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[42] Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion
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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 705865 times)
Electric train
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« Reply #930 on: July 02, 2014, 07:20:04 pm »

Morning peak in chaos today as a result of a piling crew cutting a signalling cable near Pangbourne. Cardiff terminators and through Cheltenham trains cancelled, some diversions from Bristol via Westbury and other cancellations from Oxford.

I am sure there will be more that to come, there is a challenge to get the Reading - Didcot section wired and powered asap so the full line speed running in and tests can be done.

Three week blockade planned next summer to install OLE in Box Tunnel followed by a further three week shutdown east of Bath for more wiring.

It is the only practical way to do this type of work, I am involved in a project working on the bottom ends of both the ECML and MML the short possessions extend the work out to months, increases cost and there is high risk of overrun due equipment / install failure
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« Reply #931 on: July 02, 2014, 07:26:43 pm »

There isn't any stock to test an electrified section if done 'asap'
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Electric train
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« Reply #932 on: July 02, 2014, 08:06:08 pm »

There isn't any stock to test an electrified section if done 'asap'

It's due in the UK later this year
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« Reply #933 on: July 03, 2014, 10:55:52 am »

There isn't any stock to test an electrified section if done 'asap'

There are various electrification test coaches which can be used as well as borrowing emus and electric locomotives from other places to draw large currents. Lack of stock is, I suggest, the last of their worries.
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« Reply #934 on: July 03, 2014, 01:09:55 pm »

Those details from Network Rail of the work ahead in Bath, quoted in full:

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Bath update, Tuesday 1 July


Electrification will open the way for a new generation of electric intercity trains serving Bath from 2017, resulting in more seats, more leg room, more tables and a reduction in journey times.

It will also bring a greener and quieter railway, with fewer emissions and a reduction in the noise as electric trains replace the existing diesel ones.
Err, what's the seating capacity of the IC125s going to be after the 1st->std conversions again? 560? If so, some of the new trains will have 245 fewer seats while others will have an increase of 67. As for the Sydney Gardens OHLE design sketch, I note the fencing has vanished and the OHLE mast does not extend to ground level. I hope they can resolve the latter as it is the same problem which blights some electrified viaducts (which have masts bolted to the outside face), a vertical pillar ending in thin air looks very odd. With only a black-and-white sketch to go on, it is hard to judge the visual impact any more than that.
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bignosemac
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« Reply #935 on: July 04, 2014, 12:08:26 am »

The press release merely says, "more seats".

Across the routes that the IEPs will serve there will be a net increase of seats available in any 24 hour period. a train for train comparison isn't really fair, as the timetable and frequency of services are being totally re-cast.
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« Reply #936 on: July 04, 2014, 08:59:39 am »

The press release merely says, "more seats".

Across the routes that the IEPs will serve there will be a net increase of seats available in any 24 hour period. a train for train comparison isn't really fair, as the timetable and frequency of services are being totally re-cast.

This is looking increasingly like "voyager mark two"
When the (then) Virgin voyagers were being discussed, I and many others, expressed concern that the new trains were half length and therefore likely to be overcrowded.
We were assured by the rail industry that the new  much shorter trains would in fact be fine because "there will be a net increase in seats over 24 hours" and that "the timetable and frequency of services is being totally re-cast"

The new half length trains duly arrived, and many popular services were full and standing from day one, and years later are still thus. It is little consolation to those standing on a new shorter train to be told that more seats are available in total, if they have to stand on a service that previously had seats for all.

It is now admitted that voyagers are not ideal for long journeys from either the passenger comfort or total train length point of view. We are however stuck with them for many years yet.
And in at least one respect, the IEPs are even worse than voyagers with not even a buffet for steerage.
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"When customers say that they want a seat, they dont mean they want to sit with their knees behind their ears so that 4 more can sit down. They mean that they want an extra coach so that 74 more can sit down"
"Capacity on intercity routes should be about number of vehicles, not compressing people"
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« Reply #937 on: July 04, 2014, 02:17:59 pm »

The new half length trains duly arrived, and many popular services were full and standing from day one, and years later are still thus. It is little consolation to those standing on a new shorter train to be told that more seats are available in total, if they have to stand on a service that previously had seats for all.

I quite agree.  However, the current IEP formations suggest all trains through Bath will be formed of 9-Car IEPs with a mix of 5-Car IEPs and 9-Car IEPs forming the additional two trains as hour between Bristol and London, which, although they won't call at Bath, will no doubt attract many Bristol customers away from those routed via Bath.  The net result for Bath should be (with my realistic head on, not my cynical or optimistic one) a suitable increase in seats.  However, I am a little concerned about the South Wales services that will see little if any frequency increases.
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« Reply #938 on: July 04, 2014, 05:42:58 pm »

I would expect the additional services through Bristol Parkway to provide some relief to the South Wales services as well, particularly if they are faster by virtue of not stopping at Swindon or Didcot.
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« Reply #939 on: July 05, 2014, 10:02:26 am »

Yes, I'd agree, John - they should indeed provide some relief, as will the enhanced service to from Cheltenham/Gloucester.  I'm concerned that it won't be enough though, over time, given the continuing growth on the route, especially if any of the Cardiff services are formed of 5-Car Bi-Mode IEPs.  I have similar concerns over the Cotswold Line.
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« Reply #940 on: July 05, 2014, 10:27:34 am »

I would expect the additional services through Bristol Parkway to provide some relief to the South Wales services as well, particularly if they are faster by virtue of not stopping at Swindon or Didcot.

