The Anonymous Widower

Should The Drain Get The First New Tubes For London?

Introducing new trains onto a rail route can be a difficult process, where all sorts of problems occur.

Testing And Introducing Class 710 Trains

Currently, London Overground are introducing Class 710 trains on the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

As the trains are about eighteen months late, I think that there must have been problems.

I’ve never tested a train, but the modern train must require lots of systems to be tested and Aventras and other recent trains could best be described as computers-on-wheels.

So I must admit, I was a bit surprised, when I heard that first route to receive the new Class 710 trains was the Gospel Oak to Barking Line.

  • The line had only been recently electrified.
  • Both diesel and electric freight trains use the route.
  • Eight trains are needed to run a complete service.

As this will be the first time the trains are used, there would appear to be a lot of things that could go wrong.

The simplest route, where the new Class 710 trains are to be used is the Romford-Upminster Line.

  • It is 5.4 km long.
  • It is single-track
  • It has a 30 mph speed limit.
  • There is only three stations, each of which are a single platform.
  • The journey takes nine minutes.
  • The service operates every thirty minutes.
  • There is only one signal.
  • Only one train is needed for the service.

It must be one of the simplest electrified railways in the world.

My instincts would have been to put a single train on this line and constantly shuttle it backwards and forwards.

This was exactly how Bombardier tested the Class 379 BEMU train on the Mayflower Line.

  • Only the train is being tested.
  • Passenger systems can be tested.
  • Drivers can be trained.
  • Passengers can be asked their opinions.

If the train fails, there is a regular bus service between the two stations and service engineers are not far away at Ilford Depot.

There must be good reasons, why this approach hasn’t been used.

Perhaps, it’s just that London Overground are not going to use a Class 710 train on this route. There have been rumours of this, that I talked about in A Heritage Class 315 Train For The Romford-Upminster Line.

The New Tubes For London

London Underground are buying New Tubes For London from Siemens for four lines.

  • Piccadilly – 100 trains
  • Bakerloo – 40 trains
  • Central – 100 trains
  • Waterloo & City – 10 trains

First trains are to run on the Piccadilly Line in 2023.

I think that it will not be a simple case of replacing one fleet of old trains, with another fleet of new trains, as has been done in the past.

It was managed successfully in recent times on the Victoria Line, when 2009 Stock trains replaced 1967 Stock trains.

But Siemens design is more radical and may need track and platform work to be performed before the trains can be run.

My research in The Train-Platform Interface In London, showed that the interface seemed fairly consistent on the Piccadilly Line, so it may be easy to design trains to run the line efficiently with step-free access between train and platform.

But what about the section of the line, where the trains share track with the S8 Stock trains of the Metropolitan Line.

If the Piccadilly Line has to be closed to make it fit for the New Tubes for London, then it will be a major undertaking, even if it is done in sections.

It would be a high-risk undertaking.

A Test Line For New Tubes for London

I believe there would be advantages in creating a test line for the following purposes.

  • Test the engineering for track and platforms.
  • Test the train performance and reliability.
  • Test the Automated Train Control
  • Test the passenger systems.

One of the suburban sections could be used, but there could be problems.

The Waterloo & City Line As A Test Track

On the other hand the Waterloo & City Line could be an ideal test track.

  • It has only two stations.
  • It is step-free
  • It is only 2.4 km. long.
  • Journeys take four minutes.
  • It is integrated with a depot.

The only problem is that trains have to be moved in and out by the use of a crane.

Using the Waterloo & City Line as a test track does have other advantages.

Alternative Routes During Closure

If the line had to be closed for any period of time for track or platform work, then in 2023, there will be some excellent alternative routes.

  • Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road and then the Central Line to Bank.
  • Northern Line to Tottenham Court Road and then Crossrail to Moorgate.
  • Bakerloo Line to Embankment and then the Circle/District Lines to Monument.
  • Jubilee Line to London Bridge and then the Northern Line to Bank.
  • Southeastern From Waterloo East to London Bridge and then bus or walk.

There is also the direct 76 bus and possibly others.

It should be noted that from late 2021, the Northern Line platforms at Bank station will be much improved.

So, if the Waterloo & City Line was used to test the trains, this in itself would not present any problems during closure or unreliable service.

Improved Capacity For The Line

According to an article in the November 2017 Edition of Modern Railways, which is entitled Deep Tube Upgrade, new trains for the Waterloo & City Line will give a capacity increase of twenty-five percent.

This is much-needed.

Automatic Train Control Testing

Testing of any automatic control system must be very rigorous and the short double-track route of the Waterloo & City Line would be ideal for testing automatic control of the new trains.

Trains could test twenty-four hours per day and every day of the year and not annoy anybody.

Driver Training

It could a valuable resource in training new drivers and converting others to the new trains.

Ongoing Train Development

It is London Underground’s and Seimen’s objective to have the same trains on as many lines of the London Underground as possible.

