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Author Topic: 'Reopen' database  (Read 6018 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: October 01, 2020, 10:04:35 am »

Bath-based Jack Martin Leith has set up what looks to be a useful database of rail reopening schemes. Worth a browse, I'd say:

http://reopen.org.uk/

« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 10:10:28 am by Red Squirrel » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2020, 12:10:42 pm »

Bath-based Jack Martin Leith has set up what looks to be a useful database of rail reopening schemes. Worth a browse, I'd say:

http://reopen.org.uk/



Certainly worth a browse.  Very much (and stated as being) work in progress - quite a number of schemes to add.    I would love to see an overall map - perhaps no more than pushpins with links - to give the index some geographic context.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2020, 04:26:07 pm »

A few things jumped out at me as I looked through it.

Firstly, some of it appears very fanciful to say the least. It?s all very well listing currently freight only lines for the reinstatement of a passenger service, but quite another to build a new line ? even a short one. For example, how much would it cost to reinstate the Thornbury branch beyond Tytherington and what would the CBR (Cost Benefit Ratioi (1/BCR)) look like even if you proposed it?

Secondly it appears that whilst the list looks impressive at first sight, there are a lot of multiple entries (eg. listing the Portishead branch for reopening and also listing separately proposals for stations on that route).

I also see that Sheffield Victoria appears on the list. What for? What sensible purpose would be achieved? Yes there is a single freight only line going through the station site, but if there was a case for the restoration of a local suburban service (which I doubt because if there was a case then the Sheffield tram network would be running there already) then it would be a straightforward matter to reverse trans into Sheffield (Midland) which did happen for a few years before the Penistone services were diverted via Barnsley. It doesn?t appear possible to look more closely into what they have in mind here because clicking on the link within the station name returns error 404 page not found.

Edited to add - I have now found some details on their Chesterfield to Sheffield via Stavely and Killamarsh page. According to that page, this scheme has already been succesful at the bid stage and Victoria would be the Sheffield termimus of these trains. If that terminus proposal has also been successful at the bid stage I totally fail to see what the point of having a second station in central Sheffield is when the trains could run straight into Midland -unless thre were capacity issues of course. But even if there were, that would hardly attract longer distance passengers who needed a connecting service., and that service left from the other station


« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 04:37:40 pm by Robin Summerhill » Logged
grahame
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2020, 04:39:46 pm »

A few things jumped out at me as I looked through it.

I have been in touch with Jack ... to see if now or later is the stage to review / suggest what may be missing, bearing in mind it is work in progress. After that exchange, I suggest we hold fire on flooding the forum, or Jack, just yet with comments many of which he knows and is going to get to.  And will, I suspect, sort out and link associated schemes.

Quote
Firstly, some of it appears very fanciful to say the least. It?s all very well listing currently freight only lines for the reinstatement of a passenger service, but quite another to build a new line ? even a short one. For example, how much would it cost to reinstate the Thornbury branch beyond Tytherington and what would the CBR (Cost Benefit Ratioi (1/BCR)) look like even if you proposed it?

Secondly it appears that whilst the list looks impressive at first sight, there are a lot of multiple entries (eg. listing the Portishead branch for reopening and also listing separately proposals for stations on that route).

I also see that Sheffield Victoria appears on the list. What for? What sensible purpose would be achieved? Yes there is a single freight only line going through the station site, but if there was a case for the restoration of a local suburban service (which I doubt because if there was a case then the Sheffield tram network would be running there already) then it would be a straightforward matter to reverse trans into Sheffield (Midland) which did happen for a few years before the Penistone services were diverted via Barnsley. It doesn?t appear possible to look more closely into what they have in mind here because clicking on the link within the station name returns error 404 page not found.

Ah - but if you're going to index all the schemes out there ... it's everything from Fleetwood and other marginal constituency favourites through to Builth Road to Moat Lane Junction from the parti loony raving anghenfil manifesto.   This is a nightmare of a decision on what to include that the local RailFuture branch has had (and differed in option with the national leadership on!).





Edited to add ...

Edited (on my part) to suggest that individual project are handled under individual or group threads once we get beyond their soundbites?
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JackAtReopen
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2020, 04:44:42 pm »

Thanks for the shout out. Greatly appreciated!

My intention is to have every line and station reopening / opening scheme covered by Christmas. Currently there are 90+ pages at various levels of completion, although nothing is ever complete in this realm.

I know about most schemes although I keep coming across new ones.

