Re-Opening Curves to Create New Travel Opportunities

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Mutant Lemming

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The Todmorden Curve thread has me thinking how many other short curves could give real value in terms of opening up new service possibilities.

The Tottenham curve (East side) being re-instated could allow a Stansted Airport-St.Pancras service for one.
 
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Ivo

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Burscough would be an obvious one. I know there was a proposal to reinstate the Curves under Merseyrail, but I don't know what happened to it.
 

DXMachina

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Watford North Curve between the Watford branch / future Croxley Rail Link and the Met/GC Joint towards Amersham

Not technically closed, trains sometimes run Watford-Rickmansworth (maybe one a day, first thing? plus steam charters) - but it could be used to let Chiltern Railways reach Watford from Aylesbury, paths and clearance permitting
 

Eagle

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The curve that allows trains to go from Leicester to the Coalville/Burton line is an obvious one. The nonexistence of this curve is pretty much the only reason there is no passenger service on this line.
 

tbtc

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A western chord allowing trains to run between Sheffield/Barnsley/Darton and Mirfield/Huddersfield/Halifax (near junction 37 of the M1) - it used to exist, and it'd allow fast(ish) services from East Midlands/Sheffield to Huddersfield/Bradford which would take pressure off Leeds (and Wakefield).
 

YorkshireBear

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A western chord allowing trains to run between Sheffield/Barnsley/Darton and Mirfield/Huddersfield/Halifax (near junction 37 of the M1) - it used to exist, and it'd allow fast(ish) services from East Midlands/Sheffield to Huddersfield/Bradford which would take pressure off Leeds (and Wakefield).

Can you give me a google maps for this im rather interested.
 

AndyLandy

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I'm surprised the Halton Curve hasn't been suggested yet. Seems a Chester-Liverpool via Runcorn service would be popular with some folks.

(Of course, the curve is still open in one direction for a weekly parly train)
 

Yew

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Maybe a curve between the Tuxford-Shirebrook line and the ECML could allow faster EMT services to leeds? I imagine the problem would be the bottleneck where the RHL runs next to the nottingham tram system
 

tbtc

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A western chord allowing trains to run between Sheffield/Barnsley/Darton and Mirfield/Huddersfield/Halifax (near junction 37 of the M1) - it used to exist, and it'd allow fast(ish) services from East Midlands/Sheffield to Huddersfield/Bradford which would take pressure off Leeds (and Wakefield).

Can you give me a google maps for this im rather interested.

Hopefully this will work: https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=wa...West+Yorkshire,+United+Kingdom&gl=uk&t=h&z=14
 
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YorkshireBear

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Junction 39 you mean ;) that makes more sense now. And i would support that fully.

I couldn't think where it would be at jnc 37.
 

tbtc

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Junction 39 you mean ;) that makes more sense now. And i would support that fully.

I couldn't think where it would be at jnc 37.

Ah, sorry :oops:

Given the success of the Nottingham - Leeds services, a (reo-opened) chord here might encourage similar routes, like extending some EMT St Pancras services to Huddersfield/Bradford (thus linking Leicester/ Derby/ Sheffield to Huddersfield/ Halifax/ Bradford without the need to go into Leeds and out again).

Was there ever a chord from the Nottingham - Lincoln line to the northern ECML? Allowing services to run Nottingham - Newark Castle - Retford - Doncaster might be a faster route for XC services between Birmingham and Newcastle?
 

exile

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The CLC and West Coast lines in Warrington used to have freight-only connections. It would be useful to redirect Liverpool and Manchester local trains into a junction with the WCML at Froghall Lane assuming that Trans Pennine services will be using the Chat Moss route. Knock down Iceland and Aldi and build a new station!
 

bangor-toad

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Ah, sorry :oops:

Was there ever a chord from the Nottingham - Lincoln line to the northern ECML? Allowing services to run Nottingham - Newark Castle - Retford - Doncaster might be a faster route for XC services between Birmingham and Newcastle?

