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Sideshoots - associated subjects => Campaigns for new and improved services => Topic started by: Lee on December 14, 2007, 03:41:45 pm



Title: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on December 14, 2007, 03:41:45 pm
Lord Bassam said a plan had to include a "proper business case", and be funded as the Government had not studied the likely cost. He added: "Reopening regional or rural lines will not normally be the most effective way of delivering the capacity increases, which as the rail White Paper explained are our priority." (link below.)
http://www.oxfordmail.net/news/headlines/display.var.1904320.0.city_rail_link_to_cambridge.php

Last month , the East West Rail Consortium brought in consultants to draw up a case for reopening the western sections of the line from Bicester to Bletchley south of Milton Keynes , and the Claydon Junction-Aylesbury line.

The consortium has estimated the cost of reopening the Bicester-Bletchley section at up to ^135m.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on December 14, 2007, 11:47:12 pm
Shame the 2012 Rowing Lake will destroy part of the track bed between Bedford and Cambridge!

Who needs a rail link when you can have the London Olympics!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 07, 2008, 12:12:46 am
The consortium behind the plan says the scheme linking Oxford to Milton Keynes, Bedford and Aylesbury is on track to become operational by 2012. But the estimated cost, originally put at ^130m, has risen to ^190m, going to ^228m if a spur to Aylesbury is included (link below.)
http://www.oxfordmail.net/display.var.2100215.0.rail_link_work_may_start_in_2009.php

A new report commissioned by the East West Rail Consortium, made up of councils and development agencies, has backed the case for a new network of railway lines and train services. It means the long awaited project now goes to a detailed planning stage.

Adrian Saunders, Oxfordshire County Council's rail development officer, said:

Quote from: Adrian Saunders
"There is a lot of support coming from the Department for Transport and Network Rail to get this project moving. Construction work could start by the end of 2009."


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Graz on March 07, 2008, 10:57:14 am
It is costly but then again anything that can be done to relieve the congestion to and from London is definitely a good thing, especially with the upcoming Olympics. Not only this but it would be a much quicker route and could open up many other journey oppertunities.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 07, 2008, 11:01:30 am
One of the things that interests me about this is that its another example of how difficult it appears to be to keep the costs of such schemes down. See link below for another example.
http://www.savethetrain.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5686.msg9994#msg9994


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on March 07, 2008, 06:58:53 pm
^228m is a bargain. Think of the costs of Reading, Birmingham New St, let alone Crossrail or Thameslink. And how much is a couple of miles of M74 extension in Glasgow going to cost?  ^400m+ I seem to recall.

And the road alternatives are awful, particularly in the rush hour. My wife knows, as she has to drive to MK every couple of weeks, and the journey from Nailsea takes around 3 hours. I suspect the main problem would be overcrowding. Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be the ideal service, which could also provide a bit of additional peak capacity between Bristol and Swindon.   


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 07, 2008, 08:55:17 pm
^228m is a bargain. Think of the costs of Reading, Birmingham New St, let alone Crossrail or Thameslink. And how much is a couple of miles of M74 extension in Glasgow going to cost?  ^400m+ I seem to recall.

And the road alternatives are awful, particularly in the rush hour. My wife knows, as she has to drive to MK every couple of weeks, and the journey from Nailsea takes around 3 hours. I suspect the main problem would be overcrowding. Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be the ideal service, which could also provide a bit of additional peak capacity between Bristol and Swindon.   

Dont get me wrong, I would love to see it happen. I also agree that Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be a good service to have. Southampton-Salisbury-Westbury-Swindon-Oxford-MK wouldnt be a bad idea either.....

The Oxford Mail article also gives an indication of potential journey times :

Quote from: Oxford Mail
The "congestion busting" link holds out the promise of 12-minute train journeys between Oxford and Bicester and 35 minutes between Oxford and Milton Keynes.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on March 07, 2008, 09:04:13 pm
I've had an interest in this scheme since living on a house built on the old trackbed in Sandy, Beds 15 years ago. Yes it was developed enough then for a leaflet to have been produced.   At the time the cost of diverting a bit further north would not have been great, but as has already been mentioned the Willington Rowing Lake appears to have killed off the scheme east of Bedford for good.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 13, 2008, 01:02:49 pm
From the Save The Train Forum :

Nearly a year on and East-West Rail have published their more in-depth report which takes the project to final stages of GRIP (Guide for Railway Investment Projects) Stage 3.

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/GRIP3FinalReport.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/GRIP3FinalReport.pdf)

The project has moved on considerably and is now based on a 100mph link between Oxford and Bletchley and a 90mph link between Aylesbury and Calvert to provide a 'regional express' service at 2tph and 1tph respectively.

The following extracts indicate that the start of any actual construction work is over two years away, and that constrution would take over three years.

6.38 Currently at a stage comparable to GRIP Stage 3, it is anticipated that the remaining
Design and Mobilisation Phase of the EWR Scheme will take further 26 months. This
will include completion of GRIP 4 and 5 (single option development and detailed
design), and makes an allowance for the procurement negotiations required before a
Contractor is appointed to undertake construction phase of the project. It is during this
phase that necessary possessions and blockades will need to be booked with Network
Rail.

6.39 The construction period alone is estimated to be a period of 43 months. Further
refinement of the programme will be required as more detailed design is undertaken
and it is believe the construction period could be reduced to closer to 30 months.
Driven by the need to lay the track, it has been assumed that most civil engineering
works, signalling, crossings and drainage etc can be progressed concurrently with the
track laying.


I have watched this project for many years, and although we're still a long way from the first train running, this document seems well-reasoned, acheiveable, and just goes to show the work (and money) that has to be spent on getting a relatively modest scheme such as this off the ground.

With Ruth Kelly under increasing pressure to increase rail capacity, or at least be seen to be doing so, this is just the sort of scheme that will get her department lots of prositive coverage, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on March 13, 2008, 09:58:01 pm
When FGW get HST2s from the IEP, Chiltern could take the HSTs and run an hourly service from Marylebone to Milton Keynes/Bedford!

Of course, the first class would be taken out. Everyone is second class (i.e. equal) with Chiltern.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stebbo on April 20, 2008, 04:39:37 pm
Chiltern's standard class is sheer luxury compared to FGW's refurbed mk 3s


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on April 20, 2008, 08:15:20 pm
I see "East / West" is live again here.  Of course THIS is where it would / would have been good for it to end up:

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/nrstn.jpg)

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/nrtrn.jpg)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on April 20, 2008, 10:02:20 pm
Quite possibly, Nick!

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_railway_station

 ;) :D ;D


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on April 22, 2008, 08:11:08 pm
Yes - an hourly/ two hourly Reading or Didcot to Norwich would be good (taking pressure off London).


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 27, 2008, 11:59:45 am
The East-West Rail Consortium has released a document that further clarifies the time-scales for the Western Section from Oxford/Aylesbury-Milton Keynes/Bedford. I had wondered what effect Chiltern Railways' announcement regarding an Oxford-Marylebone service via Bicester would have on the scheme, but it appears that it won't be causing too much of a delay as additional GRIP 3 stage work will now take place whilst early GRIP 4 work is in progress. GRIP 4 work is now scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

To quote from the document...

The Key planned Programme Dates are:-
^ Award contract for next phase - By end November 2008
^ Surveys to Commence - January 2009
^ Phase 1 Complete (GRIP 3/4)- By end April 2009
^ Design Specification Fixed - By end May 2009
^ Commencement of Phase 2 (GRIP 4) - By end June 2009
^ GRIP 4 Review and Commission complete - By end December 2009


The full document can be downloaded at http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/_inc/documents/EWRCInformationBulletin_Oct2008w.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/_inc/documents/EWRCInformationBulletin_Oct2008w.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 27, 2008, 02:29:42 pm
Interesting! December Modern Railways has a piece which says that in fact Chiltern Rail will help EWR by doing the Oxford Bicester bit, the chord at Bicester and build Water Eaton Parkway station.

Chiltern will then run 2 tph to Marylebone and EWR will be able to run 2 tph to Milton Keynes and/or  Bedford plus Aylesbury  Milton Keynes.

Now if we could only get Bourne End - High Wycombe, Bucks could end up with a superb rail network serving all the principle towns.

Unfortunately the Maidenhead Advertiser has a report on a planning enquiry into a scheme to build on the track bed at Wooburn. If it were to be approved it would kill any reopening.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on November 27, 2008, 03:54:50 pm
I would have thought that Chiltern's contribution will significantly reduce the cost of the scheme (at least the infrastructure element of it), and make it much more likely to be funded. 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 27, 2008, 04:00:51 pm
I would have thought that Chiltern's contribution will significantly reduce the cost of the scheme (at least the infrastructure element of it), and make it much more likely to be funded. 

Yes, let's hope so. It's almost amazing to think that the current mix of 20/30/40mph single track with a turbo bobbing along it every couple of hours, could, in five years time, be a high quality, high-speed inter-urban route which could also be seen as a strategic freight and passenger diversionary route.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 27, 2008, 06:48:23 pm
Now if we could only get Bourne End - High Wycombe, Bucks could end up with a superb rail network serving all the principle towns.

Unfortunately the Maidenhead Advertiser has a report on a planning enquiry into a scheme to build on the track bed at Wooburn. If it were to be approved it would kill any reopening.
As much as I would like to see it reopen, fond memories as small boy traveling from Furze Platt to Beaconsfield to see my Aunt, I fear to much has already been built on and the removal of the embankment for the retail park at High Wycombe place an even bigger problem.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 27, 2009, 09:26:14 pm
"Rail campaigners are backing a 100mph fast train route across the centre of England linking Oxford and Cambridge.  The fast train route would go via Bicester, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Bedford with integrated links to connect Ipswich and Norwich to Swindon.  The plan involves a combination of existing, upgraded and reopened lines."

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7851976.stm


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 27, 2009, 09:50:18 pm
Two points:

Via Aylesbury? I think the BBC have got it wrong. They probably mean a separate route from Aylesbury to Milton, and Oxford to Bedford.

And why only 100 mph? The section east of Bicester is pretty straight, and has no points for stations until Bletchley! 125 mph please!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 27, 2009, 10:09:09 pm
And why only 100 mph? The section east of Bicester is pretty straight, and has no points for stations until Bletchley! 125 mph please!
The extra cost for the infrastructure works, increased maintenance cost would make the proposal unviable, open the line at 100mph and then work at increasing the speed if the demand is there for faster trains, but I doubt there will be much saving in journey times


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on January 27, 2009, 10:25:16 pm
100mph = 36 secs per mile. 125mph = 28.5secs.  ie 7.5secs per mile, so you need 8 miles to save 1 minute. So after allowing for accelerating and braking, the most you would save between Bicester and Bletchey is 2 minutes at a push. And 125mph stock needs to be more crashworthy, have dead space at both ends, and is thus more expensive in every respect.

So it would be completely unviable. Of more interest would be to electirify the line up front. Electrifying a disused line is much cheaper as there is no disruption cost. There will be oodles of EMUs available once the Thameslink stock is cascaded, and if the GWML is electrified in the next few years, then it would make sense.

But I agree with Electric Train keep the cost to a minimum and get the business case approved. 

 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 28, 2009, 04:55:59 pm
Ok.

But don't electrify, as it would restrict the extensions to the service.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 28, 2009, 05:29:00 pm
I think the fact that 90-100mph is being actively pursued is excellent - though that will be difficult to achieve between Oxford and Islip. I would have probably expected 75mph limit to have been decided upon for a rural route like this.

Does anyone know whether the intended re-engine of the Chiltern Railways 165/0's fleet will see their top speed increased from 75mph to 90/100mph?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 28, 2009, 06:59:35 pm
They want to re-engine their 168s to 100 mph (to get 90 min timings London - Birminham). I doubt they'll change their 165s.

However, they will probably order more 172s (100 mph) to run the Oxford services.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: willc on January 29, 2009, 12:34:41 am
Two points:

Via Aylesbury? I think the BBC have got it wrong. They probably mean a separate route from Aylesbury to Milton, and Oxford to Bedford.

And why only 100 mph? The section east of Bicester is pretty straight, and has no points for stations until Bletchley! 125 mph please!

I should think the people of Winslow, population getting on for 10,000, would quite like the trains to stop at their town along the way... also a couple of other stations are proposed between here and Bletchley where more housing is slated to go in as Milton Keynes grows. The proposed East-West service mix includes stoppers and semi-fasts to cater for the various markets. MK-Aylesbury, via Claydon junction, is an aspiration of the East-West consortium.

100mph is fine for this sort of route, with relatively frequent stops and Chiltern's trains are unlikely to make that many calls at Islip anyway, Water Eaton Parkway (aka Kidlington) being a far juicer prospect, by saving people the struggle through the city to Oxford station.

Electrification won't be happening at the initial stage, but if GWML and MML wires get the go-ahead, followed by XC, then Oxford-Bletchley-Bedford would be an obviously useful bit of infill, allowing freight diversions in particular when regular routes are blocked/under maintenance.

Class 168s, like other Turbostars, are already cleared for 100mph.




Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 29, 2009, 05:01:35 pm

Does anyone know whether the intended re-engine of the Chiltern Railways 165/0's fleet will see their top speed increased from 75mph to 90/100mph?
If it's a straight re-engine without gear box and final drive changes then the top speed will remain unchanged


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 29, 2009, 05:12:38 pm
Chiltern are re-engineering their 168 fleet for better acceleration to match the 172s'.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 29, 2009, 05:16:55 pm
They want to re-engine their 168s to 100 mph (to get 90 min timings London - Birminham). I doubt they'll change their 165s.

However, they will probably order more 172s (100 mph) to run the Oxford services.

As Willc said, 168's are already 100mph trains. And as I've said before, I'll believe this 90 minute headline timing when I see it!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 29, 2009, 06:06:40 pm
So will I! I can't see it as possible, as it includes stops.

Chiltern will not be able to cut stops (even on one train) because their B'ham to London trains provide the regular half hourly service for most stations between Dorridge and High Wycombe.

And consider that the WCML is 125 mph and with 4 stops is not much less than 90 mins!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: G.Uard on January 29, 2009, 07:14:22 pm
Why end here
(http://www.wellho.net/pix/nrstn.jpg)

when it could end here?
(http://i260.photobucket.com/albums/ii4/mr_metaxa/Upperlargebottom.jpg)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 29, 2009, 09:55:44 pm
???


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: willc on January 30, 2009, 12:46:00 am
But headline timings and regular timings aren't the same thing.

The huge BR sign on the old Royal Mail depot at Curzon Street in Birmingham back in the 1980s proclaiming 'Birmingham-London in 91 minutes' or whatever it was applied to one or two trains a day each way, Monday-Friday only - 100 minutes was more like it the rest of the time.

Chiltern might be able to pull off a near 90-minute timing for the odd train, if yet more money is spent on extra capacity in north-west London and reinstating through loops at Buckinghamshire stations - and they don't get stuck behind a Freightliner between Banbury and Leamington - but is it really worth it?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 30, 2009, 03:10:09 am
Chiltern might be able to pull off a near 90-minute timing for the odd train, if yet more money is spent on extra capacity in north-west London and reinstating through loops at Buckinghamshire stations - and they don't get stuck behind a Freightliner between Banbury and Leamington - but is it really worth it?

Indeed. A largely 90mph railway between Marylebone and Princes Risborough would only save a maximum of 2-4 minutes over the present schedule. After that it's already 100mph all the way to Banbury except for through Bicester and Aynho Junction (In Aynho's case, with the best will in the world, 60mph is the absolute max in the down direction). My advice: Spend the money wisely, forget cheap headlines, knock 10 minutes off of the current London-Birmingham schedules, keep on providing a quality alternative to Virgin, and watch the cash flow in to the coffers!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on January 30, 2009, 10:02:01 am
As I understand Chilterns plans as outlined by there then timetable planner the 90 minute timing to Moor Street would be a regular timing with stops.

It would be achieved by re-enging the 165 with the 172 power train thus making them 100 mph units. Increses in line speeds South of Anyho up to 100 plus provion of bi directional fast lines at several stations between Marylebone and Banbury.



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on January 30, 2009, 06:30:38 pm
As I said before, they won't be headline services.

Chiltern provide the regular off peak half-hourly/hourly service for most of the route - including te B'ham end, CT/LM stopped most running south of Dorridge some years ago.

So they won't be able to just cut stops off to make a couple of "headline" services.

The minimum stops will be Moor Street, Solihul, Dorridge, Warwick Parkway, Warwick Town, Leamington, Banbury, Bicester, Princes Ris, High W, London. Lapworth and Hatton will require an hourly service. H & Thame Parkway will need some trains.

But I doubt they'll be able to do it, even if the whole route was 100 mph.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stebbo on January 30, 2009, 10:27:20 pm
If some of the through lines at stations like Princes Risborourgh, High Wycombe, Beaconsfield, Denham could be reinstated then a faster Chiltern service is a possibility. Shame about Gerrards Cross with the platform narrowing and the Tesco monstrosity


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on January 30, 2009, 10:33:29 pm
But apparently the new tunnel will have room for 4 tracks. (Some tunnel!)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stebbo on February 01, 2009, 11:11:49 am
What is the point in the Tesco tunnel having four tracks when the platforms were altered in such a way as to squeeze out the old through lines and the cutting beyond has, as I recall only space for the current double track?

Perhaps the idea is that stoppers have to go into the tunnel to wait for fast trains to overtake. I'm sure local residents of Gerrards Cross would love that....... Hard hats all round.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 16, 2009, 04:10:44 pm
The East-West Rail Consortium have released an updated report on the Central Section of the proposed route covering the route between Bletchley and Cambridge/Stansted/Peterborough. That's the section that will be the most difficult to implement as it involves new track for several miles. It's quite a weighty document but is an interesting read, especially as it gives preliminary timetable options for the route with preferred options of a link from Stewartby to Luton and then on to Stevenage, or the original proposed route of a link from Bedford to Sandy.

Downloadable here: http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/CentralSectionReport-February2009.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/CentralSectionReport-February2009.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 06, 2009, 07:43:17 pm
The EWR consortium have issued a press release http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/PRESSRELEASE-EWRC271009.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/PRESSRELEASE-EWRC271009.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 08, 2010, 06:35:15 pm
A little after the December 2009 date hoped for, but the East-West Rail Consortium has now published their GRIP 4 survey findings.

Press release here: http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/PRESSRELEASE-EWRC080610.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/PRESSRELEASE-EWRC080610.pdf)
Non-technical summary here: http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/EWRDraftOutlineBusinessCaseNTS_08062010_Final.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/EWRDraftOutlineBusinessCaseNTS_08062010_Final.pdf)

The core scheme would give an hourly Milton Keynes to Oxford service, an hourly Milton Keynes to Marylebone via Aylesbury service, and retain the present hourly Bedford to Bletchley service.  The preferred scheme extends the Milton Keynes to Oxford service through to Reading, and provides a second train per hour by extending the Bedford to Bletchley service through to Oxford and then on to Reading.  Either scheme would be very welcome in my opinion!

Overall, a very positive document, including a headline BCR of 5 - but still plenty of work to be done given the current financial climate!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on June 08, 2010, 07:30:22 pm
The report shows great vision and should be built, the possibility of a Reading to Milton Keynes opens up so much potential, its a shame that I don't think the current Government will have the longsighted vision.

I do hope the consortium achieve this


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Phil on June 08, 2010, 08:37:18 pm
Hate to get political but I have to ask...
Quote
I don't think the current Government will have the longsighted vision.

Do you honestly think ANY Government would have that kind of vision? And if so, who?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on June 09, 2010, 12:51:16 pm
Do you honestly think ANY Government would have that kind of vision? And if so, who?

How about the Government's of most other countries across the world?  :-\


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grandsire on June 09, 2010, 05:29:23 pm
Its interesting that both the East-West consortium and the preferred line of HS2 both want to use the old Great Central track bed between Aylesbury and Calvert Jcn.  Can both be accomodated ( my recollection is it was only ever a double track line).


