Positive discussion regarding stations that are proposed for reopening

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IanXC

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This thread is intended to be an opportunity for positive only comments, links and thoughts around reopenings in England to be posted.

As far as I am aware the following projects have made it to a reasonable stage in their process to mean we can reasonably expect some progress to be made in the coming months or years:

Northumberland
Portishead
Okehampton
Walsall-Wolverhampton
Camp Hill
Barking Riverside
East West
Henbury
Wisbeach
Isle of Grain

Maybe things aren't as bad as we thought?
 
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willgreen

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This thread is intended to be an opportunity for positive only comments, links and thoughts around reopenings in England to be posted.

As far as I am aware the following projects have made it to a reasonable stage in their process to mean we can reasonably expect some progress to be made in the coming months or years:

Northumberland
Portishead
Ikehampton
Walsall-Wolverhampton
Camp Hill
Barking Riverside
East West
Henbury
Wisbeach
Isle of Grain

Maybe things aren't as bad as we thought?
Minor point of pedantry: Barking Riverside isn't a reopening but a completely new bit of line (which is in some ways more 'exciting').
 

Irascible

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I'd say Okehampton is in the final stages, in fact - initial service starting fairly soon ( in rail project terms).

Is Portishead greenlit? I lost track, last I checked it wasn't guaranteed to be happening but that was some time ago. Prospects were good tho.
 

yorksrob

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I think that things are certainly the best they've been for twenty - thirty years in terms of rail expansion.

Fingers crossed the COVID headwinds don't blow it off course.
 

Brissle Girl

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I'd say Okehampton is in the final stages, in fact - initial service starting fairly soon ( in rail project terms).

Is Portishead greenlit? I lost track, last I checked it wasn't guaranteed to be happening but that was some time ago. Prospects were good tho.
It is currently grinding its way through the Development Consent Order process. Assuming that is passed, the signs appear fairly positive at the moment as I believe funding is in place.
 

Brush 4

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Not sure where the Henbury one is. Bristol I assume..... if we are sticking to definite openings, I wasn't aware that Wisbech had been approved, still a proposal I think.
 
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steamybrian

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I have not seen much information of opening to line to Grain. It has been talked about for years.
Also March- Wisbech there is little progress.

Totton- Fawley line has seen a lot of campaigning and a recent test run down the branch.
 

zwk500

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I have not seen much information of opening to line to Grain. It has been talked about for years.
It (Sharnal Street station, the line is of course still open for freight) is definitely moving forward, although I suspect a decision on actually building it is still a reasonable amount of time away.
 

LancasterRed

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Lea Road reopening as Cottam Parkway is heartening. While the link road will need to be built first, it has been confirmed by on-site signage that works are underway.
 

Bald Rick

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In the spirit of being positive, I would add the Fawley branch - which can be done relatively quickly and has a great case (and delete Wisbech, which doesn’t)

Also, funding for Walsall - Wolves was formally announced yesterday.
 

61653 HTAFC

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I'd say Okehampton is in the final stages, in fact - initial service starting fairly soon ( in rail project terms).

Is Portishead greenlit? I lost track, last I checked it wasn't guaranteed to be happening but that was some time ago. Prospects were good tho.
Portishead feels like it's been on the drawing board for at least a decade... it does seem to be progressing albeit at glacial pace. Okehampton has rather stolen a march on it in terms of the speed it's progressed from plans on paper to shovels in the ground.
 

Brissle Girl

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Not sure where the Henbury one is. Bristol I assume..... if we are sticking to definite openings, I wasn't aware that Wisbech had been approved, still a proposal I think.
Yes (although pedantically I believe the railway is the dividing line between the city and South Gloucestershire). It’s on the existing freight line that links the diamond complex north of Filton Abbey Wood with Avonmouth.

I’d also agree that the original list was of schemes which are pretty much guaranteed to be going ahead, whereas a few listed since still have some uncertainty attached to them. So for the uninformed reader, it may be helpful to be very clear as to how firmly developed (and funded) a proposal is.

Portishead feels like it's been on the drawing board for at least a decade... it does seem to be progressing albeit at glacial pace. Okehampton has rather stolen a march on it in terms of the speed it's progressed from plans on paper to shovels in the ground.
I’d agree on both points. The difference of course is that Okehampton is already an operational railway, and indeed has had Sunday passenger services for over 20 years.

