- 12 Oct 2017
I like your thinking, but I beg to differ on the CAF units being suitable, even 172's for that matter.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.
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.