Post by Colin Redman
The failure of Grand Central means that more HSTs will be consigned to
Considering the versatility of this type of train, it is a tragedy,
and I am surprised that Porterbrook and the SRA are not working
together on developing refurbishment options as there are no
replacements in the pipeline.
No way is it a Voyager or Meridian a satisfactory replacement. On top
of that around 200 Mk 3s face scrap. It's a disaster.
Just why is it that no one can make the right decisions on stock and
traction policy. SRA is an example of the blind leading the blind.
Anyone got any other views?
There were 95 HSTs. After December, FGW will use 42. GNER will need about 14
when they have to send the GNE*s back. MML also use about 14 (someone will
probably have exact numbers), though they've got the problem of what to do
with the 9-car Meridians. Even allowing for some write-offs (Southall and
Ladbroke Grove) and the Dr Yellow (Network Rail Track Recording Train), by
my reckoning there'll be about 20 HSTs with no work
There needs to be a decision on a thorough re-engineering to make HSTs
suitable for another 15 or more years. From the passenger perspective this
includes power doors, retention toilets, DDA provision, modern PIS, as well
as reliable aircon, and Jon will no doubt have information about what work
the power cars will need. This will of course have to be costed against HST2
new build. However, if the re-engineering is to go ahead, quite a number
will need to be out of service at a time for the work to be carried out.
I don't see sending some of them back to VXC as a realistic answer. There
needs to be a way found to make the 220s up to 5 cars - could surplus
intermediate cars in MMLs 9-car 222s be the basis for a solution?
There needs to be a small fleet of modern trains for the Charter and spot
hire markets. Should someone like Fragonset take on a small fleet of HSTs?
or Mk3 rakes plus 67s? Rail needs to be able to offer realistic capacity for
such opportunities as Millennium Stadium events, Ascot, Glastonbury, the
Grand National, as well as a few extras on peak Saturdays to the South-west.
I realise that the crankex market probably wants to keep Mk1s if it can, but
what about the luxury market (VSOE, etc). Can they keep 1920s Pullmans going
forever, or should they replace them with Mk3s, furnished in a way that
displays timeless luxury, and painted in a distinctive livery? After all,
the last build of loco-hauled Mk3s started life as Pullmans, complete with
How many Mk3 loco-hauled FOs and SOs were built, and how many have found
other uses or will be needed by One Anglia?
Other thoughts and info?