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