Electric multiple unit (Queensland Rail)

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Electric Multiple Unit
QREMU65.JPG
EMU65 at Nambour in September 2006
EMUinterior1.JPG
Manufacturer Walkers Limited
Built at Maryborough
Constructed 1979-86
Entered service 17 November 1979
Number built 264 carriages
Number in service 261 carriages
Formation 3 carriage sets
Fleet numbers 01-88
Capacity 248 per 3-carriage set
Operator Queensland Rail
Specifications
Train length 72.4 metres
Maximum speed 100 km/h (62 mph)
Weight 117.8 tonnes
Power supply 25 kV AC
Current collection method Pantograph
Braking system(s) Blended Regenerative electric and electro-pneumatic
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The Electric Multiple Units are a class of electric multiple units manufactured by Walkers Limited, Maryborough for Queensland Rail between 1979 and 1986. They were the first EMUs in Queensland and remain in service with Citytrain.

All units feature air-conditioning, power operated automatic doors, fabric covered padded seating, emergency intercoms and a public address system.

History[edit]

EMU01 at Ferny Grove for the opening of the Ferny Grove to Darra rail electrification on 17 November 1979

In 1977 Walkers Limited, Maryborough were awarded a contract to build 13 EMUs with electrical equipment to be supplied by ASEA.[1] These were the first EMUs in Queensland, entering revenue service when the first part of the Brisbane rail network was electrified between Ferny Grove and Darra in November 1979.[2] Further orders saw the fleet total with the last delivered in December 1987.[3][4]

Current Operation[edit]

EMUs still constitute close to half of the Citytrain fleet and are in regular and frequent usage. They operate on all Citytrain suburban lines in either three or six carriage sets. EMU01-EMU04, EMU06-EMU59 and EMU80-EMU88 have driving cabs at both ends and can either operate as three or six car sets. EMU60-EMU79 have only a single driving cab, and as a result, they can operate only as part of a six car set. EMU05 was extensively damaged in 2001 and is no longer in service.[4]

Although intended only for suburban operation they are regularly found operating interurban services on the Nambour & Gympie North line and occasionally on the Gold Coast line. EMUs are interoperable with InterCity Express units to form hybrid sets.

Alterations[edit]

Progressive upgrading has been, and continues to be, performed on all Electric Multiple Units in service. Many of the upgrades are focused towards compliance with disability standards,[5] although some are general improvements.

As these trains are set to continue in operation in the foreseeable future QR continues to implement standardisation measures on the EMUs and periodically refurbish the interiors and drive equipment.

General improvements[edit]

Due to the age of the trains some changes have been made to running equipment for operational or maintenance reasons.

All driving cabs have been modified to accept flat panels of glass on the sides rather than the original molded panels and bumpers to reduce damage in collisions, particularly with animals.

Dot-Matrix destination displays have replaced the original calico blinds.

Disability Compliance[edit]

Retro-fitted button-operated doors

The Queensland Rail EMUs were introduced before the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and originally featured very few of the disability standards introduced in the intervening years. As such significant alterations have been, or are planned to be, made to bring these legacy units into compliance.

The original seating arrangements have been altered surrounding the front-most and rear-most doors of the train as these areas are used as assisted boarding points. Some seats have been removed and others replaced with auto retract folding types to create more space for passengers in wheelchairs. Additional handrails surrounding the new wheelchair spaces have been added for safety. The seating arrangement is unchanged elsewhere inside the trains.

All units have been retrofitted with push-button operated doors. Many have already been upgraded. The replacement buttons feature integrated lighting and small speakers. Different flashes and beeps are emitted to alert passengers when the doors are activated or closing. The display that informs passengers that the doors have been released has also been changed to reflect the upgrade.

Dot-Matrix displays are also being added alongside new automated voice announcement systems. These systems are used to address passengers with information such as the current and next station as well as alerting passengers where to transfer for other services. Many signs have been changed to include braille for sight impaired passengers.

Derailments[edit]

On 23 March 1985 two EMUs collided head on near Trinder Park.[6][7] A train driver and a passenger were killed, 31 others were injured. The units involved were EMU11 and EMU27,[citation needed] both were repaired and are still in service today.

On 14 March 1996 EMU28 derailed after hitting a freight train near the Mayne rail yards.[8] EMU28 was later repaired and returned to service.[9]

On 21 September 2001 a freight train derailed near Petrie and collided with two empty EMUs, EMU05 and EMU60.[10] Two carriages from EMU05 and one carriage of EMU60 were badly damaged and scrapped. The remaining three carriages were combined and returned to service as EMU60.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Citytrain SMU Braking Problems, EMU Modifications, Signal Upgrade" Railway Digest November 1999 page 16
  2. ^ "Modern competitive railway". History. Queensland Rail. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 16 August 2008. 
  3. ^ "Electric Multiple Unit". Fleet Information. Queensland Rail. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c Walkers/Adtranz Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) Queensland's Railways Interest Group
  5. ^ "QR Accessible Passenger Rail Services Action Plan 2007 2012(plain text version)". Disability Upgrades. Australian Human Rights Commission. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Brisbane's rail smash 'cover-up'". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "1985 Derailment Beenleigh Branch". Internet archive link. Railscene.com. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "1996 Mayne Derailment". Internet archive link. Railscene.com. Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  9. ^ "Citytrain News" Railway Digest December 1996 page 16
  10. ^ "2001 Petrie Derailment". Internet archive link. Railscene.com. Retrieved 29 February 2012.