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Author Topic: Filton Abbey Wood - a great success? Emulate it just to the north??  (Read 21499 times)
grahame
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« on: October 17, 2014, 01:46:53 pm »

I may be about to ask a very silly question ...

Filton station was closed when a new station was opened a short distance away to service the MOD at Filton Abbey Wood, employing around 7000 staff at that time, now risen to well over 10,000.

A little further north, the line to South Wales passes beside Aztec West, with around 100 companies with offices there employing around 7000 staff. But the nearest station to Aztec West is a significant distance away - at Patchway, and the train service is only hourly though 4 trains each way per hour pass through.

Filton Abbey Wood station attracts around 850,000 passenger journeys per annum (2500 per day). Would a station at Aztec West also attract significant traffic and make significant inroads on the daily traffic jams around the A38 and M5 corners?

The railway line is in a deep cutting with split levels near to Aztec West, and on a gradient.  The idea of stopping a steam train there would make the operational folks shudder, and first generation long distance diesel trains (i.e. HSTs) would be significantly slowed too.   However, now that we've got modern electric systems coming to the line, perhaps still mixed with modern diesels such as 165s and 166s from Hampshire and Wiltshire ... and now that lift technology has advanced so that it's installed in many stations where it didn't use to be, is there a case for following the Filton model and moving Pilning station south too, renaming it Aztec West, and stopping a few more trains than call at the current station?


Red - Station entrance / Buildings.  Blue - Platforms.  Green - Walkways

The question is asked as a curious outsider who occasionally works at Aztec West and is familiar with the hardy bunch of people who walk up the lane from Patchway!
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 03:38:40 pm by grahame » Logged

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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2014, 02:01:57 pm »

The question I'd ask is, is there sufficient space in such a deep cutting to build a station to modern standards and access requirements?

It's a very steep sided cutting.
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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2014, 03:50:48 pm »

The question I'd ask is, is there sufficient space in such a deep cutting to build a station to modern standards and access requirements?

It's a very steep sided cutting.

There are certainly engineering questions.  The separation between the lines is 8 metres (horizontal) and considerable (vertical).  How about something out-of-the-box ... stacked platforms between the tracks, rather than what I drew.   Been done - Roslyn is one I know (DC Metro)
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2014, 04:22:16 pm »

Interesting idea!

I worked at Aztec West for a few years, up to about ten years ago. There was a very large number of car parking spaces there, but not enough - by about 8.50 people were finding 'innovative parking solutions' and tempers would start to fray. It was a good motivation for getting to work on time, as once the car parks were full there was nowhere else to park within quite a distance. Traffic was truly terrible at home-time, as everyone left by a single exit onto the Aztec West roundabout. (This is when I took up cycling!)

I believe the bus service has improved in the intervening years (it used to visit every cul-de-sac in Bradley Stoke) but I don't imagine anything else has got any better.

The paradox was that most people didn't see the hideous traffic and parking stress as a problem; when our office moved close to Temple Meads station the majority were up in arms because they considered that central Bristol, next to the main railway station, was an almost impossibly difficult place to get to. Discuss! (This was when I took up travelling on the Severn Beach Line, back in the good old days when the trains turned up about half the time).

Prior to this office move, they did a postcode analysis which showed that most people commuted from South Wales, South Glos and North Somerset - essentially the M4 and M5 corridors. So if it were possible for this station to be served by stopping trains to/from Weston SM to Cardiff, connecting with a service from Yate at Abbey Wood, then I think it could have legs if properly promoted. I'll leave it to others to judge whether such a service could be timetabled!

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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2014, 08:12:00 pm »

grahame - I assume you are proposing the relocation of Patchway station, rather than Pilning as stated in the text?
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2014, 08:28:43 pm »

grahame - I assume you are proposing the relocation of Patchway station, rather than Pilning as stated in the text?

