Derby-Bristol electrification 'in 10 to 15 years', says Transport Secretary

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jimm

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From the Derby Telegraph

THE electrification of the rail line between Derby and Bristol can be achieved within 15 years, says Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

Electrifying rail lines makes them faster, greener, quieter and more reliable and creates engineering jobs in the process.

Prior to last year's General Election, Chancellor George Osborne said he had asked Network Rail to "look very seriously" at electrifying the line between Derby and Bristol.

But, after plans to electrify the Midland Mainline to London – a project to be completed before the Derby to Bristol work – were hit by delays, Derby South MP Dame Margaret Beckett said Mr Osborne's announcement looked like "pie in the sky".

Now, in a wide-ranging interview with the Derby Telegraph, Mr McLoughlin – also the Conservative MP for Derbyshire Dales – said: "I would hope that it would be completed within the next 10 to 15 years – but it comes after electrification of the London-Midlands route.

"It does sound a long time but, if you finish London to Midlands by 2023 and you've done all the prep work by then for Derby to Bristol, then you can get going."

Full story http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/ele...tol-15-years/story-29357271-detail/story.html

Though it doesn't say much more on the subject of XC wiring than what I have quoted above
 
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The Planner

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Back end of CP7 or early 8 then, which to be fair is what has been going around in the industry for a while anyway. All the re-signalling will have been done along the entire route (though not sure on the date for whats left of Gloucester after Bromsgrove takes some of it off them) so it will be the structures being the big job.
 

Philip Phlopp

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Back end of CP7 or early 8 then, which to be fair is what has been going around in the industry for a while anyway. All the re-signalling will have been done along the entire route (though not sure on the date for whats left of Gloucester after Bromsgrove takes some of it off them) so it will be the structures being the big job.

And structures work has been going really well - the contractors being brought in are doing a really creditable job, with regular early completion.

There's also absolutely no harm in replacing bridges well in advance of electrification, providing N2 or H4a levels of containment for overbridges, eliminating brick or stone parapet bridges which provide no real containment before an Oxshott or Froxfield type incident results in deaths and severe injuries is a no-brainer.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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You are all presuming national rail policy stays the same through 3 parliaments or so (£40bn per Control Period etc).
Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).
Nothing wrong with having a priority list for electrification, but a lot of change can happen in 15 years.
 

Philip Phlopp

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You are all presuming national rail policy stays the same through 3 parliaments or so (£40bn per Control Period etc).
Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).
Nothing wrong with having a priority list for electrification, but a lot of change can happen in 15 years.

Electrification is inevitable, like the closure of coal fired power stations, the only question will be the single track mileage that's completed each control period, but we've bought equipment, trained staff and have completed much of the hard work now.

We simply have to remove diesel powered trains, they're dirty and emit significant quantities of particulate matter, they're slow and heavy compared with electric stock, and we need to de-carbonise our public transport system.
 

edwin_m

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You are all presuming national rail policy stays the same through 3 parliaments or so (£40bn per Control Period etc).
Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).
Nothing wrong with having a priority list for electrification, but a lot of change can happen in 15 years.

HS2 will probably remove all journeys linking Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and beyond. But with the amount of demand growth there will still be enough passengers between places with no HS2 service (including to/from south of Birmingham) to require something similar to today's train frequency. As far as I know there is no evidence to suggest that demand for rail will do anything other than continue to increase.
 

jimm

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You are all presuming national rail policy stays the same through 3 parliaments or so (£40bn per Control Period etc).
Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).
Nothing wrong with having a priority list for electrification, but a lot of change can happen in 15 years.

I don't think anyone is presuming anything. Merely noting what the Transport Secretary said and that things are already happening out on the ground, such as signalling and structures work, that will make future electrification easier to implement, rather than having to do a whole lot of things at once, from a standing start, like the GW scheme.

Why would you electrify via Tamworth? I don't know, maybe for all the passenger services to and from places not served by HS2 (such as everywhere south-west of Birmingham) and freight trains that won't be going anywhere near a high-speed line...:roll:
 
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The Planner

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Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).

Suspect the upcoming route studies will say different, even if they are just options for funders.
 

Blindtraveler

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Nowhere near enough to a Pacer :(
Theyl have a problem if a longterm plan which iether involves Bi Modes that can later have deezols taken out or full wiring of the line isnt sorted sometime, as by 15 years time the voyagers will be even readier for scrap than they are now.
 

Harbornite

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Electrifying the existing line between Bristol and Derby is a good call as it will be an incentive for whoever is in charge of the XC franchise to eventually get bi-mode units and it could also provide opportunities for electric-hauled freight, although these might be limited south of Birmingham. I also think that infilling the Nuneaton- Brum line with wires could be a good idea as it would offer an alternative route for diversions.

Also that HS2 will not impact rail plans in the area (ie why would you electrify via Tamworth when you have just built a new line nearby which can take all the long-distance traffic?).

Somehow I doubt that there would be a new high speed line built between Briz and Derby (if this what you are suggesting), but I'll retract this statement if such a project is authorised.
 
