Hull Trains cancellations due to acute shortage of available rolling stock

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by humbersidejim, 12 Oct 2018.

  1. TheBigD

    TheBigD Member

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    I asked about Grand Central's requirements a few months ago. A poster replied that Grand Central require 6 of their 10 units daily, with a 7th required for the evening Leeds-Hebden Bridge Northern service. I think that there's 1 unit at Eastleigh being refurbished but not 100% sure.
     
  2. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Sorry, but that is wrong. As Hull Trains is an Open Access operator, they are not obliged to do anything for the DfT and the DfT certainly could not force them to give up the 222s. That they did was a decision made within Hull Trains (and presumably endorsed at Group level), with the perceived benefit that they gained 5-car sets rather than the 4-car 222s used before.

    It's not like the problems with the 180s were not known before Hull took them on - they only had to ask fellow First subsidiary FGW for advice - so more fool them for agreeing to it.
     
  3. HullRailMan

    HullRailMan Member

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    Actually, when they had the 222’s a condition of an extension to their track access agreement was a minimum of 5 car units to increase capacity. The 222 production line had closed so new additional coaches (and a new unit to replace the one damaged at the depot) weren’t an option. Hence why the 180’s came about.
    So while they are open access, the reason behind their change of fleet was driven by the government.
     
  4. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    What happened was more complicated.

    Hull had the choice of staying where they were with the 222 fleet (which was highly profitable) and going for a straight TA renewal or going for a longer TAA with 5 cars.

    So they started asking around the market about 5 or more cars, new and secondhand and working up various business plan scenarios.

    Then the DfT and Sir Moir got talking about releasing the 222 fleet to East Midlands. This was all tied up with something else going on with FG and the DfT at the time and FG were not in a strong position. So the 180 fleet came in as the “perfect” solution for everybody, except HT weren’t too keen because of their reliability. But they had no choice in the matter.

    HT then had to get a deal together to get the requisite years on a TAA contract to match the investment needed to go 5 car cl.180 & to get the things up to some degree of reliability. 15k m.p.c. was the figure agreed - the ORR wanted much more than that (25k m.p.c. was mentioned!) but it was pointed out to them that these things were the DMU equivalent of class 50 locos - when they were good, they were very good but when they were bad, they were very bad!

    All was relatively ok while the maintenance for the units was done at OOC. There have been the odd occasions when material supply has been an issue, most unfortunately as the units were being transferred to Crofton but it has been Crofton maintenance that has really been the recent issue. It just isn’t working as it should and, without going into detail here, it is an issue which is getting senior director level attention at both FG and Bombardier.
     
  5. DaiGog

    DaiGog Member

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    Assuming you mean the same chap, he's now employed by HT as one of their team of Technical Inspectors based at Hull, so his experience is not lost despite not working for the maintenance contractor. HT also has the services of a senior engineer from FG for the foreseeable future, who is managing the maintenance contract from the head office in Hull.
     
  6. Clarence Yard

    Clarence Yard Member

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    No, I was referring to DF, the former Depot Manager at OOC.
     
  7. CHAPS2034

    CHAPS2034 Member

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    Absolutely Polarbear. This Twitterer has an introduction which says "Occasionally tweets about service disruption to trains services on routes that serve Peterborough, not connected to any rail company & unofficial"

    See the Twitter follow up where a reverse ferret seems to have been made after he was caught out. False news, false news...:frown::frown:

    We noticed one our tweets ended up on a railforum not exactly the point! Hull trains will most likely end up with HSTs it just seems to be harder work and taking longer than it should!

    See https://twitter.com/Pborotrains/status/1061763873148207104
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2018
  8. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    Thanks for the update. I learnt a long time ago to be very wary of claims made on Twitter & Facebook
     
  9. rjchapma

    rjchapma Member

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    I saw the update too. Part of the reason for posting the tweet here was to test the validity if it.
     
  10. lincolnshire

    lincolnshire Member

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    Anyone have any ideas when Hull Trains is going to get back to a normal service then? with there existing rolling stock or will they get something in Like an HST or two to help out and restore a service then.
     
  11. rjchapma

    rjchapma Member

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    I have seen rumours on the hull trains twitter feed that next week is likley for all 4 180s to be back in service. Not sure about the HST but it looks like they are battling with approvals from NR. Note that untill there is a 5th train on fleet a major exam on a 180 means HT may reduce the service to ensure some predictability.
     
  12. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    My understanding is that a third 180 should be available from next week, but that doesn't leave much scope for recovery if things go wrong again (180's being 180's and all that......). Three sets would, in theory, allow for a full service but with no contingency.
     
  13. DaiGog

    DaiGog Member

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    Two units in service next week now unfortunately, but hoping for a return to full service thereafter. If three units are available going forward then three will be used in service - there is no point having a serviceable unit and not using it.
     
  14. Ben Bow

    Ben Bow Member

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    Hull Trains are back to a near normal service, just a few alterations for the rest of the week. Does this mean the HST plan is dead?
     
  15. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    Things have improved this week, with some more work to do going forward.

    I doubt the HST idea is "dead", as it's more of a medium term solution to try & stave off the sort of problems that HT have experienced over the last month or so. It'll also be useful to have some form of back up should the introduction of the IET's not go smoothly (though given that other operators will have built up their experience by December 2019, it would be hoped that any lessons would be learnt).

