Northern Class 195: Construction/Introduction Updates (CAF built new units confirmed)

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Haydn1971, 2 Apr 2016.

  1. Sleeperwaking

    Sleeperwaking Member

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    As current train design standards don't mandate that inter-vehicle doors are fitted, I would point out that the decision whether or not to include them is up to the people placing the order with the manufacturer. Same goes for cab-end gangways.
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Yes, Northern has specified a cheap and nasty unit from start to finish. Perfectly suitable for directly replacing Pacers, not suitable for regional expresses.

    Remember that these former "NorthWest Express" services used to be operated using the rather luxurious in comparison (and very InterCity) Class 175s. They are mechanically unreliable junk, but otherwise they (or a doors-at-thirds version) are the kind of thing that would suit Northern Connect.
     
  3. Aictos

    Aictos On Moderation

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    As would using Class 170s on Northern Connect services instead of wasting them on All Shacks services which are more suitable to the Class 195s.

    Bit like a racehorse being used to pull the milkman's cart!
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Completely agreed.
     
  5. Agent_Squash

    Agent_Squash Member

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    And then we had the rather luxurious (some would say even more so) and reliable 185s - you wonder what the reaction is going to be. There's certainly still the stigma on the Furness line I've found that 'TPE is better than Northern', even if the services are all operated by them!
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm in no way anti-Desiro, indeed I quite like our south WCML Class 350s and the Grammer E3000 is a good basic regional express seat, but I wouldn't call Class 185s luxurious - they're just a poshed up commuter train, really, with a very poor internal layout and vastly inadequate capacity. Until all the new kit arrives, TPE is still in my view to be avoided entirely (and the awful seats may mean it continues to be avoided). That people would rather it than Northern shows just how bad Northern is.
     
  7. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    They were unreliable junk, but they're much better behaved these days. If you've got a good depot who knows what they're doing and can treat them right, they're fine. (Case in point: their sister class 180s.)
     
  8. Aictos

    Aictos On Moderation

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    Just someone in Arriva in my humble opinion has planned for the wrong units on the wrong services especially as it's very unlikely that the Class 170s with them will not be regeared for better performance.
     
  9. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    As a regular Northern traveller I can’t see there’s so much wrong with the 185s, and 350s. The odd times when I’ve had a convenient TPE service for my Wigan - Manchester commute it feels like luxury travel...

    Eventually the Wigan - Manchester TPE service was withdrawn. The first day going back to traveling on Northern’s 142 peasant wagons after a good few months of riding on TPEs 185s and 350s was a serious culture shock... My first trip back in the real world was on one of the fabled ex Merseyrail 142s, the windows completely misted up and condensation pooling on the vinyl floor... :lol:
     
  10. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Build it they will come. The amount of people that are put off using the train in the north due to the dilapidated trains is incredible. I think Arriva are somewhat of the belief this holds the franchise back and potential for huge growth exists. The only way the ridiculous level of subsidy in the north is going to be reduced over the long term is through modern rolling stock that will entice new passengers.
     
  11. jayiscupid

    jayiscupid Member

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    There was a comment in Today's Railways last month (page 7) that said Porterbrook are looking at making Flex units from 377s. This would be an interesting option for Uckfield and Marshlink freeing up yet more 170s.
     
  12. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I do think so, but only if new stock also offers a perceptible capacity upgrade. There are still plenty of overcrowded services in the north due primarily to the use of 2 and 3-car units for peak services.
     
  13. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And a modern service. Just putting new trains on the existing service will provide an improvement, but you'd get even more improvement from a proper, understandable Takt on regional services. Looking at the whole package of how Germany has contracted out regional express routes (and how Switzerland has done the rural S-Bahnen/RER) is quite educational.

    The trouble with Northern is that it is from start to finish a total crock. There is almost nothing good about it other than that it is a train service, which is better than not a train service.
     
  14. Wtloild

    Wtloild Member

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    Agree completely.

