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Thameslink/ Class 700 Progress

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Class377/5

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700114 was the first unit to reach Kent last night doing a return trip from Victoria to Orpington.

I did carefully say night and weekends (not mentioning off-peak). As I understand it GTR has (or had) plans to run 4 car non-ERTMS-fitted units when loadings allow. That may only mean nights - I don't think that's clear yet.

You can't run four car services with fixed formation units. As for weekends, Saturday is getting 18tph, higher service than today with Sunday getting 16tph, same frequency as todays peak. There won't be the room.
 
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vrbarreto

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Yay!

Caught my first class 700 from Luton Airport Parkway to East Croydon Yesterday at 16:13 (ish)

First impressions:

Got on and was surprised by how much open space there is on them.. The interior looks like everything was just bolted on at the last minute..

There is plenty of space for luggage as was demonstrated yesterday as the preceding 3 Bridges Train Had been cancelled

Pros (In My Opinion)

a) Train was pretty quiet.. I even fell asleep on it..leading to
b) Despite the seats looking uncomfortable, they were not bad.. My bottom didn't start going numb at all on the journey
c) The information boards are a nice touch
d) Ride comfort was pretty good


Cons:

a) It just looks a bit...meh inside.. Not like a proper train but feels like London Overground
b) The train information system seems to have a few bugs still in it.. Nothing displayed for ages and then occasionally all the screens will scroll through at warp speed.
c) I suspect there are fewer seats...
d) Awful leg room

On the subject of the train information system.. With the next stop information coming up.. could they not have an estimated time to arrival at that stop in minutes.. Would give people plenty of time to start planning their getting up and moving to the doors.

Overall... Liked it more than I disliked it..
 
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chriskeene

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While I don't know, I would have thought it'd make sense to keep them for redundancy. Whenever the in-cab signalling has an issue they may prove quite useful...

I think it was this video (well worth watching) that i watched a while a go which says the current signalling as a fall back.
https://tv.theiet.org/?videoid=5091
 

physics34

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Gonna do 1W24 10.34 Brighton to Bedford from East Croydon to St Albans. Let's hope for some fast running.
 

W230

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I was on this train. It wasn't taken out of service but continued onwards. Another train was specially stopped at Kentish Town so people could transferr across rather than wait for it to resume. Most people got off, I couldn't be bothered so was rather amused when the one I was on departed first!
I was driving the one that stopped additionally at KT and was surprised to see what I thought was the empty 700 leave first. Assumed the signaller just wanted it out of the way. If it stayed in service why did they bother getting half the people off grrrr. As usual the punters were moaning at me. Not sure what I can do about poor Thameslink performance from my cab (or anywhere else!!) :lol:

377/5 said:
Originally Posted by GodAtum View Post
any reason why the 1st class partition door is manual?
Because of the smoke venting system means you need an edge around the door. Having sliding doors would risk fingers getting trapped
As 377/5 says, in the event of a fire the unit literally sucks all the smoke out to the atmosphere as it is one long open train. There needs to be a gap in the door for first class so that can happen. There is an Emergency HVAC override for if it this should happen in a tunnel to avoid circulating smoke outside and then back in to the train again.
 

physics34

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1W24 not a 700 ??????. I know there is disruption though. Anybody know the 700 diagrams today?
 

asylumxl

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I was driving the one that stopped additionally at KT and was surprised to see what I thought was the empty 700 leave first. Assumed the signaller just wanted it out of the way. If it stayed in service why did they bother getting half the people off grrrr. As usual the punters were moaning at me. Not sure what I can do about poor Thameslink performance from my cab (or anywhere else!!)

I had a similar experience once where we were turfed off going south due to some problem in the core. Unfortunately, it turned out the problem cleared rather quickly. Unfortunately the next train from KTN wasn't for a while, so Northern Line it was.

To add insult to injury, TL tried to reject my delay repay claim by saying I could have caught a different train from my origin station, that didn't stop at KTN!
 

Bald Rick

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I was driving the one that stopped additionally at KT and was surprised to see what I thought was the empty 700 leave first. Assumed the signaller just wanted it out of the way. If it stayed in service why did they bother getting half the people off grrrr. As usual the punters were moaning at me. Not sure what I can do about poor Thameslink performance from my cab (or anywhere else!!) :lol:

The people who got off were those who couldn't alight at St Pancras. Plus anybody else who had had enough at that point, and/or didn't hear the announcements that the train was continuing.
 