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on June 09, 2010, 06:23:39 pm
I looked at this a while ago, and one of the significant points not shown on the DfT published maps is that there will be loops either side of the HS line past Calvert, with a connection via a 'SE/NE' curve to the Bicester/Bletchley route for engineering train access to the HS line. This curve already exists but will also be needed by Chiltern to Milton Keynes as proposed by East West rail.  I think there are many details off the main HS route yet to become clear, these quotes are from the HS2 engineering report:

Quote
"In the Calvert area, an HS2 infrastructure maintenance depot is
proposed. The depot would be alongside the existing East - West Rail
route between Bicester and Bletchley, near Steeple Claydon. Placing the
depot here would allow maintenance trains and on-track plant (for
example ballast trains) use the WCML at Bletchley to gain access to HS2.
There would be a link connecting HS2 to East ^ West Rail, which itself
would need to be grade-separated over HS2, potentially involving
re-alignment and raising over a distance of up to 3km. The critical
distance associated with the design on HS2 is the loop lines adjacent to
the main line. There would need to be provision for locomotives to run
round their engineering trains. Turnouts to and from HS2 and East ^ West
rail would be needed, and 80kph switches were assumed. The link to and
from East ^ West rail would need to be capable of bi-directional
operation. The depot itself was modelled on the Singlewell Depot on HS1." 

"Further investigation is needed to devise an optimum layout accommodating
the existing lines, the HS2 line, and the spur to the maintenance depot."


Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on June 09, 2010, 06:46:08 pm
Its interesting that both the East-West consortium and the preferred line of HS2 both want to use the old Great Central track bed between Aylesbury and Calvert Jcn.  Can both be accomodated ( my recollection is it was only ever a double track line).

My guess is there will be stations along the HS2 route to appease the natives allowing something similar to SE Trains HS1 service, Calvert Jcn are could be an ideal location E-W and HS2 meeting point and not far from the M40 etc


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Adrian the Rock on June 10, 2010, 08:50:32 pm
Its interesting that both the East-West consortium and the preferred line of HS2 both want to use the old Great Central track bed between Aylesbury and Calvert Jcn.  Can both be accomodated ( my recollection is it was only ever a double track line).

I'm sure I've read somewhere that when the GC (MS&L London Extension) was built, the formation was made wide enough everywhere so that 4-tracking would be readily possible if needed.  As it turned out, of course, the need never arose.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: willc on June 10, 2010, 11:18:31 pm
Not judging by the pictures in this fascinating gallery of photos taken during the construction of the GC which are now in the Leicestershire county archive, although they cover the full route through other counties as well.

http://prints.leics.gov.uk/prints-7469/the-last-main-line-gallery.html


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on July 10, 2010, 06:34:50 pm
Another document published by East West Rail Consortium  Grip 4 Outline Business Case - Final Report Non Technical Summary

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/EWRGRIP4BusinessCaseNon-TechnicalSummaryJuly2010.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/EWRGRIP4BusinessCaseNon-TechnicalSummaryJuly2010.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 10, 2010, 12:11:53 am
An update on the project, with news that the DfT has agreed that the East West Rail (Western section) should be assessed for inclusion in the next HLOS covering 2014-2019.

The consortium hopes to have the Western Section up and running by 2017.  We will see...

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/EWRCInformationBulletin_Nov2010w.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/documents/EWRCInformationBulletin_Nov2010w.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 22, 2011, 04:01:10 pm
A 5-minute video, which to be honest is full of flashy graphics and little new information, has been released summarising the project.  Useful for those that know little about the scheme.

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/video/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/video/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on May 22, 2011, 05:03:52 pm
A 5-minute video, which to be honest is full of flashy graphics and little new information, has been released summarising the project.  Useful for those that know little about the scheme.

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/video/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/video/)

This could be classed as progress, and they have snazzed up the website.

Looks like the project still has legs


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on August 19, 2011, 01:25:36 pm
Oxford Economics have produced a report summarising the wider economic case for investment in the Western Section of the East West Rail project.  There's a summary on the following link together with a link to download the full document.

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/the_project/the-economic-case-for-investment/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/the_project/the-economic-case-for-investment/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on August 20, 2011, 09:13:44 pm
Oxford Economics have produced a report summarising the wider economic case for investment in the Western Section of the East West Rail project.  There's a summary on the following link together with a link to download the full document.

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/the_project/the-economic-case-for-investment/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/the_project/the-economic-case-for-investment/)
Also a Progress Report http://eastwestrail.org.uk/progress-report-august-2011/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/progress-report-august-2011/) and "East West Rail can help economic development" http://eastwestrail.org.uk/east-west-rail-can-help-economic-development/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/east-west-rail-can-help-economic-development/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: anthony215 on October 08, 2011, 03:51:34 pm
Just read this online:

http://www.transportxtra.com/magazines/local_transport_today/news/?id=28284



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 08, 2011, 03:55:24 pm
I didn't think I saw it on that NR document on CP5....but it was so large, I expected to have missed it


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: John R on October 08, 2011, 07:04:26 pm
Though in discussion of the need for further capacity enhancements to the Southampton - West Coast ML freight corridor, the following bullet is listed:-

* possible use of the East / West (Oxford / Bletchley) link to be used as a
capacity/diversionary opportunity between Oxford ^ Leamington;
* Melksham ^ possible enhancements to an existing gauge clearance scheme; and...


So clearly the EW route is still on the radar. (Second bullet point shown as it may be of interest to certain people.)

It had previously occurred to me that if Reading to Basingstoke is wired, which seems quite likely in the next ten years, then an electrified EW Rail link would enable fully electric freight haulage between Southampton and Birmingham, as well as an alternative route as traffic grows rapidly (which is already happening).


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on October 08, 2011, 07:07:55 pm
I think it is a similar reason to when we discussed HS2 earlier.  East West rail is not really part of the current network, and is to rely on third party funding, so it isn't right for Network Rail (NR) to discuss it being built yet...

PS - found another reference in the section of the enhancements list about Oxford corridor capacity improvements:

Quote
a double junction at Oxford North to facilitate increased capacity of connection to the
Bicester line (subject to the progression of East West railway).

Paul 

Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronyms


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on November 03, 2011, 05:29:55 pm
The latest Rail magazine has a short piece about E/W Rail not getting much of a mention in the IIP, and the consortium has confirmed this is as expected, basically because it isn't a NR or TOC sponsored project. The implication is that it ought to be fed into the HLOS by DfT.

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 03, 2011, 05:31:55 pm
Yes, and a full press release stating as such is here:

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/press-release/ (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/press-release/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 03, 2011, 06:02:14 pm
Which will be where RAil got their article from.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: anthony215 on November 15, 2011, 04:03:56 pm
Just found this on the BBC democracy live page:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9639000/9639614.stm



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on November 16, 2011, 09:28:59 am
Interesting points John R unfortunately they aren't new. Shades of the 1955 Modernisation plan with the flyover and the proposed yard at Swanbourne with the line being used as round London freight route.

However, your points are still valid. It seems to me  that it is almost essential that once Reading Oxford is electrified Reading Basingstoke and Oxford Bletchley should be as well for the reasons given. Both would be relatively easy and cheap schemes to add on as part of a rolling programme once the GWML elctrification is complete.

However we are up against the "bean counters" in the Treasury who just love to say NO to any sensible investment.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 16, 2011, 10:48:12 am
Just found this on the BBC democracy live page:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9639000/9639614.stm

Thanks for the link.  An interesting, and 99% positive, discussion on the project.  Good to hear Teresa Villiers sound so positive too.  A 30-minute debate like that is really more about demonstrating to the wider world how much cross-party support such a project has, rather than actual serious debate, but the fact it has got that far is very positive.

Interesting to hear the minister talking of Chiltern's 'Evergreen 3' as definitely going ahead with no mention of it still being subject to agreement from her new boss!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 16, 2011, 11:00:04 am
Yes, I thought that!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 28, 2011, 10:57:46 am
In the FT (behind a subscription wall)....

Quote
Financial Times. November 28, 2011
Signal green for ^Varsity^ line reopening
By Mark Odell and George Parker
Ministers are expected to give the go-ahead to re-open part of the Oxford to Cambridge railway line, closed in the wake of the Beeching cuts in the 1960s, as part of a key infrastructure announcement.
 
Under the ^250m scheme, passenger services between Oxford and Bedford ^ withdrawn by British Rail in 1967 ^ will resume by 2017. The main part of the project involves re-laying and upgrading mothballed track between Bicester and Bletchley that was last used for freight services in the mid-1990s.
The scheme is expected to be one of the surprises among 40 key infrastructure projects the government is due to announce on Tuesday (Chancellor's "Autumn Statement"), which will include schemes already under way or well advanced in the planning process.
Supporters of the project, which include the local county and borough councils, have campaigned since the mid-1990s to get the route re-opened, arguing that it will bring considerable economic benefits by linking the fast-growing city of Milton Keynes to academic and research centres in Oxford.
Under their calculations, the route will generate more than ^6 in economic benefit for every ^1 invested, a key government measure of the value of big infrastructure projects. The benefit figure would rise to ^11 if the scheme were 15 per cent funded by the private sector, they argue.

The government is expected to instruct Network Rail, the owner of the UK rail network, to include the scheme in the list of projects it has put forward for the next funding period between 2014 and 2019 (IIP & CP5).
The re-opened line would allow passengers to bypass London by linking the west of England with the Midlands and the north. It would connect with Great Western services at Didcot and Reading and with West Coast services at Milton Keynes and Midland mainline services at Bedford.
The full scheme, known as East West Rail, ultimately envisages fully re-opening the old route between Oxford and Cambridge, dubbed the Varsity or Brain Line, which closed in the aftermath of the restructuring of Britain^s railways by Dr Richard Beeching in the 1960s.
But since part of the old route between Bedford and Cambridge has been built on, ministers have baulked at the idea of trying to build a new line.
Re-opening the stretch between Oxford and Bedford also offers a political dividend for the Tories, as it runs through the constituencies of a number of Conservative MPs.
Separately, George Osborne is set to announce a cap on regulated rail fares in his autumn statement on Tuesday.
Season tickets and peak travel fares were due to rise by 8.2 per cent on average after the coalition government earlier this year increased the formula to 3 per cent above the retail price index rate of inflation.
The chancellor is now expected to announce the average fare will rise by 6.2 per cent, and that the cap will also apply to Tube and bus fares in London.
Public transport lobby groups had warned of a backlash from commuters in the south-east ^ where the constituencies of the four transport ministers are located ^ if the government left rail fare rises unchanged while appeasing the motoring lobby by acting on fuel duty.
The government is expected either to freeze or to delay the imminent full 3p increase in fuel duty.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/5ee150f0-1919-11e1-92d8-00144feabdc0.html

Transport Briefing picked the leaks up too....

Quote
Transport Briefing (@transportb)
28/11/2011 09:07
Transpennine electrification, Kingkerswell bypass, Tyne & Wear Metro and East West Rail all mentioned in ^5bn infrastructure plan leaks


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 28, 2011, 11:38:48 am
Thanks for the link.  Fingers crossed... 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 28, 2011, 12:58:35 pm
To add to the growing impetus regarding this route, East West Rail have published a prospectus for the western section on their website:

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/EWR-prospectus-web-2.pdf (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/EWR-prospectus-web-2.pdf)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on November 28, 2011, 05:06:29 pm
So, what about the bats...  ;D


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 28, 2011, 06:47:24 pm
So, what about the bats...  ;D
They will, hopefully, stay roosted in the Westminster belfry  ;D

Good progress in the business case is also being made for the MML electrification Bedford to Sheffield


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 29, 2011, 01:13:43 pm
Thumbs up from the Chancellor today then.  Marvellous!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: gwr2006 on November 29, 2011, 01:47:48 pm
The Chancellor announced in his Autumn Statement today that the Government is committed to developing the East West Rail link between Oxford, Bicester, Aylesbury, Milton Keynes and Bedford, for which the East West Consortium has demonstrated a strong case.

Network Rail has been asked to develop the scheme further with the Consortium and other stakeholders. Subject to a satisfactory local contribution to the cost of the project (whatever that is) and a satisfactory business case, the Government will announce how it will take forward this scheme in summer 2012.

Provided the conditions have been met, Network Rail will then work with the East West Rail Consortium, to deliver the scheme set out by the Consortium in its November 2011 Prospectus (http://eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/EWR-prospectus-web-2.pdf). The Government will provide funding to Network Rail, subject to the Consortium meeting a share of the costs, as set out in the Prospectus."


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 30, 2011, 11:33:20 am
Anyone got any thoughts as to who might want to operate this service?

Chiltern would seem probable favourites given that they already operate the Marylebone to Aylesbury Vale Parkway service and between Oxford and Bicester Town, though our own MD indicated to me that FGW would be interested and it might be easier to integrate a change like that into a new Greater Western franchise.  Not only that, but FGW will have potential traction in the form of displaced Turbos post electrification that could be used to operate the service.  It would also be wise not to discount London Midland who run the existing service on the Bletchley to Bedford/Milton Keynes sections.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 30, 2011, 11:38:56 am
I reckon it'll either be added to the new FGW franchise or become its own separate franchise. One thing's for sure - Chiltern haven't got the stock.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on November 30, 2011, 12:01:42 pm
I reckon it'll either be added to the new FGW franchise or become its own separate franchise. One thing's for sure - Chiltern haven't got the stock.

It isn't that long ago that one of the rail mags reported on an interview with Adrain Shooter in which he implied a complete lack of interest in EWR.  But times change.  Of course there is no reason why the whole thing should go to one TOC - the Aylesbury to Milton Keynes leg on its own definitely fits in well with Chiltern, and as far as stock is concerned there seems very little reason why ex-FGW Turbos couldn't be transferred to Chiltern as they come off lease...

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 30, 2011, 12:08:40 pm
Chiltern would need increased depot space & the turbos tripcocking....


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 30, 2011, 06:22:30 pm
I feel it will be a separate franchise, the consortium my even be looking for a TOC to partner it.  It is likely to have its own stock, I thought also the plan is to electrify the line, this would fit in with current Government, ATOC, DfT, ORR and Network Rail (NR) policy

Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronym


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on November 30, 2011, 07:47:32 pm
Surely a bit small for a franchise. We're talking about 2 routes neither are not self contained, nor short of links (so don't say "look at c2c")

The stock would not need LU signalling installed, as I believe they would run via HW. I doubt there are any spare paths via Amersham (then again, will there be enough paths via HW?!). Even so, they could still be terminated at Aylesbury as I doubt anyone will travel MK - London this way.

I would imagine CH for the Aylesbury route and XC or LM for the Oxford to Bedford route.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on November 30, 2011, 10:06:35 pm
The recently published EWR prospectus (dated this month) describes the Aylesbury service as:

"1 tph from Milton Keynes to London Marylebone as an extension of the existing service to
Aylesbury Vale Parkway
with stops at Bletchley and Winslow."

So it shouldn't really be a problem to path it at all...

http://eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/EWR-prospectus-web-2.pdf

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 01, 2011, 10:46:40 am
Which, oddly, *would* necessitate said signalling equipment installing....

In any case, Chiltern won't want a few turbos without, would mean they couldn't be used on the LU route. Flexibility in usage is always a priority.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on December 01, 2011, 11:26:25 am
I would assume they'd have to also increase the length of trains to cater for the extra passengers. Can the Marylebone platforms cope? I thought that in the peaks, space was getting tights, esp now with the loco hauled trains. Add in trains to Oxford...

I have seen a document where the map shows the service travelling via HW. There are some direct Aylesbury to London via HW services as well which could be extended. But I suppose they'd want the equipment installed for flexibility.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 01, 2011, 11:29:16 am
that's why they talk about *extending* Aylesbury services - so no extra trains arriving into MYB.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on December 01, 2011, 12:47:47 pm
Which, oddly, *would* necessitate said signalling equipment installing....

LU are resignalling the Met completely by 2018 anyway, so they'll have moved on from 'almost normal' signals with trainstops to something more like the latest ATO systems on the 'tube' lines, so the Chiltern fleet is going to have to be completely refitted anyway.  (At least the Met Line units anyway.)  The additonal costs of a few more units to run to Milton Keynes would be lost in the numbers.

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Btline on December 01, 2011, 01:44:00 pm
that's why they talk about *extending* Aylesbury services - so no extra trains arriving into MYB.

I know, but there are problems with the platforms not being long enough. CH often have 2 trains per platform in the peak, so there is a limit on length, especially if the loco hauled set is one of them. I assume they'll have to make the trains longer to cater for the extra passengers.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 01, 2011, 02:11:53 pm
6 car platfoerms ought to be long enough. Frankly, it's not going to generate much traffic from myb to Milton Keynes, is it?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 02, 2011, 01:23:53 am
6 car platfoerms ought to be long enough. Frankly, it's not going to generate much traffic from myb to Milton Keynes, is it?

That's right.  The 'Met' line is at it's busiest between Amersham and Marylebone where the only extra custom generated from extending the service from/to Milton Keynes will be that generated from Winslow - hardly likely to be massive.

I think 'Btline' is missing the point of this link, which is primarily to provide connections from Aylesbury and the surrounding area with Milton Keynes and the wider WCML.  I personally doubt it has huge potential, unlike the Oxford arm of the service which I will happily predict I think will be a resounding success.

Anyone got any thoughts as to who might want to operate this service?

Chiltern would seem probable favourites given that they already operate the Marylebone to Aylesbury Vale Parkway service and between Oxford and Bicester Town, though our own MD indicated to me that FGW would be interested and it might be easier to integrate a change like that into a new Greater Western franchise.

Mark Hopwood specifically mentioned the new link in his weekly staff column this week.  Going as far as to say that FGW would be delighted to take it on board in the new franchise (provided they get it of course), and would do all they could to persuade the DfT!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 05, 2011, 11:32:21 am
A bit of good publicity for the route:

http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=202&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=422343&SubjectId=36 (http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/Content/Detail.aspx?ClientId=202&NewsAreaId=2&ReleaseID=422343&SubjectId=36)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: anthony215 on December 05, 2011, 12:09:33 pm
I do hope the east weast route is wired, that does give FGW and advantage as they could extend the stopping service from London Reading - Oxford through to Milton Keynes.

Thats if they have enough class 319's or other EMU's


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 05, 2011, 03:41:04 pm
It won't get wired.

There's nowt in the consortium's costings for it.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grandsire on December 06, 2011, 10:12:09 pm
I thought we had reached the stage where ROSCOs do not want to fund new dmus because of their perceived unlikelyhood to find work in 10, 15 or 20 years time.   So does this not mean a continued programme of electrification?  In respect of the EW route it is supposed to offer a new cross country option from Birmingham to Reading, and is there not a tentative plan to put an electric coach into the Voyagers?  Given that its presumably cheaper to get a lot of the electrification gear into place during the rebuilding of the line, rather than retrofitting it later it could be worth putting a small bet on a change of plan and the line, at least west of MK being electrified?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 06, 2011, 10:29:32 pm
Routes like this are worth eletrifying  not just for their own sake, quiter smoother faster ride for passengers, plus the "sparks" effect on passenger numbers, but once Oxford Padd is done it would form a West Coast fully electrified diversionary route especialy if Acton - Acton Wells - Willesden ML is done as well it could even serve Euston.

Also doing Blechley - Bedford would stop the need to drag EMUS from Bedford to Blechley and if the MML is done North of Bedford yet more journey opportunities.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on December 07, 2011, 11:31:58 am
In respect of the EW route it is supposed to offer a new cross country option from Birmingham to Reading, and is there not a tentative plan to put an electric coach into the Voyagers? 

The original proposal in the EWR project papers was that it would allow for the cross country service from the South Coast and Reading to Manchesterand the NW to avoid Birmingham, ie by using the Trent Valley.

This has been discussed elsewhere and no-one thought it was a viable proposal, because the vast majority of the existing passengers are people going to and from the Birmingham area.  Now if it was an additional service there might be something useful about it.

But I can't see it being electrified, at least until the Chiltern routes are at the top of the list...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 07, 2011, 01:15:13 pm
The Scots seem to do this much beter than we do. When they reopened Addrie to Bathgate it was rebuilt as an electrified railway from the start.

OK it's probaly shorter thhn Oxford to Bedford but the EW line already links with an electrified mainline (WCML) and will link to a 2nd in 2016 (GWML) and  to third currently Thameslink Southward but hopefully extended Northward down the  MML slightly later.

So it seems to me it should be rebuilt as an electridifed line throughout from the start.

It could be financed with 6% 25 year railway bonds. The city would snap them up



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on December 13, 2011, 01:12:45 pm
Bats won't halt rail plans



THE threat of bats in a railway tunnel near Wolvercote holding up a new Rail service from Oxford to London Marylebone looks to have been lifted.
 
Chiltern Railways and Natural England have told the Government they are close to solving the bat problem to get the ^130m scheme back on track.
 
Transport Secretary Justine Greening last month revealed the risk to bats and great crested newts presented a major obstacle to Evergreen 3^s scheme to create a fast Oxford-Bicester-London service.
 
