If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact [email protected]

Irish Rail - time to go "dumpster diving" in the UK?

  • 04-03-2020 11:32am
    Registered Users Posts: 8,139 ✭✭✭

    We all know about the problems with overcrowding on Irish Rails Dublin Commuter services. Luas too but that's another story.

    Until IEs new hybrid DARTs come online, which won't be for another 5 years at least, there's a lot of trains in the UK that might be up for grabs if the government backed IE to go looking for.

    The Pacers are on the way out, they won't be used past the summer from what I've read. The only thing is I don't know if they can be run in Multiple Unit formation or if they can only run as 2 car sets. If they could though, an 8 car train of Pacers would be better than 3 car 22k at peak time which you see a lot of on the M3 Parkway to Docklands services for example. I made the mistake of boarding a peak M3 Parkway train one morning, and I can't help but imagine that no matter how bad the Pacers are, a long set of them would have to be better than cramming all those people into a 3 car 22k or 4 car 29000.

    Second, there are around 1500 vehicles running on UK mainlines on temporary dispensation from new accessibility rules, it's safe to assume those will be going by the wayside in the near future. If coaches are included, they might be useful for the Northern Commuter line, as I think it has stations further apart than the Maynooth line so the use of any spare locomotives (which are slower to accelerate than MUs) to move them would not be such a drawback.

    Thirdly, the UK seems to be recycling some of their trains into new trains - they have programmes to rebuild some of the London Underground D-Stock into "new" DMUs, Battery/Diesel MUs and so on.

    Could IE get some D78 rebuilds faster than brand-new trains?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,001 ✭✭✭Vic_08

    Pacers, no just no. I doubt it would be cheap or easy to gauge convert them and it would be an utter embarrassment to spend money on rescuing them from the scrapyards they should have been in 20 years ago.

    The D stock and 319 converts are years behind schedule and the tiny number of the former that are actually running are desperately unreliable.

    The majority of the dispensated stock is slam door coaches and HST sets, there would be some irony in IE taking these on after scrapping all of their newer power door Mk3 coaches.

    About the only thing being ditched from the British fleet I would even look at would be the dual voltage PEP units, even then only if it would be relatively simple to make them run them on 1500vDC. The cost of converting the gauge itself would probably make it unviable though.

    Realistically the attempt to snatch the 185 units last year was the only realistic option for taking stock from Britian, new enough to get 20 years of use from the cost of converting them would make it worthwhile.

    As it is apparently uneconomic to resucitate our own much younger withdrawn diesel and electric units there is no way that throwing money at life expired foreign scrap will be done.

    Of course had IE not been so eager to scrap the Mk3 fleet we would have had an excellent reserve of passenger trains to cope with the situation we are now in.

  • Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,899 Mod ✭✭✭✭CatInABox

    They looked at leasing trains from the UK, and came to the conclusion that it wasn't worth it.

    It would have cost almost as much as buying new trains, and worse, the trains would have required extensive work to run on Irish gauge, meaning that it'd be years before they available to use. The gap between the trains from the lease being available and the trains being bought outright was only 12 months or so.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,861 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Considering part of the reason working stock was set to be cut up here was disabled access, and that is the reason Pacers are being withdrawn, that idea can be left.

    The reduced number of 185s going back meant the business case didn't work out anymore.