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Author Topic: WECA Rail Plan  (Read 2034 times)
Red Squirrel
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« on: November 28, 2020, 10:12:47 pm »

I've not had time to read or digest this yet, but here is the latest WECA rail plan (thanks to Tina Biggs of FoSBR for drawing my attention to it!)

The good stuff starts at P.23.

https://westofengland-ca.moderngov.co.uk/documents/g448/Public%20reports%20pack%2004th-Dec-2020%2014.00%20Joint%20meeting%20-%20West%20of%20England%20Combined%20Authority%20Committ.pdf?T=10
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TonyK
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 09:55:44 am »

I've not had time to read or digest this yet, but here is the latest WECA rail plan (thanks to Tina Biggs of FoSBR for drawing my attention to it!)

And my thanks to Red Squirrel for drawing all of our attentions to it!

A few early thoughts as I scan through it:
First and foremost in my mind is that Portway Partway Parkway, a project to stick a single platform in an existing car park next to a working line with an established service, is currently seven years behind where it should be, starting from the first completion date to appear in a document like this. The introduction of the new Western Super Mayor ((C) BNM) to the helm does not seemed to have stopped the ship from circling aimlessly. Without getting politicial in the party sense, I can't see things improving under the stewardship of the current incumbent. If I were the official drafting this report, I would be wondering whether I were just going through the motions again, and planning my next career move.

More brightly, Network Rail seems to be involved as a partner rather than a gatekeeper, and already in favour of doing some of the things. As an example, on page 26 at para 5, there is an identified quick fix to up the service from Temple Meads to Westbury (via Trowbridge) to 2 tph by December 2021, without having to wait for approval of the MetroWest Development Consent Order. The DCO is in the minister's in-tray, with an answer expected in about a year. With a fair wind, spending of a paltry ?1m on 3 level crossing upgrades, and help from GWR, this could show progress that has been lacking in past years.

Paragraph 6 (why did we have sub-para 1 in para 5 - offends the latent civil servant in me) suggests the early-ish upgrading of shelters at a number of local stations, if WECA doesn't spend all the money on planning them.

Paragraph 7 covers the first three years costs, including training staff and barbecue-proofing, similar to what happened when the Severn Beach line enhancements were introduced long ago. That does give a sense of urgency to the Severn Beach to Westbury proposal, lacking in every preceding report on the idea.

There are grounds for optimism, although the word "sustainable" appears only 7 times in the part of the report covering rail enhancements. I'm not sure that is enough.

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 10:57:36 am »


And my thanks to Red Squirrel for drawing all of our attentions to it!


Phew! I was beginning to think no-one else was interested!

It is in some ways it's a curate's egg. There is no mention of Thornbury, for example, though Radstock does get a mention.

Most interesting from my viewpoint (not just because it is within walking distance of where I live!) is the decoupling of Ashley Down station from the other Henbury Loop stations, which will allow it to go ahead earlier. Seems very sensible. The suggested improvements at Holesmouth jct, allowing direct trains Severn Beach to Bristol Parkway, were also a nuance that was new to me...

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rogerw
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2020, 11:01:49 am »

I have only had a quick scan through it but looking at the long term aspirations on frequency there is going to have a major upgrade to signalling on many routes. that is, unless they are double counting
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 11:35:21 am »

The suggested improvements at Holesmouth jct, allowing direct trains Severn Beach to Bristol Parkway, were also a nuance that was new to me...


Were that to happen it would probably be the final nail in the coffin for Pilning.

I would be a lot cheaper to refurbish what little remains of a station on the main line
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2020, 12:08:57 pm »

Running direct trains from Severn Beach to Bristol Parkway gives an easy route between Henbury, Brabazon (the Arena), and Parkway. I don't see any bearing on the pros and cons of Pilning. Pilning, as it happens, does also get a mention though.

