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Once HS2 phase 2b has opened, should dedicated double decker stock be built?

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Bletchleyite

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Moderator note: Split from https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/hs2-loading-gauge.214161/

Once 2b is built, there might be a case for dedicated, possibly double-deck (much as I hate it) stock for Euston-Brum and Euston-Manchester, but then potentially the existing spare units could be cascaded onto other routes, e.g. to replace by then very much ageing Pendolinos, as while they would be 300km/h (or whatever it is) capable they could still be used at 200km/h.
 
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Aictos

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The HS2 only sets should be similar to the TGV Duplexes that run between Paris Gare Du Est to Stuttgart and operated in pairs giving 1016 seats per train.

The TGV Duplexes are of course double decker intercity trains and a similar design should be considered for the UK.
 

Loki

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The HS2 only sets should be similar to the TGV Duplexes that run between Paris Gare Du Est to Stuttgart and operated in pairs giving 1016 seats per train.

The TGV Duplexes are of course double decker intercity trains and a similar design should be considered for the UK.

Yes. No reason not to use maximum capacity trains especially when the infrastructure supports it.
 

Ianno87

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Yes. No reason not to use maximum capacity trains especially when the infrastructure supports it.

Depends whether Duplexes (or similar) can meet dwell time requirements at Old Oak Common.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Depends whether Duplexes (or similar) can meet dwell time requirements at Old Oak Common.

I reckon with wide doors at thirds like the Swiss sets you could, but that would reduce capacity. Though there's also the great guessing game as to how popular Old Oak will actually be.

I'm not a fan of double-deck stock in European loading gauge myself, it always feels a bit cramped. Though the very newest DB regional and IC2 stock isn't too bad, I really dislike TGV Duplexes, though to be fair they're not really much worse than classic TGVs which are also unnecessarily cramped.
 

HSTEd

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I'm not a fan of double-deck stock in European loading gauge myself, it always feels a bit cramped. Though the very newest DB regional and IC2 stock isn't too bad, I really dislike TGV Duplexes, though to be fair they're not really much worse than classic TGVs which are also unnecessarily cramped.
Remember that TGV Duplex/Avelia Horizon are only GB+, we have about 300mm more height to play with, in theory.

People often attack the TGV Duplex for not having more seats than a "conventional" train, but they are comparing a 90s technology trainset to one from 30 years later.
The Avelia Horizon has substantially more capacity thanks to improvements in technology - less equipment in the trailer cars and shorter power cars allowing an additional trailer.
 

Halish Railway

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If 400m long trains equivalent to a 15 carriage 800x are going to be run on most self contained routes then is there really much need for double deck trains?

Also, in my opinion double deck trains aren’t particularly pleasant to travel on due to their crampness and the inconvenience caused by having to haul heavy luggage up and down stairs, as well as having to store luggage far away from your seat in a luggage rack as a result of there being no overhead racks. I can tolerate Dutch double deck trains due to the colossal loading gauge, especially a DD-AR which feels more spacious than a VIRM, however none of these are as spacious as a Koploper/ICR coaching stock.

Hopefully, if the self contained trains are single deck then they will have overhead racks big enough to hold a big suitcase, similar to that of most aircraft nowadays.
 

Bletchleyite

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Hopefully, if the self contained trains are single deck then they will have overhead racks big enough to hold a big suitcase, similar to that of most aircraft nowadays.

Given that UIC stock tends to have high ceilings I suspect they will.

Having said that I'm not sure my bag wasn't maybe just a bit too big in this instance! :) (photo is mine and is of my excessively heavy bag bending the overhead rack of a Swiss EMU).
 

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quantinghome

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The SNCB M6 and M7 double deck carriages have very wide end doors and seem to work well and have 140 seats per carriage.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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While traditional double decker deck trains are often a bit cramped, I’ve seen some fantastic designs of double deck trains for HS2 which look fantastic, such as the Mercury concept. I’d love them to press forward with something like that.
 

Purple Orange

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No. I would go as far as saying there shouldn’t be any captive sets. Keep it all uniform, classic compatible trains for maximum flexibility.
 

SynthD

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If I understand correctly, the tunnels are dug for single decker trains and the piston effect they create. Double decker trains that are no taller are no good. Therefore you’d have to be redigging tunnels.
 

quantinghome

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No. I would go as far as saying there shouldn’t be any captive sets. Keep it all uniform, classic compatible trains for maximum flexibility.
Sacrifice a 30% increase in capacity for the sake of operational flexibility? All those extra billions spent on building to a large gauge wasted?

The finished HS2 network will have more than enough captive journeys for a large double decker order so it's not as if there won't be economies of scale.

