RRL Opening Timetable - April 2015

 
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
The Bendigo line's bottlenecks are presently on the single-track sections between Kyneton and Bendigo, not between Sunshine and Sunbury. Get those fixed and an actual railway to Melbourne Airport built first, then you can start thinking about linking Tullamarine and Clarkefield.
LancedDendrite
Whilst there certainly are timetable bottlenecks created by the line singling north of Kyneton (anyone who has sat in the Elphinstone Loop for 10 mins + waiting for a cross can attest to this) the situation on the ground is that there are big delays in the Sunshine - Sunbury section.

My regular ride the 5.31 ex Southern Cross normally speeds to Footscray and then makes excellent time till just before Albion where is invariably slows rapidly and then crawls most / all of the way to Watergardens. I haven't made Castlemaine on time in months on that service (which I take 1-2 times per week on average)

Likewise the 09.08 Up ex Castlemaine now makes excellent time till around Keilor Plains where it slows to a crawl and sometimes even stops as it catches up with the preceeding spark. Just before Albion it speeds up again as the spark clears the section and we divert onto the RRL. I don't recall this happening even just a few months ago. It normally makes SC on time though at 10.42 probably due to some timetable padding

BG

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  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

1.  RRL between Sunshine and  Southern Cross is not ideally timetabled in that despite different train characteristics there are many instances of trains timetabled 2 minutes apart, when the signalling system is designed for a minimum 3 minutes. Ideally 4 minutes between trains given the four train types would be better.

2. VLP overuse  platform 8 South when other platforms are available, which causes a lot of unnecessary cross moves at Franklin Street .Platforms 15/16 are under utilized when the  Geelong Off Peak and Traralgon should be their exclusive  preserve .

3. 8 minutes is achievable from  15/16 to Footscray, but via Nth melbourne flyover with the pathetic 40 kmh speeds it really takes 9 minutes.  The schedules allow 8 minutes either route and need to be adjusted to reflect operational reality .

4.  At Southern Cross VLP should be having  dedicated  platforms of departure for line groups now as it is much more passenger friendly.Trains can arrive on any platform, but standard platforms of departure by line group are both logical and passenger friendly .

Viz:  Platform 1    Sydney
      Platform  2   Adelaide, Albury,  Warrnambool, Geelong loco hauled
      Platforms 3/4  Melton/ Bacchus Marsh / Ballarat / Ararat / Maryborough
      Platforms 5/6  Seymour /  Shepparton
      Platforms  7/8  Kyneton / Bendigo / Swan Hill / Echuca
      Platforms  15/16  Geelong (DMU)   / Traralgon / Bairnsdale
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

With  VLP trains tripping over  Metro between Sunshine and Sunbury .  If the existing infrastructure at  Watergardens is used properly and it is timetabled professionally it is possible to do VLP run throughs of  Metro in both Up and Down directions at Watergardens, albeit with a slight delay to the Metro service .  PTV should be seeing that happens .
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
With  VLP trains tripping over  Metro between Sunshine and Sunbury .  If the existing infrastructure at  Watergardens is used properly and it is timetabled professionally it is possible to do VLP run throughs of  Metro in both Up and Down directions at Watergardens, albeit with a slight delay to the Metro service .  PTV should be seeing that happens .
kuldalai
Indeed but I don't think the will is there. As noted previously (somewhere!) a few noisy VLP pax vs the Sunbury/Diggers/WG hoards and we just get drowned out.

For those of us who use this "service" the situation is awful and most people I talk to about it on my travels have basically just given up on expecting any fix.

And as I have said before I have friends and neighbours who have stopped using the train altogether because of the delays.

BG
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
Viz:  Platform 1    Sydney
      Platform  2   Adelaide, Albury,  Warrnambool, Geelong loco hauled
      Platforms 3/4  Melton/ Bacchus Marsh / Ballarat / Ararat / Maryborough
      Platforms 5/6  Seymour /  Shepparton
      Platforms  7/8  Kyneton / Bendigo / Swan Hill / Echuca
      Platforms  15/16  Geelong (DMU)   / Traralgon / Bairnsdale
kuldalai
NO! Platform 16 for Bendigo please! It gives a much better chance of making my connection when up services terminate at 16 (which the 10.42 arrival has been doing for a few months now) and the 17.31 down Epsom has also been using 16 for a while, at least that gives us a fighting chance!!!!!!!

