IET
Decrease font size
Increase font size
Topic Title: InterCity Express Programme - and a new train builder for the UK?
Topic Summary: Engineering discussion for Britain's most high profile trains for 30 years
Created On: 13 February 2009 10:26 AM
Status: Read Only
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
<< 1 2 3 Previous Last unread
Search Topic Search Topic
Topic Tools Topic Tools
View similar topics View similar topics
View topic in raw text format. Print this topic.
 17 April 2009 11:32 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

What you're suggesting is incremental design - and that is the way trains have historically been developed in this country.

This can be a perfectly valid design method but only if you can prove that the modified design fulfils your requirements. The trouble is that so often, we don't even know what the requirements are, so it's very hard to be able to say if an incremental design is better than starting from scratch.

Technology's moved on a lot since the 70s, and I think if we investigated, we'd probably find a host of reasons to start from a clean sheet rather than modify a 30-year-old design. Not being a mechanical engineer I don't know much about bodyshells but I think that there are a few issues with the structure of the mark III. Engineers have probably found ways to make lighter, stronger and easier-to-build vehicles in the meantime.

On principle, though, if an updated HST fulfilled the requirements, there'd be no need to design a new train. Not a lot of people know this but the HST design was actually exported to Australia in the mid-80s as the XPT (Express Passenger Train). The design is pretty much the same although it looks a little different externally.

I think in short, yes you could update the HST design, but if you're building a new train anyway, the amount of effort it would take would be comparable to starting afresh, so that would probably be the way to go.

Oh and it has just occurred to me as well that the spec for IEP is for 26 m long vehicles (mark III is 23 m long). This brings a whole new set of technical requirements into play, such as body tapering (so that it doesn't exceed its envelope when going round curves).

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 21 April 2009 08:59 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

good point well made
i bow to your better knowledge
lets hope we all grow to like the IEP/SET as much as the HST
 21 April 2009 09:02 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

Thank you for your kind comments. I think the answer to the question of whether we grow to love IEP will depend very much on how much targeted effort goes in to the early stages of the design process - this is where success will be determined. I hope that Agility are busy analysing the requirements VERY thoroughly.

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 26 April 2009 05:06 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



almorris

Posts: 3
Joined: 28 January 2009

How do Professional Engineers ensure that this procurement exercise, worth £7,500 million pounds, is delivered on time, on budget and that it works "out of the box"?
Engineering alone will not enable the project to be delivered on time, on budget and working "out of the box". An earlier posting stated that ....the engineering solution is one of employing a "systems engineering" approach, similarly a total "systems" approach is required to the issue of the project's management if your question is to be answered.
Thankfully Hitachi already have experience of the UK procurement process with the 395, and will have already be aware of the whimsical nature of the political procurement process affected by the interested parties from the DfT down to the TOCs. The only variable will of course be the escalation in the number of those stakeholders who will have an interest!
It therefore clear that SET will depend on how much targeted effort goes in to the early stages of not only the design but also the commercial and associated processes. In an ideal world the classic issues of managing the project would be supplemented by the avoidance of contract variations subsequent to the release of the initial contract.
As much as an appreciation of designer's issues has to be understood by all parties interested in the delivery and maintenance of the SET, so too must the designer understand the constraints facing those managing the contract, the project and the eventual maintenance.
Creating such an environment is far easier when the product being delivered is founded on an existing product. If the application involves a large element of new design, or has to address unfamiliar operating conditions then it becomes overwhemingly important that the supplier takes sufficient time to ensure that he has addressed all unfamiliar activities. Hitachi have been very responsible in their development of the 395 traction package and probably have been fortunate that track conditions have improved so markedly; they at least do not come to the UK with the legacy of Bombardier's ex-BR bogie designs that originally had to compromise performance with ride-quality. Still as the supplier of the bogie was still an open issue at the end of March maybe there are openings European suppliers such as Bombardier.
However if, for example we take another open issue, the diesel powercar, one would have to question whether Hitachi either has adequate in-house experience of building and operating high speed powercars so equipped, or whether he can depend on support from specialist suppliers/contractors who can assist. In this particular case I suspect that he can manage this issue.
By the way I have long wondered about the choice of 26 m long vehicles. Both Mk3 and Mk4 coaches are 23 metres and the need for tapering will I suspect be more than an issue particularly in some of our finer Victorian stations such as Newcastle and Bristol Temple Meads.
According to the Under Secretary of State for Transport, Paul Clark, ..... Agility estimates that 50 UK-based design jobs will be created shortly as a result of their Super Express proposals.and that 20 UK-based suppliers had sought to supply. Since then, Agility has put out a call for further interested suppliers, which can be found on their website at www.agilitytrains.com

