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  1. Parts of the proposed "Golborne Spur" that connects the Manchester leg of HS2 to the WCML is planned to be built over the old GC branch to Wigan and the GC branch to St Helens, IF the "GC" newts and roosting bats and other two legged reptiles down in London agree !! Shame the old GC route Leicester / Nottingham / Sheffield has been ruined by development over the years - it would have been just the job. Far too late now - ££££££££££££££ Typical British short sightedness. (as was shutting Woodhead). Brit15
  2. Ecological surveys - here is the one for the new depot / sidings at Springs Branch Wigan - might I add ALL built on existing railway track alignments https://www.whitcher-wildlife.co.uk/projects/wigan-springs-branch/ The survey identified protected sites in close proximity to the surveyed area, ponds in the surrounding area with existing records of great crested newts, several invasive non-native plant species listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and structures with features suitable to support roosting bats. Abundant nesting habitat and suitable reptile habitat was also identified throughout the surveyed area. Works are ongoing to investigate the presence of great crested newts in the ponds in close proximity to the site and to identify whether the structures on site are used by roosting bats. Whitcher Wildlife Ltd will also carry out biodiversity calculations and advise on measures to achieve no net loss or a net gain in biodiversity during the project Total waste of money. The area is (still is !!) completely tat. Great crested newts - millions of the blighters around Ince Moss, which is on the other side of the WCML not affected by these works. Lots of two legged reptiles in the area also. Roosting Bats ? - well that's the new builders of the HS2 Golborne spur lunches sorted !!! Brit15
  3. Chinese build HS2 -----That would cause Pandamonium !!! Brit15
  4. Video on this news site. Crew are fortunate. https://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Train-derailment-shuts-down-US-460-hazardous-material-possibly-involved-567832701.html Brit15
  5. I remember (many years ago see OOC photos above) adverts on the Tube trains stating "If you want to go to Glasgow go to Euston" - "If you want to go to York go to Kings Cross" etc etc. There will never be enough railways in / around London !!. Manchester is a mess also, always has been, always will be, like London an accident of British history & early railway development. The Manchester Oxford Rd corridor being a case in point, the recent Castlefield curve has made things worse !!. Germany steals a march on us when they built their railways with most cities having a large HBF (Haupt Bahn Hoff) - Main railway Station - Frankfurt, Munich etc. Far too late for this for London. As mentioned previously the new Bangkok station will do the lot - including their HS lines which are being planned. We will make do with what we have, improve it & add to it - not ideal but perhaps nothing radical (mega expensive) will ever be done in these two cities. Brit15
  6. The old Hopewell project piers are still standing, crumbling etc and have not / will not be used for anything as far as I know. The new high level station at Don Muang is virtually complete. I took these photos in June this year (Wife's family lives nearby and are looking forward to it opening soon). The hopewell piers can be seen in the centre. On the far left is the Don Muang airport, 4 lane elevated expressway viaduct over a 6 / 8 lane main road to the north, old Hopewell piers, metre gauge train heading north out of Don Muang station (state railways) and the new MRT lines - 2 tracks on each viaduct with the new elevated Don Muang station behind, another 4 lane local road far right. Busy area indeed, and we in the UK are banning new petrol / diesel cars in 10 years !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Note the new lines split into two levels for the new station in the background. Never mind, Bangkok will be under water in say 50 years time, so they tell us - Perhaps London also - so build all new railways in coastal areas high off the ground !!! Brit15
  7. Honestly I don't know - there are many alternatives each with plus and minus points. A lot depends on the future timetable of HS trains / Pendolinos (or their replacements) / local services / freight trains etc. WCML north of Crewe to Weaver Junction is mostly 4 track, a 2 track bit exists over a viaduct. Then it's 2 tracks through Moore for a few miles to just south of Warrington (an important station), 4 tracks again to Winwick Jcn, a sharp curve, two tracks for a couple of miles mainly through a cutting to Golborne Jcn with another sharp curve and awkward junction layout from George Stephensons days, Lots of services now use this junction from / to Manchester (at 15mph !!!!!) - main line here is about 60mph. Then its 4 fast tracks to Bamfurlong (where the Golborne spur would join) and just after there are 6 existing fastish tracks to Wigan North Western where the sharp curves are (60 / 80mph) and then two tracks for several miles up to Euxton Jcn then 4 tracks to Preston. The electrified bit from Winwick Jcn through very sharp bends onto the Liverpool & Manchester at Earlestown, through Newton Le Willows and again a 15mph crawl round the curves to rejoin the WCML at Golborne Junction is of little use to fast trains, let alone HST ones, and the Liverpool - Manchester line is very busy these days. Four track the two track bits ? VERY expensive, at least two motorway bridges etc. - It would probably be better build Golborne spur I reckon, though Warrington misses out. The Golborne spur could be lengthened a few miles and use the old Whelley loop line alignment and by pass Wigan, rejoining the WCML (as it used to do) at Standish Jcn. A four track alignment is already there going north (It was de quadrified many years ago). I very much doubt this will even be looked at when cutting costs is the new HS2 mantra. Four tracking north out of Wigan NW would cost a fortune, sharp curve, high embankment leading to a deep cutting at Boars Head, lots of houses on both sides of the line etc. So you pays your money and takes your pick. It's a busy bit of railway from Crewe to Preston, and gets busier year on year. Edited to add - This useful site shows the track diagram & real time trainsI stated above just slide the cursor at the bottom either way. https://traksy.uk/live/M+22+ECCLES+4/M+48+MSGT+-15/M+27+WIGANWL+-2+487Q Brit15.
