Is the chord that links HS1 towards Waterloo still in use?

Lee Bradfield

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On the way into Ebbsfleet there are 2 lines that run off to the left just before the station, looking at Google and Wikipedia these are the lines that Eurostar originally used to access HS1. Are these lines ever used now?
Thanks.
 
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Jorge Da Silva

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On the way into Ebbsfleet there are 2 lines that run off to the left just before the station, looking at Google and Wikipedia these are the lines that Eurostar originally used to access HS1. Are these lines ever used now?
Thanks.
are you talking about the line to Farningham Road station via Southfleet. The answer is no they aren’t they haven’t been used since 2007
 

brad465

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are you talking about the line to Farningham Road station via Southfleet. The answer is no they aren’t they haven’t been used since 2007
Regular passenger use yes, although for a time a daily (or weekly) Class 395 return trip between Ashford and Swanley used it, before in 2016-17 it was used storing old 373 sets on the link ahead of scrapping.
 

Lee Bradfield

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Not sure where Farningham Road is, when coming from Ashford may be a mile before Ebbsfleet on line leaves HS1 and another joins HS1 heading back to Ashford they both have overhead lines.
 

popeter45

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Not sure where Farningham Road is, when coming from Ashford may be a mile before Ebbsfleet on line leaves HS1 and another joins HS1 heading back to Ashford they both have overhead lines.
the link is called Fawkham Junction and was used while phase 2 of HS1 (ebbsfield to st pancreas) was still under construction, Eurostars would exit HS1 here and then head to waterloo as that was still the Eurostar terminal back then
 

AndyB28

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Not sure how to access the co-ordinates but, on Google maps, I think we're talking about the junction just next to postcode DA13 9PN?
 

DelW

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On the most recent Quail maps (August 2019) the main section of the link is shown as OOU (out of use), with the HS1 end, on a different page, shown as NIRU (not in regular use). I can't tell whether the difference is intentional or an oversight.
The Google coordinates of the junction with HS1 are around 51.4216731, 0.3371463, and the postcode above is indeed nearby.
 

BluePenguin

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Here is a map showing Fawkham junction which is shown by the grey line. I took a few screenshots to help you picture the connection and also and a satellite image with Ebbsfleet visible at the station at the top.

As you can see the tracks first crosses New Barn road, right by the B262 roundabout, followed by Dale Road, Hook Green Road, Whitehill Road and finally the B260 before joining the Chatham Line. When I zoom in it looks as though there is only overheard wiring in one direction.

053E3956-EA28-461C-91C9-0AEECC1CB308.png

D92125B4-F310-409A-A7EF-8FBEE25594A5.png

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Mikey C

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What's quite interesting is that a disused rail bridge (from the original Gravesend West line) can be seen alongside the new structure, where the railway line goes under the B260, near Longfield

 

Mollman

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You have to also remember that the new E320s weren't built with 3rd rail capability whilst the original E300s (Class 373s) have had their shoes removed,
 

Ianno87

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On the most recent Quail maps (August 2019) the main section of the link is shown as OOU (out of use), with the HS1 end, on a different page, shown as NIRU (not in regular use). I can't tell whether the difference is intentional or an oversight.
Technically correct as the HS1 end sees occasional use, but the Fawkham Junction end has not for several years now.
 

jopsuk

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You have to also remember that the new E320s weren't built with 3rd rail capability whilst the original E300s (Class 373s) have had their shoes removed,
Even if they had 3rd rail capability, they'd be severely damaged by the first platform they encountered.
 

Chris NS

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Interestingly, someone went through the trouble of doing a grade-separated junction between HS1 and the Waterloo connection.

Evidently someone decided it was worth at least keeping options open for the future.
 

plugwash

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It wouldn't surprise me if on high-speed lines grade seperation was actually cheaper in the long term. High speed turnouts are not cheap to buy and maintain and a flat junction needs twice as many of them as a grade seperated one (or a diamond crossover, but my understanding is that those are even more of a maintinance headache).

Obviously grade seperation has civils costs, but building a new high speed railway involves a bunch of civils work anyway and depending on the lie of the land the grade seperation may not be all that much extra work.
 

30907

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Interestingly, someone went through the trouble of doing a grade-separated junction between HS1 and the Waterloo connection.

Evidently someone decided it was worth at least keeping options open for the future.
Wasn't the plan pre-low-cost-airlines to still run some services into Waterloo?
 

Chris NS

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Wasn't the plan pre-low-cost-airlines to still run some services into Waterloo?
You might be right there. I vaguely remember that the decision to discontinue services to Waterloo completely was made quite late on. IIRC, the idea was that you'd run a few into Waterloo for the benefit of people whose destination in London was near Waterloo.

I suspect, however, it would have been track capacity more than anything else that nobbled the idea. Sharing south London's railways between local services and Eurostar might have seemed like a good idea in 1994, but it's hard to imagine that working now, even if the new trains could run on British gauge.
 
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The connection would still have been used had the North of London and sleeper services via Kensington gone ahead. I don't recall the precise timescale now, but they were dropped before any part of HS1 opened although not before the vehicles for those fleets were constructed which I suspect may be after the civil engineering work plans for HS1 had been drawn up?
 

RailWonderer

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Even if they had 3rd rail capability, they'd be severely damaged by the first platform they encountered.
I think the 374s are the UK’s first and only captive HS rolling stock. Having a wider European loading gauge clearly made more sense rather than making them classic compatible. There is no more Waterloo International you could even divert them to!
 

popeter45

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The connection would still have been used had the North of London and sleeper services via Kensington gone ahead. I don't recall the precise timescale now, but they were dropped before any part of HS1 opened although not before the vehicles for those fleets were constructed which I suspect may be after the civil engineering work plans for HS1 had been drawn up?
Nightstar was cancelled well before HS1 was even finalised as a idea, the chord was made so eurostar could make usage of HS1 and its timing benefits before it was fully built
i suspect anything to kensington would have gone via the north London line from the st pancreas end of HS1 instead once it was completed
 

londonmidland

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Looking at Google maps is this the chord where they (used) to convert from AC to DC and vice versa? Also, I'm getting mixed messages from the comments above. Is the chord used regularly today?
 

D365

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Looking at Google maps is this the chord where they (used) to convert from AC to DC and vice versa? Also, I'm getting mixed messages from the comments above. Is the chord used regularly today?
Yes, and no. I believe it was used briefly to store some Class 373s following their withdrawal from Eurostar. Other than that, it's been seldom used.
 

brad465

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Yes, and no. I believe it was used briefly to store some Class 373s following their withdrawal from Eurostar. Other than that, it's been seldom used.
Yes from some point in 2016 it was for up to 2 years to store at least one set. I first remember seeing a set on there in June 2016 (when then led to the 373 withdrawals thread, but that's another story), but I can't remember when it was finally vacated. I seem to recall someone saying in the 373 withdrawal thread a while ago that one set was there while others were stored in various places, both here and France, but don't know if only 1 set ever got stored there or if they did replace it when the first set was scrapped (whatever its identity was).
 

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