The Fawley Branch Line is a freight-only branch line alongside Southampton Water in Hampshire.
Under Future in the Wikipedia entry for the Line, this is said.
On 16 June 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies announced it was looking into the reopening of the railway as far as Hythe, with a possibility of a further extension to Fawley if agreement could be reached with Esso, which owns the land where Fawley railway station once stood.
A lot more detail is also given, which has these major points.
- Reopening of all former stations along the line.
- A new station in Totton called Totton West, sited just west of the junction with the main line.
- A new train service from Fawley or Hythe to Totton and on via Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh, Chandlers Ford and Romsey before returning to Southampton Central, Totton and Fawley or Hythe, also serving other intermediate stations.
- Two trains per hour.
- Possible future electrification
This Google Map shows the area of the branch line.
It starts at Totton and there used to be stations at Marchwood, Hythe, Hsardley and Fawley.
Currently, the project is on hold, but given the location, where some very nice waterfront housing might be built, circumstances could change.
In No-Frills Mini Trains Offer Route To Reopening Lines That Beeching Shut, one of the lines mentioned in the original Times article that might be suitable for reopening is the Blyth and Tyne Line between Newcastle station and a new Ashington station in the North East.
- More details of this route are given on the South East Northumberland Rail User Group web site.
This map is taken from their web site.
The East Coast Main Line is shown in red, with the proposed reopened line in orange.
Reopening the line would be a lot simpler than many others.
- Most if not all of the track is intact and used by freight trains.
- Some of the route is only single-track.
- Stations would need to be rebuilt or built from scratch.
- To work the desired frequency of two tph would probably need two units.
- Digital signalling would be needed, as there are freight trains on the same lines.
As there are electrified lines in the area, it might be an ideal line for a pair of Class 319 Flex trains, which could run on diesel, where there was no electrification.
Judging by the map, the service could call at the following stations coming North from Newcastle
- Seaton Delaval
- Newsham for Blyth
I also think that there is scope for more routes and stations.
It all looks very feasible.
Two possible routes have been proposed foe extending the Docklands Light Railway to the West
Whether either is worth developing, I don’t know.
- The Thameslink Programme will improve access between London Bridge and Charing Cross stations, which could take pressure off the Jubilee Line.
- The Thameslink Programme will improve Southeastern services into Cannon Street and Charing Cross stations.
- Charing Cross station has a couple of spare platforms, that some would like to re-use.
- Euston and St. Pancras stations have bad access to Canary Wharf and South East London.
- The Bakerloo Line Extension has been given the green light.
- Crossrail connects Canary Wharf to Bond Strreet, Heathrow, Liverpool Street and Paddington.
But the big issue, is what happens about Crossrail 2.
I feel that the more likely extension to the West is to go from Bank to Euston via City Thameslink and Holborn and/or Tottenham Court Road stations and finish by going on to St. Pancras.
It could link HS2 at Euston and European services at St. Pancras to the following.
- Thameslink at City Thameslink station.
- Crossrail at Tottenham Court Road station.
- Bank and Canary Wharf stations.
It would also provide a decent link between the long distance services at Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras.
These factors would also influence the design of the DLR Extension.
- The DLR has all the agility of a mountain coat to climb hills and turn sharply, so it might be possible to squeeze it through places impossible for a Crossrail or an Underground line.
- 3D-design techniques are getting better every year.
- Tunnel boring machines are getting more accurate.
- Escalators are getting longer.
So could we see the extension going from Bank to City Thameslink as a traditional extension and then going in a long double-track loop via some or all of the following stations.
- Tottenham Court Road
- Oxford Circus
- Regents Park
- St. Pancras
- Covent Garden
It would all depend on where they could squeeze the tracks through.
- Stations could be island platforms between the tracks.
- Platform edge doors could be fitted.
- Escalators and lifts could link the platforms to existing station.
There’s no reason why the line should be designed traditionally for the DLR.
Donald Trump is a gift to those with a sense of humour, as this article on the BBC web site shows.
My father told me all about the Zinoviev Letter, which was written around the time of the 1924 General Election and published in the Daily Mail.
He certainly knew all about the letter, but I doubt he was anything to do with its production, as he’d only have been twenty at the time.
But in the 1920s and 1930s he moved in left-wing Tory political circles, so he probably knew the truth, even if all he told me was the basic story, you can now read on Wikipedia.
The Zinoviev letter would certainly be considered Fake News today.
This is the headline on a post on an article on the BBC.
Perhaps, I’m wrong, but I always thought that any successful politician needed the media on their side.
Or is it different across the pond?
I hsve just read this page on The Official Monster Raving Looney Web Site, which is entitled The Incredible Flying Brick will save Stoke.
As Screaming Lord Sutch used to say “Vote Loony! You know it makes sense!”
I first came across him in the 1966 General Election, where he stood in the Huyton consituency, which was where I was living at the time.
I remember him appearing on the radio in the 1990s and going through the original manifesto from one of his first elections.
Strangely several of his proposals had been put into law, like lowering the voting age to 18.
Lambeth North station has been given new lifts, a good clean and some repainting.
The only thing that hasn’t been updated are the adverts, which relate very much to films and concerts from when the station closed for the refurbishment.
I think that this facelift shows that unlike many buildings dating from the early twentieth century, it was well-designed and well-built. It’s certainly much better than the dreadful Essex Road station, which is near to where I live.
Elephant and Castle station couldn’t be called a well-preserved architectural gem.
But it certainly could be improved.
It looks like it’s another of those stations, where the arches could be opened up underneath the railway.
Over the past eight years, I have built up a seasonable six-figure sum in Zopa. It has paid me upwards of five or six percent after all deduction of losses and charges over those years and it has been a safe investment compared to some others I could have made.
But now is the time to liberate it, as I want to invest in something important to me, and liberating any of my other investments, would mean reducing my pension pot.
I am not selling any of my performing loans in Zopa, but just liberating any interest and principal repayments. Typically, about six percent of the money I have invested in Zopa is returned to my bank account each month.
It has been a painless way to fund my investment.
Various financial advisers have told me that peer-to-peer lending like Zopa is risky. But of course, there’s no way they can get a commission.