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Old August 3rd, 2009, 12:57 PM   #681
Republica
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The first time i got on a 'pacer' was between leeds and sheffield via barnsley.

I honestly didnt think i was going to survive the journey, it was bouncing around liek anything on those tracks, plus it was standing room only on the train, and all the windows were open to make it louder. Plus along that line the track is raised with huge drops on either side for a large part.

It was insane. im pretty sure they have since replaced that track. It was the sort of thing i'd expect in eastern europe or asia or south america as I genuinely feared for my safety!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 03:16 PM   #682
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Bit of an exageration Republica. That line isn't the best in some places, and the pacers are pretty crap but I don't think I can ever say I've feared for my safety using that route! I just wait for the class 158 fast trains, I try and avoid the pacers whenever I can.
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Old August 5th, 2009, 12:22 AM   #683
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To be honest i am exaggerating. I think my fear was enhanced by the Sheff Wed fans i was surrounded by talking about how theyd like to kick a few barnsley fans heads in. And there i was desperately attempting to hide my red shirt. I was quite young too
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Old August 5th, 2009, 11:08 AM   #684
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Ahh I see! I'll be making the same trip under those circumstances this Saturday to watch Barnsley play Wednesday at Hillsborough on the first day of the season. Won't be weaing the red shirt though.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 08:46 AM   #685
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
You mean they were built too well. Isn't that ironic. Of all the trains one might wish to be crap, the Pacer turns out to be reliable.

Mind you, Britain is not the only country which bought two-axle funfair trains. There's quite a few bouncing around Hungary, for example.
Wrong.

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Originally Posted by lightrail View Post
Love them or hate them - the Pacer has saved many a small rural line from closure. The Pacer was based on a bus body, has a single axle drive, and no bogies - just two axles per car. They're cheap to maintain and to run. Oh, and there's practically no suspension, so just hope the lines are well maintained, because you feel every bump and jolt.

You should ride them on the Oldham Loop Line before it closes for conversion to Metrolink. The uphill grade out of Manchester Victoria - the steepest in Greater Manchester - really pushes the Pacer to it's limits - both the engine and the rail adhesion on two axles. Then there's the nice sharp curve between Hollinwood and Werneth, again the squeal as the fixed axles make the turn is wonderful. In the twin tunnels, you're treated to the loud hum of the engines through the non-existent carriage insulation. Then take the Pacer for a return trip to Victoria. Try to get one of the express trains out of Oldham Mumps, not having to stop at the stations, allows the train to really pick up speed - on the down hill, the trains picks up a lot of speed and bumps, clatters and bounces over the non-welded track. Sometimes you think it's going to bounce off the track completely. Thank goodness for signal checks and the approach signals into Victoria to the buffer stop platform. Oh yeah, the line is still signalled using semaphores - which I really like.
Exactly ... any service run by a pacer is a service that otherwise wouldn't run at all when they put the little buggers into service ... it's fun to se how people hate them nowadays.
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Old August 7th, 2009, 09:45 AM   #686
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Sotavento, you indicate that I'm wrong to say there are Pacer-style trains bouncing around Hungary.

Have they all been withdrawn?

Here's a picture of one:


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Old August 8th, 2009, 02:18 AM   #687
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This week the Guardian had a lot of stories on HS2 and High Speed Rail:

Lord Adonis: 'High speed rail has well and truly arrived in Britain'

Video: Adonis: High-speed rail is possible in the UK

High-speed rail network: the finances

Plane to train: the ultra-fast route to a travel revolution

High-speed rail link project leaders enthuse about new line's benefits

Better rail links within UK and to Europe could curb short-haul air travel

Adonis defends high-speed rail plan

London-Birmingham rail link plans take Tory victory into account

Adonis catches up on high-speed rail

Can the train take the strain?

The fast and the furious – why new rail link will be controversial

Conservationist fears high-speed line will scar Chiltern landscape

Which country has the most high speed train lines?

Make do and mend: how Britain neglected its railways


What is encouraging is that here we have a clear statement from the Tories that, if the get in, they will implement such a system. That is better than the "everything is up for review" stance that was being taken a few weeks ago and despite the article saying that transport spending will be cut. Although nothing is a given in politics, especially at the moment, this is clearly a flagship policy for the Tories.

As this will take a lot of political support to make happen, I don't think Lord Adonis should be antagonising the airline industry. What he will have done now is put their lobbying people on red alert, which is not helpful. They still have a lot of friends in high places.

