British Rail Class 380
The Class 380 Desiro is a type of electric multiple-unit train that operates on the national railway network in Scotland. The Siemens "Desiro UK" family includes units of Classes 185, 350, 360, 444 and 450. Class 380 trains now operate alongside Class 385 units on the electrified line from Glasgow Queen Street to Cumbernauld, Falkirk Grahamston and Edinburgh; the trains operate Abellio ScotRail services in the Ayrshire and Inverclyde region of Scotland and had been intended for the cancelled Glasgow Airport Rail Link. The construction was awarded to Siemens and announced by Transport Scotland on 11 July 2008. A total of 38 sets were ordered. Stations along the Ayrshire Coast Line and Inverclyde Line underwent platform extension works to allow the use of the longer trains; the trains were specified to have full access for disabled people and to have streamlined end corridor connections. On the unveiling of the first completed vehicle, it was announced that the fleet would be divided into two sub-groups, with the three-car units Class 380/0 and the four-car as Class 380/1.
In September 2010, commissioning of the fleet was suspended by ScotRail due to technical issues with the trains. The reliability issues and extended commissioning period resulted in an reduced service on parts of the ScotRail network, including the newly re-opened Airdrie-Bathgate line; the fleet is based at Glasgow Shields Road TMD. Introduction of the fleet resulted in the cascading of the Class 334 "Juniper" and Class 318 fleet which operated the Ayrshire Coast Line and Inverclyde Line; the North Berwick Line operations was a Class 322 fleet replacement. The Class 334 "Juniper" stock were cascaded onto the North Clyde Line to Edinburgh Waverley, the Class 318s were cascaded onto the Argyle Line, Class 322 cascaded onto the Wakefield Line with Northern Rail; as of 2019, The Class 380 operates trains between Glasgow Central and Ayr, Ardrossan, Wemyess Bay and Cathcart Circle, In addition they operate trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street via Falkirk Grahamston, North Berwick and Dunbar.
They can operate to Stirling and Alloa if required. The fleet was introduced into public service on 8 December 2010 with 380111 operated the 16:26 from Paisley Gilmour Street to Ayr, followed on 9 December 2010 by 380102 and 380001 which worked the 15:30 Glasgow Central to Ayr service; the North Berwick Line has been using these trains since 2011. From 21 November 2012, the Class 380 has operated the Paisley Canal Line. Electrification of the section of line from Corkerhill to Paisley Canal, to a plan devised by a ScotRail and Network Rail alliance, began in July 2012 and was completed in November 2012; the electrification works were undertaken during night time and weekend possessions, resulting in the route closing after 8pm Monday to Thursday, all day on Saturdays, for an eight-day period in October, with work starting on 29 September 2012 and intending to be completed by 8 November 2012. Class 314 and Class 380 "Desiro" electric multiple units supplemented the existing Class 156 "Super Sprinter" diesel multiple units from energisation of the wires in November 2012.
From the timetable change in December 2012, the Class 156 "Super Sprinter" were moved to other routes. Following the December 2014 timetable change, with the electrification of the Whifflet Line, services to Lanark were re-routed into Glasgow Central High Level. Alongside the usual Class 318 and Class 320 units, the Class 380 has been used on the route; the Class 380 operates some services on the electrified line between Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Waverley via Falkirk. As of December 2017, the units have started operating on the line over a year late. Class 380 formations and arrival dates on scot-rail.co.uk
Electric multiple unit
An electric multiple unit or EMU is a multiple-unit train consisting of self-propelled carriages, using electricity as the motive power. An EMU requires no separate locomotive, as electric traction motors are incorporated within one or a number of the carriages. An EMU is formed of two or more semi-permanently coupled carriages, but electrically powered single-unit railcars are generally classed as EMUs; the great majority of EMUs are passenger trains, but versions exist for carrying parcels and mail. EMUs are popular on commuter and suburban rail networks around the world due to their fast acceleration and pollution-free operation. Being quieter than diesel multiple units and locomotive-hauled trains, EMUs can operate at night and more without disturbing nearby residents. In addition, tunnel design for EMU trains is simpler as no provision is needed for exhausting fumes, although retrofitting existing limited-clearance tunnels to accommodate the extra equipment needed to transmit electric power to the train can be difficult.
