Posted 9th September 2020 | 7 Comments

DfT reveals rejected rail restoration bids

THE Department for Transport has named the schemes which have failed to qualify in the first round of its railway funding competition.

It had already revealed the successful bids which have qualified for a share in a £500 million pot which will help to pay for further development.

These comprise passenger services between Leicester and Burton and also between Bury-Heywood-Rochdale, Clitheroe and Hellifield, and Sheffield and Chesterfield via Barrow Hill, along with reopened stations at Meir near Stoke-on-Trent, Wellington and Cullompton, and a restored passing loop on the Watford Junction-St Albans Abbey line, as well as new passenger services on the Totton-Fawley line, the reopening of branch lines on the Isle of Wight and a new station at Lydeway, to serve Devizes.

Schemes ruled out, at least this time round, include an orbital passenger rail route between Stockport and Ashton, Keswick to Penrith, East Didsbury to Stockport, Maldon to Witham,  Barnsley to Wakefield via Royston, Beverley-York, Oswestry to Gobowen, reinstatement of the Peaks and Dales Railway, Newton Abbot to Heathfield, Lewes to Uckfield, Eridge to Tunbridge Wells, Tavistock-Okehampton, Wymondham-Dereham, Stratford upon Avon to Honeybourne, and Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge. Also left standing are suggestions for new or restored stations at Midge Hall, Ferryhill, Waverley (Yorks.), St Anne’s Park (Bristol), Belford (Northumberland), Goodrington, Churston and Charfield.

Some of the rejected proposals concerned improvements on existing lines. These include Truro-Falmouth Docks, Par-Newquay, Nottingham and Leicester via Syston and Loughborough from Melton Mowbray, more secondary services on the Great Western Main Line and increased capacity west of Bristol.

For those schemes which have been shortlisted, this is only the start. The money can now be used to develop a business case for each scheme, with the backing of local politicians and business groups.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    If a passing loop on the Abbey Flyer Line does get the go ahead at Bricket Wood which is halfway between Watford Junction and St. Albans Abbey. Is it possible for Network Rail to add a passing loop on the Braintree branch line at Cressing south of Braintree and to allow 3tph to operate between London Liverpool Street and Braintree (and Witham-Braintree).

  • david c smith, Bletchley

    The choices appear pretty arbitrary. Could there be some "tokenism"at work?

    In cases such as Bodmin parkway - Wadebridge and Wymondham - Dereham (and Fakenham ?) could there be a way for general passenger service to coexist with tourist heritage operations - perhaps run by the same body - notwithstanding barriers such as light railway orders? Could some cases involve a "symbiotic"relationship helping each others' viabilities ?

    I don't have the answers , but just pose the questions out of curiosity.

    [You must have missed our previous articles about this. The short answer to your question seems to be 'no', but there is no room for more here. We'll return to this topic in a Monday essay in the near future.--Ed.]

  • Ben, Hull

    So they're basically going ahead with developing the low-cost options where infrastructure is largely still in place. It's hardly 'reversing Beeching' is it?

  • John B, London

    Madness to be considering spending money on some of these lines. Totton-Fawley and the IOW seem particularly bonkers.

    We are on the brink of a major shift in the way we live, perhaps even the most profound change since the Industrial Revolution. The world in 2030-40 will be very different to today - and permanently so. Future rail modelling needs to take into account a possibly monumental fall in passenger numbers as traditional workplaces (and jobs) vanish. Incomes will also fall, making the cost of travel unrealistic - as is already happening. The economy will reduce to a more basic, sustainable level. Life will become very tough for many.

    There is no point spending vast sums in developing projects for a future that simply will never exist.

  • Martin Marrison, Haywards Heath

    Shame about Uckfield to Lewes just a 7 mile gap with very little obstacles most of it through built areas but would connect the heart of sussex and provide a better alternative the the Brighton Mainline which we know is full!


  • James Miller, Hackney

    It appears that First Group have helped to fund the second platform at Bodmin General.

    Do they want to use Bodmin General as a destination for five-car 802s, which split and join at Plymouth?

    They might also be funding a charging facility, so they could run Class 802s with batteries.

    They're certainly up to something, as they've rescued more HSTs from the scrapyard.

  • James Miller, Hackney

    I thought Wymondham-Dereham, Stratford upon Avon to Honeybourne, and Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge had been awarded funds.
    [Not from the DfT, it would appear. Bodmin Parkway to Wadebridge would be a particular problem, because it would tread on the toes of a heritage railway which uses most of the route.--Ed.]

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