DfT allocates Northern an extra carriage! ….

Posted on April 5th, 2011, by The Chairman

Remember a few years ago when Northern were told to expect an extra 220 carriages. In the event they got 8. TransPennine Express were told to expect 26. They got none. There are spare third rail carriages available, replaced by modern trains in the London area, but we don’t have the third rail lines to run them on.

We hear that overcrowding has got so bad on the Cumbrian Coast Line that Northern has had to resort to hiring road coaches to move all the passengers between Sellafield and Carlisle as they just can’t physically fit squeeze them onto the trains.

But now DfT have come to Northern’s rescue reallocating a whole extra carriage from London Midland to Northern.

Currently this is single unit 153366. We hear that this allocation of an extra carriage is going to be permanent for Northern, though it may not actually turn out to be this unit in the longer term.

Here’s some pictures of it in Leeds and at Victoria on the enthusiasts’ forum called Northern Railways.

Please leave a comment

  1. Music Fan Says:

    Was the announcement made last Friday?

  2. The Chairman Says:

    I think it was earlier than that.

    There was an internal Northern information release, but I haven’t been able to get hold of a copy.

  3. Jen Says:

    20 extra EMU carriages for Leeds confirmed today (in the form of cascaded Scotrail units.)

    However, Philip Hammond is claiming these form 20 of the 650 new carriages which he promised last year despite the carriages being 21 years old.

  4. The Chairman Says:

    Any extra carriages are an improvement – that’s more chance for passengers on services into Leeds physically getting onto trains, including those from Manchester Victoria through the use of the cascaded diesels units.

    Does anyone know which class of EMUs these are. They’re going to have fun trying to squeeze even more units onto Neville Hill Depot in Leeds for maintenance; it’s swamped already and they regularly have delays trying to get trains off the depot on time in the mornings.

  5. Jen Says:

    I wasn’t trying to complain about cascaded carriages coming to Northern Rail, more Philip Hammond’s comment claiming he’s delivered 20 of 650 promised new carriages when new EMUs for Scotrail were ordered by the previous government – will he be counting the 150s released by 172s as new carriages next?

    The trains to be cascaded are the Scotrail class 322s. Although, as you’d expect the media have just looked for any picture of any train to include with the story.

  6. The Chairman Says:

    That explains it.

    The 5 “Stansted Express” 4-car class 322s = 20 carriages. I’d forgotten about them and that the Scottish Executive had said they’d be handing them back once they got their new class 380s into service.

    This still doesn’t work very well for the Aire Valley as the plafroms are 6-cars long, so they still can’t run double electric units in the peaks as the 333s are 4-cars, as are their 321/9s and now the 322s.

    The poor 322s have been “unloved” ever since they were replaced off the Stansted Express trains in the late 1990s. These were the units First North Western’s predecessor, North Western Trains used for their Manchester Airport to Euston services until the conditions imposed upon them by the Virgin “moderation of competition” (i.e. kill any competition) rules finished the services off.

  7. Jen Says:

    Increasing frequency is usually a more passenger friendly option than increasing lengths of existing services. However, obviously there are constraints to that such as number of paths and drivers available.

  8. The Chairman Says:

    Hi, Jen!

    I agree, but there are no more paths available into/out of Leeds in the peaks, as is the case for a number of other large stations like Piccadilly, so train lengthening remains a better option.

  9. Jen Says:

    According to Cumbrian media reports, the services that were supposed to be strengthened to 2x153s on the Cumbrian Coast still remain as single 153s, despite Northern Rail receiving the extra carriage.

    Here’s a link to the story: http://www.whitehavennews.co.uk/news/125-sellafield-workers-jostle-to-get-on-overcrowded-72-seat-train-1.862307

  10. Edd Says:

    Today’s news seems to be the Cumbrian Coast will be getting a second additional cascaded carriage: http://www.rail.co/2011/09/15/northern-rail-to-provide-more-seats-for-sellafield/ while Southern will be getting 130 extra new carriages: http://www.southernrailway.com/southern/news/southern-launches-competition-for-130-new-carriages/

    Southern claim the extra carriages are needed because the Thameslink cascade is delayed meaning the 377/5s will not arrive at Southern soon enough to meet the rising passenger numbers. On the same basis why aren’t Northern being allowed to order new electric units to allow Pacers being used on peak time Crewe services to be used elsewhere and for the soon to be electrified Manchester to Liverpool via Earlestown line?

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