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New Country Trains

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

New Country Trains

Postby Fleet Lists » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:29 am

http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-r ... ccelerated
New country train program accelerated

Replacement of the ageing regional rail fleet, starting with new XPTs, will be accelerated with $50 million to speed up delivery of new trains and improve comfort and reliability.

Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Andrew Constance announced extra money has been committed, which will see the procurement process for new XPTs kicking off in the first half of next year – two years earlier than promised.

“We’ve already committed to starting planning for a faster, modern, comfortable country train fleet by 2019, but we’re not going to wait. We’re getting the ball rolling now so we can get contracts signed in this term of Government and new trains on our tracks earlier,’’ Mr Grant said.

“This is a real commitment to rail passengers in the bush and we expect it to also generate regional maintenance jobs.’’

Minister Constance said the new fleet will replace the 60 XPT passenger cars currently operating on the NSW TrainLink network, taking customers between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Dubbo, and going through regional towns including Bathurst, Orange, Taree, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Casino, Goulburn and Albury.

“We’ve boosted spending now to $50 million so we can bring forward the best solutions for country travellers,” Mr Constance said.

“We want this to be a great outcome and for that to happen, we need to start talking to industry about the options available and how we get new trains on the track quickly.”

Opportunities to replace more than 50 XPLORER and Endeavour trains that serve other key regional destinations like Armidale, Moree, Griffith, Broken Hill, Canberra, the Hunter and South Coast (between Kiama and Bomaderry), will also be investigated as part of the work.

“Country travellers deserve modern trains, and the very real dividends resulting from the sound financial management of this Government will make it happen,’’ Mr Grant said.

“A new fleet of trains will ultimately require less work to maintain, are more reliable and can be used more often.”

Each year about one million customer journeys are taken on the XPT fleet, which travels 3.5 million kilometres a year. The trains are up to 35 years old.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby tranzitjim » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:48 pm

V/Line is looking at something similar.

Perhaps NSW and Vic could put in a joint order, or, operate a new joint venture???
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Punchbowl Tiger Cub » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:57 am

A couple of points.

Still a couple of years away and anything could change.

Maintenance Centre to be in a country location not Sydney so all sets have to be worked to that location for maintenance - what happens in the event of failures and where do you base the spares if the network and operations are operated the same as now - hub and spoke operation

The XPT Centre site has had rezoning for high rise so the cynical in me would see this as a land grab exercise.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby boronia » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:09 pm

It will be a similar scenario to the new Intercity fleet base? I noticed EIS notices for Kangy Angy in the Goverment notices last week.

Some high rise at Sydenham will go down well for the new metro.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Frosty » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:21 pm

I doubt Sydenham and the XPT service area would be allowed to have high rise it's awfully close to the main flight path into Sydney Airport.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Fleet Lists » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:42 pm

That would not stop it.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Punchbowl Tiger Cub » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:56 pm

Already has been listed with State Planning
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby boronia » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:18 pm

There is already some in Marrickville along the same alignment. The flight path is on the northern side of Sydenham Station.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby mandonov » Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:59 pm

It could become a stabling yard for the metro. There isn't really anywhere else south of the harbour that would be suitable to build one.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Bedford-29 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:02 pm

This is the replacement trains the class 800 for the HST trains in the UK on the Great Western main line and the East Coast main line I wonder if it make a good replacement for the XPT.Picture from wikipedia
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Alex on the Bus » Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:11 pm

tranzitjim wrote:V/Line is looking at something similar.

Perhaps NSW and Vic could put in a joint order, or, operate a new joint venture???


Overlooking the instant answer that it couldn't possibly happen as both states are too proud to submit to a joint program, there is merit in the idea. Personally I wouldn't mind an XPT-style push-pull consist operating on V/Line's long-distance services, whilst the Vlocity is a bogie swap away from being an Xplorer replacement (being based on that design already).

I suspect the preferred successor to the XPT will, to the dismay of many enthusiasts, be some form of DMU. Given the Baird government's preference for "off the shelf" designs there are already two locally-built solutions available in Bombardier's Vlocity and UGL's Hunter railcar (modified with car-end doors, one would expect). This may, however, cause an issue with the Melbourne and Brisbane services where sleeper accommodation would be desired, as having a QSK19 thrashing beneath one's berth may not be conducive to a good night's sleep. An Vlocity-style update to the XPT, along with uniform-gauge version of EDI's Cairns Tilt Train, would be the local contenders if a push-pull concept was still desired. It would be nice to see a revival in interest in tilting trains in NSW, but I suspect that there is a lack of will or courage on the part of the current government to be that bold.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Linto63 » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:39 pm

The Vlocity and Hunter railcars were first introduced in 2005/06, so would be nearly a 15 year old design by the time the stock is delivered. Think we can rule out head end or top and tail power, so most likely a DMU although perhaps a bio-mode will be considered. Hitachi have developed the AT300 (as pictured above) for the UK market, although with a 200km/h top speed a bit of an overkill for NSW. Stadler Rail's 160 km/h Flirt would be a more logical fit. http://www.railjournal.com/index.php/eu ... lirts.html

Modern DMUs tend to need to operate in fixed formations much like the Waratahs do, with the ability to add and remove carriages as currently happens with the XPT and Xplorers a more involved process, so the beefing up of sets for peak periods may no longer be an option.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Frosty » Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:50 pm

The depot would have to be somewhere sensible for the Country Trains why not just combine it with the New Intercity Fleet depot. Like it can't surely be more than 200km away from Sydney other imagine dead running a set from Sydney Terminal to some far flung depot.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Tonymercury » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:18 am

Alex on the Bus wrote: Given the Baird government's preference for "off the shelf" designs .



