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Felixstowe OHLE

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Class360/1

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Following the governments announcement of free ports, including one at Felixstowe, more freight trains and lorries will be in operation.
Was wondering if the government were to ever do some electrification the port of Felixstowe and part of the east Suffolk lines being electrified
 
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HST43257

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Following the governments announcement of free ports, including one at Felixstowe, more freight trains and lorries will be in operation.
Was wondering if the government were to ever do some electrification the port of Felixstowe and part of the east Suffolk lines being electrified
Perhaps, but I’m put off thinking that by my idea of 93s on intermodals
 

43096

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Perhaps, but I’m put off thinking that by my idea of 93s on intermodals
Your idea?

Felixstowe needs wiring, and preferably double tracking throughout at the same time. End of. It should have been done with the rest of the Norwich scheme 30+ years ago.
 

Tobbes

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Your idea?

Felixstowe needs wiring, and preferably double tracking throughout at the same time. End of. It should have been done with the rest of the Norwich scheme 30+ years ago.
Felixstowe to Ipswich would be a short piece of in-fill electrification as part of the decarbonisation of frieght, and it would please the locals no end - noisy diesels battering their way up to Westerfield in the small hours is not many people's idea of fun.
 

43096

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Felixstowe to Ipswich would be a short piece of in-fill electrification as part of the decarbonisation of frieght, and it would please the locals no end - noisy diesels battering their way up to Westerfield in the small hours is not many people's idea of fun.
Completely agreed, it should be done as part of freight decarbonisation. And the passenger service can be converted to electric as well with no cost, as the units are electro-diesel already.
 

Tio Terry

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Your idea?

Felixstowe needs wiring, and preferably double tracking throughout at the same time. End of. It should have been done with the rest of the Norwich scheme 30+ years ago.
I guess that rather high viaduct between Westerfield and Derby Road may well prevent that!
 

A0wen

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Your idea?

Felixstowe needs wiring, and preferably double tracking throughout at the same time. End of. It should have been done with the rest of the Norwich scheme 30+ years ago.

It's already been pointed out that double-tracking is pretty much impossible without spending huge sums - basically the section from Derby Road to Westerfield is the problem, and I don't think that's ever been double track.

On the wiring front, you have to think about what would have been used to run the service - this was also floated on another post about why it wasn't done when the wires first reached Ipswich in the late 80s. The Felixstowe branch for most of the last 40 years was more than adequately served by a 1 or 2 car DMU - workings which were interworked with the East Suffolk line and with units maintained at Ipswich with other DMUs. Whereas the only EMUs reaching Ipswich in those days were 4 car outer-suburban, probably too long for some of the platforms on the line as well. From an economic point of view, wiring Felixstowe would never have made sense.
 

Dr Hoo

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Following the governments announcement of free ports, including one at Felixstowe, more freight trains and lorries will be in operation.
Was wondering if the government were to ever do some electrification the port of Felixstowe and part of the east Suffolk lines being electrified
Is this premise even correct? The precise thinking behind Freeport's is unclear - we've had them before and abolished the idea. One thing often mentioned is that goods might arrive at a freeport (by ship or, in East Midlands' case, air), have value added in some way, such as on-site processing, and then be re-exported. This wouldn't have any significant domestic transport implications but would create jobs in Felixstowe, etc.

More specifically, with electrification for intermodal trains, I have never been clear what happens when the electric locomotive ends up at the entrance to the (wire-less) terminals. Obviously bi-modes could work but that will require major investment on someone's part. But if the traction is bi-mode it could run from Ipswich on the alternative mode anyway.

If the answer is a pool of battery shunters at the port to shift the trains around there is a huge time penalty in terms of disposing of the main line locomotives, brake tests and so on, and a need for track re-modelling. Once return workings in diagrams are broken, slots lost, overall transit times for the cargo increased and equipment utilisation rates worsened the whole rail freight business model starts to unravel. Some of the flows already only survive with Mode Shift Revenue Support as it is.
 

Alfie1014

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It's already been pointed out that double-tracking is pretty much impossible without spending huge sums - basically the section from Derby Road to Westerfield is the problem, and I don't think that's ever been double track.

On the wiring front, you have to think about what would have been used to run the service - this was also floated on another post about why it wasn't done when the wires first reached Ipswich in the late 80s. The Felixstowe branch for most of the last 40 years was more than adequately served by a 1 or 2 car DMU - workings which were interworked with the East Suffolk line and with units maintained at Ipswich with other DMUs. Whereas the only EMUs reaching Ipswich in those days were 4 car outer-suburban, probably too long for some of the platforms on the line as well. From an economic point of view, wiring Felixstowe would never have made sense.
Indeed Felixstowe sort of fell between two stools, the electrification scheme of the 1980s was mainly to benefit what became the IC and NSE sectors, freight was very marginal and at that time Harwich was probably almost as important as Felix.

