Monthly Archives: April 2015

Borders Railway Update – April

The final major road improvements have been completed with the reopening of the A6106 between Millerhill and Sheriffhall Roundabout. Works on the track and stations are entering the final stages in preparation for the line being opened for driver training. The project remains on course for opening in September, with the new timetable available tickets to be available in June.

Source: Network Rail

Lynston and Barnstaple Railway extension plans revealed

Hundred of people turned out to an exhibition on Sunday showing plans for to extend the Lynton and Barnstaple Railway by four miles to Whistlandpound Reservoir. The reaction was generally positive at the event. The railway has advised that deals have not been agreed with all landowners on the proposed route. The plans are expected to be submitted in June, with a decision reached in late 2015.

Click here and here for the story

Lea Bridge Railway Station Update 1

Lea Bridge is one of the five railway stations funded through the New Stations Fund. Construction has not yet started because of objections raised by the train operators as part of the Network Change Procedure to reopen the railway station at Lea Bridge. The main objections centres around concerns about the impact on signalling and the adequate protection of land for a new station entrance for potential four tracking in the area. The signalling issues are not expected to be resolved until the detailed designs are completed in September.

Following a number of discussions involving three options, Waltham Forest Council have agreed a contract with Network Rail to deliver 80% of the works. This will deliver the railway station apart from the platform extensions and signalling alterations. Although the option chosen represents the highest financial risk to the council if the objections are not resolved (at just over £9m spent on a station that is not fit for purpose), it is expected to provide the lowest overall risk because it reduces the likelihood of funding being withdrawn and contract rates being increased.

If the objections are resolved in September, the platform extensions and signalling changes will be let as a separate contract and that station will be completed in February 2016.

The Lea Bridge Community Ward Forum held on 4th February 2015 offered an insight into the delays.

Neil Bullen, (Manager for the Council’s Transport Planning Team) gave residents an update on  Lea Bridge Station.

The Council reviewed options for Lea Bridge Station which included:

  1. Building the Station on top of the Bridge
  1. Building a new Station part way down Argall Way
  • The Council have opted to build the new Station part way down Argall Way.Option 1 proved to be too expensive.
  • The new station will not be staffed or have a ticket office. However, there will be ticket machines available for commuters
  • Staffing of the Station can always be introduced at a later stage.
  • The new design of Lea Bridge Station will consist of new steps, a ramp and lifts. Easy access for wheelchairs and pushchairs will be provided.
  • The new Station will enable greater connections for commuters.
  • Once implemented the journey time to Stratford will take 5 minutes and the journey time to Tottenham Hale will take 5 minutes.
  • The timetable will be including the new Station. Trains will still run from Stratford to Bishop Stortford and from Bishop Stortford to Stratford.

When is it going to happen?

The work was planned to commence on 26th January 2015. However this has now changed, due to objections from the freight companies.

Work is now scheduled to commence in April 2015 with the aim of going live in Spring 2016.

Question: Cllr Ahmad – Cllr Ahmad enquired if there will be CCTV around the Station. 

Answer: Neil Bullen – Yes, there will be 18 cameras.  The Council are providing a lot of funding for the Station.

Question: Resident – Will there be car parking?

Answer: Neil Bullen- No

Question: Resident – What are the objections from the freight companies?

Answer: Neil Bullen – We do not think they are substantial but the Council has to look into it.

Question: Resident – A Council representative came to speak about the proposals 2 years ago.  Why are the proposals being objected to now? Can we have sight of the freight companies objections?

Answer: Neil Bullen – There are so many stages to the process.  It was at the feasibility stage 2 years ago rather than at the design stage.  The Council have to investigate any objections. The objections relate to the aspirations for future use of the network. The Chief Executive has written to the freight companies requesting a meeting.

Question: Resident – Will funding be affected because of the delay in the start date?

Answer: Neil Bull – No, 90% of the funding is secure.  10% of the funding is slightly vulnerable (Ed – this is the £1m from government).

  • 5 ½ million- From  the Westfield Development
  • 5 million- From the Council
  • 1 million- From the Government

Question: Resident – Is there a comparable Station unmanned?

Answer: Neil Bullen – Yes, Angel Road Station is unmanned.

Neil Bullen further explained to residents that the funds have been ring-fenced and will not be withdrawn. Network Rail has an arbitration process where any disputes will finally be decided. The Japenese Knot weed has to be removed before any work is started.

Question: Resident – Should there be a consultation before it goes to planning?

Answer: Neil Bullen – That is arguable.

Question: Resident – Is there a cut off point for objections?

Answer: Neil Bullen – No

Question: Resident – Will there be secure cycle sheds.

Answer: Neil Bullen – Yes

Cllr Osho explained to residents that correspondence was recently received regarding the objections.  Cllrs will keep on requesting for a response.  She re-iterated that there is an arbitration process available should there be continued disputes.

On Time! Delayed… Where are 2015’s railway station openings – Part 2

This is part 2 reviewing the progress of seventeen railway stations and lines due to open in 2015. This post reviews the progress of the remaining railway stations and lines due to open in the latter half of 2015 as of the beginning of this year.

Part 1 can be found here

Poulton – Fleetwood (Unknown, was Summer 2015)

The Poulton and Wyre Railway Society are undertaking a campaign to restore the station and railway track on a section of line. Thornton Station platform has just been resurfaced and sleepers are being replaced.

Swanage Link (2016, was Summer 2015)

The Swanage Rail Link has been delayed following issues with land ownership and hibernating animals.

Apperley Bridge (August, was August)

Construction has started on site for Apperley Bridge railway station. The station is expected to be completed during August.

Kirkstall Forge (October, was August)

Construction has started on site at Kirkstall Forge. It is expected to open in October.

Oxford Parkway (September, was September)

The structure of the railway station at Oxford Parkway has been completed and internal fitting has commenced. The route serving this station is expected to be completed on time. Oxford Parkway will act as a terminus initially until the final stage into Oxford is commissioned.

Borders Railway (Waverley Route) (September, was September)

Seven new railway stations will be opened when the Borders Railway opens on Sunday 6th September. The line should be handed over to rail operators by June, with staff training expected to take 12 weeks. The final bridge on the railway line has just been installed.

Ilkeston (Late 2015, was Late 2015)

Ilkeston has been delayed following major revisions to the plan to compensate for concerns about site flooding. Work has begin to clear the site but Network Rail is still awaiting planning approval from all of the local councils before progressing with construction.

Low Moor (TBC, was December)

Network Rail are currently progressing with detailed plans for the railway station, which are expected to be completed in July. If all of the land has been procured, construction should start then and the timescales should firm up then.

Lea Bridge (Spring 2016, December (TBC))

Lea Bridge has been delayed following concerns from freight operators about the loss of capacity that the works to deliver Lea Bridge will cause. Despite these issues, Lea Bridge is expected to open in Spring 2016, following the agreement between Network Rail and Waltham Forest Council to deliver the railway station.