Three-car VLocity at Yarragon
Interior of the passenger saloon (2004-2010 scheme)
|Built at||Bombardier Dandenong|
|Replaced||Latest rolling stock|
|Number in service||51|
|Number scrapped||0 (VL29 rebuilt as VL41)|
|Formation||DM-TM-DM(D) or DM-DM(D). More than one set can run together.|
|Fleet numbers||VL00-VL28, VL30-VL51.
DM cars: 1100-1151
TM cars: 1319-1328, 1330-1351
DM(D) cars: 1200-1228, 1230-1251
|Capacity||140 seats for two-car set, 216 seats for three-car set|
|Depot(s)||Southern Cross Station (major hub)|
|Car length||25.255 m (82 ft 10.3 in) (carriage),
50.501 m (165 ft 8.2 in) (two car set)
|Width||2,920 mm (9 ft 7 in)|
|Articulated sections||Between permanently coupled carriages in each unit|
|Maximum speed||160 km/h (99 mph) where track conditions allow|
|Engine(s)||1 Cummins QSK-19R per car|
|Power output||559 kW (750 hp) per car|
|Transmission||Voith T312 hydraulic transmission|
|Acceleration||0.9 m/s (3.0 ft/s)|
|Deceleration||0.95 m/s (3.1 ft/s),br>(emergency 1.12 m/s (3.7 ft/s))|
|Auxiliaries||Cummins 80 KW generator set per car and battery (1 hour)|
|Track gauge||Broad (1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)) (can be converted to SG)|
The VLocity 160 (normally just VLocity) is a high-speed diesel multiple unit train manufactured by Bombardier Transportation (contract inherited from Adtranz) for use on regional rail lines in Victoria, Australia, running under V/Line.
Design origins 
The VLocity is an evolution of the Xplorer/Endeavour railcars built by ABB Transportation (now Bombardier Transportation) for CountryLink and CityRail, respectively, in New South Wales, themselves being derivatives of Transwa Australind railcars. National Express Group specified the NSW design as part of its bid to operate V/Line under the public transport privatisation scheme of the Kennett government in the late 1990s. The train was originally known as a V/Locity (with the slash character).
The initial design called for a maximum running speed of 145 km/h, this was later modified to 160 km/h as part of the Regional Fast Rail project of the Bracks Labor government. Early concept art of the trains depicted them with blue stripes down the sides, red doors, and a yellow front.
Manufacturing and testing 
Thirty-eight VLocity two-car DMUs were ordered from the Bombardier Transportation plant in Dandenong. While the design was frozen before National Express Group exited its public transport contracts in 2003, following publicity, drinking fountains, previously not provided, were added to the specifications.
Late testing revealed noise levels were too high in the cabin, delaying the introduction of the trains into service while the completed sets were modified.
Into service 
The VLocity was introduced into service on the Ballarat line on December 22, 2005. Services on the Geelong and Bendigo lines were introduced on February 3, 2006 and February 24, 2006, respectively. Services to Traralgon and Seymour were introduced in September 2006. In addition, the Ararat and Echuca services are operated by VLocities, as they are formed by Ballarat and Bendigo services, respectively. From 2010, some Ballarat line services will be extended to Maryborough.
The 160 km/h (99 mph) services officially started on September 3, 2006, to Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong, and to Traralgon on September 15, 2006. Outside these areas, where the VLocity is still accredited to operate for revenue passenger operations, they may travel up to 130 km/h (81 mph). As part of the 160-km/h deployment, trains without TPWS, such as freight and heritage trains, may only travel at 80 km/h (50 mph) on RFR track.
On November 10, 2008, seven-carriage-long VLocity trains commenced regular operation, comprising two two-car units and one three-car unit on peak-hour Geelong line services. Previously, the longest trains were six carriages.
Additions to the fleet 
After the initial order of 38 units, a further two VLocity units were later ordered to bring the total to 40, along with 22 new intermediate trailers to go in the middle of existing VLocity sets (extending them to three carriages each). The first 14 were promised as part of the 2006 State Election campaign by the Labor Party in November 2006, and the order was placed in December the same year, and the order for the next eight was announced on 12 October 2007. The first intermediate trailer car, numbered 1341, has been placed in the middle of carriages 1141-1241 to form a three-car set. By December 2009, 20 intermediate cars were in service (in VLocities numbered VL21-VL28 and VL30 to VL41).
In July 2008, the State Government unveiled a $236 million package of regional rail improvements, including nine new three-car units, and an additional intermediate car to be inserted into an existing two-car unit. The final VLocity unit of the order was delivered to V/Line in September 2011.
