The Anonymous Widower

Can Park-And-Ride Stations Be Used To Increase Motorway Capacity?

This article on the BBC is entitled New Smart Motorway Plans Being Scrapped.

I’ve never driven or even been driven on a smart motorway. But one incident in the 1970s, convinced me that we should have full hard shoulders on motorways and probably some dual carriageway roads.

I was travelling North on the then-two-lane M11 just North of Stansted Airport, doing around seventy in the outside lane of a not very busy motorway.

From nowhere an MGB convertible  appeared in my mirrors and I pulled over to let the other car through.

There was a slight bend to the right at that point and the road was in a cutting.

The MGB just went straight on, climbed the banking and then turned over and rolled down and into the middle of the motorway.

A couple of other cars stopped on the hard shoulder and I initially pulled in behind them.

Miraculously, the driver had got out of the upside-down MGB and was standing beside the car.

I noticed that someone was using the emergency telephone by the side of the motorway, but I was worried that someone could come along too fast.

So as I had a large white car, I switched on the hazard lights and reversed down the hard shoulder. It certainly slowed everybody down and there were no more bumps or injuries. But what would have happened if the motorway had been busy?

When I first heard that smart motorways were going to be introduced in 2007, I was immediately against the idea because of that serious incident on the M11.

So what can we do to increase the capacity of our motorway and main road network?

Mathematical Modelling

In the 1970s, my software was used to model water supply in the UK. This piece of software just solved simultaneous differential equations and was used by the Government’s Water Resources Board.

I believe that software like I wrote fifty years ago and other more modern systems can be applied to traffic flows.

This should mean that any solutions put forward should be able to be tested.

Use Of Trains

If people can be encouraged to mode-shift and use trains, that must reduce the number of cars on the motorways.

But to get people out of their cars, there must be more Park-and-Ride stations.

And these new Park-and-Ride stations, must be attractive to motorists.

In Was Baldrick An Essex Man?, I looked at the design of the new Beaulieu Park station.

I feel that this is almost a new type of Park-and-Ride station, so is it part of a cunning plan to attract more passengers to the trains.

  • It has a high-quality specification.
  • Seven-hundred parking spaces will be built with hopefully an adequate number of chargers for electric vehicles.
  • There will be five-hundred bicycle spaces.
  • As it appears the station will be surrounded by 14,000 houses, I expect Network Rail are hoping lots of passengers will use the station.

But what is most unusual is that the station has an avoiding line, which should increase capacity and speed on the line through the station.

I also think, that the station is not just about journeys to London and Chelmsford, but also to other places in East Anglia like Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich.

So have Network Rail designed a station that will maximise the return on their investment?

Only time will tell!


I think that Network Rail are trying to see if there is money to be made in the design of Park-and-Ride stations.

April 21, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Was Baldrick An Essex Man?

I have been looking at Network Rail’s page for Beaulieu Park station.

This is the heading.

Network Rail and Essex County Council are working together to develop proposals for the first railway station to be built on the Great Eastern main line for over 100 years.

These two paragraphs outline the project and where the finance is being obtained.

The new station is part of a wider regeneration of the Beaulieu Park estate in Chelmsford with new road infrastructure and up to 14,000 homes.

Essex County Council, in partnership with Chelmsford City Council, successfully secured £218m of funding from the Government’s Housing and Infrastructure (HIF) fund together with £34m contributions from the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and the developers of Beaulieu, Countryside and L&Q.

These features of Beaulieu Park station are listed on the page.

  • Three platforms with a central loop line and new tracks to enable stopping services to call at the station while allowing fast trains to pass through unimpeded
  • Step free access to all platforms via 2 lifts
  • Accessible toilets, baby change facilities, waiting area and space for retail/catering
  • Ticketing facilities, with ticket vending machines and a gate line
  • Pedestrian and cycle access routes to the station
  • 500 spaces for cycle parking and storage
  • A bus interchange including bus stands for local services
  • Pick up and drop off area with dedicated taxi bays
  • Parking for over 700 cars, 5% of which to be designated Blue Badge bays, and motorcycle spaces, as well as dedicated parking for station staff, emergency services, and a dedicated space for service access.


