Modernising / Refurbishing the N Class Carriages

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I have observed some comments in different threads relating to the N sets recently. Comments on the issues with bogie replacement for the Z sets, and that N sets (built on the 1980's) are supposed to be capable of 130 kph on the SG north east line.
Also some comments and links to pictures of older carriages in the UK (1980's) being refurbished very effectively.

  • Can the N sets from the 1980''s be refurbished?
  • What upgrades are feasible?
  • Can they currently run at 130kph? Or do they need new bogies to do this?
  • Is it really worth trying to keep the very old Z sets going? Or should we just let them be replaced with newer rolling stock?

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  Carnot Chief Commissioner

I think the question could be: Is V/Line and the travelling public happy to continue using carriages of a mid-20th century design beyond the year 2020?

The Z-cars probably have a few years left in them now that most have had replacement bogies fitted.

Another way of putting it is that the US Air Force still uses bombers designed in the 1950s and built in the early 1960s (B-52H Stratofortress)....
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Just about anything can be refurbished with a sufficient number of new heads and handles it becomes largely a matter of economics but the Z cars are now ~50 odd years old and we should be looking for something better. To my way of thinking to simply replace their bogies with similar era technology (as has/is being done) is a waste of money.

Personally, I don't like Vlocitys as I find them noisy and the seats uncomfortable, but if they are the way of the future we should be upgrading/building some to cover longer haul trains like Albury etc with refreshments, better seats, on train information/entertainment etc like so many services in Europe. Presumably the interior can be designed to just about any configuration.

On the other hand, I always feel more comfortable (secure?) with a locomotive at the front but I suppose that we could always fill the end cars with concrete!
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

  • What upgrades are feasible?

The N sets in use on the sg have been upgraded and re-furbished.  This includes air conditioning with a greater cooling capacity .  The remaining  41 cars on bg could be similarly upgraded.

  • Can they currently run at 130kph? Or do they need new bogies to do this?

The sg sets had altered springing and dampers fitted so as to permit operation on the Albury sg line as loco hauled at 130kmh.
The on going disgraceful condition of the North East sg lines  has to date prevented 130kmh loco hauled operation from being introduced . No new bogies are not required, just modifications to achieve 130 kmh on the Vickers Ruwolt bogies.

  • Is it really worth trying to keep the very old Z sets going? Or should we just let them be replaced with newer rolling stock?

Well they are not Z sets, rather Z cars that have been upgraded interior wise to N car standards, then re-classified as BZN or BTN .  These two car classes provide both the disabled wheelchair spaces, and a wheelchair accesible toilet in each N car consist (as required by law). .  As such under normal circumstances one  BZN or BTN car is usually included in each bg N set as either a fourth or fifth car .
It is a damning endightment on VLP that the saga of new bogie frames for the Z cars has dragged on so long .  Why it is taking so long to get these new frames from wherever is just ridiculous after 3 years plus.

The N/Z cars are  30 - 60 years old and as such we should probably be looking for a more modern early replacement for the Inter City services to  Warrnambool, Swan Hill, Albury and Bairnsdale .  When the N cars were built they were intended as Inter Urban cars, and were based on the 1950,s Z car design but fitted with underfloor diesel alternators . For new stock we should probably look at either 5 car  Inter City V/Locity type consists or 5 car  push/pull  Inter City consists like the  NSW  XPT sets .  13 x 5 car sets would cover both gauges with spares .  (Shepparton would be best upgraded to Class 2 track and operated with V/Locity sets achieving a 2 hour travel time with 130kmh operation.)
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Just about anything can be refurbished with a sufficient number of new heads and handles it becomes largely a matter of economics but the Z cars are now ~50 odd years old and we should be looking for something better. To my way of thinking to simply replace their bogies with similar era technology (as has/is being done) is a waste of money.

Personally, I don't like Vlocitys as I find them noisy and the seats uncomfortable, but if they are the way of the future we should be upgrading/building some to cover longer haul trains like Albury etc with refreshments, better seats, on train information/entertainment etc like so many services in Europe. Presumably the interior can be designed to just about any configuration.

