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

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

  1. 3141

    3141 Established Member

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    Up above the seats. But now I'm wondering whether you were referring to areas where luggage can be stacked. I didn't see those.
     
  2. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    Yes, I meant floor racks, because people heading to the port will have large luggage often. It seems strange for port trains not to have at least some flip up seats not by a door, so large luggage can travel off peak.

    The rules for "commuter services" (which is what GA call the West Anglia route) only say "reservations not available" and have a blank in the "number of cycles allowed". The 4 bikes per unit limit is on "regional services" only (now 6 on new trains) and that is enforced. I've seen people with bikes ordered out of the wheelchair bays by GA staff into the vestibules although you often don't see any staff on those trains.
     
  3. Dr_Pepper

    Dr_Pepper New Member

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    Sorry to change the subject but does anyone know if GA have something in their contract that penalised them for breaking the agreement when these trains are a year or more late?
     
  4. 47421

    47421 Member

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    Yes but they are in breach of various other commitments, see below an old post of mine, from this thread https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/franchise-obligations-not-delivered.182424/

    No one really knows what goes on behind the scenes. Legally DfT appear to have a strong breach of contract case, but one suspects they dont pursue them (a) because they dont have the energy/expertise to do so and (b) because it would be embarassing to draw attention to the failure to deliver on all the things they annoucned when they awared the franchise and (c) because if the did sue Abellio or other franchisees it would just mean they wont bid in future franchise competitions, see eg Stagecoach, National Express

    A selection of GA Franchise Commitments:
    • By 31 Oct 18 - 27 x 317 to be fitted with ASDO and 96 platforms to have ASDO beacons. Seems to have been abandoned
    • No date specified, but must mean by 31 Dec 19 latest - 27 x 317 to have PRM mods. Only one sent away so far so no prospect of 27 being done by deadline
    • "The Franchisee shall implement the Approved Detailed Design for each of the Redevelopment Stations in order that the redevelopment work is completed in accordance with the Approved Detailed Design by no later than: (a) 31 December 2019 in the case of Broxbourne Station, Cheshunt Station, Harlow Town Station and Southend Victoria Station; (b) 31 December 2020 in the case of Cambridge Station". Is this happening? Dont see any evidence of it on the ground
    • "By no later than the next Fares Setting Round occurring after 1 May 2018, the Franchisee shall make available to passengers for the remainder of the Franchise Period Anytime Flex Carnet and the -Off Peak Flex Carnet". Never happened
    • "By no later than 30 April 2019, the Franchisee shall launch a six (6) month pilot utilising near field communication". What are the chances??
    • "By no later than 30 January 2019, the Franchisee shall use its best endeavours to implement cloud based post-pay ticketing on Passenger Services between London Stations and Southend, Norwich or Cambridge ". Nope
    • TSR2 May 19 - extra TPH off peak to Hert East and Southend Vic, extra TPH Liv St to Norwich (extension of Ipswich semi fast), Norwich Camb extended to Stansted Airport all day. Nope, Nope, Nope and Nope
    • "infrastructure works at each of Hertford East, Wickford, Manningtree, Kings Lynn, Elsenham, Ware, St Margarets and Enfield Lock Stations as are necessary to enable any Passenger Services comprised of 10 rolling stock vehicles to call at such Stations by no later than 1 September 2018". Nope - NR have this down as a 2021 event. No info on what stock is expected to run to Hert East until then
    • STAR, originally due Dec 18, deferred by NR to May 19, now extra services not expected until Sept 19 earliest
    • By 31 Dec 2018 ontrain wifi on entire existing fleet. Nope
    • TSR3 May 20 - extra 1144 services a week. No chance. I would be surprised if it was half that number.
    And then there is the 720 mess, which gets worse by the day.
     
  5. Martin1504

    Martin1504 Member

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    I think we can safely say that GA franchise commitments were not worth the scrap of paper they were written on. But as you say ,no action will be taken against them by the flimsy DFT.
     
  6. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Any chance the other competitors would sue if GA get away with not fulfilling the commitments?
     
  7. 47421

    47421 Member

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    In theory yes they could complain to DfT, but rumour at time was that Abellio 'won' by £600m, so other bidders probably relieved they kept well out of it. Would be difficult to argue "if we knew you wouldnt enforce Abellio's contract we would have agreed the terms they offered" as on any basis it seems Abellio grossly overbid, so hard to see what losses the losers could claim they suffered.

    Other bidders were Stagecoach, who were Abellio's partner, First and National Express. NE have got out of UK rail entirely now. First and Stagecoach got enough disputes going on with DfT already over pensions etc and have probably got over GA now
     
  8. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    One person in the industry told me that when they saw the Abellio plans, before they heard the exact amount they reckoned that there wasn't a huge amount in it bid wise because all what they planned wasn't going to come cheap and Abellio's bid looked over ambitious on delivery timescales.

    They heard the amount that Abellio were apparently paying for the franchise in premiums and last I heard they were still trying to put their jaw back together.
     
