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Could Northern get more Civity trains?

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James Kevill

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I've heard the news from UK Rail News on Instagram. Northern would want to more new CAF Civity trains. And it says here:

Northern Trains might well be looking for a follow up order on their new CAF fleet.

Northern seem to want to have a more uniform fleet. This may lead to more Class 195s replacing Sprinters and other DMUs, with extra Class 331s potentially replacing Class 319s, 323s and 333s. This helps for crew training, making it less expensive and less complicated. The majority of the potential new trains would be Class 331s, as rail decarbonisation looks to take a step forward.

Included in this may be the proposed battery version of the Class 331, which would operate on the Windermere branch line. It is currently unknown whether this project will include bi-mode services (Battery + OHLE) to complete services from Manchester to Windermere, or whether the services would just be segregated on the branch, that leaves the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme Lake District.

These suggestions come as all except one of Northern Trains’ units has now entered service on their routes.

Talks are ongoing between CAF and Northern, but no deal has been agreed yet and no timescale has been announced.

Could it be that Northern could replace all of the Sprinters, Turbostars, Class 319s 323s, 333s and 769s after more new trains come?
 
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JonathanH

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Could it be that Northern could replace all of the Sprinters, Turbostars, Class 319s 323s, 333s and 769s after more new trains come?
No, that is highly unlikely. Don't get too excited about a whole fleet replacement.
 

221101 Voyager

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I've heard the news from UK Rail News on Instagram. Northern would want to more new CAF Civity trains. And it says here:

Northern Trains might well be looking for a follow up order on their new CAF fleet.

Northern seem to want to have a more uniform fleet. This may lead to more Class 195s replacing Sprinters and other DMUs, with extra Class 331s potentially replacing Class 319s, 323s and 333s. This helps for crew training, making it less expensive and less complicated. The majority of the potential new trains would be Class 331s, as rail decarbonisation looks to take a step forward.

Included in this may be the proposed battery version of the Class 331, which would operate on the Windermere branch line. It is currently unknown whether this project will include bi-mode services (Battery + OHLE) to complete services from Manchester to Windermere, or whether the services would just be segregated on the branch, that leaves the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme Lake District.

These suggestions come as all except one of Northern Trains’ units has now entered service on their routes.

Talks are ongoing between CAF and Northern, but no deal has been agreed yet and no timescale has been announced.

Could it be that Northern could replace all of the Sprinters, Turbostars, Class 319s 323s, 333s and 769s after more new trains come?
Replacing all of the older fleet is a bit of a waste of money after loads has been spent refurbing them all.

Fair enough replace 150, 153, 156 but 158s and 170s are fine.

Fair enough replace 319s, 769s but 333s aren’t that old and 323s have just had their refurb and they will have more coming soon.


Having 158s, 170s and 195s for diesel is going to be more realistic.

323s, 331s and 333s is a more realistic expectation for electric.
 

JonathanH

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Fair enough replace 150, 153, 156 but 158s and 170s are fine.
On the other hand, there would be other takers for the 170s - eg Chiltern to replace the Mark 3s, XC or EMR to bolster their fleet. The latter also needs to backfill the missing 171s from Southern.

However, I think that even replacing 82 150s in one go with new 195s (or equivalent bi-modes) is a bit of a leap. Clearly the 153s are on the way out shortly with 156s coming in.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I believe the original idea for Windermere was for 3 BEMUs which would be enough to operate 0.5tph ish, or perhaps the present "through every 3 hours, shuttles in between" thing. If there was a failure they could substitute a DMU.
 

James Kevill

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I believe the original idea for Windermere was for 3 BEMUs which would be enough to operate 0.5tph ish, or perhaps the present "through every 3 hours, shuttles in between" thing. If there was a failure they could substitute a DMU.
Northern Trains, CAF and Eversholt might be thinking the same thing too.
 

Energy

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It was published in RAIL not too long ago that they were interested in more 331s, 195 orders seem unlikely with the whole climate change thing and bad value for money (this is what originally stopped pacer replacement). The 331s would probably replace the 333s.
 

