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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm interested to hear everyone's opinions about connecting St Andrews to the rail network.

I've read different opinions on whether the route would be financially viable but personally I feel it would. The upfront capital needed wouldn't be massive and surely the link would do a lot for the whole East-coast economy due to tourists, students and day-trippers from Edinburgh and Dundee.

Feasible or fantasy? Opinions please.
 

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Consider Deleted
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It seems just crazy that St Andrews isn't already connected up. It should be considered a priority as far as rail is concerned.
 

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2010
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Are you serious? I was teetering between whether posting this thread or not, after visting St Andrews during the other weeks amazing weather!

So after that I trawled the net, did some research and found some documents and diagrams: also did the same for the Levenmouth Rail Link further down the coast.

At £76m it HAS to be done!

Starlink Railway report pdf:
This option is based on a junction with the ECML at Seggiehill and the construction of the shortest
practicable new route to St Andrews. A North facing chord is provided from Seggie to Moonzie for
Dundee services.

The junction locations at Seggiehill and Moonzie were fixed due to the need to provide junctions on
straight sections of the ECML wherever practicable. This was achieved. The junction at Seggie was
fixed by the need to pass under the A91 Trunk Road at this location.

At St Andrews the route was fixed to provide a straight and level track in the terminal platform.
Passive provision has been made for a run round and a possible second platform for golf excursion
trains. The station requirements necessitated the use of the existing railway earthworks and the
existing bridge abutments on the A91 Trunk Road (Links Crescent).

Between Seggie and St Andrews, the route drops towards Guardbridge, running across open
country to the west of the village to cross the River Eden at height. Ideally this would be with a
single span bridge, but the design of this would need to be confirmed. The geological data showsfault lines in this area. A three span bridge would require piers in the river bed, this could affect the

SAC and SSSI site on the River Eden. The route then crosses under the A91 Trunk Road near
Kincaple. The minor road network would be affected by a closure and a diversion. The route then
crosses open land to run close to the A91 Trunk Road at Strathtyrum. Various accommodation
works will be required to provide access to fields and golf course land. Any encroachment onto
Strathtyrum golf course is mainly limited to ancillary land and one fairway.

From Strathtyrum the route runs to the north of the old Guardbridge road and cycleway, avoiding
the Madras Rugby Ground. The route then rises on an embankment and then a viaduct over the
cycleway and car park entrances adjacent to the Madras Rugby Ground, without impinging on the
recreational land. It does however reduce the car park size. This would have to be resolved in
negotiations with the Old Course Hotel, noting the benefits that the coming of railway would bring to
the Hotel. The viaduct then joins the existing former railway embankment to enter St Andrews.

At St Andrews Station, we have shown a platform with a maximum practical length of 257 metres.
The requirement here is to provide both for a three-car 170 passenger service and for additional
charter trains during golf tournaments. Passive provision is made for a run round loop and possible
second platform for charter trains.

The platform length is constrained by the rail-over-road bridge over the A91 Links Crescent to the
West and by Station Road to the East.

http://www.starlink-campaign.org.uk/page8/files/St Andrews Railway report.pdf


St Andrews New Station and St Andrews Bus Station at the top, and the route map of the Starlink!
 

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It'd be a fairly poor branch-line if the suggestions of a simple one-line with a terminus (and only stop) in St Andrews was implemented. Whilst maybe it should have been done once upon a time, it's in an awkward location - with River Eden and the protected status of the surroundings are problematic etc.

I don't think it would massively improve the situation at present, where there are pretty decent links between the town and Leuchars station.
 

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If St Andrews is going to get a rail link, then it should be done as part of commuter rail system for Dundee, rather than as a stand alone line. Don't think there are any plans to do that unfortunately.

My idea would be to build the brach from St Andrews to the main line @ Leuchars, and run the trains along the existing line to Montrose (there is enough room there to add an end of line platform), stopping at the various stations to the East of Dundee, and a few new ones where there are gaps.

