The Anonymous Widower

MP Campaigns To Extend Train Services For Melton Borough

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Melton Times.

This is the introductory sub-title.

A campaign has been launched by the Melton’s MP to improve services passing and operating from the town station and the one at Bottesford.

Alicia Kearns has submitted two bids to the Restoring Your Railway Fund.

I’ll now look at the two proposals in more detail.

More Regular Services To Bottesford

Wikipedia says this about services at Bottesford station.

  • The service is generally every two hours to Nottingham in the West and Skegness in the East.
  • Some trains call at Grantham and give connection to the East Coast Main Line.
  • LNER services at Grantham connect to Doncaster, King’s Cross, Leeds, Lincoln, Peterborough, Stevenage, Wakefield and York.
  • Bottesford is in the Borough of Melton and their is no direct rail service between Bottesford and Melton. A typical journey takes over two-and-a-half hours with two changes, that can include a wait of an hour at Leicester station.
  • Bottesford is in the County of Leicester. There is no direct rail service between Bottesford and Leicester.

I think the MP has a point and an improved and more frequent service at Bottesford could be very beneficial.

  • Many routes like this in the UK have an hourly service and I suspect many communities along the Poacher Line would benefit from this frequency.
  • All services calling at Grantham for East Coast Main Line services would be useful.
  • Do services have a good interchange at Nottingham for Midland Main Line services?

It looks like improvements at Bottesford wouldn’t require any new expensive infrastructure, but they would need more trains.

More Services Through Melton

Wikipedia says this about services at Melton station.

  • There is an hourly off-peak service in both directions between Stansted Airport and Birmingham, that calls at Cambridge, Peterborough, Oakham and Leicester.
  • East Midlands Railway and their predescessor have added services to London via Corby and to Derby and East Midlands Parkway.

When you consider, that both Bottesford and Melton Mowbray are the same Council and Parliamentary constituency, it does seem that a more direct train service is needed between Bottesford and Melton stations.

It does seem to me that some innovative thinking is needed.

If the current plans to fulfil British Rail’s ambition of an Ivanhoe Line running from Lincoln to Burton-on-Trent via Nottingham, East Midlands Parkway, Loughborough and Leicester, are carried out, that will give important towns to the West of Leicester much better rail connections.

Given that High Speed Two is coming to East Midlands Hub station at Toton and there will be a Bedford and Leeds service run by Midlands Connect using High Speed Two classic-compatible trains, that I wrote about in Classic-Compatible High Speed Two Trains At East Midlands Hub Station, I wonder if in the interim, there should be more trains between Derby and Melton.

  • Intermediate stations would be Syston, Sileby, Barrow-upon-Soar, Loughborough, East Midlands Parkway Long Eaton and Spondon.
  • An hourly frequency would double the service frquency at smaller stations like Sileby and Barrow-upon-Soar.
  • The Southern terminal could be Melton station, but I feel Corby or Peterborough stations would be better, as this would improve services at Oakham station. We should not forget Rutland.
  • As Corby will be an electrified two-platform station with a two trains per hour (tph) service to London, this could work quite well as a Southern terminus.
  • Peterborough would have advantages and give a good connection to Cambridge, London and Scotland, but improvements to the current Birmingham and Stansted Airport service would have similar effects.

This route would be just as valuable after High Speed Two opens through the East Midlands Hub station, as it will give fast ongoing connections to Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle and York.

Electrification Of The Midland Main Line

I feel strongly, that full electrification of the Midland Main Line could be a step to far.

  • Electrification, through Leicester station will mean a complete closure of the station for a couple of years.
  • Electrification of the route North of Derby, through the Derwent Valley Mills, which is a World Heritage Site, will be opposed by the Heritage Taliban with all their might.

But.

  • Electrification of the route between Clay Cross Junction and Sheffield via Chesterfield will take place in conjunction with High Speed Two
  • Electrification to Market Harborough, which is sixteen miles South of Leicester will happen.
  • East Midlands Railway’s new Class 810 trains could be fitted with a battery option giving a range of between 55 and 65 miles.
  • Pantographs on this trains can go up and down with all the alacrity of a whore’s drawers.

If the easier section of electrification between Leicester and Derby stations, were to be erected, this would enable the following routes to be run using battery=equipped Class 810 trains.

  • London and Derby, where battery power would be used through Leicester.
  • London and Nottingham, where battery power would be used through Leicester and between East Midlands Parkway and Nottingham.
  • London and Sheffield, where battery power would be used through Leicester and between Derby and Clay Cross Junction.
  • Lincoln and Burton-on-Trent, where battery power would be used South of Leicester and North of East Midlands Parkway.
  • Derby and Corby, where battery power would be used between Syston and Corby.

There would also be the service between Derby and Norwich, which might be able to be run by a similar train.

Conclusion

The MP’s plan is worth pursuing.

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

4 Comments »

  1. If that article is correct, then ISTM the honourable member is missing the point of the Restoring Your Railways Fund, which is about reopening closed lines/stations. I tried to find some more details of what she’s proposing, in particular how improving existing services at Bottesford and Melton would cost £500m. There’s no mention of it on her website (which prominently advocates improving roads). There is a post on her Facebook acct, but this just points to the Melton Times article.

    There is a campaign to reopen MM-Nottingham https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/local-news/could-passenger-services-return-melton-898334 which is even partially electrified. However, the problem there seems to be what you would do at the N end – the idea of connecting to the tram somehow seems weak to me. There is a chord at Syston, which could be used by direct trains from Stamford/MM to Nott and Derby (and to E Mid Airport should that link be built), and this would not be much longer than the MM-N line. If there were a chord at the MML jcn S of Corby, that would enable quite a few circular routes connecting all the stations in that area, especially if the Ashby de la Zouch line were to reopen.

    BTW, the Bedford-Leeds classic-compatible route is dependent on MML being electrified through Leicester. You can’t have one without the other.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 24, 2020 | Reply

    • She is missing the point about the current fund, but there is a problem in the railways in her constituency.

      As to Bedford Leeds needing the MML to be fully electrified, I feel it is desirable but not essential.

      If the electrification ran between Leicester and Derby stations and was extended from Market Harborough to just South of the station, the gap could be handled using train kinetic energy and batteries to bridge the gap. If the batteries handled the regenerative braking for the trains, the HS2 electrification would be simpler.

      Comment by AnonW | June 24, 2020 | Reply

  2. […] I heard of the MP’s submissions, I wrote MP Campaigns To Extend Train Services For Melton Borough and the following uses that post as a starting […]

    Pingback by Beeching Reversal – More Stopping Services At Radcliffe-on-Trent And Bottesford Stations On The Poacher Line Between Grantham And Nottingham « The Anonymous Widower | August 22, 2020 | Reply

  3. […] I heard of the MP’s submissions, I wrote MP Campaigns To Extend Train Services For Melton Borough and the following uses that post as a starting […]

    Pingback by Beeching Reversal – Increased Services To Nottingham And Leicester, via Syston And Loughborough From Melton Mowbray « The Anonymous Widower | August 22, 2020 | Reply


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