Author Topic: First Capital Connect new trains : Siemens!  (Read 1392 times)

Offline X314NNO

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First Capital Connect new trains : Siemens!
« on: June 16, 2011, 10:13:04 PM »
Government announces Siemens as preferred bidder for the TLP new trains contract 
Published:
16/06/2011 09:40  | Editor:
Miranda Luxford  | Last Updated:
16/06/2011 09:45 
 
  This morning the Government has announced that Siemens has been selected as ‘preferred bidder’ in the competition to design, build, finance and maintain a new fleet of trains to run on the Thameslink and Great Northern routes.

This fleet of up to 1,200 carriages is being procured as part of the Thameslink Programme to dramatically increase capacity to, from and through the heart of London. Competitor Bombardier has not been successful.

The decision was made by the Government, and it was based upon which company complied best with requirements set out in a tender document. We have supported the process by considering the impact of the two designs on operations and our customers.

Siemens will now work with the Department for Transport, First Capital Connect and Network Rail to complete final negotiations before a contract signing later this year.

There are 160 schedules within the contract covering what the train manufacturer will be delivering, and which need to be concluded through final negotiations on the detail. You are likely to see a lot of activity within FCC as we go through this process.

FCC will be one of the parties signing the contract later this year because we will then manage the rest of the procurement process. It will be the largest single rolling stock order since privatisation of Britain’s railways.

Under the terms of the contract, the first delivery of trains will commence with two 8-car and eight 12-car trains that must enter service within 40 months of contract award, which is early 2015. Trains will continue to be delivered at a rate of around one per week. It is a major project and we will be working closely with teams across the business as we go through this process.

The rest of this fastline outlines answers to many questions you may have about the new trains and the procurement process. We’ll be keeping you updated on the progress of the project and I will be out meeting with teams to talk about what this means for us as a business in the coming weeks.

Jonathan Bridgewood
New Trains & Engineering Director
 
More information about the new trains and maintenance requirements

Where will the trains run?
This new fleet of up to 1,200 vehicles would operate FCC’s Thameslink route first of all and, in time, Great Northern route services as well as routes operated by other train operating companies (ultimately these routes will be connected and grouped together to form one new network).

What does the winning bid say?
The contents of each bid remain subject to strict confidentiality until negotiations are finalised.

In that case, can you say what specification the competing manufacturers were working to?
Demanding requirements were specified for the new trains with an emphasis on the trains being highly reliable, attractive to customers, energy efficient and innovative.

Train systems
The new trains will be the first mainline fleet to be equipped with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) from the outset. This will provide fully automated train protection to ensure the safe operation of trains across central London where there will be up to 24 trains per hour in each direction during the peak period.

The trains will be equipped to operate with both conventional and ERTMS signalling through a single interactive screen and controls in the driver’s cab. Another major advance will be the incorporation of the facility to use automatic train operation (ATO) through the core. This would take advantage of the superior performance of the new trains to achieve shorter headways and support the service frequency of up to 24 trains per hour during the peaks.

Fixed length
The trains will be fixed length, 8- and 12-carriage long units. This is to maximise passenger capacity in the peaks, and recognises that with routes operating close to full capacity, there will be little opportunity to split and join multiple units anyway, especially at the restricted turnaround stations. Demand will therefore be managed by careful deployment of the two lengths of trains through the day.

The trains will have facilities located symmetrically around the centre line, and stopping positions will be set for each train length to ensure passengers know where to stand on the platforms.

Accessibility
Accessible facilities for wheelchair users and persons of reduced mobility will be situated in the centre of both train types.  Similarly first class will be located in the end vehicles, and cycle racks will be in two designated vehicles.

2 + 2 seating
A clear message coming from passengers is that the 2+3 layout is disliked, and there is a clear preference for 2+2 seating and more aisle width for standing. The new trains will be specified with a mix of 2+2 unidirectional and bay seating, and the precise layout and design will be decided through full-scale mock-ups.

Open gangways
The much-wanted European practice of trains with wide, open gangways will become a reality. Passengers have been pressing for this to improve security on trains and designs have been proven to work for wide gangways that allow free movement between carriages, as well as a clear view through the whole train.

Information technology
Satellite and wireless technology will be used for providing real-time information to passengers through flat panel screens, and data will be synchronised the station systems, providing information about connecting services and accurate arrival times.

Energy efficient
Many of the objectives of the DfT’s Technical Strategy have been followed through into the specification for the trains, so that there is a great emphasis on low weight and energy efficiency. Whilst regenerative braking on both AC and DC lines will save energy, the new trains will be expected to provide continuously update advice to drivers on efficient driving profiles, and other savings will be sought through selection of efficient air conditioning and lighting equipment. Weight-saving targets were set to encourage manufacturers to consider advances in lightweight materials and construction techniques.

