Wednesday, 30 March 2016
On Wednesday 23rd March the South West Trains class 707 mock up was introduced to the public at Waterloo station. The mock up of the cab and an area of passenger seating gave commuters their first chance to see the what they could expect from the 120 new Siemens 'Desiro City' trains which will be launched on South West Trains routes from 2017.
The 5-coach trains will provide 275 seats and have a total capacity (including standing room) for over 1000 passengers enabling them to reduce overcrowding on some of the busiest routes in South West London. While the trains, which are largely intended for inner suburban work, will not be fitted with toilets they will feature WiFi and a new more intelligent Passenger Information System.
The trains are similar in style and build to the class 700's which are due to enter traffic imminently on the Thameslink route (the mock up was converted from a 700 model) however the interior specification is different. The class 707 will provide a massive increase in capacity and while not replacing any existing trains will allow stock cascades to other routes so that many more services can be increased in length.
The 30 x 5 coach trains will be maintained at Wimbledon depot in South West London and all will be delivered in the red suburban South West Trains livery.
Also last week an upgrade scheme for Waterloo station was launched to the public- the scheme which will see platforms 1-4 lengthened and full use of the former international platforms will be completed by 2018 and will allow full utilisation of the class 707 fleet as well as 10 car working of suburban trains by the older class 455 and 456 fleet.
Wednesday, 23 March 2016
|D1501 at Ramsbottom with a shuttle train from Bury.|
|A very SR feel here- 33109 and 50015 pass at Ramsbottom.|
|Class 14 'Teddy Bear' D9537 approaches Irwell Vale|
|50015 'Valient' climbs away from Irwell Vale to Rawtenstall|
|33109 is ready to depart Irwell Vale with a Ramsbottom train.|
The East Lancashire railway runs for twelve miles between Rawtenstall and Heywood in Lancashire with its base at Bury Bolton Street, a short hop from central Manchester on the Metrolink tram service.
|Hymek D7076 awaits its departure from Ramsbottom back to Bury and Heywood.|
Friday, 18 March 2016
The project is much needed and will provide extra capacity on the routes it serves as well as freeing up space at several busy London terminals; Kings Cross, Liverpool Street and Waterloo. By providing direct links into the heart of the city the route will also alleviate congestion on underground routes, most notably the busy Victoria Line.
|The West Anglia Main Line will form the northern part of the |
Crossrail 2 link
Wednesday, 9 March 2016
|20905 leads the SITT through the reverse curve into Coulsdon Town on the return run from Tattenham Corner.|
|20901 leads the SITT through Kingswood.|
Keeping rails clear and trains running can be a constant battle for Network Rail. Following the heavy snowfall during the winter of 2010 Network Rail invested in some new kit- the 'Snow and Ice Treatment Trains' or SITT. These vehicles treat the rails with hot de-icing fluid and are also fitted with hot air blowers and brushes to scrub and clear snow from the tracks quickly. In addition fixed snow ploughs can be added to the front of the trains to clear larger drifts from the track. Since their comissioning in 2011 the SITT trains have seen little use in anger as a series of particularly cold winters have been followed by some of an unseasonably mild nature. Nether the less it has still been cold enough for frost and ice to build up on rails on occasions and the Kent and Sussex regions of the fromer SR have seen their rails treated with de-icing fluid from the SITT trains. Running as a pair of locos, supplied and crewed by GBRailfreight, sandwiching two SITT wagons the trains have been touring various locations around the network determined by track and weather conditions. The usual traction for the trains has been class 73's of both the original and re-built variety from GBRf's fleet. On occasions Tonbridge based 20901 and 20905 have also got in on the action and it was this pairing that I caught up with on the Tattenham Corner branch on 29th February.
|20905 brings up the rear as the SITT approaches Coulsdon South on the final leg of it's duties bound for base at Tonbridge.|
Wednesday, 2 March 2016
|Standard class on the 387/2 showing the luggage space, 2+2|
seating and red/blue colour scheme.
|The 1st class section on the new Gatwick Express. The 1st|
class supplement may buy privacy but it doesn't seem to
entitle the passenger to any enhanced comfort!
The new Electrostars will bring wi-fi and power points to the airport service and be more friendly to those with disabilities. The future of the undoubtedly more comfortable class 442 fleet is currently unknown although there are indications that Southern may keep a small number of the trains in the short-medium term.