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Author Topic: East - West Rail update (Oxford to Bedford) - ongoing discussion  (Read 121922 times)
Lee
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« on: December 14, 2007, 03:41:45 pm »

Lord Bassam said a plan had to include a "proper business case", and be funded as the Government had not studied the likely cost. He added: "Reopening regional or rural lines will not normally be the most effective way of delivering the capacity increases, which as the rail White Paper explained are our priority." (link below.)
http://www.oxfordmail.net/news/headlines/display.var.1904320.0.city_rail_link_to_cambridge.php

Last month , the East West Rail Consortium brought in consultants to draw up a case for reopening the western sections of the line from Bicester to Bletchley south of Milton Keynes , and the Claydon Junction-Aylesbury line.

The consortium has estimated the cost of reopening the Bicester-Bletchley section at up to ^135m.
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Btline
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2007, 11:47:12 pm »

Shame the 2012 Rowing Lake will destroy part of the track bed between Bedford and Cambridge!

Who needs a rail link when you can have the London Olympics!
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2008, 12:12:46 am »

The consortium behind the plan says the scheme linking Oxford to Milton Keynes, Bedford and Aylesbury is on track to become operational by 2012. But the estimated cost, originally put at ^130m, has risen to ^190m, going to ^228m if a spur to Aylesbury is included (link below.)
http://www.oxfordmail.net/display.var.2100215.0.rail_link_work_may_start_in_2009.php

A new report commissioned by the East West Rail Consortium, made up of councils and development agencies, has backed the case for a new network of railway lines and train services. It means the long awaited project now goes to a detailed planning stage.

Adrian Saunders, Oxfordshire County Council's rail development officer, said:

Quote from: Adrian Saunders
"There is a lot of support coming from the Department for Transport and Network Rail to get this project moving. Construction work could start by the end of 2009."
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2008, 10:57:14 am »

It is costly but then again anything that can be done to relieve the congestion to and from London is definitely a good thing, especially with the upcoming Olympics. Not only this but it would be a much quicker route and could open up many other journey oppertunities.
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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2008, 11:01:30 am »

One of the things that interests me about this is that its another example of how difficult it appears to be to keep the costs of such schemes down. See link below for another example.
http://www.savethetrain.org.uk/forum/index.php?topic=5686.msg9994#msg9994
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2008, 06:58:53 pm »

^228m is a bargain. Think of the costs of Reading, Birmingham New St, let alone Crossrail or Thameslink. And how much is a couple of miles of M74 extension in Glasgow going to cost?  ^400m+ I seem to recall.

And the road alternatives are awful, particularly in the rush hour. My wife knows, as she has to drive to MK (Milton Keynes) every couple of weeks, and the journey from Nailsea takes around 3 hours. I suspect the main problem would be overcrowding. Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be the ideal service, which could also provide a bit of additional peak capacity between Bristol and Swindon.   
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Lee
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2008, 08:55:17 pm »

^228m is a bargain. Think of the costs of Reading, Birmingham New St, let alone Crossrail or Thameslink. And how much is a couple of miles of M74 extension in Glasgow going to cost?  ^400m+ I seem to recall.

And the road alternatives are awful, particularly in the rush hour. My wife knows, as she has to drive to MK (Milton Keynes) every couple of weeks, and the journey from Nailsea takes around 3 hours. I suspect the main problem would be overcrowding. Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be the ideal service, which could also provide a bit of additional peak capacity between Bristol and Swindon.   

Dont get me wrong, I would love to see it happen. I also agree that Bristol-Swindon-Oxford-MK would be a good service to have. Southampton-Salisbury-Westbury-Swindon-Oxford-MK wouldnt be a bad idea either.....

