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A1SLT Big Announcement: Future Projects

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alexl92

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Well, this is big. I'm not going to lie, I had to make sure it wasn't April 1st when I first read it, but it all looks legitimate.

https://www.a1steam.com/2016/10/04/tornado-get-state-o-art-charter-train/

Rather than quote the whole thing here, as it's quite long, I'm going to summarise:

  1. The A1SLT is planning to create a new charter train for Tornado (and presumably Prince of Wales from loco-hauled MK3 stock released from the Anglia franchise. This new train will include a kitchen car, a new support coach, a service vehicle for a generator and crew accommodation and extra water capacity to extend Tornado's range.
  2. They are also planning to start 90mph testing with Tornado with a view to running it at that speed on selected routes on the Mainline, with testing to start in Spring 2017. They apparently have DB Cargo's full support with this.
  3. The trust would like to move to a new base elsewhere in Darlington with a Mainline connection and more space for locomotive construction and maintenance etc. They would also like the site to potentially have room for a turntable and carriage shed for the new train, and are in discussions with the relevant authorities already.
  4. Finally, the Trust has decided that the next engine to be built following 2007 will be a Gresley V4 2-6-2 mixed traffic engine, followed by a V3 2-6-2 tank engine. Design work on the V4 will start in the next 12 months using 3D CAD.

Quite an announcement - probably the most ambitious and ground-breaking in New Build history since Tornado itself. I'm excited to see how this pans out.

I don't know how much work will be required to use a set of MK3s with Tornado - or what one would do about a brake coach, as no MK3 brake coaches were built. Perhaps convert a TGS?

Looking at Google Earth, I'm wondering if the new site may have something to do with the Head of Steam museum's site... There have been plans to close it for a while - maybe this could be a way of preserving heritage and using the land around the site? I'm just speculating. Either way, it'll be fascinating to watch things develop.
 
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Cowley

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I had to have a quick look at the calendar too! Blimey. I mean if anyone can pull all this together they can.
I can understand the sense of using mk3s, they are excellent coaches and I know that I'm not in any way the target audience but (and this is obviously a personal opinion) I can't help feeling that you would feel a bit isolated from the whole steam experience sealed up inside a relatively modern carriage.

As far as the rest of the new builds go they're certainly filling some of the major gaps in preservation and I wish them the very best of luck. Pretty inspiring really. Talk about thinking big.
 
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sng7

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I will admit to having checked the date as well but it does bode well for mainline steam if they can pull it all off, easier to path locomotives hauling more reliable coaching stock operated by the professionals at DB.
 

alexl92

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It does seem too good to be true, doesn't it? @Cowley, what I didn't mention in my summary but is stated on the website is that the Mark 3s would be adapted with openable windows. I don't know how they plan to do that, but clearly they're thinking about the Enthusiast experience. Someone even suggested putting teak vinyls on the mk3s!
 

Cowley

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It does seem too good to be true, doesn't it? @Cowley, what I didn't mention in my summary but is stated on the website is that the Mark 3s would be adapted with openable windows. I don't know how they plan to do that, but clearly they're thinking about the Enthusiast experience. Someone even suggested putting teak vinyls on the mk3s!

Wow. I wonder if they would actually be allowed to do that? Especially bearing in mind the recent news about the poor lad on the 442.
Well whatever happens the steam movement continues to grow, evolve and throw up big surprises.
Thanks for posting this.
 

alexl92

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There were three built; 17173, 17174 and 17175. They are all currently with Great Western and used on the Night Riviera.

Fascinating! And Cowley, presumably they are allowed? I was wondering that. You're welcome, the New Build stuff excites me hugely with its possibilities.
 

Bletchleyite

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It does seem too good to be true, doesn't it? @Cowley, what I didn't mention in my summary but is stated on the website is that the Mark 3s would be adapted with openable windows. I don't know how they plan to do that

By fitting them :)

There is a Mk3 coach with them already, it's in the Royal Scotsman set.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Wow. I wonder if they would actually be allowed to do that? Especially bearing in mind the recent news about the poor lad on the 442.

I expect they will be non-leanable hoppers.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
There were three built; 17173, 17174 and 17175. They are all currently with Great Western and used on the Night Riviera.

Or you just use a DVT for that purpose. There's no reason you have to be able to drive from it.
 

Townsend Hook

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Hhmm. Mk3. Soundproofing and no opening windows with a steam loco. Kind of defeats the object.... .

According to the press release opening windows will be fitted to allow passengers to hear the loco working.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Or you just use a DVT for that purpose. There's no reason you have to be able to drive from it.

