East-West Rail: Progress and updates

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by aylesbury2, 27 Apr 2014.

  1. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Oxford and Cowley by 2019? Ha ha! good luck with that considering the entire GRIP process from start to finish is normally a good 4 years at least. The other dates for completion for phase 2 are no different to what they are now from what I can work out, so not sure where the acceleration is. I also don't understand the bit about the HS2 interface at Calvert, there is no reason why HS2 couldn't deliver it on behalf of E-W or vice versa depending on who is there first?
     
  2. NickBucks

    NickBucks Member

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    Seems to me that what started off as a plan to resurrect the varsity line to connect Oxford & Cambridge quickly rather than travelling via London appears to have been hijacked by the house building interests. The idea that most journeys will be short between local towns rather than an inter-city service with limited stops could result in the demand for new stations along the line to serve future housing developments. We could end up with a Marston Vale type service all the way from Oxford to Cambridge ! Finally the idea that an MK- London service via Aylesbury could run along the Amersham line is clearly ridiculous ( hence the plan originally to run Marylebone- MK services as an extension to the existing Marylebone- Aylesbury service via Wycombe. ). The cost would surely rule this out even ignoring the issues with running over LUL lines and capacity constraints on the line.
     
  3. MarkRedon

    MarkRedon Member

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    I seem to recall that it's hoped to use (bits of) EWR to assist in HS2 construction. I assume that the planning for the interface between the two schemes - however minimalist - is reasonably complete? But presumably nowhere in GRIP terms... (Does GRIP apply to HS2?)
     
  4. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Quite the opposite. East West Rail only got serious as a proposal about 7-10 years ago as a plan from the house building interests, with the principle that it would be paid for entirely through a specific infrastructure levy on each property completed. From memory it was then around 100,000 homes and £5k levy each. Without the property development, the railway won't be happening.
     
  5. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    A bit about Bedford Midland not best situated for the eventual Cambridge run through. But nothing to substantiate how it will be delivered. This report seems wholly unsubstantiated with "cheap Thrill" ideas that won't go anywhere if the begging doesn't return some rewards. Surely its best advised to wait for the chancellors budget speech to see if any monies are available for this project.
     
  6. judethegreat

    judethegreat Member

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    Sandy area being developed and expanded is interesting, and also about not necessarily running via Bedford Midland.

    I thought the vague idea was to run through Midland then branch off east north of Bedford and run vaguely via St Neots, or was that just suggestions from folks on here?
     
  7. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Surely, given it's all essentially new build anyway, the solution to whether to make it an intercity or suburban railway is to just have passing loops at the stations? Literally, just build the platforms further apart so you can have 4 tracks through them and you're done for the suburban option, and if demand for an intercity option comes along, you put in the through lines a-la the Chiltern line?

    ...as for Bedford Midland, again, it's all effectively new build anyway, so build a new route north from the existing station and curving round the north of Bedford. Use the terrain to your advantage and set some TBMs going and it will simplify the land acquisition too. It's not like we have to worry about steam trains on the line, and given the rest of the route is planned to be electrified eventually, it shouldn't even cause a problem with diesels.
     
  8. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Unless i'm mistaken they took the option to veer east from Kempston Hardwick, build a parkway station where the branch hits the MML and continue east towards Sandy. Whereby a new Sandy station will be built further north from its current site so the changing over of trains is possible.

    A few years ago they stated "lines on a map" for the Cambridge section were along way off. When we see lines on a map for this section it will be the next "true" step. That is the sign of progress for me anyway.
     
  9. judethegreat

    judethegreat Member

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    Ok, so miss central Bedford and MK..

    By changing over of trains, do you mean a run along the ECML at Sandy or purely a passenger interchange station?

    Cheers btw :)
     
  10. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    No, it was not a plan from developers.

    What is now the East West Rail consortium came about in the mid-1990s through the initiative of the councils along the route - and that means right out to the East Coast, Ipswich Borough Council actually being the key instigator.

    As the government's view for many years was that the project was not deemed to be of national importance and thus not deserving of lots of government funding, the councils looked around for other ways to pay for it and decided planning gain money from housing developments looked like the best bet. Belatedly the government took an interest and has injected money for development of the scheme in recent years, but planing gain funding remains vital to the overall budget.
     
  11. 67018

    67018 Member

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    Surely the whole point is the opposite - the aim is to influence what the chancellor does which has to be done before any announcement. The intention being not to propose detailed engineering solutions, but keep some attention focussed on it so that some cash can be found (or existing cash not withdrawn).
     
