Caledonian Sleeper

PG

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12 Oct 2010
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at the end of the high and low roads
Is there any sort of objective opinion of Mk3 vs Mk5 ride quality?
If anyone has access to a portable piece of equipment like NR use then take measurements whilst travelling on both types to compare the readings obtained.

Would be best going over the same track but I'm not sure where (if anywhere) both Mk3 and Mk5 stock runs?

I'd have thought that it would be in TransportRoads Scotland's interest to have a measured comparison, so that if the results did prove that the ride was indeed poorer than on the Mk3's they could attempt to get CAF to pay for someone who knows about it (a few decent engineers in Derby) to sort it.
 
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JohnMcL7

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18 Apr 2018
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Shame, admittedly with the benefit of hindsight, that the coupler couldn't have been stored upright (possibly on a catch) and the snow plough left intact.
There was a discussion on this previously and from what I recall, they're not allowed to run with the Dellners upright at normal speed so they need to be hanging down or folded up.

John
 

marks87

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There was a discussion on this previously and from what I recall, they're not allowed to run with the Dellners upright at normal speed so they need to be hanging down or folded up.

John
I believe that's what was meant. Have them stored up ("upright"), the same as 57/3s.
 

47271

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If anyone has access to a portable piece of equipment like NR use then take measurements whilst travelling on both types to compare the readings obtained.

Would be best going over the same track but I'm not sure where (if anywhere) both Mk3 and Mk5 stock runs?

I'd have thought that it would be in TransportRoads Scotland's interest to have a measured comparison, so that if the results did prove that the ride was indeed poorer than on the Mk3's they could attempt to get CAF to pay for someone who knows about it (a few decent engineers in Derby) to sort it.
I've seen a video of that portable piece of equipment in action. It was a one third full whisky tumbler placed on a table in a mk5 Club Car. The train was travelling at around 60mph on good track at Greenloaning between Dunblane and Gleneagles, a section of line that provided a creamy smooth ride for mk2 lounges, never mind mk3 sleepers. Every other train type passes over there without a murmer, I know because I'm up and down there all the time.

The vertical knocking and rattling is so bad that Scotch is spilling out onto the table. The passenger remarks to others. The travelling CAF engineer is challenged as he passes by. First he says that the noise is cutlery rattling on the tables, and then blames the track. This provokes ridicule from the passengers and he disappears.

I can't decide if they know how bad it is and can't tackle it, or are in denial. Going by the CAF guy's reaction I fear that it might be the latter.
 

Meerkat

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I can't decide if they know how bad it is and can't tackle it, or are in denial. Going by the CAF guy's reaction I fear that it might be the latter.
Or the chap rather likes getting paid....
Publicly admitting your company’s product is a bit poo is likely to lead to some rather uncomfortable meetings with senior management!
 

35B

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377
Or the chap rather likes getting paid....
Publicly admitting your company’s product is a bit poo is likely to lead to some rather uncomfortable meetings with senior management!
But there are other ways to respond - embarrassed denial seems most likely.
 

Goldfish62

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I think they can't tackle it and they know it.

Time someone got them to admit it and then got them to pay for someone else to carry out the necessary modifications to fix it!
The media would have a field day if they admitted it publicly. Hopefully they'll just get on and address it in private.
 

JonathanH

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Another chance to list the coaching stock formations based on someone else's gen-group posting. The most interesting happening appears to be the "Fort William" end of CS01 and CS08 swapping, presumably as a result of snow issues this week, and 15210 operating in place of a 153xx vehicle - it seems to be in place of 15303 but 15303 is in place of 15312.

As they didn't run last Sunday night, the sets should be at the opposite ends of the route at the weekend from where they have been.

CS01 14-Oct 15004-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 26-Oct 15004-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 23-Nov 15004-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 07-Dec 15004-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 04-Jan 15004-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 18-Jan 15002-15101-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 01-Feb 15002-15106-15201-15308-15307-15303-15304-15206
>>>> 15-Feb 15002-15106-15201-15308-15307-15338-15326-15211

CS02 14-Oct 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15322-15306
>>>> 26-Oct 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15322-15306
>>>> 23-Nov 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15322-15306
>>>> 07-Dec 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15306-15214
>>>> 04-Jan 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15306-15330
>>>> 18-Jan 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15306-15330
>>>> 01-Feb 15005-15103-15202-15311-15312-15313-15306-15330
>>>> 15-Feb 15005-15103-15202-15311-15303-15313-15306-15330

