The Anonymous Widower

Walton-on-the-Naze Station

As a terminus of the Sunshine Coast Line, Walton-on-the-Naze station has a certain level of importance.

This Google Map shows its location with respect to the town and Walton Pier.

WaltonStationAndPier

Note.

  • The long curving platform in the station, which can certainly accommodate an eight-car train and might manage twelve-cars with a bit of stretching.
  • The rather small station building with a neat and compact booking office inside.
  • There would appear to be a very rudimentary level of facilities with no coffee stall or shop.
  • The location isn’t too bad, but doing anything spectacular would probably be difficult.
  • The Off Peak frequency of one train per hour, is probably half what is needed.

Services to London Liverpool Street station usually rely on changing at Thorpe-le-Soken station for a train from Clacton and take around one hour forty minutes.

There are also two direct trains in the morning.

  • The 07:38 is a stop-everywhere on the Sunshine Coast Line and to Shenfield, which takes two hours and fifteen minutes.
  • The 08:00 is a fast limited-stopper to Shenfield that takes one hour and thirty-six minutes.

Is this all they want to run?

All other trains require that change at Thorpe-le-Soken.

If the operator wants to increase the number of trains to London in the morning peak, they also have the problem, that it would appear, that the only place to stable trains overnight is at Clacton and Colchester, although I suppose one train can be stabled in Walton station.

Looking at the timetable, it appears that the shuttle train works hard in the Peak partly because of the limitations of the line’s layout.

  • Only one terminal platform at Walton.
  • No sidings to store trains.
  • An extra platform at Colchester Town station would help.
  • Do limitations in the layout at Thorpe-le-Soken station contribute?

 

In addition capacity problems on the Great Eastern Main Line make everything a lot worse!

But other things help.

  • At least Kirby Cross station may or could have a passing loop.
  • Trains only take twelves minutes to go between Walkton-on-the Naze and Thorpe-le-Soken. So two round trips an hour could be possible.
  • The signalling was only installed in 2009 and I would jope it was future-proofed for possible developments.

I suspect Network Rail have a few ideas to increase frequencies on the branch.

Look at this Google Map of Thorpe-le-Soken station, with the lines running to the East and splitting into the two coastal destinations..

Thorpe-le-Soken Station

Thorpe-le-Soken Station

I know this is only speculation on my part, but Wikipedia says this about Thorpe-le-Soken station.

It has two platforms forming an island platform that is accessible via a footbridge. There is a clearly visible platform and trackbed on what would be platform 3; this is continuous with the other stations on the Walton branch. One of the double tracks that were originally on the line to Walton has been completely taken up.

 

This Google Map shows a close-up of the station.

Thorpe-le-Soken Station - Close-Up

Thorpe-le-Soken Station – Close-Up

So it would appear that the station could be modified to provide a second platform for handling trains on the Walton branch. I suspect Network Rail have investigated this, as it must help towards increasing the frequency on the Walton Branch.

There must also be the possibility of building a single-track chord between the two branches to the East of Thorpe-le-S0ken station.

Such a chord would enable direct services if required, but it would probably be more useful for moving empty stock between Walton station and the sidings at Clsacton.

My conclusion, is that in a few years time, the service to Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton-on-Sea will be very much better than it is today.

Both terminii will get at least two trains per hour to and  from Colchester, with all trains being either to and from London or with a cross-platform change with a London train.

 

 

 

 

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

A Walk Between Walton-on-the-Naze And Finton-on-Sea Stations

One of the reason’s I went to Walton-on-the-Naze station today, was to see if I could have a nice walk in the sun along the sea to Frinton-on-Sea station and then take the train home.

This Google Map shows the two stations and the sea.

A Walk Between Walton And Frinton Stations

A Walk Between Walton And Frinton Stations

Walton-on-the-Naze station is in the North-East corner of the map by Walton Pier and Frinton-on-Sea station is in the South-West corner.

I walked along the promenade, which goes all the way to Clacton-on-Sea, between the beach-huts on the shore and the wide sandy beach and the sea.

I took these pictures as I walked.

Note.

  • The number of Thames Sailing Barges in the sea. I saw five, but others saw six.
  • The beach welcomes dogs.
  • The memorial to PC Brian Bishop.
  • I got lost walking from the beach to Frinton-on-Sea station. There were no signs or maps.

The walk took me about ninety minutes. Unlike at Clacton, I didn’t pass a decent cafe. I should have had lunch before I left Walton.

July 17, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments