The Anonymous Widower

Kent On The Cusp Of Change – Historic Routes

The Kent On The Cusp Of Change article in the July 2017 Edition of Modern Railways talks about the historic routes through Kent.

The existing fleet is being enlarged and updated.

But there are problems, with issues like.

  • Depot space,
  • The lack of wi-fi.
  • Crossrail’s Aventras have 4G and passengers will expect it.
  • The Class 465 trains are only 75 mph units.

If we take a quick look at Greater Anglia, they are replacing all their fleet to increase capacity and they are having to build a new depot about half-way from London.

So expect to see a new depot, somewhere in Kent to accommodate the increased fleet.

More Highspeed Trains

I believe that for reasons of better services and efficiency, that a new batch of Class 395 trains or similar will take over some or all historic routes to Thanet.

If this happens, it could also mean, that because Highspeed trains are serviced at Ashford and Ramsgate, depot space was released at the London end of the routes.

A New Fleet Of Trains

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new fleet of trains joining the fleet for the new South Eastern franchise.

If we look at the characteristics of Bombardier’s new Aventra we see the following.

  • Up to 100 or even 125 mph capability.
  • Superb interiors.
  • Wi-fi and 4G capability.
  • Wide doors and lobbies for fast entry and exit.
  • Automatic coupling and uncoupling – Hitachi trains do it, so why not other manufacturers?
  • Regenerative braking – Is it handled by on-board energy storage?
  • Remote train warm-up!
  • Improved automation for the driver.
  • Less energy usage.
  • Modern signalling systems including ERTMS, which is used by Thameslink and Crodssrail.

Judging by my journey on The 10:35 From Liverpool Street To Shenfield, the customer experience is Jaguar to the successful Electrostar’s Ford.

The fast station stops of these modern trains from the major manufacturers means the following.

  • Less trains are needed for the same frequency of service.
  • The frequency of services can be improved.
  • Extra stops can be added with less of a time penalty.

In some cases semi-fast trains can be replaced by trains calling at all stations with no journey time penalty.

The Modern Railways article also hints that we’ll see more joining and splitting of trains to make sure capacity and frequency is tailored to the needs of a particular route.

Terminal Capacity In London

This could become a problem for Southeastern, but certain things can be done.

  • Increasing Crossrail and Thameslink capacity.
  • Extending Crossrail to Ebbsfleet and/or Gravesend.
  • Splitting and joining services.
  • Improve signalling to allow trains to run at higher frequencies.
  • Cascade or scrap any train that can’t operate at 100 mph to create more paths.

In the long term, the solution is probably to rebuild Charing Cross station across the Thames, so that the platforms can accept three five-car trains working as one unit.

Higher Frequencies On Busy Routes

The North Kent Line from Abbey Wood station eastwards to Ramsgate will get increasingly busy through the Medway towns.

The East Kent Re-Signalling Project will help, but if all trains east of Abbey Wood were modern trains equipped with ERTMS, it would probably be easier to manage the trains, so that frequencies as high as ten trains per hour ran on a substantial part opf the route between Abbey Wood to Rainham stations.

There are probably several places where better signalling and modern trains can increase the frequency of trains.

Conclusion

The historic routes will be improved.

See Also

These are related posts.

To know more read Kent On The Cusp Of Change in the July 2017 Edition of Modern Railways.

 

 

 

June 29, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

16 Comments »

  1. […] Historic Routes […]

    Pingback by Kent On The Cusp Of Change « The Anonymous Widower | June 29, 2017 | Reply

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    Pingback by Kent On The Cusp Of Change n- Ultimate Class 395 Train « The Anonymous Widower | July 1, 2017 | Reply

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