Class 180 'Adelante'

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Parallel, 17 Apr 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

    Messages:
    1,422
    Joined:
    9 Dec 2013
    Recently, I used a class 180 for the first time! It was a FGW example and was running a London Paddington - Great Malvern service. I used it between Oxford and Worcester Foregate Street.

    I was very impressed with the look of these trains both internally and externally. Internally they look clean, bright and have very generous leg room space, and feel very open with comfortable seating. I've travelled on ATW's 175s many times, so know a little about the Coradia family, but always thought they needed more carriages for the routes they currently work.

    I'm not sure if FGW are getting the most out of their 180s. I don't doubt that the Cotswold line is a very important line giving Hereford & Worcester direct links to London, whilst also acting as a local line with reasonably short distances between stops on the Worcester - Hanborough corridor. I imagine things do pick up a little more at peak times, but the service I was on, I could count the people in my carriage on one hand - and had a look in the next carriage too and it was much the same. Given their top speed of 125mph, their age and the fact they were too long for many of the platforms between Oxford and Worcester, I'm surprised they aren't deployed elsewhere.

    I'd imagine reliability might come into it somewhere too - I read somewhere they were used on services to Bristol Temple Meads briefly (though I don't remember this), so is it a case of they can't be trusted to work the busier lines throughout of the day? What are the faults they suffer from?

    I know that FGW does have a shortage of rolling stock and having 180s elsewhere on their network means possibly something even less suitable would then have to operate the services. It just came across that FGW aren't, perhaps, making the most of them. My return trip was a HST which originated from Hereford.

    First Hull Trains and Grand Central also operate a small number too. Are these TOCs' examples more reliable?

    Given the choice of a Voyager and an Adelante (both were brought into service at similar times, have the same/similar number of carriages and the same top speed), I find Adelantes more pleasant to travel on. I know FGW isn't planning to keep the 180s after electrification programmes, so I assume the remaining examples are going to go to Hull Trains and Grand Central?

    Apologies if these questions regarding 180s have been asked before.
     
  2. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Member

    Messages:
    793
    Joined:
    10 May 2013
    I agree that, any reliability issues aside, they are preferable - at least to ride in - than XC's Voyagers. The interior ambience is way superior, helped no doubt by the somewhat lower density of the seating layout.
     
  3. Greenback

    Greenback Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    15,337
    Joined:
    9 Aug 2009
    Location:
    Llanelli
    They are definitely better than Voyagers! I think they are pretty well suited to the Cotswold Line.

    When they were introduced, I travelled on a Swansea service from Paddington on one of these trains. There was insufficient capacity for the route, even outside of peak travelling time. A ten carriage version would have been much better!
     
  4. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

    Messages:
    689
    Joined:
    12 Jun 2011
    Don,t tell everyone about how the inside of these trains is far superior to others as they will all want to travelling on them.

    Seats that you sit on on in comfort rather than perch on, like on Virgin East Coast ones. Bloody hard as hell and leave you with a numb bum and backache unless your travelling on the hired in sets from East Midlands Trains.

    Leg room for each seat and really open feel about the interior of the coach.

    I too often wonder when they breakdown is it a failure because of mechanical etc equipment or is it a case of the computer says no your not going anywhere today.
     
  5. TheNewNo2

    TheNewNo2 Member

    Messages:
    905
    Joined:
    31 Mar 2015
    Location:
    Canary Wharf
    I always quite liked them. I have admittedly only travelled about 244 miles in them (and a large part of that was London to Grantham sitting in the vestibule) but they seemed decent trains to me.

    Regarding their use with FGW, I can't really see a better place for them with the franchise. They may not be ideal, but it means that from Paddington to Oxford they can use the fast lines, allowing more stopping services to use the slow lines. If they weren't there they'd have to be replaced by either Turbos, which are slower and better suited to commuter work, or by HSTs, which would have their space wasted.

    I suppose that they could be used for Cardiff to Exeter services and similar, but that's pie in the sky, and still leaves the issue of what to replace them with on Cotswolds services.
     