David Sinnett

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Due to EMT having problems out of STP tonight I have a forced opportunity to travel north on Thameslink. Anyone know which service around 6pm will be a 700?
 

Class377/5

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Due to EMT having problems out of STP tonight I have a forced opportunity to travel north on Thameslink. Anyone know which service around 6pm will be a 700?

I'm sure 112 was the 1635 Brighton to Bedford, due St Pancras 1802.
 

Bungaroosh

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Had my first ride on one of these yesterday from St Pancras to Brighton. The local Brighton press some time ago had referred to these trains coming our way as representing "luxury" train travel, so the reality was a bit of a disappointment.

The main positives were:
-- Much improved over-seat storage rack capacity compared to 377s or similar (it took my large wheelie holdall that is too big to take as hand luggage on a flight).
-- Better information screens, e.g. showing seat availability in different carriages (although the text on this and the London Underground status screen was too small and the screens changed far too quickly - after about 5 seconds)
-- Much *much* more standing room. Not something that affects me often as I get on at the first station usually, but I lived at Herne Hill for years and had to squeeze into 319s back then, so I imagine these will be a massive improvement for people on the Wimbledon loop or boarding at Croydon going north in the morning rush.
-- Legroom and foot space good in aircraft- type seat despite very wide conduit encroaching into the window-side foot space

Not so positive:
-- Floor-level luggage racks by doors -- far too small and far too shallow and narrow. Only way to store my bag was up on its end which would have toppled over at the first lurch. Wheelie cases would also only fit upright on their wheels and end up sliding about. The rack was only about 2ft wide and 1.5ft deep. Pointless.
-- Seat cushions were like paving slabs with cloth on them. Numb backside on the 1hr37min journey (speed to improve in 2018 once London Bridge is fixed).
-- Icy aircon, but that's a general British thing I find where whoever setting them selects 16c rather than a more sensible 20c or 22c in summer. On a journey on a similar new TL train (not 700) on that hot weekend in May I got off at Brighton after boarding at St Albans and was numb with the cold so it's something I now make provision for!
-- No seatback tables (how backward is this?). Forget doing any work, or eating/drinking anything comfortably during your 1.5hr trundle.
-- No armrests. I was travelling with a companion yesterday but I don't know how it'd be with a larger-sized stranger fellow passenger on the...
--Very narrow seats with no gap between them.
-- No power sockets on spanking brand new trains.

I can see what they've tried to do by increasing the standing space, and the trains do feel much more spacious and easier to move around in, but lack of seatback tables, armrests or power sockets, or adequately dimensioned floor-level luggage racks for a route serving two major airports makes me wonder: have the people who designed out these almost indispensable features ever travelled on a Thameslink train?
 

Bald Rick

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... have the people who designed out these almost indispensable features ever travelled on a Thameslink train?

Indeed they have, and many of these people use them twice a day.

(I wasn't involved in the train spec, I might add)
 

physics34

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I can see what they've tried to do by increasing the standing space, and the trains do feel much more spacious and easier to move around in, but lack of seatback tables, armrests or power sockets, or adequately dimensioned floor-level luggage racks for a route serving two major airports makes me wonder: have the people who designed out these almost indispensable features ever travelled on a Thameslink train?

We know why theyve done is.....cost, ability to cram as many passengers in as possible and weightsaving..... (as ive said before i feel that the last two cancel each other out, especially on a packed train.)

Im hoping with enough of a push they change the spec for the last few 12 car units and create a sub class for the longer distance "faster" services...... doubt this will happen although there are plans in the works to include plug sockets and seat back tables possibily, and wifi is a definite in the future.

Dont think the seats will change though :(
 

asylumxl

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Im hoping with enough of a push they change the spec for the last few 12 car units and create a sub class for the longer distance "faster" services...... doubt this will happen although there are plans in the works to include plug sockets and seat back tables possibily, and wifi is a definite in the future.

They keep saying they could be done during a mid-life refresh. If we were to take that literally that's decades away, but my money is that they'll quietly drop the idea once people get used to it and complaints die down.
 

Class377/5

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We know why theyve done is.....cost, ability to cram as many passengers in as possible and weightsaving..... (as ive said before i feel that the last two cancel each other out, especially on a packed train.)

