Monday, 1 October 2018

ERTA Bedford-Cambridge Rail Link Route Suggestion - October 2018

This rough diagram shows the route ERTA supports and we note the following:

But starting from the Bedford end first, we may observe the following:
Ø    Milton Keynes Central will have trains from Aylesbury and Bedford will have trains from Oxford. Change at Bletchley Flyover new station for interchange between the two.
Ø    Bedford Midland Station and tracks between it and St John’s need reconfiguration more or less back to pre-1977 current Bedford Midland design. Accommodation, through running and capacity for more is what the current layout is not designed for.
Ø    Carriage sidings need relocation to Wellingborough or Kettering or Corby with the new electrification.
Ø    The old St John’s is of a 4-coach configuration, so 8 coach trains will rule it out surely? But the redemption of the old route gives, with level crossings at Cardington Road and entrance to Priory off Barker’s Lane and the raising of the A421 Bypass with an underpass for the railway 4.5 miles of relay-able railway corridor.
Ø    From there we have 3 competing routes: 'C2-2' / 'CBRR'. C2-2 follows more or less the old route, CBRR going on a completely new route. To simplify, one suggestion is to follow the A421 corridor to parallel to St Neots Bypass, past Eltisley, Cambourne and enter Cambridge via Chesterton Junction. This balmy idea means gradients, tunnelling, completely new build and getting rid of the Cambridge-St Ives Guided Busway. No tears lost there per se!
Ø   The National Rail Infrastructure Commission wanted to bypass Bedford via Wixams.
Network Rail or whoever is responsible, are to bring forward a proposed Central Route in Spring of 2019. Development encroaches apace. Delay would haemorrhage progress.
ERTA prefers utilising the corridor of the old route as it is as straight as you care to find, serves East Bedfordshire linking to the County Town of Bedford and you can add tracks to link from St Neots north of Sandy, ditto St Neots – Cambridge via the same old Bedford-Cambridge railway and corridor.
Ø   Sandy should be made an interchange. Yes, realignments are needed at Willington and Blunham, exacerbated by piecemeal interim planning decisions and the course of the River Great Ouse.
Ø   Potton and Gamlingay old route is completely obliterated, recovery would be massively opposed and upheaval laden with cost. Bypassing the two with a shared Parkway Station would be sensible, but will Central Beds Council’s laisse-fare approach to parcels of land for development, keep a window of land to allow Sandy – east of Gamlingay new deviation route to be recovered?
Ø   To go south encounters the Wrestlingworth and Clopden Hills. Hence wrapping around built Potton and Gamlingay and following more or less the old route is expedient.
Ø   Raise the M11 with a bridge to allow trains to go under it. Tunnel under housing and Trumpington Park and Ride.
New Junction in the Long Road Bridges area, heads east for East Anglia via Cambridge!

Caption Above: How times change? Taken circa 2005 by Richard Pill, these ex-Bedpan Class 317’s stand in the former Bedford Bays at Cambridge Station facing south. Former flour mill in the background. Will Bedford bound trains ever arrive at this destination again? ERTA issues a call to action to inform they do in a timely manner. 

If you support the logic of our stance, why not join our free news and email loop? - together we can make a difference!

Here's a worked up interpretation of the above diagram:

No comments:

Post a Comment