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ETL [ACLG] To dispose of fleet

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by markb846, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. markb846

    markb846 New Member

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    Sad news for the AC locomotive fans. ETL art of the ACLG has dropped out of mainline running, and is therefore disposing of most of their locomotives. see Electric Traction Ltd: News for more details. Surely the biggest worry is the fate of 87002 and 86401. While it is true that there are two other 87's preserved 87002 will still be a sad loss to the UK preservation movement. 86401 was the only AC loco to carry NSE livery in NSE days, and seemed to spend most of its time avoiding the London area. However there is some good news 86259 will again be running trips from Euston next month, and into March
     
  2. xg125

    xg125 New Member

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    I've been traumatised by this for the last 2 days now. I was rather hoping they'd either go to good homes in the UK or stay in storage pending someone willing to make more frequent use from them.

    It's absurd. Not even Freightliner want to take in a few 86's to strengthen their fleet, or at least as spare. If only the ACLG had been just a simple preservation society then they would have probably survived, operable or inoperable.

    It rather defeats the idea of a sustainable railway network if everyone wants to get rid of good british electrics in favour of more diesels.
     
  3. markb846

    markb846 New Member

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    Sadly true in most mainland European countries locos of the same age as 86's are still in everyday front line service. The distances diesels run under the wires in this country is nothing short of a crime. Preserving electric locomotives or units is always difficult as they need industrial amounts of power to make them go, which they collect from exposed conductors. [3rd rail or wire in the sky] The risk of this alone makes them unsuitable for untrained people. That said I have worked in the electric preservation movement, and there are many very dedicated people there. The shame is once these things are gone they will be gone for good. I am sure these decisions have been made for hard commercial reasons but it does nothing for the greater good of the cause in general. In my case diesels are for fun but electric trains pay the bills
     
  4. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Same argument goes for class 92's several of which havent worked for a decade... and are not much older than that.

    in a couple of years time there may be more work for them, just not right now.
     
  5. 22A

    22A New Member

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    That's what a non integrated railway brings you.....
    NR aren't keen to put up more wires as the TOCs and FOCs are buying diesels.
    TOCs and FOCs are buying diesels because NR aren't putting up more wires.

    Steam was eradicated on a geographic basis; "nothing North of Perth", "complete dieselisation west of Exeter" etc. Electrification has been done piecemeal though. OHLE goes from London - Ipswich, London - Ely & London - P'boro', but no wires from Ipswich through Ely to P'boro'.
     
  6. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

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    Think you have overlooked the main reason why ETL have pulled the plug / dropped the pantograph - the cost of installing new technologies such as TPMS / OTMR and now the latest GSM-R which is increasingly expensive to instal in locomotives and is not covered by the income the locomotives can generate as TOC / FOC fleets are kept running for longer periods and have little need to hire-in spot hire traction.

    In basic principles steel wheel on steel rail is a very simple system to operate - but the technology that accompanies today's modern railway is now so complex and expensive that IMHO it is becoming too complex for its own good.
     
  7. markb846

    markb846 New Member

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    GSM-R is the latest requirement, and it is expensive. However everybody is in the same boat. It may well be if the ACLG had launched an appeal funds may have become available to pay for at least 1 loco to be fitted. The fact remains 87002 and 86101 were marketed as preserved locomotives, which in theory at least should of ensured their future for enthusiasts. Sadly unlike a diesel or steam loco an electric can not go to a private railway to make a living. But it is till a shame the way they seem to have gone about things.
     
  8. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    But if you have a registered loco do NR not pick up part of the tab for fitting any new technology ?
     
  9. xg125

    xg125 New Member

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    Sadly no they don't. Because they were purchased after the fleet disposal.

    Any idea what has been said in the article in the latest Railway Herald? If it gives a clearer indication as to where the locos will go.
     
  10. duncananderson

    duncananderson New Member

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    Perhaps I'm missing something here, but if ETL doesn't currently have any debt (as stated in it's press release) and as such there is no immediate need to raise funds, why doesn't it store the locos rather than sell them for "disposal", presumably scrap?

