First off, it is a nice looking train, but not at all what we should be looking at for the Geelong and Ballarat lines. The Class 397 has a seated capacity of 286 in 5 carriages, compared to the VLocity with ~450 in 6. It's not a high-capacity commuter train. We need more capacity, not less.I really like the look of these units which would be fantastic on the Geelong and Ballarat Lines.I would have put this post in the Geelong electrification thread. Having said that, it is a nice looking train. Incidentally there is an article in The Age today where Infrastructure Australia is recommending electrification to Geelong. A similar editorial appeared yesterday in the AFR but that focussed more on regional rail upgrades.
Second, I wouldn't put too much stock in what IA has to say. I've been distinctly less impressed with their commentary of late, most notably when they rejected the Waurn Ponds duplication. It is beyond me how they think that is a poor use of funds but stringing up wires along the route is worthwhile. At least they recommended the Melton/Wyndham Vale quad which opens the door to federal cash for that.
The first priority is bringing the fixed infrastructure up to scratch on the up and down sides of Geelong. We can and should look for better diesel stock now rather than waiting 5-10 years for sparking.