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Why can't or won't Bombardier make a diesel Aventra, and who would order them?

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RailWonderer

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Note to moderators: If this is not in the right forum please feel free to move it to speculative.

I understand Bombardier's order book has been full with the 710s, 720s, 730s, 701s and more 720s but was there a reason no ToCs like TfW, WMR or Northern approached them for 2 or 3 car Aventra units with high torque 700bhp Cummins engines? I had heard Bombardier refused outright to build one but I'd like to be proven wrong.

Diesel is not redundant, since mass electrification is simply not viable on many lines, and with the 150s, 153s and 156s likely to retire in the next 10 years, there will be a void to fill, as well as what could be used on the EWR. Off lease Voyagers and Meridians being 125mph IC diesels arent suitable to many of the routes that will need new diesels.
 
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43096

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There is no Bombardier Transportation any more!
 

Domh245

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Can't say I'd heard anything about them refusing to build them - it just seems that nobody wanted to order them!

They aren't "cheap as ..." unlike the 19x, which for replacing vast swathes of sprinters will be the main factor. You also have to bear in mind that Aventra has not exactly had an easy birth (and continues to be a problem child) in terms of reliability and delays, which will have put potential operators off, and also the diesel option (initially proposed as 125mph capable - which makes it vastly overpowered for sprinter replacement!) only was announced in 2018, by which point Northern & WMT had placed their orders with CAF
 

LNW-GW Joint

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The volume market, and therefore the money, is in electric traction.
The UK DMU market was stagnant and Bombardier went for the EMU replacement market (Electrostar/Aventra).
They lost out on HST replacement (Hitachi) and high speed generally (Alstom, Hitachi).
Ironically Bombardier won the Voyager/Meridian contracts, but that was before they had a UK manufacturing capability, so were built in Belgium.
When DfT offered them the option of turning Voyagers into e-Voyagers, they didn't close a deal.
They did not bid for small DMU fleets, so CAF and Stadler gained a strong foothold in the UK.
It's all change now with Alstom now in charge at Derby, but there's little sign of the EMU priority changing.
 

TRAX

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Looking at the amount of Aventra EMUs ordered, it looks like priorising these was the right choice !
 

newtownmgr

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Last large scale diesel orders for Bombardier UK was the class 170 over 20 years ago. The 172 derivative was only ordered in small numbers & i suspect not viable to keep in production. If you remember with the 170 platform they built a number based on speculative orders such was the popularity.

I suspect the government previous mass electrification plans may have had a bearing on bombardiers plans to stop diesel production. Obviously with things changing they may consider going back to diesel.

Personally think given the issues with the
CAF Civity platform over here,especially the 196’s at present i think a diesel aventra platform may have sold well!
 

43096

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Last large scale diesel orders for Bombardier UK was the class 170 over 20 years ago. The 172 derivative was only ordered in small numbers & i suspect not viable to keep in production. If you remember with the 170 platform they built a number based on speculative orders such was the popularity.
ADtranz/Bombardier didn’t build them speculatively, though. They were ordered by Porterbrook without an end customer in place, so it was Porterbrook who took the risk on them.
 

AM9

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Last large scale diesel orders for Bombardier UK was the class 170 over 20 years ago. The 172 derivative was only ordered in small numbers & i suspect not viable to keep in production. If you remember with the 170 platform they built a number based on speculative orders such was the popularity.

I suspect the government previous mass electrification plans may have had a bearing on bombardiers plans to stop diesel production. Obviously with things changing they may consider going back to diesel.

Personally think given the issues with the
CAF Civity platform over here,especially the 196’s at present i think a diesel aventra platform may have sold well!
I firmly believe that the current orders for DMUs will be the last. Any future orders for self-propelling multiple units are likely to be based on electric motors so apart from 'novel' carbon-free fuel designs, (e.g. Hydrogen), that leaves:
DEMUs that can be converted to run as electric trains,​
EDMUs that are hybrid from the outset,​
various combinations of the above supplemented with batteries.​
There is no point committing to a carbon-only powered train that would require virtually the whole traction system to be scrapped in order for it to become even a hybrid. Any train purchased from now wouild is expected to stay in service until around 2060, which would become an 'environmental pariah' in less than half of its service life.
 

hwl

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Note to moderators: If this is not in the right forum please feel free to move it to speculative.

I understand Bombardier's order book has been full with the 710s, 720s, 730s, 701s and more 720s but was there a reason no ToCs like TfW, WMR or Northern approached them for 2 or 3 car Aventra units with high torque 700bhp Cummins engines? I had heard Bombardier refused outright to build one but I'd like to be proven wrong.

