Yeh, I thought that too which is a shame.Pity that map is only the southern part of England. Is there a northern half to this map available?
Thanks for posting, great map!
There is a former line from Exeter to Newton Abbot via Chudleigh and Bovey Tracey, but this is a poor alignment for services of any great speed. The Okehampton route is also poor if your destination is Torbay or Plymouth. New build then? You might not be able to fund new-build in that part of the world today, but evidently it has been funded in the past, and populations are greater and technology more capable now (tunnel boring machines and reinforced concrete have made previously awkward routes more viable). I keep harping on about this, but the benefit of re-opening old lines and constructing new ones increases with the cost of alternative transport. Construction costs increase also, but I would guess at a lower rate. Some government in a decade or so might find the cost to benefit ratios to be favourable enough to reinstate near-enough all closed lines and build many new ones, with only priority subject to debate.Okehampton also important, for the Dawlish problem.
I think that alignment would be too slow in comparison to the current Eastbourne services, plus the Gatwick connection is important. An option is to seaford instead, as it doesn't have a direct London service at present, and while the actual direct service via Uckfield isn't the most attractive, it is certainly better than nothing, and provides southern destinations for the Uckfield services that are already there terminating a few miles to the north of Lewes. Or, maybe just terminate at Lewes.Think there was some line around Mansfield/Nottingham that reopened? Brighouse too.
I think the Uckfield - Lewes one is a great idea, could move the Eastbourne/Hastings trains off the mainline and increase services to Brighton/Hove.
Okehampton also important, for the Dawlish problem.
The Bluebell Railway is actively working on restoring the railway north to East Grinstead, I think it is due to open in the next few years.I would also like to see the East Grinstead line reopened to Haywards Heath - that would be a brilliant extension and give good connections for the southern end of that line (sorry Bluebell railway!)
It's not that bad, just such a long way round through areas of minor population. Also, it is rather twisty south of Okehampton, and would not solve the problem of linking to Torbay. I expect it will be reinstated some day regardless as Tavistock and Okehampton have large catchments if not large populations themselves. By Towchester do you mean Tavistock? If so, the route to Plymouth via Bere Alston was built to provide a faster route to Plymouth than the route via Yelverton previously used.Logosen - is the alignment via Okehapton really that bad? I followed it on wikimapia and it doesn't seem any worse than the dawlish route, which is poor by national standards. I had a look and thought taking the branch from towcester to the east of Plymouth would be better, allowing through services to carry on to Penzance.
A bigger rail network will keep Scotland on track to success
Published Date: 20 May 2008
By GRAHAM BELL
MATCHING our transport infrastructure to people's need and desire to travel is hugely challenging. Getting passengers into public transport and freight off the roads would have benefits to individual and environmental health.
The arrival this week of the Stirling-Alloa link refocuses our attention on the massive contribution of rail and its future potential. Hundreds more people now have access to trains. There will be significant energy savings in delivering coal to Longannet power station, and capacity on the Forth Bridge will be freed up which could double service frequency heading north. Over budget and late? Yes, but worth the wait and the investment.
Nationally we have witnessed growth of rail passenger traffic by 40 per cent in ten years (and nearly 50 per cent for freight). We have passenger numbers not seen since the peak of the mid-1950s. Worryingly it's being achieved on a network 40 per cent smaller than then.
Predictions show 30 per cent growth in the next ten years. Is that doable? A rejuvenated Waverley Station is adequate for present demand, not for that level of growth. With commuter trains from many directions running well over capacity attracting additional folks out of their cars is a tall order. The vast majority of freight needs final delivery by road – but could we get more distance journeys on to rail? The answer is yes, but not without additional capacity.
The network can't run full. There needs to be spare capacity to buffer occasional incidents and breakdowns. Capacity can be grown by improved signalling, but only within limits.
Welcome then other positive initiatives in the pipeline – the Airdrie-Bathgate link, not just a major capacity uplift east-west, but linking new destinations. More services to Edinburgh Park, but isn't it time the fast link stopped there? The Waverley Line offers dormitory support for the Capital by enabling commuters from the Borders. Discussion continues on further electrification (likely) and revitalising the "South Sub" (unlikely).
The sleeping giant of High Speed Rail is waking as a major opportunity for future distance connectivity. Edinburgh council is committed to Edinburgh-London in under three hours.
The principal objection to further investment in rail is cost. But the cost of failing to give us a transport infrastructure fit for purpose for the 21st century will be so much greater. Edinburgh's economy has been a fantastic success story of late. In the global economy connectivity is key to jobs, wealth creation, and keeping our city psychologically in the centre circle of that global marketplace.
