Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Rationalisation = New Journey Opportunities???

This week Network Rail revealed their Strategic Business Plan. I won't go into all the details - sadly electrification of the line to Hull is no nearer - but buried within the Network Rail Route Specification 2012 - London North Eastern document on page 236 is a table relating to the Barton branch. In the project description column it says "Rationalisation and Infrastructure Improvements on the Barton On Humber Branch". The output change is listed as "New journey opportunities". From recent Friends of the Barton Line meeting minutes I recall a mention of singling some or all of the double track section between Oxmarsh (New Holland) and Ulceby. So how does reducing capacity facilitate new journey opportunities?

Page 235 has some more information, linespeed is planned to alter from predominantly 60mph to (simply) 60mph and the service levels will be unchanged. And typical Barton to Cleethorpes journey time remains 24 minutes ... If you know how to do Barton to Cleethorpes at 60mph in 24 minutes please post let me know!!! (someone has mixed up Cleethorpes with Ulceby).

Being serious again there is nothing planned to facilitate new journey opportunities at all, just to maintain the current timetable at hopefully less cost, which I presume is the idea behind singling under-utilised double track sections. One of those schemes which provokes mixed emotions - reducing costs is essential, but would it be regretted some time in the future? But why not just be honest about why it is being done?

1 comment:

David Barrett said...

Indeed the only passenger service South of the Humber which may see any improvement is that via Scunthorpe with a proposed Line Speed of 75 MPH and the prospect of 4 car units (but only because of traffic growth West of Doncaster in this case). Of course that other raw wound of mine, the Grimsby to Lincoln service also shows no change in frequency or scope and considering the vast difference in passenger numbers and populations served makes the provision on the Barton Branch look positively generous.