South Wales Mainline Electrification talk in Cardiff

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by beargy, 12 Aug 2015.

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  1. beargy

    beargy Member

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    If anyone's interested the IET's Wales Power Specialist Section are holding a (free to attend) talk on the electrification project to be given by Dave Hewings of Network Rail at Cardiff University on the 9th of February 2016 - http://www.theiet.org/events/local/224581.cfm
     
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  3. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Out of interest (and sorry to go slightly off topic), is the electrification on this line being combined with linespeed enhancements? According to Wikipedia the max speed is 90 which seems a tad low these days especially as the line is reasonably straight as far as Cardiff (except through Newport).
     
    Last edited: 14 Aug 2015
  4. 59CosG95

    59CosG95 Established Member

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    Oo, I might be up for that! Should see if I can get down from Birmingham that day; very likely since I do Civil & Railway Engineering there!
     
  5. Philip Phlopp

    Philip Phlopp Established Member

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    Signalling supports 100mph on both main and relief lines following the recent resignalling work, but the track doesn't. Line speed is 95mph for HST and 75mph for all other stock on the main lines and 60mph for all stock on the relief lines.

    Line speed enhancements between Cardiff and Newport are in the Draft CP6 RUS - two options presented to ministers, Option A is to upgrade the relief lines to match the main lines (95mph for HST, 75mph for all other stock) and Option B is to upgrade the main and relief lines to 100mph. Engineering feasibility and BCR appraisal to follow in the final Welsh RUS.

    Grade separation at Maindee West Jn also included in the longer term (to 2043) planning, along with more platforms at Newport and remodelling Cardiff West Jn.
     
  6. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Cheers for the info-why didn't they think 110mph (or higher) was possible when they developed the plans and re signalled?
     
  7. Philip Phlopp

    Philip Phlopp Established Member

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    I've no idea, sorry.

    If I had to guess, I'd suggest the business case for higher speed running just didn't add up. 110mph running between Newport and Cardiff would probably save 30 seconds, and 125mph running would save 60 seconds.
     
  8. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    IC125 trains make up a minority of services on that route. Majority consists of Class 150s, 153s (75mph), Class 158s (90mph), Class 170s and 175s (100mph).
     
  9. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    And Pacers. Don't forget the WAG !!!
     
  10. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    Er.... Pacers also are a minority on that route (one or two Cheltenham-Maestegs, the odd Pembroke Dock).

    As for the WAG, 125mph running would get those gog uncivil serpents to Cardiff Bay a bit early. Which means they would have to do more work. Which we can't have.
     
  11. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    If I may be pedantic, the WAG set is only fit for 110mph......

    That aside, given how busy the line is and how with the new signalling the sections are smaller than they were before, I reckon you'd struggle to path 125mph trains down there as well as all the 75 mph stuff, unless you moved the slower trains to the relief lines. Given the relatively short distance involved its hardly a worthwhile investment.
     
  12. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

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    Again at the risk of straying off topic; given the upgraded signalling, is it the age of track, the ballast configuration or another physical factor which prevents the existing tracks from supporting 100mph?
     
  13. Michael.Y

    Michael.Y Established Member

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    Newport to Cardiff may be arrow straight, but Cardiff to Swansea is very windy* and wiggly and there's a few gradients too. Suffers the same geological restrictions as Cornwall.

    *windy as in winding, not as in Miller
     
    Last edited: 16 Aug 2015
  14. Philip Phlopp

    Philip Phlopp Established Member

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    The full list of works necessary to support 100mph running won't be known until the feasibility work is completed in time for the final Welsh CP6 RUS.

    I do know the track is due for replacement as it's life expired, and there's a number of switches and crossovers on both main and relief lines which will need to be looked at before 100mph operation will be possible, but there shouldn't be anything major - alignment etc should be OK for 100mph without any significant works.

    There might be, at present, some gauging issues, but they're likely to be cleared up when the electrification team does their work and rebuilds offending structures.
     
  15. nlogax

    nlogax Established Member

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    Michael, Philip, thanks for that. I vaguely recall the Cardiff to Swansea section, but yes - to the untrained eye, the section into Cardiff from the east always felt like it could deal with higher speeds than the ones posted.
     
  16. craigybagel

    craigybagel Established Member

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    Funnily enough, the section west of Cardiff does have a higher too speed - there is a section with HST 100, which is currently the fastest section anywhere in Wales. Whether or not anything is able to do that though given its close proximity to Port Talbot Parkway where almost everything stops is another matter.
     
  17. Noddy

    Noddy Member

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    Yes many thanks to Phil for all the info.

    The reason why I suggest that the proposed line speeds look a bit low is that pretty much all new stock comes as 100mph as standard, and 'semi-fast' electrics are increasingly 110mph capable. The (former) Thames Turbos have only got another tens years or so in them - their replacements will easily be capable of 100 (or more). Likewise the rolling stock for the South Wales Branches Electrification (whether new or cascaded) is all likely to be 100mph (or more). Not to mention the IEPs are capable of 140mph.

    Phil said Upgrade Option A is to upgrade the main and reliefs to 95mph - that's not exactly ambitious on a four track intercity (and inter capital!) main line with significant rolling stock upgrades likely or confirmed in the next few years.
     
  18. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Member

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    Has work started in Pontyclun? The place looks like a building site, temporary blue fences everywhere, drilling, some holes in the ground?
     
  19. PHILIPE

    PHILIPE Veteran Member

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    There was an article on BBC Wales TV yesterday when people from Pontyclun were interviewed after businesses had complained re potential loss of trade while Network Rail were lowering, raising, re-building bridges to heights required for OHLE equipment. So perhaps, work has started at Pontyclun.
     
  20. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Member

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    Ah I missed that, still, a pretty random place to start, its not as if its a key place on the line (junctions etc.)
     
  21. Philip Phlopp

    Philip Phlopp Established Member

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    There are possessions on the main line between Cardiff and Bridgend in the next couple of weeks, which I'd guess the bridge works are making use of.
     
  22. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Chances are that you still won't get high speeds until after Ebbw Jn to just after Pengam, that's only 9 odd miles. Factor in acceleration plus braking and even with wires I doubt you will get much more than 5-6 miles of top speed.
     
  23. firespire

    firespire Member

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    Thanks for mentioning this.

    On a revisit to the website I now notice it has changed and there is now a request to register which wasn't there when this thread was first created last year and when I saved a copy of the web page.

    Just letting anyone know who was planning to just turn up may need to revisit the website and register.
     
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