NE SG line, post gauge conversion

 
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Ignoring the marooned set at Swan Hill, is it possible to gauge convert enough N Sets in time for when they are needed for driver training. The N class loco is enough for route knowledge, but obviously the weight of the cars behind effects stopping distances. Plus need one N set to check the ride the passengers would get.

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  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
Based on the premise that 5 N Sets will be re-gauged, they obviously need to be taken out of current service prior.

Are they currently surplus (due to Albury services currently withdrawn) or have they been utilised elsewhere in the network? If so, are the plans on track to replace those N sets so that they can be ready for June running to Albury?
"Ballast_Plough"


Out of left field, does anyone forsee an opportunity for Vline to provide a SG passneger service between Melbourne and the SA border using some additional SG sets?

--Bill
"freightgate"


Kuldalai would have the most pertinent comment but I'm guessing that at a high level you would say that there are a fixed number of N sets divided over the Bairnsdale / Albury / Shepparton / Swan Hill / Warrnambool runs. Assumption would be that the same number of sets allocated to Albury would remain (if it's approximately the same timetable, a bogie change won't mean anything).

As such, it means that placing an N set on a western line border route would involve taking some sets off the existing runs (which I would imagine is unlikely).

At best you would probably find a long range SG V/Locity or similar.

As Mike says, there is a fair population base out west but at the same time there hardly seems to be a driving case turning that population into train trips. If the Overland was 16 cars per day and bursting at the seams it might warrant looking at additional services out that way. But 4-6 cars every second day suggests ripping something away from Swan Hill or Shep would be a poor utilisation of scarce rolling stock.

P.S. My original post above stated 5 N sets. I'm possibly getting confused with 5 services a day - it now rings a bell that 3 N sets were being re-gauged.
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales

As Mike says, there is a fair population base out west but at the same time there hardly seems to be a driving case turning that population into train trips. If the Overland was 16 cars per day and bursting at the seams it might warrant looking at additional services out that way. But 4-6 cars every second day suggests ripping something away from Swan Hill or Shep would be a poor utilisation of scarce rolling stock.
"Ballast_Plough"


I accept the comments in this forum.  Have you guys considered the Overland might not be popular.  It is not frequent enough and perhaps is not the right time through the region.  

V/lines policy appears to be to allow day trips from the regional centres to Melbourne and Return.

1. Could you do a day return from Western Victorian on SG?
2. V/Locity could be the answer but it would be a long journey in that type of passenger vehicle.

--Bill
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

On the issue of sg VLP services beyond Ararat :

- Not likely to be loco hauled sets for reasons explained below.

- Most cost effective method to provide a VLP connection beyond Ararat would be to station a sg V/Locity set at Horsham/Dimboola and have it run 2 - 3 return shuttle trips daily to Ararat connecting there with bg V/Locity to/from Melbourne.  (Cross platform connection with existing infrastructure.)
- Running a standalone sg service via Cressy is not very attractive as there is no real patronage between Geelong and Ararat (via Cressy), and ties up more rollingstock . Also by running that way Ballarat is missed.
- If and when Gheringhap - Yelta ever gets standardized then that would be the time to standardize Ballarat - Ararat and run the entire  Ararat and beyond VLP service on sg via North Shore & Ballarat . (Effectively this would provide a duplicated sg Adelaide mainline from Ararat to North Geelong, with Up Interstate freight trains running via Ballarat, and Down trains via Cressy .)
- Pre- 1993  when Dimboola trains ran they carried around 100,000 pax p.a. of which 50,000 was Ballarat and 50,000 beyond.   IIRC patronage fell away sharply after Ararat and  Stawell.  So in reality returning VLP services beyond Ararat would be a luxury and highly subsidized by taxpayers .

Rollingstock wise the VLP plan is to form 11 x 5 car Intercity N sets with catering from the true 1980's build N cars .

Three of these sets to be on sg and the remaining 8 on bg .

- The three sg sets are already formed complete with a PCJ Powervan and are currently running on bg services pending placement onto sg .
To convert these cars finally to sg requires insertion of sg wheelsets within the existing bg width bogies and suitable ajustment of brake rigging . Not a big deal engineering wise .  Ditto re sg wheelsets into 2 more selected N class locomotives . (One N class is already on sg.)

