CAF Civity for TfW

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by hexagon789, 9 May 2019.

  1. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    It does, and Northern should've ordered better specced units. Northern have arguably one of the most similar operations to TfW a mix of commuter, rural long-distance, rural shorter-distance and InterCity routes, yet for the latter Northern seem to use a right mish-mash of poorly suited stock.

    Anyway, back to TfW.

    Are the 3-cars purely for use in multiple with 2-cars on Swansea-Manchester?
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What particular aspects other than the gangways (which I do agree Northern should have had)? The rest looks the same bar 1st and the moquette colour?
     
  3. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Will 2 carriages between Swansea and Carmarthen/Milford Haven be enough all day?
    For some off-peak services this seams about right but a lot of services that I have travelled on towards Cardiff in the morning and towards Carmarthen in the afternoon have always been very busy.
     
  4. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    All train designs are compromises, the Javelins are a difficult stock to spec as they have their high speed express element, but they also then operate as stopping trains on the classic lines where they operate as "normal" trains. Indeed going through the Medway towns you have the extreme of door sizes, with 395s, 375s, 465s and 700s all stopping at the same stations!
     
  5. Envoy

    Envoy Established Member

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    Obviously no first class people west of Swansea! Seriously though, I wonder if 2 car units will be sufficient west of Swansea and I hope that should demand increase further, that it will be no problem to order an extra coach for some of the 2 car units? (Remember the Voyager fiasco when they vastly increased patronage but could not order extra coaches because the facility to make them had been shut down).

    Regarding fares: I note that to travel from Bristol to Chester is much cheaper via The Marches than to travel with Cross Country via Birmingham & Crewe. In a way, The Marches, given decent stock and no overcrowding becomes a viable competing alternative to the route via Birmingham for a vast number of places.

    Ah! I see that VT 390 above was thinking exactly the same thing as me at the same time regarding 2 coach trains being insufficient west of Swansea. It is also appalling that places like Tenby & Haverfordwest only have 1 train every other hour. Perhaps they should have the 5 coach trains run to Whitland & then split? Then we have the situation with the Swansea District Line - which some have suggested should be used for fast services to/from the east to Llanelli & beyond with a new station at Morriston. Of course, with 170’s coming to west Wales, they will also provide seats west of Swansea. Perhaps GWR will increase their services to west Wales being as they can operate 5 coach trains? Only time will tell how demand pans out.
     
    Last edited: 10 May 2019
  6. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    We'll wait and see on the ironing board front but the lack of 1st and end gangways makes for a poor showing.
     
  7. grumpyoldman01

    grumpyoldman01 Member

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    I remember reading the spec for the Integrated South Eastern Franchise (or whatever it was called !) and it comprised a requirement that trains procured for HS1 services should be able to match the dwell times for Electrostars when serving 'classic' route stations
     
  8. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Oh, I am bothered about the seats as well. For me the argument is overall quality - if the new trains do not match the quality of the existing (158/175) in any respect I shall not be entirely happy. Door positions are one of those respects, seats are another.

    I disagree; in suitablity terms there is only one thing significantly wrong with the 175s in my opinion - the lack of unit end gangways. The seats on the 175s are a bit on the hard side and I'd need to have a good look at seat alignment with windows but that aside I would basiclly have said '175 with end gangways' in the spec for the franchise.

    Exactly, double-leaf doors eat saloon space; there is a certain irony in Transport for Wales proclaiming that they have done the sums and ordered enough stock to eliminate standing on the Civity routes but then significantly increase standing space by opting for a suburban door layout.

    The doors on a 158 are slightly offset from the vehicle ends, with toilets and bicycle spaces beyond them. That's not quite 1/4, 3/4 doors like on a Javelin but does slightly reduce the walking distance between the seats and doors. It's a shame the door mechanism on the 158s is so slow compared to the 175s otherwise a 158 would probably have shorter dwells than a 175.

    I've bolded part of the above quote... That's the thing - these are long distance routes we're talking about and (Runcorn-Llandudno aside) generally the stops are well over 10 minutes apart, or so lightly used that dwell times won't be an issue anyway. Losing seats, legroom, toilets and luggage space in favour of standing room is not (or should not be) desirable on these routes. But that's exactly what the suburban door layout does (I'm told there are plans for no toilets in the centre coach, seat pitch less than a 175 (although better than a 158), fewer table bays than either 175s or 158s etc).

