Petition - save the Hitachis

 
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
I would rather see a set or 2 retained for preservation, otherwise I think I will pass on signing the petition.
There's nothing redeemable at all about the Hitachi's in this day and age.

But then again, there is nothing that beats a Tait. I would give up air con and clothbound seats just to ride in a Tait carriage with the windows and doors open on a hot Summers day. The Taits have what the Hitachis lack, from character to comfortableness if that is a word.

Sponsored advertisement

  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
As a Driver, I have a love/hate relationship with the Hitachi. Because there are so few of them around, I have hardly prepared one for revenue service. I get apprehensive when I see one roll up for me to drive, but do get immersed in the experience and get into a groove eventually with driving them (to the point that I'm a little sorry to have to hand it to the next Driver). Plus they have the best (Driver) air-conditioning of any train in the Metro fleet, they brake pretty well, and the seating (both driver and passenger) is pretty comfortable.

Opinion.

Hitachis are past their use-by date.

Fact.

They are forty years old and are showing their age - an embarrasment to Melbourne.
They have no CCTV.
They have no passenger emergency intercom.
They have no data recording/vigilance equipment (i.e. VICERS).
Parts for them are becoming far and few in-between
In the present day, no aircon is a big minus to the travelling public, irrespective of whether the windows can be opened or not.
Following on rom the above, having windows that can be opened is just asking for trouble when some feral loses a limb from sticking it out the window and goes crying to some lawyer who can only see dollar signs by taking on Metro/VicGov.
GvhftrKijl
This is probably one of the best balanced posts I've seen in regards to the Hitachi trains.

On this forum, it seems every week a new thread pops up and the debate is always polarised. One side whinges about the train being a piece of junk that should go away now, whilst the other side can't see past the "ye olde train" argument, and can't understand why the general public of Melbourne can't feel the same.

As good as they are (/were), they're past their useby date. There's a reason that the majority of the fleet was withdrawn. I'll be sorry to see them go, but realistically, if Australian railways want to move into the 21st Century, old, outdated equipment needs to be retired. Nothing wrong with keeping one for enthusiast trips, but then it needs to be looked after - people also need to pay to ride on the tours. Heritage electric trains are a nice idea, but they need to be viable...
  mattylovestrains Train Controller

This is probably one of the best balanced posts I've seen in regards to the Hitachi trains.

On this forum, it seems every week a new thread pops up and the debate is always polarised. One side whinges about the train being a piece of junk that should go away now, whilst the other side can't see past the "ye olde train" argument, and can't understand why the general public of Melbourne can't feel the same.

As good as they are (/were), they're past their useby date. There's a reason that the majority of the fleet was withdrawn. I'll be sorry to see them go, but realistically, if Australian railways want to move into the 21st Century, old, outdated equipment needs to be retired. Nothing wrong with keeping one for enthusiast trips, but then it needs to be looked after - people also need to pay to ride on the tours. Heritage electric trains are a nice idea, but they need to be viable...
Raichase
Past by their use-by date yes, they are 40 years old. However, the W-class trams are 73 years old, making them even older than the Harris trains.

As I said, there's nothing wrong with storing them on hot days, and running them on mild days.

Having said that, there's something I do not understand. If the Hitachis were refurbished 5 years ago, couldn't they have been bothered with installing A/C and CCTV? Apparently, driver-only air-conditioning was installed, but it was the commuters who were complaining.

I know I signed the petition, but from looking at some of the posts on this thread, I noticed some posts saying that it's OK to keep one or two for historical purposes. That would be a good idea. It's not so bad withdrawing 5-6 of them as long as 1-2 get kept.

If one set was to be kept for heritage runs, the best choice would be 290M-1981T-289M-297M-1999T-298M because
289M (formerly 3M) is the oldest remaining motor car, with 1M and 2M having been withdrawn.
1999T is, as I read on another thread on Railpage, the only remaining former D-car which has a door on the end AND the oldest remaining trailer car (Formerly 304D), since 301D (Converted to 2012T), 302D (Converted to 1952T) and 303D (Converted to 1953T) have all been withdrawn.
  Taitset Chief Commissioner

Location: Eltham, (former) vintage safeworking capital of Melbourne
I know I signed the petition, but from looking at some of the posts on this thread, I noticed some posts saying that it's OK to keep one or two for historical purposes. That would be a good idea. It's not so bad withdrawing 5-6 of them as long as 1-2 get kept.

