What comes after the HST?

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hst2cornwall

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Right I know this has been a hot topic for ages and all you fans of the hst but I was just wonering what the current thinking was concerning the paddington penzance route. When they finally electrify the line from paddington west and if they do introduce the bi-mode stock, will they for example, run to bristol under the wires, then onto plymouth under their own power meaning a change at plymouth onto maybe something like the class 180 from there to penzance. Or maybe 180 or voyagers straight through from say bristol to penzance? I know this is a way off but it strikes me that with cornwall neeing the tourist industry more and more anything other than a straight through, 7 or 8 coach option from the east is not enough. There may be a simple answer to this question, and something I've missed but I'm sure someone out there has some updated information or thoughts on the subject.
 
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Why not have electrics running the electrified part (i.e. to Bristol/South Wales), and keep diesels on the direct Plymouth/Penzance routes? That way you avoid the costly and high risk bi-mode option. In essence, it is what operates on the ECML now. Electrics on the core routes to Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle, with diesels operating to Aberdeen and Inverness beyond.
 

ainsworth74

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A number of HSTs will be retained and refurbished (at least I think they're going to be refurbished) to run services to Penzance.
 

AndyLandy

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Why is bi-mode "costly and high-risk"?

I'd have thought that a hybrid EDMU would be ideal for this sort of work. There has been talk of fitting a pantograph to existing Voyager trains, which sounds like a really smart idea to me. If I was designing IEP, that's exactly what I'd be looking to create in a new train. So, can anyone tell me why it might not be such a good idea?
 

Aictos

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Why not have electrics running the electrified part (i.e. to Bristol/South Wales), and keep diesels on the direct Plymouth/Penzance routes? That way you avoid the costly and high risk bi-mode option. In essence, it is what operates on the ECML now. Electrics on the core routes to Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle, with diesels operating to Aberdeen and Inverness beyond.

BUT that's far too simple for the powers to be to even consider!
 

Nym

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Why is bi-mode "costly and high-risk"?

I'd have thought that a hybrid EDMU would be ideal for this sort of work. There has been talk of fitting a pantograph to existing Voyager trains, which sounds like a really smart idea to me. If I was designing IEP, that's exactly what I'd be looking to create in a new train. So, can anyone tell me why it might not be such a good idea?

Basically, because of the amount of LDPE Diesel stock we have in the country at the moment, and the likely rate of electrification for LDPE routes, any additional Diesel LDPE Rolling Stock ordered now will likely be superfluous after the projects likely to be completed by 2025.

Midland Mainline
Edinburgh - Aberdeen
South Wales
TPE North

Combined with a 'Baby Pendo' Project this would release enough 22x and 18x rolling stock to over the routes currently worked by HSTs so these can be retired or cascaded to inter-reigonal diesel work by 2025.

Alternatively High Speed Two will be capable of releasing the ICWC Diesel Fleet by providing Diesel Haulable Classic Compatible stock for Holyhead and other Dieseley routes North of Rugley.

So, the useful like of any Diesel LDPE Stock that would be braught in around 2017/2018 would only be required until 2026, or would mean that the 22x fleet would be utterly useless after 2026 since use on Inter-Reigonal work for the 22x units aren't a good idea.

I have numbers to support this if you really really want to see them...

But basically, extending the life of HSTs out to 2026 combined with fitting power doors is a better and likely cheaper option than buying new, shortly to be useless rolling stock.

If any new Diesel or Electro-Diesel stock is to be ordered, it should be inter-reigonal stock for the retirement of pacers and reigonal route growth. There is no need for any Self Powered LDPE stock until the 22x fleet reaches retirement in 2035. By this point the electrification of the UK should be more extensive, and the Loco Hauled EMU sets as used on HS2 will be well proven so anything running past the limit of electrification will do so with a locomotive, say Exeter, Taunton or perhaps Plymouth by this point on the GW, and Inverness & Ft. William in Scotland.

Intermediate growth in EDMU Routes can be covered by electrification of the XC Network; namely...

Coventry / Birmingham International - Oxford
Reading - Bournemouth (New dual voltage EMUs for XC)
Bristol Parkway - Birmingham
Birmingham - Derby (Or using HS2 and Classic Compatible Stock)
 

TGV

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Why is bi-mode "costly and high-risk"?

I'd have thought that a hybrid EDMU would be ideal for this sort of work. There has been talk of fitting a pantograph to existing Voyager trains, which sounds like a really smart idea to me. If I was designing IEP, that's exactly what I'd be looking to create in a new train. So, can anyone tell me why it might not be such a good idea?

