The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal – Mid-Cornwall Metro

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

This is a strange project, as I can’t find a detailed description of what it entails.

All I can think, is that it is a general project to run all the local lines in Cornwall as a unified whole.

Great Western Railway runs these services in Cornwall.

  • Cornish Main Line – London Paddington and Penzance – One train per two hours (tp2h) – Calling at Plymouth, Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel, Par, St Austell, Truro, Redruth, Camborne and St Erth
  • Cornish Main Line – Exeter St. Davids and Penzance – One train per hour (tph) – Calling at Newton Abbot, Totnes, Ivybridge, Plymouth, Devonport, Dockyard, Keyham, St Budeaux Ferry Road, Saltash, St Germans, Menheniot, Liskeard, Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel, Par, St Austell, Truro, Redruth, Camborne, Hayle and St Erth
  • Looe Valley Line – Liskeard and Looe – One tph – Calling at Coombe Junction Halt, St Keyne Wishing, Well Halt, Causeland and Sandplace.
  • Atlantic Coast Line – Par and Newquay – One tp2h – Calling at Luxulyan, Bugle, Roche, St Columb Road and Quintrell Downs
  • Maritime Line – Truro and Falmouth Docks – Two tph – Calling at Perranwell (1tph), Penryn, Penmere and Falmouth Town
  • St. Ives Bay Line – St. Erth and St. Ives – Two tph – Calling at Lelant Saltings, Lelant and Carbis Bay

Could frequencies and connectivities be improved?

Other Beeching Reversal projects are also aiming to improve the railways in Cornwall.

Transforming the Newquay Line
Reinstatement of Bodmin-Wadebridge Railway and associated works
Increased service provision Bodmin General-Bodmin Parkway

I think the first might increase frequencies on the Newquay to one tph or even two tph and the Bodmin General station improvements should create a useful new platform.

Wikipedia mentions this project.

Reopening The Lostwithiel And Fowey Railway To Passengers

Are there any other lines, stations or platforms, that could be reopened, given a passenger service or or an increase in frequency?

Conclusion

Someone must have a plan somewhere! So can they please disclose it?

 

August 1, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Beeching Reversal – Transforming The Newquay Line

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

 

This map clipped from Wikipedia shows the Newquay or Atlantic Coast Line.

When I first saw this map, my initial thought, was that the various loops and other sections of disused track could and/or might be added to the route.

Searching the Internet, I can’t find much information except from this article on Cornwall Live, which is entitled Cornish Railway lines Axed In Beeching Cuts Could Be Restored, where this is said.

Other projects focused on Cornwall bidding for the funding to develop business cases include one to transform the Newquay to Par railway line as well as a “Mid-Cornwall Metro” proposal.

Nothing more about the Atlantic Coast Line, is said in the article.

This Google Map shows where the Atlantic Coast Line joins the Cornish Main Line at Par.

Note.

  1. The Atlantic Coast Line goes off to the North West.
  2. Par station is shown towards the North-Western corner on the Cornish Main Line.
  3. The junction is designed, so that china clay trains can access the branch.

In the summer, Newquay station is also served by long-distance trains from London and Scotland.

This Google Map shows Newquay station in the heart of the town.

It could probably be called a Beach station, as the sea is just off the map.

Partly, because I lived in the town, from 1963 onwards, I can remember Felixstowe Beach station! Yarmouth Beach station has gone too, but how many others are left?

These are the only ones, I can think of with Beach in their name!

Perhaps, if Felixstowe ever gets the promised tram-train, that I wrote about in  Could There Be A Tram-Train Between Ipswich And Felixstowe?, one of the or more of the stops on the way to the Port of Felixstowe will be Felixstowe Beach.

Frequency Improvement

The current frequency on the Atlantic Coast Line is one train every two hours, which is not a family-friendly frequency, as if any child starts playing silly games, you have a two-hour wait for the next train.

I would suspect that an hourly service would create a large increase in ridership on the line.

As the journey takes fifty-one minutes between Par and Newquay, is the frequency defined by the need for one train to work the line, by shuttling from end-to-end?

So is one of the needs, some better track layouts, so that trains can pass and be parked at Par, whilst the crew has a refreshment break?

I also suspect, that if one of Network Rail’s track wizards got the layout spot on, which they seem to do, that this would make things easier for any china clay trains still passing through the area.

Could Newquay Be Used As An Extra Terminal?

I wonder how many people drive to Newquay, if they live in East Cornwall or Devon?

I have just looked at train times today from Plymouth to Newquay.

To be fair to Great Western Railway (GWR), I would only have a few minutes to wait at Par station, but there is only one train every two hours, due to the limitations on the Atlantic Coast Line.

With an improved higher-capacity track, GWR could call up the heavy brigade.

As full-length InterCity125s have served Newquay station for decades, four-car Castles like these, should manage the trip with ease.

Surely, once the Atlantic Coast Line can handle at least hourly trains, that would enable separate one train per two hour schedules.

  • Newquay and Par
  • Newquay and either Plymouth or Exeter.

This would improve service frequencies on both the Cornish Main Line and the Atlantic Coast Line and enable passengers to go between Exeter, Plymouth and Truro, and Newquay without changing trains.

Hopefully, the Cornish Main Line trains would serve appropriate refreshments at the correct times of the day.

Would Newquay Station Need A Second Platform?

Newquay station used to have more than one platform, but all the others were removed in British Rail’s ruthless quest to save money in the 1960s and 1970s.

I have never been to Newquay station, so I don’t know whether there is space to reinstate another platform.

However, I did find this video, which appears to be some very professional plans for Newquay station.

This video dates from 2008.

The video definitely says, that Newquay station needs an extra platform or two.

  • Two platforms would allow two trains to share the station.
  • A third platform would allow steam trains to visit.

The video also answers the age old question about why in many towns and cities, the railway station is often the best building, except for the church and the town or city hall.

Conclusion

It does appear to me, that giving the Atlantic Coast Line a modern track layout, will unlock a lot of possibilities that can be tried on the branch, to the benefit of all stakeholders.

 

 

July 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 7 Comments