It's a faster route in any case. Then add in the faster acceleration and later braking times, and the service will be faster, even with stops at Swindon and Didcot.

Given that this was all planned a few years ago, since when rail use has grown substantially, do we know if there are options for more (or longer) trains?
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« Reply #941 on: July 05, 2014, 09:50:39 pm »

The new half length trains duly arrived, and many popular services were full and standing from day one, and years later are still thus. It is little consolation to those standing on a new shorter train to be told that more seats are available in total, if they have to stand on a service that previously had seats for all.

I quite agree.  However, the current IEP formations suggest all trains through Bath will be formed of 9-Car IEPs with a mix of 5-Car IEPs and 9-Car IEPs forming the additional two trains as hour between Bristol and London, which, although they won't call at Bath, will no doubt attract many Bristol customers away from those routed via Bath.  The net result for Bath should be (with my realistic head on, not my cynical or optimistic one) a suitable increase in seats.  However, I am a little concerned about the South Wales services that will see little if any frequency increases.
Yes, Bath seems to have got off lightly on the IEP front, every other GW-IC route it seems will see 5-car units on at least some services.

Yes, I'd agree, John - they should indeed provide some relief, as will the enhanced service to from Cheltenham/Gloucester.  I'm concerned that it won't be enough though, over time, given the continuing growth on the route, especially if any of the Cardiff services are formed of 5-Car Bi-Mode IEPs.  I have similar concerns over the Cotswold Line.
As I've just posted over on the 15:51 to Worcester topic, the DfT diagram modelling assumes single 5-car units on all but two Costwolds-PAD services in each direction. There are some single 5-car units on Cardiff workings too, and on Swansea services. For example, the 08:40 PAD-SWA, 08:58 PAD-CDF and 09:40 PAD-SWA are all single 5-car units.

I would expect the additional services through Bristol Parkway to provide some relief to the South Wales services as well, particularly if they are faster by virtue of not stopping at Swindon or Didcot.

It's a faster route in any case. Then add in the faster acceleration and later braking times, and the service will be faster, even with stops at Swindon and Didcot.

Given that this was all planned a few years ago, since when rail use has grown substantially, do we know if there are options for more (or longer) trains?
There are/were options for trains to run on other routes (southern WCML, IC225 replacment, Kings Lynn and PAD-Plymouth/Penzance), one of which has been taken up, but nothing about train lengthening as far as I'm aware. Anyway, the problem isn't a shortage of units*, so an option for more trains isn't required, longer trains is what we need.

* in fact I think we could probably have slightly fewer of them, since there is an allowance for a small amount of multiple working in the 5-car fleet currently planned.
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« Reply #942 on: July 06, 2014, 11:01:12 am »

I do wish the DfT would get over their obsession with trying to get 100% utilisation and 100 reliability from rolling stock.

It is mathamatically impossible as all mechnical things will fail at some point. They also need constant maintenace to maintain their reliabilty.

It can be proved that the higher the utilisation achieved the lower the reliability. This was comprehensively proved with Hull trains. When they lost their spare Meridian their fleet went from being one of the most reliable fleets (as measured by miles 5 minute failures) to being one of the worst with a  large decrease in miles per failure.

So instead of trying to spread the 5 cars all over the country why not order another couple or more and add to the Cotswold line fleet for strengthening and improving the reliability of the whole fleet. It would pay off in the life of the units.
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« Reply #943 on: July 06, 2014, 11:25:08 am »

I do wish the DfT would get over their obsession with trying to get 100% utilisation and 100 reliability from rolling stock.
I can find no evidence that they are doing that at all.   Tenders do seem to be based on daily diagrams required, but winning bidders are providing more trains than required.

The recent ECML track access application for the post-IEP timetable shows quite a low utilisation of their IEP fleet, as you'd expect with four sub-fleets:

Quote
The fleet consists of the following formation (with 2x 5 car operation in the peaks):
10 x 9 car bi-mode plus 3 x 9 car bi-mode spare sets (Class 800 series)
26 x 9 car electrics plus 4 x 9 car electric spare sets (Class 801 series)
8 x 5 car bi-modes plus 2 x 5 car bi-mode spare sets (Class 800 series)
10 x 5 car electrics plus 2 x 5 car bi-mode spare sets (Class 801 series)
(54 diagrams per day) plus 11 spare sets per day

http://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/12184/s17-ec-applic-form-p.pdf

Paul
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« Reply #944 on: July 22, 2014, 01:39:34 pm »

A query about GW branches and electrification.  Everyone is well aware of the main 'electrification gap' affecting services based around Reading, i.e. the North Downs route to Gatwick via Redhill.   It is also common knowledge that the 3 main Thames Valley branches are being wired.

But what about the FGW services between Oxford and Banbury?  These rarely gets mentioned one way or another, AFAICR, but I just noticed in the electrification diagram shown on page 41 of the GW route plan here:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/browse%20documents/strategicbusinessplan/cp5/supporting%20documents/our%20activity%20and%20expenditure%20plans/route%20plans/western%20route%20plan.pdf

...an unlabelled extension north of Oxford.  Is that supposed to be Banbury, or is it just an error in the drawing?

Paul
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