Friday 2 September 2011

Time to sell up and move if you live in Mill Hill or Hendon? Radlett Rail Freight Terminal Special

Hands up if you like a good nights sleep? Hands up if you've ever heard a freight train thundering through on the Midland Mainline in the middle of the night in Mill Hill or Hendon?

Well if the answer to both of these questions is yes, then you may like to click on this link

This says that the proposed railfreight terminal in Radlett (two stops up the line from Mill Hill) will have 12 freight trains a day. The question is, when will these extra trains run? Well the line is at capacity during the day, due to the popularity of the Thameslink service. So the answer is.... Yup late nights/early mornings.

And what sort of Freight trains are these? Big buggers I believe,%20Graham%20Smith_tcm15-10869.pdf

To quote the document from the inquiry :-
Longer and heavier freight trains: operate 750m long trains as standard and ensure rail freight terminals can accommodate longer trains. Allow heavier trains (with the resulting increased capacity) on selected routes)
Got that, heacy freight trains nearly half a mile long.

Just to re-emphasise :-
Be capable of taking full-length (775m) trains of W10 gauge with longer-term potential for electric traction and European-gauge containers
Be able to receive and despatch around 12 full trains per day
Or put it another way :-
The established Midland Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) states that off-peak capacity should be provided for two freight trains per hour, one with a trailing weight of up to 2500 tonnes, in each direction. The Draft Network Rail East Midlands RUS also states that two off-peak freight paths per hour of up to 2000 tonnes should be provided in each direction. Trains in excess of 2000 tonnes are for hauling bulk commodities such as aggregates and would not serve the Radlett terminal. Capacity for trains of this type will be achieved during off-peak hours by the provision of additional infrastructure, which is being developed under the Strategic Freight Network initiative. DBSR’s international service from Novara in Italy, at 512m, has a typical trailing weight of around 1200 tonnes.
So as well as the new trains for Radlett, we are to have two trains per hour hauling in excess of 2,000 tonnes in off peak periods (overnight). And just to re-iterate
21. I am aware that there have been adverse comments by at least one passenger train operating company with regard to the Radlett proposal. I do not regard these comments as well-considered. The Route Utilisation Strategy for the Midland Main Line makes it very clear that two freight paths per non-peak hour are reserved. Current utilisation rates of around 60% – (the figures are from Network Rail’s Performance and Capacity Report on MML dated July 2009) – show that there is ample capacity
Out of hours (non-peak hours). The line is currently at 60% freight capacity, so we will have a near doubling of freight.

Now I'm not  a Nimby, I'd much rather see freight on railways than roads, but what I do object to is that I only found out about this all by accident. I was googling Radlett to see if there was still day fishing at the gravel pits. My house backs on to the Midland Main Line. It directly affects me. The proposal says plenty about what will be done to mitigate the traffic in Radlett, but what about in Mill Hill and Hendon. Even more scandalous is the fact that our local Action Man MP Manuel Matthew Offord has not said a dicky bird about something which will affect property values and the ability of his constituents to get a good nights sleep. Does he give a monkeys? Does he actually know? Well if he did, he has said nothing on his website. If you don't live near a railway which carries heavy freight, you probably won't realise that each tran feels like a mini earthquake. We have to regularly repaint the rooms of our house to repair cracks caused by the train generated vibrations. As this will increase by 40%, what do I get for all of the disruption & aggro caused. I was recently involved in a property sale for another house backing on to the line. Was there anything thrown up in the searches about this?

One final thing to bear in mind. The original plans were thrown out by the secretary of State last year. He was overruled by a judge in July, and the plans are back on track.

Isn't democracy a wonderful thing.


baarnett said...

"Helioslough Ltd, a joint venture between Helios Properties and Slough Estates International, have been working, with a professional development team to explore what opportunities exist to develop a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange on the site of the former Radlett Aerodrome.

Companies with a requirement for connection to the railway will occupy the development.

There are many different types of companies that could occupy the site, e.g. bottled drinks being moved from Scotland and mainland Europe by rail; newsprint from Scotland or Germany; and supermarket goods being moved between warehouses - all moved long distance by rail for local delivery by road. Without access to a suitable rail freight interchange, such traffic can only move by road."

baarnett said...

There is a comment from someone, that it is not worth using freight trains (for goods that you need to transfer to lorries) unless the rail journey is at least 140 miles or so.

That rules out most of southern England and the container ports, I would have thought.

This means most trains would be from Scotland and via the Channel Tunnel, as the blurb says. Can anyone in the industry comment?

I have found another new approved site for goods trains at Brent Cross, which would presumably be in competition with Radlett. Or whichever is built first might stop the other one being profitable.

ainelivia said...

.... in which case i'm off to Mass on Sunday to pray that Brent Cross wins the race.....

baarnett said...

ainelivia: You would get the Scotch whisky going through Mill Hill, instead of the Bavarian paper rolls for the Barnet Times!

ainelivia said...

Hi Baarnett, time to resurect some old Cornish traditions in Mill Hill then.... how could we get the trains to slow down....?