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Author Topic: Portishead Line reopening for passengers - ongoing discussion  (Read 328461 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #990 on: July 29, 2022, 08:10:35 pm »

The scheme which WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about) will vote on on Fri 29th includes the following changes:

o Reduction of scope to bring the existing freight line up to passenger train line standards
o Reduction of Portishead and Pill platform lengths from 5-Car to 3-Car
o Removal of Portishead Station building
o Reduction in selected highway scope (car parks, bridge works)
o Change in governance model, with DfT» (Department for Transport - about) taking on the client role.

Worth noting that the report considers, and discounts, the option of cancelling the project.

The full report is here:

https://westofengland-ca.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s5167/MetroWest%201%20Portishead%20Line.pdf


This all looks like some of those savings that will cost a lot more in the long run, probably sooner. Does this mean that the planned realignment to increase line speed won't go ahead? That in itself isn't a problem, but will wreck any chance of an Ashton Gate station. The station building at Portishead could be more like St Andrews Road with a couple of bus shelters rather than a Brunelesque building, but it is rather removing the cherry from the bun. Three-car Turbos (I assume) once hourly are likely to be cosy at peak, and extending a platform always seems much harder than building it the right length in the first place. Still, get it built, quick. Ish.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #991 on: July 30, 2022, 12:25:28 pm »

FoSBR» (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways - site) attended the WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about) meeting on Friday. You can read our full report and thoughts here:

https://fosbr.org.uk/funding-agreed-for-portishead-railway/
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« Reply #992 on: July 30, 2022, 12:49:19 pm »

Is anyone able to explain please, about the 3 car platform and the rule of only one car hanging over each end?

For example at Worle there are often 9 car IET (Intercity Express Train) stopping with 4 cars haning off one end, similar Nailsea & Backwell and Yatton.   In fact all trains that are too long, I have never seen carriages off both ends, normally one end is on a platform.  (Probably back to the day when HST (High Speed Train) had the bike/luggage van at the A end and this was always platformed at the expense of first class pax having to walk through).

Edit: It's occurred to me about whether you can walk through or not - but then there are 2x5 IETs that have the whole of one unit off the end, so surely a 3+2 turbo could have the 2 off the end.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2022, 12:58:18 pm by alan_s » Logged
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« Reply #993 on: July 30, 2022, 03:19:49 pm »

Turbos don’t have selective door operation, like IET (Intercity Express Train)’s do.  They have now been fitted with local door operation (i.e. the guard operates one set of doors locally).

The whole ‘one vehicle off each end is ok, but not two at terminal stations’ statement makes no sense to me, unless you have a train with SDO (Selective Door Opening) fitted.  And even then it doesn’t make much sense!
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« Reply #994 on: July 30, 2022, 05:15:49 pm »

Thanks, glad it's not just me who is totally baffled.
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jamestheredengine
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« Reply #995 on: July 30, 2022, 10:22:43 pm »

Is anyone able to explain please, about the 3 car platform and the rule of only one car hanging over each end?

For example at Worle there are often 9 car IET (Intercity Express Train) stopping with 4 cars haning off one end, similar Nailsea & Backwell and Yatton.   In fact all trains that are too long, I have never seen carriages off both ends, normally one end is on a platform.  (Probably back to the day when HST (High Speed Train) had the bike/luggage van at the A end and this was always platformed at the expense of first class pax having to walk through).

