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East Coast Trains - Is this still going ahead?

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Huntergreed

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I remember reading a while ago that a new OA operator was to start running Edinburgh - London runs (hardly any stops inbetween) on the ECML with new all standard class units (803's I think). I've not heard a thing about this, has this been/is this likely to be scrapped due to COVID? Unsure what the current situation is with this so was just wanting to seek some clarity. Many thanks.
 
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AMR

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To answer your Question, I assume its still going to go ahead as the trains have already been built, and First wont need any new trains for Avanti or GWR as GWR trains are mostly hybrid and rely on diesel, and the west coast is fully electrified, and have a fleet of Pendolinos which are still good. TPE has a whole new fleet as well. Hull use their 802's . So they don't need to reroute any of the Trains to other Franchises as they have already been renovated.
 
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Halish Railway

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What's the difference between the 802 803 and 810?
802: Bi-mode units comprised of 26m long coaches with 940 BHP engines in 3/5 or 5/9 of all carriages.

803: Purely electric trains presumed to be compromised of 26 long coaches.

810: Bi-mode units comprised of 24m long coaches with 940 BHP engines in 4/5 of all carriages.
I remember reading a while ago that a new OA operator was to start running Edinburgh - London runs (hardly any stops inbetween) on the ECML with new all standard class units (803's I think). I've not heard a thing about this, has this been/is this likely to be scrapped due to COVID? Unsure what the current situation is with this so was just wanting to seek some clarity. Many thanks.
Information is very patchy at the moment, with the most recent articles being several months old. Here’s some useful quotes from a rail advent article:
The service is planned to launch in October 2021.
Additionally, the first of the new Hitachi five-car Class 803s has arrived in Britain for assembly in Newton Aycliffe.
Five trains a day will operate each way from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh, serving Newcastle and Morpeth.

Here’s something else from a focus transport article.
Despite the impact of Covid-19, Hitachi Rail has continued to work diligently and safely in preparing the factory and is now ready to start manufacturing the East Coast Trains order.

Now for a little bit of speculation; I believe that it is most likely that the service will begin in December 2021 in conjunction with the significantly recast ECML. Nothing horrendous should happen due to the tried and tested nature of these trains. Moreover, whilst TPE are operating a reduced timetable, they can lend some spare 802s for training.
 
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800001

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To answer your Question, I assume its still going to go ahead as the trains have already been built, and First wont need any new trains for Avanti or GWR as GWR trains are mostly hybrid and rely on diesel, and the west coast is fully electrified, and have a fleet of Pendolinos which are still good. TPE has a whole new fleet as well. Hull use their 802's . So they don't need to reroute any of the Trains to other Franchises as they have already been renovated.

The trains are not built, the empty shells are at the factory at Newton Aycliffe, and have been for nearly a year, unsure if they have started to actually start assembling them, last I heard was that the shells were sat in factory untouched.
 

AMR

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The trains are not built, the empty shells are at the factory at Newton Aycliffe, and have been for nearly a year, unsure if they have started to actually start assembling them, last I heard was that the shells were sat in factory untouched
Its like the 701's a few months ago , by built I meant arrived in the UK from Italy where Hitachi build the shells. I don't know whether they put in the seats and things yet.
 

Djgr

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Is there a place for Open Access in the brave new post-Franchise world?
 

Nicholas Lewis

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It would be a brave operator who continues with Open Access now but thats there choice. My view is govt should take over the order and hand the units to XC to increase under the wire running as well as boost capacity. I would also give them all TPE 802 units and transfer the services they are deployed on to XC and whats lefts of TPE to Northern.
 

Journeyman

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I'd have to kill you if I told you how I know this, but yes, things are happening.
 

Halish Railway

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It would be a brave operator who continues with Open Access now but thats there choice. My view is govt should take over the order and hand the units to XC to increase under the wire running as well as boost capacity. I would also give them all TPE 802 units and transfer the services they are deployed on to XC and whats lefts of TPE to Northern.
XC can just take on Avanti’s 20 Voyagers once they are displaced, compared to 5 810s. Also, I would stop operating services beyond Edinburgh to free up a few Voyagers, though I digress.
 

AMR

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XC can just take on Avanti’s 20 Voyagers once they are displaced, compared to 5 810s. Also, I would stop operating services beyond Edinburgh to free up a few Voyagers, though I digress.
Are XC not upgrading any time soon?
 

Clarence Yard

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ECTL will be operating before December 2021 at the rate the preparations are going on behind the scenes.

p.s. the ECML recast is now planned for May 2022.
 

JonathanH

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ECTL will be operating before December 2021 at the rate the preparations are going on behind the scenes.

p.s. the ECML recast is now planned for May 2022.
How? Does that mean the 803s aren't too far off or will it be starting by borrowing a few 802s?
 

