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Which sort of calls into question how come they are suddenly suitable for conversion and reuse in Scotland, but when FGW asked to do similar things (before the Super Hitachi Intercity Trains were ordered) they were told the HST was too old and had to be scrapped and replaced.

 

A good question...but the idea of replacing 'premier' trains with newer ones and cascading the older ones to secondary routes is hardly something new.

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The problem in comparing cost is that unless you know exactly what you are comparing it is very easy to end up with very misleading results. I do think the IEP has been expensive and believe that if the ROSCOs and TOCs had been left to their own devices they'd have got better value but I'm also not sure of the basis for some of the comparisons.

 

On the train itself, so far the people I know who have travelled in them have been very positive. I haven't heard any complaints about seats and the people I've spoken to seem to like the interior and passenger experience I think the train itself will be fine.

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The problem in comparing cost is that unless you know exactly what you are comparing it is very easy to end up with very misleading results. I do think the IEP has been expensive and believe that if the ROSCOs and TOCs had been left to their own devices they'd have got better value but I'm also not sure of the basis for some of the comparisons.

 

On the train itself, so far the people I know who have travelled in them have been very positive. I haven't heard any complaints about seats and the people I've spoken to seem to like the interior and passenger experience I think the train itself will be fine.

 

Various people have commented that they find the seats too hard - myself included. Other people haven't found them a problem.

 

I like the trains but - like anything else - they aren't perfect.

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I suspect they are rather good trains it's just the DfT learning curve expense incurred in getting there, not helped by all the add on stuff caused by the delay with the electrification.

 

However, on the positive side, the UK just gained a new train builder and a serious one at that, with big plans for Europe.

Hmm. How will their plans fit in with B_____? Edited by rodent279

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Hmm. How will their plans fit in with B_____?

 

I was just waiting for someone to ask that but best not here.

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I know I shouldn't really bother my empty head having any opinion on them and leave it to the experts, it's just that my fare box and taxes are paying for them (eventually) and I'm funny that way.

Uh, I have never said you cant have an opinion (please point to where I have said that?), what I do have a problem with is you posting your opinion in such a way that it reads as fact, I do believe I have posted this several times before but it is obviously going in one ear and out the other, if only there was something in your empty head to stop that happening!

 

By all means post opinion (even if it is wrong :blum: ), but make it clear it is just your opinion, is that too much to ask?

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A good question...but the idea of replacing 'premier' trains with newer ones and cascading the older ones to secondary routes is hardly something new.

But in the good old days the new trains were better than the ones they replaced, I wonder what went wrong this time?

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Yet how often have small incompatible fleets really been a problem, most UK train fleets operate self contained services, on more or less self contained networks and are maintained separately in self contained facilities, in a way that still does a fair impression of the pre-1923 selection of private companies.

 

Then even when commonality was possible on the modern privatised railway, between the Voyagers and the Meridians, we find the opportunity was never taken, both fleets being incompatible with each other. Indeed, when it came to producing incompatible fleets of trains,

That was because the Bombardier Voyagers were ordered with an Alstom control system so they would be compatible with the Alstom built Pendolinos on the WCML, when the Meridians were ordered Bombardier fitted them with their own control systems, so in a roundabout way the 2 diesel fleets (which hardly worked over the same tracks anyway) were deliberately made incompatible so the Voyagers could be compatible with a type of train they would be working over the same tracks with for quite a lot of the time.

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With wholesale electrification schemes now apparently on the back burner, wouldn't it make sense to electrify (say) Newton Abbot to Plymouth?

Up to a point. Most trains in the south west would then need to be bi modes to take any kind of advantage of that.

Might make more sense to look at electrifying a larger swathe of Devon so the local trains could go over to EMUs and the inter city trains could use the wires.

(I'm thinking Exmouth - Exeter - Paignton; Don't believe the nonsense that Dawlish couldn't be done, sea walls have been done in the past, such as at Saltcoats on the Ardrossan line). Though I'm spending lots of imaginary money here...

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What is 5 times more expensive though? 