- VLP has a medium term plan to increase Intercity service frequencies to 4 each way on Weekdays on Warrnambool, Albury, Shepparton, and  Sale/Bairnsdale, and possibly 3 on Swan Hill .  This service level would  chew up all 3 sg N sets, and all 8 bg sets (allowing for  PPM) and probably meaning that Shepparton would be better run with V/Locity's and up to 5 return trips a day  (with selected extensions of existing Seymour services.)

- Strictly speaking the conversion of VLP Albury services to Sg requires extra rollingstock as with Albury on sg one cannot use those sets as previously for a bg  am Up trip from Geelong, and a Down PM Geelong peak trip .   This shortfall is not an issue at the moment as the three Albury sets are still on bg .  When the Albury sets finally get onto sg then the shortfall is made up to cover the Geelong peak trip in the V/Locity fleet acquisition program .
  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Another thought. Would a western victorian SG sprinter service or more than 1 sprinter be better for the Western SG network?

The sprinters might be better on "edge of the network" work.  By having 2 or three sprinters together, this might enable hamilton or portland service extensions.

I agree with your excellent review on the topic of Ballarat.  I can see how a Horsham etc. service to Ballarat and return x 2 or 3 per day could really be a winner as it was for a long time prior to SG conversion.

--Bill
  monday Chief Commissioner

With the shortfall of 3 x N Sets going to SG, time break out old faithful cars BS215 - BS219 once again for a short period of time...  We can again have the celebration of this is their 'final' run for the fifth time.
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
I reckon there's a lost opportunity for SRHC to SG convert the blue Spirit cars and lease these to VLP as 1 of the 3 SG sets. Leaves 1 extra N set on BG which could be used for Shep.

If weekend timetabling meant that only 2 sets were needed on the SG Albury run (although I doubt it), there would then be an opportunity for SRHC to use the cars for weekend SG tours to places like Dimboola or Yarrawonga or other places 4' 8.5"...
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Monday has got it right. What's wrong with using the best of the Z and S carriages. Some of them have seen better days, but quite a few are still up to scratch in both engineering and passenger comfort.

If overloading is a factor, it wouldn't be too hard to slot a Z or S carriage into a set of N's. Smile

*Waits patiently for cries of "heretic" or "it isn't technically feasible".*
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/01/3126576.htm?site=goulburnmurray&section=news&date=%28none%29


The Liberal Member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, says there is still some work to do on rolling stock under engines and carriages.

"We are now negotiating and getting proper time slotting and getting our passenger rail returned," he said.

"We're looking at a timetable ... at this stage we're looking towards return of passenger services in June. That's optimistic, we're working particularly hard that they'll return in June but the driver training, confidently speaking, will return sometime in March."


There needs to be some serrious questions asked of V/Line management (or lack thereof).

The Albury service was curtailed over two years ago to allow for gauge conversion.  That means that V/Line has had two years to arrange the gauge conversion of the rolling stock and the familiarity of crews.

What have they done?  Converted one loco.  Overhauled a few cars, without doing the gauge conversion.

Now they are proposing to start driver track familiarisation.  but hang on a minute.  Why do they need driver familiarisation with the track?  Who runs the XPT from Melbourne to Junee over these very same tracks?  V/Line drivers of course.

There are drivers based at Wodonga you may say.  To which I say, what have they done over the past two years?  
I am led to believe they have occasionally been sent down to Melbourne on relieving expenses to run the Melbourne Pass yard pilot.  Otherwise, they wait in Wodonga for the train to return.  I hope I am corrected here but I would have thought the logical thing to do would be to get them involved with the XPT roster in some small form so that track familiarisation was done without any wait or cost.

Also, V/Line was very active in promoting the demise of the Harry Potter train from the Geelong line, despite the fact that Geelong people mostly preferred it over the H car or Sprinter services.  If they have been able to put such trains aside, that indicates that they have plenty sufficient and, therefore, they should have a set on the gauge right now.

