East Coast Main Line - List of planned upgrades?

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WiredUp

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Minor point, but aerodynamics in tunnels with pressure sealed stock are less about passenger comfort, and more about passing a curtain sided freight, or heritage charter train in the tunnel.
Quite possibly, I've generally seen it in most instances referenced in terms of passenger comfort. I think in Alderton tunnel it was an issue of the pressure waves meaning that said effluent to be deposited on the track went in the wrong direction - if you happened to flush at the wrong time.
 
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och aye

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Is there much in the way of proposed/suggested upgrades between Waverley and Newcastle? I know that there is some chatter that some sections near to Edinburgh/in East Lothian could be re-quaded and the Abbeyhill junction could be brought back into use. Anything else?
 

Halish Railway

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Asides from the lack of headspans, can someone explain the difference between the 125mph Mk3B electrification design that it dominant north of Hitchin compared to the 150mph electrification present on the northern portion of the Northeast Corridor that was wired in the late 90s?

Picture of the NEC electrification that is similar to the ECML electrification.
1639522094288.jpeg
 

snowball

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National Highways (formerly Highways England, formerly Highways Agency) has announced its preferred route for dualling the A46 Newark Bypass, including widened bridges over the ECML and Nottingham-Lincoln line, and widening the road where it runs parallel to the latter, following a public consultation a year or so ago:


The preferred route brochure includes this:

What you told us

Newark flat rail crossing

Respondents highlighted the need for the scheme to consider Network Rail’s aspirations to separate the levels of the existing flat crossing between the Nottingham to Lincoln line and the East Coast mainline at Newark-on-Trent.

Our response:

We have worked with Network Rail and the Department for Transport to identify and understand any conflicts between the A46 Newark Bypass scheme and potential rail schemes, and to discuss opportunities for working together. As a result, we identified a location immediately to the east of the sewage works underpass where the schemes would be very close together. We have changed the layout of the eastbound off-slip to Brownhills roundabout to increase the space between the railway and the road so that a future rail scheme would not be prevented by our scheme. We will continue to work together as the design of both schemes is developed.
 

Class 170101

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Does that suggest that the Lincoln to Nottingham line will be the one to change alignment vice the ECML?
 

swt_passenger

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Does that suggest that the Lincoln to Nottingham line will be the one to change alignment vice the ECML?
AIUI from a few earlier discussions the only practical solution is to lift that line over the ECML, on its present alignment. Neither line can be lowered, and the ECML cannot be raised.
 

snowball

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AIUI from a few earlier discussions the only practical solution is to lift that line over the ECML, on its present alignment. Neither line can be lowered, and the ECML cannot be raised.
I would say not exactly "on its present alignment". I would expect the Nottingham-Lincoln line to be diverted onto a new embankment, viaduct or mixture of the two, alongside its present alignment, so that the current line can remain in use until the time comes to tie in the ends of the diversion.

The latest modification of the road scheme enables the diversion to be on the side nearest the road.
 

CapabilityB

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National Highways (formerly Highways England, formerly Highways Agency) has announced its preferred route for dualling the A46 Newark Bypass, including widened bridges over the ECML and Nottingham-Lincoln line, and widening the road where it runs parallel to the latter, following a public consultation a year or so ago:


The preferred route brochure includes this:
Opportunities for NH and NR to work together to create a single structure with a widened A46 and a grade separation for the Nottingham-Lincoln line would be interesting
 

snowball

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Opportunities for NH and NR to work together to create a single structure with a widened A46 and a grade separation for the Nottingham-Lincoln line would be interesting
That would need the rail scheme to get some funding and development unusually quickly given that it's currently nowhere, while the road scheme has been in the pipeline a while and is expected to start construction in 2025.

Of course, claims were made in the IRP about what would happen to the ECML, but I'm not holding my breath.
 

swt_passenger

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Opportunities for NH and NR to work together to create a single structure with a widened A46 and a grade separation for the Nottingham-Lincoln line would be interesting
It couldn’t really be a single structure, the road is effectively at the high level all the way along the section where they run
mostly in parallel, but the Lincoln line has to rise and fall, because it passes under the A46 heading east, at the point when the road straightens out it is about 70m away from the tracks. East of the ECML the Lincoln line falls to pass under the A1, however the modified bypass will go over the A1. At the closest point east of the flat crossing the separation is about 40m. Overall I think apart from the heights being different such a common structure would be unacceptably wide.

Would be a very different scenario if the entire road was being built brand new, but I expect building alongside the existing single carriageway was always a given.
 

