Creation of class 230 DEMUs from ex-LU D78s by Vivarail

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hooverboy

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The service models used in many other European countries do use brand new trains as they can be uniquely suited to and branded for branches, and coupled with service improvements and a move to a proper connectional Taktfahrplan (clockface + planned connections) do well at improving patronage. The Stadler WINK (the successor of the GTW) is basically designed precisely for this use - I'm sure they'd do a UK version if enough were ordered. Indeed, the 230s on the Marston Vale very much feel like GTWs other than the lack of a low floor.

TBH, I think Northern got their order very much the wrong way round. Better would have been new units as direct Pacer/150 replacements (the CAF units, being near enough the same as Class 172s with fast acceleration via mechanical transmissions and basic seating, would fit this role perfectly), and Northern Connect being run using Class 170s and 158s refurbished to the quality of the ScotRail Inverness units. 170s are not suitable for branches at all; they accelerate like a horse and cart.
I like your thinking, but I beg to differ on the CAF units being suitable, even 172's for that matter.
northern has got some absolutely rotten sharp curves on it's routes.20m or less carriage length is required.

I think a 17m artic like the talent would cope, but a standard 23m like a turbostar has too much swing in it.
I think the maximum artic car length the UK can cope with is 18.7m like the eurostars,so for low speed rail needs to be quite a bit shorter.

CAF do have an EMU with 15m artics I believe...could be an option if they can stick a power plant under it.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I like your thinking, but I beg to differ on the CAF units being suitable, even 172's for that matter.
northern has got some absolutely rotten sharp curves on it's routes.20m or less carriage length is required.
Is it? There are not many routes on Northern where Class 156s can't go; the random unit generator kicks them out all over the shop.
 

hooverboy

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Is it? There are not many routes on Northern where Class 156s can't go; the random unit generator kicks them out all over the shop.
If they could standardise the gauge over the UK it would be so much simpler!
There are a few, but there are also a few which bar pacers as well.

what's needed is a "go-anywhere" unit.
The 150 is probably about the closest on the network to it.
The 14x could be if it wasn't for the single axles.(and only 1 power axle per car)

I've got a bit of a soft spot for the 156.yes it's dated,and doesn't have aircon, but it's been a thoroughly reliable workhorse.
Boring as hell to travel on,but you know you will get where you intend to go....it's the ford escort of the railway world.
 
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Bletchleyite

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If they could standardise the gauge over the UK it would be so much simpler!
There are a few, but there are also a few which bar pacers as well.

what's needed is a "go-anywhere" unit.
The 150 is probably about the closest on the network to it.
The 14x could be if it wasn't for the single axles.(and only 1 power axle per car)
Class 323s are 23m, but can't they go most places (that have wires) due to the steep tapering at the vehicle ends? But more generally, perhaps an 18m vehicle articulated unit would be the way to go - be that a FLIRT or something else? Low floor would be a massive bonus - when the North West was full of low platforms, even the relatively low bottom step on a Pacer came in useful.

I've got a bit of a soft spot for the 156.yes it's dated,and doesn't have aircon, but it's been a thoroughly reliable workhorse.
Boring as hell to travel on,but you know you will get where you intend to go....it's the ford escort of the railway world.
Built by Met-Camm (before the French got their grubby mitts on it), so a worthy successor of the long-lived Class 101, though in reality more like a non-aircon Mk3 coach with a diesel engine underneath. I reckon when these go enthusiasts will be chasing them around for months and will really mourn their passing.
 

hooverboy

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Class 323s are 23m, but can't they go most places (that have wires) due to the steep tapering at the vehicle ends? But more generally, perhaps an 18m vehicle articulated unit would be the way to go - be that a FLIRT or something else? Low floor would be a massive bonus - when the North West was full of low platforms, even the relatively low bottom step on a Pacer came in useful.

the tapering helps, but it would be the inside middle section of the carriage on the inner radius of a curve which might cause some problems.
TBH if they'd have wired bedford-bletchley(and even run to MKC),323's would have been perfect!




