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|V set in the new Intercity livery|
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The Sydney Trains V set or DDIU (Double Deck Inter-Urban) is a class of electric multiple unit operated by CityRail in New South Wales, Australia. These stainless steel double deck trains operate on the Interurban lines of the NSW TrainLink network, serving the Blue Mountains and the Central Coast to Newcastle. There was a total of four batches of V sets produced for the then State Rail Authority.
In 1968 the New South Wales Government Railways placed an order for the first batch 16 cars, with Commonwealth Engineering. Described at the time as the 'most luxurious commuter stock in the world', they set new benchmarks for passenger comfort in Sydney. The cars made a first run from Sydney to Gosford on 10 June 1970, targeted as F111. This 4-car train was the first set to operate in revenue traffic from 22 June 1970, and all 16 cars were in operation by September of the same year. These cars had many similar features to the later-built cars, including the one-piece moulded fibreglass front in royal blue & grey livery, semi-automatic doors, electronically controlled brakes and double-glazed windows. They did not have ditchlights (as they were considered unnecessary at the time), and had a different style of headlights. There were: 8 Motor Cars - DCF 8001–8008 - Economy Class 4 Driving Trailer Cars - DDC 9001–9004 - 1st Class upper deck, Economy Class other seats 4 Trailer Cars - DTF 9011-9012 - Economy Class; DTC 9021–9022 - 1st Class upper deck, Economy Class other seats The configuration of these cars was unsuccessful. The cars were fitted with AEI equipment, and the electrical equipment was split between the motor and trailer car. The cables were not able to provide the power needed to operate the train as proposed. This resulted in many failures of the train to operate and also failures in the air-conditioning system. One class travel was introduced in September 1974, so the seating was all "economy class". This led to the refurbishment of the DDIU sets with the original luggage racks above the seating in the single deck section being removed. During this time the sets were targeted as U sets, the plates used on the then current single deck interurbans. With the arrival of further V sets in the late 1970s and early 1980s, an excess of motor cars resulted and the decision was made to convert the 1970 cars to trailers and make them compatible with the later cars, thereby solving the reliability problems. The cars were rewired at Elcar Workshops, and the driver's compartment was removed and replaced by passenger toilets and luggage space. The cars were subsequently renumbered: DCF 8001–8008 > DMT 9201–9207 (7 cars remained after writing off DCF 8004) DDC 9001–9004 > DDT 9208–9211 DTF 9011–9012 & DTC 9021–9022 > DFT 9212–9215 In 2002 these sets were decommissioned and sold for scrap metal due to rust in the steel frames.
During 1977 the second batch of DDIUs arrived, with many differences from the first batch. The electrical equipment was all mounted on the motor car, using Mitsubishi Electrical Equipment; they had stainless steel underframes; and they were fitted with vacuum retention toilets, used for the first time in NSW. These cars were the first of the "V sets", with the V showing that they were installed with vacuum retention toilets. They operated separately from the 1970 cars, as the two types were not compatible with each other. The cars built were: Motor Cars - DCM 8021–8036 Driving Trailer Cars - DCT 9031–9044 The driving trailers were not used that much, due to driver complaints about an uncomfortable "kick" when the motor car started to push the trailer. The controls in the DCTs were gradually stripped and replaced defective ones on the DCMs. However, during the "Citydecker" refurbishment by Goninan, DCT 9031–9036 were recabbed and recoded DTD. At the same time the DCMs were refurbished, receiving destination indicators and ditchlights. The refurbishment also saw the installation of air-conditioning in the driver's cabs of the DCMs: their lack of air-conditioning resulted in a union ban on using them as leading cars. DCM 8032–8036 were modified to have wheelchair seating, and recoded DTM. The DCMs that had destination indicators eventually had them removed and replaced with a metal blanking plate, after a decision not to use them on Interurban runs. In Dec 2011 the state government advertised for the sale of the above sets.
The first V sets were a success, and in 1982 DIM Motor Cars were introduced. There were no more driving trailers built, but new trailers, coded DIT, was built. These cars had increased seating compared with the DC series, up from 88 to 96 for the motor cars, and from 92 to 112 for the trailers. The cars built were: Motor Cars - DIM 8037–8092 Trailer Cars - DIT 9101–9184 DIM 8037-8068 were built with a wood paneling interior, and without ditchlights. These were the last cars to be delivered in the 'Blue Goose' livery. They were eventually fitted with ditchlights during refurbishment. DIM 8069-8092 were built with a slightly different style of interior arrangement, and newer air conditioning technology. These can be distinguished from the earlier DIMs by the air-conditioning grille cover, and were delivered with ditchlights.
DJM and the rest of DIT carsEdit
Advancements in technology saw a thyristor chopper system fitted to the next batch of motor cars, coded DJM. The chopper cars gave a smoother and quieter ride. The chopper cars can be distinguished from the earlier "camshaft" cars by a large open grille at the pantograph end of the motor car, and by different hatch coverings over the driver's side of the motor car. DJM 8123–8137 had even larger open grilles on the pantograph end. These cars were the first V sets to be painted in the State Rail "Candy" Livery, and were delivered with the rest of the DIT trailer cars. Motor car DJM 8101 had its "Candy" livery repainted into a Sydney Trains blue and yellow scheme in 1990 to form a special set, with the commemorative wording "celebrating 20 years of double-deck intercity services to Gosford" applied near the driver's cab window. In 2009 DJM 8101 was repainted into standard 'Intercity' livery.
The final V sets were introduced in 1989, and they were the last cars to come out from Commonwealth Engineering Granville Plant. These cars were coded DKM and DKT and are permanently coupled. There were several changes: the cars were finished in corrugated steel, instead of the previous inserted Budd fluting. Seating had separate seat backs. Instead of the push-pull doors inside the previous V sets, the DKs were fitted with an electronically operated vestibule door, and no door was installed at the gangway. This was done so that passengers could access the toilets more easily and the DKM and DKT cars were permanently coupled in 2-car configuration with another 2-car chopper V set, forming a 4-car set. 14 cars were built: 7 Motor Cars - DKM 8139–8145 7 Trailer Cars - DKT 9185-9191 There was a proposal for 50 more to be built, but that order was never placed. Recently the DK Sets have had their vestibule doors fixed with a new button to open them but due to unavailability of parts these doors still fail to function and is a rare sight to find one that works, however, DKT 9189 has a working vestibule door. In 2013-14, DK series cars were given the NSW TrainLink livery and replaced the old DK seats with the regular DIM, DIT and DJM seats.
Where They are operatingEdit
Six cars from the third batch have been retained by RailCorp and converted into test trains to test/trial the Automatic Train Protection system and the Digital Train Radio System across the Railcorp Network. DJM 8121, 8127, 8128 and 8134 and DIT 9127 and 9131 were formed into two sets numbered Y1 and Y2. They are marshalled as Y1: DJM8121 DIT9127 DJM8134 and Y2: DJM8127 DIT9131 DJM8128. They are fitted with computers and test equipment, several CCTV cameras and small kitchens in the trailer cars.
Withdrawal of the V SetsEdit
In 2005, it was revealed that first batch of V sets had some corrosion in the underframes. Some extra OSCARs had been ordered to replace the withdrawn sets. The rest of the sets are due to be withdrawn by 2019-2024, with the government spending $2.8 billion on purchasing new off-the-shelf sets to replace them.
- ↑ http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/nsw-government-invest-28-billion-new-intercity-trains-making-all-trains-air