Double decker trains

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

  1. Justapunter

    Justapunter Member

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    I do understand the infrastructure is at its limit. But if that’s the case, why are We not building extra capacity, rather than just charging full fares to people who are only able to sit down once a week (or whatever). The solutions are Rarely long term ones. Short term and sticking plasters are normal. And late. Government policy is clearly to road price and force people out of cars. And run perfectly good road transport with clogging bus lanes full of dirty buses and taxis. That is going to shove more people at trains. And the commutes in particular will get even worse.... and the railways will no doubt be all surprised. As always.

    I haven’t kept abreast of it, but is the Core on thameslink now done and under automatic control? Or still manual?

    It was Said above that the cost of gauge improvements is mind blowing. So is the daily cost to the economy of having people stuck. Plus you have the usefulness of stimulus spending on infrastructure to that economy. Both construction and operation. We can throw hundreds of billions a year at social protection. But for those who actually work to earn the money to pay for that social protection, nope....
     
  2. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    So where and how are you proposing that the MML four-track capacity is increased? If it's with a separate alignment from St Albans to somewhere near St Pancras, how would that be accommodated in a fully built-up north London?
    Buses and taxis in London will be among the first in the UK to be clear of IC engines. Soon after that, I suspect that private vehicles will also be restricted to compliant types. The ULEZ is already in force in central London. That will gradually be extended out to the North/South circular. I imagine that the rest of the GLA will follow. The measures on Thameslink are designed to deliver capaity up to 2040+ and so far, the additional capacity is proving to cope well, so those unwilling to convert to EVs will still be able to commute by rail.
    I don't know but I believe that it has been fully proven under live conditions and will definitely be in full operation when the core frequency hits 24tph in December.
    The cost of improving the structure gauge is very high both in capital cost and compensation for years of disruption. Of course, there is no proof that were such a project undertaken, whether the route capacity would actually increase. It's all very well providing 40% more seats in trains, but if those trains cannot even match a 2.5 minute headway that will be in operation next year, the route capacity won't be increased much at all.
    As far as your comment about "social protection", that sounds like dumping welfare of those less fortunate that us so that a few more commuters get a seat. But that is definitely off-topic for this thread.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jul 2019
  3. chubs

    chubs Member

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    It really isn't. I'm in NL a lot and whilst it may have been true for the very earliest DD loco hauled stock the newer VIRM's have very wide doors, far wider than anything in the UK. After they stopped including the catering lift in the later versions the stairs become much wider too. In the very busy routes int he randstad dwell times are slim, and much lower than it takes a hst mk3/mk4 rake to let passengers off and on.

    (Fully understand it's not an option in the UK by the way, not debating that).
     
  4. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Comparing a double deck train built for rapid ingress/egress with two end door long distance configurations in the UK shows just how bad dd dwell times are compared with high density single deck designs. I've travelled in VIRM's and even when half loaded, having to descend or climb stairs is a major barrier to short dwell times. If only a few passengers wish to alight, they can congregate at the doors, but once the crowd spreads up and down the stairs, everybody is slowed down to the speed of the slowest stair climber and of course there's no opportunity for those on the upper deck to bypass a particularly slow queue by moving into three next car.
    Definitely not a solution for real high density lines.
     
  5. Mordac

    Mordac Established Member

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    I don't have any experience of using them in the Netherlands. My observations are from Class 3500 double deckers used in commuter services around Lisbon, Portugal. The dwell times can definitely drag compared with 2400 and 2300 class trains which operate on the same route.
     
  6. geoffk

    geoffk Established Member

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    I saw one of the Bulleid double-deck cars at the Northamptonshire Ironstone Trust museum at Hunsbury Hill, near Northampton, on Sunday. It's stored in the open and looks in poor condition. Not sure why it's there. They also have three cars of a 4-EPB unit.
     
  7. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    We are, it's called HS2, and Crossrail.
     
  8. JonasB

    JonasB Member

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    I can't see dwell times being an issue in a country that insists on using single door buses…
     
  9. whhistle

    whhistle On Moderation

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    Does Japan use double deck trains?

    I ask because didn't Britain help buld their railways? If so, do they have the same sort of gauge clearances as us? I guess not (anymore?) because the original bullet train is pretty wide.

    I always see very long trains whenever a TV Programme shows Japan's railways, so would have thought they are in the same boat as us with this. However, Japan isn't as NIMBY as Britain and thus seems happy to spend money to improve things, where as the UK is not.

    But then again, perhaps their culture of the "pushers" means longer single deck trains would work better rather than people trying to squeeze up and down stairs. Whether that's a paradox in itself (IE, double deck trains means more seats, means no pushers), I don't know.
     
  10. rebmcr

    rebmcr Established Member

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    It's not a cultural aversion to dwell times, it's about the effect on signalling spacing and junction occupation — neither of which affect buses.
     
  11. supervc-10

    supervc-10 Member

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    Semi-fast commuter services could potentially work as double deck as the longer dwell times would be less of an issue. But there's absolutely no chance of that working on existing UK lines.

