CAF Civity for TfW

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

  1. VT 390

    VT 390 Established Member

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    Why not just terminate the Aberystwyth/Pwllheli services at Shrewsbury then any stock could operate Shrewsbury to Birmingham. I know that some passengers would not want to loose there through service but from my experience when I have travelled this route in full very few people were travelling through Shrewsbury with most people joining or leaving the service there.
    Also if it meant having a more reliable service and more seats it would make the change at Shrewsbury worth it and at Shrewsbury it would be easy to change platforms as long as the connecting Birmingham services used any platform other than 3.
     
  2. Jez

    Jez Member

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    Milford/Carmarthen-Manchester I would class as regional express as well as Cardiff-Holyhead, Birmingham-Holyhead and Manchester-Llandudno. This is why these are all mostly booked for 175 and/or 158s. Although they all at times call at stations which should not really be part of regional express services, especially on the North Wales Coast (due to not really having a stopper service like Swanline/Crewe Local which picks up the smaller stations most of the day) and some Manchester-South Wales services mainly in the morning and evening. Some Manchester to South Wales in particular pick up Crewe local stations and Swansea-Cardiff local stations as well as Craven Arms, Church Stretton, Pontypool etc which should not be regional express but stopper services. Even Cardiff-Nottingham pick up some smaller stations at times.
     
  3. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I would say it means 14 3-car units will get First Class and those 14 will initially operate with First Class declassified.

    Are the ECTS units all Standard Class ones?

    As I saw it 170s were fine for Edinburgh-Glasgow but going out to Aberdeen or Inverness warranted something more like a 158.
     
  4. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I was thinking they might just form a subclass seeing how similar they are really.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    OK, our definition is quite similar, then. Though I'd also call something like a Manchester to Blackpool semifast a regional express - it is quite a broad church. That said, in DB terms some of those would be bordering on InterCity (remembering that DB InterCity services are now secondary, not primary - ICE is now the primary service - effectively S-RB-RE-IR-IC has now been replaced by S-RB-RE-IC-ICE).

    (As a further comparison, the TPE Manchester-Scotland services would be IC but a Virgin Pendolino clearly ICE)

    I think this is the fundamental disagreement - the Class 170 is designed specifically for this kind of service and suits it very well. My only objection to 170s on those services is when they're too short for the demand, but that just requires more of them, it doesn't make them bad units.

    I completely agree that TfW have seriously under-ordered on almost an XC type scale. I think for long-term likely growth as increasing numbers of young people are abandoning driving the aim needs to be of a 7-car set out of Birmingham - 4 to Aber and 3 to Pwllheli. For now it should be a minimum of 3 and 2.
     
  6. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Let's hope it doesn't come back to bite them as it did CrossCountry; considering many operators are increasing capacity significantly TfW do seem to be lagging behind a bit on that one.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I fear it will, and it's a flaw in doing full fleet replacements like this. That said, a reasonably affordable solution would be to convert all Holyhead to Cardiff services to Mk4 operation rather than just 3tpd, and the CAF units so released could be ETCS fitted and used on the Cambrian to at least mean all trains west from Shrewsbury can be 4-car.
     
  8. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Or perhaps at least lengthen the Mk4 sets, one extra coach shouldn't affect performance too much I would think.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I don't think lengthening the Mk4 sets, much as this might become a good idea if the quality of the services increase demand, would release CAF units for the Cambrian, though.
     
  10. squizzler

    squizzler Member

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    If you move beyond the Clarksonian definition of performance as simply speed and acceleration and consider number of passenger miles per litre of fuel such a lengthening would equate to higher performance.
     
  11. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    Yeah. It's wasteful of a classification for any future variant to do otherwise.
    It probably will have little effect on the 67's considering they're cleared for 125MPH operations.
     
  12. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I meant more increasing capacity generally.

    I agree it would only release CAFs if you increased the number of sets to potentially Mk4s on all services on Cardiff-Holyhead.
     
  13. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Rather like ScotRail's HSTs, I think they are going to find they need to lengthen the sets to meet demand.
     
  14. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    They may of course surprise us an go for a completely random new class number.

    They may be 125mph locos but I don't think they've ever run regular trains at that speed.

    Certainly the current TfW Mk3s don't get up to more than 110mph though that's down to linespeed, Mk3b DVTs only being cleared for 110 and lack of E70 brake control.

    I'm not sure a 67 would get anything more than about 4 or 5 coaches up to 125mph and it would probably need one of the really long 125mph sections to do it.
     
