Shapps to reverse Beeching cuts

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by johnnychips, 25 Oct 2019.

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  1. ChiefPlanner

    ChiefPlanner Established Member

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    Even better , spending money on making the present system run better. I can hardly recall such an ongoing period of poor performance in day to day ops , and challenging timetable planning -how about restoring Watford North Junction for one , sorting out Piccadilly to Victoria via Oxford Road , rather on musing about Woodhead and Colne. ! (or especially Carmarthen to Aberystwyth)
     
  2. Djgr

    Djgr Member

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    Ha. The BoJo circus. Remember none of this is meant to be taken seriously.
     
  3. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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  4. Master29

    Master29 Established Member

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    The usual scent of bovine excrement on pre election runs.
     
  5. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    Dead right. The late flights from Europe to MIA land too late to catch the last direct train to Liverpool (22:49), which is a complete nonsense. There is a later one a whole 12 minutes later at 23:01. Even if it was any use for a flight landing before 22:00, it takes a ridiculous 1h 46m. The same journey by car is 40m.
     
  6. InTheEastMids

    InTheEastMids Member

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    Or you could just put in a junction South of the town alongside Braybrooke Road.

    What tickles me is what I think is the process by which we got here.
    1. Northants councils start to look at new regional strategy,
    2. Ask NR to do very high level indicative costing for Npton-Harborough reopening (probably a graduate spending an afternoon with Google Earth and a spreadsheet)
    3. Meanwhile Shapps is keen for friendly questions to allow commitment free good news stories about transport investment under next Tory Govt, and maybe an easy pop at Labour
    4. Local MP uses above example to serve up required friendly question
    5. Shapps uses isolated example of tiny feasibility study to imply that virtually all Beeching cuts could be reopened
    6. This line is swallowed whole by uncritical media
    7. Heated debate ensues on Rail Forums.

    Or am I being too cynical?
     
  7. philthetube

    philthetube Established Member

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    Colne to Skipton would be top of the lisr, Pendle is a three way marginal.
     
  8. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Nope, I am looking at the signalling diagrams now, 75/HST100 line speed as it is south of Bicester. The signal spacing is easily capable of a 3 minute headway.
     
  9. cle

    cle Established Member

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    From Bicester to Bletchley?

    The Aylesbury cut back is another ‘enhancement’ which could be restored on the same project.
     
  10. Mogster

    Mogster Member

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    As usual with these sorts of Facebook and Twitter memes they don’t tell the full story.

    Once again, as usual, it’s hard to compare countries different systems directly. Work based pensions and available additional benefits play a much larger part in the UK than in most other countries. When these are factored in the available funds are broadly similar. Retirement ages are set to increase across most Western countries with France being a notable exception for now.
     
  11. wireforever

    wireforever Member

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    Three ex freight lines that could be converted to passenger use Fowey branch line Cornwall ,Fleetwood branch track still present ,Warrington Bank Quay low level to Widnes to link with Liverpool-Runcorn-Chester. The last one perhaps a tram/train option or with the new western link Warrington by pass and free tolls on the Mersey Gateway bridge road bridge will be a non starter over to you Transport Secretary
     
  12. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Yes, Bicester to Bletchley. Aylesbury to Claydon was cut back to save costs and it still enables the proposed train service to run.
     
  13. A0wen

    A0wen Established Member

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    No - not at all. And anyone with even the most rudimentary local knowledge knows this one is a complete non-starter. As indeed are the other suggested reopenings in Northants that usually get touted on these boards, for the simple reason they'll never make viable business case.

    It's another one people forget was closed to passengers pre Beeching (1960 in this case) though the track remained in place until the early 80s. Reopening will cost £ 150m which really isn't worth it - yes, it opens up a link between Northampton and Leicester, but that's really not where there's a huge demand. And the MML doesn't have the spare capacity to go sending 2 tph between Leicester & Harborough to then branch off and head to Northampton and wherever else anyone thinks is a great idea. Whilst we're at it, Northampton to MK isn't exactly bursting with capacity and I suspect finding a way to improve that and increase the linespeed on the Northampton loop, particularly north to Rugby along with some capacity improvements between Rugby and Birmingham would off much better benefits for the £ 150m in question.
     
  14. Grumpy Git

    Grumpy Git Member

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    I used to cross the Runcorn-Widnes bridge at least half a dozen time per week before the new one opened. I just help to wear-out the tarmac on the Thelwall viaduct now, (adds about 4 miles to my return journey).
     
  15. cle

    cle Established Member

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    Yep you’re dutifully validating my overall point- that rather than new reopening, it would be useful to rescope the biggest (EWR) to before it was hacked for costs.

