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Author Topic: Stroud Valley Line Double - Track Proposal Update  (Read 19506 times)
Btline
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2008, 05:06:18 pm »

Stroud's MP (Member of Parliament) David Drew is calling on the Government to make the upgrading of the line from Kemble to Swindon a priority. He says the nine-mile stretch needs to become a double-track line to boost the frequency of trains between Gloucestershire and London (link below.)
http://www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=231771&command=displayContent&sourceNode=231774&contentPK=20504234&folderPk=108867&pNodeId=231888

Now he is poised to ask a Parliamentary Question asking the Government to make the upgrade a priority. "I have been lobbying this for 10 years," he said.

He is concerned that upgrading the North Cotswold Line to double track could be made a priority before the Kemble-Swindon stretch.

He is calling on the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) to back his campaign and has submitted a parliamentary question asking why the North Cotswold line could be due for an earlier upgrade.

Quote from: David Drew
"The North Cotswolds line is longer line to be redoubled and is less well used than the Kemble-Swindon stretch,"

A spokesman for Network Rail said it was keen to upgrade the line, and would seek additional funding.

The Cotswold Line should be redoubled first as it causes more problems.

As for: " the Cotswold line is not used much." This is true only because of the unreliability and poor frequency of trains.

Finally - does nobody see the potential for a more frequent service from Evesham to Worcester. All the emphasis on the line is for InterCity trains to London. There could be a boost if a better service was put on for Worcester/ Birmingham (via Worcester) commuters/day trippers.

New stations could also be opened to form a "Worcester Metro" : Stratford, Long Marston, Honeybourne, Evesham, Fladbury, Pershore, Norton, Shrub Hill, Foregate Street, Henwick, Rushwick, Bransford, Malvern Link and Great Malvern .... springs to mind!

As I said, the only viable rail commuting to Worcester, is from Malvern, Bromsgrove, Droitwich Stourbrdige and Kidderminster. I.e. NOTHING to the east!

The lines are there (well, one of them is) - lets get commuters of the A44!
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Lee
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2008, 12:55:16 am »

Some Parliamentary Written Answers for you :

Quote from: Hansard
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will publish the Network Rail evaluation of proposals to re-double the Kemble to Swindon line, including any cost predictions. [201573]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Office of Rail Regulation is currently evaluating proposals published by Network Rail this month for enhancing both the North Cotswold and the Stroud Valley lines and expects to publish its preliminary determination in June 2008.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which (a) hon. Members and (b) local authorities have made representations to (i) her and (ii) Network Rail on the re-doubling of (A) the Kemble to Swindon line and (B) the North Cotswold line. [201574]

Mr. Tom Harris: The following hon. Members have made written representations to the Department in the last three years:

Swindon^Kemble line

Geoffrey Clinton-Brown MP (Member of Parliament)

David Drew MP

Mark Harper MP

Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP

Laurence Robertson MP

North Cotswold line

David Cameron MP

Geoffrey Clinton-Brown MP

David Drew MP

Michael Foster MP

Peter Luff MP

John Maples MP

We have received no written representations from local authorities about either line during this period.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria were used to (a) accept the North Cotswolds line and (b) reject the Stroud Valleys line for future re-doubling. [201430]

Mr. Tom Harris: The Government are supportive of rail growth to meet the needs of our growing economy and we have specified and funded the high level improvements in capacity, safety and reliability required by 2014. It is for the rail industry to determine the enhancement schemes required to deliver this specification, subject to independent evaluation by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about)).

The ORR is currently evaluating proposals published by Network Rail this month for enhancing both the North Cotswold and the Stroud Valley lines and expects to publish its preliminary determination in June 2008.
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eightf48544
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2008, 03:09:59 pm »

Agree that both lines should be redoubled. However the one thing that may put the Stroud Line back in the queue is that trains for Kemble can leave Swindon station and wait round the corner for the train from Kemble. Whereas Cotswold bound trains block the main line at Wolvercote wating for trains off the single line or delay Up trains at Ascott.

My view is that good start would be to add a 4 miles of double track from Wolvercote to Hanborough (exclusive) to get Cotswold trains off the mainline and shorten the single line section,  without having to rebuild any stations. Coupled with the upgrades of S&C (Settle and Carlisle ) proposed by industry insider this would be a good start.

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John R
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« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2008, 07:58:50 pm »

That's not proposed, because of the impact of signalling in the Oxford area. The proposal is to dual a large part of the central section, leaving the two sections on either end of the line single for the moment.

I don't think most of us would argue with that if and when it's approved. 
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 07:41:35 pm by John R » Logged
eightf48544
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« Reply #19 on: May 02, 2008, 10:03:27 am »

What's happened to all the signal engineers.

It shouldn't be that difficult to put in a small SSSI at Wolvercote multiplexed to the Oxford panel. When Oxford is upgraded it can interface with the new equipment.

Even if you put more double track in the middle you've still got the problem of holding a down train on the mainline or an up train at Ascott waiting for the single line to clear.

One of the first rules of railway work don't stop a train on the mainline waiting a path. Get it into a loop or onto the branch.

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Btline
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« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2008, 07:22:57 pm »

Same at the other end.

Axe Norton Junction signal box, motorise the points, add an HST (High Speed Train) length loop on the branch, put in new colour signals, add everything to one of the Worcester signal boxes, continue the 90 mph speed limit to just outside Shrub Hill.

