Govenment Briefing 23rd May - Reversing Beeching Cuts

717001

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When did the Abbey line close then? :s
The LNWR website says the Abbey Line is currently running as "rail replacement road transport"

I believe a proposal was submitted regarding a passing loop, but not clear from the DfT website, if that is what is receiving the funding. Also, if shared equally it is £50,000 per project, so purely for building a detailed case for future funding.
 
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GRALISTAIR

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I understand the cynicism that it is a political diversion away from the Cummings breaking rules fiasco etc but...... I still see a lot of positivity regarding railways from HS2 , decarbonization, and reversing Beeching that overall I am encouraged as opposed to the failing Grayling days.
 

YorksLad12

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UPDATED 20 May 2020: as of relevant information: please feel free to inform me about any other bids that may have been or have been submitted.

Potential Bids for Ideas Fund?
  • Burley-in-Wharfedale to Weeton via Otley (potentially but guess work)

New Updated based on sources from various areas including here and various news articles: https://trundleage.co.uk/funding-schemes/restoring-your-railway-fund/
The only problems with this idea is that the western end connects to an electric railway, the eastern end connects to a diesel railway and the bit in the middle around Otley itself has the A660 running on the alignment.

That said, there are I think now (old normal now, not new normal now) three express bus services each hour between Otley and Leeds, and connecting bus services to Otley from Menston Station so there would be demand. If it were me I'd be suggesting reinstatement of the line from Burley and the curve to Menston, with a new station sited west of Otley off the A660 or the A6038 (it would be a Park & Ride so you'd need space for a few hundred cars, which would also relieve the parking pressure on Menston). Leeds/WYCA are concentrating on finding a route off the Harrogate line after Horsforth and up the hill to the airport instead. Ho hum.
 
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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.
To be fair Shapps made the following comment on 14th May when he did briefing

And we must examine why it is that bureaucratic bindweed makes British infrastructure some of the costliest and slowest in Europe to build.

so perhaps this is an indicator that they will impose some changes to the planning system to accelerate the implementation of any approved schemes.
 

GRALISTAIR

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I ain’t going to apologize I am who I am and have always been a glass is half full positive person. This week overall has been good. Electrification will be necessary and partial reversing Beeching. I will stay positive
 

MadCommuter

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Given the uncertainty of public transport levels over the next few years, I'd like to know how a reliable business case could be developed. I suspect with a huge slab of fudge.
 

swt_passenger

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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.
Why worry about how it’s announced. On any comparative basis it isn’t exactly important to the majority of the population...
 

martinsh

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Considering a move to Memphis
  • 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
Lets apply the Altnabreac test to these then

1. Serves a population of over 10,000
All qualify except Clitheroe – Hellifeld , and perhaps Isle of Wight (depending on where the branches go !)

2. Within 60 minutes of major employment location
All qualify except Devizes and perhaps Clitheroe – Hellifield

3. Line extant or trackbed intact.
Some problems with Leicester end of Ivanhoe line, problems with Isle of Wight, Bury – Rochdale not clear what is proposed.

4. Serves deprived area.
Not sure about this, but Meir and Ivanhoe line certainly qualify

5. Can be added to existing service
Problems at Sheffield for Barrow Hill line, maybe problems for Bury – Rochdale

Totals (by my reckoning)

Meir 5
Barrow Hill 3.5
Ivanhoe line 4.5
Isle of Wight 3
Wellington / Cullompton 4
Bury – Rochdale 3.5
Clitheroe – Hellifield 3
Devizes 3
Waterside line 4

Watford – St Albans doesn’t really seem to be suitable for the test.
 

vlad

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reopening Meir Railway Station between Stoke-On-Trent and North Staffordshire
Between Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire? :)

The problem with Meir is there isn't really anywhere to put a station that's accessible by road. The original station site is now hemmed in between the A50 and a housing estate, although I suppose you could have slip roads off the eastbound A50 to a car park on the waste ground. The only other obvious spot is at Caverswall crossing but again there's no room for a car park and it might be too close to Blythe Bridge.

reinstatement of branch lines on the Isle of Wight
Which branch lines? I can't see that much traffic wanting Bembridge. Newport is the obvious place but going via Haven Street could annoy the steam railway whereas following the other route via Newchurch would take quite a while to get where it's going.
 

37424

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I still think Clitheroe – Hellifield is an economic absurdity which will presumably get binned before it gets much further, although still better than the Skipton - Colne nonsense.
 

Glenn1969

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It does provide a link from Manchester and East Lancs to the S&C

How are they going to do Bury-Heywood without disrupting the ELR?
 

37424

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It does provide a link from Manchester and East Lancs to the S&C

How are they going to do Bury-Heywood without disrupting the ELR?
Just provide a summer weekend service, already happens on Sundays.

ELR well maybe something can be worked out after all NYMR manage to share the same track, maybe ELR don't operate to Heywood on weekdays, at weekends a reduced regular service operates with the ELR service.
 

Bald Rick

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Given the day's events, the journos weren't interested in these new lines.
Given that Grant Shapps was doing the press conference today, one assumes that he was lined up to announce this, but Mr Cummings’ unfortunate situation got in the way.

On this website for the last few years or so, there has been long discussions on the reopening of the Colne to Skipton line, with both freight and passenger traffic being discussed. Would there be any reason why that particular aspiration has not appeared on this new list?
Because it is, always has been, and always will be, an absolute basket case of a scheme.