    The dilapidated trains are undoubtedly a turn off to potential new travellers, but the chronic overcrowding must surely be by far the biggest disincentive.
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    FWIW, if it is not, for whatever reason, viable to solve that by providing a proper length of train, there are alternatives which could be pursued, such as layouts like the Class 700 or London Overground/S-stock. LO seems very popular and there seems to be surprisingly little whining about the severe overcrowding it sees in places, as the trains are designed to facilitate standing.

    But then that comes back, once again, to the idea that there was no need to order new express DMUs for Northern as there are already a load of them (classes 158 and 170), and a dedicated local DMU would have made a lot more sense, perhaps with an S8-like mixed facing and longitudinal layout. And definitely not 2-car.
     
  16. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    I'm glad to see despite your feelings about Northern, you retain a sense of humour.... ;)
     
  17. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    You run an 8 car train it uses the same staff as a 2 car train but carries 4x the pax.

    I agree 100% about the unfulfilled demand. The peak services I see to the West of Manchester are pretty much full so more stock capacity and longer platforms will be needed. I don’t really see how you can grow the franchise without an increase in peak capacity. It’s been seen in London what effect new stock, greater capacity and increased frequency has on pax numbers.
     
  18. modernrail

    modernrail Member

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    It seems to have lost that bit now as well. 80 per cent of the Northern services I have tried to use since November have been cancelled. Certainly weekends seem to be off the table on lots of routes.
     
  19. modernrail

    modernrail Member

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    I really really do not understand why they increased TP through the core to 6 per hour rather than 4 longer trains per hour. It would be cheaper to run, passengers would be happy with a 15 minute interval and it would help the infrastructure until that is upgraded. The TP core is a badly run shambles and has been for years.
     
  20. a_c_skinner

    a_c_skinner Member

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    Capacity is the big issue across the North of England. Loading must be suppressing demand. It is at the point where you only need to look at the busiest trains to see it. I suspect that each rise in capacity will rapidly fill up and we would be staggered at how much suppressed demand there actually is. As things are the piecemeal approach will go on and on. Occasionally I think the railway would be financially considerably better off if we could invest to meet the demand.
     
  21. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    I thought the idea was the tph improvement comes first then the service length is improved by the 5-car units displacing 185s?
     
  22. modernrail

    modernrail Member

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    I don't think it works though, not with the infrastructure as it is. I would personally have preferred to see 7 or even 8 carriages every 15 minutes. The current plan only works with better infrastructure that isn't going to exist for years. That's just my view.
     
  23. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Is there room for that at all the stations TPE serve though?
     
  24. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    No, not really. Unless you want to go down the route of SDO.
    Sam
     
  25. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Rather better than overcrowding and unreliability, no?
     
  26. samuelmorris

    samuelmorris Established Member

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    Yes but at some stations even SDO isn't sufficient due to trackwork limitations. I wondered if there were any such cases in that region - SDO really isn't the end of the world as long as the service isn't crush-loaded.
     
  27. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Indeed - and that is essentially the only reason the Class 230s for the Marston Vale even exist. Were a 2-car Class 170 or 172 (or CAF wotsit) an option, even with SDO, I'm certain they'd have done that.
     
  28. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    It's all very well saying the new units would be better suited to local work, but a franchise as subsidised as Northern is very lucky to be getting any new stock in the first place, especially under the current rather tight fisted government we're all enjoying. It's a safe bet that the most profitable (or least loss making) parts of the franchise are the routes that will make up the connect network, and therefore it was the easiest sell trying to get new units for those routes. I don't think it was ever a case of "Northern can have X new units - and it's up to them how they use them", I think it more likely it was "you can have new units for Connect, or no new units at all".

    Thank you Krus - I'm sure I've made this point numerous times on this forum, including at least once directly to Bletchleyite (but my apologies in advance if I'm misremembering). The 175s are neither junk nor unreliable, and haven't been for a long time.
     
  29. Bungle965

    Bungle965 Established Member

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    Thanks to the work of Chester depot!
    I must admit I would like to see more out on the weekends on the purely selfish view that I don't think I could cope with another trip on a 150 all the way from Manchester to Cardiff!
    Sam
     
  30. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Then perhaps the 195s should go on local services and the 175s be brought back into Northern (with a good refurb, but NOT new seats) for the Connect routes?
     

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