West of post-electrified Swansea

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rf_ioliver

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Just wondering a few things about west Wales services post-electrification. Firstly the London-West Wales Intercity services, as it now seems that a purely electric train will only be needed for the bulk of services Swansea-London this leaves a few options for west of Swansea:

- full bimode, with the problem of carting fuel between London and Swansea
- drag, eg: class 67 dragging the electric train in much the same was as the North Wales pendolinos
- variant bimode, eg: 2x5 car electric voyagers, then splitting at Carmarthen or Whitland for simultaneous services to Fishguard and Pembroke

Then what happens to the regional services, eg: Milford Haven-Manchester which would then run under the wires for most of its journey?

Regarding Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and VoG : are these lines incuded in the electrification plan? If not could we see an Ebbw Vale via Vog to Maesteg diesel service whcih would minimise running diesels under wires?

Just thoughts...

t.

Ian
 
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MidnightFlyer

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I would have thought the West Wales-Manchester trains would be largely as now, the entire line from Newport to Crewe is still planned to be disel ;)

As for west of Swansea to London, the franchise spec still includes 1tpd to Carmarthen. Personally I'd say dragging, I'm not super-keen on bi-mode, plus I don't know how carrying diesel about unused for hundreds of miles affects running.
 

gwr4090

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Just wondering a few things about west Wales services post-electrification. Firstly the London-West Wales Intercity services, as it now seems that a purely electric train will only be needed for the bulk of services Swansea-London this leaves a few options for west of Swansea:

- full bimode, with the problem of carting fuel between London and Swansea
- drag, eg: class 67 dragging the electric train in much the same was as the North Wales pendolinos
- variant bimode, eg: 2x5 car electric voyagers, then splitting at Carmarthen or Whitland for simultaneous services to Fishguard and Pembroke

Then what happens to the regional services, eg: Milford Haven-Manchester which would then run under the wires for most of its journey?

Regarding Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and VoG : are these lines incuded in the electrification plan? If not could we see an Ebbw Vale via Vog to Maesteg diesel service whcih would minimise running diesels under wires?

Just thoughts...

t.

Ian
There is still a need for bi-mode IEP units for the Worcester, Cheltenham and Westbury/Exeter services, so there should be no problem in diagramming a 5-car bi-mode for the Carmarthen service. There is no plan to clear the route west of Carmarthen for IEP.

But I think the final decision on IEP trains vs other options will be left to the franchise bidders. Apparently there are some cheaper options being worked on !

The HLOS announcement is for electrification of all Cardiff local services including Ebbw Vale, Vale of Glamorgan and Maesteg, and also Cardiff-Swansea.

David
 

John55

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Just wondering a few things about west Wales services post-electrification. Firstly the London-West Wales Intercity services, as it now seems that a purely electric train will only be needed for the bulk of services Swansea-London this leaves a few options for west of Swansea:

- full bimode, with the problem of carting fuel between London and Swansea
- drag, eg: class 67 dragging the electric train in much the same was as the North Wales pendolinos
- variant bimode, eg: 2x5 car electric voyagers, then splitting at Carmarthen or Whitland for simultaneous services to Fishguard and Pembroke

Then what happens to the regional services, eg: Milford Haven-Manchester which would then run under the wires for most of its journey?

Regarding Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and VoG : are these lines incuded in the electrification plan? If not could we see an Ebbw Vale via Vog to Maesteg diesel service whcih would minimise running diesels under wires?

Just thoughts...

t.

Ian
Try looking at the info on the DfT website. http://www.dft.gov.uk/publications/hlos-2012
 

6Gman

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Turn everything round at Swansea. "Change at Swansea for West Wales"

Llanelli & Carmarthen will be annoyed but only in the same position as Blackburn or Dumfries or Aberystwyth or Birkenhead etc etc
 

tbtc

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I would have thought the West Wales-Manchester trains would be largely as now
The service could be totally changed - Manchester to Cardiff DMUs, EMUs from Bristol/Newport/Cardiff to Swansea, the "west Wales" services mainly just DMUs that go no further east than Swansea.

Future service patterns (by the time lines are electrified) could be very different.
 

cle

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I think they'd be howling in Pembrokeshire if they didn't get their Cardiff links. Especially now they have John Lewis!
 

gwr4090

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The service could be totally changed - Manchester to Cardiff DMUs, EMUs from Bristol/Newport/Cardiff to Swansea, the "west Wales" services mainly just DMUs that go no further east than Swansea.

Future service patterns (by the time lines are electrified) could be very different.
I expect the West Wales dmus to continue to run to Cardiff, but hopefully without stopping at every minor wayside halt as they sometimes do now. A separate stopping emu service from Swansea to Bristol seems like a good idea.

David
 

Rhydgaled

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If London services west of Swansea are to continue, there are three options as I see it.
  • Bi-mode
  • Dragged EMU
  • LHCS
Assuming the first two options are IEP, there will have to be major changes to the design (23m coaches rather than 26m) for it to work. In my opinion, the bi-mode option is unacceptable anyway*. If DaFT won't back down and reduce the IEP coach length, that leaves LHCS as the only option. The LHCS option would be rakes of power-door mark3s with a new loco (similar to a class 91) on the London end and a DVT on the other. A new diesel loco (I'd really like them to reuse a class 47 bodyshell, but new it'd probably have to be) with TDM would replace the 91-like-loco at Swansea. Should take about nine minutes to swap locos, only 2-minutes more than the current dwell at Swansea on through London trains anyway. If the London services are removed, then my opinion is they should be replaced by IC125 services from Pembs to Portsmouth.

*If it must be then I would make them extensions of the PAD - Cardiff services that don't extend to Swansea and send them via the Swansea District Line, changing onto diesel power at Port Talbot and avoiding Swansea altogether.

Then what happens to the regional services, eg: Milford Haven-Manchester which would then run under the wires for most of its journey?
I think the final decision on IEP trains vs other options will be left to the franchise bidders. Apparently there are some cheaper options being worked on!
Apparently DaFT have specified that the new GWML franchise-holder MUST use IEP.

Turn everything round at Swansea. "Change at Swansea for West Wales"

Llanelli & Carmarthen will be annoyed but only in the same position as Blackburn or Dumfries or Aberystwyth or Birkenhead etc etc
With the exception of London trains, I agree that everything that goes into Swansea High Street station should terminate. However, an hourly through service from south-west Wales to Cardiff (forget Manchester**) is important. That hourly service needs to go via the Swansea District Line though, there is very little point in sending it via Swansea given the the road journey time from Carmarthen to England is so damn fast compared to the rail route via Swansea High Street.

In my opinion, the medium-long term assperation for service frequency between Carmarthen and Llanelli should be:
  • 1tph all stations to/from Swansea (terminate)
  • 1tph semi-fast to/from Swansea (terminate)
  • 1tph express to/from Cardiff** (via SDL, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Port Talbot, Bridgend and Cardiff stops only)
  • 1-3 Trains Per Day to/from London (via Swansea)
West of Carmarthen, the three hourly services would be divided up with Fishguard getting a train every two hours and the other two branches getting an hourly service (ideally with a fast one hour and a stopper the next). That means 1train per two hours terminating at Carmarthen***

**extending it to Bristol or Portsmouth would be nice though
***Really I want that extended to Aberystwyth via Lampter, but the line needs to be built first.

As for the ValleyLines (in that I include Ebbw Vale, Maesteg and VoG), perhaps that discussion should be in the South Wales Electrification topic.
 

HSTEd

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As I understand it there are some Class 90s available......

Can't they just refit some HST rakes for TDM, fit them with buffers (or just swap power cars with GC to get thiers) and then run the whole formation push-pull, with one of the power cars running for ETS.

Interim option with effectively no capital cost.
 

Failed Unit

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As I understand it there are some Class 90s available......

Can't they just refit some HST rakes for TDM, fit them with buffers (or just swap power cars with GC to get thiers) and then run the whole formation push-pull, with one of the power cars running for ETS.

Interim option with effectively no capital cost.
Or - Convert Norwich - London to 100mph EMUs and then use the 90s and Mk3's from that route!
 

HSTEd

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Or - Convert Norwich - London to 100mph EMUs and then use the 90s and Mk3's from that route!
Wouldn't be able to drop off the Class 90 in Swansea and continue on to wherever if you did that though.

It is bi-mode with almost no money spent.
 

Failed Unit

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With what?

There isn't anything really to spare, the only thing we have in significant quantities available now are HST power cars.
Going slowly.

London - Norwich has got 90s and Mk3 coaches, it could quite easily cope with an EMU even if it must be a new build. Must people think that something simalar to a 444 would be perfect, but considering its journey length isn't any longer than say London - Kings Lynn, Weymouth or the Kent Coast it could even be an electro star. Then you could use the 90s and Mk3 for other routes.

That then reopens the debate about how long will the mk3s last.
 

Rhydgaled

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As I understand it there are some Class 90s available......

Can't they just refit some HST rakes for TDM, fit them with buffers (or just swap power cars with GC to get thiers) and then run the whole formation push-pull, with one of the power cars running for ETS.

Interim option with effectively no capital cost.
I think Class 90s can't do 125mph... Needs to be new locos, or my old option of replacing all the IC225s on East Coast with electric IEPs (and diesel locos to drag beyond wires) and using the IC225s on GWML, but you'd need new diesel locos anyway so might as well leave the IC225s with East Coast and go for new locos (both electric ones and diesel ones) with mark3s on GWML.