Portishead involves relaying track, a development consent order, and north of £100m, so the two are not really comparable.

I know which will have more traffic once open though.
 

Irascible

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Portishead feels like it's been on the drawing board for at least a decade... it does seem to be progressing albeit at glacial pace. Okehampton has rather stolen a march on it in terms of the speed it's progressed from plans on paper to shovels in the ground.
I agree, it's taken an absurd length of time ( talking as someone who remembers the GWR 150 service up there ). Okehampton however has also taken a long time, DCC have been trying to get it reopened ( and running their sunday service - which is an interesting quirk of privatisation, hiring a TOC to run a public service over both NR and a private railway ) since the 90s in a more serious way, and pretty much ever since it closed in a "well let's keep trying, you never know" way. The plans were part of the Devon Metro (2011-ish) project which is also progressing glacially but apparently positively ( to keep the thread positive! ). Is it the first private railway to revert back to national ownership?

I can't remember if Portbury used to deal in coal imports? if so, the death of those can only help the prospects for the passenger service.
 

Brissle Girl

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I agree, it's taken an absurd length of time ( talking as someone who remembers the GWR 150 service up there ). Okehampton however has also taken a long time, DCC have been trying to get it reopened ( and running their sunday service - which is an interesting quirk of privatisation, hiring a TOC to run a public service over both NR and a private railway ) since the 90s in a more serious way, and pretty much ever since it closed in a "well let's keep trying, you never know" way. The plans were part of the Devon Metro (2011-ish) project which is also progressing glacially but apparently positively ( to keep the thread positive! ). Is it the first private railway to revert back to national ownership?

I can't remember if Portbury used to deal in coal imports? if so, the death of those can only help the prospects for the passenger service.
There are still imported car trains and a very recent new flow of aggregate traffic, so the branch is by no means unused.

Besides, all the work needed on the existing branch to accommodate the passenger service is already set in stone as part of the DCO scheme, so there are no savings to be made from that angle unfortunately.

I also recall that as the port paid for the work to reinstate the branch line 20 years ago it has a long term guarantee of paths on the line. I would imagine it would not wish to cede or diminish these rights given the importance of the branch to the port.
 

rf_ioliver

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Portishead feels like it's been on the drawing board for at least a decade... it does seem to be progressing albeit at glacial pace. Okehampton has rather stolen a march on it in terms of the speed it's progressed from plans on paper to shovels in the ground.
At least 25 years. I remember the Portishead reopening to be done "real soon now", and that was 1998 with openening by 2000/2001
 

A0wen

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Soham seems ridiculously expensive for what it is.

Well it's coming in at £ 18m - Corby (which was also a single platform station) was over £ 8m back in 2008, so about £ 11m now. I can only assume there are some other costs associated with Soham that didn't exist for Corby ?

Bow Street more recently came in a £ 8m - so there must be something different at Soham which is contributing to costs which weren't present there.

I think that things are certainly the best they've been for twenty - thirty years in terms of rail expansion.

Fingers crossed the COVID headwinds don't blow it off course.

Depends on how you're measuring things.

If you go back 30 years, you're back to 1991.

In the intervening 20 years there was Evergreen on the Chiltern line which was re-doubled a significant distance and introduced alot of new services to Birmingham. HS1 opened in 2003 and 2007 and transformed commuting in the Kent area.

The East London Line re-opened in 2010, extended from its 'stub' as an Underground line.

So I think in terms of mileage increase the above probably outweighs what's being listed above.
 
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yorksrob

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Depends on how you're measuring things.

If you go back 30 years, you're back to 1991.

In the intervening 20 years there was Evergreen on the Chiltern line which was re-doubled a significant distance and introduced alot of new services to Birmingham. HS1 opened in 2003 and 2007 and transformed commuting in the Kent area.

The East London Line re-opened in 2010, extended from its 'stub' as an Underground line.

So I think in terms of mileage increase the above probably outweighs what's being listed above.

Those achievements are certainly notable achievements, however with the exception of the re-instated part of the North London Line between the ELL and Dalston, most of those improvements were to places that were already served by rail, so I wouldn't consider them to be "reopening".
 

Bald Rick

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Those achievements are certainly notable achievements, however with the exception of the re-instated part of the North London Line between the ELL and Dalston, most of those improvements were to places that were already served by rail, so I wouldn't consider them to be "reopening".

