Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
kevsmiththai

Loco hauled passenger trains return to UK Railways

Recommended Posts

kevsmiththai

Exciting times for U.K railfans as the Cumbrian Coast Rail line in North West England has the re-introduction of Locomotive hauled scheduled passenger trains after decades of being a DMU only line. to support the current franchise operator on the line 'Northern Rail' the freight operator 'Direct Rail Services' are supplying class 37s, Mk II coaches and train crews to provide more comfort and greater capacity on some of the busier trains. DRS had already started to support Scotrail by providing some of the new class 68s Bo-Bos and coaches to run the Fife circle around Edinburgh.

 

The Cumbrian Coast line skirts the Irish Sea between the two historic rail towns of Carnforth and Carlisle and takes in spectacular scenery en route. One of the Class 37/4s is seen here at Green Road with the fells around Conston providing a backdrop.

 

04-30-2015_152337_zpsd6xipxsy.jpg

 

This location is on the westside of the Duddon estuary and on a quiet day you can hear the trains heading up and around the head of the bay for twenty or thirty minutes.

 

Now the Class 37s allocated for the service are 37/4s equipped with ETS (Electric Train Supply) and were originally built between 1960 and 1966 by English Electric with 12CVST engines pumping out a modest 1750 HP, The 37/4s had the main generator replaced with an alternator.

 

37 423 'Spirit of the Lakes' is a typical finished in the latest DRS livery and here is seen on the rear of one of the early passenger trains at Askam in Furness station

 

IMG_1689_zpsenhwfxck.jpg

 

Now those of you who know British railways will immediately spot that the train seems to be on the wrong line, Not so, the train is running 'Top and tailed' with a Class 37 at either end and 37 423 is at the rear. The loco hauling the train is 37 609 a freight only loco at the leading end

 

IMG_1687_zpsv1qymwi1.jpg

 

The trains are running in this formation until the DBSO coaches (Coaches with driving cabs) are ready for deployment when the trains will run in classic push-pull fashion. Running like this the rear 37 only provides the ETS supply in this direction but does everything on the retun leg with the 37/6 DIT (dead in train)

 

37 423 is seen again heading east on the steep bank from Dalton in Furness to Lindal in Furness which has always been a test of any loco. This is one of the test trains run before the service started properly to train the drivers and traincrew, mark out the platforms with the stopping points etc.

 

05-01-2015_104922_zps450czayi.jpg

 

You will notice the real mish-mash of coach colour schemes. Acquiring a large amount of loco hauled coaches in the U.K these days is really difficult and they come from various sources hence the mix of DRS, Virgin and Riviera liveries. Eventually they will all be finished in DRS blue/green and modernised internally.

 

In the next instalment I'll show some of the other motive power used on the trains and link in the videos of the trains in action

 

cheers

 

Kev

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
kevsmiththai

I referred to the test trains and on these it was not always possible to roster a 37/4 so other classes were pressed into service like the class 57s. These are rebuilds of the venerable class 47s with GM motors and Brush alternators

 

04-29-2015_154119_zpsvgrzd7xb.jpg

 

One slowly approaches the viaduct at Ravenglass having just passed the famous Ravenglass and Eskdale 15" gauge tourist line

 

First video shows some of the test trains at various points on the line with a variety of motive power

 

https://youtu.be/qnwsR5fXDKA

 

Seen on these videos is 57 305 specially liveried to haul the 'Northern Belle' luxury excusrion train

 

04-10-2015_154617_zpsgp8dalay.jpg

 

Second test train video, including a freight only Class 66 with a couple of coaches!  and an introduction by yours truly is at

 

https://youtu.be/7GP4tyxzdbw

 

 

Kev

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
kevsmiththai

One thing the Class 37s do well is make a great sound compared to todays rather too quiet locos and the last video I'll link shows this well

 

A still from this video shows a 37 accelerating hard at Soweby Lodge near Barrow

 

05-23-2015_075332_zpswv4dqnad.jpg

 

This video, which was shot on the first saturday of the scheduled passenger trains, gave me plenty of chances to catch them at different parts of the line and the weather was just right.

 

05-23-2015_0840411_zpsc9dncktp.jpg

 

So, heres the first week of the service Video, Hope you enjoy Kev

 

https://youtu.be/_vFxWqLX5jY

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

What is the reason besides being nice to railfans? Lack of free dmu stock and a surplus locos? Also is it much cheaper to get coaches and modernise them instead of getting used dmus?

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

Reading the railfan boards, it seems there is a serious lack of surplus DMU stock, with many of the poorer northern operators (in terms of investment) having to make do with near-life expired stock. There are even plans to run refurbished ex-London Tube stock equipped with diesel powerpacks, which to some would sound absurd, but it seems to be a serious plan.

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

I am not familiar with British locos, I thought those might be Deltics.  They're not :(

Share this post


Link to post
miyakoji

There are even plans to run refurbished ex-London Tube stock equipped with diesel powerpacks, which to some would sound absurd, but it seems to be a serious plan.

Was there any detail on where the engine would be?  Would one whole car become the 'loco'?  I can't imagine the undercarriage has much available space, the London subway tube loading gauge seems it would pack everything together.

