Class 397 TPE "Nova 2" Travel Experiences

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Philip

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Was good to see this superb-looking train sweeping through my local station on the Bolton line, on its inaugural passenger journey! Best description of both the noise and sight was 'swooosh'!
 

Starmill

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But is the suspension as bumpy and noisy as the 331? That's the crucial question for me.
How does the ride compare with a 185/350/802/390?
I agree this is an important question. I would also like to know if the seats will be more suitable for 3 hour long journeys than the very hard and unpleasant ones in the 802s.
 

Starmill

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I travelled this afternoon on the 1526 from Manchester Piccadilly. The train was as expected formed with 4 standard coaches. Unfortunately the aisles and vestibules were filled with standing passengers which limited a little bit how much I could see of the train. I found the seating fairly pleasant which is interesting because the similar seating in their 802s I found exceptionally uncomfortable. The low floor was most welcome, because it made the train feel airy and light, and you could see where there were free seats as you went along the coach (not that there were any for lots of people).
 

kc_

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you could see where there were free seats as you went along the coach
Is this something to do with the LEDs next to the reservation displays? I've heard/read somewhere that you could see a live seat map near door showing where seats are free. Is this true?

I imagine they'll do something similar to what is already done with the 185s (see attachment). Just a shame the app can't show order of the coaches. Platform PIDs are hit and miss, so used to look at the position of the pan with the 350s, but there are 2 pans on the 397 in symmetric positions.
 

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Starmill

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They have a low floor? I thought they were basically stretched 331s with end doors, and those don't?
I don't know if it's actually lower than a 331. But it is certainly lower than, say, a Pendolino. The step into the train is very slight, which is very good. The 'overhead' room is also very good. The floor isn't platform-height low access floor, but it isn't Voyager-style and nothing like an 800.

The aisles and interior doorways are also wide enough for me to pass through easily without bumping into things, which is nice.
 

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kc_

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I personally thought it was worse than I imagined. But the aisles of the train were full.
That's one of things I like about the desiros; people tend not to move between carriages, so the blocking the gangways doors isn't as much of an issues,so when the train gets full, people sensibly start standing in the aisles, starting from the ends. With the new stock, you're blocking the route to the external doors. People tend not to stand in the middle until train REALLY gets full.

The large font on that overhead LED board looks awful IMO. It looks like it can barely fit 2 words on it!
 

kc_

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Is it just the white balance in the photos, or is the lighting a warmer colour temperature? Looks more living room lighting than the 350's office lighting.
 

Bletchleyite

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Is it just the white balance in the photos, or is the lighting a warmer colour temperature? Looks more living room lighting than the 350's office lighting.
Unless TPE's sets have different tubes than LNR's ones, they are (slightly) warm white already. If anything the Novas are more of a pure white (not the nasty daylight colour that Northern have used in some refurbs).

It is however better diffused, mostly indirect and with classy spots.

Indeed, @Starmill's photo makes it look pure class. I don't like Fainsa Sophias, but the actual interior scheme on all the Novas (though less so the slightly more basic 80x) is seriously classy, just like the 185 refurbs. It's not quite the real wood in the ICE, but it comes very, very close.
 

Starmill

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Handful of further pictures. Note the rather large cycle storage area, which is vastly superior to the ones in 80x stock.

Note two open areas by doorways that look like they might be waiting to have tip-up seats fitted.
 

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kc_

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Handful of further pictures. Note the rather large cycle storage area, which is vastly superior to the ones in 80x stock.

Note two open areas by doorways that look like they might be waiting to have tip-up seats fitted.
It's already littered! Shame passengers can't be more civil and use the bin/take rubbish with them. Interesting that the cab door is a manual hinged door, rather than a powered one. Seeing this on the 195's, thought northern just decided to save cost, and a powered door was an option. Is there some kind of new regulation, or just a cost-saving measure/design choice by CAF? I think the external doors to the staff areas are also hinged rather than sliding?
 

jon0844

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Seems silly to have a hinged door when bikes/buggies/shopping could be put up against it. That said, they're going to be easier to maintain as time goes on.

Amazed how basic the PIS screens are.
 

AlbertBeale

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I don't know if it's actually lower than a 331. But it is certainly lower than, say, a Pendolino. The step into the train is very slight, which is very good. The 'overhead' room is also very good. The floor isn't platform-height low access floor, but it isn't Voyager-style and nothing like an 800.

The aisles and interior doorways are also wide enough for me to pass through easily without bumping into things, which is nice.
If by the aisles you mean the gap between the seats in the main part of the carriage, that didn't look to me to be any less cramped than usual.
 

Bletchleyite

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Tip-up seats in the bike area again. Stupid idea and will only cause arguments. Needs a dedicated bike area with nothing else in it.

I don't like the bit of curved panel which looks like it might stop me putting my foot up on the typical CAF oversized heating duct.

As for the PIS if it's the same as the Mk5as it did the job well. There are I think also large LCD/OLED screens at the coach ends to go with it.
 

Starmill

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As for the PIS if it's the same as the Mk5as it did the job well. There are I think also large LCD/OLED screens at the coach ends to go with it
There are. But 185s have those as well, and their dot matrix screens are far easier to read.
 

MDB1images

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Tip-up seats in the bike area again. Stupid idea and will only cause arguments. Needs a dedicated bike area with nothing else in it.

I don't like the bit of curved panel which looks like it might stop me putting my foot up on the typical CAF oversized heating duct.

As for the PIS if it's the same as the Mk5as it did the job well. There are I think also large LCD/OLED screens at the coach ends to go with it.
Bikes (when booked on the services) carry priority in the Bike area of Coach A, announcements will be made detailing this area as the bike area and also during ticket checks passenger will be informed they will have to move when a bike is boarding, thus far it's been used as a luggage car by many,l but just needs managing properly by the guard.
The announcement can also be done purely to Coach A as you can do announcements to individual coaches rather than it being in all coaches.

The cab door in Coach A probably needs something on the floor to indicate it opens outwards and a few 'stand clear of the door' type stickers (it's very early days yet so a degree of trial and error)but not been a big issue as yet.

Someone asked about lighting,
Got 3 stages on the 397 which can be altered if required, generally it's been left in Active mode which in effect is an auto dimming mode(the others being Maximum which is 100% lighting and Standby which is 30% lighting).
 

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