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1  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Super Speed Camera on: November 17, 2018, 03:22:49 pm
Quote
And whilst it can be argued that a speeding train driver risks many more lives than a speeding car driver, it is decades since even a single train passenger has been killed by a speeding train driver.

Broadgage- have you forgotten this-?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santiago_de_Compostela_derailment

I was referring only to the UK, standards may be different overseas.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Super Speed Camera on: November 16, 2018, 04:54:23 pm
Indeed, though it WAS a tram and not a train.
One of the advantages of trams over trains is lower costs, partly by not requiring all the safety features that are applicable to railways.
3  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: November 16, 2018, 04:49:07 pm
I have never been against building more capacity.

How about a new network of lines for long distance trains only, with a design speed of 200Kmh, no slow trains. This is not high speed, and will be a lot cheaper than HS2. Build with tunnels where possible and integrate into existing cities outside of the current main station, but close enough to allow|encourage local fast transit systems to develop. The saved budget could help kickstart proper local transit systems within the UKs large metropolitan areas.

But would it be a lot cheaper than HS2 ? I rather doubt it.
Tunnels are very expensive, and are still almost as expensive if intended for lower speed.
Land purchase for new surface construction is very expensive, and is about the same cost for lower speed as for high speed.
Having termini for these new routes outside of existing stations adds more cost for land purchase. The local transport between the new station and the old one would also cost money and take up space.
Also customers would be strongly opposed to adding two more changes to a journey, two more opportunities for strikes and signalling failures.

IMO, The time for any more studies, consultations, alternative proposals, and reviews into HS2 is over. We have had years of that. Time to get on and built it.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Super Speed Camera on: November 16, 2018, 12:11:33 pm
Train drivers who significantly exceed the speed limit, without some truly exceptional mitigating circumstance are liable to dismissal and may be prosecuted.

Car drivers usually get away with it, and if caught face a modest fine.

And whilst it can be argued that a speeding train driver risks many more lives than a speeding car driver, it is decades since even a single train passenger has been killed by a speeding train driver.
Speeding car drivers kill hundreds every year.

Likewise, a train driver who passes a signal at danger will, in the absence of mitigating circumstances, be disciplined and possibly dismissed.
Car drivers pass red traffic signals all the time, facing at most a fine.

And as for drunken driving ! The last fatal rail accident caused by the driver drinking was IIRC over 50 years ago (Hither green) Happens all the time on the roads.

EDIT TO CORRECT the accident of which I was thinking was at Not at Hither green, see subsequent posts for details.
I was also referring only to the UK, accidents overseas are regrettably frequent in some places.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: HS2 - Government proposals, alternative routes and general discussion on: November 16, 2018, 11:53:34 am
The extra speed will no doubt be welcome, but as has been said, the new line is partly to provide much needed extra capacity.
The existing west coast route is largely full. An extra route for the fast trains will provide more paths on the existing line for stopping services.

There is growing concern regarding the environmental costs of road and air transport.
A new fast line from London to the north should attract some longer distance passengers away from air and onto trains.
This would reduce the need for costly, hugely disruptive, and bitterly opposed airport expansion.
The extra capacity then available on the classic route should enable the provision of more trains with less risk of overcrowding, and hopefully persuade some motorists to take the train instead.
There will also be more room for freight on the classic route, reducing HGV traffic.
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: IETs into passenger service from 16 Oct 2017 and subsequent performance issues on: November 12, 2018, 10:26:37 am
Well done Mark - hes been working hard ordering labels.

I think that sums up one of the frustrations of being a franchisee in the set-up of the modern railway.  It can take considerable time and effort, and in this case consulation with Hitachi, to do simple things like slapping a sticker somewhere on 'your' train.

I think that it sums up, firstly the incompetence of signing a contract that does not permit of the TOC carrying out trivial alterations like putting up notices.
And secondly, the incompetence of not ensuring that adequate signage was installed before entry into service.

I it takes well over a year to put up a few notices, then how many more years will it take to fit padded seats?
7  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Pigeon poo 'so bad' under railway bridge it's like 'walking the plank' on: November 11, 2018, 02:36:06 pm
As we diverged a bit, onto pigeons in general.

Last spring in the local pub, a farmer secretively passed a note to his neighbour.  I heard later, that it read "I will be sowing field beans next week"
An enquiry as to why this news required a note rather than a simple spoken remark produced the following.

