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Greater Anglia's Stadler Flirt - Class 745 & 755

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Thanks for posting this. Really interesting.

 

No-one ever says what equipment will service Anglia's few peak-hour trains King's Lynn - Liverpool Street. A fully electrified line, apparently we are not allowed to have more than 8-car trains because of short platforms. So the logic is that the EMUs won't operate those services.

 

That leaves the 5-car bi-modes - but this is a 100% electrified line and has been for decades. Are we really going to see big lumps of diesel engine being dragged backwards and forwards on the line?

 

There was a nice piece about the Anglia fleet renewal in this month's Modern Railways - again no mention of the KL line.

 

So could this silence actually mean they're just going to scrap that bit of their routes and hand it over to Thameslink or GN? Blimey.

 

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing the Stadlers in action. They must be better than the violently lurching Electrostars that currently have a monopoly up here.

 

Paul 

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Its not only the platforms that restrict the Lynn line, its the power supply that restricts the number of units allowed north of Milton Fen.

 

I do wonder if the GA Lynn service will carry on holding on to a small fleet of 379's (and the Cambridge-Liv street services too), but as you say, its odd that we have been forgotten about... (Interesting to read the Anglia Route Proposals document, that didn't mention that GTR ran any services in Anglia...)

 

Andy G

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If platforms are the only issue, they could put in selective door opening. But I suspect that it would impact on signalling as well, and that then gets very expensive. and with long delays.

 

In theory, the Fliirt concept is flexible enough that they could build a few units to a different length to cover the Kings Lynn requirement. However, I suspect that it may end up being served from KX.

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Looks like an APT-P to me .............................

If only... Looks like a modern tram to me which is not far from what it is.

I'm dreading these horrible things on the GE as they will be far less comfortable than a Mk3

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SDO has been introduced at Watlington for the first time from the WTT change, but not at Littleport, as the rear units would foul the foot crossing or road crossing...

 

There was talk that when the half hour service comes in (if) that the extra half hours would be GA trains...

 

Andy G

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Its not only the platforms that restrict the Lynn line, its the power supply that restricts the number of units allowed north of Milton Fen.

Both feeder stations north of Cambridge have had their capacity increased in the last couple of years, so I suspect the number of available amps isn't the problem it used to be.

 

Isn't it most likely that the London to Cambridge route will be served by the Bombardier part of the order? (Stadler trains being the Norwich/ Stansted long sets and a bunch of these shorter bi modes) I'd expect those to be what ends up running to KL, if anything does - so crossrail trains, hopefully with better seating...

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Both feeder stations north of Cambridge have had their capacity increased in the last couple of years, so I suspect the number of available amps isn't the problem it used to be.

 

 

That's not what the sectional appendix says, and no-one can seem to find out what has actually been done to the feeders!

 

Andy G

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No-one ever says what equipment will service Anglia's few peak-hour trains King's Lynn - Liverpool Street.

 

A fully electrified line, apparently we are not allowed to have more than 8-car trains because of short platforms. So the logic is that the EMUs won't operate those services.

 

That leaves the 5-car bi-modes .....

 

 

There aren't going to be any 5-car Bi-Modes as such Paul.

Well not in the traditional sense.

The Stadler Class 755 Bi-Modes are in 3-car (x14) and 4-car (x24) configurations.

Each with the short diesel generator unit added in the formation.

 

The all electric Stadler Class 745 is a 12-car EMU (x20).

 

The GA Class 720 Aventra's will be in 5 and 10-car configurations.

 

I'm not sure if that's of any help?

 

Ron

 

 

 

.

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If only... Looks like a modern tram to me which is not far from what it is.

I'm dreading these horrible things on the GE as they will be far less comfortable than a Mk3

Have you set foot on one yet? It must be pretty miraculous if you have! Otherwise how can you judge?

 

FLIRTs that I've travelled on in Germany, Switzerland and Norway have been very comfortable to travel in.

 

GA appear to have put more effort into specifying the interior, and made a loud noise about having actually listened to the customer consultation on seats (clear dig at GTR 700s). They might not be as plush as the FLIRTs used by open access operators for long distance in Czech Republic or Sweden, but I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

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I think these look very promising, and they are produced by a company with a good pedigree for making good quality products. Out of the trains currently on order or entering service these seem to be one of the more interesting designs.

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Have you set foot on one yet? It must be pretty miraculous if you have! Otherwise how can you judge?

FLIRTs that I've travelled on in Germany, Switzerland and Norway have been very comfortable to travel in.