  12. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    I didn't say developers, but house building interests. Which the local authorities certainly are!
     
  13. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    I would agree if the project was one the chancellor was unaware of. But its one that has publicly being shown on the news from time to time. He would have been aware of it even before he was posted in the position of chancellor. What we need is a railway enthusiast chancellor to get some serious traction here.
     
  14. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    That phrase is generally accepted to mean developers and contractors, which is the meaning that I put on your use of it. If I want to talk about councils, I will use the word councils. Maybe you could too?

    And even if we take your definition, then the councils' interest is, as I noted, much longer-standing than "7 to 10 years ago".

    The consortium took shape from 1995 and the councils' key interest from day one was improving connectivity across the 'arc' from the east coast to the South Midlands and points beyond that, while bypassing London/the M25, not because of what housing targets might be set for the region 20 years later.
     
  15. aylesbury

    aylesbury Member

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    The new road proposed between Oxford and Cambridge is okay but connections to it seem to be lacking.

    In Aylesbury house building is growing fast and increasing traffic daily in and out of the area.

    Bicester is growing very fast and will need a bypass very soon as in the rush hours its nearly at a standstill plus of course traffic to the shopping village is increasing every day.

    If you travel on any of our link roads; A41, A413 etc at rush hours they are heavily congested due to being single carriageways and are quite dangerous.

    Rail links will help to slow road growth but wont alleviate it completely due to cars being the dominant means of transport. But the biggest stumbling block to any improvement are the councils BCC and AVDC, they have shown a consistent lack of forethought on roads or anything else. They let houses be built without adequate roads and keep on about link roads (single carriageway) as the answer to all problems.

    AVDC recently said that a flats development near our house will nor impact on a busy road junction to the A418 that has money set aside for improvement and plans, but as usual the councils are dragging their feet over starting it.

    The rail line via Amersham cannot ever be sped-up due to LUL trains, but via Wycombe times can be slashed. Most people from Aylesbury prefer the Amersham route and it's is always full and standing. The new service to Milton Keynes will be heavily used from the start.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 19 Nov 2017
  16. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    How much of the cost of East West Rail are the developers being expected to contribute towards the new line?
     
  17. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    i think councils are being far too reliant on prospective earnings from housebuilders(there would be a conflict of interest somewhat in most of mp's having dealings with them), and not concentrating on pure logistics and footfall.

    truth is,if you want to travel from point a to point b in the country you will take the quickest route possible,with the minimum of connection time
    that being intercity long distance from hub to hub..then regional hub to hub where possible.

    hence why I believe EW rail should be oxford-MKC-Bedford,then through bedford north on the new thru line to corby to st neots-cambridge.

    lets say I want to travel from northampton-cambridge-by road 1 hr.
    by new rail link-
    northampton-mkc= 15 mins
    wait
    mkc-bletchley=5 mins
    wait
    bletchley-bedford parkway=25 mins(35 mins on present all stopper train to st johns)
    wait
    bedford parkway-cambridge= 25 mins

    that's 70 mins+connection times(lets be generous and say 10 min wait each for connections= 100 mins.)

    now lets suppose I want to go to kettering:
    add bedford parkway-bedford midland= 5 mins
    wait
    bedford midland-kettering 20 mins

    northampton -kettering by car= 20 mins. not justifiable in any sense.
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    There are trains from Northampton to Bletchley today and if/when EWR extends to Cambridge and beyond I expect there will be trains from Bletchley to Cambridge, so that journey would only have one change not three as you suggest.

    Even the intial EWR service before extension beyond Bedford is likely to include semi-fast services between Bletchley and Bedford, which would logically terminate at Midland to provide connections and to avoid the cost of terminating facilities at the Parkway station, if that's what it ends up being. So MK to Kettering would be two changes, possibly going down to one if ideas for through trains between MML and EWR come to pass. But I agree rail isn't going to be a sensible option for travel between Kettering and Northampton.
     
  19. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Have you actually looked at a map? St Neots is a long way to the south-east of Corby - and the only intermediate place en-route might be Thrapston - which isn't very big and certainly doesn't justify a whole new line.

    If you're going to run north from Corby, the only logical destination on the ECML is Peterborough - not least because the only work needed would be a south > east curve at Manton Junction - not that I'm saying that would be cheap, but it would be cheaper than trying to build a whole new line to St Neots and might actually be achievable in the next 2 decades.

