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Author Topic: New GWR Hitachi Trains  (Read 4606 times)
hartfield
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« on: May 01, 2018, 01:54:26 pm »

Would love to know what other passengers experience of the new Hitachi Bristol - London trains has been. Feedback from what I have heard generally has been on the whole pretty negative. Uncomfortably hard seats, trains suffering continual breakdowns / faults / running as five car units instead of ten. General feeling from what I've heard - they are not a patch on the HSTs (High Speed Train) which are still running some services. Don't think the design is a terribly good idea - two five car units with four engines - whilst this might seem a good idea initially, it has created many problems - it requires twice the number of staff to run the train, as it is effectively two trains coupled together. It also means you cant walk through the whole train from end to end, so if one half is packed, you can't move to the other half. Anyone know what the thinking was behind the choice of this train design rather than one ten carriage train with two more powerful engines one on each end like the HSTs. In some cases, trains have had to be run as five car units due to staff shortages / breakdowns. Are there currently ongoing campaigns to persuade Network Rail / government / GWR (Great Western Railway) to rethink the train design and seating?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2018, 02:19:54 pm by hartfield » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2018, 02:09:17 pm »

Would love to know what other passengers experience of the new Hitachi Bristol - London trains have been.

Hi, Hartfield and welcome to the forum.

Many / most of your comments are pretty widely felt.  And many of them can be placed somewhat to one side as teething problems or things that are only going to be short term issues for other reasons.   Some members will query how long "short term" is, and feel that tomorrow may never come.  Few of us believe the government minister who suggested that the seats will soften in time!

There are 9 car trains on order as well as the 5 car ones that have arrived first - so the issues of short trains and coupled sets without gangways through will lessen.  Won't go away, as the idea is that some services will run ten car on busy parts of the route, reducing to 5 cars when the trains get away from London to places that capital-based planners perceive as being quieter.

Don't think you'll get much joy in asking for a re-design - too late - but what we might well see over coming years is some of the five car trains bing expanded to nine should rail traffic continue to grow.   This rather depends on just how much people have been put off by current issues from ever using the train again; there are some graphs showing how Cardiff to Portsmouth fared when trains were cut to being shorted that the needed capacity, and how long it took to recover once they were back to 3 cars.


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johnneyw
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2018, 04:36:42 pm »

And welcome from me too hartfield. My experiences of the new Hitachi trains is limited to just a couple of journeys but I noticed the airline style seats were harder than usual. In fairness after about 20 mins on the train I sort of got used to them and was not too uncomfortable once I got off after an hour seated. Whether 'getting used' to something makes it acceptable is quite another question.
In so far as the general ride was, I came to the conclusion that the HSTs (High Speed Train) gave a slightly smoother ride and were certainly no noisier.
On the plus side, it does accelerate quite quickly and feels quite modern right now (if not conveying the same sense of robustness that the HSTs have) plus there are more tables and there is more legroom.
It's still a bit too soon for me to draw any final conclusions and I am still to get used to the interior trim which is a shade too light green for me. Hope you get the chance to have a trip on one soon, if you haven't already.
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2018, 04:41:42 pm »

There are 58 5-car trains and 35 9-car ones being built, all of which should be in service by the end of next year.  

The plan is for the majority of longer distance trains to be in the hands of the 9-car fleet, with the 5-car fleet running some of the off-peak and quieter services, but we have been promised nothing less than 9-cars will arrive into London in the morning peak or depart from London in the evening peak.

I doubt the total number of 2x 5-car units will be much more than the current daily plan when the final diagrams are introduced, and will allow portion working.

Certain routes that are getting a frequency increase, such as Bristol Temple Meads to London and Cheltenham to London would not be realistic off-peak as all full length trains and many more (especially early morning and late evening) will do just fine as 5-car sets even with strong growth.

However there is an argument that the reality will be different and 5-car trains will become the norm on many more services that are currently operated by HST (High Speed Train)’s will become overcrowded as a result, but we won’t really be able to judge until all sets are in operation and the final timetable is introduced.
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2018, 05:28:49 pm »

Don't we ever learn 4REP 8TC gangwayed throughout  plus 33 to pull/push Bournemouth to and from Weymouth.

88 plus 2*5/6 coaches gangwayed throughout with Driving compartments. plus 68. 88 pushes pulls London to and from Cardiff 68 pulls pushes Cardiff Swansea. 
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2018, 06:50:53 pm »

Don't we ever learn 4REP 8TC gangwayed throughout  plus 33 to pull/push Bournemouth to and from Weymouth.

A past era, but I used that from time to time and it worked so well!
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 06:55:59 am »

I seem to recall way back when I was an apprentice at OOC (Old Oak Common (depot)) in the 70's there were major hic-ups with the HSDT (Original name for High Speed Train) (125) fleet; flats on tyres, brake pads burning out indeed even seizing on power cars, brake disks on power care fracturing, batteries on coaches "boiling dry" problems with coolant and oil leaks on the engines, con rods, pistons, main bearings and turbo chargers catching fire.

It is a little disappointing for Hitachi as they had great success introducing the 395's on HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel) with very few problems, I still believe in 800 series of trains will be a success also I think they look like they belon in Brunel's train shed at Paddington
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2018, 03:51:58 pm »

88 plus 2*5/6 coaches gangwayed throughout with Driving compartments. plus 68. 88 pushes pulls London to and from Cardiff 68 pulls pushes Cardiff Swansea. 

So you’re suggesting medium length semi-fixed formations, using engines with comparatively poor acceleration and a maximum speed of 100mph?
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« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 01:58:00 pm »

88 should do 140 like 91s. How many of the lines will the IET (Intercity Express Train) run on diesel power which are 125?
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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 02:16:30 pm »

Well they don’t.  They only do 100mph, and with comparatively poor acceleration compared with 80x series trains.  A higher speed version could of course be designed, but the acceleration issue would remain.
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 02:10:58 pm »

A non rail expert's (my daughter) opinion of new GWR (Great Western Railway) rolling stock. Her journey home from Chippenham to Kent today.





One plus point - she liked not having to reach outside to open the doors.

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« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2018, 01:58:55 pm »


One plus point - she liked not having to reach outside to open the doors.


Admitedly I commute daily back to Weston so am more used to it,(and the majority of times back on an HST (High Speed Train)), but it still amazes me the number of times people are unsure of how to open the door on the HST
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Alan Pettitt
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« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2018, 04:11:23 pm »

Actually I could never understand why internal door handles were not fitted to trains once they had central door locking.
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CMRail
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« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2018, 07:40:29 pm »

I’m only in my twenty’s but what happened before SDO (Selective Door Opening) at short platforms? surely people used to try and step down    Wink
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« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2018, 08:56:01 pm »

I’m only in my twenty’s but what happened before SDO (Selective Door Opening) at short platforms? surely people used to try and step down    Wink

When I left school and was at college my journeys home involved travel on a Friday night on a service which was regularly longer than the down platform at Bath Spa and it was a regular event at Bath for the train to draw forward so that the rear coaches were platformed and regular passengers knew this and there was no panic. Irregular passengers would start to move forward to a carriage platformed unless another passenger advised them of the procedure so again no panic as the draw forward was at a snails pace initiated by platform staff waving an arm backwards and forwards until the rear coaches were platformed when the platform staff would hold both hands straight upwards to stop. In hours of darkness this movement was initiated by the platform staff waving their oil burning hand lamp displaying a yellow aspect forwards and backwards until the rear of the train was platformed which then caused the platform staff to switch their hand lamp to display a red aspect, STOP.
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