Latest Rail News

03.01.17

Vivarail test train catches fire over festive period as NUCKLE trial postponed

The trial of Vivarail’s innovative D-train on the Coventry to Nuneaton (NUCKLE) line has been postponed, as the firm’s test train caught fire over the festive season.

Last Friday (30 December 2016) ten members of Vivarail staff were forced to evacuate from the three-car Class 230 passenger train near Kenilworth station after its engine set on fire during a test run. No passengers were aboard.

The fire disrupted services as it caused trains to be cancelled between Coventry and Leamington Spa and affected services from Manchester to Bournemouth.

“Whilst undertaking a test run today a fire started in one of the detachable engine modules on one of the power cars.  There were no passengers on the train and Vivarail staff were able to get off the train without a problem,” a Vivarail statement confirmed last week.

“Until it is possible to access the engine module the cause of the fire cannot be determined. A thorough investigation will take place in conjunction with the [RAIB] and whatever steps necessary will be undertaken.”

RTM reported in late November that mainline testing of the  D-train – made from upcycled and converted D78 District Line stock – was due to begin. We also noted that the trial runs on the NUCKLE line had been delayed until February because of problems with the approval process.

Following last week’s incident, Vivarail’s spokesperson confirmed that the train was moved to the engine depot at Tyseley and that the planned trial of the train on the NUCKLE line will be postponed until further notice.

(Image c. snowmanradio)

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Comments

Andrew Gwilt   03/01/2017 at 12:07

Is it better to install MTU diesel engines or Cummins diesel engines to the Class 230's DEMU's as the Ford Duratorq diesel engines may cause fire if overheating if travelling on longer journeys and new engines do have or could include inter-coolers to keep the engines cool whilst in power as well these converted Class 230's DEMU's will be used on some of London Midland's branch lines including Coventry-Nuneaton and other branch lines in the West Midlands. Also the Class 230's DEMU's could also replace the Class 142, Class 143 and Class 144 Pacer trains used in Wales and Southwest England as GWR are hoping to replace the Pacer trains with the Class 230 DEMU trains. Also possibly use some of the Class 230's DEMU's on the Marks Tey-Sudbury line if Greater Anglia are willing to order few of those Class 230 trains to operate on that line in Essex despite Greater Anglia are ordering brand new EMU and Bi-Mode (EDMU) trains in the next 3-4 years as Bombardier and Stadler are planning ahead to build the new trains for Greater Anglia.

Pwt   03/01/2017 at 13:05

I suspect that there is insufficient under floor space in the ex D78 stock to fit the more powerful (and therefore larger) sprinter type engines.

Humbug   03/01/2017 at 13:08

Andrew's comment: "as the Ford Duratorq diesel engines may cause fire ". I'd be interested to hear on what basis you make this assumption. Until the investigation is concluded, I don't believe that you can reliably state this.

Pedant   03/01/2017 at 13:36

Andrew why do you use so many grocer's apostrophes? There are no possessives, just plurals. Class 230s and DEMUs will do nicely thank you. For consistency why were there no apostrophes in engines, trains, journeys, intercoolers, lines, and years.

Jerry Alderson   03/01/2017 at 15:01

To answer Pedant's question. Many people are taught English very badly in this Britain. I think some people see what someone else has written and copy it regardless. so they see an apostrophe used in, say, it's and assume it must always have one, which of course is not the case. A lot of people incorrectly think that there must be an apostrophe when making a number or an abbreviation into a plural, which, as you correctly say is just plain wrong. It's so simple: An apostophe is only used - and must be used - for omission or possession. I fail to understand why people don't get that.

Geordie   03/01/2017 at 17:00

Jerry Alderson: "This Britain"? As opposed to the other Britain?

Lutz   03/01/2017 at 17:39

Sun headline: "Rail Engineers in fright nuckle ride"?

Steveb   03/01/2017 at 19:18

Let's put this incident into context: how many buses catch fire? I've personally witnessed several over the years. This was a prototype, not a production vehicle like the buses I mentioned.

Henry Law   03/01/2017 at 22:31

This is not the first time that electric trains from London have been adapted for use on non-electrified lines. A couple of Metropolitan Line EMUs were recycled in this way in 1940.

