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ATOC publishes rolling stock strategy

ATOC has published a high-level rolling stock strategy to help guide ministers ahead of the publication of the HLOS this summer.

It includes forecast numbers of rolling stock needed by the end of CP5, based on low-growth, medium, and high-growth scenarios, and addresses the question of new build trains versus continuous service and potential refurbishment of existing fleets.

It suggests that the total fleet could grow to between 13,601 and 14,512 by the end of CP5 – equivalent to an increase of between 11% and 18% above the total fleet size expected by the end of CP4 in 2014.  

Somewhere between 2,100 and 2,900 vehicles are being delivered through the IEP, Thameslink and Crossrail rolling stock procurement processes, led by the Government, with around 500 to 1,500 additional vehicles expected through franchising and commercial deals. The report acknowledges, however, that this figure could end up being as low as 200 or as high as 2,500.
Michael Roberts, chief executive of ATOC, said: “We hope that the forecasts will support policy makers, suppliers and other parts of the Government with the best available information about the possible size and nature of future rolling stock orders and the potential to extend the life of sections of the existing fleet.”

On refurbishment versus new build, the report says: “…we cannot be definitive on the balance between continued long-term use of existing fleets and new build that manufacturers, suppliers and leasing companies should built into their planning frameworks for CP5. This will become much clearer as the franchising process develops.

“As part of the franchising process, further options may be explored. These could include conversion of existing units from diesel to bi-mode operation (for example the potential e-Voyager) or technological innovations such as tram-trains.”

Following electrification in the North West, Great Western, North Transpennine and South Wales areas, the report notes, the EMUs required could be cascaded from the Thameslink and Crossrail routes, “but some new-build options may provide additional capability and value”.

By the end of CP5, electrification schemes mean there will be a likely surplus of more than 200 shorter distance DMUs – most likely old units with few opportunities for further leasing.

But with refurbishment and re-engineering, “there could be an economic case for continued operation of all or most of the Class 150, 153, 155 and 156 fleets, and also for some Class 14x units”, it says.

Older short-distance EMUs are likely to become surplus due to the Crossrail procurement and other issues, it says – this could be anything from 16 to 538 vehicles.

It also suggests the option of higher-speed commuter EMUs on some radial routes that are shared with long-distance services, to make best use of existing capacity without major infrastructure spend.

For the full document, which includes the likely future for individual fleets, see:

(Image courtesy Network Rail)

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