CS03 14-Oct 15008-15106-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 26-Oct 15008-15106-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 23-Nov 15008-15106-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 07-Dec 15008-15106-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 04-Jan 15008-15102-15203-15210-_____-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 18-Jan 15008-15102-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 01-Feb 15008-15102-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209
>>>> 15-Feb 15008-15102-15203-15316-15324-15325-15329-15209

CS04 14-Oct 15007-15105-15205-15314-15333-15332-15331-15330
>>>> 26-Oct 15007-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15330-15333
>>>> 23-Nov 15006-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15330-15333
>>>> 07-Dec 15011-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15330-15333
>>>> 04-Jan 15011-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15322-15333
>>>> 18-Jan 15011-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15322-15333
>>>> 01-Feb 15011-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15322-15333
>>>> 15-Feb 15011-15105-15205-15314-15332-15331-15322-15333

CS05 14-Oct 15009-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 26-Oct 15009-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 23-Nov 15009-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 07-Dec 15007-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 04-Jan 15007-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 18-Jan 15007-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 01-Feb 15007-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309
>>>> 15-Feb 15007-15108-15204-15318-15328-15320-15319-15309

CS06 14-Oct 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15208
>>>> 26-Oct 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15208
>>>> 23-Nov 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15208
>>>> 07-Dec 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15213
>>>> 04-Jan 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15213
>>>> 18-Jan 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15213
>>>> 01-Feb 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15213
>>>> 15-Feb 15003-15109-15207-15323-15321-15317-15310-15213

CS07 14-Oct 15010-15107-15210-15334-15305-15327-15335-15315
>>>> 26-Oct 15010-15107-15210-15334-15305-15327-15335-15315
>>>> 23-Nov 15010-15107-15210-15334-15305-15327-15335-15315
>>>> 07-Dec 15010-15107-15210-15334-15305-15327-15335-15315
>>>> 04-Jan 15010-15107-15214-15334-15327-15335-15315-15305
>>>> 18-Jan 15010-15107-15214-15334-15327-15335-15315-15305
>>>> 01-Feb 15010-15107-15214-15334-15327-15335-15315-15305
>>>> 15-Feb 15010-15107-15214-15334-15327-15335-15315-15305

CS08 14-Oct 15011-15102-15212-15339-15338-15340-15326-15211
>>>> 26-Oct 15011-15102-15212-15339-15338-15340-15326-15211
>>>> 23-Nov 15002-15110-15212-15339-15337-15338-15326-15211
>>>> 07-Dec 15002-15110-15212-15339-15337-(15338-15326-15211)
>>>> 04-Jan 15009-15110-15212-15339-15337-15338-15326-15211
>>>> 18-Jan 15009-15110-15212-15339-15337-15338-15326-15211
>>>> 01-Feb 15009-15110-15212-15339-15337-15338-15326-15211
>>>> 15-Feb 15009-15110-15212-15339-15337-15210-15304-15206

Fort William day coaches
14-Oct 15006-15104
26-Oct 15006-15104
23-Nov 15007-15104
07-Dec 15006-15102
04-Jan 15002-15104
18-Jan 15004-15104
01-Feb 15006-15101
15-Feb 15004-15104

1M11 CS08+CS02
1M16 CS03+CS05
1S25 CS04+CS01
1S26 CS06+CS07

Still no sign of 15001, 15301, 15302 and 15336. The others not in use this morning appear to be 15006, 15101, 15208, 15312 and 15340.
 

TimboM

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Another chance to list the coaching stock formations based on someone else's gen-group posting. The most interesting happening appears to be the "Fort William" end of CS01 and CS08 swapping, presumably as a result of snow issues this week, and 15210 operating in place of a 153xx vehicle - it seems to be in place of 15303 but 15303 is in place of 15312.

<…..>

Still no sign of 15001, 15301, 15302 and 15336. The others not in use this morning appear to be 15006, 15101, 15208, 15312 and 15340.
15006 + 15101 were swapped out last night by 15004 + 15104 as part of the periodic rotation of FTW day coaches.

15210 replaced 15303 in CS01 a little while back when 15303 needed to be taken out for repair. 15303 swapped out 15312 yesterday at Polmadie as you've noted.

