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 | , , , , ,

10 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

  4. I understand that the 360s are being fitted with 2+2 seating (which they should have had from new, the 2+3 seating is horrible and standing is more comfortable!) and 110mph running. The faster acceleration should help alleviate the lower top speed.

    They should have had the 350 cabs too because they run in 12-car sets a lot.

    I wonder what will happen to the tfl 360s that are currently stored?

    The 360s did a lot of splitting at Colchester where Clacton and Walton parts divided so splitting should not be an issue. I only got stranded once when a Walton part sprung an air leak during division and was failed to the depot at Colchester (Walton was the rear 4-cars and Clacton was all stations with the front 8-cars. The rear part passed the front part while it was reversing in Colchester Town when all went to plan.)

    Comment by Suzie Tall | November 27, 2020 | Reply

  5. Thanks! I never liked the 360s, although I only rarely travelled on them, on my trips out for the football at Ipswich.

    There’s going to be quite a lot of 350s and 360s going spare, Porterbrook are planning to convert some 350s into battery electric trains, but I can’t see many places, where lots of these trains will be deployed.

    We may have the paradox in this country, where we need more electrification and we will be scrapping electric trains, with 10-20 years of good life left in them.

    Comment by AnonW | November 27, 2020 | Reply

  6. The new May 2021 timetable for the 360’s are out now on RTT. It is interesting as of the current timetable STP to Corby is currently 1 hour 7 minutes offpeak whereas Corby to STP is 1 hour 13 minutes offpeak.
    The 360 timetable shows that both directions will give journey times offpeak of 1 hour 11 minutes, with the pathing set at 100mph. Impressive given that includes stopping at both Luton stations.
    Below is the station to station times

    Current timetable vs May 360 timetable
    STP-> Luton 22m vs 25m (includes stop at parkway)
    Luton -> Bedford 14m vs 15m
    Bedford -> Wellingborough 11m vs 11m
    Wellingborough -> Kettering 8m vs 8m
    Kettering -> Corby 9m vs 8m

    Corby -> Kettering 8m vs 8m
    Kettering -> Wellingborough 7m vs 7m
    Wellingborough -> Bedford 13m vs 12m
    Bedford -> Luton 14m vs 15m
    Luton -> STP 26m vs 26m (include stop at parkway)

    As shown as above despite the slower speed, the acceleration between the short distanced stations such as Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and Bedford means the higher acceleration does compensate for the lower speed.

    As for your comments about interiors’s features. At the moment the 360’s are going into service as they are however a few units would be taken out of service for interior and exterior refreshes etc. So over time they will all have the 2+2 seating, table seats, and the all-purple livery though the question is how long will it take nd I suspect covid will cause some delay to this.

    Comment by Luke | April 5, 2021 | Reply

  7. Thanks for that! I do wonder, if the Corby route needs 125 mph trains. After my conversations with drivers of the Meridians a couple of years ago, I found that they were very unhappy at the Thameslink trains slowly them into London.

    125 mph trains, which with in-cab signalling can do 140 mph don’t like 100 mph trains in the way. That’s why we will eventually have a 125 mph local train.

    Comment by AnonW | April 5, 2021 | Reply

    • I can say from experience that TL have pretty much slowed down EMR trains. Years ago all TL services were slow line only, which meant EMR (at the time EMT) trains had basically fast line to themselves. If I remember correctly, the direct Leicester to London trains was timed to be exactly 1 hour and always arrived into London early.
      DFT pretty much screwed the EMT/EMR journeys by allowing TL to go on fast lines.

      I suspect that having the 2 Corby trains per hour is going to add more strain to the fast lines (unless TL are slow only from May). Also slow line are pretty much 90mph compared to fast line of 125mph. So given that TL pretty much stop at every stop, I fail to see why they need fast lines given their units are capped at 100mph.

      Hopefully the Corby trains will have their trains sorted to run at 125mph (though the wires will need to be upgraded) as in theory shouldn’t cause as many issues to the EMR 222s journey times compared to the TL trains.

      Comment by Luke | April 5, 2021 | Reply

      • Have you read this post of mine?

        Will Hitachi Announce A High Speed Metro Train?

        On the GWR, Oxford and Bedwyn services are now run by Class 802 trains, so that GWR will have two fast lines with nothing but 125/140 mph Hitachi trains West of Heathrow and 110 mph trains East of Hayes and Harlington, where the Heathrow Expresses join.

        Thameslink’s Brighton services need to be run by faster trains, as their slow speed slow traffic through the two-track section at Digswell. But if all trains were capable of 125 mph, ERTMS and ATO could probably phase them through. This would also improve capacity South of Gatwick, where it is needed.

        We’ve turned several Victorian lines into superb 125 mph lines. Let’s do it with the Brighton Main Line!

        Comment by AnonW | April 5, 2021


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