If one set was to be kept for heritage runs, the best choice would be 290M-1981T-289M-297M-1999T-298M because
289M (formerly 3M) is the oldest remaining motor car, with 1M and 2M having been withdrawn.
mattylovestrains
As has been stated already, Elecrail already owns a set, namely 295M-1994T-296M-281M-1946T-282M. It was hired back by Connex and will return to Elecrail when Metro is done with it.  In addition this they also have 222M and 80M. The ARHS museum also has 187M preserved statically.
  mattylovestrains Train Controller

As has been stated already, Elecrail already owns a set, namely 295M-1994T-296M-281M-1946T-282M. It was hired back by Connex and will return to Elecrail when Metro is done with it.  In addition this they also have 222M and 80M. The ARHS museum also has 187M preserved statically.
Taitset
When this set is returned to Elecrail, will it be used for special events? (similar to the Steamrail runs)
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
Past by their use-by date yes, they are 40 years old. However, the W-class trams are 73 years old, making them even older than the Harris trains.
mattylovestrains
W-class trams are a Melbourne icon. You'll find them in a range of tourism materials - they're associated with Melbourne, in the eyes of the outside world.

Hardly anyone comes to Melbourne looking for a Hitachi to ride.
  Westernport Assistant Commissioner

Location: Not In Service
Past by their use-by date yes, they are 40 years old. However, the W-class trams are 73 years old, making them even older than the Harris trains.
"mattylovestrains"
Hitachi trains are not quintessentially Melbourne like the W Class. There Hitachi trains hold absolutely no historical value or interest to tourists (aside from train enthusiast tourists), whereas the W Class are an essential and historic piece of Melbourne. Also, unlike the Hitachi trains, the Ws are being completely rebuilt into what is a modern tram mechanically and electrically.

As I said, there's nothing wrong with storing them on hot days, and running them on mild days.
Having said that, there's something I do not understand. If the Hitachis were refurbished 5 years ago, couldn't they have been bothered with installing A/C and CCTV? Apparently, driver-only air-conditioning was installed, but it was the commuters who were complaining.
"mattylovestrains"
There is something wrong with running them on mild days, and it's called passenger safety. Every train on the system except for the Hitachi trains are fitted with CCTV and Passenger Emergency Intercoms. You get the odd lunatic who will stick their head out the window and get collected by a overhead stanchion. They get absolutely trashed during the off-peak by vandals. Passengers will not want to travel on a train that is inherently unsafe.

And it's not a matter of whether or not they could "have been bothered installing A/C and CCTV". It's a matter of cost. We are talking about trains which are 40 years old. The amount of wiring that is required to hook up a CCTV system, modifications to the train's power supply and the overall modifications that would be needed to modify the carbody to accommodate air-conditioning would have been extremely cost prohibitive.



When this set is returned to Elecrail, will it be used for special events? (similar to the Steamrail runs)
"mattylovestrains"


Depends whether or not Elecrail get their accreditation issues sorted out. There hasn't been an Elecrail special in almost a decade.

  Melbournesparks Chief Commissioner

Location: City of Eltham
When this set is returned to Elecrail, will it be used for special events? (similar to the Steamrail runs)
mattylovestrains


In theory yes, but there have been a few problems preventing Elecrail from running for nearly a decade now.


If you asked the question of weather the hitachis should be scrapped back in 2002, given what we know now, the answer probably would have been no. It would probably have been better and cheaper to do a extensive refurbishment (including fitting new windows and aircon, similar to the H sets) than the whole circus with the siemens ended up being. The youngest sets were only around 25 years old at the time, and they would have been able to run network wide and give another 20 years at least of service. Lots of people said it at the time, but government cheaparsery and short sightedness won in the end.

Now that there is only seven of them, having had 10 years of piecemeal maintanance, the proverbial ship has probably sailed for that one.
  mattylovestrains Train Controller

I like red rattlers too. Do you suggest we revive these as well? No.
AzN_dj
Not a safe assumption. My mum wants us to revive them. I would like to see them run heritage services, but I'm not sure how we would actually get them back in service.