    If I recall correctly the 3-car units are planned to be broken up into two sub-fleets, one with first class for the Swansea-Manchester and a few without 1st (presumably for north Wales - Manchester or the Liverpool services).

    I've certainly been on a fairly busy platform at Haverfordwest one Saturday morning and was glad when a 3-car 175 turned up; I'm not sure whether everyone would have got a seat on a 2-car.

    Although there have been no promises of 1st class west of Swansea, I seem to recall discussion on another topic around the number of 3-car units with 1st class planned. It was slightly more than you'd expect if they were just doing Swansea-Manchester, whether this means there might be 1st class on some workings west of Swansea after all (in order to provide 3-car sets rather than because of the 1st class facility) I'm not sure.

    Given the running times from Whitland to Tenby/Pembroke Dock/Milford Haven/Fishguard the passing loop at Tenby is in the wrong place for any sort of clockface even-interval service east of Whitland. If a pair of units split at Whitland with one going to Pembroke Dock and the other to Fishguard/Milford they would get back to Whitland at very different points of the hour, so couldn't join back up again.

    I also think there should be an hourly Carmarthen-Cardiff service via the Swansea District Line with 2 per day extending to/from Fishguard (connecting with both ferry services) and several others to Milford Haven (alternating with services from Swansea giving Milford Haven services at 50/70 minute intervals - not quite hourly because doing that would mean the Swansea District Line service having to run in the same path as the Swansea service east of Carmarthen). In order to resource the Swansea District Line services I think either the 158s (giving the possibily of splitting at Carmarthen/Whitland/Clarbeston Road) or the 175s (giving the option of 3-car services) should be retained by the franchise.
     
  9. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    So not all 3-car sets will be fitted with a First Class?
     
  10. OrangeJuice

    OrangeJuice Member

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    What about the other Holyhead to Cardiff trains (as in not the local hauled), will they be 3 cars with 1st or just standard only?
     
  11. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I myself don't know, but I would be interested to know.

    At a guess if not all the 3-cars will have First Class, it seems to me that only the loco-hauled Cardiff-Holyhead will have First Class accommodation, but I could be completely wrong.
     
  12. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Wider Doors at ⅓ ⅔ positions will have a massive impact on dwell times. It's not just Manchester Piccadilly platform 14 that had issues - I was at Hereford in the middle of the afternoon the other day wishing I had a 150 as I was losing time whilst the modest crowd queued to board through the narrow end doors of my 175.

    I'm also convinced that a large reason for the generally false belief that the Marches line suffers from overcrowding is that people aren't prepared to go further then the vestibule to see if there are seats - with doors in the middle, it will be much more obvious if there are empty seats available, and hopefully people will be encouraged to move down the train and use them. So often I'll tell people in the vestibule that there are empty seats in the saloon and they'll be surprised. I had 15 empty seats in one carriage of my 175 today and the passengers in the vestibule had no idea until I told them!

    One other thing - you're assuming that most people are traveling long distances. You'd be wrong: the majority of passengers using these units will be on shorter runs into their nearest city/large town. These units will be perfect for that - but there's no reason that ⅓ ⅔ doors mean they can't still be comfortable for the minority making long journeys as well (as long as the seats are comfortable). You only have to travel on a 350 or 168 to see that.

    I love the 175s - they've done a great job despite a difficult entry into service and the fact they're well overdue a refurb, but they're really not great at moving big crowds quickly, and these days that's what's needed more often then not on the routes they serve.
     
  13. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I think it's a difficult balance to strike between having a train suited to long-distances but which can also deal with eating up large crowds quickly and frequent stops.

    The 170s arguably got the latter part but were never really suited to long-distance workings in my opinion.

    Nevertheless, I have to say I think TfW are right to order these trains with 1/3-2/3 doors because in the long run that's probably going to be better for the services they will operate.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think 170s are suited very well to medium-long distance regional expresses, which other than the Mk4-operated services is exactly what the Welsh long-distance services are.
     
  15. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Very true, I think the 158s in particular are not well suited to some of the routes they operate for precisely the reason of the doors.

    ScotRail using HSTs works because with the new timetable there are fewer stops and the superior acceleration and power doors means there isn't as much of an issue with slightly longer dwells.

    For TfW everything seems to stop a bit more frequently and because of that a train similar to a 170 but hopefully a bit nicer internally is just the thing.

