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Author Topic: Chiltern Evergreen 3 project - ongoing discussion  (Read 267468 times)
Oxman
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2011, 11:15:07 am »

What surprises me is that this was a major concern for Chiltern well over 18 months ago - well before the public enquiry - and yet no acceptable solution appears to have been forthcoming in that time. Now it has four weeks to find one!
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2011, 06:38:17 pm »

There was a trial use of the tunnel lights, back in August - see an excellent article from the Oxford Mail, which gives some further information on the wildlife implications:

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Light at the end of the tunnel for bats

A special breed of ^commuters^ are to get their own traffic light safety scheme to warn them about trains ^ bats.

The new light system is to be installed for the first time in the UK in a city railway tunnel to make sure bats get a warning about trains rumbling through.

The trial at Wolvercote tunnel has been commissioned by Chiltern Railways as part of its plan to create a second Oxford to London Rail link, via Bicester.

If the plan is approved, the number of trains running through the tunnel, which takes line under Wolvercote roundabout on the A40, will increase. They will also run a lot quicker.

The idea of the trials this month is to see whether triggering lights inside the tunnel when a train is on the way will alert the bats and encourage them to move.

The bats currently use the tunnel on their travels around North Oxford and Wolvercote, and as a temporary roost.

Ecological consultant Geoff Billington, who is in charge of the trials, said: ^The greater proportion of the bats are light-sensitive and actively avoid lit areas. The basic idea of the system is that the lights will come on and then a train appears. We hope that the bats may learn to associate the two things. It is clear they already scamper out of the way when we have observed them as trains pass through the tunnel now. It is a commuter route for the bats, which feed along the railway corridor. Wolvercote roundabout is a barrier to light-sensitive bats, but using the tunnel takes them underneath.^

The aim of the scheme is to try to make sure bats realise it is no longer going to be a quiet dark spot for them to hang during the day.

Natural England wants to make sure bats will not be disturbed by the extra trains.

And, while there have been a number of studies about interaction between bats and roads, there is almost none on how they react to trains.

Chiltern^s strategic development manager Allan Dare said: ^This is a tried and tested technique used for roads and leisure schemes. We want to see if it is applicable to railways as well. It is traffic lights for bats.^

Temporary lights are being installed in the tunnel this week.

The key phase of the trial is a four-night period when the lighting system will simulate the planned frequency of trains through the tunnel on October 31, one of the longest nights of the year when bats are active.

The lights will be turned on and off 43 times each night, during a six-hour period when trains are not running.

Ecologists will be stationed inside the tunnel and at its entrances to monitor the bats^ behaviour as the lights go on and off.

They want to see whether they fly out of the tunnel, or move to safer positions in tunnel drains and crevices.

A similar system has been used on a road in North Wales to encourage bats to stay away from traffic and use a bridge under the road.
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
Btline
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2011, 07:06:45 pm »

Apparently it's also concern about the Great Crested Newt that is delaying the project.

Now, again - concern for endangered species is important, but these newts seem to turn up at every development/bypass in the country. How are they so rare?
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chuffed
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2011, 07:43:13 pm »

Thats a brilliantly perceptive  comment...send it to the SoS!. Maybe  DB Chiltern's parent company have experience of dealing with bats on the Continent, and could put in their four pfennigs worth ?
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paul7755
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2011, 07:45:05 pm »

They are probably rare and endangered somewhere or other in the EU, like bats I guess.  So everyone has to bend over backwards whatever the local situation, even if they are overwhelmed by the darn things...

Paul

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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2011, 11:10:06 pm »

From the Oxford Times:

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Stables owner thanks bats for delaying new rail link

A riding stables owner who claims a new Rail link connecting Oxford to London would put him out of business, has celebrated the discovery of rare bats along the proposed route. Wendlebury Gate Stables, in Langford Lane, near Bicester, is adjacent to the Bicester-Oxford railway line.

Operator Chiltern Railways has ^130m plans to upgrade the line, and introduce fast trains between Oxford and Bicester and London^s Marylebone station.

Commuters had been hoping for a new service within three years following a public inquiry into the scheme. But a planning inspector has withheld approval after it was discovered bats use Wolvercot tunnel, North Oxford, for roosts and foraging.

