Aberdeen - Inverness £170m Upgrade

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Altnabreac, 16 Oct 2015.

  1. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Previous thread locked so starting a new one.
    http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=98519

    Contractor appointed to carry out phase 1 works which are listed below.

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/news/bam-deliver-£170m-aberdeen-inverness-rail-upgrade

    Also worth following the Network Rail A2I twitter which has good updates on the project:
    https://twitter.com/networkraila2i

    In terms of what it doesn't include the new stations at Kintore and Dalcross are being progressed by NESTRANS and HITRANS.

    Dalcross
    http://www.hitrans.org.uk/News/Story/159
    https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/inverness/722422/inverness-airport-soon-get-train-station/

    Kintore
    https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/f...-station-after-50-year-absence-gain-traction/
    http://www.nestrans.org.uk/db_docs/...ne_2015/6b_Publications_and_Consultations.pdf

    Also unclear is how much Level Crossing elimination work will be done in Phase 1.

    Phase 2 in CP6 will look at redoubling between Nairn and Inverness to give more flexibility for the hourly train service and to provide capacity for a half hourly Elgin - Inverness service. Some doubling may be needed in advance of Phase 2 at Dalcross when the station reopens.

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/aberdeen-inverness-rail-improvements

    One scheme which interacts with Phase 2 is the Inverness - Nairn A96 Dualling. It proposes replacing the existing Gollanfield Rail Bridge with a new structure which could eliminate one of the main obstacles to redoubling.

    http://www.transportscotland.gov.uk/project/a96-inverness-nairn-including-nairn-bypass
     
    Last edited: 16 Oct 2015
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  3. jw

    jw Member

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    Is there any indication of the journey time savings made possible by this work? Will the introduction of HSTs contribute to further reductions?
     
  4. cb a1

    cb a1 Member

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    I believe that a 20 minute journey time reduction is expected. I don't know if that's the upgrade and / or the change to HST.
     
  5. cjt0131

    cjt0131 Member

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    be great to see a station serving inverness airport
     
  6. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    The whole project is meant to reduce journey times from 2 hours 25 to under 2 hours so a 25 minute journey time reduction.

    What is unclear is how much of the time savings will come from
    • A2I Phase 1 - this £170m investment by 2019.
    • The HST introduction from 2018 onwards.
    • A2I Phase 2 - The CP6 investment with more Nairn - Inverness redoubling, more level crossing eliminations and possibly other investments.

    Of course to actually deliver a 2 hour journey time will need more than 25 minutes worth of speed improvements because of the 2 new stations and aspiration for another new station at Bucksburn in CP6.

    The scheme was paused after the franchise award so that Abellio and Network Rail as an alliance could work together to see exactly what elements were needed to deliver the franchise required speed uplift.

    This has presumably been agreed now but not seen anything in public domain about 2019 journey times. Would be worth someone tweeting Network Rail A2I to ask them.
     
  7. clc

    clc Established Member

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    The franchise ITT stated that Network Rail was designing the scheme on the assumption it would be operated by class 170s so you'd assume HST's would bring additional time savings.
     
  8. clc

    clc Established Member

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    This time-lapse video of a new road bridge over the Aberdeen-Inverness railway at Inveramsay has just been released. It's of interest because the new bridge is clearly designed to allow future doubling of the line:

    http://whsclients.co.uk/fLKs/XHGyQPZo
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2015
  9. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    But not dualling of the A96!

    (My understanding is they will probably go for a split carriageway solution here.)
     
  10. clc

    clc Established Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: 22 Feb 2016
  11. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Good news and bad news there. Sounds like to achieve double track through the tunnels with electrification clearance might be a big disruptive job. Maybe better not to include it in Phase 1 and do a half hearted version. Hopefully will be done properly in Phase 2.
     
  12. NotATrainspott

    NotATrainspott Established Member

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    It's disappointing but wholly understandable. NR get funding from the Scottish Government to improve the rail network for passengers and for the economy, and in this case they've worked out that the best way to go about things is to redouble everything but the tunnels. If they did spend money on the tunnels, then they wouldn't have as much to spend elsewhere, so they may well not be able to fund the improvements that will actually make a difference. The benefit of redoubling this section will only come about when there are significantly more trains per hour.
     