    Though it seems as though they'll be just like a 170 with gangways now and with no toilet in the centre car I do hope TfW aren't letting themselves in for some of the problems CrossCountry often have on their 170 services.
     
  16. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The Scotrail HST hopefully being less crowded generally should help (especially when 5 car running starts)
     
  17. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Hopefully having 5-car lash-ups on Swansea-Manchester will help TfW in a similar vein! ;)
     
  18. Phil from Mon

    Phil from Mon Member

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    Have to say that whenever I have used an XC 170 from Brum down to Cheltenham or Gloucester I have felt it was perfectly good for the service
     
  19. VT 390

    VT 390 Member

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    Will there still be seat reservations on the Cardiff to Manchester services and if so are they still going to be paper ones or electronic displays?
     
  20. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    Reading the arguments between the advocates of end doors versus those for mid doors makes me pine again that the uk network cannot handle double deckers. The Bombardier Omneo and Desiro HC have double decker cars with masses of seating where long distance travellers can make themselves comfy and short single deck cars with the doors on that function as the vestibules also with standing/bike space.
     
  21. Phil Scott

    Phil Scott Member

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    Have these CAF units been issued a class number yet? Class 197 might make sense...
     
  22. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Not yet that I know of, and yes - 197 would be quite logical.
     
  23. 185143

    185143 Established Member

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    So they definately won't be 197s!:D
     
  24. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Well they do like to confound logic at times!

    If not 197 are they that different to the 195/196s?
     
  25. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    I've now found the source and it's not as clear cut as I'd remembered:

    From Modern Railways: December 2018 issue (page 14). You could read that as 14x 3-car units having first class and the other 12x 3-car units not having first class. Or you could read it as the 14 units for Manchester-Swansea will initially be standard only and the other 12 will be first class fitted from new. I'm inclined to go with the first interpretation myself (ie. 12x 3-car units WILL NOT get first class).

    14 units fitted with first class sections seems a little more than I would expect given the very tight rostering planned for the Cambrian. I assume the 21 units with ETCS would have to cover:
    • Aberystwyth - Birmingham International (hourly)
    • Pwllheli - Birmingham International (every 2hrs)
    • Holyhead - Birmingham International (every 2hrs)
    I make that 19 diagrams worth. That would give 4-car between Birmingham and Shrewsbury every hour, and as far as Machynlleth in the hours the train runs to Pwllheli. The Cambrian Coast, Machynlleth-Aberystwyth and Shrewsbury-Chester-Holyhead would be stuck with 2-cars at all times. With only 2 ETCS units spare in the fleet, there is zero scope to length Cambrian Coast workings in the summer and any strengthening of the Shrewsbury-Chester-Holyhead section would have to be done by attaching a non-ETCS fitted unit (assuming the software allows that).

    With the extremely tight utilisation of the ETCS units established, I find it very unlikely that 14 first class units would be used only on Swansea-Manchester, which I estimate as requiring just 9 diagrams (leaving 5 units spare). The full Manchester-Carmarthen/Milford trips I think add up to 12 diagrams, so I do wonder whether the intension is to leave the 2-car portion at Swansea with the 3-car unit continuing west with first class declassified (or perhaps a 2-car unit heading west in some hours and a 3-car, with first class, in others).

    Sure, they would shave off some dwell time but I don't think that's as important as providing a high-quality environment; only Manchester Piccadilly is actually a problem as that's the only station concerned where occupying the platform for a longer period is an issue.

    I don't pretend to know whether there are more long-distance or short-distance passengers on board; I know the services are used for both. The issue in my mind is that the long-distance passengers (and you may well be correct that it is a minority of those on board) have no other choice, other than travelling by road or perhaps air. There are no faster services that most of the long-distance passengers would be aiming for; the routes the Civities will work ARE the fast services in most cases.

    I would argue that even the Holyhead-Cardiff services are medium-long distance regional express services; if anything Swansea-Manchester is more INTERCITY than Holyhead-Cardiff. Where I disagree is that 170s are suitable for Regional Express work. Note the word I have put it bold; express means the service isn't stopping every five minutes (although the 'regional' bit means they could run onto a rural line where they are stopping every five minutes for that part of the journey, but only a handful of pax will board/alight at many of those stops). Thus the extra 30 seconds or so of dwell time (if using end-door stock) at each of the main stations doesn't add up to a huge amount of the overall end-to-end running time. I think those dwell times are a price worth paying for the better passenger environment; clearly BR did too when they replaced the 150s on the likes of TPE with 155s/156s/158s (and similarly TPE are now doing the same with 802s/397s/mk5s replacing some of the 185s).