St Andrews
Leuchars
Wormit
Dundee
Strips of Cragie
Broughty Ferry
Balmossie
Monifeth
Carnouistie
Arbroath
Montrose
 

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smalltown boy
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I like the idea of this, a lot. I appreciate how annoying it is not to have direct trains to St Andrews, having been there as a visitor a few times: on holiday; my cousin's wedding; Chemistry Camp while I was in high school (yes, I was cool).

One thing concerns me though, after skimming the report. It appears that it's not technically feasible to divert existing trains to St Andrews, and therefore they propose new services to both Edinburgh and Dundee. It was my impression though that Edinburgh Waverley is at or near capacity at its west end, and this doesn't appear to be addressed by the report. Once new EGIP services start in the next few years, the squeeze will be even tighter. Getting more trains into Edinburgh may be a much larger technical challenge than building a new line into St Andrews. And even if there is room for one new train each direction each hour at Waverley, is St Andrews what we want to use it for? Given that HS2 (or 3 or 4) is likely to approach Edinburgh from the west, we may have to carefully decide what our priorities are. Unless someone wants to build a shiny new HSR terminal somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If St Andrews is going to get a rail link, then it should be done as part of commuter rail system for Dundee, rather than as a stand alone line. Don't think there are any plans to do that unfortunately.

My idea would be to build the brach from St Andrews to the main line @ Leuchars, and run the trains along the existing line to Montrose (there is enough room there to add an end of line platform), stopping at the various stations to the East of Dundee, and a few new ones where there are gaps.

St Andrews
Leuchars
Wormit
Dundee
Strips of Cragie
Broughty Ferry
Balmossie
Monifeth
Carnouistie
Arbroath
Montrose
Having lived in Dundee, The Ferry, Monifieth and Carnoustie I can say that that's completely impractical on so many levels. Will never happen.
 

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On the 25th September, the North East Fife Area Committee of Fife Council is due to consider a report from the Transportation Service concerning the proposed St Andrews line.

Also 6 days later on 1st October, TayPlan, the strategic planning authority for Tayside and North East Fife, will consider the ‘Big Ideas’ recently submitted as part of its non-statutory consultation, of which the St Andrews Railway is one.
http://www.starlink-campaign.org.uk/index.php
 

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smalltown boy
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Peterhead is larger and doesn't have a train station. St Andrews may be the largest town without a train station that anyone would actually want to go to though.
 

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If there are no serious technical or pathing issues, getting St Andrews back on the rail network looks a no brainer to me.

High student population, tourist trap and commuters from the town itself to the likes of Dundee and elsewhere in Fife surely mean that this line would pay for itself soon enough.
 

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Peterhead is larger and doesn't have a train station. St Andrews may be the largest town without a train station that anyone would actually want to go to though.
The actual issue about Peterhead is the fact that it is the biggest town furthest away from the rail network in Britain.

There are a surprising amount of towns in England with bigger populations than Peterhead without a railway station.
 

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How long are they lobbying though, I attended New Park School in St.Andrews 10 years ago and I remember them talking about the link. It's long overdue.
 

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Once EGIP is finished - eventually - the next priority is likely going to be Fife with the electrification of the Forth and Tay bridges. Electrify the Circle, reopen stations on and electrify the Kincardine-Alloa line and do both the Leven and St Andrews rail links in an EGIP-style scheme of improvements. It currently appears that much of the reason that these reopenings are not yet happening in Fife is because they would require additional diesel rolling stock which is not going to realistically become available - much of the EGIP'ed DMUs will be needed for Pacer replacement and for strengthening current services. Once the electrification starts there is no difficulty in acquiring as many trains as they like to run extra services and the marginal cost of running them reduces quite a bit as well. Extending a St Andrews-Dundee shuttle to Carnoustie under the wires with additional reopened or new stations would be ideal.
 
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