Govenment Briefing 23rd May - Reversing Beeching Cuts

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Irascible

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Have just seen this list and am both surprised and dismayed not to see Uckfield-Lewes/Brighton on it. I'm fairly certain that the BML2 group would have submitted a proposal (again). I fear this will put the kibosh on reopening this link for good now.

Also surprised not to see Bere Alston-Tavistock or as someone else mentioned, Crediton-Okehampton - which has already seen successful reintroduction of summer weekend services. Maybe because there are already firm plans in place?

Anyone know if there's a way of viewing all the submissions?
Cost, maybe? aren't all the proposals in the list either services using existing metal or stations on existing metal? hence why I'm wondering about the Westcountry stations & if there's enough existing stock to extend commuter services. Mind you where's the existing stock for all the other proposals too...
 
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This is what the local MP said;
Some great news for New Whittington, Staveley, Barrow Hill, Renishaw, Eckington & Killamarsh!

Last month, I posted that we were applying for funding to assess the possibility of re-opening the Barrow Hill freight line to passenger traffic as part of the Government’s “Reverse Beeching” plan. Working with your local County, District and Parish Councils, along with a Sheffield City Region, we submitted a proposal to the Government to consider.

And yesterday we learnt that we have secured money for a full feasibility study! This is great news and the first step in seeing whether the re-opening of the line, which could see stations open again in Killamarsh, Barrow Hill / Staveley, Eckington / Renishaw and Whittington, is possible.
This is all very early days and we are still a long way off being able to re-open the railway but it’s great that we can take the first step and do a feasibility study. Once we’ve done the study we can see whether it would be practical to re-open and then, if so, make the case to Government for funding.
I’d like to thank our local County, District and Parish Councils for the work and help they’ve done on this so far, along with Sheffield City Region, and look forward to working with them on the feasibility study in the coming months. And we want to involve the communities too as much as possible - so stay tuned for more information about how to get involved!
So the suggestion would be to re-open:
- Killamarsh West, where the B6058 crosses the line. This is actually just over the border in the Sheffield council area, and is actually less than 1km from Halfway Supertram terminus. It would be a bit out of Killamarsh town to the west, though I suspect not disastrously so.
- Eckington and Renishaw, where the A6135 crosses the line between the two communities, and not really very convenient for either.
- Barrow Hill, on the southern edge of Barrow Hill itself and also presumably aimed at serving Staveley and Brimington, which are a bit further away.
- Whittington, on the southern edge of New Whittington.

I think the biggest question here is what happens at the Sheffield end: can they get into Midland, which seems unlikely given the capacity problems, or will they have to use Nunnery Square and/or re-open Victoria, and if the latter is that a deal-breaker? (I think Nunnery Square with tram interchange might well be more use than Victoria.)

The Don Valley Railway (the campaign group for the Stocksbridge line) have a post on their Facebook page saying that although they haven't been shortlisted they, together with Miriam Cates MP and Sheffield City Region, have been invited to talks with the DfT "to undertake further work on a revised proposal, probably to be submitted in November". They're also talking about Barrow Hill services possibly using Victoria.
 

Thebaz

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Ianno87

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Personally I really don't get their obsession with avoiding Lewes with an expensive tunnel. Going out of your way to avoid one of the largest traffic generators doesn't seem sensible, at all. Even more so when there's a perfectly reasonable proposal for a loop that avoids the need to reverse when heading towards Brighton from the north.
Because the benefits of cutting the journey time to the significant demand centre at Brighton outweigh the minor benefits of serving Lewes.
 

swanhill41

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I believe that the Fleetwood branch was verbally mentioned in the No 10 show of that date,but does not show up in the listing..Anyone any idea if that is going to be one of the first assessments?...It has heavyweight backing as Boris showed up on his roadshow run in lead up to December election...I believed he promised the £100.0k on the visit...
 

swt_passenger

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I believe that the Fleetwood branch was verbally mentioned in the No 10 show of that date,but does not show up in the listing..Anyone any idea if that is going to be one of the first assessments?...It has heavyweight backing as Boris showed up on his roadshow run in lead up to December election...I believed he promised the £100.0k on the visit...
The listings do not subsume all earlier lists or announcements. It isn’t a “top ten” or “only ten”, it’s a different ten. The same point has been made earlier in this thread about both Fleetwood and the Blyth and Tyne, (Northumberland line). They’re on a different timetable...
 

Rail Ranger

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I understand that the Watford Junction-St Albans proposal is the passing loop to enable a more frequent service. The Isle of Wight branches are Shanklin-Ventnor and Wootton-Newport.
 

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Bald Rick

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I believe the plans are for a Penryn style loop set up too which should be good - and will of course save them having to re-instate a second platform & all the associated costs of that.
There aren’t any ‘plans’. The proposal, as all good transport proposals should be, starts with a problem and some transport planning work to identify how to solve that problem. There’s no engineering work done, at all, at this stage.
 

deltic08

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I felt overwhelmingly underwhelmed by the Government’s announcement of the first round schemes announced as part of the “Reversing Beeching” Programme. The short-term opportunistic schemes announced seem to be part of a “spiffing wheeze du jour” strategy chosen because of the limited expenditure that they would entail and their perceived ease of implementation. What I was looking for was more than just a selection of local electoral prospect lollipops but a number of competing projects that would have a real regional/sub-regional impact. I saw the East West Railway and/or the Borders Railway as exemplars of what needs to be done. I recognise that there would be fewer projects falling into this category and there would be significant winners and losers. For example, I would have expected, for example, the Withered Arm route to Plymouth via Tavistock; the Ivanhoe line; the Peak line from Great Rocks to Ambergate, and the route from Liverpool via Ormskirk to Leeds via the Skipton Colne line to have been contenders for a rigorous comparative exercise – including the benefits generated by relieving other more crowded routes. There is a place for smaller projects to backfill-in both project management and finance terms and there is still an investment void in catering for the elderly and disabled passengers which should be separately assessed.
Submissions can only be made with MP support. Perhaps the lines you mention have not been sponsored by MPs.
 

deltic08

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You're quite right with regard to Skipton to Colne, and SELRAP has said in the past few days there are studies underway to take the process forward.
With regard to Hellifield, while regular passenger services can be introduced from Clitheroe without capital expenditure, but obviously they would probably need revenue support as does most things in the north, passenger trains cannot reverse in Hellifield station without additional signalling and track. So yes, to respond to another post, going forward to Settle makes a lot of sense and opens up Yorkshire Dales better for passengers from, for example, Bolton and Blackburn, as well as opening up commuting opportunities, and access to Manchester for sorts of reasons. But there isn't a turn back at Settle either. I know someone who's been working on this behind-the-scenes for sometime, and it's remarkable where you can get to with one additional unit!!
But agreed, this is a very small step forward for the 12 ideas, there are more rounds to come so no one should get carried away at the prospect of progress on the ground for any particular scheme, for a long time yet. If at all.
I thought it was possible to reverse at Hellifield from the northbound platform to both Clitheroe and Skipton. Why have crossovers south of the station on both lines if not possible?
 

irish_rail

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Mods can I ask what happened to my post please?
I made the point that Wellington and cullompton stations will cause problems to intercity trains the minute they run slightly late which will have a bigger impact on the larger south west, plus throughout the entire network.
That a DMU leaving Wellington on the down will be very slow up Whitehall bank, again getting in the way of intercity stuff giving a negative impact on Exeter torbay Plymouth and Cornwall, all so that two small towns can have trains.
I also pointed out that maybe the Conservative government has accepted it has lost support in the southwest over the past few months and that is why it isn't bothering with giving us something meaningful like reopening tavistock to okehampton.
 

