Honeybourne Station.

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lancastrian

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Today I was using Honeybourne Station. It was great to see it with the second platform restored and looking good with the double track restored, but as I looked at it, a couple of questions came to my mind.

First of all, the platform lengths. The old platform, No. 1 is only about 3 car lengths. It was interesting watching an HST pull up alongside it, especially with the front power car still on the platform, with only two other coaches were people were ab;e to alight from, the back coaches were not only off the platform but back under the bridge. After careful observation it seems to me that platform 1 could not only be extended about one coach length back to the bridge (London direction) but also extended as far as the signal (Evesham direction) about another 3/4 coach lengths.

Platform 2, the rebuilt platform is 5 coaches long, this easily accommodated the class 180 that called there. Plus it also could be extended for HST's easily. Yes I know that there is a cost, but with all the 'Elf & Safety' huh-ah that goes on, I would have thought at least both platforms would be of equal length.

Secondly, I looked behind platform 2, at a potential site for a platform 3, for the extended Gloucester Warwickshire Railway when it reaches Honeybourne, the year 2030 or later.

There is space for a decent length of platform there, with run-round potential, but for some reason the signal which controls the entrance to sidings at Honeybourne has been placed right in the path of any third platform. This to me seems a bit daft, but I am sure that there is a good reason for all my questions.

Any insight would be gratefully received. Thank you.
 
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jimm

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Today I was using Honeybourne Station. It was great to see it with the second platform restored and looking good with the double track restored, but as I looked at it, a couple of questions came to my mind.

First of all, the platform lengths. The old platform, No. 1 is only about 3 car lengths. It was interesting watching an HST pull up alongside it, especially with the front power car still on the platform, with only two other coaches were people were ab;e to alight from, the back coaches were not only off the platform but back under the bridge. After careful observation it seems to me that platform 1 could not only be extended about one coach length back to the bridge (London direction) but also extended as far as the signal (Evesham direction) about another 3/4 coach lengths.

Platform 2, the rebuilt platform is 5 coaches long, this easily accommodated the class 180 that called there. Plus it also could be extended for HST's easily. Yes I know that there is a cost, but with all the 'Elf & Safety' huh-ah that goes on, I would have thought at least both platforms would be of equal length.

Secondly, I looked behind platform 2, at a potential site for a platform 3, for the extended Gloucester Warwickshire Railway when it reaches Honeybourne, the year 2030 or later.

There is space for a decent length of platform there, with run-round potential, but for some reason the signal which controls the entrance to sidings at Honeybourne has been placed right in the path of any third platform. This to me seems a bit daft, but I am sure that there is a good reason for all my questions.

Any insight would be gratefully received. Thank you.

Platform 1 would have been rather longer than what is there now but unfortunately when work was being done to it ahead of the station's reopening in 1981 an overweight lorry backed on to the platform and a section of the platform wall gave way. As a result, the damaged section and the western end were removed, leaving what is there today.

Network Rail is currently working up a proposal to extend platforms at the busier stations on the Cotswold Line, including both platforms at Honeybourne, to take seven 26m coaches.

I wouldn't get too excited about the prospects of the GWSR reaching Honeybourne. There seems to have been a marked cooling of enthusiasm in that regard recently anyway and you have to wonder whether it would be worthwhile, since Broadway will clearly generate way more footfall and revenue as one of the key tourist destinations in the North Cotswolds. I suspect the trains would be rather empty between there and Honeybourne should the line ever reopen.

It may be that the line to Stratford could reopen first, should the proposed major housing development at Long Marston airfield make it into the final version of the Stratford district's new Local Plan, in which case main line services will need that platform.

In either case, moving a signal post is hardly the biggest job to tackle, is it?
 

HowardGWR

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I think you may be correct in supposing that Honeybourne is no longer the top aim of the GWSR at present. As you write, Broadway has yet to be connected and I have also read that extending back south to the limit in Cheltenham of what the GWSR owns (the sports field) is felt to be more desirable (and probably profitable).

Of course, some of us feel that there could be a very good case to open the whole lot from Cheltenham to Stratford for proper services, but that's another story. :)
 

lancastrian

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Thanks for the replies. I know that reaching Honeybourne is not high at all on the G/WR plans. I accept that moving a signal can be easy, but I have read in the past that some things will have high costs, due to the need of moving a signal.

But my main observation was about the platform lengths, so I was pleased to hear that are at least some plans to lengthen them, but I wont hold my breath, while I wait for it to be done.
 

jimm

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Thanks for the replies. I know that reaching Honeybourne is not high at all on the G/WR plans. I accept that moving a signal can be easy, but I have read in the past that some things will have high costs, due to the need of moving a signal.

But my main observation was about the platform lengths, so I was pleased to hear that are at least some plans to lengthen them, but I wont hold my breath, while I wait for it to be done.

If we ever reach the point where the signal needs to be moved, the cost of doing that will probably be pretty small in the overall context of the work that would be needed to provide a new platform and provide new track/other facilities for either GWSR or a revived Stratford-upon-Avon service - and the latter would require some serious signalling work around the Honeybourne area generally, given the need to recreate the triangular junction to allow Stratford services to/from the Oxford direction as well.

The platform lengthening project for the Cotswold Line is at something like Grip Stage 3 at the moment, so is making headway. While the need to lengthen the platform at Hanborough in particular was on the radar anyway, I gather that the impetus for the wider project all along the line to be worked up and costed has actually come from the DfT, so you may not need to hold your breath too long.
 
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