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Philip Phlopp

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Theyl have a problem if a longterm plan which iether involves Bi Modes that can later have deezols taken out or full wiring of the line isnt sorted sometime, as by 15 years time the voyagers will be even readier for scrap than they are now.

There's the MML Class 222 units to account for, they're likely to end up with the XC franchise when the MML wiring is completed, the only real complication about a future XC fleet and future CrossCountry route wiring would be what happens with 4 car Class 220 units and 5 car Class 221 units.

There are so many possible permutations, but with all the Class 222 units, it's unclear whether XC would need bi-mode Hitachi stock in the short to medium term, but if some or all of the Class 221 units go West Coast, then adding in some bi-mode stock would be needed.

That's all without introduction of additional routes as part of a new XC franchise, or increased service frequencies which will require additional stock.
 

Mordac

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There's the MML Class 222 units to account for, they're likely to end up with the XC franchise when the MML wiring is completed, the only real complication about a future XC fleet and future CrossCountry route wiring would be what happens with 4 car Class 220 units and 5 car Class 221 units.

There are so many possible permutations, but with all the Class 222 units, it's unclear whether XC would need bi-mode Hitachi stock in the short to medium term, but if some or all of the Class 221 units go West Coast, then adding in some bi-mode stock would be needed.

That's all without introduction of additional routes as part of a new XC franchise, or increased service frequencies which will require additional stock.

Please no, there's enough diesel under wires running as it is.
 

Mordac

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Give us something else instead for extra Holyhead/Wrexham/Shrewsbury/etc services and we'll be happy.

I was referring more to the Brum services, some of which are operated by Voyagers despite running entirely under wires. Of course for services where they actually venture away from wired areas they make sense, though you'd probably still prefer something else, and I can't say I blame you :P
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Somehow I doubt that there would be a new high speed line built between Briz and Derby (if this what you are suggesting), but I'll retract this statement if such a project is authorised.

No, just exploiting HS2 between Birmingham and Derby.
These are questions the Treasury will ask before forking out £Xm for wiring.
We haven't yet reached the point where "OK, we'll do it all" is policy (not at GW prices anyway).
Just playing devil's advocate, really.
 

Harbornite

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No, just exploiting HS2 between Birmingham and Derby.
These are questions the Treasury will ask before forking out £Xm for wiring.
We haven't yet reached the point where "OK, we'll do it all" is policy (not at GW prices anyway).
Just playing devil's advocate, really.

HS2 doesn't take into account the line south of Birmingham.
 

Philip Phlopp

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I was referring more to the Brum services, some of which are operated by Voyagers despite running entirely under wires. Of course for services where they actually venture away from wired areas they make sense, though you'd probably still prefer something else, and I can't say I blame you :P

Birmingham New Street is likely to be the target of a concerted effort to remove diesel traction for CP6-CP7-CP8 electrification schemes, but that's going to need North Wales electrification and infill works, all of which probably take you close to the point at which Voyagers could reasonably be cascaded to secondary routes or withdrawn completely.
 

The Planner

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In what way? A link from HS2 to the conventional railway in the West Mids? That got canned long ago.
 

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Somehow I doubt that there would be a new high speed line built between Briz and Derby (if this what you are suggesting), but I'll retract this statement if such a project is authorised.

Doesn't have to be a new line for XC services to exploit HS2 north of Birmingham. South of Birmingham the former Midland route is fairly gently curved and fast and could probably deliver an even higher speed in places anyway if electrified. A XC CC unit from Bristol could enter Birmingham via Camp Hill and a new connection from the south across the Freightliner yards into Curzon Street terminus and couple up to the back of another CC or a captive unit in one of the long platforms. Then the full length consist could depart for Newcastle, Leeds Manchester etc via the appropriate leg of HS2. That could clear the Selly Oak line of long distance services, improving timings and performance whilst increasing capacity for local services.

A problem is once you get to Bristol, over half the service continues on to Plymouth or Torbay, with some carrying on into deepest Cornwall. Without electrification also continuing to these far flung destinations, existing service patterns are going to be difficult to replicate, unless the industry can come up with a bi-mode CC HS train that can continue beyond the wires.
 

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LNW-GW Joint

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Not yet, but LNW-GW Joint is saying it will probably be made to before phase 2 gets the final go-ahead.

Not really, I wasn't considering south of Birmingham.
It's just with 40 miles of new high speed line Birmingham-East Midlands, carrying all the West Midlands-East Midlands-Yorkshire/North East traffic, why do you need to upgrade the current line?
Imagine the route with most of the XC traffic diverted to HS2.
The railway map will have changed.
 

DynamicSpirit

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HS2 will probably remove all journeys linking Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and beyond.

Would it? What about the trains from Newcastle/Leeds/etc. to Bristol/Exeter/etc.? Will passengers travelling through Birmingham be expected to change trains - and walk or get the tram between New Street and the HS2 station? That seems somewhat unlikely to me.
 

HowardGWR

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I reckon MarkyT's suggestion looks favourite. It avoids an idea I had which was to run XCs through New St and have a side station alongside Curzon St.

