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Manufacturers must share the risk

01 Oct 1997

INTRO: Higher power-to-weight ratios, tilting, and distributed power have become dominant features of orders for high speed trains over the last two years. But with railways facing growing commercial pressures, Gordon Pettitt obe fcit finds that manufacturers must take on more of the risk in delivering rolling stock to a maturing market

IN THE TWO YEARS since the last world survey (RG 10.95 p673) orders have been placed for 59 additional high speed trains (excluding research and prototype trains). Full details are shown on Table II (with new entries highlighted in yellow). The most significant features of these orders are the number of new operators, and that the majority have opted for tilting trains (77% of the trains ordered).

The strong trend towards distributed power highlighted two years ago has continued, but with one major exception - the order for 12 trains (plus options for a further 6) from Amtrak for the Northeast Corridor project (Boston - New York - Washington DC). To be introduced in late 1999, these will have a power car at each end.

Distributed power and tilting seem likely to continue to be demanded by operators as they face up to the need for shorter journey times without the cost, long time scales and environmental problems of providing new infrastructure.

Tilt breaks new ground

It is of considerable significance that SNCF and GEC Alsthom have set up a joint project team to equip a TGV Sud-Est set as a tilt prototype for tests in 1998 (RG 3.97 p181). In this case a review of the SNCF TGV Master Plan, the increasing cost of new infrastructure, and a difficult economic environment have all combined to highlight the need for a more flexible approach than the French previously adopted.

Trains with distributed power and tilt have been specified in Great Britain by both Virgin Trains and Great North Eastern Railway. The Virgin order is likely to be for at least 40 electric 225 km/h tilting trains for the West Coast main line. At the time of writing an order from Great North Eastern Railway for at least two trains with a similar specification for use on the East Coast Main Line was widely anticipated, raising the prospect of real competition for air traffic between London and Scotland, and reviving the historic rivalry between east and west coast routes.

In the light of the world wide demand for high speed trains with distributed power, tilt and pressure sealing, it will be interesting to see if the outcome of SNCF/GEC Alsthom research on the TGV Nouvelle Génération eventually reflects the preference already expressed by operators elsewhere!

More power per seat

Power to weight ratios continue to be of critical importance to the economics of high speed train operation. Table II compares some key figures for recent designs used by the major operators.

The advantage of the high capacity Japanese shinkansen trains with 2+2 seating in green car (first class) and 2+3 seating in standard class is immediately evident. Whilst the greater cross-section possible on the shinkansen accounts for some of the difference in average weight per seat, the remainder is probably accounted for by the relentless drive to reduce axle weight and noise for environmental as well as economic reasons.

The average weight per seat in Japan is now nearly 28% less than the Series0 trains introduced in 1964 (Table II). This contrasts with France where a TGV Réseau is only 2% lighter per seat than an original Sud-Est train built in 1978. It will be observed that the German ICE3 has a tare weight to seat ratio comparable to the latest SNCF designs (which should have an advantage through articulation) - a significant improvement from ICE1, but by comparison with Japan there seem to be further opportunities for weight reduction in Europe through a combination of lighter materials and construction methods.

Double-deck promising

In the meantime the introduction of TGV Duplex has made a substantial contribution to putting a European train higher up in the power-to-weight/seat ratios. It is probably too early to judge the commercial success of double-deck trains on long distance routes but it could have a considerable influence on SNCF's decisions for building future routes such as that to Strasbourg.

JR East introduced the first all-double-deck high speed trains in 1994, the Series E1 'MAX' (RG 5.94 p287). There are now 11 sets in service, diagrammed mainly to cover shorter commuter journeys. Three E4 double deck trains are now on order, and due for delivery by the end of this year; the new design seats 817 passengers, and will be used on services within 150 km of Tokyo (RG 8.97 p511).

