Expansions for Scotland's rail network proposed

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InOban

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It's not one of Scotrail's seven cities....

If I've got £750m in my back pocket, I've better places to spend it.
 

deltic08

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I finally understand what a crayonista is. 40+ miles of essentially new railway is supposed to cost less than resignalling and adding loops to an existing railway. Riiiight.
When you add the cost of doubling at Perth and Usan, both long bridges over water, addition of freight loops and four aspect resignalling, it won't be that much less than reinstatement via Strathmore.
 

marks87

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Don't be an a**. The main point which you obviously don't get or do get but prefer to ridicule
It’s neither.

I’m highlighting the ridiculousness of certain people’s obsessions with cutting journey times at all costs.

is the fact that there is life beyond Dundee but unable to get to the central belt without going by a circuitous coastal route via Dundee.
You mean 14,000 people in Forfar?

Show me accurate projections for numbers on any possible time-saving by re-opening Strathmore to modern standards. It’s easy done by looking up routes of a similar length and proposed speed profile.

In any case, who says any new route needs to cut out Dundee to avoid being circuitous? If we’re into the realms of fantasy (which is where Strathmore very much is), why not turn north in Dock Street tunnel, emerge somewhere near the A90/Forfar Road, then turn off towards Friockheim and onwards to Laurencekirk?

This will never be as quick as a direct, straighter and shorter route via Strathmore for the sake of £750 million for the 52 miles of route from Stanley Junction to Laurancekirk. This is less than the cost of the new Reading station. Yes Jeez, it is hard sometimes to get through to people!
Bigger. Picture. Missed.

Dundee-Aberdeen served by trains from Edinburgh to Aberdeen with Glasgow-Dundee served by extending Glasgow-Dunblane or Glasgow-Perth trains as it used to be before 1967.
This obsession with pre-1967 is frankly bizarre.
 

Glenmutchkin

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But it is a city as I said before you posted unnecessarily contradicting incorrectly, and not rail served as is Ripon at the moment and both have a cathedral.
I think that I am inclined to stick with Altnabreac's ideas of what might be worthwhile. I can't recall cathedrals being on the check list.

This link suggests that Brechin's population is around 7,400.

https://www.citypopulation.de/php/uk-scotland.php?cityid=S19000717

Brechin was never on a main line to anywhere. If only the Leeds Northern had been a bit more ambitious.
 

deltic08

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It's not one of Scotrail's seven cities....

If I've got £750m in my back pocket, I've better places to spend it.
So what. It can become another rail served settlement just by the fact that a new route could be built passing close by.

But you are never likely to have a back pocket that big, but Governments do and are likely to reinstate railways to save the planet. I think, and so do others, that this is a winner if they do.

Where would you spend it on transport infrastructure?
 

deltic08

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No. The cities of Scotland are Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
I assumed that as in England and Wales, a settlement with a cathedral has a charter to make it a city regardless of size and population as granted by King George 3rd.
 

najaB

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The main point which you obviously don't get or do get but prefer to ridicule is the fact that there is life beyond Dundee but unable to get to the central belt without going by a circuitous coastal route via Dundee.
Yes, there are small towns and villages in Angus that aren't rail connected. Yes, if the Strathmore route had been retained it would likely be reasonably well used today. And yes, it would likely be faster than the route via Dundee.

But it isn't there, so the costs of re-opening it have to be balanced against the potential gain - and there really isn't much in the gain column that couldn't be achieved at lower cost elsewhere.
This will never be as quick as a direct, straighter and shorter route via Strathmore for the sake of £750 million for the 52 miles of route from Stanley Junction to Laurancekirk. This is less than the cost of the new Reading station.
A railway station that has annual usage over three times greater than the entire population of Scotland!
When you add the cost of doubling at Perth and Usan, both long bridges over water, addition of freight loops and four aspect resignalling, it won't be that much less than reinstatement via Strathmore.
The Tay Viaduct really doesn't add much to journey times, nor is it a major constraint to timetabling since all trains stop at Perth. Not sure why you're suggesting four-aspect signalling as there's barely any 100mph running, but even so you would struggle to spend more than a couple hundred million on resignalling and some loops.
 

deltic08

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Yes, there are small towns and villages in Angus that aren't rail connected. Yes, if the Strathmore route had been retained it would likely be reasonably well used today. And yes, it would likely be faster than the route via Dundee.