Also, a London-Scotland set will have quite different internal layout requirements compared to a 45-minute shuttle service from London to Birmingham (or Manchester to Birmingham for that matter). The former would likely need more luggage space, a full catering service, and greater comfort. Captive stock running shuttle services don't need that - comfortable seating yes, but a simpler more economic layout to maximise capacity. If you insist on a uniform fleet you will compromise on the optimal service needed for very different journeys.

If I understand correctly, the tunnels are dug for single decker trains and the piston effect they create. Double decker trains that are no taller are no good. Therefore you’d have to be redigging tunnels.
The tunnels are designed and constructed large enough to take double decker trains.
 

Bletchleyite

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Also, a London-Scotland set will have quite different internal layout requirements compared to a 45-minute shuttle service from London to Birmingham (or Manchester to Birmingham for that matter). The former would likely need more luggage space, a full catering service, and greater comfort. Captive stock running shuttle services don't need that - comfortable seating yes, but a simpler more economic layout to maximise capacity. If you insist on a uniform fleet you will compromise on the optimal service needed for very different journeys.

Pendolinos of course are already like that - does it cause any problems? VT clearly thought a uniform fleet (the 9 vs 11 car thing came later) was worth the compromise. And HS2 is just the WCML but faster.
 

Purple Orange

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Sacrifice a 30% increase in capacity for the sake of operational flexibility? All those extra billions spent on building to a large gauge wasted?

The finished HS2 network will have more than enough captive journeys for a large double decker order so it's not as if there won't be economies of scale.

Also, a London-Scotland set will have quite different internal layout requirements compared to a 45-minute shuttle service from London to Birmingham (or Manchester to Birmingham for that matter). The former would likely need more luggage space, a full catering service, and greater comfort. Captive stock running shuttle services don't need that - comfortable seating yes, but a simpler more economic layout to maximise capacity. If you insist on a uniform fleet you will compromise on the optimal service needed for very different journeys.


The tunnels are designed and constructed large enough to take double decker trains.

I thought the tunnels were designed to be big enough to allow high speed trains, the Eurostar Valeros of this world, to be able to travel through at full speed and not have the air turbulence in the tunnel affect performance. Plus if double decker trains were planned, there would be no need for 400m platforms.

Regarding the internal layout, I doubt there will be any difference at all between Birmingham & Manchester trains and Glasgow & Edinburgh trains. The Scotland trains will serve 3 tph of the 26 that will be running.
 

Bletchleyite

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I thought the tunnels were designed to be big enough to allow high speed trains, the Eurostar Valeros of this world, to be able to travel through at full speed and not have the air turbulence in the tunnel affect performance. Plus if double decker trains were planned, there would be no need for 400m platforms.

As a result of the relevant TSIs (Technical Standards for Interoperability) the line is to a given UIC gauge (forget which one) and so double deckers will fit. The use of 400m full trains and 200m half trains is also AIUI part of those standards.

It wasn't a deliberate decision to eke out capacity per-se, and given that Euston-Brum and Euston-Manc trains at 3tph are not presently anything like full I'm really not sure how important it is to have trains with thousands of seats.
 

HSTEd

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If 400m long trains equivalent to a 15 carriage 800x are going to be run on most self contained routes then is there really much need for double deck trains?

The best way to make high speed rail work, especially with these relatively short journeys, is to pile it high and sell it cheap.
 

Ianno87

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The best way to make high speed rail work, especially with these relatively short journeys, is to pile it high and sell it cheap.

But not pile it so high you end up with an inoperable railway (e.g. dwell times going through the roof at Old Oak Common because of the number of people trying to filter on or off).
 

Bletchleyite

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The best way to make high speed rail work, especially with these relatively short journeys, is to pile it high and sell it cheap.

Is it?

Does the fact that no other country does that with their high speed rail* not indicate something about what market it operates most viably in?

* Small-scale OAOs and pseudo-OAOs like Ouigo and Izy with a couple of trains a day don't count.
 

HSTEd

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But not pile it so high you end up with an inoperable railway (e.g. dwell times going through the roof at Old Oak Common because of the number of people trying to filter on or off).

Well since we are going to apparently have a compulsory reservation railway (although I don't agree with the decision) with total yield management, we have total control over the number of people who board at Old Oak Common.
 

Ianno87

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Well since we are going to apparently have a compulsory reservation railway (although I don't agree with the decision) with total yield management, we have total control over the number of people who board at Old Oak Common.

