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Everything posted by Edwin_m

  1. The tram-train is a design from the former Vossloh in Spain, which was taken over by Stadler - I think after the contract had been signed. The 755s come from the Stadler facilities in central Europe and is therefore unlikely to share any design features. So it's unlikely that the 755 problems would affect the tram-train. Nothing obvious on the website of the Karlsruhe Verkehrsverbund, which runs very similar vehicles, suggesting the problem is something specific to the UK.
  2. The best-known named freight train was probably the "Condor" which was supposed to be a fast container service London to Scotland, reliability of the Metrovick co-bos permitting. Presumably an early attempt by BR marketing people to compete with road haulage by trying to break out of the old image of a battered loco shuffling a few wagons a few miles ready to sit for hours or days in the next marshalling yard. A few years later Freightliner tried to do the same thing as a brand rather than specific named trains, but with somewhat more success.
  3. Flat bottom rail too. Suggesting the line (though not the halt!) was upgraded for heavy traffic, perhaps wartime?
  4. Might those sleepers be the same type as the ones in the foreground of the grounded SMR wagon?
  5. That was the very one I was thinking of, but didn't have a photo to hand. When I visited last year there was a special exhibition on the history of Talgo. Crikey, pushing 35 years since I went to Vancouver - I visited the Expo but not the Pacer.
  6. Not strictly a Pacer, that's a LEV railbus - presumably the one now in the Connecticut Trolley Museum. An actual Pacer ran in Vancouver for Expo 86 (edited). Not too surprisingly no sales resulted from either enterprise. Talgo also had some involvement in the States in the mid-20th century, separately from the sets that now run in the Pacific Northwest. Some of their designs were a bit "Jetsons" too!
  7. Yes I guess it's Farlington - I don't get down that way very much. Perhaps someone on here can clarify whether they ever turn Portsmouth-Bristol trains there - maybe not so bad for air conditioning as the leading cab would be at the north end.
  8. Some of the 365s were always going to go to the Great Northern so they had a "genuine" need for dual voltage, or strictly speaking only the ability to be converted from one to the other. The ROSCOs didn't exist when the 365s were ordered, but you are correct that once they came into being they generally wanted EMUs to have provision for either voltage.
  9. A couple of years ago I was on a GWR 158 from Cardiff destination Portsmouth on a very hot day when (as is typical for those units) only the front coach of three had air conditioning working. There was an announcement of a short delay at Bristol due to this problem and I assumed they were getting a fitter to fix it. But in fact they just turned the train via the Rhubarb curve so the driver could be in the cool end for the rest of the journey. I assume they also turned it on the Fratton triangle on the way back.
  10. The loop will continue to exist as far as I'm aware, so could be used for turning trains if necessary.
  11. Working on a full-size laptop is just about possible on a full-service airline but my flights are normally with EasyJet and the line, where it's basically only possible by balancing it with the keyboard nearly vertical on the table. It may be possible with a tablet but I need the laptop at the other end of the journey and taking a tablet as well would probably push me into needing hold luggage, thus adding another half hour or so onto the journey time while waiting to collect it.
  12. I was thinking over a timescale of 15 years or so since the liquids ban and similar measures.
  13. I think I read somewhere that Bounds Green is set up with the equipment needed for servicing a 91 concentrated at one end of the shed, so it's inconvenient if a 225 set gets turned.
  14. There are now moves to get bits of the WCML, or at least the northern half that won't be bypassed by HS2, fit for higher speeds by non-tilting stock. This is primarily for the HS2 compatible units that won't tilt, but things like Transpennine's new 125mph EMUs would also benefit. So working backwards that raises the question of why it wasn't done in the 1970s. I can only think that with APT on the way BR decided they should just order an updated version of their standard mixed traffic design (which became Class 87) and that with extra power it could be stretched to 110mph without a major re-design or compromising its other performance characteristics. Which then raises the question of why APT with tilt was considered for WCML instead of just speeding up conventional trains...
  15. It's a common rule of thumb that a train journey of less than 3hr will win most of the passengers from air. In fact with increased airport security the threshold is probably creeping upwards.
  16. Obviously the usefulness of the travel time for doing work depends on what work you do - but I'm very envious if you don't have to do paperwork on a laptop to account for all the computers you've fixed!