  8. The Golborne spur (off the Manchester leg) to the WCML just south of Wigan could be for the chop / modified. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/feb/12/hs2-could-be-slower-north-birmingham-cut-costs-grant-shapps Asked by the BBC whether the service would be different north of Birmingham, Shapps said: “I think not dramatically different, but you are right. There has been some over-specification.” He cited the so-called Golborne spur – part of the line near Manchester – as an example of an area that could be reworked, saying it added billions to the cost with little benefit. Brit15
  9. Well I've never been to Big Scrubs (honestly !!) only ever having seen it in several episodes of "The Sweeney" back in the 70's - along with the usual car chase round the old gas works and a fist fight after crashing the poor old Jag / Ford Granada / Transit van while a "Westerner" (Class 52) flew past sounding it's distinctive horn !!!!!!!!!!! Anyway for all you West Lunnon fans here is Old Oak Common MPD - A "Long Good Friday" -- 27 March 1970 - nearly 50 years ago - proper locomotives !!! (we did Finsbury Park & Willesden also that day). 845 (without the D) looks quite spick & span. 5536 - Eastern Invader !!!!! Brit15
  10. New multi use (HST (being planned) - state railway & mass rapid transit with new bus station underneath) at Bangkok How did that Pendolino get there ? - that would be handy, Wigan North Western to Bangkok direct !!!!!!!!! --- Not just an artists dream either, work is cracking on. If we Brits have lost anything it's our pride. We CAN build the best if we chose to do so and pull our fingers out. It's all about leadership - both political and industrial. We seem to be lacking leadership in both departments. Boris ? - well, I honestly don't know - we will see. Brit15
  11. Old Oak Common - far to posh - The new station should be named after its actual location --- London Wormwood Scrubs !!!!!!!!!!! Brit15
  12. Just found this - The Oakervee review into HS2. 130 pages. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/864842/oakervee-review.pdf Brit15
  13. I watched the announcement and questions earlier today on Parliament TV. It seemed to be that both labour & conservative (etc) MP's whose constituencies lay on or near the proposed routes were very much in favour - and those who did not (Wales, Scotland etc) very much against. The Dundee MP was quite agitated. Human nature I suppose. Talk was also about the Trans Pennine upgrades though just fancy words at the moment - no concrete proposals. Liverpool & Hull seem to be "out of it" as its the Manchester - Leeds line got all the talk. A Sheffield MP wanted re-assurances too ----- RE-OPEN WOODHEAD to connect the two legs (my comment !!). The Golborne spur was mentioned (That's the bit off the Manchester leg through Lowton / Golborne that connects to the WCML just south of Wigan). The locals are against this as it passes directly through a large and newish housing estate. Warrington is very much against this also as it means HS trains will by pass Warrington. A "North West" hub station at Wigan is talked about. Not ideal either as there are 80mph curves at either end of Wigan North Western, then two already very busy tracks for a few miles to Euxton Jcn where 4 tracks north commence - This has been talked about a few times before. It is a problem though. Perhaps savings will be made by HS2 just going to Manchester directly from Crewe and the existing WCML north from Crewe upgraded - we will see. At least it's now officially on. Good news. Brit15
  14. I bet we end up with one of these at Wigan !!!!! Brit15
  15. Good news - Start at Wigan and work south !!!! Brit15
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