The Anonymous Widower

Beeching Reversal Fund Bids

The title of this post, is the same as that of an article in the May 2020 Edition of Modern Railways.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Bids have been submitted to Government for a share of the £500 million ‘Restoring your railway’ fund launched by the Department for Transport in January. The fund is to be used to support proposals to reinstate axed local services, to accelerate schemes already being considered for restoration and also to promote new and restored stations.

Some of the bids are detailed.

Okehampton And Tavistock

If you were deciding what lines shouldn’t have been closed by British Rail in the 1960s, by hindsight, the Exeter to Plymouth railway of the LSWR, would be a railway that you wouldn’t close.

  • The Northern route  would be a valuable diversion, when the sea and the weather decide to attack Dawlish again. as they did in 2014.
  • When COVID-19 is over, there will be more people going to Devon and Cornwall. A second rail route would be invaluable to get traffic off the roads.
  • Attitudes are changing about zero-carbon travel and this will also nudge passengers towards rail.
  • Four tracks between Exeter and Plymouth would allow more freight services to take trucks off the road.
  • There may be new developments along the Northern route.
  • It may be even be possible to electrify the Northern route.

At least, British Rail left the viaducts and bridges intact.

The Modern Railways article says this.

In the West Country, a new Northern Route Working Group has submitted a bid to the fund to develop a Strategic Outline Business Case for reopeing the former London and South Western Railway Main Line between Exeter and Plymouth via Okehampton and Tavistock. The proposal is backed by four local MPs and the working group of industry personnel.

These points are also made.

  • The reopening is crucial to the resilience of the network.
  • Reopening is complimentary to the ongoing work at Dawlish.
  • Devon County Council is leading plans to reopen the 5.5 miles between Bere Alston and Tavistock.
  • Devon County Council is pushing for a daily service between Exeter and Okehampton.
  • The previous two developments, would leave the 16 miles between Tavistock and Okehampton to be restored.
  • Much of the route is intact and structures survive, but some track has been sold off.
  • The route will be useful during closure of the coastal route through Dawlish.
  • Journey times might be only six minutes longer.
  • It might be an easier route for freight trains.

As I said earlier, the proposers of the scheme think electrification could be possible.

Stratford And Honeybourne

The Modern Railways article says this.

A bid has been submitted for £75,000 to carry out an Economic Impact Assessment regarding reopening of the Stratford-upon-Avon to Honeybourne route.

These points are also made.

Nothing is said about whether the route will be single or double track or what services will be run on the line.

There’s more on the Shakespeare Line web site.

This is said about train services.

  • A reopened railway could provide the ability to operate orbital train services in both directions between Birmingham-Stratford-Evesham-Worcester-Birmingham providing connections for South Wales and South West at the new Worcestershire Parkway station.
  • The reopened line would provide the ability to operate direct train services with a 12 mile shorter route between Stratford upon Avon, the Cotswolds, Oxford, Reading, Heathrow Airport and London Paddington.

I also think, I’ve read that the line could be used by freight services and heritage services on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway, which could link Birmingham and Cheltenham.

It does appear to be a rail link with potential.

Rawtenstall Line

The Modern Railways article says this.

Meanwhile, Rossendale Council has submitted an application to the fund seeking to propose reinstatement of passenger services on the Rawstenstall Line, now part of the East Lancashire Railway.

A study published in 2018 determined that reinstating services along the ELR and then joining the Manchester to Rochdale Line would be feasible.

These points are also made.

  • Rossendale is the only council in Lancashire without a rail link.
  • 60 % of residents leave the borough each day for work.

Tram-trains have also been proposed for this route, as I wrote about in Could A Class 399 Tram-Train With Batteries Go Between Manchester Victoria And Rochdale/Bury Bolton Street/Rawtenstall Stations?

Conclusion

This is the closing paragraph of the article.

In addition to those mentioned, it is likely that other bids will have been submitted to the fund.

It certainly looks like the money in the fund, will be bid for, by worthwhile projects.

 

April 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Worcestershire Parkway Station Is Now On The Map

This article on the BBC is entitled Worcester’s New Railway Station’s Set To Open In December.

This Google Map showsWorcestershire Parkway station, at the place, where the Cotswold and Cross Country lines cross.

Services will probably start to call at the timetable change of December 15th, 2019

Judging by the bands of car parking shown in this map, they are expecting a sizeable number of passengers.

I just tried to book a ticket to the station and it is not in the on-line ticketing system yet as a destination, although it does show up as a stop on these journeys.

  • CrossCountry – Nottingham and Cardiff – Hourly
  • GWR – Paddington and Worcestor, Great Malvern and Hereford.- Hourly

Two other hourly CrossCountry services also pass through.

October 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Worcestershire Parkway Station Under Way

This article in the Worcester News is entitled PICTURES: Lift off! Clearance work underway for Worcestershire Parkway.

Enough said! Especially as the pictures are informative!

But with similar signs of a new station at Meridian Water, it seems to be good news for those who want new stations.

March 3, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Worcester Parkway Station Given The Green Light

According to this article in the Worcester News, Worcester Parkway station has been given the green light by the Government.

Clearing of the site will start this winter.

This is another station project to be given the go-ahead, since I wrote Government Focuses On New Stations And Trains. So it could  be that Chris Grayling has changed direction at the Department of Transport.

The Worcester News article gives more details of the station.

  • New Class 800 trains will go direct on the Cotswold Line to Oxford and Paddington.
  • Services between Gloucester and Birmingham will also stop.
  • The station is close to Junction 7 of the M5.
  • The station will have 500 parking spaces.

It should be noted that Worcester Foregate Street station is on a restricted site and has no parking and Worcester Shrub Hill station has only 121 spaces. I suspect that the two current stations don’t probably encourage mode shift from car to train by travellers.

The article says this about funding.

The majority of the budget for the scheme will be self-funded through station car park fees and access charges levied on the Train Operating Companies, along with £8.3 million from the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership through the Government’s Growth Deal.

Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership is very hopeful that the new station will be good for the local economy and employment.

It certainly looks like it will improve the journey of commuters and travellers from the Worcester area to Birmingham and London.

I also wonder, if once the station is built, there will be opportunities for the train companies to use trains more efficiently and add extra services to and from Worcester. Could some of these inefficiencies release valuable development land in the centre of Worcester?

Worcester Parkway is not a normal station project reliant on a lot of local and central government funding, but one with several different ways of raising the finance.

January 30, 2017 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Knicker Twisting In Worcestershire

This article on Worcester News is entitled Worcestershire Parkway public inquiry shelved after pay-out.

It describes the latest round in the saga of getting Worcestershire Parkway station built.

Wikipedia says this.

On 21 February 2015 Worcestershire County Council advertised for contractors for the construction of the railway station to include platforms, station building, passenger footbridge and lifts with a commencement date of late September 2015 with completion in May 2017. On 25 August 2015 planning permission was granted, with work expected to have started in 2016.

A potential legal battle between Worcester County Council and Norton Parkway Developments, who currently own the land, started in 2016. Norton Parkway Developments has refused to hand over the land to the council as they feel that they are in a position to complete the development themselves.

So it seems like another row between a Council and developers over a station, to follow the one at Battersea.

June 16, 2016 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment