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Author Topic: Class 387 coming to Thames Valley - ongoing discussion  (Read 360831 times)
Visoflex
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2015, 10:51:52 am »

According to Rail Technology Magazine...

"...58 four-car electric trains for Thames Valley services. RTM was told that 21 Class 365s (from the Great Northern route) and 37 Class 387s (from the Thameslink route) will be cascaded to the Thames Valley, plus another eight new Class 387s. The new fleet will start being introduced next year and fully implemented by May 2017."

Make of that what you will.

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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2015, 06:32:21 pm »

It^s good that it^s at last been confirmed that we^ll be getting modern 110 mph for the outer Thames Valley services (I^m assuming the 365^s will stay on the inners), thus increasing the chance of finding paths for them on the ML^s on stretches where they aren^t stopping.   

Just have to wait and see the interior layouts ^ will they have First Class and will Standard stay as 2 + 2 as they are currently configured?  And surely now is the time to lengthen platforms that are too short for 4 cars ^ eg Appleford.  SDO on suburban trains is really not the way a modern railway should be working.
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Visoflex
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« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2015, 09:08:12 am »

I am only speculating here, but I would imagine that on transfer, any refresh works would be fairly limited.  The 365's have been through a recent (in railway terms) refit, and the 387's are relatively new.  As long as they conform to modern DDA standards re: toilets and passenger information systems; I would imagine any update or refresh works would be confined to a superficial "wipe down with a damp rag" and new vinyls.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 01:59:09 pm by Visoflex » Logged
eightf48544
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« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2015, 09:22:13 am »

Not sure if it's been mentioned do 365s and 387s couple and run in multiple?

Looking at Roger Ford's Golden Spanners having a mixed fleet is not conducuve to relability.
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Visoflex
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« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2015, 09:46:52 am »

I don't know what the plans are for what stock runs what route.  No doubt this will emerge over the next few months.
However, I can't think of many occasions where stock of obviously differing types gets coupled together on a basis other than for emergency reasons.

I don't quite follow Roger Ford's logic here.  Whilst it is theoretically ideal to have a fleet of identical trains, operational flexibility, crew training, maintenance etc.  The downside is that if a major fault manifests itself, then the whole fleet would be affected. 
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paul7755
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« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2015, 09:59:56 am »

365s won't currently couple to a 387 even for emergency, as they predate the decision to generally fit Dellner/Scharenberg pattern couplers to EMUs.

However there are precedents for sub-fleets to have couplers changed to allow mutual assistance within an area, hence Southern's 170s becoming 171s to allow mechanical coupling with 377 etc.   The SWT 458/5 have also been made 'coupler compatible' with Desiros as part of the current rebuild.

PS - any chance this thread could have its title amended now they are coming?

Paul
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 10:13:19 am by paul7755 » Logged
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2015, 10:17:56 am »

I don't know what the plans are for what stock runs what route.  No doubt this will emerge over the next few months.

I should imagine that the 365s will work the suburban routes more as they have a few more seats than the 387/1s have - a total of 268 per unit against 226.  They still have 2+2 seating though so in terms of total seating, an 8-car Class 365 will accommodate the same as a 6-car Turbo (though in much more comfort), whilst an 8-car 387 will seat roughly the same as a 5-car Turbo.  No tables (except in 1st) on the 365s as far as I know, whereas there's 26 per set on the 387s, so they'll better suited to the longer distance commuter routes such as Oxford, Newbury and Swindon to London.

[By the way, could the mods change the title of this thread to say they are coming to the Thames Valley?]
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Visoflex
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« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2015, 01:24:09 pm »

Quote
an 8-car Class 365 will accommodate the same as a 6-car Turbo (though in much more comfort),

Well that's the business case blown then.  Comfort has nothing to do with modern day travel!  Wink

However, Rail Magazine published this.  Note the comment about the 365 couplers.

..."Just because a particular region is not receiving overhead line electrification, doesn^t mean that it still won^t benefit as part of the new First Great Western franchise that begins this September (RAIL 771).

The 42-month deal signed with the Department for Transport includes new trains and a huge capacity increase, with the opportunity for further investment in the future should a deal with Hitachi for a minimum of 29 AT300 bi-mode trains be completed. This includes an option for a further 30 trains if the need arises, and that need has not 100% been ruled out.

While the headline new trains are the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains that have started arriving for testing ahead of their entry into traffic in 2017 (RAIL 771), the improvements will be felt all the way from Paddington to Penzance via Bristol, Weymouth, Cardiff and Exeter.