Hi there,
No I'm afraid. At Newark there appears to be evidence of a east to south chord but I don't know anything about it. An east to north chord would be really quite challenging given the rivers and existing viaducts to build - even as flat junction, let alone a flying one.

If you want old chords/routes onto the ECML, there are two options - sadly neither feature in the "sane idea" category :D

The first is there was a link onto the northbound ECML just south of Newark from the old Melton Mowbray - Newark line. This would mean rebuilding the Bottesford junction on the Nottingham-Grantham line and an awful lot of reinstatement. I shudder at the business plan for that one!

The other is a long disused chord at Tuxford. This would link east to north from the NR test track. Whilst it would be a short chord to put in, the test track doesn't really go anywhere useful and it'd take much, much longer to go Nottingham - Mansfield - Shirebrook - Tuxford - ECML than any existing route I think.

Oh well, it's fun to look at the maps and see what was there...
Cheers,
Jason
 

Sapphire Blue

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Ah, sorry :oops:

might encourage similar routes, like extending some EMT St Pancras services to Huddersfield/Bradford (thus linking Leicester/ Derby/ Sheffield to Huddersfield/ Halifax/ Bradford without the need to go into Leeds and out again).

And Her Majesty would have somewhere to sleep at night again, when in the north of England.
 

LexyBoy

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Surely the Didcot west curve deserves a mention as extant but with no scheduled passenger service? I assume it's still cleared for passenger use, I've been over it on diversion a couple of years ago.
 

caliwag

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Ah, sorry :oops:

Given the success of the Nottingham - Leeds services, a (reo-opened) chord here might encourage similar routes, like extending some EMT St Pancras services to Huddersfield/Bradford (thus linking Leicester/ Derby/ Sheffield to Huddersfield/ Halifax/ Bradford without the need to go into Leeds and out again).

Was there ever a chord from the Nottingham - Lincoln line to the northern ECML? Allowing services to run Nottingham - Newark Castle - Retford - Doncaster might be a faster route for XC services between Birmingham and Newcastle?

There was a curve (called Newark curve< M+GN joint) which swung to the South just East of castle station through all the industrial buildings joining ECML at Newark Joint Curve junction midway between Northgate and the flat crossing. It served several industrial sidings and Cow lane wharf so may well have been freight only.
There is a superb series of reprints of official maps called 'Midland Railway System Diagrams (The Distance Diagrams)'...They were reproduced by a Peter Kay. They are beautifully drawn with named sidings, distances, rivers, tunnels, etc...far better than Quail which is saying something. The ISBN is 1 899890 17 3
 

Rugd1022

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The curve that allows trains to go from Leicester to the Coalville/Burton line is an obvious one. The nonexistence of this curve is pretty much the only reason there is no passenger service on this line.

There's a bit more to it than that, sadly.... for starters, the current occupant of a certain ex- railway building along the line is apparently doing his level best to campaign against any further traffic developements, freight or passenger. When the Swains Park venture kicks off in the (hopefully) not to distant future, the traffic which is due to go in and out is one of this particular individual's bones of contention, despite the fact that it'll be coming in and going out at the Burton end of the line, and thus going nowhere near his lineside property!

The P/Way and signalling will need sunstantial alteration works too, with the long single line section up to Bagworth Junction needing sorting out one way or another. There's been talk in the mess room at Bardon for some time of the north chord being re-instated at Knighton Junction, once the removal of the warehouse which currently stands on the alignment has been sorted out. Factored in to all this is the hope that up and down slow / goods lines will be re-instated between Leicester and Wigston, a bit of good news which will benefit the flow of traffic no end.

;)
 

LE Greys

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I know there was never a curve there, but with the new flyover, an east-north curve at Hitchin might be useful in terms of getting more use out of the Cambridge line.

There's a bit more to it than that, sadly.... for starters, the current occupant of a certain ex- railway building along the line is apparently doing his level best to campaign against any further traffic developements, freight or passenger. When the Swains Park venture kicks off in the (hopefully) not to distant future, the traffic which is due to go in and out is one of this particular individual's bones of contention, despite the fact that it'll be coming in and going out at the Burton end of the line, and thus going nowhere near his lineside property!