Chiltern Railways and Natural England were given until today to set out measures to resolve the problem, that had resulted in the scheme being denied approval by a planning inspector.
 
The rail company and environment group told the Oxford Mail they had met the deadline with new proposals submitted to the Government, although the details have not been made public.
 
Natural England spokesman Melissa Gill said: ^Natural England met with Chiltern Railways and agreed a way forward in respect of the outstanding issues surrounding bats in the tunnel.
 
^We will continue to work closely with Chiltern Railways to assist them in addressing these matters in their revised application. We have confirmed to the Department for Transport that in principle there is a good prospect of a licence being granted if outstanding issues are dealt with in the way that we agreed, should the Department for Transport issue the transport works order.^
 
News that the planning inspector had withheld approval from the massive scheme came as a blow to commuters who had been looking forward to a new service within three years.
 
The inspector said the bats used the tunnel for roosts and foraging.

And he warned more trains travelling at higher speed would put bats at risk and make the tunnel unusable for them.
 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 16, 2012, 07:21:40 pm
Bats won't halt rail plans

Here's the East West Rail Consortium's press release concerning the go-ahead of the project in CP5.

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/East-West-Rail-release-FINAL.pdf (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/East-West-Rail-release-FINAL.pdf)

One wonders if the few campaingers against the scheme, most of which seem to live in North Oxford, will now give up the fight.  Or, now claim that loads of bats will be killed by flying into overhead electrified railway lines.  ::)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: mjones on July 16, 2012, 08:15:12 pm
Never mind the bats, just wait for all the scare stories about power lines and leukaemia...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on July 16, 2012, 08:28:49 pm
....and all the stories (most of which will be in the Daily Mail) about OverHead- Line Equipment (OHLE) affecting views and house prices and spoiling Victorian railway architecture......

Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronym


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 21, 2012, 02:30:35 pm
The East-West Rail Consortium have updated their promotional video to include the electrification aspect of it.  Looks like a 3-car electric train using redundant APT carriages will be the rolling stock of choice - right down to the carriage numbering!  :o

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/video/ (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/video/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on October 12, 2012, 11:28:45 am
From the First Great Western press release:

Quote
First Great Western Managing Director Mark Hopwood has welcomed the decision to include the Western section of the East West Rail (EWR) in the Government^s strategy for transport.

Speaking at the East West Rail Consortium event to celebrate the announcement, Mark Hopwood said:

^Re-opening of the East West route provides some really exciting opportunities for First Great Western Customers. It opens up the potential to not just link Oxford and Milton Keynes but to develop other links from places like Bristol and Reading.

^We look forward to working with our partners to develop the line and the possible train service options. This is fantastic news for the towns and cities that the East West Rail will serve.^

Inclusion in the Government^s strategy means that funding for the project, including electrification of the Oxford to Bedford part of the route, has been confirmed.

Held on the Friday 12 October, a special train was provided to take representatives from the East West Rail Consortium, Department for Transport (DfT), Network Rail and partners to view part of the EWR route.

Much of the route already exists as freight network or disused lines and necessary development work is currently being carried out to ensure the target re-opening is met by 2017.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 12, 2012, 11:49:03 am
Sounds like MH remains very keen to get the route included within the Greater Western franchise when it's up and running.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 12, 2012, 12:21:25 pm
It does - but that's a change from previously when both Chiltern & FGW were luke-warm in wanting to run it....


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on October 12, 2012, 03:47:10 pm
I would think any TOC going for the Greater Western Franchise would want run an electrified line linking the GWML with the WCML and MML and who knows the ECML.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on October 12, 2012, 03:55:31 pm
Indeed - I was referring to a time pre-elecrification confirmation....


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 12, 2012, 04:24:51 pm
Indeed - I was referring to a time pre-elecrification confirmation....

I don't know about that - well over a year ago Mark Hopwood was very enthusiastic about the idea.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: mjones on October 12, 2012, 07:13:10 pm
So now it's all down to those bats, isn't it!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on October 16, 2012, 08:54:00 pm
A joint delivery board has been formed to get the project up-and-running by December 2017.  It includes representatives of the East-West Rail Consortium as well as Network Rail and the DfT.

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/east-west-rail-joint-delivery-board-announce-team-to-develop-new-electrified-railway-between-bedford-and-oxford/ (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/east-west-rail-joint-delivery-board-announce-team-to-develop-new-electrified-railway-between-bedford-and-oxford/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on October 16, 2012, 10:08:58 pm
Scheme seems to have developed some real traction


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on October 16, 2012, 10:16:13 pm
Are we any further resolving the issue of the Bats.  Will putting wires through the tunnel make this more difficult.



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 22, 2012, 04:08:35 pm
We'll know more when NR releases its Strategic Business Plan for CP5 next January, but East-West Rail have defined their expectations of what will operate and when on their website.  Here are extracts:

Q. What is the timescale for construction of the East West Rail link?

A. Network Rail are preparing a detailed project plan which will be available in January 2013 that will include the upgrading of existing lines, electrification and the re-construction of disused track. Work is expected to be undertaken in the following phases:

2013 -2014
Oxford to Bicester

2014 ^ 2017
Oxford area re-modelling
Bicester / Aylesbury to Bletchley including electrification

2017 ^ 2019
Bletchley to Bedford including electrification
Bedford area re-modelling

Q: When will it be ready by?

A: The aim is for the new East West Rail services to be running between Oxford and Bedford by December 2017. Full electrification between Bletchley and Bedford by Spring 2019


So that kind of hints that they'll be the electric service operating between Reading/Didcot and Bletchley/Milton Keynes by December 2017.  There is also be services between Reading/Didcot and Bedford by that date, although they will be diesel hauled until a full electric service can operate in Spring 2019.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on November 22, 2012, 07:19:10 pm
I know Project Teams in the Southern end  West Coast upgrade works have been asked to look at their workbank to see what resources are needed for East West Rail, all numbers on spreadsheets at the moment though no bums on seats


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 11, 2013, 04:59:20 pm
Further details on Network Rail's (NR)'s CP5 plans from the East-West Rail perspective:

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/network-rail-announce-plans-to-construct-western-section-of-east-west-rail/ (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/network-rail-announce-plans-to-construct-western-section-of-east-west-rail/)

Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronyms


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on January 12, 2013, 06:57:10 pm
From the Buckingham Advertiser (http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/news/local/learn-more-about-east-west-rail-plan-1-4669464):

Quote
Learn more about East West Rail plan

(http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/webimage/1.4669462.1357833376!image/2481624084.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/2481624084.jpg)
The disused railway line at Winslow

There^s a chance to find out more about the plans for East West Rail and Winslow^s new railway station, at next week^s meeting of the Winslow and District Local Area Forum (LAF).

The meeting, which begins at 7pm on Thursday, January 17, at the Winslow Centre, will hear a five-minute presentation from Patrick O^Sullivan of the East West Rail Consortium, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Questions should be submitted by Monday, January 14, to ewheaton@buckscc.gov.uk

East West Rail is a long-awaited project to re-open the mothballed Oxford to Bedford railway line. And this week, Network Rail confirmed in its strategic business plan that East West Rail is among the ^6 billion of enhancements that have been committed to. The committed projects expenditure for East West Rail is listed as ^362 million at 2012/13 prices.

Plans for East West Rail include a new railway station for Winslow. People attending next week^s LAF meeting will learn about three different initial concepts for the station that are being considered.

A question has already been submitted on the siting of the new station. Other questions submitted concern bridges, rights of way and the expected time period for construction work.

A spokesman for the East West Rail Consortium said: ^We will give a brief presentation about East West Rail which will include the background to the scheme and an overview of the project. We welcome the opportunity to discuss plans and status of the East West Rail link with people in the Winslow area and to answer questions at this early stage in the project.^


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris from Nailsea on March 07, 2013, 12:34:18 am
From the Buckingham Advertiser (http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/news/local/possibility-of-new-halt-where-two-lines-cross-1-4839372):

Quote
Possibility of new halt where two lines cross?

(http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/webimage/1.4839371.1362066071!image/3291081019.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/3291081019.jpg)
Mothballed track in the Claydons that will be re-instated as part of the East West Rail link

A new station in the Calvert/Steeple Claydon area, where the high-speed HS2 railway line crosses the East West Rail line, could be a possibility if HS2 gets the go-ahead.

East West Rail, which has already been approved, will link Oxford to Bedford and Aylesbury to Bletchley, with a new station at Winslow. Construction work is set to begin in 2015 for completion in 2017.

The East West Rail Consortium has always said there was no plan to reopen a station at Steeple Claydon. But a list of questions and answers that has now appeared on the consortium^s website indicates thinking on the issue could have changed.

The Q&As came out of a meeting of the Winslow and District Local Area Forum at the Winslow Centre in January, when members of the public put questions to Patrick O^Sullivan, of the East West Rail Consortium.

The full list of Q&As has now be posted on the consortium^s wsebsite at www.eastwestrail.org.uk/winslow-and-district-find-out-more-about-east-west-rail/ And one raises the possibility of a station where East West Rail and HS2 cross.

The document says: ^We understand that HS2 Ltd is determined that there will not be an intermediate station between London and the West Midlands. However, if HS2 Ltd should receive parliamentary approval, there has been some community interest in a temporary ^halt^ on the East West Rail route in the Calvert / Steeple Claydon area to provide access for workers during construction of HS2.

^If demand warranted it, it would be possible to make this station permanent, to serve both the HS2 infrastructure maintenance depot and the local community. This would be on the basis that HS2 funded such a station and reached appropriate agreement with Network Rail and the East West Rail Consortium.

^The station could also offer benefits for people travelling from Aylesbury to Oxford as an interchange station potentially offering shorter journey times compared to changing at Winslow or Bletchley.^

A Bucks County Council (BCC) spokesman told the Advertiser: ^We are lobbying the government to have a halt to service HS2 and possibly in the future to have a permanent station there if the demand was there to warrant it.^


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on March 07, 2013, 06:21:13 am
The return of Verney Junction (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verney_Junction_railway_station)?

Quote
....there has been some community interest in a temporary ^halt^ on the East West Rail route in the Calvert / Steeple Claydon area to provide access for workers during construction of HS2.

^If demand warranted it, it would be possible to make this station permanent, to serve both the HS2 infrastructure maintenance depot and the local community.

http://goo.gl/maps/AY4gO

 ;D


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 07, 2013, 12:16:20 pm
From the Buckingham Advertiser (http://www.buckinghamtoday.co.uk/news/local/possibility-of-new-halt-where-two-lines-cross-1-4839372):

Quote
“The station could also offer benefits for people travelling from Aylesbury to Oxford as an interchange station potentially offering shorter journey times compared to changing at Winslow or Bletchley.”

They forget that under current plans AYS-OXF journeys would be via PRR to join with the MYB-OXF service - indeed, Chiltern are planning stops at PRR just for that. With the AYS-PRR branch needing to be redoubled under these current plans, connections there ought to be good.

I suspect it would also be quicker that way that going north to the junction station/Wilmslow.....and if so, the demand for Calvert Junction station would be minimal (staff halt for the HS2 depot? In which case, yes, HS2 needs to pay up)). Doubt it'll ever be more than a halt for HS2 construction (which *does* make a lot of sense)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on March 07, 2013, 06:19:33 pm
Intermediate stops on HS2 will be unlikely the station loops will need to be over 10km long, the loops need to be that long to allow breaking from line and then to accelerate to line speed.   Stopping trains on the main line would have too much impact on the through trains.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 08, 2013, 10:41:27 am
They forget that under current plans AYS-OXF journeys would be via PRR to join with the MYB-OXF service - indeed, Chiltern are planning stops at PRR just for that. With the AYS-PRR branch needing to be redoubled under these current plans, connections there ought to be good.

The original EG3 timetable for the Oxford to London Marylebone services had intermediate stops after Bicester or Haddenham & Thame Parkway and High Wycombe only, so Princes Risborough (bar a couple of early morning and late evening services) wasn't going to be served.  I'm not surprised that the specification may have been refined over the years, but do you know what the current calling pattern thinking is?  If Risborough is to be added will Haddenham be dropped or will the service be slowed down a little and stop at both?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 08, 2013, 10:50:12 am
One an hour at each currently....but that may well change. I suspect PRR will become more important now that the service to MKC is currently specced from MYB.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 08, 2013, 11:05:25 am
That's probably a pretty good compromise.  Certainly Princes Risborough would be more useful for Aylesbury connections as well as a destination in its own right from Oxford than Haddenham & Thame Parkway is - especially given the good bus links on the Arriva 280 bus route make both Thame and Haddenham still attractive on the bus, especially off-peak.  That bus route doesn't serve Princes Risborough though, and if connections there for Aylesbury are good then the train will be quicker than the bus from Oxford to Aylesbury, especially in the peaks where that route is timed at around 90 minutes (60-65 minutes would be the time on a train with a sensible connection at Risborough).  Though end-to-end journey times will depend where exactly in Oxford/Aylesbury you want to be.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 28, 2013, 11:26:02 am
Chiltern think that the JR decision may happen 'in a few weeks', rather than months...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 11, 2013, 10:02:42 am
After a steady trickle of council funding announcements along the route, Oxford City Council are playing hard-ball and are the first authority to decline to give funding for the new link towards the ^50m contributions expected from council's along the route.  I hope (and expect) their position to change - even if it means contributing less than the ^4.7m they've been asked to.

http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/10799402._/ (http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/10799402._/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 11, 2013, 10:45:13 am
I hope the fares *From* Oxford Eastwards are upped to make their users aware of the non-participation of their council towards it! :-)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Andrew1939 from West Oxon on November 11, 2013, 01:59:18 pm
It should be remembered that Oxford City Council is a district council and is not a transport authority. The transport authority for Oxford City is Oxon County Council and Oxford Council Tax payers will be paying their share of the Oxon CC contribution. It should also be remembered that the original idea for East-West funding was by way of S106 contributions from developments along the East-West route that would benefit. New developments in Oxford will no doubt have paid substantial S106 contributions to Oxford City Council but probably for projects in the Oxford area. I do therefore have some sympathy with the City Council. Oxford will benefit in some way but in the same way as West Oxon will with the Parkway station improving west oxon transport options.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on November 11, 2013, 02:15:53 pm
I have none. The same applies to Cherwell District Council, and they're stumping up their share!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 13, 2013, 10:07:54 am
BBC video report of the funding announcement of ^45m - which would have been the hoped for ^50m had Oxford City Council not declined funding:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24912396 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-24912396)

Slightly odd place for the reporter to stand, Thorpe Junction, Norwich, but never mind!   :)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: bignosemac on November 13, 2013, 10:19:35 am
I like the Cambridge MP talking about finding a route in Cambridge for East-West to reach the city. There was a route.

It's now got a guided busway built on it.  ::)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: DidcotPunter on December 10, 2013, 03:46:24 pm
Another small step forward:

http://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/news/10865563.Government_backs_moves_to_reopen_old_Varsity_Line_link_to_Cambridge/?ref=mr

DfT backing study to find a suitable route between Bedford and Cambridge.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 10, 2013, 04:06:58 pm
Hmmm - some inaccuracies as is normal for local press....

Quote
the East West Rail Consortium ^ made up of local authorities along the route including the county council, city council and Cherwell District Council

Errr....nope. Oxford City Council refused, on the premise that there's nowt in this for them (!)

Quote
The DfT says it is now developing proposals to extend this with the construction of a new railway line from Bedford to Cambridge as well as a new interchange station where it meets the East West line.

Not saying that is wrong, but at least wrongly described. THe new line would meet the line about to be constructed at....errrr....Bedford!



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 10, 2013, 04:32:08 pm
Errr....nope. Oxford City Council refused, on the premise that there's nowt in this for them (!)

They're still part of the consortium though aren't they?  Even if they declined funding.

The other isn't really a mistake either, as I think it refers to rebuilding Bedford St. Johns station on its original location where the junction for the line onwards to Cambridge is likely to be - that's at the south of the town and roughly a mile from Bedford Midland station.  Though I'd have thought any through trains to Cambridge would still want to go into Bedford Midland and reverse direction for interchange purposes, even if it add a few minutes to the journey time?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 10, 2013, 04:52:30 pm
I seriously doubt they'll get much input if they're not stumping up the cash, do you?

THey don't mean 'meets the East West line' - that's the line they are talking about. They mean the north-south line?. And if you are right - then its a rebuild, not 'new'


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on December 10, 2013, 06:46:26 pm
Lets not get all picky about wording in a press release, the words in it will have passed through the bladders of a couple of PR types in the ministry and of the jurno and editor of the paper so will be quite diluted as a result; the good news is the scheme is moving forward   


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on December 10, 2013, 08:42:43 pm


Now East West's goer and the Oxford link at Bicester is happening, I just wish we could get Bourne End - Wycombe on the list for reopening to complete the Buck's Cross Links


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on December 10, 2013, 11:04:55 pm
Lets not get all picky about wording in a press release, the words in it will have passed through the bladders of a couple of PR types in the ministry and of the jurno and editor of the paper so will be quite diluted as a result; the good news is the scheme is moving forward   

Indeed

I seriously doubt they'll get much input if they're not stumping up the cash, do you?

THey don't mean 'meets the East West line' - that's the line they are talking about. They mean the north-south line?. And if you are right - then its a rebuild, not 'new'

They will have had plenty of input, or at least the opportunity for input, in the years up until now though - and in the case of the Oxford to Bedford link which is already signed, sealed and about to be delivered, there's not a great deal of ongoing influence they could have for the bit in Oxford that should concern them most.

As for rebuild/new, well the former station site is around 1/4 of a mile from the current Bedford St. Johns halt, so I guess it would be a 'new' station if built on the former station's location?  The old land is all still available, though whether it will be deemed necessary given the likely sensible routing of all trains to Bedford Midland for interchanges (as I mentioned) is another matter.  They might be talking about HS2 as well though of course - in which case that was a clear editorial mistake, as the DfT have made no mention of interchanges with that and East-West Rail, other than a possible link line between the two for maintenance purposes and possibly freight.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on December 11, 2013, 11:00:55 am
I reserve the right to be 'picky' when the English used is poor. Journalism standards are falling!

Yes, if they move the station to the old site & build new, I agree. I suspect you may be right about confusing HS2 with EastWest.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 26, 2014, 11:02:44 am
Initial survey work about to start between Biceter and Bletchley.  I suspect campaigners will be busy buying up bats at the local pet shop to plant at various points on the route...  ;)

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/vegetation-clearance-work-start-onmothballed-railway-line (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/vegetation-clearance-work-start-onmothballed-railway-line)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 26, 2014, 01:33:32 pm
Initial survey work about to start between Biceter and Bletchley.  I suspect campaigners will be busy buying up bats at the local pet shop to plant at various points on the route...  ;)

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/vegetation-clearance-work-start-onmothballed-railway-line (http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/news/vegetation-clearance-work-start-onmothballed-railway-line)

Needs to be done before the "nesting bird" season starts 1st March through to 31st July although it can extend outside of these dates so I guess they will be keen to go through to create disturbance so the birds flock off somewhere else to nest


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: chuffed on January 26, 2014, 01:36:14 pm
Can the imported newts flock off somewhere else too ??


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Cheltenham Kingham Rail on April 07, 2014, 08:57:59 pm
http://www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk/News/East-West-Rail-linking-Bedford-to-Oxford-wont-be-ready-by-target-date-of-2017-20140401160000.htm


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on April 07, 2014, 09:53:32 pm
Cheltenham Kingham Rail is spamming the site to further their own ends, not seen a intro post to explain who they are its obvious what they want ............. free advertising.

I do welcome groups / individuals who want to build / re-open railways, a hello we are would be nice


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 14, 2015, 09:57:28 am
March 2015 - EastWest Rail Project Progress -

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/sites/default/files/east-west-rail-newsletter-march-2015.pdf

Quote
Highlights
Oxford to Bicester Town
^ Oxford Parkway station now weatherproof
^ Tracks laid
^ Bridges constructed

Bicester Town to Bletchley, Claydon Junction to Princes Risborough
^ Initial consultation on crossings complete
^ Ground investigation workunderway
^ Survey work continues

Bletchley to Bedford
^ Crossings and Rights of Way consultation planned


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on September 14, 2015, 06:53:37 pm
As referenced in a post of mine earlier today, there's a public consultation now open for the next month or so regarding the East West Rail Western Section Phase 2.  This concerns the rebuilding of the line from Gavray Juntion, Bicester and Aylesbury, via a new station at Winslow, through to Bletchley (with trains continuing on to Milton Keynes or Bedford).  The online part of it can be accessed here:

http://www.networkrail.co.uk/east-west-rail/ (http://www.networkrail.co.uk/east-west-rail/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on November 25, 2015, 05:32:15 pm
Mixed signals for the East-West Rail scheme Phase 2 today.  There were reports that it would be delayed until CP6 with Bedford to Oxford being rescheduled for completion in 2022; Aylesbury to Milton Keynes in 2024; and enhancements to the line between Aylesbury and Princes Risborough in 2026.

