Comeng electric suburban

ABOVE: M 492 at Macauley, less than a month old. Nov 15 1985 

A total of 190 three car sets (M-T-M) were delivered between 1981 and 1989. There were two main variations. 301 - 554 were "Tread" brakes where brake blocks were used. 561 - 698 employed disc brakes. They were the first air conditioned suburban trains. A small group 691 - 698 were delivered with "Chopper" control equipment, in service the Chopper trains were very unreliable and were the first Comeng's to be withdrawn. An interesting modification was "one car operation" a switch in the guards compartment extinguished the lights in the front two cars and only allowed the doors on the last car to open and close. 

After privitisation the fleet was split up, Connex got all of the disc brake trains as well as some Tread brake sets. M Train got the remaining Tread brake sets. Both franchises "rebuilt" the fleet shortly after privitisation. The rebuild was mainly cosmetic. In later years the guards periscope was removed to enable fitting of event recording equipment.

Over the years they have worn many liveries. They were delivered in the VicRail "Teacup" scheme but not long into production they started to be delivered in the Metropolitan Transit scheme shown in the photo ABOVE. Upon privitisation the fleet was painted in Hillside and Bayside liveries and then into Connex and MTrain.

Up until around 2010 they operated in 6 car sets (M-T-M-T-M) during the peak and as 3 car sets (M-T-M) in the off peak. Since about 2010 they have operated as 6 car sets except fpr Alamein and Williamstown shuttles. 

With the introduction of the HCMT trains in late 2021 the Tread brake Comeng's have started to be withdrawn.


ABOVE: Sadly, photographing suburban trains was not high on my priority list so this is the only photo I have of a Comeng in their original livery, Box Hill, Sep 1983.

ABOVE: Part view of 337 M in the original livery, photo courtesy Peter J Vincent.

ABOVE: In Jan 1985 a 6 car set, 477M - 480M was issued to traffic in this livery for an upcoming state election, photo Aug 18 1986, photo courtesy Peter J Vincent.

ABOVE: A Comeng in the MTrain livery at Newport Jan 2004.

ABOVE: Four Comeng's in the Connex livery at Mordialoc, Jan 13 2006

ABOVE: Comeng motor 394 M was involved in a spectacular runaway from Broadmedows in Feb. 2003. It was rebuilt at Newport and is seen here before final fitting out. March 2004

ABOVE: T 8 sat at Newport for many years after it was partially damaged in a fire that destroyed 315 M in 1983 when it was very new. photo 1988. It was returned to service as 1008 T.  Early T cars were numbered from 1 onwards, during construction the number system changed so that 1 T became 1000 T etc. 

ABOVE: Their final livery with PT> on the front and not the franchise holder. 615 M shows the new end that Connex rebuilds recieved, 417 and 546 M show the end style of the MTrain rebuild. This photo also shows the LED tail lights and the blanked steps and removal of all handrails from the front to stop people riding on the end of the train. Calder park siding, July 13 2021.