die belebende Bedenkung

The fullness of time

with 4 comments

In written evidence submitted to the House of Commons transport select committee in June 2011 Network Rail stated that “the WCML, particularly at the south end of the route, is effectively full”.

But in July 2011, open access operator Alliance Rail Holdings — which wants to run trains on the East and West Coast routes — claimed that Network Rail agreed that there is spare capacity on the WCML.

 Alliance Rail, WCML track access consultation, 2011

Alliance Rail, WCML track access consultation, 2011


Written by beleben

May 19, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Posted in High speed rail, HS2

4 Responses

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  1. This ignores the options for a WCML path from Kensington Olympia/Waterloo (Waterloo International) using the under utilised bidirectional line passing through Queenstown Road and Latchmere Junction. This route would have the option to run via Banbury during any engineering blockades of the WCML.

    Other options to avoid the congested throat at Euston might be to use paths from Marylebone, possibly flighted with the Birmingham Mainline service but by-passing Birmingham and joining WCML via Rugeley or via Coventry and Nuneaton (providing a local service LMS-COV-NUN – and adding Kenilworth as an option) or via the Wolverhampton avoiding line to Stafford (interchange stops at Solihull and possibly Aston would be an option).

    It may even be possible to operate a train path from Paddington to join WCML, so that the Alliance service would be robustly immune from disruption and blockades, in the same way that Chiltern has the ability to divert some services to Paddington when problems or planned closures affect their main route.

    With the likely opening of the East-West Link (approx 10 miles of track to renovate/reconnect) the service can also by-pass the ‘really busy’ Southern section of WCML South of Bletchley and look at the space vacated by 4 paths/hour for Tring-Euston locals and any paths held for Peterborough-Corby-Bedford-Marston Vale freight options.

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    May 19, 2014 at 9:34 pm

  2. The First Group bid for the WCML franchise was all about unused capacity

    Shirley Judges

    May 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm

  3. London Midland’s Project 110 which is due to come into operation in 2014 will provide 3 more services in the morning peak and five more services in the evening peak on the WCML.

    It has been identified that a number of improvements can be made in the Stafford area and some of these are underway. If they are all implemented this will allow four more trains per hour on the WCML.

    One of the consultants for 51M identified three pinch points on the WCML which if relieved would add more capacity. They were at Ledburn junction, Rugby-Nuneaton and at Colwich junction.

    Beleben has previously identified that more trains can be run on the WCML as existing pathing is not optimised.


    May 20, 2014 at 6:58 am

    • WCML efficiency is very low with 15 (passenger) trains per hour leaving Euston vs. a maximum of 35tph on 4 tracks.


      May 20, 2014 at 10:22 am

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