No-one else seems to have picked this up so here goes...
Why aren't the nice shiny new Class 717 trains running on the Great Northern line yet? Why are they sitting on the sidings in Ferme Park and we're all still clunkily riding on the oldest trains in Britain?? Because yet another time a design blunder has "emerged". This time it's the cabs - the layout dangerously blocks the drivers' view of some signals on the line.
What a way to run etc..
Interesting, they have been in test for months...and I was still waiting to see one in service. Massively disappointing such a fundamental 'flaw' in design stage. Why just these stations though?
Presumably the restricted space for the signals in the tunnels
Speculating as I'm not privy to the info, but the old 313s (and most older BR era units) sit the driver right up against the window with a small control desk.
In the world of advanced tech (requiring space for processing power) and crumple zones and so forth, drivers are finding themselves further back from the end of the train...
As Straw Cat rightly points out, the majority of signals in the tunnels are akin to tube signals, miniature lights mounted down low on the left or right. With a larger bulkhead and the driver sat further back it's no surprise they can't see...
And not an easy fix either.
From what I have read in the extensive discussion of the 717 over on RailUkforums that is correct. There are also passenger sighting issues where the platform is to the right of the cab. See more here - I recommend reading from about page 51 to get a good idea of the issues. Many of those commenting are current and former GNR and Network Rail employees.
Automate the whole fleet, problem solved.
There are rumours that they are going to start being rolled out on Monday or Tuesday. Together with free chocolates at some stations ...
Unfortunately (or fortunately if you remain cynical about the 717 reliability), GN’s franchise agreement includes a four week “cool off” period where they are obliged to retain outgoing units in storage, so the geriatrics will be around for a bit longer - especially as they’re expecting only a quarter in by end of April.
But where will they put them!? Hornsey is already bursting at the seams - so expect to see some 313s in some odd locations around the network...
It sounds like it’s finally happening at least. The solution will eventually see signals moved (probably in height rather than location) - but for now, they’re putting a secondman in the cabs between Finsbury Park and Moorgate. So much for a modern railway - they’ve reintroduced a concept as old as the railway itself.
0532 Hornsey depot to Finsbury Park (pl 1) will set up the 0541 service down the tunnels. Another unit will join this one and then it’ll be 2 a week, apparently.
The new trains seem to be gradually taking over - rode one last week. Nice and quiet but the seats are hard
Caught one from Hornsey to Crews Hill on Friday. Clean, spacious, didn’t rock and roll and remarkable quiet. Found the seats fine but I may have more personal upholstery. Can’t wait for them all to come into service.
The new 717s are of course built by Siemens in Germany. I was lucky enough to get some time on one at InnoTrans 2018 in Berlin, last September.
That picture of it in the wilderness with the 57 has made me rather sad! A long way from home and what she's spent 43 years doing.
Great shots at InnoTrans too!