The future of Sydney's long-serving S sets

 
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCrBqMvcI80
This got me thinking. How great is it that with some modification are perfectly functional train can get a whole new lease of life! Once a D78 stock serving on the Underground, now a D78 stock (or BR class 230) serving, well, somewhere else!

It's not just the D78 stock with this fate. The 1938 stock, also from the Underground, has also gotten a chance to serve where they are more needed. The Wikipedia article on this class has some good info on it.

Then there's preservation. Where trains that have done their scheduled service can be admired and ridden.

With all of these paths, I would like to present some questions regarding the future of the S sets. Specifically:
  • Is there a chance they could run services elsewhere? If so, is there information on where they will be operated, and where specifically is this?
  • Who has/may have bought them, and who may be interested in them?
  • What sets have been preserved, or saved from the scrap heap in general? C3814, T4150 and C3805 are the only cars I am aware of that have been preserved. S66 has been running with AK cars previously, so does this mean it will have a different future to other S sets?

For the sake of it, here are some images of the preserved set I found on Historic Electric Traction's website:





Thanks

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  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

In terms of S set preservation, it has been mentioned that D4006 has been/will be set aside as an example of a Comeng Driving Trailer. Beyond that who knows. I get the feeling that C3765 will probably be looked at as this was the very last Comeng suburban motor car delivered for the NSW Government (if i'm not mistaken) and the very last S-set motor car delivered. Given that they have C3805, which was the very first delivered in May 1972, C3765 was delivered in May 1980, so that's a large 8 year gap between the two, plus it's an example of the smaller "Mark III" contract. Not sure if any Mark II's would be looked at. I think I've seen C3986 (the highest numbered S-set) still in service. Not sure if they are still in existence but C3937 and C3965 were part of the first electric train to Waterfall in 1980. Sometimes if you are looking at a middle contract the first and last don't hold as much weight, historically, unlike the Mark I and Mark III contracts, so sometimes picking something that was part of an important "first of" is an interesting option. I guess it will all depend if the powers that be decide to preserve a "1 of each type" or just a couple to give a good general representation. I think though in saying all that, you need to be realistic about choices and something that is in much better condition and has better future running prospects is incredibly important as this is something you want to run one day for tours.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
In terms of S set preservation, it has been mentioned that D4006 has been/will be set aside as an example of a Comeng Driving Trailer. Beyond that who knows. I get the feeling that C3765 will probably be looked at as this was the very last Comeng suburban motor car delivered for the NSW Government (if i'm not mistaken) and the very last S-set motor car delivered. Given that they have C3805, which was the very first delivered in May 1972, C3765 was delivered in May 1980, so that's a large 8 year gap between the two, plus it's an example of the smaller "Mark III" contract. Not sure if any Mark II's would be looked at. I think I've seen C3986 (the highest numbered S-set) still in service. Not sure if they are still in existence but C3937 and C3965 were part of the first electric train to Waterfall in 1980. Sometimes if you are looking at a middle contract the first and last don't hold as much weight, historically, unlike the Mark I and Mark III contracts, so sometimes picking something that was part of an important "first of" is an interesting option. I guess it will all depend if the powers that be decide to preserve a "1 of each type" or just a couple to give a good general representation. I think though in saying all that, you need to be realistic about choices and something that is in much better condition and has better future running prospects is incredibly important as this is something you want to run one day for tours.
SydneyCider
Those do seem significant. With the previously-mentioned preserved set, I believed they preserved a Goninan trailer and two Comeng driving cars. I can't recall the reasoning, but that does show there will be cars from both manufacturers at least.

I guess it is correct to say that if you were to change the condition and refurbish the S sets (as was done with '78 stock), they arguably would be of less historical value.

I was able to confirm that C3765 is the most recently built motor car. STV did a video about it here:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD_y4GiFnxA

Thanks
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

As we know, the majority of the S set Fleet has been scrapped.

48 x 4car S sets were retained to cover any shortfall in the Waratah Fleet.
The A sets run at 92% availability, that is, out of the Fleet of 78, 72 are required for the Timetable.

The other reason for retention of 48 S sets was to cover some of the bigger events at Olympic Park, that may be conducted during weekdays, such as the Royal Easter Show. This would allow other Fleet to remain Rostered for normal Timetabled services.

The Transport Minister indicated with the delivery of 24 x 8car B sets, this should allow the remaining S sets to be retired.
OSCAR sets will also be relegated to Suburban working with the introduction of the New Intercity Fleet.

Car 3814 was set aside as this car was going to be acquired by Rail Heritage (or RTM) as a good representative example of a early Comeng Motor Car. At this time, it was not know whether 3805 would be retained as it was still in normal revenue service. However, 3805 was subsequently taken out of service and the arrangements for 3814 were not taken up.