  1. How many other parkway stations, other than Ebbsfleet International station have 700 parking spaces?
  2. The parking at Whittlesford Parkway can only hold 377 vehicles.
  3. How many other parkway stations have an overtaking loop for faster trains?

Beaulieu Park is not your average parkway station!

I have a few thoughts.

Which Of The Current Services Will Call?

The Network Rail page says this about services.

It will provide additional access to the railway with regular connections to the capital (only 40 minutes from London Liverpool Street station) and other destinations in the east of England. New tracks will enable stopping services to call at the station while allowing fast trains to pass through unimpeded.


  1. Trains between London and Hatfield Peverel station typically take under forty minutes.
  2. Two fast trains per hour (tph) between Liverpool Street and Norwich via Colchester, Ipswich and Stowmarket pass through.
  3. Only one of the fast trains stops at Chelmsford.
  4. Four stopping tph, one to each of Braintree, Clacton-on-Sea, Colchester Town and Ipswich pass through.

If all the stopping trains stopped, Beaulieu Park would have the following services.

  • Braintree – 1 tph
  • Chelmsford – 4 tph
  • Clacton-on-Sea – 1 tph
  • Colchester – 3 tph
  • Colchester Town – 1 tph
  • Hatfield Peverel – 1 tph
  • Ingatestone – 2 tph
  • Ipswich – 1 tph
  • Kelvedon – 2 tph
  • London Liverpool Street – 4 tph
  • Marks Tey – 2 tph
  • Romford – 1 tph
  • Shenfield – 3 tph
  • Stratford – 4 tph
  • Witham – 4 tph

All trains are new Class 720 electric trains.

I also feel, that Network Rail could be being cunning.

Suppose, the  Liverpool Street and Norwich express, that doesn’t stop at Chelmsford, stopped instead at Beaulieu Park.

  • This would give an hourly express service between Beaulieu Park and Norwich, which stopped at Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich, Stowmarket and Diss.
  • It would also enable two tph between Beaulieu Park and Ipswich.

The 700 parking spaces at Beaulieu Park now start to make sense.

  • Both Ipswich and Norwich stations are within walking distance of the town centres and the football grounds.
  • Ipswich station has a shuttle bus service to the town centre and the hospital.
  • Both stations have several local train services.

Beaulieu Park station appears to have been designed as a Park-and-Ride station for the Great Eastern Main Line and all its branches.

Services To And From Lowestoft

In Making Sense Of The New East Anglia Franchise, I looked in detail at Greater Anglia’s promises.

In a section, which is entitled London – Lowestoft – Yarmouth Services, I said this.

There are going to be four direct services between London and Lowestoft each day. This probably initially means two trains to London in the morning peak and two trains back in the evening one.

When, I first moved back to Suffolk in the 1970s, I regularly caught a diesel-hauled train from Wickham Market to London for the day.

This is all motherhood and apple pie for those in Lowestoft wanting to go to London, but I suspect it isn’t the easiest service for a train operator to schedule efficiently and make money.

Would a train operator really want to start a full train at Lowestoft at say six in the morning and then have it wait around all day in London before returning in the evening?

The service hasn’t started.

Services To And From Cambridge Or Peterborough

At some time in the last decade, one of the predecessors of Greater Anglia, used to run a service to Peterborough via Colchester and Ipswich, so that travellers in Essex could catch trains to the North.

Given too that Cambridge has an employment problem, if a service was run, it might attract passengers.

