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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 146231 times)
phile
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« Reply #1005 on: June 01, 2020, 12:57:48 pm »


"Due to damage to the overhead electric wires between Bristol Parkway and Newport South Wales all lines are blocked.
Impact:
Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed or diverted. Disruption is expected until 14:30 01/06."

From GWR site.

OTC

Already posted in it's own thread

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=23567.0
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grahame
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« Reply #1006 on: June 05, 2020, 02:17:34 pm »

Here we are - official press release from Network Rail

Quote
South Wales and London now closer than ever as electric railway now running through historic Severn Tunnel

Friday 5 Jun 2020

London and south Wales are now closer than ever as from today (Friday 5 June) rail passengers are benefitting from an electrified railway from capital to capital as Network Rail has successfully completed the electrification of the Severn Tunnel.

It's a press release - so we are encouraged to quote

Quote
London and south Wales are now closer than ever as from today (Friday 5 June) rail passengers are benefitting from an electrified railway from capital to capital as Network Rail has successfully completed the electrification of the Severn Tunnel.

It means for the first time ever an electric railway will run from Cardiff and Newport in south Wales, through the historic Severn Tunnel and all the way to London Paddington.

Electrification has resulted in thousands of extra seats, more frequent services and quicker and greener journeys for passengers as they travel to and from south Wales on GWR’s Intercity Express Trains.

At 134-years-old and four miles in length, the Severn Tunnel has an extremely challenging environment, as over 14 million gallons of water are pumped out of it every day by Sudbrook pumping station to stop it from flooding.

Network Rail engineers have worked with world leading experts to find a robust and reliable solution to deliver an electric railway through the tunnel which will ensure passengers gain the full benefits of electrification.

Sudbrook pumping station is also set to be renewed as part of the upgrade of the Severn Tunnel, further improving the reliability of the railway.

Electrification to south Wales supports Welsh Government’s plans which includes a south Wales metro, an integrated transport system across the whole of Wales and a long-term vision for a Swansea Bay Metro.

And people have a lot to say about it:

Quote
Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for Wales and Western said:
“I am absolutely delighted that the Severn Tunnel is now fully electrified, resulting in a seamless rail link for passengers between Cardiff and London Paddington.

“Electrification has reduced journey times between south Wales and London by as much as 15 minutes and provided an additional 15,000 weekday seats compared with a year ago, with the possibility of further increasing the number of services and seats from south Wales in the future.

 “It has been a hugely complex task to electrify the tunnel but I’m thrilled that the final piece of the puzzle is now complete.

 “I would like to thank passengers and lineside neighbours for their patience over the past decade as we worked to deliver the transformation of this vital railway and am pleased that they will benefit from these improvements for years to come.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:
“It’s fantastic to announce the line between the capitals of Wales and England is fully electric at last, benefitting both passengers and the environment through quicker, greener, more reliable journeys.

“The completion of this ambitious project is just one part of our record investment to deliver the most significant upgrade of the UK’s railways since Victorian times, transforming travel for passengers right across the UK.”

Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
“It is crucial that Wales has cutting-edge transport links to help people travel to work, encourage inward investment and better connect it to the rest of the UK in order to boost prosperity.

“As we seek to grow our economy once again, I look forward to continued collaboration with Network Rail to improve connections, cut journey times and create world-class transport infrastructure in Wales.”

Ken Skates, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, said:
“The completion of the electrification works in the Severn Tunnel is welcome news in terms of improving journey times between Capitals and delivering towards our decarbonisation agenda for transport. I would like to thank Network Rail for completing this work in what must have been challenging circumstances.

“I hope that the completion of this work can be taken as a strong signal of intent from Network Rail and the UK Government that there is more investment to come to improve journey times and capacity across South Wales in the future, including electrification westwards beyond Cardiff.

“Clearly in the present circumstance travel should be undertaken only if it is essential, however we continue to plan for the future and this scheme is a clear example of this.”

Noting that no-one from GWR managed to get a word in  Grin

Notes for editors:

Quote
Network Rail leading experts on the project are available for a virtual briefing on a one to one basis next Tuesday (9th June) from 5pm. Please contact Steven Crane-Jenkins for a time slot.

