Marston Vale Line Without Class 150s

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MK Tom

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Apologies if there is already discussion on this; I've looked through a few related threads and couldn't find any.

According to Wikipedia and by extension the LM and Northern franchise agreements London Midland's three Class 150s will be moving to Northern next year.

It's always been my understanding that the Marston Vale line needs a two-car unit on one diagram for school traffic, hence the current 150/153 combination and the past use of double bubbles and 117s. However 2x153 or a 170/172 won't fit in the platforms at intermediate stations. (something to do with signal placement?)

Does anyone know what the plan is here? Cram everyone onto a 153, which anyone who's used the 4pm departures off Bedford will know isn't a good idea? Or will the stations be modified to accept 2x153 or a Turbostar?

Perhaps 2 car 230s would come in useful here. Or maybe Northern could part with a couple of pacers! The need for a 2-car 20m carriage unit really limits the options.
 
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fishquinn

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Wouldn't SDO work on this line? I'm pretty sure that the 172s have it due to short platforms at The Lakes so maybe a 2 car 172 would be OK?
 
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I would say that using 170s and 172s and using SDO would probably be the best option.

Does anyone know any lists or websites that show platform lengths? I would be interested to know the lengths of each platform on this line and which ones have short platforms?
 

MidnightFlyer

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Thank you. Much appreciated.

So it appears that the lengths are as follows.

Fenny Stratford (Platform) - 76m
Bow Brickhill (Down) - 37m
Bow Brickhill (Up) - 37m
Woburn Sands (Down) - 68m
Woburn Sands (Up) - 62m
Apsley Guise (Down) - 37m
Apsley Guise (Up) - 50m
Ridgmont (Down) - 61m
Ridgmont (Up) - 61m
Lidlington (Down) - 66m
Lidlington (Up) - 51m
Millbrook [Bedfordshire] (Down) - 73m
Millbrook [Bedfordshire] (Up) - 73m
Stewartby (Down) - 37m
Stewartby (Up) - 51m
Kempston Hardwick (Down) - 45m
Kempston Hardwick (Up) - 37m
Bedford St Johns (Platform) - 41m

Down = Towards Bedford.
Up = Towards Bletchley.

So a 2 coach 170 or a 2 coach 172 or 2x 153 is approximately 46m. So SDO would only have be used at some of the intermediate stations.

Also can i ask are these documents showing platform lengths available for other lines and stations? If so do you have a link to the page?
 

DarloRich

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Apologies if there is already discussion on this; I've looked through a few related threads and couldn't find any.

According to Wikipedia and by extension the LM and Northern franchise agreements London Midland's three Class 150s will be moving to Northern next year.

It's always been my understanding that the Marston Vale line needs a two-car unit on one diagram for school traffic, hence the current 150/153 combination and the past use of double bubbles and 117s. However 2x153 or a 170/172 won't fit in the platforms at intermediate stations. (something to do with signal placement?)

Does anyone know what the plan is here? Cram everyone onto a 153, which anyone who's used the 4pm departures off Bedford will know isn't a good idea? Or will the stations be modified to accept 2x153 or a Turbostar?

Perhaps 2 car 230s would come in useful here. Or maybe Northern could part with a couple of pacers! The need for a 2-car 20m carriage unit really limits the options.
The loss of the 150's are a big blow. I suspect it will be 2 x single 153's or those tube trains after the 150's leave. LM wont want to release 2 x turbostar for our line and I cant see platform extensions being worth the investment, at least as of today.

In any event the units will still have to outbased at Blethcley and swapped over on a Sunday meaning any failures still impact massively on the service.


There isn't really anything (other than money) in the way of platform extensions, so probably that. They'll be needed for East West Rail anyway, as there are no 2-car EMUs.
other than the level crossings, signal posts etc right on the end of the platforms. I am sure if/when we are electrified EMU with so will be used as there will only be selective extensions under E-W. Most of the stations wont be touched.

Thank you. Much appreciated.

So it appears that the lengths are as follows.

