Could a train be built for Portsmouth to Waterloo services that commuters like?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by infobleep, 29 May 2015.

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  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    This following question is purely hypothetical.

    I read and hear about people complaining that the 450s are not suitable for the Portsmouth to Waterloo via Guildford route or that they don't like the seating in them and so on.

    Would it be possible to build a train that can carry the numbers travelling on the Portsmouth Direct route that these commuters would like?

    I'm not asking for it to happen. Just wondered if it would technically be possible. I suspect not, given the numbers travelling but someone more knowledgeable will have a better idea either way.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  2. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    They might be better off with a variant of the class 707s for the really busy journeys (but with bogs)
     
  3. bigdelboy

    bigdelboy Member

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    In my opinion the major problem with the 450 is:
    - 5 a side seating ....

    Often 5 a side seats means only 2 sit on the '3' seat and it is a better option to stand rather than squeeze in.

    .... If switched to 4 a side (ideally with armrests!) then you do lose a few seats but you gain with wider aisles ... which is better if standing does have to occur ( quite frankly usually only woking-waterloo with a few exceptions). Mixed 4/5 is also quite good with the 4's near the exits.

    IMHO: Getting rid of 1st class would help and the moans of the people who are reducing capacity might help raise the standard in 2nd class.

    In my opinion the 450HC we're getting close to about right.

    Okay some may prefer the end coach exits of the 444's but the're a station load/unload disaster if they get overloaded with passengers.

    Some 377's layout wise would be great ... and their door opening/closing speed appreciated - though reliabilty/ride wise the story might be different.
     
  4. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    I hate 2 by 3 seating in any class of unit, it's a major PITA if you want to get to a seat with a suitcase
     
  5. Blindtraveler

    Blindtraveler Established Member

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    I would have said something like an Intercity configured version of the CL700S being delivered for TL - 2+2 seating seating, mainly airline with decent size seat back tables and with a socket at each seat. In terms of seat type iether something similar to those found on Scotrail Refurbed 158s or the TPE 350/4s which are, accordiog to TPE ment to be ok for a 4hr journey. Also decent Wifi, half a coach of First and any facilities needed for trolley catering plus large luggage stacks.
     
  6. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    What about an electric version of a 185?

    Apart from needing a class 380 style cab what else would an electric version need (internal doors by at the ends of each seating bay would be nice) to meet any current regs?
     
  7. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    If the 450s, even with 2+3 seating still don't provide enough seats, how wil the same number of coaches with 2+2 seating satisfy the demand?
    If the premise is that the seats that come with 2+3 seating are too narrow, then providing wider ones in a 2+2 configuration and then throw in some armrests etc., then not only will there be less seats, but much of the potential additional standing room gained from having less seats will be lost again to give comfort to the few lucky ones.
    Calls for seating like this are typical of commuters who board at or near the origins of the service, - it's a "give me a more comfortable seat, those who get on later (if they can at all) can squash up!". They are of course forgetting that their privilege isn't there in the homeward dash.
    If capacity really is a problem, then the only effective way to fix it within the infrastructur's current capacity is to run trains like the class 700s. They can cope with up to 1700 passengers per 12-car set with the standees getting some reasonable comfort. The seats are narrow enough to keep a wide gangway and the wide vestibules allow those 'last coach dash' types to even themselves out or even get somewhere near their optimum alighting doors.
    The Portsmouth boarders may not feel as cosseted as they were in the compartments in the 421s or even the Nelsons, but the line is no longer catering for a minor Inter-City clientele, it's just an outer-suburban/regional commuter line.
    By the way, the 700s do come with fully functional toilets.
     
  8. bungle965

    bungle965 Established Member

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    I think the electric equivalent of it would be the 360 in use with abellio the cab is basically the same.
    Sam
     
  9. 455driver

    455driver Veteran Member

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    One way ylwould be to remove the 3rd seat on the 450s making them narrow 2+2 which would give more standing room.

    The only downside would be the reduction in seats provided which would upset the Government minnions because that's all they are interested in, whether those seats can actually be used or not.
    When SWT did their 455s they removed the 3rd seat and it works really well 'in the real world' but unfortunately Governments don't work 'in the real world' but in the 'looks good on paper' world.
     