Siemens might get it right first time, but each line has its own quirks and design features and having a short line in London, where the next version of the trains could be tested by the public could be an advantage.

Conclusion

I believe that introducing the New Tubes for London on the Waterloo & City Line before the other lines could give advantages in the testing and designing of the trains and for the passengers of this short route.

 

 

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

What Will Be The Operating Speed Of The New Tube for London?

Transport for London have said that the New Tube for London will definitely be deployed on the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo Lines.

These three lines have sections at one or both ends, where the lines run through the countryside and the stations are farther apart.

Only the 1992 Stock of the Central Line have their operating speed given in Wikipedia.. It is 62 mph, which is the same as the S Stock for the sub-surface lines.

The 2009 Stock of the Victoria Line, despite being similar to the S Stock have an operating speed of only 50 mph.

Because of the nature of the ends of the Piccadilly, Central and Bakerloo Lines, will 62 mph be the optimum operating speed for these trains.

I’ll look at the factors on these lines separately.

Piccadilly Line

The Piccadilly Line will be self-contained, after the sorting of the shared sections West Rayners Lane and between Ealing Broadway and Acton Town, that I discussed in Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London.

I suspect the operating speed of the New Tubes for London on the Piccadilly Line, will be decided on what is best for that line.

Central Line

The Central Line is also self-contained and the best operating speed for the line will be chosen.

Bakerloo Line

The Bakerloo Line could be a problem, as currently Class 378 trains run on the same trcks. These have an operating speed of 75 mph.

These Class 378 trains will be replaced by Class 710 trains, which could have a faster performance.

Surely for optimum running, the trains should need similar performance.

The Benefit Of Automatic Train Control

On all the lines on which New Tubes for London will operate, there will be Automatic Train Control.

The operating speed will be set by the control system, whereas the maximum operating speed will be set by the trains design.

So I think we could see a maximum operating speed of 75 mph or even higher for the New Tube for London, so that it could run on faster lines and not slow the other faster trains.

More Speed Means More Powerful Trains And Improved Acceleration And braking

To go faster, you probably need more powerful trains, but the motors required would give better acceleration and braking, that would speed up services, by executing station stops in a shorter time.

Conclusion

I would expect from y Control Engineering training, that the New Tube for London could have a maximum operating speed in-line with the Class 710 train. So around 75-90 mph.

Could we even see an Underground train, that is capable of 100 mph?

It would only rarely, if ever, run at that speed on current plans, but it might enable Underground and National Rail services to share tracks in surprising places.

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments

Will The Extended Bakerloo Line Be Twenty-Seven Trains Per Hour All The Way?

There are two major projects that will be implemented on the Bakerloo Line in the next decade or two.

I certainly feel, that the two projects will bring the Bakerloo Line into the twenty-first century

The Planned Train Frequency

Under Current And Future Infrastructure, the Wikipedia entry for the Bakerloo Line says this.

Transport for London proposes to upgrade the line eventually, but not until other deep-level lines have been dealt with. This will include new signalling and new trains, enabling a maximum frequency of 27 trains per hour. TfL currently expects these to be in place by 2033.

Twenty-seven trains per hour (tph) seems very much in line with other deep-level Underground Lines.

  • Central Line – 35 tph
  • Jubilee Line – 30 tph
  • Northern Line – 24 tph for each branch
  • Piccadilly Line – 33 tph after upgrade.
  • Victoria Line – 36 tph

Perhaps, it is a bit lower, but the engineers usually manage to squeeze more out of a line.

The Bakerloo Line Extension To Lewisham

The planning is underway to extend the Bakerloo Line to Lewisham station.

The Bakerloo Line Extension looks like it will be a four-station extension, with interchanges at Elephant & Castle, New Cross and Lewisham.

This map from Transport for London, shows the extension.

I think it will be highly likely, that the extension will be built using a similar design and techniques to that of the Northern Line Extension to Battersea.

  • It will be double-track.
  • There are unlikely to be any junctions.
  • The Lewisham station will have two platforms with overrun tunnels.
  • There appears to be no depot planned.

I have come to some conclusions about the design.

Planned Frequency

If the track layout of the extension and particularly at Lewisham follows the layouts of the Victoria Line termini, I can see no reason, why the proposed frequency of twenty-seven tph can’t be achieved.

I also suspect that provision will be made, so that the frequency can be increased.

A higher frequency would also be expected if the Bakerloo line, were to be further extended to two separate branches, as the map indicates.

Number Of Trains

I suspect that for the extension to work in an optimum manner new trains will be needed.

Project Timescale And Cost

The Northern Line Extension to Battersea appears to be taking about six years from sign-off to completion.

This extension is twice as long and has double the number of stations, but is probably not as grand.

I would put my money on a seven year project and a couple of billion.

As it is unlikely, that the required new trains will not be available until 2033, the project probably has a sign-off date of around 2025.

