locations.

Major Delays 5 Mar 8:16
The 8:48am Eltham to Flinders Street service has been cancelled. The next service will depart at 9:21am.

Minor Delays 5 Mar 8:06
The 7:53am Eltham to Flinders Street service has been cancelled. The next service will depart at 7:58am.

Major Delays 5 Mar 8:01
Delays up to 30 minutes due to an equipment fault near Collingwood; and congestion account an earlier service disruption on the Hurstbridge line. Check information displays and listen for announcements for service information.
Somebody


Where between these locations would water be higher than the rail line?  I have lived in the area of 22 years and I cannot see where it would occur.

We also have the old favourite of Collingwood/Victoria Park going down with a bit of rain which does not appear to be high on the list of problems to fix for Metro Trains.
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Some rain overnight and we have more chaos again on the Clifton Hill Group.

Trains between Clifton Hill and Heidelberg have been suspended since early morning but announced on the website line updates at 7.30am. The reason given was flooding of the rail track between these two locations.

Where between these locations would water be higher than the rail line?  I have lived in the area of 22 years and I cannot see where it would occur.

We also have the old favourite of Collingwood/Victoria Park going down with a bit of rain which does not appear to be high on the list of problems to fix for Metro Trains.
bevans
Yep, one of our staff was headed to Castlemaine to cover an absence this morning from Heidelberg, left himself plenty of time to get to Southern Cross to get the 09.14 but alas it wasn't enough time to cover the more than a hour it took to travel between the 2 locations.

Maybe the trenches for the LX removals filled up! Laughing
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Diamond Creek originally had only one platform, but there was an adjacent passing loop.  At peak times, trains going in the "wrong" direction would shunt into the loop to allow the peak train to pass.  It made more sense to build a second platform at the passing loop, rather than convert the existing platform into an island.
Lad_Porter
But not more sense to put an actual building on platform 2, turn that side into an up platform (and preferably a premium station), and demote the original side for the sheep or two and a kangaroo that get off at Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge. I know Diamond Creek's original platform happened to be facing the "wrong" way to begin with, but it still doesn't make sense to me that after 30 or so years the same old situation applies, especially with the suburb growing exponentially in that time. Even funnier since the main side of Diamond Creek actually is the platform 2 side so you have to cross over both times except on the rare occasion platform 2 is actually used (which of course is only for down trains going nowhere useful) - the only thing the platform 1 side has is a Maccas and a hotel/pokies venue. Likewise with Westona having the trains passing on the "wrong" side. On the other hand, Mooroolbark (side platforms like Diamond Creek) and Upwey (island platform between single-track sections like Westona) got it right.
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Diamond Creek originally had only one platform, but there was an adjacent passing loop.  At peak times, trains going in the "wrong" direction would shunt into the loop to allow the peak train to pass.  It made more sense to build a second platform at the passing loop, rather than convert the existing platform into an island.
But not more sense to put an actual building on platform 2, turn that side into an up platform (and preferably a premium station), and demote the original side for the sheep or two and a kangaroo that get off at Wattle Glen and Hurstbridge. I know Diamond Creek's original platform happened to be facing the "wrong" way to begin with, but it still doesn't make sense to me that after 30 or so years the same old situation applies, especially with the suburb growing exponentially in that time. Even funnier since the main side of Diamond Creek actually is the platform 2 side so you have to cross over both times except on the rare occasion platform 2 is actually used (which of course is only for down trains going nowhere useful) - the only thing the platform 1 side has is a Maccas and a hotel/pokies venue. Likewise with Westona having the trains passing on the "wrong" side. On the other hand, Mooroolbark (side platforms like Diamond Creek) and Upwey (island platform between single-track sections like Westona) got it right.
Heihachi_73
That's because the original platform at a place like Mooroolbark was in the "Up" direction.  What about Croydon, where a new platform for Up direction travel was built next to a former goods loop, much like Diamond Creek?  It depends on the original geography of a place as to what can be done with it.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Yes, Mooroolbark had it lucky in that aspect. Ringwood East seems to have been built the opposite way to the main street as well, as the up track curves around the (now) island platform whereas the down track was straight and has (or had) wooden sleepers. The 1980s concrete sleepers with the inverted fishbelly shape seem to occur a lot on the two Ringwood lines, but only on the one side that was duplicated (strangely I've seen the AN logo on a few of these as well, I think it was at Mont Albert or Surrey Hills).

I can't remember the old layout of Croydon unfortunately, I was still in a pram when we moved to Mooroolbark in 1985 (IIRC Croydon station itself was burnt down, which probably explains why I don't remember anything except the current brick building). I only just remember the odd blue train with its doors open, and the fact we sometimes jumped out at the top of the hill before Mooroolbark when the train stopped at the signal for the up train (naughty parents!) - we lived on the bike track side so we never had to cross the tracks so there was no chance of being run over by a passing train (the days before OH&S and nanny state...)
  Lad_Porter Chief Commissioner

Location: Yarra Glen
Croydon had just the one platform, on the "down" side (you can identify it by the solid brick facing), but parallel to the track there was an adjacent loop track.  In the morning peak this track was sometimes used to refuge the Healesville Goods, allowing the sparks to pass by unimpeded.  There were two stabling tracks at Croydon, and "CROYDON" was (still is?) on the desto rolls.  The tracks were located just past the level crossing, again on the "down" side.  If you look carefully, you can still see a few concrete bases for the overhead stanchions.  Movements in and out of the stabling yard, in addition to the regular traffic, must have kept the level  crossing busy.  It was single track between Ringwood and Croydon, with only the straight side of Ringwood East in use.  At that stage the other side had not even been excavated.  Double track resumed from Croydon to Mooroolbark.  When the section between Ringwood and Croydon was duplicated, Ringwood East was dug out and made into an island, the loop track at Croydon was lifted and relaid, a new "Up" platform was constructed there, and semaphore signalling was replaced.  Part of that work was also to construct two additional stabling tracks at Ringwood.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
Croydon was replaced with Cranbourne on the Comengs (and the Hitachis which ended up being fitted with the Comeng rolls), likewise Holmesglen with Warragul, but it wouldn't surprise me if the oldest of the Comengs still had the old stations (of course, none of the refurbished trains would have it on the computer - they might still have Mitcham if you're lucky).

Anyway, I'll try to rerail the thread by saying it's good to see the Hurstbridge line finally getting some love, even though it makes me jealous that sleepy old Wattle Glen will soon have three times as many trains as Croydon, where I still have to catch buses to and from Ringwood to get around the 20-30 minute waits if I have just missed the train (I feel sorry for the Belgrave line, which doesn't have that option - the 679 to Heathmont is hardly an alternative).
  LeroyW Junior Train Controller

Location: Awaiting MM2
Anyway, I'll try to rerail the thread by saying it's good to see the Hurstbridge line finally getting some love, even though it makes me jealous that sleepy old Wattle Glen will soon have three times as many trains as Croydon, where I still have to catch buses to and from Ringwood to get around the 20-30 minute waits if I have just missed the train (I feel sorry for the Belgrave line, which doesn't have that option - the 679 to Heathmont is hardly an alternative).
Heihachi_73
I think they were only going for 20min frequency beyond Eltham in peak, nothing more than that: the duplication between Diamond Creek and Wattle Glen is essentially a big passing loop 10mins out from both Eltham and Hurstbridge that will allow the trains running every 20mins to pass each other.

Croydon will still have plenty more trains in peak than Wattle Glen ever will. For example, between 7:00am and 8:30am it has 10 currently to the city - Wattle Glen has 4. With the works it might become 6!! (maybe Laughing)

Offpeak it might even stay at 40mins.

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