East Coast Main Line line speed improvements: document help

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ryan125hst

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A few months ago, I found a document which details the sections of track on the ECML that may be suitable line speed improvements in the future. In some areas, the line speed would be increased to 155mph (subject to in cab signalling of course).

The problem is that I can no longer find this document. I'm sure I originally found a link to it on this forum, but after spending a considerable length of time searching both this forum and Google, I am yet to find the document.

Does anyone know the URL of this document. I would be grateful if you could post it here if you do as I would like to have another look at it and it has been driving me mad trying to find it!

Many thanks

Ryan
 
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HSTFan

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The document you are after is:

IEP tender document Appendix C 'Added Value Monetary Values'

This lists sections of the ECML which could support >125mph (subject to upgraded OLE, cab-signalling, track etc..) it is found at:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives....gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/iep/iepinvitationtotender/

The use of the ECML north of Leeds (e.g. the Selby Diversion and Vale of York Line) might be a possible reason for a future upgrade as it's use is alluded to in this document:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/assets/x/78304
 

ryan125hst

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That's the one! (Why do I never bookmark useful documents?)

It will certainly improve the journey times on the ECML if the upgrades were implemented. I wonder how much the journey time will be reduced by between London and Edinburgh?

While on the subject of line speed increases, what are the chances of TASS being fitted north of Newcastle to improve line speeds between Newcastle and Edinburgh? That section of the route would certainly benefit from it. Of course, a Pendolino or another tilting train would be needed for that to happen.
 

D365

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The ironic thing is that the Hitachi SET (IEP) is supposed to be designed for 140mph, like the IC225 sets, but I'm pretty sure it could be modified quite easily.
 

WelshZ

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I wonder if it's possible if the IEP is delayed they could jury rig the 91's. no realistic chance I know but it would be good to see them actually run at 225 MPH
 

ainsworth74

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I wonder if it's possible if the IEP is delayed they could jury rig the 91's. no realistic chance I know but it would be good to see them actually run at 225 MPH

Well three things: 1) The current committed scope of IEP does not include IC225 replacement, it's an option but most certainly not a committed one 2) The IC225s top speed was only ever going to be 225kph or 140mph (well 139mph) and there is no realistic chance of that ever happening as you quite rightly say 3) IEP will be theoretically capable of 140mph but it won't be delivered with that capability from day one and the lines won't initially be upgraded to that standard.
 

D365

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No point in replacing the IC225s for a while; they've still got life in them. If they were cascaded to GEML, less than half of the carriages would be required. The slower acceleration compared to other stock and the lower linespeed would make an 110mph intercity 379 or 344 a more worthwhile investment.

I'd love it if they were actually able to do 225mph!
 

ainsworth74

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No point in replacing the IC225s for a while; they've still got life in them.

Well quite, even when they were part of IEP the first replacements weren't expected until around 2022 (by which point the sets would be approximately thirty years old). As for cascades I've heard suggestions on here of sending them to the GEML, MML or even GWML. Personally at this point I suspect that they'll see out their days on the ECML with retirement coming around the end of the 2020s. Unless someone decides to do something dynamic in one of their bids for ICEC next year.

I'd love it if they were actually able to do 225mph!

Well they hold the British locomotive speed record of 162mph but I imagine that there probably wasn't much left on tap at that point. Not saying it's impossible but I find it unlikely that they'd get above 200mph.
 

D365

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Well quite, even when they were part of IEP the first replacements weren't expected until around 2022 (by which point the sets would be approximately thirty years old). As for cascades I've heard suggestions on here of sending them to the GEML, MML or even GWML. Personally at this point I suspect that they'll see out their days on the ECML with retirement coming around the end of the 2020s. Unless someone decides to do something dynamic in one of their bids for ICEC next year.

Well they hold the British locomotive speed record of 162mph but I imagine that there probably wasn't much left on tap at that point. Not saying it's impossible but I find it unlikely that they'd get above 200mph.

