Electrification announcement this summer

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Metroland

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‘We expect an announcement on electrification this summer,' says Iain Coucher, chief executive of Network Rail. In confident mood Iain Coucher, Simon Kirby and Robin Gisby have been readying the industry to move from an operations and maintenance regime to an era of sustained investment in an expanded, high capacity railway. ‘Control Period Three (just gone) was all about fixing the railway,' says Coucher, speaking at a press briefing in the City of London. Going on to stress that an ambitious future will see the industry making rail a much bigger part of society, an upbeat Coucher continued, ‘We have an investment programme other industries would die for.' Electrification of arterial main lines in the west and the midlands along with High Speed Two will further boost the fortunes of Britain's top performing transport industry. Moreover the recession seems not to unduly worry senior rail chiefs. ‘We are getting people with much higher qualifications entering the industry, some are even taking a mortgage holiday for a year to train and convert to railway project and engineering delivery,' says Simon Kirby, Network Rail's director of infrastructure investment. Network Rail confidently expects government go ahead for electrification of the Great Western Main Line and the Midland Main Line - see feature centre page spread - this summer. Scotland is set for further electrification under the aegis of Transport Scotland. Rail chiefs have been keen to favourably compare Britain's growing industry with systems abroad and other transport modes. ‘Kent is the size of Switzerland,' says Network Rail's operations director, Robin Gisby and, ‘London Liverpool Street regularly delivers more passengers than Heathrow.' Both comparisons illustrate the sheer scale of Britain's new rail industry. Prospects for rail look good. ‘We are starting to build the south east of England into a 12-car operation. We are moving very large volumes of people. Demand is huge. No other industry faces such relentless growth,' says Gisby. The good news comes as Network Rail draws up plans to deliver the new railway during CP4. Meanwhile construction and project engineers are keen to join Britain's premier recession-busting industry. Most are combing RailStaff, railwaypeople.com and the rail engineer for the best jobs going on the fastest growing railway in Europe.

http://www.railwaypeople.com/rail-news-articles/electrification-announcement-this-summer-1693.html
 
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anthony263

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Good if they decide the electrify the great western mainline to swansea maybe the local swanline service can be operated using EMU'S meaning a few spare DMU's to help with overcrowding on the valley lines.

although i believe Network rail will have to sort out a few bridges after the severn tunnel as some are quiet low so you wouldnt be able to put the wires under them unless they were raised.
 

PhilipW

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With the local elections and European elections to be held on 4th June, I would imagaine that it might make political sense to make the announcement before then rather than later.

I would thank that the major decisions "Yes" or "No" have already been made - just some of the detail plus which in-fill schemes to be included are to be sorted.
 

Metroland

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hmn, I thought that. I know Switzerland isn't huge (you can travel most of the rail network in a week) but not that small either. I reckon he means passenger numbers, taking a couple of TOCs (although not all the ops are in Kent, nearly reaches the total).

Switzerland area: 41, 248 km sq
Kent area: 3,736 km sq

Switzerland population: 7.72 million
Kent population: 1.64 million

Swiss federal railway passengers: 332 million
Kent passengers: South Eastern: 146 million, Southern 142 million

Switzerland standard of living: Very high, especially around Geneva, main industries: medical, finance, engineering, tourism, confectionery.
Kent standard of living: Mixed, high around commuter built, not so great in some seaside towns and to the south, main industries: Financial services, manufacturing, heavy commuter population to London.

Switzerland Terrain: Mostly mountains and large lakes.
Kent Terrain: Bands of chalk hills and downs, flat towards parts of the South and East.
 
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jopsuk

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On population- what if he meant (and I'm grasping at straws here) the whole Southeastern area (including metro London services)? Or maybe he was just being an idiot.
 
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Good if they decide the electrify the great western mainline to swansea maybe the local swanline service can be operated using EMU'S meaning a few spare DMU's to help with overcrowding on the valley lines.

although i believe Network rail will have to sort out a few bridges after the severn tunnel as some are quiet low so you wouldnt be able to put the wires under them unless they were raised.

On a related note, isnt there going to be some problems if they electrify the Severn tunnel, considering how wet it is?
 

anthony263

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On a related note, isnt there going to be some problems if they electrify the Severn tunnel, considering how wet it is?
yes that might be a problem but they could put extra seel in the tunnel besides i doubt they are going to start electrification til at least 2012 and i am sure network rail have thought about the severn tunnel and have factored it into the plans
 

43106

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Isn't there going to be some problems if they electrify the Severn tunnel...?
Someone in the Rail Passenger Council (as it was called in those days) said it was impossible to put OHLE in the Severn Tunnel, as there was simply no physical room for it, even if they scraped as much of the trackbed as they dare. Either a massive rebuild of the tunnel would be required, or another crossing of the Severn - either over it or under it.
 