The Hendy Report states that 'East West Rail Phase 2 (subject to design work, delivery will be started as soon as possible)' and that significant work will be completed in CP5 but that it will straddle into CP6 with Oxford to Bedford electrification will now be done in CP6.  I wonder if that means the dates above will be correct or it will in fact be sooner?

I guess we'll have to wait until the updated draft Enhancement Delivery Plan is published early next month.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 14, 2017, 10:56:25 am
Another round of consultations is now ongoing regarding East-West Rail.
 
http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2017/07/07/make-voice-heard-chairman-encourages-public-take-part-consultation/

http://ewrconsultation.co.uk/

The website above is an excellent one, with a clickable map linking to detailed plans and artists impressions of all the new or rebuilt stations as well as lots of other details.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on July 14, 2017, 11:45:16 am
Its so good that unless you have specific questions arising after viewing the maps in detail, there is little point in attending the public sessions. All they have there, other than pax to answer queries, are Ipads linking to those webpages. And print-outs of same


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on July 14, 2017, 01:23:25 pm
All done with OpenStreetMap and the superb Mapbox GL library too - I definitely approve!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on December 14, 2017, 05:19:29 pm
At last some progress (and looks as though NR won't be responsible for most of it): https://www.globalrailnews.com/2017/12/14/east-west-railway-company-launched-to-restore-oxford-cambridge-rail-link/

Quote
East West Railway Company launched to restore Oxford-Cambridge rail link

The restoration of a railway between two of the UK’s academic powerhouses has come a step closer.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling has officially launched the East West Railway Company (EWRC), which will oversee the reconstruction of a rail link – dubbed the Silicon Valley line – between Oxford and Cambridge.

The launch, on December 14, was almost 50 years to the day since the closure of the old Varsity line.

The UK’s Department for Transport said that East West Rail will be one of the country’s most strategically important rail projects when it is completed in the mid-2020s.

The new line will also create a direct link between East Anglia and central and southern England, delivering benefits for passengers and businesses regionally and nationally by unlocking additional housing and economic growth.

When the line opens, it will have interchange stations with four main railway lines radiating out of London, but it will run under or over each, minimising any risk of delay. The aim is to build a route that allows future upgrades to be incorporated with as little disruption as possible

Chris Grayling said that the line is “the perfect example of how we can revitalise the railways, grow the network and unlock jobs and housing growth.”

EWRC interim chair Rob Brighouse added: “This railway has huge potential to spread prosperity all the way along the line, making life better for those who live and work here.

“That’s why it’s so important to deliver it quickly and cost effectively; and that’s what the East West Railway Company has been set up to do. We are working very closely with local representatives, to make sure we build a railway that works for the passengers and the communities it will serve.”


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on July 27, 2018, 11:55:37 pm
Transport & Works Act Order application made today:

https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2018/07/27/network-rail-applies-for-transport-and-works-act-order-for-east-west-rail/


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on July 28, 2018, 10:35:16 am
Transport & Works Act Order application made today:

https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2018/07/27/network-rail-applies-for-transport-and-works-act-order-for-east-west-rail/

The glacier creaks..!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Noggin on July 29, 2018, 08:29:45 pm
Transport & Works Act Order application made today:

https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2018/07/27/network-rail-applies-for-transport-and-works-act-order-for-east-west-rail/

I've not confirmed myself, but for those who may be interested, there were suggestions on WNXX that the project had been pruned - with short platforms, no bi-directional signalling and one or more stations missing. 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Chris125 on August 22, 2018, 05:53:30 pm
I've not confirmed myself, but for those who may be interested, there were suggestions on WNXX that the project had been pruned - with short platforms, no bi-directional signalling and one or more stations missing. 

Sadly the details all there - aside from electrification being dropped they have also cut back platforms to only allow 4-car trains, and they won't be reinstating a second track between Calvert and Aylesbury. Through services beyond Aylesbury have also been dropped, with no work now planned for the Princes Risborough line.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 22, 2018, 08:22:44 pm
..and so this bit really caught my eye in that document (my bolding)..... ::)

Quote
The East West Rail project is being built progressively in phases, and once complete will create a world class rail link between Cambridge and Oxford, connecting communities and businesses to create more jobs, more economic growth, and more sustainable housing.

...short platforms, short trains, no electrification, no modern spec signalling, etc. etc......  World class eh?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 22, 2018, 08:29:08 pm
Meanwhile:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway/


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 22, 2018, 08:34:11 pm
Meanwhile:

https://highwaysengland.co.uk/projects/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway/

Cue huge environmental battle......


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Kempis on August 22, 2018, 10:04:15 pm
For a critical view of the Highways England proposals, see George Monbiot's article in today's Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/22/project-britain-debate-oxford-cambridge-expressway (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/22/project-britain-debate-oxford-cambridge-expressway)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on August 22, 2018, 11:12:03 pm
An oddity about the expressway route is that South Oxfordshire DC favours one corridor (the one that by and large is outside SODC) whereas Vale of the White Horse DC favours the one most in SODC territory. However the councils are collocated in the same buildings, and share a common set of officials in planning.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 23, 2018, 08:34:31 am
For a critical view of the Highways England proposals, see George Monbiot's article in today's Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/22/project-britain-debate-oxford-cambridge-expressway (https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/aug/22/project-britain-debate-oxford-cambridge-expressway)

I tried to read that article quite objectively, but found it the end to be quite scary.......Total lack of any wider plan to support the outcome of the new road.  About what you expect from our so called, governments.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on August 23, 2018, 08:39:20 am
It is the uncertainty of the preferred course of the expressway that has stymied local and area planning for a couple of years now as no one knows how these are to plug in.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on August 23, 2018, 09:01:10 am
There are elements of this being an opinion piece ... however ... yes, scary

Quote
All the tendencies Flyvbjerg warned against are evident. Instead of asking “Do we need this scheme?”, the government agency Highways England, which is supposed to offer objective advice, opens its webpage with the heading “Why we need this scheme”. It claims, against the evidence, that the expressway will enhance the “attractiveness of the region” and “provide a healthy, natural environment, reducing congestion”. It is the kind of propaganda you would expect in a totalitarian state.

The National Infrastructure Commission, which also advises the government, ignores some issues altogether, such as how water for another million homes will be provided in a region where demand already exceeds supply. It makes glancing reference to another massive problem: the extra traffic the new road links will generate will exacerbate congestion on existing roads. Its answer? Expand them as well.

Quote
To this end, on 26 July the housing minister, Kit Malthouse, wrote to local authorities in the region, insisting that they submit proposals for building the million homes by 14 September. In seven weeks, during the parliamentary recess and the school holidays, they must propose new cities, some of which should house 150,000 people.

The government says it will announce which of three possible corridors for the expressway it will choose by the end of this summer. The choice will be made by the transport secretary alone, after which public consultation will commence. But once the corridor has been chosen, only the trivial issues remain.




Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on August 23, 2018, 09:06:56 am
There are elements of this being an opinion piece ...

Monbiot? Opinions? Say it isn't true...

Actually it was the Monbiot piece that drew my attention to this project; interestingly he doesn't mention East-West Rail (unless I missed it); presumably to do so would dilute his message that everything about the scheme was bad.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on August 23, 2018, 09:18:23 am
There are elements of this being an opinion piece ...

Monbiot? Opinions? Say it isn't true...

Actually it was the Monbiot piece that drew my attention to this project; interestingly he doesn't mention East-West Rail (unless I missed it); presumably to do so would dilute his message that everything about the scheme was bad.

Yes, but why then has the rail scheme been hugely downgraded from its original ambitions?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on September 11, 2018, 11:25:07 am
From Rail Magazine (https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/east-west-rolling-stock-to-be-decided-later)

Quote
The type of rolling stock to be used on East-West Rail will be decided at a later stage according to Rail Minister Jo Johnson.

Responding to Layla Moran (Liberal Democrat, Oxford West and Abingdon) written question asking if the government would make it policy to electrify the new railway between Oxford and Cambridge, Johnson also failed to mention whether the trains would be new or cascaded fleets.

Article continues

Perhaps cascaded class 139, but not letting that cat out of the bag yet?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 11, 2018, 11:32:44 am
Part of the de-scoping was the loss of electrifying the line - and little point until OXF-DID has been confirmed / done frankly


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 11, 2018, 11:45:48 am
And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

Quote
In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: martyjon on September 11, 2018, 12:20:44 pm
And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

Quote
In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...

.... like the one opened in Bristol recently, 95% of the guided part being, umm, straight.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 11, 2018, 12:22:36 pm
No prizes for guessing which of the Ox-Cam Expressway, the E-W Rail and the Metrolbuts which will be fully open first and last.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on September 11, 2018, 08:59:47 pm
Looks like a home for a few Turbos.....

Perhaps someone will knit them some nice new two-tone blue seat covers!

As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month. Much of the northern end already exists (A421 Bletchley to Black Cat Roundabout on the A1, A428 from Caxton Gibbet at Cambourne to Cambridge, with the gap reputedly near the top of Dft/Highways England's to do list. Instead of turbo-charged PR for a "varsity" route, what is really needed is upgrading of the A34 from Winchester to Wendlebury, with proper grade-separated non-roundabout and lights connections with the M3 at the south end and the M40 at the north end - four lanes on the M40 to A43 at Ardley, upgrade the A43 roundabouts to grade separated through to Northampton, and dual the A421 from the A43 to Bletchley - job done, and much more delivered for other parts of the country.

Of course, this should be after funds are found to electrify Didcot to Bedford....     


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on September 12, 2018, 06:28:44 am
And worth reminding those who are not following closely that the TWAO only covers the Western Section - the way things are heading, the Central Section could turn out to be a guided busway alongside the new road. Cue JoJo:

Quote
In reality, I don't think many commuters will really notice the difference when they change at Bedford and board the high-quality guided bus only 15 minutes walk from the station at Tavistock Street. From the inside, a bus and a train really are very much the same thing...

I sense that JoJo is regular and hardened rail and bus user   ::)

Looks like a home for a few Turbos.....

Perhaps someone will knit them some nice new two-tone blue seat covers!

As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month. Much of the northern end already exists (A421 Bletchley to Black Cat Roundabout on the A1, A428 from Caxton Gibbet at Cambourne to Cambridge, with the gap reputedly near the top of Dft/Highways England's to do list. Instead of turbo-charged PR for a "varsity" route, what is really needed is upgrading of the A34 from Winchester to Wendlebury, with proper grade-separated non-roundabout and lights connections with the M3 at the south end and the M40 at the north end - four lanes on the M40 to A43 at Ardley, upgrade the A43 roundabouts to grade separated through to Northampton, and dual the A421 from the A43 to Bletchley - job done, and much more delivered for other parts of the country.

Of course, this should be after funds are found to electrify Didcot to Bedford....    

The A34 should be re-converted to its former type of transport ………………. with a grade separated junction at Didcot, West of Newbury and Winchester  ;D 

Now that would fit in nicely with EW Rail especially if both were electrified


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on September 12, 2018, 10:43:55 am
As regards the road proposals, I was speaking to the planning director of a client today who understands that the preferred line should be confirmed by the end of the month.

Published today:

Corridor B chosen for the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/route-announced-to-unlock-full-potential-of-englands-economic-heartland

Written statement to Parliament - https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway-road-scheme-update

Quote from: Written statement to Parliament
England’s road network is a huge national asset and a cornerstone of our present and future economic prosperity. Across the country the government is investing in this network, in order to open up new opportunities, improve productivity and connect people and businesses.

As part of this, after considerable consultation and review, the government is announcing today (12 September 2018) the preferred corridor for the new Oxford-Cambridge Expressway, accepting the recommendations of Highways England.

The expressway, which fills a major gap in the national road network, will work together with the proposed East West Rail link to revolutionise east-west connectivity. In so doing, it will help unlock the commercial development of up to one million new homes.

The expressway is projected to take up to 40 minutes off the journey between the A34 south of Oxford and the M1, so that hundreds of thousands of people will be brought within reach of high quality jobs in centres of rapid growth such as Oxford Science Park. The preferred corridor identified today runs alongside the planned route of East West Rail, so that consumers have a variety of road and rail travel options.

This decision determines the broad area within which the road will be developed: the process of designing a specific route will now get under way, involving extensive further consultation with local people to find the best available options. Members of the public will be able to comment on the full set of front-running designs in a public consultation next year, and the road is on schedule to be open to traffic by 2030.

The choice of this corridor means that the government has ruled out construction in the area of the Otmoor nature reserve, underlining its desire to protect the natural environment.

The government also recognises that no one corridor can support every proposed development across the area. It is therefore commissioning England’s economic heartland to carry out a study of how to provide better connectivity across the wider area, so that places outside of the preferred corridor enjoy the benefits of growth as far as possible.

Between 2015 and 2021 the government is investing £15 billion to improve the UK’s busiest roads. Already, it has opened the first all-motorway link from Newcastle to London; and after 45 years without change the Department for Transport is working with Transport for the North to develop 3 upgrades to capacity across the Pennines.

The government is also spending billions to transform connectivity in the south west with the dualling of the A303 and A30, and to create better access to and from our ports and airports through projects such as the Lower Thames Crossing and upgrade of the A14 link between the Midlands and Felixstowe.

The common theme linking all these projects is the need to create and upgrade the UK’s infrastructure. So too it is here with the new Oxford-Cambridge expressway.

Oxford to Cambridge expressway strategic study: strategic outline business case - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/oxford-to-cambridge-expressway-strategic-study-strategic-outline-business-case

Strategic outline business case for the Oxford to Cambridge expressway added to Road Investment strategy - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/road-investment-strategy-post-2020


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Bmblbzzz on September 12, 2018, 10:56:20 am
Quote
Building the new link close to the east/west rail link will also offer more options for the commercial development of up to 1 million new homes, in line with proposals by the National Infrastructure Commission, and encourage more people to travel by train rather than by cars.
Building a new road is such a good way to encourage people to travel by train.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 12, 2018, 10:58:19 am
Hopefully, those sat in the likely slow traffic will be able to at least see the trains whizzing past them!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 12, 2018, 11:07:51 am
Forgive me if I've missed something - I haven't made time to read all the documents - but the rather broad-brush indication shown here (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/route-announced-to-unlock-full-potential-of-englands-economic-heartland) seems to peter out west of Bedford, presumably connecting with the A421... does this suggest that the 'Central Section' of the rail link might follow the A428, i.e. a route some 10km to the north of the old alignment through Sandy?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 12, 2018, 11:32:03 am
I think Sandy is the preferred route? But they're still working on the detail.....


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on September 12, 2018, 10:38:36 pm
No - the section of the road east from Bedford is the A421/A1/A428 route, just missing the Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet section - see my post yesterday


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on September 13, 2018, 11:09:34 am
To my simple way of looking at things, if the planned Oxford-Cambridge road is to be routed alongside the existing East-West rail trackbed between Oxford and Bedford then there is a logic in routing the central section of the rail link alongside the A428 - an established corridor. EWR state that the preferred route is through Sandy, but it's hard to see the new line following the old route given how built-up it is - the trackbed is thoroughly built-over in both Sandy and Potton, not to mention the Mullard Observatory.

As an aside, we can be thankful that this scheme didn't happen 30 years ago - you can be fairly sure they would have grabbed a fair chunk of the trackbed between Oxford and Bedford for the new road...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on September 13, 2018, 10:28:25 pm
....and the last part of the old Bedford - Cambridge Line has been converted to a guided busway running out to the Trumpington park and ride.

I have heard rumours of using the A428 corridor as a possible rail corridor. There's quite a lot of land potentially available, as much of the alignment of the old single carriageway A428 (former A45 for those old enough to remember when it was the Felixstowe to Birmingham trunk road) has been left when the dualling has changed the alignment of the road. However the former alignment is being used for strategic cycle routes out to Cambourne, and as a route for buses to connect Cambridge with Cambourne, other possible new settlements west of Cambridge and St Neots.

A rail link along this route really would be an example of forward thinking infrastructure provision. But Cambridgeshire is the spiritual home of the guided busway, so I expect there may not be local political/council bureaucratic support.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on September 14, 2018, 10:11:17 am
... does this suggest that the 'Central Section' of the rail link might follow the A428, i.e. a route some 10km to the north of the old alignment through Sandy?

No - the section of the road east from Bedford is the A421/A1/A428 route, just missing the Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet section - see my post yesterday

talking rail route here


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on September 14, 2018, 09:53:52 pm
beg pardon.....! ;D


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on November 22, 2018, 08:32:00 am
Buckinghamshire County Council has 'holding objections' to East West Rail - https://www.mix96.co.uk/news/local/2742492/council-holding-objections-to-east-west-rail/


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on January 21, 2019, 10:55:46 am
Award East West Rail contract to existing operator, forum urges government - http://www.businessmk.co.uk/news/art/3356/Award-East-West-Rail-contract-to-existing-operator-forum-urges-government.html

East West Rail seeks partners to develop Cambridge link - https://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2019/01/21-east-west-rail-seeks-partners.html


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 21, 2019, 11:16:40 am
It's also been descoped to terminating at Aylesbury, rather than further into Chiltern territory. No money to upgrade AYS-PRR.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 21, 2019, 12:55:44 pm
An existing operator, or operators, would be a better option in my opinion.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on January 21, 2019, 05:02:36 pm
Some clarity in the potential service patterns might be welcome. It seems from reading the minutes on the East-West Rail site that they favour extending the service from Oxford to start back from Didcot (thus replacing the current Didcot-Oxford shuttles, albeit silent on the ones that go on to Banbury), rather than the Cowley schemes. Nothing about services beyond Didcot in either direction along the GWML.

There is also mention of the complexity of fitting a sensible E-W timetable around that of the current Chiltern and WCML ones, where a change in one would affect the other two in a new coupling and that creating a clockface timetable would be impossible without alterations to existing service.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on January 21, 2019, 05:57:44 pm
Electrification extension to Oxford would potentially wreck plans to extend EWR to Didcot.  It made sense in the early iterations of EWR service planning, a good few years ago, but surely the present day Didcot - Oxford shuttle should be seen as a temporary stopgap?

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 21, 2019, 06:30:45 pm
Electrification extension to Oxford would potentially wreck plans to extend EWR to Didcot.  It made sense in the early iterations of EWR service planning, a good few years ago, but surely the present day Didcot - Oxford shuttle should be seen as a temporary stopgap?

It should be seen as a stop-gap, but I guess if it is going to continue then it makes more sense as part of a Didcot-Oxford-Milton Keynes/Bedford service than it does now as a little shuttle service with the odd extension to Banbury.

I've said many times that extending it to Reading is a bit barmy IMHO and the powers that be should be looking at westwards from Didcot towards Bristol.

Let's just get the thing built - who knows how many hurdles are still to overcome.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: didcotdean on January 21, 2019, 07:00:00 pm
Oxfordshire County Council - a member of the consortium - has expressed a desire for Oxford-Didcot to be four trains an hour in the past. Whether their aspirations really count for anything or could be accommodated is another matter.



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on January 21, 2019, 07:50:32 pm
Oxfordshire County Council - a member of the consortium - has expressed a desire for Oxford-Didcot to be four trains an hour in the past. Whether their aspirations really count for anything or could be accommodated is another matter.
That would probably be OK, if four local services can be fitted in, (presume they wouldn’t all stop everywhere), but if there was a limit of only two I’m not sure if EWR would be the preferred service to extend.

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on January 21, 2019, 10:13:10 pm
Quote
It should be seen as a stop-gap, but I guess if it is going to continue then it makes more sense as part of a Didcot-Oxford-Milton Keynes/Bedford service than it does now as a little shuttle service with the odd extension to Banbury.

I've said many times that extending it to Reading is a bit barmy IMHO and the powers that be should be looking at westwards from Didcot towards Bristol.

