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Author Topic: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues  (Read 180010 times)
didcotdean
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« Reply #1800 on: June 23, 2019, 05:51:30 pm »

I certainly acknowledge that reliability (and therefore availability) needs to improve though.  The list of diesel only units had crept up to 20 yesterday - not much of a problem now, but will be in December!
The bi-mode capability seemed at first to give the DfT/NR a get out of jail free card with the electrification mess-up, but increasingly it seems to be Agility Trains/Hitachi that is the beneficiary at the moment.
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #1801 on: June 23, 2019, 06:29:23 pm »

Why is it that people are continually so obsessive about these trains being so terrible because there are faults? Either HSTs were faultless, or, they were never discussed so regularly as they were the norm and such an iconic train..
The point is that the HSTs, whatever their problems with reliability at the time, were such an advance on what went before they were universally admired.
  • The jolt at starting as a locomotive took up the slack in the couplings in hauled stock disappeared
  • The ride in the early days with the long swing link bogies on the Western's immaculate track was a revelation
  • The brakes were silent - quite astonishing after clasp brakes with cast iron blocks. (The hot brake pad smell was solved quite quickly by adding flaps which closed the air conditioning air inlet on first step braking)
  • Automatic doors to the saloons
  • Much quicker journeys.

After over forty years of service the replacement trains:
  • have a ride which is noticeably harsher. On one train on which I travelled there was a significant high frequency vibration at speeds above about 115mph. Loud bangs can be heard occasionally from under the coach - this never happened with the HSTs
  • are not significantly faster. Time savings over the HST are marginal - mainly achieved by omitting stops
  • the seats are reasonably well shaped for my body but are not padded. For a top-of-the-range product this seems cheap and mean.
  • on the older trains the internal fittings are already starting to look well used. More intelligent design and better quality materials might have helped.

After over forty years of development with deeper understanding of suspension dynamics and improvements in materials and components one would expect to travel on a train which is very smooth and near silent inside.
The IET gives the impression that it has been designed to a price and corners have been cut.

None of this has anything to do with reliability - it has all to do with the impression the train makes on the passenger. The internal appearance of the IETs on the Western would be credible for an outer suburban train. It is well under par for the top of the line long distance train running on the routes once travelled by the 'Super Saloons'.

Maybe the moral is that one should not let generalist civil servants specify a train.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2019, 06:38:08 pm by 4064ReadingAbbey » Logged
4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #1802 on: June 23, 2019, 06:51:09 pm »

I certainly acknowledge that reliability (and therefore availability) needs to improve though.  The list of diesel only units had crept up to 20 yesterday - not much of a problem now, but will be in December!
The bi-mode capability seemed at first to give the DfT/NR a get out of jail free card with the electrification mess-up, but increasingly it seems to be Agility Trains/Hitachi that is the beneficiary at the moment.

I would reckon that Agility Trains/Hitachi has, at the most, three months to get on top of the problems they have at the moment. This would give a month or so of reliable operation before the availability of the trains has to jump to 95% for the December timetable.

Looking at the way things have evolved since October 2017 I do not think that Agility Trains/Hitachi has the knowledge, organisational skills and appropriately trained and experienced staff to be able to consistently supply by the end of September or beginning of October trains in the quantities needed. Having a design office on the other side of the world operating in a very different culture cannot help. Having once managed a project where various bits were being designed and developed in California, Taiwan, Switzerland, France and the UK I know that such issues can slow things up considerably - and lead to less than optimum outcomes.
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rogerw
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« Reply #1803 on: June 23, 2019, 07:02:44 pm »

Fair enough, obviously an error with the reservations there then as C was heavily reserved.  Itís unusual for that to happen - usually the TM/driver can correct it if the reservations have loaded (which they must have done for the green lights to have been on) but the formation wrong, unless the previous train had stuck in the system?  Did you notice whether the internal/external displays were showing the correct information, or what reservation information was being displayed in other carriages?

Reservations are generally much better now, but still not as reliable as they should be.

External carriage displays that I observed were correct.  The internal display in my carriage clearly showed "C".  Don't know about reservations in other carriages although another passenger stated that there were no reservations on the train so there may have been an announcement before Chippenham. Certainly nothing afterwards.
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« Reply #1804 on: June 23, 2019, 08:40:48 pm »

Decades ago when the HSTs were new and less reliable, it was common to substitute a full length loco hauled set.
In more recent years it was the norm to take an HST from a lower priority service, in order to avoid cancelling an important express.


As much as those with rose tinted glasses would like us to go back to the good old days (and I worked for BR, it wasnít such good old days) to equate something now, to something decades ago is grasping at straws.

Decades ago the roads werenít so congested, Iíd love to go back to those times, but I know realistically that isnít going to happen, neither is having loads of spare stock sat at depots just in case...
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rogerw
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« Reply #1805 on: June 23, 2019, 10:05:53 pm »

One other thing I have noticed on my various trips on the IETs.  I don't know what the external cleaning regime is, but every one I have travelled on has had dirty windows
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broadgage
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« Reply #1806 on: June 24, 2019, 01:03:06 am »

Why is it that people are continually so obsessive about these trains being so terrible because there are faults? Either HSTs were faultless, or, they were never discussed so regularly as they were the norm and such an iconic train..
The point is that the HSTs, whatever their problems with reliability at the time, were such an advance on what went before they were universally admired.
  • The jolt at starting as a locomotive took up the slack in the couplings in hauled stock disappeared
  • The ride in the early days with the long swing link bogies on the Western's immaculate track was a revelation
  • The brakes were silent - quite astonishing after clasp brakes with cast iron blocks. (The hot brake pad smell was solved quite quickly by adding flaps which closed the air conditioning air inlet on first step braking)
  • Automatic doors to the saloons
  • Much quicker journeys.