If you had said "Do I suggest we revive these as well", it would have been perfectly OK to finish with "No". By saying it the way you said it, you're making it look as if you're assuming I don't want to revive them. But if I knew a way of finding 4 Tait motors and 2 trailer cars, I would have suggested we form a 6-car train.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Anyone seen the film Noise? This featured a Hitachi train and would validate the peoples call that without CCTV etc. they would be unsafe.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
But if I knew a way of finding 4 Tait motors and 2 trailer cars, I would have suggested we form a 6-car train.
mattylovestrains

Actually, 4 motors plus 3 trailers, they ran as 7 car trains.
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
As I said, there's nothing wrong with storing them on hot days, and running them on mild days.
mattylovestrains
Probably best the other way around. You cannot run a fully enclosed train on a very hot day if the aircon has failed, but a train with windows that open can be run. And from my experience, the Hitachis ran quite OK in very hot conditions.
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
Actually, 4 motors plus 3 trailers, they ran as 7 car trains.
TheBlacksmith
Got a few options:

Singles: M or CM
Pairs: M-D or M-M
Units: M-T-M or M-T-D or M-G-D
Blocks: M-T-T-M or M-T-D-M or M-D-M-D

Sets could be any combination of Swingdoor, Tait (clerestory) and Tait (curved roof).

Traditionally, they would run in Unit+Block sets in peak hours, with the Unit detached and left in Jolimont yard in offpeak. At Easter and Christmas, times of high county traffic and low suburban traffic, the G cars would be removed from the Units and shifted to country service. In later years some double-block sets would run to Frankston and a few other lines, which had platform extensions for eight-car trains.

Single M cars, 470-473, would be used for shuttles to Hurstbridge and Alamein among others. CM cars 1-5 and 10-15 were parcels vans, though 3CM and 10CM were also used for overhead inspection trains, and 14CM/15CM were very late conversions. Also, 113M and 156M were used as shunters at Jolimont yard.

Double M cars only ran occasionally; usually including one if not two of 1, 8, 15, 46, 65, 78M. These swingdoors had upgraded motors, and trains were often formed as M-M-(x)-(x), where each (x) represents two or three country passenger cars - i.e. W or PL cars, and a van. The train would run to either Frankston or Lilydale, then the Motors would return as a 2-car set. The two country sets would be split, then  loco-hauled to Mornington/Stony Point, or Healesville/Warburton. This practice ceased around the mid 1940's IIRC.

There was also the short-lived Boat Train; from 1936 to 1939, it was an M-D-M-T-T-M set that ran to meet ships at Port Melbourne.

Remaining stock - Swingdoor:
10, 12, 13CM
8, 107, 113, 137, 156M
12BT
24D

Remaining stock - Tait:
2, 4CM
267, 317, 327, 381, 427, 470M
201BT
208, 341T
48, 98G
230, 257D

Note very few of the above are operational. Most are at Elecrail or the ARHS museum; 98G is carrying passengers at Mornington.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
Just thinking out loud here - wouldn't it be handy to use a Hitachi set or two attached to a loco (as they obviously have knuckle couplers, no issue with transition couplers), similar to an old photo of a B Class hauling a Harris set I've seen? Sure, they're not S cars in terms of history/comfort etc etc, but would that side-step accreditation issues of running an electric train through the system?

Like I said, only thinking out loud...

Wolfpac
  SteamtoStay Chief Commissioner

Location: Building floorplates
Just thinking out loud here - wouldn't it be handy to use a Hitachi set or two attached to a loco (as they obviously have knuckle couplers, no issue with transition couplers), similar to an old photo of a B Class hauling a Harris set I've seen? Sure, they're not S cars in terms of history/comfort etc etc, but would that side-step accreditation issues of running an electric train through the system?

Like I said, only thinking out loud...

Wolfpac
wolfpac
I had the same thought (using Hitachis in country service to replace the Z's) a while back, and ran it past a few people.

The basic response was that the carriages are in such horrible condition that it can't be made to work. There are no spare parts available (apparently they had to pay a five-figure sum for a new jumper cable recently), and it'd probably be cheaper to replace with new stock. The carriage frames are apparently only barely roadworthy, and the fleet isn't allowed to operate outside the Metro network.
  xxxxlbear Token Booking Clerk

Location: Geelong
Just thinking out loud here - wouldn't it be handy to use a Hitachi set or two attached to a loco (as they obviously have knuckle couplers, no issue with transition couplers), similar to an old photo of a B Class hauling a Harris set I've seen? Sure, they're not S cars in terms of history/comfort etc etc, but would that side-step accreditation issues of running an electric train through the system?

Like I said, only thinking out loud...