Couple of points here-

1 - I sincerely hope that the Didcot/Oxford shuttle is only temporary. Indeed I understood the rationale of the bi-mode/trimode was to restore a proper full stopping service all the way between Reading and Oxford, mitigating the adverse impact of the dreadful decision to cut the electrification to Oxford short at Didcot.

For those of us on the Reading/Didcot stretch, our three main destinations are (in order) Reading, London and Oxford. The service to Oxford has been severely degraded. Even though I find it difficult to look forward to rebuilt 30 year old trains, I hope that at least we can get back to regular and convenient trains to Oxford soon.

2 - I am not so sure that the case for trains beyond Oxford all going west to Swindon/Bristol etc is strong. The potential passenger traffic from the Reading/Basingstoke/Winchester/Southampton/Bournemouth axis surely justifies a substantial part of any southward traffic going east. Reading alone generates considerable volume, and more capacity might encourage more to take the train not the car. I have over the years had a number of regular meeting commitments in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and used the car to avoid the hassle of crossing London by tube at peak times.

If money was no object, four tracks between Didcot and Oxford would help! 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 21, 2019, 10:34:02 pm
1 - I sincerely hope that the Didcot/Oxford shuttle is only temporary. Indeed I understood the rationale of the bi-mode/trimode was to restore a proper full stopping service all the way between Reading and Oxford, mitigating the adverse impact of the dreadful decision to cut the electrification to Oxford short at Didcot.

2 - I am not so sure that the case for trains beyond Oxford all going west to Swindon/Bristol etc is strong. The potential passenger traffic from the Reading/Basingstoke/Winchester/Southampton/Bournemouth axis surely justifies a substantial part of any southward traffic going east. Reading alone generates considerable volume, and more capacity might encourage more to take the train not the car. I have over the years had a number of regular meeting commitments in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and used the car to avoid the hassle of crossing London by tube at peak times.

1 - From what I’ve so far heard, the Tri-mode 769s will not be used on services to Oxford.  They will be used on Reading to Gatwick trains as well as covering for the loss of 387s to Heathrow Express on the Paddington to Didcot services, as well as possibly some of the Thames Valley branches.  That of course may not be the current plan, or it may be the current plan but will change.  I’ll see if I can find out.

2 - For me, the problem with Reading as a destination is that it is either a new service calling at Didcot and Reading, or it somehow absorbs the current stopping services between Oxford and Didcot and Didcot and Reading.  You will have problems finding paths for the former, and journey times will be badly compromised to/from Reading if the latter - don’t forget Crossrail will make certain cross London transfers easier, though not Milton Keynes admittedly. 

Also if you send a train to Reading to terminate then it takes up valuable platform time until it heads back again.  Send it onwards from Reading somewhere might work, but nowhere immediately springs to mind.

Send them west to Bristol and you open up all sorts of new through train markets.

The best compromise in terms of being a little more adventurous might be to run a Reading/Didcot to Milton Keynes train each hour and a Bristol to Bedford one each hour (not necessarily calling at Didcot).

Plenty of options on the table, let’s hope there’s a bit of imaginative thinking.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on January 22, 2019, 07:41:02 am
The best compromise in terms of being a little more adventurous might be to run a Reading/Didcot to Milton Keynes train each hour and a Bristol to Bedford one each hour (not necessarily calling at Didcot).

If you don't call at Didcot then it is not a compromise since you make connections from the west very difficult, they either have to double back at Reading or involve a double change at Didcot and Oxford. 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 22, 2019, 09:04:07 am
I don’t follow, Ellendune.  The train will have come from the west and called at Bristol, Bath, Chippenham and Swindon so it would be direct from those stations. Anyone from elsewhere could change onto it at Swindon.  There would be no change to the existing planned IET service pattern.

You would save 5-10 minutes on through journeys if it didn’t call at Didcot.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 22, 2019, 09:11:49 am
Some clarity in the potential service patterns might be welcome.

A decade before services start on the whole Oxford-Cambridsge line?

Electrification extension to Oxford would potentially wreck plans to extend EWR to Didcot.

Why? 2tph electric slow & 2tph diesel EWR (fast) shouldn't be a problem. If electrified, signalling headways should be shorter too.

Also if you send a train to Reading to terminate then it takes up valuable platform time until it heads back again.  Send it onwards from Reading somewhere might work, but nowhere immediately springs to mind.

Try Heathrow on the Western Access Link. Oh yes.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on January 22, 2019, 09:48:55 am
Also if you send a train to Reading to terminate then it takes up valuable platform time until it heads back again.  Send it onwards from Reading somewhere might work, but nowhere immediately springs to mind.

Try Heathrow on the Western Access Link. Oh yes.

That has been suggested before, though personally I’m not sure it would be a very good fit.  Would trains with Diesel engines fitted be allowed to use the Heathrow tunnels anyway, even if not in use as part of a bi-mode train?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on January 22, 2019, 09:56:41 am
Admittedly, I think the last mention of this was before EWR was descoped to remove the electrification, so you may have a point.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Reginald25 on January 22, 2019, 11:30:42 am
The best compromise in terms of being a little more adventurous might be to run a Reading/Didcot to Milton Keynes train each hour and a Bristol to Bedford one each hour (not necessarily calling at Didcot).

If you don't call at Didcot then it is not a compromise since you make connections from the west very difficult, they either have to double back at Reading or involve a double change at Didcot and Oxford. 
From the West,  fares doubling back at Reading appear to be significantly higher, and on occasions forces a full fare rather than an off-peak.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Celestial on January 22, 2019, 01:07:36 pm
The point is though that as one of the services suggested is coming from the west, not calling at Didcot makes no difference to connections from the west.  And also improves journey times.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on January 22, 2019, 05:36:05 pm
From the West, fares doubling back at Reading appear to be significantly higher, and on occasions forces a full fare rather than an off-peak.

Connecting into the 18:48 Swindon to Melksham ...peak restritions from Didcot are morning only but from Reading are morning and evening, so..

Super offpeak single - Didcot to Melksham - £13.70
Anytime single - Reading to Melksham - £56.50


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on January 22, 2019, 07:20:33 pm
Quote
From what I’ve so far heard, the Tri-mode 769s will not be used on services to Oxford.  They will be used on Reading to Gatwick trains as well as covering for the loss of 387s to Heathrow Express on the Paddington to Didcot services, as well as possibly some of the Thames Valley branches.  That of course may not be the current plan, or it may be the current plan but will change.  I’ll see if I can find out.

I do hope that's not true! If we end up with bi-modes to Didcot only and still having to change to a Turbo shuttle (sorry West Country - another couple at least not available for cascade!) for Oxford that sounds like a worst of both worlds result!

Why cannot they restore the (franchise specification) full Reading - Oxford local stopping service if they have bi-modes? Is there any technical reason? I understood the Electrostar fleet was ordered to cover all the proposed electrified TV services. They are now not able to cover the Windsor and Henley branches and Oxford/Banbury stoppers. Has the raiding of the pool for Heathrow Expresses now shifted the problem in the other direction so that the bi-modes and remaining Electrostars cannot cover North Downs/Henley/Windsor and restoration of full Reading/Oxford stopping services as well as the remaining Newburys and Didcots after Crossrail/Elizabeth Line takes the strain east of Reading?

If so I feel like uttering a Victor Meldrew "I don't believe it"

edited to fix quote


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on February 08, 2019, 11:23:35 pm
The consultation on routes between Bedford and Cambridge has opened - see https://eastwestrail.co.uk/haveyoursay

Having been out of the loop on Cambridge transport issues for about a year I have spent a little time on the internet catching up. I was intrigued on the East-West consultation to see that one reason against a northern route (which would usefully serve Cambourne New Town, already 10,000 people with another 2350 houses now approved) was it might interfere with "the proposed Metro".

It appears that the new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is promoting a new light railway/underground network around Cambridge. It does however seem to have put the brake on busway plans for Cambourne that had already been subject of a City Deal bid. I'm not sure what the bus promoting County Council feels about that.

There are a number of proposals on Railfuture East Anglia's website that look rather more well thought out (or achievable) including new stations on the route into south east Cambridge that has seen a lot of development in recent years, and re-openings in north Cambridgeshire that would benefit towns like Wisbech that have been left behind by the growth and prosperity spurt experienced by the south of the county in recent decades. Food for thought.....   


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on February 08, 2019, 11:42:18 pm

It appears that the new Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is promoting a new light railway/underground network around Cambridge. It does however seem to have put the brake on busway plans for Cambourne that had already been subject of a City Deal bid. I'm not sure what the bus promoting County Council feels about that.


Guided bus don't stop Cambourne wednesdays...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on March 03, 2019, 03:55:16 pm
In the last week something has come across my office desk which points to an opportunity that looks likely to be missed to "kill two birds with one stone".

If you look at route option B in the consultation documents on filling the Bedford - Cambridge gap in the East West rail route (see - , https://eastwestrail.co.uk/haveyoursay) and then compare it with the proposed line of the Black Cat - Caxton Gibbet A428 realignment and doubling (see - https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/a428-black-cat-to-caxton-gibbet/results/a428blackcattocaxtongibbetwebpra.pdf) - something is very striking - the latter runs parallel to or through the middle of much of the former!

Now, I may be naive and idealistic (some of the time!) but surely it must be worth combing the two projects so that there will only be one major infrastructure project carving its way across Bedfordshire, Huntingdon and South Cambridgeshire, instead of two over many years? If the stretches either side of the ECMLR, and through to the Eltisley junction were a combined road/rail project with a rail interchange with ECMLR between Barford and Tempsford, they could be let as a single combined contract or framework and delivered together. If eastwards after Eltisley the rail link passed between Cambourne and Caxton (there's still room at present), with a Cambourne station on the southern edge of the new town, the new track would not have to go far down the valley of the Bourne Brook to link up with the old formation of the Bedford - Cambridge line. There's still the Mullard Observatory to be by-passed, but the alternatives put forward by East-West acknowledge this anyway.

Why hasn't someone at DfT spotted this? Or am I an ignorant busy body who doesn't know what he is talking about? If this is feasible, I would hope that none of HE, East West, DfT or those bloody fools unimaginative bean counters at HM Treasury would stand in the way of doing it.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on March 03, 2019, 05:36:39 pm
Why hasn't someone at DfT spotted this? Or am I an ignorant busy body who doesn't know what he is talking about? If this is feasible, I would hope that none of HE, East West, DfT or those bloody fools unimaginative bean counters at HM Treasury would stand in the way of doing it.

Ah, but someone has spotted it - not exactly at DfT, but in a position to rattle their cage - the Infrastructure Commission. If you look at the Annex to the 2019 Monitoring Report (https://www.nic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/NIC-Annual-Monitoring-Report-2019-Annex.pdf) (which came on last month) it says:
Quote
East‑west transport infrastructure

Recommendation 1a: Government should progress work on East West Rail, the Expressway and new
settlements through a single coordinated delivery programme, with cross‑government ministerial
commitment and oversight. The aim of this programme should be to unlock opportunities for
transformational housing growth through the creation of well connected new communities.

Government
Response
The government endorses the Commission’s recommendation to create a
single coordinated delivery programme for progressing work on East West
Rail, the Expressway and the potential for new and expanded settlements, with
cross‑government ministerial commitment and oversight.
Progress since
publication
The government has established a cross‑Whitehall Programme Board to take an
integrated approach to the planning and delivery of infrastructure, homes and
business growth in the arc. The programme is supporting work to progress at pace
on East West Rail, the Expressway and other infrastructure.
Current
position
A programme board for the project has been established and is now operational.
The Commission welcomes this positive step. Notwithstanding ongoing work, the
Commission remains concerned about the overall level of integration between the
planning of new housing and transport schemes.
Complete? No.
[/size]

That's under the rather 50s-sounding heading "Partnering for Prosperity", the title of one of their study on this area. It doesn't, at this level, refer to the integration of transport with transport - so they do have a let-out if they are still inclined to annoy you.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on March 03, 2019, 06:29:28 pm
Hmmmm

I am not sure that this has in mind what I have suggested. I think they have in mind more that the transport infrastructure delivery should co-ordinate more with the planning process. This is easier said than done. There are a large number of local planning authorities each with their own local plan processes (although increasingly, but painfully slowly they are beginning to co-ordinate - South Cambs and City of Cambridge have been, but the Oxfordshire authorities do not seen able to do so, and Bucks is in the throws of an upcoming reorganisation). The intention was that the Infrastructure Commission should also deliver housing, which overlooks the fact that large scale development is either the result of long-term (10 years plus in many cases) land assembly by private sector developers pursued through negotiation with landowners, such as Cambourne, or large scale public sector land disposals which involves usually a private sector partner to bring the site forward, as at Northstowe.

I do not think that the author had a single joint project in mind when using the expression "single coordinated delivery programme" sadly - but if I am wrong, I would be delighted. Does anyone know how to contact "the project board"? I might try posting a message on the Commissions "contact us" section.



Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 03, 2019, 06:53:17 pm
2 piblic enquiries run alongside each other would take a lot shorter time (posdibly saving over a year) than one enquiry covering a whole project. Thus both projects would be quicker than your suggestion?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on March 03, 2019, 07:15:56 pm
2 piblic enquiries run alongside each other would take a lot shorter time (posdibly saving over a year) than one enquiry covering a whole project. Thus both projects would be quicker than your suggestion?

I was thinking rather that the response of either road or rail proposers to eightonedee's suggestion would be "it's a huge complicated struggle just getting one of these big projects off (or onto) the ground, trying to do two at once would break the system". Of course they would more likely be actually thinking that cooperating with each other would be too hard to think about. The official view is probably that the NIC's "cross‑Whitehall Programme Board" is the best way to overcome this issue of over-complexity of one project. We, of course, may not be convinced by that, and suspect it would make things worse.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 03, 2019, 08:41:20 pm
It might stop the anti-rail lobby from trying to block a scheme that had huge road transport benefits.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 06, 2019, 10:11:55 pm
From The Telegraph (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/03/06/woodland-trust-asked-sign-gagging-order-wants-see-rail-plans/)

Quote
The Woodland Trust has been told it cannot see detailed maps for a new train line between Oxford and Cambridge unless it signs a gagging order, even though the track could cut through five of its sites.

The charity has asked East West Rail (EWR) to view the full proposals for the central section of the railway which is likely to pass through ancient woodland.

But EWR is withholding the maps unless the Trust signs a non-disclosure agreement promising not to share the details with supporters.

The project is currently out for public consultation but the Trust claims it is impossible to give an opinion without knowing the full extent of the plans.

Similar report ITV (https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2019-03-06/fears-for-ancient-woodland-from-new-cambridge-to-oxford-rail-link/)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 08, 2019, 07:40:24 am
From Cambridge Live (https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/local-news/st-neots-cambridge-oxford-rail-15939729)

Quote
It's a town talked about more for its struggling market than its booming businesses.

But more than a thousand people in St Neots have signed a petition wanting to see that end.

The petition, which was started by Michelle Woodbridge, a resident from the town, wants the 'forgotten' area to be part of a new rail connection between Oxford and Cambridge - which people believe may revitalise the area.

The East West Rail proposals approved by the government in 2011 will see an entirely new rail line built.

However, because the area has no direct rail services to Cambridge, people were shocked to find the town - with around 40,000 people in it - had not been included in the proposals as a potential stop.

But that a town in Bedfordshire with a population with under 600 people had

Five options is probably about the right number to have offered in the consultation, with two possible crossing areas over the east coast main line - Sandy and Tempsford.   Some of them seem a big wiggly.  Perhaps there's good reason  for the absence of an option that heads out of Bedford to the north through the current station then turn off to the east  as options D and E  but then go somewhat to the north of those routes to St Neots.   St Neots station is on the east side of the town, and East-West rail coming in along the south flank, crossing the exiting line and curving back northwards to pass through platforms parallel before turning east again would seem to avoid the need to demolish a swathe oh houses; I do recall though the there's a lot of water in the area.  From St Neots, turn east again and pick up options B and E prior to Cambourne.

As an aside, I note that the options from Cambourne both curve south after passing that community and turn to enter Cambridge from the South, rather than carrying more or less straight on close to Bar Hill and picking up the old St Ives branch at Impington and joining the main line through Cambridge at an extended Cambridge North station with platforms on the East / West line.   I suspect no-one has the stomach to suggest an experiment with dual use guided bus and guided train on a combo-track ... and here I was thinking Cambridge was up for (b)leading edge solutions.

https://eastwestrail.co.uk/haveyoursay for the maps.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on March 08, 2019, 10:24:23 pm
The consultation document sets out the analysis of the routes into Cambridge as follows-

Quote
7.3. Tunnelled approaches from the west were considered within a corridor from near Barton through to Church End and Fulbourn. It was anticipated that a
dual-track tunnel could provide an interchange with Cambridge station below ground. While a tunnelled approach was believed to be technically feasible, it
was rejected due to the significant cost (estimated to be between £1 billion and £1.7 billion) and interchange journey time penalties at Cambridge station. The
least cost tunnelled option that was considered would have required a tunnel of around 5.5 kilometres and result in potentially significant adverse impacts
on Grantchester Meadows. In addition, a tunnelled approach would not provide direct east-west connectivity to the proposed new Cambridge South station
serving the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, thereby foregoing an opportunity to support growth, housing and employment. It would also not directly serve
Cambridge North and support growth in the surrounding area.
7.4. The main options for approaching Cambridge from the north that were considered were using the route of the existing guided busway that links Cambridge
to Histon, St. Ives and Huntingdon, or connecting to the West Anglia Main Line north of Milton. These options were rejected due to the additional route length
resulting in journey time penalties and the need for a reversing movement at Cambridge for onward trains to Ipswich and Norwich. Routes that would use the
existing guided busway would also be expected to impact adversely on existing users of the busway by requiring them to interchange between the bus and
train if they were travelling to or from central Cambridge. Approaching Cambridge from the north would also not provide direct east-west connectivity to the
proposed new Cambridge South station (unless trains could run on to the new Cambridge South station after serving Cambridge station, which would still
result in longer journey times). It would therefore not maximise the opportunity to support growth, homes and jobs around the Cambridge South station (though
it would provide better connectivity to support growth and development around Cambridge North station).
7.5. EWR Co have re-visited the case for approaching Cambridge from the north in the context of the current strategic objectives for EWR and identified the
following issues:
• It would require potential modifications to the new Cambridge North station and adding more tracks to a longer section of the West Anglia Main Line (fourtracking of the West Anglia Main Line immediately to the south of Cambridge is likely to be required anyway to support the proposed new Cambridge South
station), both of which are likely to add significant cost.
• It would be expected to incur higher capital and operating costs and result in slower journey times due to the greater route length. This would reduce
the benefits for transport users and the wider economy across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc and also have an adverse impact on opportunities to support
new homes.
• Existing local transport infrastructure (the guided busway) appears to cater for growth opportunities to the north of Cambridge and therefore an additional
railway service to improve local connectivity to the north of Cambridge may not be required.
• Approaching Cambridge from the north would not directly serve the proposed new Cambridge South station, thereby foregoing an opportunity to support
growth, housing and employment.
• It would require a reversing move and journey time penalties for any onward journeys to and from Norwich, Ipswich and other destinations to the east of
Cambridge.25
25 Onwards services to and from the east of Cambridge (for example to and from Norwich and Ipswich) are not currently included in the indicative train service specification for EWR services and are not currently part of EWR Co’s remit.
However this could be considered at a later date if there was evidence of sufficient demand.
East West Rail
Technical Report
26
7.6. The main option considered for approaching Cambridge from the south was to connect to the West Anglia Main Line slightly to the south or north of Great
Shelford. This option performed best against the key evaluation criteria, including generating shorter journey times and greater transport user benefits, and
would be expected to generate greater growth and housing opportunities across the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, for example around an interchange with the East
Coast Main Line. Approaching Cambridge from the south would also provide the best connectivity for the proposed new Cambridge South station and the
employment opportunities that it supports, as well as allowing for onward journeys to Ipswich and Norwich without a reversing move and significant journey
time penalties. Approaching Cambridge from the south was therefore selected as the preferred option.
7.7. Based on the further, recent analysis of the options for approaching Cambridge, the previous decision to approach Cambridge from the south rather than
the north is considered to remain sound when considered against the current strategic objectives for EWR. However, of the five route options that are
being taken forward for consultation, Routes B and E could alternatively approach Cambridge from the north if new information is provided to EWR Co through
the consultation that suggests this would be better than approaching Cambridge from the south as currently shown in the indicative route maps.