After over forty years of service the replacement trains:
  • have a ride which is noticeably harsher. On one train on which I travelled there was a significant high frequency vibration at speeds above about 115mph. Loud bangs can be heard occasionally from under the coach - this never happened with the HSTs
  • are not significantly faster. Time savings over the HST are marginal - mainly achieved by omitting stops
  • the seats are reasonably well shaped for my body but are not padded. For a top-of-the-range product this seems cheap and mean.
  • on the older trains the internal fittings are already starting to look well used. More intelligent design and better quality materials might have helped.

After over forty years of development with deeper understanding of suspension dynamics and improvements in materials and components one would expect to travel on a train which is very smooth and near silent inside.
The IET gives the impression that it has been designed to a price and corners have been cut.

None of this has anything to do with reliability - it has all to do with the impression the train makes on the passenger. The internal appearance of the IETs on the Western would be credible for an outer suburban train. It is well under par for the top of the line long distance train running on the routes once travelled by the 'Super Saloons'.

Maybe the moral is that one should not let generalist civil servants specify a train.


Could not have put it better myself.
HSTs were a most welcome improvement over that which went before, and teething problems therefore forgiven.
IETs are generally considered to be a backwards step. It is not just me who feels that in many respects they are not proper inter-city trains, but at best a regional DMU.
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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.
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« Reply #1807 on: June 24, 2019, 09:01:13 am »

  • The ride in the early days with the long swing link bogies on the Western's immaculate track was a revelation

And I think that is very true.  On good track the IET rides well, on poor track (of which there is a lot) it can make for a bumpy ride - different from the Mk3 but no worse IMHO.  I think Iíve mentioned a trip back in a HST from Cornwall where I genuinely had white knuckles through gripping the armrests as we lurched all over the place.

I certainly agree that the choice and quality of some of the internal fittings was poor.
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« Reply #1808 on: June 24, 2019, 10:59:31 am »

One other thing I have noticed on my various trips on the IETs.  I don't know what the external cleaning regime is, but every one I have travelled on has had dirty windows

Yes I have noticed that as well. It is as though the windows have been washed but the process has not been completed, ie not rinsed/polished. It is like looking through a fog and does not give a good impression. I wonder if GWR have taken this up this with Hitachi?
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« Reply #1809 on: June 24, 2019, 11:06:20 am »

I noticed the dirty windows too a few days ago when boarding one.  Didn't think too much of it at the time, but there's clearly a pattern here.  All four journeys in the last month have been on diesel too all the way to and from London, and the trolley didn't appear either on the last journey.  The rattling was dreadful too with the seat in front shaking badly for much of the journey.  Maybe Japanese built quality isn't all it's cracked up to be.
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« Reply #1810 on: June 24, 2019, 02:26:50 pm »

I wonder if GWR have taken this up this with Hitachi?

I heard a couple of weeks ago that Hitachi had hired a specialist contractor to work on each unit at a time to bring the external elements back to an Ďas newí condition following wash plant problems.  They are doing one unit a day and started at the end of May, so a third of the fleet should have been done by now and all finished by the end of August.
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old original
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« Reply #1811 on: June 24, 2019, 03:38:53 pm »

Just for the record, I see today that the 10.03 Paddington - Penzance was running over an hour late so went non-stop .from Plymouth to PZ..... in 1 hour 26 mins!!

See how quick you can go if you don't stop for passengers
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grahame
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« Reply #1812 on: June 24, 2019, 03:54:34 pm »

Just for the record, I see today that the 10.03 Paddington - Penzance was running over an hour late so went non-stop .from Plymouth to PZ..... in 1 hour 26 mins!!

See how quick you can go if you don't stop for passengers

The 07:30 rather than the 10:03 ??

71 late off Plymouth - 12:30 rather than 11:19
43 late into Penzance - 13:56 rather than 13:13

Normally I would be horrified by all this stop-skipping, however the 12:15 Plymouth to Penzance was held back and left at 12:34 - just 4 minutes after the delayed London Express - so everyone got a service.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #1813 on: June 24, 2019, 04:57:23 pm »

  • are not significantly faster. Time savings over the HST are marginal - mainly achieved by omitting stops

But also because of the powered doors: they make a massive difference on the Cotswold Line and I presume they're also significant on Plymouth-Penzance, for example.

(Of course, our lovely Adelantes had powered doors and a decent number of bike spaces, but hey ho...)
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #1814 on: June 24, 2019, 05:23:58 pm »

Amazingly managed to have a beer on the way home on the dreaded 1B46 tonight after the front portion trolley operative had the wonderfully original idea of pushing the trolley through the train on departure from Cardiff Central. If only this sort of thing weren't so exceptional.
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