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Northern Tender for up to 450 units

43096

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It seems to be open on vehicle length, and could even be articulated. Looks like electric units, but initially with option to have diesel power packs, that can later become straight EMUs or battery EMUs


My money is on version of Stadler Flirt, or Siemens Verve (the updated class 385 used in Scotland).
Class 385 is a Hitachi design...
 
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43096

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They're old. Like the Turbos and Networkers, it's going to start being difficult to get spares due to them being early electronic designs. (It's easy enough to fabricate old style mechanical spares for stuff like PEP EMUs by contrast).
I take it you're not aware that the 323s have had their GTO traction equipment replaced by new IGBT kit in recent years?
 

AlastairFraser

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They're old. Like the Turbos and Networkers, it's going to start being difficult to get spares due to them being early electronic designs. (It's easy enough to fabricate old style mechanical spares for stuff like PEP EMUs by contrast).



Kirkby I suspect probably will. Ormskirk might, though personally while I can see them going to Burscough (basically just moving the buffer stops) I can't see them going past there. But there are plenty of others. There's no chance of Colne being anything other than 2.DMU for a very long time, if not forever. Same with the middle bit of the Cumbrian Coast, Bentham, Morecambe, the S&C at quiet times and so on.
As for your first point, yes they are older, but they are reliable. Unlike some of the more modern stock.
If anything, send the 333s to Scotland to provide a cheap option for EK and Barrhead, or convert them to bi mode (not sure if technically feasible). I suspect the bi mode portion of the contract will be used more heavily on the Yorkshire side, because of the potential for combination of existing electric and diesel routes.

As for your second point, I agree about Kirkby. Ormskirk would be simpler and faster going through to Preston, and would drive passenger growth, eliminating subsidy. But that's up to the DafT, of course.
Colne depends on future railway extension projects, and/or electrification.
It has the potential for significant growth with a better service.
I agree about the others.
 

Bletchleyite

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Ormskirk would be simpler and faster going through to Preston, and would drive passenger growth, eliminating subsidy.

It'd increase cost, not reduce it. North of Burscough, which is probably the edge of the Liverpool commuter area, it is just empty space with little case for major housing development expansion, and not that many people actually need to go from Ormskirk to Preston or vice versa, while there's a primary Liverpool-Preston service via Wigan already.

You can't expect it to look like the Elizabeth Line, as the economic and demographic situation is not even similar.
 

AlastairFraser

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It'd increase cost, not reduce it. North of Burscough, which is probably the edge of the Liverpool commuter area, it is just empty space with little case for major housing development expansion, and not that many people actually need to go from Ormskirk to Preston or vice versa, while there's a primary Liverpool-Preston service via Wigan already.

You can't expect it to look like the Elizabeth Line, as the economic and demographic situation is not even similar.
It's not just commuters you'd see here. I suspect a fair bit of the football and nightlife traffic would go this way, especially with the Saveaway and the range it offers.
And with congestion driving into Liverpool after Switch Island, you could cream off more traffic from the M6/M58 combo (yes, Kirkby would do this to some extent, but not from further out if you want to avoid the M6 backlog.

Edit: forgot to mention the seaside traffic potential from places like Chorley and Leyland to Southport via Burscough, the current bus and train service options are not very attractive, and it takes a while to drive from the interior of South Lancs to Southport.
 

Meerkat

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I can’t see Stadler getting this unless they buy an existing factory off an incumbent.
Unless it was next to an old one building a new factory would still involve another closing and the net National position wouldn’t make that less politically painful.
If this is all one contract is there enough other work to keep all the other factories going?
 

Some guy

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It'd increase cost, not reduce it. North of Burscough, which is probably the edge of the Liverpool commuter area, it is just empty space with little case for major housing development expansion, and not that many people actually need to go from Ormskirk to Preston or vice versa, while there's a primary Liverpool-Preston service via Wigan already.

You can't expect it to look like the Elizabeth Line, as the economic and demographic situation is not even similar.
Ormskirk is far more important than it seems especially with edge hill university there so attracts students and connects to the WCML at Preston
 

Mamorin

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They're old. Like the Turbos and Networkers, it's going to start being difficult to get spares due to them being early electronic designs. (It's easy enough to fabricate old style mechanical spares for stuff like PEP EMUs by contrast).
While the 323s are old they have a lot of modern parts in them now.