The project could be pulled forward.

  • The trains could be built after those for the Piccadilly Line.
  • An early decision could be made.

Saying go in 2022 would enable a finish in 2029.

The Northern Section Between Queens Park And Watford Junction

North of Queens Park station, the line is double-track all the way to Watford Junction station.

Queens Park Station

At Queens Park station itself, it’s a lot more complicated.

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the track layout at Queens Park station.

Note.

  1. The Watford DC Line of the Overground is shown in orange and runs through Kilburn High Road and Queens Park stations.
  2. The Bakerloo Line is shown in brown and runs through Kilburn Park and Queens Park stations.
  3. There are reversing sidings to the West of Queens Park station for the Bakerloo Line.

The following services go through or terminate at Queens Park station.

  • Three tph between Euston and Watford Junction on the London Overground.
  • Six tph between Harrow & Wealdstone and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Three tph between Stonebridge Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.
  • Eleven tph between Queens Park and Elephant & Castle on the Bakerloo Line.

It is also likely that the Overground service will go to four tph.

So this means that services will be as follows.

  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Kilburn High Road station.
  • Twenty tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Kilburn Park station.
  • Nine tph on the Bakerloo Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Four tph on the Watford DC Line run through Queens Park station.
  • Eleven tph on the Bakerloo Line terminate at Queens Park station.

Thirteen tph will continue to various destinations towards Watford Junction.

What Is The Capacity North Of Queens Park Station?

So how many trains could the double-track line between Queens Park and Wartford Junction stations handle?

Consider.

  • All services on the line are london Overground or London Underground.
  • There are no junctions, where services divide and join.
  • There is a turnback facility at Harrow & Wealdstone station, that can handle six tph.
  • The Overground trains are being replaced with Class 710 trains, which must be able to be made compatible with digital signalling.
  • Watford Junction station has four platforms connected to the Watford DC Line.
  • Good design should be able to make the stations step-free for both Class 710 trains and New Tube for London.
  • The Watford DC Line service, always seems to terminate in platform 9 at Euston.
  • London Underground have run thirty-six tph on the Victoria Line for about a year now.

I suspect that if the trains are digitally signalled, with a degree of Automatic Train Control, that there could be as many as thirty-six tph between Queens Park and Watford Junction stations.

I also think it is significant that the New Tube for London, specifies that the Bakerloo Line will run at twenty-seven tph. Why not more, if the theoretical capacity North of Queens Park is thirty-six tph?

But a single platform at Euston can probably handle six tph, so add 27 and 6 and you get thirty-three tph, which is the proposed core frequency of the Piccadilly Line.

Will The Bakerloo Line Run All The Way To Watford Junction?

Suppose too, that all Bakerloo services ran all the way to Watford Junction, as has been proposed in the past.

  • This would simplify operation and especially at Queens Park, Stonebridge Park and Harrow & Wealdstone stations.
  • Digital signalling would easily handle the frequency.
  • The platform arrangement at Queens Park would be unchanged, with Euston services on the outside and Bakerloo services in the middle.

Watford Junction would have superb thirty-three tph service to two destinations in London.

Will The New Tube for London Run The Euston Service?

I will speculate, that the Watford DC Line service could be run by New Tubes for London..

  • One type of train would be easier to handle for staff and passengers.
  • All platform heights could be the same.
  • All services would be step-free between train and platform.
  • Digital signalling could easily handle thirty-three tph along the shared route.

In Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London, I proposed that the New Tube for London could run on a conventional third-rail system.

This would further mean the following for the Bakerloo Line.

  • New Tubes for London could use the existing track to access Euston, without serious modification.
  • If the Bakerloo Line is extended to Hayes, Beckenham Junction or Bromley North stations, the existing tracks could continue to handle existing third-rail trains to provide other services.
  • Only one type of train would be needed to run all services on the Bakerloo Line to its various destinations.

Use of New Tubes for London on all routes may be possible to create a service on the Northern section of the Bakerloo Line with the following characteristics.

  • Twenty-seven tph between Watford Junction and Elephant & Castle stations.
  • Six tph between Watford Junction and Euston stations.
  • All stations would be step-free between platform and train.
  • All trains would be identical New Tubes for London.
  • All trains would run under Automatic Train Control, as does the Victoria Line.

All passengers on the existing Bakerloo and Watford DC Lines would see a better service.

The Bakerloo Line Extension to Lewisham

Note, that I have said nothing about the Bakerloo Extension to Lewisham.

In my view, that extension does what it says on the tin and creates a new twenty-seven tph service between Elephant & Castle and Lewisham stations, which brings new services to an area of South-East London, where they are much needed.

Effectively, the Bakerloo Line would become two twenty-seven tph lines, that happen to connect back-to-back at Elephant & Castle station to enable cross-London journeys.

Could Bakerloo Line Services Still Be Turned Back At Harrow & Wealdstone?

