Mid Hants Railway- will they extend?

Discussion in 'Railtours & Preservation' started by Prairie_5542, 4 May 2015.

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  1. Prairie_5542

    Prairie_5542 Member

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    I have been reading about the Mid Hants Railway and know the line goes from Alton to New Alresford. Does anyone know if there are any plans to extend the line further? I have also been looking at Google maps and can see that most of the trackbed is still intact.

    Someone mentioned that they couldn't extend due to a motorway, but on google earth there is a bridge there.

    Your help would be most appreciated, Thanks
     
  2. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    There are no plans that I have heard of; who owns the remaining trackbed anyway? If it was sold off piecemeal that would severely complicate any thought of extending further - I'm pretty sure the Winchester end is no longer intact - built on?
     
  3. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    No. Too difficult, too expensive.
     
  4. Trainfan344

    Trainfan344 Established Member

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    Wasn't it the Mid-Hants that had a bridge replaced but they made sure it was kept as Double track for future extension to somewhere?
     
  5. Prairie_5542

    Prairie_5542 Member

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    Why? Thanks
     
  6. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    The land past alresford was sold off quite a while ago - now there is a school playing field, housing estates and the M3 in the way. It's not impossible to extend, but it would need significant amounts of money to buy the land and carry out the civil projects to get round some of the obstructions.
     
  7. Prairie_5542

    Prairie_5542 Member

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    isn't there a bridge over the M3?
     
  8. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    I'm not sure to he honest.
     
  9. Prairie_5542

    Prairie_5542 Member

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    Looking on google maps and following the course of the railway from New Alresford it looks like a standard bridge or a farmer's crossing. can't get street view to show.
     
  10. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Member

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    Ichen Abbas? If that is where your thinking of. Its the next station along after New Alresford but there is a viaduct in between that will need some attention before (if) any services run over the top.
     
  11. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    There is going to be a bridge replacement in the Butts Junction area of Alton, I think that it is the bridge over the A339 Whitedown Lane. And yes, the MHR want to make sure/have made sure that it is double track width , so as to preserve access to the Meon Valley Line. There was double track from Alton to Butts Junction, latterly worked as two single lies, one for Mid Hants and the other for Meon Valley but beyond this I'm not sure of the reason for insisting that the bridge is double track. Firstly, I can't think that there is any prospect at all of reopening the Meon Valley line, and in fact the track bed has been obliterated by the Alton By pass and the roundabout at the junction of the A31 and A32 which is only half a mile r so from the junction, and secondly, if the line were by some miracle reopened, presumably a set of points could be installed at the junction. It would be good however if the double track out of Alton was reinstated one day, and the diverging Meon Valley line could be seen by Mid Hants passengers, rather like the Mountsorrel branch on the GCR, so maybe that is what is intended.
     
  12. Chris125

    Chris125 Established Member

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    It's for access, it wasn't built to carry a railway.
     
  13. Siqulme

    Siqulme Member

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    In terms of extending the MHR the answer isnt a No buts its a pretty close. One day we might be able to extend to Itchen but that will prove very expesnive but thats pretty much as far as we can go. Extending to Winchester would require running on the South Coast Mainline which is very busy and only double track so wouldnt be room.
     
  14. Barclay

    Barclay Member

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    Could the railway join the Didcot Newbury & Southampton formation and fun into Winchester Chesil?
     
  15. Peter Mugridge

    Peter Mugridge Established Member

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    The formation has been built on at Headbourne Worthy, judging from Google Maps in satellite view and it looks like it would be an extremely sharp curve to join the formation - the old Mid Hants junction with the main line is more or less directly above where the DNS route passes under the main line, so there would be a somewhat interesting gradient as well.

    Between Headbourne Worthy and Winnal it looks as if the A34 has used the DNS formation which might make it a bit difficult to create a new route on a gentler curve from Martyr Worthy to Winnal, notwithstanding that the M3 is on the same level in this area as well.

    So I am inclined to agree with Siqulme that Itchen Abbas looks like the limit of practical extension - unless someone wins a maximum rollover on the Euromillions and donates the lot to the Mid Hants...
     
  16. CatfordCat

    CatfordCat Member

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    I'm an (armchair) member of the mid hants, and don't think i've heard any serious proposals to extend further.

    Against the 'wouldn't be nice if' argument, I can see a lot of reasons for sticking with what they have - quite apart from the capital cost of an extension, an extended railway would require more volunteers, stock and locos (and therefore more maintenance of these and track / signalling) to run an service with similar headway to what currently runs.

    I also am not at all convinced that the average visitor would be willing to pay proportionately more for the longer ride (on which diminishing returns would set in especially with young children)
     
  17. duffield

    duffield Member

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    I'd be more inclined to visit if it went as far as Itchen Abbas. (I will probably visit at some point regardless though, it's just that longer lines tend to get precedence). And I would pay more (£20 would be OK).
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2015
  18. Monty

    Monty Established Member

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    Short? It's 10 miles long so it's not that short.. What the MHR nearly need to do is come up with a solution for keeping their locos and carriages safe from the elements.
     
  19. 341o2

    341o2 Member

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    and the site of Itchen Abbas station has been developed.
     
  20. paul1609

    paul1609 Established Member

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    I'm not really familiar with the area but it appears from Google Maps that the formation in Alresford West of the station has houses built on it?
     
  21. Train wasp

    Train wasp Member

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    There's no way the MHR will ever get back to Winchester. The track bed between the playing field and the New Farm road bridge has now been developed in to a small housing estate. Then just east of Itchen Abbas station the track bed now has another small housing development on it. Add to that the M3 is in the way and then after all that there isn't any spaces at Winchester station to put a platform in for MHR services to run in.
     
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