What were the last three coaches of CS01 (including 15210 in place of 15303...) are now the last three coaches of CS08 and vice versa. This was due to the Fort Bill southbound being cancelled due to weather/failed Alcans on Tue night and likewise the northbound being cancelled on Wednesday morning and those coaches running to Aberdeen instead.

This meant on Wed night 15210 + 15304 + 15206 which had been part of CS01 and stranded at Fort Bill joined up with the first five coaches of CS08 which had run from Aberdeen as a full unit (Load 8). Conversely, the three "extra" coaches from CS08 (15338 + 15326 + 15211) ran empty from Aberdeen and were taken off and run ECS to Polmadie to join up with CS01 (which was working north on Wed night as 1S26 short-formed by three coaches due to the cancellation of the FTW southbound the previous night).

I wouldn't expect 15001, 15301, 15302 or 15336 to appear for a little while yet.
 

Roger B

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16 Jun 2018
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Gatley
15006 + 15101 were swapped out last night by 15004 + 15104 as part of the periodic rotation of FTW day coaches.

15210 replaced 15303 in CS01 a little while back when 15303 needed to be taken out for repair. 15303 swapped out 15312 yesterday at Polmadie as you've noted.

What were the last three coaches of CS01 (including 15210 in place of 15303...) are now the last three coaches of CS08 and vice versa. This was due to the Fort Bill southbound being cancelled due to weather/failed Alcans on Tue night and likewise the northbound being cancelled on Wednesday morning and those coaches running to Aberdeen instead.

This meant on Wed night 15210 + 15304 + 15206 which had been part of CS01 and stranded at Fort Bill joined up with the first five coaches of CS08 which had run from Aberdeen as a full unit (Load 8). Conversely, the three "extra" coaches from CS08 (15338 + 15326 + 15211) ran empty from Aberdeen and were taken off and run ECS to Polmadie to join up with CS01 (which was working north on Wed night as 1S26 short-formed by three coaches due to the cancellation of the FTW southbound the previous night).

I wouldn't expect 15001, 15301, 15302 or 15336 to appear for a little while yet.
Thanks JonathanH for another update - I find these really helpful - mean I don't go hanging around at antisocial times of day (and often unpleasant weather) when there's no chance of seeing anything I've not seen before!

And thanks TimboM for the commentary. It would be interesting to understand why you don't expect 15001, 14301, 15302 or 15336 to appear for a while - do you have some inside knowledge, and when are they finally expected to make an appearance?

And does anyone have any info re when 15340 will be back in action?

Many thanks
 

Bassman

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14 Dec 2018
Messages
79
I agree with comments about the seating. I took the London-Glasgow option recently (as shorter time) in the seats but would never do again. The overnight coach has more comfortable seats.
This Wednesday evening I took the berth option London to Inverness. Overall reasonably happy ( apart from the price) and I slept well. A lot of comments about lights, ride, and other items to me were not significant.
The coaches are smooth in moving off, and no noticeable shunting moves. Otherwise it is the nature of the line which gives any rough riding. The cabin interiors fine, new and the familiar Scottish staff attentive and helpful as usual.
Issues.. I did not like the fixed ladder which makes getting out of the bottom bunk harder. It does eliminate clutter.
It was an interesting puzzle to lock the door with the key card, but eventually got it. The toilet door at end of coach needs a hefty push to close, but neat and modern compared to the old stock. However I could not get hot water.

Highland passengers were generally more understanding about the problems with technical issues, and often support CS personnel when having to fend off irate customers. Computers were tripping out on the curves of the Highland & Ft. William. The coaches do not have protective skirts as do the HST Mk 3 or Azuma. Snow and ice can then interfere with some of the under-coach equipment, including exterior temperature controls. The designers were told about these issues
A failure to appreciate the extremes of weather and nature of railway experienced throughout the year on rail in the north.
 

Clansman

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I did not like the fixed ladder which makes getting out of the bottom bunk harder.
You can actually move it, though it's not meant to be by passengers judging by the design. Just wiggle the top of it at an angle and it will slot out - though if you're travelling with a companion in the top bunk, good luck finding storage space!
 

theironroad

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You can actually move it, though it's not meant to be by passengers judging by the design. Just wiggle the top of it at an angle and it will slot out - though if you're travelling with a companion in the top bunk, good luck finding storage space!
...and once you've moved the ladder out, it's possible to swivel the clips that hold it in place under the bunk so they stop scratching your legs!!!!
 