The following could be argued.

  • Watford Junction doesn’t need twenty-seven tph on the Bakerloo Line and six tph to Euston.
  • Watford needs a cross-Watford service like the in-limbo Croxley Rail Link.

So could a few trains be turned back using the existing facility at Harrow & Wealdston station to create paths to allow an appropriate service between say Watford Junction and Amersham stations?

More Frequent Services

If we look at the Victoria Line, where the frequency has increased over the last few years by the addition of various improvements, I would not be surprised to see the frequency of twenty-seven tph increased.

After all London Underground’s engineers have been squeezing Dear Old Vicky for half a century, so they must know more tricks, than Paul Daniels knew at the peak of his success.

Conclusion

Undoubtedly, the New Tube for London could run at twenty-seven tph all the way between Watford Junction to Lewisham stations.

Whether that frequency is needed all the way is another matter.

 

October 7, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The Power System For The New Tube for London

Obviously, very little has been said about the power system of the New Tube for London.

London Underground Electrification

This description of Lundon Underground electrification comes from Electrification in the Wikipedia entry for London Underground Infrastructure.

The lines are electrified with a four-rail DC system: a conductor rail between the rails is energised at −210 V and a rail outside the running rails at +420 V, giving a potential difference of 630 V. On the sections of line shared with main line trains, such as the District line from East Putney to Wimbledon and Gunnersbury to Richmond, and the Bakerloo line north of Queen’s Park, the centre rail is bonded to the running rails, as the electrical return from National Rail trains is via the wheels. This was first used in the early 20th century, the isolated traction current return allowing a train’s position to be detected using DC track circuits, and reduced any earth leakage currents that could affect service pipes and telephone cables.

This picture shows a typical London Underground track on the Central Line at Bank station.

Note the suicide pit under the rails.

This layout is rather unusual and different to the third rail system used by National Rail services in London and the South East and on Merseyrail.

Battery Power

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled London Underground Deep Tube Upgrade.

This is an extract.

More speculatively, there might be a means to independently power a train to the next station, possibly using the auxiliary battery, in the event of traction power loss.

Batteries in the New Tube for London would have other applications.

  • Handling regenerative braking.
  • Moving trains in sidings and depots with no electrification.

It should be born in mind, that battery capacity for a given weight of battery will increase before the first New Tube for London runs on the Piccadilly line around 2023.

Conversion To A Conventional Third-Rail System

Given, that space in the deep tunnels is limited, I wonder if removing the third rail in the middle and going to a third-rail 630 V DC system will give more space under the train, that could be used for equipment and a lower floor.

The following lines could eventually be converted to the New Tube for London.

So could the shared running be eliminated to make conversion easier.

The Bakerloo Line North of Queens Park Station

The New Tube for London must be able to share the track with the Class 710 trains working the Watford DC Line.

There would be no problem with traction, as both types of trains could use conventional third-rail track.

But there would be a problem with platform height.

Between Rayners Lane and Uxbridge Stations

In Can Between Rayners Lane And Uxbridge Stations Be Step-Free?, I investigated the line between these two stations, including these possibilities.

  •  Unattended Train Operation (UTO) on the Piccadilly Line, which may mean platform edge doors.
  • Terminating The Piccadilly Line At Rayners Lane Station
  • Terminating The Metropolitan Line At Rayners Lane Station
  • A Piccadilly Line Service Be Run Between Uxbridge and Ealing Broadway Stations
  • Extending The Central Line To Uxbridge

I came to this conclusion.

There are a lot of possible improvements that can be done to the train service to Uxbridge.

That is probably a bit of a cop-out, but then there are a lot of possibilities, some of which eliminate the Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines sharing the track to Uxbridge.

Between Acton Town And Ealing Broadway Stations

This map from carto.metro.free.fr shows the lines Between Acton Town and Ealing Broadway stations.

Note how the Piccadilly and District Lines share tracks from Ealing Common station, which then split with District Line trains going to Ealing Broadway station and Piccadilly Line trains going to Rayners Lane and Uxbridge stations.

Transport for London are suggesting the following.

  • Ealing Broadway is served by the Piccadilly Line, rather than the District Line.
  • District Line trains would terminate at Richmond and Wimbledon stations instead of Ealing Broadway.
  • East of Acton Town, Piccadilly Line trains would call at Turnham Green, Ravenscroft Park and Hammersmith
  • District Line trains would call at a relocated Chiswick Park, Turnham Green, Stamford Brook, , Ravenscroft Park and Hammersmith.
  • East of Hammersmith, both District and Piccadilly Line routes would be unchanged.

Passengers needing to travel between Ealing Broadway and stations between Victoria and Whitechapel, would change at Turnham Geen, Ravenscroft Park or Hammersmith, by walking across the platform.

If this change is implemented, there will be no shared running between the Piccadilly and District Lines.

