Locomotive + Hauling Passenger Wagons Will Disappear In The Future And Change To Emu/dmu?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by grdaniel48, Jul 22, 2022.

  1. grdaniel48

    grdaniel48 Well-Known Member

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    I have been noticing, most new passenger trains are not being the traditional ones!

    I mean since the origin of the passenger trains, were a locomotive + passenger wagons.
    But clearly since some years now, most new ones are EMUs or DMUs.

    For example all ICE, and new Regio ones now are of that types.
    Same for new trains in UK, or other European or other regions - Japan / Korea - countries.

    Of course in USA, this trend is not happening so much, as mostly are still the classic locomotive + passenger cars.

    What do you think about it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  2. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Well in the UK loco hauled has made something of a comeback, with the likes of Chiltern and Trans Pennine. However the bulk of trains will continue to be fixed formation units I would imagine.
     
  3. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    Locomotives are dead space. You can’t put passengers in them. If the power is located under the coaches instead of in one unit at the end then you can fit more people in a given length of train. As platform lengths are set you can increase the capacity of a service by changing to a set unit without any infrastructure changes at each station. Locomotive plus cab car setups solve the old problem of turning a train round or having to swap locomotives at a terminus but a multiple unit solves that issue too. Where there is no actual need for a loco it is just a good idea to use a multiple unit. Growing electrification of railways allows this to happen for more trains. That plus the fact that this is now possible even for high speed trains means more trains will be units rather than the outdated method. It’s been that way for a very long time now for metro and suburban commuter trains in a lot of places and technology progress has made it possible for more service types too. It just makes sense to not have that dead space in a train. Progress.
     
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  4. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I think it's simpler than that...
    Back in the day (go back 40 years) and to have a powerful and reliable engine it had to be big, and strong enough to either power it's own wheels or a big transformer (most large engines from the 60s onwards are diesel electric, ie the engine is diesel, but tied to a big transformer which makes electric and the wheels are powered by electric motors)
    Then from the 80s onwards smaller more powerful diesel motors were available and reliable enough to push trains up to higher speeds (in the UK 75mph local and 90mph regional trains came on stream around 1990)
    So now you have lighter, nimble, easily servicable trains which can run on more track without that track them or having to be slowed down

    Then you have the rollout of 25kVa OHLE, across a broader range of lines. This completely removed the need for diesel engines at all (and with better convertors and better motors can do away with electric only locos for units like the ICE, or Pedolino etc)

    With the US I think it has as much to do with distances as anything else. They've always relied on big locos and big rail thinking, because it's a big country after all, but in the end they'll likely move over to what everyone else is doing, purely because it's cheaper and easier if we're all on the same page
     
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  5. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    There's not much to "notice" there. DB have stated quite often that the goal is to convert the entire Fernverkehr and Regio Fleet to EMUs (not EMU/DMUs as DMUs are slowly dying out as well in many regions of Germany). Of course, reality has proven time and again that it's not quite that simple. Besides, similar to OldVern's observations, loco hauled stock is making a bit of a comeback in Germany as well - Flixtrain run their loco hauled trains very successfully as do other EVUs. Looking across the border a bit, Austria's ÖBB is using loco hauled stock for their Nightjets as well. Even DB's very own IC2 is loco hauled contrary to their announced plans of switching to EMUs completely. In Germany, it seems like there's always some fluctuation between favouring loco hauled and MUs based on who's currently in charge.
     
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  6. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    I think we will lose the traditional loco hauled stock we had before the 2000s/2010s but those "semi-blocked" consists like RailJet+Taurus, MkV+Class68, MkIV+Class91, etc.. will become more prevalent and sort of complement the multiple units (permanently coupled formations with power distributed along the train).

    The things is that I can't think of any country developing new IC railway coaches to replace the old ones built between the '70s and '90s like Eurofima and UIC-Z. I think the only exception are the Siemens Viaggio (Railjet) and Mk5, unless I am missing something.