-------------------------
Alan Morris MIET
 26 April 2009 09:16 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

Originally posted by: almorris
By the way I have long wondered about the choice of 26 m long vehicles. Both Mk3 and Mk4 coaches are 23 metres and the need for tapering will I suspect be more than an issue particularly in some of our finer Victorian stations such as Newcastle and Bristol Temple Meads.

was it not the reason that Mk3s were 23m that they were banned on the southern?
so if we now have 26m coaches does this mean that we will never see some of the cross country trains back?
excuse my ignorance, but will this make it harder to get them round tight bends? (not too much of a problem i guess in reality)
how does this affect the gap between train and platform at curved stations like York?
 26 April 2009 10:25 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

It therefore clear that SET will depend on how much targeted effort goes in to the early stages of not only the design but also the commercial and associated processes.


I could not agree more. I think it almost ought to go without saying that the commercial and technical sides of engineering must go hand in hand. Systems engineering isn't just about engineering in the traditional sense, but rather ALL the activities involved in delivering a successful product - including commercial and management tasks. In my opinion, project management for engineering projects is not a discipline in its own right but rather a subfunction of systems engineering. Perhaps "systems engineering" isn't the right term to use... That doesn't mean that you don't need a project manager, but that manager should be trained in the systems approach on both the technical and commercial planes. It's no use having a well trained team of systems engineers if they're led by a person who doesn't implement those approaches.

Although it's necessary for staff members on a project to maintain a lot of specialist knowledge, I think that if all of them have a basic understanding of the systems approach for technical AND commercial issues, it would make projects run more smoothly. At the moment I don't think that technical and commercial people in large companies/procurement organisations are actually talking the same language. Systems engineering/the systems approach provides that language (whatever you want to call the approach!).

I think almorris' post highlights exactly why I started this discussion: the recognised lack of Hitachi's experience in some areas means that they must do a doubly good job of systems integration, to tie in their systems with those they buy in from elsewhere, and make them all work together. Hitachi seem to have a good reputation for high quality engineering, but it would be interesting to know if they use systems approaches like those which have been permeating from America for the last 40 years, or something completely different. I fully expect they'll keep it under their hats, though!

On the vehicle length question, I am intrigued to see how this turns out. From the mock-ups on the website I think that the doors will be further from the vehicle ends than previous builds of train, but I still think there'll be a sizeable gap between train and platform.

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 30 April 2009 11:35 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ercmarks

Posts: 23
Joined: 27 April 2006

Originally posted by: ess1uk

Originally posted by: almorris

By the way I have long wondered about the choice of 26 m long vehicles. Both Mk3 and Mk4 coaches are 23 metres and the need for tapering will I suspect be more than an issue particularly in some of our finer Victorian stations such as Newcastle and Bristol Temple Meads.



was it not the reason that Mk3s were 23m that they were banned on the southern?

so if we now have 26m coaches does this mean that we will never see some of the cross country trains back?

excuse my ignorance, but will this make it harder to get them round tight bends? (not too much of a problem i guess in reality)

how does this affect the gap between train and platform at curved stations like York?


23m stock is not banned on the Southern, it is permitted on quite a number of routes. The stock is used on a daily basis to Weymouth, Portsmouth and Brighton.

The main issue with longer stock is the that there is more overhang on curves, which may foul lineside clearances. Quite a lot of structure gauging work has been done in recent years, presumably leading to the decision that 26m stock was viable. From the artists impressions the SET vehicle has a greater end taper than is needed for 23m stock.