Based on the above and the fact that V/Line crews are currently driving over the standard gauge tracks between Melbourne and Albury (with the XPT),  I have to ask, why isn't at least one V/Line train running between Melbourne and Albury already?
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic

What have they done?  Converted one loco.  Overhauled a few cars, without doing the gauge conversion.
"DalyWaters"


In fairness, you're almost suggesting that the 3 sets should have been withdrawn 18 months ago and gauge converted and stored at Dynon until June this year. Would probably generate negative press about lack of rolling stock and some reporter would jump on the fact that 3 sets were effectively put out of action instead of being utilised elsewhere whilst they could.
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

In fairness, you're almost suggesting that the 3 sets should have been withdrawn 18 months ago and gauge converted and stored at Dynon until June this year.


No.  I'm not almost suggesting anything.

If a set of cars is able to be stored, then they should have had one set gauge converted six months ago, once they knew the trackwork was well underway.

I am saying that at least one train should be running right now.  Other sets could have been converted as the project neared completion.

There is absolutely no excuse for having conversion and training start AFTER project completion (other than to line the pockets of the bus companies).
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Based on the premise that 5 N Sets will be re-gauged, they obviously need to be taken out of current service prior.

"Ballast_Plough"


I believe the number of sets to be regauged for the NE line service is three. There is a number of posts somewhere around this forum identifing them.



Are they currently surplus (due to Albury services currently withdrawn) or have they been utilised elsewhere in the network? If so, are the plans on track to replace those N sets so that they can be ready for June running to Albury?


Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Found it..........

Make up of the sets is...........
SN1: BN19-BN2-BDN50-BRN53-ACN3-PCJ492
SN15: BN5- BN10-BDN21-BRN43-ACN45-PCJ493
SN16: BN22-BN7-BDN6-BRN46-ACN48-PCJ491


Incedentaly the locos are N453 City of Albury, N469 City of Morwell and N470 City of Wangarratta

Information is courtesy of Matt Julian.


Woodford
  woodford Chief Commissioner

In fairness, you're almost suggesting that the 3 sets should have been withdrawn 18 months ago and gauge converted and stored at Dynon until June this year.


No.  I'm not almost suggesting anything.

If a set of cars is able to be stored, then they should have had one set gauge converted six months ago, once they knew the trackwork was well underway.

I am saying that at least one train should be running right now.  Other sets could have been converted as the project neared completion.

There is absolutely no excuse for having conversion and training start AFTER project completion (other than to line the pockets of the bus companies).
"DalyWaters"


The management behind this project has had a RRRREEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLL one track mind. Illustrated by the following some time back I was talking to a friend in Adelaide about the delay in the signalling and his comment was " you mean they did not try to sort out the problems during the track construction". Apparently everything is being done ONE step at time, see, you do not think about trains until the track is availible to run them.

On the whole it has NOT been possible to second guess what the NE conversion project management has been going to do.

Woodford

PS, currently raining like h...l here!!
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

The car sets for Albury are already upgraded and formed into 3 sets.

As explained in earlier post the final installation of sg wheelsets can be done fairly quickly . In the meantime the cars are best used on bg services.

Ditto with the three N class locos.

Drivers need familiarization with the route on both East & West lines once the full new signalling system is commissioned by  01/03, as the new signal placement is completely different to the old .

S cars are vintage pieces and gunzels might like them for enthusiast trips, but they have no place in the operation of a modern passenger railway .

Geelong passengers did not love them, they detested them with their failing a/c and door problems and campaigned vigourously for their replacement .  The S cars will not return to regular VLP services.

The Z  cars even as N car re-builds are all over 50 years old and are heavy cars by todays standards .  The plan is to make them up into 3 - 4 x 6 car sets and use them in the short to medium term on Geelong Weekday Peak services only, limiting their kms to 700 kms per set per week .  As reported elsewhere the bogies on these cars are getting old and showing signs of fatigue. They are closely monitored for metal fatigue, and by minimizing the daily use the remaining life of these cars is prolonged .  