I think the only 90s equipment left in the 323s that might be hard to get are the Holec DMKT 52/24 traction motors.

So while the 323s are old, getting spare parts for them can't be too hard.

Though if this tender becomes and order and the order is placed in phases then yes this order would most likely replace the 323s.
 

Bletchleyite

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Edit: forgot to mention the seaside traffic potential from places like Chorley and Leyland to Southport via Burscough, the current bus and train service options are not very attractive, and it takes a while to drive from the interior of South Lancs to Southport.

Literally nobody would do this with a good 20 minutes' walk between the two stations. They'd go via Wigan as they do now.
 

Bletchleyite

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However, that involves taking the Scally express, passing through Knowsley.... :lol:

Umm, not unless my railway geography is well off! (Chorley)-Leyland-Wigan-Southport. Not great, but better than (Chorley/Leyland)-Preston-Burscough Jn-20 minutes' walk-Burscough Br-Southport.

Anyway we're way OT, I'll leave it there.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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So which manufacturers will bid for this?
UK rail doesn't have a good track record of following through with sizeable orders for a common design, once you discount Aventra, Desiro and IEP which went to the really big UK markets.
Somewhere along the line the requirements or technology will change, or the funding will run out.
And who builds extendable/convertible DMU/EMU/hybrid regional trains?
It sounds like a job for Stadler, but it is the one without a UK assembly capability, and it is not short of European orders for its current range.
The procurement notice doesn't seem to ask for manufacturer's maintenance, which would increase the attraction for them.

The DfT must want to benchmark this type of solution for a range of TOCs, but it isn't clear what Northern's freedom of movement is, commercially.
There's the standard but tricky disclaimer that Northern may in the end not place an order.
If GBR existed would this be their procurement?
 

Snow1964

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The Framework agreement clearly allows multiple operators to draw down (and I suspect Northern as OLR is doing the advance work that will subsequently become GBR).

I think needs to be seen as a standard train, probably with 2 seating configurations and different lengths, but basically the same train.

So working backwards, I think DfT is seeing it as a standard design for all train replacements (except high speed) from 2026 for about a decade. With economies of scale hopefully reducing the price.

So speculation (which might be better in separate thread) should probably look at what rolling stock was introduced in 1980s and 1990s that remains (and not currently got pending replacement). So looking at 15x, 16x diesel units and remaining BR era EMUs.

If we are looking at 3car units then upto 1350 vehicles, if some are 4 or 5car could potentially be 2000 vehicles under this framework. I haven't got time to work out and add up all the classes and quantity of vehicles from 1980s and 1990s that will still be around in 2025. Probably will cover them all, and might even be enough to cover some existing trains from years 2000-2004 too
 

LOL The Irony

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So which manufacturers will bid for this?
I'm going to take a stab at CAF, Alstombardier and maybe hitachi, Siemens and Stadler. Though as others say, it'll most likely be awarded to someone with a UK factory, which Stadler lack.

On another note, I'm going to point out that it says up to 450 units, meaning we may (will) get less than 450 trains.
 

AlastairFraser

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View attachment 140615
Preston - Southport via Knowsley?
The train passes through Knowsley and St. Helens on the way there. You will be on the train with the roaming thieves who operate on these services (a few of which I saw getting chucked off and nicked a Liverpool bound Northern stopper at Wigan coming from Blackpool, while waiting for my Warrington train).
 

skyhigh

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If anything, send the 333s to Scotland to provide a cheap option for EK and Barrhead, or convert them to bi mode (not sure if technically feasible).
Why on earth would you convert 16 effectively unique units into something they were never designed for?

Look how well it went with the 769s.....

Since they've not long opened the new maintenance shed at newton heath I think they'll stick to CAF.
That is effectively meaningless. A shed is a drop in the ocean compared to 450 units (especially when the existing CAF units are likely to stay with Northern)
 

AlastairFraser

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Why on earth would you convert 16 effectively unique units into something they were never designed for?

Look how well it went with the 769s.....
Precisely my point about a feasibility assessment. The conversion cost must be somewhat less than new build, so it could make the bid for new units slightly more palatable for the DafT if some of the proposal was refurbishing or upgrading existing stock.
 

