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Dunkeld & Birnam Station

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Scotrail314209

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Hi all, just a quick question as I'm genuinely curious.

Dunkeld & Birnam has a very low platform and with all the emphasis on Disability regulations, how does this station get away with having such a low platform.

Those who have been to the station will know that it is quite a step down to the platform. Albeit there are some steps on the platform, but the train doors never ever line up with them.

Surely going into 2020 this station should get something similar to a Harrington Hump?
 
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hexagon789

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Hi all, just a quick question as I'm genuinely curious.

Dunkeld & Birnam has a very low platform and with all the emphasis on Disability regulations, how does this station get away with having such a low platform.

Those who have been to the station will know that it is quite a step down to the platform. Albeit there are some steps on the platform, but the train doors never ever line up with them.

Surely going into 2020 this station should get something similar to a Harrington Hump?

I'd assume so-called "grandfather rights", that is to say that new platforms cannot be built so low but existing ones can remain so for various reasons.
 

MadMac

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Dunkeld's status is very much "up in the air" at the moment, as there's a possibility of the station moving depending on just what happens with the A9 dualling in the area. This is also part of the reason that the box didn't close along with Pitlochry.
 

pdeaves

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Hi all, just a quick question as I'm genuinely curious.

Dunkeld & Birnam has a very low platform and with all the emphasis on Disability regulations, how does this station get away with having such a low platform.

Those who have been to the station will know that it is quite a step down to the platform. Albeit there are some steps on the platform, but the train doors never ever line up with them.

Surely going into 2020 this station should get something similar to a Harrington Hump?
There's only a certain amount of money (and manpower) to go round for accessibility alterations. Evidently other stations were considered a higher priority.
 

SargeNpton

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This is the biggest step up that I've seen, at Pembroke Dock in 2014. At the buffer stops end of the platform it was manageable, but the nearer to the country end the greater the gap got.

At some other stations on the branch there were moveable steps for passengers to use, but none at Pembroke Dock itself.DSC_0011.JPG
 

_toommm_

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Kildonan is a very big gap too (vertically) requiring stairs up, with Earlestown platforms four and five being the biggest gaps horizontally, especially on stock that has doors at thirds.
 

Bald Rick

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This is the biggest step up that I've seen, at Pembroke Dock in 2014. At the buffer stops end of the platform it was manageable, but the nearer to the country end the greater the gap got.

At some other stations on the branch there were moveable steps for passengers to use, but none at Pembroke Dock itself.View attachment 84840

About the same as some platforms Clapham Junction, as well as a wide gap; some of which will have more passengers in a day than Pembroke Dock does in a year!

Back to Dunkeld; as is said above the A9 dualling means something happens to the station (can’t remebe4 what, it’s Grade A listed), so it gets sorted then.
 
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Dunkeld's status is very much "up in the air" at the moment, as there's a possibility of the station moving depending on just what happens with the A9 dualling in the area. This is also part of the reason that the box didn't close along with Pitlochry.
A9 route through Dunkeld and Birnam has been identified I believe (at the planning stage), leaving the station in its current location though with several years of extensive works on its doorstep. Essentially, the A9 is going to be dropped into a cut and cover tunnel past most of Birnam and under the station car park. But before that is done, a nearby burn has to be culverted and dropped by about 6m (not a problem, as it drops something like 10m naturally between the A9 site and the edge of the village.

An online level upgrade of the A9 was apparently ruled out as flattening the station wouldn’t create enough space, so an entirely new carriageway was required for both NB and SB directions, or the railway would need completely realigned along with a completely new station. Moving the A9 west would require extensive TBM tunnelling (far more expensive than cut and cover), and east would expose the road to the village (albeit from the other side), considered unpalatable to their property values i should imagine.

It may turn out to be the most challenging and extensive piece of engineering of the whole A9 project.

Source, a friend living nearby to Dunkeld.

Now, if we could just get the HML doubled..... one can dream.
 

47271

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A9 route through Dunkeld and Birnam has been identified I believe (at the planning stage), leaving the station in its current location though with several years of extensive works on its doorstep. Essentially, the A9 is going to be dropped into a cut and cover tunnel past most of Birnam and under the station car park. But before that is done, a nearby burn has to be culverted and dropped by about 6m (not a problem, as it drops something like 10m naturally between the A9 site and the edge of the village.

An online level upgrade of the A9 was apparently ruled out as flattening the station wouldn’t create enough space, so an entirely new carriageway was required for both NB and SB directions, or the railway would need completely realigned along with a completely new station. Moving the A9 west would require extensive TBM tunnelling (far more expensive than cut and cover), and east would expose the road to the village (albeit from the other side), considered unpalatable to their property values i should imagine.

It may turn out to be the most challenging and extensive piece of engineering of the whole A9 project.

Source, a friend living nearby to Dunkeld.

Now, if we could just get the HML doubled..... one can dream.
That's a pretty good summary of the situation, other than that no decision has been revealed by Transport Scotland. There's a lot of apprehension locally that an option cheaper than the tunnel will be pursued.