On the other hand, I always feel more comfortable (secure?) with a locomotive at the front but I suppose that we could always fill the end cars with concrete!
YM-Mundrabilla
"Personally, I don't like Vlocitys as I find them noisy and the seats uncomfortable, but if they are the way of the future we should be upgrading/building some to cover longer haul trains like Albury etc with refreshments, better seats, on train information/entertainment etc like so many services in Europe. Presumably the interior can be designed to just about any configuration."

Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.

I just find it galling that the Metro Service responsible for some 222 Million Journeys per annum, gets ordered the cheapest off the shelf stock like the Xtrapolis, an obsolete platform, in which the trains do not even have air suspension. And they are ordering more of these trains. Where as the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo and Traralgon corridors (11 Million Journeys PA) get start of the art custom built trains at a cost of $30 Million a pop for a 6 Car consist. And I just hope to god that the Government is not going to order VLocity trains for the mooted Bendigo metro!!!

Michael
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: North Haverbrook; where the monorail is king!
Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.
mejhammers1

Zombie trains? Halloween's over, mate.

Refurbing the Hitachis and the remaining A class would be throwing good money after bad. You want a 'quick' solution? Build more Vlos! Need a spare set of carriages? Hire sets of steel-bodied cars from 707 Ops and Steamrail!

You want a more permanent solution? Join in with TfNSW's XPT replacement project.

As for the comments about Xtraps... get over it. You get what you paid for. I can't wait for Alstom to win the High Capacity Train tender with a fully sick 7-car Xtrap set Laughing
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

For new stock we should probably look at either 5 car  Inter City V/Locity type consists or 5 car  push/pull  Inter City consists like the  NSW  XPT sets .  13 x 5 car sets would cover both gauges with spares .  (Shepparton would be best upgraded to Class 2 track and operated with V/Locity sets achieving a 2 hour travel time with 130kmh operation.)

Hi Kuldalai

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I agree that Shepparton should be class 2 for V Locities, should have happened years ago!

For a long haul 5 car DMU set, I think that it should be powered car (with driver's cab) + trailer car + powered car + trailer car + powered car (with driver's cab). With the powered cars each having 1000 hp under the floor. This technology already exists.  So 3 out of 5 cars gives you 3000hp. More than enough for a 5 car set. Keep in mind that the powered cars are around 64 tons, and the trailers around 40 tons. So 64 + 40 + 64 + 40 + 64 = 272 tons. Also if you use diesel electric as DEMU's, you have lighter units and a quieter ride. Diesel hydraulic is heavier and noisier.

In comparison, a modern 3000 hp passenger locomotive would weight at least 126 tons, plus 5 cars at 40 tons each, so a total of 236 tons. Oh, and you have 24 driving wheels with the DMU, compared to 12 for a locomotive. So better and ore efficient traction.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.

Zombie trains? Halloween's over, mate.

Refurbing the Hitachis and the remaining A class would be throwing good money after bad. You want a 'quick' solution? Build more Vlos! Need a spare set of carriages? Hire sets of steel-bodied cars from 707 Ops and Steamrail!

You want a more permanent solution? Join in with TfNSW's XPT replacement project.

As for the comments about Xtraps... get over it. You get what you paid for. I can't wait for Alstom to win the High Capacity Train tender with a fully sick 7-car Xtrap set Laughing
LancedDendrite
Build more Vlocities at $6 Million per car, sod that!!

"As for the comments about Xtraps... get over it. You get what you paid for."

Yeah and I suppose V/Line passengers pay for their hideously expensive trains!!! XTraps are smeg!!!

If NZ can refurbish BR Mark II stock dating from the 1970's then we in Victoria can do the same with our old stock. It can be done to a high standard as shown here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_British_Rail_Mark_2_carriage#/media/File:NZR-EA-Wellington3.jpg

As for the comments about Xtraps... get over it. You get what you paid for. I can't wait for Alstom to win the High Capacity Train tender with a fully sick 7-car Xtrap set.

