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"East Midlands: a Railway for Growth" report published 16/09/2016

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MarkRedon

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A new report by East Midland Trains published to coincide with today's Rail Forum East Midlands' annual conference is entitled “East Midlands: A Railway for Growth”. The report sets out a number of recommendations including:
  • The procurement of a new fleet of Intercity style (bi-mode) trains to replace High Speed Trains.
  • Faster journey times and more seats to London.
  • A plan to secure additional carriages on regional train routes across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Leicestershire and between Norwich and Liverpool.
  • Later evening trains and improved weekend services.
  • Improved northbound connectivity from Luton, Bedford and Northamptonshire.
  • Better airport connections.
The report is available for download at http://www.arailwayforgrowth.co.uk/

The proposal of bi-mode trains is a tacit acceptance that significant electrification will not be achieved before much existing rolling stock will have to be replaced. Presumably the report also hopes to influence future refranchising?
 
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Haydn1971

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The proposal of bi-mode trains is a tacit acceptance that significant electrification will not be achieved before much existing rolling stock will have to be replaced. Presumably the report also hopes to influence future refranchising?


As discussed in a parallel thread, the next franchise has a real headache coming in terms of post 2020 compliance of the current EMT HST fleet and ongoing delays to getting wires up. I'd previously thought 2022 was the target date for Sheffield but it would seem beyond 2023 is quoted in this albeit low detail report.

Bi-modes would seem a sensible approach from a wires point of view, but which manufacturer will be able to build them for 1st Jan 2020 given the new franchise doesn't start until March 2018, with Hitachi on full load until well into 2019, that currently leaves only Stadler with a working bi-mode solution.

Corby will have wires by the time the new franchise is let, the DfT were suggesting "387 type" 110mph EMUs, but this report hints at that not being acceptable. Regardless, EMUs on that route would allow the new franchise to push to a 6tph timetable with the 4-5 cascaded 222s that are currently used for the Corby diagrams.

The elephant in the room are the HSTs, currently 12 in number and what does a new franchise do to accommodate their loss. It would strike me that the DfT will have to make an intervention to order something before the new franchise starts in March 2018, otherwise the franchise will be looking for some DDA compliant express trains to fill the gap... Coughs, Mk4s and Class 67s ;)
 

trentside

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Just having a quick scan through, and it makes for interesting reading.

Should point out that on the "Current Capacity Indicator" for local services, that they've misspelled Worksop as Workshop :roll::lol:
 

Senex

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Leicester to London 60 minutes, Sheffield to London 110 minutes. How do they propose to manage Sheffield to Leicester in 50 minutes if they keep the present stops at Chesterfield and Derby? Even without the Chesterfield stop it doesn't really look possible -- unless the proposal is to use an upgraded Erewash Valley route and miss Derby.
 

J-2739

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They make it clear they do not want cast-offs - dare I say Class 91 +Mk 4 + DVT!

No one wants to touch the poor dirty old 225s! :cry::lol: (to be fair, I wouldn't want them either)

Hitach bi modes are the only solution to this (and what people probably have on their minds anyway).
 

NotATrainspott

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It would only take a few months for Hitachi to produce enough trains to replace the HSTs on the MML. Getting a few months of a derogation for the MML HSTs and going for a proven product (which could even be tested ahead of time on the line, using another unit for some other operator) should be far cheaper and easier than buying a small number of special units from a different company just to meet the deadline.

Also, the word is that the powerpacks on the bi-mode Stadler units are mini-carriages like on the continental version. Since the MML sets would be running entirely under the wires within a few years (even if there are delays) this would be less than optimal.
 

edwin_m

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Leicester to London 60 minutes, Sheffield to London 110 minutes. How do they propose to manage Sheffield to Leicester in 50 minutes if they keep the present stops at Chesterfield and Derby? Even without the Chesterfield stop it doesn't really look possible -- unless the proposal is to use an upgraded Erewash Valley route and miss Derby.

Or even transfer onto HS2 near Toton and back again at Tibshelf.
 

