torsdag 17. desember 2015

Real Trains for Tommorrow. The Hitachi Super Express - Is this HST-2 ?

Hitachi seem to be rather the Doyen of private rail operators and Network Rail after the success of the Chunnel route 140mph dual electric mode high speed trains. Now they are the builders for the replacement to HST, the venerable intercity 125 and its two re-enigned encarnations. But how will the new train measure up to the legacy of the iconic HST which not only saved the image of BR, but made it a force to be reckoned with into the 1980s before the ideologistic and rather bad privatisation?

Firstly it is a dual mode, or electro diesel with a version which will be ECML electric only and retro de-fitting to that status. This says quite a lot about the betting the government are doing now through the renationalised Network Rail scheme for electrification to Bristol and beyond. Dual mode train sets will be ideal as the wires stretch their way westward, we presume., with the Severn Tunnel being the main question mark for further development into Wales. A dual mode train like this will be able to cover the gap as it declines without the need for time consuming diesel locomotive hook ups, or as would be more likely on today's fragmented and under-resourced railway, passengers being kicked off nice new electric trains and hearded onto what ever was available to bridge the gap. So in comparing it to HST IC 125, then it is so much a different beast and offers such an environmental benefit that it should be a worthy successor, But wil it fulfill either of these two goals in taking over the mantle of high speed, west country and east coast trunk and major branch routes from the IC 125, and is it so Carbon friendly?

Despite the bullshit and misleading comparisons made by some PR companies for the motor & road lobby, carbon emissions and in particular particulate emissions per passener mile are much better for modern diesel trains than car journeys. When you take lack of conjestion and predictable journey times into account, diesel trains are more efficient than buses on similar routes like say London Bristol. Electric trains are way and above that until you get into very high speed trains over over 225 kmh / 140 mph when their use of energy gets heftier. Also of course it can be argued that the source of that power has to be carbon neutral and the building of the train should be low environmental impact. Does a dual mode achieve this in a 125 mph package and the answer is not really but ok, yes a bit.

The reason is that for this train there has been made the choice of using a series of up to 5 underslung power units to be suppied by MTU, now in a quirk of English Industrial Revenge for Ruston Paxmans, are owned by Rolls Royce. These ' power packs' are an inefficient means of deliverying enough power to run at 125 mph as we have already seen with the 220s and the 222s. In HST you have two prime mover, power units in locomotives at each end which weigh only about 74 tonnes. You then have two diesel main tanks, two alternators and power comntrol-supply chains, and two cooling systems per train. Now 5 smaller units equate to more than this because each still has to have fueling, electrical systems and cooling, plus traction motors. The engines to be used are v12 just under a thousand horsepower each, which means that the five will be approximately the same total power as the HST twin power car, head and tail arrangement but with more weight and more points of servicing. You start to understand why the option to de-fit these in light of on going electrification is.

Secondly to this is the performance - even if 25kv wires go out to Cardiff, you will still have significant west country routes to Exeter and Plymouth eventually Penzance, which have many sections of 125mph running. If the option for less than 3600 hp per train set is taken, then on these routes the timetables will be slower than IC125. The full five power pack array along the train will probably get up to around that speed, but there are disadvantages in diluting out power at the kind of output in the 500 to 2700 kw range because you lose amps quicker with less powerful indivdual power units than with larger, torqueyer if that is a word, power units.

On the ECML though with the routes to Hull via Lincoln and perhaps Scarborough and Sunderland/ Middelsborough and other excursions east and west of the main line, this type of train may come into its own because the running on sections off the main line are not all that fast and generally it is judged good business to have quite a few stoppingn stations to widen the catchment per train. The same can also be said of the routes north to Aberdeen and Inverness.

