The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On The Class 360 Trains On The London St. Pancras And Corby Route

In May the Class 360 electric trains will be introduced by East Midlands Railway on the service between St. Pancras and Corby stations.

The Class 360 train is on the left.

The following data has come from Real Time Trains.

  • St. Pancras and Corby are 79.3 miles apart.
  • The current service stops at Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford and Luton.
  • The new electric service stops at Kettering, Wellingborough, Bedford and Luton and Luton Airport Parkway.
  • Current services take between 67 and 73 minutes
  • The new electric services take between 71 minutes
  • Services leave St. Pancras at XX:15 and XX:45
  • Services leave Corby at XX:11 and XX:40
  • Turnround at St. Pancras appears to be about 23-25 minutes
  • Turnround at Corby appears to be about 12-16 minutes.
  • St. Albans and St. Pancras takes 14 minutes.

Note.

  1. The Class 222 train has a top speed of 125 mph and a maximum acceleration: of 0.80 ms-2
  2. The Class 360 train has a top speed of 110 mph and a maximum acceleration: of 0.98 ms-2

Looks like a case of swings and roundabouts to me!

I can deduce the following.

Average Speed

Consider.

  • Assuming a trip time of seventy minutes for the Class 222 train, gives an average speed of 68 mph including stops.
  • Assuming a trip time of seventy-one minutes for the Class 360 train, gives an average speed of 62 mph including stops.

These speeds don’t seem to be too difficult to achieve. Especially, as the Midland Main Line is a series of straight line between a number of stations., which are ideal for a quick dash in between.

It’s A Three Hour Round Trip

Add up the two 71 minute trips and the turnaround times and it looks to be a comfortable three hour round trip.

So for a two trains per hour (tph) service, you will need six formations of Class 360 trains.

As it looks like each formation will be twelve cars long, that will mean that eighteen of the current twenty-one trains will be needed.

The three spare trains will be very useful, whilst the trains are refurbished with new liveries and interiors.

Route Capacity

This picture shows a five-car Class 222 train at Corby station.

Consider.

  • The current five-car Class 222 trains have a capacity of 50 First Class and 192 Standard Class seats
  • Four-car Class 222 trains have a capacity of 33 First Class and 132 Standard Class seats.
  • A four-car Class 360 train has a capacity of 16 First Class and 264 Standard Class seats.

I can do a simple calculation.

  • The current one tph service, if run by a five-car Class 222 trains would have an hourly capacity of 50 First Class and 192 Standard Class seats.
  • The planned two tph service if run by twelve-car 360 trains has an hourly capacity of 96 First Class and 1584 Standard Class seats.

First Class capacity on the route has doubled and Standard Class accommodation has gone up by a massive 8.25 times.

The latter figure will probably be reduced as some of the seats are to be removed for a more spacious interior with tables.

Serving Luton Airport

It looks like these trains will enable a quick journey to Luton Airport.

  • The St. Pancras and Corby train will take 22 minutes between St. Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway stations.
  • There will be the Luton DART connecting Luton Airport Parkway to the Airport from 2022.
  • I suspect Luton Airport will be aiming for a thirty minute journey between St. Pancras and the Airport.
  • The fast service will have a frequency of two tph.

It will not compare badly with rail times from London to Gatwick of 35 minutes and to Stansted of 50 minutes.

Services To Oakham And Melton Mowbray

Consider.

  • Oakham and Melton Mowbray stations are on the route between Corby station and the Midland Main Line North of Leicester.
  • Oakham and Melton Mowbray stations have a one train per day (tpd) in both directions to London via Corby.
  • In Beeching Reversal – Increased Services To Nottingham And Leicester, via Syston And Loughborough From Melton Mowbray. I wrote about how the local MP wants better services at Melton Mowbray.
  • Oakham is 11.5 miles from Corby.
  • Melton Mowbray is 25.8 miles from Corby.
  • Leicester is just over forty miles from Corby and could be covered in under an hour.
  • A pair of Class 810 trains are the same length as a trio of Class 360 trains, so both trains would fit all platforms.

I think that there are a lot of possibilities for services through Corby.

  • Class 810 trains could use Corby as a diversion, when the Midland Main Line is closed for engineering works.
  • Class 810 trains could run a service between St. Pancras and Leicester via Corby, Oakham and Melton Mowbray.
  • If the Class 360 trains could be fitted with batteries, they should be able to provide a service from St. Pancras to Melton Mowbray and perhaps Leicester.

It could even provide an alternative route to London, if Leicester station has to be substantially rebuilt for electrification..

Conclusion

This not the longest of electric services, but I can see it carrying a lot of passengers.

It will also give a boost to Luton Airport.

April 7, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 7 Comments