XPT Replacement Discussion

 
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
NSW passenger trains are dysfunctional because they are overly bureaucratised / unionised / politicised / nimbyised / rent seekerised / stake holderised. (Pick any three of these that appeal to you).

But how do you tackle this inherent inefficiency? There are so many issues that it's easy to leave in the "Too Hard Basket".

Letting my mind wander south of the border, in the early 1990's the Mexican Railways were almost as bad. One especially absurd example is that any country train in Victoria with air con was required to carry a highly skilled, well paid, air con technician despite the odds of the air con failing being very low.

So what did the Victorian government of the time do? They picked a minor passenger route where closing it could be easily justified and put it out to tender. The successful tenderer to run the Warnambool line was the (gunzel owned) West Coast Railway and they ran the service successfully for a decade while reducing costs and massively increasing patronage. I suspect that a company owned by hard nosed businessmen would have reduced costs and increased patronage even more.

The example of WCR highlighted the inefficiencies of V/Line and forced the vested interests to back down, allowing the state government to overhaul the whole passenger network. I think NSW might be advised to copy this idea and let out a passenger route that even the vested interests admit has no future to tender and see if the new operators can decrease costs and increase patronage too.

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  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes I agree , hows about you suggest a few potentials in NSW that you think could do it . And where .
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
....The example of WCR highlighted the inefficiencies of V/Line and forced the vested interests to back down, allowing the state government to overhaul the whole passenger network. I think NSW might be advised to copy this idea and let out a passenger route that even the vested interests admit has no future to tender and see if the new operators can decrease costs and increase patronage too.
Bogong
Murwillimbah branch anyone? Laughing Or Bombala? LaughingLaughing

Seriously Bogong, I get where you're coming from; and I must say while it happening in NSW highly unlikely, I must admit, not entirely impossible.

And there's often true words spoken in jest Wink
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Ha ha Wurx, I meant tendering out passenger services on a line with track in moderately good condition that is still operating a passenger service, albeit only just.

The state government has replaced quite a few rural passenger trains with busses in recent decades, so which ones are next on the list?
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Yes I agree , hows about you suggest a few potentials in NSW that you think could do it . And where .
BDA
What we need is a few entrepreneurial spirited owner drivers to make a bid for the NCL to run loco hauled trains up.
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
Ha ha Wurx, I meant tendering out passenger services on a line with track in moderately good condition that is still operating a passenger service, albeit only just.

The state government has replaced quite a few rural passenger trains with busses in recent decades, so which ones are next on the list?
Bogong
The Moree service perhaps?
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The Moree service perhaps?
"wurx"
It runs together with the Armidale service; I'm inclined to think that they reinforce each other. The Mungindi line out to Moree is in good shape and is well-used by freight, but the patronage base isn't great; the Main North line past Werris Creek out to Armidale sees minimal traffic, but that's where the New England patronage is.

That said, there is the possibility of cutting it back to Tamworth again...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
What failed Metro???

Dillema was pushing for a metro for the NWL, the then opposition was totally against it, but now in power what is being built???
a6et
Inner NW city one that even the feds told NSW they were off their heads building and funded accordinly.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I totally agree with you Peter. This thread has "gone off the rails" and no one seems to have noticed my earlier post asking how much faster a modern tilt train could travel the line when compared with the XPT!

Duncan
Duncs
Duncan,
The answer was up to 25% for TT on curves, but there are alot of if's and buts on that.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
You could probably estimate it yourself.  There has been plenty of discussion of the historical trial of a tilting set in this thread.

I suspect on its own the saving would be nominal, as a picked-out-of-the-air notional figure something like half an hour for the Sydney - Melbourne leg.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but the mere crossing of a state border is enough to knock 20 km/h off the top speed of the current set.  Tilting, on its own, doesn't change aspects like that.

Even that might be optimistic.  It obviously depends on the curvature of the line that you are travelling on and delays that are not related to the type of train itself, but if we use South East Queensland services as a template, the Rockhamptom Tilt Train takes 95 minutes from Roma Street to Nambour.  Along the way it stops two times.  The normal "interurban" service takes 112 minutes, stopping 20 or so times. If you assume one minute of additional time associated with slowing down, stopping at the station, speeding up again, the tilt train has bought you... negative one minute!

