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European Railroad Discussion > Trains From the Eye of London, 2012


Date: 03/28/22 08:31
Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: bandob

Back in 2012 we had a great visit to the UK. Of course we had to up in the Eye. I got these train and station photos, but really don't know much about the trains or railroads.  Can one of you across the pond help with identification?

Thanks ever so much.   

B&OBill,   MD, USA

Here's 1,2,and 3.








Date: 03/28/22 08:33
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: bandob

And 4, 5, and 6.

B&O Bill








Date: 03/28/22 08:44
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: WP17

In the first three photos you are looking at trains entering and leaving Charing Cross. Check out my post on the same subject from a week ago
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?17,5442310
The next two photos are trains at Waterloo station.

WP17



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/22 08:49 by WP17.



Date: 03/28/22 09:20
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: bandob

WP17, thanks so much! Your photos are fantastic! I'm in awe.

B&OBill



Date: 03/28/22 14:24
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: Hexagon789

Quite impressive how well you can see the trains from up there! I've been up the London Eye, but I'd no idea you could actually see the railways from there - I must not have been paying attention!

As WP17 has addressed the location of your photos, I'll add a bit on the companies and trains involved.

In photos 1, 2 and 3 you have so-called "Networker" trains of Southeastern. These are 4-car (Class 465) and 2-car (Class 466) suburban trains with a top speed of 75mph built between 1991 and 1994. They can operate in any combination up to 12 cars (10 cars is the most common).

Southeastern as a private company is now no more, their parent company (a consortium of British Go-Ahead Group and French Keolis) was found to have had various financial discrepancies over essentially their entire tenure as operator (since 2006) and ended up owing the Government equivalent of $105,000,000 in back fees and fines. Since last October the government has thus stepped-in to run the trains.

Photo 4 shows a South West Trains Class 444 "Desiro". These are 5-car 100mph express units built by Siemens in 2002-2004 with First Class accommodation and at the time of your photo a buffet counter for snacks (since removed). Mostly used on London Waterloo-Portsmouth or Bournemouth and Weymouth express trains.

Photo 5 shows to the back another 444 in white and orange, at the front in blue and orange is a South West Trains Class 450. These are also of the Siemens "Desiro" family and are also 100mph capable but unlike the 444s are 4-cars and being designed for more outer suburban duties have never had a buffet and have less First Class seating. They are found on similar routes to the 444s but operating the slower trains. The two types can and do work together at times.

Photo 6 shows some of the older trains still in use, built under British Rail. These are again South West Trains operates and are Class 455 4-car 75mph suburban units built 1982-1985.

Since the time of your photos South West Trains is also, no more. Stagecoach (a Scottish bus company) who operated South West ran the franchise from the privatisation of British Rail in 1996, lost the competition for the new franchise in 2017 to South Western Railways owned by a 70/30 split of First Group (another Scottish bus company!) and MTR Corporation (the Hong Kong transport company).

Whoever said the UK's railways were straightforward, eh? ;)

Anyway, I hope that's of some interest for you.

Posted from Android



Date: 03/28/22 15:16
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: bandob

Thank you so much, Hexagon 789. I am very interested and the information you provided is most helpful.

B&OBill



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/28/22 15:16 by bandob.



Date: 03/28/22 15:29
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: WP17

Thanks also to Hexagon789 for sharing the fate of the various rail franchise holders.

As someone form the other side of the pond, I am both amazed and confused by who operates the plethora of rail routes in GB. And it seems to change everytime I have the pleasure of being here.  It was but 4 years ago that I rode a Virgin Train from Glasgow to Euston Station and watched Virgin Trains East Coast fly in and out of Kings Cross. But I understand Virgin is no longer a player on the rail scene.

WP17



Date: 03/28/22 15:36
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: Hexagon789

bandob Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you so much, Hexagon 789. I am very
> interested and the information you provided is
> most helpful.
>
> B&OBill

My pleasure :)

Posted from Android



Date: 03/28/22 15:51
Re: Trains From the Eye of London, 2012
Author: Hexagon789

WP17 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks also to Hexagon789 for sharing the fate of
> the various rail franchise holders.
>
> As someone form the other side of the pond, I am
> both amazed and confused by who operates the
> plethora of rail routes in GB. And it seems to
> change everytime I have the pleasure of being
> here.  It was but 4 years ago that I rode a
> Virgin Train from Glasgow to Euston Station and
> watched Virgin Trains East Coast fly in and out of
> Kings Cross. But I understand Virgin is no longer
> a player on the rail scene.
>
> WP17

Correct. Virgin was one of the "big" players, and one of the longest running franchisees with the InterCity West Coast (that would have been your Glasgow to London Euston train) franchise being run by them from 1997-2019 when they lost to present incumbents Avanti (a partnership of FirstGroup and Trenitalia!). Virgin also previously ran the InterCity Cross-Country franchise from 1997-2007 (losing to Arriva, owned by Deutsche Bahn) and the InterCity East Coast (long-distance in/out of London King's Cross) from 2015 until it defaulted into government control in 2018.

It should be noted in each case Virgin was in partnership with Stagecoach - 90/10% on West Coast but latterly 51/49%. 51/49% on CrossCountry and only 10% controlling share in Virgin Trains East Coast!

They did launch an application with the Office of Road and Rail to operate an Open Access (not subject to franchising) operation from London to Liverpool but later withdrew it when Avanti committed to adding a second train every hour on that corridor with their new Class 807 trains which are due into service next year.

Chiltern Railways are now the only operator which still survives from the original privatisation, every other franchise has either been redrawn or let to a different operator though the controlling shares have changed hands numerous times.

It's all fairly academic now anyway as the UK Government has ended franchising with the new "Great British Railways", essentially taking direct control of everything albeit outsourcing day-to-day running through management contracts, the use of which was already in place with some operators even before the pandemic.

In Scotland and Wales, regional governments control local transport policy though they will still formally be part of the Great British Railways family in terns of branding, ticketing and so forth. In Scotland, local operator ScotRail is due to be nationalised on the 1st April.

Northern Ireland is a completely different story, having never been privatised - the Northern Irish government runs all transport bus and rail in Northern Ireland under the Translink brand.

Hopefully, that's not too complicated to get your head round!

Posted from Android



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