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porkie

East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line

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6 minutes ago, Davexoc said:

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?

 

Both such solutions still cost a lot more than a bog standard go anywhere diesel though!

 

Its noteworthy that out of the freight operators ONLY the state backed DRS has invested in new electric traction - and that was only after acquiring a large 66 fleet.

 

FOCs operate on wafer thin margins and are constantly struggling to complete with the more flexible road haulage lobby (particularly as the traditional bulk traffics like coal have disappeared). This need to be extremely efficient means complex locos or locos that need swooping mid journey are disliked - plus of course with electric traction they need to pay a monopoly supplier of electricity (where as diesel fuel can be bought from a number of competing companies several months in advance to secure best price.

 

In short electric traction is only viable to privately owned FOCs when the state has already invested heavily in providing extensive OLE coverage (including freight terminals, linking chords and cross country connectivity) . In most of Europe national Governments have been keen to invest in electrification with extensive wired networks making it a far more cost effective situation for FOCs.

 

Until the UK Government gets its finger out and stops its fixation with 'Bionic duckweed' to power everything rather then invest properly in electric railway infrastructure, diesel (or possibly Hydrogen if diesel gets banned) locomotives will remain the mainstay of UK based freight operations.

 

 

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With the clocks going forward giving lighter evenings, time for a quick look around the line. The fence, gate and lock makers are doing good business, all access points, farm crossings and paths are barricaded and locked now.

 

Steeple Claydon level crossing west and east.

 

IMG_9236.JPG.b423c621c4c6b86887b94162aff77fc2.JPG

 

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Sandhills east

 

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Verney junction station east

 

IMG_9246.JPG.f91b64244f2d0608716e39709c2d0113.JPG

 

Dave

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With regard to the 'N-S electric spine' that was proposed a while back, I thought the route was to be Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington-Oxford-Reading-Basingstoke-Southampton.

 

Graham

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8 hours ago, dagrizz said:

With regard to the 'N-S electric spine' that was proposed a while back, I thought the route was to be Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington-Oxford-Reading-Basingstoke-Southampton.

 

Graham

The idea was to do both that and a connection to hte MML for electric trains via EWR, in conjunction with the other electrification schemes that were expected at the time to be introduced.  As I posted above the MML leg as proposed didn't make a lot of sense. 

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8 hours ago, lmsforever said:

That's a lot of clearance at Verney is the pub still in existence?

Not as a pub or restaurant. There is a 3 bed cottage for sale for £475k if you fancy watching proceedings.....

 

Glad I went yesterday after todays rain, hail and sleet downpours. It isn't that cleared though, this is zoomed in looking east

 

IMG_9247.JPG.2f92e8ca52994a6e16ebe3e0a6655d11.JPG

 

And looking west into the setting sun

 

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Then at Winslow even after the recent lack of rain, west

 

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And east

 

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Dave

 

Edited by Davexoc
grammar....
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That bit near Winslow is always wet, because there are springs at a higher level than the track-bed, and the "trunk"  and ducting that are supposed to carry the water away have comprehensively failed.

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11 minutes ago, Nearholmer said:

That bit near Winslow is always wet, because there are springs at a higher level than the track-bed, and the "trunk"  and ducting that are supposed to carry the water away have comprehensively failed.

I can see springs north of A413/B4033 junction, but these ought to flow north away from the line. Is the failed duct alongside the A413 in the new location for Winslow station then?

I know there is an aquaduct the other side of Swanbourne to contend with, that is mapped though.

 

Dave

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Not surprised the pub at Verney has closed it was out in wilds but house prices will drop when the new road goes past Winslow,

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On 03/04/2019 at 13:39, Nearholmer said:

You're right, thats the area I was thinking about.

 

Aquaduct in this shot, and much drier than Winslow. Gates at footpath crossing point.

 

IMG_9257.JPG.ceb8b37efbc8581983532a718346f445.JPG

 

Mileage boards have appeared along the route, seemingly Bletchley is 0 miles as Swanbourne station is just west of this one, taken from same bridge as above shot and the old 4 milepost used to be beyond the bridge just around the bend. I wonder if the route mileages will be amended in the future??

 

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Sandhills bridge comes out at 10 miles

 

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And east of Claydon LC appears to be 11

 

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Dave

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On 03/04/2019 at 19:36, lmsforever said:

Not surprised the pub at Verney has closed it was out in wilds but house prices will drop when the new road goes past Winslow,

It wouldn't surprise me to see them go the other way as the railway links will open up a new area with many options. Good transport links increase house prices rather than depress them.

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On 01/04/2019 at 08:31, 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. 

 

Not only that, GBRf seem to be the only operator of class 92s on "domestic" Network Rail metals.  AIUI DB have given up maintaining their 92s for Network Rail and purely operate through the tunnel to and from France, and maybe up HS1 to Barking.

 

  

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Definitely something going on at the Bletchley end of the link, between the flyover and newton road. A rail digger has just along the rails infront of my house 

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People in orange clothes out in force everywhere along the Bedford-Calvert section when I cycled that way today.

 

This is Claydon, looking west, and there was a group of surveyors at work on the east side of the LC.

 

Something, possibly work to the crown of the arch, was being done to an over bridge a bit further west, but I didn’t stop to look.

 

0510FD01-9B6F-463A-BFCE-BFB88247C028.jpeg

Edited by Nearholmer
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On a sort-of-related note, the class 230s (converted D78 underground cars) have had a month or more now working Bletchley-Bedford in public service. 

