Interesting


The Borders Railway is open – What next?

The big question being asked today is what next following the opening of the Borders Railway. In the short term, there are a number of new stations plus a short section of line. Medium to long term is a little bit more difficult to predict with many projects moving through the various processes that many rail enhancements need to successfully complete before anyone can turn up at site with a digger and fencing.

This post reviews the current situation for the railway stations due to be opened in 2015. Future posts will review proposals expected to open during 2016 and beyond.

New railway stations for 2016 have suffered from a gentle slide in timescales. If the project has not been linked to additional railway infrastructure, the opening date has been delayed.

By the end of 2016, five railway stations are earmarked for opening.

  • Coventry Arena
  • Bermuda Park
  • Apperley Bridge
  • Oxford Parkway
  • Cranbrook

The opening of Oxford Parkway will open a new chord and upgrade a former branch line to a mainline serving London and potentially Bedford and Milton Keynes.

Oxford Parkway

Driver training has just commenced on the railway line serving Oxford Parkway, with trains becoming a regular occurrence as the delivery team prepare for 26th October opening date. The project team are expecting to meet this deadline.

Cranbrook

Expected to be one of the first openings of the year, it is likely to be one of the last. The project has been impacted by local wildlife, the sewer running through the site and difficulties with the signalling system. Although there has been no confirmation of the opening date, it is expected to open this year.

Coventry Arena and Bermuda Park

Sliding along together are these two stations on the Coventry to Nuneaton railway line. Impacted by a number of delays and safety concerns following major events, the new stations are expected to open in November.

Apperley Bridge

Rapidly approaching completion, the station is very close towards opening. Although it was expected to open in August it appears that the opening date has slipped to October/November.

A final mention should be made of Kirkstall Forge, which was also due in August. A number of suggestions have been put forward but it is understood that potentially this station will not be opened until early 2016. If that situation changes, this blog will be updated.


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.

 


On Time! Delayed… Where are 2015’s railway station openings – Part 1

Seventeen railway stations were due to be opened in 2015 at the start of this year but already the number that will be delivered during 2015 is dropping as timescales slip. This post reviews the progress of the five railway stations due to open in the first half of 2015 as of the beginning of this year.

Cranbrook (Unknown, was January)

Cranbrook was due to be the first railway station to open in January but it is still not open. Unfortunately issues with the signalling system in the area and a major sewer that runs through the site have substantially impacted construction. Network Rail are due to issue revised timescales for delivery of the railway station during April.

Newcourt (May, was March)

Newcourt is one of the stations impacted by the discovery of rare reptiles on site. Network Rail expected the railway station to be substantially complete by the end of March. Although there have been a few delays, the Friends of Newcourt Railway Station’s Facebook page, appears to suggest that the railway station should be ready by the end of April.

Bermuda Park (May/June, was May)

Bermuda Park is probably closest railway station to its expected delivery date at the beginning of the year. Towards the end of March, it was weeks away from receiving platform surfaces after construction started in October.  It is expected to be completed May/June.

Ricoh Arena (June, was May)

Ricoh Arena is not far behind nearby Bermuda Park and is expected to be completed in June.

Ebbw Vale Town (Summer, was May)

The 1.5 mile Ebbw Vale Town extension has been ongoing. The railway extension and new railway station is due to be delivered this Summer.

Part 2 can be found here