APT and Pendolino: Are They REALLY Related?

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Up_Tilt_390

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It's commonly accepted knowledge that the Advanced Passenger Train was the grandfather of tilting trains, the first of it's kind even, and when this technology was sold abroad, the Italians perfected it and made the Pendolino family, with the Class 390 being the British version of the tilting trains, making it somewhat of a third generation APT after APT-E and APT-P, or maybe a grandson of some sort, whichever way you look at it.

But then that usual thing of being told by a friend who had got told by another friend came and made it hard to be sure of this news. I had to take this with a pinch of salt cause I don't know where this information is coming from. So the information he gave me was that, what is the common accepted knowledge of the APT being the grandfather of tilting trains is a common misconception, and that rather the APT technology was being designed at the same time as the Italians were working on their Pendolino technology, with the Spaniards also working on some tilting technology of their own (Taglo I believe but don't quote me on that).

So what is true? Was the APT truly the grandfather of tilting trains with the Class 390 somewhat serving as a symbol of British irony (cause we sold and then bought back technology we invented), or are they in fact not in any way related, and tilting trains is just something the Brits like to take credit for despite not being the only ones making them?

I think in this case I would appreciate long and explanatory answers, maybe adding why the other theory even exists, but if you're post is simple and short because you don't want to or can't explain, then maybe just give me a safe and credible source of information. Yes, Wikipedia counts!
 
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The Ham

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Even if others were starting to develop tilting trains, that doesn't mean that the design and research from BR wasn't helpful in speeding up the process of the development of others. As such even if very little of the BR development is easy to see in the modern trains it probably was quite useful in the overall development (if for nothing else knowing that you could tilt trains too much for comfort).
 

Ely_South

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There's a conversation that took place recently on the railway modelling website RMWeb along similar lines (here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/87114-the-official-rapido-apt-e-thread/?p=2191995 ).

One of the posters there is Mr_Tilt (similar forum name....), who was one of the development team for tilting trains in the UK.

Mr_Tilt's assertion is that APT was streets ahead of the competition at the time. My only input is to suggest you take a read of that thread and decide for yourself.

Cheers
 

CosherB

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The tilting capability of the APT was only one of the many technical features of the train - the hydrokinetic braking was equally important.

It's a shame that, between the Government and BR, the APT project couldn't be successfully delivered. I don't think I have the knowledge/time/space on here to fully explain it all! lol
 
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Basically there are two types of train tilting technology passive and active.

Passive tilting has been around since the early 70's and has been used (with limited success) on some services however because it effectively works on the inertial forces generated from the cornering of the train it limited the speed of which it could operate and there was a lag on the tilt because it wouldn't start tilting until it started cornering which was noticeable for passengers.

BR essentially were the first to pioneer active tilt which in a nutshell is computer controlled tilting which was supposed to negate the problems with passive tilting, as you're probably well aware due to various teething problems, political pressure etc. it never came to be so the technology was sold to the Italians to increase their already existing tilting train portfolio which in-turn (after it was perfected) was later sold back to us in the form of the 390s and 221s so in essence the ATP-P is the progenitor for our modern tilting trains.
 

Up_Tilt_390

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There's a conversation that took place recently on the railway modelling website RMWeb along similar lines (here: http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/87114-the-official-rapido-apt-e-thread/?p=2191995 ).

One of the posters there is Mr_Tilt (similar forum name....), who was one of the development team for tilting trains in the UK.

Mr_Tilt's assertion is that APT was streets ahead of the competition at the time. My only input is to suggest you take a read of that thread and decide for yourself.

Cheers

Funny coincidence of the similar forum names :lol: but from that I concluded that the APT and Pendolino technology aren't the same. It seems that it is a misconception that APT lead to Pendolino development. It seemed like what is an "Apple and Samsung" type competition, because both them companies used similar technology developing their smartphones, but not directly the same. Similar to how APT and Pendolino had similar technology, sometimes derived from the competitor. APT seemed to be the Apple side in this case if it was years ahead of it's competition in terms of technology. DISCLAIMER: That was just an analogy, don't take it as the start of a war between Apple and Samsung.

Thanks for the link, it helped a lot :)
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Sweden was also into tilt early with its X2000 train, no links to ATP.

Roger Ford has described the relationship between APT and Pendolino before, though I forget the details.
I think the Swiss came into it (SIG).
From memory I think Fiat developed hydraulic tilt, while Virgin wanted electric actuation for which SIG had the patents from BR.
Eventually Alstom bought Fiat Ferroviaria and all the technology.

