Do you think the Canberra xplorer and Goulburn Endevour should be run as a single combined service?

 
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
With regard to the South Coast, it's still not clear how the service will operate after the retirement of the Endeavours.  The CAF short Intercity sets will almost certainly replace them on the non-electrified network, but whether they extend further north is still to be seen.  Upon reflection, they could do that now to at least Wollongong for local services with the Endeavours, but it would require another set.  

We're getting off-topic a bit, but it appears that the new 10 car D sets will operate from Wollongong to Sydney, but it doesn't seem to be clear how services south of Wollongong will operate on both the electrified and non-electrified network.

The local MP is making a big song and dance about the new crossing loop meaning a 30 min service to Nowra.  That needs another set, and they havn't ordered enough CAFS to fulfill that, nor enough Ds for a 30 min service to Kiama.

I raised the Picton electrification as I think
a) It's needed (at least to Menangle)
b) It'll change the roster for Highlands service to needing 2 DMUS for hourly Mossy - Picton (as now), 3 for a 30/45 min peak service frequency or 4 for full 30 min frequency.

That makes a Picton - Goulburn or even Picton - Canberra local service with one of the freed up sets seem viable - perhaps connecting with a D-Set.
djf01

If it happens it will be to Picton

Yes potential to increase services in frequency and more to Goulburn.

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  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
So I think some big Fed/State project to extend T9(?) to at least Menangle, probably also Picton - perhaps even tripling the line for a separate ARTC route is on the cards.
The T9 is the main north from strathfield to Hornsby. You would be thinking of the T8 extending to Menangle or picton. I would like the feds to help pay for a new freight bypass to bargo utilising the unfinished bridge of the maldon to dombarton line.

The best place to have a maintenence centre is in Sydney. Personally I would have liked to have seen more carriages ordered and multiple facilities around the state to more easily provide backup services in case of breakdowns.
simstrain
M-D line mostly mimics the existing line via Robertson and why unlikely to be built.

MTCE are high cost items and store millions of dollars in spares and support industries around them. You don't just build there all over the place. The new trains have a high degree on modular design and will have exchange and repair type operations.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

M-D line mostly mimics the existing line via Robertson and why unlikely to be built.

MTCE are high cost items and store millions of dollars in spares and support industries around them. You don't just build there all over the place. The new trains have a high degree on modular design and will have exchange and repair type operations.
RTT_Rules
I never said to build the whole MD line just to use the half built bridge to bypass the line to picton for freight between  douglas park and bargo.

MTCE should be a no brainer at broadmeadow since there is already a site there for the hunters and endeavours. At the very least if enough units were ordered it could be used as a depot at the very least.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes, that's an unfortunate consequence of basing the maintenance centre in Dubbo, when that particular service doesn't warrant a once daily 6 car service
Dubbo will work, and Goulburn is completely unsuited as all Regional sets would have to run empty to/from Sydney for routine maintenance. Dubbo and Armidale warrant 6-car Long trains because a 3-car Short Regional will have fewer seats than a 3-car Xplorer.
NSWRcars
I don't agree.  Assuming a like for like replacement with the new CAF trains and based on current operations, Dubbo has 1 return XPT service per day.  Bathurst, which is 200km away from Dubbo, has 2 return Endeavour services per day and a weekly return Xplorer service to Broken Hill, which also doesn't pass through Dubbo. There would be a lot of dead running, up to 400km return for Endeavours from Bathurst and 800km return for Xplorers from Sydney and their CAF equivalents.

On the other hand, Goulburn has up to 9 return services per day (2xMelb XPT + 3xCan XPL + 4xSHL END) and a twice weekly return Xplorer service to Griffith, using all Regional train types.  While the Endeavours wouldn't require any dead running, the through XPT and Xplorers would only require a maximum of 400km return from Sydney.  Still not ideal, but I agree with sims that the major maintenance centre should have been based in Sydney to reduce dead running, which would be inevitable whether it was based in Dubbo or Goulburn.