National Rail Shares Tracks With The Metropolitan And District Lines

There is some shared running on the Metropolitan and District Lines but that would be unaffected.

Conclusions On Conversion To A Conventional Third-Rail System

It looks to me, that it would be possible to convert the deep-level Underground Lines to conventional third-rail, by eliminating sharing with other lines.

But would such a radical change to the electrification of London’s deep-level Underground lines be feasible and economic?

Conversion From Four Rails To Three

I suspect that when the New Tube for London is introduced on a line, the track will be renewed or at the least given a good refurbishment.

Some years ago, I obtained a database of all the faults on the London Underground for a year. Very few of the faults were down to track faults and the only problems in tunnels seemed to be water ingress.

So I think we can assume, that the track foundations are probably in good condition. If they aren’t I suspect London Underground know all about the problems.

My project management knowledge leads me to believe that a well-planned series of track closures should be possible  to convert the track.

Safety

At all stations, the rail in the centre of the track would not be there anymore and the only electrified rail could be placed on the far side from the platform in deep-level stations.

This is another picture from Bank station.

Note.

  1. The +420 VDC power rail sitting on insulators close to the wall
  2. The -210 VDC power rail sitting on insulators on posts in the suicide pit.
  3. How the two running rails neatly fit on ledges on either side of the suicide pit.

Imagine how it would look with the negative power rail removed.

The single rail could also be shielded, by perhaps an insulating board on both sides of the rail.

This picture shows an insulated third rail at Oxted station. The yellow insulator is wood, that has been painted.

I would extrude the insulator using recycled plastic. After all polythene’s first major use was as an insulator in radar during World War II.

I believe that a three-rail track could be designed, that would surely be much safer than the current track, should anybody fall or be pushed off the platform.

There is also the possibility of using battery power in some or even all stations. Power would only be supplied to the trains between stations, where batteries would be charged.

The third rail would stop perhaps forty metres at either side of a station and the gaps would be bridged by battery power.

It might be possible to make stations, with no electrified rails visible or accessible.

Eliminating The Gap

I would imagine that the design of the New Tube for London will make sure that the doors are aligned with the platform, as these doors on a Class 378 train are with the platform on the London Overground.

I would imagine, that  by making certain that the running rails are correctly adjusted, then step-free access between train and platform can be achieved.

I’ve certainly seen passengers in wheel-chairs push themselves in and out of trains at Dalston Junction station.

Electrolytic Corrosion

Mark said this in a comment.

There is a very important reason why the tube uses two power rails. It was quickly discovered that using a ground return on a DC circuit lead to the return current actually coming back via te cast iron tunnel lining rings and electrolysis and electrolytic corrosion of the lining.

Transport for London’s engineers would be very aware of any problems, and I suspect that they have a viable solution.

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled New London Underground Slab Track Cast In-Situ.

It describes how they are using slab track cast in the tunnel to fit problems in short tunnels. They also expect the solution to last a hundred years.

Such a solution would surely work in the cast-iron deep-level tunnels to allow new track to be installed in whatever format was desired.

There Is One Major Problem

The New Tube for London won’t be able to run on the existing track and the current 1973 Stock won’t be able to run on the future track.

So London Underground sensible policy of phasing in the new trains alongside the old ones, as was done on the Victoria Line would not be possible.

The first line to be equipped with New Tube for London trains will be the Piccadilly Line, which has the following characteristics.

  • There are two depots; Cockfosters and Northfields, which are conveniently at each end of the line.
  • There are sidings at Arnos Grove, South Harrow and Uxbridge.
  • Trains can be turned back to the West at Acton Town, Arnos Grove and Wood Green
  • Trains can be turned back to the North at Acton Town, Barons Court, Green Park and Rayner’s Lane.
  • There are crossovers at Hatton Cross, Hounslow Central and Kings Cross St. Pancras.

There are many more sidings, turnbacks and crossovers than most other lines.

These may enable a phased conversion of the line to the new track design, signalling and trains.

Conclusion

I believe it is feasible to convert London’s deep-level Underground lines to a conventional third-rail system, as used in the rest of London, the South East and Merseyrail.

This would give these advantages.

Running On Coventional Third-Rail Tracks

New Tube for London trains could run on the following lines and share with trains like Aventras, Desiro Cities, Electrostars and Networkers equipped for third-rail operation.

Routes where this might be useful include.

  1. Extending the Bakerloo Line along the Watford DC Line, to the North of Queens Park station.
  2. Extending  the Bakerloo Line Extension to the South of Lewisham station to Beckenham Junction, Bromley North and Hayes stations.

Route 2 would release paths into an overcrowded London Bridge station.

Look at this map from carto.metro.free.fr, which shows the new terminus of the Northern Line at Battersea Power Station station.

The under-construction Northern Line Extension is shown dotted.

Could Northern Line services come to the surface, join the surface lines and run to Clapham Junction station and possibly beyond?

