Freightliner depot - Sundon or Radlett or both?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by richieb1971, 10 May 2015.

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  1. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    I know this subject has been spoken about before in a slightly different context.

    I am confused why the powers that be want to develop green belt land to make any of the depots happen. Sure, geographic logistics play a part but I am always in the camp that believes that if you have industrial land sitting idle then it should be used in favour of green belt land.

    Bedfordshire has 4 "in service" railways and there are industrial parks near quite a few of them already. Surely expanding those sites is better than creating a whole new site?

    The London Brick works on the branch is almost perfectly flat and could accommodate such a depot. Trains going north could use the MML, trains going south could use the WCML and in a couple of years there will be great connections east and west too.

    Putting a depot at either Sundon or Radlett will put huge strain on the network. Its already well documented that the Radlett site will be built on the fast line side and require flyovers, underpasses etc. The Sundon site just seems a bit near to other places that already have industrial land sitting idle. There are quite a lot of protesters on both sites. Thoughts?
     
  2. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Is Sundon still being considered? The media version down here is that Pickles has decided that Radlett is the chosen one and only the county council can now stop it by refusing to sell the land.
     
  3. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Yes, a simple Google shows protesting on both sites is still well under way.

    As my OP states though, is it worth putting it where they want it?
     
  4. CockneySparrow

    CockneySparrow Established Member

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    Could they have not put a depot at Dunstable if they had t done the dreaded guided bus
     
  5. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    I think Radlett's the better option, given the purpose is to serve the London market. It's a bit far from the M25 to Bedford!

    ...and I'm still holding out hope that someone will see sense and link to the WCML via the Abbey Line as well as the MML.
     
  6. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    As has been said repeatedly on this forum, Radlett will be chocolate teapot-esque as a rail freight terminal. It is far too close to (most) deep sea ports to see anything but occasional rail traffic. The developers will know this, but for obvious reasons will not highlight it.

    And getting the trains there will be a challenge itself, both in gauging and timetabling terms. This also applies to Sundon.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    But why, and how does the developer benefit?
     
  7. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Radlett has been much aired on here - however the land is owned by Herts CC - who are according to local pre-election flyers from a candidate , "not minded" to sell it to the developers.

    Of course - freight on the MML can be challenging - not helped by the Tunstead - West Thurrock loaded which sat down on the up slow at around 1900 and was "assisted" forward some 4+ hours later by a rescue engine sent from (of all places) Earles Sidings.
     
  8. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    If Radlett or Sundon gets the nod eventually it will only cause havoc.

    Interesting to read that people think it will be under utilized. I would have thought the reasoning behind building it is to relieve other depots.
     
  9. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Relieve what - precisely ? - there is potentially a depot at Cricklewood which last had some traffic - Xmas trees from Scotland about 8 years ago - Willesden Euroterminal - paid for by the taxpayer at some expense is now a place where High Output Ballast trains are parked - and the cranes sit and rust.

    The planned depot at or near Slade Green never materialised.

    Daventry does very well - right in the middle of the "Midlands" distribution triangle - I am not seeing a huge pile of underserved and congested London area terminals.
     
  10. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Often the rail connection is provided as a condition to obtain planning permission for the terminal, which is often then served only by road because there is no economic use of rail. This does at least mean there is a gradually increasing stock of potentially rail-served sites, but it probably shouldn't be allowed if there is no possibility of actually getting freight trains to it.

    However I would have thought there would be some scope for a rail-served distribution centre in the London area if the right site is found. There must be a fair volume of supermarket traffic on the roads between London and the likes of Daventry. A closer terminal might allow use of smaller and even electric trucks for final distribution, as well as allowing more than one distribution run within a driver's shift.
     
  11. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    Colas have run two successful trials with two different operators running trains into Euston from as far as I know Daventry (or perhaps it was Rugby). Nothing has come of either trial despite them both being a success so one can only assume that its not economically viable to run those trains.

    Given how close Cricklewood is to the North Circular you would have thought that if any site was going to be successful it would have been there.
     
  12. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Well, you have access from the Wembley freight complex, so railfreight could run direct into the site without having to negotiate back onto the Dudding Hill route thence onto the Midland - you'd just run straight up the WCML to Watford. Having both routes means less timetabling constraints. Watford also has a siding along the eastern side of the slow lines that could be used to reverse freight before sending it northwards up the WCML, giving an alternate route to Nuneaton. Again, spreading the load makes pressure on the MML less intense.

    So to answer your question, these factors make the depot more useful, increasing the value to the developer.
     
  13. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Technically successful, but as you say, not economically successful.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Timetabling constraints: The Abbey line is fully occupied for all except 7 hours each night. Tripping freight from Wembley to Radlett via Watford would be very expensive; it would be much cheaper and quicker to road it. In any event, where is the traffic to Radlett coming from? If the Essex / Suffolk ports, it's just as easy to get to the MML, gauging constraints aside.
     
  14. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    If Peel's ideas for Liverpool take off then they will want to bring containers to the south-east in much the same way as Felixstowe etc want to bring them northwards.

    How was the trial freight unloaded at Euston? I assume it must have involved manual handling of goods in roll cages or similar from the platforms to somewhere where they could be loaded onto road vehicles (perhaps the former Parcels deck?). How would the economics change if there was a site suitable for mechanised transfer, say of 10ft or 20ft containers lifted from flat wagons onto suitably sized flatbed trucks?