It's still not clear how the different CAF sets will operate, but as others have remarked, there's not much leeway to change the existing service patterns, let alone increase services.  For example, the XPTs currently require up to 9 sets (I think) to operate the existing services to Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubbo and the North Coast, which would leave 1 spare set for maintenance for the CAF replacements.  There's been a push to introduce a second daily Dubbo service and my contention is that it should be operated by 3 car Xplorers and the CAF equivalent, which would be 6 cars per day.  There's no chance of the 6 car long distance Regional sets travelling to Armidale, as apart from the fact that there would be no spare sets to provide this service, they would have to divide at Werris Creek for the Moree service.  The long distance 6 car sets are not divisable.  It would most likely continue with 2x3 car short Regional sets.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The best place to have a maintenence centre is in Sydney.
The Regional Rail Project includes Momentum Trains operating the Sydenham maintenance centre - no need to send a CAF out to Dubbo for repairs.
NSWRcars
That's true, but it will only be for daily servicing between runs and minor maintenance.  Major overhauls and maintenance will be undertaken at Dubbo for all CAF sets, whereas it would have been more sensible and economical to use the existing Sydenham XPT facility for that purpose, which is more centrally located for all regional lines.  The selection of Dubbo was nothing more than a sop to the National Socialists.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
M-D line mostly mimics the existing line via Robertson and why unlikely to be built.

MTCE are high cost items and store millions of dollars in spares and support industries around them. You don't just build there all over the place. The new trains have a high degree on modular design and will have exchange and repair type operations.
I never said to build the whole MD line just to use the half built bridge to bypass the line to picton for freight between  douglas park and bargo.

MTCE should be a no brainer at broadmeadow since there is already a site there for the hunters and endeavours. At the very least if enough units were ordered it could be used as a depot at the very least.
simstrain
Ok, I see what you mean but the bridge is in the wrong location and direction. Douglas Park to Yanderra 18 km is a nice by-pass and would save alot of time. Thats probably a good option for any "3rd track" from Macurthur to Yanderaa for all long haul services.

Yes, there needs to be critical mass to justify additional MTCE centres.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE

I don't agree.  Assuming a like for like replacement with the new CAF trains and based on current operations, Dubbo has 1 return XPT service per day.  Bathurst, which is 200km away from Dubbo, has 2 return Endeavour services per day and a weekly return Xplorer service to Broken Hill, which also doesn't pass through Dubbo. There would be a lot of dead running, up to 400km return for Endeavours from Bathurst and 800km return for Xplorers from Sydney and their CAF equivalents.

On the other hand, Goulburn has up to 9 return services per day (2xMelb XPT + 3xCan XPL + 4xSHL END) and a twice weekly return Xplorer service to Griffith, using all Regional train types.  While the Endeavours wouldn't require any dead running, the through XPT and Xplorers would only require a maximum of 400km return from Sydney.  Still not ideal, but I agree with sims that the major maintenance centre should have been based in Sydney to reduce dead running, which would be inevitable whether it was based in Dubbo or Goulburn.

It's still not clear how the different CAF sets will operate, but as others have remarked, there's not much leeway to change the existing service patterns, let alone increase services.  For example, the XPTs currently require up to 9 sets (I think) to operate the existing services to Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubbo and the North Coast, which would leave 1 spare set for maintenance for the CAF replacements.  There's been a push to introduce a second daily Dubbo service and my contention is that it should be operated by 3 car Xplorers and the CAF equivalent, which would be 6 cars per day.  There's no chance of the 6 car long distance Regional sets travelling to Armidale, as apart from the fact that there would be no spare sets to provide this service, they would have to divide at Werris Creek for the Moree service.  The long distance 6 car sets are not divisable.  It would most likely continue with 2x3 car short Regional sets.
Transtopic
Not quite, there are going to be two services a day to Dubbo with the Bathurst service also getting fairly close so both standards of train are covered.

Currently
- 8 XPT sets in operation, (one in MTCE)
- 2 x 3 car sets CBR
- 4 x 2/3 car sets NW
- 1 x 3 car Griffith and BH
Total 18 sets there.
What the PM frequency required at Dubbo? once a fortnight? RTT sets are fortnightly.

CAF used for current END services would be extra. Still lucky to be two trains there at any one time. Probably find the Dubbo services do not see the same train no two days in a row.

Dubbo would be serviced with 6 car sets either single 6 car or 2 x 3 car.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Ok, I see what you mean but the bridge is in the wrong location and direction. Douglas Park to Yanderra 18 km is a nice by-pass and would save alot of time. Thats probably a good option for any "3rd track" from Macurthur to Yanderaa for all long haul services.

Yes, there needs to be critical mass to justify additional MTCE centres.
RTT_Rules

Actually I don't believe it is in the wrong location as from that bridge the track can head south along the hume highway instead of south east as the MD line was planned.

I again will say that the Government should look at ordering more of these trains as with the economic saving they could make Griffith and Parkes a daily service at the very least.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Ok, I see what you mean but the bridge is in the wrong location and direction. Douglas Park to Yanderra 18 km is a nice by-pass and would save alot of time. Thats probably a good option for any "3rd track" from Macurthur to Yanderaa for all long haul services.

Yes, there needs to be critical mass to justify additional MTCE centres.

Actually I don't believe it is in the wrong location as from that bridge the track can head south along the hume highway instead of south east as the MD line was planned.

I again will say that the Government should look at ordering more of these trains as with the economic saving they could make Griffith and Parkes a daily service at the very least.
simstrain
Just follow the Hume all the way from Douglas Park, less property resumptions as the line will fit most of the time in the Hume corridor, its also fairly straight and probably good for +200 km/h running if there was something that fast. That bridge is almost 90 deg to the direction so two bends required.

Agree the govt will no doubt buy more as the END/XPLR cars are not end of life and will solider on for another 5 - 10 years plus any growth the new trains enable and other options. And yes at some point a 2nd depo location maybe justified, but it would need to be a terminus location so Broadmeadow is out unless used for replacing the current DMU fleet with CAF. But for now Dubbo being the major centre with light work done in Sydney is the go.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Yes, there needs to be critical mass to justify additional MTCE centres.
I again will say that the Government should look at ordering more of these trains as with the economic saving they could make Griffith and Parkes a daily service at the very least.
Just follow the Hume all the way from Douglas Park, less property resumptions as the line will fit most of the time in the Hume corridor, its also fairly straight and probably good for +200 km/h running if there was something that fast. That bridge is almost 90 deg to the direction so two bends required.

Agree the govt will no doubt buy more as the END/XPLR cars are not end of life and will solider on for another 5 - 10 years plus any growth the new trains enable and other options. And yes at some point a 2nd depo location maybe justified, but it would need to be a terminus location so Broadmeadow is out unless used for replacing the current DMU fleet with CAF. But for now Dubbo being the major centre with light work done in Sydney is the go.
RTT_Rules

I think the fleet ordered is a like for like replacement needed to maintain the existing services, and nothing more. It presumes the Hunter railcars will service the Hunter, with I think is possible, just not without rejigging the timetable a bit.  Any suggestion of extra services presume electrification somewhere to free up DMUs.

I'm not convinced the extra fleet requirements of having the maintenance centre at Dubbo were considered with the order - that was thrown in last minute (I suspect).  Offering the Bathurst Bullet as an Explorer grade service is the only real upgrade to services this new fleet offers.  Again, all very short term thinking IMHO.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Yes, there needs to be critical mass to justify additional MTCE centres.
I again will say that the Government should look at ordering more of these trains as with the economic saving they could make Griffith and Parkes a daily service at the very least.
Just follow the Hume all the way from Douglas Park, less property resumptions as the line will fit most of the time in the Hume corridor, its also fairly straight and probably good for +200 km/h running if there was something that fast. That bridge is almost 90 deg to the direction so two bends required.