LTJ87

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It is somewhat ironic that East Midlands Trains are promising Nottingham - London St Pancras in 90 minutes when this is what we were promised after the last set of MML improvements, which ultimately amounted to just one train a day.
 

contractador

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I have to say I'm not sure I see the justification of bi mode units on the MML. Relatively speaking the proportion of time they would spend under the wires would be quite low (even after electrification to Corby).

Furthermore would bi mode stock require an intermediate station to switch power types as is the case with dual voltage stock. I imagine this would slow the express journeys significantly.

My thoughts would be to source alternative intercity dmus. As Haydn 1971 points out there are 4-5 cascaded 222s. Could these be further supplemented by the class 180s that are being replaced by Hull Trains? It's a shame Grand Central will take the others as this would more or less overall cover the likely outgoing HSTs. Imho it would make more sense for Grand Central to use bi modes given the proportion of under wire running the 180s will end up doing.
 

swt_passenger

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Furthermore would bi mode stock require an intermediate station to switch power types as is the case with dual voltage stock.

No it wouldn't. IEPs are specified to be able to changeover when moving. Many existing dual voltage EMUs already can changeover on the move, but don't generally need to because they happen to stop at the changeover point.
 

TheKnightWho

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I have to say I'm not sure I see the justification of bi mode units on the MML. Relatively speaking the proportion of time they would spend under the wires would be quite low (even after electrification to Corby).

Furthermore would bi mode stock require an intermediate station to switch power types as is the case with dual voltage stock. I imagine this would slow the express journeys significantly.

My thoughts would be to source alternative intercity dmus. As Haydn 1971 points out there are 4-5 cascaded 222s. Could these be further supplemented by the class 180s that are being replaced by Hull Trains? It's a shame Grand Central will take the others as this would more or less overall cover the likely outgoing HSTs. Imho it would make more sense for Grand Central to use bi modes given the proportion of under wire running the 180s will end up doing.

They'd be under the wires for around the same amount as AT300s going to the south-west. I really don't see why we should muck around with that when new class 800s would do the job perfectly well, and could be converted to 801s in the 2020s.
 

Class 170101

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No it wouldn't. IEPs are specified to be able to changeover when moving. Many existing dual voltage EMUs already can changeover on the move, but don't generally need to because they happen to stop at the changeover point.

You assume NR will let any train changeover from Diesel to Electric Power or vice versa on the move.

Certainly lowering the pan its done regularly. But the opposite way?
 

Haydn1971

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I have to say I'm not sure I see the justification of bi mode units on the MML. Relatively speaking the proportion of time they would spend under the wires would be quite low (even after electrification to Corby).

Electrification is planned for as far north as Sheffield, infill between Sheffield and Doncaster/Moorthorpe has been proposed too, I'm less sure of the dates on this, but the document in the OP has the following dates
- New EMUs in mid 2019 for Corby
- Electric trains for Derby/Nottingham/Sheffield by 2022/2023

One would imagine Derby/Sheffield in 2023, with Nottingham maybe in 2022. Leicester could have wires by 2021, but that may not work well in terms of service diagrams which currently terminate at Nottingham or Sheffield.

So, bi-modes would help by providing seamless flexibility in services from St Pancras to all destinations. However, as the document in the OP confirms, time from order to operation can be 3-4 years. The franchise starts in March 2018, meaning at the earliest, and assuming a manufacturer has capacity to build straight away, new bi-modes wouldn't be ready until mid 2021 or possibly into 2022 anyways... Unless a ROSCO speculatively orders a small fleet in the next year or so to at least replace the HSTs



Furthermore would bi mode stock require an intermediate station to switch power types as is the case with dual voltage stock. I imagine this would slow the express journeys significantly.

The AT300s can change mode at speed - someone better versed in these units development should be able to confirm at up to what speed, but I'd imagine they have been tested at 125mph ?



My thoughts would be to source alternative intercity dmus. As Haydn 1971 points out there are 4-5 cascaded 222s. Could these be further supplemented by the class 180s that are being replaced by Hull Trains? It's a shame Grand Central will take the others as this would more or less overall cover the likely outgoing HSTs. Imho it would make more sense for Grand Central to use bi modes given the proportion of under wire running the 180s will end up doing.


