ScotRail HST Introduction - Updates & Discussion

Railperf

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Maybe Great Western knew the right time to offload them?...
No. GWR had to take on the IET fleet as specified by H.M UK Government. The original plan seemed to be to keep on some HST's for the Penzance route, but then GWR procured the Class 802's. If GWR had really thought they needed offloading - why did GWR then spend millions converting a few sets into the 4-car 'Castle' sets.
And at the moment - it appears the Castle sets are settling in quite well and delivering better reliability than the last days of GWR's HST fleet. They appear to be receiving the same treatment as Scotrail's refurbished units except for the interiors. Unless someone knows something that I haven't seen in the public domain, mechanically the Scotrail and GWR Castle power cars are identical. So there has to be another reason as to why availability is lower than GWR 'castle' and referred sets.

....or the newly trained up HST drivers are a bit rough on them, or drive them by the book as if they were new?
All the drivers I have spoken to claim to be mechanically sympathetic to these machines and keep reminding me they are 50 years old and need to be driven gently. What is more, the schedules don't currently demand hard running and can be easily substituted for a 158 - which has nowhere near the same performance! People talk about LNER power cars having so much more money and maintenance thrown at them, but people forget that East Midlands trains with the older VP185 engines and no cab or electronics rewiring were also achieving some great respectable reliability figures - if I am not mistaken ..more than Scotrail and GWR added together.
 
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Railperf

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Is it common amongst other TOCs to take an HST out of service if one power fails? I understand the rational of if the second power car fails then the impact that would have on the network, but surely the fact an HST has 2 power car also allows for some flexibility?
Undoubtedly you ask how GWR could - under certain circumstances - be allowed to run 8-car sets over the Devon banks on one power car. If I recall correctly, the gradients on the Aberdeen route are not as severe as in Devon, and the power cars have half the load - only four trailers.
But maybe - while reliability is proving to be fragile - a set swap with a 170 was the best thing! Credit to Scotrail they organised that at the last moment (5 min before departure) and people got onto the 170 and to their destinations with no delay!
 

Kettledrum

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People talk about LNER power cars having so much more money and maintenance thrown at them, but people forget that East Midlands trains with the older VP185 engines and no cab or electronics rewiring were also achieving some great respectable reliability figures - if I am not mistaken ..more than Scotrail and GWR added together.
One theory about the scotrail HSTs was the stopping patterns might be contributing to their unreliability - with less flat out long distance running at speed. However, The East Midlands HST trains also serve stations that are much closer together and therefore have regular stops too.
 

Railperf

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Surely then they aren't suitable for the service if delivering it means that they fail
?
Sorry..if the same train can be used successfully and more reliably pottering around between Newton Abbot and Penzance - making loads of stops along the way while not exceeding 75mph, and the same train can be used reliably on stopping and fast runs on the ECML at speeds of up to 125mph...then they are more than suitable for Scotrail. This isn't about the suitability of the train.
 

Mitchell Hurd

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No. GWR had to take on the IET fleet as specified by H.M UK Government. The original plan seemed to be to keep on some HST's for the Penzance route, but then GWR procured the Class 802's. If GWR had really thought they needed offloading - why did GWR then spend millions converting a few sets into the 4-car 'Castle' sets.
And at the moment - it appears the Castle sets are settling in quite well and delivering better reliability than the last days of GWR's HST fleet. They appear to be receiving the same treatment as Scotrail's refurbished units except for the interiors. Unless someone knows something that I haven't seen in the public domain, mechanically the Scotrail and GWR Castle power cars are identical. So there has to be another reason as to why availability is lower than GWR 'castle' and referred sets.


All the drivers I have spoken to claim to be mechanically sympathetic to these machines and keep reminding me they are 50 years old and need to be driven gently. What is more, the schedules don't currently demand hard running and can be easily substituted for a 158 - which has nowhere near the same performance! People talk about LNER power cars having so much more money and maintenance thrown at them, but people forget that East Midlands trains with the older VP185 engines and no cab or electronics rewiring were also achieving some great respectable reliability figures - if I am not mistaken ..more than Scotrail and GWR added together.
I did wonder if the VP185 HST's were more reliable than the MTU ones. Maybe it's because the VP185 was built in Britain as well?
 