Diesel is not redundant, since mass electrification is simply not viable on many lines, and with the 150s, 153s and 156s likely to retire in the next 10 years, there will be a void to fill, as well as what could be used on the EWR. Off lease Voyagers and Meridians being 125mph IC diesels arent suitable to many of the routes that will need new diesels.
Bombardier made the decision 3 -4 years ago not to build diesel only MUs (with Hydraulic or mechanical transmissions) but offer bi-modes instead.
The have bid for serval franchises rolling stock contracts with bi-mode Aventra but no succeeded so far. Hitachi wining as they already have something proven to work in real life.

Like the Hitcahi, the aventra bi-mode concept uses MTU engine raft options. (both the more powerful 1600 series used in 80x, and the 1800 series used in 195-197 and 168-172 (rebadged 183series))

Cummins haven't made emission compliant rail engines (i.e. horizontal format) for a while, the last were for NR's 73/9s.

Any diesel only MU ordered now won't recover their costs for the leaser unless prices rises given the 2040 diesel only deadline.
 

43096

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Cummins haven't made emission compliant rail engines (i.e. horizontal format) for a while, the last were for NR's 73/9s.
For DMUs, yes. Cummins do supply Tier 4 compliant QSK95 engines to Siemens for their Charger locos in North America, though.
 

RailWonderer

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I firmly believe that the current orders for DMUs will be the last. Any future orders for self-propelling multiple units are likely to be based on electric motors so apart from 'novel' carbon-free fuel designs, (e.g. Hydrogen), that leaves:
DEMUs that can be converted to run as electric trains,​
EDMUs that are hybrid from the outset,​
various combinations of the above supplemented with batteries.​
There is no point committing to a carbon-only powered train that would require virtually the whole traction system to be scrapped in order for it to become even a hybrid. Any train purchased from now wouild is expected to stay in service until around 2060, which would become an 'environmental pariah' in less than half of its service life.
I'm surprised WMR didn't go for bi-modes given what you've mentioned. Birmingham - Shrewbury is electrified up to Wolverhampton, and Birmingham - Hereford up to Bromsgrove and everything up to Walsall. I think it was a wasted opportunity.
 

newtownmgr

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I'm surprised WMR didn't go for bi-modes given what you've mentioned. Birmingham - Shrewbury is electrified up to Wolverhampton, and Birmingham - Hereford up to Bromsgrove and everything up to Walsall. I think it was a wasted opportunity.
Cost probably. Need to remember that WMR have there hands tied by the involvement of Transport for West Mids in anything they do & buy.
 

Class172

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I'm surprised WMR didn't go for bi-modes given what you've mentioned. Birmingham - Shrewbury is electrified up to Wolverhampton, and Birmingham - Hereford up to Bromsgrove and everything up to Walsall. I think it was a wasted opportunity.
In the context of the Hereford services, the electrification between New Street and Bromsgrove is discontinuous since between Kings Norton and Longbridge only the slow lines are electrified so the actual proportion under the wires is quite small.

That’s not to say bi-modes would not be beneficial, since there would be a shared fleet with the Shrewsbury services and it also provides future proofing for if/when further electrification occurs.
 

Energy

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Cost probably. Need to remember that WMR have there hands tied by the involvement of Transport for West Mids in anything they do & buy.
Currently Stadler are the only ones who really make a suitable bimode train, they are great but aren't cheap although I think the west midlands can afford it (previous franchises have managed to get newer stock than other franchises). The likely reason is the Stadlers have a shorter diesel range.
 

RailWonderer

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Currently Stadler are the only ones who really make a suitable bimode train, they are great but aren't cheap although I think the west midlands can afford it (previous franchises have managed to get newer stock than other franchises). The likely reason is the Stadlers have a shorter diesel range.
And Hitachi? I'm sure they could make a bi-mode AT200 class 385. PLus the Stadler range must be adaptable if TfW have ordered them for running on long unelectrified stretches.
 

37424

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It seems to me that some of the suggested routes for Bi-modes don't currently have much electrification, yes it might future proof against more eventual electrification, but I suspect the cost benefits of a Regional Bi-mode train verses a regional DMU are somewhat less than such as an IET replacing gas guzzling Voyager or HST zooming up the West or East Coast Mainlines.
 

Mikey C

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It seems to me that some of the suggested routes for Bi-modes don't currently have much electrification, yes it might future proof against more eventual electrification, but I suspect the cost benefits of a Regional Bi-mode train verses a regional DMU are somewhat less than such as an IET replacing gas guzzling Voyager or HST zooming up the West or East Coast Mainlines.
They do contribute though to removing diesels from city centres, where the urban part of the route may be wired already, and air quality is more of a concern
 

37424

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They do contribute though to removing diesels from city centres, where the urban part of the route may be wired already, and air quality is more of a concern
I'm sure they do but that probably wasn't highest on the agenda when some recent DMU orders were made. Going forward it will be difficult to justify any more major pure DMU orders I think.
 
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