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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.

 

 

The original GW IET timetable proposal envisaged four trains per hour to Bristol, two of which would be limited stop (Parkway and Swindon or Reading) and one of which would be extended to Exeter or Paignton.

 

I have read nothing since or noticed cancellation of train orders to suggest that is no longer the plan.

 

How hard would it be to extend a second Bristol train say to Plymouth, running non-stop to Exeter, and substituting a class 800 with a class 802.

 

I am not suggesting the Westbury route should be run down, quite the contrary, but not every train needs to go to the far West to maintain its level of service.

 

It's probably academic to talk of further electrification but the via Bristol route is the obvious one, not least with its potential for knock on effect for further XC electrification. Of course, if that were the case, places like Wooton Basset would probably need flying junctions and Swindon to Didcot four tracking but, forgive me for pointing out, that is exactly the kind of thing that has been happening on both the WCML and ECML as they have been upgraded.

 

We seem to be forgetting that the class 802s will be bi-mode, well what's the point of that just to get to Newbury, how many tanks of diesel full could be saved going via Bristol (not to mention emissions) and let's also see how the track access charge debate pans out. If lowering that pantograph turns out to be more expensive than keeping it up, I know which way I would want to send my trains, most especially if it turned out to be quicker as well.

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D854_Tiger, on 24 Feb 2018 - 14:26, said:snapback.png

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.

 

Well I'm confused now.

 

Who ordered the GWR 802s?

 

If we're going to split hairs, we can say they aren't part of the IEP, they're just trains with a nearly identical design to the IEP trains. (And to really split hairs, since so far as I know the original idea was for a train which could be also be used elsewhere, you could argue that follow-on orders are in a sense also part of the IEP).

 

GWR is calling its 800 IETs and it would be somewhat confusing not to say perverse were they to decide to call the 802s something else.

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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.

 

 

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.

 

.

 

 

I would be most interested to understand how the GA Norwich route differs from the GW Bristol and Cardiff routes.

 

The look pretty similar to me, apart from a noticeable lack of wires on two of those routes, and one might believe ideal for this standard IC train design we have been promised and paid through the nose for.

 

I'm sorry but a standard IC train design that turns out to be not so standard is either a failed design or is a mistake that is now being scuppered by the kind backtracking that strongly suggests a**e covering.

 

I will tell you what it looks like to me someone thought the IEP was good idea, it wasn't and it turned out to be an expensive mistake and the current bunch of incumbents are engaged in damage limitation over an idea they find it hard to really care about because it wasn't their idea.

 

The one saving grace the IEP has going for it, currently, and keeps politicians attention focused is that it's built over here but other train builders are about to do the same thing and unless those IET leasing costs come down ....

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D854_Tiger, on 24 Feb 2018 - 14:26, said:snapback.png

 

 

Well I'm confused now.

 

Who ordered the GWR 802s?

 

If we're going to split hairs, we can say they aren't part of the IEP, they're just trains with a nearly identical design to the IEP trains. (And to really split hairs, since so far as I know the original idea was for a train which could be also be used elsewhere, you could argue that follow-on orders are in a sense also part of the IEP).

 

GWR is calling its 800 IETs and it would be somewhat confusing not to say perverse were they to decide to call the 802s something else.

 

 

I suspect the class 802s will mostly be called cheaper.

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I would be most interested to understand how the GA Norwich route differs from the GW Bristol and Cardiff routes.

 

GA don't have to run any further is the difference. The GWR inter city trains have to run to Hereford, Swansea, Plymouth etc, whereas there most recent buzz word for the GEML was "Norwich in 90"; ie the longest journey on the route would be an hour and a half. Not the 3 hours (or so) that many GWR trains have to run.

 

If the GWR service didn't go past Bristol or Cardiff then a train like a 444 might make a lot of sense.

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Stop press!

 

GWR try a new seat covering for their IETs to improve both durability and comfort.

 

post-6880-0-41817300-1519566256.jpg

Edited by Peter Kazmierczak
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GA don't have to run any further is the difference. The GWR inter city trains have to run to Hereford, Swansea, Plymouth etc, whereas there most recent buzz word for the GEML was "Norwich in 90"; ie the longest journey on the route would be an hour and a half. Not the 3 hours (or so) that many GWR trains have to run.

 

If the GWR service didn't go past Bristol or Cardiff then a train like a 444 might make a lot of sense.

 

Well GA are ordering bi-modes and one reason why more trains from London don't go to say Yarmouth has always been the lack of wires, then how much difference is there between a class 444 and an all electric class 801, apart from top speed, they are both EMUs.

 

BR certainly viewed the former GE lines as worthy of similar equipment to other IC routes, class 47s, class 86s and class 90s plus mk3.