Car 4150 was pulled from the scrap line at the last minute as this car did have a history - it carried the Queen during her visit to Australia in 1980.

In respect to the AK cars, from information received, these cars now have a limited life as inspection cars.
The Track Inspections are now being carried out with specialised Track Inspection Vehicles which have proved successful in recent years.

Currently, car 3986 is in service in set S124, car 3937 is in set S66.

Car 3965 was in set S16 and was on the scrap line in May 2013.

Car 3765 was the last Comeng car produced, however, subsequent to this, Goninan produced 80 Motor cars, numbered 3001 to 3080, for the purpose of covering the services required when the Eastern Suburbs Railway was opened to full service during 1980. 31 out of the 80 cars remain in the retained S set Fleet.

In repect to Trailer Cars retained in the S sets, the split is:
39 Comeng (range in number from 4001 to 4095 and includes 4006), and
57 Goninan (range in number from 4922 to 4986, 4101 to 4167).
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
As we know, the majority of the S set Fleet has been scrapped.

48 x 4car S sets were retained to cover any shortfall in the Waratah Fleet.
The A sets run at 92% availability, that is, out of the Fleet of 78, 72 are required for the Timetable.

The other reason for retention of 48 S sets was to cover some of the bigger events at Olympic Park, that may be conducted during weekdays, such as the Royal Easter Show. This would allow other Fleet to remain Rostered for normal Timetabled services.

The Transport Minister indicated with the delivery of 24 x 8car B sets, this should allow the remaining S sets to be retired.
OSCAR sets will also be relegated to Suburban working with the introduction of the New Intercity Fleet.

Car 3814 was set aside as this car was going to be acquired by Rail Heritage (or RTM) as a good representative example of a early Comeng Motor Car. At this time, it was not know whether 3805 would be retained as it was still in normal revenue service. However, 3805 was subsequently taken out of service and the arrangements for 3814 were not taken up.

Car 4150 was pulled from the scrap line at the last minute as this car did have a history - it carried the Queen during her visit to Australia in 1980.

In respect to the AK cars, from information received, these cars now have a limited life as inspection cars.
The Track Inspections are now being carried out with specialised Track Inspection Vehicles which have proved successful in recent years.

Currently, car 3986 is in service in set S124, car 3937 is in set S66.

Car 3965 was in set S16 and was on the scrap line in May 2013.

Car 3765 was the last Comeng car produced, however, subsequent to this, Goninan produced 80 Motor cars, numbered 3001 to 3080, for the purpose of covering the services required when the Eastern Suburbs Railway was opened to full service during 1980. 31 out of the 80 cars remain in the retained S set Fleet.

In repect to Trailer Cars retained in the S sets, the split is:
39 Comeng (range in number from 4001 to 4095 and includes 4006), and
57 Goninan (range in number from 4922 to 4986, 4101 to 4167).
scott4570
So, one set for now.

Some museums must be interested! Like SETS, who preserved one of the monorail trains. Or the Powerhouse, which has a good collection (including, on the topic of monorail, part of a monorail set).

What about the two-car set at Petersham used for the training college? It seems to be in neglect, but what could it's future, condition and prospects be?

Also, regarding S sets, it (obviously) appears they won't be in service much longer. To me, it seems worthy to have a few final rides on and photos of the silver rattlers. Where and when could I find and see them? As well as info in general, I would appreciate if there is information about it running on the main suburban railway line (particularly the T2) through Summer Hill, or through Dulwich Hill station.

Thanks
  sunnyyan Station Staff

^ S sets run standby on all Sector 2 services and occasionally replace Sector 3 services as well. The only line where they always run is the T7 Olympic Park. As for Summer Hill/Dulwich Hill, it is a matter of luck. I find that services scheduled as C/K sets are most likely to be replaced by S sets.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers. Northern Rail to Vivarail to sling their hook and rightly so. London and the SE get train on entirely new platforms and the North is to get 37 year old LU trains unwanted by London. Use some for very minor lines like West Ealing to Greenford and scrap the rest.

Michael
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some interesting information and videos above. Here are some more looking at the last days of the S sets in 2013 on the ESR and Illawarra Line.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENxiTvxxj78
This video shows last regular S sets on ESR and Illawarra Line (08 March 2013)
- Shows C3937 leading S4 at 0:15 and at 3:00 through Mortdale. I wonder if this particular car being part of the last day of working was just a fluke or a deliberate decision given it's important history with that line. When it was part of the first electric train to Waterfall on 5 June 1980, a day later, a new timetable was introduced which integrated the ESR with the Illawarra line and regular electric train services to Waterfall commenced on that same day (Sunday, June 6). (See "Preserved S set cars" thread for more info on S sets)
- C3805 shown leading final regular service from Cronulla at 3:55. Quite fitting I guess.

