Spanish firm Talgo approved for Hills-Adelaide rail technoloy trial

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 20 Jun 2022 07:59
  8502 Assistant Commissioner

Discussing the technology for Australian use in a different thread.  This type of train could do a lot in Australia but do we know a lot about the loading gauge and how compatible it will be. A Talgo set operating the Overland could use the existing VLine 160kph line from Melbourne to Ararat via Ballarat cutting the travel time on that section from over 3 hours, to under 2. The adjustment of the train bogies from Broad Gauge to Standard and visa versa, would take place there. It would definitely make the train and very viable travel option. 

All in all, about 2 hours could be lopped off the current travel time

Spanish firm Talgo approved for Hills-Adelaide rail technoloy trial

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  M636C Minister for Railways

Discussing the technology for Australian use in a different thread.  This type of train could do a lot in Australia but do we know a lot about the loading gauge and how compatible it will be. A Talgo set operating the Overland could use the existing VLine 160kph line from Melbourne to Ararat via Ballarat cutting the travel time on that section from over 3 hours, to under 2. The adjustment of the train bogies from Broad Gauge to Standard and visa versa, would take place there. It would definitely make the train and very viable travel option.

All in all, about 2 hours could be lopped off the current travel time

Spanish firm Talgo approved for Hills-Adelaide rail technoloy trial
8502

Firstly, the Talgo trains have no bogies.
They run on independent wheels on a subframe that allows change of gauge.

I have only ridden the old "Catalan Talgo" that changed gauge at the Spanish border. It also changed from diesel power to electric at the border so the process was slower. The train only ran at 140km/h and was not as smooth at speed as a conventional train with bogies. The ride was a bit hard, reminiscent of the original Morris Mini car.

Talgo trains can only use low level platforms, so new platforms would be needed at all stations. This might not be a problem at most places, just add a low level platform at the end of the exiting platform. I don't know what you would do at Southern Cross, however.

Talgo don't normally supply locomotives for their trains and would expect a locomotive to be provided. Certainly this was the case when they offered a train for a Sydney Canberra trial, although this was of course single gauge.

To return to the Adelaide Hills trial, it would probably be cheaper to convert a 3000/3100 set to standard gauge and provide a third rail into Adelaide station. Or just run the railcar into Keswick and transfer to a BG railcar. Last time I looked, Keswick was still dual gauge (or could be easily returned to dual gauge.)

While Talgo do have powered dual gauge sets in Spain, these are electric, although some have generator cars to power the train away from the catenary. I would expect that these trains would be very expensive, but purpose designed trains would be far more expensive.

If service to Ballarat is regarded as important, the line from Ballarat to Ararat should be converted to dual gauge and the proposed conversion to standard gauge between Ballarat and Geelong carried out. That work would cost a small fraction of the cost of any type of Talgo train. Using standard gauge railcars between Ballarat and Ararat would ensure that the were no speed restrictions.

In the long term, the Melbourne Ballarat line should be converted to standard gauge. The present sleepers could be reused in upgrading the Melbourne suburban network. This work could be done using a resleepering machine and could be completed quite quickly, including recovery of the existing BG sleepers.

Peter
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

A pity that the article doesn't say which body has 'approved' the Talgo trial, what sort of 'approval' it is or what other sorts of 'approvals' will be required (potentially from different bodies such as ARTC, ONRSR, DFAT if visas will be required for Talgo staff) before it can actually happen.

The low level platform part shouldn't be an issue. If the 'trial' goes ahead and negotiations commence on production of some sets for Australian use, building them with access suitable for Australian platforms would be part of that negotiation.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


The low level platform part shouldn't be an issue. If the 'trial' goes ahead and negotiations commence on production of some sets for Australian use, building them with access suitable for Australian platforms would be part of that negotiation.
justapassenger

I was wondering myself what the platform would be as the higher speed sets would not be appropriate for the service?  I was personally thinking the 230 regional platform?

https://www.talgo.com/passenger-cars

In terms of permits this is where Australia needs to get smarter and get it more open and being able to allow this type of innovation.  Maybe Talgo will headquarter in Adelaide?
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

No need to change platform specifications, just make sure that any procurement is subject to competitive tendering.

If Talgo aren't smart enough to place their doors at the height specified in the tender, the outcome will simply be that they will lose to other smarter manufacturers.
  M636C Minister for Railways

No need to change platform specifications, just make sure that any procurement is subject to competitive tendering.