On 26 November 2012, Transport Minister Terry Mulder announced that an additional 40 carriages would be delivered between 2014 and 2016. The $207 million order would comprise seven additional 3-car sets plus 19 intermediate cars.
Livery modifications 
On 3 March 2008, newly built VLocity set 41 (cars 1141 and 1241) was released from Bombardier Dandenong for acceptance testing between Pakenham and Warragul. This unit was outshopped with an altered cab livery following recommendations in recent level crossing accident reports to make trains more visible to motorists. Portions of reflective yellow have been added to the cabs, along with more reflective silver directly beneath the cab windscreen. Shortly after set 41 was released, the yellow front was then progressively added to all existing cab units. As of November 2009, all current three-car VLocity sets had been altered, along with two-car units 05, 09, 15 and 16.
In December 2009, VLocity carriage 1321 (set 21's intermediate car) received window decals with the text "Our 100th VLocity carriage (It's part of the plan)" to promote the State Government's Victorian Transport Plan. In June 2010, carriage 1330 (in set 30) also received windows decals, this time depicting a large octopus to promote V/Line travel to the Melbourne Aquarium.
In June 2010, newly built set 42 was released in a new livery - with a crimson stripe at roof level replacing the purple, and red replacing the green, a red stripe along the car body below the windows, white doors, and yellow front. The set also received high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights which project light up to 1 km, modified windscreen wipers and cab windows.
Passenger experience 
The seating layout for the VLocity is 2x2, with a mix of club-style seats facing each other, and aircraft-style rows, some facing forwards, others backwards. The seats can't be rotated to face any particular direction, and seat backs are fixed, not reversible. Four wheelchair spaces are provided in each set through the provision of tip-up seats. The VLocity offers economy-class seating only, although the seat width is equivalent to first class seating on V/Line locomotive-hauled services. In response to passenger feedback, the seatback angle in the intermediate carriages was made 2.5 degrees more upright than the original carriages. New deliveries from July 2010 onwards (VL42 and above) featured a changed seatback angle and new seat fabrics.
While VLocity carriages have tinted windows, they lack the curtains as provided by older V/Line rolling stock. Passengers may move freely between the two or three semi-permanently coupled vehicles in a set, but not between the sets themselves. Conductors move between coupled sets at station stops.
Tables were installed in one unit (VL28) for evaluation purposes, but were later removed. In three-car VLocity units, 32 seats in the intermediate carriage have fold-down tray tables, much like the first class seats on locomotive-hauled services.
Overhead racks exist for small baggage, while larger baggage is stored in the middle of the unit, with some spaces large enough for surfboards and bicycles. In January 2008, passengers were banned from taking bicycles on VLocity trains during peak hours, despite the designated bike area, with the ban repealed in February 2008.
A number of sets have received illuminated "keep clear" signage behind the drivers cab, these signs being lit up when the cab is occupied, to ensure the passengers on crowded services do not prevent the train driver from exiting the cab in an accident. Set 33 was the first to be fitted in March 2009.
Power is provided by a Cummins QSK 19R diesel engine (559 kW) in each car. VLocity units use Scharfenberg couplers. This enables them to operate with other VLocity units, and being towed by Sprinters or locomotives with transition couplers if required.
The VLocity runs on Victorian broad gauge, as with most other V/Line services. The bogies (trucks)were made at Bombardier's plant in Derby, UK, and are fully gauge-convertible to standard gauge. Air Radiators of Geelong produced the engine cooling systems.
As the VLocity seating layout is 2x2, instead of the 2x3 seating provided in other V/Line saloon-type carriages, the VLocity is less suited to crush loads than older rolling stock. A single VLocity car seats around 70 passengers, compared to 89 in the previous generation Sprinter with its narrower 2x3 seats.
The Regional Fast Rail project for which the VLocitys were built was criticised for cost blow-outs during construction. These included the cost of installing extra safety measures deemed necessary for 160-km/h operation, which were added to the project after the Waterfall rail accident in New South Wales.
On 28 April 2006, VLocity Set 29 (consisting of cars 1129 and 1229) was involved in a collision at a level crossing at Trawalla while travelling from Ararat. It collided with a large triaxle road trailer carrying a 16-tonne block of stone and two heavy press machines. The front of the train withstood the impact with the trailer, but the press machines were thrown loose, striking and penetrating the cab. At the time of the impact, three people were in the cab, the driver (who was seriously injured) and two off-duty Pacific National drivers (one of whom was injured, and the other killed). As the train continued through the crossing, the rear trailer swung around and the stone block was thrown off, striking and partially penetrating the side of the leading car (1129), killing the mother of the train driver, who had been travelling as a passenger. The final injury count is unknown. The unit had been in service since only 21 April - seven days before the accident. After the accident, both cars were taken to Newport Workshops for examination. Car 1129 (the leading car in the collision) suffered the most damage, so it was written off. Car 1229, having received relatively minor damage, was sent to Bombardier Dandenong for repairs. It was later renumbered 1241 and marshalled together with new cars 1141 and 1341, and has since re-entered service.
