Pendolino ECML Trial Run

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GNER 373

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Hi Guys,

Just sharing what I captured tonight at Newcastle Central.

Pendolino Class 390 no. 390055 halted at NCL at 23:45 - 23:51 on its first ever trial run on the ECML

Pictures are here

Video will appear here soon
 
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Mainliner

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There was an "interestingly enthusiastic" reply on this subject from EC on today's "Talk to us" forum :)

Pendolino Test

Hi There,

I hope you are all well.

You probably didnt need a crystal ball to see this question coming
I am a regular traveller on the WCML from Glasgow and a huge fan of the Pendolino Class, although I do feel that the standard class cabins need a wee rethink.
I will be starting to use you guys more oftern as I will be covering York/leeds etc soon. I was very glad to hear that there was a 390 test on the ECML last month and I would welcome this class on your service.

First question is now that you have concluded your desk top study is this a viable fleet option for you going forward?

Second question is; do you have any inclinations as to improvements in journey time from Edinburgh to Newcastle if Pendolinos with tilt were introduced possibly getting a sub 4hr Flying Scotsman service?

Thanks in advance and I am looking forward to my trip with you in a couple of weeks.




"Thank you for your interest in this very exciting tests that were recently undertaken.

In answer to your questions we are still evaluating the results as I am sure you will understand that the West Coast route has significant differences to the East Coast route. In particular the advantages of tilt on our route are significantly less than on West Coast, some of the factors that need to be considered therefore include best use of the available space envelope and whether a tilting train would be the best use of that envelope. At this stage it is impossible to say what the journey time reduction for a pendolino in a normal service timetable would be but it is likely to be marginal particularly any improvement on our current best four hour timing.

Engineering Director"
 
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Hi Guys,

Just sharing what I captured tonight at Newcastle Central.

Pendolino Class 390 no. 390055 halted at NCL at 23:45 - 23:51 on its first ever trial run on the ECML

Pictures are here

Video will appear here soon
Great pictures. I hope that the Pendolinos will become, a more familiar sight too on ECML. Had the pleasure of travelling on one from BHM to GLC on Good Friday.
 

Mainliner

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I hope they (in there current form) come no where near east coast services as they are not a patch on the mkIII or mkiv

that is all
Quite - it must take a special sort of talent to start off with something the same width as a MkIV and end up with something as cramped and claustrophobic, and with such useless luggage racks.
 

Aictos

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I disagree, the 390s in hindsight would have been fairly comfortable but for the seating layout that Virgin Trains choose that was not the case, this wasn't helped by the need to fit the tilting gear needed to allow 125mph running.

I wager though that if a seating layout like GNER's Mallard refurbishment programme was choosen then there would be shouts of support for them.
 

HSTEd

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Wouldn't it be nice if we had some of the East Coast 91's + Mk4 coaches on the WCML. They are so much more comfortable that Pendos.
Almost did get Cl91s on the WCML..... but the Treasury apparently veteod it, although its probable that they would have been shifted to the East Coast to make up for the current electric train shortages.
 

paulclass43

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Personally I love the class 390's.

Travelled on all of them since introduction (9 car) and I find them far more comfortable than East Coast MK4 coaching stock. And they seam to me to be just as roomy. Al ways get back ache on the mk4 stock, I prefer to stand in the Vestibule on them. The BT10 bogey gives a hard ride and the seats just compound the problem.

If I were procuring East Coast's new stock I would replace all the class 91 mk4 sets with 11 car Pendolinos and replace 7 out of 14 of East Coast's HST sets with 9 car Pendolinos.

I would them do a bit of jiggering about and take displaced class 222 Meridians from the Midland Mainline and create 7, 9 car Bi Mode sets and fit them with tilt bogies as used on the Class 221 (They were designed to be retrofitted).

All this giving East Coast a full tilt capable fleet.

Of course the Bi Mode Meridian could be scraped in favour of a all pendolino fleet if the Government would get its butt in gear and Electrify all East Coast Feeder Routes.

Comments Welcome.
 

Lrd

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Personally I love the class 390's.

