Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Mat_Jam_Ca, Jan 10, 2021.
Surprised by this review of the GWR BR Class 800...
The build quality seems to be very poor.
I can't imagine he's making the loose panels much better by pushing and pulling them... Many people seem to have a strong dislike for these trains purely because they're replacing the HSTs, and trust me, being sat on a broken seat from London to Edinburgh on one was not fun!
I have spoken to a few workers for GWR I know who work with the 802s, and they can’t stand them.
I have ridden on one, and I much prefer the HSTs...
They look good, but appearances can clearly be deceiving.
I would arguably say that they would be better for more local services. The restriction to 5 coaches is irritating and the comfort levels aren’t great either.
The Italian-built ones are the worst ones because of their build quality. I think the British- and Japanese-built ones are mostly fine. Unfortunately the bad thing about the train were out of Hitachi's (and the TOCs') control. That being the seats. While the design is the seat is good - they're very wide with a lot of legroom - the lack of padding completely ruins them. If they had a thicker base and cushion, the trains would be universally be more liked. The lack of a buffet on some of them is disappointing but a lot of operators worldwide are now moving away from the buffet, so it's not surprising. CrossCountry did a survey years ago and found the passengers preferred a trolley service, which is why they removed the shop from the Voyagers. People were also put off by a lot of them being only 5 coaches, but again the use of multiple short sets for a long train is something not new and now is as popular as ever. The German ICE and French TGV trains are always formed of two sets connected, and they've been like that for years, so it's nothing weird.
The HSTs and Class 91/Mark 4s have been a victim of the rose-tinted glasses, as they are pretty dreadful in everything except the interior - the opposite of the IETs.
I forgot that the HITACHIs are replacing the 91s. That is criminal haha. They too were much better than the 800s.
I'm sad they're replacing the Class 91s, but not the Mark 4s.
The 91s would be a far more sensible choice than 92s for the Caledonian Sleeper in my eyes (as much as I adore Class 92s). Maybe once the GWML is electrified to Penzance they'll replace the 57s.
Oh yeah I don’t like the curvature of the Mk4 body, but I love the Class 91s.
There were plans for the 91s for the Sleepers up to Scotland. I read somewhere that the blunt end was especially for taking freight back down to England when they had arrived in Scotland, but that didn’t happen.
I read somewhere about plans to have them running from Paddington to Cardiff now that it’s electrified, but I don’t know if that’s happened.
Sorry Matjamca! I’ve gotten off topic abit
Afaik the LNER ones still have buffets
strange... I didn't know the 800s were built in Italy. Anyway our Hitachi trains (such as the Frecciarossa 1000( don't seem to have those issues
After travelling on multiple 800s I have to say that even the 143 pacer is better than the 800s in my opinion...
I thought the 800’s had been well received. I’m guessing they’ve left a lot to be desired.
GWR has always tried to boost their popularity by showing them as great. They are always seen in the adverts. But I actually think people are fed up with them already; the HSTs which they replaced were far nicer in comfort and ride quality. But the 800s are seen to be Modern and therefore the best. It’s a very similar thing as the reception of the Class 700s, which most people detest for the seating, which, I have experienced a small back issue due to. The fact they are used on long distance is annoying because they are so uncomfortable.
Well the Hiatchi 802 is built on same place where the V250 was made in Pistoia and in paris our MF77 was refurbished ( with years of delays ) by Ansaldo Breda and it was a big mess with low quality job.
700s are definitely aided by the addition of declassified first class at the back of every service, far better than the old 319s. The ride quality standing in the vestibules of a MK3 is much better than the IETs, but sitting down, I much prefer the IETs.
Very much so! On the journeys that I use them for, they are much quieter and I am able to use a table!
Well some of the IET's were made in the former AnsaldoBreda factory. And that factory is notorious for its extremely bad building quality. For example, they made the Fyra V250 for the Dutch railways. You know, these high speed trains where pieces fell off the train while driving.
