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Features 14 Eastern Promise fulfilled Dan Harvey and Ian Cox report on London’s newest railway – the East London Line - opened early and on budget.

19 Middleton: The First of Many Britain’s first preserved standard gauge line is celebrating its 50th birthday. Cliff Thomas visits the Middleton Railway in Leeds.

THE EAST LONDON LINE

Eastern promise fu lfilled

ANEW era of rail travel for the capital has begun with the opening of the rebuilt and extended East London Line. The service was fully launched with the start of the new national timetable on May 23, having been officially inaugurated by London Mayor Boris Johnson on April 27 (RM June, p6).

The £1billion project – part of Transport for London’s expanding London Overground system – has been created by three separate schemes:

N The re-opening of the East London branch of the Metropolitan Line from Shoreditch to New Cross/New Cross Gate. N The re-opening of the former North London Railway route from Dalston to just north of the old Broad Street.

N The opening of an all-new section of railway at Shoreditch to link the above two.

Unusually for major transport schemes in the UK, it has been delivered early and on budget.

Although not operated by Network Rail, the line has been built to NR standards as it is intended eventually to become an integral part of the proposed London Orbital route around the whole of inner London. It has been grafted onto the former Southern Region rail network

14 U The Railway Magazine U July 2010

London’s newest railway is open – early and on-budget. ?7D 9EN and :7D >7HL;O report on the East London Line orbital railway around the capital. This railway will bring jobs and opportunities to communi- ties up and down the line, massively improving access for hundreds of thousands of people.”

Since closure of Broad Street station in 1986, the area of the capital north of Liverpool Street and across to Hackney has been poorly off for rail services and TfL expects the new line to support the regeneration of some of London’s poorest boroughs, providing access to jobs and education to many residents of inner city estates who were not previously well connected to the city’s transport network.

by way of a flyover at New Cross Gate and next year will be joined directly onto the North London Line at Western Junction, near Dalston. Said the Mayor: “In this £1bn upgrade, the old has been fused with the best of the new – the Victorian genius of the Brunel-built tunnel under the Thames between Wapping and Rotherhithe is now part of a network of almost space-age stations, which will soon form an

Whether it achieves this aim or not, the landscape of London has already changed as a result of the project.

All-new stations have been built (those at Haggerston and Hoxton designed to allow inclusion within possible future property redevelopments), while Dalston Junction station has been built under a huge concrete raft to allow offices, homes and shops to go up on top. Despite its name, its four-platform layout is currently a terminus, but beyond the bufferstops either side of the two south-facing bays are tracks that will shortly be connected to the North London Line at Western Junction, enabling services to be extended to Highbury & Islington next year.

An opening has also been left in the east side wall of Dalston Junction station to allow for the reinstatement of the old south-to-east curve one day, enabling direct trains to run to and from Stratford.

Several bridges have been replaced on the ex-North London Line section and a large and graceful bow-string bridge has been built to carry the line over the road junction beyond the north end of Bishopsgate.

To take the ELL over the Great Eastern Main Line between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, another major bridge – this time of girder construction – has been built at Brick Lane and this bridge is approached at the Whitechapel end by a new 1-in-30 incline lifting the line out of the former Underground tunnel. But, impressive though that is, the most dramatic redevelopment has taken place at Shoreditch High Street, where an all-new station has been built inside a massive concrete and metal box standing on concrete stilts on the site of the former Bishopsgate goods depot.

Ian Brown, managing director of TfL’s London Rail, tells The RM that the enclosed nature of the station is to allow shops, offices

T

OPERATIONS CENTRE

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July 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ15

LOOK EAST: London Overground’s newest line – p14

22 On the Night Shift Chris Milner spends the night at Siemens Northampton depot to see how the London Midland Class 350 EMUs are maintained.

28 Cross Country Runners HSTs still play a key role in Britain’s cross country network, as John Heaton discovers for Practice & Performance with a Derby-Plymouth cab ride.

HOW A MODERN DEPOT WORKS

PASSENGERS disembarking from their train at the end of the day tend to take it for granted that when they board it again the next morning, it will have been cleaned and maintained.

Cleaning, maintenance and the preparation of a train for service is one of a number of unseen activities on the railway, and it’s anything but straightforward, as I discovered on a visit to the Siemens depot at Northampton.

Situated just north of Northampton station, the state-of-the-art Kings Heath depot was formally opened in June 2006 by the then Transport Minister, Derek Twigg. Costing £31m, it was built on a long, narrow strip of land formerly occupied by disused and heavily-over- grown sidings. Its primary role is the mainten- ance of 67 Class 350 ‘Desiro’ EMUs from two sub-classes as part of Siemens’ build-and-maintain policy with UK leasing companies and franchises. In addition, maintenance of the older, BR era, Class 321 EMUs was transferred to Northampton following the closure of Bletchley traction depot, and a few experienced staff opted to transfer with the units. Currently, there are seven Class 321s on LM’s books.