But it isn't there, so the costs of re-opening it have to be balanced against the potential gain - and there really isn't much in the gain column that couldn't be achieved at lower cost elsewhere.
A railway station that has annual usage over three times greater than the entire population of Scotland!
The Tay Viaduct really doesn't add much to journey times, nor is it a major constraint to timetabling since all trains stop at Perth. Not sure why you're suggesting four-aspect signalling as there's barely any 100mph running, but even so you would struggle to spend more than a couple hundred million on resignalling and some loops.
Dundee would still be served and so would be Inverness, Aberdeen, Perth and Stirling even though they have less station footfall than Dundee. I can't see your argument against improving the nation's railways. You seem stuck in the 1960s when population was a lot less and the attitude toward railways was road and car is best.

The Tay viaduct is a constraint to capacity increase according to Network Rail.

Four aspect signalling would be necessary to increase capacity as is the point of doubling the single line sections.
 

InOban

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So what. It can become another rail served settlement just by the fact that a new route could be built passing close by.

But you are never likely to have a back pocket that big, but Governments do and are likely to reinstate railways to save the planet. I think, and so do others, that this is a winner if they do.

Where would you spend it on transport infrastructure?
However, as we move to electric cars and buses, there are a number of routes where it would be 'greener' to close the railway, unfortunately.
 

najaB

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I can't see your argument against improving the nation's railways.
On the contrary, I'm very much in favour of improving the railways as I don't drive. As such I'm all for schemes that give a big return on the investment - for example the Almond Chord, Levenmouth Railway, Lentran Long Loop, etc.
The Tay viaduct is a constraint to capacity increase according to Network Rail.
It's a constraint - any single line section would be. However, it's not a major constraint since all passenger trains call at Perth. What is more of a constraint is the signalling and the lack of freight loops.
 

deltic08

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Absolutely. I was born and raised in Leeds, a city that shook off the oppressive shadow of Ripon, despite only having a Parish Church. In those days the RCs didn't count.
Leeds has never been in the oppressive shadow of Ripon. It is more the reverse of that as we are now part of the oppressive Leeds City region that only thinks of Leeds. When it was the West Riding at least the City of Wakefield was more sympathetic to the rest of the county than Leeds is now lauding it over West Yorkshire. Leeds has even stolen Ripon Cathedral as it hasn't one of its own. If it was on wheels it would be in Leeds now!
 

NotATrainspott

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If there is such a compelling business case to reduce Glasgow-Aberdeen journey times (and only Glasgow-Aberdeen, as the Forfar route couldn't be used for any other 7 City pair) then the STAG process would fairly quickly find that reopening the Forfar route is not the best solution. If you want a fast enough journey for business travellers, then you're going to subsidise a Loganair or Flybe flight. A small turboprop aircraft would be faster than any viable rail project, suited for the actual number of passengers for whom incredibly fast journey times are worthwhile and also easy to set up and adjust as needs require. Soon enough there won't be a climate change argument against domestic aviation like that, since small domestic hops will be possible with electric aircraft. For rail to compete, it needs to be frequent and useful for many different journeys. A fast rail service which then slows down to serve Dundee will be far more useful for more passengers than any non-stop bypass route.
 

47271

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Any other ridiculous reopenings we'd like to discuss when we're at it? Dumfries-Stranraer is the usual one when we're tired of Strathmore. I quite fancy Dunblane-Crianlarich tonight, it goes through some nice scenery.

If anyone on here wants to campaign for £750m or whatever for a longer distance Scottish reopening that would serve some real regeneration need amongst a decent population, and avoid more wasteful road building, then I'd like to point them in the direction of Dyce to Peterhead and Fraserburgh. It could even follow the original route to please the nostalgists amongst us.
 

deltic08

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Scotland is neither England nor Wales.

And the presence or absence of a cathedral is not what determines city status in England and Wales either, nor has it been for quite a while.
What is then?
A railway station that has annual usage over three times greater than the entire population of Scotland!
That means nothing. What is the distribution? How many travel north to Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen, how many travel only as far as Perth and how many into Fife that would not travel if one fast train an hour did not run to Aberdeen?
 

deltic08

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Any other ridiculous reopenings we'd like to discuss when we're at it? Dumfries-Stranraer is the usual one when we're tired of Strathmore. I quite fancy Dunblane-Crianlarich tonight, it goes through some nice scenery.

If anyone on here wants to campaign for £750m or whatever for a longer distance Scottish reopening that would serve some real regeneration need amongst a decent population, and avoid more wasteful road building, then I'd like to point them in the direction of Dyce to Peterhead and Fraserburgh. It could even follow the original route to please the nostalgists amongst us.
Only ridiculous in your mind. Reinstating to Peterhead and Fraserburgh would produce more passengers to the central belt and certainly would produce more fish traffic that would not want to or be able to run via Dundee on its way south to England. What then? Just turn it away bearing in mind lorries will be electric and limited duration with just as much air pollution.
 
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Altnabreac

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What is then?


