Greater Anglia Bombardier Aventras (Class 720): Technical discussion and introduction

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by absolutelymilk, 22 Dec 2017.

  1. Wivenswold

    Wivenswold Established Member

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    I've had fairly recent correspondence with GA on the 5 v 8 issue. It seems the expectation is that by recasting the GEML timetable and adding additional services the loadings will be spread more evenly. It's a fair point because the Stadler IC12s will provide more seats for, say, Colchester and Chelmsford (possibly even Witham) passengers. It's a theory and a nice aspiration but two worries remain regarding the distribution of the new fleet;

    1) In correspondence a GA exec confirmed to me that the operations side had no input on the numbers of new trains required and that the bid team calculated the stock requirements based on an "indicative timetable". Adding "the hard work for us starts now as we try to deliver the service promised in that indicative timetable with the available fleet". So basically shoehorning what they've been given into what they've promised.
    2) Under a FOI request the DfT confirmed to me that an "indicative timetable wasn't provided as part of the bid process and that the only specific requirements required [by the DfT] were set out in the minimum service standards".

    So, all guesswork based on profit margins by the bid team and no due diligence on the part of the Government Department to ensure that the bid's proud boasts are actually workable.

    This will end well.
     
  2. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Much like any other franchise award at the moment then...
     
  3. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    That's pretty crazy, but not completely unexpected for those of us who have been following the situation. The operations team should have been central to any discussion.

    The management of this project hasn't been right since day one. It's been full of bid managers and financial people (the theory side) with virtually no input from the operational side (the practice side), not that they have many people with vast operational experience in their management team, which does not bode well at all to how all of this is going to work out when the powers that be realise that it's not all going to magically sort out and be as simple as their theory would lead them to believe.

    The line about the hard work starting as they need to deliver the service in the fleet that they have pretty much takes the biscuit and may as well outright say that the operations team have been given an extremely tough task to deliver what other people have promised and sold a pup by people who think they know better. It'll be interesting to see who gets the blame if it all goes wrong, whether it will be the people who devised the plan, or those who were asked to implement it without the adequate resources to do so.

    I'd say the margins may well be tight financially on this deal, so if they do need to keep older stock on, which is quite likely, it may push them over the edge.
     
  4. delticdave

    delticdave Member

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    My question wasn't about railfans & their likes, etc, it was, "can the new trains provide the basic day-to-day service on the Southminster branch" with costly / impossible changes.
    Why do I care, I live on the branch!
    The option quoted of using a siding to hold a branch train won't work, to keep the 40 minute branch frequency & provide cross-platform interchange with the London services at Wickford, platforms 1 & 4 "must" be used, & at 110 M long, a 5-car Aventura won't fit!

    The option to retain / use a few Renatus 321 Units for all the off-peak services would work, but we might feel that we've been short-changed when comparing our train with shiny new trains........
     
  5. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    The answer is not to order more new stock, but to retain one of the existing, PRM compliant fleets (360, 379 or Renatus 321s). 379 would be logical - as Bombardier units they could be included in the Aventra maintenance contract.
     
  6. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I suspect that would result in the same outcome, since the 379s apparently had prohibitively expensive leases.
     
  7. Wivenswold

    Wivenswold Established Member

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    In GA's shoes I'd be holding out to see which of the PRM-compliant units have no takers and make a low-ball offer to the leasing company to extend their working life. So right now, that's probably the refurbished 317s. Though keeping 37 year old stock when you promised new could leave them open to serious criticism, especially if one sits down at the wrong time.

    Personal preference would be the 360s.
     
  8. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    Well judging by the thread in the other forum about the financials tate of the franchise, cost may well end up being the only factor under consideration, but that won't go down well with the passengers as you state. However the 317s are unlikely to find any more use after GA, so you'd imagine the leasing company would be glad to get anything for those assets.

    I'd like to see the 360s kept as well as honestly they are still in good condition and don't really need anything doing to them as they are exceptionally well built. My first ride on a Renatus 321 recently wasn't exactly as good as I was expecting but I need a few more trips on them to make a final decision.
     
  9. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    The Renatus units are far preferable to the originals in my view, but they are still inferior to 360/1s for refinement, comfort, reliability etc. as you might expect from a refurbished unit rather than a ground-up modern product, though they do look shinier and cleaner for now as they don't have 15 years of A/C vent grime and scratched interior panels to deal with (yet). To me the 360s seem more likely to get used but a considerable number of new franchises have been let without making any intention to use existing Anglia stock other than the 170s so far, so I'm really not sure about their future.
     
  10. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    Too early to give my final verdict on the Renatus units,, but last weeks trip was the worst I've ever had on any train anywhere from a ride quality point of view and the build quality also seemed nothing special with the broken air-conditioning, rattling and squeaky panels, blocked off plug sockets and a PIS system that was either faulty or there was a loose connection somewhere as the displays were going on and off. It felt like there was very poor quality control on that unit, but I agree they look far nicer from the outside especially.

    It would be a travesty if those 360s sat unused, given their build quality after less than 20 years of life, when you think of some of the poor quality stock that is still going around, or has lived to be twice the age of the 360s. Remains to be seen what happens to the Heathrow Connect ones as well as the London Midland 350s that I read are the most reliable EMU fleet in the UK!
     
  11. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    The PIS displays were not changed on the Renatus units from the standard 321s. They have never worked properly from new in the NX days, and never will, they're just a very poor quality product (certainly at the power supply end which is where that issue lies). When the manufacturer went bust GA contracted another company to retool to support them rather than replacing the whole lot with better alternatives. Presumably they weren't the only company with such a need or that'd be a baffling decision. They could surely have used the display type used in the 315s which is far superior, but rather than obtain new units they simply resprayed the casings of the old displays and put them back in. Given the supposed cost overrun of the project, not surprising they wanted the cheap option shtere.

