East West Rail services

Status
Not open for further replies.

ABB125

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2016
Messages
2,694
Location
University of Birmingham
Assuming that East West Rail opens entirely (Oxford-Cambridge), if it ever does, and that wherever it crosses another line there is a junction that allows movement in any direction off any line, what services would you want to see being operated? Also, what are the current plans for services when Oxford-Bedford opens?
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

43074

Established Member
Joined
10 Oct 2012
Messages
1,755
Assuming that East West Rail opens entirely (Oxford-Cambridge), if it ever does, and that wherever it crosses another line there is a junction that allows movement in any direction off any line, what services would you want to see being operated? Also, what are the current plans for services when Oxford-Bedford opens?

For the current plans, there's a rough outline here - http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/train-services/ - but in summary,
1tph semi-fast, Bedford to Oxford
1tph semi-fast, Milton Keynes to Oxford - both of the above are proposed to run to/from Reading, although I suspect that's dependent on 4 tracking Oxford to Didcot
1tph London Marylebone - Aylesbury - Milton Keynes via High Wycombe
1tph Bedford to Bletchley - the current local service

Also Cambridge to Norwich & Ipswich are expected to become part of East-West when it is open to Cambridge, although that's a long way off and the exact alignment of the route is yet to be finalised.
 

swt_passenger

Veteran Member
Joined
7 Apr 2010
Messages
26,739
Will there be any long distance through services such as Norwich-Bristol?

West of Bedford isn't funded. It is only a proposal, albeit fairly serious.

Ideas for service patterns are probably about 10 years away, but there won't be infinite capacity - it is more likely that the initial services towards Bedford (as already mentioned) will be extended eastwards.

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

For the current plans, there's a rough outline here - http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/train-services/ - but in summary,
1tph semi-fast, Bedford to Oxford
1tph semi-fast, Milton Keynes to Oxford - both of the above are proposed to run to/from Reading, although I suspect that's dependent on 4 tracking Oxford to Didcot

A through service doesn't necessarily require extra capacity if they join it with existing services that presently terminate at Oxford, which is the proposal in one of the various route studies.
 
Last edited:

Clip

On Moderation
Joined
28 Jun 2010
Messages
10,615
I'm hoping for Guilford-Peterborough. I might be waiting a while :)

Would that be any quicker than the route now?

I know there's a couple of changes to go from the cross but wpould it be any different or direct?
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
Assuming that East West Rail opens entirely (Oxford-Cambridge), if it ever does, and that wherever it crosses another line there is a junction that allows movement in any direction off any line, what services would you want to see being operated? Also, what are the current plans for services when Oxford-Bedford opens?

The proposed line (essentially new build) from Bedford to Cambridge is unlikely to happen for many years, if ever - it would be very expensive to build and most (but not all) longer-distance flows (passenger and freight) can be catered for by other routes. It would really only be useful for the limited traffic (essentially passenger) from the counties of Beds/Bucks/Oxon/Northants to East Anglia. There is minimal prospect of shorter distance (commuter) traffic into Cambridge as the station there is such a long way from the city centre and most university buildings.

Other posters have outlined the proposed service on the Oxford-Bedford section above; hopefully the Bicester-Bletchley section will re-open by 2025. Only this section is useful and needed for longer-distance traffic from beyond Oxford. Passenger journeys from East Anglia to Reading/Didcot and beyond will remain quicker via London even if the Bedford-Cambridge section was rebuilt and the North London avoiding line can be used for the minimal freight traffic.

I'm hoping for Guildford-Peterborough. I might be waiting a while :)

That could be achieved by a short chord from the Corby-Oakham line to the Stamford-Oakham line near Manton junction, with the fast service from Oxford and beyond to Bedford extended via Corby and this chord to Peterborough.
 
Last edited:
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
The proposed line (essentially new build) from Bedford to Cambridge is unlikely to happen for many years, if ever - it would be very expensive to build and most (but not all) longer-distance flows (passenger and freight) can be catered for by other routes. It would really only be useful for the limited traffic (essentially passenger) from the counties of Beds/Bucks/Oxon/Northants to East Anglia. There is minimal prospect of shorter distance (commuter) traffic into Cambridge as the station there is such a long way from the city centre and most university buildings.

