Stevenage platform 5

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bramling

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There's four trains an hour Letchworth-Hitchin-Stevenage without Moorgate services- yes, there was a dip in service, but it's fine now?
Yes if you’re going from those stations to and from London, but not if you’re heading to Hertford.

It’s not a high-demand journey so I can fully see that the 4tph London service is more valuable, but nonetheless it’s a disincentive for local journeys, with Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage and Hertford (the latter in particular) being horribly traffic congested, and the roads between Stevenage and Hertford also being poor.

In the longer term a remodelling of Letchworth (or Baldock) to provide a centre reversing siding would be worthwhile, but this would be more for King’s Cross services, I still can’t see the Hertfordshire ever going north of Stevenage again apart from ECS to Letchworth carriage sidings.
 
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Hadders

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I guess I just wondered how much extra it would have cost, whilst doing the job, to have added one more set of points, a signal and a short bit of track to provide?
It could come in useful if either P4 fails for some reason, or a train fails there, or a charter or freight needs to dwell
I'm not sure there's space for it to be a through line without reconfiguration the adjacent footbridge and ramps . It could be done but it would have significantly increased the cost. Probably explains why the existing platform is located where it is, i.e. offset compared to the other platforms.

Yes if you’re going from those stations to and from London, but not if you’re heading to Hertford.

It’s not a high-demand journey so I can fully see that the 4tph London service is more valuable, but nonetheless it’s a disincentive for local journeys, with Letchworth, Hitchin, Stevenage and Hertford (the latter in particular) being horribly traffic congested, and the roads between Stevenage and Hertford also being poor.

In the longer term a remodelling of Letchworth (or Baldock) to provide a centre reversing siding would be worthwhile, but this would be more for King’s Cross services, I still can’t see the Hertfordshire ever going north of Stevenage again apart from ECS to Letchworth carriage sidings.
I was generally against the bustitution of Stevenage - Hertford services until the new platform was operational however that was when the new platform was unfunded (and we were potentially looking at a 3 year bustitution). I agree that on balance 4 trains per hour is far more beneficial than through trains between Letchworth and Hertford. Even if there was a connection from P5 to the down slow is there sufficient capacity to fit in any additional trains on the down slow between Stevenage and Hitchin?
 

jon0844

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Of course if P5 had a turnout back onto the down slow then occasional Moorgate to Letchworth services could be run with minimum occupation of the down slow.
In fact some of the M'gate trains at end of day do just that and stable at Letchworth.
Would it really have been that expensive to do at the time as opposed to doing it later?
It's yet a other strand of the 'removed' services from HN north.
I thought the plan was always to pretty much rebuild the station as part of a massive redevelopment of the whole area, with new retail and residential accommodation. That plan got kicked down the road (lack of funding from council etc) and so P5 didn't get done.

Then the current job was pushed through to stop buses being the norm for a lot longer than we have now, but only a bay.

The footbridge ramp would have to go, so that would mean an all-new bridge and probably lots of other work - and who would pay for that when I assume S106 money would have funded it if the bold plans had happened?

So, I'd assume the simple answer is yes it would have been that expensive to do at the time. If it had to be a through platform, chances are it wouldn't have been done at all yet.
 

bramling

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I thought the plan was always to pretty much rebuild the station as part of a massive redevelopment of the whole area, with new retail and residential accommodation. That plan got kicked down the road (lack of funding from council etc) and so P5 didn't get done.

Then the current job was pushed through to stop buses being the norm for a lot longer than we have now, but only a bay.

The footbridge ramp would have to go, so that would mean an all-new bridge and probably lots of other work - and who would pay for that when I assume S106 money would have funded it if the bold plans had happened?

So, I'd assume the simple answer is yes it would have been that expensive to do at the time. If it had to be a through platform, chances are it wouldn't have been done at all yet.
I’m not really sure what benefit there would actually be to it being a through platform. With a 2tph terminating service pretty much right through the day there isn’t much scope for anything else to use it. So in reality it’s been built to meet what is required of it.

