• Great Western closed

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by george matthews
 
This weekend there will be no through trains on the Great Western main line while the new overhead electric lines are tested. Buses will be provided for the closed section - Cardiff to Swindon.
https://www.gwr.com/travel-updates/plan ... eading2017
  by David Benton
 
I thought this electrification was put on hold? Good news it has gone ahead.
  by george matthews
 
David Benton wrote:I thought this electrification was put on hold? Good news it has gone ahead.
A great deal of it is nearly ready. They can hardly put it off now. The bit they have not gone ahead with is the extension to Swansea where all the HST trains have been terminating. Most people hope that the extension from Cardiff will be built eventually. I don't know what will happen when the electric train gets to Cardiff. Will they attach a diesel loco for passengers going to Swansea or will people have to change to another train? Anyway there was very poor service today.

The other bits that have been postponed (lets hope it's that) are the lines to Bristol and Oxford.

When the Tories privatised BR they gave the impression that government would not decide such matters. Of course since they had to renationalise Railtrack - now Network Rail - they seem to have resumed deciding the allowed electrification. The main problem is that the whole Great Western electrification has cost a lot more than was declared at the beginning. So to save some of the money the government has cut off several parts of the original plan. Swansea, Oxford and Bristol have been removed, as well as all of the branches. There will have to be some diesel trains remaining on the main line instead of the planned for all-electric service. I suspect that will also affect the possibilities of electric freight. The freight companies I am sure will resist the extra cost of changing locos.
  by talltim
 
The new trains are bi-modes, so they'll continue under their own diesel power when the wires run out. Kinda worst of both worlds, carrying heavy electrical gubbins around on diesel and big diesel lumps under the wires.
Last edited by talltim on Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
  by george matthews
 
talltim wrote:The new trains are bi-modes, so they'll continue under their own diesel power when the wires run out. Kinda worst of both worlds, carrying heavy electrical gibbons around on diesel and big diesel lumps under the wires.
I had forgotten the bi-mode locos. The Tories seem to think that's an excellent substitute for full electrification. But really it's not a good idea. Twice as many things to go wrong and as you say, extra weight.
  by george matthews
 
Today the BBC news featured a first run of an electric train from Paddington to Reading (I think). It carried government ministers and some passengers. The journey was delayed on the way by the need to reset some part of the apparatus. So not a complete success.

I think if a regular service begins I may go to Reading from Bournemouth to try it out. But I think the tv report said that only two train sets were yet available.
  by lpetrich
 
First IEP trains enter service on Great Western main line
The inaugural run from Bristol Temple Meads to London Paddington had various problems.

About the Great Western Main Line (GWML),
At present the trains are only able to run under electric traction on the first 39km section of the GWML between London Paddington and Maidenhead. Network Rail says IEP trains will be able to run electrically on the next section between Maidenhead, Reading and Didcot (46.7km) by January 2018, with completion of electrification of the GWML as currently authorised to Bristol Parkway and Cardiff, and from Reading to Newbury scheduled for December 2018.
Bristol Parkway is in northern Bristol.

So it looks like they'll be going out to Cardiff with a Reading - Newbury branch. But Reading - Oxford and Cardiff - Swansea are fairly short, and not as challenging as parts of the GWML.