"I avoid talking about sowing beans, because the pigeons on the pub roof might overhear me"!
8  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Dawlish closures - November 2018 on: November 11, 2018, 02:26:34 pm
After giving the matter some thought, another possibility occurs to me.

What about moving the rail line offshore on a solid sea wall or harbour wall. To avoid the creation of a stagnant landlocked lagoon, provide culverts under this structure and install water turbines to generate electricity from tidal flows.

This would provide a sheltered bay, ideal for leisure activities and protected against storm driven waves.
The existing sea wall though still required to protect sea front property, would be much less liable to damage.
The electricity produced though not paying the whole costs of the structure would partly offset these costs.

This sea wall could carry a double rail track, and a public footway for sightseeing and angling.

9  All across the Great Western territory / Introductions and chat / Re: 100 years on - the silencing of the guns on: November 11, 2018, 11:48:57 am
It is indeed time to remember those who gave their lives for the country. Not only on the front line overseas, but also in accidents such as those involving military supplies.
10  Journey by Journey / London to the West / Re: Dawlish closures - November 2018 on: November 10, 2018, 02:54:36 pm
Moving the line offshore around Dawlish has been previously discussed, with the general view that so doing would be too costly and disruptive.
Placing the railway on a solid sea wall seems a non starter due to the land locked lagoon that would be formed to landward.
Placing the line on a pier, under which the sea would pass freely sounds possible but hugely expensive.

I recently heard of an alternative proposal to move the line offshore, on a pier or bridge as above, but to partially offset the costly civil engineering works by building several large wind turbines as part of the pier or bridge.
Off shore wind turbines need large and costly foundations, but if the cost was shared between the railway and the electricity generating industry, might be more affordable.
The pier or bridge would be carry a double track railway and a public footpath. It could become an attraction in its own right, for sightseeing and angling.
The footway would not be open to road vehicles normally, but could be used thus in case of emergency, and for access to maintain the  structure and the wind turbines.

This suggestion was from a senior figure in the wind power industry, so not exactly independent. Still perhaps worth considering.

Edit to add, I have their permission to publish this suggestion, but NOT to give their name or other details. I can confirm that I have no connection with them beyond casual friendship.
11  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Okehampton-Tavistock. Discussion on reopening and potential use as a diversionary route on: November 10, 2018, 01:33:07 pm
Time for another round of studies, reviews and consultations I suspect. Cheaper than actually doing anything.
 
Have newt breeding and bat nesting been considered yet ?
12  All across the Great Western territory / Who's who on Western railways / Re: Jo Johnson Resigns As Transport Minister on: November 10, 2018, 01:29:38 pm
We must remember that the resignation was due to differences regarding Brexit, and nothing to do with transport policy (except VERY indirectly in so far as Brexit might affect international transport)

I therefore do not expect any changes to transport policy as a result of this departure.
13  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Renamed trains on: November 09, 2018, 03:46:07 pm
How about "THE TIDAL" for a service via Dawlish that runs only when the tide permits.

(there WAS once a train known as "the tidal". It suffered a serious accident that was notable because Charles Dickens was on board. The accident was caused by the local P-way foreman replacing longitudinal timbers that supported the rails over a small bridge. Astonishingly this work was done between trains without closing the line.
Unfortunately, "the tidal" ran at varying times so as to connect with a boat that could only dock at certain states of the tide.
The wrong page of timetable was consulted and "the tidal" therefore approached with very little warning, and crashed into the river under the bridge. There WAS a lookout but he was stationed too near the work site)
14  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Pigeon poo 'so bad' under railway bridge it's like 'walking the plank' on: November 08, 2018, 10:43:52 pm
Just been looking on line for pictures of birds of prey on power lines.
You are correct, they very seldom perch on small wires.
These birds like high places, and frequently perch on the poles that carry power cables, but very seldom on the actual wires.
The odd bird of prey is blown up by flashover on national grid overhead lines, but not many.

There would seem to be some risk if the bird lands on earthed metalwork but within flashover distance of live conductors, but I have not heard of it happening with railway OHLE.
15  Sideshoots - associated subjects / Campaigns for new and improved services / Re: Minehead Rail Link Group on: November 08, 2018, 10:28:20 pm
Seeing as the WSR are not actively seeking through running (it's an aspiration of an unincorporated group), then I think suggesting the ORR are pre-emptively nixing outside aspirations is nothing but conspiracy theory.

I think that you are PROBABLY right, I just find the timing a little odd, but it is probably just chance.
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