The Anonymous Widower

Should There Be Five-Car High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Trains?

The High Speed Two Classic-Compatible Trains have the following characteristics.

  • Eight cars.
  • 200 metres long.
  • 550 passengers.
  • Two can be coupled together to make a 16-car train, that is 400 metres long.
  • Trains can join and split en route.

This graphic shows the preliminary schedule.

Note that Train 4, starts as a pair of trains, before splitting at Crewe, with one train going to Lancaster and the other to Liverpool Lime Street.

I wonder, if some trains were to be five-cars, would this give the operator more flexibility, by allowing three trains to be coupled together to serve three destinations.

This could be a simple example.

  • A three train formation could leave Euston.
  • At Crewe one train would detach and go to Liverpool Lime Street, with stops at Runcorn and Liverpool South Parkway.
  • At Preston, the two remaining trains would split, with one train going to Lancaster and the other going to Blackpool with appropriate stops.

Three trains might give the operators more flexibility in providing appropriate capacity to various destinations.

Other Applications

I believe these trains would have other applications.

These are a few thoughts.

Battery-Electric High Speed Train

Battery technology is improving and I believe that a train could be designed with the following specification.

  • Five cars
  • High-Speed Two Classic-Compatible performance.
  • A battery pack in each car.
  • Up to maximum operating speed of digitally-signalled high speed lines.
  • 140 mph on digitally-signalled classic high speed lines, like the East and West Coast Main Lines. the Midland Main Line and the Great Western Railway.
  • Range on battery of around 120 miles at 100 mph.
  • Ability to work with fully-electric versions.


  1. I suspect that like current Hitachi AT-300s and Bombardier Aventras, the onboard computer would know what cars have been coupled together and what the train can do.
  2. A battery in each car would distribute the extra weight of the batteries equally and not affect the handling too much.
  3. These trains would allow High Speed Two services to be extended onto non-electrified lines.

I suspect that an eight car battery-electric High-Speed Two Classic-Compatible train would also be possible for working with the standard length trains.

March 12, 2023 - Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , ,

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