Energy

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Precisely my point about a feasibility assessment. The conversion cost must be somewhat less than new build, so it could make the bid for new units slightly more palatable for the DafT if some of the proposal was refurbishing or upgrading existing stock.
I'd be very suprised if any bidder was interested in modifying existing stock. Its also debatable whether it would fit in the SUPPLY OF NEW ROLLING STOCK tender.
I'm going to take a stab at CAF, Alstombardier and maybe hitachi, Siemens and Stadler. Though as others say, it'll most likely be awarded to someone with a UK factory, which Stadler lack.
I'd guess CAF, Alstom, Hitachi and a Siemens/Stadler joint bid. The latter have worked jointly over in Europe before. It'll depend on timescales as Alstom and Hitachi will be full with HS2.
 

RailWonderer

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My money is on version of Stadler Flirt, or Siemens Verve (the updated class 385 used in Scotland).
You mean the Siemens class 380.

With Goole, Derby, Newton Aycliffe and Newport needing to keep jobs I doubt a new manufacturer that would need to set up some UK factory like Talgo would be the favourite, as politics will play into the decision to keep jobs if this tender does turn into anything. Newport is small and Goole will have the tube orders so I would hedge my bets on Hitachi or Alstom to keep them busy until the HS2 build (Siemens and Stadler are an outside shot).

If this tender does go ahead it would be well timed for when the existing rolling stock orders dry up (the last IETs for Avanti and EMR, the last 197s for TfW and the last 730s for LNR will all be done in less than a year).
 

Mikey C

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The Framework agreement clearly allows multiple operators to draw down (and I suspect Northern as OLR is doing the advance work that will subsequently become GBR).

I think needs to be seen as a standard train, probably with 2 seating configurations and different lengths, but basically the same train.

So working backwards, I think DfT is seeing it as a standard design for all train replacements (except high speed) from 2026 for about a decade. With economies of scale hopefully reducing the price.

So speculation (which might be better in separate thread) should probably look at what rolling stock was introduced in 1980s and 1990s that remains (and not currently got pending replacement). So looking at 15x, 16x diesel units and remaining BR era EMUs.

If we are looking at 3car units then upto 1350 vehicles, if some are 4 or 5car could potentially be 2000 vehicles under this framework. I haven't got time to work out and add up all the classes and quantity of vehicles from 1980s and 1990s that will still be around in 2025. Probably will cover them all, and might even be enough to cover some existing trains from years 2000-2004 too
Indeed this will presumably become the default train across the country for all operators looking to replace DMUs, in the way the Turbostar became the "default" DMU after privatisation for most operators, so an order well worth winning.
 

WatcherZero

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Framework contracts you generally want to specify options for more than you think you need as it locks in the price, the supplier is then contractually required to offer you the same price for later 'options' orders as they did for early ones (adjusting for inflation) until the potential options have been exhausted and then you can either negotiate additional options or agree a completely new contract. Otherwise after youve ordered 200 and you decide you need another 20 they can turn around and say they want a 30% higher price and your at that point locked in as your logistics, maintenance and training all revolve around that model. At the same time you dont want to go crazy and say you want 10,000 options but only place 50 firm orders, both because your endangering your relationship and endangering the financial security of the supplier and secondly as it will be reflected in the price, they need to ensure they have the capacity to meet any potential order which means ramping production and a large order means extra production capacity and staff to be hired and trained which will be reflected in the price, i,e, if you say you want potentially 50 a year for the next 10 years and they have an existing factory that has enough spare capacity or with minimal investment is capable of achieving that capacity then you should get a good price, if they need to potentially double capacity and build another two factories that will mean those costs will be reflected in the unit price.