Wiring only the branch today would have minimal benefit (2-3 trains a day), however if (and when) Haughley Jn to Peterborough and beyond gets wired it becomes much more worth while. That said the wires need to extend to Nuneaton/Hams Hall/Water Orton and then you have the issue about what to do on the ECML as virtually all the freights now go via the Joint Line (made even easier once the Werrington diver under is complete), but its not wired. I wonder how practical it becomes to path liners with modern electric locos down the ECML with their superior performance? One flow that has increased dramatically of late has been liners to Yorkshire and Doncaster in particular, it would be ironic if pathing them via the Joint line precluded them from being electricially hauled throughout?
 

43096

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Wiring only the branch today would have minimal benefit (2-3 trains a day)
For freight. The regular passenger service also benefits and without needing different trains providing.
 

Ianno87

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For freight. The regular passenger service also benefits and without needing different trains providing.

"Benefits" in terms that Class 755s could be replaced by....Class 755s?
 

HSTEd

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I wonder how practical it becomes to path liners with modern electric locos down the ECML with their superior performance? One flow that has increased dramatically of late has been liners to Yorkshire and Doncaster in particular, it would be ironic if pathing them via the Joint line precluded them from being electricially hauled throughout?

Well a modern CoCo electric locomotive could potentially have ten thousand kilowatts on 25kV.

There is also the ultimate heretical question of..... if they are fixed formation trains carrying only containers, whether or not we could just make an 800m FMU with the performance of a passenger EMU. W12 provides a meter of space under loading deck of a high cube container for equipment.
 
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furnessvale

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Well a modern CoCo electric locomotive could potentially have ten thousand kilowatts on 25kV.

There is also the ultimate heretical question of..... if they are fixed formation trains carrying only containers, whether or not we could just make an 800m FMU with the performance of a passenger EMU. W12 provides a meter of space under loading deck of a high cube container for equipment.
Are they fixed formation? I believe portions are exchanged, at Crewe at least, if not elsewhere.
 

popeter45

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as long as portions are fixed length (4-6 cars) you could still so multible units with a 755 style power unit in the middle and without cabs that are piloted with a control car?
could even add batteries and radio control at slow speed to eliminate any need for shunters?
 

clagmonster

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On the wiring front, you have to think about what would have been used to run the service - this was also floated on another post about why it wasn't done when the wires first reached Ipswich in the late 80s. The Felixstowe branch for most of the last 40 years was more than adequately served by a 1 or 2 car DMU - workings which were interworked with the East Suffolk line and with units maintained at Ipswich with other DMUs. Whereas the only EMUs reaching Ipswich in those days were 4 car outer-suburban, probably too long for some of the platforms on the line as well. From an economic point of view, wiring Felixstowe would never have made sense.
You could have said the same about Braintree and Southminster when they were wired - they were previously the domain of 2 car DMUs. I expect that had Felixstowe, and Sudbury for that matter, been electrified at the same time as Norwich, city then a couple more EMU s would have been sourced.

Wiring only the branch today would have minimal benefit (2-3 trains a day), however if (and when) Haughley Jn to Peterborough and beyond gets wired it becomes much more worth while. That said the wires need to extend to Nuneaton/Hams Hall/Water Orton and then you have the issue about what to do on the ECML as virtually all the freights now go via the Joint Line (made even easier once the Werrington diver under is complete), but its not wired. I wonder how practical it becomes to path liners with modern electric locos down the ECML with their superior performance? One flow that has increased dramatically of late has been liners to Yorkshire and Doncaster in particular, it would be ironic if pathing them via the Joint line precluded them from being electricially hauled throughout?
I have just had a count up of a random day on RTT. 16 liners run from the GEML to Felixstowe, although admittedly those from Lawley Street, Wentloog and Hams Hall would require a loco change at Willesden or similar, but even if they remain diesel, 13 daily freights in each direction plus the local passenger service with the potential for more freight on completion of electrification elsewhere is a lot of diesel running removed.
 

Trainfan344

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Just found my crayons so fancy a bit of speculating. Anyway a bit of an idea for how to do dualling and electrification

From Westerfield, build a second track to act as a passing loop, this would stretch from the junction at Westerfield which would be remodelled to be a double lead junction to the North of the station. The second track would end where the first overbridge is. This would allow a full length frieght to stand clear in either direction if needed.

Between the new Single track and the Viaduct I would rebuild the Albion Hill overbridge before the viaduct and install another full lenght frieght passing loop here too.

I'd extend the dual track between Derby road and just before the A1156 overbridge to provide room for 2 full lenght frieghts if needed

Then there is room for dual track alongside the A1156 before Martlesham Car Centre which could be Compulsary Purchased if needed. If not then a small section of single track before slewing to the right and then double track all the way between there and the ports.

