Freight-only lines Q

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Howardh, 26 Apr 2019.

  1. M60lad

    M60lad Member

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    Is the line from Northenden-Hazel Grove Freight Only? I've never seen or heard of any passenger or ECS stock using it
     
  2. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    The Sectional Appendix shows the York avoider (Up Slow & Down Slow) as passenger lines.
     
  3. Tom Maddox

    Tom Maddox Member

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    Runcorn Folly Lane? Only goes to what was ICI though so probably doesn’t apply here.
     
  4. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    Does anyone know if the goods lines on the WCML between Bamfurlong Junction and Wigan North Western have been used for passenger "diversions" in recent years?

    I have seen a photo on Flickr of a railtour travelling over the goods lines, but has a Pendolino or a TPE 350 ever gone that way?

    I guess it's less likely to happen these days during engineering work on the main lines, since the slow line was extended between Springs Branch & Wigan NW - but were the goods lines put to use at the time that junction at Springs Branch was being re-configured?

    Until quite recently a daily Northern ECS from Warrington BQ to Wigan NW (5F02) was normally booked to use the goods lines from Bamfurlong to arrive into Platform 2 at Wigan NW. This was the empty unit off the morning Ellesmere Port - Warrington BQ train, which subsequently forms a Wigan NW to Stalybridge via Bolton service. According to RTT, this now appears to run on the Down Fast as far as Wigan South Jn.

    Of course, after the new Springs Branch stabling depot opens, the huge majority of train movements on those "goods lines" will be empty Northern DMUs and EMUs.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2019
  5. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    Indeed. I seem to remember it being used not that long ago, I think it was by the Flying Scotsman (LNER).
     
  6. 3973EXL

    3973EXL Member

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  7. Dr_Paul

    Dr_Paul Member

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    South Acton to Kew Bridge is freight only. There was not so long back a passenger service which used it, I think it was Ipswich to Basingstoke, but this did not last long. If I recall correctly, it didn't stop at Willesden Junction, which (if I'm right) seems an odd thing to do. There were regular services to Kew Bridge from Broad Street, alternating with Richmond, but I think that these stopped during the 1920s or 1930s.
     
  8. Western Sunset

    Western Sunset Member

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    Though sometimes the quality of a freight-only line can be better than a passenger one. The line into Ashchurch MOD (the part maintained by the MOD) is heavy duty flatbottom rail on concrete sleepers with good, clean ballast.
     
  9. Gathursty

    Gathursty Established Member

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    Are you on about the two lines that dive-under the WCML and appear on the other side?
    I'll also add on to that the curve off this to the Wigan-Liverpool line.
     
  10. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Electrification in the West Midlands in the 1960s included the Grand Junction line from Stechford via Aston and Bescot to Bushbury and various connecting lines. Parts of this have never had a regular scheduled passenger services as far as I'm aware (particularly the bits each end) but I believe they are used for diversions and therefore likely to be signalled and maintained to passenger standards.

    Southbound freight heading for the ECML towards Doncaster tends to run through the station to avoid having to cross the fast lines at Skelton and back again between York and Colton.
     
  11. Springs Branch

    Springs Branch Member

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    They're the ones I'm on about. Diverge to the west at Bamfurlong, dive under the fasts & slows then run alongside the fast lines as far as Wigan South Jn. The goods lines have been fully electrified since the 1970s, but I imagine the wires are very rarely scraped these days.

    @6Gman in post #25 describes being diverted over the Ince Moss Curve in 1980.
     
  12. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Historically, some electric point machines were available with or without FPL. The non-FPL version omitted a few internal components and was a bit cheaper and being simpler was theoretically slightly more reliable. Remember that FPLs were only required on turnouts that could be traversed by passenger trains in the facing direction, that is the diverging direction, so a trailing crossover or siding connection on a pair of unidirectional tracks could legally omit FPLs if only used for shunting in the facing direction. Modern point actuators used on main lines all have FPLs or an equivalent secondary securing mechanism so the distinction no longer applies on new schemes, and point machies have a lifecycle of around 10 years so even on old schemes, non-FPL machines should be extinct on the national network today. There are some specialist yard point remote actuation devices that are not suitable for passenger operation, but these are typically used within sidings where handpoints would otherwise be used. By default, modern schemes are now supposed to include full passenger standard interlocking controls on running lines usually only hosting non-passenger traffic, including overlaps for example, unless a special case can be made with suitable risk assessment. One justification for this policy is so diversions of passenger trains can be made more readily.
     
  13. alxndr

    alxndr Member

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    As always on the railway there are outliers. I know of one such point machine without an FPL coming out of a yard. It's good fun getting new starters to "FPL test" those points!
     
  14. AndyW33

    AndyW33 Member

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    Aston to Stechford has always had a limited scheduled passenger service, mainly for route knowledge retention purposes, and still does today. In the (BR) past it was EMU operated, but now it is a Cross Country working and so a class 220 - one weekday-only journey, one direction only. Then there are the diversions, of course, and probably some ECS workings, also for route-retention.
     
  15. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Nice one! Like being sent to the stores for a long wait...:) I suppose a well maintained example in a quiet backwater is likely to last a lot longer than a typical main line machine, especially ones that are being thrashed back and forth umpteen times an hour at a terminus or major junction. I'm sure there will be a few more FLP-less machines still around in similar places on that basis.
     
  16. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    Tondu to Margram is freight only. Its been closed as a blockade for over a year because NR and the Welsh Government can't agree on closing it or funding maintenance. Its not signalled for passenger use anymore and its 5-15mph on very old track with plenty of plants growing between the rails. When Cardiff-Swansea electrification was planned the line was due to be upgraded for diversionary use.
     
