TGV La Poste at St Pancras 21-03-12

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Class377/5

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What's the purpose of this visit? Publicity or seriously testing it out for future mail services?
It's a test to see how unloading would work on the station with a view to future postal trains.

I'm going after I finish nights to grab a few images.
 

87015

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Thats convenient, I'm going to Derby for a meeting tomorrow so will have a gander at St Pancras in the morning before suffering the Voyager north...
 
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Jordeh

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It's a test to see how unloading would work on the station with a view to future postal trains.

I'm going after I finish nights to grab a few images.
Is there any other news on this? I do my best to follow what's going on with the Channel Tunnel but this is a new one on me.

Sounds a good yet fairly simple idea really.
 

jopsuk

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Any idea if it'll go the whole way under its own power? And has a TGV Sud-Est (which the postal units basically are) ever been through the tunnel before?
 

DXMachina

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Could probably work out if its being towed or not by comparing the departure times to other scheduled services on the HS1 link. I'm imagining if it's going to return to France in the middle of the day they can't afford the delay of lugging it behind a diesel.

I like the idea of taking mail freight to and from Europe from planes and sending it by rail.
 

Jonny

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Would it not be easier to run to Willesden mail terminal? or is the loading gauge a problem?
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Any idea if it'll go the whole way under its own power? And has a TGV Sud-Est (which the postal units basically are) ever been through the tunnel before?
I thought the OHLE in the tunnel, and the UK signalling at St Pancras, would not be compatible with a standard TGV?
Then there's the fire and recovery regulations in the tunnel.
 

ainsworth74

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and the UK signalling at St Pancras, would not be compatible with a standard TGV?
Then there's the fire and recovery regulations in the tunnel.
Fairly sure that the signalling at St Pancras International is in fact French so no problem there and I thought that those ridiculously strict fire regulations only applied to passenger trains?
 

LE Greys

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Fairly sure that the signalling at St Pancras International is in fact French so no problem there and I thought that those ridiculously strict fire regulations only applied to passenger trains?
That's probably right, unless they have to top and tail every freight train running through the tunnel.
 

oversteer

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I take it there are no actual goods facilities at STP ? This just being a PR stunt to say "hey look we can get this train here" ?
 

DXMachina

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That would need to pass through the tunnels at South Hampstead and Kensal Green and under 1960s-height OHLE.
Unless my understanding is wrong, the NLL is due to be gauge-cleared as a link between HS1 & HS2 in the next decade. Maybe they're thinking well ahead to a point when larger gauge trains can reach more useful parts of London
 

swt_passenger

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Fairly sure that the signalling at St Pancras International is in fact French so no problem there ...
The signalling boundary is apparently at the tunnel portals - from there to the platforms is UK style - basically to deal with the various non-CTRL/HS1 junctions with the ECML and the NLL.
 

ChristopherJ

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The signalling boundary is apparently at the tunnel portals - from there to the platforms is UK style - basically to deal with the various non-CTRL/HS1 junctions with the ECML and the NLL.
A correction, the signaling system at St Pancras is not British but also French like the TVM430 system used on the mainline, the route between the London Tunnel portals at York Way to St Pancras station is equipped with KVB (Contrôle de vitesse par balises). AWS/TPWS is not used on any part of HS1.

Obviously any international trains destined for Britain from continental Europe have to traverse through France, so the decision to equip the throat of St Pancras station with KVB of France vice AWS/TPWS of Britain is to simplify the signaling arrangements so that foreign rolling stock doesn't require British signalling just for the mere last half a mile in to the terminal.

Trains that go direct from HS1 to the NLL will switch from TVM430 to AWS/TPWS but there are no trains that I know of that do it - the chord was built for Regional Eurostar which has never operated, whilst trains going to St Pancras will switch from TVM430 to KVB.
 
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D1009

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Trains that go direct from HS1 to the NLL will switch from TVM430 to AWS/TPWS but there are no trains that I know of that do it.
Presumably that's what the South Eastern high speed trains do at Ashford ?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It depends what you mean by 'goods'. There's no cattle dock but parcels and suchlike could be catered for overnight. I'll learn more tomorrow.
That would presumably mean vehicle access to one of the platforms, not sure how that would work with international security etc.
 
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156402

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The signalling boundary is apparently at the tunnel portals - from there to the platforms is UK style - basically to deal with the various non-CTRL/HS1 junctions with the ECML and the NLL.
Thats incorrect, St Pancras (HS1 side) uses French KVB signalling controlled by Ashford box, although the signal look like traditional UK style aspects.
 

ChristopherJ

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Presumably that's what the South Eastern high speed trains do at Ashford ?
Indeedy, as well at Ebbsfleet high level for the North Kent Line, and all other chords to classic Network Rail lines.

TVM430 will be 'disarmed' (French terminology for deactivating), AWS will be activated, the train will pass over a test magnet to prove the AWS is healthy and voilà. ;)
 

Mike C

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As you depart STP en route to HS1, the TVM arms as you pass over the ECML. AWS/KVB disarms a short distance thereafter. On the way into STP, it's obviously the reverse.
 

swt_passenger

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I was going by the initial summary in the attached pdf:

On leaving the London Tunnels, the cab signalling system TVM 430 switches over to conventional UK lineside colour light signalling with the KVB intermittent ATP system.

Colour light signalling is necessary in this last kilometre due to the Network Rail interfaces, the need for routing information and because short block sections are required to meet the specified operational headway/journey time (which cannot be achieved within the low speed codes available to the TVM system due to the speed profile of the layout).
Does that not count as 'UK signalling' then?
 

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ChristopherJ

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No pictures yet?

What is this? The dark ages?

:)
It's not here, yet! :lol: According to a French forum it arrives at the Channel Tunnel at 22:00 hrs (CET).

http://www.trainsfrancais.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=38465

Full timings have been posted on anglia-gen, tomorrow it travels from Dollands Moor to St Pancras in the morning, then stables at Singlewell for the afternoon, then in the evening departs directly to Dollands Moor for transit back to the French Republic.

I'm sure the French enthusiasts in the north of France will be out to record it, AFAIK the La Poste TGVs don't travel north of Paris, so it will be just as equally rare as in this country.

Does that not count as 'UK signalling' then?
The colour light signals are of the British design but the system of which the trains communicate with the signals is KVB.
 
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