Abellio Greater Anglia Class 755s (Regional Trains)

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Hi all. I cant seem to find a thread specifically about these trains so i thought i would start one.

I just have a few questions. Where are the trains going to be built and tested? Is it Switzerland? I have heard a few different things about them being built and tested in the Czech Republic and in Romania as well. So I'm not entirely sure.

Are the AGA Stadler Flirt trains going to be similar to the ones already in use in Europe (like the ones in Belarus / Estonia / Germany / Poland etc)? What will be the main differences? I ask because i know a lot of the mainland european models are completely different when they come to the UK (like our Siemens Desiro trains are completely different to the mainland europe versions).

Is there any rough dates yet when they will first arrive in the UK and start testing? And then when they will first go in to passenger service?

Also am i correct in thinking the trains will be numbered as follows? If so which ones will be allocated to which services?

745/0 - 12 coach
745/1 - 12 coach
755/3 - 3 coach
755/4 - 4 coach

I can only find very little little information about the numberings so I'm not entirely sure.

Finally whose idea was it to order three coaches trains? The current three coach trains around Norfolk and Suffolk already get very busy at times! So its not really doing anything to help overcrowding! Will there be an option to extend these to four coaches at some point?

And will only having one set of doors per carriage have an impact? Will this increase boarding and alighting times? Personally i think it is an awful idea. Although they are wide double doors (thankfully they didn't go for narrow single doors) i think it will still just make boarding and alighting take much longer at stations.

I would also be interested to hear others thoughts and views on these new trains. Many thanks.
 
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Starmill

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There are a lot of 2 car and even 1 car trains in the Norfolk and Suffolk at present, so presumably they will be the ones that go to 3 car and the current busiest services will all get 4 cars. There are after all only 12 3-car sets coming, against 24 4-cars.
 
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samuelmorris

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The 3-car units I expect will be replacing single 153s and 2-car 156s and 170/2s.
The 4-car units will be replacing 3-car 170s, so there isn't really any losing out. The vehicle length of the 755s I don't think has been confirmed but given the 20m vehicle length of the 745s, I assume it'll be similar.

Given the double-width of the doors and the fact that the 153s and 156s have the doors next to each other at the vehicle ends, I don't expect dwell times to be affected much compared to those. It is possible, however, that they will take longer to load/unload compared to 170s. This may be offset by the reduction in crowding by having a higher capacity to start with.
 

Clansman

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Is there any rough dates yet when they will first arrive in the UK and start testing? And then when they will first go in to passenger service?
2019/2020
Also am i correct in thinking the trains will be numbered as follows? If so which ones will be allocated to which services?

745/0 - 12 coach
745/1 - 12 coach
755/3 - 3 coach
755/4 - 4 coach
I'm not sure about the classification numbers, but the routes will be as follows:

745/0 - 12 coach => London to Norwich Intercity
745/1 - 12 coach => Stanstead Express
755/3 - 3 coach => Regional EMU/DMU services outside London
755/4 - 4 coach => Regional EMU/DMU services outside London

Finally whose idea was it to order three coaches trains? The current three coach trains around Norfolk and Suffolk already get very busy at times! So its not really doing anything to help overcrowding! Will there be an option to extend these to four coaches at some point?
Most likely Abellio in their bid for the franchise.
I imagine they could easily purchase follow on orders - knowing Abellio, they're probably using the possibility of follow on orders as an incentive for the DfT to extend their franchise, like they have at Scotrail - although I imagine it wouldn't be impossible to order off of the line of production anyway.

And will only having one set of doors per carriage have an impact? Will this increase boarding and alighting times? Personally i think it is an awful idea. Although they are wide double doors (thankfully they didn't go for narrow single doors) i think it will still just make boarding and alighting take much longer at stations.
The coaches will be smaller by the looks of the visuals so I imagine loading times will be roughly similar, although I'm not a fan of the single doors myself I must admit!

I would also be interested to hear others thoughts and views on these new trains. Many thanks.
I'm not yet a fan of the FLIRTS but I do think that Anglia's ones will serve as a benchmark for TOCs in the future as to how well the FLIRTS integrate into our network. I think the FLIRTS, if successful, could be suitable for a number of routes across the UK. Although that'll be a case of wait and see.

What I'm struggling to fathom at the moment, and something I hate about them, is that why do the wheels intrude the interior to the extent where the seating at vestibules has to be elevated? It's not as if our loading gauge is low enough for the low flooring which results in elevated seating, and the 373s prove that bogies across gangways don't affect this?
 
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dp21

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It's because they are low floor. Most current UK rolling stock has about an 8" step up from the platform. These won't have. This is a big gain.
Yes, 100% this. I don't know if the gent mentioning the 373s has travelled on them but you go up at least 1 or 2 steps to get to the saloon floor level. The Flirts won't have that, it'll be level (or close to) access.

