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East West rail, Bletchley to oxford line


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1 hour ago, Michael Hodgson said:

The paper does say they will minimise the extent of such effects, but realistically they can't take the more northerly route without making compulsory purchases somewhere that will upset some folk. 

That bit of the route is in all of the options still under discussion, even the more southerly routes.  There may for all I know have been even bigger impact if they came out of Bedford further to the south.

I had been expecting Cambourne South to be favoured, but housing is currently under construction just south of Caxton Gibbet where I would have expected them to put it.  There is a much more new housing planned a little further north, so the Cambourne North option does now look the more viable of these. 

Without going back into what is a rather turgid document, it said something like that the extra tracks were needed to allow for four freight trains per hour on the MML.  If EWR converged with the Slows just north of Bedford it would only conflict with those freights plus the southbound stops on the Corby service.  

 

I would question whether the prospect of 4TPH freight on the MML in full service hours is realistic.  I doubt that many could continue into Thameslink-land, and if they ran to Bletchley the same conflict would exist whether or not they shared tracks on that section.  Two or three MML freights per hour would apparently work on existing track, so perhaps this requirement that someone has given them is too onerous?  

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2 minutes ago, Edwin_m said:

Without going back into what is a rather turgid document, it said something like that the extra tracks were needed to allow for four freight trains per hour on the MML.  If EWR converged with the Slows just north of Bedford it would only conflict with those freights plus the southbound stops on the Corby service.  

 

I would question whether the prospect of 4TPH freight on the MML in full service hours is realistic.  I doubt that many could continue into Thameslink-land, and if they ran to Bletchley the same conflict would exist whether or not they shared tracks on that section.  Two or three MML freights per hour would apparently work on existing track, so perhaps this requirement that someone has given them is too onerous?  

You rather forget that unlike the days of BR freight cannot simply be sidelined in favour of passenger needs - Network Rail has a legal duty to facilitate freight traffic during the day and the privately owned FOCs have plenty of legal avenues available to protect their access rights to off peak daytime paths.

 

You should note that on the GWML TfL have been forced to use a skip-stop pattern for Crossrail off peak precisely because there must be at least 2 freight paths per hour maintained between Acton yard and Redding.

 

The MML south of Bedford is a key artery for aggregates traffic as well as providing access to the Radlett intermodal freight distribution hub which the SOS recently gave approval for even though the local council and planning inspector rejected it. Such intermodal traffics do not take kindly to being restricted in when they can be dispatched as they are usually fairly time sensitive and the road network faces no 'must be overnight' restrictions!

 

Moreover with the ban on the use of working with lookouts large quantities of maintenance / inspections (along with the routine renewals) is having to take place overnight reducing the availability of the railway.

 

 

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PrepArations for new bridge at Salden Lane continuing in glorious weather.

 

 

11BFFC34-361B-4600-A12A-1349F4432ACA.jpeg
 

Is housing development intended to cover this area? I can’t understand otherwise why such a mega-structure is needed to replace a bridge that carries such a lightly-used private (I think) road and a cycleway.

 

 

Edited by Nearholmer
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2 hours ago, Ron Ron Ron said:


:jester::jester::jester:  :rofl_mini:

Anither  typoo!

 

The sort of thing (bocage) one might expect in Normandy perhaps?

.

 

Edited by Arun Sharma
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3 hours ago, phil-b259 said:

You rather forget that unlike the days of BR freight cannot simply be sidelined in favour of passenger needs - Network Rail has a legal duty to facilitate freight traffic during the day and the privately owned FOCs have plenty of legal avenues available to protect their access rights to off peak daytime paths.

 

You should note that on the GWML TfL have been forced to use a skip-stop pattern for Crossrail off peak precisely because there must be at least 2 freight paths per hour maintained between Acton yard and Redding.

 

The MML south of Bedford is a key artery for aggregates traffic as well as providing access to the Radlett intermodal freight distribution hub which the SOS recently gave approval for even though the local council and planning inspector rejected it. Such intermodal traffics do not take kindly to being restricted in when they can be dispatched as they are usually fairly time sensitive and the road network faces no 'must be overnight' restrictions!

 

Moreover with the ban on the use of working with lookouts large quantities of maintenance / inspections (along with the routine renewals) is having to take place overnight reducing the availability of the railway.

 

 

I count 24 freight paths through Flitwick, northbound between 0600 and 2000 M-F, so nowhere near four per hour currently.  Providing for existing paths is one thing, making provision for new ones that might never be needed is quite another.  Discussion on other forums suggests Radlett will never generate a train, as it's on the wrong side of the line and there's no capacity anyway.  And the MML has four tracks or alternative routes all the way to Trent so engineering access is less of an issue than elsewhere.  

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We have received a letter in the post from Network Rail advising that the placing of precast reinforced beams will take place when the West Coast Main Line is closed to traffic during the May Bank Holiday weekend (Saturday 1st to Tuesday 4th May). 

 

Likewise Buckingham Road will close again between Monday 7th June and Monday 19th July 2021 to allow installation of further beams across Buckingham Road and will result in footpath and road closures.

 

The view taken earlier today shows the retaining walls of the box over the West Coast Main Line increasing in height over the last few days.

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According to the plans  developers have been given carte blanche  to cover north Bucks in houses this will cause the area between  Bicester and Bletchley to be just a large housing estate.If it benifits rail okay but many people will travel in their car it will take good fares and timetable to tempt these people onto the rails.Seen more gravel trains through Aylesbury lately so things are really getting busy.

