The Anonymous Widower

Ryanair Backs Away From Boeing Jet Order

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

Ryanair has ended talks to purchase tens of billions of dollars of Boeing jets amid a stand-off over the price.

The Irish budget airline had been in talks to buy as many as 250 planes of the 737 Max 10 model but said yesterday that the talks had collapsed.

But have Michael O’Leary and Boeing fallen out over hydrogen?

Consider.

  • Many countries in Ryanair’s largest markets are aiming to go net carbon-free by 2050 or even earlier. Scotland is aiming for 2045.
  • An airliner delivered today will still be flying twenty or even thirty years later.
  • I believe that by 2030, small airliners up to thirty passengers will be zero-carbon.

In Could An A320 neo Be Rebuilt As A ZEROe Turbofan?, I came to this conclusion.

I very much feel that there will be a route to convert some or all of the A 320 neo aircraft to hydrogen power.

If Airbus can offer an airliner, that can be rebuilt as a hydrogen-powered plane that must change the economics of purchasing a fleet of airliners, which could be made worthless by worldwide carbon emission legislation.

Because the Boeing aircraft is a 1960s design with an aluminium airframe, I would doubt it is designed to be converted to hydrogen power.

September 7, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Thoughts On Seating In East Coast Trains’ New Class 803 trains

This page on RailAdvent contains this YouTube video of one of East Coast Trains’ New Class 803 trains under test.

 

On this page on the First Group web site, they give some details of the service.

  • Five trains per day, seven days per week in both directions.
  • One class of travel
  • Offer tickets at an average price of less than £25.
  • At seat catering on every train.
  • Introduce an additional 1.5 million seats on the route every year.

They also expect 80 % of passengers to be new to rail.

The internet doesn’t give the number of seats on the train, so I will estimate a number.

The number of trains per year will be at least 365 * 2  * 5, which is an easy 3650 trains.

Dividing this into 1.5 million gives 410.9 seats per train. I’ll call that 411.

After I made that estimate, I found this page on the Beacon Rail Leasing web site.

It gives this information.

  • Power – 4.5 MW
  • Speed – 125 mph
  • Passenger Capacity – 400
  • Weight – 228.5 tonnes

Using the figure of 400 passengers and 3650 trains per year, that gives a total number of 1,460,000 passengers per year, which is probably within the margin of error for the arithmetic of marketing experts.

If you watch the video, the following can be ascertained.

  • The two driver cars have six large windows each.
  • The three centre cars have nine large windows each.
  • It looks like the seating in the train is three on one side and two on the other.

This picture shows the Standard Class seating bay layout on a Great Western Railway Class 802 train.

 

Note.

  1. The seats are arranged either side of the window.
  2. There are lots of tables.
  3. If the blind was up, passengers will get a good view.

If as I surmised from the video, seating is two+three and there are 39 bays, that means that the train has a base seating capacity of 390 seats.

That leaves ten seats to find places for, or just two per car.

With two+two seating, there would be 312 seats in the bays under windows, so there would be a need to fit in another 86 seats.

It appears to me that to meet their objective of 1.5 million additional seats that a two+three layout is needed.

But it could be that most passengers will get a proper table and possibly reasonable leg room. Try getting that on a budget airline!

A Few Questions

These are a few questions.

When Will The Service Start?

Your guess is as good as mine, but First Group are saying Autumn 2021.

Is The Service Geared For Group Or Family Travel?

Each train has thirty-nine groups of six seats and the same number of groups of four seats.

If say it was granny’s birthday in Edinburgh or a group of six friends were going to Scotland-England at Murrayfield, the layout would accommodate groups and families well.

They certainly need a good seat allocation algorithm.

Will I Be Able To Use My Railcard?

I would suspect not!

But then it would only save £8.33!

What About Delay Repay?

This will be automatic! I can’t ever be bothered to claim otherwise!

Will There Be Disabled Toilets?

It’s the law! But I have seen some much smaller ones that are well-designed and meet all aspects of the law in some new trains, so I would expect to find innovative designs.

Will There Be Single Seats?

I can sleep anywhere and regularly find myself returning to London curled in the corner of my seat fast asleep.

A single seat in the corner of the carriage might be ideal for some passengers.

Will Everybody Get A Table?

If I’m right about each seating bay having a table, then it would look like around ninety-seven percent of passengers would get a proper table. Not big enough for a copy of the Daily Telegraph, but they should have enough space for a laptop and/or a few beers.

What Food And Drink Will Be Offered?