  10. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    10 car Class 444 would I think meet with approval, even though it might result in a few more standees. Or perhaps one of the new 23m Desiros with 2+2 seating a bit more like the 350/1. Or even a Class 450 reseated to 2+2. It's the 3+2 seating they don't like, and quite rightly so as it is rubbish; it is not even wide enough for an average adult male's shoulders.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    It is if you plan your journey to arrive at the terminus 20 minutes in advance of departure of your chosen train. I have a very good record of getting a seat from Euston by doing this.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    My only other possible thought is as to whether you could build a wider unit by going for short vehicles and articulation, perhaps a UK version of something like the Stadler Flirt. Then you could possibly make 3+2 wide enough to be acceptable - it almost is on the GW 165s/166s which are quite wide compared with Desiros which are very narrow, particularly 23m ones.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  11. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    With a potential 5/6 tracking (along with CR2) on the cards for the inner SWML including possibly sorting the P7/8 issue at Clapham Jn earlier in which case 23m and end doors may be anon-starter if more long distance trains are to call at Clapham Jn...

    Interior layout wise the 377/6 (/7) layout seems to provide the best mix..
     
  12. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That would be possible if NR didn't have such a steep cost increase above 20t axle loads. Maybe there is scope with the development of lightweight bogies designs as will be used on the 700s and the 345s. The success of full width vestibules will also make an articulated set of (say) 15m long cars. A 10-car 15m artic. set would fit anywhere an 8-car (or 2x4-car) 20m train goes but with much better space utilisation and easy distribution of standees.
    The main thing to avoid is making the design too structure gauge dependent, like the 166s are.

    23m (or 26m) cars need not be excluded though as the 800s prove. Provided they are tapered at the ends to reduce the outswing and the bogies are at the same centres as shorter cars, the inswing is the same so that 1/3 & 2/3 doors will meet PTI requirements. The problem is really this craving for end doors only on any train that travels more than 50 miles.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm not sure that is actually the case, and not sure that the Portsmouth Direct users would be whining if what they had was third-rail 350/1s with 2+2 seating, or the equivalent 2+2 seated Electrostars which don't seem to draw many complaints on Southern nor Southeastern. Indeed, the hybrid ones like some of Southern's might work well - 2+2 for those travelling further who get on first, 3+2 to cram more on as you get closer to London.

    Provided there were vestibule doors, doors at thirds might actually work better for IC services, in that if each coach is in 3 compartments rather than one, there are fewer people there who might pose a potential annoyance, and access/egress/luggage is much easier to deal with. Indeed, a shop-style air curtain may help avoid draughts, or as an alternative following DB or SBB in having exterior doors that self-close within 5-10 seconds of use rather than a couple of minutes as the UK tends to use.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  14. Via Bank

    Via Bank Member

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    Technically it's possible, yes. Five- or six-car Desiro City trains with an Inter-City configuration, or ten- or twelve-car Desiro Verve trains. Both would probably go down well with passengers.

    Whether or not they will actually fix the overcrowding problem is another matter. The trouble is that if you want to run the Portsmouth line as an Inter-City service with fully 2+2 seating, you need to run more frequent trains to cope with the passenger numbers. Otherwise the standee numbers will be even worse than they are now (remember the goal is for no standees in the off-peak, and for there to be no standees for 20+ minutes in the peak.)

    And you can't realistically improve the service frequency until you improve the capacity of the line, by grade-separating Woking Junction (and probably the introduction of ERTMS, and extra tracks as per Crossrail 2 if it ever comes to fruition.)
     
  15. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    The simple answer is no!
     
  16. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    Yes. It's called the 444, and the Portsmouth commuters liked them very much until SWT took them away.
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And the unintended effect of that is 3+2 seating, which in a train of less than 2.80m in width is just pointless, and even then is borderline.

    Time, perhaps, for a minimum legal seat width and pitch? The width of seats in a Boeing 737 (17" I think?) and minimum legal pitch (28" ish[1]) for airlines in the UK might be a good starting point, as at least you can in that case fit 3 average males across without one sitting half in the aisle.

