GWR Class 800

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

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  1. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    I've heard my own sister refer to a bin outside York Minster as "cute". If it was disguised as Hello Kitty I could understand but it was a wooden cased metal bin. Ha ha. :D
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Have you never come across anyone who describes their phone or any other gadget as sexy? Before I get accused of hanging around the wrong people I don't mean friends. :D
     
  2. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Ok so essentially not many seats at all. And I would still take the seat even if it had no view, although this should perhaps be specified when making reservations.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Frankly no I haven't! However I am 47 so perhaps it's a younger generational thing. That said I've not heard my teenage children use the term to describe their phones and my eldest son is half German so perhaps he is out of the loop?
     
  3. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Fair enough mate. I turn 40 in 2 months time and feel I am surrounded by younger people who would put something looking right far above it doing what it is meant to or even more importantly needed to. Image is everything. I feel as I get older it becomes less important. That is a purely personal opinion.
     
  4. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Agreed! I sit on the board of an advertising company (think smarmy little tw@ts) and often find myself rolling my eyes. A board room table was purchased because it looked "nice". However, the difference is we are not state funded!

    Hey ho. Great result at Spurs the other week for your lot!
     
  5. Class377/5

    Class377/5 Established Member

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    Considering how many iconic trains have ben used for flagship trains over the years, I'm surprised people think design isn't an important factor. Especially on the intercity services.
     
  6. Techniquest

    Techniquest Veteran Member

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    It is perhaps a generational thing, I work with a lot of people younger than me and their English is hugely different to mine! Let's not get started on 'text talk' as that drives me up the wall!

    As I approach 30 in just over 3 months time, appearance and all that nonsense the youth of today are obsessed with matters less and less. Perhaps it's a maturity thing?
     
  7. Goldfish62

    Goldfish62 Established Member

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    What do you mean, 'If what you say is true?'. It's a fact that has been reported on more than one occasion in Modern Railways.

    It affects up to eight seats per carriage. It shouldn't affect any. Remember that when you have to sit in one of those seats for five hours.
     
  8. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    Didn't BR 'sex up' the HST by getting Ken Grange in?. SBB usually get Pininfarina (who design Ferraris) to style their passenger stock
     
  9. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    The IEP specification mandated that the bi-mode trains can run self-powered on lines electrified with 750V DC third rail and 1500V DC overhead (Tyne and Wear), so there's no problem.
     
  10. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Indeed. Very careful thought into the aesthetic design of long distance rolling stock has historically proved effective at capturing the public's attention. From the LNER and LMS streamliners of the 1930s, to the Kenneth Grange designed lines of the HST and most recently with Branson's Pendolinos splashed across so much advertising material. It's not just "trainspotters" who might take note of a train's appearance.

    The Hitachi SET doesn't break any new ground with its streamlined appearance, but it does follow in a long tradition of making our fast trains look fast. And, of course, that streamlining performs a valuable practical function reducing the trains' energy usage.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yep. BR took the image of it's new High Speed Trains very seriously.
     
  11. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    You need to make the right impression to a lot of people, plus any train company surely has some pride in its products and won't just come out with a nasty boxy tube that ticks some boxes, but people won't ever want to travel on. I mean, we have enough Pacers already.

    When making a bid, you need to come up with something appealing.. and anyone who designs something isn't going to deliberately come up with something ugly. Modern building materials and manufacturing equipment makes it far easier to build more elaborate designs, and that's before even taking into account the aerodynamics.

    I am finding it rather hard to imagine how the train could be built to be more practical, or cheaper, through a different design.

    Certainly the original design for the HST was rather hideous. I doubt we'd still be as fond of them now if they hadn't been given the new look that we still enjoy today.

    The Mk4s are perhaps a good example where the 91s have a far more boxy look from the 1980s. I'd say that this reflects the design of many other things of the same decade, including cars, before we saw more rounded designs in the 1990s onwards. That only goes to show how the 43s were ahead of their time.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2014
  12. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    I'm not sure the 43's were ahead of their time at least design wise. Aviation, the automobile industry and the railways had been streamlining vehicles for decades.

    Japan introduced the Shinkansen some 12 years before the Inter City 125.
     
    Last edited: 13 Sep 2014
  13. Manchester77

    Manchester77 Established Member

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    Ken Grange was just brought in for the livery and then he played around in an air tunnel with aerodynamics and submitted his work to BR who took it up iirc
     
  14. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I don't mean world wide necessarily. But I see harm in making something that looks nice. The railway needs to attract customers so why just create something that isn't a bit special.

    You have people that have to use trains regardless, but also people who might just need a bit of convincing. See something that looks a bit 'wow' inside and out, and you're half way there.
     
  15. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Years ago I got Liverpool to Cardiff train home to West Allerton. It was a 37/4 large logo with blue/grey Mk2's with inter city stickers on the side instead of a much newer Pacer. Some of the local spotters at West Allerton asked me how I got an inter city train home. Loads of commuters where equally as chuffed.