Last regular S set ESR and Illawarra Line


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FddKd8GWMpM

Last regular S set on Illawarra line departing Cronulla 8 March 2013


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dgglry6vLM



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQKOR8BPKFY

theleader article for last s sets at Cronull (article dated 13 March 2013)
http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1361540/airconditioned-trains-a-breath-of-fresh-air-as-enthusiasts-farewell-the-s-set-trains/?cs=1507



9 NEWS Sydney - Report on Homebush train incident and S sets (18 January 2017)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Px85j94RZ8
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

In respect to Trailer Cars retained in the S sets, the split is:
39 Comeng (range in number from 4001 to 4095 and includes 4006), and
57 Goninan (range in number from 4922 to 4986, 4101 to 4167).
scott4570
My post from September 28, the above split should read:-

In respect to Trailer Cars retained in the S sets, the split is:
68 Comeng (range in number from 4001 to 4095, 4921 to 4987, and includes 4006), and
28 Goninan (range in number from 4101 to 4170).
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
Some interesting information and videos above. Here are some more looking at the last days of the S sets in 2013 on the ESR and Illawarra Line.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENxiTvxxj78
This video shows last regular S sets on ESR and Illawarra Line (08 March 2013)
- Shows C3937 leading S4 at 0:15 and at 3:00 through Mortdale. I wonder if this particular car being part of the last day of working was just a fluke or a deliberate decision given it's important history with that line. When it was part of the first electric train to Waterfall on 5 June 1980, a day later, a new timetable was introduced which integrated the ESR with the Illawarra line and regular electric train services to Waterfall commenced on that same day (Sunday, June 6). (See "Preserved S set cars" thread for more info on S sets)
- C3805 shown leading final regular service from Cronulla at 3:55. Quite fitting I guess.

Last regular S set ESR and Illawarra Line


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FddKd8GWMpM

Last regular S set on Illawarra line departing Cronulla 8 March 2013


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Dgglry6vLM



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQKOR8BPKFY

theleader article for last s sets at Cronull (article dated 13 March 2013)
http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1361540/airconditioned-trains-a-breath-of-fresh-air-as-enthusiasts-farewell-the-s-set-trains/?cs=1507



9 NEWS Sydney - Report on Homebush train incident and S sets (18 January 2017)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Px85j94RZ8
SydneyCider
Thanks for the videos. Makes me think of how rapidly S sets have gone from prominent to quite rare in most places. I suspect Sydney Trains may start or already may have started to not bother to fix broken down S sets.

Thanks
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers. Northern Rail to Vivarail to sling their hook and rightly so. London and the SE get train on entirely new platforms and the North is to get 37 year old LU trains unwanted by London. Use some for very minor lines like West Ealing to Greenford and scrap the rest.

Michael
mejhammers1
It is certainly an interesting idea. I guess the difference here is that Transport for NSW has already decided they no longer want S sets on their tracks. The D78 stock, from what I can gather, were also known for their age, and it was ridiculed when at first it was proposed to put them into reuse. That has definitely changed.

Thanks
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

Makes me think of how rapidly S sets have gone from prominent to quite rare in most places. I suspect Sydney Trains may start or already may have started to not bother to fix broken down S sets.

Thanks
TrainLover222
I personally think it has been very impressive how in only a matter of a few years that every 2nd train you saw was one of the silver sets, to now only seeing a silver sets on weekdays and most services being either an M-set, oscar or waratah.   Mind you I think that was a small failure on citytrains part not to get more m-sets and oscars when they had a chance.  

From memory there are no silver sets scheduled for revenue service on weekends, and I have only been on a s-set once in the last 6 times I have been to sydney, mind you I wasn't happy about this as it the middle of january.
  tazzer96 Deputy Commissioner

It is certainly an interesting idea. I guess the difference here is that Transport for NSW has already decided they no longer want S sets on their tracks. The D78 stock, from what I can gather, were also known for their age, and it was ridiculed when at first it was proposed to put them into reuse. That has definitely changed.

Thanks
TrainLover222
You won't see the S-sets get transferred anywhere else in the world for reuse.   They require a very large loading gauge They aren't currently Air-conned and doing so would be sacrificing passenger space, nor do they have proper heating or insulation for cold climate use.  They don't have the most comfortable ride (remember sydney trains maintains there tracks very well).   They don't have any disability compliance, and the intercarriage gangway isn't something you want these days.  They don't have great sound insulation either.   In short, compared to what you can get nowadays, they are a pretty crappy train.  

