Were refurbished HSTs the right choice for ScotRail?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Journeyman, 9 Oct 2018.

  1. mcmad

    mcmad Member

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    Can't see any derogation being issued/accepted unless it is has a specific end date and given the ongoing lack of progress out of Wabtec ...
     
  2. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Two ScotRail power cars went from Ely to Doncaster yesterday, which suggests that the next set might be close to release.
     
  3. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Well, the HSTs have hardly solved that problem, have they? When are these trains magically going to appear, and what do we do if they don't?
     
  4. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Clearly you are incapable of answering the question as you have deflected twice. I’ll assume that your plan doesn’t exist and is therefore not a credible alternative.
     
  5. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Clue: the first customer for the Class 170 wasn't a commuter operator. It was in fact Midland Mainline.

    The units are not commuter units. They are regional express units. Which is the kind of service Inter7City really is.

    The anti-170-style-units argument is really just door position prejudice. As long as they are long enough, what's the problem?
     
  6. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    So what's your plan?

    ScotRail could have done any number of things, including:

    1. Refurbed 170s (they could have bid on the basis of keeping them, and as they're being released from a number of services by electrification, it may well have been possible to have enough of them)
    2. Hitachi bi-modes (eminently suitable for the task)
    3. Mark 5 coaches (ditto, although there's some question marks about locos, but that almost certainly could have been solved)
    4. CAF Civity (they've been plugging this to operators for some time, and it's a decent train, including an end-door version)
    5. Stadler FLIRT (another Abellio franchise has made use of these)
    So yeah, these amazing magical HSTs - where the hell are they?
     
  7. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Agreed, the 170 is somewhat over-specced for a lot of the short distance commuter services it operates on, and I'd say it's actually very good for longer-distance runs, borne out by personal experience. It's certainly a lot more comfortable and pleasant to travel on than a lot of other trains currently knocking about, and a refurb with vestibule power doors would have solved just about all the problems.
     
  8. Northhighland

    Northhighland Member

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    Absolute bollocks. Firstly they are too small. Not enough seats. If you join two together you can’t get from one to the other. The doors are in the wrong place everyone gets cold at every station in the winter.

    Not enough luggage capacity for long distance travel
    Not enough cycle capacity for route
    Noisy.

    Essentially they have been made to work but simply not suitable for long distance travel. You can try and gloss over these failings but they are real and it does your argument no good to ignore its flaws.

    In snow a 170 is not much good. A loco hauled train would be better. Not much controversial in that.
     
  9. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    If CAF Mark 5s (or coaching stock from another manufacturer) had been ordered at the point where they won the franchise (on a "could be delivered in the required time frame" basis) then clearly loco availaibility wouldn't be an issue- just as with the TPE order, suitable locomotives (Class 68 or something else) would have been ordered.

    Ultimately we don't know what options Abellio had explored in putting together their bid, nor what Arriva, First, MTR and NatEx had looked at. It would be fascinating to see all the proposals pitched to each bidder, what their preferred options were and the rational in each case
     
  10. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    TPE didn't order any extra 68s, they're using the existing DRS fleets. As far as I know, no further 68s can be ordered due to the emissions being too high to meet current standards, so that's a big question mark.

    Agreed, it would be very interesting to see what the others proposed.
     
  11. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    I think, having read his posts, that Journeyman had some sort of plan involving taking centre cars from 3 car units and sticking them into other 3 car units to make longer ones, with the remaining two car units being sent away.
    There's not enough centre cars though to deliver 26 5 car sets, let alone 6 car sets

    That, or he was suggesting some sort of expensive programme of rebuilding cab ends into corridor ends. Creating 26 units would have required almost all of Scotrail's 55 strong fleet, before that was reduced.

    I think Bombardier have said they could install doors at vestibules, similar to those to 1st class.

    If all that was possible, then luggage and cycle capacity could certainly have been created through interior reconfiguration.

    Still wouldn't have solved the lack of tractive power, especially in winter.
     
  12. Mordac

    Mordac Established Member

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    They could be re-engined too, no? Or maybe just replace their traction package with that from the 172s?
     
  13. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    Still not answering the question. It's like talking to Baldrick.