BG
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
All in due time, @BrentonGolding
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
4.  At Southern Cross VLP should be having  dedicated  platforms of departure for line groups now as it is much more passenger friendly.Trains can arrive on any platform, but standard platforms of departure by line group are both logical and passenger friendly .

Viz:  Platform 1    Sydney
      Platform  2   Adelaide, Albury,  Warrnambool, Geelong loco hauled
      Platforms 3/4  Melton/ Bacchus Marsh / Ballarat / Ararat / Maryborough
      Platforms 5/6  Seymour /  Shepparton
      Platforms  7/8  Kyneton / Bendigo / Swan Hill / Echuca
      Platforms  15/16  Geelong (DMU)   / Traralgon / Bairnsdale
kuldalai
I'd swap the Bendigo and Seymour groupings as this way Seymour trains have direct access to North Melbourne and less conflicting movements across them for Bendigo Trains.

The problem at Southern Cross is that so may peak services are coming in that are loco hauled N+N Sets and N+H Sets that have to be run around, meaning these can't be run into 1, 8S, 15 and 16, limiting the platforms that other trains can arrive at. While I agree that VLine should be able to simplify operations at Southern Cross a lot, it is also a problem with the rolling stock. Unfortunately, that is a problem that is unlikely to be fixed for another 10 years or so, according to the rolling stock "strategy"
  doyle Deputy Commissioner

Totally agree with the platform changes at Southern Cross, this should be done immediately
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
It's now some months since the RRL went fully live and of course prior to that there was the phased introduction of service onto the the route particularly from Sunshine to Tottenham.   Surely over that time with close monitoring of actual performance and overall operations you would have thought that tweaks to both the timetable, platform arrangements car working etc (as pointed out by kuldakai and others), would have been implemented to iron out the bugs by now.   Granted the Bendigo is much more challenging to "tweak" because of the need to co-ordinate with Metro Trains but the other routes are all within V/Lines province and therefore while still complex are nontheless entirely within their control.   Frankly I find this quite amazing and disappointing because of the poor reputation it leaves and because customers aren't getting the service performance that they were effectively promised and for which they endured a fair amount of disruption to their travel over a number of years.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
oops I meant to say Sunshine to SX
  SamTheMan79 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Geelong
3. 8 minutes is achievable from  15/16 to Footscray, but via Nth melbourne flyover with the pathetic 40 kmh speeds it really takes 9 minutes.  The schedules allow 8 minutes either route and need to be adjusted to reflect operational reality .
kuldalai
Under 6 minutes is regularly achieved on Geelong services between 15/16 at Southern Cross and Footscray. Examples are 14:50 and 15:30 down M-F.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Platform 15/16 right from the outset was always planned to be the dedicated Geelong Line platforms with the Gippsland Line service also added.   Especially for the 20 minute weekday base frequency the degree of directness the approaches to to/from the junction mean that IF YOU REFUEL V'Locities every night in Geelong you can then run them constantly all day rather than pulling them out in the middle of the day at SX as happens now making both operations and platform working much more complex.  There is as I alluded to above so much that should have been learnt over these initial months to now be tweaking to make operations more robust and reliable.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
Tonight I missed the 17:13 Ballarat so I decided to travel with the great unwashed on the following full and standing 3 car VLocity, 17:19 all stopper to Bacchus Marsh.

A couple of points.

Lost a minute before Footscray due to following, probably a Geelong line service which was in the platform at Footscray.

Slowed before stopping at Sunshine, probably another 30 seconds lost.

Stopped at Deer Park for over a minute whilst around 50 pax alighted.


Waited at Deer Park West Jn for 3 mins for a late running up.

Slowed early approaching Rockbank due to another cross.

We arrived at Bacchus Marsh 7 late, train crew stuffed about before the train left the platform and docked.

As I was on the platform I could see the set move into the yard and waited 3 mins till the signaller created the road for the following 18:25 Ballarat/Wendouree service to stop at Bacchus Marsh.

I boarded at Bacchus Marsh and down Wendouree departed 9 late.

A couple of points...

Why are there up services running between Bacchus Marsh and Melbourne during the peak when they never used to Question

Why did the train crew faff about at Bacchus Marsh when there was a road already made up Question

Why did the signaller wait till several minutes after the train had stabled to reset the road for the Ballarat/Wendouree service which was waiting to arrive:?:

Mike.
  Nightfire Minister for Railways

Location: Gippsland
Needs full duplication from Deer Park West to Melton asap and from Melton Weir through to Bacchus Marsh.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Tonight I missed the 17:13 Ballarat so I decided to travel with the great unwashed on the following full and standing 3 car VLocity, 17:19 all stopper to Bacchus Marsh.

