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|Sydney Trains C Set|
|C13 at Bardwell Park on a Macathur service|
|V - E - T - D|
The C set is a class of electric multiple unit operated by Sydney Trains in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The C set carriages were built in 1986-87 by A Goninan & Co., and were ordered due to delays in the design work of the Tangara project. The carriage design is based on the K sets.
The C set is a stainless steel double deck train which operates on Sydney Trains's suburban routes. These were the first suburban trains in the Sydney Trains fleet to be fitted with chopper control (hence the 'C' set designation), which gives the train smoother acceleration. Gate turn-off thyristors were used to control power to the traction motors, hence allowing for smoother acceleration. Following the success of the implementation of chopper control, these features were later installed on the Tangara and later V set cars. These were the first cars to have an electronic destination display board, replacing the old red-and-white line lights.
These carriages were also the first on the suburban network to feature fixed seating (originally was fabric, but has since been replaced with vinyl). This proved to be unpopular with passengers due to half the seats facing backwards, but despite this, the fixed seating was also used on the suburban Tangara T set cars (G set Tangaras however, do have seats that can be flipped). These cars also featured manually opening doors, as it was feared that frequent stopping would cause the loss of air-conditioning efficiency. These concerns turned out to have no effect, and the push-buttons on the doors have since been removed. C Set 9 (C9) is the only set that still has remnants of the push buttons and the old internal arrow screens when the doors were opening or closing.
The C set is distinguished externally by a fibreglass molding mounted on the front of the motor carriage. This fibreglass molding was originally white with orange and red stripes on the lower portion, known as the candy livery of the State Rail Authority. Car C3596 was the only motor car to have its Candy stripes on its front repainted Sydney Trains blue and yellow prior to its "Citydecker" refurbishment in 1998. The chopper cars are amongst the heaviest in the suburban fleet, with the motor cars weighing 52 tonnes.
The electrical and physical similarities between these cars and the Tangara cars can be attributed to the design process. The C sets were ordered to fill a rollingstock shortage while the Tangara fleet was still under development. As a result, the C sets served as a test platform for many of the new technologies and features introduced in the Tangaras.
The chopper cars were originally known as the K sets and for a while when they entered service originally, they ran together with the earlier force-ventilated cars (then known as R set). This however caused problems as force-ventilated cars were fitted with camshaft control and this caused some "jerking" while the train was accelerating.
When the Sydney Trains fleet was reorganised in the 1990s, the R set designation was given to the older non air-conditioned six-car sets, while the force-ventilated cars were given the K set designation. In turn, the chopper cars were remarshalled into six-car sets and was given the C set target. From 2001, the C sets were once again operating as 4 and 8 car sets. In late 2006, a 6 car C Set was in operation. This is due to car T4262 being seriously damaged by an arson attack at Villawood in October 2006 and has since returned to service.
As of October 2005, all C-Sets are operating on Sector 2 and maintained at Flemington maintenance depot (as indicated by the blue target plate). Although, on occasion, some C Sets have run "off sector", such as the T1 line on some occasion. On 23 July 2014, a C Set ran the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line running off peak services to Cronulla, Hurstville and Waterfall. C sets operate on the following lines:
In addition to the above, they also run 4 car services on the T5 Cumberland line and T6 Carlingford line.