  6. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

    Messages:
    1,997
    Joined:
    20 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Berkshire
    When the Class 180's where doing the route to Bristol I travelled on them a few times from Slough and found them to be very comfortable.
     
  7. wensley

    wensley Established Member

    Messages:
    2,010
    Joined:
    29 Jun 2008
    Location:
    On a train...somewhere!
    FGW have five, GC have five and FHT have four.
    They're generally improving in terms of reliability but the TMS has it's moments!

    I do agree that the interior is far superior than most modern units :)
     
  8. Simon11

    Simon11 Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

    Messages:
    986
    Joined:
    7 Nov 2010
  9. SephenWorceste

    SephenWorceste Member

    Messages:
    357
    Joined:
    29 Aug 2012
    Allegedly to be replaced by bi mode IEP. I expect quite a few turbos to sneak back to Worcester. I am sure the IEPs will be needed elsewhere.

    The 180s only run weekdays. I think I read the weekends were needed for maintenance. When 180 were first reintroduced the reliability was poor. It may have improved.
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2015
  10. scotsman

    scotsman Established Member

    Messages:
    3,252
    Joined:
    6 Jul 2010
    I've only done a short hop on a 180, but I was impressed by them compared to suitable comparators (HST, Voyager). One thing that gets to me is the fact that they have an excellent buffet counter in them, but FGW prefer to put Rail Gourmet trolleys onboard instead.
     
  11. Rich McLean

    Rich McLean Established Member

    Messages:
    1,514
    Joined:
    6 Feb 2012
    180s are not used at the Weekend, so it free's up Guards being required to work between Oxford & Paddington, when at Weekends, they are DOO-P between those two Stations.

    Also there is less peak demand on a weekend, so this free's up Turbo's throughout the day. HSTs however are rostered on a few Great Malvern and Hereford runs at the weekends. On a Sunday a 16x also makes it to Hereford
     
  12. High Dyke

    High Dyke Established Member

    Messages:
    1,615
    Joined:
    1 Jan 2013
    Location:
    Yellabelly Country
    I can only comment on the HT examples. Never had a bad journey on one of them so far... Partly from London the usual service is non-stop to Grantham for me. Yes they do get busy and would probably benefit from being formed into a 6-car unit.

    When they were introduced on the ECML it was questioned how long before one caught fire or suffered engine problems having run at 100+ mph for about 100 miles from London, screaming down Stoke Bank to stop at Grantham. So far no problems. I think the GC sets have suffered a few more problems.
     
  13. Parallel

    Parallel Established Member

    Messages:
    1,422
    Joined:
    9 Dec 2013
    I did notice this too - This is what made me question if FGW were making the most out of them. Mind you, a trolley would probably be better suited for light loaded services, though it's a shame if these buffet counters are never used!
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2015
  14. Doctor Fegg

    Doctor Fegg Member

    Messages:
    535
    Joined:
    9 Nov 2010
    Catch the 15.52 out of Paddington one day and tell me they're lightly loaded! Usually full and standing to Kingham.
     
  15. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    18 Dec 2014
    They seem to be DMU equivalent of the cl.50 locos, very fine machines when they are working properly but right so and so's when they don't. And just when you think you have them sussed, up pops another problem.

    This months issue with the Hull fleet is the drivers windscreens cracking. Hey ho!

    The current plan for the FGW sets is that one set goes to GC at the end of 2016 and the other 4 go in summer 2017, those 4 being replaced by 5 car IEP sets.
     
  16. al.currie93

    al.currie93 Member

    Messages:
    379
    Joined:
    27 Jun 2013
    I like the 180s, and I too think they're very good for regional/intecity express services of under 2 hours like those of the Cotswold line, as previously mentioned :) their reliability is an issue at times, but other than that they are good
     
  17. jimm

    jimm Established Member

    Messages:
    3,168
    Joined:
    6 Apr 2012
    As someone local to the Cotswolds, who has used the 180s many times between 2004-9 and since 2012, I'd make the following observations on them and what has been posted above.