It's also a shame that the NIMBYs in the Chilterns are coming to the fore. We had the same arguments ten years ago about scarring the North Downs in Kent. Let's be clear - the M40 scarred the Chilterns, with a huge cutting near High Wycombe (just like the M2 and M20 cut through Kent). An HSR tunnel under this countryside can hardly ruin it, can it? I hope whichever government we get next year pushes this through.


A poll on the subject clearly shows that Guardian readers are in favour building HSR.

.

Last edited by 33Hz; August 8th, 2009 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Keep finding more of them!
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Old August 17th, 2009, 04:17 PM   #688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TedStriker View Post
Sotavento, you indicate that I'm wrong to say there are Pacer-style trains bouncing around Hungary.

Have they all been withdrawn?

Here's a picture of one:


No ... you are correct ... I've seem to misplace the comment to your text (about hungarian pacers) and also I've misplaced the quoted text to that comment of mine. (translation: it should have been 3 quotes and 3 comments there).
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Neste salve-se quem puder a burguesia proprietária de casas explora o aluguel. A agiotagem explora o juro…"”
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Old August 17th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #689
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Old August 20th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #690
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British rail ticket prices to fall next year

LONDON, Aug 18 (Reuters) - British rail fares will fall across the majority of routes next year following the latest inflation data, although the decrease will only slightly offset the huge hikes made early this year.

Britain's Department for Transport (DfT) said on Tuesday that regulated ticket prices will come down by 0.4 percent from January 2010, although this is compared with a 6 percent rise this year.

Fare changes are calculated as 1 percent over the July Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation figure, which came in at minus 1.4 percent on Tuesday but was 5 percent this time last year.

"This is good news. For the first time in a generation passengers across the country will see their fares fall. Drops in fares should encourage more people to travel by train, which is good for the economy and the environment," Transport Minister Andrew Adonis said in a statement.

Regulated fares cover season tickets and off-peak returns across Britain, and some day return fares in London and the south-east. They cover about 60 percent of all UK journeys and the majority of commuter fares, according to the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC).

An exception will be commuter franchise Southeastern, which has special permission to raise regulated fares. It is run by Go-Ahead and links London to coastal towns such as Dover and Hastings.

Rail industry body ATOC declined to comment in detail on the decision. A spokesman said the formula was in franchise agreements and therefore was being enforced by the government.

Transport Minister Adonis has also closed a loophole that had allowed operators to raise some fares up to 5 percent higher than the cap so long as the average change across all fares was in line.

Consumer watchdog Passenger Focus said it was pleased with the move to cut prices, although it hoped that unregulated fares would not be hiked to compensate.

"What passengers won't want to see is train companies trying to claw back money through higher increases in other unregulated fares, car parking charges or by cutting services," director Ashwin Kumar said in a statement.

A survey by consumer watchdog Passenger Focus said in February that travelling by train in Britain is generally more expensive than any other European country. ($1=.7008 Euro)
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Old August 21st, 2009, 04:04 PM   #691
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Currently the most annoying thing about British railways is the bottlenecks. Station approaches and exits are always painfully slow (Nottingham, Leicester and the notorious Birmingham New Street), and junctions are always flat (apart from a handful of London ones). I know that signal upgrade is in progress (or about to be?) in Nottingham, and I hope this is going to help reduce congestion significantly. It seems to me that junction upgrades (flyovers/unders etc) would be a good way of sorting out bottlenecks in the short to medium term - I wonder if there are any such plans?
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 01:30 AM   #692
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
Currently the most annoying thing about British railways is the bottlenecks. Station approaches and exits are always painfully slow (Nottingham, Leicester and the notorious Birmingham New Street), and junctions are always flat (apart from a handful of London ones). I know that signal upgrade is in progress (or about to be?) in Nottingham, and I hope this is going to help reduce congestion significantly. It seems to me that junction upgrades (flyovers/unders etc) would be a good way of sorting out bottlenecks in the short to medium term - I wonder if there are any such plans?
No.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 08:51 PM   #693
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
Currently the most annoying thing about British railways is the bottlenecks. Station approaches and exits are always painfully slow (Nottingham, Leicester and the notorious Birmingham New Street), and junctions are always flat (apart from a handful of London ones). I know that signal upgrade is in progress (or about to be?) in Nottingham, and I hope this is going to help reduce congestion significantly. It seems to me that junction upgrades (flyovers/unders etc) would be a good way of sorting out bottlenecks in the short to medium term - I wonder if there are any such plans?