A hybrid may be theoretically "ideal" and may well be a "good idea", but that doesn't mean it won't be expensive and risky.

If you are buying or specifying a new train, starting from a known or proven platform will reduce your cost. For example if you were specifying a new electric train for suburban or regional services, you could start with a blank sheet and write down everything you wanted, or just go to Siemens and start with a Desiro platform and make small adjustments to your requirements. That latter option would be far cheaper than designing a bespoke train from the ground up. The risk involved is that you are dealing with large unknowns in reliability and availability. Something that is proven and known with an established platform.

Where would you start with a 125mph electro-diesel hybrid platform?

This talk of fitting a pantograph to a Voyager... you'd need to insert new carriages with all the associated power electrics - transformer, inverters, etc.... there would be as much testing as if it was a brand new design. And would these be NEW build Voyagers which would be possibly MORE expensive than a new electric build or would they be re-used from elsewhere? What would replace those cascaded for these mods? And there is still the risk factor. A hybrid electro diesel is still a relatively unknown design.

I was asking - if they specified an AC electric capable of 125mph (possibly 140 for future expansion) that was 25kV only and based on something already in existance you are reducing risk and costs are much more well understood and unlikely to spiral out of control.

I often hear people talk like there is a pathalogical fear of running diesels under wires for part of their journey. This happens everywhere in the world. Running them the whole way under the wires - yes, there is room for improvement there, but to keep the upgrade managable and to build it up in phases, I don't see any problem running a mixed fleet of separate diesel and electrics.
 

Nym

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Where would you start with a 125mph electro-diesel hybrid platform?

This talk of fitting a pantograph to a Voyager... you'd need to insert new carriages with all the associated power electrics - transformer, inverters, etc.... there would be as much testing as if it was a brand new design. And would these be NEW build Voyagers which would be possibly MORE expensive than a new electric build or would they be re-used from elsewhere? What would replace those cascaded for these mods? And there is still the risk factor. A hybrid electro diesel is still a relatively unknown design.

There isn't actually that much that would be needed for a Voyager 'Transformer Car'

IIRC the Voyager runs a DC Bus that then drives one inverter per motor set to actually drive the wheels, so the transformer carriages will only need to produce the appropriate DC voltage at an appropriate level of current for the train. So isn't actually THAT complicated compared to what would be needed for something like an HST.

The joyous thing about converting a Class 220, 221 or 222 to electro diesel is that Bombardier can take use of a single set and make a prototype, and the only thing that would need prototyping is the modifications to an existing design for the bodyshell and drivetrain etc. Rather than starting from the ground up.

Like you said before, modifying an existing platform would be better than creating a whole new one, so building 200 odd pantograph and/or transformer carriages would cost a few million in development costs then the production and insertion costs, at about £2 to £2.5mil each. This would be cheaper than building a whole new train at something like £12 - £15mil each for the train plus development costs, that would be higher than a modification for the Voyagers.

And this additional cost just results in having stock that is of not much use later or can have 'diesel generators removed' that would mean these 10 years of use for masses of development costs are absolutely useless.
 

AndyLandy

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Cool, some very interesting points being made here. So are we saying that even electrifying Voyagers isn't economically viable? I certainly find that a little surprising, but I guess if you've crunched the numbers, you'll have a far better idea than I.

So, what does that mean IEP will be? More interestingly, what do you guys think IEP should be?
 

TGV

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While I understand exactly what is required to convert such a train, the theory doesn't always make good practice.

The problem with this is that the donor 22x sets will need replacing - yet more expense because you're making substantial modifications to an established train, AND introducing a new fleet or sub-fleet elsewhere.

If they were to be a new build of 22x with the "transformer car" inserted, well, then you're back to the full cost of a newly developed train, AND the associated risk of the hybrid operation - even if it is based on a similar platform. And lest we forget that this is after billions have been spent on electrifying the line in the first place.
 

Nym

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So, what does that mean IEP will be? More interestingly, what do you guys think IEP should be?

An EMU that can be hauled by a Locomotive with drivablilty from each end, so the loco can be on the front or rear, attaching with auto-couplers.

So for example, loco sits warm in the platform at Temple Meads, Cardiff or Edinburgh; the EMU drives into the same platform and couples to the locomotive, drops pantograph, drives off under the power of the locomotive. The same in reverse on the way back.

