The Anonymous Widower

The Silent Transport Revolution

Today, I rode in two battery-powered modes of transport.

Returning from Kings Cross, I was a passenger in one of London’s new black cabs; the LEVC TX.

Earlier in the day, I’d ridden in a battery-powered version of the Class 230 train.

Both vehicles are quieter than diesel-powered versions, as is to be expected.

But what surprised me about the Class 230 train today, is that you can have a normal conversation in the train without raising your voice. The D78 trains from which the Class 230 train has been developed, weren’t that quiet.

The Class 379 BEMU, that I rode in three years ago, was also quiet.

I came back from Scotland in a Standard Class Mark 4 Coach, which was also quiet, but it is a trailer without motors and probably plenty of sound-proofing.

Does the design of a battery-electric vehicle with regenerative braking reduce the noise and vibration emitted?

The Class 230 train has an electrical system based on DC batteries and AC traction motors. So there must be aone very clever heavy electronics to manage the power. So there is orobably little in the electrical system to make the clatter one typically hears on a train. The train obviously has a mechanical brake for emergencies and to bring the train to a funal halt, but that was not used in anger on our short trip.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Battery Class 230 Train Demonstration At Bo’ness And Kinneil Railway

I went to Vivarail‘s demonstration of battery version of the Class 230 train, which was given at the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway.

For some pictures of the original D78 Stock see Raw Material For A New Train.

So what did I think of the train?

Build Quality

From what I saw, the build quality was certainly better than that of a Pacer, which these trains could replace on some routes.

Doors

The single-leaf doors are unusual, as most London Underground stock, only has these at the ends of the cars.

But they worked successfully for nearly forty years of heavy service on the District Line, so they are probably up to the lesser rigours of service outside the Capital.

London Underground Legacy

I talked with one of the Vivarail engineers and he said, that the trains had been retired with a lot of new parts and he pointed out the quality f the floors, some of which go back decades.

It certainly seemed, that the trains could be described as having One Careful Owner.

Noise Levels

Noise levels were low, but then they were in the Class 379 BEMU, that I rode in January 2015.

Intriguingly, both trains have the same batteries, but that has nothing to do with it.

Ride

The quality of the ride was good and very much up to the standard of the S Stock that replaced the D78 Stock on the District Line.

Seats

As the pictures show, the seats of the Class 230 train are based on those of those in the D78 Stock.

The seats in the new train weren’t hard and seemed to my memory to be about the same standard as those in the older train.

So perhaps they were!

Vivarail are offering the train with different interiors, so I suspect those that pay, will get what they want.

Toilets

This train was not fitted with a toilet, but Vivarail will be fitting them to some trains.

USB Ports

There is a USB port between the seats and I was able to charge my phone, as one picture shows.

Conclusion

I think it is true to say, that this battery Class 230 train was a good start.

With more new components like seats, tables and toilets they could be impressive.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 5 Comments

I’m At The Vivarail Demonstration

Vivarail are demonstrating the battery version of their Ckass 230 train on the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 today.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Will The East London Line Ever Get Six Car Trains?

On the East London Line yesterday, I was in the front car and it was noticeable how passengers moved backwards and forwards along the train so they could find a seat and also get in and out easily at the stations with short platforms, like Shadwell, Wapping, Rotherhithe and Canada Water.

Given that the busiest non-terminal stations in the future will probably be Shoreditch High Street, Whitechapel, Canada Water, New Cross Gate, Peckham Rye and Norwood Junction, all of which except Canada Water have longer platforms, I wonder if selective door opening would allow the Class 378 trains to run with six cars?

I also think that the extra cars could be found, if there were to be more new Class 710 trains for the North London Line and the five car Class 378 trains could be released.These might lose a car to become four car units and the released car could be used to lengthen the trains on the East London Line.

You would get equal numbers of four and six car trains with a number of five car trains. Two fours could run as eight-car services on a route with capacity issues.

The Class 378 trains might need an internal refresh to bring their interiors up to the standard of the Class 710 trains, which have passenger must-haves of wi-fi and power sockets.

However, running as eight cars, they would surely be a very acceptable train.

Currently, there are fifty-seven five-car Class 378 trains.

I estimate that to run the current four trains per hour (tph) service to four destinations on the East London Line needs twenty-eight trains.

Converting these to six-car trains would give a fleet of these trains.

  • 28 x four-cars
  • 28 x six-cars
  • 1 x five-car

If the four-car trains, always worked in pairs, this would give a useful fourteen eight-car trains to reinforce the Class 710 trains on West Anglia routes or develop new services.

The odd train would be a spare or it could be used on the Romford Upminster Line.

Transport for London’s plans for the London Overground are should in this table.

The updated frequencies to Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction would need thirty-six trains.

So to achieve this, some trains would need to donate two cars and there would be a fleet with perhaps this makup.

  • 28 x four-cars
  • 36 x six-cars
  • 8 x three-cars
  • 1 x five-car

If all services were to become six six-car trains per hour, then it gets even more complicated.

Conclusion

It will be interesting to see how London Overground, increase capacity in the coming years.

October 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments