The Anonymous Widower

Frinton-on-Sea Station

My family has had a typical relationship with Frinton, where it has been the butt of several jokes. But then C did get the odd nasty letter after the story of The First Off Licence In Frinton.

I dread to think what would happen to a lawyer doing something like that case these days.

I finished my walk at Frinton-on-Sea station, where I took these pictures.

Note.

  • You can clearly see, where the second track used to be.
  • Trains always use the Southern platform.
  • Frinton has rather a retro taste in artwork.
  • The catenary seemed to be not of the best quality.
  • The station has a proper booking office.
  • Like Walton-on-the-Naze station, the platform seems to be able to accommodate eight-car trains.
  • I didn’t see anywhere to park a bike. According tom this station facilities page, there are spaces for six.

According to Wikipedia, it would appear that both Walton-on-the-Naze and Frinton-on-Sea stations get about a hundred thousand passengers a year. Kirby Cross station, the only other station on the branch gets roughly four times as much.

This Google Map shows the station and its location.

Frinton Station

Frinton Station

A One-Sided Station

Note how one-sided the station is, with little except the unused platform and the road on the North side of the track. The station buildings with their traditional barber and the car park are all on the South side of the track.

I assume that anybody coming rom the North side and wanting to get a train on foot or on a bicycle has to go across the level crossing and round into the station.

In When Is A Train Not A Train?, I proposed running lines like this under tram rules.

This station would be ideal, as obviously most passengers arrive on the side with a plattform.

It could even have a light-controlled walk-across the track by the level crossing to allow passengers to cross to and from the north.

Electrifcation

I’m no electrification expert, but as an Electrical Engineer by training, I do feel that the wires, I saw at both Frinton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the Naze stations have seen better days and are probably up for replacement in the next few years.

If as I expect that the next East Anglia Franchise orders trains with the possibility of on-board storage, then I believe that instead of renewing the wires to Walton, the shuttle trains to Thorpe-le-Soken and the the direct Liverpool Street trains, could use stored energy on the Walton Branch.

They would charge their batteries, when running between Thorpe-le-Soken and Colchester.

Replacement of the electrification on the five mile long branch would conservatively cost several million pounds and need ongoing specialist maintenance. The money saved would surely pay for the onboard energy storage on the trains needed for the branch.

Removal of the electrification would give the following benefits.

  • The branch would be free of high-voltage electricity.
  • Stations could be of a simpler design.
  • Trains would be quieter with no pantograph noise.
  • Regenerative braking with all its electricity saving would be enabled.
  • The track would be simpler, with less to go wrong.
  • The line would be without unsightly wires.

But the biggest benefit would be that overall the line could be much safer.

New Track

But removal of the electrification would give other advantages, as any new track would not need to be electrified. New track might include.

  • Provision of a siding at Walton-on-the Naze, where the second track used to be.
  • Provision of a proper passing loop at Kirby Cross station.
  • Reopening of Platform 3 at Thorpe-le-Soken station.
  • Installation of a chord to allow trains to go from Walton-on-the-Naze to Clacton-on-Sea directly.

Whatever is done with respect to track, will greatly improve the service on the branch.

Conclusion

I believe that in a few years time, a visitor to Frinton-on-Sea station, will find it very different.

But probably very much better.

However, if the line is run by silent electric trains, will their curiosity bring too many visitors to |Frinton, for the residents’ liking?

 

 

July 18, 2016 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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