The Class 755 trains Could Serve Bury St. Edmunds, Cambridge, Lowestoft, Newmarket, Peterborough And Yarmouth


  • A pair of Class 755 trains would leave Liverpool Street.
  • They would use electric power to run to Ipswich.
  • The trains would run in one of the paths of the current hourly Ipswich service.
  • Like their all electric siblings; the Class 745 trains, they would probably run most of the journey at near 100 mph.
  • At Ipswich the trains would split.
  • One train would go to on to Lowestoft and Yarmouth and the other would go to Cambridge and Peterborough.

If passenger numbers felt it was a good idea, I’m certain, it could be timetabled.

The Chelmsford Avoiding Line

In Will The Chelmsford Avoiding Line Be Rebuilt?, I described the avoiding line, that used to be between the two tracks at Chelmsford station.

It probably saved a few minutes, by allowing fast expresses to pass stopping trains.

Effectively, a new avoiding line is being built at Beaulieu Park, a few miles from the original position at Chelmsford.

So will the fast expresses save a few minutes?

Could The Elizabeth Line Run To Beaulieu Park?


  • The end sections of the Elizabeth Line seem to be busy, as I wrote in Very Busy Lizzie.
  • The City of Chelmsford is between Shenfield and Beaulieu Park.
  • Paddington and Reading is 35.9 miles.
  • Liverpool Street and Hatfield Peverel is 35.9 miles.

So Beaulieu Park is actually closer to London than Reading.

Perhaps, at some time in a few years, passenger traffic between Beaulieu Park and Shenfield will be such, that the Elizabeth Line will be extended to Beaulieu Park.

The ideal service from Beaulieu Park would surely be two tph to Heathrow, as getting to Heathrow from East Anglia by train needs a change at Liverpool Street.

The only drawback is  that to work effectively on the Great Eastern Main Line, a sub-variant of the Class 345 trains will be needed with a 100 mph operating speed. I wrote about these trains in Extending The Elizabeth Line – High Speed Trains On The Elizabeth Line.

But they may have the advantage of being able to take the fast lines between Shenfield and Stratford.


Beaulieu Park may just look like any other station to serve a housing development.

But it’s a lot more than that!

  • It’s a Park-and-Ride for the whole Great Eastern Main Line and London.
  • It should speed up expresses between London and Colchester, Ipswich or Norwich.
  • It should improve local connectivity.
  • It could take a lot of traffic off the nearby A12.
  • It could give the City of Chelmsford its own local metro.
  • It could give Heathrow a direct link to much of Essex.
  • How much carbon will be saved by passengers?

We need many more well thought out Park-and-Ride stations.




April 2, 2023 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Reopening Of Abandoned Merseyside Railway Under Consideration

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on New Civil Engineer.

This is the sub-heading.

St Helens Borough Council is investigating the possibility of reopening part of the abandoned St Helens and Runcorn Gap railway in Merseyside.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the section of railway that will be reopened.


  1. The line runs between St. Helens Central and St. Helens Junction stations.
  2. St. Helens Central is in the North-West corner of the map and is marked by a blue arrow.
  3. St. Helens Junction station is in the South-East corner of the map.
  4. Both stations have two tracks and two platforms.
  5. St. Helens Central appears to have full disabled access,
  6. Both stations are electrified.
  7. It appears, that the route is still viable, but the track is not intact.

I have a few thoughts.

St. Helens Junction Station

This Google Map shows St. Helens Junction station.


  1. There are two platforms.
  2. Platform 1 is the Northern platform and trains go East.
  3. Platform 2 is the Southern platform and trains go to Liverpool Lime Street.
  4. There appears to be a footbridge at the Eastern end.
  5. Trains from the new route from St. Helens Central station would approach from and leave to the South-West.
  6. In a typical hour, between five and eight trains per hour (tph) go through the station in both directions on the main line.

I feel that a bay platform would need to be built at the station to handle the proposed service at St. Helens Junction station. But it would be able to handle four tph.

St. Helens Central Station

This Google Map shows St. Helens Central station.