However I think the only border these trains will be crossing is that on the severn river, and not even the proud Cornish border at the Tamar. I think that these trains in their electro-diesel guise will stretch with the wires to Bristol and provide short end services to certainly Cardiff and likely Gloucster and maybe Worcster or Hereford. Unless there is a punative 'diesel under the wires' Eco-levvy then zings will probably continue to run the longer distance services all the way to Paddington. The new trains and their private owners are far too good for Northerners and Socialist Scots, so the Tories will be pleased to see them running privately into London terminii, while the North of the UK get well, Glasgow Edinburgh via Falkirk G , maybe even not now, and "Northshire" gets rid of its pacers, presumabkly with old sprinters from somewhere. Finally privatisation will look shiny and good, just turn a blind eye to the subsidies being way over what was paid to BR in the 1980s.

The new . sleek train in my honest opinion has missed two main opportunities. One is that it could have been a tilting train and thus shaved time off twistier routes, or used its horse power and carbon footprint less wastefully by not slowing down and accelerating so much. Secondly it could have had locomotive power cars which would have secured 125 mph and higher speed running while also being even easier to render redundant or move onto other services. Or even repurpose to freight or mixed traffic with twin end cabs if high speed head and tail is no longer needed.

Personally diesel multiple units have always underwhelmed me. Firstly modern design meant that they crammed more passengers into fewer coaches, and then in the 170-182 types, they shoved bikes and wheel chair users into a nasty medley mid train while also providing far too much space to doorways. Secondly of course, they are often irritatingly noisy due to the relatively powerful underfloor engines and their need to be 'trashed' to simply get the train rolling. Compared to the quaint mrk 1 compartment favourites of ours of days gone by (even though we secretly preferred the newer, comfier and often cleaner mark II a and c stock) are just a museum side show now. The gentle click clacking, the subtle tungsten bulb lighting and the partial privacy of the 'compo' were replaced abruptly by the stark strip light open coach of the sprinter on the west highland line and many other routes, together with the irritating burr of those cummin engines making a right meal out of going slower than the loco hauled trains they replaced. DMUs are purely an accountants wet dream, and purely with the bad hindsight of BR having about 20 different diesel locos in passenger service, while the rose tinted foresight of both reliability and passengers liking them. Occupancy is up, but total seating is down. Nearly all timetables I have been on are slower under DMU and seem to be less reliable than under loco hauled. The flexibility of being able to extend services by one coach at a time, or take cheap mothballed stock out  for footexs or super long trains for peak times, are gone, as the private railway has tried to keep its availability low in relation to potential demand, and stick with actual demand. In fact it has been ten years  since I took a diesel train in the UK, having mostly been on electric routes. The last one was either a 182 into london from Slough, or a 170 to and from Aberdeen to Glasgow, the latter being a cramped journey with little comfort in the new seating. My last trip on the WHL was in 2000 when I decided that the bus to Oban and Ft william was more comfortable and pretty much well as scenic than those god awful 156s. I was on a 222 I think up to Leicster and it was suprisingly niosy and cramped too, although it did have rather good ambient lighting. The romance of rail is long since gone for most all travellers, excluding preserved museum type lines, while the very appeal of rail travel in these metro-tram/bus hybrid crosses wanes on me, especially when four of us travelling costs the same as hire car for the week. The lack of main line intergration to Airports is woeful and just pandered to the vested interests for far too long, and exacerbated the move away from rail on the longer routes, at a time when the ECML in particular should have enjoyed unprecedented growth and lower running costs being over head 25kv. The railway , the big railway, has a major part to play in environmentally friendly travel for us all, and it remains to be seen if HST will have a worthy successor

søndag 15. november 2015

More Tantalus Type Trius.....type 3 fantasy concoctions.

The BTC and BRB got it wholly wrong in ordering so many under-powered type 2 locomotives. You can tell me it is easy to say with hindsight, while at the time there were still many branch lines being operated by tank 'kettles' which required no more than type 2 or even just type 1 power to trundle along with their modestr services. However even at the time in the pilot programme it should have been clear from early experience that main line ambitions for the use of single locomotives really required type 3 and up over. They should have also been able to see the growth in the use of the lorry for light, rural mixed freight as a threat to the smaller tonnages that type 2 were invisaged to operate.

