Suburban multiple unit

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Suburban multiple unit
A brand new SMU260 next to a refurbished SMU220
SMU260 Interior.jpg
Interior of an SMU260
Manufacturer Walkers Limited
Downer EDI Rail
Built at Maryborough
Replaced SX carriages
Constructed 1994-1995 (200)
1999-2001 (220)
2008-2011 (260)
Number built 36 carriages (200)
90 carriages (220)
105 carriages (260)
Formation 3 carriage sets
Fleet numbers 201-209, 211, 212 (200)
221-250 (220)
261-296 (260)
Capacity 240 (200)
236 (220-260)
Operator(s) Queensland Rail
Maximum speed 100 km/h (62 mph) (200-220)
130 km/h (81 mph) (260)
Weight 126.1 t (124.1 long tons; 139.0 short tons) (200)
122.1 t (120.2 long tons; 134.6 short tons) (220)
128.2 t (126.2 long tons; 141.3 short tons) (260)
Power supply (?)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC overhead lines
Current collection method Pantograph
Braking system(s) Blended Regenerative electric and electro-pneumatic
Track gauge 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)

The Suburban multiple units (SMU) are a class of electric multiple units manufactured by Walkers Limited/Downer EDI Rail, Maryborough for Queensland Rail's Citytrain division between 1994 and 2011. The SMU is divided into in three subclasses, sets 201-212 as the 200 series, sets 221-250 as the 220 series, and sets 261-296, as the 260 series.


A Suburban Multiple Unit is a three-coach unit, with the lead car being a Driver Motor fitted with motors for all variants (numbered 5), the middle car being either a motor car (numbered 6 for SMU 200 series) or trailer car (numbered 7 for SMU 220/260) with Pantograph fitted, and the third car being either a Driver Trailer (SMU 200 series) or the second Driver Motor B also fitted with motors for the SMU 220 and 260 series (numbered 8)[1] Like most trains in the Citytrain fleet, two three-car SMUs can be attached together to form one six-coach unit. The 200 series and 220 series are interoperable, and can both operate together in revenue service as a six-coach unit.


SMU201 at Kippa-Ring in November 2016

200 series[edit]

The SMU200 series were introduced in 1994 due to a rollingstock shortage after an increase in Citytrain services as well as transitioning into a modern 21st century fleet. Twelve were built by Walkers Limited, Maryborough with electrical equipment supplied by ABB. The trains are numbered SMU201-SMU212. All have driving cabs at both ends and have buttons to open the doors as opposed to handles for the EMU sets.

220 series[edit]

The SMU220 series were introduced into service in August 1999 to cater for service increases on recently upgraded lines such as the Caboolture line triplication from Northgate to Lawnton. The SMU220s replaced the last remaining loco-hauled SX carriages suburban services in Brisbane. The trains are numbered SMU221-SMU250. All have motored driving cabs at both ends each coupled to the trailer power car in the middle instead of the DM-M-DT configuration. These cars were manufactured by Walkers Limited in partnership with ADtranz. These units use more energy efficient Insulated gate bipolar transistor traction packages, as opposed to the thyristors for the 200 series. Selected units previously had software upgrades to enable them to operate slightly higher speeds suitable for the Gold Coast line and would have the markings 'HS' on the right, but has ever since been discontinued once the faster SMU 260s entered service.


Older SMUs have undergone progressive re-configuration to seating, lighting and hand-rail arrangements to allow easier access to the elderly, parents with prams and people with disabilities, which includes people in wheelchairs.[2] Older SMUs have been refurbished to comply with the Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992[3] and the 220 series have had the carpet interiors replaced with hard-wearing Linoleum flooring for low maintenance cleaning, with blue section for seating compartments separated by red tactile bumps that are situated in doorways.

260 series[edit]

In 2005 eight SMU260 class sets were ordered from Downer EDI Rail, Maryborough to cater for increased demand. They are based on the Transperth B-series train. These were followed by an additional 14 sets. In March 2009 an additional 20 sets were ordered.[4][5] These units are identical in design to the IMU 160 series trains as they have plug door systems as opposed to pocket doors on its predecessors and share the same running gear and same maximum speed with the exception of toilets and luggage racks. Because of its interoperability, they can also be found regularly operating on the Gold Coast line and the Nambour & Gympie North line.

The first entered service in August 2008.


SMU203 derailed at Roma Street in 2004, the train slid off the tracks, damaging carriage SM8203.[citation needed] No injuries were reported. The carriage was repaired and SMU203 was returned to service. It was used in an exercise by the Australian National Aviator League at Thomas Street in 1994.[citation needed]


  1. ^ QROTI SMU Queensland's Railways on the Internet
  2. ^ Modern air-conditioned trains retrieved 30 March 2010
  3. ^ General Information - Disability Access retrieved 30 March 2010
  4. ^ Bombardier Awarded Contract for a Further 60 EMU Cars for Queensland Rail in Australia Bombardier Transportation 9 March 2009
  5. ^ Bombardier Awarded Queensland Rail Carriage Contract Railway Technology 10 March 2009

External links[edit]