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Hst Class 43

Discussion in 'Loco Suggestions & Proposals' started by Olaf the Snowman, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. Olaf the Snowman

    Olaf the Snowman Active Member

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    HST Class 43

    I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time. Fortunately, I’m spare today so I get to stay at home (unless they need me) and thought I’d write this. Hope you find this interesting and will continue to add to this thread about other functionalities of the HST. Please see the bottom of this post for all relevant pictures and videos.

    As you’ve probably seen from some of my posts, I’m disappointed by the HST on the GWE route. The visuals and sounds are pretty good but the physics and functionality of the train is poor. It is such a shame when you see how well other locomotives have been simulated and the HST hasn’t been done justice. I don’t expect them to update or should I say fix the HST on the GWE route as that ship has long sailed but it is inevitable in my opinion that the HST will come on another route as it has dominated Intercity rail for decades and still does albeit being phased out. So I hope when a new HST comes out, it will be fixed.

    Introduction


    The HST is easily one of the best and iconic trains of all time in the UK. You’re probably thinking its just my opinion but you only have to see the reception it received on the final day of HST operation on GWR (May 2019) and the final day of HST operation on LNER (December 2019) to know that it is very much loved by enthusiasts and rail staff alike. I will attach some youtube video links of this. The end of the HSTs pretty much mark the end of ‘proper trains’ as all modern trains are boring, let’s face it, as well as the end of slam door stock as MK3 coaches have slam doors. It has dominated Intercity rail network in the UK for decades including the Great Western Mainline (GWR), East Coast Mainline (LNER), Midland Mainline (EMR), Cross Country (Arriva XC) and at one point the West Coast Mainline during InterCity West Coast and early Virgin Trains’ days. Speak to majority of drivers who signed HSTs and they will tell you it is one of the best traction they have ever signed. What is not to like: Conservatory-like cab with a lovely view out; nicely laid out controls with separate power and brake controllers and a central driving position; a “proper” train so a lot of skill and satisfaction to drive and stop due to the nature of the air brake which I will come to later; fantastic sound of the engine particularly of the early Paxman Valentas which I believe was an engine designed for ships; and essentially the power car is a locomotive so you are completely isolated from passengers (we don’t like passengers haha)

    Apologies for this long introduction but I hope you can see why I’m so disappointed with the current HST on the GWE and it is frustrating when on the thread about easiest/hardest trains to drive, there were several people saying that HSTs were ‘easy’ to drive when the truth is they require a lot of skill! As I said before, considering how well and realistic other locomotives have been simulated, the HST is a big disappointment. For those of you not in the UK, I can’t really stress how much loved the HSTs are and will always be. Anyway, let’s go onto the details.


    Don’t forget the XPTs that are also Australian HSTs. They have VP185 engines which is the same engine that East Midlands Railway (EMR) are using today on the Midland Mainline. EMR are due to get rid of their HSTs by the end of the year.


    What needs to be fixed:

    Air Brake and braking performance of the HST

    I will quickly explain how the brakes work so you can understand. There is an E70 brake pipe pressure control unit on each power car. When brakes are applied, the brakes apply from both ends of the train in order to reduce time of application. So brake pipe pressure is reduced from both E70 control units. However when brakes are released, it can only be done by the E70 control unit from the leading power car. In simple terms:

    Brakes applied: from both ends of train

    Brake released: from one of train

    So you can see that brakes releasing should take double the time than for it to apply. This is what is so skilful when stopping a HST because the brakes take such a long time to release due to it recharging from one end only, it is like driving a vacuum braked train. However you will see that this is not the case on TSW. I have counted the time it takes on TSW for brakes to apply and release. There is no problem with the application but the release on the other hand is not correct because it is almost instantaneous like a modern unit so no wonder people find it so easy!

    Brakes applying from release to full service (step 6): 9.5 seconds for brake pipe gauge to drop to to 3.35 bar (or brake cylinder pressure to get to 4.65 bar) + 8.5 seconds for hissing sound to stop = 18 seconds

    Brakes releasing from full service to release: 4 seconds for brake pipe gauge to increase to 5.1 bar (or brake cylinder pressure to get down to 0 bar) + 1.5 seconds for hissing sound to stop = 5.5 seconds

    The brakes releasing should take 20-30 seconds (from full service) which should not be that hard to solve. I’m not a programmer but surely it can’t be that hard to programme if brake application = x seconds, brake release should take 2x seconds. E.g. if it takes 5 seconds to get to step 2, it should take 10 seconds to release from step 2.

    Taking power when starting from a station (hill start)

    Unfortunately, you are unable to take power until the brake controller is fully released which is not like real life at all. So you’ll be rolling down the hill if you are on any sort of gradient! A driving technique for the HST is as follows:

    Buzz Buzz from Guard to Driver
    Forward on direction controller
    Brake Controller to step 1, Power Controller to Notch 1
    Return Buzz Buzz to Guard and wait for brakes to partially release and amps to increase
    Brake Controller to Release, Power Controller to Notch 2 or 3


    As I say, you cannot do the above on TSW as you won’t get any amps until brakes are fully released. In fact, if you have power controller in a notch and you’ve not released the brakes fully, once you have released the brakes you will need to reset the power controller back to off and then to notch 1 again to take power which is completely unrealistic. As long as brake pipe pressure is above 3 bar (or 3.9 bar if you’ve gone into emergency or mobilised the cab), you should be able to take power.

