Latest Rail News

27.05.16

Perry confirms new GWML Class 801s will be bi-mode

The new Class 801 units being introduced to the Great Western Main Line (GWML) will be converted to bi-mode operation, the Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed.

In response to a written question from Ben Howlett MP, Claire Perry, the rail minister, announced that the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, has now approved the conversion of the 21 Class 801 Intercity Express Programme (IEP) Units.

Last month, Perry revealed that the DfT had received a formal submission from Agility Trains West, the train supplier, to convert the Class 801s.

Originally the Class 801 fleet was to be an entirely electric fleet, supported by 36 five-car bi-mode Class 800s due to be running on the Great Western routes from 2017-18.

Perry has stated that, despite delays to the GWML electrification programme, she remains “committed to ensuring that the IEP trains enter in service in accordance with the delivery schedule from 2017-18”.

Ahead of Sir Peter Hendy’s review, which revealed that all elements of the GWML programme will only start seeing electric trains running in CP6, Mark Carne had revealed that the cost of the project had nearly doubled and now stand at up to £2.8bn.

By converting the Class 801s to bi-mode operation, the rail minister added that this will “enable passengers in the South West and Wales to benefit as soon as possible from brand new trains which will deliver more capacity and more comfort”.

The new Class 801s will be built by Hitachi at its new plant at Newton Aycliffe facility and are due to replace the current IEP rolling stock fleet from 2017-18.

Last September, RTM was at the opening ceremony of Hitachi's new £82m state-of-the-art Newton Aycliffe manufacturing facility, where the company unveiled the first Class 800.

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Comments

Paul Treanor   27/05/2016 at 12:05

So lots of trains carting around the dead weight of multiple diesel engines, traction alternators and fuel tanks when (eventually) running with the pan up, hardly environmentally friendly! Presumably the traction package will need to be uprated to run at higher speeds as per the Class 802s? And more comfortable than an HST, really!

David   27/05/2016 at 13:55

Paul, the diesel power plants are leased from MTU (the engine supplier), and will be removed when electrification works are completed.

Jak Jaye   27/05/2016 at 15:21

Cant wait for the first wave to come crashing over the sea wall@Dawlish shorting all the electrics on these 'super dooper' jap rubbish,meanwhile perfectly working HSTs are either sent to another lucky TOC or the scrapman,what a way to run a railway

Peter Weston   27/05/2016 at 16:58

It would be a good idea to pursuade Cross Country to employ the displaced GWR Hst sets, in order to improve space on their trains. For instance Scotland to Plymouth/Penzance & Bristol/Paignton to Manchester could be Hst & Manchester to Bournemouth, Newcastle to Reading/Southampton could be pairs of Voyagers.

Lutz   27/05/2016 at 19:11

I am wondering if there will be an additional charge for the conversion at this stage in the delivery, or can it be accommodated from provisions in the contract?

Jake   27/05/2016 at 22:53

Jak Jaye. Do your research before asserting what you don`t know. Dawlish ain`t gonna be electrified.

Sam Jones   28/05/2016 at 10:36

When the 802s will be running over the Dawlish sea wall to Cornwall, I anticipate that they will encounter the same number and sort of problems that the Voyagers encounter. Occasionally, there have been bad waves hitting the Voyagers and they have short circuited, but 99% of the time, they are fine. I am anticipating that GWR will retain maybe 10 Intercity 125s (so 20 Class 43 powercars in total) as backups if the 802s fail for whatever reason. Obviously, the rest will go to Scotrail.

Peter Weston   28/05/2016 at 22:56

The other plan for the HST's were, once withdrawn from service, their MTU engines would be removed &re-cycled in other motive power. All the HST's are apparently spoken for by heritage operators. These heritage operators, have already purchased their old(paxman valenta) engines. These paxman valenta engines will be put back in the HST power cars, so they will, once again sound like planes taking off.

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