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uffington sb
26th Mar 2018, 10:23
Any other ppruners had to suffer the latest hi-tech trains being introduced on their commute.
Talk about stepping back in time. Considering it’s 2018, and everyone has at least one PED with them on their journey, the government has introduced a train with no wi-fi and no electrical sockets. Not only that but they have the unpopular ‘ironing board’ seats which are very hard and almost upright, no tables to put your device or cup of coffee on (these are being retrofitted now), no carpeting and no separate coaches, so there’s no getting away from Gooners talking football bollox, no arm rests so the narrow seats are very close together.
True they have increased capacity by making the aisles wider and there’s room for some 1700 pax, but only 600 or so seats.
The seating is cantilevered off the side walls so the floor space is clear. If you do spill your coffee, at least they can put a hose in and squeegee the train clean.
What’s unbelievable is that they expect people to travel from Cambridge to Brighton in one of these units, if you do, don’t forget to take some cushions and food as there’s no buffet on board.
On the plus side, they do accelerate pretty rapidly!


How can you design a train with so many mistakes? ? Rob Mansfield: writing, telling stories and content strategy (http://www.robmansfield.net/2016/07/29/how-can-you-design-a-train-with-so-many-mistakes/comment-page-1/)

meadowrun
26th Mar 2018, 10:41
Read up on them a little bit just now.
Sounds like engineering for sardines. What fun.
They're Siemens not Bombardier - not that it would have made any build difference.

treadigraph
26th Mar 2018, 10:43
I've travelled on them a couple times and I have to agree that the seats are bloody narrow - I'm fairly broad shouldered and have a big backside, so sharing a pair of seats with any stranger more substantial than a string tie is going to be over familiar... And the seats are certainly bum numbing...

funfly
26th Mar 2018, 10:48
And you think that train design is anything to do with passenger comfort?

Groundloop
26th Mar 2018, 11:47
The seats in Great Western's new IEP 800s are just as bad. Only had to endure Paddington to Reading. Could not imagine what my backside would have felt like if I had been doing the full 4 hours plus to Carmarthen!

uffington sb
26th Mar 2018, 12:12
The 387’s that were put into service on the PBO-KGX route the other year are vastly superior to the latest offering. Although they have the same ironing board seats, they have armrests so the seats are further apart, carpeting to deaded the noise, tables, wi-fi and sockets at every seat. They also have separate coaches so you can escape any antisocial behaviour.
Looks like we’re stuck with these awful trains for the next 20 years or so.
Yes I’ve heard that the 800’s have similar seating, the seats on the VTEC Mallard trains are superb.
I think it’s a government plot to get people off trains and back into cars, where it’s easier for them to tax!

ExXB
26th Mar 2018, 19:14
The Bombardiers on Swiss routes are quite comfortable. And they run on time (+ 5 Minutes is considered a delay).

Fareastdriver
26th Mar 2018, 19:26
What load of softies!

When I went to school in Northern Ireland in the 1940s I would travel from Aldergrove Halt to Lisburn 4th class. Climb up the steps to the open carriage fully equipped with wooden seats, no heating and half the window straps were broken so you couldn't raise them, even if I had the strength then, to close them up.

radeng
26th Mar 2018, 19:30
Trains have got progressively more uncomfortable over the years. The 4VEPs in the 1970s were far less comfortable than the 4CEP/4EPB/4BIGs they replaced. BR Mk 2 coaches were more comfortable than the Mk 3s and 4s. My thought was that they were getting industrial 'designers' in rather than people who knew about trains, and it sounds as if the accountants are doing their worse on travelling public now.

ATNotts
26th Mar 2018, 19:30
The Bombardiers on Swiss routes are quite comfortable. And they run on time (+ 5 Minutes is considered a delay).

The difference between European and UK trains, that make them generally more claustrophobic and less pleasant is our loading gauge (not the track gauge which is uniform across most of Europe now, and the same as ours). The greater loading gauge allows trains to be wider, and higher than in UK, so a 2 x 2 configuration had to have either narrower seats, or narrower aisles, and i would suspect that the requirement to accommodate disabled passengers demands the former rather than the latter.

Had we used Brunnel's track width, then I guess that if we had then moved to the standard gauge at sometime later, the loading gauge issue would have sorted itself.

The consequence of the UK smaller loading gauge also means that freight is restricted - trailer trains being a much bigger problem for UK.

radeng
26th Mar 2018, 19:43
Actually, Brunel's 7foot and a quarter inch track gauge did not have that much a larger structure gauge. Some what bigger, but not an awful lot. He could have had carriages 15 feet wide and the same height inside..

