Post by Robin9 Post by Robin9
I'm willing to give Mr. Grayling some slack because he recognises
Network Rail's shortcomings for what they are. I particularly
like the way he is giving the East West Rail project to a separate
Sort of. What he's said is that for it proceed, a separate privately
funded company needs to own the project. Apparently this counts as
giving his full support.-
Isn't there a billion of state money going in, too?-
Not for the bits which still need doing now (I'm unsighted as to the
amount they've spent on the bits which are by now open).-
I have the impression that the project is unofficially split in
two. The realistic part - between Bicester Village Station and
Bletchley - is now going ahead with a large dollop of taxpayers'
If it's costing a billion to re-open a line that's pretty much already
there, that's a disgrace. However, isn't most of that project almost
The unrealistic part - the new build between Bedford
and Cambridge - seems to be making no real progress, with
neither the route nor finance at all certain.-
The finance is "certain", in the sense that (this week anyway) it will
have to be raised privately, and is therefore zero. And the various
promoters of the scheme keep making absurdly over-optimistic noises
about both the benefit and the likelihood of it going ahead.
Not only are they attempting to create a Golden Age That Never Was,
but they're papering-over the fact the original promise was Oxford to
Bedford in 43 minutes, now slipped to 71 minutes
Work on the section between the new Bicester junction and
Bletchley hasn't even started yet. The track bed has suffered
serious erosion since being mothballed and in places will require
a complete rebuild. I've walked along part of the route and have
seen small ponds and robust vegetation in what was once the
I do agree that a billion is - or should be - way over the top.
I assume one part of that huge sum is to pay for whatever
irrational scheme they come up with for Bedford and that
another part is to pay for accommodating HS2 in the Claydon
I didn't know that 43 minutes was ever planned for Oxford to
"Cambridge to Oxford being connected by frequent trains in just 60
minutes, and Cambridge to Bedford in just 28 minutes."
So that's Oxford-Bedford in (a stunningly unrealistic) 32 min,
But I'm sure the 43 minutes is from a different (probably maybe later)
such pipedream^H^H^H plan. I would not have picked something as precise
as 43 minutes out of a hat.
Post by Robin9
I'm not sure what the distance is
That's easy - it's about 58 miles. Thus suspiciously close to 80mph now,
which they presumably thought on the back of an envelope a 100-125mph
electric train could manage.
Post by Robin9
or how many stops were intended,
Traditionally, these "fastest times" are always cheekily quoted for the
only service each day that's non-stop. But that's marketing people for
Post by Robin9
but Winslow will be the only station between Bicester Village and
Bletchley and the route is well laid out so fairly high speeds will be
Another problem has always been that the incessant reports over the
years all ignore many of the practical aspects, such as the route into
Cambridge, or even into Bedford and back out.
But as that now appears to be "settled" as missing Bedford, then via
Sandy and Foxton, all they need to do now is explain how it's
financially viable given Bedford, Luton, Stevenage, Hitchin and other
such places en-route have fallen by the wayside, that earlier plans said
it would serve.
 Junction just north of Shepreth, actually.
 Suspiciously close to 110mph average.