Jump to content

porkie

East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line

Recommended Posts

A new missive has arrived from the East West Rail Consortium:

 

https://mailchi.mp/b25587a778e1/bedford-cambridge-route-options-announced?e=ddca3c6ce6

 

This considers the route options for Bedford to Cambridge and it seems that a route via Sandy/Tempsford  is preferred.

 

Not strictly Oxford to Bletchley but I can't locate a thread for the whole route. This project has another good ten years still to run so we either add to the existing eighteen pages or start a new one!

 

David

Route A is cheapest and most direct, so that one's ruled out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My vote would be to possibly rename this thread East West rail.

 

Jamie

Good idea, Jamie. How is it done?

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Route C or D for me. The others may mean moving the existing station at Sandy which is convenient for the town. Route D also utilises Bedford Midland station rather than a new one to the South, although that may not be a bad thing with the Wixams development.

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in the seventies a friend of mine based in Aylesbury became the signalman at Calvert  a small box his main job was to signal the rubbish train from Bristol plus occasional  freights to Bletchley.He transferred to signalling after being a driver at Aylesbury depot his daughter followed him onto the railway as a driver he retired in the ninteys.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea, Jamie. How is it done?

 

David

 

'porkie' who started the thread can do it by going to the first page and selecting the full editor.  However if he is no longer involved then I suspect that the mods would have to do it, certainly our leader, Mr Y could do it.

 

Jamie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry guys, only just seen replies to my thread.  Just changed topic name.

 

finding the new forum layout abit difficult to work on my phone.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello, 

 

does anyone have a map/plan showing the location and layout of the WW2 Swanbourne Sidings - despite knowing the area quite well, and having walked the line, I still get mildly confused about where they began and ended!

 

kevin

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Hello, 

 

does anyone have a map/plan showing the location and layout of the WW2 Swanbourne Sidings - despite knowing the area quite well, and having walked the line, I still get mildly confused about where they began and ended!

 

kevin

 

If you follow Whaddon Road on leaving Newton Longville, where it crosses the Railway Line is the start (East End) of Swanbourne Sidings (the Head Shunt / Sand Drag and the Points to the East End entrance start just a few yards on the Eastern Side of the Bridge. The Signal box was towards the West End of the Sidings on the left as you look from the bridge. The Sidings were to the right looking from the bridge. The West End Entrance to the Yard was about 2/3 rds of the way to the next bridge. 

 

If you look at this view  https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@51.976504,-0.7909197,1566m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en you can see the approximate formation of the complete Yard. 

Edited by Pannier Tank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many thanks.

 

its the next bridge, near Salden Wood, that has me pondering this again, because the parapets have clearly been renewed at some stage, and i’d Guess 1920s-1940s, so I wondered whether it had been rebuilt when the sidings were put in.

 

kevin

Edited by Nearholmer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

Hello, 

 

does anyone have a map/plan showing the location and layout of the WW2 Swanbourne Sidings - despite knowing the area quite well, and having walked the line, I still get mildly confused about where they began and ended!

 

kevin

Does the NLS site help? Try this one? https://maps.nls.uk/view/101449354

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Nearholmer said:

Many thanks.

 

its the next bridge, near Salden Wood, that has me pondering this again, because the parapets have clearly been renewed at some stage, and i’d Guess 1920s-1940s, so I wondered whether it had been rebuilt when the sidings were put in.

 

kevin

So basically the wooded area on the right in this picture. The next bridge near Sladen Wood is just visible in the distance.

 

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/uploads/monthly_05_2018/post-29514-0-85500600-1525293095.jpg

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you chaps, all confusion now dispelled.

 

I somehow had it in my head that it extended further along, to that bridge at Salden Wood.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, eastwestdivide said:

Does the NLS site help? Try this one? https://maps.nls.uk/view/101449354

 

The Eastern End of the NLS Map is how I remember it, I recall the Pointwork being near to / under the Railway Bridge and the East/West Crossover for Entry / Exit. However I also seem to recall there were 3 Departure / Reception Roads and a further 10 Sidings and also in addition to the West End Entrance / Exit Pointwork shown on the NLS Map there was also a Crossover to allow Entry / Exit for West Bound traffic.

