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5026  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture - related rail and other transport issues / UK electricity generation needs and methods. on: July 28, 2012, 05:06:43 pm
If, as seems likely, oil prices continue to rise then the economy will be strangled because goods are unable to transfer to rail (that should have been freed from oil and gas prices by then except for the same group on Nimbys opposition to wind and nuclear power).
 

Harsh! Nuclear works, is reliable, and is safe. Thorium power looks like the next step. Roll on Hinley C and Oldbury! Wind turbines onshore generate huge opposition from anyone in the area where they are to be built, and cries of "Nimby!" from those who live elsewhere. They also generate huge amounts of subsidy for the owners of the turbines and land, and small amounts of unpredictable intermittent power that the grid has trouble using in the mix. They are the biggest lie ever told, and I can't understand why the Government backs them. The Prime Minister's father-in-law earns a tidy profit from turbines on his land, which obviously is irrelevant.
5027  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow on: July 22, 2012, 10:37:35 pm
Gatwick already has two runways - look  at the chart. Admittedly, they are too close together to use simultaneously. Heathrow is in the worst possible place, to the west of a major city, with the predominant windflow from the west. Paris has major airports north (Le Bourget and Charles de Gaulle) and south (Orly) of the city, meaning that flights do not overfly the most populated areas. Boris Island makes perfect sense. Build it first, with high-speed rail into London, the use Heathrow for housing or industry, and you might even make a profit. It will never happen.
5028  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Campaign for Tavistock reopening on: July 17, 2012, 09:59:59 pm
GRIP 3 by November seems a great indication of commitment. I like it!
5029  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol To Receive ^48m Transport Boost on: July 16, 2012, 10:12:49 pm
If Brunel was alive today, I wonder what he would do?

He would be turning in his grave!

To bring this up to date:
BCC seem so wedded to the Bus Rabid Transit idea, that they will rubbish anything else. The other partners in West of English Partnership don't much care what happens in Bristol.
We have already got Boris's buses, running the park and ride routes. They hold a lot more passengers than a double decker, and empty / fill more quickly.
WEP spent ^1m on the Public Inquiry into the BRT route from Ashton Gate to Temple Meads. The opposition group spent ^12,000 and managed to rubbish the business case.
The housing development that the BRT would serve by Long Ashton is not going ahead.
Portishead railway is now a very strong likelihood. This will cut the number of people using the LA park and ride considerably.
"Taking confidence from the success of Cambridge" is a bit rich. That opened 3 years late at almost thrice the price. The council there have earmarked millions to fund the legal battle against the contractors that seems inevitable.
I haven't heard anyone say that ripping up a rail route for this glorified bus lane is a good idea. So much has been spent on bus projects in Bristol, with very little modal change, that we could have spent on real transport. The Severn Beach line shows what can be done to railways with just a little imagination.[/rant over]
5030  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Drug arrests at Bristol Temple Meads railway station - Friday 25 May 2012 on: July 16, 2012, 10:06:52 pm
30 years ago, I knew someone vaguely who used the train to take "supplies" from London to sell in Plymouth, because he thought the risk of getting stopped was much lower than using a car. Still ended up in jail, though. Fool!
5031  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol connections: Metro, Bus Rapid Transit, PTE, ITA and local councils - discussion on: July 16, 2012, 10:03:49 pm
Strangely, I work close to there occasionally, and was due to accompany a colleague to there one recent Friday luncheon. Fate, alas, intervened, so I have yet to make my debut. My colleague recommends it, so next time I get thirsty...
5032  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol connections: Metro, Bus Rapid Transit, PTE, ITA and local councils - discussion on: July 16, 2012, 09:16:50 pm
Not to be ruled out, by any means! Although, whilst I am not a man of temperance, I don't think I have been in any of the closest boozers. With the sole exception of the Coach and Horses in Stapleton Road, that is, and the Farm if that is close enough to count. Cheers!  Grin - Four Pints Now!
5033  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion on: July 16, 2012, 06:42:59 pm
Big update - see http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=551.msg114547#msg114547
5034  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol connections: Metro, Bus Rapid Transit, PTE, ITA and local councils - discussion on: July 16, 2012, 06:41:19 pm
From Campaign for Bristol Metro

Quote
Four track for Filton Bank? That^s a yes
Posted on July 16, 2012  by commsofficer

A corporate sweat broke out on the forehead of the four authorities when dawn broke this morning, as we waited nervously to see if the government had funded our four tracks to Filton Bank.

