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Author Topic: Reopening former rail line between Hythe and Totton - ongoing discussion, merged topic  (Read 31752 times)
Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2016, 10:09:17 pm »

See also http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=17044.0  Roll Eyes
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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.

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grahame
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« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2017, 03:35:26 pm »

It's a shame that this clashes with the Minehead trip

Totally agreed.   It's a weekend when stock's available though.

My personal schedule's unclear and I may have to work all day and miss both trips, with an element of chance that I can at least go to Southampton in the late morning and ride to Fawley.

The Three Rivers train from Salisbury currently runs a figure of six - Salsibury, Romsey, Southampton, Southampton Airport, Eastleigh, Romsey.   An alternative would be Salisbury, Romsey, Eastleigh, Southampton Airport, Southampton, Totton, Fawley.  With no intermediate stations between Redbridge and Romsey, this alternative wouldn't miss out any stations though it would change the calling order, and reduce Romsey to Southampton service to just 2 an hour.   The turn back at Salisbury already has some robustness, the turn back on the through lines at Romsey is quite the reverse.  A turn back at Fawley, at some distant future date, has its attractions from an operational viewpoint, and a through Eastleigh and Airport to Marchwood / Hythe / Fawley service could be attractive.   I am aware of concerns that a train service operating on this line could abstract traffic from the Hythe Ferry, and so support in the Solent area isn't universal at the moment.
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paul7575
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« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2017, 04:56:11 pm »

The other thing you've missed off that reasonable explanation is that running via Chandlers Ford to Southampton is seen as a disbenefit in terms of journey time, especially for the small stations of Dean and Mottisfont, because Southampton Central is apparently where people want to go.

The Wessex route study has a very short section about it.   As you say, and probably based on Hampshire County Council's lack of support, NR» (Network Rail - home page) are not planning on running such a service.

Quote
2.7 New or Re-opened Infrastructure
2.7.1 Several local residents called for the reinstatement of
passenger services along the Fawley Branch at least as far as Hythe,
with one being strongly opposed. However, no new evidence was
adduced to suggest that the conclusions of recent studies (which
suggested that the business case was not robust) should be
reviewed.

Paul
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grahame
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« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2017, 09:41:50 pm »

The other thing you've missed off that reasonable explanation is that running via Chandlers Ford to Southampton is seen as a disbenefit in terms of journey time, especially for the small stations of Dean and Mottisfont, because Southampton Central is apparently where people want to go.

Yes ... or is the reason that the major flow from Mottisfont is to Central is because that's the good journey offered, and the people surveyed are the people on the train on that good journey?  I suspect I'm playing Devil's advocate here and, yes, the most wanted flow is into Central ...

Not my "politics" area.   From a Wiltshire (Salisbury and north thereof) perspective, one train an hour direct to Central and one an hour vis Eastleigh and the Airport could work even better than the Cardiff - Portsmouth plus the Swidnon - Westbury - Salisbury - Romsey 6.
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teamsaint
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« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2017, 11:17:50 pm »

Just read this update, and am conflicted, as they say these days.

Journey time from Dean to Central on a new salisbury to Hythe via  Eastleigh would be about 40 mins, and obviously a few minutes less from Dunbridge.

Would this be enough to deter most people from travelling ? possibly not, as the alternative of car, or getting to Romsey or Salisbury would take as long as the 40 minutes.
The current figure of 6 gives some useful options for travel back to Romsey/Dean/Dunbridge from the Southampton area.

I'm not sure how much of a problem 2 TPH (trains per hour) from Romsey would be IF they were properly spaced, roughly half an hour apart.

 
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grahame
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2017, 08:43:41 am »

What a fascinating trip to Fawley - a huge thanks to the Three Rivers Community Rail Partneship and to Hastings Diesels for organising it. With a choice of special trips yesterday to Minehead (a lovely town) and to Fawley (at the gates of an oil refinery, with no chance to get off), I chose the latter ...