Ianno87

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Mods can I ask what happened to my post please?
I made the point that Wellington and cullompton stations will cause problems to intercity trains the minute they run slightly late which will have a bigger impact on the larger south west, plus throughout the entire network.
That a DMU leaving Wellington on the down will be very slow up Whitehall bank, again getting in the way of intercity stuff giving a negative impact on Exeter torbay Plymouth and Cornwall, all so that two small towns can have trains.
I also pointed out that maybe the Conservative government has accepted it has lost support in the southwest over the past few months and that is why it isn't bothering with giving us something meaningful like reopening tavistock to okehampton.
Some high-performance DMUs (akin to 185s) ought to be able to offset some impact of the bank.
 

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And dualling a road that's already partly dualled, even if it's a good thing, is hardly that important.
People who travel on the A66 between Scotch Corner and Penrith would disagree. It is the busiest Pennine crossing North of the M62 and the main route between Yorkshire, Humberside & the East Midlands and the North Lakes and with a much, much greater proportion of lorry crossings.

It is a dangerous road with a lethal compilation of regular changes between dualled and single-carriageway sections, far too many difficult junctions and a history of accidents.
 

si404

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It is a dangerous road with a lethal compilation of regular changes between dualled and single-carriageway sections, far too many difficult junctions and a history of accidents.
I would posit that safety is the main reason why rural trunk road improvements get approved.

And pretty much every road improvement that isn't about safety is about development. We don't build bypasses anymore, we build development routes to open up land for development.
 

swanhill41

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The listings do not subsume all earlier lists or announcements. It isn’t a “top ten” or “only ten”, it’s a different ten. The same point has been made earlier in this thread about both Fleetwood and the Blyth and Tyne, (Northumberland line). They’re on a different timetable...
Sorry did not read them as thoroughly as I should have done
 

Halifaxlad

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I doubt it current turn around time appears to be about 25mins at Clitheroe, current timing appears to be 23 mins just to to Hellifield from Clitheroe then of course 23mins back plus turn around time, then would a regular service block the main Leeds route woulds you need to alter the track layout at Hellifield to accommodate that or even reinstate the south bay platform. would it make more sense to be able to reverse the service at Hellifield and run it to Skipton meanwhile the cost meter is running.
As part of this they're is a proposal to put a chord in so services can head straight through. Its in the Lancashire Telegraph.
 

DynamicSpirit

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As part of this they're is a proposal to put a chord in so services can head straight through. Its in the Lancashire Telegraph.
Ah, just found the link. It's here

LancashireTelegraph said:
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has named the reinstatement of the currently freight-only Clitheroe to Hellifield line to full service as one of ten routes to move forward from his department’s ‘Ideas Fund’.

This means the scheme will get government cash to develop a business case for the proposal.
It includes plans to improve the line from Clitheroe to Blackburn and the East Lancashire Line so the current hourly service becomes every 30 mins.

The bid suggests reopening stations at Chatburn, Gisburn, Rimington and Newsholme.
It also proposes a new link at Hellifield to allow trains to turn South to Leeds and London as opposed to only running North to Carlisle.
That's rather more ambitious than I think any of us on this thread had assumed.

Off the top of my head, half hourly to Clitheroe sounds a good idea in principle - but if that extra train is heading for Manchester, won't that require capacity improvements between Manchester and Blackburn? Some of those new stations seem a bit too rural to be that much use. And I can't fathom how a chord to turn trains towards Leeds would work. On a quick look at Google maps, you'd have to build it to the SouthEast of the village, which would imply trains wouldn't be able to serve - or even go anywhere near - Hellifield. I wonder if the phrase 'new link' doesn't mean a chord, but simply facilities for trains to reverse at Hellifield station?
 

Ianno87

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Ah, just found the link. It's here



That's rather more ambitious than I think any of us on this thread had assumed.