Starting in the Thames Valley, electric multiple units will replace the majority of the Thames Valley Turbo trains. There are 151 Turbo vehicles used by FGW here, and 108 will be cascaded west as 21 Class 365s (84 vehicles) and 29 Class 387/1s (116 vehicles) arrive from Govia Thameslink Railway to replace them.

An additional eight brand new Class 387/1s will also be constructed (32 vehicles), giving a total of 232 EMU vehicles compared with the current 151 DMU vehicles. According to an FGW statement on March 23, the EMUs will raise capacity by 25% in the high peak.

The new ^387s^ will be constructed once the Gatwick Express Class 387/2s are completed next year. Bombardier will build them at Derby Litchurch Lane.

FGW Engineering Director Andy Mellors told RAIL on March 31 that the arrival of the ^365s^ was a huge boost, as originally it was believed that older Class 319s would move to the operator. He says the Class 387s will arrive first from GTR. The ^365s^ will arrive later, but need some minor work.

^They need Driver Only Operational CCTV fitted on them. We have that fitted on a mixture of the Turbos. The ^365s^ will have the in-cab equipment fitted.^

However, the implementation of Driver Controlled Operation (DCO) is only being discussed, while FGW plans to recruit more than 100 customer-facing staff for trains.

The ^365s^ will also be fitted with Dellner couplings. This means all EMUs will be fitted with similar systems, so that if there is a failure they can be pushed out of the way by another train.

Currently the longest trains on the Thames Valley are six-car DMUs. Mellors says that the Class 365s will not operate in more than eight-car formations (pairs of ^365s^), while the Class 387s will run up to 12-car trains. Eventually maintenance will be carried out on the EMUs at Reading, but until the Great Western Main Line from Hayes to Reading is wired, other options are being explored. ^There^s direct access to depots in the London area,^ says Mellors.

He adds that FGW is also exploring the possibility of Independently Powered Electric Multiple Units (IPEMUs), and has studied the trials of 379013 on the Manningtree-Harwich branch to assess its capabilities. ^We are in discussions now, and are keen to find a resolution.^ He suggests that trains to Bedwyn and Gatwick could use them.

The cascaded Turbos offer a 52% increase in capacity in the Bristol area, although the Class 16x fleet moving west will require some minor infrastructure modifications because of the trains^ width. FGW will also modify their nominal ride height.

Regarding the cascade, Mellors tells RAIL: ^There are really three phases. Initially, a couple head west. They^re effectively released by the introduction of EMUs. That allows the Bristol area to introduce controlled training for crews. We can train people there.^ The trains will be based at St Philip^s Marsh.

Initially two Turbos will be used on the Severn Beach branch, which has been chosen because it is self-contained. They will replace Class 150s, adding 250 seats to the route. In turn, that allows six Class 150 vehicles to move to Exeter.

Mellors explains: ^The rump of the cascade is geared around May 2017. You may start to see more EMUs before that.^

This is when the Thames Valley benefits from a vastly improved timetable that will have been recast to make use of the EMUs, and when most of the 16x fleet can head west as the ^365s^ and ^387s^ will be in place.

^The back end of the cascade sees all the Thames Valley branches wired late. Reading-Basingstoke, Windsor and Henley are all wired in 2018,^ says Mellors.

The Turbos are currently being fitted with WiFi equipment, in an internal FGW project. By March 31, FGW had fitted eight trains, with two treated each weekend.

This is a new franchise commitment, but one that FGW plans to complete early. The work is being carried out now that the FGW High Speed Train fleet has been completed (with WiFi free in both First and Standard Class). FGW^s Sleeper fleet has also been completed.

With the Turbo introduction in the Bristol area, that releases DMUs to move to the Exeter area, offering a 58% capacity increase in the Devon region. Class 150/2s and ^158s^ will move west.

^We will relinquish the ^143s^ and ^150s^, and there will be a phased handback of Class 150/1s. The long-term fleet is ^150/2s^

Mellors says that Exeter will end up with 89 vehicles (43 Class 158 vehicles and 46 Class 150/2 vehicles). Two three-car Class 150/0s are also being retained.

One of the challenges the industry faces is the Passengers of Reduced Mobility - Technical Specification for Interoperability (PRM-TSI) deadline of January 1 2020. The two ^150/0s^ can be modified, and will offer three-car capability for the Exeter region. ^They are good for seating and have one toilet per train. They offer flexibility for capacity,^ says Mellors.

