Were refurbished HSTs the right choice for ScotRail?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Journeyman, 9 Oct 2018 at 08:03.

  1. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    IMHO The refurbished HST solution was the right (interim??) decision at the time. Now, provided there is some forward thinking (and imho Scotland is way better at that than the rest of the UK) in a few years if they get the -what will be fairly new- Bimodes displaced from the MML and GWML because a now enlightened UK government decides further electrification is good after all, that would see Scotland through the next 35 years on the railways. Well I can dream.
     
  2. krus_aragon

    krus_aragon Established Member

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    Let alone Welsh non-conformism: The first law recognising Wales as a distinct nation since the 16th century Acts of Union was the Sunday Closing (Wales) Act of 1881: no Welsh pub could open on the Sabbath.
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2018 at 17:46
  3. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Hopefully reliability will be better now that the power cars won't have to lug eight carriages around all day.
     
  4. gingertom

    gingertom Member

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    at 125mph. Max linespeed north of Glasgow/Edinburgh is 100mph.
     
  5. Darandio

    Darandio Established Member

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    I think it's often discussed here that the less something is worked, the less failures there are and the maintenance regime is less intensive. But....if they were unreliable because they were hauling eight coaches around at 125mph then some would also argue that they are no longer fit for service because they can no longer reliably do the job they are required to do. And therefore the answer to the thread question would be no.
     
  6. snookertam

    snookertam Member

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    I don't really have that local knowledge so I bow to your answer on the way people time their travel accordingly. However if Class 170's were to have remained, then there could have (and possibly likely would have) been some refurbishment to account for greater luggage (and for that matter cycles). And part of the reasoning behind using the HST among the local populace maybe simply more space, which a 6 car 170 begind to provide also. It's hardly ideal and would create other issues though - Newtonmore for example cannot accept 6 cars and class 170's don't have selective door opening, and there's the matter of having no walk through which isn't ideal on a long distance journey.

    I actually think that the Scottish Government should be seriously thinking about extending electrification upto Aberdeen and Inverness. It would certainly cost a fair amount and wouldn't be without its challenges, but if we're serious about reducing emissions then this should at least be considered. Not to mention making the train a more pleasant and cleaner option for the travelling public. I've always thought it was ridiculous how little of the network in Scotland (and the rest of the nations) was electrified compared to the continent. We're making good progress with the Central belt, but the rest of the country shouldn't be losing out. I'd hardly expect the North and west Highland lines to have wires erected, but at least the trunk intercity routes should be electrified in the medium to long term IMO.

    Other new train options I'd thought of there were the IEP units - some five cars would have been ideal for Scotland's long distance routes, or something similar to the Stadler FLIRT in Anglia - or a Bespoke unit for Scotland's long distance network. Again costs money, but these options will need to be considered soon enough. The HST option merely kicks that can down the road for a few years,
     
  7. gsnedders

    gsnedders Established Member

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    If 170s were to have remained, they would have been refurbished: the ITT didn't allow for the 170s to remain as is.

    I think the only real question is whether the HML north of Perth up to Inverness gets electrified, the rest is a matter of when and not if.

    Hitachi couldn't make enough IEPs for the delivery timeline required, AFAIK. I think delaying the option for 12 years and hopefully having much more of the intercity routes electrified is sensible, as it makes a bimode an ever more sensible choice.
     
  8. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    AGREED


    AGREED - which is why I posted
     
  9. boabt

    boabt Member

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    I’m sure they have, but unlike the UK Government, the Scottish Government has to live within its means (the infrastructure budget is finite), and therefore this has to be done more gradually.
     
  10. whhistle

    whhistle Established Member

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    That's right.
    Wabtec should hire more people to enable a better throughput of these made to measure conversions.
    Then charge the leasing company £1 million per coach to do.
    Who will then charge the TOC more in leasing costs.
    Who will then raise prices and lower standards to cut costs to pay for it.

    Good on you Webtec! :P

    I'm surprised Scotrail don't suggest they're temporary and change to a MK5/Class 68 (or whatever the latest standard is) combo.



    Sorry, and what effect would sending profits abroad have on your life?
    I can tell you. Absolutely no effect whatsoever.



    I don't recycle, but still have to pay for that facility through my council tax.
    EDIT: I do recycle, but see this post.
     
    Last edited: 13 Oct 2018 at 06:58
  11. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Apparently Wabtec were absolutely desperate for more skilled engineering staff, but couldn't find them for love nor money.
     
  12. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    There’s talk of “deadlines” on this thread, but ScotRail didn’t really have a deadline to worry about. Other TOCs had to ensure sufficient stock by the 1 January 2020 accessibility deadline (e.g. the Wales & Borders scattershot approach of bringing in loco hauled/ 230s/ 769s and temporarily hiring in additional Pacers whilst disabled bogs are added to Sprinters to try to cobble together sufficient “fit” trains to meet the deadline).


