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Air Con Stock

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Oscar46016

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Surely we should be moving away from this to good old stock with windows that allows fresh air to circulate?

anyone see a return to this type of stock - obviously with greater safety than the old mk1s!
 
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driverd

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I'm not too sure as to why we should "surely" be moving away from air con stock?

In answer to your question - aside from a very limited number of commuter routes, no.
 

Oscar46016

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?
 

Richard Scott

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Surely we should be moving away from this and good old stock with windows that allows fresh air to circulate?

anyone see a return to this type of stock - obviously with greater safety than the old mk1s!
I would love return of fresh air stock particularly as someone who suffers from sinus problems and finds air conditioning unbearable at times. However, doubt many would agree with me.
 

skyhigh

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?
The aircon stock we have constantly filters the air and replaces the air with fresh air from outside every 7-10 minutes (depending on class). I believe other stock is very similar. Given the benefits of modern HVAC over opening windows I'm not sure why you'd want to go back.
 

Hadders

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I'd love to have trains with windows that open (365s were ideal for this!) but even on a hot day there'll be someone who wants the windows closed because they're too cold which then defeats the object.

Open windows won't work in winter either as passengers will want them closed leading to poor air circulation.
 

driverd

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?

Got you. As I understand it (and I don't claim to be a virologist), most viruses are not airborne, and as such, they are (in essence), heavier than air, landing on surfaces etc. Air con, contrary to popular opinion, does not circulate viruses that aren't airborne, simply because it can't. Various filters and exchanges are built into air con units along the way which help to clear out any bacteria or other nasty things that can be picked up, and there is also a large amount of used air replaced with fresh external air (around 70% on new stock I believe). I'm sure someone will be able to give a more thorough explanation in any case!

The problem with non-air con stock is that whilst stationary or at low speed, the windows don't actually generate much airflow, if any. Once the units get to speed, a pleasant breeze for one passenger can be an uncomfortable gale for another. I suspect it'll help with moving any viral debris along, but perhaps just for it to settle all over another surface around the carriage?
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Air-conditioning in trains, in buildings too, is a curse. The temperature is usually too high, the air feels bad.

Did the railway not have 'pressure-ventilated' carriages a few decades ago?

What happens if an air-conditioned train breaks down in summer, in a tunnel or on a viaduct?

I hope to do some long trips quite soon, I fear I might buy a car so I can choose my own air because the air on trains is so bad.
 

Oscar46016

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If I’m in air con stock for any length of time I end up with a headache - not something I ever experienced with non-air cons
 

Dr Hoo

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?
So are you suggesting that trains should have 'permanently open' windows or louvres, even in winter? A sort of 'mobile bus shelter' concept to ensure continuous ample ventilation?

What happens to the ventilation if passengers choose to close the windows?
 

philosopher

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?
With regards to germs, this I think is only an issue if the air is continually recirculated. However if the air conditioning continually brings in new air from outside I don’t think this is an issue.
There is also the energy use of the air conditioning to consider. However again I am not sure having opening windows actually helps here as open windows increases drag which in turn increases energy use.
 

D6130

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Did the railway not have 'pressure-ventilated' carriages a few decades ago?
Yes, the Mark 2/2a/2b and 2c stock vehicles were equipped with pressure ventilation - as well as opening windows. The Mark 2c stock was built with lowered cielings for the eventual retro-fitting of air conditioning equipment but, in the end, it never happened. Mark 2d/2e/2f/3/4 and 5 vehicles were fitted with air-con from new.
 

hexagon789

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Yes, the Mark 2/2a/2b and 2c stock vehicles were equipped with pressure ventilation - as well as opening windows. The Mark 2c stock was built with lowered cielings for the eventual retro-fitting of air conditioning equipment but, in the end, it never happened. Mark 2d/2e/2f/3/4 and 5 vehicles were fitted with air-con from new.
Strictly speaking the 2D and 2E are pressure ventilated as well but with an air-con system provided in addition; essentially what would've happened with the 2C if air-con had been retro-fitted.
 

6Gman

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What happens if an air-conditioned train breaks down in summer, in a tunnel or on a viaduct?
If by "summer" you mean "when it's hot" then passengers get very uncomfortable. (I recall Shrewsbury-Crewe via Chester on a 158 with failed air-con where we are all uncomfortable, and a poor baby was in genuine distress) But non air-con stock could also get very hot and sticky in hot weather.

And on a really hot day boarding a 175 with functioning air-con can be a delight!

I'd also mention that open windows can make a train very noisy. Euston-Crewe on Mk IICs furiously hunting could be a miserable couple of hours.
 

stuu

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I hope to do some long trips quite soon, I fear I might buy a car so I can choose my own air because the air on trains is so bad.
Haven't nearly all intercity trains been air conditioned for at least 35 years?
 

Oscar46016

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So are you suggesting that trains should have 'permanently open' windows or louvres, even in winter? A sort of 'mobile bus shelter' concept to ensure continuous ample ventilation?

What happens to the ventilation if passengers choose to close the windows?
No.
 

peteb

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In France and other western european countries most (non TGV?) stock has some openable toplights in case the air con fails, and on compartment coaches every compartment window can be unlocked if needed. We were glad of this from Avignon to Lyon on a loco hauled TER, mind you at 160km/h the resultant noise was a bit wearing for non enthusiasts!
 