This all makes good sense to me!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on March 08, 2019, 10:46:13 pm
Personally Option E makes most sense to me:

  • It gives a through route with interchange in Bedford
  • It maximises the possibility of co-routing with the A428 Improvement
  • It opens up new opportunities for station at Cambourne
  • It opens up new opportunities for station at south of St Neots with possible ECML interchange
  • It enters Cambridge from the South as discussed below.

Routes south of Cambourne would take traffic from Royston
Routes south of Bedford would not allow interchange with the MML at Bedford


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 09, 2019, 06:07:46 am
The consultation document sets out the analysis of the routes into Cambridge as follows-

Long quote ....

This all makes good sense to me!

In summary, the logic reads ...
1. To the north, long way round, trains end up needing to reverse and extra lines needed north of Cambridge
2. Along the St Ives branch - oops we've put a guided busway in there and it is can and will carry lots of people
3. Tunnel direct in underneath.  Very expensive and how do we run trains beyond?
4. Clearish countryside and serves new Cambridge South on the way in.

In classic style, my summary highlights the issues with items (1) to (3) and gives the positives of (4).  The quoted report is somewhat fuller and somewhat less biased.    But I do get the feeling that there's a trade-off between serving Cambridge North and Cambridge South, with the bias put on South as an enabler now than North is up and running.   Way out of territory here - just that I've done so much work in and around Cambridge.   I'm very used to the cross London journey; the biggest need (for me personally) is a decent hotel at Cambridge North within walking distances of all the businesses.  I suspect it might be coming.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on March 09, 2019, 06:36:22 pm
Grahame - I prefer your version!

BTW, I though East-West's response to the Woodland Trust was counterproductive. Better surely to engage at an early juncture, rather than generate an atmosphere of mistrust at the outset.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 19, 2019, 10:51:55 am
Stephen Barker, engineering director at the East West Rail Company, on the next steps of the scheme - http://www.railtechnologymagazine.com/Comment/east-west-rail-the-next-steps


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 19, 2019, 10:55:37 am
Good to see Stephen Barker so involved in this part of the project, as he was for the Bicester to Oxford section.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on March 19, 2019, 09:20:10 pm
I understood the rationale of the bi-mode/trimode was to restore a proper full stopping service all the way between Reading and Oxford, mitigating the adverse impact of the dreadful decision to cut the electrification to Oxford short at Didcot.
Cut the GWML electrification short at Didcot? I understood that Didcot-Oxford and Bristol electrification were (somewhat sensibly) postponed to allow resignalling/remodelling to take place first. Unlike Cardiff-Swansea and, tragicly, most of the Midland Main Line which are cancelled.

Of course, this should be after funds are found to electrify Didcot to Bedford....
I'd settle for Didcot to Bletchley at this point. Apart from Didcot-Oxford, which as noted above should happen anyway, most of the route concerned will be taken out of use anyway for construction of East West Rail, meaning electrification can be done without disruption to services. The GWML would then cease to be an 'electric island', gaining an electrified connection to the WCML, potentially useful for class 92s coming up from Southampton (if Reading-Basingstoke electrification has survived the cutbacks).

When Swindon - Bristol Temple Meads is wired up too it would also make a Bristol - Milton Keynes service possible with class 387s, providing a service to call at new stations such as Wootton Bassett. That could run alongside bi-mode suburban or regional units (depending on calling pattern etc.) doing Oxford - Bedford and Aylesbury - Bedford services.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 20, 2019, 06:20:51 am
I understood the rationale of the bi-mode/trimode was to restore a proper full stopping service all the way between Reading and Oxford, mitigating the adverse impact of the dreadful decision to cut the electrification to Oxford short at Didcot.
Cut the GWML electrification short at Didcot? I understood that Didcot-Oxford and Bristol electrification were (somewhat sensibly) postponed to allow resignalling/remodelling to take place first. Unlike Cardiff-Swansea and, tragicly, most of the Midland Main Line which are cancelled.

Good to see you, Rhydgaled.

As I understand it (I'm open to correction) ... Swansea is cancelled.  Bristol and Oxford are postponed (i.e. still on the books) but no schedule as to when they'll happen; worrying that the postponement feels indefinite to the extent that the question "will it even happen" may be asked.

Logic might be that when the now-skilled team gets to Cardiff they move on to these other two connecting and postponed elements - but then the question is asked "or are they moved on to Welsh Valleys", do they go to another project away from our area, or is the team "released" until it needs to be reformed ...


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Bmblbzzz on March 20, 2019, 12:19:55 pm
Hopefully not released. They should be kept on doing some line or other, just to keep up momentum, maintain those skills, etc, aiming to complete a modest quantity each year rather than a grand big bang once every generation. Whether that will happen though...

As for Swindon to Temple Meads, I understood this was being terminated at Thingley Jnctn pending some unknown solution to a problem with the cant or arc or something going through Bath station? Can't remember where I got that from though; probably somewhere here!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 20, 2019, 12:49:22 pm
Hopefully not released. They should be kept on doing some line or other, just to keep up momentum, maintain those skills, etc, aiming to complete a modest quantity each year rather than a grand big bang once every generation. Whether that will happen though...

As for Swindon to Temple Meads, I understood this was being terminated at Thingley Jnctn pending some unknown solution to a problem with the cant or arc or something going through Bath station? Can't remember where I got that from though; probably somewhere here!

Isn't there about 14km of OHLE in place between Thingley Jct and Chippenham? Is this going to be energised, or will it become known as Chris Grayling's Washing Line?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 20, 2019, 01:46:39 pm
I understood the rationale of the bi-mode/trimode was to restore a proper full stopping service all the way between Reading and Oxford, mitigating the adverse impact of the dreadful decision to cut the electrification to Oxford short at Didcot.
Cut the GWML electrification short at Didcot? I understood that Didcot-Oxford and Bristol electrification were (somewhat sensibly) postponed to allow resignalling/remodelling to take place first. Unlike Cardiff-Swansea and, tragicly, most of the Midland Main Line which are cancelled.

fyi - MML electrification just announced to npw go as far as Kettering (that's where the electrical pick-up was agreed to be)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on March 20, 2019, 03:55:07 pm
Do you mean Market Harborough, Chris?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: rogerw on March 20, 2019, 04:44:54 pm
Quote
Isn't there about 14km of OHLE in place between Thingley Jct and Chippenham? Is this going to be energised, or will it become known as Chris Grayling's Washing Line?
Thingley Jct is just west of Chippenham and is where the grid supply point is.  At present there are some posts but no wires between Thingley and Chippenham.  Do you mean between Wootton Bassett and Chippenham?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on March 20, 2019, 05:09:03 pm
Quote
Isn't there about 14km of OHLE in place between Thingley Jct and Chippenham? Is this going to be energised, or will it become known as Chris Grayling's Washing Line?
Thingley Jct is just west of Chippenham and is where the grid supply point is.  At present there are some posts but no wires between Thingley and Chippenham.  Do you mean between Wootton Bassett and Chippenham?

From Swindon to Royal Wootton Bassett is in and switched on

From RWB to Cockelebury Lane bridge - about 1km before Chippenham - is in process of being wired and will be turned on

From Cocklebury Lane through Chippenham Station to Thingley  - various supports in place, but issues with Chippenham Station Listed Footbridge and cleareance I believe, and no wires at the moment

From Thingley Junction - various bridges rebuilt, track lowered in Box Tunnel, etc ...but no electrics.   (Yet ?)

Not sure if and how power from Thingley will be fed from the junction into the nearest overheads a couple of miles up the track - the substation at Thingley looks spectacular, and I know a cable was run 4 or 5 miles to it from the nearest National Grid substation.  Don't know if and when it will be in use.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on March 21, 2019, 09:55:12 am
Claims East West Rail route through Bassingbourn backed ‘almost on a whim’ - https://www.royston-crow.co.uk/news/concerns-after-east-west-rail-route-vote-1-5949743


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on March 21, 2019, 10:26:16 am
Quote
Isn't there about 14km of OHLE in place between Thingley Jct and Chippenham? Is this going to be energised, or will it become known as Chris Grayling's Washing Line?
Thingley Jct is just west of Chippenham and is where the grid supply point is.  At present there are some posts but no wires between Thingley and Chippenham.  Do you mean between Wootton Bassett and Chippenham?

Oh yes, I do. Thanks for the correction  :)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on March 21, 2019, 10:43:17 am
Do you mean Market Harborough, Chris?

Thank you, yes, sorry, I do.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on July 16, 2019, 03:18:35 pm
From RAIL magazine (https://www.railmagazine.com/news/network/tender-set-to-be-issued-for-east-west-rail-rolling-stock)

Quote
Tender set to be issued for East West Rail rolling stock

The East West Railway Company (EWR Co) has confirmed its intention to begin a formal rolling stock procurement process in August.

RAIL can reveal that an Invitation to Tender (ITT) will be issued to supply 11 three-car self-propelled units for services due to commence in 2024 between Oxford, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes.

It follows the conclusion of a rolling stock market engagement exercise that had been under way since November 2018, which involved workshops and meetings with manufacturers, suppliers and rolling stock operating companies (ROSCOs) from across the market.

EWR Co Chief Executive Simon Blanchflower said: “Reactions from the rolling stock market have been extremely positive. We’ve taken a purposeful approach to procurement, using this engagement period to effectively de-risk the project by working with the market to understand what’s available to meet our entry into service requirements, before defining our specifications. Thank you to anyone who has engaged with this process so far - your input has been invaluable.”

EWR Co was established in 2017 to oversee and accelerate the delivery of the East West Rail scheme to restore a direct rail link between Oxford and Cambridge (closed as a through route in 1967).

The line is being reopened in stages, with services running from Oxford to Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury from 2024, and along the full route to Cambridge some three to four years later.

I bet Vivarail will be taking part....


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on February 04, 2020, 02:25:12 pm
I think I have posted this in the correct section (but willing to go and stand in the naughty corner if not)...
https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/first-new-railway-in-50-years-between-oxford-and-bletchley-given-the-go-ahead?fbclid=IwAR2xDwTithYI7AAz-Z8aAKO-yGqzKnAV1CCdvOtZIR99Eo1MrO6AM83-Z9o

Quote
First new railway in 50 years between Oxford and Bletchley takes major step forward

The first direct rail link in more than 50 years between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury has been given the green light for further work.

Today (Tuesday 4 February) the Secretary of State for Transport approved Network Rail’s Transport and Works Act Order application, granting permission for work to begin on the next phase of East West Rail.

Once complete, phase 2 of East West Rail would connect communities and businesses between Oxford and Bedford, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, with:

Two trains per hour each way between Oxford and Milton Keynes
One train per hour each way between Oxford and Bedford
One train per hour each way between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury
The new railway will also connect the Great Western main line, Chiltern main line, West Coast main line and Midland main line - providing passengers with much-improved cross-country rail links from East to West.

This would help create jobs, boost economic growth, encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport and enable sustainable housing development for generations to come.

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central Region, said: “Building a new railway would transform connectivity and journey times across the heart of the country. East West Rail promises to provide a greener, low carbon transport system which will bring huge benefits to passengers and businesses - driving economic growth and creating opportunities for housing and new jobs.”

Cllr Mark Shaw, chairman of the East West Rail Consortium, an alliance of local authorities which produced the original business case for the scheme, said: “This has to go down as one of the most exciting weeks in the history of East West Rail, with approval to begin major construction of the Western section coming just days after the preferred route between Bedford and Cambridge was announced. East West Rail will transform the way people travel within and across the region, supporting communities, boosting businesses, unlocking job opportunities, and getting people out of their cars. The Consortium and the local authorities along the line will continue to work with Network Rail and its partners to ensure the western section is now delivered as quickly and smoothly as possible.”

With phase 1 between Oxford and Bicester already complete, phase 2 involves track and signalling upgrades between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, including reinstating a disused section of railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction, north of Aylesbury Vale Parkway.

The work will deliver significant improvements to local travel, with the phased introduction of new rail journeys between:

Oxford and Milton Keynes: with trains stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley.
Oxford and Bedford: with trains stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont.

Milton Keynes and Aylesbury: with trains stopping at Bletchley, Winslow and Aylesbury Vale Parkway

The East West Rail project is planned to be built progressively in phases, and once constructed would create a world-class rail link connecting Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

For more information you can visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/east-west-rail/


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 02, 2020, 07:42:41 am
Turning the "nose" of the Bletchley Flyover to point towards Bedford in addition to Northampton? 

From Network Rail Media Centre (https://www.networkrailmediacentre.co.uk/news/up-up-and-away-1960s-west-coast-main-line-railway-flyover-has-lift-off)

Quote
Region & Route: London North Western North West Central

Huge sections of a concrete railway flyover are being lifted out by some of the largest cranes in Europe to build the first direct rail link between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury in more than 50 years.

‘Bletchley flyover’ was built in the early 1960s and allows trains travelling from West to East to cross over the West Coast main line.

But now 14 of the flyover’s 37 spans need to be dismantled and rebuilt to modern standards for the East West Rail project.


My bolding - thought it allowed west to north, with west to east having to cross on the level


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on May 02, 2020, 08:35:53 am
As far as I can see from Google Earth and Traksy, it crossed over the WCML to the south of the station and then connected with both the WCML and the Bedford line.
There is a buffer stop 2km to the west of the viaduct, this section being used as Swanbourne sidings.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 02, 2020, 10:03:47 am
As far as I can see from Google Earth and Traksy, it crossed over the WCML to the south of the station and then connected with both the WCML and the Bedford line.
There is a buffer stop 2km to the west of the viaduct, this section being used as Swanbourne sidings.

Correct.  There used to be an 'at grade' connection from the west end of the flyover to the WCML Fast Lines just south of the Bletchley station, almost under the flyover itself.  This then crossed to the Slow Lines and then to the Bedford Line platforms and rejoined the Bedford Line east of the flyover. A junction on the flyover itself allowed access to the Slow Lines towards Northampton at Denbeigh Hall Junction, and to the Bedford Line near Fenny Stratford station. At opening of the flyover there was also an shortlived curve from the west end of the flyover heading south to connect with the WCML.  So overall a quite complex set of junctions which quickly became a huge 'white elephant'.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on May 02, 2020, 11:01:12 pm
Doesn't this current work sound typical of the way NR always come up with costing many times higher than expected? As in "Ah, yes, the viaduct does already exist. But it's falling apart, so we'll have to replace several spans, and all the bearings, and most of the parapet and a new one will need new fixings. And you said you wanted new platforms too? Well, that looks like a new station, and if you want it upstairs that'll cost even more than a normal downstairs one ... though if the trains are short enough we can squeeze it onto the embankment which will save a bit. Until you need to lengthen it, of course."

To be fair, those are all genuinely necessary extra costs, whatever the actual price tag.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on May 03, 2020, 08:18:02 am
All quite normal for a 1960's reinforced concrete structure.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on May 03, 2020, 12:35:36 pm
Doesn't this current work sound typical of the way NR always come up with costing many times higher than expected? As in "Ah, yes, the viaduct does already exist. But it's falling apart, so we'll have to replace several spans, and all the bearings, and most of the parapet and a new one will need new fixings. And you said you wanted new platforms too? Well, that looks like a new station, and if you want it upstairs that'll cost even more than a normal downstairs one ... though if the trains are short enough we can squeeze it onto the embankment which will save a bit. Until you need to lengthen it, of course."

To be fair, those are all genuinely necessary extra costs, whatever the actual price tag.
According to a recent artist's impression I have seen somewhere - don't ask me where, please! - the part over at least the Fast line of the LNWR's main line is being replaced by a long bridge on the roof of which the flyover lines will be replaced. It looks a bit like the structure used on the Trent Valley flyover just north of Rugby station.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Bmblbzzz on May 03, 2020, 01:06:35 pm
All quite normal for a 1960's reinforced concrete structure.
Or even a 1990s one.
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/st-philips-causeway-needs-more-3611411


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightf48544 on May 04, 2020, 11:13:16 am
I thought one of the plans of East West rail was to build a High Level Bletchley station on the flyover.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on May 04, 2020, 11:28:16 am
I thought one of the plans of East West rail was to build a High Level Bletchley station on the flyover.

No - or almost no - the TWAO plans showed the new platforms on the embankment with only the short bit at the south end on the viaduct, on top of the ground-level access building. The same plans don't show any new viaduct as it was not new or different enough to need to go through planning. That implies the dodgy spans are being replaced like for pretty similar, though based on absence of evidence not evidence of absence of new designs.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: SandTEngineer on May 04, 2020, 11:31:34 am
Rediscovering the Varsity Line | The Cambridge - Oxford Railway video: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jrzM8cj0QG8

...and Cab Ride video on the Bletchley Flyover:
Part 1: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6I7toFEjP_I
Part 2: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VDe8x0n6TP4
Part 3: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lTs_MNELWdw


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on May 04, 2020, 06:26:47 pm
I thought one of the plans of East West rail was to build a High Level Bletchley station on the flyover.

No - or almost no - the TWAO plans showed the new platforms on the embankment with only the short bit at the south end on the viaduct, on top of the ground-level access building. The same plans don't show any new viaduct as it was not new or different enough to need to go through planning. That implies the dodgy spans are being replaced like for pretty similar, though based on absence of evidence not evidence of absence of new designs.

The partial rebuild of the viaduct is subject to a separate “planning” application, (under permitted development rights) because it wasn’t applied for as part of the TWA Order, presumably because at that stage it was thought to be getting preventive maintenance only.  (Waterproofing etc?)
Milton Keynes planning Application no: 19/03082/PANOTH


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: paul7575 on May 04, 2020, 06:44:29 pm
...According to a recent artist's impression I have seen somewhere - don't ask me where, please! - the part over at least the Fast line of the LNWR's main line is being replaced by a long bridge on the roof of which the flyover lines will be replaced. It looks a bit like the structure used on the Trent Valley flyover just north of Rugby station.
Here’s the drawing (pdf attached below) of the intended box structure from the planning application.

Paul


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on May 04, 2020, 07:59:33 pm
I thought one of the plans of East West rail was to build a High Level Bletchley station on the flyover.

No - or almost no - the TWAO plans showed the new platforms on the embankment with only the short bit at the south end on the viaduct, on top of the ground-level access building. The same plans don't show any new viaduct as it was not new or different enough to need to go through planning. That implies the dodgy spans are being replaced like for pretty similar, though based on absence of evidence not evidence of absence of new designs.

The partial rebuild of the viaduct is subject to a separate “planning” application, (under permitted development rights) because it wasn’t applied for as part of the TWA Order, presumably because at that stage it was thought to be getting preventive maintenance only.  (Waterproofing etc?)
Milton Keynes planning Application no: 19/03082/PANOTH


It probably only needs permitted development,

The rest of the line went through the TWAO to facilitate the closing of level crossings and the construction of bridges, but more importantly allowed for compulsory purchase orders for the acquisition of land for access both construction only and maintainenace


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on May 04, 2020, 09:04:07 pm
The partial rebuild of the viaduct is subject to a separate “planning” application, (under permitted development rights) because it wasn’t applied for as part of the TWA Order, presumably because at that stage it was thought to be getting preventive maintenance only.  (Waterproofing etc?)
Milton Keynes planning Application no: 19/03082/PANOTH

It's got a bit confusing. In the TWAO, which was in only Network Rail's (NR)'s name, they said:
Quote
Works to Bletchley Flyover comprise signficant repair work, including piling, strengthening, and bearing changes.

Piling? Why? Anyway, obviously it was one of those just jobs that just growed a bit once looked at, since now:
Quote
‘Bletchley flyover’ was built in the early 1960s and allows trains travelling from West to East to cross over the West Coast main line.

But now 14 of the flyover’s 37 spans need to be dismantled and rebuilt to modern standards for the East West Rail project.

Preparatory removals of lineside equipment and overhead electric lines has been taking place for a year, with work ramping up at Easter to drill and cut out the existing concrete flyover's spans.

Weighing in at a hefty 295 tonnes, the first was ‘Span 17’ which was split into two and removed on 22 April.

The first sections of the flyover are being dismantled without the need to close the railway.

Eight sections which cross directly over the West Coast main line will cause it to be closed between the 2-3, 8-10 and 23-25 May for the rest of the flyover to be removed.

The TWAO itself was granted to NR only in January, after an inspector's report (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/east-west-rail-bicester-to-bedford-improvements-transport-and-works-act-order). But the 23 spans not being replaced need new bearings and parapets, and work started in August last year, with that being done by Freyssinet under contract to the EWR Alliance.