Thirty years is nothing these days. IC125s are holding together well after 40 years (some in on-and-off use), but I doubt that they'd last till 2035 like the BBC "Age Of The Train" program claims - isn't that just the Mk3s with rewiring?

I agree with end of the 2020s for retirement on the ECML though. I would love to have them roaring through Huntingdon at 140mph or higher, but even if they were allowed, the wires would probably come down again and again!
 

ainsworth74

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Thirty years is nothing these days

When that was the plan I don't think there was an expectation that they'd be scrapped at that point. Simply it was a good time to replace them, thirty years is a long time on one route (especially as one as long and fast as the ECML) so they've paid their way there and by replacing them after thirty years they'd still have ten years left on a quieter mainline (GEML or MML for example).

but I doubt that they'd last till 2035 like the BBC Age Of The Train" program claims - isn't that just the Mk3s with rewiring?

That's the expected maximum life left in the bodies of just about all the Mk3s though I'm not sure if that includes the older HST Mk3s from the mid-70s. Certainly the later HSTs and the LHCS Mk3s are included in that projection.

but even if they were allowed, the wires would probably come down again and again!

Seeing as the wires on route are strung for 125mph from catenary that was originally designed for 100mph and modified for higher speed running I think that some modifications would be necessary ;) Though clearly the wires can stand up to it, on a short term basis, as they've done it before in testing without any major incident.
 

DaveNewcastle

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. . . . . I would love to have them roaring through Huntingdon at 140mph or higher, but even if they were allowed, the wires would probably come down again and again!
I'm sorry to say that I'm not greatly concerned with your prospects of watching my usual train home passing you at one speed or another. But what does prompt me to respond is a grave concern about the running speeds over some of the pointwork and the more acute curves. Much or the pointwork leads to an extremely rough ride and some of the curves lead to acute imbalances.

I'm very pleased to say that the UP crossover at Temple Hirst Jn. has been greatly improved over summer 2012, and I suspect that there has been a slight improvement to the DOWN pointwork at Colton Junction (which has been outrageously violent for well over a year). Tight curves at several places throughout the line also remain a serious challenge.

In short - I'm a very content user of the ECML on a regular basis, but please do not consider increasing linespeed.
 

sprinterguy

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Well they hold the British locomotive speed record of 162mph but I imagine that there probably wasn't much left on tap at that point. Not saying it's impossible but I find it unlikely that they'd get above 200mph.
I’m not sure about the 162mph run, but the 154mph “record” (fastest UK domestic train carrying passengers? – admittedly made up of invited members of the press and railway officials) in 1994/5 with 91031 was stated to have been the maximum that they could have gotten out of the shortened 225 set before the speed became detrimental to the locomotives gearbox. I reckon you’d be lucky to push much above 140mph with a full nine carriage mark 4 set and only one locomotive.

Mind you, an issue of Modern Railways contemporary with the 162mph run did state, probably in jest, that a few BR engineers were wondering about the feasibility of “fettling” a 91 to challenge the 186mph maximum speed of the French TGVs and upcoming Eurostar trains. :lol:
 
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cle

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I think raising it slightly to 140/150mph is about as good as we can get, on clear sections.

Then focus should be on alternative schemes for improvement - Newark, Horseshoe (what journey time for a non-stop to Leeds?) - and the Morpeth bypass. Clearing and segregating traffic south of York too.

Getting Edinburgh down should be a priority.

Tilting trains would be great above Newcastle but wasted below. MML should be next for tilt, if it's expanded.
 

ainsworth74

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I think raising it slightly to 140/150mph is about as good as we can get, on clear sections.

And even that I don't think is particularly practical until you can clear the route of most of it's freight and either quad track as far as perhaps Darlington or Newcastle so you can get all the slower inter-regional/commuter services out of the way of the 140/150mph expresses. One of the main problems of going faster on the ECML is that it's full of trains that won't be able to go at the higher linespeed meaning that the number of higher speed paths is going to be severely restricted or the number of slower speed paths will have to be severely restricted to accommodate the faster services.
 

