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ECML Azumas

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by Victor, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Indeed. But the Aberdeen contingent should acknowledge that the Aberdeen trains (and indeed Inverness) are very different beasts north of Edinburgh, not just in terms of it being a harder route, but also the very different stopping patterns. And that means needing to be willing to consider what might need to give to enable a faster service (stopping at Dundee only?).
     
  2. W.Williams

    W.Williams Member

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    Iv wondered this myself recently. Stonehaven, Montrose, Arbroath, Leuchars are all stops that are busy but not having them would allow the timetable to be shaved by well over half an hour.

    That being said, with HST's now in the Scotrail fleet open access should dictate that a few of them be kept at 8 coaches and the 125 speed maintained and direct non-stoppers run from Edinburgh south to London. Pickups only in Scotland per the aforementiond, then a straight run to London non stop or at most stop at York.
     
  3. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    A few misconceptions in that post:
    • Speed limit on Scotrail 125s - this is a function of the short formation and Scottish line speeds. If they were to operate on other routes, it might be viable to allow them to operate faster
    • ECML timetable - there are no non-stop trains from Edinburgh to King's Cross, and only one single stopper (Newcastle, not York). The timetable south of Edinburgh generally has "fast" trains stopping at least at York, Darlington and Newcastle, and usually a couple of other places, with the Aberdeen and Inverness trains fitting into that pattern.
    • Open Access - If Scotrail wished to provide an open access operation to London, it would be open to them to seek paths from the regulator and seek paths to do so. First Group are seeking to run a competitive service from Edinburgh to London on a bargain flights model, and have I believe taken up all of the remaining paths for fast services between Edinburgh and King's Cross.
    In general, I'm left wondering why anyone would want to push for such a fast service from Aberdeen to London. Even at 6 hours, it's past the point where the train can compete on speed, and I suspect the viability would depend on enabling intermediate journeys for oil workers. I've certainly found the clientele of Aberdeen trains different from others on the ECML, and with a lot of people not going the whole way.
     
  4. MellishR

    MellishR Well-Known Member Friend

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    The civil service does employ engineers, but presumably not in the higher reaches of DaFT.
     
  5. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    I don't think they were listened to, if asked.
     
  6. W.Williams

    W.Williams Member

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    My exact point. There should be a non stop service. Oil workers? There isn't any other economic activity here?

    Such a service would also cut the Edinburgh run down to nearer 3 hours without all those stops at York/Darlington etc.
    The proposal here is clear. A fast London/Scotland service. Such a service would of course undermine the case for HS2.
     
  7. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    But with an hourly Aberdeen-Edinburgh and an hourly Aberdeen-Glasgow plus the stopping trains to Arbroath, Inverkeithing etc, could you actually path it north of Edinburgh? Not to mention Edinburgh--Darlington which is pretty full.

    I wonder how full an Aberdeen--Dundee--Edinburgh--London express would actually be. My impression is that there is a lot of seat turnover on those trains, especially at York and Newcastle.
     
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  8. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Where do those oil workers live? My experience, as that of @30567, is that many of them are from north of the Humber, not south of the Thames.

    As for the case for HS2, any observation of the main lines out of London, and the house of cards that is their punctuality because the services are rammed, would show that the limits of incremental improvement have long been passed. On speed on existing infrastructure, you may want to consider the flagship Edinburgh - London service, which is timetabled at 3h59 with one stop at Newcastle. Getting it to London on time is like threading the eye of a needle - for example, it tends to go through Grantham on yellows as it is right on the tail of the 1A12 Hull - King's Cross working, which has to be slowed down to allow looping at High Dyke. Or there was the 1991 one off record attempt from London to Edinburgh, which 91031 did in 3 hours 29 minutes, aided by relaxed speed restrictions (140mph permitted on 125mph track), special instructions to signallers, and a reduced load.

    While the improved performance of the Azumas will allow faster journey times, I don't believe that there is an expectation of eking 1/2 hour out of the existing schedules when the gains will come from better acceleration from stations and restrictions, not raising the overall limits.
     
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  9. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    A very persuasive argument and one repeated for years... yet 800s actually proved perfectly capable of matching HST timings through Cornwall and became semi-regular visitors to Penzance for a time.
     
  10. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    The Cornish main line being a somewhat different beast to the Aberdeen or Inverness roads. I believe the top speed in Cornwall is 70mph as opposed to 100 in Scotland, and the distances between stops are also shorter. I wouldn’t take the performance in Cornwall as a reliable precedent for the ascents through Culloden to Slochd or up Druimuachdar.


