M5000 Speed Potential

Edo_UK

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Does anybody know if the 50mph restriction on the m5000 is electronic, and if so, what speed can the m5000s safely reach solely by maxing out their motors?

@507 001
 
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507 001

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Yes it is electronic. I wouldn’t want to do much more than 50mph, suspect it would be somewhat terrifying. They will coast over 50mph downhill, but obviously we avoid that.
I’m sure I’d heard that the K5000s were ordered for 100kph running, but were then downgraded to 80kph due to poor riding (I know, shock horror!). They do have a different traction package though.
 

WatcherZero

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The K5000 were always 80kph units (There are a couple of 100kph Flexity Swift models but they all have much longer bodies of 37m+ rather than the standard 28.5m), the Stadtbahnwagen B's were built in both 80 and 100kph versions and in both six and eight bogie versions (three and four body sections) of those max speeds, generally on the 100kph versions the central body section is slightly longer and doesnt have a door whereas it does on the 80kph versions.
 

507 001

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They ride roughly enough as it is, you'd have to be crazy to try and get anything more out of them!

You want to try being up front on them, the ride is worse there. They are without a doubt the worst riding passenger rail vehicle that has ever operated in this country.
 

507 001

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For ride, I'd pick one over a Pacer any day. Possibly even a 323, too. (As a passenger, of course)

I find that slightly bizarre having spent the last 8 years being thrown about by them every day. They make a Pacer look like a Rolls Royce.

You feel every little issue with the track, they don't insulate you from anything. They also have a nasty habit of transmitting vibrations up into the body when negotiating curves.
 

Mothball

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I find that slightly bizarre having spent the last 8 years being thrown about by them every day. They make a Pacer look like a Rolls Royce.

You feel every little issue with the track, they don't insulate you from anything. They also have a nasty habit of transmitting vibrations up into the body when negotiating curves.

With the oldest ones over a decade old, have they suffered from any problems structurally? The rough riding must batter the body and underframe daily. I know at that age, and often earlier there rubber-tyred counterparts tend to be suffering structurally.
 

507 001

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With the oldest ones over a decade old, have they suffered from any problems structurally? The rough riding must batter the body and underframe daily. I know at that age, and often earlier there rubber-tyred counterparts tend to be suffering structurally.

Nothing major to note, they're much stronger than a bus (which shows in the weight being around 40 tonnes compared to about 12 for a double decker) and have a design life of 30-35 years front line service. Mid-life overhauls are due in the next couple of years, so it'll be interesting to see if anything is found then.
 

Edo_UK

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Some very interesting feedback here. I have found the M5000 to be quite loud at high speed, potentially due to their odd wheel profiling; and their bogies are generally distasteful. I would think the M5000 bogies are responsible for speed limits across certain sections of the tramway being reduced after its introduction, ironically making the older T68 fleet possess some advantages over the M5000. Though, as a passenger, I’ve never had much issue with its ride quality.

Another interesting thing to note: I rode a 31xx tram the other day and noticed it sounded different to the normal M5000s. Do they (or any tram batch in that series) have new or re-engineered traction motors that would explain the difference in sound?
 

507 001

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Some very interesting feedback here. I have found the M5000 to be quite loud at high speed, potentially due to their odd wheel profiling; and their bogies are generally distasteful. I would think the M5000 bogies are responsible for speed limits across certain sections of the tramway being reduced after its introduction, ironically making the older T68 fleet possess some advantages over the M5000. Though, as a passenger, I’ve never had much issue with its ride quality.

Another interesting thing to note: I rode a 31xx tram the other day and noticed it sounded different to the normal M5000s. Do they (or any tram batch in that series) have new or re-engineered traction motors that would explain the difference in sound?

The noise at speed is indeed due to the wheel profile.

The bogies have conventional steel springs, which shouldn't be an issue, but in the case of the M5000 gives very poor body control, and as I said earlier, transmits every little vibration through the body work.

The M5000 isn't responsible for the speed reductions (apart from a long standing TSR between Dane Rd and Old Trafford inbound). The main reason for speed reductions is the conversion from block signalling (yay!) to Line of Sight operation (Boo!). If the original plan for the T68s had come to fruition and we still had a few with us now, they would be subject to the same speed restrictions the M5000s are (except for Dane Rd to Old Trafford).

The Newest ones (3121 onwards) have an upgraded traction package, but it doesn't sound particularly different to the old ones. Theres a slightly different pitch to the cooling fans on the traction cases, and the slight buzzing noise that they give off is slightly higher pitched too. Most of the differences in sound amongst the fleet are dependent on where they are in overhaul cycles. When I first started some 8 years ago, the 3001-3012 batch where awful and had very whiney gearboxes. As time has gone on the whiny gearboxes have 'moved' throughout the fleet and are now in the 306x series.
 

Edo_UK

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Oh wow, whiny gearboxes? I didn’t notice. Is it all trams in the 306x series? Odd. I’ll have a look at some point this weekend. I may not be able to “unhear” it ever again.

Additionally, some portion of track in the Rochdale line seems to be reprofiled, due to the even more odd run sounds M5000s make on it. Do you have any idea which portion of that line is reprofiled?
 

507 001

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Oh wow, whiny gearboxes? I didn’t notice. Is it all trams in the 306x series? Odd. I’ll have a look at some point this weekend. I may not be able to “unhear” it ever again.

Additionally, some portion of track in the Rochdale line seems to be reprofiled, due to the even more odd run sounds M5000s make on it. Do you have any idea which portion of that line is reprofiled?

No, it’s not all of them, and to be fair a lot of 307x and 308x are starting to be affected too. It’s not quite as simple as I made out in the earlier post, but you catch my drift.

Yes that’s Failsworth to Hollinwood.
 

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