On the Night Shift 9>H?I C?BD;H spends time with the night shift at Siemens’ Kings Heath depot in Northampton, where London Midland’s EMUs are maintained

For a normal day’s operation, Siemens has to prepare five Class 321s, 34 Class 350/1s (out of a total of 37) and 27 Class 350/2s (from a total of 30).

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Having negotiated the security that is now obligatory at most traction depots in the UK, I was met by depot manager Gordon Virgo, who took me on a guided tour of the impressive site. The main depot building has five mainte- nance roads plus a sixth to access a ‘double- headed’ wheel lathe, meaning both wheelsets on a bogie can be turned simultaneously. This lathe has the added feature of being able to skim the brake discs on the wheels too.

Adjacent to the lathe is a comprehensive stores containing spares for three types of EMU. Because the 350/1s are owned by Angel Trains and the 350/2s by Porterbrook, each leasing company provides its own pool of spares. Plus there is a pool of generic spares, which is kept off-site at a Unipart Rail warehouse and delivered as required.

At one end of the stores is a 15-ton overhead crane, with a 20-ton crane at the workshop/ wheel lathe end, meeting by the bogie drop area on No. 2 road. This allows the positioning of bogies so that old and new can be exchanged quickly, and movement of other heavy compo-

22 U The Railway Magazine U July 2010

nents around. The drop is also designed that it moves the bogie sidewards into the stores/ workshop area.

In addition, the bogie drop can be modified by adding a ‘table’ so that it can be used to remove a transformer from under a vehicle. Along 2 road are jacks that allow the simultaneous lift of all carriages in a four-car set.

Between the stores and the wheel lathe is a workshop, which is being used at present for bogie overhauls of the National Express East Anglia Class 360 fleet.

Above each maintenance road is a 1.5 ton hoist, interlocked so that it cannot be operated unless the OLE is isolated, and this is used to remove the air-conditioning units, pantographs and circuit-breakers.

What is striking about the depot is just how quiet it is. Electric depots have always been fairly quiet anyway with no diesel engines thudding away at all hours of the night, but this one seems especially so. Because of the close proximity of housing, one of the planning requirements was that noise be kept below 47decibels. Continuing on the good-neighbour theme, even the 18-camera CCTV system is programmed so that when a camera swings round to face the residential area, the houses are pixelated out to retain privacy for the householders. Maintenance schedules of the highly-reliable Class 350s are based around accumulated mileages, with balanced cyclic diagrams ensuring each unit returns to Northampton every few days. Many of the diagrams have different start and end points, so that a set could start from Northampton and end its day at Coventry, where it would be stabled overnight, then next day finish at Crewe before returning to Northampton the following night.

Some units are outstabled overnight at Euston and Birmingham New Street ready for their next diagrams.

There are also a number of out-and-back diagrams from Northampton which, in addition to normal operation, can be used to get a unit back to base in order to resolve any problems that might arise during operation. This is where close liaison between Siemens maintenance planners and London Midland control comes into play, as it can lead to units being swapped mid-diagram. Arriva’s Crewe South (L&NWR) workshops are also used by Siemens as a maintenance outstation and EMUs at the end of their diagrams at Crewe or Liverpool go there. Every night, EMUs come onto the main depot at Northampton at specific times, arriving via the reception line at the north end of the yard, which is as far as the LM driver takes the train.

T

July 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ23

HOW A MODERN DEPOT WORKS: Northampton – p22

35 Rail Tourers’ Guide 2010 Our biannual guide is packed with ideas for exciting rail-based holidays – either abroad or just for a day trip in the UK.

49 Stirling Tender Back to Life Malcolm Crawley reports on the project to restore a rare and badly-neglected Stirling tender, dating from 1893, to its former glory.

PRACTICE & PERFORMANCE

ACROSS COUNTRY HST sits in Plymouth station awaiting its 12.23 departure time to Glasgow Central via Edinburgh and at its head is power car No. 43366, resplendent in the tasteful new livery of the current franchisee, Arriva.

Cross Country production director Sarah Kendall has kindly agreed for Plymouth driver- manager Adrian Bartlett to accompany me on two trips to Derby to observe the differences between the ubiquitous ‘Voyagers’ and the venerable HSTs that have now been re-introduced.

The successful Cross Country franchise bid was based on the deployment of four return HST trips between Scotland/Northern England and the South-West to alleviate existing capacity problems and cater for projected growth. The HST diagrams were devised to cover peak business and commuter flows into many of the cities on the route, whilst allowing maintenance to be concentrated at the northern end of the route.

