Freight lines to the east of Mansfield post Thoresby Colliery closure

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by thenorthern, 21 Aug 2015.

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  1. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Now that Thoresby Colliery has closed has there been any announcement on what will happen to the lines to the east of Mansfield once the current coal stockpile at the Thoresby Colliery have been removed?

    There was proposals a couple of years ago for the trains that terminate at Mansfield Woodhouse to be extended to a new station at Ollerton via the line although I can't see that ever happening. I know some of the track is test track although I don't think that reaches as far as the robin hood line.

    When I was at school in Rainworth I remember walking on the site of the former Rufford Colliery and I was surprised that the rail tracks that served the colliery still stretched right up to the A617 despite not being used for many years and I think there was still a weighbridge there.
     
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  3. CallySleeper

    CallySleeper Established Member

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    Why not?
     
  4. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Its not a very direct route and the villages it would serve aren't very big. The best route I would say is via the old Forest Town and Clipstone line and then onto Edwinstowe but I am not sure how much much of that track is left.
     
  5. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Well the track would have to be relayed anyway. The most important thing is that the track bed is kept clear. The problem is from what I can gather the Robin Hood Line hasn't exactly been a roaring success which if so won't give much encouragement to Notts County Council or for that matter the DfT.
     
  6. Philip Phlopp

    Philip Phlopp Established Member

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    It would depend on the safety options for continuing testing work on the line and running a passenger service, before even beginning to work on a business case for installing a new signalling system and the usual re-opening works for stations and the like.

    The route from Thoresby Colliery Jn to the site of High Marnham Power Station (known as High Marnham Test Track) presents some pretty insurmountable logistical issues for re-opening.

    The test track is mainly used for infrastructure testing and on track plant vehicle testing functions rather than passenger/freight rolling stock (that's more Old Dalby's purpose) and as such, it's used to test equipment on track plant like tampers pre-certification for use on the network. That presents a couple of headaches, in addition to having passenger services operating alongside rolling stock waiting for certification/acceptance, the track itself may have been used to test the maintenance functionality of the equipment, so may not meet Network Rail's maintenance requirements for passenger train use, having been tamped, ballasted, relaid or otherwise modified by equipment pending acceptance.

    The test track was where the fabled HOPS electrification train was tested, and there should still be UK Series 1 OLE on the track (but not energized). It has also been used recently to test road-rail vehicles and new braking technology for them, and is available to manufacturers, engineering and civils firms wishing to test new technology - absolutely anything, from HOPS/HOBC type trains, down to hand tools for undoing Pandrol clips, can be tested at High Marnham.

    The line may (and I stress, may) get an ETCS installation, if it does, it would likely be for Level 2 testing for on track plant, and Level 3 testing, at some point in the medium term future, but the risks of moving block signalling would definitely keep the line barred for passenger use, at least initially.
     
  7. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    I would agree with you on that. When I was in education in Mansfield most the locals used to travel to Chesterfield to take "longer distance trains" which is something the Robin Hood Line just can't provide.
     
  8. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I had the impression the Robin Hood Line between Nottingham and Mansfield was quite successful - I think it was quoted as one of the best-performing lines financially in what was then Regional Railways. The extension to Worksop was probably less so - the places further north do tend to look more to Chesterfield or Sheffield as suggested, and with any rail lines in that direction long gone and no decent connections at Worksop it probably doesn't go where people want to be.
     
  9. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    I know it would never happen but I reckon that if the Robin Hood Line trains went the other way at the triangular junction at Worksop and then ran onto Sheffield I reckon the line would get more users that it presently does. I would be interested to know how many commuters from Mansfield travel to Alfreton to catch a Sheffield train, maybe British Rail shouldn't have dropped the "and Mansfield Parkway" suffix from Alfreton. :D

    I agree with you about connection, for a town the size of Mansfield the connections are poor, there are no services to many nearby "big" places such as Newark-on-Trent, Chesterfield, Sheffield, Derby or Lincoln. I know Network Rail proposed a Derby to Mansfield train via Toton and Pinxton although I think thats a long way off.
     
  10. Quickthorn

    Quickthorn Member

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    I've always wondered why Robin Hood services don't go that little bit further and terminate at Retford rather than Worksop. You'd then have one less change for connections involving the ECML.
     
  11. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    I reckon its because when the Robin Hood Line was completed Retford High Level was only served by the two hourly London to York service and Central Trains couldn't justify extending services to Retford for such as limited service connection.

    If anything though I reckon the best line to re-open would be Mansfield to Newark Castle via Rainworth and Southwell.
     
  12. martinsh

    martinsh Established Member

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    Exactly ! I'm sure you could probably devise a timetable which does this without requiring any extra units as well
     
  13. backontrack

    backontrack Established Member

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    I know that there were plans for stations at Warsop, Edwinstowe, Ollerton and possibly even Tuxford - but don't quote me on that last one.
     
  14. ashworth

    ashworth Established Member

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    I'm not a commuter but whenever I travel to the north I nearly always drive or catch the bus to Alfreton and that's from near Hucknall rather than Mansfield. It's also considerably cheaper and quicker than travelling via Nottingham.

    You are right it won't happen. Trains will not go the other direction towards Sheffield at the triangle just outside Worksop because Nottinghamshire County Council would expect the trains to serve Worksop. However, I would certainly travel to Sheffield by this route if something was done to reduce that ridiculous 45 minute wait for a connection at Worksop on the outward journey. Preferably this could be done by running through trains from Nottingham to Sheffield reversing at Worksop but just decent connections with less than 10 minutes to wait would be enough. I really do feel that there is a significant market for Mansfield, Shirebrook, Cresswell, etc to Sheffield but EMT, Northern or indeed Notts and Derbys County Councils do not seem interested in this.
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2015
  15. Mugby

    Mugby Established Member

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    I agree that Sheffield ought to be the way to go but as has been said, the two authorities, Nottinghamshire CC and South Yorkshire will never agree to work together because neither will entertain the idea of a train service which takes people out of their area and deposits them in another county, regardless of the demands/habits of workers, shoppers etc.

    I seem to remember that in the earlier days of the Robin Hood line, Notts CC as a condition of their support for the project specified that the trains should be three car units but that has obviously gone by the board now. I travelled into Nottingham yesterday at about 3.30pm and observed a 156 departing for Worksop with hardly anyone on it.
     
  16. Harpers Tate

    Harpers Tate Established Member

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    The ITT for the new Northern franchise sees twice as many trains Worksop - Sheffield (and Retford, for that matter) so the "something" will be done assuming it's actually let on this basis in due course.
     
  17. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    Looking at a map the best way to get to Sheffield from Mansfield I reckon would be to travel along the old line via Clowne and then take the line via Woodhouse and then into Sheffield from the North.

    There are other things that when the Robin Hood line was built would have made the line better when they built it such as it would have been nicer if they reopened the line line that went closer to Sutton-in-Ashfield as the current Sutton Parkway is rather useless for residents of the town, the time the train takes is rather slow and broadly comparable to other forms of transport, the only extension is to Norwich which isn't really a useful service and for many years there were no Sunday services. Mansfield station is fairly well used although for a town the size of Mansfield I would expect it to have more services and more passengers.
     
  18. WestCountry

    WestCountry Member

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    How much is left of the Shirebrook-Bolsover-Staveley line, or the one via Clowne for that matter? Track on the northern section was lifted this year, so at least that bit is still there.

    That would serve a couple of good-sized towns in its own right, while giving Mansfield a link through to Sheffield.
     
  19. thenorthern

    thenorthern Established Member

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    All or nearly all of the track bed is still there but the track would need to be re-laid.
     
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