Mod­i­fi­ca­tions un­der way on LNER’s ‘age­ing’ fleet

Rail (UK) - - Fleet News - Richard Clin­nick As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­ @Clin­nick1

RE­LI­A­BIL­ITY is­sues are af­fect­ing LNER, with its High Speed Trains re­quir­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

And while LNER’s Pub­lic Per­for­mance Mea­sure­ment (PPM) has risen - from 76% of trains on time on its first week­day (June 25) to 86.1% on Au­gust 24 - RAIL sources con­firmed that the op­er­a­tor is hav­ing to use all of its 26 Class 91/Mk 4 sets on 26 avail­able daily du­ties, while 14 HSTs per day are re­quired from a fleet of 15.

LNER also con­tin­ues to hire an ad­di­tional East Mid­lands Trains HST when re­quired, as well as a set per­ma­nently hired from EMT. Class 90s are also hired from DB Cargo to cover for un­avail­able Class 91s, and while only one was sup­posed to be in traf­fic there are reg­u­larly two ‘90s’ in use.

LNER spokesman Peter Hess said that the fleet has been “stretched for some time”. He ex­plained that it was age­ing and op­er­at­ing at full ca­pac­ity, while one lo­co­mo­tive (91119) re­mains out of traf­fic hav­ing been dam­aged last win­ter.

To ad­dress fleet per­for­mance, he said that LNER was car­ry­ing out a num­ber of mod­i­fi­ca­tion pro­grammes. These in­clude re­plac­ing HST tur­bos to man­age a spate of early-life fail­ures, while re­li­a­bil­ity im­prove­ments are be­ing car­ried out to the al­ter­na­tor over the tem­per­a­ture sys­tem, with two Class 43s still to be treated.

HST Mk 3s are re­ceiv­ing new in­ter-car re­cep­ta­cles to re­duce the elec­tri­cal/through con­trol faults.

LNER is also car­ry­ing out sin­gle­point fail­ure risk man­age­ment on its Class 91/Mk 4 fleet, in­clud­ing Driv­ing Van Trailer trac­tion in­ter­lock switch mod­i­fi­ca­tions that should mit­i­gate cer­tain door fail­ures, and park­ing brake iso­la­tion switch mod­i­fi­ca­tions to en­able rapid iso­la­tion of the park­ing brake sys­tem.

The op­er­a­tor has a fleet of 31 Class 91s and 30 rakes of Mk 4s, as well as 15 HSTs (one on per­ma­nent hire from EMT).

From De­cem­ber 4, Hi­tachi-built Azu­mas will en­ter traf­fic on trains be­tween Leeds/Hull and Lon­don King’s Cross, with trains to York also likely to switch to the Class 800/801 fleet by March when ten sets should be in traf­fic.

Ini­tially, LNER will re­turn Class 91s and Mk 4s to Ever­sholt Rail fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the new trains, with the ma­jor­ity of the HSTs be­ing sent off-lease in the fi­nal quar­ter of 2019.


LNER 91106 races through Marshall Mead­ows (near Ber­wick-up­onTweed) on Au­gust 25 with the 1830 Ed­in­burgh-New­cas­tle. The op­er­a­tor is suf­fer­ing from re­li­a­bil­ity prob­lems on its fleet.

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