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Author Topic: Do longer duration journeys need longer trains?  (Read 2827 times)
martyjon
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2019, 05:45:32 pm »

As soon as you increase their length you lose the ability to double up. So unless you have a magic money tree to increase them to 9 coaches that could be very expensive.

Sooner or later the turbos will be retired and will need replacing with money from that same money tree so a new build of 4 coaches added to a 5-car IET might well be a less costly option and would release 5-car sets for the Cardiff - Portsmouth services and also GWR would not have to employ so many staff to push trolleys on 2x5-cars through the trains.
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Celestial
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2019, 06:05:21 pm »


Only have to buy one 88 seat coach to replace the centre driving coaches especially if they are still in production. The two driving coaches could be stored for spare parts as these two coaches with cab and kitchen should have the most wear and tear.
That's an interesting idea, but I can't imagine the thought of writing off two end vehicles for each new set created would look good on its own.  Hitachi will want the same return on those vehicles that they are currently expecting for the next 35 years or so. Though if they could be reused for another order then that might work. 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2019, 06:23:14 pm »

2x5s, or 2x anything, can increase specific carriage overloading and thus decrease comfort because of the limited ability to move carriages.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2019, 07:52:02 pm »

Quote from: Celestial
As soon as you increase their length you lose the ability to double up. So unless you have a magic money tree to increase them to 9 coaches that could be very expensive.

You clearly missed the memo. Forget magic money trees, since mophead conned himself into no.10 a veritable magic money forest has been discovered in the back garden of no.11. I'm surprised Philip Hammomd's gardener didn't notice it, and perhaps Philip and Teresa didn't look out of the back window very often...

Ask and thou shalt receive. Apparently...  Grin
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #19 on: August 17, 2019, 12:14:01 am »

I think the short answer to the question in the topic title is 'Yes'.

The slightly longer answer is 'Yes, for the same passenger numbers'.

For very short journeys with stops 5 minutes apart (I'm thinking London Underground with this one) and passengers not being on the train for more than about 30 minutes you can cram more pepole in a short train by making them stand, hopefully only for about 5 minutes as somebody will get off at the next stop (or the one after) allowing passengers standing to grab the seats before the next load of passengers board. For slightly longer journeys, up to 1 hour (example here being Cardiff to Merthyr) but still with stops every 5-10 minutes you need toilets and more seats so can cram fewer passengers in the same length of train. If passengers will be on the train for more than an hour, then seat pitch needs to be increased to improve legroom (and luggage space) so again less passengers can fit on unless you make the train longer and if stops are over 10-15 minutes apart then nobody should be having to stand either.

Also peak passenger numbers need considering, not just averages. Suppose that a short journey is operated by short trains with 200 seats and an average passenger count of 150.
Indeed, as noted above there should be a time limit above which nobody should be expected to stand. So if there's a gap between stations of more than 15 minutes, then the busiest train of the day between those stations should still have a few seats free and nobody standing.

Also breakdowns happen, whether of the train itself or infrastructure problems. On a local service, standing for 20 or 30 minutes on the following train is just about acceptable. On a journey of several hours, standing on the following train is not really acceptable.
Not alot you can do about breakdowns though, expect encouraging operators to try and win golden spanners for looking after the trains. Well, that and having a number of 'hot spare' units available at strategic points to pick up a diagram in that unfortunate case.

It seems to me that considered nationally, that we have plenty of short trains but not enough longer ones.
Suppose as an example, that a TOC perceives a need for some new 4 car or 5 car trains. I would prefer that they make use of some of the EXISTING voyagers or IETs, and that new full length trains be built to replace some of these.

As a currently relevant example, it is now becoming fairly widely admitted that the order for GWR IETs included too many 5 car units. It has also been suggested that people like me should not criticise this because it is a done deal and cant be altered.
If another TOC wants perhaps a dozen 5 car IETs, then in my view another 6 full length units should be built for GWR and 12 half length units transferred to where needed.
The 6 nine car units should be cheaper to build than 12 units each of five cars. 54 vehicles instead of 60 for a start, a 10% saving.
I agree with that; if anything there's more than enough Voyagers and 5-car 125mph Hitachi units in existance and on-order given the recent MML and WCML announcements. Similarly I don't think any more diesel 125mph units (that includes anything with a diesel engine that's capable of over 110mph, unless the class 801 single engine plus its fuel is significantly lighter than batteries to do the same job of keeping the 'hotel power' going for hours if the unit is stuck) should be ordered beyond what is currently known about.