Royston Vasey

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I wonder if it's possible if the IEP is delayed they could jury rig the 91's. no realistic chance I know but it would be good to see them actually run at 225 MPH

Ahem... kph!

We used to have a poster on here called Death who was convinced that the 225s (APT-U as he called them) could be tweaked tor running at up to 500 mph or more!
 
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D365

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Wasn't IC225 initially known as APT-U? I'd love it even more if they could run at 500mph!
 

ainsworth74

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Wasn't IC225 initially known as APT-U?

It was going to be called APT-U initally but that was rapidly dropped due to the negative association with the rest of the APT program.

I'd love it even more if they could run at 500mph!

I'd much rather our trains were built so that they were good at travelling at the sorts of speeds they need day in and day out (125mph in this case) than having some fantastic top speed they'll never need ;)
 
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Yew

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I wouldnt like to think what would happen to the ECML's wire with 500mph trains on them either :/

I suppose if speed upgrades went ahead, we woudl see 'fasts' ran by Electras, and the stoppers ran by IEP's, a bit like the MML. I hope if 125+ is put on the ECML that 225's do actually get fitted out for it. However I think it will be harder than just installing ERTMS, with secondary routes needing work to take slower freight trains, and maybe 75mph pacers and sprinters being replaced by electrostars and 158's?
 

D365

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It was going to be called APT-U initally but that was rapidly dropped due to the negative association with the rest of the APT program.

Remembered that just after I posted.

I'd much rather our trains were so that they were good at travelling at the sorts of speeds they need day in and day out (125mph in this case) than having some fantastic top speed they'll never need ;)

A rather silly fantasy, who'd want to get to Edinburgh in just an hour? Getting back to reality... I'll just let you guys carry on!
 

ryan125hst

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0% chance

Why do you think this? Surly it makes commercial sense, even if it will cost a lot to install. Allowing trains to tilt would enable faster journey times. This would enable them to advertise this, meaning more passengers. The faster journey times might also allow each train to run an extra journey or two per day. This means that more services could be added, potentially meaning more revenue?

I'd love it even more if they could run at 500mph!

It would be a bit rough at that speed! Can you imagine the stopping distances!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The document you are after is:

IEP tender document Appendix C 'Added Value Monetary Values'

This lists sections of the ECML which could support >125mph (subject to upgraded OLE, cab-signalling, track etc..) it is found at:

http://webarchive.nationalarchives....gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/iep/iepinvitationtotender/

The use of the ECML north of Leeds (e.g. the Selby Diversion and Vale of York Line) might be a possible reason for a future upgrade as it's use is alluded to in this document:

http://www.hs2.org.uk/assets/x/78304

Actually, after having another look at the document, I don't think it is this one that I saw. The once that I found have even more speed increases (to a smaller degree than the onces on here, such as from 100 to 115, and is placed where some of the "n/c" are on this document), and also included the 140 and 155 mph increases.

Does anyone have any ideas as to where this document is and what it is called?
 

DarloRich

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Why do you think this? Surly it makes commercial sense, even if it will cost a lot to install. Allowing trains to tilt would enable faster journey times. This would enable them to advertise this, meaning more passengers. The faster journey times might also allow each train to run an extra journey or two per day. This means that more services could be added, potentially meaning more revenue?

There is no commercial sense in it what so ever. The investment would be massive against a tiny payback.

How much do you think journey times would change between Newcastle & Edinburgh? How much do you think they HAVE to change to make such a project worthwhile? How many extra trains do you tihnk you could force through with tilt? I would suggest not enough to ever pay the project back.

The problem still remains that the line between Newcastle & Edinburgh is, basically, and up and down railway with a massive speed restriction at Morpeth. Plus you are still only going to have loops at Chevington, Alnmouth, Bellford, Berwick, Grantshouse, Drem & an up loop at Prestonpans for non titlers to get out of the way of superspeed tilters. You cant force much else down the line, tilt or not! (BEFORE you start trying to shoe horn in any slow moving freights!)

I simply cant see a business case for, essentially, rebuilding the signaling, comms, OHLE and track to accommodate trains that tilt for a short section of their journey and improve that journey by perhaps less than 10 minutes.

