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Old August 20th, 2012, 09:51 AM   #1301
33Hz
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To get to 140mph on the EMCL the 225s would probably need tilt. They were built to be retrofitted for this, but when they were refurbished 5 years ago the facilities were removed. However there is a rumour going around that East Coast is looking at Pendolinos.


In other news: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...e-8059742.html
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Old August 20th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #1302
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Yes maybe 140mph will be possible on the ECML after ETRMS. I can imagine the main problem is the low uality of the catenary, but that might be upgraded anyway.

No, the ECML does not need to use tilt to get to 140mph. Tilt would be most effective north of Newcastle. Parts of the ECML are already signalled for 140mph, such as the area around Peterborough. If the train had a co-pilot to be a second spotter for signals then the class 91s would be allowed - as happened when a class 91 did London - Edinburgh in 3hrs 29mins in the 90s.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 02:55 AM   #1303
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Slightly off topic, but I've got real reservations about the First Group winning the franchise bid. If Branson is correct, and they've made a completely unrealistic bid, then this doesn't bode well for future tenders at all. With so much money being paid to the government, where are they going to make it? Cramming more seats into the trains? Raising ticket prices by a large amount? (Breaking one of the tender conditions)

Also with the debacle that is First Capital Connect, I'm not too sure that the First group would provide a good service even if they hadn't made such a huge bid.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 08:58 AM   #1304
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It's a replay of the East Coast debacle. GNER were always superb to me, then at franchise renewal someone whispered in their ear that they were getting outbid, so they had no choice but to bid a crazy high amount. The Treasury thought they were quids in, but all they suceeded in doing was bankrupt an innovative company that gave great customer service.

Then they let the same happen with National Express a couple of years later. The last time I took East Coast all I found were demoralised staff and a service that was a shadow of its former self, with no decent restaurant facilities for example.

Branson is right about civil servants that would let this happen again.


If you want to see where this leads, look at FGW. Great in the era of the first franchise (green and white trains), crammed in like sardines, horrible refurb, expensive and always late since First got it.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 10:49 AM   #1305
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There appears to be an e-petition against the bid already: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/37180

That, and the Virgin group may well take it to court.
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Old August 21st, 2012, 10:37 PM   #1306
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With Virgin's announcement today that they are going to start domestic flights between Heathrow and Manchester, with other destinations to come, I had to wonder whether First might respond.

Virgin claim this was planned anyway and isn't a case of sour grapes. Seems pretty fishy to me.

There is a direct, electrified route between Manchester and Heathrow. Why, if this market is so potentially large (650,000 passengers a year they claim), did Virgin trains not try to run Pendolinos into Heathrow at some point in the last 15 years?


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Old August 21st, 2012, 11:56 PM   #1307
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There's no electrified connection that doesn't need a reverse (and the Dudding Hill line that you use is not electrified).

Virgin didn't send direct pendos to Heathrow for the same reasons as HS2 Ltd despise the idea of a Heathrow branch - the overwhelming majority of people want to go to anywhere but Heathrow.

One imagines that Virgin have long wanted to get into the domestic air market, only didn't see the point of being in competition with their rail enterprises. Virgin have also cited that there is now a domestic flights monopoly and they want to break that.

If it's sour grapes for losing the bid, why would they bother, when they could do some open access, or put their efforts into their lawsuit against the decision, or wait a couple of years and ask the Government if instead of the Government running it, they run it as they know how to do it.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 12:29 AM   #1308
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19324962

Quote:
Virgin says 650,000 people fly every year from Manchester to London and then connect on to another long-haul flight, and it wants a share of that market.
Doesn't sound insignificant. That's 4 full Pendolinos a day just from one city. Add in stops at other places (e.g. Birmingham) and you've probably got enough for one an hour.

And sticking in a mile of new electrification would not exactly be rocket science. As I said, 15 years to do it. Would've been pretty simple to add in, in the context of WCML re-electrification.


Maybe First on the WCML and GWML is more likely to make this happen.


EDIT: Actually I'll go one stage further. The fact that the 4 miles of Dudding Hill line enabling Heathrow access from WCML, MML, Thameslink, North London Line / London Overground / ECML (and eventually Chiltern) haven't been electrified with 25 kV is a total joke and a sad indictment of transport planning in this country.

Last edited by 33Hz; August 22nd, 2012 at 01:36 AM.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 01:27 PM   #1309
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
Doesn't sound insignificant. That's 4 full Pendolinos a day just from one city. Add in stops at other places (e.g. Birmingham) and you've probably got enough for one an hour.
OK, HS2 captive sets are larger, but they planned a business case on half a captive set every hour to Manchester (other half to Leeds) - all stops, and a merge at Birmingham Interchange - to Heathrow.

