Abellio Greater Anglia Class 755s (Regional Trains)

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by swt class 450, 15 Jun 2017.

  1. Geswedey

    Geswedey Member

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    When I worked in GA control (NOW RETIRED) We would get other GA managers complaining about the good service message when the Rural routes were up the creek and we would have to explain it only concerned routes based on Liverpool Street, we would also have to explain how the algorithms worked which automatically adjust the service status (they are based on the number of trains on the route in the current hour hence the Braintree line for example would show major disruption if one train is cancelled but the Southend line wouldn't) I did ask for the rurals to be added but didn't get anywhere.
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2019
  2. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Why has GA switched to calling them Rural instead of Regional? Have we not been insulted enough yet?
     
  3. Martello

    Martello New Member

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    Whilst the media and the customers are understandably directing criticism at GA & NR for the current debacle, surely some criticism should be directed at the way in which rolling stock is now leased? If GA hadn't had to return the stock that went off lease, they might have been able to their maintain services with the older stock while the current problems were resolved. Was there no way of deferring the cascade of GA stock to other TOCs, when it became apparent that the 755 roll out was running into trouble?
     
  4. 168001

    168001 Member

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    The 170’s were delayed as much as possible but with new time tables coming in soon the units have been factored in to be able to run these. By the end of December the only legacy train left will be 170271.
     
  5. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    I think only by getting permission to keep running disability-discriminating old trains for even longer. I think this problem could still have happened under nationalisation with the deadline and not enough fully-legal DMUs available meaning lots of new orders. Even under BR, if Anglia region had got new DMUs and they had a fault, would Western or Midland or whoever had taken them really have sent them some of the old DMUs back?
     
  6. Geswedey

    Geswedey Member

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    I don't work for GA now and the word RURAL was mine!!!! not GAs
     
  7. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    GA now call them Rural on their website, too.
     
  8. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    We have referred to them as rural for years now.
     
  9. Geswedey

    Geswedey Member

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    Indeed they do, I hadn't checked GA website recently, Thought you were quoting my post, but to be honest they are not Urban or Suburban routes are they,
     
  10. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    If they call us Regional it sounds slightly posher and we might actually want a decent service.
     
  11. TRAX

    TRAX Member

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    Ah, semantics.
     
  12. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    Was out on the network today on the East Suffolk and Wherry lines and I have to say that the 755s I saw didn't sound the most healthy under rails or moving away, nothing major bu not exactly smooth sounding.

    Had the joy of being on the 17:02 from Lowestoft to Ipswich, which was a 156, late arriving into Lowestoft due to getting stuck behind another train but at least it turned around pretty quickly at Lowestoft (so clearly they're not giving them inspections like the FLIRTs are getting) and have to say the guard was great, making sure to help each passenger plan their journey and give them travel advice, alternative routes, delay repay info, because of their disrupted plans as well as being very honest about the current situation.

    I already know that we had great front line staff in East Anglia for the most part but what was clear today in relation to every staff member I saw, was even if the management are not doing much to support customers the front line staff are truly on our side and honestly want to make peoples journeys as soon as possible.

    If you are a front line staff member reading this - keep up the good work, your dedication to customers and positive attitude to resolving problems on the front line puts your senior management to shame.
     
  13. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Now I am nothing if not honest & I can say I get more than a little fed up with what I consider to be consistently negative comments & opinions from yourself against GA but thank you for your last post especially the end bit. In the last few days I have tried (mostly with success) to explain the problem & have been humbled by the response & understanding from those passengers I have encountered. Their empathy to those on the front line has been so welcome. We try our hardest but can only do so much. Let's hope thing improve soon.
     
  14. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    My issue has never been with the front line staff, it has been with management so please do not take any criticism personally since I know there are a lot of good people still in Greater Anglia that are a credit to the company.

    My criticism is coming from the place that the issues have an impact on my colleagues and my employer as well as myself. The sector I work in is dealing with ever shrinking central government funding and we continually have to do more with less and part of that has meant less staff but more mobile staff. Expenses are very high as we've had to use taxis and alternative arrangements and in a time of budget cuts with wafer thin margins that have already had a number 0.5 haircut we can't sustain it forever. Much of what we do is time sensitive, so delay repay whilst welcome isn't a big fix as we may just end up needing a taxi as we can't wait.

    There is a lot of people who really have had enough of what is going on with Greater Anglia, but the front line staff and the approachability and honesty and helpful nature of them means that I don't see a huge amount of tension at stations or on trains because I think your average member of the public knows that the staff are on their side and are not against them.
     
