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porkie

East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line

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I don’t know whether NR has the sense/ability to do such things nowadays, but this line is a great candidate for ‘creeping electrification’ whereby provision is made in the renewal/upgrade of the substations at all the locations where it crosses/intersects with electrified routes, leaving relatively simple ‘pole and wire’ to be done between.

 

The big challenge is that NR has painted itself into a corner around very expensive OLE designs, when wit and determination could provide cheaper ways of achieving the result - whether the people concerned can create the shift of design ethos that is needed to make schemes like this affordable, time alone will tell.

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Given that the government has just announced that they are bringing forward the date when the sale of diesel and petrol cars will cease, I assume that the road lobby will attack any plan to build a new railway that allows fossil fuels to be used to power the trains. Plus the usual protest groups. Any body want to tip them off? 

Bernard

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Non-electrified doesn't necessarily mean diesel. Though whilst other options are being developed, they're not there yet or we'd be buying them in large quantities already.

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3 hours ago, Zomboid said:

Non-electrified doesn't necessarily mean diesel. Though whilst other options are being developed, they're not there yet or we'd be buying them in large quantities already.

 

EWR services are almost certainly too long and energy intensive for battery units, and Hydrogen would be highly problematic - who knows what they'd cost, what operating restrictions will be imposed and what capacity they'd have (if the proposed 321 conversion is anything to go by...)

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Reported in the MK local rag that the go-ahead has been given. Reported as 2 services per hour MK to Oxford, plus one MK to Aylesbury and just one Bedford to Oxford.

As the Marston Vale CRP are at MKMRS exhibition the coming weekend, might see if they can elaborate and put some projected dates on that.

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Just received my latest issue of Rail Magazine with an article about the EWR  it is worrying to read that yet another study is to take ,engeneering and environmental  and then maybe the green light for construction will be given. If construction starts this summer we will be lucky.

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There's zero chance that construction will start at any point in 2020, unless detailed designs are already at an extremely advanced stage.

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Thanks I suppose we have waited thirty years another one wont matter  but what a drawn out saga why are things like this in the UK?

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It takes a long time to design something like this. If the government has finally decided what it is that they want and authorised some progress then designs to that specification can now start. (There may be outline or even detailed designs to a different spec knocking around, but generally historic stuff even from just a couple of years ago needs the kind of revalidation exercise that means you might as well read whatever was written and then start from scratch).

 

I highly doubt this is a uniquely British phenomenon either. We just don't see it elsewhere.

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I'd bet that most of the waiting around so far has been waiting for politicians to make their minds up, rather than surveyors, consultants etc producing reports and surveys.

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10 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

It takes a long time to design something like this. If the government has finally decided what it is that they want and authorised some progress then designs to that specification can now start. (There may be outline or even detailed designs to a different spec knocking around, but generally historic stuff even from just a couple of years ago needs the kind of revalidation exercise that means you might as well read whatever was written and then start from scratch).

 

I highly doubt this is a uniquely British phenomenon either. We just don't see it elsewhere.

DB's Munich-Wurzburg Neubaustrecke comes to mind. 

(Might not have been the stretch between those two places, but it was somewhere around there, and it's taken donkeys years).

 

And don't mention the new Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg.

Edited by rodent279
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2 hours ago, rodent279 said:

DB's Munich-Wurzburg Neubaustrecke comes to mind. 

(Might not have been the stretch between those two places, but it was somewhere around there, and it's taken donkeys years).

 

And don't mention the new Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg.

Berlin Brandenburg seems to have been a genuine failure of designers and constructors or their management.  There have been a few like that in the UK (Crossrail springs to mind) but off the top I can't think of anything recent that's been so severe.  

 

2 hours ago, rodent279 said:

I'd bet that most of the waiting around so far has been waiting for politicians to make their minds up, rather than surveyors, consultants etc producing reports and surveys.

