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Author Topic: GWRF2020-11 Freight expectations sought  (Read 483 times)
grahame
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« on: November 30, 2017, 08:32:19 AM »

Consultation Question 11

If you are a freight operator or represent the freight industry, please set out your expectations of likely future demand for freight capacity across the routes served by the franchise.

See http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19037 for the background to this topic
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 06:19:23 AM »

Many of the "next franchise" questions have been touched on (or more than touched on!) on the forum ... and I'm starting to add a handful of reference links to topics to help when we come to look at "the whole". 

This question on freight specifically addresses freight operators and does not encourage wider public responses. However, the need to weight up the requirements of freight operators and passenger train operators effects us all.

http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=19014.0

On the immediate question - where do members see potential changes in the freight market / lines used over coming years?

1.  I'll start with a "change to balance" ... freight - in particular containers from Southampton to the Midlands and North has grown via Basingstoke, Reading, Didcot and Oxford.   With a reduction in the plans to electrify this spine, will there be a greater potential for this traffic to be diverted to none-electric alternative routes, such as via Salisbury - Westbury - Swindon and Oxford?

2. What future traffic levels to Avonmouth and Portishead docks, and where will those trains go?

3. Would any experts like to give us an overview of freight and engineering trains operating and to operate,and reserved paths, across the area?

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grahame
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 09:36:57 AM »

Just heard of a planning application in for the old Westbury Cement works to become a track construction base for HS2 ... guess that might add a bit of freight in (components) and out (track panels).   Anyone know anything of this?
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Tim
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 10:39:21 AM »

The obvious route from the cement works to HS2 would be via Melksham would it not?  Is there capacity on that line for many extra freights AND your passenger aspirations? Will lightly used track be able to cope with heavy freights without falling apart?  There is potential for this to be good or bad for Melksham passengers.  It would be a shame if they are subjected to a decade of freight trains disrupting their service and leaving the route knackered.  On the other hand, some investment in the route (double tracking, passing loops, track renewal etc) could allow the freight to be minimally disruptive AND when the freight declines after HS2 is build it could leave your route in a better place for expansion of the passenger service.

Just one thing that I don't understand - the Westbury Cement works is disused is it not (ie not making cement).  Whilst it seems sensible to make cement articles next to an active cement works, what is the advantage of making them next to a disused cement work.  Is Westbury really the most convenient rail connected brown field site for HS2? 
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2017, 08:15:39 PM »

Apparently, the Westbury Cement Works is currently mothballed, rather than disused.

From the BBC, in September 2016:

Quote
Westbury cement works chimney demolished

A 122m-high (400ft) industrial chimney that has dominated the Wiltshire skyline for decades has been demolished.

The Westbury cement works, owned by Tarmac, were constructed in the early 1960s and mothballed in 2009.

The chimney was brought down by a controlled explosion. Nine-year-old schoolgirl Lily Sargent pressed the button after winning a competition.  The demolition marks the end of over 40 years of cement production at the site.

Stuart Wykes, from Tarmac, said it was "amazing" that thousands of people gathered on the hillside in the early hours to watch the demolition.  He said: "There's a lot of work done leading up to something like this, so the chimney is weakened in certain places and certain sections taken out and then over 200 detonators put in around it so it collapses in a certain way. I've heard from all the guys down on site that it went absolutely to plan."

Mr Wykes said the site was still an "active railhead" for Tarmac, although cement was no longer produced there.  He said the company imported cement which is brought in by rail and bagged and packed and then exported, and "this would continue for some years but without the iconic chimney".

The cement works are about 1.6km (1 mile) to the north east of Westbury, with the chimney formerly visible from miles away.

My highlighting. CfN.  Smiley


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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.
trainer
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2017, 10:11:55 PM »

I wonder if Dickens could have made something of 'Freight Expectations' for a novel?
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chuffed
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2017, 07:03:35 AM »

I was going to ask 'what the Dickens' was going on ' with the thread title . but trainer beat me to it ...again ! Huh Just one pathetic sad puff from me this time.
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Andy
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2017, 10:18:50 AM »

I wonder if Dickens could have made something of 'Freight Expectations' for a novel?

He could have had a bash at writing "A Tale of Two Intercities" as a sequel.
 
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chuffed
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2017, 10:40:47 AM »

Remember Dickens was involved in a serious train crash, and wrote 'The signalman' not long after !
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didcotdean
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2017, 04:03:05 PM »

Sadly, at the moment I can only see 'Hard Times' as the most appropriate.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2017, 10:12:24 PM »

Every time I hear the term Aged P I can't help but think of a Pacer !...
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 11:38:04 PM »

May I also offer our readers a link to 'The Old Curiosity Shop'.  Wink Cheesy Grin

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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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