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European Railroad Discussion > The class 769

Date: 04/02/21 14:54
The class 769
Author: 86235

769s are the former Thameslink class 319s dual voltage EMUs with a couple of diesel engines added to make them a cut price bi-mode. Transport for Wales have acquired nine for use on the Rhymney Line from Cardiff through Caerphilly to Bargoed and Rhymney, an end to end journey of just over 20 miles.

But sadly they're still not operating reliably, routine testing and working up runs continue. It has something to do with the interface between basic 1980s electrical engineering and modern micro processor controls.

As straight electric units they were always quite noisy, the GEC traction motors were particularly vocal. To that you now have to add the sounds of the two underfloor MTU diesels for a unique merging of diesel and electric.

This is one of the units in service, working a Penarth to Bargoed train on the Rhymney mainline, leaving Llanishen in the Cardiff suburbs.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/21 00:56 by 86235.

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Date: 04/03/21 09:34
Re: The class 769
Author: milepost20

Thanks for the video.  Does Transport for Wales eventually plan to restore the pantograph and
make them truly bi-mode?  As of now they're simply an expensive EMU-to-DMU conversion
which doesn't seem to be very cost effective.

Date: 04/03/21 09:49
Re: The class 769
Author: 86235

That's a good question, the Rhymney Line like other Valley Lines is being electrified, but not for the 769s, new trains will be deployed. It's possible that they could be redeployed on services on the South Wales Mainline with their pantograph re-installed, but that depends on developing local services between Cardiff and Severn Tunnel Junction, or electrifying west of Cardiff.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/03/21 09:53 by 86235.

Date: 04/03/21 13:05
Re: The class 769
Author: PHall

Sounds like they got them for cheap and they're just an interm solution.

Date: 04/04/21 14:40
Re: The class 769
Author: 86235

PHall Wrote:
> Sounds like they got them for cheap and they're
> just an interm solution.

They're certainly supposed to be a interim solution but they're about 30 months late entering service now. Electrificatioon and new trains are perhaps only 2 to 3 years away. Covid hasn't helped but there's no disguising that this hasn't been a trouble free project.

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