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Author Topic: Devon Metro  (Read 4490 times)
REVUpminster
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« on: October 14, 2018, 07:12:43 am »

I am new so bear with me. I have looked at the pocket timetables for 2019 which do not seem to be any different to now. Can someone please tell me what has happened to the proposed Devon Metro (and new services to Cornwall) as I understood they would still come in in January even though the 802's would not use an accelerated timetable until May..


If there is a Devon Metro thread elsewhere, please move this post.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2018, 07:35:29 am »

I am new so bear with me. I have looked at the pocket timetables for 2019 which do not seem to be any different to now. Can someone please tell me what has happened to the proposed Devon Metro (and new services to Cornwall) as I understood they would still come in in January even though the 802's would not use an accelerated timetable until May..


If there is a Devon Metro thread elsewhere, please move this post.

Welcome to the forum!

So many subjects interact with each other that it's difficult to know what to post where - but we're a very welcoming place and if it feels the best place to post, it probably is.  And one or two of our team can merge / split topics as they run so that make for a good searchable archive later on, and keep all discussions on a topic together.  Anyway - enough of the technicalities ...

January 2019 public timetable changes have been put on hold - and I wouldn't like to bet on any particular new date just at present.   That hold is on all changes.   Newly timed long distance trains from London to the West Country (and elsewhere) were planned such that they leave paths for other more local trains to run in between them, thus a new timetable for local trains.  If the long distance trains are still running to the old timings, the local ones cannot run to the new, as the railway doesn't have boundless capacity - in fact it's getting pretty full in places.

You may ask "could there be a January 2019 AND a later timetable change".    That's not happening ...

a) There aren't enough timetable planners to work it out and check it

b) It would mean two rather than one set of changes to the local services - and each time there's a change, there's always someone who has a good use for the existing times - however peculiar - and will be pretty put out by the changes

c) Extra trains haven't been rolling in to the Devon and Cornwall area as quickly as would have been hoped. Delays on "Castle class" conversions, delays on Crossrail, delays in being able to run substitute trains into Portsmouth Harbour so that the 158s can be sent to Exeter ...

There will be a few January changes - mostly in operational / working timetables.   For example, St Phillip's Marsh won't have any HSTs to service and IETs will be running up Filton Bank, the remaining stabling lines at Old Oak will be gone ...
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 07:47:25 am »

I cannot see capacity being a problem, may shortage of rolling stock, as there is no increase in the Exmouth branch. There are already the Paignton - Newton abbot services. The overtaking at Dawlish Warren would have to stop but this would improve timings and the locals could follow the expresses improving connections for Teignmouth and Dawlish. There would be slightly worse for Paignton but with a half hour service not that bad.

Two coach trains could operate, every half hour, until more stock becomes available. I know all the 150/1's have gone.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 08:54:20 am »

Two coach trains could operate, every half hour, until more stock becomes available. I know all the 150/1's have gone.

I'll leave it for others to answer for Devon track capacity, etc.     On a technicallity, 150/126 was still around last week and I believe is still with us for a few more months.  Delight to have it on the 17:23 Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central (20:47) last Tuesday - 9th October.  Think there might be a second one around too - not sure; most have gone.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 09:48:15 am »

There is no more capacity on the Exmouth branch.  The only thing to do to make it more frequent than the current 30min interval service would to be to add an additional crossing loop between Topsham and Exmouth.  No chance. Tongue

Elsewhere, Exeter St.Davids station is already becoming a capacity constraint.  If you add additional services there would have to be a lot more platform sharing, and that is frowned upon at present due to the risks involved.  Can be cured by adding mid-platform signals.  No chance. Roll Eyes

I make no appologies concerning my negative comments about capacity improvements.  Seen it all tried before and fall apart because its put in the too difficult (and expensive) box.

Edit to add: I think in a past life I was once asked to look at capacity on the Exmouth branch and came up with the idea of having two parallel single lines betwen Topsham and Exmouth and removing (saving) a set of points at Topsham in turn.  Cheaper first cost than a new crossing loop, and less long term ongoing maintenance and renewal liability and hence cost.  Now then, what happened to that idea..... Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 10:50:10 am by SandTEngineer » Logged

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REVUpminster
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« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 11:07:25 am »

The Devon Metro does not include, at the moment, extra capacity on the Exmouth line which would require another passing loop. All the Exmouth trains would go to Paignton giving the half hour service to Paignton. The Barnstaple service every hour would run to East sidings (I think the name should be changed to Morrisons) to reverse.

Example times could be Barnstaple-Exeter Central arrives at xx.10 at St Davids then to Exeter Central, with time to tip out, then empty to Morrisons to reverse. Paignton- Exmouth arrives at St Davids at xx.15 and xx45 leaves at xx.20 and xx.50. Waterloo departs as now xx.25. It would maintain the existing connections.

The times are tight but I believe it is all computer controlled, or advised, now.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 11:27:02 am »

The Devon Metro does not include, at the moment, extra capacity on the Exmouth line which would require another passing loop. All the Exmouth trains would go to Paignton giving the half hour service to Paignton. The Barnstaple service every hour would run to East sidings (I think the name should be changed to Morrisons) to reverse.

Example times could be Barnstaple-Exeter Central arrives at xx.10 at St Davids then to Exeter Central, with time to tip out, then empty to Morrisons to reverse. Paignton- Exmouth arrives at St Davids at xx.15 and xx45 leaves at xx.20 and xx.50. Waterloo departs as now xx.25. It would maintain the existing connections.