Multiple unit train control was first used in the 1890s. The Liverpool Overhead Railway opened in 1893 with two car electric multiple units, controllers in cabs at both ends directly controlling the traction current to motors on both cars; the multiple unit traction control system was developed by Frank Sprague and first applied and tested on the South Side Elevated Railroad in 1897. In 1895, derived from his company's invention and production of direct current elevator control systems, Frank Sprague invented a multiple unit controller for electric train operation; this accelerated the construction of electric traction railways and trolley systems worldwide. Each car of the train has its own traction motors: by means of motor control relays in each car energized by train-line wires from the front car all of the traction motors in the train are controlled in unison; the cars that form a complete EMU set can be separated by function into four types: power car, motor car, driving car, trailer car.
Each car can have more than one function, such as power-driving car. A power car carries the necessary equipment to draw power from the electrified infrastructure, such as pickup shoes for third rail systems and pantographs for overhead systems, transformers. Motor cars carry the traction motors to move the train, are combined with the power car to avoid high-voltage inter-car connections. Driving cars are similar to a cab car. An EMU will have two driving cars at its outer ends. Trailer cars are any cars that carry little or no traction or power related equipment, are similar to passenger cars in a locomotive-hauled train. On third rail systems the outer vehicles carry the pick up shoes, with the motor vehicles receiving the current via intra-unit connections. Many modern 2-car EMU sets are set up as "married pair" units. While both units in a married pair are driving motors, the ancillary equipment are shared between the two cars in the set. Since neither car can operate without its "partner", such sets are permanently coupled and can only be split at maintenance facilities.
Advantages of married pair units include weight and cost savings over single-unit cars while allowing all cars to be powered, unlike a motor-trailer combination. Each car has only one control cab, located at the outer end of the pair, saving space and expense over a cab at both ends of each car. Disadvantages include a loss of operational flexibility, as trains must be multiples of two cars, a failure on a single car could force removing both it and its partner from service; some of the more famous electric multiple units in the world are high-speed trains: the AGV in France, Italian Pendolino, Shinkansen in Japan, the China Railway High-speed in China and ICE 3 in Germany. The retired New York–Washington Metroliner service, first operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad and by Amtrak featured high-speed electric multiple-unit cars, see Budd Metroliner. EMUs powered by fuel cells are under development. If successful, this would avoid the need for third rail. An example is Alstom’s hydrogen-powered Coradia iLint.
The term hydrail has been coined for hydrogen-powered rail vehicles. Electro-diesel multiple unit Diesel multiple unit Battery electric multiple unit British electric multiple units
British Rail Class 458
The British Rail Class 458 is an electric multiple-unit passenger train built by Alstom at Washwood Heath between 1998 and 2002 for South West Trains. They were the first new fleet of trains to be delivered following the privatisation of British Rail; the fleet of 30 four-car trains was ordered in 1997, with the first train delivered in October 1998. The trains are maintained at Wimbledon depot, they form part of Alstom's Juniper family of trains, which includes Classes 334 and 460. Between 2013 and 2016, they were merged with the mechanically similar Class 460 fleet and reconfigured into 36 five-cars units, designated Class 458/5, to improve capacity; the trains are now used by South Western Railway. A tender for a fleet of thirty of these four-car trains was placed by South West Trains in November 1996 to create extra capacity and to replace some of the ageing Class 411 units, with a contract being signed between Alstom, the winner of the bid, it was reported that the tender took place to ease industry and political concern regarding the owner of South West Trains, Stagecoach Group's purchase of Porterbrook.
Deliveries of these units began in 1998. The units, numbered 458001-030, were delivered in SWT's mainline livery of white, with a blue band, red/orange'swish' at cab ends, they are the only Juniper EMUs. Each four car unit was formed from two outer driving motors, an intermediate trailer, an intermediate motor; the maximum speed when built was 100 miles per hour. The class suffered from major technical problems, such as leaky roofs and failing electronics; the gangways were designed on the presumption that the trains would be semi permanently coupled, with coupling and uncoupling taking thirty minutes, however in existing operations trains were coupled and uncoupled which had to be abandoned following the introduction of the new units. The protracted introduction led to South West Trains' decision to buy trains from the competing Siemens Desiro range in April 2001 for the replacement of the rest of the slam door fleet. In 2004, when the full fleet was in service, reliability was so poor that SWT planned to return them to the leasing company and replace them with new Class 450 Desiro trains.
