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F6, STM and rail tunnel

Sydney / New South Wales Transport Discussion

Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby matthewg » Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:49 am

Tonymercury wrote:Transport Minister Andrew Constance reiterated this when asked if the government had a 60-minute commute as a target.
“I’d love to be able to do it but you’re looking at billions and not millions of dollars in terms of expenditure,” Mr Constance said.

But billions for a toll road IS ok and viable.

The intercity fleet, due to roll out from 2019, has a top speed of around 180km/h compared to the Oscars’ 130km/h.


Update the drive control software on the Oscars to allow the motors to run faster :-) That would be really cheap.

(Yes I know the motors may be already running at their maximum speed, the suspension may not be suitable for high speeds, etc, etc)

The Oscars are probably already running at the performance limit of the infrastructure. Trains with a higher top speed will make no difference with out infrastructure enhancements - something the current government seems really really keen to avoid doing.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:05 am

matthewg wrote:The Oscars are probably already running at the performance limit of the infrastructure. Trains with a higher top speed will make no difference with out infrastructure enhancements - something the current government seems really really keen to avoid doing.

Not entirely. Some parts of the infrastructure are zoned for up to 140 km/h. The line is pretty straight or only slightly curved between Sydney and Waterfall and between Thirroul and Nowra - about 75% of the line. Yes it's true that a 160 km/h train is not going to make any difference over a 130 km/h (Oscar) or 145 km/h (Endeavour) train in terms of raising average speed, which is the critical issue. Presently the trains are being run at the performance limits of the brains of the NSW transport administration. That's the real problem.

By comparing lines with similar track profile, I've estimated that Transperth could cut 20 minutes off the Thirroul-Nowra journey time using Transperth's existing performance standards, including their trains which have a maximum speed of 130 km/h, same as the Oscars.

If the line between Coledale and Waterfall was bypassed and straightened, an operation to Transperth's present standards could do a Sydney-Nowra journey in 1hr 55min, compared with the present 2hr 40min. (I've subtracted the unnecessary 10 to 15 minute wait at Kiama from these calculations.)

Except for Waterfall-Coledale, very little curve-easing is needed on the south coast line. The only major work I would consider desirable is duplication from Unanderra to as close to Kiama as possible without having to tackle the tunnel - that is, to Minnamurra or Bombo. Duplication isn't necessary (except for overtaking sidings for the Manildra trains) between Kiama and Nowra because a Transperth performance would see a single trainset doing a return trip quickly enough for an hourly connection at Kiama.

Such improvements between Sydney and Waterfall and Thirroul and Nowra are possible right now, without having to wait around for the Waterfall-Coledale issue to be addressed.

Here's the present problem - how a typical train runs in a stretch of track zoned for 100 km/h (the 60 sign applies to the passing siding):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZptAyPtbYE

Go make a cup of tea while you're watching this. The train will still be there when you come back.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby boronia » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:37 am

That video has been filmed with high telephoto lens compression. It is not possible to judge the real speed, although no doubt is below optimal.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:17 am

boronia wrote:That video has been filmed with high telephoto lens compression. It is not possible to judge the real speed, although no doubt is below optimal.

It becomes obvious when it comes closer. Also I've ridden the train and driven alongside it on the motorway and it does amble along slowly, believe me. Nothing like 100 km/h.

There is a story (maybe apocryphal!) from back in the days when the railways took pride in achievement, in which they ensured that the XPT ran along the section of line that paralleled the Hume Highway at Bredalbane at 160 to try to impress people enough to get out of their cars and ride the XPT. I often think they should be doing the same at Shellharbour, but as you drive along the motorway there at 100, you pass the train as though it's going backwards.

Edit: Running a timer over that film measuring the duration vs the distance covered (not counting the train entering the platform at the end), I find the train is averaging 60 km/h. The speed board for that section on that track is 100 km/h.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby jpp42 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 9:05 pm

I've always felt that the Endeavour run from Kiama to the south was done at a fairly spirited pace. Maybe this is just because you can hear the acceleration a bit more on the DMUs. But I figured the main reason was that it was far enough from Sydney that the slow-down policies hadn't quite reached :)
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:05 am

jpp42 wrote:I've always felt that the Endeavour run from Kiama to the south was done at a fairly spirited pace. Maybe this is just because you can hear the acceleration a bit more on the DMUs. But I figured the main reason was that it was far enough from Sydney that the slow-down policies hadn't quite reached :)

It's not spirited enough! It needs to do the run in 20 minutes so that a single train can service an hourly connection at Kiama. I guess being diesel doesn't help with acceleration though.

Don't confuse noise with performance - otherwise the old U boats would have been the fastest trains on earth! :wink:
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Swift » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:08 pm

tonyp wrote:It's not spirited enough! It needs to do the run in 20 minutes so that a single train can service an hourly connection at Kiama. I guess being diesel doesn't help with acceleration though.


It's not like the line is full of twists like Cowan to Woy Woy. Looks like over cautious policies are the main obstacle.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:41 pm

Apart from a small section between the Omega tunnels, there are only two gentle bends in the line that would slow trains below 100 km/h, yet the average speed for the Endeavour service is little over 60 km/h.

They deliberately drive the trains slowly. There is no ethic of getting people to places more quickly. You really understand this when you get on a Transperth train and it goes like the clappers of hell. One organisation is running a business professionally, the other is just grudgingly marking time.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Swift » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:57 pm

can recall the days seeing candy front V sets roar past Eastwood Stn on the down line sending debris flying in their wake. That isn't a sight I can ever recall with the Railcorp or Sydney Trains painted versions.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Transtopic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:12 pm

Swift wrote:can recall the days seeing candy front V sets roar past Eastwood Stn on the down line sending debris flying in their wake. That isn't a sight I can ever recall with the Railcorp or Sydney Trains painted versions.