    Perhaps you have forgotten the question: ScotRail are losing 20 Class 170 sets (60 vehicles). The HSTs are planned to deliver 121 vehicles. How would your Turbostar plan cover the 61 vehicle capacity shortfall?

    Now, to answer your question: I'd have gone with locos+Mark 5s, assuming that it was affordable. Interesting to note, though, that the Mark 5s ordered by the sleeper franchise at around the same time are still not in traffic. Likewise the vehicles for TPE are not in service (and have missed their in service date). So, even if the franchise had gone down that route they wouldn't have the new trains any quicker. Had they done so, no doubt you would have been dribbling how they should have gone with HSTs instead...:lol:
     
  14. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Taking each point in order...

    1. You could easily reform 170s into longer sets by inserting non-driving vehicles from other sets, reducing some to 2-car formations and extending others. You could create 4, 5 or 6 car sets this way, and I've seen proposals for longer refurbed sets. Still more flexible than an HST, which can't be extended at all, and a huge chunk of the train length is engines, which makes very poor use of platform length.
    2. Luggage racks and cycle racks can easily be fitted.
    3. They're not particularly noisy, and the noise issue is not generally anything that non-enthusiasts complain about. The first class sections are noticeably quieter because of the power vestibule doors, and if those were fitted throughout it would improve the situation enormously, and solve your gripe about door positioning.
    4. Loco hauled trains are expensive to operate and most of the time don't have any advantage over fixed formations. They're not coming back.
     
  15. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    But are ScotRail only losing them because they've said they don't need them? Could they have bid on the basis of keeping them?

    I appreciate the problems associated with introducing new trains, but at least, even if it's delayed, you've got a new train that's fit for forty-odd years. There's no way I'd say the HSTs were a good idea, even if new trains had been ordered and were late, because everyone in the industry who has worked with them knows that the average Mark 3 has the structural integrity of a Swiss cheese these days.
     
  16. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    The general view is that once you get to 5 coaches and above, having locomotives on diesel trains is more cost effective, as the cost of maintaining lots of engines and cooler groups adds up. Doesn't stop the industry ordering trains with lots of engines, though (9-car 222s as an example).
     
  17. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I'm sorry, but are you being so dim deliberately?

    As I said, assuming that ScotRail kept ALL the sets it is losing - 60 cars - and that the capacity need is the same (121 vehicles), then how do you cover the 61 vehicle shortfall? You cannot raid the other 170s as they are needed elsewhere within ScotRail as that's why they are being kept.
     
  18. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    85 Class 170 centre cars have been built, including the ones now converted to 171s. if you add in those built as 171s, you reach 97. If you get really desperate and raid the 168s, that's another 28.

    So, in theory, there's enough centre cars out there for 26 6 car sets. But even starting before the cascade, when Scotrail still had 55 units, that's raiding what was London Midland, Cross Country, Greater Anglia, Southern and Chiltern. Scotrail only had enough centre cars for 9 6 car sets.
     
  19. SHerr

    SHerr Member

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    There’s a lot of talk about 170s and 800 series but I think what has partially been forgotten is the original requirements.

    I don’t know the exact details so happy to be corrected but as well as ‘Inter City Standard’ were more fundamental targets of journey time and service patterns to allow an hourly Perth-Inverness timetable. From a pressentation I saw a few years ago these went hand in hand, you need the journeytime/train performance to make the timetable work unless you spend hundreds of millions double tracking large sections of the HML.

    170s are woefully off the mark in terms of performance and having seen performance figures for a 802 in Diesel they wouldn’t hit the mark either.

    Yes a train shell can be made as good or cheap as you want inside and where the engine is mounted is to some extent irrelevant but the aspirational timetable would simply not work with some of the stock being discussed.

    Not sure there is an easy answer but whatever is implemented new or cascaded needs to perform something like a short HST, 180,185, 220/1/2.
     
  20. Class37.4

    Class37.4 Member

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    Potentially you could have kept the 170’s and gone for a smaller fleet of HST’s or new build just to cover the Inverness route, that would have freed up additional 170’s for use on the other routes along with those freed up as a result of electrification.

    Given the present level of electrification the viability’s of Bi-modes would be questionable at present and 802 a likely expensive over provision.