Oveloel

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Is there much in the way of proposed/suggested upgrades between Waverley and Newcastle? I know that there is some chatter that some sections near to Edinburgh/in East Lothian could be re-quaded and the Abbeyhill junction could be brought back into use. Anything else?
As a local to Abbeyhill: I vaguely remember some discussion on here about this a few years ago. As I understand it, the whole loop round the back of Meadowbank Stadium and Shopping Park would be reinstated effectively as a passing loop, just off-line (much as HS2 is effectively another, off-line pair of WCML tracks). Would this include reopening of Abbeyhill station? I don't think you could use the original location; the alignment there isn't straight. The best spot in my opinion would be the site of Meadowbank Stadium station on Marionville Road, perhaps named 'Lochend'?
 

swt_passenger

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As a local to Abbeyhill: I vaguely remember some discussion on here about this a few years ago. As I understand it, the whole loop round the back of Meadowbank Stadium and Shopping Park would be reinstated effectively as a passing loop, just off-line (much as HS2 is effectively another, off-line pair of WCML tracks). Would this include reopening of Abbeyhill station? I don't think you could use the original location; the alignment there isn't straight. The best spot in my opinion would be the site of Meadowbank Stadium station on Marionville Road, perhaps named 'Lochend'?
I think that proposal for the Abbeyhill loop would only be a single track in one direction. I think it’s mentioned in the thread that was mostly about the P5/6 works at Waverley:
I found there’s a few references to Abbeyhill loop throughout that thread, but not much about station platforms.
 
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swt_passenger

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Are the Darlington station upgrade plans going ahead?
There’s a number of approved planning applications, but IIRC from the last discussion on the dedicated thread there had not been any firm information on the council planning site about any new (up side) or existing platform works. The last post there, back in December, reckoned work would start this summer:
 

och aye

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As a local to Abbeyhill: I vaguely remember some discussion on here about this a few years ago. As I understand it, the whole loop round the back of Meadowbank Stadium and Shopping Park would be reinstated effectively as a passing loop, just off-line (much as HS2 is effectively another, off-line pair of WCML tracks). Would this include reopening of Abbeyhill station? I don't think you could use the original location; the alignment there isn't straight. The best spot in my opinion would be the site of Meadowbank Stadium station on Marionville Road, perhaps named 'Lochend'?
A turnback was meant to be built as part of the original EGIP plans, but got cut back. A CGI video still exists:

More recently there was a report published by Network Rail to reinstate the Abbeyhill loop, redouble the North Calton Hill tunnel and remodelling of the east end of Waverley station. But these aren't concrete plans. You can look at this in more detail from the study published in 2016 here:


1647638963488.png
 

waverley47

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The Abbeyhill turn back was necessary to allow 6tph of 6 coach E&G shuttle.

Eventually, this was descoped in favour of 4tph of 8 coach trains, with platform lengthening and Queen Street remodelling instead. This meant that the Abbeyhill turn back, Greenhill upper grade separation, a turnback at Croy from the QS direction, and the Almond Chord were deemed unnecessary.

Greenhill and Almond Chord are still on the agenda, and will come back into favour eventually. Furthermore, provision of new platforms (and one new crossover) at Waverley has allowed more, longer trains to terminate in bay platforms, both from the north and south. In turn this frees up through platforms, meaning you can stack up more trains at Waverley, and so running to Abbeyhill to turn back isn't necessary. The crossover has also meant more parallel moves are available, and you'll often see platform 7 used as a hot spare, and 8/9 (the suburban platforms) used to keep the Avanti out of the way.

The Abbeyhill loop was a proposal to regulate up trains leaving Waverley. It's been suggested as a solution to increased capacity between Waverley and Portobello Junction. There was never a proposal to reinstate Abbeyhill/Meadowbank stations. These stations would be too close to Waverley to serve a different area, would be served too infrequently to offer a useful service, and too close to very frequent bus links to really be worthwhile.

The Abbeyhill loop however runs into the problem of not gaining any time. If you dispatch a train from Waverley southbound in the ECML, the current headway is 2.5 minutes.

With the Abbeyhill loop, you send one around the loop, and one down the main line, however you still have to merge the loop train back onto the ECML, and indeed most likely cross it over the ECML towards Brunstane. It doesn't add any capacity, just theoretical capacity for disruptions and engineering works (Calton tunnel rebuilds).
 

Watershed

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the current headway is 2.5 minutes
It's 3 minutes from Edinburgh to Portobello Jn (inclusive). There's a lot of 'fiddles' at Abbeyhill Jn at the moment with trains having dot-stops to make the margins work. It's a mess.
 
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