Other posters have outlined the proposed service on the Oxford-Bedford section above; hopefully the Bicester-Bletchley section will re-open by 2025. Only this section is useful and needed for longer-distance traffic from beyond Oxford. Passenger journeys from East Anglia to Reading/Didcot and beyond will remain quicker via London even if the Bedford-Cambridge section was rebuilt and the North London avoiding line can be used for the minimal freight traffic

What about passenger flows from further west via Swindon? No commuter traffic into Cambridge, have you seen the local trains arriving now? What about the ability to link with ECML, WCML, MML, CML and GWML services? Plus I think you've underestimated what a lot of long distance travellers would do to avoid changing in London, I'd go for a slightly longer journey to avoid a tube journey as would many people.

Have you ever had the pleasure of following a freight all the way into Stratford before it can join the North London? Sending all that via Cambridge would massively aid capacity not just in times of paths but in terms of actual passenger space in the services that can run and it would reduce freight journey times.

I haven't even mentioned the potential for tourist traffic between Cambridge and Oxford.

I think you need to look into the facts in a bit more detail before you declare the scheme pointless west of Bedford.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
What about passenger flows from further west via Swindon? No commuter traffic into Cambridge, have you seen the local trains arriving now? What about the ability to link with ECML, WCML, MML, CML and GWML services? Plus I think you've underestimated what a lot of long distance travellers would do to avoid changing in London, I'd go for a slightly longer journey to avoid a tube journey as would many people.

Have you ever had the pleasure of following a freight all the way into Stratford before it can join the North London? Sending all that via Cambridge would massively aid capacity not just in times of paths but in terms of actual passenger space in the services that can run and it would reduce freight journey times.

I haven't even mentioned the potential for tourist traffic between Cambridge and Oxford.

I think you need to look into the facts in a bit more detail before you declare the scheme pointless west of Bedford.

I believe that the scheme is viable west of Bedford, not east of it.

RTT shows 1 freight train per day from Felixstowe (the main source of freight traffic in East Anglia) to Bristol. All other traffic goes to the Midlands/North of England, although some of this is routed via the North London line, presumably because of capacity problems via Bury St Edmunds. The single lines from both Ely and Cambridge to Kennett are major problems in increasing freight use of this route. It is pointless rebuilding Cambridge-Bedford for freight because there is no capacity to run these trains east of Cambridge.

As for Swindon and places further west, journeys from South Wales and SW England to East Anglia (including Cambridge) will always be quicker via London, although I did once travel from Cardiff to Peterborough via Birmingham to save money and avoid a peak fare to London.

I doubt if there is much potential commuter traffic into Cambridge from points between there and Sandy. Any there is could be catered for by extending the Trumpington busway. Buses allow penetration of the commercial and academic centres in Cambridge which rail does not.
 

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,101
RTT shows 1 freight train per day from Felixstowe (the main source of freight traffic in East Anglia) to Bristol. All other traffic goes to the Midlands/North of England, although some of this is routed via the North London line, presumably because of capacity problems via Bury St Edmunds. The single lines from both Ely and Cambridge to Kennett are major problems in increasing freight use of this route. It is pointless rebuilding Cambridge-Bedford for freight because there is no capacity to run these trains east of Cambridge.

Surely you are well aware of the severe capacity limitations on the Felixstowe branch? Places with heavier traffic flows will inevitably take priority over places like Bristol with fewer boxes to shift. Just because there is one Bristol train a day now does not mean there is not the potential for more - but if there isn't a slot on the branch to run one, it's not going to happen, is it? It is high time something was done about the branch but the port's owner and Network Rail still don't seem able to agree how to go about it and pay for it.

People are also well aware of the capacity constraints on other lines across East Anglia - hence the plans to tackle them, such as the delayed Soham-Ely work and proposals to improve Haughley junction near Stowmarket. So by the time East West reaches Cambridge, someone might just have worked out how to increase capacity between Cambridge and Ipswich, mightn't they?

As for Swindon and places further west, journeys from South Wales and SW England to East Anglia (including Cambridge) will always be quicker via London, although I did once travel from Cardiff to Peterborough via Birmingham to save money and avoid a peak fare to London.

Really? The old route between Oxford and Cambridge clocked in at 77 miles. Any new route is not likely to be that much longer. We are talking about what, all being well, will be a 100mph (or more if feasible) line, with electric traction. The current projected journey time between Oxford and Bedford - inclusive of six stops - is 61 minutes for just under 50 miles. How long do you think the remaining 30 miles will take, with say a single stop at Sandy, especially if using a new line, built to modern standards? Even allowing a generous 40 minutes gives an end-to-end time around 100 minutes - take out a couple of stops along the way and you're into the 90s.