These are my main sources, in addition to Wikipedia and the net in general:

- Campaign for Better Transport
- Railfuture
- DfT» (Department for Transport - about) Restoring Your Railway Fund (list of round 1 awards, and list of all submissions)
- Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways website (all lines and stations proposed by FoSBR» (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways - site) now completed)
- Trade press (mostly Rail and Modern Railways)
- Trundelage website
- The Anonymous Widower website

When the database is as complete as I can get it, I'll publish the list here and ask you to inform me of anything I've missed.

Reopen is a non-commercial venture and it's just me and my laptop, so please be patient if I've yet to cover your favourite (re)opening scheme.

Warm wishes to all, from downtown Bath.

Edit: My intention is to be non-partisan when creating new entries, and to share solid information rather than my opinion. But yes, some of the proposals are completely bonkers.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 04:55:14 pm by JackAtReopen » Logged
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2020, 04:55:24 pm »

Welcome to the Coffeeshop, Jack! We've already had a conversation, me with my FoSBR» (Friends of Suburban Bristol Railways - site) webmaster hat on, but I hope you'll find this forum useful.

There's a lot of knowledge and useful opinions here, and we seldom bite. I've certainly learnt a lot!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2020, 05:40:21 pm »

the parti loony raving anghenfil manifesto.   

Have thet got a branch in Norton Radstock?

 Wink
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Lee
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« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2020, 07:37:23 pm »

the parti loony raving anghenfil manifesto.   

Have thet got a branch in Norton Radstock?

 Wink

I take it that was aimed at me:

IDEAS FUND - Feasibility study into opening from Bath to Radstock - and ideally through to Shepton Mallet too - via the Midford-Monkton Combe deviation rather than the Two Tunnels route, as discussed here.

Lets push for "Our Borders Railway", and leave a reopening legacy - the "one they said couldnt be done" - to be proud of, and a positive example for future generations.

Good to see a really positive piece about this line.

It makes the point far better than any consultant's report could: Good rail connections transform communities in a way that new roads can't, because they are open to everyone regardless of age or health. Most importantly, young people are less likely to move away from places with good rail links. It's hard to put a price on that.

Absolutely right.

It's interesting that Bill Jamieson makes the point that having a rail link gives a place a certain indefinable something. I remember once having a debate with Christian Wolmar on that - He wanted me to nail that down into something tangible.

I guess the best way I could describe it is that it would enhance the heart and soul of places like Radstock and Shepton, both of whom have seen significant housing development in recent years, and give the newly arriving populations the confidence that they made the right choice in coming, making them more likely to invest their long-term futures there.

I know some people consider that a "loony" idea, but I believe in it, and will continue to do so.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2020, 08:04:10 pm »

the parti loony raving anghenfil manifesto.   

Have they got a branch in Norton Radstock?

 Wink

I take it that was aimed at me:


It wasn't aimed at anybody  Smiley

It was one of my throwaway one-liners that I see has bitten the dust once again...

We need an "I'll get me coat" smiley on this forum!
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Lee
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« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2020, 08:31:36 pm »

Fair enough and my apologies to the honourable gentleman.

That smiley would be no use to me right now, as I've had me coat on all day due to Brittany being virtually underwater...We only have 2 seasons here - Sun and Rain  Grin
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johnneyw
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« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2020, 11:40:37 pm »

To me, the reopen.org site will be a very useful resource to compare now well aspirations are matced by results in the future. The optimist in me says many will, the realist in me says that failure to achieve a large amount of these ambitions is not an acceptable option.
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GBM
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 06:27:41 am »


That smiley would be no use to me right now, as I've had me coat on all day due to Brittany being virtually underwater...We only have 2 seasons here - Sun and Rain  Grin

Likewise in Cornwall, but our heritage is closely aligned with fellow Celtic states such as Brittany, Wales, Scotland and Eire  Smiley Smiley
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grahame
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 07:15:06 am »

Quote
Reopen is an online database of UK (United Kingdom) rail reopening schemes

Not only do those of us who advocate for better, more sustainable public transport look at re-openings, but at new routes and services for the future. The sort of questions that Jack will find himself considering will include or will have already included ...
* How much new build should be covered?
* At what point is a scheme considered complete, or dead and no longer to be listed?
* Do you include new services on freight lines - passengers for first time?
* Do you include stations at new (never before a station) locations on current (never closed) lines?
* How long must a line / station be closed before it is considered for reopening?
* Do you include light rail and tramways?
* Do you include stations / lines techncically open but with no mass transit users at present?

