Class 442s - Now at the end of the road and to be withdrawn permanently

Status
Not open for further replies.

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,012
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
It would be fascinating to know the true cost of the fleet's refurbishment vs. the life (and returns) provided. One of the costliest aborted programmes of late I imagine.

What is little known about these units is the complications they cause in timetabling them amongst the 377s. With longer dwell times, poor acceleration and only 9%g braking, various fudges and fiddles have been put into the Brighton Main Line timetable to get it to work.

Unfortunately, as is plain to see, the various fudges and fiddles don't work, and these units have been demonstrated through detailed analysis to be a notable contributor to the underlying poor performance of the Brighton line. (Without going into detail, the base timetable is responsible for twice as many % PPM failures on Southern than any other south east operator).

The same would apply if they were put on to any other intensively worked railway that had a fleet formed of rolling stock that performs consistently, eg SE or SWT.

The traction equipment is also remarkably 'noisy', to the extent that it is suspected to regularly cause signal failures. Several this year alone, including a couple at London Bridge.

Their best hope for the future is as hauled stock.
It begs the question of the real railway operating insight possessed by those who decided that their refurbishment and subsequent integration into timetables operated by newer stock was feasible.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Jonny

Established Member
Joined
10 Feb 2011
Messages
2,341
It would be fascinating to know the true cost of the fleet's refurbishment vs. the life (and returns) provided. One of the costliest aborted programmes of late I imagine.


It begs the question of the real railway operating insight possessed by those who decided that their refurbishment and subsequent integration into timetables operated by newer stock was feasible.

One aspect of the refurbishment, as I understand, was to be the installation of a new traction package:

South Western Railways award Kiepe Electric a contract for traction upgrade and refurbishment​


Kiepe Electric UK Ltd has been awarded a contract by First MTR South Western Trains Limited to carry out traction upgrade and refurbishment works on 18 Class 442 trains to be operated on the South Western Railway franchise.

The refurbished units will start to enter service from December 2018. The traction upgrade element will see the existing DC traction equipment replaced with state-of-the-art AC equipment incorporating IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistor) technology from Kiepe Electric Düsseldorf. This upgrade will increase the reliability and efficiency of the trains by removing the life expired equipment. In conjunction with the new traction equipment, a new braking system from Knorr-Bremse Rail Vehicle Systems will be installed which will improve the environmental performance of the trains and lower operating costs by enabling regenerative braking. The refurbishment will include new seats and carpets with at seat power in all classes and table top charging facilities in 1st Class. The environmental benefits also extend to the vehicle interiors with the installation of LED lighting. Wifi will be provided throughout and disabled passengers will be catered for with universal accessible toilets and seating facilities.

(article continues)
Perhaps that was where the issue arose, especially if there was a performance ^uplift^ expected. Perhaps it was just the pandemic-related change of circumstances.
 

DunfordBridge

Member
Joined
13 Apr 2013
Messages
570
Location
Scarborough
I would imagine that a key reason for using class 458 sets instead is that they'll be cheaper to maintain, more reliable and more accessible.

I agree that it's hugely frustrating that it wasn't realised much sooner that sinking such significant sums into the class 442s wasn't ever going to produce value for money. However, on a whole life (remaining) basis, even after these large sunk costs, with the further spending that 442s would need to bring them up to standard and the worse results they'd deliver, it seems unavoidable to conclude that the 458s will still offer better value.

Not sure if this has been pointed out already but I imagine that at the time the decisions was made to refurbish the class 442 fleet, the refurbishment of the class 458 fleet was not an option as the introduction of the new class 701 replacement fleet was too far on the horizon. I understand that the delivery of 701s has been delayed.

Prior to the pandemic, the extra capacity was needed immediately and the class 442s in theory would have been a way to provide that capacity. Due to the prolonged duration of the pandemic, refurbished 458s are now an option although to my mind, they do not seem much younger than the 442 fleet. Maybe the ability to run as 4, 8 or 12 car units is the over-riding factor.
 
Joined
23 Dec 2014
Messages
847
With apologies to Flanders and Swann...

No more will I go to Bournemouth Central or Basingstoke
On the fast train from Southampton Airport and Waterloo
No brutes, no dispatchers, no cat on a seat
At Hamworthy Junction or passing through Fleet
On the fast train.
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
5,012
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
One aspect of the refurbishment, as I understand, was to be the installation of a new traction package:

Perhaps that was where the issue arose, especially if there was a performance ^uplift^ expected. Perhaps it was just the pandemic-related change of circumstances.
The traction package did not improve acceleration and braking to the level needed, and the station dwell times remained higher owing to the basic layout of the units.
 

Sean Emmett

Member
Joined
9 Mar 2015
Messages
382
The traction package did not improve acceleration and braking to the level needed, and the station dwell times remained higher owing to the basic layout of the units.
Were there any signalling interference issues with the AC traction package?
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
16,944
Location
Manchester
Not sure if this has been pointed out already but I imagine that at the time the decisions was made to refurbish the class 442 fleet, the refurbishment of the class 458 fleet was not an option as the introduction of the new class 701 replacement fleet was too far on the horizon. I understand that the delivery of 701s has been delayed.