 

It just seems to me, here we are three orders in, and the concept of a standard IC design has already gone out of the window, however, I guess the test of the IEP concept will be what gets ordered for the MML and whatever comes next on XC.

 

My guess is that Hitachi will not be given a free pass, will have to compete and why not, but, if so, that does rather blow a hole in the whole IEP concept of a standardised national fleet and beg the question why anyone bothered.

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D854_Tiger, on 24 Feb 2018 - 14:26, said:snapback.png

 

 

Well I'm confused now.

 

Who ordered the GWR 802s?

 

 

 

GWR did off their own bat - and got a far better lease deal than the 800s procured by the DfT on behalf of the franchise (the ECML batch has similarly sky high leasing charges for the same reason)

 

GWR went for the 802s mainly because it helped with fleet standardisation. At the time of ordering the 800s pretty much all InterCity operations were in the hands of a single train type (the HST). With Hatachi already investing in maintenance facilities dedicated to the 800s it made logistical sense to go for the 802s for West of England services (at one stage the HSTs were going to be refurbished and retained for these services). However because FGW had a free hand, Hitachi responded with a competitive leasing deal.

 

Had the DfT not effectively forced 800s on them, its quite possible that GWR may have developed a plan based around the offerings of another manufacturer - remember that before the DfT selected Hitachi as their development partner, the likes of Siemens and Alstom were interested in providing 'next generation' InterCity trains to replace the HSTs and had train procurement been left in the hands of the ROSCos / TOCs you could well have had a number of potential options out there for FGW etc to chose from at far more competitive prices than the DfT offering.

Edited by phil-b259

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GWR did off their own bat - and got a far better lease deal than the 800s procured by the DfT on behalf of the franchise (the ECML batch has similarly sky high leasing charges for the same reason)

 

GWR went for the 802s mainly because it helped with fleet standardisation. At the time of ordering the 800s pretty much all InterCity operations were in the hands of a single train type (the HST). With Hatachi already investing in maintenance facilities dedicated to the 800s it made logistical sense to go for the 802s for West of England services (at one stage the HSTs were going to be refurbished and retained for these services). However because FGW had a free hand, Hitachi responded with a competitive leasing deal.

 

Had the DfT not effectively forced 800s on them, its quite possible that GWR may have developed a plan based around the offerings of another manufacturer - remember that before the DfT selected Hitachi as their development partner, the likes of Siemens and Alstom were interested in providing 'next generation' InterCity trains to replace the HSTs and had train procurement been left in the hands of the ROSCos / TOCs you could well have had a number of potential options out there for FGW etc to chose from at far more competitive prices than the DfT offering.

 

The notion you could ever have centralised planning, for the long term, under our political system is largely pie in the sky, most especially when you fail to back that up with longer than seven years for a franchise commitment. 

 

It always did sound rather half hearted, at least going back to letting the TOCs and the ROSCOs all go their own separate ways is being honest about it.

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The GA bi modes are only for the local services, not to run through trains between Yarmouth and London.

 

The route got the trains it had because they were available, this order is the first time in decades that the Norwich line has had new, purpose built trains. Just like how the Waterloo - Exeter line had whatever BR could find behind the sofa until the 159s came along.

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The notion you could ever have centralised planning, for the long term, under our political system is largely pie in the sky, most especially when you fail to back that up with longer than seven years for a franchise commitment. 

Just look at the disaster that is Chiltern with their 20 (or was it 25) year franchise spending their own money on Evergreen 1 and 2, the loco hauled sets etc knowing they would get a return on their investment, yep definitely a disaster, or as some of us would say, a model of how franchising should work!

Edited by royaloak

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The GA bi modes are only for the local services, not to run through trains between Yarmouth and London.

 

The route got the trains it had because they were available, this order is the first time in decades that the Norwich line has had new, purpose built trains. Just like how the Waterloo - Exeter line had whatever BR could find behind the sofa until the 159s came along.

 

Indeed and the class 159s were a standard design intended for and deployed across the entire network.

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Thanks for the clarifications about the Meridians. It shows how relying on memories can be fraught with danger.   

 

Jamie

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Stop press!

 

GWR try a new seat covering for their IETs to improve both durability and comfort.

 

attachicon.gifP1120984.JPG

 

They are also going to use those covers on the new Crossrail trains, to take account of the combination of no toilets and an ageing population.

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Indeed and the class 159s were a standard design intended for and deployed across the entire network.

 

Well, the 158's were.

 

I believe that the original 159's were deliberately made incompatible by NSE to prevent them from being deployed elsewhere (changed connectors round on the auto-couplers?)

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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.