Train crew that are spotters will always prefer the HST. An IET is so much easier to work compared to a HST, and generally pretty reliable.
I think the guy in the video is a HST enthusiast, and has a grudge against the 800s.
I've used them many times and the build quality is decent.
The same guy said nothing about the Aventras which are some of the worst units in the UK, which do have bad build quality and loads of other issues.
Which ones are the Aventras?
They’re the new Electrostar trains. There are quite a few versions including the Crossrail ones.
Oh I quite like the look of them. What's wrong with their build quality? (I don't live near anywhere that uses them)
Everything, they are horrifically unreliable and are 4 years late into service, because of a load of software issues.
They already have rattly panels, and the ride quality is very poor.
Haven't been on a train for over a year due to Covid, but the Hitachi units are fairly horrid from a passenger comfort point of view.
Awful seats being the main issue, the ones fitted with the revised dark grey style being a tad better than the original type but still like sitting on a lump of concrete. No one, even a dinosaur like me, expects sumptuous Mark 1 TSO style cushions anymore but considering what these replaced and that they are intended for 5 hour+ journeys, they are uncomfortable by any standard.
And yes ride quality if you sit over the wheels is quite awful.
The Mk3s are the best for comfort levels; the suspension and seating materials were perfectly balanced. But I do understand what you mean about the Mk1s being able to be absorbed by haha
The ones ordered by TOC's directly are better than the DfT ones.
The LNER ones are actually a lot better than the GWR ones, the TPE ones are even better than the LNER ones, and I've yet to ride the Hull Trains Paragon services, but I'd imagine they will be better again.
You've got new EMR ones that have stolen the rather comfortable Stadler Flirt seats, which should GREATLY improve ride quality on the 800 series.
I can confirm that they are as bad as they sound, and all the point in this review are accurate. I wouldn't even recommend the seats for a commuter trains. So uncomfortable. I have heard that the other TOC's versions of the IET are better, but I have to live with the GWR ones. Wish we could have the HSTs back. They may be old, but they are comfortable and reliable. I at least hope that GWR does a refurbishment in the next few years. May be a hopeful wish, but with the rate the panels and other stuff are falling apart, it may not be out of the question. At least if anything, give them comfortable seats that are way more appropriate for a long distance train. I could forgive the other things if the seats were comfortable.
sort of, them only got assembled at Pistoia, and we are talking only of the GWR 802s, the TPE 802 have been assembled in UK, also, in my honest opinion, I find ETR 400s pretty poor compared to ETR 500, the 500 are definitelly more confortable, and seem that who projected the interiors actually gave a care to confort, like, on 400s, not all the seats have an electric socket, also, as every Italian high speed train, they suffers of failures, none of them is safe.
The IETs are in a far better state than the full length HST sets were on GWR. Yes, the seats are a little hard, but other than that they're not bad trains. As for reliability, the HST fleet were very unreliable before their refurbishment and move to local services.
Due to COVID I hadn’t had a chance to ride an AZUMA. So I took the only LNER service from Glasgow central to Edinburgh. £6.50 1st class! Full length train and what surprised me was the composite coach. Sure enough my booked seat had a dreadful window view. Ok here we go. Started smoothly but rattle rattle. All the blinds rattled in their aluminium guide tracks. They should have those cushioning inserts to stop that. Cheap. Then I noticed a noise like my car when it reaches a certain speed and the doors lock. What the hell it was loud.
Then the snatching. Keeping to the speed limit. Jerky when power applied and when power shut down. Then the good bit. Acceleration was impressive. Nobody has mentioned the annoying underfloor noise that is missing on MK3 &4s. I found TGV better at 186mph!
