A-City trains

 
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Okay, thanks for that.  Can't recall when the order was completed but I believe 1995 as I recall that was the last of the Red Hens in revenue service.
don_dunstan
It was in 1996 - for both the last 3000/3100 cars entering service and the last Red Hens being withdrawn by TransAdelaide.

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  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
It was in 1996 - for both the last 3000/3100 cars entering service and the last Red Hens being withdrawn by TransAdelaide.
justapassenger

Okay thanks, wasn't sure of the exact dates.  I do recall riding on a Red Hen set on the Noarlunga Line during 1995 and overheard somebody saying they were due for scrapping; the lack of air-conditioning was annoying during those boiling hot Adelaide summers but at least you could sit next to an open door and get the breeze when the train was moving.  Imagine doing that now...lawyer's picnic.
  SAR520SMBH Train Controller

You're right, the lawyers would have a field day these days if that was happening.
But ahhh the memories. Going up the hill on the Belair line, seated next to the door, holding the door open with your foot and breathing in the diesel fumes along with the smell of the brakes.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
But ahhh the memories. Going up the hill on the Belair line, seated next to the door, holding the door open with your foot and breathing in the diesel fumes along with the smell of the brakes.
"SAR520SMBH"


I too remember those days Smile
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Okay thanks, wasn't sure of the exact dates.  I do recall riding on a Red Hen set on the Noarlunga Line during 1995 and overheard somebody saying they were due for scrapping; the lack of air-conditioning was annoying during those boiling hot Adelaide summers but at least you could sit next to an open door and get the breeze when the train was moving.  Imagine doing that now...lawyer's picnic.
don_dunstan
I know it was in 1996 because I rode one into the city when we went to see SA win the Sheffield Shield Final.

We normally would have driven back then, dad's Mini being far more cost effective than public transport for three, but the infamous design flaw of the front-mounted ignition coil was giving us grief at the time. We had to abandon it at the bottom of the street after 340 metres worth of bump start attempts and go for the backup option.

Ironically, just like the open doors on the Red Hens back then it was perfectly acceptable for the crowd to flood the ground as soon as the last ball of the match was safely defended! These days that's worth a fine of a few thousand dollars ... if the security guards catch you at least, which didn't happen with one nude streaker last season who came out of the members stand and made it across the ground, into the eastern grandstand construction zone and out into the parklands.

I still remember the smell of the brakes, oddly enough it came back to me exactly the same a couple of years ago riding my road bike on the descent of the Col du Télégraphe (after doing the Col du Galibier) near the French end of the Fréjus tunnel trans-Alpine route to Italy. It was the first time I had ever done a descent hard enough to cook the brakes on a carbon fibre rim, and it turned out with exactly the same smell as the Red Hen brakes had!
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
I can also remember two other things with the Redhen railcars both of which happened at Bowden railway station with two sets present one on each line.

The first was when two Red Hen sets were stationary in each platform if the doors were open you could step from one set to the other with no problems at all. I never did but I have seen it done though.

The other was the smashing of the old kerosene marker lights at Bowden usually on an express when both trains would rock over enough to make the lights actually hit. I thought it was just a myth till one day sitting in the back seat it happened on the train I was on, luckily it was a cold day and windows and doors were shut otherwise all would have been showered with the remains of an Adlake marker lamp and kerosene.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
You're right, the lawyers would have a field day these days if that was happening.
But ahhh the memories. Going up the hill on the Belair line, seated next to the door, holding the door open with your foot and breathing in the diesel fumes along with the smell of the brakes.
SAR520SMBH

I actually lived in Belair for a while and I too recall the Red Hens chugging uphill from the city or coasting down from the hills.  You never forget that metallic smell of the brake blocks - and they always seemed to take off much faster than their replacement 3000's.
  bramt Deputy Commissioner

Last cars were delivered to Adelaide on standard gauge transfer bogies & put on broad gauge bogies at the Dry Creek MPC. Required a special set of adapter hooks that were fitted to the existing lifting hooks. Wasn't many cars as I recall.
MaskedRailfan

So the last cars would have been towed by a loco (probably part of a regular freight train?) on SG transfer bogies to Adelaide. So probably something like, drive (or loco hauled) out the factory gate in Dandenong, to Melbourne City, bogie change to SG, hauled to Dry Creek, and be reunited with original bogies.

