LM Snow Hill Lines - Electrification needed?

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Trainfan344, 23 May 2015.

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  1. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    Has it ever been proposed in any of the electrification documents to electrify the Snow Hill Lines? Considering that once N2C and EWR are done they will be the last bit of the LM network electrified. (IIRC)
     
  2. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Certainly has, the 2009 Electrification RUS has this:

    Looks very much as though they'd consider doing it with Chiltern, as I think would be expected.
     
  3. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    CP6 more than likely.
     
  4. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    There's still Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury, and everything via Worcester to Hereford.
    But no, nobody has proposed doing the Snow Hill lines (apart from the NR "do everything" RUS).
    They only recently got new 172s, as the last pre-electrification diesel order.
    Something for CP7 perhaps (after 2024).
    The XC routes might be earlier.
     
  5. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    Definitely low down on the list I'd have thought, given the new class 172s.
     
  6. TomJ93

    TomJ93 Member

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    Surely doing chiltern and snow hill lines would be a quick and easy way to free up DMUs for the North?
     
  7. Rapidash

    Rapidash Member

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    Won't the XC New Street services towards Brizzle/Plymouth be higher up the agenda?
     
  8. 40129

    40129 Member

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    Sounds attractive in theory and if done would make sense if it were done at the same time as Chiltern.

    Two questions:

    1) How much work would be required to gain sufficient clearance through the tunnel between Moor Street and Snow Hill?

    2) Would it really be feasible to electrify through to Hereford without massive expense given how small the tunnels through the Malvern Hills are?
     
  9. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    I doubt any electrification would include Worcester-Hereford unless the Cotswold line was being done as well. Any Birmingham trains using this section could remain as diesels or perhaps bi-modes.
     
  10. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    That's all muddled up with Electric Spine.
    The proposed spine work is s upposed to do Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington-Banbury-Oxford.
    You could then add in Chiltern to the south and Snow Hill to the north.
    But electric spine hasn't got off the ground yet.
    There aren't any quick and easy electrification projects.
    All those routes are infested with original round-arch bridges which will need replacing, as on the GW Bristol route.

    At the northern end, apart from the costs through Snow Hill, there is the vexed question of how far you go beyond.
    Kidderminster, fine; Worcester possibly (taking in Bromsgrove-Droitwich).
    But you wouldn't easily build a case for Worcester-Hereford.

    The chances are the north will have enough DMUs from other sources before Snow Hill could be wired.
    Chiltern local electrification would depend on the attitude of the incoming franchisee after 2021, and there are also the complications of interworking with LU (Met) on the Aylesbury line.
     
  11. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Birmingham-Worcester and Hereford electrification is definitely being looked at as part of a broader programme to eliminate as much diesel working in the West Midlands region as possible - and quite separately from the Cotswold Line, though that would be an obvious and pretty straightforward add-on to such a project, given the impending arrival of wires at Oxford and the relative simplicity of the track layout between Oxford and Worcester.

    But the hourly Hereford service is the core of the Birmingham-Worcester fast service anyway. Add in the Snow Hill services that go up to Malvern as well and once you've got that far you might as well go on to Hereford on what is a pretty basic track layout, so long as they can squeeze some overhead conductor rail into the tunnels. I can't see a micro-fleet of retained diesel units or specially-built bi-modes for Hereford services making sense if the aim is - and it appears to be - to get Birmingham as near to an an all-electric passenger railway as possible. And while the North may soon be getting a dollop of new trains and presumably FGW's cast-off 150/1s and 153s, those can realistically only go on until the mid-2020s, by which time 170s and 172s freed from the Midlands would probably be very welcome. And a decade's time seem to me like the time when a big West Midlands wiring programme would happen anyway, probably in conjunction with the Chiltern route.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  12. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Indeed.

    Thinking about this in the past in the context of Crossrail extensions, I concluded that you could justify OOC to High Wycombe as a phase 1, to Oxford/EWR and Aylesbury/EWR via HW as a phase 2, and Bicester to King's Sutton/Banbury + Northolt to Marylebone as a phase 3. That sidesteps the thorny issue of interworking with the Met for as long as possible.