Then we stopped at Motherwell with a jolt. I thought that was a one off but it happened at the next two stations. I came away with the word “utilitarian” ringing in my head and that was the first class experience. You can refurbish but it wont get rid of the traction related noise and dynamics. Pendalinos are better IMHO. I wish they had gone for Siemens RAILJET type trains with no underfloor noise. These trains are being ordered in Europe and the US. Distributed power looks good on paper but the passenger must be considered too. Stop trying to emulate aircraft. I grudgingly admit that I like the pendalino when you feel the vibration of power being applied. Better train and tilting. I felt the lack of tilt on the AZUMA as I was pushed to the side. Sum up. Disappointed.
The closest I've been to an IET is Platform 1/2 at Glasgow Central The Class 385, which is quite a comfortable ride.
However from what I've heard, maybe I should keep away from the IETs.
Still ain't been on a HST [sigh].
So a typical Bombardier product then - and that's not a slight on Derby - OBB have just cancelled their 300 unit Talent 3 order because Bombardier had only managed to deliver 2 sets and the Austrian Rail Regulator flagged up a lot of issues that needed fixing before they'd approve them for use. The recent Bombardier Subway trains for New York have been pulled from service multiple times for safety defects and were years late. DB have had many issues with their IC2 Sets and were refusing to take delivery, SBB's new TwinDexx units are about 4 years late.
The 800s were horribly specified, the excess of 5 cars on GWR is because the DfT wanted almost every service to be portion worked. By the time they were convinced otherwise the trains were already built! (IIRC it was the Northern/Thameslink Meltdowns that made them see sense). Similarly GWR were told Buffet or Guard - if they wanted Buffets fitted they would have to go fully DOO and we know how long the fight with the unions would be there)
Aren’t the 800’s built by Hitachi?
Having spoken to a lot of railfans via various forums etc, there is consensus that the Class 800s suck, no matter which TOC is using them.
The interiors are very plasticky, the seats are plastic with just a thin layer of cushioning and are not comfortable (possibly better in 1st class), they make quite a bit of noise inside with rattly panels and the legroom is akin to that of an airliner (ie not much of it).
People didn't like the Voyagers when they first came out for similar reasons.
Don't get me wrong, the IETs look fab on the outside and might be quicker and better for the environment but personally I'd want comfort if I was to spend over an hour on a train. Those plastic seat types do nothing for those with mobility issues or back issues.
Now, amongst the fellow rail enthusiasts I have spoken to, they and myself preferred the comfort of the good old class 43s and 91s (IC125 and IC225) as well as the legroom. They might not have been most peoples choice but at least they were comfortable to travel on, especially over long distances.
I remember legroom being very tight on the LNER/XC sets - I've heard good things about the legroom on 800s but have yet to sample one as my trip last year was cancelled by the rona. If the seats are poor hopefully they'll be swapped out on the midlife refurb.
GWR is probably doing the “best” they can covering up the poor quality, the trains are just a money pit and they should of kept the HSTs
The HSTs were rapidly becoming a money pit at the age - the Short sets have required a huge amount of corrosion work and reliability isn't great - they lasted 40 years, I don't think they'd have lasted much longer being worked flat out on GWR intercity routes.
They needed to go* - but I think GWR should have had greater input into the spec of their 80x - it was all done by Whitehall and even back as far as 2006 they were prohibited in their franchise agreement for looking at alternatives to 'HST2' - which is what eventually became the 80x - and the worst parts of the DfT's concept got watered down as some things like Reality and Physics intervened.
Even back as far as 2004 GWR were looking for HST replacements - Siemens were lined up with something based on the Hercules for OBB with 444 derived trailers, but then the Greater Western contract went out and the winning bidder was not allowed to procure new stock. The MTU program was designed as a 10 year life extension when it became obvious HST2 was not happening any time soon
Passenger accommodation started to go to hell as soon as compartments were abandoned.
Yes, compartments, where you can sit with a stranger who looks a bit dodgy and you have a difficult escape if they start to become really dodgy, and no one will see.