Fitting in a new chord at Holesmouth looks tight..!
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johnneyw
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2020, 12:14:38 pm »

The report made reference to Temple Meads platforms 0 and 1 falling into the post 2030 timescale which I was surprised at as I thought that growth projections for TM (admittedly pre pandemic) suggested a capacity increase was desirable during this coming decade.
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TonyK
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2020, 12:32:59 pm »

The report made reference to Temple Meads platforms 0 and 1 falling into the post 2030 timescale which I was surprised at as I thought that growth projections for TM (admittedly pre pandemic) suggested a capacity increase was desirable during this coming decade.

I thought that was supposed to be sooner, rather than later.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2020, 12:37:06 pm »

Running direct trains from Severn Beach to Bristol Parkway gives an easy route between Henbury, Brabazon (the Arena), and Parkway. I don't see any bearing on the pros and cons of Pilning. Pilning, as it happens, does also get a mention though.

Fitting in a new chord at Holesmouth looks tight..!

There is a lot in that report - that's probably why the initial posting drew a deafening silence as members absorbed it and / or waiting for others to open manageably small windows of conversation.

I noted Pilning in the report too - and across in the table that included it was a cost in excess of 100 millions pounds and a timescale indicator of 10 to 25 years, which made me choke on my breakfast.   Fortunately, that was qualified with a heading "Schemes that could come forward during the 10 Year Rail Delivery Plan" and "Note: This is an abridged version of a larger and detailed spreadsheet analysis."  Looking at that abridgement, it would appear that the > 100 million and timescale is for a basket of schemes lumped together, including the return of trains to Radstock, Swindon to Didcot and Bath to Westbury capacity enhancements, in addition to the footbridge.

I'm not sure that I see direct trains from Severn Beach to Henbury and Bristol Parkway really being an answer for more than a minority proportion of passengers looking to travel from the Severnside Enterprise area and the villages and towns around that area to and from South Wales or the centre or Bristol, nor that they would be an attractive Park and Ride.  Sad that the Severn Beach line can't easily be extended back with a short line to a junction station with the main Cardiff - Bristol line.
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Reginald25
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 01:32:19 pm »

Is the proposal to extend the SB line to the main line? Seems a very heavy project.
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Oxonhutch
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 02:14:33 pm »

Sad that the Severn Beach line can't easily be extended back with a short line to a junction station with the main Cardiff - Bristol line.

You were inviting me to break out my crayons, weren't you?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2020, 03:40:41 pm »

Is the proposal to extend the SB line to the main line? Seems a very heavy project.

No, not directly. The idea is to add a new chord near Avonmouth to allow trains from Severn Beach to access Bristol Parkway via Henbury, Brabazon and the Filton Diamond.
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Reginald25
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2020, 04:20:14 pm »

Is the proposal to extend the SB line to the main line? Seems a very heavy project.

No, not directly. The idea is to add a new chord near Avonmouth to allow trains from Severn Beach to access Bristol Parkway via Henbury, Brabazon and the Filton Diamond.
Thanks RS.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2020, 04:24:52 pm »

Is the proposal to extend the SB line to the main line? Seems a very heavy project.

No, not directly. The idea is to add a new chord near Avonmouth to allow trains from Severn Beach to access Bristol Parkway via Henbury, Brabazon and the Filton Diamond.

A Henbury loop by other means?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2020, 04:43:49 pm »


A Henbury loop by other means?

That crossed my mind... the more I think about the cunningness of this plan, the more I think you could almost put a tail on it and call it a weasel:

* The big problem for rail services out that way is the King Road level crossing. But this route allows SVB trains out without the need to cross here.
* If it's timetabled right, it could be quicker to get from BRI to SVB via BPW, even with a change.
* YTL want to run trains from the Arena to Parkway. This scheme allows for that. Those trains have to terminate somewhere; the proposed extra platform at SVB would give flexibility for that. You could even consider a siding if you really wanted to cater for the Arena crowds; there's room.

Edit: Just spotted that this service would go from Severn Beach to Yate, i.e. not terminate at Parkway. Even cunninger!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2020, 05:47:13 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged
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