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NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby burrumbus » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:41 am

matthewg wrote:
Tonymercury wrote:The gramophone record seems to be getting stuck at the same point all of the time - can TfNSW afford a new record?


Means he doesn't need crib notes when accosted by the media. He can just recite from memory.

I had cause to watch Constance make a speech to a small group recently. Whatever I think about him as a politician or transport minister, I have to give him credit for managing to make a 5-minute speech without looking at crib notes or reading a prepared speech.
Even if speech contents was all arranged in advance by minders, just the ability to remember and fluidly deliver a speech from memory is impressive. But the situation was sufficiently chaotic, that I think he ad-libbed the little speech and he ad-libbed it well.
I guess that's why he got to rank of minister. Gift of the gab.

The ability to stand up in parliament and debate with little to no prior planning would serve a politician well.

Most leading polticians ,from my experience have the gift of the gab-and can talk underwater without much preparation.That unfortunately doesn't allways translates into sound decision making.
The capacity and coverage problems unfortunately just haven't happened now or within the life span of the current Liberal/National government.It's come from decades of neglect in planning relevant services and of entrenched practices in both TFNSW,STA and The Railways,which merely add to the capacity problems.Both political persuasions are guilty .
At least this government is building new infrastructure and adding new services.The lead times are long in building this infrastructure ,but many projects should have been done twenty years ago.We as transport enthusiasts are critical of the organization ,planning and costs associated with the new projects -and justafiably so in many areas.If only TFNSW would listen to people with deep interests in public transport.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Transtopic » Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:53 pm

burrumbus wrote:Most leading polticians ,from my experience have the gift of the gab-and can talk underwater without much preparation.That unfortunately doesn't allways translates into sound decision making.
The capacity and coverage problems unfortunately just haven't happened now or within the life span of the current Liberal/National government.It's come from decades of neglect in planning relevant services and of entrenched practices in both TFNSW,STA and The Railways,which merely add to the capacity problems.Both political persuasions are guilty .
At least this government is building new infrastructure and adding new services.The lead times are long in building this infrastructure ,but many projects should have been done twenty years ago.We as transport enthusiasts are critical of the organization ,planning and costs associated with the new projects -and justafiably so in many areas.If only TFNSW would listen to people with deep interests in public transport.

The thing that really sticks in my craw is the continual diatribe from Constance and his predecessor Premier Berejiklian that the new metro lines will resolve the congestion problems on the Sydney rail network. They won't. His comment about "hundred year old platforms" says it all.

They will do nothing to relieve congestion on the busiest part of the network, the T1 Western Line into the CBD, even including the proposed Metro West which will service a new all stations rail corridor through the Inner West. It's a lie. The Bankstown Line conversion to metro (unnecessary IMO) will free up some paths through the City Circle which will be taken up by Inner West and South West services, but it does nothing to relieve congestion on T1, which includes the Northern Line, to be increased when services from Hornsby are diverted via Strathfield with the conversion of the ECRL to metro. The diversion of the Airport Line from the City Circle would have freed up more paths, but that of course would have involved further infrastructure investment in the current network, which is anathema to this government. Their solution is to funnel more suburban services into Sydney Terminal with the resultant increase in interchange congestion. In the meantime they're pushing the existing network to its limits and failing to acknowledge that it also needs further investment with track amplifications and extensions. The one size fits all metro policy isn't going to solve the problem.

While I do actually support a segregated metro system for the inner and middle ring suburbs, they've gone about it back the front. The North West Rail Link should never have been built as a metro. It's an outer suburban line which should have had an express route through the inner suburbs similar to the Western, South and Northern Lines. Then we have the ludicrous situation where the metro extension from the CBD to the Bankstown Line has only one intermediate station at Waterloo between Central and Sydenham. There should have been more stations which is typical for a metro through a higher density inner city area. When will they wake up?

