Wednesday 2 December 2020

 

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Rolling stock perspective: moving Britain ahead

Second edition

London, 2016. 53pp illus., tables

sample text:

This is the second edition of the department’s perspective document in which we set out our thoughts on the improvements that we want to see in rolling stock in order to deliver better journeys for all passengers, everywhere. We plan to continue to do this every year to provide guidance to everyone involved in the industry on the kind of rolling stock, both new and refurbished, that we want to see in future. Thanks to the active support of franchisees, suppliers and financiers, as well as the new approach to franchising introduced since 2012, there has been a great deal of progress. In the last year alone, a further 1,000 new vehicles have been ordered, half of which are for the new Northern and TPE franchises and the remainder joining the network from the West of England to the Midlands and the North. The award also enabled the refurbishment of rolling stock in the North, to provide better facilities for passengers. We have seen the delivery of the first IEP trains as well as new Thameslink trains which are due to enter service later this year. But we want to see TOCs, ROSCOs, manufacturers and suppliers doing much more in the years ahead, investing for themselves, taking their own risk-based decisions on procuring the train capacity we need now and in the future. We need trains that: ..Are well-designed both visually and in engineering terms. The trains should be modern in appearance and styling to reflect just how much rail travel has changed. The competition for new trains that HS2 Ltd is planning to start in 2017 provides a great opportunity for manufacturers and designers to show that they can realise the vision that the Government has set out for a state-of-the-art, high-speed rail network of the future; ..Use space as efficiently as possible, to reduce crowding on intercity, regional and outer suburban journeys and, on shorter distance journeys allow passengers to travel in reasonable levels of comfort. We look for innovation and creative thinking to address the challenges of capacity, including options such as double deck trains, seat layouts that can be quickly altered according to changes in demand and lighting to create a welcoming ambiance; ..Are explicitly designed to have a low environmental impact through low energy consumption, reduced emissions (in the case of diesels) and through ease of recycling at their end of life. For the existing fleet we want to see complete fitment of controlled emission toilets putting an end, finally, to toilets discharging onto the track ahead of the January 2020 deadline we have set. The industry’s Sustainable Development Principles are about to be re-launched and we want to see all trains complying with these; ..Offer much better on-board facilities including the functionality required by the 21st Century passenger: free Wi-Fi that works, reliable mobile reception that remains connected, charging facilities, comfortable ergonomic seating, quality provision for those with reduced mobility, reliable ventilation and air conditioning, adequate space to store luggage and trains that can be easily cleaned both internally and externally. Similarly, we are open to proposals for interiors that can be modified quickly to permit the transport of high-value goods or perishable foodstuffs; ..Can be more easily transferred between TOCs and routes than at present to make it easier to adapt to future market circumstances. This means more widespread inclusion of common systems for coupling, train management and train control enabling, for example, multiple unit trains of different generations and leased by different TOCs to operate together as a matter of course. It also means taking a long term view on liveries and brands to avoid the need to repaint trains every time a franchise changes operator; ..Are self-powered, where required, with such trains meeting the latest emission standards and being built by a range of suppliers. New diesels are being procured as part of the Northern franchise improvements and there are likely to be significant opportunities over the next decade to replace the last remaining diesel multiple units ordered in the BR era with modern diesels that offer much more for passengers, and ..Are designed with manufacturers and TOCs working ever more closely with Network Rail, to reduce the amounts of money needed to be spent to introduce them into service and to allow them to operate reliably and safely.


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