I totally agree. It's great that Reading is getting a civil engineering makeover, it's just a shame there are plenty of other locations in need of similar treatment.

As for Nottingham, last night my train from london had been held for about 15 minutes just outside of the station, due to the lack of available platform. I'm not a frequent traveller on this route, so I'm wondering if this is a common problem.

If so, there's room at Nottingham to re-jog the layout and increase the number of platforms. Perhaps this would come with electrification of the MML...
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:29 PM   #694
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I've travelled into Nottingham Station a few times in the past couple of years - things are slow on the approach but I've never experienced anything as bad as 15 minutes.

As for electrifying the MML, are there any definite plans yet? I'm asking because the last announcements by the government didn't include the MML.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:40 PM   #695
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Quote:
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I've travelled into Nottingham Station a few times in the past couple of years - things are slow on the approach but I've never experienced anything as bad as 15 minutes.

As for electrifying the MML, are there any definite plans yet? I'm asking because the last announcements by the government didn't include the MML.

Good, I thought it was just a hiccup, but wanted to check.

As for the MML, it is one of the 'next in line' schemes. What I've read shows that it ticks all the boxes relating to minimum train frequency criteria and possible operational improvements.

I think the government/NetworkRail just has to stagger the electrification projects, so the MML will certainly get the wires eventually. In doing so, it will bring the Leeds congestion issue into the spotlight, as I think the idea is to run some/all MML IC trains all the way to Leeds.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 10:23 PM   #696
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Good, I thought it was just a hiccup, but wanted to check.

As for the MML, it is one of the 'next in line' schemes. What I've read shows that it ticks all the boxes relating to minimum train frequency criteria and possible operational improvements.

I think the government/NetworkRail just has to stagger the electrification projects, so the MML will certainly get the wires eventually. In doing so, it will bring the Leeds congestion issue into the spotlight, as I think the idea is to run some/all MML IC trains all the way to Leeds.
I'm glad it looks like the MML will eventually get the wires. It will be good if congestion around Leicester station is sorted out so trains won't have to crawl for millenniums. Also are there plans for further four-tracking the line (to about Leicester for example, or even Trent Junction)? IMO there is scope for more frequent stopping and express (Leeds - Sheffield - Nottingham - Leicester - London) services.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 02:13 AM   #697
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
I'm glad it looks like the MML will eventually get the wires. It will be good if congestion around Leicester station is sorted out so trains won't have to crawl for millenniums. Also are there plans for further four-tracking the line (to about Leicester for example, or even Trent Junction)? IMO there is scope for more frequent stopping and express (Leeds - Sheffield - Nottingham - Leicester - London) services.
I cannot think of one positive thing about the MML apart from the fact you do eventually get from A to B. You used to get tea and coffee for free I guess. But that's gone now.

Ultimately you're better off by car. Sadly, the truth.

They need to electrify, upgrade signals and run 140mph tilting trains down this desperate pile of railway tedium.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 12:16 PM   #698
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I cannot think of one positive thing about the MML apart from the fact you do eventually get from A to B. You used to get tea and coffee for free I guess. But that's gone now.

Ultimately you're better off by car. Sadly, the truth.

They need to electrify, upgrade signals and run 140mph tilting trains down this desperate pile of railway tedium.
Nottingham to Central London in under 2 hours by car? I think not.

I agree though that this is quite slow for a mainline.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 12:24 PM   #699
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Nottingham to Central London in under 2 hours by car? I think not.

I agree though that this is quite slow for a mainline.
It's been done in about 2 hours 20 in the fast lane on a good day

The only thing with MML's "High Speed" direct services is that there a lack of them. Most the trains are stopping trains. Ketterings, Market Harboroughs... urhghghg... the tedium!! I dread the MML with fear.
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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:46 PM   #700
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It's been done in about 2 hours 20 in the fast lane on a good day

The only thing with MML's "High Speed" direct services is that there a lack of them. Most the trains are stopping trains. Ketterings, Market Harboroughs... urhghghg... the tedium!! I dread the MML with fear.
In the fast lane on a good day - rather strong conditions I would say. To me and a lot of average Joe-drivers driving constantly in the fast lane would be too stressful, and M1 and good days are usually mutually exclusive, not to mention that driving through central London would make one lose the will to live. In any case after a long day a good nap on the train never goes amiss!
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