Rail Operations Group - 769s & 319s to be used on freight between West Mids and Central Belt

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DavidGrain

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Rail Operations have announced that they will be using 769s and 319s converted for freight use to run a logistics delivery service between the West Midlands and Scotland. They also plan to operate a service between London and Liverpool
RAIL Operations UK (ROUK) is on course to launch its first rail freight logistics service under its Orion High Speed Logistics brand in April, ROUK CEO, Mr Karl Watts, has confirmed to IRJ.

“It looks like our first service will be launched towards the end of April,” Watts says. “It will be from England’s West Midlands to Scotland’s Central Belt, an Anglo-Scottish operation.”

The service will start with a regular operation of five round trips, eventually increasing to six, and will primarily transport light goods and parcels.

All Orion logistics services are planned to be operated by fleets of class 769s bi-mode multiple units, which are class 319 dual voltage EMUs converted to carry light consumer freight and fitted with a diesel engine. Orion will also operate class 769s and 319s working in multiple.
 
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ExRes

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Rail Operations have announced that they will be using 769s and 319s converted for freight use to run a logistics delivery service between the West Midlands and Scotland. They also plan to operate a service between London and Liverpool

There is some confusion over this, Liverpool is likely to be a sloppy journalistic version of Liverpool Street, we shall see .......
 

Domh245

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There is some confusion over this, Liverpool is likely to be a sloppy journalistic version of Liverpool Street, we shall see .......

"London" to liverpool street would be an interesting choice of flow!

I think you're right though, the article does seem sloppily worded

Rail Operations UK to launch Orion logistics service in April​

Feb 23, 2021
Written by Oliver Cuenca

The operator’s first service will run between freight terminals in northern England and Scotland.
Orion Logistics


RAIL Operations UK (ROUK) is on course to launch its first rail freight logistics service under its Orion High Speed Logistics brand in April, ROUK CEO, Mr Karl Watts, has confirmed to IRJ.
“It looks like our first service will be launched towards the end of April,” Watts says. “It will be from England’s West Midlands to Scotland’s Central Belt, an Anglo-Scottish operation.”
The service will start with a regular operation of five round trips, eventually increasing to six, and will primarily transport light goods and parcels.
All Orion logistics services are planned to be operated by fleets of class 769s bi-mode multiple units, which are class 319 dual voltage EMUs converted to carry light consumer freight and fitted with a diesel engine. Orion will also operate class 769s and 319s working in multiple.
Orion currently has two class 769s and five 319s, but a further eight class 769s and four 319s are currently in the pipeline for delivery.
The launch follows a showcase of ROUK’s first class 319 logistics train at the Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIRT) in Birch Coppice for potential partners and customers between January 18 and 20.
Orion plans to eventually roll out its higher-speed logistics and rail freight services nationwide, operating at up to 160km/h. The company hopes to provide higher frequencies and speeds than traditional British rail freight operators, which are limited to 120km/h operation, and offer an attractive alternative to road freight by offering speedy, flexible delivery.
Orion originally planned to launch its London Gateway – Liverpool service in May 2020. However, Watts says the West Midlands – Central Belt train as ultimately a “much bigger opportunity.” ROUK now plans to begin operation of the London – Liverpool service sometime between July and August of this year.
“Liverpool Street will have to wait until the next train comes,” Watts says.
The start of London – Liverpool service has been hit by delays with the delivery of the class 769 trains due to technical issues with the supplier, leasing company Porterbrook. “They’re key to this operation, because of course it’s a bi-mode train and most logistics hubs in this country are not electrified.”
ROUK has begun a rapid expansion following its acquisition by European fund manager, Star Capital, on January 12. The company also ordered a fleet of 10 class 93 electric-battery-diesel-electric tri-mode locomotives in the same month, for delivery in early 2023.
ROUK confirmed the acquisition a fleet of five class 360/2 multiple units on February 16, previously used to operate Heathrow Connect stopping services between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington.
An in-depth interview with Karl Watts will appear in the May edition of IRJ.
 

ExRes

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"London" to liverpool street would be an interesting choice of flow!

I think you're right though, the article does seem sloppily worded

The original talk was for London Gateway to Liverpool Street services removing vehicles from London roads
 

swt_passenger

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The original talk was for London Gateway to Liverpool Street services removing vehicles from London roads
It’s pretty clear the article is supposed to be referring to London Gateway to Liverpool St, I suggest the IRJ author has made the mistake. If you take the paragraphs either side in the overall context they’re clearly referring to delays to the Gateway service caused by 769 non-availability...
 

221101 Voyager

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Is this true?


The article states the following -

''Orion currently has two class 769s and five 319s, but a further eight class 769s and four 319s are currently in the pipeline for delivery.''
 

