Close Close
Poll

Do you agree with Driver Only Operation on railways?

View the poll

EXCLUSIVE: Rail industry urged to back HSTs for freight plan

The freight market could be “cracked wide open” if off-lease High Speed Trains are used to carry express freight, claims Intermodality UK Managing Director Nick Gallop.

Speaking exclusively to RAIL, Gallop said a plan to use ex-passenger HSTs and Mk 3 coaches to carry parcels could “wipe the floor” with the road competition.

RAIL first revealed that GB Railfreight was interested in using redundant HSTs to meet customers’ same-day delivery demand last year (RAIL 820).

These plans had to be postponed owing to late-running electrification works, meaning that the stock couldn’t become available as soon as was originally hoped. However, Gallop, who also works as IntercityFreight’s Development Director, said that in the past year he has been lobbying to ensure spare HSTs won’t all be going for scrap without warning.

“We were hopeful we would have seen something by now, but rail projects sometimes take way too long to bring on-stream for all sorts of reasons,” he told RAIL.

“At the moment, the leasing companies and train operating companies [TOCs] are working out how many of the HST sets they want to keep in passenger use. What we’re looking to do with things like HSTs is to be there as the goalkeeper of last resort - if we see any signs that they’re going to be scrapped, we will try and gain interest from the industry and say ‘would you be interested in a 125mph high-speed diesel delivery vehicle? If you’re interested, apply to that person before they get turned into razor blades’.”

Gallop added there is also potential for the HSTs to continue to carry passengers, albeit at a cut price to a traditional overnight service. This could help the railways appeal to a new demographic, using the Adaptable Carriage technology (RAIL 847).

  • For the full EXCLUSIVE story, read RAIL 849, out now. 

Comment as guest


Login  /  Register

Comments

  • FrankH - 28/03/2018 13:34

    “wipe the floor” with the road competition." It could if there were sufficient urgent goods to fill a train moved on a regular basis between A - B. This is not the case with urgent overnight deliveries. 2-4 pallets need to go now (phone call at 21.00) can you pick up by 22.30 and go to, for eg Bristol. This is urgent overnight work which rail could never do.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • SuperMac - 28/03/2018 14:59

    Love the idea. If it came to pass, another new livery on our rails.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • AndrewJGwilt1989 - 28/03/2018 22:09

    Some Class 43 HST's could be ideal for freight duties. Whilst others will be used for passenger long-distance services and charter duties. And some could be stored at museums including putting 1 Class 43 powercar at National Railway Museum in York.

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Mitchell Hurd - 15/04/2018 09:51

    Sorry, but what about the train operators that are in desperate need of extra capacity - like CrossCountry trains. Currently they're forced to regularly run 4 and 5-car trains to and from Scotland and the South West. More 7-car HST's would mean a number of things such as: cheap fares, plenty of seats / standing and breathing space when there's disruption and room for a trolley to get down the train. The current 7-car XC HST's offer 457 seats - 70 are First Class and 387 are Standard. 46 of the 457 offer Priority seating. There's also not only a Quiet Coach - Coach G - which has 67 seats, but there's 30 tables in Standard Class and around 35 maybe 40 seats where you can keep a good eye on your luggage. Plus on all Voyager and HST services now offer more food and drink (subject to availability) at a not bad price. All these things are key to a journey to and from Scotland, the North, and Birmingham, Bristol and the South West. I've travelled on HST's mostly since around 1995/1996 (there may have been a total of say 2 or 3 years when I haven't). So sorry to sound quite blunt but I know what I'm talking about. Put it this way, I'll need to spend laround 10-15 minutes at the next CrossCountry trains Customer Panel meeting if I go!

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • Mitchell Hurd - 15/04/2018 09:52

    Sorry, but what about the train operators that are in desperate need of extra capacity - like CrossCountry trains. Currently they're forced to regularly run 4 and 5-car trains to and from Scotland and the South West. More 7-car HST's would mean a number of things such as: cheap fares, plenty of seats / standing and breathing space when there's disruption and room for a trolley to get down the train. The current 7-car XC HST's offer 457 seats - 70 are First Class and 387 are Standard. 46 of the 457 offer Priority seating. There's also not only a Quiet Coach - Coach G - which has 67 seats, but there's 30 tables in Standard Class and around 35 maybe 40 seats where you can keep a good eye on your luggage. Plus on all Voyager and HST services now offer more food and drink (subject to availability) at a not bad price. All these things are key to a journey to and from Scotland, the North, and Birmingham, Bristol and the South West. I've travelled on HST's mostly since around 1995/1996 (there may have been a total of say 2 or 3 years when I haven't). So sorry to sound quite blunt but I know what I'm talking about. Put it this way, I'll need to spend laround 10-15 minutes at the next CrossCountry trains Customer Panel meeting if I go!

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register
  • H-S-T Productions - 13/06/2018 14:13

    Fancy that; sounds like a very cool and useful idea, similar to how some of the Mainline 86's from the WCML went to operating freight trains. Would be cool to see how well a HST could pull a long line of freight; funny to see if one ever went the full 125mph hauling freight! :P

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register

RAIL is Britain's market leading modern railway magazine.

Download the app

Related content