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The ultimate fantasy thread

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HSTEd

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Well, I'm not sure if this is really related to National Rail as-such, but I would like to pose a question that doesn't really fit anywhere and General Discussion seems to be the does-not-really-fit-anywhere-else forum so here we go.

For a variety of storytelling-related reasons I am attempting to develop an idea of how the transport sector of a hypothetical nation would function under the following conditions:-

1. For a few economic, geopolitical and social reasons there was never significant investment in road transport, leaving a nation with no concept of things such as the "dual carriageway" or mass road transport.
This leaves the nation relying almost entirely on rail and river-based transport.

2. The economy of the nation is based on a mix of heavy industry and high tech manufacturing with only limited contribution from services or whatever (so lots of metals and goods to move).

3. The national power supply is almost entirely nuclear derived with the supplies of fuel and waste being moved by rail (so lots of flask trains but not many coal workings).

4. The continuous drive for efficiency that has characterised the railways in the UK for the last fifty years also occurs in this hypothetical nation even though there is no competition with road transport.

5. The nation is influenced by British railway practices and has a single integrated railway corporation (in the style of BR)

So, given the parameters of this hypothetical nation, what would the rail transport system look like, I am particularly interested in things like wagon-load freight which presumably still exists.

NOTE: This is the chance of all the people always talking about wanting to have more rail-freight to absolutely go nuts, with the vast majority of tonne miles being moved by rail.
 
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NY Yankee

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I'm not that familiar with the British National Railway, but perhaps a high speed train between Birmingham and London.
 

Grantham

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If this really is the ultimate fantasy thread, then can't we have pretty girls to keep us company while we drive the trains? :wub:

I must say I'd prefer to live in the viscinity of a coal fired power station than a neuclear job...so if it's ok I'll stick to the coal workings over the flask workings. :lol:

But please don't let me derail too often.
 

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34D

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If this really is the ultimate fantasy thread, then can't we have pretty girls to keep us company while we drive the trains? :wub:

I think grantham that your ideas on ultimate fantasy are closer to my own. You'll have to join VT and be a guard on the last down on a saturday :p
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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If this really is the ultimate fantasy thread, then can't we have pretty girls to keep us company while we drive the trains? :wub.


This will give a whole new meaning to the phrase....."Hands-on experiance"..:D

--- old post above --- --- new post below ---

I think Grantham that your ideas on ultimate fantasy are closer to my own. You'll have to join VT and be a guard on the last down on a Saturday :p


Coming from Australia every Saturday would be a bit of a trek even for Grantham...:shock:
 
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Schnellzug

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So, assuming that UR*, being based, as you say, on BR, is state-owned, then would it be run genuinely as a public service, (with, as you say, due regard for efficiency), or would it be used, as BR always was and the Railways certainly are now) as a means of generating revenue for the Government? It does, actually, sound rather like Soviet Railways, in the glory days of the USSR**; very little private road competition, and mainly heavy industry based freight transport. Only with less coal.
* Utopia Rail; or CFU (Chemins de fer Utopes), perhaps
(**UZD: Utopia Zheleznye Dorogi?)
*** I'll stop now
 

jopsuk

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In fantasy land I take it the budget is not an issue?

I'd weatherproof almost the entire network, by driving it underground. I appreciate this will rather spoil the view. I'd take the opportunity to straighten up many lines. All "main lines" would be 4 track, most stations would have platforms only on the slow lines- or on 2-track, the platforms (all straight and level) would be on loops. One effect of this would be to allow platform line speeds to always be low, allowing almost gap-free access to trains.

Busy routes would have freight segregated to their own tracks.

In a radical move, a "new standard gauge" of two metres (for track) would be declared. The loading gauge meanwhile would be akin to the Channel Tunnel- on which note, until the rest of Europe catches up, the Channel Tunnel and its link to London would be dual gauge.

The new loading and track gauges would be used on the London Underground Network (rebuilt), which would be rearranged to be a fully-integrated Metro network covering the whole of London out to a series of hub interchanges with longer distance lines on an outer London orbital running around at about the M25.

