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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 791967 times)
The Grecian
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« Reply #495 on: February 20, 2011, 03:15:56 pm »

A great many passengers are opposed to the use of multiple units on intercity routes for two reasons, firstly most MUs are DMUs and underfloor engines produce noise and vibration.
Secondly MUs are linked in peoples minds with new shorter trains containing high backed, high density bus seats, without luggage space or catering facilities.

Cross country loco hauled trains used to have seats at tables, and often a buffet, they were replaced by new shorter multiple units.

Waterloo to Exeter services used to be operated by full length loco hauled trains with tables, luggage van, spacious seating etc. Then replaced by 3 car multiple units with higher density seating.
It was widely reported that the introduction of new trains meant standing on journies when a seat would have been available on a "real train"
One could of course build a new 12 car multiple unit with facing seats at tables, luggage space, a restaurant, and Victorian seat spacing.
Not likely to happen though is it ! Multiple units invariable mean shorter and less comfortable trains.


[/quote]
There is a view in the UK that MU's are so urban only fit for low speed commuter routes when in reality the rest of Europe already has a high speed MU railway, I can not see much in the way of new build loco haul anything being adopted for passenger operation, TOC's like fixed formation MU's if you went for a loco haul for only part and went with the idea of coupling / uncoupling at an intermediate point there is added expense of stabling sidings and train crew facilities.   There is little technical difficulty in using diesel engined MU's the gear boxes isolate the engine when it not providing power moder traction motors could be fitted to axles that are not engine driven, modern 25kV transformers and traction control equipment is not that heavy.



I don't think MUs should necessarily only be used as commuter vehicles. It's more about the internal layout - Meridians are more pleasant than Voyagers even though they're still DMUs.

There is a follow-up point to the fact that loco hauled trains have been replaced by DMUs on Crosscountry routes and Waterloo-Exeter, which is that the loco hauled trains were notoriously unreliable. My experience certainly on Waterloo-Exeter has  been that the 159s are more popular than the 50s and 47s simply because they normally turn up on time and aren't prone to breaking down. Granted the older trains arguably had a more pleasant interior, but that's no consolation if they can't get you from A to B on time. They normally run as 6 or 9 car services and overcrowding isn't normally a problem.

Crosscountry is obviously slightly different, but the Voyagers are more reliable (mostly) than the 47s - I think a greater objection passengers have is how frequently they're overcrowded. There seem to be more luggage racks these days but it's difficult to keep an eye on your things most of the time.

A problem for any route which requires high-ish speeds of at least 90-100mph but also frequent stops is that most high speed locos have been designed to run at high speeds for long periods of time, not for frequent braking and acceleration. This is something DMUs seem to be better suited for. However I don't work in the rail industry so I may not know what I'm talking about!
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stebbo
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« Reply #496 on: February 20, 2011, 04:15:34 pm »

Reference the latest Daft proposals for FGW what a dogs dinner of half baked and half hearted half measures.If only the government had the same appetite for the here and now as it does for HS2.Great Westerns misfortune is that renewel has come during the worst economic and financial crisis facing the country since the 1929 wall street crash the inevitable result being the Dafts latest compromise solution of half measures aka botch up.

But there's a lot to be said for some capital spending in a recession. It's the revenue spending that needs cutting back.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #497 on: February 20, 2011, 05:06:55 pm »

I await the official announcement with interest, although with all the different rumours and contadictory press stories posted above I'm losing track of what's likely to be announced.

I hear that there's not much longer to wait.....
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broadgage
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« Reply #498 on: February 21, 2011, 11:06:40 am »

Don't know whether it's been referred to before but Ian Walmsley in February's Modern Railways has a fantastic article on train comfort and using his own scoring system ranks most current British trains. With the ICE3 added for fun.

Guess the scores for standard ICE3  as a opposed to standard Voyagers?

ICE3 90.7 (1st 93.9)

Voyagers 220 37.8 (1st 51.9)

Highest British is Mark 4 First 89.3

You can obviously disagree, with his measurement criteria, the  scores he gives for each criterion and subsequent weighting in the overall score, but by and large he seems to have got most trians in roughly the right bracket.