Renewing the vitality of our rail network is the best improvement we could make to our economic circulatory system in the foreseeable future.
• Graham Bell is press & policy officer for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
MSP sees clear line for rail reopening
Tricia Marwick MSP and Craig Milroy of Network Rail.
By Claire Warrender
REOPENING the Leven to Thornton railway line to freight would be a relatively straightforward process if there was commercial demand for it, it would appear.
Network Rail confirmed yesterday that the section of line between Cameronbridge and Thornton junction has never officially closed but is described as temporarily out of use.
This means that should a company ask to use the track to convey freight, Network Rail would be obliged to enter into commercial negotiations and a detailed business case would then be drawn up.
Work to upgrade that section of track has recently been undertaken and is ongoing, and it is understood operators have expressed an interest in the line.
Central Fife MSP Tricia Marwick, who is campaigning to re-establish the route for both freight and passengers, has taken the revelation as the clearest sign yet that the return of trains to Levenmouth is a viable option.
Mrs Marwick’s long-term vision, and that of other campaigners in the area, is for passenger services to run from a rail halt next to Leven swimming pool to Thornton junction where they would link in with the Fife Circle line to Kirkcaldy and beyond.
However, while Network Rail owns the entire track from the Bawbee Bridge to Thornton it is only the four-mile section from Cameronbridge that is presently open, and only for goods trains.
To bring the entire six-mile stretch back into use for passengers would require work to upgrade the track and install new signalling, and a considerable amount of money would have to be made available.
Network Rail said it would not be up to them to decide whether passenger trains should be reinstated.
A spokesman said, “This branch is available for use by freight subject to commercial demand but infrastructure investment would be required for the reinstatement of passenger services.
“We own the land and there is a bit of the network already on it. Ultimately, it is up to the government to say what should run on it.”
Mrs Marwick said the fact Network Rail owned the land and the line was intact made reopening the Levenmouth rail link an attractive option as, unlike with other planned railway projects, such as the Borders route, the compulsory purchase of land and homes was not needed.
“For me this is confirmation that Leven to Thornton junction reopening to passengers is one of the most attractive and cost-effective plans in the whole of Scotland,” she said.
“The line is there and there is no requirement to compulsory purchase land or houses.
“All we need now is for the campaign to continue so that we can convince the government and other agencies of the overwhelming case to reopen the Leven to Thornton line to passengers.”
Meanwhile, confidence has been expressed that the majority of people in Levenmouth would use the route after a survey revealed only a minority of people supported the £300 million Borders project.
The poll commissioned by a national newspaper found that 54% of people living near the Edinburgh to Tweedbank route were ‘quite or very unlikely’ to use the service, even if train times suited them.
Just 17% said they were very likely to use the line and 24% were quite likely.
Although the South East Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) has yet to complete its feasibility study into the plans for Levenmouth, Mrs Marwick said she was positive it had overwhelming support.
“Leven to Thornton would be a connecting train to Kirkcaldy, unlike the Borders railway that goes all the way up to Edinburgh. Some people argue they would be quicker going by car,” she said.
“In the case of Leven to Thornton, it would be a transport opportunity for folk who currently don’t have much choice. For example, the Standing Stane road is appalling to drive along and buses to Edinburgh and Glasgow are few and far between.
“We also have a number of people who would like to take jobs elsewhere in Fife but don’t have the transport links to do it.”
The MSP said the Borders railway plan had polarised the community, with people either strongly for or against it.
“Part of the polarisation was because of things like compulsory purchase of land and houses to create a line that had been torn up.
“In Levenmouth we don’t have that so there is no polarisation whatsoever.”
Independent Fife councillor Andrew Rodger said re-opening the Leven to Thornton link had been the priority of the former Levenmouth Regeneration Group which he chaired.
“We felt it would bring in jobs and tourism to the area and safeguard the jobs already there,” he said.
“Nobody has ever talked to me against it and said it is a waste of money.”
The campaign also has the support of the Levenmouth Community Regeneration Group, the Community-Led Environmental Action for Regeneration Fife, the Fife Federation of Small Businesses and Leven and Kennoway community councils.
Guided busways are not railways. In fact they are to some degree to the anti-christ of the railways, usually using a former railway trackbed for a glorified bus/cheap tram solution. I'm glad to see that the busway is unlikely to proceed here.Bristol to Bath (guided busway) proposal