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Author Topic: Paths west of Plymouth  (Read 876 times)
RailCornwall
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« on: September 18, 2020, 07:17:58 pm »

I've been musing.

Considering the current infrastructure west of Plymouth and the pre C19 level of service provided by GWR and XC, I'm really interested in hearing from experts here what leeway there is for additional services running alongside those currently running? An example would the long proposed Falmouth Docks - Newquay be able to run frequently during a working day without making sacrifices against current traffic. Similarly could a semi-regular Truro - Penzance shuttle run alongside current services? There are known bottlenecks such as Largin in the east too, to consider.

Could any Open Access service also be possible, I think not?

It's my view as an interested outsider that the infrastructure and relevant paths created by it, during the day is pretty full now.
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ellendune
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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 10:13:22 pm »

and the pre C19 level of service provided by GWR and XC,

What do you mean by this?  A pre C19 train service would be none at all.  There were no passenger rail services before 1800 to the best of my knowledge. 

I think you will find that a C19 service would have been more sparse than we think. 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 10:20:50 pm »

and the pre C19 level of service provided by GWR and XC,

What do you mean by this?  A pre C19 train service would be none at all.  There were no passenger rail services before 1800 to the best of my knowledge. 

I think you will find that a C19 service would have been more sparse than we think. 

I'll get your coat 😉
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2020, 06:30:17 am »

I'm really interested in hearing from experts here what leeway there is for additional services running alongside those currently running?

As a none-expert, may I add some thoughts?

I think there are three single line sections - between St Budeaux and Saltash, Liskeard and Bodmin Parkway, and St Erth and Penzance.  The current 30 minute service is probably about the limit though those sections - especially as the through services have to be knitted to fit all three single line sections. But for Truro - Par, really no problem stepping up to a 15 minute service that I can see; might be signalling / headway issues.  Whether such extra trains could be synchronised to the single line to Falmouth running every 30 minutes, the offsets of the eastbound and westbound mainline trains necessitated by the remote single line sections, and the single line via St Blazey to Goonbarrow and then on to Newquay I question / doubt.

Expert comment welcome.

and the pre C19 level of service provided by GWR and XC,

I'm going signal double amber not green ... I am not convinced that post-covid services will rise to pre-covid levels, or levels that were planned at that time.  There is both a risk and an opportunity there - the risk that trains which are doing more than simply adding capacity will be 'taken out', and the opportunity to put in something different and fit for the future.

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Could any Open Access service also be possible, I think not?

Technically, it probably could be. Practically, it feels highly unlikely to me in terms of the financial model that would need to be found, the risk that someone would need to take to do it, and the utter off-putting complexity and roadblocks that seem to be thrown in the way of such proposals.

But ... we are in changing times.  We hear talk of localism.  We see some really good stuff from some councils such as Cornwall (and some less that helpful initial reports from our subnational transport boards).  It is not beyond the bounds of dreams to have a Cornwall Metro, run by and within Cornwall / extension to Plymouth. 

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Jamsdad
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2020, 01:06:24 pm »

Really interesting ideas here. Cornwall signalling upgrades probably does now make additional capacity a possibility. Pre Covid data in Cornwall has shown a very significant increase on most lines across Cornwall and my feeling as a local would be that if you increase service frequency then customers follow. Newquay branch is awfully slow  but a Falmouth- Truro- Newquay service via Burngullow could be a game changer. Cornwall Council is very pro-rail, so thats an added plus.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2020, 05:49:09 pm »

Really interesting ideas here. Cornwall signalling upgrades probably does now make additional capacity a possibility. Pre Covid data in Cornwall has shown a very significant increase on most lines across Cornwall and my feeling as a local would be that if you increase service frequency then customers follow. Newquay branch is awfully slow  but a Falmouth- Truro- Newquay service via Burngullow could be a game changer. Cornwall Council is very pro-rail, so thats an added plus.

Given the effect which Brexit is likely to have on Cornwall, quite possibly more serious than anywhere else in the UK, I suspect that CCC will be watching every penny.

I still can't quite work out what the Cornish were thinking of when they voted so decisively to turn their backs on the Union which has been underwriting them for decades.
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ellendune
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2020, 06:34:41 pm »

I still can't quite work out what the Cornish were thinking of when they voted so decisively to turn their backs on the Union which has been underwriting them for decades.

The thinking is that it was a kick at London-centric politics that had neglected them and their ills for so long, coupled with a campaign that, rightly or wrongly blamed all those ills on the EU. A recent study of view in the northern red wall seats included phrases such as London robbing from them. If you look for example at transport spending per person across the country it is clear that this is a real grievance.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 08:33:21 am »

I still can't quite work out what the Cornish were thinking of when they voted so decisively to turn their backs on the Union which has been underwriting them for decades.

The thinking is that it was a kick at London-centric politics that had neglected them and their ills for so long, coupled with a campaign that, rightly or wrongly blamed all those ills on the EU. A recent study of view in the northern red wall seats included phrases such as London robbing from them. If you look for example at transport spending per person across the country it is clear that this is a real grievance.

I suspect the situation is somewhat nuanced across the country however in the case of Cornwall, however motivated it's quite possibly the most extreme example of cutting off your nose to spite your face in history........
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ellendune
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« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2020, 12:47:49 pm »

I suspect the situation is somewhat nuanced across the country however in the case of Cornwall, however motivated it's quite possibly the most extreme example of cutting off your nose to spite your face in history........

Quite possibly but still important to understand why the people voted that way as it should be a wake up call for our politicians.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2020, 01:13:37 pm »

I suspect the situation is somewhat nuanced across the country however in the case of Cornwall, however motivated it's quite possibly the most extreme example of cutting off your nose to spite your face in history........

Quite possibly but still important to understand why the people voted that way as it should be a wake up call for our politicians.

.....actually l made a mistake with "possibly"..........https://www.indy100.com/article/cornwall-brexit-funding-boris-johnson-eu-government-9626146
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2020, 12:31:00 am »

It might be worth bearing in mind that much of the anti-EU sentiment in the UK was stirred up by a rabble-rousing journalist with the Spectator, with his half-baked stories about curly cucumbers, bendy bananas, ice pillows for dead kippers and so on.

A rather portly mop-headed blonde haired fellow as I recall. I wonder what became of him...
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grahame
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2020, 06:19:49 am »

We appear to have strayed off the paths for trains here.  The "Brexit vote" was a binary choice vote between two packages, and I'm sure that there were many thinking people who found elements of both packages on offer attractive, and elements of both packages deeply worrying.  How thinking people compromised prior to voting or decided they could not support either package, how much bias and lies there were in either sides' presentations, and whether people voted with their hearts or heads (or were able to use their heads properly through all the **** thrown at us) is probably not a topic to look at in "Paths West of Plymouth".   Should the discussion carry on here, I will attempt to split the thread.
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Lee
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2020, 09:45:11 am »

Whilst i do agree with grahame that this thread probably shouldnt go "all-political", and probably should be split if it does, I do think there is a legitimate debate to be had as to what effect Brexit might have on the future development of the rail network "Paths west of Plymouth", particularly given that schemes such as the Penryn loop, St Erth Interchange, Probus-Burngullow doubling and Newquay-St Dennis-St Austell feasibility study all received significant EU funding.

This may well largely depend on whether Cornish rail schemes are successful in receiving "Reversing Beeching" funding, whether similar funding is available and can be obtained in the future, and indeed whether further coronavirus waves/lockdowns strangle it all at birth.
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