OK, bringing this thread back to it's foaming origins, I'm going to present my latest design concept for a CL replacement vehicle.
The premise here is this design has to cater for all of NSW Train's potential needs. In this design there are four types built into 3 types of frame.
The initial vehicle is a shorter version of an Endoricty with two sub-versions: a single powered truck EMU, and that EMU with a power plant and multi-use crew area:
These units are much the same as an Xploer/V'locity unit but a touch shorter and no cab obviously. The idea is the have one traction motor and one grunty (~800hp) power plant in the DMU version. The DMU should come in ~50-55 tonnes (a touch lighter than the V'Locity/Endeavours because it's a bit shorter).
The intention is the frames are identical and it should be little more than a fitout change (though perhaps a change to bogie spring tension because the EMU would be 15t lighter) to convert the EMU to DMU, or even have a dual capable hybrid.
$5-6mil per vehicle (plus dev costs of course)
At the front/rear is a universal cab/driving-trailer:
The cab/trailers are really simple. A little less than and Endora chassis with just a single bogie (and a cab obviously). Probably weighing in at ~35t, for a total train mass of ~ 125t (about that of an Endeavour set). $2-3mil per vehicle, depending on how much is made in China
The combined trains are 2 of 8 powered axles with 3 segments. The DMU version has seating for 212, the EMU 238.
Seats are V-Line style soft/high backed 3+2 - somewhere between an Endeavour and an XPT, probably sacrificing PAX choice of direction.
The point of the EMU is to do NSW Train's base load operations in place of OSCARs on the Central Coast, Illawarra, the Blue Mountains and be capable of replacing the Endoras on the unsparked routes too.
For the CL routes the DMU version at 212 seats does the job of about 2/3rds of an XPT, or a 4 car explorer. It's designed with the intention of using a 2 man multi-skilled crew on the long distance runs. There is no buffet, but there is a galley for the non-driving crew member to heat/dispense the meals from, supplemented by vending machines for casual food purchases.
One of these is enough for the Dubbo and Armidale runs.
Syd-Mlb would need 3:
Sydney-Melbourne (-Sydney overnight)
Melbourne-Sydney (-Melbourne overnight)
Canberra 2, 3tpd (or 3 & 5tpd)
Sydney-Brisbane (perhaps run coupled to the above service)
Brisbane-Sydney(-Brisbane Overnight - perhaps run coupled to the above service)
Now, the other pending issue NSW trains is facing are the V Sets. Being a cheap dumb trailer there is not a huge amount of extra expense in making it DD. So the alternate version of the driving looks like this:
Seating for 164 and 2 dunnies (built out to extended medium gauge). This is only slightly larger than the single deck version. In 3 car EMU sets DD Cab-EMU power-DD Cab has roughly the same level of componentry as half and OSCAR yet 390 seats (vs 200). 3x 3car sets produces a 1200 seat train at 200-210m in length. ~45t and $3-4mil per vehicle.
This vehicle also has the tantelising prospect of being assembled into a DD Cab - DMU Power - DD Cab to produce a 350 seat train (same as an XPT) with the operating costs of an Endeavour to be used on ARTC's double stack capable routes.
It also gives NSW trains the option of desparking some of their longer routes should the access fees make it logical to do so.Financial Justification:
This design is not just about replacing the XPT. It's about addressing all of NSW's passenger rolling stock requirements for the next two decades (metro excluded).
The first tranche of this order would be for 22 sets, 15 EMUs and 7 DMUs. That would be (just) enough to allow re-deployment of ~35 OSCAR sets from NSW Trains back to Sydney trains - (just) enough to replace the K set fleet - as well as the XPT fleet.
The second tranche of 20 DD EMU set EMU would be enough to replace the surviving V sets (bar the DK series) and return all the OSCARs to Sydney Trains allowing retirement of the C set fleet.
A third tranche of 10-20 DMUs could replace the Xplorers and Endeavours, which will be due by then.
We're talking a complete order of $300-$450mil over the next 10-15 years, but the benefit of this approach is that is enough to replace 5 large legacy fleets with a smaller, more consistent and cheaper to run fleet.