He says retaining the ^150/2s^ makes sense because as FGW wants to run mainly four-car trains in the Exeter region, the retained DMUs have through gangways (whereas the ^150/1s^ do not).

All the branches in the Exeter region will use Class 150s except the Barnstaple branch, which will have ^158s^ because journeys tend to be along the full-length of the branch. There are also planned journey time improvements.

^The key issue for Exeter is that it is the hub for the Devon Metro,^ Mellors tells RAIL. ^There will be four trains per hour in the peak. Exeter is the right place for a facility. There will be investment in the facility there, but we are evaluating options in respect of the current site.^

He says that options are even being discussed with Network Rail about moving the depot, which is currently next to Exeter St Davids station. ^Riverside is a big site,^ he says, adding that the currently facility is constrained. ^It^s a two-car shed and we will run at least three-car trains. Not all return each night, but there just isn^t the space now.^

Once FGW has completed fitting WiFi to its Class 16x fleet, attention will turn to the Class 158s. When they are done, the ^150s^ (those staying with FGW) will be treated.

At-seat power is also a commitment for the franchise on the DMU fleet, and where possible USB ports will be installed.

Mellors says: ^The Class 166s have air-conditioning, and we are committed to fitting air-cooling equipment to the ^165s^. They will work on the routes Class 158s are on.^

Further west, Penzance Long Rock depot is to be upgraded, in readiness for looking after the Sleeper stock and locomotives when Old Oak Common is closed. It is being upgraded as part of the Cornish Rail Programme - facilities are to be enhanced for DMUs, and capacity will increase.

Passenger services will be half-hourly between Penzance and Plymouth, with a mixture of FGW HSTs to London and FGW ^158s^ running to Bristol and Exeter. A small number of CrossCountry Voyagers will also operate trains.

Times are changing on the FGW routes, with capacity increases across the region. The Great Western is often forgotten, as other regions shout more loudly. But with new and cascaded trains, that is no longer the case."

« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 04:00:14 pm by Visoflex » Logged
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2015, 06:52:07 pm »

PS - any chance this thread could have its title amended now they are coming?

Thanks for making that valid and constructive point, Paul - I've now made the appropriate change.  Wink
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eightf48544
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2015, 11:14:12 pm »

I hope travellers in the Inner TV area don't take to the 365s as they will find the Crossrail units a real disappointment.
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autotank
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« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2015, 11:20:25 pm »

I've read a couple of posts in this thread that indicate the 387's will work services to Swindon. Do we know which services the EMUs will work in Wiltshire?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2015, 09:56:26 am »

Far too soon methinks - I doubt the timetable is yet complete, never mind trhe stock allocation.
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paul7755
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« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2015, 10:40:14 am »

I've read a couple of posts in this thread that indicate the 387's will work services to Swindon. Do we know which services the EMUs will work in Wiltshire?

As Chris B says, it is probably too early, but the consultation for the direct award definitely refers to a peak only 'fast' EMU service from Swindon, so by default it would probably use the 387, but the paragraph doesn't explicitly state that:

Quote
London & Thames Valley
To build on the enhancements in SLC2, the December 2018 timetable change will see 110 mph operation on the Main (fast) lines enabling faster Oxford and Newbury services as well as additional fast peak hour trains from Swindon and Didcot to London Paddington. EMU trains will operate in 12 car formation on the Main lines and 8 car on the Relief (slow) lines.
 

But whether that would be a single train from Swindon and another from Didcot, or a few per peak calling at both is not at all clear.

Paul
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didcotdean
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« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2015, 10:49:02 am »

I've read a couple of posts in this thread that indicate the 387's will work services to Swindon. Do we know which services the EMUs will work in Wiltshire?
The peak time Swindon-Didcot-(Reading)-Paddington to be introduced in December 2018 as given in the "Government Response to 2014 Great Western Franchise Consultation" references this service as an EMU. I put a Reading stop in brackets as it isn't mentioned explicitly in that document, but is quite likely in practice.

There has been previous mention of a possible Didcot-Reading-Paddington hourly EMU shuttle service through the day extended to Swindon for peaks which is consistent with this as well.

(Posting crossed with above.)

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ChrisB
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« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2015, 11:09:00 am »

I suspect this will be the main supplier of Didcot fasts, allowing longer distance services to miss (some) stops at Didcot. Certainly in the morning, some could also miss Reading too, what with the extra capacity, Reading won't *need* all the fast PADs.
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