Creating More Space And A Level Floor In The New Trains

Removing the centre rail will give more space in the limited tunnels of the deep-level Underground lines and must make it easier to squeeze in all the equipment that has been specified for the new trains.

Increasing Safety

It is my view, that the suicide pit under the train will be wider and will not be guarded by an electric rail.

The main power supply will be right out of the way in stations and could even be eliminated from stations by the use of batteries.

 

 

 

 

October 6, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 7 Comments

By Class 345 Train To Shenfield

This morning, I took one of Crossrail’s Class 345 train between Liverpool Street and Shenfield.

Even these initial trains, which are a couple of cars short of a full train, are a long walk from end-to-end.

I actually followed the driver, who was changing ends, by walking along the platform.

Two school parties of young children had arrived on the train, and she took time out from her walk, to chat to a couple of teachers and some of the children.

If you look at the second and last pictures, you’ll notice a door on the side of the cab. But the driver left and entered the train through the passenger compartment. In the last picture another driver is entering the train.He was perhaps taking over the train.

So it does seem, that drivers are happy to enter and leave the train, via the passenger compartment, which it appears they will be doing in the New Tube for London.

July 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Thoughts On The New Tube For London

This article on the BBC is entitled East Yorkshire Factory Wins £1.5bn Tube Train Deal.

This is the second paragraph.

Transport for London (TfL) said the 94 trains will be designed and built by Siemens Mobility at its planned £200m facility in Goole.

But what else do we know of the design?

In 2013, I went to an exhibition of Siemens’ early design study, which I wrote about in Siemens’ View Of The Future Of The Underground.

These are the pictures I took at the time of the mock-up in the exhibition.

From my visit, I ascertained the following.

  • The cross section appears taller and wider than the current deep-level trains.
  • It has been designed so that someone of 2.6 metres can stand without stooping.
  • The trains are designed to be articulated with a walk-through gangway.
  • Access appears to be level between train and platform.

Will the new trains be like the mock-up?

This article on Rail Engineer is entitled London Underground Deep Tube Upgrade.

It gives some useful information and clues about the design of the New Tube for London (NTfL).

  • The press release mentioned longer, walk through trains and air conditioning.
  • An illustration with the press released shows all double doors.
  • It is possible to provide an inter-car gangway by using an articulated configuration with more, shorter carriages.
  • Bogies appear to be shared between cars.
  • Bogie positioning allows all doors to be double.
  • Rail Engineer’s view is that there are ten cars to a train.
  • Most axles motored to deliver Victoria Line traction and braking performance.
  • A 100 kph speed is quoted, as, opposed to 80 kph for current 2009 Stock on the Victoria Line.
  • There might be a battery to power the train in case of power failure.

Taking all of these clues, what can I deduce?

Safe Platform Area

Before continuing, I will define what I mean as the safe platform area.

Usually on most Underground platforms without platform-edge doors, there are barriers at both ends of the platform beyond, which passengers are not allowed.

These limit the end of what I define as the safe platform area, where passengers can freely circulate and enter and leave the trains.

These pictures show the ends of various Underground platforms.

Each picture is identified with Station, Line, Direction and Train End.They all seem fairly similar.

Train Length And Car Length

The press release says the new trains will be longer.

The current length of the 1973 Stock on the Piccadilly Line is 106.8 metres.

This length is determined by the underground platforms, where if the driver stops, so that they can get off into the protected area, at the forward end of the platform, the rear end of the train is still in the tunnel.

The end passenger doors are of course in the safe area of the platform.

From looking at trains at Kings Cross station and judging it against the known length of a 1973 Stock train, I estimate that the length of the safe area is around ninety-five metres.

Looking at the picture of the cab in the mock-up, there is no driver’s door. So I will assume that drivers will access the cab from the passenger compartment. This probably means that the trains could be a little bit longer and still give access to all cars on the train.

The Rail Engineer article speculates that the trains will have ten sections of which two must have cabs on one end.

I think this will mean the following.

  • There will be nine bogies between cars.
  • There will be an end bogies under the cab of both driving cars.
  • Each passenger car and the passenger section of the driving cars, will have two double doors on either side.
  • I believe that the interiors of the passenger cars and the passenger sections of the driving cars will be virtually identical.
  • The driving cab would be perhaps four metres long and could have a plant room behind it.
  • The driving cab and its structure would probably incorporate a crush zone.

If the end pair of doors behind the driver’s cab, were locked out on underground platforms, this would not cause inconvenience to passengers. It certainly doesn’t now, when selective door opening is used at various stations on the Underground, like Baker Street station on the Sub-Surface Lines.

So perhaps, the safe platform area will go to the middle of the passenger compartment in the driving cars?

This will mean that.

  • At some stations only one door can be used in the end cars.
  • Access will always be available through the second door of the car or the two doors in the next car.
  • The driver can easily access the cab, through the bulkhead door between the cab and passenger compartment.

