Siemens Nexas interior with recovered seats in May 2009
|Manufacturer||Siemens Transportation Systems|
|Built at||Siemens SGP Verkehrstechnik GmbH, Vienna, Austria|
|Family name||Siemens Modular Metro|
|Number built||72 sets (216 carriages)|
|Number in service||72 sets (216 carriages)|
|Formation||3-car sets (driving motor, trailer, driving motor)|
|Fleet numbers||701M–844M (driving motors)
|Capacity||264 seated (3-carriage set)|
|Operator||Metro Trains Melbourne|
|Line(s) served||Craigieburn, Cranbourne, Frankston, Pakenham, Sandringham, Sunbury, Upfield, Werribee, Williamstown.|
|Car body construction||Stainless steel single deck|
|Car length||24.1 metres (driving motors)
23.8 metres (trailers)
|Floor height||1.23 metres|
|Entry||4 x twin-leaf plug doors per car, 2 either side|
|Articulated sections||2 per 3-car set, enclosed gangway|
|Maximum speed||Maximum speed of 148 km/h (92 mph)
Operating speed of 130 km/h (81 mph)
Currently limited to 115 km/h (71 mph)
|Weight||41.5 tonnes (driving motors, tare)
37.8 tonnes (trailers, tare)
|Acceleration||1.2 m/s2 (limited to 1 m/s2)|
|Electric system(s)||1.5 kV DC Overhead line|
|Coupling system||Scharfenberg coupler|
|Track gauge||1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)|
The Siemens Nexas are a class of electric multiple units manufactured by Siemens Transportation Systems for the suburban railway network of Melbourne, Australia between 2002 and 2005. The design of the trains was based on the Siemens Modular Metro.
The original order was for 62 3-car sets, with an option for an additional ten 3-car sets. In December 2002 just before the first was delivered, National Express handed the M>Train franchise back to the Government of Victoria, thus the first Siemens Nexas' were delivered to the government. All passed to Connex Melbourne in April 2004. The option for ten additional trains was exercised in August 2005, with the last of these delivered in January 2006.
Siemens Rail Services was contracted to provide maintenance of the trains for a period of 15 years (subject to refranchising) at Newport Workshops. With the refranchising of the network to Metro Trains Melbourne in 2009, this maintenance arrangement was retained for an initial three-year period.
In late 2006 the trains suffered a number of braking discrepancies while in service; 14 trains overshot platforms in the space of three days. The 15 units involved in these overshoots were withdrawn from service for checks, and instructions were issued to the drivers to minimise further occurrences. By mid-January 2007, a total of 24 three-carriage trains had been impounded for testing after 20 further incidents of over-running stations since 22 December 2006.
On 13 January 2007, Connex stopped running the Siemens Nexas trains as 3-car sets until the braking issue was resolved, with the result that all services (including evenings and weekends) were operated by 6-car trains. On 29 January 2007, Connex cancelled 37 peak-period services until further notice, due to the shortage of operational trains.
By 1 February 2007, 38 three-car sets were withdrawn due to continuing braking failures, meaning that almost half of the Siemens Nexas fleet (or around 10% of the total fleet) was out of revenue service. Amidst the media reporting an escalating problem with the risk of the entire fleet potentially having to be suspended, Siemens issued a statement on 31 January 2008 saying that they believed there had been no evidence during investigations of the braking failures that would require the entire fleet of trains to be withdrawn from service. Testing of affected trains was carried out on the Werribee line between Newport and Laverton, with soapy water sprayed onto the rails to increase the amount of wheel slip experienced, in an effort to replicate the brake fault. The entire fleet has now re-entered service, although with a restriction not to run single unit (3 car) operations.
In December 2008 train operator Connex commenced proceedings in the Supreme Court to claim damages from Siemens. Connex claims Siemens provided trains with a braking system that was "defective, faulty and inadequate", the trains being "not fit for their purpose" and were not of "merchantable quality".
In March 2009, it was reported that three Siemens Nexas trains had been impounded due to new braking incidents in the week prior.
By December 2010 sanding equipment was trialled on set 773M-T-M in order to improve braking performance of the trains, and by February 2011 a number of in-service trains had also been fitted with the equipment. The sand boxes are fitted to the middle four bogies of each 3-car set.
In June 2011 installation of sanding equipment was completed across the entire fleet. Speed restrictions have now been lifted on all Siemens Nexas trains.
In September 2011 the Office of the Chief Investigator for transport safety found that “the relatively high frequency of overruns involving Nexas trains was neither the result of individual train defects nor any deficiency in train maintenance”.
