Save the Melksham Train
Archived Save the Train forum articles - 2005 to 2010. See below
FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7535
Written by Writersblock on Monday, 10th September 2007

I caught the tail end of a report on the local London BBC news programme tonight claiming that FGW are to refurbish 'older' trains in order to replace HSTs. If the accompanying film was to be believed HSTs are to be replaced by Class 47 locos and carriages. Can anyone confirm what FGW do actually have in mind - I've checked their website which has no recent press releases regarding rolling stock upgrades.

Feel free to flame me if this is old news or just the BBC not knowing what they are talking about.

Personally I'd bring back diesel-hydraulic locos (Weterns and Warships) and the old steam-heated,  side-corridor coaching stock...

Back to the future!       

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7542
Written by Lee on Tuesday, 11th September 2007

I will look into it and let you know.

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7551
Written by AFCChris on Tuesday, 11th September 2007

This article says that Adelantes were being replaced by HST's!

What a shambles for FGW, but good for the customer if there are more seats..



Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7552
Written by Gwr2006 on Tuesday, 11th September 2007

This is old news.

It was known 18 months ago when the franchise started that Adelantes were not to be part of the fleet after this December so there is no surprise in any of this.

I am sure that the 515 seats in an HST, which are all being refurbished at a cost of

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7554
Written by Sion Bretton on Tuesday, 11th September 2007

Who is getting the Adelantes?

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7568
Written by Lee on Wednesday, 12th September 2007

I think that we are losing sight of the fact that Writersblock asked whether HSTs are to be replaced by Class 47 locos and carriages. Thats what I am currently looking into.

However , I appear (so far , at least) instead to have come up with an answer regarding the Adelantes. See link below.

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7581
Written by Writersblock on Wednesday, 12th September 2007

My post was slightly tongue in cheek but the BBC report DID show HSTs then indicate that they were to be replaced (film of) a Class 47 with carriages at Paddington. I can hardly imagine that there are sufficient Class 47s left in service to make such a replacement viable. Hence, I think it's clearly a case of the BBC reporter not knowing his Adelantes from his Pendalinos to coin a phrase. The deeper issue is surely what the future strategy is/should be. If they are refurbishing HSTs (again!) which are 1960s technology, it begs the question of where the whole thing is going longer term. What happened to electrification - slated years ago for the Paddington to Bristol section? It also brings queries to mind questions about the whole rolling stock franchising/ownership area under privatisation but thats a bigger issue and I'll only end up saying re-nationalise the whole thing - which ain't gonna happen.               

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7586
Written by Gwr2006 on Wednesday, 12th September 2007

Certainly I cannot see locomotive hauled coaching stock being used. As you say there are insufficient Class 47's still available - many having been converted to Class 57's for Virgin Trains or Freightliner in recent years, and I doubt if there are sufficent coaches left that are suitable either - the electrical supply on HST trailer vehicles is different from loco-hauled coaches so they are not compatible.

FGW and GNER are both refurbishing their existing fleets of HSTs to give them another 10 years or so of operational life. Beyiond that, the DfT is engaged in a longer term replacement in the form of the IEP (or InterCity Express Programme). This is likely to be an underfloor diesel or diesel electric multiple unit (aka Voyager style) that can be split/joined en route. For more information follow this link:

A big driver for the DfT and Government now is the environment and the jury is still out on rail electrification. With diesel engines becoming ever more reliable, using less fuel and oil , and exceeeding european standards they are seen as they way forward. The big problem with electrification (apart from the cost of the infrastructure itself) is the need to generate the electricity in the first place which means it is more expensive and more environmentally damaging requiring more power stations and a distribution network.

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7596
Written by Lee on Thursday, 13th September 2007

IEP background link.

Study On Further Electrification Of Britain's Railway Network link.

Re: FGW Rolling Stock Refurbishment - 3968/7613
Written by Lee on Friday, 14th September 2007

Quote from the link below.

"This fortnight's Rail magazine (not always authorative, I know) has a FGW spokesman denying that class 57's (which are reengineered 47's) and coaches will be used on daytime trains because "they can't keep up with HST timings" (which sounds fair enough)"

link to index of articles

Save the Train was the campaign to bring an approriate train service back to and through Melksham.

Most big contributors are still around writing at the Coffee shop forum where new members are very welcome.

The train has been saved - sort of - we have stepped back up from an unusable service to a poorish one but it's doing very well. We did that through setting up the TransWilts Community Rail Partnership. That fulfilled its early objectives; it has been taken over by local and regional government types who are now doing medium and long term work. The team from this forun can also be found at the Melksham Rail User Group (which was the Melksham Rail Development Group at the time these articles were written and we had no users.

We mustn't loose sight, though, that the train service remains poor and needs our community support in marketing and campaigning to keep it going in a positive direction ... and all the more so when we're expecting to find a different normallity once we get out of the Coronavirus Pandemic and head for zero carbon via the climate crisis. Yes, it's saved ... it's now a key community facility ... the need for enhancement and the strong and near-universal local support remain, and the rail industry and goverment remain slow to move and provide the enhancements even to level us up with other towns. Please support the Melksham Rail User Group - now very much in partnership rather than protest with the rail industry and local government, including GWR, TransWilts and unitary and town councils. And please use the trains and buses, and cycle and walk when you can.

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