GEML upgrade

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Waverley125

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currently it takes nearly 2 hours to do the 120 miles between Liverpool Street and Norwich, which is a joke considered the ECML does the 212 miles to York in the same time.

Just thinking about how to solves this, and the various problems on the GEML, and how to solve them.

1) Four-track the line south of Ipswich tunnel. Ipswich is the first 'all trains stop' station on the GEML, and so being double track on the approach isn't too much of an issue, but it is elsewhere. The biggest challenge I can see would be the line through Chelsmford, where you'd have to widen the embankment to the east, build a new set of platforms and a second viaduct. This would, however, eliminate the Chelsmford bottleneck.

2) Introduce tilting trains. 11 car-pendolinos should be able to do 125 on the current line, allowing the Mk3s & Class 90s to be cascaded to other wired lines, the GW & MML for a start.

3) Rework stopping patterns. An hourly Norwich 'fast' of Stratford & Ipswich only, and an hourly 'semi' of Chelsmford, Colchester, Ipswich & Stowmarket would best use the lines capacity.
 
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ainsworth74

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2) Introduce tilting trains. 11 car-pendolinos should be able to do 125 on the current line, allowing the Mk3s & Class 90s to be cascaded to other wired lines, the GW & MML for a start.
Would there be much benefit to introducing tilt on the GEML? It seems fairly straight to me so it shouldn't need tilt to increase line speeds (perhaps some realignment instead?).
 

jopsuk

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I'm not sure the wired-up GWML would welcome 90s + mrk 3s, the top speed of the 90s would be a tad lower than they'd be looking for.
"welcome to the newly electrified GWML, now with slower trains!"
 

NLC1072

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Lovely idea, but a non starter.

There is nowhere to cascade the old stock to, and 4 tracking the lines can't be done simply because there is too much housing that backs onto the line. Plus what would you do with the metro services that use the current 4 track line up to Shenfield?... they'd be in the way! 6 tracking the line along that section is certainly a no go because of the same reason above about the housing...
At Shenfield where the line diverges for Southend, and the GEML carries on, you'd need a complete remodel and the same just after Colchster where the line again diverges to Clacton and up the GEML, not to mention at Witham the line is down a cutting which would need digging out and houses demolishing at the top.

Infact a new line would probably be cheaper.

Just IMHO.

NLC1072
 

tbtc

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I love it - we have one new thread today saying that the GEML stock to Norwich is too long (and empty during the daytime) and another new thread today saying that the line needs eleven coach Pendolini!
 

OliverS

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Lovely idea, but a non starter.

There is nowhere to cascade the old stock to, and 4 tracking the lines can't be done simply because there is too much housing that backs onto the line. Plus what would you do with the metro services that use the current 4 track line up to Shenfield?... they'd be in the way! 6 tracking the line along that section is certainly a no go because of the same reason above about the housing...
At Shenfield where the line diverges for Southend, and the GEML carries on, you'd need a complete remodel and the same just after Colchster where the line again diverges to Clacton and up the GEML, not to mention at Witham the line is down a cutting which would need digging out and houses demolishing at the top.

Infact a new line would probably be cheaper.

Just IMHO.

NLC1072
The problem with the GEML is that East of Shenfield it is a mix of slow and fast traffic. I.e. if you have a Norwich express (say Colchester, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Diss, Norwich) it will catch up a slow train well before Colchester (assuming it is a Clacton train being caught). So 4 tracking would make a difference to the timings of the fast trains. West of Shenfield almost everything from the GEML goes on the mains IIRC and runs fast or nearly so and therefore a 4 track GEML east of Shenfield can fit onto a 2 track section West of Shenfield.

So linespeed isn't the problem, mixed traffic is. Dynamic loops might work and isn't there a proposal for them near Chelmsford? In any case merely improving the "overtaking" opportunities between Shenfield & Colchester/Ipswich would help a lot.
 

GB

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Line speed is part of the problem as you wont be able to get above 100mph due to the amount of half barrier level crossings along the route which will make 125mph stock pointless.

