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last train has run to fawley refinery

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VEP3417

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http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/146...decision_could_end_hopes_of_Waterside_trains/
FAWLEY refinery is about to stop using a Hampshire railway line in a move that could destroy hopes for a new passenger service.

Trains on the freight-only Totton to Fawley line deliver crude oil to the huge petro-chemical complex, the largest facility of its type in the UK.

The refinery has denied that its decision to stop using the route will result in a huge number of extra road tankers on local roads.

But ExxonMobil’s announcement has fuelled fears that passenger services on the Waterside will never be re-introduced.

Stations on the line were closed in 1966 and the imminent loss of the only trains still using it has led to speculation that the track will be ripped up.

Campaigners have spent years trying to persuade the authorities to provide commuters with an alternative to the A326 and other traffic-choked roads.

A refinery spokesman said 99 per cent of all crude oil delivered to Fawley arrived by ship.

He added: “Rail-based deliveries are no longer economic and will cease at the end of this month....
just heard the last ever train has run to fawley refinery near southampton which is a shame as who knows what will happen to the line now,

any one get any pics or more info? :)
 
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theironroad

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The article says that all oil will now arrive by ship.

How's that going to work for the Holybourne (near Alton) to Fawley rail flow? Or has the Holybourne stopped supplying oil?
 

Muzer

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I went and got some pics with NSEFAN on the bank holiday Monday. He has been taking time off all week to get more (unfortunately I'm on a training course in my new job so can't do that). We were surprised at how few other enthusiasts were there.

We're booked on a railtour too, the Andover Fist, scheduled to traverse the branch in November IIRC.
 

Carlisle

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The article says that all oil will now arrive by ship.

How's that going to work for the Holybourne (near Alton) to Fawley rail flow? Or has the Holybourne stopped supplying oil?

Yes I was wondering that too, and presumably there's still MOD traffic to nearby Marchwood
 

Muzer

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Yep, that's still running for time to time, and when we spoke to the signaller at Marchwood he had received no indication that it would be ending any time soon.
 

swt_passenger

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Some more info in this thread: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=134017&highlight=Fawley

Holybourne is the railhead for Humbly Grove, the oil is piped from the field, (which I think is near Lasham airfield), however it is only one of a number of small onshore oilfields in the south, none of the others use rail but they still must export oil somehow, whether by pipeline or road tanker. I think in the general case the quantities are getting too small for general use of rail. Hubby Grove's main reason for existence nowadays is for natural gas storage, connected to the grid.

However in this particular case Modern Railways have explained that the problem is with the receiving terminal at Fawley being life expired, and uneconomical to repair for this one flow. I cannot find any reports that production at Humbly Grove is to cease, so presumably it must be going by road tanker.

I'd personally take the Echo report about oil only arriving by sea with a pinch of salt. It won't be in Fawley refinery's interest to publicise additional inbound road traffic.
 
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theironroad

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Decent report about it just now on BBC's South Today, indeed no more oil trains. There may be some future traffic for marchwood military port which is now run commercially. Some of the footage of the stations now means it would be criminal to rip it up,. maybe like the borders railway in Scotland the passenger estimates a few years ago were understated.

I'm sure they could find a way to extend some of the romsey rounders down that way.
 

pompeyfan

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Someone suggested that the block at Farnham earlier in the year led them to transport by road, and they discovered it was much easier and cheap to use road transport.

Has anyone thought about running passenger services along the route using class 230s, they could be used on the Romsey rounders too, freeing up 158s to strengthen overcrowded WoE services.
 

Muzer

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Decent report about it just now on BBC's South Today, indeed no more oil trains. There may be some future traffic for marchwood military port which is now run commercially. Some of the footage of the stations now means it would be criminal to rip it up,. maybe like the borders railway in Scotland the passenger estimates a few years ago were understated.

I'm sure they could find a way to extend some of the romsey rounders down that way.
That would be pretty bad to be honest. The Salisbury 6/Romsey Rocket/whatever is pretty well used throughout its route.

For me, the preferable solution would be a new Eastleigh to Fawley (or Hythe if Fawley station is unworkable) service, calling at all stations between Eastleigh and Hythe. This would then provide a much improved service at local stations Swaythling and St. Denys, which currently are served hourly (though St. Denys gets two trains, they depart pretty much simultaneously in the down direction so it's not all that useful). I can see a few problems with this, though:

* Platform capacity at Eastleigh. It would need to be pathed such that there could be a very rapid turnaround at Eastleigh. I'm not convinced this is possible.

