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Author Topic: Rolling Stock discussion - Cardiff to Portsmouth  (Read 14267 times)
Rhydgaled
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2021, 09:26:41 pm »

I wonder if the Cardiff - Portsmouth services would be better with new bi-mode (ie. hybrid) rolling stock. Don't get me wrong: I like the 165s & 166s but I wonder if long-distance work is a good use of them. Also if the Filton four-track was electrified then taking might taking advantage thereof be a good idea?
I don't wonder - I am adamant that long-distance regional express work is NOT a good use for the 165s and 166s (or anything else with 'double-width' doors).

I'll totally agree that 165/6s are not suitable for regional express work - they are awful !!  BUT............ the only thing I do like about them is the double-width doors. There are parts of Portsmouth-Cardiff route which are not "regional express like" - Warminster to Bath for example, where you have stops every few minutes, the single width doors cannot cope with the traffic in the time allowed for the stop. Try getting on or off a 158 at Bath Spa at 5 pm !! Double (decent)-width doors at the end of the coaches would speed things up considerably, stepping up/down from the train is the slowest part, not moving down the aisle to get to the door.
Sorry, but to me that sort of thing is typical of a 'Regional Express' - it's not just 'Express'. The train serves minor intermediate stations because it has to, because it's the only service on the route, and runs fast where it can. Something like Pwllheli - Birmingham International is perhaps a better example though, since Bradford-On-Avon and Trowbridge probably don't really count as minor intermediate stations. Also your example station, Bath, is served by Intercity stock with narrow doors - are you suggesting that class 800s should have some toilets and seats removed to make the doors wider?

I'll agree with you that the doors on a 158 aren't ideal though, the mechanisum is really slow and I think they are a little narrower than modern standards. The template I would use, were it not for their lack of unit end gangways, would be a class 175. If you took a 175, added unit end gangways, softened the seats a little and somehow made it as lightweight and cheap to run as a 158 that would be the perfect regional express train in my view (possibly with one door per coach offset from the end, like one coach on a 444 has). I think the doors on a 175 are a little wider than on a 158, while not grabbing vast amounts of extra space.

A new purpose built family of trains would indeed be the ideal solution. Perhaps some passenger centered thought could be applied to this.............a regional express does not require much 100mph + running so the new trains could be flat fronted, then it would be a simple job to have full corridor trains from 2 to 10 coaches long - just take a look at RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) for Salisbury and see how well SWR» (South Western Railway - about) do this with their 158/9 fleet .  What a (bad) joke a 165 and a 166 coupled together is, but I suppose it goes with the 5 + 5 IETs (Intercity Express Train)  !
The SWR 158/159 operation is another good template; unit end gangways are absolutely a must for all sub-111mph multiple units if you ask me (unless the units are so long you'll never want to run them in multiple, the 12-car class 700s being about the only thing that fits into that category).

Something that perhaps requires more serious thought - is third rail really that dangerous ?? Has anyone looked at "engineering" it safer ? Portsmouth-Cardiff could never justify OHLE, but perhaps third rail. Worting Jct to Exeter is another prime candidate. There must be a huge amount of third rail in the UK (United Kingdom) if you just count track miles. What is the "casualty" rate per mile on 3rd rail compared to Over-Head Line Equiptment (OHLE) ?
Network Rail would appear to disagree with you there. Their Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (TDNS (Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy) - the first report from which can be found here - see the map on page 79) recommends 3rd rail electrification as the optimal solution for the following routes:
  • All existing 3rd rail routes, except perhaps Basingstoke - Southampton
  • The current gaps on the North Downs Line
  • The Isle of Grain Branch / Thamesport
  • Ashford to Hastings
  • The Uckfield branch
For 25kv AC electrification there are two categories, 'Core Electrification' and 'Ancillary Electrification'. The following (and a lot more besides) is all classed as 'Core Electrification':
  • Routes into Bristol Temple Meads, including from Bath, Cardiff and Exeter
  • Bath - Salisbury - Southampton
  • The TransWilts through Melksham
  • Basingstoke to Salisbury
  • Eastleigh - Romsey
'Ancillary Electrification' includes Salisbury to Exeter, Worcester to Hereford and Exeter to Penzance.
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Don't DOO (Driver-Only Operation (that is, trains which operate without carrying a guard)) it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
stuving
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2021, 11:29:58 pm »

Something that perhaps requires more serious thought - is third rail really that dangerous ?? Has anyone looked at "engineering" it safer ? Portsmouth-Cardiff could never justify OHLE, but perhaps third rail. Worting Jct to Exeter is another prime candidate. There must be a huge amount of third rail in the UK (United Kingdom) if you just count track miles. What is the "casualty" rate per mile on 3rd rail compared to Over-Head Line Equiptment (OHLE) ?
Network Rail would appear to disagree with you there. Their Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy (TDNS (Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy) - the first report from which can be found here - see the map on page 79) recommends 3rd rail electrification as the optimal solution for the following routes:
  • All existing 3rd rail routes, except perhaps Basingstoke - Southampton
  • The current gaps on the North Downs Line
  • The Isle of Grain Branch / Thamesport
  • Ashford to Hastings
  • The Uckfield branch

