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Sandringham enhanced timetable

Melbourne / Victoria Transport Discussion

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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby revenue » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:26 pm

That suggestion isn't without merit. Alternatively, you just run really long V/Line trains with the expectation that many people will get off at Dandenong and Pakenham. Either way, the objective is to increase the value of each train path through the suburban network.
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby matthew » Fri Aug 18, 2017 4:21 pm

revenue wrote:That suggestion isn't without merit. Alternatively, you just run really long V/Line trains with the expectation that many people will get off at Dandenong and Pakenham. Either way, the objective is to increase the value of each train path through the suburban network.


Electrification of the Traralgon line would allow the government to run any service or stopping pattern along the line with the following benefits:

- run trains a higher capacity
- run trains at any stopping pattern they wish to run service at
- better timetabling for the whole of the line
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby BroadGauge » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:24 pm

matthew wrote:Electrification of the Traralgon line would allow the government to run any service or stopping pattern along the line with the following benefits:

- run trains a higher capacity
- run trains at any stopping pattern they wish to run service at
- better timetabling for the whole of the line

I didn't know that it was impossible to add more carriages or change a timetable without putting up overhead wires, thank you for teaching me that as I would have never known.

The other month I rode on diesel hauled commuter trains in the US that ran with 10 double deck carriages, ran every 5 minutes in peak hour and had a variety of different stopping patterns in peak, all things that you are saying are impossible to do with diesel powered trains! I'll give them a call and tell them to stop doing whatever it is that they're doing, because it's clearly impossible! :twisted:
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby DJ737 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:06 am

Forget electrification, just order new sparks as Bi-Modes
Run on diesel Traralgon-Pakenham & Sunbury-Bendigo
Wabtec in the UK have some Class 769's ready to ship if V/Line or Metro want to try one :-)
Visitors beware : Clapham Junction is nowhere near Clapham it's in Battersea.
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby krustyklo » Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:36 pm

Forget electrification, just order new sparks as Bi-Modes
Run on diesel Traralgon-Pakenham & Sunbury-Bendigo

Problem is, the UK ones are:
  • Designed for AC 25kV so would require modification for 1500V DC. If UK EMUs on the Southern region are any guide, they would be potentially be speed limited to avoid drawing excess current and I suspect the lines they operate on here would still need electrical upgrades.
  • The diesel part of the bi-mode units is relatively underpowered compared to the electric part. They are primarily designed for electric operation with a short length of diesel operation at the end of the route. The usage being suggested for here is the opposite - a short length of electric running followed by longer lengths of diesel running. I would imagine that the uphill nature of the Bendigo line would also be a challenge for an underpowered diesel solution. To be fair, what is underpowered for the UK might well be OK by Victorian standards... As an aside, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that in terms of acceleration on diesel power, a HST has better acceleration. I should try and find that source again, it was possibly Modern Railways I read it.
The reality is that the Vlocity units are quite sufficient - their acceleration is pretty decent and given they don't have to stop very often in the Metro area I doubt they take up much more than a standard electric train path anyway. Indeed, a former driver once claimed that an underpowered T class on a goods train didn't really take up much more than an electric path anyway, especially once it got going for the simple reason an experienced driver who was paying attention could keep it moving at a relatively constant speed in between electric trains stopping and starting at every station despite the far superior acceleration and power/weight ratio of the latter.
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby matthew » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:10 pm

krustyklo wrote:
Forget electrification, just order new sparks as Bi-Modes
Run on diesel Traralgon-Pakenham & Sunbury-Bendigo

Problem is, the UK ones are:
  • Designed for AC 25kV so would require modification for 1500V DC. If UK EMUs on the Southern region are any guide, they would be potentially be speed limited to avoid drawing excess current and I suspect the lines they operate on here would still need electrical upgrades.
  • The diesel part of the bi-mode units is relatively underpowered compared to the electric part. They are primarily designed for electric operation with a short length of diesel operation at the end of the route. The usage being suggested for here is the opposite - a short length of electric running followed by longer lengths of diesel running. I would imagine that the uphill nature of the Bendigo line would also be a challenge for an underpowered diesel solution. To be fair, what is underpowered for the UK might well be OK by Victorian standards... As an aside, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that in terms of acceleration on diesel power, a HST has better acceleration. I should try and find that source again, it was possibly Modern Railways I read it.
The reality is that the Vlocity units are quite sufficient - their acceleration is pretty decent and given they don't have to stop very often in the Metro area I doubt they take up much more than a standard electric train path anyway. Indeed, a former driver once claimed that an underpowered T class on a goods train didn't really take up much more than an electric path anyway, especially once it got going for the simple reason an experienced driver who was paying attention could keep it moving at a relatively constant speed in between electric trains stopping and starting at every station despite the far superior acceleration and power/weight ratio of the latter.


A VLine train takes up two paths that could have been used for Metro train services.