* Pathing generally. Even that short section of the SWML is getting pretty busy, with more and more freight expected to use it as well as pressure from Southern to be able to run more services that way, and the possible increase in frequency of CrossCountry services. The strict pathing requirements needed to not run into capacity issues at Eastleigh would be hard to meet, I suspect.

* Available units, obviously



What is far more likely if it's ever to happen is working to what is currently Southampton Central down bay, aka platform 5. This would need to be resignalled for passenger operation, but the whole station is scheduled to be rebuilt at some point anyway.
 

theironroad

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That would be pretty bad to be honest. The Salisbury 6/Romsey Rocket/whatever is pretty well used throughout its route.

For me, the preferable solution would be a new Eastleigh to Fawley (or Hythe if Fawley station is unworkable) service, calling at all stations between Eastleigh and Hythe. This would then provide a much improved service at local stations Swaythling and St. Denys, which currently are served hourly (though St. Denys gets two trains, they depart pretty much simultaneously in the down direction so it's not all that useful). I can see a few problems with this, though:

* Platform capacity at Eastleigh. It would need to be pathed such that there could be a very rapid turnaround at Eastleigh. I'm not convinced this is possible.

* Pathing generally. Even that short section of the SWML is getting pretty busy, with more and more freight expected to use it as well as pressure from Southern to be able to run more services that way, and the possible increase in frequency of CrossCountry services. The strict pathing requirements needed to not run into capacity issues at Eastleigh would be hard to meet, I suspect.

* Available units, obviously



What is far more likely if it's ever to happen is working to what is currently Southampton Central down bay, aka platform 5. This would need to be resignalled for passenger operation, but the whole station is scheduled to be rebuilt at some point anyway.

I think you're last paragraph is a very good one, namely a Southampton bay to Fawley branch shuttle. I think Eastleigh is busy enough right now without having trains turning round there. The Waterloo to Poole stoppers could call at swaythling and St Denys both ways without extending their journey much as the up stopper sits at Eastleigh for 8 mins and the down one sits at Southampton central for c.17mins. don't think it would affect other paths too much either, especially with the newish extended up slow from the airport to Eastleigh.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Someone suggested that the block at Farnham earlier in the year led them to transport by road, and they discovered it was much easier and cheap to use road transport.

Has anyone thought about running passenger services along the route using class 230s, they could be used on the Romsey rounders too, freeing up 158s to strengthen overcrowded WoE services.

The class 230 would probably be ok run in conjunction with the other idea of running a Southampton to fawley shuttle. It seems to have a 60mph max which would be fine for that route. Could also be used on the Lymington branch.
 
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Domeyhead

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Hampshire County COuncil commissioned a report which was one of the most poorly drawn up of any that I've seen, but it suited HCC's purpose nicely and they walked away. Comparing this line with similar reopenings in smaller population centres makes a stark contrast. The Halcrow report made very overpessimistic estimates of traffic projections - it assumed trains would run at 35mph, would only run from Hythe, would be limited by freight paths (yeah? really?) and even suggested they would run through to Fareham for some reason. It seriously cited the Hythe ferry as an example of the "excellent" integrated transport already in place as cempetition to the reopening! To be frank the report was a ridiculous fudge by a disinterested council. WOuld this have happened in Wales or Scotland? I doubt it.
 

Monty

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Someone suggested that the block at Farnham earlier in the year led them to transport by road, and they discovered it was much easier and cheap to use road transport.

Has anyone thought about running passenger services along the route using class 230s, they could be used on the Romsey rounders too, freeing up 158s to strengthen overcrowded WoE services.

230s would be totally unsuitable for the 'Romsey Rounders' as the trains will need to go well above 60mph between Salisbury and Romsey. Plus there is enough slack in the DMU fleet to use if the line to Fawley was to be reopened for passenger traffic. With reinstating the Bay platform at Southampton for passenger use probably being the most realistic option.
 
