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Proposed Lincolnshire electrification


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Sorry if this has been mentioned before but I was talking to a friend earlier and he mentioned that Network Rail had submitted a proposal to the DfT for electrifying the Peterborough to Doncaster joint line via Spalding, Sleaford (both station and bypass) and Lincoln, plus the line from Nottingham to Skegness as part of a extension of the MML electrification.

 

It sounded quite a wild idea, though I can see the benefits of electrification of the joint line to reduce NR’s carbon footprint, but the Nottingham - Skegness route to me doesn’t sound like a very good business model considering the low numbers travelling, except for peak times.

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4 hours ago, jools1959 said:

Sorry if this has been mentioned before but I was talking to a friend earlier and he mentioned that Network Rail had submitted a proposal to the DfT for electrifying the Peterborough to Doncaster joint line via Spalding, Sleaford (both station and bypass) and Lincoln, plus the line from Nottingham to Skegness as part of a extension of the MML electrification.

 

It sounded quite a wild idea, though I can see the benefits of electrification of the joint line to reduce NR’s carbon footprint, but the Nottingham - Skegness route to me doesn’t sound like a very good business model considering the low numbers travelling, except for peak times.

 

The joint line would make some sense as there's more freight using it now and it could already have the clearances since it was upgraded for freight use.

As you say though the Skegness line is not much more than a very long twig most of the time and would probably need a fair bit of work on bridge clearances. 

It's still mostly manually signalled as well so not even that near any sort of modernisation, signalling alone is going to cost serious money.

Maybe the increased costs of running it after May will improve it's chances?

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The joint line would be primarily for freight.

 

And presumably manual signalling would need less work doing to it for immunisation than an old modernisation project would. I suspect any new resignalling would be electrification-proof as far as possible, even if actually electrifying it is not considered especially likely.

 

Though electrifying the Skegness line does seem a bit of a reach. More of a candidate for bionic duckweed I'd imagine.

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^^^

Let me just say that I will believe the proposal when I see class 319 EMUs trundling up and down the Joint Line! ;)

 

Mind you, ex-Felixstowe freight trains will still be hauled by diesel locos since the Ely - Peterborough section will not be wired up.

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54 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

Though electrifying the Skegness line does seem a bit of a reach. More of a candidate for bionic duckweed I'd imagine.

 

I would have thought a few strategically placed PP9's would suffice?

 

Mike.

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3 hours ago, great central said:

 

The joint line would make some sense as there's more freight using it now and it could already have the clearances since it was upgraded for freight use.

As you say though the Skegness line is not much more than a very long twig most of the time and would probably need a fair bit of work on bridge clearances. 

It's still mostly manually signalled as well so not even that near any sort of modernisation, signalling alone is going to cost serious money.

Maybe the increased costs of running it after May will improve it's chances?

 

There are no road over rail bridges between Sleaford and Skegness that I can recall, and only 5 approx between Sleaford and Nottingham .

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3 hours ago, great central said:

 

The joint line would make some sense as there's more freight using it now and it could already have the clearances since it was upgraded for freight use.

As you say though the Skegness line is not much more than a very long twig most of the time and would probably need a fair bit of work on bridge clearances. 

It's still mostly manually signalled as well so not even that near any sort of modernisation, signalling alone is going to cost serious money.

Maybe the increased costs of running it after May will improve it's chances?

Maybe intermittent electrification on the Grantham - Skegness section and batteries filling in the gaps ? 

There are 2 road bridges between Allington and Skegness, one just after Firsby plus the Sleaford bypass (A15) west of Sleaford. That one is relatively new and looks to be high enough 

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2 hours ago, mikejames said:

 

a) what are pp9s?

 

Hi Mike, can’t help much on the railway questions for this bit of geography, but this a PP9 is a 9 volt battery 

 

Andrew

 

 

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1 hour ago, class26 said:

Maybe intermittent electrification on the Grantham - Skegness section and batteries filling in the gaps ? 

There are 2 road bridges between Allington and Skegness, one just after Firsby plus the Sleaford bypass (A15) west of Sleaford. That one is relatively new and looks to be high enough 

There's also one by the site of Barkston east junction and the bridge under the ECML. Trying to think if Grand Sluice has trusses across the top? 

Also both the A1 bridge and old great north road not far from Allington.

Not to mention the bridge under the joint line to the east of Sleaford, that's pretty tight clearance and currently having problems with flood prevention work.

 

 

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2 hours ago, 40F said:

 

There are no road over rail bridges between Sleaford and Skegness that I can recall, and only 5 approx between Sleaford and Nottingham .

 

No, but there is the *rail* over bridge, where the Skegness route passes under the GN&GE avoiding line, just north of Sleaford South Junction. 

 

If that needed to be altered it might be rather expensive, and would necessitate temporary closure of both routes. 

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1 hour ago, 62613 said:

It's clearance under overbridges which is the problem, though.

 

 

???? . The bridges referred to are road over rail, which would involve clearance checks.

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1 hour ago, jonny777 said:

 

No, but there is the *rail* over bridge, where the Skegness route passes under the GN&GE avoiding line, just north of Sleaford South Junction. 

 

If that needed to be altered it might be rather expensive, and would necessitate temporary closure of both routes. 

 

 

There is enough room to lower the line , as they did at Keynsham before the electrification to Bristol was cancelled/put on hold. 