How about the Robin Hood Line, the Jewellery Line, and countless new stations in the period, none of which were served by rail?
 

yorksrob

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How about the Robin Hood Line, the Jewellery Line, and countless new stations in the period, none of which were served by rail?

The Robin Hood line was largely 30 - 20 years ago, so I stand by my observation that things are looking better than at any time for the last 20 - 30 years.
 

A0wen

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Those achievements are certainly notable achievements, however with the exception of the re-instated part of the North London Line between the ELL and Dalston, most of those improvements were to places that were already served by rail, so I wouldn't consider them to be "reopening".

You could make the same point about most of the re-openings above as well.

EWR is putting in a link between Bicester and Bletchley but only one new station at Winslow.

Barking already has at least one station in its area.

Walsall - Wolverhampton is only about 6 miles, so at the most nowhere on that line is more than 3 miles from a station - which is a similar distance that most of the housing areas in Hemel Hempstead are from Hemel station.

I think you're (not for the first time) being deliberately obtuse.
 

yorksrob

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You could make the same point about most of the re-openings above as well.

EWR is putting in a link between Bicester and Bletchley but only one new station at Winslow.

Barking already has at least one station in its area.

Walsall - Wolverhampton is only about 6 miles, so at the most nowhere on that line is more than 3 miles from a station - which is a similar distance that most of the housing areas in Hemel Hempstead are from Hemel station.

I think you're (not for the first time) being deliberately obtuse.

Well, it's not for me to judge on how obtuse I may appear !

Nevertheless, I think that over the years I've consistently argued for reopening schemes that either bring places back onto the network that were left isolated by closure, or fill missing links that prevent the train being used for certain would-be direct journeys (e.g. Wealden).
 

Brissle Girl

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What happened to the positive only comments the OP asked for?

The OP related to reopened lines, and in that context, (rather than stations, distance from stations, redoublings etc), the current pipeline quoted of schemes in progress or highly likely to go ahead does seem to be the biggest it has been in England for at least the last 30 years, and possibly beyond.
 

A0wen

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What happened to the positive only comments the OP asked for?

The OP related to reopened lines, and in that context, (rather than stations, distance from stations, redoublings etc), the current pipeline quoted of schemes in progress or highly likely to go ahead does seem to be the biggest it has been in England for at least the last 30 years, and possibly beyond.

Surely it depends how you measure it ? You could measure it by a pipeline of schemes (as you have done), you could measure it by number of services / route miles available, you could measure it by number of stations being opened. Without defining your metrics it's impossible to say whether it's 'the biggest it has been' in 30 years.
 

Annetts key

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On Portishead, I’ve recently seen some plans for the electrical distribution feed for the Portishead end.
On the subject of coal trains, there are two possible flows. Either via the Portbury/Portishead line, or via the bulk handling terminal at Avonmouth. But in recent years, the only power station that they did supply regularly was Aberthaw B, which has now closed.

On Henbury, although this is on a currently open and operational freight line, most (but not all) of the signalling is to the level required for passenger trains, and the small sections that is not would not require much work. However, due to how they want terminate and turn back trains, this requires more work than you would expect.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Minor point of pedantry: Barking Riverside isn't a reopening but a completely new bit of line (which is in some ways more 'exciting').

Maybe we could title the thread to cover all new passenger lines, not just re-openings to allow Barking Riverside to be there. Besides, there is a minor little new line being built between London and Birmingham which is probably not very important in the big scheme of things but would make the list look even more impressive if it was added ;)

(Edit: Oh... and a new branch line across London)

This thread is intended to be an opportunity for positive only comments, links and thoughts around reopenings in England to be posted.

As far as I am aware the following projects have made it to a reasonable stage in their process to mean we can reasonably expect some progress to be made in the coming months or years:

Northumberland
Portishead
Okehampton
Walsall-Wolverhampton
Camp Hill
Barking Riverside
East West
Henbury
Wisbeach
Isle of Grain

Maybe things aren't as bad as we thought?

It is actually quite nice to see the list in one place - a reminder that lots of things are happening in England (and I suspect there'll be a couple more in a year or so's time once the business cases have been made for the shortlisted projects in the Restoring your Railways fund.

As others have remarked, I'm pretty sure Wisbech and Isle of Grain shouldn't be there though.
 
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