Stratford-upon-avon electrification?

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route:oxford

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The local paper in Oxford has a story where locals are pressing for the re-opening of the 'line' between oxford and stratford. (In this instance they are referring to the route from ox via leamington rather than the physical line via long marston.)

Would it be practical to electrify the spur between leamington and stratford, seeing as the other thames valley branches are being done?

Perhaps better to leave with chiltern but once the london curve opens in Bicester, offer a few 'slow' services today between birmingham and london via stratford and oxford?
 
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MK Tom

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The service I'd suggest would be Stratford-Bristol via Oxford, Didcot, Swindon and Bath, in addition to Chiltern's London service. The curve has been single for a long time and has a few bridges that'd need doing, not to mention two rebuilt stations, to facilitate that kind of service. It's just a question of whether the cost-benefit works out.

One thing I will say is I don't think a shuttle to Oxford and nowhere else is the right thing for Stratford. I think the London service benefits the town more than that did.
 

sprinterguy

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Would it be practical to electrify the spur between leamington and stratford, seeing as the other thames valley branches are being done?
:shock: All the Thames Valley branches are between Paddington and Reading, how on earth does Leamington – Stratford upon Avon tie into that?

The “Electric Spine” proposals, providing that they gain funding approval, will see electrification extend northwards to Leamington Spa from Oxford on its way to Coventry. However, I would not expect to see electrification between Leamington Spa and Stratford upon Avon unless a serious proposal for electrification of the entire Chiltern line was given approval: The service between Leamington Spa and Stratford upon Avon is incredibly sporadic to begin with, and is presently operated at Chiltern, which I can’t foresee as being likely to change simply for the sake of the Oxford – Leamington stretch. In fact, I would imagine that this section of electrification would strengthen the case of keeping it, diesel operated, with Chiltern.

If electrification was to ever reach Stratford upon Avon, I would be more inclined to believe it would come from the north as part of a scheme to electrify the Snow Hill lines, perhaps as an extension of any eventual plan to electrify the Chiltern line.
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Perhaps better to leave with chiltern but once the london curve opens in Bicester, offer a few 'slow' services today between birmingham and london via stratford and oxford?
Exceptionally slow, and requiring a reversal within the limited capacity of the platforms at Oxford. Nobody would use such a service from one side of Oxford to the other. And running all the way to Birmingham after Stratford upon Avon would be laboriously slow, and require another reversal.
 

LE Greys

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After the electric spine, and what I would presume to be a full Chiltern electrification, Stratford makes sense as an additional route to eliminate what would be a diesel island. It would also mean wires for all the Moor Street routes, so presumably the Snow Hill routes would follow. Progress rolls on!
 

Cherry_Picker

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It would certainly make sense to electrify Leamington - Worcester and Tyseley - Whitlocks End once the electric spine is complete, given the frequency of the trains which run along the Snow Hill lines and then electrify the stretch from Aynho-Marylebone to take advantage of work already one elsewhere. That is a while away yet and I think it is all far more likely to happen than Stratford being electrified.
That said, if the North Warwick is electrified and the main line going past Hatton is electrified then you might as well fill in the gap to Stratford because it's so small and so you dont complicate things by needing diesel trains to cover such a small amount of mileage. I wouldnt expect to see any of it within the next 20 years though, the DFT (or whoever makes such decisions) spent a small fortune on an entire new fleet of diesel 172s for that part of the world in 2011 and they wont want to cascade them just yet, surely?
 

Batman

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Electrification to Stratford will most likely happen when the Birmingham Snow Hill lines are electrified. It has a just about positive business case and could happen in CP6. The line to Leamington could also be electrified in CP6 as part of a wider Chiltern electrification project which is bound the have a positive business case as it would mainly be an infill scheme. The 172's could be cascaded up north fro Sprinter and Pacer replacements. That would improve the business case for Snow Hill lines electrification.
 

Peter Mugridge

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Is it not the case that when all the currently announced electrification works are completed that the 165s would be approaching life expiry and therefore the business case for Chiltern electrification would be looking extremely good especially since at that point they would only need to electrify Marylebone to Aynho plus the Snow Hill lines on the Birmingham route? ( Risborough - Aylesbury would be an add on with a good case in itself once the rest is approved )
 

Batman

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The local paper in Oxford has a story where locals are pressing for the re-opening of the 'line' between oxford and stratford. (In this instance they are referring to the route from ox via leamington rather than the physical line via long marston.)

Would it be practical to electrify the spur between leamington and stratford, seeing as the other thames valley branches are being done?

Perhaps better to leave with chiltern but once the london curve opens in Bicester, offer a few 'slow' services today between birmingham and london via stratford and oxford?

Since you've referred to the Thames Valley branches, are you suggesting that Stratford is served by extending the current two hourly Paddington-Banbury service to Stratford and dropping the Chiltern Stratford services and re-directing them to Moor Street. That might work if you regard Leamington-Stratford as being on par with the Thames Valley branches. But I doubt the business case would be good as that line only generally get's a two hourly service and is very long, so in my opinion you can't make direct comparisons between it and the Thames Valley branches. Also diverting Stratford services from Marylebone to Paddington would add to the end-to-end journey time. American tourist won't like that!
 

jimm

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The newspaper's story is based on the following section of the GW franchise invitation to tender. It is not, as stated in the initial post in this thread, the case that "locals are pressing for the re-opening", though they are clearly supportive of the notion.

4.3.2.2 Franchise Geography

The Franchise Agreement (paragraph 2.2 of Schedule 1.6), sets out the routes over which the Franchisee is permitted to operate. This has been based on those of the current franchise plus two further routes that have been added following receipt and review of suggestions from Bidders - MY ITALICS prior to the issue of the ITT. The additional routes over which the Franchisee may also operate if they so wish are:

Southampton Central to Poole from May 2017 onwards only; and
Banbury to Stratford upon Avon.

Bidders are free to operate trains over these routes, subject to fulfilling the other requirements of the Franchise Agreement. Such services will not form part of the TSR. By accepting Bids which include plans for such services, the Department does not guarantee it will support future applications for track access on these routes. During Bid assessment the Department may risk adjust revenue or cost assumptions if it believes the Bidder has taken an unreasonable view on any future allocation of track access rights.

It is clear enough from this and Mark Hopwood's comments last year that are quoted in the Oxford Mail story, see

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/yo...ford_upon_Avon_direct_line_could_be_restored/

that FGW for one has asked to be allowed to operate Oxford-Stratford (FGW also put money into the current study of prospects for reopening Long Marston-Stratford). I would not be surprised if Arriva, aka Chiltern Railways, has also suggested Oxford-Stratford.

No need to electrify to Stratford when you have bi-mode IEPs on the way and I don't believe for a minute that FGW see it as replacing Chiltern's London-Stratford trains, just reinstating a logical and previously popular link between two major destinations for overseas tourists who want to visit both Oxford and Stratford, so operating a shuttle would work but under NSE/Thames Trains, Cotswold Line and Banbury/Stratford trains often ran as coupled Turbo formations between London and Oxford, so the same could perfectly well happen again using IEPs.

That the link was lost in 2004 had more to do with the Strategic Rail Authority's desire to tidy up the franchise maps than any grasp of what traffic patterns were.
 
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