GA appear to have put more effort into specifying the interior, and made a loud noise about having actually listened to the customer consultation on seats (clear dig at GTR 700s). They might not be as plush as the FLIRTs used by open access operators for long distance in Czech Republic or Sweden, but I'm looking forward to giving them a try.

Had a quick look at the mock up and was less than impressed.

The floor drops down between the bogies unlike any British train

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The seats are similar to the extra ones put into the mk3s a few years ago which are awful

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GA's video clearly shows the seat design here: https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/about-us/news-desk/news-articles/comfortable-seats-greater-anglias-new-trains

 

Yes it's pretty upright, but it's got a lot more sculpting and shape to it at the sides than the end of carriage extra seats you're referring to in the Mk3s. Also looks like it's got a good amount of head/neck support. Flip up armrests are a big improvement over the fixed design on the Mk3s, which are often a problem for older or overweight passengers.

 

But we can't judge until we try them in action!

 

No one is denying that Mk3s are good, and have aged reasonably well, but can we please avoid the attitude that anything different or new is inevitably worse. Who knows, it might turn out to be, but give it a chance first!

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The new seats nay look good but the ones in the mock up are awful and I think they are the same.

These trains are not an intercity train by any stretch of the imagination, add to this one defective vehicle and the whole set is out of traffic.

The GA hauled fleet has one of the highest availability rate on the railway but I have a nasty feeling the new trains together with capacity issues with cross rail is going to make travelling on the GEML quite unpleasant in the next few years

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There aren't going to be any 5-car Bi-Modes as such Paul.

Well not in the traditional sense.

The Stadler Class 755 Bi-Modes are in 3-car (x14) and 4-car (x24) configurations.

Each with the short diesel generator unit added in the formation.

 

The all electric Stadler Class 745 is a 12-car EMU (x20).

 

The GA Class 720 Aventra's will be in 5 and 10-car configurations.

 

I'm not sure if that's of any help?

 

Ron

 

This BMU configuration is tricky to describe: by “5 car” I meant the one with five separate carriages, one of which is a shorty stuffed full of diesels. It seems wrong to call that a 4-car unit. But I bow to your knowledge.

 

The Aventras have been consistently described as “inner suburban”. Surely they are not describing a 2 hour journey from London to northwest Norfolk as “inner suburban”? Though if so, logic suggests they’ll send the five car jobby on that route. What a miserable bloody depressing journey that would be.

 

Ain’t progress grand?

 

Paul

Edited by Fenman

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A quick bit of Googling suggests they've been very well received on the Stockholm to Gothenburg route (around 3 hours): https://www.globalrailwayreview.com/news/28147/mtr-express-sweden/

 

Bizarre promo video which is clearly targeted at MTR's Hong Kong customers, but certainly gives the impression of being every bit the intercity train to me!

 

https://youtu.be/rdNW92QhU28

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GA's video clearly shows the seat design here: https://www.greateranglia.co.uk/about-us/news-desk/news-articles/comfortable-seats-greater-anglias-new-trains

 

Yes it's pretty upright, but it's got a lot more sculpting and shape to it at the sides than the end of carriage extra seats you're referring to in the Mk3s. Also looks like it's got a good amount of head/neck support. Flip up armrests are a big improvement over the fixed design on the Mk3s, which are often a problem for older or overweight passengers.

 

But we can't judge until we try them in action!

 

No one is denying that Mk3s are good, and have aged reasonably well, but can we please avoid the attitude that anything different or new is inevitably worse. Who knows, it might turn out to be, but give it a chance first!

 

Don't know much about the company they are using for the Stadler set seats, but Kiel were the firm chosen by GNER for the refurb of the Mark IV seats, so there is a good pedigree there.

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Had a quick look at the mock up and was less than impressed.

The floor drops down between the bogies unlike any British train

 

Standard configuration now across Europe, to allow level access by wheelchairs, prams etc. Sorry it offends.

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I'm just absolutely dreading these monstrosities on the route, I'm slightly biased because I do a lot of work with mk3s and 90s but any real rail enthusiasts would not really favor a souped up tram over a proper loco hauled intercity express train!

Remember this is a forum for people who are passionate enough to make models of trains not for arsey commuters from Colchester who look at trains the same as their horrible 5 door eurobox which takes them to schools and gyms

Edited by russ p

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I'm just absolutely dreading these monstrosities on the route, I'm slightly biased because I do a lot of work with mk3s and 90s but any real rail enthusiasts would not really favor a proper loco hauled intercity train over a souped up tram!

Remember this is a forum for people who are passionate enough to make models of trains not for arsey commuters from Colchester who look at trains the same as their horrible 5 door eurobox which takes them to schools and gyms

 

Now, if they could make them look like Chelsea Tractors??........

