The Anonymous Widower

Bi-Mode Trains And CrossCountry

The CrossCountry franchise runs trains all over the UK.

I wonder how bi-mode trains will effect their services.

These are just a few thoughts.

InterCity 125 Trains

CrossCountry have enough Class 43 locomotives and Mark 3 carriages to make-up five 2+8 InterCity 125 sets.

These trains will not meet the regulations in a couple of years, so will they be replaced or refurbished.

It is probably not an easy decision for the following reasons.

  • Passengers and I suspect drivers too, love them.
  • They are probably ideal for longer routes like Devon and Cornwall to Scotland
  • Scotrail and Great Western Railway will be updating several trains each.
  • They are forty years old.
  • There may be pressure to retire the trains because of environmental problems.
  • If they even wanted to acquire a few extra sets, the type retirement by other operators might help.

Left to the Marketing \department, there would only be one decision.

Class 800 Trains

Class 800 trains or more likely Class 802 trains, specified for their routes may offer advantages to CrossCountry on some of their routes.

Consider these features of Class 802 trains.

  • Available in any number of cars between four and twelve.
  • Designed around a flexible interior.
  • Dual voltage is probably available.
  • Wi-fi and power sockets.
  • Hitachi have designed the trains for lower track-access charges.

Costs and the marketing advantage of new electric trains will probably decide.

Devon and Cornwall to Scotland

Consider.

  • Plymouth to Edinburgh and Glasgow is an hourly service that takes just under nine hours to Edinburgh with no changes.
  • One train per day goes from Plymouth to Aberdeen in eleven hours.
  • A lot of the route is not electrified, but it is North of York.
  • Would a Class 802 train have enough fuel capacity?

I suspect current arrangements will continue.

Southampton Central And Bournemouth To Manchester And Newcastle

Consider.

  • North of Leeds, the route is electrified using 25 KVAC overhead
  • South of Basingstoke, the route is electrified using 750 VDC third-rail.
  • Any bi-mode train would need to be dual-voltage.
  • Range should be less of a problem

A dual-voltage bi-mode Class 802 train might be ideal.

Other Routes

Most other routes only have a small proportion of running on electrified track.

Conclusion

I think it unlikely, that CrossCountry will go for a total replacement of their fleet with bi-mode trains.

But I suspect, they’re keeping a watching brief on developments in  electrification and trains.

 

July 24, 2017 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I have a life long interest in trains, and find current thinking somewhat muddled. The government of the day decided to close most of the railway network in the sixties to concentrate on raising taxes on the public and encourage car ownership using imported fuels. Now we have the flawed theories of the climate change freaks insist that we power trains with windmills. Bi-mode trains are a cop-out to admit that green energy cannot deliver enough reliable power for demand. We are sitting on 400 years supply of coal, all supplied by the Sun, green energy at its best.

    Comment by P. Reynolds | September 3, 2017 | Reply

  2. Rhe purpose of bi-mode trains is to avoid doing the electrification. Electrification is difficult in many places and very expensive. On the other hand Hitachi’s bi-mode trains have batteries to handle regenerative braking and possibly reduce the use of diesel. The Germans and Bombardier in Derby are thinking on similar lines.

    The greenest thing about trains and trams is the physics or steel wheel on steel rail, which is very efficient, as Robert Stephenson would have understood.

    Comment by AnonW | September 3, 2017 | Reply


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