Of course, a bigger loading gauge means more expensive tunnels and bridges under roads, which would have been a problem anyway.

chevvron
26th Mar 2018, 21:04
The consequence of the UK smaller loading gauge also means that freight is restricted - trailer trains being a much bigger problem for UK.
It also means it's unlikely that double deck trains, widely used across the channel, will ever be re-introduced.
In case you didn't know, prior to 1948 the Southern Railway had double deck trains on some suburban routes. They would solve a lot of problems like overcrowding if they fitted under the present loading guage.

jimtherev
26th Mar 2018, 22:06
Southern's double-deck trains failed for two major reasons: (a) claustrophobic, uncomfortable, unpopular, and (b) - much more important to the operator - they took twice as long to load at each station, which on a railway timed by the half-minute was just destructive of the timetable.


As to the 700s and other less-than optimal trains being rolled out, be they Siemens, Bombardier or whoever, they are a wonderful demonstration of the result when inexperienced civil servants get their mitts on the procurement process. Whatever we may think of the bearded one and his ilk, at least they know enough to plan better than that. They actually want to attract more passengers, to make more money.

Tankertrashnav
26th Mar 2018, 23:42
The HSTs of the mid 70s which are still in regular use on the GWR route down to Cornwall were probably the most comfortable trains of the last 50 years in their original form. They have suffered by having more "airline seats" installed to increase the number of pax which may be carried, but even so they are much more comfortable than anything that has been delivered in recent years

ATNotts
27th Mar 2018, 06:52
The HSTs of the mid 70s which are still in regular use on the GWR route down to Cornwall were probably the most comfortable trains of the last 50 years in their original form. They have suffered by having more "airline seats" installed to increase the number of pax which may be carried, but even so they are much more comfortable than anything that has been delivered in recent years

I agree, I travel between Nottingham and St Pancras on East Trains, and the contrast between the HST and more modern stock is marked. The much lower backs on the HST seats make the carriage appear much less cramped. Sadly I fear the demise of the HST is imminent - things ain't what they used to be!

ATNotts
27th Mar 2018, 06:56
Actually, Brunel's 7foot and a quarter inch track gauge did not have that much a larger structure gauge. Some what bigger, but not an awful lot. He could have had carriages 15 feet wide and the same height inside..

Of course, a bigger loading gauge means more expensive tunnels and bridges under roads, which would have been a problem anyway.

Is there real "railway buff" here who can explain how it came to be that the UK built it's railway with a smaller loading gauge than (most of) the rest of Europe? Even if the UK was the first railway network, which I believe it was, you would have thought that from the outset, as the French, Germans etc joined the club it would have been easier / cheaper for them to have replicated the UK gauge, which they did with regard to track gauge.

chevvron
27th Mar 2018, 07:16
All I can say is when they replaced the 'overground' trains from Richmond through North London with the new stock, it was a vast improvement on my journey to Highbury and Islington to watch Arsenal.
OK only seats along the sides, but as we got on at Richmond and as that was their terminus, we always got a seat!
Only thing a bit tedious was 16 stops between Richmond and Highbury; pity they couldn't run the occasional 'fast' train with fewer stops.

Eric T Cartman
27th Mar 2018, 07:39
As one who used to commute from St.Albans to St.Pancras on Rolls-Royce DMU's in the 60's, after 4 trips on 700's, admittedly off-peak, generally I'm impressed. On such a short journey, the seats are tolerable but I would hate to travel from Bedford to Brighton on them. I think funfly sums it up rather well ! They must have been designed down to a price rather than up to passenger (oops, customer !) comfort.

NorthernChappie
27th Mar 2018, 08:05
The HSTs of the mid 70s which are still in regular use on the GWR route down to Cornwall were probably the most comfortable trains of the last 50 years in their original form. They have suffered by having more "airline seats" installed to increase the number of pax which may be carried, but even so they are much more comfortable than anything that has been delivered in recent years

You'll just have to come up to Scotland then where a number are being refurbed for a further 20 years of service.

ORAC
27th Mar 2018, 08:06
ATNotts, from what I can find....

“In the 1820s-50s when our Railway system was being built at the rate of thousands of miles a year (much earlier than the Continental systems) technology prohibited the building of large locomotives, rolling stock etc. Small locos and trains were the norm - so it was only natural that the average loading gauge was not much bigger than these early trains. Whereas on the continent, by the time large scale railway building was taking place technology had developed to the point that Engineers were able to look to the future and build a loading gauge with ever-larger trains in mind.”

“Once the railways had been built to 'the standard' it would have been an enourmous cost to demolish and rebuild the countless bridges, enlarge cuttings/embankments and tunnels to accept a larger loading gauge, which in practice would have offered the individual railway companies little or no benefits in return. As an island our railway network has been cut off from adjoining countries, so their decision to utilise a larger loading gauge has had limited negative consequences - loading a train onto a ferry to get across the channel isn't quite as straight forward as a train crossing between mainland european countries.”

“Of course it's possible to have 5,000 - 15,000 ton trains in the UK without needing the Berne loading gauge, you just potentially have to have a longer train comprising of more wagons!

As for the speed, the limiting factor in that case is more the hilly and winding route that railways in the UK tend to follow. There is nothing stopping a train built to UK loading gauge travelling at 186mph given suitable track ...in the same way that adopting the larger proportions of the Berne gauge wouldn't have prevented UK railways snaking along valleys and climbing over hills - all factors that make high speed train travel in the UK a 'challenge'!