Most of the current network would obviously be dismantled. Some "long distance heritage" would be retained- with at least one decent stretch of 125mph, OHL line, a 3rd rail playground and a short section of LU 4th rail- perhaps even as a living museum from Baker Street to Edgeware road.

All the major cities would gain LU-style Metro lines.

Irish Sea tunnels- running both from Scotland towards Belfast and Wales towards Dublin. Dublin-Liverpool-Birmingham-London to be about two hours. Belfast-Glasgow to be about forty five minutes. The same rail revolution to occur across all of Ireland, north and south.

Further weather-proof transport:
Any bus route in the UK and Ireland running every 15 minutes or better to be replaced with a cut-and-cover tram line.
 

Schnellzug

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In fantasy land I take it the budget is not an issue?

I'd weatherproof almost the entire network, by driving it underground. I appreciate this will rather spoil the view.

Well, that'd guarantee that I'd never travel by train ever again, that's for sure.
 

150222

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A 4th rail subway system covering bulk of the city.

Electric trams covering the rest of it.

A double-deck trolleybus network.

A diesel bus network.

A 6 track rail line leading out of the capitol. Featuring a 3rd rail outer suburban railway (2 tracks), Diesal freight lines and A/C long distance line.
A/C and diesal express railways covering rest of nation.
 
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Schnellzug

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On the subject of freight, which was specifically alluded to, I do think that every town ought to have its own rail distribution depot, which could have, say daily or more frequent feeder services from a regional hub (e.g., say, Eastleigh could cover the South of england), perhaps using some form of freight MU like the NR MPVs, with containers that can be wheeled on & off like supermarkets use. Then you could use road distribution, like the old Mechanical Horses, for local distribution from the rail terminal. I think that could be a winner.
 

HSTEd

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I have to wonder if a utopian system of wagonload freight today would be based around traditional pickup freights with lots of shunting moves or if every unloading point would simply have a container crane and 20ft containers would be shifted between "mainline" and "pickup" freight trains and then shifted onto a loading dock.


And whether a nation with a railway that shifts almost all of its freight tonne-miles by rail would ahve huge electrification and huge branch line networks.
 

route:oxford

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Ultimate Fantasy?

How about the Caledonian Railway Company identifying Hyrdo-electric power as the way to power its services way back at the start of the 20th Century.

Developing a network of Hyrdo-electric power plants (and additional coal fired plants) throughout Scotland.

Result:-

A comprehensive, clean, efficient, 3rd rail network throughout Scotland that mostly escaped the Beeching cuts of the 60s.
 

HSTEd

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The OP's vision sounds just like every game of Transport Tycoon I've ever played!

OpenTTD (the open source reengineering with moar features) is even more like this.

I have networks with eight track main lines and so on :D
 

Badger

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I must say I'd prefer to live in the viscinity of a coal fired power station than a neuclear job...so if it's ok I'll stick to the coal workings over the flask workings.
In an ultimate fantasy world a nice section of the country would be sectioned off for a massive nuclear facility that would power the rest of the country. There wouldn't be a notion of "in my back yard" with regards to such services, they'd be done as central and as efficiently as possible.
 

Schnellzug

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In an ultimate fantasy world a nice section of the country would be sectioned off for a massive nuclear facility that would power the rest of the country. There wouldn't be a notion of "in my back yard" with regards to such services, they'd be done as central and as efficiently as possible.

Did you have anywhere in mind?

The trouble with that is, it's rather inefficient, so I'm told, transmitting it long distances. It'd be more efficient to generate it locally (local power for Local people!), so what I'd prefer would be local power plants, using whatever source of power is most appropriate (hydro electric, coal if it's near to a useable source of coal, with Nucular power to power major conurbations, & c.) That way, perhaps it might be feasible to electrify local networks (e.g. the West Country west of Bristol), using locally produced power that doesn't have to use so much of a massive infrastructure.
 

tsr

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A comprehensive, clean, efficient, 3rd rail network throughout Scotland that mostly escaped the Beeching cuts of the 60s.

3rd rail? Probably not the best of ideas in Scotland, where the snow and ice in Highland and, to a fairly great extent, Lowland regions would limit the winter service by icing up the conductor rails.

