British Rail Class 91 and Mark IV coaches where are they going to go?

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Brystar35

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Hello everybody i don't post alot in this forum but i do like British Railways and i live in America in Florida to be precise and that we don't have alot of trains in Florida compared to the United Kingdom.

My Question for all of you is about the British Rail Class 91 where are they going to go and also what will happen to the Mark IV coaches when the new British Rail Class 800, 801 will start operating on the East Coast Main Line?

Which Railway Mainline has the capacity for the British Rail Class 91 and Mark IV coaches to go to?
 
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AndyW33

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An interesting set of questions that have been asked and discussed many times before.
Every time it looks like there is a clear answer something happens to make that answer unlikely.
So: at the moment it looks like not all the 91/Mk4 sets will leave the East Coast because as usual the Department for Transport have failed to authorise enough 800/801 sets to allow for continually increasing demand.
Nobody knows for sure where the ones that do leave will go to.
To use the locos and rolling stock together it would need to be an electrified route, or one that will become electrified in the near future.
The only already electrified route they would be any use on is London-Norwich, replacing the 90/Mk3 trains. It is thought that the Train Operating Company has a different solution in mind though - new multiple units.
A lot of people thought that the Midland Main Line would make a good home for them once electrification was completed. The problem here is that what with the government interference last year and the general shortage of experienced electrification personnel, this project is running several years late, and the trains would end up in storage for two or three years before they could be used.
After that, well your guess is as good as anyone elses.
 

Emblematic

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MML is still a possibility, the need to refit or replace the HSTs by 2020 plus the franchise change in 2018 makes it awkward enough, before factoring in electrification. Mk4 + 67 is a cheap and available option, re-introduce 91s when the wiring is done with minimal impact (avoiding dramas such as happening with GW/IEP.) New franchisee can offer replacement of Mk4s post-electrification.
Plenty of other possibilities for MML though.
 

Blamethrower

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believe me, mk4s will be a massive improvement on mk3s on the MML.

Well, just anything with a modern refurbished interior will help to complement the 222s
 

61653 HTAFC

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If they do end up on London to Norwich, chances are it'd only be the trailers that make the move, not the class 91 locomotives. This is because line speeds on that route are 100mph max and won't require the 125mph top speeds of the 91s. The class 90s which operate the route currently would be more suitable as they have a top speed of 110mph and as a result better acceleration than the 91s. Even so, it's quite likely that the next Anglia franchise will specify replacement rolling stock so the 225s would only be a stop-gap, realistically.
 

TH172341

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If the MML electrification had been on schedule the MK4 sets and 91s would've been ideal for a few years. However with it running late now, the liklihood of 91s being used is a rapidly fading possibility. Whether the 91s would be able to mechanically carry on past the 2020s is open to debate and the effect of short term storage on their state.

The only other possibility I could see, which also is arguably unlikely, is transferring a few over to Virgin West Coast to replace some of the 221s currently operating on the Glasgow "under wires" diagrams. That would be a good plan on paper considering it would free up some 221s for XC to use for much needed capacity improvements. However I assume the lack of a tilt on the 91s would restrict their speed limits to 110mph on certain sections of the route, lengthening travel times in comparison to the 221s. Their slower acceleration as well could result in fewer paths as a result, and of course again, the mechanical ageing issue would eventually catch up with them.

I think VTEC are planning on retaining a number to operate extra London - Edinburgh diagrams (7-9 hang around in my mind? Correct me if I'm mistaken there!), which is a good idea. However the rest of the fleet looks destined for the scrappers. Sad, I admit, however the 91s will have have done their job on the ECML very successfully over the years and reached their natural end. It would be very much like Japan though where the Komachis Shinkansen E3 series from 1995 were withdrawn and scrapped by 2013.
 

sprinterguy

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I think VTEC are planning on retaining a number to operate extra London - Edinburgh diagrams (7-9 hang around in my mind? Correct me if I'm mistaken there!), which is a good idea.
Fifty four vehicles forming six sets, according to the franchise agreement. Although the stated seating capacities for these sets seems to suggest the loss of one TSO (76 seats) and one 112xx series FO (41 seats), so the total vehicle number might well be inclusive of locomotive and DVT (sandwiching seven carriages).
 