D365

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The Class 319s are already slated for replacement by x17 323s from WMT.
 

43096

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I've heard the news from UK Rail News on Instagram. Northern would want to more new CAF Civity trains. And it says here:

Northern Trains might well be looking for a follow up order on their new CAF fleet.

Northern seem to want to have a more uniform fleet. This may lead to more Class 195s replacing Sprinters and other DMUs, with extra Class 331s potentially replacing Class 319s, 323s and 333s. This helps for crew training, making it less expensive and less complicated. The majority of the potential new trains would be Class 331s, as rail decarbonisation looks to take a step forward.

Included in this may be the proposed battery version of the Class 331, which would operate on the Windermere branch line. It is currently unknown whether this project will include bi-mode services (Battery + OHLE) to complete services from Manchester to Windermere, or whether the services would just be segregated on the branch, that leaves the West Coast Main Line at Oxenholme Lake District.

These suggestions come as all except one of Northern Trains’ units has now entered service on their routes.

Talks are ongoing between CAF and Northern, but no deal has been agreed yet and no timescale has been announced.

Could it be that Northern could replace all of the Sprinters, Turbostars, Class 319s 323s, 333s and 769s after more new trains come?
Given that the fleet in place now is leased for another 4 years and that Northern have also signed a lease for more 156s (rather than more new CAF junk), replacement is not going to happen for some time.
 

Hey 3

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Replacing all of the older fleet is a bit of a waste of money after loads has been spent refurbing them all.

Fair enough replace 150, 153, 156 but 158s and 170s are fine.

Fair enough replace 319s, 769s but 333s aren’t that old and 323s have just had their refurb and they will have more coming soon.


Having 158s, 170s and 195s for diesel is going to be more realistic.

323s, 331s and 333s is a more realistic expectation for electric.
If anything we should de-sprinterize as much as possible as get rid of every sprinter including the 158s(they are of course just as old as the pacers) and convert all 319s to 769s or 799 and keep the 170s
 

D365

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including the 158s(they are of course just as old as the pacers)
Might want to check your facts there. But I agree that the push for decarbonisation this decade will be crucial.
 

221101 Voyager

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If anything we should de-sprinterize as much as possible as get rid of every sprinter including the 158s(they are of course just as old as the pacers) and convert all 319s to 769s or 799 and keep the 170s
The newest Pacer was built 1987 and the oldest 158 was 1989 so that's a minimum two year age gap.

Besides 158s are much better built than a pacer so should last longer and are much more capable units than pacers were.

158's are good units.

So I think Northerns

Diesel fleet should be formed of 158's, 170s & 195's.

With electrics just being 323s and extra 331s.

Keeping things much simpler than present by getting rid of... 150, 153, 155, 156, 319, 331 and 769 units.
 

Hey 3

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The newest Pacer was built 1987 and the oldest 158 was 1989 so that's a minimum two year age gap.

Besides 158s are much better built than a pacer so should last longer and are much more capable units than pacers were.

158's are good units.

So I think Northerns

Diesel fleet should be formed of 158's, 170s & 195's.

With electrics just being 323s and extra 331s.

Keeping things much simpler than present by getting rid of... 150, 153, 155, 156, 319, 331 and 769 units.
Get rid of the 331s?
Excuse me, but what are you smoking?
 

Andyh82

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Given that the fleet in place now is leased for another 4 years and that Northern have also signed a lease for more 156s (rather than more new CAF junk), replacement is not going to happen for some time.
Even if they ordered more 195s tomorrow, it’d probably be 4 years before they entered service, so those leases aren’t an issues.

Regarding climate change, they got away with ordering 197s not long ago. I also imagine 195s are more environmentally friendly than flogging 150s for the next 20 years when they decide how to remove diesel trains from the whole network.
 

HSTEd

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The most important contribution the railway can make to decarbonisation in the next decade is to become more attractive to passengers and grow modal share.