    Parking brake and ‘Brake test switch’

    This is a minor point to be honest but would be good if they perhaps make the whole power car available to walk through so you can do a full preparation like you would do before the train leaves a maintenance depot. I’ll come to this in more detail in a future post. When the parking brake is applied in real life, brake pipe pressure cannot be created (0 bar) and thus power cannot be taken. In TSW, if you apply the parking brake, this doesn’t happen.

    The brake test switch can be used on TSW but doesn’t do anything. In real life, it is used to be able to create brake pipe pressure when parking brakes are applied. As by the term ‘brake test switch,’ it is used during preparation of the train so the normal train brakes can be tested while parking brake is applied.


    Pictures/videos. None of these are my videos so credit goes to them

    1. GWR HST/ LNER HST video............................................ skip to 3:30 for Kings Cross departure
    2. Paxman Valenta video in Gasworks tunnel......................
    3. Cab ride video of HST arrival into London St Pancras- listen and look at the brake gauges
    4. XPT (Australian HST)............................................................
    5. HST gauges (brakes are fully released in the picture) 5A43FA7F-45D0-4B7D-934F-CD6B2D7C9384.jpeg
    6. Brake test switch E4F92928-683C-4588-AD51-5DD071C59790.jpeg
    7. Just a nice picture of HSTs :)- this is the 40th anniversary event at St Philips Marsh depot near Bristol Temple Meads CAF80948-436B-4E42-BD56-90F5746C2035.jpeg

    I hope to add another post about the following:
    1. ‘Guard’ role including making the Central Door Locking panel accessible
    2. Talk about the sliding door modifications that has or will replace slam doors and how this would affect the driving experience on TSW
    3. Making the whole power car accessible including clean air compartment, engine room and luggage compartment so full preparation and faults and failures can be done
    4. Automatic Train Protection (ATP) which are used on (some parts of) the Great Western Mainline and Chiltern Mainline. The GWR Class 800/802s have this as well.

    Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed it :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
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  2. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Good post, I am sure we will see more incarnations of this very iconic train.

    It would be good to have a longer route to run the HST at 125mph, I would favour an 70's or 80's version, Reading to Exeter or Bristol/Cardiff would be good to see or maybe York to Newcastle but they are on the long side for current TSW routes.
     
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  3. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely fabulous to read your musings. I do like long thoughtful posts... So - a few things did spring to mind as I read your post....

    - I immediately thought of the XPT.... and then I saw you mention it. Potential to build a long desert route, to let the XPT stretch its legs..?
    - I wondered how well the HST has been simulated on TS2020 routes, which is something I will check out at some point.

    But unless there is some significant upgrade to GWE in the works, to allow an extension from Reading (say, to Oxford) - then I don't see DTG producing another HST typical route for a very long time (in TSW). If I had to make a guess, I'd suspect that the next UK route on TSW will be Manchester-Sheffied (1500v DC, using much of the existing Manchester station), or East Croydon-Brighton (so that they don't have to do buildings, and so that the whole route will be surrounded by trees until you get to the existing Brighton station). Think cheap, short and easy.
     
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  4. Aran

    Aran New Member

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    That does seem to be how they think, you could almost become a developer there.
     
  5. Gilly

    Gilly Member

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    The Woodhead route terminated at Manchester Picadilly and not Victoria so they'd have to produce a new model.
    That said it'd certainly be one I wouldn't mind them doing.
    The EM1's and EM2's where unique in being the only 1500dc overhead locos in the UK. They were designed by Sir Nigel Gresley, he of Mallard fame so are certainly an interesting loco. The prototype was loaned to the Dutch (being named Tommy whilst there) in 1947 and remained there until 1952 when the route was finally electrified. Several EM2's were also sold to NS upon termination of passenger services on the route and served for many years on routes in and out of Rotterdam.
    There's certainly merit in the route as most of it now no longer exists.
    Have to guess again Synthetic!!
     

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  6. synthetic.angel

    synthetic.angel Well-Known Member

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    Aaah - I thought it was originally called London Road.. but didn't realise it was the other Manchester station.... I have actually bought the Woodhead route for TS2020, but not tried it yet (too much time watching the FTSE stealing my simming time...)...

    I also thought they'd do the Woodhead route because they did a recent update to it in TS2020 (I think....) - plus it gives DTG another excuse to roll out the Class 08 again, in a different colour.... obviously also known as "heavily modified with black paint" ......LOL. Anyway - if they do this route now, then that leaves them some scope to do a Tram-Train-esque route to Penistone.... or.... maybe they'll roll out the 101 again (say...with four carriages.....!) or do the route from Huddersfield (station already done) to Sheffield instead. Dunno. Not really good HST territory anyway.

    Maybe they'll do a barren run out from Darlington to Newcastle... for the HST.... that will be worth it.... LOL... almost a shuttle service.... Or.... Leeds to Darlington.... as they already have station models for both ends in TSW.... and at 50 miles - fully tree-lined without any other buildings.... it might be possible....! Maybe with everything permanently covered in snow.... to make the textures a bit easier.... it's always snow and ice once you get that far north anyway...right...? ;-)
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020
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  7. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I would love to see an incarnation of the Woodhead route, preferably set in the 50's/early 60's although you would still have seen plenty of steam around then.

    I think UE4 would really do justice to the landscape.

    Derby to Sheffield would be a good HST route either set now or 30 years ago.
     
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