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Townsend Hook

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Given the general lack of electric freight locos in this country, coupled with the fact that electrified track mileage is on the rise, is there any chance that the 91s could find future work on fright services, or indeed displace Freightliner's ancient class 86s?
 

sprinterguy

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Given the general lack of electric freight locos in this country, coupled with the fact that electrified track mileage is on the rise, is there any chance that the 91s could find future work on fright services, or indeed displace Freightliner's ancient class 86s?
There remains a large number of redundant class 90s and 92s with DB Schenker which would be better suited to freight work.

The gearing on a class 91 is ill-suited to freight work, and I think that Freightliner would find the class 91s to be less reliable and far more technically complex than their workaday class 86s.

Additionally, unlike the Woodhead scheme in the fifties and the WCML scheme in the sixties and seventies, electrification schemes don't really provide for electric freight service any more (the exception to this would be the "Electric Spine", but it all seems to have gone quiet on that one), and freight operators seem unwilling to switch to electric traction where diesel power would still be required to enter the terminal, or cover the last few miles, at the end of the route (although in the former case we can wait and see how effective DRS' class 88s will be).
 

Bletchleyite

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The stock, being newer, might be suited to operations like Chiltern or ATW's loco hauled services, particularly if the DVT can be adapted to use with a Class 67 or 68 - even with the new builds for Northern and TPE there will still be a DMU shortage, and the ageing 150s, 153s and 156s won't last forever. The 91s - well, I agree these might see out their days on the ECML unless there is a change of heart and TPE take 91+Mk4 for WCML work.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
As for freight, fitting locomotives with a small last-mile diesel engine would probably solve that problem. You don't need to enter freight terminals at 100mph; a DMU engine or two might well suffice for moving a train at 10mph. Indeed, it seems the Class 88 is taking a not dissimilar approach. I similarly think for passenger use a bi-mode capable of 110 or even 125mph on the juice but 75mph on the diesel would have quite a lot of viable uses.
 
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CosherB

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There remains a large number of redundant class 90s and 92s with DB Schenker which would be better suited to freight work.

The gearing on a class 91 is ill-suited to freight work, and I think that Freightliner would find the class 91s to be less reliable and far more technically complex than their workaday class 86s.

Additionally, unlike the Woodhead scheme in the fifties and the WCML scheme in the sixties and seventies, electrification schemes don't really provide for electric freight service any more (the exception to this would be the "Electric Spine", but it all seems to have gone quiet on that one), and freight operators seem unwilling to switch to electric traction where diesel power would still be required to enter the terminal, or cover the last few miles, at the end of the route (although in the former case we can wait and see how effective DRS' class 88s will be).

Exactly. With AGA likely to let go of their 90s along with the Mk3 stock, Porterbrook will be looking for new homes for 15 Class 90s. Freightliner? GBRf? Colas? Europe?
 

jopsuk

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The Mark IVs can't easily provide the much needed capacity upgrades for the GEML as they still have the issue of the space taken by the loco (the DVT may or may not be able to be converted for passenger use).

Truth is that with the insistence that they are displaced from the ECML (and I forsee a mid-franchise variation agreement to add a few IEP units...) there's very little use for them. Chiltern have no need to replace their Mark 3 sets, MML is unclear. They'd be restricted on the WCML unless a vast amount was spent to fit them with the tilt kit they were never built with.

Much as with the MML, if they'd been available earlier Scotrail could have paired them to diesel locos (Class 67 or a new fleet of 68s) instead of the HSTs, but that won't happen.
 

Iskra

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The Mark IVs can't easily provide the much needed capacity upgrades for the GEML as they still have the issue of the space taken by the loco (the DVT may or may not be able to be converted for passenger use).