The Waterside line runs from Southampton Central via Millbrook, Redbridge, and Totton (these being on the main line) to Marchwood, Hythe and Fawley.  Passenger services to Marchwood, Hythe and Fawley ceased at the time of Dr Beeching - February 1966 - but oil terminal traffic carried on until just a couple of months ago. The line has now lost its last regular traffic.

Marchwood (population 6,000) and Hythe (population 20,000) are very much part of the Southampton and Solent economic / travel to work area. They're on the west bank of the Itchen Southampton Water in a band of land that's not included in the New Forest National Park, although there's much opena and beaufiful conntryisde in that band. Fawley and (at the end of the Itchen Southampton Water) Calstock Calshot are much smaller and remote.  A ferry service with public support runs from Southampton to Hythe, taking a much more direct line that the railway which loops around the top of the estuary.  The ferry operates from the peir end at Hythe (historic railway up the pier) to Town Quay Southamtpon - about a km from Southampton Central station.  The ferry now operates with a single vessel ... not always easy - I read this morning: " AS FROM TUESDAY 2nd MAY 2017.  Please be advised that while our main ferry is having her essential annual survey and refit, we are using a substitute vessel.  To access the boat there are steps in to and off of the vessel. Bikes and pushchairs are welcome but will need to be carried on board.  Crew will assist if required and requested.  This is not a permanent reserve vessel but all that is available for this two week period.  We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.". 

There has been a strong campaign to re-instate a passenger service on the railway, and the logic would seem to be a through service from Fawley or Hythe at least to Southampton Central (main line turnback as Totton blocking the main lines, extra platform having level crossing issues or being in a yard a considerable walk from the main line). Possible service on to Southampton Airport / Eastleigh from where there is logic in it carrying on - as the trains will be diesels - to provide the service for Chandler's Ford and Romsey.  There's then further logic in the service supporting Mottisfont Dunbridge and Dean stations and running to Salisbury.   All of which could help the operational metrics of the current "Romsey 6" service with its inefficient and long layover of a train at Salisbury, and which leads into a TransWilts interest in linking that service northwards via Wilton, and Westbury to Chippenham and Swindon.  I turned up an old copy of the Parkman report the other day ... there may be some new ideas here, but they're also some based on past research data.

With Three Rivers (Romsey Six) and TransWilts services naturally linking, and a resultant service being more beneficial than just the sum of the two benefits, my trip yesterday was an important piece of observation and personal learning, even though I probably looked like just a person out for an interesting and unusual ride.

The line strikes me as being in relatively good condition, based on the smooth ride.  I know the Hastings Diesel - the set that was used - very well indeed from my youth, and on poor track they could ride rough bearing in mind their restricted suspension due to narrow tunnels in Sussex.  I made a point of riding in a Hastings trailer.  However, there are a considerable number of level crossings along the way at lest one of which appears/ed to be manually operated gates, and a passing loop and signal box at Marchwood with mechanically operated pointwork and semaphore signalling.  A token is still used for at least the final section from Marchwood to Fawley.  I would suspect that under a Network Rail / full National Rail standard, there would be a considerable bill to upgrade the line for regular passenger use, and that elements of such an upgrade would be needed to reduce the cost of staffing for operation, and to reduce the journey time.

As well as commuter / current local traffic potentiail, being on the edge of the New Forest would attract tourist traffic, and the area outside the New Forest - the Itchen Southampton Water West Waterside Bank - could develop quickly and usefully if it had better pubcic transport links.  But the service would undoubtedly abstract traffic from the ferry, and indeed that abstraction could threaten the Ferry and historic railway's survival as an every-day service, and / or increas the subsidy it would need.  The Ferry serves Hythe and links to Southampton though and doesn't offer the same onward connections, or indeed West Itchen Southapton Water opportunities at Fawley and Marchwood that a passenger train service would offer, nor does the ferry offer quite the same robustness of service especially to those with pushchairs, etc.























