Pendolino 11 cars

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Prestige15

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Just curious and not too sure if this has been discussed before as I've not been on here that long and couldn't be bothered to search for it.

Why can't all Pendolino's be 11 car rather than having 9 and 11 car and what happen to its so called ''Baby Pendolino'' Is that still on the cards?
 
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ainsworth74

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DfT didn't want to pay to extend the final few 390s to 11-car and neither did Virgin.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think the Baby Pendolino was a terrible idea - the timetable recast allowing trains between Brum and Scotland to extend back to Euston in a Wolves path, and allowing most of those trains to be full-length, was a far better idea.

If additional stock is ordered it needs to be at least 9-car.
 

Prestige15

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Thank to you both. I do admire Virgin by converting one of its first class on the 9 coach to standard.

I do think work till needs to be done such as tackling the overcrowd
 
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Are 11 cars needed on the entire fleet. Even on quite a few peak trains London to and from Birmingham there seems to be plenty of spare seats.


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najaB

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Are 11 cars needed on the entire fleet. Even on quite a few peak trains London to and from Birmingham there seems to be plenty of spare seats.
They possibly aren't needed, but a uniform fleet simplifies planning - it's frustrating for both staff and passengers when an 11-carriage diagram has to be operated by a 9-carriage train.
 

OneOffDave

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The last few times I've been on a 9 it's been rammed with the aisles and vestibules full. The worst case was when the service before it was also a 9, so people avoided that one, expecting an 11 to follow. What they got was two 9s on the trot
 

Bletchleyite

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They possibly aren't needed, but a uniform fleet simplifies planning - it's frustrating for both staff and passengers when an 11-carriage diagram has to be operated by a 9-carriage train.

Not as bad as it could be, as in Standard the coach layout is the same, the 9 cars just don't have a coach U. In First I *think* G is reservable so that could be an issue.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I do admire Virgin by converting one of its first class on the 9 coach to standard.

They were told to do it by DfT instead of extending the remaining 9-car to 11-car.
All part of the franchise direct awards since 2012 - no new stock contemplated by DfT.
Even the original extension project (106 vehicles including 4 new trains) was mandated by DfT in one of their periodic refusals to agree Virgin's plans (it was a DfT contract with Alstom).
They then got Virgin to manage the project.

FGW/GWR have also converted some 1st class HST coaches to standard.
 
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If I remember the GWR first to standard conversion was funded by the tax payer. It seemed good for GWR. They were possibly paid to do the work. They probably lost no first class ticket sales. They could have gained lots of standard class revenue from the extra seats.

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Bald Rick

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Let us not forget that the Pendolinos were originally intended to be 8 coach trains.
 

ainsworth74

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Most of them. 19 of them were delivered in 9-car formation. The 8-car ones later got an extra car placed in.

As far as I'm aware they were all supposed to be 8-car units but that plan fell apart so fast that things were changed during the build so that the last 19 were delivered in 9-car formation.
 

The Planner

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Are 11 cars needed on the entire fleet. Even on quite a few peak trains London to and from Birmingham there seems to be plenty of spare seats.

That may be the case now, but 6 or 7 years down the line once growth is factored in they will start to fill up.
 
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HS2 should then be just around the corner then. I don't know how much spare capacity there is across London Midlands, Chiltern and Virgin. Is it eight trains an hour?


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Bertie the bus

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They possibly aren't needed, but a uniform fleet simplifies planning - it's frustrating for both staff and passengers when an 11-carriage diagram has to be operated by a 9-carriage train.

Do you really think preventing a bit of "frustration" is a valid reason for potentially needlessly spending tens of millions of pounds?

That may be the case now, but 6 or 7 years down the line once growth is factored in they will start to fill up.

I thought passenger growth on the WCML had pretty much stalled with year on year increases of a couple of % if that.
 

Bald Rick

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I thought passenger growth on the WCML had pretty much stalled with year on year increases of a couple of % if that.

A couple of percent compounded over 7 years is 15%. An 11 car Pendolinos has 20% more seats than a 9 car.

Seems about right.
 

Bertie the bus

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True but the 9-cars were only running at about 60% loading prior to lengthening so we are nowhere near the point of running at capacity.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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True but the 9-cars were only running at about 60% loading prior to lengthening so we are nowhere near the point of running at capacity.

That will probably be an average.
There are plenty of full 11-car trains at peak times (which varies by route).
Some Scotland trains are absolutely packed, particularly Edinburgh (via Birmingham).
Sunday evening is particularly busy (all routes).
 

fowler9

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That will probably be an average.
There are plenty of full 11-car trains at peak times (which varies by route).
Some Scotland trains are absolutely packed, particularly Edinburgh (via Birmingham).
Sunday evening is particularly busy (all routes).

Yeah I was thinking it must be an average unless people just stopped going to London when they brought in Pendolinos.
 

najaB

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Do you really think preventing a bit of "frustration" is a valid reason for potentially needlessly spending tens of millions of pounds?
Tell the people I regularly see unable to get a seat even on 11-coach trains that it was 'needless'.
 

Bertie the bus

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Tell the people I regularly see unable to get a seat even on 11-coach trains that it was 'needless'.

Are these people you've only met in the last few minutes because a few hours ago you said they probably didn't need lengthening but it should be done for uniformity?
 

Bertie the bus

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Presumably that comment is meant to mean not all Pendolinos have 60% loadings. Really? I'd never have guessed. Friday evening/Sunday afternoon has been the busiest time on the InterCity network for decades. You can't spend vast sums of money just for a few hours per week when a lot of the people travelling don't even pay that much for their ticket.
 

najaB

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Are these people you've only met in the last few minutes because a few hours ago you said they probably didn't need lengthening but it should be done for uniformity?
Apologies, my post wasn't as clear as it should have been. The question that was posed was if VT needed all of their trains to be 11-coaches long. And my answer was no, they don't need all of their trains to be 11-coaches because there are some services which aren't full. Indeed there are some services where even a nine-coach train is overkill. Not to mention the fact that loadings vary along the route.

However, since some of their services need 11-coaches, it would be sensible to make all of their trains 11-coaches since the marginal cost of running a couple of extra coaches on services where they aren't required is more than offset by the potential losses caused by only having 9 coaches where 11 are required and the operational flexibility that a uniform fleet provides. This also caters for potential growth.
 
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Mag_seven

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It now looks like a short sighted decision not to make the entire fleet 11 cars - I now dread when a nine car turns up as its generally a struggle to find a seat.
 
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The marginal cost of a couple of extra carriages for each nine car is probably not that marginal to Virgin I assume that they would pay extra to Network Rail every time they ran with eleven rather than nine carriages.

It does seem that the unreserved passenger suffers the most when it is a nine carriage train. It makes no difference to those who have reservations and advance tickets.

Best wishes, Stephen.


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