Despite some protest by the local land owner, the site for a major maintenance facility with a scale far larger than we have had before is planned and committed at Waurn Ponds just near the cement works. There have been discussions with the landowner going back almost 10 years. It is intended to be the ultimate major maintenance facility for the V'Locity fleet being capable of undertaking the full program of maintenance tasks, cleaning (which will be something new) etc.'So if yr in ops and the the network gets disrupted, not only do you have to find a train you then have to establish how much fuel its got and then the distance the altered working entails and make a call.'
I think you will find references to maintenance requirements being code for railcars having insufficient fuel to do the changed assignment. V/Line devotes inordinate resources tracking the fleet in relation to fuel capacity and range because it has elected not to adopt a policy of refueling the fleet everyday. It obviously has a program set utilization which is standard practice but then it endeavours to get the maximum range out of the sets before refueling. Every so often it gets caught and gets beaten up in the media.
That's not to say that many sets are not refueled daily but a lot aren't. So if yr in ops and the the network gets disrupted, not only do you have to find a train you then have to establish how much fuel its got and then the distance the alterfed working entails and make a call.
It's easy to manage say an N class loco heading out on the evening down to Swan Hill. You know it will be back in the morning so its not as critical to refuel daily. But for V'Locities I think daily refueling should be the target so you know each day yr entire fleet is fueled and can basically be redeployed as circumstances change. V/Line campaigned strongly for standard consists, it needs to exploit that by refueling daily with just a few exceptions.
Surely the above is the job! That is what Train Control (whatever it is called today) is there for.
The point that I was trying to make was that, whilst fully supporting the concept of 'preventative maintenance' (PM) as distinct from 'running requirements' is that PM on a drop dead basis is not necessary. There is, or should always be, some lee-way especially on a system that runs like a shaggy dog most of the time.
One should not run equipment right up to a red line/drop dead/go no further position on a regular basis.
There will be occasions when bustitution becomes necessary but it seems to be the first rather than the last choice so often.