The stepped interior shouldn't cause a problem as there is a ramp up to the "upper" level in the gangway despite steps to the seats. I hope that makes sense! Also, the facilities for wheelchair users and persons of reduced mobility in general are all on the lower level and thus shouldn't need to use the stepped area. Stadler have tried to avoid putting equipment under the unit as far as reasonable practicable (a few things have to due to UK loading gauge) which has allowed them to drop the floor. Also, the "power car" in the bi-mode units clears the space where diesel engines would have been.

I also agree with what has been previously said, this fleet is in many ways an experiment in the UK. At Railtex I saw a number of TOC directors buzzing about the Stadler stand so there will certainly be interest in how they perform.
 

Mordac

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I had some initial misgivings about the articulated bogies, but these have been overcome and I have no issues with the pure EMU versions.

As for the bi-modes, I remain skeptic about the merits of having the engine in a "power car," due to it reintroducing a single point of failure and wasting platform space. However, I have resolved to keep an open mind, and look forward to seeing how they perform on GA. They certainly will add something new to the catalogue of UK rolling stock.
 

43096

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As for the bi-modes, I remain skeptic about the merits of having the engine in a "power car," due to it reintroducing a single point of failure
It depends on how many engines are in the power car. IIRC Stadler have most recently had two engines in the power car in the more recent diesel versions of the GTW and Flirts.
 

jopsuk

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for the Bi-modes, on the routes their on platform space isn't an issue at almost every station. Pretty much every station they call at has platforms plenty long enough- or formerly plenty long enough with it not being hard to bring more back into use. If not, they're stations like Berney Arms that are local door operation anyway even with a 153.
 

Bletchleyite

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It depends on how many engines are in the power car. IIRC Stadler have most recently had two engines in the power car in the more recent diesel versions of the GTW and Flirts.
It is indeed two, which as they're short coaches makes the 3-car vaguely comparable to the engines-per-length of a 153 or 156.

The point of it is (a) to allow for a low floor[1] and (b) to reduce noise and vibration in the passenger coaches near that of LHCS, because it basically *is* a mini locomotive.

[1] The Stadler GTW[2], a simpler, cheaper version which even has electric traction gear in a mini locomotive in the middle, is near enough low floor throughout - and I mean properly low floor for low platform countries.

[2] Gelenktriebwagen - articulated multiple unit.
 
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dp21

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It is indeed two, which as they're short coaches makes the 3-car vaguely comparable to the engines-per-length of a 153 or 156.

The point of it is (a) to allow for a low floor[1] and (b) to reduce noise and vibration in the passenger coaches near that of LHCS, because it basically *is* a mini locomotive.

[1] The Stadler GTW[2], a simpler, cheaper version which even has electric traction gear in a mini locomotive in the middle, is near enough low floor throughout - and I mean properly low floor for low platform countries.

[2] Gelenktriebwagen - articulated multiple unit.
Stadler told me there would be 4 engines (I forget the make annoyingly). These have recently been employed on some of their newer units in Europe and have been achieving reliability into the millions of miles between failure.

They are all programmed to be operating at a lower power rating (something like 75%) so that if one of the other engines fail, the remaining ones can be tuned up to compensate. In theory the whole unit could then run on only 1 engine but in a sort of "limp mode".

In addition to low floor as has been stated above, the maintainability is a massive factor. Unlike most existing DMUs in the UK, these engines will be in the "proper" vertical orientation, not laying on their side. Also they will be built on a raft of sorts so that they can be lifted out via fork lift truck; a number of mods are being done to Crown Point to allow for fork lift access to each road.

Finally (sorry, nearly done!) they said that the trains were essentially designed as EMUs but with a "power station" dropped in the middle. I believe the point being that it helps with cost efficiency during design as there will be a lot of commonality between the BMU and EMU variants.

Hope this helps :)
 

Clansman

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for the Bi-modes, on the routes their on platform space isn't an issue at almost every station. Pretty much every station they call at has platforms plenty long enough- or formerly plenty long enough with it not being hard to bring more back into use. If not, they're stations like Berney Arms that are local door operation anyway even with a 153.
Also, the fact that the doors in the end carriages are centralised will compensate for the platform space the power cars take up - allowing carriages to overhang a few metres on small platforms.
 

Mordac

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While this is about their Italian siblings, it's relevant in that these are the first bi-mode FLIRTs, so their experience will be very valuable for their introduction in the UK.

http://www.globalrailnews.com/2017/06/16/stadler-unveils-its-first-bimodal-flirt/

Stadler unveils its first bimodal Flirt

June 16, 2017

Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler has unveiled its first Flirt train to feature a bimodal drive system.

In Italy on June 15, transport representatives, train operating companies and potential customers from the regions of Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Molise and Calabria, were shown the new vehicle, which will be used on the Aosta Valley region.