Surely you are being sarcastic. xtraps are crap. Rather like the Victorian Metropolitan Rail system.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

For new stock we should probably look at either 5 car  Inter City V/Locity type consists or 5 car  push/pull  Inter City consists like the  NSW  XPT sets .  13 x 5 car sets would cover both gauges with spares .  (Shepparton would be best upgraded to Class 2 track and operated with V/Locity sets achieving a 2 hour travel time with 130kmh operation.)

Hi Kuldalai

Thanks for clearing that up for me. I agree that Shepparton should be class 2 for V Locities, should have happened years ago!

For a long haul 5 car DMU set, I think that it should be powered car (with driver's cab) + trailer car + powered car + trailer car + powered car (with driver's cab). With the powered cars each having 1000 hp under the floor. This technology already exists.  So 3 out of 5 cars gives you 3000hp. More than enough for a 5 car set. Keep in mind that the powered cars are around 64 tons, and the trailers around 40 tons. So 64 + 40 + 64 + 40 + 64 = 272 tons. Also if you use diesel electric as DEMU's, you have lighter units and a quieter ride. Diesel hydraulic is heavier and noisier.

In comparison, a modern 3000 hp passenger locomotive would weight at least 126 tons, plus 5 cars at 40 tons each, so a total of 236 tons. Oh, and you have 24 driving wheels with the DMU, compared to 12 for a locomotive. So better and ore efficient traction.
Duncs

I do not know of a 1000BHP diesel that will fit under floor at the current floor heights, such engines from both Cat and Cummins being way to big.

For a light weight modern high power pass loco consider something like the British Rail class 68, 85 tons 71,000lbf tractive effort. Prime mover is a Cat 175-16 ACERT locomotive engine 2800kW (3766BHP) of this 500kW is availible for for the trains power supply (head end power).
One of these hauling a 6 car set (last car having a drivers cab and decent sized storage area for bikes, scooters and luggage),  (the cab is so loco does not have to swap ends). Total train weight 360 tons with a traction power of something under 3000bhp, this gives a power to weight ratio of just over 8bhp/ton, barely adequate for a 160kph train. Would be completely satisfactory though at 130kph.

In case anyone is wondering about my power to weight figures being so high a VLocity is around 10.3bhp/ton it can only climb a 1 in 48 grade at around 105kph, the amount of power availible not being enough to go any faster.

woodford
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.

Zombie trains? Halloween's over, mate.

Refurbing the Hitachis and the remaining A class would be throwing good money after bad. You want a 'quick' solution? Build more Vlos! Need a spare set of carriages? Hire sets of steel-bodied cars from 707 Ops and Steamrail!

You want a more permanent solution? Join in with TfNSW's XPT replacement project.

As for the comments about Xtraps... get over it. You get what you paid for. I can't wait for Alstom to win the High Capacity Train tender with a fully sick 7-car Xtrap set Laughing

If NZ can refurbish BR Mark II stock dating from the 1970's then we in Victoria can do the same with our old stock. It can be done to a high standard as shown here.
mejhammers1

Personally speaking, most of the refurbished stuff is smeg. A's frames are way past the use by date, and require two crew with the addition of no HEP. And with 5 carriages, they'd probably be very slow as well.

Harris refurbs over long distances are appauling, as they ride rough and have a bad interior layout. I suspect the MK3 BR coaches would work well in a refurb because they WERE designed for long distances in the first place!!!!

And the final point: no use rebuilding things because it will end up costing about the same as a clean sheet design, ala the A class rebuilds.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

When  I mentioned 1000hp, I was referring to the WA Prospector as a current example, which has two 500hp engines under floor.   That is where my 1000hp comes from. I am interested in what three powered units (1000 hp each) and two trailer units can achieve.

