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Author Topic: End date for Castles - initially a Rumour Mill thread  (Read 1662 times)
grahame
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« on: November 22, 2022, 06:52:07 am »

From the UK (United Kingdom) HST (High Speed Train) Enthusiast group.

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Revealed this afternoon at GWR (Great Western Railway), all 'Castle' Class HSTs are to cease operation by December 2023. It will be a gradual rundown with fewer than half making it to next summer, although some will be kept in reserve until the end. It is anticipated that re-diagrammed 802s, based at Laira, will take over at least some of their duties.

Not corroborated (when it is, I will move this thread public) but it sounds about "right" - i.e. what I would have expected.  As you can imagine, it has spawned some discussion about where the stock will come from to replace them ... interestingly, no talk that I noticed of 769s based at Reading coming into service and allowing cascades.  How different this all is to where I am (out of the UK at present) where there seems to be a health few modern electric and diesel units parked up at strategic points even during normal daytime service, and I have yet to have a train cancelled due to lack of stock or staff.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2022, 06:55:25 am »

From the UK (United Kingdom) HST (High Speed Train) Enthusiast group.

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Revealed this afternoon at GWR (Great Western Railway), all 'Castle' Class HSTs are to cease operation by December 2023. It will be a gradual rundown with fewer than half making it to next summer, although some will be kept in reserve until the end. It is anticipated that re-diagrammed 802s, based at Laira, will take over at least some of their duties.

Not corroborated (when it is, I will move this thread public) but it sounds about "right" - i.e. what I would have expected.  As you can imagine, it has spawned some discussion about where the stock will come from to replace them ... interestingly, no talk that I noticed of 769s based at Reading coming into service and allowing cascades.  How different this all is to where I am (out of the UK at present) where there seems to be a health few modern electric and diesel units parked up at strategic points even during normal daytime service, and I have yet to have a train cancelled due to lack of stock or staff.

Are there spare 802s sitting around to pick up the slack or does this mean shortforming existing services?
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2022, 07:44:16 am »

Are there spare 802s sitting around to pick up the slack or does this mean shortforming existing services?

I would speculate that we are more and more specifying a "fair weather railway". So if everything works on the day, then the service specified works.  But as soon as a train has to be taken out of service for repair (as opposed to routine maintenance) or one member of staff goes off sick, especially at short notice, or a set of points fails ... or a late running freight gets in the way, a line floods, or we get leaves on the line or the wrong sort of snow, or too many passengers wanting to use a service ... it becomes unreliable to put it mildly, and the lack of backup resources means it's very difficult to get back to timetabled running.
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bobm
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2022, 09:55:57 am »

The Castles are approaching the point where they are becoming due for heavy overhauls which are expensive and a cost the cash-strapped railway is keen to avoid. 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2022, 10:09:15 am »

Any ideas what might happen to them? Scrap? Sold overseas (where)? Heritage diesel line?
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2022, 10:12:57 am »

Scrapped I’d have thought.  They’re 45 or so years old!
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2022, 12:12:28 pm »

The Castles are approaching the point where they are becoming due for heavy overhauls which are expensive and a cost the cash-strapped railway is keen to avoid. 

Put that up against the millions spent getting them suitable for services now it seems a costly decision to cover a short term problem

As someone who travels from WsM to Taunton and then the other way to Temple Meads I will certainly miss them as they are a welcome change as one of the few services that is rarely overcrowded
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2022, 12:14:25 pm »

From the UK (United Kingdom) HST (High Speed Train) Enthusiast group.

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Revealed this afternoon at GWR (Great Western Railway), all 'Castle' Class HSTs are to cease operation by December 2023. It will be a gradual rundown with fewer than half making it to next summer, although some will be kept in reserve until the end. It is anticipated that re-diagrammed 802s, based at Laira, will take over at least some of their duties.

Not corroborated (when it is, I will move this thread public) but it sounds about "right" - i.e. what I would have expected.  As you can imagine, it has spawned some discussion about where the stock will come from to replace them ... interestingly, no talk that I noticed of 769s based at Reading coming into service and allowing cascades.  How different this all is to where I am (out of the UK at present) where there seems to be a health few modern electric and diesel units parked up at strategic points even during normal daytime service, and I have yet to have a train cancelled due to lack of stock or staff.

Just noticed this previous thread, it will be interesting to see who this moves on

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=26072.0
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2022, 12:44:39 pm »

Put that up against the millions spent getting them suitable for services now it seems a costly decision to cover a short term problem

Yes it was a necessary decision at the time in a very different economic and social climate so was just about justified.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2022, 06:06:56 pm »

Are there spare 802s sitting around to pick up the slack or does this mean shortforming existing services?

I would speculate that we are more and more specifying a "fair weather railway". So if everything works on the day, then the service specified works.  But as soon as a train has to be taken out of service for repair (as opposed to routine maintenance) or one member of staff goes off sick, especially at short notice, or a set of points fails ... or a late running freight gets in the way, a line floods, or we get leaves on the line or the wrong sort of snow, or too many passengers wanting to use a service ... it becomes unreliable to put it mildly, and the lack of backup resources means it's very difficult to get back to timetabled running.

I'll take it that means "No" and "Yes" respectively to my original question!
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2022, 06:21:32 pm »

I have read elsewhere that the resultant train moves will leave the Cardiff / Portsmouths as permanent 3 car trains.
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Timmer
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« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2022, 09:38:35 pm »

I have read elsewhere that the resultant train moves will leave the Cardiff / Portsmouths as permanent 3 car trains.
That won’t go down well at all. The 165s/166s aren’t popular as it is without them going down to just 3 cars permanently.

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Ralph Ayres
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« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2022, 10:33:24 pm »

After a pretty miserable journey on East Midlands Railway from London last week I'm with Grahame on the fair weather railway.  All their trains are now 5 car Meridians (possibly occasionally in pairs though none were in evidence) rather than full length HSTs (High Speed Train).  An early afternoon Sheffield train was cancelled, the next Nottingham train couldn't soak up the extra passengers for common intermediate stations such as Leicester and left people on the platform, and I finally squeezed on the third train which had people standing right along the aisle.  HSTs would have absorbed the excess with ease.
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« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2022, 10:38:23 pm »

Not happy about the future of rail travel, at least over the next 10 years or so, seems to be a downward sprial, to where, I dont know, dont want to suggest line closures and mass lay off but.. and the unions are not helping themselves or the industry to be honest.
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broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2022, 04:50:18 am »

Any ideas what might happen to them? Scrap? Sold overseas (where)? Heritage diesel line?

I suspect that most will be scrapped. Hopefully some of those in best condition can be preserved. Not many preserved railways will want a short HST (High Speed Train), but that does not prevent saving vehicles to use in full length trains.

The earlier HSTs ran only a few years after the end of main line steam and ARE now heritage.
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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 (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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