Double deck trains

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by badassunicorn, 12 Jan 2014.

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  1. badassunicorn

    badassunicorn Member

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    I'm quite sure this topic has been discussed previously, but its just got me thinking again. Could double deck coaches with a high platform design be possible in the uk with the restricted loading guage? I know it has been done before with the Bulleid 4DD but they look a bit of a mess. Say on Mk3 based IC routes, could a high platform double deck style coach where the doors are at platform height, and then it splits upwards and downwards internally work in the uk?
     
  2. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    No - not enough width on the lower deck. On the continent the sides are straight to just above rail level, in the UK it tapers sharply inwards below platform level.
     
  3. themiller

    themiller Member

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    Even on the continent, double-deck stock is usually configured with stairs both up and down from the entrance lobby. The Swiss IC 2000, stock despite being built for a larger loading gauge than most lines in the UK, feels quite cosy and I don't recall overhead luggage racks being fitted. The lower saloon is only just above the rails so is not full length but only fits the space between the bogies.
     
  4. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    The only double decker stock that I know of where the lower deck is level over the bogies (which I appreciate is not what badassunicorn is proposing) is the Channel Tunnel shuttle stock- reckon if you were doing passenger, not vehicle, stock to their loading gauge you could, with a well design, just about fit three decks...

    But as for the network in this country? There's so, so many places where clearance is very limited. Most obvious on AC network, just look how compressed the pantograph can be.
     
  5. alwaystouchout

    alwaystouchout Member

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    After Googling it and seeing the cramped conditions, I think I'd rather stand..
     
  6. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    No chance in the near future at least. As has been mentioned, our loading gauge won't take it and indeed, I also don't recall overhead racks, or luggage space at all, for that matter.

    Also in a country obsessed with accessibility, they are a step back as they have steps galore, in many cases both to get into the carriages and then to progress through them. Believe me, having travelled on them with luggage they are a pain in the backside to navigate...that said, they do seem to still get a catering trolley through them!
     
  7. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    DD stock like that used in Sydney would be ideal for UK conditions, as they do use high platforms with stairs down to the lower level and up to the top and plenty of standing/luggage/wheelchair/bike space at platform level over the bogies between the platform doors and the corridor connection. Those EMUs also have to deal with similar lateral clearances as British lines have leaving just the height to be sorted out, and they are reasonably spacious inside without compromising dwell time too much.

    The loading gauge would need to be enhanced to allow an extra 600-700mm of height, which could be achieved by targeting certain routes for a long term plan of clearing it one bridge/tunnel at a time.
     
  8. Loki

    Loki Member

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    HS2 will probably be the first line to get DD stock. HS1 supports DD trains but there is no demand there.

    Can you gives us the profile of those trains? Wonder if the can be fiddled with to fit W12.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  9. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    [​IMG]

    Its only a couple of inches narrower below platform height, you probably could manage 4 up 3 down (or even make the lower a standing area with longitudal seats). Really though you would want to make special arrangements such that they ran on lines that had been cleared for hi cube container traffic.
     
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  10. Loki

    Loki Member

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    Looking at the Sydney trains spec they are about 20m in length, 3m in width and 4.4m in height. However most have 3x2 seating. I suppose if you reduce it to 2x2 or worst case 2x1 at the lower deck you can fit one in W12 but the height could be an issue. I don't know how many low bridges the c2c has but it might be a potential candidate for an upgrade.
     
  11. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    EDIT: I've been beaten to it, but here's a bit more detail and a photo.
    Different models have been built with widths between 2900mm and 3035mm (straight sides most of the way, not a maximum 'bulge' width), heights between 4200mm and 4400mm and car lengths of 20 to 20.5 metres. All Sydney electrics are double deckers with overhead wiring, and all are formed as four or eight car sets.

    The most recent completed build order were the H Sets for outer commuter belt services of up to 162 kilometres long (Newcastle-Sydney) which feature seats for 432, wheelchair/bike space for 16 in the platform-level vestibule areas, and a toilet. The following image is copied from Wikipedia:

    [​IMG]

    A reasonable comparison for the H Set (in terms of operating similar services) is the Class 375/377 - the length of a four car set is close enough to exactly the same for both, but the H Set is 230mm wider and 620mm taller. 432 people get seats in a H Set, compared to 236 in a four car Class 375.

    To reduce the magnitude of works required down to just height increases, a UK-spec version of a Sydney-style EMU could be built to about 2750mm wide with 2+2 seating instead of the Sydney 3+2 layout, and you would still end up with approximately 360 seats in a four car set.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  12. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    Height increases are the most complicated part of the entire idea. The increase in vertical loading gauge is too great for traditional OHLE clearance work to be possible so you would need entirely new bridges and tunnels. The amount of disruption it would cause to do this and the cost of it would probably make it more likely that they would just build entirely new lines from scratch designed for double-decker trains. For our intercity capacity problem that means HS2 but for commuter use you would have much longer dwell times at stations which nullifies some or all of the benefit of double-decking to begin with. That's why Crossrail wasn't designed with double-deckers in mind, even though the tunnels themselves are physically large enough.
     
  13. Loki

    Loki Member

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    Don't know why the dwell time "problem" is brought up all the time when clearly neither Sydney nor Paris has it.

    How many structures approximately would need clearing on c2c (have not used the line)?
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  14. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I suspect the large buildings above Fenchurch Street station (the London terminus) may be the the real killer!

