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justthisbloke

New Trains: Hs2, Intercity Replacement, Etc

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I've just been reading up on the InterCity replacement programme. I remember when the InterCity 125s were introduced in the 70s[1] - they were the embodiment of science fiction to my young eyes.

It occurred to me that the replacements (Class 800/801) will possibly be the last new "express" trains that I see in my lifetime. They've got a contract life of 30 years ish but I'm sure they'll have life extensions. So these 800s better be good!

As for HS2, I doubt they'll be running before I peg out.

[1] I also remember an ad campaign with the cuddly Jimmy Saville :o

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Surprise surprise, so far what I've heard doesn't impress me. The bits that make a train move (at least for long distances) shouldn't be in the same bits that passengers sit in, and the trend is entirely in a more tram-like or Ryanair-like direction. Any bets on the seats not lining up with the windows, something that was done, oh, probably on the first trains with a roof?

The HST was about the only thing that BR did a good job of (I suppose the 9F too, but that was pretty well obsolete by the time it was built).

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FGW Inter City 125s used to be my preferred choice to get to London. Then, they did away with tables to fit in more seats and made it a cramped experience that was no different to taking a National Express coach to Victoria, other than the train being much more expensive. So I switched to coaches. Now, the latest coaches have crammed in too many seats. At 5'7 I'm not exactly tall, no idea what it's like if your long-legged. So now, I either get the FGW sleeper or, whenever possible, I skype.

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I'm not actually a train-buff. I only know the new ones are "class 800" because of an evening spend reading the internet. And I have no idea of any other train classes. My rail knowledge is limited to the following: InterCity 125s are ace. Voyagers smell. White trains to Portsmouth are fine - but sometimes they use cramped red trains which are shite (seating 5 across! barbarism). Eurostars and TGVs are the best way of getting across the continent. And all the trains to/from Cambridge are embarrassingly crap (will they be replaced soon?)

But I love travelling by train. It beats all other forms of long distance transport. I used to have a contract that included first class rail. Everyone else in the office ignored it and drove fancy cars for non-London biz travel. I, OTOH, abused that clause with utter abandon. I even contrived meetings so I could try the sleeper trains to Scotland and Cornwall.

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Surprise surprise, so far what I've heard doesn't impress me. The bits that make a train move (at least for long distances) shouldn't be in the same bits that passengers sit in, and the trend is entirely in a more tram-like or Ryanair-like direction. Any bets on the seats not lining up with the windows, something that was done, oh, probably on the first trains with a roof?

The HST was about the only thing that BR did a good job of (I suppose the 9F too, but that was pretty well obsolete by the time it was built).

dunno.

the sprinters have been quite reliable,and they've had a good 30 year service or so- they'll probably re-fit them with some new traction to last another decade(they've done some experiments up in birmingham with some new transmission which gives about 15% better fuel economy- which would be ok for rural branch lines- it's the ancient track and signalling they need to sort out there)

Everyone seems to hate the old ones made out of leyland bus parts,and as far as I know they're for the chop over the next couple of years.

so what do they really need:

1) sort out all of the old tracks and signals, and ridiculously sharp curves you have to traverse at 15mph

2)longer dmu's for said routes,as fuel efficient as possible

3) a couple of london orbital railways connecting various airports( say watford junction-st albans city(link up city from the abbey line)-luton-

luton airport(new station directly at airport)- stevenage-bishops stortford-stansted airport.......should be done NOW as they are re-fitting luton airport and there is only one road to it presently which is always gridlock.

4)the new east/west rail varsity line coming through bletchley should have a spur coming off from fenny stratford to milton keynes,and then run the bedford-bletchley suburban train to MK instead of bletchley( via MK stadium, new station to cover the football stadium and the MK bowl- would be much more useful for people)...they've got some old freight lines they could use for that, and a lot of the stadium area is disused industrial estate.

for freight:

1)some decent medium power mixed traffic loco's(to replace the class 20's and 37's)- about 1500-1800hp, built HERE in high volume to keep the costs down- one has to question the wisdom of running a 3200hp class 66 juggernaught with only a dozen or so wagons as is the case in the countryside.

2) a solid east-west freight link from harwich/felixtowe via the middle of the country to liverpool,with a feckin huge freight depot+north/south/southwest interchange round by leicester/derby somewhere.

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Deltic engines have no cylinder heads. It has three camshafts arranged in a triangle, and the pistons oppose each other. They make a lot of dirty smells but look and sound good.