    [1] http://www.skyscanner.net/news/leg-room-how-much-will-you-get
     
  18. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    As someone who used to commute the route I agree. Capacity and standing was only an issue between Woking and London anyway. Passengers could quite easily find a seat during peak time as far as Guildford.
     
  19. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    The only problem I have with the middle seat of three is when two broad people sit either side. You get squished in and your arms end up in a not such comfortable position. I do sometimes just put up with it, depending on the journey length.

    It would however be wrong to ban broader people from sitting down.

    I wasn't expecting any 700s to work the Portsmouth Direct line.

    As for first class, it doesn't bother me. Does it tend to be per person south of Woking and / or Guildford who buy first class season tickets?
     
  20. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic Member

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    Something missing from the discussion on this issue, is the actual route and rail service itself.
    The timetable and stopping pattern for the route was caste back in the 1960's and 70's and all that has happened over the last 40 or 50 years, has been tinkering and minor changes to that laid down way back when.

    Meanwhile, long distance commuting, along with all commuting, has increased significantly.
    The route deserves more comfortable and suitable trains for the longer runs, but the service pattern is forcing compromises on the operation and choice of stock.

    The Portsmouth Direct is ridiculously slow in terms of end to end journey time and there are too many stops involved, even on on the fast trains.
    The big problem here is that the Portsmouth trains are also doubling up to serve the heavy passenger loads from Guildford and Woking.

    I've no idea how that can be unravelled, even if it can, as there is no line capacity for splitting these services and running more trains, once north of Guildford.

    Despite the prospect of CR2, which is still only a proposal and at least 20 years off if built, there is a more pressing need to provide increased capacity by the early to mid 20's.
    Hence the return to looking at the twin proposals of further train lengthening, or double decker stock. Both of which have been stuck in the "too difficult to do" pile.

    Until these issues have been resolved, train choice looks doomed to be a compromise.


     
  21. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I can't see how they will be able to make standees stand for only up to 20 minutes. To me that seems impossible, given the numbers travelling and the fact the numbers will only go up.

    Currently they might be able to run more trains south of Guildford, if signalling allowed but that's about it. North of Guildford wouldn't be possible. Who wants to just go to Guildford. No most want to go to Waterloo or anywhere else that has a public transport connection from Waterloo.
     
  22. crehld

    crehld Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Some really good points there!
     
  23. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    So are you saying a 444 can fit all the people on board? After 7am, I ever travelled from Guildford on the 7.17 or 7.54, I'd rarely get a seat because they were 444s. Travel on the other fast services, which were 450s and I often would.

    Of course the two 444 services will be slightly busier as people may choose them over other services.

    I always remember a fellow passenger saying on a Cobham line service, which was using a 450, aren't these posh.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You will not easy find a seat on the 7.17 or 7.54 from Guildford. They are 444s. The latter skips Woking.
     
  24. glbotu

    glbotu Member

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    Could this be solved with a more German style service and interchange at Guildford, for example,

    Slow train leaves Portsmouth, terminating at Guildford. (operated by a 450 - or multiples thereof, I don't know about loadings there).

    Fast Train leaves Portsmouth, for London, connects at Guildford where it will have "caught up". Fast train takes passengers onwards. (operated by a 10 x 444).

    There's also no risk of missing connections as the Slow will ALWAYS be in front of the fast.

    This also means that all the paths into London are fasts (and given that only stops at Worplesdon and Clapham Junction are added to the slows, this would be acceptable from a journey time perspective anyway).

    Thoughts?
     
  25. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic Member

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    Just as an aside. There is another example to highlight my point about the stopping pattern,
    What the h**l are Portsmouth Direct trains doing stopping at Worplesdon?
    I've never heard of the place until recently and I've lived in the SE of England for over 40 years. My geography is pretty good to and I'm familiar with the Guildford area.

    Worplesdon is a local commuter belt station that has no place being a stop on the Portsmouth trains.


