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South Wales Mainline Electrification

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Jantra

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 4:55 pm

moyceyyy wrote:While it is possible to mass build offices around Parkway, there is only one greenfield site around Harry Stoke, this is an extremely well protected area and oh my goodness, the NIMBYISM can literally be seen by looking at the people that live there!

Aviva HQ site is nearby that employs thousands, and by extension the MOD HQ at Filton Junction, so it wouldnt be that much of a shock to see more being built in that area.

Aviva are moving the business from Bristol
I'd rather be no one than someone with no one.
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Briz-Tim

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun Mar 19, 2017 6:43 pm

To my knowledge they are closing some offices, but not the Bristol branch. It would be bigger news otherwise.

moyceyyy wrote:SE Wales edges it a little but you're right, if there were individual railway lines going all over bristol to places like Fishponds, or Hanham and maybe places in the South and as far as Weston Super-Mare then I think Bristols numbers would dwarf Cardiff's


Both have about 1.5 million people. I was factoring areas beyond the old Avon county boundaries. Somewhere like Methyr or Abergavenny are about the same distance as Weston, Wells or Chippenham are to Temple Meads, as the crow flies; or somewhere like Stroud, which you have to transfer to Gloucester or Swindon to get to Bristol. Frankly I'm surprised as many as 11 million people use Temple Meads, must be mostly to London and inter-regional travel.

It does show how lucky South Wales was in having the bulk of it's lines saved from closure, or being able to re-open new lines like in Blaneau Gwent, even if the current service needs improving. I imagine many of the valley towns would be far worse off economically, and road congestion would be far higher toward the M4 than at present.
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moyceyyy

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostMon Mar 20, 2017 1:15 am

Briz-Tim wrote:
Both have about 1.5 million people. I was factoring areas beyond the old Avon county boundaries. Somewhere like Methyr or Abergavenny are about the same distance as Weston, Wells or Chippenham are to Temple Meads, as the crow flies; or somewhere like Stroud, which you have to transfer to Gloucester or Swindon to get to Bristol. Frankly I'm surprised as many as 11 million people use Temple Meads, must be mostly to London and inter-regional travel.

It does show how lucky South Wales was in having the bulk of it's lines saved from closure, or being able to re-open new lines like in Blaneau Gwent, even if the current service needs improving. I imagine many of the valley towns would be far worse off economically, and road congestion would be far higher toward the M4 than at present.


Yes that is true.

If the valley lines were closed during the Beeching Axe, good lord.. roads in and around Cardiff would be a nightmare
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Zach

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun May 21, 2017 3:01 pm

Some here might be interested in the following graphs.
I measured the actual speed of an intercity last week from Padding to Cardiff. (18:15 so a fast train)
Points to note are:
That the train was exactly on time!
The trains stops for 5 minutes at each station to "keep" to the timetable.
The Welsh sections get no where near 125mph
The acceleration zones are not limited by the train, again it's the track and signals.
Newport to Cardiff section I suspect deliberately slowed so as not to be fined for sitting on a platform at Cardiff for too long.
This is the Mad world of UK railways.

I had to modify the graph to insert some tunnels as the GPS didn't work underground.

If they could get the line speed in Wales to a similar speed as the Reading to Bristol stretch then Cardiff to London (our main economic channel) would be less than 1Hr 30 mins :D
Why are we wasting billions on electrification when its the tracks and signal not the actual trains that slow down the journeys?

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Peiriannydd

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun May 21, 2017 7:01 pm

The original Great Western Railway line from Paddington to Temple Meads was referred to as "Brunel's Billiards table", owing to the smooth ride, brought about by the wide-gauge, limited level changes and quality of track. Whilst the permanent way has been upgraded (and gauge reduced) the track is not really the problem.

Most of the delays are associated with signalling, line congestion, engineering works and people doing stupid things on the line! The Reading area has been a really bad bottlneck for years, which is why they spent so much money in that area when they rebuilt the station.

Expect a lot more delays going into London when the Old Oak Common area gets an upgrade, not too mention another stop on the main line into Paddington:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... Common.png

Cardiff Station does need a major upgrade as trains purposely slow down to regulate the station use and avoid platform congestion. Some interesting discussions in Parliament around this issue:
https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2 ... FDB25C9D8E

All in all, I agree: I takes far too long to get to London on the train and I don't think there is much difference between Steam Engines (at their peak), Deisel, Intercity 125 or the current lot, in terms of maxium speed on this line. Go and check the historic GWR timetables and you'll see how little we've progressed.
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Zach

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun May 21, 2017 8:19 pm

Yes, I read about the "billiard table" on Wiki

But you miss my point, the English sections you would expect to be congested, but are in fact the fastest speeds.

While digging out some old timetables to compare the times I came across this from 1894!
Nothing changes, I could have written it myself :lol:

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PS
This is the current record from 2011
First Great Western successfully completed its attempt to break the record for the fastest train journey between Cardiff and London on Wednesday afternoon, completing the journey in 1hr 36min 19 sec and beating a record that stood for 23 years.
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Peiriannydd

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostSun May 21, 2017 8:43 pm

It depends on when you travel. Some days and nights going in and out between Reading and Paddington is painfully slow!

But yes, the Welsh sections are unacceptable slow. There must be speed restrictions which force the trains to slow down. Why they may be there I don't know, other than to suggest that congestion around Cardiff Central and service times are causing trains to back up. There's also a lot of freight traffic in the area that might be causing problems. Regardless, I can't think why it should be worst than any area of London. There were supposed to be spending something like £300M on signalling in the area, where exactly that's being spent I don't know, but it does show what a poor state things are in.

On the subject of things not changing, what do you expect? The South Wales railway network was built primarily for industry, in particular our coal and iron/steel. The Government and businesses wanted our coal out of our valleys and into English and imperial markets. The network wasn't built as a gift for the service of the Welsh people.

Let's be honest, Wales has been treated as a resource for England for centuries. We've provided troops for their army (going back to the Scottish campaigns), timber for their tall ships, coal for their industries and steam ships, slate for their roofs and water for their cities, etc etc. I'm not being nationalistic, I'm not being anti-English, I'm just stating facts. I don't blame the English actually, I blame the Welsh for putting up with it and perpetuating this somewhat pathetic idea that beating them on the rugby pitch makes up for it!
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Mr Blue Sky

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostMon May 22, 2017 2:27 pm

These documents have information on speed limits between Severn Tunnel Junction and Cardiff

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-conten ... -Wales.pdf

https://www.networkrail.co.uk/wp-conten ... -Wales.pdf
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NorthCityBoy

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostMon May 22, 2017 2:57 pm

What's the latest on this? It seems that most the major bridge work has been completed. I know they have to lower the trackbed in the tunnel near Newport station. Is there a estimated completion date?
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Zach

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Re: South Wales Mainline Electrification

PostMon May 22, 2017 5:38 pm

I travel to London on the train on a near weekly basis.
The project seems to have ground to a halt!!
The section between Didcot and Swindon is complete. (test train did make a run on this section months ago)
Didcot to Reading and on to Paddington about 50% lot of sections missing.
But as far as West of Swindon, very few pylons up let alone the cables.

As for Wales? I'll be surprised if they ever get it finished.

They funding appears to have been drastically cut back, very few signs of work of late.

I talked to someone who was PM in Network Rail and the super all in one construction train hasn't really worked at all, there was always a reason why it couldn't pile. Unstable bank, no survey for U/G services, ground water, etc etc.
They said it would have been quicker to build and another line.
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