But configuring stock purely to maximize seating capacity (in excess of actual need) means it may be less well optimised for dwell times (e.g. internal configuration, door widths, etc.)
 

quantinghome

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Pendolinos of course are already like that - does it cause any problems? VT clearly thought a uniform fleet (the 9 vs 11 car thing came later) was worth the compromise. And HS2 is just the WCML but faster.
The reduction in time really changes things though. There's a big difference between the present 80 minute London-Brum journey and the future 45 minute one. What are the current journeys from London around 45 minutes? Peterborough, Swindon, Oxford. No doubt some passengers would still want a bit of luxury but to many it will just be a commute. The internals should laid out accordingly.

I thought the tunnels were designed to be big enough to allow high speed trains, the Eurostar Valeros of this world, to be able to travel through at full speed and not have the air turbulence in the tunnel affect performance. Plus if double decker trains were planned, there would be no need for 400m platforms.

Regarding the internal layout, I doubt there will be any difference at all between Birmingham & Manchester trains and Glasgow & Edinburgh trains. The Scotland trains will serve 3 tph of the 26 that will be running.
Plenty of TGVs run two double deckers joined together. There's every reason to expect that sort of demand between our largest cities. For the short journeys on the captive network, pile 'em high and sell 'em cheap. Let's clear the M40, M6, M42, M1.

The duration of journey means that a large number of trains are needed for the Scotland service even if it's a relative small number of tph. Given it will be competitive against air, but not overwhelmingly so, there's a big commercial incentive to provide other benefits - more leg room, decent catering etc. to differentiate.

But not pile it so high you end up with an inoperable railway (e.g. dwell times going through the roof at Old Oak Common because of the number of people trying to filter on or off).
On OR off, but crucially not both. Nice big doors like on the SNCB M6 carriages will do the job.

Tempted to say we should worry about getting 2b built first.
True enough.
 

HSTEd

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But configuring stock purely to maximize seating capacity (in excess of actual need) means it may be less well optimised for dwell times (e.g. internal configuration, door widths, etc.)

Double decks are in many ways less constrained than this.
The extra floor area could enable a Class 185 esque interior, with large vestibules.

Is it?

Does the fact that no other country does that with their high speed rail* not indicate something about what market it operates most viably in?

* Small-scale OAOs and pseudo-OAOs like Ouigo and Izy with a couple of trains a day don't count.

Do any other countries in the world have a situation where it will be cheaper for the Government if everyone abandons the classic railway in favour of the high speed one?
Or anyone else seriously operating high speed trains end to end with 45 minute journey times in massive numbers?

Like London-Manchester doesn't even get you as far as Le Creusot running on LGV Sud Est out of Paris.
 

Bletchleyite

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The reduction in time really changes things though. There's a big difference between the present 80 minute London-Brum journey and the future 45 minute one. What are the current journeys from London around 45 minutes? Peterborough, Swindon, Oxford. No doubt some passengers would still want a bit of luxury but to many it will just be a commute. The internals should laid out accordingly.

And plenty of people do MKC<->Euston on a Pendolino, or Reading<->Paddington on an 80x, both about half an hour.

In any case a Class 350/1 on a Tring stopper has a lower density interior than a Pendolino, other than a few of the middle sections.

To be fair, you could have stock for the Brum service that looked more like the Javelin sets. But is there really any need to?
 

quantinghome

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And plenty of people do MKC<->Euston on a Pendolino, or Reading<->Paddington on an 80x, both about half an hour.

In any case a Class 350/1 on a Tring stopper has a lower density interior than a Pendolino, other than a few of the middle sections.

To be fair, you could have stock for the Brum service that looked more like the Javelin sets. But is there really any need to?
That's not a valid comparison as those are the first (or last-but-one) stops on much longer journeys. First class meals and buffets are not there for passengers heading for Reading and MKC.

Imagine the existing Reading or MKC service was replaced by a high-frequency non-stop shuttle which terminated at the station and all longer distance traffic didn't stop. How would you fit out that train?

Yes, there is a need for it, to maximise capacity, reduce fares and get as much modal shift from roads as possible.
 

XAM2175

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Double decks are in many ways less constrained than this.
The extra floor area could enable a Class 185 esque interior, with large vestibules.
One thing I would question about a hypothetical double-deck design for HS2 is platform heights - most (if not all) of the intercity examples on the continent are configured for low platforms that allow the entry doors to be on the lower deck with a level floor, which in turn means the corridor connections can be on upper deck and it can be made fully walk-through.

Surely for UK-height platforms the doors will need to be standard floor level for a single-deck train, which would then require stairs both up and down from the vestibules?
 

HSTEd

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Yet literally no other country does it that way. Is this British exceptionalism again?

High speed rail literally everywhere else in the world is a premium product.

Then the capacity argument for HS2 simply falls apart.

You can't have a premium product with capacity larger than the non premium version.

I also have to question why vast amounts of public money are being bled away propping up this project when its apparently only for the wealthy elite.
 
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