On 5 May 2006, VLocity Set 04 travelling on the 9:38 a.m. service from Melbourne to Ararat collided with a car at the Rockbank level crossing near Melton. Thirty train passengers and the driver of the car were taken to hospital. The level crossing was protected and train services were delayed until 2:30 that afternoon.
VLocities are used on lines including:
- the North-East line, to Seymour
- the Gippsland line, to Traralgon and Sale
- the Bendigo line, to Kyneton, Bendigo, Eaglehawk and Echuca
- the Geelong line, to Geelong, South Geelong, Marshall
- the Ballarat line, to Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat, Wendouree, Ararat and Maryborough
See also 
- The rolling stock the VLocity is replacing is, if any, unknown, although it has relieved V/Line of rolling stock shortages present before introduction.
- Rail Technical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch, July 2007 Newsletter, page 6, http://rtsa.com.au/assets/2008/03/rtsa-sa-nl-jul-2007.pdf, accessed 8th February 2011
- "Government propaganda spruiking the RFR project, note the weird VLocity livery proposal". Wongm's Rail Gallery. wongm.railgeelong.com. Retrieved 2009-09-09.
- "Fast trains strike costly sound hitch". The Age. 11 October 2005. Retrieved 2006-04-25.
- "MORE REGIONAL TRAINS AND RETURN OF PASSENGER SERVICES TO MARYBOROUGH". Media Release from the Premier of Victoria. www.vline.com.au. 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-08.
- "SUPER-SIZED TRAINS FOR GEELONG TO EASE THE SQUEEZE". Media Release from the Minister for Public Transport. www.vline.com.au. November 7, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "Provincial Victoria: Moving Forward - Not Back" (pdf). p. 8. Retrieved 2006-11-11.
- "Media Release: 1,000 PLUS NEW SEATS FOR REGIONAL RAIL COMMUTERS". www.dpc.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Media Release: EXTRA CARRIAGES TO BOOST CAPACITY ON REGIONAL TRAINS". www.dpc.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "NEW TRAIN SETS TO BOOST CAPACITY ON REGIONAL TRAINS". Media Release from the Premier of Victoria. www.vline.com.au. July 31, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "V/Line 22 new carriages". Railpage Australia Forums (Victoria). www.railpage.com.au. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
- "Regional trains overcrowded but no new services planned". Victoria Train Debacle's channel. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- "State Government to buy 40 new V/Line carriages". Herald Sun. 26 November 2012.
- "Window decals on VLocity carriage 1321 - 'Our 100th VLocity carriage (It's part of the plan)'". Wongm's Rail Gallery. railgallery.wongm.com. December 5, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "100th VLocity carriage hits the tracks". V/Line Voice, issue 52. www.vline.com.au. December 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "VLocity car 1330 advertising the Melbourne Aquarium at North Melbourne". Vicsig. www.vicsig.net. June 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "New VLocity livery - 3VL42". Wongm's Rail Gallery. railgallery.wongm.com. June 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- "New VLocity trains". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2006-11-09.
- "V/Line is expanding". www.vline.com.au. Retrieved 2006-11-09.
- wongm's rail gallery: Interior picture of VL00 showing new interior arrangement http://railgallery.wongm.com/vline-bits/E105_9856.jpg.html
- Tables installed in VL28, V/LineCars.com
- "Looking down VLocity centre car 1341 and the tray tables". Wongm's Rail Gallery. railgallery.wongm.com. July 4, 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
-  retrieved 29th February, 2009
-  Retrieved 19 February 2008
- "New keep clear light in 3VL33, along with floor markings". Wongm's Rail Gallery. railgallery.wongm.com. March 5, 2009. Retrieved 2010-07-05.
- V/LineCars.com - VLocity DMU's Image Gallery - Construction Photos
- Track and Signal Vol 10. #2, pg. 103
- The Age, 'Fast Rail in $200m Blow Out', December 14, 2004, http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Fast-rail-in-200m-blowout/2004/12/14/1102787062830.html
- "Two Dead in Train Crash", The Age, retrieved 28 April 2006
- "VL29", Vicsig.net forums, retrieved 18 September 2006
- Official information page at V/Line
- V/LineCars.com information page (Unofficial)
- Vicsig.net information page (Unofficial)