Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Get in there quick

Posted in Ireland, Rolling stock by Chairman Pip on 25 April 2011

On the 6th April, Translink announced that they had put the remaining Class 80 and Class 450 units up for sale (or rather “disposal”). This sale, amounting to as many as thirteen Class 80 vehicles, plus the entire fleet of nine Class 450 units, is due to the entry into service of the new Class 4000. The Procurement Portfolio, published on the Translink website, not only gives information about the two different types of train, but also provides a list of available spares. Something that I wasn’t aware of was that the engines are interchangeable in both types, which means that there would potentially be a source of spare engines, in addition to the other spares. While the Class 80s may well be pretty much life expired – indeed, according to an article in the most recent issue of Today’s Railways, there is rarely more than a single Class 80 operational of the three remaining in service – the Class 450s remain vital to the current service provided by NI Railways. While they may also be on their last legs, they are used fairly intensively and, with some TLC and a less intensive timetable, not to mention a reasonable source of spares (which could be achieved from the available list in the procurement portfolio, plus what interchangeble equipment can be obtained from the Class 80s, plus cannibalising some of the Class 450s to keep the remainder running), then someone could keep a fleet of Class 450s running. Of course, you can all guess where this is going – SWIFFT and whoever their partners may be need to make an offer now to gain the rolling stock they’ll need if they’re serious about running trains on the Waterford-Rosslare line, because where they’ll be able to obtain suitable rolling stock anywhere else I can’t imagine. Of course, given that it’s been almost a month since the notice was published, they may well have already thought of this and done something about it. The closing date is the 28th April. I hope they don’t miss out on this opportunity.

NI Railways – Rail Vehicles for Disposal

The Class 450 is now up for disposal by NI Railways - with spares, TLC and a rural timetable, they could still be used successfully, if someone is willing to put a bid in for them

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