Perrcievere they did though, with huge orders being placed for the sulzer based units which became classes 24 through 27, and you can of course really include the EE type 1 class 20 in their ranks. The farce ran so high as to the re-engining of the brush type 2 "class 30" with a derated SVT engine which would have been between 1500 and 1550 hp standard traction rating for EE. Another arbitary de-rating incidentally was the v16 Maybach fitted in the Hymeks which actually had a standard and proven hydaulic traction rating of 1940 hp, but that was outside the actual type three desirable rating oddly enough. A poorly performing class 40 takes a while before it falls into being a type 3 apparently.

On the one end of events in a fantasy diesel scenario, english electric  would have offered a type 3 during the initial phase of dieselisation in the mid to late 1950s. Thus presenting a rival to the southern regions natty new sulzers, the later to become class 33s. This would have used in a 1956 scenario, the SVT variant of the engine in a body very similar to the eventual class 37, but with disk train indicator system. It would be light enough in design of course to be a CoCo, or potentially an AIA configuration. This loco would have undoubtedly proven its worth, as did the reliable EE engined class 31s, and BRB may have ordered a job lot of them, not being tempted away by the charge air cooled variant which was available from about 1958, essentially when D200 was delivered. However in fact we may then have been stuck with a smaller class of less impressive locos than the class 37, with the 37 maybe never happening until slab front ends came along, if at all.

Already by 1960 EE offered BR an uprated CVST class 40 (probably on CoCo with a medium body length) or the full 2000hp rating of the 12CSVT in the 37 format perhaps as a higher value, shorter maintenance interval loco for the types of express and semi fasts forties were allocated. In fact which ever way you look at it, 40s were a bit quicker on express services of upto 400 tonnes because they have higher gearing, more momentum, ra6 axle loadings and 250 more horse power while actually only hauling an additional quarter of a carriage difference in weight over a 'syphon'. Conversely their high gearing, greater inertia and slower pick up on the power unit via stepped control meant that they were a lot more pedestrian on stopping services where acceleration counts more than performance in the third field diversion.

An early first series dieselisation EE type 3 at 1500/1550 hp would have performed probably very similarly to a class 31 and rather like a sick class 37 ( eg 37108 and 37025 in 1982/84). An alternative to this option at the time of the baby deltic order, would have been a single 18 cylinder deltic lump rated at 1650 hp as it was in 'deltic' at the time, or a fully possible T12 version of the arrangement with turbo. While considering the same body and CoCo configuration of the EE type 3, you could fit a 24 cylinder deltic engine in there, and run as a type 4 with a rating of around 2200hp @1500rpm non turbo. In fact EE could have offered the Syphon G body and bogies as standard with a choice of power units as follows (by 1960):

1) Low maintainance 1500 hp SVT
2) 1500 hp T12
3) 1650 hp deltic 18
4) 1750 hp /1850* hp 12CSVT
5) 2000 hp high maintenance 12CSV
6) 2000hp 16 SVT forty compatible equipment , no boiler
7) 2200 hp T18 deltic
8) 2350 hp / 2700 hp 16 CSVT non bolier, but with ETH

* 1850 hp had been the standard rating for several export versions of the new CVST engine and 1750 was an arbitary down rating from 'full' marine rating of the CSVT in 1959 when the engines were ordered.

