XPT replacement thread 2019

 
  303gunner Station Master

But John Holland's Country Rail Network operates between Bowenfels and Parkes or Dubbo.

I seriously doubt there would be any impetus to electrify anywhere new outside of the existing network, even the kilometre or so from Lithgow to Bowenfels. Billions of dollars in infrastructure spend for a handful of passenger services? And in this day and age, where would the power generation come from? A new Coal-fired power station? Wallerawang was specifically built in the 50's for the electrification over the mountains, and that has now exceeded it's design life and closed down. What else? Nuclear? I'd like to meet the politician that says we need to have a nuclear power station in NSW to run a couple of country trains!

Previously, all electrification projects have been driven by freight needs (with the exception of the Richmond Branch, which was due to DMU fleet retirements), and with no freight operators possessing electric locos, any economic justification for extending electric passenger services doesn't stack up.

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  marvin Assistant Commissioner

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"
...  if these trains were being built by the VIC government and traveled to Sydney, would they be allowed to raise the pans at Lithgow within Sydney's electrified network?
SydneyCider
Now that would be an interesting Melbonk to Sydney trip.

marvin Smile
---------
  Sydney Metro Vlogs Locomotive Fireman

Location: On H1 in car OD6901
But John Holland's Country Rail Network operates between Bowenfels and Parkes or Dubbo.

I seriously doubt there would be any impetus to electrify anywhere new outside of the existing network, even the kilometre or so from Lithgow to Bowenfels. Billions of dollars in infrastructure spend for a handful of passenger services? And in this day and age, where would the power generation come from? A new Coal-fired power station? Wallerawang was specifically built in the 50's for the electrification over the mountains, and that has now exceeded it's design life and closed down. What else? Nuclear? I'd like to meet the politician that says we need to have a nuclear power station in NSW to run a couple of country trains!

Previously, all electrification projects have been driven by freight needs (with the exception of the Richmond Branch, which was due to DMU fleet retirements), and with no freight operators possessing electric locos, any economic justification for extending electric passenger services doesn't stack up.
303gunner
I think trains that make use of the wires with a pantograph but also be able to use diesel to operate out of electrified areas.
  a6et Minister for Railways

The Azuma is only 2.7 metres wide which is only slightly wider then our light rail vehicles in Sydney at 2.65 metres. The new fleet will be around the 2.95 metre mark. The Xplorer is 2.921 metres and the Hunter rail car is 2.93 metres and so I expect the new trains to at least be this wide. CAF list the standard civity at 2.88 metres wide

It is possible they could be 3 metres wide but even still they won't have an issue with the tunnels because they are single deck. DD's have issues with width because they are taller at about 4.40 metres vs 4.11 metres of the xplorer.

As mentioned above the bi modal feature is now confirmed at this nsw transport link https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/projects/current-projects/regional-rail
simstrain
On 7 last night when this news was first brought out, there was an emphasis on the cost savings especially in regard to how much savings from diesel fuel that would be a big benefit, one report had it that an initial estimate in the range of $3.4b could be achieved under the current wired network.

While long distances would be also a big improvement in the fuel bill, its unlikely to be a bit play for the Southern line in the initial stages, but I believe the wired extension to Telerah would be advantageous as it would mean there would be no need for the amount of DMU's and only needed for the Singleton/Scone, and Dungog services, reduced maintenance staff needed there would also help the $$$ bottom line.

Bomaderry, going wired will be the next on the agenda, although I would say that if the MV services went to Wires, will be interesting to see what the future direction will be for the commuters, especially if the bypass line is built, wired or not?
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The ARTC takes over at Parkes and Dubbo.

As for the Pans in Melbourne it would only be a small area leading in to platform 1 at southern cross that would have the overhead. You probably answered your own question in regards to using the pans in Melbourne but maybe Vic rail might welcome a regional train that isn't spewing fumes in to southern cross station.
simstrain

Yeah, I actually brought this question up because it's something that's never been done....an electric train (or hybrid in this case) built by one state and whether it would have approval to raise it's pans within the jurisdiction of a different state / electrified network, in this case approval by Metro Trains Melbourne (or some other higher up VIC authority). As you've said, the area covered of the wires would be small at most, but still interesting to consider.

The closest this type of scenario could've been talked about before is if someone, hypothetically, hauled a NSW electric loco or something like a U-boat under the wires in Melbourne and wanted to raise the pans.
  303gunner Station Master

But John Holland's Country Rail Network operates between Bowenfels and Parkes or Dubbo.

I seriously doubt there would be any impetus to electrify anywhere new outside of the existing network, even the kilometre or so from Lithgow to Bowenfels. Billions of dollars in infrastructure spend for a handful of passenger services? And in this day and age, where would the power generation come from? A new Coal-fired power station? Wallerawang was specifically built in the 50's for the electrification over the mountains, and that has now exceeded it's design life and closed down. What else? Nuclear? I'd like to meet the politician that says we need to have a nuclear power station in NSW to run a couple of country trains!

Previously, all electrification projects have been driven by freight needs (with the exception of the Richmond Branch, which was due to DMU fleet retirements), and with no freight operators possessing electric locos, any economic justification for extending electric passenger services doesn't stack up.
I think trains that make use of the wires with a pantograph but also be able to use diesel to operate out of electrified areas.
Sydney Metro Vlogs
Absolutely, using the existing electrified network.

Is it even worth investing in the additional complexity of a Bi-Mode feature in the train for a few Kms of spark in the Sydney Metro area? The Transport Fact Sheet on Bi-Mode trains suggests that savings of UP TO $3mil p.a. can be achieved using the technology. If the life cycle of the fleet is, say, 30 years, we're looking at $90mil in today's dollars. Honestly, that's just a street of houses these days. Politicians can blow that amount of money over a long lunch, let alone 30 years.

But would 2 or 3 light trains a day justify the money to appreciably extend that network? For example, the Sydney to Melbourne trip for the XPT is 960Km, with a few Km within Melb electrified and 40Km to Macarthur, less than 5% of the total journey. Sydney-Bris is 160Km out of 735Km or just over 20%, while Syd-Dubbo is the best at 155 out of 465Km, or 33% of the journey. The costs of improving those percentages would far exceed the return. I doubt you could electrify Lithgow to Bathurst, or Macarthur to Moss Vale for $90mil.
  a6et Minister for Railways

But John Holland's Country Rail Network operates between Bowenfels and Parkes or Dubbo.

I seriously doubt there would be any impetus to electrify anywhere new outside of the existing network, even the kilometre or so from Lithgow to Bowenfels. Billions of dollars in infrastructure spend for a handful of passenger services? And in this day and age, where would the power generation come from? A new Coal-fired power station? Wallerawang was specifically built in the 50's for the electrification over the mountains, and that has now exceeded it's design life and closed down. What else? Nuclear? I'd like to meet the politician that says we need to have a nuclear power station in NSW to run a couple of country trains!

Previously, all electrification projects have been driven by freight needs (with the exception of the Richmond Branch, which was due to DMU fleet retirements), and with no freight operators possessing electric locos, any economic justification for extending electric passenger services doesn't stack up.
I think trains that make use of the wires with a pantograph but also be able to use diesel to operate out of electrified areas.
Absolutely, using the existing electrified network.

Is it even worth investing in the additional complexity of a Bi-Mode feature in the train for a few Kms of spark in the Sydney Metro area? The Transport Fact Sheet on Bi-Mode trains suggests that savings of UP TO $3mil p.a. can be achieved using the technology. If the life cycle of the fleet is, say, 30 years, we're looking at $90mil in today's dollars. Honestly, that's just a street of houses these days. Politicians can blow that amount of money over a long lunch, let alone 30 years.

