The Anonymous Widower

Some Trains Never Know When To Retire

This article in the Railway Gazette, which is entitled Southampton – London open access service proposed, caught my eye.

I like disruptive innovation in all its forms. When you consider that my pension is paid by the money I made from two examples of disruptive innovation, I would be a hypocrite to think otherwise.

To me, an open access operator on the railway, is just another form of disruptive innovation.

Although not open access operators, some of the smaller rail companies like Chiltern, c2c and London Overground are very much disruptive innovators.

If they get the product right they succeed, if they don’t they fail.

These train companies also bring much needed competition to a route.

I use them, when they are convenient to me and in the last couple of months, I’ve used several of them.

These points gleaned from the article describes the proposed Southampton London service.

  • Alliance Rail Holdings hope to start a new Southampton – London Waterloo route in December 2017.
  • Alliance envisages that there would be seven off-peak services a day, with two Peak services from 2018.
  • They will be offering a high class service.
  • They are proposing to use Class 442 trains for the route.

It is a proposal, I shall watch with interest.

I have never had many rides in a Class 442 train, but they are interesting beasts.

  • They started to be introduced in 1988, so are nearly thirty years old.
  • In some ways they are the ultimate development of the Mark 3 coach, with air-conditioning and plug as opposed to slam doors.
  • They hold the speed record for a third-rail electric train.
  • When first delivered, their reliability was questionable, but over time, they seem to have become a dependable electric multiple unit.

Recently, they have been working the Gatwick Express, but now that route has brand new Class 387 /2 trains, they are in storage.

It may seem strange to start a new train company with thirty-year-old trains, but then Mark 3  carriages still feel they have another few years yet. Certainly, companies like Chiltern and Abellio Scotrail are still recruiting them at the scrapyard’s door and giving them a treatment worthy of Joan Collins or Roger Moore.

In addition, there is this article from Rail Magazine, is entitled Refurbished Mk 3s for Tornado.

It describes how, a rake of Greater Anglia’s Mark 3 coaches, will be acquired to be used with the new-build steam locomotive 60163 Tornado.

I’ll be long dead, when the last Mark 3 coach is finally retired from revenue-earning service on the UK’s railways.



November 12, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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