It is clear that the success of high speed trains in France and Japan is filling existing line capacity around the capital cities and that double-deck trains will be needed on a selective basis to meet further demand. If the French and Japanese double-deck high speed trains are successful with the public, it is possible that future high speed lines could obtain significant capital and operating cost savings, not only in the number of trains needed, but in terminal and train maintenance facilities.

Privatisation and restructuring of railways continues throughout the world, but it is interesting to note from current evidence that whilst the process imports delay into major investment, it has not brought about any change to the market demand for faster and better quality travel. Developments in Japan have been particularly encouraging with the three high speed train operators pressing ahead with faster trains and improved schedules, despite no 'on track' competition. There appears to have been more progress with more flexible and innovative trains in the last few years than during the first 30 years of shinkansen operation.

In Great Britain, two high-speed train operators are likely to be added to the list of Table II in the near future. It is very significant that both decided to invest in faster trains than specified in their basic franchise contracts. Both operators issued tenders based on 'output' specifications, leaving builders to propose suitable trains and traction packages.

Share the risk

It is probable that both GNER and Virgin will follow the lead of other domestic British operators in linking availability and maintenance of the trains through risk sharing contracts with manufacturers. This is a good example of the commercial risk sharing referred to in the first high speed train review two years ago, and is likely to become universal as private sector operation proliferates. I believe that the optimum development of the world's high speed train network will depend on a combination of risk sharing between infrastructure owners, train operators and train builders.

Short and mid-distance airlines - the main competition - are developing fast through a range of extensive risk sharing contracts which give great flexibility in matching supply and demand. Successful high speed train operators will be those who can conclude the best risk sharing deals for the most flexible trains with the lowest residual value. o

CAPTION: Tilting and distributed power seem to be the way forward at present, as exemplified by the Cisalpino ETR470 sets (top). Will the 17 PBKA Thalys TGVs now entering service (above) be the last of their line?

CAPTION: Now taking shape is this ultra-streamlined end car for the first of JR East's Series E4 double-deck shinkansen trainsets. To be formed as 8-car sets, the E4s will be able to operate in pairs on peak commuter services or singly off peak; they will also work in multiple with Series E2 and E3 units

BYLINE: The author would like to thank Alan Taylor of Union Railways for his considerable help in the updating and presentation of Table II.

TABLE: Table I. Comparison of power/seat/weight ratios

Operator Train Max kW per kW per Tare

speed tonne seat weight

km/h per seat

SNCF/DB/NS/SNCB Thalys 300 231 23·341 1·02

SNCF TGV Duplex 300 23 16·15 0·70

DB ICE2 280 11 13·04 1·14

DB ICE3 330 202 20·462 1·04

JR Central Series300 270 17 9·07 0·54

JR East SeriesE2 275 20 11·43 0·58

JR East SeriesE3 275 22 17·78 0·81

JR East Series E4 240 15·7 8·23 0·52

JR West Series500 320 26 13·78 0·52

1. Based on 25 kV AC mode 2. Based on 15 kV 16 2??3 Hz AC mode

TABLE: Table II. Comparative operating data for high speed trains (210 km/h and over) in service, under construction or with orders announced at August 1 1997

Country Owning Type Build Fleet Service Seating Train Tare Max Cont. Power/weight Power Tare weight Installed Remarks

of operator of date size 1 [test] speed capacity 5 length weight axleload rating ratio supply 6 per seat power per

origin train km/h 2 m tonnes tonnes kW kW/tonne tonnes seat kW

Great Britain GNER IC225 1988-89 31 225 7 [260] 1+10 N N N 4+40 112+368/480 224 451 20·5 4540 10 A 0·94 9·46 Cl91+TSOE+3TSO+TSOD+RFM+2FO+DVT

France Eurostar (UK) Class 373 1993-95 11 300 2+18 Y N N 12+36 210+560/770 394 752 17·0 12240 16 ACE 0·98 15·90

SNCF Class 373 1993-95 13 300 2+18 Y N N 12+36 210+560/770 394 752 17·0 12240 16 ACE 0·98 15·90