Agree the govt will no doubt buy more as the END/XPLR cars are not end of life and will solider on for another 5 - 10 years plus any growth the new trains enable and other options. And yes at some point a 2nd depo location maybe justified, but it would need to be a terminus location so Broadmeadow is out unless used for replacing the current DMU fleet with CAF. But for now Dubbo being the major centre with light work done in Sydney is the go.

I think the fleet ordered is a like for like replacement needed to maintain the existing services, and nothing more. It presumes the Hunter railcars will service the Hunter, with I think is possible, just not without rejigging the timetable a bit.  Any suggestion of extra services presume electrification somewhere to free up DMUs.

I'm not convinced the extra fleet requirements of having the maintenance centre at Dubbo were considered with the order - that was thrown in last minute (I suspect).  Offering the Bathurst Bullet as an Explorer grade service is the only real upgrade to services this new fleet offers.  Again, all very short term thinking IMHO.
djf01
The Dubbo announcement came at the same time and I think because of the contract arrangement it would have been in the scope for sometime. For example if I'm correct the vender is providing the Maintenance requirements to an availability contract which includes transfers. Anyway, its of little consequence as a rotational arrangement to Dubbo is well within the current Dubbo/Bathurst timetabling so I wouldn't be concerned.

I think while the future status of the XPT was well known by all, the future status of the END/XPL fleet has been confused or lost in translation and there was always an intent to keep the still viable fleet, albeit with reduced demand to suit the fleet as it enters their 4th decade of operation on arrival with CAF.

The benefit of retaining the XPL/END fleet is to provide flexibility in growth as its cheaper to buy additional CAF sets in bulk. Anyway, agree with Sim's comments. provided the CAF's perform as expected there will be more and there will need to be more in about 5 - 8 years to enable the retirement of the remainder of the XPL and END fleets.

Going back to Sim's bypass and your previous comments on Mittagong.
Provided the so called Picton by-pass just parrallel's the Hume which will then provide a near straight alignment for over 17km allowing trains to operate at their max speed from curve to curve on the existing corridor. Now we are in a great position to consider what you said before.

The by-pass would be additional dual track to Macuthur with the track from Macuthur to Douglas Park being improved alignment also allowing higher speeds if not max train speed.

ie
Mittagong to Macuthur via Picton, likely all sparked.

The Canberra/Goulburn services would then be all to Mittagong with lightly used stations being stop only on request, then take the By-pass and next stop Campbelltown and express to Central.
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

For those that missed it back in 2019 there was a table of CAF overnight stays posted to Railpage (and elsewhere), that sheds some light on the proposed stabling and allocation of CAF units.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11368621-0-asc-s2175.htm
Presentation of the table was a little confusing, but the information is there. No doubt there will be changes by the time the trains are commissioned, but in summary:
One of each of the three train types were to stable every night in the Dubbo Maintenance Centre - they are listed in the table as "Maintenance Spares". Additionally 1 Short Intercity and 1 Long Regional train stabled at Dubbo, presumably in service for Bathurst and an additional Dubbo run. All other Regional train stabling was pretty much as per current XPT/XPL, except Armidale gets a Long Unit (6-car) and Grafton gets a Short Unit (3-car). This suggests that the daytime Dubbo run was to be a 3-car Short Regional that will stable at Sydenham.The 4 Long Unit trains that don't appear in the table are clearly the overnight trains between Melbourne/Brisbane/Casino.
The Intercity sets (END replacement) are a bit harder to work out, but the table has 2 stabled in Dubbo (as mentioned above), 1 stabled at Wollongong and 5 at Moss Vale, 2 stabled in Sydney, and none in the Hunter.
From the above it can be seen that CAFs were intended to replace the entire XPT/XPL fleet, but the shortfall of Endeavour replacements was not explained.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
For those that missed it back in 2019 there was a table of CAF overnight stays posted to Railpage (and elsewhere), that sheds some light on the proposed stabling and allocation of CAF units.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11368621-0-asc-s2175.htm
Presentation of the table was a little confusing, but the information is there. No doubt there will be changes by the time the trains are commissioned, but in summary:
One of each of the three train types were to stable every night in the Dubbo Maintenance Centre - they are listed in the table as "Maintenance Spares". Additionally 1 Short Intercity and 1 Long Regional train stabled at Dubbo, presumably in service for Bathurst and an additional Dubbo run. All other Regional train stabling was pretty much as per current XPT/XPL, except Armidale gets a Long Unit (6-car) and Grafton gets a Short Unit (3-car). This suggests that the daytime Dubbo run was to be a 3-car Short Regional that will stable at Sydenham.The 4 Long Unit trains that don't appear in the table are clearly the overnight trains between Melbourne/Brisbane/Casino.
The Intercity sets (END replacement) are a bit harder to work out, but the table has 2 stabled in Dubbo (as mentioned above), 1 stabled at Wollongong and 5 at Moss Vale, 2 stabled in Sydney, and none in the Hunter.
From the above it can be seen that CAFs were intended to replace the entire XPT/XPL fleet, but the shortfall of Endeavour replacements was not explained.
NSWRcars
Thanks.

