High Wycombe £4,000,000 upgrade

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by 168lover, 23 Apr 2015.

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  1. 168lover

    168lover Member

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    It was announced yesterday that Wycombe station will be upgraded with work starting next week. Works include demolishing the old underpass between Platform 2 and 3 instead having a footbridge and also extending Platform 2. Full summary of work here:http://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/high-wycombe-upgrade

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 23 Apr 2015
  2. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    This (High Wycombe down direction) was the outstanding part of the work required for the 9 car train lengthening project for Banbury to Marylebone services, IMHO one of the main reasons for taking on the TPE 170s.

    Building a footbridge and filling in the subway was considered the most likely solution in a previous discussion last year some time, and was also shown as a planning assumption in the March update to the CP5 enhancement plan, with Grip 4 (single option definition) due about now. So all sorted and about to start.
     
    Last edited: 23 Apr 2015
  3. a good off

    a good off Member

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    Its a shame that they can't reinstate the centre through roads while they are there. With the traffic levels on the line building this would probably help out a great deal during times of late running.
     
  4. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    That would be a good idea. Might as well put the footings in for the electrification too.
     
  5. varkman

    varkman Member

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    No Middle roads all to do with COST on Network Rails side of things........ <(
     
  6. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Reinstating the middle roads would cost a lot more than 4 million quid and for a just in case scenario there are better things to be spending money on. Electrification isnt even a scheme let alone a committed one so no one would entertain that. As for moaning about cost, find NR a bottomless pit of cash and ive no doubt all manner of things would get done. The wallet only gets refilled every 5 years and we only get so much.
     
  7. a good off

    a good off Member

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    Yep I know and agree with everything you say. Its just a shame that they went in 1990.
     
  8. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Tangential, but relevant and assuming people here know more than I, but re: priority of through road reinstatement in that neck of the woods. I'd guess that Beaconsfield would be the place which would get done first? It would make sense for a lot of reasons, the line speed is much higher at Beaconsfield (and that's unlikely to ever change given the curve at Wycombe) and I'd imagine you can just as easily timetable the expresses to overtake the semi fasts and stopping services in Beaconsfield as you can at Wycombe.

    There have also been whispers of putting an up through road at Denham station too. The new (ish) platform appears to have room for an up through and a south facing bay so it's definitely something which has been considered. Likelihood of happening any time in the next 5-10 years?
     
  9. aylesbury

    aylesbury Member

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    Good news shows how the line is now a valued link and when the East West opens there will be more services through Wycombe .
     
  10. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    I believe the original plan was to have stoppers terminating at Denham using the south facing bay there, but these plans were later changed to run trains through to Gerrards Cross. I'm not sure there'd be space for both an up loop and bay at Denham.

    With regards to a through line at High Wycombe, haven't the lines been slanted to allow for a higher linespeed? If so reinstating the loops here may actually be detrimental to non-stop trains. A better place to install loops might indeed be Beaconsfield.
     
  11. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    As an occasional user of this station, is there a pressing need to replace the underpass with a bridge?
     
  12. NSEFAN

    NSEFAN Established Member

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    The main issue is extending the length of platform 2. The underpass currently blocks any extension of this (the other end being blocked by Amersham Hill road bridge). I suppose if you extended the platform outwards as was done at Bicester North, you could avoid closing the underpass. However, this would mean relaying the track which was only fairly recently done, so perhaps leaving the track in place is cheaper. I am not sure but centring the track at this point might also result in a lower line speed through the station.
     
  13. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    It's platform 2 that's being extended, that's the platform in the direction of Birmingham. The subway at the London end of the platform and thus in the way. The road bridge blocks any platform extension in the Birmingham direction.
     
  14. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Thanks both, that makes sense.
     
  15. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    There is room. The bay would be on the down platform and there is space for a passing line on the up (the platform would then be the loop). It's visible on Google Maps actually (link) but I don't think it's going to happen any time soon. Like the new tunnel at Gerrards Cross being wide enough for four tracks, I suspect these features were put in at Denham 'just in case'.
     
  16. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Agreed. In an off-peak hour, there are 6 passenger trains an hour in each direction, only one of which passes through without stopping and one of which terminates or starts in the bay. In the peaks, there are a few more, up to 9 trains in the peak direction, including some additional non-stops. Any additional trains to and from Oxford will probably stop at High Wycombe as well to provide attractive local service between these two large towns. Fast through tracks make more sense at other more minor stations where only the lowest service tier stops, but even then a fair length of four tracks encompassing at least two minor stations on the slows would be preferable for timetabled overtaking, hence creating additional capacity. 'Just in case' facilities rarely make much sense.

    The only passive provision for future electrification I would expect is to ensure the new bridge structure is built with clearance for OHLE.
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  17. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    As stated above through roads would be fairly pointless, IMHO. Faster services would probably need something along the lines of what was proposed in the HS2 alternative options documents (the infamous "Rail Package 2"). This provided bypass lines to the north east of High Wycombe to maintain 125mph running through the area.

    Given the status of the station as a major traffic generator, most services need to stop here, so unless you can build a 4-through platform station by widening the bridge or moving the platforms towards London, it's about as good as it gets.

    I actually started replying to this yesterday but lost my post in a browser reset...but I did look at the layout of the area - is there any long-term option that could see the station razed and rebuilt on a straighter alignment to remove some of the curvature, and properties west of the station CPOed to straighten the line, with the existing formation sold off and new development above the new station to pay for it all? ...or are we stuck with bypass lines or even a tunnel under the area for fast lines?