John Offord said the noise of speeding trains would scare horses in the paddock and mean trainers cannot make themselves heard against the din as they call to riding students. He believes this would result in communication being lost for valuable seconds and could cause fatal accidents. Mr Offord said if plans continue he could be forced to close the school, which has 40 horses and 400 pupils, for safety reasons.

Mr Offord said: ^At the moment there are a small number of slow trains which pass the stables daily. If this was to go ahead, there will be seven trains an hour travelling at speeds up to 100mph. At the moment we are very grateful to the bats for holding things up.^

Chiltern Railways had suggested a new light system could be installed and it would be the first of its kind in the UK to give bats a warning about trains rumbling through. But the inspector was not convinced as there was no evidence that it had been used successfully elsewhere.

A spokesman for Chiltern Railways said it is working with partners to ensure a solution is found for the bats.

Meanwhile staff at the stables decided to dress up as bats for a day to celebrate the hold-up. Mr Offord said: ^It was a bit of light-hearted fun, but the serious part is we risk closure of the stables if Chiltern have their way. As far as we are concerned the bats are more than welcome to stay!^
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William Huskisson MP was the first person to be killed by a train while crossing the tracks, in 1830.  Many more have died in the same way since then.  Don't take a chance: stop, look, listen.

"Level crossings are safe, unless they are used in an unsafe manner."  Discuss.
ChrisB
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« Reply #21 on: November 28, 2011, 10:52:52 am »

7 trains an hour?

2 Chiltern trains each way, sure, and one freight, max.....
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eightf48544
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« Reply #22 on: November 28, 2011, 11:15:06 am »

Perhaps Chitern should count how many horses you see grazing contently in fields beside their  mainline.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2011, 11:38:14 am »

Though it would be around the 7 trains per hour mark if East-West Rail gets the go-ahead as predicted by the FT in the link you quoted.  Do we assume that the bat problem is going to be solved?
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
ChrisB
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« Reply #24 on: November 28, 2011, 12:01:03 pm »

oh, I think so.
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Phil
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« Reply #25 on: November 28, 2011, 03:58:06 pm »

I'm surprised the owner of the stables isn't more concerned about possible transmission of the deadly Hendra virus from bats to horses in that case. If it was me, I'd be a damn sight more scared of that than I would be of the occasional train passing by....

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14377-could-killer-horse-virus-spread-amongst-humans.html

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TerminalJunkie
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« Reply #26 on: November 28, 2011, 04:20:25 pm »

I'm surprised the owner of the stables isn't more concerned about possible transmission of the deadly Hendra virus from bats to horses in that case. If it was me, I'd be a damn sight more scared of that than I would be of the occasional train passing by....

Given that the only known outbreaks of the Hendra virus in horses have all been recorded in Australia (see http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs329/en/index.html), and that there are no native Fruit Bats in the UK, I would suggest that anyone 'scared' of an outbreak occurring anywhere near a UK railway tunnel is probably a bit of a wuss.

Oh, and I, um, came across this while researching it: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/6538016/Fellatio-common-among-fruit-bats-says-research.html
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Phil
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« Reply #27 on: November 28, 2011, 05:48:47 pm »

Yeah, but TJ my underlying point is really just that: quite frankly anyone who thinks a handful of trains rumbling past each day is going to seriously affect their horses is by definition quite a lot of a wuss. In my very humble opinion, obviously.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2011, 01:03:37 am »

Quite agree, Phil.  But there's nowt as queer as folk...
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To view my cab run over the new Reading Viaduct as well as a relief line cab ride at Reading just after Platforms 12-15 opened and my 'before and after' video comparison of the Cotswold Line Redoubling scheme, see: http://www.dailymotion.com/user/IndustryInsider/1
paul7755
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« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2011, 01:19:02 pm »

Apparently the Chancellor has now added support for East West Rail to his plans - does that mean all the bats will now give up?  Or will all the objectors revisit their previous TWA arguments because there'll now be more trains running?

Paul
« Last Edit: November 29, 2011, 01:41:00 pm by paul7755 » Logged
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