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Hopwood upbeat as GWR revises rolling stock plans

Great Western Railway Managing Director Mark Hopwood has explained how Network Rail’s electrification delays will affect his passengers.

The train operator’s plans are in shreds. Its franchise agreement with the Department for Transport will have to be substantially amended. And NR’s revised schedule for wiring the Great Western Main Line means many of GWR’s promises for capacity and performance improvements cannot be met on time. In some cases, they cannot be met for years.

Hopwood must work out how much of his three-year programme is still possible. The first of 58 suburban electric trains arrives early next year, but there is no possibility of the wires being ready for them to run as planned.

Beyond that, a key decision will be to convert the entire order for electric inter-city Hitachi trains into bi-mode variants, fitted with diesel engines.

“The core main line out of Paddington will be electrified first, and that does give us the ability to use quite a lot of the EMUs . We will get to Didcot first, and we will need to make sure we have train patterns that make use of that,” said Hopwood.

“We get our first EMUs in the early months of 2016. We already have wires to Hayes in west London, and we intend to start using them within a few weeks of receiving those trains.

“The dates Network Rail has published are back-stop dates. It is saying to us that it will try to outperform those dates. So we expect to see electrification to Maidenhead in early 2017, and that gives us our next opportunity to use EMUs.”

  • Read more of Mark Hopwood's interview with Paul Clifton in RAIL 789, published on December 9.

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  • Graham Barber - 08/12/2015 12:44

    GWR now have BIG problems with multiple units, lots of EMU's it cannot use but will have to lease and lots of DMU's it will need to extend the lease. BIG question after 170/3 problem in the north with Chiltern offering a longer lease for the units. What are the lease companies going to do with the DMU's at GWR are they wanting a longer lease for DMU's with for example NORTHERN or to extend the use with GWR with a short lease, if the longer option is needed are we going to see a option used in the south which we currently use in the north. Liverpool to Blackpool is split at Preston , EMU Liverpool to Preston, DMU Preston to Blackpool. We now need to implement DMU's to operate for example to Reading from various starting station's and EMU's to London to free up MORE DMU's

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 08/12/2015 16:02

    So the Class 387/1/3's and Class 365's will not be operated until all the overhead wires have been erected and switched on west of Hayes & Harlington.

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  • Anthony Sneath - 08/12/2015 17:51

    Being as the GWR electrification is well behind, I would say build 5 car dual mode units. For the GWR this means the Adelantes can be replaced. East Coast can use some for Lincoln services. Hull Trains want some. EMT could find them useful, firstly for the Corby services then cascade them to other services as their electrification progresses (Finishing with the Liverpool - Norwich service?) East Coast can make use of the full size electric units,so the situation of HSTs on the Leeds service can end. Aparently the dual mode units can be easily converted to straight electric

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  • SteveBrissle - 10/12/2015 13:39

    Another rail farce - delayed project, costing a great deal more than originally planned and no firm news on the likely outturn cost (which has to include the DfT bungled train procurement) or completion dates.

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