J, Leicester   04/01/2017 at 09:08

Really want the 230s to succeed, so this is a worrying setback. Can only assume it's an overheating problem, but this is the point of prototypes - to iron out design issues. Doesn't bode well for the supposed reliability of the modular engines, but hopefully it's just a ventilation issue that can be fixed with a few modifications. A quick turnaround and return to mainline testing might prove a blessing in disguise, as it would show the USP concept of "easy lineside maintenance" in action! Had a rather Union-inclined mate taking the mickey on social media and declaring the project "dead in the water", so hoping I have the last laugh on this one, because I still believe what Vivarail are doing is a brilliant concept. Not that he can talk, given his persistent moaning over having to operate "dogboxes!"

D.Ward   04/01/2017 at 10:12

Do we look at other diesel powered units to see where we can learn from. This Underground stock converted with very little room under the body as originally built as no thought was to the future and converting from electric to diesel powered. Though it would take a bit of space away why not look of how the English Electric Units of 1957 for Hastings Main Line or Hampshire Units were configured to fit in with parameters. A lot of modern units also use roof space for equipment. One of the restrictions and the size of engine is the British Loading Gauge. I am sure Technology will come up with a solution of how to deal with this problem with Inter-Coolers for this engine.

Andrew Gwilt   04/01/2017 at 15:46

Fair enough. Whatever I say is plain boring and to be fair I still would ignore what people say.

Chris M   06/01/2017 at 03:43

Andrew, intercoolers are not fitted to diesel engines to cool them down - they have cooling systems to do that. And GWR has no wish to operate class 230s. I suspect this latest setback to Viva rail has been caused by some kind of rupture/cracking, causing inflammable oil or diesel to reach hot components. No doubt it could be fixed once understood, but time is really against this project now, an ongoing delay would be a disaster. The prospective class 319 bi-modes have the potential to displace 80-100 2-car sprinters. What is more they will be 75mph capable on diesel and won't need new cabs.

Andrew Gwilt   06/01/2017 at 19:33

I suppose you are right Chris M.

James Miller   06/01/2017 at 21:39

On most hybrid buses like for example, London's Routemasters, the power-pack charges a battery, which is then used to power the traction motors. This helps to keep the running time of the diesel engine down, which allows it to cool. Does anybody know whether the Class 230 has a battery and indirect drive? The battery in a Routemaster has a capacity of 75 KwH, which is not far from the energy of the train, trundling around Coventry. So in an ideal world, trains of this type would have batteries and regenerative braking. It may seem a wacky concept, but fully developed it could just work. But I do think a Class 319 Flex might be a better bet.

John Williams   09/01/2017 at 16:42

Looking at the photographs of the damage, it would appear to be restricted to the centre carriage. Surely as the end carriages had already undergone earlier testing it would be simple and probably enlightening to the cause of the problem to reconfigure it as a two car unit and continue testing.

John Williams   09/01/2017 at 16:43

Looking at the photographs of the damage, it would appear to be restricted to the centre carriage. Surely as the end carriages had already undergone earlier testing it would be simple and probably enlightening to the cause of the problem to reconfigure it as a two car unit and continue testing.

Manchester Mike   10/01/2017 at 14:07

I agree with J of Leicester, Viva Rail's D-Trains are a brilliant concept to bring much needed DEMUs to (this) Britain's rail network.

Andrew Gwilt   10/01/2017 at 15:35

Pedant-Just shut up will you. I talk as I want to talk.

Boris   11/01/2017 at 13:47

No, you talk correctly and using proper language. Else you will not be taken seriously.

Richard   11/01/2017 at 14:52

The comparisons with other DMUs are pointless; the 230 is a DEMU with no direct mechanical drive, the engines are part of a generator draft that powers the traction package. The RAIB report will make for interesting reading.

Andrew Gwilt   16/01/2017 at 19:25

Boris. Are you trying to judge me. Do me a favour and shut the hell up will you ok.

Andrew Gwilt   16/01/2017 at 19:27

Or I would say "BLAH BLAH BLAH" or "WHATEVER" as many times as I like because I won't agree on what's said and I just won't be judged. Simples.

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