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Author Topic: Proposed Bristol Airport link  (Read 876 times)
Puffing Billy
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« on: May 22, 2018, 07:39:15 pm »

Surely one of the most ludicrous suggestions I have heard recently - how would you even contemplate getting a railway to the top of that hill?

https://www.devonlive.com/news/local-news/sun-seekers-could-soon-catch-1595611
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 08:26:08 pm »

It's been talked about before with tram light rail an even recently the underground suggestion. Interestingly the article talks about rail links to the airport excluding Bristol so if the Bristol local authorities are not involved it might get built soon.
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Robert Wilensky
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 08:38:05 pm »

It's been talked about before with tram light rail an even recently the underground suggestion. Interestingly the article talks about rail links to the airport excluding Bristol so if the Bristol local authorities are not involved it might get built soon.
Cheesy Cheesy
So true, when it comes to transport Bristol local authorities haven’t got a @#£&* clue.
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Puffing Billy
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 09:06:27 pm »

I have to admit I was not aware of the previous proposals for an airport link; having gleaned a little more information about it, it seems that some sort of segregated light rail link is conceivable. Nevertheless, the plans, such as they are, are all geared toward linking Bristol to the airport - this is significantly different from the thrust of the Devon Live article, which promises direct links from Taunton and beyond.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2018, 09:40:54 pm »

Surely one of the most ludicrous suggestions I have heard recently - how would you even contemplate getting a railway to the top of that hill?

You're looking at 4 miles of 1 in 30  from sea level to runway level ... which a modern electric train should manage with little difficulty.  Engineering wise to keep the budget sane, run the line around the hill to climb it to avoid major engineering stuff.   Don't see it as being impossible, but don't see it happening.
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2018, 10:09:22 pm »

Surely one of the most ludicrous suggestions I have heard recently - how would you even contemplate getting a railway to the top of that hill?

You're looking at 4 miles of 1 in 30  from sea level to runway level ... which a modern electric train should manage with little difficulty.  Engineering wise to keep the budget sane, run the line around the hill to climb it to avoid major engineering stuff.   Don't see it as being impossible, but don't see it happening.

To add ... it's 5 miles as the crow flies from Yatton (elevation about 70 metres) to Bristol Airport (elevation about 190 metres). Overall average gradient 1 in 66 .
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2018, 08:57:00 am »

Shame they did away with the S&D branch to Wrington, might of been useful.
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martyjon
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2018, 09:05:14 am »

It's been talked about before with tram light rail an even recently the underground suggestion. Interestingly the article talks about rail links to the airport excluding Bristol so if the Bristol local authorities are not involved it might get built soon.
Cheesy Cheesy
So true, when it comes to transport Bristol local authorities haven’t got a @#£&* clue.

That's why they engage consultants who have'nt got a @#£&* clue either and when it all goes horribly wrong the LAs tell the long suffering council taxpayers not to blame them, they took the advice of the consultants.
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martyjon
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2018, 09:07:43 am »

Shame they did away with the S&D branch to Wrington, might of been useful.

Thought it was the Cheddar Valley line that served Wrington albeit there was a connection to the S&D at Wells but again it might have been Wrington was a station on the Blagdon branch which left the Cheddar Valley line at Congesbury.
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Puffing Billy
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2018, 06:13:42 pm »

Ordnance Survey map suggests that the trackbed to Wrington is intact, but not only would a further section require significant earthworks/tunnelling, but would be a long way round from Bristol, and without a tunnel under the airport itself, end up on the wrong side for the terminal buildings; so a route from the north would seem more practical. In any case, we are still talking about a link purely from Bristol to the airport. so the Devon Live speculation about long distance links from the south-west seems spectacularly wide of the mark.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2018, 07:09:02 pm »

Google maps satellite view would suggest that the route from Yatton to Wrington is substantially clear; presumably a line to the airport would turn left just short of Wrington and plunge into the hillside, never to see the light of day again. If this was London, it would be agreed by Friday and the TBMs would be rolling by the middle of next week, but it's not - this is Greater Bristol, where we can't even run trains to Portishead when the track is already there...
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johnneyw
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2018, 08:33:17 pm »

Ordnance Survey map suggests that the trackbed to Wrington is intact, but not only would a further section require significant earthworks/tunnelling, but would be a long way round from Bristol, and without a tunnel under the airport itself, end up on the wrong side for the terminal buildings; so a route from the north would seem more practical. In any case, we are still talking about a link purely from Bristol to the airport. so the Devon Live speculation about long distance links from the south-west seems spectacularly wide of the mark.

I wonder what Exeter airport thinks of the proposals? Not too keen I would imagine.
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Robert Wilensky
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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2018, 11:57:18 pm »

Ordnance Survey map suggests that the trackbed to Wrington is intact, but not only would a further section require significant earthworks/tunnelling, but would be a long way round from Bristol, and without a tunnel under the airport itself, end up on the wrong side for the terminal buildings; so a route from the north would seem more practical. In any case, we are still talking about a link purely from Bristol to the airport. so the Devon Live speculation about long distance links from the south-west seems spectacularly wide of the mark.

I think that it rather depends on what you want to achieve (and how much you have to spend on it).

If you want to get people from central Bristol to Bristol Airport faster by public transport at minimal expense, the most obvious solution is to extend MetroBus, possibly with the addition of a few new bits of roads and bus lanes from the A38/A4174 roundabout. Even if the airport offer to pay for it, there's no way MetroWest is going to see their BRT baby eclipsed by a tram, and good luck with trying to figure out how to diverge a heavy rail line from the GWML and get it up the hill to the airport.   

As has been suggested though, if you see heavy rail as enabling the airport to be better connected to the wider region, then an approach via Yatton and Wrington isn't necessarily a problem, and the fact that you could easily have a south facing connection at Yatton and possibly even have several platforms for 8-car trains under a new terminal building could be very appealing indeed.

Yes, if you look at the journey times, then 18 minutes from BTM to Yatton, plus say 5 minutes up the hill to the airport, is more or less the same as the bus. But it's about 15 minutes faster if you live in Bath (assuming a direct train) and half an hour faster if you live in Weston. And of course you are sitting in a train rather than on a bus (or in your car) and if the line were electrified and resignalled, then the journey times could be significantly improved.
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Four Track, Now!
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« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2018, 09:50:39 pm »

Google maps satellite view would suggest that the route from Yatton to Wrington is substantially clear; presumably a line to the airport would turn left just short of Wrington and plunge into the hillside, never to see the light of day again. If this was London, it would be agreed by Friday and the TBMs would be rolling by the middle of next week, but it's not - this is Greater Bristol, where we can't even run trains to Portishead when the track is already there...

As did my own personal observations on departure from BRS to MHN last week. I'm sorry to not be able to offer photographic evidence, buit I take those safety briefings seriously, having given a few of them myself.
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