    Cricklewood might be good for this apart from the capacity issues, and some of it now being converted into sidings for Thameslink. However a site in the Wembley area could be better as there seems to be more capacity for freight on the WCML and the road access could be similar. Perhaps convert part of the underused Royal Mail site?
     
  15. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    The timetabling issues are obvious and have been aired many times locally (for Radlett) by those against it. It's interesting that you mention gauging problems though. Do you know what the LTS/GEML path to the MML is cleared to?
     
  16. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    W10 except for the last half mile Junction Road - Carlton Road.

    But the MML isn't W10, and won't be without a great deal of expense and disruption.
     
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Does that mean that the MML is W8?
    This hasn't been mentioned locally in the Radlett campaigns. The locals have complained that their commuter services might suffer, (which may or may not be true) but NR have been reported to say that there won't be much impact of the planned passenger services that will access the RFT. It seems that they are being economical with the truth as effectively, very few freight trains will use the MML for access, - clearly that won't impact rail but it will swamp the roads when the site runs as road to road interchange. The same level of additional traffic would occur if it is located at Sundon (probably with a lesser local impact if a decent connection is made to the M1.
     
  18. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    ..by Wembley, I meant all routes that lead to Wembley already, so that's anything coming up the GWML, via Kew, Ripple Lane, the Goblin. etc.

    ...as for occupation on the Abbey line, naturally this would entail upgrades, which would be win-win in my eyes. It's hard to justify a passing loop for passenger services alone, but put freight back down there and you could possibly justify a second line for large stretches, let alone signalling and a longer loop, all of which means an improved passenger service could operate off the back of freight. :)
     
  19. RichmondCommu

    RichmondCommu Established Member

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    I'm not sure how willing Royal Mail would be to give up part of their premises to a potential rival i.e. TNT or DHL. I'm pretty certain that one of the Colas trials involved one of the two companies that I've just mentioned. There is of course the unused freight terminal the other side of the WCML.

    I would agree that the MML is a busy route but surely that wouldn't be too much of an issue if an Intermodal was arriving into Cricklewood at 05.00. In terms of siding capacity surely all you would need would be an unloading siding and a run around loop for the loco. However lets not get ahead of ourselves!
     
  20. Skimpot flyer

    Skimpot flyer Member

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    Was it not rumoured that Royal Mail are actually one of the potential tenants for the Radlett depot? The facility at Willesden cannot accommodate all the vehicles from a smaller Distribution Centre in Hatfield that was mothballed last year. The processing work from the mothballed site is processed at PRDC (aka Willesden), but they seem to need a bigger site. A similarly rail-connected facility at Radlett would meet their needs. Royal Mail's (owned) Class 325 units are the same dimensions as other passenger EMU's, so lowering of track bed in tunnels, raising of bridges etc would not be required on the MML, for RM trains at least
     
  21. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    There is no electrified link from the MML to any other 25kV route at present, and access to somewhere like the Warrington terminal will remain difficult unless there is quite a lot more electrification.
     
  22. westcoaster

    westcoaster Established Member

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    There is the connection at St Pancras opposite churchyard sidings. Plus the 325's are dual voltage so could go via the thameslink core.

    The whole cricklewood thing could work if they used the land in the triangle between dudding hill and the Hendon lines. Access from the north south east and west.
     
  23. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    If you mean the connection to the Eurostar platforms I'm pretty sure it's not wired. And a 325 couldn't go on HS1 due to lack of suitable train protection. If it went through the core it would have to work its way round South London and back up the West London Line, passing Wembley well over an hour after leaving Cricklewood.
     
  24. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    IIRC MML is W8 where there are wires, and W6 where there aren't. But electrification north of Bedford clears the route to W10 or W12.

    South of Bedford, however, will remain as W8, unless someone coughs up a lot of cash to clear Belsize, Elstree and Ampthill tunnels.

    This was certainly mentioned at one of the planning enquiries. As the developer just stated that traffic would come in on pocket wagons, which of course makes it less efficient, particularly on sort runs.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Win:win except for whoever has to pay for it. The developer won't that's for sure.
     
  25. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    If the southern MML is W8 then all the more reason to give the depot to Stewartby.
     
  26. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    If the whole site west of the railway is available then it looks about big enough for a freight terminal, and with future electrification it has good rail access without conflicting with any really busy routes except for the short section through Bedford station. I have to wonder why it doesn't seem to have been suggested officially.
     
  27. richieb1971

    richieb1971 Member

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    Agreed. Its already industrial land. It won't get much in the way of opposition. Its right on J13 of the M1. There are huge industrial estates in Kempston (Asda, Sainsburys), Brogborough (Amazon), MK (just about everything) all nearby.

    London is less than 50 miles away, and Stewartby is only about 8 miles further than Sundon.

    You have W10 clearance on the WCML going south, W10 clearance on the MML going north. And probably enough clearance on the EWR as I don't see many bridges posing that much of a problem and there are no tunnels. Not to mention the trains would be starting on a branch line without need to join faster congested traffic straight away.

    Forders sidings already exist and can be utilized into the plan to save costs.

    If the central section ever does get completed, channelling the trains from Felixstowe would be quick and simple. London is relieved of freight congestion totally.

    If that is not a good enough reason to get it instated the people in power are idiots. That land is just rotting.. and I don't see any reason to knock the chimneys down.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Wouldn't bump this thread but this is quite amazing -

    https://vimeo.com/128032346

    Stewartby in 2013.. sitting idly awaiting something to do.
     
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