That then reopens the debate about how long will the mk3s last.
'Til 2035 I believe was stated when that was looked into before.
 

tbtc

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I think they'd be howling in Pembrokeshire if they didn't get their Cardiff links. Especially now they have John Lewis!
I expect the West Wales dmus to continue to run to Cardiff, but hopefully without stopping at every minor wayside halt as they sometimes do now
I presume there'd be some through service, but in the way that Windermere retained a through service to Manchester a few years ago - certainly nothing like the hourly service that there is now from Carmarthen to Cardiff.

You only electrify lines if you are going to cut down the number of DMUs significantly.
 

LE Greys

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In terms of proportional distance and speed, it's roughly the same as King's Cross-Aberdeen. They way I'd like to do it would be to run an IC250-style operation with the electric loco at the country end (so the buffer-stop end at Swansea) followed by a rake of coaches with driving trailers on both ends. A diesel propels the up train to Swansea (it can be any class and needs to do no more than 100mph) where a Class 93 is already in a platform waiting. Once the rake is coupled up, the diesel comes off and takes over as local 'Thunderbird' while the electric loco propels the train to Paddington. The process is reversed going the other way.

However, IEP is going to be an EMU, not a loco and stock formation, so that option is out. Second-best would be to drag/shove the EMU, with a diesel attached at Swansea 'city' end, provided it could be controlled from the EMU cab on the down leg. It could then be dropped in the platform during the reversal phase for the up train, and the EMU could come straight in and couple to it with the down train.

aaaaargh not another bimode/drag/diesel-haul it discussion please....
Roughly my reaction at first. <D
 

Gareth Marston

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Logically you'll need a sub fleet of DMU's and maintenance facility's at Landore or Carmarthan incl Heart of Wales units. Better to concentrate 175's on N Wales Coast/Chester/Manchester and Marches and stop them going west of Cardiff.

Politically I cant see there being no through trains between Pembrokeshire/Carmarthan.

If you run a semi fast emu Swansea to Bath service that will give 2tph Swansea-Caridff-Newport, 2 tph Maesteg - Cardiff will cover local stations on main line nearer Cardiff and you could shuttle an emu back and forth between Swansea and Port Talbot leaving space to run a West Wales to Cardiff diagram via Swansea District Line every 2 hrs.
 

34Short

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Logically you'll need a sub fleet of DMU's and maintenance facility's at Landore or Carmarthan incl Heart of Wales units.
Interesting you say that. A few months ago there was an order in the paper regarding a new stabling point and maintenance facility in Maliphant Sidings (outside Swansea station). This is for the IEP nonsense. I'd imagine there would some extra space in Landore in that case...

Better to concentrate 175's on N Wales Coast/Chester/Manchester and Marches and stop them going west of Cardiff.
Politically I cant see there being no through trains between Pembrokeshire/Carmarthan.
What's this all about? I understand you don't want diesel under wires - But this would be sacrilege, as you'd reduce the number of trains to Swansea and beyond.

you could shuttle an emu back and forth between Swansea and Port Talbot leaving space to run a West Wales to Cardiff diagram via Swansea District Line every 2 hrs.
Not logical enough - You'd be wasting money on a shuttle. It'd be VERY lightly loaded, possibly empty the majority of the time.

In my eyes, it'd be best to stick to the current plan. By cascade units and introducing electric nonsense, you have a fully intergrated network with city-to-city services, whilst also serving intermediate destinations using stock that can meet demand.
 

Rhydgaled

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Logically you'll need a sub fleet of DMU's and maintenance facility's at Landore or Carmarthan incl Heart of Wales units. Better to concentrate 175's on N Wales Coast/Chester/Manchester and Marches and stop them going west of Cardiff.
That sounds logical. Maintenance and fueling requirements could be interesting, the 175s will have Chester depot so should be ok, but heavy maintenance of the Sprinter fleet (inc. 158s) I believe is Canton's responsibility at present. Given that the only services west of Swansea that could make use of linespeeds in excess of 75mph could be SDL services, Carmarthen would seem the logical place for a depot but there's nothing there at present, whereas there is at Swansea.

Shame Wales doesn't have any class 156 units though, if it did I would suggest the following service groups:

  • Fishguard Harbour/Milford Haven/Carmarthen - Cardiff (via Swansea District Line) - Class 158
  • Milford Haven/Pembroke Dock - Swansea (all stops) - Class 150 or 156
  • Milford Haven / Pembroke Dock - Swansea (not calling at places like Ferryside and Kidwell) - 156*
  • Swansea - Shrewsbury/Wrexham/Crewe via HOWL - Class 156

*Though if 175s were only 75mph units or Llanelli - Ferryside and most of Carmarthen - Clarbeston Road were upgraded to 90mph linespeed I might suggest using them on these services.

