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March 22, 2017, 10:18:35 PM *
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Author Topic: What makes Voyagers so inefficient?  (Read 2497 times)
1st fan
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2017, 10:16:59 PM »

Travelled a fair few times firstly to Sheffield and then a few years later up to Coventry almost every fortnight from Kensington Olympia on Cross Country. I saw the train being used by a few OAP passengers who could get to Gatwick from Manchester without needing to change trains. There was one Ex BR man in the ticket office who knew how to sell tickets that didn't need to go via London. One day he wasn't there and a new young lady tried to tell me I couldn't get from there to Coventry without going via Watford or Euston. She initially told me that the station wasn't served by Cross Country and was very surprised when I proved that there were two trains a day. Then she couldn't sell me a ticket for the next train going Cross Country because she didn't know how and the Gold Card upgrade flummoxed her completely.

Fortunately Mr Ex BR came off his break and he filled her in. I had by this point then missed the 10:30 so as a result he endorsed the ticket for use via Paddington at no extra charge. He was excellent and I was very disappointed when he retired. He taught me how to do the correct sequence on the ticket machine for the tickets I used just in case.

I missed the HST when it went on that route and was replaced by the Voyager. I loved it when the route was blocked on a weekend and the service ran fast to Birmingham International up the WCML where I'd change for Coventry. Was quicker door to door that way than going to Euston and up up the WCML direct to Coventry. I missed the route when that went entirely and had to go via Paddington instead.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2017, 12:00:24 PM »

Chance would be a fine thing. Hypothetically, I look at class 387 and I see multiple units that have corridor connections, no crumple zone, and a top speed of 110 m.p.h.  (Yes, I know they are electric!).  And I wonder if the operation and efficiency (and customer satisfaction) on Cross Country would improve if they had corridor connecting trains, 2 or 3 cars long, fully utilised length, but with a top speed of "only" 110 m.p.h.
I do think that it is rather wasteful to run units with a top-speed in excess of 110mph (thus requiring crumple zones) in multiple. With a pair of Voyagers, you have four crumple zones as opposed to just two with a 9-car Pendolino (although the latter train is terrible for its own reasons, not least the windows are too small). Maintaining infrustructure for higher speeds is only worthwhile if you have a large volume of passengers anyway, so why not have a policy of only building high-speed trains 7+ carriages long?

Like a class 170 but with corridor connections maybe....

Whilst north to south cross country gets voyagers, east to west services get turbostars
Not 170s please, 'like a 158, but with a 110mph top speed' or 'like a 110mph diesel 442' would have been a better reply in my opinion (although 170s are only rated for 100mph). There are several problems with XC's 170s; the legroom is attrocious (perhaps, at least in part, due to the second problem), the doors are in the wrong place and they don't have UEGs. The primary fast service between two points, as the Cardiff-Nottingham service is, is going to be carrying at least some long-distance passengers and thus the standard of accomadation needs to support that. The outer-suburban door layout and inner-suburban legroom of XC's 170 fleet is not fit for purpose. Increase the legroom and shift them onto things like the Cardiff-Cheltenham stopping service, and get some sort of diesel version of class 442 (in formations between 2 and 4 coaches) for the likes of Cardiff-Nottingham.

UEG = Unit End Gangway
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bignosemac
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« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2017, 01:14:42 PM »

a 9-car Pendolino (although the latter train is terrible for its own reasons, not least the windows are too small).

Tell that to to the survivors of the Grayrigg derailment. None of whom were ejected from carriages thanks in no small part to the smaller toughened windows.
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mjones
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« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2017, 05:39:34 PM »

I did some digging on Wikipedia to compare the number of seats on a Voyager with Adelantes and Meridians. I realise this source isn't always accurate, so if someone spots an error then corrections welcome:

Voyager 220 4 coach 200 seats, of which 26 First Class
Voyager 221 4 coach 188 seats, of which 26 FC
Voyager 221 5 coach 250 seats, of which 26 FC

Adelante 180 5 coach 287 seats, of which FC?

Meridian 222 4 coach 165 seats of which 33 FC
Meridian 222, 5 coach 242 of which 50 FC

Meridian 222 7 coach 342 of which 106 FC

Just comparing the 5 coach trains, the Adelante comes out on top in total seats, although I'm not sure how many of those seats are FC.  But they feel more spacious even when full. It is interesting that the Meridians have even fewer seats than the Voyager, but then presumably they serve a simpler, more predictable network and EMT can run 7 coach trains on the busier services.

In the longer term, one day the Midland Mainline will be electrified, so presumably Meridians could eventually supplement Voyagers on XC? Does anyone know how fundamentally different the wiring is, and whether they could be made compatible so that Meridian coaches could be used to lengthen Voyagers and provide a more uniformly longer fleet?