Knock at least a minute off the journey, more when you factor in the reduction in delays, improved operational flexibility and the capacity.

Also reduces operational costs, so would pay back (maybe Cool )!
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stebbo
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« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2008, 09:30:06 pm »

I live in Hereford but have worked in Cheltenham for the last 16 months. As a result I have travelled a lot on the Cotswold line over the last 18 years (almost always delayed) and a few times on the Cheltenham/Paddington line (on time or 5 to 10 minute delay). In my experience, the Cotswold line suffers far more congestion and delays and is thus a prime candidate for redoubling and should receive primary focus. I don't now use the Cotswold line but go from Cheltenham or drive all the way to Swindon.

I totally agree that the single track from Kemble to Swindon is a nonsense - indeed what idiot thought it up? I can't see what purpose it ever served - why stop at Kemble?. Why didn't they single all the way to Stroud whilst they were at it - clearly and thankfully rational thought set in somewhere.

Also, in this week's local paper for Glos and Wilts (the Standard) I saw the paper proudly present photo evidence that the Kemble/Swindon stretch WAS once double track. I despair of local newspapers - whoever thought it wasn't, as it was the original mainline to South Wales pre-Severn Tunnel days? Oh, and not all the track needs to be moved for a re-doubling - there is a good stretch of the old track still in place, albeit rotten, alongside the current single track from Swindon for a good few miles.
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12hoursunday
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2008, 09:43:38 pm »

Oh, and not all the track needs to be moved for a re-doubling - there is a good stretch of the old track still in place, albeit rotten, alongside the current single track from Swindon for a good few miles.

Whilst part of your comment above is true re the old track being in place ( I think the rotting pice at the Swindon end served the undergroud storage depot whilst it was still used by trains) I'm afraid that probally the whole lot will have to be replaced. The old bit happens to be Three foot lower than the bit used today . Over the years the ballast has been built up and will have to removed espeacilly under the bridges. Failing that bridges etc will have to be removed and replaced as trains now run through the middle of the 'hole' and would no way fit under if the track was doulbed!
« Last Edit: June 02, 2008, 09:46:25 pm by 12hoursunday » Logged
12hoursunday
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2008, 09:53:45 pm »



Axe Norton Junction signal box, motorise the points, add an HST (High Speed Train) length loop on the branch, put in new colour signals, add everything to one of the Worcester signal boxes, continue the 90 mph speed limit to just outside Shrub Hill.



Flipping Heck Btline what do you think we are trained in the art of kamikazi train driving or something! Grin I can just see it now. The first day of the new working and the first Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill HST coming off the road as he went speeding through those points ( which gives a bit of a kick at 25) at 90mph! Wink
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Btline
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2008, 10:00:19 pm »



Axe Norton Junction signal box, motorise the points, add an HST (High Speed Train) length loop on the branch, put in new colour signals, add everything to one of the Worcester signal boxes, continue the 90 mph speed limit to just outside Shrub Hill.



Flipping Heck Btline what do you think we are trained in the art of kamikazi train driving or something! Grin I can just see it now. The first day of the new working and the first Paddington to Worcester Shrub Hill HST coming off the road as he went speeding through those points ( which gives a bit of a kick at 25) at 90mph! Wink

 Huh You what? Huh
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signalandtelegraph
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« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2008, 08:00:47 am »

What's happened to all the signal engineers.

It shouldn't be that difficult to put in a small SSSI at Wolvercote multiplexed to the Oxford panel. When Oxford is upgraded it can interface with the new equipment.


It isn't,  but at the moment the initial cost would not justify the return given the age of the current infrastructure.  NR» (Network Rail - home page) would rather wait until resignalling is due and do it then. 
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stebbo
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« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2008, 07:48:06 pm »

"My view is that good start would be to add a 4 miles of double track from Wolvercote to Hanborough (exclusive) to get Cotswold trains off the mainline and shorten the single line section,  without having to rebuild any stations. Coupled with the upgrades of S&C (Settle and Carlisle ) proposed by industry insider this would be a good start"

My view - expressed in another blog on the Cotswold section - is that if you are going for half measures on the Cotswold line you redouble Evesham to Charlbury so extending the middle double track bit but it is a bit half-baked and not as good as doing the lot. Fortunately sense may prevail there.

But doesn't really sort out the Stroud line with the odd single bit at one end. As I said earlier on this blog, can't understand what half wit thought up this piece of nonsense, but there you go. For a chain or two short of 14 miles, do the lot.
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12hoursunday
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« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2008, 10:44:28 pm »

to get Cotswold trains off the mainline

There is already the facility to do this as there is a signal protecting the single line 500 yds past Wolvercote. However it would only help if nothing was coming along in the up direction.







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Lee
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« Reply #28 on: June 06, 2008, 07:09:16 pm »

The Stroud Valley scheme is among those ruled out by the ORR» (Office of Rail and Road formerly Office of Rail Regulation - about) (link below.)
http://www.rmtbristol.org.uk/2008/06/network_rail_told_to_make_cuts.html#more
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stebbo
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« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2008, 09:59:00 pm »

"There is already the facility to do this as there is a signal protecting the single line 500 yds past Wolvercote. However it would only help if nothing was coming along in the up direction."

Correction - I don't think I said that as the point you make is obvious. My point was that, if you're not going to do the whole Cotswold line, do the middle bit - but that has no relevance to the Stroud line.

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