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Author Topic: Double Deck trains for the UK?  (Read 5463 times)
grahame
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« on: November 17, 2015, 07:21:02 am »

From the Daiy Mail

Quote
Train with two decks 'will ease crowded commutes': Plans for new stock that will overcome low tunnels and narrow rails reaches final of design competition
Swiss Aeroliner 3000 can fit in two decks by sitting lower on the tracks
Rail bosses said some new concepts could be introduced before 2022

Lots more in the article - including a brief mention of previous double deck trains where (as I understand it) the ultimate problem was the number of passengers per door / loading and unloading speed.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2015, 08:43:52 am »

Watch doible deck buses unload & you'll see the problem. It'll double the dwell time at stations
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2015, 08:51:10 am »

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In the London, 139,000 people had to stand on trains during the average morning rush hour (file picture of commuters heading for a train)
Quality journalism there? I think not, "In the London"? An extra word has slipped in there. Also, I think the train pictured is a ScotRail Turbostar...
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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).
simonw
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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2015, 08:55:37 am »

The boarding/exiting of a packed train is also very slow, with many people getting off the train to then get back on.

If this was deployed on commuting trains, it would be good to have on the lower deck to have a number of cycle bays to handle the ever increasing number of cyclists who block up trains.
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2015, 09:09:16 am »

Where does all the stuff that currently lurks under trains and in the roof go? If it can't be miniaturised, and has to come in-board and takes up length, the return diminishes yet more.
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2015, 09:48:35 am »

Watch doible deck buses unload & you'll see the problem. It'll double the dwell time at stations

On the Southern with 4001/4002 (4901/4902), with intermediate stops at London Bridge and Waterloo at which there were huge numbers getting off and on, I suspect the problem was particularly bad. At the Charing Cross terminal they used, people could be getting off / on while the crew changed ends; load / unload time probably wasn't on the critical timing path.
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Tim
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2015, 10:36:03 am »

Where does all the stuff that currently lurks under trains and in the roof go? If it can't be miniaturised, and has to come in-board and takes up length, the return diminishes yet more.

The answer is not to make the whole vehicle double deck.  The bit at the ends is single deck and there is therefore space there for things like bogies, toilet tanks, motors etc. 
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rogerpatenall
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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2015, 11:02:18 am »

Watch doible deck buses unload & you'll see the problem. It'll double the dwell time at stations

On the Southern with 4001/4002 (4901/4902), with intermediate stops at London Bridge and Waterloo at which there were huge numbers getting off and on, I suspect the problem was particularly bad. At the Charing Cross terminal they used, people could be getting off / on while the crew changed ends; load / unload time probably wasn't on the critical timing path.
It wasn't just at Waterloo and LB that there was a problem, but at intermediate stations (such as Blackheath and Westcombe Park where I used them often) it definitely added considerably to the dwell. And, the upper capsule became really unpleasant with cigarette smoke, and no real ventilation.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2015, 11:06:42 am »

On the Southern with 4001/4002 (4901/4902), with intermediate stops at London Bridge and Waterloo at which there were huge numbers getting off and on, I suspect the problem was particularly bad. At the Charing Cross terminal they used, people could be getting off / on while the crew changed ends; load / unload time probably wasn't on the critical timing path.

Those old Southern trains had slam doors for each compartment which consisted of a lower and upper deck.  The design for a modern double deck train has open compartments and wide doors so loading/unloading aren't compromised too much - indeed I would think the dwell times for a modern double deck train with three doors per coach is no worse than current trains with two doors per coach that we're used to in the UK.

