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Island Line under threat

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Shaggy, Jul 24, 2015.

  1. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Please No !
     
  2. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    I believe that the main cause of the floods was due to the Brooks outfall on the beach being blocked by sand (who would have thought! ) The outfall has since been completly reworked and may be less of a problem in the future.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 10:01 AM
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  3. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    The Modern Railways article was posted on Flickr, but 'Philip Phlopp' helpfully summarised it on the RailUK forum - hope he won't mind me reposting the relevant section:

    "Ian Walmsley (who most of you will know was formerly Engineering Development Manager with Porterbrook Leasing) has done the economics on it, with no help from the actual Class 379 team, who are doing a great PR act and some lousy engineering.

    Walmsley did the calculations based on serving Sudbury and the battery size calculations came to 660kWh, rather than the 452kWh on the trail unit, which gives a cost for a single battery pack somewhere around £570,000. The life expectancy of the battery is around 2,000 cycles which equates to 5 years. I'm sure those of you who know the details of the 27.5 year MTU contract for the Hitachi Super Express program are shaking your heads at this stage (1 x 12V1600R80L engine comes to €800,000 with 27.5 years of maintenance support from the manufacturer)

    Walmsley correctly but perhaps, in my view, over optimistically discounts the cost of the battery for bulk order and continual manufacturing cost reductions, giving a total cost on average of £300,000 for each battery pack. He doesn't explicitly commit but I'd suggest he's also working on manufacturing cost reductions offsetting inflation on the price of the battery packs and they'll remain around the £300k mark for much of their life, which gives a total cost of £2m for batteries alone over the 35 year life expectancy of a new build EMU.

    £2m is just slightly more than the total cost for 1 vehicle of an EMU, and it's not a cost that can be written off/depreciated against, the battery pack costs money, 5 years later the next battery pack costs money and so on, there's going to be no discernible decrease in the leasing costs, which work out at something in the region of £17,000 per battery pack per month, going on Ian's figures..."
     
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  4. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    That's the cause but yet to be sorted unfortunately, work won't now start before September 2018.

    According to the Environment Agency website it will involve:
    1. Flood storage within the Simeon recreation ground achieved through the construction of flood walls around the perimeter of the recreation ground and adjacent to the railway line and the Monktonmead Brook.

    2. Installation of a new outfall into Ryde Harbour and removing the existing outfall currently extending onto the beach.
     
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  5. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for that. I confess myself surprised to see battery life quoted in cycles, as this is really only applicable to a cell reaching full discharge. With the regenerative aspect of the modern BEMU, I'd be extremely surprised if, when reserve capacity is taken into account, batteries actually reached a state of 90% discharge.

    Although I've not 'done the math' to convert the data I have on the GSR Drumm units of the 1930/40's into comparable 'cycles', the life of these prototype batteries of over 80 years ago was a minimum of 7 years, when they were 'rebuilt' to a revised spec. to give the same again, with individual 'good' cells then kept in use for up to 4 years after that.

    Concerning the class 376 From Rail Magazine 13 Jan 2015:
    "It is fitted with six battery rafts, and uses Lithium Iron Magnesium Phosphate battery technology. The IPEMU can hold a charge for 60 miles and requires two hours of charging for every hour running. The batteries charge from the overhead wires when the pantograph is raised, and from regenerative braking."

    The Drumm units charge rate was "1 min for each mile run", the batteries were described thus:"Each cell weighed 130lbs (264 per carriage!) Each ..... could be charged to 500v and the aggregate capacity was 600 ampere-hours. The rate of current discharge was 150 ampere hours". Their regular stamping ground was Dublin Amiens St (now Dublin Connolly) to Bray (now Bray Daly), 141/2 miles with up to 14 station stops and maximum gradient of 1:48. Performance was described (by someone who new both) as being " as good as present day ..... DART" (which would be the first generation overhead stock). Downsides were listed as "a noticeable jolt when the regenerative braking engaged and disengaged" and the more serious issue that, a bit like some early steam railcars, the extra custom they attracted became too much during certain peak periods, as like the majority of steam railcars they lacked the power to haul more than 1 trailer between 2x2 car trains, meaning conventional steam had to be used. There were only ever four 2-car trains.

    From the spec, plus what's been said in posts about the 376, I can't say progress in the >80 years since the GSR units entered service has exactly bowled me over!
     
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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    so, i'm assuming you can rule out battery technology , and because of cost renewing the substations, that only leaves one option deisel units, now what ever form that takes depends on What South western can lease for the line, and how many units they would need plus network rail agreeing to the capital costs of infrastructure changes to enable the change of traction. So what currently available will fit, without wholesale changes , very little thats coming off lease that would be seen as an improvement , once electrification goes live fully on the GW, that will realease 165's so could South western's 158 units be replaced by 165's and the 158's be transfered to Ryde? assuming they will fit if the 230's are deemed to not be suitable ?
     
  7. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Not remotely the case.
     
  8. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    The 230s are 17m length, the 158s 23m length. Isn't the loading gauge issue to do with vehicle length as much as anything else?

    You also assume that GW electrification will ever go fully live...
     
  9. 30854

    30854 Well-Known Member

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    Remembering watching a TV news interview, at the time of the flooding on the Somerset Levels, where a DEFRA spokesperson was attempting to justify their chosen course of action, with questions on how their chosen course was supposed to mitigate flooding merely being deflected, I would refute your statement.