Wonder why they aren't doing the same with these new cars. Is Adelaide's loading gauge really different enough to prevent the new cars being hauled up the Dandenong suburban line, given the 3000 series are externally very similar to Melbourne electric comeng trains?
What is the exact length of the individual new cars? Is it the same as the VLocitys? Do they share the same external dimensions?
  SAR526 Chief Train Controller

Location: Adelaide, South Australia.
I actually lived in Belair for a while and I too recall the Red Hens chugging uphill from the city or coasting down from the hills.  You never forget that metallic smell of the brake blocks - and they always seemed to take off much faster than their replacement 3000's.
don_dunstan
I quite liked the smell of hot metal brake shoes, but that of the newer composition ones was abominable. I enjoyed sitting next to an open door in Red Hens but, for real thrills, riding the open end-platforms of steam hauled passenger cars through the tunnels to Aldgate left me both grimy and happy. The exhaust vapours were hot!  I still miss the smell of coal smoke.

A common sport for young bloods back then was to leave their bags with a friend on the train at Belair, run down the Old Belair Road and past Scotch College to Torrens Park, and rejoin the train. There was a real club atmosphere, with regular travellers occupying the same seats every day.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

So the last cars would have been towed by a loco (probably part of a regular freight train?) on SG transfer bogies to Adelaide. So probably something like, drive (or loco hauled) out the factory gate in Dandenong, to Melbourne City, bogie change to SG, hauled to Dry Creek, and be reunited with original bogies.

Wonder why they aren't doing the same with these new cars. Is Adelaide's loading gauge really different enough to prevent the new cars being hauled up the Dandenong suburban line, given the 3000 series are externally very similar to Melbourne electric comeng trains?
What is the exact length of the individual new cars? Is it the same as the VLocitys? Do they share the same external dimensions?
bramt

They are, according to a DPTI fact sheet, 3.050 metres wide (same as Wiki says about a Comeng) and 75.72 metres long (significantly longer than 71 metres for a Comeng) and we don't know if all three cars are exactly the same length yet. The lower part of the body doesn't appear to be as tucked in as the Comeng/3000 cars either, which could make a difference with platform clearances. My guess is that the length (especially the long nose) would cause problems in Melbourne around curved platforms, and that there would have to be numerous clearance-testing runs before it would be allowed to happen by the network regulator.

There does appear to be some cosmetic similarity to the VLo, but all that suggests is that Bombardier may have hired designers who had previously worked on new models of the Porsche 911. There are also clear differences as well, both visible and quantifiable, the A-City EMUs are 130mm wider (a significant amount when working with clearances on curved platforms) and don't appear to be tapered at the vehicle ends like a VLo. The body is an all-new design that is the first in Australia to comply with newer UIC crashworthiness standards, it's logical to expect it won't be exactly the same shape.

It doesn't matter anyway, the road delivery method using a roll-on/roll-off trailer is so significantly easier that nobody in their right mind would have selected the bogie transfer method for a short 800 km hop. All you need is a big flat truck, a ramp and a tractor or winch - compared to three sets of barrier wagons, lifting jacks, transfer bogies, multiple clearance runs and so on.

If we had a more generous loading gauge on the interstate line then the convenience might have tipped the way of using rail, with them loaded on a roll-on/roll-off flatcar to avoid mucking around with bogies. Even then, that doesn't resolve the loading gauge issue between Dandenong and the standard gauge freight terminal (or the need for set of barrier wagons for each city), and if you need road transport for that sector you may as well just keep going and use it for the full journey all the way to Seaford.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Ian, was it just as easy to run uphill or did you only do the downhill leg!

Justapassenger: It's hard enough to get track gauges compatible from state to state let alone loading gauges on top of that.  Two lots of bogie exchanges from broad to standard then back to broad; if only we had some kind of colonial oversight in the 1850's that insisted on Stephenson's gauge for the whole Australian continent.