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Once my layout is more or less finished I'm hoping technology will have move on sufficiently for me to upload myself into the DCC system !

No silly trains even on the horizon as I would have thirty years until privatization ....

Any arse#ole turns up in a delorian I'd slash its tyres and put them in a well!

I don't want the future thank you

My new career a well capper!

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I'm just absolutely dreading these monstrosities on the route, I'm slightly biased because I do a lot of work with mk3s and 90s but any real rail enthusiasts would not really favor a souped up tram over a proper loco hauled intercity express train!

Remember this is a forum for people who are passionate enough to make models of trains not for arsey commuters from Colchester who look at trains the same as their horrible 5 door eurobox which takes them to schools and gyms

 

No it's not. I'm a real railway enthusiast but a realist.  The real railway isn't about providing a means of entertainment for obsessives but a heavily public funded outfit charged with moving people and goods around to try and enable modern society to function.  End of.  Doing that with coaches made in 1975-80 for a different market and locos built down to a price in the 1990s won't work, as the Norwich route was no longer an "Inter City" route when I lived in Norfolk ten years ago.  With commuting starting at Diss and Stowmarket and really getting serious by Ipswich, seating capacity and ease of access is always going to trump nostalgic wistful thinking.  With Liverpool St being tight for platform length, having the equivalent of two coaches taken up by electronic gubbins and several cubic metres of not-so fresh air and the odd bike or two is a luxury that cannot be afforded so it was always on the cards that with line capacity at a premium, frequent stops and a need to maximise capacity a multiple unit was going to win the day, and let's not forget BR wasn't afraid to stick the odd EMU on the line when first electrified.  Some of those had 3+2 seating as well.  They also allocated some of the converted Mk2e open firsts fitted with all-airline seating at a very tight seating pitch that gave over 70 seats in a Mk2 normally fitted with 64 seats to try and boost capacity on the Norwich runs, I know, I caught several in Anglia days and they were truly awful, worse than the Class 158 dmus for comfort.  The Mk3s were fitted by Nat Ex with high density seating layouts for 80 seats, an experiment first tried by BR in the mid-1980s and rejected in an effort to increase capacity so there is a need for seats, not locos and coaches.

 

Am I sad to see the end of the 90s?  Yes.  But am I glad Anglia is getting its first fleet of brand new trains since the 1960s, including the Norfolk branches where the community rail partnerships have done such amazing work?  You bet, it's long overdue and unlike the cheeseparing that has been forced on Thameslink and the ridiculous decision making that has bedevilled the GWR upgrade, the Anglia team seem to have been able to work up a stock plan that allows flexibility, some degree of commonality and a performance increase that will make a big difference to the congested GEML.  It also seems to be creating a Norwich to London train that will improve capacity whilst taking some care with the interior layout.  You could have got a souped up Thameslink set with a maximum capacity interior, off the peg thin seating to cram more people in and one class of service without on board refreshments and minimal lavatory provision.  You are not.  You are getting something that will do the job far better, with greater reliability and in decent comfort with all the modern add-ons that travellers - the real people who pay a lot to use the service regularly - demand today.

 

However, don't let reality intrude on your rose tinted view of life.  Just don't arrogantly assert that "any real rail enthusiasts would not really favor a souped up tram over a proper loco hauled intercity express train!", I like all trains, and prefer to see the railway busier now than in the 80s and 90s when I first regularly started commuting, rather than under threat of closure and being told it can only replace trains if for every three scrapped they can only build two.  Better a "souped up tram" with buffet and 2+2 seating in Standard than a single track north of Stowmarket as once proposed for the Norwich route, or the suggestion of using Class 321s on the Norwich route which was once being talked about.

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Loco haulage can be more interesting (at least before push pull came along), but it's not really right to suggest that an EMU can't be suitable for inter city services. 390s are EMUs after all, and though they have their faults, none of them are due to the motors being mounted on the passenger carrying vehicles. Shinkansen trains are EMUs, the new Eurostar trains are EMUs, and you don't get much more inter city than those.

 

Actually the GEML isn't that different from the SWML, which has been EMU operated since 1967. And I doubt many will say that a train like a 442 or 444 would be unsuited to either route. It will depend really on what they do with the interiors, but it's quite possible to fit out a mk3 with horrible seats, as FGW proved.

 

You wouldn't haven't caught me complaining if they'd ordered a load of 88s and mk5as, but there's nothing wrong with the principle of an EMU for the GEML. And I'm quite excited to see some articulated trains in the UK.

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