Project that journey on to Didcot, allowing 10 minutes, gives us 110 minutes.

Didcot-Cambridge via London - with a sensible time allowance for the Tube and station time at Paddington and Kings Cross - is 135 minutes at the very best at the moment, with another 10 or 15 minutes being nearer the average. Class 800s may shave some time off GWML schedules, but it seems perfectly reasonable to assume a direct service from Bristol to Cambridge via East West would be quicker - and, more importantly in many people's eyes, avoid all the aggro crossing London.

I doubt if there is much potential commuter traffic into Cambridge from points between there and Sandy. Any there is could be catered for by extending the Trumpington busway. Buses allow penetration of the commercial and academic centres in Cambridge which rail does not.

After the bitter experience of the current busway's development and construction - and what it ended up costing, £180m against an estimate of £64m - there would probably be uproar in Cambridgeshire if anyone even suggested extending it an inch, never mind from Trumpington to Sandy.

A railway line - hopefully connected to half-decent public transport to get people where they need to go within the city - might just help to address the problem of road congestion around Cambridge.
 
Last edited:

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
Surely you are well aware of the severe capacity limitations on the Felixstowe branch? Places with heavier traffic flows will inevitably take priority over places like Bristol with fewer boxes to shift. Just because there is one Bristol train a day now does not mean there is not the potential for more - but if there isn't a slot on the branch to run one, it's not going to happen, is it? It is high time something was done about the branch but the port's owner and Network Rail still don't seem able to agree how to go about it and pay for it.

People are also well aware of the capacity constraints on other lines across East Anglia - hence the plans to tackle them, such as the delayed Soham-Ely work and proposals to improve Haughley junction near Stowmarket. So by the time East West reaches Cambridge, someone might just have worked out how to increase capacity between Cambridge and Ipswich, mightn't they?



Really? The old route between Oxford and Cambridge clocked in at 77 miles. Any new route is not likely to be that much longer. We are talking about what, all being well, will be a 100mph (or more if feasible) line, with electric traction. The current projected journey time between Oxford and Bedford - inclusive of six stops - is 61 minutes for just under 50 miles. How long do you think the remaining 30 miles will take, with say a single stop at Sandy, especially if using a new line, built to modern standards? Even allowing a generous 40 minutes gives an end-to-end time around 100 minutes - take out a couple of stops along the way and you're into the 90s.

Project that journey on to Didcot, allowing 10 minutes, gives us 110 minutes.

Didcot-Cambridge via London - with a sensible time allowance for the Tube and station time at Paddington and Kings Cross - is 135 minutes at the very best at the moment, with another 10 or 15 minutes being nearer the average. Class 800s may shave some time off GWML schedules, but it seems perfectly reasonable to assume a direct service from Bristol to Cambridge via East West would be quicker - and, more importantly in many people's eyes, avoid all the aggro crossing London.

The capacity constraint on freight traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and North-West England appears to be the line via Bury St E, not the Felixstowe branch itself, as many of these trains are currently routed via the North London line.

Routeing passenger traffic from S.Wales/SW England requires good connectivity via Didcot (or Swindon). If there is only 1 fast train per hour to Cambridge on this "proposed" new line, this is likely to be poor. There was a Bristol-Oxford service a few years ago, but it was presumably discontinued as it made a loss or was poor use of available train paths.
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
Jimm has very well covered most of the points I wanted to make, east-west rail is a crucial link that will see far more use I believe than is already being proposed. I would suggest to daodao that you need to do some more research into the potential traffic flows as Jimm covered so well, I especially agree with him re journey times.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
Jimm has very well covered most of the points I wanted to make, east-west rail is a crucial link that will see far more use I believe than is already being proposed. I would suggest to daodao that you need to do some more research into the potential traffic flows as Jimm covered so well, I especially agree with him re journey times.

The proposed line (essentially new build) from Bedford to Cambridge would be very expensive to build and most (but not all) longer-distance flows (passenger and freight) can be catered for by other routes. The previous alignment has been essentially destroyed. Therefore reinstatement is unlikely ever to happen, however useful the line might have been now if it had not been closed. Closure was a BR decision, ratified by the Wilson government, not one recommended in the Beeching report.
 