  17. Joseph_Locke

    Joseph_Locke Established Member

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    But they are technically cleared for passenger use - just no TPWS. Bashford sounds like a nice place - Basford Hall Yard isn't.
     
  18. mcmad

    mcmad Member

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    what appears to be double track railway south of Hunterston high level is actually a bi directional line for passenger and freight and a single uni direction freight line for the loaded originally ore then coal heading away from the terminal. Fully electrified as well ISTR.

    Now sitting quietly rusting away following the killing off of coal
     
  19. Highlandspring

    Highlandspring Established Member

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    The Up Freight line from Hunterston to South Beach isn’t electrified.
     
  20. sfbasher

    sfbasher Member

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    As I live quite near to this, and have never seen any passenger workings, is Sheet Stores Junction to Stenson Junction freight only?

    This line bypasses Derby Station.
     
  21. mcmad

    mcmad Member

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    Thanks, I was trying to picture it in my head but its been a while since I was out that way and I've a memory like an .... um ..... goldfish
     
  22. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    According to RTT, no booked passenger, one XC ECS each way Tyseley-Nottingham. Fairly certain it's passed for passenger though.
     
  23. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Been that way several times on diversions, either Derby-Nottingham with reversal at Stenson or direct Nottingham-Birmingham avoiding Derby.
     
  24. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    There certainly used to be a regular, but not very frequent, service that way. In the early 90s I travelled a lot between Birmingham and Nottingham at weekends, and there was one train on a Sunday afternoon that always went that way. It rather surprised me the first time, as we went past an extra power station!
     
  25. markindurham

    markindurham Member

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    Tornado used this chord last Saturday, hauling "The Mad Hatter".
     
  26. Ayrshire Roy

    Ayrshire Roy Member

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    Falkland junction in Ayr to Mauchline is freight only except for the very odd diversion or railtour.
    Annbank junction on the above line to Killoch washery is freight only and from just south of Ayr to Chalmerston also.
    The Chalmerston line is all but abondoned these days with the mines all closing.
    Killoch gets very minimal traffic.
     
  27. duffield

    duffield Member

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    It was used extensively for passenger services last summer during the Derby resignalling shutdown. However, there's no indication of any route retention services so it couldn't be used easily for adhoc diversions (I guess you could have a freight driver as a route conductor though). The 'standard' diversion for Nottingham to Brimingham services when the route via Derby is unavailable seems to be via Leicester.

    It's a decent bit of track with plenty of spare capacity and could potentially be used for a 'fast' service from Nottingham to Birmingham in the future if (as is planned) this route gets a more frequent service (not saying this necessarily makes sense but if there was - say - a 4tph service from Nottingham to Birmingham eventually, with e.g. 2 trains going to Birmingham Moor St. for New St. capacity reasons, one service per hour skipping Derby might make sense, even if not for speed reasons but to give decent additional Nottinhgam to Birmingham capacity by removing the Derby related traffic). Anyhow, I believe the extra services are intended for post 2025.
     
  28. Dr_Paul

    Dr_Paul Member

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    Following out of curiosity on RTT a freight working across South Wales today, I discovered that the freight line avoiding Swansea from Briton Ferry across to Llangennech / Ponteddulais does have an occasional passenger service along it, such as a late evening Manchester to Carmarthen service and an early morning one in the opposite direction, and a Fishguard to Cardiff service in the afternoon. I wonder why they go that way and avoid Swansea, a major town.
     
  29. Belperpete

    Belperpete Member

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    In signalling terms, as well as overlaps and locked facing points, passenger lines also require trapping protection against non-passenger lines, sidings, etc. As has already been mentioned, it is increasingly common to provide overlaps on freight lines when resignalled, and FPLs come as standard with most modern power point machines. So these days it is often the lack of trapping protection that prevents goods lines from being used by passenger trains. This is the reason why the new platform 7 at Derby cannot normally be used by passenger trains (except in special circumstances, as mentioned by ChiefPlanner).

    I was on a London St.P to Derby & Sheffield service a few years back when something happened to block the line between Sheet Stores and Derby. We were initially told that we were going to be diverted, but then we were all turfed out at East Midlands Parkway while the train went on empty via Sheet Stores and Stenson (we were told it was because the guard did not know the route). Fortunately, the line via Spondon was re-opened before the replacement buses turned up, so we all squeezed on the next train, and made it to Derby before our original train did via the diversion!

    There was talk a number of years back of XC running some of their services via Sheet Stores and Stenson, bypasssing Derby (I think the Nottingham - Cardiffs) to speed them up a bit. It has all gone a bit quiet on this - was it quietly dropped? There are certainly a lot of passengers between Derby and Nottingham, so I can see any loss of capacity on this section causing problems. If I recall correctly, one of the main reasons for diverting the Matlock services to run to Nottingham rather than Birmingham was to provide additional capacity between Derby and Nottingham.
     
  30. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    It looks like there will be two more trains per hour between Derby and Nottingham in the new franchise (Norwich-Derby and Crewe-Nottingham), so there would be a case for diverting at least one Nottingham-Birmingham to avoid Derby by this route. Few people use it between Derby and Birmingham as in both directions it leaves just after a faster train and arrives just before the next fast. This would bring Nottingham-Birmingham confortably within the hour, competitive with road even at off-peak times, but Burton-Derby would lose out. In the longer term there would be options to use part of HS2 to achieve an even shorter Nottingham-Birmingham journey.
     

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