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New trains for Northern

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Energy

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From this thread.

TLDR; Northern have said they are planning more new trains in this, more specifically 331s.

They say they are doing it for fleet standardisation, the other EMU fleets are 333s, 323s and 319s (soon to be replaced by 323s though). 323s seem unlikely, they decided to take on more from WMT so there will be a fleet of around 30 of them. 319s are getting replaced anyway but the 333s doesn't seem unlikely, the windscreen is facing issues, the PIS apparently can't have new stations and they have corrosion issues so it seems fairly likely the additional 331s will be to replace these.
 
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Nymanic

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They're a somewhat credible option for West Yorkshire - but a 331/1 has around 80 fewer seats than a 333. A standard fleet of 331/0s could work, doubled up on most services if we ever return to post-COVID patronage, although that's a lot of SDO working - and a lot of trains to lease.

Capacity-wise, sending 323s across the Pennines to work in pairs would be very effective (subject to SDO fitment). Politically, though, it wouldn't be acceptable.

Either way, it'd be lunacy for 323s to be withdrawn for 331s.

I still think it's a pity 195s/331s weren't ordered with a wider carbody (as per 323s/333s), since you'd have the option of 3+2 seating for some routes, and 2+2 with wider aisles elsewhere. It'd prove more versatile in the long term as a standard platform, and as a future 333/Sprinter replacement.

Naturally, clearance complications and the need for a 'cheap and fast' solution precluded this. Which is most unfortunate. 195s/331s are too narrow for 3+2.
 

waverley47

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Assuming no further electrification, there's not very much (319s) apart that really need binned.

The 323s are decent, and a big enough set that there's no problems with microfleets. They're also probably astoundingly cheap atm, given that WMT didn't want them and northern thought about getting rid of theirs. As above, there are so pragmatic issues (DOO and SDO) to replacing 323s with a new build, so in all honesty I don't expect them to go.

If you replaced the 16x4car 333s with 32x3car 331s, that would be great for capacity, but not so great for comfort. Personally I'd assume a program of platform lengthening to be announced to make such a swap easier, but that's not currently in the pipeline.

If more wires are getting strung up, that would be great, but remember that so far we don't know how far the wires are going to go. The lead time on knitting is significantly longer than the lead time for new rolling stock. It seems a bit premature to be discussing the purchase of new trains without knowing if there will be enough work for them.

But this is a bit of a chicken and egg style situation, so I guess something will have to change soonish.
 

Whistler40145

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Could Class 331 (With batteries) be a potential too.
Definitely be made good use with the Windermere to Manchester Airport Route.

Honestly, I feel an order of CAF bi-modes is what is really needed
Could do unless the local MP gets his way for the Windermere branch to be electrified, no extra feeder stations are required
 

HST43257

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Could Class 331 (With batteries) be a potential too.
Definitely be made good use with the Windermere to Manchester Airport Route.

Honestly, I feel an order of CAF bi-modes is what is really needed
CAF bi-modes would be great in my opinion. 769s won’t last long and many Northern routes could use bimodes, such as:
Manchester to Barrow/Windermere
Southport to Alderley Edge
Manchester to Buxton
Manchester to Rose Hill Marple
 

HST43257

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Windermere needs wiring. Barrow might be good on batteries?
Only issue is that if you have 2 separate fleets for Windermere and Barrow, diagrams and turnarounds become a lot tougher to make work, assuming that a Windermere service may currently make a Barrow service, or vice versa. Either wire both or wire just Windermere but with battery use possible for Barrow runs.
 

Greybeard33

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Only issue is that if you have 2 separate fleets for Windermere and Barrow, diagrams and turnarounds become a lot tougher to make work, assuming that a Windermere service may currently make a Barrow service, or vice versa. Either wire both or wire just Windermere but with battery use possible for Barrow runs.
Not really. Just make Windermere - Airport and Barrow - Airport each 1tp2h, then the diagrams can be independent. That is what was originally planned when the 331s were ordered for Windermere, before the electrification was cancelled.
 