Energy

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How? Does that mean the 803s aren't too far off or will it be starting by borrowing a few 802s?
I would imagine the body shells are being stored until it is closer to the time they need to be delivered, the body shells have already been made, or at least some of them made, so they just need to assemble them. It makes sense to assemble closer to the time of delivery otherwise they will need to be stored somewhere.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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XC can just take on Avanti’s 20 Voyagers once they are displaced, compared to 5 810s. Also, I would stop operating services beyond Edinburgh to free up a few Voyagers, though I digress.
They are going to but this just perpetuates even more diesel running under the wires which is just ludicrous. Thinking about this further with workload at Newton Aycliffe dropping give them an order for another batch of Azumas for XC. The voygaers should be used on contained diesel workings ie they could have displaced the HSTs fabulous though they are there not exactly fuel efficient on there replacement duties.
 

JonathanH

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I would imagine the body shells are being stored until it is closer to the time they need to be delivered, the body shells have already been made, or at least some of them made, so they just need to assemble them. It makes sense to assemble closer to the time of delivery otherwise they will need to be stored somewhere.
I guess there is also the point that driver route and traction knowledge could be gained on 802s with the 803s then working pretty much "straight from the box" when they are ready without 802s having to be used with passengers on the ETCL services.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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I guess there is also the point that driver route and traction knowledge could be gained on 802s with the 803s then working pretty much "straight from the box" when they are ready without 802s having to be used with passengers on the ETCL services.
Taxpayer is paying operating leases on 802's so ECTL need to pay to use them if this is the plan.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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I was thinking more of the 802/3 fleet leased by Hull Trains.
Fair enough.

Mind you LNER should take them over as well its rubbish that Hull is at the mercy of an operator who has no choice in this situation but to suspend operations.
 

Energy

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Absolutely, unless Project Thor could come to fruition.
Project Thor is as dead as a dodo, it has been discussed many times on the forum and in conclusion it is too expensive and difficult due to the voyagers design.
I was thinking more of the 802/3 fleet leased by Hull Trains.
They aren't being used right now (didn't HT suspend its services in the current lockdown?) so it is definitely possible.
Mind you LNER should take them over as well its rubbish that Hull is at the mercy of an operator who has no choice in this situation but to suspend operations.
They are temporarily suspending operations due to Covid and before that have been fine for 20 years, having survived longer than all the post privatisation operators I think they will be fine post Covid. Hull still has 1tpd from LNER although that isn't a lot.
 

Darandio

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Fair enough.

Mind you LNER should take them over as well its rubbish that Hull is at the mercy of an operator who has no choice in this situation but to suspend operations.

You mean the taxpayer should fund even more services to cart around fresh air?
 

DB

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I saw two of the HT 802s at York last week when I was over there (Monday, I think - early evening) - they were stopped at platform 9 and headed off north. All saloon lights on, but presumably not in passenger service (unless TPE had borrowed them?).
 

pdeaves

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Thinking about this further with workload at Newton Aycliffe dropping give them an order for another batch of Azumas
Well, the way the system [1] is set up, you don't just 'give' anyone any order. Hitachi would need to bid and win against the market.

[1] The country as a whole, not just the railway industry, especially where public money is involved.
 

DB

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Well, the way the system [1] is set up, you don't just 'give' anyone any order. Hitachi would need to bid and win against the market.

[1] The country as a whole, not just the railway industry, especially where public money is involved.

Not likely to be very difficult to win when it comes to add-on orders for an operator who already has a large fleet of the same type of train! Who is going to want a small non-standard fleet if they can avoid it?
 

Bletchleyite

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Well, the way the system [1] is set up, you don't just 'give' anyone any order. Hitachi would need to bid and win against the market.

Very easy to get more of the same, you just put a very tight specification on the tender documents including 26m vehicles and full compatibility* with 80x, no chance anyone else is going to bid for that and if they do so what?

* Not just operationally, but commonality of spares etc perhaps?
 

pdeaves

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Very easy to get more of the same, you just put a very tight specification on the tender documents including 26m vehicles and full compatibility* with 80x, no chance anyone else is going to bid for that and if they do so what?

* Not just operationally, but commonality of spares etc perhaps?
Yes, if you have the correct tender, etc. It's still not 'just give them the order'. I mean, Viva Rail might want to try their hand, or something equally outfield that none of us have thought of.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Well, the way the system [1] is set up, you don't just 'give' anyone any order. Hitachi would need to bid and win against the market.

[1] The country as a whole, not just the railway industry, especially where public money is involved.
Unless it for PPE then its who you know and not content with getting orders they made vast profits from it as well. At least you would get something at a fair price for your money from Hitachi.

We've also left EU so aren't subject to same rules anymore not that it ever stopped SNCF by what it wanted from French suppliers.
 
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