 

It's been said here that the contract with Agility trains for the 800's includes maintenance, cleaning etc.

 

Does the figure for HSTs include all that or is it just to lease the trains?

Both sets of figures for HST and 800 include all routine maintenance.

 

The comparable figures for Pendo and 800s are full supply and maintain figures.

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Up to a point. Most trains in the south west would then need to be bi modes to take any kind of advantage of that.

Might make more sense to look at electrifying a larger swathe of Devon so the local trains could go over to EMUs and the inter city trains could use the wires.

(I'm thinking Exmouth - Exeter - Paignton; Don't believe the nonsense that Dawlish couldn't be done, sea walls have been done in the past, such as at Saltcoats on the Ardrossan line). Though I'm spending lots of imaginary money here...

But those Paignton and Exmouth trains also go to Barnstaple so that would have to be included.

 

It would never happen, just look at the Paddington electrification where all the branch lines (which are all low speed so only need simply OHLE) were left off because it was an 'InterCity' electrification program, ending the electrification at Newbury even though half the trains carry on to Bedwyn, what cost carrying on to Bedwyn compared to having to procure extra bi-mode 800s to run stopping services?, utter madness.

Edited by royaloak

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Up to a point. Most trains in the south west would then need to be bi modes to take any kind of advantage of that.

Might make more sense to look at electrifying a larger swathe of Devon so the local trains could go over to EMUs and the inter city trains could use the wires.

(I'm thinking Exmouth - Exeter - Paignton; Don't believe the nonsense that Dawlish couldn't be done, sea walls have been done in the past, such as at Saltcoats on the Ardrossan line). Though I'm spending lots of imaginary money here...

 

If electrification ever does reach the West Country I would put money on it being an extension of the core GW route via Bristol.

 

As it is, with HSTs, the time penalty for going via Bristol can be as little as 20 minutes. IETs will be fifteen minutes faster between Bristol and London (allegedly) so a WoE IET might only be five minutes slower via Bristol and that assumes no speed upgrade is possible for the via Weston route, to say 125 mph, something I believe would be far less problematic than via Westbury.

 

It might be very interesting, just as it is, to see how tempted GW will be to send more of their WoE services via Bristol, once the class 802s are available, it might even be possible to do it quicker than via Westbury, if you were to keep the stops to a minimum between Bristol and London, say just the one at Reading.

 

I wonder how the track access charges are going to work for a bi-mode, Uncle Roger has been discussing this recently albeit in his usual acerbic way, thanks to some of the stuff he has been hearing.

 

In theory, a bi-mode running under the wires should be charged more than both a diesel working or an electric working but I believe some a**e covering politics are in play to convince us all how eco-friendly bi-modes are and that to justify this the track access charges should reflect it.

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If electrification ever does reach the West Country I would put money on it being an extension of the core GW route via Bristol.

 

As it is, with HSTs, the time penalty for going via Bristol can be as little as 20 minutes. IETs will be fifteen minutes faster between Bristol and London (allegedly) so a WoE IET might only be five minutes slower via Bristol and that assumes no speed upgrade is possible for the via Weston route, to say 125 mph, something I believe would be far less problematic than via Westbury.

 

It might be very interesting, just as it is, to see how tempted GW will be to send more of their WoE services via Bristol, once the class 802s are available, it might even be possible to do it quicker than via Westbury, if you were to keep the stops to a minimum between Bristol and London, say just the one at Reading.

 

But what's the point of either mixing WoE trains with Bristol/SWales ones all the way to Wootton Bassett, or mixing WoE passengers with Swindon/Bristol ones if you extend certain services to the west? Watch one of the signalling websites and monitor the traffic across Wootton Bassett Junction even now, without the additional Bristol TM - Parkway - Paddingtons. Its tight, even if everything is on time. Will the WoE trains take the Bristol - Chippenham paths being looked at as an extension of Bristol suburban operations providing trains to a new station at Corsham? Or will they run via Parkway and Ashley Bank, locations which are seeing big investment to cope with the traffic already planned. Could WoE trains be scheduled that way without risking the overall integrity of the route?