  9. Bikeman78

    Bikeman78 Member

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    Regarding this point, 317501 and 506 have gone to Kilmarnock and come back but so far as I know they haven't carried any passengers yet. I think 317502 is up there now.
     
  10. Alfie1014

    Alfie1014 Member

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    Almost certainly the obligations in the FA will be ‘best or reasonable endeavours’ to deliver, because contractually it is also most impossible to hold party ‘A’ completely responsible for parties ‘B’ and ‘C’ delivering, but what you would expect is evidence that GA in this case are doing everything practically possible with the suppliers to ensure the earliest delivery. That said OPRAF and the SRA certainly would have been looking for additional or enhanced passenger benefits if the delays become too extended.

    The issue of whether the original bid was properly evaluated to confirm its overall deliverability is another question though? But in my experience saying that we Z have procured X from Y elsewhere and that the suppliers have provided evidence that they can do so by the said date is difficult to dispute.
     
  11. MrPIC

    MrPIC Member

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    Guess they are sitting in Ilford somewhere
     
  12. 47421

    47421 Member

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    Pretty sure those listed are hard obligations in the FA other than the ticketing one stated as best endeavours. But yes it is odd that GA committed to do various things that are not in their control. Just goes to show how misguided the bid team were. Their lawyers must have told them they would be exposed to breaching the contract , but they signed anyway.

    It reflects very poorly on everyone involved - GA, DFT, NetworkRail (reStar), Stadler and Bombardier - that so many commitments have been ignored / not delivered. Obviously mostly GAs fault - no one forced them to sign - but pretty rubbish all round.
     
  13. 47421

    47421 Member

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    A note on this is latest edition of Rail took me to East Herts planning site.

    https://publicaccess.eastherts.gov....s.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=PK3GL1GLHCM00

    Confirms that application to extend platforms at Hertford East, including moving listed signal box to Wensledale Railway, was refused back in February. Looks as if no new application has been made, nor has the refusal been appealed. Anyone know what the plan is for getting 10car Aventras to Hertford East? Are GA/NR still committed to deliver this? By when?

    Or is there another plan being cooked up - and this pure speculation - move HertEast to TfL, along with Meridian Water to Stratford, change timetable for Stratford to Stortford services to run to Hertford East instead, negotiate with Bombardier to deliver some extra 710s as compensation for their pathetic failure to deliver 710s on time, and run Hert East as 8 car service for the duration, saving having to worry about infra works at Hert East, Ware, St Margarets, Enfield Lock (and possibly Meridian Water and TottHale plat 2 - not clear whether current platforms will accommodate 10 car 720s).

    As an aside, per photo below in planning application, the signal box is not much to look at, hard to see how moving it would cause any real detriment to the locale, but who knows what planning law has to say on the matter.

    HertEast.PNG
     
  14. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Despite it having no impact on me that makes me angry. Frankly unless the council offers a new site and owner for the signalbox the railway should play dirty and downgrade the train services from the station or at least cancel all improvements. How about a shuttle of unrefurbished 317s to Broxbourne?
    Has NR no PR and lobbying team to hammer the council in local media?
    Of course if this was local Essex businessmen (yeah Surrey bias ;)) there would be an unfortunate welding accident leading to an unfortunate fire.....

    “remaining listed building at Hertford East Railway Station” - the station building is still original isn’t it? So not like the SB is the one remaining old bit around!
     
    Last edited: 7 Oct 2019
  15. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Oi :p
    As someone that lives in Essex but works for a company in Surrey though, I know exactly what you're getting at!

    As far as I can tell, this is one of several areas where using 10-car services on WAML has been scuppered. With all the issues I've heard about and all the progress I've heard nothing about, I don't honestly see a resolution to them other than a blanket use of 5-car only on the WA and 10-car on the GE. Using 4x20m units instead for Hertford East would be an ideal solution but you'd still not be getting the branch run by TfL, so this would have to be an amendment or addendum to GA's order. Going to all that trouble just for Hertford East services seems very unlikely - that said, I can't really think of any way they can resolve the capacity crisis that will be looming for WA running all 5-car units unless they are able to overcome all the other issues up to Cambridge by dangling a few coaches out the end of each platform.
     
  16. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    They can have 5 cars until the council changes its mind!
     
  17. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'd imagine that could work for them. Overcrowded 5 car sets and GA whacking out publicity along the lines of "we've got the trains to give you 10-car in the peak, but the Council won't let us move this old signalbox, so until they do enjoy your overcrowding and write to Mr C Ouncil-Worker, City Hall, Hertford and let him know what you think".
     
  18. 47421

    47421 Member

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    Well the Franchise Agreement said only Elsenham and Enfield Lock on WAML needed to be extended, in both cases I think because signal is at end of platform and busy crossing immediately to rear of platform, everywhere else the plan seems to have been SDO. Ok in theory but I was always skeptical, there is currently no booked SDO on WA, going to most stops being SDO overnight seemed pretty unlikely.