If I wanted to reuse an older train for either loco-haul or DMU conversion, I would go and get QR's EMU's.   Can be easily re-gauged, fits into more loading gauges, more disability accessible, better internal feel, and awesome working air-con.  

The S-sets have served their purpose well, but now it is time for them to go.   maybe keep a few for emergency use and Olympic park shuttles from central, but thats it.
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
^ S sets run standby on all Sector 2 services and occasionally replace Sector 3 services as well. The only line where they always run is the T7 Olympic Park. As for Summer Hill/Dulwich Hill, it is a matter of luck. I find that services scheduled as C/K sets are most likely to be replaced by S sets.
sunnyyan
Not just standby. They're on the permanent roster out of Campbelltown.  There's at least 3 runs starting in the 7:00 - 7:30 time that are always S-sets. The 7:26 I catch, has been an S set since the start of the year. I don't recall it being anything other than one in that entire time.
  Matthew Train Controller

@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers.
mejhammers1



The train operators are not so keen now after the prototype caught fire.

As for doing the same to the S sets - they are 40 years old and many were suffering corrosion at key places on their frames, particularly around the door pockets. The decision 40+ years ago to put a stainless steel shell on a carbon steel underframe finally did them in.

The moment you have to do any major rectification work to the frame or body structure, that's it. Might as well build a new one.

Also as DMU's they don't have enough space for engines and would be too heavy - so as a 'cheap' diesel railcar, not much hope there either. And who in Australia is actually in the market for a 'cheap railcar' ?


Best option really is to get a suitable number of cars set aside for the heritage fleet and hopefully find covered storage for them so corrosion doesn't claim them.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
Makes me think of how rapidly S sets have gone from prominent to quite rare in most places. I suspect Sydney Trains may start or already may have started to not bother to fix broken down S sets.

Thanks
I personally think it has been very impressive how in only a matter of a few years that every 2nd train you saw was one of the silver sets, to now only seeing a silver sets on weekdays and most services being either an M-set, oscar or waratah.   Mind you I think that was a small failure on citytrains part not to get more m-sets and oscars when they had a chance.  

From memory there are no silver sets scheduled for revenue service on weekends, and I have only been on a s-set once in the last 6 times I have been to sydney, mind you I wasn't happy about this as it the middle of january.
tazzer96

If you're a commuter, the rarity is good. As for me, I WILL NOT TOLERATE THIS!!! ANYTRIP.COM SAYS THERE IS AN S SET PASSING SUMMER HILL AT 6:11PM. I GO THERE. NO DICE. BUT ANYTRIP.COM.AU SAYS THE FREAKING GHOST TRAIN HAD IN FACT PAST!

Add Tangaras on top of the M sets, Oscars & Waratahs. They may not be on some lines, but they are fairly common. Saw a good amount at Summer Hill. They have a monopoly on the Illawarra line, too.

I gather from the rapid withdrawal that many trains must be clogged up in storage, awaiting fate. Judging by the past, I expect that at least one more unit (maybe just two or three cars, like the 3-car set preserved by HET) will be preserved. I mean, a lot of red sets were preserved, and they were similarly old at their time of withdrawal.

This I sort of admire about Sydney Trains and its predecessors. They really squeeze every drop of revenue service a train can offer, unlike, say Sydney Light Rail, which withdraws 15 year old units because refurbishment would cost the same as buying new ones.
  ivahri Train Controller

No point yelling about it... honestly... get a grip. We aren't talking about missing the Flying Scotsman in 1988, or having to wait years for 3801 to be back in one working piece... these are just another double deck EMU.

But if you really must ride one for your life to be complete... drag your butt to Glenfield station between 7.30am and 8am Monday to Friday & you will be guaranteed of getting an S set to take you into town. Simple... no need to yell about it.


Richard
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers.



The train operators are not so keen now after the prototype caught fire.

As for doing the same to the S sets - they are 40 years old and many were suffering corrosion at key places on their frames, particularly around the door pockets. The decision 40+ years ago to put a stainless steel shell on a carbon steel underframe finally did them in.

The moment you have to do any major rectification work to the frame or body structure, that's it. Might as well build a new one.

Also as DMU's they don't have enough space for engines and would be too heavy - so as a 'cheap' diesel railcar, not much hope there either. And who in Australia is actually in the market for a 'cheap railcar' ?