JamesT

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With regards to germs, this I think is only an issue if the air is continually recirculated. However if the air conditioning continually brings in new air from outside I don’t think this is an issue.
There is also the energy use of the air conditioning to consider. However again I am not sure having opening windows actually helps here as open windows increases drag which in turn increases energy use.

The rule of thumb I’ve heard for cars is that above 50mph the drag of open windows is worse than the power used by the aircon. Although the exact value will very much depend on the characteristics of the vehicle, I’m sure the same will hold for trains.

As a hay fever sufferer, I’m much happier with filtered air from the outside, rather than stuff coming directly in an open window. Hopefully regular changing of the filters is part of routine maintenance for train aircon.
 

hexagon789

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Haven't nearly all intercity trains been air conditioned for at least 35 years?
Mk2D stock entered service in April 1971 giving First and Second Class passengers on the ECML non-supplement air-con travel, by 1975 and the introduction of Mk3s on the WCML, most front line InterCity trains on the WCML, ECML and GWML were air-con. Though some secondary services particularly on the LMR and WR remained pressure ventilated Mk2s as did all the Inter-Regional trains until the HSTs enabled large scale cascading of Mk2 air-cons to those services.

IIRC BR had an aim of all InterCity trains being air-con by May 1989, I don't know if they met that target.
 

JonathanH

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IIRC BR had an aim of all InterCity trains being air-con by May 1989, I don't know if they met that target.
Essentially I guess they did for mainstream workings once the HSTs were available but I travelled on the 1820 London Paddington to Hereford as far as Reading on 12 October 1991 formed of a 47 and what appears to have been a short formation of Mark 1 charter stock with first class in air conditioned carriages so some non air-conditioned stock could still be used when necessary later than 1989.

47805-5009-4925-5005-4919-5023-17155-3233

Stock books suggest that final withdrawal of the last Mark 2C stock allocated to the sector, none of it in Intercity colours, was in 1991.
 

Wilts Wanderer

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Certainly there were still Mk1 rakes in use on the WCML into 1990 - see this link, at roughly 11:45 mins in. A Manchester-Euston express at Stoke with MK1, 2 and 3 passenger vehicles - I’m advised that the MK1 TSOs were required to make up for the Mk2 and Mk3 vehicles lost in the Colwich accident and were sourced from the rake refurbished for MML use in the 1980s.

 

Shaw S Hunter

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?
This is a myth. During the height of the pandemic in the US there were still plenty of flights operating and the spread of Covid was monitored. It was found that aircraft are in fact one of the safest places to be as far as the spreading of infections in socially mixed environments goes. What can make them seem unhealthy is the pressurisation of the cabin to an equivalent height well above sea-level, though to an absolute maximum of 8,000 feet, which can be uncomfortable to those with certain pre-existing conditions as well as necessarily having a low humidity. In fact I would suggest it is the reduced humidity of a typical air-conditioned environment that can make it feel unhealthy. Simple answer is to maintain personal hydration, indeed that is standard advice for long-haul aircraft passengers.

As far as trains go having properly functioning air-conditioning is also useful in winter as it allows the dampness of wet coats, etc, to be removed from the train interior. In short we are more likely to move towards universal air-conditioning of passenger trains than away from it.
 

HamworthyGoods

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IIRC BR had an aim of all InterCity trains being air-con by May 1989, I don't know if they met that target.
Essentially I guess they did for mainstream workings once the HSTs were available

No Intercity didn’t, Mk1 coaches on Intercity Class 1 trains outlived BR and carried on into the Privatised Era - a small number of RMB mini-buffets, until 1999 on First Great Western and 2000 on Anglia.
 

JonathanH

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No Intercity didn’t, Mk1 coaches on Intercity Class 1 trains outlived BR and carried on into the Privatised Era - a small number of RMB mini-buffets, until 1999 on First Great Western and 2000 on Anglia.
OK, how about excluding the RMBs, which were a bit of a special case in the absence of sufficient catering vehicles?
 

Paul Jones 88

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All I'd want is for ALL air-conditioned stock to have staff controlled opening windows for when the air conditioning inevitably breaks down.
 

HamworthyGoods

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OK, how about excluding the RMBs, which were a bit of a special case in the absence of sufficient catering vehicles?

Mk2c lasted till around 1991 on Cross Country services till the full release of HSTs from the ECML allowing some of the older coaches on XC to go (around the same time as splitting and joining at Carstairs went), around this time the XC sets were standardised on load 7 mk2 AC sets.

it was mostly brakes (BSO and BFK) of mk2c that lasted to the end some even made it into Intercity Swallow livery (photo below, courtesy FLICKR).

Also found this YouTube video on the sea wall of an Intercity set in 1990 which was mark 2 aircons except for a Mk2c BSO and mk1 RMB.

 

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miklcct

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I was thinking about the fresh air viewpoint - in the current climate - air cons are a bit like planes recirculating germs?

maybe not, but it just struck me it may be healthier?

Hasn't air conditioning become standard equipment on a train for many years, that non air conditioned trains have become obsolete already?
 

JonathanH

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All I'd want is for ALL air-conditioned stock to have staff controlled opening windows for when the air conditioning inevitably breaks down.
Modern air conditioning tends not to break down. Ignoring 158s and 166s it tends to be fairly reliable. The problem even with staff controlled opening windows is that they get opened before the air conditioning has actually malfunctioned. Windows that can only be opened by a trained fitter might be admissible.
 
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