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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 169335 times)
onthecushions
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« Reply #1065 on: December 15, 2020, 06:52:27 pm »

 
The problem would be the business case. If the only use made of the wires were by a limited IEP service then too little justifying benefit would be indicated. Perhaps if the Cardiff - Bristol trains were turned over to an EMU/EDMU shuttle and the Taunton's and Portsmouth's were run together, then there might be a case. What users and Govt might think of that, I don't know.

The Hanborough proposal might grow legs first, if the LEP's back it.

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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #1066 on: January 30, 2021, 10:02:00 pm »

But those services aren't electrified anyway.

Agreed at present.  Saying "no overheads in Bath" so leaving it with diesel or other technology lower distance trains into the medium future marginalised things like the Bristol Metro plans and so many other places accessed through Bath - London services are / were / would be / could be just the first to use the overheads.
I think there's a long-term plan or ambition to electrify Southampton to Bristol? Not electrifying through Bath is clearly incompatible with this, as you say.
There's a long-term plan or ambition to electrify the vast majority of passenger and freight mileage, Network Rail's Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Traction-Decarbonisation-Network-Strategy-Executive-Summary.pdf). Unfortunately the government has not (as yet) signed up to implementing it. The only service through Bath not earmarked for full electrification is the Bristol-Weymouth route, which I think is proposed for battery operation between Castle Cary and Weymouth (or possibly a little less if the units can use the 3rd rail). I fear the government will continue to refuse to fund electrification and that, as a result, the rail industry will lose it's 'green' credentials; still having diesel trains in 2050, long after new petrol and diesel cars are banned, will not be a good image.

The problem would be the business case. If the only use made of the wires were by a limited IEP service then too little justifying benefit would be indicated. Perhaps if the Cardiff - Bristol trains were turned over to an EMU/EDMU shuttle and the Taunton's and Portsmouth's were run together, then there might be a case.
Will there always be a viable business case for decarbonisation? Sometimes, we may have to do things that don't stack up in BCR terms. That said, if we can make the BCR for electrification look better we should, as it makes it more likely the treasury will authorise it. For example, if you have an elderly diesel fleet that is due for replacement the cost of new EMUs can be partly written off against that; 'we need to buy new trains anyway'. Conversely, if you have DMUs with at least 15 years life left in them there's no business case for replacing them. I'm trying to get the Welsh Government to understand this regarding the large new diesel fleet TfW has ordered, but they don't seem to want to know and just keep blaming the UK Government for the lack of electrification in Wales.

As for an EMU shuttle between Cardiff and Bristol... Personally, I think the Cardiff-Portsmouth should stay, worked by new tri-mode units taking the best design elements from 158s, 175s, 442s and 444s (or possibly 800s if London demand has fallen so much that fewer are needed). However, I would replace the Cardiff-Taunton with a 2tph Bristol-Cardiff shuttle (thus increasing the frequency between Cardiff and Bristol to 3tph, with the shuttle calling at many stations and the Portsmouth being a fast(er) service) and send the Taunton services up to Gloucester/Malvern instead of Cardiff.
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« Reply #1067 on: January 30, 2021, 10:27:09 pm »

As for an EMU shuttle between Cardiff and Bristol... Personally, I think the Cardiff-Portsmouth should stay, worked by new tri-mode units taking the best design elements from 158s, 175s, 442s and 444s (or possibly 800s if London demand has fallen so much that fewer are needed). However, I would replace the Cardiff-Taunton with a 2tph Bristol-Cardiff shuttle (thus increasing the frequency between Cardiff and Bristol to 3tph, with the shuttle calling at many stations and the Portsmouth being a fast(er) service) and send the Taunton services up to Gloucester/Malvern instead of Cardiff.

I have been involved in various discussions over the past few days thinking about  changes that might come to Cardiff - Portsmouth services when MetroWest introduces though services from Avonmouth to Westbury every half hour ... sounds from FoSBR last night that, yes, this should still happen.  Separate thread ... but 800s were mentioned to whet your appetite.
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« Reply #1068 on: January 31, 2021, 12:21:05 am »

Will there always be a viable business case for decarbonisation? Sometimes, we may have to do things that don't stack up in BCR terms.
I agree, we should. Or rather, I wish we occasionally would.
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« Reply #1069 on: January 31, 2021, 08:17:32 am »

There has been a change in the Network Rail Electrification policy document, the recent changes sees a number of easements of the requirements for 25kV, lessons learnt from GWEP; also changes the process for system extension of top contact third rail electrification.

CP7 and 8 could be interesting
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