Class 15X Future

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by quantinghome, 4 Jun 2019.

  1. quantinghome

    quantinghome Member

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    The sprinter train family is 27 to 35 years old and still forms the backbone of many operators' fleets. Newer trains are being withdrawn (IC225, Class 332) and judging from the comments on this forum are life-expired. What condition are sprinters in by comparison? How much longer can they continue in service? What is likely to replace them?
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
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  3. jw

    jw Member

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    Sprinters will disappear over the coming months and years from Greater Anglia, Wales & Borders, West Midlands. They're also likely to go from East Midlands too.

    As soon as the Pacers go from Northern, the 150s will immediately drop down the rankings and become the new 'worst' train around. The Northern franchise runs until 2025 so I don't expect to see any attempt to replace them en masse until then. We should be continuing electrification to minimise the need for replacement DMUs.
     
  4. tomwills98

    tomwills98 Member

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    TfW are currently PRMing their 150's and should be in service until 2023 where new Stadler/CAF stuff comes in. 158's feel like they've got ten years left in them with a refurb.
     
  5. CosherB

    CosherB On Moderation

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    156s and particularly 158s will be around for a long time to come. Nothing inherently 'wrong' with 150s that a good refurb can't sort ..... which Northern haven't really achieved. I'd expect to see more 195s/196s in due course to begin replacing the worst of the 150s and 153s/155s unless there is a major change in Government policy regarding electrification very soon.
     
  6. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The Jo Johnson no diesel only stock beyond 2040 policy statement 14 months ago moved the goal posts slightly in promoting the ordering of new DMUS as Bimode instead at an increased cost which makes hanging on to sprinter in some cases more attractive especially 158s as the pay back for new DMUs (e.g. 195) is now effectively 20 years.

    In 2 years time there will be a pool of available sprinters for operators to chose from.

    158s will be popular with operators other stock less so.

    in 2-3 years time it will become obvious which previous growth numbers used for franchising /DAs by DfT have led to capacity short forms and hence call for capacity outside the original plans to be negotiated at which point 150 and 156 will get hired in for another few years (the price will be sensible)
    I'd expect Northern to fall into this category as it was left for a relatively long time with all the capacity gains up front (yet to materialise, but soon hopefully).

    153/155 likely to be stripped for useful parts which will keep other sprinters going for a long time.
     
  7. diffident

    diffident Member

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    I'm quite biased when it comes to the 150's simply because I think the ride is good, they are comfortable, and particularly when they were on Birmingham's Snow Hill lines, they performed very well. It was a shame when they went over to the 172's, but times change!

    The 150 that was running around on the Birmingham - Worcester's until very recently was also a good ride, with lengthy runs at full power!!

    At least there is the two dog-boxes running about on the Worcester's still!!
     
  8. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    Northern have expressed a wish to start replacing units before the end of the franchise. It depends what deals they are offered by the Roscos.

    Apart from Northern which franchises would benefit from extra 150s in 3-5 years time?

    Northern need 150s with doors at thirds on some routes but apart from them 156s and 158s from TfW and EMR would be much better.
     
  9. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Is there any chance of reengining the Sprinters with more modern and cleaner engines, like the MAN units used in the 769s?
     
  10. 323 Class

    323 Class Member

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    Its a good point given the 319's must be around the same age ballpark. I suppose the bean counters will have done some number crunching and made the consideration that if they put lipstick on a pig? Is it still a pig?
     
  11. CosherB

    CosherB On Moderation

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    Why would you invest money in re-engineering 35-year old DMUs? How much extra life would you expect to get from the units? Are you not falling into the same trap as the re-tractioning exercise of the 455s?

    The time to do such an exercise has now long passed. Just get some 195s or 196s - I'm sure that would be the answer from the ROSCOs!
     
  12. 323 Class

    323 Class Member

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    An interesting point about lightning striking the same place twice; Northern obviously have the biggest fleet of pacers that aren't deemed economical to PRM so there going. Northern sources more 15x units to plug the void and they are in their Twilight years. Even with the 195's coming in, if you count all the 15x just for Northern, they would need upwards of 200 units just to tread water. If you look at all the house building going on, growth to accommodate will also need to be factored in, including new stations, longer platforms etc.
    If we are moving away from diesel then without electrification, even the Duracell bunny would have a hard time on battery power.
    I wonder what stock will climb its way to Buxton in the future?
     