More over here: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/127786-class-230-into-revenue-service/&do=findComment&comment=3535781

 

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On 11/04/2019 at 11:45, porkie said:

Definitely something going on at the Bletchley end of the link, between the flyover and newton road. A rail digger has just along the rails infront of my house 

 

This was the view on the evening of 1st May with the road-rail machine stabled on top of the flyover. The former Bletchley PSB (Power Signal Box) can be seen below the machine. 

DSC_0039.JPG.03ce4bee88d04fc8d236d899db4a6c91.JPG

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A works compound has been set up in an industrial estate car park to allow access to the track bed west of Bletchley station. A road-rail machine is on the former Oxford line which gave access to the West Coast Main Line on the level south of Bletchley station which has been lifted for many years. Current rail access to both the West Coast Main Line and the Bedford branch is via the flyover seen at the top of the picture. This section was in use for spoil trains worked during the West Coast Route Modernisation scheme when trains ran over the flyover to run round the train before taking the spoil down the Bedford branch for filling in some of the former brick work clay workings. Access to the Bedford branch was gained just west of Stag Bridge and Fenny Stratford station. 

 

The picture of the works compound was taken yesterday (2 July) using a mobile phone. 

 

20190702_154252.jpg.2ceae661e29e8ddea865d1f2786f946b.jpg

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1 hour ago, 1E BoY said:

A works compound has been set up in an industrial estate car park to allow access to the track bed west of Bletchley station. A road-rail machine is on the former Oxford line which gave access to the West Coast Main Line on the level south of Bletchley station which has been lifted for many years. Current rail access to both the West Coast Main Line and the Bedford branch is via the flyover seen at the top of the picture. This section was in use for spoil trains worked during the West Coast Route Modernisation scheme when trains ran over the flyover to run round the train before taking the spoil down the Bedford branch for filling in some of the former brick work clay workings. Access to the Bedford branch was gained just west of Stag Bridge and Fenny Stratford station. 

 

The picture of the works compound was taken yesterday (2 July) using a mobile phone. 

 

 

I assume the picture is taken "looking North" where the Oxford Branch passed under the Flyover to gain access to Bletchley Platforms 1 & 2 the PSB being on the left ?

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17 minutes ago, Pannier Tank said:

 

I assume the picture is taken "looking North" where the Oxford Branch passed under the Flyover to gain access to Bletchley Platforms 1 & 2 the PSB being on the left ?

 

The picture is taken looking towards the south. Oxford is to the right (west) with the remaining flyover line about to begin passing behind the Poets Estate where it joins the old formation en-route to the current buffer stop near the Newton Road bridge. The former junction with the West Coast Main Line is to the left. Bridges known locally as Three Bridges cross Water Eaton Road and carried the main lines, the Oxford line and a head shunt for the carriage sheds, the site of which became the former Telephone Rentals building. The building of the flyover confused us in our formative years as we counted four bridges after it was built! 

 

The machines have been provided with a new access road on to the formation. The works site includes the usual array of portakabins and security fencing. I was not aware of it being in place and found it by accident! 

 

The flat junctions were south of Bletchley station as they required trains to and from Bedford/Cambridge to access platforms 7 & 8 (the current 5 & 6) which required crossing all four main lines. Platforms 1 & 2 were used by trains which were starting from or terminating at Bletchley. These included those from Banbury Merton Street / Buckingham which shared the Oxford line between Verney Junction and Bletchley until withdrawal of passenger services to Buckingham in 1964, the line beyond to Banbury having lost its passenger services before that.

 

 

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42 minutes ago, 1E BoY said:

 

The picture is taken looking towards the south. 

 

 

Thank for the conformation, it was all the over grown trees that was confusing me!

 

I used to spend many an hour Spotting at Bletchley Station during the early to mid 60s.  I travelled on the last Passenger Train from Buckingham with M79900 and on the same day, the last trains on the Wolverton to Newport Pagnell with 41222. Happy Days!

 

I used to watch the 15:50 Cambridge to Oxford (Platform 8) and the 15:53 Oxford to Cambridge (Platform 7) Trains traverse across the Main Lines.

Edited by Pannier Tank
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I also spent time spotting at Bletchley, however this was in the early 70s which by that time meant getting the bus from Oxford, which had replaced the trains ! It will be wonderful to see the route back in full operation.

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2 hours ago, Pannier Tank said:

 

Thank for the conformation, it was all the over grown trees that was confusing me!

 

I used to spend many an hour Spotting at Bletchley Station during the early to mid 60s.  I travelled on the last Passenger Train from Buckingham with M79900 and on the same day, the last trains on the Wolverton to Newport Pagnell with 41222. Happy Days!

 

I used to watch the 15:50 Cambridge to Oxford (Platform 8) and the 15:53 Oxford to Cambridge (Platform 7) Trains traverse across the Main Lines.

 

The overgrown trees are those surrounding the Newfoundout, which used to supply Bletchley MPD with its water and now frequented those who carry fishing rods.

 

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1 hour ago, 1E BoY said:

 

The overgrown trees are those surrounding the Newfoundout, which used to supply Bletchley MPD with its water and now frequented those who carry fishing rods.

 

 

Ah ok, I now have a better idea of the location now. Just the other side of the Newfoudout is where the single line Chord use to be, linking the Down Fast to Fletton Sidings Signal Box. I used to have a ride on the Engine (typically a Black Five) on the Bletchley to Lambs Siding  (travelling wrong line on the Down Fast) and the Lambs Siding to Swanbourne Sidings Brick Train. The Driver used to stop on the Chord to drop me off so that I could walk back to the Station.

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