GWR Class 800

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by SpacePhoenix, 19 May 2014.

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  1. 61653 HTAFC

    61653 HTAFC Established Member

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    I seem to remember that after the Southall crash, there was a lot of praise for how well the Mk3 vehicles had stood up to the forces involved in the collision and subsequent derailment. Certainly compared to the Clapham or Cowden tragedies it's clear that the Mk3 was a huge step forward. The Pendolino (and other "3rd gen" post-privatisation stock is a similar step forward though. The 800s will be built to current crashworthiness standards so if the worst happens they should fare better.

    With regard to simply building a 'modern' HST, it's a nice idea but completely unrealistic. I used to think a 'modernised' version of the 101/108/110 (automatic doors etc.) would have been a better solution than the dreaded Pacers... To be honest I still do, but I understand why it didn't happen!
     
    Last edited: 17 Jun 2014
  2. higthomas

    higthomas Member

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    Remember that Loco-Hauled trains don't have the acceleration that is required now that the railways are full. I expect that on the tracks near London where IEP will be mixing with commuter EMU's, using Loco-hauled instead would use up two or three paths per hour, which I think many people would find unacceptable when they are crush-loaded from Reading to Paddington.
    Also each loco takes up space on the platform, mainly at Terminus', which could be filled with passenger space, again reducing capacity, which is oh so important these days.
     
  3. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    What exactly would a 'modernised HST' be anyway? The idea of using 26m carriage lengths rather than 23m has been around for more than 20 years as the IC250 'Mk5' design for a high-speed-ified WCML was to use them. On electric stock there's no longer any need for power cars at either end as distributed traction has proved to be technically possible and in many respects superior to standard LHCS/power car operation. 26m carriages and distributed traction? That sounds an awful lot like the Class 801.

    The original IEP specification from Agility Trains (the PFI organisation who won the tender, comprising of Hitachi and some banks) had the diesel or bi-mode IEP versions fitted with driving generator cars rather than passenger-carrying driving vehicles like the electrics. In effect, the non-driving cars in both versions were the ones fitted with the distributed traction motors and the end cars would contain the necessary parts to provide power to them: the electric versions had the pantograph and transformer in their driving car under the floor beneath passenger areas, the diesels had the diesel generator mounted like an HST instead of having any seats and bi-mode trains would have one of each. After Network Rail pointed out that it would be cheaper and better to electrify the GWML than it would be to order diesel-only high-speed trains, the plans were changed significantly with the switch to underfloor diesel engines mounted throughout the train length in the bi-mode versions. The diesel generators can be removed from the trains when they are no longer required - they are even financed separately from the rest - with an absolute minimum of disruption.
     
  4. Chris125

    Chris125 Established Member

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    For the HST to meet the needs of the 21st century, where track capacity is at a premium, it needs seating in all vehicles to maximise the number of seats and distributed traction to maximise performance. Add to that the cost and seating efficiency of using 26m carriages, and the ability to run at 140mph in the future, and you have what's currently being proposed.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: 13 Jun 2014
  5. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    An HST has distributed traction (4 powered axles at each end) - a Pendolino only has 12 powered axles for a 9-car formation ;)

    But no, you wouldn't build more 'old' HST's - you might build a modern version with more powerful engines and AC traction drive, plus 26m trailers, if you felt non-electric 'InterCity' trains had a long-term future. I don't, and if BR was still around I don't think it would either - it would put the money into electrification instead.
     
  6. DownSouth

    DownSouth Established Member

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    Even 40 years ago, BR only intended them to be a temporary solution pending electrification of all major routes.

    The only place where the HST concept truly belongs is on the long distance (runs of up to 14 hours in one direction) inter-regional trains operated in New South Wales where there is absolutely no case for electrification and they needed something halfway between a hauled train and a DMU/DEMU. The locally built XPT power cars were mostly based on the HST design, but with various changes to make them more suitable for Australian conditions. The Mark 3 was not selected for the trailers, a superior Budd design was used instead.

    The best modern interpretation of the HST would be an EMU with a compatible fleet of diesel locomotives for extending services beyond the end of the electrified lines (and for providing resilience during disruption). Fit them with Scharfenberg couplers for fast operations at stations (i.e. no longer than joining/splitting a pair of EMUs together) and an arrangement allowing some of the loco's power to be supplied to the EMU's LVDC power bus to get a compromise between the benefits of distributed traction and the benefits of not carrying around a genset on each car of a bi-mode DEMU.
     