And so far this has meant that NSW has purchased.....?
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby matthewg » Mon Oct 31, 2016 10:52 am

The XPT (and the Xplorers) will be replaced with an off the self road-coach.

I don't think there is the political will to procure new country trains. The National's might fight a desperate rear-guard action, but at the end of the day there are not enough votes per dollar in it.

Already the intercity coaches better the train travel times to most destinations.

There is zero prospect of railway upgrades to improve passenger speed timings. Very little railway upgrades to improve freight occur and they are cheaper, easier and probably have more impact on the community than passenger rail upgrades. (Fewer heavy trucks pounding the roads to bits).
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Fleet Lists » Mon Oct 31, 2016 11:51 am

matthewg wrote:The XPT (and the Xplorers) will be replaced with an off the self road-coach.


That certainly contradicts the opening post.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Frosty » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:07 pm

The question is politically is there any marginal seats in the these areas and the answer is no so not worth it politically. If you're a politician I would focus on the marginal seats not the comfy country seats.

I would agree the coach is more comfortable like it easily beats the train between Sydney and Canberra. Also coach takes you into City Centre of Canberra.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Linto63 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:43 pm

matthewg wrote:The XPT (and the Xplorers) will be replaced with an off the self road-coach.
If that was the agenda, then unlikely the government would put out a press release saying they are going to replace and then have to back track.

Frosty wrote:The question is politically is there any marginal seats in the these areas and the answer is no so not worth it politically. If you're a politician I would focus on the marginal seats not the comfy country seats.
The last time a government embarked on a mass withdrawal of country passenger services was in the early 90s when all non XPT services were withdrawn. With electoral losses looming, result was the Xplorers were ordered. There are plenty of marginal seats held by the Nationals.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby captainch » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:48 pm

Mr Baird should take a trip up to Brisbane to see their new trains made over-seas! So many mistakes going to cost millions to fix them they will be in service latter next year & with the transport ministers job on shakey grounds head or Q.R GONE & HEAD OF OPERATIONS TO their 150 drivers & guards short cancelling over 100 trips per day plus they opened the new REDCLIFFE LINE!
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Linto63 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:33 pm

Unfortunately with new trains and modern signalling being so complicated, there are often problems, whether built locally or overseas. Both the locally built Millenium and laregly overseas built Waratahs had protracted entries into service.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby matthewg » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:50 pm

Linto63 wrote:Unfortunately with new trains and modern signalling being so complicated, there are often problems, whether built locally or overseas. Both the locally built Millenium and laregly overseas built Waratahs had protracted entries into service.


It's not just complicated trains/signaling.

Once the railways own engineers would have sat down with reps from each division (rolling stock, track, signals, power supplies) and wrote a spec and test requirements. The manufacturers would take those specs and work closely with the railway people to turn out the new train that met those specs.

Now the railway has gotten rid of most of those engineers as the 'management' think they can just hire in 'consultants' when needed. Much of the specification and implementation testing has been pushed back onto the rolling stock manufacturer who don't have that close relationship with the (now non-existant) engineering divisions in the railway.

Lack of engineering talent in the railway enterprise also means they are not an 'informed customer' and at the mercy of whatever the manufacturer tells em. Then it all falls appart at the final step when they find a whole host of 'systems integration' issues that should have been caught way earlier - and would have if sufficient engineering talent skilled in the right fields have been consulted early.

Management have no trust in their own people and trust the manufacturers sales people too much.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby mandonov » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:40 pm

There was an Industry Briefing on March 1st for the new Regional Fleet. The slides are online: http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/sites/d ... 2017-1.pdf

Major points:

Replacement of the XPT fleet
• Announced $50 million over the next 3 years
• Issues with ageing and life expired trains
• Brought forward by 1-2 years
• Options to also replace the XPLORERS and Endeavours

Fleet
• Replacing the current XPT Fleet
• Contract award by early 2019
• Explore options to replace 23 XPLORER and 28 Endeavours
• Deliver between 60–110 new cars
• Supply and/or maintenance and/or operations and/or finance
• Plan for local content, new ideas, economic value for regional NSW

• Deliver between 60–110 new cars

60 is the number of the existing XPT fleet minus the power cars, indicating a DMU.
110 is the 60 plus the Explorer and Endeavour replacement.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby swtt » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:07 am

60-110 new carriages: does that just replace the trains, or provide some growth?
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby boronia » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:14 pm

The figures have been explained above.

Judging by the current average loadings on these trains, I think growth could be absorbed over their lifespan.
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Re: New Country Trains

Postby Tonymercury » Fri Mar 10, 2017 5:20 am

And those interesting words 'proven design' have appeared again.
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