 

I have fond memories of Swanbourne Sidings, having had a Cab ride in a Brush Type 2 (Class 31). The loco left Bletchley (L.E) and travelled to Swanbourne Sidings Signal Box to pick up a Shunter and then gained access to the West End of the yard via the crossover and running through the Yard to couple up to the train before returning to Bletchley.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Swanbourne Yard was still busy in the early sixties saw brick trains leave there plus regular freights towards Oxford although these were decreasing and cripple stock I think took up the sidings.One regular service was the parcels from Aylesbury to Northampton and of course dmu,s going to be serviced at Bletchley .It always seemed a shame that a regular service to Bletchley never happened as it would have given a good connection northwards.     I think that the descoping that has taken place on this project is disgraceful ,electrification would have been the real benefit and possibly could have led to the wires reaching Aylesbury and then Risboro, Marylebone as there to Brum must be wired soon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think one of the reasons for the "descoping" mentioned by LMSforever is that the E-W link is hamstrung by the present single track and multiple level crossings between Bletchley and Bedford. 

 

If the sections between Oxford, Bicester Village and Bletchley [plus/minus MK] together with an extension from Calvert to Bletchley [i.e., Marylebone - Aylesbury - Bletchley] are considered, then idc they could well form part of the [freight] "electric spine".  However there are 12 level crossings between Bletchley and Bedford on low lying floodplain land which would make for a very slow journey from the GWML via Oxford to the MML. 

 

I would very much like to see a fast route for pax and freight linking the GWML via Oxford to the MML and/or eventually to the ECML but I suspect that the present rail infrastructure beyond Bletchley is a show stopper.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Arun Sharma said:

I think one of the reasons for the "descoping" mentioned by LMSforever is that the E-W link is hamstrung by the present single track and multiple level crossings between Bletchley and Bedford. 

 

If the sections between Oxford, Bicester Village and Bletchley [plus/minus MK] together with an extension from Calvert to Bletchley [i.e., Marylebone - Aylesbury - Bletchley] are considered, then idc they could well form part of the [freight] "electric spine".  However there are 12 level crossings between Bletchley and Bedford on low lying floodplain land which would make for a very slow journey from the GWML via Oxford to the MML. 

 

I would very much like to see a fast route for pax and freight linking the GWML via Oxford to the MML and/or eventually to the ECML but I suspect that the present rail infrastructure beyond Bletchley is a show stopper.

Electric spine never really made sense when originally proposed.  At the time the only planned electrified route onwards would have been MML to Sheffield via Derby.  There were and are no freight terminals on this route so freight would have to continue beyond Sheffield and would be more likley to use the Erewash Valley rather than the busy Derby route and to have gone via Corby to avoid the busy double track through Market Harborough.  So significant amounts of infill electrification would have been necessary to create a useable electrif freight route. 

 

There are now some freight facilities around Castle Donington but electrification won't go beyond Market Harborough for the foreseeable future. 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

Electric spine never really made sense when originally proposed.  At the time the only planned electrified route onwards would have been MML to Sheffield via Derby.  There were and are no freight terminals on this route so freight would have to continue beyond Sheffield and would be more likley to use the Erewash Valley rather than the busy Derby route and to have gone via Corby to avoid the busy double track through Market Harborough.  So significant amounts of infill electrification would have been necessary to create a useable electrif freight route. 

 

There are now some freight facilities around Castle Donington but electrification won't go beyond Market Harborough for the foreseeable future. 

It did make sense if you think of it linking the GWML with the WCML, forget the MML, although if you continue east you reach the ECML. With HS2 releasing capacity for more freight on the WCML, it makes alot of sense if only going that far to start with. Southampton to Brum and Manchester using dual voltage electrics must surely be better than all those aging 66s plying the route.