Once again, the 'benefits' of the larger Berne gauge offered minimal to no advantages to the numerous pre-grouping railway companies in this Country. Why on earth would the pre-grouping "Lower Wallop to Lesser Nowhere Railway" go to the expense of rebuilding their railway to a European loading gauge when there was no connection to that system in this country, much less that the LW to LN Railway Co. would ever be connected to it! The UK loading gauge had been working perfectly well for 100 years to haul famer Giles and his dozen chickens to market and drag local coal trains about, so what benefit would the Berne gauge have offered that would have justified the huge expense of rebuilding?”

gruntie
27th Mar 2018, 08:32
From flaky memory, and I stand to be corrected, there was one main line built in the UK to the Continental loading gauge.....the Grand Central Railway (GCR). It was the line from Marylebone up to the midlands. They closed it.

You can still see the echoes of Brunel’s broad gauge: the platforms at stations such as Chippenham are much further apart than they need to be. In days of yore and as networks expanded and linked up, having a different gauge grew to be a major pain in the rear: so eventually they decided to convert the GWR to standard gauge. Obviously is had to be all done at once, so it was: it took a weekend. Kind of puts modern railway maintenance into perspective.

ATNotts
27th Mar 2018, 08:34
ATNotts, from what I can find....

“In the 1820s-50s when our Railway system was being built at the rate of thousands of miles a year (much earlier than the Continental systems) technology prohibited the building of large locomotives, rolling stock etc. Small locos and trains were the norm - so it was only natural that the average loading gauge was not much bigger than these early trains. Whereas on the continent, by the time large scale railway building was taking place technology had developed to the point that Engineers were able to look to the future and build a loading gauge with ever-larger trains in mind.”

“Once the railways had been built to 'the standard' it would have been an enourmous cost to demolish and rebuild the countless bridges, enlarge cuttings/embankments and tunnels to accept a larger loading gauge, which in practice would have offered the individual railway companies little or no benefits in return. As an island our railway network has been cut off from adjoining countries, so their decision to utilise a larger loading gauge has had limited negative consequences - loading a train onto a ferry to get across the channel isn't quite as straight forward as a train crossing between mainland european countries.”

“Of course it's possible to have 5,000 - 15,000 ton trains in the UK without needing the Berne loading gauge, you just potentially have to have a longer train comprising of more wagons!

As for the speed, the limiting factor in that case is more the hilly and winding route that railways in the UK tend to follow. There is nothing stopping a train built to UK loading gauge travelling at 186mph given suitable track ...in the same way that adopting the larger proportions of the Berne gauge wouldn't have prevented UK railways snaking along valleys and climbing over hills - all factors that make high speed train travel in the UK a 'challenge'!

Once again, the 'benefits' of the larger Berne gauge offered minimal to no advantages to the numerous pre-grouping railway companies in this Country. Why on earth would the pre-grouping "Lower Wallop to Lesser Nowhere Railway" go to the expense of rebuilding their railway to a European loading gauge when there was no connection to that system in this country, much less that the LW to LN Railway Co. would ever be connected to it! The UK loading gauge had been working perfectly well for 100 years to haul famer Giles and his dozen chickens to market and drag local coal trains about, so what benefit would the Berne gauge have offered that would have justified the huge expense of rebuilding?”

Thanks, basically evolution, and rather like the way that some animal species survive in New Zealand and nowhere else - because they were cut off from the wider world.

I suppose that were the money, and the political will there, there may be a case for certain lines, the major arteries and busiest passenger and freight lines to be upgraded to the "Berne gauge".

Am I correct in recalling that one line in UK, the now defunct Great Central Line was built originally to, if not Berne gauge, to a gauge somewhat bigger than the UK standard? I recall this as some time ago there was an idea to reopen the line to freight, because the infrastructure had this advantage. It was a hairbrained scheme, that if I recall correctly came to nought.

Kiltrash
27th Mar 2018, 08:38
For those that use Thamslink the rear First Class coach is not Designated First Class so you get all the additional bells and whistles of first class for a second class price

Reason being the true first class punters want to be at the front of the train and so be first through the barrier at destination whereas the rear coach is not used by cattle class and have to stand

equals getting more customers on the train

We are off at the weekend Bedford to Gatwick on a second class ticket Off Peak and will use this coach

Tankertrashnav
27th Mar 2018, 08:57
For those that use Thameslink the rear First Class coach is not Designated First Class so you get all the additional bells and whistles of first class for a second class price

When I was a kid in Glasgow in the 50s I used to travel to school by train. Usual stock was old suburban coaches with 6 a side compartments. Every now and then a coach would appear with compartments labelled "First class, for use of third class passengers" (this was before second class came in). There was always a rush to sample this luxury, where we enjoyed the rare delights of armrests and antimacassars.

