As part of the 2014-15 Victoria State Budget, Denis Napthine unveiled his new “Melbourne Rail Link” vision for the city with a flashy video.
In essence a bastardised version of the Melbourne Metro rail tunnel that manages to completely miss the middle of the Melbourne CBD, I’m going to leave the serious discussion about the route to others – Daniel Bowen and Alan Davies have already done so – and instead dive into the dribble filled pit of railfan minutiae.
At the 2:43 mark of the video, one of the “Next Generation” trains appears in the animation. It looks just like a current model XTrapolis train, but with two extra doors per side.
A few seconds later the side of the train is visible – bearing the carriage number 943M.
As it happens 943M is a carriage already on the Melbourne rail network, having entered service back in August 2004 when Connex still ran the system.
The trains of tomorrow, from yesterday!
If you spend your time on railfan forums like I do, then a day doesn’t go by without somebody saying “check out this newspaper article about trains” and somebody else complaining “they used the wrong photo in that article – double deck trains don’t run in Melbourne” (or something along those lines). A topic for another day!