I have had a couple of folk state that the v16 would never have been fitted or could never have been fitted into a 'syphon G'. Firstly the size would most likely indeed proclude a boiler, but in fact of course the majority of 37s were delivered "NB" with the stonehouse boilers ordered for them mainly going into Brush type 4s at the time.
As anyone who has been through the engine room of a non boilered (never boilered) syphon will tell you, there is a large plinth of concrete which had to be installed to balance the locomotives in lieu of the boiler. Drivers referred to this as the 'band stand'. People further argue about the weight of a v16 espeically a CSVT version even without a boiler. However just a couple of years later, EE of course produced the Portugues class 1800 which are 108 tonnes, and in fact a 12CSVT was fitted in a 79 tonne meter gauge loco in the late 50s for export. The bogies' would probably need upgrading to class 50 / 55 standard but that is not a great difference in cost given the benefit of having a standard body over several power ratings and units. EE offered basically a stretched class 37 with the CSVT engine  @2350 hp, instead of further orders of the type 4 with 16 wheels. BRB in their folly declined this offer, stating that they wanted to continue with standard locomotives, which with hindsight seems rather short sighted when already the deltics had supplaced the D200s on the key ECML expresses and the ubiquitous 12LDA would push them almost into irrelevance had it not been for the D200s reliability and RA 6 rating. 2350 hp at under 120 tonnes all up weight with EE's higher voltage system favouring total acceleration speed, would have made for an impressive passenger and even heavy frieght (of the day )locomotive, pretty much well as capable as the rather lumbering 'peaks' with their massive tonnage. It has to be noted that Dp2 in fact produced significantly more horse power upto 25 miles an hour or so than a deltic which hauls on one engine up to approximately this speed, and when fitted with the KV10 load regulator, the light weight locomotive ( under 110 tonnes) prove exceedingly competent under taxing gradients and on express services.

Deltic power units would have been prohibitive for a mixed traffic class however due to their disliking for thermal cycling on start-stop services. Any of the above mentioned though would have been a hell of a lot of fun in a 37 body shell, with perhaps the most likely being a T18 being fitted into a sub class for operating lighter services on the WCML ahead of the advancing electrification in the 70s.

Sulzers  Wonderful 8 LDA engine should Get a Word in Edge Ways!!

Yet another rather tantalising option for type 3 fans in the initial period of short batch trials in the late 50s would have been an RA5 dual heat version of the southern region Sulzer type 3. This would have had to have three axeled bogies to accomodate the length and weight the boiler necessitated but it would have probably come in at around the same as the Brush type 2 and the 37. You could envisage this being a very useful bit of kit for depots already home to many 6LDA and 12 LDA locos who required some more grunt for semi fasts, light expresses and medium weight freights. Indeed so useful that an allocation to ScR would probably have negated the need for the reintroduction of the class 37 in the early eighties for the W. highland and Far North routes.

A little known fact I have  mentioned before is that the class 33 is in fact fitted with an engine with the same per cylinder rating as the class 24 and class 26 ie 1160 hp in their case, 1550 for the 33. This means that the loco could have been fitted with the intercooled 8LDA as a variant or from BREL as indeed the 25s and 27s were in effect. At 1700 hp in either a BoBo or on six axles, the loco would have been impressive, and in terms of the former of those two, it would probably have outrun just about anything on the rail network to 20 mph at least.

While on the topic of sulzer and their better power units (the 12LDA and 6 LDA suffering in build quality by them sub contracting out work and getting the whole 2750 hp rating build wrong on the 'duffs') the LVA units prove successful with in particular SNCF. They rated the 12 down to 2200 and even as low as 2000 hp, but there was also a v8 variant which picked up some type three ratings in its somewhat limited application. Given the 12 LVA was rated at 2650 and maybe a max 2750 in SNCF days, the 8 LVA would have come in at around 1800 hp if it was to be used in line with the much debated class '48' duffs which were not so duff. The LVA series was significantly lighter and more modern than the 1930s style twin bank 12 LDA lumps. The wee v8 is not bigger or heavier than in fact the 8 CSVT fitted to the portugeuse and the Irish bobo locos, so it could have been shoe horned into a class 33 shell, or of course just plonked into a class 31 body at least, or  a class 47 body shell to produce an RA 5 type 3 loco.
The 12 LVA sounded like a mad cross between a forty and an HST, whistling at idle and run up before shreiking as the revs came on. The 8 probably was much the same, just a third less so!