All new bridges go through planning, as we've seen before, though of a rather odd kind.

Edit: VickiS - Clarifying Acronym


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on May 06, 2020, 03:22:26 pm
...According to a recent artist's impression I have seen somewhere - don't ask me where, please! - the part over at least the Fast line of the LNWR's main line is being replaced by a long bridge on the roof of which the flyover lines will be replaced. It looks a bit like the structure used on the Trent Valley flyover just north of Rugby station.
Here’s the drawing (pdf attached below) of the intended box structure from the planning application.

Paul

Thank you, that's the drawing I remembered.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: signalandtelegraph on January 23, 2021, 10:31:57 am
Is it me or does the train pictured here look a bit like the original APT?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55770529


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: bradshaw on January 23, 2021, 11:02:02 am
This might suggest that Roger Ford?s bionic duckweed powered vehicles, as mentioned in Modern Railways, might still have a chance!

Quote
When asked by the BBC why the lines wouldn't be electrified, he said these lines might potentially bypass the overhead wire technology altogether.
"We're building it in such a way that we can use, probably, the very latest technology, potentially, in the future," he said. 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on January 23, 2021, 01:03:29 pm
There seems to be a significant difference of viewpoint here.

From the Government Minister
Quote
Diesel engines will initially run on the lines, but Mr Shapps said he hoped more environmentally friendly trains, for example powered by hydrogen or new battery technology, would replace them in the future.

When asked by the BBC why the lines wouldn't be electrified, he said these lines might potentially bypass the overhead wire technology altogether.

"We're building it in such a way that we can use, probably, the very latest technology, potentially, in the future," he said.

From experts at yesterday's TWSW seminar - notes at http://www.passenger.chat/24566
Quote
Transport is 1/3 of the carbon.  And from where we are, we need to act fast
1. It's late ... if you're in a hole as we are, stop digging
e.g. Road schemes for more personal traffic are incompatible with needs
2. No time to rely on upcoming technology being researched and developed
So ... a need to reduce travel and especially by personal vehicles.

I prefer to listen to the experts in this case, especially as they do not muddy the waters around their position with words like "hope", "probably" and "potentially" which the government minister - who has a background which does not shout "transport" prior to the DfT (see ((here)) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Shapps) ) uses


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on January 23, 2021, 04:06:33 pm
I did find the bit rhetoric from Shapes about reversing Beeching ..................... wasn't that a 1960's Conservative Government policy .............
Its amazing thing political amnesia 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on January 23, 2021, 05:24:24 pm
Quote
I did find the bit rhetoric from Shapes about reversing Beeching ..................... wasn't that a 1960's Conservative Government policy .............
Its amazing thing political amnesia

There seems to have been political consensus at the time. Many lines had been closed before Beeching (as is often pointed out), and many of the closures were actually carried out under the first Wilson administration (first two terms), between 1964 and 1970, with the last few (like Ilfracombe and Bridport) either under Heath or Wilson's second term.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 09, 2021, 09:09:39 am
From the Bedford Independent (https://www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/bedford-tory-councillors-in-row-over-freight-doom-of-east-west-rail-route/)

It seems that there is concern at the noise of freight trains at night ... from a long article ...

Quote
Bedford Tory councillors in row over “freight doom” of East West Rail route
...

But Cllr Wootton said he “disputed the benefits to the town of having the line come through Bedford.”

He added: “Nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room, which is freight. It’s going to be built for freight from the east coast.

“What the mayor’s decision actually has done is doom Bedford to be a rail hub in the evening and at night. We’re going to have heavy freight trains running all night and through all these northern villages.”

But the mayor hit back by saying that it was a “worrying statement” for a representative of the villages to make and admit he had not seen the documents or read them.

Cllr Headley, who represents the borough on the project board, said: “I’m shocked that you’ve suddenly discovered that freight trains use railway lines as well as passenger trains.

“They already use the existing line through Bedford.”


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on February 09, 2021, 10:36:10 am
This has spawned a new topic - http://www.passenger.chat/24647 - on "Train Noise"; not just an issue for those wanting to to to bed in Bedford!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on April 02, 2021, 09:31:03 am
I am posting the following article partly because it may be of interest to members, and partly because it may inspire some broadgage "Blue Sky Thinking" on how such matters should be dealt with, and I could really use some entertainment as we head into a new lockdown over here:

https://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/people/bedford-residents-fury-as-letter-from-east-west-rail-reveals-houses-for-possible-demolition-3186071

Quote from: Bedford Today
Bedford residents' fury as letter from East West Rail reveals houses for possible demolition

Angry residents were left in shock after receiving a letter saying their house may be demolished as part of the East West Rail route consultation.

East West Railway Company said the letters represented a “reasonable worst-case scenario” for impacts on properties, and added that it would continue to work with local communities to mitigate impacts where possible.

Neighbours in the Poets area of Bedford met Tuesday night (March 30) to discuss the proposals - with some shocked they had not even received a letter.

(Article continues with much "scripting" if you try and copy and paste any of it...)

There is a wider context as well that I should make you aware of:

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/19201450.big-ideas-needed-next-steps-east-west-rail-plans/

Quote from: Oxford Mail
Big ideas needed before next steps in East-West Rail plans

Ideas about how Oxford train station and Bicester's London Road level crossing could be improved are being requested as part of a review into rail upgrades.

The Government announced it plans to spend £760m on reviving the railway line between Bicester and Bletchley earlier this year as part of its plans to create a direct train link between Oxford and Cambridge.

But before the East-West Rail Company (EWR), which is overseeing the works, can carry out steps beyond this, it is asking for ideas from the public.

The company has described the upgrades as a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity.

EWR wants to people to give their opinion on its plans to upgrade Oxford, Oxford Parkway and Bicester Village stations, as a further four trains per hour would call at these stations once the project is finished.

It also wants to know how residents think changes to the Bicester level crossing should be dealt with to stop long waits for cars and pedestrians.

Further afield from Oxfordshire it is also asking people their opinions on five different options for the new railway route alignment between Bedford and Cambridge, which is set to be the final part of the new line to be built.

The consultation is taking place at eastwestrail.co.uk

Jeremy Long, Chair of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: "Once up and running, East West Rail will be critical for our local economy by directly linking people living and working across Oxfordshire to and from destinations across the arc, through to Cambridge and beyond.

"We would like to see the railway delivered in most sustainable form possible, and for consideration to be given, as it is being constructed, for the rail corridor to be used to enhance digital connectivity as well."

Ever since rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris announced new funding for the route in January, there have been calls for the route to be electrified, instead of running diesel trains as is currently planned.

Liberal Democrat MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, Layla Moran, has started a petition calling on the Government to electrify the line.

(Article continues, largely but not completely annoying script-free)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: CyclingSid on April 02, 2021, 10:22:09 am
I doubt that you are ever going to find a set of people who would be happy about their homes being demolished.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: jdw.wor on April 02, 2021, 10:36:02 am
I would be  particularly upset if my house was demolished because of a consultation! Perhaps the building of a railway may be a more acceptable reason.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Bmblbzzz on April 02, 2021, 12:19:53 pm
Beware of the leopard!


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on April 02, 2021, 01:23:05 pm
I doubt that you are ever going to find a set of people who would be happy about their homes being demolished.

Agreed, but it does highlight the problem of widening existing railway lines that go through towns.  Imagine what it would take to four track from Rugby to Birmingham (which was proposed previously before HS2 came along).


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on May 17, 2021, 10:27:55 am
The BBC have published what they call a "simple guide" - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-56988231.amp


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 17, 2021, 11:21:57 am
I'm a big fan of this thread, as 13 years of posts are condensed into 18 pages.  Those 18 pages demonstrate perfectly the hurdles that have to be overcome, together with over ambition, setbacks and inevitable cost increases, in order for anything to actually happen on the ground.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on May 17, 2021, 11:52:09 am
Still more hurdles to overcome - check out these two pressure groups blogs -

Cambridge Approaches - https://cambridgeapproaches.org/

Bedford for a Reconsultation - https://bfare.org.uk

The route is far from settled. Neither group like the suggested routes in trhe EWR second consultation


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: eightonedee on May 17, 2021, 02:09:37 pm
The following sentence about the group objecting to the southern route from the BBC summary says it all-

Quote
The campaign states a northern route into Cambridge would, among other arguments, have at least seven times fewer residents living within 200m (656ft) of the line and less impact on the environment.

But surely we want a new rail link to run through areas with people who might be passengers? The southern route would connect Cambourne new town, a proposed further new settlement at Bourne aerodrome and the growth area at Great Kneighton/Addenbrookes growth area with each other and with the city centre.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on May 17, 2021, 02:43:06 pm

Quote
The campaign states a northern route into Cambridge would, among other arguments, have at least seven times fewer residents living within 200m (656ft) of the line and less impact on the environment.

But surely we want a new rail link to run through areas with people who might be passengers? ....

Might get less objections for a line from Meldon to Marhamchurch, but would probably get fewer passengers too ...

Trick is getting the line close enough to people's homes for them to support it, but not too close that they turn into objectors!

(http://www.wellho.net/pix/closeish.jpg)


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 02, 2021, 06:48:28 am
Not sure if the closure of Fenny Stratford has come up here before and I have missed it, or it is just coming to attention courtesy of the MK Citizen (https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/people/rail-bosses-urged-to-think-again-on-controversial-plans-involving-closure-of-station-in-milton-keynes-3257075)

Quote
Milton Keynes Council has asked rail bosses to think again about a string of controversial proposals in the plans to reopen the Oxford to Cambridge rail line.

The Labour/Lib Dem alliance strongly supports EWR's plans to re-open the line, which will link Oxford and Cambridge via at Bletchley and Bedford.

But to carry out the plan, EWR is proposing to completely close Fenny Stratford station, as well as level crossings in Fenny Stratford and Woburn Sands.

Personal recollection - recent years staying at a hotel near this station and commuting to work just one stop up the line (Bow Brickhill); no easy alternative available - significant walk in to Bletchley if I had caught the train from there, and the journey I took was short but crossed the M1 with no suitable alternative available.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Lee on June 02, 2021, 07:48:34 am
Not sure if the closure of Fenny Stratford has come up here before and I have missed it, or it is just coming to attention courtesy of the MK Citizen (https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/news/people/rail-bosses-urged-to-think-again-on-controversial-plans-involving-closure-of-station-in-milton-keynes-3257075)

Quote
Milton Keynes Council has asked rail bosses to think again about a string of controversial proposals in the plans to reopen the Oxford to Cambridge rail line.

The Labour/Lib Dem alliance strongly supports EWR's plans to re-open the line, which will link Oxford and Cambridge via at Bletchley and Bedford.

But to carry out the plan, EWR is proposing to completely close Fenny Stratford station, as well as level crossings in Fenny Stratford and Woburn Sands.

Personal recollection - recent years staying at a hotel near this station and commuting to work just one stop up the line (Bow Brickhill); no easy alternative available - significant walk in to Bletchley if I had caught the train from there, and the journey I took was short but crossed the M1 with no suitable alternative available.

It refers to the controversial "Concept 2" option of the consultation. This would see the 10 Marston Vale stations reduced to 5, with Fenny Stratford, Bow Brickhill and Millbrook stations closed completely, and Aspley Guise/Ridgemont and Stewartby/Kempston Hardwick "merged" apparently having worked with "local stakeholders" to finalise the choices - although they say they are open to alternative proposals on the exact 5 stations mix, but that "Concept 2" must not exceed more than 5 stations in total.

https://eastwestrail-production.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/public/EAS060_ConDoc_290321_Digital_SectionB_DIG.pdf

Quote from: East West Rail
We have identified two ways this part of the line could be upgraded:

Concept 1: The existing hourly stopping service would continue to serve all Marston Vale Line stations, with a new limited-stop EWR service calling at two stations – Woburn Sands and Ridgmont – four times an hour.  The hourly stopping service at intermediate stations would enable a change onto a faster EWR train at either Woburn Sands   or Ridgmont, for connections to Oxford   and Cambridge. The ability to change to the faster EWR services at Ridgmont will make journeys from some intermediate stations to either Bletchley or Bedford quicker. Two EWR Oxford - Cambridge trains and two EWR Bletchley - Cambridge each hour would   call at Woburn Sands and Ridgmont.   These trains would take 22 minutes to   travel from Bletchley to Bedford. The   hourly-stopping service would need to   wait in additional sections of track known as ‘passing loops’ to allow faster EWR trains to overtake so may need to run more slowly, and the timetable would be modified. Most of the stations would see minimal - if any – upgrades, but the station at Ridgmont would need to be relocated to enable passing loops to be built and Bedford St Johns station would also be relocated.

Concept 2: There would be five new merged stations on the Marston Vale Line – all five would benefit from at least two EWR services every hour, and some would have four. This would mean more communities have access to more frequent and faster services, direct to more locations.  Two EWR stopping trains would run every hour between Bletchley and Cambridge calling at all five stations. These trains would take 27 minutes to travel from Bletchley to Bedford instead of 42 minutes today. In addition, two EWR OxfordCambridge trains would call at Woburn Sands and Ridgmont. These trains would take 22 minutes to travel from Bletchley   to Bedford. These services would replace the current hourly stopping service and the ten existing intermediate stations would be merged, creating five new modern stations with better facilities in locations more suitable for existing needs and to ensure that the right transport infrastructure is in place for the growth that is already starting to happen in the local area. Some residents would need to travel a little further to their nearest station, but EWR are developing plans for improved pedestrian and cycle routes, as well as working with local stakeholders on better public   transport connections. Given the increased frequency and speed   of the service, even for those who do have   to travel further to the station, overall journey durations are likely to be shorter or at least the same as they are today. Upgraded and new stations would be designed from the start to ensure that onward transport – whether by bike, car, bus or on foot – is convenient and minimises disruption by reducing traffic in constrained  village centres.

Merged stations have been considered in the following locations:

•    Woburn Sands station relocated   a short distance to the west of   the current station

•    Ridgmont station relocated between the current Aspley   Guise and Ridgmont stations   (in a similar location to that required by Concept 1)

•  Lidlington station relocated a short distance to the east of the existing Lidlington station

•  Stewartby station relocated between  the current Stewartby  and  Kempston Hardwick stations

•  Bedford St Johns station relocated a short distance to the south   or west

All of these stations on the line would benefit from direct connections east between Bedford and Cambridge. Woburn Sands and Ridgmont would have direct services to stations   west – like Oxford or Bicester,   whilst for the others this would be   a short interchange. Whilst we have identified these five locations by working with local stakeholders, we are open to your suggestions for alternative merged station options, provided the overall number does not increase beyond five   in Concept 2. Both of these concepts are viable options. We recognise that despite its reliability challenges and low usage, the existing service is important for some members of the community. It would though be a missed opportunity if we were not to at least consider the alternative, given the potential benefits it offers to local residents both today and for the future.

Both of these concepts   would require:

•    Changes to the way vehicles and pedestrians cross the railway, replacing level crossings with safer alternatives to enable a faster, more frequent and more reliable train service 

•  Improvements to the track, including the reinstatement of   a second track between Bletchley and Fenny Stratford

•  A range of improvements to Bletchley station, which would become an important hub with the extension of East West Rail’s services to Bedford   and Cambridge

•    Consideration of how to carry out the required upgrades, which could involve the suspension of the existing train service between Bletchley and Bedford, during the construction period.

•  When we have reviewed responses in relation to these concepts, we will prepare designs in greater detail for each of them, along   with assessments of their effects. We will share these at our statutory consultation. 

•  Details about where to access more information and how to respond to this consultation can   be found in the final section of   this document.

When we have reviewed responses in relation to these concepts, we will prepare designs in greater detail for each of them, along with assessments of their effects.  We will share these at our statutory consultation.

My apologies for some shortcomings in the formatting - I have to rush as I have both Option 24/7 and day job work to complete today.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on June 24, 2021, 09:00:40 pm
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57579029)

Quote
It is of "paramount importance" that a £5bn direct rail line between Oxford and Cambridge uses electric trains, an MP has said.

The East West Rail project aims to connect the university cities by the end of the decade, but its electrification is yet to be confirmed.

MP Layla Moran said: "We're in a climate emergency. No rail line should be designed for diesel by default."

And noting

Quote
A DfT spokesperson said: "The government is committed to decarbonising East West Rail by 2050, and a review is being undertaken to look at all long-term options for electrification."

It does 'feel' sensible with all the work being done that everything should be done at once - electrify the darned thing while you rebuild it must be cheaper in the long term than taking two major engineering bites?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ChrisB on June 25, 2021, 11:23:48 am
I think they’re hoping alternative fuels, like the hydrogen trials, might be suitable


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on June 26, 2021, 09:15:40 am
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57579029)

Quote
It is of "paramount importance" that a £5bn direct rail line between Oxford and Cambridge uses electric trains, an MP has said.

The East West Rail project aims to connect the university cities by the end of the decade, but its electrification is yet to be confirmed.

MP Layla Moran said: "We're in a climate emergency. No rail line should be designed for diesel by default."

And noting

Quote
A DfT spokesperson said: "The government is committed to decarbonising East West Rail by 2050, and a review is being undertaken to look at all long-term options for electrification."

It does 'feel' sensible with all the work being done that everything should be done at once - electrify the darned thing while you rebuild it must be cheaper in the long term than taking two major engineering bites?

Whilst electrification would have been more carbon neutral, even EastWest Rail using modern diesel powered units is more carbon neutral than the alternative which was a dual carriage way 'A' Road.

EastWest Rail lends its self to future electrification provided if new units are purchased they have an electrical traction system and not mechanical also the capability to have Pans and transformers fitted at a future date


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on June 26, 2021, 07:43:29 pm
From the BBC (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-57579029)

Quote
It is of "paramount importance" that a £5bn direct rail line between Oxford and Cambridge uses electric trains, an MP has said.

The East West Rail project aims to connect the university cities by the end of the decade, but its electrification is yet to be confirmed.

MP Layla Moran said: "We're in a climate emergency. No rail line should be designed for diesel by default."

And noting

Quote
A DfT spokesperson said: "The government is committed to decarbonising East West Rail by 2050, and a review is being undertaken to look at all long-term options for electrification."

It does 'feel' sensible with all the work being done that everything should be done at once - electrify the darned thing while you rebuild it must be cheaper in the long term than taking two major engineering bites?
I'm not sure that the price difference between electrifying the line while it is under construction and electrifying it after completion is that great.

I understand that, as a rule of thumb, about half the cost of electrifying an existing line is the cost of getting it ready to be electrified, that is sorting out signal cabling runs, clearing the drains and relocating them where necessary, rebuilding bridges to permit wires, closing level crossings, realigning the track where necessary, signalling and so on and so forth.

All this work will have been done in order to reopen the railway and the position of the services will be known - this removes roughly half the cost of electrification. This means that when the time comes to electrify the remaining tasks that needs to be done on the plain line is installation of the feeder points and other electrical supply gubbins, the planting of the masts and the running of the wires. All these things can be done off-line or during nighttime possessions without needing a blockade.

Obviously electrification of the stations will be more complex but work at Oxford or Bedford can't really economically start until the track reorganisations have been completed.

In my book it makes perfect sense to delay the wiring - after all the initial train service will not be very intense nor will very long fuel-thirsty trains be running so the ecological argument is weak.

In the longer term electrification would be a sensible solution, but for it to make sense the Oxford end at least would have to be wired and if the cost of wiring Oxford station were to be added to the EWR budget it would break it. Far better to get Oxford wired on the GW's budget or the 'Oxford Corridor' budget and then tack EWR onto it.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on June 27, 2021, 08:00:40 am
I'm not sure that the price difference between electrifying the line while it is under construction and electrifying it after completion is that great.

I understand that, as a rule of thumb, about half the cost of electrifying an existing line is the cost of getting it ready to be electrified, that is sorting out signal cabling runs, clearing the drains and relocating them where necessary, rebuilding bridges to permit wires, closing level crossings, realigning the track where necessary, signalling and so on and so forth.

All this work will have been done in order to reopen the railway and the position of the services will be known - this removes roughly half the cost of electrification. This means that when the time comes to electrify the remaining tasks that needs to be done on the plain line is installation of the feeder points and other electrical supply gubbins, the planting of the masts and the running of the wires. All these things can be done off-line or during nighttime possessions without needing a blockade.

Can someone confirm when all the clearance work is being done.  Obviously new structures will have electrification clearances, but are they upgrading existing structures for electrification?


