Railwatch is the quarterly magazine of Railfuture, which is free to members.
Non-members can subscribe to Railwatch, receiving it by post.Subscribe
This high-speed diesel could be the successor to the much-respected inter-city 125 trains, which have run on Britain's main lines since the 1970s. The 125mph class 180s are the product of an £80million investment by First Great Western and should provide a train every 30 minutes between London and Cardiff by May next year. Instead of a power car at each end, the 180s have a Cummins diesel engine under each of the five coaches The steel bodies were built in Barcelona and the bogies in France. Each coach is air-conditioned and will have one lavatory, compared to two in present HSTs. There will be racks for six bikes, again less than current HSTs. We will have to wait to see if the 14 new trains on order prove comfortable. Of course, if the Great Western had been electrified as it should have been by now, new trains could have been travelling at 180mph.
Midland Mainline has responded to complaints of cramped and overcrowded conditions in its new Adtranz-built Turbostars by ordering £10million worth of new coaches, so that its two-car sets can be boosted to three cars. That could allow MML, which has attracted a million extra passengers since the Turbostars were introduced in May last year, to improve the internal layout.
Worries have also been expressed about the new Virgin Voyager trains featured in Railwatch 83. Standard class Mark 3 carriages have 64 face-to-face seats at a comfortable pitch of 1065mm, writes Peter Phillips. In Mark 4 carriages capacity was increased to 74 seats by introducing 42 unidirectional aircraft style seats with a pitch of 820mm, and reducing the remaining 32 facing seats to 945mm. The Mark 4s were criticised for being cramped, but the new Virgin trains will have only 16 facing seats in standard class with a 955mm pitch, and there will be 46 unidirectional seats. Despite this, seating capacity will only be 62, two less than the Mk3s. This is because of a huge wheelchair-accessible toilet, which uses up the space of six seats. There will be three of these toilets in the four-car train so there will be only one toilet for every 63 passengers. This compares with one for every 32 passengers in the Mk3s and one for 37 in the Mk4s. Just who was consulted when these trains were being designed? Certainly not the passengers.
Note: contact details (postal and email addresses, along with telephone numbers) in old editions of Railwatch out of date. Click CONTACT US for latest contact details.
Rail users are encouraged to join Railfuture to help us campaign for a bigger and better railway - membership for individuals is just £20 per year
Railfuture is an independent, voluntary group representing rail users in Britain with 20,000 affiliated and individual members. It is not funded by train companies, political parties or trade unions, and all members have an equal say.
Railfuture campaigns for cheap and convenient rail services for everyone; better links for buses, bikes and pedestrians; policies to get more heavy lorries on to rail; new lines, stations and freight terminals. In short, a better rail service and a bigger rail system for both passengers and freight.
Railfuture is pro-rail but not anti-road or anti-air. However, we campaign for a switch from road and air to rail. We do not interfere in the running of the railway - we campaign for the quality and range of services provided, not how they are delivered. We are the only champion of all rail users.
Railfuture is the campaigning name of Railfuture Ltd.
A not-for-profit Company Limited by Guarantee.
Registered in England and Wales No. 05011634.
Registered Office: Edinburgh House, 1-5 Bellevue Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7NP (for legal correspondence only).
All other correspondence to 14 Ghent Field Circle, Thurston, Suffolk IP31 3UP
© Copyright Railfuture Ltd 2022.
Railfuture is happy for extracts to be used by journalists, researchers and students. We would, however, appreciate a mention of Railfuture in any article, website or programme. Except with Railfuture's express written permission, no one should distribute or commercially exploit the content.
Privacy StatementClick Privacy to read Railfuture's GDPR statement on how we treat your data.
This site does not use its own cookies, although Google Analytics does. Hosted by TSO Host (cPanel) and maintained for Railfuture by Billing Specialists Ltd.