    The buildings on the western side of the A404 that would need to go all look fairly comparable to those going as part of the similar-in-my-mind Oxford redevelopment, and that would enable one set of curves to go, and would give you your extra through platforms to boot. Removing the subsequent curves is a far more challenging undertaking, but the properties look mainly to be industrial and hotels, so probably doable.
     
  18. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Maps don't really do justice to how steep the hill is on the western side of the station. There is a massive retaining wall on one side and beyond that the track is on a viaduct. Realigning it would require a lot of earth to be moved, disrupting traffic on a road right by a major hospital. I think than any major work would be prohibitively expensive and met with fierce local opposition.

    The station is oddly aligned because it wasn't originally connected to Marylebone. It predates Marylebone by about fifty years and for all that time it was a small terminus of a branch line which joined the GWML at Maidenhead.
     
  19. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    I think part of the problem at High Wycombe is that although there are ramps for the subway today, which at first seem to be disabled friendly, the gradient on both sides is about 1:8 which is much steeper than considered ideal for new construction, and there are no intermediate landings along their 32m length as required for new build regulations. If the existing subway had been closer to DDA compliance then perhaps it might have been retained with the extended down platform realigned around it, the track being moved into the former through line space towards the London end which would also straighten the platform a little. It's possible a little straightening and platform edge reconstruction might still be carried out as part of this extension work, but for a long term access solution, provision of a new bridge probably with lifts is surely the best option. With the subway removed and filled in, perhaps the bay platform can revert to using the rear face of the extended down platform, rather than the very narrow but longer platform added later on the other side of the terminating track along the edge of the car park.
     
  20. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    There are no lifts at High Wycombe either. I wonder if there is a requirement to install lifts at some point? It's a three platform station which sees 2.5m journeys a year and will probably experience significant growth over the next decade or so when it gets connected to Oxford and Milton Keynes yet it has no lifts.

    There is street access from every platform so it's not a bottleneck and it's not a massively complicated interchange at the moment because people changing trains there tend to only be switching between express and stopping services but a lot of platform 3 (up main) to platform 1 (up bay) interchanges happen and these do require use of the underpass.
     
  21. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    It was only a terminus for its first eight years. It was in the centre of a line running from Maidenhead to Princes Risborough which split, one line running via Thame to Oxford and the other to Aylesbury.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wycombe_Railway
     
  22. MarkyT

    MarkyT Established Member

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    Lifts aren't an absolute requirement if ramps are suitable for DDA. The subway and its ramps are fairly narrow as well as steep however so as well as access compliance there might have been problems coping with demand growth, although at least evening peak arrivals from London (probably causing the biggest pulses of transient demand) occur on the down side so most of those passengers don't have to use the subway.

    The ramp on the down side projecting from the existing platform end also leaves no space for access around it to a lift on that side for the existing subway, although a subway lift might have been possible on the up side.

    I note there's a temporary footbridge proposed during construction so they can close the subway. That suggests the final bridge will be built roughly in the same place as the subway.
     
  23. Hophead

    Hophead Member

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    At East Croydon, the abandoned subway accommodates the lift apparatus (i.e. the bits which are below ground level). Perhaps a similar solution is planned for High Wycombe.
     
    Last edited: 26 Apr 2015
  24. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    Artist's illustrations may not be completely reliable, but it does look as if the new footbridge is on the site of the old subway.
     
  25. NickBucks

    NickBucks Member

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    The artists impression in this weeks Bucks Free Press definitely shows that the bridge will have the current standard Network Rail lifts installed. I hope they are more reliable and vandal proof than those at Wendover & Princes Risborough otherwise the mobility impaired will never get to Platform 3 !
     
  26. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Reported by Chiltern last week that the subway is now closed, presumably permanently, as discussed earlier in this thread:

     
  27. HowardGWR

    HowardGWR Established Member

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    Are these locations near enough to London to suffer vandalism. Do you have graffiti there? It's usually a good guide to the likelihood of such behaviour. When I travel to London, I estimate, perhaps incorrectly, that the start of graffiti along the line is a guide to bad behaviour.
     
  28. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    I've read this a few times now and it makes no sense to me at all. I presume you are asking whether Wendover and Princes Risborough are deprived areas or inner city areas and the answer is that they are quite the opposite. They are small towns/large villages in one of the most affluent areas of the country about five miles from each other. The green belt land in the middle is where Chequers, the Prime Minister's country house is located.

    Maybe the vandalism happens because they are such quiet and leafy places that boredom is a factor.
     
  29. RPM

    RPM Established Member

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    Yes, agree through roads at BCF would be much more useful than at HWY. Incorporate a crossover and you could have terminating services at BCF too.

    The through road at Denham was actually in the initial plans for the Evergreen 3 upgrade. As I understand it it was to have been bidirectional too. It was one of the things that was pruned out of the scheme when they were trying to descope it to something affordable.

    I must admit, I'm sceptical that there is room for a through road and a bay at Denham, but willing to be proved wrong.

    Sorry for late response to this thread - not sure how I missed in April.
     
  30. Cherry_Picker

    Cherry_Picker Established Member

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    Denham Station.

    [​IMG]

    Full size image

    There is room for a through line adjacent to the up platform. There is a large chunk taken out of the London end of the down island. There could easily be a buffer stops and track there with a set of points connecting to the down like just outside of the station. I'm pretty sure the new platform has been built with provision to include a through line and a bay even if there are no immediate plans to install them.
     
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