The Anonymous Widower

Reopening Corsham Station

On October 27th this Beeching Reversal Project was given £50,000 to build a case for reopening.

Corsham is a town in Wiltshire.

  • It has a population of 13,000
  • It is very much a military town, with numerous defence establishments, some of which are deep underground in former bath stone quarries.
  • Corsham station closed in 1965.

As this Google Map shows the Great Western Railway passing through the town.

The dark scar of the railway across the map towards the bottom is clearly visible.

This second Google Map shows the site of the former station.

Note.

  1. Station Road is a bit of a giveaway.
  2. There is a footbridge over the double-track railway. Note the shadow.
  3. The railway is not electrified, but could be in the future.
  4. Chippenham station is to the East and Bath Spa station is to the West.
  5. The station was in a deep cutting on the approach to Box Tunnel, which is to the West.

I doubt that designing and building a new Corsham station will be a challenging project.

These are my thoughts on other issues.

Military Issues

The Wikipedia entry for Corsham has a section called Defence, which lists well over half-a-dozen defence sites.

Could these be a reason for the new station?

  • Just like many other businesses and families, does the Ministry of Defence feel it should decarbonise?
  • Are large numbers of employees and visitors driving in from Swindon and Bristol?

How many new stations would cut the country’s carbon footprint?

Services

Currently, it appears the only services going through Corsham are the Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads service

  • There are two trains per hour (tph)
  • The trains call at Reading, Didcot Parkway, Swindon, Chippenham and Bath Spa.
  • Between Chippenham and Paddington is fully-electrified
  • Trains run between Bristol Temple Meads and Chippenham, which is a distance of 24.4 miles on diesel.

These trains could stop, but would that slow the services?

Perhaps alternate services would stop at only one of Corsham and Chippenham. But that would mean the train couldn’t be used between those two stations.

An alternative philosophy would be to electrify between Chippenham and Bath Spa, so that the stops would be faster , as acceleration would be under electric power.

  • Box Tunnel has been prepared for electrification.
  • This would be thirteen miles of new electrification.
  • Trains would run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bath Spa, which is a distance of 11.5 miles on diesel.

But the good citizens of Bath, might object to electrification through Sydney Gardens and the City Centre.

If they do object, an alternative would be to electrify between Bathampton junction and Chippenham.

  • As before Box Tunnel would be electrified.
  • This would be eleven miles of new electrification.
  • Trains would run between Bristol Temple Meads and Bathampton junction, which is a distance of 13.7 miles on diesel.

Bath would not be despoiled by electrification.

Battery-Electric Trains

I touched on electrification in the previous section and I believe it would be reasonably easy to electrify between Chippenham station and Bathampton junction.

This would mean that there would be just 13.7 miles for the train to power itself between Bristol Temple Meads and Bathampton junction.

As it is 27.4 miles in total with perhaps a twenty minute wait in Bristol Temple Meads station, I believe this would be within the battery range of a Hitachi  Intercity Tri-Mode Battery Train, which is described in this Hitachi infographic.

Note.

  1. Hitachi haven’t disclosed the range of the train on battery power alone.
  2. Twenty minutes in Temple Meads station is enough to fully charge the battery.

If the train could be recharged at Temple Meads station, the battery range needed would be just fifteen miles.

Conclusion

All stakeholders would appear to benefit from this new station.

October 30, 2021 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. It is so sad the Great Western electrification was curtailed needlessly. The infrastructure was way too massive for what was required. There are 300 km/h railways that have used less than half the steel involved in these hideous structures. No wonder citizens of Bath would reject these things. You cannot blame them. Is it any surprise that the scheme had massive overruns.

    Comment by Chris Noble | October 30, 2021 | Reply

  2. If you look at comments on rail articles in serious newspapers, you find a lot of anti-rail and anti-electrification comments and I think the Great Western electrification has suffered because of that. Look at the argument at Steventon, where Network Rail had to spend a lot more money because the locals were totally against any modification and took Network Rail through the Courts. In France, Germany, Italy or Spain, they would have just done it.

    One Network Rail engineer told me, that we need to beef up the gantries because of global warming.But try telling that to a climate-change sceptic in his diesel Range-Rover. There are some selfish idiots in this country.

    Comment by AnonW | October 30, 2021 | Reply

  3. […] See Reopening Corsham Station […]

    Pingback by Restoring Your Railway Planning Funds Allocated « The Anonymous Widower | November 3, 2021 | Reply


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