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Discussion in 'Infrastructure & Stations' started by Unixman, 8 Jul 2014.
And giving other parts of the country no XC service.
Not if you change in Brum they don't. You have to be a glutton for punishment or have leaden baggage to go the long way round!
The land east of the station is also earmarked for development; it just needs the final approval from the city council. Included in the plans is a multi-storey car park, however I don't know how many proposed spaces it's meant to have, given that it'll also be serving the development.
Please remember that most people that use the rail network are not enthusiasts, some are not interesting in changing, some have baggage, some have mobility issues and some all off these, they just want a train to get them from where they are to where they need to be. They are not to concerned about the time taken but the ease of travelling. The industry some time ago were tasked with discouraging changes at New Street and quite right too.
There is an office block in front of Shrub Hill station. The land is lower than the station but the building is taller. It looks a bit run down. I don't know if it is occupied. I have always thought that plot would make a good low rise multi storey car park. It would also open the view up to and from the station and the city.
Best wishes, Stephen.
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Is that not part of the Shrub Hill re-development area?
> Is that not part of the Shrub Hill re-development area?
I hope so. It puts me off using the station.
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It is known as Elgar Tower and is probably the most detested building in the city ( and it has strong competition - Cathedral Plaza; the college). Unfortunately it is not part of the redevelopment plan:
There have been many plans over the past few years to improve the approach to the station from the city side, which involve the demolition of the ugly tower. However, none of these plans have come to fruition.
It wasnt a serious suggestion....
I know, I was agreeing with you Mr Planner
The old Kay's building. I thought that was planned for demolition?
Kay's factory, wasn't that in St. Johns on the other side of the river?
Both right. The Kay's building in St Johns has been demolished but the monstrosity (which is ex-Kays) still remains.
This site gives details of the proposed development:
Note that there is a proposal for a footbridge across to the station from the east.
Well if you were travelling from Sheffield (or north thereof) to Birmingham, a non stop service might be more attractive than the present offering. Derby is clearly a major centre and I don't think anyone would suggest not calling there, especially as a non stop train would have to slow to a crawl.
Cutting out Burton, Tamworth, Chesterfield might not totally offset Worcester in terms of time but ought to lead to more users. And let's not overlook that there are 2 fast trains/hour between Bristol and Birmingham, you don't have to divert them all.
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Isn't one of the Sheffield-Birmingham XC trains an hour already Derby only? The Edinburgh-Plymouth trains are the ones which call at Chesterfield, Derby and Burton / Tamworth (alternating) IIRC, whereas the Newcastle-Readings are Derby only.
Also, I'm not sure how using the argument of 'you save time east of Birmingham ergo it negates the loss to the west' works: Birmingham-Bristol timings are hardly brilliant as they are (90 miles in 90 minutes), so whilst the end-to-end times won't take as big a knock, Birmingham-West Country ones would, which I would suggest are currently poorer than the ones north east towards Sheffield.
Yes, the Reading-Newcastle only calls Derby, and then via Doncaster, whereas the Plymouth - Edinburgh serves alternately Tamworth or Burton, and then Chesterfield in addition to it's West Yorkshire diversion which results in it being just ten minutes in front of the following Newcastle service on arrival at York.
It's really quite simple isn't it? Worcester sits in the middle of an area which has no access to the north east - south west intercity network. Few people will travel to Birmingham by train to return south. They'll use the car on the congested M5. Direct trains southbound from Worcester are few. Northbound is better but two out of three commuter services serve Snow Hill where few want to go, as evidenced by the packed trains via Bromsgrove and the empty ones departing Droitwich for Snow Hill.
Therefore it shouldn't take a genius to work out that with a cathchment population of circa 570K people and growing fast there's a market ready and waiting, and waiting and waiting. This is not about commuting into Birmingham though no doubt some may avail themselves of an opportunity. The local stations by and large cater for this. No, this is about access to the intercity network without having to get to spend at least 45 minutes getting to Birmingham first.
Whether the planner and XC are able to find a way of serving this market is for them to explain why not. That's a lot of people and business waiting to be convinced.