At that time, the trains only managed an average of 4,300 miles between failures, compared with an average of 21,000 miles for a Class 450 Desiro and 50,000 miles for the previous slam-door trains. In September 2005, two units were transferred to Gatwick Express, but returned that year. By 2006, the reliability of the trains combined with the introduction of the new, more reliable British Rail Class 450 fleet meant that the trains had been withdrawn from regular service, with eight kept on standby. In July 2006, the Department for Transport refused to grant an further exemption from the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, resulting in modifications to the passenger information system being made, with new wider LEDs fitted within the existing housing; as part of Stagecoach's bid for the replacement South Western franchise, it was planned that the Class 442 stock would leave the franchise, with Class 444 stock internally cascaded to replace the units, that the Class 458s would return to service to maintain the overall fleet size.
It was speculated that this was due to Porterbrook being unable to find any other rail operators willing to lease the Class 458 trains, halving the rental costs. The Class 458s re-entered service with the 23 units having re-entered service in January, sufficient for the last Class 442 to be withdrawn on 24 January 2007. By February 2007, reliability had improved with the Class 458 fleet managing 17,800 miles between per 5-minute delays caused by failures, in contrast to expectations that the units' reliability would further suffer following their lengthy period in storage. In 2008–2010, Bournemouth Train Care Depot'refreshed' these EMUs. The'refresh' included adding CCTV, new seats and tables in first class, an internal repaint, Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations compliant lavatory, information display panels and door lights. In May 2010, two trains were in service with regenerative braking, the trial was a success with the rest of the fleet fitted by summer 2011. By the end of 2012, the fleet had achieved an average of 106,049 miles between failures, becoming the most reliable fleet in Britain and the first fleet to achieve a 6-figure rating.
As a result, the fleet was awarded a Modern Railways Golden Spanner award in the New Generation EMU category on 23 November 2012. South West Trains and Porterbrook merged the Class 458 trains with the mechanically similar Class 460 trains unused since September 2012, to form 5 coach trains. Six of the eight Class 460 trains lost three carriages in the process, leaving them as 5-car trains that were reconfigured as class 458/5 trains; the other two trains lost 6 carriages each, with the remaining 4 vehicles being decommissioned for spares. This £ 42m scheme was devised by owner of both fleets; the "new" 5-car sets will be designated Class 458/5 and coupled together to form 10-car trains to provide extra peak-time capacity on suburban services into Waterloo from the Hounslow and Windsor lines, using one of the five disused Waterloo International platforms, starting in 2014. The project was of SWT's aspiration to become a "10-car railway". Porterbrook signed the deal w
Poole railway station
Poole railway station is on the South Western Main Line serving the town of Poole in Dorset, England. It is situated in the town centre next to Holes Bay, it is one of four stations in the Borough of Poole and is 113 miles 62 chains down the main line from London Waterloo. The station is operated by South Western Railway and is served by London to Weymouth express and semi-fast services, it is the terminus for the London to Poole stopping service. Virgin CrossCountry used to operate services from Poole to the North West and Scotland but since 2007 these now start/terminate at Bournemouth; the first Poole station was on the western side of Holes Bay, at the location that became Hamworthy Goods. There was a branch to the west of Holes Bay from Poole Junction to the station called Poole, situated to the west of the bridge over the inlet; this was the "Poole" station that Somerset & Dorset trains reached over L&SWR tracks, after reversing at Wimborne. This was inconvenient for the town of Poole, the L&SWR interest built a railway to reach Poole itself from a new junction at what is now Broadstone, opening on 2 December 1872.
The new station was called New Poole, the junction station at what is now Broadstone was called New Poole Junction. When this caused confusion, the New Poole Junction station was renamed Broadstone, naming it after the nearby Broadstone Farm; the original New Poole station buildings were built on the London-bound platform, close to the site of Towngate Bridge which replaced a level crossing in 1971. Following the opening of the Bournemouth Direct Railway line via Sway in 1888, the platforms' direction of travel was reversed; the Victorian buildings were replaced by a British Rail prefabricated structure on the other side of the line in the 1970s. This was replaced by the current station building built in the late 1980s. In 2004 proposals were drawn up for the current station buildings and footbridge to be replaced as part of redevelopment plans for the old goods yard. A hotel was to be built on the site of the current station building, however as of 2010 these plans have not progressed; until 1967, trains through Poole were steam hauled.