But the people of Plymouth are only really interested in the travelling habits of the people of Plymouth arent they, they couldnt give 2 shakes of a rats tail about the people who would like to travel from the intermediate stations because that only serves to slow their journeys.

 

GWR on the other hand have to balance the travel requirements for every station along their routes.

 

Running non stop from Taunton to Reading saves quite a few minutes for the people already on the train over calling at Castle Cary, Westbury, Pewsey and Newbury but what are the people from those stations supposed to do, they havent got any alternatives so the 'fast' trains have to call there (Newbury do have the stopping services but they would be unable to load the passengers from the smaller stations if they were already full when they left Newbury).

 

Running train services are a balancing act about the requirements of lots of different people and seactors (timetabling, fleet, crew etc) so what is actually produced will try to balance everyone's requirements no matter how much noise one sector makes.

Edited by royaloak

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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.

 

As it happens 'all the branchlines' weren't 'left off'.  Greenford and Bourne End/Marlow were excluded - in both cases because of train length as neither Greenford nor Bourne End could accommodate a 4 car Class 387 set.  Windsor and Henley were both included in the electrification scheme albeit as supplementaries and not part of the original proposal but have subsequently been deferred (DafT speak for completely cancelled) under the Grayling led money saving cutback of GW electrification.  Both these branches would no doubt have used simple ohle because that is what has been used throughout the GW electrification ('simple' as opposed to compound catenary - which hasn't appeared in new UK electrification for many years).

 

Bedwyn was bo doubt left off because it simply couldn't be justified however one stacked the numbers.  Operationally leaving it off sounds daft as it is the current terminus for many B&H local trains.   On the other hand no extra bi-,mode 800s have been acquired to run services to Bedwyn, all that changed is the way in which 5 car units will be diagrammed in a way which would allow (some?)daytime off-peak trains to be covered through to Bedwyn.  whether or not that proposal will now happen remains unclear to me in view of the problems of extending the turnback siding at Bedwyn which at one stage NR was saying was no longer possible (A 'decision' they no doubt reached after actually realising what extending the siding would involve instead of what they thought it might involve before they'd looked at it - rather like the whole electrification scheme in microcosm almost where one simple question of those who knew the site would have told them what the potential problem was)

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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.

 

Scotrail never had a 'grand plan' to take on the HSTs, they only took them on because:-

 

(i) The leasing company offered a very good leasing deal  - scrapping stuff is actually pretty expensive due to UK / EU environmental laws (which is why most shipping gets rid of its surplus assets on the Beaches of India and Bangladesh where PPE is unheard of, child labour commonplace and the sea presents a useful dumping ground for all sorts of toxins)

 

(ii) The duties they will perform are not that taxing - only 4 coaches long rather than the 8 or nine being dragged round on the GWML and running at 100ph max, meaning less stress on the engines and other components

 

Had the HST fleet been retained on the GWML there wouldn't be any available for Scotrail - and while there would have been some spare in the event GWR kept a fleet to serve Exeter etc. that removes the savings to be gained by having a common fleet and may have caused pathing issues with the new electrics on the London - Reading stretch.

 

At the end of the day nothing goes on forever - as we see in the Heritage railway sector where locos require ever more expensive overhauls even though most will be travelling at a far lower speeds and hauling lighter loads than when working for British Railways. The HSTs are the same, yes you could keep them going forever but why do that when things like the ability to use OHL where it exsists and higher speeds are being sought by their traditional operators.

 

The use of HSTs in Scotland should therefore be looked at in the same way as when the A4s were used in Aberdeen services when Deltics displaced them from the ECML. A worthwhile use of an very good train in its final years (though that is likely to be a decade or so with the HSTs rather than a couple of years for the A4s), but one that results more from coincidence and economics of the moment. Put it this way, if the entire GA fleet can be replaced when a franchise is let, the next time the Scotrail franchise comes up for renewal it wouldn't surprise me to see new trains displace the HSTs....

Edited by phil-b259

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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.

 

As it happens 'all the branchlines' weren't 'left off'.  Greenford and Bourne End/Marlow were excluded - in both cases because of train length as neither Greenford nor Bourne End could accommodate a 4 car Class 387 set.  Windsor and Henley were both included in the electrification scheme albeit as supplementaries and not part of the original proposal but have subsequently been deferred (DafT speak for completely cancelled) under the Grayling led money saving cutback of GW electrification.  Both these branches would no doubt have used simple ohle because that is what has been used throughout the GW electrification ('simple' as opposed to compound catenary - which hasn't appeared in new UK electrification for many years).