I wouldn't put the blame entirely on past bureaucrats from State Rail/Railcorp, as they knew very well what was required to overcome the deficiencies in the rail network. If you want to blame anyone, blame it on their political masters, of both persuations, who for ideological or other reasons failed to accept their advice. However, I have little faith in the current breed of rail planning bureaucrats who are idealogical driven by the likes of one Rodd Staples who can't be relied upon for an objective analysis of how to resolve Sydney's rail network congestion, which just might involve some enhancement of the current Sydney Trains network. I don't include Howard Collins in this, as I think if he had a more influential input into the future direction of the Sydney rail network then we'd be the better for it.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:32 am

Transtopic wrote:While I do actually support a segregated metro system for the inner and middle ring suburbs, they've gone about it back the front. The North West Rail Link should never have been built as a metro. It's an outer suburban line which should have had an express route through the inner suburbs similar to the Western, South and Northern Lines.

I've written about this previously. You need to think outside the Sydney square. I see the NW metro as a blend of S-bahn and U-bahn that delivers a Perth level of performance to Sydney. Like the Perth lines, it'll be faster with an all-stops journey than a typical Sydney Trains part-express, part-stopping service such as you mention. I've given all the comparitive time/distance/stops figures in earlier posts. If it was delivered as just another outer-suburban line runs by double-deckers, you are condemning users to a slower journey (and with less capacity) than they will have on this metro.

The two overwhelming problems of Sydney/NSW Trains are journey time and capacity. The metro addresses both.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby MLVD » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:07 pm

As seen in a Millennium today:
IMG_20171214_150524.jpg

IMG_20171214_150508.jpg
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Stonesourscotty » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:34 pm

My Millenium did that on t5 yesterday to it was Carriage D1021 from memory
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Campbelltown busboy » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:48 pm

I saw that on the PIDs in M10 car D1020 yesterday morning
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Transtopic » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:20 pm

tonyp wrote:
Transtopic wrote:While I do actually support a segregated metro system for the inner and middle ring suburbs, they've gone about it back the front. The North West Rail Link should never have been built as a metro. It's an outer suburban line which should have had an express route through the inner suburbs similar to the Western, South and Northern Lines.

I've written about this previously. You need to think outside the Sydney square. I see the NW metro as a blend of S-bahn and U-bahn that delivers a Perth level of performance to Sydney. Like the Perth lines, it'll be faster with an all-stops journey than a typical Sydney Trains part-express, part-stopping service such as you mention. I've given all the comparitive time/distance/stops figures in earlier posts. If it was delivered as just another outer-suburban line runs by double-deckers, you are condemning users to a slower journey (and with less capacity) than they will have on this metro.

The two overwhelming problems of Sydney/NSW Trains are journey time and capacity. The metro addresses both.

As for "thinking outside the Sydney square", how else can you view it? That doesn't mean that I'm oblivious to how rail systems are run elsewhere. In fact quite the opposite. I've travelled on many suburban and metro systems in some of the world's major cities in Britain, Europe, Asia and North America, so I think I have a good grasp on best practice for urban rail systems. Yes Tony, I've been to Prague as well.

Designing a new rail network from scratch is one thing, but where an existing legacy network exists, there needs to be a different approach. You can't just trash it and compromise its operation by picking off bits and pieces to suit a new metro agenda, which is what is happening now with the current metro proposals. There's certainly been no attempt to make any meaningful investment in upgrading the current infrastructure to compensate for its loss of parts of its network to the metro system.

A case in point is the confiscation of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link to form part of the Metro North West Link. This was originally designed as part of the Parramatta to Chatswood Rail Link to divert Western Line passengers bound for Macquarie Park and North Shore destinations and Upper Northern Line passengers from the Inner West corridor to the CBD, taking pressure off the congested suburban tracks from Strathfield to Central. Now that has been turned on its head, as Upper Northern Line services will be redirected to the original route to the CBD via Strathfield, exacerbating the already congested part of this corridor. Instead of providing additional track amplification into and through the CBD, their response is to redirect more Western Line services into Sydney Terminal. Even Labor's original City Relief Line from Eveleigh to Wynyard/Barangaroo makes a lot more sense. The new metro will do nothing to offer any relief on this corridor and neither will the proposed Metro West, contrary to the government's assertion. I'm sure that will go down well with Western commuters and guarantee the Coalition losing whatever seats it still has in Western Sydney.

I know that you are passionate about Perth's rail system, but it's irrelevant in comparing it with the far more complex Sydney system. They're chalk and cheese. I will agree with you though that the Sydney Trains system is far too slow, when it has the potential to be speeded up if there was the political will and committment for further investment in infrastructure upgrading, in addition to expansion of the metro network.

