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Author Topic: Intercity Express Programme (IEP) - ongoing discussion  (Read 380481 times)
Chafford1
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« on: January 13, 2012, 08:10:00 PM »

The December Structural Reform Plan updates were published on the No 10 website today.

The DfT plan notes on page 4 that 'Delays to securing planning permission and the need to conclude commercial discussions with the Agility Trains consortium and their banks has resulted in a delay to commercial close of May 2012.'

http://www.number10.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DFT-srp-december-20111.pdf
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anthony215
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2012, 09:57:24 AM »

Great hopefully someone in the DFT will see sense and ditch  the bi-mode option and go for the full electric fleet with more electrification.


Also perhaps gives the opportunity for angel trains etc to push their alternative to Hitachi's proposal.
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woody
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« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2012, 09:40:24 PM »

Same date the pre-qualifiers for the GW franchise are
announced.Any connection I wonder.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 05:22:16 PM »

Has there been any offical word on the Pembroke Coast Express, one of the services which highlights how flawed the IEP idea is?
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 09:15:17 PM »

IEP to go ahead.
http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/9479051.Osborne_confirms_Newton_Aycliffe_Hitachi_plant_on_track/
CHANCELLOR George Osborne tonight confirmed that plans to bring a high-speed train manufacturing plant to County Durham were on track.Today the Government said it hopes to reach "financial close" on the contract within weeks.Speaking on board a Hitachi-built Shinkansen bullet train in Tokyo, Mr Osborne confirmed that construction of the factory is due to start later this year and the first trains due to roll off the production line at Newton Aycliffe as planned in 2016.
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John R
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2012, 09:27:52 PM »

Has there been any offical word on the Pembroke Coast Express, one of the services which highlights how flawed the IEP idea is?

I think you can safely say that consideration of the Pembroke Coast Express doesn't register on the radar at all of anyone involved in the contractual negotiations of ICE, nor probably of the GW franchise reletting either. So I'm not sure why you're expecting there to be any official word about it.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 09:35:31 PM »

The Pembroke Coast Express highlights the fact that 26m coaches is going to cost on a per-route basis to get the routes cleared. The cost of clearing to Pembroke Dock could rip this important service out of action.
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Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2012, 09:48:42 PM »

FGW (or their successor) will have a lot of spare HSTs come electrification. Only a medium term solution (the HSTs can't go on forever!), but one that should see the PCE remain in the Summer timetable.
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2012, 08:41:12 PM »

Well it would be great to see electrification to Cheltenham, Worcester/Hereford and to Penzance as well as the cross-country route to link Bristol - Birmingham -Nottingham - Sheffield which would save us from this bi-mode malarkey.

Also, would be a good use of public money instead of the High Speed rail link to Birmingham.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 10:20:25 PM »

Well it would be great to see electrification to Cheltenham, Worcester/Hereford and to Penzance as well as the cross-country route to link Bristol - Birmingham -Nottingham - Sheffield which would save us from this bi-mode malarkey.

Also, would be a good use of public money instead of the High Speed rail link to Birmingham.

North of Bristol makes sense now. Southwards will not be so cost-effective, but shows why the electrification crew shouldn't be disbanded after the main job is done. A slow creep to Weston-s-Mare, then Taunton, then Plymouth, and you'll get to Penzance one day. Each bit that opens will reduce the bi-mode usage.

Let's face it, and I know the first bi-mode hasn't been built yet, but they will be obsolete come 2040. Carry on electrifying, bit by bit, or someone is going to have to spend a lot of money in one big lump yet again some time in the future. This is what should have been done after the big projects finished, around 1991. We wouldn't have had to keep running out of date diesel units for as long as we have, and there wouldn't have been angst over spending over ^700m in one go. Government policy is to move towards electricity for all forms of vehicle over time, so why not?

The construction train being built will electrify 1.6 Km in an 8-hour shift. Bristol to Penzance is about 250 Km, meaning less than 6 months for the lot, if you do it in one go. Make electrification an ongoing project, and you will only need electric trains next time round.

What will happen in reality is that the current project will be finished in 2016, and the government will crow about the flash new trains on the GWR. In 2040, they will be given yet another refurb, as passengers begin to protest about them being slow and dirty. Provision of a new fleet will be put out to tender. Then there'll be another general election, and the incoming lot will cancel that because the outgoing lot spent all the money. Someone will say "If only we had electrified the whole line in 2012, we wouldn't need hybrid nuclear / clockwork now". Sound familiar?
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 10:59:36 PM »

The construction train being built will electrify 1.6 Km in an 8-hour shift. Bristol to Penzance is about 250 Km, meaning less than 6 months for the lot, if you do it in one go. Make electrification an ongoing project, and you will only need electric trains next time round.