True, but I imagine having gangways at both ends of the set would be preferred, given that on a steam charter the support coach is usually switched from one end of the rake to the other halfway through. Doesn't mean they won't use a DVT, just a potential consideration.

And before anyone else says it, they could always demotor a 442 brake car :p
 

gimmea50anyday

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jokes aside from the duplicate thread regarding using the 442's, the idea has merit but could be a logistical nightmare, there would be much work to do to make these carriages DDA compliant and useable with Tornado. thats going to cost money which may not be recoupable.

ETH will be needed, as a SV is proposed this may well include a genset, kitchen, storage area and crew quarters\rest area.

DDA compliance - Doors especially, tho Chiltern has proved this can be done

Toilets - dumping on to the track - tho again, proved it can be done as 442's had retention tanks.

Brake equipment - the 3 GW mk3s wont be available anytime soon, so a DVT, adding brake equipment to the SV or - dare I say it - using the MBRSM of a 442 could actually be feasable or at least recovering the equipment from them and adapting one of the standard mk3 carriages - Personally I cant see a DVT being used as the corridor connection onto the loco is often used AIUI and connected directly to the crew vehicle. the driving van would preclude this.

availability - GA or TPE mk3s will not be available until 2019, (TPE's mk3s arent even available now for TPE!) then there will be re-engineering work to be done on them before they can be used. I cant see them being out until well into 2020. Not that I don't think it cant be done, but the work may well be more extensive than people realise. while the 442s have been dismissed many times over as unworkable (and no doubt people are right) they are at least available, now! and certainly as far as the A1 boys are concerned, they did exactly what people said couldn't be done with the build of Tornado, and has triggered many other re-creational projects in the process (LMS 10000, Baby Deltic, defurbishment of CEP 7105)

But then there are benefits, CDL is already fitted, many vehicle types and variations are available, Parts are numerous in availability (compared to Mk1 and 2) route availability is also widespread and probably no more restrictive than Tornado itself (save for the swing link mods for 3rd rail territory but thats not really an issue) Traincrew knowledge is also extensive, defo an advantage as the current crews retire and younger staff step up who probably work on Mk3 in passenger service now, the ability to hire out to TOCs other charter firms bringing in valuable income the list goes on...

Yes, I joked about using the 442's on a different thread. And using mk3s will no doubt also be frowned upon by purists. But theres a lot of benefit in this project, and lets be honest, the charter market is crying out for some good quality rolling stock. Whether financially this is viable or not, the need has well and truly be identified.

(Seeing a mk3 with hopper ventilators will look rather wierd....
 
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Tempest3K

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Hhmm. Mk3. Soundproofing and no opening windows with a steam loco. Kind of defeats the object.... .

One of my colleagues suggested the current windows are similar to those on a 158, so shouldn't be a major task to add hopper type windows as mentioned on a couple of posts.
 

Townsend Hook

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On the subject of CET the press release says this will be fitted. No mention of power doors, so perhaps they are confident of receiving a derogation?
 

37038

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I'd like to see how fast Tornado gets to 90mph with a very heavy Mk3 set complete with additional (heavy) water capacity and a genny added instead of the same load of Mk1s...
 

alexl92

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One of my colleagues suggested the current windows are similar to those on a 158, so shouldn't be a major task to add hopper type windows as mentioned on a couple of posts.

A member of the A1 trust told me on Facebook that Belmond have already fitted opening windows to their MK3 equivalents in Ireland so shouldn't be a problem.

I'd like to see how fast Tornado gets to 90mph with a very heavy Mk3 set complete with additional (heavy) water capacity and a genny added instead of the same load of Mk1s...

That's a very fair point.
 

CosherB

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Let's hope this is a warning for the likes of WCRC and Riviera and their shabby Mk2s ..... I daresay the Mk3 LHCS will be in demand from a number of interested parties.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A member of the A1 trust told me on Facebook that Belmond have already fitted opening windows to their MK3 equivalents in Ireland so shouldn't be a problem.

Indeed .....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3dZHeNmDb4

:D
 

Tim R-T-C

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On the subject of CET the press release says this will be fitted. No mention of power doors, so perhaps they are confident of receiving a derogation?

Most charters have a steward in every car, so maybe this will allow them around this issue.
 

cjmillsnun

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On the subject of CET the press release says this will be fitted. No mention of power doors, so perhaps they are confident of receiving a derogation?

Are power doors required? I read a Porterbrook document for Mk3s that stated that an upgraded CDL plus interior handles would allow for the existing doors to be retained. If the interior handles were fitted then the drop lights could be locked OOU should that be deemed necessary.
 