Since this is titled "The ultimate fantasy thread", I'd like to see nuclear-fuelled trains, much in the same way as you have nuclear-powered submarines. The development of tamper-proof systems wouldn't be cheap, but the energy efficiency in the long run should be pretty good. I'm not an expert on the ecology and efficiency of mining radioactive materials, but I understand that this would need improvements. The advantages would be a safer and probably more reliable system.

Also, in an ideal world, you'd have a pay-by-mile ticketing system, with simple percentage-based First Class upgrade prices. Only single tickets would be needed, and discounts could be issued automatically for smartcard holders who are in full-time education or who are on certain types of benefits/pensions.

There would be a standard in-cab signalling system for manual and automatic use. In automatic modes, trains could couple and detach at speed, thereby "platooning" into groups, which would improve aerodynamics and efficiency. If a train was not moving at the correct speed to couple, or had a fault with its coupling equipment, it would be forced to increase its distance from other trains.

Freight trains could potentially be split up en-route, as above, with wagons of a preset size travelling to terminals "driverless" at speeds of up to 30mph. Mainline trains would all have drivers. Freight would be on high-speed lines where possible, and would always carry a set number of containers per wagon. Each wagon would carry either eight, four, two or one container(s), depending on the size of the load.

Passenger trains would revert to having compartments available on long-distance routes, and would have as many doors as possible. Passenger-side doors would be standard on all routes, and trains and stations would have more doors and access points for boarding. Every train would have a catering option, and end-to-end journeys would always have a buffet car, complete with a chef using organic and FairTrade ingredients.

All passenger services would be divided into four categories: Metro, for journeys in cities or large towns, typically within 30 minutes; Short Journeys, for stopping services between towns, cities and other settlements, typically within 2 hours end-to-end; Long Journeys, for any services longer than 2 hours end-to-end; and Sleeper services, but these would only be needed on the very longest routes - Aberdeen to Penzance, perhaps, or Ashford to Fort William.

The backbone of lines between major cities and towns would be high-speed, except where constraints such as short distances prohibited this. Short Journey passenger trains could join and leave high-speed lines at their relevant junctions. All lines would be at least double-tracked, but high-speed lines would always be quad-tracked at stations, in order to permit stopping services to call at stations on looped arrangements of track. The methods of fuelling would mean a high power draw was possible, and therefore they would be able to accelerate to high-speed linespeeds quite adequately. In order to improve acceleration and braking, industrial units specialising in lightweight rolling-stock materials such as carbon fibre should be introduced.

Metro trains could use other lines, but would generally be confined to their own under/overground networks, much like the situation with the LU today.

Metro routes would not need drivers, but would operate in a way similar to the DLR. All trains on all different types of routes would have guards. Tickets could be purchased before or during travel, with the only requirement being a ticket issued before the end of the journey.

All stations would be manned during operating hours, except where they have fewer than 10,000 passengers a year. Video help-points would be available throughout the whole network, so face-to-face assistance could always be sought. These help-points would also include interactive maps, and possibly be integrated into ticket machines. Stations would all have audible announcements and at least one display screen on each platform. Information would also be displayed on seat-back or table-mounted touchscreens.

All trains would have reservable seats, except for Metro routes. The only seats on Metro routes would be folding seats, but these would be lightweight and nicely padded. The actual number of seats needed could be anything up to one whole train for very large parties, and everyone would simply pay the price per mile. Every train on every route would have at least one disabled toilet, with clean water and sewage being pumped via infrastructure at most calling points.

All trains would be operated by a single not-for-profit co-operative organisation, with funding entirely derived from freight and passengers. Information, timetables and ticketing would be controlled from this source. There would be considerable rewards, both monetary and otherwise, for the best-performing maintenance crews (which would be located in areas of under-employment). Train crews, station staff and information officers would be rewarded for compliments from passengers on a consistent basis.

Trains would run 24-hours on quad-tracked lines, and between major settlements, but would run on timings similar to that of the Tube in other locations.

