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Could HST cascade be delayed?

GWR 43002 Sir Kenneth Grange arrives at Par. CRAIG MUNDAY.

Cascaded High Speed Trains are still expected to enter traffic with ScotRail from spring 2018.

The first HSTs are due to be sent off-lease by Great Western Railway (GWR) in July next year, almost 41 years after the fleet first entered traffic on the Great Western Main Line (GWML).

GWR expects to introduce the first of the replacement Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains on July 10. As more IEPs are introduced, the plan is for the incumbent HSTs to then be removed from traffic and then head north after modifications.

Industry speculation suggests that there could be a delay to the planned cascade as a result of the late-running GWML electrification programme, which would mean the replacement IEPs built by Hitachi would not be able to operate at full capacity.

But Angel Trains spokesman Rebecca Gudgeon told RAIL on October 11: “Angel Trains owns the High Speed Trains that are currently leased to Great Western Railway and are to be transferred to Abellio ScotRail from autumn 2017 onwards. “Following a programme of works at Wabtec, including PRM modifications , these trains are due to enter service in Scotland from spring 2018. “Given the anticipated delays in the electrification on the Great Western Main Line and the introduction of IEP trains, all parties are working collaboratively to revise the above timescales to meet the aspirations of all. Ultimately, the final arbiters will be Transport Scotland and the Department for Transport.”

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 812, published on October 26. 

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  • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 27/10/2016 01:11

    The Class 43's that VTEC currently have could also be cascaded to Scotland and some to be transferred to Crosscountry and others to be stored as well the Mk4's and Mk3's carriages that could also be stored or to be transferred to other duties as new trains will replace the older Intercity fleets and ATW could also have some Class 43's to be used on North Wales services to/from Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly/Victoria.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 27/10/2016 10:15

    No offence, but never mind b!00dy Scotrail, Cross Country needs them more. Will there be enough left over after the Scotrail cascades to strengthen Cross Country?

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    • Andrewjgwilt1989 - 27/10/2016 11:21

      Agreed. Arriva Trains Wales could also use some of the Class 43 Mk3's used on North Wales routes.

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    • Justin Case - 30/10/2016 13:49

      What a silly and quite ignorant post. Scotrail have signed a lease agreement to take on these relics and they should be delivered in the timescale agreed. It wouldn't have been my choice to replace unsuitable Turbostars with 40 year old stock. It would have been more prudent to construct new intercity trains for the 7 cities routes. Yet again though, Scotland gets English hand me downs.

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    • 7D3 - 30/10/2016 18:35

      Agreed, but I think the VTEC HSTs (14 HSTs/ 2x9) will go to CrossCountry along with 10 Mk3 carriages from GWR. I also think the the rest of the GWR HSTs (27 HSTs/ 2x8) will go to ATW (11 hts/2x6) and Chiltern Mainline (10 hts/ 2x8 & 6 hts/ 2x9).

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      • Noam Bleicher - 31/10/2016 20:38

        7D3, the cascade plan you describe makes a lot of sense, but it's the first I've heard of it anywhere. Is it anywhere near confirmed? Surely XC and ATW franchises are up soon, so any cascades would be part of new franchise bids? Incidentally which services would ATW use HSTs for?

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  • FrankH - 27/10/2016 21:08

    There's no "could be delayed about it", it will be delayed and no one knows by how long. Until there are enough wires up the HST is going to be faster than the IEP's and GWR doesn't want slower services.

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  • BigTone - 28/10/2016 12:12

    I still cannot understand why the GWR has to be re-equipped first when they are not ready. The first Hitatchis should have gone to the ECML, after all they can go straight into service and the HSTs be transferred promptly.

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    • FrankH - 28/10/2016 15:11

      It made sense when Da Management thought all was going to be completed on time. Not realising the lines on some birds flight path and having to specially design OHL supports because they couldn't see the plain ones (load of old cobblers), and the line through Bath (I think) again supports to blend in with the surroundings. Plus I've no doubt other half brained complaints to put up with. I agree the ECML should have got new stock first and drip feed the GWR as and when needed. Obviously we can't see the bigger picture (management version) so we know nothing.

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  • Noam Bleicher - 31/10/2016 20:33

    The cascade you describe makes a lot of sense, but is this confirmed? I have to admit I have yet to hear of any cascades to Chiltern or ATW anywhere else. Incidentally which services would they be used for by ATW?

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    • FrankH - 08/11/2016 17:00

      For ATW I would imagine Cardiff - Holyhead and Holyhead - Manchester to release the class 67 hauled services.

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