43096

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"London" to liverpool street would be an interesting choice of flow!

I think you're right though, the article does seem sloppily worded
It is sloppily worded. When it talks about 5 round trips rising to 6, is that per day, per week, per month, per year? You get the idea...
 

waverley47

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Still no details as to the northern terminus then. Id say sheildmuir or Mossend/Coatbridge are likely, although Grangemouth, Elderslie and others are possibilities.

Interesting announcement nonetheless
 

zwk500

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Still no details as to the northern terminus then. Id say sheildmuir or Mossend/Coatbridge are likely, although Grangemouth, Elderslie and others are possibilities.

Interesting announcement nonetheless
Shieldmuir is very unlikely as it's a Royal Mail site. They're unlikely to be massively accomodating of a competitor outfit.
 

Mollman

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The service will start with a regular operation of five round trips, eventually increasing to six, and will primarily transport light goods and parcels.
I take it they are talking about per day rather than per week?
 

zwk500

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I take it they are talking about per day rather than per week?
I would imagine per week - 5 per week, running late evening Sunday-Thursday would facilitate next working day delivery quite nicely, and you'd need any trains to a very high loading factor to make any margin at all. I might be completely wrong though as I don't know any specifics of this proposal.
 

waverley47

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Shieldmuir is very unlikely as it's a Royal Mail site. They're unlikely to be massively accomodating of a competitor outfit.

That is true. I'd thought of that but then again, now that the royal mail has been privatised, they might be open to a fee.

I think Grangemouth or Mossend are probably more likely right enough, shieldmuir is a bit far from everywhere.
 

zwk500

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That is true. I'd thought of that but then again, now that the royal mail has been privatised, they might be open to a fee.

I think Grangemouth or Mossend are probably more likely right enough, shieldmuir is a bit far from everywhere.
I'm sure that, if asked, Royal Mail would offer them a fee. I'm also fairly sure that the number quoted won't be as low as Orion would have hoped.

Personally I'd have though Mossend would be highest up the list, with Coatbridge second and Grangemouth third. It's entirely possible they've got hold of a new site, or will unload on a station (as they are proposing to do at Liverpool street).
 

Scotrail314209

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Elderslie might be a good shout, closeish to Glasgow and not used by anything else at the minute.
 

Tom Quinne

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I wonder if the loaded services will run as Class 3 (Postal/Priorty empties) or Class 5 (standard empties), if it’s the latter they’ll get less priory than a Class 6 (60mp) freight in the peeking order.

Id prefer to see them Class 3 postal or even Class 1, express parcels are a potentially huge sector to rival intermodal of done right.
 

zwk500

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I wonder if the loaded services will run as Class 3 (Postal/Priorty empties) or Class 5 (standard empties), if it’s the latter they’ll get less priory than a Class 6 (60mp) freight in the peeking order.

Id prefer to see them Class 3 postal or even Class 1, express parcels are a potentially huge sector to rival intermodal of done right.
Royal Mail trains for DB run as class 1 if loaded or 5 if empty, I suspect these would be the same.
 

pompeyfan

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I’m surprised they’ve found a light goods customer for Gateway to Liverpool Street. I could just about see someone like Amazon using a London - Scotland service or London - Exeter/Bristol etc
 

Roast Veg

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I wonder if the loaded services will run as Class 3 (Postal/Priorty empties) or Class 5 (standard empties), if it’s the latter they’ll get less priory than a Class 6 (60mp) freight in the peeking order.

Id prefer to see them Class 3 postal or even Class 1, express parcels are a potentially huge sector to rival intermodal of done right.
I think the historic reason for Class 3 ECS vs Class 5 ECS is much less relevant now. A delayed few coaches on some LHCS in the 70s wasn't the end of the world but a missing multiple unit can ruin a diagram today.
 

Non Multi

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The sight of parcel trolleys on platforms will be a novelty to younger rail travellers, if they do run to London Liverpool Street.
 

Tom Quinne

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I think the historic reason for Class 3 ECS vs Class 5 ECS is much less relevant now. A delayed few coaches on some LHCS in the 70s wasn't the end of the world but a missing multiple unit can ruin a diagram today.

Being a signaller I can confirm some class 3 ecs are very very tightly timed into their starting location, so yes they can ruin a diagram somewhat if they don’t get the Class 3 priority.
 

Wyrleybart

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Using Hams Hall I believe.
I think I read Birch Coppice somewhere as the West Midlands terminal for the Scottish traffic. If that is the case it could run over the Sutton Park to Walsall then raise the pans. Alternatively change ends at Whitacre Jn and again at Nuneaton.

If from Hams Hall the same procedure would apply - via Sutton Park and Walsall, or change ends at Nuneaton.

I guess it depends largely on load factors and whether Orion can build the business within their projected timescale.
 
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