I feel this is a great way to get a lot of benefits without a huge budget.
 

A0wen

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Just found my crayons so fancy a bit of speculating. Anyway a bit of an idea for how to do dualling and electrification

From Westerfield, build a second track to act as a passing loop, this would stretch from the junction at Westerfield which would be remodelled to be a double lead junction to the North of the station. The second track would end where the first overbridge is. This would allow a full length frieght to stand clear in either direction if needed.

Between the new Single track and the Viaduct I would rebuild the Albion Hill overbridge before the viaduct and install another full lenght frieght passing loop here too.

I'd extend the dual track between Derby road and just before the A1156 overbridge to provide room for 2 full lenght frieghts if needed

Then there is room for dual track alongside the A1156 before Martlesham Car Centre which could be Compulsary Purchased if needed. If not then a small section of single track before slewing to the right and then double track all the way between there and the ports.

I feel this is a great way to get a lot of benefits without a huge budget.

On what basis do you think it won't be a "huge" budget?

It would need signalling changes, route closures whilst some of the work took place and chances are a bill of circa £30m / mile of track laid.

Others with better knowledge are free to correct me, but I suspect you'll be looking at a bill of at least £100m.
 

Bald Rick

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The not quite a mile extension to Trimley loop cost £60m two years ago. That included some level crossing closures and a Transport and Works Act Order to enable all the work.
 

A0wen

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The not quite a mile extension to Trimley loop cost £60m two years ago. That included some level crossing closures and a Transport and Works Act Order to enable all the work.

So my at least £ 100m 'finger in air' guess was sound ?
 

Dr Hoo

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Trainfan334's suggestion seemed to involve about four bits of doubling/extended loops, so I would have thought well over £200m, especially with junction re-modelling, bridge re-builds and electrification.

I am still not clear how electrification would work within the three rail terminals themselves, at least until all freight locomotives are proper bi-modes (not included in the 'budget').
 

ainsworth74

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I am still not clear how electrification would work within the three rail terminals themselves, at least until all freight locomotives are proper bi-modes (not included in the 'budget').

There must still be at least a few 08s scuttling around somewhere that could be rustled up :lol:
 

43096

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as long as portions are fixed length (4-6 cars) you could still so multible units with a 755 style power unit in the middle and without cabs that are piloted with a control car?
could even add batteries and radio control at slow speed to eliminate any need for shunters?
Or you could just be really flexible, allow fully variable train lengths and have all the traction equipment in one place. I think it’s called a “locomotive”. You can even use them for other freight services.
 

furnessvale

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as long as portions are fixed length (4-6 cars) you could still so multible units with a 755 style power unit in the middle and without cabs that are piloted with a control car?
could even add batteries and radio control at slow speed to eliminate any need for shunters?
Why add all that complication? Just have simple wagons and all the complicated gubbins confined to one locomotive.

edit (As stated above by 43096)
 

Trainfan344

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On what basis do you think it won't be a "huge" budget?

It would need signalling changes, route closures whilst some of the work took place and chances are a bill of circa £30m / mile of track laid.

Others with better knowledge are free to correct me, but I suspect you'll be looking at a bill of at least £100m.

My idea was that it wouldn't require the expense of rebuilding several overbridges with just the one being required. Ideally you'd demolish the houses and electricfy and double the whole lot with a second viaduct.
 

A0wen

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My idea was that it wouldn't require the expense of rebuilding several overbridges with just the one being required. Ideally you'd demolish the houses and electricfy and double the whole lot with a second viaduct.

Doesn't answer the question of what you define as a "huge" budget - you'd still be looking at a minimum of £ 100m even for your more basic changes - and if you consider that a small budget, you're clearly either far better off than I am or simply believe the money you spend doesn't need to come from somewhere.
 

Trainfan344

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Trainfan334's suggestion seemed to involve about four bits of doubling/extended loops, so I would have thought well over £200m, especially with j
I am still not clear how electrification would work within the three rail terminals themselves, at least until all freight locomotives are proper bi-modes (not included in the 'budget').

The solution is to have a exchange sidings whereby the electric locomotive comes off and a diesel shunter of some kind moves on and pulls the train in. Or even better Bi modes to use the engine to get them into the yard and back to the electric.

Doesn't answer the question of what you define as a "huge" budget - you'd still be looking at a minimum of £ 100m even for your more basic changes - and if you consider that a small budget, you're clearly either far better off than I am or simply believe the money you spend doesn't need to come from somewhere.

I would define a huge budget in terms of a rail project as being £500m+. Rail projects are getting more expensive. Perhaps the Port of Felixstowe would be willing to part fund the project as they stand to benefit the most from it.
 
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