    Once you have the southern section covered by the above, the central section covered by the electric spine, then it's just the northern section Leamington to Moor Street you need to think about before the whole Chiltern mainline operation could go electric.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  13. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Quite possibly, but that's pretty much a separate issue to the original question.
     
  14. Class 172 Fan

    Class 172 Fan Member

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    Couldn't they move the Aylesbury via Harrow on the Hill services to London Underground operation and the Aylesbury via High Wycombe services be operated by AC/battery EMUs, electrify Snow Hill to Shrub Hill/Foregate Street along with Bromsgrove to Great Malvern then transfer the Hereford services from Worcester to GW franchise? No need for any 17x traction in London Midland then and solves the Chiltern problem.

    Allocate Class 91s and MK4s to Chiltern for Birmingham to London, meaning the 16x traction can leave for Up North
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  15. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    Not really. a) No capacity at Baker Street or on the Circle. b) No 4th rail electrification.

    Any service between Aylesbury and HotH really needs to go to Marylebone unless you divest the Met of either Uxbridge or Watford and replace it with 4th rail to Aylesbury.

    Far more likely is the Met losing the fast lines completely - then you can have OHLE all the way from Aylesbury to Neasden Junction on the "fast" lines, but you need capacity at Marylebone for the Harrow-Rickmansworth-Amersham/Chesham-Aylesbury services. Which it doesn't have.

    ...which is actually how I originally started thinking about Crossrail taking the suburban services via High Wycombe away from Marylebone, to free up capacity for more NR services via HotH, and solving the electrification issues as well. (Not to mention, handing over the infrastructure to NR might get some speed and platform improvements above what TfL need for the S8 stock!)
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  16. 40129

    40129 Member

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    I would imagine passengers west of Great Malvern wouldn't be too happy at losing their direct link to Birmingham.

    Regarding cl-91s and mk-4s the only problems are that they are significantly older than the cl-16x and would lead to increased dwell times due to having end doors only.

    To eliminate cl-17x traction from LM you would also need to electrify Wolverhampton-Shrewsbury (good idea) or transfer its local services to ATW (bad idea)
     
  17. Class 170101

    Class 170101 Established Member

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    Historically Crossrail was originally going to Aylesbury via Harrow on the Hill replacing Chiltern services.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Why not just have dual voltage stock using the 3rd / 4th Rail between Marylebone and Aylesbury via Harrow (extended 3rd Rail from Amersham) and the same stock using OLE on other Chiletrn routes.
     
  18. Class 172 Fan

    Class 172 Fan Member

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    On the other hand, I dread to think how much it would be to electrify the Ledbury Tunnel - that's why I suggested terminated LM services at GMV as the ex BHM services could interwork with BSW services via WOF.

    WSH would get a hourly BSW service and WOF would run at the alternate half hour, with all LMs serving GMV from WOF.

    CR already operate MK3s on their services so MK4s would be very little difference to those trips. Maybe some Desiros/379s could be used on the xx15 ex BMO with the xx55 getting 91s (the xx35 trips being transferred to LM)

    WVH - SHR services would be merged by extending alternate existing 2Ws service after electrifying that line (thus saving 1 path a hour on Stour Valley - Maybe introduce a electric WSH - BMO via Smethwick West?)

    Also possibility in reinstating the line through Dudley and electrifying it, running a BHM - DUD - SBJ - WOF/WSH service?
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  19. swtandgw

    swtandgw Member

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    That shouldn't be too much of a problem seeing as it's partially electrified towards the Oxley TRSMD. All it'll probably take is for the single wire OHLE to be changed to the standard type and then extended further, taking into account the obvious associated work required. Given that, I reckon there is a good BCR that would build a good case for electrifying the section, more so now that direct services to London have been resurrected.
     
  20. Bevan Price

    Bevan Price Established Member

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    I have seen it suggested elsewhere that most Hereford - Birmingham passengers may have to change at Bromsgrove, once the new Bromsgrove station is built & electrified......
     
