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pt_mad

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Hi there.

I use Nuneaton station regularly and was wondering whether anyone knows anything about Alliance Rail's proposal of running open access services hourly to Blackpool/Leeds from Euston.

If the WCML bidding process is delayed, will open access operators still be able to run services on the line? And what would happen if directly operated railways took over?

Anyone know when Blackpool electrification will be completed?

I know Alliance are talking about using new Japanese trains but it all seems a bit of a rush before December next year. Someone told me they might use 67s and Mk3s to begin with, but presumably this would be at 110mph and thus the train paths may not be viable.
 
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anthony263

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No word on anything at the moment and Alliance were thinking about ordering the Polaris train which is built by CSRE who are Chinese.
 

YorkshireBear

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Alliance rail have thus far had all applications rejected. So they will not be starting services for a while. I think 2014 is seen as a very optimistic starting year. Blackpool will be electrified in about 2016 i think? Someone correct me if i am wrong.

And no they wont use 67s and mk3s that was grand central proposal which was also rejected.
 
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pt_mad

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Ahh I thought grand central and alliance rail were the same.

From wikipedia:

Grand Central have proposed running services between London and Blackpool starting in 2012. With the planned electrification not due to reach Blackpool until 2014, Grand Central have stated that their intention is to start their service by using Class 67 diesel locomotives and Mark 3 coaching stock, before obtaining Polaris trains that are tilt capable.

What good are 67s though without the tilt?
 

ainsworth74

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What good are 67s though without the tilt?
The locomotive doesn't need to tilt only the coaching stock (if you look at the design of the IC225 it was only the Mk4s that were designed to tilt not the Class 91). So a better question would be "what good are Mk3s without the tilt?".

The answer is not much as they'd be limited to 110mph which would make pathing them between Preston and Euston a pain the rear end and I think actually one of the reasons why GCs bid was rejected. Also as indicated that Wikipedia article is out of date as GC's application has been rejected by the ORR.
 

pt_mad

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The locomotive doesn't need to tilt only the coaching stock (if you look at the design of the IC225 it was only the Mk4s that were designed to tilt not the Class 91). So a better question would be "what good are Mk3s without the tilt?"..
Good point well made
 

pt_mad

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Hmm always thought there were issues with the paths, oh well! So then what was the problem? Revenue extraction?
Also, who would use the London Midland in the Trent Valley if there was a 125mph service linking Nuneaton/Tamworth/Lichfield/Stafford/Milton Keynes and maybe Rugby?

Or would tickets say London Midland only for the cheap journeys?
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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The locomotive doesn't need to tilt only the coaching stock (if you look at the design of the IC225 it was only the Mk4s that were designed to tilt not the Class 91). So a better question would be "what good are Mk3s without the tilt?".

The answer is not much as they'd be limited to 110mph which would make pathing them between Preston and Euston a pain the rear end and I think actually one of the reasons why GCs bid was rejected. Also as indicated that Wikipedia article is out of date as GC's application has been rejected by the ORR.
NR would not allow a class 67 to exceed 110mph on the WCML without tilt and TASS.
I'm not even sure they are cleared for 125mph anywhere yet.
Being "125-capable" isn't the same as route clearance in normal traffic.

Mk4s are not "designed to tilt". I think the phrase these days is "passive provision".
I can't see anybody picking up the GEC-Alsthom design and fitting tilt to 20-year-old stock.

110mph paths might have been found in the current WCML timetable, but the Alliance consultation for the 2014 timetable shows many conflicts.
That is before the existing TOCs get to grips with their service proposals (eg LM 110mph Desiros, TP/NT services after electrification etc).
In any case, the biggest problems for Alliance seem to be off the WCML proper, around places like Manchester and Leeds.
You only have to read the responses from TP, TfGM (Northern Hub) and Merseytravel to see what conflict there is on the Alliance proposals.
ORR's response will be fascinating.
 

ainsworth74

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NR would not allow a class 67 to exceed 110mph on the WCML without tilt and TASS.
I'm not even sure they are cleared for 125mph anywhere yet.
Being "125-capable" isn't the same as route clearance in normal traffic.
Yes I am aware of this my point was a more general one that the locomotive does not have to tilt in order to travel in excess of 110mph on the WCML only the coaching stock.