    Anyway it’s all fairly pointless supperistion we have unrefurbished to cover and Scotrail will no doubt be hoping that wabtec can deliver at least enough refurbished to be able to get rid by the end of 2019
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2018
  21. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    The HSTs are late with no end in sight. The new sleepers are late and I've no more idea of what's going on there than I have with the HSTs. Hitachi's late with everything and getting stuff wrong all over the place. While we're on the subject of tarting up 15-20 year old 170s then let's not forget how long it took Southern to do that, and then abandon the project for any further sets.

    The HSTs may well have been the wrong decision but noone can say with any certainty that we'd be any closer to having a proper intercity fleet for Scotland by December 2018 had any other strategy been followed.

    Like it or lump it, I reckon the unrefurbed HSTs have a long future with us in Scotland.
     
  22. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I'm sure one of the manufacturers will supply a UK compliant fleet of locomotives if required. It's much easier than a DMU given the space available.
     
  23. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Yeah, I suspect it would be feasible if someone ordered enough to make the design and development work worthwhile.
     
  24. 43096

    43096 Established Member

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    I think it was Gerard Fiennes who lamented that the railway measures its delays in minutes, whereas its suppliers measure delays in weeks and months. Nothing more true than that!
     
  25. Northhighland

    Northhighland Member

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    I assume no
    If it was so easy to extend 170's why has it not been done? Southern modified them took for ever and they said no more. Kind of undermines your argument methinks.
    An HST when or if they are delivered form WABTEC will be four or 5 car formations. They can be extended to 9 or ten if required. So why say they cant be extended? When it would be easier to extend an HST than a 170..

    Where you putting the luggage and cycle racks? On the roof? Any more reduces seats and we don't have enough seats already.

    Agreed on first class it is quieter. Maybe that is a solution for noise. Be great if it stopped the draught. Everyone complains about that in the depth of the winter.

    170 is pathetic in snow.
     
  26. sprinterguy

    sprinterguy Established Member

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    Well the Scotrail sets will be limited to a maximum length of 2+6 due to platform lengths at Glasgow Queen Street, and I think the number of those would be limited due to both platform availability there and depot infrastructure at Haymarket, but yes it seems a bizarre claim that the HSTs cannot be lengthened when, if desired, there will be swathes of available trailer stock going spare over the next few years.
     
  27. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    In theory I agree with you. "A bad train is better than no train" sounds like a Theresa May quote about the railways.

    But look at what happened with the TPE plan to run the "Pretendolino" coaches on a few diagrams - the trains were no worse than a number of trains currently running in service but the outrage of reintroducing previously-withdrawn old trains was too much and they had to shelve the plans.

    And the TPE example was before the 31/12/19 deadline - if it wasn't acceptable to run inaccessible trains before the deadline then I can't see the disability rights groups permitting TOCs from running inaccessible trains post 01/01/20 (even if 95% of passengers can use them, that's not going to be acceptable).

    I get the snobbishness about door position (though I think that it's nonsense - people cope with mid-doors on routes like Newcastle - Liverpool - they used to run from Hull/ Barnsley to London), but... 180s... railbuses? Have you ever been on one?

    The ScotRail services don't have 125mph running, they don't require 125mph trains, there was no need for HSTs (but they've got nice big engines and do something called "thrash" so enthusiast love them).

    Agreed - there were alternatives out there but we are lumbered with 1970s trains... sorry, "proper trains" (because they have chunky big engines, and that matters more, apparently).
     
  28. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Southern had to change the couplings to match the 171s, which have Dellners. Sticking an additional vehicle into an existing set takes minutes.

    Nope, they can only be extended to 2+6 formations due to platform lengths. So you can't have a train of eight passenger vehicles. The power cars are hugely wasteful of space.

    Where do the luggage and cycle racks go on a 4 or 5 car HST? They can go in the same place in a 4 or 5 car DMU, oddly enough.
     
  29. Journeyman

    Journeyman Member

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    Yup, it's highly unlikely that anyone will keep a bunch of Mark 3s in store just in case. Even if they did, they'll corrode and decay even more than they have already.
     
  30. Northhighland

    Northhighland Member

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    Inverness handles a full HST every day so does Waverley. Only problem would be at GQS. As to your point about luggage and cycles regularly see space at rear of HST power cars getting used for this purpose. Anyway there aren't enough 170 coaches to add into the sets so your idea will not work anyway. Unless you build more coaches.
     

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