Thursday, August 28, 2014

Train efficiency in the State of Victoria

A train banged into another train on the regional Geelong line. R heard Altona and said, well the main line is not blocked then. I am pleased he knows that much. I did make him take a ride on the loop not so long ago. But he was wrong, although it was Altona, it was the main line and not the Altona Loop, a suburban diversion off the main line.

I thought, ah well the trains can use the Altona Loop to bypass the crash and in theory they could, but in practice no as most of the Altona Loop is single track. You can't have trains going in two directions on one track very frequently. The suburban trains to Werribee did use the Altona Loop, but I can't imagine at the normal service level. Geelong trains terminated at Werribee and passengers were transferred to buses to complete their journey to So Cross Station.

Melbourne still had quite a lot of single railway tracks and in 2014, it is quite absurd. Single lines totally screw up the Hurstbridge and Lilydale trains, restrict the Upfield line to a twenty minute service even in peak times and as mentioned, are problematic for the Altona Loop. Some might argue that it would not be money well spent where there are light loadings. I might argue that the light loadings might become heavier if the service is more efficient.

Would you believe there was once a dual track to the large country town of Bendigo but a faster more frequent service was promised, which involved making the track a single line.Single tracks with passing loops may work in theory, but as soon as something goes wrong, it all falls apart. To actually remove dual track and replace it with a single line is extraordinary.

I am only guessing of the veracity of this. Where in the world is the longest railway line that was de-electrified and converted to diesel? Our state of Victoria's line from Melbourne to Traralgon would have to be a world contender. Wires were removed, supporting steel poles taken down, along with all the other infrastructure and now diesel electric trains service the line, instead of electric locomotives pulling train carriages. Progress, eh.

Here is a photo of the crash posted on Vicsig. I can't work out whose photo it is, possibly one by Ian Green. A V Line (regional) crashed into a Metro (suburban) train.


This photo by Andrew Cook shows an electric locomotive at Warragul. The wires have now all gone, as have the electric trains.

15 comments:

  1. You know what Andrew, I think they need to put you in charge of the Melbourne railway system to iron out its problems.

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    1. Maybe Fun60. I might find things wrong but not necessarily know how to fix them. Give me the money and I will give it a shot.

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  2. Wow, Andrew your favourite means of transport. I admire you . You are a transport lover.

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    1. Gosia, I do believe strongly in public transport.

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  3. Ouch. I wonder how the crash/bingle happened, and agree that single lines cause problems and have to be a false economy.

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    1. Our governments are great at false economies! World champions even.

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    2. EC, don't know yet. It seems there was a bang as the suburban train passed over debris that may have been put there to stop the train and then a graffiti attack would occur. Somehow the presence of the stationary train wasn't detected by the system.

      River, they are, like building a one way freeway, which I think has now been fixed, but at what extra cost.

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  4. "...the light loadings might become heavier if the service is more efficient."
    Yes, yes, yes!
    But try telling that to the governments.
    And my favourite bugbear, renew the railway systems to carry freight and get all those too-heavy trucks off our roads! Think of the savings in road repairs, the savings in lives from less truck crashes etc. and all those small towns that are dying will be renewed if the railways are brought back.
    I saw that train wreck on TV and hoped no one was hurt.

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    1. There were only bumps and bruises I think. I agree. Far too much is transported un-necessarily by truck, surely the least efficient way of doing it. Facilities need to be upgraded so that the railways can carry large volumes of freight, especially interstate.

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  5. I love train travel why is it not popular, long distance is a bit slow but I have plenty of time and I can afford 1st class not possible on planes but never eat the food always take your own.
    Merle................

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    1. Merle, that is the key point. Train travel in Australia is slow, unlike most other places in the world. Chicken drumsticks are the perfect food for train travel.

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  6. I go by tram everywhere and don't deal with trains. But only because the closest train station is far too far away to get to.

    Trains should be the fastest, most efficient and cheapest way for citizens in a big city to get around. And since Melbourne has 4.2 million people, we qualify as big!

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    1. Hels, yes. I have become increasingly aware that we are a very large city, population wise and physically. That is a lot more people paying rates and taxes, yet we are not the money being spent on infrastructure. Trams are ok for short distances, but I find them frustratingly slow at times. Mind, our trains aren't very fast either.

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  7. Sounds familiar to me ! In Belgium they encourage people to take public transport, but at the same time they cancel trains ! Very logical !

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    1. Gattina, maybe there is a country in the world the citizens don't complain about public transport, but I have yet to hear of one.

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