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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 673610 times)
bemmy
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« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2009, 11:38:46 am »

This is great news!

But how do you think will it affect direct London services which currently terminate just beyond the new electric lines i.e. Carmarthen, Bedwyn or Weston-super-Mare?

I can't see a diesel service running 'under-the-wires' just for these relatively short extensions to mainline services.
Why not? seeing as Virgin run diesel trains under the wires all the way from Birmingham to Glasgow.....  Roll Eyes
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Wolvercote Wanderer
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« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2009, 12:01:41 pm »

Why not? seeing as Virgin run diesel trains under the wires all the way from Birmingham to Glasgow.....  Roll Eyes

 Smiley Good point, well made!

Let's hope Virgin don't get their grubby mits on Greater Western or we could see the same.  *Shudder*
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polonia
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« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2009, 12:08:15 pm »

The  paper on the DFT website seems to suggest that re-furbished (with air-con added) Thameslink stock will cascade to suburban lines out of Paddington (eventually inner-surbuban will be covered by cross-rail stock) when the Thameslink upgrade is finished and their new stock delivered. It then suggests turbos (expect presumably those still needed for the branch lines) would then be sent on to the Bristol area freeing up further units for transfer North.

I presume this means the FCC Class 319s - which will be geetting on a bit by then and in serious need of an upgrade.

 
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broadgage
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2009, 12:18:08 pm »

Does "approved" actually mean that physical work will start ? Or does it mean that approval has been given for more meetings/assesments/commitess etc ?

I seem to remember crossrail being "approved" dozens of times, the first "approval" being perhaps 15 years ago.
And although the thameslink 2000 project has now started, I believe that it was so named because it was to be completed for the millenium !

Still it IS progress even if this only turns out to be only the first of many approvals.

My main concern though is with overcrowding in both the near and longer terms.
A natural cynic like me forsees even worse overcrowding in the near term since building new diesels cant be justified.
The electric trains cant run until the work is done, which is bound to take longer than expected.

Therefore FGW have a splendid excuse to do nothing about crowding for say 10 years.

In the longer term, I would have my doubts as to how suitable the electric trains will be for inter city use.
What we need is full length loco hauled trains with seats facing accross tables, luggage space, ample leg room, and a proper buffet and restaurant.
What we will probably get is high density EMU outer-suburban train with bus seats, minimal luggage space and perhaps a trolley.

I have travelled on many routes that have suffered "total route modernisation" which normally means shorter less comfortable trains with reduced luggage space and no catering.

My local service ( catford loop line) was downgraded from 8 car trains to 6 car because "the new trains have plenty of standing room"

Waterloo to Exeter services were downgraded from full length locohauled trains to short DMUs with no buffet, cramped mainly bus seats, and space for only 1 cycle. Complaints about overcrowding being answered by advising passengers to allways book a seat.

Waterloo to Bournmouth services have been downgraded from proper intercity electric trains (the Wessex electrics) to suburban trains quite unsuited to long trips.

Whilst we will no doubt be promised that it will be different this time, previous "improvements do not fill me with confidence.
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paul7755
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2009, 12:19:53 pm »

It then suggests turbos (expect presumably those still needed for the branch lines) would then be sent on to the Bristol area freeing up further units for transfer North.

I presume this means the FCC Class 319s - which will be geetting on a bit by then and in serious need of an upgrade.

And of course as we know from previous discussions, in railway speak (and timetables) the 'Bristol Area' extends to Portsmouth and Cardiff.  Huh

The 319s are about 20 years old now (half life?),  so a major rebuild including totally new seating and aircon on completion of their time with Thameslink would give them another 10-15 years easily.  Also AIUI the first Thameslink new trains arrive in 2012, so there might be time to have an initial batch in the works before they're needed in the Thames Valley?

What I find interesting is the turn round all of a sudden, everyone is now talking about EMU cascades all over the place, for instance outside the FGW area they are now suggesting LM 350s being used by TPX on Manchester - Scotland vice 185s for instance. Remarkable stuff...

Paul
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2009, 12:24:51 pm »

I presume that the IEP order for the GWML will now be almost exclusively the hybrid variant, so once in the electrification area that it'll run on AC whilst outside Diesel traction will be used.

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paul7755
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2009, 12:25:54 pm »

Waterloo to Exeter services were downgraded from full length locohauled trains to short DMUs with no buffet, cramped mainly bus seats, and space for only 1 cycle. Complaints about overcrowding being answered by advising passengers to allways book a seat.

Waterloo to Bournmouth services have been downgraded from proper intercity electric trains (the Wessex electrics) to suburban trains quite unsuited to long trips.


A bit of exaggeration there surely? The Salisbury line now sees trains of up to 9 or 10 coaches in the peaks, and the 158/159 'bus seating' is the same as in the Wessies, with plenty of tables throughout. I'm not sure about bikes, but I definitely see more than one in each unit on occasions, since the original bike store was removed...

