Monday, 2 September 2013
If all else has failed... bring out the 'Short Set'!
Desperate times however call for desperate measures. Greater Anglia is in the grips of a severe shortage of DMU's with trains being short formed or even being replaced (or supplemented!) with buses. It has been a number of years now that Norwich Crown Point depot has had to juggle its small mixed fleet of DMU's to maintain a service and there never seems to be any spare floating around. Recently with a couple of extra DMU's out of service for maintenance or repair the situation has reached breaking point- there are simply not enough units to maintain the service. Time to call in the 'Short Set'.
At approximately 350 tonnes for the five vehicles (unloaded) the short set weighs in considerably heavier than the 70 ton approximate weight of a two car class 156 (a typical DMU used on the route) and really a very inefficient train to run! It is unsurprising therefore that Greater Anglia try to keep use of the set to a minimum. It will only go out if there really is no other option and as soon as another DMU is ready off maintenance the set will usually be swapped out of traffic.
The photographs accompanying this story show the 'Short Set' in operation on Saturday (a very unusual occurrence in itself) 31st August, a day of particularly good weather and poor DMU availability in the area which lead to the train covering four return trips from Norwich to Great Yarmouth throughout the day. 47828 and 47841 were providing the motive power.