But would 2 or 3 light trains a day justify the money to appreciably extend that network? For example, the Sydney to Melbourne trip for the XPT is 960Km, with a few Km within Melb electrified and 40Km to Macarthur, less than 5% of the total journey. Sydney-Bris is 160Km out of 735Km or just over 20%, while Syd-Dubbo is the best at 155 out of 465Km, or 33% of the journey. The costs of improving those percentages would far exceed the return. I doubt you could electrify Lithgow to Bathurst, or Macarthur to Moss Vale for $90mil.
303gunner
Its 163K's to BMD from Central so that's 326K's in both directions, and there is 3 return NCL Services atm, plus the 2 NW services daily, add the extension of wires to Telerah at some point and there is another 30K's each direction for those trains.

The Western line could be more beneficially able to use the wires especially on the up services,
especially if the factor that included is regen type braking in these trains under the wires, as they can put the power back into the grid as was the case on up El loco's from Katoomba through to Emu Plains.  
You need to include the return trips in the calculations as to the cost benefits.


Currently the XPTs on the NCL has to fill the fuel tanks at Grafton, heading both directions, leading power car fills on both down and up services. With the two power options it would certainly mean that there would be no need to refuel on the Casino service, but not sure as to the Brisbane one though.
  303gunner Station Master

But would 2 or 3 light trains a day justify the money to appreciably extend that network? For example, the Sydney to Melbourne trip for the XPT is 960Km, with a few Km within Melb electrified and 40Km to Macarthur, less than 5% of the total journey. Sydney-Bris is 160Km out of 735Km or just over 20%, while Syd-Dubbo is the best at 155 out of 465Km, or 33% of the journey. The costs of improving those percentages would far exceed the return. I doubt you could electrify Lithgow to Bathurst, or Macarthur to Moss Vale for $90mil.
Its 163K's to BMD from Central so that's 326K's in both directions, and there is 3 return NCL Services atm, plus the 2 NW services daily, add the extension of wires to Telerah at some point and there is another 30K's each direction for those trains.
a6et
I'm not saying there aren't savings to be had with the EXISTING electrified network, which is already there and built, but that it represents such a small proportion of the current XPT route-miles. Saying 326Km out of 1470Km is the same as 163Km out of 735Km, still only about 20% of the journey. And there would be no cost benefit achieved by extending the network.

OK, so there are 10 trips a day (incl return legs) under the proposed Telarah electrification.

10 trips of 30Km= 300Km per day.

What would be the cost difference between 300Km on diesel fuel compared to 300Km of 1500V DC on the light grades of the Lower Hunter on a non-stopping service?  We've seen elsewhere on the forum that fuel consumption will be something like 1 litre per km, or $1.50/Km. Would the difference be more than $1/Km? If electric traction is a huge 3 times more efficient, it might be. So, let's be generous and assume a saving in energy costs of $300 a day, or $10,000 per annum. Even if we were to make a completely ridiculous assumption and say electric traction is utterly free and costs nothing to maintain, the cost saving over diesel would still only be $450/day or $15,000pa.  That's what they'd save by electrifying to Telarah. Of course, you could also replace the Hunter Rail Cars with Electrics (80 return trips p/day), so the savings increase proportionally ($80,000-$120,000pa), but so do maintenance costs.

And how much would it cost to electrify this 60Km of track (Up and Down tracks, lets not forget the return journey). Several Million, so much that the savings found wouldn't come anywhere close to justifying it.

The only justification for new electrification that has ever made economic sense is where heavy freight is involved. Operationally, it makes no sense for any Hunter Coal to be diesel hauled from the mines to Maitland, then stop to have an engine change for electric haulage to Port Waratah, particularly when the falling grades for loaded trains to port mean that through diesel haulage is quite efficient. That and the fact that no freight operators have electric locos, because even Lithgow-Pt Kembla coal working is close to equal between diesel haulage or electric nowadays.
  Airvan99 Junior Train Controller

No they won’t use the electric power on foreign systems ( Vic and QLD) The answer is in the FAQ in the facts sheet.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

But John Holland's Country Rail Network operates between Bowenfels and Parkes or Dubbo.