A couple of points.

Lost a minute before Footscray due to following, probably a Geelong line service which was in the platform at Footscray.

Slowed before stopping at Sunshine, probably another 30 seconds lost.

Stopped at Deer Park for over a minute whilst around 50 pax alighted.


Waited at Deer Park West Jn for 3 mins for a late running up.

Slowed early approaching Rockbank due to another cross.

We arrived at Bacchus Marsh 7 late, train crew stuffed about before the train left the platform and docked.

As I was on the platform I could see the set move into the yard and waited 3 mins till the signaller created the road for the following 18:25 Ballarat/Wendouree service to stop at Bacchus Marsh.

I boarded at Bacchus Marsh and down Wendouree departed 9 late.

A couple of points...

Why are there up services running between Bacchus Marsh and Melbourne during the peak when they never used to Question

Why did the train crew faff about at Bacchus Marsh when there was a road already made up Question

Why did the signaller wait till several minutes after the train had stabled to reset the road for the Ballarat/Wendouree service which was waiting to arrive:?:

Mike.
The Vinelander
Some of the scheduling for the 21/06/15  tt is woeful and indeed impossible . 1. Like 0514 Dn Wendouree at Bacchus Marsh at same time as an Up local (so 0514 Dn runs express through Marsh now.)  2. 0614 Dn also timetabled impossibly at Marsh 3 minutes before 0704 Up departs, so another Ballarat that runs express through . 3. Six am Up services sheduled to stop at Deer Park within three minutes of each other, with the result that the already full first service off the Tarneit leg is overcrowded, whilst the following service off the Melton leg has spare capacity . 4. Too many trains scheduled on 2 minute headways between Sunshine and Southern Cross when 3 mins should be the minimum and 4 mins ideally given the different train types .4. Inadequate time allowed Footscray - Southern Cross via flyover  needs 9 minutes,  but too  much time allowed ex 15/16  to Footscray when it is being done in 6 to 7 mins.

Up am Peak Geelongs regularly being blocked at Robinsons Rd Jct when the road should be set for Tarneit leg with auto fleeting of the signals and the road only altered for the Melton leg as required . Logic being the majority of trains are on the Tarneit leg, not Melton leg . Initially there was a similar problem with Ups at Sunshine with the default road setting being the Bendigo leg , this has now been adressed with the default setting being towards Deer Park .  

After 3 months one would think all this would have been fine tuned on a day to day basis .  

The apalling low speed track layouts at Sunshine and Robinsons Road do not help either .  Why the 65kmh curve board on the Down track towards Tarneit just after Robinsons Rd junction. ?  This piece of track leading to a 115kmh curve should be capable of  80 kmh with proper canting and proper alignment .  As laid it is just a FLAT link between the 65kmh junction and the 115kmh curve . Better still replace the 65kmh turnout on the Down line with an 80 kmh turnout, cant the curve immediately after to 80kmh and tarnsition into the 115kmh curve .  Signalling wise just change the  65kmh lenses to 80 kmh ones. Simple and low cost fix for this apalling low speed junction for down trains.

At Robinsons Rd we put in 65kmh material for hundreds of daily movements, and at Manor Junction we put in 80kmh material for  handful of daily movements, when it should have been the other way around.  Who oversaw those sort of design decisions  ?
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
All in due time, @BrentonGolding
railblogger
The State of Victoria. Here for a Long Time not a Good Time!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
All in due time, @BrentonGolding
The State of Victoria. Here for a Long Time not a Good Time!
BrentonGolding
There is a change coming early next year that should rectify these issues.
  doyle Deputy Commissioner

What's the change? Do tell.
  Bogong Chief Commissioner

Location: Essendon Aerodrome circa 1980
All in due time, @BrentonGolding
The State of Victoria. Here for a Long Time not a Good Time!
There is a change coming early next year that should rectify these issues.
railblogger
There is a change coming early next year decade that should rectify these issues.

I think my amendment is more accurate. Anything to do with bureaucracy moves very, very slowly in Victoria.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
What's the change? Do tell.
doyle
I think it was mentioned somewhere on RP. It consisted of all the metro changes that were supposed to occur at the last TT change.
  Impulse-Rail Station Master

Hi

Finally had a chance to do my first run on the RRL yesterday down to Geelong, it was very enjoyable.
Wish I had more time to do train trips.