I think the 180s have been taken up by Grand Central, and in any event, EMT currently have 12 HSTs, which are much larger than the 14x 180s.
 

TheKnightWho

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You assume NR will let any train changeover from Diesel to Electric Power or vice versa on the move.

Certainly lowering the pan its done regularly. But the opposite way?

Why would it be in the spec, and why would they have already done tests at full pelt?
 

Comstock

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Forgive my ignorance. Do bi-mode trains have a diesel generator or batteries or what?
 

contractador

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Thanks for the confirmation around changing at speed. I wasn't clear on whether this will be actually used or not. I am aware other trains on the network have the capability to do so but this wasn't being used.

Given electrification will be all the way to Sheffield by 2023, is it really worth having a bi mode fleet just for a 3 year period? Could a derogation be passed for this period with some Dmus or additional HST fleet strengthening to meet the extra demand?

Another point is that the 800s are only capable of running at 100mph when not using the wires. This could lead to a period of slower operation than is currently the case. I know class 802 units can go faster under self power but can the diesel engines be removed so easily as the 800s?

Don't get me wrong I'm in favour of bi mode units on the whole but given the relatively short term between the accessibility regs and full electrification being online it seems quite a bit of a faff to go for bi mode just to revert to full electric 3 or less years later.
 

J-2739

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The 800s are built so they can have their Diesel engine removed at a later date. Since the 802 is similar in body design, I don't see removal of engine a great problem. The superior acceleration of the 800s outweighs the slightly lower speed also.
 

Haydn1971

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Forgive my ignorance. Do bi-mode trains have a diesel generator or batteries or what?


Hitachi bi-mode units have Diesel engines under some carriages, these are used to power motors in the bogies. So yes, the engines are effectively generators. The engines are fitted on replaceable racks to reduce train down times.

Look on google and Wikipedia for Class 800 & 802.

Stadler have a diesel bi-mode that has a generator unit that isn't slung under the bodies - further reading on Wikipedia under "Stadler Flirt"
 

Kettledrum

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. As Haydn 1971 points out there are 4-5 cascaded 222s. Could these be further supplemented by the class 180s that are being replaced by Hull Trains? It's a shame Grand Central will take the others as this would more or less overall cover the likely outgoing HSTs. Imho it would make more sense for Grand Central to use bi modes given the proportion of under wire running the 180s will end up doing.

Replacing the HSTs with class 180s would surely reduce capacity, which would cause more problems.......unless you doubled them up for the peak services and ran them as 2 x 5 coach trains, in the same way that the 222 units run as 2x5 coach trains in the peak periods.

It could give extra opportunities to run extra trains, as you could perhaps split the double 180 unit somewhere and serve multiple destinations.

e.g. could you split at East Midlands Parkway, and have one unit going to Nottingham and one unit to Sheffield?

e.g. could you split at Kettering, and have one unit going to Nottingham and one to Melton Mowbray.

It could be a better short term solution than the class 91/92, MK4's and DVT solution though which would not give you capacity or flexibility.

There are flaws with this though, such as:

- it could mean reduced seating capacity going to Nottingham
- there probably aren't enough class 180 units to do this anyway.

EMUs and bi-modes would be ideal in my opinion.
 

Haydn1971

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Given electrification will be all the way to Sheffield by 2023, is it really worth having a bi mode fleet just for a 3 year period? Could a derogation be passed for this period with some Dmus or additional HST fleet strengthening to meet the extra demand?

Some members are suggesting this, but firstly, there aren't any spare DMUs and it's not like operators haven't had over a decade to get rid of the HSTs, 2020 was set in the mid 00s I seem to recall.



Another point is that the 800s are only capable of running at 100mph when not using the wires. This could lead to a period of slower operation than is currently the case. I know class 802 units can go faster under self power but can the diesel engines be removed so easily as the 800s?

This depends on the spec, the Class 802s are spec'ed to run at 125mph on diesel power.



Don't get me wrong I'm in favour of bi mode units on the whole but given the relatively short term between the accessibility regs and full electrification being online it seems quite a bit of a faff to go for bi mode just to revert to full electric 3 or less years later.


The beauty of the AT300/800/802 design is the ease in which they can be adapted from bi-mode to pure electric and back. The electric units also have a single diesel unit to enable limp home away from wires.
 