And then Rail Minister Theresa Villiers swept into Temple Meads (looking a lot calmer than us) to confirm that four-track from Temple Meads to Filton Bank will go ahead.

Anyway, it^s all down to you again, wonderful public who like trains. Four track is the crucial bit of the jigsaw that we have to put in place to get Greater Bristol Metro Rail to work. So many, many thanks to the hundreds of you who wrote special letters to the ministers about it. Half-hourly trains in Bristol and the region, a new line to Portishead, and all those re-opened stations can actually happen.

So there we are: Four Track. Now!

In other news:

Bristol Evening Post have given details of reactions around the area:
Quote
TRANSPORT ministers have given the green light for a package of long-awaited rail improvements ^ the first step in making the dream of a Bristol Metro possible.

Government minister Theresa Villiers unveiled a series of improvements for the rail network around Temple Meads on a visit to the city.
 ​

 Transport minister Theresa Villiers at Temple Meads


Yesterday's announcement, part of a multi-billion-pound package of improvements nationwide, means two extra lines of track will be opened between Temple Meads and Filton.

The move means that a huge bottle-neck will be eased, opening the way up for increased services in and out of Bristol's main station.

There are also plans to reopen the old Digby Wyatt sheds at the side of the station ^ creating two new platforms in the process.

Network Rail, the firm which operates Temple Meads, has announced it wants to create a new main entrance at the station, opening into a main concourse which would run under the existing platforms.

Ms Villiers said: "This announcement is really great news for Bristol. Improving our transport system is a key part of the Government's strategy.

"We think it is vital for the region's economy that we have a transport system that works and is affordable."

The minister also confirmed that Bristol will get a direct rail link to Heathrow Airport, which will see current journey times cut by 30 minutes.

The line between the city centre and Filton was reduced from four to two tracks in the early 1980s, preventing more trains from being run and causing delays due to congestion. The widening of the track is seen as crucial for the half-hourly services to all local stations that are proposed under the Metro scheme.

A spokesman for the pressure group Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways said: "This is fantastic news. This piece of vital investment will enable half-hourly services to all local stations ^ the Greater Bristol Metro ^ something FOSBR has been campaigning for, for many years."

"We are delighted, because it will make an integrated transport system possible. When the extra tracks are laid and new services running, the train will become even more convenient for local and longer distance journeys.

"This is a victory for local campaigners, our local politicians and the public, who have lobbied long and hard for a half-hourly service."

Patrick Hallgate, who is in charge of Network Rail in the South West, said: "We are excited by these Government announcements to add to the already massive investment programme on the Western route.

"Temple Meads station is at the heart of the new Enterprise Zone and these improvements are vital in terms of opening up the city.

"The station is no longer fit for purpose and what we are trying to do is create a station suited to the needs of Bristol as it is today.

"We had suspected that these items would be included in the new investment programme but it is good to see the Government's commitment to these schemes."

The business community also welcomed the announcement.

Phil Smith, managing director of Business West, which represents the area's companies, said: "This is great news for the South West.

"Our recent survey of businesses across the West of England area found that traffic congestion was the most significant disadvantage for businesses located in the sub-region.

"Business supports the Government's strategy to provide long-term strategic investment to improve transport infrastructure, rather than simply looking at short-term fixes. We will continue to push for a modern and efficient rail system that supports growth and improves competitiveness."

James Durie, Director of Bristol Chamber of Commerce, said he was particularly pleased with the latest news.

He said: "Rail is one element of our transport infrastructure that our members constantly tell us that they want improved.

"It is fantastic news that the Secretary of State wishes the industry to undertake work to expand the capacity of the railway serving passengers to and from Bristol. "Increasing route capacity into Bristol from Filton Abbey Wood and increasing station capacity at Bristol Temple Meads by bringing back into railway use the historic station building, will be a big boost for business in this region."

Transport Secretary Justine Greening also announced yesterday that the full details of the next Great Western rail franchise will be made public by the end of the week.

