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Class 800 - Updates


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Eurostar manage to have first in the middle.

But they also have fully reserved seating and very few stations.

 

Many commuter operators (those which haven't just ditched first completely) also have first in the middle. Even GWR did whilst they had their 180s.

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In the days when cars had side corridors, that solution might have been more acceptable. But the open saloon layout now universally adopted needs to restrict the passage of thieves, vagabonds and the great unwashed, in search of a seat in the steerage, through those sections of the train where people have paid a lot more to avoid such vulgar incursions. Whether the existing 8xx design has mastered that is another matter, of course.

 

If the first class is split in two and half of it placed behind each drivers cab, it would solve that problem whilst still being symmetrical. Whether it would cause any others I don't know...

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If the first class is split in two and half of it placed behind each drivers cab, it would solve that problem whilst still being symmetrical. Whether it would cause any others I don't know...

Serving food and drink at seat to 1st class would be more awkward then.

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Eurostar manage to have first in the middle.

But they also have fully reserved seating and very few stations.

 

As you say they had fully reserved seating...and they were long enough to have a buffet car on each side of first class...not that that would be an issue with an IET.

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So to today's experience.  we there were some good points to observe the most enjoyable of which was watching an empty stone train being turned onto the Down Main at Twyford West (Land's end) more or less across the bows of one Class 80X worked train on the Up Main - which was brought to a dead stand - and another on the Down Main which received a very had check but just about kept rolling.  Good job the stone train was crossed over as that got it out of the way of the following stopper on the Down Relief but the ensuing entanglement at Reading with an HST blocking Platform 14 and sundry other odd moves also spread the joy of the signal failure which was at the root of the problems in the area.

 

But back to Class 80X and while I saw several sets the right way round only two trains happened to be correct in all respects and that was because they were worked by single sets (1 x 9 car and 1 x 5 car); all the coupled pairs I saw were wrong in one respect or another.  Hence my trains to Bristol Parkway, and return, both had the London end 5 car set the wrong way round putting the 1st Class in the middle of the train.  At least two different methods of tackling the Steventon bridge conundrum have been observed in the Down direction but the fact that we switched over to diesel at Didcot this morning might be because we were stationary there, we definitely went back on the juice in the vicinity of Lockinge, with an accompanying vast improvement in acceleration to match.  From what I could see of them it looked as if the PIS screens at Didcot were accurately reflecting the Down formation but had possibly given up trying to solve the conundrum in respect of the Up working although I didn't get such a good view of that screen from the train.

 

As ever Reading were on the ball in terms of advising the actual formation and Parkway were equally good at it for the return journey - the passengers at Reading knew what they were at but I'm not quite so sure about what was happening at Parkway where people tend in any case to congregate near the bottom of the footbridge steps.

 

Regrettably the return ride was some of the worst I have yet encountered on one of these trains - and it was in the motor compo (on the Up working) which experience to date suggests normally rides better than the driving trailer.  On two occasions the ride became too rough to carry on writing and just west of Uffington.  An interesting comparison with Saturday where the ride in the equivalent vehicle in 802 021 was not too bad at all at any point whereas today on 800 012 it was on several occasions at the sort of level I would have immediately reported on detraining  had it been that bad on an HST (note * below).   An obvious question might be 'does the ride deteriorate as mileage builds?',  and if so what is being done about it?

 

Incidentally I diid observe, at Reading, a 2x5 pairing on a Paddington - Penzance train which left me wondering just how badly overloaded some of these trains might become in the busier times of the year?

 

Now back to the sets being the wrong way round.  Well one result of this was readily observed today at both Swindon and Didcot and it is exactly as Ian (Olddudders) suggested - because the 1st Class end of the leading set is trailing people get in and walk through the the 1st Class part of Coach D in order to reach the Standard Class.  With the trains correctly formed it could, and probably does, happen to a lesser extent in Coach D (the compo in the trailing set of a 2x5 formation) but the general tendency for entraining passengers is to walk forwards when getting in and looking for a seat.  But of course in reality it doesn't matter where folk get in because they will inevitably be walking through one or more vehicles in any case and the aisle in Standard Class is narrower which does not help.

 

Overall it still comes back to the very basic discipline of getting sets and combinations of them correctly orientated and dealing with the consequences of reversals, and I bet the train presentation (to the operator) part of the contract doesn't address that very basic situation.

 

'Note *.  An obvious question is why didn't I report it today?  Well in the past I would have been speaking to a member of Control staff who knew me. knew what my job was, and could put a 'value' on what I was saying - in fact it could well be that it would be a Controller who would in various circumstances be asking me for advice or a decision on something.  Plenty of passengers (and nowadays I am of course exactly that, an ordinary passenger) have over the years reported all sorts of things on trains and 'rough riding' is a very subjective one particularly if the location is not identified as well and in my experience usually turned out to be more alarmist than an accurate reflection of something serious.  So yes - you have no choice but to take a different standpoint on many matters if you're 'outside the fence' but I havre reported (to NR) visible track defects supported by photos and they have quickly dealt with them - that is not usually a subjective matter.