The standard diesel loco hauled service takes 130 minutes, stopping once.  The diesel tilt takes 101 minutes, stopping once.
donttellmywife
The Tilt Train does Bris-Rocky in 7.25hr with a top speed of 160km/hr, although this very rare with 150 more common than 160.
The former ICE set it replaced which has a top speed of 120km/hr used to take I think 9hr. The loco hauled are over 10-11hr.

The ICE and RTT are very close in train length, both being usually 6 cars (RTT always). Single driver, electric traction etc. RTT however is a sports car on rails with a far greater power to weight ratio (!80kW traction motors vs 135 or something like that and more of them). The actual trackage for which it exceeded the ICE is minimal, maybe 50-100km at best. Perhaps timetabling gives the RTT a boost as well.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
NSW passenger trains are dysfunctional because they are overly bureaucratised / unionised / politicised / nimbyised / rent seekerised / stake holderised. (Pick any three of these that appeal to you).

But how do you tackle this inherent inefficiency? There are so many issues that it's easy to leave in the "Too Hard Basket".

Letting my mind wander south of the border, in the early 1990's the Mexican Railways were almost as bad. One especially absurd example is that any country train in Victoria with air con was required to carry a highly skilled, well paid, air con technician despite the odds of the air con failing being very low.

So what did the Victorian government of the time do? They picked a minor passenger route where closing it could be easily justified and put it out to tender. The successful tenderer to run the Warnambool line was the (gunzel owned) West Coast Railway and they ran the service successfully for a decade while reducing costs and massively increasing patronage. I suspect that a company owned by hard nosed businessmen would have reduced costs and increased patronage even more.

The example of WCR highlighted the inefficiencies of V/Line and forced the vested interests to back down, allowing the state government to overhaul the whole passenger network. I think NSW might be advised to copy this idea and let out a passenger route that even the vested interests admit has no future to tender and see if the new operators can decrease costs and increase patronage too.
Bogong
I think the Vic example demonstrated two things
1) Letting someone who's job depends on sucess having ago and showing what can be done
2) The limited capability in using aging rollingstock for too long

For NSW, I don't see why a similar model couldn't be applied, I'd like to see each route tendered seperately, ie Nth Coast, NW, West, South and Cannberra. But with the interaction of the trains or at least in the case of XPLR's spare sets, this is probably not viable.

But perhaps the use tendering of each of XPLR and XPT routes seperately. ie maybe apply the Jeff K model. You tender two in case one fails, but also to bench mark against each other to remove external factors from patronage changes.

On the sleepers
Why sleepers and overnight trains is this. Overnight trains and sleepers are intented to target a market of people wanting to travel from Capital to Capital or near by. Reality is the CL intercity services no longer do this role well with the airline industry offering frequency and cost. In the golden age of the sleeper, seats were mostly upright with minor tilt. Modern design has alsmost flat bed capability without impacting on person behind you.

Look at the subsidised privately run Overlander. With little in the middle to offer local use, the use of the train for intercapital travel is very much on the wane. NSW however is vastly different to that of the Overlander route, the population and even tourist potential along the two intercapital routes is well populated and growing fast. The NCL is large tourist region.

Therefore there is a future for these services and the future must be targetted at local travel or local to capital.
- Trains however need to have some level of frequency, 3 x per day each way as a min.
- Brisbane needs to be at least twice as the mid NSW coast is also popular with Qlders. Likewise, mid to Nth NSW people do travel to Brisbane often more than Sydney.
- 3 x to Wagga from Sydney with two trains running through to Melbourne. Albury is a bit too far for Syd return with one train in a day and Melbourne is closer.
- Bi-level of seating standards and buffet services is all that is required along with ISE which tends to keep people quiet and in their seats (why airlines spend so much money installing it)

- With the NW service, agree something may give if users cannot be increased. Ironically a day return with one set to Tammworth is actually very viable. Armidale is too stretched. But I think perhaps day return Newcastle-Tam-Newcastle is something that needs considering and complements the existing service. However how would it impact on the current service.