Mk4s are not "designed to tilt". I think the phrase these days is "passive provision".
I can't see anybody picking up the GEC-Alsthom design and fitting tilt to 20-year-old stock.
I'm not sure what your point is? The Mk4s were intended to be able to fitted with tilt systems (and be renamed Mk4 Ts) but the intention to do so was dropped fairly early on in the build. This doesn't change the fact that they are designed with tilting in mind (hence the profile of the carriages). I'm also not sure what your second point is as obviously the Mk4s would not be retrofitted with tilt now! If for no other reason than the ECML already manages 125mph without tilt!
 

aformeruser

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Alliance rail have thus far had all applications rejected. So they will not be starting services for a while. I think 2014 is seen as a very optimistic starting year. Blackpool will be electrified in about 2016 i think? Someone correct me if i am wrong.
Alliance plan to have a fleet of dual powered Polaris, I don't think they plan to order any electric only vehicles.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Yes I am aware of this my point was a more general one that the locomotive does not have to tilt in order to travel in excess of 110mph on the WCML only the coaching stock.

I'm not sure what your point is? The Mk4s were intended to be able to fitted with tilt systems (and be renamed Mk4 Ts) but the intention to do so was dropped fairly early on in the build. This doesn't change the fact that they are designed with tilting in mind (hence the profile of the carriages). I'm also not sure what your second point is as obviously the Mk4s would not be retrofitted with tilt now! If for no other reason than the ECML already manages 125mph without tilt!
Yes I was trying to make too many points at once!
What's your source for a "not the loco" tilt option?
I know it is a feasible design, but NR have never contemplated anything other than all-vehicle-tilt with 390/221 on the WCML.
To me the unproven nature of class 67 at high speed rules it out anyway.

The Mk4 comment is really to other posters who seem to think that Mk4's actually tilt (or just need a switch thrown) and that Polaris trains actually exist!
 

pt_mad

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It seems some form of the Polaris does exist. Check out this photo.

Alliance must consider all this viable as they are pushing to launch the whole thing in December 2013. They say they have Network Rail behind them.
 

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ainsworth74

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What's your source for a "not the loco" tilt option? I know it is a feasible design, but NR have never contemplated anything other than all-vehicle-tilt with 390/221 on the WCML.
That would be because 221s and 390s have passenger accommodation in the leading vehicles. The reason a locomotive doesn't need to tilt is that the only occupant is the driver who is going to be sitting down, will be able to see the curves coming and therefore anticipate them whilst I also think there was a suggestion that they could use a seatbelt/harness if needs be to keep them secured. Remember tilt is about passenger comfort not about getting the train to actually go round the corners faster.

For the life of me I can't remember the source now (I have a feeling it was something to do with the development of the IC225), but I'm certain that as long as a vehicles doesn't convey passengers it doesn't have to tilt but seeing as no one here has built a train that has a locomotive on the front and is intended for tilt operation I guess I can't be sure (though the 91s were never intended to tilt whilst the Mk4s were).

To me the unproven nature of class 67 at high speed rules it out anyway.
Oh yes I completely agree with you there. I do think that some testing was done last year on the GWML for 125mph running but I can't remember the outcome so for it seems to me for all intents and purposes the 67s are pretty much going to be 110mph locomotives for the foreseeable future.

The Mk4 comment is really to other posters who seem to think that Mk4's actually tilt (or just need a switch thrown) and that Polaris trains actually exist!
Ah fair enough then! It certainly would be one hell of project to get the Mk4s to tilt that's for sure, a bit more involved than just throwing a switch me thinks :lol:
 

pt_mad

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Is it likely Virgin will win back the franchise again anyway? Is it more likely it won't be sorted in time and the high speed services will revert to Directly Operated Railways?
 

YorkshireBear

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Alliance plan to have a fleet of dual powered Polaris, I don't think they plan to order any electric only vehicles.
Sorry the blackpool electrification answer was seperate to rolling stock. I know they plan to order bi-mode but someone asked date fo blackpool electrification. Sorry for confusion.
 

pt_mad

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Why will they even need Bi-mode to run to Blackpool when they are not planning to use Polaris until after electrification?
 

ainsworth74

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Is it likely Virgin will win back the franchise again anyway? Is it more likely it won't be sorted in time and the high speed services will revert to Directly Operated Railways?
Sudden change of thread direction! :lol:

Anyway, I'm not sure but DOR definitely won't be involved as the refranchising process is well under way with a decision due at some point (can't remember exactly when) this year as to it either being Virgin, Abellio, First or Keolis (I don't think there's anyone else in the bidding process).
 

swt_passenger

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Is it likely Virgin will win back the franchise again anyway? Is it more likely it won't be sorted in time and the high speed services will revert to Directly Operated Railways?
I cannot think of a precedent for a franchise competition not being 'sorted in time'. All the parties involved are quite familiar with the procedure - so why would this one be any different?
 

pt_mad

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Sorry about that. I am fairly new to the boards and have to tendency to go off track.

