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Author Topic: HSTs - main line operational into the future  (Read 432 times)
grahame
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« on: August 16, 2018, 09:19:17 am »

From Rail Magazine

Quote
Redundant High Speed Trains have been bought by Locomotive Services Ltd, and will enter traffic next year.

The company has also purchased two Class 90s, as it seeks to expand its existing operations. The purchase of only one HST has been confirmed, although RAIL understands that a deal is in place for more. It is buying the HSTs and Class 90s from Porterbrook, which declined to comment when asked by RAIL about the deal.

LSL owner Jeremy Hosking said: “Locomotive Services Limited are pleased to announce that we have recently entered into an agreement that will see our operational fleet expand from 2019.

“The inclusion of a High Speed Train [HST], Mk 3 coaching stock and Class 90 locomotives in our fleet will enable the continued expansion of our operation, while protecting our heritage assets from excessive use. We will be providing further details in due course.”

It is currently unclear how the HSTs will be used, but RAIL sources have suggested the company is targeting the luxury market with First Class and catering to be offered.

The HSTs will be those sent off-lease by Great Western Railway. Currently no Porterbrook-owned HSTs have been returned by GWR, although this will happen later in the year as more Intercity Express Trains are introduced.

An interesting and potentially positive development.   Perhaps not quite the fleet of go-anywhere route availability stock for future general big event use, but a seed sewn?   I admire how the Hastings Diesel can turn up in Whitby, Fawley, Weymouth and Llandrindod - but it is a solo and so cherry picks the enthusiasts.    Imagine half a dozen HST units (say 66% availability, so 4 units) for ..
- Glastonbury
- Dawlish Air Show
- Gold Cup
- Boardmasters
and others big special events and special hires.   A "Merrymaker" type program on quieter days, a unit or two available for emergency spot hire based in the London area on autumn / winter / spring weekdays where standard fleets are running at full capacity.
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Phantom
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2018, 10:21:00 am »

Out of interest how does someone go about chartering one of these trains for personal use?
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Rob on the hill
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2018, 11:48:57 am »

It would be good to see HSTs working railtours, going to destinations and events similar to those run by Pathfinders, UK Railtours etc. The advantage over current tours operated by steam/heritage diesels is that the HSTs would be able to run at higher line speeds, with no water stops etc, so would be able to fit in more easily around service trains. I think the HST could be a welcome and popular addition to the railtour market, as itself becomes a heritage train.
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broadgage
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2018, 02:13:19 pm »

This must be worrying GWR a bit.
For years people have complained about overcrowding at holiday times or during special events.

The mantra has always been "there is no spare rolling stock" and that it is unreasonable to buy, build, or lease extra stock for Christmas, Easter, bank holidays, summer weekends, Glastonbury, school holidays, beginnings and ends of university terms, boardmasters, rugby at Cardiff, cup finals in London, the Reading festival, air shows, and other rare events.

Well it looks as though some extra stock IS about to become available to hire for such exceptional events. There is likely to be public and political pressure to hire such stock for exceptional events.

And even worse, these charter HSTs are likely to have facing seats at tables, buffets, and padded seats, proper first class, and other such luxuries that are unaffordable on new trains.
Unfavourable comparisons are likely to be drawn between new 5 car DMUs, and 40 year old charter trains.

GWR are going to need some quick thinking to find ways in which these charter trains are unsuitable, non compliant, or not allowed.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
paul7755
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2018, 02:35:20 pm »

They won’t be GWR operated, as their own staff will lose HST traction knowledge after so many months.

So it just becomes a question of a TOC hiring in additional stock and crews from a charter company, and they could do that now...

Paul
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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2018, 03:05:07 pm »

Yes, I know that they would not be operated by GWR staff, but was speculating on GWR hiring them complete with staff to relieve overcrowding at busy times.

It has been previously suggested that GWR should hire charter stock to relieve overcrowding, and the usual answer being that the old stock and heritage traction are unsuitable for modern needs.

The "general unsuitability" argument will look rather silly when the proposed trains are those used until recently on the same routes.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
grahame
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2018, 04:34:19 pm »

It has been previously suggested that GWR should hire charter stock to relieve overcrowding, and the usual answer being that the old stock and heritage traction are unsuitable for modern needs.

The "general unsuitability" argument will look rather silly when the proposed trains are those used until recently on the same routes.

There is a huge argument for NOT having stock sitting around on each franchise / area of the country, but rather having some "go anywhere" trains to cover everyone's occasional extreme ... just need to watch HSTs becoming unsuitable because of none-retention toilets.  Slam doors could probably be lived with as they would be crowd busters with relatively few stops.
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rower40
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2018, 05:46:21 pm »

It has been previously suggested that GWR should hire charter stock to relieve overcrowding, and the usual answer being that the old stock and heritage traction are unsuitable for modern needs.

The "general unsuitability" argument will look rather silly when the proposed trains are those used until recently on the same routes.

There is a huge argument for NOT having stock sitting around on each franchise / area of the country, but rather having some "go anywhere" trains to cover everyone's occasional extreme ... just need to watch HSTs becoming unsuitable because of none-retention toilets.  Slam doors could probably be lived with as they would be crowd busters with relatively few stops.
An HST is only two engine-failures away from sitting down and blocking the line...
Watch this space for rulings coming from on high that Distributed Power has to be provided so that the train must still be able to move if two engines fail.
(With selective blinkers applied to the fact that a great big wave of Dawlish-flavoured salt water can shut down a Voyager.)
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devonexpress
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2018, 01:28:02 am »

They won’t be GWR operated, as their own staff will lose HST traction knowledge after so many months.

So it just becomes a question of a TOC hiring in additional stock and crews from a charter company, and they could do that now...

Paul

How will they lose traction knowledge when they will have at least 6 of the darn things abiet in shorter sets running past 2020.  Have people forgotten GWR/First own a load of HST's too? Why hire in slam door non compliant charter HSTs with loads of first class short capacity trains, when they can just redeploy 4 car HST shuttles, or remove two powercars reattach the remaining coaches and reintroduce a 8 car plug door hst with all standard class seating more than enough to provide capacity for special events.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2018, 03:11:25 am »

They won’t be GWR operated, as their own staff will lose HST traction knowledge after so many months.

So it just becomes a question of a TOC hiring in additional stock and crews from a charter company, and they could do that now...

Paul

How will they lose traction knowledge when they will have at least 6 of the darn things abiet in shorter sets running past 2020.  Have people forgotten GWR/First own a load of HST's too? Why hire in slam door non compliant charter HSTs with loads of first class short capacity trains, when they can just redeploy 4 car HST shuttles, or remove two powercars reattach the remaining coaches and reintroduce a 8 car plug door hst with all standard class seating more than enough to provide capacity for special events.

I can think of at least one occasion when GWR hired in an extra train not so long ago - I think it ended up doing London to Cardiff sporting event runs and filled in on the Weymouth Wizard.  "Just redeploying" other trains within the franchise becomes harder and harder as there are fewer and fewer trains to redeploy, with many having a lower route availability than the HST.   To what degree extra trains are hired in (to cover extreme peaks) becomes a business decision based on cost, income, whether your contract allows you to pull other services, and how much you're prepared to upset your regular customers who's services you are curtailing or short forming.
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