As the nation’s economic recession bit, eight trailers became seven and then four return trips were reduced to two, but there are more at the weekend and the HSTs can be used to cater for surges in demand, such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup. It might be thought that they would not cost much more to maintain than Voyagers but the HST contract is mileage based, whereas Voyager costs vary only slightly with use, so it makes sense to work the Class 220/221 fleet to maximum capacity. Sarah Kendall is confident that the current upturn will see all four sets in daily use, although not necessarily on the same diagrams.

Plymouth driver Phil Caddy is rostered to take the 12.23 as far as Bristol Temple Meads, where he is booked for a meal break before working to Birmingham in the afternoon. Driving is Phil’s second career, following the Marines, and he learnt his new skills on Voyagers. He is thus less than complimentary about HSTs, especially the cab noise, preferring the brake on a Voyager and the fact that power can be applied as required instead of using the five specific notches of an HST.

Perhaps paradoxically, I like the quiet ride of HST trailer cars but prefer the responsive noise in their cab, compared to the din of Voyager coaches and the stealthy silence of their driving compartments. It will be interesting to see what Phil makes of his HST.

The new MTU engines give a healthy growl as we take power before easing through the pointwork into Mutley tunnel and wait for the rear of the train to clear the speed restriction. Class

28 U The Railway Magazine U July 2010

Cross countr y runners

The world’s longest running railway series, established 1901

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takes a cab ride from Plymouth to Derby

220/221s can accelerate earlier as they are much shorter than even this 2+7 HST, amounting to a five chain advantage to a four-car Voyager. The growl becomes a roar as the power handle comes back to notch 5 and we bound forward to 70mph past the iconoclastic Laira depot. There is a series of clicks, indicating driver Caddy is shutting off power, followed by a hiss of brakes to comply with the 60mph permanent speed restriction (psr) at Tavistock Jct.

Phil is hunched slightly forward in concentra- tion, business-like in a crisp white short-sleeved shirt, waiting for the earliest permissible time to select notch 5 for the attack on Hemerdon. The HST attains 78mph through Plympton before the 1:42 gradient begins to bite and the engines rise to the challenge, clinging to every mite of speed on the long, straight climb to the summit.

There is a 60mph psr board ten chains beyond the loop facing points at Hemerdon, so driver Caddy reduces power to notch 3 on the 1:75 just before the summit, taken at 63mph, and observes the 60mph psr with military precision.

The following day, Bristol driver manager Darran Lilly accompanied me in the cab of a Class 221 with Plymouth driver Mark Fitchett and the 13.23 Plymouth-Edinburgh. We had only four engines working, equalising the contest with an HST, and Table 1 shows the respective climbs of Hemerdon at each quarter-milepost. The Railway Performance Society (RPS) archive does not contain a definitive, unchecked Class 220 climb of Hemerdon but they often need to brake for the 60mph psr at the top of the bank. A fully-functional Class 220 has 19 per cent more horsepower/tonne than a Class 221 and 49 per cent more than one on four engines. 9^hVWaZY i^ai

The 60mph limit between Hemerdon and Totnes makes an observer pine for trackside equipment that would allow the Cross Country Class 221s to tilt on this stretch, but the tilt mechanism has been disabled to remove a cause of unreliability. I would admit to some bias here, but my experience of British Rail suggests that if they had owned this new technology, they would have willed the means to use it.

Adrian Bartlett and Phil Caddy discuss the techniques of stopping at Totnes where a difficult 20mph turnout is located on a 1:66 gradient at the foot of Rattery bank. Phil takes the train into the platform on brake step 1, applies step 2 and goes back to 1 as soon as it takes effect, stopping with the brake off (to prevent jerking) before immediately reapplying it.

Cross Country works to different sectional running times from First Great Western, although both are based on 2+8 configurations. Over the years, First Great Western (FGW) has eased a number of sections by ½min, such as Taunton to Tiverton Parkway and Exeter to Cowley Bridge Jct, the former to counteract less heroic braking techniques now in use and the latter to absorb time lost by running brake tests.

Sarah Kendall has exercised gentle persuasion on Network Rail to adopt less generous timings for her HSTs. She was trained under British Rail and has not forgotten the simple adage that shorter journey times mean more revenue. Accordingly, many of the public/working time differentials that padded the last stage of many journeys have also been removed, amounting to a saving of 8min in some cases. However, the Totnes-Newton Abbot section is an anomaly, being booked ½min longer than an FGW HST. Table 2 compares the HST and Class 221 cab ride journeys on this section. The maximum permissible speed falls from 60mph to 55mph 1.14 miles out of Totnes and remains at this

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July 2010 UÊThe Railway Magazine UÊ29

HSTs KEEP ON RUNNING: Practice & Performance – p28

July 2010 • The Railway Magazine • 5