But the engines that are to be bolted onto the train are essentially ford transit engines, which are hardly the most environmentally damaging thing when you look at the sort of thing that tends to get slung under DMUs (10-15 litre, multiple turbochargers etc) - and the use of electric transmission rather than mechanical should result in less energy loss between the engine and the wheels. As for the customness of them, it isn't really an issue as the cab is getting a reinforcing for additional crash protection, and given the dire lack of DMUs 'oop nerth' anything that brings extra capacity at a low cost (such as the D train) will be welcome, if not by the rail users, then the TOCs! Not to mention that at the moment, nothing is confirmed - if they build the demonstrator and no-one likes it, then it'll be off to the scrapyard with the rest of the trains, but if a franchise bidder things these will give it an edge, then they'll go for it!
"I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong." "And now, excuse me while I interrupt myself" - Murray Walker OBE
Student of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham (loosed upon the real world for a year)
Arriva Trains Wales have some awful Pacer units which regularly show up on the Swansea - Pembroke Dock service making that a pretty dismal 2 hour+ journey, Id love to see some refurbed D stock taking its place, having spent many hours huddled in the back cab of a D back in the day when they were quite new...
I cant see ATW bankrolling new rolling stock for this area so the D train project might be a good compromise to provide an efficient and comfortable stock on aline that really doesn't do enough business to justify the investment in new build.
If this was just turning them into locomotive hauled cars then I would say it's more than realistic. We did that in the 80's with 55 Harris EMU trains. My biggest question is can the traction equipment handle the extra weight? I go back to the Harris trains where a refurb program was undertaken on some of the units before thier conversion into loco hauled trains. The refurb added a bit of weight but they kept the original traction motors. The result was a train that didn't like hills.
Cheers Brad. Resident Melbournian.
Proud Member of the St Kilda Football Club.
Would be great if one / several of these were used on the Greenford Shuttle, even if only for a few days (special event) over a long weekend which includes Sunday services. It would need to be the longest train that the platform at Greenford can accommodate, as it / they would likely be very popular with some people travelling distances to see it / them.