Media picks up on transport disparity between London and "the North"

Bletchleyite

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you wont know the additional costs involved you may have perhaps double maintanance costs to ensure reliability
it may cost far more than a traditional train but be a loss leader i simply dont know
you need the full facts to form a correct opinion
I suspect that Parry Associates have heavily discounted the provision of those two units to get their unit into a "real world" application to promote it, even though that never in fact resulted in any more orders.

It wouldn't entirely surprise me if that was to be true of the Marston Vale 230s too, though I don't know.
 
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sd0733

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So as an example the general public, the regional press and the elected politicians in the North West have all made it absolutely clear that they want Northern to have its franchise removed.

Are their wishes going to be met? And how come a whole region is rended powerless?
That's exactly what happened in the South though last year with GTR probably in an even bigger way than with Northern. And they still run that too.
Removing franchises helps nobody in reality anyway, I remember the day it was announced London Midland had lost the franchise particularly around Birmingham the locals and the press were over the moon.....now things are worse I think most of those would take them back.
 
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So as an example the general public, the regional press and the elected politicians in the North West have all made it absolutely clear that they want Northern to have its franchise removed.

Are their wishes going to be met? And how come a whole region is rended powerless?
What is preventing MPs representing that area from ganging up against the Government and making it clear in Parliament that they expect major changes to railway organisation and facilities in the North?
 

Djgr

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It would be madness to have a fleet with double the number of driving cabs (and therefore wasted passenger space), accessible toilets and the like, just for one branch line, plus all the extra shunting involved.

Do some more electrification in the area like Southampton to Salisbury, and perhaps Totton to Fawley reopened, and it might be possible to introduce a small fleet of shorter units to the area. Could even use some 1970s 313s! Slight problem that DC electrification is currently well out of favour.
What is preventing MPs representing that area from ganging up against the Government and making it clear in Parliament that they expect major changes to railway organisation and facilities in the North?
The fact that the vast majority of the MPs are not in the ruling party.

The fact that there is barely a Tory Councillor between the Mersey and the Humber.
 

Djgr

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We've got some too. The extra capacity they provide is welcome.

We've also got 230s that were pooh-poohed by the North. They're not bad, you know!
But aren't 230s coming to the North into Bidston?

Though personally I would barely describe Liverpool as part of t'North. It is really a Celtic city with much more in common with Dublin, with emotional loyalty to England increasingly tenuous.
 

Bletchleyite

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But aren't 230s coming to the North into Bidston
I was thinking more of Northern the TOC.

Though personally I would barely describe Liverpool as part of t'North. It is really a Celtic city with much more in common with Dublin, with emotional loyalty to England increasingly tenuous.
While I do recognise the Irish input, as a Scouser by birth I find this bizarre.

The North is increasingly split from the South East, of course, but that's a bit different. Despite the classic "feud" I find little cultural difference between Liverpool and Manchester bar the accent.
 

hwl

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What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? Does the stock serving the Lymington branch ever leave the branch during its daily diagram?
A cab and the associated electronics cost just under 250k so cheaper just to go for 4car. Worth noting the number of longer (8/10/12 car) EMU units now being ordered as it is cheaper to run everything at full length.

The economics of DMUs are of course some what different with the extra cost of the engine and the ongoing maintenance cost.

Splitting and joining comes with performance risks and these can be reduced by not splitting and joining. Eliminating cabs removes equipment that can fail.

Splitting and joining also requires extra drivers and guards.

The local drivers aren't trained on 456s hence extra training cost.

2 car units lead to micro fleets with low utilisation so substantially higher costs overall...
 
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The party whip?
The party whips clamp down when it comes to voting. They do not impede debates or motions put down in the House. They are intimidating when it's one isolated Member they are dealing with. When there is an organised rebellion in support of a logical argument, their power evaporates. So no, the whips are not the reason MPs from the North have not being doing the day job.
 
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The fact that the vast majority of the MPs are not in the ruling party.

The fact that there is barely a Tory Councillor between the Mersey and the Humber.
A severe misjudgement. First, nothing prevents an M. P. from asking questions in the house, and in fact Labour is quite good at embarrassing Mr. Grayling with searching questions. Second, MPs can always put down motions for a debate. If a sensible case is argued in that debate, then Members of the opposing party might well support the motion which will put pressure on the Government. The first stage is for every Member representing a constituency in your part of the country to do the job they are paid to do: stand up in the House Of Commons and speak on behalf of their constituents!
 

DynamicSpirit

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A cab and the associated electronics cost just under 250k so cheaper just to go for 4car. Worth noting the number of longer (8/10/12 car) EMU units now being ordered as it is cheaper to run everything at full length.
Although I doubt it's a factor in the decision making, it's perhaps worth pointing out that running everything full length is a lot easier for passengers too: It means there's consistency in where along the platform the trains stop, and the train is more likely to occupy most of the length of the platform - so far fewer instances of people discovering as the short train pulls in that they are waiting on completely the wrong end of the platform for that particular train (although that part of the platform would've been fine for the train on the same route an hour earlier).
 

