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More not so new trains for Scotrail?

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  1. Tulyar
    Member

    The 'double vision' issue with the driver's windscreen on the new Hitachi 385 trains threatens to derail (sorry) the carefully scripted programme to move trains around the network. Fortunately there us a stack of 100mph electric trains piling up off-lease as the new Class 700 trains replace them in London. So news is coming in that Scotrail (presumably with the approval of Transport Scotland) are looking to use some Class 365's to fill in until the Class 385 problem has been sorted.

    This may mean a GN Thameslink unit will appear in Scotland very soon to do some gauge checking, to make sure it fits, and with some tweaking as necessary - with Scotrail livery or logos on the trains. Could be interesting as the spares and maintenance are down near to Kings Cross, and the depots in Scotland are being set up to maintain the new trains, and the HST's, although the freight version does come to Scotland and runs the Royal Mail service.

    Externally they are the electric versions of the Turbostar and these trains were not reknowned for generous bike space, although there are some options, given the generously wide body, so there are single seats, which tip-ip, by the accessible toilet.

    Eyes peeled perhaps, and doubtless @Arellcat or @kaputnik will be competing for the first sighting to capture on camera

    Posted 5 months ago #
  2. fimm
    Member

    What's "the 'double vision' issue with the driver's windscreen on the new Hitachi 385 trains"?

    Posted 5 months ago #
  3. paulmilne
    Member

    Apparently the windscreen creates a double image for anyone looking out. Someone from Scotrail was telling me about it the other day. Not good when trying to read upcoming signals. All windscreens have to be replaced, then re-tested. At least it was caught in the testing stage.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  4. ejstubbs
    Member

    https://www.railengineer.uk/2018/04/09/class-385-debut-further-delayed/

    The requirement is to have corridor connections at each end of the train, so that three- and four-car units can be connected to run as seven-car trains (and later eight-car trains made up of two four-car units, once the required platform lengthening has been completed).

    This has meant that the view from the driver's cab is somewhat squeezed due to the presence of a hulking great corridor connector in the middle of each end of the train:

    On top of that, the regulations about the strength of the driver's windscreen have got tougher (due in part to the frequency of scallies deciding it's fun to drop stuff from overbridges in front of passing trains). Hitachi's solution was a cleverly curved and layered windscreen. Unfortunately that turns out to cause ghost images of colour-light signals, which is Not A Good Thing.

    The 365s are 20 years younger than the HSTs (though the HSTs are being heavily refurbished, including powered doors and toilet retention tanks). 365s are nicknamed "Happy Trains" because they have a cheeky little smile:

    Posted 5 months ago #
  5. chdot
    Admin

    “The requirement is to have corridor connections at each end of the train”

    Ah, so that’s the answer to “but these trains have been running down south just fine’ - yes but but with full width windows(?)

    Posted 5 months ago #
  6. ejstubbs
    Member

    As far as I know the AT-200, which is the Hitachi platform that the class 385 is based on, has not been used anywhere else in the UK. My understanding is that the only Hitachi A-class trains in the UK are the class 395s on HS-1 and the class 800/801/802s being deployed just now on GWR, and to come sooner or later on the ECML (the 'Azumas'). The class 385s have a maximum speed of 100mph vs 125mph for the 395s and 80xs.

    The class 365 is a totally different train. They were built by ABB in York twenty-odd years ago.

    Some Scotrail DMU - the classes 156, 158 and 380 - have a similar configuration of driving cab+corridor connection at each end. The 156s and 158s have pretty flat fronts. The 380s have a more sloping front which more closely resembles the 385, but it doesn't 'wrap around' to the side as much the 385 does:

    Posted 5 months ago #
  7. cb
    Member

    Must have been one of those Thameslinks we saw at Roseburn on Saturday evening. Dark blue with purple/pink doors.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  8. ejstubbs
    Member

    Do you mean at the Haymarket depot? That's the one across the road from Murrayfield (the stadium). I'd be surprised if any 365s ever went there as it's a diesel servicing depot. I'm not sure there's any overhead electrification in there, it's certainly absent on most of the roads.

    Actually I'd say that it couldn't have been a 365. The first one came up the M6 to Glasgow over the weekend, still in its Great Northern livery:

    https://twitter.com/Auriga_ZA/status/987835668645732357

    https://twitter.com/Clinnick1/status/988076377290235904

    My understanding is that ScotRail need to check that the 365s will fit along the routes they are going to be used on, and that this may require some minor modifications to height and width.

    The internal ScotRail announcement about the arrival of the 365s has been posted online here. It speaks of the 365s entering service "in the summer". ("Which year?" you may ask. Old project management habits die hard...)

    Posted 5 months ago #
  9. ejstubbs
    Member

    @cb: Sorry, half asleep earlier and didn't clock your description of the train properly. The blue with pink/purple doors EMU you saw would have been a Transpennine Express 350/4 on the Edinburgh to Manchester Airport route:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Class_350#TransPennine_Express

    (Kicking myself because I rode those regularly back in 2014.)

    Posted 5 months ago #
  10. cb
    Member

    @ejstubbs
    Thanks, yes that makes sense. I Google image-searched "Thameslink class 365" and managed to convince myself that the few blue/purple trains that came back in the results were what I had seen.

    It certainly looked unusual (i.e. not the usual ScotRail unit) and caught my attention. (Possibly a different Transpennine livery than the one you pictured though?)

    Posted 5 months ago #
  11. ejstubbs
    Member

    @cb: If it was more like this:

    Then that would have been a diseasel class 185 rather then a 'leccy. Still TPE, though. (I used to inwardly groan if one of those turned up at Piccadilly when I was heading back to Edinburgh at the end of the week. Not nearly as relaxing as the 350s.)

