According to the websites below (and Google translator), the Spanish rail manufacturer Talgo/Bombardier have now built 495 variable-guage long-distance cars capable of speeds up to 250 km/hr (powered by AC, DC or diesel), and commenced service in 2009. An earlier model built by CAF/Alstrom has at least 344 cars in operation, has the same maximum speed, and commenced operation in 2006.
If variable-guage bogies could be ordered at little extra cost, how could they simplify Vline's operations ?
1. Variable-guage trains to Albury could use the double track broad guage to Seymour, then change to standard guage from Seymour to Albury. There would be more train paths available, and a greater reliability than when confined to the single track ARTC route south of Seymour. There could be cost savings in not having to pay ARTC charges for track paths south of Seymour.
2. The Albury service would not require a dedicated spare standard guage train set, but could be part of a larger pool of spares.
3. The freight network could be converted to standard guage operation without curtailing passenger services.
4. The Mildura line could be standard-guaged and Maryborough-Melbourne services change guage at Ballarat.pparton could still be serviced if the Seymour-Shepparton track were standard guage, by trains changing guage at Seymour.
5. Ararat services could be extended to Horsham.
6. The Overland could be replaced by a variable-guage train. This could save an hour on the Ararat-Melbourne sector by travelling via Ballarat, and save on ARTC track charges.
7. The Ballarat-Ararat line could be standard-guaged to provide an alternative freight path, and Ararat services change guage at Ballarat.
Any thoughts ? Or does Victoria only accept technologies from the Anglophone world ?