Only have to buy one 88 seat coach to replace the centre driving coaches especially if they are still in production. The two driving coaches could be stored for spare parts as these two coaches with cab and kitchen should have the most wear and tear.
That's an interesting idea, but I can't imagine the thought of writing off two end vehicles for each new set created would look good on its own.  Hitachi will want the same return on those vehicles that they are currently expecting for the next 35 years or so. Though if they could be reused for another order then that might work.
I think something similar should happen to the Voyagers and Meridians once the MML and WCML TOCs are done with them, because they're not so new scrapping some of the driving vehicles would be less unpallatable. Basically the 220s would have their centre cars inserted into 222s (assuming the two types are similar enough) and 221s merged with other 221s. For the class 800s, I have an idea to make the trains longer without scrapping driving vehicles and without building any more diesel engines.
  • Complete the electrification to Oxford and Bristol (via both routes)
  • Order 14 sets of 7 AT-300 EMU intermediate vehicles; no diesel engines just some batteries for emergency hotel power (unless the diesel engine would be significantly lighter)
  • Remove the 3 intermediate vehicles (with diesel engines) from 14 5-car bi-modes and insert them into 14 other 5-car bi-modes
  • Insert the new intermediate EMU vehicles into the 'orphaned' 2-car sets created in the previous step
  • Net result: 28x 5-car bi-mode become 14x 9-car EMU and 14x 8-car 'super power' bi-mode with 6 diesel engines.
  • Deploy the 14x EMUs on Oxford/Bristol/Cardiff services
  • Cascade the 14x 'super power' bi-modes to CrossCountry, allowing any Voyagers left at 5-car after the reformation suggested above to move to the Cardiff-Nottingham service

2x5s, or 2x anything, can increase specific carriage overloading and thus decrease comfort because of the limited ability to move carriages.
That certainly applies to stock without unit-end gangways, but not to something like a class 158. I would therefore not entirely agree with broadgage on this point:
I am in general opposed to the building of any more short trains, unless some truly exceptional need for these can be demonstrated.
I don't think there's a problem with short units that have unit-end gangways, a 75-110mph top speed and no large 'crumple zones' or kitchens etc. that waste space if doubled up (although I think we have enough suburban type units with wide doors for stopping services for the time being). With something like the class 158s, you can run a long train on the busy part of the route and drop coaches for the quieter bits to save fuel (or give through services to more places) That doesn't work nearly so well if passengers can't move between units without getting off the train (in which case they are effectively having to change train). Thus I consider the large number of 125mph 5-car units being built now to be madness, especially once you consider that if a route has 125mph linespeeds it's obviously quite busy or it'd never have justified the investment in linespeed upgrades.
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grahame
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« Reply #20 on: August 17, 2019, 04:54:46 am »

Throwing another stone into the pond ... come December some brand new services are being introduced; the keyword description of them is the "superfasts" characterised by not even stopping at Swindon  Grin . I am lead to believe that some of these will be single 5 car sets, and where a train didn't exist on 13th December but do on 16th December, there's some logic to that. Cleary an eye will be kept on the various diagrams - whether there will be sufficient flexibility and capacity to act on loadings that are way out (above or below) what has been forecast, and how accurate those forecasts are, will be interesting to watch.

There remains an alternative logic that suggests that trains should have a very similar stopping pattern to boost frequency, and to ensure maximum use of capacity where it's a limit. And to make the trains that break the pattern and eat paths also be shorter ones - well, it could be a dangerous game as it pushes things towards limits that could impact on reliability.
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2019, 05:06:41 pm »

The only reason I can see for 2x5 units is that they are going to be divided somewhere.

A suitable candidate would be 1C91 which is overtaken at Exeter by 1C92. 1C91 then becomes the local stopper Exeter-Paignton-Newton Abbot-empty Laira to stable. Always overkill when an HST and when I saw it once at Paignton all bar the first coach was locked out of use.

