Jump to content

Odakyu Romancecar VSE 5000 To Be Retired


Recommended Posts

bill937ca

An excerpt from a translated Traffic News article.

 

In addition, Odakyu drastically reduced the number of limited express romance car "Hakone" due to sluggish tourism demand. The shocking news that the 50000 type "VSE", which debuted in 2005 (Heisei 17), was out of regular operation due to the timetable revision and was scrapped around autumn came in.

 

Japanese language article link here.  https://trafficnews.jp/post/114102

 

Wikipedia sites another Traffic News article, "The trains are scheduled to be relegated from regular service to special service only from March 2022, with a complete retirement planned for 2023."

 

https://trafficnews.jp/post/113686

Edited by railsquid
remove 3rd party tracking ids
  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
JR 500系

It's sad, the VSE used to be the flagship train of Odakyu, and the main draw for me to love Odakyu so much... While the GSE is also nice, it cant beat the white stramlined body with the futuristic head and red stripe the VSE has.... 

 

I'm just glad i managed to ride it at least once before it retires... it is one of my fav PTE rail trains of all times.... If not the most fav....

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Dentobu93

Quite unexpected considering the age.

 

I wonder if there is an chance another railway buys an set, like what happend with the 371 and 20000 for Fuji Kyuko or 10000 for Nagano Electric.

If not then hopefully 1 headcar will be preserved, which looks possible considering there is an open spot between the 10000 and 20000 series at the Romance car museum.

 

https://www.odakyu.jp/romancecarmuseum/floor/img/floorMap_1f_pc.png

Link to post
miyakoji

Shocking indeed.  There is some more information on the Japanese wikipedia page.  Translation courtesy of Google sensei:


 

Quote

 

Due to the aging deterioration of the car body and the difficulty of updating the main equipment due to it, the regular service is scheduled to end on March 11, 2022. After the regular service ends, it will be used as an event train with a temporary timetable, and it is scheduled to retire in the fall of 2023.

 

According to Odakyu Electric Railway, VSE repair / renewal plans have been considered for some time, but the double-skin structure car body made of the aluminum alloy extruded profile mentioned above is different from the iron car body such as the predecessor EXE, and welding etc. It is very difficult to repair or repair by applying heat, it requires advanced technology and experience for repair, it takes time and effort, and many special structures such as articulated structure and vehicle body tilt control are adopted. It turned out that it was difficult to update the main equipment due to aging deterioration, and it was difficult to renew because the performance could not be maintained, and unlike the previous EXE, it was decided to retire without updating.

 

 

Under more normal circumstances, I wonder if the railway, who must play a significant role in the design of unique limited express rolling stock, or the manufacturer, would come up with life expectancy and refurb plans.  Seems like it was not properly considered in this case.  I guess Odakyu is lucky that this series is only two 10-car formations.

Link to post
disturbman
3 hours ago, miyakoji said:

I guess Odakyu is lucky that this series is only two 10-car formations.


The low number of formations is most likely the reason why the VSE is being retired; that and Covid. With more trains in service, it might have made more sense economically to pay the higher price tag associated with the refurbishment. In this case, with only two train sets, it would have been deemed cheaper to retire the sets and perhaps order replacements when the ridership begins to pick up again.

Link to post
Sacto1985
On 1/3/2022 at 1:34 AM, disturbman said:


The low number of formations is most likely the reason why the VSE is being retired; that and Covid. With more trains in service, it might have made more sense economically to pay the higher price tag associated with the refurbishment. In this case, with only two train sets, it would have been deemed cheaper to retire the sets and perhaps order replacements when the ridership begins to pick up again.

 

I wouldn't be surprised that once ridership picks up again, Odakyu may order two 70000 GSE sets to replace the 50000 VSE.

Link to post
HankyuDentetsu
On 1/3/2022 at 6:22 AM, miyakoji said:

Shocking indeed.  There is some more information on the Japanese wikipedia page.  Translation courtesy of Google sensei:


 

 

Under more normal circumstances, I wonder if the railway, who must play a significant role in the design of unique limited express rolling stock, or the manufacturer, would come up with life expectancy and refurb plans.  Seems like it was not properly considered in this case.  I guess Odakyu is lucky that this series is only two 10-car formations.