    After that, the first bridge is the A12 at Bromley By Bow LU station- carrying the East Cross Route, with the station entrance on the bridge.

    Truss bridge across the Lee may need modified

    the line would have to go down after West Ham to get under the Greenway, as the bridge structure carries a major sewer

    Then the A112 and Plaistow station buildings
    Pelly Road, Plaistow
    Carter Road
    Green Street and Upton park station buildings
    Grangewood Street
    Katherine Road
    High Street and East Ham station buildings
    possibly the North Circular- though this may be high enough already?
    then there's railway flyovers approaching Barking
    Queen's Road & A124 in quick succession
    Station Parade and Barking Station buildings

    line then splits- I'll follow the northern side!

    Upney Lane and Upney Station
    A1153
    Glade Street (Beacontree Station)
    A1240 Heathway & Dagenham Heathway station
    Rainham Road & Dagenham East station
    The Broadway & Elm Park Station
    Abbs Cross Lane/South End Road
    Station Lane & Hornchurch Station
    Hacton Lane
    Station Road & Upminster Station

    That's us reached the edge of LU operations! This is a relatively clear line, but there is that difficult bit of a lot of stations in cuttings with bridge entrances 23 or 24 bridges and other structures.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  15. Peter Sarf

    Peter Sarf Established Member

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    Thanks WatcherZero. judging by your diagrams its the width that restricts the UK the most in comparison to Europe. I had not realised the US was only about 18 inches taller btw.

    Wish I had seen inside a 4DD coach to understand what it felt like. My only experience of double deck trains was in the US on long distance services with an ample loading guage.

    As others have said HS2 is the answer to a larger loading guage but of course a new line would put off the need for double deck stock anyway !. Sadly not all HS2 stock could be so large as I believe some services will go beyond HS2 to places like Glasgow and Liverpool.

    Like most things I suppose we should split double deck stock into categories.
    Intercity - where station dwell times are not so critical unless intermediate stops get busy.
    Suburban - where station dwell times are critical to the speed of the service.
    Interurban - somewhere between the above two.

    I don't see double deck trains for the UK coming soon even though they would be useful on suburban routes subject to loading times.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  16. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    They actually have an American gauge called double container height which is over 18ft tall!
     
  17. trubla

    trubla Member

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    Can actually remember riding on one of the old SR double deckers as a schoolboy. Wasn't much space on stairs up to top floorand loading/ unloading took ages
     
  18. Peter Sarf

    Peter Sarf Established Member

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    Blimay - would need to fit Oxygen cylinders for the upper deck(s). Seriously though - maybe prone to motion sickness with the increased swaying at that height ?.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    As I recall it the problem of the station dwell times was what killed the double deck idea. Instead/eventually the station platforms were extended from 8 cars to 10 cars (worked by 4-EPB + 4-EPB + 2-EPB). I am not sure but I think 10 cars of single decker was about the same capacity as 8 cars of double decker anyway due to the wasted space for stairs etc. Certainly double deck does not give you double the seats.
     
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2014
  19. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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  20. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    The real killer is that British trains are some 40cm narrower below platform level than Continental ones, and this would translate to one seat less per row on the lower deck. Alternatively, if platforms were rebuilt to European dimensions, they would be 20cm further away from British trains which would not be a safe stepping distance. So any conversion would have to shut the line for long enough to convert all the platforms.

    HS2 will have a mixture of "captive" trains that will only run on HS2 infrastructure, and "classic compatible" which will be able to run through onto the existing network. The captive sets will be standard Euro-designs and although single deck is currently assumed double deck is possible - the decision doesn't have to be made until they are ordered. Classic compatible sets would be single deck.
     
  21. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Last edited: 13 Jan 2014
  22. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    I believe they have loading gauges very similar to ours right up in the north-east near Boston etc.
     
  23. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Smaller than further west, but still a good deal bigger than ours. I suspect the diagram in post #9 illustrates the gauge American locos are built to, which is pretty much go-anywhere.
     
    Last edited: 13 Jan 2014
  24. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    And still big enough for double decker commuter trains, the 'Bombardier MultiLevel Coach' is a 4.39m tall vehicle, about halfway between an Electrostar and a Superliner.
     
  25. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    Fair enough. I was under the impression that parts of the north-east (with the exception of Maine and the connections to Canada) was a bit of a special case, but I may well be wrong about that.
     
  26. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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  27. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    You're probably thinking more of the various metro systems running from low voltage DC on their own tracks rather than mainline heavy rail. They might have loading gauges about the same as UK mainline trains, but would quite rightly be thought of more like people in the UK view London Underground or Tyne & Wear Metro.
     
  28. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    That makes a lot of sense.
     
  29. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    The bi-level autoracks used on the Auto Train are 6.07 metres tall compared to the Superliners at 4.93 metres. Both bi-level and tri-level autoracks are used on pure freight services, the tri-level ones are a little taller and have restrictions on the height of the cars to be transported.

    Superliners can be used on most freight lines even in the eastern USA, thanks to it being in the railroads' interests to clear their routes for double-stacked containers. As well as the Auto Train terminating at Lorton (outside Washington DC), Superliners operate into Washington Union Station itself on the Capitol Limited from Chicago on CSX and NS tracks.
     
  30. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    Which basically proves the point that its fine to produce rolling stock outside of standard national gauge if you clear the routes for it to operate.
     
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