  17. East Coast sets including HSTs (and also Pendolinos on the WCML) tend to stay the same way round simply because there's not much opportunity for them to be reversed. If that happens, usually after engineering diversions, there are routes they can take to turn them back. For example using the High Level Bridge in Newcastle instead of the King Edward, or using the triangle formed by the North London Line and its two connections towards Finsbury Park. I think GWR is similar. East Midlands tend to be pretty random because anything that starts or ends its day at Nottingham gets reversed on its way to or from depot, and there's no easy way of turning them during the day or overnight. I don't think uneven wheel wear is much of a problem for long-distance trains, more so for tramways and metros where there are tighter curves and the shorter routes means a particular set runs over them more often.
  18. The article I mentioned confirms that too, probably by splitting at Kettering.
  19. October's Modern Railways confirms that trains for Leicester and beyond will not stop south of Kettering. Both Nottingham trains will stop there but no Derby/Sheffield trains. They are considering better facilities at Kettering because of extra people changing. Due to the interaction with Thameslink the MML service basically gets one path, or two close together, every 15min out of St Pancras. So for example a Corby leaving at xx18 making four intermediate stops to Kettering would be overtaken somewhere north of Wellingborough by an xx30 non-stop to Leicester (and Sheffield) and make a reasonable connection of about 10min at Kettering into the xx45 from St Pancras to Nottingham. Anything tighter wouldn't be viable considering that connecting passengers will have to change platforms. Something similar works in the other direction too.
  20. The LMS and LNER also achieved very little in electrification, basically Manchester-Altrincham plus small extensions to what they inherited. The LNER might have achieved a lot more had WW2 not intervened, but as far as I'm aware the LMS didn't have any further ambitions in that direction. It's an interesting question why the LNER's plans were revived afterwards but the GWR's came to nothing.
  21. The GWR was the only one to get a significant number of diesel railcars into service.
  22. When considering how to travel for work, does anyone take account of being able to do useful work on the train with a laptop? I was travelling a lot between Nottingham and Glasgow a few years ago, flying was about 3hr door to door but it was virtually all "dead time". The train took nearly twice as long but I could do useful work for most of that time - as long as I chose a route that didn't involve Voyagers. An Advance ticket plus hotel was a bit more expensive than the flight, but the work time offset that and I also arrived reasonably well rested for a morning meeting instead of having to get up at about 0400. For the East Midlands the frequency is also an advantage - there is at least one train connection each hour but only a handful of flights per day. With Advances you don't get the flexibility to set out back as soon as you are done, but you can at least choose a train that doesn't involve waiting for hours. This would be less important for London area where there is more choice of flights.
  23. The plain fact is that there are far more people travelling between the East Midlands and London than between Bedford and anywhere north of Kettering. Transferring those stops to the electrics allows some acceleration of the London services and avoids the current situation where the semi-fasts are overcrowded between Bedford and London and partly empty further north. This in turn probably reduces the number of expensive bi-modes needed to run the service (whereas cheaper EMUs could have been used if the electrification hadn't been "graylinged").
  24. In 2018 the timetable was re-cast requiring about two more trains in service (the ex-GC HSTs, not counting the third one which is a spare). This was apparently to accommodate Thameslink but it was also said that if Corby electrification had been complete then those changes wouldn't have been necessary. I wonder if that means that the service can revert to approximately the pre-2018 timings when Corby is done, thereby reducing the sets in service by 2. By taking the Kettering/Wellingborough passengers the electrics may also reduce the need for diesel peak extras, which currently use several HSTs that sit in Cricklewood during the day. Even with these I suspect we'll see some formations shortening in 2020, probably a harbinger of the long-term situation (although a 5-car bi-mode should have more seats than a 5-car 222).
  25. Not trying to get at you, realising that you can't give us details here, but it does raise the question of whether those objectives were sensible. Can a power changeover balise be conditional on which route is set, or does it enforce diesel mode for every train passing over it regardless of where it is going? Is it yet known whether the London trains will be timetabled to reverse in Brickyard Siding or turn back in the platforms? If they normally turn back in the platforms then use of diesel on the occasional time they need to go to the siding might not be such an issue.
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