  7. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    And.. you just described part of the spec of the IEP!

    So seems a good candidate to me :).
     
  8. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Note that DownSouth said 'a compatible fleet of diesel locomotives' (to haul EMU's away from the wires). IMHO, that would have been the sensible engineering solution to the Edinburgh - Aberdeen/Inverness problem i.e. not carrying the weight of diesel engines and fuel all the way between London and Edinburgh as a 'bi-mode' IEP.
     
  9. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Instead carrying even more weight using diesel propulsion between Aberdeen and Edinburgh?

    The gensets in the IEP weigh far far less than a locomotive of equivalent power and tractive effort.
     
  10. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Also you would need locos stationed at each location that the wires ended, a depot to maintain them and extra mainternace staff to fix them (or at the very least extra training for your staff).

    Depending on where the wires end that could involve a lot of wasted movements of locos to maintain them. Also you would need spares incase one failed, which could be quite wasteful if you only need (say) six in service at any time as you may then need two spare, which means 25% of your fleet are spare.

    Add to that the extra track access charges a Loco has, even the cheapest is double that of the most expensive MU coaches, with some being three times the cost.
     
  11. ac6000cw

    ac6000cw Established Member

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    Yes, true (do you have the weights for the IEP gensets - I'd guess at about 4 tonnes for genset + fuel etc ?), but the locomotives wouldn't be travelling between Edinburgh and London, so 'travelling mass' is more relevant.

    If we assume an average of 4 gensets per IEP, that's 16 tonnes that travels roughly three times as far as the locomotive would (so equivalent to 48 tonnes of loco weight). And since the bi-modes are bound to be used on entirely 'under the wires' services as well (as the ECML HSTs are) I don't think the overall weight/wasted energy comparison is entirely one-sided in the ECML situation.

    On the other hand, for something like Newbury/Bristol - Plymouth/Penzance I think bi-mode operation makes eminent sense :)
     
  12. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    This has been done to death. The main issue with IEP is that it is massively expensive and wastes energy constantly by carrying around tonnes of Diesel engines that will only be used for a small proportion of their journey. If people see that as acceptable then that is up them. As per usual in the UK it's always a make do half way house solution.
     
  13. asylumxl

    asylumxl Established Member

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    May I ask what qualifies you to come to this conclusion?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Do we know the weight of the generator set? Do we know the fuel capacity of each fuel tank? It's all speculation unless we know the exact specifications.

    It's also worth adding some perspective to these weights. From a document on Hitachi's website, the Bi-Mode IEP for Edinbugh to Aberdeen will weigh 428.5 tons. That 16 tons is only 3.7% of the overall train weight. Extra weight may also improve adhesion.
     
    Last edited: 17 Jun 2014
  14. higthomas

    higthomas Member

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    Remember that having IEP as bi-mode will probably lead to more places on seeing direct services to London. For instance it probably wouldn't be terribly efficient moneywise to keep a locomotive at let's say Middlesbrough simply to haul two short drags a day.
    The alternative therefore are for Esat coast to hire in a loco from a freight operator, which is doable, but more effort than I expect they are willing to put in for a service like that, or just not run there, and I know which route I imagine they would take...

    Remember that the Holyhead drags were cancelled due to various problems with locos and EMUs. I highly doubt anyone wants to go to all that effort just for the sake of places such as Lincoln, Middlesbrough and Harrogate Whereas if all you have to do is flick a switch to turn on a motor, then these places would seem much easier to deal with, and thus much more likely to get some sort of East Coast service.
     
  15. Haydn1971

    Haydn1971 Established Member

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    Personally, I feel the bi-modes are a genius solution that bridges the gap between currently electrified and not economically electrified and the range in between that will over the next three decades that will get wires and gives loads of flexibility further down the line once HS2 takes over the core north-south intercity traffic.
     
  16. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    And would it have been the sensible solution to providing hourly (half-hourly in the peaks) services on the Cotswold Line west of Oxford and hourly between Swindon, Stroud, Gloucester and Cheltenham? Because that's what GW bi-mode IEPs will be doing. A rather different matter to a handful of trains each day north of Edinburgh.
     
  17. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    Although it's half hourly in the peaks west of Oxford its hourly in the off peaks, so that owuld mean that loco was sat around during the day or you have some HST's running totally under the wires during the day (with less seating that the draft IEP layouts).