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,101
The capacity constraint on freight traffic from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and North-West England appears to be the line via Bury St E, not the Felixstowe branch itself, as many of these trains are currently routed via the North London line.

I'd suggest you go away and read the parts of the Anglia Route Study about the Felixstowe branch before you make statements like this. The branch is every bit as much a constraint on how many trains can run - which is why the port's owners keep muttering about getting rid of the branch passenger service.

Routeing passenger traffic from S.Wales/SW England requires good connectivity via Didcot (or Swindon). If there is only 1 fast train per hour to Cambridge on this "proposed" new line, this is likely to be poor. There was a Bristol-Oxford service a few years ago, but it was presumably discontinued as it made a loss or was poor use of available train paths.

Projecting through trains past Oxford - and Cambridge - has long been part of the overall strategy for East West and even if that were only as far as Didcot or Swindon at the western end, most people would probably find a same or cross-platform change at either place infinitely preferable to the idea of crossing London, whatever you think - plus the likely faster journey time, which you don't seem to have bothered to check before asserting that via London would still be the quickest way to go.

Well aware of Oxford-Bristol thanks. It was killed because the SRA decided the Turbos ate up capacity that could be better used. Not an unreasonable view when the only advantage they really offered was avoiding the need to change at Didcot. If Wantage Road, Wootton Basset and Corsham stations had reopened, it might have been a different matter. But that service cannot be compared to one able to offer direct journeys between Bristol, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge/Norwich.
 
Last edited:

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
I'd suggest you go away and read the parts of the Anglia Route Study about the Felixstowe branch before you make statements like this. The branch is every bit as much a constraint on how many trains can run - which is why the port's owners keep muttering about getting rid of the branch passenger service.

I'm well aware of the capacity problems on the Felixstowe branch. However, there must be even greater capacity problems on the line via Bury St E, else why would much of the freight traffic that does currently run from Felixstowe use the North London line to go to the West Midlands and NW England. There is no point in rebuilding Bedford-Cambridge at great expense if the line east from Cambridge remains full to capacity.
 

coastwallker

Member
Joined
8 Oct 2012
Messages
53
Would that be any quicker than the route now?

I know there's a couple of changes to go from the cross but wpould it be any different or direct?

Probably not but if it could be done without dragging a suitcase across London I'd go for it
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
I'm well aware of the capacity problems on the Felixstowe branch. However, there must be even greater capacity problems on the line via Bury St E, else why would much of the freight traffic that does currently run from Felixstowe use the North London line to go to the West Midlands and NW England. There is no point in rebuilding Bedford-Cambridge at great expense if the line east from Cambridge remains full to capacity.

I see you've blurted out some more "facts" that need dispelling. Given that you seem to be guessing without actually doing any research again I can happily inform you that the lines via Bury are not "full to capacity". The constraint points remain the GEML to Haughley junction and the single track from Chippenham junction to coldham lane junction at Cambridge and between Soham and Ely. Both of which could be resolved with the development of East-West services. In fact the route via Soham is already queued for improvements beyond the guage clearance work that was done a few years back.

The line east from Cambridge would not be full with improvements similar to the Marston Vale.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
I see you've blurted out some more "facts" that need dispelling. Given that you seem to be guessing without actually doing any research again I can happily inform you that the lines via Bury are not "full to capacity". The constraint points remain the GEML to Haughley junction and the single track from Chippenham junction to coldham lane junction at Cambridge and between Soham and Ely. Both of which could be resolved with the development of East-West services. In fact the route via Soham is already queued for improvements beyond the gauge clearance work that was done a few years back.

The line east from Cambridge would not be full with improvements similar to the Marston Vale.

The bottlenecks are as you state, but effectively that means that the route via Bury is full, even if the problem isn't on the stretch from Kennett to Haughley Junction through Bury itself. Improving the line from Ely to Kennett would be beneficial to freight from Felixstowe, but is not especially relevant to any case for a new line from Cambridge to Bedford.
 
Last edited:
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
The bottlenecks are as you state, but effectively that means that the route via Bury is full, even if the problem isn't on the stretch from Kennett to Haughley Junction through Bury itself. Improving the line from Ely to Kennett would be beneficial to freight from Felixstowe, but is not especially relevant to any case for a new line from Cambridge to Bedford.

