The Anonymous Widower

The Lewes Horeshoe

A friend pointed me at the Lewes Horeshoe, which is described on this page of the Railfuture web site. They say this.

Events last year at Dawlish have shown the need for alternative routes to provide network resilience. A simple loop at Lewes, following the A27 Lewes bypass and the Cockshut, could be completed in Control Period 6 (or sooner) to provide an alternative route between Brighton and Haywards Heath without reversing, which would have enabled a service to be maintained when Patcham Tunnel was flooded recently, and would enable direct services between Falmer and London. It would also avoid reversing of the Lewes – Brighton shuttle service at Lewes, which might improve stock utilisation, and would facilitate services via a reopened Uckfield – Lewes line to Brighton. The radius of curvature is similar to that of the new curve on the East London Line Extension at Shoreditch, which operates without disturbing local residents.

They also show this map of the horseshoe.

Railfuture's Lewes Horeshoe

Railfuture’s Lewes Horeshoe

This is a Google Map of the area.

Lewes Horseshoe

Lewes Horseshoe

And for completeness, this is a Google Map of the East London Line at Shoreditch.

Shoreditch Curve

Shoreditch Curve

Knowing the East London Line well, I don’t think that the curve at Shoreditch is particularly tight and certainly thousands of up to five car trains have gone round the curve in safety without annoying too many of the residents. But are there that many residents?

So what do I think of the idea of the Lewes Horeshoe?

I believe that smaller rail projects like the Hitchin Flyover, Ipswich Chord, Ordsall Chord and Todmorden Curve, may not seem to offer high value before they are proposed, but once they are created, rail companies and politicians find innovative ways to use them.

I don’t know Lewes station well, but I always seem to spend some time there waiting for trains, when I visit.And would thus say that the area needs a bit of sorting out.

Now that the Uckfield Branch of the Oxted Line has been improved, as I wrote about in Future-Proofing The Uckfield Branch, I think that there could be moves to reinstate the Wealden Line and improve Seaford Branch services to Newhaven and Seaford.

Obviously, if there is any work at Lewes to sort out the services, all proposals should be examined.

There is also all of the proposals for a Second Brighton Main Line. I think that this project is so large, that I don’t think those using the trains between London and Sussex could put up with another project the size of Thameslink in the near future.

I also think, that several smaller projects along the current routes between London and Sussex should be sorted first.

  • Improved longer and more frequent electric services from London to Uckfield.
  • Improved longer and more frequent electric services along the West Coastway and East Coastway Lines.
  • Improved links between Southeastern Highspeed services  and Crossrail at Stratford International.
  • The development of East Sussex services, so passengers can use Southeastern Highspeed services into Stratford and St. Pancras.
  • The completion of the new interchange station at Gatwick Airport to improve connectivity.
  • The sorting of the interchange between Thameslink and the East London Line.
  • Improved services on the Hastings Line.
  • A New one million pound car park has been built at Uckfield. Expect to see more!
  • Improved layouts and extra tracks on the current Brighton Main Line.

I think that we’ll see some truly radical ideas and services implemented between London and Sussex, taking advantage of some of the new technology that is currently being developed.

For instance, if the East Coastway Line and the related Marshlink Line were to be improved, I feel that a limited stop Class 395 train could run from Stratford International to Brighton in under two hours.

I also believe that if the order of the projects is organised in an optimal order after Thameslink is completed through Gatwick to Brighton, that the important capacity between London and the South Coast can be maintained. This could be one possible order.

  • Finish Thameslink, Gatwick Airport station and some Brighton Main Line improvements.
  • Run twelve-car services between London and Uckfield.
  • Improve the East Coastway and Marshlink Lines, so that trains with Class 395 performance can run between Brighton and Ashford.
  • Add some more parking.

Finally, the bullet must be bitten and the Hastings Line can be closed and rebuilt, so that four trains per hour can be run between London and Hastings.

I discuss this in Improving The Hastings Line.

 

February 27, 2016 - Posted by | Travel | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Lewes Horeseshoe, I discussed how an idea from Railfuture might be used to improve services between London and the […]

    Pingback by Improving The Hastings Line « The Anonymous Widower | February 27, 2016 | Reply


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