The extra funding for 39 additional V/Locity carriages in May 2017 will almost certainly be of the current Commuter type, probably as a mix of a small number of extra 3 car train sets; and then the balance as strict trailer cars to build up a number of existing 3 car sets to 4 car consists . Buying more driving station cars now is just wasting scarce capex, as we have more than enough V/Locity trains per se (as extra peak trains cannot be operated on RRL which is at capacity ) ; what we need now is longer VLocity trains in a mix of 3 and 4 car consists . This will allow the operation of 3, 4, 6, 7 or 8 car V/locity consists . (Whereas only 3 or 6 cars can be run at present). Lowest capex and lowest opex with an 8 car set giving 626 seats a 40 % increase on 6 cars . (9 car trains would be excessively expensive to operate, and only a few platforms at Southern Cross can hold a train over 8 cars ).
With the Inter City V/Locity sets hinted for Warrnambool & Albury they would most likely incorporate later enhanced features available from Bombardier in this train type in further strengthened driving ends, more fuel efficient higher hp engines etc . This Intercity V/Locity train type would probably be made up of 5 - 6 car fixed consists offering First & Economy, on board catering and adequate space for wheelchairs, luggage, bikes etc in a consist seating around 350 passengers.
Within the Commuter area these sets would operate up to 160kmh, and beyond there to Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Albury & Bairnsdale at 130kmh on Class - 2 track with upgraded lx crossing protection .
Ararat, Echuca, Shepparton and Sale would best be operated by the existing commuter type V/Locity . The current fleet will be like 75 - 80 sets, and with Wyndham Vale & Melton electrified a number of these commuter type can be released to run Shepparton and Sale etc as well as replace the N/Z loco hauled peak Geelong commuter runs .
With the Inter City V/Locity type a total 15 - 16 x 5car sets over the two gauges would be sufficient to run the proposed frequencies, and allow retirement of all 78 N/Z cars .