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Author Topic: Reopening former rail line between Hythe and Totton - ongoing discussion, merged topic  (Read 31747 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« on: February 10, 2012, 10:19:54 pm »

From the Southern Daily Echo:

Quote
It was closed more than 40 years ago as part of the biggest cut in train services the country has ever seen. But now new moves to reopen a Hampshire rail route that was axed have taken a major step forward.

Hampshire County Council has agreed to fund a study into reintroducing passenger trains on the Totton to Hythe branch line. It was closed in 1966 as a result of the controversial Beeching cuts.

Experts have already established a business case for reopening the single-track line, currently used by freight trains serving Fawley oil refinery. The viability study will look into what work is needed to restore passenger services. It will also assess the likely level of demand and pinpoint possible sources of funding for the ^3m project.

The plan was put forward three years ago as part of a ^73m scheme to improve rail links across the New Forest.

A report published by the Association of Train Operating Companies said the Brockenhurst to Ringwood line should also be restored. But that proposal, which would mean re-laying the track and building a new station in Ringwood, has since been shunted into the sidings.

Re-opening the Totton to Hythe line would ease the pressure on the A326 and other traffic-choked roads in the Waterside area.

Councillor Mel Kendal, the county council^s executive member for environment and transport, said constructive talks had already taken place with Network Rail and South West Trains. He added: ^The outcome of the earlier study has enabled us to develop a business case for the development of the Waterside line. However, there^s still a great deal of technical work to be done and detail to be worked through so we^re still some years away from opening the line to passengers. Nonetheless what we have established so far is encouraging.^

Supporters of the project include county councillor David Harrison, who represents Marchwood and Totton South. He said: ^A passenger railway line linking Southampton with Totton, Marchwood and Hythe would be terrific and I^m sure very popular. My one big reservation is the potential impact on the train gates in Junction Road, Totton.^

Cllr Harrison said the busy level crossing was already closed to traffic for a total of 20 minutes every hour.
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William Huskisson MP (Member of Parliament) was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
eightf48544
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 11:06:45 pm »

Interesting that the L/C in Toton is mentioned. I thought that the L?c was one of teh rpoblems raised when this raised preciously. I also thought lack of line capacity between Totton and Redbridge, coupled with the conflicting move of trains coming off the branch was also a limiting factor.

But good luck to tehm. I wnder what the proposed running time from Hythe to Southamton would be compared with the ferry.

Alos just to make you all jelous I'm probaly one of the few people to have travelled on the line when there was still a couple of passenger trains to Fawley. i think we had an M7 and a couple of coaches went right down to Fawley on a Rover ticket. i've also doe Bournemouth to Brokenhurst via Ringwood  many time on Rover tickets.
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onthecushions
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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 08:12:15 pm »


.......and the lights for the Forbury Rd dual carriageway traffic at the Kings Rd junction leaving Reading are only on green for 15 seconds in a two minute cycle, last time I counted, 12.5% of the time......

I think that too much is made of LC (Level Crossing) obstruction to road traffic, when other obstructions and lack of grade separation (bridges) are accepted without comment.

In passing, one of the Marchwood Military Railway class 501 coaches survives at the Coventry Electric Railway Museum, complete with MoD badges.

OTC
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MrC
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« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 10:35:50 pm »

Interesting that the L/C in Toton is mentioned. I thought that the L?c was one of teh rpoblems raised when this raised preciously. I also thought lack of line capacity between Totton and Redbridge, coupled with the conflicting move of trains coming off the branch was also a limiting factor.
There was mention a few years ago of moving Totton station to where the up/down Fawley line runs parallel to the main lines which would enable off-peak shuttles to Totton to connect to other services and alleviate some pressure off Totton L/C. Suspect this idea has bitten the dust though as it would bump the cost up considerably.
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paul7575
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« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 11:14:24 am »

Last year's London and SE RUS (Route Utilisation Strategy) included a fresh analysis of the south Hants area, because it wasn't adressed properly in the current SWML (South Western Mail Line) RUS.

The section about the possibilities of a passenger service on the Fawley branch, (only as far as Hythe), is fairly concise so here's an extract:

Quote
11.8.3 Options responding to Gap S2 ^

Poor public transport links between Southampton and the Waterside area

[...route description]