  1. There are two platforms.
  2. Platform 1 is the Western platform and trains go to Wigan North Western.
  3. Platform 2 is the Eastern platform and trains go to Liverpool Lime Street.
  4. There appears to be a footbridge in the middle, with lifts.
  5. Trains from the new route from St. Helens Junction station would approach from and leave to the South-West.
  6. In a typical hour, between two and three tph go through the station in both directions on the main line.

It may be possible to run two tph on the route to St. Helens Junction station, by using the Southern end of Platform 2.

It would probably be able to handle two tph, by fitting in between the current services.

If a new bay platform were to be built at St. Helens Central four tph would be possible.

What Would Be The Frequency Of The Service?


  • As I said earlier, because of the current frequency of trains through St. Helens Junction station, I feel a dedicated bay platform will be needed at that station, which would probably handle four tph.
  • Without building a dedicated bay platform, I doubt that St. Helens Central station could have more than two tph.
  • Two tph on the new route, would fit well with the services through St. Helens Central station.

I believe that providing it gave sufficient capacity for the route, that two tph will be the frequency, as it only needs one bay platform at St. Helens Junction station to be built.

What Length Of Train Will Be Used?

As a bay platform will have to be built at St. Helens Junction station, this will probably determine the length of train.

I would build the bay platform to accept a three or four car train, as lengthening platforms is always a pain.

Looking at the map of St. Helens Junction station, I suspect that a four-car platform may be the longest possible.

What Type Of Train Should Be Used?

If you look at all the Beeching Reversal schemes, there isn’t one like this, where two electrified lines are connected by a short length of new railway, which in this case is only 3.5 km, according to the New Civil Engineer article.


  • A round trip is only 7 kilometres.
  • I suspect each trip between the two stations will take no more than ten minutes.
  • If the frequency is two tph, there will be plenty of time to turn a train at each end.
  • All new routes opened on UK railways from now on, should have carbon-free traction.

For these reasons, I suspect that the route could be run by a battery-electric train, which is charged at one end.

Putting up a short length of overhead electrification in the new bay platform at St. Helens Junction, as the station is already electrified, would not be the most challenging of tasks.

Alternatively, the train could be charged, whilst it is waiting to return in St. Helens Central, using the existing overhead electrification.

Will There Be Any Intermediate Stations Between St. Helens Central And St. Helens Junction?

On the first map the station sites of two former stations are shown; Peasley Cross and Sutton Oak.

According to the Wikipedia entry for Sutton Oak station, there was quite an intensive service a hundred years ago.

Why shouldn’t they be rebuilt? Especially, if there are plans for housing or regeneration in the area.

Will Between St. Helens Central And St. Helens Junction Be Single Track?

This would still enable two tph, if the trains did a quick turn-round in the bay platform at St. Helens Junction.

But it would mean.

  • Lower cost infrastructure.
  • Simple tram-style intermediate stations.
  • One train on line operation for safety.

I feel that it is highly likely the new route will be single-track.

Carr Mill Station

This map shows Merseyrail’s future plans.


Note the proposed new station at Carr Mill, which is North-East of St. Helens Central on the Liverpool and Wigan Line.

The Wikipedia entry for Carr Mill station, says this about a proposed new station.

Proposals to construct a new station to serve the expanding population have been suggested by Merseytravel but funding has yet to arrive. A new proposal to open a station was raised by Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram as part of his re-election plans in January 2020.

It should be noted, that a new Carr Mill station could be on the East Lancashire Road, so it might be a good place to create a Park-and-Ride station for Liverpool and St. Helens.

Perhaps if a bay platform were to be incorporated into the new Carr Mill station, it might be better to run a service between Carr Mill and St. Helens Junction.

  • There would be two tph.
  • Intermediate stops would be St. Helens Central, Peasley Cross and Sutton Oak.
  • I estimate the distance would be about four miles of which 1.8 miles would be electrified.
  • The trains would be charged on the electrified line between Carr Mill and St. Helens Central stations.