Thanks for the additional info - I was astonished at the news until this article explained how difficult and cost-prohibitive it is to update. What a shame!

  • Like 1
Link to post
TokyoImperialPalace
On 1/3/2022 at 6:34 PM, disturbman said:


The low number of formations is most likely the reason why the VSE is being retired; that and Covid. With more trains in service, it might have made more sense economically to pay the higher price tag associated with the refurbishment. In this case, with only two train sets, it would have been deemed cheaper to retire the sets and perhaps order replacements when the ridership begins to pick up again.

 

One of the arguments for developing broad gauge high speed trains in India (although broad gauge high speed trains already exist) is that the Indian market is so large the R&D costs (by manufactures such as Alstom or Siemens) can be absorbed in a relatively reasonable order (25 sets). At smaller orders the R&D costs need to be paid as an extra cost.

Edited by TokyoImperialPalace
Link to post
3 hours ago, TokyoImperialPalace said:

 

One of the arguments for developing broad gauge high speed trains in India (although broad gauge high speed trains already exist) is that the Indian market is so large the R&D costs (by manufactures such as Alstom or Siemens) can be absorbed in a relatively reasonable order (25 sets). At smaller orders the R&D costs need to be paid as an extra cost.

 

 

To contextualize, I've spent something like 10 years as external IT project manager at Alstom for creating & deploying ERP solutions (mainly SAP) supporting either the production (eg Le Creusot / Charleroi) or trains or the train care and maintenance (USA, Mexico, Turkey, etc etc). 

 

 

There are multiple ways to develop a trains at "reasoneable cost". I'll make it very simple, painting black & white, but the aim is not to go into a fully detailled review. 

 

First way to lower the costs is the length of the serie. The more you produce, the lower the cost is (basic absorbtion of costs). Keep in mind that a train is highly configurable, thus, you may face to 20 variants in the same serie, leading in add costs (eg the famous Transilien market won by Bombardier, partially subcontracted to Alstom with a total of 26 'production' versions). 

 

Second way to proceed is to design trains as "deployable" series. It means that, in R&D, you create a train set with a Core conception +  limited personnalization options. The perfect example of this at Alstom is the Citadis tram. To make it short, what you can't see are standard modules. Then the customer is "allowed" to personnalize the look (roughly the nose shape, colors, number of cars, etc ...) but lots of characteristics are fixed. Sometimes, Alstom has developped specific features for one city (eg Bordeaux, where the APS technology was developed and is now 'on-shelf' for other countries). Anyway, the idea is really to sell the Citadis as 'standard solution', lowering the add. R&D costs. 

 

Third way to proceed, is reusing technologies and existing components. If you're looking to Alstom Prima serie, they've inherited of former Sybic and Astride series. Somewhere  this example is also a mix of second and third way as Prima are designed to be either electric or diesel, with common modules. Anyway,the cost of development has been lowered in reusing parts / components / technologies / production process etc ..)

 

Fourth way to proceed is co-developing with either a customer (eg the first TGV  for France, co-developed with SNCF) or a competitor (eg Acela Express with Bombardier). If you do it with a customer, you are not really lowering the costs, but these costs are supported by multiple entities. With a competitor, it's different. Each member of the alliance is known for his excellence is one or the other systems. So that, they are quicker to the solution and with lower R&D effort (as they have already experience and sometimes on-shelf solutions to reuse). 

 

Fifth way to proceed is licensing or subcontracting. If the company doesn't have the knowledge, it doesn't mean this knowledge doesn't exist at all. Thus it's possible to pay for existing technologies patented by other companies when the industrial capabilities are there, and if not, 'simply' subcontract it (purchasing part, components etc ...). It's very common (eg) in the automotive industry. 

 

There are plenty of other ways to lower the R&D costs (as externalization, offshoring R&D services, taxs optimization etc etc etc).  

