In the mid to late 1980’s, high speed testing of speeds up to 160km/h was conducted with a re-geared A85 and H type set LH33 along a 20km section of track between Lubeck and Glenorchy (west of Ararat).
This section of track was used due to the relative straightness of the line and lack of traffic on it during the day.
The purpose of the testing was to assess the suitability of the Socimi bogie for any future order of a second generation long distance passenger carriage.
A85 was re-geared back to standard A class gearing at an unknown date.
The Socimi bogies were manufactured in Australia from parts sourced from Socimi back in Italy by Vickers Ruwolt (manufacturer of N car bogies). They were fitted to LH33 for the trials, and removed from the set in July 1993.
At some stage, there was talk/plans of them being fitted to a 3 car N set, but this never eventuated.
They were last seen at Newport Workshops, where they remain today.
Photo by Weston Langford