Electrification of the Severn Tunnel falls on World Environment Day showcasing Network Rail’s commitment to greener travel.

The attached video shows Network Rail staff outside of the Severn Tunnel on the evening of Thursday 16 April 2020 showing their support and thanks for critical workers during the pandemic.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #1007 on: June 05, 2020, 02:38:31 pm »

Here we are - official press release from Network Rail

Quote
South Wales and London now closer than ever

Of course London and South Wales are the same distance apart as ever  - but with regard to the time taken for the journey, is this correct ?  There has been some fairly inventive "creative accounting" of journey times on the English side of the Severn - especially seeming to ignore the HST times in their first few years. Has anyone got any point-to-point times for years past - how do they actually compare ?
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broadgage
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« Reply #1008 on: June 05, 2020, 03:46:00 pm »

Certainly good news for the environment, electric trains are the way forward and are arguably getting ever greener as a growing proportion of UK grid power is from renewables.

Despite this, I support the principle of bi-mode trains for when the wires come down, and for flexibility of use on routes not electrified.

I have slight misgivings about the renewal of the pumping station. I have a slight fear that new pumping plant may be over complicated and reliant on computers and software, and therefore less reliable than old, and that the tunnel might fill with water because "computer says no"

Without pumping, how long would it take for the tunnel to flood dangerously ? I have heard only a few minutes, but can not substantiate this.
Does anyone remember all the new trains that failed during a brief and entirely foreseeable drop in the grid frequency ?
And Ipswich hospital that suffered a total blackout for the same reason ?
One might hope that new pumping plant wont suffer likewise.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #1009 on: June 05, 2020, 03:54:46 pm »

Well that NR press release really takes the biscuit......   No mention that it failed after just a few hours then (well, of course not) Roll Eyes

If the linespeed through the tunnel is the same now as it was before the tunnel electrification was switched on, how does that equate to faster journey times due solely to the tunnel switch on?

I really do get anoyed by all this NR bulls**t. Angry

End of rant.
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grahame
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« Reply #1010 on: June 05, 2020, 05:13:51 pm »

Of course London and South Wales are the same distance apart as ever  - but with regard to the time taken for the journey, is this correct ?  There has been some fairly inventive "creative accounting" of journey times on the English side of the Severn - especially seeming to ignore the HST times in their first few years. Has anyone got any point-to-point times for years past - how do they actually compare ?

From the BBC in 2015

Quote
New £4.5m trains running from London to south Wales will be slower than those 40 years ago, a transport union has claimed.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union says research shows 1970s services were faster than those advertised by Great Western Railways for Intercity trains.

The promised London to Cardiff journey time is 113 minutes, compared to 105 minutes under British Rail in 1977.

GWR said the union was not comparing like with like.

It also said electrification of the track would increase speeds to match some of the 1970 times, and there were more frequent services now that also stopped at more stations.

So - what IS the best current timing now they are actually running?   And what will it be if when the nonstop trains from Bristol Parkway to Paddington restart?
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1011 on: June 05, 2020, 07:23:19 pm »

They were timetabled at about 82 minutes I think. I've been sort of presuming, I should probably say assuming, that they'll eventually start up to the "last known normal timetable" ie winter-spring 19/20.
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TonyK
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« Reply #1012 on: June 05, 2020, 07:48:38 pm »

I shan't tell my Chinese friend how it has got much faster. Last time we caught a train, she asked how fast it goes. "200 Km per hour!" I said, smugly. Until she asked if we also have high speed trains.
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« Reply #1013 on: June 05, 2020, 08:02:51 pm »


I have slight misgivings about the renewal of the pumping station. I have a slight fear that new pumping plant may be over complicated and reliant on computers and software, and therefore less reliable than old, and that the tunnel might fill with water because "computer says no"

Without pumping, how long would it take for the tunnel to flood dangerously ? I have heard only a few minutes, but can not substantiate this.
Does anyone remember all the new trains that failed during a brief and entirely foreseeable drop in the grid frequency ?
And Ipswich hospital that suffered a total blackout for the same reason ?
One might hope that new pumping plant wont suffer likewise.