ExSp33db1rd
27th Mar 2018, 09:07
Trains ??? I DREAM of trains, travel to Auckland for me involves 4+ hours of roads akin to the 6's UK West Country roads of Bank Holiday Monday memory, with a max. speed of 60 mph when one does get a wider stretch, full of caravans, camper-vans and logging trucks. "it's number two what starts the queue, Yah! Bah! to number two."

Yamagata ken
27th Mar 2018, 09:36
My local train (the station is about 100m from my front door) is the Tsubasa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsubasa_(train).

It is also known as "mini Shinkansen". The E3 Series https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E3_Series_Shinkansen fit a standard loading gauge so can run as an Express on the branch line past my door. They can also be coupled to the Big Boys and run at 275kph on the dedicated Shinkansen system.

It is very comfortable with active suspension, 2x2 seating with folding trays, trolley service, reclining seats and armrests. Plus power and wifi of course.

When I left Reading (C1988) it was serviced by the slightly tired Intercity 125. Is that rolling stock still in service?

Crownstay01
27th Mar 2018, 09:50
“In the 1820s-50s when our Railway system was being built at the rate of thousands of miles a year (much earlier than the Continental systems) technology prohibited the building of large locomotives, rolling stock etc.

Arguable at best. What aspect of the technology of the period "prohibited" building large locos or stock? The locos and cars of the broad gauge GWR were already considerably bigger than contemporary standard gauge equipment.

“Of course it's possible to have 5,000 - 15,000 ton trains in the UK without needing the Berne loading gauge, you just potentially have to have a longer train comprising of more wagons!

The limiting factor for train length is brake equipment, drawgear, crossing loop/refuge length and signal overlaps. All very relevant in the UK context.

As for the speed, the limiting factor in that case is more the hilly and winding route that railways in the UK tend to follow. There is nothing stopping a train built to UK loading gauge travelling at 186mph given suitable track ...in the same way that adopting the larger proportions of the Berne gauge wouldn't have prevented UK railways snaking along valleys and climbing over hills - all factors that make high speed train travel in the UK a 'challenge'!

The limiting factor for high speed trains is curve radius. When you run stock with all axles (over)powered, grades are not an issue. Classic example being the TGV lines - huge curves, savage grades.

hiflymk3
27th Mar 2018, 10:36
The Southern double deck units were not a success. Built to the maximum loading gauge limited their route availability. The upper deck was claustrophobic and passenger loading took more time.

Steam traction ceased on the Isle of Wight in 1966. The locomotives were built in the 1890s, the rolling stock was pre Grouping. The signage on my local station read Southern Railway. It really was a charming time capsule.

WilliumMate
27th Mar 2018, 11:06
Having travelled on the 700 class they are a retrograde step in passenger comfort and an advance in profit maximisation. The ability to run in 12 car formations and pack 'em in during the rush hour is very cost efficient, as is the one person operation (no guard). During the periods it is needed the most, revenue protection will find it very difficult to move through the train to check tickets. The seats compared to the old 319s and 377s are very thin and uncomfortable. They have been built to a price and it shows.

Before I retired I was over on the GN side and our traction was 313, 317, 321 and 365. All getting a bit long in the tooth and in the former case over 40 years old. The advantage they had was that they were engineered by BR in York by people that had many years of understanding and experience of what was required for the various sectors of BR and they were built accordingly. Another advantage of these units is that if it lay down and quietly expired, a competent driver could fault find and in the majority of instances get it to a point where it could be taken out of use and the punters put onto other services.

Ken asked if the HST 125 units were still in service. Very much so albeit re-engined. The sets and locos are coming up to or are over 40 years old and IMHO are one of the nicest trains for long distance travel both down the back or sitting in the front seat.

Today's TOCs don't really give a monkeys as they know, with very few exceptions, that it will be some other company running it in a few years time. It is a dash for profits over the short term and sod the consequences for the travelling public.

uffington sb
27th Mar 2018, 12:34
ATNotts.
The seats on the VTEC trains, HST &91’s have the high back Mallard seat. The first time I travelled on one I wasn’t too keen, but now I love them as you’re in your on little space. You can’t see the backs of people’s heads, nor people staring at you.
Sometimes I’m unlucky and get one of the Cross Country units hired in with the original low seat backs.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9b/VTEC_Refurbished_Mark_4_Standard_Class_Interior.jpg/250px-VTEC_Refurbished_Mark_4_Standard_Class_Interior.jpg
Kiltrash.
The only thing different in the First class area of a 700 is an antimacassar with First Class on it!

uffington sb
27th Mar 2018, 12:49
Another problem with the 700 & I’d imagine the 800, is it’s not as simple as putting in the key, setting up the lights and GSMR & off you go like on a good old 365, as on the new trains with everything computerised, so it takes about 10 minutes for everything to come on line after self testing.
Must make shunting a bit of a nightmare.