With the amount of passenger and freight trains that use the two track sections and the four tracks south of Shenfield, there just isnt the capacity and as already been said, four tracking north of Shenfield is a no go due to infrastructure restrictions.

Missing out intercity stops south of Ipswich will only cause the "fast" trains to catch the slower trains and will aggravate the many many many business type commuters that use those stations.

You could miss out Diss and introduce an Ipswich - Norwich shuttle but you will only save 6 or 7 minutes and again pee off Diss commuters which is a large catchment area. The other issue with this is available stock and room at Ipswich.

I would have thought that these days if your traveling on the GEML actually getting to your destination would be priority rather than shaving a few minutes off?
 

jopsuk

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I'd reckon that if AC-versions of the 444 were built they'd be potentially capable of 110mph. If built now, would probably be based on the 380 design. With the modular nature of the design, it should be relatively simple for Siemens to built it with carriage end, single-leaf, doors. Just needs someone to order such a thing...
 

jopsuk

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I rather meant as five-car. Using three units would kill off the idea of 1st class ever having a proper 1st class service on this line ever again- whilst with five car units you can have a full carriage for 1st, and some sort of mini/micro buffet for Standard.
 

SprinterMan

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To be honest, if they just did a decent job fixing the current OHLE and then perhaps inherit IC225s if IEP ever happens I would be happy, although 444s are lovely things, worthy replacements for the LHCS.
 

87015

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To be honest, if they just did a decent job fixing the current OHLE and then perhaps inherit IC225s if IEP ever happens I would be happy, although 444s are lovely things, worthy replacements for the LHCS.
So with a fixed formation EMU are you going to have Pendolino style massive over-provision of first class on everything but a few peak turns or reduce FC seated capacity of the sets with an extra FO which are used on peak turns into/out of Liverpool Street - and needed, not to mention massive revenue earners?
 

NLC1072

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The problem with the GEML is that East of Shenfield it is a mix of slow and fast traffic. I.e. if you have a Norwich express (say Colchester, Ipswich, Stowmarket, Diss, Norwich) it will catch up a slow train well before Colchester (assuming it is a Clacton train being caught). So 4 tracking would make a difference to the timings of the fast trains. West of Shenfield almost everything from the GEML goes on the mains IIRC and runs fast or nearly so and therefore a 4 track GEML east of Shenfield can fit onto a 2 track section West of Shenfield.

So linespeed isn't the problem, mixed traffic is. Dynamic loops might work and isn't there a proposal for them near Chelmsford? In any case merely improving the "overtaking" opportunities between Shenfield & Colchester/Ipswich would help a lot.
Oh I understand, but there are already overtaking loops on the way up to Colchester, specifically for overtaking freight and the Chelmsford shuttle peak terminators. Anything north of Colchester however the stopping patterns are pretty much similar and 2 tracking is just fine even with freight.
 

OliverS

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Oh I understand, but there are already overtaking loops on the way up to Colchester, specifically for overtaking freight and the Chelmsford shuttle peak terminators. Anything north of Colchester however the stopping patterns are pretty much similar and 2 tracking is just fine even with freight.
The only loops I can think of between Shenfield and Colchester are at Witham (but I could be wrong). I don't think there is anything between Shenfield & Chelmsford. There is possibly a loop at Marks Tey and I have seen down freight routed through the Colchester yard so a Norwich train can overtake. But none of those loops are dynamic loops, i.e. the slow train has to stop in order for the fast train to overtake. That means that if the fast is delayed the signaller has to choose between delaying the slow or delaying the fast even more. Make the loops longer and that problem reduces as there is more time for the fast to overtake.
 

GB

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There is a loop at Ingatestone and Chelmsford on the down road, both of which are too short for most freight trains.
 

dk1

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The freight loops are all well & good but with such slow entry/exit speeds you might aswell let the darn things keep moving. As for Witham the same problem exists, along with all Braintree services having no option but to use a single platform & the fact that unless the Liverpool signaller intervenes ARS continues to allow a late running stopper to precede a fast.
 
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