Lines closed or abandoned would all have business cases redone and all residents within 5 miles could have the opportunity to present their ideas and opinions.
 

HSTEd

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Did you have anywhere in mind?

The trouble with that is, it's rather inefficient, so I'm told, transmitting it long distances. It'd be more efficient to generate it locally (local power for Local people!), so what I'd prefer would be local power plants, using whatever source of power is most appropriate (hydro electric, coal if it's near to a useable source of coal, with Nucular power to power major conurbations, & c.) That way, perhaps it might be feasible to electrify local networks (e.g. the West Country west of Bristol), using locally produced power that doesn't have to use so much of a massive infrastructure.

It is inefficient to move power long distances, but this is long distances by North American standards.
They regularily transport power over distances similar to Dounreay-Penzance in North America (see the Nelson River bipole system).

As to massive infrastructure, massive infrastructure underlies every aspect of our civilisation.
 

Nonsense

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Well, I'm not sure if this is really related to National Rail as-such, but I would like to pose a question that doesn't really fit anywhere and General Discussion seems to be the does-not-really-fit-anywhere-else forum so here we go.

For a variety of storytelling-related reasons I am attempting to develop an idea of how the transport sector of a hypothetical nation would function under the following conditions:-

1. For a few economic, geopolitical and social reasons there was never significant investment in road transport, leaving a nation with no concept of things such as the "dual carriageway" or mass road transport.
This leaves the nation relying almost entirely on rail and river-based transport.

The road haulage sector as we know it wouldn't exist. Long distance freight would go by rail, and/or water where appropriate, with the last mile being road based. No development of the road networks would need a fully developed rail distribution network. Rural areas would be rail connected for both passengers and freight.

2. The economy of the nation is based on a mix of heavy industry and high tech manufacturing with only limited contribution from services or whatever (so lots of metals and goods to move).

I presume that this is still a developed old world country. The service sector (consumer goods, retail, tourism, call centers etc) would still exist in some form, but with rail as the primary transport, discretionary travel would be restricted. Out of town shopping malls couldn't without the widespread private transport we have now. Town centers and local produce would dominate.

3. The national power supply is almost entirely nuclear derived with the supplies of fuel and waste being moved by rail (so lots of flask trains but not many coal workings).

Everything would be electrified. Every yard, siding, branch etc. Even the buses would be electric.

4. The continuous drive for efficiency that has characterised the railways in the UK for the last fifty years also occurs in this hypothetical nation even though there is no competition with road transport.

Depends on the technological state of the fictional country. Driverless trains on some routes perhaps. Freight multiple units?

5. The nation is influenced by British railway practices and has a single integrated railway corporation (in the style of BR)

A monolithic homogeneous BR with no competition (pre-sectorisation) is probably at odds with point 4.

So, given the parameters of this hypothetical nation, what would the rail transport system look like, I am particularly interested in things like wagon-load freight which presumably still exists.

NOTE: This is the chance of all the people always talking about wanting to have more rail-freight to absolutely go nuts, with the vast majority of tonne miles being moved by rail.

Taking the gloves off. Maximising the rail miles of freight. Every town would have a rail connection. Every quarry, every warehouse, every factory would be rail served. Tram and metro systems would provide freight paths, and freight trams would deliver goods to town centers before/after the commuter rush hours.

Intermodal transport would be the norm, and arctic trailers would travel by rail for the motorway portions of any journey, with local drivers collecting them to deliver off the rail network.

Also, without the major road networks, express coach services wouldn't exist and a cross country style rail service would exist in its place.
 

HSTEd

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The road haulage sector as we know it wouldn't exist. Long distance freight would go by rail, and/or water where appropriate, with the last mile being road based. No development of the road networks would need a fully developed rail distribution network. Rural areas would be rail connected for both passengers and freight.
So does mean there would be lots and lots of lightly used branch lines heading into the sticks, like a more extreme version of the pre-Beeching network in the UK?

I presume that this is still a developed old world country. The service sector (consumer goods, retail, tourism, call centers etc) would still exist in some form, but with rail as the primary transport, discretionary travel would be restricted. Out of town shopping malls couldn't without the widespread private transport we have now. Town centers and local produce would dominate.