    I can believe that the costs of running all of these locos is not currently worthwhile, but once scrapped they're gone forever. Given they are supposed to be preserved to some extent why not store them, even if it's in the open, so that if at some point it does become more worthwhile (e.g. once the current program of electrification is complete) then somebody may be able to resurrect them in the future. They are after all part of our railway heritage, and electric traction is somewhat under represented in preservation.
     
  11. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    Catch 22.. Big operators can pull in their own fleets to manage... DBS has hundreds (literally) of locos sitting around, others exported etc, if the economy was to pick up, they could muster 50 or more locos to meet the demand reasonably fast.
    Unfortunately in the near monopoly they have, this is all that matters and 50 locos is a lot of demand covered.

    the other operators will only ever pick up the fringe work, and prudent with resources they have, will only pick off what they can chew. All that leaves is the odds here and there where they can hire an engine in..electrics are quite low down that pecking order as they can only go where there's electric...meaning hiring an 86 often requires a diesel shunter or a diesel portion of the route at both ends as well.

    i read there are 20 class 90's stored, as well as 92's...and if you look through history, class92 was the only purpose built freight electric and many of them have only worked a few years. All the rest were passenger cast offs... Electric locos in the UK have never been a freight choice.

    in a few years they may have a chance... If HSTs were to go, and a large company decided to buy up the mark 3 fleets renovate them and use electrics with hauled stock..then there's a chance, but so far privatised passenger operations have never got beyond mom and pop stage and are strangled by the franchise operators... Meaning the first rule of railways applies.. 1. There's easier ways to make money than playing trains.

    there is a place however that has huge amounts of electric coverage, is a growth market and realises the potential of electric traction..and recognises the need for more power, they have an American "can do" mentality. It is also not strangled by the same EU issues we have, yet is in the EU...Eastern Europe... And is probably where the spare 92's, these ETL locos , and who knows maybe someday the class 90's too, will go.
     
  12. duncananderson

    duncananderson New Member

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    Well I suppose in the end it would be better to see them gallivanting around Bulgaria put to some good use than dumped on a scrapheap in a country that doesn't want them.

    It just seems scandalous that electric traction sees so little use when diesels haul trains under the wires for hundreds of miles.
     
  13. xg125

    xg125 New Member

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    As the Freightliner 86's are GSM-R fitted, they'd be accepted on the mainline in preservation. It would be nice if at least 1 was saved after they've been made redundant, maybe 86501 as it is geared for heavier loads. Clean it up and paint it in Railfreight Grey or Intercity and it would look as heritage as anything.

    Also, another thing to remember, any locos that are exported, there is always the opportunity for repatriation. So 87002 if it does go, it may not be forever. And especially with the Floyd locos, which have had the least amount of modification of all the exported electrics, conversion back to British condition shouldn't be difficult if repatriated.
     
  14. BR 73082

    BR 73082 New Member

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    One DB 92 has already made it over to Bulgaria (can't remember the number) as my friend photted it whilst he was out there last September. Doubt it will be the only one going. I'm sure I read somewhere that Network Rail picked up the tab for GSMR?

    Either way, it is a real shame we're losing these loco's.
     
  15. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Guest

    3 class 92 have gone to Bulgaria.
    slight deviation but have 92045/6 ever left Brush works / ever actually been used ?.. I can't find any pictures of them outside the factory. WNXX lists them as stored since 2001, they were only built in 1996.
    They really do seem to share some similar history with their steam locomotive numerical counter parts.
     
  16. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    The problem with Electrification and Electric Locomotives is when new wiring schemes are announced, very little though is given to the freight operations, as things stand at the moment, very few freights turns are 100% under the wires or for the vast majority and many yards and sidings are not fully wired either, that's why Diesel is king for freight.

    Really NR should be forcing FOC's hands on this, firstly by wiring good yards and the heavily used freight branches that link into Electrified lines (Grangemouth & Hams Hall for example), and secondly, the track access charges for freight should be decreased for Electric Traction and increased sharply for Diesel Traction, to the point it's more economic to do a loco change than run Diesel throughout.