I had this reversal experience at Leipzig recently, on a Munich to Berlin ICE. The mayor of Halle had managed to get the south to north HSL line built past his city,instead of Leipzig, but of course the main traffic is at Leipzig.
 

edwin_m

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Would it? What about the trains from Newcastle/Leeds/etc. to Bristol/Exeter/etc.? Will passengers travelling through Birmingham be expected to change trains - and walk or get the tram between New Street and the HS2 station? That seems somewhat unlikely to me.

I obviously didn't explain myself clearly enough. HS2 as currently proposed will have stations in central Birmingham, near Derby, near Sheffield and in the centre of Leeds, and HS2 trains from Birmingham will continue northwards on classic lines to Newcastle. So someone making a journey that both starts and finishes at a station served by HS2 trains will probably use the much faster HS2 service, as will some currently using XC to/from Derby and Sheffield depending on the relative convenience to them of the new stations.

However there are still plenty of passenger flows, including those to/from south of Birmingham, where people will still use the classic route because HS2 trains don't serve the station they need to use, or because they prefer the through service to a change of train. This is precisely the reason why I believe HS2 doesn't destroy the case for electrification of Derby-Bristol.
 

Philip Phlopp

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Doesn't have to be a new line for XC services to exploit HS2 north of Birmingham. South of Birmingham the former Midland route is fairly gently curved and fast and could probably deliver an even higher speed in places anyway if electrified. A XC CC unit from Bristol could enter Birmingham via Camp Hill and a new connection from the south across the Freightliner yards into Curzon Street terminus and couple up to the back of another CC or a captive unit in one of the long platforms. Then the full length consist could depart for Newcastle, Leeds Manchester etc via the appropriate leg of HS2. That could clear the Selly Oak line of long distance services, improving timings and performance whilst increasing capacity for local services.

A problem is once you get to Bristol, over half the service continues on to Plymouth or Torbay, with some carrying on into deepest Cornwall. Without electrification also continuing to these far flung destinations, existing service patterns are going to be difficult to replicate, unless the industry can come up with a bi-mode CC HS train that can continue beyond the wires.

Hitachi's AT300 design is, in theory, HS2 CC compatible, in the same way as their Class 395 is HS1 compatible.

The questions will be what sort of top speed can the design achieve by throwing more MW at it, is 155mph or 300kph possible with bigger transformers, higher rated traction motors and swapping the unpowered trailer vehicles for powered trailer vehicles ?

If there's a need for such a vehicle, the industry can deliver.
 

Harbornite

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Doesn't have to be a new line for XC services to exploit HS2 north of Birmingham. A XC CC unit from Bristol could enter Birmingham via Camp Hill and a new connection from the south across the Freightliner yards into Curzon Street terminus and couple up to the back of another CC or a captive unit in one of the long platforms. Then the full length consist could depart for Newcastle, Leeds Manchester etc via the appropriate leg of HS2. That could clear the Selly Oak line of long distance services, improving timings and performance whilst increasing capacity for local services.

An interesting proposal but one that won't get the go-ahead.

South of Birmingham the former Midland route is fairly gently curved and fast and could probably deliver an even higher speed in places anyway if electrified.

This is obviously more realistic and this is the subject of the discussion, as opposed to building new high speed lines.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Not really, I wasn't considering south of Birmingham.
It's just with 40 miles of new high speed line Birmingham-East Midlands, carrying all the West Midlands-East Midlands-Yorkshire/North East traffic, why do you need to upgrade the current line?
Imagine the route with most of the XC traffic diverted to HS2.
The railway map will have changed.


Well you just said you aren't considering south of Birmingham. How will your planned high speed line benefit Birmingham- Bristol? That is why you need to upgrade the current line, at least south of Brum.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Well you just said you aren't considering south of Birmingham. How will your planned high speed line benefit Birmingham- Bristol? That is why you need to upgrade the current line, at least south of Brum.

It's not my high speed line, it's HS2 north-east of Birmingham, still looking for a better business case.
No problem south of Birmingham.
I'm not even advocating not electrifying Birmingham-Derby.
But the bean-counters will certainly want to know why a £10billion (or whatever) spend on HS2 Birmingham-East Midlands doesn't save money on the classic routes.
Birmingham-Sheffield-Leeds/York (the backbone of the current XC services) will go to HS2 - or why build it?.
 

MarkyT

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An interesting proposal but one that won't get the go-ahead.

Just to be clear I was suggesting the trains from Bristol would use the existing line (electrified) and would then head over the Camp Hill line and a new viaduct connection into Curzon Street only about 1km long. At the terminus the new link would join the HS2 route in the fairly low speed throat junction area so little increase in complexity. By coupling up sets at Curzon Street the speeded up NE/NW XC trains north of Birmingham would use no more paths than already planned for HS2 services. Of course there would be downsides. Stations at Tamworth, Burton, Derby Chesterfield, Sheffield Midland and Wakefield could lose through service to the west country, but connections would be available at Totton, Meadowhall, Leeds etc instead and a shorter distance new service pattern would pick up the intermediate calls, also electrified.

. . . you need to upgrade the current line, at least south of Brum.

Agree completely.
 
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