MML Electrification updates

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Flying Phil

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So, any progress with the electrification we saw last year?
I think there would have been some more work North of Bedford, around Sharnbrook, and more on the Corby branch. Will a "local" reader post some pictures soon?
 

edwin_m

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It would be a fairly simple process to terminate trains at leicester.
There probably isn't the platform capacity to turn back 4TPH of electrics at Leicester from the south and 4TPH of diesels from the north, quite apart from the howls of protest from the other cities, already pretty miffed at loss of electrification, when their London journeys get 15min longer and there are no through trains.

Grayling has announced bi-mode trains so I imagine that is what will happen. Then again one of his predecessors announced electrification...
 

A0wen

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I don't get why the curtailment was to Corby and not Leicester. Surely it wouldn't have been a relatively vast amount more to electrify to Leicester instead of Corby?
What will the eventual cost be of electrifying a main line to three small Northamptonshire towns ?

Simplistically, all trains to Leicester are continuing on to points further afield. Whereas Corby is, to all intents and purposes, the end of the line - yes, I know there are the couple a day extension to points beyond, but that's for operation reasons.

Add in the Corby service with a stopping pattern all stations to Bedford, then Luton and London is essentially an outer-suburban commuter service - not unlike similar services from Cambridge for example. And I guess for EMT it could probably be run as a self-contained diagram, which then offers the added bonus that if there are problems further afield i.e. north of Leicester, the Corby services are shielded from stock being in the wrong place etc.
 

richieb1971

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I think there would have been some more work North of Bedford, around Sharnbrook, and more on the Corby branch. Will a "local" reader post some pictures soon?

I would go out but its too windy today. Piling starts between Radwell and Sharnbrook viaduct on 6th Jan if you believe the Network rail itinerary, this is the first act of OHLE apart from some piling they did 3 years ago before the project was stopped again. The 4th track re-instatement north of Sharnbrook has been done in dribs and drabs because the signals that worked the single line are smack bang in the way of the 2nd line. Therefore they done what they could and left the rest. So there is no continuous track between Sharnbrook and Wellingborough. For there to be a continuous line I assume the single track will need to be null and void for a week or two. This would put some pressure on the fast lines and could potentially cause 6E38 to take a different route. I've never seen it go it go over Sharnbrook summit before, I bet that would be a great sound from the 60 pulling those 33 oil drums up that hill.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Simplistically, all trains to Leicester are continuing on to points further afield. Whereas Corby is, to all intents and purposes, the end of the line - yes, I know there are the couple a day extension to points beyond, but that's for operation reasons.

Add in the Corby service with a stopping pattern all stations to Bedford, then Luton and London is essentially an outer-suburban commuter service - not unlike similar services from Cambridge for example. And I guess for EMT it could probably be run as a self-contained diagram, which then offers the added bonus that if there are problems further afield i.e. north of Leicester, the Corby services are shielded from stock being in the wrong place etc.

If that is the case seems kind of daft not to tie it to Thameslink instead and free EMT of a having to operate a London electric commuter service considering it may be a couple of decades before they have more electric trains to play with.
 

richieb1971

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I agree too that thameslink should run the corby services. I agree that leicester should terminate electric services from the south and that diesel, bimodes go non stop southbound to london. Thatmakes the most sense to me.
 

mwmbwls

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I agree too that thameslink should run the corby services. I agree that leicester should terminate electric services from the south and that diesel, bimodes go non stop southbound to london. Thatmakes the most sense to me.

Running Thameslink trains from Corby is already the cunning plan. Rail Magazine edition 842 carries the story.
"Local community leaders have slammed the decision to withdraw peak-time inter-city services operated by East Midlands Trains from Bedford and Luton from May 2018, labelling it a “disgraceful betrayal” of rail users.

The timetable change will mean that southbound services between 0700-1000 and trains travelling north from 1600-1900 will no longer stop at the two towns.

EMT Managing Director Jake Kelly said the move was necessary in order to accommodate an increase in Thameslink services between Bedford and London to seven trains per hour at peak times. It was also aimed at protecting journey times from the East Midlands and the North from the subsequent squeeze in capacity on the southern end of the Midland Main Line (MML).

“In order for this [Thameslink Programme] to be successfully introduced by the Department for Transport and Govia Thameslink Railway, we have had to make some changes to our timetable to allow the additional GTR train services to run on the lines we share into London,” he said.

“Overall, our new timetable represents a largely positive story for customers in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. While some trains may have slightly longer journey times than today, the extra capacity provided by the new timetable, coupled with some headline journey improvements, will deliver a significant boost to our customers.”

Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson has led the chorus of disapproval from stakeholders along the southern portion of the MML, and has started a petition against the cuts. He criticised the lack of any consultation, and said he would be “insisting on a reversal of this shocking loss of services” from Government, Network Rail and EMT."

As this stratification exercise is merely following precedents set on the Great Northern and LNWR main lines - Dave Hodgson would be advised not to hold his breath in anticipation of a positive result.
 
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Domh245

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Running Thameslink trains from Corby is already the cunning plan. Rail Magazine edition 842 carries the story.

Is the rest of your post a summary of the story from RAIL? Because it certainly doesn't say anything about Thameslink serving Corby (not to mention that the 700 fleet will not be able to cover their peak requirements even if a handful of services are extended from Bedford to Corby)
 

hwl

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Is the rest of your post a summary of the story from RAIL? Because it certainly doesn't say anything about Thameslink serving Corby (not to mention that the 700 fleet will not be able to cover their peak requirements even if a handful of services are extended from Bedford to Corby)
They'll only just be able to cover the existing planned diagrams definitely not Corby.
 

bramling

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Is the rest of your post a summary of the story from RAIL? Because it certainly doesn't say anything about Thameslink serving Corby (not to mention that the 700 fleet will not be able to cover their peak requirements even if a handful of services are extended from Bedford to Corby)

Simple solution to release some 700s - less Thameslink services on Great Northern. Now I wonder where there are 21 EMUs which could fill the balance over there?
 

NotATrainspott

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Corby isn't going to be served by Thameslink. There's no option but to run two electric trains from Corby into the high level platforms at St Pancras every hour, to replace the one Corby train that EMT already run. The Corby trains are going to be different from both the EMT InterCity trains and the normal Thameslink services no matter which operator is going to run them. EMT is already used to running different types of trains on wildly different routes, so there's no real added burden involved in asking them to run a reasonable fleet of EMUs for a 2tph service. TSGN has to run the commuter trains up to Peterborough because VTEC don't run any non-InterCity trains.
 

whhistle

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Corby isn't going to be served by Thameslink.
We'll all remember you've said that.

TSGN has to run the commuter trains up to Peterborough because VTEC don't run any non-InterCity trains.
And perhaps EMT just want to do the same?
Leave the local stations to commuter TOCs. Yes, Luton and Bedford are large towns but they're a hassle for EMT to stop at when looking at the wider picture of further up the East Midlands.
 

richieb1971

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I assume at least one or two of those 7tph from Bedford are 1 stop to London? Will Thameslink have a proper 1st class carriage that offers wifi, newspaper, coffee and tea?

The high level of London St Pancras will not generate much relief. Trains will need to swap in and out so quick they will not be cleaned. A more desirable approach to get a train into St Pancras empty is to use a spur south of the lower level where a driver can turn a 700 around and come back again. This way the train is empty and can take a full load from the platform. If your a commuter you already know that the trains going north through the lower level are anything but empty when they turn up. The first 10% get a seat, the rest are standing. If the amount of trains to Bedford is 7tph this may already be alleviated some what.
 

A0wen

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I assume at least one or two of those 7tph from Bedford are 1 stop to London? Will Thameslink have a proper 1st class carriage that offers wifi, newspaper, coffee and tea?

The high level of London St Pancras will not generate much relief. Trains will need to swap in and out so quick they will not be cleaned. A more desirable approach to get a train into St Pancras empty is to use a spur south of the lower level where a driver can turn a 700 around and come back again. This way the train is empty and can take a full load from the platform. If your a commuter you already know that the trains going north through the lower level are anything but empty when they turn up. The first 10% get a seat, the rest are standing. If the amount of trains to Bedford is 7tph this may already be alleviated some what.

No reason Bedford to London services should offer refreshments - they are sub 1 hour journeys.

There is first class accommodation on the 700s.

Wifi is operator driven rather than service driven - GTR are rolling out wifi across their fleet.
 

hwl

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I assume at least one or two of those 7tph from Bedford are 1 stop to London? Will Thameslink have a proper 1st class carriage that offers wifi, newspaper, coffee and tea?

The high level of London St Pancras will not generate much relief. Trains will need to swap in and out so quick they will not be cleaned. A more desirable approach to get a train into St Pancras empty is to use a spur south of the lower level where a driver can turn a 700 around and come back again. This way the train is empty and can take a full load from the platform. If your a commuter you already know that the trains going north through the lower level are anything but empty when they turn up. The first 10% get a seat, the rest are standing. If the amount of trains to Bedford is 7tph this may already be alleviated some what.

2tph 12 car EMUs to Corby should generate some useful relief and if you watch Southern cleaning staff at Victoria you'll be amazed at how quickly a train can be cleaned.