Mr Mac
27th Mar 2018, 12:51
ATNotts
You are correct there were plans to reopen the line as part of a Lille - Liverpool freight link. I had a friend back then who spent the early 90,s recession surveying the old route for some consortium with a very cute female engineer as I re call, staying in nice local hostelries and a budget of circa £1m for the job! The southern part was an idea to form a trans shipment point for containers and piggyback trailers etc around Leicester, with the idea they would run from there to channel tunnel and cut down congestion and delay on M25 using the old track bed and some avoiding lines around London. The northern bit centred around re opening the old Woodhead route from Sheffield to Liverpool but the bits of the line from Leicester up to Sheffield had largely gone or been infilled so it would have had to have gone up the normal route to Sheffield. I know that the costs on the southern section to me did not seem too high given the odd large bridges which would have to be replaced and in comparison to any current scheme like HS2 / LHR 3rd runway it cost less than their public enquiries and we would have had a railway not a pile of papers and schemes many seem to not want. Such is life in GB PLC. Do not know what happened to the report, but cute engineer and Friend got married, unfortunately now divorced one in Sandpit other in US, report no doubt in shredder as well !!

Kind regards
Mr Mac

Rail Engineer
27th Mar 2018, 18:33
Gauge
Part of the gauging issue is related to the fact that, as has been said already, there was no incentive to increase the gauge profile because of inter-working, which was becoming an important element on the movement of freight.

Again as has been stated, a larger structure gauge requires larger tunnels and bridges, plus a larger land-take along the route. Stations would also be bigger.

The usual nimby approach (which seems to be a UK thing) from landowners en-route that was seen by the railway developers resulted in expensive and long drawn out Parliamentary committees to gain acceptance of the route, then followed by (usually large compensatory payments to objectors, as well as the purchase of land at sometimes higher than value. WE thus can see pressure on the builders - replicated today - where "time is money" and construction was pushed forward in as quick a way as possible. That additional strip of land along say a 100 miles soon mounts up as do the extra groundworks, excavations, etc., whilst all the speculators want to see is an operational railway as quickly and as cheaply as possible. Improvements/betterments, etc. were things that could wait until the profits started rolling in, which of course they never did.

In addition vehicle dynamics were not understood, and no-one could really envisage what the future would hold.

UK railways cost far more per mile to build than our European partners because of the legal requirement for the Railway company to fence off completely the railway so as to prevent farm animals from straying onto the railway and being killed, I due course this came to include trespass. Again constructing and maintaining fencing comes at a high price.

One final benefit our neighbours had/have in Europe is the fact that the population per sq mile is much lower than the UK and it is much easier (and cheaper) to build a railway through the countryside, even more-so when you don't have to fence it.

Finally WW1 and WW2 did lay waste to a variety of conurbations, giving European city planners much easier routes and a better ability to construct bigger stations.

hiflymk3
27th Mar 2018, 19:33
I have recommended this book before here but Simon Bradley's The Railways, Nation, Network & People is an excellent laymans guide to the history of railways in Britain. It's not for rivet counters but for those interested in the economic, social and cultural impact that the railways made.

In my book, a damn good read.

Rail Engineer
27th Mar 2018, 21:02
GC Freight Route
The original Central Railway proposal for a line that would run through the spine of England to the Channel Tunnel came to Parliament in 1996. It was voted down by MPs with barely a handful supporting the plan.
Five years later, the original plan was changed and now was to be a 400 mile £6bn railway linking Liverpool and Lille and like the original proposal was intended to operate flat wagons that could be used by lorry trailers, rather than being aimed at containers. This time part of the route went through Surrey, rather than Croydon which would have taken it through the heart of nimby territory. so it was never going to gain traction and faded away because of the likely opposition.

Kelvin Hopkins, the MP for Luton raised a proposal for a new route, now called the GB Freight Route. The plan was for a line that linked HS1, at Barking with Birmingham, Sheffield, Manchester (via the Woodhead tunnel being reopened) Carlisle and Glasgow. The line would be built to the Continental Gauge able to accommodate full sized lorry trailers and European wagons and its main purpose would be for continental traffic to man points in Europe. The route would make use of some of the old Great Central alignment and it was reckoned that only 14 miles of new track would be required, nine miles of which would be in tunnels. According to a survey carried out privately by a major consulting engineer, the cost of the railway could be as little as £3bn though Hopkins said he had ‘doubled that to make it seem more credible’. The estimate was that some five million lorry loads of freight could be taken off the roads annually and that the railway would comfortably cover both its construction and operating costs over time.

This route was supported by the Scottish road haulier JG Russell but comes to nothing because it is seen as a competitor to HS2 by various people in the ORR

NorthernChappie
27th Mar 2018, 21:17
Ken asked if the HST 125 units were still in service. Very much so albeit re-engined. The sets and locos are coming up to or are over 40 years old and IMHO are one of the nicest trains for long distance travel both down the back or sitting in the front seat.

And as posted earlier, currently being re-engineered for a further 20 years or so of service with both Great Western on shorter distances, and in Scotland where they are being promoted as "new trains". I won't see it but 60 plus years of service can't be bad.