 

And how do trains via Bristol help people connecting at Westbury? Or at Castle Cary? Both locations where the local authorities have aspirations to increase rail traffic. How do they serve Pewsey, where additional calls are requested, and what train service does the hoped for Devizes Parkway get? 

 

With the WoE service gone, will the stone trains alone generate enough revenue to keep Westbury to Bedwyn open? Are the loadings on the outer suburban trains, plus the stone receipts enough to keep the line beyond Newbury? What chance the Heart of Wessex line if the WoE inter-citys are re-routed, and the freight traffic lost as uneconomic?  

 

As with your previous comments saying that only end-to-end times matter, and that running faster between London and Swindon is fine for Chippenham to Bristol users as overall the train maintains the same start to stop timings, you show an astonishing ignorance of the actual, and aspirational traffic patterns on the WoE line. As for the Chippenham to Bristol user, you should have seen the crowds waiting for the 13:44 Down this afternoon; as good as for any weekday morning rush hour train. I know it's late running (seemingly due to problems changing from electric to diesel) potentially increased its actual numbers, but few passengers arrived on the platform after its booked time. 

 

Running a railway is a rather more complex task than it appears.

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But those Paignton and Exmouth trains also go to Barnstaple so that would have to be included.

Does the traffic though? If such a ridiculous scheme was implemented then the timetable would be rewritten. And I suspect that truncating the Barnstaple trains at Exeter wouldn't have a measurable impact on passenger numbers. Or they could even go to Axminster.

 

It isn't a credible idea anyhow.

Edited by Zomboid

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Does the traffic though? If such a ridiculous scheme was implemented then the timetable would be rewritten. And I suspect that truncating the Barnstaple trains at Exeter wouldn't have a measurable impact on passenger numbers. Or they could even go to Axminster.

 

It isn't a credible idea anyhow.

There has been talk of the Paingtons going half hourly and separating the Exmouth-Paigntons from the Barnstaples which will be extended to Honiton (or was it Axminster) and utilising the 158s on them, but unfortunately the 158s are no longer available and as we all know talk is cheap but action is expensive.

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It's very noticeable that Greater Anglia did not order them (why not) when at one time Uncle Roger was telling us the intention was that IETs were going to spread far and wide, he even specifically mentioned Kings Lynn.

Kings Lynn wasn't WRT Greater Anglia services, but the Kings Cross service, lots has changed on that in the interim...

 

OK. So the plan is to replace the HSTs (Wasn't this originally the HST2 project?)

 

What are the options if you're not going to design anything new?

 

All that comes to mind for 125 mph diesel trains is the Voyager/Meridian design and the 180s.

 

I don't think the 180s were considered all that successful and would probably need some redesign for a 9 coach train.

 

The Voyagers were designed around tilt requirements so probably not where you'd really want to start for a non-tilting train. And I don't know if you could fit a modern emissions-compliant engine under a Voyager anyway.

 

And I believe at the start of the programme the understanding was that the GWML would likely be electrified during the life of the trains, so a train which can start out as diesel powered and be converted to electric power later will have more life than one which can't.

 

The original concept IIRC was HST replacement (HST2).

The DfT view at the time is that Electrification is The Work Of The Devil, so this is a strictly diesel train**, but convertible to bionic duckweed or somesuch when we invent a brilliant new technology for making trains go, ideally one not involving electric wires.

 

The spec said this new train MUST NOT have underfloor engines - so that ruled the 180 and Voyager platforms out before they started. 

 

(Though just because one fleet has a tilt profile bodyshell doesn't mean that the next build would have to have that, the MML fleet has a different body profile to the Virgin built ones already...)

 

(**WRT the Western region order....)

 

I'm going to really go for it now and suggest maybe a fleet of nine car tilting Voyagers would not have been such a bad idea for the WoE main line

As above the government mandate for this specifically ruled out underfloor engines.

 

(But I agree it would have been far simpler and cheaper...)

 

But in the good old days the new trains were better than the ones they replaced, I wonder what went wrong this time?