    Northampton's benefit on EWR will only be better journey times to either Cambridge or Oxford - via a change at Bletchley - and there are direct Northampton - Bletchley trains now, so no need for a change at MKC.

    It will do nothing for connectivity to Kettering - not least because going 25 miles south to go north really doesn't make a lot of sense - and the Stagecoach X4 will get you there far more quickly.
     
  20. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    Personally I am not that bothered how the line gets to Cambridge. I am bothered about the Oxford - Blethcley - Bedford bit getting built.

    Now, if we could get a direct Fenny Stratford - MK service out of this i would be a happy man! ;)
     
  21. aylesbury

    aylesbury Member

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    Here in Aylesbury we are waiting for Marylebone to MK as are people in Winslow ,when the line is up and running we are going to have excellent travel links.The 280 bus to Oxford ,the 300 to Wycombe plus a wealth of train links two routes to London a fast link to Birmingham and Oxford and the west via Didcot even to Reading all in all Aylesbury will be certainly a place worth living in.
     
  22. hooverboy

    hooverboy Member

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    fenny stratford would close for sure, but you would get a nice new station for milton keynes stadium right by the tescos.

    it would not be difficult to do compulsary purchase on that land.most of it is dereclict industrial estate..about 15% capacity is actually in use...so would not be a problem to give companies in residence a little incentive to relocate a couple of hundred metres and it would tidy the whole area up a lot.

    as for getting to cambridge...I am most certainly interested on how quick I could chop and change trains to get from one mainline IC hub to another.I want to get from a to b with the minimum of fuss.
    with a direct fast line from bedford midland to cambridge with 4 or 5 stops in between should take about 30mins....way faster than acar via A428..but if I have to stop in between for a change that connection time improvement will be lost considerably/totally.

    it's still an improvement on the 2 hours it would take via london or st albans/hatfield on the plusbus, but it needs optimisation badly.
    the A428 is a bit of a lottery as there's a bit of single carriageway road where you'll always get stuck behind a lorry doing 40mph the whole way...and it's chaos at rush hour.

    don't even bother trying bedford midland to cambridge stations by bus either. at both ends you have about a 15 minute walk to the respective bus stations as the connecting service does not stop at either rail station...so best case is that's just under 2 hours as well pojnt to point.
    considering it's only 30 miles that's an average speed of 15mph,which is quite pathetic.
     
    Last edited: 20 Nov 2017
  23. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    eh - what on earth are you on about?
     
  24. CdBrux

    CdBrux Member

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    This bit of the A428 will almost certainly be dualled before EWR central section construction starts
     
  25. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    I agree absolutely that Oxford and Aylesbury to Bletchley and Bedford should be completed before we start worrying about building a new line to Cambridge.

    However I think you're going to be disappointed about Fenny Stratford to Milton Keynes. None of the mooted diagrams - and there have been so many over the past few years - has suggested that. The current thinking is that the Bletchley Flyover will be re-built with high-level platforms, and that trains from Bedford via Fenny Stratford will go over the flyover to either Aylesbury or Oxford. The one concept that seems to be "firming up" is Oxford to Milton Keynes.
     
  26. Railwaysceptic

    Railwaysceptic Member

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    It sounds as though you need a good bus service from Bedford to Hitchin Station. Is there one?
     
  27. philjo

    philjo Established Member

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    There is a half-hourly bus from Bedford to Hitchin but it does not serve Hitchin station - you need to walk from Bancroft, about 15-20 mins walk. The last bus leaves Bedford at 18:35 and 19:40 northbound from Hitchin
     
  28. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    Nor have the Bedford buses ever served Hitchin station - back when it was United Counties 181 / 182, they've always headed out of town and then towards Bedford towards Ickleford. Hitchin station isn't in the town centre and routing the Bedford buses that way would involve extra distance and doubling back.
     
  29. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I think there would be a real benefit in an "MK Metro" type service (no, not a Julian Peddle bus service) if space could be found for one, with MK growing more and more. The demand from the Marston Vale is to go to MK. Until it does it will continue to be a basket case, and I'd expect to see the local stations closed or Parly-ised (school trains and one at lunchtime, maybe) when EWR comes unless they do.
     
  30. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    I wonder why they chose to write that as though it is a new suggestion. Everything I've read about EWR over a few years has always had that as a through service on the proposed route maps...
     
    Last edited: 21 Nov 2017

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