SNCF Class 373 1993-95 3 300 2+18 Y N N 12+36 210+560/770 394 752 17·0 12240 16 ACDE 0·98 15·90 Re-equipped in 1996-97 for use on SNCF 1·5 kV DC classic lines

SNCB Class 373 1993-95 4 300 2+18 Y N N 12+36 210+560/770 394 752 17·0 12240 16 ACE 0·98 15·90

Eurostar (UK) Class 373 (Regional) 1995-96 7 300 2+14 Y N N 12+28 106+424/530 319 616 17·0 12240 20 ACE 1·16 23·09

SNCF TGV Sud-Est 1978-85 27 270 [408] 2+8 Y N N 12+14 108+260/368 200 385 17·0 6420 17 AD 1·05 17·45

SNCF TGV Sud-Est 1978-85 63 300 2+8 Y N N 12+14 110+240/350 200 385 17·0 6420 17 AD 1·10 18·34 Following refurbishment from above and equipped with TVM430

SNCF TGV Sud-Est 1981-84 7 270 2+8 Y N N 12+14 285+0/285 200 379 17·0 6420 17 AD 1·33 22·53 1st class only sets. Being refurbished and converted to 1st + 2nd

SNCF/SBB TGV Sud-Est 1981-85 9 270 2+8 Y N N 12+14 108+260/368 200 394 17·0 6420 16 ABD 1·07 17·45 Equipped for running into Switzerland. One set owned by SBB

SNCF/PTT TGV Sud-Est 1984 2·5 270 2+8 Y N N 12+16 0 200 345 17·0 6420 19 AD N/A N/A Equipped with TVM430. Built as five half-sets

SNCF/PTT TGV Sud-Est 1981 1 270 2+8 Y N N 12+14 0 200 345 17·0 6420 19 AD N/A N/A Unit converted from Sud-Est No 38. Equipped with TVM430 (1994)

SNCF TGV Atlantique 1989-92 105 300 (515) 2+10 Y N N 8+22 116+369/485 238 484 17·0 8800 18 AD 1·00 18·14 Includes 20 sets modified with TVM430 from June 1996

Renfe AVE 1991-92 18 300 (356) 2+8 Y N N 8+18 116+213/329 200 392 17·0 8800 22 AC 1·19 26·75 1st class = 78 Preferente, 30 Club and 8 Meeting Room in Club (R1)

Renfe Euromed 1996 6 220 2+8 Y N N 8+18 112+213/325 200 392 17·0 8800 22 AC 1·21 27·08 1668mm gauge

SNCF TGV Réseau 1992-94 50 300 [350] 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 386 17·0 8800 23 AD 1·02 23·34 French domestic inter-regional sets

SNCF TGV Réseau 1994-95 24 300 [350] 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 386 17·0 8800 23 ACD 1·02 23·34 Equipped for running to Brussels

SNCF TGV Réseau 1995-96 6 300 [350] 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 386 17·0 8800 23 ACD 1·02 23·34 Equipped for running to Italy

SNCF TGV Thalys (PBA) 1995-96 10 300 [350] 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 386 17·0 8800 23 ACD 1·02 23·34 Equipped for running to Amsterdam (PBA sets)

SNCF TGV Duplex 1995-97 30+55 300 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 197+348/545 200 380 17·0 8800 23 AD 0·70 16·15 Provision for 3 kV DC to be considered

SNCF TGV Thalys (PBKA) 1997-98 6 300 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 385 17·0 8800 23 ABCD 1·02 23·34

SNCB TGV Thalys (PBKA) 1997-98 9 300 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 385 17·0 8800 23 ABCD 1·02 23·34 2 sets leased to DB

NS TGV Thalys (PBKA) 1997-98 2 300 2+8 Y N Y 8+18 120+257/377 200 385 17·0 8800 23 ABCD 1·02 23·34

SNCF Nouvelle Génération 01 1997-98 1 360 1 N/A N N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 16·0 6000 N/A ABCD N/A N/A Modified Duplex power car ordered for evaluation purposes with Réseau train set