  13. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Respectfully, it wasn't: The 150s on the Snow Hill lines were cramped, noisy, dated things with lousy seats and poor window layout. The 172s represented a hugely beneficial improvement in service quality and I was always grateful that I only started regularly commuting on the Snow Hill lines after they were introduced, and the 150s were ousted to Northernland where they continue to be cramped, noisy and dated but with a lick of white paint.

    The Wales & Borders fleet demonstrated that it is possible to give a good refurbishment of a 150, but sadly Northern never latched onto that, which is a shame given that (Bringing myself on topic) they are likely to be the ones operating a large squadron fleet of the things the longest.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  14. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    150: Will go after the end of the current Northern franchise
    153: Sometime in the early 2030's if things go well
    155: As per 150's
    156: Mid 2030's
    158: late 2030's - 2040
    159: Same per 158's via Northern or ScotRail.
     
  15. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    Many of the units have another 15 to 20 years life ahead of them. Logically reengining existing DMUs should be easier than converting a DMU to become a bimode.

    Unlike with retractioning exercises, there are direct environmental air quality benefits too.
     
  16. CosherB

    CosherB On Moderation

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    You’re an optimist if you think that 150s have another 20 years left in them!
     
  17. AMD

    AMD Member

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    I will be surprised to see many of the 153s survive much longer, if the body work is in a condition similar to the 155 fleet not many people will consider refurbing them.

    Generally most sprinter fleets are in the process of PRM and refurb work which will give them around another 10 years life - time for alternative technologies to develop into more commercial propositions, so most will start to be withdrawn around the 2030 mark.

    A consideration is that in around 5 years time most will be concentrated on the Northern franchise area, which is well known as a part of the railway that requires subsidy to operate, so the benefit/ cost profile of new trains doesn't stack up. Whereas upgrading existing vehicles (where the bodywork is overall sound) is normally considerably cheaper than a new vehicle. The only reason Northern is getting 101 new trains now is that the Pacer fleet is a political matter, with no spare Sprinters about new trains was the only realistic option.
     
  18. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    You forget the ScotRail Driving Van Motor Open Standard thing that's being built includes 153's.
     
  19. AMD

    AMD Member

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    I was remembering them, however these are a small specific project looking at probably just 6 units, out of 70 in existence, so not many then.
     
  20. LOL The Irony

    LOL The Irony Established Member

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    They're still in service so would count.
     
  21. AMD

    AMD Member

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    Note the use of the word 'many'
     
  22. Paul_10

    Paul_10 Member

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    I think the sprinter fleet apart from the 153s and 155s have got another 15 or so years left of service in them but I do hope there are plans in the next Northern franchise to replace some of the sprinter fleet whether that will be down to cascades from other operators or more new trains.

    I think the likes of 156s and 158s don't need replacing for most operators next franchise as they are solid reliable trains. Maybe the 150s need going but I do think they are decent trains and no doubt will be more popular in the North if they did have the 2+2 seating layouts like elsewhere.
     
  23. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    150s would be more popular in the north if they still operated in the West Midlands and we had the 172s! For a local commuter service they are luxury compared to 150s.
     
  24. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    I would have thought 153 replacements will be first on the list.
    as of next year,these units will be unable to run(except coupled to other units,which is financial suicide for a rural route with 20-30% capacity!),and their replacements carry 50% extra tariff in terms of track access charges.
    in terms of what they do(which is run a service on super sparce lines,mostly at a loss), there is a business case for making some investment now to get a unit which can basically do the same job ,but minimise the running costs.