- Canberra needs 3 x per day, same time roughly each day.
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I've made a triple-daily Canberra service work; one set runs SYD-CBR-SYD-CBR and the other CBR-SYD-CBR-SYD. Each set spends every other night in the depot in Sydney.

...the problem with the NTL-TMW-NTL idea is that if you use one of the Endeavours, you're going to end up paralleling the primary day service, which sort of defeats the point of it. I much prefer a SYD-TMW-SYD service in that context.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
I've made a triple-daily Canberra service work; one set runs SYD-CBR-SYD-CBR and the other CBR-SYD-CBR-SYD. Each set spends every other night in the depot in Sydney.

...the problem with the NTL-TMW-NTL idea is that if you use one of the Endeavours, you're going to end up paralleling the primary day service, which sort of defeats the point of it. I much prefer a SYD-TMW-SYD service in that context.
Watson374
Its not clean with the current time table as the proposed outbound gets to Tamworth just as the Inbound is passing through. Then to be effective it has to wait a number of hours which is/may not be practical for staff and train (ie cost).

Proposal for extra train
Leave Broadmedow around 7:45, arrive Tamworth around 11:30, return at 12:30 arrive Broadmedow at 16:15.

Current Timetable or outbound
BroadMeadow  12:24 and Tamworth 16:15

Reverse
Tamworth 10:48 and BroadMeadow 14:36
Issue is what Tamworth probably wants is an early departure, say 6:30, Broadmedow around 10:15, returning around 4-5pm arriving 8-9pm at night. This enables a day shopping/Dr visits etc in Newcastle and would place the Inbound service around 4hr ahead of the XPLR service and Outbound about 4hr behind.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Therefore there is a future for these services and the future must be targetted at local travel or local to capital.
- Trains however need to have some level of frequency, 3 x per day each way as a min.
- Brisbane needs to be at least twice as the mid NSW coast is also popular with Qlders. Likewise, mid to Nth NSW people do travel to Brisbane often more than Sydney.
- 3 x to Wagga from Sydney with two trains running through to Melbourne. Albury is a bit too far for Syd return with one train in a day and Melbourne is closer.
- Bi-level of seating standards and buffet services is all that is required along with ISE which tends to keep people quiet and in their seats (why airlines spend so much money installing it)
RTT_Rules

1) Given it's a 14 hour run, what arrival and departure times do you anticipate for the 2 Bris Services?

2) I'm all for bi-level seating, but do we have enough loading gauge Smile ??
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
The problem then arises that we need to find spare rolling stock lying around to run that additional service, because we can't use a Dungog/Scone commuter set during its off-hours.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
1) Given it's a 14 hour run, what arrival and departure times do you anticipate for the 2 Bris Services?

2) I'm all for bi-level seating, but do we have enough loading gauge Smile ??
djf01
Bi-level, I meant level as FC and EC

For a Day run to Brisbane.

6:30 departure Sydney, arrive Brisbane 20:30

But yes good point hard to prevent O/N service on current 14hr. I was hoping that following the ARTC upgrade of NCL such as curving easing etc there would be some timetable compaction + along with TT options perhaps 12hr is doable especially if not exposed to night freighters.

Alternatively as Follows Nth Bound
Service 1) Syd- Brisbane 6:30 departure (14hr) Arrive 8:30pm
Service 2) Syd - Casino  9:30 departure (10.5hr) Arrive 9:30pm
Service 3) Syd - Coffs, 1:30pm (9hr) and arrives around 10:30pm
Service 4) Coffs - Brisbane, departs 6:00am, arrives Brisbane 11:30am

South bound
Service 1) Bris- Syd 6:30 departure (14hr) Arrive 8:30pm
Service 2) Cas - Syd  6:30 departure (10.5hr) Arrive 6:00pm
Service 3) Coffs - Syd, departs around 5:00am (9hr) and arrives around 2:00pm
Service 4) Bris - Coffs, departs 12:30pm, arrives Coffs 6pm
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

OK, bringing this thread back to it's foaming origins, I'm going to present my latest design concept for a CL replacement vehicle.  