  15. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    When a guard fills out the prep sheet for the loco and stock, it includes the fact that the loco is 125mph max speed and the coaching stock 110mph (the limit being, as you point out, the DVT). However, this is all rather moot as there are no sections of track with a linespeed higher than 90 that the TfW sets are booked to pass over. In fact, I don't believe there are any bits of track ever used by TfW that the 67s would be permitted to run at 125mph.
     
  16. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Although the North Wales Coast is 90mph max (indeed I believe other than one 95 and 100 section the maximum on mainlines in Wales is 90 or less) but I'm sure they run at 110mph when they go to Manchester, no - on the WCML?
     
  17. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    I believe that technically there is a 110mph section around Warrington for the short section along the WCML, but with Bank Quay station in the middle of it even if the limit is that high there's not a hope of it actually doing that kind of speed. Otherwise, Chester - Warrington is 75 and Earlestown - Manchester over Chat Moss is 90.
     
  18. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Would 100 be possible, or is 90 really the highest one could attain?
     
  19. topydre

    topydre Member

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    Regarding the 21 Cambrian units: TfW advertise a 65% seat increase across the W&B, yet there’s barely any increase in seating capacity on the Cambrian under the plans for 21 ertms units
     
  20. Cambrian359

    Cambrian359 Member

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    wasn't the point of having one large fleet of civitys replacing several other fleets so you could have a large fleet of go anywhere/do anything trains. we seem to be heading for several subfleets that cant go everywhere and do everything. first class/non first class, ertms non ertms and then 2 and 3 car units

    it is a bit worrying isn't it, if current 2/4/6 car services are replaced like for like then its a decrease for the Cambrian line seats with the new civitys, even if you include the extra Aberystwyth's the decrease on other Aberystwyth and Pwllheli services will surely counteract the extra Aberystwyth seat capacity increase.
    it does feel like a slight of hand trick....65% increase for wales as a whole but not the Cambrian line. have any figures been released for the % seat increase/decrease on the Cambrian line?
     
  21. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    I'd be surprised if they could do more then 50 on that bit never mind 100! It really isn't very long at all. But we're getting well off topic anyway.

    Aberystwyth going hourly all day is a pretty good increase. It's not yet been confirmed if the Birmingham - Holyhead service is still running, or if it does whether or not it will interwork with the Cambrian. If the answer to either of those is no, that will free up some more sets on top of the 3 from South Wales. I also seem to recall reading that the Non ERTMS sets will be designed in such a way that they can be fitted with ERTMS easily enough, if it turns out the numbers really don't work.
     
  22. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Short answer: yes. Long answer: I think the article said 21x 2-car units will be ETCS fitted, so no 3-car units will be fitted with ETCS (and the 2-car ones as far as we know will all be standard class only).

    Edinburgh-Glasgow is only about 50 minutes so I'd agree with that; although before I realised how many stops even the fastest services between Edinburgh and Glasgow make I used to think there should be 158s or similar on that too.

    As were the 158s and 175s and I think both those types suit the role much better than the 170s.

    I'm not sure about 4-car to Aberystwyth all the time (maybe a few peak journies) or 3-car to Pwllhelli in winter but both portions 3-car in summer (and Aberystwyth year-round) would make alot more sense to me. The minimum I think should be 2+2 to Aberystwyth/Pwllheli (so 4-car east of Machynlleth) every other hour with the Aberystwyths that don't have a Pwllheli portion being 3-car (joining the Holyhead portion for the trip into Birmingham, giving at least a 5-car train east of Shrewsbury in those hours).

    If more mark 4 sets were to be brought in I'd have thought it would make more sense to use them on Manchester-Swansea (as 5-car rakes) than Cardiff-Holyhead which I assume isn't so busy. It's a shame the new units (presumably) won't have BSI couplers; otherwise the obvious thing to do would be to retain the 158s alongside the new fleet (with the new fleet being fewer units than currently planned but with more 3-car sets making a similar total count of new vehicles).

    I'm not sure if Greater Anglia would agree with you there (see attached photo of data panel on mrk3 DVT with 125mph quoted as top speed).
     

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  23. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    True we are, apologies.

    Off topic, but that's the first Mk3b DVT data panel I've seen with 125mph on it. They'd still need a functioning E70 or similar brake control to meet the W125 curve though.

    Though of course this doesn't matter for TfW!