Does anyone know if there are cab ride videos around of a full RRL run, apart from what was released by them in time lapse?


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uytp5ohVWRI

I notice a camera crew in the Wendouree cab around 1130
  BrentonGolding Chief Commissioner

Location: Maldon Junction
A blanket approach of 90kmh operation on WOLO days applies to all passenger tracks irrespective of Track Class which seems "nanny state" stuff in that Class - 1 Track with 60 kg rail CWR and concrete sleepers etc is a much higher quality and robust track , than Class 2 or 3  tarck .    Also virtually all pax lines are CWR these days, with the exception of  North Bendigo to Kerang .

So realsitically  if we need  WOLOS at all then a 90 kmh SR on all track classes is not very sensible .   A more sensible approach would be based on track quality and Class  .  Like  115kmh on Class - 1  CWR,  100kmh on Class-2  CWR,  90 kmh on  Class - 3  welded or jointed . The higher track class the better it is anchored, and less likely to buckle .  

Where the WOLO SR came from when we ran at normal line speed for years on high heat days for years without any incidents.

The current situation where VLP are cancelling far too many trains and just directing pax to the next service is fraudulent ., when they could be still running most services as trains with flexible innovative operational management of the network .

An innovative railway would actually have a  WOLO  tt that just went into operation on hot days, rather than the spur of the moment crisis management approach which treats the pax very poorly .
kuldalai
Had my first taste of WOLO running for the summer on Sunday's 12.19 Bendigo service which made great time to Kyneton before the dreaded announcement came.

My question is when does this proceedure come into force? The day was forcast to be 36 in Bendigo, granted, but when we went through Kyneton the BOM said it was 27 and when we hit The Maine it was 31.

After seeking solace in the front bar of The Railway Hotel for an hour or 2 the highest I saw was 34.

So does it apply blanket to every service on a day that is expected to be 36 or over or is it monitored on a service by service basis? As I'm sure you all know it is EXTREMELY frustrating!

BG
  Contrillion Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong, Victoria
A blanket approach of 90kmh operation on WOLO days applies to all passenger tracks irrespective of Track Class which seems "nanny state" stuff in that Class - 1 Track with 60 kg rail CWR and concrete sleepers etc is a much higher quality and robust track , than Class 2 or 3  tarck .    Also virtually all pax lines are CWR these days, with the exception of  North Bendigo to Kerang .

So realsitically  if we need  WOLOS at all then a 90 kmh SR on all track classes is not very sensible .   A more sensible approach would be based on track quality and Class  .  Like  115kmh on Class - 1  CWR,  100kmh on Class-2  CWR,  90 kmh on  Class - 3  welded or jointed . The higher track class the better it is anchored, and less likely to buckle .  

Where the WOLO SR came from when we ran at normal line speed for years on high heat days for years without any incidents.

The current situation where VLP are cancelling far too many trains and just directing pax to the next service is fraudulent ., when they could be still running most services as trains with flexible innovative operational management of the network .

An innovative railway would actually have a  WOLO  tt that just went into operation on hot days, rather than the spur of the moment crisis management approach which treats the pax very poorly .
Had my first taste of WOLO running for the summer on Sunday's 12.19 Bendigo service which made great time to Kyneton before the dreaded announcement came.

My question is when does this proceedure come into force? The day was forcast to be 36 in Bendigo, granted, but when we went through Kyneton the BOM said it was 27 and when we hit The Maine it was 31.

After seeking solace in the front bar of The Railway Hotel for an hour or 2 the highest I saw was 34.

So does it apply blanket to every service on a day that is expected to be 36 or over or is it monitored on a service by service basis? As I'm sure you all know it is EXTREMELY frustrating!

BG
BrentonGolding
In theory it applies to all services on the line between 1200 and 2000 on a day when anywhere along the line is forecast to be 36 degrees or over at its maximum temperature.

Something to note is that when an area on a long distance service line is forecast to reach 36, whilst the corresponding commuter service line does not, it generally does not apply to the commuter line.
  Carnot Minister for Railways

Well it's fallen a long way short of 36 degC in Bendigo today (max so far of 31.9c) and yet WOLO is going to be enforced until 8pm this evening.  Ridiculous if you ask me, and just another reason why so many people are fed up with Vline!
  TOQ-1 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Power Trainger
IIRC, early this year on the Bendigo line they ran at a normal timetable to Kyneton, then used a combination of splitting services and coach replacements to make the rest of the trip to Bendigo so that all services to and from at least Kyneton were on time.

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