Travelled on all of them since introduction (9 car) and I find them far more comfortable than East Coast MK4 coaching stock. And they seam to me to be just as roomy. Al ways get back ache on the mk4 stock, I prefer to stand in the Vestibule on them. The BT10 bogey gives a hard ride and the seats just compound the problem.

If I were procuring East Coast's new stock I would replace all the class 91 mk4 sets with 11 car Pendolinos and replace 7 out of 14 of East Coast's HST sets with 9 car Pendolinos.

I would them do a bit of jiggering about and take displaced class 222 Meridians from the Midland Mainline and create 7, 9 car Bi Mode sets and fit them with tilt bogies as used on the Class 221 (They were designed to be retrofitted).

All this giving East Coast a full tilt capable fleet.

Of course the Bi Mode Meridian could be scraped in favour of a all pendolino fleet if the Government would get its butt in gear and Electrify all East Coast Feeder Routes.

Comments Welcome.
East Coast are getting IEP to replace the HSTs, some electric, some bi-mode. Nothing wrong with the Mk4's and you don't need tilt on the East Coast, waste of time and money!
 

D365

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@paulclass43: Class 222s were never designed to tilt. They use the same (non-tilting) bogie as the Class 220, and the bodyshell is not tapered for tilting; it is different to that of the 220/221.

@lewisrday: And that's how things seem to be going. If it was viable, I'd upgrade the IC225 sets by converting about half of each DVT into passenger accomodation and installing tilt equipment on a number of sets; Mk4s were designed with tilting in mind, after all.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I disagree, as many people have commented before, tilting north of Geordie land would be beneficial.
But is tilting equipment worth the investment and labour time for just that strech? More equipment means that there is more to go wrong.
 

melena

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I'd rather they bring back riding in coal trucks and a bloke walking in front with a red flag than ride another pendo. Every one ive travelled on's been cramped, overcrowded, claustrophobic, rattles, bangs, noisy and it feels like being thrown around the coach over every point or kink in the track. Reserve a seat? pointless, every ones taken by someone who hasn't and won't shift.

Great advert for NOT travelling by high speed train.
 

dk1

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I'd rather they bring back riding in coal trucks and a bloke walking in front with a red flag than ride another pendo. Every one ive travelled on's been cramped, overcrowded, claustrophobic, rattles, bangs, noisy and it feels like being thrown around the coach over every point or kink in the track. Reserve a seat? pointless, every ones taken by someone who hasn't and won't shift.

Great advert for NOT travelling by high speed train.
Doesn't seem to have caused that what with an almost doubling of ridership for Virgin. I have been on some hideously overcrowded trains on many Intercity routes. I have also had some cracking Pendolino journeys with no complaints whatsoever.
 

sprinterguy

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The BT10 bogey gives a hard ride and the seats just compound the problem.
The mark 4s are fitted with BT41 bogies, the BT10 is fitted to mark 3 carriages.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
@paulclass43: Class 222s were never designed to tilt. They use the same (non-tilting) bogie as the Class 220, and the bodyshell is not tapered for tilting; it is different to that of the 220/221.
Do you have a source for the supposed different body profile of the 222s? I have never been able to detect or discern even the slightest difference in the cross-sectional profile, or the shape of the bodyshell in general, of a Meridian compared to a Voyager. Even when the two different types of unit have been standing side by side.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I disagree, as many people have commented before, tilting north of Geordie land would be beneficial.
The reason that developing a tilt version of the mark 4 was only considered necessary for the WCML and not for the ECML build was because BR calculated that the time saving from utilising tilt on a Kings Cross to Edinburgh journey would only be 5 minutes faster than conventional 225 journey times. It is likely that further improvements in journey time could be gained from using distributed traction ala Pendolino, but I would wager that it is this factor rather than the presence of tilt that would have the greater impact on reducing journey times.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
@lewisrday: And that's how things seem to be going. If it was viable, I'd upgrade the IC225 sets by converting about half of each DVT into passenger accomodation and installing tilt equipment on a number of sets; Mk4s were designed with tilting in mind, after all.
Installing tilt on the mark 4s has reportedly being rendered impossible since the Mallard refurbishment, as the space reserved for the installation of tilt equipment has been used for other purposes.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'd rather they bring back riding in coal trucks and a bloke walking in front with a red flag than ride another pendo. Every one ive travelled on's been cramped, overcrowded, claustrophobic, rattles, bangs, noisy and it feels like being thrown around the coach over every point or kink in the track. Reserve a seat? pointless, every ones taken by someone who hasn't and won't shift.

