A most interesting development and one which is likely to blindside the ALP. I think the plan is what is really required however I believe it lacks electrification for the services for several reasons:
1. Environmental impacts
2. Speed and cost of Diesel operation compared to electrification using the green power available in the Ballarat area.
3. Diesel trains in the tunnel between Sunshine and Southern Cross is not a workable solution.
Federal Funding for Fast Rail - It is Ballarat's turn
Incorrect Assumptions; because....IF Bombardier
were an informed group of humans, they'd be looking for existing technologies that can address the above 3 reasons....guess what, they already DO exist (since 2014)
The EV-E301 series "Sustina" HYBRID made from Stainless-Steel, by J-TREC - that have had a long history of innovation, will go a long way towards mitigating ALL the above 3 reasons
; because, it is capable of of being modified for running on BOTH
the 1500v overhead catenary system in the tunnel between Southern Cross (SC) & Sunshine, then switching to battery power (present range 25.4 km) which can be either supplanted or combined with Diesel-electric operation from Sunshine to Ballarat/Ararat/Maryborough and many other locales such as SC to Traralgon/Sale/Bairnsdale; SC to Seymour/Albury; SC to Geelong/Warrnambool; SC to Woodend/Kyneton/Bendigo...etc.
Current passenger configuration for 46 per car; equipped with LED lighting, and resulting in whopping -60% reduction in NOx greenhouse gasses.