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That would have taken some planning . . . a skill which DaFT seem to be lacking . . .

 

John

 

 

If the first class is split in two and half of it placed behind each drivers cab, it would solve that problem whilst still being symmetrical. Whether it would cause any others I don't know...

 

If a multiple unit is classed as 'high speed' (can go more than 110mph) under various EU directives, it requires a largish 'crumple zone' behind each cab that cannot be4 used for passenger accommodation to protect said passengers in the result of a high speed impact. However said directives place no obligation to protect railway staff from said fate and just like the driver at the front end, it is perfectly permissible to install a kitchen or a guards office in said space.

 

Now given the previous marketing strategy (even if it is on the wain these days) has been to offer first class customers complementary food and drinks it makes sense to have the kitchen in close proximity to the first class accommodation - but if the kitchen is placed anywhere other than the 'crumple zone' it is taking up space that could be used for passenger seats.

 

So, as Virgin first demonstrated with the Pendalino fleet - if you are going to have a kitchen on board, the logical place to have it is in one of the driving cars, which then logically puts all the first class accommodation at one end of the unit to keep it close to the kitchen.

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Without reading all the thread, which way round should 2 x 5 cars be? First Class was in the first 2 and the last 2 of the train I caught from Newport to Cardiff, and i seem to recall coach A was 5th from the front.

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Without reading all the thread, which way round should 2 x 5 cars be? First Class was in the first 2 and the last 2 of the train I caught from Newport to Cardiff, and i seem to recall coach A was 5th from the front.

 

First class should always be at the London end, as before.

 

If a multiple unit is classed as 'high speed' (can go more than 110mph) under various EU directives, it requires a largish 'crumple zone' behind each cab that cannot be4 used for passenger accommodation to protect said passengers in the result of a high speed impact. However said directives place no obligation to protect railway staff from said fate and just like the driver at the front end, it is perfectly permissible to install a kitchen or a guards office in said space.

 

It looks to me as if the kitchen in an IET is in the 'passenger' area (i.e. at the other end, there are seats in the equivalent place).

 

I thought the restriction on passenger seats in the front of a 100 mph+ train was a UK not an EU requirement. (Hence the rather nice ICE sets in Germany where you can look through the cab 1st generation DMU style, but at 300 kph...)

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Overall it still comes back to the very basic discipline of getting sets and combinations of them correctly orientated and dealing with the consequences of reversals, and I bet the train presentation (to the operator) part of the contract doesn't address that very basic situation.

That really is beyond Hitachi's control, as has been pointed out. There's no way of turning them on shed, so the sets emerge from the depots in the alignment which GWR presented them. Getting them turned round is really GWRs issue.

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Interesting to see Gwiwer's observation that an HST can be full as far as Truro; How busy would such a train be as far as Plymouth !? Or are there are large numbers joining at Plymouth to replace those alighting there ?

 

Here's a lovely photo from late on a damp monday afternoon in mid-december 2017, and a very cheerfully loaded HST arrived, surprising me that it was so well loaded - passengers had already been pouring off the platform for a minute or two.

post-24457-0-96608500-1548713309_thumb.jpg

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First class should always be at the London end, as before.

 

 

It looks to me as if the kitchen in an IET is in the 'passenger' area (i.e. at the other end, there are seats in the equivalent place).

 

I thought the restriction on passenger seats in the front of a 100 mph+ train was a UK not an EU requirement. (Hence the rather nice ICE sets in Germany where you can look through the cab 1st generation DMU style, but at 300 kph...)

 

The 'no passengers anywhere in the leading vehicle if the train goes faster than 100mph' rule (which gave rise to the Mk3 & Mk4 DVTs with no passenger accommodation at all!) was indeed a UK only requirement.

 

The purpose of this regulation was to protect passengers in the event of a crash - having seen what happened when a lightweight DBSO hit a load of cows at Polmont in 1984 causing 13 passenger deaths https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polmont_rail_accident

 

Having a non passenger vehicle leading was therefore regarded as a 'must' by the HMRI / DfT and as such all BR DVTs were built without passenger accommodation.

 

Following privatisation, pressure from Virgin (along with evidence from elsewhere in Europe) saw the regulation relaxed with the proviso that there must be an energy absorbing crumple zone immediately behind the drivers cab in which passengers were not permitted to be seated - but staff use was fine. Hence the logic of providing a catering or things like cycle storage in the portion of the train designed to crumple and absorb the collision energy.

