New Sighting And Some New Line Thoughts

Hello one and all,

6Z49 1103 Crawley New Yard (Gbrf) to Cardiff Docks Greenergy Gb 66768 trundled past Selhurst at 11:44. It’s a ‘cop’ for me (new sighting).

I think it must be the heat but there really seems to be a number of wild ideas on new or reopened railways lines recently.

A real ‘pie in the sky’ idea is this HS4AIR project. For those not in the know it’s a plan for a High Speed line between Ashford area (for the Channel Tunnel) through Tonbridge, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, along the North Downs Line and alongside the M25 to Heathrow then with a spur to the Great Western mainline and the main line going up to join on to HS2. The Rail Forums members seem to think it’s a project that won’t get of the ground as to many of us in the rail industry.

Next you have the reopening of the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth in Wales. Again not looking feasible.

A new line in to Grassington (Yorkshire Dales) to help the national parks?

The reopening of the Grand Central Railway line.

There’s even a part reopening and a new bit of line proposal ! !

Before anyone thinks I am not open to new and reopened stations/routes, nothing could be further from the truth. I am all for the opening of lines like the Borders railway in Scotland and new stations like Coventry Arena, Cambridge North and Kenilworth. I think there there are more important lines and stations that could be reopened. The Wisbech line is one that has track still in situ and is a project of Rail Future. Soham Station is another station that could really do with backing. The list of places that need stations is quite interesting and some locations should take priority over like the HS4AIR above.

Certainly the Brighton Line problems needs looking at and the ideas of BML2 seems to evoke a multitude of feelings. Would a line through Lewes and East Grinstead improve the congestion of the Brighton Line?

Would a Thameslink 2 project help with transfers through London now that the maximum 24 tph is almost achieved? Certainly increasing the Thameslink ‘core’ in it’s current incarnation to 30 tph is nonsense, as anyone with any number of years working on the railway will testify to.

The East/West (it was also known as the Varsity Line in the past) between Oxford and Cambridge is dragging on and there are some real stumbling blocks in the eastern section of the line.

Above all and before all the new stuff … we need to get Britain’s railways back on track (pardon the pun).
As British Rail? Maybe.
Is there a better way of doing it all? Probably.
Better Timetables? Yes.
More sensible trains including comfort. Of Course.
and importantly more common sense approach and basic ticketing.

These things are not the “Rail Enthusiast” in me, they are for the good of the railways and the people working and using them.

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