Swiss ICN trains use SIGs tilting system - I don't know if this has any links to Pendolino and the APT.
Wikipedia claims that the Voyager tilt system is also derived from BR APT.

Happy to be corrected on all this.
 
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Up_Tilt_390

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Sweden was also into tilt early with its X2000 train, no links to ATP.

Roger Ford has described the relationship between APT and Pendolino before, though I forget the details.
I think the Swiss came into it (SIG).
From memory I think Fiat developed hydraulic tilt, while Virgin wanted electric actuation for which SIG had the patents from BR.
Eventually Alstom bought Fiat Ferroviaria and all the technology.

Swiss ICN trains use SIGs tilting system - I don't know if this has any links to Pendolino and the APT.
Wikipedia claims that the Voyager tilt system is also derived from BR APT.

Happy to be corrected on all this.

That's some handy information. I forgot about the ICN, but I'll tell you that's got a little part of the Pendolino technology, cause Alstom claim that the ICN is technically a part of the Pendolino family. It's not full integration though, it is a SIG system primarily. I believe, though don't quote me on this, that Bombardier had intended to develop tilting technology for one it's trains, but I am not too sure. Voyager tilt might be derived from that or the APT. Wikipedia should have a source though.
 

RichmondCommu

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The tilting capability of the APT was only one of the many technical features of the train - the hydrokinetic braking was equally important.

It's a shame that, between the Government and BR, the APT project couldn't be successfully delivered. I don't think I have the knowledge/time/space on here to fully explain it all! lol

I was very lucky, through my Father to travel on a APT in the very early days and I still have the booklet that was given to every one on board the train.

In my opinion BR tried to introduce too much technology at the same time. I think it's a crying shame that we don't have a APT in full preservation to run on today's network.
 

Ash Bridge

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I was very lucky, through my Father to travel on a APT in the very early days and I still have the booklet that was given to every one on board the train.

In my opinion BR tried to introduce too much technology at the same time. I think it's a crying shame that we don't have a APT in full preservation to run on today's network.

That's most interesting, can you recall anything about your trip, eg. quality of ride, noise levels, performance etc.?
 

RichmondCommu

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That's most interesting, can you recall anything about your trip, eg. quality of ride, noise levels, performance etc.?

I would have been 15 / 16 at the time and thought it was a fantastic train, completely different to anything I'd been on before. I can't confirm the date as I'm on my way back from Manchester. You certainly noticed the tilt but I didn't feel sick or anything like that. We rode on the APT from Euston to Stafford and then caught a class 304 stopper back to Tamworth. Talk about an anti climax!
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Some details of the Pendolino and SIG relationship, from a Railway Gazette article on Class 390 construction in 1998: http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/...the-key-to-virgin39s-ambitious-franchise.html

Tilting bogies
Fiat SIG of Switzerland is supplying a version of its generic bogie developed for Swiss Federal Railways' ICN tilting train. A feature of this design is the use of a single air bag secondary suspension above the tilt system. One benefit of this is to provide more space at bogie level, allowing suspension linkages to be optimised.

Alstom-Fiat is also using the SIG-developed tilt system in which the body rotates on rollers running on a curved track (Fig 2) in place of suspension links used on the Pendolino. Also new for Pendolino is electric tilt actuation, with a motor driving a screw jack. Maximum tilt angle will be 8í with 80% compensation of lateral acceleration.

A similar electric tilt system will be used to maintain the pantograph head level as the body tilts. This is also being fitted to the Swiss ICN. In effect, compensatory tilt is applied to the pantograph in curves. Previously, mechanical linkages from the bogie were used

Certainly strong links with the SBB ICN trains.
It doesn't mention the origins of the SIG system, but presumably from the APT.
 

thenorthern

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The tilt system was developed by British Rail in the 1980s but at the time British Rail was in a sorry state so the APT tilt system was never completed and the technology was sold to Fiat Ferroviaria who put it into the pendolino trains which Virgin ordered when they took over the West Coast Main Line. Fiat sold its rail division to Alstom in 2000 so when the Class 390s were built they were built by Alstom. Essentially though yes the tilting technology is from the BREL prototype Inter-City APT-P that was built in Derby.

The interior of a Class 390 is vastly different from the APT-P although some may say the APT-P interior is better, the motors and brakes are different as well. The APT-P was withdrawn before I was born although I have been on the one at Crewe a couple of times and I always wonder what it would have been like to ride on it.
 

