British Rail Class 777

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British Rail Class 777 METRO
Mock up displayed by Merseyrail at Liverpool Lime Street in November 2018.
Mock up displayed by Merseyrail at Liverpool Lime Street in November 2018.
In service2020–21
ManufacturerStadler Rail
Built at
Family nameMETRO
Replaced
Constructed2018–
Number under construction52 units to be built
An option for 60 extra units is available[3]
Formation4 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers777001–777052
Capacity182 seats
302 standing
Operator(s)Merseyrail
Depot(s)
Line(s) served
Specifications
Train length64.98 m (213 ft 2 in)
Car lengthTBC (DTSO)
TBC (TSO)
Width2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)
Height3.82 m (12 ft 6 in)[4]
Floor height0.96 m (3 ft 2 in)
Doors2 × twin sliding doors (DTSO)
4 × twin sliding doors (TSO)
Maximum speed75 mph (121 km/h)
Weight99 t (97 long tons)
Power output2,100 kW (2,800 hp)
Electric system(s)750 V DC third rail
Current collection methodContact shoe
Safety system(s)PA
AWS
TPWS
Coupling system
  • TBC
Multiple workingWithin class
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Class 777 [5] is a class of electric multiple unit currently being constructed for operation on the Merseyrail network by Swiss rolling stock manufacturer Stadler Rail.[6] A total of 52 articulated four-car units are to be built, with an option for a further 60 units available to Merseytravel.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

On 16 December 2016, Merseytravel announced it had selected Stadler Rail to manufacture a new fleet of 52 dual voltage-capable articulated four car units as part of a £460 million fleet replacement project.[10]

Delivery of the Class 777 fleet is scheduled to commence in mid 2019, before entering service the following year.[11] Despite the criticism over the proposal of redeploying guards into other customer service roles within Merseyrail, the Class 777 units were designed to operate without guards.[12] Despite the initial driver-only plan, it was announced in September 2018 that there would be a second member of staff on board.[13]

The bodyshells for the first unit were completed in October 2018, with the unit expected to be completed in early 2019.[14]

Design[edit]

The Class 777 is a variant of the Stadler METRO platform specifically designed for the Merseyrail network. The driving cars will only have two sets of twin doors, whilst the trailer carriages will have four sets of twin doors. The trains will also have platform gap fillers, which will mean passengers using a wheelchair will not have to use ramps to board the train.[15]

To allow for future network expansions to destinations such as Helsby, Preston, Skelmersdale, Warrington 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 may be electrified with overhead wires instead of extending the current third rail power supply.
  • Battery electric multiple unit capability of operating on a mixture of electrified and unelectrified track, with easy adaptation for third rail/electric battery operation, of which six emu sets will be configured.[16] The battery equipped trains have been targeted for use on the Ellesmere Port to Helsby and Ormskirk to Preston sections of unelectrified track for electric 3rd rail/battery trials.[17]

The Class 777 will also be fitted with small battery sets, allowing independent movement in workshop and maintenance facilities.[18]

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.

As part of the bespoke design, the cab running lights are designed in the shape of a letter 'M' - however, in service, the white and red segments will not be illuminated simultaneously on one cab as they denote the front and rear of the train respectively.[19]

Fleet details[edit]

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 777 Merseyrail 52 2019–2020 4 777001–777052
60[1] TBC 777053–777112

1: ^ An option for another 60 units is available.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Battery trial planned for new EMU fleet". Rail Gazette. Rail Gazette. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  2. ^ "First Class 777 bodyshell set for completion". RAIL. 6 September 2018. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Merseyrail EMU" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Products". Stadler Rail. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  6. ^ Barrow, Keith. "Stadler to supply new Merseyrail trains". International Railway Journal. International Railway Journal. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Project Director for Merseyrail's new trains". Merseytravel PTE. Merseytravel PTE. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Merseytravel names five international bidders in new fleet and depot shortlist". Rail Technology Magazine. Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  10. ^ "New Merseyrail trains by 2020 after City Region leaders give green light". Merseytravel. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  11. ^ "New Merseyrail trains by 2020 after City Region give green light". Merseytravel PTE. Merseytravel PTE. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  12. ^ Houghton, Alistair. "Merseytravel reveals new £460m train plans - with no train guards". Liverpool Echo. Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 16 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Liverpool City Region, Merseyrail, RMT end long-running guard dispute". www.railtechnologymagazine.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  14. ^ https://www.railmagazine.com/news/fleet/first-merseytravel-class-777-bodyshells-complete
  15. ^ "Merseyrail EMU" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
  16. ^ https://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/battery-trial-planned-for-new-emu-fleet.html
  17. ^ http://moderngov.merseytravel.uk.net/documents/s21686/Enc.%201%20for%20Updated%20Long%20term%20Rail%20Strategy.pdf
  18. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region". Stadler. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  19. ^ Houghton, Alistair (15 August 2018). "First look inside futuristic new Merseyrail trains". liverpoolecho. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  20. ^ "Stadler signs contract to build and maintain 52 metro trains for Liverpool City Region" (PDF). Stadler Rail. Stadler Rail. Retrieved 18 February 2017.