As far as capacity is concerned, what you conveniently chose to ignore, particularly on a long distance outer suburban line like the Metro North West, is that a DD service extended into the CBD could also be potentially operated at a similar frequency to the metro (15tph) with double the seating capacity. With ATO and new station design, a DD service could operate at up to at least 24tph with an ultimate capacity of around 30,000 ph compared with the metro's 40,000 ph. But will that capacity ever be needed?
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:32 am

As we've been over all of this in great detail previously, it's probably best that we don't exhaust everybody with the argument all over again! However, the claims for double deck performance/tph/capacity are highly questionable and we both have different positions on that that we're not going to resolve until one day when they run double deckers with the improvements you mention. There is still no way, however, that they will achieve the capacity of a metro - capacity that will be needed for the future growth of Sydney. Always better to provide too much capacity than too little anyway.

Perth is highly relevant to Sydney. There's no excuse for one to perform less well than the other given the same infrastructure. I've read all the excuses for Sydney from TfNSW to Railpage and beyond, but I can always find some example to knock every excuse down. The best way is to make the parameters the same and take two pretty straight stretchs of modern line - e.g. Holsworthy to Glenfield or Blacktown to Penrith in Sydney and any section of the north-south line in Perth - both with similar speed limits and lack of restrictive signals, using the fastest expresses in Sydney (vs any normal train in Perth!) and you get the Perth train doing the journey in a shorter time, every time.

A good comparison of the Sydney suburban style (express, then stopping further out) vs the all-stops metro/Perth S-Bahn style is taking the imaginary resident sensible enough to buy a house in Sydney's transport sweet-spot - Alex Ave, Schofields, halfway between Schofields and Cudgegong Rd stations where they have an equal choice of going either way, to their imaginary workplace in Angel Place, Sydney, which is about halfway between Wynyard suburban and Martin Place metro stations. The rail distance by either route is the same, 45 km, the walks to home/workplace are the same. The metro train stops all the way. The Richmond line train stops to Parramatta, then expresses to Strathfield, then to Redfern (most stop at Lidcombe too, which adds 1 minute, but we'll take the fastest peak service that skips Lidcombe in order to give Sydney Trains the maximum advantage).

So the fastest Richmond line train takes 60 minutes Schofields to Wynyard with 13 intermediate stops. By comparison, every metro train between Cudgegong Rd and Martin Place will take 48 minutes with 15 intermediate stops.

That's not just a slight difference, that's a big difference. And it's probably unfair to mention the half-hour headways of the Richmond line trains vs 4 minute headways on the metro, which - without even bothering to calculate - will doubtless represent far more seats per hour on the metro! I do believe very much in the pressing need for radical improvement in the suburban/interurban operation, but lordy, that's one huge mountain to scale. While we're waiting - build metros.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Glen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:41 am

What often seems to get overlooked in this discussion is that Sydney's trains are slow because they deliberately run them slow and deliberately stand them for long dwell times, both unnecessarily so.

It's as simple as that.

To pick an example, in 2001 the running time around the City Circle was 16 minutes and I regularly timed PM peak trains that only needed 14.5 - 15 minutes to do the trip.

In late 2001 the running time was extended to 18 minutes.

Today, even in the off-peak, it is 20 minutes.

Has the track got longer?
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:11 am

Glen wrote:What often seems to get overlooked in this discussion is that Sydney's trains are slow because they deliberately run them slow and deliberately stand them for long dwell times, both unnecessarily so.

It's as simple as that.

To pick an example, in 2001 the running time around the City Circle was 16 minutes and I regularly timed PM peak trains that only needed 14.5 - 15 minutes to do the trip.

In late 2001 the running time was extended to 18 minutes.

Today, even in the off-peak, it is 20 minutes.

Has the track got longer?

