Wednesday, 2 April 2014

New Trains Announced

No sooner had I published a whinge on the subject of rolling stock than the Government comes up with an announcement.  You can read the release here, but in summary, two four car electric trains will be operating between Liverpool and Manchester from December 2014.  The two diesel units released will be used to run a service on the new Todmorden curve and to strengthen services through Bolton.  The announcement goes on to say that by the end of 2015, forty carriages will be in service.

It is intriguing to consider what the two units will do in December:
  1. Current stopping trains between Lime Street and Victoria take 62-64 minutes.  Could the improved acceleration and higher top speed of electric trains get this far enough below 60 so that the two trains could provide the entire hourly service?  Maybe, but I doubt it.
  2. Option two would be to keep basically the same service as now, and replace some but not all trains with electric units. 
  3. More radically, how about an hourly electric limited stop service in addition to the existing hourly stopper.  This sounds good, but doesn't release any diesels.
  4. [Update]  Ah, I've missed another option:  Perhaps the units will be deployed on the hourly Liverpool to Manchester Airport services, replacing two of the three diesels required to run this.

Nowhere does the release identify what the units will be nor does the word "refurbish" appear.

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