If the train was divided in future at Exeter the rear half could make a return working to Bristol. In the morning the situation could be reversed as there is a similar movement from empty Laira- Newton Abbot then passenger to- Paignton-Paddington.

I remember the days when a 159 9 coaches left Waterloo dropped 3 coaches at Salisbury, then at Exeter St David's divided again with 3 coaches going to Paignton and 3 going to Plymouth. When they returned the did the reverse. The good old days!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 05:12:55 pm by REVUpminster » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2019, 09:23:22 am »

The Waterloo to Bristol services do similar, splitting at Basingstoke then Salisbury.
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Umberleigh
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« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2019, 12:03:11 pm »

How about a 5 car from Paignton joining a 5 car from Barnstaple at Exeter for the Devon Metro Express to Paddington...?
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eightf48544
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« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2019, 03:43:35 pm »

The major problem with splitting two 5 car sets is as has been said there is no connection between the sets, We used to have a problem sorting out the drunks into the  right half with the midnight Brighton from Victoria which was formed of 2 * 6 PULs which split at Haywards Heath with one half to Brighton and other to Eastbourne. The introduction of the CIGs and BIGS with inter unit connections  on the Brighton line made this less of a problem.

If you could always guarantee that a unit would always arrive in the right order and right way round at the joining station you could have driving cab with corridor connections at one end, So two fives would split and front unit go off somewhere and rear unit the same, and hopefully rejoin the correct way round on their return journeys. Of course you'd have to hope as well that one unit didn't fail so the reaming unit had to driven from the blunt end on the high speed part of the trip.


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REVUpminster
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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2019, 08:13:21 pm »

There's no guarantee the units will be the right way round now. A few months ago a Plymouth-Paddington was made up of two five cars, one being the wrong way round so 1st class was at each end of the train. Actually I think it was quite a good arrangement. Not sure that if the units were reversed and 1st class was in the middle it would be so good.
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broadgage
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« Reply #26 on: August 28, 2019, 02:01:03 pm »

I cant foresee any relatively new and expensive IET vehicles being scrapped, unless in the case of severe accident damage.
Scrapping TWO of the end vehicles so as to make one full length train out of two short ones sounds very wasteful. Scrapping or storing just ONE end vehicle after one has been written off in an accident, is more reasonable.

Building another 4 intermediate vehicles so as to make a 5 car unit into a 9 car sounds a lot more attractive.

Turning two 5 car sets into a 9 car set by building an extra vehicles, and scrapping two vehicles, might cost £1 million to provide no significant extra capacity.
Turning one 5 car set into a 9 car set by building another 4 intermediate vehicles might cost about £4 million but would roughly double the passenger capacity.

In the unfortunate event that an IET suffers severe accident damage to an end vehicle, then in my view the damaged vehicle should be scrapped, the other driving vehicle be stored as a spare, and the insurance money be spent on building another intermediate vehicle.
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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.
Charlie (in Gloucester)
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« Reply #27 on: August 28, 2019, 03:08:06 pm »

Building another 4 intermediate vehicles so as to make a 5 car unit into a 9 car sounds a lot more attractive.

I am sure you are aware about the deployment of 5 car vehicles after the December TT. Itís not my place to comment whether it will work out or not, however you would think that after a year of it being postponed it will be in ship shape.

I can see that in the next 30 years that we will have the IETs more being ordered for further frequency improvements. Ultimately, if you want to deliver some of the stuff in the Western Route Study then you are going to need more units.
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grahame
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« Reply #28 on: August 28, 2019, 03:57:30 pm »

I can see that in the next 30 years that we will have the IETs more being ordered for further frequency improvements. Ultimately, if you want to deliver some of the stuff in the Western Route Study then you are going to need more units.

Noting that First TrenItalia will be phasing out Voyagers, is it a fair bet they'll be phasing in IETs?  Will we end up with the same number, or more, or less IETs than we had HSTs?
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ellendune
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« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2019, 06:59:17 pm »

I can see that in the next 30 years that we will have the IETs more being ordered for further frequency improvements. Ultimately, if you want to deliver some of the stuff in the Western Route Study then you are going to need more units.

Once electrification to Cardiff and eventually (we hope) Bristol and Oxford it would be cheaper to order some all electric IETs for those duties if a larger fleet is required. 
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