I seriously doubt there would be any impetus to electrify anywhere new outside of the existing network, even the kilometre or so from Lithgow to Bowenfels. Billions of dollars in infrastructure spend for a handful of passenger services? And in this day and age, where would the power generation come from? A new Coal-fired power station? Wallerawang was specifically built in the 50's for the electrification over the mountains, and that has now exceeded it's design life and closed down. What else? Nuclear? I'd like to meet the politician that says we need to have a nuclear power station in NSW to run a couple of country trains!

Previously, all electrification projects have been driven by freight needs (with the exception of the Richmond Branch, which was due to DMU fleet retirements), and with no freight operators possessing electric locos, any economic justification for extending electric passenger services doesn't stack up.
303gunner

In the future it is going to be passenger rail and reducing carbon emissions that will drive the extension of the overhead. It might not even be a full run of overhead but using batteries on trains and having a charge point at stations like in Newcastle. A renewable source would probably be looked at since a new coal or nuclear power station isn't going to be welcome.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Plenty of options for power, for a start NSW pulls on average 1GW of power from Qld coal around the clock, but yes, growth in wind, solar, pumped hydro, coal fired upgrades and gas turbine is all happening.

If current XPT's were converted to bi-power mode (not saying they should), the refueling at Grafton would not be required as the distance to Brisbane is less  than under the wires Central to BMD, extension to Teralah is more so. How this applies to the new trains, no idea, but maybe the Grafton refueling depo could be closed.

Most DMU's use around 1L/km/car so you can do the sums on fuel saved per day to fund any bi-mode trains and OH extensions.

Most of Sydney O/H was not put in for freight, only the IU extensions and then it was justified by use of both Freight and Pax. Freight is gone but pax loads and services are alot more than they used to be.
  303gunner Station Master

In the future it is going to be passenger rail and reducing carbon emissions that will drive the extension of the overhead.
simstrain
Correct, it won't the economics of doing it, it will be for environmental or social reasons. It will lose us millions of dollars to do it, but we want to do it anyway.
  303gunner Station Master

Plenty of options for power, for a start NSW pulls on average 1GW of power from Qld coal around the clock, but yes, growth in wind, solar, pumped hydro, coal fired upgrades and gas turbine is all happening.
RTT_Rules
Correct, we are not self-reliant on electrical generation at the moment, so any further development of electrified lines will have to address "Where is the power coming from?" The cost of that, and the forecast rollout of alternatives, has to be factored into any decisions.

How many years away until solar, wind or hydro meet our current needs, pardon the pun, to allow shutting down coal or to begin to consider an all-electric transport future (cars, buses, trucks, rail)?

Of course, we aren't self-sufficient on Diesel fuel either, we are a net importer of that as well.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

We are a gross importer since we import all diesel fuel. We also don't have the reserves of fuel we are supposed to have and with the price of diesel it makes sense to look at ways to not use it.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Plenty of options for power, for a start NSW pulls on average 1GW of power from Qld coal around the clock, but yes, growth in wind, solar, pumped hydro, coal fired upgrades and gas turbine is all happening.
Correct, we are not self-reliant on electrical generation at the moment, so any further development of electrified lines will have to address "Where is the power coming from?" The cost of that, and the forecast rollout of alternatives, has to be factored into any decisions.

How many years away until solar, wind or hydro meet our current needs, pardon the pun, to allow shutting down coal or to begin to consider an all-electric transport future (cars, buses, trucks, rail)?

Of course, we aren't self-sufficient on Diesel fuel either, we are a net importer of that as well.
303gunner
I think your over analyzing this.

The govt is about to bring online the L2 (CSELR)
The govt just brought on line the NWRL
The govt has just rolled out more DD's
The govt is planning Metro West, Metro City and SW, Parramatta Tram and Newcastle tram.

