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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 655175 times)
willc
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« on: July 22, 2009, 10:45:15 pm »

It's official - and since the minister has broken the embargo the likes of me were told to observe I can let the rest of you know before the morning.

Lord Adonis's article in The Times is here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article6723747.ece

From what I have been told, the GWML project will be in three phases, don't know how these break down yet, but perhaps Reading, Oxford, Newbury area first, then on to Bristol and finally Cardiff and Swansea. I say this because Adonis hints that the extra Thames Valley DMUs will now be EMUs instead - which may account for the delay to the order and the disappearance of 40-odd FGW vehicles from the tally Roger Ford keeps, which was mentioned in the Portsmouth-Cardiff thread. These DMUs were slated for a late 2012 or early 2013 delivery anyway, so you could probably have made some headway on wiring the Thames Valley by then ready for EMUs in their place.

At present, they are budgeting ^ ^ ^ ^1.1bn for GMWL work and Liverpool to Manchester on the classic George Stephenson route via Rainhill, so a nice nod to Brunel and Britain's other key railway pioneer.

PS One thing I did forget earlier is the age of Oxford's signals - have to wonder it would be worth immunising kit that is due to be torn out by 2015 or so.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2015, 01:28:44 pm by grahame » Logged
onthecushions
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 11:14:56 pm »


A key item that should protect GWML (and MML) electrification against the coming 20% spending cuts is that the BCR's (Computed benefits/nett costs) are "infinite", in accountancy terms, as the nett costs are less than zero, it being cheaper to electrify over a given service life than to keep buying MTU power units.

Pity it's taken 12 years for Labour to be true to itself.

Thank you Gordon (although weren't your Blair's Chancellor?).

OTC
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IanC
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 11:15:17 pm »

It was the main story of Today's (Wednesday) BBC Points West about electrification, where it was stated it would take up to 8 years to complete with the South Wales Main Line also expected to be 'converted'.

More would be revealed on Thursday's show they said.
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John R
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 11:16:53 pm »

Great news, though one can only hope that the project survives the likely change of government next year. Adonis talks of it starting immediately, though as we know, that won't mean the first support foundations being piled next week. I can't see any work starting on the ground before the election, so it would be an easy project to can (unlike Crossrail where there seems a concerted effort to start boring the tunnels early next year, making cancellation very difficult).

So what will be the most difficult bits? Tunnels presumably - I guess the work required in the Severn Tunnel would make Swindon - Kemble redoubling a done deal given the need for ST blockages. Any others need lowering? A closure at Box could mean the reinstatement of Bradford North curve.  

 
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Electric train
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2009, 08:09:50 am »

Great news, though one can only hope that the project survives the likely change of government next year. Adonis talks of it starting immediately, though as we know, that won't mean the first support foundations being piled next week. I can't see any work starting on the ground before the election, so it would be an easy project to can (unlike Crossrail where there seems a concerted effort to start boring the tunnels early next year, making cancellation very difficult).

So what will be the most difficult bits? Tunnels presumably - I guess the work required in the Severn Tunnel would make Swindon - Kemble redoubling a done deal given the need for ST blockages. Any others need lowering? A closure at Box could mean the reinstatement of Bradford North curve.  

The route has been survived with a HD video, which parts of this I have seen, this is giving the designers enough information so they can target areas that need more detailed surveying before outline designs are made, this HD video gave the NR team sufficient detail to give DfT the cost of the electrification.   There are a few tough areas for equipment but far fewer than when the WCML was done 40 years ago.

The work may not be done in a linear way, that is you may see foundations being put in say between Didcot and Swindon and then left and then foundation being put in somewhere else then the masts might go up.
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
jakemonkfish
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2009, 09:15:20 am »

Local news was reporting london to bristol parkway and on to Waleswith a connection to Temple Meads - if this is correct then Swindon-Bristol via Bath and the B&H will miss out. Bath as the new Melksham...
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2009, 10:01:05 am »

The report is now on the DFT Website.

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Tim
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 10:27:28 am »

Local news was reporting london to bristol parkway and on to Waleswith a connection to Temple Meads - if this is correct then Swindon-Bristol via Bath and the B&H will miss out. Bath as the new Melksham...

the DfT report (which has a photo of HST at Bath Spa on the front of it) shows the route through Bath and Box tunnel as part of the electrification plans
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RailCornwall
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« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 10:49:40 am »


Planned Routes
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bemmy
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2009, 10:58:59 am »

Excellent news.... I didn't really believe they would do it, so for the first time in years my cynicism about something has turned out to be wrong!  Grin

The DfT have said that they are now considering extending Crossrail to Reading as it will be electrified anyway, presumably this will get the go-ahead unless they are completely crazy.

Overall though I think they are still being too cautious -- assuming London-Sheffield goes ahead, surely it would be daft not to add sensible infill projects such as Oxford - Birmingham, Bristol - Birmingham - Derby, Sheffield - Leeds and York, Transpennine routes, etc. Especially now that, by authorising Liverpool - Manchester, they've broken the rule that all electrified mainlines lead to London.
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Electric train
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2009, 11:00:38 am »

Lord Adonis on the BBC new website

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8164070.stm
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Mark Carne 26 June 2015 - "The challenges of delivering myriad improvement projects while still running a railway seven days a week were simply overwhelming".
Andy
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2009, 11:05:04 am »

Very good news! Would anyone like to speculate about what side effects are likely to result from this, in terms of stock being cascaded and surplus diesel stock being made available for other/new diagrams?
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jakemonkfish
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2009, 11:14:14 am »

Thanks for the map - but I am now wondering if John Penrose was correct to worry about trains from Weston as long term lack of wires means all trains will either finish in Bristol or need some clever solution to get to the 'sunny south west'. This assumes that the Weston-Worle redoubling occurs, increasing access for electric trains with no power supply. If you live further out ( Highbridge, Bridgewater or Taunton, or even Devon) then what?

Yes I'm a happy soul this morning - but there is more to the westcountry than Bristol and South Wales and it is good news really I just want more . What is the opposite of a NIMBY?
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paul7755
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« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 11:22:20 am »

In the DfT statement it states the 202 DMU vehicle order is superseded and a replacement for the rolling stock plan is to be produced.

Quote
This electrification programme radically affects the requirements for rolling
stock over the next decade. There will be far less need for diesel trains and
a greater requirement for electric trains. In particular, the previously-planned
procurement by the Government of new diesel trains has now been
superseded. We will accordingly publish a new rolling stock plan in the
autumn, taking account of the changed circumstances.
http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/rail/pi/railelectrification.pdf


Sounds like most of the mooted new DMU vehicles won't now happen at all, so there will be plenty of internal cascades necessary just to sort out routes such as Cardiff - Portsmouth. If you recall I mentioned on Monday that Roger Ford had drawn ateention to the 44 vehicles having disappeared, and as I've posted in the past, the various RUSs include gauge clearance for use of Turbos on the Pompey route...

Paul
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Wolvercote Wanderer
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« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2009, 11:33:53 am »

This is great news!

But how do you think will it affect direct London services which currently terminate just beyond the new electric lines i.e. Carmarthen, Bedwyn or Weston-super-Mare?

I can't see a diesel service running 'under-the-wires' just for these relatively short extensions to mainline services.
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