Any further use would likely only be useful during engineering works or disruption, and even then it’s hard to see exactly what as even as a place to stick a failed train it would then mess up the Hertford service.

Stevenage station as a whole does seem rather dated now. It hasn’t aged quite as well as similar designs at places like Broxbourne and Harlow Town. Having said that, it works reasonably well as a station, apart from pickup and drop off which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the notorious leisure park clamping.
 

Hadders

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I thought it was basically built as the south 2/3rds of a through platform?
It starts further south than the other platforms.

Stevenage station as a whole does seem rather dated now. It hasn’t aged quite as well as similar designs at places like Broxbourne and Harlow Town. Having said that, it works reasonably well as a station, apart from pickup and drop off which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the notorious leisure park clamping.
The concourse area is really far too small for the number of passengers, not helped by a right of way through the middle. It's s shame they didn't make the access to P5 via the existing gateline but it would have involved a new bridge over the down slow and I also think once at ground level the existing steps from the leisure park would be in the way.

What they should look at doing to improve the station is relocate the ticket office to the closed down coffee shop and knock out the existing ticket office to make a larger concourse. A new footbridge for the public right of way would be ideal but that would cost millions so won't happen.
 

Ianno87

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It starts further south than the other platforms.



The concourse area is really far too small for the number of passengers, not helped by a right of way through the middle. It's s shame they didn't make the access to P5 via the existing gateline but it would have involved a new bridge over the down slow and I also think once at ground level the existing steps from the leisure park would be in the way.

What they should look at doing to improve the station is relocate the ticket office to the closed down coffee shop and knock out the existing ticket office to make a larger concourse. A new footbridge for the public right of way would be ideal but that would cost millions so won't happen.
Plus, the odd situation of the lifts to the platforms being located outside the ticket barriers!
 

Hadders

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Plus, the odd situation of the lifts to the platforms being located outside the ticket barriers!
Indeed! This is why a new footbridge for the public footpath is really needed but the cost would be huge so won't happen.

Pick up and drop off arrangements also need looking at. There is plenty of space in the leisure centre car park to build something decent although it's on the wrong side of the town, you certainly wouldn't want the taxi rank relocated to that side as fares would end up being £2 higher for each journey due to the extra distance!). Perhaps a solution would be to make make the pick up and drop off area larger by taking car parking space but maintain the number of parking spaces by adding an extra level. Problem is the station car park is owned and operated by the council and they want people to use St Georges multi-storey on the other side of the town centre (which is under utilised) so they won't do anything at the station....
 

malc-c

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From what I was told by the Planning Manager there was a lot of issues with land boundaries and lets just say unsympathetic landlords that wanted to milk the project before selling. Plus the time constraints. To rework the footbridge and its ramps, lay in the new switch, plus no doubt another 500+ meters of track, signalling etc could have added another 12 months to the project. Granted it would have given the option to use the P5 as a passing loop when not in use so freight could pass anything in P4, but I guess the cost, time and logistics outweighed the advantages.

With regards to the car parking and bridges. The work on the new bus station has been given the go-ahead in the past few weeks as part of the regeneration plan. Originally it was to be connected to the existing footbridge by a new walkway that sort of wrapped its way around the leisure center to what is currently the carpark... but now this will be replaced with a beacon crossing of the dual carriageway which has already raised objections sighting the traffic jams it will create at peak times. When I spoke to the Mayors office, they stated that the platform five project was not part of the redevelopment plan of Stevenage and was just coincidental of timing, typical of organisations not really working together as things could have been a lot better planned.
 

yorkie

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If someone would like to create a new thread (if there isn't one already) in Speculative Ideas to discuss any potential future developments, please feel free to do so :)
 

Mcq

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Judging by today's activties P5 is a great success - if not for passengers.
Lots more freight both ways past Langley, sometimes with the ECS on P5 and ex HN freight passing it on P4
 

Mcq

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Nice pictures as ever malc - thank you very much - definitely more traffic through P4 and the HN loop.
 

malc-c

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Nice pictures as ever malc - thank you very much - definitely more traffic through P4 and the HN loop.
Yes, I was there around 2pm and there certainly was a lot of movements, often with three trains passing as can be seen in the video.

