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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 683146 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #405 on: November 28, 2010, 09:54:16 am »

It is very early days as yet, but if other new trains are anything to go by, we will end up with some variety of 4/5 car multiple unit, with high density bus seats, minimal luggage space,and no buffet.
In theory multiple units are a good idea on account of the flexible train lengths. In practice though any seasoned and cynical traveller will know that flexible=shorter. Remember the adelantes ? flexible train length indeed, but normally 5 car replacing an HST.

Ah, yes.  I remember the Adelante's.  Comfortable seats that line up with windows, a reasonable amount of luggage space, and a buffet.  Oh, and a train designed to supplement the HST fleet on quieter services off peak between Paddington and Cardiff (where a 5-car train would still be adequate, and certainly was 10 years ago), and the option to run them in 10-car formations to provide more seats than the current high density HST sets.  Yes, I remember the Adelante!
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
willc
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« Reply #406 on: November 28, 2010, 12:34:16 pm »

Some of the replacement trains may well be five-car - that was part of the IEP plan in its previous incarnation - but there were lots of longer trains too, to replace the HSTs, as there will be in whatever fleet is ordered - remember MML ordered some Meridians as nine-car sets and others as four-car. Now they run four, five and seven-car sets.

And a little flexibility in the fleet would not hurt, eg an all-electric unit running coupled to a electric-diesel set between Oxford and London to meet the demand on that leg, with the dual-powered one then going on along the Cotswold Line to Worcester, Malvern or Hereford - and probably a rather more elegant solution than messing around with diesel locos in Oxford station!

A similar arrangement for Cheltenham and Gloucester services past Swindon would also make sense most of the day and Berks & Hants off-peak semi-fasts don't need a full HST either.

Some of you may not like under-floor engines but short trains dragging around a diesel power-car under the wires makes no sense at all, as people kept pointing out to DafT during the IEP development process. And my pet hate about Voyagers/Meridians is not the engines, it's the cramped interiors, due to the tilt body shape, which will not be an issue on anything being built for the Great Western and East Coast routes with a 26m straight-sided body.

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Remember the adelantes ? flexible train length indeed, but normally 5 car replacing an HST.

When exactly did they replace HSTs? As Insider notes, they were built to provide extra services to Bristol and Cardiff - and were themselves replaced by HSTs when the 180s got moved to Oxford & Cotswold work at the end of 2004. Where they were then replaced by HSTs which are too big for off-peak work on the Cotswold Line, where we would quite like to see some InterCity-quality five-car trains again - especially off-peak instead of the Turbos we ended up with again due to the gross over-capacity on an HST. In the meantime, there will be five unemployed 180s looking for a new home in fortnight's time....

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There was another interesting DMU story tucked away in Modern Railways. A piece about Chiltern (p9) looking at loco haulage, which said that they're finding it difficult to finance new DMUs, partly because of the scarcity of finance, but also because "financiers are wary of putting money into new diesel trains with a 30-year life due to uncertainties surrounding the oil supply".

Perhaps someone should tell DfT.

They know all about it, as was discussed here some time back, when they ditched the plan to buy 200 new dmu coaches, including a good number for FGW, because no-one wanted to fund diesel trains with a 30-year life if electrification was on the way.
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Richard Fairhurst
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« Reply #407 on: November 28, 2010, 03:00:09 pm »

Ah, yes.  I remember the Adelante's.

There's a poem in there somewhere.

Yes, I remember the Adelantes -
The name because one afternoon
Of heat / faulty doors / lack of fuel / malfunctioning PIS / staff shortages the express-train drew up
Unwontedly. It was late June.

- E.J. Thomas, aged 4 and 8 1/2 months
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #408 on: November 28, 2010, 03:38:51 pm »

Logically Crossrail should go out to Reading and given that they need to shave ^1bn off the bill to meet the government's new price target, not building stabling sidings at Maidenhead would certainly help. Since they aren't starting electrification just yet, there is time to thrash all this out.

Yes, can someone please announce that!  I thought it might have been included in Thursday's announcement given that electrification of Reading station was approved.  It is just such a logical thing to do given the passenger flows in the area!

