Grey Ghosts

 
  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
If the Grey Ghosts had completely updated mechanics eg. Motors and everything that makes it run, would they still be in service because they had pretty much everything a Comeng had?

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  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
If the Grey Ghosts had completely updated mechanics eg. Motors and everything that makes it run, would they still be in service because they had pretty much everything a Comeng had?
MrToastyy

Apparently if they were kept in good condition they might have been kept in use.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Airconditioning is a major expense as well. And now, parts and wear.

Regards,
David Head
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
A Grey Ghost was a Council Parking Officer when I last heard the expression.
What are we talking about here?
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I assumed [size=3][color=#666666][i]Hitachi[/i][/color][/size]s Smile


david
  RustyRick Chief Commissioner

Location: South West Vic
Weren't they the refurbished Harris'?

Rick
  M636C Minister for Railways

The "Grey Ghosts" were the two eight car(?) Harris sets fitted with air conditioning.

Discussions with people who know these things suggest that they kept most of their original power equipment but they were fitted with air conditioning and new motor alternators to provide AC power for the air conditioning.

The "Hillside" Comeng sets with the welded bogies and disc brakes used the air conditioners and the motor alternator sets intended for the main batch of "Grey Ghosts".

The basic colour was light grey, hence the name. They originally had Teacup orange stripes but later got Met green and yellow but the base colour was always grey.

Some cars were rebuilt further as locomotive hauled H cars, so not much went to waste.

The conversion program (presumably including asbestos removal) was too costly and it was thought additional Comeng cars were better value for money. The German design bogies were built in V/line workshops, so some work was retained although Comeng got to build the new bodies.

I can't imagine anyone (particularly passengers) would want rebuilt Harris cars instead of a new Comeng set.

M636C
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
They lacked guts. They only had two M cars per 4 cars. A Comeng has two M cars per three cars. With the fitting of the aircon, this proposed a problem. A far as comfort is concerned, they had Comeng seats so would not have been too uncomfortable.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
The "Grey Ghosts" were the two eight car(?) Comeng sets fitted with air conditioning.

Discussions with people who know these things suggest that they kept most of their original power equipment but they were fitted with air conditioning and new motor alternators to provide AC power for the air conditioning.

The "Hillside" Comeng sets with the welded bogies and disc brakes used the air conditioners and the motor alternator sets intended for the main batch of "Grey Ghosts".

The basic colour was light grey, hence the name. They originally had Teacup orange stripes but later got Met green and yellow but the base colour was always grey.

Some cars were rebuilt further as locomotive hauled H cars, so not much went to waste.

The conversion program (presumably including asbestos removal) was too costly and it was thought additional Comeng cars were better value for money. The German design bogies were built in V/line workshops, so some work was retained although Comeng got to build the new bodies.

I can't imagine anyone (particularly passengers) would want rebuilt Harris cars instead of a new Comeng set.

M636C
M636C

Harris cars not Comeng - it was Harris cars turned to H cars....

This thread is real confusing Smile

Regards,
David Head
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

In the early 1980's when the initial 13 BTH, 13 BH and 13 BCH plus 4 MTH were converted for VLP from former Harris Suburban stock there were plenty of Harris cars to choose from so VLP in the first lot included the 6 available Long Harris cars that had originally been built to handle increased suburban train lengths in the Ringwood corridor.

When VLP introduced the BIH cars to increase H set consist sizes there were still H cars available. Then it was decided to increase the number of H car consists from 13 up to 15 and at that time VLP started using the stored electric Grey Ghost cars (of which there were 4 x 4 car consists) . That is why in the VLP H car fleet there are the two (2) BCH cars with a small brakevan .

The VLP H car fleet ultimately grew from the initial 39 cars up to 55 . Not all the Grey Ghost cars were used by VLP and some of them ended up in the quicksand of the Clayton tip (sorry train digestion facility !!)

