Felixstowe branch: a bit of double track at Trimley

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by snowball, 2 Oct 2017.

  1. Z12XE

    Z12XE Member

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    Whilst the arrival of the new passenger trains should hopefully end the problem of there being not enough trains to run the service (sorry "more trains than usual needing repair") the passenger service will always be unreliable and cancelled at a moments notice to allow the freight to run, until its fully doubled, whenever there's any hint of delays to get the freight back on time. (which is understandable given the delays a late running freight can cause elsewhere on the network.

    Whether the passenger train is formed of 1,3,5,12 carriages wont change that, and suspect now even with a 153 if passengers wern't routinely told that this train is cancelled with little warning, you've got to wait 60 mins for next train more people would use it.
     
  2. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Back in the day, summer weekend traffic from Ipswich to Felixstowe was very heavy. Each (local) train would be 5 or 6 bogies and rammed. Derby Road platforms would be a 'sea' of families with buckets and spades. These days tourist traffic would be barely noticeable.
    Not too much commuting to London from Felixstowe, a number would perhaps drive to Manningtree. My brother used to do that sometimes from the outskirts of Ipswich! We discussed users generally up-thread.

    There are absolutely no plans to fully double the line to Felixstowe. The current project should slightly improve the resilience of the passenger service, in the short term at least.
    Whilst late running freight may be an issue and a service missed, it is the freights that 'break down' that cause the line to be shut and buses used as 'replacement'.
    At least as you say we should look forward to the end of "more trains than usual needing repair".
    Just so long as they get diesel every day .......
     
  3. GB

    GB Established Member

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    In my experience, it is not usually and specifically broken down freights that cause issues (tho it does happen time to time), its usually late departures from the port, slow acceptance to the port and late freights on the network (all of which for any number of reasons) that cause problems for the passenger.
     
  4. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    Unfortunately more than a single 153 is rarely available but occasionally during particularly warm days during the summer holidays it is possible to strengthen the branch. Late morning trains can leave Ipswich well loaded only to find another 50 or so waiting at Derby Road. The 15:58 & 16:58 return can also be very heavy too. Sundays a 156 was normally used but obviously that won't happen this year.
     
  5. furnessvale

    furnessvale Established Member

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    In the past, the port owners have tried to pay for replacement luxury coaches to free paths for more freight.

    I wonder if they would be interested in subsidising longer DMU sets so the occasional cancellation would not generate such passenger ire?
     
  6. Z12XE

    Z12XE Member

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    The problem with that is until the new Stadler trains are in service there's nothing to replace the 153 with, apart from probably pulling a 156 off another line in East Anglia and causing bigger issues with which ever line then has to have the 153
     
  7. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    They caused uproar with their suggestion of a 'quality' bus service replacing trains off peak. Doubt they'd be interested in subsidising longer trains even if they where available to lease. Minimum 3-car trains within the next 2 years.
     
  8. 36270k

    36270k Member

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    Due mainly to the excessive number of traffic lights in Ipswich, the 75/76/77 Bus from Felixstowe to Ipswich can take up to an hour. The bus also has it's own single line/passing loops delays between Trimley and Levington
    On most journeys the 153 unit seems to be about 75% full.
     
  9. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Are you suggesting that the traffic lights should be removed? :p
    Assuming that all journeys either originate or end at Ipswich (they don't), would give a current average of around 23 travellers per 'train' over the branch across all services in the year.
    Annual entries/exits (heavily rounded):
    Felixstowe 200,000; Trimley 30,000; Derby Road 50,000; Westerfield 10,000.
    Annual services (rounded):
    12,500.
    Clearly some of the less popular services will have just a handful of users, right up to the high summer 'rammed'.
     
  10. zaax

    zaax Member

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    A fair bit of commuter traffic including a bit to London on the early train (only 100 min to Liverpool st).
     
  11. zaax

    zaax Member

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    I would argue that we should also be thinking about a light rail link to Ipswich though were it would run when it got to Ipswich might be another problem
     
  12. snowball

    snowball Established Member

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    Press release from yesterday:

    https://www.networkrail.co.uk/feeds...ixstowe-branch-line-as-part-of-major-upgrade/

     
  13. swills

    swills Established Member

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    We have been advised that there will be no extra freights until they have done the junction at Ely, as the capacity to handle them will not be available, ( I assume this may include Haughley too), try and run an extra 10 when this bit is done.............:)
     
  14. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    Really?
    The numbers have changed then since the original justification for the £60million spend.
    The numbers were:
    The branch (but not the wider network) would cope with 47tpd (up from 33tpd) ie 14 more each way.
    The wider network would cope with an extra 4 of those 14tpd without any further work.
    This quite apart from the improved safety and resilience arising from the work.

    We are then left with 10tpd across the wider network dependent upon projects which may include Ely (various), Haughley (various), Soham, level crossings, headway improvements ........
     