There would be no need to electrify the bay platform at St. Helens Junction

Should The Service Go All The Way To Wigan?

It must surely be a possibility to run the service between Wigan North Western and St. Helens Junction.

  • There would be two tph.
  • Intermediate stops would be Carr Mill, Bryn, Garswood, St. Helens Central, Peasley Cross and Sutton Oak.
  • I estimate the distance would be about eleven miles of which nine miles would be electrified.
  • The trains would be charged on the electrified line between Wigan North Western and St. Helens Central stations.

This would create an excellent connection to Wigan North Western for all the long distance trains to Scotland and the South.

Should The New Route Be Electrified?


  • St. Helens and Wigan North Western is a fully-electrified route.
  • It is only 2.2 miles, which would probably be single track railway.
  • As there is electrification at both ends of the new route, there would be no problem arranging power.
  • It would remove the need for battery-electric trains.

I suspect that this is one that accountants will decide, as both battery-electric and electrification will work equally well!

What Trains Would Be Used?

If the route is electrified, any electric train of a suitable length could be used. I would argue, that the same class of train, as is used through the two St. Helens stations, should be used for operational and passenger convenience.

To maintain the operational and passenger convenience, if battery-electric trains are used, then Northern’s Class 331 trains and Merseyrail’s Class 777 trains come or will come in both electric and battery-electric versions.


This looks like a very sensible scheme.




February 15, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Extending The Elizabeth Line – Connection To Southeastern High Speed One Services

The Two Stratford Stations

In this post, Stratford station is the station handling Greater Anglia and London Overground, Underground and Docklands Light Railway services, with Stratford International station handles High Speed services.

The Elizabeth Line And The Great Western Railway Services

One of the most important stations on the Elizabeth Line is Paddington, where it connects to the London terminus of the Great Western Railway.

I would expect that quite a few passengers going to the West and Wales on the Great Western Railway, will be transported to Paddington by the Elizabeth Line.

The Elizabeth Line And Greater Anglia Services

Another of the important stations on the Elizabeth Line is Liverpool Street, where the station is the London terminus of the Greater Anglia.

I would expect that quite a few passengers going to East Anglia on the Greater Anglia, will be transported to Liverpool Street by the Elizabeth Line.

Southeastern High Speed One Services

Southeastern runs some High Speed services  on High Speed One to provide Kent with an improved service to London.

Current services are

  • London St Pancras International to Ramsgate via Faversham.
  • London St Pancras International to Ramsgate via Dover Priory.
  • London St Pancras International to Margate via Canterbury West.


  1. All trains are one train per hour (tph).
  2. All trains stop at Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International.
  3. All trains are run by 140 mph Class 395 trains.

There has also been talk of running a fourth service to Hastings and Eastbourne via Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International.

St. Pancras Station

All of these trains terminate in three platforms; 11 to 13 at St. Pancras International station.

St. Pancras is not the ideal terminal for the Southeastern High Speed services.

  • St. Pancras is not on the Elizabeth Line.
  • St.Pancras doesn’t have good connections to Heathrow.
  • All connections to the Underground are a long walk.
  • Eurostar services are a longer walk.
  • East Midland services are also a longer route, with stairs and escalators for good measure.

St. Pancras station was designed by a committee, as a museum to Victorian architecture, rather than as a working station.

Ebbsfleet International Station Must Be The Largest Parkway Station In The UK

It holds nearly five thousand cars and it is served by Southeastern High Speed Services.

Thanet Parkway Station Will Open This Year

Thanet Parkway station is under construction.

  • It will have nearly three hundred parking spaces.
  • It will be served by Southeastern High Speed Services.
  • It should open in May 2023.

This station will need a good connection to London.

Could An Interchange Between The Elizabeth Line And Southeastern High Speed Services Be Provided At Stratford?

Such an alternative interchange would be popular with passengers.