Whilst the Grey Ghosts were a good train they suffered the orphan fate of not being enough in the fleet so always a nuisance . If I recall correctly they were primarily used on the Sandringham Line.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Harris cars not Comeng - it was Harris cars turned to H cars....

This thread is real confusing Smile

Regards,
David Head
dthead

Sorry about the typo - I've corrected it.

Harris cars that largely went away except for survivors turned into H cars.

M636C
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
I assume they would be in pretty nasty condition if they were still running (picture an unrefurbished Comeng as they were in 2000-2002 with graffiti everywhere). I couldn't see them going to Alstom or EDI for refurbishment like the Comeng sets were. Also, they had the same Sigma aircons that the Comeng sets had, which were well known for not taking the heat (by the way, how are H sets when it goes beyond 35°C?).

Also, the M cars were all converted from second series (7xx) M cars, while the T cars were a mixture of both. Strangely, the motors of the first series Harris cars were actually more powerful than the second series according to sources.

901M -> Scrapped
902M -> BCH134
903M -> ARHS Museum
904M -> Scrapped
905M -> Scrapped
906M -> Scrapped
907M -> Scrapped
908M -> BCH135
3501T -> BIH187
3502T -> BIH191
3503T -> BIH189
3504T -> BIH194
3505T -> BIH193
3506T -> BIH188
3507T -> BIH192
3508T -> BIH190
  VN18 Junior Train Controller

Location: Central Highlands
If the Grey Ghosts had completely updated mechanics eg. Motors and everything that makes it run, would they still be in service because they had pretty much everything a Comeng had?
"MrToastyy"


I think one of the main issues with the type was driver vision. It's not great at all, worse than a Hitachi middle motor (unmodified cab). If they were still in service they'd need a second man/guard. And at the end of the day it's all just a $$ game...

You can kinda see what I'm talking about here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/notinservice/tags/903m/ The original EE equipment panel/wall to the drivers right thus can't see down the right hand side of the train at all.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
Your question was would they still be in service today? The answer to that is an obvious no. No amount of refurbishment would have seen them out last the now withdrawn Hitachis. Especially considering they were substantially older than the Hitachis.
  VN18 Junior Train Controller

Location: Central Highlands
No amount of refurbishment would have seen them out last the now withdrawn Hitachis. Especially considering they were substantially older than the Hitachis.
"Gman_86"


True, but having said that the refurb Harris were much more modern in appearance internal and external. I think if money was no issue they could have been left in service (following cab mods). Ideal for Willy or Alamein maybe. Just because something is old, don't think it's life is expired, H sets, B class, Y class...
  MrToastyy Locomotive Driver

Location: Werribee
Thanks for the information! Also, are Elecrail restoring the Harris greasers to their original suburban passenger form or, keeping the greaser form?
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
Also, they had the same Sigma aircons that the Comeng sets had, which were well known for not taking the heat (by the way, how are H sets when it goes beyond 35°C?).
Heihachi_73

H sets are bearable on all but the most nasty of days and no worse than an N car. Most H cars are significantly smaller than a Comeng, in addition to the fact that they feature only two doors, curtains, and spend less time at a platform stop. Additionally, some conductors periodically close the doors then unlock them again during extended stops, something I've never seen done on a Metro Comeng (Siemens and X'Traps seem to close their doors automatically have a set period of time).
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
If I recall correctly they were primarily used on the Sandringham Line.
kuldalai

I seem to recall they got water-damaged from being stuck at Windsor station during a flood in that notorious station pit; that sealed their fate.
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
I've seen photos of said flood with a caption stating that the drowned set never ran again. That would make the survivor an orphan and one off trains don't tend to stay around long.
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
Did they ever run as 8 car sets? I can't recall, but I think they often described them as being 4, 4 car sets.
  alstom_888m Chief Commissioner

Location:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/photogallery/suburb/windsor/windsor.html

The last three photos feature the drowned set on that fateful day in 1989. The train appears to be using almost the entire platform, so it appears to be an 8-car set.