Otherwise if locomotives are to be used, then the Vosloh Eurolight is an option. You can get a 20 ton axle load and 3750hp, plus head end power. Its basic top speed is 140 kph. A version is used in the UK at 160KPH. But if we go down that path, then the 3750 hp version, not 3100 hp version. As you need the extra hp for climbing.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

When  I mentioned 1000hp, I was referring to the WA Prospector as a current example, which has two 500hp engines under floor.   That is where my 1000hp comes from. I am interested in what three powered units (1000 hp each) and two trailer units can achieve.

Otherwise if locomotives are to be used, then the Vosloh Eurolight is an option. You can get a 20 ton axle load and 3750hp, plus head end power. Its basic top speed is 140 kph. A version is used in the UK at 160KPH. But if we go down that path, then the 3750 hp version, not 3100 hp version. As you need the extra hp for climbing.
Duncs
Inter City wise a train with push/pull  diesel electric units with HEP on each end, and five cars in the middle is propabaly the better option in that locos on each end are not going to require the extent of lx protection required for 130kmhoperation compared  with the other option of Inter City  DMU sets .
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Personally, I don't like Vlocitys as I find them noisy and the seats uncomfortable, but if they are the way of the future we should be upgrading/building some to cover longer haul trains like Albury etc with refreshments, better seats, on train information/entertainment etc like so many services in Europe. Presumably the interior can be designed to just about any configuration.
Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.
mejhammers1
Wait, wait. What? Wait. Let's run through this.

Hitachis, XPT, A Class. All are/will be retired because they're old, and life expired. And you want to refurb them and use them on Victorian regional pass?

Are you mad?

Look at it another way: V/Line's H Sets are refurbed Harris cars, and they're awful. Simply awful. Some of the worst vehicles I've ever been in. What makes you think that refurbished Hitachis would be any better? Why am I even asking that question...
  woodford Chief Commissioner

Thanks Woodford

When  I mentioned 1000hp, I was referring to the WA Prospector as a current example, which has two 500hp engines under floor.   That is where my 1000hp comes from. I am interested in what three powered units (1000 hp each) and two trailer units can achieve.

Otherwise if locomotives are to be used, then the Vosloh Eurolight is an option. You can get a 20 ton axle load and 3750hp, plus head end power. Its basic top speed is 140 kph. A version is used in the UK at 160KPH. But if we go down that path, then the 3750 hp version, not 3100 hp version. As you need the extra hp for climbing.
Duncs
Three cars each with 2 engine and transmission units means the set has 6 engine and transmissions where as  a 5 car all powered is only 5 engines and transmissions, its likely this would be a cheaper option. Note: the power to weight ratio for both sets would be similiar.
I still maintain for any pass unit to be used in Victoria will require a power to weight ratio of better than 10 bhp/ton, which means we are looking at DMU of some kind or my favored option of a push/pull DE loco and pass car set. If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running any thing less will NOT have enough power. To provide a decent level of reserve tractive effort above 130kph in order for the set to climb hills well and acelerate at a reasonable rate requires really high powers.

woodford
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
woodford
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@mejhammers1 We could continue buying state-of-the-art Vlocities and buy state-of-the-art Alstom Metropolis sets instead of X'Traps!
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

Personally, I don't like Vlocitys as I find them noisy and the seats uncomfortable, but if they are the way of the future we should be upgrading/building some to cover longer haul trains like Albury etc with refreshments, better seats, on train information/entertainment etc like so many services in Europe. Presumably the interior can be designed to just about any configuration.
Personally I hope not. I hope that V/Line will source existing trains, like the 42 Carriages left of the Hitachi EMU's and complete gut them and do a complete refurb. Then to a re-traction of the A Class locos to pull them. Or if NSW are getting rid of their XPT's, then Victoria should arrange to purchase them.
Wait, wait. What? Wait. Let's run through this.

Hitachis, XPT, A Class. All are/will be retired because they're old, and life expired. And you want to refurb them and use them on Victorian regional pass?

Are you mad?