The Oxford Mail article also gives an indication of potential journey times :

Quote from: Oxford Mail
The "congestion busting" link holds out the promise of 12-minute train journeys between Oxford and Bicester and 35 minutes between Oxford and Milton Keynes.
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2008, 09:04:13 pm »

I've had an interest in this scheme since living on a house built on the old trackbed in Sandy, Beds 15 years ago. Yes it was developed enough then for a leaflet to have been produced.   At the time the cost of diverting a bit further north would not have been great, but as has already been mentioned the Willington Rowing Lake appears to have killed off the scheme east of Bedford for good.
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Lee
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« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2008, 01:02:49 pm »

From the Save The Train Forum :

Nearly a year on and East-West Rail have published their more in-depth report which takes the project to final stages of GRIP (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) (Guide for Railway Investment Projects) Stage 3.

http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/reports/documents/GRIP3FinalReport.pdf

The project has moved on considerably and is now based on a 100mph link between Oxford and Bletchley and a 90mph link between Aylesbury and Calvert to provide a 'regional express' service at 2tph and 1tph respectively.

The following extracts indicate that the start of any actual construction work is over two years away, and that constrution would take over three years.

6.38 Currently at a stage comparable to GRIP Stage 3, it is anticipated that the remaining
Design and Mobilisation Phase of the EWR Scheme will take further 26 months. This
will include completion of GRIP 4 and 5 (single option development and detailed
design), and makes an allowance for the procurement negotiations required before a
Contractor is appointed to undertake construction phase of the project. It is during this
phase that necessary possessions and blockades will need to be booked with Network
Rail.

6.39 The construction period alone is estimated to be a period of 43 months. Further
refinement of the programme will be required as more detailed design is undertaken
and it is believe the construction period could be reduced to closer to 30 months.
Driven by the need to lay the track, it has been assumed that most civil engineering
works, signalling, crossings and drainage etc can be progressed concurrently with the
track laying.


I have watched this project for many years, and although we're still a long way from the first train running, this document seems well-reasoned, acheiveable, and just goes to show the work (and money) that has to be spent on getting a relatively modest scheme such as this off the ground.

With Ruth Kelly under increasing pressure to increase rail capacity, or at least be seen to be doing so, this is just the sort of scheme that will get her department lots of prositive coverage, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
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« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2008, 09:58:01 pm »

When FGW (First Great Western) get HST2s from the IEP (Intercity Express Program / Project.), Chiltern could take the HSTs (High Speed Train) and run an hourly service from Marylebone to Milton Keynes/Bedford!

Of course, the first class would be taken out. Everyone is second class (i.e. equal) with Chiltern.
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2008, 04:39:37 pm »

Chiltern's standard class is sheer luxury compared to FGW (First Great Western)'s refurbed mk 3s
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2008, 08:15:20 pm »

I see "East / West" is live again here.  Of course THIS is where it would / would have been good for it to end up:



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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2008, 10:02:20 pm »

Quite possibly, Nick!

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwich_railway_station

 Wink Cheesy Grin
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« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2008, 08:11:08 pm »

Yes - an hourly/ two hourly Reading or Didcot to Norwich would be good (taking pressure off London).
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2008, 11:59:45 am »

The East-West Rail Consortium has released a document that further clarifies the time-scales for the Western Section from Oxford/Aylesbury-Milton Keynes/Bedford. I had wondered what effect Chiltern Railways' announcement regarding an Oxford-Marylebone service via Bicester would have on the scheme, but it appears that it won't be causing too much of a delay as additional GRIP (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) 3 stage work will now take place whilst early GRIP 4 work is in progress. GRIP 4 work is now scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

To quote from the document...

The Key planned Programme Dates are:-
^ Award contract for next phase - By end November 2008
^ Surveys to Commence - January 2009
^ Phase 1 Complete (GRIP 3/4)- By end April 2009
^ Design Specification Fixed - By end May 2009
^ Commencement of Phase 2 (GRIP 4) - By end June 2009
^ GRIP 4 Review and Commission complete - By end December 2009


The full document can be downloaded at http://www.eastwestrail.org.uk/_inc/documents/EWRCInformationBulletin_Oct2008w.pdf
« Last Edit: November 27, 2008, 12:01:30 pm by IndustryInsider » Logged

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