Most these draw more power than a few XPT replacements, some of which will be under the wires in off-peak. The recent activation of the DESAL plant uses more power.

NSW has been a net importer of power as far back as 2002 which is as far back as power records go on OPEN NEM.

In comparison SA rolled out started to roll out electrification of its HR suburban network and extension of the tram network while it was importing power.

NSW does not produce any significant liquid hydro-carbons and no longer even refines its hydro-carbons.

I would therefore suggest expansion of the OH and potential use of hybrids based on power availability is not a significant concern.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

With Saudi Arabia having issues with houthi rebels blowing up there refineries this is likely to increase fuel costs even further and so going electric and reducing diesel usage especially to climb the steep grades in to and out of Sydney is not such a bad idea. Regardless of if it is with renewable or coal it should still be cheaper to use electricity then diesel when it comes to passenger rail.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
In the future it is going to be passenger rail and reducing carbon emissions that will drive the extension of the overhead.
Correct, it won't the economics of doing it, it will be for environmental or social reasons. It will lose us millions of dollars to do it, but we want to do it anyway.
303gunner

So effectively what you're saying is that you would sell your own grandmother if there was quid to be made out of it to avoid the social costs of looking after her Shocked
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
With Saudi Arabia having issues with houthi rebels blowing up there refineries this is likely to increase fuel costs even further and so going electric and reducing diesel usage especially to climb the steep grades in to and out of Sydney is not such a bad idea. Regardless of if it is with renewable or coal it should still be cheaper to use electricity then diesel when it comes to passenger rail.
simstrain
Oil price hit $150/br a few years ago and nothing changed. The attacks in Saudi to date show they are exposed but have buffer and reserves to maintain supply. If the bombs were to become more destructive, then....
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

With Saudi Arabia having issues with houthi rebels blowing up there refineries this is likely to increase fuel costs even further and so going electric and reducing diesel usage especially to climb the steep grades in to and out of Sydney is not such a bad idea. Regardless of if it is with renewable or coal it should still be cheaper to use electricity then diesel when it comes to passenger rail.
Oil price hit $150/br a few years ago and nothing changed. The attacks in Saudi to date show they are exposed but have buffer and reserves to maintain supply. If the bombs were to become more destructive, then....
RTT_Rules

What about the attack recently in southern saudi arabia where 3000 saudi soldiers were captured and more killed?
  303gunner Station Master

In the future it is going to be passenger rail and reducing carbon emissions that will drive the extension of the overhead.
Correct, it won't the economics of doing it, it will be for environmental or social reasons. It will lose us millions of dollars to do it, but we want to do it anyway.

So effectively what you're saying is that you would sell your own grandmother if there was quid to be made out of it to avoid the social costs of looking after her Shocked
bingley hall
No, I have not advertised my Grandmother for sale. Not sure where you saw that ad, but wasn't mine.

What I "effectively" said was that electrification of country passenger services alone, including the costs of generation, would not provide a sufficient return on the capital invested. The only reason to do so would be for environmental or social reasons, ie Politics. If those reasons are compelling enough (like the fees for caring for elderly family members, for example), THEN WE WOULD DO IT, despite the cost.

This is why when the Government says it is going to "invest" $100mil in electrifying country Rail, we all go "yay!", but when your Superannuation Fund says it is gong to "invest" $100mil in rural rail infrastructure, instead we go "yikes". Sad, isn't it?
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

With Saudi Arabia having issues with houthi rebels blowing up there refineries this is likely to increase fuel costs even further and so going electric and reducing diesel usage especially to climb the steep grades in to and out of Sydney is not such a bad idea. Regardless of if it is with renewable or coal it should still be cheaper to use electricity then diesel when it comes to passenger rail.
Oil price hit $150/br a few years ago and nothing changed. The attacks in Saudi to date show they are exposed but have buffer and reserves to maintain supply. If the bombs were to become more destructive, then....