This will also mean that there will be eight passenger cars and two half passenger sections from the driving cars in the safe platform area.

It should be noted that on the Victoria Line trains have always stopped automatically in the correct position, so this wouldn’t be difficult to arrange with automation of this function on the NTfL

Suppose the safe platform area can be stretched to 108 metres, this would mean.

  • The passenger cars would be 12 metres long
  • The passenger sections of the driving car would be 12 metres long.
  • The driving cars would be perhaps 16 metres long.

This would give a total train length of 128 metres, with a passenger compartment that is 120 metres long.

Obviously, these lengths are speculative and others will work.

  • 12.5 metre passenger cars would result in a 133 metre long train and would need a 112.5 metre safe platform area.
  • 13 metre passenger cars would result in a 138 metre long train and would need a 117 metre safe platform area.
  • 14 metre passenger cars would result in a 148 metre long train and would need a 126 metre safe platform area.

I do think the figures show, that if trains can overhang the safe platform area, then trains can be longer and train capacity can be increased.

It also shows, that if the safe platform area can be lengthened, so can the trains, which would further increase capacity.

But lengthening platforms, especially in tunnels can be very expensive!

Train Length On Other Lines

These trains must also fit the Bakerloo, Central, Jubilee, Northern and Waterloo & City Lines.

These lines all have different length trains.

  • Bakerloo – 114 metres
  • Central – 133 metres
  • Jubilee – 126 metres
  • Northern – 108 metres
  • Waterloo & City – 66.5 metres

To further complicate matters, some stations on the Jubilee Line have platform-edge doors.

The Rail Engineer article states that the NTfLwill have ten articulated segments.

If all the passenger cars are identical, then a longer or shorter train should be able to be created by fitting an appropriate number of passenger cars between the two driving cars.

Train Length On The Waterloo & City Line

A five-car train with twelve metre segments and sixteen metre driving cars, would be 68 metres long and could fit the simple platforms of the Waterloo & City Line.

Train Capacity

The capacity of the 1973 Stock is 228 seated and 684 standing passengers.

The most modern deep tube trains on the Underground are the 2009 Stock of the Victoria Line.

These trains accommodate 252 seating and 1196 standing passengers in a train length of 133.3 metres, which is 10.85 passengers per metre.

A better comparison might be the S7 Stock of the Circle Line, as they have similar a seating arrangement to the NTfL.

These trains accommodate 865 sitting and standing passengers in a length of 117.5 metres, which is 7.36 passengers per metre

As the passenger section of the proposed design for the NTfL is 120 metres,

  • This gives a capacity .of 1302 passengers using the 2009 Stock figure.
  • This gives a capacity .of 883 passengers using the S7 Stock figure.

The actual figure is probably somewhere in the middle. I shall use 1100, which is an increase of twenty percent over the current trains.

Train Weight

Obviously, I don’t have the weight of the proposed NTfL.

A 2009 Stock train weighs 197.3 tonnes and is 133.3 metres long.

My guess for the length of a proposed NTfL is 128 metres.

The best I can come up with is to say that the NTfL is the same weight per metre as the 2009 Stock.

This gives the weight of the NTfL as 189.5 tonnes.

I would put an error of 25 tonnes on that figure either way.

Train Kinetic Energy

The value of the kinetic energy of the train is important, as it determines the energy that must be.

  • Transferred to the train to accelerate it up to speed.
  • Absorbed by the braking system, when the train stops.

Consider.

  • The basic train weight is 189.5 tonnes.
  • There are 1100 passengers.
  • With bags, buggies and other things passengers bring on, let’s assume an average passenger weight of 90 kg, this gives an extra 99 tonnes.
  • This gives a total train weight of 288.5 tonnes

If the train is travelling at 100 kph, this gives a kinetic energy of 30.9 kWh.

Regenerative Braking

The S Stock trains of the sub-surface lines have regenerative braking.

This saves energy and it will certainly be applied on the proposed NTfL.

The regenerative energy system on the S Stock returns the electricity through the electrification to power other trains nearby. This means a braking train effectively powers one that is accelerating.

The Rail Engineer article about the NTfL, says that most axles will be powered.

  • This gives good acceleration and smooth regenerative braking.
  • I would not be surprised to see a small battery of about 5 to 10 kWh in each car to handle the regenerative braking.
  • When the train brakes the traction motors will pass their generated energy to the battery.
  • On acceleration, the traction motors would use the energy stored in the battery.

One of the great advantages of using batteries with regenerative braking in tunnels, is that it reduces the amount of heat that a train emits into the trunnel.

Electrical System

I wouldn’t be surprised to see each car designed like a serial hybrid bus.

  • The third-rail electrification and energy from regenerative braking would charge the battery.
  • Each car might have its own pickup shoes.
  • The battery would power the car’s traction motors and other systems.