Alstom have already said that this is physically possible.
 

starrymarkb

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I often hear people talk like there is a pathalogical fear of running diesels under wires for part of their journey. This happens everywhere in the world. Running them the whole way under the wires - yes, there is room for improvement there, but to keep the upgrade managable and to build it up in phases, I don't see any problem running a mixed fleet of separate diesel and electrics.

I have to agree. Especially with some thinking that any Bi-Curious trains from the far South West would change over in Reading (rather high risk) to use the wires for the last 30 miles into London
 

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I would place the loco hauled EMU option above the "bi-mode" or "hybrid" option as a much more attractive option. It keeps the two systems separate, each is well understood and it creates a flexible option from an operational viewpoint.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Why is bi-mode "costly and high-risk"?

I'd have thought that a hybrid EDMU would be ideal for this sort of work. There has been talk of fitting a pantograph to existing Voyager trains, which sounds like a really smart idea to me. If I was designing IEP, that's exactly what I'd be looking to create in a new train. So, can anyone tell me why it might not be such a good idea?

Because nobody else has done bi-mode (or wants to).
So along with loading gauge and signalling, we are unique and the costs of operating the railway go up accordingly.
Every airline buys the standard product from Boeing or Airbus.
European railways buy standard products from Siemens, Bombardier or Alstom.
We buy (specify) one-off designs from the Far East and lose all the benefits of standardisation.
 

starrymarkb

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Because nobody else has done bi-mode (or wants to).


The French have a successful Bi-Mode unit in the AGC. But it is a regional train broadly comparable to a 150 or 156 designed to run on AC/DC to the junction station and then low speed diesel on the branch. But you are right in that no-one has done an intercity bi-mode train...
 
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DownSouth

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I have to agree. Especially with some thinking that any Bi-Curious trains from the far South West would change over in Reading (rather high risk) to use the wires for the last 30 miles into London
Diesel haulage of EMUs would make a lot more sense if Bristol-Exeter and Reading-Taunton were added to the electrification plans. The tables would be turned, leaving the diesel section as the short part of the run for trains continuing to Plymouth and Penzance.

If Alstom has said that they can't do it, then perhaps Bombardier could submit some kind of BR101/TRAXX-derived loco for the task, in a joint effort with somebody else (Hitachi? CAF? Siemens?) doing the EMUs if needed. They have high-powered dual-power locomotives about to enter service on the high speed Northeast Corridor in the USA, the ALP-45DP locos run up to 200 km/h on the AC electric lines and 160 km/h on the diesel lines, all while providing power for up to 14 double-decked coaches. The diesel power plant is a pair of 1,650 kW Caterpillar engines, which without the AC electric equipment would surely fit into a body shell scaled down for British use even if a second cab is added.
 

Nym

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Alstom have said they CAN do it...

And my preferred plans are a lot more radical than an EMU being dragged, but they don't tend to get well entertained and I end up being told I'm old fashioned.

(This being a new generation of Carriages built to a British design specification (a new standard) and powered/hauled by different types of locomotives, generators and transformers for different routes)
 

DownSouth

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But you are right in that no-one has done an intercity bi-mode train...
See my post above - it has been done well but not in a multiple unit form. If the ALP-45DP could fit on British lines it would be the ideal solution with 4,400 kW (5,900 hp) in electric mode and 2,900 kW (3,900 hp) at the wheels in diesel mode. It's mainly used on commuter and inter-regional services, but it could haul longer-distance services just as well if needed.
Alstom have said they CAN do it...
Oops, misread your previous post.
 

anthony263

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In fact talk is that the contracts for IEP are being signed on 26th May, this being reported by those in the know on WNXX.

That said it will be interesting to see what the bidders for the GWML come up with especially if they say well we have a much cheaper alternative and if so we can pay you a bigger premium. (A part of me wonders if this may be a reason why the DFT are stalling at signing the contracts)
 

Nym

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You mean like buying off the shelf EMUs from Alstom, Siemens or Bombardier and life extending HSTs by fitting them with power doors the same as Chilterns (that can be done as part of a rolling scheme with a deep refurbishment), and if one of the above companies can come up with it, a standard to couple a locomotive to either end for off wires running of these new EMUs.

Alstom: Proberbly a Class 180 Bodyshell with Class 390 workings and non-tilt bogies.
Bombardier: Proberbly an electric version of the 222 or something new and shiney.
Siemens: Either an ICE derivative or Tarus Locomotive and Coaching Stock, with a Diesel Locomotive available.
 

anthony263

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I wouldnt mind a uk version of the ICE.