    Seems like those older coaches will see a new life with the low cost railways (like Flixtrain) before getting scrapped though.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  7. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Well, for the purposes of TSW gameplay, loco- hauled trains are much more interesting and fun to drive, in my opinion. Driving emus like the ones on BML and ECW, most of the German routes and the US commuter lines often involve not much more than moving a lever back and forth - similar to a fairground dodgem. You can read a newspaper or magazine while driving them.

    Well- made though some of these routes are, I soon get bored and gravitate back to TVL NTP, CRR and SPG.

    The dmu's, like the 166 and, especially the Class 101 are somewhat more engaging.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2022
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  8. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    And for all its warts and issues that need sorting out, SoS is far more interesting (to me anyway), than droning 377's or 387's up and down the Brighton Line.
     
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  9. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that’s the trend I’m seeing as well. For all intents and purposes, most loco hauled trains in Germany are treated as MUs (especially stuff like the IC2). I can see how that could be a compromise to get good elements of both worlds - the opertional cost savings of MUs and quick turnaround times as well as flexibility when needed. That being said though, it’s not like DB has much choice in the matter since being split up. I kid you not, Regio or Fernverkehr need to go through bureaucratic hell to lease a shunter from Cargo just to move a few coaches around. Treating loco hauled stock like MUs is probably a given under these circumstances.

    Anyways, I’m glad that so many EVUs keep the older stock alive for now.
     
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  10. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    I think for the US, its more about versatility should you have an issue with a loco, since you can just uncouple the loco and attach another one in its place, have an issue with a coach? Same thing.

    I believe it also has to do something with crash safety as well, since more major US passenger trains share tracks with heavier freight equipment, an example being the Stadler KISS EMUs that Caltrain ordered, which had to pass the FRA Tier-1 crash safey, since they will still share tracks with Amtrak and Union Pacific. Same thing with SMART's Nippon Sharyo DMUs.

    Not that its impossible, but that the builder would have to modify their stock to meet those T1 crash standards.
    new_caltrain.jpg
    Cotati Station-web.jpg
     
  11. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    MU's have multiple engines so if one fails you just carry on with the remainder. If the whole thing fails you couple up another and that provides motive power and electric to the failed unit (which acts as dead weight in tow)
    I was once on a class 158 from Birmingham where the second car failed on a two car unit and it didn't even lose more than ten minutes time on the run home (about 70 miles). 158s have one engine per carriage...

    Freight runs on a lot of mainlines in the UK and DE too, mostly the slow lines, but that's where MUs generally run!
     
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  12. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Well, guess Im dumb then
     
  13. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    I doubt that...
     
  14. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Another factor with loco hauled vs multiple unit is breakdown in traffic. If a locomotive fails then you have to find another one to assist it from somewhere, could be miles or hours away if there isn’t much hauled traffic about. Unless it suffers a catastrophic mechanical failure a multiple unit can generally limp to a point where it can be cleared off the main line. Of course if a MU does sit down, the problem you then face is that (generally) it can only be assisted by a similar type with compatible couplings and if the fault is control or electrical in nature, it will more than likely just transfer to the assisting train.
     
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  15. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    In the Netherlands only for one passenger route locomotives are used. And for the IC from Amsterdam to Berlin in Germany. Otherwise all EMU and when needed DMU. Already a log time. In the thirties of last century we had EMU and DMU.

    I think it is much more practical so not very surprising.
     
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  16. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Spot on and for the United States the Typical MU is built like a Tank to survive a collision with a Freight Train until the 2018 Crash Standard Change.
    Typical Pre US 2018 design for EMU/DMU
    [​IMG]
    OHLE/Third Rail 750v DC since the 1970s
    [​IMG]
    Pure OHLE EMU NJ Transit Arrow III
    [​IMG]
     
  17. FD1003

    FD1003 Well-Known Member

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    It's not like EMUs in Europe are made out of cardboard... there are still crumple zones to make the train safer, particularly with the more modern stock. This is more emphasised on high speed trains but is still present on slower stock.

    20220725_093552.jpg
    I'm pretty sure those telescopic arms on the BR422 are crumple zones to protect the driver, as far as I'm aware this is standard on all high speed trains and can be found on regional trains as well.