Would town centres be redeveloped around rail spurs though if you understand what I mean? Like a track serving a long line of loading docks behind the shops of the high street or would we still see last mile haulage over the road even in recently redeveloped areas?


Everything would be electrified. Every yard, siding, branch etc. Even the buses would be electric.
I've been thinking about this a lot, and while it is true that the system would have vastly greater amounts of traffic than anything else we can currently imagine it would also have vastly greater track mileage.
For instance every random hamlet in the middle of nowhere would have a railway spur, every random farm a siding.
It could quite easily turn out that we would have a similar proportion of electrified track as we have today simply because there are vast numbers of branch lines running into the sticks.

Branch line electrification in places like Switzerland tend to be the result (as far as I can tell) of cheap electricity competing with steam, whereas nuclear almost by definition arrives in quantity after dieselisation is in full swing.

Depends on the technological state of the fictional country. Driverless trains on some routes perhaps. Freight multiple units?

I can see block trains like alumina workings to smelters being operated by multiple units with a number of the bogies powered and a cab at each end.
Driverless trains is probably still in the future unless they are ahead of the curve with ERTMS deployment.

Taking the gloves off. Maximising the rail miles of freight. Every town would have a rail connection. Every quarry, every warehouse, every factory would be rail served. Tram and metro systems would provide freight paths, and freight trams would deliver goods to town centers before/after the commuter rush hours.

Intermodal transport would be the norm, and arctic trailers would travel by rail for the motorway portions of any journey, with local drivers collecting them to deliver off the rail network.

Also, without the major road networks, express coach services wouldn't exist and a cross country style rail service would exist in its place.

Hhhm, so lots of wagonload freight, CargoTrams (like in Dresden?) and lots of high standard passenger trains on corridors not involving the capital?
 

Nonsense

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So does mean there would be lots and lots of lightly used branch lines heading into the sticks, like a more extreme version of the pre-Beeching network in the UK?

Pretty much yes. Country lanes with rusty rails sunk into the pot holed tarmac and beds of weeds. Hardly used but an integral part of the transport system. Maintenance would be a low priority and only lightest of stock would use them. Think Toby the tram engine :)


Would town centres be redeveloped around rail spurs though if you understand what I mean? Like a track serving a long line of loading docks behind the shops of the high street or would we still see last mile haulage over the road even in recently redeveloped areas?

I'm picturing a Victorian distribution system. The towns and city centres would exist as they did then and now, but with freight hubs and parcel depots. Long distance freight would be collected from the hub and delivered to the door by a municipal transport agent.

If new towns exist, like Milton Keynes, I'd image that the the modern city center would have integrated rail transport, and that the larger store would have their own goods stations to the rear or beneath the shop.

I've been thinking about this a lot, and while it is true that the system would have vastly greater amounts of traffic than anything else we can currently imagine it would also have vastly greater track mileage.
For instance every random hamlet in the middle of nowhere would have a railway spur, every random farm a siding.
It could quite easily turn out that we would have a similar proportion of electrified track as we have today simply because there are vast numbers of branch lines running into the sticks.

The vast traffic would be handled by the huge route options. In addition to the trunk routes, which would probably have all been 4-6 tracked to manage the traffic (as opposed to motorway building), there would also be hundreds of meandering slow route options for bulk goods.

Some of the backroad type railways would be in private hands. Internal industrial railways for example. The NCB electric locos from the NE come to mind.

Branch line electrification in places like Switzerland tend to be the result (as far as I can tell) of cheap electricity competing with steam, whereas nuclear almost by definition arrives in quantity after dieselisation is in full swing.

Good point. I had taken the lack of coal flows to mean no indigenous fuel supply that might lead to favouring nuclear generated electric railway.

I would imagine this being the ultimate aim.

I can see block trains like alumina workings to smelters being operated by multiple units with a number of the bogies powered and a cab at each end.
Driverless trains is probably still in the future unless they are ahead of the curve with ERTMS deployment.