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The trains I remember with fond nostalgia were a compartment style train that ran from Cardiff to Portsmouth. No idea what pulled it along, though, as I'm not a train aficionado. Also, the Waterloo to Bournemouth trains which had a bar and a smoking snug. Oh, and the dining car on the East Coast line (I think that's gone now) - the *best* breakfasts.

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The trains I remember with fond nostalgia were a compartment style train that ran from Cardiff to Portsmouth. No idea what pulled it along, though, as I'm not a train aficionado. Also, the Waterloo to Bournemouth trains which had a bar and a smoking snug. Oh, and the dining car on the East Coast line (I think that's gone now) - the *best* breakfasts.

Must have had some sort of engine unit is my best guess, although it looks all downhill on my 1966 atlas. :blink:

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The Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway was limited to a very reasoable 25 mph from Clevedon to Portishead.

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The Weston, Clevedon and Portishead railway was limited to a very reasoable 25 mph from Clevedon to Portishead.

...better a railway at any speed than no railway at all.....millions have no access to any kind of railway at all, plenty of old tracks that a train once ran on......I like trains, but our trains are unlikable. ;)

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...better a railway at any speed than no railway at all.....millions have no access to any kind of railway at all, plenty of old tracks that a train once ran on......I like trains, but our trains are unlikable. ;)

That railway died in 1940, and our other line went in 1960.

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I think this is a more general thought than simply about trains. It seems it is about where one stands with regard to one's time.

I have in the last year or so been plagued with a similar sort of thought.

I've started buying a lot of things in bulk...trousers, t shirts, razor blades etc - with the vague thought that they may not be being made when I come to re-purchase them in x years time and the accompanying thought on purchase...."that should see me out" creeps out. I say it in jest now - but as one progresses, it becomes a reality.

Have already started doing this with random furniture purchases.

Dining chairs, sofas, coffee table all bought recently with a "this will be the last" buzzing through my head....im only 50 ffs.

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Deltic engines have no cylinder heads. It has three camshafts arranged in a triangle, and the pistons oppose each other. They make a lot of dirty smells but look and sound good.

The weirdest thing with the Deltics was seeing a preserved one hired out a few years ago to run freight trains in the Highlands, talk about completely out of place (and very great it looked too, as far as diesels go anyway).

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Like our house building, roads, trains and airport runways.......maybe, hopefully some day possibly one day in the future.....

Hopefully not, exactly the sort of thing that puts me off the future. Whizzy lifeless piece of plastic, whoopee.

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Like our house building, roads, trains and airport runways.......maybe, hopefully some day possibly one day in the future.....

not if you're travelling on southern network though.

by order of the RMT they still need to have blokes with red flags in front of the trains,for health and safety reasons.

it's all a bit gutting really isn't it?, considering we invented maglev in the first place.

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The weirdest thing with the Deltics was seeing a preserved one hired out a few years ago to run freight trains in the Highlands, talk about completely out of place (and very great it looked too, as far as diesels go anyway).

when I said camshafts, I meant crankshafts. :( Deltics were a common sight once.

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Deltic engines have no cylinder heads. It has three camshafts arranged in a triangle, and the pistons oppose each other. They make a lot of dirty smells but look and sound good.

OMG (as they say). I've just looked it up:

330px-Napier_Deltic_Animation.gif

That's what you get when engineers take acid.

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OMG (as they say). I've just looked it up:

330px-Napier_Deltic_Animation.gif

That's what you get when engineers take acid.

That picture is worth a 1000 words, in term of explanation.

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Deltic engines have no cylinder heads. It has three camshafts arranged in a triangle, and the pistons oppose each other. They make a lot of dirty smells but look and sound good.

they are a b@stard to drive though.the visibility from the cab is completely sh1te.

many moons ago,I did some work experience working on the railways with a relative of mine who used to work in one of the goods yards.

Being somewhat of a rail enthusiast at the time,I was lucky enough to be given a small opportunity to drive a couple of engines(albeit incredibly slowly) under supervision as they were collecting different consignments of wagons.

I liked the class 31's and 47's,they were quite user friendly.didn't go as far as coupling wagons, but 5mph through a set of points and then reverse back was quite comfortable.

the class 37's,you couldn't really see out, and they had a feckin huge nose on the front,so you mostly tried to drive by instruments, which was really difficult.

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