Rail Engineer
27th Mar 2018, 21:30
Thing is that these were designed to run for extended periods at high speed rather than piddling about on short duration / length journeys like a milk train, and with these awful MTU engines they take ages to get up to 125mph.
It would be interesting to still be around when some of the recent plastic stuff is 40 years old to see how it performs, or indeed if it has not fallen apart

RedhillPhil
27th Mar 2018, 22:13
The Southern double deck units were not a success. Built to the maximum loading gauge limited their route availability. The upper deck was claustrophobic and passenger loading took more time.

Steam traction ceased on the Isle of Wight in 1966. The locomotives were built in the 1890s, the rolling stock was pre Grouping. The signage on my local station read Southern Railway. It really was a charming time capsule.



And because the loading gauge was even smaller than the mainland the electric trains that replaced the chuffers were ex London Underground tube stock. The current IOW rolling stock is ex Bakerloo line stock of 1938 vintage.

Tankertrashnav
27th Mar 2018, 23:00
GC Freight Route
The original Central Railway proposal for a line that would run through the spine of England to the Channel Tunnel came to Parliament in 1996.

I just got out my old DVD of Metroland by John Betjeman (1973) . In the film Betjeman follows the route of the Metropolitan Railway from Baker Street to Amersham. He points out that the original plan in the 1890s was for a railway linking the North of England to Paris, via London and a channel tunnel, of which the Metropolitan was but one section. A great film to watch if you like railways, architecture, cinema organs and even golf (or "goff" as Betjeman pronounces it!) There are bits and pieces of it on You Tube but I don't think they have the complete film

treadigraph
28th Mar 2018, 04:13
Metroland is a great programme, saw it some years ago and would love to see it again.

Re Central Railways, I'm afraid I was a NIMBY on that one; running a freight line through the middle of the urban delight that is south London seemed a ludicrous proposition to me, particularly given my proximity to the Brighton line whose course it would have followed hereabouts. :} My recollection was it involved running two additional lines through Croydon down to Redhill, then east through Tonbridge?

I don't know what capacity HS1 and HS2 would have for night light freight ops; are there any electric freight train ops or is it all diesel?

chevvron
28th Mar 2018, 08:20
Am I correct in recalling that one line in UK, the now defunct Great Central Line was built originally to, if not Berne gauge, to a gauge somewhat bigger than the UK standard? I recall this as some time ago there was an idea to reopen the line to freight, because the infrastructure had this advantage. It was a hairbrained scheme, that if I recall correctly came to nought.

My late uncle Bob (yes Bob WAS my uncle) spent the whole of his working life at Amersham Station in Bucks. He told me a tale once that the signalman, whom he called 'Old Roby' called down to him one day soon after the GCR had been taken over by the LNER (mid 1930s) that 'there's a streamliner coming up light from Marylebone to check clearances on the platforms; I'm going to hold it on (platform) 4, you go down with a red lamp'.
So eventually an A4 appeared in the distance, slowing down with the signals against him and my uncle stood on 4 waving his red lamp. It was the first time an A4 had run up the Harrow - Amersham - Aylesbury section of course. When it stopped, the driver asked my uncle why they were being held; my uncle replied 'because the Manchester Express is just behind you'. The driver said 'gawd if you hadn't stopped us it would never have caught us'.

Kiltrash
28th Mar 2018, 16:22
For anyone interested it appears that some of the class 700 are being run on full autopilot with a planned minimum running distance being 100 yards / meters during the rush hour

As one slows so does the next if too close.. 24 Trains per hour is the target

However there is a monitor with a override button in the cab... how long will that last before we end up with a full DLR type operation

radeng
28th Mar 2018, 17:01
Sir Edward Watkin was Chairman of the Great Central (originally the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln - known as the 'Money Sunk and Lost' before it became the 'Gone Completely Railway) as well as Chairman of the South Eastern Railway. His Channel Tunnel Company did make a start on a tunnel: it would have very useful in 1940, but the General staff opposed it. Sir Garnet Wolsley (always ready to fight again the last war but one, and somewhat like Gilbert's 'Modern Major General) said that the French could get a whole division through the tunnel between dusk and dawn. C. Hamilton-Ellis commented that provided they came in their own rolling stock and had tickets, the South Eastern railway staff wouldn't notice, while the guns of the fortress of Dover, which commanded the exit of the tunnel would be unmanned because it was night time

Watkin's idea was to have the GC London Extension to the Berne Gauge to allow through running, via his tunnel, the SER and the Metropolitan Railway from Paris to Sheffield. Another tunnel that he wanted was from somewhere near Portpatrick to somewhere near Larne in Northern Ireland.

Rail Engineer
28th Mar 2018, 18:17
Metroland is a great programme, saw it some years ago and would love to see it again.