I think the answer to your final statement is that END cars will remain for the foreseeable future.

Storage at Wollongong means cease using the stabling yard at Boma'.
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

Storage at Wollongong means cease using the stabling yard at Boma'.
RTT_Rules
As far as I know there is no stabling at Bomaderry and the Endeavour stables at Wollongong. So no change there except CAF was intended to replace Endeavour.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

Storage at Wollongong means cease using the stabling yard at Boma'.
As far as I know there is no stabling at Bomaderry and the Endeavour stables at Wollongong. So no change there except CAF was intended to replace Endeavour.
NSWRcars

Bomaderry has a wash facility and a razor wired siding (on the turntable road).  Looking at the sat image, I think there might be an inspection pit there too.  I have some notion Bomaderry has refueling facilities too, but I don't know why I think that.  

Prior to electrification south of Coniston, the DMUs were based out of Port Kembla (I think).
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Storage at Wollongong means cease using the stabling yard at Boma'.
As far as I know there is no stabling at Bomaderry and the Endeavour stables at Wollongong. So no change there except CAF was intended to replace Endeavour.

Bomaderry has a wash facility and a razor wired siding (on the turntable road).  Looking at the sat image, I think there might be an inspection pit there too.  I have some notion Bomaderry has refueling facilities too, but I don't know why I think that.  

Prior to electrification south of Coniston, the DMUs were based out of Port Kembla (I think).
djf01
Thats what I was looking at.

Checking the timetable, it would the train starts its first revenue service heading south from Kiama at 03:19 and there is no preceding spark to connect with from Kiama, so sort of says the train comes from up north which I suppose makes sense as there is no crew depo at Bomaderry and if there is a problem first thing, then no one trained to apply the hammer in the right location and force while holding their tongue in the correct position.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
For those that missed it back in 2019 there was a table of CAF overnight stays posted to Railpage (and elsewhere), that sheds some light on the proposed stabling and allocation of CAF units.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11368621-0-asc-s2175.htm
Presentation of the table was a little confusing, but the information is there. No doubt there will be changes by the time the trains are commissioned, but in summary:
One of each of the three train types were to stable every night in the Dubbo Maintenance Centre - they are listed in the table as "Maintenance Spares". Additionally 1 Short Intercity and 1 Long Regional train stabled at Dubbo, presumably in service for Bathurst and an additional Dubbo run. All other Regional train stabling was pretty much as per current XPT/XPL, except Armidale gets a Long Unit (6-car) and Grafton gets a Short Unit (3-car). This suggests that the daytime Dubbo run was to be a 3-car Short Regional that will stable at Sydenham.The 4 Long Unit trains that don't appear in the table are clearly the overnight trains between Melbourne/Brisbane/Casino.
The Intercity sets (END replacement) are a bit harder to work out, but the table has 2 stabled in Dubbo (as mentioned above), 1 stabled at Wollongong and 5 at Moss Vale, 2 stabled in Sydney, and none in the Hunter.
From the above it can be seen that CAFs were intended to replace the entire XPT/XPL fleet, but the shortfall of Endeavour replacements was not explained.
NSWRcars
Thanks for that as it now makes it a lot clearer, although END shortfall is puzzling.  Do you know how many END sets are actually rostered currently?

