The Anonymous Widower

Anybody Want To Buy A Fleet Of Electric Trains Going Purr?

When I wrote Southend In The Sun, I went to the Essex town in one of c2c‘s Class 357 trains.

These trains were the first of Derby’s Electrostars to hit the tracks in 1999.



The last Electrostars are currently being built at Derby.

The 357s don’t seem much different to the latest Class 387 trains.

The 357s have air-conditioning, regenerative braking and lots of modern features.

There are 74 of the trains and to a passenger they look and feel pretty good.


c2c has a few problems.

  • It needs more capacity.
  • Competition on the Southend Route will be fierce, when Greater Anglia start running faster Aventra trains into Liverpool Street.
  • c2c has no direct link to Crossrail.
  • The Class 357 trains lack certain features that passengers demand like wi-fi.

To ease the capacity problem, they are adding six Class 387 trains to the fleet.

Wikipedia also says this about new trains.

As part of its new franchise, c2c has committed to leasing new trains to cope with rising passenger numbers, which were boosted especially by the opening of the DLR station at West Ham in 2011 and the rise of Canary Wharf as a financial centre. 9 new four-car trains will be introduced by 2019, followed by 4 more by 2022 and 4 more by 2024.

But could c2c do something more radical, to combat the lure of the new Aventras running between Liverpool Street and Southend Victoria stations?

Gradually, over the next few years, there one class fleet of Class 357 trains will become mixed with the new trains.

So could c2c, start a roiling replacement program, so they migrate to a brand new and much better homogeneous fleet?

If it happens, a large fleet of 74 Class 357 trains will be released at a rate of perhaps one or two a month.

They will be very desirable trains to provide services in Birmingham, Lancashire, Leeds or Scotland to replace older fleets.

But they would be even more desirable if Bombardier’s parts bin could be raided to create a bi-mode Electrostar on the lines of the Class 319 Flex!

The specification could be as follows.

  • Modern interior with everything passengers demand.
  • 100 mph capability.
  • Regenerative braking handled by onboard energy storage.
  • Diesel or even hydrogen power-pack.
  • Independent operation on lines without electrification.

The size of the onboard energy storage would be determined by the nature of the routes to be operated and the extra costs of the required storage.



December 30, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , , , ,

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