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View Full Version : Cheaper rolling stock often means cost blowouts



pware
June 8th, 2018, 01:36 AM
When buying new commuter rolling stock to service the "challenging" Blue Mountains Line in the Sydney New South Wales commuter rail network, it does not pay to always go for the cheapest option. The South Koreans were 25% cheaper than local manufacturers but now it has been revealed that the cost of converting the tunnels and platforms to fit the new trains will far exceed the savings.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-08/nsw-inter-city-train-costs-face-blowout-to-make-fleet-fit-tracks/9844832

euromodeller
June 8th, 2018, 04:56 AM
I am not sure of the full detail but I believe Virgin had a problem in the UK when they bought the new Pendolino trains, it was found that the 11-car units were too long for some stations so they weren't allowed to run them as full units until the alterations were completed.

pware
June 8th, 2018, 07:01 AM
It is truly amazing how often these problems "suddenly" become obvious after the rolling stock is delivered or the contracts are signed and sealed. Doesn't anyone do their basic homework anymore?

pcas1986
June 8th, 2018, 07:25 AM
I am not sure of the full detail but I believe Virgin had a problem in the UK when they bought the new Pendolino trains, it was found that the 11-car units were too long for some stations so they weren't allowed to run them as full units until the alterations were completed.

It seems to be the same problem here where these new trains are too long for Linden and Warrimoo. The whole Blue Mountains track follows a very cramped corridor of flat(ish) ground with shear cliff faces not far away. If there is a bushfire or accident on the Great Western Highway that runs parallel to the railway then you may as well park your car and go find a pub!

MF01
June 8th, 2018, 07:30 AM
Haha the journalist took the Bombardier Twindexx from SBB-CFF. This story reminds me something that made a huuuuge scandal here in my country, we ordered new EMUs Régiolis from Alstom and Régio 2N from Bombardier that were too wide ( 20 cms wider ) for the platforms ( 1300 concerned ) so we had to retrofit the platforms for a small cost of 100 millions of euros

whitepass
June 8th, 2018, 09:08 AM
Not new at all, back in 1956 Detroit sold all of its PCC cars to Mexico City only after they got there did they find out the Detroit cars only had doors on the right side, Mexico City has platforms on right AND lift side, cost to fix was one million US dollars.

MF01
June 8th, 2018, 09:24 AM
They put all the platform from the left to right or adding doors to the left and God 1 million in 1956 is like 10 today...

JCitron
June 8th, 2018, 11:01 AM
About 10 years ago, Boston's MBTA ordered their Type 9 LRVs for the Green Line trolley system. This was basically a no-bid contract for Ansaldo/Breda who fit the trolleys with off-the-shelf parts instead taking measurements first. The problem was the cars were too big and got stuck and derailed in the tight confines of the Boyleston Street - Tremont Street tunnel. The tunnel had to be repaired for quite a large sum, and all the new cars had to be retrofitted with proper size bogeys.

The big take on all this is the people in the office have no clue about the real world operations and spaces, and the lower the cost usually means there's a catch somewhere else.

whitepass
June 8th, 2018, 06:33 PM
They added two left side doors.

MF01
June 8th, 2018, 06:50 PM
Ok but I'm sorry I don't get it at the cost of 10 millions for just doors added something went wrong on calculations

SailorDan
June 8th, 2018, 06:51 PM
The South Koreans were 25% cheaper than local manufacturers but now it has been revealed that the cost of converting the tunnels and platforms to fit the new trains will far exceed the savings.

That's a very biased report. Transport has known for a long time that the tunnels and platforms were not up to current standards, and upgrade work has been going on, albeit slowly, for several years. The present fleet was specially designed to suit the local limitations, but now it has reached the end-of-life the decision was made that it was not worthwhile to continue with non-standard rolling stock that was required for that line only. It is a big expense, but it had to be done at some stage, and the upgrade will mean that many trains can use the line that are currently excluded. Whether or not they will want to, given the difficult terrain, is another question.

Also, much of the detail is wrong. Strictly speaking, the traincars aren't 'too wide'. They do have a different profile, and that creates problems in the sharper corners in tunnels and at platforms where portions of the body hang further out over the tracks. And the talk of crashing into tunnels etc is wrong - the problem is that minimum safe clearance margins are exceeded. Most of the problem could actually be fixed be redefining the clearance margins!

The Government should have provided the full explanation at the time of placing the order - why they left themselves open to this sort of sensationalist journalism is a mystery.

pware
June 8th, 2018, 09:29 PM
The Government should have provided the full explanation at the time of placing the order - why they left themselves open to this sort of sensationalist journalism is a mystery.

Granted, the journalist is probably not a train fan but, this is not the first time this problem has occurred on this line with new rolling stock that is not suited. As to why the government has left themselves open to this criticism, you only have to look at a host of other recent multi-billion dollar decisions they have made - incompetence comes to mind but that would be getting political in a Trainz forum.