• Our booking engine at tickets.railforums.co.uk (powered by TrainSplit) helps support the running of the forum with every ticket purchase! Find out more and ask any questions/give us feedback in this thread!

My idea: Short LHCS train vs DMU on Heart of Wales line?

Status
Not open for further replies.

alexl92

Established Member
Joined
12 Oct 2014
Messages
2,280
Whilst browsing the 'Single car trains' thread on this forum and seeing the Heart of Wales line mentioned, I was reminded of the criticism from local MPs (I think) of the use of single-car DMUs on that line. Part of the criticism comes down to luggage space and the poor condition of the interiors, I belive (iirc).

So I was just wondering how feasible it would be (if enough suitable stock could be found - which I'm not sure it can whilst DBSOs are needed for the Cumbrian Coast) for ATW to hire in a loco and coaches in a Loco+TSO+DBSO formation to operate some services on the line?

My logic is that the trains would be more comfortable, the windows line up with the seats which is a benefit on such a picturesque line, there's space in the DBSO for people's baggage and you're still only fuelling one engine to operate the services, albeit a thirstier one.

I've no idea about stuff like track access charges etc but it would also free up DMUs to strengthen services elsewhere in South Wales...

Is this even remotely feasible?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

PHILIPE

Veteran Member
Joined
14 Nov 2011
Messages
13,472
Location
Caerphilly
Whilst browsing the 'Single car trains' thread on this forum and seeing the Heart of Wales line mentioned, I was reminded of the criticism from local MPs (I think) of the use of single-car DMUs on that line. Part of the criticism comes down to luggage space and the poor condition of the interiors, I belive (iirc).

So I was just wondering how feasible it would be (if enough suitable stock could be found - which I'm not sure it can whilst DBSOs are needed for the Cumbrian Coast) for ATW to hire in a loco and coaches in a Loco+TSO+DBSO formation to operate some services on the line?

My logic is that the trains would be more comfortable, the windows line up with the seats which is a benefit on such a picturesque line, there's space in the DBSO for people's baggage and you're still only fuelling one engine to operate the services, albeit a thirstier one.

I've no idea about stuff like track access charges etc but it would also free up DMUs to strengthen services elsewhere in South Wales...

Is this even remotely feasible?

The affordability of higher track access charges for LHCS for one thing
 

craigybagel

Established Member
Joined
25 Oct 2012
Messages
5,143
The speed limit only being 45 (as opposed to 60 for multiple units) would be another. For what it's worth though, currently half and hopefully soon all guards on the north end of the line do sign loco and stock, although no drivers at either end and no guards at the south end sign it....
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
31,156
Location
Scotland
The speed limit only being 45 (as opposed to 60 for multiple units) would be another. For what it's worth though, currently half and hopefully soon all guards on the north end of the line do sign loco and stock, although no drivers at either end and no guards at the south end sign it....
Is there currently a 'light' loco (e.g. a Class 20 equivalent) that can run at higher speeds with such light loads?
 

route:oxford

Established Member
Joined
1 Nov 2008
Messages
4,949
Is there currently a 'light' loco (e.g. a Class 20 equivalent) that can run at higher speeds with such light loads?

There are dozens of units just waiting to be converted to Class 230 that are perfect for a 60mph railway.
 

craigybagel

Established Member
Joined
25 Oct 2012
Messages
5,143
Even the 185s which are very much multiple units can't run at MU speeds so I think you'd struggle to find a loco that could be light enough.

Much easier to run more locos and stock on the routes they're already used on then extend it to a route its not really suited for. The MPs can complain but given the low prices of tickets on the line (which many of the users don't even need to pay for in winter) and low passenger numbers it's hard to see a case for the HOW being a high priority for nicer stock IMO.
 

najaB

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Aug 2011
Messages
31,156
Location
Scotland
There are dozens of units just waiting to be converted to Class 230 that are perfect for a 60mph railway.
Shhhh! You're not allowed to talk about them, certain posters from not Cheshire West will be on in a bit...
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
32,646
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Shhhh! You're not allowed to talk about them, certain posters from not Cheshire West will be on in a bit...

Indeed, I admire your geographical negative reverse phraseology and being from Cheshire East, it is good to hear that there are those in Cheshire West who share my opinions of that unit....:D


--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Shhhh! You're not allowed to talk about them, certain posters from not Cheshire West will be on in a bit...


Incidentally, will the Class 230 trials be completed and a decision to allow them to run in commercial service between Nuneaton and Coventry be made before Santa Claus next makes his annual visit.
 
Last edited:

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,135
Location
Nottingham
The umpteen miles of old bullhead track needs little maintenance for the occasional Sprinter but would need a lot more for regular use by locos. It would also have to be push-pull to manage the intermediate reversal at Llanelli as well as terminating without run-round - unless top-and-tail was adopted which would almost double the cost.

However I don't think the 230 is appropriate here either - HoWL proper is mainly 45mph but there are longish sections of 75mph running to get to Shrewsbury and Swansea.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
16,203
Its only clear to RA5 even though I expect the odd heavier loco has been down there.
 

70014IronDuke

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2015
Messages
3,723
Its only clear to RA5 even though I expect the odd heavier loco has been down there.

What are 37s? There used to be four at Landore with headlamps to work the line.

But LHCS is about a good an idea as re-opening Carmarthen-Aberystwyth as a four-track main line. Apart from the training costs and extra track access charges, the reliability of LHCS eg on the Cumbrian is not the best. (At least two trains cancelled this week.)

Rescuing a dead loco and carriages at Sugar Loaf would stop traffic for the day. :oops:

If there were any spare 153s around, double up. And allocate one to do a Ammanford or Llandeilo - Swansea shuttle - one section of the line with a population that might appreciate a better service.
 

anthony263

Established Member
Joined
19 Aug 2008
Messages
6,575
Location
South Wales
I do think the WG want to eventually have a 2 hourly service along the full length of the Heart of wales line with some short workings between Llandeilo & Swansea and Llandrindod - Shrewsbury.
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,773
There's no technical reason why the MUs used could not be configured to have seats lined up with tables and more luggage space. The main reason not to is to fit more seats in. More luggage space and seats lined up with windows is not an inherent property of LCHS
 

70014IronDuke

Established Member
Joined
13 Jun 2015
Messages
3,723
I do think the WG want to eventually have a 2 hourly service along the full length of the Heart of wales line with some short workings between Llandeilo & Swansea and Llandrindod - Shrewsbury.

Interesting if so - I mean the two-hourly service. But would it be worth it under current conditions? I mean, it's so damned slow. Could the line speed be raised and the current service be speeded up first?

i'm all for extra services at each end of the line though.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
98,570
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
There's no technical reason why the MUs used could not be configured to have seats lined up with tables and more luggage space. The main reason not to is to fit more seats in. More luggage space and seats lined up with windows is not an inherent property of LCHS

Priority seats also don't help, as they break the symmetry. FWIW, they also aren't much help for those for whom they are intended (other than able bodied people wanting extra legroom) - my observation is that often those who are of limited mobility but walking choose tighter seat pitches as it is easier to hold onto the seat back in front to sit down.

FWIW, the original Class 158 layout was fully aligned, and the ScotRail Scenic layout near enough will be. Difficult with 150s and 153s because of the window size and positioning.
 

broadgage

Member
Joined
11 Aug 2012
Messages
1,094
Location
Somerset
There's no technical reason why the MUs used could not be configured to have seats lined up with tables and more luggage space. The main reason not to is to fit more seats in. More luggage space and seats lined up with windows is not an inherent property of LCHS

This is true, but in practice DMUs often tend to have cramped seating, minimal tables, not lined up with windows, and inadequate luggage space.
A DMU COULD be designed with a comfortable internal layout, but in practice they are not.

Indeed, when non railway experts state that they don't like DMUs, I suspect that they do not care much about the location of the power source, but that what they MEAN is "I dislike the cramped layout and poor view."

And of course DMUs give the flexibility to always run a train that is shorter than needed.
 

30907

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
18,422
Location
Airedale
And of course DMUs give the flexibility to always run a train that is shorter than needed.

But is this the case for the HOWL over any significant distance?

I'm not a regular user, so stand to be corrected, but a trip on the 10xx off Shrewsbury in August last year produced loadings around the 20 mark, and sightings of the old 09xx (the 150 working) suggested much the same, ditto 1800-ish arrivals at Salop.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
98,570
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
This is true, but in practice DMUs often tend to have cramped seating, minimal tables, not lined up with windows, and inadequate luggage space.
A DMU COULD be designed with a comfortable internal layout, but in practice they are not.

Were not, up to the late 1990s. There's nothing much wrong with the layout of things like Class 170s (ScotRail layout) and Class 185s.
 

craigybagel

Established Member
Joined
25 Oct 2012
Messages
5,143
But is this the case for the HOWL over any significant distance?

I'm not a regular user, so stand to be corrected, but a trip on the 10xx off Shrewsbury in August last year produced loadings around the 20 mark, and sightings of the old 09xx (the 150 working) suggested much the same, ditto 1800-ish arrivals at Salop.

Those numbers are pretty accurate. Outside of special events, and the beginning and end of the free tickets in winter for Welsh concession pass holders (for some reason there's always a big crowd of them at the start and end of the season) there is more than enough capacity in the units used at present, especially as the mid morning departure from Shrewsbury is a lot more quiet now since the new timetable killed off the regular passengers. Ditto the first arrival into Shrewsbury in the morning.
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
25,135
Location
Nottingham
Having spent quite a long time trying to do so a couple of years ago, I know it is pretty much impossible to timetable a 2hr interval over the entire route because the spacing of the loops doesn't allow it without some very long waits on the way (which would lengthen the journey time, reducing passenger numbers and requiring even more extra stock). One or possibly two more loops would be needed and the service would be vulnerable to disruption because of the number of crossing moves taking place.

It is easier to add extra workings at both ends that only need to pass one other train on their journey and can be timed to meet that one at a loop.
 

Smuggler

Member
Joined
22 Oct 2016
Messages
9
Location
All over the place
I've also heard on the grapevine of what Anthony describes too. From what I recall I think installing two new loops and having a layover mid-way down the line has been in discussion.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top