Blue Mountains Commuters and Transport Users Association

Submission to NSW Commuter Council

Letter to NSW Commuter Council about InterCity carriages (Vsets)

Date 16th March 2010

Mr K Parish
Commuter Council.

Dear Kevin.

I was very disappointed the Council will not have a representative from the BMCTUA to discuss with RailCorp this most important subject this being the Refurbishment Part or Full or Replacement I understand from the meeting last Tuesday 9th March

This submission is based on the information from the members of the Association

  • Refurbishment of V set Intercity Cars—3rd September 08
  • Refurbishment & Replacement Intercity Cars—3rd June 09
  • Comparison & Attributes between and Vset & OSCARs—16th Nov 09
  • Summary of Issues re Vsets—9th March 10
  • Outersuburban Meeting held at Commuter Council—4th July 06

The Correspondence covers many aspects of the V sets that have to be addressed if the cars are to remain in service for some length of time. Besides we have learnt the Loading Gauge past Springwood will not allow OSCARs.

This aspect has several facets:

  • The services to the Mountains and Lithgow have to be provided by V sets as the Loading Gauge past Springwood is not able accommodate the OSCARs and other rolling stock
  • The consists will have to be adjusted to meet the Over Crowding criteria that is 120 percent we are given to understand.
  • The stopping patterns may have to be adjusted to cater for loading.
  • We are concerned that as the Capacity of the Rail System to cater for the projected increase in customers in the near future may put. the pressure on the V sets may increase to an unworkable situation I raised various issues on the V sets over the years, some may have been attended to but with an aging fleet it is a concern that there apparently has not been a history kept on the maintenance of each type of carriages so how does RailCorp monitor each car that ensures it meets the criteria that ensures safety before it is released for traffic. The Audit Office indicates the following: “RailCorp does not have data which splits maintenance costs by train set type”. This is very disappointing.

Therefore as the Vsets (Intercity Cars will be use for some years the Association request that the reform of the maintenance of the cars will be introduced as soon as possible and we are able to view the procedures and practices to ensure the carriages will be able to serve the Blue Mountains Community for the ensuring years whatever that may be.

What really annoys me is the Audit Office report Financial Report pages 88-89 indicating a reform of the maintenance procedures will cost $25 million to the reform will not be completed until 2012, the biggest component being information technology solutions for rostering & work order processes Audit Office page 89.

The Association feels the Work Practices & Procedures should have been introduced under Quality Assurance principles some time previous.

The scrapping of fourteen cars because of corrosion should not have happened since other carriages built at the same time are still in service: XPT and Carriages used on the Indian Pacific.

The Association formally requests the Programmes that have been indicated in the Audit Report 2009 should be fast tracked on the Intercity Cars there are five issues require Urgent Attention these are:

  • The Air-conditioning ducts are visually inspected for clearance from deleterious matter.
  • The cars be inspected to ensure the cars are able to maintain services at least five years. Each Car required to have a history card recording all inspections
  • The Association also requires the Wiring be inspected to ensure it meets the required specification to reduce the probability of fire.
  • We are not sure if the interior panelling has a fire retardant specification.
  • The notices in the saloons indicates the following “Alert crew via alarm button. These buttons are covered up There is no indication where the button is

The Association requests the following information

  • The single seats in the cars to be fitted with fold down sets to allow luggage in that area
  • We understand there are four cars Nos. DTM 8032 – 8033 – 8034 – 8036 Railway Digest 1997 The Association formally requests that one car in four cars be equipped for Easy Access.
  • Extra Bike hooks to be installed in the vestibules of the cars.
  • As mentioned the doors on all cars the mechanisms to be fully replaced as per Customer Charter recent modifications to the doors have not been completely successful ( when will this programme commence and finish)
  • The Public Address system to be modified to allow the announcement “ Stand Clear Doors Closing’ at the point of entry ( There is at least one has been altered )
  • The last 14 cars from Comeng were equipped with Internal Doors that have not functioned in accordance with the original manufactures design these should be fully restored?.
  • A presentation by Mr Barry Lovatt General Manager Capitol RailCorp indicated that larger ducts were being installed on the Intercity Cars was this done?
  • Is the carpet manufactured with flame retardant material ?

As this is a most important Issues I formally request that the Association receive a copy of the minutes of the meeting with RailCorp and what RailCorp has agreed to. Our next meeting is in May 19th and 22nd May at which I will present the Outcome for approval.

Paul Trevaskis