Have there been any subsequent deliveries since the 4001 set was completed?  Just interested to know as nobody has said anything about it.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Ian, was it just as easy to run uphill or did you only do the downhill leg!
don_dunstan
Speaking even as a cyclist, no thanks to going up Old Belair Road!

I can easily beat even a non-stop standard gauge train from Mitcham to Belair on my carbon fibre race bike, going via either Belair Road or the Lynton-Belair Urban Link (the sealed track with the 20% gradient) that then takes you past St Johns on Gloucester Ave.

Beating a 3000 class stopping train to Glenalta wouldn't be a problem either, but it would take some serious training for me to be able to beat it to Blackwood. Best to leave that to some other notable local personality.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Speaking even as a cyclist, no thanks to going up Old Belair Road!

I can easily beat even a non-stop standard gauge train from Mitcham to Belair on my carbon fibre race bike, going via either Belair Road or the Lynton-Belair Urban Link (the sealed track with the 20% gradient) that then takes you past St Johns on Gloucester Ave.

Beating a 3000 class stopping train to Glenalta wouldn't be a problem either, but it would take some serious training for me to be able to beat it to Blackwood. Best to leave that to some other notable local personality.
justapassenger

Wow, I had no idea about that Lynton-Belair Link, what a fantastic idea for cycling into the hills, things have sure changed a lot for the better in Adelaide since I last lived there, lots more bike trails - a must if you love cycling (as I do). A friend of mine (also ex-Adelaide) remarked how much more 'city' like the city feels now with the tram going all the way down King William Street.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Speaking even as a cyclist, no thanks to going up Old Belair Road!

I can easily beat even a non-stop standard gauge train from Mitcham to Belair on my carbon fibre race bike, going via either Belair Road or the Lynton-Belair Urban Link (the sealed track with the 20% gradient) that then takes you past St Johns on Gloucester Ave.

Beating a 3000 class stopping train to Glenalta wouldn't be a problem either, but it would take some serious training for me to be able to beat it to Blackwood. Best to leave that to some other notable local personality.
"justapassenger"
It's been a while since I raced a down Belair train, but I agree it's a breeze against the freighters.

Only a few weeks ago a couple of mates and I raced a tram on foot from the Ent Cent to the Casino and beat it. A week or so later we left from Rundle Mall racing the tram, it just about level pegged us to South Terrace and we got to just short of the second pedestrian crossing after Greenhill Road, almost to Wayville before it overtook us again. By that stage we had insufficient energy for a decent race to Goodwood which was where we intended to get to first.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Wow, I had no idea about that Lynton-Belair Link, what a fantastic idea for cycling into the hills, things have sure changed a lot for the better in Adelaide since I last lived there, lots more bike trails - a must if you love cycling (as I do). A friend of mine (also ex-Adelaide) remarked how much more 'city' like the city feels now with the tram going all the way down King William Street.
don_dunstan
The Lynton-Belair trail is a lot better for cycling from the hills, you need a very short gear to get up the 20% gradient.

Did you also hear that there's a crucial new cycling link being built as part of the Kesville station project?

The walkway with the steep stairs underneath Anzac Highway in the centre of the rail corridor is being replaced with a new shared pathway under Anzac Highway on the eastern side of the corridor starting near the station, providing a link from the western parkland routes to the Marino Rocks Greenway (runs parallel to the Seaford rail corridor, links to Coast to Vines Trail at Marino Rocks and by extension the Patrick Jonker Veloway at Reynella and Hackham) and the Mike Turtur Bikeway (runs parallel to the tram corridor).

A federal-funded project incorporating a cycle facility, and a fair chance of a new Liberal member for Adelaide? All points to Kesville being officially opened by the incoming Prime Minister Abbott.
  Tonsley213 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Everywhere except South Kensington
Lets get back on bloody track.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It's been a while since I raced a down Belair train, but I agree it's a breeze against the freighters.
Aaron
Not so these days! The freight trains are significantly faster now that all the private operators are firmly on their feet and using almost exclusively modern locos that maintain speed all the way up, unless something is bent of course.