I believe the basic problem in the UK is that after each stage of feasibility study and design there is usually a long pause while they decide whether to go to the next stage and if so scrat together the money to pay for it.  All too often that means something has changed in the meantime (requirements, demand, standards etc) which invalidates all or part of what was done before, so it has to be repeated.  

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BBC ten o clock news reporting that HS2 is to go ahead.

 

The Oxford - Bletchley line is required for access to the line of route around the proposed work site at Calvert.

 

If this is the case then I would suspect that this line will be required sooner rather than later!

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6 hours ago, lmsforever said:

Just received my latest issue of Rail Magazine with an article about the EWR  it is worrying to read that yet another study is to take ,engeneering and environmental  and then maybe the green light for construction will be given. If construction starts this summer we will be lucky.

 

I have not seen the latest issue of Rail yet however, the local papers and the website of the East-West Rail consortium are reporting that the go-ahead for work to start on the Bicester - Bedford and Aylesbury - Claydon Junction (where the Aylesbury joins the Oxford - Bletchley line) had been given.

 

This press release below was issued on 4th February which is as it appears on the East - West Rail website. I will leave it to others to decide if this is the green light to start rebuilding or simply the go ahead to commission yet more studies. The first one I saw was dated 1970 when the local authorities were trying to reopen the line for passenger use that had only closed a couple of years earlier and was still in regular use for freight and parcels etc.

 

 

Permission granted for Western Section work

Press release from Network Rail

 

The first direct rail link in more than 50 years between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury has been given the green light for further work.

 

Today (Tuesday 4 February) the Secretary of State for Transport approved Network Rail’s Transport and Works Act Order application, granting permission for work to begin on the next phase of East West Rail.

 

Once complete, phase 2 of East West Rail would connect communities and businesses between Oxford and Bedford, and Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, with:

 

Two trains per hour each way between Oxford and Milton Keynes

One train per hour each way between Oxford and Bedford

One train per hour each way between Milton Keynes and Aylesbury

 

The new railway will also connect the Great Western main line, Chiltern main line, West Coast main line and Midland main line – providing passengers with much-improved cross-country rail links from East to West.

 

This would help create jobs, boost economic growth, encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport and enable sustainable housing development for generations to come.

 

Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West & Central Region, said: “Building a new railway would transform connectivity and journey times across the heart of the country. East West Rail promises to provide a greener, low carbon transport system which will bring huge benefits to passengers and businesses – driving economic growth and creating opportunities for housing and new jobs.”

 

Cllr Mark Shaw, chairman of the East West Rail Consortium, an alliance of local authorities which produced the original business case for the scheme, said: “This has to go down as one of the most exciting weeks in the history of East West Rail, with approval to begin major construction of the Western section coming just days after the preferred route between Bedford and Cambridge was announced. East West Rail will transform the way people travel within and across the region, supporting communities, boosting businesses, unlocking job opportunities, and getting people out of their cars. The Consortium and the local authorities along the line will continue to work with Network Rail and its partners to ensure the western section is now delivered as quickly and smoothly as possible.”

 

With phase 1 between Oxford and Bicester already complete, phase 2 involves track and signalling upgrades between Bicester, Bedford, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, including reinstating a disused section of railway between Bletchley and Claydon Junction, north of Aylesbury Vale Parkway.

 

The work will deliver significant improvements to local travel, with the phased introduction of new rail journeys between:

 

Oxford and Milton Keynes: with trains stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow and Bletchley.

Oxford and Bedford: with trains stopping at Oxford Parkway, Bicester, Winslow, Bletchley, Woburn Sands and Ridgmont.

Milton Keynes and Aylesbury: with trains stopping at Bletchley, Winslow and Aylesbury Vale Parkway

 

The East West Rail project is planned to be built progressively in phases, and once constructed would create a world-class rail link connecting Oxford, Bicester, Milton Keynes, Bedford and Cambridge.

