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Extension Projects

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by brmp201, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    You mean covering DafT’s embarrassment for not meeting their half of the deal with VTEC?


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  2. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    If they succeeded, and that's a big IF they succeeded.

    Wouldn't they essentially evict/compulsory purchase the Gwili Railway from out under their feet?
     
  3. 30854

    30854 Resident of Nat Pres

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    There exists a proposal to construct a new stretch from the existing formation to pick up the Heart of Wales route to Llanelli, which would leave the Gwili untouched. Aside from the ever so slight issue of cost, while this would improve possible journey times between Cardiff and Aberystwyth (as a by-product, preserving the Gwili untouched), it would leave Carmarthen, indeed the whole of SW Wales, out in the cold.

    As the TrawsLink website makes much of regeneration of Milford Haven (and even mentions Neyland), it's tricky to guage exactly what's expected by who. If this were happening in Englandshire, my conclusion would be that any government would drive a coach and horses through the manifold objectives, leaving Transport Consultancies as the only winners .... but it isn't, this is Wales, with devolved budgets, meaning a different set of considerations apply.

    History shows that nationalism can often be relied upon to produce some decisions where perceived strategic advantage trumps economic considerations perceived as short-term. Given the political dimension, with the Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru (National Assembly for Wales) anxious to flex it's muscles, I wouldn't be too quick to write TrawsLink off as pie in the sky.
     
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  4. philw2

    philw2 New Member

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    If network rail extended from Lewes to Uckfield, I wonder how trains from Brighton, using an alternative route into London, would negotiate Lewes station. At present, a train from Brighton would have to go through Lewes and then reverse onto the northern chord into the station to continue it's journey north. Any ideas anyone?

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  5. burmister

    burmister Member

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    There are proposals to leave the Brighton to Eastbourne/Seaford east of Lewes and run alongside the A27 from where the current NR road access gate is, then as it approaches the river make a tight 100 degree bend to join the line from Eastbourne/Seaford and enter Lewes London bound platforms from the South. They would then carry on through the tunnel and turnoff onto the trackbed of the old Hamsey spur to join the Uckfield line south of Barcombe Mills. The BML2 lot want to avoid Lewes and its connections to Eastbourne and Seaford completely and burrow at the cost of megamillions under the River and South Downs where the Old Racecourse is.
    Another idea is to divert after Uckfield and run via Ringmer and Glynde so facing Brighton as trains enter Lewes.
    Meantime I continue to follow empty route 29 buses down the A26, last night in peak time at 1800 going from Uckfield towards Lewes one was overloaded with exactly 0 passengers on board. To be fair you do see passengers from Uckfield to Crowborough and then onwards to Tunbridge Wells, ironically paralleling the open railway as far as Eridge.
    Be far better to reopen Horsham Brighton diverting to serve the new town some want to build East of Henfield.

    Brian
     
  6. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

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    Do you mean west of Lewes? If so that all makes good sense. Certainly running into Lewes on the old formation of the Uckfield line is quite out of the question. Comparing old and new maps, it appears that one stretch of that formation has become the entrance road to Waitrose's carpark, and that's not the worst of the obstacles.
     
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  7. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Might not be quite as simple as CP given we hold an LRO. I expect that a transfer order would be required.
    The feisability study will reveal more. However there are several concerns with this, including that 300k just isn’t enough to produce a report to the level of detail required, for example the feisability study for the Borders Railway (17 years ago and covering a shorter line) was costed at 400k. If the feisability study is under-funded then this doesn’t bode well. Despite all the political support there has been no attempt to explain how the potential cost can be afforded.

    Regards

    Matt
     
  8. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    Agreed. The money would have been better spend on giving the railway its much-needed carriage sheds and redevelopment of the Abergwili site into a carpark/transport museum.
     
  9. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I don't think they'd want our route even if this went ahead. Almost all our track is tight curves and old drawings show over half a mile of continuous check rail in places. That would seriously affect their proposed speeds. There was one 'interesting' suggestion floating around when they were doing the pre-feasibility study about leaving Carmarthen over a new bridge on the old formation then diving down into a tunnel before they got to Abergwili and coming up somewhere around Llanpumsaint. It was suggested that a 7 1/2 kilometre tunnel would shorten the route by 7 1/2 kilometres as the bit they were passing under was so bendy. Humm... o_O
     
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  10. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    And yet they seem to think this would only cost somewhere in the region of 300-350 million to reinstate? More like 1-2 billion pounds.
     