Just had a thought, suppose all the duffs were converted to 12 LVAs after the LDA   @2750 failure, and then say type two body shells are used with the v8, which would stll allow for room for the boiler?  The 8 LVA could then in theory be rated at upto 2000 hp being half a kestrel in practice. Presumably also a straight eight version could have been available with a rating above 1700hp. Essentially it is a very different engine, more so than say the RK 6 shunter EE unit is to the eventual 'slug' 6RKT.

While on air charge cooling, BRB could have thrown out their silly ideas of using the SVT further down rated and demanded that brush present a new loco to take the now proven 12 CSVT / probably a CoCo version of the 31. Ludicrous:? Well the class 47 very nearly had a cousin or contender which would have had the 16 CSVT engine in it as stipulated by BRB.

Beyond 1000 rpm......

The one higher speed engine tantalus I think many would like to have seen on BR, would be the diesel electric version of the Hymek. I rather think this may have been kept bobo but run without a boiler to keep weight down, but a CoCo would have been RA5. The germans ran at least one class as a variant to their populace v16 maybach single unit locos and they prove as reliable.

On to another new option is that by the mid 1960s Paxman were able to offer their v16 at over 2000 hp and their v12 was probably rateable at a type three level by then, soon to be included in the prototype HST at a higher again rating in the ventura v12 format. They had been run at this time in high thermal cycling environments being fitted to the ScR class 29, which achieved a reliability akin to other sulzer type 2s allegedly with these new power units replacing the NB built MAN designs. I rather like the idea that WR never had to get rid of their oil sloshers and that they ordered a fully british ventura v12 based type 3 AIA loco with dual brakes and an auxially diesel generator to take hydraulics into the 1980s and beyond. While ER would take a bobo type three to work end to end on sleeper services on the ECML and potentially on the freightliner container services during the daytime. A fully rated version then being used as a recovery loco for failed HSTs and other express trains on the ECML.

Finally while on the WR, it seemed odd that no one came up with a twin engined type 3 with two 800/900 hp units in it working two torque convertor transmissions, thus allowing for 1. redundancy / limping home or working light services on on PU. 2) piggy backing at gear changes as the westerns did, one bogie continuing in drive as the other declutches and changes gear.

Crazy, or the Brush of a Pen Stroke Away?

Of all these crazy notions what do I think the most likely to have ever seen the light of day been?

Top runners for production classes would actually have to be none of my favourites per se but>

short production runs and prototypes

1500hp early disk display syphon 12 SVT
1650 hp deltic syphon trial Deltic 18
2200 hp deltic syphon trial T18
1600-2000hp twin engined DH or DE on bobo


1500hp AIA class 31s / a silly 30 hp short

1700 hp Class '34' 8 LDA SR / WR ETH loco

1600/1800 hp v 12 Ventura single unit Bo Bo Diesel Hydraulic

1600 / 1800 hp ""    ""    ""    ""     "" 

Why these into production?  Well the first one is a no brainer, it was either an arbitary derating to conform to type 2 banding or Brush could have been asked to tweak 14 kw more out of their electric transmission without having bust a gut.

Also the second one seems to be the most likely of any sulzer option because 1( the 33s were successful early on 2) BR liked the straight LDA format a lot in its air charged cooled variant, they had hundreds and hundreds of the darn things and parts are largely standard to the 12 LDA. It could have ended up in an extention to the 33 order or in say a BREL AIA streched class 25. IMHO there should have been wide scale cancellation of all these vermin and upgrading to either the 8LDA or moving over to ruther orders for 12 CSVT.

I think also that an early to mid sixties vision of the folly of type 2 while the success of the paxman in the warship showed the way, an alternative to the v16 maybach may have arisen in a v12 1500 hp / 1800 hp ventura, thus allowing for the class 52 to be a true type 5 and 100mph operator by using twin venturas and thus making a standard set up for the higher horse power locos in these two brackets, with the Maybach and MAN warships scheduled for retirement or reeingining with the venturas over time.  A V12 ventura is probably also ligher than the Hymeks v16 so that they could be weighted down as an RA 5 loco.

