Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Someone’ll get seriously hacked off by this suggestion

Posted in Great Britain, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 21 April 2011

Network Rail have announced a £200m plan to ease the bottleneck on the approaches to Cardiff, with a view to allowing as many as four additional trains per hour into Cardiff Central. This plan will see the construction of additional platforms at both Cardiff Central and Cardiff Queen Street, one of which is intended to allow the Cardiff Bay Shuttle to stay clear of the main lines. This operates between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay on the single track, one mile long Butetown Branch. Because it is more or less seperate from the rest of the network, Arriva Trains Wales has special dispensation to operate the service using a Class 121 “Bubble Car”. However, this now has fallen into some degree of disrepair, resulting in it being operated by a Class 153 recently. If there is a question of the Class 121 becoming unavailable owing to difficulties in obtaining enough spares to keep it running, then perhaps ATW (or whomever gets the Wales franchise next) should perhaps consider going down the Stourbridge route and purchasing a couple of Class 139s, given that the line will be more seperated than ever from the main line, which would then free up the Class 153 that it is forced to use.

“£200m package to ease Cardiff bottleneck”

The Class 139 may well be ideal for use on the Cardiff Bay shuttle

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