Re­gional News

Rail (UK) - - Network Regional News - Com­piled by Howard John­ston

GREAT WESTERN

New­ton Ab­bot: The for­mer GWR car­riage and wagon re­pair shop was vir­tu­ally de­stroyed in an ar­son at­tack on Oc­to­ber 21, the sec­ond in two days. The build­ing, which has been dis­used for some years and had lost its roof, was due for de­mo­li­tion any­way. A lo­cal con­ser­va­tion group lost its bat­tle to stop a new Aldi su­per­mar­ket be­ing built on the site.

Paddington: Net­work Rail is seek­ing a home for two re­dun­dant buf­fer stops in Plat­forms 11 and 12 that date back to 1912. The space they oc­cupy is needed to ex­tend the sta­tion con­course.

Por­tishead: Bris­tol Mayor Tim Bowles has sug­gested turn­ing the be­lea­guered branch over to light rail, in an at­tempt to break the stale­mate over its de­layed re­open­ing.

Marsh Bar­ton: There is in­creas­ing con­cern that the March 2021 dead­line for the open­ing of the new Ex­eter sub­ur­ban sta­tion may not be met, which also means that fund­ing may be with­drawn. The project is al­ready two years late be­cause changes are needed to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion.

EASTERN

Bradford: Net­work Rail com­menced work on the plat­form ex­ten­sions at Bradford In­ter­change sta­tion in mid- Oc­to­ber. The work is sched­uled to take seven weeks.

Dar­ling­ton: A new sin­gle- span bridge was in­stalled on Oc­to­ber 25, to con­nect the sta­tion with the Cen­tral Park de­vel­op­ment. It will take four weeks to com­mis­sion.

Leeds: The roof over the sta­tion’s main south­ern con­course is to be re­placed over the next year, with a new one made from light­weight syn­thetic ma­te­rial that will of­fer more light.

St Neots: The sta­tion would be lo­cated at a rail­way junc­tion for the first time in its 170- year ex­is­tence, un­der rad­i­cal pro­pos­als from the CamBedRailRoad ( CBRR) think tank to di­vert the new East West Rail Link from Bed­ford to the north in­stead of adopt­ing the old align­ment via Sandy and Pot­ton. There could then be new sta­tions at Cam­bourne and North­stowe to serve the vast new hous­ing devel­op­ments there.

MID­LANDS

Bar­las­ton: The closed Stafford-Stoke line sta­tion is sched­uled to re­open, with Lon­don North­west­ern Rail­way ser­vices call­ing ei­ther from De­cem­ber 2020 or May 2021.

Brent Cross: Light in­dus­trial land has been com­pul­so­rily pur­chased for a new Brent Cross West sta­tion, to serve an ex­panded shop­ping cen­tre and more than 7,000 new homes. Progress au­gurs well for open­ing in 2022.

Eus­ton: Oc­to­ber 14 marked 50 years since the of­fi­cial open­ing of the re­con­structed Bri­tish Rail sta­tion. ( See RAIL 866).

Northamp­ton: A new £ 350 mil­lion uni­ver­sity cam­pus has opened on land pre­vi­ously used by the rail- served power sta­tion on the banks of the River Nene, east of the city.

St Pan­cras: The for­mer Mid­land Rail­way ter­mi­nus was 150 years old on Oc­to­ber 1. Now the busy in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nus for Eurostar ser­vices, it was con­sid­ered for clo­sure and de­mo­li­tion in the 1960s.

Stone: The town coun­cil has been lob­by­ing to get the pro­posed main­te­nance de­pot at Yarn­field moved to Alder­sey’s Rough be­tween Made­ley and Whit­more, to avoid road traf­fic con­ges­tion. How­ever, it has been in­formed that it would be too costly. Swan­bourne: The for­mer Bletch­ley- Ox­ford line sta­tion build­ing has been slated for de­mo­li­tion un­der the East West Rail Link pro­pos­als, be­cause it will be too close to the new 100mph rail­way. Although con­verted to a home af­ter its clo­sure on Jan­uary 1 1968, it is owned by Net­work Rail.

NORTH WEST

Ard­wick: Con­struc­tion of the Tran­sPen­nine Ex­press de­pot ex­ten­sion has be­gun, to pro­vide sta­bling fa­cil­i­ties for an ad­di­tional 16 ve­hi­cles. Kirkham & We­sham: The Pre­ston- Black­pool line

sta­tion has been promised step-free ac­cess to all its plat­forms, one of which is new.

Millers Dale: The for­mer Derby- Manch­ester/ Bux­ton junc­tion sta­tion is be­ing re­stored by the Peak Dis­trict Na­tional Park Author­ity as a tourist cen­tre and restau­rant, as part of the 8½ - mile Mon­sal Trail cy­cling and walk­way. Three of the plat­forms are still vis­i­ble 50 years af­ter clo­sure, and one of the Mid­land Rail­way viaducts is also un­der ren­o­va­tion.

Sal­ford: The canopies at Cen­tral sta­tion have been cut back to make it eas­ier for train crews to see sig­nals.

SOUTH­ERN

East Croy­don: Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion is tak­ing place dur­ing Novem­ber and De­cem­ber on the ma­jor re­mod­elling to re­move the bot­tle­neck on the Lon­don- Brighton main line. As well as junc­tions re­plac­ing fly­overs, through tracks will be in­creased from five to seven, and a big­ger con­course pro­vided at the sta­tion.

Poole: The trou­bled minia­ture rail­way, open since 1949, has been taken over by the lo­cal author­ity with the prom­ise of a £ 350,000 over­haul. Af­ter part­ing com­pany with the pre­vi­ous op­er­a­tor be­cause of health and safety con­cerns, Poole Coun­cil had ear­lier con­sid­ered the rail­way’s com­plete clo­sure.

Sal­is­bury: South Western Rail­way is to ex­pand the

sta­tion’s cy­cle fa­cil­i­ties.

South Western Rail­way: The train op­er­a­tor has an­nounced a £ 90 mil­lion pro­gramme to im­prove its sta­tions in the du­ra­tion of its fran­chise, in­clud­ing pro­vid­ing 1,500 ex­tra car park spa­ces, new wait­ing shel­ters and ex­tend­ing canopies, re­fur­bish­ment of wait­ing rooms and toi­lets, real-time in­for­ma­tion screens, and 280 ex­tra plat­form benches.

ANGLIA

An­gel Road: For­mal clo­sure no­tices have now been is­sued for the Lea Val­ley Line sta­tion, quite likely next year. It will co­in­cide with the open­ing of nearby Merid­ian Wa­ter.

Bar­ring­ton: A 185ft chim­ney at the rail- served ce­ment works is to be de­mol­ished be­cause it is con­sid­ered un­safe. The link will re­main in use for Ce­mex waste trains fill­ing the old quarry un­til at least the end of the year. Plan­ning per­mis­sion has been granted to build 200 houses on the site.

Had­dis­coe: The for­mer Bec­cles-Yarmouth line high level sta­tion, closed in 1959, has been on the mar­ket for £ 600,000. Now con­verted to a five- bed­roomed home, it in­cor­po­rates the shell of the old Great Eastern sig­nal box. The old wait­ing room is now hol­i­day ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Watling­ton: The for­mer sta­tion house on the Kings Lynn- Cam­bridge line, now a pri­vate three- bed­roomed house, is on the mar­ket for £ 275,000.

SCOT­LAND

Aberdeen: The 170- year- old Abbey­toun road bridge over the rail­way at For­doun is to be de­mol­ished. It shut in July be­cause it was de­fec­tive.

Stone­haven: There was wide­spread dis­rup­tion to Ed­in­burgh- Aberdeen ser­vices for two days from Oc­to­ber 10, af­ter empty diesel mul­ti­ple unit 170402 be­came de­railed across both tracks.

WALES

Llan­wern: The new £ 50 mil­lion sta­tion fea­tures in the Welsh Gov­ern­ment’s draft bud­get for 2018-19. Sit­u­ated north of the Glan Llyn re­gen­er­a­tion site, it will have 1,000 spa­ces for cars on the Celtic Busi­ness Park.

Sirhowy: The fi­nal sec­tion of the Sirhowy branch to Nan­tyb­wch, one of many South Wales lines that fed the LNWR’s Heads of the Val­leys route, opened 150 years ago on Novem­ber 2. It closed in sec­tions north from Risca be­tween 1960-70.

LON­DON

Far­ring­don: The airi­ness of the Thames­link/ Un­der­ground sta­tion is to dis­ap­pear, fol­low­ing agree­ment to build a two- storey shop­ping cen­tre and seven floors of of­fices over the plat­forms.

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