So @justapassenger, your solution is save the Metro area and a few extensions from nasty particulate matterQuite the opposite, my suggestion is to get started on an integrated approach that would start delivering real improvements almost immediately. Your idea of betting everything on the hydrogen fairy is far worse, because it's a recipe for doing nothing for however many decades it would take to make it workable outside of a controlled technology/publicity demonstration.
tough luck for rest of the state/country/world
they can put up with all that smeg for ever more.
Sure you could spark V/line. But that means every single kilometer to make the difference needed.
You just dont get it about polution - its spreads everywhere. Cleaning up means clean up everywhere.
Thats what renewable energy is about, what battery cars are about.
For PT, efforts and big $$ are being put into such things as Batteries and Hydrogen. There will be others.
Bi-mode diesel/electric is 1950s leading edge technology. We're now in the 2020s.
An integrated approach would start with extending electrification from the metro area outwards. The gains are higher (because all V/Line services go to/from Melbourne) and if you have to start somewhere you may as well start from the current limit of electrification.
Simultaneously alongside the rolling electrification program, put out a competitive tender for modular bi-mode electric/diesel sets which would allow for replacement of the diesel module with a battery module (once the wires are extended far enough to bring batteries into play for the remaining distance off the wires) or a fuel cell module (if/when they ever become practical).
Once the bi-mode services are running on electric power in the metro area and the outer commuter belt served by the first electrification extensions, the increased property values (from improved air quality and reduced railway noise) would result in increases in land tax receipts which could (setting aside the Chairman Dan Credit Card problem for the sake of debate) go back into the system and help pay for the next round of electrification extension.
"hydrogen fairy" - really ?
Well that fantasy is actually going mainstream in 2 years.
And the alternate suggested is a unit that can swap deisel, battery, fuel cell modules; AND be bimodal with overhead sparks.
Does not exist anywhere in the world and you think any manufacturer would contemplate doing it for a minuscule production run like Victoria.
That is true fantasy.
Only existing and proven ( ie "cheap") technology is going to be bought.
Today that is Deisel.
Hydrogen is an option starting 2 years, probably 5 for biggish production.
Putting up sparks is not cheap - and ugly, not good for property values.
Like em or hate em, Vlocity are the standard fleet to keep costs down. V/Line can't get rid of the others quick enough.
Same thing for the next
generation which is at least 10 years away - a standard fleet that can be used on all lines of the network, that are bog simple and uncomplicated IE single-mode.
PS: you prevoiusly suggested, hydrogen is a non-starter because car manufacturers are finding it difficult.
A simple difference between car and trains - CARS CRASH A LOT -TRAINS DO NOT.