Line speeds around Shrewsbury

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Bald Rick

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So why are they wasting public money on it?

What I was suggesting will never happen is regular services that run non stop through Telford.

Recent railway history is littered with local authorities wasting public money on proposals that will never see the light of day, and even on some that do.
 

city dweller

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The opening few sentences of the feasibly study gives you a clue

The rail line linking Shrewsbury, Telford, Wolverhampton, Sandwell & Dudley and Birmingham currently does not provide the connectivity or capacity needed to support business and housing growth. At Midlands Connect we believe that quick, reliable and comfortable rail services allow businesses to attract and access a wider pool of skilled workers, giving people more choice over where they live and work
 

Shrop

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One of MC media team recently spoke to Shropshire TV. It's at 1:00:15 and last less than 10 mins. It refers to the Shrewsbury link.

Interesting, and thanks for posting this. There seems to be a lot of conflict though (which generally seems to be Shrop vs the rest ha ha!), but I do wonder what others think of this proposal to electrify the route?

I'm not trying to be contentious here, but when I've suggested that existing diesel trains which have 90mph capability, might run at 90mph, I've been shot down by several people who have said this would cost far too much, and wouldn't be of benefit since any speed improvements would be negated at Shrewsbury or Wolverhampton. But electrification would cost many times as much as providing relatively minor infrastructure improvements to run existing trains at 90mph, and how many minutes faster would electric trains be, than diesel units running at 90mph?
 

The Planner

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On what services? WMT or TfW? The stoppers would benefit most. Though 197s might sneak a minute or so if they have a bit of poke regardless of speed increases or the much less likely wires.
 

tomuk

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The interview was interesting to say the least, 'straightening the lines out a bit' , 'shaving a bit of Oakengates tunnel' and 'putting up some bollards and wires'. A few useful nuggets, the price for the line speed improvements , 'the quick win' would be £11m - not too unreasonable, and the overall scheme including electrification would have a BCR of 3.5? better than HS2s 1.14.
£500m boost to local economy, 90% in Shrewsbury would support the scheme and 80% in Telford. Two thirds would see it as levelling up. How many Tory MPs are there along the route 4 or 5? Also exploratory talks with the WG over battery bimodes for the Cambrian.
 

The Planner

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The interview was interesting to say the least, 'straightening the lines out a bit' , 'shaving a bit of Oakengates tunnel' and 'putting up some bollards and wires'. A few useful nuggets, the price for the line speed improvements , 'the quick win' would be £11m - not too unreasonable, and the overall scheme including electrification would have a BCR of 3.5? better than HS2s 1.14.
£500m boost to local economy, 90% in Shrewsbury would support the scheme and 80% in Telford. Two thirds would see it as levelling up. How many Tory MPs are there along the route 4 or 5? Also exploratory talks with the WG over battery bimodes for the Cambrian.
Suggest two things there, you aren't getting a lot for £11m and I doubt the BCR is that high without some clever accounting.
 

city dweller

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Suggest two things there, you aren't getting a lot for £11m and I doubt the BCR is that high without some clever accounting.
MC say the cost of electrification is £140m and delivers the following benefits.

Time savings to passengers are valued at up to £377 million and the reduced road traffic and other environmental benefits at up to £145 million.

That is just from the feasibility study but sounds like they are staying close to those numbers.
 
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The Planner

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MC say the cost of electrification is £140m and delvers the following benefits.

Time savings to passengers are valued at up to £377 million and the reduced road traffic and other environmental benefits at up to £145 million.

That is just from the feasibility study but sounds like they are staying close to those numbers.
Doesn't answer the quick win bit though. Does it specifically say what the time savings are as I have not had a proper look at the document.
 

Bald Rick

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MC say the cost of electrification is £140m and delvers the following benefits.

Time savings to passengers are valued at up to £377 million and the reduced road traffic and other environmental benefits at up to £145 million.

That is just from the feasibility study but sounds like they are staying close to those numbers.

Electrification on its own doesn’t deliver any time savings to passengers. That needs electric trains (obviously), which must accelerate faster than what they replace (or an alternative), *and* a timetable that can accommodate the faster journeys.

As it happens I do think this line could do with electrification, but there are more urgent priorities in the West Midlands.
 

Shrop

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MC say the cost of electrification is £140m and delvers the following benefits.

Time savings to passengers are valued at up to £377 million and the reduced road traffic and other environmental benefits at up to £145 million.

That is just from the feasibility study but sounds like they are staying close to those numbers.
I'm still interested to know about these time savings, as in my post yesterday evening. I wonder if anyone can answer that? The crux is, a number of people said it would be pointless trying to save time by raising the speed limit to 90mph, so can the cost of electrification really be justified, which would undoubtedly be many times the cost of allowing the existing 90mph diesel trains to run at 90mph, and quite possibly still without exceeding 90mph?
 

city dweller

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Doesn't answer the quick win bit though. Does it specifically say what the time savings are as I have not had a proper look at the document.
I would think the SOBC in Jan will show which early interventions they would like to make and at what cost.

Our study examined the economic case for speeding up Shrewsbury-Birmingham services from 56 minutes to around 45 minutes, a reduction that can be achieved via track upgrades and possible electrification.
 

Shrop

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I would think the SOBC in Jan will show which early interventions they would like to make and at what cost.

Our study examined the economic case for speeding up Shrewsbury-Birmingham services from 56 minutes to around 45 minutes, a reduction that can be achieved via track upgrades and possible electrification
"Possible electrification"? So what is the likely time saving without electrification I wonder?

Second question, is "around 45 minutes" including the present stops at Wellington, Telford, Wolverhampton and Smethwick GB, or will one or more be missed in order to achieve 45 minutes?
 

Wolfie

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"Possible electrification"? So what is the likely time saving without electrification I wonder?

Second question, is "around 45 minutes" including the present stops at Wellington, Telford, Wolverhampton and Smethwick GB, or will one or more be missed in order to achieve 45 minutes?
I suspect the 45 mins would lose Wellington and Smethwick. I don't imagine that the users of either would be happy. If they tried dropping Telford too it would be outright war.
 

tomuk

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I suspect the 45 mins would lose Wellington and Smethwick. I don't imagine that the users of either would be happy. If they tried dropping Telford too it would be outright war.
Who in their right mind would drop Telford even losing Wellington would be a push with it seeing nearly 700k passengers a year.

Station Name1819 Entries & Exits
Shrewsbury2,226,302
Wellington (Shropshire)698,712
Oakengates73,438
Telford Central1,198,384
Shifnal187,162
Cosford87,414
Albrighton101,548
Codsall125,222
Bilbrook133,688

Suggest two things there, you aren't getting a lot for £11m and I doubt the BCR is that high without some clever accounting.
It is probably just confirmation that the line can cope with 90mph without much change, in the past it has been on the brink of being uprated more than once. In the meantime maintainance/renewal work has been carried out like the bridge replacement at Albrighton a few years ago.
 
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BrianW

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That's just from the feasibility study. It's only a few pages long

https://www.midlandsconnect.uk/media/1778/mc-rails-to-recovery-digital.pdf
Indeed- only eight vacuous pages, with eight pictures of trains or the Wrekin; 5 mentions of HS2; 5 uses of £; 22 of MP- an example of which:
This scheme is another part of my work to level up Wolverhampton and the
Black Country, and shows how we can build back better, fairer and greener.”
Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East.

Midlands Connect- 17 on the 'Steering Group'; 19 on the 'Strategy Board'.
Midlands Engine: 'The Midlands Engine is a coalition of Councils, Combined Authorities, Local Enterprise Partnerships such as D2N2, Universities, and businesses across the region, actively working with Government to build a collective identity to enable us to present the Midlands as a competitive and compelling offer that is attractive at home and overseas.
The partnership is about additionality, complementing the work of its partners to generate added value, at scale – right across the Midlands.'

D2N2- blah, blah, blah

Midlands Rail Hub: Our flagship rail project;...

Midlands Connect Conventional Compatible HS2 Services:
It is essential that the Midlands makes the most of its new high speed rail infrastructure. We are investigating the potential for additional conventional compatible trains to serve the city centres of Nottingham and Leicester, boosting east-west and north-south links.
Includes Toton and Leeds, but not Derby or Sheffield ...

So much investment, of hot air ...
 

tomuk

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Includes Toton and Leeds, but not Derby or Sheffield ...

So much investment, of hot air ...
They are a regional body so of course they talk more about benefits to local cities, Leeds and Sheffield are in Yorkshire not the Midlands. Not that they haven't majored on the benefits of those links in previous communications/engagements. In the case of Derby the service from Birmingham is currently measurably better than to either Nottingham or Leicester.
 

The Planner

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I suspect the 45 mins would lose Wellington and Smethwick. I don't imagine that the users of either would be happy. If they tried dropping Telford too it would be outright war.
I dont see how they can do it. Current Wolves to New St with a stop for TfW is 18 minutes. Electric isnt going to get anything off that. So you need 27 including the Wolves dwell from Shrewsbury. Currently thats 40 odd minutes. Can't see how you get that much unless you are non stop with a line speed increase.
 

Wolfie

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I dont see how they can do it. Current Wolves to New St with a stop for TfW is 18 minutes. Electric isnt going to get anything off that. So you need 27 including the Wolves dwell from Shrewsbury. Currently thats 40 odd minutes. Can't see how you get that much unless you are non stop with a line speed increase.
TY
 

Bald Rick

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Perhaps to help a bit - even if all the stretches of 70mph between Wolves and Shrewsbury were lifted to 90mph, and the Wellington loops were removed, the journey time saving would be 5 minutes. To get more than that means taking out stops, at 2-3 minutes each.
 

city dweller

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I did wonder if the best time savings being shown were for the limited stop post HS2 service.

Midlands Connect have examined the line and we believe it is possible to speed up services and increase the number of trains on the corridor from three to four per hour. This is made possible by extending the hourly Wolverhampton-Birmingham that is included in the post-HS2 assumptions to start at Shrewsbury
 

Shrop

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Perhaps to help a bit - even if all the stretches of 70mph between Wolves and Shrewsbury were lifted to 90mph, and the Wellington loops were removed, the journey time saving would be 5 minutes. To get more than that means taking out stops, at 2-3 minutes each.
That makes sense. The question is, how do MC intend to take this forward without letting on that at least two stops will have to be taken out to achieve their claimed improvement?

As the author of the thread, despite the earlier comments saying it wouldn't be worth the expense of running existing stock at 90mph, I suggest that it would nevertheless provide better value per minute saved, than electrification would!
 

tomuk

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Perhaps to help a bit - even if all the stretches of 70mph between Wolves and Shrewsbury were lifted to 90mph, and the Wellington loops were removed, the journey time saving would be 5 minutes. To get more than that means taking out stops, at 2-3 minutes each.


Well all services will see quicker times fast and stoppers alike. So maybe take the Wellington and Smethwick stop out of the TfW fast to get the headline 45mins to New Street. Wellington keeps a stop on the hourly Euston and Smethwick served by 3tph stoppers.
 

BrianW

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They are a regional body so of course they talk more about benefits to local cities, Leeds and Sheffield are in Yorkshire not the Midlands. Not that they haven't majored on the benefits of those links in previous communications/engagements. In the case of Derby the service from Birmingham is currently measurably better than to either Nottingham or Leicester.
Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Cheltenham not 'the Midlands' either; nor Gloucester: https://www.midlandsconnect.uk/projects/rail/
I'm only trying to show the 'selectivity' regarding what 'connectivity' to show where; and something of the 'parochial' outlook that can creep in.
And the 'value' that might be attached by government to regionally focused bodies, like Transport for the North.
Back closer to the thread title- I see not one mention of Shrewsbury in the Integrated Rail Plan.
 
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