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 | , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. 67mph for the Class 360. Most of the line near London has a speed limit lower than 110mph, so times there will be similar and the better acceleration of the EMU makes up for the higher top speed of the DMU.

    Comment by R. Mark Clayton | April 7, 2021 | Reply

    • The Class 360 trains will certainly do a job and probably a good one. I suspect too, that as they’re owned by Eversholt, the ROSCO will be amenable.

      Comment by AnonW | April 7, 2021 | Reply

  2. Running 12 car trains vice 5 car Meridians which were pretty lightly loaded pre Covid in off peak is really a waste of energy to haul around fresh air during the day but at least its cleaner energy.

    We have too many routes around Midlands and Northern cities that don’t have the spare capacity to boost train lengths with too many under utilised units in the South. The railway is in desperate need of some joined up overall management to come up with a coherent national strategy.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | April 7, 2021 | Reply

    • These 360s need a lot of work done on them, as they are now nearly twenty years old.

      There are several better fleets that could go North like the 379s, which are the only other train from GA, that are worth keeping.

      There will be a few 350s too.

      Some could be converted to battery electric trains for Northern. I do think people like Northern and West Midlands bought too many CAF diesels.

      Comment by AnonW | April 7, 2021 | Reply

    • The north had a chance of longer trains but when they ordered new trains Northern ordered new trains of only two and three car lengths ….

      While London has to cope with trains that are 50 years old with no replacement in sight !

      Comment by Melvyn | April 7, 2021 | Reply

  3. If the trains called at West Hampstead then Luton Airport would be even more attractive for parts of North London. I wonder whether there would be cases that it would be quicker to go from West Hampstead to Luton Airport Parkway backtracking via St. Pancras (avoiding the stopping trains in the Thameslink service pattern). A stop at St. Albans City could also be useful for many journey alternatives as a a change point.

    Comment by MilesT | April 8, 2021 | Reply

    • You have a point there!

      It’s also not far to walk between West Hampstead Thameslink and the Overground and Jubilee Line stations.If the plans for West Hampstead Interchange ever come to fruition, it would help whole swathes of the wider North London.

      But there are four Thameslink trains per hour between West Hampstead Thameslink and Luton Airport Parkway, which take twelve minutes.

      Sounds like there could be scope for ducking and diving!

      Comment by AnonW | April 8, 2021 | Reply

  4. Tried the 360’s today on a trip from Wellingborough to Corby and back. Sorry to say that they look their age and are, to put it kindly, shabby. For a number of years I was a London commuter from Wellingborough in the days when the morning peak had 4 or 5 fast trains south with a matching sequence in the evening.
    Now reduced to 2 trains p.h. throughout the day Wellingborough has been reduced to an outer suburban service with 20 year old trains.
    The ride is OK and the acceleration is good but no phone chargers, one toilet per 4 car unit and 2+3 seating is a far cry from when I could travel First class from Wellingborough to London.
    Kettering travellers do very well in the new system. Wellingborough has been dumped on and I will not be choosing this service in a hurry when I want to go to London. It is a poor experience.

    Comment by Mr Paul Needle | May 18, 2021 | Reply

    • I’d forgotten they’d started and will try before the end of the week.

      I used to use them occasionally going to Ipswich and always thought they were a bit of a boob buy!

      I had my doubts in this post.

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

      The Class 379 trains are much nicer. But then if I was buying trains, I would think very hard before I bought any Siemens trains.

      Comment by AnonW | May 18, 2021 | Reply

  5. 80 miles in a 3+2 seating density. No thanks. Outer suburban stock has no business on such a journey.
    It’s not just nostalgia that makes us regret the loss of the Mk 3s and Mk 4s coaches but the suspension compliance, noise and discomfort of the latest lightweight stuff from Hitachi, Stadler and others where seat pitch is paramount and station brief dwell times are best achieved by inserting double doors at 1/3rd and 2/3rd the length of the coach.
    Ian Walmsley often nails these issues and did so very well again in Modern Railways — March , page 73 – when the new EMR Aurora was reviewed.

    Comment by Thomas Carr | May 19, 2021 | Reply

    • Agreed! Reread my post, when I finish it later today!

      Comment by AnonW | May 20, 2021 | Reply

      • Thanks . Will do.

        Comment by Thomas Carr | May 20, 2021


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