Rail projects and improvements

JimG

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I thought some of you may be interested in work on HS2. It will pass by a couple of miles from where I live, and I've taken a few photos of the works. So far all the works have been 'haul roads' where they move heavy machinery to the work sites.

Here's a link to a few photos, click here
 

Chris1963

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Interesting proposals to move East Croydon station north of the present site can be seen here, as well as on other websites;


I only found out about it a few weeks ago when I saw some information posters at London Bridge station about the public consultation. It is such an ambitious project that even if money can be found for it in the current climate, it will not be completed until 2033.

For the present time, work is at least taking place to improve and expand Gatwick Airport station, with building work on the east side of the station clearly visible to anyone passing through it on the train. This is very welcome because although a new platform was added to the east side of the station only a few years ago, lack of space meant that it was not possible to change between it and the older platforms unless you took a circuitous route through the main concourse. This almost caused me to miss a connection on one occasion.
 

Chris1963

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An interesting video of the HS2 route can be viewed on YouTube. Some sporting venues are visible, in particular the cricket grounds at Amersham and Wendover, while Southam United's old ground and Wealdstone's current home at Grosvenor Vale appear to be just about visible (although opinion may differ)

 

knmeynell

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The track has been lifted from Bicester to Calvert and new ballast is being laid. The land next to the crossing between Bicester and Launton has been cleared and a bridge is being put in place to take the road over the railway.

There is a large works compound Bicester side of Launton and others on in the Vale of Aylesbury. There is quite a lot of work taking place and has been for a few months. Obviously some is also HS2.
Not sure how much is really happening on the Varsity Line. Had some time to kill a few months back so took a walk along the old line near Winslow.

It was pretty overgrown, much of the track and sleepers had disappeared even though I think the line was still operational in the late-80s, and some of the embankments and bridges looked in a poor state of repair. It looked like some surveyors had been along because some markers had been placed, but the work looks a long way from completion.
 

knmeynell

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Beeching disliked duplication and recommended closure of the York-Hull 'direct' route. As a result, today's luckless rail users wishing to travel between the two cities have to embark on a round-the-houses tour via Selby.
There were some closures that didn't make sense even at the time, plus some closures of lines that weren't recommended, but there were also some reprieves too. In general though, Beeching was correct that British railways were absurdly dense and there was a lot of unnecessary duplication. Even today, the UK still has one of most dense rail networks in the world.

Over the years, population growth and road congestion has made a number of closed routes viable once again, even though for the vast majority it will be never be viable to reopen. So for me, the mistake was not actually closing down the unprofitable lines at the time, but not safeguarding the rights of way so they could be reinstated if they were needed again at some point future.

In fairness, that doesn't seem to have been part of Beeching's remit though.
 

Kingsmere

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Not sure how much is really happening on the Varsity Line. Had some time to kill a few months back so took a walk along the old line near Winslow.

It was pretty overgrown, much of the track and sleepers had disappeared even though I think the line was still operational in the late-80s, and some of the embankments and bridges looked in a poor state of repair. It looked like some surveyors had been along because some markers had been placed, but the work looks a long way from completion.

That was a few months ago, much work is in progress certainly at the Bicester end. The whole track appears to being relaid. The works depot between Bicester and Launton is very large, maybe 40 pieces of plant at times.

I went to Milton Keynes on Monday and a large construction base at Newton Purcell / Finmere Bridge is in full swing for HS2.
 

Stoodley Pike

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The mistake was not actually closing down the unprofitable lines at the time, but not safeguarding the rights of way so they could be reinstated if they were needed again at some point future.

In fairness, that doesn't seem to have been part of Beeching's remit though.
I agree. In continental Europe, many closed lines were mothballed - effectively protected from redevelopment, in case they were needed in the future. In Britain, by contrast, we couldn't wait to demolish key infrastructure, such as bridges and viaducts. Or, worse, turn railway trackbeds immediately into roads (remember, in a clear conflict of interests, Marples' family was in the road business). It ensured rail reinstatement would be prohibitively expensive.

As for Beeching's remit, well, it was ludicrously narrow: save money, however and wherever you can. Don't concern yourself with anything else.
 
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prorege

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Kintore station, on the Aberdeen to Inverness line, closed in 1964 re-opens on Thursday.
 

prorege

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Kintore.jpg
New station at Kintore which opens tomorrow. Looks braw.
 

leohoenig

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Looks braw.
Just checking my Anglo Scottish dictionary to find out if that's good or bad

Ah thats OK then

braw
(brô)
adj. braw·er, braw·est Scots
1. Fine; splendid.
 

Mr. T

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I had to look it up as well. I was surprised it didn't mean grey, bleak and soulless.

Still, 'andsome is as 'andsome does. Apparently...
 

Kingsmere

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Hope this works, about the new Winslow Station.
 

Oxpete

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A planning application has been made by Great Western to make £3.3million of improvements to Reading West railway station, on the Reading to Basingstoke/Bedwyn lines...

Reading West improvements

Looking at these designer's images, it looks to be little more than a couple of shipping containers plonked on the pavement below the railway bridge on Oxford Road...

1603327330939.png

However, some sort of improvement is badly needed at this station. The station has suffered from a lot of anti-social behaviour in the past, including vandalism and as a location for drug abuse, and is also a well-known hot-spot for fare-evasion. The new station will be self-contained (as at the moment, you leave the station to gain access to the opposite platform, since the footbridge was taken down due to planned overhead-electrification of the line), and there will be ticket barriers. I'd presume (and hope) that this may well lead to longer staffing hours.

Further down the line, the new Reading Green Park station (next to Madejski Stadium and P&R) was due to open towards the end of 2020 (before change of plans due to COVID-19). When this station finally opens, it'll no doubt lead to an increase in the passenger numbers at Reading West.
 
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pitch 63

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I didn't know that in Reading that road transport now drives on the right - I thought that we had left the EU
 

Chris1963

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I didn't know that in Reading that road transport now drives on the right - I thought that we had left the EU
If you look closely, you will see that the photo has been flipped, as can be seen by the writing on the signs being the wrong way around.
 

Stoodley Pike

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If you look closely, you will see that the photo has been flipped, as can be seen by the writing on the signs being the wrong way around.
Funnily enough, flopped is the technical term. Used to do it now and again, judiciously, of course, when designing newspaper pages. Always desirable, for example, to have a mugshot subject looking into the page. Beware that side parting!
 

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