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Author Topic: IETs come to Transpennine Express.  (Read 303 times)
grahame
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« on: October 05, 2019, 01:57:53 pm »

From Rail Magazine

Quote
TransPennine Express introduced the second of its three new train fleets on September 28, with a Class 802/2 carrying out its first passenger duties.

The Hitachi five-car bi-mode entered traffic on the 0603 Newcastle-Liverpool Lime Street, and 0925 return.

This follows the soft launch in late August of the Class 68/Mk 5A fleet, which currently has two sets in action each day.

TPE’s first bi-mode unit in use was 802201. The operator has 19 five-car sets on order.

Each five-car Class 802/2 has 318 Standard and 24 First Class seats, compared with 167 Standard and 15 First Class on a three-car Class 185. There is storage for four bikes, while there are four Standard and one universal access toilet per set. Each train has power sockets at every pair of seats.

The extra capacity on this route will be very, very welcome.  Of all the services I used when I was in the North East a couple of months back, the TPE trains of class 185 were consistently the busiest - "jammed today and jammed tomorrow!".

There are 51 class 185 trains ... and TPE plan to retain the majority.  Indeed, they may retain them all if the take over the Liverpool to Nottingham service which has been with East Midlands to this point ... but that leaves the question open as to what happens to the stock currently used on the service which is (I think) class 158 units.  Perhaps those could come down our way, and run on regional trains such as Cardiff to Portsmouth, releasing the pressure on 165 and 166 units which could remain on the North Downs line.

Edit to add picture (what a 185 looks like - most of us know IETs now!)

« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 02:14:36 pm by grahame » Logged

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broadgage
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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 03:26:44 pm »

This sounds a welcome improvement.
Note that I have said something nice about IETs.

The significant extra seating capacity will no doubt be welcomed.
It is NOT the principle of IETs to which I object, but it is the use of 5 car units on routes previously worked by full length HSTs.
And lacking facilities previously provided.

IETs instead of HSTs on GWR generally a backward step.
Too short.
Underfloor engines.
Hard seats.
No reliable reservations.
No buffet, and often no available trolley.
They feel like a local or best a regional train.

IETs instead of 3 car DMUs, should be fine.
NOT too short, a significant increase in capacity.
Underfloor engines, no worse than what they are replacing, and hopefully a bit better.
Hard seats, probably worse than the existing units.
Reservations, might be relatively unimportant with increased capacity.
No buffet, regrettable but what they are replacing had no buffet.
They still feel like at best a regional train, but in this case are being used on a regional service. And except for the seats are an improvement.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2019, 03:34:05 pm by broadgage » Logged

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.
bignosemac
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2019, 03:45:26 pm »

That 'soft launch' passenger service on the 28th September was not without its problems, according to my old schoolfriend TPE driver. He was at the helm of 802201 for some of the first passenger service run between Newcastle and Liverpool.

He also tells me that there will be further 'soft launch' passenger services in the coming weeks, ahead of the launch of the new fleet in December.

Oh, and can we keep comment about GWRs Class 80x fleet to relevant threads. Roll Eyes
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broadgage
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2019, 04:06:25 pm »

I felt that a BRIEF reference to GWR IETs was in order so as to justify my observations that IETs are fine for TPE services, but are NOT fine in GWR land.
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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 #4 on: October 05, 2019, 05:42:39 pm »

Ten lines of brevity.  To be fair, we could all have probably guessed 90+% of what you’d write in your post.
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2019, 07:21:33 pm »

There did seem to be a lot of IETs in Eastleigh works as I went by today.
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bradshaw
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2019, 07:40:48 pm »

Hitachi have a base there. I think it is for applying the livery vinyls being added to the TPE ones as there is no room at Doncaster, and for interior modifications to LNER Azumas
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Noggin
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2019, 11:09:00 pm »

I'm sure that I understand the spirit of Broadgage's comments, but the reality is that whilst 185's are perfectly acceptable units (as were the 158's and 156's), it's arguable that the IET's will return 'proper' Intercity-class rolling stock to the route after a gap of 40+ years, with reasonable boost to capacity. Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield are major urban centres, and its been an unfortunate turn of history that meant many smaller towns have had high-quality services provided by locomotive-hauled MK3s (mainly terminating in London) whilst east-west and cross-country have not. 

Going, slightly off-thread, it may interest some readers to know that shortly after winning the LMR deal, it seems that Hitachi are in the frame to supply IETs for the West Coast franchise - half straight electric, half with diesel engines. With the exception of XC and the open-access operators, it's probably the last big 125mph fleet replacement that's likely to come up for a while, so CAF have perhaps missed the boat. 
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