The premise here is this design has to cater for all of NSW Train's potential needs.  In this design there are four types built into 3 types of frame.

The initial vehicle is a shorter version of an Endoricty with two sub-versions: a single powered truck EMU, and that EMU with a power plant and multi-use crew area:



And ...



These units are much the same as an Xploer/V'locity unit but a touch shorter and no cab obviously.  The idea is the have one traction motor and one grunty (~800hp) power plant in the DMU version.  The DMU should come in ~50-55 tonnes (a touch lighter than the V'Locity/Endeavours because it's a bit shorter).

The intention is the frames are identical and it should be little more than a fitout change (though perhaps a change to bogie spring tension because the EMU would be 15t lighter) to convert the EMU to DMU, or even have a dual capable hybrid.

$5-6mil per vehicle (plus dev costs of course)

At the front/rear is a universal cab/driving-trailer:


The cab/trailers are really simple.  A little less than and Endora chassis with just a single bogie (and a cab obviously).  Probably weighing in at ~35t, for a total train mass of ~ 125t (about that of an Endeavour set).  $2-3mil per vehicle, depending on how much is made in China

The combined trains are 2 of 8 powered axles with 3 segments.  The DMU version has seating for 212, the EMU 238.

Seats are V-Line style soft/high backed 3+2 - somewhere between an Endeavour and an XPT, probably sacrificing PAX choice of direction.

The point of the EMU is to do NSW Train's base load operations in place of OSCARs on the Central Coast, Illawarra, the Blue Mountains and be capable of replacing the Endoras on the unsparked routes too.  

For the CL routes the DMU version at 212 seats does the job of about 2/3rds of an XPT, or a 4 car explorer.  It's designed with the intention of using a 2 man multi-skilled crew on the long distance runs.  There is no buffet, but there is a galley for the non-driving crew member to heat/dispense the meals from, supplemented by vending machines for casual food purchases.

One of these is enough for the Dubbo and Armidale runs.  
Syd-Mlb would need 3:
Wagga-Sydney-Wagga
Sydney-Melbourne (-Sydney overnight)
Melbourne-Sydney (-Melbourne overnight)

Canberra 2, 3tpd (or 3 & 5tpd)

NCL 5:
Sydney-Grafton(-Sydney Overnight)
Sydney-Brisbane (perhaps run coupled to the above service)
Wauchope-Sydney-Wauchope
Grafton-Sydney(-Grafton Overnight)
Brisbane-Sydney(-Brisbane Overnight - perhaps run coupled to the above service)

Now, the other pending issue NSW trains is facing are the V Sets.  Being a cheap dumb trailer there is not a huge amount of extra expense in making it DD.  So the alternate version of the driving looks like this:


Seating for 164 and 2 dunnies (built out to extended medium gauge).  This is only slightly larger than the single deck version.  In 3 car EMU sets DD Cab-EMU power-DD Cab has roughly the same level of componentry as half and OSCAR yet 390 seats (vs 200).  3x 3car sets produces a 1200 seat train at 200-210m in length.  ~45t and $3-4mil per vehicle.  

This vehicle also has the tantelising prospect of being assembled into a DD Cab - DMU Power - DD Cab to produce a 350 seat train (same as an XPT) with the operating costs of an Endeavour to be used on ARTC's double stack capable routes.

It also gives NSW trains the option of desparking some of their longer routes should the access fees make it logical to do so.

Financial Justification:

This design is not just about replacing the XPT.  It's about addressing all of NSW's passenger rolling stock requirements for the next two decades (metro excluded).  

The first tranche of this order would be for 22 sets, 15 EMUs and 7 DMUs.  That would be (just) enough to allow re-deployment of ~35 OSCAR sets from NSW Trains back to Sydney trains - (just) enough to replace the K set fleet - as well as the XPT fleet.

The second tranche of 20 DD EMU set EMU would be enough to replace the surviving V sets (bar the DK series) and return all the OSCARs to Sydney Trains allowing retirement of the C set fleet.

A third tranche of 10-20 DMUs could replace the Xplorers and Endeavours, which will be due by then.