Ash Bridge

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I would have been 15 / 16 at the time and thought it was a fantastic train, completely different to anything I'd been on before. I can't confirm the date as I'm on my way back from Manchester. You certainly noticed the tilt but I didn't feel sick or anything like that. We rode on the APT from Euston to Stafford and then caught a class 304 stopper back to Tamworth. Talk about an anti climax!

I must say Iam extremely envious, that 304 must have brought you back to reality very quickly lol,
 

Up_Tilt_390

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Very good article regarding the SIG and Pendolino systems out forward by LNW-GW Joint. I like how it told me the times it'd take if 225km (140mph) was achieved too. Thanks.
 
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RichmondCommu

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I must say Iam extremely envious, that 304 must have brought you back to reality very quickly lol,

My Dad is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and for many years worked for the BR at the RTC in Derby. He had much to do with the development of the braking systems for both the HST and the APT. In the end the it was the problems with the hydraulics for the APT's braking systems that probably broke the camel's back!
 

thenorthern

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Components wise the Intercity 225 is probably more based on the APT-P than the Class 390 as the Class 91 has many technical features from the APT-P.

I remember when Virgin ordered the Pendolinos there was criticism that the railways in this country had effectively bought back technology that had been sold by British Rail to a foreign company 15 years before.
 

Up_Tilt_390

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Components wise the Intercity 225 is probably more based on the APT-P than the Class 390 as the Class 91 has many technical features from the APT-P.

I remember when Virgin ordered the Pendolinos there was criticism that the railways in this country had effectively bought back technology that had been sold by British Rail to a foreign company 15 years before.

I believe the Class 91 even has the ability to tilt, but this is always turned off and is probably never going to be turned on in the trains lifetime.
 

Emblematic

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I believe the Class 91 even has the ability to tilt, but this is always turned off and is probably never going to be turned on in the trains lifetime.

No, there was never a need for the locomotive to tilt, as it's solely for passenger comfort, and the various suspension components are clearly attached directly between the bodyshell and bogie. What did exist was additional power supply capability for active tilt on the coaches, never used and removed some time ago.
 

rf_ioliver

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...development. It seemed like what is an "Apple and Samsung" type competition, because both them companies used similar technology developing their smartphones, but not directly the same. Similar to how APT and Pendolino had similar technology, sometimes derived from the competitor. APT seemed to be the Apple side in this case if it was years ahead of it's competition in terms of technology. DISCLAIMER: That was just an analogy, don't take it as the start of a war between Apple and Samsung.

I'd say a better smartphone analogy would be APT-Pendolino as being something like Nokia and Ericsson, where today's modern stuff is more like Apple and Samsung, ie: they look pretty but all the real innovation was done years ago

Disclaimer: I work for Nokia, and mobile phones were just one part of the company. If you want to carry the analogy further, we built the lines, the power supplies etc, we used to build trains :) ...if you follow the analogy to a bizarre logical conclusion... :)

t.

Ian
 

randyrippley

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Pendolino and APT are completely different technologies. Pendolino bodies swing like pendulums (hence the name) from vertical risers from which the bodies are suspended. Its not a free swing - the bodies are pushed sideways by pistons.
On the APT (and would-be tilting Mk4's) the body tilt came from pistons on the bogies pushing against the underside of the bodies and physically forcing the carriage into a tilt from underneath. No pendulum effect, more like active shock absorbers pushing one side of the train up, and one down.
The German tilting trains use yet a different technology based on the stabilised turret of the Tiger II tank, inverted, and placed on top of the bogies
 
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Emblematic

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Only the early pendolino models had the pendulum-like body swing from risers (although it was always controlled by a damping mechanism, never a free motion.) Once FIAT acquired the BR patents, development switched entirely to active under-body tilt mechanisms, which have become the standard for tilt. Although the pendolino name has persisted, most are not.
Talgo Pendular is the main proponent of the passive, top-pivot approach.
 
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Three-Nine

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The German tilting trains use yet a different technology based on the stabilised turret of the Tiger II tank, inverted, and placed on top of the bogies

Do you mean the Leopard II? The Tiger II was a World War II tank, and turret stablisation systems were rather rare then (though such a system was proposed as a future upgrade that never got into production).
 

randyrippley

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Do you mean the Leopard II? The Tiger II was a World War II tank, and turret stablisation systems were rather rare then (though such a system was proposed as a future upgrade that never got into production).

ooops!
Guilty as charged.....yes I let my memory get confused. You're correct, Leopard II
 
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