On Mitcham-Belair I would say beating a Metro requires a strong runner or a moderate cyclist, but beating a standard gauge train takes a strong cyclist.

I think a more interesting contest for a cyclist these days would be Blackwood to Adelaide against a city-bound train - and against traffic conditions. All three sealed descents from Belair to Torrens Park (that's Old Belair Road, Belair Road and the Lynton-Belair Urban Link) are quite technical and have numerous medium-slow corners, so they don't present as much of an opportunity to gain time as you might think.

Only a few weeks ago a couple of mates and I raced a tram on foot from the Ent Cent to the Casino and beat it. A week or so later we left from Rundle Mall racing the tram, it just about level pegged us to South Terrace and we got to just short of the second pedestrian crossing after Greenhill Road, almost to Wayville before it overtook us again. By that stage we had insufficient energy for a decent race to Goodwood which was where we intended to get to first.
Aaron

Racing the full length of the tram route on the city streets on the Mike Turtur Bikeway (which is partially separated, partially on local streets) is a good test for a cyclist, because of the energy consumed by all the standing starts at traffic lights and crossings. I tried this a few years ago on my old commuter bike, I lost it on the long stop-free run past Morphetville Racecourse.
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
While I agree that we should probably get back on track with discussing the A-Trains, the problem with moving this thread to the "Lounge" will probably result in it being forgotten and I've found it very interesting to chat about all the new things happening in SA.

It's kinda relevant to SA trains because I recall when I was last living in SA loads of cyclists used to get the Belair train up to the National Park on the weekend and then coast down either Old Belair Road or some other way; interesting that they now have this new route from Lynton to Belair.  From memory it was such a popular thing to do that they couldn't send a single 3000 up there during the day or it would get too crowded.  I'm guessing that it's still a popular pass-time for cyclists in Adelaide?

I haven't seen a layout for the A-Trains but I'd imagine there's a large vestibule area at either end for cyclists/wheelchairs?  And before someone corrects me, yes, I'm aware that they won't be running on the Belair line into the foreseeable future.
  85trainfan Train Controller

Location: If only I Knew, that would make 2 of us :)
When the Seaford Extension is opened and the A-Cities are in service, you can catch a train to Hallet Cove, then cycle the Coast to Vine trail (The old Willunga Rail line) to either Seaford Meadows or Seaford, then train it back.
Smile
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Not so these days! The freight trains are significantly faster now that all the private operators are firmly on their feet and using almost exclusively modern locos that maintain speed all the way up, unless something is bent of course.

On Mitcham-Belair I would say beating a Metro requires a strong runner or a moderate cyclist, but beating a standard gauge train takes a strong cyclist.

I think a more interesting contest for a cyclist these days would be Blackwood to Adelaide against a city-bound train - and against traffic conditions. All three sealed descents from Belair to Torrens Park (that's Old Belair Road, Belair Road and the Lynton-Belair Urban Link) are quite technical and have numerous medium-slow corners, so they don't present as much of an opportunity to gain time as you might think.


Racing the full length of the tram route on the city streets on the Mike Turtur Bikeway (which is partially separated, partially on local streets) is a good test for a cyclist, because of the energy consumed by all the standing starts at traffic lights and crossings. I tried this a few years ago on my old commuter bike, I lost it on the long stop-free run past Morphetville Racecourse.
"justapassenger"
Probably 5 to 10 years ago that I went for a serious ride up the hill (down the route), modern timetables are probably faster these days. Should give the tram a race on the bike, it's not quite the same these days but I used to be able to turn a sprocket and in my mid to late teens I was a pretty good middle distance runner. The mate who's idea it was for the vs tram run was a champion triathlete across the 90s and early 00s. Brings back memories of a 3000m race (in 96 or 97) when I forgot I'd let him, among some others, go at the start. It wasn't a straight forward round the oval type track and as I passed the other runners I thought I was comfortably leading. I ran 10 minutes 45 or something and was quite happy until I found that he'd run nearly 9 minutes flat - just about professional competition speed. He was pretty confident that if we could race the tram over 51.5km with 1.5km of that in the water off Glenelg we'd beat the tram fairly easily.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
So the last cars would have been towed by a loco (probably part of a regular freight train?) on SG transfer bogies to Adelaide. So probably something like, drive (or loco hauled) out the factory gate in Dandenong, to Melbourne City, bogie change to SG, hauled to Dry Creek, and be reunited with original bogies.

