HST replacement project

Another HST

Originally uploaded by Mike Knell

Its been around for 30 years and now the rail authority in the UK feels its time to replace them. The first thought the came to mind is how many will be fully preserved – can’t see too many preserved railway groups running a full HST down the line but you never know.
The requirements are interesting. The new units need to be configurable for use on overhead power lines, self-powered (diesel) and a combination of both. The new units should be available for use by 2014 – from the tender being offered to first prototypes being trialed the time line is around four years!
I agree with the caption of this photo that it is still one of the UK’s finest trains in the UK (also used in Australia). Its sad to think that the bidders for the project are not British, but then the UK has all but killed off its rail manufacturing comapnies so there is not other choice. It will be interesting to see who will win the tender and what the new units will look like, more so to see how long they will last.