I seem to recall London Midland trialled a Worcester-Glouctester service to fill in the gaps FGW leaves about 3-4 years ago, and it got dropped very quickly because of poor loadings IIRC. Anyone remember what kind of connections that offered at Cheltenham for XC services to the West Country?
Already have done and it isnt for NR to decide on what XC want to do. I just know that XC have no aspirations to do it apart from Cardiff Nottinghams as they want Bristol Birmingham as quick as possible, quicker than now. With Bromsgrove coming on stream before this does adding 3 minutes into those long distance services either adds considerable time into those trains as you clatter into the Cross City or you rewrite the Cross City and most of the West Mids in the process but this is just going over ground already covered.
The most important question is who will have the bigger clout with the DfT: XC or the local authorities and MPs ....
One problem is that the timetable was not good as return workings from Gloucester followed not long after the FGW services to Worcester/Great Malvern so there was no even spread between services which didnt help.
Worcester I think would benefit if the Great Malvern - Bristol - Weymouth/Brighton services ran hourly across the whole route rather than hve a hourly service on the core section between Westbury and Gloucester with a service every 2 hours or so to Weymouth or north to Worcester and Great Malvern.
Of course FGW will require additional rolling stock and paths etc
I've just had a look at the Birmingham-Bristol times, and was surprised (and disappointed) that it took that long. I use XC, but generally only between Birmingham and Leeds.
How come it takes so long? Is there a long section that is low speed or something. Is it clashes between XC and local services / freight (in particular Lickey)? I'm aware of the bit between Brum and Longbridge, but I would have thought that the 4-track section between Kings Norton (I think) and Longbridge would have provided some separation and mitigated the clash somewhat.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that long distance XC services should be fast, but they should also serve places as large and important as Worcester. I wonder if the solution would be to find (significant) time savings elsewhere on the route and allow the Voyagers to spread their legs a little.
Temple Meads to Parkway and Longbridge to New St as has been mentioned.
You may think you have "explained the commuting thing". That's your opinion. But if i was in Worcester and there was the option of driving to a nice parkway without having to battle through the city's less than fab roads - which I am sadly familiar with, thanks - to get to Shrub Hill, or be dropped off at Foregate Street, then what do you think I would do?
If it's supposed to improve intercity connectivity, how do you explain last year's version of the plan - one platform on the Cotswold Line, served by trains that already call in Worcester anyway? And XC has shown no enthusiasm whatever for this scheme, or maybe I missed the announcement? It's all very well to build the station but you also need space on the trains for people to get on and there sure as hell is not any space on many of the XC trains running past Norton right now and no prospect of extra capacity on XC for some years yet.
As for "Warwick Parkway has no relevance", people constantly claim lots of people from the Worcester area heading to London drive to Warwick because of the 'poor' service on the Cotswold Line/lack of parking at Shrub Hill, etc, etc. If there is improved intercity connectivity, but these people don't instead use this station near their homes, what on earth is the point of it?
Well go to Leamington Spa in the morning peak and see how good the current Chiltern and LM services are at deterring Birmingham commuters from cramming on to already-full XC trains - they're not.
By road, no. By train, yes, given there isn't a service in either direction between 7am and 9am. And even when LM extended some trains to Gloucestershire, there was still that gap, as LM's stock was all going into Birmingham at that time of the day.
Doesn't matter what speed they go at, they need to be able to accommodate the passengers that a Worcester Parkway would deliver and the fact of the matter is, as I'm sure you are aware, that Voyagers can't even fit in all the people who want to travel now, never mind add more from Worcester, whether long-distance or commuters to Birmingham - who, I repeat, will use this station if it gets built and has anything more than a token service on the Birmingham-Cheltenham line.
I'm well aware of how busy those Voyagers can get. I've spent enough time crammed in the vestibule by the toilets to know that they get rammed. When heading to Yorkshire on a Friday, I already delay my journey home to the 19:03 out of New Street (instead of the 18:03) to give myself a good chance of a seat.
In a perfect world, the journey would get sped up, Worcester (be it Parkway, Shrub Hill or anywhere else) would get served and the rolling stock would be increased to suit. It's not like the extra carriages would only be needed for the Worcester-Birmingham section.