Edit: It's occurred to me about whether you can walk through or not - but then there are 2x5 IETs that have the whole of one unit off the end, so surely a 3+2 turbo could have the 2 off the end.
In the days of HSTs, neither end fitted into the up platform at Neath. As I recall, the stop marker was placed some distance past the platform, so that the first passenger door was right at the end of the platform.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #996 on: August 04, 2022, 08:55:20 pm »

Just spotted https://www.liamfox.co.uk/sites/www.liamfox.co.uk/files/2022-07/Response%20from%20Transport%20Secretary%20-%20Portishead%20Railway_0.pdfthis on Liam Fox's website:

Quote
28 July 2022
Dear Liam,
Thank you for your letter of 24 May regarding the funding of the MetroWest
Phase 1b scheme to restore railway services between Bristol and Portishead.
I apologise for the delay in my response.
I know that the Portishead scheme has the ability to bring the communities of
Bristol and Portishead closer together and address some of the
Government’s key priorities, from levelling up the economy to supporting jobs,
growth and decarbonisation. It also addresses the congestion issue on the
A369 which results in lengthy journeys.
I am pleased to say that my Department is committing to contribute additional
funding of £15.58 million to close the scheme’s funding gap, to come from the
Restoring Your Railway fund. This funding is conditional on formal
commitments being made by North Somerset Council and the West of
England Combined Authority (WECA» (West of England Combined Authority - about)) to increase their funding to the scheme
by £10 million each. The Rail Minister, Wendy Morton MP (Member of Parliament), has written to the
leaders of North Somerset Council and WECA to confirm this.
The funding will support the development of the scheme’s Full Business
Case, which we look forward to receiving in Autumn 2023.
Yours ever,
Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR TRANSPORT

The last paragraph confuses me. I had thought that with the finding in place, work could start. The extra money from the DfT» (Department for Transport - about) was, I thought, to cover the cost of delaying the start of work caused by the DfT being so slow to approve the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation).

Can anyone explain to me how it can be that after all this time we are only now going to prepare the Business Case?
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« Reply #997 on: August 04, 2022, 09:48:11 pm »

Looking at the GRIP (Guide to Railway Investment Projects) progress thermometer on the Portishead railway group website  the DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) has to be approved first. I emailed Dan Norris to ask him to chase Grant Shapps every day this month to get it approved before Liz Truss takes over. A new SoS might just look at all the overuns of this project  and cut it completely with a recession looming. Surely once the DCO is approved, it cannot be cancelled.....
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« Reply #998 on: October 01, 2022, 11:50:34 am »

Portishead Railway Group have issued this statement concerning a proposed development at Ashton Vale:

Quote
Objection to The proposed Longmoor Village development

Why the twin planning applications to Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council must be refused in their present forms

There are two planning applications for a proposed development of mixed housing on greenbelt land; they are:

Bristol City Council planning application 21/03166/P
North Somerset Council planning application 21/P1679/OUT

In summary; the planning application to Bristol City Council is for a development of some 510 housing units, and the planning application to North Somerset Council is predominantly for roadway access onto the existing road network that falls within the North Somerset Council jurisdiction.

Portishead Railway Group’s Statement regarding the proposed development

Why Portishead Railway Group objects to the twin planning applications in their current form

Future development of the re-opened Bristol-Portishead Railway line will be jeopardised by the proposed Longmoor Village development.

The long-aspired reopening of the Bristol-Portishead railway was originally intended to provide a half-hourly service in both directions. All other recent railway reopenings have seen their passenger-usage rates vastly exceed their original predictions.

Most notably:
  • The Borders Railway has had to receive further massive infrastructure investment to cope with the increased number of passengers and trains, and this continues.
  • Similarly, the Ebbw Vale Line is just about to commence a similarly massive spate of further investment to provide increase infrastructure to cater for an increased number of
    trains to cope with the increased number of passengers.

There is no reason to think that the future of a reopened Bristol-Portishead railway will be any different, particularly in view of the overriding need to shift road transport away from single occupancy vehicles onto mass-transit schemes.

