söndag 22 februari 2015

Recycling London Underground stock

The desire for a standard fleet of stock on London Underground's surface lines has resulted in the premature withdrawal of the District Line D78 stock, despite the fact that it has another fifteen years of life left in it.

It is now to be converted to a fleet of Diesel Electric Multiple Units for use on branch lines, as a replacement for the 4-wheeled pacers. The proposal is controversial, and is being dismissed as a scheme for fobbing-off the north of England with London's cast-offs. That is unfair. If the engineering can be made to work reliably, and the passenger accommodation is good enough for the length of journeys, there is nothing wrong in principle with the scheme, which sounds like a good way of achieving value for money.

But looking at the drawings, one has to ask why anyone has thought is worth while covering up a perfectly neat and functional front end with a contrived and meaningless add-on? 
Article in Rail magazine

Mark 3 refurbishment for East Anglia services.

This refurbishment for Abellio seems sensible and economical. New seat covers, carpets, retention toilets and LED lighting are about all that is needed. Whilst mark 3 stock will always have its shortcomings, these minor improvements will put this stock streets ahead, in terms of comfort, of anything else on Britain's main lines, existing or proposed. The programme is for the upgrading of 119 mark 3 vehicles, mostly about thirty years old.
Article in Rail magazine

Should employment be subsidised?

With increasing automation, it has been suggested that it will be necessary to subsidise jobs. Is there anything in this idea? There are u...