 

Bedwyn was bo doubt left off because it simply couldn't be justified however one stacked the numbers.  Operationally leaving it off sounds daft as it is the current terminus for many B&H local trains.   On the other hand no extra bi-,mode 800s have been acquired to run services to Bedwyn, all that changed is the way in which 5 car units will be diagrammed in a way which would allow (some?)daytime off-peak trains to be covered through to Bedwyn.  whether or not that proposal will now happen remains unclear to me in view of the problems of extending the turnback siding at Bedwyn which at one stage NR was saying was no longer possible (A 'decision' they no doubt reached after actually realising what extending the siding would involve instead of what they thought it might involve before they'd looked at it - rather like the whole electrification scheme in microcosm almost where one simple question of those who knew the site would have told them what the potential problem was)

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As it happens 'all the branchlines' weren't 'left off'.  Greenford and Bourne End/Marlow were excluded - in both cases because of train length as neither Greenford nor Bourne End could accommodate a 4 car Class 387 set.  Windsor and Henley were both included in the electrification scheme albeit as supplementaries and not part of the original proposal but have subsequently been deferred (DafT speak for completely cancelled) under the Grayling led money saving cutback of GW electrification.  Both these branches would no doubt have used simple ohle because that is what has been used throughout the GW electrification ('simple' as opposed to compound catenary - which hasn't appeared in new UK electrification for many years).

 

Bedwyn was bo doubt left off because it simply couldn't be justified however one stacked the numbers.  Operationally leaving it off sounds daft as it is the current terminus for many B&H local trains.   On the other hand no extra bi-,mode 800s have been acquired to run services to Bedwyn, all that changed is the way in which 5 car units will be diagrammed in a way which would allow (some?)daytime off-peak trains to be covered through to Bedwyn.  whether or not that proposal will now happen remains unclear to me in view of the problems of extending the turnback siding at Bedwyn which at one stage NR was saying was no longer possible (A 'decision' they no doubt reached after actually realising what extending the siding would involve instead of what they thought it might involve before they'd looked at it - rather like the whole electrification scheme in microcosm almost where one simple question of those who knew the site would have told them what the potential problem was)

 

 

Judging by the number of class 802s GW has ordered they (or the DfT) must have big plans to increase the frequency of their services over the WoE route.

 

One magazine suggested there would be scope (under consideration) for an hourly London - Westbury (and probably Frome) IET service, covering all the stops between Newbury and Westbury, though class 800 as some of the class 802s are now being ear marked for the Cotswolds routes eventually (wonder why). There was also talk of some of these Westbury trains running through to Trowbridge and even Bristol.

 

Another hourly service would cover the stops between Westbury and Exeter, leaving the WoE express services to be either non-stop, one-stop or two-stop between Exeter and Reading. London - Plymouth would be served half-hourly by these faster trains for most (if not all) of the day.

 

That came from some press release GW sent out but with the health warning that the final timetable is still being finalised.

 

Commuter traffic has grown exponentially over recent years on the Westbury route, similar to the Cotswold Line, these railways are no longer the rural backwaters they were deemed to be back in the 1960/70 dark ages when rationalisation was the order of the day.

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If this sorry mess is the best Dot can do just think what calamities they will inflict under a nationalised railway!

 

Meanwhile people elsewhere in the country have to travel on worn out HSTs, 225 sets and bendy buses....think yourselves lucky to get new rolling stock at all!

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(ii) The duties they will perform are not that taxing - only 4 coaches long rather than the 8 or nine being dragged round on the GWML and running at 100ph max, meaning less stress on the engines and other components

 

 

Personally, I believe 2 + 4 (some will be 2+5) is f*****g ridiculous.

 

I am looking forward to it immensely.

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 Both these branches would no doubt have used simple ohle because that is what has been used throughout the GW electrification ('simple' as opposed to compound catenary - which hasn't appeared in new UK electrification for many years).

You cant help yourself can you!

 

When I said simple catenary I meant one of the simple contact only wire systems, no need for a catenary wire at all, or maybe a 'lightweight' system of catenary and contact wire, I did not mean compound catenary as was used on the 1500vDC Woodhead route.

 

Still, point to you I suppose.

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You cant help yourself can you!

 

When I said simple catenary I meant one of the simple contact only wire systems, no need for a catenary wire at all, or maybe a 'lightweight' system of catenary and contact wire, I did not mean compound catenary as was used on the 1500vDC Woodhead route.

 

Still, point to you I suppose.

In other words, trolley wire construction.

 

Jim

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I wonder if the cost saving of trolley wire would actually be worth it for the compromises which it would cause. It's considerably less robust than a catenary system (particularly under short circuit conditions, which is significant in an Autotransformer system), and is generally only used in very low speed areas such as depots and terminal stations. I don't know what the speed limit it would create is or how that would compare to the limit on those branches, but I imagine if those lines are wired it will be with a full OLE system.

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