The Anonymous Widower

Roll-Out Of Electric Trains Along Gospel Oak Yo Barking Line Delayed Until The Summer

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on City AM.

So the rumours that I talked about in New Overground Trains For Gospel Oak To Barking line Delayed… By Three Months, would seem to be correct!

According to the article, Bombardier are saying it’s due to software issues dragging out the testing, of the Class 710 trains.

All trains these days are about software and  I speak from personal experience of fifty years writing extremely complex software.

Getting all of the software systems working correctly is an extremely complex task and, as this is only the second train of the Aventra family to be built, Bombardier are probably still going through a learning curve.

I feel, the problems are made worse, because of a lack of test tracks in the UK. A lot of train testing seems to be done for Hitachi’s new Class 385 trains in the Czech Republic and Germany and I find it interesting that Talgo, are thinking of building a new test track in the UK, as I reported in Talgo Explores Options For Building UK Test Track.

My experience of software writing, says that there is light at the end of this particular tunnel.

According to Wikipedia, twenty of the Class 710 trains have now been built, so when one train is approved, if the other nineteen are identical, twenty trains can surely be introduced into service fairly quickly, once enough drivers and other staff have been trained.

The City AM article finishes with these two paragraphs.

Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham council, said: “Coming on the back of the announcement of a delay with the Barking Riverside Overground, this is another slap in the face for the residents of Barking and Dagenham.

“Moving the completion dates of this project tells a lot about the contractors managing it and in future, may need us to look very closely into how these private sector contracts are awarded and managed.”

Does he believe, that if everything were to be nationalised, it would be much better?

If I go back to the 1960s and 1970s, my memory tells me that British Rail had lateness problems, when they did everything. Some projects like the Advanced Passenger Train never even saw service, after consuming millions of pounds.

In some ways, the real problem is the lack of testing facilities for the large numbers of new trains and the new digital signalling coming into service. Too much has to be done at the Old Dalby test track near Melton Mowbray.

Incidentally, I’ve just returned from the Aosta Valley in Italy, where their new Stadler Flirt trains have been delivered, but are yet to enter service. The new trains for the Aosta Valley Line are still not in service, as I reported in Where Are The New Trains For The Aosta Valley?.

So do the Swiss have software problems as well?

Building trains would appear to be a complex business.


June 1, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | ,

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