HOME
The Info List - InterCity 250


--- Advertisement ---



InterCity 250
InterCity 250
was the name of a proposed rolling stock, track and signalling upgrade project on the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
by British Rail in the early 1990s. The InterCity 250
InterCity 250
train would have consisted of a Class 93 electric locomotive, nine Mark 5 coaches and a Mark 5 Driving Van Trailer operating in a push-pull formation. The project was cancelled by British Rail
British Rail
in July 1992 before production could begin.[1]

Contents

1 History 2 Project scope 3 Cancellation 4 Rolling stock 5 Legacy 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] In 1985, work began to fully electrify the East Coast Main Line. This project, which saw the line fitted with overhead wires between London King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley, took five years to complete. At the same time, a new generation of rolling stock was introduced, with the Class 91 electric locomotives combined with the Mark 4 coaching stock to form what was termed the InterCity 225
InterCity 225
train system - so called because the Class 91 locomotives had a top speed of 225 km/h (140  mph). Upon the completion of the ECML project, British Rail
British Rail
turned to the West Coast Main Line. This had been electrified in several stages over a fifteen-year period between 1959 and 1974. However, unlike the ECML the extensive curvature of the track along the route meant that it was ill-suited to running high-speed trains (generally defined in Britain as trains capable of 125 miles per hour (200 km/h) or more), and so its services were limited to more modest speeds of 100 to 110 miles per hour (161 to 177 km/h). In order to achieve the same standards as the ECML, major upgrade work of the track, signalling, OLE and a new generation of rolling stock were required. During the late 1970s, British Rail
British Rail
had planned to address the WCML limitations with the Advanced Passenger Train
Advanced Passenger Train
project; this circumvented any requirement to make significant infrastructure changes by using tilting train technology. The project reached the prototype stage, with the introduction of three Class 370 electric multiple units into passenger service in 1981. However, initial failures of the tilt technology led to them being withdrawn. They were then used from 1984 to 1986 as test trains for researching the technologies and specifications required for what would become the Class 91. Project scope[edit]

Class 93 cab mockup

Model of Mark 5 coach

In November 1990, after several years of internal evaluation and development of business and technical specifications, British Rail announced the InterCity 250
InterCity 250
project. This would address the problems on the WCML through the delivery of new rolling stock and enhanced infrastructure required to operate them. The proposal came at a time when journey time improvements on the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
were needed to increase revenue and improve InterCity's profitability. However the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
infrastructure at the time was incapable of supporting operation of 155 miles per hour (250 km/h) trains in normal service and in need of widespread renewal, therefore a number of factors would be required to deliver this:

Route re-alignment (including the possibility of bypassing highly curved sections of line at the southern end of the WCML - such as the curves at Berkhamsted, Wolverton and Weedon - by using the trackbed of the former Great Central Railway between London and Rugby which was later rejected, and diversion of the Up & Down Fast Lines through Wolverton station via a line adjacent to Wolverton Works on the former alignment of the London & North Western Railway). Increase of the maximum cant on curves from six to eight degrees (150mm to 200mm) following research into seated passenger comfort on the Midland Main Line during the 1980s. Improved track quality and potential active suspension fitted to the Mark 5 coaches to improve passenger comfort, and reduce track wear, by lowering vertical "P2" forces when exceeding 125 mph. Resignalling of the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
between London and Crewe incorporating Automatic Train Protection (ATP) - then under development by British Rail
British Rail
- to deliver operating speeds in excess of 125 mph. Modifications or construction of new tunnel shafts where these posed an aerodynamic limit on speeds An enhanced traction power supply system with extensively modified OLE operating on a 25-0-25kV (50kV) Auto-Transformer feeder arrangement. 30 new non-tilting train sets capable of up to 155 mph (certain sources quote 160 mph[2]).

