Caledonian Sleeper

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norbitonflyer

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I think it needs to be stressed quite firmly that there are precisely two types of locomotive available in Britain at the moment that can both haul and supply ETS to the Mk 5 sleeper stock: the 73/9s, and the 92s.

And of those two types, only one type can supply ETS to a full 16-car rake of Mk 5 sleepers. Hint: it's not the 73/9s.
If Platform 5's publications are correct, the ETS index of a Mark 5 sleeper is 6, and that of the 73/9s adapted for the Caledonian Sleeper is 96, which means that a 73/9 could, in theory, supply 96/6=sixteen sleepers. (A class 92 has an ETS index of 108).

It would be a close call though, and in any case there are only six 73/9s with the higher ETS (73961-95 have ETS capacity of 38). You would need at least seven - three for the Lowlander (including the Edinburgh portion working), two for the Highlander (working through to/from Inverness) and two more for the Aberdeen and Fort William portion workings.
 

35B

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I think it needs to be stressed quite firmly that there are precisely two types of locomotive available in Britain at the moment that can both haul and supply ETS to the Mk 5 sleeper stock: the 73/9s, and the 92s.

And of those two types, only one type can supply ETS to a full 16-car rake of Mk 5 sleepers. Hint: it's not the 73/9s.
That's without considering how a 66 would manage to keep time on the trunk WCML paths in & out of Euston.
 

Bill57p9

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re #11333,im led to believe that GBRF who supply 92s for sleepers in and out of Euston are withdrawing all class 92s .Could use 66s as they do for portions to/from Edinburgh , we shall see !
I suspect that a current news story about FOCs mothballing electric traction and substituting with diesel due to high electricity prices has grown arms and legs.
There is an interesting thread on it here: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/freightliner-class-90s-mothballed.223431/

If Platform 5's publications are correct, the ETS index of a Mark 5 sleeper is 6, and that of the 73/9s adapted for the Caledonian Sleeper is 96, which means that a 73/9 could, in theory, supply 96/6=sixteen sleepers. (A class 92 has an ETS index of 108).
I looked on a data plate on a CS 73/9 last month (I didn't note which) and it claimed an ETS index of 75. It was providing hotel power for a load 12, which I thought was impressive but still 6x12=72 < 75, so all good.

ETS wiring is limited to 600A (=ETS index 100 at the spec of 800-1000V). To allow ETS >100 the 92s, Mark 5s and NightStar stock specifically support the ETS voltage to ramp up to 1400V.
 

norbitonflyer

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That's without considering how a 66 would manage to keep time on the trunk WCML paths in & out of Euston.
Would it have to be a 66 ? I appreciate anything else, such as a 67, 68 or 88, would have to be hired in, as very few of GBRf's own fleet are capable of exceeding 80mph (although the 47s and 50s would be fun!)
 

zwk500

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Would it have to be a 66 ? I appreciate anything else, such as a 67, 68 or 88, would have to be hired in, as very few of GBRf's own fleet are capable of exceeding 80mph (although the 47s and 50s would be fun!)
Could be a 67 or 68, although not sure if the Bo-Bo would cause issues with load 16. However the 88's diesel engine is so small I expect you'd either lose time or burn so much fuel it'd be cheaper to put the pan up.
 

TimboM

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re #11333,im led to believe that GBRF who supply 92s for sleepers in and out of Euston are withdrawing all class 92s .Could use 66s as they do for portions to/from Edinburgh , we shall see !
Absolute nonsense. 92s are the only locos for the job and will be going nowhere other than on the front of the Mk5s.

There’s no other locos capable and Caledonian Sleepers (who they run under) is a TOC, not a FOC.


To elaborate further and hopefully to put an end to the wild speculation (entertaining though it is):

- To haul the Sleeper Mk5s requires locos with Dellners fitted at the non-standard height they are on the Mk5s and be able to haul Load 16 rakes via these Dellners - that rules out every other loco bar the 10x modified GBRf 92s and arguably the 6x 73/9s (although there's none of those available over and above the ones required north of Edinburgh).

- For the WCML / Load 16 runs, you then require a loco that can provide sufficient ETS - notwithstanding the Dellner point above, the Class 92 is the only loco in the UK currently that can provide the ETS at the levels required.

There's several other reasons why withdrawing the 92s from the Beds is a non-starter, but these are the main ones - since the Mk5s were introduced it's been the case that if 92s aren't available they simply don't run. That would be the only option (and I can't see Transport Scotland, Caledonian Sleepers and/or GBRf letting it come to that).