Pictures all taken yesterday; some are informational shots rather than good pictures!

The full Waterside Story also needs to look at the current bus services on parallel roads, and at the work needed to bring stations up to standard or to re-create them, and perhaps other issues too; take a look up this thread and do not read my trip report in isolation!

Edit to make corrections as seen in text (errors crossed through)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 05:31:04 am by grahame » Logged

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PhilWakely
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« Reply #21 on: May 14, 2017, 09:56:25 am »

I am probably being very naive, but would it not be more sensible/practical to run an all-stations stopping service from Salisbury to Hythe via Chandlers Ford as a replacement for the existing Salisbury to Romsey via Romsey, Chandlers Ford and Southampton? Surely this can still be done with the two existing 158s on an hourly service?
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paul7575
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« Reply #22 on: May 14, 2017, 10:41:03 am »

Please see my reply in post #4 on the previous page which summarises why that is not the preferred scheme.

There is a separate thread to this  Huh in which this route was also mentioned more recently, and I pointed out that the latest Wessex route study also doesn't support this:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18125.msg213081#msg213081

Paul




Edit note: Link to that previous post updated, as a few posts have been moved and merged, in the interests of clarity and continuity. CfN.


« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 03:24:51 pm by Chris from Nailsea » Logged
SandTEngineer
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« Reply #23 on: May 14, 2017, 12:03:08 pm »

Grahame, I really do like your 'artistic' photograph of the point rodding and signal wires Wink Cheesy
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grahame
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« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2017, 03:38:41 pm »

Please see my reply in post #4 on the previous page which summarises why that is not the preferred scheme.

There is a separate thread to this  Huh in which this route was also mentioned more recently, and I pointed out that the latest Wessex route study also doesn't support this:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18125.msg213081#msg213081

Paul

I searched for "Waterside line" and this seemed the most recent relevant thread.  CfN's the experts at 'merge and move' and I'm shore he'll shift me if appropriate.

Yes, agreed that the local government of the Solent area doesn't have this line as a preferred scheme, giving rise to the none-support in the Wessex route study.    You'll find considerable controversy over the decision by local government not to support this it's not at all a clear cut case of "my goodness what a stupid idea" though, and questions have been asked about the decision not to support, and the openness (or lack of it) of the process and how the conclusion was reached.

Things change over time too.  You have only to look at the number of lines and stations which in the 1960s weren't a preferred scheme for the future but which are now back on the agenda. I can find much more recent changes too.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2017, 04:50:05 pm »

I think they want to support the Hythe ferry (and the local jobs), which this would hurt
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grahame
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2017, 05:39:15 pm »

I think they want to support the Hythe ferry (and the local jobs), which this would hurt

Yep ... hence this in my earlier report:

Quote
... the service would undoubtedly abstract traffic from the ferry, and indeed that abstraction could threaten the Ferry and historic [pier] railway's survival as an every-day service, and / or increase the subsidy it would need.
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2017, 06:21:10 pm »

Hythe ferry is now operated by Blue Funnel and seems to be financially secure for now. However I am sure it is a case of 'use it or lose it!'.
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ray951
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2017, 09:29:44 pm »

Thanks for the report of the journey, but just a couple of corrections. Hythe and Fawley are on the west bank of Southampton Water and not the River Itchen, and the village at the end is called Calshot.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2017, 10:06:06 pm »

Please see my reply in post #4 on the previous page which summarises why that is not the preferred scheme.

There is a separate thread to this  Huh in which this route was also mentioned more recently, and I pointed out that the latest Wessex route study also doesn't support this:

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18125.msg213081#msg213081

Paul

I searched for "Waterside line" and this seemed the most recent relevant thread.  CfN's the experts at 'merge and move' and I'm shore he'll shift me if appropriate.


With thanks to grahame and paul7755 for raising the matter, I have now moved a few posts from the more specific 'Fawley Forester' excursion topic and merged them here, in this more general discussion of the possibility of reopening the railway line for passengers.

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