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European Railroad Discussion > Great Western electrification - at long last


Date: 01/03/20 23:52
Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: 86235

After significant delays (the project is two years late), scope reductions and cost over-runs I saw my first electric train in South Wales yesterday, the 12:18 Paddington to Cardiff Central formed by five car 800 024, passing Magor between Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport.

Electrification between Paddington and Cardiff isn't continuous however, the bi-mode trains still switch to diesel for passage through the Severn Tunnel. Network Rail's contractors, Swiss electrification specialist Furrer & Frey, are using their Overhead Conductor Rail system through the tunnel, but the extremely moist atmosphere in the tunnel is causing some serious corrosion problems. Not sure when this will be resolved. Sadly all freight trains, like this Tesco Express remain diesel hauled.






Date: 01/04/20 09:51
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: King_Coal

Nice looking passenger train. Does all this electrification have the horizontal gantry cross member to support the catenary system? I've seen photos on the ECML where it's just hanging off a carrier wire, which seems rather light duty for high speed electrification. Certainly not in the PRR tradition I was used to around Philadelphia, PA.
 



Date: 01/04/20 10:17
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: krm152

Definitely like your photos especially the Class 66.
Thanks for you post.
ALLEN



Date: 01/04/20 11:50
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: 86235

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice looking passenger train. Does all this
> electrification have the horizontal gantry cross
> member to support the catenary system? I've seen
> photos on the ECML where it's just hanging off a
> carrier wire, which seems rather light duty for
> high speed electrification. Certainly not in the
> PRR tradition I was used to around Philadelphia,
> PA.
>  
This new design of OHLE (Overhead Line Equipment) has been criticised for being over-engineered. Whether or not this is the case only time will tell but it certainly is very robust looking. Sadly all the in-house expertise BR had gained was lost when Railtrack showed no interest in electrification. Network Rail has had to rely on contractors and consultants for this work which might explain why everything looks over built.



Date: 01/04/20 12:55
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: PHall

If their design engineers are anything like most civil engineer's I know there is no such thing as overbuilt or too strong.
Their goal is how long will it last?



Date: 01/04/20 14:50
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: 86235

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If their design engineers are anything like most
> civil engineer's I know there is no such thing as
> overbuilt or too strong.
> Their goal is how long will it last?

You may be right, but compared to other European 25kV OHLE, as in Lithuania, which has some pretty extreme weather conditions, it looks overly massive.




Date: 01/05/20 07:47
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: prrmpup

King_Coal Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nice looking passenger train. Does all this
> electrification have the horizontal gantry cross
> member to support the catenary system? I've seen
> photos on the ECML where it's just hanging off a
> carrier wire, which seems rather light duty for
> high speed electrification. Certainly not in the
> PRR tradition I was used to around Philadelphia,
> PA.
>  
As I recall, BR was heavily criticized for having constructed the ECML catenary on the cheap.
This could be a reaction, or over reaction, to that criticism.
Either way, an impressive achievement having built this under traffic.



Date: 01/05/20 20:16
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: tq-07fan

Are those a new (to me) style of signals set for Caution?

Jim



Date: 01/05/20 23:27
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: dwatry

Nick - nice shots as usual!  Electrification long overdue but sorry to see that some of those good elevated photo locations will no longer be as useful!



Date: 01/06/20 02:11
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: 86235

tq-07fan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Are those a new (to me) style of signals set for
> Caution?
>
> Jim

They are, the next set of signals protect the crossovers at Severn Tunnel Junction.

dwatry Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Nick - nice shots as usual!  Electrification long
> overdue but sorry to see that some of those good
> elevated photo locations will no longer be as
> useful!

Thanks Duncan, yes the variety of locations is much reduced, sadly almost all those spots we went to around Newport a couple of years back are no go now.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/20 02:13 by 86235.



Date: 01/08/20 16:08
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: PHall

86235 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> tq-07fan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Are those a new (to me) style of signals set
> for
> > Caution?
> >
> > Jim
>
> They are, the next set of signals protect the
> crossovers at Severn Tunnel Junction.
>
> dwatry Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Nick - nice shots as usual!  Electrification
> long
> > overdue but sorry to see that some of those
> good
> > elevated photo locations will no longer be as
> > useful!
>
> Thanks Duncan, yes the variety of locations is
> much reduced, sadly almost all those spots we went
> to around Newport a couple of years back are no go
> now.


No go or just requires a different approach now?



Date: 01/09/20 14:09
Re: Great Western electrification - at long last
Author: 86235

PHall Wrote:
------------------------------------------
> No go or just requires a different approach now?

I guess it depends on how much you value an unobstructed view. We were mainly taking pictures from well known photo friendly over-bridges and the roof of a multi story car park. The design of the new Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) is such that there's little in the way of gaps through which even a partially unobstructed view can be had. Even from the side, below the level of the contact wire, can be hit and miss as there's often an earth cable strung right in your sight line. Earlier catenary designs were less intrusive (and less expensive).



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