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Author Topic: More new investment - but is the Treasury looking for excuses to miss off OHL?  (Read 1136 times)
grahame
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2021, 02:57:45 pm »

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Any new lines should in my view be electrified at 25 KV.
Absolutely Broadgauge!
[/quote]

Very interesting as what is considered a "new" line.  And I will beg a couple of exceptional situations

Oxted to Uckfield, and Guidford to Reigate - happy with 750v third rail.   Also more arguably lines on the western periphery of third rail such as the Waterside line. Also Ashford to Hastings. And Newport and Ventnor should they happen.  Should Lostwithiel to Fowey re-open, isolated 25kV would seem perverse while the nearest other electric trains are Newbury or Bristol Parkway. Run National  Network or Go-op trains to Minehead, sharing the same line and infrastructure costs with WSR (well, we can dream) and I would be happy with batteries or even (!) fossil fuel for the first handful of years.

But - for the majority of cases ... utterly OHL from day 1.   Oxford to Bedford (AND Didcot to Oxford).  Portishead. etc.
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broadgage
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« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2021, 06:33:56 pm »

New conductor rail installations are effectively prohibited except perhaps in the case of VERY minor additions such as adding another platform at a station already equipped with conductor rail, or doubling an existing single track conductor rail route.

Whilst there is no law that states in so many words "no more conductor rail installations" There IS a de facto ban via general health and safety law.
For a new installation, someone, somewhere has to "sign off" a new conductor rail installation as being "as safe as reasonably practical" That person would be liable to prosecution, perhaps years later when a trespasser is electrocuted.

And yes in the case of Minehead I would be satisfied with fossil fueled trains initially, with battery power or even electrification in the longer term. "Heritage OHLE" perhaps !
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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 #17 on: January 25, 2021, 07:08:59 am »

New conductor rail installations are effectively prohibited except perhaps in the case of VERY minor additions such as adding another platform at a station already equipped with conductor rail, or doubling an existing single track conductor rail route.

Whilst there is no law that states in so many words "no more conductor rail installations" There IS a de facto ban via general health and safety law.
For a new installation, someone, somewhere has to "sign off" a new conductor rail installation as being "as safe as reasonably practical" That person would be liable to prosecution, perhaps years later when a trespasser is electrocuted.

And yes in the case of Minehead I would be satisfied with fossil fueled trains initially, with battery power or even electrification in the longer term. "Heritage OHLE" perhaps !

New exposed conductor rail electrification (ie NR Southern Region) are not prohibited.   

The ORR however require any such new electrification to be fully compliant with the Electricity at Work (1989) Regulations.  no "grandfathered" practices would be permitted.

NR recent policy for Electrification has had its words amended to reflect the ORR position, the ORR position has not really changed it was more NR policy.

To make a new exposed conductor rail electrification compliant with the EaW Regs are not easy to achieve but not impossible just expensive
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TonyK
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« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2021, 08:22:26 am »

Whatever the legal situation, I do recall a NR director speaking of third rail problems one icy winter day. In essence, he said that if NR was to introduce electrification for the first time, third rail DC would not be the method of choice, but we are stuck with it for the foreseeable. When the rest of the country is 25 KV AC, replacing the third rail can be the next job.
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Now, please!
broadgage
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2021, 05:45:08 pm »

Agree, third rail is a non optimum choice for long distance main lines.
The former Southern Railway network is said to be the largest in the world, in terms of both total route miles, and distance in miles to the most distant parts.

It was never properly planned, but "just sort of grew"
In the early days of the Southern, electric power was clearly preferable to steam for inner suburban routes due to the rapid acceleration from the many stops, and the absence of light engine movements at London termini.
Electric trains then gradually spread to outer suburban routes and even to the south coast.
The cost of electric outer suburban services was reduced by the capital already sunk in the inner suburban routes.
Each extension therefore made perfect sense on its own, but considered as a whole did not make sense if compared to overhead electrification.

They had better get a move on in changing to 25 KV overhead, before English Heritage list the conductor rail!
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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 #20 on: February 01, 2021, 08:52:32 pm »

Remember the the Brighton line correctly chose overhead before the more prolific South Western swamped them on Grouping and one system had to prevail.
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2021, 10:25:00 pm »

LSWR weren't the only ones. In Paris, the banlieu ouest suburban network of Gare Saint Lazare was electrified with 750 V DC third rail in the 1920s. I thought that was short-lived, due to the adverse effect of ice, but it was used until thew 1960s. (I was probably thinking of ground pick-up for trams!)