 

Dave

  • Like 2
  • Agree 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Davexoc said:

It did make sense if you think of it linking the GWML with the WCML, forget the MML, although if you continue east you reach the ECML. With HS2 releasing capacity for more freight on the WCML, it makes alot of sense if only going that far to start with. Southampton to Brum and Manchester using dual voltage electrics must surely be better than all those aging 66s plying the route.

 

Dave

Yes it would have made sense.   92's are dual voltage but I don't know if they are cleared for the Southampton Basingstoke stretch.   I remember that there were a lot of problems getting them cleared on some of the potential diversionary routes from Dollands Moor to London.  The original idea was sound but events such as the scaling back of electrification plans have overtaken it.

 

Jamie

  • Agree 1
  • Informative/Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty sure 92s aren't cleared on the South Western and their current draw on the third rail makes it unlikely they would be.  The solution for that part of the route was intended to be conversion to 25kV, but that has been killed by rising costs on other 25kV schemes and it probably makes more sense to spend whatever cash is available on electrifying non-electric routes.  Without that conversion the electric spine doesn't make sense even just going to Birmingham, as the only major freight flow between the GWML and the Midlands runs to and from South Wales so wouldn't go via Didcot. 

Edited by Edwin_m
  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Edwin_m said:

Pretty sure 92s aren't cleared on the South Western and their current draw on the third rail makes it unlikely they would be.  The solution for that part of the route was intended to be conversion to 25kV, but that has been killed by rising costs on other 25kV schemes and it probably makes more sense to spend whatever cash is available on electrifying non-electric routes.  Without that conversion the electric spine doesn't make sense even just going to Birmingham, as the only major freight flow between the GWML and the Midlands runs to and from South Wales so wouldn't go via Didcot. 

How about freight moves from Southampton to DIRFT - surely that could go via Basingstoke-Reading-Didcot-Oxford-Winslow-Bletchley and onto the WCML for the final leg?

Additionally, much to the angst of locals it seems, there are plans for further DIRFT-like hubs in Northamptonshire.

Edited by Arun Sharma
addnl info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Arun Sharma said:

How about freight moves from Southampton to DIRFT - surely that could go via Basingstoke-Reading-Didcot-Oxford-Winslow-Bletchley and onto the WCML for the final leg?

Additionally, much to the angst of locals it seems, there are plans for further DIRFT-like hubs in Northamptonshire.

Yes it could, but not with electric haulage. 

  • Agree 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely the main connection is the wcml as this is were most freight heads the mml also does not offer the journey options for passengers along most of the route.Oxford offers a good range of journeys and doubtless will require development soon ,a possible source of traffic could be Aylesbury Oxford via Winslow if the times are good but bus times are good direct and by car it takes forty minutes.When the services start running there will have to be an intense publicity campaign as rail has disappeared from peoples minds in a wide area by whoever is running trains.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely if the SWML was meaty enough for a 3300 hp REP it'll be beefy enough for a 92?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, roythebus said:

Surely if the SWML was meaty enough for a 3300 hp REP it'll be beefy enough for a 92?

 

Acording to Wikipedia, a class 92 on DC is rated at 5,360 hp!

 

Thats not far short of two REP units running together.

 

However the biggest problem with the 92s on DC is interference with signalling - the routes used by them in Kent had to undergo significant replacement of track circuits etc to prevent to possibility of the 92s (and Eurostars, oh and the Networker EMUs) false clearing the track circuits around them as they passed - and this is one of the main reasons they cannot be used on the official diversionary route from the tunnel via Redhill as said modifications were not carried out on the BML.

 

To upgrade the SWML on a similar scale to what was done in Kent wouldn't come cheap - and given it would provide zero passenger benefits (newer EMU stock produces far less of the troubling interference) the appetite for spending Government on it simply doesn't exist.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the time it is all completed Vossloh could develop a 93? based around the 88, but third rail and a bit less juicy than a 92. Come on someone....

Or how about a pair of 73s, one with the diesel, the other with a pan?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.