The Flirt is environmentally friendly and equipped with a 3kV direct current drive for electrified lines, as well as a diesel-electric drive for non-electrified lines.

Its low axle load of a maximum of 18 tonnes is unique among bimodal regional trains too, according to Stadler, meaning that the the vehicle is also suitable for secondary lines.
PS There's pictures on the article, including of the engine modules, but I don't want to hotlink those, so if you want to see them, just click through!
 

squizzler

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Stadler told me there would be 4 engines (I forget the make annoyingly). These have recently been employed on some of their newer units in Europe and have been achieving reliability into the millions of miles between failure.

They are all programmed to be operating at a lower power rating (something like 75%) so that if one of the other engines fail, the remaining ones can be tuned up to compensate. In theory the whole unit could then run on only 1 engine but in a sort of "limp mode".

In addition to low floor as has been stated above, the maintainability is a massive factor. Unlike most existing DMUs in the UK, these engines will be in the "proper" vertical orientation, not laying on their side. Also they will be built on a raft of sorts so that they can be lifted out via fork lift truck; a number of mods are being done to Crown Point to allow for fork lift access to each road.

Finally (sorry, nearly done!) they said that the trains were essentially designed as EMUs but with a "power station" dropped in the middle. I believe the point being that it helps with cost efficiency during design as there will be a lot of commonality between the BMU and EMU variants.

Hope this helps :)
Four engines? I think I remember seeing a concept sketch showing two panels on the side of the power car. Are they using the Vivarail van engine rafts?
 

samuelmorris

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Bletchleyite

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Not sure what to make of that - https://i2.wp.com/www.globalrailnew...1051275_9013480635965551908_n.jpg?fit=960,640
clearly shows a single engine in that compartment - one each side would make two. There is of course a second compartment beside it that could be hiding another engine each side, but if so, why does the open compartment seem to have ventilation, whereas the one adjacent does not?
The concept is flexible, just because the Italian model doesn't have 4 engines doesn't mean the UK one won't.
 

U-Bahnfreund

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Although I do understand that the demands of Britain’s railways are different from those in Continental Europe, but Stadler Flirt have been running in "my" region for many years, and I think these are really good trains. I like to see them running in Britain soon too.
 

Bornin1980s

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Not sure what to make of that - https://i2.wp.com/www.globalrailnew...1051275_9013480635965551908_n.jpg?fit=960,640
clearly shows a single engine in that compartment - one each side would make two. There is of course a second compartment beside it that could be hiding another engine each side, but if so, why does the open compartment seem to have ventilation, whereas the one adjacent does not?
I suppose the engines have to be placed side by side for balance. I've seen pictures of a model of the British FLIRT with two engine modules.
 

dp21

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Four engines? I think I remember seeing a concept sketch showing two panels on the side of the power car. Are they using the Vivarail van engine rafts?
I can't say I know the exact details, this is just what I got told at Railtex and draft info internally; I'll try and get some more information this/next week.
 

159220

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I can't say I know the exact details, this is just what I got told at Railtex and draft info internally; I'll try and get some more information this/next week.
No you are totally correct in your information, just none of it publicly available. They are a re-freshing design of train and something which shall surpass expectation.
 

bonzawe

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How much do we know of thelengh anfd weight of the Flirts.

As I understabbd them there will be 4 basic vehicle shells/types. AsI arbitarily call them

Type A - Driving vehile with Cab. One normal bogie, one articulated bogie
Type B - Intermediate vehicle. One normal bogie, one articulated bogie
Type C - Intermediate vehicle. Two articulated bogies
Type D - Diesel power car. Two articulated bogies

I believe the 12 car Norwich/Stansted set are to be formed

A B B B B B B B B B B A

The Bimode sets would be

A C D A - Three car
A C D C A - Four car

I would guess the A and B vehicles are 19-20 meters, C 15-16 meters, D 11 to 12 Meters? Has anybody seen the true lengths?

As to the axle weights.

A class 170 has a maximun axles weight of just under 12 tonnes?

The 185 is just over 14 tonnes? this precludes them exploiting sprinter differential speeds.

Will these unit be able to use sprinter differentials with the reduced number of axles. I note the Italian units. whilst obviously being to the larger continental gauge, have 18 tonnes axle loads?

Quote
"Its low axle load of a maximum of 18 tonnes is unique among bimodal regional trains too, according to Stadler, meaning that the the vehicle is also suitable for secondary lines."

To reduce from 18 to 12 tonnes seems a tremendous step for the smaller loading guage?

Can anybody in the know comment please?
 

47802

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I suppose the engines have to be placed side by side for balance. I've seen pictures of a model of the British FLIRT with two engine modules.
I seem to recall mention of 2 engines around the 750bhp mark ie 1500 bhp which should be enough to shift these things around the Wireless sections of Anglia I would have thought.
 

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