Yes, agree, a most interesting article.
Says largely what I have been saying for years ! "you cant keeping cramming another 4 seats into the same vehicle and calling this an improvement"
And that in general, the newer the train the worse it is WRT legroom, tables, luggage space and catering.
Indeed the views expressed are so similar to my own, that someone suspected that "broadgage" IS an assumed name of the author of the article ! Most flattering, but quite untrue.
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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 is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
anthony215
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« Reply #499 on: February 23, 2011, 05:22:49 pm »

Reports on WNXX suggesting that the government has gone for the 5 carriage IEP  option.

I am crossing my fingers hopping that this isnt true, if it is i seriously wonder what in the world those people in the DFT are .

I can understand  the 5 carriage IEP option  for the London - Oxford - Worcester - Hereford service with sets being doubled to 10 carriages during peak hours.

if they wanted 5 carriages sets then they should have just ordered some ac versions of the seimens class 444 at least then you would be able to move  between the sets
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Timmer
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« Reply #500 on: February 23, 2011, 05:32:55 pm »

As someone who regularly travels on class 444s, I would be very happy to see an ac version operate London-Bristol/Swansea services.
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anthony215
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« Reply #501 on: February 23, 2011, 06:01:09 pm »

As someone who regularly travels on class 444s, I would be very happy to see an ac version operate London-Bristol/Swansea services.

I  travelled on a class 444's from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst last may  when i went on a day trip from Cardiff to the Isle of wight  via Lymington pier so i could get a trip on the slammers before traveling back on the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea where i caught the bus back to Portsmouth Hbr station before getting a FGW service to Cardiff.

 I cannot fault the ride comfort on the class 444's and the air con certainly kept the carriage nice & cool on what was a very hot day.

But would an AC version of the class 444's be allowed to travel at 125 mph or would it be limited to 110mph?
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inspector_blakey
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« Reply #502 on: February 23, 2011, 07:28:21 pm »

General rule of thumb is that 125 mph requires a degree of streamlining. As far as I'm aware anything with a gangway end on the front of it is limited to 100 mph.
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Chafford1
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« Reply #503 on: February 26, 2011, 06:43:29 pm »

From the man 'in the know' (JP) on the UK Railways site regarding the new trains for GWML:


Quote
The IEP is being tightly specified by the DFT. The latest re-specification see's the design frozen round 5 car Voyager type trains intended to replace 8 and 9 coach HSTs. The DFT see's these trains as their own project and they will specify how they are used, crewed and maintained.

Very few EMU versions will be built under the DFT plans for the old WR. A large number of expensive to buy, expensive to maintain EDMUs will used. HSTs to be rebuilt (again) for services to the South West. The extra cost of these two aspects of the project would electrify many more miles of railway making vastly cheaper pure EMU working possible across more of the region.

The next bit will result in possibly the most stupid aspect of the project. The MML will be electrified, good. Pantograph cars will be inserted into the 222 fleet, okay, but pricey since Bombardier have cut up the jigs in Bruge. The 222s will then be transferred to OC and Laira to take over services to the South West allowing HST to be withdrawn.

Those expensive pantograph cars being used as far as Newbury, where the diesels take over. In fact the engines will be switched on at Reading as they need time to warm at idle according to Cummins. This now introduces a very mixed fleet operating on the old WR, requiring two new depots. (Hitachi building two to maintain IEP)  ABSOLUTELY BLOODY MAD!!

All this after Bombardier/Siemens and Alstom were forbidden to put variations to the spec. on the bids they submitted, the Japanese, no problem. The offer to build a "flat pack" factory in the North East ignores the threat to British HIGHLY SKILLED jobs in Derby, Stafford,Crewe and other places where we do already take part in multi-national train projects. The IEP orders will see people employed for perhaps 10-12 years building the wrong train for the UK, and very unlikely to win orders elsewhere in the EU, who quite rightly look to their own already competitive train industry to supply their needs. NOTE-The Japanese do not buy European built trains.