    Trying to get myself back on-topic, I imagine the CAF units will predominantly run at no more than 90mph, and as such is there much point in them being 100mph units or can this be considered future-proofing to a degree.
     
  24. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    It's exactly the same stupid mistake as Virgin made on XC 20 years ago and we are still suffering from now. If you double the frequency you are going to attract so much extra custom from a better service, particularly if that better service also includes new rolling stock, that you are going to need a LOT more capacity.

    It's utterly idiotic, and because of ERTMS (which has caused nothing but problems and was a stupid move) it means they can't just bring in a few other units when it gets busy.
     
  25. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    Whenever frequency is doubled they should use existing train lengths rather than shorter ones, but TfW seen to be falling into this trap of not doing so.

    Other than as a pilot scheme, the ERTMS seems to cause more grief than its worth, could they not have retained conventional signalling with the ERTMS superimposed so that non-ERTMS units could operate the service if needed.
     
  26. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed. Using it as a comparison, I long said the WLL Southern service needed to go either 8-car hourly or 8-car half hourly, as the latter would increase custom significantly - 4 car half hourly would not do. As it turns out they did the former in the end, and the overcrowding is near enough gone.

    They should have put it somewhere insignificant like the Conwy Valley or an East Anglia branch line with a couple of units needing to be fitted and no overcrowding issue nor peaky seasonal demand. The Cambrian was an utterly mad choice - I can hardly imagine a worse one other than fitting it to a London commuter line and stuffing that up.

    But realistically, it was yet another European standard applied to the UK where there will never be any interworking from the mainland. The UK should be exempted from ALL European/UIC "below the floor" rolling stock standards other than emissions related - PRM TSI is sensible (though RVAR did the job), but the rest of it is just pointless cost.
     
  27. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    There are already places where they will run at 100mph (specifically Wilmslow - Crewe, Birmingham New Street - International, Bridgend - Port Talbot and the once a day service via Stafford), and hopefully over time that milage will increase. At a time when other services are speeding up it would be a very retrograde step to introduce units that are slower - and bear in mind as well CAF are already building 100mph units for Northern and WMT, so it's probably easier to keep things the same!

    The Cambrian needed resignalling anyway, and somewhere in the country needed to be a testing ground for ERTMS in this country. The chances are that ERTMS will see a lot of use in this country, and hopefully the experience gained from the Cambrian will be put to good use.

    Also, I think comparisons with Virgin are a gross exaggeration. They doubled services at the same time as nearly halving capacity on individual trains, which was a mess it's true. Overall the increase in capacity across TfW is going to be huge. Extra services on all routes, with trains as long or longer then now. Some Cambrian services will see a marginal reduction in seats, but overall it will be an increase much better then what Virgin did.
     
  28. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    But this has been to the massive disadvantage of users on a "peaky" seasonal line, which would probably be able to cope with a 158 (to Aber) and a 153 (to Pwllheli) in November but could probably easily fill a 7-car formation in August (4 to Aber and 3 to Pwll), a time when demand on commuter services is well down and rolling stock could be redeployed. But it can't, because only ERTMS fitted stock can work the line.

    It was a terrible choice, one of the worst imaginable. The Cambrian should have been conventionally resignalled and the trial done on a country branch line somewhere.

    It's not much help to users of the Cambrian that the North Wales Coast is getting a capacity increase, is it?
     
  29. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    It was a network of lines relatively self contained, with zero freight, and which could be run using a minimal amount of traincrew (ERTMS training is long and expensive), but which covers a large distance and features a mixture of speeds and other features. It also required resignalling. It was a great candidate. Given ATW's well publicised issues with lack of units there was never likely to be any huge increase in capacity in the summer months anyway, and they did at least try and do small increases with 158s released from other routes.

    No, but the Cambrian isn't getting a decrease either. It's not getting as big an increase as other parts of the franchise it's true, but it's still an improvement - and bear in mind the Cambrian has already had some improvements in recent times with the partial hourly service, a much better increase then any other part of the network got in that time. To compare it to Virgin's Operation Princess disaster is a gross exaggeration.
     
  30. Cambrian359

    Cambrian359 Member

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    don't think that will be much comfort to users of the Cambrian line! having stood from Birmingham international to newtown myself before now (4 coaches) its not very nice! ive seen people stand as far machynlleth many a time, and this is outside the peak school holiday periods (they've probably continued standing further on the Pwllheli branch but machynlleth is my station)
     

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