Between 1967 and 1988, passenger services on the London Waterloo-Weymouth line were provided by Class 33/1 diesel locomotives with Class 438 coaching stock. The line through Poole was electrified in 1988, using the standard British Rail Southern Region direct current third rail at 750 volts. Class 442 electric multiple units were used following electrification, until being displaced by new Class 444 electric multiple units in 2007; the station has two platforms capable of handling trains of 12 coaches, platform 1 is bi-directional. Trains from London terminating at the station use platform 1 before moving to the empty stock sidings further west and reversing for the return service. There was a goods line to Poole Quay, it ran along part of what is now West Quay Road. It closed in May 1960 and was removed in 1961. Poole station is 113 miles 62 chains from Waterloo; the Engineers line reference code for the line is BML2. Under the station name signs on the platforms are additional boards informing passengers that Poole is the home of Bournemouth University, the main campus of, located in the Talbot Village area of the borough.
The signs replaced most of the ones displaying the Condor Ferries logo with information on alighting at the station for services to the Channel Islands, though some remain on the station building. The Condor signs, the original version of which were installed in 1997, were in place due to the Condor Ferries Rail/Sea through ticketing scheme which includes a taxi to the ferry port from the station. Facilities include: Ticket office Quick Ticket machines News agent Photo booth Luggage trolleys Toilets Bicycle storage Taxi rank Bus stop Car parkTrain running information is provided via digital information displays, timetable poster boards, customer help points and automated announcements. Step-free access is available to both platforms via a ramped underpass. From 9 December 2007, the Wareham stopping service was replaced by a semi-fast service from London Waterloo to Weymouth; this is an extension of the stopping service that terminated at Poole and stops at all stations to Weymouth. The existing Weymouth service has become an express between Poole and Weymouth only stopping at Hamworthy, Wool, Dorchester South and Weymouth but call additionally at Parkstone and Branksome.
The current London Waterloo to Southampton Central service was extended to Poole as a stopping service to compensate for the loss of the Wareham train and maintain service levels from the station. The stopping service is not recommended for use by passengers for London Waterloo due to its long stops at Brockenhurst and Southampton Central or Eastleigh where it is overtaken by the express and semi-fast services. There are two early morning express services which by-pass Woking. Three return journeys operate in the evening; the express service to London Waterloo takes 2 hours, the semi-fast service 2 hours 15 minutes and the slow service 2 hours 45 minutes. Poole Station and Goods Yard Redevelopment Plans
South Western Railway (train operating company)
South Western Railway is an English train operating company owned by FirstGroup and MTR Corporation that operates the South Western franchise. It operates commuter services from its Central London terminus at London Waterloo to South West London. SWR provides suburban and regional services in the counties of Surrey and Dorset, as well as regional services in Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire, its subsidiary Island Line operates services on the Isle of Wight. SWR was awarded the South Western franchise in March 2017, took over from South West Trains on 20 August 2017. After failing to negotiate an extension of the South Western franchise with the operator of the time South West Trains, the Department for Transport announced in July 2015 that the franchise would be relet. In February 2016, the DfT announced FirstGroup and Stagecoach had been shortlisted to bid for the next South Western franchise. In June 2016, MTR Corporation took a 30% shareholding in the FirstGroup bid. In July 2016, the DfT issued the Invitation to Tender.
In March 2017, the franchise was awarded to First/MTR, operating from 20 August 2017 to 18 August 2024, with an option for the DfT to extend for a further 48 weeks. In July 2017, the Competition & Markets Authority sought undertakings from SWR that it would not abuse its monopoly on services to the West of England and Somerset, as FirstGroup operated the Greater Western franchise in those regions; the CMA accepted a concession from FirstGroup and MTR that unregulated fares between London and Exeter would be capped. In April 2018, concerns began to grow over South Western Railway's performance over previous months after the number of delays and cancellations began to rise; the Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, announced an independent review into the performance of South Western Railway and Network Rail. This was welcomed by Steve Brine. In July 2018, it was reported that FirstGroup/MTR were renegotiating the SWR contract due to the operator's inability to deliver on many of its promised improvements, as well as its declining performance and history of industrial action.
South Western Railway is the main operator for western Surrey and Dorset, serves London, Wiltshire and Devon. Most SWR services run on electrified lines using the 750 V DC third-rail system. There is a diesel fleet for services on the West of England line to Salisbury and Bristol, using the unelectrified track beyond Worting Junction just west of Basingstoke, for Salisbury to Southampton via Romsey services which serve Eastleigh. SWR operates 1,700 train services per day. From London Waterloo, SWR's London terminus, long-distance trains run to southern England, including the major coastal population centres of Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Weymouth. There are trains to Reading and Bristol, but these are not the principal fast services from London to those cities, which are operated from London Paddington by Great Western Railway; the majority of its passengers are on suburban commuter lines in inner and south-west London, east Berkshire, north-east Hampshire. As with most rail companies, non-folding bicycles are banned from peak-time trains to and from London.
