Is it time to stop complaining about Albury services?

 
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Note, I am not stating an opinion in the above post, this is what the simulator is telling me, I publish the data to try and get a better understanding of real world problems.

woodford

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  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Thanks woodford.   I might have mentioned in the past that V/Line has undertaken 2 sets of trials of a four car option with 1 car isolated to simulate the 4th car as a trailer.   From a timekeeping perspective based on existing schedules the impact was negligible.  I should stress based on existing schedules as that is no doubt different because of padding etc relative to the way you would model it.   Just on fuel and maintenance savings alone, a 4 car set with unpowered 4th car saves in fuel and maintenance alone between Melbourne and Geelong on a round trip some $2,200 per round trip and the capital cost reduction is in the realm of $2.5 million per car.

So yes there may have to be a trade off between a slight performance reduction versus enormous short and long term savings plus a substantial ramp up in set capacity and set configurations.  3-car set options.  3 and 6 car sets.   3 and 4 car set options = 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 car consists.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Why do I wonder that having spent all the time and money and worn the pain, delay and cancellations for 2+ years that a pile of money will be spent on the Z cars for bogies and upgrade only to find that the extra Vlocitys and the Vline mindset will see the Z cars do virtually nothing after their upgrade having been replaced by Vlocitys of one sort or another or a shortage of N class locos fit to haul them.
YM-Mundrabilla

A VLocity is too uncomfortable for a 3+ hour journey.  This is why long distance services are delivered using passenger coaches.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Why do I wonder that having spent all the time and money and worn the pain, delay and cancellations for 2+ years that a pile of money will be spent on the Z cars for bogies and upgrade only to find that the extra Vlocitys and the Vline mindset will see the Z cars do virtually nothing after their upgrade having been replaced by Vlocitys of one sort or another or a shortage of N class locos fit to haul them.

A VLocity is too uncomfortable for a 3+ hour journey.  This is why long distance services are delivered using passenger coaches.
x31
Will this really count when the time comes? Only time will tell.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks woodford.   I might have mentioned in the past that V/Line has undertaken 2 sets of trials of a four car option with 1 car isolated to simulate the 4th car as a trailer.   From a timekeeping perspective based on existing schedules the impact was negligible.  I should stress based on existing schedules as that is no doubt different because of padding etc relative to the way you would model it.   Just on fuel and maintenance savings alone, a 4 car set with unpowered 4th car saves in fuel and maintenance alone between Melbourne and Geelong on a round trip some $2,200 per round trip and the capital cost reduction is in the realm of $2.5 million per car.

So yes there may have to be a trade off between a slight performance reduction versus enormous short and long term savings plus a substantial ramp up in set capacity and set configurations.  3-car set options.  3 and 6 car sets.   3 and 4 car set options = 3, 4, 6, 7 and 8 car consists.
"Trainplanner"


The timetabled time for a service from Baccus Marsh to Ballan is 17  minutes a 4 car set with one trailer this time is around 30 minutes. Some years ago I was on a 2 car sprinter which lost an engine at Kilmore East it lost 6 to 7 minutes on the rest of the trip to Seymour on only 3 engines. Its likely a 4 car Vlocity with a single trailer will be around 15 minutes slower to Seymour and around 18 to 20 minutes slower to Ballarat, I understand the cost savings but beware of  doing some thing like this WITHOUT a full trial. While management may see a major plus in cost savings a lot of people may not see the decreased performance as so negligible.

woodford.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

A couple of further points, First really beware of liimited testing any awfull lot of people have been caught out doing this.

Second point  and I have made this repeatedly, everyone needs to understand if the people wishdfor good service be it, trains trams, roads, medical services, day care, these HAVE to be paid for. If everyone wants low taxes then one has NO OPTION but for poor services. I AM NOT PUSHING FOR HIGHER TAXES, just looking at how the world really works. One simply CANNOT live on credit for ever.

woodford
  Lockspike Chief Commissioner

There were several options open to V/Line at the time (roundly 3 years ago) for manufacture of new bogies for the Z cars.   Two of those options are mentioned above but the third option which could have been done speedily and is a proven option involved engaging a New Zealand foundry company THAT SPECIALIZES IN CASTING BOGIE FRAMES using an existing sample bogie.   This company very successfully cast bogies frames for several locomotives in Victoria based on an existing loco bogie being supplied to them.   In the case the option open to V/Line was to source a Commonwealth bogie from under an ex WCR car from which the company would have quoted both a price and timeframe for delivery.    V/Line chose not to go that way.   Had it done so my understanding is the new bogies would have commenced coming on line within 6 to 7 months.   The cars would have been in service 2 years ago.
Trainplanner
It seems to me that if V/Line was managed by people who know how to run a railway, such options would be known to them. No doubt the HR specialist advising senior management told them to get rid of the experienced operating and engineering people due to poor attitudes (read as their attempt to advise senior management on how to run a railway was not appreciated).
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
A couple of further points, First really beware of liimited testing any awfull lot of people have been caught out doing this.