    The Pendolinos look amazing outside, inside they are like something out of a distopian sci fi novel. They smell like the Viking centre in York was designed to smell like so it was more like an ancient village and look like a prison.
     
  16. Dave1987

    Dave1987 Established Member

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    Wonder how much of a slope it will be. How can anyone be a fan of bi-modes is beyond me....
     
  17. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    You are forgetting to make an important distinction here between people who have an interest in railways and those that don't. Most members on this forum have an emotional attachment to railways and this is reflected in posts such as yours. As you have demonstrated this sometimes extends to a desire to have trains with an attractive design (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder).

    However, for people who have no interest in trains the external design of a train is completely irrelevant, as is the feeling of romance towards rail travel. Free wifi and posh seats will encourage occasional rail travelers but in my experience a good looking train will have no affect what so ever. No one capable of rational thinking will ever chose the train over their car because the train looks pretty!
     
  18. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Amen. Completely agree. The number of people who will see an advert of something beautiful (as in a train) and decide to jump aboard when they prefer driving is tiny. Really really small.
     
  19. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Back in the 1930's there was only one viable option for traveling from London to Scotland and that was by train with the LNER and LMS in direct competition. The world was a much less cynical place then and travelers were more likely to be drawn in by a fancy looking A4 and matching rolling stock, or for that a streamlined Stanier Pacific. Especially given that the road network offered no competion and airlines barely existed.

    In terms of the herald of the HST, back in the 1970's the Intercity offering away from the WCML was in a mess. As such 125 mph running was promoted for all it's worth and the transformation was incredible. However the Intercity network is now in a much better state and the IEP's are only being introduced to maintain the current service. However I have no doubt that electrification will bring benefits to the GWML and the route to Oxford. The point is there is no need to give the IEP's the same publicity.

    As for the Virgin Trains revolution on the WCML, the biggest selling point was the vastly improved timetable rather than the trains themselves. However, given that the new services were going to be operated by Pendolinos surely no one could have expected the publicity material to include a class 90 and mk3 stock?
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2014
  20. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I understand and respect what you're saying, but I think everyone is influenced by design in some way. People want a nice train, with a nice interior, comfortable seats, and for the train to be on time - and hopefully not cost too much. That's all obvious.

    But a lot of that is also down to good design, and why should it be different for the exterior? I appreciate a well designed car or plane just as much as a train.

    And I don't even know how you could suggest another design, which would have required coming up with a different design. Would that have been cheaper, or are you suggesting it started with a different design and someone said it had to be redesigned to look better, at extra cost?

    Designers get influences from elsewhere all the time. I've been to many design studios (including Siemens - but not trains!) and done consultancy work for the likes of Samsung on smartphone design - having also given input on what became a Samsung phone made for Google. None of the designs these companies came up with were basic or bland, as the look of a product reflects on the company as a whole and the perception of quality and success.

    You can certainly say you don't like the look of a new train, plane, car, bus, coach, bike etc - but I am not sure you can claim it was in any way a waste of money or unnecessary.

    Finally, there will be ordinary members of the public who aren't enthusiastic about anything that will make a decision to travel (or let's say, travel again) based on a perception that a nicely designed train, inside and out, gives. The same to how the railway station looks.

    It won't matter one bit to those who travel regularly or have to travel obviously.
     
  21. Domh245

    Domh245 Established Member

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    Something that is well designed doesn't have to be the most aesthetically pleasing thing. On something like a train, function will most definitely come above form. Whilst form is to some extent important - the form will mainly be functional rather than pretty.

    To my mind, a well designed train is one that is well thought out, easy to use, and reasonably priced.
     
  22. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Yes, but I think it would be naive to think that Virgin didn't consider the external appearance of their trains with regard to their value as a marketing tool.
     
  23. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Sorry, but as sweeping statements go, this one is right up there. I can assure you that the external design is relevant, though perhaps not in quite the way you were thinking of.

    I live in part of FGW-land where services are operated by a mix of HSTs, 180s and Turbos and I can assure you among for a lot of passengers locally - with zero emotional attachment to the railways and who pay little attention to what symbol there is at the top of the timetable columns - seeing which type of train rolls into the platform most certainly does produce a reaction when it is a Turbo, as they know full well that they will be getting a far less comfortable journey than in the other two types.

    Even infrequent travellers can sense there might be a difference in quality inside as well as out between a short train shaped like a brick and the longer thing with a pointy nose that has just rolled in on the opposite platform.

    Since when is a 20-minute interval to Bristol and hourly to Worcester and Gloucester/Cheltenham maintaining the current service?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    How anyone can be a fan of building a small number of bespoke diesel locomotives - and providing all the supporting facilities they will require - to drag around very expensive electric trains is beyond me....

    But people will keep going on about it, just as they will keep going on about how all express trains should have 10 coaches, a silver-service restaurant car, buffet counter with a selection of beers, wines and spirits, and a big blue engine on the front...

