Class 156 lifespan

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Mikey1984, 22 Sep 2012.

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  1. 12CSVT

    12CSVT Established Member

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    Given how long they have been in service, the age difference between the newest and oldest 156 units is almost negligible.

    While the biggest users of 156s are Northern and Scotrail, the first 19 units (156401 to 156419) all either belong to EMT or Greater Anglia. EMT only have 4 class 156s numbered above 156419 (156470/473/497/498) and Greater Anglia just have one (156422). Which 156s are withdrawn first will be down to the relevant TOC.
     
  2. David Goddard

    David Goddard Member

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    I cant believe we are discussing withdrawal of Cl156s! They have always been excellent units in most respects. I am sure that if some are cascaded from Scotland there will be no shortage of operators wanting to take them on. They are well used by the three English TOCS that use them, and I would hazard a guess that they would be delighted to receive more, either to bolster their existing fleets or in the case of Northern to help kick start removal of 142s off the books all together.
    Another useful destination for these would be to replace 150s in west Wales for the Pembroke Dock/Fishguard/Heart of Wales group of services.
     
  3. transmanche

    transmanche Established Member

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    Yes, it would be fabulous to eliminate 142s from some of the longer journeys (e.g. Newcastle-Carlisle or Nunthorpe/Middlesbrough-Hexham).
     
  4. Mikey1984

    Mikey1984 Member

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    I asked the original question- but purely out of curiosity and not as any desire to see them gone.
     
  5. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    When the Oldham Loop 5 were actually withdrawn it was only really temporary until relevant discussions about funding were completed. When the original 12 were withdrawn it was due to 30 cascaded Sprinters being introduced so was effectively seen as a permanent withdrawal.
     
  6. daccer

    daccer Member

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    The withdrawal of DMU's would seem to be directly connected to the spread of electrification. It is battle that seems to be moving slowly despite recent announcements.

    If Pacers are gone by the first batch of wiring (say by 2019) it would seem that the Sprinters are destined to get to a grand old age before the wires make them obsolete.
     
  7. WillPS

    WillPS Established Member

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    That's a rather big if. The maths has been attempted several times and it's difficult to see how the electrification planned will allow for Pacer withdrawal.
     
  8. aformeruser

    aformeruser Veteran Member

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    Oh some people think they can but ignore almost all plans for extra capacity and additional services over the next few years in doing so.
     
  9. 158722

    158722 Member

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    Unfortunately, Scotland will not be as big a contributor of spare DMUs over the next few years as was hoped - with the EGIP scheme scaled back to just the E&G mainline for now, with Stirling/Falkirk/Alloa/Dunblane 'delayed' into the next control period. Hopefully this will still go ahead.

    Meanwhile, Paisley Canal wiring will free up a pair of 156s, which are more than likely to be retained by ScotRail for strengthening services or eliminating the Fife loco hauled service - the 156s return to the Whifflet turns, with the 158s currently diagrammed replacing the 67 turn for example.

    E&G wiring will free up something around 12 to 14 170s by 2015 - a good number to start a cascade going. I would suggest that is a sufficient number to warrant getting clearance for the class on the GSW routes - Glasgow/Carlisle/Newcastle/Stranraer - along with all the relevant crew training. This, combined with plans to progressively wire Whifflet, East Kilbride, Kilmarnock and the Shotts route over the next few years, will lead to the 156s being eliminated from Glasgow southside services with 170s covering the non-electrified services over the Newcastle-Carlisle-Kilmarnock-Ayr-Stranraer sections.

    Very few 156s operate non-WHL services out of Glasgow QS, mostly marginal time workings between WHL turns, but some big decisions will have to be taken on WHL traction soon. The far North and Kyle are fine with 158s (especially the refurbished 701-725 batch) and indeed, Inverness could do with more 158s for Aberdeen services as passenger numbers continue to rise with 4-car 158s replacing 3-car 170s. Indeed, ScotRail's longest train DMU set currently works out of Aberdeen - a 7 car evening departure of 2x158s and a 170!

