Monthly Archives: July 2016

Okehampton Sunday service proves popular

The Sunday service connecting Okehampton with Exeter has proven successful with an additional rail carriage and creation of a bus link from Hatherleigh. The council meeting also noted the potential terminus. There were comments made that terminating the line at Okehampton East to support other services on the Dartmoor railway line would not be desirable, although it would be helpful to retain the station as a Park and Ride.

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Jacobs awarded Heathrow western access contract

Jacobs has announced that it was awarded a contract by Network Rail to continue its support for improving rail links from the Great Western main line to Heathrow Airport.

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is supporting Network Rail’s development consent order (DCO) submission. The initial project work is focused on defining a preferred option to take through consultation. Once a recommendation is agreed upon, Jacobs’ role is to lead the multi-disciplinary engineering and environmental design component to an approval-in-principle level of design for the new 3.1 mile tunneled route. This includes completing the environmental impact assessment to produce the scheme’s environmental statement, which critically informs the engineering design, construction strategy and environmental mitigation program to minimise impact on local residents and the environment during both construction and operation phases.

Scotland route study backs rail expansion

Network Rail has published its Scotland Route Study, which outlines expected growth in rail usage between 2019 and 2043 and options to enhance the network to meet the future needs of customers.

The study has been developed by Network Rail – in partnership with the rail industry, regional transport partnerships and Transport Scotland – to identify value-for-money choices for funders to improve connectivity, capacity and resilience on the existing network.

There were a number of proposals raised in the study for expanding the rail network in Scotland to enhance the network on existing routes. Although this does not include many of the expansion proposals such as Levenmouth, St Andrews or the extension of the Borders Railway to Carlisle, there were a number of changes that would expand the rail network with new lines or enhance routes to support the restoration of passenger services on freight lines.

HS2 station requirements

The strategy considered the impact that HS2 trains would have on the region. Whilst Carstairs was proposed for an upgrade that would increase line speeds and capacity, it was not expected to use the railway station to separate HS2 trains on an ongoing basis. The issue was handling 400m trains that were expected to operate HS2 trains serving Scotland. Edinburgh would require reconstruction whilst it was suggested that Glasgow may require a new city centre railway station.

Almond Chord

A new chord south of the Fife bridge with a grade separated junction to assist with the effective distribution of train services through the Haymarket corridor.

Fife bypass line

A new rail route between Inverkeithing and Halbeath would avoid Dunfermline. It would help relieve capacity in the area and speed up services on the railway lines in Fife

Dalcross railway station

One of the options put forward to increase capacity on the railway line between Aberdeen and Inverness was the installation of a dynamic loop, which would add a second platform at the yet to be started Dalcross railway station.

Edinburgh south suburban line

Designed to develop the robustness of the network, it was suggested that the Edinburgh south suburban line should be electrified and gauge cleared for larger freight trains. This could potentially support the introduction of passenger trains on the route but is likely to impact the use of trams that some had suggested.

A freight link between Musselburgh and Niddrie West was deemed not practicable after respondents to an earlier consultation document pointed out several developments had been built on the corridor.

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