HST43257

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Not really. Just make Windermere - Airport and Barrow - Airport each 1tp2h, then the diagrams can be independent. That is what was originally planned when the 331s were ordered for Windermere, before the electrification was cancelled.
On the whole I’d agree. The only issue is that Barrow gets about 1/3 less Manchester services per day.
 

Harvey B

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the 333s doesn't seem unlikely, the windscreen is facing issues, the PIS apparently can't have new stations and they have corrosion issues so it seems fairly likely the additional 331s will be to replace these.
If This is True Then:
 
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Bletchleyite

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On the whole I’d agree. The only issue is that Barrow gets about 1/3 less Manchester services per day.

Though that's what it used to have - Windermere has been somewhat short-changed of late. NorthWest Express used to be 2 hourly to each, roughly (for Windermere, the unit would do a shuttle back to Oxenholme in between the Airport runs). It only ended up in a mess once TPE ended up running it and hasn't quite been back since. Generally, only the services starting at Lancaster in the alternate hour would do Kents Bank (I think), Cark and Roose.

One thing that would be quite good would be to run a two-hourly DMU Lancaster-Carlisle via Barrow timed to connect in both directions, giving people further round the coast the advantage of connections at Lancaster without two changes. (The downside of this I suppose would be not being hourly clockface, it'd be a two hour pattern). In the hours when the express runs, that would be a Barrow-Carlisle as a connection.
 

HST43257

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One thing that would be quite good would be to run a two-hourly DMU Lancaster-Carlisle via Barrow timed to connect in both directions, giving people further round the coast the advantage of connections at Lancaster without two changes. (The downside of this I suppose would be not being hourly clockface, it'd be a two hour pattern). In the hours when the express runs, that would be a Barrow-Carlisle as a connection.
Agreed. In the even longer term, we could see 1tph Manchester to Windermere and 1tph Manchester to Barrow. There could then be a Lancaster to Carlisle via St Bees connecting in with the Windermere, meaning a half hourly service Lancaster to Barrow - unless you extended the Manchester to Barrow all the way to Carlisle...
 

northernchris

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They're a somewhat credible option for West Yorkshire - but a 331/1 has around 80 fewer seats than a 333. A standard fleet of 331/0s could work, doubled up on most services if we ever return to post-COVID patronage, although that's a lot of SDO working - and a lot of trains to lease.

The current interior layout of 331s isn't the best for commuter routes, so they may be able to add a few more seats by removing some of the tables. Another option could be pairs of 331/0s on the Leeds - Ilkley / Skipton services, with the 331/1s being used on the Bradford services which are typically quieter
 

Bletchleyite

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The current interior layout of 331s isn't the best for commuter routes, so they may be able to add a few more seats by removing some of the tables. Another option could be pairs of 331/0s on the Leeds - Ilkley / Skipton services, with the 331/1s being used on the Bradford services which are typically quieter

I'm inclined to think that the simplicity of standardising on an entirely 3-car CAF fleet, run singly or as pairs, would have a considerable benefit.

If, for example, you could have everything on Castlefield running in that manner, you could mark door positions or even have pseudo-platform edge door fences which would help control the baying mob.
 

Halish Railway

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I wonder what they battery range of a 331 would be - If it can do up to 70 miles away from the wires then they would make a good fit for Neville Hill based services, the one I’m thinking being Leeds to Sheffield via Wakefield Westgate or even Leeds to Lancaster.
 

HST43257

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The current interior layout of 331s isn't the best for commuter routes, so they may be able to add a few more seats by removing some of the tables. Another option could be pairs of 331/0s on the Leeds - Ilkley / Skipton services, with the 331/1s being used on the Bradford services which are typically quieter
I agree with this. Some services should retain tables though, perhaps predominantly express/long distance ones.

I'm inclined to think that the simplicity of standardising on an entirely 3-car CAF fleet, run singly or as pairs, would have a considerable benefit.

If, for example, you could have everything on Castlefield running in that manner, you could mark door positions or even have pseudo-platform edge door fences which would help control the baying mob.
If I’m understanding correctly, you’re suggesting a fully 3 car fleet. Many services, particularly Leeds based, should definitely have 4 cars.
 

northernchris

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I'm inclined to think that the simplicity of standardising on an entirely 3-car CAF fleet, run singly or as pairs, would have a considerable benefit.