    Also famously the british EMU have the those pads made to prevent the coaches from climbing one on top of the other, and prevent telescoping.
    78d33232d2d904d2dde065b17463f350.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
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  18. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    You used to notice when a class 150 set had an engine not working when climbing up Old Hill bank especially when the failed carriage was the front one. Obviously it is better than having your one power unit failing as with a loco hauled trains. Although the Deltics often ran on one engine I believe.
     
  19. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Yes this is why when a class 172 breaks down you are basically told to go and get a bus! In the old days Bescot would have sent a class 31 or something and moved the failed unit much quicker than waiting for the nearest loco. Or if not Bescot there was a chance that there would have been a loco at Worcester or Stourbridge.
     
  20. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I think the main issue when the Sprinters replaced the loco hauled stock, apart from the beloved loco's being lost was that it was nowhere near as pleasant on a long journey having a diesel engine underneath you, even if the Sprinters were relatively quiet.

    Even with todays class 170's and Voyagers it still is more intrusive than a loco and carriages.

    Obviously with EMU's it isn't as much of a problem.

    I think there was a certain status about a loco hauled express or cross country train where the long distances EMU's and DMU's don't really feel that much different to the local commuter stock.
     
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  21. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I imagine they would

    There's also the visceral "loud noisy big engine, quiet smooth carriage" thing, though to be fair "loud noisy big" usually means inefficient
     
  22. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    That is interesting even if it does look a little odd.

    Well yes there is no doubt they aren't as efficient as a multiple unit for many reasons.

    A work colleague recently went on one of the Chiltern mark 3 sets and was impressed with how quiet and smooth they were. She was even more suprised when I told her the carriages were 40 years old. I don't think she would have been making those comments, or any comments if she had been on one of the class 168's.

    There is still a romance around an express train, GNER captured it with their livery and adverts for the class 91's when they took over from BR. Personally I think the likes of GWR would be better having a separate livery for their express trains than for their locals as the current livery, whilst in my opinion looking smart on the class 800, it doesn't stand out as anything special.
     
  23. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    And yet they went to lengths to make the DVT look like a loco to look double ended, so remove the loco + carriages effect
     
  24. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Well-Known Member

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    Multiple units have dominated british railways for decades. You will probably find the remainder of the loco hauled services are on lines that don't warrant spending on new rolling stock.

    I've noticed mu's are rapidly replacing loco hauled services in the United States, well suburban lines. Most of the long haul routes where the trains slowly make their way across the country probably don't warrant spending money on mu's either.

    As already mentioned mu's have more space for passengers. A fault with one part of the train don't necessarily stop them from running etc...

    A perfect example yesterday where there was a fault with the train (mu) it limped into Faversham, the rear 4 units where uncoupled and moved into a siding and the front 4 units continued their journey.

    Also when the train reaches a terminus there's no need to run 2 locos or mess about with run arounds.

    Luckily there's plenty of heritage railways, if you like loco hauled trains.
     
  25. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    One counter to this would be the passenger version of the class 68
    A big diesel with a few coaches behind it that could easily have been an MU.
     
  26. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Small note here: Most railroads solved that decades ago via cab cars. You don't need two locos or run arounds for loco hauled stock.
     
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  27. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Well-Known Member

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    Is that the one used by scotrail?
     
  28. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Chiltern use them too on their Kidderminster to Marylebone service.
     
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  29. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Well-Known Member

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    I've not really seen them have much use in the UK. You had the push pull steam trains back in the day, I think they was mainly used on branch lines. Then the multiple units came along.

    I know they are common in the United States and Europe.
     
  30. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    They were common under Britiah Rail.

    Mark 2 DBSO's on the Scotrail Edinburgh to Glasgow service then in service on the Liverpool Street to Norwich service
    Mark 3 DVT's on the WCML then on the Liverpool Street to Norwich service
    Mark 4 DVT's on the ECML

    As an aside the GWR push/pull trains were often used on mainline stopping serivces, for example the Banbury to Princess Risborough/High Wycombe service.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2022
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  31. grdaniel48

    grdaniel48 Well-Known Member

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    One advantage of MUs, is you can couple 2 or 3 train sets together, adapting the " consist" capacity to the public demand, during the different
    day times.
    On rush hour, you have longer trains, and shorter ones on the rest of the day.
     