Timetable analysis shows that it would be possible to run two passenger trains per hour in
each direction and one freight train in a single direction between Totton and Marchwood. Beyond
Marchwood and with minimum headways, it would be possible to run an hourly passenger service in
both directions and up to three freight trains in the same direction. This assumes that the existing
infrastructure is capable of handling passenger services and that the platforms at Marchwood
and Hythe have been returned to operational use (in accordance with Disability Discrimination
Act (DDA» (Disability Discrimination Act - about))). Additional infrastructure would be required for two passenger trains per hour between
Marchwood and Hythe, which would require a further additional platform linked by a DDAcompliant
footbridge.
A shuttle service could be introduced if the bay platform at the Totton end of Southampton Central
was brought back into use. SWT (South West Trains) does not currently have any one-car (Class 153) units in their fleet and
are unlikely to be able to source a spare Class 158 two-car unit for this service so additional units would
have to be provided. Failing that, the line could be electrified and an existing service extended to
terminate at Marchwood or Hythe.
Several consultation responses suggested that SWT^s Figure 6 service could instead be operated
as a Salisbury to Hythe via Chandler^s Ford service, however, this would still require extra rolling stock
and would no longer provide a second relatively fast service between Southampton Central and
Romsey/Salisbury.
Bluestar buses currently operate a high frequency bus service between Southampton City Centre,
Central Station and Hythe, calling at the main housing estates on the way. Three buses per hour
operate most of the day and an hourly service runs until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights. Given
this high frequency service and relatively low fares, it would appear that rail would be an unattractive
alternative. However, many of the consultation responses highlighted delays and lengthened
journey times between Southampton and Hythe in the peak, with journeys of up to an hour reported.
An alternative to the buses is the Hythe Ferry, which runs a half-hourly service across Southampton Water
to Town Quay where a free bus is waiting to take passengers into the city centre and to Southampton
Central station.
The high capital cost of reintroducing DDA compliant stations and the need to procure additional rolling
stock mean that a scheme to introduce passenger services to the line will have a low value for money
business case. In addition, depending on the level of investment in infrastructure on the branch to
facilitate a new passenger service, there could be conflicts between a regular passenger service and
freight growth if a large container port were to be developed at Dibden Bay.
The RUS therefore does not recommend the conversion of the Marchwood Branch for passenger
use but Network Rail will continue to work with Transport for South Hampshire, the local authorities
and other stakeholders on the development of a robust business case as new evidence emerges, in
line with the factors detailed above.

They don't seem to mention Totton level crossing at all there.  Also, the bit about SWT being unable to find a spare 158 seems negotiable, given the permanent loan of a unit to FGW (First Great Western), or the use of a 158 on the Lymington branch...

Paul
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2014, 08:38:47 am »

BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) news report this morning about this proposal - saying Hampshire CC do not see the high BCR (Benefit Cost Ratio) that the railways did.

Quote
Plans to re-open a freight railway line near Southampton to passenger trains are to be shelved over cost concerns.

Hampshire County Council considered using the line, between Totton and Hythe, for commuter and tourist services.

A council report came down against progressing with the scheme, which would cost ^900,000 a year to run.

Campaigners said the environmental and social benefits of the proposals were not being taken into account.
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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 11:39:54 am »

https://www.facebook.com/WatersideRailwayPassengerService

Quote
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORT

Hampshire Chamber of Commerce have thrown their influential weight behind plans to restore the Waterside railway line back to a passenger service.

In a response to a consultation about the future of railway services in Southern England, the Chamber have replied :
"When Chandlers Ford station was re-opened in 2003, the rail service was intended to run to Marchwood & Hythe on the Waterside Line. Although recent studies by Hampshire County Council have rejected the re-opening (for a low sum of circa ^16m when compared with other transport schemes), it is essential a fully costed project be investigated, so as to provide an economic and affordable passenger service that will reduce road congestion on the western Solent, creating a proper alternative to the motor car and improved access to the eastern edge of the New Forest National Park."

County Councillor David Harrison, the member for Totton South & Marchwood says " I can't think of a more influential body that understands the business case for restoring a passenger service along the Waterside. It's time now for Hampshire County Council to change tack and to start pushing this project forwards".
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paul7575
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2015, 12:10:39 pm »

They must have noticed though, that the opportunity to extend the earlier Romsey service beyond Totton disappeared with the subsequent decision to run it to Salisbury.  They seem to have vastly improved the service towards Salisbury instead.

It would be fair to conclude that a number of projects described in the Hampshire section of the London and SE RUS (Route Utilisation Strategy) didn't make the cut for the successor 'route study' which seems to concentrate far more on frequency increases on existing medium distance and London flows.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2015, 12:25:04 pm »

They must have noticed though, that the opportunity to extend the earlier Romsey service beyond Totton disappeared with the subsequent decision to run it to Salisbury.  They seem to have vastly improved the service towards Salisbury instead.

If the service from Salisbury ran via Eastleigh to Southampton, could it not then carry on to Totton, Marchwood and Hythe?
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paul7575
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2015, 04:22:56 pm »

I think this came up in an earlier RUS (Route Utilisation Strategy), and they thought that the time increase for passengers from the intermediate stations (Dean and Mottisfont/Dunbridge) wanting to get to Southampton Central the long way round would be a deterrent factor.

Paul
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grahame
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2016, 02:28:00 am »

From the Daily Echo

Quote
FAWLEY refinery is about to stop using a Hampshire railway line in a move that could destroy hopes for a new passenger service.

Trains on the freight-only Totton to Fawley line deliver crude oil to the huge petro-chemical complex, the largest facility of its type in the UK (United Kingdom).

The refinery has denied that its decision to stop using the route will result in a huge number of extra road tankers on local roads.

But ExxonMobil’s announcement has fuelled fears that passenger services on the Waterside will never be re-introduced.

Stations on the line were closed in 1966 and the imminent loss of the only trains still using it has led to speculation that the track will be ripped up.