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  11. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    How?

    Please remember the whole basis for building HS2 is NOT SPEED! regardless of what the politicians / media like to say.

    Rather the reason HS2 was ever instigated is the fact that the Southern section of the WCML is running at full and more capacity is urgently required to relieve it. Once that bit has been done then you start to run into capacity issues with the CML between Rugby and Liverpool / Manchester - plus the MML isn't exactly endowed with many spare slots south of Bedford, or the ECML south of Peterborough.....

    It is a fact that building any transport facility is cheaper, quicker, and less disruptive if you do it on a brand new site / alignment (just look at all the extra traffic management / grief the 'Smart Motorway programme is causing to users of the current network)

    It is also good engineering practice when constructing new stuff to build it to the latest standards - which is where the high speed element comes in, the fact that higher speeds = shorter journey times = potentially more passengers attracted to the service is a bonus - but it is not the main reason for HS2s construction.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
  12. Phil-d259

    Phil-d259 Member

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    Its worth noting that the 800s used for services through Cornwall are in fact:-

    (1) A specially equipped version with uprated engines (class 802 to be precise)
    (2) Ordered by GWR themselves (as opposed to being ordered by the DfT then imposed on GWR)

    If a DFT ordered unit (class 800) ends up being sent to the South West it WILL lose time on the steep gradients found in Somerset / Devon / Cornwall.

    The Azumas / 800s coming into service on the ECML are the DfT procured ones with the same relatively limited engine power as used on GWR services to Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea (the gradients found from Chippenham / Filton to Bristol or beyond Cardiff to Swansea are not that big.) To alter the spec of the 800 series already under production for LNER will require the payment of lots of cash to Hitachi as such modifications fall well outside the terms of the contract agreed by the DfT when they procured the things.

    It is rumoured that LNER want to look at ditching the 10 class 91+Mk4 sets which the DfT originally envisaged the franchise keeping in favour of the 802 variant used by GWR. This would allow the 800s to be kept on runs south of Edinburgh where the ability to use electric traction or the shortish runs under diesel power over flatish routes won't cause problems. However as the LNER operation is itself being run by the DfT these days then HM Treasury are reported to e hostile to the idea....
     
  13. Adam-Box

    Adam-Box New Member

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    I think you might be getting the wrong end of the stick there. LNER are tendering for 6-8 new 10 carriage trains to run fast Edinburgh trains, Kings Cross-York (1tp2h)-Newcastle-Edinburgh. This is instead of VTECs idea of keeping shortened MK4 sets to do that job.
     
  14. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Member

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    I'm well aware of the difference - I was specifically referring to the period late last year when 800s were making regular appearances at Penzance; I gather there were even a couple of 800/3 diagrams on Sundays for a time which proved their abilities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019 at 4:31 PM
  15. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Had my first ride on one. Legroom good. Ride quality good in the middle of the coach. Standard seat hard--- OK for Leeds to London but four hours would be a bit much. Vastly superior to Voyagers.

    Not being an HS1 user I had my fastest two start to stop runs in the UK ever. Retford to KGX in 78' 55''--- approx 105mph (109 to Finsbury Park) and Stevenage to Grantham 78 miles in 43 mins. All down to the acceleration.
     
  16. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    The 20.40 Pendolino from Euston to Man Picc via Crewe is scheduled 1hr 30 mins to Crewe = 105mph as no doubt do others...So you don't need to be an HS1 user to average 105.
     
  17. 30567

    30567 Well-Known Member Friend

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    Is that train like the KGX--York non stops which look good in theory but in my limited experience never seem to actually quite meet the schedule?

    In the up direction to KGX, getting through Hitchin, Welwyn and Holloway with no signal checks is pretty rare. I didn't even know there was a non-stop from Retford but there is on a Sunday.
     
  18. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Let's be honest, the ECML without some major service collapse is pretty rare these days! (Network Rail achieved two today - signaling went down for nearly 2 hours north of Peterborough and power supply/OHLE problems at Alnmouth - a very clever pincer movement which just about stuffed the whole job!)

    Steven
     
  19. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    I've not been a regular traveller on it, but the few times I have in the past couple of years it's never been more than a few minutes down an twice on the dot.
     
  20. 35B

    35B Part of the furniture

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    Indeed. I regularly use 1H07 from Kings Cross to Grantham, which is booked the 105 miles in 59 minutes.


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