Great advert for NOT travelling by high speed train.
Recalcitrant occupants of reserved seats and overcrowding are hardly the fault of the train though, and could occur on any train service anywhere. I travel on Pendolinos, in and out of London at peak times, every day and have never witnessed either of these two problems.

The interior does feel claustophobic and enclosed, but I find that the internal insulation from external noise is second to none on a Pendolino, and IMO far better than a mark 3. I also prefer the comparatively stiff suspension on a Pendolino to the predelection of mark 3 carriages to "soss about" and wallow through track undulations.
 
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paulclass43

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Tilt would be Beneficial on the full length of the ECML. There is quite alot of Cant deficiency south of Doncaster with no room to do anything about it. However were it would really be useful would be north of Darlington, Some ridiculous PSR's between Darlington and Newcastle. And North of Newcastle its stupidly slow. As far as I remember, theres only a couple of sections of 125mph, from Belford loops to about 3 miles south of the royal border bridge and between Prestonpans and Wallyford. Although they may be a couple of others.

As for the IEP, IT CAN'T BE CANCELLED QUICK ENOUGH.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Mk4 coaches could still be tilt enabled, at great expense and taking an age to complete. However for old coaching stock like the MK4 it would be a rather large white elephant. They were designed with a 6 degree body profile but the tilt buttresses on the BT10 bogie is designed to tilt to just 2 degrees in service. So what would be the point?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Class 222 have the same body as the 221's so can be converted. They're much more spacious than the class 220 ans 221 as they have more components hidden under the floor.
 

D365

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As for the IEP, IT CAN'T BE CANCELLED QUICK ENOUGH.
Unfortunatly so.

Class 222 have the same body as the 221's so can be converted. They're much more spacious than the class 220 and 221 as they have more components hidden under the floor.
That's the difference, sorry for the confusion.
 

ainsworth74

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Tilt would be Beneficial on the full length of the ECML.
You sure about that? Obviously north of Darlington there is scope for tilt to really make an impact, but south of there? There is already a lot of 125mph running.

They're much more spacious than the class 220 ans 221 as they have more components hidden under the floor.
Though of course part of the reason why more is hidden under the floor is that they don't have various bit and pieces required to tilt under the floor at all!
 

paul1609

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I'm extremely dubious that there would be any benefit from tilt anywhere on the ECML without massive investment. Take my journey last week:
Left Newcastle on time, Called at Durham, shortly after down to 60 mph and single yellows following a freight train, down to almost a standstill crossing over to stop in Darlington Arrived 8 minutes late. Pulled back some time to York, Again almost at a standstill waiting for a platform at Doncaster back to 7 late on departure. Very slow approaching Peterborough not sure why. running at reduced speed for a long way approaching Hitchin and then bought almost to a stand by a Down Cambridge train. Running on double yellows almost all the way from WGC in to Kings Cross behind a Grand Central 180.

I can remember as a teenager being excited by the high speed runs up the ECML but being a citizen of HS1 the ECML now feels very secondary. Selected infrastructure improvements are needed more than tilt to reduce conflicting movements.
Tilt on the current line will be wasted by longer waits at red signals.
 

ainsworth74

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I agree. There is far more benefit to be had dealing with the various bottlenecks on the ECML and therefore increasing the capacity of the line than there are by trying to increase line speeds through installing tilt.
 

