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There's also the huge success of the Willesden - Clapham Junction services, which weren't running 10 or so years ago, only a skeletal Clapham - Olympia service.

Same with the Watford one, although I think BR sent Crosscountry trains up that route. The Southern services seems pretty popular too, but could be improved. Shepherds Bush/Westfield might make both incredibly busy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
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.
I'm not so sure, one it establishes the track where there was once none & as long as they meet demand & offer the same speed then why not? The fact that they are cheaper means there is more liklihood of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
A little out of date but interesting:



The Times October 12, 2006

Levy on new houses could revive 1960s railway links

By Ben Webster, Transport Correspondent






RAIL lines that closed 40 years ago could be reopened under plans by which developers pay for new tracks in return for planning permission to build thousands of homes.

British Rail shut a third of the network in the 1960s, claiming that it could not compete with the growth in car ownership. But road congestion has become so severe that local authorities are seeking to restore dozens of lines that last carried trains in the age of steam.

The Department for Transport has studied several routes and concluded that train services would be well used. However, it has claimed that it cannot afford the cost of relaying tracks and rebuilding stations.

In response, developers have offered to cover the cost by paying a “roof tax” of £10,000 for each home they build close to the reopened routes. They are confident of finding buyers willing to pay a premium for a home with good rail links.

They have identified four disused lines they believe have the greatest potential: Lewes to Uckfield in East Sussex, Buxton to Matlock in the Peak District, Oxford to Cambridge via Bedford, and extending the Tamar Valley line in Devon to Tavistock.

Kilmartin and Bride Parks, two development companies, jointly commissioned a £100,000 feasibility study on reinstating the eight-mile line from Lewes to Uckfield and found that it would attract 3,000 passengers a day.

The line closed in 1969 after BR claimed passenger numbers were too low to justify repairing a flood-damaged bridge. The track bed remains largely intact, although parts have been turned into a footpath.

The line would serve as an alternative route from Brighton to London, ending the need to put passengers on fleets of buses during engineering works. The Brighton main line is already heavily congested and passenger numbers are forecast to grow 30 per cent in the next decade The two developers have calculated that they could fund the £50 million cost of reopening the line if they receive planning permission for 4,000 homes along the route, plus some commercial development round the stations. They admit that most of the homes would be on green belt land but say the proximity of the line would ease pressure on local roads.

Brian Hart, chairman of the Wealden Line restoration campaign, said: “Thousands of new homes have been earmarked for Sussex anyway so we might as well get a new line out of it.”

Restoring the Oxford to Cambridge route, known as the east-west link, would halve the journey time by rail between the cities. Passengers currently have to spend almost three hours travelling via London.

A group of local authorities is developing proposals, to be published early next year, for reopening the line in stages, starting with the eastern section. The work, which is likely to exceed £100 million, would be paid for by a roof tax on new homes in Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and smaller communities along the route.

Phyllis Starkey, Labour MP for Milton Keynes South West, said: “It’s well established for developers to pay for new roads so why shouldn’t they pay for rail lines? “There are plans for huge housing growth in Milton Keynes and the link would help prevent the roads clogging up.”

Network Rail said that it would be keen to work with developers on restoring lines and would incorporate them into the national network once they were complete.
 

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smalltown boy
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A rejuvenated Waverley Station is adequate for present demand, not for that level of growth.

New station planned?
No. The western end of the station has seen substantial works recently, and there have been a few new through platforms built. Long term, there is an ambition to the link the bay platforms at the west with those at the east, thus creating many more through platforms. This would cost a small fortune, and has the small problem of requiring the demolition of the Grade A listed booking hall. Still, nothing in the current redevelopment precludes this from going ahead at some future date.

Also, I forgot to mention Edinburgh Crossrail earlier. Only a reopening to passenger services - the line had never been closed to freight - it created 2 new railway stations in the East of the city, and has been running since 2002.

Other new stations that have recently opened in Scotland, on existing lines, are: Edinburgh Park, in 2003; Gartcosh, on the Cumbernauld line in 2005; and Beauly, on the Far North line, in 2002, which bizarrely has a platform shorter than any of the trains which call there.
 

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Profile of the Rising Sun
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Kirkcaldy - Methil - Leven
is a proposed route which was closed a while ago.

The Stirling - Alloa - Kincardine route felt like it was never going to open. The building work has taken years for such a small distance.
 

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guided busways don't have tram track - they have a concrete U. They are often incredibly badly implemented with such howlers of planning as
Leeds:
"lets build a busway down the middle of this 40mph dual carriageway and restrict the buses to 20, as they can't safely go faster (see picture above). Who cares if it takes longer, even at peak times..."
and who can forget the classic (now under construction to a majority of the surrounding populations' regret) Cambridgeshire busway
"lets build a long busway in rural land, ripping up this railway's tracks. We'd need a bus every 2 minutes to meet demand (as opposed to a half hourly train) and it'll end just as it reaches the outskirts of a congested city - who doesn't love speedy travel to the start of a traffic jam! All for the low low cost of twice as much as reopening the railway..."
Quite what was going on in Cambridgeshire County Council when they decided to have it that buses bypassed uncongested rural roads on a route that avoids the intermediate settlements and then hit a traffic jam that is the city beats me.
 