    This leaves the WHL conundrum... Options?
    1. A heavy refurbishment of around a dozen 156s, with new seating, air con, new disabled access toilet and possibly re-engining to cope with the extra power demands of air con. Option likely to be expensive and how far will the leasing company go in investing in 25 year old stock?
    2. Route clearance for 158s, made available by cascading 170s freed from E&G wiring on to Fife/Dunblane services. The IS based refurbished 158s are fine on the similar Far North/Kyle lines, with decent seating arrangements to allow a good view of the scenery on these lines. Whilst the use of 90mph on these lines is not ideal, the 158s are still pretty good off the mark and hill climbing - maybe not as good as the lower geared 156s, but better than the lethargic 170s. Option likely to need unknown Network rail investment to route clear the WHL for 158s, despite the stock being already suitable inc RETB fitting, etc. Service pattern can be retained with joining/separation of trains at Crianlarich.
    3. Route clearance for 170s, made available from E&G wiring. Again, unknown costs of route clearance, plus 170s not RETB equipped or fitted with corridor connections, bringing complications south of Crianlarich as regards ticket checks and trolley services. Gearing of the units is also rather high for a route where lower speed acceleration and hill climbing ability are more important than top speed. Re-gearing of the units could be contemplated, along with a refurb of the interior with internal doors by the entrances to minimise the effect of the saloon being open to the elements when the doors are opened!
    4. New build, something like an LM 172, 2 or 3 car sets with corridor connections. Possibly only around 10-12 sets required as by 2019, the only diesel services out of Glasgow QS will be the WHL turns. Again, expensive and will the leasing companies invest, given the expected glut in DMU availability in the 2020s as electrification spreads?
     
  10. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    Four doubled up 170s an hour at peak times would require sixteen 170s (assuming no spares are required, maintenance etc)

    Apart from having nicer seats, what's better about the 158s on the Far North/ Kyle? The top speed certainly isn't required

    If Alloa and Dunblane have been postponed for a bit then I can't see the Dundee/ Aberdeen services being electric by 2019 (even if Glasgow - Inverness is scaled back in favour of more Edinburgh - Inverness services)
     
  11. 158722

    158722 Member

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    Not every peak time E-G service used to be a pair, not sure if that is the current situation, but even if so, a couple of 170s would most likely be retained for strengthening Aberdeen or Inverness services, hence estimate of 12-14 units.

    The Refurbished 158s are quite pleasent to travel in, certainly more so than a 156 on journeys of up to almost 4 hours potentially. Agreed, no real performance gain over the 156s though.

    Poor explanation on my part - what I was trying to get at was that the only services out of Queen St requiring or suited to 156-type units would be the WH services as most/all of their infill work such as Anniesland, Falkirk and Cumbernauld will be covered by electric units. Quite agree, the QS express services to Inverness & Aberdeen will remain diesel for at least another decade.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Out of curiosity, just had a run through the current timetable and all Newcastle/Carlisle-Glasgow and Kilmarnock-Ayr-Girvan-Stranraer services can be covered by 10 diagrams - a dozen 170s displaced from the E&G would work nicely, allowing 12 156s to go to Northern and displace Pacers. Wishful thinking?!
     
  12. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    If that happened then I suppose it'd be the end to through workings to/from Newcastle. At the moment both TOCs (FSR and Northern) use the same stock on these services, so there's no problem with crew knowledge/ swapping units around/ disruption. But if FSR were running 170s that may cease (with FSR terminating all services at Carlisle). Just a guess though.
     
  13. CarterUSM

    CarterUSM Established Member

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    I find myself working 156's nearly every shift, and I love them. Reliable, simple to operate, and not too shabby off the mark. I do think the ex SPT units could do with an internal refresh, though I don't care for the unit that has been fitted with non slip flooring throughout in lieu of carpets, it just doesn't feel right.
     
  14. Rick1984

    Rick1984 Member

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    You think scotrail sprinters are bad michael you should see greater anglia's. As I've grown up with them I do love them and they do have a very workman like quality. Talking about cascading the kilmarnock line upgrading introduced 6 car platforms but as far as I know no 6 car trains yet so I guess this would be somewhere they might go?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    But then again get excited at taking a142 from newcastle to carlise. We called them squealers growing up.
     
  15. dubscottie

    dubscottie Member

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    The 156's are going to outlive everything else.. Made from steel and easy to repair. I can guarantee every heritage/preserved line is going to want one when they do go.

    The 158's on the other hand, like all aluminum bodied trains, have a limited lifespan. Look at the emergency withdrawal of the class 108... I could go on about crash worthiness of Aluminum units but that is another thread..!
     
  16. Class83

    Class83 Member

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    I'd imagine that once the EGIP is done the focus will be on having enough 170s that every arrival into Queen Street or Waverley from Dunblane, Alloa, Fife Circle, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness between 0730-0900 (and departing 1700-1830) would be a 6 car 170. Not sure how many that would leave over, but should mean a few 158s going spare.
     
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