Prior to the pandemic, the extra capacity was needed immediately and the class 442s in theory would have been a way to provide that capacity. Due to the prolonged duration of the pandemic, refurbished 458s are now an option although to my mind, they do not seem much younger than the 442 fleet. Maybe the ability to run as 4, 8 or 12 car units is the over-riding factor.
From the perspective of the bid deadline, yes indeed. However, the changed circumstances then became apparent a long time before the retractioning work actually began.
 

Snow1964

Member
Joined
7 Oct 2019
Messages
1,095
Location
West Wiltshire
Not sure if this has been pointed out already but I imagine that at the time the decisions was made to refurbish the class 442 fleet, the refurbishment of the class 458 fleet was not an option as the introduction of the new class 701 replacement fleet was too far on the horizon. I understand that the delivery of 701s has been delayed.

Prior to the pandemic, the extra capacity was needed immediately and the class 442s in theory would have been a way to provide that capacity. Due to the prolonged duration of the pandemic, refurbished 458s are now an option although to my mind, they do not seem much younger than the 442 fleet. Maybe the ability to run as 4, 8 or 12 car units is the over-riding factor.

The decision to reuse the 442s was based on 18 units being in service by December 2018, when the network was still busy.

Had that happened would have been in service 15 months before Covid, and at the time that was probably quickest capacity could be raised. Of course in the subsequent 28 months other options have become availabile, and the capacity is possibly no longer needed.
 

Don Steedy

Member
Joined
28 Jul 2018
Messages
52
The traction package did not improve acceleration and braking to the level needed, and the station dwell times remained higher owing to the basic layout of the units.

The traction package during testing of 2419 showed a definite improvement in acceleration, and the braking distances were considerably less than the maximum allowed at the full range of speeds
 
Last edited:

317 forever

Established Member
Joined
21 Aug 2010
Messages
1,572
Location
North West
Yeah, I assume cleared for Weymouth at least as a 4 car and the odd 8 car.

I do shudder to wonder how much the whole 442 return project has cost over the last 3 years. Provided some jobs which is good, but otherwise not great.
Particularly as some had already been refurbished.
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
19,653
It would be fascinating to know the true cost of the fleet's refurbishment vs. the life (and returns) provided. One of the costliest aborted programmes of late I imagine.


It begs the question of the real railway operating insight possessed by those who decided that their refurbishment and subsequent integration into timetables operated by newer stock was feasible.

Can I now claim the longest time period for being quoted in a thread? 6 years and counting!
 

Railengineer

Member
Joined
19 Nov 2013
Messages
112
If there is a serious issue as alluded to, and I'm not fishing for more info about what it may be here, I wonder if there's potential for SWR to recoup some of their money through legal channels.
Most unlikely, it was doomed from the start. They promised it to get franchise and bit off more than they could chew.
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
10,209
Location
St Albans
I think SWR (and SWT before them) listening to the "must have end rather that 1/3,2/3 doors on any anything vaguely like an inter-city duty" obsessives. LNR, SE GTR and much of GA manage quite well without them.
 
Last edited:

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
68,945
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I think SWR (and SWT before them) listening to the "must have end rather that 1/3,2/3 doors on any anything vaguely like an inter-city duty" obsessives. LNR, SE GTR and much of GA manage quite well without them.

The 2+2 seated 20m Desiro Classic would be ideal for all SWR services of all kinds, to be honest, just as it is for LNR. I love 444s, but the end door layout isn't essential at all, 350s manage a good enough atmosphere for long distance regional expresses.
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,278
The 2+2 seated 20m Desiro Classic would be ideal for all SWR services of all kinds, to be honest, just as it is for LNR. I love 444s, but the end door layout isn't essential at all, 350s manage a good enough atmosphere for long distance regional expresses.
Absolutely. It's too late to do anything about that now, of course, but having used 350/4s from Edinburgh to Manchester, both First and Standard accommodation was perfectly acceptable.
 

southern442

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
2,031
Location
Surrey
The 444s make up for it in part by having quite wide end doors, so it's not as bad as Mk3 stock, but I largely agree, it's cool to see intercity style stock down that way but the 377s for example have a perfectly good intercity ambience without end doors.
 

Journeyman

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2014
Messages
6,278
The 444s make up for it in part by having quite wide end doors, so it's not as bad as Mk3 stock, but I largely agree, it's cool to see intercity style stock down that way but the 377s for example have a perfectly good intercity ambience without end doors.
The 2+2 seated 377s with the original seat design are fantastic.
 

southern442

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
2,031
Location
Surrey
The 2+2 seated 377s with the original seat design are fantastic.
I've said this a few times before but I do think the 377 seating design is very clever, replicating the mix of 2+2 and 2+3 that used to exist with slammers. If SWT had done this with the 450s then perhaps we would not be in this predicament!
 

bramling

Veteran Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
13,174
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
I think SWR (and SWT before them) listening to the "must have end rather that 1/3,2/3 doors on any anything vaguely like an inter-city duty" obsessives. LNR, SE GTR and much of GA manage quite well without them.

