East-West Rail in Westminster

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by MK Tom, 21 Nov 2011.

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  1. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    As many of you will probably know there was a debate in parliament a few days ago on East-West Rail. There's a story about it here http://eastwestrail.org.uk/westminster-hall-adjournment-debate/ which includes links to the debate itself. Overall the massive support from local and not-so-local ministers was very positive, only to be damaged a little by a very non-committal government statement at the end which left equal provision for pretty much every outcome possible.

    For those that don't know the scheme currently being put forward for the 2014-19 projects window is for the reopening of the Bletchley-Bicester line and the Claydon-Aylesbury line and upgrades to Bicester-Oxford, Aylesbury-Princes Risborough and Bletchley-Bedford lines.
     
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  3. ntg

    ntg Member

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    Can we get some of that in Herts and North London...?
     
  4. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Not sure where the money will come from. Everyone seems to want it but no one wants to pay for it.

    Also i will be intrested to see what the plans are to provide a platform at Bletchley for these services.
     
  5. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    They are explained somewhere in one of the many documents (with dead links) on the EWR website, but basically the platform will be on the flyover route alongside the existing station.
     
  6. SwindonPkwy

    SwindonPkwy Member

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    As a cross country route, I guess this scheme does not fit nicely into any particular RUS. Are there any similar schemes that have come to fruition? Given the need to fill in the "missing link", it is difficult to see it happening any time soon.
     
  7. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    I think a lot of people underestimate how far advanced the scheme already is. It has the full backing of every local authority along the route, a number of operators, it's fully costed, has a cost to benefit ratio of 6:1, has been in development for 21 years and vegetation clearance has already taken place as part of it. I think the chances of it getting included in CP5 are very high. Don't forget this is all just for the western section - east of Bedford is another matter entirely.
     
  8. SwindonPkwy

    SwindonPkwy Member

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    Could the western section go ahead on its own? If so, which franchise would it most likely come under?
     
  9. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    The CP5 application is only for the western section (as is the £250m costing, the 6:1 cost to benefit ratio and all the other work EWRC have done). I think it would most likely come under Chiltern as they've been contributing to it more than anyone and they have a stated desire to operate into MKC, but there's no official word on that.
     
  10. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Theres a chance that XC or ICWC might look into it for some LDPE services aswell, or perhaps FGW from Reading limited stop to Milton Keynes or Nuneaton?
     
  11. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    I'd love it if CrossCountry ran services to MKC. However it's worth bearing in mind that the predicted opening time is 2017 - Chiltern is the only current franchise that will definitely still exist then. Also Chiltern operate Bicester-Oxford now so it makes sense for them to run the whole thing and just take over the Marston Vale stopper. To me it does anyway :p I'd love an intercity service over the new line but the plans are for stoppers from Reading and semi-fast services from Marylebone. Here's a map of the western section: http://eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/western.png
     
  12. OxtedL

    OxtedL Established Member Quizmaster

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    If Chiltern get the Marston Vale then LM can get rid of their 150s? (If they haven't already :D) So it's all quite convenient.
     
  13. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    I would like that very much. Chiltern would have the Marston Vale tomorrow if anything to say about it I had. I hate having the 150s, they're uncomfortable and frankly manky. Also I resent the fact they're still wearing debranded Central Trains livery after four years... I would massively prefer what is by comparison the obscene luxury of a Chiltern 165.
     
  14. SwindonPkwy

    SwindonPkwy Member

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    I'm sure I've seen some iterations of the western section including Swindon and even Chippenham and Melksham.
     
  15. al green

    al green Member

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    DfT are interested in diverting Ston-Mcr XC service via MKC and Trent valley in order to avoid the black hole that is [stn]BHM[/stn].
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28 Jun 2012
  16. anthony263

    anthony263 Established Member

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    Yes there was talk of a limited service from Swindon to Bedford using the east-west link. Although since it would be a bit difficult to terminate at train at Swindon from the Didcot direction I think a through service to Westbury and perhaps running a few to Salisbury or Weymouth would be a good idea.