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Muzer

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To be honest though, I've just started commuting from Basingstoke to London, and I think he's right that the West of England services are in dire need of strengthening. I can rarely get a seat on them in the later evening peak, when I have no problem getting a seat on any other service (around the time I tend to leave at least). They tend to have a large number of people standing until Basingstoke or even (as I've seen on a couple of occasions) beyond. I agree that the 230 is not the solution to replace them though!
 

pompeyfan

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I didn't realise the line speed was so high between Romsey and Salisbury, apologies.
 

Train wasp

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I think you're last paragraph is a very good one, namely a Southampton bay to Fawley branch shuttle. I think Eastleigh is busy enough right now without having trains turning round there.


Just shows how shortsighted BR were to remove platform 1 at Eastleigh station when they remodelled the station back in the 90s.
 

theironroad

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Just shows how shortsighted BR were to remove platform 1 at Eastleigh station when they remodelled the station back in the 90s.


Before my time......where was platform 1, and what was the current platform 1 ?
 

Train wasp

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Before my time......where was platform 1, and what was the current platform 1 ?

Eastleigh station was two island platforms before the station was rebuilt. The station forecourt/booking office was built on the former platform 1.
 
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swt_passenger

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Eastleigh station was two island platforms before the station was rebuilt. The station forecourt/booking office was built on the former platform.

Same as Brockenhurst is a good summary. You stepped out the station right at the road side, roughly where the crossing is now...
 

Train wasp

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Same as Brockenhurst is a good summary. You stepped out the station right at the road side, roughly where the crossing is now...

Talking about Brockenhurst. Is the luggage swing bridge still at Brockenhurst. From memory Eastleigh and Brockenhurst both had them. I did here some years ago. Brockenhurst was the last station to retain a luggage swing bridge on the former southern network.

Cheers
 

swt_passenger

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Couple of points. Diversion of the Romsey rounders to run the other way (via Chandlers Ford) is not considered a good idea because it slows down the service between the intermediate stations at Dean and Mottisfont to Southampton. Hants CC want Chandlers Ford to retain a through service to Southampton. Surveys showed people would not use a shuttlle to Eastleigh only - it was part of the 2007 franchise consultation.

So that leaves an independent service into Southampton P5. That the Wessex route study believes the service isn't needed and there is no new evidence to support it just caps it all...

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

Talking about Brockenhurst. Is the luggage swing bridge still at Brockenhurst. From memory Eastleigh and Brockenhurst both had them. I did here some years ago. Brockenhurst was the last station to retain a luggage swing bridge on the former southern network.

Cheers

It was still there earlier this year, but was supposed to be going to some preserved line or other...
 
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Carlisle

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Someone suggested that the block at Farnham earlier in the year led them to transport by road, and they discovered it was much easier and cheap to use road transport.
.
sounds like the Railfrght industry need to show a bit more hunger /initiative, when you consider the fairly significant amount of oil and bitumen traffic that existed in that region around 20 years ago that's now shrunk to nothing
 
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Harbornite

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Eastleigh station was two island platforms before the station was rebuilt. The station forecourt/booking office was built on the former platform 1.

I never knew that! I assumed that platform 1 was a bay platform as I'd seen a picture of it from the 1960s but I didn't know it was a through platform. Hard to imagine it was there when you look now.
 

Muzer

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It was still there earlier this year, but was supposed to be going to some preserved line or other...

Pretty sure it's gone, at least, I'd expect it to be gone since they put the new footbridge in with lifts. I'd be very surprised if it's still there.
 

Dr Hoo

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Sure I heard a rumour that the Brockenhurst luggage bridge was going to Eridge, for the Spa Valley Line.

It wouldn't be difficult to re-create a south end bay on the Up side at Eastleigh to turn back shortish trains from Southampton/Fawley/wherever (without affecting the now much more convenient new station entrance).
 

RichmondCommu

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sounds like the Railfrght industry need to show a bit more hunger /initiative, when you consider the fairly significant amount of oil and bitumen traffic that existed in that region around 20 years ago that's now shrunk to nothing

The problem is it's cheaper to move the stuff via pipelines or by ship in a lot of cases. We've also seen the closure of several refineries.
 

Carlisle

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The problem is it's cheaper to move the stuff via pipelines or by ship in a lot of cases. We've also seen the closure of several refineries.
Yes I see what you mean, plus the total demise of all remaining coal traffic in a few years time, the rail freight industry has a huge task ahead to attract new business or face the prospect of serious decline
 
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Matt Taylor

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