die belebende Bedenkung

Acton and inaction

with one comment

The ‘Great North Rail Project’ has brought Acton Grange junction ‘up to modern standards’ to ‘improve reliability on a route used by 260 trains each day’ (apparently).

twitter, @TheGNRP, 'We’ve brought #ActonGrange junction up to modern standards to improve reliability across this vital junction on the West Coast main line - used by 260 trains  each day

“Modern standards”?

From the photos in the GNRP tweet, it would appear that the overhead lines are just as vulnerable to failure propagation after the junction ‘has been brought up to modern standards’, as they were before.

If HS2 were cancelled, resources could be switched to fixing things like this, thereby making the whole railway much more reliable.

Written by beleben

August 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

Posted in Planning, Railways

One Response

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  1. I can’t help thinking that an alternative strategy, or restoring the double track dive-under for WCML, approaching from the South, to cross under the Chester lines, would have provided vital resilience, enabling trains from Chester to arrive in parallel with Down WCML services, and WCML freight to run into/via Warrington Yard.

    Whilst there is a double track formation, a single line connection would probably deliver required contingency capacity, with the bonus of also providing a grade separated up WCML route, when an incoming Chester service needed a path, and would have enabled the work at Acton Grange to take place without the hiatus of diverting trains and extending journey times by over an hour.

    Indeed, with the ‘by-pass’ line in place the works could have taken place with WCML services relatively unaffected by the work, and the option of servicing the work site with a through line still available.

    More resilience, in the form of such connections, is of far greater value than HS2. A connection layout at Old Oak Common for example, would deliver the opportunity to run trains from the Midlands to London via 3 routes The GW via Oxford, the GC/GW via Bicester, and the WCML, enabling long blockades for major works on each, with minimal impact on journey times – especially for the GC/GW and WCML. Trains could in to Paddington, Euston, and St Pancras, with an existing direct link to HS1 from MML, single track just now but already built for a 2-track upgrade.

    A similar focussed delivery of connections at West Hampstead can connect the North London Line with the GC and MML providing Thameslink with direct or better connections to reach New Cross (and ultimately Clapham/Wimbledon), via Dalston as well as Farringdon, with Shoreditch High Street an alternative to Moorgate and City Thameslink when the 2-track core has a (generally weekly) incident.

    With other detail such as a proper high capacity station at Drayton Park with the 2 ways in/out to meet modern safety standards, 3 platforms at low level and 2 on the Canonbury line, we deliver a station that can handle events at Emirates, without creating mayhem at Finsbury Park and on Seven Sisters Road. This with a suitable development over the original station and car sheds.

    That topped by restoration of 4 tracks to Camden Road, and the long promised Maiden Lane Station, again with connections, 1) NLL Westbound to MML Down direction 2) NLL in to the freight siding at St Pancras, developing Camden’s industrial site as a London rail freight terminal, served by 2 routes.


    August 5, 2019 at 6:48 pm

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