  • The Elizabeth Line from Stratford currently serves the West End, the Northern section of the City of London, East London, Liverpool Street, Paddington and the West End directly.
  • The Elizabeth Line from Stratford currently serves Canary Wharf, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Euston, Heathrow, King’s Cross. Reading, St. Pancras and Victoria with a change at Whitechapel.
  • The Central Line, which shares platforms with the Elizabeth Line  serves Bank and the West End directly.
  • The Overground is easily accessed for travel across North London to Richmond.
  • The Jubilee Line is easily accessed for travel to London Bridge, Waterloo and Westminster.

It would be connected to two large parkway stations and lots of parking all over Kent.

I believe that Stratford must be promoted as an alternative terminus for Southeastern High Speed Services.

Today, I walked both ways between two Stratford stations.

These pictures show the route I took between Stratford and Stratford International stations, through the Eastfield Shopping Centre.


  1. I went through the Shopping Centre.
  2. I passed Marks & Spencer’s large food hall, excellent toilets and a Food Court.
  3. By the Food Court is an exit that leads to an entrance to Stratford International station.
  4. The walk took about 10 minutes.
  5. It was vaguely level.
  6. Lifts by-passed the escalators.
  7. One thing that makes the journey to London easier, is to travel in the Eastern end of the train, as the lifts and escalators at Stratford International station, are at that end.

It does need some better signage, but they were doing a bit of refurbishment, so that may already be underway.

It could be a very high quality interchange and it is already better than St. Pancras.

Coming back I took the longer route outside the Shopping Centre.


  1. I just turned left out of the entrance, walked along the road and turned right past the bus station.
  2. If the weather had been colder or wetter, I’d have gone back via the Shopping Centre.
  3. The walk took about 12 minutes.

I think normally, I’d go back through the Shopping Centre, as there’s a Marks and Spencer Food Hall on the route and it’s slightly quicker and often warmer.


Could Stratford Station Be A London Superhub Station?

When you consider the stations connected to Stratford in London, East Anglia and Kent, it has an excellent collection.

  • Airports – Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Southend and Stansted
  • Cities – Cambridge, Canterbury, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Norwich and Southend-on-Sea
  • London Main and Terminal Stations – Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Clapham Junction, Euston, Farringdon, King’s Cross, London Bridge, Liverpool Street, Marylebone, Moorgate, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo
  • Major Areas – Canary Wharf, City of London, Hampstead, Olympic Park and West End
  • Ports – Dover, Felixstowe, Folkestone and Harwich

You can even get a train to Slough, with a change at Whitechapel.

I would think it already is a London Superhub Station.

January 30, 2023 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

If We Have More Electric Cars Do We Need More Parkway Stations?

We are all being encouraged by carrot-and-stick methods to change to zero-carbon vehicles.

And it’s not just from Government and environmental activists!

I was recently asked on a train, if I drove an electric car, by the guy sitting opposite me at a table. He told me, that his ten-year-old BMW needed replacing and his daughters were pestering him to get an electric car.

  • He had looked into it and said he could afford one.
  • However like many, he was worried about the battery range.
  • He also said charging at home would not be a problem, as he lived in a house with parking for three cars and could install his own grid-to-vehicle charger.
  • I asked him what he did and like my late wife; C, he was a family barrister.

C would drive thousands of miles a year to Court from our house in Suffolk in her Porsche Boxster, to places like Bedford, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Ipswich, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Southend and Yarmouth. Only when she went to London did she use a train from Whittlesford Parkway station.

There are a lot of people like family barristers, where their profession dictates that they travel long distances by car to a variable place of work.

Purchase of an electric car, for some drivers may turn out to be a worrying one, as will they always find a charger at the other end of their journey, to charge the vehicle to get home.

I can see parkway stations like Whittlesford developing into electric parkway stations, where most parking spaces have a charger.

  • Parking could be booked, as in many railway car parks.
  • Some stations could probably host one or more wind turbines.
  • The vehicle batteries with the appropriate grid-to-vehicle technology could be used as grid storage.

