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Saw David Blunkett MP on BBC Parliament this afternoon (sad, I know) asking the Transport Secretary if they could have these new trains on the Midland main line to Sheffield because the intercity trains they have at the moment, he said, are good for short sprints, but for long distances are noisy, uncomfortable, and you're unable to work or hear your mobile phone. What do Meridian use? Thumpers? Are 222s really that bad?
mal
 

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Not really a fan to be honest, I wish they'd been a bit more creative with the styling, it all looks a bit generic and bland. Would loved to have seen a move back to compartments but I suppose that's a pipe dream...

If they really want to improve the railways they need to improve the trackwork, even the shiniest new train isn't getting past 125 (though the pendolino can reportedly do 145) on the ECML in it's current state (remember the mallard did 126...70 years ago). Don't really see what's wrong with the current trains, though increased capacity could mean a drop in the stupidly high prices of rail travel in this country...eventually. 12 minutes off a London to Edinburgh train is nothing really, half an hour plus is the bare minimum that's going to catch the public's attention.

Come on, let's have some 300mph Maglevs!
 

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Does anyone know how representative the animation is? I counted about five vehicles in all. Does that mean we're not going to have real trains any more just a bunch of joined up shuttles?

David
 

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QUOTE (Purley Oaks @ 12 Feb 2009, 19:21) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Saw David Blunkett MP on BBC Parliament this afternoon (sad, I know) asking the Transport Secretary if they could have these new trains on the Midland main line to Sheffield because the intercity trains they have at the moment, he said, are good for short sprints, but for long distances are noisy, uncomfortable, and you're unable to work or hear your mobile phone. What do Meridian use? Thumpers? Are 222s really that bad?
mal

In a word, yes. You put up with engine noise for a short journey on Sprinters and such, but having been on a Meridian from Nottingham to Luton recently, I can honestly say I was glad to only have to make the return journey to Leicester! The seats, to me, feel like you are sitting on inch thick foam and we haven't even started talking about luggage space and badly placed crew doors! They are as suited to the route as the Turbostars they replaced IMO.

QUOTE (dwb @ 12 Feb 2009, 21:18) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Does anyone know how representative the animation is? I counted about five vehicles in all. Does that mean we're not going to have real trains any more just a bunch of joined up shuttles?

David

Thats what the DfT wanted in its brief, trains that can be divided on route. What other solution is there when looks are prefered to practicality! To be fair though, its exactly what TGVs have been doing for years.
 

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To me this new train looks strikingly similar to the javlins that are to be used on the fast rail link through kent.
 

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I was just reading a long article in Modern Railways about the IEP programme/initiative (http://www.modern-railways.com/news/issues/latestissue.html).
The article says that the goverment has sacked the project due to high costs. So what is this train is about? Is this the same, or a different initialtive?
 

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QUOTE (John Webb @ 13 Feb 2009, 10:55) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Now which Heritage Railway will be the first to preserve an HST??

Regards,
John
 

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Sadly it's all stunningly unimpressive. The HST should have been retired years ago, and where are the proper highspeed lines that the government has been contemplating for decades for these things to run on? For all their 'record levels of investment' the network is still barely held together, ludicrously expensive to travel on and generally mediocre compared to that of many other countries, and most laughably of all slower than in 1977. Obviously a full scale TGV network can't work in a similar manner to France due to the distribution of people, nature of the terrain and distances, but there is absolutely no excuse for there not already being a TGV speed connection between London, Birmingham and Manchester at the very least.

The engineers who invented and built the railways of the UK had vision and drive and the ambition to get people and goods from A to B. I think they'd be ashamed of the mess we have today after decades of mis-management.

Annoying to see the government trumpet about this so-called fantastic achievement of theirs - when you're scraping the barrel the only way to go is up - so no matter what they do they'd be hard pressed to make it worse...

...and where is the electrification - why are we even using dirty diesels and 'hybrids'?! With electric trains you get less noise, faster acceleration and decceleration, can use regenerative braking to feed power back into the grid and so overall more efficiency. Presumably they just can't stomach the initial expense of all that overhead wiring...even though it probably pay for itself in a decade or three and reduce carbon emissions. But then, why would a bunch of short-term politicans take a long-term decision for the greater good of the country when it might hurt their peerage prospects today? Same problem on nuclear power et al. Why not have the country run by unelected experts, they could hardly do a worse job...

Sorry, I've ranted myself off topic - my father has a Hitachi shaver which is very reliable so I'm sure the trains will be stopped by fewer leaves that other makes, so I look forward to being ripped off with slightly more leg room in due course!

The HST is dead, long live the HST.
 

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QUOTE Thats what the DfT wanted in its brief, trains that can be divided on route. What other solution is there when looks are prefered to practicality! To be fair though, its exactly what TGVs have been doing for years.

I often take a HST after an evening in London for part of the journey home and there are few times when I've not had to walk to at least coach C (that's third from the front out of 8) to find breathing room to stand in, never mind sit and that's with the new airline seating arrangement. Of course over half a coach is a "write off" with the buffet car which makes me wonder if the buffer car is doomed? I don't see how you can give up half a coach in a five car set for that. Now I wouldn't miss it for my 30 minute journey but I'm not sure travellers to Swansea, Exeter and farther afield will be all that keen. Are we returning to the era of dining stops at intermediate stations?

As an aside I sat in an Adelante once but it failed before we even left the station. You don't see them around here anymore.

David
 

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QUOTE (dwb @ 14 Feb 2009, 10:08) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I often take a HST after an evening in London for part of the journey home and there are few times when I've not had to walk to at least coach C (that's third from the front out of 8) to find breathing room to stand in, never mind sit and that's with the new airline seating arrangement. Of course over half a coach is a "write off" with the buffet car which makes me wonder if the buffer car is doomed? I don't see how you can give up half a coach in a five car set for that. Now I wouldn't miss it for my 30 minute journey but I'm not sure travellers to Swansea, Exeter and farther afield will be all that keen. Are we returning to the era of dining stops at intermediate stations?

As an aside I sat in an Adelante once but it failed before we even left the station. You don't see them around here anymore.

David

Its not just the buffet you have to worry about, every toilet will have to be of the larger 'disabled access' type, the aisles will have to accomodate a wheel chair in all coaches, aswell as having space to 'park' them during the journey in all coaches. All part of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (amended 2005).

On the basis of recent trains made to replace or augment HST services, these new trains will have fewer seats per coach, smaller and fewer luggage racks and they will still not have the flavour of crisp you like, but will have hundreds of packets of all the flavours you hate (which, admittedly, is hardly the trains fault!).
 

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QUOTE fewer seats per coach, smaller and fewer luggage racks
I don't suppose there will be accommodation for bicycles either


My wife is currently planning a short bicycle tour for us
in Belgium because I insist that the routes are flat. Somehow our bikes are going by Eurostar but we have to get to St. Pancras first.....

David
 

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QUOTE (wolverton bloomer @ 13 Feb 2009, 20:43) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>To me this new train looks strikingly similar to the javlins that are to be used on the fast rail link through kent.
I read an article last night about the ICE and apparently the reason that the Javelin and the ICE3 amongst others look the same is because they were designed by the same man.
 
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