Concept models for the Class 93 locomotives for the InterCity 250
InterCity 250
were styled by Seymour Powell[3] and invitations to build the rolling stock were placed on 11 March 1991 with three manufacturers which included GEC-Alsthom Transportation, and joint bids from both Siemens (locomotives) and Bombardier Prorail (coaching stock), and ABB-BREL,[4] tendering to provide vehicles with an in-service date of 1995. Consequently, the new InterCity 250
InterCity 250
trains would have commenced operating at 125 miles per hour (200 km/h) around 1995, with incremental increases up to the maximum speed by the end of the 1990s following the implementation of in-cab signalling.[5] The East Coast Main Line high speed test site between Stoke Tunnel and New England North, used in the trial runs of the InterCity 225, was likely to have been used in the development and testing of a prototype InterCity 250 set.[6][7] In 1993 it was suggested that the InterCity 250
InterCity 250
could provide a suitable specification for future replacement rolling stock on both the Great Western and East Coast Main Lines.[8] In total the project was valued at around £750 million, with each IC250 formation estimated to cost £10 million (1992 prices).[9][10] Cancellation[edit] Due to the impact of the 1990s recession rolling stock orders placed by other sectors of British Rail
British Rail
led to a shortage of funding which saw many projects suspended or scrapped. Together with the impending privatisation of British Rail
British Rail
this led to the InterCity 250
InterCity 250
project being abandoned in July 1992. A later proposal in 1993 for the procurement of a follow-on set of ten InterCity 225
InterCity 225
units for priority express operations on the WCML was not pursued on the basis that it was unable to deliver a commercially viable return on investment[2] and exposed the suppliers (GEC Transportation) to excessive financial risk. Existing operations by Class 86/87/90 and Mk2/3 stock would have been cascaded onto non-express services and branded "InterCity 175". The bid by BR was also hampered by a lack of available manufacturers, as Metro-Cammell and BREL were by that time heavily committed to production of the Class 365/465/466 Networker units. Rolling stock[edit] Main articles: British Rail
British Rail
Class 93 and British Rail
British Rail
Mark 5 (InterCity 250) Legacy[edit]

The modernised West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
now uses ‘Pendolino’ stock

Although InterCity 250
InterCity 250
was cancelled, the improvements to the WCML were still required and were campaigned for by the West Coast Rail 250 pressure group. Following the privatisation of British Rail
British Rail
in 1994, the newly formed rail infrastructure company Railtrack
Railtrack
drew up plans for track and signalling upgrades to allow for high-speed running, which it budgeted at £2 billion. The predicted journey times for upgraded speeds of 125 mph (201 km/h) and 140 mph (225 km/h) over the existing 110 mph (177 km/h) maximum linespeed were based upon the calculated InterCity 250
InterCity 250
performance over the West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
supplied by British Rail
British Rail
(Derby).[11] The first phase of the upgrade, between London Euston
London Euston
and Manchester was completed in 2004; however, work at several sites including Rugby and Milton Keynes stations, the Trent Valley and the remainder of the route to Glasgow
Glasgow
continued until December 2008. The major inter-city passenger operator on the WCML, Virgin Trains, placed a rolling stock order worth £1 billion for 53 nine car sets of the new Class 390 Pendolino electric multiple unit. These are seen as the successor to the original APT concept, in that they utilise tilting technology to successfully negotiate the route of the WCML at high speed. Though infrastructure limitations presently limit them to 125 mph (201 km/h), the trains are capable of speeds up to 140 mph (225 km/h). A full-size mock-up of the front end and cab of a class 93 power car was made. It is now at the Midland Railway Centre.[12] See also[edit]

UK Railways portal

InterCity 125 InterCity 225 British Rail
British Rail
Mark 5 (InterCity 250) British Rail
British Rail
Class 93

References[edit]

^ "Facts and Figures - West Coast". Virgin Trains. Retrieved 2007-09-18.  ^ a b "InterCity Story 1964-2012", C Green and M Vincent, Oxford Publishing Company, ISBN 978-0860936527, 2013. ^ Designers Journal, Number 67, May 1991. ^ Railway Magazine, Volume 147, 2001. ^ " British Rail
British Rail
1974-1997 - From Integration to Privatisation", T R Gourvish and M Anson, Oxford University Press, 2004. ^ "Electrification of the East Coast Main Line
East Coast Main Line
- Project Completion Certificate" (PDF). British Rail. Retrieved 2009-07-09.  ^ "The Mk 4 and Mk 5 coaches for British Rail
British Rail
Intercity Part 2 : testing, commissioning and service experience with the Mk 4 coach and development of the Mk 5 specification", J A Higton and D R Temple, Proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Volume 206, 1992. ^ "Modern Railway Transportation", J Ellis and C Green, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1993. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 17 May 1995". Hansard. Retrieved 2008-11-30.  ^ "Passenger Transport After 2000 AD", G B R Feilden, A H Wickens and I R Yates, The Royal Society, E & F N Spon, ISBN 0-419-19470-3, 1992. ^ " West Coast Main Line
West Coast Main Line
Modernisation - Feasibilty Study Report", WCML Development Company Ltd, 1994. ^ https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert55012/6176569982/

External links[edit]

Class 93 mockup at the Midland Railway - Butterley Details of BR's proposed WCML IC250 timings "Modern Railway Transportation", J Ellis and C Green, Institution of Civil Engineers, 1993. Parsons Brinckerhoff's support to Bombardier Prorail in the development of the Class 93 locomotives. [Dead Link] GEC's bid for Intercity

.