The original prototype of the Class 139 railcar, Car 12, is being prepared for demonstration activities on preserved railways. Among various modifications the vehicle has been equipped in place of its previous LPG fuelled engine regarded by many operators as an inconvenient fuel, with a modern diesel engine similar to that installed in the ‘white vans’ used for parcel deliveries.
THE WAY WE WERE AND MIGHT BE AGAIN
How a resurgence in local rail investment can reconnect more areas of mainland Britain
Exercises and Expressions of Interest
Great Yarmouth Ipswich
Swansea Kings Lynn
Walsall Barrow in Furness
Birmingham Stoke on Trent
At the half way point of the last century, Britain had a legacy of a wide coverage of rural areas by local rail lines and most towns had electric trams (marked in dots) Short sightedness suggested that the technology was from the past. So in the future most of these routes could best be served by cars, buses and trucks. Branch line railways are encountering unprecedented rising levels of passenger demand.
Llandudno is an elegant coastal resort where many local citizens and regular visi-tors recall the old style trams and would welcome their return in a modern form.
By reorganising road space so that it can accommodate embedded tram lines a clear way through can be created for the trams not reducing the space available for road vehicles.
MORE THAN JUST A METHOD OF TRANSPORT
Public transport vehicles can provide an iconic image, much photographed and carrying a strong promotional message
CLASS 139 RAILCAR USED AS ‘PLATFORM’ FOR NEW PPM TRAM
With suburban railways bursting at the seams PPM have begun work on a transport mode which can relieve the pressure on the rush hour trains
PPM Class 139 Railcar
Why double deck vehicles? Articulated buses have been introduced into several British cities but have not generally been well received because of operational problem
Features that are Needed to Assist a Revival of the Tram Although commonplace in the first half of the 20th century, 99 percent of present day daily commuters have no experience riding on a double deck tram unless at a heritage museum at Crich in Derbyshire or Beamish near Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In a present day context commuters will expect modern finishes, passenger information systems, security cameras and good heating and ventilation.
PPM’s new vehicle will make best use of street space and improve the productivity of public transport vehicle crews. There has already been a strong revival in popularity of double deck buses with new models introduced by the main bus manufacturers. It is obvious that exactly the same factors should apply to the next generation of tram. This is especially so where it is inevitable that much of the route will involve slow running with numerous stops. Like buses, vehicles will close up nose-to-tail. A double deck tram will accommodate around twice the number of people as a single-decker the same length. So the design task is to produce a new product derived from two sources. PPM’s Class 139 hybrid railcars and the traditional double deck tram of yesteryear, such as partially modernised vehicles still in daily use in Hong Kong.
Target specification: (PPM Tram)
Passenger capacity 100
Max speed 46kph (30 mph)
Tare weight 12 tonne
Length 11.0 m
Width 2.4 m
Height 4.4 m