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8 minutes ago, 1E BoY said:

This afternoon work was in progress installing the safety platforms on the piers outside The Park public house on the corner of Duncombe Street.

20210422_160808_001.jpg.280d17efaca4614dc97b9b05eb710b54.jpg

Was that the Duncombe Arms once?

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5 minutes ago, rodent279 said:

Was that the Duncombe Arms once?

The only Duncombe Arms I knew was in Great Brickhill.

 

These old pictures show it named Bletchley Park Hotel . Not sure when it became just the Park Hotel, possibly during World War 2 when place names were removed from many buildings and signposts. In the first picture Essen was a local coal merchant who had at least one PO coal wagon which was produced in OO some years ago now.

 

The entrance to the goods yard is close to where the boys are standing on the pavement in the second image.

Park Hotel 2.jpg

Park Hotel 1.jpg

BY1.JPG

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I wonder if the Essen family had to remove their name during the war - it is a German name, after all.

 

PS: Apparently not. Three members of the family died serving in the British Army during WW2, and are named on Bletchley War Memorial, one of them a member of RE Railway Construction Company, which suggests that he might have been a railwayman before enlisting.

Edited by Nearholmer
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1 hour ago, Nearholmer said:

I wonder if the Essen family had to remove their name during the war - it is a German name, after all.

 

PS: Apparently not. Three members of the family died serving in the British Army during WW2, and are named on Bletchley War Memorial, one of them a member of RE Railway Construction Company, which suggests that he might have been a railwayman before enlisting.

 

Almost certainly. Most people would have assumed that SN stood for Smythe-Nobrotte, or similar, and left it at that?

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Just been reading a local website / news    the EWR promoters are threatening closure of stations to Bedford cant see the need for this .Surely increased trains will stimulate all stations especially north of Bletchley  and if passengers have to walk further or motor further they will not bother to use the train .Our population is now wedded to the car and many consider public transport to be only for the lowest classes in their opinion.I wonder how this will be changed given what has happened in the current crisis.

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3 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

Just been reading a local website / news    the EWR promoters are threatening closure of stations to Bedford cant see the need for this .Surely increased trains will stimulate all stations especially north of Bletchley  and if passengers have to walk further or motor further they will not bother to use the train .Our population is now wedded to the car and many consider public transport to be only for the lowest classes in their opinion. I wonder how this will be changed given what has happened in the current crisis.

 

I understand 5 of the 10 intermediate stations are being considered for closure. Some of the stations on the line have extremely low usage (Kempston Hardwick for instance - it is too far from Kempston to serve the town).

It is felt that in order to make the line attractive to passengers, line speed needs to be upgraded & regular services run non-stop from Bedford to Bletchley. Otherwise people would continue to use cars, or the X5 bus.

Stopping services currently take around 45 minutes from Bletchley to Bedford. These cannot get much quicker simply because they have to stop so many times.

Passing loops were considered an overkill.

However the timetable is arranged, the faster services would catch up with & be delayed by the all-stations trains. Closing 5 stations would allow the stopping services to run much more quickly, creating space for the faster ones.

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It is a tediously slow old trek if you are travelling over all/most of it, and indeed some of the stations are very low usage now, but something that needs to be considered is the ginormous amount of house-building taking place along the route. Places that now see barely any use are being rapidly surrounded by potential customers.

 

The ideal, which is probably impractical due to history, would be fewer stations, much more evenly spaced, with very high quality parallel feeder (not competitor) bus. I've see this work brilliantly in both the Netherlands and Denmark, and in both cases high-quality cycling provision was woven into it too.

 

I remain 97.32% pessimistic about our ability in the UK to achieve anything like this.

 

The cycling provision being created as the Marston Vale is redeveloped is a perfect example of British-wrong headedness, in that it seems to be totally focused on leisure use, so is very circuitous and slow, not suitable for use in bad weather or after dark, but it goes to some emerging scenic spots. Don't get me wrong, it is nice, and certainly better than none at all, but it won't get people out of their cars. If this was Denmark or Holland, there would be some top-notch cycling "highways", making it practical to use a bike for practical things, without risking getting mown down by a lorry in the process.

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Posted (edited)

Crossbeams are being installed at a fairly rapid pace today. These were taken around 1630 this afternoon. Blockade on all weekend and Monday. Bletchley Flyover works viewed from the grass area by Telephone Rentals site.

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Edited by 1E BoY
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Posted (edited)

That looks fantastic. Great use of a possession.  The overhead wires look as if they're nearly done, perhaps the line will reopen early.

 

Jamie

Edited by jamie92208
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5 hours ago, jamie92208 said:

That looks fantastic. Great use of a possession.  The overhead wires look as if they're nearly done, perhaps the line will reopen early.

 

Jamie

Only if all the other WCML possessions go back on time. I am involved in a fairly big hole in the railway at Watford Junction.

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15 hours ago, 1E BoY said:

By 1830 this evening most of the cross beams were in place although there are still a couple more to slot in.

DSC_0004.JPG

Just visible further back, and more so on other forums, the apparent "gaps" in the beams are where the main OLE supports are, which appear to need extra height so are on some sort of shallower structure.  There are also intermediate OLE supports, which are fixed to the full-depth beams but are simpler assemblies just locating the catenary wire horizontally.  

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The large cranes were getting readied to move on. The box awaits its decking and this morning had trains travelling through it. An impressive weekends work - well done the yellow army for getting completed before the horrendous weather set in yesterday.

 

I look forward to being on a train going over it! I managed to do the old one both ways whilst acting as a steward on a railtour in the 1980s organised by the Area Manager, Watford.

20210504_113909.jpg

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