Lies, damned lies and DfT statistics

A strange interpretation of relative weights

Informed Sources

Roger Ford

Apropos my recent comments on Class 800 track access charges, here is a relevant note from a recent Parliamentary Written Answer:

‘The difference between the average maintenance cost per mile of track applied by Network Rail to franchisees operating electric trains and bi-mode trains for the control period in question indicated that track maintenance costs were expected to be approximately 11-12% higher than electric trains of the same design.

‘Whilst heavier than the electric Inter-city Express Programme trains the bi-modes are still lighter than the High Speed Trains they are replacing which means less track wear and damage with lower operating costs – a benefit to the taxpayer’.

So, in the world of the Department for Transport, a 2+8 IC125 at 408 tonnes is heavier than a nine-car Class 800 at 431 tonnes and even heavier than the two five-car Class 800s in multiple that are replacing the IC125s on a like-for-like basis and weigh 494 tonnes.

Murky dawn: the first-ever westbound IEP service makes its first stop at Reading on 16 October 2017, with driving cars Nos 800008 (nearest) and 800009 forming the 07.00 Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads service.
Tony Miles