Re Central Railways, I'm afraid I was a NIMBY on that one; running a freight line through the middle of the urban delight that is south London seemed a ludicrous proposition to me, particularly given my proximity to the Brighton line whose course it would have followed hereabouts. :} My recollection was it involved running two additional lines through Croydon down to Redhill, then east through Tonbridge?

I don't know what capacity HS1 and HS2 would have for night light freight ops; are there any electric freight train ops or is it all diesel?The plan was to tunnel through Croydon, I believe.

With regards to HS1 & HS2, HS1 was built with capacity for freight but HS2 will be a high speed passenger line, the intention being that it would allow a reduction in passenger on the WCML, thus freeing up room for freight. This of course is how the uninformed, risk-averse, administrative, head-down, time-serving Civil Servant thinks.

Freight and high speed passenger do not easily mix, as one can handle quite severe gradients and cant-deficiency, whereas the other cannot. Heavy axle-weight freight also causes the track to wear out much quicker than high speed passenger services, and of course there is the maintenance periodicity to think of. A good example of differing demands would be the M6 Birmingham Northern Relief road. There are very rarely road works on there because the lorries predominantly use the M6, which is why the M6 is being continuously renewed.

treadigraph
28th Mar 2018, 18:44
Cheers RE. I'm sure one proposal, the one I objected to, involved widening the existing four tracks to six between Croydon and Coulsdon; I can't recall what happened at East Croydon but I imagine the derelict land to the west of the station would have been used. It's now proposed to build two additional "terminus" platforms there I believe - the new northern access bridge has space to accommodate an additional platform pair - presumably these will be for London Overground services which would be great.

Rail Engineer
28th Mar 2018, 18:54
Treadigraph
Maybe that is the reason for the awful traffic in Croydon ?

Given the opportunity people will use trains rather than their car. A perfect example has been the exponential growth of the Birmingham Cross City line which continues. Passenger numbers plateaued somewhat when the car parks ran out of space but Centro started a programme to enlarge them and build an upper storey and up went passenger numbers until these same car parks were once again jammed. the increase in frequency from 20 mins to 15 mins to 10 mins during the daytime continues to attract passengers because it has almost become a walk-on railway - even if you watch one leave the platform, by the time you have walked down and positioned yourself the next arrival is being announced.

Unfortunately you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg and sometimes it really IS in the interests of the majority that objections are over-ruled.

treadigraph
28th Mar 2018, 18:59
Ooops, about to type a reply but I've got to get ready to go out! :)

bsmasher
28th Mar 2018, 20:57
And as posted earlier, currently being re-engineered for a further 20 years or so of service with both Great Western on shorter distances, and in Scotland where they are being promoted as "new trains". I won't see it but 60 plus years of service can't be bad.

The HSTs(or a very close derivarive) are still going strong here in NSW Australia. Again they are mid-80s vintage. They seem to run most of the middle distance runs round the State.

Crownstay01
29th Mar 2018, 00:42
Yes, our XPT power cars are based on the Class 43/HST power cars. They entered revenue service in 1982. As you say, they're still going strong, having been repowered in 2000 with VP185s. They currently run to Melbourne, Brisbane and Dubbo. Other services within NSW are run by Xplorer and Endeavour railcars.

I have a real soft spot for XPTs, as I qualified on them back in 1983, and recently requalified on them when I transferred from Sydney Trains to NSW Trainlink. They're nice to run, ride well and they're as tough as old boots. And when you load up coming out of the dive at Redfern they sound amazing!

treadigraph
29th Mar 2018, 08:34
The Central Railway proposal through Croydon was freight only as I recall (I think it was 20 years ago so memory is a bit suspect!) and would have entailed considerable disruption hereabouts. Running a dedicated freight line around London makes sense, with suitable facilities for local goods distribution; just don't run it through suburbia.

I'm certainly all for improving the passenger services on the Brighton line; I understand Network rail will be embarking on a major revamp of the Windmill Junction at Selhurst which is a major bottleneck. I believe grade separated crossings are to be added to ease congestion there; hopefully this will create extra capacity on the lines from London Bridge and Victoria.

Big fan of public transport; I'll be catching a bus shortly to whisk me to East Croydon to catch a train to Redhill. Saturday, Beardy-wonderman's inter-galactic space trains will bear me speedily northwards to the Lake District... I hope!

RedhillPhil
29th Mar 2018, 09:15
The Central Railway proposal through Croydon was freight only as I recall (I think it was 20 years ago so memory is a bit suspect!) and would have entailed considerable disruption hereabouts. Running a dedicated freight line around London makes sense, with suitable facilities for local goods distribution; just don't run it through suburbia.

I'm certainly all for improving the passenger services on the Brighton line; I understand Network rail will be embarking on a major revamp of the Windmill Junction at Selhurst which is a major bottleneck. I believe grade separated crossings are to be added to ease congestion there; hopefully this will create extra capacity on the lines from London Bridge and Victoria.

Big fan of public transport; I'll be catching a bus shortly to whisk me to East Croydon to catch a train to Redhill. Saturday, Beardy-wonderman's inter-galactic space trains will bear me speedily northwards to the Lake District... I hope!