Chippenham to coldham lane junction however, very much is.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
Chippenham to coldham lane junction however, very much is.

Improving the route from Ipswich to Ely would enable the significant freight flows from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and NW England to take this route instead of travelling via the North London line. It obviates any justification from a freight perspective for rebuilding the Cambridge-Bedford line or improving the single track line via Newmarket,
 

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,101
The proposed line (essentially new build) from Bedford to Cambridge would be very expensive to build and most (but not all) longer-distance flows (passenger and freight) can be catered for by other routes. The previous alignment has been essentially destroyed. Therefore reinstatement is unlikely ever to happen, however useful the line might have been now if it had not been closed. Closure was a BR decision, ratified by the Wilson government, not one recommended in the Beeching report.

You don't say. I think most people are well aware of how we arrived at the present situation.

That recreating a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge is going to be expensive and far from straightforward due to subsequent development is hardly a revelation.

What 'other routes'? The freight TOCs would dearly love to have another alternative to going via North London on top of the Nuneaton option - and people planning passenger services in London would also be delighted to get as many container trains as possible off their patches - the instant any more container services go via Ely they will be bidding to take over the paths - or more container trains from the Isle of Grain will fill them.

If you think anyone living west of London look with any pleasure on the idea of changing stations in London and taking the Tube to get to East Anglia - or people doing the reverse - you have got to be joking. Crossrail will certainly improve matters but it still doesn't avoid the changes of stations and trains, which a direct Bristol-Norwich service would.

And in case are you're not aware, the original drive to create the East West consortium came not from Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or even Cambridgeshire, but Suffolk - where they clearly don't share your faith in 'other' - and slower - routes - aka via London.

But clearly they should just give up now, as it's going to be too hard and too expensive. I suppose they could always build a motorway instead, as the east-west road links in much of the Oxford-Cambridge arc are rubbish as well - which is one of the key factors driving the rail project.

Improving the route from Ipswich to Ely would enable the significant freight flows from Felixstowe to the West Midlands and NW England to take this route instead of travelling via the North London line. It obviates any justification from a freight perspective for rebuilding the Cambridge-Bedford line or improving the single track line via Newmarket,

I see, so even though the East West route would make it far easier to run Cardiff/Bristol-Felixstowe/Harwich container trains, to take one example, there just won't be any. What traffic runs now is no guide to what might be on offer 15 or 20 years from now if the capacity to handle it is there.

And where do you suggest trains to and from Felixstowe should go when, as will inevitably happen, engineering work blocks the Nuneaton option somewhere, some time, but the likes of Maersk still want the container trains to run when their ship docks? Oh yes, that's right, the quiet backwaters of North London...
 
Last edited:
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
You don't say. I think most people are well aware of how we arrived at the present situation.

That recreating a rail link between Bedford and Cambridge is going to be expensive and far from straightforward due to subsequent development is hardly a revelation.

What 'other routes'? The freight TOCs would dearly love to have another alternative to going via North London on top of the Nuneaton option - and people planning passenger services in London would also be delighted to get as many container trains as possible off their patches - the instant any more container services go via Ely they will be bidding to take over the paths - or more container trains from the Isle of Grain will fill them.

If you think anyone living west of London look with any pleasure on the idea of changing stations in London and taking the Tube to get to East Anglia - or people doing the reverse - you have got to be joking. Crossrail will certainly improve matters but it still doesn't avoid the changes of stations and trains, which a direct Bristol-Norwich service would.

And in case are you're not aware, the original drive to create the East West consortium came not from Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire or even Cambridgeshire, but Suffolk - where they clearly don't share your faith in 'other' - and slower - routes - aka via London.

But clearly they should just give up now, as it's going to be too hard and too expensive. I suppose they could always build a motorway instead, as the east-west road links in much of the Oxford-Cambridge arc are rubbish as well - which is one of the key factors driving the rail project.



I see, so even though the East West route would make it far easier to run Cardiff/Bristol-Felixstowe/Harwich container trains, to take one example, there just won't be any. What traffic runs now is no guide to what might be on offer 15 or 20 years from now if the capacity to handle it is there.

And where do you suggest trains to and from Felixstowe should go when, as will inevitably happen, engineering work blocks the Nuneaton option somewhere, some time, but the likes of Maersk still want the container trains to run when their ship docks? Oh yes, that's right, the quiet backwaters of North London...