Dare I ask when were the good old days? ;) 

 

I suspect most if not all new trains have been moaned at by passengers for something or other - certainly true in my lifetime - true of the HSTs when they were new!

 

But those Paignton and Exmouth trains also go to Barnstaple so that would have to be included.

They only involve Barnstaple till the next timetable change IIRC, so you could wire Exmouth-Paignton - suitable for 4 car units, of which there are plenty (or at least will be by the time anyone could get a wire up...)

 

Of course, we've now come full circle, Electrification is The Work Of The Devil again. Soon they'll be trying to sort the high ripoff cost of new trains by procuring something better...

Edited by Glorious NSE
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 you show an astonishing ignorance of the actual, and aspirational traffic patterns on the WoE line. As for the Chippenham to Bristol user, you should have seen the crowds waiting for the 13:44 Down this afternoon; as good as for any weekday morning rush hour train. I know it's late running (seemingly due to problems changing from electric to diesel) potentially increased its actual numbers, but few passengers arrived on the platform after its booked time. 

 

Running a railway is a rather more complex task than it appears.

He is obsessed with speeding up the end to end journey times so his much loved IETs will be quicker than the HSTs, of course the only way they can do that is to run them fast missing out a lot of the intermediate stations but passenger journey requirements mean those stops are required because there are more and more people travelling by rail and the railway should be serving them instead of going for these pointless 'headline' trains.

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Dare I ask when were the good old days? ;)

I suspect most if not all new trains have been moaned at by passengers for something or other - certainly true in my lifetime - true of the HSTs when they were new!

Steam to hydraulic, then Hydraulic to 50s, then to HSTs and then, oh hang on, thats where it falls apart.  :laugh:

Each one led to a speeding up of the service (nearly all services) which increased the passenger numbers, I wonder what will happen this time round?

 

They only involve Barnstaple till the next timetable change IIRC, so you could wire Exmouth-Paignton - suitable for 4 car units, of which there are plenty (or at least will be by the time anyone could get a wire up...)

 

Thats interesting, I have lost track since moving to Fraggle Rock.

4 coach electrics would work very well on that route.

 

Of course, we've now come full circle, Electrification is The Work Of The Devil again. Soon they'll be trying to sort the high ripoff cost of new trains by procuring something better...

 

Maybe they need to get some decent rail Engineers and Managers in as consultants to work out what went wrong?

Edited by royaloak
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(Though just because one fleet has a tilt profile bodyshell doesn't mean that the next build would have to have that, the MML fleet has a different body profile to the Virgin built ones already...)

 

 

Does it? I know the front ends are different but I thought the rest of the bodyshell was the same (just equipment moved round to take advantage of not needing tilt equipment).

 

When you change a tilt profile body to a 'normal' one you're not buying an existing design any more.

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Does it? I know the front ends are different but I thought the rest of the bodyshell was the same (just equipment moved round to take advantage of not needing tilt equipment).

 

When you change a tilt profile body to a 'normal' one you're not buying an existing design any more.

 

From what I remember the main change for the Meridians was the placing of the doors at 1/3 and 2/3rds due to experience gained the hard way on the Voyagers with dwell time problems due to passengers having to use doors at the end of the coaches.  I wasn't aware of the difference in control software.

 

Jamie

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From what I remember the main change for the Meridians was the placing of the doors at 1/3 and 2/3rds due to experience gained the hard way on the Voyagers with dwell time problems due to passengers having to use doors at the end of the coaches. 

 

A very quick internet search will show that this isn't the case.

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A very quick internet search will show that this isn't the case.

Difficult to be positive, but the doors on the Meridian look more or less in the same place as on the Voyager in these photos. They may be slightly more inboard on the 222, but not by much.

