Reported elsewhere [WNXX forum] this is actually a DfT project that GWR are acting as "agents" for.
It has also been commented that a 777 would fit, and battery 777 are in the Merseyrail plan; I suppose it is not unfeasible within the timeline the current 777 build could be increased by one to accomodate. But then that makes it two trains, two tender bids, which needs decision expert deliberation, project procrastination, and DfT indecision, go around loop again.
OK, the latter comment is digression from D Train, so no more from me on it here.
Big difference is that a 2 car battery train was demonstrated by VivaRail at Rail Live several years ago with rapid charging from a 40ft trailer.
I travelled on it with Adrian Shooter and several ex LUL engineers on board.
Breaking my own comment about not refering to 777s again, battery fitted Mersey 777002 is going (well has gone) to Rail Live this week [today and tomorrow], so if demonstrating battery power at shows is an influence, then here it is.
But I can recover the situation, keeping the moderators happy by keeping the post on topic:
D-train 230010 (one of TfW) is operating a passenger shuttle between Honeybourne and Long Marston (gen posted on GenSheet and acknowledged) as follows :
re: the Vivarail train carrying show visitors at Rail Live last week, I think this tweet will be of interest - external and internal views of the train in action (you may wish to look at the doors to accept that the inside really is a former D Stock train!)
I was able to sample the 230 at Rail Live on Wednesday and Thursday last week. The units are a vast improvement on both the original D78 trains and the Marston Vale flavours. Whilst those in the know will be able to identify the reused D stock parts, to the general public the trains will absolutely seem like new. As a self-confessed D Train sceptic (and I wasn't particularly a fan of the original D78s either!) I'm very impressed - totally converted.
Last Edit: Jun 22, 2021 13:36:50 GMT by MoreToJack
Apparently they have fixed the software problem which had delayed their delivery and was resulting in worrying arcing from the third rail pick up shoes at rail gaps. After a period test running on the mainland to confirm the problem was solved hopefully the new unit should soon be ready for staff training sessions - once the juice rails get energised. At the moment a unimog is being used for stock moves, as sadly it seems finishing and then getting everyone to sign off the infrastructure updating work is now the hold-up. Why does this sound like Cross Rail... nearly ready but never quite opening, or a Yes Minister sketch about a super efficient hospital with no patients.
At least it seems the software on the Class 484 unit which had already be delivered to the Island can be updated without needing a trip back to the mainland. If they can get a third set tested and onto the island soon, then that late Summer opening date (AKA 3 September) may just be possible, which will doubtless trigger huge demand for seats on the first public service, and doubtless a good few YouTube videos.
So it looks like the power is back on for at least on some of the Island Line and sure enough the recently delivered Class 484 unit (004) was spotted today trundling around outside the depot at Ryde St Johns:
Last Edit: Jun 29, 2021 19:59:10 GMT by rincew1nd: Minor format tweak to aid display
So it looks like the power is back on for at least on some of the Island Line and sure enough the recently delivered Class 484 unit (004) was spotted today trundling around outside the depot at Ryde St Johns.
Whilst it seems the driver spotted and rapidly dealt with the fire, the Fire Brigade were called as a precaution and once they arrived on scene escalated the impact of the failure requiring a full line closure, followed by several hours of scrutiny before eventually concluding there was nothing for them to do, and leaving Network Rail and TFW to pick up the pieces of the timetable.
Ominously this is the second fire involving a class 230 unit and it will be very interesting to see if VivaRail are so open about what happened this time. I really hope this is not setting a pattern.
It is disappointing to hear but it is not known whether it was an engine or a battery fire. Obviously not having been there at the time I do not know what actually happened and why ... but what I do know is that whilst both diesel and battery buses have been known to catch fire it is very rare and has not become a cause for any alarm. Certainly ever more battery buses are entering service on our streets, and this would not be happening if the various authorities thought that they pose a safety hazard.
Plans for a railway extension on the Isle of Wight have been submitted to the Department for Transport. Isle of Wight Council is seeking funding to see if it would be feasible to restore the link between the Island Line and Newport, via Blackwater. The authority said it was identified as the most viable line because the track bed "remains very largely intact".
Just because the old trackbed in question is vacant, does not mean it is a bright idea to reopen the route if virtually no one will ever choose to use it. It would probably make a far better cycle path.
The fundamental problem with this idea is the proposed route - note they are not suggesting reinstating the reasonably direct route between Ryde and Newport (which is partially occupied by the Isle of Wight Steam Railway) - but this envisages reopening the far longer route which headed west from Sandown to Merstone before turning North to follow the Blackwater valley to eventually reach Newport.
Sadly there is no real prospect of ever securing enough passenger flows to justify this.
The main regular passenger flows on the Island Line are to/from Ryde and on to the mainland. Even if you timetabled very effective connections at Sandown with services on the current Ryde-Shanklin route the overall route would take far longer than the typical 30 minute trip on the route 9 bus from Newport to Ryde Esplanade bus station (its only 15 minutes by taxi/car).
Moreover people without private transport living in Newport wishing to head for the mainland will probably still take the bus to the East Cowes ferry connection to Southampton which will probably be cheaper and quicker.
I rather doubt VivaRail need devote any time on this fantasy idea.