    High Wycombe to MK/WCML was a key pairing (largest two towns in Bucks, linked via the third, a silly stat admittedly) - but that is removed now. So the service is not fully what it was. The Marylebone portion is just linking and not super useful, of course.
     
  16. MP33

    MP33 Member

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    When the Northampton line was open for freight in its last years. Due to a long and narrow tunnel, the largest locomotive that could use the line was a class 31 and that was a very tight squeeze.
     
  17. option

    option Member

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    & a Tory ran county council that is effectively bankrupt...
     
  18. option

    option Member

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    + maintenance costs
    + operating subsidy

    When you look at the route, it goes through a lot of nothing.
    If you really really had to re-open a line in the area, the Northampton-Wellingborough route would be a better candidate.
     
  19. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    But why spend tax payers cash on building something that isn't required to deliver the required output? The railways are derided for gold plating everything as it is. Oxford to MK is where the money is anyway for phase 2.
     
  20. Eyersey468

    Eyersey468 Member

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    The campaign to get the York to Beverley line reopened appears to have achieved very little within the last 20 years other than a feasibility study a few years ago, which would have to be redone anyway as some of the proposed route has been built on.
     
  21. 70014IronDuke

    70014IronDuke Established Member

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    Much as Piccadily to Oxford Rd needs renewal - the restoration of Watford North Jn, presumably allowing trains to terminate there if the line is blocked between there and Euston - is so eminently sensible I can't understand why it doesn't come up more often.

    Of course, it doesn't look so impressive for the politician cutting the ribbon as "I'm pleased to inaugurate this re-opened railway from Nether Sodbury to Upton-cum-Thostlewort, closed by Dr Beeching in 1960" (sic), but it would allow far better fexibility when things go wrong on the LNW.

    Any idea how much it would cost?

    There must be scores of other, relatively inexpensive, new loop schemes which would greatly enhance capacity and improve reliability, some of which are regularly brought up on threads - west of Salisbury on the LSW, between Chippenham and Trowbridge, Perth and LAdybank, Highland Main line, not to mention the Hope Valley.
     
  22. DynamicSpirit

    DynamicSpirit Established Member

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    Oh dear... so much wrong with this. Where do I start? ;)

    Firstly...
    • Rail infrastructure, is capital spending. You spend the money once, and then you have the infrastructure and over the subsequent years you get a return on the investment. (Might not be much of a return if it's a particularly badly thought out scheme but a return nonetheless).
    • Pensions are current spending. You spend the money. It makes people happy while you're spending it. Then the money is gone. And not only do you not get any ongoing return from it, but you then have to keep spending the same amount over and over again each year if you want to keep up the benefits. Unlike capital spending, you can't spend the money just once and then have the project completed.
    You simply cannot compare the two and just swap money between the two types of spending in the way you're suggesting (well, not unless you want to go bankrupt). So saying that the Government could just spend the money on pensions makes no economic sense, no matter how much pensioners might deserve it.

    Secondly, that meme. I've seen several similar memes that make out that pensions in the UK are vastly lower than pensions in most other comparable countries. Every one I've seen uses misleading statistics and in my experience, they are all easy to debunk if you take a bit of effort. In fact, as far as I can ascertain, pension levels in the UK are overall pretty similar overall to pensions in similar countries - the UK Government is not being unusually mean. And on this particular meme, it quotes lots of figures for the 'payout' without ever defining what 'payout' means, so the meme is already meaningless. Then there's that picture of Iain Duncan Smith, which has obviously been taken completely out of context to give the impression he's vindictively laughing at pensioners. I have no idea when that picture was taken but it's a fair guess he was laughing at some joke someone had made and wasn't thinking about pensions at all at that moment.

    I really would urge people to think twice before they share these kinds of unverified memes on social media without sanity-checking and fact-checking them first. Whether they originate from the left or the right, they are very often completely misleading, often to the point of outright dishonesty.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2019
  23. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Is there actually much demand for that? I've done it a few times but the reasons are a bit niche (Scouting meetings held there due to who lives where). I suspect if there was there'd be a bus service - there isn't. There are however plenty of MK-Aylesbury and MK-Oxford buses, which demonstrates where that demand lies.
     
  24. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Where is the carefully conducted public opinion survey showing that there is 'zero public support' for the Expressway road exactly? Perhaps you would care to share this with us.

    Plenty of people in Oxfordshire are all in favour of anything that can relieve the A34 between Bicester, Oxford and Abingdon, freeing the Oxford western bypass section from trying to be a national trunk road, city bypass and local distributor road all rolled into one - which it fails at day after day after day - and has done for years.

    Plenty of people around ever-growing Aylesbury would probably like to see a decent road in any direction from the town apart from the A41 towards London.