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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2017, 08:17:24 AM »

And as a point of comparison, Chiltern's 168s are 272 seats per four-car set. Whether a Clubman is more comfortable than a Voyager I leave as an exercise for the reader!
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ChrisB
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« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2017, 09:09:28 AM »

too right they are!
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Tim
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« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2017, 09:22:43 AM »

Does anyone know how fundamentally different the wiring is, and whether they could be made compatible so that Meridian coaches could be used to lengthen Voyagers and provide a more uniformly longer fleet?


My understanding is that it is only the electrical connectors in the couplers that are different.  So presumably they could operate together (ie a 222 4-car set coupled to a 220 4-car set) if new connectors were fitted.   Whether or not the vehicles are similar enough to be swapped into and out of sets (ie a set made up of some ex-222 vehicles and some ex-220 vehicles) is a different matter.  As I understand it quite a lot of the internal equipment is different. 
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simonw
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« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2017, 09:48:51 AM »

There was an article 5+ years ago about extending Voyager trains with extra electric power carriages to increase size of the trains and to allow them to run under electric power where available.

This would have been a good idea!

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2011/sep/11/bombardier-120m-crosscountry-trains-deal
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ChrisB
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2017, 10:01:38 AM »

Could still happen, but more unlikely as the stock gets older.
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Tim
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« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2017, 11:49:30 AM »

Could still happen, but more unlikely as the stock gets older.

exactly.  It was a good idea 5 years ago.  If it was done now, the original voyager units would be due scrapping (or a massively expensive overhaul) just as the new coaches were reaching middle age had plenty of life still in them and had not yet fully earned their keep.

I am optimistic that the IEPs will be a massive success and that that (and a desire to keep the Newton Aycliffe production lines operating) will be enough for the next XC franchise to replace the Voyagers with IEP bimodes.  The Voyagers can then be used elsewhere or perhaps be cascaded to the XC Turbostar routes allowing other ToCs to get their hands on the Turbostars.

In the meantime, doubling up Voyagers on a few journeys and adding a few HSTs will be the best we can probably hope for. 
 
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2017, 05:21:47 PM »

UEG = Unit End Gangway

With thanks for that latest abbreviation, Rhydgaled, I've now added it to our Coffee Shop forum list, at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html  Smiley
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2017, 08:53:26 PM »

UEG = Unit End Gangway

With thanks for that latest abbreviation, Rhydgaled, I've now added it to our Coffee Shop forum list, at http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/acronyms.html  Smiley
Not sure how 'official' that is, it's just something I saw on a forum once and added to my 'written vocabulary'.
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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).
Charles T.
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« Reply #42 on: February 20, 2017, 09:28:21 PM »

Just to make it worse...


A franchise extension.

I love the 170s, travel on them GCR - CDF alot. I always avoid the Arriva services: 1. Stops and is cold. 2. No food. 3. It is more of a shed environment.

XC's HSTs are amazing; I always ensure I get one when traveling from Bristol.
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Gloucester station and it's problems..
bignosemac
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« Reply #43 on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:12 AM »


I love the 170s, travel on them GCR - CDF alot. I always avoid the Arriva services.

If you're taking 170s between Gloucester and Cardiff, you are travelling on Arriva services.

Arriva CrossCountry. Wink
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #44 on: February 21, 2017, 02:30:25 PM »

Chance would be a fine thing. Hypothetically, I look at class 387 and I see multiple units that have corridor connections, no crumple zone, and a top speed of 110 m.p.h.  (Yes, I know they are electric!).  And I wonder if the operation and efficiency (and customer satisfaction) on Cross Country would improve if they had corridor connecting trains, 2 or 3 cars long, fully utilised length, but with a top speed of "only" 110 m.p.h.
I do think that it is rather wasteful to run units with a top-speed in excess of 110mph (thus requiring crumple zones) in multiple. With a pair of Voyagers, you have four crumple zones as opposed to just two with a 9-car Pendolino (although the latter train is terrible for its own reasons, not least the windows are too small). Maintaining infrustructure for higher speeds is only worthwhile if you have a large volume of passengers anyway, so why not have a policy of only building high-speed trains 7+ carriages long?


Since the Voyagers and Pendolinos were designed and built the 'construction and use' regulations have changed. The driver must now be placed behind the crumple zone regardless of the design speed of the train. This explains why 90mph trains such as the new Bombardier trains for Crossrail have sloped noses as do the 100mph Siemens' trains for Thameslink and the 100mph Hitachi electrics for Scotrail. There might be some difference in degree in the length of the nose depending on the energy which needs to be dissipated, but new build flat-fronted trains are a thing of the past.
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