This i could imagine. The FMU concept would be developed to its full potential, but I also see the railway as being a spotters haven with a myriad of different classes, some life expired, soldiering on the branch lines.

Modern custom built HSL would also exist linking the major centres with glitzy high speed trains.

Hhhm, so lots of wagonload freight, CargoTrams (like in Dresden?) and lots of high standard passenger trains on corridors not involving the capital?

Absolutely. For story telling purposes though, I think there should be some clear motive, an external constraint for the failure to develop road networks. The only one I can't think of right now is restricted fuel supply for private transport.
 

NLC1072

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I would want a railway that circumnavigates the world, oh did I forget to mention it has to be in polar orbit? ;)
 

Schnellzug

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Pretty much yes. Country lanes with rusty rails sunk into the pot holed tarmac and beds of weeds. Hardly used but an integral part of the transport system. Maintenance would be a low priority and only lightest of stock would use them. Think Toby the tram engine :)
that's an idea I quite like; tram type railways sharing country lanes with occasional farm traffic, perhaps a network of light railways fanning out into countryside feeding into main line junctions. Each network being owned and maintained locally, by private not-for-private consortiums, or consortia, of the local farms and industries. (This going hand in hand, of course, with the abolition of Defra and/or the EU. :lol: )
 

HSTEd

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Pretty much yes. Country lanes with rusty rails sunk into the pot holed tarmac and beds of weeds. Hardly used but an integral part of the transport system. Maintenance would be a low priority and only lightest of stock would use them. Think Toby the tram engine :)

So lots of work for RA 1 locomotives then? Class 01 and 04?
Although I doubt a RA 1 multiple unit would be practical (what was the RA for the Cl101?), what about RA 1 coaching stock (some sort of shortened/lightened Mark 2/3, what is the RA of the Mark 3 anyway?)?

I'm picturing a Victorian distribution system. The towns and city centres would exist as they did then and now, but with freight hubs and parcel depots. Long distance freight would be collected from the hub and delivered to the door by a municipal transport agent.

If new towns exist, like Milton Keynes, I'd image that the the modern city centre would have integrated rail transport, and that the larger store would have their own goods stations to the rear or beneath the shop.

Suburbs would probably tend towards the latter pattern I would imagine, as they would have been built relatively recently.
Perhaps with Weymouth style tramways down the high street of secondary towns.

The vast traffic would be handled by the huge route options. In addition to the trunk routes, which would probably have all been 4-6 tracked to manage the traffic (as opposed to motorway building), there would also be hundreds of meandering slow route options for bulk goods.

Some of the backroad type railways would be in private hands. Internal industrial railways for example. The NCB electric locos from the NE come to mind.

Meandering lines for goods would lead to impressively complicated junctions I would imagine, perhaps the Spaghetti Junction of the railways?
I suppose it atleast allows for a myriad of diversionary routes in times of disruption (engineering works and the like would be an enormous industry I imagine)

I could certainly see local councils and other bodies owning secondary tramways with little shunters providing service to farms.

Good point. I had taken the lack of coal flows to mean no indigenous fuel supply that might lead to favouring nuclear generated electric railway.

I would imagine this being the ultimate aim.
Indeed, but the cost of even tramway style electrification is ludicrously expensive with the enormous amount of trackage this system has.

This i could imagine. The FMU concept would be developed to its full potential, but I also see the railway as being a spotters haven with a myriad of different classes, some life expired, soldiering on the branch lines.

Modern custom built HSL would also exist linking the major centres with glitzy high speed trains.

Never throw anything away till it literally falls to pieces, and I imagine building modern rolling stock to RA1 would be rather... interesting.
I am also imagining Shinkansen style lines criss-crossing the place.

Absolutely. For story telling purposes though, I think there should be some clear motive, an external constraint for the failure to develop road networks. The only one I can't think of right now is restricted fuel supply for private transport.

I'm thinking about it, but so far I've got nothing beyond a cultural dislike for private road transport as a decadent waste.
 

Nonsense

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So lots of work for RA 1 locomotives then? Class 01 and 04?
Although I doubt a RA 1 multiple unit would be practical (what was the RA for the Cl101?), what about RA 1 coaching stock (some sort of shortened/lightened Mark 2/3, what is the RA of the Mark 3 anyway?)?



