Govenment Briefing 23rd May - Reversing Beeching Cuts

JonathanH

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It appears that we now have a list of successful bids for the first round of the Ideas Fund


Successful bids for the first round of the Ideas Fund
We are pleased to announce that ten bidders for the first round of the Ideas Fund have been successful in their application for funding to enable them to progress their proposals towards developing a business case.

The bids that have been successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund are:

  • reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
  • reinstatement of the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield
  • reinstatement of the Ivanhoe line
  • reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight
  • reinstatement of the Abbey line between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction
  • reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations
  • reinstatement of the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines
  • reinstatement of the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line
  • reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway
  • reintroduction of passenger rail services on the Waterside line
I'm not sure what reinstatement of the Abbey line between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction is supposed to entail given it is already in use.

Obviously the routes selected are those where there is at least some existing track in place, including those which involve running onto currently preserved railways.
 
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LNW-GW Joint

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Out of the blue, Grant Shapps just announced another tranche of proposals for reversing Beeching closures at the daily Covid 19 press briefing.
He mentioned a few cases but this full list then appeared on the DfT web site:
  • reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
  • reinstatement of the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield
  • reinstatement of the Ivanhoe line
  • reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight
  • reinstatement of the Abbey line between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction
  • reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations
  • reinstatement of the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines
  • reinstatement of the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line
  • reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station at Lydeway
  • reintroduction of passenger rail services on the Waterside line
This is of course just funding to progress an initial business case, not a commitment to reopen the lines/stations.
But at least it shows the direction of travel, from both the DfT and local points of view.
At first glance, very little of it involves a completely new line, it's mostly restoring existing freight lines for passenger use, or reinstating closed stations on existing lines.
Meir is of course between Longton and Blythe Bridge on the Stoke-Derby line.
I didn't even know the Watford-St Albans line had actually closed!
The Barrow Hill line is a commonly used diversion route, and Clitheroe-Hellifield is used by seasonal Dales Rail services as well as freight between the WCML and Settle-Carlise line.
 
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CptCharlee

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So all other bids are dead? What is round 2? Bit confused by the rounds.

I'm gutted that Bere Alston to Tavistock didnt get through. The case is strong considering the publicly owned land for 90% of the route.
 

BigB

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Reinstatement of the Bury-Heywood line obviously impacts the East Lancs railway - who actually owns the trackbed there?
 

JonathanH

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So all other bids are dead? What is round 2? Bit confused by the rounds.

I'm gutted that Bere Alston to Tavistock didnt get through. The case is strong considering the publicly owned land for 90% of the route.
Future Ideas Fund funding rounds
The June 2020 funding round is progressing with the deadline for full applications by 19 June 2020. There will be a third funding round in November to enable as many communities as possible to take advantage of the support provided.

It seems pretty obvious that routes with tracks on the ground are the ones being looked at first for development funding.
 

Ianno87

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Of that list, I reckon the ones most likely to fly are:

-Meir station (single station on quiet route in built up area with road congestion issues)
-Ivanhoe line (if a solution at the Leicester end can be found)
-Enhancement of the Abbey Line (presumably meaning a passing loop)
 

Bedpan

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BBC News App says that Grant Shapps has been talking about the government's plans to reverse Beeching Cuts to the railways, saying that the next 10 schemes have been announced today. No details are given except that one is the Ivanhoe line from leicester to Burton, a line on the Isle of Wight and a new station at Wellington.

Is this as good as it sounds? It would be great to see work to upgrade the Ivanhoe Line for passenger use to finally get under way. But what d this new line on the Isle of Wight. One would hope an extension from Shanklin to Ventnor but I can't see that happening due to the amount of demolition required in Wroxhall. So my guess is that there will be no new line at all, just a refurbishment of the existing line which is hardly "reversing Beeching".

What new station at Wellington, if its another station in Shropshire,is that "reversing a Beeching cut"? Or us the one in Somerset going to be reopened?

I daresay the East West Line will be included as one of the 10 schemes and, more appropriately to be included, the Northumberland Line. And I wouldn't put it past them to include HS2 as reopening part of the Great central London Extension :?::?:

Anybody knows what the others are and hoe many reopening schemes are in reality actually being announced today?
 

yorksrob

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Given the state of things at the moment, I take it as a positive that they're still talking about expansion.

I certainly support the three mentioned (I'm assuming the Isle of Wight one is Ventnor)
 

fgwrich

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BBC News App says that Grant Shapps has been talking about the government's plans to reverse Beeching Cuts to the railways, saying that the next 10 schemes have been announced today. No details are given except that one is the Ivanhoe line from leicester to Burton, a line on the Isle of Wight and a new station at Wellington.