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Yeah I know completely agree. It's stupid. However, the guided busways do get people in and out of the city faster at peak times as average traffic speed is usually below 20. But yeah, it's a fair point.

They should be converted to light rail; wouldn't take much effort.
 

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I don't see what's wrong with bus lanes, and I doubt there is a convincing argument that 30mph bus lanes with occasional traffic, but all it took was a few signs and some red tarmac, is not good enough considering the cost of busways espcially if it's built on an old railway line.
 

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Old railway lines aren't wide enough for unguided buses to pass at speed, hence the guided concept.

I don't get how the criticism that the buses will slow down on the way into the city centre supports the case for reopening it as a railway line. Trains wouldn't have got you into the city centre at all, and light rail would have the same problem as the buses.
 

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A normal two lane road can be fitted in an old railway line.

Trains provide a more regional transport solution than buses do. Regardless of how the buses operate locally, a bus route over a railway precludes the regional transport solution made possible by rail needlessly, as buses can always use the roads instead - and bus lanes can be provided or other solutions found. So for me use of guided busways in railway routes is one of the most monumentally stupid modern transport concepts that can be filed in with bulldozing suburbs for motorways in the 60s it's that dumb.
 

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If an old railway is reopened as a railway it could serve trains or tram-trains to many possible destinations beyond just the reopened section. It could also support rail freight traffic or as a diversionary route for other passenger trains. It improves the rail system as a whole.

Even if guided buses could provide the same level of service as trains, which they can't because they're buses, the guided busway can only be used as a busway.

Guided buses do have their place, but in my opinion putting a guided bus route down an old railway line instead of just reopening it as a railway is nothing short of vandalism.
 

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Great article above about the developers and subsidising reopened lines! That Buxton/Matlock one could have great local and regional opportunities, and diversion potential. A Cross Country route from Derby/Nottingham avoiding Sheffield for instance.

Wasn't there a clearance issue with the MML services, which is why they stopped direct London trains? Wonder if this would be fixed...
 

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No current proposals in this part of the world for rail re-openings. The Northern line from Liverpool Central was reopened to Garston in the late 1970s and extended to Hunts Cross in the early 80s. This was intended as part of an outer rail loop which would extend through the eastern suburbs of the city and link up with the Northern Line in the Walton area. This scheme would involve the relaying of some 11 miles of track, which is now a cycle path.

There is a serious proposal to reopen the Canada Dock branch to rail passenger traffic (it is currently in use for freight to the Port of Liverpool) but no timetable has been announced. If reopened, this would link Walton, Anfield (including the football stadia) and Tuebrook to Lime Street via Edge Hill.

On the question of guided buses. The whole point of them, as I understand it, is so that buses can travel at speed down narrow tracks and so avoid congested areas of road. The only advantage over bus lanes is that, being guided, they take up less road space. However, looking at that photograph of Leeds, it seems that they take up as much, if not more, space than ordinary bus lanes.

The kerb guided bus, as in Leeds, is just one form of guided bus. The Melbourne one, posted by Bowater, is one that is steered by a single guide wheel running in a tram track. About ten years ago, there was a scheme in Liverpool for an electronically guided bus using an embedded wire system. This was turned down at public inquiry and the Merseytram system substituted.
 

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Guided Busways in Leeds generally take up more road space; but they just run down the central reservations so... it's not really roadspace being taken up.

The 'only advantage' you mention isn't actually one of the advantages of the busways in Leeds. The guided bus corridors were built so that buses could get people in and out of Central Leeds avoiding the congested carriageways. Bus lanes weren't built because people often abuse them by driving in them or blocking them. Busways have tracks; if you try and drive down a busway in Leeds you will get stuck, have to get someone to come and recover you and get fined. So people don't do it.

I think it's important to remember too that the busways were only built because Leeds didn't get it's supertram (not the renewed 2001 proposal, the previous supertram proposal).
 

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I don't get how the criticism that the buses will slow down on the way into the city centre supports the case for reopening it as a railway line. Trains wouldn't have got you into the city centre at all, and light rail would have the same problem as the buses.
the trackbed to Cambridge station still exists - it was a later phase of the CASTIRON (CAmbridge ST Ives Railway something something) plan - relaying the tracks, and even with that it still came in less than demolishing the existing infrastructure and using the right of way for a busway.

There are no plans to extend the busway to Cambridge station along this ROW - even though it would be a far more useful route for a busway than the bit they are building (and really should have been phase 1 of a busway plan).
 

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Why would dumping people at Cambridge station be more useful? It simply isn't very near the centre of Cambridge or any of the other centres of employment the busway services will serve.
 
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