 

That said, it may well be that with the evidence of the Grayrigg derailment in their hands, the ORR has relaxed the rules again and shortening the crumple zone so more passenger accommodation can be provided in the driving vehicles of the IETs. This decision may also be influenced by various EU interoperability directives that reduce the scope for 'bespoke' national regulations.

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Why didn't they put the first class in the middle so it doesn't matter which way round the set is running? Orientation doesn't matter when the trains are symmetrical.

 

Geoff Endacott

Would you like the great unwashed traipsing back and forward after paying the sort of money they charge for 1ST Class?

I wouldnt!

 

I remember all the rremarks from 1ST class passengers on SWTs 450s, they were not happy about it!

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802104 must have been out because it had a diesel only restriction on it today!  :jester:

Thanks for the update, it fills another gap.

 

In another update: I'd not previously seen anything to suggest that 802105 had been delivered, but I have this evening seen a photo of it out on tests today.   

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So to today's experience.  we there were some good points to observe the most enjoyable of which was watching an empty stone train being turned onto the Down Main at Twyford West (Land's end) more or less across the bows of one Class 80X worked train on the Up Main - which was brought to a dead stand - and another on the Down Main which received a very had check but just about kept rolling.  Good job the stone train was crossed over as that got it out of the way of the following stopper on the Down Relief but the ensuing entanglement at Reading with an HST blocking Platform 14 and sundry other odd moves also spread the joy of the signal failure which was at the root of the problems in the area.

 

But back to Class 80X and while I saw several sets the right way round only two trains happened to be correct in all respects and that was because they were worked by single sets (1 x 9 car and 1 x 5 car); all the coupled pairs I saw were wrong in one respect or another.  Hence my trains to Bristol Parkway, and return, both had the London end 5 car set the wrong way round putting the 1st Class in the middle of the train.  At least two different methods of tackling the Steventon bridge conundrum have been observed in the Down direction but the fact that we switched over to diesel at Didcot this morning might be because we were stationary there, we definitely went back on the juice in the vicinity of Lockinge, with an accompanying vast improvement in acceleration to match.  From what I could see of them it looked as if the PIS screens at Didcot were accurately reflecting the Down formation but had possibly given up trying to solve the conundrum in respect of the Up working although I didn't get such a good view of that screen from the train.

 

As ever Reading were on the ball in terms of advising the actual formation and Parkway were equally good at it for the return journey - the passengers at Reading knew what they were at but I'm not quite so sure about what was happening at Parkway where people tend in any case to congregate near the bottom of the footbridge steps.

 

Regrettably the return ride was some of the worst I have yet encountered on one of these trains - and it was in the motor compo (on the Up working) which experience to date suggests normally rides better than the driving trailer.  On two occasions the ride became too rough to carry on writing and just west of Uffington.  An interesting comparison with Saturday where the ride in the equivalent vehicle in 802 021 was not too bad at all at any point whereas today on 800 012 it was on several occasions at the sort of level I would have immediately reported on detraining  had it been that bad on an HST (note * below).   An obvious question might be 'does the ride deteriorate as mileage builds?',  and if so what is being done about it?

 

Incidentally I diid observe, at Reading, a 2x5 pairing on a Paddington - Penzance train which left me wondering just how badly overloaded some of these trains might become in the busier times of the year?

 

Now back to the sets being the wrong way round.  Well one result of this was readily observed today at both Swindon and Didcot and it is exactly as Ian (Olddudders) suggested - because the 1st Class end of the leading set is trailing people get in and walk through the the 1st Class part of Coach D in order to reach the Standard Class.  With the trains correctly formed it could, and probably does, happen to a lesser extent in Coach D (the compo in the trailing set of a 2x5 formation) but the general tendency for entraining passengers is to walk forwards when getting in and looking for a seat.  But of course in reality it doesn't matter where folk get in because they will inevitably be walking through one or more vehicles in any case and the aisle in Standard Class is narrower which does not help.

 

Overall it still comes back to the very basic discipline of getting sets and combinations of them correctly orientated and dealing with the consequences of reversals, and I bet the train presentation (to the operator) part of the contract doesn't address that very basic situation.

 

'Note *.  An obvious question is why didn't I report it today?  Well in the past I would have been speaking to a member of Control staff who knew me. knew what my job was, and could put a 'value' on what I was saying - in fact it could well be that it would be a Controller who would in various circumstances be asking me for advice or a decision on something.  Plenty of passengers (and nowadays I am of course exactly that, an ordinary passenger) have over the years reported all sorts of things on trains and 'rough riding' is a very subjective one particularly if the location is not identified as well and in my experience usually turned out to be more alarmist than an accurate reflection of something serious.  So yes - you have no choice but to take a different standpoint on many matters if you're 'outside the fence' but I havre reported (to NR) visible track defects supported by photos and they have quickly dealt with them - that is not usually a subjective matter.

