The Anonymous Widower

Union Demands Withdrawal Of All HSTs After Carmont Report

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railnews.

This is the first paragraph.

The TSSA union says it has written to the regulator demanding the immediate withdrawal of all surving HSTs, after new revelations in the Carmont derailment. report.

Manuel Cortes of the TSSA feels that the corrosion problem found in the train that crashed at Carmont, may be present in other trains.

He finishes with this this statement.

Frankly, it’s time to ban the HSTs. They were great in their day, but that day is nearly 50 years ago now and they simply aren’t up to modern safety standards.

I must admit, that I tend to agree with him, on this last point.

Scotrail have the following fleet of Inter7City trains.

  • There are 52 Class 43 power cars and 120 Mark 3 coaches, which are arranged as nine four-car and seventeen five-car trains.
  • The trains have sliding passenger doors.
  • The trains meet all the regulations for Persons of Reduced Mobility.
  • The trains have wi-fi and power points.
  • They seem to run at up to 100 mph, as against the 125 mph for InterCity 125‘s in the past.
  • The power cars have generally been reengined with modern MTU 16V4000 R41R diesel engines.

But they are now on average over forty years old.

In Battery And Hydrogen Trains For ScotRail ‘Could Make Scotland A Global Leader’ In Zero-Emission Transport, which is based on an article in the Scotsman with the same title, I said this.

Other points from the article.

  • Talgo appear to have passed the story to Scotland on Sunday.
  • Three routes are mentioned; Borders Railway, Fife Circle and Glasgow-East Kilbride.
  • The new trains could help phase out diesel trains by 2035, which is Scottish Government policy.
  • The Inter7City trains might be replaced by 2030.
  • Talgo hopes to win an order for its factory in Fife.

Talgo’s Managing Director is quoted as saying, they are starting testing of a hydrogen and electric train with a range of 311 miles.


  • I wrote about this train in Talgo To Begin Fuel Cell Loco Trials.
  • Talgo’s hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for Scotland’s railways of which only forty percent are electrified.
  • A four or five-car high specification hydrogen and electric train would be ideal for the Inter7City routes, if it were built specifically for the routes.
  • The range would cover all of Scotland.
  • Hydrogen hubs are being planned all over Scotland.
  • Scotland have 26 Inter7City trainsets.

This could be a rather nice order to fund the factory and test all the trains close to the factory.

  • There could be as many as fifty trains.
  • They would probably have an operating speed of 100 mph on electricity.
  • Would the speed on hydrogen be 100 mph or perhaps a bit less?
  • They would be able to use 25 KVAC overhead electrification, where it exists.
  • They could have a length of three, four or five cars.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see three or four car trains for the suburban trains and four or five car trains for the Inter7City replacements.



March 14, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , ,


  1. ASLEF are also demanding withdrawal

    ASLEF demands ORR begins the immediate process of withdrawal of HST’s from service across the entire rail network by 12th of August 2023

    At least they are giving 18mths notice. Still not practical without disruption although what I would is give Hitachi and order fir 5 car Azumas repeat GWR design other than the damper mounting plate. They then have bi mode capability.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 15, 2022 | Reply

  2. My 11-year -old self, travelled the length and breadth of London on a red bus rover, during the long hot summer of ’76, to see my first HS2 at Old Oak Common depot. We wandered around quite freely, caught a glimpse, I’m pretty sure, of the APT, then spent hours train spotting on top of an old bunker on railway land, eating cheese and crisp sandwiches washed down by the thirst quenching, mildly alcoholic, top deck … I suspect none of the above would be allowed these days 🙂

    Comment by PJS | March 15, 2022 | Reply

    • You are fifty odd years too early for HS2!! Anyhow i remember those visits to OOC always easiest depot to get in and such a joy with the diesels stabled around the turntable ticking over. Shame shandy went out of fashion good starter drink for youngsters to encourage real ale drinking.

      Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 15, 2022 | Reply

      • My father introduced me to halves of Adnams in Felixstowe Conservative Club over games of snooker at the age of around twelve.

        Over sixty years later I still drink Adnams. But now it’s their 0.5 % alcohol Ghost Ship, as I’m on Warfarin and can’t drink too much alcohol. It is also gluten-free, as are many low-alcohol beers.

        Comment by AnonW | March 15, 2022

      • Ghost Ship 0% is one of the better low alcohol beers although can’t beat a Broadside

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | March 15, 2022

  3. So, from the RAIB report, the 4 collision pillars in the end of coach 1 were sheared off at the base and were found to have corrosion.

    Does this mean all MK3 coaches be withdrawn whether loco hauled MK3s or older EMUs (based on MK3)?

    And what about MK1 coaches which have even less resistance to the body being sheared off?

    And MK2s?

    The report also mentions lack of bogie retention devices so how many (older) carriages affected?

    Comment by chilterntrev | March 15, 2022 | Reply

    • I suspect that in most normal circumstances the Mark 3’s are strong enough. After all a pair of Class 455 trains suffered a vertical impact from a 24 tonne cement truck at Oxshott and no-one was killed.

      I wouldn’t volunteer to be inside some of the new aluminium trains in similar circumstances.

      Comment by AnonW | March 15, 2022 | Reply

  4. I’ve considered, but still would think as Talgo has yet to build any trains for the UK market and Hitachi has a proven (albeit redesigned) unit available, that replacement trains should be bought from the later as soon as possible.
    There are also 6* 7 car sets with CrossCountry and the 12(14?) Castle sets with GWR, so if the goverment demands the withdrawal of the HST#s they should provide (at least some) of the funding for the new units.
    26* 5 car 802 sets for SR, 12(17?)* 5 car sets (+18* (3-) 4 carsets to replace 158’s) for GWR and 6* 7 car sets for XC(although these could just be the 7 car 222’s from EMT).

    Comment by Daniel Altmann | March 15, 2022 | Reply

    • They’ve got to get a plan up and running soon to get rid of diesel and I suspect that others would like to tender.

      Alstom are building some three-car hydrogen trains and Stadler seem to be getting prodigious range with the battery-electric Flirt Akku. I also suspect that CAF would put in a bid.

      But if Sturgeon wants Talgo, I suspect they’ll play a part.

      Comment by AnonW | March 15, 2022 | Reply

    • Given that Talgo UK was dissolved last November and have no prospects of a factory in Scotland for a long time, any trains produced would be outside the UK. It would therefore make more sense for Hitachi, Alstom and CAF to be considered first; even Siemens are better placed with the building of their factory in Goole.
      I recall ADtranz, in Derby, proposing the Networker Classic, which was based on Class 424, Mk1 Carriage. The project floundered on the eventual recognition that when the donor vehicles were stripped down the amount of corrosion encountered was significantly higher than anticipated. This was verified by further inspection of other vehicles.
      The Mk3 coach was a much better design, yet they are between 30 and 40 years old. It’s unlikely, however that the level of engineering survey necessary to determine the degree of corrosion has been undertaken. I certainly wouldn’t consider their retention without such survey work being carried out.
      When it comes to aluminium versus steel for structural integrity, I’d be more circumspect in condemning the former, after all current vehicles from virtually every manufacturer are aluminium.

      Comment by fammorris | March 15, 2022 | Reply

      • It may have been dissolved, but the Scotsman on Sunday was quoting the MD. I think Nicola Sturgeon wants a train factory and may be subbing them with an order, as part of independence campaign.

        Comment by AnonW | March 15, 2022

  5. AnonW, I’m in contact with Alastair Dalton the journalist at the Scotsman as he has explained the basis for the reference to the MD of the former company. He is checking his facts.
    I will let you know the outcome.

    Comment by fammorris | March 15, 2022 | Reply

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