The Anonymous Widower

Reinstatement Of Rail Access To Devizes Via A New Station At Lydeway

This is one of the successful bids in the First Round of the Restoring Your Railway Fund.

Devizes is a growing town without a railway station.

The Wikipedia entry for the former Devizes station, says this about providing a new station.

Although Devizes was denied a railway station due to its stagnant population, as of 2017 the population had grown to 31,000, which could warrant its re-establishment. However, much of the vital land agreements and rights of way were sold off reducing the chances of reinstatement. An alternative plan has been proposed: to build Devizes Parkway Station at Clock Inn Park, three miles east of Devizes on the Reading–Taunton line, near to the site of the original junction for the branch at Etchilhampton.

It appears to have been taken from Baldrick’s book of cunning plans, where you create a virtual branch line using the A342, travellers’ personal transport and a shuttle bus service.

This Google Map shows the position of the station site at Clock Inn Park, with relation to Devizes.

Note.

  1. Devizes in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Clock Inn Park in the South-East corner of the map.
  3. The A342 road connecting the town with the station site.

This more detailed Google Map shows the station site.

Note.

  1. The A342 going diagonally across the map.
  2. The Reading-Taunton Line going across the map.
  3. There’s even bus stops by the station site.

As the site could be fairly generous, I think a station with adequate parking could be created.

The Train Service

The train service is currently two hourly on this route between Paddington and Exeter St. David’s stations.

Perhaps, with an extra stop and more passengers, the service could be increased to hourly.

Another alternative would be to run battery-electric trains on the route between Paddington and Westbury, that called at all stations West of Newbury.

  • Trains would use the electrification between Paddington and Newbury and would leave Newbury with a full battery.
  • This service would be an extension of the current hourly service to Bedwyn station.
  • Between Newbury and Westbury stations is forty-two miles of unelectrified lines, which should be possible with a battery electric version of the Class 802 train.
  • Charging facilities would be needed at Westbury station.
  • Between Paddington and Westbury stations takes one hour and thirteen minutes.
  • Hitachi are quoting a ten minute charge time for one of their battery-electric trains.
  • The trains would turn at Westbury station, which has refreshments and toilets for the crew.
  • No extra electrification would be needed to run electric services to Westbury.

I think it could be feasible.

The Concept Of An Electrification Island

Westbury could be what I would call an electrification island.

Consider

  • The Reading-Taunton Line passes through the station.
  • The Wessex Main Line both passes through the station.
  • The town of Westbury has a population of around 17,000 and some substantial heavy industries, so I suspect that it has a robust electricity supply.
  • Taunton is 47 miles away.
  • Newbury is 42 miles away.
  • Weymouth is 59 miles away.
  • Bristol Temple Meads is 40 miles away.
  • Swindon is 32 miles away.
  • Hitachi are claiming a range of between 55 and 65 miles for a battery-electric train.

Suppose the two routes through the station  and perhaps for up to ten miles away from the town, were to be electrified.

  • A battery-electric train turning back at Westbury would pan-up in the station and charge the battery. Leaving the station, the driver would leave the pantograph up for acceleration and then make sure pan-down was performed before the end of the electrification.
  • A through battery-electric express between Paddington and Exeter would pan-up when under the electrification and pan down before it left the electrification.
  • It might be prudent that all passing expresses stopped in Westbury station, to make sure, trains didn’t stop with a flat battery in the middle of nowhere, until procedures were seen to be totally reliable.
  • A battery-electric train to and from Weymouth would probably need to run for about 45 miles between the electrification island at Westbury and the third-rail electrification at Dorchester Junction.

I believe that a well-designed electrification island at Westbury coupled with perhaps electrification between Exeter and Taunton, would enable battery-electric trains to work the following routes.

  • Paddington and Exeter
  • Westbury and Bristol
  • Westbury and Weymouth
  • Westbury and Swubdon

I suspect that Transwilts services could also be run by battery-electric trains, as they could charge at Westbury, Swindon and other electrified stations.

Conclusion

Devizes Parkway station would appear to be a simple way to provide a new station, at a town that has grown substantially since the days of Dr. Beeching.

Did Dr. Beeching and the Government of the day, have a view on population growth in the UK? They certainly didn’t take it into the account in their rail closure program. Or if they did, they got it spectacularly wrong!

 

May 24, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. […] Reinstatement Of Rail Access To Devizes Via A New Station At Lydeway […]

    Pingback by Restoring Your Railway Fund « The Anonymous Widower | May 24, 2020 | Reply

  2. I’ve been in favour of an extension of Thames Valley services to Westbury since the early 1990’s given the poor service to/from Westbury via Newbury. Now that the Bedwyn service is predominantly supported by AT 300’s, it would make sense to support Pewsey, (Devizes Parkway) and Westbury with a more frequent service. I would even suggest a Marlborough Parkway and close Bedwyn if both stations could not be supported with a regular service.

    Comment by Andrew Bruton | May 24, 2020 | Reply

  3. Did you see my post about Marlborough?

    https://anonw.com/2017/02/18/a-station-for-marlborough/

    I have a feeling, we’ll see discontinuous electrification on the lines South West of Newbury and Bristol, as if Hitachi produce a battery electric train, that has a 60 mile range, a lot will be possible.

    The problem, is the heavy freights, which probably won’t decarbonise without a breakthrough in hydrogen technology.

    Comment by AnonW | May 24, 2020 | Reply

  4. I’m slightly confused as to the exact proposed sight of the station. Your map suggests at or near Clock Inn Park but pictures in the local paper (Gazette & Herald, July 2, 2020) appear to show supporters at a bridleway foot crossing around half a mile east of the park. The ground is flat at this point whereas the line is in a cutting where it passes Clock Inn.
    I’m supportive of the plan of course but as an interested enthusiast I’d be grateful if you could clarify exactly where the station site is. Thank you in advance !

    Comment by Paul Putnam | July 7, 2020 | Reply

  5. I saw something, which suggested it was there. It may be that one report said it was on the road. I also think, there’s space for car parking.

    Did you read the list of 50 projects that have been proposed. I feel some will benefit Network Rail. As /I said in the post, a short length of electrification at Westbury would allow battery trains to bridge a gap between Newbury and Taunton, where some more electrification along the M5 would allow electric trains to reach Exeter, It was announced yesterday, that trains like those on the Great Western could be fitted with batteries to give a nearly 60 mile range.

    Comment by AnonW | July 7, 2020 | Reply


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