If Talgo aren't smart enough to place their doors at the height specified in the tender, the outcome will simply be that they will lose to other smarter manufacturers.
justapassenger
Could you list all the other manufacturers currently producing variable gauge passenger trains?
I understand the Japanese have built a couple of trains, but they haven't offered them for sale.
Talgo have patents covering their equipment which would prevent another company copying the mechanism they use.

The Talgo trains have always had low floors since the very first prototype.
You could easily fit steps inside the vestibules for use at high platforms but that would eliminate the disabled access currently on the train. I don't think it is possible to design a Talgo train with a high floor, since the design relies on the low centre of gravity to allow tilting in curves.

I'm sure Talgo would build a new train to meet any specifications but it would cost a fortune. Something like the old Goon Show joke "open your wallet and repeat after me "Help Yourself".....

Just running standard Talgo cars would not be cheap. Talgo tend to build maintenance facilities of their own just to keep the trains working, including their own wheel lathes.

I do not believe that it could possibly be justified on the Adelaide Hills.

I don't believe that it would be justified on the Overland.
If you are travelling all day, an hour or two won't greatly increase the number of passengers.

Everything that can be provided by using Talgo trains could be provided at lower cost by using conventional trains with relatively cheap modifications to the permanent way.

If the proposed track upgrades for the Murray grain lines are completed, the Overland could run via Ballarat (assuming the Ararat line was either SG or dual gauge.

My last trip on the Overland, from Adelaide in 1978 was diverted through North Geelong and we arrived on time.

Peter
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Tilt is ridiculous for an outer suburban route like this. Anyone impressed by saving a couple of seconds here and there on some of the curves would be far more improved by the 30+ minutes saved by catching the T840 down the freeway. And leaving out the heavy tilt equipment might actually be better  since a lighter vehicle can accelerate more smartly.

Freed from the need to tilt, Talgo could face competition from other variable gauge systems such as Rafil, PKP-SUW, BRAVA and the Japanese one.

But variable gauge is not necessary either. Variable gauge is a solution when you are connecting two well-developed networks, not to avoid adding a third rail for just the last 1.5km of an outer suburban route.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia


But variable gauge is not necessary either. Variable gauge is a solution when you are connecting two well-developed networks, not to avoid adding a third rail for just the last 1.5km of an outer suburban route.
justapassenger

Is this a genuine possibility for Mount Barker and does the tourist train actually make it out to the Mount Barker Junction location?

If the gauge changing can be avoided with the above why then select Tango and not a Vlocity for example?
  don_dunstan Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Adelaide proud
But variable gauge is not necessary either. Variable gauge is a solution when you are connecting two well-developed networks, not to avoid adding a third rail for just the last 1.5km of an outer suburban route.
justapassenger
I've said this repeatedly. And the very cheapest way of doing it would be re-gauging spare 3000's - there's no need for a brand new gauge-changing train. And we're talking about a mile of dual gauge (maybe even less).

The Dunstan household went for a jaunt to Blackwood not long ago and the train slow compared to driving, no two ways about it. The only way I can see a hills train being viable is if it provided access to the southern suburbs that the existing express bus doesn't.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

But variable gauge is not necessary either. Variable gauge is a solution when you are connecting two well-developed networks, not to avoid adding a third rail for just the last 1.5km of an outer suburban route.
Is this a genuine possibility for Mount Barker and does the tourist train actually make it out to the Mount Barker Junction location?
bevans
I was referring to a connection in the Mile End area to run dual gauge into platform 4 or 5 at Adelaide, not the Mt Barker end.

Steamranger does not run to Mt Barker Junction, for all practical purposes they have abandoned the track and there’s a potential Adverse Possession involved as well. It would need a full rebuild to be used as anything other than a rally stage, and the state government would certainly only do it as a single gauge.

If the gauge changing can be avoided with the above why then select Tango and not a Vlocity for example?
bevans
Talgo selected themselves to organise this demonstration run.

They have been working with Luigi Rossi (a quite controversial former department executive who the previous ALP government had to fire) rather than the SA government.

After the debacle of the A-City EMU, I would hope that there would be a competitive tender with mandatory local content (parts and fitting out) rather than just ‘selecting’ more cheap and nasty Victorian vehicles if it ever comes to ordering a fleet.

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