I think it’s more 2+3 facing seating that’s been the big bugbear on the Portsmouth line.

You can’t entirely blame them as it is quite a long journey from the outer reaches to London. I wouldn’t want to sit for two hours with six people in a facing bay. It’s fine for something like Welwyn to London, but a bit much for Haslemere to London.

How this is squared up with providing seats for people joining at places like Guildford is another matter, their priorities will no doubt be completely different and will be happy with any kind of seat.

I've said this a few times before but I do think the 377 seating design is very clever, replicating the mix of 2+2 and 2+3 that used to exist with slammers. If SWT had done this with the 450s then perhaps we would not be in this predicament!

The trouble is there would then be complaints from Guildford commuters about not enough seats. It’s very hard for the TOC to win on this route.

If only there was a way of designing the timetable to separate out the two flows, but that seems to be a lot easier said than done.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
16,944
Location
Manchester
The 2+2 seated 20m Desiro Classic would be ideal for all SWR services of all kinds, to be honest, just as it is for LNR. I love 444s, but the end door layout isn't essential at all, 350s manage a good enough atmosphere for long distance regional expresses.
The as new 350/4 was fab. Especially with the third toilet, the nice first class and the trolley dock. The /3 was equally lovely but sans those 'extras'.There's little work in the whole of Great Britain that such an interior isn't suitable for, because so many long distance trains carry short distance travellers. The only problem was always being too short / too few.

I've said this a few times before but I do think the 377 seating design is very clever, replicating the mix of 2+2 and 2+3 that used to exist with slammers. If SWT had done this with the 450s then perhaps we would not be in this predicament!
The Electrostar units with this mix are indeed very clever and highly versatile.
 

Martin222002

Member
Joined
6 Nov 2011
Messages
241
Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Just done a quick Google of '2024 PRM regulations' to see if I could find anything to suggest exactly why the 442s doors, as has been quoted as a reason by Railway Gazette (linked to up thread), and the second result was the bellow DfT 'Class 442s - 2020 accessibility deadline' letter.

https://assets.publishing.service.g.../file/865077/SWR_442s_dispensation_letter.pdf

It includes the following...
The permission granted by this dispensation to the operator of the South Western Franchise and any successor operator of that Franchise will terminate on 18 August 2024.

So, as it says SWR had a dispensation to use the 442s in passenger service until their original franchise end date of 18 August 2024, at which point a successor would have bid with a compliant replacement. So given the potential that SWR might be running beyond that date a replacement for them will be needed. Any issues with the 442s retractioning has probably speeded up this process, with covid having provided a good opportunity of time for an alternative to be sort without having the spend more on the 442s to get / keep them in service.
 

Bigfoot

Member
Joined
2 Dec 2013
Messages
907
I wouldn’t want to sit for two hours with six people in a facing bay. It’s fine for something like Welwyn to London, but a bit much for Haslemere to London.

Haslemere to London is an hour or less to London, yes not fun in a facing 6 but not two hours.
 

Dr_Paul

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2013
Messages
1,026
Can I now claim the longest time period for being quoted in a thread? 6 years and counting!
I wouldn't be surprised if this thread is still going in another six years. The Porkers must be on course for winning the first prize in the 'reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated' competition.
 

Bob M

Member
Joined
20 Dec 2008
Messages
92
I think SWR (and SWT before them) listening to the "must have end rather that 1/3,2/3 doors on any anything vaguely like an inter-city duty" obsessives. LNR, SE GTR and much of GA manage quite well without them.
The point of end doors and vestibule is not to let the outside weather in at every stop. On a short journey passengers keep their coat on. On a longer journey it is more comfortable to be able to take it off.
 

pigs bay

Member
Joined
29 Sep 2018
Messages
43
I feel that the 442's are a victim of their own success. Back in May 1988, does anyone remember that two units, 2401 & 2403 set the world speed record for 3rd rail traction, achieving 107 mph, and covering the journey from Waterloo to Weymouth in 1hr 59 mins, and how many times did Bournemouth depot win the golden spanner award, and like Ryde Depot on the IoW with the 483's, Bournemouth depot should be congratulated for getting the "Wessex Electrics" (to give them their correct name) back to health. These are now just a scape goat for SWR to save money after overspending, and barely holding onto the franchise in 2019/20, so lets collectively thank Bournemouth staff for at least resurrecting them one and giving us a brief chance to travel in proper inter-city comfort one last time before ironing boards become the norm. Thankyou Bournemouth Depot...and R.I.P. Class 442. You may be going but you certainly will NOT be forgotten
 

Energy

Established Member
Joined
29 Dec 2018
Messages
2,569
I feel that the 442's are a victim of their own success.
They were successful but not a victim of their success, their problems come from the mk3s terrible accessibility and old traction gear (remember it was second hand to save money). New traction gear could have solved the later problem but it caused problems with the signals, even then they are terrible for disabled access.

The 444 took the 442 and solved its problems by improving disability, being more modern, and being built better.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top