The downside of framework contracts is it locks in a certain current specification and disincentives improvements as better but more expensive parts or additional features wont be reflected in the unit price unless a variation is negotiated and the manufacturer are also incentivised not to from economies of scale, down the line this can lead to a stale design not taking advantage of technological advancements over the last 10/20 years, continued use of obsolescent parts that would otherwise have been replaced with newer, easier to source equivalents, and still paying for functions to be included that you no longer require (e.g. controls, communication/signalling equipment, interior furnishings that you have since refit the rest of its siblings to replace) that the operator then rips out and chucks as soon as they take delivery of the unit.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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The procurement will apparently be under the Utilities Contract Regulations process, 2016.
This was one of the last EU-conformance regulations adopted by the UK, but effectively means EU public procurement rules will be followed.
So there's limited cope to direct the order to a particular manufacturer or factory, although who knows what the "delivery of social value" clause means.
Hitachi has also demonstrated its capability to assemble the same train design in the UK, Japan and Italy, from the same kit of parts.
I don't detect any particular urgency in the procurement; Northern can soldier on with its current fleet (plus extra 323s) for some time.
I can't see the word "hydrogen" anywhere, which simplifies things somewhat.
 
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Snow1964

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With Goole, Derby, Newton Aycliffe and Newport needing to keep jobs I doubt a new manufacturer that would need to set up some UK factory like Talgo would be the favourite, as politics will play into the decision to keep jobs if this tender does turn into anything. Newport is small and Goole will have the tube orders so I would hedge my bets on Hitachi or Alstom to keep them busy until the HS2 build (Siemens and Stadler are an outside shot).
Allowing time for development of a standard European design to UK loading gauge (or adaptation of existing design) then testing and certification. Feels like production would be from 2026 for few years (even if pre series unit appears year earlier)

Pretty sure that most of the existing orders at UK factories are generally ending within next 12 months, which rather leaves a time gap at the factories. Goole does have half the Piccadilly tube order, but unless options for others are exercised that will not be busy by 2027. Derby (with Hitachi) does have an order for batch 1 of HS2 stock but that looking more like 2027-2031 build dates
 

Mikey C

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Allowing time for development of a standard European design to UK loading gauge (or adaptation of existing design) then testing and certification. Feels like production would be from 2026 for few years (even if pre series unit appears year earlier)

Pretty sure that most of the existing orders at UK factories are generally ending within next 12 months, which rather leaves a time gap at the factories. Goole does have half the Piccadilly tube order, but unless options for others are exercised that will not be busy by 2027. Derby (with Hitachi) does have an order for batch 1 of HS2 stock but that looking more like 2027-2031 build dates
I'd be staggered if Goole doesn't get follow on orders to replace at least the ancient Bakerloo Line trains. The extra cost involved in closing the production line then starting again a few years later would be ludicrous.
 

class397tpe

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I'd be staggered if Goole doesn't get follow on orders to replace at least the ancient Bakerloo Line trains. The extra cost involved in closing the production line then starting again a few years later would be ludicrous.
Think they were talking about replacing the central line trains too?
 

northwichcat

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I don't detect any particular urgency in the procurement; Northern can soldier on with its current fleet (plus extra 323s) for some time.

I think the urgency relates to knowing what type of train will be available in the future, to plan for infrastructure enhancements. At present Northern operate paired up Spinters with rear carriages locked out-of-use due to short platform lengths. They'll be a poor business case for Network Rail extending a 75m platform to 92m, if Northern will instead be using trains with shorter carriages or selective door operation in a few years time.
 

Haywain

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I think the urgency relates to knowing what type of train will be available in the future, to plan for infrastructure enhancements. At present Northern operate paired up Spinters with rear carriages locked out-of-use due to short platform lengths. They'll be a poor business case for Network Rail extending a 75m platform to 92m, if Northern will instead be using trains with shorter carriages or selective door operation in a few years time.
I find the suggestion of joined-up thinking quite amusing.
 

Snow1964

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I think the urgency relates to knowing what type of train will be available in the future, to plan for infrastructure enhancements. At present Northern operate paired up Spinters with rear carriages locked out-of-use due to short platform lengths. They'll be a poor business case for Network Rail extending a 75m platform to 92m, if Northern will instead be using trains with shorter carriages or selective door operation in a few years time.
Rather suggests that two 2car units are not what is required, but single 3car set.

How many of these short platforms are actually short, as opposed to being part of a longer platform where part has fallen out of use. Rather easier to replace few platform face sections than build from foundations up. (although there are prefabricated platform extensions that can be lifted in these days, even ones to span roads as was done at Kingston upon Thames)
 

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