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Author Topic: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?  (Read 12030 times)

Offline Sunbus610

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What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« on: June 23, 2011, 08:45:32 PM »
Quote
Design

Built by A Goninan & Co. in 1991,[1] the train's design was based on that of the Tangara train used in Sydney. However it was similar only in terms of interior and exterior bodywork; the train's electrical system was much closer to that of a Comeng, and was incompatible with that of the Tangara. The design was further modified for use on Melbourne's broad gauge track, and its control system was designed specifically to allow in-service coupling and operation with Comeng sets.

It was manufactured from stainless steel, fitted with air-conditioning, tinted windows, and inter-car doors allowing passengers to access all carriages of the train. It had a total passenger capacity of 974 passengers: 346 seated and 628 standing.

As part of the trial, the Belgrave and Lilydale lines were selected as main testing grounds for the unit and necessary works were performed to accommodate the train's somewhat unconventional dimensions. Works were slated for other lines in the suburban system, but it is not known whether they were ever carried out; the train's confinement to the Belgrave and Lilydale lines suggests that they were not. It was known that the train was physically too large for the Jolimont tunnel between Jolimont and West Richmond railway stations on the Hurstbridge and Epping lines. Given that the train was a demonstrator, it was likely that production designs or future infrastructure plans would have dealt with this.


Service

The 4D was shipped to Melbourne from Goninan's workshops in Newcastle, New South Wales, in December 1991, where it then entered a period of testing.

The unit broke from Melbourne tradition by being configured as Driving Trailer-Motor-Motor-Driving Trailer (D-TM-TM-D); all other sets in service at the time were (and are still) configured as Driving Motor-Trailer-Driving Motor (M-T-M). In a further break from tradition, the 4D did not use the 'D' code for a driving trailer, instead it was coded simply as T-M-M-T. The car numbers were also placed far outside the usual range; the 4D was numbered as 6000T-5000M-5002M-6002T for its whole service life.

Most of the time the 4D was on the rails it was parked in the stabling facilities at Bayswater railway station, Melbourne on the Belgrave line.

It was first introduced into revenue service on 10 March 1992,[1] after testing and a subsequent media launch. Eight trips were scheduled for its first day in service, the first being the 08:36am service from Flinders Street to Box Hill, followed by the 09:08am service back to Flinders Street, on which the train suffered the first of its many failures. This required the train to be removed from service at Camberwell and the cancellation of the remaining trips.

Initially the 4D was run coupled to a 3-car Comeng set until 1996 when, after a troubled conversion to driver-only operation, it was permitted to operate on its own. Often as not, though, it was towed or pushed by a 3- or 6-car Comeng set following a failure.

When the suburban system was split into two in 1998 in preparation for privatisation, it was allocated to Hillside Trains (which became Connex).

Throughout its 10 years in Melbourne, the 4D continued to be plagued by reliability issues that saw it constantly in and out of service. After its disappointing entry to service, the train saw little use and was in storage by 1999. It was revived in June 2000, but lasted only a year.

A final attempt was made in February 2002 to return the set to service, but after three days it again failed and was placed back in storage, never to run revenue service again





Quote
Disposal

Ownership of the 4D was transferred back to the Victorian Government Department of Infrastructure, and the set was railed, ironically under its own power, to Newport Railway Workshops in December 2002 for long-term storage.[4]

In 2006, the 4D was purchased by RailCorp (the New South Wales Government-owned corporation responsible for operating Sydney's suburban network) and United Group Rail, Goninan's successor company. From March of that year, the train was stripped of parts suitable for use in CityRail's Tangara fleet.[5]

Following the removal of these components – mostly doors, seats and other interior furnishings – RailCorp wrote the train off its books and ordered it be scrapped. On 29 March 2006, the 4D was transferred by El Zorro Rail Services to metal recyclers Simsmetal in Brooklyn, where it was cut up and recycled.[6][7]




For more info and specs on Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes:- http://www.vicsig.net/index.php?page=suburban&section=4d
Proud to be a Sunshine Coaster ..........

somebody

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2011, 03:58:05 AM »
Never heard about this before.  I say it was a good thing that this was not proceeded with.