DE ventura based versions may have come later either via the class 29 experience or by the HST programme and proposed tail/end freightliner high speed container services.

If you think any of this is really so very crazy, super deltic single unit syphon included at the fringe end, then think again about what the BTC / BRB actually did. It ordered the CoBos and the Baby Deltics. It allowed western region to have completely non standard locos to the rest of the system and little standardisation within those! It stipulated that locomotives which could have been built to 119 tonnes (class 40) and 128 tonnes (peaks) should be instead fitted with vastly heavy plate sided 1Co-Co1 bogies to 'spread the weight'. Superdeltics were on the drawing board. Deltic HST power cars were also penned with this  2200hp T18 in them.  A class 30 was uprated to 2000 hp experimentally with air charged cooling. EE built the C1800s for Portugal at 108 tonnes......

Why Was Truth Stranger than (my) Fiction?

The real problem was two fold. Firstly BTC/BRB rushed over the evaluation phase of the initial prototypes and first series of orders. Technology had also moved forward, basically all the first phase locos were about 1953 technology, while the big advances in air charge cooling came into effect in 1956-1958. Other major advances such as the KV10 load generator and more reliable high speed engines filtered through just a few years later in the early to mid sixties. The left had of the BTC knew fine well that the motorways and four axle truck were going to take light freight off the branch line connections, while the railway side seemed to bury their head in historic figures of light trains needing tiddly little 1000hp to 1250 hp to tinker around with them. They should have seen that the US style of multiple heading was wasteful for the UK system in light of this with type 2s being redundant in their youth,  and opted for more type 3s and 4s. They should have waited longer before ordering classes and stipulating power bands, in order to evaluate types and horse power ratings, while also considering the market for rail transport, in particular the type of frieght which would remain competitive and the emergence of containerisation.

In a sensible world, we would have had CoCo forties and peaks and a lot more syphon Gs and 'bean can' 33s. The uprated 2750 hp 12 LDA should have been rejected upon extended trials of a dozen or so units in favour of the 12 LVA or the 16 CSVT. We would have seen continuing work to uprate the deltic engine in the early 60s to allow for 3800 hp operation with ETH generation in the fleet and for the superdeltic to tackle the WCML and presumably follow the route to displace westerns on the WR. We should have seen uprating trials with the 2000hp v12 CSVT and the 2350 hp v16 for the orders of class 40s post 1960. A full prototyping should have been undergone for the D400 before they were ordered, and the class be standardised to the less out landish equipment with normal oil wetted air intake filters. And we should have seen a fleet of kestrels too on the v16 LVA running express trains in the forefront of expanding electrification and standard 120mph running on most major routes.

Business wise they should have indeed focused on two or three power unit types ( variants with common cylinder and piston units and other common items) from two or three manufacturers, and in terms of worrying about  competition in british industry, directed that primary contractors like BRCW and EE sub contract some components and building of structures to smaller firms like Bayer Peacock and the likes. They could have focused on a big three manufacturer route, those mentioned above, plius BREL when the offering or capacity could not be found. The BTC/ BRB could alternatively have stipulated supply of power units from two or three sources ( sulzer, EE/ruston-paxmans, Maybach Licencee in the UK) with different work shops assembling units, but really that is just not as desirable as a prime design house who create fuilly integrated machines. A counter agrument would be the Class30 to Class 31 upgrade, or the fact that the 6LDA locos could be built to very similar quality over many different workshops, or that EE used RSH for a very large proportion of their capacity outside the Vulcan productiuon.