Bombardier - Didnt they say they had designed a version of Traxx that would fit the uk loading guage. If so perhaps use the existing MK3's after re-wiring and refurbishing them to work push pull with a DVT.

Of course there may be some on here who will not agree with me on this version although perhaps it might be slightly cheaper than ordering new units until a later date when the country has more money to spend.

Alstom - We have heard about their proposed class 180/pendolino design in addition to their baby pendolino proposal although it has all gone quiet.
 

HSTEd

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So for example, loco sits warm in the platform at Temple Meads, Cardiff or Edinburgh; the EMU drives into the same platform and couples to the locomotive, drops pantograph, drives off under the power of the locomotive. The same in reverse on the way back.

Alstom have already said that this is physically possible.

And was done for 20+ years on the Southern Region.

Also why would a Bi-mode train to the South West change over at Reading when it will be under wires from either Bristol or Newbury depending on what route it takes?
 

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And my preferred plans are a lot more radical than an EMU being dragged, but they don't tend to get well entertained and I end up being told I'm old fashioned.

My experiences of this forum is that many people have differing opinions on what's best and aren't overly disposed to entertaining other people's suggestions. This may be in part to there being an awful lot of uninformed suggestions that are completely unfeasible. :)

That said, I'd certainly be interested in hearing interesting ideas of people who actually understand what might work.
 

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That said, I'd certainly be interested in hearing interesting ideas of people who actually understand what might work.

I don't know if I should take this as a compliment or not...

Personally, my opinion is divided between pure LHCS and fixed length EMUs.

Fixed EMUs have the advantage of distributed traction except when on Diesel and cabs can be integrated into an internal control system that means attached locomotives can easily be driven from either end.

Locomotive Hauled Coaching Stock has the advantage of being able to be used for Diesel and Electric inter-reigonal services, but with the recent ideas from the ATOC of life extending HSTs for regional services with power door fitting, so that would cover this, as well as any extended diesel running.

If we did go for loco hauled EMUs then I'd like to see them specified for 140 or 165mph running, with 100mph running on Diesel when being hauled by a locomotive.

I'd also want to be looking at STANDARD C3 or C4 clearance gauge, possibly even C1 to give more interior space in the carriages. With 200 to 260m long units.

This, combined with higher linespeeds between Reading and Bristol Parkway that can be implemented when re-signaled with ERTMS will mean that the B&H Line can be reduced to a shuttle between Reading or Paddington and Taunton or Exeter, run by these Shortened HSTs or Class 180 units.

New carriages to be hauled by locos could easilly still cap 300km/h with Siemens electric locomotives, but I get the feeling these would end up in semi fixed formation with being sandwiched between carriages with driving cabs, hence favouring EMUs for superior performance on wires.
 

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Siemens: Either an ICE derivative or Tarus Locomotive and Coaching Stock, with a Diesel Locomotive available.

Could we see a modified 350 bodyshell, with an ICE interior? Although the coaching stock sounds good.

Maybe some coaches, with driving cabs on each end (like a pendolino without motors say) then a Diesel locomotive that joins on one side, and an Electric one on the other side?
 

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I don't know if I should take this as a compliment or not...

Well, it was intended as one. :)

Personally, my opinion is divided between pure LHCS and fixed length EMUs.

Fixed EMUs have the advantage of distributed traction except when on Diesel and cabs can be integrated into an internal control system that means attached locomotives can easily be driven from either end.

Locomotive Hauled Coaching Stock has the advantage of being able to be used for Diesel and Electric inter-reigonal services, but with the recent ideas from the ATOC of life extending HSTs for regional services with power door fitting, so that would cover this, as well as any extended diesel running.

So, just a few off-the-wall ideas. What about a diesel locomotive that could power the EMU? I guess we're into the "high-risk untested" territory again, but perhaps that's feasible.

Alternatively, how 'fixed' does an EMU have to be? Certainly it's possible to move vehicles in and out of MU formations, but I guess it's a bigger deal than just extending an LHCS rake. And there's always the possibility to use two or three shorter EMUs that can split/join, such as SWT services at SOU/SAL

If we did go for loco hauled EMUs then I'd like to see them specified for 140 or 165mph running, with 100mph running on Diesel when being hauled by a locomotive.

Why 100mph diesel? We've already got HSTs and 67s that can manage 125mph running.

I'd also want to be looking at STANDARD C3 or C4 clearance gauge, possibly even C1 to give more interior space in the carriages. With 200 to 260m long units.