SNCF Tilt prototype 1998 1 220/320 2+8 Y Y N 8+18 nya 200 385 17·0 6420 17 AD nya nya Modified from 1st class Sud-Est set No 118

KHRC TGV Korea 1997-2000 46 300 2+18 Y Y Y 12+36 127+808/935 387 699 17·0 13200 19 A 0·75 14·12 For Seoul - Pusan high speed line

Germany DB ICE V 1985 1 350 [406] 2+3 N N Y 8+18 - 114 300 19·4 8400 28 B N/A N/A ICE Experimental. In store Feb 1997

DB ICE S 1997 1 440 4+1 N N Y 12+4 - 120 300 19·5 13600 45 B N/A N/A DB research train. ICE2 power cars + 2 powered-axle centre cars + dynamometer car

DB ICE 1 (401 power car) 1990-93 45 280 2+12 N N Y 8+48 192+435/627 358 790 19·4 9600 12 B 1·26 15·31 Formation PC+4F+BR+SW+6S+PC

DB ICE 1 (401) 1990-93 15 280 2+10 N N Y 8+40 192+303/495 305 684 19·4 9600 14 B 1·38 19·39 ICE Line 3 formation (PC+4F+BR+SW+4S+PC)

DB ICE 2 (402) 1996-98 44 280 1+7 N N Y 4+28 105+263/368 205 420 19·5 4800 11 B 1·14 13·04 Formation PC+2F+BR+3S+DTS

DB ICE 3 (405) 1999 4 330 4+4 N N Y 16+16 136+244/380 200 420 16·0 8000 19 ABD 1·11 21·05 For services to Amsterdam. With NS ATB

DB ICE 3 (406) 1999 9 330 4+4 N N Y 16+16 136+244/380 200 420 16·0 8000 19 ABCD 1·11 21·05 For services to Paris, Brussels & Amsterdam

DB ICE 3 (403) 1999 37 330 4+4 N N Y 16+16 141+250/391 200 405 15·0 8000 20 B 1·04 20·46 For German internal IC services

NS ICE 3 1998 4+2 330 4+4 N N Y 16+16 131+248/379 200 420 15·0 8000 19 ABD 1·11 21·11 For Amsterdam - Frankfurt services

DB IC-T (411) 1997-99 32+40 230 6+1 N Y Y 12+16 53+307/360 184 360 15·0 4000 11 B 0·96 10·70 Ordered from DWA/Siemens/Duewag/FIAT Ferroviaria

DB IC-T (415) 1998-99 11 230 5+0 N Y Y 10+16 nya 132 257 15·0 4000 16 B nya nya Ordered from DWA/Siemens/Duewag/FIAT Ferroviaria

Czech Republic CD Class 680 1997-2000 10 230 4+3 N Y Y 8+20 102+220/322 179 nya 13·5 4000 nya ABC nya 12·42 For Berlin - Praha - Wien service. Based on DB IC-T design

Italy FS ETR450 1988 15 250 8+1 N Y N 16+20 390+0/390 208 440 12·5 4700 11 C 1·13 12·05 Conversion of 2nd class to 2+2 seating in 1997

FS ETR460 1994 7 250 6+3 N Y Y 24+12 115+333/448 237 434 13·5 6000 14 C 0·97 13·39 For domestic services

FS ETR460 1995-96 3 250 6+3 N Y Y 24+12 115+333/448 237 434 13·5 6000 14 CD 0·97 13·39 For services to France. Maximum speed 200 km/h

Cisalpino ETR470 1996-97 9 200 6+3 N Y Y 24+12 156+256/412 237 447 14·2 6000 13 BC 1·08 14·56 For services to Switzerland. Gradient gearing limits speed to 200 km/h

FS ETR480 1997-98 15 250 6+3 N Y Y 24+12 156+256/412 237 434 13·5 6000 14 AC 1·05 14·56 For domestic services including high speed lines