Today we have not really any less of a crazy situation because rail operators and rolling stock owners invest so sporadically and in self interest that they loose much of the opportunity and will to standardise. New and rather ludicrous emissions standards exclude many from the market for power units which can fit into a loco while being clean enough. The future is uncertain, but without government legislation or a return to more public control and ownership it is unlikely that the nirvanna of standardisation will ever be reached.

torsdag 13. august 2015

Why was 2000 bhp a bridge too far for the EE type 3?

The class 37 was often proposed under powered by type 4 fans, but in fact of course it prove to be a very good horse power rating in keeping the fleets reliability up, and rendering their longevity only as finite as the HGR avoiding private owners would allow. At various points in the 1960s and 70s they hauled the heaviest and longest frieghts in the UK, in multiple admittedly, while also turning out for fairly racey diagrams on the non stop summer Skegnes services amongst others, even working the famous 1S45. However an uprated version of the locomotive was of course not just proposed, but also tried out.

The irony is not lost on us that the original EE general arrangement drawings of the Type 3 (evt Class 37) included a position for a secondary diesel generator, thus rendering the class with dual heat potential on outset. By the mid sixties though, EE were confident enough to offer the loco as a 2000hp performer in a new, flat end cab version similar to the 2050bhp export models which went to the then East Africa. BRB at the time were wise enough to know they were onto a good thing, with type 2s proving underpowered and various lesser types already earmarked for the scrap heap as "non standard".  So the final order for 37s remained standard and some of the best examples of their class to my experience, rolled off the assembly lines in 1964 and 65. Amongst them was one example which would go on to be fairly infamous. 37 292.

I have the pleasure of being hauled by the beast, all be that it was somewhat underperforming, running unevenly on idle and not opening up completely. It did whizz along the Kilmarnock to Ayr route, and further to Stranrær, which in any other year than 1984 would have been a rarity for a 37 in itself!

Scottish depots were pretty bad at under maintaining locos given the demands of damp, occasionally salt water laced conditions, icy and greasy rails and more than a fair share of gradients, curves and variable speeds. It seems 37292 was in a state of "returning soon to works, don't spend any money on it" at ML in 1984 unfortunately. It worked a few times that summer out of Glasgow central, with perhaps only a handful of other passenger workings in the period 1981-83 as a break down recovery loco. Perhaps due to this latter day unreliability, it remained probably the "largest" syphon on ML shed through 1984 and prior to its long booked return to works for HGR and "four-ing" in 1985. (37 137 and a 200 series being pretty rare out on seated rolling stock too it has to be said)

As I blogged before, the evolution of the CSVT to to the RK traction took a little back water via Australia and also 47 601/901. The maximum rating of a "csvt" badged v12 is 2350 b.h.p. in Aus, and despite a single turbo being employed, they still sound decidely CSVT and not V16 jumbojet like. The aussie engine was probably a metric one, but possibly did not get gear driven cams- so together with the thoarty, pulse type turbo exhaust roar then we can presume that this is as far as the CSVT got.  2000 hp was enough out of a v12 from EE/ GEC until 47901 reared its ugly head!

Reports on the electric internet show us to 1981 as the year that a very nicely prepared EX works 292 exited Doncaster on a test train. Given that ETH'ing was carried out toute suite in 1985, then a two year test and evaluation period plus then a two year planning and material procurement period seems about right for 1980s Britain.

It has been said that the alternator alone contributes about another 100 hp efficiency to the system, and with the lower CP4 gearing chosen, the need for 2000hp and possibly a shorter service interval was considered avoidable.  A single 37/4 could be used to pick up the aluminium ingots train at Corpach as against a pair of "zeros" and acceleration on passenger services was by in large not much different, even when producing ETH. Top speed on the other hand.....

 In standard rating the welsh depots and Stratford could keep well on top of valve and timing chain issues with preventative servicing. Miles-Per-Casualty would be interesting to compate with 31s and of course much better than 47s which broke down a lot, having never been able to handle their class wide uprating. So probably a very wise choice to stick to the lovely 1750bhp.