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Author Topic: Gloucester to Hereford via Ross on Wye  (Read 2591 times)
Celestial
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2020, 10:50:51 am »

I don't buy the alternative route for freight argument. You can avoid both the Severn Tunnel and the Lickey incline by going via Lydney and Kidderminster.

But I do agree that traffic into Gloucester is awful.  Having once had to get to the far side of the city for 9am I thought I had lots of spare time heading up the A48 from Chepstow, but ground to a halt well before the Highnam roundabout and eventually arrived 30 minutes late. Though whether a rail line all the way to Ross is a proportionate answer to that problem is debatable.  And a lot of the offices generating traffic are too far out of town for the current station to be of any use (as I found out during my slow crawl along the northern bypass).  
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2020, 12:39:23 pm »

 And a lot of the offices generating traffic are too far out of town for the current station to be of any use (as I found out during my slow crawl along the northern bypass).  

Perhaps we need the Gloucester Docks branch reopened with a new use for one of these

https://www.flickr.com/photos/train-pix/8167455154/

Wink
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2020, 03:13:14 pm »

Back in my 'crayonista' days shortly in the mid-1970s as I sat looking at maps (as one does...) of the surviving railway network this was one of the gaps that seemed to be to be glaring (as gaps do...).

One thing that was obvious to my eyes was that the general grain of the railway network ran north-east to south-west: the Heart of Wales line from Craven Arms, the (Birmingham) - Worcester - Hereford - Newport route and the Birmingham - Bristol main line. The remaining network made it very difficult for any traveller to go across the grain. Not that I suppose in thinly populated Herefordshire many people would want to, but the inhabitants of Hereford have to make do with very circuitous routes.

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

However it will be an uphill climb. It's roughly 20 miles from Grange Court Junction to Hereford and as a rule of thumb one can reckon with a cost of £20 million per mile for a single track line to £40 million for a double track line with more extensive land take and earthworks. These figures hold even if the right of way is mostly clear of buildings so £500 million I would reckon is a minimum.

But I hope somebody rises to the challenge.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2020, 03:51:29 pm »

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do.
But Oxford and Cambridge have many hi-tech start ups, financial institutions, and all their associated highly paid people, not to mention the clout of Fenland Poly and Cotswold College. Whereas all Gloucester and Hereford have is the SAS. Hang on, I think I see a possibility here... a little coup d'etat, if no one objects? I don't think we've had one since 1688, we must be due another!
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grahame
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2020, 05:10:13 pm »

I recall (but cannot find) plans for a new town about 8 to 10 km out of Gloucester to the north of the River Severn and that could provide a significant additional traffic.

Found it!

https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/gloucester-news/new-5000-home-eco-village-3799987

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Developers want to build a massive 5,000 home “eco village” with it’s own railway station and park and ride alongside the A48 in Gloucestershire.

Proposals have been put forward for a brand new town on farmland between the river and the picturesque village of Westbury-on-Severn.

According to Ridge and Partners of Cheltenham it will be a self-contained, eco friendly village because they plan to reopen a closed train station on the main Newport to Gloucester railway line and build a new road linking the A48 to the A40.

Looking at a map, I suspect this would be to the west of a Grange Court Junction, where the Hereford via Ross-o-Wye line branched off from the still-open line via Lydney.

Noting what others are saying, though, I suspect that much of your commuter issue would not be dented unless your trains coming in via Grange Court extended to stations and Barnwood and at Churchdown. Cheltenham Spa station itself would be within walking distance for anyone working in the Benhall area of that town.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #20 on: May 28, 2020, 11:08:17 pm »

A station at Newnham, or even at Westbury-on-Severn itself, would be better positioned to capture the traffic from this new 'eco-town' as well as maybe from Cinderford, and without having to build a new line.
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grahame
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2020, 07:57:14 am »

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

Yes ... but comparisons are sensible to make, but there are many elements here which are not close comparisons

Location        Pop.    |       Pop.    Location

Cambridge (c)   123000  |       128000  Gloucester (c)
Sandy (c)       12000   |       4500    Micheldean and Longhope
Bedford  (c)    106000  |       11000   Ross-on-Wye
Bletchley (c)   37000*  |       1000    Weston under Penyard
Oxford   (c)    154000  |       70000   Hereford (c)

Miles between   85      |       30
Miles reinstate 55      |       20

(c) - offers connections to other rail services
* - 230000 if you include Milton Keynes as a whole


On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2020, 09:04:36 am »

On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.

The line was used as a diversionary route when the Severn Tunnel was closed for engineering works. A photograph appeared in Modern Railways sometime in 1963/64 showing a Warship at Longhope on just such a train.