Built by Met-Camm (before the French got their grubby mitts on it), so a worthy successor of the long-lived Class 101, though in reality more like a non-aircon Mk3 coach with a diesel engine underneath. I reckon when these go enthusiasts will be chasing them around for months and will really mourn their passing.
to be sure.
I think they still have plenty of life left because they are so useful, but when they pass( like CL37/47 which were also the mainstay of IC and freight alike, and hundreds of them too, they will certainly be missed!)

I saw geoff marshalls HST video from paddington..great video!,HST's will be thought of this way too.just a shame that they couldn't organise matching rakes ,and the original blue+yellow didn't have the paxman-valenta units doing a bit of thrash....that would have been a proper send off!!!
 
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Bletchleyite

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I think they still have plenty of life left because they are so useful, but when they pass( like CL37/47 which were also the mainstay of IC and freight alike, and hundreds of them too, they will certainly be missed!)
They are ideal like nothing else for "long and thin" rural routes - low loadings so the end doors are fine, big windows for the view, incredibly reliable. Just a bit noisy, that's all.
 

hooverboy

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They are ideal like nothing else for "long and thin" rural routes - low loadings so the end doors are fine, big windows for the view, incredibly reliable. Just a bit noisy, that's all.
the noise isn't that bad,at least they've got opening windows where you can get a real country air blast of cow**** and diesel!
that's the most fun part of rural train journeys!
 

_toommm_

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They are ideal like nothing else for "long and thin" rural routes - low loadings so the end doors are fine, big windows for the view, incredibly reliable. Just a bit noisy, that's all.
One of the best noises to come out of a train - I always sit in the end of the outer cars to listen to a 323s acceleration and deceleration :D
 

Bletchleyite

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the noise isn't that bad,at least they've got opening windows where you can get a real country air blast of cow**** and diesel!
that's the most fun part of rural train journeys!
One nice thing about 230s (at least the LNR variety) is that they too have opening windows, though I believe there's some kind of Chiltern-style air cooling system (not full aircon) as well.
 

mmh

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There's a couple of answers to that - one of them is that if 172s were suitable for the Vale they would have perhaps ordered two more 2-car sets, and the other is that the 150 and 153 could have been used nearer base due to their unreliability and a cascade released the 2 172s from the existing fleet.

Logic would otherwise be to order two 20m DMUs (brand-new there'd be less need for the spare) but nobody makes them other than Stadler (2-car plus power car FLIRT), and those have only been even an option for a very short time.
Nonsense. Pay Bomardier to make a 20m train and they'd have done it. They've built more of them than anyone else.
 

Bletchleyite

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Nonsense. Pay Bomardier to make a 20m train and they'd have done it. They've built more of them than anyone else.
Is there enough room below the solebar of a 20m vehicle for the engine and all the relevant emissions gubbins for a 90+mph unit? I'm not clear that there is, hence why the Class 150 was the last 20m diesel built for the UK.

You could put the engine above the floor, either in a generator module per Stadler or just like the Class 210 - but then you've got substantially reduced capacity. You could build one like the Class 230, but that takes advantage of older EMUs having next to nothing under two of the coaches - you couldn't have all vehicles powered so a 2-car unit is non-viable. You could go for a lower top speed like the 230, but then why not just buy a 230?

Of course, once you move away from socking great diesel lumps to batteries and top-up petrol generators and the likes this might well change - after all, the Parry People Mover fits it all under a vehicle, what, about 12m long?

Maybe it's no bad thing these units don't exist yet - perhaps 10 years' time, with improved battery tech, is the time to create them - and get the dirty diesel off our rural branches entirely?
 

Peter Sarf

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Any train rebuilt from D78 stock is cheap in my view and I don't need to go inside one to have the opinion that it is second hand.
Well... Do you mean cheap in appearance or cheap in terms of cost ?.

I would expect it to be cheap in cost terms as it IS secondhand. It appears, from plenty of eyewitness accounts, that it is nice, comfortable and new looking.
 

hooverboy

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Is there enough room below the solebar of a 20m vehicle for the engine and all the relevant emissions gubbins for a 90+mph unit? I'm not clear that there is, hence why the Class 150 was the last 20m diesel built for the UK.
with recent improvements in engine and transmission technology there certainly is.
a typical engine block will now pump out about 20-30% more power from the same size block than one built in the 1980's, torque is also improved by 10-15% or so.