Also relevant is that the Sleepers run under Caledonian Sleepers (i.e. a passenger TOC - and one which is currently government funded) and that's where the NR electricity bills go in the first instance. It isn't a GBRf freight flow, so not subject to the specific challenges the FOCs are currently experiencing that's leading to electric traction being temporarily withdrawn.

From a freight perspective, GBRf will be adding their voice to the industry clamour around the electricity prices, but in practice for the last 2-3 years GBRf haven't operated any regular electric-hauled freight on NR metals, so they're reducing their use of electrics/92s on freight from pretty much zilch to zilch.
 
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Scotrail84

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re #11333,im led to believe that GBRF who supply 92s for sleepers in and out of Euston are withdrawing all class 92s .Could use 66s as they do for portions to/from Edinburgh , we shall see !


Thats a cracker and its not even April 1st. Someone is pulling your pi**er mate
 

6Z09

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Thought these pages had been very quiet of late!
Just shows how easy it is to liven things up, thanks LeylandLen !!
An ability to think "Outside the box " and a vivid imagination are surely the staple requirements for a job in the Caledonian Sleeper marketing department ?
How about following in the "Grant Shapps model " of running a competition to decide on Locomotive provision, perhaps on a monthly basis,
a surefire winner!
 
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221129

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Currently sat just outside Carstairs where we have been for the past hour because the 92 due to go to Edinburgh has gone pop in the platform.

And now we are all going to Edinburgh.
 
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TimboM

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Currently sat just outside Carstairs where we have been for the past hour because the 92 due to go to Edinburgh has gone pop in the platform.

And now for some bizarre reason we are all going to Edinburgh now.
If the Edinburgh portion loco (92038) has failed, then realistically the split cannot happen so the train has to go as a Load 16 to either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

As I understand it a Load 16 can fit in Glasgow, but only in one Platform (11?) and causes issues when the ECS loco goes on (beyond the starter signal I think). Edinburgh on the other hand as two pairs of platforms that can comfortably take a Load 16 and facilitate the run-around for the ECS.

Loadings tend to be higher on the Edinburgh portion too.

What I don't understand (and their may be a valid explanation) is why it's taken around an hour and a half to make this move, rather than send the whole train to Edinburgh in its original path which presumably would've caused less disruption all round?
 

221129

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Not sure why it's that bizarre?
I'll be honest. I had it set in my mind that there would need to be an additional run round at Carstairs, but obviously because we were sat at the junction that is not the case.

I'm not sure why it's taken so long either. But as the Edinburgh was fully booked when I went to book, I'm not complaining as it is my destination anyway.
 

zwk500

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Is the Edinburgh portion usually driven by the same person who's worked the southbound portion to Carstairs earlier?
 

221129

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The Aberdeen portion was cancelled from Edinburgh again, the ECS from that came to bother as well. Not a great morning for Caledonian Sleeper this morning.
 

Falcon1200

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As I understand it a Load 16 can fit in Glasgow, but only in one Platform (11?) and causes issues when the ECS loco goes on (beyond the starter signal I think). Edinburgh on the other hand as two pairs of platforms that can comfortably take a Load 16 and facilitate the run-around for the ECS.

The complete train has indeed run to Glasgow Central in the past, but more often when it was hours late and the staff for the Carstairs split (shunter and/or Driver) were no longer available, meaning it would arrive at Central well after the morning peak; Even then it would still cause problems as you say, and the pressure was on to get the ECS away to Polmadie as quickly as possible.
 

TimboM

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Is the Edinburgh portion usually driven by the same person who's worked the southbound portion to Carstairs earlier?
No - two different turns (which also include the respective Polmadie/Edinburgh ECS moves).
 

northernbelle

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Apologies if this has been covered before, but does anybody know why the use of Class 66 + 73 combinations is persisting on the Fort William portion? I'd always thought this arrangement was temporary.
 

31160

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Apologies if this has been covered before, but does anybody know why the use of Class 66 + 73 combinations is persisting on the Fort William portion? I'd always thought this arrangement was temporary.
Well until the leaf fall season is over i would have thought it was at least wise to continue as is, but after that ends what happens then is anyone's guess
 

6Z09

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The Aberdeen portion was cancelled from Edinburgh again, the ECS from that came to bother as well. Not a great morning for Caledonian Sleeper this morning.
Indeed, Aberdeen bound " Guests " were treated to a "Touch of the extraordinary " making there way through Waverley and on to the delights of boarding a coach in Market Street in the early hours, a "Magical Journey" I'm sure!
 

Gonzoiku

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Indeed, Aberdeen bound " Guests " were treated to a "Touch of the extraordinary " making there way through Waverley and on to the delights of boarding a coach in Market Street in the early hours, a "Magical Journey" I'm sure!

