The Anonymous Widower

Thoughts On The Morecambe Bay Eden Project

When the BBC reported this on Friday, they got a generally good reaction from the local residents they interviewed.

Articles in the Guardian and The Times have been positive, with support from local and national politicians and other worthies. The Times too, has extensive positive comments from readers.

For a project like this to be built, let alone be successful, it needs to have this sort of response on the first day.

It is a project that obviously touches a happy nerve, sirs memories or just ticks all the right boxes with lots of people.

So where will the Eden Project be built?

This Google Map shows the town of Morecambe and psart of the coast and bay to the North of the town.

Nothing has been said about the location, but there would appear to be plenty of space.

I’ve only ever been to Morecambe once, when I visited the town on my trek to visit all 92 English football clubs to raise money for pancreatic cancer research at Liverpool University. My brief visit to Morecambe is described in 92 Clubs – Day 21 – Milton Keynes, Morecambe, Newcastle. This was my initial comment on the town.

The town was a bit of a surprise, as I thought it would be like Blackpool only smaller. It is smaller, but it is in much better state than its larger resort down the coast. You wouldn’t see anything as tasteful as this on a roundabout in Blackpool.

My previous visit was very much a quickie, as I had to continue to Newcastle.

The Eden Project By Train

On their web site, the Eden Project, says this about getting to their Cornish attraction by train.

We are just a few miles from St Austell railway station, which is on the main line from London Paddington and is well served by buses to Eden. You could also take the train to Luxulyan, Bugle or Par, for a more scenic journey or to continue your trip on foot or bike.

They also give a discount for visitors that arrive by public transport. As they should!

If I was going, I’d take the Night Riviera to St. Austell and then use a bus to the Eden Project from the bus station at St. Austell station to complete the journey.

The Proposed Morecambe Eden Project By Train

So how would getting to the proposed Eden Project at Morecambe compare?

Morecambe is served by the Morecambe Branch Line, This diagram from Wikipedia, shows how Morecambe is well-connected to Lancaster and the West Coast Main Line.

The line has two stations in the town at Bare Lane and Morecambe and another at the nearby Heysham Port.

Service between Morecambe and Lancaster seems to have a frequency of two trains per hour (tph) and a journey time of around ten minutes.

There are also upwards of three services a day to and from Skipton and Leeds, which reverse at Lancaster.

As both Bare Lane and Morecambe stations have two platforms and there used to be extra tracks along the route, I think it would be possible to create a railway system to Morecambe that could include.

  • Two tph to and from Lancaster.
  • One tph to and from Leeds via Lancaster, Carnforth, Hellifield for the Settle & Carlisle Railway and Skipton
  • Trains to and from Windermere via Lancaster, Carnforth and Oxenholme Lake District.
  • Trains to and from Carlisle via Lancaster, Carnforth, Barrow and the Cumbrian Coast Line.

There is tremendous scope to expand rail services in an area of scenic beauty, that includes the Lake District and the Pennines.

Creating an iconic attraction at Morecambe could be a catalyst to develop the rail services in the wider area.

A decent rail service with good provision for bicycles and wheelchairs, might also encourage more tourism without the need for cars.

In my view, the short Morecambe and Windermere Branch Lines are ideal for services that use battery trains, which would charge the batteries on the electrified West Coast Main Line.

All trains between Lancaster and Morecambe could use battery power and others to Leeds and Barrow might use hydrogen power after they left the electrified West Coast Main Line.

Morecambe to Windermere could even be a 125 mph electric train on the West Coast Main Line, that used batteries on the short ranch lines at either end.

  • Bombardier are talking about a 125 mph bi-mode Aventra with batteries. Diesel power would not be needed, so add more batteries.
  • Battery trains are talking about ranges of thirty miles, in a few years.
  • Batteries would be charged on the West Coast Main Line.
  • The trains would not be slow enough to interfere with the expresses on the West Coast Main Line.

How cool is that?

The battery-powered trains would surely fit in well with the message of the Eden Project.

 

August 27, 2018 - Posted by | Travel | , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Morecambe’s train line challenge is joining the mainline and getting across Carlisle bridge over the River Lune. Mainline traffic takes priority and there are capacity issues for timetabling. Prior to the Beeching review there was a dedicated electrified railway line to Morecambe that had its own bridge over the River Lune.

    Comment by T Brown | August 30, 2018 | Reply

  2. I know the route was electrified. Looking at the tracks and the movements on Real Time Trains, I suspect that with modern signalling, something could be arranged.

    Network Rail’s track design is much better than their electrification.

    Comment by AnonW | August 30, 2018 | Reply


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