That means nothing. What is the distribution? How many travel north to Arbroath, Montrose and Aberdeen, how many travel only as far as Perth and how many into Fife that would not travel if one fast train an hour did not run to Aberdeen?
Very off topic but letters patent from the Monarch. There are several English towns with Anglican cathedrals these days including Blackburn and Guildford, equally there are many modern English cities with no Anglican cathedral such as Leeds. This has been the situation since the late 19th century when Birmingham and Belfast were granted city status without cathedrals while at the same time Southwell Minster was made a diocesan cathedral without becoming a city.

In Scotland the link between cathedrals and city status never really existed at all and pre reformation cathedrals have existed in many towns such as Brechin, Elgin, Dunblane, Dunkeld, St Andrews, Kirkwall etc. I suspect the presbyterian nature of the Church of Scotland generally meant that diocesan structures were less relevant to Scottish public life than in England.

Both Brechin and Elgin have football clubs with City in their name but they are very much only unofficial cities.
 

najaB

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That means nothing.
Reading station has an annual usage of 17M give or take. Which means that, picking an arbitrary metric, it will take a little over fourty years for 750M journeys to derive a benefit from the new station.

Aberdeen station gets almost 4M a year. Let's be generous and say that half of them are going to stations between Perth and Glasgow. That's 350 years for 750M journeys to benefit.

The point being that there's an order of magnitude difference between the impact of Reading Station v the Strathmore route so bringing up the former in support of the latter is, well, classic crayonista.
 

JohnR

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If there is such a compelling business case to reduce Glasgow-Aberdeen journey times (and only Glasgow-Aberdeen, as the Forfar route couldn't be used for any other 7 City pair)
Stirling - Aberdeen
Perth - Aberdeen

And of course, removing some Aberdeen - Glasgow journeys from the coastal route could well improve journeys made by other services on that route.
 

47271

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Only ridiculous in your mind. Reinstating to Peterhead and Fraserburgh would produce more passengers to the central belt and certainly would produce more fish traffic that would not want to or be able to run via Dundee on its way south to England. What then? Just turn it away bearing in mind lorries will be electric and limited duration with just as much air pollution.
Noone would need to consume fish in this world because everyone would be able to afford to eat caviar.

All I'm trying to do is bring a sense of prioritisation to the discussion. If £750m a year for five years became available for Scottish passenger reopenings or major redevelopments - we wish - then this would need to be distributed wisely and placed to derive the maximum strategic value and regeneration benefits to the largest number of people. So Levenmouth, Glenfarg, Hawick, Penicuik, Buchan Line, maybe St Andrews, and possibly (and I can't believe that I'm saying this) Hawick-Carlisle. But not under any circumstances Strathmore and not Dumfries-Stranraer.

How would you prioritise?
 
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RLBH

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In Scotland the link between cathedrals and city status never really existed at all and pre reformation cathedrals have existed in many towns such as Brechin, Elgin, Dunblane, Dunkeld, St Andrews, Kirkwall etc. I suspect the presbyterian nature of the Church of Scotland generally meant that diocesan structures were less relevant to Scottish public life than in England.

Both Brechin and Elgin have football clubs with City in their name but they are very much only unofficial cities.
Then there's Dunfermline, whose town council unilaterally declared it a city, and uses that term. Nobody else does, but that doesn't stop them.
 

JohnR

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Noone would need to consume fish in this world because everyone would be able to afford to eat caviar.

All I'm trying to do is bring a sense of prioritisation to the discussion. If £750m a year for five years became available for Scottish passenger reopenings or major redevelopments - we wish - then this would need to be distributed wisely and placed to derive the maximum strategic value and regeneration benefits to the largest number of people. So Levenmouth, Glenfarg, Hawick, Penicuik, Buchan Line, maybe St Andrews, and possibly (and I can't believe that I'm saying this) Hawick-Carlisle. But not under any circumstances Strathmore and not Dumfries-Stranraer.

How would you prioritise?
I dont think anyone here is saying that the first priority for reopening should be Strathmore. Several of your suggestions would certainly rank higher on my list, for example. I've said that the business case for Strathmore would need to be based on providing extra capacity, providing a diversionary route when necessary and providing new journey opportunities. Its not a lot different to the case for the Okehampton route. I'd say it was a stronger case than Hawick-Carlisle, and probably for the same cost, for example. This "not under any circumstances" mentality is as dogmatic as the "we must rebuild X at any cost".

There is 163,000 tonnes of fish landed at Peterhead every year - the volume is growing as well. Most of it is destined for UK markets well to the south of Aberdeen - even south of Glasgow. There is no reason why, a share of that traffic shouldnt be on the rails. Except theres no capacity for it. So thousands of HGVs each year travel for hundreds of miles transporting fish to market. Crackers.
 
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