The issue of course is the loading gauge - how much will the necessary modifications cost.  In most cases it will be far too much, which is why I don't think we'll ever see widespread use of those trains in the UK in the near future, despite studies, design competitions and so on leading to articles like this one cropping up from time to time.
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 11:58:56 am »

Clearly we need to bite the bullet and address the loading gauge issue at some point in the future.  I assume that at some point the southern third rail system will be replaced with overhead electrification too, so perhaps the two could be taken together.  Whatever is done it will be a very gradual process.  The Swiss Aeroliner 3000 train AIUI brings something genuinely new to the table.  The lower deck in slung even lower than normal to give the internal space without needing to raise the loading gauge so much.  That is achieved AIUI by removing all underfloor structural elements.  The vehicle gets its strength from incorporating more structural elements into the side wall in an arrangement which is somewhat similar to what I think an engineer would call a "Warren truss". This is why the windows are triangular rather than rectangular. This structural approach is also supposed to make the design light weight - I assume that extra weight might also be a challenger to the introduction of double deck trains on some lines
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 12:34:55 pm »

Where does all the stuff that currently lurks under trains and in the roof go? If it can't be miniaturised, and has to come in-board and takes up length, the return diminishes yet more.

The answer is not to make the whole vehicle double deck.  The bit at the ends is single deck and there is therefore space there for things like bogies, toilet tanks, motors etc. 

I was taking that as given - after all, most designers will include bogies on their "must have" lists, even if those pretty pictures try to hide them from view (probably the artist couldn't do bogies). There a whole load more stuff under trains these days, a lot of which is going to be needed but may not feature in an architect's maquette. No doubt the current layouts spread this stuff out Parkinsonianly to fill the space, but there is still an issue there.

What would help a lot (and the pictures rather suggest this) is shared bogies.

Incidentally, what is the reason for this being news now? The long list of 10 was announced a year ago, and the short list of three to make full-scale models was announced last April.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 02:12:26 pm »

On the Southern with 4001/4002 (4901/4902), with intermediate stops at London Bridge and Waterloo at which there were huge numbers getting off and on, I suspect the problem was particularly bad. At the Charing Cross terminal they used, people could be getting off / on while the crew changed ends; load / unload time probably wasn't on the critical timing path.

Those old Southern trains had slam doors for each compartment which consisted of a lower and upper deck.  The design for a modern double deck train has open compartments and wide doors so loading/unloading aren't compromised too much - indeed I would think the dwell times for a modern double deck train with three doors per coach is no worse than current trains with two doors per coach that we're used to in the UK.

The issue of course is the loading gauge - how much will the necessary modifications cost.  In most cases it will be far too much, which is why I don't think we'll ever see widespread use of those trains in the UK in the near future, despite studies, design competitions and so on leading to articles like this one cropping up from time to time.
I thought the idea of this design was that it would fit within the current loading gauge?
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stuving
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2015, 03:00:28 pm »

I thought the idea of this design was that it would fit within the current loading gauge?

I was hoping to refer you to what I remember as a fairly through treatment of Network Rail's conclusion on the subject, but I can't find it. There are summaries in the Wessex Route Study, the London and South East Route Utilisation Strategy, and the Network RUS - Passenger Rolling Stock; maybe I conflated them in my memory. These in turn refer to the original SWML RUS, which is very short and doesn't appear to cover this, and a specific NR study from 2007, which was never published.

Basically, they don't believe anyone can supply a train within British gauge that will be worth having. Regauging specific lines to take full UIC gauge, or even something in between, is horrendously expensive; and if it is only needed for a few peak-hour trains the BCR is going to be microscopic. That does, however, allow roughly 50% more seats to be fitted.

Some of those summaries end by saying that view could change if a viable solution within the current gauge limit did appear. This competition follows on from that train of thought: looking outside the railway way of doing things, can a clever designer apply fresh ideas and technology as to produce such a solution. Note that this AEROLINER3000 design is specifically for this competition, but conceived primarily for the HS2 classic-compatible stock, not commuters. Thus the speed of loading and unloading is not going to be such as big issue.
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paul7755
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« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2015, 03:29:14 pm »

Are you thinking of Network Rail's 2007 "Preliminary Evaluation of Double Deck & Extra Long Train Operations" report?

Here it is:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20070921093859/http://www.dft.gov.uk/about/strategy/whitepapers/whitepapercm7176/railwhitepapersupportingdocs/provevalddtrains

I have a read of it each time these sort of proposals surface, and it always reassures me that it won't happen...

Paul
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2015, 05:56:34 pm »

I'd have thought (not that I claim to know) that the main benefit of re-engineering to UIC gauge would be for freight, not passengers. Not that that means it would be worthwhile.
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