The times are tight but I believe it is all computer controlled, or advised, now.
Some good points there, but, the signalling at Exeter is not computer controlled, its a manually controlled (but electrical) system.  One of the big constraints is the Red Cow level crossing at St.Davids.  This already gets closed for significant times each day and adding to that won't help at all.  You can fiddle with train timings quite a lot but end up with the same result.  Ultimately its track/signalling/platform capacity that becomes the biggest constraint.
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REVUpminster
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« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 11:43:11 am »

Still the same crossing closures as now for the Waterloo and Barnstaple services.

I agree about the crossing but it's about time it was replaced by a bridge that could rise alongside the tracks using railway land and the car park crossing the tracks at a suitable height North of the existing crossing.

Exeter is expected to grow by about 20,000 people in the next ten years to 140,000. Paignton (pop.50,000) and Torquay (66,000) have become commuter towns for Exeter.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 11:49:37 am by REVUpminster » Logged
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 12:08:09 pm »


...it's about time it was replaced by a bridge


Maybe so. These things can take a surprising length of time to come to fruition though, even when there is a compelling case: https://goo.gl/maps/zENN4D5BuyC2
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lympstone_commuter
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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 02:08:54 pm »


Edit to add: I think in a past life I was once asked to look at capacity on the Exmouth branch and came up with the idea of having two parallel single lines betwen Topsham and Exmouth and removing (saving) a set of points at Topsham in turn.  Cheaper first cost than a new crossing loop, and less long term ongoing maintenance and renewal liability and hence cost.  Now then, what happened to that idea..... Roll Eyes

How interesting. Did it really work out cheaper? I appreciate that the current Exe Estuary trail is mostly built (I think) on what was railway land acquired for a possible second track, but I'm thinking of having to add another track over the River Clyst bridge between Topsham and Exton, as well as several underbridges where the railway crosses lanes and streams.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 02:17:28 pm »


Edit to add: I think in a past life I was once asked to look at capacity on the Exmouth branch and came up with the idea of having two parallel single lines betwen Topsham and Exmouth and removing (saving) a set of points at Topsham in turn.  Cheaper first cost than a new crossing loop, and less long term ongoing maintenance and renewal liability and hence cost.  Now then, what happened to that idea..... Roll Eyes

How interesting. Did it really work out cheaper? I appreciate that the current Exe Estuary trail is mostly built (I think) on what was railway land acquired for a possible second track, but I'm thinking of having to add another track over the River Clyst bridge between Topsham and Exton, as well as several underbridges where the railway crosses lanes and streams.
Well I did say in a past life!  Can't remember now what the state of the bridges were at that time.  Possibly talking of at least 40 years ago Shocked
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lympstone_commuter
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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 06:55:24 pm »


Well I did say in a past life!  Can't remember now what the state of the bridges were at that time.  Possibly talking of at least 40 years ago Shocked
[/quote]

Ha ha - fair enough, S&TE! Interesting that increasing capacity for the Exmouth branch was on anyone's radar ~40 years ago. My memory (which goes back about that far) is of first generation DMUs grinding up and down the branch much less full than today and little (or no?) Sunday service.

Until the 1960s (AIUI) the branch was double from Exmouth Junction to Topsham and then single from Topsham to Exmouth (with a goods loop at Lympstone [Village]) although there was clearly enough land in railway ownership to double-track Topsham to Exmouth (never implemented) at the cost of widening some underbridges. Since then, Exmouth Junction to Topsham has been singled (with the new platforms at Digby and Newcourt taking up half of the old double track formation), and most of the line from Topsham to Exmouth now has the Exe Estuary trail alongside it on the previously "spare" land.

Consequently options for increasing trains-per-hour are limited, and would presumably need a passing loop at Lympstone Village and a passing loop (or even full redoubling) between Digby and Exmouth Junction. There is room for a second track on the viaduct at Lympstone Village station but squeezing in a second platform might be the (expensive) challenge.

That's how I see it, anyway. What do others think?

 
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 07:11:54 pm »

Consequently options for increasing trains-per-hour are limited, and would presumably need a passing loop at Lympstone Village and a passing loop (or even full redoubling) between Digby and Exmouth Junction. There is room for a second track on the viaduct at Lympstone Village station but squeezing in a second platform might be the (expensive) challenge.

That's how I see it, anyway. What do others think?

Sounds a good proposal that would work, but for timetable robustness I would go with your double track section idea.  However, such a sensible proposal would, of course, get entirely bogged down in the NR GRIP process and never see the light of day Tongue
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TonyK
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 07:47:00 pm »

I am new so bear with me. I have looked at the pocket timetables for 2019 which do not seem to be any different to now. Can someone please tell me what has happened to the proposed Devon Metro (and new services to Cornwall) as I understood they would still come in in January even though the 802's would not use an accelerated timetable until May..


Welcome from me, also! I watch the Devon Metro news more carefully since I moved to within 3 miles of Tiverton Parkway. From the answers already given, we can see that any change to a railway is always a frustrating slow matter, and like the wings of the butterfly starting a hurricane, the smallest thing can cause major headaches elsewhere. The good news is that the general direction seems to be forward,even with all the snags along the way.
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« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 04:36:38 pm »

Consequently options for increasing trains-per-hour are limited, and would presumably need a passing loop at Lympstone Village and a passing loop (or even full redoubling) between Digby and Exmouth Junction. There is room for a second track on the viaduct at Lympstone Village station but squeezing in a second platform might be the (expensive) challenge.

That's how I see it, anyway. What do others think?

Sounds a good proposal that would work, but for timetable robustness I would go with your double track section idea.  However, such a sensible proposal would, of course, get entirely bogged down in the NR GRIP process and never see the light of day Tongue

Is there any mileage in persuading Exeter Chiefs to part-fund a loop/turn-back between Digby and Sowton and Newcourt?
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