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Author Topic: Great Western Main Line electrification - ongoing discussion  (Read 790955 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2550 on: June 29, 2017, 09:27:46 am »

The feeder thingy at Kensal Green has now been switched on, so more electric trains can now run from July as planned and the existing ones can now run at full beans.
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DidcotPunter
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« Reply #2551 on: June 29, 2017, 11:04:57 am »

The feeder thingy at Kensal Green has now been switched on, so more electric trains can now run from July as planned and the existing ones can now run at full beans.

That's good news II. They still need to convert the Padd to Stockley Junction OLE to autotransformer (AT) supply before a full electric service can be run but that's several months away yet. As you rightly say it means that the planned service to Maidenhead can be run from next month.

It now appears that the wiring between Maidenhead through the Reading station area to Scours Lane is nearing completion.  That leaves commissioning the AT stations at Twyford and Reading together with testing to complete, so the planned switch-on day in September should be quite achievable. Electrification from Padd to Milton Junction west of Didcot will then be complete theoretically enabling the IETs to run on AC from October, when they're supposed to be introduced and the 387s from Didcot at the beginning of next year.

Are there any other works which need to be completed before this happens? I know there's platform lengthening planned at Didcot and some of the Thames Valley stations but I thought this was for 12 car 387s which won't be needed straight away
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #2552 on: June 29, 2017, 11:32:36 am »

Yes, good news indeed.  I think platform lengthening works have started at Pangbourne, there have been work area protection fences up at the country end of both platforms. 
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paul7755
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« Reply #2553 on: June 29, 2017, 02:19:51 pm »

The last update to the enhancement plan (March 17) shows an intended completion date of Dec 2017 for the platform extensions from Paddington to Didcot, and December 2018 for the Newbury route:

8 car

Tilehurst – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4
Pangbourne – Platforms 1 and 2.
Goring and Streatley – Platforms 1, 2, 3, 4
Cholsey – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Culham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Radley – Platforms 1 and 2.
Reading West – Platform 2.
Theale – Platforms 1 and 2.
Thatcham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Iver – Platforms 4 (resurfacing)

12 car

Slough – Platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Maidenhead – Platforms 1, 2 ,3, 4 and 5.
Twyford – Platforms 1, 2 and 3.
Didcot - Platform 3 – funded by IEP but still delivers 12 car EMU capability

If that plan holds it allows for 12 car semi-fast EMUs from Didcot from January?

Paul
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chuffed
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« Reply #2554 on: June 29, 2017, 08:06:38 pm »

The metro mayor has had a hunt down the back of the DUP sofa and found enough money for the Bromley Heath viaduct work to be reduced to 33 weeks instead of 52.....
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« Reply #2555 on: June 29, 2017, 10:13:40 pm »

The feeder thingy at Kensal Green has now been switched on, so more electric trains can now run from July as planned and the existing ones can now run at full beans.

I believe its been in services for at least a week, OOC FS seems to be left in an "available for use" condition which is normal practice for a few weeks.

The last update to the enhancement plan (March 17) shows an intended completion date of Dec 2017 for the platform extensions from Paddington to Didcot, and December 2018 for the Newbury route:

8 car

Tilehurst – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4
Pangbourne – Platforms 1 and 2.
Goring and Streatley – Platforms 1, 2, 3, 4
Cholsey – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Culham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Radley – Platforms 1 and 2.
Reading West – Platform 2.
Theale – Platforms 1 and 2.
Thatcham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Iver – Platforms 4 (resurfacing)

12 car

Slough – Platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Maidenhead – Platforms 1, 2 ,3, 4 and 5.
Twyford – Platforms 1, 2 and 3.
Didcot - Platform 3 – funded by IEP but still delivers 12 car EMU capability

If that plan holds it allows for 12 car semi-fast EMUs from Didcot from January?

Paul

Not much evidence of lengthening works at Maidenhead ............... yet

12 car 387 are quite cool .............................. although its a bit of a hike if you get on the wrong end   Grin
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2556 on: June 29, 2017, 10:59:01 pm »

Preliminary work has started at the Thames Valley stations but I guess if they're not finished by 387 service commencement then SDO can be used in the interim for 8-car services.  I wonder whether they'll bother with Culham and Radley now?
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TonyK
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« Reply #2557 on: July 06, 2017, 10:44:10 pm »

The metro mayor has had a hunt down the back of the DUP sofa and found enough money for the Bromley Heath viaduct work to be reduced to 33 weeks instead of 52.....