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1 hour ago, 40F said:

 

 

???? . The bridges referred to are road over rail, which would involve clearance checks.

Someone mentioned an underbridge (near Sleaford?)

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1 hour ago, 40F said:

 

 

There is enough room to lower the line , as they did at Keynsham before the electrification to Bristol was cancelled/put on hold. 

 

Please note what 'Great Central' said earlier as regards flooding!

 

If digging down goes below the water table then you will have to continually pump it out.

 

Even if its above the water table, if its the only dip for some distance then it will get waterlogged in wet weather which brings problems with maintaining decent p-way quality.

 

Re-building / raising bridges is the preferred method for this reason - its only if that becomes too complex (Utilities, neighbouring road junctions, etc) is comprising the railway formation considered acceptable.

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8 hours ago, great central said:

 

It's still mostly manually signalled as well so not even that near any sort of modernisation, signalling alone is going to cost serious money.

 

 

Will it (by railway standards) though?

 

Please remember that the future is in cab signalling with no lineside signals. At a stroke that removes a large chunk off the bill and thats before you get to the reduction in staff because of the use of obstacle detectors to monitor levels crossings and automatic route setting etc can bring.

 

While most work being done over the next 5 years is of the conventional type, the whole Southern section of the ECML (Kings Cross to Doncaster) is due to get in Cab ECTS within a decade.

 

Much like Highways England have vowed never to build (or widen) a motorway with hard shoulders ever again (they will all be 'Smart Motorways') its entirely conceivable that NR could similarly issue an edict that all future re-signalling schemes will be done as ECTS.

 

Given the line to Skegness is effectively a stub end branch I could easily see it (and the joint line) be a prime candidate to follow the ECML with ECTS rollout.

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39 minutes ago, phil-b259 said:

 

Will it (by railway standards) though?

 

Please remember that the future is in cab signalling with no lineside signals. At a stroke that removes a large chunk off the bill and thats before you get to the reduction in staff because of the use of obstacle detectors to monitor levels crossings and automatic route setting etc can bring.

 

While most work being done over the next 5 years is of the conventional type, the whole Southern section of the ECML (Kings Cross to Doncaster) is due to get in Cab ECTS within a decade.

 

Much like Highways England have vowed never to build (or widen) a motorway with hard shoulders ever again (they will all be 'Smart Motorways') its entirely conceivable that NR could similarly issue an edict that all future re-signalling schemes will be done as ECTS.

 

Given the line to Skegness is effectively a stub end branch I could easily see it (and the joint line) be a prime candidate to follow the ECML with ECTS rollout.

I would think given the number of signal boxes still manned on the Skegness line , if they did introduce ECTS there would be large savings in  time.

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1 hour ago, phil-b259 said:

Please remember that the future is in cab signalling with no lineside signals. At a stroke that removes a large chunk off the bill and thats before you get to the reduction in staff because of the use of obstacle detectors to monitor levels crossings and automatic route setting etc can bring.

 

The obstacle detectors are in the wrong place.  They are needed in HM Treasury,

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2 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

....  Please remember that the future is in cab signalling with no lineside signals. .......

I'm sure they said that twenty years ago ................ or was it thirty ? ( Actually the R.E.T.B. cabin at Banavie dates from 1987. )

 

225.22.jpg

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Having used Nottingham to Grantham every day about 20 years ago, I can think of (with a bit of help from Google Earth) these bridges on that section:

 

Nottingham London Road 

Netherfield station

3 on the old 4 track section between Radcliffe and Bingham

Elton and Orston Station

One between Bottesford and Allington

The A1 at Grantham (followed by a tunnel)

An occupation Bridge just after the tunnel in Grantham, although the farmland on one side is now a housing estate, so it can probably just be removed as no longer used (there's a long talked about plan to put in a road bridge at this location, which would presumably be built to the right clearances).  

 

Luckily Lincolnshire gets a lot less hilly once you are clear of Grantham though. I can't quite see the point of electrifying Grantham - Skegness, unless this is part of some masterplan to electrify everything. Possibly as part of a post-Covid Keynesian economic recovery plan to spend money on infrastructure. 

 

 

 

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Some interesting points raised and I can see the benefits of the joint line being electrified including Sleaford station, but the whole of the Skegness branch, I’m not so sure.

 

If the MML electrification is ever finished all the way to Nottingham and Sheffield, then putting the wires up between Nottingham and Sleaford makes more sense.  With Greater Anglia finally ironing out the bugs on their Stadler “Flirts”, we might see something like them replacing what’s running on the line now.

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On 14/03/2021 at 09:57, class26 said:

Maybe intermittent electrification on the Grantham - Skegness section and batteries filling in the gaps ?

Discontinuous electrification is a tool to use where it's difficult and expensive to get the wires up. The discussion here at least suggests that bridge works (which are expensive) won't be a massive deal on the Nottingham to Skegness route, so there may be no major benefit and lots of compromises to a discontinuous approach in that instance.

 

The bigger issue is probably that the route doesn't come close to justifying electrification of any sort in terms of traffic.

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48 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

Discontinuous electrification is a tool to use where it's difficult and expensive to get the wires up.

 

 

Maybe it would be even better in any areas powered by third rail electrification that are liable to floods.

If they extend the Great Western electric to Cornwall, perhaps it might be used around Dawlish.

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