Wolfpac
wolfpac

I may be wrong, but if I recall correctly, VR ran loco hauled Harris sets to Geelong when they had a carriage shortage. This wasn't a suburban service, but a country one. Not sure exactly when this happened, but I have seen photos of loco hauled Geelong bound Harris sets.
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
I had the same thought (using Hitachis in country service to replace the Z's) a while back, and ran it past a few people.

The basic response was that the carriages are in such horrible condition that it can't be made to work. There are no spare parts available (apparently they had to pay a five-figure sum for a new jumper cable recently), and it'd probably be cheaper to replace with new stock. The carriage frames are apparently only barely roadworthy, and the fleet isn't allowed to operate outside the Metro network.
SteamtoStay
Ah ok then. I was thinking more in preservation for Elecrail, but either way basically the same idea.

That will put a dampener on things, if they're barely limping along in revenue service, then perhaps it'd be too costly to repair them in preservation. Especially if they'd be paying the big bucks like that for one part!

And not being able to operate outside the Metro network stops running a Suburban Rambler style run (both within and outside the Metro network) with say an S (or a spare A60/A66 and PH van! Smile ) and 2x Hitachi sets, either 3+3 or even 6+6 if there was enough interest and sets on hand and all the sets aren't chopped up.

In any case, it was just a 'what if', thought out loud.

Wolfpac
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
I may be wrong, but if I recall correctly, VR ran loco hauled Harris sets to Geelong when they had a carriage shortage. This wasn't a suburban service, but a country one. Not sure exactly when this happened, but I have seen photos of loco hauled Geelong bound Harris sets.
xxxxlbear
Fair enough then, I thought it would've been a railfan service, but there you go! Very Happy

Wolfpac
  trainbrain Chief Commissioner

The Hitachis are lemons that best disposed of in a deep tar pit, never to return...............................
  Flagstaff Red Afro

Location: Eaglemont, Hursty line, Melbourne.
I find it cool how they have lasted in service just past their 40th anniversary. I'd love to see them in service for the next 100 years but we have to be realistic, the longer they're kept in service the more they lose their glory, their significance.

We still have the VLine-converted Harris carriages running in service, maybe it's time we upgraded these to VLine-converted Hitachi ones. Very Happy                  
  wolfpac Minister for Railways

Location: Over here...
The Hitachis are lemons that best disposed of in a deep tar pit, never to return...............................
trainbrain
Lemons that are 40 years old not out? If they were lemons (IE: an inferior train) wouldn't they have been 'binned' years ago ala the 4D sort of scenario?

Wolfpac
  Taitset Chief Commissioner

Location: Eltham, (former) vintage safeworking capital of Melbourne
Remaining stock - Swingdoor:
10, 12, 13CM
8, 107, 113, 137, 156M
12BT
24D

Remaining stock - Tait:
2, 4CM
267, 317, 327, 381, 427, 470M
201BT
208, 341T
48, 98G
230, 257D

Note very few of the above are operational. Most are at Elecrail or the ARHS museum; 98G is carrying passengers at Mornington.
SteamtoStay
Elecrail's operational cars are Taits 317M, 381M, 470M, 208T, 230D, and Swingdoor cars 107M and 137M. 341T and 327M have operated in preservation in the past and are in good condition. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before they run on the mainline again, but I wouldn't loose hope just yet.
  Villian Junior Train Controller

I really do wonder some days! This is a operating commuter railway not a heritage railway! Get me state of the art trains and state of the art computer controlled signalling with minimum 5 mins headways between all trains so I can hop on and off across the network and not have to hope the clapped out trains and system are going to work as they should today!!
  Alex M Station Master

Location: Melbourne, Victoria
As has been stated already, Elecrail already owns a set, namely 295M-1994T-296M-281M-1946T-282M. It was hired back by Connex and will return to Elecrail when Metro is done with it.  In addition this they also have 222M and 80M. The ARHS museum also has 187M preserved statically.
Taitset
Ahhh No.  That statement is completely wrong.

Elecrail does not own that set the State Government does.
That set was sold outright to the Government a few years back, however the contract of sale had a condition in it stating that if Elecrail wanted it we could purchase it for $1 per carriage.
  Taitset Chief Commissioner

Location: Eltham, (former) vintage safeworking capital of Melbourne
Elecrail does not own that set the State Government does.
That set was sold outright to the Government a few years back, however the contract of sale had a condition in it stating that if Elecrail wanted it we could purchase it for $1 per carriage.
Alex M
Just repeating what I was told by an Elecrail volunteer at the time, thanks for the correction. Either way, same end result.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.