    Unless all new commuter lines become part of the HS2 project (which doesn't strike me as likely!) it's just not going to happen.
     
  12. LUYMun

    LUYMun Member

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    Found a video on a mock-up of the 4DD at Marylebone shortly before it came into service.
     
  13. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Semi-fast trains are amongst the most pressured in terms of dwell times. They often travel on fast lines and then get in the way of fast trains, so their stops need to be as brief as possible.
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Established Member

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    Unfortunately, no-one seems to want it or do much with it. The other surviving car is in Kent, and is finally undergoing restoration. These vehicles are of enormous historical significance, and I reckon it's criminal that they've been allowed to deteriorate perilously close to being unsalvageable.
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Just a gentle reminder this thread is about Double Decker trains.

    If anyone wishes to discuss anything else, please create a new thread in the appropriate area. Please don't reply to off topic posts; instead if you wish to reply, create a new thread and report the first off topic post using the report button and let us know the details.
     
  16. supervc-10

    supervc-10 Member

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    @AM9 Re the semi-fasts- my thinking was that fewer stops would cause less issues. Very happy to be corrected on that front though, I'm not involved in the industry!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 25 Jul 2019
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Nor am I except as an observant traveller in the south-east. My point is that the busiest of the trunk routes out of London where there are 2 or 3 pairs of tracks available tend to have high frequency metro services with the slows to themselves, (e.g. Crossrail on the GEML and GWML, LO on the BML and WCML, Thameslink on the MML, Moorgate services on the ECML and a plethora of class 455 services on the SWML. This dedication of slow lines means that faster outer-suburban services (as in semi-fasts) are required to share paths with the fastest long-distance trains. Where they do stop on fast lines (think of key stations like Shenfield, Maidenhead, East Croydon/Norwood Junction, Harrow & Wealdstone/Watford Junction, St Albans and Welwyn Garden City respectively on the lines mentioned above), anything but the bare minimum of dwell times could easily decimate the long-distance services, effectively reducing the route capcity quite considerably. As it is some fast trains routinely have to slow down if semi-fast services slip out of their very tight timings.
     
  18. Jozhua

    Jozhua Member

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    The video mentions that the 4DD managed to increase density without being any taller than previous trains?

    What about the possibility of alternating carriages, say one be double deck, with the bottom deck occupying the space usually reserved for equipment and the upper deck having a slightly reduced roof height with normal height boarding/alighting areas on top of the bogies? There could then be a single floor carriage every 1/2 double deck cars which could have areas for disabled passengers to sit, toilets and required mechanical equipment. It might be possible to get 2/3 car's worth of equipment in if it is the same gauge maximising height as the double deck cars?

    For long distance trains, a "single floor" vestibule section at the end of each car could be unnecessary, say with two cars only having one boarding/alighting area and two floor gangways to move between them? At the very least it could work well for long distance sleeper trains, or just long distance services with quite long journey times.

    For a 12 carriage train say:

    1. Single floor driving car, powered, toilets.
    2/3/4. High density double deck cars.
    5. Single floor car, powered, OHLE/3rd rail traction equipment, toilets.
    6/7/8. High density double deck cars.
    9. Single floor, powered, toilets.
    10/11. High density double deck cars.
    12. Single floor driving car, powered, toilets.
     
  19. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The trouble is that with UK loading gauge you will have one of two things - a very narrow vehicle which will give you 2+1 seating on each deck at best, or a very short one which will have maybe 10m of double-deck between the bogies and the rest single, with a load of space wasted on stairs. You might get about 1.2x capacity over the same length of 2+2-seated coach - you can get that by making it 3+2.
     
  20. supervc-10

    supervc-10 Member

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    IIRC double deck stock on the continent often has the disabled areas and toilets over the bogies.

    The UK loading gauge is just too restrictive for easy double deck trains.
     
  21. ian959

    ian959 Member

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    Yes they do (E4 series), but latterly only on the Joetsu Shinkansen Line (since they have the same problem as the UK on classic lines). They are being withdrawn (withdrawal may now have been completed) and being replaced by E7 series which are not double deck. When Japan has not continued with double deck trains on the Shinkansen lines, there is clearly a good reason not to do so (not that I know what that might be).
     
  22. WideRanger

    WideRanger Member

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    On the Shinkansen, my understanding is that they decided that the benefits were outweighed by the disadvantages. The double-deck Shinkansen were slower and not easily interchangeable in the event of disruption. That latter point is a reason why on many of the Japanese Shinkansen lines, they are trying to have identical internal layouts on all of the trains, regardless of age.

    There are quite a lot of double deck carriages on the classic JR lines. However, they are normally only used for 2 types of service:

    1) special long distance commuter trains, with limited stops where passengers load up along the route and all get out at one point, with all reserved seating and no standing. These trains commute in in the morning, sit in a siding all day, and then do runs out in the evening. You'll see them described as Liner in timetables. These trains are not built for fast acceleration or short dwell times, but it's not required because they will often only have 4-5 stops in their 1 hour+ journeys.