Most photos I've seen feature 4-car sets running on the Port Melbourne and St Kilda line. This line closed in 1987 for conversion to light rail, so by this even those lines were gone, and 4-car sets would likely be insufficient for the Sandringham line. The Harris ban took place in 1988, so these were the only Harris remaining in service by this time.

I've seen other posts around stating that the Ghosts were withdrawn in 1991, so the remaining set would have lived on for another 2 years. From looking at captions on photos it seems that all 16 cars were reshuffled several times throughout their short lives. These 4 cars entered V/Line service in 1990.

902M / BCH134
908M / BCH135
3501T / BIH187
3506T / BIH188

908M is clearly seen as the "deepest" car in the flood. Possibly only these cars (or more likely, just the motor cars) were damaged beyond repair. The remaining set was likely stored as worthless, or kept as a spare.

3502T / BIH191
3503T / BIH189
3504T / BIH194
3505T / BIH193
3507T / BIH192
3508T / BIH190

These cars entered V/Line service in 1992, with the remaining motors scrapped at Sims (one going to ARHS). I don't believe any were pushed into the quicksand as they had their asbestos removed as part of the conversion (like the H cars).
  Camster Chief Commissioner

Location: Geelong
http://www.victorianrailways.net/photogallery/suburb/windsor/windsor.html

The last three photos feature the drowned set on that fateful day in 1989. The train appears to be using almost the entire platform, so it appears to be an 8-car set.

Most photos I've seen feature 4-car sets running on the Port Melbourne and St Kilda line. This line closed in 1987 for conversion to light rail, so by this even those lines were gone, and 4-car sets would likely be insufficient for the Sandringham line. The Harris ban took place in 1988, so these were the only Harris remaining in service by this time.

I've seen other posts around stating that the Ghosts were withdrawn in 1991, so the remaining set would have lived on for another 2 years. From looking at captions on photos it seems that all 16 cars were reshuffled several times throughout their short lives. These 4 cars entered V/Line service in 1990.

902M / BCH134
908M / BCH135
3501T / BIH187
3506T / BIH188

908M is clearly seen as the "deepest" car in the flood. Possibly only these cars (or more likely, just the motor cars) were damaged beyond repair. The remaining set was likely stored as worthless, or kept as a spare.

3502T / BIH191
3503T / BIH189
3504T / BIH194
3505T / BIH193
3507T / BIH192
3508T / BIH190

These cars entered V/Line service in 1992, with the remaining motors scrapped at Sims (one going to ARHS). I don't believe any were pushed into the quicksand as they had their asbestos removed as part of the conversion (like the H cars).
alstom_888m

Great photos.

I believe that the last one was withdrawn in 1991 going by the one at the Museum. I think there was on article in Newrail too, which I think did a farewell tour similar to the recent Hitachi one.
  The Vinelander Minister for Railways

Location: Ballan, Victoria on the Ballarat RFR Line
The second from the bottom pic clearly shows graffiti tagging and as that pic was taken in 1989, the scrote who did the tagging will have likely have spawned a younger progeny to carry on the graffiti infestation.

Mike.
  ljayvee6 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Near the Apm Siding
We could always do a 4-car set by doing MT-TM instead of MTTM-MTTM consisting of the 2 greasers, the refurbished Harris and 2 BIH cars converted back into trailer cars. Or maybe even a mixed set consisting of a greaser, coupled back-back and the ARHS Harrises back to back so the setup would be MM-MM.
  ljayvee6 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Near the Apm Siding
True, but having said that the refurb Harris were much more modern in appearance internal and external. I think if money was no issue they could have been left in service (following cab mods). Ideal for Willy or Alamein maybe. Just because something is old, don't think it's life is expired, H sets, B class, Y class...
"VN18"

Or even upfield, Altona and glen waverly

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