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find that the extra Vlocitys and the Vline mindset will see the Z cars do virtually nothing after their upgrade having been replaced by Vlocitys of one sort or another or a shortage of N class locos fit to haul them.
Will this really count when the time comes? Only time will tell.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find that the extra Vlocitys and the Vline mindset will see the Z cars do virtually nothing after their upgrade having been replaced by Vlocitys of one sort or another or a shortage of N class locos fit to haul them.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.
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.
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.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).
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.
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.
Since when was operating in excess of requirements a requirement in itself?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.
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.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 .
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.