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

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anamyd

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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!
Ah OK, thanks
 

anamyd

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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.
http://railtube.info/2019/05/battery-genset-and-new-engine-on-display-vivarail/
Battery, genset and new engine on display.(Vivarail)
Peter LewisMay 13, 2019News, UK Railway News

(Vivarail Image)
Come and visit us on Stand P84,Railtex,NEC Birmingham 14-16th May 2019.
At this year’s Railtex exhibition Vivarail will showcase two of its most innovative modules designed to help de-carbonise the UK’s railways.

Visit us on Stand P84 to see:
  • The zero emission battery module
  • The ultra-low emission genset with Caterpillar’s NRMM Stage V compliant engine
Vivarail is pioneering the design of high-tech state-of-the-art power systems that will help de-carbonise the UK’s railways. It has the country’s only modern production battery train which was launched in 2018 and has already been sold to the US.
 

gingertom

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The genset with the CAT engine was shown at a show a few days ago, apparently.
there must be a good reason Vivarail are trialling a new engine. More reliabie? Cleaner emissions? Better fuel consumption? Lighter weight? Higher power output? It obviously fits the raft.
 

anamyd

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there must be a good reason Vivarail are trialling a new engine. More reliabie? Cleaner emissions? Better fuel consumption? Lighter weight? Higher power output? It obviously fits the raft.
Especially more reliable...? Just to be clear a single Caterpillar would replace two Fords.
 

Aictos

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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.
Indeed, some of the improvements that it has puts the rests of the LNR fleet to shame such as:

The mural on the accessible toilet, surely there are plenty of scenic views on the WCML that the Class 350s see day in and day out that could be done as a mural on said toilet?

USB sockets at seats, I think the Class 230s are the only ones in the entire LNR/WMR fleets to have this!

The route map design above your heads, surely something could be done in a similar fashion for the Class 323s on the Cross City line in Birmingham?

Yes it is expected to be cheap but Vivarail have stripped the entire structure back to the basic shell and rebuilt it to a as new condition with a interior suitable for Bletchley to Bedford amongst other branch lines, I used one recently and apart from the well noted issue of how slow the doors are and some issue delaying us at Woburn Sands said train was nice, comfy and well new looking!

I don't know how much better the interior on the TfW ones will be but I quite like these units and if it wasn't for the fact that the Abbey line was already electrified I would suggest putting a pair on that line!
 

krus_aragon

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hooverboy

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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.
you've never been involved with military acceptance testing then!
it's about as brutal as it gets.
With good reason.If something gets deployed it is expected to work.
 

hooverboy

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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.
I would have thought so.Marine engines are meant for long durations at high stress.
(I did recommend something like cummins L9 for a super-pacer,and b6.7 for a not-so-super but functional branch line runaround. I would think caterpillar,volvo,mtu/rolls can conjour up a similar block.)
 

hooverboy

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If you have half the number of engines, the probability of a failure (caused by an independent factor) halves, though the impact is greater.
plus you have half the amount of cooling systems to deal with....and 1* 6.5-7L block takes up way less than half the space of 2*3.2L blocks.

just run it at about 2/3 peak RPM rating and you're in the sweet spot for fuel consumption,BHP and torque.That will give you a decent engine lifespan and optimised maintainance schedule.

you can still run something like d stock on 1*300bhp...sprinters and pacers can both still limp on with one engine isolated, which is more than can be said for a 153.
 
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hooverboy

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there must be a good reason Vivarail are trialling a new engine. More reliabie? Cleaner emissions? Better fuel consumption? Lighter weight? Higher power output? It obviously fits the raft.
I think a mix of all of the above.

there are some substantial improvements in stage 5 engines of late.
 

apinnard

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I would have thought so.Marine engines are meant for long durations at high stress.
(I did recommend something like cummins L9 for a super-pacer,and b6.7 for a not-so-super but functional branch line runaround. I would think caterpillar,volvo,mtu/rolls can conjour up a similar block.)
plus you have half the amount of cooling systems to deal with....and 1* 6.5-7L block takes up way less than half the space of 2*3.2L blocks.

just run it at about 2/3 peak RPM rating and you're in the sweet spot for fuel consumption,BHP and torque.That will give you a decent engine lifespan and optimised maintainance schedule.

you can still run something like d stock on 1*300bhp...sprinters and pacers can both still limp on with one engine isolated, which is more than can be said for a 153.
How about a screaming CAT 3412E? Thank you very much.
 

Bletchleyite

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you've never been involved with military acceptance testing then!
it's about as brutal as it gets.
With good reason.If something gets deployed it is expected to work.
It is of course possible that LNR/Vivarail were pressured to accept them when they weren't quite ready due to the 150s going off up North and the 153s being needed in the West Midlands (and being insufficient for the school trains).
 

Bletchleyite

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you can still run something like d stock on 1*300bhp...sprinters and pacers can both still limp on with one engine isolated, which is more than can be said for a 153.
With one engine out (on the first day) the 230 was still only just losing time, and that was only because of the ridiculously slow door operation which is losing in the order of 20 seconds or more per stop compared with Class 150 operation, and a further 10 seconds or so compared with what it could be if they moved to driver release or allowed the guard to release all doors at once rather than stepping out, as I understand SWR allow on Desiros to mitigate against their similarly slow doors.