    - most rail folk won't like this bit,but there would also be a case for DOO on these lines,with a floatng RPO instead of 2 persons per train( as that equates to about £90kpa alone per unit in staffing costs to run a 153-many of which will be lucky to see that much in passenger revenue to begin with)

    As we've said on here before,the 230 can do some very isolated lines, but it is not versatile enough to include branches that also have a stint on the mainline as well(which a lot of 15x will be doing regularly).Having a 230 doing this will cause havoc for timetable planners and bottlenecks galore in the field.
    Branch line speeds have not changed much, but mainline speeds over the last 30 odd years since 15x introduction have increased,where even a typical mainline slow is now rated for 90/100mph running in service, so you need a replacement that can cope with that.

    The new units need a bigger spectrum of operating speeds now, as well as the lowest costs.
    in essence, that's why I think the 153/150 replacements need to be 90mph capable 15-17m 2/3 car super-pacers.
    It doesn't need the bells and whistles like wi-fi, but at the very least it should have better designed bogies and air-con.end gangway doors will give the option of multiple running too, which pacers don't have.

    there's certainly been advances over the last 30 years in bogies,transmission and engine tech which will give a significant improvement.Not just in terms of efficiency ,but also a reduction in maintainance costs.
    ..the best option would be to replace153/150 at the same time,with basically the same components, economies of scale to keep production and maintainance costs down etc.

    so probably a 2 car set(each car powered) with a drop-in unpowered trailer car on articulated bogies would seem sensible.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  25. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    Short cars mean extra bogies per unit length so 2x 24m would be lower parts, material and overall cost.
    Electric transmission would address both the acceleration and max speed issues. Better acceleration might actually reduce the overall unit requirement though reduced running times when there are lots of stops.
     
  26. CosherB

    CosherB On Moderation

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    So more 195s/196s?
     
  27. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    maybe, but then you run ito clearance issues . initially the cost of 2*24m seems enticing, but these would presumably all be on separated bogies....so you would have 4 bogie sets instead of 3 (estimated a around 3-4 tonnes each)

    branch line units have to operate on some quite brutal curves,and rail structure that has not been touched in 30+ years,even down to jonted track instead of CW so you have to make sure the thing is capable of being vibrated like mad and still not falling to bits.
    Then you have platform clearances. If anybody thinks that network rail are going to spend 1m+ on re-gauging a country platform to cope with longer carriages,they need their head read....C1 carriage is really the absolute maximium rural lines are built for.

    completely agree with electric transmission being more viable....use the diesel engines as a genset to power a battery/capacitor bank to then power the wheels.
    the genset can be changed for whatever is most efficient that way,if future development permit,be it LNG,Hydrogen,fuel cell etc etc.
    as long as the power plant can provide a stable source of juice then it's interchangeable.

    has the added bonus of charging things up when coasting as well.
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  28. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    But individual bogies could be inside frames ones saving 1.8 to 2.1 tonnes each so 7.2 to 8.4 lighter overall
     
  29. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    If ROSCOs can get pay back a return within 20 years at a sensible leasing cost for the TOC. Adding electric transmission would add an element of future proofing and some battery component would get round the 2040 issue.
     
  30. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    really?

    i see 3 bogies(2 powered,1 unpowered artic on a 2 car set), as a 3-4 tonne saving.

    as for axle load.
    153=41 tonnes /4 axles = about 10 tonnes per axle
    2 car super pacer = 55 tonnes/6 axles = just over 9 tonnes per axle.

    we know the bombardier flexx eco bogies are up to the job...about 1T lighter a set and 100mph capable.
    pacers are not under-powered, they are under transmitted( only 1 powered axle per car).
    theoretically they should be good for 90-100mph if you use power-weight ratio!
    by doubling the powered axles you should get a quality unit with good top speed and good acceleration,
    if you want future proof for the drop-in trailer as well then a 300BHP block should suffice in place of the LTA10
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2019
  31. Andyh82

    Andyh82 Established Member

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    I disagree, whatever you do to a 150, they will always seem old, the metal framed windows with ground in dirt, the opening hoppers that either don’t open at all, or open at random, the sliding doors that feel old and bang about in their pockets when a train goes past, no air con...

    Even when the pacers go, the Northern franchise will still have a reputation for using ancient trains until such time as the 150s go. How many do they have about 100?
     

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