Comstock

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Hitachi bi-mode units have Diesel engines under some carriages, these are used to power motors in the bogies. So yes, the engines are effectively generators. "

Thanks, Haydn.

Diesel mode trains would certainly give more flexibility, but I don't want to see it used as an excuse to delay electrifying 'our' line any further. We've waited more than long enough already.

In the great scheme of things electrifying the MML isn't that big a project, surely? In a world where a megaproject like HS2 is grade A and something like Crossrail grade B +, this is surely a C+ or C grade level of 'bigness' ? Maybe even a C- :D
 
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Haydn1971

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The difficulty we have is that projects on existing track have a habit of getting delayed, whereas new build is easier to keep on programme. It's been suggested by other members that bi-modes on the GWML will delay electrification, I can see why it's suggested, but ultimately, wired lines is where we are heading. The bi-modes are simply a transitional solution.
 

Haydn1971

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And bi-modes are also useful for ad-hoc diversions


Isn't the single diesel power pack of the 801 designed for emergency diversions ? Presumably if a longer term diversion was required, like the recent WCML land slip, presumably more power packs could be installed into a 801 making it a temporary bi-mode.
 

Comstock

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Isn't the single diesel power pack of the 801 designed for emergency diversions ? Presumably if a longer term diversion was required, like the recent WCML land slip, presumably more power packs could be installed into a 801 making it a temporary bi-mode.

You may not know this, but what sort of range and speed does the single power pack give?

I did look on wiki, but the article didn't give the answer..
 

Haydn1971

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You may not know this, but what sort of range and speed does the single power pack give? I did look on wiki, but the article didn't give the answer..


I'd imagine a couple of hundred miles would be possible, but that would depend on the fuel load - I'd guess that typically there would be just enough fuel onboard to cover a short journey of 50 miles at most.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
To add, a bi-mode has more than one power pack, three in a 5 car unit, five in a 9 car unit.
 

edwin_m

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Isn't the single diesel power pack of the 801 designed for emergency diversions ? Presumably if a longer term diversion was required, like the recent WCML land slip, presumably more power packs could be installed into a 801 making it a temporary bi-mode.

The single power pack (two on a full-length unit IIRC) would give a low top speed and possibly a limited range too, so would be OK for passing through a shortish emergency like the recent Newark dewirement, but not for a diversion of any sort of length. While it is a modular design and diesel power packs can in principle be added and removed, I get this impression this would be a matter of days or weeks rather than something that could be done in an evening if a diversion was needed tomorrow.

It took a contract variation to Hitachi to deliver the GWR electric-only units as bi-modes instead. Another one might be needed to uprate the engines to match HST performance on diesel (this seems to be a matter of changing the software and the maintenance contract rather than the design itself).

This campaign is effectively saying the Government should order 125mph bi-mode units for the MML to replace the HSTs in 2020 and make them a franchise asset so the new franchise has to use them. This effectively means more 80x units as nobody else has a suitable design or will be able to develop one within the timescale. Doing so would also define the fleet for all the MML operations north of Corby because a consistent fleet is probably necessary to allow increased service in the four platforms at St Pancras. It would possibly also ensure through services to unelectrified destinations, though these are pretty marginal in my view. To do this the Government would have to be confident they were getting good value for money for a large-ish fleet with no competitive procurement.

The most likely alternative is to give a derogation for the HSTs to continue in service until 2023 without spending a lot of money on accessibility mods for such a short period. It could be argued for instance that all HST routes will also have services throughout the day worked by 2020-compliant stock (Meridians, possible minor mods needed, for London-Nottingham and Northern 195s on the Leeds route). This would give the new franchise the role of specifying and procuring the trains and may result in better value for the taxpayer. It would of course defer the associated service improvements (but would these happen before full electrification anyway?) as well as the accessibility benefits.

I don't think options of 67+Mk4, 68+442 or anything else are viable as they probably couldn't match the existing HST schedules so would result in a worsening of service until completion of electrification. Corby electrification will free up a handful of Meridians, giving scope to reinforce certain services to handle growth prior to electrification.
 
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