I agree there is a potential issue with stepping distances at curved platforms. The greater length and the fact that the doors are in the tapered area is likely to increase the gap where the platform is on the inside of the curve. However stepping distances are a very live issue on the railway at present, so I guess we just have to hope that someone has looked at it!

-------------------------
Edwin Marks
 05 May 2009 11:37 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

interesting to see that Hitachi is pulling out of Thameslink bidding
 24 July 2009 08:51 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

so with the news that GWR is being electrified i guess we can nearly say goodbye to the diesel version??
 24 July 2009 09:53 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

Not so fast! Some Midland Main Line services are still operated by HSTs. Hopefully, though, the MML electrification will be hot on the heels of the GW. Remember that only London-Cardiff will be electrified, you've still got the West Country and all the numerous branch lines. These will have to be served by the bi-mode version.

It would certainly be nice if we didn't need an all-diesel version. If MML electrification gets underway soon we can supplant the truly awful Meridians with a clean, quiet electric service too.

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 02 August 2009 06:58 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

an all electric MML is an interesting thought, would it go all the way to Sheffield?
will they infill to Doncaster and Leeds?
why stop there, reopen the Woodhead route and through electric trains to Manchester?
only question is, where are all the power stations coming from to run these new trains?
 03 August 2009 09:44 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

The DfT is busy investigating the answers to these questions at the moment - I think earlier this year, Lord Adonis announced that an interim report would be out by the end of 2009 (although my facts are a bit vague - I may be inaccurate).

London-Manchester via Sheffield seems a bit of a roundabout route, but then Sheffield-Manchester via Woodhead would probably be a great thing to reopen. You'd have to beat National Grid into submission first though - they want the Woodhead tunnels for power cables.

One hopes that there is a bit of joined up thinking going on between the departments for Energy and Transport, i.e. that the people who are going to specify the new nuclear plants know that more generating capacity is going to be needed for the train system. We can but hope!

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 27 August 2009 07:18 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

solar powered trains?
would work fine until you get to a tunnel!!
 22 December 2009 11:12 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

so what's the latest news?
it seems to have gone very quiet on the IEP/SET news front.

do we think there will be more news when the electrification report comes out soon?
now the Chancellor has approved further plans will we be able to move ahead with stringing up the wires?

Also, other than that it has changed from fuel cells to overhead power i've not seen anything about peformance or regenerative braking on the IEP, but i have seen that the seats are to have 915mm of knee room in first class with 750mm in standard class.
this is all we have to show for £21million spent so far??

does anyone think a bi-mode train running with one power car will match a HST with 2 power cars?

will the funding to build these trains even be found?

Edited: 21 January 2010 at 11:02 PM by ess1uk
 20 January 2010 12:14 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

There was an interesting article in RAIL magazine a few issues back about the comparitive performance of IEP bi-mode and HST. The basic conclusion is yes, IEP will be slower away from the wires, but will be able to accelerate faster at lower speed ranges because of the distributed traction system, so some of that is made up.

IEP is needed, whatever the electrification plans, so I'm sure funding will be found somehow, although I dread to think what effect it will have on ticket prices.

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
 07 March 2010 08:40 AM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



ess1uk

Posts: 128
Joined: 20 April 2007

so the IEP is dead
the Pendolino order has been cut
and the Thameslink stock is a year late
what a mess
time to wheel out the mk3 stock!
 07 March 2010 08:47 PM
User is offline View Users Profile Print this message



z315870

Posts: 65
Joined: 30 May 2003

Well, I can't say I'm too sad to see the back of the IEP - I never thought much of the concept of the thing, although it's not too far off a sensible design.

Let's hope that when a new procurement effort gets under way for the trains we can't deny we need in the future, someone is at the helm who can drive an intelligent procurement process and come up with a good product...

But let's not hold our breath!

-------------------------
Dr Joe Silmon PhD MEng CEng MIET
Committee Member, Railway TPN
Statistics

See Also:



FuseTalk Standard Edition v3.2 - © 1999-2014 FuseTalk Inc. All rights reserved.