Full Juniper Service to Return?

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Julian G

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[url=http://www.therailwaycentre.com/]Railway Centre[/url] said:
Class 458s to remain with SWT

It has now been confirmed that the entire fleet of 30 Porterbrook Leasing-owned Class 458 units will return to front line traffic with South West Trains and not be taken off-lease and stored.

Earlier this year it was announced that the units would be taken out of traffic in early 2007, a date brought forward due to problems with the size of on-train displays. Recently all but a handful have been stood down and warm stored at Wimbledon, Clapham Junction and Bournemouth. Now the sets are to receive modifications to internal displays to bring the letter size in keeping with legal needs and return to full service.

The extra 30 sets for SWT will be very important with the company meeting the terms of its new South Western franchise, which calls for extra and longer trains.

The two Class 458s presently on sub-lease to Gatwick Express will also return to SWT.

A question yet to be answered is how one condition placed on the new South Western franchise by the DfT for 10 car trains to operate between Waterloo and Windsor will be met. As SWTs main suburban fleet are formed of four car sets, where are the two extra vehicles to come from. Class 442 or 444 5-car main line sets could be used, but this would be a total waste of resources and actually provide less seats than an eight car suburban unit. The answer has to be either split up some sets to release spare trailer vehicles, build extra intermediate cars or obtain the soon to be off-lease '508s' from SouthEastern, strip out the TS and use these as two car sets which would be able to operate with Class 455s.

We will wait and see.
Finally the Reading service will be only served by 458!
 
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Coxster

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That's good - since I've had access to a camera I never got around to photographing any 458s ;) Despite what some people say I don't think they're that bad now that some of the problems have been fixed/made better. Do you think they'll try and do something with the gangways at some point?
 

Julian G

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That's good - since I've had access to a camera I never got around to photographing any 458s ;) Despite what some people say I don't think they're that bad now that some of the problems have been fixed/made better. Do you think they'll try and do something with the gangways at some point?
i reckon they have used the gangways before, to connect between the two Units, i have seen a photo before, i can't remember what website it was

Junipers are quite good to be honest, better seats than the Desiro
Breakdowns are now very Rare for the Junipers!
 
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Tom

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The Junipers have indeed improved - it was suggested that they were semi permanently coupled so they could have a corridor connection.

Will be good to see 8004 to return following around a year and a half on 'Intl Load'
 

Techniquest

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Ooh, goody goody! I refuse to do the Reading - Waterloo route unless it's a 458 (with exception to the bit as far as Wokingham on an FGWL unit/VXC run), so it's got to be good!

I've always liked the 458s anyway, so this reprieve is great news!

Bring it on!
 

Daniel

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I love the 458s, I think they are great :)

VERY glad to hear they are returning.

But after an hour at Waterloo I saw:

Double Un-Refurb 455s
Double Refub 455s
Double 450 Desiro

all on the Reading service, but no 458s! :(
 

Julian G

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I love the 458s, I think they are great :)

VERY glad to hear they are returning.

But after an hour at Waterloo I saw:

Double Un-Refurb 455s
Double Refub 455s
Double 450 Desiro

all on the Reading service, but no 458s! :(
458s don't run during the Weekends
They run Monday-Friday!
 

Dennis

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I recall travelling to Alton on one of these soon after they were introduced and being most impressed by the step change in quality compared with the slammers. There were some obvious problems - the ride quality was simply awful over anything less than perfect track and there were obviously gaps around the windows (with a huge amount of wind noise and a noticeable breeze), but despite these shortcomings I was impressed by the spacious, clean, bright and airy nature of these units.

However, what made a lasting impression was asking the driver what he thought of them - a string of expletives followed which my then young son fortunately did not comprehend. I would be interested to know what drivers (and guards / conductors) think of them now.

Anyway - I like them, always have, but do recognise they are not fault free and probably would never have entered service in the days of public railway ownership with such major faults.

Just imagine - if the people at Alstom who were responsible for development of Juniper EMU's (and Coradia DMU's) had been a little more thorough, we might not all be riding around on Desiros.
 

AlexS

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Is official, SWT are closing Bournemouth depot and withdrawing the 442s in Feb 07. I presume this means the Lymington CIGs will disappear too. 458s will all be back, 450s on to Pompey, and 444s to Weymouth. Staff were told on Friday.
 
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