If you run a semi fast emu Swansea to Bath service that will give 2tph Swansea-Caridff-Newport, 2 tph Maesteg - Cardiff will cover local stations on main line nearer Cardiff and you could shuttle an emu back and forth between Swansea and Port Talbot leaving space to run a West Wales to Cardiff diagram via Swansea District Line every 2 hrs.
In your proposal, where would the service from Manchester terminate, Cardiff or Swansea? If you insist on limiting the S.W.Wales to Cardiff service via SDL to every two hours (rather than hourly as I would have it, to replace the present hourly Cardiff - Carmarthen service (plus a few extras from Fishguard/HOWL/Pembroke**) via Swansea), could you retain the through Manchester - Swansea - Carmarthen service in the other hour?)

It all depends on the EMUs we get, but something like a 3-car electric version of a 150/2 (or, better still, 3-car 377s) would be great. That would allow portion working, so you could have:
  • 1tph Maesteg - Ebbw Vale Parkway (all stations)***
  • 1tph Bridgend - Cardiff (all stations), formed of all-stations portions from Swansea and Maesteg
  • 1tph Swansea - Bristol Temple Meads (semi-fast), calling at Neath, Port Talbot, Pyle, Bridgend, Cardiff and selected stations to Bristol***.
  • 1tph Swansea - London Paddington, calling at Neath, Port Talbot, Bridgend, Cardiff, Newport and Reading
  • 1tph Carmarthen - Cardiff/Portsmouth, calling at Llanelli, Port Talbot and Bridgend only (coming from Pembrokeshire in alternate hours)

** Remember that, there is currently slightly more than an hourly service across Swansea. A hourly SDL service would still be a slight reduction in frequency to Cardiff.
*** If gangway-fitted 3-car EMUs are used, these services could possibly formed of 2x 3-car unit, either for the whole distance or with a portion attached/detached at Cardiff as required
 
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tbtc

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Bear in mind that IEP will be a game changer in terms of the long distance stock available - with electrification to Swansea you could have a half hourly London - Newport - Cardiff - Swansea service with eight coach trains taking most of the passenger demand between the three biggest places in Wales. Much more important than anything via the Swansea District Line, which is catering to a much smaller market.
 

34Short

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I wish people would stop harking on about the SDL. Send services into Swansea and let them take the road out towards Cockett.

You can't remove services from Swansea. A lot of people from Pembrokeshire and Camarthernshire use Swansea, and you're thinking of just sending them to Cardiff...?

I am thankful than none of you are involved in the strategic plans for this project...
 

Rhydgaled

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I wish people would stop harking on about the SDL. Send services into Swansea and let them take the road out towards Cockett.
If you do that, the only way rail will ever be time-competetive against road for journeys from Carmarthen and points west to points west of Swansea will be if somebody blows up the M4 or the road speed limit is drasticly reduced. It might be possible that very major works (including electrification to Pembrokeshire) will make rail faster than road going via Swansea, but I'd be a little supprised if it was.

You can't remove services from Swansea. A lot of people from Pembrokeshire and Camarthernshire use Swansea, and you're thinking of just sending them to Cardiff...?
A North Pembrokeshire Transport Fourm survey of potential passengers for an increased Fishguard service (before it happened) revealed London as being the top destonation passengers mentioned as wanting to travel to, and there was more demand for Cardiff than Swansea. I will once again state that I do not support reduction in frequency of trains to Swansea, just that trains that go into Swansea should terminate there and a faster service (that might one day be fast enough to actually attract that demand onto rail) introduced to Cardiff via the SDL for the (larger) market for Pembs - Cardiff/England travel. Since you seem to think I'm proposing removing services from Swansea, I will post my 'wish list' S.W.Wales service pattern again, this time in terms of frequency on each section (all the trains from west of Carmarthen would not terminate there, but run through to Swansea or Cardiff):

  • 0.5tph Fishguard - Carmarthen
  • 1tph Milford Haven - Carmarthen
  • 1tph/0.5tph Pembroke Dock - Carmarthen
  • 3tph Carmarthen - Llanelli (2tph would call at Pembrey & Burry Port, 1tph at Ferryside and Kidwelly)
  • 2tph Llanelli - Swansea (plus services from HOWL direction)
  • 1tph Llanelli - Cardiff
London trains, unless (god forbid) bi-mode is forced upon us, would be three a day max (less in winter) and would be the only services to reverse at Swansea and continue west.
 
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