 

For more information you can visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/east-west-rail/

 

Notes to Editors

East West Rail phase 2 is part of the wider East West Rail proposal to connect Cambridge to Oxford.

The Western Section (phase 1), which operates services between Oxford and Bicester was completed in December 2016. The Western Section (phase 2) proposes to extend services from Oxford to Bedford and Milton Keynes to Aylesbury.

The Central Section (phase 3) would see the full reconnection from Cambridge to Oxford, and the proposal is currently in development

 

 

Edited by 1E BoY
duplication of words
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That would appear to be the case, but it is strange that Javid stated this morning that EW Rail would go ahead once "a business case had been developed". Presumably, this means for the final section towards Cambridge.

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Posted to wrong thread.

 

Edited by Mike Storey

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Have patience. The Newtown bypass took 70 years from first proposal to opening last year. I imagine the cost went up a bit in that time!

Jonathan

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6 minutes ago, corneliuslundie said:

Have patience. The Newtown bypass took 70 years from first proposal to opening last year. I imagine the cost went up a bit in that time!

Jonathan

And the first phase of the Mottram - Tintwistle bypass (Hattersley to Mottram Moor) has apparently got the go-ahead for construction after 40 years!

 

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People are still talking about a bypass around Aylesbury since the 1950s  but they are now building houses on every bit of ground they can so we will never get one.

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The approval given last week by Government, allows the construction phase work to start and more importantly allows E-W Rail to acquire land to be used during construction on either a temporary or permanent basis. The Planning Inquiry was based on an outline design which helps determine how much land is needed and what other works are required such as diverting footpaths, rebuilding bridges etc. 

 

The approval comes with a number of conditions that have to be met before and/or during construction. This will require the detailed design work to be completed and the chosen contractors to work out details on how the line will be built, how important structures and wildlife will be protected etc. These items generally get signed off by the local authority rather than the Government. 

 

On many projects, the detailed design work continues while the planning process in underway, so it is likely that the first stages of the work have been designed so work on these elements can start soon including the setting up of work sites and access roads.

 

Hope this helps

 

Nick 

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There is plenty of work already underway.

 

Edited by ess1uk

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1 hour ago, ess1uk said:

There is plenty of work already underway already.

 

Plenty of work in evidence on Bletchley flyover earlier today.

 

The first image shows the work site in the old Telephone Rentals building car park with work on-going on the flyover. Note the road vehicles on the track bed and the considerable clearance of vegetation which previously dominated former railway land in this area.

 

The second shows the removed side walls whilst the retained ones are in place for the crossing over Buckingham Road. This view shows the Park public house and the fenced off work site at the end of Duncombe Street.

20200211_114252.jpg

20200211_120440.jpg

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This view looks towards the future high level platforms alongside the flyover. There are also plans to link the station with direct access from central Bletchley which is to the photographer's right. 

20200211_120501.jpg

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13 hours ago, stivesnick said:

 

The approval given last week by Government, allows the construction phase work to start and more importantly allows E-W Rail to acquire land to be used during construction on either a temporary or permanent basis. The Planning Inquiry was based on an outline design which helps determine how much land is needed and what other works are required such as diverting footpaths, rebuilding bridges etc. 

 

The approval comes with a number of conditions that have to be met before and/or during construction. This will require the detailed design work to be completed and the chosen contractors to work out details on how the line will be built, how important structures and wildlife will be protected etc. These items generally get signed off by the local authority rather than the Government. 

 

On many projects, the detailed design work continues while the planning process in underway, so it is likely that the first stages of the work have been designed so work on these elements can start soon including the setting up of work sites and access roads.

 

Hope this helps

 

Nick 

 

To an extent, but which phase are you discussing? 

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11 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

..................................... There are also plans to link the station with direct access from central Bletchley which is to the photographer's right. 

 

 

That will be a real treat the last time I walked down Bletchley High Street it did not so much look run down, as run over.

You could do some major improvements there in quite short order with a large bulldozer.

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