FS ETRY500 1991 2 300 [319] 2+10 N N Y 8+40 192+480/672 302 544 19·0 8500 16 CD 0·81 12·65 Equipped with 'Active Lateral Suspension'

FS ETR500 1995-97 30 }+22 300 2+11 N N Y 8+44 180+483/663 328 598 17·0 8800 15 CD 0·90 13·27 Equipped with 'Active Lateral Suspension' & for retro-fitting of 25 kV AC traction equipment

FS ETR500 1997-99 20 } 300 2+11 N N Y 8+44 180+483/663 328 598 17·0 8800 15 ACD 0·90 13·27 Equipped with 'Active Lateral Suspension'

FS ETR500 1997-99 10 300 2+8 N N Y 8+32 90+400/490 250 520 17·0 8800 17 ACD 1·06 17·96 Equipped with 'Active Lateral Suspension'

Portugal CP Pendoluso 1998 10 220 4+2 N Y nya 8+16 108+206/314 nya nya nya nya nya A nya nya

Spain Renfe Intercity 2000 1997-98 10+24 220 2+1 N Y nya nya 54+136/190 nya nya nya nya nya C nya nya Tender won by GEC Alsthom Transporte for Pts 8·7bn for 10 sets. 1668mm gauge

Talgo Prototype 1996 1 300 [360] 0+6 Y Y Y 0+14 nya N/A N/A nya 0 0 no nya nya Unpowered trainset. Record achieved 1995 with 2 x DB ICE1 power cars

Finland 8 VR S 220 1994-95 2+23 220 [222] 4+2 N Y Y 16+8 262+0/262 159 302 18·3 4000 13 A 1·15 15·27 1524mm gauge. 3 kV DC may be added for services to St Petersburg

Norway NSB BM71 1997-98 16 220 1+2 N Y 9 Y 4+8 0+184/184 70 220 17·5 2645 12 B 1·20 14·38 Gardermoen airport shuttle EMUs

Sweden SJ X 2000 1990 20 210 [276] 1+5 N Y N 4+20 98+296/394 164 365 18·3 3260 9 B 0·93 8·27

SJ X 2-2 1995 14 210 1+4 N Y N 4+16 214+0/214 115 271 18·3 3260 12 B 1·27 15·23 Extra second class trailer added

Russia RAO VSM Falcon 1999 1 350 1+3 nya nya nya 4+12 nya nya nya nya nya nya AB nya nya Four-car prototype

RAO VSM Falcon 1999 1+26 350 4+8 nya nya nya 16+32 nya 322 607 nya nya nya AB 0·76 nya 12 car prototype (4 three-car units)

Japan JR Central 0 1964 30 220 [235] 16+0 N N Y 64+0 132+1208/1340 393 970 16·0 11840 12 G 0·72 8·84

JR Central 100 1986 57 220 [276] 12+4 N N Y 48+16 168+1153/1321 395 922 15·0 11040 12 G 0·70 8·36 Includes 2 double deck trailer cars

JR Central 300 1990 1 270 [325] 10+6 N N Y 40+24 200+1123/1323 400 690 11·3 12000 17 G 0·52 9·07 Prototype only

JR Central 300 1992 36 270 10+6 N N Y 40+24 200+1123/1323 400 710 10·1 12000 17 G 0·54 9·07 Production series. Equipped with variable voltage variable frequency controls (VVVF)

JR Central 300X 1994 1 350+ [443] 6+0 N Y Y 24+0 20+315/335 152 212 9·0 9720 46 G 0·63 29·01 Prototype only. Tilt on 2 cars only. Equipped with VVVF

JR East 200 1980-82 55 240-275 [278] 12+0 N N Y 48+0 52+833/885 400 697 17·0 11040 16 A 0·79 12·47 6 sets run in 14M+2T formation and 8 sets in 8M formation

JR East 400 1990 12 240 [345] 6+1 N N Y 24+4 20+379/399 126 318 13·0 5040 16 AF 0·80 12·63 Max speed 130 km/h on regauged conventional lines. Also 20 kV AC