Look at it another way: V/Line's H Sets are refurbed Harris cars, and they're awful. Simply awful. Some of the worst vehicles I've ever been in. What makes you think that refurbished Hitachis would be any better? Why am I even asking that question...
michaelgreenhill
Hitachis, XPT, A Class. All are/will be retired because they're old, and life expired. And you want to refurb them and use them on Victorian regional pass?

Its better than nothing, the Victorian Government is not going to spend serious money on new stock for the Albury, Bairnsdale, Warrnambool, Swan Hill and Shepparton corridors, that is plain to see from their Rolling Stock Strategy.

They will receive cascades when the RRL + Seymour corridors get their extra Vlocities, which means it will be refurbished life expired rolling stock for the Non RRL corridors, either way.

Michael
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Its better than nothing, the Victorian Government is not going to spend serious money on new stock for the Albury, Bairnsdale, Warrnambool, Swan Hill and Shepparton corridors, that is plain to see from their Rolling Stock Strategy.

They will receive cascades when the RRL + Seymour corridors get their extra Vlocities, which means it will be refurbished life expired rolling stock for the Non RRL corridors, either way.
mejhammers1
The key point is the cascaded rollingstock is:
  1. Already serviceable
  2. Already fit for use in Victoria
  3. A known entity


You're proposing the gummint spend hundreds of millions buying, refurbishing and certifying crap rollingstock. I applaud your out-of-the-box thinking, but it's not realistic.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?
jamesbushell.au
With  new Inter City tarin sets whether they are  5 car DMU sets or  5 car  push/pull  DE loco sets the question of max speed is this .  Is it worth getting them geared for 160 kmh running or stick with 130 kmh .

Now come to the routes these sets would be used on Warrnambool (Class-2 track)  , Swan Hill (Class 3) , Albury  (Class 1.5 ) & Bairnsdale (Class 3.)   Potentially on existing track class with adequate lx protection allowing 130kmh, 115kmh, 130kmh, and 115kmh.

Realistically best one could justify is upgrading  Swan Hill to Class 2 and  Traralgon - Sale also to Class 2 allowing 130kmh .

But those Inter City trains would be travelling over Class 1 track allowing 160kmh between  Southern Cross, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo and Traralgon en route to the longer distance destinations .

So if their is an  extra cost of gearing any new trains for 160kmh (rather than 130kmh) then they will just be done as 130kmh. However if 130/160 is similar, and acceleration with 160kmh gearing is no worse then possibly yes, otherwise 130 is your answer.
  L1150 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Pakenham Vic.
If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
woodford
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?
"jamesbushell.au"

James, 160Kmph running is regularly achieved on all four of our regional lines. I strongly recommend that you take a ride on the 4.58pm down Traralgon flagship service. This train runs express Warragul to Moe with much of the running at close to 160. The last time I rode on it, I noted the passing times of Yarragon and Trafalgar. (non stop) gave a time of 3 minutes and 4 seconds, which is an average speed of 156 Kmph.
There was a period of time when after some serious level crossing accidents that the XPT was restricted to a lower speed but last year on a trip from Sydney to Melbourne, south of Wagga we were running at a consistent 160.
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?

James, 160Kmph running is regularly achieved on all four of our regional lines. I strongly recommend that you take a ride on the 4.58pm down Traralgon flagship service. This train runs express Warragul to Moe with much of the running at close to 160. The last time I rode on it, I noted the passing times of Yarragon and Trafalgar. (non stop) gave a time of 3 minutes and 4 seconds, which is an average speed of 156 Kmph.
There was a period of time when after some serious level crossing accidents that the XPT was restricted to a lower speed but last year on a trip from Sydney to Melbourne, south of Wagga we were running at a consistent 160.
L1150
Ok, that's good to know.  I have been on the XPT at 160 or more (when quite young) and it was great but after the level crossing accidents I though that ARTC had limited the speeds pretty well permanently.
  kuldalai Chief Commissioner

If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?

