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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 816314 times)
rower40
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« Reply #2610 on: September 18, 2017, 12:41:15 pm »

Someone, somewhere, needs to look up from their desk, and see an inspirational picture (possibly of some large item of heavy engineering) with the caption:

"What would the CEO of BR plc do?"
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2611 on: September 18, 2017, 12:46:43 pm »

He might sing for Phil?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2612 on: September 18, 2017, 01:07:43 pm »

Well, the last one failed spectacularly to order any new stock.....hence the age of the kit only now being replaced. Be careful what you wish for....
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rogerw
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« Reply #2613 on: September 18, 2017, 05:36:20 pm »

Or perhaps was not permitted by the government to order any new rolling stock because of the proposed privatisation
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TonyK
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« Reply #2614 on: September 18, 2017, 06:26:02 pm »

Don't count on them lasting that long!

For fear of having my Momentum membership cancelled, I suspect you may underestimate how wasteful a state-controlled organisation such as Britain's railway can be. Just think of those lovely state-of-the art steam locomotives that were rolled out in 1960 and then scrapped in 1965...

I am under no illusions, comrade! Any major part of infrastructure that needs a plan for development and finances covering decades drawn up by a government with a maximum lifespan of 5 years is always going to struggle for continuity. The waste involved in having worked up a plan, seeing it scrapped, then starting again from scratch a few years later is immense. That's even without external factors queering the pitch.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #2615 on: September 18, 2017, 08:27:28 pm »

Any news on the big commissioning/switch-on/blue sparks/red faces at Reading, over the weekend?

Fingers crossed,

OTC
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #2616 on: September 19, 2017, 07:51:56 pm »

From the Plymouth Herald.  I was going to post this in the 'Lighter Side' but had second thoughts...... Roll Eyes Tongue

Quote
'Spot' electrification could speed trains up through Plymouth
Plans proposed to speed up main line service through Westcountry


The next generation of trains running on the Westcountry main line could use electric power to speed up the region’s steep hills, under plans being explored.

GWR’s new Hitachi Intercity Express trains, which will arrive in the Westcountry from next year, are capable of switching seamlessly between diesel and electric power.

Now the Peninsula Rail Task Force is asking for £600,000 of funding to continue its study into speeding up services.

Gary Streeter Conservative MP for South West Devon, said part of the money would be used for a feasibility study into “spot electrification”.

Although the Government has cut short electrification of the Great Western main line at Newbury, Mr Streeter said he was optimistic that spot electrification could provide a long-term solution.

We're edging closer to the start date for Plymouth's new 'bullet trains'
“We know that electrification from London to Penzance isn’t going to happen, maybe not even in my lifetime. But spot electrification here and there could work.”

Dan Panes from GWR believes the idea could work, but a cost-benefit analysis would need to be done.

The Peninsula Rail Task Force delivered its rail improvement plan to the Department for Transport in late 2016.

Last week Mr Streeter put a written question to the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, asking whether the Government plans to publish a response.

He was told: “The Government does not propose to publish a formal response ... at the present time as we continue to engage with the PRTF and other interested parties as the planning for Network Rail’s work programme for the period starting in April 2019 and the development of the specifications for the future Great Western and Cross Country franchises unfold.”

Mr Streeter said the answer was not unexpected, but he wanted to “continue prodding the government”.

He said the task force was pushing the Department for Transport to make improved onboard connectivity a condition of the next franchise, due in 2019. He said no operator could achieve that alone, but would have to work with mobile phone operators and councils along the route to have more phone masts.

“The new Exeter-Waterloo franchise has onboard wifi several times more powerful than the GWR Paddington trains,” Mr Streeter said.

“But I wouldn’t be happy if the Secretary of State just said, ‘You have to upgrade your onboard system’,” Mr Streeter said. “If they want the franchise, they’ll have to start talking to other operators and doing partnership deals.”
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grahame
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« Reply #2617 on: September 19, 2017, 08:04:15 pm »

From the Plymouth Herald.  I was going to post this in the 'Lighter Side' but had second thoughts...... Roll Eyes Tongue

"Spot" electrification has been quietly bubbled along as an idea in some very professional quarters for open stretches on straighish line in hilly countryside.    Interesting how the article seems to morph from speed of trains to speed of WiFi ... perhaps there's a tradeoff there - people will be happy with slower journeys if they have really good connectivity?
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John R
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« Reply #2618 on: September 19, 2017, 08:41:26 pm »

I think spot electrification to deal with inclines is a great idea.  They could usefully start with Thingley Jn to Bathampton Jn, and Stoke Gifford Jn to Dr Day's Jn.
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martyjon
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« Reply #2619 on: September 19, 2017, 08:49:36 pm »

SETBACK ?

Went to catch a bus today at my usual stop from which I can see the Westerleigh Junction to Yate curve. There was a platoon from the orange army which had set up 3 way temporary road traffic lights, a containerised store, mess room et al placed on the pavement and adjacent grassed area, and footpath diversion signs. In a conversation with one of the orange army it transpires that whist preparing piles for the Westerleigh Junction to Yate the thumping of the steel cylinders into the embankment at this point had caused a slip and they'd be there for about a week to carry out remedial work to shore up the embankment at the location. When I returned I did notice quite a small shallow slip of the base of the embankment and a noticeable bulge just below where the piling was started and halted. I shall keep watching.
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Oberon
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« Reply #2620 on: September 19, 2017, 09:20:16 pm »

Maybe if they used less heavy gauge vertical steelwork, like on the West and East Coast main lines, it might help.

Just a thought..
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TonyK
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« Reply #2621 on: September 19, 2017, 10:12:53 pm »

I think spot electrification to deal with inclines is a great idea.  They could usefully start with Thingley Jn to Bathampton Jn, and Stoke Gifford Jn to Dr Day's Jn.

It would make sense to carry on the spot electrification after Bathampton junction, possibly as far as Temple Meads. And why have a gap between there and Dr Days?

On the subject of electrification, I had cause to drive from the A38 by Filton Airfield along Gypsy Patch Lane today. There's a lot of new electric stuff in place, including some wiring. I was driving, so couldn't gaze for too long, nor take pictures.
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Adelante_CCT
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« Reply #2622 on: September 20, 2017, 01:00:53 pm »

Quote
Any news on the big commissioning/switch-on/blue sparks/red faces at Reading, over the weekend?

Many unconfirmed rumours that it didn't happen with a handful of unconfirmed rumours that it did happen.

What we know is that possession of the line was handed back a few hours early with the last couple of services from Paddington running via Reading instead of Wycombe
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Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #2623 on: September 20, 2017, 03:18:30 pm »

I think that "spot electrification" is another version of "alternating current", albeit at very low Hertz.
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #2624 on: September 20, 2017, 04:16:14 pm »

Maybe if they used less heavy gauge vertical steelwork, like on the West and East Coast main lines, it might help.

Just a thought..
Alot of the steelwork (not just the vertical bits) in the GWML OHLE structures look WAY too chunky compared to the WCML and ECML OHLE. Yes the heavy-duty stuff might be needed in a few places on 125mph sections that could go up to 140mph in future, and headspans that can make dewirements worse (by knocking out all tracks instead of just one) are a bad idea but in a lot of places the GWML OHLE structures are overkill. Even HS1 OHLE seems smaller (from photos I've seen) that the GWML stuff. Also, single-track cantilevers like this look alot nicer than the GWML twin-track cantilevers and portals.
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