What about the attack recently in southern saudi arabia where 3000 saudi soldiers were captured and more killed?
simstrain
Exactly.  Add to that a fire at Jeddah's high-speed railway station (which the Iranian's claimed they sabotaged/attacked), and the Saudi King's bodyguard assassinated in an argument with 'friends'...  $2+/litre petrol is not far away.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
With Saudi Arabia having issues with houthi rebels blowing up there refineries this is likely to increase fuel costs even further and so going electric and reducing diesel usage especially to climb the steep grades in to and out of Sydney is not such a bad idea. Regardless of if it is with renewable or coal it should still be cheaper to use electricity then diesel when it comes to passenger rail.
Oil price hit $150/br a few years ago and nothing changed. The attacks in Saudi to date show they are exposed but have buffer and reserves to maintain supply. If the bombs were to become more destructive, then....

What about the attack recently in southern saudi arabia where 3000 saudi soldiers were captured and more killed?
Exactly.  Add to that a fire at Jeddah's high-speed railway station (which the Iranian's claimed they sabotaged/attacked), and the Saudi King's bodyguard assassinated in an argument with 'friends'...  $2+/litre petrol is not far away.
Carnot
Sim's
I wouldn't trust the news of the Saudi soliders being killed and captured. The whole way it was released and the way it was done goes against Houthi's previous way of doing things. The releasing news agency is also funded by the same side as Houthi's.

$2/L is unlikely any time soon and even if it did happen, it wont' drive major change in rail spending in Oz.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
I called by the TrainLink office at Southern Cross station around 8:00 this morning after alighting from another rail replacement bus on the Ballarat line...but I digress.

I want to travel to Yass Jn on thu 17 October and on to Canberra for a few days where I haven't been for over 30 years Exclamation...but again I digress...

After speaking to the friendly Train Link officer and obtaining details of fares and times etc...I thought I'd walk to the nearby Platform 1 to see the old XPT awaiting departure. But alas...NO XPT from Sydney this morning. Sad

Is XPT rail replacement now common-place and do I have to rely on the toss of a coin to see if I'll be travelling to Yass Jn by train...or abandon my holiday at the last minute because I won't be getting on a rail replacement bus.

Any information regards my planned rail journey WILL be gratefully accepted and probably acted upon.

Mike.
  CS2905 Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra, ACT
Is XPT rail replacement now common-place and do I have to rely on the toss of a coin to see if I'll be travelling to Yass Jn by train...

The Vinelander
Between track work and breakdowns, unfortunately it is. And even if you leave Southern Cross by train, there's no guarantee that it'll make it all the way to Yass Junction. On my first (and so far, only) attempt to travel that route in that direction about six months ago, we only got as far as Albury, where everybody had to detrain due to a freight derailment in the Goulburn yard. I spent about four hours at Albury, waiting for the last replacement bus, which had come from Newcastle and only just had enough driver hours to make it to Canberra station. One passenger was booked through to Queanbeyan, and on arrival at Canberra station they were still trying to work out how to get her there.

I assume you know about https://transportnsw.info/alerts - if not, checking it regularly can be rather depressing. That said, I think your odds of getting an XPT on the southern line are probably better than those on the other lines at the moment, but it's still a lucky dip.

My first post in a while, and I've drifted off topic. Sorry.
  M636C Minister for Railways

After speaking to the friendly Train Link officer and obtaining details of fares and times etc...I thought I'd walk to the nearby Platform 1 to see the old XPT awaiting departure. But alas...NO XPT from Sydney this morning. https://Railpage.com.au/images/smiles/icon_sad.gif

Looking on Anytrip right now both ST 23 and ST 24 are running, 23 is 19 minutes late but 24 is only 1 minute late.

It appears that ST24 started from Albury today. No explanation was given.

https://transportnsw.info/alerts#/metro-train doesn't indicate any planned bus substitution in the near future on Melbourne services. Shortages due to the body structural cracking on the power cars are being absorbed by the down Grafton and up Casino services.

Peter

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