ScotRail boss backs reopening of Aberdeen to Peterhead line

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by och aye, 8 Sep 2019.

  1. och aye

    och aye Member

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    More of a wishful think to happen rather than anything concrete.

    https://www.eveningexpress.co.uk/fp...acks-reopening-of-aberdeen-to-peterhead-line/

     
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  3. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    I'm delighted if that's what AH thinks, because that's where I think that the money should go next. Make the point to the people who can make it happen.

    Meanwhile, can he focus on running the routes that we have now...
     
  4. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    It would be a lot shorter to use the old Boddam branch to a new station on the south side of Peterhead, which would also fit with the P&R option of the Ellon proposals. What's the thinking to go via Maud?
     
  5. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    Because it takes the route to the equally significant destination that is Fraserburgh. You might as well go no further than Ellon as do one without the other.
     
  6. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Fair enough - but this would appear to preclude the Ellon P&R in the proposal - would you have a P&R at Maud for Fraserburgh (in the hope that in time the line would be extended to Fraserburgh as well)?

    But support from AH is certainly helpful.
     
  7. duesselmartin

    duesselmartin Established Member

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    How much of the alignement can still be used. I imagine houses and other structures incure on the line now.
    Considering the amount of bus passengers at Ellon and the time it takes going down King Street in Aberdeen, even an Ellon - Aberdeen shuttle as a start would be viable.
     
  8. CEN60

    CEN60 Member

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    And how does this sit with the recently doubled Aberdeen to Inverurie Project?
    Plus the minor inconvenience that Dyce Station Platforms are pretty much in the way of where the junction needs to go - the branch used to go round the back of roughly where the Up Platfrom is today? Talk is cheap!
     
    Last edited: 9 Sep 2019
  9. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    The entire route is a well established cycleway, the Formartine and Buchan Way, so no real problems there.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formartine_and_Buchan_Way
    Buchan would be impossible without the additional capacity resulting from redoubling. As far as Dyce is concerned, it isn't the up platform that obstructs the old route, rather it's the car park which is to the east of the up platform. So the station would have to be significantly remodelled, yes.

    And I agree, talk is cheap, and the whole thing would cost a fortune. That doesn't make it a bad idea - in my view there are significant regeneration benefits that would be brought to two large centres of population should the line make it to Fraserburgh and Peterhead. I'm not so keen on the shorter Ellon only version unless it's very much a stopping off point for the full route.
     
  10. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    What would the Fraserburgh-Aberdeen travel time be, please? How does this look on @Altnabreac 's famous tests?
     
  11. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    If the line was reinstated via Maud, then Fraserburgh would have a pretty much identical travel time as Peterhead. Distance is just over 40 miles so probably one hour or so, but I suppose it depends on line capacity and train type. Bear in mind that it was built as single track, so any double would be a more complicated than it was on the Borders.

    Fraserburgh has a population of just over 13k and Peterhead 19k. Ellon is 10k, so you'd be going at least 45k or so of population allowing for other smaller settlements. Not insubstantial, and there's a dependence on the faltering industries of fishing and oil, so getting people travelling into Aberdeen easily and safely would be a big step forward. Both Peterhead and Fraserburgh are relatively deprived (Ellon is a different case) so there's a positive story there too.

    You can see why it could be next on the list. But very, very pricey.

    I think they're more likely to dual the A90 all the way up there way ahead of reinstating the railway....
     
  12. Western Lord

    Western Lord Member

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    Dyce Station used to have four platforms. The branch junction was before the platforms and the branch had its own pair of platforms with the line becoming single beyond them.
     
  13. Meerkat

    Meerkat Established Member

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    It seems like a lot of railway to build for 45k people.
    This is surely bus/coach territory? If the buses are slow getting into Aberdeen then maybe spending the money on fixing that would be more beneficial to far more people.
     
  14. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Would this be served by units splitting at Maud, then? Or were you thinking of a shuttle to Maud from one or other?
     
  15. Western Lord

    Western Lord Member

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    If the original station layout at Maud were reinstated, splitting would not be possible as it was a V-layout with separate platforms for each branch.
     
  16. CEN60

    CEN60 Member

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  17. lachlan

    lachlan Member

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    Perhaps a new track that runs through Ellon, Peterhead (bypassing Maud) on to Fraserburgh would be more efficient, allowing the reopened branch to be operated by a single train service?
     
  18. Tobbes

    Tobbes Member

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    Ellon - Boddam Branch - Peterhead Parkway/reversal at Peterhead to St Combs and then on the old St Combs Light Railway alignment to Fraserburgh?

    If nothing else, Boddam and St Combs would be two of the least likely branch revivals ever accomplished...
     
    Last edited: 10 Sep 2019
  19. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    It reminds me of the Mandy Rice-Davies quote "Well he would say that, wouldn't he?"...

    ...if I were the head of ScotRail then I'd sound positive about expanding the network when asked... it takes focus off why trains are late today (promising future benefits to distract from negative headlines), it sounds "green", and, most importantly, someone else would be paying for it - I'm sure that Abellio would be happy to run such a service as long as Transport Scotland are willing to pay them large sums of money to do it!

    But if we have to re-open old lines as an objective in itself (rather than making other improvements) then it Peterhead/Fraserburgh makes a lot of sense - you're linking untapped towns to the nearest big city, so the case stands on its own merits (i.e. this isn't one of those spurious ideas where part of the justification is that it might be a handy diversionary route on the couple of weekends a year when a parallel main line is closed for engineering) - there's clearly enough commercial Stagecoach services from the coastal towns into Aberdeen to show a clear market, there's an established P&R at Ellon that shows that people from other villages etc can be tempted out of their cars... maybe we should have built the lines forty years ago when Aberdeen started booming, but I'm sure that you can tick various boxes in terms of political vision (something about disconnected communities, something about a post-fishing economy, something about a improving connectivity in a sensitive political area).

    I'd probably do Levenmouth first, but Peterhead/Fraserburgh make a lot more sense than some of the Scottish schemes discussed on here (e.g. Dumfries - Stranraer!) or some of the individual station re-openings (e.g. wee places like Reston).
     
  20. TrainsAreCool

    TrainsAreCool New Member

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    I have been following this over the last 5 years or so.

    First, they said the Aberdeen-Fraserburgh route would not be happening because it wasn't cost effective. This is the point at which I really started to follow things.

    Then, they proposed a Dyce to Ellon only route with three options. They chose the middle option (double track to a new station in Ellon, going no further than that station, no P&R connection) because it had the highest benefit to cost ratio, a whopping 0.28. To make a business case they would have been looking for a 1.0 or higher BCR which is what the Borders (1.2) and Levenmouth (1.31) studies came up with.

    The last official thing I read was that after sensitivity testing even the BCR of the most profitable option (Option 2) wasn't increased sufficiently and so, just like the initially proposed Aberdeen to Fraserburgh route, it would not be cost effective.

    That was last year, and nothing since.
     
    Last edited: 14 Sep 2019

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