Class 700/0s on Great North­ern routes be­fore May

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - Richard Clin­nick richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­dia.co.uk @Clin­nick1

EIGHT Class 700/0s are to be in­tro­duced on the Great North­ern routes to Cam­bridge and Peter­bor­ough be­fore the May timetable change.

Govia Thames­link Rail­way En­gi­neer­ing Direc­tor Gerry McFad­den told RAIL that the orig­i­nal plan was for eight eight­car Class 700/0s to be used, but said that may change to seven ‘700/0s’ and a 12-car ‘700/1’.

GTR has al­ready started run­ning two 12-car Class 700/1s on peak-time trains be­tween Lon­don King’s Cross and Peter­bor­ough ( RAIL 840). McFad­den said that the ‘700s’ used on GN would be a ‘cap­tive fleet’ un­til the May 2018 timetable change, when GN and Thames­link ser­vices are of­fi­cially joined as part of the new timetable ( RAIL 840).

Once Class 700s were in­tro­duced on South­ern routes to Lit­tle­hamp­ton and Hor­sham, then GTR would fo­cus on GN.

How­ever, in­tro­duc­ing the new trains onto the East Coast Main Line was “re­ally tricky”, he said, ex­plain­ing: “When on the East Coast they have to have lengthy di­a­grams, and can be op­er­at­ing 18 hours per day which needs vir­tu­ally the en­tire driver pop­u­la­tion to be trained.”

McFad­den said that lo­gis­ti­cally swap­ping the ‘700s’ for the Class 365s cur­rently used also brings prob­lems.

“The ‘365s’ are ul­ti­mately the ROSCOs’ prob­lem [rolling stock leas­ing com­pa­nies], but at what point do we give them up? Can you get the ‘700s’ in place? There is one train set per week be­ing in­tro­duced - where do you put that? Where do you then put the old trains? The ROSCO gets to col­lect it, but the train may need at­ten­tion?”

This is be­cause sta­bling the older trains is a prob­lem at the mo­ment, with in­suf­fi­cient sid­ings on the GN net­work.

McFad­den added that around Easter 2018 (March 30-April 2),

some ser­vices will op­er­ate with Class 700s be­tween Brighton and Cam­bridge as a pre­cur­sor to the timetable change, al­low­ing driv­ers, sig­nallers and staff to get ac­cus­tomed to the changes.

“The lo­gis­tics for that are in­cred­i­bly dif­fi­cult,” he said. “The pur­pose is to en­sure ev­ery­thing works rather than try­ing to change it all at once, but the plans are be­ing tweaked.”

He said that delivery of the last Class 700s to GTR is planned for July, with Siemens still build­ing the trains in Krefeld (Germany). Al­ready-de­liv­ered trains will be re­moved from store in May, ready for the timetable change. Cur­rently there are 46 eight-car and 36 12-car sets in the UK (as of Novem­ber 28) that can be used for pas­sen­ger traf­fic, although not all are needed. For ex­am­ple, 700111 and 700116 are sta­bled at Spittal Sid­ings, Peter­bor­ough.

ANTONY GUPPY.

Govia Thames­link Rail­way 700110, op­er­at­ing the 1524 Wat­ton-at-StoneHornsey, leaves the Hert­ford Loop at Bounds Green fol­low­ing com­ple­tion of Euro­pean Rail Traf­fic Man­age­ment Sys­tem (ERTMS) test­ing on May 12. GTR has in­tro­duced 12-car ‘700/1s’ on the Great North­ern, and in­tends to in­tro­duce eight-car ‘700/0s’ in pas­sen­ger traf­fic from next year.

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