Suburbs would probably tend towards the latter pattern I would imagine, as they would have been built relatively recently.
Perhaps with Weymouth style tramways down the high street of secondary towns.



Meandering lines for goods would lead to impressively complicated junctions I would imagine, perhaps the Spaghetti Junction of the railways?
I suppose it atleast allows for a myriad of diversionary routes in times of disruption (engineering works and the like would be an enormous industry I imagine)

I could certainly see local councils and other bodies owning secondary tramways with little shunters providing service to farms.


Indeed, but the cost of even tramway style electrification is ludicrously expensive with the enormous amount of trackage this system has.



Never throw anything away till it literally falls to pieces, and I imagine building modern rolling stock to RA1 would be rather... interesting.
I am also imagining Shinkansen style lines criss-crossing the place.



I'm thinking about it, but so far I've got nothing beyond a cultural dislike for private road transport as a decadent waste.

I never fully got my head around what Route Acceptance codes meant, so I can't quite work with those definitions, but yes. Some tiny wheel base locomotives with very small axle loads operating on farms, docks, factory complexes, even the transport hubs.

Street running for mainline trains would be a certainty, but mostly likely on tracks used frequently by passenger trams.


I gave some thought to this a few years ago and have an unfinished manuscript lying around with this concept as part of the world building. I set the story about 50 years after peak oil and incorporated a lot of ideas about a post carbon economy.

Why not do something similar? What if the oil ran out in the seventies? Or if those major oil fields that have fueled the post war economy haven't been discovered yet?
 

Schnellzug

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I think for street running Route availability as such in terms of axle loads and so on wouldn't be too much of an issue; it'd be things like curves (and of course, dimensions of bridges and so on) that'd be more the determining factor. But obviously it'd be more efficient to use smaller engines for feeder services; we probably wouldn't be talking of 1000 ton trainloads, it'd be either portions detached from the trunk haul or smaller loads transhipped. So Type 2s or 3s (or the modern equivalent, the Vosslloh G1206) would be just the job, I should think.
 

HSTEd

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14 Jul 2011
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I was thinking of huge numbers of Type 1s for this sort of work, including a great number of "road switcher" types. With Type 2s and 3s for more "mainline" wagonload freight, preserving Type 5s for large heavy trainload formations.

As to the reasons, fuel shortages are an interesting one, but would tend to favour larger numbers of battery operated or electric trains and cause issues for diesel ones.
 

jopsuk

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13 May 2008
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I appreciate my fully-underground network idea would go down rather poorly with many, and it would have its own maintenance and operational issues, but just imagine- a transport network free of leaves, ice, wind, landslips and (with appropriate protection) floods. With correctly specced rolling stock for Platform Edge Doors, trespass and suicide would be difficult. Level crossings with roads would not exist.

As for the old routes, outside of the newly formed heritage operations, I'd turn the routes (including tunnels and viaducts) into high-spec walking and cycling routes, deep into the hearts of cities such as London and Birmingham. Even the long-distance heritage route would be reduced to twin tracks.

The cut and cover trams would have city centre freight depots to distribute deliveries to shops and other businesses, connecting to rail depots. I like the idea of the country lane tramways- they could connect well to the busier cut and cover routes.
 

Schnellzug

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22 Aug 2011
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Location
Evercreech Junction
I was thinking of huge numbers of Type 1s for this sort of work, including a great number of "road switcher" types. With Type 2s and 3s for more "mainline" wagonload freight, preserving Type 5s for large heavy trainload formations.

As to the reasons, fuel shortages are an interesting one, but would tend to favour larger numbers of battery operated or electric trains and cause issues for diesel ones.

Perhaps Oil would be reserved for essential users (i.e. rail and industry, plus perhaps agriculture & so on), or of course, the diesels wouldn't have to use Oil; wasn't someone the other day saying that older ones are actually easier to adapt to run on cooking oil etc than newer ones, while of course I'm sure that new ones could be adapted if there was enough demand to make it worthwhile).
 
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