    Especially if it will help reduce some of the overcrowding on services between Bath/Chippenham & Swindon/Didcot
     
  17. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    I still dont think this will happen (it shoud, but wont) becuase i do not know where the money will come from - All the councils and intrested parties are very much in favour - just none of the want to release (or even have) the cash to make it happen.

    The proposers might have costed it, they might have a 6-1 benefit ratio and all of that , but none of it produces any money.

    Like i said it SHOULD (and i hope it does) happen - i just wonder if it will!
     
  18. cle

    cle Established Member

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    I would go a little further than Swindon - namely to Bath and Bristol, both big destinations.

    The other way, I would go further than Bedford (hardly a big deal) up to Nottingham via Leicester. It could also serve some local journeys up the MML too.

    I'd extend the Marston Vale service from MKC to Corby and cut some London trains in favour of connections.

    XC trains to Manchester would be great: Reading - Oxford - Milton Keynes - Stoke etc... - some Trent Valley stations too possibly, no worse than Stafford for example.

    I think Bicester potentially might be worth stopping at. Probably not Bletchley in that example.
     
  19. stut

    stut Established Member

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    If you're going north of Bedford, I wonder if a Bedford - Corby - Oakham (rev) - Peterborough service could be possible? Nice link to the ECML, nice alternative to the painfully slow bus via Northampton.
     
  20. cle

    cle Established Member

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    I think that was one option for Oxford - Cambridge originally but binned for being too far north. It'd be a useful link regardless, there's nothing to say a E/W link couldn't be used by all sorts of different services.

    Linking places to Peterborough is always good for ECML access and London/car avoiding.

    I'd hope a curve would be put in to avoid Oakham at least.
     
  21. a good off

    a good off Member

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    A Manton Triangle... :)
     
  22. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    I find it odd they would want to run some of the XC along it missing New St, considering XC are desperate as it is to get both services running via Cov and International. If it does ever happen expect to see a lot of Class 4 traffic on it.
     
  23. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    I think in lieu of these a pendo will be extended in place of the XC diagram, keeping the same service level between Birmingham and Manchester.
     
  24. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Surely Oxford would lose 50% of the Birmingham trains ?
     
  25. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Yes - it's always seemed odd that they'd remove all that Oxford - New St capacity if that happened. I think it is just trying to put a gloss on what is possible if the route existed, it doesn't seem to be very useful though.

    There's a bit more to XC's current service than just New St - Piccadilly, certainly...
     
  26. Nym

    Nym Established Member

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    Is why personally I think that it should be an additional service from either Manchester or Liverpool down the Trent Valley to MKC and onwards to Reading via EWR. And if it can be done with bi-mode stock and a new curve in place, onwards to Heathrow to be used before HS2 links Manchester up to LHR.
     
  27. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Yeah I think it'd be better as a new service too.

    God forbid it could use the new platforms and the diveunder at Reading and run to Guildford, Gatwick and Brighton! Although I'd rather the normal XC did that.
     
  28. MK Tom

    MK Tom Established Member

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    Presumably if Bournemouth-Manchester services were diverted via MKC, Chiltern or FGW would introduce extra Oxford-New Street services, possibly extended back to Reading or hell even Swindon.

    The idea that EWR is not a useful route is one with which I strongly disagree. It's a vital missing link in the rail network which should never have closed and has caused the appalling situation of all east-west journeys having to route through London. Also the idea that the major regional centres of MK, Oxford and Aylesbury aren't connected to each other is farcical and is a contributing factor to the shocking situation on the road network between those three and other towns in the area.
     
  29. cle

    cle Established Member

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    There are huge uses for it:

    Freight - existing capacity plus new potential routes - Southampton to Nuneaton via Bicester?
    Local journeys - Oxford to MK connecting the villages to London services and each other. Less car usage in those areas and employment/education access.
    Regional links
    Cross Country services up WCML avoiding Birmingham.
    London bypass for long distance journeys from SW-N/NE.

    Services - we could go on forever.
     
  30. gordonthemoron

    gordonthemoron Established Member

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    however, not as many uses as HS2
     
  31. andyfrommk

    andyfrommk Member

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    The East West Rail Consortium has published a Prospectus for the western section of the proposed railway

    It can be downloaded here
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2011
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