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The Tangara (an Australian Aboriginal word meaning to go) is a current class of electric multiple unit operated by Sydney Trains (Part of RailCorp) in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The Tangara used to come in two subclasses (There is only 1 now) - suburban sets known as T sets, and outer-suburban sets known as G sets. Tangaras commenced service between 1988 and 1995, and are third generation Sydney Trains trains. A Tangara is a four car set, with the middle two cars being non-control motor cars, and the two outer cars being driving control trailers fitted with one pantograph each. Like other suburban trains in the Sydney Trains fleet, Tangaras are of a double decker design. The trains are equipped with air conditioning and chopper control. Two four car sets can be coupled to provide one eight car set - All suburban Tangaras operate this way. Many of the new features in Tangaras were trialled in the previous batch of trains - the Sydney Trains C Set. A total of 450 carriages were ordered, and in 1996, five spare driving trailers were ordered as replacements for damaged carriages. All carriages were manufactured by Goninan.
These sets are currently undergoing their mid-life overhauls, also known as the Tangara Technology Upgrade Program. Stage 1 of this project has been completed, with all doors being replaced by lighter doors that resemble M set doors. This is to stop vandals from kicking out the metal door panels on the old doors and also to improve reliability. Stage 2 will include installation of new destination screens and controls. The first train is currently being fitted with these upgrades. The sets will also come out as permanent 8-car sets, with only minimal controls being kept in the two middle driver compartments.
With 370 carriages, the standard T sets are one of the most common models in the Sydney Trains fleet. The T sets replaced the first generation of Sydney's electric rolling stock. The cars built were:
- Driving Trailer Cars - D6101-D6285
- Additional spare cars D6286-D6289
- Motor Cars - N5101-N5285
Unlike most other Sydney Trains trains the seats in the upper and lower decks of the T sets are not reversible, but fixed, meaning that half the seats face backwards. These proved unpopular with commuters. When first introduced, the T sets were fitted with passenger door release handles to prevent loss of air conditioning at stations. Later, these were disconnected (and some removed and plated over) due to passengers not getting used to opening the doors for themselves when needed. Many T sets still have these handles in place, but pulling them is redundant. The C sets were fitted with a similar system, using push buttons instead of handles. The T set seats originally had fabric upholstery, but were gradually converted to blue vinyl upholstery.
In Service Edit
Since 2003, all Tangaras have been updated with a new Sydney Trains corporate appearance. This involved the fitting of yellow panels on the front, yellow painted passenger doors and the end carriages receiving yellow paint surround for the benefit of visually impaired passengers. Blue and yellow stripes along the bottom of the carriages were replaced by a single yellow stripe and new fuzzy Sydney Trains logos were placed on the driving cars. In 2010 a program to refresh the Tangara interiors was announced. The upgrades include reconfigured seating next to the vestibule area, new seating upholstery and new handrails; as of 2014 this has been completed, with set T53 being the last set to be refurbished.
The following Tangara carriages have been scrapped due to damage:
- Tangara Motor Cars: N5127, ON5816 and ONL5866
- Driving Trailer Cars: D6114, D6127, D6274, OD6831 and OD6832
The following are replacement carriages:
- D6285 and N5285 are replacing written-off cars D6127 and N5127
- D6286 is on set T99 (replacing written-off D6274)
- D6287 is on set T73 (replacing written-off D6114)
- D6108 is on set T16 (replacing D6241 for unknown reasons)
- D6288 is on set T71 (replacing D6108 which is replacing D6241)
- D6289 is on set T24 (replacing D6148 for unknown reasons)
- D6184 is on set T37 (repaired set back to normal)
- OD6841 is currently used in Outer Suburban Tangara set G21 (now known as T121) replacing OD6807.
- D6148 is on set T1 (however, D6106 was replaced because it was stripped for parts but it has now been reconstructed).
- Motor car N5127 and Driving trailer car D6127 were both involved in the Wentworthville train derailment on 27 December 1989, Sydney Trains's first major accident involving the Tangara fleet. Trailer Car D6127 was an immediate write off, due to its collision with the platform. Motor car N5127 was withdrawn from service following the accident, and was sent to Dunheved Railway Station. C3866, was used on the Ropes Creek line for training fire fighters. Both the N5127 and the C3866 were subsequently destroyed by vandals, and were moved to Auburn-Clyde rail yard for either rebuilding or use for spare parts.
Minor Accidents Edit
- On 24th Jan 2009, G4 derailed at Unanderra after passing a signal at Stop and derailing on catchpoints. Contributing factors were that the driver was fatigued and that there were unruly passengers on the train. This caused the driver to lose concentration when there was a large bang on the driver's door just prior to the derailment. The guard was also feeling scared and moved to the front cab with the driver, so the guard couldn't see the guard's indicator at Unanderra. The train was returned to service following minor repairs.
The last 80 of the 450 Tangara cars were modified for use on South Coast, Blue Mountains and Central Coast peak hour services and were known as the outer-suburban G sets. They entered service in 1994-1995, shortly after the delivery of the last T set carriages. The G sets have a similar external appearance to the T sets - the only major differences are round green door buttons and a modified front with orange panels & bottom corners that taper inwards. Inside, the G sets sported improvements, such as high-backed reversible seats, toilets, fresh water dispensers and luggage racks. The G sets were originally nicknamed "Odyssey" when first released. The cars built were:
- Driving Trailer Cars - OD6801-OD6841
- Motor Cars - ON5801-ON5820
- Motor Cars with Toilet - ONL5851-ONL5870
Set G7 was fitted with an AC drive system for evaluation purposes with the existing DC stock and compatibility with signalling and communication systems on the network. G7 was scrapped in 2005 at Maintrain facility at Auburn after the Waterfall train disaster, as all four cars were beyond repair. In late 2005 15 V Set carriages were suddenly withdrawn due to the discovery of corrosion in their underframes. G sets began to operate more off-peak Intercity runs to Port Kembla, Kiama, and Wyong to cover for the withdrawn V sets.
Redeployment to suburban servicesEdit
In February 2003, a contract was awarded to United Group Rail to construct 41 OSCAR carriages (10 four car trains, plus 1 spare car). These new trains have a very similar level of passenger amenity to the G sets and can be seen as a continuation of the design. In April 2005 an additional 81 carriages were ordered. OSCARs started entering service in December 2006, leading to a change in the role of the G sets. From 2007 the G sets were progressively redeployed to suburban services, providing extra capacity on high demand existing services such as on the Western line and allowing new services to be introduced. By 2008, G sets were often used on peak suburban services that extend into intercity areas, such as services to Springwood (via the Western line).
In 2009, the conversion of G sets to T sets began, to improve their suitability for suburban working as OSCAR sets continued to replace their interurban duties. Conversion work consisted of the removal of toilets with the water dispensers and their replacement with additional seating. Other work included the installation of new handrails and hangers and the recoding of cars and sets. Set numbers were generally changed from G(n) to T1(n). Car numbers only had the prefixes changed to D/N as appropriate. G4 was the first to be converted (into T104). In 2010 sets being converted started receiving a full refurbishment. As of 2011, the program is now finished.