Why the proposed Longmoor Village development would jeopardise the long-term development of the Bristol-Portishead railway

The following summary explains why the current railway reopening scheme has had to be based upon an hourly service in each direction, with a 45-minute service at peak times:

1. To allow for the necessary guard-times either side of a train movement across the level crossing between Winterstoke Road and the Ashton Vale trading estate, a half-hourly train service in each direction would have meant that the level crossing would be closed to vehicular traffic for more than 50% of the time, with nowhere for queuing traffic to wait.
2. Therefore, to facilitate a half-hourly train service in both directions would require the permanent closure of the existing level crossing.
3. A road access bridge over the railway is impossible, so the only viable solution would be to build a new access road from the south of the Ashton Vale trading estate, to link up with the existing road network within the North Somerset Council jurisdiction. A scheme for this was devised by Metrowest and costed.
4. Unfortunately, the cost of provision of the new access road and the necessary compulsory purchase to facilitate its construction contributed to a funding mis-match between the available budget, and that required to complete the overall scheme.

Closing statement from Portishead Railway Group

Unless the proposed Longmoor Village development takes account of the inevitable future need to build a new access road between the Ashton Vale trading estate and the existing road network within North Somerset Council’s jurisdiction, then the Bristol-Portishead railway would never be able to accommodate a half-hourly train service.

This restriction on train frequency would severely limit the future ability to provide mass transport of people between Bristol, Pill and Portishead in a reduced-carbon manner.

Consequently, Portishead Railway Group urges Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council to reject the twin planning applications, and to make it clear to the would-be developer, and to any other would-be developers, that the relevant land area could only be similarly developed if provision for a new access road corridor for the Ashton Vale trading estate is included, ring-fenced, and built as part of a future development scheme.
Source: Portishead Railway Group
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« Reply #999 on: November 14, 2022, 06:27:55 pm »

PORTISHEAD BRANCH LINE – METROWEST PHASE 1B DEVELOPMENT CONSENT ORDER 2022

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   The Secretary of State has decided, following consideration of the report of the Examining Authority who conducted an examination into the application, that development consent should be granted and therefore has made an Order under s114, 115 and 120 of the Planning Act 2008.

https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR040011/TR040011-001708-Reg%2031%20Notice.pdf


Quote
   The statement of reasons for deciding to make an Order granting development consent, which has been prepared by the Secretary of State under section 116 of the 2008 Act and regulation 31(2) of the Infrastructure Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, containing the content of the decision, the requirements imposed in connection with the development, the main reasons and considerations on which the decision is based including relevant information about the participation of the public, a description of the main measures to avoid, reduce and offset any major effects of the development, and information regarding the right to challenge the decision and the procedures for doing so, is published on the Planning Inspectorate’s website: https://infrastructure.planning
https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/projects/south-west/portishead-branch-line-metrowest-phase-1/
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johnneyw
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« Reply #1000 on: November 14, 2022, 07:49:51 pm »

Does this mean what I think it does?  Forgive me for asking but after all this time and all the delays and disappointments, it all seems a little unreal right now.  Does the bottle of bubbly come out of the fridge?
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« Reply #1001 on: November 14, 2022, 09:34:31 pm »

I would love to think it is Full steam ahead, all systems go....for the next 3 days at least. Roll Eyes
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #1002 on: November 14, 2022, 10:25:53 pm »

Does this mean what I think it does?  Forgive me for asking but after all this time and all the delays and disappointments, it all seems a little unreal right now.  Does the bottle of bubbly come out of the fridge?

It should, shouldn't it? I share your sentiment though, especially now - days before expected cuts to infrastructure budgets.

Full DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) document is here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR040011/TR040011-001710-DCO%20as%20made%20by%20SoS.pdf
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« Reply #1003 on: November 15, 2022, 08:51:44 am »

I'm not going to chill the ice bucket just yet...
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« Reply #1004 on: November 15, 2022, 09:08:25 am »

Do you think the new minister (i.e. SoS) came into the office on his first day shouting "what can I sign? I need to get my name in the history books as building a railway!"? The response from his civil servants was "well, minister, at the moment we've only got this Portishead DCO (Driver Controlled Operation) that's just about ready. The next one isn't due for some time ... how long will you be here, do you think?"
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