die belebende Bedenkung

Barking in suspense

with 3 comments

(What is left of) Network Rail’s electrification of the Great Western main line is supposed to offer ‘improved resilience and reliability’.

But the video for another project – the Gospel Oak to Barking scheme in north London – appears to show it has been designed with non-independent location of the overhead lines.

Screengrab from Network Rail, Gospel Oak Barking electrification video, showing tension-located overhead lines


Written by beleben

November 11, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Posted in London, Railways

3 Responses

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  1. Dear Beleben The video snapshot does not make sense. Is it supposed to be a video? Regards, Kevin Sowden

    From: beleben Reply-To: beleben Date: Friday, 11 November 2016 at 12:22 To: Subject: [New post] Barking in suspense beleben posted: “(What is left of) Network Rail’s electrification of the Great Western main line is supposed to offer ‘improved resilience and reliability’. But the video for another project – the Gospel Oak to Barking scheme in north London – appears to show it has bee”

    Kevin Sowden

    November 11, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    • Thank you for your feedback. The snapshot is a screengrab (image) from a video currently on the Network Rail website (hyperlink now added). It appears to suggest that a dewirement on one track could affect the other, because of the overhead design.


      November 12, 2016 at 9:56 am

  2. Informal chance conversation indicated that unlike the work that was delivered by the BRB team in Nelson Street Derby, much of it scoped and pre-engineered by sending the core design team on ‘away-days’ to non-electrified ‘candidate’ locations when the main work-load was ticking over, the current crop of railway ‘investment’ has projects setting off with the cart before the horse, and this is not solely for rail but a malaise in project management (sic) generally.

    Design work is done based heavily on desk top data, with minimal real world current state surveys, and using design packages of OHLE bought in, and based on railways built to ‘other’ standards. The generosity of Mr Brunel in building for 7 foot gauge track, but equally constructing earthworks with manual labour, and thus minimising the constructed footprint do not marry with a programme set-up to churn out standard structures for a 4 foot 8 gauge railway with a very different ‘standard’ cross-section in earthworks and ‘standard’ services locations.

    A good deal of ECML OHL work was being built in to bridge renewals and regular major track renewals, by ensuring that access was retained and mounting points provided on new bridges etc. The debacles of replanning and still outstanding significant questions on HS2 and the steady ‘shrinkage’ of smaller projects – with trains already ordered and operational plans based on the original scope of electrification hints of this greater mess.

    Scoping, designing, execution in the correct order generally brings in the project within the envelope set, and although not perfect by a long way, the Cross-Scotland EGIP delivery – for a 50 mile link between 2 major cities, has a lot to teach those struggling with the 50 mile London to Brighton corridor, and the Liverpool-Manchester-Leeds one.

    We’ve just finished a 6 month total closure of Glasgow’s mini London Bridge, and are still having night time main line closures of the core high-speed route, with no great pain as unlike Brighton-London, effectively saddled with 1 route and no resilience if key ponts are blocked (East Croydon/Balcombe…) we now enjoy 11-12 trains per hour (plus an indirect route changing trains at Falkirk or Stirling over 5 routes with the facility built in by the steady plan of work to run services via alternative stations (Glasgow Central/Queen Street Low Level) compare this with perhaps 3 Transpennine routes, with a wide range of journey times, and 5-6 direct trains per hour… and Brighton. Curiously the current journey times always seem to be inflated and the promoted ones the ‘best possible’ an example being Greengauge 2020 posted as improving from a 1-hour journey time to 35 min – but even now alighting at Haymarket, consistently delivers a 40 minute 3 stops service, with existing trains and signalling and promises an improvement when the electric services start, and a non-stop express in the 1970’s with slower trains, jointed track and older signalling could deliver 38 minutes.

    Oh and a clear example of the scoping, planning, execution in the right order was the Paisley Canal electrification – delivered with a 3 month closure, at less than 50% of the £24m gold-plated budget estimates, through some clever and pragmatic detailing before the project got rolling. Rebuilding and reopening 16 and then 30+ miles of railway – both within 3 years of their first machines on site dates suggest that Scotland needs to (as often the case) export its managers and engineers ..again.

    Dave H (@BCCletts)

    November 11, 2016 at 11:33 pm

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