Most Unreliable Multiple Unit

Inversnecky

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I should perhaps have broadened out this thread to include all trains, but perhaps similar views could be shared here on D(E)MUs/EMUs.

An additional aspect:

Over the years, there has been a shift (at least only for passengers, of course), from locomotive hauled traffic to MU working. Thus older locomotive stock has tended to be replaced by more modern MU stock, making a comparison of reliability between the two types more fraught.

That said, comparing similar vintage stock (eg Mk 1), would MUs in the 1960s-80s have been considered more reliable than locomotive hauled passenger trains?
 
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SteveyBee131

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I'll start off with a modern one...

Certainly in their early days, Voyagers had a reputation of sitting down on the Dawlish Sea Wall during rough weather, due to some electrical equipment being on the roof if I remember correctly.
 

Bevan Price

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Some yes - some no. The Cravens DMUs with Rolls Royce engines were something of a short-lived disaster. Unreliable, and some prone to catch fire.
And whilst excellent for their passenger environment, the engines on the Class 123 & 124 DMUs were rather troublesome in their later years.
 

Tynwald

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Some yes - some no. The Cravens DMUs with Rolls Royce engines were something of a short-lived disaster. Unreliable, and some prone to catch fire.
And whilst excellent for their passenger environment, the engines on the Class 123 & 124 DMUs were rather troublesome in their later years.
I always liked the feature on Craven Rollers, of the driveshaft going through a tunnel in the fuel tank. Driveshaft fails, utter mayhem. Brilliant !!
 

Energy

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If overseas counts then its got to be the Danish DSB IC4.
 

bramling

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I should perhaps have broadened out this thread to include all trains, but perhaps similar views could be shared here on D(E)MUs/EMUs.

An additional aspect:

Over the years, there has been a shift (at least only for passengers, of course), from locomotive hauled traffic to MU working. Thus older locomotive stock has tended to be replaced by more modern MU stock, making a comparison of reliability between the two types more fraught.

That said, comparing similar vintage stock (eg Mk 1), would MUs in the 1960s-80s have been considered more reliable than locomotive hauled passenger trains?

If we’re including LU, the 1992 stock unfortunately has to get a mention. I say unfortunately as personally I quite like them in their way, and when they’re working properly they’re actually quite decent.

The 72 stock has never been at the top end of the reliability scale either, though the Bakerloo isn’t the most taxing line so this doesn’t flag up as much as it otherwise might.

The Jubilee fleet is also starting to show on the radar as being a problem child, but not the similar Northern ones which still hold their own.

The 1990s DLR stock is also allegedly pretty unreliable these days.
 

37057

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These loco / unit reliability threads are interesting. If you take any one class of train from 50s (for example), I guarantee you will find at least one aspect of it's construction / design that has had it's shortfall, at some point in its life (whether it be known broadly or not). The thing to note is, trains tend to have teams of engineers working to maintain that reliability, so as issues come and go, periods of unreliability shouldn't tarnish the overall life of any type of train.

If you were to work in the maintenance depot of a train that has won multiple 'golden spanner' awards then you will find that they have their issues too, but it's how these issues, as they arise are acted upon that counts. That said, these forums may measure reliability differently to how the industry does, though I don't think the industry measure has been going since the 50s as privatisation and separate TOCs / maintenance contracts have come in, so it's complicated!

On the BR 60s diesel modernisation subject (probably more applicable to the loco thread), I wonder if there was actually another incentive to 'choose' certain equipment manufacturers over others. The designs of the 'chosen' manufacturers certainly didn't go without their issues for the lives of the assets (leaky Sulzers for example).
 
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NSE

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I don’t really keep up with this side of the railways too much but I seem to recall lots of threads on here about 180’s failing. They always struck me as having reputations of being problem children.
 

43096

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If we’re including Europe, the Fyra was an unmitigated disaster:

I would suggest that it is a clear winner. Just weeks (or was it days?) in service before chronic issues were found and the whole fleet rejected and sent back to the manufacturer. The report into them was utterly damning.
 

Domh245

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I would suggest that it is a clear winner. Just weeks (or was it days?) in service before chronic issues were found and the whole fleet rejected and sent back to the manufacturer. The report into them was utterly damning.

The IC4s would surely give them a run (or grounding!) for their money
 

Energy

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The IC4s would surely give them a run (or grounding!) for their money
The IC4s didn't get sent back though, and I don't think the manufacturer sending one to Libya counts against its reliability.
 

43096

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The IC4s would surely give them a run (or grounding!) for their money
True, but they lose out on the main prize as DSB have persisted with them.

Perhaps the thread should be renamed “Most Unreliable AnsaldoBreda Multiple Unit”?
 

Domh245

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The IC4s didn't get sent back though, and I don't think the manufacturer sending one to Libya counts against its reliability.

They didn't get sent back, true, but in most other respects were similarly terrible, including the significant refund that AB paid out! (~50% of IC4 contract was refunded, 59% of V250 was refunded prior to the sale of the units to Trenitalia)

Perhaps the thread should be renamed “Most Unreliable AnsaldoBreda Multiple Unit”?

That's like asking who the most catholic pope is, or which bear has the most frequent bowel movement! :D
 
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180 by far. it surprises me if one hasn't been on fire within the past week. when they ran our line up the Cotswolds a good 40% of trains diagrammed for these sets were cancelled.
 

david1212

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Does the 769 count?

Early days but from the 769 threads and despite the lllloooonnnggg delays there seem to be plenty of failures. On paper a relatively straightforward project of adding a couple of power packs to replicate the third rail DC.

Are the 230's running again Bedford - Bletchley ? Back to summer 2019 there were numerous failures.
 

43066

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I don’t really keep up with this side of the railways too much but I seem to recall lots of threads on here about 180’s failing. They always struck me as having reputations of being problem children.

That hasn’t changed!
 

8J

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The 458s have had spells of both terrible and really good reliability.
 

DarloRich

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Are the 230's running again Bedford - Bletchley ? Back to summer 2019 there were numerous failures.


They are not running at the moment and are replaced by buses. Yes, they were terribly unreliable and were for some time prior to COVID. There should be no excuses when trains start again after COVID!

The 230's were without question the most unreliable unit and the most unreliable over an extended period that I have ever traveled on. They were so bad regular users wanted the 153 back. They were so bad I bought a car.
 

Horizon22

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What about Networkers?
I heard railway man at Charing Cross years ago referring to them as Notworkers!

Maybe when they were first introduced in the mid-90s, but there's definitely worse culprits now.

180s FGW gave up on due to outrageous reliability and the somewhat adventurous 230s aren't doing too well, having been prone to be on fire a couple of times. Also not strictly a multiple unit but TFLs 345s have had a wretched start - all I can say is that's one of the saving graces that Crossrail wasn't completed on time or you'd have multiple failures in the Central section on a daily basis!
 

43066

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Networkers are doing better than ever before (albeit still not great), according to the last Golden Spanner league table.
 

supervc-10

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Also not strictly a multiple unit but TFLs 345s have had a wretched start - all I can say is that's one of the saving graces that Crossrail wasn't completed on time or you'd have multiple failures in the Central section on a daily basis!

Not sure what else a 345 would be if not a multiple unit?

But yes. The delays have definitely be helpful in allowing Bombardier time to sort out problems.
 

Bald Rick

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I’m the early days, TfLs 172s we’re measured in Casulaties per Mile rather than the more conventional metric.
 

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