Bidding mania will create a glut of surplus stock

The practice of promising new trains to win franchise bids is set to make some existing stock redundant – including a number of relatively recent introductions.

By ‘Industry Witness’

ANALYSIS of the new train orders promised by recent successful franchise bids indicates that a greater amount of new rolling stock is being purchased than is justified by either passenger growth projections and the composition of the existing fleet. This is particularly relevant to the Greater Anglia franchise, where the entire fleet is planned to be replaced regardless of age.

It makes sense to have trains of a single type operating on high frequency routes – such as Crossrail, Thameslink, and Merseyrail – as rolling stock with the same acceleration and stopping characteristics allow the service frequency to be optimised, especially with the ambition of 24 trains per hour on the Crossrail and Thameslink central sections.

The Class 700 fleet continues to increase, and by mid-February had reached 45 sets out of the order for 115. Deliveries are weekly, with the intention that the full fleet will be available by May 2018. This has allowed the transfer of 29 four-car Class 387/1 units to Hornsey for use on Great Northern services, where the maximum speed of 110mph can be exploited.

Read more in the April issue of RE – out now!

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