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Reversing Beeching

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Reversing Beeching

Old 1st Jul 2020, 05:24
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Ecce Homo! Loquitur...
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Reversing Beeching

Six months ago I’d have been sceptical many, or any, would get funded. Under the present circumstances I surmise the majority may get the go-ahead....


https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/b...open-xxpfz3522


Beeching reversal: Fifty disused rail lines on track to reopen

The reopening of up to 50 disused railway lines or stations will be considered as part of a reversal of the infamous Beeching cuts, it was announced yesterday. At present many of the disused lines are used as cycle or walking tracks while some remain as heritage lines staffed by volunteers, or as dedicated freight routes.

A government panel will assess the viability of reintroducing passenger services to lines in England and Wales for the first time in half a century. Ministers said that the plans would be considered as part of a wider drive to “level up” regional economies and improve access to jobs and education.

They include reopening the line between Bolton and Bury in Greater Manchester, creating a 12-mile link between Consett in Co Durham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne and restoring the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton line in Norfolk which runs close to the Queen’s Sandringham estate. Other shortlisted bids include reinstating the Beverley to York line in East Yorkshire, reopening the Upper Wensleydale railway in North Yorkshire, reopening the line between Stratford-upon-Avon and Honeybourne to connect into the existing Worcester to Oxford line and rebuilding the Newquay Line in Cornwall.

Successive governments have promised to reverse the Beeching cuts and reconnect towns and cities. Dr Richard Beeching, a former chairman of British Railways, advocated the closure of parts of the network deemed to be loss-making in 1963. This included more than 2,300 stations and up to 5,000 miles of tracks. Many towns lost local branch lines altogether while others were closed to passengers and used to carry freight.

This year the government announced a £500 million “restoring our railway” fund which was designed to reintroduce some of the network, in line with a manifesto pledge made during the last general election campaign. Bids were invited from individual communities. Yesterday, the Department for Transport announced that 50 proposals had been submitted, with bids being led by local councils or MPs.

A panel led by Chris Heaton-Harris, the rail minister, will consider the bids. It also contains Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail, which maintains and operates Britain’s rail infrastructure. Successful schemes will be awarded up to £50,000 from the £500 million fund to develop economic studies and business cases. They will be named by the end of the summer, the DfT said.

The government has already approved 12 grants under the scheme. They include one to develop a new link from Ashington and Blyth into Newcastle in the northeast. Public funds will also be used to develop plans for the Fleetwood line in Lancashire, the Ivanhoe line between Leicester, Coalville and Burton upon Trent, and reinstating the Totton to Fawley branch line in Hampshire.

Yesterday, it was announced that the next round of 50 bids included reopening the Wymondham to Dereham line in Norfolk – a heritage line – for full passenger operations. A similar bid has been made to reinstate the Bodmin to Wadebridge railway in Cornwall, which is also a heritage line.

The fund will also be used to reopen stations on existing lines. These will include Ferryhill station on the east coast mainline in Co Durham, Midge Hall station near Leyland, Lancashire, and Charfield station in South Gloucestershire.

Mr Heaton-Harris said: “Improving local transport links is vital as we level up access to opportunities across the country, reconnect communities and kickstart our recovery from Covid-19.”

THE SHORTLISTED BIDS

Yorkshire and Humberside

Reinstatement of the Beverley to York rail line
Restoration of a daily train service on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway
Upper Wensleydale Railway
Restoring Passenger Rail to the Sheaf Valley
Restoring a South Humber Link
South Yorkshire Joint Railway
New station at Waverley

Midlands

Reopening Stratford-upon-Avon to Honeybourne-Worcester/Oxford (SWO) Railway Line
More stopping services at Radcliffe-on-Trent and Bottesford stations on the Poacher line between Grantham and Nottingham
Increased services to Nottingham and Leicester, via Syston and Loughborough from Melton Mowbray
Reconnecting Ashfield Communities through the Maid Marian Line

Wales

Magor and Undy Walkway Station
Restoring services on the Anglesey Central Railway between Gaerwen and Amlych

South West

Shepton Mallet (Mendip Vale)
Radstock railway reinstatement
St Anne’s Park station
Primrose Line
Transforming the Newquay Line
Mid Cornwall Metro
Restoring secondary services on the Great Western main line
Goodrington and Churston Stations
New station for Langport and Somerton Area
Charfield Station
Reinstatement of Bodmin-Wadebridge railway and associated works
Increased service provision Bodmin General-Bodmin Parkway
Ashburton & Buckfastleigh junction railway
Bristol West capacity enhancement
Light railway extension to the Barnstaple Branch (Chivenor Braunton) “TawLink”
Cirencester Community Rail Project
Project Wareham – Complete the link