The IEP hit all sorts of problems quite early on, the sheer cost and complexity of what was being proposed should have killed it off in favour of a properly planned progressive electrification and replacement train programme. At every turn this one small department within the DfT headed by this "Hitachi" loving Civil Servant has changed the rules. The Japanese we are now hearing are offering to take on some Eurofighter Typhoons that were destined for the RAF to allow the MOD to make zero cost defence cuts, and then part pay for the trains.

Any journalist asking awkward questions is then banned from Hitachi/ Civil Service briefings, heads of TOCs are summarily summoned to the DFT to be told what they will have to do to with regards to the IEP, it is as if Stalin is having a role in replacing the HST!

Rolling electrification is cheaper, creates skilled jobs and allows high quality trains to operate at much lower cost. Whole life costs are much lower. Energy security is also improved, what will the cost of diesel be in 6 weeks, let alone 10 years?

The pure EMU with loco haulage at the "edges" was considered but rejected, the reasons for rejection were not disclosed, but we understand one of them was that there is 'No domestic loco building capability." Really?   HST rebuilding was originally rejected as too expensive, then suddenly became cheaper when the latest option was unveiled. The corrosion issues on the Mk3 coaches has somehow become a non-problem according to the DFT. If that is the case then the low cost rebuilding of those HST power cars to act as EMU haulers (2 power cars with new cabs coupler gear overhauled and coupled back to back) should also be a "non-problem".

The question must be asked,  why is the DFT, or should I say, this person within the DFT going to so much trouble to see that the Japanese get to build the wrong type of train for the UK? A train that we will have to live with for the next 40 odd years.

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ChrisB
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« Reply #504 on: February 26, 2011, 07:01:37 pm »

Yes, I'm following that thread.

How many 222s are in the current fleet?

It might not be too long before the DafT make an announcement over all this.....
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Timmer
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« Reply #505 on: February 26, 2011, 10:23:52 pm »

How many 222s are in the current fleet?
27 in four, five and seven carriage formats. I just cannot believe DafT are planning to use them for services all the way from Paddington to Penzance...Actually I can believe it. When they finally leave the Western region, the HSTs will take with them the last true Intercity standard that they were originally built for to be replaced by a DMU. How sad.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #506 on: February 26, 2011, 11:41:37 pm »


It seems to me that DfT's object with the ED IEP is to avoid creating an electrified network, (as Hitachi would be quite happy to sell Javelins). The stretches of the GW that DfT want to avoid wiring (Swansea and perhaps Cheltenham) are those shared with XC.

Equally, the MML wiring would stop at Sheffield and so not connect (at Doncaster and Moorthorpe) to the North.

Long, electrified sidings....

OTC
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Rhydgaled
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« Reply #507 on: February 27, 2011, 04:41:33 pm »


It seems to me that DfT's object with the ED IEP is to avoid creating an electrified network, (as Hitachi would be quite happy to sell Javelins). The stretches of the GW that DfT want to avoid wiring (Swansea and perhaps Cheltenham) are those shared with XC.

I think there are no XC services Swansea and Cardiff. Javelins might be a good idea for the Oxford services, but a proper Intercity train with end, rather than 1/3 and 2/3, doors is needed for the Bristol and Swansea routes.
I have started a protest campaign against the bi-mode and 26m coaches ideas, please see this topic.
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----------------------------
Don't DOO it, keep the guard (but it probably wouldn't be a bad idea if the driver unlocked the doors on arrival at calling points).
ChrisB
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« Reply #508 on: February 27, 2011, 04:55:58 pm »

I think the idea is to persuade the Welsh Government to pay for the Cardiff-Swansea section.
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Chafford1
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« Reply #509 on: February 28, 2011, 07:10:54 pm »

Announcement tomorrow?

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2011/02/28/rail-electrification-decision-to-south-wales-expected-tomorrow-91466-28251462/
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