Second point  and I have made this repeatedly, everyone needs to understand if the people wishdfor good service be it, trains trams, roads, medical services, day care, these HAVE to be paid for. If everyone wants low taxes then one has NO OPTION but for poor services. I AM NOT PUSHING FOR HIGHER TAXES, just looking at how the world really works. One simply CANNOT live on credit for ever.

woodford
woodford

Just because the media has an agenda about keeping taxes as low as possible, doesn't mean the media should be setting the agenda on this subject.

I'm more than happy to pay higher taxes...but nobody seems to want to listen to the many who are actually in favour of paying higher taxes for the country's greater good.


Mike.
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Further to my position on having to work with the existing sets for the next couple of years, there are numerous examples of railways rejuvenating existing equipment that is of a similar age or older than the N sets.   In the UK, Canada and across Europe there are many examples of similarly aged vehicles being upgraded for continued front line service.  The HST sets in UK are just one example as are MK11 and Mark 111 locomotive hauled cars of identical or older age to the
n sets.  
again I won't go through as I've quoted it about 4 times now the extensive overhaul work and reliability upgrades built into the North East sets in 2009/2010.  They were extensive and were justified on the basis that as an engineering platform the N sets are quite sound.   The one area not proceeded with was new internal seating.   That was easily justifiable and has been a constant source of complaint from passengers since the N sets were constructed.   Had the seating been replaced to a much more customer friendly configuration and seat type AND HAD the original proposed maintenance regime been deployed which I've outlined previously, we wouldn't be having this debate about the NE.   Those cars with new seating would have very adequately done the job until around 2020 when replacement N sets were planned for at the time this project was mooted in 2008.

Similarly, the remaining BG N sets were planned to have the NE makeover.  Had that been achieved all N sets would have been identically configured and transferring N sets into and out of the SG would have been easily facilitated for the more heavier services just like the VR Standard gauge Spirit.

I see the press material makes some reference to "seats" in regard to the refurbishment of the fleet.   Perhaps someone in decision making land has finally "got it"!!!
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
Can I ask a basic question, where are these Z cars going to go when they're refurbished?  Perhaps there is a press release somewhere that explains it?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Can I ask a basic question, where are these Z cars going to go when they're refurbished?  Perhaps there is a press release somewhere that explains it?
My suspicions are that they will be largely wasted or at best used inefficiently.
A 'Press Release' actually explaining anything Rolling Eyes - what planet are you on and is it any warmer than Melbourne at present?Smile
  Trainplanner Chief Commissioner

Location: Along the Line
Kuldalai may have more uptodate information especially in the light of the additional V'Locity sets ordered.    At one stage it had been an idea that the Z cars be made up into Peak period sets running from Geelong on a limited stop pattern.   As I say that may now be superseded.   The other plan is just to add a Z car to all existing BG N sets and build them all up to 5 and 6 car consists.

This additional capacity whatever the option chosen is definitely needed and has been needed long before now and going into the future.   There is a lot to be said for overall better fleet flexibility to make all N sets into 5/6 car consists so that you make the working of these sets much more simpler as a result.

But in saying that these cars need to be fully utilized.  It might be changing with the 26 June timetable, but to see High Capacity H sets arriving into Melbourne before 0700 of a morning and then being stowed is an example of very high capacity train sets not being used to their maximum potential.
  ZH836301 Chief Commissioner

Location: BleakCity
Why shouldn't they penny pinch, the service already requires massive taxpayer subsidies.
That's why it's called Public Transport - governments all over the world provide it and pay for it. Recovery of costs varies all over the place.
Valvegear
Since when was operating in excess of requirements a requirement in itself?
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Kuldalai may have more uptodate information especially in the light of the additional V'Locity sets ordered.    At one stage it had been an idea that the Z cars be made up into Peak period sets running from Geelong on a limited stop pattern.   As I say that may now be superseded.   The other plan is just to add a Z car to all existing BG N sets and build them all up to 5 and 6 car consists.

This additional capacity whatever the option chosen is definitely needed and has been needed long before now and going into the future.   There is a lot to be said for overall better fleet flexibility to make all N sets into 5/6 car consists so that you make the working of these sets much more simpler as a result.

But in saying that these cars need to be fully utilized.  It might be changing with the 26 June timetable, but to see High Capacity H sets arriving into Melbourne before 0700 of a morning and then being stowed is an example of very high capacity train sets not being used to their maximum potential.
Trainplanner
The saga of the bogie replacement for the 22 Z cars drags on . Currently 13 cars in service (awaiting bogies) and 9 out of action (waiting bogies).  Allegedly a few cars worth of replacement bogies now are here .  This is again a dmning endightment onVLP Management that this sorry saga has dragged on over 3 years. with no sense of URGENCY from Vlp to get things moving .

The Z cars to a large degree in the  BZN and BTN cars with the disabled wide entrance doors and wheelchair accessible places meet teh Accessibility requirements in the bg N sets .  As such each of the bg sets is supposed to have either a BZN or BTN in its make up .

The intention with the bg  N/Z sets is to make them up into 4 and 5 car sets largely for use on Inter City services to Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Shepparton and Bairnsdale .  Use in future will be limited on Commuter services as they stuff up the smooth operation of high speed  V/Locity services .  As such the first priority is understood to be repalcement of loco hauleds on Geelong with V/locity consists .

The announced refurb for the bg fleet will address several issues especially the cooling capacity in bg N/Z cars in the summer.

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