 

We have had a few rough rides not reported by drivers, but by texts to the NR tweet account, who have then got P-way out to the report location. The first we know about this is P-way asking where the rough ride actually is, and we not knowing anything about it.....(or an Line block being requested to do some packing).

Mind you the ride is so poor around here at the minute (The Fen has shrunk a lot this year) that I'm amazed we haven't had more rough rides reported!

 

Andy G

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Would you like the great unwashed traipsing back and forward after paying the sort of money they charge for 1ST Class?

I wouldnt!

 

I remember all the rremarks from 1ST class passengers on SWTs 450s, they were not happy about it!

Ditto 350s, of course, every time I ride them! At least the conductor generally manages to come through as well.
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On 28 January 2019 at 7:03 PM, The Stationmaster said:

An obvious question might be 'does the ride deteriorate as mileage builds?',  and if so what is being done about it?

Same experience here Mike - brand new 802s generally ride markedly better than early build 800s.  The Eastbound ride of the latter over Tilehurst East at line speed is getting very rough.  Likewise the bogies of most of Reading's 387s are now hunting continuously in the 100-110mph speed range, taking me back to the bad old days of worn Mk1 stock on original bogies - not in the scary zone yet, but a disappointingly quick deterioration in ride quality.

David

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On 1/28/2019 at 8:44 PM, Zomboid said:

That really is beyond Hitachi's control, as has been pointed out. There's no way of turning them on shed, so the sets emerge from the depots in the alignment which GWR presented them. Getting them turned round is really GWRs issue.

I would think it was very much in Hitachi's control when sets first delivered into traffic were the wrong way round.  all GWR got was a new train presented off depot incorrectly formed.  Getting turned in traffic is one thing - and obviously that can really only be corrected in traffic (although sometimes in the past with HSTs it was corrected before they re-entered traffic).  But coming fresh into traffic the wrong way round or incorrectly formed is 100% down to Hitachi and is clearly something where the contract for train presentation was either not properly drafted or is not being applied

Very straightforward situation when you're running a depot - an important part of presenting trains for traffic is having them correctly formed.  And what is a happening with Hitachi is very different from trains being presented in reverse formation (a comparatively simple thing to handle until such time as the train is reversed).  For example if the four 1st Class vehicles are in the middle of the train then one set is the wrong way round and reversing the train won't make any difference because one set will still be the wrong way round - as happened on the very first day of public operation when the train came into traffic formed like that; its first revenue earning trip. 

On 1/28/2019 at 9:13 PM, 96701 said:

On a 2 X 5 car, does that mean they should be coaches 1,2, 5 & 6? 

On an Up train the 1st Class should be should be in coaches  (London end) 1 & 2 and 6 & 7.  On a Down train it should be in coaches 4 & 5 and 9 & 10 (London end)

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SWT introduced their 444s in 10 car sets with the first class sections in the middle, deliberately.

The GWR network is littered with triangles and potential balloon loops (admittedly not all will be passed for 80x units), but they've basically chosen not to take advantage of them.

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15 hours ago, The Stationmaster said:

I would think it was very much in Hitachi's control when sets first delivered into traffic were the wrong way round.  all GWR got was a new train presented off depot incorrectly formed.  Getting turned in traffic is one thing - and obviously that can really only be corrected in traffic (although sometimes in the past with HSTs it was corrected before they re-entered traffic).  But coming fresh into traffic the wrong way round or incorrectly formed is 100% down to Hitachi and is clearly something where the contract for train presentation was either not properly drafted or is not being applied

Very straightforward situation when you're running a depot - an important part of presenting trains for traffic is having them correctly formed.  And what is a happening with Hitachi is very different from trains being presented in reverse formation (a comparatively simple thing to handle until such time as the train is reversed).  For example if the four 1st Class vehicles are in the middle of the train then one set is the wrong way round and reversing the train won't make any difference because one set will still be the wrong way round - as happened on the very first day of public operation when the train came into traffic formed like that; its first revenue earning trip. 

On an Up train the 1st Class should be should be in coaches  (London end) 1 & 2 and 6 & 7.  On a Down train it should be in coaches 4 & 5 and 9 & 10 (London end)

If Hitachi had any sense, and I will presume that they did, they will have ensured that their contractual arrangements avoid any liability for sets being turned in service, or presented in the wrong order when coupled up anywhere outside the depots, as they simply have no control over what happens out on the railway. That is entirely in the hands of the train operator and the infrastructure operator between them, who between them have to react to the realities of the real world. What complicates matters further is the trains being specified by a third party, the DfT, whose understanding of what really happens on a railway system may be questionable.

All that is certain is that it is a bit of a dog's breakfast.

Jim 

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