What will happen in reality is that the current project will be finished in 2016, and the government will crow about the flash new trains on the GWR. In 2040, they will be given yet another refurb, as passengers begin to protest about them being slow and dirty. Provision of a new fleet will be put out to tender. Then there'll be another general election, and the incoming lot will cancel that because the outgoing lot spent all the money. Someone will say "If only we had electrified the whole line in 2012, we wouldn't need hybrid nuclear / clockwork now". Sound familiar?
National electrification is at risk I fear, for the similar reasons of the mid 1990's, NR is in the process of being broken up, driven by McNulty, into route business with "commercial alliance" with the TOC's there is a real risk that National co-ordination and drive will fade away.   Abandoning NR company standards is being looked at, allowing the Route / TOC group to do their own thing
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« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 09:41:04 PM »

The December Structural Reform Plan updates were published on the No 10 website today.

The DfT plan notes on page 4 that 'Delays to securing planning permission and the need to conclude commercial discussions with the Agility Trains consortium and their banks has resulted in a delay to commercial close of May 2012.'

http://www.number10.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/DFT-srp-december-20111.pdf

Good. Scrap the Bullet Poo-tube Shinkansen Railbus idea completely and use the ^20k per vehicle per month (in excess of the leasing costs for whats being used now) into buying something decent in electric only format. Keep HST's running until the wires extend to Swansea & Plymouth (including diversionary routes) and more of the something decent is built to replace them.

If we have to have EMU's then might I suggest a class 180 bodyshell mounted on B5000 bogies, powered with the Pendolino package? I'd prefer Alstom AGV but I suspect thats a step forward too far.
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The SprinterMeister
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« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 09:51:54 PM »

Those of you who still think IEP / Shinkansen Poo Tube is a good thing might like to mull over this from a most knowlegeable colleague posting on WNXX;

Quote from: Mollosssus
1. We have been told IEP is about creating jobs. Around 200-300 semi-skilled jobs assembling trains in Newton Aycliffe, Durham. The trains will actually be built in Japan and shipped over semi-complete with things like seats and various other sub assemblies bolted on in the UK. The high value components such as traction equipment and coach bodies plus the high skill assembly tasks will be kept in Japan. A design office is to be set up in Durham to design Hitachi Trains for the UK and European markets. European market? Since both markets are already over-supplied from domestically based manufacturers, does anyone think Japanese companies will be able to sell trains there when Japan is a closed market for trains from Europe?

2. IEP is to be built using a complex mixture of private and public finance in a PFI contract that is already proving to be mind bogglingly expensive. PFI is falling out of favour with all right thinking economists. So far the DfT has admitted, grudgingly, that it has spent ^33m on consultants for this train, and has for the most part ignored their advice. Not one vehicle has been ordered yet, possibly because NOT ONE SINGLE PROFESSIONAL RAILWAY ENGINEER OR SENIOR MANAGER WANTS IT OR HAS PUBLICLY SUPPORTED IT!

3. The specification for this train has changed beyond all recognition as inexpert civil servants keep changing the design, what should have been a simple straightforward electric train has become a complex expensive nightmare of a train totally unlike any other Inter-City train in the World.
The basic design was to replace 8 - 9 coach HST trains. So they design a train based on 5 coach sets. There is no corridor between the sets, so in busy times when two are coupled to make 10 cars, they need two lots of traincrew. Two lots of buffet staff, and yes, two guards! So much for the McNulty report about reducing costs, this civil service train will probably end up causing fares to rocket and could even see other services cut to pay for it. It's so pricey that electrification plans for the lines out of Paddington to the West and South Wales have had to be cut back. So the design is changed yet again and the numbers to be ordered cut back, yet again.

4. IEP is to be mostly bi-mode. To use the correct term, Electro-Diesel. The electric train will run on electric power when on the electrified line, but will have diesel engines under 60% of the coaches to run on non-electrified lines. That means that for most of the time it will be lugging around 24 tonnes of diesel engine, fuel, ancillaries etc. that is just dead weight. Wasteful use of energy, higher track access charges and very expensive maintenance costs. Electric trains are much cheaper to maintain and cover far more miles per breakdown than diesels. But a train that has to mix both types of traction with big costly to maintain diesel engines below the floor will be an accountants, as well as an engineers nightmare to maintain. Of course when running off the electric lines, which we cannot afford to modernise because of IEP costs, it will run on these underfloor diesels. They will be noisy for passengers sat over the top of them, and the installed power will be barely enough for them to travel much past Exeter. As a result we are having to spend many millions rebuilding the 36 year old High Speed Trains currently employed to see another 20-25 years service.

