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December 18, 2017, 08:21:24 PM *
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Author Topic: Current and future traffic from Thingley to Bradford junctions  (Read 311 times)
grahame
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« on: December 14, 2017, 07:01:42 AM »

In order to inform future planning, where I may now find myself suggesting / commenting rather than just observing from afar, I have dug out my crystal ball and listed current and potential traffics on the single line section of the TransWilts.   Westbury resignalling in 2026 suggested an intermediate signal to allow trains to follow at closer intervals, but that was way back in the days when 2026 was so far ahead it was hidden in the mists called the "far future"

Can members take a look at the following / comment if they can on the various elements - especially if their crystal balls are better informed than mine, and add in any other serious or indeed aspirational dreams they may be aware of.

Current services - order based on approx number of movements at pressnt
Passenger trains - local journeys between Swindon and Westbury
Stone train - Somerset quarries to Royal Wootton Bassett and east thereof
Passenger trains between Cheltenham Spa and Southampton and vv
Freight - Southampton area to Midlands and North
Track and engineering trains between Westbury and Swindon
Diverted trains - when Bath Spa closed
Diverted trains - when Berks and Hants closes
Diverted trains - when Swindon to Didcot closed
Passenger Charters including heritage services
Network Rail Test Train
MOD to Warminster

Potential traffics in the near and perhaps further future in no particular order
Increase in some of the above (passenger destinations may vary beyond line)
Open Access passenger services
Additional freight from the Southampton area
HS2 construction trains from Westbury Tarmac
Passenger trains to Bath and Bristol
Regular heritage services
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2017, 09:08:02 AM »

2026 is still a long way away, especially when you consider the average delay of current resignalling schemes.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2017, 09:40:33 AM »

2026 is still a long way away, especially when you consider the average delay of current resignalling schemes.

Totally agreed.  The question's raised "is an extra signal halfway along in 2026 or at some date around or after then enough to meet requirements for the next 30 years".  And there are two parts to that question - what would the extra signal (and various alternative options) give in terms of shaped capacity, and what are those requirements likely to be?

The 2026 date was set / suggested at the time there were about 20,000 local passenger journeys per annum being made on the single track section - that's now well over 200,000; some predicted that such a change might happen but others described it as "fanciful" and I don't know which view was taken by the people making the suggestion.  Looking forward, there's more of a tendency to be bull rather than bear when making suggestions of the possible - the question "could it continue to grow" tends to get more answers of "yes" than it used to.
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Tim
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2017, 11:10:36 AM »

I don't have any special knowledge here other than having travelled over the lien a few times, but my "ignorant thoughts" are ...

How much would an intermediate signal on a single track section help?  Presumably it is only be significantly useful if traffic patterns have many trains a day were the proceeding train is in the same direction.  Are we able to predict such a pattern from future likely usage?  You might say in reply that although the passenger timetable is likely to alternate up-down-up-down-up-down etc, freight can be slotted in to follow the passenger trains as up(passenger), up(freight), down (passenger, down (freight).  That may be correct, but that only works if there is somewhere (sidings) for the freight to wait for its path without interfering with traffic elsewhere.  It would be a shame to invest in a new signal section if the advantages it provided were not fully realisable because of constraints elsewhere.

Need to make sure that the location of this signal did not interfere with any future ambition to add a passing loop 
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bradshaw
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2017, 04:12:10 PM »

When the Salisbury -Exeter line was recontrolled section signals were installed at Crewkerne, both up and down directions. This has allowed Trains to be fleeted if running late, the routing of GWR services without too much interference on SWT and the occasional stem service.
Thus while nothing is regularly timetabled as such it has proven it's worth.