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XYsKXYhXM-NDNmOXFacGwyc0E/view?usp=drivesdk

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XYsKXYhXM-Z1FxbElkQ2p3RVk/view?usp=drivesdk

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XYsKXYhXM-RkdjTU9GUmxDbm8/view?usp=drivesdk

 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-XYsKXYhXM-aUNMcXJwTlFaa3M/view?usp=drivesdk

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He is obsessed with speeding up the end to end journey times so his much loved IETs will be quicker than the HSTs, of course the only way they can do that is to run them fast missing out a lot of the intermediate stations but passenger journey requirements mean those stops are required because there are more and more people travelling by rail and the railway should be serving them instead of going for these pointless 'headline' trains.

 

You only have to read the media that comes out of the West Country's main population centers to know I am not the only one obsessed by the end to end journey time.

 

Particularly, the good people of Plymouth who have long complained that, in national terms, they have been hard done by in terms of rail infrastructure.

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The original concept IIRC was HST replacement (HST2).

The DfT view at the time is that Electrification is The Work Of The Devil, so this is a strictly diesel train**, but convertible to bionic duckweed or somesuch when we invent a brilliant new technology for making trains go, ideally one not involving electric wires.

"Bionic Duckweed" wasn't part of HST2.

It came later on with the early ideas in the IEP.

Uncle Roger's "Bionic Duckweed" was a reference to the aspect of the original IEP specification that included a ("nice to have") capability that the self powered versions of the trains (i.e. diesels) would be able to have their power plants replaced with any new technology power source at a later date.

That meant that if over the life of the trains, something for example, like economically and practically viable fuel cell power, could be installed to replace the original power plant.

At the time, this did appear to be very forward thinking, if somewhat blue-sky.

 

As it turns out, the self powered versions of the actual end result, can have their power plants replaced if need be.

 

 

The spec said this new train MUST NOT have underfloor engines - so that ruled the 180 and Voyager platforms out before they started.

 

That is correct. 

 

....the MML fleet has a different body profile to the Virgin built ones already...)  

Does it? I know the front ends are different but I thought the rest of the bodyshell was the same (just equipment moved round to take advantage of not needing tilt equipment)......

 

Same body shell profile.

Same Delner coupling system.

Different front end (lights and lower front).

Different electrical control system and electrical coupling.

Different interior layout with some equipment moved to underfloor and more seating.

 

 

From what I remember the main change for the Meridians was the placing of the doors at 1/3 and 2/3rds due to experience gained the hard way on the Voyagers.......

A very quick internet search will show that this isn't the case.

Sorry Jamie.

Not correct.

End doors all round on the 220, 221 & 222.

 

 

MLD-EMT-222.jpg

 

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron

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Thus far, the only TOCs that have ordered IETs are those TOCs that have been told they must have them, or follow on orders, where doing anything different didn't add up.

 

The TOC's who will be operating the IET's as a result of the IEP (Greater Western and Inter City East Coast franchises) have not ordered anything.

The DafT have ordered the IEP IET's, even though they won't be paying for them.

 

 

It's very noticeable that Greater Anglia did not order them (why not) when at one time Uncle Roger was telling us the intention was that IETs were going to spread far and wide, he even specifically mentioned Kings Lynn.

 

The IEP analysed and identified routes where a new inter city fleet might be deployed.

East Anglia was ruled out and thought better suited to a Class 444 regional express type train.

That view has been mirrored by NR and the DafT at other times over the last decade.

 

WCML was ruled out as at the time, as a brand new fleet of Pendolinos had just gone into service, with a 30+ year life ahead of them. 

Also, the nature of the line and the tilt requirement, ruled out this particular train as the main inter city type for the WCML.

I don't believe it ruled them out for other services that used the WCML though, e.g. Cross Country, open access etc.

 

The IEP suggested further deployment across the network over time, as the need emerged.

e.g. rolling electrification electrification resulting in Bi-Modes being moved to other lines etc.

 

 

Supposedly there will be new (non-tilting) trains ordered for the next WCML franchise, to supplement the Pendolinos, will be interesting to see if they're IETs.

 

It's entirely possible.

The all-electric version would make a sensible replacement for diesel powered Super Voyagers on services such as Birmingham to Scotland, which runs fully under the wires.

It's not as if there's another off-the-shelf inter city train readily available ATM.

 

.

Edited by Ron Ron Ron

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