http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-28307815. The government has approved a massive freight transfer station to be built in Radlett connecting to the Midland Mainline (Thameslink). This will handle huge mega trains, mostly in the middle of the night, making their way from the Channel tunnel to be unloaded onto Lorries for onwards distribution. Those of us who back onto the railway can look forward to the constant rumble of freight throughout the night. It will also lead to a massive increase in lorries on local trunk roads.
We first covered this story in 2011 http://barneteye.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/time-to-sell-up-and-move-if-you-live-in.html predicting that big business would win out over environmental concerns and local residents.
As we pointed out at the time
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 containersOr put it another way :-
Be able to receive and despatch around 12 full trains per day
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
So there you go. Silence from our local MP. It is great news if you are a trainspotter or if you find the rumble of trains soothing. For the rest of us, it is yet another demonstration that Mr Offord doesn't want to know