Alstom presents double-deck HS2 concept train


    Alstom has drawn up concept designs for a double-deck train which it believes could offer the best traction option for HS2.

    The plans were presented during a parliamentary reception hosted by Alstom on May 24.

    The design builds upon the double-deck Duplex TGV trains Alstom has built for the French high-speed network, which use power cars at either end. It’s a deviation from the distributed traction AGV technology which has previously been linked with HS2.

    Henrik Anderberg, acting managing director of Alstom UK & Ireland, said a double-deck train would be no higher than the single-deck option and only moderately more expensive to build. Double-deck carriages would also create 40 per cent more capacity than a single-deck solution.

    The HS2 rolling stock contract has been valued at £7.5 billion and is expected to be awarded in 2019.

    HS2 is looking to procure two fleets of trains: a ‘captive’ fleet built to international standards to operate solely on the high-speed network and a second ‘classic compatible’ fleet which is able to also operate on Britain’s conventional rail network.

    Double-deck trains would only be feasible for the captive fleet, but Alstom said it was also interested in supplying cross-compatible single-deck trains.



    1. It’s about time we killed this dinosaur. Double-deck trains may work in some parts of Europe, but these days when people take bicycles, wheelchairs, buggies and the kitchen sink with them on trains, they don’t! Try a German double-deck commuting train in the peak! Loading and unloading is a nightmare compared to say a full Class 378 on the Overground.

      • I think AW misses the point here. These will be long-distance high-speed trains, not commuter metros. Dwell times will be longer to give passengers with wheelchairs and heavy luggage time to get on an off, not commuter trains which are only stationary for 45 seconds.

        And these would only be for the dedicated HS2 trains – captive on the network. The second fleet, which will also use the classic railway, will have to conform with UK loading gauge.

        • You are right, however, HS2 are aiming for a dwell of 2 minutes. You’d struggle to achieve this with max capacity on a double deck train. As it will be dedicated trains on a captive network, you’d be better off with longer trains 20+ vehicles (ideally with shorter carriages to limited the flow through each door) if the dwell targets, and therefore line capacity targets, are to be achieved.

          • If the trains get longer than the 400 metres already proposed, you will have to factor in the additional walking time to get passengers to the right place on the platform to join their trains. Also, all the stations would need to be redesigned, which would bust all the work they’ve already done. So I think we can safely rule out that option. There is a risk of longer dwell times with double deck trains – but no more so than trying to put an equivalent number of people into a single deck train (of the same length). It all comes down to managing your passenger flows.

        • I find myself somewhat unconvinced by the idea for two separate fleets of trains for HS2. It is proposed that there will be one captive fleet (possibly Alstom double-deck trains) serving Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds and another, conforming to UK loading gauge, for use on the classic lines. However, I can foresee problems if, for instance, there was ever a major incident on HS2 resulting in the line’s temporary closure. This would mean that the captive fleet could not run and the operators would be forced to transfer some classic-compatible trains from, say, the Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle services, in order to keep Manchester and Leeds connected. Undoubtedly, following such a possible incident, there would be drastic service cuts until HS2 was reopened.

    2. Here in Holland all the platforms in the whole country are being modified to the same height as the train floor. The dwell times with our numerous double deckers are already short. In the future when all platforms are modified and new trains with the european platform standard of 76 cm are used the dwell times will be minimised. Unfortunately this will take some years.

    3. This concept train looks like crap! Surely, with something state of the art, we can design something to be sleaker than this!!!


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