The whole network was changed over to 25 kV OLE in 1967-77, with all the attendant clearance works, bridge rebuilding, etc. The height of French trains isn't an issue - it's the extra height for the OLE that matters. So it can be done. 
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TonyK
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« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2021, 08:38:05 am »

Remember the the Brighton line correctly chose overhead before the more prolific South Western swamped them on Grouping and one system had to prevail.

Those were the days! How much quicker it would be to get electrification done on stepladders by the Peaky Blinders.
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Now, please!
TonyN
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2021, 03:28:58 pm »

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How much quicker it would be to get electrification done on stepladders by the Peaky Blinders.

I guess you are thinking of the picture on first page of this https://www.thepwi.org/technical_hub/technical_hub_files/section_meeting_presentations/9_september_2020_-_managing_overhead_line_ole_on_network_rails_western_route_-_darrel_tiddy_elena_ionescu

I have also seen a photo taken in the 1980s of work on OHL with ladders.
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TonyN
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2021, 04:18:44 pm »

Here is the 1980 photo somewhere on the ECML
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2021, 05:36:08 pm »

Here is the 1980 photo somewhere on the ECML

I expect they knocked the speed limit down to 100mph past the site.  Grin
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« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2021, 07:35:19 pm »

Here is the 1980 photo somewhere on the ECML

For a moment I thought someone was standing on the roof of that 125 sorry HST.
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2021, 08:36:33 pm »

Here is the 1980 photo somewhere on the ECML

For a moment I thought someone was standing on the roof of that 125 sorry HST.
IC125. It even says so on the power car, that train is an InterCity 125. It is also a HST, but HST is just High Speed Train which depending on the definition you choose to use can mean any train capable of at least 125mph in service. That means, for example, Voyagers, class 390s, 800s and InterCity 225s are also HSTs.

This is a cause of growing concern. If on the one hand no private passenger cars powered by petrol and diesel will be sold by/after 2030, it is exasperating that the tried, tested and almost universally used OHL electric system is not being used here. If it's good enough for most of the rest of Europe, including many countries that are much poorer than us, why not here?
Agreed 100%. I am starting to worry that lines will be closed because we get to 2049 and still haven't electrified them and closure is the only way to decarbonise the railway by 2050. Then again, like with the PRM deadline, the DfT may just grant a dispensation.

In the case of the Ashington/Blyth/North of Tyneside scheme, it screams out that this should be an extension of the Tyne Metro. If it could run with similar rolling stock, the savings of combining the maintenance and support overheads in the medium to long term alone will surely be substantial.
I disagree; the Metro (I assume) does not have toilets on its trains, and Newcastle-Ashington is further than Cardiff-Caerphilly/Taffs Well which I think should be the limit for TfW's toiletless tram-trains. Also, I forget whether the new Metro stock will have 25kv capability.

Will this money be spent on actually building railway infrastructure and purchasing rolling stock ? Or is it in fact funding for another round of studies, reviews, and consultations ?
Any mention of hydrogen concerns me a bit, since it can mean feasability studies about hydrogen, rather than building anything.

Any new lines should in my view be electrified at 25 KV. Battery power is in my view more applicable to EXISTING lines that are problematic to electrify due to limited clearances to existing structures or for other reasons.

This is at least the third time this has been launched, plus it has been cancelled  a time or two. We can assume that it will happen, and as TonyN points out, big work is under way.

I agree entirely about electrification, although having wires over just the new bit would be ridiculous. At the very least, the gantry bases should be put in ready, with sites for substations made ready. I thought it crazy that Filton Bank wasn't prepared in that way, as it was being practically rebuilt. Hydrogen is a red herring - the minister only mentioned it to wrong-foot anyone who was going to complain about emissions. He can now say "We're looking at it. Now, do you want a railway or a new road?".
Regarding East-West Rail, I think the sensible thing at this stage if you're not going to wire the lot is to wire Oxford - Bletchley. Didcot - Oxford is still due to be wired (it was defered rather than cancelled if I recall correctly) so there will be wires at that end anyway, Oxford-Bicester I think has already had the bridge work done as part of Chiltern's evergreen programme and Bicester - Bletchley doesn't have any passenger services currently that the electrification work would disrupt. GWR would then be able to use 387s (or 769s in electric mode) on Oxford - Milton Keynes services and a regional express (ie. something like a 158, 175 or 444) bi-mode unit (which I think we need lots of in the UK, so there are economies of scale to be had) could be used for the 1tph that is planned to project through to Bedford.

as a result of the inefficiencies of rolling stock procurement in the recent past we seem to have surplus electric stock sitting idle
I wouldn't say 'inefficiencies', I would say 'poorly planned and specified'. Even so, the big problem is the loss of faith regarding electrification - had the rolling programme once mooted following on from the Manchester-Liverpool/Blackpool triangle and MML schemes materialised there would be homes for the cascaded EMUs.
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