These are the facts and these are the realities .
- Loco hauled pax trains knock the track around more than DMU, and DMU are usually allowed 15 kmh faster on each class of track than loco hauled. So DMU is way to go lower track maintenance costs.
- Beyond the Inter-urban area the issue is lx protection primarily for DMU operation .
- The N locos have a good 15 - 20 years left in them, the N / Z cars maintained adequately 15 - 20 years left in them.
- The P class and H cars are all quite old and rebuilds of stock over 50 years old, and ripe for retirement now.
The next VLP pax rollingstock requisitions ideally would be something like , in order :
- A new generation V/Locity DMU based on the Adelaide EMU body with wider/more doorways and 2/3 seating across the wider body. Such DMU's to be used primarily on Geelong , Bacchus Marsh, Kyneton services to provide extra capacity. Existing V/Locity released ex those corridors used to build up consists on other Inter urban corridors . H cars progressively retired.
- Electrification to Melton also allows earlier retirement of H cars .
- A mini RFR upgrade to Mangalore - Shepparton to provide upgraded lx protection to allow V/Locity to run that route at 115kmh. Releases loco hauled cars and reduces travel times in that corridor, and increased frequency of service .
- Loco hauled N/Z cars continue in medium term on Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Albury (sg), and Bairnsdale ideally to added Weekday frequencies.
- Ararat (130kmh), Shepparton (115kmh), Echuca (100kmh) as V/Locity.
- The other real opportunity with DMU purchases in future with train sizes getting longer is to purchase strict trailer cars for insertion within existing and future V/Locity sets.
- The current VLP practice of all powered cars is very inefficient and costly where trains are greater than 4 cars . In fact the existing order for 40 extra V/Locity powered cars could have given more cars for the same $ if VLP had accepted the current requirement for some 4 car sets with a trailer in each set . So no more loco hauled cars for VLP.