Double decker trains

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Fast Track, 19 Jul 2019.

  1. Fast Track

    Fast Track Member

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    Just wondered why double decker trains never caught on in the UK?

    On holiday in Belgium was surprised when our Bruges to Oostend was a double decker?

    I remember hearing that DD trains were on the North Kent lines in the 60’s can anyone confirm this?
     
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  3. MatthewRead

    MatthewRead On Moderation

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    There have been plans to use them here again since the withdrawal of the last British double decker train in 1971 but any future plans have been dropped largely due to financial constraints.
     
  4. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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  5. Mvann

    Mvann Member

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    Yes there were a couple of double decker EMUs in north Kent in the 1960s. I think two cars still exist
     
  6. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    A double deck design was tried, the Bulleid 4DD, but it wasn't exactly a success.
     
  7. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Pretty much failures by most sensible accounts.
     
  8. Fast Track

    Fast Track Member

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    The Bruges train seemed ideal for high capacity commuter trains is our gauge narrower so design problems or are our bridges platforms the problem - still inquisitive?
     
  9. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Everything is a problem. Especially below platform level where there are all sorts of problems with stuff like longitudinal girders of underbridges. An early post of mine (#9) in the other thread I linked to has a link to a regularly posted Network Rail report about the difficulties..

    Problem is this subject comes up about once a year, and the same debate is repeated every time.
     
  10. AlexNL

    AlexNL Established Member

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    I guess it all boils down to the UK being the first to build railways... the rest of the world took the idea and improved on it, but by then the UK already had committed themselves to the original design. Being able to fit continental style double deckers would mean rebuilding the entire infrastructure and needing new trains (even single deckers) as the existing fleet is not exactly designed for European style trains (with the exception of St. Pancras).

    Just look at the gap between the platform and the train when trying to board one of the original Eurostar trains - which had to be designed to fit within European as well as British gauges.
     
  11. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    The british gauge is narrower and lower. Wikipedia has a decent article about the problem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loading_gauge
     
  12. Fast Track

    Fast Track Member

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    Many thanks Jonas B - very informative.
     
  13. ohgoditsjames

    ohgoditsjames Member

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    Loading gauges, tunnel/bridge clearances and platform construction are the main hindrances
     
  14. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    HS1 can accept DD trains. Loading gague is one of the reasons we needed HS2 30 years ago (and HS3, HS4, HS5...)
     
  15. Bungle158

    Bungle158 Member

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    IIRC, the UK's Bullied DD stock was more correctly semi DD, with upper seats dovetailed between those on the lower deck. Upper footwells aligned with the back space of lower seats

    I believe that the above stock failed because of the time it took to en/de train passengers from the upper deck. Gauge constraints also prevented traditional opening windows on the upper section. Pressure ventilation was provided as there was no viable aircon back then. Reputedly, the stock was unpopular with passengers and soon rebuilt to 4SUB standards.
     
  16. gimmea50anyday

    gimmea50anyday Established Member

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    The DD was never rebuilt. It remained in service for a number of years but very route limited. Two of the driving cars are still in existence and a push to restore them has now started. More details :-

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/630365910333531/
     
  17. Mordac

    Mordac Established Member

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    To be fair that is a problem even on full size double deck trains on the continent.
     
  18. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    But it doesn’t stop SBB running 20+ trains per hour (ie same as Thameslink is planned to) on the S-bahn through Zürich Hbf using a mix of three different double deck stock types.
     
  19. Railperf

    Railperf Established Member

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    Someone pointed me in the direction of this Network Rail report into the viability of Double Deck and much longer trains. I think it covers everything ..

    https://t.co/DgUCu37ZaW?amp=1
     
  20. Loki

    Loki Member

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    If we see double decker trains, it will be on the high speed lines as HS1 supports DD and so will HS2.
     
  21. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Yes, I keep referring people to that too. I think it comes under “TLDR” - because for all the detail it provides threads just seem to keep going in denial mode...
     
  22. LUYMun

    LUYMun Member

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    I think these 4DDs (Double Decks) are the ones you mean...
    gerrycork100.jpg
    ap5.jpg

    Personally I don't think it would work in the format of sliding doors, it would be more useful if the seating were to one side with the corridor to the other and to be slam-door trains. It'll be more quicker than sliding doors, which everyone will get on/off through.
     
  23. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    Didn't think they'd ever run to Waterloo. Not seen that view of the interior before either, so cheers for posting!
     
  24. LUYMun

    LUYMun Member

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    Thanks, that would be Waterloo East station, but was named Waterloo due to its close connection to the current Waterloo between 1935 and 1977, when it was reverted back to its original name. By then, of course, most of the 4DD was scrapped.
     
  25. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    That makes more sense. Didn't realise Waterloo East was ever named anything else, though I could see it being named Waterloo (High Level) or something in a parallel universe.
     
  26. JKF

    JKF Member

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    Because of the slightly longer loading times, double deck coaches would be better suited for non-stop services, for example if they ran trains on HS2 non stop London to Birmingham or Manchester (which would probably be viable) then dwell times aren’t an issue. Or you could have a set that was double decked at one end (maybe two different unit types coupled together) with intermediate stops only served by the single deck stock, reservations only in double deck for people going to the end of the line.

    Then again, dwell times didn’t seem bad on the urban double deck trains I went on in Sydney, but they had large vestibules which would be at the expense of more seating.
     
  27. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    It's understandable why this keeps coming up.

    People look at buses like the Alexander Dennis Enviro 500 Super-Lo at 3.91 metres tall:-

    https://www.alexander-dennis.com/media/69789/enviro500-superlo-brochure.pdf

    Then look at the Deltic locomitives that were also 3.91 meters tall.

    And wonder why the bit between the bogies of a coach can't be just like a double decker bus.

    The trouble is there are so many secrets or information that is difficult to get hold of in the UK railway sector.

    Bits like

    What's the absolute maximum height of a passenger rail vehicle?
    What's the minimum clearance between foot of carriage and rail head?
    How long should a passenger train call at a station for?
     
  28. supervc-10

    supervc-10 Member

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    TGV Duplex type stock could provide a huge capacity uplift in the future on HS2, with the restriction of course of being unable to work on any 'classic' lines.
     
  29. winks

    winks Member

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    There’s no doubt we will be moving to double decker trains within 10 years as we will be at or beyond capacity on most of the network especially in the southeast. The trains are full now !
     
  30. 1018509

    1018509 Member

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    As a child I went on one of these from southeast London somewhere (Charlton/Woolwich/Maze Hill area to Charing Cross I was enthralled as I had never heard of them or seen one before.
    [​IMG]

    Just like I was enthralled when the London Country bus route in my area then (Uxbridge) ran a 458 Uxbridge to Slough with an RF with the curved roof windows - magic.
    upload_2019-7-21_21-37-50.jpeg
     

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  31. Islineclear3_1

    Islineclear3_1 Established Member

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    The problems regarding the Southern's 2 4DD units led to their early withdrawal and delivery of the Ten Car Scheme
     

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