The new Reading Track Layout

Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by 43106, 23 Sep 2016.

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  1. 43106

    43106 Member

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    I'm doing some personal research into how current Cross Country and London - Newbury - Plymouth services enter and exit the new Reading station, particularly on the west side. My main data sources have been the Network Rail Track Maps on the National Electronic Sectional Appendix and the WTT. However, I'm doing this as a Railway non-professional and as such, I'm finding the data somewhat lacking. As an example, the WTT has the departure lines westwards as ML (Main Line), RL (Relief Line) and FVL. However, I can't find FVL (Fast Viaduct Line?) on the Track Map - I don't think it's the double line on the viaduct as that appears to be the Main Line. The track maps on the NESA are, in my view, as clear as mud. The WTT also doesn't detail where trains are switched between the Main and Relief Lines (e.g. at Didcot East, but NOT Didcot East Junction), which is a mistake, again in my view.
    I have deduced that trains from Newbury access the Up Main Line by journeying via the Reading Feeder Main line.
    Does anyone have a readable current track layout of Reading?
     
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  3. MidnightFlyer

    MidnightFlyer Veteran Member

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    FVL is the (Down Reading) Festival which is the line that runs from platform 8 to High Level Junction.

    Edit - Then continues down under the Mains to join the Reliefs just east of Reading West Junction.
     
    Last edited: 23 Sep 2016
  4. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    Yes, the main lines are the ones on the flyover viaduct. and the Festival Line is as described by MidnightFlyer and has its name next to it on the OTT diagram

    Track diagrams

    Open Train Times
    http://www.opentraintimes.com/maps/signalling/reading

    Old draft plan - so ignore the note about possible IEP depot - but near enough the current layout
    https://richardwillisuk.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/stn-phases.jpg

    Most West Country-bound GWR services use platform 7 and then go straight off round the corner towards Reading West. Trains from the West Country use the new south to east connection under the flyover and usually run into platform 11

    What XC services do largely depends on whether they run on the mains or reliefs between Didcot and Reading and which platform they use at Reading station, with 3 and 12B being the regulars, plus a few at 13B.

    I don't really understand what you mean about Didcot.

    There is just one place - Didcot East Junction - where trains can weave from the up relief (normally expresses having come off the Oxford line) on to the up main to go to Reading or make the opposite move, having used the down main from Reading.

    Similarly, trains from the Swindon direction that need to move from the up main to the up relief to head towards Reading can only make that move east of Didcot at Moreton Cutting Junction, which is where the reverse move, from the down relief to the down main, also happens. But they can also switch between the reliefs and the Swindon main lines west of Parkway station
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2016
  5. Sunset route

    Sunset route Member

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    There is also this live maps, but you do need to subscribe to see the train IDs

    http://sussextrains.co.uk/maps/index.php?map=T1

    http://sussextrains.co.uk/maps/index.php?map=T3
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2016
  6. fgwrich

    fgwrich Established Member

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  7. 43106

    43106 Member

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    Jimm – thanks for your input. The Open Train Times map looks the best, as it’s clear and unambiguous, unlike the map on Network Rail’s NESA.
    The “Didcot” situation is, understandably, confusing, due to the naming of the junctions & crossovers. According to the NESA map and (to some degree) the WTT, “Didcot East Junction” is (going in a westward direction) where the Didcot avoiding line branches off the Relief Line and heads towards Oxford. “Didcot East” is a double ladder that enables westbound trains on the Mail Line to switch to the Relief Line and eastbound trains to do the reverse. There is about ¾ of a mile between Didcot East & Didcot East Junction. I’ve attached an XL spreadsheet with a schematic diagram showing the junctions & crossovers which I hope explains it all.
    If the WTT is to be believed, east/southbound AXC services to Southampton mostly use platforms 3 & 7, though 8, 13 & 14 are scheduled to be used as well on occasion. Services FROM Southampton seem to use platforms 3 & 8, but my investigations here are incomplete.


    View attachment West of Reading.xlsx
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2016
  8. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    Why is it a mistake? Didcot East is Didcot East Junction to us, you need to remember that the way we name and use geographical locations is for our benefit an works nicely for us, it is only now with the advent of open data that people comment on it.
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2016
  9. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    When this was discussed a few years ago, the issue that I found was that some of the track diagrams (such as jimm's second link above) showed lines colour coded as 'Cross Country', and these were interpreted by some posters as the only routes XC would take, however the diagrams were only intended to show the majority user of a particular route. So the 'Festival line' as expected is primarily used by XC, but not to the exclusion of every other possible route.

    In practice, in the middle of a weekday, you'll see routine XC reversals in any of P3, P7, P8, P9, P13. P14, depending on routes taken into or out of the station. The Reading terminators almost invariably layover in P13B/14B for half an hour. Nearly all my arrivals from Winchester are into P3, but sometimes P7, and quite occasionally P13 or P14 but departures are usually from P7 or P8.
     
    Last edited: 24 Sep 2016
  10. jimm

    jimm Established Member

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    I'm not that bothered about what the NESA map says. I am on the same page as the Planner about which location is which. The names are perfectly well understood locally, whether or not people are rail professionals. Hence all the correctly captioned photos of trains at Didcot East Junction there are online.

    The WTT cannot show trains switching between the main and relief lines at Didcot East for the simple reason that there is no connection between the two pairs of lines there.

    Performing that switching function is precisely why Didcot East Junction and Moreton Cutting Junction both exist.

    I'm not really clear why you feel a need to bother with the WTT when 'investigating' the operation of XC services at Reading - realtimetrains shows which platforms are actually used during the course of a day.

    Last Sunday, during the GWML blockade through Didcot and up to Oxford, all but one of the XC services to and from the South Coast ran in and out of platform 13, because the rail replacement buses were using the north entrance bus stops.
     
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