Im hoping with enough of a push they change the spec for the last few 12 car units and create a sub class for the longer distance "faster" services...... doubt this will happen although there are plans in the works to include plug sockets and seat back tables possibily, and wifi is a definite in the future.

Dont think the seats will change though :(

There is no plan for plugs. What the DfT and the 700 owners are discussing is tables and WiFi. The latter is coming with the units having space for the equipment. Seat back tables is going to be a cost issue. Build is nearly half way so that's a lot of waste someone is going to have to pay for. As the DfT ordered them and now wants a change, it's got to pay.

Plugs are not likely to come. It requires stripping the units back to near bodyshell so will take a significant amount of time to achieve per unit that quite frankly I suggest would damage the final December 2018 Thameslink timetable that everyone is aiming for. Mid life upgrade is more likely. Of course there could always be an additional order of a few extra units to allow for works like this to be achieve. There scope within the contract for a few additional run on units to be ordered, but again it's down the the DfT to arrange. Money is always going to be the issue.
 

DerekC

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You can't run four car services with fixed formation units. As for weekends, Saturday is getting 18tph, higher service than today with Sunday getting 16tph, same frequency as todays peak. There won't be the room.

But you can with another class of train. Maybe it's nights only - but I recall that GTR at the time of its bid made a point of saying that they would want to run 4-car units at times of low demand. And (if you really wanted) the conventional signals without ERTMS could sustain 16 TPH. Anyway, the point is that retaining the visual signals (and AWS/TPWS) allows unfitted trains to run as and when anybody wants to. Whether GTR actually chooses to use the capability is another matter.
 

Hadders

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I doubt we'll ever get plug sockets on the 700s. Wifi perhaps but not really essential.

The real 'own goal' is the lack of tables. They only need to be small like on the 365s but I do find their omission strange.

Also, nowhere near enough litter bins on the 700s. The one I caught on Friday had over flowing bins with litter strewn across the floor of the carriages in the centre of the train.
 

jon0844

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They should have a way of tipping the train up at the depot to let all the rubbish fall through the train....
 

RobShipway

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I also find it strange that plug sockets where missed on being put on the class 700 tarisn, when you consider that at least somewhere within the carriages of new trains for the last 20 years, there has been plug sockets placed on them if only for the use of cleaning staff at night time.

It is also strange that the class 707 trains, which will be almost identical to the class 700 trains accept that the 707's will not have any toilets will have tables, plug sockets and wifi whereas the class 700's where not ordered with these, yet travel a longer distance!

With regards to retro fitting the class 700 trains with plug sockets, would you not have class 319/365/377/387 units possibly that can fill in for a few units while the class 700 units where fitted, rather than having to order extra units? I presuming, if the only option is to order extra units then it will be for 2 - 6 extra units?
 

jon0844

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I would rather have good 4G based Wi-Fi and seat back tables than power sockets. And even Wi-Fi I could live without.

Seat back tables would do perfectly for me, in fact.

My 20000mAh battery pack (and I have smaller ones for shorter breaks) suits far better as I can charge on the go, and never have anything for me or others to trip over.

And for the Internet, I have my own 4G connection.

I wonder how the Internet will work to Moorgate? Leaky feeders in the tunnels or just a blackout once you leave Drayton Park?
 

AM9

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We know why theyve done is.....cost, ability to cram as many passengers in as possible and weightsaving..... (as ive said before i feel that the last two cancel each other out, especially on a packed train.)

Well if it really is as you say then I think carrying passengers is more important than tables, armrests etc., especially when the expected increased demand comes in a few years.

Im hoping with enough of a push they change the spec for the last few 12 car units and create a sub class for the longer distance "faster" services...... doubt this will happen although there are plans in the works to include plug sockets and seat back tables possibily, and wifi is a definite in the future.

Dont think the seats will change though :(

There's no point having more than one standard of train on the line. The intense programme needed in the lifetime of the 700s will only work if there is complete interchangeability between trains (apart from ensuring that only 8-car stock runs on the Sutton loop etc.).
Just imagine the whining from the longer-distance regulars when 'their' trains have failures and are replaced with those metro trains that aren't good enough for them. It will be far worse than when all the loaned Electrostars disappear by next summer.
 