If, for example, you could have everything on Castlefield running in that manner, you could mark door positions or even have pseudo-platform edge door fences which would help control the baying mob.

It would definitely help with Castlefield, but could potentially hinder the timetable at Shipley, as 6 car sets would overhang junctions preventing other services from departing
 

skyhigh

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Another option could be pairs of 331/0s on the Leeds - Ilkley / Skipton services, with the 331/1s being used on the Bradford services which are typically quieter
That wouldn't work, unless I'm missing something? Trains generally work around the triangle so it'd need a fairly major change in diagramming
 

northernchris

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That wouldn't work, unless I'm missing something? Trains generally work around the triangle so it'd need a fairly major change in diagramming

Currently the Ilkley - Leeds then forms Leeds - Skipton. In the other direction a Skipton - Leeds usually works the Leeds - Bradford, but could theoretically work back to Ilkley although there would only be around 5 minutes layover at Leeds. The rest of the interlinking should be fairly easy, as the standard pattern is Leeds - Bradford, Bradford - Ilkley - Bradford - Skipton - Bradford - Leeds
 

Bletchleyite

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If I’m understanding correctly, you’re suggesting a fully 3 car fleet.

Yes.

Many services, particularly Leeds based, should definitely have 4 cars.

I was suggesting those would be 6, though someone else has suggested this may be an issue because of junction layouts so you may need 4-car sets for Yorkshire even if everything on the west side would be 3.

I would certainly extend all the 195s to 3 though. 2-car DMUs have no place on the mainline.
 

Llandudno

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Though that's what it used to have - Windermere has been somewhat short-changed of late. NorthWest Express used to be 2 hourly to each, roughly (for Windermere, the unit would do a shuttle back to Oxenholme in between the Airport runs). It only ended up in a mess once TPE ended up running it and hasn't quite been back since. Generally, only the services starting at Lancaster in the alternate hour would do Kents Bank (I think), Cark and Roose.

One thing that would be quite good would be to run a two-hourly DMU Lancaster-Carlisle via Barrow timed to connect in both directions, giving people further round the coast the advantage of connections at Lancaster without two changes. (The downside of this I suppose would be not being hourly clockface, it'd be a two hour pattern). In the hours when the express runs, that would be a Barrow-Carlisle as a connection.
A clock face 2 hourly pattern between Barrow and Carlisle would be good, but how would this fit in with Sellafield shift patterns?

A train every two hours between Barrow and Millom maybe insufficient, especially as I think Millom could be the largest village/town in the country without a bus service?
 

Bletchleyite

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A clock face 2 hourly pattern between Barrow and Carlisle would be good, but how would this fit in with Sellafield shift patterns?

A train every two hours between Barrow and Millom maybe insufficient, especially as I think Millom could be the largest village/town in the country without a bus service?

I meant the pattern would repeat every 2 hours, e.g. (only one direction shown for clarity; odd-even is arbitrary, the other way round could well be better when you look at the times - there is commuting from the Barrow route to Manchester so it makes sense to time it for the Barrows to be the commuter timed runs, there would likely be a lot less from Windermere if any):

Even hours:
Manchester Airport to Barrow (battery 331 or 195)
Barrow-Carlisle 15x DMU
Oxenholme<->Windermere shuttle run (331)

Odd hours:
Manchester Airport to Windermere (331)
Lancaster-Carlisle 15x DMU

The pattern would need to be different in the even hours from the odd hours, because for the Lancaster-Carlisle DMU to connect with the Manchester Airport to Windermere it'd have to leave Lancaster about 5 minutes later than the direct service in the even hours, unless there was a "path" for the Airport-Barrow to sit around at Lancaster for 5 minutes or so. The Coast part could be clockface as there are paths to have the Lancaster-Carlisle hang around in Barrow for 5 minutes.
 