...think advancements going from all steel to alloy engines, cylinder coatings,egr,refinements in turbo's , ecu rather than cam timings etc etc.

likewise with torque convertors.Slightly better efficiency but a smaller box.

That gives you a bit of scope to downsize the components as required.
for a 90mph unit(2 powered axle per car), you would need to target around 9bhp/tonne (tare), 8bhp/tonne fully loaded.
 

boxy321

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After my experiences this week can we have some 230s on the Snow Hill lines please? The 153's were amusing on a day out to Kenilworth once a year but any more than that...
 

Bletchleyite

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we are in week 2 of a 2 train service so the teething issues need to start tapering off quite soon.
Hypothetically if they are not resolved, what might LNR do? Would it be viable to short-form a couple of Brum area diagrams and send 2 x 153 down? They'd be overcrowded on the school runs but might at least run reliably.

Could implement an emergency timetable to allow the school runs to be doubled up (i.e. by way of flighting, I know they can't work in multiple) at the expense of some cancellations at other times?

It seems odd how many major issues seem to be surfacing when there's been extensive testing already.
 

Greybeard33

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1/3 in service at present, with half the Marston Vale service cancelled :(
230005 out of service due to WSP issues and doors
230003 out of service due to half power and overheating.
I see seven services were cancelled yesterday.

RTT gives the reason for cancellation of the 2112 from Bedford as late arrival of an inbound service, but the inbound arrived only 3 minutes late, at 2108. Does anyone know the real reason?
we are in week 2 of a 2 train service so the teething issues need to start tapering off quite soon.
Seems that there are more of the same issues today, got from Bedford to Lidlington then got cancelled, followed by a large number of cancellations.
More are being cancelled than are running at the moment, won’t be long until the public want the 150 back, or even the grotty 153!
At least one of the 150s has been seen in service with Northern already, so if it is any comfort your sacrifice is not in vain!
 

DarloRich

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Seems that there are more of the same issues today, got from Bedford to Lidlington then got cancelled, followed by a large number of cancellations.
More are being cancelled than are running at the moment, won’t be long until the public want the 150 back, or even the grotty 153!
There were delays first thing but both trains were in service and the delay was reported as a "blocked platform"! Seems to be broken down although the other one is towards bedford! That service is still carrying delay from first thing this morning.

Hypothetically if they are not resolved, what might LNR do? Would it be viable to short-form a couple of Brum area diagrams and send 2 x 153 down? They'd be overcrowded on the school runs but might at least run reliably.

Could implement an emergency timetable to allow the school runs to be doubled up (i.e. by way of flighting, I know they can't work in multiple) at the expense of some cancellations at other times?
LNWR will go to buses as they always do.

It seems odd how many major issues seem to be surfacing when there's been extensive testing already.
Acceptance testing and real life in service environments are often different. The stop/start, doors open and closed, people on and off, flushing the toilet, pressing the buttons real life use will drive out different and often unknown snags. As long as they taper off quite quickly i think they are normal teething troubles.
 

Bantamzen

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Regarding my comments on the suitability of the 230s, I have said previously and it is well documented that Northern use their units intensively and across a variety of routes. So a unit one day operating Huddersfield to Sheffield, might the next day be running from Leeds to Morecambe, and the next day Leeds to Sheffield via Moorthorpe. I don't know the exact operational reasons for this, but clearly they need stock that can operate over numerous routes, and not stock that is limited to a few. Plus ordering small batches of unique units means depots need to spend more time learning the mechanical and operational needs, and keeping this knowledge up to date. This all adds to the cost of running units, a cost that might be offset by spending more on new but identical units as with the CAF order.

And then there is the issue of the lifespan of these units. Let's just speculate that the 230 costs about two thirds of the cost of a new one to build, lease and operate. Given that current DMU stock is expected to operate for at least 30-40 years, then the 230s would be expected to operate for at least 20-30 years. Will they really last that long, being as someone upthread described as a garden shed engineering project? I have serious doubts.