How will the new trains be maintained?
The new fleet will need to be maintained by the manufacturer at new facilities because our existing sites are not able to accommodate it. For the successful train manufacturer to build these depots in time, planning permission for two schemes needs to be in place. The DfT looked at 12 sites on which these new depots could be built, which included Cricklewood and Bedford Cauldwell Walk, and settled on two – one close to Hornsey Depot, on Coronation Sidings (this is in addition to the existing depot), the other at Three Bridges.

Only Hornsey and Three Bridges met the following important criteria:

operational performance (the ability of the site to deliver the train service; good rail access routes to and from the depot; good connections to the network)
planning compliance
cost
land availability
time taken to develop the site
impact of construction on current railway operations.
The site at Bedford Cauldwell Walk Depot was simply not large enough to accommodate fixed length 8- and 12-carriage units and all the facilities needed, even if additional land was purchased.

Network Rail already owns the land for both new depots and has now submitted planning applications. You can read more about both on Platform, at News & Updates > TLP updates.

Will there be any maintenance carried out away from these two new depots?
Siemens had to include in their proposals their approach to maintaining the new trains. These have to remain confidential until final negotiations are concluded and the contract is signed, later this year.

This may include out-station maintenance and the limited use of existing facilities such as Bedford Cauldwell Walk or any of the other proposed stabling facilities but nothing can be decided or revealed until the contract is signed.

Cricklewood depot will become an integral part of the stabling and transportation of trains between Hornsey and Cricklewood.

What will happen to staff at existing depots?
Some of the existing fleets will ultimately be replaced by the new trains but there will be an ongoing requirement for the 313s and some of the GN outer fleet (317 / 321 / 365) after the full deployment of the new trains. This represents the "Residual Great Northern" fleet, which will continue to be maintained at the existing Hornsey depot.

Hornsey and Bedford will continue to support the existing fleets while the new Thameslink trains are being delivered, enabling the company to deliver its franchise commitments. This allows First Capital Connect to retain control and accountability for the ongoing performance of the existing fleets. It will also allow the successful bidder to focus on the manufacture of the new trains and, later, their maintenance.

What happens to existing trains?
Some of the trains displaced by the new Thameslink trains will be cascaded to other routes to offer capacity enhancements on those routes. For example, it is expected that the class 377/5 trains that have been operating on the Thameslink route, will be the first to be replaced by the new Thameslink Rolling Stock. These class 377/5 trains will move to Southern to deliver capacity enhancements on their routes.

Would the existing First Capital Connect depot at Bedford ultimately shut? If so, what happens to the people working there?
Bedford depot is expected to continue maintaining the existing fleet and even after the fleet is transferred to a different operator there will still be many trains stabled and cleaned in the Bedford area including the Cauldwell Walk site.

There may also be out-station maintenance and the use of existing facilities such as Bedford Cauldwell Walk but nothing can be decided or revealed until the new trains contract is signed, later this year.

First Capital Connect will undertake a full consultation programme with staff and trade unions regarding any changes to maintenance working arrangements when these are known.

Will there be a reduction in the volume of work carried out at the two First Capital Connect maintenance depots?
First Capital Connect anticipates there will not be any significant reduction in the volume of work at either depot for several years. A full programme of consultation will be put in place in advance of any new arrangements.

Will First Capital Connect continue to recruit apprentices for its maintenance depots?
Yes. First Capital Connect has a long and successful apprenticeship scheme and we will continue to recruit and employ apprentices throughout our franchise.

What about train presentation?
Train presentation will remain FCC’s responsibility and is likely to continue at existing facilities. There are plans being developed for the final layout at Bedford Carriage Sidings which include the possibility of moving the wash plant and reconfiguring the junction (because of the fixed 12-car formation) but these plans are not finalised and won't be until the train contract is awarded. We will be in a position to be more specific at that time.

                                                                       

Offline Julia_Hayward

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Re: First Capital Connect new trains : Siemens!
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2011, 04:05:57 PM »
Just noticed Lynne Featherstone MP and the local Lib Dems are rounding up the residents to object to Coronation Sidings. Can't help thinking that anyone who buys a house right next to land that's been a working railway for the last 150 years should not have a visceral objection to trains...

Offline X314NNO

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Re: First Capital Connect new trains : Siemens!
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2011, 07:22:26 PM »
Just noticed Lynne Featherstone MP and the local Lib Dems are rounding up the residents to object to Coronation Sidings. Can't help thinking that anyone who buys a house right next to land that's been a working railway for the last 150 years should not have a visceral objection to trains...

but they have the permission?  :>

Offline J621BVG

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Re: First Capital Connect new trains : Siemens!
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2011, 08:04:39 PM »
Just noticed Lynne Featherstone MP and the local Lib Dems are rounding up the residents to object to Coronation Sidings. Can't help thinking that anyone who buys a house right next to land that's been a working railway for the last 150 years should not have a visceral objection to trains...

but they have the permission?  :>
They are what's known as the NIMBY brigade. They appear to be 150 years late. So about the same average amount of time that a NXEA service is delayed by...
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