Well, actually those 3rd-rail infill lines are identified as "multiple" - no single solution has been decided. The words about that say:
Quote
Further East the network within Sussex and Kent is slightly different. Providing a 25kV overhead line system on small sections between third rail infrastructure does not make operational sense. A piece of strategic work is currently underway between Network Rail, RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) and the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) to establish the feasibility of providing a modern-day conductor rail system for these areas. This will report in late 2021. If this work identifies the inability to deploy further third rail electrification it is likely that battery operation would be required to achieve a zero-carbon solution.
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MVR S&T
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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2021, 11:39:15 pm »

Can you have 25KV overhead AND 750 VDC third rail? imagine it is OK, as long as both running rails are the earth, so you have to use axle counters, ie, no track ciruits for train detection. As track circuits are either AC or DC (Direct Current), so could be un trustable with both AC and DC traction current flying around!
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stuving
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« Reply #18 on: May 22, 2021, 11:55:54 pm »

Can you have 25KV overhead AND 750 VDC third rail? imagine it is OK, as long as both running rails are the earth, so you have to use axle counters, ie, no track ciruits for train detection. As track circuits are either AC or DC (Direct Current), so could be un trustable with both AC and DC traction current flying around!

It's very troublesome, and only ever done at handover points where the special extra measures needed can be justified. For 25 kV, the track must be well earthed for safety. For DC the track must be moderately well insulated to stop large return currents flowing through the ground - DC rots steel in pipes, foundations etc. 
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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2021, 06:45:29 am »

Can you have 25KV overhead AND 750 VDC third rail? imagine it is OK, as long as both running rails are the earth, so you have to use axle counters, ie, no track ciruits for train detection. As track circuits are either AC or DC (Direct Current), so could be un trustable with both AC and DC traction current flying around!

It's very troublesome, and only ever done at handover points where the special extra measures needed can be justified. For 25 kV, the track must be well earthed for safety. For DC the track must be moderately well insulated to stop large return currents flowing through the ground - DC rots steel in pipes, foundations etc. 

Thanks for that answer, Stuving ... I was going to follow up with a far less technical answer pointing out that it's done in the middle of London on Thameslink to must at least be possible.

I recall overhead equipment in the yards at Hither Green in the past, with 3rd rail and pantograph on locomotives, but I suspect that the overhead was 660 or 750v DC.    And when Eurostar ran into Waterloo before the opening of HS1 (High Speed line 1 - St Pancras to Channel Tunnel), there must have been a dual system switchover somewhere.
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ellendune
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2021, 07:56:22 am »

It's very troublesome, and only ever done at handover points where the special extra measures needed can be justified. For 25 kV, the track must be well earthed for safety. For DC (Direct Current) the track must be moderately well insulated to stop large return currents flowing through the ground - DC rots steel in pipes, foundations etc. 

Yes metal utility pipes (water gas and sometimes sewers) near to DC sources can have radically shorter lives. I would not lay a metal pipe anywhere near a DC line if I could avoid it.  If had to I would insist on special protective measures. 
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paul7575
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2021, 09:58:48 am »

The Thameslink “overlap” between City Thameslink and Farringdon AIUI (as I understand it) has additional switching, and the earthed or insulating mode for the rails (as stuving referred to earlier) is switchable depending on whether the trains are using AC or DC (Direct Current) at the time.   The normal condition is to change from AC to DC at Farringdon southbound, with the opposite change happening at City Thameslink northbound. 

So the normal overlap condition is that there’s a DC line running alongside an AC line, rather than two dual voltage lines.

Paul
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grahame
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2021, 10:27:39 am »

Cardiff to Portsmouth (Salisbury this week) continues to be shockingly under-resourced .   From Cardiff this morning

07:28 scheduled as 3 carriages, running with 2
08:27 scheduled as 5 carriages, running with 4
09:27 scheduled as 5 carriages, running with 3
10:30 scheduled as 5 carriages, running with 3
11:30 scheduled as 4 carriages, running with 2

The 12:30 is the same train as the 07:28 ... supposed to be 3, but only 2 provided, and so on.

So that's 14 carriages running out of 22 scheduled - 64% of specification according to JourneyCheck.   It's only 56% if you believe the marketing hype (and the FOI (Freedom of Information) that suggests the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) have read the marketing hype) that "all GWR (Great Western Railway) trains on this route are now 5 carriages".

