Harwich International

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SprinterMan

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Until recently, I never had any interest in this station but a trip to Harwich has shown me what a weird station this is. I thought it was laid out like Ely or any other generic 3 platform station. Platform 3 is a bay platform used by the early-morning/late-evening DMU services to Lowestoft/Cambridge which are 170 operated these days I think. Platform 2 is bi-directional for the local Manningtree-harwich Town shuttle, but platform 1 is really odd.

Platform 1 is used as a terminal platform for boat-trains from London but is a through platform. The line it is on runs to a seemingly abandoned goods yard at Harwich Town but is heavily overgrown and not electrified for all of the distance. It does not run through the platforms at either Dovercourt or Harwich Town and there seems to be no way of accessing the one remaining working line without a reversal, meaning Platform 1 is basically a bay platform also.

The entrance to the station (from the west) is through a large goods yard, which was apparently abandoned when I was there but was used for storing 317/7s until December 2011 apparently.

The station only really serves the port (and maybe the village of Parkestone) and was quite empty when I was there. I assume it is busier when the ferry is there, although that seems to be in decline due to cheap flights.

The service has suffered a bit in recent years. The station used to be operated by Anglia Railways and the boat trains were operated by LHCS, but NX put bay to that. The whole Harwich branch got hourly though-service to London but the boat-trains were operated by 321s and the DMU service was reduced to parliamentry levels with it being SuO. In 2010, the old FGE timetable was reintroduced and the hourly London trains were lost but the DMU service became regular again. In December 2011, the boat trains received a big upgrade when they became operated by 317/7s, but GA chose to relieve themselves over that particular bonfire by withdrawing the 317/7s so ferry passengers are stuck once again with 321s.

It is sad to see the decline of this station and it's services, and I hope the ferry service keeps operating and the "Dutchflyer" boat trains once again get some decent stock.

Adam :D
 
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GB

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It used to be double track down to Harwich Town (which also had a goods yard) but due to cut backs only the one line remains *operational. So in that regard the layout at Harwich International makes perfect sense. Theres no operational need to have P1 rejoin the single line.

Rail access for in service passenger trains to the station from the Manningtree direction isnt technically through the yard. The main line is separate but sandwiched between the large carriage and freight sidings on the left, and the small TIP sidings on the right.

*The disused line is still in place and saw some use by engineering trains during relaying work last year.
 

GNERman

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Despite having never been there and not currently planning to go there, I have also been researching that station for the Railworks route that has been released. I also agree that the setup is a bit odd, and, from my research, the early morning (0728 arr, 0750 dep) DMU service now uses P1, meaning that only the late DMU service uses P3. Unfortunatly for me, there is no 321 is RW, so one must suffice with a 317 or 379...

As a slight aside, how much is Parkeston Quay used nowadays? Do FL 86's/90's ever go there? What traffic does? What locos do?
 

GB

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Despite having never been there and not currently planning to go there, I have also been researching that station for the Railworks route that has been released. I also agree that the setup is a bit odd, and, from my research, the early morning (0728 arr, 0750 dep) DMU service now uses P1, meaning that only the late DMU service uses P3. Unfortunatly for me, there is no 321 is RW, so one must suffice with a 317 or 379...

As a slight aside, how much is Parkeston Quay used nowadays? Do FL 86's/90's ever go there? What traffic does? What locos do?

The Carriage, Freight and TIP sidings get used, though no where near as much as it used to.

You have the GBRF Carless tanks and a DBS stone train using the TIP sidings. GBRF and DBS both use the carriage and freight sidings to store Intermodal trains over the weekend. Freighliner do too if required. Occassional ballast trains make their way down there ready for the weekend.

Greater Anglia use the carriage sidings to stable units.

As far as freight is concerned its all pretty much 66's. Dont know when the last electric freight loco was down there.
 

dk1

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During the 2004 Ipswich tunnel block many Intercity services got diverted to Harwich International. These would, unusualy for a DBSO set, terminate in platform 3.
 

ChiefPlanner

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There was also (apart from the train ferry) - a Freightliner terminal with no less than 2 services for Ford to Garston , a Swansea service , a Ripple Lane service and domestic (European) trains to Willesden , Stratford , Coatbridge , Trafford Park and Garston.

plus MAT car trains to and from Wakefield , Bordesley etc.

I used to cover it on relief duties , and it could be very , very busy - especially when I drummed up extra business with flexible charging for one off specials to the London area (when we had spare traction and wagons)

And they say "BR" wasnt commercial -didnt worry about Track Access agreements - with a good Train Crew Supervisor and a willing Control at Norwich , you could run specials with 3 hours notice !!!
 

chappers

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It used to be double track down to Harwich Town (which also had a goods yard) but due to cut backs only the one line remains *operational. So in that regard the layout at Harwich International makes perfect sense. Theres no operational need to have P1 rejoin the single line.

Rail access for in service passenger trains to the station from the Manningtree direction isnt technically through the yard. The main line is separate but sandwiched between the large carriage and freight sidings on the left, and the small TIP sidings on the right.

*The disused line is still in place and saw some use by engineering trains during relaying work last year.

We had to put tie-bars on an awful lot of that to hold it together, it wasn't in the best of shape. Technically it is still classed as operational though - still signalled and the points wern't scotch and clipped OOU
 

SprinterMan

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Do people think the boat-trains deserve better than 321s or are they so little-used it just doesn't matter anymore?
Adam :D
 

dk1

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Do people think the boat-trains deserve better than 321s or are they so little-used it just doesn't matter anymore?
Adam :D

When cruise ships arrive the branch shuttle 321 is full & standing & the connecting Norwich services lose several minutes whilst themselves & their kitchen sinks are safely loaded on.
 

David10

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There is a Mon-Sat Harwich-Cambridge service, operated by a 2 car class 170 last time I observed. Of course it is a far cry from when LHCS used to operate to Manchester.
 

dk1

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There is a Mon-Sat Harwich-Cambridge service, operated by a 2 car class 170 last time I observed. Of course it is a far cry from when LHCS used to operate to Manchester.

This 07.50 now stops at Wrabness & Mistley & along with the boat passengers is reasonably well loaded into Ipswich.
 
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