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on June 27, 2021, 04:16:15 pm
I'm not sure that the price difference between electrifying the line while it is under construction and electrifying it after completion is that great.

I understand that, as a rule of thumb, about half the cost of electrifying an existing line is the cost of getting it ready to be electrified, that is sorting out signal cabling runs, clearing the drains and relocating them where necessary, rebuilding bridges to permit wires, closing level crossings, realigning the track where necessary, signalling and so on and so forth.

All this work will have been done in order to reopen the railway and the position of the services will be known - this removes roughly half the cost of electrification. This means that when the time comes to electrify the remaining tasks that needs to be done on the plain line is installation of the feeder points and other electrical supply gubbins, the planting of the masts and the running of the wires. All these things can be done off-line or during nighttime possessions without needing a blockade.

Can someone confirm when all the clearance work is being done.  Obviously new structures will have electrification clearances, but are they upgrading existing structures for electrification?

According to the TWAO, and the inspector's report for that, existing structures are not to be altered specifically for electrification. All new structures will have the required clearances. As a result, some bridges originally planned for replacement would need some work, included raising parapets.

The inspector refers to NR's submission: "Document NR211: Replacing existing bridges between Bicester and Bletchley to enable electrification would cost approximately £34.5 million". (Elsewhere their number is given as five.) I can't see a similar figure for Bletchley to Bedford.

The inspector also made this explicit judgement: "However, I am satisfied that options are open to provide in the future electrification, increased platform lengths and improved capacity, if demand requires it and the funding is available."

The eastern section will be subject to National Infrastructure Planning, rather than the old TWA process, and its current status is listed as "pre-application".


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Electric train on June 27, 2021, 06:54:43 pm
I'm not sure that the price difference between electrifying the line while it is under construction and electrifying it after completion is that great.

I understand that, as a rule of thumb, about half the cost of electrifying an existing line is the cost of getting it ready to be electrified, that is sorting out signal cabling runs, clearing the drains and relocating them where necessary, rebuilding bridges to permit wires, closing level crossings, realigning the track where necessary, signalling and so on and so forth.

All this work will have been done in order to reopen the railway and the position of the services will be known - this removes roughly half the cost of electrification. This means that when the time comes to electrify the remaining tasks that needs to be done on the plain line is installation of the feeder points and other electrical supply gubbins, the planting of the masts and the running of the wires. All these things can be done off-line or during nighttime possessions without needing a blockade.

Can someone confirm when all the clearance work is being done.  Obviously new structures will have electrification clearances, but are they upgrading existing structures for electrification?

Most of the clearance has been done, including demolition of the old Wimslow station building.  Bletchley flyover has had its old decks removed and replaced


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on June 28, 2021, 04:26:19 pm
It does 'feel' sensible with all the work being done that everything should be done at once - electrify the darned thing while you rebuild it must be cheaper in the long term than taking two major engineering bites?
I agree - electrify while rebuilding it and only then introduce train services. Obviously you would then need bi-modes (or leave the electrification infrustructure unused at first*) since Bletchley-Bedford isn't being rebuilt yet and Oxford-Bicester has already been through the 'rebuilding' but without electrification.

I suppose, if it isn't electrified while being rebuilt, it might not be the only route treated thus. this reply I had from Transport Scotland on Twitter recently (https://twitter.com/transcotland/status/1409466827147710468) suggests that the Levenmouth reopenning will be built as a diesel railway even though electrification is confirmed to be delivered eventually.

* I guess on this point it depends when you can get Oxford station wired - as someone else has said it is too big a job for this to come purely from the EWR budget. If Oxford station was scheduled to be wired only a year after EWR opens then it might make sense just to wire from Oxford Parkway or Bicester to Bletchley (with a connection to the existing electrified WCML) before openning EWR and run diesels under those wires until Oxford station gets wired up.

Once Didcot-Oxford-Bletchley is wired the Oxford - Milton Keynes service could be run using 387s. The Oxford-Bedford would need bi-modes (I'm still waiting for a fleet of regional express bi-modes - like 444s but with a pantograph and a diesel mode).

EastWest Rail lends its self to future electrification provided if new units are purchased they have an electrical traction system and not mechanical also the capability to have Pans and transformers fitted at a future date
If it isn't wired initially then, ultimately, the traction system on the units used on EWR doesn't matter. They could (as I understand is rumoured) use class 196s cascaded from West Midlands Trains (which I understand are mechanical units) - what matters is that any new units purchased (regardless of where they are intended to be used) are either EMUs or have an electrical traction system and the capability to have pantographs and transformers easily (ie. at low cost and without an extended period out of service) fitted at a future date. If leaving EWR unwired causes more mechanical DMUs to be built for some other area then that is still digging us deeper into the hole we are already in thanks to Northern's class 195s and TfW's class 197s (the class 196 order is sufficiently small that there are enough routes with zero under-wires running in Network Rail's TDNS plan to utilise most of them).


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on June 30, 2021, 07:28:12 pm
Many posters seem to have forgotten the old saw 'the best is the enemy of the good'.

The initial stretch of re-built railway from Oxford to Bletchley is just over 30 miles long, probably about 35 to Milton Keynes. A 100mph train will do the run in less than an hour with intermediate stops.

A power unit of a bit less than 400kW under each coach permits a top speed of 100mph. The line will not be re-engineered for higher speeds as this will require land take to ease curves and some increased spacings between tracks and between tracks and fixed items. The extra power available to an electric train from the overhead wires is not needed for this service.

A diesel power pack of some 400kW, even including all the extra exhaust treatment needed to meet the current regulations is a lot cheaper than all the electrification equipment - feeder stations, connections to the grid or distribution network operator, control systems, masts, supports, wires, tensioners and so on. These costs would have to be amortised over a service of two trains per hour in each direction, slightly offset by the additional maintenance costs of the diesel power packs.

This is all about economics, the ecological argument holds no water. The total UK electrical generating capacity is around 35GW in a mix of gas, wind, coal and nuclear. Last year (2020) China added about the same amount in coal-fired capacity alone, India somewhat less. More will be added in the years to come.

Running electric trains instead of diesels on this stretch will not make a scintilla of difference to the global output of carbon dioxide - the planet doesn't care from whereabouts the carbon dioxide was emitted.

But it does make sense to get the trains running as soon as possible at the lowest initial capital expenditure to demonstrate that there is indeed a market for such a service. As traffic builds and train services are extended off the ends of the current stretch, then that is the time to look at electrification.

But — get the trains running first.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: ellendune on June 30, 2021, 09:34:33 pm
Running electric trains instead of diesels on this stretch will not make a scintilla of difference to the global output of carbon dioxide - the planet doesn't care from whereabouts the carbon dioxide was emitted.

I was with you until I came to this.  Yes it will make a difference, because a large number of small changes is what we need to do.  Me walking on a short journey rather than take the car will make only a small difference, but if we all do it....

Itworls the other way as well.  If we all say my small change will make no difference there will be no change . 


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on June 30, 2021, 10:03:25 pm
Running electric trains instead of diesels on this stretch will not make a scintilla of difference to the global output of carbon dioxide - the planet doesn't care from whereabouts the carbon dioxide was emitted.

I was with you until I came to this.  Yes it will make a difference, because a large number of small changes is what we need to do.  Me walking on a short journey rather than take the car will make only a small difference, but if we all do it....

Itworls the other way as well.  If we all say my small change will make no difference there will be no change . 
I suggest that one looks at the small savings that we as individuals can/could make and compare the size of them it to the situation regarding emissions in China and India.

In each of the last two years China has added the equivalent of the entire generating capacity of the UK to its electricity plant inventory. Admittedly the utilisation is quite low, but even 50% of the total is still a huge quantity. See, for example, https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-will-china-build-hundreds-of-new-coal-plants-in-the-2020s or https://e360.yale.edu/features/despite-pledges-to-cut-emissions-china-goes-on-a-coal-spree

Making little savings may give one a virtuous feeling, but these savings will be totally and completely swamped by what is happening elsewhere. After all, there are some 65 million people in the UK — and some 1.4 billion in China, over 20 times as many. If the entire UK electrical generating plant were to be switched off now, in a years time the equivalent coal-fired capacity will be newly available in China. And another equivalent UK system the year after that.

The significant changes will have to happen in China and India if carbon dioxide emissions are to be contained or reduced. The numbers show it. Which is no reason for us to stop building windmills in the North Sea, but is a reason not to waste capital on an electrification scheme which will, at best, make a marginal change in emission levels in its early years.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Red Squirrel on June 30, 2021, 11:40:33 pm
...but is a reason not to waste capital on an electrification scheme which will, at best, make a marginal change in emission levels in its early years.

Except it's not just about emissions, is it? Once the initial outlay has been made, electric trains are cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain, faster, quieter, and put less wear on the track. It pays for itself over time.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: broadgage on July 01, 2021, 07:17:06 pm
The future needs to be electric if we are serious about climate change.
Each individual scheme is indeed negligible on a global scale. But there is no hope for the environment if everyone says  "my bit/this bit is too small to matter"


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on July 01, 2021, 10:28:03 pm
...but is a reason not to waste capital on an electrification scheme which will, at best, make a marginal change in emission levels in its early years.

Except it's not just about emissions, is it? Once the initial outlay has been made, electric trains are cheaper to run, cheaper to maintain, faster, quieter, and put less wear on the track. It pays for itself over time.
Certainly electric trains should be simpler to maintain than diesels and therefore cost less to run. I am not convinced they are faster[1] — on this route the line limit is 100mph and these days any common or garden DMU can reach these speeds easily. Acceleration is another issue and the marginal cost of additional power in a pure electric unit to achieve higher rates is less than that of a diesel unit, so here they do have an advantage.[2]

Quieter? Hmm. Modern DMUs are a lot quieter than earlier models because of, inter alia, the exhaust gas treatment. The days of the ear-shattering Perkins or Cummings are over.

The less wear on the track because of the reduced mass is true if the suspension designs are comparable. By all reports modern suspensions don’t seem to be as customer friendly as those of a generation back so I think that the jury is still out.

Apart from the amortisation costs of the initial outlay, one thing you have omitted is the cost of maintenance of the overhead wires which is peculiar to electric trains. I understand that with well designed and installed kit this is not excessive - but it still has to be considered.

Electric traction has its place in high density, high speed (greater than 125mph) railway operation with long trains. I am not convinced of the case for electrification for 4 coach trains running every 30 minutes between medium sized towns.

[1] The diesel HST was faster than any UK train, diesel or electric, when it was introduced and as fast as many continental European electric trains. Electric traction is only needed for speeds greater than this as the drag increases with the square of the speed.

[2]  Booster batteries in a DMU for the acceleration phase and regerative braking energy recovery could remove some if not most of the advantages of a pure electric train.

The future needs to be electric if we are serious about climate change.
Each individual scheme is indeed negligible on a global scale. But there is no hope for the environment if everyone says  "my bit/this bit is too small to matter"
Depends on the mix of primary energy into the generating system. Electricity is only non-polluting at the point of conversion.

I am also serious about climate change - and, all other things being equal, lots of small reductions can make a difference.

But all the other things are not equal. The effect of any small changes you may make personally will be nullified in a couple of seconds by the increase in coal-fired plant in China, India, Indonesia (https://reneweconomy.com.au/indonesia-begins-first-slow-steps-towards-ditching-coal-to-stop-new-plants/) and other places.

The only effective way to reduce emissions significantly is to reduce our dependence on goods and services produced by cheap coal in China.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: grahame on July 02, 2021, 06:53:29 am
One of the things I've learned in campaigning is to have a strong technical discussion of all the options, but then to move on to accept and support fully what's on offer if it's good-to-excellent rather than holding out for the near-perfect.   Campaigning for an "appropriate" train service for Melksham, best evaluation was that an hourly service would be ideal; we accepted and continue to support a service every 2 to 2.5 hours, but did NOT press forward earlier suggestions of adding only a couple of middle-of-the-day (off peak as was) journeys.

I am going to suggest that a passenger train service and a freight route from Oxford to / via Bletchley to Bedford with prospects / plans onwards to Cambridge and with reasonably frequent trains is worthy of support, even if they are diesel powered; perhaps that's far from ideal, but it's also far, far better than nothing. I would strongly encourage "passive provision" for future electrification in works done to safeguard that option for a potential following phase.  And my logic is that I think the service as suggested (but not electric) can and will succeed, and can and will gain local sentiment and support.  There is an element of possibility that failing to electrify at the stage will push that back in the queue - "you've already had one big tranche of investment" - but that is a risk that should be accepted.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on July 02, 2021, 12:33:39 pm
One of the things I've learned in campaigning is to have a strong technical discussion of all the options, but then to move on to accept and support fully what's on offer if it's good-to-excellent rather than holding out for the near-perfect.   Campaigning for an "appropriate" train service for Melksham, best evaluation was that an hourly service would be ideal; we accepted and continue to support a service every 2 to 2.5 hours, but did NOT press forward earlier suggestions of adding only a couple of middle-of-the-day (off peak as was) journeys.

I am going to suggest that a passenger train service and a freight route from Oxford to / via Bletchley to Bedford with prospects / plans onwards to Cambridge and with reasonably frequent trains is worthy of support, even if they are diesel powered; perhaps that's far from ideal, but it's also far, far better than nothing. I would strongly encourage "passive provision" for future electrification in works done to safeguard that option for a potential following phase.  And my logic is that I think the service as suggested (but not electric) can and will succeed, and can and will gain local sentiment and support.  There is an element of possibility that failing to electrify at the stage will push that back in the queue - "you've already had one big tranche of investment" - but that is a risk that should be accepted.
I 100% agree with your analysis.

Get it working, show that it fulfils a need at a price people are prepared to pay and then think about improvements.

Any delay in starting will push costs up and make it even more difficult to persuade those with control of the money to spend it on your pet project.

This is, I suggest, the reason that Network Rail is pushing ahead to get the Okehampton re-opening to happen as quickly as possible — to build confidence that its engineering planning and cost control can complete projects to time and budget. Once it has some successes under its belt — and after the Great Western electrification fiasco[1] it badly needs them — then one hopes that gaining approval for other, bigger, projects will be easier.

[1] It should be noted that much of the fault lies with the Department for Transport in not knowing what it wanted and then changing its mind anyway.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on July 02, 2021, 04:50:01 pm
There are threads specifically devoted to issues of climate change and greening of the country, which wouldn't stop a thread on the colour of waistcoats worn by catering staff from entering discussion on whether China and Germany expanding coal-fired power stations is going to negate our own efforts to make things better, so all I will say for now is that China will surprise us all in a few years time, but is irrelevant to arguments about electrifying railways here. One day, all railways will be electric, for the reasons put forward by Red Squirrel, as well as environment improvement.

For the East-West line, it looks odd to be building a diesel line at a time when government is getting rid of diesel on roads where it can, but an electric island surrounded by existing unpowered lines would bring more problems than it would solve. I think, like grahame, that here, and on any other line being built or substantially engineered, at least passive provision for electrification should be made. By that, I mean at least up to and including the installation of the bases for OHLE pylons. The extra cost would be a fraction of that which will be incurred in fitting them to a busy live railway.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Rhydgaled on July 03, 2021, 04:21:49 pm
Some good points made above along the lines of 'better to get something that is positive in some respects, but not ideal, than to hold out for perfect and get nothing'... That is a very convincing argument in the short term, and if we can do it without building any more diesel trains then I think that argument does work. My big worry is that not electrifying EWR from day one will contribute to (or result in) another order for diesel-mechanical multiple units.

We need to get to a decarbonised society as soon as possible and Network Rail's vision for what a decarbonised railway would look like (the TDNS) has no place for a large number of trains that cannot collect traction electricity from overhead wires and/or third/fourth rail. Thanks to Northern's class 195 order, Britain is already in a position where it will have more non-electric trains in 2050 than will be needed on a decarbonised railway, and Transport for Wales (TfW) is busy making this suituation even worse with their build of 77 more pure DMUs. If we want a decarbonised railway by 2050, we must reduce TfW's order and not order any more diesel-only trains.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: 4064ReadingAbbey on July 04, 2021, 01:38:46 pm
Some good points made above along the lines of 'better to get something that is positive in some respects, but not ideal, than to hold out for perfect and get nothing'... That is a very convincing argument in the short term, and if we can do it without building any more diesel trains then I think that argument does work. My big worry is that not electrifying EWR from day one will contribute to (or result in) another order for diesel-mechanical multiple units.
If I have correctly understood recent reports in the railway journals, front runner for the rolling stock for this line will be a small number of the Class 196 units being constructed for West Midland Trains.

It has always been intended that hand-me-down or second hand stock would be used for the initial section Oxford - Bletchley - Milton Keynes in order to keep the capital requirements to a minimum.

We need to get to a decarbonised society as soon as possible and Network Rail's vision for what a decarbonised railway would look like (the TDNS) has no place for a large number of trains that cannot collect traction electricity from overhead wires and/or third/fourth rail. Thanks to Northern's class 195 order, Britain is already in a position where it will have more non-electric trains in 2050 than will be needed on a decarbonised railway, and Transport for Wales (TfW) is busy making this suituation even worse with their build of 77 more pure DMUs. If we want a decarbonised railway by 2050, we must reduce TfW's order and not order any more diesel-only trains.
If we need to get to a decarbonised society as soon as possible then I suggest writing to Mr Xi and Mr Modi urgently...

The railway will never be completely 'decarbonised' - there are too many situations where the power of diesel engines will be needed where no external electrical supply is possible. Heavy civil engineering work comes to mind for a start.


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: TonyK on July 04, 2021, 02:11:19 pm

If we need to get to a decarbonised society as soon as possible then I suggest writing to Mr Xi and Mr Modi urgently...


I agree. The best way to start the letter would be "Dear Mr Xi and Mr Modi, We have converted all of our railway lines to electricity. We have closed down all of our coal and gas power stations. Would you like us to show you how we did it?"


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: Richard Fairhurst on September 30, 2021, 03:41:37 pm
The East West Rail Consortium has rebranded as the East West Main Line Partnership, seemingly to emphasise their desire for trains to continue west of Oxford and east of Cambridge: https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2021/09/30/east-west-rail-consortium-relaunches-as-the-east-west-main-line-partnership/


Title: Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion
Post by: stuving on September 30, 2021, 04:19:58 pm
The East West Rail Consortium has rebranded as the East West Main Line Partnership, seemingly to emphasise their desire for trains to continue west of Oxford and east of Cambridge: https://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/2021/09/30/east-west-rail-consortium-relaunches-as-the-east-west-main-line-partnership/

I take it this is the core of their wish list:
Quote
With construction of the Oxford-Bletchley/ Milton Keynes section of East West Rail well underway, the Partnership is championing the long term opportunity for true, coast to coast connectivity, achieved through an East West Main Line, with services running from Norfolk and Suffolk all the way through to South Wales.

The Partnership has six key areas of focus for the East West Main Line:
 
  •    Oxford-Cambridge: Working with our partners to support delivery at the earliest opportunity, and no later than 2030
  •    Coast-to-coast connectivity: Realising opportunities east of Cambridge to Norwich and Ipswich; and west of Oxford to Swindon, Bristol and South Wales
  •     North-south connectivity: Including the Aylesbury-Milton Keynes link and opportunities for new journeys using intersection with radial main lines
  •     Interchange and strategic transport hubs: Frictionless interchange, including with other modes
  •     A 21st century main line: Ensuring East West Rail supports the environment and the communities it serves. This includes making it electrified and ‘digitally-enabled’ (providing digital connectivity to nearby communities) from the start. It must also be built with communities at its heart – with appropriate mitigation during construction, and quality local connectivity to stations when it is opened
  •     Freight: Ensuring East West Rail contributes to the requirements of the national rail freight strategy, while also making the strongest case for prioritisation of the Felixstowe-Nuneaton corridor.

Here, "connectivity" appears to mean through trains. When Network Rail started writing reports about it a few years back, their concept was centred on well-planned changes and especially cross-platform changes usable both ways between two trains. Far more station pairs can be linked that way with a single change, of course.

I can see a shadow of that in what DfT said about the proposed SWR changes, in words since reused:
Quote
These proposals will allow South Western Railway and Great Western Railway to consider how to provide attractive connections at Salisbury, whilst recognising the constraints of operating a reliable railway through many complex junctions on both routes, and the single line sections west of Salisbury.

I think you are allowed to be just a wee bit sceptical about what such "considering" would lead to in practice. I don't see there being much of an appetite for extending East-West services very far at NR, DfT, or their expected child GBR.



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