We're talking a complete order of $300-$450mil over the next 10-15 years, but the benefit of this approach is that is enough to replace 5 large legacy fleets with a smaller, more consistent and cheaper to run fleet.










  Jajb94 Deputy Commissioner

Location: In a BAM
Djf01
Whilst that does seem like a good way to go, and well thought out, I will mention that Passenger trains, especially with such potential for PAX numbers to vary, Sharing a bogie is simply not a feasible way to do things. and it makes carriage interfaces far more complex. I am of the opinion that each car should have 2 bogies. Above the frames, your ideas are reasonable.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
... I am of the opinion that each car should have 2 bogies. Above the frames, your ideas are reasonable.
Jajb94
You have obviously never visited Europe or even Melbourne, where your rule doesn't apply to any of the 500 strong tram fleet built in the last 30 years (B, C and D class trams).

If trams are too slow for you, there are lots of foreign trains with similar setups, including most high speed trains like the 300 kmh Eurostar.

Below is a 5 carriage D class tram, only the front, middle and rear units have bogies, the other ones (with yellow doors) have none.

  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
You have obviously never visited Europe or even Melbourne, where your rule doesn't apply to any of the 500 strong tram fleet built in the last 30 years (B, C and D class trams).

If trams are too slow for you, there are lots of foreign trains with similar setups, including most high speed trains like the 300 kmh Eurostar.

Below is a 5 carriage D class tram, only the front, middle and rear units have bogies, the other ones (with yellow doors) have none.
Bogong

Excuse me if I am incorrect, as trams aren't my forte, but accordng to Yarra Trams, these D class Combino's pictured above are articulated, which in my eyes means that each section rests on a common bogie with the one next to it.
Link: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-fleet/
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
42 footers were so much simpler .
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
I agree about a unified diesel fleet, cutting it from four types (X, E, N, J) to one, but I'm not so sure that the V set replacement should be tied into it; I don't think the DD option is really needed for country services.

EDIT: About articulated trains, the best example to point to would be the Eurostar sets (British Rail Class 373).
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Djf01
Whilst that does seem like a good way to go, and well thought out, I will mention that Passenger trains, especially with such potential for PAX numbers to vary, Sharing a bogie is simply not a feasible way to do things. and it makes carriage interfaces far more complex. I am of the opinion that each car should have 2 bogies. Above the frames, your ideas are reasonable.
Jajb94

Would you like to let Yarra Trams know that? All their multi unit trams (B class, C class, C2 class [Bumblee Bee], and D class [Combino]) are articulated, and each section shares common bogies Rolling Eyes
Link: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-fleet/
  Watson374 Chief Commissioner

Location: Fully reclined at the pointy end.
[b]xxxxlbear[/b], I'm inclined to think that [b]Jajb94[/b] has an important point about varying passenger numbers and thus varying train consists. Check out the bold bit.

[quote="xxxxlbear"][quote="Jajb94"]Djf01
Whilst that does seem like a good way to go, and well thought out, I will mention that Passenger trains, [b][color=red]especially with such potential for PAX numbers to vary[/b], Sharing a bogie is simply not a feasible way to do things. and it makes carriage interfaces far more complex. I am of the opinion that each car should have 2 bogies. Above the frames, your ideas are reasonable.[/quote]
Would you like to let Yarra Trams know that? All their multi unit trams (B class, C class, C2 class [Bumblee Bee], and D class [Combino]) are articulated, and each section shares common bogies Rolling Eyes
Link: [url=http://www.yarratrams.com.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-fleet/]http://www.yarratrams.com.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-fleet/[/url][/quote]
It's partly why I'm so keen on individually-coupled DMU stock.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
Excuse me if I am incorrect, as trams aren't my forte, but accordng to Yarra Trams, these D class Combino's pictured above are articulated, which in my eyes means that each section rests on a common bogie with the one next to it.
Link: http://www.yarratrams.com.au/about-us/who-we-are/our-fleet/
xxxxlbear
Okay, here is a C2 class tram in profile. You can see that it has five carriages and just three bogies. Note that two units have no bogies under them at all.

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