    5-car only, if you mean only ever as single 5car units, wont work. The first two (0647/0717) 12car Camb-LivSt are SRO from Audley End most days. I suppose they will just have to keep the 379s?
     
  19. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    Reading one of the objection letters ( how many members can the Victorian society have?!) it seems that they just want it moved on site(they mention the big expanse of disconnected sidings behind) or to a line within the Great Eastern area.
    Obviously NR don’t want it on their land as they don’t want to maintain it ( presumably hard to let out as a coffee shop etc due to accessibility law).
    Do Epping Ongar need any signal boxes, they still have their originals don’t they?
     
  20. East74

    East74 Member

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    As if the problems with the Stadlers weren’t bad enough, it was mentioned on BBC Look East tonight the introduction of the Bombardiers has been further delayed to Spring 2020. Presumably this is when they expect to start being delivered to GA for testing?

    Will any 720s be in service before 2021? The 745s commenced delivery many months ago and none are in service yet.
     
  21. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    That's only really a public admission of what was common knowledge already. As far as I can tell, no real progress has been made on the 720s for some time. When things start moving again we'll have a better idea when they'll enter service away, but as of know, they've been 6 months away for about the last 6 months. Unless a breakthrough is made imminently (which with christmas approaching seems unlikely), I think Summer 2020 will be more likely. I still think several will be in service before 2021, but certainly not that many, perhaps only sufficiently many to displace the 360s and some of the worst 317s.
     
  22. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    Looks like the middle of next year is likely to see plenty of fun and games with the EMU fleet then.

    Looks quite likely the 360s may be returning off lease before there is anything to replace them and even when the Aventras do come in they are going to be plagued by the usual start of bathtub curve issues.

    If I was GA I would be trying to get the 379 lease extended even further than it already has been as a contingency with this in mind before someone else snaps them up, you'd hope that they would have learnt their lesson from the DMU fleet disaster and if they haven't then serious questions need to be asked.

    2020 doesn't look encouraging at all.
     
  23. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Can someone remind me when (or where to find when) the 360/1s go off-lease? It was already tight to my recollection but I don't recall how tight. It's very possible that the 360s may go off-lease before any 720s replace them. Fortunately for GA with 4-car unit fleets, they can just accommodate for this by running all the 12-car peak services as 8s, and I don't think they necessarily pick up much of a penalty for that do they?
     
  24. MatthewRead

    MatthewRead On Moderation

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    360's go off lease in August 2020
     
  25. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Might be able to get the Class 321/9s and Class 322s to cover some of the gaps - some are already in storage if not off lease as I recall.
     
  26. F Great Eastern

    F Great Eastern Established Member

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    360s are all due off least on 30th August 2020 according to Angel Trains themselves.
    The problem is that quite a few of the 12 car booked services lately are 8 cars anyway because of both train faults and the number of 321s that are being used on Norwich to London services with up to 6 sets being borrowed daily.

    Now if the 745s enter service without too much problem then that should free some up, but then again if there's no 720s and the 745s prove unreliable it'll still need 321s subbing in for the 745s.
     
  27. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Still possible then but increasingly unlikely.

    I'm fairly confident at least all the 745/0s will be in service by the time the 360s go off-lease so 321 substitution should be minimal by then. I anticipate the third Norwich service being pushed back until the entirety of the legacy fleet is gone, and then quite possibly eventually being abandoned, at least until the next franchise award. Most of the other franchise commitments were abandoned, so given the operational challenges of delivering that, seems fairly likely until better protection is put in place for franchise commitments or Mr. Corbyn has control of matters (context-only: I do not support that idea).

    Despite the plethora of missing MK3s, the LHCS fleets still perform reasonably, so when the 745s are introduced, reliability on that route will definitely decrease, it's inevitable. Whether or not that has much of an impact on short-forms though really depends how operations intend to deal with that, and how the issues 745s will experience manifest themselves. Theoretically, being newer units, most of the issues are probably going to happen at stations rather than from things physically breaking between them, therefore I suspect it may be delays and cancellations that rise, but not necessarily short-forms (as the affected train may simply be rebooted or whatever, then brought back into service later in the day / the following day).

    The 720s displacing the legacy EMUs at speed will be hell on earth, but so goes en-masse fleet replacement against a deadline. It'll be fun to watch if nothing else!
     
  28. ashkeba

    ashkeba Member

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    There are 3 class 321/9s and 5 class 322s but GA has 21 class 360s. Not many gaps would be covered. Keeping 379s seems a more likely tactic but it all depends on getting the Stansted Flirts in service soon enough. Do we know when 379s are leased until and if Macquarie has anyone else wanting them yet?
     
  29. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    379 lease has been extended.

    From recollection Bombardier had completed at least 8x 720s at least a month ago.
    Software and training being the main obstacles.
    But no sign of mainline mileage accumulation yet.
     
  30. St. Paddy

    St. Paddy Member

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    379s could well be going to GN to allow 387s to return south of the river as 700 availability is not as good as expected. Watch this space.
     

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