They reckon on arrival at a Heathrow HS2 station most (70% IIRC) people getting onto Crossrail/GWML fast/Piccadilly and going into London - with most of them going to central locations rather than Ealing, Acton and Hounslow. And very few boarding a plane at Heathrow (I believe if you look upthread, someone posted the figures and it's below 10%).

In both cases congested mainlines are a problem in the business case, and of course, electrifying a couple of curves and a short piece of track in the OOC area is a lot cheaper than a billion pound+ scheme with a massive station and tunnels and all that. However, it doesn't stack up even with that. The few passengers can simply make the easy-enough change at Old Oak and take a frequent Crossrail train to the Airport. Which is better than what most HS2-HS1 passengers will have (as that change is slightly harder), despite the existence of a rail connection.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:03 PM   #1310
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But we're talking about Virgin's ability to run this today, not something that won't exist for, at best, another 14 years. Whether HS2 should have a Heathrow loop is another discussion altogether.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 08:50 PM   #1311
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No, it's entirely relevant to bring in HS2's discussion of direct Manchester to Heathrow trains - it shows that there isn't the demand for it that people think and all such a link does is frustrate those heading to London for the benefit of maybe 30 people on a train of 400.

Virgin (or First West Coast) would struggle to run it, given that there's not room on the WCML for another fast train, nor the GWML fast tracks without some serious effort.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 09:52 PM   #1312
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So you you're saying there's no demand for it and yet Virgin are saying there are 650,000 pax a year (~1800 a day) transiting through LHR from Manchester alone. Birmingham, other locations and those that would otherwise drive would likely double this before we even looked at ECML or other destinations.

First are claiming they are going to run new trains to some smaller destinations, so they must be finding paths from somewhere.
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Old August 22nd, 2012, 11:03 PM   #1313
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There's a difference between taking the train to the airport for a long haul flight and taking a plane to the airport for a long haul flight. The latter is fairly easy - drive to airport, use the special long-term parking facilities, check you and your baggage in and other than transferring at Heathrow, there's next to no hassle. The former however is more difficult - lug baggage to station, board train with your case, get out and lug baggage to check in, check you and it in (with a separate transaction) and you are finally in.

One imagines that First's additional trains are either extensions of existing ones, or at the cost of London Midland services being pushed to the slows. For certain, however, is that both mainlines - all four tracks - will be full in the near future. Certainly you cannot serve more destinations in the north and Heathrow-North services.

These long distance to airport services sound great, but they don't get much demand. Western Rail Access to Heathrow talks about 'access from Wales and the SW', but really it's far more about airport workers from the Slough area, and business trippers to the Thames Valley. If any WCML service should be rerouted to Heathrow, it should be more local trains. But why - they didn't lament the loss of their service to Gatwick, after all?
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Old August 23rd, 2012, 02:37 AM   #1314
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33Hz View Post
So you you're saying there's no demand for it and yet Virgin are saying there are 650,000 pax a year (~1800 a day) transiting through LHR from Manchester alone. Birmingham, other locations and those that would otherwise drive would likely double this before we even looked at ECML or other destinations.

First are claiming they are going to run new trains to some smaller destinations, so they must be finding paths from somewhere.
Think about this for a second:
People fly to Heathrow, by and large, so they can get to London, not to the airport itself. If you took a train to London, why the hell would you want to go to Heathrow?

EDIT: Wait a second, I didn't read that. Still, there's the Heathrow Express and such if they wish to travel onwards from Heathrow.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 07:47 PM   #1315
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@ Branson & @ 1st Gp
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Old September 15th, 2012, 01:28 AM   #1316
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Severn Tunnel Wiki page

I'm led to believe, that there's an Open Day every year where you can still see the pump house in action?
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Old September 15th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #1317
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Old September 16th, 2012, 10:14 PM   #1318
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I've got a couple of requests and a question:

Firstly, if anyone has a map of the UK network by operator, and another by electrification, that'd be great.

Also, I've just ridden on a very odd service: 12:33 Virgin Pendolino from Euston to Edinburgh Waverley, stopping only at Preston. (Although we stopped at others due to amssive signal failiures causing chaos). Does anyone know more about it?
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Old September 16th, 2012, 11:28 PM   #1319
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Map of UK network by operator

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/passen...orkmapZoom.pdf
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Old September 17th, 2012, 04:59 AM   #1320
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