Cost of building a new Essex line

Status
Not open for further replies.

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
How much would it cost to build the following?

Thinking of this specifically, I am wondering how much it would cost to build the route I have suggested between Audley End and the edge of Saffron Walden, roughly 400m from the High Street as the crow flies.

The proposal would need the following:

(1) Approximately 2km of track, which consists of 200m double track (i.e. 400m in total) and 1.6km single track
(2) Overhead Line Equipment of identical length, with one pylon every 40m
(3) Junction capabilities immediately north of Audley End and at the point where the line is singled, and appropriate signalling
(4) One platform of approximately 165m length and 6m width, totalling roughly 1,000 square metres of surface area
(5) Buffers or similar at the Saffron Walden end
(6) One small building facility for use as a one-man ticket office, with an adjacent self-service ticket machine
(7) Sufficient shelter, seating, signage and lighting
(8) Two short bridges over water, one a 15m bridge over a river and the other of negligible distance
(9) Three road crossings, of which one is a standard minor road level crossing, one is a narrow minor road level crossing, and one is a 'B'-class road overbridge

The suggestion is that Saffron Walden would support 500,000 passengers a year and would be available for use 18 hours a day, with one 4-car train serving the line every 30 minutes off-peak (doubled to 8-car trains every 30 minutes during peak periods; halved to one 4-car train every 60 minutes on Sundays). These factors can be reduced to 300,000 and 14 hours respectively early on during the project if required, but would be recommended for upgrade by Year 5. The line must be capable of expansion to 12-car operation if required at a later stage.

And before anyone asks, if I had the amount stated, then yes, I would consider pursuing this.
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

John55

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2011
Messages
800
Location
South East
...build the following?

Thinking of this specifically, I am wondering how much it would cost to build the route I have suggested between Audley End and the edge of Saffron Walden, roughly 400m from the High Street as the crow flies.

The proposal would need the following:

(1) Approximately 2km of track, which consists of 200m double track (i.e. 400m in total) and 1.6km single track
(2) Overhead Line Equipment of identical length, with one pylon every 40m
(3) Junction capabilities immediately north of Audley End and at the point where the line is singled, and appropriate signalling
(4) One platform of approximately 165m length and 6m width, totalling roughly 1 square kilometre of surface area
(5) Buffers or similar at the Saffron Walden end
(6) One small building facility for use as a one-man ticket office, with an adjacent self-service ticket machine
(7) Sufficient shelter, seating, signage and lighting
(8) Two short bridges over water, one a 15m bridge over a river and the other of negligible distance
(9) Three road crossings, of which one is a standard minor road level crossing, one is a narrow minor road level crossing, and one is a 'B'-class road overbridge

The suggestion is that Saffron Walden would support 500,000 passengers a year and would be available for use 18 hours a day, with one 4-car train serving the line every 30 minutes off-peak (doubled to 8-car trains every 30 minutes during peak periods; halved to one 4-car train every 60 minutes on Sundays). These factors can be reduced to 300,000 and 14 hours respectively early on during the project if required, but would be recommended for upgrade by Year 5. The line must be capable of expansion to 12-car operation if required at a later stage.

And before anyone asks, if I had the amount stated, then yes, I would consider pursuing this.
First priority would be to employ a quantity surveyor to address item 4.

Dig out the cost of reinstating Airdrie - Bathgate which was of the order of £25 million/track mile (from memory) and that is a start.
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,312
Would you use the old route?

One issue is track capacity- is there space for an additional half hourly service between Stansted Airport Junction and Liverpool Street as it stands?
 

barrykas

Established Member
Joined
19 Sep 2006
Messages
1,579
There are two major issues with reinstating the branch, even as far as Saffron Walden:

1) At Audley End, the formation, including the former junction site, is occupied by the station car park.
2) At Saffron Walden, the entire formation has been built over, right from the outskirts. Only the main station building remains, converted into two houses.
 

fegguk

Member
Joined
11 Sep 2012
Messages
167
Location
Hawick
By way of example the Borders railway is costing £350m (if we believe recent reports) for 35miles half of which is single track, no electrification. £10M per mile. there are 7 new 6 car stations, 5-6 major bridge works and mostly following the old intact route.

The paisley canal line electrifation is costing £12M for 8km and is being done on a minimum spec.

The land purchase amounts to about £25M in total for the Borders line (quoted at less than half the money spent so far £56M), not all was privately owned, not much built on, and most off it through low value uplands where the only residents are sheep. I suspect that the money would not go far down south when it came to buying a strip of Saffron Walden. A quick plot of the route on google maps and toting up the value of the properties you would need to bulldoze say £10-12M.

Gives us

Track station etc £M15-20 electrification £M3 land £M10-12 total £28-35M

This estimate does not include the cost of the fag packet
 

jopsuk

Veteran Member
Joined
13 May 2008
Messages
12,312
Point #1 should really only be a temporary issue barry- I'd bet most of the cars parked in that car park have driven from Walden. If such a link was completed, the demand would be shifted or obliterated.

The route of the main line would be improved immesurrably if it diverged from its current route after Great Chesterford, ran to a station on the edge of Walden (it's not a big place, this would be an easy walk or cycle from the entire town) and then rejoined the route around Newport. This would be incredibly expensive- I'm talking completely new alignment with possibly viaducts and tunnels- but the ebenfits would be great (unless you lived in Wendens Ambo and primarily travelled by train)
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
There are two major issues with reinstating the branch, even as far as Saffron Walden:

1) At Audley End, the formation, including the former junction site, is occupied by the station car park.
2) At Saffron Walden, the entire formation has been built over, right from the outskirts. Only the main station building remains, converted into two houses.
I've thought about this, and the route intended is vastly different to the former route. However, its terminus is in the vicinity of Audley Park, which may be unpopular; should this be the case, the old alignment still exists (in an adequate form but no better) as far as Newport Road, behind the school, which is close enough to the town centre anyway. See the attachment for the route; the red route is the preferred option. (Obviously the map is from Google.)

One issue is track capacity- is there space for an additional half hourly service between Stansted Airport Junction and Liverpool Street as it stands?
My proposal would be to extend the Stratford - Bishop's Stortford services to Saffron Walden, with an extension to Liverpool Street at the other end should the need arise and the paths exist. The pathing does exist for the main suggestion between Bishop's Stortford and Audley End, although I expect that Stansted Express services may at times necessitate sitting at Bishop's Stortford to allow on to pass and/or not calling at Stansted Mountfichet, with some services booked to pass each other more-or-less at Audley End itself. I admit that I am not so sure with regards to the peak service provision; similarly, I have not verified the paths north of Audley End although problems seem unlikely.

Here is the proposed timetable:

Code:
London Liv St .. d    10    12 25 28    40 42    55 58
Stratford ...... d 00 ··    ·· ·· ·· 30 ·· ··    ·· ··
Tottenham Hale . d 13 22    25 37 ·· 43 52 55    07 10
Broxbourne ..... a 29 ··    44 ·· 52 57 ·· 14    ·· 22
Broxbourne ..... d 33 ··    44 ·· 52 57 ·· 14    ·· 22
Hertford East .. a ·· ··    01 ·· ·· ·· ·· 31    ·· ··
Harlow Town .... d 42 ··       54 00 09 ··       24 28
B's Stortford .. a 56 45       ·· 14 22 17       ·· 38
B's Stortford .. d 57 45       ·· 14 23 18       ·· 39
Stansted Airport a ·· 55       12 ·· ·· 27       44 ··
Stansted Airport d ··    00       ·· ··       27    ··
Audley End ..... d 09    12       30 35       ··    ··
Saffron Walden . a 14    ··       ·· 40       ··    ··
Cambridge ...... a       30       51          55    05

Cambridge ...... d       04    10          21       36
Saffron Walden . d    57 ··    ··       29 ··       ··
Audley End ..... d    01 ··    ··       33 40       50
Stansted Airport a    ·· ··    38       ·· ··       06
Stansted Airport d 15 ·· ·· 30       45 ·· ·· 00
B's Stortford .. a ·· 14 32 39       ·· 46 58 09
B's Stortford .. d ·· 15 32 39       ·· 47 58 09
Harlow Town .... d 32 26 40 ··       00 05 09 ··
Hertford East .. d ·· ·· ·· ··    39 ·· ·· ·· ·· 09
Broxbourne ..... a ·· 35 46 ··    54 ·· 11 17 ·· 24
Broxbourne ..... d ·· 39 46 ··    54 ·· 12 17 ·· 24
Tottenham Hale . d 48 56 00 03    14 17 27 30 33 44
Stratford ...... a ·· 07 ·· ··    ·· ·· 37 ·· ·· ··
London Liv St .. a 01    13 16    28 31    44 47 58
I have made a few revisions to the current timetable. First of all, the faster Cambridge services (i.e. the XX:58 and the XC services) do not call at Audley end as they currently do. Also, there is a new Stansted to Cambridge service; I would have liked this service to continue to either Norwich or King's Lynn but neither works very well relative to the existing provision! Peterborough is an option however (this would also allow the afore-mentioned XC service to skip March as well as Audley End).

If the idea of both Saffron services running to Stratford is not preferable, I doubt that more than one path could be found heading south from Bishop's Stortford and thus the second service would have to terminate at Stansted Airport; on the plus side, if this was the case, we have a prime candidate for a route should the Stansted Airport to Braintree proposal ever come to fruition.