Bedford is 7tph short term (2018) 8tph long term (2019)
Bedford is 8tph peak / 4tph off peak

Brighton 2tph [TL1] & Gatwick 2tph [TL2] (all time)
East Grinstead 2tph [TL3] & Littlehampton 2tph [TL4] (peak only)

All Bedford Thameslink trains [TL1-4] are Bedford, Flitwick, Harlington, Leagrave, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Harpenden, St Albans City, St Pancras, ...

The idea is not to have lots of passengers waiting around for long time to get on an empty train and screw every other service up with reversing moves but to get them on frequent trains without waiting a long time the down side is fewer seats for those from St Pancras

You aren't going to get 2,000 people on a direct Bedford- St Pancras Thameslink services hence more stops to cram them in.

DfT is gradually removing first class from commuter services - see the next SE franchise for example.

There are some first class seats at the front of the train (2+2) complete with metros and standards.
 

A0wen

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Yep about the only sensible stock available for 2019 till other stock becomes available (379s 360s etc)

Won't happen. I reckon it'll be 2020 before the wiring to Corby is complete and the slow lines are fully reinstated between Bedford and Kettering.
 

richieb1971

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The slow lines north of bedford dont seem suited or aligned for 100mph at all. Are they going to be banked and made to be jointless?
 

Class 170101

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Something a bit more modern coming available shortly - Class 707s, compared to 360s, 365s and 379s.

It should be noted that even when (if) HS2 reaches Toton there are intermediate flows north of Leicester. I cannot believe these are not worth electrifying.

As a money saving idea why not have a blockade between Leicester South Jn and Kettering North Jn to complete the wiring and send trains via Corby?
 

InTheEastMids

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Won't happen. I reckon it'll be 2020 before the wiring to Corby is complete and the slow lines are fully reinstated between Bedford and Kettering.

2020 before the Braybrooke substation is commissioned.

The slow lines north of bedford dont seem suited or aligned for 100mph at all. Are they going to be banked and made to be jointless?

"90mph railway" if I remember NR documents correctly
 

Domh245

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Something a bit more modern coming available shortly - Class 707s, compared to 360s, 365s and 379s.

Newer, yes, but by most accounts they certainly don't provide an increased level of comfort/ambience compared to the other stock listed.
 

InTheEastMids

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Something a bit more modern coming available shortly - Class 707s, compared to 360s, 365s and 379s.

Newer, yes, but by most accounts they certainly don't provide an increased level of comfort/ambience compared to the other stock listed.


The 707s would need an interior transformation, including toilets to convert them for this kind of outer suburban work. They also lack gangways which would at minimum be helpful given that the consensus is that they'll run around as 8 or 12 car formations a lot of the time.

Also there seems to be an assumption that 707s will be able to keep up, but they have about 240 kW* per vehicle, whereas the 700s are about 410 kW*

*Wikipedia data - apply usual scepticism.
 

AM9

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The 707s would need an interior transformation, including toilets to convert them for this kind of outer suburban work. They also lack gangways which would at minimum be helpful given that the consensus is that they'll run around as 8 or 12 car formations a lot of the time.

Also there seems to be an assumption that 707s will be able to keep up, but they have about 240 kW* per vehicle, whereas the 700s are about 410 kW*

*Wikipedia data - apply usual scepticism.

The 707s have four eight powered axles (40%) per 5-cars whereas the 700s have 16 per 8 or 24 per 12 (both 50%). The real difference is that both classes have their maximum power severely limited when running on 750V DC because much of the system is inadequate to fully power modern design teains. A 12-car 700 has 5MW of traction power on ac OLE (416kW per car). The first two 707s have full ac power collection equipment so they can draw over 800kW for 5 cars which is about 332 per car. The Desiro City design is much lighter than the previous generation of EMUs so this power gives pretty impressive performance under OLE, - probaly enough acceleration to keep within tight MML paths.
 

hwl

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The 707s have four eight powered axles (40%) per 5-cars whereas the 700s have 16 per 8 or 24 per 12 (both 50%). The real difference is that both classes have their maximum power severely limited when running on 750V DC because much of the system is inadequate to fully power modern design teains. A 12-car 700 has 5MW of traction power on ac OLE (416kW per car). The first two 707s have full ac power collection equipment so they can draw over 800kW for 5 cars which is about 332 per car. The Desiro City design is much lighter than the previous generation of EMUs so this power gives pretty impressive performance under OLE, - probaly enough acceleration to keep within tight MML paths.
The 707s also have smaller less powerful traction motors than the 700s, it isn't just about 40% vs 50% powered axles but motors with ~75% of the power output too so only 60% of the installed power on a per car basis.
 

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