New hy­brid trains for HS1?

Rail (UK) - - Front Page - Richard Clin­nick richard.clin­nick@bauer­me­ EXCLUSIVE @Clin­nick1 As­sis­tant Ed­i­tor

BAT­TERY-POW­ERED hy­brid trains could be run­ning on High Speed 1, of­fer­ing a so­lu­tion to ca­pac­ity prob­lems and giv­ing the Marsh­link route a di­rect con­nec­tion to Lon­don.

Cur­rently trains on the route are op­er­ated by South­ern Class 171 diesel mul­ti­ple units be­tween Ash­ford In­ter­na­tional and Hast­ings. This op­er­a­tion could trans­fer to the new South­east­ern fran­chise.

Hi­tachi Rail Europe Chief Op­er­at­ing Of­fi­cer Jack Com­man­deur said: “We see ben­e­fit for a bat­tery hy­brid train that is be­ing de­vel­oped in Ja­pan, so that is an op­tion for the elec­tri­fi­ca­tion prob­lem. IEP [In­ter­city Ex­press Pro­gramme] shows that hy­brid is doable.”

Com­man­deur was re­spond­ing to a ques­tion about ca­pac­ity from Kent County Coun­cil, dur­ing a Hi­tachi Rail Europe con­fer­ence in Ash­ford on Novem­ber 10, to cel­e­brate the tenth an­niver­sary of the de­pot.

Trans­port Fo­cus Chief Ex­ec­u­tive An­thony Smith added: “Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion is seen as a panacea, but it’s not - it’s slow. Get bi-modes in here and run­ning, and it shows what can be done.”

It was sug­gested that South­east­ern, which op­er­ates the HS1 do­mes­tic ser­vices, could also use Class 802s that are cur­rently be­ing built for Great Western Rail­way, First Hull Trains and Tran­sPen­nine Ex­press.

South­east­ern uses a fleet of 29 six-car Class 395 Javelins that were de­liv­ered in 2007-09 and which en­tered traf­fic in June 2009, six months early. The Javelin HS1 do­mes­tic ser­vice was for­mally launched in De­cem­ber that year.

More Class 395s are un­avail­able be­cause they are no longer be­ing man­u­fac­tured, but HRE does have the sim­i­lar AT300 plat­form, of which IEP is a part.

Richard Thorp, Head of Route En­gi­neer­ing at High Speed 1, said that the trains would need ap­proval from HS1 to run on the line, but that he saw no fun­da­men­tal prob­lems. There were un­likely to be any is­sues around high speed ser­vices with a diesel en­gine af­fect­ing the in­fra­struc­ture, he said.

The need for more trains is not re­stricted to the Marsh­link line, but also to HS do­mes­tic trains. Thorp high­lighted that by 2044 there is an ex­pected rise in de­mand of 127% for trains from St Pancras. There are al­ready calls from var­i­ous stake­hold­ers for ad­di­tional trains.

Re­gard­ing the value of HS1, Ash­ford MP Damian Green said: “In an his­toric per­spec­tive, HS1 is the big­gest and best thing for 100 years. It cre­ates a re­al­ity of dy­namism. We have re­sisted down­wards trends cre­ated in town cen­tres by in­ter­net shop­ping, and in­stead are see­ing shops open­ing. And that is through im­proved con­nec­tiv­ity.”


On Novem­ber 11, 395017 - op­er­at­ing the ‘Pass­chen­daele Javelin’ char­ter -ap­proaches Lon­don Vic­to­ria on its way from Ash­ford Down Sid­ings, rais­ing money for the Royal Bri­tish Le­gion. Class 395s op­er­ate on HS1, and more ca­pac­ity is re­quired, while there...

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