Other than for that reason I am unaware of any through traffic using the route
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ellendune
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2020, 09:29:31 am »

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do. It would make reaching Bristol and Swindon from large areas easier than using the dogs-leg via Newport and directly connect two large towns.

Yes ... but comparisons are sensible to make, but there are many elements here which are not close comparisons

Location        Pop.    |       Pop.    Location

Cambridge (c)   123000  |       128000  Gloucester (c)
Sandy (c)       12000   |       4500    Micheldean and Longhope
Bedford  (c)    106000  |       11000   Ross-on-Wye
Bletchley (c)   37000*  |       1000    Weston under Penyard
Oxford   (c)    154000  |       70000   Hereford (c)

Miles between   85      |       30
Miles reinstate 55      |       20

(c) - offers connections to other rail services
* - 230000 if you include Milton Keynes as a whole


On "doglegs" from Bristol to Hereford - did trains even go via Ross-on-Wye when the line was open?  I've always though of that flow historically being via the Maindee curve at Newport, with through services until quite recent times.

The comparison also to make between those two is how far is the shortest alternative rail route?  In the case of Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford to Cambridge it is via London.  Gloucester to Hereford can be via Worcester or Newport - not sure which is shortest.
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rogerw
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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2020, 10:08:55 am »

In rough figures, 88 miles via Newport and 58 Miles via Worcester.  Better connections via Newport with at least hourly services on each leg as against the roughly two hourly service to Worcester. Fares are the same by either route
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4064ReadingAbbey
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« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2020, 04:05:26 pm »

In a sense re-opening the Hereford - Gloucester line would seem to plug the same sort of gap in Herefordshire and parts of the erstwhile county of Gwent that the Oxford to Cambridge line will do.
But Oxford and Cambridge have many hi-tech start ups, financial institutions, and all their associated highly paid people, not to mention the clout of Fenland Poly and Cotswold College. Whereas all Gloucester and Hereford have is the SAS. Hang on, I think I see a possibility here... a little coup d'etat, if no one objects? I don't think we've had one since 1688, we must be due another!
I like that idea...who dares, wins.

I appreciate that the economic base is very different - I specifically mentioned that Herefordshire is thinly populated. My remark was in reference to the re-instated Oxford - Bletchley - Cambridge line cutting across the general grain of the mainly north - south and northwest - southeast main line alignments in its area where no such links exists at the moment. In either case the re-instated lines would/could make it more attractive to use rail for many journeys which otherwise would not be attempted by rail. As an example a Leominster to Gloucester (or Swindon) journey would be easier in the same way as a Bristol or Swindon to Milton Keynes journey will be after East-West Railway opens.

Whether such routes will cover their costs is another question entirely.
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grahame
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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2020, 10:52:27 am »

4 page "Dossier for Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford Rail Link – by Richard Pill May 2020" at https://irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/d0a88cb3/files/uploaded/Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford%20rail%20link%20Dossier%2026-05-2020%20.pdf

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In Brief: The ERTA have identified the Gloucester-Ross-on-Wye-Hereford rail link as a missing strategic rail link. It would combine a local, regional and inter-regional sustainable transit corridor for both passenger and freight movements sustainably.
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Noggin
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2020, 05:02:04 pm »

In all honesty I would have thought that regional rail electrification would better serve the greater good. But certainly protect the trackbed and build the market with a high-quality bus link.
 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2020, 08:09:26 pm »

In crayonistadom, I looked at the OS map and tried to retrace the route from Ross to Glos. It seems to have been almost designed to avoid places! It passes just by but not quite in Longhope, which itself is not quite Mitcheldean, which is not that large a place anyway. It also misses Newnham and Westbury-on-Severn. Continuing crayonistadom, I'd have thought a northern route might be more useful today, via Newent and Highnam.
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Celestial
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« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2020, 08:39:12 pm »

In crayonistadom, I looked at the OS map and tried to retrace the route from Ross to Glos. It seems to have been almost designed to avoid places! It passes just by but not quite in Longhope, which itself is not quite Mitcheldean, which is not that large a place anyway. It also misses Newnham and Westbury-on-Severn. Continuing crayonistadom, I'd have thought a northern route might be more useful today, via Newent and Highnam.
The northern route via Newent went to Ledbury.

I would have thought a reopened Grange Court station, or possibly next to the A48 at Westbury, would be a reasonable P&R station catchment for the Forest of Dean.  If you also had a station at Barnwood to cater for commuters at the Gloucester end and a decent frequency of trains then that could be a viable option. Wouldn't help with Ross on Wye mind. 
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