James, 160Kmph running is regularly achieved on all four of our regional lines. I strongly recommend that you take a ride on the 4.58pm down Traralgon flagship service. This train runs express Warragul to Moe with much of the running at close to 160. The last time I rode on it, I noted the passing times of Yarragon and Trafalgar. (non stop) gave a time of 3 minutes and 4 seconds, which is an average speed of 156 Kmph.
There was a period of time when after some serious level crossing accidents that the XPT was restricted to a lower speed but last year on a trip from Sydney to Melbourne, south of Wagga we were running at a consistent 160.
Ok, that's good to know.  I have been on the XPT at 160 or more (when quite young) and it was great but after the level crossing accidents I though that ARTC had limited the speeds pretty well permanently.
jamesbushell.au
The ARTC provides (at least is supposed to ) a track fit for operation of various train types, both passenger and freight at various speeds by train type as specified by the Operator .

In the case of freight trains the higher the axle load the lower the speed.

So ARTC does not limit the speeds in the case of the XPT, it is Countrylink or whoever they call themselves these days that chose to run at  130kmh instead of 160 kmh following a number of lx  collisions with motor traffic .
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
If one is REALLY wanting 160kph running
Can I just take this on a tangent and ask if 160kph running is at all possible on the network?  I know in NSW between Junee and Albury some parts used to be able to do that speed, but this I believe is now 130kph max.  Vic is the same.  So should 160kph be planned for if its never going to be allowed?

James, 160Kmph running is regularly achieved on all four of our regional lines. I strongly recommend that you take a ride on the 4.58pm down Traralgon flagship service. This train runs express Warragul to Moe with much of the running at close to 160. The last time I rode on it, I noted the passing times of Yarragon and Trafalgar. (non stop) gave a time of 3 minutes and 4 seconds, which is an average speed of 156 Kmph.
There was a period of time when after some serious level crossing accidents that the XPT was restricted to a lower speed but last year on a trip from Sydney to Melbourne, south of Wagga we were running at a consistent 160.
Ok, that's good to know.  I have been on the XPT at 160 or more (when quite young) and it was great but after the level crossing accidents I though that ARTC had limited the speeds pretty well permanently.
The ARTC provides (at least is supposed to ) a track fit for operation of various train types, both passenger and freight at various speeds by train type as specified by the Operator .

In the case of freight trains the higher the axle load the lower the speed.

So ARTC does not limit the speeds in the case of the XPT, it is Countrylink or whoever they call themselves these days that chose to run at  130kmh instead of 160 kmh following a number of lx  collisions with motor traffic .
kuldalai
NSW Trains, that's who I was thinking about who limited them.  Internal risk management I guess.
  woodford Chief Commissioner

SG line from Melbourne to Albury has a 130kph limit, Last time I was on the XPT it cruised at 120kph on the dot, this being the maximum speed for the unsignaled level crossings. There being some thing like 6 to 8 of these between Seymour and Albury, most are between Euroa and Wangarratta.

woodford
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Looking back over all this... My thanks to Kuldalai and Woodford for some valuable information.

I think a push pull unit with diesels at each end is the best option. Something with enough power to comfortable do 160 kph where that speed is allowed is the best way to go. So around 3000 hp at each end for a total of 6000 hp. That covers all the climbs outside of Melbourne. Eg Kynton and Heathcote Junction. Plus a good acceleration up to 160 kph.

I agree with Kuldalai regarding the track upgrades he mentioned earlier for Swan Hill, Sale, Bairnsdale and Warrnambool. Plus the added collision safety factor of a power car at each end of the train for unprotected level crossings.

Another advantage of that much power is the five carriages envisaged can later be expanded to 6 or 7 as required, with no drop off in performance. Keep in mind the XPT is 4000 hp in total for a maximum of seven cars, and its cousin in the UK (the British HST) is 5000 HP for 8 cars.

Woodford, I recall you mentioned the Vossloh Eurolight as a possible locomotive for a push pull set up. I think your idea of two of these units with single cabs at each end of the train could work. I would selected the slighter lighter 3100 hp version with a 19 ton axle load. So 6200 hp, less any HEP.

Duncs

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