    But the 170s are already accessible; for various well documented reasons, ScotRail hasn’t had the legacy of Pacers – the last slam door diesel stock was the 117s that ran peak extras on the Fife Circle up to the millennium.


    So there’s not been the same urgency to get new trains in – it wouldn’t have been the end of the world if they’d had to wait another six/twelve months for something like an 802 to be built – if Northern/ Wales & Borders/ GWR don’t get sufficient fit stock to replace Pacers then they face "bustitution" and potential line closures in the short term – the worst that’d happen in Scotland would have been passengers mildly inconvenienced by doors closer to the middle of the carriage than they’d prefer for “Inter City” journeys.



    The funny thing is that, given the political set up and the fact that the Scottish Government have effectively *bought* the 385s for the current/future ScotRail franchises, you’d expect them to take a long term approach to the longer distance routes too – whilst the GWR franchise was the one suffering from short term decisions made by Westminster.


    Instead it’s the GWR franchise that’s getting long term trains (800/801s leased for twenty seven years) whilst the ScotRail one is the one that is making-do-and-mending with “upcycled” old trains.


    (as a Scot living south of the border) I thought that Scotland did long term planning better than England but it seems that the Powers That Be are happy to defer the difficult decisions about services from the Central Belt to Aberdeen/ Inverness for a future administration.



    I know this has probably been answered elsewhere (and maybe this is me being a little OCD) but the omission of those nine coaches seems peculiar.


    I can see the point in having two lengths of trains when you are ordering five/nine coach 800s, I could see the point in the original order of four/nine coach 222s (for Midland Mainline to use short ones as Turbostar replacements and long ones for London – Leeds services), but the lack of a fifth carriage on nine of the Scottish HSTs


    Okay, the idea may be to diagram them on the Aberdeen – Inverness services (where they will be an increase in capacity over the majority of services); it just seems like a funny bit of penny pinching (when the HST carriages already exist, so it’s not like an order of new trains).


    Just bugs me for some reason.



    There’s certainly wires from Glasgow to Dunblane, which makes up a reasonable part of the journey to Aberdeen (when compared to 802s under the wires from London to Reading then diesel power to Devon/ Cornwall).


    Seems no chance of wires over the Forth Bridge any time soon (the focus is on wiring up shorter routes around Edinburgh/ Glasgow, rather than taking a difficult and expensive decision about wiring to Fife).


    But maybe the plan is to make a decision on future long distance stock in a decade’s time when a decision can be taken on electrification to Aberdeen.


    Maybe by then we’ll know whether electrification is still feasible or whether solar powered/ hydrogen/ battery trains are the answer? It just seems a sideways move (at a time when other TOCs are taking longer term decisions and successive Scottish administrations have been prepared to dig deep to fund railway improvements, rather than upgrading 1970s trains to sweat another decade of service out of them before someone has to take a bigger decision about the future).


    Shame, as a lot of other areas show Holyrood taking a longer term approach to things than Westminster.



    Not every new order has had delays. TPE have got their loco hauled coaches reasonably quickly (that would have been pretty suitable for ScotRail – there’s not been any significant delays with the 195s for Northern either (AFAICR). I’ve not been particularly following the “London” train orders (Crossrail, Thameslink, Moorgate branch, SWR suburban, GEML etc) so can’t comment on delays there.


    Whereas upgrades to existing stock (e.g. 319s) seems to have had more problems.


    Impossible to prove, in hindsight, certainly, but the HSTs certainly weren’t the only option (for 100mph unelectrified lines).
     
  13. keith1879

    keith1879 Member

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    If a company declares profits in this country it pays tax on those profits in this country .... which affects all our lives.
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Why not?
     
  15. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Actually, landfill taxes and fees mean you are costing more not less, unless you're disposing of all your waste via a commercial provider and paying for it in full (which is rather expensive).

    Please recycle; people like you who do not do so are the ones that cause draconian enforcement policies to be imposed on the rest of us.
     
  16. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    I quite agree. These days it's not even hard - about 99% of my waste goes in my dry recycling bin. My non-recyclable bin is often empty from one fortnightly collection to the next.
     
  17. Railperf

    Railperf Member

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    That is no surprise, but it seems that 802's are much closer to meeting HST timings tjan 800's, their initial faster acceleration from rest to around 50mph generating a head start of around 30 seconds - but some of that is eaten away by an HST which has better accelration between 50 and 100mph.

    To put it into context - Scotrail are advertising shorter journey times and more seats. Hiring in more 170's would deliver more seats - if any were available, but they cannot deliver journey time improvements. HST's are available and can deliver on both fronts. A more powerful version (in diesel mode) of a Class 802 could deliver on both fronts but will take time to order and bring into reliable service - just read the Class 800 thread for more on that. Was any other diesel option available that could deliver - with soon to be available rolling stock? I don't believe there was.
    If Scotrail can employ the best HST maintenance staff and practices..these should be pretty reliable too.
    Granted, if the next Midland Mainline Franchise orders bi-modes..there could be a pretty modern fleet of 222's looking for a new home...Scotrail would do well to have first option on those me thinks.
     