     
  26. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    Some problems with that idea: additional rolling stock and staff needed to make it work, when an all-shacks service from Portsmouth does the same job cheaper but slower.

    There's also the issue that passengers are highly allergic to changing trains.

    This may be a factor. On occasions when I've had to use Chiltern's Banbury commuter locohauled train to London in the morning, I've noticed that a lot of people appear to choose that particular train because it is more comfortable, even they actually have less chance of getting a seat! Funnily enough the return workings in the evening were not so bad, as I think the evening peak tends to be a bit more spread out.
     
  27. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    There are no other services that pass through Worplesdon. All suburban style trains that there are from Guildford go via Effingham Junction.

    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---

    Further main line train lengthening is already happening once the 707s are in service - but it will basically just be running all remaining current 8 car 450s (i.e. after the last 458/5s have arrived) as 12 car. Although that isn't in the too difficult pile, I'm fairly sure DD trains will be.

    Anything more on top of that will require the 5th track from Surbiton, and possibly Woking grade separation. The latter is an option in the Waterloo capacity project, so at least it is being looked at.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  28. Matt Taylor

    Matt Taylor Established Member

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    One solution is run more trains from Portsmouth via the 'new line' through Cobham, it reduces passenger numbers by removing the Woking stop and it reduces conflict on the flat junction at Woking. Trains could leave Guildford at their current times without conflicting with the 455s on the stopping services.

    Also remember that the 444s were ordered for the Portsmouth line mostly and to supplement 442s on semi fast Wareham/Poole services.
     
  29. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Forget any ideas that trains originally ordered for a particular line should stay there until scrapped. The railway is now run at minimum cost by TOCs trying to maximise their profits. The seemingly wierd logic of 444 and 450 deployment on the Portsmouth (both routes) and SWML services is primarily to level unit mileage in line with SWT's contract with Siemens and provide a minimum service that the DfT requires at minimum cost. This juggling goes on everywhere and in the case of routes like the Portsmout Direct, may involve high density trains like 700s where adequate seating can be provided off peak and south of the metro area (i.e. Guildford). The width of 2+2 seats may be less than some would like but that is probably better than leaving passengers on the platform because there are no seats and not enough room for them to get on.
    One thing that hasn't been suggested, thankfully, is setting down and picking up only rules. This doesn't work in peak hours (see FGW thread on 19:15 train) and certainly wouldn't appease (most of) the commuters.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Absolutely correct! Commuters will complain about Pullman dining cars at Standard Class season ticket prices, until they are taken away from then. Then they will claim that they were 'theirs' so they have a right to them. :)
    OT, but an example of this phenomenom, the 387s have been well received on Thameslink services this year, but just wait for the wailing next year when they are replaced with 700s.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    My reference to 700s was about the the type of train that could handle the peak load, albeit with many standing, but that is better than leaving passengers waiting on the platform.
    A 12-car 700 has 666 seats (a devil of a number <D) and is also designed to take a further 1000 standees. That would clear almost any queue in the peak. 666 seats would probably satisfy the off-peak trade, and unlike the Thameslink sets where dwells are critical, passenger comforts like (narrow) armrests, drop down tables in airline seats and USB charging points could be added to sell more leisure travel.
    The Bombardier Aventra and Hitachi A series range would probably have something similar to offer, but SWT seem to be going for Siemens again with the 707s.
     
  30. TEW

    TEW Established Member

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    Probably not on the 0717, but the 0754 from Guildford is not one of the busiest peak time services and getting a seat boarding at Guildford is easily possible.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    There would have to be re-timings to run more Portsmouth services via Cobham. Off Guildford the best path via Cobham would probably be the current peak one, at xx24/xx54. The fast trains from Portsmouth currently leave Guildford at xx17/xx47, but if they did that running via Cobham they'd just get caught behind the xx07/xx37 stopping services via Cobham. Platform capacity can quickly become an issue at Guildford too if more services run via Cobham as you can only use Platforms 2 and 3. It already is a problem with the 1745 Waterloo-Havant in the evening which runs via Cobham and waits outside Guildford for a couple of minutes for an available platform.
     
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