JR East E1 'MAX' 1994 11 240 6+6 N N Y 24+24 102+1133/1235 302 693 17·0 9840 14 A 0·56 7·97 Double deck. Equipped with VVVF

JR East E2 1997 16 275 6+2 N N Y 24+8 51+579/630 200 366 13·0 7200 20 AG 0·58 11·43 For use on Nagano Shinkansen. Equipped with VVVF

JR East E3 1997 16 275 4+1 N N Y 16+4 23+247/270 100 220 12·0 4800 22 AF 0·81 17·78 Max speed 130 km/h on regauged conventional (Akita) line. Equipped with VVVF

JR East E4 1997 3 240 4+4 N N nya 16+16 54+763/817 201 428 16·0 6720 16 A 0·52 8·23 Double-deck replacement for Series 200

JR East STAR 21 1992 1 350 [425] 7+2 partial N Y 16+12 34+494/528 205 265 9·7 4620 17 A 0·50 8·75 Prototype only. 5 articulated + 4 non-articulated vehicles. Equipped with VVVF

JR East Doctor Yellow 1 260 6+1 N N N/A 24+6 0 166 N/A N/A N/A N/A A N/A N/A Shinkansen inspection train

JR West 0 1964 32 230 16+0 N N Y 64+0 132+1208/1340 393 970 16·0 11840 12 G 0·72 8·84 Some sets run in shorter formation

JR West 100N 1989 9 230 12+4 N N Y 48+16 168+1153/1321 395 922 15·0 11040 12 G 0·70 8·36 Includes 4 double-deck trailer cars

JR West 300N 1992 9 270 10+6 N N Y 40+24 200+1123/1323 400 654 11·3 12000 18 G 0·49 9·07

JR West 500 1995 1 320 16+0 N Y Y 64+0 200+1124/1324 404 690 10·8 18240 26 G 0·52 13·78 Prototype only. Equipped with VVVF

JR West 500 1997 9 300 12+4 N Y Y 48+16 nya 382 nya 10·8 nya nya G nya nya

JR Central/West 700 1997 1 1 12+4 N N Y 48+16 200+1123/1323 405 690 nya 12960 19 G 0·52 9·80 Joint development project for Tokaido & Sanyo Shinkansen

JR West WIN 350 1992 1 350 6+0 N N Y 24+0 20+315/335 153 230 9·6 7200 31 G 0·69 21·49 Prototype only. Development for Series 500. Equipped with VVVF. Withdrawn May 1996

China CR 1999 1 220 2+8 Y nya nya 8+32 nya nya nya nya nya nya nya nya nya

USA Amtrak American Flyer 1999 12+6 240 2+6 N Y ? 8+24 0+345/345 200 550 22·0 9120 nya AHJ 1·59 26·43 Northeast Corridor project

NOTES

1. Fleet sizes expressed as "x+y" reflect planned future orders or options to buy sets

2. Maximum speeds shown are those authorised for commercial service and those achieved under [TEST] conditions with special modifications and/or reduced formations

3. powered + trailer vehicles

4. powered+unpowered

5. 1st+2nd/total. Total seating capacity excludes tip-up seats in corridors or vestibules and seats which are allocated exclusively for dining/buffet purposes

6. Power Supplies: A=25 kV 50HzB=15 kV 16 2/3HzC=3 kV DCD=1·5 kV DCE=750V DCF=20 kV 50HzG=25 kV 60HzH=12·5 kV 60HzJ=12 kV 25Hz

7. 225 km/h not yet authorised for commercial service

8. Under licence from Fiat Ferroviaria of Italy. Based on the design of ETR 460

9. One set to be equipped with tilting mechanism and others to be prepared for retrofitting of tilt at a later date. 16 four-car derivatives with tilt from new on order to work NSB 200 km/h inter-city services

New orders since August 1995

Significant changes since August 1995

N/A = Not applicable

nya = Information not yet available