• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

"How much does it cost to run a train?"

Status
Not open for further replies.

Domeyhead

Member
Joined
10 Nov 2009
Messages
389
Location
The South
There is a serious point to this question, so please, no guesses. I'm looking for reliable source data if it exists.
South West Trains operates a third rail electrified branch between Brockenhurst and Lymington with modest patronage. We don't have any 2HAPs any more so SWT use a 4 coach Desiro Class 450 at weekends (75% empty). And during the week they use a smaller class 158 DMU! . I know this is probably for stock availability reasons but the whole thing is counter intuitive, so my question is , what are the economics of running a train that says it
a) it is cheaper to run a DMU diagram entirely over electrified line every weekday than to own an additional class 450
b) Run a larger EMU at weekends when patronage is actually lower (presumably to allow the class 158 to be serviced) ?

In addition to the above Does anyone know
1) the leasing costs of of a class 158 v a class 450 (or any other unit)
2) the network rail track access costs per mile (presumably per vehicle by weight) so one would think a 4 car EMU costs more than a 2 car DMU to run as a train cost.
Thanks for any pointers
Hope this makes sense
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Agent_c

Member
Joined
22 Jan 2015
Messages
934
>>>>a) it is cheaper to run a DMU diagram entirely over electrified line every weekday than to own an additional class 450

The TOC doesn't own the train, it leases it from a ROSCO. So presuming that this is not a typo, then yes it would cost more to lease an extra train.
 

The Ham

Established Member
Joined
6 Jul 2012
Messages
10,453
I doubt you will get any actual/accurate figures as they will be commercially sensitive

Although there are some fairly generic and often banded around figures to lease an EMU coach being £100,000 vs the lease of a DMU coach of £110,000.

in the above example the lease costs would be:
- £220,000 for the 158
- £400,000 for the 450

Meaning that although there are double the coaches the lease cost is only about 82% more.

Although given that EMU's have less parts their maintenance tends to also cost less than a DMU. Which means the total cost between the two would probably be closer to the 50% to 75% higher range.

I would assume most other costs (i.e. staff costs) would be the same whatever unit was used. Even Track access charges (which can be found here) are unlikely to make a big difference due to the low speed short distances involved, even over the course of a year.

However, given that the 450 is "spare" (i.e. it is used during the week to provide peak hour capacity, which it doesn't need to do over the weekend) it probably doesn't really cost SWT much to use it at the weekend for this branch as it would otherwise be sat idle in a siding somewhere.
 

NSEFAN

Established Member
Joined
17 Jun 2007
Messages
3,504
Location
Southampton
DarloRich said:
I doubt you will get any actual/accurate figures as they will be commercially sensitive
The information probably is classified as sensitive, although I don't know what harm could occur by such information being in the public domain?

It's not like another TOC can just set up shop and start competing, as neither the infrastructure nor the DfT would allow it. There wouldn't really be competition for stock between ROSCOs: SWT aren't going to dump their entire Desiro fleet in favour of electrostars because they find out it's cheaper to go with Porterbrook rather than Angel Trains. Furthermore, given that the DfT specifies everything, it's not like the TOC could be forced to change anything by having their running costs in the public domain.
 

CyrusWuff

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2013
Messages
4,098
Location
London
Access charges can be found here on the Network Rail site. The relevant Service Code for the Lymington branch is 24629304.
 

HH

Established Member
Joined
31 Jul 2009
Messages
4,505
Location
Essex
However, given that the 450 is "spare" (i.e. it is used during the week to provide peak hour capacity, which it doesn't need to do over the weekend) it probably doesn't really cost SWT much to use it at the weekend for this branch as it would otherwise be sat idle in a siding somewhere.

This is the nub of the matter. What happens shows they'd rather be using a Cl.450; but they don't have enough units during the week - and it's not like they can get another one from elsewhere. I guess the other lines, that are getting Cl.450 during the week, are carrying more passengers.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,620
This is the nub of the matter. What happens shows they'd rather be using a Cl.450; but they don't have enough units during the week - and it's not like they can get another one from elsewhere. I guess the other lines, that are getting Cl.450 during the week, are carrying more passengers.

They had already stated the intention to use a 450 7/7, it was in the Lymington local rag a year ago.

It should have changed from last December's timetable, but the 458/5 programme is obviously late as people are aware. The DMU ECS moves between Salisbury and Brockenhurst were removed from the plan, as seen in realtimetrains last autumn, but were reinstated at the last minute.

Other evidence for the future use of a 450 all the time was that they must have been able to make a case to extend the platform at Lymington Town for 4 cars, this was done before the decision to fit ASDO of course.
 
Last edited:

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,620
Does ASDO on SWT work within units ie opening 3 cars on a 4 car unit?

It definitely works within a single unit on a 444, e.g. Shawford (and probably Beaulieu Rd) now gets 4 of 5 opening, rather than the previous local door only, but I can't actually think of any 3 car platforms at the moment.

I'd put my money on 450s having identical software, but there are no suitable 60m platforms.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
31,620
Yes. The smallest platforms can all take a 4-450.

Thanks. Do you have any updated info on the long term intentions for the Lymington flyer?

The DMU ECS moves still seem to be in opentraintimes beyond the May change, but I expect these can still be amended if need be.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top