DynamicSpirit

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What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? Does the stock serving the Lymington branch ever leave the branch during its daily diagram?
Perhaps the question should be turned around, and you could explain what the problem is in running a 4-car EMU? Particularly given that - as plenty of others here have pointed out - it's going to be by far the cheapest thing to run on the branch, given the constraints of what stock is available.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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What is preventing MPs representing that area from ganging up against the Government and making it clear in Parliament that they expect major changes to railway organisation and facilities in the North?
They do do quite a bit of that, but it often descends to very local lobbying for particular lines or stations, which is very boring for everybody else and doesn't stand a chance in the wider planning sense.
The Transport Select Committee does a good job with its hearings and reports, and can seriously embarrass the DfT.
However, railway finance and organisation is buried deep in the government machine (Treasury, Industry, Regions as well as DfT).
It's very hard to get a change of policy out of DfT, for the duration of a particular party in power.
Life would change with Labour, but there's no guarantee that their ideas would do any better - they just have the "renationalise" mantra but don't understand this is not actually a solution in the 2020s.
The Williams review is the latest idea to throw up a better setup, but reports and recommendations have a habit of disappearing without trace, or of coming up with the wrong answer.
At the moment, Brexit is sucking the government machine dry, and when it is resolved, loads of other issues will get priority (health care, climate change, policing etc).
Rail is only as important as the last time the network ground to a halt, in the public's consciousness.
 

AM9

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What would be the theoretical issue in a fleet of 2 car emus that could be joined/split as required to form 4 cars? ...
As far as 3rd rail EMUs it would be possible as the class 456 could be used, but they are in use strengthening 2x4-car trains into 10-car services over routes where that is the maximum length that can be accommodated.
As far as OLE connected EMUs go, the problem is that the pantograph would be too close to the driving cab which in icy conditions can reduce the driver's visibility including of signals. Thus since the class 309/1s, there have not been any 2-car sets with pantographs manufactured for UK use. The use of class 319s on the St Albans Abbey branch is a sensible move. The diagram is a full day on the branch, but those units are rotated with the mainline services (mainly Euston to Tring stoppers) as part of the fleet's maintenance schedule so there is no net capital cost and a negligible operating cost impact, (the amount of energy used would be virtually the same as the gross weight of a 2-car equivalent would be about 40% less than the current 4-car units).
So no, it would be a sheer waste of capital, for virtually no reduction in operatring costs. Only a fool would consider it.
 

DynamicSpirit

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As far as OLE connected EMUs go, the problem is that the pantograph would be too close to the driving cab which in icy conditions can reduce the driver's visibility including of signals. Thus since the class 309/1s, there have not been any 2-car sets with pantographs manufactured for UK use.
I'm confused by this. How can a pantograph reduce the driver's visibility when the pantograph is located some way behind and above the driver's cab? And how would this restriction work for OLE locomotives?
 

AndrewE

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A cab and the associated electronics cost just under 250k so cheaper just to go for 4car. Worth noting the number of longer (8/10/12 car) EMU units now being ordered as it is cheaper to run everything at full length..
If only...
And how ironic that you say it in a thread devoted to the disparity in public transport provision between the SE and the rest of the country!
 

Bletchleyite

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I'm confused by this. How can a pantograph reduce the driver's visibility when the pantograph is located some way behind and above the driver's cab? And how would this restriction work for OLE locomotives?
I didn't think that *was* the reason. I thought it was simply that a pantograph and related transformer take up a fair bit of vehicle space and so fitting them into a 2-car unit is awkward.
 

bramling

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I didn't think that *was* the reason. I thought it was simply that a pantograph and related transformer take up a fair bit of vehicle space and so fitting them into a 2-car unit is awkward.
One could also add that they’re expensive and heavy, so why would you want to carry two around when one is perfectly adequate for nearly all of a given train’s deployment?
 

londonmidland

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When/is/are the capacity problems at Manchester Piccadilly on platforms 13/14 going to be resolved?

Seems the Ordsall chord was supposed to create more direct services to/from the airport and capacity issues weren’t thought of/heads in the sand. We all know how that turned out. The amount of times I’ve seen delays caused by one late train, causing a chain reaction to several other services.

It’s also certainly the ‘forgotten’ part of the station. Compared to the main train shed, it’s cold, dark, dingy and extremely cramped.
 

The Ham

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It's telling that expenditure per capita on Yorkshire is even less than London, let alone the national average.
Yorkshire is above the English average, with the national average being dragged up by the other countries within the union.

Yet the lowest spend is in the South East. Therefore before there's any increased spending in the North there's a need for more spending in the South East, East and East Midlands
 

AM9

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I didn't think that *was* the reason. I thought it was simply that a pantograph and related transformer take up a fair bit of vehicle space and so fitting them into a 2-car unit is awkward.
It was posted here a couple of years ago, (presumably by a driver) that the almost continual arcing 8n icy conditions from a pantograph near the front of the unit was a distraction to the driver, particularly where signal siting was less than optimum.
Siting a transformer and associated equipment wouldn't be especially problematic as such transformer would be of lower power requirement and probably acommodated below the sole bar, even on an air conditioned train much as scalable equipment would be used on tram-trains. An additional cab would of course reduce the passenger space, but this conversation is about using 2-car EMUs on low-density routes with restrictions on maximum train lengths.
 