Design & Construction
The bodies of the Siemens Modular Metro trains evolved from the 1993 DT2 Series used in the Nuremberg U-Bahn whose design in turn came from production of the A Series built for the nearby Munich U-Bahn, but now also used in Nuremberg.
The version of Siemens metro train designed for Melbourne included several attributes similar to existing Melbourne suburban electric trains such as being single-deck and operating in M-T-M (motor-trailer-motor) sets of three carriages, where the motor cars each have an overhead pantograph, and two of these 3-car sets are generally coupled together to form a 6-carriage train when run in revenue service, though a single set may be run when demand does not merit a full train.
There are several notable differences between the Siemens Nexas trains and other trains which operate in Melbourne. These include:
- 2+2 seating. All other trains had 2+3 seating, however X'Trapolis 100 trains ordered as part of the 2008 Victorian Government Transport Plans have the same 2+2 seating configuration, and existing X'Trapolis and Comeng trains had their seats modified to a 2+2 configuration as part of the franchise agreement.
- Two doors per carriage per side. Being significantly wider they were theorised to be slightly more efficient in loading and unloading passengers, although this is disputed by some sources, who believe the fewer doors lead to longer platform dwell times compared to the three smaller doors in other Melbourne trains.
- Plug-type doors - hinged outward and slide along the outside of the vehicle when opening.
- Extreme smooth, vertical walls.
- Open articulation. Passengers can freely move from carriage to carriage, within a 3-carriage set, without opening doors, the first such train with this configuration in Melbourne.
The Siemens Nexas' are fitted with Passenger information system produced by the German firm Annax. The system is unique to the Melbourne rail network, as it uses the original M>train voice of English dialect, and does not announce express running or the end of services. The external destination indicators are large in size compared to other Melbourne trains. New announcements that are said by the Alstom voice are slowly beginning to be installed to Siemens trains for North Melbourne, Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park stations since the Craigieburn Electrification Project was completed in mid-2007.
The Siemens trains have a stainless steel body, and were seen in a number of different liveries in their early years, owing to the changes in ownership that have occurred while the trains were entering service.
The trains were originally delivered with M>Train blue and green stripes on the side, and the M>Train 'swirl' on the front fairing. Later deliveries entering service in bare metal on the sides, and white front fairings with a green and yellow striped bar. On entering Connex Melbourne ownership, blue and yellow stripes were progressively added to the side of all trains, and front fairings were repainted yellow with the blue Connex logo.
After Metro Trains Melbourne took over the operation of the suburban network in November 2009, the Connex logo on all trains was covered over as a temporary measure, with all sets progressively being repainted into Metro livery, a process completed in March 2010.
- Siemens Transportation Systems wins major contract in Australia Siemens 1 April 2000
- Bayside trains franchise agreement part 8 Government of Victoria
- Annual Report December 2000 National Express Group
- Siemens Rail Services (October 2009). "Submission in relation to "The factors leading to and causes of failures in the provision of Metropolitan and V/Line train services"". www.parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- "Media Release: New Train Hits the Tracks". Minister for Public Transport. 4 October 2005.
- Siemens Vicsig
- Moynihan, Stephen (16 November 2006). "Rail crisis as train brakes fail". The Age.
- Moynihan, Stephen (16 January 2007). "Further brake failures sideline a third of new trains". The Age.
- Whinnett, Ellen; Mitchell, Geraldine (30 January 2007). "Anger as 37 services derailed". Herald Sun.
- Moynihan, Stephen (1 February 2007). "Connex may halt fleet today". The Age.
- "Siemens brake testing". Wongm's Rail Gallery. railgallery.wongm.com. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- Clay Lucas (3 March 2009). "Brake failures stop city trains". The Age. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
- "773M-T-M power through on the West line while testing sanding equipment at Laverton". Vicsig - Photos. Vicsig. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- "Safety Investigations Rail Reports". Platform Overruns Siemens Nexas EMU Connex / Metro Trains Melbourne. Office of the Chief Investigator. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
- Train Franchise Agreement Volume 2 Public Transport Victoria
- "The Problems: Why trains are late". The Age. 29 May 2005.
- "Dissatisfaction - all along the line". The Age. 30 May 2005.
- "News". Connex Melbourne. 24 June 2008.
- "Metro Livery Program". Vicsig. Retrieved 2010-07-14.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Siemens (train).|
- Siemens Mass Transit Reference List (pages 16/17)