H type carriage

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
H type carriage
Line H set VSH28.JPG
Refurbished H Set
Interior of a carriage refurbished in 2007
Manufacturer Victorian Railways
Built at Newport Workshops
Replaced Wooden bodied stock
Constructed Built 1956–1968 as Harris suburban EMUs. Rebuilt 1984–1990 to locomotive hauled carriages.
Refurbishment 2007
  • 3 carriage sets (SH, LH)
  • 6 carriage sets (SSH)
Operator V/Line
Doors Manually opened but remotely closed and locked, 2 per side
Articulated sections Open gangways
Maximum speed 115 km/h (71 mph)
Power supply Head end power
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in) only

The H type carriages are an interurban passenger carriage used on the railways of Victoria, Australia. Fitted with high-density 2+3 seating in economy class only, they are exclusively used on short distance interurban services with V/Line.


Between 1983 and 1992 Clyde Engineering converted 59 cars from early Harris suburban Electric Multiple Units to replace the last of the older wooden carriage stock[1] They had been ordered after the success of the 1981 New Deal in increasing patronage.

The four 'MTH' variants were originally converted for use with the DRC railcars until the early 1990s, being provided with underfloor generators. They were then used as locomotive hauled carriages on the unelectrified suburban Stony Point line operated by Connex Melbourne until 26 April 2008 when Sprinter trains were introduced on the route instead. MTH 102 has been converted to an inspection car for Metro Trains Melbourne and now operates between two T Class locomotives as IEV102 for inspection trains, while the remaining three MTH cars are stored along with BH 141 at Newport Workshops.

In conjunction with the new timetable of 18 November 2012, the H fleet were reorganised to give four six-car sets as well as ten semi-permanently-coupled three-car sets, giving an effective total of nine six-car sets in service. These trains usually provide services to Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Seymour, hauled by N and P Class locomotives, or the occasional A Class locomotive with power van. Previously, they had been used in combinations of anywhere from three to five carriages per set for runs to Leongatha and Sunbury, and occasionally these sets would be coupled to make even longer trains. At one point seven carriage trains were trialled by combining a three- and a four-car set.

When running to Lara for the yearly Airshow at Avalon Airport, the H cars would sometimes be organised into twelve-car sets, with a single P Class locomotive on each end, and a third between the eighth and ninth cars. In this configuration the train was operated by a single crew, but head-end-power was provided to each four-car set by its nearest P Class counterpart. This was done to avoid overheating of the wiring between the carriages, as the wiring is only designed to handle a four-car electrical load.

Set FSH25 was the first set to be refurbished and repainted into the new V/Line livery, reentering service in September 2007.[2] FSH23 followed in May 2008,[3] with refurbishment of the remainder of the sets is to be completed by mid-2009.[4]


The carriages are hauled by N class, A class or P class diesel locomotives, with through cabling providing multiple-unit train control and enabling push pull train operations. The carriages require a head end power supply for lighting and air conditioning operation, either supplied by an appropriate locomotive or a separate power van. Each carriage has two doors per side, manually opened by passengers, but remotely closed and locked by the train conductor. Toilets, drinking fountains and luggage areas are provided throughout each carriage set.

The MTH carriages previously ran on the Stony Point line with an A Class, until that was taken over by Sprinters. These cars are now in storage.


H type carriages are numbered in the 101 - 200 series. Sets were issued to traffic with three types of carriage:

  • BCH economy class with conductors van - cars 121-131, 132-133 long, 134 and 135 seat 10 more people but don't have toilets.
  • BH economy class - 141-149, 150-151 were converted to BTH 174-175, 152, 153 long.
  • BTH economy class with terminal connections 161-171, 172-173 long, 174-175 formerly BH 150, 151
  • MTH metropolitan (suburban) class with terminal connections - 101-104

Additional cars were later constructed to increase capacity. These cars do not feature toilets:

  • BIH economy class intermediate - 181-194

Carriage sets[edit]

Since November 2012, the H type carriages have been fixed into semi-permanent sets, identified with the following codes, in conjunction with a unique number:

  • SSH - 6 "short" carriages
  • SH - 3 "short" carriages (normally coupled with another 3-carriage set)
  • LH - 3 "long" carriages (two LH sets exist - they were created from 75 feet (23 m) long Harris trailers)

Prior to this change, H sets were arranged as follows:

  • SH - 3 carriages
  • FSH - because of the F, this means that the sets contains 4 carriages.
  • VSH - the V means that the set contains 5 carriages
  • VLH - the L meaning long.

Sets originally entered service as 3 car sets, later having additional cars added to being them up to four cars. With the breaking up of some sets and reallocation of carriages, longer carriage sets have since been formed.


H sets are used on lines including:

They were previously used on the Bendigo line to Bendigo, South Gippsland line to Leongatha and on the outer suburban Stony Point line. They have also previously been used on the full length of the Ballarat line to Ballarat.



  1. ^ Lee, Robert (2007). The Railways of Victoria 1854-2004. Melbourne University Publishing Ltd. p. page 255. ISBN 978-0-522-85134-2. 
  2. ^ "V/LineCars.com - Carriage and Sprinter Refurbishment Program & New V/Line Livery - Ministerial & Media Launch". www.vlinecars.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-16. Retrieved 2008-05-27. 
  3. ^ "Vicsig Forums • View topic - FSH23". forums.vicsig.net. Retrieved 2008-05-27.