    Last edited: 10 Dec 2019
  15. swills

    swills Established Member

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    There are NO checks on the 156's nor the 170, as they are not needed, it is purely the wheels on the 755 sets, that have come off the train !
     
  16. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    Having strategically bought a through ticket to Sleaford, rather than my usual split saving half the fare, my train from Attleborough Ely was disappointingly on time this morning :D.
    Lost a couple of minutes on the way which is unusual for a 755. Seemed to be driven more gently than has hitherto been normal. I also believe the friction brakes were active at a higher speed than I have previously noticed. Upon arrival at Ely it then drew forward into the sidings south of the station to layover and I guess have whatever inspections are necessary carried out.
     
  17. Henry Johnson

    Henry Johnson Member

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    The simple fact is that greater anglia have developed a reputation of lying through the back of their teeth. Regarding the signalling problem, are they seriously illuding to freightliner, gbrf, east midlands trains, and others being able to fly or jump over the bad signals?

    I commute on the east suffolk line three days a week from lowestoft to colchester and now they have gone back to the era of one train every two hours, I wonder how much longer it will be before someone sues them.

    They've sent all the old trains away and are denying it, they've ordered trains that we are all now learning are not really up to the job, and people are losing their jobs and their livelihoods because of it.

    I have heard rumours that they have now resorted to removing the pantograph on the new trains. Why can't they do what they use to do in a shortage and hire trains in from other operators, such as DRS, and more so, why didn't they just order the right stock from the beginning, such as mk5 coaches and caf DMU's or something like that?

    Ho well. Let's see what the new year brings.
     
  18. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I would argue both Mk5 coaches and CAF DMUs would both be the wrong choice for the routes intended. This is a technical defect that needs resolving, much like most new stock fleets (including CAF) have suffered. The problem is that the delay to the new stock being delivered has caused old stock to be sent away before the bugs with the new stock have been dealt with. That's compounded by the dishonesty of the TOC not stating what the actual cause of the issue is, thus giving passengers unreasonable expectations of when it will be solved. Signal problems should be resolved in hours/days, not the weeks I'm sure it will take to get to the bottom of this issue and resolve it.
     
  19. trebor79

    trebor79 Established Member

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    For the reasons that people have already given. Where is this stock supposed to come from? And how do you train people on it quickly, without causing even more disruption for a potential few weeks of use?

    As for rumours about this and that, they are just rumours. I seriously doubt the pantographs will be removed. For one thing it would prevent them running to Stansted, and for another it would cause serious issues with keeping them fuelled if they can't use electrified sections.
    The panto not retracting is likely to be easily solved, and hardly likely to warrant removal from the whole fleet for a fundamental issue.
     
  20. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Probably a long time. I bet the contracts and laws have enough words that make it difficult to sue them, just like you can't easily sue Highways England when the A14 is closed by something forseeable.

    Who's lost their jobs?

    The new trains are lovely, but like most new trains, they have problems early on. Even the 387 Electrostars at Cambridge had problems early on, with small crowds of GN, GA and Bombardier staff present to try to get the trains to couple up!

    If that was true, I would expect someone to have posted a picture by now. I suspect someone has misunderstood it being out of use until they understand why one failed to drop at Stowmarket.

    As far as I can tell, there just aren't enough spare legal diesel sets any more, so it means getting permission to screw disabled passengers and I suspect GA isn't willing to pay to hire now against the hope that either Stadler or Network Rail have to pay it back later.

    Much as I like them, the CAF DMUs were announced in 2016 as due late 2018 but only started service June 2019. The MkV coaches are over a year late into service and have also had problems early on. Also, they are pulled by Stadler locomotives (class 68) which may share the same problems as the Flirts and just not show it on the TPE routes, for all we know. So GA have ordered "something like that" - Stadler traction, months late into service and problems early on!

    And in case someone thinks GA should have ordered from Siemens - GA may already have Desiros but the electric ones are leaving soon, Siemens haven't built any diesel UK ones for over a decade and if GA wanted to avoid having a fleet from three makers, I think the current competitors to the 745 Flirt are the Siemens Mireo and Bombardier Talent which haven't ever been made for the UK before either! The Siemens Velaro is in use by Eurostar but I do not think GA would pay for it and a 185mph EMU would be a strange choice for a 100mph line.
     
  21. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    GA have been horribly optimistic when it comes to the introduction of the new fleet. Their plans were based on the assumption that the trains would be turn-key and ready to go, despite involving a manufacturer who has never built anything for the National Rail network before.

