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Comeng trains starting to be scrapped

Decommissioned Comeng trains at Tottenham are a sorry sight.

A total of 95 six-car Comeng trains were built for the Melbourne metropolitan train fleet.

Some have received upgrades, including better passenger information screens and CCTV, and other less visible improvements.

New in-carriage displays being introduced to Comeng trains

Others are starting to be decommissioned.

Some have been stored in Tottenham yards, a few kilometres west of central Melbourne (alongside the Sunbury and RRL lines), awaiting scrapping.

As you can see from these sorry photos, the vandals have got to them pretty quickly.

Comeng train awaiting scrapping, Tottenham Yard
Comeng train running a Sunbury service passes another that has been decommissioned
Comeng train awaiting scrapping, Tottenham Yard

It was bound to happen eventually, but it’s a sad sight. When I was a teenager in the mid-1980s, if you travelling on a stinking hot day, the sight of one of these air-conditionedSupertrains” arriving was a joy to behold.

The State Government’s rolling stock strategy indicates about 60 of these trains will be scrapped by 2025. Presumably the other 30-odd would follow not too long after that.

Newer trains (including the Evolution/HCMT trains and the yet-to-be-introduced X’Trapolis 2.0 trains) will replace them and expand the overall fleet size.

Comeng train awaiting scrapping, Tottenham Yard

Obviously the Government will want to be careful to avoid the situation faced in the late 2000s when some Hitachi trains had been sold off, and had to bought back to relieve crowding.

There’s probably not much danger of that this time around. COVID-19 has temporarily reduced patronage. While much of it will come back, it’s expected that a permanent shift to part-time Work From Home for CBD commuters will mean that peak demand – which is when the fleet is the most stretched – won’t return to what it was anytime soon.


Footnotes:

  • It’s my usual practice to pixelate graffiti on public transport
  • Tottenham isn’t within the COVID-mandated 15km radius from my home, but it is within the radius of my partner’s house

13 replies on “Comeng trains starting to be scrapped”

I wonder if the same is happening with the Z3 trams as well? Considering there’s new E Class trams coming into the fleet.

They felt so luxurious when they were introduced.

Re Anon’s comment above, I can’t find out anything but if you have a just adequate number of trams, and we did have the bare minimum when Z1 trams were withdrawn in about 2015 with about 30 E trams already in service, 70 more E trams have been added to the system to replace what? Clearly Z3 trams, but where are they being stored? Tram depot sheds don’t have space to store unused trams. There are a few at Preston Workshops stored after accident damage. Strange.

I haven’t walked along the rail line path at all in recent times but was walking that way the other night and saw these trains – and probably saw the taggers at work. The Tottenham Yard looked very bare – what’s happened to all the other old rolling stock that used to be there?

“When I was a teenager … the sight of one of these air-conditioned “Supertrains” arriving was a joy to behold”.
I recall a school friend in the mid-1970s being awestruck when a new train had carpet on the floor.
We certainly expect more these days.

Roger – Mid-70s would have been the start of the light green carpet inside the (then new) silver Hitachi trains – the first batch of Hitachis had ribbed dark green rubber floors.

The link below has a good photo of how they originally looked when new (complete with the door at the driving end of the carriage – in this case a D car, a non-powered control car, when those were still a thing), prior to their mid-life refurbishment in the 1990s. The luggage racks above the windows used to make a terrible racket, think of the noise from a shopping trolley being pushed across a rough carpark.
https://www.busaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=77367

When the Comeng “Super” trains came out in 1981, they had bright red carpets (later ones had either yellow or light brown carpet instead, until the carpets in both the Comengs and Hitachis were replaced with vinyl/lino in the 90s) – while no original condition Comengs are left (except for some fire-damaged ones which may or may not already be cut up, an empty shell of 1186T stored since 1994, and disused refurbishment guinea pig 672M), “Grey Ghost” Harris carriage 903M in the Newport Rail Museum has the exact same interior, as it was rebuilt at the same time to the same layout (albeit a shorter carriage).

I can’t edit the above post, but it’s 492M that got torched, 480M is still (so far) somewhat intact.

I will be sad, once the Comeng trains leave the network. I too have rather fond memories of these trains.

Of some concern is, down in Geelong, is, the class leader, 301M. All train buffs, have a thing about preserving ‘the class leader’ of everything. Why are these Comeng cars going so soon???

I hope it is not too late to save that one particular 6-car set.

Seriously though, the Comeng trains, have all done such a sterling service through out their lives. For the whole time since around 1987 I think it was, when the last Harris train left, and right up until when the first Xtraps/Siemens trains arrived, There was only the Comeng and the Hitachi sets. The Hitachi sets where allocated to mostly peak hour only runs, with the Comeng trains being stretched across the network, around the clock for 12 years.

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