Last time I was treated to the delights of such roaming in the gloaming, from Perth to Inverness in a minibus, calling at all stations, I was offered a £10 RTV as compensation (on top of 50% delay repay). My riposte was significantly less than effusive.

GZ
 

Scotrail84

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Apologies if this has been covered before, but does anybody know why the use of Class 66 + 73 combinations is persisting on the Fort William portion? I'd always thought this arrangement was temporary.

The 73's on their own seemingly toil on the steep gradients, especially during leaf fall season. The 66 will be there as back up to provide more traction and pulling power.
 

Stathern Jc

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I notice on RTT this morning that the Inverness portion of the Highlander this morning shows as 16 coaches, arriving at 0800 with 66737 + 73967.
The Aberdeen portion shows as Cancelled "Due to waiting connections (TM)", and the Fort William running with 6 and at the time of writing having passed Rannoch.

I haven't been into town this morning to see if there's a rake comparable with the days of the Motorail with 2 x 37s. The arrival 35 minutes early makes me think there could be a carry over in the RTT formation details from the Euston - Waverley leg??.

Someone with full info may be able to clarify?
(Also, I'm not sure whether Inverness would still be able to accommodate such a length of train as Platform 1 has been stopped short of the station canopy since the motorail days.)
 

najaB

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I notice on RTT this morning that the Inverness portion of the Highlander this morning shows as 16 coaches, arriving at 0800 with 66737 + 73967.
The Aberdeen portion shows as Cancelled "Due to waiting connections (TM)", and the Fort William running with 6 and at the time of writing having passed Rannoch.
Well, 16 minus 5 isn't 16 so it sounds like something's wrong with the data feed.
 

TimboM

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Well, 16 minus 5 isn't 16 so it sounds like something's wrong with the data feed.
8 coaches to INV
6 coaches to FTW (incl. the 2 added at Waverley)
4 coaches to ABD (running as ECS)

So "as normal".

Apologies if this has been covered before, but does anybody know why the use of Class 66 + 73 combinations is persisting on the Fort William portion? I'd always thought this arrangement was temporary.
The 73's on their own seemingly toil on the steep gradients, especially during leaf fall season. The 66 will be there as back up to provide more traction and pulling power.

The only permanent arrangement is for GBRf to provide traction to get the services from A to B (and C and D). The 73/9s were designed with AAR multi so that they could work with 66s (and 67s etc.) - it's not a happy accident or "bodge" that the combination is an option, nor is anything particularly temporary or not.

The 66s are currently being used as there's already two 73/9s out for longer term repairs or maintenance, leaving little wriggle room for any more failures. The 73/9s can cope solo on the FTW and ABD, but have to work a lot of the time in Notch 8 when doing this which generally puts strain on the locos increasing risk of failure.

Adding the 66s literally "takes the strain" and means neither loco has to use full power, reducing the risk of excessive wear and tear / failure (especially the 73/9).

For a good while now, the FTW has also been running as Load 6 as the "norm" (and Aberdeen Load 4) whereas previously the skew to the FTW portion tended only to happen in the Summer with the tourist trade.
 
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Domeyhead

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Travelled on Sunday from Euston to Aberdeen, and pleased to say the journey went perfectly. Staff were all friendly and helpful. The only issues were 1) received a text two hours before saying there would be no hot food or breakfast( which annoyed and bemused the on board staff who knew nothing about it) - it also meant reduced takings as people went to M&S to get their own sandwiches etc. Also we were in Club cabin C2 right over the bogies and yes it is both noisy and uncomfortable. Some of the line north of Crewe felt quite poor. We had been moved from C3 so somebody obviously had travelled before and asked for a swap. But great to arrive in comfort and on time and not sweating through airport queues. Recommend to all prospective travellers.
 

TimboM

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Travelled on Sunday from Euston to Aberdeen, and pleased to say the journey went perfectly. Staff were all friendly and helpful. The only issues were 1) received a text two hours before saying there would be no hot food or breakfast( which annoyed and bemused the on board staff who knew nothing about it) - it also meant reduced takings as people went to M&S to get their own sandwiches etc. Also we were in Club cabin C2 right over the bogies and yes it is both noisy and uncomfortable. Some of the line north of Crewe felt quite poor. We had been moved from C3 so somebody obviously had travelled before and asked for a swap. But great to arrive in comfort and on time and not sweating through airport queues. Recommend to all prospective travellers.
Thanks for the write-up.

The room moves are usually due to technical issues with the berths or to get (for example) families together if they’ve had to be moved from elsewhere.

It’d be unusual for you to be bumped simply because someone else asked for a more central room.
 

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