    The conclusion I drew at the time was that then-current policy reflected the laissez-faire approach instituted under the previous (Blair) administration to no longer attempt to counter encroachment by the sea. This course, dictated by one particular school of (not universally held) expert opinion had been controversial when first announced and it's partial reversal in direct consequence of flooding in the SW pretty clearly demonstrates that the case for it's adoption was scacely proven to the extent of the results being publicly defensible.

    Without wishing to expand into the whole minefield of managing climate change, the short version is that the situation appears to reflect a value judgement on competing approaches to the issue, with government (kindly note the apolitical small 'g') giving the inescapable impression that it suddenly realised a constituency lost to the sea was a seat less in Parliament, at which point a suddenly inconvenient course of action became circumscribed by rather different priorities.

    Abandoning dredging seems to have been predicated on the question "taking rising sea levels into account, would previous dredging policy alone preserve low lying areas?" to which the answer is clearly negative.

    It's at this point I take issue with the response to that answer. To say no solution is possible is shown to be incorrect by successful management of such land by methods adopted in the Netherlands, so clearly the only defensible case is one made in cost benefit terms, on which I (personally unaffected) draw a different conclusion to that underpinning the 'planned retreat' policy. Were we speaking of marginal or unusable acreage, there may be a better case for abandonment over expenditure, but since the land in question is productive agricultural land, the wisdom of such policy is questionable, to put it mildy. In the current climate, even moreso (and this is a point on which I am more than prepared to expand at need).

    So the answer is, that if low lying areas are to be preserved, a long term plan needs to go beyond the dredging which has worked successfully for the past three centuries, because by itself, no - it cannot suffice any longer. This brings us to the point at which government baulked .... the investment essential to keep such land from encroachment by the sea. This obviously represents a major change from either earlier maintenance or 'planned retreat', but be clear, the effects of the cessation of dredging on narrow economic grounds have been demonstrated in a way no ammount of theorising could hope to hope to match.
     
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  10. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Have a read of the long discussion about the flooding of the Levels that took place on NP at the time.
     
  11. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    Yes I was aware that the previous works were only stage one, the outfall in Ryde harbour will be interesting !
     
  12. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    Nothing has changed since the last time this was discussed - DMUs are significantly heavier, require fuel and more maintenance, and unless the Vivarail 230 fits nothing suitable is available anyway.

    Realistically it's a choice between batteries, which are heavy and require regular charging and replacement, and renewing the 3rd rail infrastructure; economics will likely favour the latter IMO but no doubt the DfT would want proper consideration of the alternatives.
     
  13. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Or doing nothing until the 38 units get unserviceable then use the non availability of stock, plus cost of have to do major renewals work to ask the secretary of transport for permission to close the route ? but it would take a very brave minister to agree to it .
     
  14. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Active Member

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    You seem to be convinced that Island Line is about to be closed, it is not even mentioned as a possibility by South West Railway. They are looking at all the possible ways of retaining it.
     
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  15. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    But only because the politicians have told them so.

    Like many other regional routes that only exist because of the political backlash that would occur if they shut, the Island line will never come close to covering its costs regardless of what sort of traction is employed and I'm sure ministers are privately quite annoyed that the whole lot wasn't shut in back in the 1960s as it is now causing a big headache as t what to do with the ageing infrastructure / stock that quite clearly will not last another decade without serious money or renewal taking place.
     
  16. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    The point i was making is that the decision won't be the franchiee's to make they will have to go with what ever is chosen by Network rail and what the purse string holder in the Treasury will allow, and that could be a carry on with what you have to offput the cost, mostly because of the uniqueness of the iow system, where its not just a case of cascading modern stock, but the entire line will need some kind of reworking, very much in the too costly/ difficault file
    dont forget post 2019 there will be a lot of financial pressures on the government purse ,and an isolated 8 mile line in need of major renewals if funding is short, will be very low down on the list it could take that long to get a decision , and if network rail has to choose between upgrading a line elsewhere, i can't see island line coming out on top .i would say that a lot of loss making lines could be in danger if finances get under pressure.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 9:49 PM
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  17. myford

    myford New Member

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    They've had what i guess was just a small fire on one of the units this evening at the pier head . Reported on island press
    Terry
     
  18. martin1656

    martin1656 Resident of Nat Pres

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    How much heavier is the deisel powered Vivarail 3 car unit compared to the EMU version , I favour losing the electric units ans 3rd rail, on cost grounds, how much extra will the cost of diesel be compared to having to upgrade the electrical substations, don't forget anything cascaded over will need 750v and the units will be more power hungry if they have all the modern things you want from a train, such as information systems and wifi, My favoured solution actually is to go with the 230 in 3 car form, so you have wheel chair accessible and to reduce costs recruite the labour to do the works to take surface size stock on the island, if need be hire in some of the Steam railways engineering wagons to help with removing old ballast and re ballast etc, as to use imported Network rail staff adds to the cost finally the railhead for off loading, taking away the old units could be if its in the closed season from january to march , at Haven street a tamper and liner can also be used the same way
    As to the future, it has to find a way to attract custom, better trains, with better ride , and information systems will only go so far, more joint marketing with the steam railway, and prehaps co operation on things like diesel galas, where a 230, charter works a whole island system with open days at St johns etc, Calbourne in the works yard , a restored coach etc, both lines though separate working together to each's benefit
     
  19. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    What we have always to do is keep a sense of reality. Yes an improved Island Line service may well improve interchange numbers at Smallbrook, yet by far the largest numbers of visitors to the IOWSR choose not to use public transport. I don't think this is likely to change.

    PH
     
  20. 21B

    21B Well-Known Member

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    The axle load on a Vivarail unit is apparently about 8tons. I dont know how that compares to the D stock axle load, but it cant be all that much different.
     

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