Apparently the actual doors were also slowed down by fitting some kind of device in the air line, which was ridiculous as they are no faster in their Tube form than any other ex-BR sliding door unit, or even a Class 800 or modified HST.
 

philthetube

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@DarloRich I have to ask, because for the life of me I can't understand it, why are you so angry that I am criticising them? I see them for what they are, old LU stock tarted up and given new traction for a few years before being sent to the scrapyard.
I am currently drinking coffee from a cup given to me 40 years ago when I started my first job, it is old and will probably go to the scrapyard when I do, however it is currently perfect for the job required of it, just like the D trains. My cup would not be suitable for serving champagne to the queen and a C train would not be suitable for a London Glasgow service, horsed for courses.
 

jimm

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Already sold to the US? I hadn't heard anything about that (and can't see anything relevant from a glance at Vivarail's news page).
I'll link you to the article(s) when I get back home later this evening
The 230 going to the US has not been sold - it is a battery-powered demonstrator set to be used to showcase the idea of a 'pop-up' metro, using existing rail lines. It will be a conversion of 230001, with the diesels swapped for battery packs.

According to Modern Railways, which has a two-page article about 230 developments in the June issue, Railroad Development Corporation (which is a major shareholder in Vivarail) is going to use it in Iowa. The article says Vivarail has also had interest from other places in the States, so presumably politicians and officials will be invited to go along and see the train running.

Fred Frailey, of Trains magazine, posted this in his blog in February:

I had dinner a few Sundays ago with Henry Posner III, cofounder (with Bob Pietrandrea) and chairman of Railroad Development Corp. RDC owns a bevy of things, including Iowa Interstate Railroad (Chicago-Council Bluffs, Iowa) and various rail ventures in Europe and Latin America. Henry was aglow in the company of his daughter and coworker Ida and their plans to demonstrate “Pop-Up Metro” in spring 2020 on a 2.3-mile Iowa Interstate branch line in Altoona, Iowa, just west of Des Moines. Pop-Up Metro is a creation of RDC subsidiary Vivarail, which owns former London Underground rolling stock that has been converted to battery power. The cars have a 60-mile range and completely recharge in 10 minutes from mobile charging stations placed at stations. A flyer he handed me across the dinner table says this is an “opportunity to test and evaluate potential rail transit operations” over existing light-duty freight lines “for less than the cost of a consultant study.” I got a laugh out of that, but Henry is serious. The ex-Underground cars will carry potential customers on an as-needed basis
http://cs.trains.com/trn/b/fred-frailey/archive/2019/02/16/the-week-of-broken-trains.aspx
 

DarloRich

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Some shenanigans yesterday evening:

1653 from Blethcley was cancelled due to a train failure. Buses ordered. at about 1720 it was announced the 1653 would run but non stop to Bedford. It left about 5 minutes before the 1731! 230004 & 230005 were involved.

The train this morning was 230003
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Some shenanigans yesterday evening: 1653 from Blethcley was cancelled due to a train failure. Buses ordered. at about 1720 it was announced the 1653 would run but non stop to Bedford. It left about 5 minutes before the 1731! 230004 & 230005 were involved.
It is to be hoped that the Marston Vale regular passengers are fully understanding of the current operational hiccups/cancellations, but they must be made to realise that train commuting for the passengers on this line is only to be viewed as only second to the more and far reaching needs of Vivarail's new Class 230 line fleet teething problems.
 

DarloRich

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It is to be hoped that the Marston Vale regular passengers are fully understanding of the current operational hiccups/cancellations, but they must be made to realise that train commuting for the passengers on this line is only to be viewed as only second to the more and far reaching needs of Vivarail's new Class 230 line fleet teething problems.
You love an opportunity to have a snidey little dig at things you dont like! I wonder why you cant just express your views without hiding behind verbosity.

As regular users of the line these kind of issues have always been a sadly common occurrence. Luckily we understood that train commuting for the passengers on this line is only to be viewed as only second to the more and far reaching needs of LNWR's old Class 153/150 line fleet teething problems.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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You love an opportunity to have a snidey little dig at things you dont like! I wonder why you cant just express your views without hiding behind verbosity.
I am indeed most grateful for Vivarail to allow me such free rein to indulge myself in verbosity, by their seemingly problem-ridden trains on your line that gives me opportunity to let my imagination run riot. It is not since the days when Sid and Eddie were scriptwriters to Morecambe and Wise, that such opportunities have arisen....:p
 

DarloRich

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I am indeed most grateful for Vivarail to allow me such free rein to indulge myself in verbosity, by their seemingly problem-ridden trains on your line that gives me opportunity to let my imagination run riot. It is not since the days when Sid and Eddie were scriptwriters to Morecambe and Wise, that such opportunities have arisen....:p
sigh. This is tiresome and tedious.

As I have now said many times: These problems are no worse than the aged 150 & particularly the 153 that ran our service until recently. Clearly and really rather obviously these teething issues with the class 230 trains need to start tapering off quite soon.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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sigh. This is tiresome and tedious.

As I have now said many times: These problems are no worse than the aged 150 & particularly the 153 that ran our service until recently. Clearly and really rather obviously these teething issues with the class 230 trains need to start tapering off quite soon.
I thought we shared a good sense of humour, but evidentially I am mistaken. Being supporters of Darlington and of Hyde United should suggest that we can see humour in the darkest of life's offerings.

I am in total agreement with the final sentence in your posting above.
 

D365

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It will be a conversion of 230001, with the diesels swapped for battery packs.
Ah, I was under the impression that 002 would be sent stateside. 001 still has (had?) the DC traction motors. Though last time I saw it, all it was doing was pootling around the test track.
 
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