Best option really is to get a suitable number of cars set aside for the heritage fleet and hopefully find covered storage for them so corrosion doesn't claim them.
Matthew
Victoria might, seeing that we have the largest and busiest Diesel network in Australia!!! (V/Line)

Michael
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers. Northern Rail to Vivarail to sling their hook and rightly so. London and the SE get train on entirely new platforms and the North is to get 37 year old LU trains unwanted by London. Use some for very minor lines like West Ealing to Greenford and scrap the rest.

Michael
It is certainly an interesting idea. I guess the difference here is that Transport for NSW has already decided they no longer want S sets on their tracks. The D78 stock, from what I can gather, were also known for their age, and it was ridiculed when at first it was proposed to put them into reuse. That has definitely changed.

Thanks
TrainLover222
Not really. We are still waiting for the first to be put into revenue service. One was due to be used in the W Mids but unfortunately caught fire.

Michael
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
No point yelling about it... honestly... get a grip. We aren't talking about missing the Flying Scotsman in 1988, or having to wait years for 3801 to be back in one working piece... these are just another double deck EMU.

But if you really must ride one for your life to be complete... drag your butt to Glenfield station between 7.30am and 8am Monday to Friday & you will be guaranteed of getting an S set to take you into town. Simple... no need to yell about it.


Richard
ivahri
Thanks. My nerves are calmed. Hey, at least I saw them at Macdonaldtown stabling yard while going through on a Waratah!

I should be thankful to have ridden every single type of train in the fleet at one stage...

Apart from the OSCars...
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers.



The train operators are not so keen now after the prototype caught fire.

As for doing the same to the S sets - they are 40 years old and many were suffering corrosion at key places on their frames, particularly around the door pockets. The decision 40+ years ago to put a stainless steel shell on a carbon steel underframe finally did them in.

The moment you have to do any major rectification work to the frame or body structure, that's it. Might as well build a new one.

Also as DMU's they don't have enough space for engines and would be too heavy - so as a 'cheap' diesel railcar, not much hope there either. And who in Australia is actually in the market for a 'cheap railcar' ?


Best option really is to get a suitable number of cars set aside for the heritage fleet and hopefully find covered storage for them so corrosion doesn't claim them.
Victoria might, seeing that we have the largest and busiest Diesel network in Australia!!! (V/Line)

Michael
mejhammers1
And considering they have a lot of old locomotives that look like shunting units running their country network.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
@TrainLover222 i know about the Class 230 D78 conversion. Adrian Shooter wanted to use them to replace the horrid Pacers. Northern Rail to Vivarail to sling their hook and rightly so. London and the SE get train on entirely new platforms and the North is to get 37 year old LU trains unwanted by London. Use some for very minor lines like West Ealing to Greenford and scrap the rest.

Michael
It is certainly an interesting idea. I guess the difference here is that Transport for NSW has already decided they no longer want S sets on their tracks. The D78 stock, from what I can gather, were also known for their age, and it was ridiculed when at first it was proposed to put them into reuse. That has definitely changed.

Thanks
Not really. We are still waiting for the first to be put into revenue service. One was due to be used in the W Mids but unfortunately caught fire.

Michael
mejhammers1
I shouldn't of judged that based off YouTube comments on videos from different upload times....

Thanks
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

@TrainLover222, the first D78 train was delivered to Vivarail on 19/01/2015. A prototype was ready for testing in August 2015. In the meanwhile 100's of trains jave been signed off and some actually built for London, South and Anglia franchises. Thank god Northern did not want them. They would be still waiting.

Michael
  scott4570 Chief Train Controller

In the upcoming new Sydney Trains Timetable, due to commence on Sunday, November 26, the Weekday Timetable calls for the following S set Rosters:-

  2 x 4car sets for Lidcombe to Olympic Park Shuttles (as per currently operating).
  2 x 4car sets for use on the Carlingford Line.
16 x 8car sets for use in the morning and afternoon peaks, mainly on the T2 and T3 Lines, with a couple of trips on the T8 Line to Campbelltown and Macarthur.
  TrainLover222 Junior Train Controller

Location: ...And then all stations to Central
In the upcoming new Sydney Trains Timetable, due to commence on Sunday, November 26, the Weekday Timetable calls for the following S set Rosters:-

  2 x 4car sets for Lidcombe to Olympic Park Shuttles (as per currently operating).
  2 x 4car sets for use on the Carlingford Line.
16 x 8car sets for use in the morning and afternoon peaks, mainly on the T2 and T3 Lines, with a couple of trips on the T8 Line to Campbelltown and Macarthur.
scott4570
Thanks. However, are you speaking about individual, unique sets there? That adds up to above the amount of 4-car sets (48) that already exist.

I looked on the timetable and couldn't find info on the S sets. Do you know where on the T2/T3 they will operate?

Thanks

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