New trains with things like air con that works, and not awful acceleration performance is a big part of that.

Ideally they'd replace all the legacy diesels with 19xs (although I'd prefer a class with gangways)
 

BayPaul

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The most important contribution the railway can make to decarbonisation in the next decade is to become more attractive to passengers and grow modal share.

New trains with things like air con that works, and not awful acceleration performance is a big part of that.

Ideally they'd replace all the legacy diesels with 19xs (although I'd prefer a class with gangways)
As electric cars become more common there is a real risk that the railway will be seen as an environmentally unsound option if they keep on building diesels. I hope that no more 19xs are built, and instead Northern build a new fleet of battery 331s, replacing as many legacy DMUs as possible in this way.
 

Bigman

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Whatever they do get, for gods sake put corridor connections in like the 172's, 196's and 350's.
 

D365

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Whatever they do get, for gods sake put corridor connections in like the 172's, 196's and 350's.
As someone who’s grown up on the Great Northern, are cab-end gangways really that crucial?
 

py_megapixel

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My opinions are as follows:

150, 155, 156 - Very outdated even now.
Overall verdict: replace as soon as possible

158 - Still good enough in terms of passenger comfort but end doors are not ideal.
Overall verdict: Keep, but relegate to unelectrified rural routes where there is more slack in the timetable

170 - Fine, but not well suited for, and doesn't really fit in with, the rest of Northern's fleet. Also several companies want Turbostars at the moment so lease costs are probably relatively high.
Overall verdict: Cascade to EMR, who it seems will be a bit short of stock, and replace.

195 - Brand new, but diesel nonetheless.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely, but don't let this get in the way of electrification - if there are literally no diesel routes for them to run on then scrapping relatively new DMUs might be the lesser evil.

323 - Not near end of life and well-liked. Not much wrong with them really.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely

331 -- Brand new, and electric.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely.


333 - Despite being newer, opinion on here from those in the know seems to be that they are actually closer to their end of life. That said, they are still well-liked.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely, overhauling mechanically if required, unless they're so bad under the solebar that replacement would actually be more economical.

769 - Effectively just a bimode pair of 150s, albeit with a more modern engine.
Overall verdict: Replace immediately
 

Hey 3

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My opinions are as follows:

150, 155, 156 - Very outdated even now.
Overall verdict: replace as soon as possible

158 - Still good enough in terms of passenger comfort but end doors are not ideal.
Overall verdict: Keep, but relegate to unelectrified rural routes where there is more slack in the timetable

170 - Fine, but not well suited for, and doesn't really fit in with, the rest of Northern's fleet. Also several companies want Turbostars at the moment so lease costs are probably relatively high.
Overall verdict: Cascade to EMR, who it seems will be a bit short of stock, and replace.

195 - Brand new, but diesel nonetheless.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely, but don't let this get in the way of electrification - if there are literally no diesel routes for them to run on then scrapping relatively new DMUs might be the lesser evil.

323 - Not near end of life and well-liked. Not much wrong with them really.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely

331 -- Brand new, and electric.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely.


333 - Despite being newer, opinion on here from those in the know seems to be that they are actually closer to their end of life. That said, they are still well-liked.
Overall verdict: Keep indefinitely, overhauling mechanically if required, unless they're so bad under the solebar that replacement would actually be more economical.

769 - Effectively just a bimode pair of 150s, albeit with a more modern engine.
Overall verdict: Replace immediately
Just replace the 158s

Just replace the 158s
And if the 195s have nowhere to run, you could always convert them to a bi-mode(Battery/hydrogen and electric overhead)
 

py_megapixel

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Just replace the 158s
Why?
Just because they have 15 at the start, doesn't make them the same as the other Sprinters. They're considerably newer, and have far more modern amenities.

And if the 195s have nowhere to run, you could always convert them to a bi-mode(Battery/hydrogen and electric overhead)
No you couldn't. At least, not without completely replacing the entire drivetrain and at least one of the bodies (no space to put a pantograph currently). And by the time you're doing that in 10-20 years you would also probably be looking at a significant interior refurb... so essentially you're replacing everything except some of the bodyshell.
 