    Posted 5 months ago #
  12. cb
    Member

    Sorry to drag on with this side tracked discussion but just noticed that I was recording a Mapillary sequence at the time, so for completeness what I saw is visible here:

    http://www.mapillary.com/map/im/KAHa9LXlMrDyeHlbOgtWqA/photo

    Posted 5 months ago #
  13. jonty
    Member

    Those are slam-door Mark 3 carriages which are going to be repainted and used in HST sets on Scottish inter-city routes. They were previously used by First Great Western hence the livery.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  14. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Yes there is a short rake of First Great Western (dark purple with pink doors) Mark 3s hanging around Haymarket depot just now as part of the route learning HST set. The power cars are in the new Scotrail livery of grey and dark blue.

    The Transpennine Express units that go to Manchester have a weird new livery of dark grey doors and blue/grey/purple/silver wedge pattern emanating from the front. Not very appealing or effective as a train livery in my most humble of opinions.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  15. ejstubbs
    Member

    Ah, that would explain it. I saw an ex-FGW power car with a mk3 coach at Haymarket depot last week. That coach didn't have purple doors though, which was why I dismissed it as having anything to do with what jonty saw:

    http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/gallery/album_3473/med_gallery_23983_3473_122429.jpg

    There was also one power car in the ScotRail livery:

    http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/gallery/album_3473/med_gallery_23983_3473_265145.jpg

    I'm not sure that the coaches being used for the training set (it'll be traction training rather than route learning, I'd have thought - shouldn't the ScotRail drivers already know the route?) will simply be reliveried for revenue service. The coaches that are going to be used for the passenger service have to have power doors fitted, and retention tanks. The coaches in jonty's pic definitely have slam doors with droplight windows.

    I'd forgotten about the TPE livery change - although I'm almost certain that the TPE train that I rode either to or from Mancs before Xmas was still in the old livery. Then again, if it was the southbound train that was TPE then it would have been ~6am when I got on, and I'd have been half asleep and probably only minimally aware of my surroundings!

    Posted 5 months ago #
  16. fimm
    Member

    There was an announcement yesterday at Haymarket as I was passing through about trains running on the tracks that are not on the timetable and won't be stopping.

    Posted 5 months ago #
  17. crowriver
    Member

    ScotRail @ScotRail
    Here it is! The first upgraded InterCity high-speed train has been delivered!
    These trains will serve routes between Scotland’s seven cities #Inter7City

    https://twitter.com/ScotRail/status/1030548772319911941

    Posted 2 months ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    “Here it is! The first upgraded InterCity high-speed train has been delivered!”

    What’s the difference between this and the various trains that have been ‘on test’ for months?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  19. ejstubbs
    Member

    AIUI it's mainly the coaches, which have been upgraded to modern standards. The most obvious changes being power operated doors, and retention tank toilets. The interiors will also have been refitted/refurbed and the interior layout adjusted to be more appropriate for the shorter length trains that they'll be used for. (I think that includes a compact buffet of some kind.)

    I'm not sure that the power cars have had much more than a service and a new set of vinyls.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  20. Greenroofer
    Member

    If the trains are shorter (half the length of an East Coast HST) but the engines are the same, are they going to go really really fast (or at least accelerate like a Formula 1 car?)

    Posted 1 month ago #
  21. ejstubbs
    Member

    Top speeds will be limited by the track. AFAIK there's nowhere on the lines to Aberdeen or Inverness where 125mph running is permitted. And I'm not aware of any plans to upgrade the track

    I believe that in theory the short HST sets should have better acceleration than the units they are replacing. However, until the timetables are reworked to take advantage of that, they will still be running to current timings. There are in any case constraints imposed by some lengthy single line sections, and limited numbers of places where trains can pass. There are ongoing debates on online rail forums about track work that could relieve some of those constraints but I'm not aware of anything that's significantly more concrete than internet chatter so far.

    I think the main benefit from day one should be recently refurbed trains, with engines in separate power cars rather than under the coaches. So a better passenger experience, but no immediate improvement to schedules (though that could come later).

    Posted 1 month ago #
  22. steveo
    Member

    Personally I'm not fussy if its the same speed, I'm not even that fussy that the carridges have been refub. The fact they'll never turn up as a two unit 158 sells it for me.

    Will this have the side benefit that if one power car breaks down there will be no real delays? Unlike say a power car breaking on the full size 125's which usually means being very late or a breakdown of a single unit on a DMU which means bening very very very late.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  23. steveo
    Member

    So, when are the HST going to be in general traffic? My google fu is weak this afternoon.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  24. crowriver
    Member

    By my reckoning the project is exactly six months behind schedule. Assuming drivers all have route mastered, cabin crews still need to be familiarised witn the carriages, etc. So rule of thumb would say they'll be in service from the November timetable change?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  25. acsimpson
    Member

    November timetable change

    Is that the one which occurs on the second Sunday in December?

    Posted 1 month ago #
  26. crowriver
    Member

    I always thought it was May and November, but hey what do I know.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  27. crowriver
    Member

    This week the non-refurbished Mk3 carriages attached to an HST set at the Dundee sidings have been accompanied by another train set, with swish refurbished Mk3 carriages sporting new doors and the new ScotRail InterCity livery. Presume being used for crew training on the Edinburgh-Aberdeen route?

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

  29. chdot
    Admin

    ScotRail has set out major changes to its timetables which take effect in December.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-45706021

    Posted 2 weeks ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin


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