South East

The Arundel Chord
Re-opening of Camberwell Station, London SE5
Unlocking capacity and services through Bramley (Hants)
Chinnor Railway Aston Rowant extension
Carshalton Beeches step-free access

North West

South Fylde Line Passing Loop
Kenyon Junction Station
Reopening Golborne Railway Station
Reinstatement of Bolton-Radcliffe / Bolton-Bury
Reinstating Beeston Castle and Tarporley railway station
Reopen Midge Hall Station
Re-doubling of the Mid Cheshire Line between Stockport and Altrincham and associated station reopenings
Stockport to Ashton Line
Glazebrook Junction to Skelton Junction
East Didsbury – Stockport

North East

Consett-Newcastle connection
Ferryhill restoration

East

Reopening Wymondham-Dereham line
King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Railway



Last edited by ORAC; 1st Jul 2020 at 08:33.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:32
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Fantastic !

Bring it all on.

Rebuilding the line from Cheddleton to Leek near the peak district has been approved, and a new station at Leek, (there is a Morrisons supermarket where the old station used to be). The hope is that the Leek to Stoke-on-Trent line which is shown on the map as dismantled but is still physically in place - I jog along it - will be reinstated as well.

At last, a sensible transport policy !

I hope they consider connecting more of our airports to the railway system too.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:37
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Great if they happen; shame that upgrading of the freight only line between Sawley Junction and Burton upon Trent isn't included as this would shorten quite dramatically the travel time between Nottingham and Birmingham.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:46
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All fine and dandy, but £500m won’t buy many miles of reconstituted railway. The Campaign for Better Transport estimated earlier in the year that it would take around £5-6 billion to do what they viewed as the 33 most beneficial and doable projects. Smacks of yet another of Boris’s film set ideas - impressive looking frontage, but when you go through the front door there’s not a lot behind it.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:47
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Not to be a party poop but are all of these such a great idea? Restore a daily rail service...DAILY?? What on earth is the point. Emissions free buses are now available which donít require tens of millions spending up front and which can be relocated and stepped up or down in frequency according to demand.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 08:49
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Originally Posted by Curious Pax View Post
All fine and dandy, but £500m wonít buy many miles of reconstituted railway. The Campaign for Better Transport estimated earlier in the year that it would take around £5-6 billion to do what they viewed as the 33 most beneficial and doable projects. Smacks of yet another of Borisís film set ideas - impressive looking frontage, but when you go through the front door thereís not a lot behind it.
That's a pretty fair assessment I fear. But it's not just Johnson who's guilty of that, just about every PM in my lifetime has been as bad. Presentation over substance!
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 09:00
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All fine and dandy, but £500m won’t buy many miles of reconstituted railway.
That's not what the cash is for. The £500 million fund is just seed money to enable the applicants to develop and submit full economic studies and business cases.

I'd suspect those most likely to get priority approval will be those who have already done the work and can submit detailed plans by return of post.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 11:19
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I thought Railtrack were looking at reactivating the Teign Valley line between Exeter and Newton Abbot; following the storms in February 2014 there was a need to maintain rail links with West Devon and Cornwall. Has that idea been abandoned? The coastal line between Dawlish and Teignmouth is wonderfully scenic but somewhat vulnerable!
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 11:23
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Relaying the Keswick line would be one for me, take a lot off the roads and put them on the train
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 12:31
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It's not without its merits, but they have to get the fares right otherwise few people will use them.

We had a new bus service, but after the initial rush, numbers fell, meaning that income dropped. This resulted in fares rising and therefore numbers falling again until it no longer became viable. We are left with a limited service now. For most of the users, it's just as cheap to take the car and is generally a lot more convenient.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 12:41
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Chinnor Railway Aston Rowant extension
This has been talked about for years and years. I believe Network Rail did a feasibility study and dismissed the idea for whatever reason. Given how good the Chiltern Line is now, and the fact that Thame parkway is only a few miles distant, I think this line will remain one for the enthusiasts only (and very nice is is too).