The NR Wessex RUS suggests that additional section signals be added between Castle Cary and Yeovil, to allow additional services. This was before the SWT, now SWR, services were added and which might increase further in 2018.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2017, 04:53:55 PM »

Grahame,  I thought we had already discussed some ideas here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18449.msg216539#msg216539
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eightf48544
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2017, 10:28:39 PM »

Freight - Southampton area to Midlands and North

Not sure this is viable, whilst you free Reading they still have to  use Thingley to Didcot and on to Oxford on heavily used 2 track railways. Are there any paths for slow freight with 125 IETs.
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2017, 01:53:18 AM »

Grahame,  I thought we had already discussed some ideas here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18449.msg216539#msg216539

Fair point - should the topics be merged?  Undecided

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William Huskisson MP 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.
grahame
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2017, 04:58:22 AM »

Grahame,  I thought we had already discussed some ideas here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18449.msg216539#msg216539
Fair point - should the topics be merged?  Undecided

There are two sides to this coin and my thought / intent was to raise each of the two sides in a thread.

This topic asks "what traffic demands do we see for the future?" and the other topics asks "how do we meet the fuire demand?".   So it was my thought that topics like "could we find significant amounts of Westbury to Claydon, then Westbury to Stafford, traffic to be run in the future" could be addresses here, and that topics like "can the existing line cope, or does it need more signalling / track work" could be (and indeed have been) addressed in the other thread.

I'll let you be the judge of whether they should be merged, Chris.   Happy either way; I'm a bit close to this - defendant and judge on the case if I make the decision.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2017, 05:16:14 AM »

Freight - Southampton area to Midlands and North

Not sure this is viable, whilst you free Reading they still have to  use Thingley to Didcot and on to Oxford on heavily used 2 track railways. Are there any paths for slow freight with 125 IETs.

Whichever way (via Bramley or via Melksham) you send the freight, you have the issue from just north of Didcot to the centre of Oxford - perhaps to the point north thereof where the lines to Worcester, Banbury and Cambridge diverge.

Royal Wootton Basett (or Swindon) to just west of Didcot / capacity is an interesting question.  Is the extra capacity there released by a loss of coal traffic (below - see DfT Rail fact sheet for background) used up again by extra passenger trains?  I would be surprised if it were, simply because the coal traffic drop might not have been a certainly at the time electrification was planned.

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ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2017, 12:06:38 PM »

Whichever way (via Bramley or via Melksham) you send the freight, you have the issue from just north of Didcot to the centre of Oxford - perhaps to the point north thereof where the lines to Worcester, Banbury and Cambridge diverge.

Of course the third way is via Bradford, Bath and Cheltenham. This avoids Oxford, but may hit other capacity points such as Bath to Bristol (though after four tracking presumably not Filton Bank).

Royal Wootton Basett (or Swindon) to just west of Didcot / capacity is an interesting question.  Is the extra capacity there released by a loss of coal traffic (below - see DfT Rail fact sheet for background) used up again by extra passenger trains?  I would be surprised if it were, simply because the coal traffic drop might not have been a certainly at the time electrification was planned.

If Didcot was the only destination for coal trains then the coal fired plant there closed some time ago and would have been a certainty at the time electrification was planned. 
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2017, 11:10:16 PM »

Grahame,  I thought we had already discussed some ideas here: http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=18449.msg216539#msg216539
Fair point - should the topics be merged?  Undecided

There are two sides to this coin and my thought / intent was to raise each of the two sides in a thread.

This topic asks "what traffic demands do we see for the future?" and the other topics asks "how do we meet the future demand?".  So it was my thought that topics like "could we find significant amounts of Westbury to Claydon, then Westbury to Stafford, traffic to be run in the future" could be addressed here, and that topics like "can the existing line cope, or does it need more signalling / track work" could be (and indeed have been) addressed in the other thread.

I'll let you be the judge of whether they should be merged, Chris.  Happy either way; I'm a bit close to this - defendant and judge on the case if I make the decision.

Thanks for those comments, grahame: I'm happy to leave the two topics as they are.  Wink

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William Huskisson MP 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.
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