Off the top of my head, half hourly to Clitheroe sounds a good idea in principle - but if that extra train is heading for Manchester, won't that require capacity improvements between Manchester and Blackburn? Some of those new stations seem a bit too rural to be that much use. And I can't fathom how a chord to turn trains towards Leeds would work. On a quick look at Google maps, you'd have to build it to the SouthEast of the village, which would imply trains wouldn't be able to serve - or even go anywhere near - Hellifield. I wonder if the phrase 'new link' doesn't mean a chord, but simply facilities for trains to reverse at Hellifield station?
There are already two trains per hour between Manchester and Blackburn . The train that terminates at Blackburn would be extended to Clitheroe.
 

PR1Berske

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With regards to new stations on the Clitheroe line, I think that maybe Chatburn would be the only viable option. As you say, everything else is very rural.

Flip side, for balance. It is encouraging to see a government talk about new stations alongside railway expansion plans, so we mustn't grumble too much.
 

37424

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Ah, just found the link. It's here



That's rather more ambitious than I think any of us on this thread had assumed.

Off the top of my head, half hourly to Clitheroe sounds a good idea in principle - but if that extra train is heading for Manchester, won't that require capacity improvements between Manchester and Blackburn? Some of those new stations seem a bit too rural to be that much use. And I can't fathom how a chord to turn trains towards Leeds would work. On a quick look at Google maps, you'd have to build it to the SouthEast of the village, which would imply trains wouldn't be able to serve - or even go anywhere near - Hellifield. I wonder if the phrase 'new link' doesn't mean a chord, but simply facilities for trains to reverse at Hellifield station?
While it might be less costly than the Skipton Colne, but a train service that will mainly cart fresh air about just got a lot more expensive, it needs a very strong freight case otherwise its an expensive waste of money that could be better spent elsewhere in my eyes.
 

30907

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And I can't fathom how a chord to turn trains towards Leeds would work. On a quick look at Google maps, you'd have to build it to the SouthEast of the village, which would imply trains wouldn't be able to serve - or even go anywhere near - Hellifield. I wonder if the phrase 'new link' doesn't mean a chord, but simply facilities for trains to reverse at Hellifield station?
I suspect you are right - the resignalling wouldn't be a major job.
Though a curve southeast of the village would be ideal for freight traffic, and thus allow a much cheaper version of/destroy the business case for Skipton-Colne (delete one!) :)
 

37424

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I suspect you are right - the resignalling wouldn't be a major job.
Though a curve southeast of the village would be ideal for freight traffic, and thus allow a much cheaper version of/destroy the business case for Skipton-Colne (delete one!) :)
There is certainly no case for both that would be crazy, I'm not convinced there is a strong case for either, a curve at Hellifield I imagine would be very expensive and I very much doubt would be justified on a passenger basis alone, when reversal at Hellifield could likely be achieved for a much cheaper cost, calling it a link line rather than a curve might be a more accurate description unless you want to destroy half the village.
 
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ChiefPlanner

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I suspect you are right - the resignalling wouldn't be a major job.
Though a curve southeast of the village would be ideal for freight traffic, and thus allow a much cheaper version of/destroy the business case for Skipton-Colne (delete one!) :)
A cursory glance at Hellifield signalling arrangements would seem to indicate that a passenger reversing move off the Clithero line ought to be achievable by the simple addition of a running signal towards Skipton and the installation of proper points detection (ideally mechanical ! - it may still be on the frame) , perhaps some local experts /operators can advise if this is possible.

This is not Ipswich Bacon Factory Junction chord territory - and if there is any desire for this passenger service to have a chance of actually happening - then simple infrastructure changes must be required.
 

Wharfe106

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I thought it was possible to reverse at Hellifield from the northbound platform to both Clitheroe and Skipton. Why have crossovers south of the station on both lines if not possible?
The reversal is not signalled for passenger train movements, additional signalling would be needed. AIUI reversals can be made under local signaller control, but not on a regualr basis, but I am not an industry professional.
 
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