It would be a very costly exercise to convert literally hundreds of VLocity cars to overhead traction.
As we have/are purchasing a large fleet of DMU's we are committed to diesel traction for the remaining life of the V/Locities. If we are ever to electrify the regional lines, then the appropriate time to do so would be when the current V/Locity fleet becomes life expired.
Bogong there is no way that a network using Diesel Multiple units can run at 80 second headways, no matter what signalling is being used. It would be touch and go at every 5 minutes. That is why virtually all metro and high capacity commuter networks run on electric traction.
No part of the V/Line network (aside from the approach to Spencer St) is ever going to run at 5 minute headways, let alone 80 seconds. 20 minutes would be the best you could hope for (and then only for Geelong). If the Melton or Wyndem Vale lines ever need more than that, then they will get electrified and folded into the metropolitan network.
The geelong, bendigo and ballarat services should really have an electric intercity version of the vlocity. The overhead would easily allow more frequent services to these cities.
The single track on the Bendigo and Ballarat lines is a far bigger bottleneck than the lack of electric traction. The superior acceleration of electrics isn't going to be enable you to run any more trains when they would just end up stuck in loops waiting for the oncoming train ahead to clear the single track section.
If money were to be spent on these lines, then duplication would be the first thing needed.
...and back onto the topic V/Locities for the North East....
Velocitys are already a fairly old design and they are based on even older models.
Why change something that's working so well to something else, entirely different that may not
When the time comes to purchase new rolling stock, we should consider what else is available, but that doesn't mean we should go with something different just because it is newer. An old design isn't necessarily a bad one, especially if it does the job well. You would have to consider what advantages the newer designs offer, and if they were worth it or not...
There is no reason why the new vlocity couldn't just have an updated drivers cabin that is elongated like the br800 to accommodate better front on crash protection.
One of the major obstacles to using DMU's on long distance services in Victoria is the crash worthiness of the cabs, if this one could be solved, then the use of DMU's as opposed to Loco hauled services starts to become feasible...
Rode to Bendigo earlier this week return for a meeting and thoughts are the velocity units are far too noisy for my liking. The train does a lot of speeding up and slowing down and actually the seats were not that comfortable in the end. I would not consider velocity for longer journeys other than 2 hours maximum.
I agree here, however I don't thing the powers that be care about the passengers enough to worry about it. Double glazed windows, and better insulation would go a long way towards reducing the noise (but not the vibration, which is also annoying in a V/Locity).
Of course, a reinforced, crash worthy front end and the extra insulation are all adding weight, which would have an impact on the performance of the train. It would be interesting to see if the engineers at Bombardier could manage to solve these issues...
The seats, (and curtains, buffet, "van" space, and First class) all relate to the internal fit out of the train, rather than the technical aspects of the design. V/Line could easily specify an interior with the appropriate facilities for a long distance service when ordering a train