Truth is that with the insistence that they are displaced from the ECML (and I forsee a mid-franchise variation agreement to add a few IEP units...) there's very little use for them. Chiltern have no need to replace their Mark 3 sets, MML is unclear. They'd be restricted on the WCML unless a vast amount was spent to fit them with the tilt kit they were never built with.

Much as with the MML, if they'd been available earlier Scotrail could have paired them to diesel locos (Class 67 or a new fleet of 68s) instead of the HSTs, but that won't happen.

They could work the Manchester-Scotland services in reduced configuration, thus releasing 185's and 350's for other uses and restoring proper intercity stock and providing more seats. Tilt would thus no longer be an issue.

But, yes options are looking increasingly limited for the 91's.
 

Townsend Hook

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There is still plenty of life in them, always a chance that the 91s will follow in the footsteps of the various 86s, 87s and 92s that have found a new life in Eastern Europe.
 

Bletchleyite

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Meanwhile scrapping perfectly good passenger coaches is unthinkable when there are still Mk2s running around in various places.

Everyone thought, when the WCML got Pendolinos, the Mk3s would end up in scrap. As it turns out, there is more demand for them than availability.
 

Haydn1971

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Meanwhile scrapping perfectly good passenger coaches is unthinkable when there are still Mk2s running around in various places.


The Mk4's are pretty safe from the scrap yard, more so than the Class 91's. It's not over for the 91's yet, despite no obvious future home at this stage.
 

The Ham

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How do you know this? - no one else seems to know
Brian

Even if they don't know anything, the fact that passenger growth is going up so fast that the ROSCO would be stupid to scrap an asset that they could store for a few years (if not months) and then lease as needed (akin to the order for 20 sets of 387's with no current home).
 

Bletchleyite

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What, Mk4s? Precedent, mainly. Many thought Mk3s would be scrapped after the WCML Pendolinos were delivered. They weren't - because hugely increasing passenger demand requires rolling stock. Crikey, there are even Mk2s in everyday service - at the very least those can be replaced. Or how about going DVT+Mk4+68 on all North Wales services to free up DMUs?

Loads of options.

As for 91s, I doubt anyone knows yet.
 
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CosherB

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Even if they don't know anything, the fact that passenger growth is going up so fast that the ROSCO would be stupid to scrap an asset that they could store for a few years (if not months) and then lease as needed (akin to the order for 20 sets of 387's with no current home).

Quite right. It would be nuts to scrap any of the Mk4s, and the 91s at present.
 

gimmea50anyday

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A number of mk3s were scrapped. Porterbrook staged a protest and chopped some up on the basis, "TOC's, lease 'em or lose 'em"
 

47271

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A number of mk3s were scrapped. Porterbrook staged a protest and chopped some up on the basis, "TOC's, lease 'em or lose 'em"
Some must've got the chop because I know of at least one (and not a sleeper) that's a holiday cottage on the Yorkshire coast somewhere. I don't know how they ventilate it, via the droplights presumably, but it looks a bit strange in the photos I've seen. You might as well take your holiday in a parked Turbostar. Not an olde worlde camping coach in the traditional sense.
 

cjmillsnun

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believe me, mk4s will be a massive improvement on mk3s on the MML.

Well, just anything with a modern refurbished interior will help to complement the 222s

I disagree. The Mk3s on the MML are some of the most comfortable coaching stock on the whole network.

But we are all different.
 

yorksrob

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I disagree. The Mk3s on the MML are some of the most comfortable coaching stock on the whole network.

But we are all different.

I too would agree that the Mk3's on the MML are some of the most comfortable on the network. It's hard to see how anything will be an improvement.
 

47271

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A bit more back on topic but picking up on the last few posts, and to compare the experience of travelling mk3 vs mk4 on the East Coast.

I'd go for the mk4 every time. They feel a lot tighter and smoother. I've had quite a few HSTs recently that have felt really quite rough and fragile with odd rattles, crashes and bangs, especially at speed through the bends around Cockburnspath, to the extent that I'd rather avoid booking on them if I have the choice.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a mk3, it's just that the VTEC ones are starting to feel worn out to me.
 
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