mathmo

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Someone in the Rail Passenger Council (as it was called in those days) said it was impossible to put OHLE in the Severn Tunnel, as there was simply no physical room for it, even if they scraped as much of the trackbed as they dare. Either a massive rebuild of the tunnel would be required, or another crossing of the Severn - either over it or under it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Severntunnel1.jpg - there doesn't look like much space there!
 

anthony263

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What would happen to the FGW trams (HSTs) ?
Personally i would like to see the hsts being used for a few more years on the crosscountry network, then they can displace those dam voyagers which in turn can be used on other services like norwich - liverpool milford haven - manchester - cardiff - holyhead etc displacing class 158/175s for use elsewhere
 

bluenoxid

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Someone in the Rail Passenger Council (as it was called in those days) said it was impossible to put OHLE in the Severn Tunnel, as there was simply no physical room for it, even if they scraped as much of the trackbed as they dare. Either a massive rebuild of the tunnel would be required, or another crossing of the Severn - either over it or under it.
A lot of it will depend on the Severn Barrage and its eventual location (a smaller version near the existing tunnel is being favoured. I expect wires to reach Bristol pretty quickly but South Wales will probably get them via Gloucester or commuter electrification around Cardiff before getting them on the GWML through a "Severn Crossing"
 

anthony263

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A lot of it will depend on the Severn Barrage and its eventual location (a smaller version near the existing tunnel is being favoured. I expect wires to reach Bristol pretty quickly but South Wales will probably get them via Gloucester or commuter electrification around Cardiff before getting them on the GWML through a "Severn Crossing"
i t is planned to elctrify to gloucester and also the marches lines is also to be electrified
 

tbtc

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What would happen to the FGW trams (HSTs) ?
Sadly, by the time the wires are up, I can't see HSTs having much longer in service (since it'll take a few years before the electrification is complete). Great machines, but we're probably talking a few years time before EMUs/ IEPs can run all the way.

I hope that they organise it properly though, and electrify diversion routes (something the ECML really lacks), and can do it in sensible stages. Could be a real boost to rail usage, and I hope it works.
 

Metroland

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Most of the diesels are doomed, which is why the ROSCOs won't invest in them.

With the Governments plans for electric cars (even though its not quite the green panacea they make out) like it or not, a smoky old HST isn't going to look very good and will not stand up will under closer examination from the railways critics.

The railways will want to capitalise on green, clean electric as much as possible. It all depends on how much the grid can be converted over to renewable of course. Get ready for lots of new nuclear power stations and wind turbines. The grid needs to be expanded by 1/3 to accommodate electric cars alone, although the railways needs are far more modest. All in it will be a 20-30 year project. I also expect some branch line trains to be very lightweight and battery powered, where freight is not required.
 

anthony263

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Hopefully they will give the go-ahead for the severn barage, and i hope those stupid people who are complaining about it shut up.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Most of the diesels are doomed, which is why the ROSCOs won't invest in them.

With the Governments plans for electric cars (even though its not quite the green panacea they make out) like it or not, a smoky old HST isn't going to look very good and will not stand up will under closer examination from the railways critics.

The railways will want to capitalise on green, clean electric as much as possible. It all depends on how much the grid can be converted over to renewable of course. Get ready for lots of new nuclear power stations and wind turbines. The grid needs to be expanded by 1/3 to accommodate electric cars alone, although the railways needs are far more modest. All in it will be a 20-30 year project. I also expect some branch line trains to be very lightweight and battery powered, where freight is not required.


whats to say that some trains could by powere by hydrogen?
 

stut

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That grows on trees right? :lol:
Well, you may laugh, but running trains off things growing on trees has been done before.

Way ahead of its time, there was an Italian scheme, during the 1930s fascist era, to run public transport using biofuels, partly prompted by interbellum austerity. The initial basis of the public works programme that included the railways was founded on this principle.

Following on from Kruckenberg's pioneering work at the beginning of the decade, it was determined that organic matter rich in oils could be used to run locomotives cleanly and efficiently. Many types were found, but herbs, grown easily in Italy, were targeted as a good potential source. Indeed, several successful prototypes were created.

Yes, Mussolini made the trains run on thyme.
 

Waverley125

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definiely need to see Bedford-Wakefield electrification of the MML, plus the GWML to Bristol & Wales. I'd imagine going to Wales would go via Gloucester, which would require Swindon-Kemble being redoubled.

That said, Gloucester would finally get the direct service it deserves to London, and would definitely be cheaper than a new severn tunnel.
 

PhilipW

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Re: Electrifying the Severn Tunnel

Not being a railway engineer, personally I have no idea whether it is possible to electrify the Severn Tunnel or not.