I don't know what I'm proposing, Lee ... I'm asking if there would be a logic in opening a station for Aztec West, and coming along with that is a look along the track.  We may be looking at an extra station (a la Lelant Saltings) just as much as at a replacement (a la Abbey Wood).
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2014, 09:50:10 pm »

The attached photo gives an indication of the lie of the land...
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« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2014, 09:52:21 pm »

The attached photo gives an indication of the lie of the land...

That's at the A38 Bridge?   Yes - room for a double deck station there  Grin
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« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2014, 09:58:01 pm »

Actually it's the B4057 - the A38 is on a wider, lower bridge a few metres to the west. I think this bridge was the original course of the A38 though, before the dual carriageway was put through in the 'seventies.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2014, 10:27:43 pm »

Actually it's the B4057 - the A38 is on a wider, lower bridge a few metres to the west. I think this bridge was the original course of the A38 though, before the dual carriageway was put through in the 'seventies.

Shows my age  Undecided

I probably have too fertile an imagination ... but now that you have given me the vertical section



I had best "lay off" these ideas ... had my knuckles rapped a couple of times recently ...  Wink

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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 11:51:26 am »

Heath-Robinson would be proud to know his legacy lives on - though those brackets should be more twiddly, and there should really be a knot in the lift cable!
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« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2014, 08:11:50 am »

I too used to work at Aztec West and was surprised that the nearest station was Patchway. Given the density of housing in the immediate area (northern Bradley Stoke and Patchway) there would seem to be some justification for a new station.

How about moving it slightly further north, to the farm land just the other side of the M5, with pedestrian walkways and cyclepaths under the motorway linking it to the office and residential areas. With it's own motorway exit, it could be become a replacement for the now traffic-jammed Bristol Parkway. Perhaps it could be called Patchway Parkway.
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2014, 09:14:04 am »

I too used to work at Aztec West and was surprised that the nearest station was Patchway. Given the density of housing in the immediate area (northern Bradley Stoke and Patchway) there would seem to be some justification for a new station.

How about moving it slightly further north, to the farm land just the other side of the M5, with pedestrian walkways and cyclepaths under the motorway linking it to the office and residential areas. With it's own motorway exit, it could be become a replacement for the now traffic-jammed Bristol Parkway. Perhaps it could be called Patchway Parkway.

It's not that surprising that it's hard to get to Aztec West by train. Aztec West was planned and built in the Serpell era, and developers would probably have laughed in your face if you had suggested a local station - public transport was very much an afterthought. For many tears the only alternative to private motor transport was (from memory) the No.73 bus which ran at long intervals and took a very circuitous route, and possibly another occasional service which ran to the Radburn-inspired sub-suburbs north-east of Bristol.

To locate a station north of the M5 would, in practical terms, mean putting it to the west of Over Lane. When (as presumably it will one day) Cattybrook Brick Works closes, quite a good level site will become available - but it's no closer to Aztec West than grahame's proposal, and users would have to climb quite a steep hill to get there.

There is no chance of adding a junction to the M5 between Almondsbury and the Avon Bridge, if that's what you are suggesting by the way - it is already overheated; for the same reason the planners would not allow anything other than a local station near Aztec West.
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 04:25:19 pm »

Until now, I hadn't appreciated just ho tw close to Coniston Road the railway line is. If built, the station could save the people of that neck of Patchway - quite a few - from the perils of MetroBust, and traffic from Filton Keynes, as the airfield development  has been dubbed. That is on top of transporting people to Aztec West, which could make it a rare case of a commuter rail service that is busy in both directions at peak time.
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2014, 08:33:11 pm »

I currently work at Aztec West and have over the past couple of years looked at the adjacent railway line and thought "what if?"  The traffic is eye-watering during rush hour. My experiences of getting buses to work and home are best left un-recounted for fear of my having to lie down in a darkened room for the rest of the evening. It would certainly be a challenging candidate for some creative engineering solutions and with that comes, I fear, some considerable expense.  That said, it's getting so bad there that there could now be a credible business case in it's favour. The observations from the previous posts only serve to add force to this notion.
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