This, combined with higher linespeeds between Reading and Bristol Parkway that can be implemented when re-signaled with ERTMS will mean that the B&H Line can be reduced to a shuttle between Reading or Paddington and Taunton or Exeter, run by these Shortened HSTs or Class 180 units.

New carriages to be hauled by locos could easilly still cap 300km/h with Siemens electric locomotives, but I get the feeling these would end up in semi fixed formation with being sandwiched between carriages with driving cabs, hence favouring EMUs for superior performance on wires.

Also, I'm surprised to hear that there are yet more future plans for HSTs. They seem like an odd choice to me for inter-regional services.
 

HSTEd

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Why 100mph diesel? We've already got HSTs and 67s that can manage 125mph running.
Because anywhere we can reasonably expect there to be no wires on these routes have speed limits of 100mph or below, the only exception is really the Berks and Hants and its likely that everything would be shunted onto the Bristol-Plymouth line anyway, to build a case for its electrification and to take advantage of speed improvements east of Bristol.

Also, I'm surprised to hear that there are yet more future plans for HSTs. They seem like an odd choice to me for inter-regional services.

Why?
They have more capacity than anything else we have available at the moment and since there will be large numbers of them surplus thanks to the IEP it seems reasonable to refurbish/rebuild as many as possible and put them on as many routes as possible.

Its 800 carriages of Pacer replacement (albeit in rather long formations to replace pacers, but still....)
 

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Its 800 carriages of Pacer replacement (albeit in rather long formations to replace pacers, but still....)

Not directly of course (I'd eat my hat if a HST turns up on a Darlo-Saltburn service)! I think it's going to be interesting to see what happens to the HSTs that are made spare by the GWML wiring and the ECML deployment of IEP.
 

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Well, it was intended as one. :)
Thanks :)
So, just a few off-the-wall ideas. What about a diesel locomotive that could power the EMU? I guess we're into the "high-risk untested" territory again, but perhaps that's feasible.
It would mean a very high power transfer to the coaching stock, and this means very thick cables, these are currently beyond the realm of proven auto-coupling techniques.

There are ways of automatically coupling an HVDC bus to power the coaches' traction motors, but it as yet unproven, and I haven't even seen a working version on trains, only in HVDC distribution grids (ADC Switches).
Alternatively, how 'fixed' does an EMU have to be? Certainly it's possible to move vehicles in and out of MU formations, but I guess it's a bigger deal than just extending an LHCS rake. And there's always the possibility to use two or three shorter EMUs that can split/join, such as SWT services at SOU/SAL
The problem there is streamlining the front end of the vehicles, unless we go with a 380esqe front end that can be cleared for up to 140/165mph running, but with that I think we'd need a significant crumple zone, hence going toward EMUs. If the production lines are kept open and the carriages are 'semi standard' containing exactly the same equipment in each intermediate carriage and a standard end carriage, one can see a versaile TMS being able to handle 'semi fixed' formations, getting closer to LHCS.
Why 100mph diesel? We've already got HSTs and 67s that can manage 125mph running.
There won't be any significant number of lines using this stock that has >100mph running IIRC. 110mph would also be realistic, but with the proliferation of electrification over the coming years, one won't need 125mph Diesel stock any more.

The kind of power I can see being made by a locomotive to meet modern standards would be round about 3000bhp generators, so about 2700bhp traction power and 2500hp at the wheels (modern generator demand based diesel - electric). The gearing can produce a high acceleration and high speed unit by using multi winding traction motors, I just don't think there's any need to go much faster, especially since the parts of routes they'll be used on are the further reaches of the network, with more frequent stops.
Also, I'm surprised to hear that there are yet more future plans for HSTs. They seem like an odd choice to me for inter-regional services.
They seem a good choice for me on inter-reigonal, especially now they'll be fitted with MTU engines, suited to more frequent stops, with a stop every 20mins or so and automatic doors, with their low axle weight the're rather suited to it IMO.
 

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They seem a good choice for me on inter-reigonal, especially now they'll be fitted with MTU engines, suited to more frequent stops, with a stop every 20mins or so and automatic doors, with their low axle weight the're rather suited to it IMO.

I agree but I think you'd need to cut the length down. For example I think a 2+8 HST is probably going to be a bit much for a Liverpool - Norwich service. You also have to consider platform lengths, even a cut down 2+4 HST is going to be significantly longer than a 4-car 158 (sticking with Liverpool - Norwich) so would there be issues with platform lengths?
 
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