    Where does your £300m estimate come from for the A417 'missing link' scheme (east of Gloucester, not south), which will remove the serious bottleneck that currently exists for traffic between Gloucester and Cirencester/Swindon and (via the A436 to Andoversford) the northern part of the Cotswolds? This project has been under discussion for more than 20 years, so inflation and which option (of many put forward) is being talked about inevitably affects the numbers. It was never going to be a cheap job, as it is a difficult location (to put it mildly) and is in an AONB.

    https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/a417-missing-link/

    I am no fan of Mr Cameron but he didn't say that. There is a big difference between funding studies and promising to spend a whole lot more on actually building something. From the BBC News website in January 2015.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-31042325

    In what way was it a key pairing? The number of people wanting to get between Milton Keynes and High Wycombe is limited compared with the number who will find an Aylesbury-MK rail service extremely useful. High Wycombe is tied economically to London and the Thames Valley, not to the far north-east corner of Buckinghamshire. Providing a High Wycombe link comes into the nice to have category.

    Extending Marylebone-Aylesbury via High Wycombe trains to MK if of course an option, but doing that would inevitably bring with it the risk of importing and exporting delays on both East-West and the Chiltern Line - there aren't many people around who think that GWR's linking of South Coast to Bristol and the Bristol to Worcester/Great Malvern services has been a runaway success, to take one example of this kind of thing.
     
  25. WatcherZero

    WatcherZero Established Member

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    It does seem a well weird comparison for example the stage pension in the US is $1200 per month plus food stamps, while the average salary is $47,000 so it would only be around a third not the half that comparison shows.
     
  26. InTheEastMids

    InTheEastMids Member

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    Hmmm... in your enthusiasm to write this reply, you appear to have confused my saying 'This is where you'd probably put the junction, if you wanted to do it' with 'My crayons have proved that this project has a fantastic business case. Shovels out, lads, let's go!' :lol:

    There is always *a* business case and in fact I do agree - in a BAU world is probably profoundly negative - junctions, tunnel conditions, A14 in the way etc, although my attempt at doing that would be full of guesswork, hearsay and conjecture.
    However, this is a long-term proposal, there's considerable uncertainty and a lot can happen. So that is why we always test some what-ifs as part of business case development. I think that if (and it's a pretty big if) there was even a snifter of positive in this one, it would be a scenario where
    - Wigston-Syston Capacity Scheme has happened
    - MML signalling has been renewed to deliver extra capacity - unless there really never will be any technology to allow Wigston-Harborough to go from 5 --> 7tph
    - and...

    …this exactly. Which takes us back to the root cause of this particular bout of reopening discussion...

    Yes, and the bankruptcy has driven the restructuring into two unitary authorities (West Northants and North Northants UAs).
    The regional strategy/urban plan work is now being done, and the proto-West-Northants UA consultation mentioned it, which is what gave Mr Shapps the cheap bit of PR in parliament.

    West Northants interest is probably much more about whether it would help allow a significant amount of new developments along the rail corridor (my guesses being Brixworth and/or perhaps a substantial new settlement near the A14) - i.e. it would no longer be going through a lot of nothing, and there would be much more significant passenger numbers than a 'today-based' assessment would tell you.
     
  27. CptCharlee

    CptCharlee Member

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    We hear this every time a new monster comes along. I never believe any of it. England makes it so difficult to get things reopened its tedious.
     
  28. MotorcycleAlan

    MotorcycleAlan Member

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    Whatever you propose in England or the wider U K be it road, rail or air, people will object and protest, largely because of a perceived reduction in their property value, but it can be the case that those in favour remain silent and not mobilised into action. A small number of objectors can cause years, even decades of inquiries, consultations and reports, which all suits the government as they appear to be "doing something" without spending any serious money. If any line was proposed to be re-opened don't expect to see shovels any time soon, and likewise the expressway won't be on any maps, rest assured. Just look at the history of the A27 Chichester to Brighton and see how many schemes have appeared, been objected to, then scrapped. Sadly rail gets the same procedure, and that is before a newt or dormouse dares to get in the way.
     
  29. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Its funded and due in 2021 or 22
     
  30. Merle Haggard

    Merle Haggard Member

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    Around 1968, to effect economies, the sleeper service between St Pancras and Glasgow via the MML and G&SW was diverted to start from Euston. It ran via Northampton - Market Harborough and was 47 - hauled north of Northampton. I used it! Around the same time, to improve utilisation of electric traction, Toton etc freights (predominantly coal, of course) to Brent Midland were diverted to Brent Willesden via this route hauled by any of the ML diesel allocation. It was also used as a diversionary route if there were problems on the southern end of the MML and for football excursions as the (in)famous 'Hockey Specials' from S. Yorks and the E. Midlands to events at Wembley. Not a backwater!
     
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