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Hey 3

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Why?
Just because they have 15 at the start, doesn't make them the same as the other Sprinters. They're considerably newer, and have far more modern amenities.


No you couldn't. At least, not without completely replacing the entire drivetrain and at least one of the bodies (no space to put a pantograph currently). And by the time you're doing that in 10-20 years you would also probably be looking at a significant interior refurb... so essentially you're replacing everything except some of the bodyshell.
Oh, I didnt know about the 195s not being able to be converted.
The Sprinters are just as old as Pacers.

And I wouldn't say a Class 158 is "considerably newer"
 

Andyh82

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As electric cars become more common there is a real risk that the railway will be seen as an environmentally unsound option if they keep on building diesels. I hope that no more 19xs are built, and instead Northern build a new fleet of battery 331s, replacing as many legacy DMUs as possible in this way.
With big enough batteries to enable them to run away from the wires for the entire day's service?
 

HSTEd

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As electric cars become more common there is a real risk that the railway will be seen as an environmentally unsound option if they keep on building diesels. I hope that no more 19xs are built, and instead Northern build a new fleet of battery 331s, replacing as many legacy DMUs as possible in this way.

Legacy DMUs burn just as much, if not more diesel, than modern ones, and are considerably less attractive to the travelling public.
 

BayPaul

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Legacy DMUs burn just as much, if not more diesel, than modern ones, and are considerably less attractive to the travelling public.
But they can be replaced by electrification or batteries. Brand new DMUs are difficult to justify binning or making major conversions to in a few years.
 

HSTEd

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But they can be replaced by electrification or batteries. Brand new DMUs are difficult to justify binning or making major conversions to in a few years.
It will be 20 years before electrification can make a significant difference to our predicament.
If units are bought now there will be places to run for their entire service lives.
 

Bletchleyite

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Diesel fleet should be formed of 158's, 170s & 195's.

With electrics just being 323s and extra 331s.

Keeping things much simpler than present by getting rid of... 150, 153, 155, 156, 319, 331 and 769 units. [I assume you mean 333 here]

I think this would be a sensible approach. Furthermore, so far as possible, the 170s and 158s should work long-distance services, and the 195s local services, taking full advantage of their acceleration and fuel efficiency at low speeds. This might even allow timetables to be improved on lines with frequent stops like the CLC and the diesel commuter services around Manchester and Leeds. (They already appear to be using 195s to Rose Hill which is a great idea).

The next plan after that could potentially be to replace 158s and 170s with bionic duckweed-fuelled bi-modes, or whatever works in the many trials, plus consideration of electrification of those Manchester local routes that won't be Metrolinked.
 

BayPaul

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With big enough batteries to enable them to run away from the wires for the entire day's service?
No. My mid-term plan would be as follows:
  • Routes like Manchester - Cumbria that run mainly under the wires go to BEMUs
  • Look at rejigging service patterns for cross city services, so rather than connecting wired to wired and unwired to unwired you connect wired to unwired, so that the train can for example, charge up between Stalybridge and Bolton, and then use battery power from Bolton to Stockport (once wiring is complete to Stalybridge obviously)
  • Take advantage of the Trans Pennine electrification programme to add additional services of this nature
  • For any short-self contained shuttles, look at options with fast charging at one or both ends, especially a shuttle off of a wired mainline (e.g. Lancaster - Morecombe)
  • Replace as many legacy DMUs as possible with BEMUs, but accept that in the mid term it won't be possible to replace them all. Look at bringing in newer DMUs from other franchises (such as 158s and 175s from EMR and TfW for example) to replace the older sprinters as well. One nice thing about this plan is that most of the remaining DMU services will be longer distance ones and rural branch lines, which these trains are reasonably suitable for, any commuter services which can't be moved to BEMUs in the above way can be allocated 195s.
 
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