The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – Arundel Chord

This is one of the Beeching Reversal projects that the Government and Network Rail are proposing to reverse some of the Beeching cuts.

This Google Map shows where the chord will be built.

Note.

  1. The railway line going North is the Arun Valley Line that goes North to Arundel and Horsham stations.
  2. The line going East is the West Coastway Line that goes East to Angmering, Worthing, Shoreham and Brighton stations.
  3. The two lines join at Arundel Junction and trains go South and West to Bognor Regis, Littlehampton, Portsmouth and Southampton.

The new chord will join the Arun Valley Line to the North with the West Coastway Line going to the East.

This will give an alternative route between London and Brighton, when the Brighton Main Line is blocked.

  • I would assume it will be a simple flat junction at both ends of the chord, as under normal circumstances it won’t get a lot of use.
  • It would also needed to be able to accommodate the largest 12-car trains wanting to use the route.
  • Also, in the last couple of years, Network Rail have done a lot of work to stop flooding and increase the resilience of the Brighton Main Line.

So is there another plan?

After all, it’s a lot of work to do for a route that only gets used occasionally.

So here’s a few ideas and reasons.

The Rebuilding Of Gatwick Airport And East Croydon Stations

Gatwick Airport and East Croydon stations are due to be rebuilt in the near future and if the Arundel Chord has been built, it offers an alternative route to London for trains from Brighton.

COVID-19

COVID-19 won’t have any direct effects on running the trains, but it could play havoc with the scheduling of any building work on the Brighton Main Line and at the stations, that passengers and trains use to get to London.

Again an alternative route might be useful.

A Service Between London and Hove Via The Arun Valley Line

This route may have advantages in that it might use a less crowded route to London.

A West Sussex Loop

I like loops.

  • They can be used to cut the number of platforms needed.
  • The driver doesn’t have to change ends.
  • Trains can be turned quicker at the destination.

If you’re still sceptical, go to Liverpool and investigate the operation of the Wirral Line, which has five stations in an underground loop under Liverpool city centre. It also handles upwards of twelve trains per hour.

Once the Arundel Chord is built trains could do the following.

  • Come South down the Brighton Main Line calling at stations like East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridge and Haywards Heath. as required.
  • After Preston Park station, the trains would take the West Coastway Line.
  • Continue West, calling at stations like Hove, Shoreham, Worthing and Angmering as required.
  • On reaching the Arundel Chord, the trains would turn North for Arundel and Horsham.
  • Trains would continue back to Three Bridges, stopping as required.

Note.

  1. As it is a double-track loop, trains could use it both ways.
  2. Most of the route is in West Sussex, with a few miles in the City of Brighton and Hove.
  3. Trains don’t have to start in London, but could perhaps turn back at Redhill or Gatwick Airport. This might remove some trains through East Croydon.

Would this service encourage the locals to use the train to travel to Gatwick Airport?

Operating Issues

Network Rail, Southern or Thameslink may have operational reasons, like getting the trains back to depot, if they fail.

More Affordable Than Reopening Uckfield And Lewes

I think it could have similar capacity improvements and advantages to re-opening Uckfield and Lewes, but it is a lot more affordable.

Conclusion

This project seems to have dropped down the list in previous years.

Perhaps something that needs it has come up!

July 2, 2020 - Posted by | Transport | , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. […] Arundel Chord Re-opening of Camberwell Station, London SE5 Unlocking capacity and services through Bramley (Hants) Chinnor Railway Aston Rowant extension Carshalton Beeches step-free access […]

    Pingback by Beeching Reversal: Fifty Disused Rail Lines On Track To Reopen « The Anonymous Widower | July 2, 2020 | Reply

  2. They already run via Littlehampton on diversions although granted this would probably save c30mins on the timing id rather see money spent on getting Uckfield to Lewes reopened

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | July 2, 2020 | Reply

  3. I have a feeling there’s a serious problem with reopening Uckfield and Lewes, as it gets talked about but nothing happens. I wouldn’t be surprised that some land was sold by British Rail after they closed the route and it will cost fortunes in legal fees and lots of time to get it back. It’s happened before.

    I have a feeling that if they used a loop, as I suggest, they would get a lot more capacity into London. Or as I suggest, they could run some services as a local circular to get people to Gatwick.

    There is also a shortage of platform space to turn trains at the South Coast. Partly because you can’t go South because of the sea. Doing the West Sussex Loop may effectively create more platforms. Network Rail may be poor at some things, but they are very good at efficient track layouts.

    Comment by AnonW | July 2, 2020 | Reply


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