For the Albury, Swan Hill, Warrnambool and Bairnsdale corridors alone the avoidable cost savings in fuel and maintenance per annum in running 4 Vl sets in liue of 6 when 4 is enough for most trips with incraesed frequencies is over $ 20m pr annum.SG ordered are 6 x 3 car sg inter Citys sets with buffet. On Albury they WILL run as 6 car sets so the initial sets will support a frequency of three trains each way daily plus 1 consist rotating PPM/spare. Each 3 car set only sits 150 , whereas a 4 car set would seat around 240. For Albury, Swan Hill, Warrnambool and Bairnsdale 4 car sets are a much better fit for patronage. The reason continually given is we have no choice - the existing maintenance facilities are all set up for 3 cars. A fourth consist of 2 x 3 car sets will be required ultimately to allow operation of a fourth and fifth daily return service as promised to Albury.
Seems a very lazy way to run a railway in that the maintenance pits at CMD , and Ballarat East are easily modified to lift 4 car sets. Plus potential new maintenance facilities at Ballarat West, Waurn Ponds etc can easily and should be be built to handle up to 4 car sets.n it is acknowledged that would be better today and going forward.
I have wondered why they do not mix and match the Velocity sets that way to best address the passenger need and to avoid additional operating costs. 2 x 3 car sets seems expensive to operate when the service only needs 4 cars. I do really like your view of the situation. Could a5 set consist work with the way velocity works?
The maintenance and fuel bill at V/Line must surely be higher than it needs to be. Swapping to electrification for some of the lines would also lower the cost of maintenance for those sets but most importantly it would remove the dependencies on diesel fuel, make SCS cleaner and be better for the environment.
Prior to 215 we had a mix of 2 x 3 car VL sets and thus ran tarin sizes of 2,3, 5, 6 and even 7 cars on Geelong. Then some clown decided it would be simpler to just ahve all 3 car sets locking us into the current inflexibility and higher on going opex costs. A mix now of 2,3 and 4 would offer most flexibilty and lowest opex and maintenance costs.
For example with the Inter City fleet one would have mainly 4s and a few 3 so one could run either 4 on most trips nad 5s on the busiest am Up & PM Down.
And with the Commuter variant 2, 3 and 4 car sets so 2s beyond Ballarat & Bendigo, and any size 3 to 8 cars within the the Commuter zone as rqeuired by line . Up to 6 Shepparton, Bendigo, Seymour or traralgon, up to 7 Ballarat, up to 8 Geelong.
Geelong is the only country line now likely to get electrified and even that would be years away . The reality is that once Geelong is eletrified there will be spare V/locity trains left over. Plus the VL fleet is very young and will be 2046 till they need replacement and by then hydrogen will be the go. Google Alsthom Hydrogen Coradia train already in use in Europe, a real game changer. Hydrogen is the future for regional services in that capex on expensive electrical overhead and substations is not rqeuired, and no on-going maintenance costs associated with the electrical infrastructure.