    The really frustrating thing is, I can see Electrics playing a much bigger part in Railtours in a few years, with large chunks of the Great Western, Midland Mainline, North West, and Cross Country routes getting wired within 5 years, and better acceleration and top speeds needed to find paths on busier sections as a result, I'm convinced if a few could be stored for now, they would find a fair bit of employment in the medium turn.
     
  17. markb846

    markb846 New Member

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    Some really small infill electrification would make a much better case for freight The Gospel Oak Barking line is less than 10 miles long joins electrified lines at both ends, and even has a short stretch of wire in the middle. Yet TfL would rather pay for a diesel fleet rather than pay to join the wire up. The main reason is a fear that a freight train may use it. In happier times I even saw 87022 working ECS moves to Ilford on the NNL and at least pairs of 86's are still common during the day. Seems also the 92's are to loose their monopoly working freight though the tunnel. So there may be a few more looking for something to do
     
  18. Peter Hall

    Peter Hall Guest

    Surely the reality is that other than from the FOCs and TOCs currently operating AC electric locomotives in Great Britain their is no demand for such and that should be accepted. It is conceivable that should 90s be available for lease then Freightliner may take a few and an odd one might go to Greater Anglia but that will not happen. The non sensical split of 90s at privatisation ensured that. The 25 Class 90s that passed to a leasing company are all on-lease whilst of the 25 that ultimately ended up with the Germans, 10 see use, principally on the Sleeping car train contracts, and the bulk of the remainder have become spares donors, had this 25 gone to a leasing company things might have been different. Having said that, the large passenger fleet of 86s and 87s in use at privatisation were quickly disposed of by the leasing companies once they came of lease so they certainly saw no future for them, so perhaps not. Oddly though, the leasing companies hung onto the bulk of the associated carriage fleets fot a few years at least. So why did not Porterbrook Leasing, for example, not think of offering Class 87+Mark 3 sets for lease? These would have been ideal for West Midlands-Scotland trains currently formed of Voyagers which would be better used to ease the chronic overcrowding on Cross Country services. So unless you have a 90 or 91 available I doubt if you will get any interest from a FOC or TOC, they will only want something they are familair with.

    The reaility is that for now ACLG/ETL are probably best concentrating on keeping the locomotives they have, particularly the sole representatives of a type, in the best possible condition with the resources available. Only locomotives that exist can be returned to main line use in the future, not those that have been scrapped. Currently it is not practical/viable/possible to do that but one day it might be. Wasn't that what the steam guys did in the late 1960's/early 1970's when main line operation was not possible!
     
  19. david1984

    david1984 Well-Known Member

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    In this day and age, I'm surprised the "greens" haven't picked up on this, as it certainly does the climate change arguement no favours at all, especially with more wires going up, as I said before, we should be forcing FOC's hands on this with track access charges altered heavily in favour of Electric traction and bad publicity for those who persist with heavy use of Diesel where not needed, it's unacceptable that in 5 years most Mainline will see virtually 100% electric unit operation on passenger workings, but almost wall to wall 66's on freight.
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I think that's a rather selective reading of history. Firstly, in the 1960s / 1970s many steam engines were in scrap yards, and it was far from certain that at that time they would be rescued. We can look back and almost take Barry for granted, but in fact in the 1970s, hundreds of the steam locos now preserved had a far from a certain future.

    Secondly, what gave those locos a future was running on preserved lines: there was a happy coming together of interests between people preserving lines, who needed locos to run on them; and people preserving engines, who needed somewhere for them to run. Although there was some steam mainline running in the 1970s, it was fairly limited with only a small number of locos involved in a major way.

    So while I am certainly not advocating scrapping, it has to be realised that the only realistic future for mainline electrics is either in a museum or on the mainline: the chance of any preserved line erecting 25kV overhead (or 750V DC third rail, for that matter) is vanishingly small. Whereas it was the presence of preserved lines and their demand for motive power - not the possibility of mainline running - that led to the survival of so many steam locos.

    Tom
     

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