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Author Topic: A summary of what's happening with the new IET (High Speed Train) replacements  (Read 194 times)
grahame
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« on: July 12, 2018, 10:24:09 am »

Posting in "Introduction" as I'm writing an introduction to share with some newcomers to the present goings on.

Bearing in mind this is designed to be a "management overview", so there are elements that I have simplified, are there any comments / suggestions / errors in my memory or understanding of what happens next?



The GWR main line electrification plans had 9 car electric trains being delivered first, with 5 car bimodes to follow.  But electrification was / is late and has been curtailed in the current term to Thingley and Cardiff, meaning that 9 car electric trains wouldn't be able to operate on the main routes planned for them - London to Bristol Temple Meads and London to Swansea.  So the order for 9 car trains was changed to add in diesel engines / make them bimodes too - and by the time that was done, contracts arranged, designes changed, other bits ordrered, they had missed their place on the production lines and the 5 car bi-modes were built (and delivered) first.

So ... GWR have found themselves running 2 x 5 car trains where they really should be running 9 car trains, needing multiple train managers or equivalent safety certified people per train as there's no through corridor.  And they've not had as many of these trains as they would like, so some have been shortened to run as just five carriages. They're very different trains to the old HSTs to drive so there's significant driver re-trainig involved, and the shortage of even 5 car trains because of the delays has meant that on many days some of the ten car formations are split into 2 x 5 car - allowing for a service to be maintained, and also staff to be trained up so that there's not a bigger staffing problem later.

It has been asked why the HST trains which are being withdrawn could not have stayed longer to help overcome the gap.  Alas, their hire cotracts are finishing, and although there may have been an opportunity (that was taken) to stretch some contracts a little, most of the early end contract trains have new roles they've been promised out on, to Scotrail. So they cannot be extended.

Over the last few weeks, the first 9 car trains have entered service, with more to progress through the autumn, and the situation should get easier. It is anticipated that the new IET trains will have totally replaced the HSTs on routes via Didcot by the end of this year (2018) and will be well on the way to replacing them on routes via Newbury, with final High speed Trains runs into London in the Spring, and final timetables being adjusted to use the new trains only in May.

About a dozen of the High Speed Trains used on the London Expresses are being retained by GWR, shortened from 8 passenger carriages to 4, and will be used on regional services in Devon and Cornwall, with some extending up via Taunton to Bristol and even Cardiff.   The passenger carriages will have major engineering works done on the, fitting them with retention toilets and automatic doors, which will allow them to continue to be used for a moderate time longer;  older HSTs which empty toilets onto the track will no longer be able to run from 2020.   The provison of automatic doors will significantly reduce the time these trains take to perform "station duties" too, as the Train Manager will no  longer have to walk the length of his train at unstaffed stations.

Edit to correct typos - and more similar edits to come!

« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 10:36:26 am by grahame » Logged

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froome
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2018, 11:04:55 am »

As this is aimed at newcomers to the forum, I think it needs some simplification. As a relative newcomer, I would have given up after reading Thingley, as by then I would already have been faced with words I might have struggled with like bimodal, and then come across a place I'd never heard of.

I think it needs to start by saying exactly what it is dealing with. So something along the lines of:

The GWR main line electrification plans were to deliver improvements this year for the lines from Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads via Reading, Swindon and Bath Spa, and from Paddington to Swansea via Bristol Parkway, Newport and Cardiff. But electrification was/is late and has been curtailed in the current term west of Thingley (explaining where that is) for the former line and Cardiff for the latter.

The plans had been for 9 car electric trains to be delivered first, and 5 car bimodes to follow. But the delays mean that the order for 9 car trains was changed..  (and as you've written).

I think it all needs a simple timetable of where we think things are at the moment before the text, so that those who can't read through the full text can look at something that simply says what at present may happen and when, and read it fully for explanation.

Hope this helps.
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stuving
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2018, 11:29:35 am »

The GWR main line electrification plans had 9 car electric trains being delivered first, with 5 car bimodes to follow.  But electrification was / is late and has been curtailed in the current term to Thingley and Cardiff, meaning that 9 car electric trains wouldn't be able to operate on the main routes planned for them - London to Bristol Temple Meads and London to Swansea.  So the order for 9 car trains was changed to add in diesel engines / make them bimodes too - and by the time that was done, contracts arranged, designes changed, other bits ordrered, they had missed their place on the production lines and the 5 car bi-modes were built (and delivered) first.

Not true! (I'm sure I've said this before, too.)

The 2015 franchise agreement (dated 22/3/15) included from p 138 "delivery dates", meaning the date an extra unit would be in the depot, and another date when each extra one would be available to GWR, and these were copied from the MARA p 307 (revised 31/1/14).

5-car bimodes:
type acceptance  2/2/17
delivery train 1  25/5/17
first trains (2 off) for GWR  8/6/17
32 (all) trains for GWR  18/1/18
delivery train 36  8/2/18

9-car electrics:
type acceptance  20/10/17*
delivery train 1  15/2/18
first trains (2 off) for GWR  1/3/18
10 (all) trains for GWR  26/4/18
delivery train 12  3/5/18

*now corrected
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 01:14:40 pm by stuving » Logged
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