Wednesday, 16 July 2014

There's a train rollin a down that track - Time to sell up and move

If you live anywhere near the Midland Mailine Railway in the Borough of Barnet or you care about the Green Belt you may just be a tad concerned about what our Tory MP, Mr Matthew Offords government has just done. Of course you won't see anything about it here on his twitter feed

But you can read all about it here - 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 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 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.

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 


John S said...

Yet again Mr Offord demonstrates his complete and utter inability to represent Hendon constituents, the man is a lazy incompetent waste of space. Apart from having not interest in this rail issue, he has demonstrated a complete lack of interest in our failing local NHS issues as well.

The sooner Mr Offord goes the better, he is to bone idle to be an MP, and refuses to represent all of the constituents he is paid to represent, and caters only for those that vote Conservative.

Anonymous said...

Boris may want a London Overground services as part of his Old Oak Common HS2 proposals. That would mean trains would come up as far as Hendon Thameslink, with new platforms on the western side.

We should know if he wants to do that, later this year.

Do you think we should try and get that extended to Mill Hill Broadway?

That would mean adding an extra track, north of the RAF Museum.

Rog T said...

I'd support a London Overground link to Mill Hill Broadway and a stop at the RAF museum. It is ridiculous that the Museum has no station

Alasdair Hill said...

Tricky one. I would argue it is better environmentally to put freight on trains rather than on the roads.

Rog T said...


In principle you are right, but it is the location. This is green belt and is a frieght transfer depot, so the roads are totally unsuitable. These sort of things should be on brownfield sites with good road links already in place.

As to the trains rumbling through at night, in most other countries, studies will be done to mitigate the effect on residents in built up areas that are inconvenienced.

Sound baffles etc are put around such things in most European countries when such things are done

Anonymous said...

Hi Rog,

You might want to compare Offord with his St Albans counterpart, Anne Main MP who has called depot a slap in this face for residents an intends to fight on:

It was also Anne Main who grassed up another Barnet celeb, Theresa Villiers, for discussing the development over a private lunch with a consultant:

Anonymous said...

When presented with a Rose, Rog T would see only the thorn (even on a thronless rose).

Rog T said...

What is a thronless rose???

Anonymous said...

Happy to help:

Common sense and conventional wisdom tell us that every rose has its thorn. Indeed, most rose gardeners learn to accept thorns with a kind of quiet resignation, arming themselves against the less-pleasant tasks of rose care with gauntlet gloves and loppers. We turn philosophical: “Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses” (German proverb). But in the end, no matter how hard we try to overlook thorns and focus on blooms, we find ourselves longing for a kinder, gentler bush.

Fortunately, nature provides exceptions to every rule. While there are not many, some truly thornless roses do exist.