The Planner

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I'm extremely dubious that there would be any benefit from tilt anywhere on the ECML without massive investment. Take my journey last week:
Left Newcastle on time, Called at Durham, shortly after down to 60 mph and single yellows following a freight train, down to almost a standstill crossing over to stop in Darlington Arrived 8 minutes late. Pulled back some time to York, Again almost at a standstill waiting for a platform at Doncaster back to 7 late on departure. Very slow approaching Peterborough not sure why. running at reduced speed for a long way approaching Hitchin and then bought almost to a stand by a Down Cambridge train. Running on double yellows almost all the way from WGC in to Kings Cross behind a Grand Central 180.

I can remember as a teenager being excited by the high speed runs up the ECML but being a citizen of HS1 the ECML now feels very secondary. Selected infrastructure improvements are needed more than tilt to reduce conflicting movements.
Tilt on the current line will be wasted by longer waits at red signals.
Just sounds like you lost your path due to something being late and you couldnt recover, irrespective of tilt, speed, traction or infrastructure. If you sped the line up you would timetable accordingly, if something goes wrong then quite often you won't recover from it.
 

paul1609

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Obviously living in Kent Im not a regular commuter on the ECML but in the last 2 years ive probably done 10 return journeys. I havent ever experienced hours of delays but neither can I recall a single occasion when I would have regarded the run as exciting.
Hardly any services have arrived on time 10 to 25 mins late would have been average. Some of these particularly at Edinburgh where the connection to Fife are lost are just annoying rather than serious to me.
I get the impression that this is not as a result of the onboard staff not trying but more as a result of bizarre regulating decisions by the signallers and network rail. York seems to be a major offender as does Darlington.
I dont really understand why nearly every express service from London to Scotland has to stop at Darlington, to me traffic levels seem very low. The majority of passengers joining/ leaving there seem to be on a short distance leisure trips to Newcastle etc.
However if the trains do have to stop there surely the station needs to be rebuilt with platforms on the through line . Currently it is all to common for an on time london to Scotland service to be held the best part of 10 minutes there for a conflicting move by a 2 or 3 car DMU.
The junction just South of York seems exactly the same. The whole route just seems secondary now.
I dont find this with either the WC or GWMLs. Ive even looked at whether I could use the WCML to Edinburgh, but uncompetitive journey times mean Im more likely to fly nowadays.
 

Aictos

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Would a non tilting Class 390 design be better comfort wise then a tilting Class 390 design?
 

Marton

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I'd rather they bring back riding in coal trucks and a bloke walking in front with a red flag than ride another pendo. Every one ive travelled on's been cramped, overcrowded, claustrophobic, rattles, bangs, noisy and it feels like being thrown around the coach over every point or kink in the track. Reserve a seat? pointless, every ones taken by someone who hasn't and won't shift.

Great advert for NOT travelling by high speed train.
Absolutely right
 

ainsworth74

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Hardly any services have arrived on time 10 to 25 mins late would have been average.
I've done more than ten return journeys on the ECML in the last ten years and my experience is completely different to yours. In those two years I've been delayed by more than ten minutes only a couple times and that's been due to a fatality at Northallerton or signalling issues earlier in the day. The vast majority of services I've used have arrived within a couple of minutes of their booked arrival time.

I dont really understand why nearly every express service from London to Scotland has to stop at Darlington, to me traffic levels seem very low.
Again this runs counter to my experience where both northbound and southbound services always seem to attract healthy passenger loadings.

Currently it is all to common for an on time london to Scotland service to be held the best part of 10 minutes there for a conflicting move by a 2 or 3 car DMU.
The only time this has happened in my experience is where the East Coast service is already running late and sending it out would cause a delay on the Northern service. Also I've never seen a East Coast service held for anything like ten minutes to wait for a Northern service, the longest wait I've seen is closer to five and more normally where this does happen it is only a minute or two of extra delay. Local services conflicting with delayed long distance services is not an issue only found on the ECML. Though I do agree that either having platforms on the avoider or having bays for the Saltburn services where the current car park is would be very useful as it is a capacity crunch point.


The junction just South of York seems exactly the same.
A problem that's been fixed in a recent upgrade.

The whole route just seems secondary now.
Perhaps to you but I would note that the ECML offers on average a faster journey time to Scotland than the WCML.
 
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