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Author Topic: Bodmin Parkway to Bodmin General  (Read 1777 times)
grahame
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« on: March 07, 2019, 08:09:13 pm »

From Cornwall Council's response to the GW Franchise consultation about a year ago.

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What other locations or routes do you think should be considered for adding to the franchise?

An initial study carried out jointly by GWR and Cornwall Council has shown that a commuter style passenger service between Bodmin Parkway and Bodmin General is operationally feasible. We would like this to be developed further in the franchise extension and included after 2020 as a trial service if it is viable.

Bodmin is experiencing significant housing growth (3,100 new homes by 2030) and a new Further Education college was opened in 2017 which has plans to grow over future years. Bodmin Parkway is 3 miles from the town of Bodmin and users currently have the option of driving, although the car park is often full, catching an hourly bus service or using a cycle link (mainly used by leisure cyclists). An initial feasibility study has shown that a commuter style morning and evening service could be operated without jeopardising the heritage railway operations. There is local support for exploring an improved rail connection into the town. Reducing car dependent travel for commuters and education journeys is a key aim of Cornwall Council’s local transport plan.

I have looked but nor found a thread on this topic (amazing!)  and there looks to be an awful lot of sense in it.  No firsthand knowledge (but I expect others can fill us in) ... but have heard rumblings and have wondered.  Would it dilute it too much to reverse at Bodmin General and carry on to Wadebridge?
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2019, 08:34:26 pm »

“Catching an hourly bus”

Maybe a bit more credit could go to the research if they checked basic facts! The buses are a bit more often than hourly during the day time at least.

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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2019, 10:01:58 pm »

Yes, but on the current railway timetable there are either too short bus connections or the opposite, too long ones (some up to 50mins).
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2019, 10:33:33 pm »

Yes, but on the current railway timetable there are either too short bus connections or the opposite, too long ones (some up to 50mins).

"some up to 50mins" ... now there's a metric that changes come December. And (at the moment  Grin ) that's December 2019.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2019, 09:36:22 am »

I can't say too much at present, but its common knowledge that there are big expansion plans for Bodmin General station.  More will be revealed in April/May 2019.
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SandTEngineer
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2019, 09:42:28 am »

Yes, but on the current railway timetable there are either too short bus connections or the opposite, too long ones (some up to 50mins).

"some up to 50mins" ... now there's a metric that changes come December. And (at the moment  Grin ) that's December 2019.

I think I'll wait until we see the actual timetable.  Although its promised as a two trains an hour frequency, its not yet certain that means at regular 30min intervals.  My guessing is it won't be, as the through trains to/from stations East of Plymouth are not at regular times past each hour at present.
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2019, 02:11:29 pm »

Yes, but on the current railway timetable there are either too short bus connections or the opposite, too long ones (some up to 50mins).

"some up to 50mins" ... now there's a metric that changes come December. And (at the moment  Grin ) that's December 2019.

I think I'll wait until we see the actual timetable.  Although its promised as a two trains an hour frequency, its not yet certain that means at regular 30min intervals.  My guessing is it won't be, as the through trains to/from stations East of Plymouth are not at regular times past each hour at present.

It won’t be at 30 min intervals thoughout if ones a stopper and one an express, the gap will get bigger or closer as they get further west.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2019, 03:40:46 pm »

It won’t be at 30 min intervals thoughout if ones a stopper and one an express, the gap will get bigger or closer as they get further west.

Informed sources suggest that if a couple of trains were adjusted by no more that 3 minutes each it would be exactly half hourly in both directions at Bodmin Parkway.  Logic for the most even possible service if to have the "exact 30 minutes" scenario about halfway, though to do so would lead to issues while any of the line remains single track (i.e. probably 'for ever', bearing in mind the grade 1 listed building on the line between St Budeaux and Saltash.)
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LiskeardRich
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2019, 04:25:37 pm »

the line remains single track (i.e. probably 'for ever', bearing in mind the grade 1 listed building on the line between St Budeaux and Saltash.)

Rather inconsiderate of them to build a listed building in the way of widening the railway  Grin  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2019, 05:44:31 pm »

Redoubling from St.Budeaux to the bridge would shorten the section but the bridge over the Gunnislake branch would need a second deck. So would nit be cheap.
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Andy
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 11:51:31 am »

Redoubling from St.Budeaux to the bridge would shorten the section but the bridge over the Gunnislake branch would need a second deck. So would nit be cheap.

If, in addition to the increase in service frequency on the Cornish main line, the Tavistock reinstatement ever were to happen, potentially increasing frequency of trains on and off the branch, there'd be a stronger case for redoubling back to the listed building. St Budeaux might become a bit of a pinch point, otherwise.
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rower40
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2019, 09:39:58 am »

Would it dilute it too much to reverse at Bodmin General and carry on to Wadebridge?
As someone with a certificate that says I am allowed to operate Bodmin General signalbox...

There's a "king lever" that effectively locks all the points, and switches the line to "one engine in steam" between Bodmin General and Bodmin Parkway.  This would be the likely operating mode for a commuter service using a DMU, so that a signaller wouldn't be needed at antisocial hours.  Then, when the signaller turns up, they collect the token from the DMU driver, put the signals back to red, move the king lever back to "normal" (unlocking the points etc), and then revert to the standard heritage operating methods.

So running an out-of-hours service other than a General<->Parkway shuttle requires extra (probably-paid) out-of-hours staff - i.e. a signaller.

Extension beyond Boscarne Junction to Wadebridge has quite a lot of obstacles - not least two level crossings to re-instate on the first mile, one of which is across a road on a 1:10 (or thereabouts) gradient.  Because it's been closed to rail for so long, any "grandfather" rights have ceased, and it'll be challenging to get a safety case.   Then there's the problem of providing space for the extremely-popular Camel Trail bike route.

I can't say too much at present, but its common knowledge that there are big expansion plans for Bodmin General station.  More will be revealed in April/May 2019.
The raffle tickets sent out with the latest issue of the B&W's magazine/newsletter state that the raffle is to raise funds for Bodmin General's second platform.  That too will be a signalling "challenge".
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