Seconded doesn't cover it
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
What traffic runs now is no guide to what might be on offer 15 or 20 years from now if the capacity to handle it is there.

And where do you suggest trains to and from Felixstowe should go when, as will inevitably happen, engineering work blocks the Nuneaton option somewhere, some time, but the likes of Maersk still want the container trains to run when their ship docks? Oh yes, that's right, the quiet backwaters of North London...

I expect the trade to Europe via England's east coast ports to level off or even decline post Brexit and the UK's exclusion from the EU single market.
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
I expect the trade to Europe via England's east coast ports to level off or even decline post Brexit and the UK's exclusion from the EU single market.

Felixstowe is a global port, serving super container ships that handle most of the UK's container traffic.

I'll let the port know next time I'm passing what you expect so they can react appropriately.
 

jimm

Established Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
5,101
I expect the trade to Europe via England's east coast ports to level off or even decline post Brexit and the UK's exclusion from the EU single market.

Do you ever actually bother to check anything before posting?

As grumblingalong says, Felixstowe deals with global trade, in the shape of massive container ships - not things shuttling across the North Sea from Europe.

The container ships use Felixstowe because it is a convenient UK calling point on their way to and from Rotterdam (the key container port in Northern Europe), which is not going to change whatever our future trading relationship with the European Union turns out to be.
 

daodao

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2016
Messages
2,051
Location
Dunham/Bowdon
Do you ever actually bother to check anything before posting?

As grumblingalong says, Felixstowe deals with global trade, in the shape of massive container ships - not things shuttling across the North Sea from Europe.

The container ships use Felixstowe because it is a convenient UK calling point on their way to and from Rotterdam (the key container port in Northern Europe), which is not going to change whatever our future trading relationship with the European Union turns out to be.

The freight traffic to/from Felixstowe appears to be a mixture of local sailings to/from Northern Europe, sailings to more distant ports and sailings via Europe to further afield. Some of this trade, but by no means all, may decline following Brexit. My previous posting on this particular aspect was merely to point out that an assumption that trade via Felixstowe will inevitably increase markedly is not necessarily correct.

Before the 16th century, Britain's most important ports were on the South and East coasts, but the period between the 16th and 20th centuries, when Britain looked outwards towards the wider world, saw the development of ports on the west coast such as Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow. These have declined markedly following the loss of empire and joining the EU in favour of the East coast ports, but the balance might alter at least slightly following Brexit.

The critical issue regarding Felixstowe is provision of key road and rail links to the English Midlands where the traffic can join routes north. Hence the desirability of removing bottlenecks on the rail line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Bury/Ely/Peterborough/Syston, so that fewer freight trains from Felixstowe need to be routed via the North London line. Rebuilding Cambridge-Bedford is not needed for this strategy.
 
Joined
10 Mar 2015
Messages
764
The freight traffic to/from Felixstowe appears to be a mixture of local sailings to/from Northern Europe, sailings to more distant ports and sailings via Europe to further afield. Some of this trade, but by no means all, may decline following Brexit. My previous posting on this particular aspect was merely to point out that an assumption that trade via Felixstowe will inevitably increase markedly is not necessarily correct.

Before the 16th century, Britain's most important ports were on the South and East coasts, but the period between the 16th and 20th centuries, when Britain looked outwards towards the wider world, saw the development of ports on the west coast such as Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow. These have declined markedly following the loss of empire and joining the EU in favour of the East coast ports, but the balance might alter at least slightly following Brexit.

The critical issue regarding Felixstowe is provision of key road and rail links to the English Midlands where the traffic can join routes north. Hence the desirability of removing bottlenecks on the rail line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Bury/Ely/Peterborough/Syston, so that fewer freight trains from Felixstowe need to be routed via the North London line. Rebuilding Cambridge-Bedford is not needed for this strategy.

So if as you predict the ports in the west grow in popularity again, we're going to need some decent East-West rail links yes? Rather than just one? I guess what I struggle with most is the position of a person on a rail forum who seems to object to a new main line being built.

You do also seem very keen on the route via March, have you travelled it recently if at all? The fenland soils make maintenance a challenge and the quality of the track has become markedly worse with recent increased freight liner traffic, I don't think it would handle much more without serious investment in the rail bed.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top