    2) Green Car (roughly equivalent to First Class) carriages within a longer commuter EMU formation. Typical of this would be the Green Cars on the Tokaido or Yokosuka Line trains. 15 carriage trains, mostly single deck, with two double desk Green Cars in the middle. These Green Cars are non-driving trailers - driving being done by the motors on some or all of the standard class, single deck trains. They really don't offer an acceptable environment for standing, but that's the point - the people who pay extra to go in to these cars are guaranteed a seat.

    For the rest of the commuter networks, single deck is normal, because the whole philosophy is to get as many people stuffed in (standing) as possible. You can see this on some routes when they fold up (and lock out of use) a lot of the (already few) seats available.
     
  23. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    meanwhile SNCF now hasn't introduced new single deck TGV carriages for 20 years, and rejected the Alstom AGV, in favour of an interim update to the TGV Duplex design and now orders for the Avelia Horizon double deck high speed train
     
  24. MarkWiles

    MarkWiles Member

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    I found the engineering study report linked in the thread interesting reading, particularly the comparative costs of double deck versus longer trains. My reading was that both are very expensive and there's relatively little in it. However, I did find some of the assumptions regarding DD stock slightly odd.

    It assumed that the internal ambience required was that of an "outer suburban" unit and that increasingly people want more comfort, especially as we all get increasingly fatter and find 2+3 seating impossible to fit our backsides. As a pie-eater sized member of the race I can sympathise and I recall back in the 90s when I was a regular on West Midlands commuter services (and several X's narrower than I am now) the centre seat of the bank of 3 on local trains was the seat of last resort, with many preferring to stand rather than try and squeeze into the middle seat. However, I do wonder if the lower deck, with the below platform loading gauge constraints, might not be better allocated with "metro" type seating and standing provision for shorter journeys, with the upper deck configured for outer suburban type journeys? The lower deck could even have bays of two seats on one side of the gangway and a continuous bank of inner facing seats, with a wider gangway to allow some standing, which might assist in increasing overall capacity. Also no discussion took place as far as I could see as to whether articulation might help with the design, although articulation might have other consequences in terms of loading gauge issues. The other point I picked up on was the assumption that the trains would be MUs with the need to accommodate equipment above solebar level. Why not loco push-pull? Seems to work on the Continent. There would still be need to accommodate hotel plant within the carriages but the need for traction kit could be removed if it was located in a loco.

    Nevertheless, it looks like double deck on the traditional network will be expensive, as will lengthening trains, so I expect the Government's preferred option will be to simply fit all new trains with inward facing metro type seating and forcing people to stand from Brighton, Ipswich, Rugby, Cambridge and the like.
     
  25. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    SNCF's preference for DD stock on High Speed lines is influenced by high track access charges, so maximum pax per tonne is important. The consequent extended stops are less of a problem because TGVs typically make very few stops proportional to distance (which reflects France's geography and Paris-centred network). They are unique in Europe to date.

    Locos take up unproductive length which is particularly an issue in the UK where train lengths are normally max 240m. The trend on mainland Europe is away from locos, Belgium being IIRC the major exception (and the German IC2, but German DD trains rarely exceed 6x26m coaches).
     
  26. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    However there were never two units numbered 4002 (see picture)! When the PEPs (4001 and 4002) were built, the DDs were renumbered to 4901 and 4902 to avoid this.
     
    Last edited: 26 Jul 2019
  27. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    I remember travelling on the upper level of these in August 1971. They were actually 1.5 deck units, and effectively used extra carriage height to squeeze in a 'wave' pattern of seating sections. The upper sections were sweltering even on only warm days, as they could have no opening windows (heads out would be heads lost in no time!).
     
  28. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    No, trains have already been put in service for Cambridge and Brighton with capacity way above what has been the case with Electrostars, i.e. the class 700s, - a total safe capacity of 1750 passengers in a 240m train and no 'inward facing seating'. The next step is to boost infrastructure to run more trains in parallel, - if the NIMBYs don't get away with rejecting such proposals.
     
  29. grumpyoldman01

    grumpyoldman01 Member

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    In 1988 or 1989, a NSE team went to Paris to see SNCF's TGV double deck mock-up; my understanding is that they were considering an international outer-suburban service between St Pancras and Lille, and - as all the route in the UK would have been via HS1 - double decks could have been used, and they went to see if they thought the SNCF design would have been a suitable base to build a specification around. Of course this predated privatisation, and obviously we don't know how this concept would have developed had BR/NSE continued to exist.

    On the general question of using double decks in the UK, the Swansea & Mumbles Railway was exclusively worked by double deckers from its electrification until its closure; however, the vehicles used were basically big trams, but they were able to work in multiple.
     
  30. dazzler

    dazzler Member

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    You're basically describing the Bombardier Omneo product currently being introduced by SNCF and the French regions for TER services (and eventually for Intercités and some Paris Suburban routes.)

    Link is to the Bombardier Omneo Wikipedia page in English.

    TER = Transport Express Régional - Regional Express Transport
     

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