  11. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    I thought it was £700 mill but I can't check as my copy of the pre-feasibility feasibility report and all the links to it are on my old computer which is suffering from the Mr Gates' Big Blue Screen of Death at the moment :(
     
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  12. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    Whoops. You're correct. It was in the 300 million range when I read upon it Summer time on the BBC website.

    It has since increased to the estimated cost between £505 million and £700 million.

    I don't doubt it'll increase further if they intend to divert the original route and construct new bridges and tunnels.
     
  13. damianrhysmoore

    damianrhysmoore Well-Known Member

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    Do you mean in not having delivered the infrastructure upgrades that would have allowed the projected rise in passenger numbers that aren't occurring because of VTEC's fare increases? Either way it shows a failure of the franchising system. Either Stagecoach get to walk away from a deal once market conditions turn against their inaccurate projections, as did National Express before, or there is too much uncertainty in a franchise where major upgrade work is planned and East Cost Rail should have stayed as franchisee and the state borne the risk of the investment they were undertaking. There is a clear difference in approach between the parties here so it is a party political issue and an example of a failure of Tory policy and this (non) announcement about possibly considering opening some unspecified railways (apart from those already earmarked), so long as someone else pays for it, is the deadest of dead cats

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...ling-east-coast-rail-labour-stagecoach-virgin
     
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  14. 35B

    35B Nat Pres stalwart

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    Blame is on both sides; as a VTEC season ticket holder, I do not regard them as the best thing since sliced bread.

    However, DfT signed a contract with VTEC, which was based on increasing yield from existing passengers and expanding services following investment by Network Rail.

    DfT cannot pretend to be ignorant of the basis of VTEC’s bid, and haven’t met their part of the contract. Why should VTEC have to carry the can for the manifest failure of DfT to honour their commitments?

    And, to pre empt any questions about why DfT should be liable for Network Rails’s failings, I will just say that (a) Network Rail are part of DfT now, and (b) by committing to the works, DfT gave themselves the job of making Network Rail perform.


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  15. burmister

    burmister Member

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    My apologies, yes west of Lewes where the deep road cutting is.
     
  16. Luke McMahon

    Luke McMahon New Member

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    A couple of longer term projects to add onto the list are:

    East lancs - they've got plans albeit not for a few years yet, to extend into castleton & build another platform IIRC alongside the current station. Also there's the possibility of them making use of the engineers sidings just near the triangle but don't know what use they'd be.

    Embsay - Planning, apparently within next 5yrs or so to extend into skipton, think it requires P5 at skipton re-instating & a couple of track panels relaying as well as associated signalling etc.

    Lincolnshire wolds railway - Read in the latest copy of the railway magazine that they're keen to start on their southern extension project to louth. Apparently they own the trackbed up to the louth industrial estate which is where they'll ultimately terminate, no mention of a northern extension so guessing that's maybe out of the question until a later date or simple not doable at all.
     
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  17. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Link to the scoping report

    http://www.trawslinkcymru.org.uk/wp.../Aberystwyth-Carmathen-Final-Report-to-WG.pdf

    Costs are stated to be £750 million

    Interesting that the estimate for the feisability study was £350,000 which supports the point that the £300,000 made available is less that one would expect.

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  18. gwilialan

    gwilialan Part of the furniture

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    Thanks for that Matt.

    Just scanning through it again I came across this on page 54:-

    "The cost of a new bridge over the Afon Rheidol at Aberystwyth will very much depend on the route selected, but could be in the order of £10m. Experience has shown that renewal and replacement work to bridges can be considerably more than the suggested average of £780k per bridge. We would allow a minimum of £1m per bridge."

    Hope this is not the case for bridge 10 :eek::eek::eek:
     
  19. Matt78

    Matt78 Well-Known Member

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    Not the same scale or size. Initial and informal discussions suggest that it will be a lot less than that...

    Regards

    Matt
     
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  20. ianh

    ianh New Member

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    that was an interesting read, knowing the route ..
     

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