Allocation of slammers out of Waterloo in the 90s

Discussion in 'Railway History & Nostalgia' started by adc82140, 7 Nov 2019.

  1. adc82140

    adc82140 Member

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    I used to travel the route into Waterloo in the 90s, on the Basingstoke stoppers. The rolling stock was a mixture of CIGs and VEPs. It seemed to be purely random whether a CIG or VEP would turn up on some services (occasionally it'd be a CEP). Was there a plan the allocation, or did they simply stick on what was available at the time?
     
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  3. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    There would have been carefully worked out timetable and stock diagrams for the services - maximising seats etc on the more pressured routes / trains. This is what the train planning teams did , steered by the commercial requirements set by NSE Route Managers. Skilled people that they were.

    However , in the real world , things happen , and the Maintrol and Running Control would (especially out of office hours) , work around the resource plan to cover the job. South Western VEPS were incredibly resiliant and had an availabilty of around 99% , so would have been excellent candidates for stepping up to cover any deficiencies in other fleet sub types.

    Any stock variations would have been carefully noted (and actioned later to get the balance right)
     
  4. TurboFintan

    TurboFintan Member

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  5. DerekC

    DerekC Member

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    Anathema on this thread, but I must admit to being very happy when Desiros started to appear. All electric MkI-based stock was IMHO an abomination - the ride at 80mph down the Portsmouth Direct was rough to positively scary - didn't matter what type of unit you were on.
     
  6. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Yes, I seem to remember that in the days of Network South East substantial effort was made to try & ensure services booked for greyhound units actually had them .
     
  7. Dr_Paul

    Dr_Paul Member

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    I've not heard of 'greyhound units' before. Were they specially-modified stock?
     
  8. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    Yes. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_421

     
  9. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    99% availability? Yeah right. So on average SWT had less than one VEP out of service for maintenance every day. Impossible. Simply impossible.
     
  10. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    My understanding was that by then "availability" was being measured by % of booked services which had a trainset available to run it, NOT % of trainsets available for use. Utilisation was never 100% - there would always been something in for repair/service, but that would be accounted for in the scheduling. So assuming (for the sake of argument) that at any time 10% of stock was scheduled to be "down" for servicing or as hot spares, 100% availability could be achieved with only 90% of stock in use.
     
  11. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Ta. Though that is fiddling the numbers really: availability means % of vehicles available for traffic out of the total fleet.
     
  12. randyrippley

    randyrippley Established Member

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    But its an irrelevant figure because it doesn't allow for servicing schedules.
    Far more realistic to look at what percentage of diagrammed sets were available for scheduled work
     
  13. Colin1501

    Colin1501 Member

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    From the 1999 summer timetable, there was a nominal Class 442 diagram on Saturdays that was regularly worked by Mk 1 units. I don't recall the full diagram but it certainly included the 09.00 Waterloo to Wareham and return, and the 14.30 Waterloo to Weymouth and return, and it wasn't always worked by Greyhound units. One Saturday in June 2000, it was operated by 4-CEP units 1537 and 1507. They certainly had their work cut out, especially on the Woking to Winchester leg which was scheduled just 31 minutes for 42 miles. We were actually two minutes down on arrival at Winchester, but had made this up by Southampton Central - not a bad performance for stock around 40 years old.
     
  14. Snow1964

    Snow1964 Member

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    Generally the VEPs were on stopping trains off peak, and worked some heavily laden peak trains.

    However mixed combinations were not uncommon, with VEPs and CIGs and sometimes CEPs.

    From memory there were 7 buffet units BEPs that had been in middle of Portsmouth fasts, but by 1990s seemed to be used on anything except crowded rush hour trains. Can’t remember where the BIGs went, but I think some late mk1s were converted to replace the buffet cars making more CIGs
     
  15. Taunton

    Taunton Established Member

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    One weekday afternoon around 1990, when hourly 2x442 express services still operated nonstop from Southampton Parkway to Waterloo, I was waiting for one when it turned up some 10 minutes late as a rather full single 4-VEP. This then did the 75 miles to Waterloo in just about 60 minutes, a considerable tour-de-force unlikely to have been beaten. Of course, mechanically the VEPs were the same as the CIGs, and on B4 bogies etc were quite good for 100mph, which must surely have been achieved here. The full speed transition of Worting Junction, approaching Basingstoke, was "interesting".
     
  16. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Not on a VEP, but a REP-TC combination, I once had a 59 minute run from Southampton Central to Waterloo...
     
  17. Terry Tait

    Terry Tait Member

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    I've often wondered how fast a single REP would go without speed limits.
     
  18. Colin1501

    Colin1501 Member

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    Running solo, they were classed as electric locomotives, and restricted to 60 mph.
     
  19. Snow1964

    Snow1964 Member

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    I grew up in New Milton, and once had a single REP on a semi-fast instead on my journey to college in Brockenhurst, running about 10 mins late
    Had been some sort of problem and the 4TCs hadn't arrived.

    They could shift, pretty sure it was doing approaching 100mph after Sway, before a hefty brake application before Lymington junction (which then had speed limit of about 60mph). Fastest I ever did that journey. Would have been 1982 or 1983
     

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