Freight movements at Knighton Junction (Leicester)

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by pj334, 10 Jan 2020.

  1. pj334

    pj334 Member

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    There was mention in the MML Electrification thread about the possible future 4 tracking of the MML between Leicester station and Wigston Junctions. I have not been able to find any detail about what is being planned, but I have been giving some thought to the implications.

    Way back, this route was originally 4 track throughout, so at first glance reinstating it should not be impossible. The Coalville branch connection at Knighton Junction originally had both north facing and south facing curves. The north facing curve has been removed, and the land above it built up to become part of Freemans Common Industrial estate (Screwfix is just above where the north curve commenced.)
    I have watched countless freight movements coming off the Coalville branch, invariably they need to head north, and so the shunt arrangements are quite complex and time consuming.

    The freight coming of the Coalville branch first has to wait for a clear path to cross both main lines to enter a south facing refuge siding on the east side (adjacent to the up main). The loco then uncouples and runs forward (south) to wait for a path to cross both main lines to enter a refuge loop at Wigston. The driver then changes ends and then awaits a path up the main back to Knighton junction and take refuge on the Coalville branch. Driver then changes ends again and waits for a path to cross over both main lines to re-enter the refuge siding to couple up to the rear of freight. Once coupled and ready to go, it then has to wait a path to cross the up main in order to proceed north on the down main. It all takes about an hour.

    The ideal solution would be to restore Knighton Junction north curve, that would eliminate all the shunt movements. In the real world, I can't see that happening, it would involve relocating a good number of industrial premises from the Freemans Common estate, the cost would be enormous.

    Failing that, the next best improvement would be to create a refuge siding on the west side of the main lines, alongside the down main. This would allow the freight to enter the refuge siding without needing to cross the main lines at all. The loco run round would only need to use the down main.

    However, regardless of whether the refuge siding is situated on the west or the east, there is insufficient room at this location for 4 main lines plus refuge siding. It would have to be 3 mains plus a refuge siding, or not have a refuge siding at this location at all, the Coalville freights would then have to run south to Wigston Junctions, where there is a refuge siding already (not sure if it would be long enough though).

    Can anyone shed any light on the 4 tracking plans or proposals, and how the Coalville line freight will be handled?
     
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  3. sharpley

    sharpley Member

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    Could freight traffic go north via Burton rather than reversing at Leicester. No idea what state the line is beyond Coalville but there is a north facing junction (on Google Earth) from this route onto the line at Burton, and could connect to the MML at either Derby or Trent Junction
     
  4. Freightmaster

    Freightmaster Established Member

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    For clarification, the vast majority of daytime freight movements on that line these days are actually
    from the south (i.e. from either from Market Harborough or Nuneaton), so only a couple of services
    need to perform the (admittedly awkward) run round manoeuvre that you describe, and even they
    don't run every day; to use this week as an example, such trains only ran on Tuesday and Wednesday
    with nothing running round at Knighton Junction during the daytime (when conflicts with passenger services
    are an issue) on any other day.



    MARK
     
  5. pj334

    pj334 Member

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    My apologies for misreading the situation, most of my observations have been during evenings, I had not seen any from the south.
     
  6. 38Cto15E

    38Cto15E Member

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    Probably not possible but, I know the old North curve to the down main has long gone and been built on, but is there room for a curve from the Coalville line to a new down slow line which would go through the old goods line portals of Knighton Tunnel? I don't think there would be room for a new conventional junction but what about a diamond type crossing (similar to newark) over the main lines if an Ivanhoe passenger service was re-started?
     
  7. 38Cto15E

    38Cto15E Member

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    Looking at a satellite map it would be a No Go. There have been a few new units built on the old triangle since I used to work at Knighton. In the late 60s some of the curve was built on but since then the units have encroached much more on the old sidings. Back to the drawing board :)
     
  8. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Depends which way the terminals face on the Coalville route itself. If the access points face south then a run round on the Coalville line itself will be required to then head towards Burton and Derby / Trent Jns.
     
  9. sharpley

    sharpley Member

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    Looking at Google Earth, Cliffe Hill quarry has a south facing (towards Leicester) link, Bardon Hill quarry has a north facing (towards Burton) junction, so I guess a loco run round, or reversing into the quarry (with Bardon Hill quarry), occurs anyway. Whether this run around happens on the line, or within the sidings at the quarry I have no idea. Running northbound freight via Burton rather than having to reverse at Knighton and running north via Leicester I'm sure is possible, although theres obviously a reason they don't.
     
  10. Edders23

    Edders23 Member

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    I have seen mentions of a possible flyover to seperate brum trains from london trains

    If they are going to re-quadruple the line would it not make more sense to have two tracks as dedicated London tracks and all the freight and cross country traffic on the other 2 I know the avoiding lines are on the opposite side but there is talk of adding additional platform capacity on that side so could they not make that for the London trains ?
     
  11. jfowkes

    jfowkes Member

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    You'd still have to put a crossover somewhere north of Leicester to access the Ivanhoe stations and Syston Junction, but maybe that's easier than trying to squeeze one in at Wigston?
     
  12. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Member

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    If it helps the drivers call the line "the alps" past Coalville
     
  13. sharpley

    sharpley Member

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    Ah OK, that explains a lot
     
  14. HOOVER29

    HOOVER29 Member

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    Yeah subsidence can’t really describe the line.
    Only real straight flat bit is the Ashby stretch & that’s only because they did work on it a few years back.
    Before when the mgrs ran it was erm interesting to see one heading down the mile long straight swaying back & forth over the various wet patches.
     
  15. Spaceship323

    Spaceship323 Member

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    At Bardon the wagons are drawn into the quarry by Bardon's Sentinal shunter so the mainline loco just uncouples and waits in the receiving siding
     

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