If lengthening existing services is not an option, then an additional, more targeted service may provide an alternative. This would reduce the loadings on the existing services, allowing those extra passengers. It would require additional infrastructure, though, to create the paths. The South Staffs line for freight is one possibility for this. Another would be a flyover/diveunder just before Longbridge, allowing trains to reverse at platform 1 without conflict. Other possibilities would be use of the Camp Hill line for some services (also bringing in those other stations on that route) and/or grade separation of the junctions at Barnt Green and Kings Norton. It goes without saying, though, that all of these options will need the rolling stock to go with them.
None of those are viable though. Nothing will turnback at Longbridge once the Cross City enhancements to Redditch and Bromsgrove are complete so nothing is needed there. You probably have more chance of winning the lottery than grade seperating Barnt Green as you would need to move the station let alone get it past the people that live there with considerable £££, Kings Norton would be the same. Camp Hill does get used for XC services as it is and the South Staffs idea is going cold with various parties. Finding an affordable solution is nigh on impossible.
Well that depends on which direction you are coming from but as any local knows the Western Bypass is chocka at peak times and getting across the river bridge is just as bad. So you might do what a lot or people do from the Warndon area and drive to Droitwich and clog up the local roads there as an alternative! Or of course persevere and use the City centre stations.
Well it would be perverse to have zero or two platforms on a single line wouldn't it? But one would imagine it's fairly obvious - connectivity to points towards Evesham and the City centre and yes, I dare say some might park and commute as well, or are the people of Worcestershire not allowed to do that on Voyagers?
As for extra capacity, well demand is usually the main driver for an increase but I dare say that for those those going to Birmingham from the new station it will be a simple choice; bums on seats with LM, stand on XC and suffer withering looks from the Gloucestershire mob struggling to turn the page of their broadsheets. Not a great choice but a choice nevertheless. Depends on what is most important.
It's irrelevant to the main purpose of the new station which IS to provide an intercity connection to the North / South West axis from AND to Worcestershire. Incidentally I'm sure many people do drive to Warwick Parkway from 'Worcestershire' which of course includes places like Droitwich and Bromsgrove using the convenience of the M5/M42.
So it's possible to find paths to terminate additional trains at Bromsgrove, no doubt because of revised layout being provided by NR, coupled with removal of the crossing moves at Halesowen Jcn and one addition / hour at Barnt Green. Maybe another quick win to ease the path of XC trains would be to wire up the Up Goods from Barnt Green and shift the locals starting away from the platform straight out of the way, unless of course it might be needed to park a freight train in- no?
Where there's a will there's a way. It's for those who claim there's a need to demonstrate it and then the finance will be found eventually, which is what has happened here with the announcement of the new Parkway Stn and the works now in progress at Bromsgrove and Alvechurch. Seem someone is taking notice of the needs of the locals in high places (including NR).
Yes, the bypass is busy - and building this station will only add to the traffic on it - but lots of people in the south, east and north of the city will simply head straight out there the instant Parkway opens, as will others from further afield, whatever the road conditions, so they can avoid going anywhere near the city centre.
You seem to have deliberately missed my point - last year's Cotswold Line-only single-platform plan did naff all for connectivity to any new destinations at all, and would simply have added an extra stop on London services that the county council and many Worcestershire residents constantly complain are too slow already... never mind that they already know full well that a standard two-hour timing will be in the IEP timetable.
Without a great deal of extra XC capacity laid on in time for the opening of this station, they won't even get on the trains, never mind stop people opening their papers on a Voyager in the peaks - that's hard enough now. I can just hear the howls of anguish if they all turn up on opening day and a rammed two-car 170 rolls in bound for New Street.
So again, how did last year's single Cotswold Line platform wheeze fit into this greater connectivity concept? That's right, it didn't, but the council still said it was a fab idea...
Unless the Worcester area is resignalled, more of the Cotswold Line is redoubled and the capacity constraints of the single-line chord between Shurb Hill and Foregate Street and the single-line bi-di working at Foregate Street are eliminated, both of which limit what services can be run, then rail connections via Parkway to/from the rest of the county, so people can wedge themselves into already-busy XC services (unless you know where XC is magically going to find more rolling stock), will be very far from ideal - or frequent.