Northhighland

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The GWR castle sets are exactly the same power cars. Reliability can’t just be blamed on 40 year old trains. Also Wabtec doing the same for GWR and they aren’t having so many problems

All points to needing to understand what is going on at Scotrail.
 

snookertam

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Is it common amongst other TOCs to take an HST out of service if one power fails? I understand the rational of if the second power car fails then the impact that would have on the network, but surely the fact an HST has 2 power car also allows for some flexibility?
Don't know about other TOCS but it is very much in keeping with how ScotRail would do things. If a power car fails whilst en route they'd allow to finish journey or get to nearest major station where it can be removed from the main line, but they'd never be likely to allow it to begin a journey in that state. Similar policy regarding DMUs with engines shut down has been in place for years and is a pretty sensible one
 

InOban

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I would be surprised if any TOC allowed a set to start off with one engine. They might vary in how far they let the set continue like that. I'm sure I remember a post describing a quick PC swap at Edinburgh on an Aberdeen service.
 

najaB

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I'm sure I remember a post describing a quick PC swap at Edinburgh on an Aberdeen service.
It does happen, but depends on there being a spare ready to go (and the dead PC has to be only mostly dead). I think I posted up thread about having a dead/dying powercar on an Aberdeen to Kings Cross service that left Edinburgh with only one working
 

Highland37

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Sorry..if the same train can be used successfully and more reliably pottering around between Newton Abbot and Penzance - making loads of stops along the way while not exceeding 75mph, and the same train can be used reliably on stopping and fast runs on the ECML at speeds of up to 125mph...then they are more than suitable for Scotrail. This isn't about the suitability of the train.
Maybe being ancient and very worn might have played some part?
 

jimm

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No. GWR had to take on the IET fleet as specified by H.M UK Government. The original plan seemed to be to keep on some HST's for the Penzance route, but then GWR procured the Class 802's. If GWR had really thought they needed offloading - why did GWR then spend millions converting a few sets into the 4-car 'Castle' sets.
And at the moment - it appears the Castle sets are settling in quite well and delivering better reliability than the last days of GWR's HST fleet. They appear to be receiving the same treatment as Scotrail's refurbished units except for the interiors. Unless someone knows something that I haven't seen in the public domain, mechanically the Scotrail and GWR Castle power cars are identical. So there has to be another reason as to why availability is lower than GWR 'castle' and referred sets.
There was never a plan to retain HSTs for the West Country service.

The DfT-led IEP programme covered the replacement of HSTs (and the 180s and some Turbo duties) elsewhere on the GW network. It was left to FGW/GWR to look at what it wanted to do with rolling stock for the West Country services, with the two options explored being to either modify some HSTs or do something else. The something else was the route they chose - so they made a case to the DfT to be allowed to order the 802s. Just as well, given the problems with the power door/toilet tanks Mk3 conversions.

The key reason GWR took on the Castle sets is well-known - the delays to GW electrification messed up the cascade of Turbos from the Thames Valley to Bristol, in turn messing up the cascade of 158s to the South West, so the short HSTs came into the frame. They are an expensive stopgap, pending a decision on long-term replacements for the 150s, 158s and Turbos. They are also helping to handle growth in passenger traffic since the dmu cascade was first planned and the introduction of the 2tph frequency in Cornwall.

But nothing to do with Scotrail, so let's leave it at that.
 

Highland37

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But the other "ancient and very worn" HST power cars with other operators are still being much more reliable
See above. "Much more reliable" isn't reliable enough.

A theory occurred to me, which may be nonsense, that Scotrail are doing everything they can to get the HSTs ready before they lose more 170s so pain now, for slightly less pain in the future.
 

Northhighland

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Maybe being ancient and very worn might have played some part?
The worn out excuse would be fine if GWR and other operators were having the same problems. They aren't. Even the GWR wabtec refurbs are working much more reliably than Scotrail. There must be some other reason.

Scotrail have good maintenance teams, reliability and the standard of maintenance on the 158/170's is absolutely fine, I have rarely ever had a journey disrupted by breakdown in the 15 years I have been travelling regularly. This would indicate the teams are perfectly capable.

So is it a lack of training? Spare parts? Poor power car refurb spec? It can't just be blamed on the age of the power cars.
 
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Anyone know what set headed from haymarket to ely today. I believe it was HA08 and what set will heading to Doncaster from Ely later.