I think he arranged that before the May-DUP money had to be found. My guess is that, like MetroBust, there will be "unforeseen circumstances", meaning his money will reduce the works from 78 to 52 weeks.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2558 on: July 20, 2017, 10:15:12 am »

Cancelled between Cardiff & Swansea.

From the BBC

Quote
Plans to electrify the Great Western Railway line between Cardiff and Swansea have been scrapped, the UK's transport secretary has said.

Chris Grayling told the Western Mail a faster journey between the cities would be achieved without the "needless disruption of engineering works".

He said a new fleet of trains would be on the line from the autumn, with 130 extra seats per train.

The first minister said the news was "disturbing".

Carwyn Jones tweeted: "Disturbing reports on rail electrification in the media this morning - waiting for the UK government to clarify."




Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood tweeted: "Wales gets 1% of rail investment despite making up 6% of the UK network. And now this."

In another, she wrote: "Wales is in a club of just three countries in Europe with not one inch of electrified rail to date. The other two are Albania & Moldova."

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart said he was "angry" at the decision and felt "betrayed" by the UK government.

Network Rail is working to deliver electrification between London and Cardiff by December 2018.

Mr Grayling committed to 40% more seats on rush-hour journeys between Swansea and Cardiff.

He said the new trains would be bi-mode, meaning they could run on electrified sections of track and then transfer to non-electrified sections.

"The speed limit on the Swansea-Cardiff route is such that the new fleet of trains will be doing the route in exactly the same amount of time as they would be on a fully-electrified route," he told the newspaper."

'Broken promises'

But Wales' Economy Secretary Ken Skates disputed that claim, telling Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme: "I don't buy it."

He accused the UK government of "years of broken promises" to the people of Wales and said Mr Grayling had not responded to his requests for a meeting on the issue.

"I'm urging the UK government to clarify the situation immediately," he added.

Professor of Transport for the University of South Wales Stuart Cole said the announcement could prevent companies investing in Swansea.

"It affects its [Swansea's] image… what people like Siemens, Mitsubishi or any of the international big investors will say is 'if the UK government aren't prepared to invest in high tech for Swansea, why should we?'

"It means that Swansea won't get the kind of modern railway technology which cities of its size elsewhere in western Europe have had for several years."

Prof Cole said he believed the change of heart was down to mounting costs.

He said. "In the initial stages the evaluation of costs and benefits were a desk exercise…

"As that got more realistic and as the engineers started to walk the tracks to identify what bridges needed to be either removed, changed, heightened… those costs started to mount up [and] it increased from something like £300m to what is now £700m to 800m and I think that's probably been the primary determinant in this decision by the Department for Transport."

The Welsh Government said it had long called on the UK government to electrify the line to Swansea, or instead give it the powers and the funding to do so.

A spokesman said: "The UK government has so far refused to devolve funding for rail infrastructure, as was recommended by the Commission on Devolution in Wales, so it is its duty to invest in Wales. Today's reports in the media are therefore disturbing."
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BerkshireBugsy
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« Reply #2559 on: July 20, 2017, 10:24:01 am »

The last update to the enhancement plan (March 17) shows an intended completion date of Dec 2017 for the platform extensions from Paddington to Didcot, and December 2018 for the Newbury route:

8 car

Tilehurst – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4
Pangbourne – Platforms 1 and 2.
Goring and Streatley – Platforms 1, 2, 3, 4
Cholsey – Platforms 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Culham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Radley – Platforms 1 and 2.
Reading West – Platform 2.
Theale – Platforms 1 and 2.
Thatcham – Platforms 1 and 2.
Iver – Platforms 4 (resurfacing)

12 car

Slough – Platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Maidenhead – Platforms 1, 2 ,3, 4 and 5.
Twyford – Platforms 1, 2 and 3.
Didcot - Platform 3 – funded by IEP but still delivers 12 car EMU capability

If that plan holds it allows for 12 car semi-fast EMUs from Didcot from January?