  13. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    A short section of single track does eliminate flexibility a little bit, but it isn't the end of the world. As others have said, if there's only a fixed pot of money it's best to spend it where it will have the biggest impact.
     
  14. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    But are HSTs actually quicker - up to 90 / 100 mph - than 170s?

    I seem to recall when both operated on the Midland Mainline out of St Pancras, the 170s were noticeably quicker at getting up to speed - admittedly not as good as the Meridians, but more than capable of outrunning an HST.

    So unless the route is being upgraded to >100mph running, and bearing in mind the longer dwell times for an HST than a 170 - I'm struggling to see where they're going to find further time savings.
     
  15. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    A 170 is a bit underpowered so acceleration is pretty poor at the top end of its speed range (they struggle to achieve 100mph at all unless downhill). At the lower end of the range the dominant factor is proportion of weight on powered axles, which is 50% for a 170 and probably a bit less for a 2+5 HST.
     
  16. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    At 9+2 probably not, at 5+2 I'd bet almost certainly.
     
  17. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    Realigning and a new station at Forres is mentioned, but will this be 2 platforms, moving the loop to the station?
    This would remove the 'dead' time that westbound trains sometimes spend in the loop.
     
  18. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    Class 170 is about 9.5hp/ton, while a 2+5 HST would be just under 15hp/ton. So i'd expect much better acceleration.

    Plus ScotRail intend to have a number of 2+4 HST sets, presumably for this route and Inverness-Central Belt.
     
  19. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    I hope they've ordered the prerequisite number of 'Turbo' decals to apply to the sides!
     
  20. Bill EWS

    Bill EWS Member

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    The tunnels at Aberdeen were double tracked when I started at Kittybrewster Depot in 1963. I am not aware that there is anything to stop re-doubling. They are just cut & Cover tunnels so shouldn't have any difficulties, that I know of. It was all double track between Aberdeen and Inch. Kintore was still open and the junction to Alford still operational for freight as was the Oldmeldrum branch and the MacDuff branch, albeit cut back to Turrif that had a daily goods, that I worked over a couple of times.
     
    Last edited: 23 Feb 2016
  21. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Two things come to mind: has the lifted track bed been used for running cabling, and would there be enough room for electrification clearances if the double track was reinstated?
     
  22. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    It is also sensible to allow for full container clearance through the tunnels at Aberdeen.
     
  23. Railsigns

    Railsigns Established Member

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    That was decided about a year ago. The design has been progressed on that basis.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, two platforms, at the middle of loop which will be over a mile in length.
     
  24. snakeeyes

    snakeeyes Member

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    Hi, does anyone know what's the latest development with the Aberdeen -Inverness improvements?

    is there going to be a station for Inverness airport?

    New station at Forres?

    Cheers.
     
  25. Highland37

    Highland37 Established Member

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    Yes and yes as far as I know. The City deal confirms that.
     
  26. Altnabreac

    Altnabreac Established Member

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    Worth following the project on Twitter:
    https://twitter.com/networkraila2i

    Or you can sign up for email updates here:
    http://www.aberdeeninverness.co.uk/index.html

    Dalcross (Inverness Airport) is technically not part of the project itself (beyond the enabling infrastructure) but is being progressed as a Scottish Stations Fund application by Hitrans. You can see the latest information on it here:
    http://www.hitrans.org.uk/userfiles/file/INVERNESS AIRPORT DALCROSS STATION 10 12 2015.pdf

    Kintore Station is also technically not part of the project and is being promoted by NESTrans. AECOM are currently developing a Business Case on their behalf. Latest info is here:
    http://www.nestrans.org.uk/db_docs/..._February_2016/5a_Rail_Action_Plan_Update.pdf
     
    Last edited: 22 Mar 2016
  27. snakeeyes

    snakeeyes Member

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    cheers :D
     
  28. collexions

    collexions Member

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  29. clc

    clc Established Member

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  30. Highland37

    Highland37 Established Member

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    I haven't seen any reports but it's good news overall.
     
  31. GRALISTAIR

    GRALISTAIR Established Member

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    It is a great document and I have had quite a thorough read. Always a problem when people who know what they are doing meet with politicians.
     

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