A new TWA would be required to do that as Crossrail is not an operating service at present. An extension beyond the scope of the enabling Act would add many months, if not years to the project, remember the Thameslink madness.
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Chafford1
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« Reply #409 on: November 28, 2010, 03:43:09 pm »

Logically Crossrail should go out to Reading and given that they need to shave ^1bn off the bill to meet the government's new price target, not building stabling sidings at Maidenhead would certainly help. Since they aren't starting electrification just yet, there is time to thrash all this out.

Yes, can someone please announce that!  I thought it might have been included in Thursday's announcement given that electrification of Reading station was approved.  It is just such a logical thing to do given the passenger flows in the area!

A new TWA would be required to do that as Crossrail is not an operating service at present. An extension beyond the scope of the enabling Act would add many months, if not years to the project, remember the Thameslink madness.

Nothing to stop them extending the service 6 months after Crossrail starts, though.
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Chafford1
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« Reply #410 on: November 28, 2010, 03:45:47 pm »

Some of the replacement trains may well be five-car - that was part of the IEP plan in its previous incarnation - but there were lots of longer trains too, to replace the HSTs, as there will be in whatever fleet is ordered - remember MML ordered some Meridians as nine-car sets and others as four-car. Now they run four, five and seven-car sets.


I thought the current cut-price IEP plan was for 5 coach electric and 5 coach bi-mode (similar to a Meridian with a pantograph car) trains.
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Electric train
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« Reply #411 on: November 28, 2010, 04:23:11 pm »

Logically Crossrail should go out to Reading and given that they need to shave ^1bn off the bill to meet the government's new price target, not building stabling sidings at Maidenhead would certainly help. Since they aren't starting electrification just yet, there is time to thrash all this out.

Yes, can someone please announce that!  I thought it might have been included in Thursday's announcement given that electrification of Reading station was approved.  It is just such a logical thing to do given the passenger flows in the area!
The route between Maidenhead and Reading has been "safeguarded" for Crossrail that was done by the previous Government has after the Crossrail Bill received Royal assent.
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
Worcester_Passenger
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« Reply #412 on: November 28, 2010, 05:57:41 pm »

There's a poem in there somewhere.

Yes, I remember the Adelantes -
The name because one afternoon
Of heat / faulty doors / lack of fuel / malfunctioning PIS / staff shortages the express-train drew up
Unwontedly. It was late June.

- E.J. Thomas, aged 4 and 8 1/2 months

Excellent.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #413 on: November 28, 2010, 07:19:34 pm »

The route between Maidenhead and Reading has been "safeguarded" for Crossrail that was done by the previous Government has after the Crossrail Bill received Royal assent.

Does that mean the TWA hurdle that RailCornwall says would get in the way, would actually not get in the way?  Or is there a realistic chance that all the facilities at Maidenhead will have to be built for no reason at all in the long term?  I was kind of hoping that the extension would be announced along with last Thursday's statements, but perhaps it will be announced with the statement on further GWML electrification in the new year?

This passage is a quote from the Rail Electrification publication from the DfT released in July 2009, which hints at no such obstacle:

"With electrification now to be extended to Reading, it would be possible for Crossrail to operate to Reading, rather than Maidenhead, from the outset, and this option will now be considered by the Government and Transport for London."

The full document is available here:  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rail-electrification.pdf
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
Electric train
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« Reply #414 on: November 28, 2010, 08:28:45 pm »

The route between Maidenhead and Reading has been "safeguarded" for Crossrail that was done by the previous Government has after the Crossrail Bill received Royal assent.
Does that mean the TWA hurdle that RailCornwall says would get in the way, would actually not get in the way?  Or is there a realistic chance that all the facilities at Maidenhead will have to be built for no reason at all in the long term?  I was kind of hoping that the extension would be announced along with last Thursday's statements, but perhaps it will be announced with the statement on further GWML electrification in the new year?
This passage is a quote from the Rail Electrification publication from the DfT released in July 2009, which hints at no such obstacle:
"With electrification now to be extended to Reading, it would be possible for Crossrail to operate to Reading, rather than Maidenhead, from the outset, and this option will now be considered by the Government and Transport for London."
The full document is available here:  http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/rail-electrification.pdf
There are quite a few years yet to go before the turn around is built at Maidenhead so it is possible the final solution would be Reading provided there are no further delays in the GWML TVL electrification.  The sidings at Maidenhead may get built anyway as construction depot for electrification trains
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
willc
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« Reply #415 on: November 29, 2010, 12:42:12 am »

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An extension beyond the scope of the enabling Act would add many months, if not years

Why? If a government wants to, and has the votes in Parliament to do it, it can ram through legislation in a day. An extension of Crossrail to Reading would not require such tactics, as it would be a very simple piece of legislation, that is hardly likely to generate much, if any, opposition, since it makes such obvious good sense. And would probably have happened in the first place were it not for Crossrail's promoters being determined to steer clear of any responsibility for or investment in sorting out the problem of Reading, which Network Rail has now taken care of.