Campaigners have spent years trying to persuade the authorities to provide commuters with an alternative to the A326 and other traffic-choked roads.

A refinery spokesman said 99 per cent of all crude oil delivered to Fawley arrived by ship.

He added: “Rail-based deliveries are no longer economic and will cease at the end of this month. In future all crude used in the refinery will arrive by ship – none will be transported by road.”

The announcement received a mixed reaction from Waterside county councillor David Harrison.

He said: “I’m very relieved that Exxon are saying there will be no extra road traffic as a result of this decision and I will be monitoring matters to ensure this is the case.

“However, it’s unfortunate as far as the railway line is concerned.

“I’m fearful that lack of use will mean the line is allowed to fall into disrepair and impact on the ambition to restore a passenger service.”

In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies called for passenger services on the line to be re-introduced to ease congestion on local roads.

Hampshire County Council looked at the idea but three years ago said it failed to meet the business case requirements set out by Network Rail, which owns the track.

Above from 6 days ago ... comment which will give readers here the flavour of issues involved.

Quote
dans_t16s 7:16am Thu 11 Aug 16
A passenger service could result in loosing the Hythe Ferry. That's one reason the passenger train idea was abandoned 3 years ago and is still a valid reason not to introduce it.
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OSPREYSAINT  Replying dans_t16s 11:18am Thu 11 Aug 16
Brilliant thinking, and if the Ferry isn't running, as in recent times there is no alternative except to join the road queues. Public transport is already a joke. Perhaps a Preservation Society could take over and do a proper job of providing a service?
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Mr-La-De-Da-Gunner-Graham  Replying OSPREYSAINT 7:53pm Thu 11 Aug 16
Yeah gutted this end too... I mean, I've always yearned to take a train over to Waterside to see it's wondrous sights and take in the broadminded culture of its environs. No sarcasm. No, really .... LOL (laughing out loud)!
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southy  Replying OSPREYSAINT 2:22pm Fri 12 Aug 16
Was thinking the same about Preservation team/group/society, would be some thing to see a steam train working the route from the river. Could extend it down to Calshot, would tke a lot of traffic of the road from people going to the beach in the summer.
Last edited: 2:27pm Fri 12 Aug 16
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forest hump  Replying southy 2:35pm Fri 12 Aug 16
No passenger trains can go through refinery!
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southy  Replying forest hump 3:24pm Fri 12 Aug 16
Yes they can if a track was laid down, rerouted closer to the foreshore in the open spaces, there is a public footpath that runs though the refinery, that is little known about and I know the refinery would like to keep it that way. but a track could be place right along side the public footpath that leads to Calshot, there was a Station at Fawley orginally, the public footpath from Calshot use pass right by the Train Station at Fawley, there is a fork in the footpath on the Totton side of the Fawley Station, one route takes you along the foreshore all the way to Eling Church the other heads towards Hardley
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2016, 07:28:47 am »

The 2013 GRIP3 report by Halcrow on opening the line to passenger traffic is at

http://www.dharrison.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/001._Waterside_Rail_Study_Final_Report.pdf

From Councillor David Harrison's web site at http://www.dharrison.org.uk/out-in-the-open/

Quote
In a small victory for open government, Hampshire County Council have now agreed to release a copy of the latest Consultants report GRIP (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) 3 Report on the Waterside Railway Line.

Earlier this week, it seemed likely that the report would only have been seen by County Officers who were recommending that the project be shelved. However, Councillor David Harrison asked that it be made available to everyone who wants to see it and asked that a decision about the future of the project be delayed until all key stakeholders have had a chance to read it and comment.

David has now received the document, ( it runs to over 80 pages ) and is working his way through it. A link is provided for anyone else interested in viewing the document to download it.

David says “It’s pretty shocking that Hampshire County Council were going to shelve or even kill this project off without anyone having seen the consultants report. They sometimes forget that it is we, the taxpayers, who fund these things. It is only right and proper that anyone can see what the consultants have to say so that we can challenge anything we don’t agree with “.
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2016, 10:06:35 am »

Running to Hythe is equally dumped or axed in the Wessex route study.
Hants CC apparently don't want it, following the detailed analysis, and Network Rail just take the line that no new evidence has arisen to change the earlier decision.

Paul

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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2016, 05:08:42 pm »

Video of last train to Fawley

https://www.facebook.com/BBCSouthToday/videos/1119003188190270/
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2016, 06:04:04 pm »

The "abstraction" argument has been used against the railway line, suggesting that support for it would pull people off the ferry, reducing the operating case for that and making both un-viable.   However, from the Ferry service seems to be far from safe too. From the Daily Echo

Quote
THE future of the Hythe Ferry is in doubt after the firm running the service has have admitted it is they are "unlikely" to continue operating.

Staff have been issued with redundancy letters, the company confirmed to the Daily Echo.

Hythe Ferry Limited is run by White Horse Ferries between Hythe Marina and Southampton but has run into financial difficulties due to declining passenger numbers and high operating costs, and say they have had to pour in capital, despite being supported by a £50,000 subsidy from Hampshire County Council.
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