Anyway, it is what it is. Northern will not be placing orders any time soon, no matter how much some members bang on about it. I think I'll leave it there.
 

tbtc

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As for LNWR's part in all this, I fear that they didn't really have much of a choice. I keep hearing that the service cannot be operated by anything longer than a Cl150 without infrastructure changes, but with the Cl150s gone and the Cl153s soon to follow what were LNWR going to use?
I know it's probably the most talked about line on the Forum, but there's nothing unique about Marston Vale.

We are facing a situation where there are over a hundred Pacers that need scrapping - we are facing a situation where 153s don't seem economically viable to upgrade (other than as Scottish luggage vans) - we are therefore facing a situation where there are lots of "Provincial" services where decent acceleration matters more than top speed.

Marston Vale maybe made sense as a self contained line to trail these on but Northern/ Wales & Borders/ East Midlands Trains/ GWR all run a number of slow services.

With no more 142/143/144/153s running around, there are more of these slow routes than there are 150s. But instead of ordering some "basic" self powered trains suited to branch lines, we are ordering more "flagship" DMUs suited to longer distance routes and hoping that a 158/170 won't be too sluggish at coping with the frequent stop/start nature of those lines.

Well then you are wrong. They ARE suitable for some northern lines. Are you suggesting Northern doesn't have any routes like the Marston Vale line? Are you suggesting there are not short distance, high loading routes in northern land that might be suitable? None? None at all? I gave the example of Castleford > Leeds. They seem very suitable to that route to my mind.

Perhaps you could explain why you think they are not suitable for ANY northern routes. Could that reasoning be more substantial than I don't like the idea or these are 2nd hand cast offs/QUOTE]

I live in Northernland and there are plenty of routes where a 230 would be suited.

The arguments against it seem to boil down to the following:

  • Northern won't be able to cope with a small fleet (this is the franchise with 142/144/150/153/155/156/158/170/321/322/323/333s, and a few different subclasses within those - e.g. some 144/158s are two doors, some are three)
  • Northern's allocators will randomly allocate 230s to a fast route like Nottingham - Leeds (because some people think that the professional allocators are too dumb to know the difference between different types of train and probably expect EMUs to be allocated to unelectrified routes)
  • We don't want London cast-offs (I've not seen anyone complain about 170s being "Scottish cast-offs" or the various Sprinters from GWR/LM being defined in similar ways, but there was plenty of mention of London in relation to the 319s that arrived to the previous franchise... funny that)
Other than the Leeds - Barnsley - Sheffield - Lincoln/Nottingham circuit and the fast Hull services , I can't think of any Northern services around Sheffield that 230s wouldn't be able to cope with - for example the nice simple duty that takes fifty minutes to cover the twenty two miles to Adwick - you could allocate a couple of dozen to the local diagrams around here (and use the Pacers/ Sprinters freed up to beef up services around Leeds/ Manchester).
 

anamyd

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Are the reliability problems all engine related...? If so I think Vivarail should replace all the twin-Ford setups with the CATs
 

Bletchleyite

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Are the reliability problems all engine related...? If so I think Vivarail should replace all the twin-Ford setups with the CATs
No, it's a mix of issues. The door issues are the most surprising, as the door mechanisms are the originals which have worked reliably on LUL for years. That said, they have been "throttled" to slow them down - but they need speeding back up!
 

gingertom

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Are the reliability problems all engine related...? If so I think Vivarail should replace all the twin-Ford setups with the CATs
I seem to remember someone from Vivarail saying the Ford engine used was the biggest that could be squeezed into the available space. I'm not familiar with the Cat engine being talked about here but I'd have thought there'd be something suitable in Volvo's Penta marine engine range.
 

DarloRich

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Are the reliability problems all engine related...? If so I think Vivarail should replace all the twin-Ford setups with the CATs
I seem to remember someone from Vivarail saying the Ford engine used was the biggest that could be squeezed into the available space. I'm not familiar with the Cat engine being talked about here but I'd have thought there'd be something suitable in Volvo's Penta marine engine range.
because you can just grab a new engine type of the shelf and plumb it in just like that!
 
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