One question that has come up that I would welcome your input on (if you know the answer) is what is the purpose of the items placed on the A602 road bridge (as seen in the video), seeing that they haven't been extended across the full length of the bridge walls
 

swt_passenger

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One question that has come up that I would welcome your input on (if you know the answer) is what is the purpose of the items placed on the A602 road bridge (as seen in the video), seeing that they haven't been extended across the full length of the bridge walls
It’s the measured distance down to the catenary that defines the required parapet height. It either means the 4 mainline tracks are relatively lower compared to the new 5th track, or that they conform to earlier requirements.
 

HGS

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Thanks, Malc, for all your efforts to keep us updated on the progress of this project. I did a blog on the Hitchin flyover and my involvement was actually welcomed by Network Rail. I was taking pictures of Hitchin East Junction being installed when a guy drove over to ask if I was the blogger. Apparently they were trying find out who I was. After that I was regularly taken on site visits. I was invited to ride the first train over the flyover. When I say invited, we all had to buy a return to Letchworth including the project engineers. When I questioned this, they laughed and said Network Rail were charging the TOC plenty so there were no freebies! What a shame you are not being treated the same way on Platform 5.
 

malc-c

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@HGS Do you have any links to you blogg - would love to read that.

Wow, just goes to show how things change. When I was videoing the first test train from the A602 bridge there were several representatives from Network Rail along side management from Spencers and a few other contractors. We chatted about the project and I even gave out a couple of my cards I had made up with my contact details on... never heard a thing.....
 
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St. Paddy

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Speaking to a Spencer contractor there earlier today and he said they hope to hand over the site on 1st August. Just depends how long it will take for approval for public use.
 

Mcq

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On Opentraintimes there is a signal shown - 1978 between 939 and 659 - which doesn't show any red/green information - is it actually there and does it work does anyone know?
 

malc-c

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On Opentraintimes there is a signal shown - 1978 between 939 and 659 - which doesn't show any red/green information - is it actually there and does it work does anyone know?
It was still in existence when the new track was being laid, but I have no idea if it is still there, or if it's operational... hopefully one of the drivers on the route can shed some light (no punn intended) if its still functional. My guess is that it is as it would form the next block after the platform starter (940) for anything heading back to watton..
 

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Mcq

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Thanks for pic malc - hopefully someone can confirm - wonder why OTT haven't lit it up. They've got 935 and 940 - mind you there's no black rectangle beside 1978 if that's relevant.
 

TheHSRailFan

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I was going to say about the 2nd of August opening but looks like I'm too late haha. Anyway, I went to London Yesterday for a London Bash and soo on and I started at Hertford North. They are starting to heavily advertise the opening of the platform with announcements on pa and the DMIs on the platforms. Realtimetrains has yet to update the bits and bobs for that day on there since each train says it's going to Stevenage but only and Platform 4 when yes it has stated platform 5 before. So I'll check here and rtt each day for its update and so on.

Hope to be on the first and maybe seeing some of you guys (of course, doing social distancing)
 

malc-c

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Hope to be on the first and maybe seeing some of you guys (of course, doing social distancing)
If it's the 05:29 from Kings Cross, I doubt If I'll be up for that one !! - There's only so much dedication to documenting this project :)

I am hoping to do one final update on the project next Monday, regardless of any "opening" ceremony that may be planned (But I guess with the secretary of transport now having to quarantine for two weeks when he returns from Spain any plans may well now be cancelled).
 

St. Paddy

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On Opentraintimes there is a signal shown - 1978 between 939 and 659 - which doesn't show any red/green information - is it actually there and does it work does anyone know?
WL1978 signal can only show a yellow or green aspect and is effectively a repeater or distant signal for WL 1974 signal, hence why it doesn’t show a colour on the map. As a consequence of this, K940, the starter signal for platform 5 and K660 on platform 4 can only show red or green. Hope this helps.
 
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