No mention of light rail systems? They make much more sense IMO - easier to integrate in built up areas etc (well if you're European that is)
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:08
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Local rag recently illustrated how the Croydon Tramlink could have been - and still might be - developed with new lines to Colliers Wood and Belmont, Crystal Palace, Brixton, Lewisham and down Purley Way to Coulsdon. Extensions to existing track to Kingston, Bromley and Biggin Hill.

Apparently all of these have been proposed... I'm not sure how the line would have fared out to Biggin, getting across the famous steep sided valley, so beloved by Ray Hanna's Spitfire, might have been ambitious!

The tram is damn good - I'm going to Woking next week and to avoid the busy East Croydon/Clapham section, will tram to Wimbledon and pick up a train from there. Slower though, it's just possible to do East Croydon/Clapham/Woking in around half an hour with a good connection and no delays at Selhurst!
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:15
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No mention of light rail systems?
There is at least one in the list, so not excluded from applications.....

Light railway extension to the Barnstaple Branch (Chivenor Braunton) “TawLink”
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:24
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Originally Posted by treadigraph View Post
Local rag recently illustrated how the Croydon Tramlink could have been - and still might be - developed with new lines to Colliers Wood and Belmont, Crystal Palace, Brixton, Lewisham and down Purley Way to Coulsdon. Extensions to existing track to Kingston, Bromley and Biggin Hill.

Apparently all of these have been proposed... I'm not sure how the line would have fared out to Biggin, getting across the famous steep sided valley, so beloved by Ray Hanna's Spitfire, might have been ambitious!

The tram is damn good - I'm going to Woking next week and to avoid the busy East Croydon/Clapham section, will tram to Wimbledon and pick up a train from there. Slower though, it's just possible to do East Croydon/Clapham/Woking in around half an hour with a good connection and no delays at Selhurst!
The Nottingham tram system is similarly extremely good, and curiously I feel safer travelling on trams at night than I do on buses. It really beggars belief that trams were taken out of all UK cities after WW2.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:50
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Cars innit?

Around the time they were planning the Croydon Tramlink, the old Do It All store opposite me was demolished (bugger, that was so useful to have a DIY store opposite when renovating a house!) to make way for a block of flats. Nice old building it was. When the flats were built, they dug up the pavements and revealed railway lines underneath - originally it was a tram shed, serving the lines from Croydon into Purley and Coulsdon.




I'm looking at the original course of the Surrey Iron Railway right now - it runs along the back of my garden and was a horse drawn railway which I think bought Fullers Earth into london from the quarries at Redhill. The first "commercial rail service" I believe!

Last edited by treadigraph; 1st Jul 2020 at 14:04.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 13:53
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No mention of trolley buses? Just like trams but without the rails.

The public transport system in Prague is impressive and cheap, about £10 for a 72 hour pass that covers all trams, buses, underground and ferries.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 14:00
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don't think anyone would consider trolley busses these days with the cost and complexity of cables, pantographs etc. Much more cost effective and cheaper to use under street cables with induction charging of batteries. Modern technology would allow them to be driverless.

Jaguar has just signed a contract with Oslo to provide electric taxis which will be induction charged as they wait at taxi ranks.

https://media.jaguarlandrover.com/ne...-charging-rankhttps://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/i...harging-future
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 16:23
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My lasting memory of trolley buses is from seeing them stranded at junctions, when the poles had come disconnected from the overhead wires. There was one road junction where this was pretty much guaranteed to happen, and I would hang around, waiting for the excitement when the inevitable happened, and the conductor had to get off, remove a long pole from under the bus, and use it to hook the thing back up to the cables.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 16:40
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Originally Posted by VP959 View Post
My lasting memory of trolley buses is from seeing them stranded at junctions, when the poles had come disconnected from the overhead wires. There was one road junction where this was pretty much guaranteed to happen, and I would hang around, waiting for the excitement when the inevitable happened, and the conductor had to get off, remove a long pole from under the bus, and use it to hook the thing back up to the cables.
I remember the Derby trolley buses. I think it was routinely necessary to disconnect at some junctions and re-connect to a different cable run. I certainly recall seeing it done.
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 16:49
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
I remember the Derby trolley buses. I think it was routinely necessary to disconnect at some junctions and re-connect to a different cable run. I certainly recall seeing it done.

Might be what I remember, as I was only small at the time. The place it always used to happen was a cross roads, so it may well have needed to swap cables, perhaps. This would have been in the very early 1960's, at a guess, when I was staying with my grandmother in High Wycombe, and the road junction was right at the bottom of the road where she lived, Amersham Hill.
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