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samuelmorris

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I suppose I'm the opposite - I can live happily without WiFi as I have my own, I'd much rather see a plug socket. Portable chargers are indispensible for phones, but don't do much for my laptop. With a laptop charger plugged in, I can do both. Nonetheless I've written off the idea on the 700s. I see why they did it, but it's unlikely to ever change now.
 

Hadders

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I also find it strange that plug sockets where missed on being put on the class 700 tarisn, when you consider that at least somewhere within the carriages of new trains for the last 20 years, there has been plug sockets placed on them if only for the use of cleaning staff at night time.

I'm sure I saw at least one socket which was marked as not for public use when I was on a 700.
 

AM9

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I also find it strange that plug sockets where missed on being put on the class 700 tarisn, when you consider that at least somewhere within the carriages of new trains for the last 20 years, there has been plug sockets placed on them if only for the use of cleaning staff at night time.

Well we don't want passengers who can't read, plugging their devices into sockets clearly marked 'Not for Public Use' do we.

It is also strange that the class 707 trains, which will be almost identical to the class 700 trains accept that the 707's will not have any toilets will have tables, plug sockets and wifi whereas the class 700's where not ordered with these, yet travel a longer distance!

Nothing strange about it at all. The role that the Desiro Citys have on Thameslink is entirely different to the class 455/458 replacements on the Windsor services. The reasons for the fit as ordered has been discussed many times on this thread and its predecessor. The key issue in respect of amenities is not distance but average passenger travelling time anyway.

With regards to retro fitting the class 700 trains with plug sockets, would you not have class 319/365/377/387 units possibly that can fill in for a few units while the class 700 units where fitted, rather than having to order extra units? I presuming, if the only option is to order extra units then it will be for 2 - 6 extra units?

No, once the core has gone over to ATO, no other trains will be allowed into the core in normal service. So adding accessories like power outlets is not just a few sockets from B&Q and a few wires, you have to order a few million pounds worth of spare trains as well to avoid a shortage of services. I think the better idea is to not argue with those who are making all the fuss and the problem will just go away when a full service of well loaded trains starts in 2019. They'll have their free wi-fi to play with by then anyway. If they are bored, they could then amuse themselves with 'TL Pokemon Go', looking for the mystery tables. :)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I'm sure I saw at least one socket which was marked as not for public use when I was on a 700.

OK, I didn't notice one. Do you remember where it was located?
 

jon0844

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Apparently the seats can't have tables fitted (I assume the backs need to have a recess) but perhaps the trains for GN into Moorgate could have the seats with tables fitted and then over time they're swapped? There wouldn't be enough for all 700s doing just that, but I heard there could be a switch near the end of production of the current 700s that might make it possible?

I am sure it can be worked out somehow. I don't think the trains to Moorgate, stopping at all stations, need tables. Yes, you may spend more time on them, but they're much more like a metro service.

Perhaps another option is to fit small tables like those on 317/1s? They look pathetic but are good for a cup of coffee or other beverage. By only being near the window, they also solve the issue of people struggling to get by someone in an aisle seat with the table down.

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk
 

RobShipway

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Because fitting the inverters, surge protection and additional cabling throughout a train adds significant weight. Among recent types, the LO Class 378s aren't fitted with outlets - not 'safe' at least.

It's been discussed before so I'm not sure why we have to get into this again. Bearing in mind that none of the current Great Northern trains are fitted with any technological amenities, I don't see it as a problem at all.

That is fine if I am a passenger in the Great Northern area, but what if I am a passenger that travels between say Brighton and St Pancras as Bishopstone has pointed out, what then?
 

bengley

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Apparently the seats can't have tables fitted (I assume the backs need to have a recess) but perhaps the trains for GN into Moorgate could have the seats with tables fitted and then over time they're swapped? There wouldn't be enough for all 700s doing just that, but I heard there could be a switch near the end of production of the current 700s that might make it possible?

I am sure it can be worked out somehow. I don't think the trains to Moorgate, stopping at all stations, need tables. Yes, you may spend more time on them, but they're much more like a metro service.

Perhaps another option is to fit small tables like those on 317/1s? They look pathetic but are good for a cup of coffee or other beverage. By only being near the window, they also solve the issue of people struggling to get by someone in an aisle seat with the table down.

Sent from my D6603 using Tapatalk

387s have the same seats and have tables on the seat backs.
 
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