Nice idea in theory, in practice.............
 

ryan125hst

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There is no commercial sense in it what so ever. The investment would be massive against a tiny payback.

How much do you think journey times would change between Newcastle & Edinburgh? How much do you think they HAVE to change to make such a project worthwhile? How many extra trains do you tihnk you could force through with tilt? I would suggest not enough to ever pay the project back.

The problem still remains that the line between Newcastle & Edinburgh is, basically, and up and down railway with a massive speed restriction at Morpeth. Plus you are still only going to have loops at Chevington, Alnmouth, Bellford, Berwick, Grantshouse, Drem & an up loop at Prestonpans for non titlers to get out of the way of superspeed tilters. You cant force much else down the line, tilt or not! (BEFORE you start trying to shoe horn in any slow moving freights!)

I simply cant see a business case for, essentially, rebuilding the signaling, comms, OHLE and track to accommodate trains that tilt for a short section of their journey and improve that journey by perhaps less than 10 minutes.

Nice idea in theory, in practice.............

I see what you mean- The document linked above suggests that it costs between £0.5 million and £21.3 million PER MINUTE saving! As you say, you would need a massive improvement to make it worthwhile. If you saw an advert on TV saying "London to Edinburgh with East Coast, now 5 minutes quicker", you would hardly find it impressive!

So with tilt out, what else could be done to improve the northern part of the ECML? Is it the case that, north of Darlington, it would be too expensive to do anything significant?
 

David

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So with tilt out, what else could be done to improve the northern part of the ECML? Is it the case that, north of Darlington, it would be too expensive to do anything significant?

To make any significant time savings between London and Edinburgh, you basically need to new alignments. The first from Northallerton to Birtley (avoiding Darlington and Durham), and the second from Cramlington to West Chevington (avoiding Morpeth, Pegswood and Widdrington).

Even at "only" 125mph, these alignments will be enough to get the London - Edinburg journey time under 4 hours as they will avoid all the twisty sections where speeds drop down to 75mph (50mph at Morpeth).
 

DarloRich

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To make any significant time savings between London and Edinburgh, you basically need to new alignments. The first from Northallerton to Birtley (avoiding Darlington and Durham), and the second from Cramlington to West Chevington (avoiding Morpeth, Pegswood and Widdrington).

Even at "only" 125mph, these alignments will be enough to get the London - Edinburg journey time under 4 hours as they will avoid all the twisty sections where speeds drop down to 75mph (50mph at Morpeth).

WOAH WOAH WOAH - back it up Pedro. Avoid Darlo? What is this of madness do you speak of? How will I get to the match?

What kind of route do you propose? I am thinking about the area between Northallerton and Newcastle, that I know well, and struggle to pick a decent route.

I suppose you would go straight on at Northallerton, branch of the existing alignment somewhere north of Danby Wiske and aim for the gap between Darlington and Teeside Airport. You may end up having to cross the Tees twice as the river is twisty at this point. You have a very small gap to aim for. You can’t go any further left as you then run into the airport and then Teeside.

I guess you would then aim for a route on the axis Teesside Airport - Stillington - Sedgefield - Trimdon - South Hetton. Then you run into a problem as the open country starts to run out. The issue is how you then swing back to the existing main line through the Wearside / Tyneside sprawl. I suppose you could run via the Leamside route and into Newcastle that way but that route has a massive dog leg at Victoria Bridge that will slow down the trains.

Alternatively you could branch of the existing alignment at Dalton on Tees and pass under Darlington. You will need a route over both the A66M, A1M & River Tees before turning north. Your axis here would be, I suggest High Coniscliffe, Middridge, Spennymoor, Tursdale- Leamside.

Both routes are hilly and would require extensive tunnelling operations; both routes are through former mining areas and would need lots of careful preparation to ensure there were no subsidence issues or undermining problems. The above suggestions take no cognisance of the topography and geological makeup of the area. You should also consider the potential for the planning unpleasantness a proposed new route would bring. The area you could force a new line through would be very limited. To far right is Teesside and the coast, to far left are the Yorkshire Dales

It seems like an awful lot of work for a very little payback. It might be possible in a bigger HS2B scheme but on its own the costs would be astronomical!
 