Get the technology and the locations right and I can see more parkway stations being developed.

It might also be the sort of infrastructure project that a financial institution like L & G might finance.


August 31, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Could High Speed Two Have A Station At Ashby-de-la-Zouch?

This morning, I was listening to Andrew Bridgen, who is the Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire, giving the reasons for a strong opposition to High Speed Two.

  • High Speed Two will reduce the number of services between Leicester and London.
  • His constituency does not have a rail station.
  • His constituency would do better for the Ivanhoe Line to get a passenger service.
  • His constituents are badly affected by the building of the line.
  • His constituents will need to drive North to East Midlands Hub station to use High Speed Two.

Some points are valid, although I think no rail company would reduce the number of services between Leicester and London.

The Future Of Services Between Leicester And London

East Midlands Railway currently run four trains per hour (tph) between Leicester and London, with the fastest trains taking five minutes over the hour.

New 125 mph bi-mode Class 810 trains, will be running all main line services on the Midland Main Line from 2023, using electric power between London and Market Harborough.

It is also planned to increase the line speed between London and Market Harborough to 140 mph, so the trains can really use their design speed, by updating the electrification, signalling and track.

From these published plans, I would feel that East Midlands Railway are intending that all Leicester and London services are within the hour.

Reinstatement Of Services On The Ivanhoe Line

This has been promised off-and-on for some time and I wrote about it in Silent Hydrogen Trains On The Cards For New Line Linking Burton And Leicester, after one of my alerts picked up “hydrogen trains”.

The Association Of Train Operating Companies Plan For The Ivanhoe Line

This is taken from the Wikipedia entry for the Ivanhoe Line.

In 2009 the Association of Train Operating Companies published a £49 million proposal (Connecting Communities: Expanding Access to the Rail Network) to restore passenger services to the line that would include reopening stations at Kirby Muxloe, Bagworth and Ellistown, Coalville Town, Ashby de la Zouch, Moira, and Gresley (for Swadlincote). There is also some support in the Leicester area for the line to have new stations to serve Leicester City F.C.’s stadium and the suburb of Braunstone.

Wikipedia also says, it could be developed as a no-frills line.

Given the government’s enthusiasm for reopening lines closed by Beeching, I suspect that this line will be reopened to passenger traffic in the next few years.

Ashby-de-la-Zouch Station

This section of the route map for High Speed Two, shows where the Ivanhoe Line crosses it, just by a major road junction outside Ashby-de-la-Zouch.


  1. High Speed Two is shown in orange.
  2. The Ivanhoe Line runs West-East from the West edge of the map and after crossing the A42 and High Speed Two it curves South-East.

Where the two lines cross would it be sensible to build a simple interchange station?

  • Andrew Bridgen’s constituency has a electorate of over 72,000.
  • The station would be well-connected to the road network via the the M42, A42 and A51.
  • There would appear to be plenty of space for parking.
  • It would ease the problems of going by train between Leicester and Birmingham.
  • A bridge will have to be built at the location of the station to carry High Speed Two over the Ivanhoe Line, so why not design the bridge with simple platforms?
  • As High Speed Two’s trains will be designed with fast acceleration and deceleration, the stops would be very quick
  • Passengers would only be allowed on the High Speed Two platforms, when trains are in the station.

Perhaps given its location it could be called the Heart of England Parkway station?

The Station Site

This Google Map shows the station site.


  1. The Ivanhoe Line is at the bottom of the map.
  2. There is a spur from the line into the space.
  3. High Speed Two will run almost North-South parallel to the A42.

It looks like an abandoned open-cast coal-mine or quarry. Does anybody else know better?


There has already been speculation for the building of a similar station, which I wrote about in Should High Speed Two Have A Station At Calvert?, so perhaps it’s not a totally crazy idea,

Perhaps, there are other places, where High Speed Two crosses other main lines, where parkway stations could be built?



February 11, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 8 Comments