Here (in asciibetic order) are some of the [do I / don't I] decisions to be made - some obvious, some rather tricky cases

Afon Wen to Bangor; Aztec West; Bacon factory curve; Barking Riverside and extensions to Thamesmead Central; Barlaston, Wedgewood; Barton on Humber to Gainsborough Central; Battersea Power Station; Bedford to Cambridge; Birmingham Tram (in the city element); Blackpool tram to Blackpool North Station; Bow Street; Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Metro; Chippenham platform 3; Cowley Branch; Crossrail; Crossrail 2; Devizes Parkway; HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)); Heathrow South; Heathrow West; Hebredian Light Railway; IBM; Llanelli to Craven Arms; Maindee curve; Montrose to Stonehaven; Polesworth, Teeside Airport, Pilning; Portway Parkway; Rickmansworth to Watford Junction; Sheffield Victoria towards Penistone; Swindon to Oxford; Westbury platform 0.

I look forward to seeing how Jack handles cases / situations such as these as they will characterise the site and its application.
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2020, 02:53:13 pm »

Thanks for the questions Graham, some of which I was already considering. Briefly:

How much new build should be covered?

All of it, I think. Cambridge South now covered.

At what point is a scheme considered complete, or dead and no longer to be listed?

When Cambridge South opens to passengers it will remain on the database, marked as now operational or something like that.

Dead projects is a hard one to answer. If the Northern Route Working Group's scheme should prove unsuccessful (heaven forbid), then is Exeter - Okehampton - Tavistock - Plymouth now dead, or is it just dormant? But what about obvious no-hopers? I'm reluctant to give examples, but there are a couple in this part of the world.

Do you include new services on freight lines - passengers for first time?

Yes.

Do you include stations at new (never before a station) locations on current (never closed) lines?

Yes. Examples: Beam Park, White Rose, Portway whatever it's called.

How long must a line / station be closed before it is considered for reopening?

No time limit.

Do you include light rail and tramways?

Initially, it wasn't my intention to include these. But over the past week I've spent a lot of time (metaphorically) in Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and there's more work to do here: Bury - Bolton for example. In some cases, it's impossible to know whether the end result is likely to be heavy rail, light rail or tramway. The distinctions are blurring. So I'm feeling my way through this one.

Do you include stations / lines techncically open but with no mass transit users at present?

Yes. Examples: Ashton - Stockport line, Barrow Hill line.



Thanks also for this list, which I've saved for future reference. Devizes Parkway and Portway (Parkway? No one seems to know for sure) already covered. I may need to ask you about some of them, such as IBM.

Afon Wen to Bangor; Aztec West; Bacon factory curve; Barking Riverside and extensions to Thamesmead Central; Barlaston, Wedgewood; Barton on Humber to Gainsborough Central; Battersea Power Station; Bedford to Cambridge; Birmingham Tram (in the city element); Blackpool tram to Blackpool North Station; Bow Street; Cardiff Bay and Cardiff Metro; Chippenham platform 3; Cowley Branch; Crossrail; Crossrail 2; Devizes Parkway; HS2 (The next High Speed line(s)); Heathrow South; Heathrow West; Hebredian Light Railway; IBM; Llanelli to Craven Arms; Maindee curve; Montrose to Stonehaven; Polesworth, Teeside Airport, Pilning; Portway Parkway; Rickmansworth to Watford Junction; Sheffield Victoria towards Penistone; Swindon to Oxford; Westbury platform 0.

Now back to the grindstone. Next up: To reinstate the Rose Hill (Marple) to Maple Grove Line, Stockport (source: Restoring Your Railway - All bids received).

Edit: Seems that Maple Grove is neither a place nor a closed station. The Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway didn't go to Hazel Grove, so I can eliminate that from my enquiries. This is the most puzzling scheme I've encountered to date. Info and clues welcome.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 03:35:23 pm by JackAtReopen » Logged
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2020, 07:31:57 pm »

It may be of no use whatsoever, but Rose Hill Marple is a curious one. Temporarily suspended (AIUI (as I understand it)) during the pandemic, it is currenly mainly being served by rail replacement buses running to and from Romiley, but RTT» (Real Time Trains - website) shows three trains booked to run today, one of which was cancelled.

This line is the stub left after the line through to Macclesfield was closed in 1970. The remainder, up to the outskirts of Macclesfield, is now the Middlewood Way, a footpath cycle route and bridleway.

Here's a shot of the station that I took when I was last up there, in the days when my eyesight was better...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/19832191023/

Edited to add: there was a bit of a story that developed that day with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. No trailway content in the narrative below the photo, but the incdent is explained about half way down. Cyclists and other towpath users mighht be interested!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/93122458@N08/20265020370/


« Last Edit: October 07, 2020, 08:03:31 pm by Robin Summerhill » Logged
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