    This is interesting on its own - parent company Nederlandse Spoorwegen have burnt themselves quite badly in this way in the past, twice, but have learnt some lessons from it. Whenever NS introduce a new fleet they keep the existing trains on standby.

    It looks like none of those lessons were applied to GA.
    They are facing some technical issues, which need resolving. This on its own isn't uncommon for new trains - as GA rightly indicate, each fleet is built tailormade for the country/area where it will run. Unlike cars, trains never "work out of the box".
    I highly doubt this. They ordered trains with pantographs for a reason - it keeps the costs down (electric is cheaper than diesel) and it also lets the trains have smaller fuel tanks as they'll run electric for part of the route.

    Recently a pantograph failed to drop and it subsequently hit a bridge. Whilst this is being investigated, the trains are operated in diesel only mode.

    Those trains need to be available in the first place and even if they are, crews need to be trained on them. That's a logistically rather complex operation and not something which is done on a whim.
    It's hard to say what "the right stock" is! The GA bid team decided that the Stadlers and the Bombardier Aventras would be the right stock for their future franchise. Things aren't going exactly to plan though.

    For the Stadlers, one could say this is down to inexperience. GA were taking a risk and, if they had planned wise, would have put all the contingencies in place to allow their old fleet to continue while the Stadlers bedded in.

    For the Aventras, from a reputable builder which has plenty of experience building for the UK, it's just a painful story. The 720s should've been in GA-land for a while but they are nowhere to be seen...
     
  22. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Stadler have never built anything for the National Rail network before. Except some Class 68s. And Class 88s. And Class 399.

    Unused contingencies reduce profits. Do missing needed contingencies reduce profits more? Let's see!
     
  23. Abbo

    Abbo Member

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    Thanks DK1 that is reassuring.

    You seem to be on the inside track so can you please answer something that has cropped on another group regarding Victoria Sidings. Will these sidings have toilet emptying facilities and or cleaning facilities for dealing with the overnighters or will the trains have to run via Crown Point ?
     
  24. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Which are really Vossloh Spain products; a business only relatively recently bought by Stadler. The core Stadler business has no experience.
     
  25. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Good question. Trains are booked direct from Norwich each evening then back the next morning around 20-30mins before departure. Not noticed any equipment or tanks going in & there is little room between each siding so as to retain 4 roads. Drivers are planned to be taxied to/from these sidings.
     
  26. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Four years ago, not that recently. One hopes the ex-Vossloh's expertise is involved in the UK Flirts.
     
  27. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    The Proposed Property Disposal – 25 November 2019, on the ORR website suggests that light maintenance is not permitted.
    https://orr.gov.uk/__data/assets/pd...-victoria-sidings-lc17-land-disposal-form.pdf
    Extract:
    Perhaps this is another case of the (affected) units having a depot visit 'intra-day'?
     
  28. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Thanks very much. Not heard very much about it except it should be almost complete after a few Yuletide possessions. Work is progressing well.
     
  29. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Yes was looking good on my last run-past 27/11, should see again next Tues 17/12 :)
    Cheers!
     
  30. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    GA have responded to the EADT's questions - nothing unpredictable about their answers and deflection.

    The response about why other operators are not effected but they are is a classic - basically saying that it's because that Network Rail are having maintenance trains on the line whilst also insinuating that NR are giving other operators preference. :rolleyes:

    We are being told that the disruption is caused by "signalling problems." Why is this only affecting services on rural routes, not on the main line between East Anglia and London?
    Are the problems linked to the introduction of the new trains on Greater Anglia's rural services - in particular are they linked to a piece of equipment called a "flange lubricator" to reduce friction between wheel and track?
    Are the "signalling problems" linked to the incident at the level crossing on the Norwich to Cromer line when a train came within a second of being in collision with a car and is currently being investigated by the RAIB?
    If the problems are caused by signalling problems, why are freight trains continuing to run to Felixstowe and why are East Midland Railways trains continuing to operate between Norwich and Peterborough without disruption?
    Is this problem going to take a long time to solve (like the problems with the new Transport for London Aventra trains)?
    Has Greater Anglia trained enough drivers on the new trains and did you train them fast enough given the deadline to returning your existing rural trains to their leasing companies?
    Why is the Ipswich to Peterborough service withdrawn when that is one of only two routes that cannot operate new trains?
    When do you expect to know why there was a problem with the overhead collection arm (pantograph) at Elmswell last week and has this forced new checks on other trains?
    How will the current issue affect the introduction of the new Intercity trains that are due to start entering service before the end of the year?
    If the problems are linked to the introduction of the new trains, why did they not show up during 2,000 miles of testing over the region's rail tracks?
     

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