I suspect, it will mainly be drinks and snacks like crisps or nutrition bars, which can be easily served from a trolley.

It should be noted that the three major stations on the route King’s Cross, Newcastle and Edinburgh all have a good selection of places to buy a carry-on!

But unlike at an airport, I suspect passengers won’t turn up two or three hours before departure, so will be unlikely to eat before departure.

I do think, that we could see improvements in the food offerings for taking on the train at Stevenage and Morpeth.

East Coast Trains may also contribute to the development of carry-on shops at some stations.

Will The Trains Accept Bicycles?

This is a tricky one and personally I feel that offering a decent bike hire service could be better value all round.

Using The Fleet Of Five Trains

Wikipedia and other sources indicate that the fleet is just five trains.

We know these facts or proposals.

  • King’s Cross and Edinburgh are 393.15 miles apart.
  • LNER run trains between King’s Cross and Edinburgh in four hours and twenty minutes (4 stops) and four hours and forty minutes (9 stops)
  • The record time between King’s Cross and Edinburgh was set in 1991 by a shortened all-electric InterCity 225 train at three hours twenty-nine minutes  and thirty seconds, which represented an average speed of 112.5 mph.
  • Trains start leaving King’s Cross and Edinburgh about 05:45.
  • The Werrington Dive-Under will, be completed in 2021.
  • The King’s Cross Remodelling should be completed this year.
  • Full digital in-cab signalling is being installed between King’s Cross and Doncaster. This will allow 140 mph running and as a Control Engineer, I believe it could ease the bottlenecks at Newark and over the Digswell Viaduct.
  • East Coast Trains’ Class 803 trains appear to have been designed for sparkling acceleration.
  • East Coast Trains will only make three stops.
  • East Coast Trains intend to compete with the budget airlines.
  • East Coast Trains intend their first train to arrive in London by 10:00. Does that mean Edinburgh as well?

I have just checked on Real Time Trains and this East Coast Trains timetable can be found.

King’s Cross and Edinburgh

  • 05:45 – Arrives 10:10 – 4 hours 25 minutes – Stops at Stevenage
  • 10:45 – Arrives 15:17 – 4 hours 32 minutes
  • 12:18 – Arrives 16:41 – 4 hours 23 minutes – Stops at Stevenage
  • 14:36 – Arrives 19:15 – 4 hours 39 minutes
  • 20:18 – Arrives 00:46 – 4 hours 28 minutes

Edinburgh and King’s Cross

  • 06:14 – Arrives 10:51 – 4 hours 37 minutes
  • 09:11 – Arrives 13:48 – 4 hours 37 minutes
  • 11:14 – Arrives 15:46 – 4 hours 32 minutes
  • 16:12 – Arrives 20:47 – 4 hours 35 minutes – Stops at Stevenage
  • 19:58 – Arrives 01:05 – 5 hours 7 minutes – Stops at Stevenage

Note.

  1. Times appear to be in-line with those of LNER.
  2. East Coast Trains’ objective of arriving by 10:00 is not met.
  3. Paths exist for East Coast Trains from the 7th June.

I believe this timetable is based on what is possible today without the improvements at King’s Cross and Werrington, and the digital signalling.

What Could Be Possible?

Consider.

  • The improvements that are underway will help to reduce journey times.
  • I also believe that by being clever, East Coast Trains could reduce turn-round times at King’s Cross and Edinburgh.

I think it is likely, that East Coast Trains could probably run between King’s Cross and Edinburgh in a time of around four hours.

I can also see a turn-round time of five minutes, if East Coast Trains use all their First Group experience.

Could this mean, a train starting from King’s Cross doing the following trips in a day?

  • 05:50 – King’s Cross to Edinburgh – Arrives 09:50
  • 09:55 – Edinburgh to King’s Cross – Arrives 13:55
  • 14:00 – King’s Cross to Edinburgh – Arrives 18:00
  • 18:05 – Edinburgh to King’s Cross – Arrives 22:05
  • 22:10 – King’s Cross to Edinburgh – Arrives 02:10

Note.

  1. A second train would mirror this time-table starting in Edinburgh.
  2. Every minute saved on each journey between King’s Cross and Edinburgh will bring the final arrival forward.
  3. There is tremendous potential to speed up services.

This time-table would be straight out of Michael O’Leary’s notebook about making assets sweat.

Conclusion

I think that East Coast Trains have done a Ryanair and designed the train to accommodate the maximum number of passengers. But the quoted £25 fare does appear to be good value.