It does not take all the pumps to fail for the tunnel to start to ne inundated.

The 1990's pump renewal involved a lot of electronics; knowing the people involved in the asset management teams they will be looking for a robust system that had a manual override.

The supplied to Sudbrook are quite secure 2 independent 11kV feeds from the DNO and generators; also there are prewired sockets for hired in generators which are on short notice call off contract.  It is manned 24 hours a day by a team of NR technicians
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onthecushions
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« Reply #1014 on: June 05, 2020, 08:43:19 pm »

Quote from: grahame link=topic=18592.msg289487#msg289487


So - what IS the best current timing now they are actually running?   And what will it be if when the nonstop trains from Bristol Parkway to Paddington restart?


Looking at Real Time Trains, the allowance for 80x's using diesel engines between PIL and STJ is 7.5 minutes. A sample present actual timing (1B30) presumably pan up is 6 minutes.

The press release is very positive because both English and Welsh politicians are applauding the achievement, if five days late. If they want more good news they now know what to do, and soon.

Even Brunel would be pleased, if he were to overlook the (nearly) clip-on plastic joint covers...

OTC
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 03:11:29 pm by onthecushions » Logged
Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #1015 on: June 06, 2020, 09:39:27 am »

I posted this a while ago – you’ll see that in the early days the best HST timing Paddington to Cardiff was 105 minutes.  I think the best IEP timing (some of the xx48’s from Paddington) is 108 minutes.

« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 10:19:41 am by Gordon the Blue Engine » Logged
infoman
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« Reply #1016 on: June 06, 2020, 10:31:37 am »

Reminded me of the Top of the pops train journey from London Paddington to Bristol Temple meads via Bristol Parkway circa 1985 in SIXTY MINUTES.

Dept Padd 19:00pm arrive BTM at 20:00pm and it was shown LIVE.

Any one recall the drivers name and depot?
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patch38
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« Reply #1017 on: June 06, 2020, 12:45:41 pm »

Any one recall the drivers name and depot?


No, but I can name the presenter. But I won't, as it happens...
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1018 on: June 06, 2020, 02:34:30 pm »

Obviously those are best times, which might or might not be representative of typical times. But if we compare them with the "superfasts" today and see in effect no change (Cardiff 3 minutes slower now, Bristol 3 minutes faster, etc) despite advances in traction technology, why? Is it that the main limit on journey time is actually the track and its speed limits? Or are today's theoretically faster trains making more stops? Or being held up more by the more frequent other services? Or is there greater "buffer time" (I've forgotten the term, sorry) built into the timetables today to allow for making up time after delays? Or something else/
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« Reply #1019 on: June 06, 2020, 03:05:39 pm »

Obviously those are best times, which might or might not be representative of typical times. But if we compare them with the "superfasts" today and see in effect no change (Cardiff 3 minutes slower now, Bristol 3 minutes faster, etc) despite advances in traction technology, why? Is it that the main limit on journey time is actually the track and its speed limits? Or are today's theoretically faster trains making more stops? Or being held up more by the more frequent other services? Or is there greater "buffer time" (I've forgotten the term, sorry) built into the timetables today to allow for making up time after delays? Or something else/

A little mix of all of that to be honest:

* All the Cardiff services now stop at Bristol Parkway.  All the Bristol TM services now stop at Chippenham.
* Trains are now driven differently to try and reduce operational incidents, and ATP and TPWS further reduce speeds trains are driven at.  No more 130+ mph.  Much less hard braking into stations.
* The network is far busier - witness the performance statistics of the last two months - quite a lot of pathing allowance is allowed on the new SuperFasts because they catch up with other trains.
* The HST was a 125mph train and the IETs are currently limited to 125mph.
* The timetable of the late 70s didn't last too long into the 1980s.  By 1986 there were no Paddington to Cardiff non-stop services, and only two Paddington to Bristol Parkway non-stop services.  Was it unreliable?  Were extra stops inserted because that made more money?
« Last Edit: June 06, 2020, 03:53:15 pm by IndustryInsider » Logged

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