I just fear that the "reversing Beeching" schtick is to *sound* like more stuff is being done than it actually is. Appealing to people who like the idea of reopenings without any real idea of the costs (usually under-egged by supporters) against benefits (usually over-egged)
‘Reversing Beeching’ is targeted at two audiences, one far more important than the other.
1) local campaigners and enthusiasts who want to (re)open lines, a frankly very small number of people
2) those who remember Beeching, and the controversy back then, who might be persuaded that undoing the ‘wrongs’ of 55 years ago is part of the agenda to take back control of the country, when the summers were always sunny, everyone had a job, everything worked perfectly, and there were no ‘forriners’ around to spoil things.

The work on this aspiration is more advanced than the Strategic Outline Business Case, so their funding requirements are more substantial. It should be announced as part of a different funding pot.
It really isn’t. To get to a decent SOBC for this sort of project would cost not less than £3m. Notwithstanding what might be being said.
 

Brush 4

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The usual negativity from Baldrick. Which of the 10 do you agree with and support then? Fawley and Leicester - Burton seem the most viable and realistic.
 
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PupCuff

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It does provide a link from Manchester and East Lancs to the S&C

How are they going to do Bury-Heywood without disrupting the ELR?
The signalling would need upgrading regardless of anything else as it's currently two staff sections which adjoin just east of Heywood station and the staff is held at the Castleton East Jn and Bury South ends. The AOCL at Green Lane would also require some work as it isn't currently automatically triggered. So options could potentially include making it all a single token section (you'd probably need the option to lock an ELR train in at Heywood, eg whilst taking on water, whilst a Northern-or-whoever train passes) though that may cause timetabling headaches as it'd be quite a long section, timewise. Alternatively, if it was tied in with the ELR's long term aspiration to run to Castleton, that would reduce the time ELR trains are occupying the section in one 'sitting' - train collects token at Bury South, runs through calling at Heywood and then into the ELR platform at Castleton, where the token is returned and a TOC train can then collect the token from Castleton East Jn and run through to Bury while the ELR train is taking water or running round etc, return the token and allow the ELR train to come through behind it. It'd be possible to achieve with some work, how much benefit you'd get out of it for what it would cost is a different matter entirely.
 

J-Rod

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I understand the cynicism that it is a political diversion away from the Cummings breaking rules fiasco etc but...... I still see a lot of positivity regarding railways from HS2 , decarbonization, and reversing Beeching that overall I am encouraged as opposed to the failing Grayling days.
Let's be honest here - the media have been knives out for Cummings for ages, so this was a massive gift to them, irregardless of who was doing the briefing today. Also, I suspect they would have found *something* on him at some juncture, so let's ignore that bit and focus on the positives - I'm with @GRALISTAIR on this one. You lot can argue about the minutiae all you wish but as someone who also follows the green agenda very closely, this is another piece of positive intention in that direction (and I never in a million years thought I'd wind up actually quite liking this government...).
 

Tobbes

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The usual negativity from Baldrick. Which of the 10 do you agree with and support then? Fawley and Leicester - Burton seem the most viable and realistic.
Except that @Bald Rick is a professional and has been consistently right, polite and well-informed. Your 'negativity' may be described as 'uncomfortable truths'.
 
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Mikey C

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‘Reversing Beeching’ is targeted at two audiences, one far more important than the other.
1) local campaigners and enthusiasts who want to (re)open lines, a frankly very small number of people
2) those who remember Beeching, and the controversy back then, who might be persuaded that undoing the ‘wrongs’ of 55 years ago is part of the agenda to take back control of the country, when the summers were always sunny, everyone had a job, everything worked perfectly, and there were no ‘forriners’ around to spoil things.
Plus
3) those who want to government to show some action towards shifting people out of their cars and decarbonising - at least it makes it look like the government is trying to do something
4) those who want to see the government investing in the regions in addition to big schemes like HS2 or those in London
5) those who likes trains
6) those who want public investment to improve the infrastructure (and kickstart the economy post Lockdown)

Whether anything significant will reopen as a result I don't know, but in total, there's a significant number of people who might be interested.
 

Tobbes

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Plus
3) those who want to government to show some action towards shifting people out of their cars and decarbonising - at least it makes it look like the government is trying to do something
4) those who want to see the government investing in the regions in addition to big schemes like HS2 or those in London
5) those who likes trains
6) those who want public investment to improve the infrastructure (and kickstart the economy post Lockdown)

Whether anything significant will reopen as a result I don't know, but in total, there's a significant number of people who might be interested.
1, 3, 5, and 6 are a handful of people. 4 could be larger, but "doing something" and "reopening a railway" can't be assumed to be the same thing, as most people don't use trains regularly, and the impact on the individual voter is almost certainly directly proportionate to the proximity of the investment to their home or workplace.
 

Bletchleyite

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I still think Clitheroe – Hellifield is an economic absurdity which will presumably get binned before it gets much further, although still better than the Skipton - Colne nonsense.
I wonder if there is some sneaky way of doing that without costing anything - the line is already there and passed for passenger use (for summer DalesRail and winter Lancashire Ramblers, aka "fresh air express" when I used it) - I wonder if there's enough slack in the diagrams for the Clitheroes to go there and back for little more than the cost of the diesel?
 

DelW

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Which branch lines? I can't see that much traffic wanting Bembridge. Newport is the obvious place but going via Haven Street could annoy the steam railway whereas following the other route via Newchurch would take quite a while to get where it's going.
Light rail between West Cowes and Newport, using the old alignment through the countryside with street running at each end? It might be viable if it could connect to the Redjet service, but that looks pretty tricky.
 

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