    It will take some time to sort out any HST cover unfortunately.
     
  16. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    End of the month quoted elsewhere for the availability of power cars for the Hull sets. Although I do get the impression that GWR are dragging their feet with this.
     
  17. Mollman

    Mollman Member

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    I hope not considering that they were 'nearly back to normal' before the last round of mass cancellations. As has been said it will give a back up for an increasingly unreliable fleet.
     
  18. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    Which is a little surprising given that they're both First Group.
     
  19. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Whilst they may be the same owning group I imagine GWR are desperate to hang onto as many HSTs as they can get away with due to the continuing availability issues with their new IET fleet (see GWR 800 thread for more).
     
  20. Polarbear

    Polarbear Established Member

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    That thought had crossed my mind, so understandable that there may be a reluctance to part with old, but trusty HSTs.
     
  21. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I am not surprised, given FirstGroup's corporate structure that is very much of the "command and control" from the centre type, with the operating companies not given much autonomy. That breeds resentment of the centre, so when things like the Hull Trains HST plan are passed down from the centre, it is easy to see why GWR might be slow to respond - to them it is just something else that they are being ordered to do.

    Compare and contrast with the way EMT and VTEC worked together, particularly with the cross-hire of resources after the snow earlier this year. No doubt Stagecoach's rather more enlightened management attitude helped the co-operation.
     
  22. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    ok but HT still did not seem to barter strongly enough.

    they negotiated a 40% off discount for the running trains,but where was the failsafe, given due diligence it should have been duly noted that the 180's were only achieving about a 75-80% availability in the first place,and AT LEAST one additional rescue set should have been ordered.
    if the trains in question are not capable of reaching the franchise demanded targets,the discount is basically danger money.
     
  23. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    well, a lot of that is down to "not really a competitor" as stagecoach had a stake in VTEC as well.

    had it been another operator,and I was playing with real train sets, if I had been approached for a loan it would have invoked one of three responses.
    1) sorry(expletive omitted) our trains are fully utilised...meaning I will be more than happy to see bad publicity for a competitor
    2)sorry( no expletive)..our trains are fully utilised...meaning there really are no trains available
    3) yes, got xxx available,but it'll cost you!...sorry about the short-forms etc but this is our surplus/rescue stock and we're taking a risk that things on our side don't go pear-shaped,hence the price.

    I assume that under a standard leasing agreement(as you would when leasing a car), those bases should have been covered already, and "courtesy trains" should have been supplied in the event of the vehicle needing to go for maintainance.
    if not..why not?

    probably a daft question,but why is it necessary a driver to sign both the route and the vehicle?
    in the case of coaches(psv's) , in the case of hiring one out,it is not necessary for either,as long as the general qualification has been reached.(fwiw emergency equipment/exits etc is also located in different areas of a bus/coach, yet this is not deemed as much of superior importance as it is on rail)

    granted coaches don't take half a mile to stop, but it is very common for drivers to be chopping and changing between all sorts of vehicles with different driving characteristics on a daily basis, not to mention all sorts of numpties in close proximity doing completely daft stuff like doing their make-up in the rear view mirror on the M25.

    health+safety will probably go nuts, but if you did a risk assessment I think you'd find the likelihood of an accident is far greater on road than it is on metals.
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2018
  24. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I think you've misunderstood what I was (trying) to say.

    My point was that Hull and GWR are both First companies. EMT and VTEC were both Stagecoach companies. The level of co-operation between Hull and GWR (i.e. within First) is somewhat different to that between EMT and VTEC (i.e. within Stagecoach). I wasn't suggesting EMT should be helping Hull out!
     
  25. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    May that be because of the better training that there is more safety?
     
  26. Kneedown

    Kneedown Established Member

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    One thing has always puzzled me. If the 180's have always been problematic, then why hasn't Alsthom been held accountable in some way? What I mean is, surely each unit comes with warranty, and if there is an inherent problem with the design then it is Althom's responibility to rectify it surely?
     
  27. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    And I bet there isn't a single GWR customer moaning that their service isn't short formed or cancelled so others half way across the country get a train.
    GWR management are legally responsible for managing GWRs service not that of Hull Trains and unlike to incompetent EMT management actually seem to realise this and are quite rightfully prioritising their own service over that of another company, unfortunately the pushovers at EMT were only too happy to lend out trains despite a detrimental effect on their own service. It is rather ludicrous to suggest managers who are pushovers at maintaining their own service are more competent than those who'll protect their service even if it upsets their ownership group.
     
  28. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Apparently they do provide further support to try and fix things. It's just not always that, er, good. I was speaking with a TOC employee who worked on 180s and after one of them decided to explode an engine all over a chunk of the ECML Alstom's suggestion to try and mitigate against such a catastrophic failure was to attach a strap between the engine and the vehicle body. The sort of strap usually seen holding things on lorry flatbeds. I mean I guess it's better than nothing but hardly likely to contain an exploding engine...
     
  29. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    But that's where somone senior at HT needs to be making very cleat thst such sn approach is not acceptable, amd be prepared to bring legal pressure to bear if necessary.
     
  30. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    I suspect that HT get money back from Angel Trains, the owners, when the units aren't available. It would be Angel that need to put the pressure on Alsthom. Trouble is, getting reduced lease rates doesn't run a train service.
    If I was Angel I would have returned them years ago as unfit for purpose, in the same way as the Fyra units were.
     

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