The Anonymous Widower

Are Class 360 Trains Suitable For St. Pancras And Corby?

It appears that East Midlands Railway will be using Class 360 trains on the route between St. Pancras and Corby stations running them under the branch name of EMR Electrics.

The London And St. Pancras Route

The route has the following characteristics.

  • It is just short of 80 miles long.
  • The current Class 222 trains take one hour and fifteen minutes for the journey.
  • This means these trains have a start to stop average at 64 mph.
  • Much of the route is cleared for 125 mph running.
  • The route is being made a complete double track.
  • The whole route is being electrified with 25 KVAC overhead wires.

In December 2020, the route will host a new electric service.

East Midlands Railway’s Train Specification For The Route

This page on the Department for Transport web site is an interactive map of the Abellio’s promises for East Midlands Railway.

These features are mentioned for Midland Main Line services to Corby.

  • Increased capacity
  • Twelve-car trains in the Peak.
  • More reliable service
  • Improved comfort
  • Passenger information system
  • Free on-board Wi-Fi
  • At-seat power sockets
  • USB points
  • Air conditioning
  • Tables at all seats
  • Increased luggage space
  • On-board cycle storage

What more could passengers want?

How Well Do Class 360 Trains Fit The Specification?

These are a few pictures of a Class 360 train, which I took today.

Some problems and strengths are immediately obvious.

  • There are no tables.
  • Will two+three seating e acceptable, considering that the current trains on the route have two+two seating.
  • There is no space for bicycles.
  • There are no luggage racks, which will be needed as the Corby service will also double as a service to Luton Airport.
  • The trains are in reasonably good condition.
  • There ia a fully-accessible toilet.

A lot of work will need to be done to update the interior of the trains to a standard, that fits East Midland Railway’s specification and their customers expectations.

But there is a full twelve months before the trains will be needed to run on the newly electrified route between St. Pancras and Corby stations.

This may seem enough time, but many current train refurbishment projects are running late.

Is The Performance Of Class 360 Trains Good Enough?

The current Class 222 trains have the following performance.

  • 125 mph maximum speed.
  • An acceleration rate of 0.80 m/sec/sec

By comparison the Class 360 trains have the following performance.

  • 100 mph maximum speed.
  • An acceleration rate of 0.98 m/sec/sec.

Given that much of the route between St. Pancras and Corby stastions will be constructed for 125 mph running, will the top speed of the Class 360 trains be high enough?

Will The Class 360 Trains And The Hitachi AT-300 Bi-Modes Be Compatible?

East Midlands Railway has ordered thirty-three AT-300 bi-modes, which will be able to run at 125 mph on the fully-electrified Midland Main Line to the South of Market Hsrborough station.

As thetwo trains will share the fast lines, with the Class 360 trains, will there be conflicts, as the Class 360 trains are only capable of 100 mph?

Ideally, the Class 360 trains should be upgraded to their highest speed possible.

Some of similar Class 350 trains are capable of 110 mph.

This could be enough, but surely for ease of operation, all of East Midlands Railway’s services into St. Pancras should be run by trains capable of running at 125 mph.

Will The Class 360 Trains Need Digital Signalling?

The Hitachi AT-300 trains will probably be able to run using digital signalling, which could be a valuable way of creating more paths on the Midland Main Line.

So will the Class 3560 trains be fitted with digital signalling?

Conclusion

In my view there is a lot of upgrade work to be done to the Class 360 trains to make them suitable for working on the services between St. Pancras and Corby.

  • They need a new upgraded interior.
  • The trains need upgrading to at least 110 mph.
  • A possible upgrading with digital signalling.

I can’t help feeling that the Class 360 trains would make a good stop-gap, but in the long-term it might be better to have a small fleet of electric trains.

Electric AT-300 trains must be one of the favourites, although Class 745 trains, similar to those that Abellio will run between Liverpool Street and Stansted Airport, would do nicely.

 

August 22, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. […] In Are Class 360 Trains Suitable For St. Pancras And Corby?, I looked at Class 360 trains running the service between St. Pancras and Corby stations. […]

    Pingback by East Midlands Railway Announces Three Brands « The Anonymous Widower | August 22, 2019 | Reply

  2. As the 350/2 units with110mph capacity on the WCML are due to be displaced. There are talks of adapting them to bi-mode battery power.
    As the electrification iss due to reach Market Harborough, I consider it not too difficult to agree to extend the OHLE installation to Leicester.
    Suggestion could these 350/2 units then be deployed on the MML, leaving At Pancreas International as a 12 car train, splitting at Kettering 8 carriages for Corby, 4 carriages for Leicester, using Battery power beyond Market Harborough if OHLE is not installed to Leicester

    Comment by Peter Weston | August 24, 2019 | Reply

    • I was told by a group of East Midlands drivers, that electrification just South of Leicester station would be very difficult as the bridge is too low and there is a main sewer underneath the tracks!
      Splitting is getting a bad reputation in the Midlands if you read the latest Modern Railways.

      I agree though that WCML 350s could be a possibility and Abellio have the fleet! But is it significant that they are not replacing all of it with Aventras? Perhaps for some routes 100 mph trains are good enough! Could this mean that the 360s might be good enough?
      Another possibility must be ScotRail as they have Class 380s of the same family! Would Class 350s with batteries be ideal for extending some Scottish routes?
      Abellio are playing musical trains and where will the music stop?
      Obviously, Abellio don’t want to sign a contract for a train, they don’t really want!
      The question must be asked if GA’s lass 360s can be easily unwrapped to 110 mph like the Class 350s.

      Comment by AnonW | August 24, 2019 | Reply

  3. […] Are Class 360 Trains Suitable For St. Pancras And Corby?, I came to this […]

    Pingback by Corby Class 360/1s Earmarked For 110 mph Running « The Anonymous Widower | August 27, 2019 | Reply


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