It would appear that the 2 short Intercity sets stabled at Dubbo would form the 2 morning Bathurst Bullet services, which would return in the afternoon and evening to Bathurst and then run dead to Dubbo for stabling overnight.  That's a 400km round trip.  The current END services stable overnight at Lithgow as far as I'm aware, which is obviously much closer to Bathurst.  If the Maintenance Centre was more centrally located, then that longer trip wouldn't be necessary.
  Transtopic Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
For those that missed it back in 2019 there was a table of CAF overnight stays posted to Railpage (and elsewhere), that sheds some light on the proposed stabling and allocation of CAF units.
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11368621-0-asc-s2175.htm
Presentation of the table was a little confusing, but the information is there. No doubt there will be changes by the time the trains are commissioned, but in summary:
One of each of the three train types were to stable every night in the Dubbo Maintenance Centre - they are listed in the table as "Maintenance Spares". Additionally 1 Short Intercity and 1 Long Regional train stabled at Dubbo, presumably in service for Bathurst and an additional Dubbo run. All other Regional train stabling was pretty much as per current XPT/XPL, except Armidale gets a Long Unit (6-car) and Grafton gets a Short Unit (3-car). This suggests that the daytime Dubbo run was to be a 3-car Short Regional that will stable at Sydenham.The 4 Long Unit trains that don't appear in the table are clearly the overnight trains between Melbourne/Brisbane/Casino.
The Intercity sets (END replacement) are a bit harder to work out, but the table has 2 stabled in Dubbo (as mentioned above), 1 stabled at Wollongong and 5 at Moss Vale, 2 stabled in Sydney, and none in the Hunter.
From the above it can be seen that CAFs were intended to replace the entire XPT/XPL fleet, but the shortfall of Endeavour replacements was not explained.
I think the answer to your final statement is that END cars will remain for the foreseeable future.

RTT_Rules
Not necessarily.  The TfNSW Regional Trains Project page, which was updated only a week ago, still says that the CAF Regional fleet will replace all existing XPT, Xplorer and Endeavour sets.  There's no mention of any of the existing fleet being redeployed to other services, nor have I been able to find any mention of it elsewhere.  Are you sure about that?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Not necessarily.  The TfNSW Regional Trains Project page, which was updated only a week ago, still says that the CAF Regional fleet will replace all existing XPT, Xplorer and Endeavour sets.  There's no mention of any of the existing fleet being redeployed to other services, nor have I been able to find any mention of it elsewhere.  Are you sure about that?
Transtopic
Thanks, but I'm not going to hold my breath on that statement as we already know Hunter will not be replaced with CAF.

I'm sure the intent is to replace all other diesel powered services in the state bar the Hunter, which then simplifies the maintenance to one location. But lets wait and see. Extra services from Newcastle to Armidale etc which has been called for for some years may still materialise.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Thanks for that as it now makes it a lot clearer, although END shortfall is puzzling.  Do you know how many END sets are actually rostered currently?

It would appear that the 2 short Intercity sets stabled at Dubbo would form the 2 morning Bathurst Bullet services, which would return in the afternoon and evening to Bathurst and then run dead to Dubbo for stabling overnight.  That's a 400km round trip.  The current END services stable overnight at Lithgow as far as I'm aware, which is obviously much closer to Bathurst.  If the Maintenance Centre was more centrally located, then that longer trip wouldn't be necessary.
Transtopic
15 sets of END.

67 km vs 200 km. If its part of a rotational change for the purposes of servicing which is likely if they are no longer using Lithgow, then I don't see the issue. Vic was servicing sparks in Ballarat for how many years, may still do? No wires, all had to be towed nearly 100km. Every week QR runs the RTT 200km empty for same purpose.

They may also choose to extend the revenue service to Dubbo.

Again, the location at Dubbo is not a issue as trains are simply swapped out as part of the revenue timetabled rotation. The issue with building in Sydney is obviously the cost of land. Look at Qld and NSW, both building service centres for new trains, not just CAF away from the capital. But also employment decentralisation, which I think is far better outcome for the Central West region and something lost from both Bathurst and Newcastle over the last few decades.
  NSWRcars Assistant Commissioner

It would appear that the 2 short Intercity sets stabled at Dubbo would form the 2 morning Bathurst Bullet services, which would return in the afternoon and evening to Bathurst and then run dead to Dubbo for stabling overnight.  That's a 400km round trip.  The current END services stable overnight at Lithgow as far as I'm aware, which is obviously much closer to Bathurst.  If the Maintenance Centre was more centrally located, then that longer trip wouldn't be necessary.
Transtopic
No, one of the Intercity sets at Dubbo is a Maintenance Spare, so only one set would run empty to Bathurst. The other stabled service set is a Long Regional which presumably forms an early morning Dubbo-Sydney train. Perhaps with this train also serving Bathurst, the second Bullet becomes redundant. With that arrangement you have 1 Intercity, 1 Short Regional and 1 Long Regional working the West, so there is only one Intercity set running empty Dubbo-Bathurst. There are no new empty car paths required through the busy Sydney Network.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

It comes down to are the 7 hunter railcars enough to handle all of the hunter line. I believe we noted that there will be some endeavours kept as spare for the hunter line just in case. If the CAF's are not needed on the hunter then there will be enough of the new sets to go around with no issue.
  djf01 Chief Commissioner

15 sets of END.
RTT_Rules

14.  One was converted to an Xplorer - hence there being one less non-cab unit than sets.  Done post South Coast electrification.
  a6et Minister for Railways

It comes down to are the 7 hunter railcars enough to handle all of the hunter line. I believe we noted that there will be some endeavours kept as spare for the hunter line just in case. If the CAF's are not needed on the hunter then there will be enough of the new sets to go around with no issue.
simstrain
There's no real way to make a call on the Hunter line at this point of time.  Since Covid the numbers of commuters have dropped off in a big way, pre Covid in the morning peak, there were many standing in the carriages, with the easing of Covid and the (sort of) return to normal, the numbers of commuters is still down.

My wife & I often get on at Victoria St in the morning peak, and numbers are still down, the Northern side car parking has nil issues at any time to get a parking space, no matter the time, there is however extra passengers being dropped off at the lift areas.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

Back on the the battery pack for the hybrid powerpack in the new trains. According to their brochure here (https://www.mtu-solutions.com/content/dam/mtu/download/applications/rail/16120356_Rail_Solutionguide.pdf/_jcr_content/renditions/original./16120356_Rail_Solutionguide.pdf). MTU offers 4 sizes of battery from 30.6kWh and up to 122.4kWh per powerpack. How long do you think a 244.8kWh  of battery could propel these trains for?

MTU have shown that they can store the battery in the floor or the roof in their brochures and also that their diesel electric system is quite compact in size. Taking up much less space then the legacy KTA/QSK-19 and voith transmission systems. With no diesel engine in the middle car I see no reason why an extra 122.4kWh battery or more couldn't be inlcuded in the middle trailer/ electric motor car carriage. I'm not suggesting that you would be able to run electric all the way to Canberra. I see no reason this couldn't be achieved between Kiama and Bomaderry for instance.

As for advancements in battery technology that will soon be available look no further then the new solid state battery in the Rimac Nevera
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rimac_Nevera


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kfyIB_9UtQ

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