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Old 29-11-2017, 11:48 AM   #11
Tricky Dicky
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If a good bit of the old track bed is still available then light rail might be a solution to getting round built over track. Manchester Metrolink is a good example where old track bed and street running have been successfully combined. Unfortunately it is not a solution everywhere. A local line in my vicinity is a good example. The Skipton to Leeds and Bradford via Ilkley was commuted at Ilkley, however since the line was cut a lot of the outlying villages have become almost dormitory districts the result being commuter traffic now clogging up Ilkley being the nearest railhead for Leeds etc. Due to the narrow roads in Ilkley even a light rail solution would require some demolition. As the saying goes you cannot make omelettes without breaking eggs and if they are prepared to demolish part of a yet to be finished new estate for HS2 then I suppose anything can happen. I feel sorry for people who are likely to lose homes but unfortunately in our densely populated towns and cities any road/transport solution these days means there will be some losers.

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Old 29-11-2017, 12:20 PM   #12
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When we lived in South Wales, this may sound a bit daft but the local people were adamant and open about the fact that the Northern Welsh did not even speak to South and vice versa. And I am not joking. Feelings ran high. I do not have any idea why. It all mystified us.

So I don't think they would be interested in a rail link...................John
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Old 29-11-2017, 12:34 PM   #13
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Lines mentioned in the paper this morning are: Oxford to Cambridge (Varsity Line), Bristol to Portishead and Bristol to Henbury, Routes in Devon connecting Exeter to Okehampton and Bere Alston to Tavistock. New routes around Birmingham with plans for four new stations in the West Yorkshire area - elland, Thorpe Park, White Rose and Leeds International Airport Parkway. Some of these routes are expanded on what is partially in place. When Beeching made the cuts, the car was become the most popular method of transport, but there are now more people than ever travelling by train. Time will tell.
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Old 29-11-2017, 02:36 PM   #14
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The Varsity line is going ahead, in fact it is well on its way.
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Old 29-11-2017, 04:33 PM   #15
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At the time of Beeching it was believed that the private car offered Britain the best industrial future, but that overlooked the possibility of foreign manufacturers coming to dominate the market. Beeching was just looking at costings not the transport system as a whole. Tramway systems were also closed because it was thought they discouraged car ownership.

The SR was electrified in 1933, but many branch lines remained steam operated and these were vulnerable to Beeching - the branch lines had to be closed because the cost of electrification could not be justified.

What is the situation now?

Lines that are not electrified cannot now be fitted with a third rail because this system is now considered too dangerous for a new installation. Any new electrification will have to be catenary which is much more expensive to install. That's why some electrification schemes have been cancelled.

There are tramways, such as Bordeaux, which use a modern version of the Dolter Stud Contact System where the current is only activated when the vehicle passes over the contact. This system is expensive to install and such trams run off catenary away from the historic part of the town.

It is proposed to use bi-mode trains on lines that cannot now be electrified.

The principal problem with re-opening closed routes is the cost of the track. The existence of old earthworks, bridges and tunnels does not significantly improve the business case compared to a completely new line engineered from scratch.

The good thing about Beeching is that he provided Britain with a large number of heritage railways which other countries lack. Although Beeching is often the most hated man in the universe he has been the inspiration for many a modeller.
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Old 29-11-2017, 05:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4VEP View Post
At the time of Beeching it was believed that the private car offered Britain the best industrial future, but that overlooked the possibility of foreign manufacturers coming to dominate the market. Beeching was just looking at costings not the transport system as a whole. Tramway systems were also closed because it was thought they discouraged car ownership.
This is the problem when you put the bean counters in charge the solutions seem to be for the here and now and no vision for the future. Here we are over fifty years from the cuts and as in my previous example still suffering the consequences.

It's like with many post war council estates with roads designed only to take the occasional delivery van, no parking facilities and houses without provision for driveways because who would have thought council tenants would aspire to own cars? This at a time when car ownership was being encouraged.

Predicting the future is always difficult, predicting the consequences of taking certain actions is not impossible though. I know that many of the lines closed in the Beeching cuts would probably never made money no matter how long they were kept open, but you would have thought a lot of the BR real estate would have been kind of mothballed turning it into country walks or cycle ways just in case and thus easily brought back into use, a case of never say never.

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Old 29-11-2017, 05:54 PM   #17
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I bet if a track bed had become a public footpath or cycle way as many have, you would have a devil of a job making it a railway again. There would be an inordinate number of hoops to jump through.
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Old 29-11-2017, 06:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricky Dicky View Post

Predicting the future is always difficult, predicting the consequences of taking certain actions is not impossible though. I know that many of the lines closed in the Beeching cuts would probably never made money no matter how long they were kept open, but you would have thought a lot of the BR real estate would have been kind of mothballed turning it into country walks or cycle ways just in case and thus easily brought back into use, a case of never say never.

Richard
Yes, this has been done on the Tissington Trail and Monsal Trail in Derbyshire.
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Old 29-11-2017, 06:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkingthedog View Post
I bet if a track bed had become a public footpath or cycle way as many have, you would have a devil of a job making it a railway again. There would be an inordinate number of hoops to jump through.
Especially if the long tailed spotted newt was found to now inhabit one of these old sites.
That's not being flippant - the problem in this country is that we never seem to plan for years ahead - cost of course - the M25 is a classic - it should have been built with six lanes in each direction - it wasn't - so it is now costing millions to widen it. It's the same with the Eurostar terminal at Waterloo - which is now costing in excess of 60m to convert for normal use. Some committee would have know that in a few years it would be closed when the service transferred to St Pancras. As I type this the local news is reporting that a new hospital will not be built - this has taken six years and cost millions to decide - when everyone was against it in the first place. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 29-11-2017, 07:43 PM   #20
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Thus is the price of living in a democracy.
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