Ah Redhill, the station where a lunatic re-designed the track layout. "They" spent £millions putting an additional through platform (platform 0) then undid the advantage by erecting a set of buffers at the London end of platform 1 turning it into a bay totally negating the advantage of having an additional through platform.
You really couldn't make this sort of stuff up.

Zeus
29th Mar 2018, 20:30
Campaign for Better Train Amenities....have a look at

sorebums.uk

hiflymk3
29th Mar 2018, 21:32
Campaign for Better Train Amenities....have a look at

sorebums.uk

Is that a gay site?

treadigraph
29th Mar 2018, 22:03
Ah Redhill, the station where a lunatic re-designed the track layout. "They" spent £millions putting an additional through platform (platform 0) then undid the advantage by erecting a set of buffers at the London end of platform 1 turning it into a bay totally negating the advantage of having an additional through platform.
You really couldn't make this sort of stuff up.

Just got back from Redhill, Phil - Platform 0 was a surprise! Probably 18 months since last there...

Zeus
30th Mar 2018, 06:05
Is that a gay site?

Err, no. It is not!!

Google it if you have any concerns.

I seem to remember it includes a link to a petition about the "ironing board seats".

chevvron
31st Mar 2018, 02:38
Big fan of public transport; I'll be catching a bus shortly to whisk me to East Croydon to catch a train to Redhill. Saturday, Beardy-wonderman's inter-galactic space trains will bear me speedily northwards to the Lake District... I hope!

Why not use the tram for part of your journey like everyone else. Came into its own when Mrs C and I visited her sister who lived north end of Croydon; train from Woking to Wimbledon then tram to West Croydon. Also came in useful when Kennedys butcher shops were closing down and we needed to stock up on their sausages.

treadigraph
31st Mar 2018, 04:04
Ah, I'm in Purley, the south of the borough - trams run east/west, sort of south London Cross Rail though there are some plans to extend the service north and south.

Mmmm, Kennedys, think the husband of one of our secretaries years ago used to run the Croydon shop; he was certainly involved in a butchers on Church Street.

meadowrun
31st Mar 2018, 04:40
You know you're in JB when you can go from talking trains to sausages in a heartbeat or two.
http://l450v.alamy.com/450v/amnpgm/kennedys-sausage-shop-bromley-london-england-uk-now-out-of-business-amnpgm.jpg

treadigraph
31st Mar 2018, 06:11
Well, there is a certain similarity between trains and links of sausages...

Two hours before me pre-trip breakfast in a Croydon cafe adjacent to the George Street tram stop.


The Croydon Kennedy's in Church Street...

http://www.routebus537.veryold.net/kenwebCroydon090726f.JPG

Ogre
31st Mar 2018, 06:49
I seem to recall a tale of woe from the French regarding trains, they were ordering new rolling stock so went out and measured the distance from the platform edge to the first rail at one of the local stations. Ordered the entire rolling stock to meet that measurement, then found out that the distance from platform to first rail was never the same on any of the stations.....

Now Queensland government have done the same thing, this time they can't fit the rolling stock in the tunnels because of a similar story, and the design of the trains is illegal under Queensland legislation for other reasons https://www.qt.com.au/news/queensland-rail-facing-legal-action-because-its-ne/3359054/

meadowrun
31st Mar 2018, 07:16
And then there are those modern transport planners who place all two-train-length stations on a new line from downtown to airport (after many, many years of politicians saying it is not needed) and find (surprise - surprise - it's the Airport!) they are at capacity in 5 years and the only possible fix is higher frequencies with more trains that take years to deliver.
..and is anyone thinking about five years from then? Haven't heard a peep.

chevvron
31st Mar 2018, 13:34
Mrs C and I wanted to visit a friend of her late mother who lived in Bermondsey. We took the Thameslink to Tulse Hill then changed to a train bound for London Bridge. To our surprise (it was a saturday in July) it was 2 coach, but there was a train every 10 min.
What we didn't know was Millwall were playing a so called friendly against Spurs (if that is possible) and apparently the trains were reduced in length due to anticipated trouble, South Bermondsey station our inteneded destination being right next to the New Den.

Crownstay01
1st Apr 2018, 11:05
I seem to recall a tale of woe from the French regarding trains, they were ordering new rolling stock so went out and measured the distance from the platform edge to the first rail at one of the local stations. Ordered the entire rolling stock to meet that measurement, then found out that the distance from platform to first rail was never the same on any of the stations...

That's what happens when procurement is in the hands of people who've never heard of the loading gauge or the structure gauge.

uffington sb
1st Apr 2018, 16:17
Crownstay01.

Or passenger expectations, comfort, wi-fi, power sockets etc.
I’m not sure which passenger focus groups were consulted on the 700’s, but they must have been told that they were for short metro type journeys, not intercity routes like Cambridge to Brighton.

sorebums.uk