Fenny Stratford (Platform) - 76m

<snip>
Is that usable length or actual length? One and the same at Fenny but perhaps not elsewhere.
 

MK Tom

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This suggests to me the only platforms that need extending are Bow Brickhill, Kempston Hardwick, St Johns (1 platform) and one each at Aspley Guise and Stewartby? A total of 7 platforms. Obviously more would be needed in future for 3/4 car EMU operation though.

Having just looked at streetview there's nothing in the way at Bow Brickhill.

The thing to bear in mind with 2x153 is the doors are placed at the ends so would be further out of the platform than on a 170. But then it's probably good to have the driver doors also in the platform on a 170.

Anyway my question is, seeing as this transfer of the 150s to Northern is now definitely happening, is there any official plan on how to keep that two car diagram two car? As fun as it is to speculate, I'm a little concerned if this has been decided without thought given to that.

If we could have the Coventry 230 from June in two car form that'd do the trick!

A pacer isn't out of the question, although it'd probably squeal a bit on the St. Johns curve.
 
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aformeruser

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Looking at the Northern franchise agreement and the GWR one Northern need 15 x extra 150s in September 2017 and 2 x extra 150s in January 2018. GWR are releasing 13 in August 2017 and 2 in December 2017, meaning Northern will only need 2 of the LM 150s until 2019 so LM could keep a single 150 diagram beyond next year but it would have to be a 153 whenever the 150 is unavailable.
 
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DarloRich

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Looking at the Northern franchise agreement and the GWR one Northern need 15 x extra 150s in September 2017 and 2 x extra 150s in January 2018. GWR are releasing 13 in August 2017 and 2 in December 2017, meaning Northern will only need 2 of the LM 150s until 2019 so LM could keep a single 150 diagram beyond next year but it would have to be a 153 whenever the 150 is unavailable.
I think LM will dispense with all 3 at the same time simply for ease of operation. The word on the street is that we get a 2-4-1 swap: 6 x 153's for 3 x 150's

Unless we get the tube trains things we will get 2 x 153 on the Vale. The silly thing is that a pacer or four would be ideal ( operationally - if not politically) for our line!
 

aformeruser

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The silly thing is that a pacer or four would be ideal ( operationally - if not politically) for our line!
The GWR 143s should be released before the GWR 150s, that is if GWR don't decide to keep the 143s for longer as no other operator is awaiting their arrival.
 

DarloRich

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This suggests to me the only platforms that need extending are Bow Brickhill, Kempston Hardwick, St Johns (1 platform) and one each at Aspley Guise and Stewartby? A total of 7 platforms. Obviously more would be needed in future for 3/4 car EMU operation though.

Having just looked at streetview there's nothing in the way at Bow Brickhill.

The thing to bear in mind with 2x153 is the doors are placed at the ends so would be further out of the platform than on a 170. But then it's probably good to have the driver doors also in the platform on a 170.

Anyway my question is, seeing as this transfer of the 150s to Northern is now definitely happening, is there any official plan on how to keep that two car diagram two car? As fun as it is to speculate, I'm a little concerned if this has been decided without thought given to that.
2 x 153 wont fit. The issues on platform extensions are either the level crossings or the signal posts. The single platform at Fenny has a signal post right on the end of the platform at one end and at the bottom of the ramp at the other!

I will chuck some pics on later to illustrate the point - while the issues can be overcome the main obstacle will be cash!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm pretty sure 2x153 won't fit.
they wont.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The GWR 143s should be released before the GWR 150s, that is if GWR don't decide to keep the 143s for longer as no other operator is awaiting their arrival.
we could get a job lot then ;) I think the most realistic non 153 option is the tube train conversion if the trial proves successful.
 
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richieb1971

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I know there are regulations and health and safety to think of, but why not just fit a speaker system and alert passengers that some stops need you to move to certain doors in the train?

Its not like its a 9 car train with a platform for 2 cars. Its 2 cars that almost fit but don't. The most you would have to walk is about 20 feet surely?
 