  32. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    That point is rather arbitrary. You can just as well couple additional coaches to a loco hauled consist to adapt to the demand. The point you should rather be making is that this is usually quicker and cheaper with MUs (no need for: re-arranging the consist, a shunting loco, additional personnel) but there’s no reason why you couldn’t to this with a loco hauled consist.
     
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  33. grdaniel48

    grdaniel48 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but you must do it one by one. (or previously couple them)
    In this case you just couple train sets.
    They includes cabins on both sides, so the maneuver will be easier and fastest.
    On the other case you have to use an extra locomotive ( a shunting one)
     
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  34. dangerousdave

    dangerousdave Well-Known Member

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    I think Chiltern railways are tight. They don't even turn the train lighting on unless it's dark outside. When they leave Marylebone most of the passengers have their torches at the ready for the tunnel.

    I found them really expensive too.

    Oh and the train heating is normally off.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  35. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Chiltern and Transpenine. Saw one up at York last October, noisy buggers
     
  36. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Sorry, I misunderstood your previous post then. I thought you claimed that it’s not possible to have that flexibility with loco hauled consists. My mistake.
     
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  37. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    The other advantage for MUs is if you have two MUs coupled and an additional driver (either on the route or on the train to begin with) you can split the MU part way and both parts drive off
    With a loco setup like that you'd need a loco sitting somewhere or running ECS so increasing costs and maintenance overall
    I believe this is also why the class 171 exists. The only difference from the 170 is the coupler, so it can couple up to the 377s if needed either for capacity purposes or if the electric goes out on the 3rd rail
     
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  38. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Well from London to Birmingham they are usually cheaper than Avanti or London North Western, last time I bought a ticket it was £20 to Marylebone. I sometimes catch one in the mornings from Stourbridge and I have never noticed a problem with the heating.
     
  39. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for telling me about this if you want to take the words of Former Amtrak CEO David Gunn Before the 2018 rule change trains in the United States are built like a high speed bank vault. Referring to the pre 2018 rules that United States trains have their own crash standards. Requires Trains in the United States to stand 800000 of frontal impact rather than using crumple zones. You can see that on In game M7 M3 LIRR and Metro North. Which makes them Compatible with the pre 2018 crash standard was to withstand 800000 pounds of frontal impact. Post 2018 change Crumples Zones are now allowed on us trains.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2022
  40. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    It's a shame that the Budd RDC was really the only successful DMU back in the transition Era in North America, it really did do its job well.
    f9be63f08c4c4458a1276d4d9dbf1061.jpg
    RDC_at_LA.jpeg
    Budd_RDC-2_B&O_2.jpg
    27672886798_f0a50e8d28_b.jpg


    Hell, the modified M-497 Black Beetle still holds the American speed record at 186mph (Since the NEC is still capped at 150mph) (Not a DMU anymore but still.)
    790h4v3674859987.jpg
     
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  41. IsambardKingdomBrunel

    IsambardKingdomBrunel Well-Known Member

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    Yup and the Westerns were more than capable of continuing with one prime mover out.
     
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  42. Conductor B

    Conductor B Active Member

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    Aren't locomotive-hauled trains more flexible, especially for long-distance runs? When I rode on a DB night train about ten years ago, that train must have gained and lost cars to other trains four or five times during the night. There were many different types of sleeping cars and there were dining cars, night coaches, etc. An operating company can slap on an additional sleeper if demand warrants it. But it might not be enough demand to add an additional 4 sleeping cars in a MU configuration.
     
