Testing imminent on Great Western Railway’s short-form HST
The first Great Western Railway short-formed High Speed Train is expected to begin testing in Cornwall at the end of this month, before entering traffic on the Penzance-Plymouth route from the December timetable change.
GWR is introducing 11 shorter HSTs on selected routes such as Penzance-Plymouth and Cardiff Central-Taunton ( RAIL 828, 835).
They are required owing to a delay in cascades of diesel multiple units created by the ongoing Great Western Main Line electrification delays. The HSTs will be a mixture of those owned by Angel Trains (AT), and those owned by FirstGroup.
The Mk 3s are being modified with plug-doors to enable them to meet disability access regulations that come into force on January 1 2020, while the Class 43 power cars are also being modified with interlocking to operate the doors.
GWR is retaining power cars to operate the shorter HSTs, with 43016 the first AT-owned ‘43’ to be modified.
It will be joined by 43005/ 024/040-042, 43170/186-189/ 192, while First’s 43092-094/097/ 098, 43122/153-155/158/194/ 198 will also remain.
This means 43002/004/009/ 010/017/018/020/022/023/025/ 027/029, 43165/171/172/174/ 185/190-193 are being withdrawn by GWR.