Not a new problem - and an indication that the sums need to be re-worked for services into Salisbury from the north from next month, where seven trains per day are being culled. This is based on capacity which GWR provide in theory but have never (to my knowledge) provided in practice since it became the supposed "norm" two years ago.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2021, 01:11:14 pm »

Cardiff to Portsmouth (Salisbury this week) continues to be shockingly under-resourced .   From Cardiff this morning


Only this morning I was told of an someone who has pulled out of regular visits to Salisbury Hospital for specialist physiotherapy because she thinks the trains (and buses) are now so crowded to be unsafe - Covid wise. 
Personally, I have noticed myself that 5 car GWR (Great Western Railway) trains certainly seem to be in the minority at Warminster.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2021, 01:31:41 pm »

Looks like the moment to play the "it's all down to the delay in delivering "new"(!) 769 trains in the Thames Valley releasing diesel trains for use in the west" card.

What is ironic is that up here in the Thames Valley many Electrostar services that started off as 8 car trains are now running as 12 car trains with the last 4 uselessly parked beyond the end of the platforms when they call at Tilehurst to Cholsey inclusive, and the remaining 8 cars often thinly occupied. No chance of course of any instant OHL (Over-Head Line) electrification of the Trans Wilts routes to solve that anomaly.......   
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grahame
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« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2021, 01:48:01 pm »

What is ironic is that up here in the Thames Valley many Electrostar services that started off as 8 car trains are now running as 12 car trains with the last 4 uselessly parked beyond the end of the platforms when they call at Tilehurst to Cholsey inclusive, and the remaining 8 cars often thinly occupied. No chance of course of any instant OHL (Over-Head Line) electrification of the Trans Wilts routes to solve that anomaly.......   

I'm sure that Electrostars could run the Paddington to Cardiff service, releasing a five car IET (Intercity Express Train) to run Swindon to Westbury, which is cleared for IETs  Grin and giving at least an extra 2 cars to bolster Cardiff - Portsmouth.  Could even run a 5+5 Paddington to Swindon and split for Cheltenham Spa and Westbury - selling that as restoring a through service from London to Trowbridge ...
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Clan Line
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« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2021, 06:39:00 pm »

I was visiting someone this lunchtime and noticed a distinct lack of trains leaving Warminster. Had a quick look at the GWR (Great Western Railway) website.

1108 from Portsmouth Harbour "Terminated at Portsmouth & Southsea".   
1208 from Portsmouth Harbour "2 coaches instead of 3 - full and standing from Fratton". (What's happened to our 5 coach trains - again !)

Usual high quality service............................
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grahame
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2021, 03:45:11 pm »

From this morning

Quote
05:00 Bristol Temple Meads to Portsmouth Harbour due 07:38
05:58 Westbury to Cardiff Central due 07:49
06:01 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 09:48
06:36 Exeter St Davids to Cardiff Central due 09:21
07:21 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 10:48
07:38 Bristol Temple Meads to Westbury due 08:26
08:27 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 11:51
08:41 Westbury to Gloucester due 10:29
10:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton due 11:54
10:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 13:51
10:41 Gloucester to Yeovil Pen Mill due 13:12
11:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 14:50
12:19 Taunton to Cardiff Central due 14:21
12:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 15:47
14:00 Yeovil Pen Mill to Gloucester due 16:30
14:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 17:47
15:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton due 16:56
15:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 18:46
16:27 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 19:51
16:41 Gloucester to Yeovil Pen Mill due 19:18
17:10 Taunton to Cardiff Central due 19:27
18:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 21:48
19:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 23:04
20:00 Cardiff Central to Taunton due 22:05
20:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central due 23:50
22:45 Taunton to Bristol Temple Meads due 23:47

11:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 14:50
Facilities on the 11:30 Cardiff Central to Portsmouth Harbour due 14:50.
This is due to more trains than usual needing repairs at the same time.
Will be formed of 3 coaches instead of 5.

I did not click through all 26 of these shortforms, but they are all trains 1 or 2 carriages down from the planned length (typically but not totally 5 carriages) using rolling stock that is or could be based on the pool at St Philip's Marsh, Bristol.
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WSW Frome
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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2021, 10:50:03 am »

I had a seamless journey to PMH yesterday so clearly I chose my trains well. 10.22 FRO» (Frome - next trains)/11.05 WSB» (Westbury - next trains) as a FIVE car 16x. The 18.23 PMH return which was a 2 car 158. This was adequate for the task (even for the first part of the trip) and much more comfortable than the 16x. Trolley service also available on the outward trip which was completely unexpected.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2021, 12:16:13 pm »

The 18.23 PMH return which was a 2 car 158. This was adequate for the task (even for the first part of the trip)

Yes, it undoubtedly was for that service................I doubt somehow that it could have been described as that for the trip to PMH.     SAL - 1633: SOU - 1703: FRM - 1727.
I totally agree with your comment about the comfort !!
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