    Exactly; there are fewer stops (compared to a suburan service like Maesteg-Cheltenham) and the new trains should have fast doors (similar to a 175) not the slow ones that 158s have.

    Ditto in Wales; I think the answer should be making the trains longer than they are now, so that passengers can spread out between more doors, not making the doors wider.

    Personally, while they are planning to downgrade the network to suburban trains I'm calling them class 196s (as they look just like the West Midlands units), but what I want to see (with narrow doors like the 397s) I'm calling 197s... Not heard of an offical class number for them though.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think we see “regional express” differently. A RE is a not-all-stations service that carries primarily intermediate journeys.
     
  27. Cambrian359

    Cambrian359 Member

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    Think I’ve made the point somewhere before, Cambrian lines trains can be pulled to cover stock shortages across wales but nothing will be able to help the Cambrian line when it’s short on units due to ETCS, with less trains capable of Cambrian line running than there is now in the future, and coupled with shorter carriages (as far as I’m able work out the Civity’s will be shorter ) than current units it doesn’t look to great for the Cambrian line!(comparing to the rest of wales in 5 years time)
    Hourly Aberystwyth’s aside surely that leaves the pwllheli line with less capacity than now which might be fine in the winter but the summer as you point out........
     
  28. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Only diffrence to the 196 is first class, so maybe 196/2 & /3.
     
  29. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Maybe we do see it slightly differently; to me "Regional Express" services:
    • are medium/long-distance services
    • have at least some limited-stop (not-all-stations) sections (or if the stations are quite far apart anyway, particularly if the train gets above 75mph)
    • don't serve a big enough market to justify INTERCITY level facilities
    • may include sections on rural routes where all stations are served because this is the only service on the line (eg. the Cambrian Coast, I would call that a 'Regional' service if it terminated at Machynlleth but since it carries on at higher speeds to Birmingham, ommiting several stations east of Shrewsbury, the present service is a 'Regional Express')
    Whether the passengers using it are 'primarily intermediate journeys' or the train is (for example) full of passengers doing Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury or Machynlleth to Birmingham (both of which I suppose are 'intermediate journeys' since they are not the full route, but nevertheless are still long journeys) is neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned, as long as long-distance journeys are possible on the service (I'd need some examples to decide, but it's possible I would make exceptions to this if there are faster alternative trains on the same route, particularly if they overtake the service concerned).

    Examples of regional express services in my view are:
    • Most of the proposed Civity routes on Wales & Borders
    • Cardiff - Nottingham
    • Liverpool - Norwich
    • Cardiff - Portsmouth
    The 170s on Cardiff-Nottingham started my whole objection to 'doors-at-thirds'; they shouldn't be on that route and the Turbos for Cardiff-Portsmouth aren't right either.

    I think with class 195s the coaches are actually slightly longer than a 158; but according to SARPA's March 2019 newsletter the 2-car Civitys for Wales & Borders would have 20 fewer seats than a 158 (the figures I had from Transport for Wales don't match the ones in the newsletter, but it's still fewer seats, tables and toilets than even the 175s (although the 2-car units are at least expected to have 2 toilets; same as now). The Aberystwyth unit can be pretty full throughout the journey at present, I can see 3-car units being needed at times if the hourly service increases demand much.

    There's going to be summer capacity trouble unless Holyhead-Birmingham is to be cut back to Shrewsbury-Birmingham, connecting out of the Cambrian services at Shrewsbury. I can't see that happening because of the anger it would cause with Gobowen, Chirk, Ruabon and Wrexham losing their through Birmingham services (for Chester and the north Wales coast it's faster via Crewe anyway).
     
    Last edited: 19 May 2019
  30. OrangeJuice

    OrangeJuice Member

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    In regards to the limited number of planned ETCS equipped stock to replace the 158s, is the only additional workings on the cambrian the hourly Aberystwyth services?

    Also are some of the Birmingham to Holyhead services 4 car throughout? If this is the case then would the Aberystwyth hourly trains just be running instead of to Holyhead? And when combined with the fact they won't be needed to cover south West Wales /services around Cardiff like the 158s currently do, would that mean they'll have enough to cover the bust summer Coast services all as 4 car to Machynlleth (from Birmingham)?
     

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