  15. swills

    swills Established Member

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    Not sure where we will put an extra 14 a day :) some of the current 33 get in the way already, what it will ease will be late running, at least we hope it will !

    Ipswich Yard is full to capacity, so any extra will have to be via BFC or straight up the GEML, and if cross country, do away with the 'C' stop at Stowmarket.
     
  16. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    How did those crew change stops at Stowmarket ever come about in the first place?
     
  17. swills

    swills Established Member

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    It was supposed to be the BFC, but for whatever reason that did not work out, DBS and GBRf have no issues and have all their crews at Felixstowe (or 90% of them) FL however have their crews based at Ipswich and work travel out to their trains from there.

    Maybe after resig, they can do it at Derby Road, as the loop will be bi-di and if there is no driver, we can use the other road
     
  18. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    mmmmmm ....
    Cheers!
     
  19. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    The passenger section of the Felixstowe branch is what, about 14 miles long?

    With this additional mile or so of double track, how much is (or will be?) double of the whole? (I've never been on it.)
     
  20. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    The only other double track section is the one through Derby Road station, which is about 3/4 of a mile long. So about 1 3/4 miles total.
     
  21. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    So these are presumably worked more like dynamic loops than double track sections then? Thanks.
     
  22. XDM

    XDM Member

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    The newish Bacon Factory Curve would have been the ideal place to swop drivers.
    It is out of the way of passenger trains & deliberately long enough even for 750metre container trains.
    It is less than a mile by road from Ipswich FL book on point/depot at Ipswich station.

    Can 'Swills' or anyone else explain why it can't be used & instead FL driver changes have to block the main line miles away at Stowmarket?
     
  23. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    I believe that the Derby Road loop is 755m, so unless the crew change can take pace at the Ipswich end of the loop (way way off the platform) then that wont be happening :frown:
     
  24. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Relieving on the curve requires access through third party private land....something that the land owner has refused and clearly something that wasn’t given much thought during the planning/building stages.

    The only way for a driver to get there is to walk along the track which is not ideal nor safe.
     
  25. XDM

    XDM Member

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    From google earth it measures a lot longer than 755 metres from signal back to clearance of junction.

    But I would refuse to relieve another driver if I hafpd to stand by the open track in snow, rain or baking heat.( unless it was a one off energency)

    Normal procedure is to supply a hut with seat, warmth & loo.

    Surely there is space track side, or on foot of embankment, for this.
    The private land issue, if correct, can be resolved with cash( after all the site is derelict industrial land) with the threat of a CPO, compulsory purchase.

    The cost of taxis to Stowmarket & back, the unproductive eating up of drivers' hours & the disruption to passenger services when the freight trains are late must be huge. Worth putting up a hut to avoid.
     
  26. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    Sorry if this has been explained already, but what is the reason for the crew change so close to Felixstowe? If a driver or crew need relieving, why can't it be done there?
    Obviously I'm missing a vital fact...
     
  27. eastdyke

    eastdyke Established Member

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    The loop length quoted in the NR option selection report for the enhancement project was 755m.
    http://www.hwa.uk.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NR.1.3F-Options-Selection-Report.pdf
    I believe this is due in part at least to the position of the up (Ipswich bound) signal which is on the Felixstowe side of the Fuchsia Lane road bridge. Can be seen from this 2012 picture of a freight train held in the loop whilst a Felixstowe bound scud approaches Derby Road.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipe...ng_Freightliner_66538_and_container_train.jpg
    I do not know if the usable length of loop will change when the new bi-di signalling has been installed/commissioned.

    An edit to add:
    A peek over the parapet of the Fuchsia Lane bridge, looking towards Ipswich, shows the SPAD indicator protecting the up loop exit. (There is similar protection for the down loop exit).
    http://url4.uk/eJw3I
     
    Last edited: 9 Nov 2018
  28. GB

    GB Established Member

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    There is a business on the land so its not entirely derelict. Not even sure if a CPO would be valid in this case.


    Usually due to not enough drivers hours. Felixstowe might be "close" but can still take 60-90 minutes to get there and berth the train then for the driver to get back to his booking on point which may not be Felixstowe. Our Felixstowe-Hams Hall relieves in Ipswich yard as the entire route is too long (hours wise) for one driver to take it all the way.
     
  29. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    Thanks, that's useful.

    Can't the BFC be accessed from elsewhere? It extends beyond the "triangle" of land to the south, which I assume is the bit of private industrial land we're talking about. Just taking one example: the path along the north bank of the River Gipping could allow access at both the western and eastern ends of the chord. Obviously this would still require suitable driver facilities, safe track access etc.
     
  30. GB

    GB Established Member

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    Forgot to say you can't actually relieve on the down line on the curve as there are open lines both sides of the train when the train is at the signal.
     

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