Paul

Thank you Paul. Although I don't travel between Thatcham and Reading any more (I found the service to unreliable for my needs) I wasn't aware on lengthening work starting yet - does anyone know if it has (Thatcham Crossing?) or if not when it is due to start?
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John R
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« Reply #2560 on: July 20, 2017, 10:38:26 am »

Cancelled between Cardiff & Swansea.

From the BBC

Quote
Plans to electrify the Great Western Railway line between Cardiff and Swansea have been scrapped, the UK's transport secretary has said.

Chris Grayling told the Western Mail a faster journey between the cities would be achieved without the "needless disruption of engineering works".

He said a new fleet of trains would be on the line from the autumn, with 130 extra seats per train.

The first minister said the news was "disturbing".

Carwyn Jones tweeted: "Disturbing reports on rail electrification in the media this morning - waiting for the UK government to clarify."




Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood tweeted: "Wales gets 1% of rail investment despite making up 6% of the UK network. And now this."

In another, she wrote: "Wales is in a club of just three countries in Europe with not one inch of electrified rail to date. The other two are Albania & Moldova."

Swansea council leader Rob Stewart said he was "angry" at the decision and felt "betrayed" by the UK government.

Network Rail is working to deliver electrification between London and Cardiff by December 2018.

Mr Grayling committed to 40% more seats on rush-hour journeys between Swansea and Cardiff.

He said the new trains would be bi-mode, meaning they could run on electrified sections of track and then transfer to non-electrified sections.

"The speed limit on the Swansea-Cardiff route is such that the new fleet of trains will be doing the route in exactly the same amount of time as they would be on a fully-electrified route," he told the newspaper."

'Broken promises'

But Wales' Economy Secretary Ken Skates disputed that claim, telling Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme: "I don't buy it."

He accused the UK government of "years of broken promises" to the people of Wales and said Mr Grayling had not responded to his requests for a meeting on the issue.

"I'm urging the UK government to clarify the situation immediately," he added.

Professor of Transport for the University of South Wales Stuart Cole said the announcement could prevent companies investing in Swansea.

"It affects its [Swansea's] image… what people like Siemens, Mitsubishi or any of the international big investors will say is 'if the UK government aren't prepared to invest in high tech for Swansea, why should we?'

"It means that Swansea won't get the kind of modern railway technology which cities of its size elsewhere in western Europe have had for several years."

Prof Cole said he believed the change of heart was down to mounting costs.

He said. "In the initial stages the evaluation of costs and benefits were a desk exercise…

"As that got more realistic and as the engineers started to walk the tracks to identify what bridges needed to be either removed, changed, heightened… those costs started to mount up [and] it increased from something like £300m to what is now £700m to 800m and I think that's probably been the primary determinant in this decision by the Department for Transport."

The Welsh Government said it had long called on the UK government to electrify the line to Swansea, or instead give it the powers and the funding to do so.

A spokesman said: "The UK government has so far refused to devolve funding for rail infrastructure, as was recommended by the Commission on Devolution in Wales, so it is its duty to invest in Wales. Today's reports in the media are therefore disturbing."

Not surprising.  The govt view seems to be "we've got bi-mode trains, hence we don't need any more electrification".  That of course misses the point that you only need bi-modes to take advantage of those parts of the route which are electrified. That is an admission that electrified routes are more desirable.  So for an example, no nippy emu's which can accelerate quickly on the stopping services, reducing journey times and also keeping out of the way of the long distance services. 
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #2561 on: July 20, 2017, 10:45:04 am »

It also concentrates solely on speed, ignoring the other benefits of electrification.
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« Reply #2562 on: July 20, 2017, 11:23:41 am »

[sigh] Can't say i'm surprised. Bi-modes have given license to never electrify parts of the network making the cost benefits of electrification null and void in many cases. Sad.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2563 on: July 20, 2017, 12:09:32 pm »

Any news on Didcot to Oxford and Chippenham/Stoke Gifford to Bristol in today's announcements?  Couldn't see any myself.
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« Reply #2564 on: July 20, 2017, 12:24:42 pm »

The only 3 mentioned were Cardiff - Swansea, MML north of Kettering and the Windermere branch
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