Is this as good as it sounds? It would be great to see work to upgrade the Ivanhoe Line for passenger use to finally get under way. But what d this new line on the Isle of Wight. One would hope an extension from Shanklin to Ventnor but I can't see that happening due to the amount of demolition required in Wroxhall. So my guess is that there will be no new line at all, just a refurbishment of the existing line which is hardly "reversing Beeching".

What new station at Wellington, if its another station in Shropshire,is that "reversing a Beeching cut"? Or us the one in Somerset going to be reopened?

I daresay the East West Line will be included as one of the 10 schemes and, more appropriately to be included, the Northumberland Line. And I wouldn't put it past them to include HS2 as reopening part of the Great central London Extension :?::?:

Anybody knows what the others are and hoe many reopening schemes are in reality actually being announced today?
Wellington is Somerset, Cullompton is East Devon. Both on the GWML area between Exeter St Davids, (Cullompton), Tiverton Parkway, (Wellington), Taunton.

I'm also intrigued by the Isle of Wight option too. Hopefully this will include Ventor, I wonder if Newport will be considered too?

And I'm pleased for the Waterside line!
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Given the day's events, the journos weren't interested in these new lines.
It's also monumentally irrelevant to the crisis in hand.
Maybe put there to deflect from the quarantine policy on international arrivals.
Should really have been a Commons announcement or a written statement to Parliament.
 

yorksrob

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Perhaps I'm missing something, but I wasn't aware that Watford Junction - St Albans Abbey had closed !

Bury - Heywood - Rochdale will be interesting. I assume it will be sharing with the ELR ? It will certainly make it easier visiting.
 

MadCommuter

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It's also monumentally irrelevant to the crisis in hand.
Maybe put there to deflect from the quarantine policy on international arrivals.
Should really have been a Commons announcement or a written statement to Parliament.
This crossed my mind too, but we do need capital projects to get the economy going. And design work can easily start now. But yes, to an extent, I agree, a political diversion tactic... that failed, and irrelevant to the focus of the briefing.
 

deltic

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Before people get to carried away these schemes have only moved on to the next stage in the process, that is, developing a business case. The likelihood of any of them happening this decade, if at all is small.
 

FOH

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Before people get to carried away these schemes have only moved on to the next stage in the process, that is, developing a business case. The likelihood of any of them happening this decade, if at all is small.
The minister expressly said if the business case stacks up they'll get on with construction sharpish (or something to that effect)
 

MadCommuter

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Using the .gov.uk link above, something doesn't add up:

This funding is split into 3 categories to ensure we can support different projects at different phases of development. The 3 categories are:

  • the Ideas Fund, to restore rail services (other than rail station creation or restoration)
And:

The bids that have been successful in this first round of the Ideas Fund are:

- reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
- reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations

My point being, the Ideas Fund explicitly excludes rail station creation or restoration; these fall under a different category.
 

yorksrob

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Wellington and Collumpton seem most suited to heavy rail. I certainly can't think of anything else that would suit !
 

deltic

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The minister expressly said if the business case stacks up they'll get on with construction sharpish (or something to that effect)
Sadly as the Minister knows all to well that is not how the world works. If the business case stacks up, more design work will be needed, planning permission obtained, a revised business case undertaken based on updated costs etc, if it still stacks up works need to be planned and agreed with Network Rail. Relatively simple station re-openings have taken anything up to ten years in recent years.
 

mr_jrt

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The Abbey Line is a bit of a surprise, to say the least. Really hope it is the passing loop though. Wonder if the consultancy work that was already done to identify the preferred options for it helped in that regard?
 

30907

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In case anyone else is, like me, geographically challenged (plus a few comments):
  • reopening Meir Railway Station between Longton and Blythe Bridge on the Stoke-Derby line
  • reinstatement of the Barrow Hill line between Sheffield and Chesterfield
  • reinstatement of the Ivanhoe line Leicester-Burton
  • reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight (only Cowes and Ventnor are post-Beeching!)
  • reinstatement of the Abbey line between St Albans Abbey and Watford Junction
  • reopening of Wellington and Cullompton stations (new local service, or stops on Paddington-Exeter semi-fast?)
  • reinstatement of the Bury-Heywood-Rochdale lines
  • reinstatement of weekday passenger services on the Clitheroe to Hellifield railway line
  • reinstatement of rail access to Devizes via a new station on the B&H main line where it is crossed by the A342 at Lydeway
  • reintroduction of passenger rail services on the Waterside Totton-Fawley line
 

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