I've taken that on board from you in the past Glen and always bear it in mind. It seems to me though that the running-time differences over the years are quite small and, even if recovered, would not close up those significant gaps. I checked back in my old timetables back to electrification of the Richmond line in the 70s (and even the previous timetable with the Tin Hares!) and the current Schofield-Wynyard journey is in fact faster than in any previous timetable where it usually spun out to over an hour, even in some cases with only 11 stops.
Last edited by tonyp on Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Glen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:32 am

tonyp wrote:I've taken that on board from you in the past Glen and always bear it in mind. It seems to me though that the running-time differences over the years are quite small

4 minutes over 16 minutes around the City Circle is a 25% slowdown !

tonyp wrote: I checked back in my old timetables back to electrification of the Richmond line in the 70s (and even the previous timetable with the Tin Hares!

Hmm.... maybe you are looking at the wrong lines! :-)

Try Central to Hornsby via the North Shore.

44 minutes in the 1930's with two-motor single-deckers up a 1 in 30 grade !

46 minutes in 1973

45 minutes in 1980

41 minutes in 1984 on weekends (all double-deck)

51 minutes since 2005

10 minutes over 41 minutes is also a 25 % slowdown!

Has the line got steeper?
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:50 am

Glen wrote:4 minutes over 16 minutes around the City Circle is a 25% slowdown !

Hmm.... maybe you are looking at the wrong lines! :-)

Try Central to Hornsby via the North Shore.

44 minutes in the 1930's with two-motor single-deckers up a 1 in 30 grade !

46 minutes in 1973

45 minutes in 1980

41 minutes in 1984 on weekends (all double-deck)

51 minutes since 2005

10 minutes over 41 minutes is also a 25 % slowdown!

Has the line got steeper?

Yes there are certainly worse examples than others, but many that I've checked down on the Cumberland Plain the differences aren't that great. The 1980s were the best years, but also weren't they the years when on-time running fell apart (because they were trying to too much within the limitations of the infrastructure?), leading to the more restricted timetables later?
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby molybtek » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:48 am

I would rather have fast trains that are sometimes late than slow trains that's occasionally late.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Glen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:11 pm

OK how about this:

Central to Bankstown all stations

31 minutes in the 1930's (and 17 tph in the PM peak!)

33 minutes in 1973

29 minutes in 1992

35 minutes today

Is that Cumberland Plain enough? :-)

The slowing of the timetable had nothing to do with the infrastructure (or the Waterfall disaster) and was all to do with making the trains ‘look like’ they were running on time, to keep the trains off the front page of the newspapers.

However back then the scheduling was overly and unnecessarily complex, with trains cross-crossing tracks and crews working across all lines, hence sectorisation was a long overdue move.

Operations also left a lot to be desired with trains regularly delayed by inefficient signalling staff - it was common to see manual signals being held on red when the line ahead (in an automatically signalled area) was obviously clear.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Liamena » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:17 pm

I will be interesting to see if the metro actually goes as fast as you claim it will.

And I wonder how many people will really want to stand on the train for two hours a day, to save 10 minutes. If your time is really that valuable, you should be earning enough to live closer to the CBD than Schofields.

Travelling in tunnels is noisy and boring, as well.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 15, 2017 12:28 pm

Liamena wrote:I will be interesting to see if the metro actually goes as fast as you claim it will.

And I wonder how many people will really want to stand on the train for two hours a day, to save 10 minutes. If your time is really that valuable, you should be earning enough to live closer to the CBD than Schofields.

Travelling in tunnels is noisy and boring, as well.

It's pretty easy for them to estimate the journey times on what will be a "standard" international product with plenty of precedents in service. I also find by matching their times to to the relevant lines of the Perth system (e.g. a legacy line like Fremantle to compare with the Bankstown line and a new line like Joondalup to compare with the Rouse Hill line), their estimates also reflect reality.

The standing business is a myth as has been discussed many times in this forum and I'm not going to bore people with the argument yet again - in essence revolving around seats per hour and people getting on and off along the way, like any typical transit route.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Fleet Lists » Fri Dec 15, 2017 2:57 pm

tonyp wrote:The standing business is a myth as has been discussed many times in this forum and I'm not going to bore people with the argument yet again - .

