British Rail Class 777

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British Rail Class 777 METRO
In service 2020–21
Manufacturer Stadler Rail
Built at
Family name METRO
Replaced
Constructed TBC
Number under construction 52 units to be built
An option for 15 extra units is available
Formation 4 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 777001–777052
Capacity 182 seats
302 standing
Operator(s) Merseyrail
Depot(s)
Line(s) served
Specifications
Train length 64.98 m (213 ft 2 in)
Car length TBC (DTSO)
TBC (TSO)
Width 2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)
Height 3.82 m (12 ft 6 in)[4]
Floor height 0.96 m (3 ft 2 in)
Doors 2 × twin sliding doors (DTSO)
4 × twin sliding doors (TSO)
Maximum speed 75 mph (121 km/h)
Weight 99 t (97 long tons)
Power output 2,100 kW (2,800 hp)
Electric system(s) 750 V DC third rail
Current collection method Contact shoe
Safety system(s) PA
AWS
TPWS
Coupling system
  • TBC
Multiple working Within class
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Class 777 METRO is a future class of electric multiple unit being constructed for Merseytravel for operation on the Merseyrail network by Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail.[5] A total of 52 articulated four-car units are to be built, with an option for a further fifteen units available to Merseytravel.[6]

Unlike the current fleet, new Class 777 units will be owned by Merseytravel and leased to the franchise operator.

History[edit]

The subject of replacing the ageing Class 507 and Class 508 fleet had been proposed by Merseytravel as early as 2011 although it wasn't until the following year that a project director for a replacement fleet was appointed.[7] In January 2016, Merseytravel announced that five rolling stock manufacturers had been shortlisted to build the new fleet - Bombardier, Siemens, CAF, Stadler Rail and a Mitsui/Alstom/East Japan Railway Company consortium.[8]

On 16 December 2016, Merseytravel announced it had selected Stadler Rail to provide a new fleet of 52 dual voltage articulated four car units, as part of a £460 million order. The Class 777s are scheduled to commence delivery in mid 2019 before entering service the following year.[9] Despite the criticism over the proposal of redeploying guards after the Class 507 and 508 units are withdrawn into other roles within Merseyrail, the Class 777 units were designed to operate without guards.[10] Despite the initial driver-only plan it was announced in September 2018 that there would be a second member of staff on board.[11]

In their Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Long Term Rail Strategy plan, Merseyrail state the Class 777s will be involved in a trial of dual-voltage operation in 2020.[12]

In May 2018, it was announced the sixth Class 777 unit to be delivered will be fitted with batteries for a trial.[13]

Design[edit]

The Class 777 is a variant of the Stadler METRO platform specifically designed for Merseyrail. The driving cars will only have two sets of twin doors whilst the trailer carriages will have four sets of doors. The trains will also have platform gap fillers so wheelchair users will not have to use ramps to board the train.[14]

To allow for future network expansions to destinations such as Warrington, Skelmersdale and Wrexham, the Class 777 will have dual voltage capability to enable operation on the current third rail Merseyrail network and any future extensions, which are likely to be electrified with overhead wires instead of extending the current third rail power supply. The Class 777 will also be fitted with batteries, allowing independent movement in workshop and maintenance facilities.[15]

Instead of having partition doors between each carriage, the units will be articulated and form one large open space, which will make the Class 777 the first class of train on the Merseyrail network to feature this design. Like the current Class 507 and 508 fleet, the Class 777s will not have toilets.

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 777 Merseyrail 52 2019–2020 4 777001–777052
15[1] TBC 777053–777067

1: ^ An option for another fifteen units is available.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stadler awards Merseyrail depot construction contract". Railway Gazette. Railway Gazette. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Battery trial planned for new EMU fleet". Rail Gazette. Rail Gazette. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  3. ^ "First Class 777 bodyshell set for completion". RAIL. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Merseyrail EMU" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  5. ^ Barrow, Keith. "Stadler to supply new Merseyrail trains". International Railway Journal. International Railway Journal. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  7. ^ "Project Director for Merseyrail's new trains". Merseytravel PTE. Merseytravel PTE. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Merseytravel names five international bidders in new fleet and depot shortlist". Rail Technology Magazine. Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  9. ^ "New Merseyrail trains by 2020 after City Region give green light". Merseytravel PTE. Merseytravel PTE. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  10. ^ Houghton, Alistair. "Merseytravel reveals new £460m train plans - with no train guards". Liverpool Echo. Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  11. ^ "Liverpool City Region, Merseyrail, RMT end long-running guard dispute". www.railtechnologymagazine.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  12. ^ "{title}" (PDF). Merseytravel. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Battery trial planned for new EMU fleet". Rail Gazette. Rail Gazette. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Merseyrail EMU" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  15. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region". Stadler Rail. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  16. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 18 February 2017.