Sprinter153

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I don't like the idea of Mk3 stock with internal handles. With the CDL bolts engaged you can't put the door on the catch or open it, but can leave it insecure with the handle down (it'll likely open of its own accord when the CDL bolts are released).
At my TOC a handle down is still considered a reportable door incident (and there are the obligatory competence investigations and CCTV reviews). A lot of passengers manage to misuse manual doors without the extra temptation of an internal handle.
 

MarkyT

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At the conference last weekend there was a little more detail in response to audience questions. The trust will probably acquire around twenty Mk3s in total. They plan to rebuild two to start with to trial the new interiors, which will feature table bays in standard with good window alignment (the original interior layout). The windows themselves will be changed for those featured in the Mk 3 based Belmond Grand Hibernian cars which debuted recently in Ireland. On doors the ORR is apparently extremely supportive of the principle of modernising charter fleets and Mk3s have central door locking which deals with the main safety issue. As to accessibility, the trust has a strong argument that in the charter market, trains usually have many more stewards and other staff on board to assist the disabled, so power doors may be unnecessary, as will the usual requirement for a contrasting door finish that could spoil a traditional livery. Clearly, the plan is to use the set for their own steam excursions but they also see a healthy hire market for a NE based train for non steam excursions.

Mk3 cars weigh exactly the same as Mk1s, between 33 and 36t depending on specific vehicle, and that is for a longer vehicle. They mentioned 2000 gallons of water capacity on the support vehicle so that would weigh about 9t.
 
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D1009

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I don't like the idea of Mk3 stock with internal handles. With the CDL bolts engaged you can't put the door on the catch or open it, but can leave it insecure with the handle down (it'll likely open of its own accord when the CDL bolts are released).
At my TOC a handle down is still considered a reportable door incident (and there are the obligatory competence investigations and CCTV reviews). A lot of passengers manage to misuse manual doors without the extra temptation of an internal handle.
Is it not possible to modify the existing CDL system to ensure this problem cannot arise, e.g. to lock the actual latch in place?
 

Cowley

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At the conference last weekend there was a little more detail in response to audience questions. The trust will probably acquire around twenty Mk3s in total. They plan to rebuild two to start with to trial the new interiors, which will feature table bays in standard with good window alignment (the original interior layout). The windows themselves will be changed for those featured in the Mk 3 based Belmond Grand Hibernian cars which debuted recently in Ireland. On doors the ORR is apparently extremely supportive of the principle of modernising charter fleets and Mk3s have central door locking which deals with the main safety issue. As to accessibility, the trust has a strong argument that in the charter market, trains usually have many more stewards and other staff on board to assist the disabled, so power doors may be unnecessary, as will the usual requirement for a contrasting door finish that could spoil a traditional livery. Clearly, the plan is to use the set for their own steam excursions but they also see a healthy hire market for a NE based train for non steam excursions.

Mk3 cars weigh exactly the same as Mk1s, between 33 and 36t depending on specific vehicle, and that is for a longer vehicle. They mentioned 2000 gallons of water capacity on the support vehicle so that would weigh about 9t.

A very informative post as usual Marky T thanks for that. I had a feeling that mk1s were fairly heavy, I remember hearing that mk2a and b were one of the lighter carriages.
 

Spamcan81

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I'd like to see how fast Tornado gets to 90mph with a very heavy Mk3 set complete with additional (heavy) water capacity and a genny added instead of the same load of Mk1s...

No mention of length of rake that I can see in the announcement so I would suggest they will not be sticking 12 MK.3s on the drawbar. When Bittern did her 90mph runs back in 2013 the rakes were shorter than was the norm. If the A1SLT are serious about 90mph running, I doubt they'll load the loco so much that she struggles to get there.
 

2392

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Here's an interesting thought/idea. Will the A1 boys be scumbling [i.e. painting the carriages in simulated teak] the proposed fleet of Mk3s' they are now thinking of getting in lieu of the rumoured Gresley Teak fleet.
 
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CosherB

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Cue paint wibble. Should be interesting as 'authentic' for the Mk3s is either BR blue and grey or InterCity. Mind you, Hosking has painted his air-con Mk2s in blood and custard ... ;)
 

Tim R-T-C

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I would expect maroon to be the least controversial choice. Teak would be fun, but likely to look very silly.

Depends whether Tornado is in LNER or BR greens at the time as well.
 

168lover

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I think overall this will be a good thing for the Railtour market in general. It shows that Tornado's owners are future proofing Tornado running on the mainline which can only be a good thing for the future of Railtours on the mainline!
 

edwin_m

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The LNER streamlined sets had underfloor fairings vaguely similar to those of the Mk3, although very different in other ways such as being articulated and having windows right up to the cantrail. But perhaps all-over silver or two-tone blue would be the livery to go for?
 
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