The P/Way and signalling will need sunstantial alteration works too, with the long single line section up to Bagworth Junction needing sorting out one way or another. There's been talk in the mess room at Bardon for some time of the north chord being re-instated at Knighton Junction, once the removal of the warehouse which currently stands on the alignment has been sorted out. Factored in to all this is the hope that up and down slow / goods lines will be re-instated between Leicester and Wigston, a bit of good news which will benefit the flow of traffic no end.

;)

Where's George Hudson and his tactics when you need him? ;)
 

Yew

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The other is a long disused chord at Tuxford. This would link east to north from the NR test track. Whilst it would be a short chord to put in, the test track doesn't really go anywhere useful and it'd take much, much longer to go Nottingham - Mansfield - Shirebrook - Tuxford - ECML than any existing route I think.
Jason

Its not so much linespeed thats the problem, but the single tracked bit from nottingham to hucknall ( or at least a big chunk of the way, means that the line is pretty much running at capacity with 4 trains an hour. So putting XC 170's or EMT meridians/HST's becomes a bit awkward. I suppose if the robin hood extension was carried out there could be a case to try and get another line from hucknall to nottingham. Then use some creatve signaling to allow the 'fasts' to pass the slows on some overtaking tracks. (there are some areas with lots of space where there used to be freight sidings.)

After all this there is still the problem that significant linespeed upgrades would be required to run the route in any reasonable time (i calculate in a sprinter it would take about anhour, maybe a minimum of half an hour on a high speed service, either a non-stopping 170, or EMT train)

I suppose if you consider it without the robin hood extension, then the Shirebrook - Tuxford line could be a fast non stop section (anyone know the linespeed on there? if its used as a test track it could actually be pretty high) However there may be less of a case for line redoubling near around nottingham.

Maybe going Nottingham - Langley Mill - Kirkby - Mansfield - Tuxford could be faster looking at it? Although I think modifying the platforms at Mansfield woodhouse might be reduce the interference from sprinters, Turn the bay platform into a through one, and then the platform two can be Bi-directionally signal led and the fasts run through there. (mansfield Woodhouse is a bottleneck as the the trains to/from worksop are both there at the same time. With some clever timing I think it could be done so that if we had a 1TPH frequency, the train to nottingham could overtake at Woodhouse, and the train from nottingham could be timed to be sufficiently far behind the worksop train that it wouldnt need to overtake .

I hate to put this idea down, I would love to see More trains on my local line, Unfortunately I can see many problems. Although the Increased ECML linespeed could make up for the slow robin hood line speed, I think the amount of work required compared to speed upgrades in other places would mean it wouldnt get through a cost-benefit analysis very well

End of my lecture, please feel free to ask me to elaborate on anything you are confused about :)

EDIT Doing a little maths, the time from Kirkby to shirebrook is 19 mins in a sprinter, so a 'fast' service might be able to do that and the line from Langley to kirkby in 20 mins. Then from Newark northgate to Leeds takes 1hr 1min direct. so if we assume that Shirebrook - Tuxford takes about half an hour, and Newark tuxford around 10 mins. That gives 20 + 50+30 = 1hr 40 mins. However the Leeds - London service takes 2h 9 mins to get to Leicester, and from Langley mill to Leicester takes around 25 mins. So overall this gives a roughly similar journey time. yet misses out some of the large cities that EMT's leeds london service calls at.
 
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Firesprite

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A new south east curve from the Oakham - Kettering line towards Peterborough would be useful. Extending the Ipswich - Peterborough service through to Kettering, which would cut the journey time by half. Could also be used for the East-West services between Oxford and Cambridge until Bedford - Sandy - Cambridge route is sorted.
 

LexyBoy

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A southern curve from Stonehouse onto the cross country line would allow for a Swindon-Bristol local via Stroud (which no longer has a public transport connexion to the capital of the West) as well as providing a (ahem, another) diversionary route in the event of line problems between Swindon and Bristol.
 
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