3000 class railcar

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3000/3100 class railcars
Adelaide Metro 3136 Mawson Lakes.jpg
Partially repainted 3136 at Mawson Lakes
Inside Adelaide 3000 Class train (14250482997).jpg
Interior of a refurbished unit
Manufacturer Comeng
Clyde Engineering
Built at Dandenong
Replaced Redhen railcars
Entered service 1987-1996
Number built 70
Fleet numbers 3001-3030
Capacity 106 (3000)
113 (3100)
Operator(s) State Transport Authority
Adelaide Metro
Depot(s) Dry Creek
Car length 25.77 metres
Width 3.05 metres
Height 4.27 metres
Maximum speed 130 km/h (81 mph)
90 km/h (56 mph) Network Speed
Weight 48 tonnes (3000)
46 tonnes (3100)
Traction system 2 x Stromberg
Prime mover(s) Mercedes Benz OM444LA (3001-3008, 3101-3112)
MTU Friedrichshafen 12V183 TE12 (3009-3030, 3113-3140)
Power output 354kW
Transmission Diesel-electric
Braking system(s) Knorr-Bremse
Coupling system Scharfenberg
Track gauge 1,600 mm (5 ft 3 in)

The 3000/3100 class are a class of diesel railcars operated by the State Transport Authority and its successors in Adelaide. They were built by Comeng and Clyde Engineering between 1987 and 1996.


In March 1985, the State Transport Authority (STA) awarded a tender for 20 diesel railcars (eight 3000 class units with a cab at each end and twelve 3100 class with a cab at one end only) to Comeng, Dandenong.[1][2][3] The design was based on the stainless steel shell of the Comeng electric train then in production for Melbourne's Public Transport Corporation, but 2.3 metres longer and with only two doors per side. Because of a contractual requirement to maximise local content, the fit out was conducted at Comeng's Dry Creek facility. The first commenced testing in May 1987, entering service in November 1987.[4] The eight 3000s were built first with the first 3100 class completed in mid-1988.[5][6][7]

In the original contract, there was an option to order 76 further examples. However Comeng came back to the STA with a significantly higher price, so the work was put out to tender and a contract for 50 awarded to Clyde Engineering in November 1989. Comeng concluded a deal to sell the 3000 class design and tooling. However by the time construction commenced, Comeng had sold its Dandenong plant to ABB who backed away from an agreement to hand over the jigs and tooling, so they were built between 1992 and 1996 by Clyde Engineering's Somerton factory.[7][8][9]

All were delivered with unpainted stainless steel offset by blue and orange stripes. In April 2002 the first was repainted by Bluebird Rail Operations in Adelaide Metro's yellow, blue and red.[10]

Originally they operated on all Adelaide suburban lines, however since the electrification of the Seaford and Tonsley lines in 2014, they have been confined to the Belair, Gawler, Grange and Outer Harbor lines. They have on occasions ventured beyond the Adelaide metropolitan area, operating special services to Nuriootpa on the Barossa Valley line and Riverton on the Roseworthy-Peterborough line.[11][12]


The Comeng builts railcar feature an underfloor mounted Mercedes Benz OM444LA 475 hp V12 twin turbo direct injection diesel engine, operating at a constant 1500 RPM, which is directly coupled to a Reliance 400kVA alternator. Drive is provided by two Stromberg traction motors, rated at a continuous 130 kW each, mounted on a single bogie. The railcars also feature an auxiliary transformer providing 3 phase 50 Hz at 415 V which supplies air-conditioning and other ancillary power needs.[13] The Clyde built examples were powered by a MTU Friedrichshafen 12V183 TE12 engine.[9]

The 3000 class bogies are built by Comeng and feature airbag secondary suspension. All 3000 class railcars are fitted with electro-magnetic track brakes, which are comparatively rare on trains, though they are commonly found on trams. These are operated separately from the normal mechanical and dynamic braking.

Trains are equipped with automatic Scharfenberg couplers which are operated from the driver's cab. Coupling operations are sometimes performed at Adelaide station, requiring an extra staff member to flag the driver as well as to connect the safety chains. This feature allows sets of up to six cars to be formed.

Two headlights are mounted at the top of the car in the centre on driver's cab ends. There are no marker lights at the front; however, there are red marker lights for the rear located on the upper corners. There are metal steps up the side of the car to each door, but they are not used by passengers. They are illuminated by lights at night. All cars are air-conditioned.


In the 2008/09 State Budget it was announced that five out of six of Adelaide's railway lines were to be electrified commencing with the Noarlunga and Gawler lines. This was to have resulted in 58 of the 3000/3100 class railcars being converted to electric operation with the remaining 12 to be retained as diesels for operation on the Belair line.[14][15][16] However with the electrification project scaled back, the conversions were cancelled.[17]

Since April 2018, 3000/3100 series trains have begun a life extension program, which includes engine upgrades and a new red livery similar to the 4000 class units. This upgrade will mean that these trains can continue to operate on the network for many years to come until network electrification is completed.[18]


  1. ^ "Here & There" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 573 July 1985 page 53
  2. ^ "New Railcars for STA" Catch Point issue 48 July 1985 page 13
  3. ^ "South Australia" Railway Digest July 1985 page 215
  4. ^ "New STA Railcars" Catch Point issue 60 July 1987 page 14
  5. ^ "New STASA Suburban DEMUs Rail Australia August 1987
  6. ^ "South Australia's STA 3000 & 3100 Class Railcars" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 608 June 2008 pages 122-128
  7. ^ a b Dunn, John (2012). Comeng: A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 5: 1985-2012. Kenthurst: Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 77–86. ISBN 9781922013521. 
  8. ^ "Here & There" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 639 January 1991 page 22
  9. ^ a b "The Adelaide 3000 class railcars" Railway Digest March 2006 pages 20-23
  10. ^ "Here & There" Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin issue 777 July 2002 page 278
  11. ^ "Shirley Bassey in the Valley" Catch Point issue 119 May 1997 page 10
  12. ^ "General Operations - ARG Broad Gauge Lines" Catch Point issue 161 May 2004 page 28
  13. ^ Baker, Brett (April 2009). "Rail revitalisation: a decade of change for TransAdelaide". Institution of Railway Signal Engineers Australasia: AGM & technical meeting: Adelaide. 
  14. ^ "Adelaide rail electrification and tram extension" Railway Digest August 2008 page 18
  15. ^ More standing room on trains Adelaide Advertiser 24 September 2008
  16. ^ Budget 2008/09 Government of South Australia
  17. ^ South Australia Budget sees Metro rail projects canned Rail Express 6 June 2012
  18. ^ DPTI South Australia (2018-06-03), Train upgrades, retrieved 2018-06-04 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Media related to 3000 class railcars at Wikimedia Commons