Where did the notion of ‘shorter stock’ come from?

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by Bayum, 8 Oct 2019.

  1. talltim

    talltim Established Member

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    The point is 1 four car train per hour needs half the staff of 2 two car trains. Yet we are always told that staff costs are a huge part of the cost of running the railway
     
  2. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    That is a factor certainly - though it only applies to on-board staff, who are not the whole story.
    Against that, the doubled service will produce more revenue without incurring non-staffing costs.
     
  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    To some extent - though that was commonly 2 cars for 4 or even 5...
     
  4. Ken H

    Ken H Established Member

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    Why, when making a 3 car, do they have 3 motor vehicles? Surely there would be a cost saving in having 2 motor coaches with slightly bigger engines, and having a simple trailer coach to make the 3 car set. or does the adhesion argument trump that? Or is making/maintaining a 3 car set with identical bogies cheaper?

    Are the arguments the same for diesel and electric trains?
     
  5. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    The half-hourly to every 15, sounds rather like ScotRail making the Glasgow-Edinburgh 3-cars every 15 instead of 2 or 4 every 30 in 1999. That certainly lifted passenger numbers.
     
  6. Mikey C

    Mikey C Established Member

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    And buses are standardised products, a Mercedes minibus or Dennis Dart is easily sold to another operator, which can't be said of many of the recent small train fleets!
     
  7. NoOnesFool

    NoOnesFool Member

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    A lot of the shorter long distance stock was ordered in the late 1990s, which was when passenger numbers were a lot lower. Since then, the railways have found ways of making shorter stock accommodate the rising passenger usage by utilising more airline style seating, sans tables and removing buffets and replacing them with an at-seat service or microbuffets like the 444s have.

    I have never been on an Azuma, but I would imagine it has far less table seats and more airline seats than what it replaced.
     
  8. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    It's a matter of having smaller engine and that a lot of DMUs have a mechanical drive and other equipment to run. Take a 170, 3x 422hp engines, each powering their own motor bogie, alternator, compressor and so on. If you turn that middle vehicle into a trailer you need two 600hp engines and still need to power the equipment on the middle car and probably have a beefier final drive.

    EMUs tend to have a selection of transformers to change current to the different bits of equipment and various different combinations of vehicle but do have pure trailers more often than DMUs.

    The new generation of bimodes change the rules again though. The GA 755s for example have a driven bogie at each end, a transformer and power convertors on each cab vehicle, then a single coach with all the subsidiary bits of kit on. The 4 cars then have a trailer, Coach B for "Bugger All"! :lol:
     
  9. James James

    James James Member

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    I don't believe that's true. From what I've been told, the pantograph is the only shared equipment on that coach (and if needed that pantograph could be fitted to one of the driving coaches, which would be the case if the unit were built with only 2 coaches). The equipment on the roof of that coach is solely stuff like AC for that specific coach.

    In fact FLIRT's tend to have a lot of "redundant" equipment in that they duplicate things in both the driving carriages, which allows for much better failure recovery (albeit at reduced performance if e.g. one transformer fails, or one motor bogie fails).
     
  10. TheEdge

    TheEdge Established Member

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    From what I've been told, baring in mind I sign and drive them...

    Coaches A and D have each have a transformer, power converter and driven bogies. Coach C has the main and auxiliary compressors, main reservoir, CET and toilet equipment. Coach C also has a pantograph. 755/3s only have one pantograph on coach C. Coach B on a 755/4 also has a second pantograph so a 755/4 has two pans. However yes, they do have their own HVAC for each vehicle.
     
  11. hwl

    hwl Established Member

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    The only unusual bit for a modern EMU is the 2 transformers - Stadler may well have gone down this route as it would make the transformers smaller and the cooling arrangements easier (Bombardier & Siemens have gone for bigger with more complex cooling).
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Fares Advisor

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    There are more table seats in the Azuma....
     
  13. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    They actually have more table bays than the HSTs and 225s at present; though the HSTs had far more table bays when introduced.
     
  14. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Tables do seem rather to be making a comeback, presumably because business people now generally travel Standard and still want to get their laptop out. The most extreme example of this is TPE's new stock which is almost all tables.
     
  15. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I wonder if it is that or simply they are listening to passenger preferences.

    I'd have thought an airline seat (with enough room that is) might be more conducive to doing work than a table with potentially 3 other persons who might be a bit distracting for whatever reason.
     
  16. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The problem is that there's usually not enough space to open a laptop properly, even if you put it on your knee. Almost all work these days requires some form of IT device - just reading paperwork on paper is nowhere near as common as it was.

    I find you can reasonably use a laptop in a "priority" seat, but two rows of these take up the same amount of space as a table bay, and tables are popular for other reasons too.
     
  17. hexagon789

    hexagon789 Established Member

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    I did say "with enough room", I appreciate many airline rows are too cramped but some are actually better than table bays.
     
  18. delticdave

    delticdave Member

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    Most of Stadler's current low-floor articulated emus only have 2 motor bogies, one at each end, & since they have bigger wheels with less space for passengers it seems to be the obvious place for the transformers & control equipment.
    The original designs were even simpler, a small non-passenger 4 wheeled traction unit c/w all the electric (& sometimes a diesel generator) equipment including the traction motors.
    The 2 or 3 passenger cars had bogie at one end only, supported by the traction unit or the intermediate passenger car.. Types GTW 2/4 or 2/6?
    Their d/deck units aren't articulated, (axle-load limitations?) & they utilize some of the space over the bogies for traction equipment.
    Other european low-floor articulated units often use use the roofs for everything except the traction motors, with just a single pantograph.
     
  19. James James

    James James Member

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    Thanks for the info, sounds like the UK Flirts may be getting a different layout (wrt compressors/reservoirs) in that case. I wonder if they're able to produce a 2-car Flirt for UK loading gauge in that case?

    It's purportedly a traction related design decision. Transformers above the motor-bogies helps increase weight on the powered axles and hence increases adhesion, or at least that's what everyone's been saying since the first FLIRT's appeared.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    With short vehicles and a disabled bog that'd have about as much capacity as a Pacer. Where in the UK would have a need for a train like that? So even if they could, I don't see who would order one.
     
  21. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    Getting back to the original question, a re-reading of John Wall's book 'First in the World', about the Stockton and Darlington Railway reminded me that the official inaugural locomotive hauled 'mixed' train of around 34 vehicles (conveying a mixture of passenger and coal-carrying ones) had around 300 passengers on a pre-booked and fully reserved basis. There were probably around 200 additional fare-dodging 'surfers'.
    An entrepreneurial 'open access' operator had positioned a single horse-drawn wagon in the first passing loop, facing the same way, and moved off immediately that the inaugural train had passed. I think that this deserves the prize for the earliest 'short stock' train, with a time delay of around five seconds.
    Even discounting the inaugural train, the 'official' S&DR passenger carriage, 'Experiment' was a horse-drawn wooden shed on wheels, with longitudinal seats facing a central table (i.e. 100% 'bay', albeit with no proper window views) accommodating 18 passengers. This was used for about 15 months before being retired (and converted to a unofficial doss house that was soon burnt out). The various replacement vehicles, operated by a range of independent, 'franchised' or 'contracted' companies, typically had inside seats for only six (albeit with many travellers riding 'outside' on the roofs).
    But it is abundantly clear that 'short stocking' is very simply as old as the railway concept.
    Many of the S&DR features have their echoes in the railway of 2019!
     

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