An intelligent computer system would control each car and the whole train.

Effectively, the train could be a connected string of ten independently powered cars.

Think liberty horses with a ringmaster in charge.

Keeping The Tube Cool

This article on IanVisits is entitled Cooling The Tube – Engineering Heat Out Of The Underground.

Read it and you’ll find all the methods Transport for London are employing to make Underground travel better.

The first thing that must be done is to make sure that the proposed NTfL do not increase the heat input into the tunnels and trains to make the experience hotter

The train must be well-insulated, so that if the temperature in the train is at the required level for passengers, it tends to stay there and only change slowly.

The second thing that must be done is that the train should be designed so that it puts a minimum level of heat into the tunnels.

  • Regenerative braking to batteries will help, as it will mean that braking should be heat-free and the train will be taking less traction current from the rails.
  • An aerodynamic train will produce less heat from friction.
  • Traction motors and other electrical systems will produce heat.

I suspect Siemens will look at every component of the train and heat production will be one of the criteria.

I also believe that the design of an intelligent air-conditioning system is important.

Suppose you are trying to use air-conditioning to cool a 30 °C train in a 30 °C tunnel. All you’ll do is heat the tunnel even more.

Take the Piccadilly, Jubilee and Central Lines, which all have surface sections at both ends.

So why not cool the trains on the surface to say 22 °C, before they enter the central tunnels?

  • There will be no problem venting the heat to air.
  • The outside air temperature on the surface, will probably be less than in the tunnels
  • If the trains are well-insulated, this will help.

By the time the trains get to the other end of the tunnel, the train’s temperature will have risen and then the cycle is ready to start again.

Some trains spend thirty minutes or more running on the surface in a round trip of more than an hour.

Emergency Train Recovery Using Battery Power

If there is sufficient battery capacity, then this must be possible.

Conclusion

These trains could be very different than the trains they replace.

 

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | 5 Comments

Is This A Significant Move In The Rolling Stock Market?

This article in the Railway Gazette is entitled Bombardier-Hitachi joint venture to bid for New Tube for London.

I think it makes sense for several reasons.

  • The New Tube for London order is massive in that it will re-equip the some of the deep-level tube lines with state-of-the-art, air-conditioned and automated trains.
  • Bombardier have lots of experience with dealing with Transport for London, in recent years.
  • Hitachi haven’t built a complete train for London.
  • Both companies have large factories in the UK.
  • Over the next few years, if speculation is confirmed, Bombardier will be building a lot of Aventras for East Anglia, the Midland Main Line and Merseyside.
  • Hitachi will also be building a lot of Class 800/801 trains.
  • Hitachi have said, that both factories would produce the trains.
  • Financially, a joint bid is probably better.
  • As we are now in a post-Brexit world, accepting a bid from a European company would not be a good idea.

But I also feel that this could be a strategic partnership, where there is a good mix of experience, that combined with the UK’s undoubted skills in providing reliable and modern underground railways, could open up a world-wide market in the future, as other cities and regions in the world look to improve transportation in cities crowded with traffic.

I will finish this post with a little bit of speculation about what the New Tube for London will be like.

  • Walk-through like the S-Stock built by Bombardier.
  • More headroom for tall standees.
  • Air-conditioning and other passenger comforts.
  • Level access to all platforms.
  • Wi-fi and mobile phone signals.
  • USB ports in arm-rests.
  • Lots of passenger information.
  • Novel features, designed with the future in mind.
  • Automated, at least to the standard of the Victoria Line.
  • I doubt they will be driver-less like the Docklands Light Railway.
  • A limited battery capability to get trains to the next station on power failure and allow depots to have less electrification for safety.

As these trains will still be in service past 2050, I think that we’ll see the best designers wanting to be associated with this project and the New Tube for London will benefit.

Eventually identical trains will be running on all lines, although some lines might have extra cars inserted.

August 5, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Siemens’ View Of The Future Of The Underground

This mock-up of an Underground train is being shown at The Crystal by the Royal Victoria station on the Emirates Air Line.

If they ever build these trains, what will be much more significant is the technical specification of the new trains.

If you look at these pictures, you’ll see that the cross section appears taller and wider than the current deep-level trains. It has been designed so that someone of 2.6 metres can stand without stooping.

The trains are designed to be articulated with a walk-through gangway, like the new S Stock on the sub-surface lines. I think Siemens hope that air-conditioning could be squeezed in.

It is a pity that most of London’s Underground was built to such a small size, but that is one of the problems you get by being first. The technical problems of London though, are probably minor compared to building new trains for the Glasgow Subway, which is even smaller and totally unique.

I doubt London will ever see a new Underground line built to the current tube standard, developed by the Victorians!

Crossrail is effectively a main line railway and other lines across London will probably use that standard, with the possible exception of some lines built to the standard used on the Docklands Light Railway.

October 31, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 4 Comments