    I'd be very surprised if anyone posting here wanders about wearing a badge that says "I'm a fan of bi-modes", it's just that some of us recognise that we are not going to electrify to everywhere all at once and that in the meantime there has to be a way to maintain through express services to the places that are not going to see wires for some years.

    There appear to be two different ways of achieving that, bi-modes or a big blue engine, but not once, when I have asked you, or other fans of big blue engines, to explain what you do with the big blue engines when electrification is extended, have you come up with an answer.

    Use a Class 68? They are mixed-traffic, not designed or geared for the start-stop cycle of station-to-station passenger running on the likes of the Cotswold Line or Swindon-Gloucester/Cheltenham. Most of Chiltern's loco diagrams are on limited-stop services with long stretches between stations, for good reason. I expect Vossloh could come up with something if paid enough money, but given the apparent difficulties of fitting an engine that complies with the new emissions regulations into a UK-gauge loco body, I won't be holding my breath.

    On the Cotswold Line over the past couple of years Network Rail has been looking at the potential to lift speed limits from the current 75/90/100mph mix to exploit IEP's capabilities and is apparently confident it can do just that on quite a lot of the line, thus speeding up journey times - I assume the same would apply to the Swindon-Kemble section as well. Use a big blue engine (to drag around all of five coaches much of the day) and you can kiss goodbye to those journey time cuts, never mind faffing-around time coupling and uncoupling big blue engines at Oxford and Swindon.

    And my apologies for banging on about this yet again. But if people will keep trotting out the same stuff about bi-modes, never mind that they can now see a picture of one of them in the metal...
     
  24. dosxuk

    dosxuk Member

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    Judging by the posts in this thread, none of the TOCs need bother with a livery, or removing the work of local "artists" who find their way into depots.

    You've just described a Pacer.
     
  25. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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    Some TOCs do still try to bring such a flair to their rolling stock - Eurostar I believe were using Pininfarina to work on the eventual new Eurostar interiors, while First Group brought in Michael Rodber of Jones Garrard Move to lead the redesign and refurbishment of the FGW Fleet interiors.

    Sir Kenneth Granges work also included some work to the interiors as well, including work to the IC 70s and FC.

    Im not sure either, but it'll have to be enough to fit the 900HP MTU engine underneath. Unfortunately for me it's still going to have to prove itself - the rise in the floor is a response to it trying not to be as high up as a Voyager, but will still have a step into the vestibule - the same height as a Mk3 - before the rise up in the floor will start in the main part of the coach - Which is already slightly noticeable from some of the design mock up pictures. The Seat/Door situation is still a disappointing one though, Hitachi initially complaining that nothing else on the market compared to their product and argued for the IEP to have these sealed doors. Unfortunately the consequences of that is that it eats into the inside of the train - the first 8 seats will not have any sort of window as the panel will be impeding inside at this point - the first 2 rows of seats will be narrower to cater for this with no armrests either. The seats by the way are... also a re-invented seat that is used in the 376 at the moment, it will however be cut down in size and in the modern railways review was guaranteed that it will have more padding.

    My other concerns are still with the slope in the coaches with regards to catering trollies being bashed through them, colliding with the armrests - look how damaged the Voyagers have become because of this. And the silly Bike Storage space, which if it was laid out like a 444 would work considerably better. And again I know these are the mock up pictures - but why bother with those stupid Voyager style single window blinds? Fine if your around a table, but ridiculous in airline mode!

    Here are those Mock Up pictures again.
     

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  26. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    If the 90% Stagecoach-10% Virgin bid wins ICEC I can imagine Virgin branding pushing the 'bullet train' aspect, since the travelling public are to a reasonable extent aware of the Shinkansen.
     
  27. po8crg

    po8crg Member

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    I think some people's alternative to bi-modes is simple:

    [​IMG]
     
  28. fowler9

    fowler9 Established Member

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    Did you skip straight to reasonably priced and miss out well thought out and easy to use? Ha ha. (Apologies, should have been a smiley there)

    And if exterior design is so important why are there so many Nissan Jukes on the road.
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2014
  29. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    SNCF seem to be doing Bi-Mode as standard on Regional units. The new Regio 2N have the upper deck of a driving vehicle dedicated to the diesel power pack.
     
  30. XCTurbostar

    XCTurbostar Member

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    Although I am not a frequent user of the Voyagers. I do commute on another product of Adtranz/ Bombardier, the Underfloor Engine Class 170s and I have to admit that an Underfloor engine enables the service to catch up on time very easily. Although when I have been on the Voyagers (I avoid them at all costs) it's almost been impossible to avoid the monotonous thudding of an engine no matter where you sit in the coach. On a Turbostar you can sit at the front or rear of the coach and get the air con sounding louder than the engine!

    If the Hitachi make a decent job of the IEP and focus on the customer rather than the performance, it will be a job well done. Having said that, Hitachi will never compete with a bouncy MK3 set in comfort, even if it is quicker.

    Thanks,
    Ross
     
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