 

Of course, what is always challenging is to go to a new market, either the type of trains (eg high speed trains, trams, passengers cars, ...) or the technology (tilting trains, freight high power diesel locomotives etc ...)  or the gauge. For this last one it can be very challenging as it's not only a matter of upscaling or downscaling parts. Thus, going to a new market is always a matter of size as the company has to acquire / develop new technologies, burning funds for entering the market. Anyway, it's quite impossible - even if you're supported by your state for 'acquiring new customers / penetrate markets' as China does - to have all the different kinds of products and the company are known and recognized as specialist for xx types of trains. 

 

Usually, in the contract, Alstom (or others) are also bound to a number of failure / km range during a certain period (eg less that 2 failures for 100 000 km during the first xx years after delivery) with a strict definition of what a failure is when the maintenance is do acc. to the expected specifications. It's like for IT systems, the highest the availability is (eg 99.96% vs 99.90%), the expensive the solution is (thus the R&D behind to make sure the target is reached). But that is another story. 

 

JM. 

Edited by JR East
typos
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
disturbman
2 hours ago, TokyoImperialPalace said:

One of the arguments for developing broad gauge high speed trains in India (although broad gauge high speed trains already exist) is that the Indian market is so large the R&D costs (by manufactures such as Alstom or Siemens) can be absorbed in a relatively reasonable order (25 sets).


I don't think your statement makes much sense. The beginning of the sentence implies that R&D costs will be spread over a large number of sets, whereas 25 set is a quite small number. What I would expect is that the R&D for the initial 25 sets would be absorbed easily by the follow-up orders as IR gets more HSR sets, thus bringing down the costs of the 25 first by expecting the "foot in the door" to be enough of an advantage for future procurements.

The IHSR is being built to broad gauge standards? Siemens already built a broad-gauge Velaro for Russian Railways, the Sapsan.

Edited by disturbman
  • Like 2
Link to post
TokyoImperialPalace
6 hours ago, disturbman said:


I don't think your statement makes much sense. The beginning of the sentence implies that R&D costs will be spread over a large number of sets, whereas 25 set is a quite small number. What I would expect is that the R&D for the initial 25 sets would be absorbed easily by the follow-up orders as IR gets more HSR sets, thus bringing down the costs of the 25 first by expecting the "foot in the door" to be enough of an advantage for future procurements.

The IHSR is being built to broad gauge standards? Siemens already built a broad-gauge Velaro for Russian Railways, the Sapsan.

 

I think the problem is that the debate between whether to choose standard gauge or broad gauge for a high speed railway in India generally does not make sense because the initial decision to choose standard gauge was from a recommendation in the Japanese feasibility study (I think) who are funding the line.


I believe that either Alstom and/or Siemens said that if a large enough order was made, broad gauge high speed trains could be developed for the Indian high speed railway market. The number provided was between 25 to 35 sets though I cannot remember the exact number.

 

The debate is pretty much a deadlock with people supporting both sides and I am on the broad gauge side, but the financing by the Japanese loan is for an "off-the-shelf" Shinkansen in standard gauge and hence the current Indian HSR project is in standard gauge.


EDIT:

 

Found the original quote in the Japanese feasibility study of all places:


 

Quote

 

With regard to the development of broad-gauge rolling stock, the report states that Siemens and Alstom replied, “It can be done. The development cost can be absorbed with the delivery of 30–40 train sets.”


 

https://www.jica.go.jp/english/our_work/social_environmental/id/asia/south/india/c8h0vm00009v1ylc-att/c8h0vm0000bzv4e5.pdf

Edited by TokyoImperialPalace
  • Like 1
Link to post
disturbman

I see. The quote makes a lot more sense. Thanks for finding it.

And to think Siemens developed a broad gauge Velaro for 16 units, thought Russian Railways probably paid a premium for it so that Siemens could recoup it's redesign costs.

Link to post
Yavianice

Maybe it was balanced with an exclusive contract to buy more down the line (which they eventually did) and additional costs of creating 10 car sets rather than the usual 8 car sets?

Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...