The VLP passenger service on sg will no doubt resume in the third quarter of 2011 when the re-lay of the East sg line with 60kg rail is complete.   VLP is not going to put the service back only to have to slow it down or be bustituting some services to accommodate the aforesaid relaying works .

In essence the rollingstock is ready, and crew training will start when a completion date of the ARTC relay is known .
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
As explained in earlier post the final installation of sg wheelsets can be done fairly quickly . In the meantime the cars are best used on bg services.
"kuldalai"


Exactly my point to DalyWaters - keep the cars on BG wheels until the last minute so they can still be used...
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

In essence the rollingstock is ready, and crew training will start when a completion date of the ARTC relay is known .


Why the  need for crew training then?
Why is the XPT still able to be run?

Is it because it is operated by a State less inclined to allow weak excuses and beauracracy to get in the way of operations?  (Hardly seems believable for New South Wales).
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
Ignoring the marooned set at Swan Hill, is it possible to gauge convert enough N Sets in time for when they are needed for driver training. The N class loco is enough for route knowledge, but obviously the weight of the cars behind effects stopping distances. Plus need one N set to check the ride the passengers would get.
"fabricator"


A fully qualified driver will not NEED to practice with complete or loaded trains Smile Ha Ha

It is only necessary to make sure he knows the safe working regulations for the track, and the positioning of the signals.
The rest comes naturally Wink

He travels the track (by whatever means), gets examined in route knowledge and is qualified to drive the new route.
Cheers
Rod
  DalyWaters Chief Commissioner

A fully qualified driver will not NEED to practice with complete or loaded trains


If the Wodonga blokes haven't driven a train for two years, won't they have to go into a retread class for 18 months?
  comtrain Chief Commissioner

Location: Near Albury Wodonga
A fully qualified driver will not NEED to practice with complete or loaded trains


If the Wodonga blokes haven't driven a train for two years, won't they have to go into a retread class for 18 months?
"DalyWaters"


I really cannot believe that Wodonga based drivers have not been driving trains elsewhere.
If V/Line wanted to retain them on the books, they would be on temporary transfer elsewhere.  Otherwise they would have transferred out temporarily to retain accreditation, or taken redundancy. Which was what one  told me when I crossed paths in Albury about a year ago.
Cheers
Rod
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
The management behind this project has had a RRRREEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLL one track mind. Illustrated by the following some time back I was talking to a friend in Adelaide about the delay in the signalling and his comment was " you mean they did not try to sort out the problems during the track construction".
"woodford"

While there were the issues to sort out with the regulators, there would also have been factors such as cash flow, budgets and an ongoing nationwide shortage of signalling engineers to contend with.
  wongm GEEWONG

Location: Geelong, Victoria
I reckon there's a lost opportunity for SRHC to SG convert the blue Spirit cars and lease these to VLP as 1 of the 3 SG sets. Leaves 1 extra N set on BG which could be used for Shep.

If weekend timetabling meant that only 2 sets were needed on the SG Albury run (although I doubt it), there would then be an opportunity for SRHC to use the cars for weekend SG tours to places like Dimboola or Yarrawonga or other places 4' 8.5"...
"Ballast_Plough"

If one had about a some $$$ free and wanted to embarrass the government, you could hire GM36 and C501 from SRHC, and fund the gauge conversion of their S car fleet.

Headlines saying "50 year old rolling museum beats V/Line to Albury" anyone?
  Ballast_Plough Chief Commissioner

Location: Lilydale, Vic
GSR would have some spare Overland cars wouldn't they? Do a few return Albury runs with those and they can add another route to their portfolio!!!
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Heard an odd whistle at Benalla this afternoon, did not sound like one of the regulars so .............................

N453 was sited at 1813 today going south crossing the Broken river at Benalla, anybody have more info on this and if possible its future ventures up this way.

Very good!! Smile

T385 was running backwards and forwards between Glenrowan and Springhurst on the West LIne this morning. Looks like it was doing a bit of rail cleaning.

Woodford
  dkaarma Chief Train Controller


T385 was running backwards and forwards between Glenrowan and Springhurst on the West LIne this morning. Looks like it was doing a bit of rail cleaning.
"woodford"


In the other thread a poster suggested it was testing track circuts.

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