I am certain that two+three seating will be used.

May 28, 2021 Posted by | Design, Transport | , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ryanair Expects Boeing 737 Max Jet Clearance Soon

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ryanair has said it expects the controversial Boeing 737 Max plane to be allowed to fly again in the US in the next month or so.

You won’t catch me booking a flight, with any airline, that flies any of these planes for at least thirty years.

I actually feel, that technology will overtake these planes long before that.

  • They are still made traditionally from aluminium, unlike the competing Airbus A320, which is made from composite, which offers weight and aerodynamic advantages.
  • There is no way, the 737 MAX could be converted to zero-carbon flying.
  • Zero-carbon aircraft will be flying by 2030.

I also think, that it when passengers have a choice, they will avoid the aircraft.

October 10, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Max Delays Force Job Cuts At Ryanair

The title of this post is the same as that5 of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Ryanair is to close bases and cut jobs because of the continuing delay in delivering the grounded Boeing 737 Max.

It obviously was going to happen, as if you haven’t got the planes, you’ll have to cut routes and that needs less staff and fewer bases.

November 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | 2 Comments

Ryanair Inflates Fares With Euro Conversion ‘Trick’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on page 18 of today’s copy of The Times.

I have several friends, who won’t let there credit card go anywhere near Ruanair.

An exposure from Which, shows how by converting currencies at the right time, Ryanair can make a few pounds.

I only fly Ryanair as an airline of last resort, when i need to fly somewhere interesting and they are the only carrier. But as this trick seems to apply when coming home and I usually do that on a train, I think my credit card is Ryanair-proof.

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Ryanair Is Starting To Hide Its Brand

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

It is certainly an article worth reading.

For instance, did you know that Buzz, Lauda and Malta Air are all controlled  by Ryanair and some might consider them subsidiaries?

So not only should you check your aircraft is not a Boeing 737 MAX 8 before you book, you should probably check that Air Neck End is what it says on the side.

June 14, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Ryanair One Of Europe’s Top Polluters, EU Data Suggests

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

Ryanair has become the only airline to be included in a list of Europe’s top 10 polluters, according to data from the EU’s Transport & Environment group.

It is the first time a company that does not run a coal-fired power plant has come near the top of the ranking.

Seven plants in Germany and one in both Poland and Bulgaria were on the list.

Will Michael O’Leary be annoyed, that he was beaten by nine coal-fired power stations?

April 2, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Pay Extra For Seats (Unless It’s Ryanair)

The ritle of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s copy of The Times.

It said that if you don’t pay for seats on a flight nine out of ten get to sitwith their travelling companions.

However, if you don’t pay on Tyanair, more than half were seated away from their friends.

I never pay, but in most cases I travel alone!

It all looks like another reason to not fly Ryanair!

March 12, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Ryanair Plane Seized Over €500k Debt

The title of this post is the same as that of a short article in today’s Times.

Surely, it is another reason to fly with someone else!

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

O’Leary Gets His Planning Wrong

This article on the BBC talks about the mess Ryanair has got itself into.

I have not flown Ryanair since June 2009, when I flew to Lamezia in Southern Italy.

In Why I Avoid Flying Ryanair, written in February 2014, I said this.

It’s not the fact that I want to avoid eleven hour delays, as these can happen to any airline, but it does seem that Ryanair don’t have a reasonable Plan-B to look after passengers in such circumstances.

In the current mess they haven’t even got a Plan-A!

Even now at seventy, I could probably write a program in Visual Basic 6, that took an airline’s schedules and gave them details of their needs for aircraft, pilots, cabin staff and lucky shamrocks for a required number of years.

Obviously, their planning doesn’t include such a system.

But I bet Norwegian have such a system!

The key to any successful business is getting your planning right!

“It Won’t Happen To Me!”

Do passengers think this when they fly somewhere.

Let’s face it, most of the journeys we do by car, bus and train in the UK, have an outcome as expected or perhaps we might get compensation for a late train.

And if the latter happens, we usually get a prompt refund.

Unlike in my adventures described in From Hamburg To Osnabruck By Train, where I suffered at the hands of Deutsche Bahn in Germany, where I had to pay for my hotel and had to buy a new ticket.

Conclusion

My rule is to use Ryanair as an airline of last resort, when they are the only airline flying to where I want to go. So if they mess up on the outward leg, I get an extra night in my own bed.

But then I can afford some extra expense and often, I’m travelling alone.

 

September 19, 2017 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , | Leave a comment