GWR are putting on extra 18 direct 800 trains to Newquay this coming weekend for Boardmasters...the biggest surfing/music festival.
Slight problem compared to the 43's of yesteryear.
No room on them for surfboards!
I think the IET’s look nice the seats are comfy the GWR ones are just 10/10 love them and trying to spit any named ones there tilt is great
I’d agree with what most have said about the IET units, the seats are very uncomfortable, a 2 x 5 car set needs twice the train crew and you lose a lot of the seats due to accessible toilets and driving cabs. Talking of toilets, the standard walk in toilets are the worst I’ve ever visited on a train and that includes all pacers and first gen stock, they are so small.
They are however very quick at accelerating on both diesel and electric power and they do look the part.
I read that they looked at a derivative of the ICE TD, which I believe was called the Venturio.
Might as well have just ordered Meridians then, since the ICE TD is effectively the German version of a Voyager isn't it, or is that just because it's a high speed tilting DMU?
A Voyager made by Siemens it probably would be, but with reliability closer to 180s!
yes i like the fyra V 250 no the eurofima NS with the Traxx 186 are better that the fyra V 250
They're perfectly competent trains, but nothing more. I don't dislike them just because they replaced HSTs, but because in every sense except speed and eco friendliness (I would also say reliabilty but the cracks the entire fleet has been suffering from have me thinking otherwise), they're inferior to them.
The comfort is the main issue. On my regular trips from Cardiff to Paddington I tend to be uncomfortable by around Swindon. The seats are absolutely awful, and everything else about the interior feels cheap and plastic. First Class isn't much better, more tolerable seats and a guaranteed table do very little to improve things.
I'll try and talk about positives- they are at least cool. I've never felt too warm on board one, as opposed to some other trains which sometimes feel stuffy. The speed and acceleration is also undeniably impressive, and on the exterior they look pretty good (pity that GWR insist on using the most bland livery imaginable, I miss FGW).
Despite my mixed feelings on them they're still one of my most wanted trains in TSW2, not so much because I like them but because they're practically everywhere. They've already taken over the GWML and ECML, and soon we'll have variants of them of them on the MML and WCML. I'd moan about how they're taking the variety out of the British rail network, but only an enthusiast would have such a complaint and I doubt the average passenger cares.
I went on my first 80x journey yesterday (standard class) between Newcastle and Doncaster (returned from York to Newcastle), and particularly in LNER livery they look really nice, inside and out, and their acceleration is rather impressive, and it sounded nice in the motor coach. That's just about all they've got going for them.
The seats were rock hard, but I found myself getting comfortable in them after a short while. There was a slightly annoying rattling noise above and behind my seat going down but it fixed itself after my main takeaway (which I've not seen anyone mention), which was oh sweet Jesus on a tricycle; the ride quality.
Now I expect trains to bounce around a little bit particularly on junctions (I often ride the Tyne and Wear Metro, and the Metrocars do like to bounce around a fair bit), but what I wasn't expecting was to approach Skelton junction on a modern high speed train and be nearly thrown off my seat - the thing made the 483s, Metrocars or the worst Pacer seem buttery smooth - and for a few seconds I seriously thought to myself "this thing's coming off the tracks isn't it?". It was also very noticeably wobbling when going around the curves south of Chester-le-Street. I don't know if it was just the track quality, but I do doubt it slightly, and I don't remember experiencing that on HSTs, 91s, 220s or 185s, all of which I've ridden through there in the past.
We had another shaking incident between York and Doncaster. Neither, however, happened on a junction or curve - these were on normal straight track - the shaking stopped before Skelton Junction and it went through without me noticing until I looked out the window. All very odd.
Other than that, they're nice, and honestly aren't quite as bad as some people make them out to be, although the seats could, and perhaps should, be softer.
Were you in one of the trailers in a 9 car set (Cars 4 and 6 IIRC)? - I've heard horror stories about the lightweight bogies on them - the motor/driving cars are apparently better.
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