Gauge clearance for IEP

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Muzer, 28 Apr 2015.

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  1. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Something just got me wondering — how much gauge clearance will be done for the IEP, especially now that we know something similar is probably going to go to Cornwall too?

    Obviously the main lines will be done. But what about diversionary routes? I'm talking about things like the Melksham branch, the Waterloo to Exeter line, the Swindon-Gloucester-South Wales lines, the Castle Cary to Weymouth line for the summer former HST specials and diversions via Yeovil Pen Mill, etc. There are similar ones for East Coast but I'm much less familiar with the area — but things like parts of the WCML used in major blockades and similarly lines such as the Newcastle and Carlisle, etc.


    I'm just concerned that, on top of the options lost due to electrification (putting the ridiculousness of some stations, particularly Bedwyn, losing out on regular direct services aside) there will be even more options lost, even for the hybrid trains, due to the lack of gauge clearance works. So does anyone know exactly how much will be done?
     
  2. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I suppose the first question is how much needs to be done? I'd like to think the design was done to minimise the amount of physical infrastructure work that is required.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  3. civ-eng-jim

    civ-eng-jim Member

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    Quite.

    The IEP is built to fit in with the UK1 (Issue2) gauge for vehicles. Althought UK1 isn't a "go anywhere" gauge, it's unlikely much, if any, re-gauging would be required at all.
     
  4. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    There was a budget for gauging included as part of the IEP train order, its just something like £80m for the East Coast as it will already be mostly compliant from using a standard British profile.
     
  5. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    There are CP5 enhancement projects for IEP gauge clearance in the usual quarterly milestones document.

    For GW it shows the following routes amongst a couple of pages of detail under GW IEP 'capability', a separate project deals with station capacity at Paddington:

    Don't see Weymouth, but suggest it isn't necessary to use the sort of strengthening an HST provided if the number of DMUs available in the Bristol area is going to be vastly increased. They can just run a few in multiple.

    AT300 to Penzance is still under negotiation, I'd expect it will be an additional project if/when agreed by DfT.

    For the ECML there is a gauging project and a separate electrification enhancement project.

    All the projects have been in there for a good few years, nothing should come as a surprise to NR AFAICS.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  6. Deepgreen

    Deepgreen Established Member

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    The list of diversionary routes doesn't include the SW main line from Waterloo - this is used now by HSTs, so will that cease with IEPs?
     
  7. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    I would hazard a guess that they're not planning any major blockades of Reading any time soon, given the work they've just been doing — correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I can tell that's the ONLY blockade point that would require diversions via Basingstoke/Andover/Salisbury.

    I know that the route as far as Laverstock North Jn has already been gauge cleared quite a bit for freight diversions so probably wouldn't be too difficult. The route on from there to Yeovil would be the only thing where you'd potentially need to do something.


    Anyway, thanks all for the answers, I'm glad to see that this HAS been considered. On a similar note, does anyone know whether there's any chance of drags during, say, Severn Tunnel closures? I'm guessing the hotel power engine is nowhere near enough to get it going at a decent acceleration via Gloucester. I'm just concerned at the lack of possibilities post-electrification, without cutting down other diesel services to make the stock available for it.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  8. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    If it is ensured that there is an 'oversupply' of bi-mode sets and an 'undersupply' of electric-only sets, that won't be a problem. It would then just need some careful fleet management to make sure it all works on the days when there will be diversions.

    The only issue then would be that on normal days there would be some services on fully electrified routes being run by bi-mode sets. That's an advantage of having bi-mode sets, not a problem, because the flexibility is retained while still getting the a major improvement over the current practice on the ECML and WCML where diesel-powered trains run services over fully electrified routes every single day.

    If only the bare minimum number of bi-mode sets are ordered for normal usage, you would then have a problem when diversions are required. Substitution with coaches to cross the 'gap' would have to be preferable to trying to use the 'limp home' engine in passenger service.
     
  9. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Which is rather disappointing, given the large number of potential diversionary routes that would be lost. Hopefully some arrangement will be come to wrt drags or stock shuffling, or before too long the whole lot electrified anyway.

    Thanks to the hotel power, you presumably wouldn't need ETH during a drag, which would make things easier... anyone know if they were designed with drags in mind?
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  10. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    They have front couplers so they can be dragged.
     
  11. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    Why is it disappointing? Have sufficient bi-mode sets for flexibility = no problem.

    Let me explain it this way:
    • Let's say I run a train company which requires 6 bi-mode and 10 electric sets for normal operation when everything is going well, including covering for sets as they rotate through the preventive maintenance program.
    • But because I know that diversions and other unplanned surprises crop up from time to time, I might actually order 8 bi-mode and 8 electric sets instead of the bare minimum I need.
    • On normal days, it means a couple of my bi-mode sets will be running around with their pantographs up the whole time, which is not a problem so long as I rotate which of the bi-mode sets are on those electric-only duties - to balance wear and tear.
    • But when one of my electric routes is closed for the weekend and a diesel-only diversion is in operation, I have the flexibility to organise my fleet and use the 'extra' bi-mode sets to run the diversion in their fully powered diesel mode. Thanks to my foresight, I now can handle a diversion without having to resort to hiring in locomotives, cancel services or put passengers on coaches. Problem solved.
    Do you follow?

    What is disappointing is that bi-mode may present an excuse allowing funding for further electrification to be postponed.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  12. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Apologies; I was referring specifically to the last paragraph of your post when I called it disappointing, the possibility of bustitution depending on the makeup of the fleet. I should have quoted to make it clearer.
     
