V/LOCITY DMU RAIL CAR SETS

Features:

  • 5 Pol Skew-Wound Motor
  • Interior Lighting
  • Factory Painted & Decorated
  • Twin Brass Fly Wheels
  • Detailed CAB Interior
  • Highly Detailed Body & Roof
  • Turned Metal Wheels
  • Internal Seating
  • Rubber Diaphragms
  • DCC & Sound Ready
  • All Wheel Drive & Pick Up
  • Working Directional Headlights & Marker Lights
  • Specially Designed Inter-carriage Close Coupler
  • Driver Cars fitted with working Scharfenberg Couplers

Prototype Information

The VLocity sets are an evolution of the NSW Xplorer/Endevour DMU railcar sets built by ABB Transportation, now Bombardier Transportation. The design was specified by National Express Group as a part of its bid to operate V/Line under the Kennett Government’s public rivatization scheme in the late 1990’s. Whilst the initial design called for a maximum speed of 145km/h this was upgraded as part of the Regional Fasr Rail program instituted by the Bracks government to 160km/h.

38 VLocity two car DMU sets were initially ordered from Bombardier. A further two sets were ordered in 2006 and 2007 along with 22 intermediate trailers to form 3 car sets. The first intermediate car forming set 41. A further nine 3 car sets and an additional intermediate car was included in the 2008 State Government Regional Rail programme. The current fleet configuration is 19 x 2 car sets and 32 x 3 car sets.

The VLocity was introduced into service on the Ballarat line on 22nd December 2005 with official 160km/h services starting on September 3rd 2006, with Ararat & Echuca services as extentions of the Ballarat & Bendigo services added later whilst the Ballarat service was further extended to Maryborough in 2010. The VLocities have proved very popular with the travelling public and are highly regarded for their comfort and reduced travelling times between regional cities and Melbourne resulting in passanger numbers increasing substantially.

Introduced in an exciting contemporary colour scheme of black, mauve and light teal green livery with tinted windows. This was subsequently altered in March 2008 following recommendations from reports into level crossing accidents. Set 41 was out shopped with portions of reflective yellow wings added to the cabs along with more reflective silver beneath the cab window. This was further modified when the yellow front was added above the cab window to increase visibility and these changes were progressively applied to all cab units.

With the introduction of set 42 in June 2010, modifications were made to the external & internal appearance of the sets. Externally, High Intensity Discharge (HID) lights were fitted adjacent to the high & low beam headlights for use on the regional lines outside of Melbourne. New drivers side porthole style cab windows were also added for better emergency use. At the same time, a revised colour scheme of purple, red & yellow was applied on the last ten 3 car sets and 2 car set VL00, more closely aligning the VLocities to the V/Line colour scheme used on the rest of the V/Line fleet and incorporating the V/Line logo on the front & the sides.

Several intermediate cars have received special decals. Car 1321 received window decal “Our 100th VLocity carriage (it’s all part of the plan)” December 2009 and Car 1330, a window decal depicting a large octopus promoting V/Line travel to the Melbourne Aquarium, June 2010.

Power for the VLocities is provided by a Cummings QSK diesel engine of 559kW in each car. The units use Scharfenberg couplers enabling them to operate with other VLocity units as well as being towed by Sprinter or locomotives with transition couplers if required. The VLocities run on Victorian broad gauge but interestingly, the bogies are fully gauge convertible to standard guage.

V/Locity Couplers

Southern Rail’s Explorers, Endeavours and V/locities have all been developed with unique couplers both at the front of the driver cars ( working Sharfenberg Type) and between the trailer cars, an electrical connector, close coupling, swing coupler. These couplers are a first for an Australian model.

Whilst the swing couplers are a fantastic development they may also be the focus of frustration by clients either by not coupling the model correctly or on occasions, where the coupler has a broken part or the covers have not been attached correctly.

The manual that comes with every set clearly outlines how to couple the units together. Unfortunately, a number of clients fail to read the manual before placing the model on their tracks and in so doing may cause damage to the coupler immediately.

The diagram below clearly illustrates how the coupler is to be joined, noting that it must be kept straight and that there are locking caps both top & bottom. In ensuring that all parts are engaged correctly, some tension is required to make the parts “click home”.

It is then recommended that your model be kept on the track as or in your display cabinet as a permanently joined model. Some clients have advised that like Eureka’s AD60 Garratt, they have made a cradle or travelling case for transportation and handling. A practice Southern Rail also recommends.

Pick Ups Or Wipers – Dummy Driver Car & Trailer Cars

Some clients have advised that that their models are not as free rolling as they would like and experiencing some difficulty on an incline or the intermediate or trailing car disengages.

As with every new model, where there is all wheel pick up, there is tightness in the model because it is new. However, if the issue continues with the electrical pickup wipers exerting just a little too much tension against the axle pick up point, then they need to be eased off so that the wagon is able to run freely.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT IF THERE IS TOO MUCH TENSION FROM THE PICK UPS, THIS WILL ALSO PUT AN UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF TENSION ON THE SWING COUPLER AND MAY CAUSE THE COUPLER TO DISENGAGE.
The suggestions to improving the free running are twofold and apply only to the trailer car & dummy driver car:

  1. In the first instance – Apply a tiny amount of Loco Lube where the axle & wheel meet. This should substantially decrease resistance.
  2. As a second step – if there is continued resistance or even in conjunction with point “a”, the following suggestions have been made by Rob & Craig Winterbottom (Thanks guys)
  1. Insert a flat bladed screwdriver at either end of the bogie under the little clip that holds the bogie side frame to the bogie body. Once the end is free, gently lever the bogie side frame off
  2. Remove the wheels and set aside taking note of which side the plastic bush is on. Run a tissue around the wheel to ensure a clean surface.
  3. Note how the contact wipers spring out when you remove the axles, a sign of too much tension. Place a hobby knife with a flat blade down in between the contact wiper and the bogie and slide it up against the main body of the contact just to give you something to bend against. With a small screwdriver at the tip of the contact gently flex the contact back until there is only slight tension on the wheel
  4. When satisfied, wipe the contact over with a tissue, replace the wheels, press the bogie side frames back & the adjustment is complete

Fitting Decoders

The Vlocity is designed to accept an ESU decoder.

Note: The interier lighting will not work with any other decoder

3. The Vlocities have provision for fitting a 21 pin decoder. This provision is protected with a clip over cover piece of circuit board sometimes referred to as a dummy decoder. Any attempt to force fit a decoder through the pin holes on this piece of board could cause your decoder to explode and cause damage to the model. This will not be accepted as a warranty issue & in fact will void your warranty issue all together.

DCC Solutions – Function Mapping for Lighting

The V/LINE VLOCITY DMU SETS include the 21 Pin MTC socket for easily fitting a DCC decoder and a speaker installed making it a simple solution for sound.

When Southern Rail commenced development of this model we wanted to get the most lighting options available with the current range of DCC decoders on the market. Moving forward with the choice of the 21 Pin Socket was to enable the user to simply plug in a DCC Decoder without the need of any additional wiring or soldering for the lights or sound speakers on the model.

With the growing trend of installing sound into locomotives, the model is delivered sound ready. Being an Australian locomotive, a sound file is not available from any decoder manufacturer, so a recording had to be made and a sound project developed especially for the V/Locity. With this, it left the choice limited to one decoder manufacturer that has decoders readily available in Australia to supply a 21 Pin Sound Decoder that the sound project can be programmed and supply a 21 Pin Non Sound Decoder. The ESU LokSound V4.0 (Sound Decoder) and the ESU LokPilot V4.0 (Non Sound) became the decoder of choice.

With a high detail replica model of the V/Locity produced, trying to reproduce how the lights operate as per the prototype becomes difficult as current decoders simply don’t have enough light outputs. The internal light boards on the V/Locity have been designed for the use with the ESU decoders allowing for the separate operation of Markers/Ditch Lights, Headlights and Interior Lights.

While this light setup might not suit everybody the good news is it can be changed to suit your own personal preferences. All ESU decoders sold by DCC Solutions are already programmed for lighting and can be setup to suit your requirements.

How to Map the Lights to Function Keys

ESU LokPilot V4.0

If you have purchased an ESU LokPilot V4.0 Decoder the interior lights will not operate. This is because AUX4 is not programmed by default to operate.

The function mapping of the ESU decoders is extremely complex. There are 640 CVs with 5120 possible combinations. They are all indexed CVs which means to change 1 CV will require you to change 3 CVs in succession to complete the change.

For those who have access to the ESU LokProgrammer or use JMRI (Decoder Pro) it is a simple task of ticking checkboxes to active AUX4 onto a function button and writing the changes to the decoder.

But, there are many out there that do their decoder programming via their DCC System Throttle.  As there a several DCC Systems on the market please consult your manual on how to change CV values.

The lights will operate out of the box by default on the ESU Lokpilot V4.0 as follows:

LIGHTS OUTPUT FUNCTION
Front Markers/Ditch Lights Front Light F0 or Headlight
Rear Markers/Ditch Lights Rear Light F0 or Headlight
Front Headlight AUX1 F1
Rear Headlight AUX2 F2
Interior Lights AUX4 Not Active

Mapping the Interior Lights on F3

Input these values into 6 CVs in the following important order:

1. Enter the value of 16 into CV31
2. Enter the value of 2 into CV32
3. Enter the value of 32 into CV426
4. Enter the value of 16 into CV31
5. Enter the value of 2 into CV32
6. Enter the value of 32 into CV442

Your interior lights will now operate on/off on F3.

Directional Headlights

The headlights do not operate directionally only on/off. For those that would like directional headlights.

Input these values into 6 CVs in the following important order:

 1.  Enter the value of 16 into CV31
 2.  Enter the value of 2 into CV32
 3.  Enter the value of 0 into CV378
 4.  Enter the value of 16 into CV31
 5.  Enter the value of 2 into CV32
 6.  Enter the value of 0 into CV394

Your headlights will now operate by turning on F1 and F2 but will turn on/off with direction of travel.

ESU Loksound V4.0

DCC Solutions have pre-programmed the lights to operate correctly. If purchasing a decoder from them you can specify how you would like the lights to operate as they have several combinations.

The changes described for the ESU LokPilot V4.0 are not suitable for the ESU LokSound V4.0 Decoder that you may have purchased from your ESU Retailer, as the function mapping CVs will be different.

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AUSTRALIAN MODEL RAILWAY MAGAZINE – JUN 2015 ISSUE

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