    In terms of FGW getting the most out of them and their suitability for the Cotswold Line, all I can say is that they are, outside the peaks when the capacity of the HSTs is needed, the ideal train for the route. And they can get pretty busy on a number of the services they work, not least the 15.52 from Paddington as has been said already, which lost its HST to the current overhaul programme. Fingers crossed that once that work is completed, the HST will return...

    The quality of the passenger accommodation in 180s is hard to beat, bar the noise from beneath the floor at times - that said I find Voyagers far worse for noise and vibration - and the fridge-like breeze from some of the air con vents, whatever the weather.

    They can run at 125mph beyond Didcot, so offer fast London journey times that a Turbo can't touch, and accelerate better than HSTs, so cope better with the frequent stops west of Oxford. And if FGW wasn't using them on the Cotswold Line, then it would be taking Turbos away from the Thames Valley where they are desperately needed to meet demand in the peaks.

    The original poster seems worried that they are longer than some of the platforms west of Oxford? So are the HSTs... and the off-peak Hereford HSTs are equally as quiet as any 180 or Turbo west of Oxford.

    Reliability is vastly improved across all three operators recently, in part as a result of a new maintenance regime since last year or late 2013, with Alstom fully involved, which was not the case previously.

    The five-car IEP should, on paper, also be well suited to the route - and for the poster from Worcester, with just one Turbo allocated to the route from 2017/18 for the halts trains, plus the need for pretty much everything to run like a bat out of hell east of Didcot post-electrification, there won't be lots of Turbos to Worcester, bar those operating from Bristol, unless the halts set is used to beef up off-peak services to Oxford as well.
     
    Last edited: 18 Apr 2015
  18. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

    Messages:
    11,140
    Joined:
    13 May 2008
    I do wonder if they hadn't been so plagued with problems when new if a bigger fleet might have been built and ordered- even partly as an earlier HST replacement
     
  19. Robbies

    Robbies Established Member

    Messages:
    1,997
    Joined:
    20 Sep 2009
    Location:
    Berkshire
    I think if there had not been issues with both Class 175 and Class 180 more of them would have been ordered. I think personal think that you could have seen more class 180's and possibly class 175's doing the routes that the turbos are doing and the turbos would have moved on to replace class 158/150/pacers before now.
     
  20. David Goddard

    David Goddard Established Member

    Messages:
    1,008
    Joined:
    8 Aug 2011
    Location:
    Reading
    Love the 180s, by far the best Intercity DMU produced. Latest reports are suggesting that the whole fleet will end up with GC once the GW and Hull routes are wired, hopefull with the whole fleet together again they can only continue to improve.
     
  21. 3141

    3141 Member

    Messages:
    957
    Joined:
    1 Apr 2012
    Location:
    Overton, Hampshire
    Several years ago one of the railway magazines had an article by someone from Alstom who said they'd designed the interior of the 180s to resemble that of a mark 3 coach. A very good idea, and I think they did it successfully. Much more pleasant inside than a Voyager or many recent refurbishments of other stock.
     
  22. Steve14

    Steve14 Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    25 Apr 2015
    The class 180s are much better than the rubbish voyagers for starters.

    You don't feel much vibration when they are on the move and boy do they reach 125mph quick! They have been dramatically improved since when they were first introduced.

    As far as them being used to their full capacity. They are. Every morning they are used for the rush hour runs deriving from the Cotswolds and picking up from either Maidenhead or Twyford. I wish they stopped at Slough with 10 cars in the morning to cope with the extreme commuter rush but maybe I am being biased.

    The problem with GC is that unlike FHT, they do not send their 180s over to OOC for repairs and maintenance where the staff who know exactly how to maintain them are based. I think if the line between Oxford and Bletchley is used for pax services, they would be useful from Bristol - Milton Keynes, or even Reading to Bedford. That's just my thoughts!
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page