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HST43257

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I meant the pattern would repeat every 2 hours, e.g. (only one direction shown for clarity; odd-even is arbitrary, the other way round could well be better when you look at the times):

Even hours:
Manchester Airport to Barrow (battery 331 or 195)
Barrow-Carlisle 15x DMU
Oxenholme<->Windermere shuttle run (331)

Odd hours:
Manchester Airport to Windermere (331)
Lancaster-Carlisle 15x DMU

The pattern would need to be different in the even hours from the odd hours, because for the Lancaster-Carlisle DMU to connect with the Manchester Airport to Windermere it'd have to leave Lancaster about 5 minutes later than the direct service in the even hours, unless there was a "path" for the Windermere to sit around at Lancaster for 5 minutes or so.
This looks like an excellent idea. I‘ve not looked into the exact timetabling yet but if there was a long wait at Barrow, would you put extra services in (similar-ish to the Windermere branch) or would you send them to the carriage sidings or somewhere for a wash (internal or external - not sure about the facilities available.
 

Bletchleyite

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This looks like an excellent idea. I‘ve not looked into the exact timetabling yet but if there was a long wait at Barrow, would you put extra services in (similar-ish to the Windermere branch) or would you send them to the carriage sidings or somewhere for a wash (internal or external - not sure about the facilities available.

I don't think the wait would be that long in Barrow's case, and it wouldn't need to be in Windermere's other than that a 2-hourly service on the branch would be inadequate so you have to do a shuttle with the express unit/crew because you've not got another one there to do it. This rough timetable has operated before - it (or something very close to it) was what operated in the 1990s, though the Coast bit was less frequent. (Several a day did slot in between the expresses, but not all as it was roughly 2-hourly so needed to be adjusted to Sellafield shift times).
 

tbtc

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I think that fleet standardisation should be more focussed on the DMU side of Northern, than the relatively small numbers of EMU classes... but then I think we really ought to have a Windermere mega-thread, since we seem to end up having exactly the same discussion about the branch on various different threads... Northern really don't need six different classes of DMU (some of which have subclasses) - but with suggestions about taking on 175/185s - swap some classes around elsewhere to simplify things - it's a mess!

I'm not putting too much faith in the suggestion about getting more 331s - it sounds like people jumping on the kind of positive PR quote that *of course* the spokesperson is going to say - they are hardly going to give a press release saying "we have too many trains and the subsidy profile plus Covid downturn means that we ought to be shrinking the fleet", even if there is an element of truth.

I wonder what they battery range of a 331 would be - If it can do up to 70 miles away from the wires then they would make a good fit for Neville Hill based services, the one I’m thinking being Leeds to Sheffield via Wakefield Westgate or even Leeds to Lancaster.

Good question - that's a route they should be okay on - over half the route (Leeds - Moorthorpe) is under the wires, and a round trip from Moorthorpe to Sheffield would be around half the seventy miles distance you've quoted, so wouldn't be pushing them anywhere near the maximum (given that I could see The Powers That Be being reluctant to put battery units on a route that put them dangerously close to being at their maximum distance away from the wires).

There are a few routes where you could amend existing services and extend a little distance beyond the wires - e.g. some Leeds - Skipton services could run to Settle (okay, Ribblehead, given the lack of points, before anyone jumps down my throat) - maybe add one extra unit to the Airedale diagrams so that there's always one north of Skipton, providing a ninety minute service from Leeds further up the valley (based on it being around forty minutes from Skipton to Ribblehead, i.e. one unit could do the round trip in around an hour and a half)

This could be a way of giving Morecambe a regular Manchester service too - a lot of people are stuck in a British Rail mentality whereby demand for Morecambe services is all about Leeds rather than Manchester Because That's How BR Used To Do It - but I think it'd be a simple extension for a handful of services a day.

Shame that the Morpeth - Newcastle services now run through to Carlisle, rather than just Metro Centre, as a battery unit would be great on a Morpeth - Metro Centre route (short section of shunting at Morpeth and also from Gateshead to Metro Centre are unnelectrified, but a 100mph EMU would be much better use of a path on the ECML than a 75mph DMU path). That brings the problems of a micro fleet though.
 
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