The 17:37 from Flinders Street only runs with 3 carriages ( 222 seats) may have a capacity of 400 people and if a Metro service was to replace it - could hold up to 528 seats (about 800 - 1000 people) and with new metro trains having capacity of least 1380 gross train capacity (1100 passenger ‘planning load’ capacity) .
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby krustyklo » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:47 pm

The 17:37 from Flinders Street only runs with 3 carriages ( 222 seats) may have a capacity of 400 people and if a Metro service was to replace it - could hold up to 528 seats (about 800 - 1000 people) and with new metro trains having capacity of least 1380 gross train capacity (1100 passenger ‘planning load’ capacity) .


I'm not sure it is an inherent property of diesel trains that they need only have 3 carriages. By your own calculations, if a 6 car Vlocity set ran it too would contain 800 people like the Metro service you wish to have replace it. I also suspect one other factor apart from propulsion method in the two paths taken up by the Vline service is that it runs express through most stations compared to the stopping all stations electric trains it runs between. To compare like with like, how are train paths allocated to electric services not stopping at all stations / how many paths does an express electric train take up?

The other issue of course is that if you force Gippsland passengers to change at Pakenham, what would be saved? By the time you kick the Gippsland passengers off, shunt the electric "diesel-replacement" service away, shunt in the diesel train making the rest of the trip, let the passengers back on after making any requisite checks, then depart, how much time have you added to their journey? It may be more efficient for the operators to maximise train paths, but it is far less than efficient for Gippsland passengers to change. How much money are we prepared to spend to provide comfortable interchange, either in terms of passenger facilities (covered platforms, heated / cooled waiting rooms), or operator efficiency facilities (another platform with cross platform interchange and/or signalling changes and extra siding on the Melbourne side to allow the diesel to quickly follow on an electric train moving out of the way), for a problem that will at least temporarily go away once the high capacity signalling is installed as part of the current line upgrade?

If you want to find out the likely political response from Gippsland line passengers to being made to change for the common good, go back 20 years when exactly this proposal was at least partially implemented with ex-SAR Bluebird railcars. I don't recall it lasting long - either the railcars or the forced interchange at Pakenham.

Alternatively, if squandering line capacity is currently so offensive, maybe running longer Vlocity sets in peak hour could well be a cheaper solution?

Whilst discussing alternatives:
Electrification of the Traralgon line would allow the government to run any service or stopping pattern along the line with the following benefits:


Ignoring Broadgauge's observation that all these benefits can be had now with diesel trains, it might be worth pointing out electrification to Traralgon already existed between the 1950s and 1980s and deemed financially not worth while once the equipment required renewal for the relatively few trains a day that would benefit from it, especially with the 1500V DC system we have requiring a lot more equipment to maintain than an AC system such as that in Queensland.

To be honest, the current system is the way it is for a reason - it provides through trains to people who would baulk at changing in a less than ideal location and would resent having to change when no other regional passenger is expected to, as well as being cheaper to run than any other option. The only regional line likely to justify the cost of electrification in the foreseeable future would be Geelong (via RRL) due to passenger demand, and politically forcing Gippsland passenegrs to change is politically unviable and probably unfair and likely to reduce patronage of the service for the sake of one or two extra train paths an hour.
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby BroadGauge » Tue Aug 22, 2017 12:39 pm

krustyklo wrote:I also suspect one other factor apart from propulsion method in the two paths taken up by the Vline service is that it runs express through most stations compared to the stopping all stations electric trains it runs between.

I'm not sure how the other poster can claim that one interurban service takes up two suburban paths when they don't even get an express run.

Both V/Line and suburban trains in peak take 38-39 minutes from Richmond to Dandenong, the only real difference between the two is that one crawls along at a leisurely pace whilst the other stops at most/all stations and moves along at a normal pace between station stops.

krustyklo wrote:Alternatively, if squandering line capacity is currently so offensive, maybe running longer Vlocity sets in peak hour could well be a cheaper solution?

That would be the easiest way to make best use of that capacity. No different to what happens in Sydney with them running 8-car trains to the Blue Mountains in peak which are about 50% empty beyond the suburban boundary.
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Re: Pakenham enhanced timetable

Postby Roderick Smith » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:06 pm

Pakenham can support six tph with ease, if PTV was ever capable of implementing a 1970s Japan solution.
With overtakes at Dandenong, there are three stopping at all paths per hour beyond Dandenong, and three express ones, and VLine doesn't need the lot.
Base service: Metro stopping every 20 min (and lots of inner places get no better than that).
Overlaid service: Trararalgon/Bairnsdale every 40 min.
Overlaid service: Metro express every 40 min, connecting with Warragul Sprinters (so 20 min headways to Warragul, just like Geelong).

To Dandenong, this is part of 6 tph stopping (three Pakenham, three Cranbourne), with 6 tph expresses in the gaps (three to Pakenham and/or beyond; three only to Dandenong because Cranbourne can't cope, and the useless PTV is doing nothing to fix that). That still leaves space for 6 tph to Oakleigh (which could be Rowville).
The main stopping pattern: Melbourne - Richmond - (South Yarra?) - Caulfield then all stations to Dandenong.
The limited express (includes VLine): Caulfield - Clayton - Dandenong.
Peak limited: the stopping trains go Caulfield - Oakleigh then all to Dandenong.
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Re: Sandringham enhanced timetable

Postby BroadGauge » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:48 pm

Have you ever thought of running for parliament Roderick?
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