    Last edited: 28 Apr 2015
  13. ic250

    ic250 Member

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    Is there nothing west of Swansea for the summer seasonal London-Pembroke Dock services?
     
  14. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    It's a bit of a myth that bimodes spell the end of electrification, actually:

    Previously, electrifying a line required investing in new stock in addition to the costs of electrification. With bimodes you actually get rid of that extra cost without adding any new ones. Indeed, if it's cheaper to not bother electrifying and to run bimodes on diesel why bother electrifying in the first place? Might as well not bother with electrifying anywhere.

    Admittedly it may prove a disincentive to filling in the gaps, but certainly not for electrifying long-stretches of lines, such as down to the west of England which will run bimodes anyway, or to new lines which are in the same situation of needing new stock anyway.
     
  15. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    There's a daily service to Carmarthen in the spec, but nothing to Pembroke. Gauge clearance costs of Narbeth tunnel likely killed any early intentions.
     
  16. SpacePhoenix

    SpacePhoenix Established Member

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    Could they do the clearance work from Weymouth to Basingstoke (where I believe the XC trains diverge from the SWML) which could then allow XC to use them to Weymouth (or at least to Poole, with maybe every other service going to Weymouth during the main summer holidays?
     
  17. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Could they physically do it? Of course, given funding.

    Would they need to do it? Probably not, given there are no signs that XC will ever get IEPs, and no sign of them extending their route to Weymouth, or Poole, despite the latter being proposed almost as often as extending back to Brighton...
    Solutions without problems yet again.
     
  18. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    With the Bicester chord opening in 6 months time and the full length to Oxford in 9 months time. Would it really be sensible to run services on the congested slow lines into Waterloo when they could take a left-turn at Foxhall and run into Marylebone?
     
  19. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I think if you are considering diverting away from Paddington then Waterloo (via Ascot/Staines as they've listed) would have more actual terminal capacity for a few IEPs than Marylebone in an emergency. AIUI running via the Chilterns all the way into Marylebone was never contemplated for the Reading blockade diversions.

    But I'd agree with earlier posts that now that the Reading layout work is basically complete (especially in terms of all line closures) then the recent blockade busters don't really justify further route clearance, don't forget that there were only 3 occasions when diversions via Chiltern and SWML were required.

    The more routinely used diversion (Exeter - Yeovil Jn - Westbury) is being cleared of course.
     
    Last edited: 30 Apr 2015
  20. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    It's hard enough for Chiltern to accommodate its own services at Marylebone, never mind take anyone else's as well. The capacity just isn't there, even for planned alterations like the Reading blockades.
     
  21. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Bi-modes do damage the case for electrification as they essentially eliminate the Network Effect.

    Every single kilometre of track basically now has to justify electrification on its own merits.
    And if you exclude the already committed projects is hard to find routes that would be able to wash their face using that criterion.

    Hopefully however the unit order drought will continue for another few years though - since that will force electrification to allow for continued service by various EMU fleets.
     
  22. TheKnightWho

    TheKnightWho Established Member

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    They do, but as I've already said they already had to do that anyway for the most part, in the sense that new (or cascaded) stock had to be found from somewhere if more widespread electrification than just the intercity stock is to be used.

    Plus you're forgetting the key point I made: what is the point of electrification in the first place? To reduce the variable (and environmental) costs of running diesel trains - those costs still apply to bimodes when running on diesel, and so electrification would still reduce costs regardless. Additionally, all-electric trains are still cheaper to run, furthering the point.
     
  23. D1009

    D1009 Established Member

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    You could run into Paddington via the Bicester chord and South Ruislip, but as others have said it's unlikely to be necessary. I'm told HSTs are going to run into Marylebone via Hanwell and South Ruslip at Christmas this year, to do with Crossrail work.
     
  24. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Can confirm this also from what I found. Waterloo via Wokingham will also be used.
     
  25. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Even if bimodals do damage the case for electrification (which I'm not sure that they do) then there is the argument that this is on lines which only see Intercity trains, as we don't have (as yet) bimodal trains for other types of service.

    This means that the busy urban lines can be electrified first and the most beneficial sections of IC lines (around stations) can be prioritised. I know that some think that we should throw everything at electrification to overcome that issue, but until that happens having some trains which reduce the need to electrify some otherwise lightly used lines allowing others to be wired up can only be a good thing.

    For example, with limited resources do you electrify the B&H and all the way to Penzance or do you focus on XC core routes and the WofE line? I would suggest the latter would free up more DMU's (for cascade or scrap). It also, in tern, makes the case for wiring up the line between Exeter and Penzance better as XC are more likely to be able to run EMU's over it as enough of their network could be wired up to allow it, when otherwise it wouldn't be. In doing so it could be argued that the business case for wiring gets stronger for sections of routes.
     
  26. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Fully agree. Similarly, XC wiring between Birmingham and Bristol/Cardiff and LM routes from Birmingham to Worcester/Hereford eliminates lots of dmu operation and makes wiring Swindon-Gloucester and Oxford-Worcester a whole lot more attractive/logical/affordable.
     
  27. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    This seems like an appropriate thread to ask this question.

    When are the through trains from London - Pembroke Dock due to finish? We've ascertained that they will have to finish once IEP is introduced, but I could've sworn I heard that this summer is infact the last to have through trains? Is anyone able to confirm or deny this?
     
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