Most effort/work spent on a railway project that ultimately never happened?

alexl92

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I was thinking about Grand Central's proposed Blackpool services, and the time, money and effort that went into the Class 90s & MKIV sets and driver training before the project was cancelled.

Have there been many instances like this where a project has got this far before being cancelled? I know the Eurostar/Nightstar proposal got as far as a few coaches being built and the 37s having the cast rings fitted. Is this common?
 
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Ianno87

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Regional Eurostar has the full fleet of trains constructed, depot at Longsight, and had extensive test running in the late 1990s.
 

65477

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Although not a single project.,.

Every bid for a franchise costs a significant amount. This cost of failed bids has to be absorbed elsewhere. Over 30 years this must add up.
 

Julia

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The Bushey extension of the Northern Line? Lots of money spent on land acquisition, earthworks, and the depot at Aldenham - all now gone.
 

CBlue

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Class 442 retraction project. Lots of money spent for no gain, with the rolling stock now due to be scrapped.
 

The exile

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I was thinking about Grand Central's proposed Blackpool services, and the time, money and effort that went into the Class 90s & MKIV sets and driver training before the project was cancelled.

Have there been many instances like this where a project has got this far before being cancelled? I know the Eurostar/Nightstar proposal got as far as a few coaches being built and the 37s having the cast rings fitted. Is this common?
Both the APT and Nightstar ( or whatever the Channel Tunnel night trains were going to be called) must be in with a shout, I would have thought.
 

65477

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The Bushey extension of the Northern Line? Lots of money spent on land acquisition, earthworks, and the depot at Aldenham - all now gone.
Although not a railway benefit some costs recovered through aircraft manufacturing in WW2 and reduced costs of bus maintenance over many years
 

Carlisle

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The Croxley rail link seems to have been approved then postponed continually, wonder how much has actually been spent ?
 

Bletchleyite

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APT is probably the classic, though some elements of that did carry forward, and in the end we bought the tech back in the form of the Pendolino. Perhaps ironic that it's likely to disappear again at some point.

Going back in time a bit - Northern Heights, the aborted (due to World War II) extension of the Northern Line? A very large proportion of the infrastructure was built and is still there.

If we're allowed non-UK, there is an abandoned metro extension in Charleroi that was built in full but never opened.
 

Melancholia

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I will throw the Glasgow Airport Rail Link into the hat. Lots of money has been spent (part of the Class 380 EMU order was to supply trains for the GARL, but Scotrail found a use for them elsewhere, resignalling, OHLE works, junction remodelling, Platform 12 at Glasgow Central), yet in the end the project never happened. It might in the future, but we'll see.
 

CEN60

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Regional Eurostar has the full fleet of trains constructed, depot at Longsight, and had extensive test running in the late 1990s.
They even built a waiting room at Glasgow Central for it (that has now been removed) - not to mention countless station cope alterations all the way to Glasgow!
 

Bald Rick

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The Croxley rail link seems to have been approved then postponed continually, wonder how much has actually been spent ?

About £130m. Although it was never actually approved for construction. Otherwise it would have happened.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Stockport remodelling and resignalling during WCRM (although Manchester South was allegedly a local not a WCRM project).
Passed through several stages over a number of years, but all had to be taken out with reversion to the old layout.
The "Stockport 5" mechanical boxes are still there, after 120 years or so.
Meanwhile the supplier of the failed signalling kit, Ansaldo (now Hitachi), continues to win major NR signalling projects.

Under the 1955 modernisation plan, you could put up:
- the whole diesel-hydraulic saga (and a good many failed diesel-electric types too).
- new 1960s marshalling yards
- Bletchley flyover (still costing money to reconstruct for EWR)

APT has been mentioned, but there was some positive fallout in terms of IC225 and eventual tilting 390s.
Regional/Night Eurostar are up there too, but I think the DfT funded all that rather than the railway.
You can add most of the class 92 fleet too.
The NLL and Redhill-Tonbridge lines were (re-) electrified on the strength of non-existent channel tunnel traffic.
Waterloo International and North Pole depot have only recently been re-purposed after the move to St Pancras.
Some of the connections expensively built for Waterloo traffic remain unused/dismantled.

I'm still to be convinced about ECML grade separation for freight traffic (eg at Shaftholme).
We'll have to see if the Werrington dive-under has any purpose in the future.
It all looks a bit different today to how it looked 5 years ago.
 

Steve Harris

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Have there been many instances like this where a project has got this far before being cancelled? I know the Eurostar/Nightstar proposal got as far as a few coaches being built and the 37s having the cast rings fitted. Is this common?
A few ? That's an understatement if ever I heard one, lol.
I can certainly remember rakes and rakes of Nighstar stock stored at M.O.D. Kineton awaiting their fate. IIRC some weren't kitted out internally (with seats etc), as they had realised by this point the Nighstar/Regional Eurostar project was a dead donkey !

If you count Nighstar/Regional Eurostar as one, I would say it must be at the top of the list (or very very close to).
 

CEN60

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A few ? That's an understatement if ever I heard one, lol.
I can certainly remember rakes and rakes of Nighstar stock stored at M.O.D. Kineton awaiting their fate. IIRC some weren't kitted out internally (with seats etc), as they had realised by this point the Nighstar/Regional Eurostar project was a dead donkey !

If you count Nighstar/Regional Eurostar as one, I would say it must be at the top of the list (or very very close to).

Wiki says some were sold to Canada - but we know how accurate wiki is!!!! Don't know if anyone can confirm
 

DelW

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Class 442 retraction project. Lots of money spent for no gain, with the rolling stock now due to be scrapped.
Not just the retractioning (which AFAIK was only part completed), but also the internal refurb and external new livery, which were done to all 18 units. Ironically the 442s are the only SWR fleet entirely in their new livery.
 

WesternLancer

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Wiki says some were sold to Canada - but we know how accurate wiki is!!!! Don't know if anyone can confirm
extensive pics here and a video

The Park Car - stainless steel dome carriage - excepted, I recall the whole train is made up of carriages built for the channel tunnel night trains - seated and sleeper carriages. Very comfortable I recall from using them. Other VIA Rail trains use this stock too.

I suspect the UK gov did not get their money back by selling them to VIA however, even though some were not completed at the time of sale as mentioned above.
 

MadMac

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Singling of Kilmarnock-Annan. Got as far as cable being laid and relay rooms being built. The contractor realised that they had hopelessly underbid it and asked to be released just as BR (ScR) was realising what a mistake they’d made, so a win-win!
 

Steve Harris

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extensive pics here and a video


I suspect the UK gov did not get their money back by selling them to VIA however, even though some were not completed at the time of sale as mentioned above.
That's exactly what I was thinking. The government would of only got a % back of the build and design costs etc.
 

A0wen

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The Bushey extension of the Northern Line? Lots of money spent on land acquisition, earthworks, and the depot at Aldenham - all now gone.
The whole of the Northern Heights project (of which Bushey was a part) was written off.

Earthworks between Drayton Pk and Finsbury Pk, the extension of FP station, the start of electrification of the Alexandra Palace branch, Finchley HL station, the earthworks at Brockley Hill, the list goes on..
 

aoin

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The Croxley rail link seems to have been approved then postponed continually, wonder how much has actually been spent ?
That was going to be my nomination.

Watford had everything promised.. And then it all disappeared with a puff of smoke.
 

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