However, these restrictions apply only to cyclists boarding or alighting in the area bounded by Hook, Guildford and Dorking, in order to maximise available passenger space on the most crowded trains. South Western Railway operates regular services on four mainline routes: The South Western Main Line runs between London and the town of Weymouth. South Western Railway operates trains along the entire length of the line. All trains operated by the company start from or terminate at London Waterloo. There are trains to and from Portsmouth. In addition to the South Western Railway services, CrossCountry operates regular passenger services on the line between Basingstoke and Bournemouth; the Portsmouth Direct Line branches off the SWML at Woking and runs to Portsmouth via Guildford, Haslemere and Havant. South Western Railway operates all passenger trains on this route; the West of England Main Line is the only mainline route, not electrified. It leaves the SWML at Basingstoke and runs to Exeter via Andover, Salisbury and Yeovil.
South Western Railway is the only operator on the line, with most services running between London and either Salisbury or Exeter St Davids. Some peak-time services terminate at various other destinations on the line, including Gillingham and Andover. On Summer Saturdays, there is a daily return service to Weymouth, which leaves the WEML at Yeovil Junction and continues via the Heart of Wessex Line; the Alton Line runs to Alton via Aldershot and Farnham. It is the shortest of the four mainline routes and as such it is sometimes considered an outer suburban route instead. Services us
British Rail Class 185
The Class 185 Pennine units are a diesel multiple-unit passenger train of the Desiro UK family built by Siemens in Germany for the train operating company First TransPennine Express. They are operated by TransPennine Northern. A £260 million order for 51 three-car trains and associated maintenance depots was placed in 2003, deliveries took place between 2006 and 2007. In 2003, a consortium of FirstGroup and Keolis was awarded the new First TransPennine Express franchise. One obligation under the franchise agreement was to introduce a new fleet of 100 mph trains; the specifications in the franchise agreement required a train "similar in type to the Class 175/180 or Class 220", but with a ⅓-⅔ door arrangement, top speed of 100 mph. Specified was air conditioning, two toilets per vehicle with one suitable for reduced mobility passengers, gangways between individual carriages and bicycle storage space, passenger compartment CCTV, provision for wheelchair passengers, first-class seating. Additionally the train's acceleration was to be an improvement on the Class 158 and comparable to the Class 180.
The agreement specified 168 carriages, with an initial option to reduce the carriage order by 18. The franchise agreement required the construction of two depots for the new rolling stock. In addition, a depot at Cleethorpes was to be upgraded with refuelling and controlled emission toilet servicing facilities, a train electric auxiliary supply; the franchise agreement specified a performance aim of 37,500 miles per casualty, with entry into service between March 2006 and November 2006. By August 2003, Siemens had been named as the preferred bidder for the trains. A contract valued at £260M for supply and maintenance of 56 trains was signed in September 2003 between Siemens AG, operators First/Keolis Transpennine Ltd, leasers HSBC Rail Limited; the new train requirement had been reduced from 56 to 51 units by the Strategic Rail Authority by 2004. The trains were built at Siemens' plant in Uerdingen in Krefeld. An official launch took place at Wildenrath in December 2005. Construction of the Ardwick rail depot began March 2005.
Work was started on the new Leeman Road depot in York in December 2005. In 2006, First TransPennineExpress acquired two static simulators for driver training from Corys TESS. All 51 trains were in service by January 2007; the trains replaced two- and three-car Class 158 units. Each carriage contains a separate diesel powertrain driving both axles on one bogie via cardan shafts; each powertrain consists of a 560 kW Cummins QSK19 engine driving a Voith T 312 bre three-speed hydrodynamic transmission which drives two axles in one bogie via a Voith SK-485 final drive. The engine and torque converter were frame mounted underfloor and suspended from the car body by flexible mounts. A third underfloor module contains an electrical generator; the hydraulic converter includes an integrated retarder. Cooling fans and the electrical generator are powered via a hydrostatic drive; the electrical generator provides a 400 V 50 Hz three phase electrical supply for the train, transformed or rectified to a 230 V 50 Hz single phase supply, a 110 V DC auxiliary supply, a 24 V DC battery supply.