TimboM

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It would be interesting to understand why you don't expect 15001, 14301, 15302 or 15336 to appear for a while - do you have some inside knowledge, and when are they finally expected to make an appearance?

And does anyone have any info re when 15340 will be back in action?
Educated guess ;)
What is evident is that 15340 has not worked since its shunting whack in early November - and is reportedly still sat in the same spot outside Polmadie.
15001/301/302/336 were last seen out on test in early January.
There's been a few occasions since where 152xx PRM coaches have been used to sub out 153xx coaches (including recently - see above re 15210 vice 15303) - clearly indicating the 301/302/336/340 are still not available.
Highland passengers were generally more understanding about the problems with technical issues, and often support CS personnel when having to fend off irate customers. Computers were tripping out on the curves of the Highland & Ft. William. The coaches do not have protective skirts as do the HST Mk 3 or Azuma. Snow and ice can then interfere with some of the under-coach equipment, including exterior temperature controls. The designers were told about these issues
A failure to appreciate the extremes of weather and nature of railway experienced throughout the year on rail in the north.
The TCMS and electrics on the Mk5s haven't been robust in any weather! Would be interesting if there's been a notable increase in the amount of computer trip-outs, alarms, glitches etc. in the bad weather. They're certainly not a new occurrence.
You can actually move it, though it's not meant to be by passengers judging by the design. Just wiggle the top of it at an angle and it will slot out - though if you're travelling with a companion in the top bunk, good luck finding storage space!
Pretty sure there's instructions in the berth (in the leaflet) as to how passengers can take out the ladder and stow it.
 

PG

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Computers were tripping out on the curves of the Highland & Ft. William. The coaches do not have protective skirts as do the HST Mk 3 or Azuma. Snow and ice can then interfere with some of the under-coach equipment, including exterior temperature controls. The designers were told about these issues
A failure to appreciate the extremes of weather and nature of railway experienced throughout the year on rail in the north.
Conversation in the CAF design office:
  • Hmmm why do those UK coaches bother covering the bit between the bogies?
  • I think they said it helps in bad weather
  • Naa must be just cosmetic, we can save a few quid and nobody will notice.
Oops :oops:
 

Bald Rick

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Conversation in the CAF design office:
  • Hmmm why do those UK coaches bother covering the bit between the bogies?
  • I think they said it helps in bad weather
  • Naa must be just cosmetic, we can save a few quid and nobody will notice.
Oops :oops:
The Mark IIs managed just fine for nearly 50 years without them!
 

DelW

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The Mark IIs managed just fine for nearly 50 years without them!
They didn't have much in the way of train management (computer) systems or other electronic equipment either though, which probably made them less vulnerable?
 

Goldfish62

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The Mark IIs managed just fine for nearly 50 years without them!
Do you actually know that though? The Mk 3s were fitted with covers for aerodynamic
I don't suppose that the increased coach length was a factor in the use of skirts?

After all a 23 metre coach will cut in at its mid point more on a curve than a shorter coach would.
Skirts were adopted for aesthetics and aerodynamics.
 

thaitransit

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8 Mar 2008
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I agree with everything you say- for all its faults, to get from Cambridge to Kyle of Lochalsh I use the Highland sleeper from London to either Inverness or Spean Bridge without hesitation, and would only consider a day train or a flight if the sleeper was either fully booked or not an option for any reason. The sleeper is not perfect at the moment, but I for one can categorically say that it’s far more agreeable than either of the other two options for travelling from southern areas of England to the northern Highlands. I’m sure that many more folk in my position would be encouraged to use the sleeper if the berth fares were more reasonable (or the seats were made such that they were conducive to proper sleep). I don’t like airports or air travel at all, and try to avoid it wherever possible, and the day train is a waste of a day (and can be very tedious indeed- particularly if you find yourself standing up on a crush-loaded LNER up the ECML followed by a crush loaded Scotrail 170 north of Edinburgh- that really is a soul-destroying experience). Even with a first class ticket you can find yourself standing up at times on that route. Standing up on trains all the way from Peterborough to Perth as I did one Friday last autumn (had reserved seats but trains were too full to move down) is not an experience which I would ever repeat if I could help it. Compared with this, a night in a comfy bed on the sleeper (for all its faults) seems a very appealing prospect...
Why on earth would they sell more tickets for the day trains than there are seats available on the train its an all day train trip. I would be expecting a booked in advance reserved seat in any class and access to proper on board food and drinks throughout the trip!
 

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