Or the loco hauled 46 class electrics on the Up line (actually flying down the Eastwood bank to Denistone). They were fast.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Linto63 » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:33 pm

Given that they all now stop at Eastwood, not surprising. :shock:
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Swift » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:44 pm

Transtopic wrote:
Swift wrote:can recall the days seeing candy front V sets roar past Eastwood Stn on the down line sending debris flying in their wake. That isn't a sight I can ever recall with the Railcorp or Sydney Trains painted versions.

Or the loco hauled 46 class electrics on the Up line (actually flying down the Eastwood bank to Denistone). They were fast.

Oh one of these.
Image
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Transtopic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:46 pm

Linto63 wrote:Given that they all now stop at Eastwood, not surprising. :shock:

Not sure how to take that, but regardless of whether they stopped at Eastwood or not, let me assure you that they were significantly faster than even the current XPT services, both Up and Down, which I witness every day. Even the U-Boats would have give them a run for their money. Bearing in mind that this was before significant upgrades were undertaken to the track infrastructure, following the Granville train disaster. So on this issue I agree with tonyp. Why can't there be a major improvement in travel times, when you consider the significant investment that has been undertaken in upgrading the track infrastructure over at least the past few decades? It seems to me it's the politicians holding it back to maintain on-time statistics, even though they ignore the potential improvements which are realistically achievable. Don't blame the messenger, ie Sydney Trains.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Transtopic » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:34 pm

Swift wrote:Oh one of these.
Image

Exactly. Pardon me for my indulgence, but I can recall the day in 1954 when I witnessed the Royal Train passing through Eastwood Station (my whole school in fact) at a rate of knots with the newly crowned Elizabeth 11 on the steep down line with a 46 class electric loco in charge. It was faster than anything I've ever seen since. Considering the infrastructure improvements since then, that suggests that there is more than enough slack in the system to significantly improve travel times.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:38 am

Swift wrote:Image

Now you're talking! A long time since we've seen some real stuff with hair on its chest on this forum, lol :lol:
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Tonymercury » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:16 pm

Now that's a train!

ARH turned up this morning and Alex Wardrop has got back into the Sydney - Newcastle speed discussion with some very interesting tables and comments - and he reckons the 38s could not do it non-stop in two hours with a full length HUB set. Furthermore he questions why anyone would want to run it non-stop anyway!

Interestingly he points out that Vs and Hs are now allowed to run to the XPT speed boards and still maintains that the best performers are the Hs.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Liamena » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:10 pm

There would be no point in the XPT running at top speed between Hornsby and Strathfield, if they are going to come to a red signal before they get there.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Swift » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:29 pm

^I witnessed the original British Rail version in action and it was more like the TGV or ICE train than our badly held back ( and pointless) version.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:47 pm

Swift wrote:^I witnessed the original British Rail version in action and it was more like the TGV or ICE train than our badly held back ( and pointless) version.

You need to see the XPT as a high-performance train, not a high-speed train. It can accelerate out of stations, curves etc better, thus raising average speed, which is really important. In the absence of track realignment on a vast scale (due to political inertia), our best objective for passenger rail in Australia is to raise average speed as high as possible ("medium speed rail"). This will achieve much benefit on its own. Perth is a classic demonstration of the success of this. Call it drive the trains faster.

If the Oscars are allowed to go at XPT speeds, I can only say that on the south coast they must divide that figure by 2.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Tonymercury » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:58 am

tonyp wrote:
If the Oscars are allowed to go at XPT speeds, I can only say that on the south coast they must divide that figure by 2.


I don't think that anyone has said that the TTs have been altered.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:14 am

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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby Stu » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:15 am

The estimate for Maldon-Dombarton in 2014 was 667 million and the estimate today is 1.6 billion, by nsw standards this sound too cheap. What are the reasons for the large increase in the estimated amount? I understand it's an estimate although it is a huge spike upwards. There is already extensive bridge work completed and very basic tunnelling, maybe TfNSW have to spend a significant amount of money making sure that the existing unused structures still remain in good working order.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby molybtek » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:18 am

Stu wrote:The estimate for Maldon-Dombarton in 2014 was 667 million and the estimate today is 1.6 billion, by nsw standards this sound too cheap. What are the reasons for the large increase in the estimated amount? I understand it's an estimate although it is a huge spike upwards. There is already extensive bridge work completed and very basic tunnelling, maybe TfNSW have to spend a significant amount of money making sure that the existing unused structures still remain in good working order.


I think the $1.6 billion includes electrification of the line, which is not in the original plan.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby tonyp » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:55 am

molybtek wrote:
I think the $1.6 billion includes electrification of the line, which is not in the original plan.

Do you mean the recent "original" plan or the original original plan, because electrification was to be part of the latter. Indeed the masts are already installed up the line from Unanderra to near the tunnel portal at the scarp.
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Re: F6, STM and rail tunnel

Postby boronia » Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:04 pm

tonyp wrote:
molybtek wrote:
I think the $1.6 billion includes electrification of the line, which is not in the original plan.

Do you mean the recent "original" plan or the original original plan, because electrification was to be part of the latter. Indeed the masts are already installed up the line from Unanderra to near the tunnel portal at the scarp.

The line was to be operated at 25kV AC, and IIRC, the 85 and/or 86 class were designed to be convertible/dual voltage.
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