From people's expert points of view, who will likely win? Do first run a better service on Great Western than Virgin do on West Coast?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Is it likely Virgin will win back the franchise again anyway? Is it more likely it won't be sorted in time and the high speed services will revert to Directly Operated Railways?
DOR are only there to step in if a franchise goes belly-up.
If the WC franchise is delayed again I would expect Virgin to carry on (unless it was their fault).

You ask impossible questions about First and Virgin.
The 4 West Coast bidding groups each have an equal shout at this stage.
The winner will be the one offering the highest premium for DfT.
Bids in on May 1, decision in August.
The last UK franchise to be awarded was to Abellio (Greater Anglia).

Your photo of a working "Polaris" is like showing a photo of a French TGV and expecting it to turn up at Crewe next day and work on the WCML.
The Pendolino took 4+ years to deliver and longer to debug in UK conditions.
Alliance are owned by Arriva/DB.
Any rolling stock they purchase will have to be backed by DB.
Can you see DB buying Chinese trains?
 

aformeruser

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Why will they even need Bi-mode to run to Blackpool when they are not planning to use Polaris until after electrification?
1. They are HOPING to start services BEFORE Blackpool electrification.
2. Most of the other routes they hope to run will involve using non-electrified sections of track - Cumbria Coast, Victoria-Bradford, Stockport-Stalybridge, Doncaster-Cleethorpes, MML and the Penistone Line. If they order a mixed fleet it might mean they require a higher number of units to have self-contained diagrams for the fully electric routes and it would cause problems if one route was withdrawn.
 

34D

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NR would not allow a class 67 to exceed 110mph on the WCML without tilt and TASS.
I'm not even sure they are cleared for 125mph anywhere yet.
Being "125-capable" isn't the same as route clearance in normal traffic.
I believe that the EC thunderbirds (when working as 0Z99 only, to go move a defective train) can run at 125mph light. Obviously when hauling a mk 4 set they are limited to 110mph due to brakes not being able to be applied from both ends.

Does the EWS directors train run at 110mph? I seem to recall reading in one of the comics that there was a proposal to rebuild its DVT to apply brakes in the same manner as a mk 4 DVT or trailing HST power car.

I must say that I'm surprised that it isn't possible for certain sections of the WCML to be approved for 125mph non-tilt instead of 110mph at present.
 

Tim R-T-C

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Leeds to Euston services? Would these be running via the Huddersfield line like the old GC proposal? Seems like a rather limited route, considering that TPX offer a pretty efficient service into Manchester which has direct WC trains.

Getting a path at Leeds, particularly for a commencing/terminating train would be near impossible at present, particularly at any useful times, GC's plan to run the trains from Bradford Interchange made more sense if again unlikely to appeal.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I must say that I'm surprised that it isn't possible for certain sections of the WCML to be approved for 125mph non-tilt instead of 110mph at present.
The SRA WCRM plans at one point included a statement that they would investigate the potential for some non-tilt running above 110mph, but this seems to have been binned, along with things like the 3rd track at Aspull.

On the other hand, even the newly built stretches (eg through Lichfield and Rugby stations) only achieve 125mph with maximum tilt applied.
I used to think the Rugby-Nuneaton stretch was "straight" at 110, but there are several obvious tilt stretches at 125.

But you would think Roade-Linslade (except at Wolverton) and Crewe-Weaver Jn, for instance, could be run at 125 non-tilt.
They managed to do it between Bushbury and Stafford.
 

aformeruser

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Leeds to Euston services? Would these be running via the Huddersfield line like the old GC proposal? Seems like a rather limited route, considering that TPX offer a pretty efficient service into Manchester which has direct WC trains.

Getting a path at Leeds, particularly for a commencing/terminating train would be near impossible at present, particularly at any useful times, GC's plan to run the trains from Bradford Interchange made more sense if again unlikely to appeal.
I don't think it would attract end to end usage but a new direct service between Crewe/Stockport and Huddersfield/Leeds could be useful, as could a new direct service between Huddersfield, Alderley Edge and London.

In their proposal Alliance point to overcrowding on North TPE, a very valid point. However, now with the Northern Hub proposals for extra Manchester-Leeds services and extra Stalybridge turnbacks I imagine ORR would reject any Alliance proposal to use North TPE lines until the future franchise services are known.

Talking about Grand Central, now that both GC and Alliance have Arriva/DB involvement it doesn't seem to make sense to have the two companies bidding against one another for available paths.
 
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