Paul
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paul7755
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2009, 12:31:06 pm »

I presume that the IEP order for the GWML will now be almost exclusively the hybrid variant, so once in the electrification area that it'll run on AC whilst outside Diesel traction will be used.


No, they say it will be mostly all electric for the main lines, with some 'bi-mode' for routes beyond. 

Bi-mode is how they refer to the dual powered diesel and electric. The 'full diesel' IEP still has hybrid power packs, the term refers to regeneration into a battery bank, like the Hayabusa trial PC for the measurement train.

Paul
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devon_metro
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2009, 01:04:35 pm »

It does seem a bit shorted to not go as far as Bedwyn. Also, i'd be interested to know how Weston and the very busy line to the West Country is to be served?
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2009, 02:29:37 pm »

I can possibly see unit like the Hitachi ones on HS1 being used eventually on the GWML to Bristol and Cardiff, the GWML has a number of places where +125 running is feasible.  The problem with the 319's they are 20 years old now by the time electrifcation is inplace on the GWML outer suburban the units will be closer to 30 years old, I wounder if DfT mean the 321's

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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2009, 02:31:26 pm »

Here's something that's annoying me...

GWML electrification reported on the Guardian (top billing when I looked a few minutes ago) and BBC sites this morning, along no doubt with many others.  Great news! And these are two news organizations that I have a great deal of time and respect for. But how does the BBC report it? "Minimum rail disruption pledged". The media seem to be focusing on the temporary disruption that will be caused by stringing up the knitting rather than the huge benefits this will ring long into the future. The Guardian also manages to put a negative slant on things with the sub-headline "Network Rail to transform Britain's busiest rail route, causing four years of disruption for passengers" underneath the electrification headline on the UK front page.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8164942.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/jul/23/electric-rail-line-great-western

Honestly.
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2009, 02:35:24 pm »

It does seem a bit shorted to not go as far as Bedwyn. Also, i'd be interested to know how Weston and the very busy line to the West Country is to be served?

Fairly obviously, I would have thought, by diesels. Presumably any services to Exeter/Plymouth/Penzance running via the Berks and Hants will have to be diesel throughout, although it does rather raise the prospect of diesel trains running all the way under the wires to Bristol on West Country services that take the "Great Way Round". Sadly I don't suppose there's much chance of a sudden outbreak of common sense involving loco-hauled stock changing from diesel to electric traction at suitable locations.
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willc
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2009, 02:39:52 pm »

Well after all the problems caused by WCML modernisation, it's perhaps not unreasonable to expect a smidgen of disruption.

As for the stock, the DafT report makes it pretty clear that the 319s - and I'm sure that's what they mean, will be given a good going over - presumably on the scale of the HST refresh - and get air-conditioning which sounds a hell of a lot better than the old 1950s Great Eastern suburban units that were the first electric trains seen in West Yorkshire when the Aire Valley was electrified.

And the IEP is an intercity train - if it ever gets built.

I was rather tickled by DafT's description of the Turbo fleet as 'modern' dmus. And no mention of them getting any refit, over and above FGW's current proposals for the fleet
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ReWind
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2009, 03:00:27 pm »

It does seem a bit shorted to not go as far as Bedwyn. Also, i'd be interested to know how Weston and the very busy line to the West Country is to be served?

Fairly obviously, I would have thought, by diesels. Presumably any services to Exeter/Plymouth/Penzance running via the Berks and Hants will have to be diesel throughout, although it does rather raise the prospect of diesel trains running all the way under the wires to Bristol on West Country services that take the "Great Way Round". Sadly I don't suppose there's much chance of a sudden outbreak of common sense involving loco-hauled stock changing from diesel to electric traction at suitable locations.

Sadly, yes!  I suspect Penzance/Plymouth to Bristol FGW services are going to stay HST, then there will be a change of train at BRI, onto electric, for onward stations to London  I doubt many people travel from Cornwall/Devon to London via Bristol anyway, when there are faster services to the B&H.

Also, I belive London - Cheltenham services will become London - Swindon sevices electric, then Swindon - Cheltenham on a west unit.  Same applies for WSM, where it will be London - Bri electric, then a west unit to WSM/TAu.
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tramway
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2009, 03:38:58 pm »

I presume that the IEP order for the GWML will now be almost exclusively the hybrid variant, so once in the electrification area that it'll run on AC whilst outside Diesel traction will be used.


Are you sure it would work out like that. There a currently many London Bristol/Swansea terminators that would be ok as pure electric, probably requiring only a limited stock of hybrids for the extended diagrams.

And voyagers are going to be with us for quite a while yet whatever the Evening Post has to say.

http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/homepage/Bristol-London-line-electrified/article-1189000-detail/article.html

In fact I would bet that there will still be a requirement for the full diesel version as the benifits to be gained for having part electric on both the B&H and beyond Bristol probably don't add up.

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