  21. SemaphoreSam

    SemaphoreSam Member

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    Does running diesel (or steam, for that matter) do damage to the overhead wires and supports of electrical lines? I would think that running heavy diesel units would have an effect...but I don't know. Any info would be appreciated. Sam
     
  22. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    That has actually cropped up in discussion before. :)

    It's one option, certainly. Given how little use the fast lines currently get however, and TfL's disinterest in upgrading the infrastructure above what they need, I suspect the better option is to hand them over to NR though so we stand a chance of 8-car platforms and 95mph running to get services comparable to those enjoyed on the WCML Tring stoppers.

    I don't think you'd be allowed to extend the 4th rail to Aylesbury though - it's a surprising distance through some quite rural countryside (one of the reasons it wasn't done originally in the 60's when the 4th rail was extended from Rickmansworth), and the frequent substations wouldn't go down too well I suspect. Let alone the additional fencing et al that would probably be required.

    IMHO, it makes more sense to rip up the 4th rail north of Rickmansworth and operate a Chesham to Watford service using some dual voltage stock (changeover at Rickmansworth, and retains access to sidings), with Chiltern running on OHLE from Aylesbury to Marylebone. Your dual-electrified section is then just Rickmansworth to (Watford) North Junction. Even that could be eliminated by rebuilding Rickmansworth as was originally planned - the Met could terminate in the northern 4th rail roads and Chiltern could run through in the OHLE southern roads:

    [​IMG]

    ...a Chesham-Watford service was probably not viable when these works were planned due to Watford Met's remote location, but the Croxley Rail Link is a game-changer, IMHO, and serving Chesham this way frees up paths again for more Met services.
     
    Last edited: 24 May 2015
  23. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Eh? How is that going to work?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    You would be surprised, it isn't all that.
     
  24. 40129

    40129 Member

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    I was under the impression that the electric service to Bromsgrove would be an extension of the Cross City line from Longbridge. If that is the case then terminating trains from Hereford at Bromsgrove instead of New Street would extend journey times considerably
     
  25. Old Hill Bank

    Old Hill Bank Member

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    NR are planning "Life Extension" work in the Worcester area which suggests to me no major infrastructure enhancements for some time.
     
  26. D365

    D365 Established Member

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    I do still wonder if an Aylesbury branch will be on the cards if frequency on the Crossrail core is to be stepped up to 30-32tph. Although I understand that lengthening the rolling stock will be a first priority, I imagine this addition, if considered once more, will depend on what demand the GWML (and WCML) will 'spark' in the foreseeable future.
     
  27. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Doubtful considering Crossrail want to send a load up the WCML to Tring.
     
  28. mr_jrt

    mr_jrt Member

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    I still think the WCML option is fairly pointless, but at least it gets the junctions built. There is no growth possible on that route as the trains are already 12 car electrics with decent frequencies on a congested line.

    The Chiltern main line on the other hand has a lot of growth potential. Aylesbury would indeed be useful, but is even more of a dogleg diversion up the Dudding Hill route (or a long tunnel!) to get to Neasden.

    You could easily soak up the needed Crossrail core capacity by running inner services from High Wycombe (23 mins)/Princes Risborough (32 mins) (i.e. Maidenhead (40 mins)), and outers from Bicester (44 mins)/Oxford (66 mins) (i.e. Reading (50 mins)), and don't forget - those times are with the current diesels on a stopping service, they would be less with electrics.

    Sticking those lines on Crossrail gives a viable justification for wiring them up, releases extremely valuable capacity at Marylebone for more HotH and mainline services, provides much increased passenger capacity (10 cars up from the 3/4 car trains currently used), and the improved acceleration means you'll fit more services down that section of line.

    Versus some relief on the Underground interchanges and possibly freeing up a surface platform or two at Euston for the WCML option. :/ No-brainer to me.
     
  29. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Tfl don't agree with you though, they want it to the WCML as the alleviation to Euston and the Underground is more than you think. Crossrail is not a long distance service and Tfl didn't really want it to go as far as Reading regardless of it being an obvious place to go, so expecting it to Bicester and Oxford is not going to happen.
     
  30. Wolfie

    Wolfie Established Member

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    Incorrect. What about Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury....
     
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