Townsend Hook

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I know there are regulations and health and safety to think of, but why not just fit a speaker system and alert passengers that some stops need you to move to certain doors in the train?
Because without SDO there would be unlocked doors off the platforms, and the public at large would ignore the announcements and walk out through them.
 

richieb1971

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Because without SDO there would be unlocked doors off the platforms, and the public at large would ignore the announcements and walk out through them.
I went onto a charter train to Bangor a few years ago. 10 carriages or so long, the train couldn't fit on the station. We just walked down the train until we could get off. The Marston Vale trains have conductors so controlling the doors would seem relatively easy on a 2 car train.

This is a bit ridiculous when the line has had 2 car DMU's since I was born and now its a problem?
 

plastictaffy

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Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
2x 153 would be no good for the route due to the fact that they are 23 metres each. The way the line is run now is not ideal, the units are maintained at Tyseley by LM, and are swapped over once a week - usually on sundays unless there are breakdowns on the woefully unreliable 150's. There is a fitter who travels down to deal with any problems that arise on the units during the day, that isn't particularly productive. At least 1x150 must stay on the route due to the loadings first thing in the mornings and again in the evenings. That's why the diagrams are the way they are on that route, with the 150 on certain trains like the 0732 ex-BLY.
T&T 31's again anyone?? If that happens, maybe it'll be time to transfer back to BLY to work 'em!!!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Just read Darlorich's post.....:oops:
Shutting up......now.
 

Bevan Price

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I think LM will dispense with all 3 at the same time simply for ease of operation. The word on the street is that we get a 2-4-1 swap: 6 x 153's for 3 x 150's

Unless we get the tube trains things we will get 2 x 153 on the Vale. The silly thing is that a pacer or four would be ideal ( operationally - if not politically) for our line!

Well - the entire Anglia franchise dmu stock is supposedly being replaced in the next year or two. So 5 x 153, 9 x 156, 8 x 170 (3 car) and 4 x 170 (2 car) become available for stock cascades somewhere......

But what is most needed is a spare unit to be stabled at Bletchley each day, in case of failures.
 
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plastictaffy

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Unfortunately, Maps has stopped.
I wouldn't worry too much about your new stock. Chances are no-one will sign any of it in time, so it'll be buses and taxis plus ox and carts for those in Lidlington for a few weeks while the TOC procrastinates about who should sign what and when......
 

DarloRich

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Well, there's no 150 today, it's conked out with half the service cancelled. Fortunately not the half I wanted, though the 153 is sounding pretty rough.
I had to walk home. It isnt usually chug 2 that breaks down!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Nasty Transit minibus sat outside waiting for the unsuspecting passengers. (At least they do always bustitute, I suppose).

Until it's wired for EWR, it *really* needs 3 DMUs stationed at Bletchley so there is a spare - the reliability is absolutely atrocious.
i know i keep saying this but reliability has been really good over the last few months. It is so much better than 18mths - 2 years ago.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Indeed it has, my colleague was more than happy with her early day!! ;)
could have bloody well told me <D<D;)

I wouldn't worry too much about your new stock. Chances are no-one will sign any of it in time, so it'll be buses and taxis plus ox and carts for those in Lidlington for a few weeks while the TOC procrastinates about who should sign what and when......
Liddlington joins 18th century shocker!

I know there are regulations and health and safety to think of, but why not just fit a speaker system and alert passengers that some stops need you to move to certain doors in the train?

Its not like its a 9 car train with a platform for 2 cars. Its 2 cars that almost fit but don't. The most you would have to walk is about 20 feet surely?
I went onto a charter train to Bangor a few years ago. 10 carriages or so long, the train couldn't fit on the station. We just walked down the train until we could get off. The Marston Vale trains have conductors so controlling the doors would seem relatively easy on a 2 car train.

This is a bit ridiculous when the line has had 2 car DMU's since I was born and now its a problem?
the trains dont have SDO so people will end up falling out of the train - see do not alight here signs at stations like Bow Brickhill. I hesitate to suggest actual reasons to you as to why there are issues with what you suggest but look at the infrastructure position.
 
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