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

Was there any detail on where the engine would be?  Would one whole car become the 'loco'?  I can't imagine the undercarriage has much available space, the London subway tube loading gauge seems it would pack everything together.

http://www.railmagazine.com/news/fleet/2015/01/14/vivarail-ready-to-start-converting-first-lu-d-stock

 

I am not familiar with British locos, I thought those might be Deltics.  They're not :(

Deltics in regular service on this line would send Brit enthusiasts into a collective railgasm :)

Share this post


Link to post
Densha

I don't really understand the point in rebuilding 31-38 years old tube stock into DEMUs. Even though it may be less expensive than buying new rolling stock for now, considering the age of the tube stock it should be less expensive in the long run to buy new trains that can be used for many more decades.

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

It may have something to do with the whole British model of railway pseudo-privitisation.  The various TOCs may have to fight over a limited pie of available rolling stock.  The thinking may be, why invest your own money in new stuff when possibly in a few years your company may no longer have the franchise, given that rolling stock has a life span of at least 20 years.

Share this post


Link to post
railsquid

Yeah, it's a bizarre way of running a railway. Add to that some stricter EU regulations about diesel engine emmissions, which require additional equipment difficult to fit into the British loading gauge (or something like that, not sure of the details) and you have a strange situation where the legacy diesel stock (which is "grandfathered" in) is still in some demand, to the point where preserved diesels are spot-hired for revenue trains.

 

Like err this Deltic:

 

Edited by railsquid
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Densha

It may have something to do with the whole British model of railway pseudo-privitisation.  The various TOCs may have to fight over a limited pie of available rolling stock.  The thinking may be, why invest your own money in new stuff when possibly in a few years your company may no longer have the franchise, given that rolling stock has a life span of at least 20 years.

I have actually always thought that in Britain most rolling stock is bought by some umbrella organization that leases them to the railway operators. But maybe I have misunderstood that somewhere along the line. I know Virgin bought their Pendolinos themselves, but so far I know most stock is usually transferred to the new franchise operator.

Share this post


Link to post
bikkuri bahn

Yeah, I think you're right.  It's so convoluted it's no wonder rolling stock acquisitions get mucked up when thinking longterm.

Share this post


Link to post
kvp

Yes, hiring museum stock is normal in Hungary too, mostly because they usually have running permits for all lines from the time when everything was in public hands. For the UK, afaik there is a common government company for assigning legacy rolling stock for franchise operators, buying new government owned stock, but it's possible to get your own, except you might not have a line to run them after the next bidding round. Getting new stock with the condition of getting a long term licence is not really possible. This is why some of the pacers are still in service, which are essentially bus bodies on a 2 axle container flat with a diesel hung under. Meant for 10 years, now 30 years later they are still in use. I didn't know there is a shortage of them tough.

 

I've checked out the D-train concept. The article mentions the 30 year old cars were overhauled 10 years ago, with new bogies and traction equipment. This means adding 2 diesel generators to the end cars is relatively simple and the rest of the equipment can be left as is. The only place they lack is crashworthiness, namely the cars are much softer than a standard mk1 mainline dmu, but comparable to the pacers.

Share this post


Link to post
kevsmiththai

The lack of motive power and units is a real problem in the U.K. Another reason DRS are supporting Northern is to free up DMUs for transmission overhauls and improvement to disability access. There are also government ministers who have a strong desire to see the 'Pacers' class 142 railcars disposed of. These two axle units based on a leyland bud body are highly unpopular and have an atrocouis ride being nicknamed 'Nodding Donkies'

 

Loco wise, at DRS we have taken delivery of the new class 68s and are anticipating the arrival next year of the AC/Diesel variation class 88

 

IMG_0348_zpsf749b842.jpg

 

These were purchased by a leasing company for DRS and some are sub leased to Chiltern rail for their passenger services and some have been re-liveried for Scot Rail for their Fife Circle workings

 

Kev

Share this post


Link to post
E6系

Look nice, but I am fan of Deltec.  :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
westfalen

Great photos.

 

A friend and I will be in the UK in November and these trains and the similar operation out of Norwich to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth are on our list of things to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Davo Dentetsu

I just happened to see some of the last Mk2 runs that ScotRail had left in the early 90s on the Inverness-Aberdeen line.  Personally (heh, rose tinted specs at the ready), should never have got rid of them.   :P

 

ELGIN%20STATION%201989_jpg.jpg

Edited by Azumanga Davo

Share this post


Link to post
kevsmiththai

Great photos.

 

A friend and I will be in the UK in November and these trains and the similar operation out of Norwich to Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth are on our list of things to do.

Nearer the time if you need any info let us know. As you may be aware I work for DRS so the Anglian, Cumbrian and Fife circle are under our umbrella. I also know some top pubs should you partake of the occassional beverage!

 

cheeers

Kev

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
westfalen

Nearer the time if you need any info let us know. As you may be aware I work for DRS so the Anglian, Cumbrian and Fife circle are under our umbrella. I also know some top pubs should you partake of the occassional beverage!

 

cheeers

Kev

We will be spending two days and three nights in Carlisle after the first week in Wales riding the narrow gauge lines so we are planning on doing the Cumbrian Coast Line one day and Blackpool and its trams the other with a bit of train spotting on the WCML thrown in before we head off down the Settle & Carlisle.  I'll post our full itinerary when we get it worked out.

 

We have the diagrams for all the loco hauled workings. Surprisingly I can get more information on British rail operations than I can for Queensland Rail, and I work for them.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...