That does not mean that we all agree with you on that subject
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby boronia » Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:52 pm

some new "directional" signage at Blacktown:

DSC01705 (Small).JPG
DSC01705 (Small).JPG (76.14 KiB) Viewed 1705 times
The Sydney Classic and Antique Truck (and Bus) Show
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Linto63 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:11 pm

Glen wrote:What often seems to get overlooked in this discussion is that Sydney's trains are slow because they deliberately run them slow and deliberately stand them for long dwell times, both unnecessarily so.
The introduction of dwell times was done to build some robustness into the timetable. Frustrating as it is when not required, overall it should allow for a higher percentage of trains to reach key pinchpoints on time thus reducing the number of delays that can cascade to other parts of the network. A T1 coming down the North Shore line with no delays will have 2 minutes dwell time at Chatswood, North Sydney, Town Hall and Central. Only takes a couple of miscommunicated wheelchair assists for this to be eaten into.

tonyp wrote:Perth is highly relevant to Sydney. There's no excuse for one to perform less well than the other given the same infrastructure. I've read all the excuses for Sydney from TfNSW to Railpage and beyond, but I can always find some example to knock every excuse down.
Without wanting to tread over the whole Perth vs Sydney argument for the umpteenth time (there is a thread titled 'Perth Compared with other cities' in the General Transport section for those interested), the two are completely different. When it was decided to electrify the Perth network in the late 1980s, it comprised 3 independent lines to Armadale, Fremantle and Midland operated by a small fleet of clapped out DMUs. The Fremantle line had even been bustituted for a few years. Probably not much more complicated than the Hunter line is today. Conflicting freight movements had largely been eliminated with the opening of a dedicated freight line as part of the standard gauge project in the 1960s with yards at Forrestfield and Robb Jetty replacing those in the inner city.

By comparison, the basis of today's Sydney network lies in the Bradfield plan instituted when the network was electrified in the 1920s. At this stage it was already a fully developed, busy network. And while not the first electrified network in the world, it was relatively in the piece, while by the time Perth was done there were many decades of experience to draw from of what worked well and what didn't. And with the exception of the dedicated freight line from Macarthur to Port Botany, Sydney Trains still has to share the network with freight trains.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Glen » Fri Dec 15, 2017 7:50 pm

Linto63 wrote:The introduction of dwell times was done to build some robustness into the timetable. ........ A T1 coming down the North Shore line with no delays will have 2 minutes dwell time at Chatswood, North Sydney, Town Hall and Central.

I think you have been reading too many press releases. :-)

Anyone would think there was no dwell time before.

That's an extraordinary amount of time over and above the time required to load and unload.

The amount of additional dwell time must surely make Sydney one of the slowest systems around.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby tonyp » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:05 pm

One thing that really stands out looking at old Sydney timetables is that many stations had separate entries in the timetable for arrival and departure times. Sometimes these were a couple of minutes apart, like some country service. Enough time to unload and load the mail and milk churns no doubt.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby sd1800 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:10 pm

Can someone let me know what carriages these are linked to an s-set on platform 7 at central about 30 minutes ago? Excuse the image quality.Image

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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby moa999 » Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:18 pm

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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Linto63 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:10 am

Glen wrote:
Linto63 wrote:The introduction of dwell times was done to build some robustness into the timetable. ........ A T1 coming down the North Shore line with no delays will have 2 minutes dwell time at Chatswood, North Sydney, Town Hall and Central.

I think you have been reading too many press releases. :-)

Anyone would think there was no dwell time before.

That's an extraordinary amount of time over and above the time required to load and unload.

The amount of additional dwell time must surely make Sydney one of the slowest systems around.
You made an observation that journey times increased, this is a reason why. You don't have to agree with it, but no need to shoot the messenger. :roll: Strange as it may seem, can't recall reading any press releases announcing services have been slowed down.
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Re: NSW Railway Observations - December 2017

Postby Glen » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:36 am

Linto63 wrote:
Glen wrote:I think you have been reading too many press releases. :-)

Anyone would think there was no dwell time before.

That's an extraordinary amount of time over and above the time required to load and unload.

The amount of additional dwell time must surely make Sydney one of the slowest systems around.
You made an observation that journey times increased, this is a reason why. You don't have to agree with it, but no need to shoot the messenger. :roll: Strange as it may seem, can't recall reading any press releases announcing services have been slowed down.

Fair enough. Sorry I was not meaning to sound critical.
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