However, if it is indeed impossible to electrify it as some contributors to this thread think, I just wonder why this information has not been publicised up to now and indeed why it has not been used as a reason not to think about electrification into Wales. I know that the Welsh Assembly, fo one, is keen that Electrification comes to South Wales. I would have thought that someone would have told them if the tunnel could not be electrified.

Is there a clear statement from Network Rail somewhere that this is not possible ?

Until then I remain sceptical about the claim that the tunnel cannot be electrified at 25kv.
 
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Someone in the Rail Passenger Council (as it was called in those days) said it was impossible to put OHLE in the Severn Tunnel, as there was simply no physical room for it, even if they scraped as much of the trackbed as they dare. Either a massive rebuild of the tunnel would be required, or another crossing of the Severn - either over it or under it.
Perhaps keeping it for freight only and re building the Severn Rail Bridge might be an option? Bit of a roundabout route though. As already said, I guess they have plenty of time to think it over.

Pity they cant do the GWML as 3rd rail. It would solve some of the problems as far as the Kemble line are concerned, and as a GWR purist it looks better than catenarys. Considering that its relatively flat, its surely not like they need the extra power anyway?
 

will1337

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Pity they cant do the GWML as 3rd rail. It would solve some of the problems as far as the Kemble line are concerned, and as a GWR purist it looks better than catenarys. Considering that its relatively flat, its surely not like they need the extra power anyway?
Out of hypothetical interest is there a speed limit for trains on the 3rd rail as I believe the highest speeds on it are 100mph at the moment. It would create interesting possibilities if the Waterloo - Reading line could continue on and provide relief for the GWML out of Paddington, especially with Crossrail coming. It'd require a lot of remodeling at Reading and new platforms to allow overtaking along the line. It'd never happen
 

MCR247

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definiely need to see Bedford-Wakefield electrification of the MML, plus the GWML to Bristol & Wales. I'd imagine going to Wales would go via Gloucester, which would require Swindon-Kemble being redoubled.

That said, Gloucester would finally get the direct service it deserves to London, and would definitely be cheaper than a new severn tunnel.
Why Wakefield? The ECML is quicker, so why travel via the MML? I'd electrify Leeds - York.
 

DaveNewcastle

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Yes, the Severn Tunnel might not be in the plan because of its geometry and humidity, but, . . . (speaking as someone who has years of experience in electrical systems, and some training and qualifications!) . . . but . . .
the Severn Tunnel could be electrified, IN THEORY, as there ARE ways that the problems can be can overcome :-
- The voltage can be reduced (to reduce arcing), with consequential loss of performance);
- power can be switched off when not required (to avoid losses);
- The lack of clearance overhead can be mitigated by an alternative design of pantograph (limits traffic to newly adapted and suitably equipped vehicles);
- losses thru arcing through wet structures can be reduced by an insultating sheield between tunnel wall and the conductor (would require the alternative panto spec. - above);
- an exeption to the prohbition on the expansion of the Southerns's lower voltage 3rd rail suppies could be considered for the length of the tunnel - which is not a hazard to most personnel) (would require traffic to adopt a similar change-over switching betwennn 3rd rail DC and OHLE, a la Thameslink);

Difficult, costly, and requiring new design approvals, but it is possible. IMO
 

Waverley125

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Wakefield as it electrifies the whole MML to Leeds, would allow EMUs on Leeds-Sheffield express services using the wakefield lines.

But would extend up to york, along with the whole TP mainline and Ely-Birmingham to connect all 4 northbound trunk routes
 
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Yes, the Severn Tunnel might not be in the plan because of its geometry and humidity, but, . . . (speaking as someone who has years of experience in electrical systems, and some training and qualifications!) . . . but . . .
the Severn Tunnel could be electrified, IN THEORY, as there ARE ways that the problems can be can overcome :-
- The voltage can be reduced (to reduce arcing), with consequential loss of performance);
- power can be switched off when not required (to avoid losses);
- The lack of clearance overhead can be mitigated by an alternative design of pantograph (limits traffic to newly adapted and suitably equipped vehicles);
- losses thru arcing through wet structures can be reduced by an insultating sheield between tunnel wall and the conductor (would require the alternative panto spec. - above);
- an exeption to the prohbition on the expansion of the Southerns's lower voltage 3rd rail suppies could be considered for the length of the tunnel - which is not a hazard to most personnel) (would require traffic to adopt a similar change-over switching betwennn 3rd rail DC and OHLE, a la Thameslink);

Difficult, costly, and requiring new design approvals, but it is possible. IMO
Facinating, thanks for that. I only realised it could be a problem when in one of Chris Wolmars books on privatisation, he said that the rails in the tunnel were having to be replaced every 6-8 years due to corrosion. Certainly whatever way it goes, it looks as if its going to be expensive.

Will, thanks for that on 3rd rail. It wouldnt be much of a problem on the Swindon-Gloucester line as it appears the top speed is 90mph, but it clearly is not ideal for the GWML!
 
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