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The end of the Lavender Line?

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by Bramblewick, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    that was my point, instead of London bride to uckfield, it could be a London bridge to Eastbourne service, change at Lewes for Brighton, or a Victoria to Ore service via lewes that then in turn creates flexibility as you free up 2 pathes on the Brighton Route, maybe via cross rail you could have a brighton - gatwick - heathrow to stratford service? or even rnning to some northern destination
     
  2. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    The 8x23m carriage Uckfield trains are already full nearer London and later this year will become 10-cars as a result, broadly equivalent in length to the 12x20m EMUs on the rest of the BML - extending these services to Lewes and beyond wouldn't produce any extra capacity for commuters into London.

    Without London commuter traffic the business case for Lewes-Uckfield doesn't stack up, hence why even the BML2 campaign have recognised the need for more capacity into London so more trains per hour can run.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  3. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    At the moment there is no practical alternative rail route other than via Three Bridges to Brighton from Horsham and the Arun valley. Nearly all residents of communities to the south of Horsham, working near the coast to the east of Arundel, and towards Brighton drive to work. Also there is considerable housing development south of Broadbridge Heath and near Billingshurst. The A24, A283, and A27 are close to capacity during the rush hours. The Arundel chord could generate significant extra traffic.
     
  4. Christopher125

    Christopher125 Part of the furniture

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    I'm not sure there's any room for a peak Horsham-Brighton service, an off-peak service was considered in the Route Study but it wouldn't be any quicker than changing at Three Bridges due to pathing constraints along the West Coastway.
     
  5. Enterprise

    Enterprise Part of the furniture

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    Better rebuild the Steyning line as well then.
     
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  6. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    What does all this lack of capacity now show, the Beeching was short sighted and completly wrong in many of the line closures, for instance, the uckfield to Lewes, Cranleigh to horsham , amongst others, the great central, had we still had those routes would you be suffering the same problems
     
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  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Only wrong in a few. Much of the "regret" about Beeching is pure sentimentality and re-opening the lines would do nothing to serve present day humanity. However building new lines to meet present day needs will come straight against nimbyism as witness the HS2 furore.

    Nearer where I live, there is justified dis-satisfaction with journey speeds and frequency on the Portsmouth Direct line. However there would have to be re-alignments and extra station loops to do much about either. Cue wails and moans from the locals.

    PH
     
  8. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    If Beeching hadn't happened, much of the big railway you currently have wouldn't have survived, let alone that which was lost.
     
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  9. nanstallon

    nanstallon Part of the furniture

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    Beeching went about 25% too far. Yes, there was a lot of dead wood in 1963, but there are many places (Tavistock, Caernarfon from Menai Bridge, St Andrews, Maldon, to name just a few) where a railway would be worth reinstating if it were not for the huge cost of reinstating a line once it has been dismantled and built over in places. And then you've got the nimbys, or is it nimbies? Sorry, I wasn't the sharpest tool in the English box at school!

    John
     
  10. Big Al

    Big Al Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    The constraint on Beeching, I think, was that he had to deal with the narrow brief handed down by the Government of the time. No thought was given to longer term transport (rail) planning and the factors that might affect population growth and migration to the south into the future. That said, parts of Sussex remain a bit of a transport backwater. I've heard it said that you can still find a few 'A' roads that are cobbled in West Sussex.

    As far as the Lavender Line is concerned, there is a compelling logic in the route beyond Uckfield being developed although I suspect it would not be cheap given land values and the extent of the existing single track system.
     
  11. John Petley

    John Petley Well-Known Member

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    Going back to the Lavender Line, it is stuck in a bit of a no-win situation. Talk of reopening Uckfield- Lewes (and I mean "talk" rather than a definite plan) has gone on for years, with Wealden Line Campaign having been in existence since the 1980s and various studies having been commissioned, Osborne's latest commitment to yet another study means that the possibility of reopening is still there in the background, which must surely act as a dampener to any thoughts of serious expansion. On the other hand, if the line is to be reopened, whatever the final route will be south of Barcombe Mills, whatever the plans to bridge the A22 Uckfield by-pass, there is no way anything much will happen for several years, if ever. I don't see the willpower to reopen this line at the moment, nor for a good while yet, whatever Osborne may have said. This leaves the Lavender Line in limbo for the foreseeable future.
     
  12. mrKnowwun

    mrKnowwun Part of the furniture

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    That was a known unknown. Possibly bordering on an unknown unknown.
     
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  13. SomewhereintheSouthEast

    SomewhereintheSouthEast New Member

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    I remember some years ago there was a news report on BBC South East today saying that the Lavender Line was under threat of closure due to Wealden District Council I think. They wanted to widen the road at the level crossing due to lorries finding it a tight squeeze to get over it I think.
     
  14. martin1656

    martin1656 Part of the furniture

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    i suspect the government answer is to reduce the usage on the Brighton line by pricing people off the trains, rather than by re opening or relaying lines or spurs, after all less custom, less congestion , once passengers have left the rail network, they tend not to go back, this could be in part why DFT have not pressed Southern to agree to any plan to resolve the current issues, reduce the demand to what you can provide, you may say,
    Getting on to the Lavender line, they have never seemed to have been able to expand, and its overshadowed by the Bluebell just a few miles away
     
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  15. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    if they own Isfield station freehold then it must be worth big bucks. It would give them lots to play with if they thres their lot in with someone else
     
  16. GWR Man.

    GWR Man. Well-Known Member

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  17. Tim Light

    Tim Light Active Member

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    Something had to be done, and Beeching was the hatchet man who carried out the government's instruction.

    The thing that was really short-sighted was the deliberate destruction of the railway right-of-way, preventing re-instatement of a route if/when circumstances changed. Land was sold piece-meal, and construction was encouraged which effectively prevents most lines from re-opening except at an astronomical cost. I'm convinced that this was a deliberate policy to prevent closures from being reversed.

    Even where trackbeds are not obstructed, the UK seems to make re-opening projects prohibitively expensive. I'm sure there's nowhere else in the world where it would cost so much to reinstate a railway.
     
  18. SomewhereintheSouthEast

    SomewhereintheSouthEast New Member

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    The Uckfield line survive Dr Beeching though it was East Sussex County Council That wanted better roads for Lewes.
     
  19. SomewhereintheSouthEast

    SomewhereintheSouthEast New Member

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  20. Reading General

    Reading General Part of the furniture

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    doesn't say they own the freehold.
     

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