As much as I have supported this administration I see they have gone back to their really annoying method of announcing Rolling Stock. Grandstanding about a relatively small order of 25 trains, providing jobs for this state. 25 Trains, what is that going to do? There are 65 HCMT's. How many will be left after the allocation to the Sunbury, Cranbourne and Pakenham lines. There are only 36 6 Car Siemens trains and all the First Gen xTraps are taken by the Burnley and Clifton Hill Groups and some for the Cross City Group. So there will be 61 and change for the Craigieburn, Upfield, Frankston and some Cross City Services. Is that enough? By this analysis there will need to be some Comengs to be retained. Yeah, trains that are 40 years old.
There seems to be no plan when it comes to Rollingstock. We are in this state installing advanced Information systems in old Comengs and as part of the Rolling Stock announcement they are actually going to spend as much as $36 Million on refurbishing and maintaining the "Classic Fleet". That is almost as bad as spending $250 Million on refurbishing old trams many of which should have been binned by now. I mean really? really? Refurbishing and repainting into PTV Livery, old H and Z type carriages entering their 7th decade in operation? If Victoria had a coherent and serious rolling stock policy and had replaced them all with modern trains we would not need to refurbish old tin wormed riddled rubbish. NSW Trainlink are retiring trains far newer than our classic fleet. Hell even the V Sets are newer than the H and Z types. I mean what the actual!. Rolling stock policy in this state is an absolute farce.
25 units is enough to retire the oldest of the Comengs, the limited units that were refurbished were always planned to run on the network for the next 5 - 10 years. These are the units that have been equiped with the new PIDS. On a side note, this project was less about the fancy PID you see in the salon and more about the Backhaul infrastructure that runs the system. It wouldn't surprise me if we see something similar introduced to the Xtraps which are pushing 20 years old now.
Metro has 90 Comengs in service as of 2021, this will drop to 75 next year as the HCMTS are introduced.
2023 another 10 are retired
2024 only 48 are in service, hopefully by now all the HCMTS are in service.
2025 Metro tunnel opens and Xtrap 2.0 starts to roll off the line. Only 32 Comengs remain in service.
2028 the last 4 comengs are retired.
In metro's fleet plan, they expect all 64 HCMTS to be in service by 2024. As this plan is dated 2019, they were at the time expecting a further order of HCMTS to take the total to 77 by 2027. This is obviously not going to happen with the issues that have been had with the trains and the geopolitical climate.
EMUB06 (Guessing this is the Xtrap2.0) are planned to enter service rom 2024, with Metro expecting 8, then 18 by 2025 and 41 by 2026.
Also of note in EMUW10 (possible High Capacity Train that was mentioned for Melton & WV) to begin entering service from 2025 with only 13 units.
The numbers above are likely to change as one order is bulked up to replace the shortfall left by the HCMTS.
There is a loose plan and it is being followed (Rolling Stock Strategy 2018 -2030). You also need to look at the political climate, The Victorian Government ran a deficit this year and will most likely do so for the next 2 years. Announcing 50+ trains at a Muti billion dollar cost is only giving the opposition ammunition at the next election. We have an election coming up in 2022, with the next being 2026, expect an additional order before then. Once the budget is back in black and the HCMTs are no longer giving the government a headache.
Of course, that requires the elephant in the room to be addressed.
With more 'prep' works announced for Melton & WV (9 car Vlos, platform lengthening and the mention of 'High Capacity') sparking is no doubt going to be a 2022 election commitment. They have basically done everything except string up wires. By 2022 we should also have a better idea of what MARL looks like and where all that cash is going.