  18. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    TPE have received them quickly enough but they've encountered several faults during testing even before the fault free running has commenced: There's no guarantee at this stage that they'll be available for service on time. And Northern's 195s have barely even begun testing, so it's impossible to say how delivery and acceptance will progress. The well publicised windscreen issues with the 385s weren't known about until after they started testing them, for example!
    I presume that Haymarket's maximum train length initially being 2+4 (Before extension work to the depot shed is completed) coloured the decision for shorter sets to be delivered first, and having some 2+4 sets long term provides more flexibility in platform utilisation at Glasgow Queen Street: Even once extended I don't believe that all platforms could accommodate a 2+5 set.
     
    Last edited: 12 Oct 2018 at 13:52
  19. JohnMcL7

    JohnMcL7 Member

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    The 68's are currently hauling slam door stock on the Fife Circle although there's a claim that there is an exemption to keep on running them past 2020:

    https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/slam-door-trains-in-scotland.169724/


    My point wasn't that every new order has delays but that even if they're gone for a new order, that's no guarantee they would have been delivered working on time as many other new orders particularly in Scotland haven't been. I wouldn't have thought the TPE loco hauled services would have been viable either as there's not enough 68's.
     
  20. Northhighland

    Northhighland Member

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    The may have the coaches delivered, but are no where near getting them into revenue service. Who knows how long that will take. That is the problem the commissioning period seems to involve loads of sitting on sidings doing nothing. Takes far too long.

    It would indicate to me the decision makers thought at the time HST was a lower risk.
     
  21. gingertom

    gingertom Member

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    platforms 3, 4 and 7 can accommodate a 2+5 set now. A 2+5 is shorter than a 7 car 380/385.
     
  22. HaggisBotherer

    HaggisBotherer Member

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    This is an argument that always fascinates me, because so few people think about how little scrutiny it stands up to.

    The electricity has to come from somewhere, it doesn't appear by magic. So how is it produced?

    All power stations that use heat to provide electricity (coal, nuclear, biofuel, etc) produce polluting by-products, whether it is into the atmosphere in the form of gas and/or smoke or in the form of residues (ash / clinker / spent fuel rods, etc) that need to be disposed of.

    So the obvious answer is 'clean' energy... like wind and solar. The problem here is that the devices used to capture this 'clean' energy - like wind turbines and solar panels - are made from what? Steel, copper, aluminium, plastics and paint - the production of all of which produces horrendous amounts of pollution.

    And then what about the infrastructure to carry the electricity to the trains? More steel, more copper, more aluminium, more plastics, more paint...

    On the most simplistic level, electrified railways might seem to 'reduce' emissions. The slightly more complex (and vastly more unpalatable) truth is that they don't - they merely move the emissions/pollutants elsewhere.
     
  23. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Building fossil fuel power stations produces as much, if not more, emissions than building the same capacity of renewables power generation. Building a diesel train uses more resources than building an electric one.

    Over their lifetime, electrified railways will have FAR lower total CO2 and other pollutant emissions than diesel. They're not "zero" emission, but your screed is nonsense HaggisBotherer
     
  24. boabt

    boabt Member

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    Have you let those 'Save The Earth' types know? Damn, they'll be feeling silly! :rolleyes:
     
  25. InOban

    InOban Established Member

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    Absolutely. Confuses the one-off 'capital' input to make the train with the continuing co2 emissions produced over its lifetime. Of course some stupid things have been done, like draining peat bogs, but that's in the past. Fortunately in Scotland the vast majority of our electricity comes from wind and water.
     
  26. alangla

    alangla Member

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    Which, in the case of dense urban areas like the central belt, isn't a bad thing really. An HST exhaust drops its particulates on the underside of the nearest bridge, Longannet dumped most of its in the North Sea, that is the pollutants that weren't caught by the FGD or precipitators etc
     
  27. herb21

    herb21 Member

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    Simplistically this argument holds up, but this ignores the impact of the following: regenerative braking, reduced consumption due to lighter trains, fuel lost while idling, increased efficiency in larger generators, specific need to reduce the concentration of pollutants in urban areas, and the potential to progressively improve energy mix over time as improvements become available once you have electric power.

    The embodied pollutant and energy cost of infrastructure is relevant but has to be considered on a case by case basis particularly if the replaced asset is close to life expired.

    Obviously this is ignoring other benefits such as improved acceleration and reduced noise pollution typically seen in electrics.
     
  28. deltic08

    deltic08 Established Member

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    But you haven't enough 170s in Scotland to refurbish.

    How will 158s on the far north line get to Haymarket for maintenance if HSTs take over?
     
  29. deltic08

    deltic08 Established Member

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    I don't know what happened in the transfer then but here in Yorkshire they are noisy and vibrate like any other DMU.
     
  30. deltic08

    deltic08 Established Member

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    Scotland had better get a move on and electrify to Aberdeen and Inverness in the next 12 years.
     

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