    I quite agree, it's a travesty about the 360s and 379s but also 350/2s, 707s, 458/5s, the list goes on...

    You are correct that the 350/2 is the most reliable EMU class in the UK. Incidentally the most reliable Electrostar fleet of all is the 379...
     
  12. fat_boy_pete

    fat_boy_pete Member

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    Please don't take this so personally. I disagree with your opinion and pointed out a factual error. I am not attempting to mis-represent you


    [QUOTE="Maybe you should go out there and try, since you show a complete lack of knowledge of loadings on services on the GE side of things and you're going to be in line for an awful shock soon when twitter is going to be full of people who are physically unable to board a train they were able to before. But as long as 28 more people can get a seat, who cares about the people who get left behind hey?"[/QUOTE]

    I use shoulder peak and off peak services in addition to my peak hours commute and my experience is different to yours re standees. As is stated elsewhere I am sure they need might to change the diagrams from 5 to 10 or substitute 720/5's with Flirts as they understand load.
     
  13. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    No, you twisted my words and deliberately misquoted me and are now being completely disingenuous. There was no factual error in my posts, just a deliberate attempt to use a straw man by yourself. The fact is that the capacity of a 5 car new EMU is less than that of an 8 car existing EMU and that is the fact, no matter how much you try and take away from it,

    Your exact post was:
    It's a clear case of straw-manning from yourself there. It's pretty blatant. I was talking about capacity and you then start saying it's incorrect in terms of seat capacity, but I was never talking about seat capacity and you know it but you still resorted to disingenuous posting.
    Well clearly we are using very different services then, or someones being dishonest. Given that you are resorting to straw-manning and spin then I'll leave it up to the rest of the posters to work out what it says about your credibility.
     
  14. fat_boy_pete

    fat_boy_pete Member

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    Wow. I am sorry you feel I am attacking you. I am not, I simply have a different opinion. You are welcome to yours. Have a nice day.
     
  15. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    Of course you are totally free to have your own opinion, that is what forums are here for and if we didn't debate things then it would be a pretty boring forum. However I really don't like it when people take my posts out of context like that because it's then not a proper, honest debate.
     
  16. dp21

    dp21 Member

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    Excellent example as to why the current franchise system needs reviewing. Bidders aren't allowed to communicate with incumbents and data/information used to base their bids on is frequently outdated by 2 years due to this.
     
  17. TheDaftSpotter

    TheDaftSpotter New Member

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    Hey all!
    Trying to track down when the first Greater Anglia 720 is due too roll out of Bombardier....I have come across a new service that has appeared which is:
    Derby Litchurch Lane to Norwich C.Pt. T.&R.S.M.D hoping this is the 720s? But from what I know they're off to Old Dalby Test Track for test runs?

    Thanks in advance
    Matthew
     
  18. Alfie1014

    Alfie1014 Member

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    This is a 156 returning from tyre turning at Etches Park.

    The first 720 is not due until next spring and then it almost certainly head to Ilford and the Bombardier Depot there.
     
  19. TheDaftSpotter

    TheDaftSpotter New Member

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    Okay thanks Much! Got a little more waiting to do then!
     
  20. swills

    swills Established Member

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    May have the 755 in a few weeks tho !.......'may'...:)
     
  21. Elshad

    Elshad Member

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    Is there a typo in this? Shouldn’t the first cars in both be 2-Bo? Or is there some weird asymmetry going on?
     
  22. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    No there isn't - it's asymmetric, (why does it need to be symmetric? the 345s are one of the few Bombardier units that is symmetric)

    Each 5 car unit (or half 10 car unit) has 2 power electronics boxes, one supplies 4 traction motors* and auxiliaries the other 6 TMs** and auxiliaries.
    *Hence 2 adjacent power bogies (one 4th car and one on 5th) and
    ** hence 3 adjacent power bogies (one on 2nd car and 2 two on 3rd car).

    Electrically a 10 car is 2x 5 car units but the same way round (so one Driving trailer and 1 driving motor per set) so the pantograph on each half of 10 car unit are 120m apart.
     
  23. Panupreset

    Panupreset Member

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    Will they (and the Stadler units including bi modes with the pan up) be cleared for 90mph running between Stratford and Shenfield? 321's, 360's and 90's with Mk3's are cleared for the higher speed of 90mph. 317's working GE diagrams are not and can only run 80mph.
     
  24. uxm

    uxm Member

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    I have a couple of questions, firstly why was the headrest switched out on the seats and why was the front of the train changed from black to yellow?
     
  25. Bikeman78

    Bikeman78 Member

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    Interesting. Why is that?
     
  26. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I wondered about that - the only times I've used 317s on that stretch they haven't lost any time but they ran at 75-80 throughout rather than 90 and then slowing down on the approach to Shenfield.
     
  27. Alfie1014

    Alfie1014 Member

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    Is it anything to do with the fact that some GA 317s have got the older type of pantograph (like the 315s) which might (have been) problematic under the old OLE in the London area at higher speeds, (though almost all upgaded now as far as Shenfield)?
     
  28. K.o.R

    K.o.R Member

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    Those look very smart. Totally what the front of a 345 should have been like (but lilac vs red ;) ).

    Interesting headlamp design; there appears to only be a single lamp in each housing. Are the headlamps superbright LED clusters like on the 68s/88s, rather than having separate filament lamps and LED cluster markers?
     
  29. Skymonster

    Skymonster Member

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    This has appeared outside at Bombardier Litchurch Lane during the last few days...
    image.jpeg
     
  30. TRAX

    TRAX Established Member

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    Thanks for the pic.
    I still can’t get myself over the fact that gasket glazing does make rolling stock look older than that with bonded glazing.
     

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