  43. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Only if those runs need to gain or lose one or two cars along the way and the loco is powerful enough to haul the max load without further power. The good thing about MUs is that they come with their own power, so if each MU has 500 horsepower and you add two together it now has 1000HP, then add another and you have 1500
    You don't get what with a loco (although they might have over 4000 horsepower of course), but really you would need to have the loco for the most powerful requirement for the whole trip which may not make best use of it
     
  44. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Technically, yes, but not economically. Adding/removing an MU is relatively cheap - if the driver can’t do it themselves, you only need another driver who takes the other MU to/from the siding. For adding/removing coaches though, you need a shunting loco and usually a switching crew (sometimes just one person though) who split the train and shunt the coaches in the yard as needed, …
    The point is: Shunting coaches is extremely expensive and thus you want to do it as little as possible.
     
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  45. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention these days there isn’t spare coaching stock sitting around to slap on an extra carriage or two. Even loco hauled consists where they exist tend to run as fixed formations, certainly in the UK. Other than spares to cover maintenance requirements, no TOC is going to pay for rolling stock sat idle in a siding with no booked work. That’s why relief trains are no longer a feature on the UK rail network.
     
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  46. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Same in Germany.
     
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  47. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me that the modern railway is far less flexible than it used to be. My local TOC has barely enough units to run the service normally, if two or three units are out of action then you start getting trains which are short formed, two carriages isn't unusual in rush hour on the Snow Hill lines, who in their right mind thinks that is acceptable? We have the Commonwealth Games up there at the moment, have West Midlands Trains put on extra trains or extra units? Nope! Yesterday evening on the way home we were all squeezed onto a three car class 172.

    Back in the day, you had relief trains, you had spare coaching stock dotted around and even with multiple units, Depots like Tyseley would have had spare first generation DMU's around for extra trains etc. I remember my school arranging a day trip to London which involved three 3 car Tyseley suburban sets. If you wanted West Midlands Railway to do something similar, it just wouldn't happen.

    Is the modern railway really better than it was? The train might be newer, more efficient, more brightly coloured, but is the railway actually any better? Not in my opinion!
     
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  48. ARuscoe

    ARuscoe Well-Known Member

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    Who's going to pay for the rolling stock that is sitting around? Shareholders? Passengers?
    The whole thing nowadays in logistics is "just enough" and "just in time", anything else is surplus and therefore cost.
    Yes they have a certain amount of slack in the system, but not enough to manage when additional capacity is needed in more places
    With regards to the current event. Stations are 100 year assets, trains are 30 year assets. No real need to build new for a two week event
    Not sure if there's some old stock they might have laid on, but there's also a strike on, and a lack of drivers as it is
     
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  49. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    This is actually nothing new. When I first went in the (then) WR Control in 1989 started learning the Provincial Desk, we had 35 155’s for 32 diagrams. That allowed for one away in Works, one on a B Exam and one stopped for repairs. However the 155’s were so unreliable (not just the doors opening in traffic) most days struggled to get 30 in traffic. Then 155304 hit a tree near Bath and became a long term stopper, in fact was the first 155 to be taken up to Kilmarnock (by road haulage) for conversion to 153’s. It became a huge balancing act on a daily basis to keep the service running, with a combination of stepping up at Cardiff, substituting with 150’s or heritage units and occasionally outright cancellation to create a firebreak.
     
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  50. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    It is supposed to be a public service they are running. And there clearly isn't "just enough" as for months, actually years, we have been getting short formed trains on the Snow Hill lines. Being shoe horned into a 3 car DMU on the hottest days of the year is not pleasant, especially when the air conditioning (helpfully preset at the depot) is barely functioning. We don't get 12 coach trains like they do in the south east. I have seen similar complaints on the Cross City line. I don't necessarily expect a seat but being treated like cattle and squeezed onto trains is not what should be happening on a modern train service in the 5th richest economy. Sometimes you can barely move and quite often people can't physically get on so have to wait for the later train.

    As for the Commonwealth games they should be a in a position where they or someone can lay on extra trains. We have visitors coming from all over the globe, I wonder what they make of being stuffed onto trains likes sardines in a tin can.

    Clearly the system isn't working.

    This is clearly where the rot started, BR was underfunded in the 80's. They wanted more 3 car class 150's but didn't have the money so ended up with two car sets and then trying to cobble 3 car sets together. Although as an enthusiast I didn't mind at the time as it kept first generation DMU's running for longer.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2022
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