Connections bridge the main 400 V AC and 110 V DC supplies across the cars of each train set. Component suppliers included ZF, SKF, Westinghouse Brakes; the bogies are versions of Siemens' SF5000 bogie. The design has an axle distance of 2.600 m, with radial arm primary suspension utilising steel coil springs with rubber elements. Motor bogies have traction forces transmitted from bogie to frame via rods from a centre pivot. Mechanical brakes are wheel mounted discs; the Class 185 is heavier and has a stiffer suspension than the Class 158 it replaced on some routes. Between Northallerton and Middlesbrough, Class 185s and Sprinters now use the same speed limits; as delivered each train consisted of three cars. Toilets were supplied by Driessen, seats by Grammer and Fainsa, air conditioning from Air International Transit; the trains were designed for the hilly routes. In mid-2007, Siemens and First TransPennine Express began a programme, named'Eco-Mode', to improve the efficiency of the fleet; the project involved generating driver information giving route advice allowing more efficient driving, including information on when it was feasible to shut down a diesel engine, leaving the tra
Railway electrification system
A railway electrification system supplies electric power to railway trains and trams without an on-board prime mover or local fuel supply. Electric railways use electric locomotives to haul passengers or freight in separate cars or electric multiple units, passenger cars with their own motors. Electricity is generated in large and efficient generating stations, transmitted to the railway network and distributed to the trains; some electric railways have their own dedicated generating stations and transmission lines but most purchase power from an electric utility. The railway provides its own distribution lines and transformers. Power is supplied to moving trains with a continuous conductor running along the track that takes one of two forms: overhead line, suspended from poles or towers along the track or from structure or tunnel ceilings. Both overhead wire and third-rail systems use the running rails as the return conductor but some systems use a separate fourth rail for this purpose. In comparison to the principal alternative, the diesel engine, electric railways offer better energy efficiency, lower emissions and lower operating costs.
Electric locomotives are usually quieter, more powerful, more responsive and reliable than diesels. They have an important advantage in tunnels and urban areas; some electric traction systems provide regenerative braking that turns the train's kinetic energy back into electricity and returns it to the supply system to be used by other trains or the general utility grid. While diesel locomotives burn petroleum, electricity can be generated from diverse sources including renewable energy. Disadvantages of electric traction include high capital costs that may be uneconomic on trafficked routes. Different regions may use different supply voltages and frequencies, complicating through service and requiring greater complexity of locomotive power; the limited clearances available under overhead lines may preclude efficient double-stack container service. Railway electrification has increased in the past decades, as of 2012, electrified tracks account for nearly one third of total tracks globally. Electrification systems are classified by three main parameters: Voltage Current Direct current Alternating current Frequency Contact system Third rail Fourth rail Overhead lines Overhead lines plus linear motor Four rail system Five rail systemSelection of an electrification system is based on economics of energy supply and capital cost compared to the revenue obtained for freight and passenger traffic.
Different systems are used for intercity areas. Six of the most used voltages have been selected for European and international standardisation; some of these are independent of the contact system used, so that, for example, 750 V DC may be used with either third rail or overhead lines. There are many other voltage systems used for railway electrification systems around the world, the list of railway electrification systems covers both standard voltage and non-standard voltage systems; the permissible range of voltages allowed for the standardised voltages is as stated in standards BS EN 50163 and IEC 60850. These take into account the number of trains drawing their distance from the substation. Increasing availability of high-voltage semiconductors may allow the use of higher and more efficient DC voltages that heretofore have only been practical with AC. 1,500 V DC is used in Japan, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, France, New Zealand, the United States. In Slovakia, there are two narrow-gauge lines in the High Tatras.
In the Netherlands it is used on the main system, alongside 25 kV on the HSL-Zuid and Betuwelijn, 3000 V south of Maastricht. In Portugal, it is used in Denmark on the suburban S-train system. In the United Kingdom, 1,500 V DC was used in 1954 for the Woodhead trans-Pennine route; the system was used for suburban electrification in East London and Manchester, now converted to 25 kV AC. It is now only used for the Wear Metro. In India, 1,500 V DC was the first electrification system launched in 1925 in Mumbai area. Between 2012-2016, the electrification was converted to 25 kV 50 Hz AC, the countrywide system. 3 kV DC is used in Belgium, Spain, the northern Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, former Soviet Union countries and the Netherlands. It was used by the Milwaukee Road from Harlowton, Montana to Seattle-Tacoma, across the Continental Divide and including extensive branch and loop lines in Montana, by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad in the United States, the Kolkata suburban railway in India, before it was converted to 25 kV 50 Hz AC. DC volt