If you want to build an electrification depot, surely somewhere like Moreton cutting, near Didcot, with a large expanse of level, wide-open railway-owned land available, would make rather more sense than a cramped site in the middle of a town.

Some of the replacement trains may well be five-car - that was part of the IEP plan in its previous incarnation - but there were lots of longer trains too, to replace the HSTs, as there will be in whatever fleet is ordered - remember MML ordered some Meridians as nine-car sets and others as four-car. Now they run four, five and seven-car sets.


I thought the current cut-price IEP plan was for 5 coach electric and 5 coach bi-mode (similar to a Meridian with a pantograph car) trains.


The basic 'building-block' train is five coaches, but shoving in extra powered or unpowered trailers or transfomer cars to make up a longer, more powerful formation is easy enough to do - just like the various lengths of Voyagers and Meridians out there now.

I don't think anyone operating either the GWML or ECML is going to accept having fleets of nothing but five-coach trains foisted on them, given the current capacity issues (EC operating 2+9 HSTs, FGW talking about ways they might provide some), never mind coping with projected growth.
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Electric train
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« Reply #416 on: November 29, 2010, 08:50:41 am »

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An extension beyond the scope of the enabling Act would add many months, if not years

Why? If a government wants to, and has the votes in Parliament to do it, it can ram through legislation in a day. An extension of Crossrail to Reading would not require such tactics, as it would be a very simple piece of legislation, that is hardly likely to generate much, if any, opposition, since it makes such obvious good sense. And would probably have happened in the first place were it not for Crossrail's promoters being determined to steer clear of any responsibility for or investment in sorting out the problem of Reading, which Network Rail has now taken care of.

If you want to build an electrification depot, surely somewhere like Moreton cutting, near Didcot, with a large expanse of level, wide-open railway-owned land available, would make rather more sense than a cramped site in the middle of a town.
To change the Crossrail Act would take up Parliamentary time the Government would argue they have more important uses for that time.
Morton Cutting is a possibility for a construction depot for GWML electrification it is to far out of the reach of Crossrail, Maidenhead would be a stabling depot for the main one at OOC.
Crossrail will reach Reading I believe it will be part of the TVL electrification with a remodeling of all TVL services
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
Tim
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« Reply #417 on: November 29, 2010, 09:43:44 am »


And have a load of diesels with different performance characteristics sharing the fast lines from Paddington to Reading with electrics off to Bristol and Cardiff? That would be fun for the timetablers...


hadn't thought about that.  But Paddington-Reading is only a short distance and if we talking about new diesels maybe the preformance characteristsics could be made to match (at least as much as bi-mode versus electric)
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paul7755
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« Reply #418 on: November 29, 2010, 12:44:21 pm »

Legislation wise, I think service extension to Reading (if it was already electrified) would simply be a service pattern alteration - I'd be surprised if that needed primary legislation at all.

However would the removal of thereby redundant facilities such as the Maidenhead sidings have to be legislated for, because the Crossrail Act requires them to be built?  In other words legislation is required to reduce Crossrail infrastructure plans rather than increase service?

That seems to have been a constant problem with the early railway Acts IIRC - you'd think they would have included some get out clause if works became unnecessary in a 'modern equivalent' Act though...

Paul
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Tim
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« Reply #419 on: November 29, 2010, 02:03:28 pm »

However would the removal of thereby redundant facilities such as the Maidenhead sidings have to be legislated for, because the Crossrail Act requires them to be built? 

Look at it this way.  If redundant faciliies don't get build even if this is technically illegal under the act what is the result of this illegality.  It isn;t a crime so its not like anyone will go to jail.  Someone migth get sued but what would be the damages?
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