The Ham

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Would Northern still be such a basket case if the Government hadn't removed the best routes to make Transpennine Express a separate franchise? I agree the North needs investment but can see the point about subsidies being a factor against it happening.
As an example, if SWT had received the same level of subsidy as TPE on a per passenger basis they could have paid for Crossrail 2. However have received a fraction of that in the form of the projects that they have seen.

In fact SWT have been covering a lot of the costs of the rest of the network.

Although it's worth noting that last year (excluding capital projects, i.e. enhancements to the existing network, which are included in the NR grant figures) the net subsidy for the rail network as a whole was about £180 million, so in the greater scheme of things wasn't very much.
 

The Ham

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London is highly subsidised in terms of capital expenditure compared to the rest of the country. Look at all the investment poured down the drain on Crossrail. Look at all the money on new carriages and extra trains, and still Londoners complain that more needs to be spent. The best way forward would be ‘no investment for London for the next five years’ and spend an equivalent amount elsewhere.
No investment in London and the equivalent (i.e. zero) spent elsewhere isn't going to help!

Anyway, as I've pointed out above the region which needs to see the most investment (based on a per person spend) is the South East. The problem is most of the big projects which would help it would be things like Crossrail 2 and so would also benefit London.
 

AM9

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As an example, if SWT had received the same level of subsidy as TPE on a per passenger basis they could have paid for Crossrail 2. However have received a fraction of that in the form of the projects that they have seen.

In fact SWT have been covering a lot of the costs of the rest of the network.

Although it's worth noting that last year (excluding capital projects, i.e. enhancements to the existing network, which are included in the NR grant figures) the net subsidy for the rail network as a whole was about £180 million, so in the greater scheme of things wasn't very much.
This discussion might actually mean something if what is meant by 'London' and 'the North' in population terms. No argument using per-capita figures has any relevance without such definitions being clearly stated. The original newspaper article is devoid of any definition, and none of the protagonist for the north have really offered any either.
 

The Ham

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The best way forward would be for the government to get serious about moving all major government departments out of London and incentivising businesses to do the same. Then lots of Londoners will need to move to other places, and campaign for better public transport where they now live whilst also paying much lower house prices. Everyone’s a winner.
If you look at the brunet if civil servants on a per million basis most regions are there or there abouts with two exceptions.

The first is London is higher the second is that the South East is lower, however if you average the two (assuming that it's easier for most people in SE to get to London than most other areas in SE and so it makes sense to have them there) it restors the there or there abouts figure.
 

yorksrob

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Yorkshire is above the English average, with the national average being dragged up by the other countries within the union.

Yet the lowest spend is in the South East. Therefore before there's any increased spending in the North there's a need for more spending in the South East, East and East Midlands
I'll have to check when I get home, but I'm pretty sure the figures I was comparing showed less spend per head in Yorkshire than in other regions in England and the South East.
 

Bletchleyite

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It was posted here a couple of years ago, (presumably by a driver) that the almost continual arcing 8n icy conditions from a pantograph near the front of the unit was a distraction to the driver, particularly where signal siting was less than optimum.
I'm not doubting that. What I'm doubting is that that is the reason for there being no 2-car AC EMUs, because it would also, as someone else posted, mean there could be no AC locomotives either, and there are.
 

AndrewE

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When/is/are the capacity problems at Manchester Piccadilly on platforms 13/14 going to be resolved?
Seems the Ordsall chord was supposed to create more direct services to/from the airport and capacity issues weren’t thought of/heads in the sand. We all know how that turned out. The amount of times I’ve seen delays caused by one late train, causing a chain reaction to several other services.
The capacity issues were thought of and pfms 13/14 were an integral part of the scheme, but a kind caring man in London decided that it wasn't necessary to allow it to proceed. After all, how could Manchester possibly need both enhancements? He must have thought they were a greedy lot up there, wanting 2 upgrades at the same time. We're only building one Crossrail in London!
 

AndrewE

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It was posted here a couple of years ago, (presumably by a driver) that the almost continual arcing 8n icy conditions from a pantograph near the front of the unit was a distraction to the driver, particularly where signal siting was less than optimum.
I'm not doubting that. What I'm doubting is that that is the reason for there being no 2-car AC EMUs, because it would also, as someone else posted, mean there could be no AC locomotives either, and there are.
Wasn't it in the context of preferring to use the rear pan on trains like Pendolinos? With a loco you don't have much choice. Can anyone remember seeing the articulated electric locos in Italy? Did (or do) they run using the rear pan?
 

Bletchleyite

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Wasn't it in the context of preferring to use the rear pan on trains like Pendolinos? With a loco you don't have much choice. Can anyone remember seeing the articulated electric locos in Italy? Did (or do) they run using the rear pan?
It might contribute to that, but I believe the main reason is that if the rear one causes non-catastrophic damage there's a small but significant chance the front one can be raised to get the train to somewhere more useful, whereas the other way round it's likely that the front one has damaged the lines sufficiently that the rear one wouldn't be able to pass the damage?
 

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