That aside, I'm told that we can be guaranteed that there will be massive pressure to improve access within the station as soon a decision is made on the A9. The village isn't prepared to clamber on and off trains from two foot high platforms for years in the middle of giant roadworks. We'll see...
 

gingertom

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Killicrankie Tunnel kills your dream I am afraid!!!! :)
I wouldn't say it kills the dream, it just makes that dream rather expensive. Anything is possible if you throw enough money at a problem to make it go away.

Could that money be better spent on targeted improvements and enhancements elsewhere?
 

InOban

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Money shouldn't be an issue. Just think about how much the ScoGov is throwing at the A9 dualling......
 

47271

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Money shouldn't be an issue. Just think about how much the ScoGov is throwing at the A9 dualling......
We're drifting off topic, however...

To be fair there's a significant safety issue with the A9 in its present form, and as a resident of Speyside I think that I'm qualified to make that statement. I'd love to see the Highland Main Line doubled throughout, but I can see that the A9 is a more pressing priority at that scale.

My frustration with rail investment is at a lower level. All we've seen in the past five years is a bit of signalling at Pitlochry and Aviemore to accommodate a never to materialise HST timetable, in itself now delayed by over two years by the snail's pace refurbishment of 40 year old rustbucket stock. This really isn't good enough on two very different fronts.

At the very least we need three additional loops to give the schedule some resilience.
 

Scotrail314209

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If a wheelchair user had to use the Highland Mainline for any reason, and Dunkeld was their nearest station. Since the gap is too big to safely attach a ramp, would Scotrail or LNER, depending on who was operating the service, have to pay for a taxi to get them to either Pitlochry or Perth?
 

47271

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If a wheelchair user had to use the Highland Mainline for any reason, and Dunkeld was their nearest station. Since the gap is too big to safely attach a ramp, would Scotrail or LNER, depending on who was operating the service, have to pay for a taxi to get them to either Pitlochry or Perth?
Yes, and I've seen a letter from Steve Montgomery, the then MD of Scotrail, to the local MSP, which says exactly that...
 

Scotrail314209

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Yes, and I've seen a letter from Steve Montgomery, the then MD of Scotrail, to the local MSP, which says exactly that...

Owch, that sounds like a bit of a pain. It's inevitable that something will need to be done with that station, I think a redevelopment may be the best option.

But no doubt someone will get annoyed at the upgrade and claim that it is ruining the historical look of the station.
 

47271

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Or fewer trains :lol:
Something that would be easily achievable with the present level of passenger numbers...

But no doubt someone will get annoyed at the upgrade and claim that it is ruining the historical look of the station.
I'd hope not, it's the only HML station left with all round low platforms. All of the others have been done, and some that don't even get into five figure annual passenger numbers, with no detrimental effect on the heritage.
 

Scotrail314209

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Something that would be easily achievable with the present level of passenger numbers...


I'd hope not, it's the only HML station left with all round low platforms. All of the others have been done, and some that don't even get into five figure annual passenger numbers, with no detrimental effect on the heritage.

If all of the other ones have been done, then what's taken them so long to get round to Dunkeld? Surely it'd have been better just to do them all in one sitting.
 

Taunton

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Raising the level of a plain platform is straightforward stuff, if there are no steps or buildings close by with doorways etc leading onto it. But if there are, it is a real architectural challenge for what to do, particularly if like here it is a Listed Structure, which means you can't do much with it. The final option is of course to lower the track, but by the time you have lowered the drainage etc as well the costs and disruption of that can be stratospheric.
 

47271

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Raising the level of a plain platform is straightforward stuff, if there are no steps or buildings close by with doorways etc leading onto it. But if there are, it is a real architectural challenge for what to do, particularly if like here it is a Listed Structure, which means you can't do much with it. The final option is of course to lower the track, but by the time you have lowered the drainage etc as well the costs and disruption of that can be stratospheric.
The local view is that the, admittedly splendid, station building had been used for years as an excuse for inaction.

Its location is at the extreme westerly end of the up platform. If they didn't want to interfere with the heritage, any Scotrail train could stop wholly at a raised platform east of the building, and in fact the two car stop sign puts all of a 158 beyond the canopy. No more than the rearmost half of the rear coach of a 170 uses the covered section of the platform. Only an Azuma or the sleeper is long enough that a full coach needs to stop by the canopy.

There are no buildings on the down loop platform.

To be fair, improvements are now genuinely held up by decisions on the A9, but that doesn't explain 50 years of avoidance during and following the planning and construction of the present A9 in the mid 1970s.
 

47271

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I cannot remember which thread it was mentioned in, but would the locations be Newtonmore (simple reinstatement as there is already a disused platform), Culodden, and somewhere else?
Culloden is at the south end of the double track section out of Inverness, and in general there are more loops available on the northern section of the route.

Newtonmore is very close to Kingussie, so less need there either.

From many years of experience of long waits on northbound trains for delayed southbound crosses, especially at Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Dalwhinnie, I'd be most in favour of seeing reinstatements at Ballinluig, Killiecrankie and Etteridge.
 
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