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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Llangollen Railway: heritage line, Llangollen to Carrog - and Corwen on: May 27, 2019, 05:20:04 pm

Fair enough - but begs the new question "why is the gap no longer needed for access?". 

IIRC they've built a new access route that doesn't cross the railway.
2  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: May 01, 2019, 07:45:20 pm
I'm in favour of HS2, but I don't think the "investment in commuter lines" is terribly convincing.  It will only help one of the many commuter lines out of London (maybe three if the Eastern arm ever gets built). 

There are lines carrying commuters into Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds which should also - to varying extents - benefit from HS2 freeing up track and train capacity. Then there's Northern Powerhouse Rail which should see new commuter and regional services piggybacking on the infrastructure for HS2's second phase.

Clearly HS2 isn't enough but it's simplistic suggest you can either invest in intercity railways or commuter railways - providing an extra pair of tracks into four of our largest cities will benefit both.

Also, with everyone saying that commuter numbers are falling due to people working from home, (especially the type of workers that can afford to commute the longer distances), I think the pressure will be to run those services with less subsidy, not more. 

Some people were, but there are clear signs of a return to growth on both rail and tube so that may have been a touch premature...
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: April 30, 2019, 11:02:05 pm
Simon Jenkins has been a consistent critic of this project, as I recall. However one of his points does rather resonate:

It is commuter railways, especially in the provinces, that are screaming for investment. The government’s obsession with another London-oriented mega-project is baffling.

HS2 *is* an investment in commuter lines - by putting long distance passengers on new, separate tracks there is significantly more capacity and timetabling possibilities for commuter and regional services that previously had to share. The potential is huge.
4  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Isle of Wight futures. on: April 30, 2019, 09:01:27 pm
Gauging professional Gareth Dennis has had a look at the data and is confident 230s should fit Island Line -

"...the dynamically modelled Class 230 vehicles "fit" (i.e. can be gauge-cleared) without a problem.... A little cosy here and there, but the only thing stopping them running is the Solent!"

"The tunnel is flatly not an issue. Platform gauging always requires a bit of work, and there are two minor overbridges that get tight enough to warrant a closer look, but not a thing that would worry me, and I have to live and breathe this stuff."

"(and I ran this using data that precedes the recent physical work that "may or may not" have been done to make sure they definitely fit anyway)"
5  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Folkestone Harbour Station to Close on: January 27, 2019, 03:34:16 pm
I know that there were several aspirations to run a rail based heritage service; I have no idea of the practicality or currency of them.  It does strike me that removing equipment and converting in the spring, then announcing a decision in the summer, seems the wrong way round and renders certain aspirations as impractical. Perhaps that is the intent?

Realistically any possibility of it reopening as a railway died years ago, and never seemed particularly workable anyway. What's now been done with the viaduct and station is wonderful, as can be seen below:

The harbour bridge by Saturdaywalker, on Flickr

Looking landward along the platforms by Saturdaywalker, on Flickr
6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Brighton Belle - bcd next year? on: January 27, 2019, 02:44:03 pm
Yellow warning panels? I hope not..

Tbh I wouldn't have been bothered by a yellow panel, they did carry them for a period, but they've decided to change the 'face' to accommodate modern lights and so won't need one.
7  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Greenford branch - drop in traffic. on: December 17, 2018, 06:22:16 pm
It will be interesting to see how much Crossrail reverses this.
8  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: November 12, 2018, 06:30:08 pm
Grayling strikes again:

The Telegraph were being a touch disingenuous - Grayling wasn't advocating HS2 be scaled back, just urging the rail industry to continue making the case and not become complacent about the second stage being a 'done deal'.

HS2 rejects claims phase two may not get built

"According to the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Grayling was quoted as telling a rail conference in London that HS2’s second phase was “not in the bag” and could be scaled back.

The Telegraph reported the transport secretary as saying: “It [HS2] will be a fantastic railway, one of the best in Europe – but it still needs support if it is to definitely go to Leeds.”

HS2 dismissed the claims as “nonsense”, while the Department for Transport said in a statement that the claims were “completely and utterly untrue”.

CN understands that Mr Grayling was referring to the “parliamentary process” of approving HS2’s separate phases when making his comments.

The DfT said: “The Sunday Telegraph story is absolute nonsense – it takes statements out of context that were made at an event several weeks ago not attended by the newspaper.

“It is completely and utterly untrue to suggest the transport secretary does not think HS2 will be completed – as we would have made clear to the Sunday Telegraph had the paper contacted the DfT for comment.”
9  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion 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.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: New trains from old? on: May 06, 2018, 07:34:56 pm
Vivarail presentation by Adrian Shooter to the LT Museum Friends (from 27mins)
11  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Isle of Wight Railway on: May 06, 2018, 07:19:45 pm
Details of South Western Railway's plans they'll submit to the DfT are now emerging in the IW County Press and KILF

- New timetable, with a loop at Brading allowing a 30min service
- Fully refurbished rolling stock of a larger profile, allowing guards to move between carriages (Almost certainly Vivarail's ex-District Line stock)
- Onboard wifi and charging ports, information boards and new CCTV
- A new platform layout at Ryde Interchange, allowing improved access for Hovertravel passengers
- Track upgrade
- A structural survey of Ryde Pier shows the supporting steelwork to be sound, but decking and track require replacement which is the recommended option

This will be put to the DfT shortly with a decision due by the end of year. If agreed replacement stock could arrive by 2020.
12  Journey by Journey / London to Swindon and Bristol / Re: Caught short on: March 24, 2018, 11:47:52 pm
How on Earth are there already "more IETs than usual needing repairs"? They're brand new for God's sake!

They are, like all new trains, going through the reliability 'bathtub curve'.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Preserved railway lines, Railtours and other rail based attractions / Re: Lynton - Barnstaple railway extension plans on: March 09, 2018, 07:40:08 pm
Considering the significance of the approval, it's perhaps a little surprising that the L&B website has not made a song and dance about it. In fact, the news seems not to have reached there at all yet.

It's great news, but they still need to apply for a TWAO.
14  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: February 15, 2018, 06:58:59 pm
Nobody seems to have noted that the Acton diveunder has been out of use for nearly two weeks now.  Apparently there is a problem with the integrity of the retaining walls.

The blockwork covering up the piled foundations looks a bit thin to me:

Damaged by a road-rail vehicle (RRV) apparently.
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Service 1A09 on: January 05, 2018, 05:04:11 pm
IIRC there's a union agreement about who can staff both units which obviously reduces flexibility, as more staff are trained up on them this should become less of an issue.
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