    Also what happens if the loco from the Cotswold line is running late (say 20 minutes), do you then hold up the train heading the other way when it would mean that it also be running late when it was next heading south (let's say 10 minutes late as it was 20 min late heading north) when the train currently running late has a chance of making up its time by the time it next passes through Oxford and the train heading north wasn't likely to be late the next time it passed through Oxford otherwise. Alternitively you need spare locos sat around.

    It also doesn't get around the problem of mainternace, you need a depot that can maintian the locos, probably in addition to those which can maintian the EMU's, plus the extra staff and training which go with that. All of that adds up.
     
  18. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    It would be so much simpler if there wasn't this obsession with running long distance through services to North of Edinburgh.

    Full electric service to Edinburgh, change for full diesel to points North. Gives the HSTs freed up from the GWML somewhere to be useful as well. (note that the other diesel runs further south like Harrogate and Hull are likely to be electrified)

    There's this idea that changing trains puts people off travelling by train, completely ignoring the fact that most long distance journeys actually involve one, two or sometimes even three changes already.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2014
  19. The Ham

    The Ham Established Member

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    ... so immediately upping the number of changes to two, three or ever four changes.

    Yes, a few changes is unlikely to put too many off, but with each change comes the risk of missing a connection. Which, depending on the frequency, could add an hour to a journey.
     
  20. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    This is where my idea of having a through 'service' made up of multiple non-through trains seems like it has potential. For example, advertise the service from Kings Cross as a service to Aberdeen. Have an electric train run the Kings Cross to Edinburgh section, and then transfer the passengers to a diesel for the Edinburgh to Aberdeen section. Since it's the same service there would be no risk of missing the connection (unless one part of the service was seriously late and then it might aswell connect with the train an hour later). I have actually been on a service that did this: on a Sunday I caught an Ore to London Victoria service, and at Eastbourne we were asked to transfer from the 4-car service that I was on to an 8-car service on the adjacent platform. Another advanatge of such a service is that it can split without needing to phyisically split/join trains. The only problem that I can see with this idea is that platforms might be limited at the transfer station. Implementing this system on the London-Aberdeen/Inverness routes would mean that the East Coast franchise would probably need to operate the off-peak fast services between Edinburgh and Aberdeen/Inverness.
     
  21. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    Since the trains must be conservatively pathed to ensure that the connecting trainsets are always in the correct positions at the correct time you significantly increase the rolling stock requirement.

    A better option might just be to cough up and get on with electrifying everything possible as fast as possible, removing the need for Bi-mode trains without having any effect on service flexibility.
     
  22. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    You wouldn't conservatively path the sets, you'd hold the connections. Thus producing the same timetabling issues that a long distance through service would have (apart from possibly using up more platforms). Also, the trains at the non-electrified section of the route would be shorter than the electrified section allowing a saving on the amount of stock required.

    You can't electrify everthing instantly.
     
  23. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    A Crash programme could easily progress at several times the current rate.
    If someone was willing to pay for it.

    And if you are going to break services in half to allow for stock optimisations, why have long distance through trains at all if changes are not a deterrent to people travelling?

    You could break all ECML journies at York for example.
     
    Last edited: 18 Jun 2014
  24. JamesRowden

    JamesRowden Established Member

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    Edinburgh is not half way between London and Aberdeen :), and York to Edinburgh is already electrified.
     
  25. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    You may find that everyone has to change at Berwick shortly anyway. At least there will be cross platform changes!!
     
  26. dysonsphere

    dysonsphere Member

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    Passport control, currancy exchange, borber guards and probably a change og gauge just to be akward.
     
  27. Grumpy

    Grumpy Member

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    Perhaps you need to consider why this might be.

    There are significant numbers of people travelling from North East England to the Aberdeen area to work in the oil industry. This sustains flights to the likes of Leeds/Humberside/Teesside/Newcastle. Whilst most domestic flights in the UK seem to be full of the laptop carrying office boy brigade, I have noticed the flights from Aberdeen seem to have a higher portion of manual workers e.g. travelling home after a spell on the rigs.

    If providing a through service attracts/keeps some of this market on rail at a profit then why not?

    I have no idea how much of the Aberdeen through traffic has alighted by York-perhaps it would make more sense to run the Cross Country service to Aberdeen, rather than East Coast.
     
  28. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Berwick is not on the border. You'd need another station...
     
  29. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    Would the UKBF make everyone detrain, check them and then board them again to depart 90 minutes later....?:lol:
     
  30. deltic08

    deltic08 On Moderation

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    Many border stations are not exactly on a border. Berwick is near enough. I would be willing to give them a few extra miles just to get rid of them.
     
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