Wonder why they aren't doing the same with these new cars. Is Adelaide's loading gauge really different enough to prevent the new cars being hauled up the Dandenong suburban line, given the 3000 series are externally very similar to Melbourne electric comeng trains?
What is the exact length of the individual new cars? Is it the same as the VLocitys? Do they share the same external dimensions?
bramt
I had posted on this in a previous thread somewhere, it is not simply towing them from Dandy to Dynon to Dry Creek to Seaford any more, in those days they only had to deal with AN and Vline, now there are so many operators and they all want their cut, Bombardier explored all the options and wisely for them chose the cheapest and best option based on a business practice and not a desire to please gunzels, as it is, the system they have come up with is brilliant, works well and is a far quicker option that moving them by rail.

Wayne
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
While I agree that we should probably get back on track with discussing the A-Trains, the problem with moving this thread to the "Lounge" will probably result in it being forgotten and I've found it very interesting to chat about all the new things happening in SA.

It's kinda relevant to SA trains because I recall when I was last living in SA loads of cyclists used to get the Belair train up to the National Park on the weekend and then coast down either Old Belair Road or some other way; interesting that they now have this new route from Lynton to Belair.  From memory it was such a popular thing to do that they couldn't send a single 3000 up there during the day or it would get too crowded.  I'm guessing that it's still a popular pass-time for cyclists in Adelaide?

I haven't seen a layout for the A-Trains but I'd imagine there's a large vestibule area at either end for cyclists/wheelchairs?  And before someone corrects me, yes, I'm aware that they won't be running on the Belair line into the foreseeable future.
don_dunstan
They pulled half the seats out of a 2100 in about 2000 (give or take) for this service, it must have only been a fad as they re seated that car about 6 years ago, so maybe the pass-time is popular but not popular enough for PTS to keep the service, the scenario being do you keep one unique car for weekend only use in which other commuters complain about having to stand up in during the week (friggin nanny state commuters, I want a seat to sit on and to put my bags on so nobody else can sit next to me , baaawaaawaaa), or do you provide said car with seats for the nanny brigade and bugger the cyclists on the weekends, (if we ignore them they will go away?).

Wayne
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
They pulled half the seats out of a 2100 in about 2000 (give or take) for this service, it must have only been a fad as they re seated that car about 6 years ago, so maybe the pass-time is popular but not popular enough for PTS to keep the service, the scenario being do you keep one unique car for weekend only use in which other commuters complain about having to stand up in during the week (friggin nanny state commuters, I want a seat to sit on and to put my bags on so nobody else can sit next to me , baaawaaawaaa), or do you provide said car with seats for the nanny brigade and bugger the cyclists on the weekends, (if we ignore them they will go away?).

Wayne
hosk1956
I remember years ago there was a bus based at Morphettville converted to carry a number of wheelchairs by removing the seats.

It had a secondary purpose in dealing with unruly school kids - a couple of days of this bus on their school run usually sorted them out!
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Wayne.

Regarding seating.

Sitting in the train allows time to catch up on work or reading. If I can't do that I might as well drive.

Commuting is wasted time an reading allows it to be used profitably. Hanging on to a strap makes reading difficult.

Ian
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

There needs to be a balance though, taking up too much space with too many seats and at peak times you'll run the risk of reading your book at the station waiting for the next train.

I think that 240 seats in each three car unit is probably about the right balance for a medium-distance heavy rail commuter train. The pictures of the interior we have so far confirm that this appears to have been thought through properly with appropriate consideration for getting a decent number of seats in while also minimising the amount of space they take up. The elimination of facing rows (which take up more space than rows facing the same way) and three-seat rows (where the middle seat is rarely filled and therefore might as well not exist) are both good ways to get seats in while also leaving plenty of space for wheelchair users, cyclists, heavy peak commuter loads and crowds heading home from big events at Adelaide Oval or Elder Park.

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