Offline Cam

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2011, 01:35:46 PM »
I recall catching it from the city to Box Hill in 1995. At the time I thought it was a Tangara with the only modification being for broad gauge.

Double decker carriages could significantly reduce overcrowding on Melbourne's services. Imagine the overcrowding in Sydney if they weren't used.

EDIT: Spelling.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 05:58:13 PM by Cam »

somebody

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2011, 02:42:41 PM »
You could have tighter headways due to the shorter dwell times though.

Melbourne doesn't have the same track capacity limitations as Sydney, so double deckers would be a BAD IDEA.

colinw

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 03:28:18 PM »
Melbourne appears to have dodged a bullet there.  Double deckers breed slow timetables & excessive dwell times.

I don't mind them for long outer suburban routes with few stops, but for metro type services like inner Sydney they are not the answer for increasing capacity.

somebody

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 03:35:03 PM »
Combined with only powering half the axles rather than 2/3.  Although EM60-79 do the former.

Offline Golliwog

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2011, 07:26:05 PM »
If you could get a double decker to work on QLD's narrow gauge, would there be any benefit to having some say for the long haul Nambour/Gold Coast trains or something? Just curious.
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somebody

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2011, 10:06:14 PM »
I think you'd have to have midget passengers.  Not sure if the overhead is as high in QLD (?) as NSW (4250mm).

Offline O_128

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2011, 12:20:42 AM »
I think you'd have to have midget passengers.  Not sure if the overhead is as high in QLD (?) as NSW (4250mm).

looks pretty possible, would certainly work well on the gold coast line
"Where else but Queensland?"

Offline ozbob

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2011, 03:02:34 AM »
I am not necessarily keen on double deckers, none the less, Japan has double deckers on 1067mm (3'6") gauge ..

--> http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2006/11/28/17342/319
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Offline Cam

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2011, 09:04:56 PM »
I am not necessarily keen on double deckers

It would allow the 30 minute off peak frequency to exist for another decade or two in Brisbane.  :thsdo

Offline mufreight

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2011, 11:18:29 AM »
I think you'd have to have midget passengers.  Not sure if the overhead is as high in QLD (?) as NSW (4250mm).
If you could get a double decker to work on QLD's narrow gauge, would there be any benefit to having some say for the long haul Nambour/Gold Coast trains or something? Just curious.

The carbodies were built narrower and lower than the NSW deckers, when NSW brought the set in 2006 there was consideration to returning it to Sydney for service there but the incompatibility with the other equipment operating in Sydney and the extent of the modifications that would be required for an orphan set made that option less than desirable or viable hence the decision to strip and scrap.
As for double deck cars operating in Brisbane the restricted loading gauge has made it necessicary to raise bridges and lower tunnel floors to accomodate the existing single deck stock with minimum overhead heights so the concept of the operation of double deckers on the QR system is simply just so much fantasy. 

Offline O_128

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2011, 11:39:56 AM »
I think you'd have to have midget passengers.  Not sure if the overhead is as high in QLD (?) as NSW (4250mm).
If you could get a double decker to work on QLD's narrow gauge, would there be any benefit to having some say for the long haul Nambour/Gold Coast trains or something? Just curious.

The carbodies were built narrower and lower than the NSW deckers, when NSW brought the set in 2006 there was consideration to returning it to Sydney for service there but the incompatibility with the other equipment operating in Sydney and the extent of the modifications that would be required for an orphan set made that option less than desirable or viable hence the decision to strip and scrap.
As for double deck cars operating in Brisbane the restricted loading gauge has made it necessicary to raise bridges and lower tunnel floors to accomodate the existing single deck stock with minimum overhead heights so the concept of the operation of double deckers on the QR system is simply just so much fantasy. 

But looking at the second picture the double decker is barely 30cm higher than the single level, is there really not that little room to move in the tunnels
"Where else but Queensland?"

Offline Golliwog

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Re: What happened to Melbourne's 4D double decker prototypes?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2011, 02:53:27 PM »
IIRC they had to widen one of the tunnels in the Central-Bowen Hills stretch for the current set of new trains as the train was coming withing a few cm of the wall/roof.

I had forgotten about that.
There is no silver bullet… but there is silver buckshot.
Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

 

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