How many sets are at Doncaster Works for refurbishment?
 

scotraildriver

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The worn out excuse would be fine if GWR and other operators were having the same problems. They aren't. Even the GWR wabtec refurbs are working much more reliably than Scotrail. There must be some other reason.

Scotrail have good maintenance teams, reliability and the standard of maintenance on the 158/170's is absolutely fine, I have rarely ever had a journey disrupted by breakdown in the 15 years I have been travelling regularly. This would indicate the teams are perfectly capable.

So is it a lack of training? Spare parts? Poor power car refurb spec? It can't just be blamed on the age of the power cars.
My experience of problems has concerned the first class coach conversion. There have been alot of power issues to the buffet and things tripping putting trains out of service. Also as Scotrail no longer have a TGS vehicle a seperate crew access door circuit had to be incorporated allow crew access to locked trains. This has caused alot of problems, mainly the "disco lights" issue. GWR don't have these features- their conversions are essentially power door work, Scotrails ones are more complex so take longer to do and are causing more issues. Perhaps this is why GWR ones appear more reliable. Wabtec are working constantly on the sets at Haymarket - the internal door issue as an example is now sorted so they are now working.
 

gsnedders

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It does happen, but depends on there being a spare ready to go (and the dead PC has to be only mostly dead). I think I posted up thread about having a dead/dying powercar on an Aberdeen to Kings Cross service that left Edinburgh with only one working
It's very rare nowadays, though, as getting the capacity at Waverley to run the power cars in/out is pretty difficult.
 

Northhighland

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My experience of problems has concerned the first class coach conversion. There have been alot of power issues to the buffet and things tripping putting trains out of service. Also as Scotrail no longer have a TGS vehicle a seperate crew access door circuit had to be incorporated allow crew access to locked trains. This has caused alot of problems, mainly the "disco lights" issue. GWR don't have these features- their conversions are essentially power door work, Scotrails ones are more complex so take longer to do and are causing more issues. Perhaps this is why GWR ones appear more reliable. Wabtec are working constantly on the sets at Haymarket - the internal door issue as an example is now sorted so they are now working.
Thanks that is very informative. It would seem from the responses this is not one particular issue then but a series of issues. You would like to think the Wabtec issues will disappear, not unheard of for teething troubles on a new design. You seem to indicate the issue is fixed. For e the concern is the scrapyard look of Haymarket, it seems to be power cars that are the issue. Perhaps Scotrail are being more through and fixing things to a greater level, replacing things rather than repairing things with a view to improving the units, but they certainly are struggling to get them in revenue service on a regular basis.
 

scotraildriver

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Thanks that is very informative. It would seem from the responses this is not one particular issue then but a series of issues. You would like to think the Wabtec issues will disappear, not unheard of for teething troubles on a new design. You seem to indicate the issue is fixed. For e the concern is the scrapyard look of Haymarket, it seems to be power cars that are the issue. Perhaps Scotrail are being more through and fixing things to a greater level, replacing things rather than repairing things with a view to improving the units, but they certainly are struggling to get them in revenue service on a regular basis.
Just my personal experience of driving them daily. There are undoubtedly power car issues but I've not had any at all. All my issues have involved the coaches.
 

Railperf

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Just my personal experience of driving them daily. There are undoubtedly power car issues but I've not had any at all. All my issues have involved the coaches.
That seems to mirror what other drivers have said. Can you be a bit more specific on the coach issues..are classic or refurbished coaches causing the issues?
 

alistairlees

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I will be going from Inverness to Edinburgh on Friday afternoon. Depending on arrangements, one of the following
12.48 direct to Edinburgh
14.48 Glasgow Queen Street service as far as Stirling, then another train (an EMU?) to Edinburgh
15.54 direct to Edinburgh

Are these all booked HST now? What are the chances of them being an HST? It's rather hard to work out from this thread. Thanks
 

InvHst

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I will be going from Inverness to Edinburgh on Friday afternoon. Depending on arrangements, one of the following
12.48 direct to Edinburgh
14.48 Glasgow Queen Street service as far as Stirling, then another train (an EMU?) to Edinburgh
15.54 direct to Edinburgh

Are these all booked HST now? What are the chances of them being an HST? It's rather hard to work out from this thread. Thanks
1248 is a booked HST monday-friday
1448 is booked a 170
1554 is also booked a HST

1248 ran today
1554 didn't it ran as a 170
 

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