5. There is a much better and cheaper alternative. We know what it costs to run the electric Pendolino Trains from Euston to Glasgow and Edinburgh. They are reliable, popular and even now repeat orders are being built to meet demand. The version required for use on lines currently planned for IEP would be even cheaper because the tilt mechanism used to Scotland will not be needed on the straighter lines on the Western and Eastern regions. Using a full size UK version of the Pendolino (the tilting trains have a smaller cross section) one gets a perfect fit for the main lines of the UK. The Pendolino is assembled in Italy, but the high value work, the traction equipment and other items requiring skilled labour to both build an maintain for the next 40 odd years is UK based, particularly in the North West around Preston. These trains could also be maintained in the current depot facilities saving many millions building new facilities for the IEP. Bombardier build high speed trains and locomotives around the World, but especially in Europe. They too have a UK spec. train on the drawing board ready to go into production, and a factory in Derby desperate for work with around 2000 jobs under threat if the Japanese are allowed to build their factory.

6. At a time when the Government is telling the rail industry to cut costs, at the same time the Department for Transport is telling the industry it has to use a train specified by a team of inexpert civil servants, that will cost around ^20,000 more per month PER VEHICLE, to operate compared to the alternative. The Train Operators are also being told that from now on they will be in charge of specifying new trains. They don't want IEP, so why are the Govt. still persisting with this nonsense?


Might even use that as a template for a letter to my MP...
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 12:30:16 AM »

Good. Scrap the Bullet Poo-tube Shinkansen Railbus idea completely and use the ^20k per vehicle per month (in excess of the leasing costs for whats being used now) into buying something decent in electric only format. Keep HST's running until the wires extend to Swansea & Plymouth (including diversionary routes) and more of the something decent is built to replace them.

If we have to have EMU's then might I suggest a class 180 bodyshell mounted on B5000 bogies, powered with the Pendolino package? I'd prefer Alstom AGV but I suspect thats a step forward too far.

I'd suggest that the 'something decent in electric only format' could still be a Hitachi product to keep them sweet (Alstom considered legal action when Semiens got the contract for new Eurostar trains didn't they, and they were never even given prefered bidder status), and keep the politition's promises of the Newton Aycliffe assembly plant. However, the electric-only part is important, counting the East Coast sets that's almost enough money saved to wire to Swansea just in the capital cost of diesel engines. Since they would be electric-only, you would also reduce the number of routes you need to clear for the 26m coaches to save more money, and all that before you scrap the PFI business and just buy the damn things.

There is a long list of extras you would need, for example you'd need over 100 pantograph cars to convert the 22x fleet to bi-mode and do something (either give XC more Intercity 125s to cascade Voyagers or wire Crewe-Chester, buy more Pendos for ICWC and give XC the 221s from ICWC), to provide a fleet of about 12 5-car bi-mode class 220 units for the Cotswolds line services in place of IEP bi-mode. All that will make it more expensive than IEP, but money spent on electrification and new electric trains is much better spent than on diesel engines and creative accounting (PFI).
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Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
The SprinterMeister
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 01:52:08 PM »

I'd suggest that the 'something decent in electric only format' could still be a Hitachi product to keep them sweet (Alstom considered legal action when Semiens got the contract for new Eurostar trains didn't they, and they were never even given prefered bidder status), and keep the politition's promises of the Newton Aycliffe assembly plant.
You need to take into consideration that the Hitachi factory is merely going to be an assembly plant for kit made elsewhere, thus its not the golden opportunity that it might first appear to be job's wise. Pendolino uses UK made kit (made in Preston) for its high value traction electonics, even if the trains are assembled elsewhere in Europe. IEP will be maintained in new depots, there is no garantee that those employed currently at the existing depots will transfer and at least two of the current depots will close.

I'm not sure how its possible to remain a 'preferred bidder' when the specification for the IEP has been re-written umpteen times as Roger Ford and others have pointed out many times. The original IEP contract can hardly be worth the paper its written on, ths is what happens when the Civil Service design railway trains...
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