The route of the main line would be improved immesurrably if it diverged from its current route after Great Chesterford, ran to a station on the edge of Walden (it's not a big place, this would be an easy walk or cycle from the entire town) and then rejoined the route around Newport. This would be incredibly expensive- I'm talking completely new alignment with possibly viaducts and tunnels- but the ebenfits would be great (unless you lived in Wendens Ambo and primarily travelled by train)
I would like to agree to this proposal but it is just too unrealistic. Its BCR just wouldn't be good enough, even if the "B" part of the BCR would be high.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Firesprite

Member
Joined
22 Dec 2011
Messages
295
Location
Fens
I have made a few revisions to the current timetable. First of all, the faster Cambridge services (i.e. the XX:58 and the XC services) do not call at Audley end as they currently do. Also, there is a new Stansted to Cambridge service; I would have liked this service to continue to either Norwich or King's Lynn but neither works very well relative to the existing provision! Peterborough is an option however (this would also allow the afore-mentioned XC service to skip March as well as Audley End).
Why is it, that people are hell bent on downgrading the service to March? (Railhead of Fens)
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
This isn't about downgrading the service to March; it's about freeing up capacity on the already congested XC 170s. By allowing those services to skip the smaller stations on routes where other services exist, they can be easier to manage while the alternative (or new alternative in this suggestion) picks up the tab.

Ultimately, does March really need a direct service to Birmingham? Is a higher-capacity service to Peterborough not preferable?
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
12,885
You're looking at £40m including all land purchase, planning consent, consultation, security guards to stop you getting lynched by the locals, design etc.

That's allowing for 500m of double track so that a train waiting to access the branch doesn't have to wait for a late running one to come off.

Suspect it would be considerably better value for money to buy a fleet of chauffeur driven Bentleys to shuttle people from their front doors in Saffron Walden to Audley End.
 

Ivo

Established Member
Joined
8 Jan 2010
Messages
7,307
Location
Bath (or Southend)
You really think so? :| £40M seems a bit steep. There would be little in the way of land to buy besides agricultural land, for instance, and given the relative length of the route consultation and other such matters any additional costs would be far smaller than they could be.

Audley End has 380,000-ish Season journeys per annum, or around 1,400 a day (based on 250 working days and then a small number of additional journeys), which would mean . For a stretch of only 2km or so, that is quite a useful uptake, and it would also relieve pressure on the Cambridge services. During peak periods the station could be reasonably be expected to cater for as much as 125 passengers on any one service at a 30 frequency.
 

Duxford

New Member
Joined
6 Mar 2012
Messages
4
Much as I am in favour of re-opening railways the Saffron Walden branch is a real no-hoper. Any new station either in Audley Park or near the County High School (if you re-use the old route) would only benefit a small area of Saffron Walden and those living in the Ashdon Road, Little Walden Road and Radwinter Road areas would gain nothing from a new Saffron Walden station.
They would still need to use their cars to get to any new station and would probably continue to drive to Audley End for its more frequent train service and greater number of destinations.
This was the problem which the original line had, with most train users preferring to start their journeys at Audley End rather than use Saffron Walden. Admittedly a better service may have meant more people using Saffron Walden, but restoration to the original station site is impossible and any station on the edge of Saffron Walden would have no advantages over Audley End.
With the current debate of whether the Wenden Road should be more cycle friendly for access to Audley End station, perhaps its widening to allow bicycles and an improved bus service would be a better use of money.
 

Firesprite

Member
Joined
22 Dec 2011
Messages
295
Location
Fens
This isn't about downgrading the service to March; it's about freeing up capacity on the already congested XC 170s. By allowing those services to skip the smaller stations on routes where other services exist, they can be easier to manage while the alternative (or new alternative in this suggestion) picks up the tab.

Ultimately, does March really need a direct service to Birmingham? Is a higher-capacity service to Peterborough not preferable?
Actual it does, March sell quite a lot of tickets for beyond Peterborough toward New Street. This will be increased even further on Saturdays for shopping trips to Birmingham. The local transport plan requires that the hourly service be replaced by a half hourly service. Whats needed is longer trains.
 

MarkyT

Established Member
Joined
20 May 2012
Messages
4,515
Location
Torbay
Much as I am in favour of re-opening railways the Saffron Walden branch is a real no-hoper. . . . With the current debate of whether the Wenden Road should be more cycle friendly for access to Audley End station, perhaps its widening to allow bicycles and an improved bus service would be a better use of money.
Perhaps an interesting application for a small autonomous podcar network like Heathrow Ultra. Heritage styled tram-pods could also shuttle visitors to and from Audley End House :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top