All seems rather upbeat to me!
5035  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: HLOS 2012 released: Filton Bank quadrupling, Bristol TM plus many others on: July 16, 2012, 06:39:19 pm
From Campaign for Bristol Metro

Quote
Four track for Filton Bank? That^s a yes
Posted on July 16, 2012  by commsofficer

A corporate sweat broke out on the forehead of the four authorities when dawn broke this morning, as we waited nervously to see if the government had funded our four tracks to Filton Bank.

And then Rail Minister Theresa Villiers swept into Temple Meads (looking a lot calmer than us) to confirm that four-track from Temple Meads to Filton Bank will go ahead.

Anyway, it^s all down to you again, wonderful public who like trains. Four track is the crucial bit of the jigsaw that we have to put in place to get Greater Bristol Metro Rail to work. So many, many thanks to the hundreds of you who wrote special letters to the ministers about it. Half-hourly trains in Bristol and the region, a new line to Portishead, and all those re-opened stations can actually happen.

So there we are: Four Track, Now.
5036  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: HLOS 2012 released: Filton Bank quadrupling, Bristol TM plus many others on: July 16, 2012, 03:15:43 pm
Hi,

The High Level Output Specification for Control Period 5 (2014-2019) was released today. This document basicly says what improvements the government will pay for in the control period. Included in list of "illustrative infrastructure enhancements" are the following:


In typical "Yes, Minster" style, this isn't the government confirming that these scheme will go ahead but rather that the government will fund schemes that achieve the same outcomes as the above and at the same cost. However, it's up the railway to decide what they actually want do as they may wish to extra capacity themselves.

The full statements and documents are available form the DfT here.

TLM

I think (or hope) that you can read more into this news. Although it is "illustrative", it does mean that four track was used as the model for costing the improvement demanded. NR could choose a different scheme to achieve the same end, but when you consider the many streams of traffic heading into Filton Bank, it is difficult to think of a viable alternative. To the existing passenger traffic from the north, already using most of the two line capacity, we will see additional freight from Avonmouth, IEP services from London via Parkway, and trains to the new maintenance depot. That is before the addition of Metro services.

Four Track Now?
5037  Journey by Journey / Bristol (WECA) Commuters / Re: Bristol connections: Metro, Bus Rapid Transit, PTE, ITA and local councils - discussion on: July 16, 2012, 03:06:24 pm
Perhaps you should now change  your name to Four Track Soon!!

It's that, or drop the exclamation mark. I shall mark the event somehow.
5038  All across the Great Western territory / Smoke and Mirrors / Re: Do local trains REALLY cost a lot to run? on: July 13, 2012, 03:58:09 pm
I wonder how the legal framework surrounding the building, operation and use of our railways in the UK compares with other first world countries? The legislators of the Victorian era do seem to have been pretty thorough and all encompassing with the various acts they drew up to cover all things rail. Many of those acts are little changed today, few have been repealed, and new rail related acts often refer back to primary legislation enacted in the 19th century.

Legal frameworks vary widely for everything. In some countries, anything goes, unless expressly forbidden. In others, everything is forbidden unless allowed by law. And in a very few (thankfully) everything is forbidden unless it's compulsory.
5039  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: W.I.H.I.H? - Delays 09/07/12 on: July 12, 2012, 08:48:56 pm
It does beg the question of how did the driver become aware of a defective P.A. and how is it tested once the train is in service?

Hmm. This might work: Make announcement: "Ladies and gentlemen, please do not be alarmed. There is nothing to worry about". Walk through train. If passengers in one carriage do not look alarmed, the PA is u/s.
5040  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Western Rail Access to Heathrow on: July 12, 2012, 08:45:18 pm
There is definitely a market for direct rail services to Heathrow from points west. Currently, if you want a direct journey by public transport your only option is National Express, who provide regular scheduled coach services, from many towns and cities, to Heathrow.

Don't ever mention National Express to Heathrow in my presence again! Please - it brings back memories that my psychiatrist said should lie undisturbed.

I agree there is a market. It's not just Bristol, remember, but Oxford, Swindon, Wales, Gloucester - a big list of frequent flyers. I thought ^500 million was steep, even by normal railway standards, but it's not just a right-turn onto the HEx track.
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