DaveNewcastle

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To achieve the sort of journey time improvement you are looking for, the solution is surely to construct a railway line that goes from Darlington to Edinburgh in somthing resembling more of a straight line? The big coastal arc via Berwick adds 20 miles to the journey;
(an alternative line into Edinburgh via Haddington and Dalkeith would be a little shorter too, while serving more communities).

But all that is surely missing the point of infrastructure improvements just as much as the talk of faster trains.
The real needs are in improved capacity and resilience, followed perhaps by new opportunities for freight and passenger services. These can be helped by a number of initiatives, some quite modest, such as passing loops at the smaller stations (specifically a second platform at Dunbar), longer freight loops, reduced signal spacing, new stations for emerging communities and local hubs, bridges to replace level crossings, improved connectivity at interchanges, etc.

These might not reduce journey time per se, but by providing more paths for more trains with more connections and with more reliability, then there can be reduced journey times for overall journeys starting from any arbitraty time and location.
 

DarloRich

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to achieve the sort of journey time improvement you are looking for, the solution is surely to construct a railway line that goes from darlington to edinburgh in more of a straight line? The big coastal arc via berwick adds 20 miles to the journey.

But that is surely missing the point of infrastructure improvements just as much as talk of faster trains.
The real needs are in improved capacity and resilience, followed perhaps by new opportunities for freight and passenger services. These can be helped by a number of initiatives, some quite modest, such as passing loops at the smaller stations (specifically a second platform at dunbar), longer freight loops, reduced signal spacing, new stations for emerging communities and local hubs, bridges to replace level crossings, improved connectivity at interchanges, etc.

These might not reduce journey time per se, but by providing more paths for more trains with more connections and with more reliability, then there can be reduced journey times for overall journeys starting from any arbitraty time and location.

this^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

My proposal above is entirely fantastical. It has 0 chance of ever coming to light. It was simply to try and show that any new route between Northallerton and Newcastle is preposterous because of the costs involved against the potential benefit. AND it would miss Darlo out which is a particularly disgusting suggestion! :)

The real benefit is in small, quick wins to improve capacity rather than a wholesale improvement in average speed and journey times.
 

Waverley125

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If savings are to be made, the place to make them is at the southern end of the line where more trains (and therefore passengers) benefit.

Quadrupling the line all the way to Newcastle, and introducing TASS on the southern section (i.e. south of Doncaster) would allow the fastest trains (i.e. Leeds/Newcastle/Edinburgh/Aberdeen expresses) to run fast on parts of the lines where top cruising speed is reduced, i.e. the curves between Doncaster & Peterborough, and indeed the curves through peterborough station itself.
 

DarloRich

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If savings are to be made, the place to make them is at the southern end of the line where more trains (and therefore passengers) benefit.

Quadrupling the line all the way to Newcastle, and introducing TASS on the southern section (i.e. south of Doncaster) would allow the fastest trains (i.e. Leeds/Newcastle/Edinburgh/Aberdeen expresses) to run fast on parts of the lines where top cruising speed is reduced, i.e. the curves between Doncaster & Peterborough, and indeed the curves through peterborough station itself.

riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight - So where shall we find the £bns that will cost?

yes in the ideal world that would be fantastic and would improve things no end. It will never happen in the real world
 

ryan125hst

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riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight - So where shall we find the £bns that will cost?

yes in the ideal world that would be fantastic and would improve things no end. It will never happen in the real world

DarloRich, I've just had a thought. Doesn't TASS use Euroballaises as with the ERTMS system? If this is the case (and the two system can run together, which I thought they could), could TASS be installed when they add the ERTMS?

I suppose they would have to do a lot of gauging work to make sure the trains would be safe to tilt, and they would have to make sure the stopping distances were safe. Would this be a solution to the problem?
 
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